Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I know it's not JUST Fayette County BUT is very prevalent:



In a 15-minute conversation, a local appointed public official used the word "TYPICALLY" 5 times!


From JENNIFER JONES: "DUDN'T" rather than "DOESN'T IT".
"ILLINOIS" with people pronouncing the "S"

Monday, May 30, 2011


A great number of my husband's family are buried at Highlawn Cemetery. Close to his family's graves is the grave of Brenda Lee Chandler. She was born in 1957 and died in 1988. I had noticed the grave for years and loved the inscription, "Our Rose Blooms Forever".

One Mother's Day in the 1990s we went to place flowers on Gerald's mother's grave and the cemetery was in a shameful condition with grass grown several inches high. The company which owned the cemetery was bankrupt and the cemetery was in receivership with a bank. That day there was an older man with a mower and he was mowing around the grave of Brenda Lee Chandler and there were two young children with him. As he lovingly weeded around her grave, he heard me tell my husband that I was going to complain to the bank and that the cemetery better be in decent shape by Memorial Day. John Chandler began talking to me and said he would appreciate my calling the bank. He asked if we would like for him to mow around the graves of my husband's family. My husband took the mower and did the mowing.

Mr. Chandler and I continued talking and I asked, "I've always wondered if your daughter was named after the singer Brenda Lee?" He laughed and said yes and that he and his wife had always loved Brenda Lee. He told me about his daughter and their family.

For several years we saw each other on the Sunday before Memorial Day as we placed our flowers on the graves. He mentioned that there were three generations of Chandlers buried there.

One year I noticed there were no flowers on Brenda Lee's grave and there was a new gravesite with no marker. I went to the caretaker and asked if Brenda's father had died and I asked if there would be a flag on his grave as I recalled that he was a World War II veteran.

I still place flowers on Brenda Lee's grave, a person I never knew, but who still touched my life.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


From ARMINTA TORBETT: hates to see JUST SAYIN' in the written form.


In speaking to one of our esteemed County Commissioners about whether we could hold an SB5 PETITION SIGNING RALLY on the Court House lawn, he said that he would have to check on the "PROPERNESS" of the request. Being the kind of gal I am, I said, "While you check on the PROPRIETY, I'll be making signs." I looked in five dictionaries and "properness" isn't given as a word; however, the Webster's Third New International Dictionary (3-volume set) not only gives "properness" but also "properer" and "properest"! OOPS!

Watching the final game "In The Know" for the year, the host Bill Schiffman actually used the words "PROPS" and "DUDE". My, oh, my, we know that slang is passe when a middle-aged guy in Columbus thinks it's COOL to use it!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Connie and I went to Springfield and, although we planned to go to the Extravaganza at the Fairgrounds, we went to the Antique Mall instead. We saw about 1,000 things we would like to have; she didn't buy anything and I bought one tsochke.

At a display case next to us a woman said, "Well they think she's nuts." I had heard their lively conversation and I asked, "Are you talking about me again?" The three ladies immediately recognized a like-minded person joined the charade and one answered that yes, they were indeed talking about me. In our following conversation, I learned that Carol was here from Arizona to see her granddaughter graduate from high school. I told her and Jan that my husband said the only reason I go shopping is to have "encounters" so that I will have something to write about on my BLOG. Of course, that isn't true, BUT.....

They were interested to learn about my BLOG and Carol said she had an incident to tell about that I could use on my BLOG: she told about flirting with a man and asking if he took Viagra. I exclaimed, "Oh, no I can't write about that; that's risque!" I gave Carol my card and invited her to check out my BLOG. She handed the card to Jan and said that I would have to get in contact with her and I answered, "Hey, that internet goes both ways!"

We laughed and I said, "That's the hook for my story--the internet goes both ways, Carol!"

Friday, May 27, 2011



Our Red Hat Ladies group went to The Tuscan Table in Circleville for our monthly get-together. I was looking forward to going because I'd heard many favorable comments about it. The lunch menu had very few options and I ordered from the regular dinner menu.

I ordered Seafood Alfredo at $17.95 and as the dinner menu was a la carte, it had no salad, soup or bread to accompany it. In addition, I ordered a bowl of Italian Wedding Soup; I received a cup of soup. The cubes of chicken in the soup had an orange tint; the chicken had a strange taste and had a leathery consistency; the meatballs were passable. The soup was very salty and the broth was weak.

The Seafood Alfredo was advertised to have shrimp, scallops and crab. The Alfredo sauce was thin and bland with no herbs; I seldom salt anything but I asked for salt. The four (4) shrimp had a grainy texture and tasted as if they had been thawed, refrozen, thawed and then used; the four (4) scallops were tiny and the three (3) pieces of "crab" were actually POLLOCK! [Of course I counted the number of pieces of "seafood"!] I have had Seafood Alfredo at The Olive Garden, The Macaroni Grill and Villa Nova. All of those have at least PARSLEY in the dish.

The waitress was very inefficient and it took an unbelievable amount of time for her to deliver drinks, take orders and serve us. After the meal, one of the members went to the manager to get our bills. The waitress made mistakes on three of the bills. One of us had a bill of $8.88; she submitted a $20.00 bill; she received $20.12 in change! Being an honorable person, she informed the waitress. The waitress also gave the wrong amount of change to the woman beside me and she short-changed the woman across from me. I charged mine.

I better check my statement!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


In going through some old things, I found three yellow TOP VALUE STAMPS! These were similar to S & H Green Stamps, but were issued by Kroger. I was an avid collector of all the different stamps issued by stores. My friends and I would trade stamps but the TOP VALUE Stamps were always my favorites. I would give 2 S & H for 1 TOP VALUE Stamp!

I wonder why "trading stamps" were discontinued; obviously they were not profitable. They were a "big deal": there were even "redemption centers"; Gerald and I went to Columbus to "redeem" TV Stamps for our first bathroom set which included hamper, shower curtain, rug and commode cover. All of the "prizes" were top-notch brand names.

When I was a child, I remember that my mother collected Wilson Milk labels and she was able to acquire some nice items. I was very disappointed when the Betty Crocker catalog was discontinued several years ago because I had acquired many nice things from there including Oneida flatware and Beleek objects.

At my wedding shower one of my most prized presents was a completed book of TOP VALUE STAMPS!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


When I began my genealogical research, I began asking people with Irish surnames from what County their families originated. I thought it would be interesting to find other descendents from County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. My brother Norman actually met someone who knew where Ballygally, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland is!

I quit asking that question when I asked a co-worker named Rick Duffy what county his family came from and he answered, "I think it was Clark."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I have watched "Saturday Night Live" since it began in 1975. At that time, Gerald was laid off and we needed to curtail entertainment expenses, thus our entertainment was television, card-playing, library visits and bicycling; it was wonderful the amount of "free stuff" we found to do!

Over the years, it's been surprising to see the far-reaching influence of SNL on the popular culture and to hear the number of catch-phrases from SNL which crept into the slang of America . Several times I have quizzed younger people whom I have heard use some of the phrases, but they had no idea the sayings were from SNL sketches. The fact that the words were pronounced with the correct inflection and emphasis verified that they had probably learned the phrases from their parents. From the characters Emily Litella, Mr. Bill, Church Lady, Wayne and Garth, we have a wealth of rich phrases, such as:


My brother Les and I say "BUH-BYE" which stems from a skit about airline attendants saying that to departing passengers.

My brother Les and I will not allow the other to be the LAST to say "thank you". We have a routine when one says "thank you" the other responds in an exaggerated voice with, "NO, THANK YOUUUU!" which also is from SNL.

Monday, May 23, 2011


My father, my brothers Bode and Gary and my husband Gerald all worked at Pennington Bread. The attached poem was in my father's wallet.

In the days before the Bakery Thrift Store, employees could take home day-old merchandise. To this day I do not like FRESH bread because I was accustomed to day-old bread. I find fresh bread to be doughy and just too yeasty. We could never consume all that he brought home so our rabbits and chickens were fattened with DAYS-old bread and pastries. One time Mother looked out the door and saw our pet raccoon RACKY washing a sweet roll! Every once in awhile I will see banana flips and have a yen for one but they actually taste terrible!

Pennington's produced Blue Bird Pies which were sold in restaurants. The pans were recycled and the salesmen were responsible for returning the pie pans. The pie pans are 8-inch heavy aluminum pans. When Blue Bird Pies were discontinued, my father brought home a box of pie pans. These are still the best pie pans and the only ones I use for pies to eat at home.

Several years ago, I was at Caesar's Creek Flea Market and a vendor was telling a woman that the Blue Bird pie pan she was looking at was "at least 90 years old." I interjected, "But how do you know that?" He said, "Because I know when the Company was in business." I said, "But that particular pan is from the 1950's." The woman asked, "How do YOU know?" I explained that my father had worked at Pennington's and that particular pan was new when I was a kid and that I had several different designs of pans I inherited. He had a price of $15.00 on the pan. I said to her, "Call me and I'll sell you a better one for a dollar!" The vendor said that he was going to call Security and that he wanted me to leave his area. I said, "Yeah, tell them to come over here and I'll report you for fraud!"

Of course, I was kidding about selling the pan because I would never part with any of mine.


... and sold hot dogs.
He was hard of hearing, so he had no radio.
He had trouble with his eyes, so he had no newspaper.

But he sold good hot dogs.

He put up a sign on the highway, telling how good they were.

He stood by the side of the road and cried, "Buy a hot dog, mister." And people bought.

He increased his meat and bun orders and he bought a bigger stove to take care of his trade.

He got his son home from college to help him. But then something happened.

His son said, "Father, haven't you been listening to the radio? There's a big depression on. The International situation is terrible, and the Domestic situation is even worse."

Whereupon, the father thought, "Well, my son has been to college.

He listens to the radio and reads the papers, so he ought to know."

So the father cut down his bun order, took down his advertising signs, and no longer bothered to stand on the highway to sell hot dogs.

His hot dog sales fell almost over night.

"You were right, son," the father said to the boy, "We are certainly in the middle of a great depression."

---Watson Publications.

P.S. Business IS good...ask any Pennington Bread Salesman.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


According to the new census, the population of Fayette County is 29,000+.

There are six Red Hat Lady Society groups in Fayette County and each group has at least twenty members. The mission of the Red Hat Lady Society is "just to have fun".

There are at least 120 old fun-loving broads in Fayette County!

If people had told me two years ago that I would actually don a red hat and purple dress and GO OUT IN PUBLIC I would have told them they were crazy, but guess what? I now do it once a month! We are the "Aquatic Red Hatters" because our group is comprised of participants in the Arthritis Foundation's Water Exercise Program. We have 20 members and I am the youngin' of the group as all of the others are in their 70's, 80's and two ladies who are 90!

They are a constant inspiration to me!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


My great-nephew posted Chet Baker's "I Fall In Love Too Easily" on his Facebook page. I was surprised that a person as young as he appreciates Chet Baker but I don't know why I was surprised--he wants ALBUMS by Leonard Cohen and Julie London--but he wrote that he was surprised I was on Facebook! [It's good the different generations can still surprise each other.]

A comment accompanying the YouTube video stated: "An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way; an artist a hard thing in a simple way."

Chet was definitely an artist who was destroyed by his own demons and addiction to cocaine and heroin. I became a fan of Chet Baker as a teenager because a friend of mine was obsessed with Jazz and we listened to the Gerry Mulligan Quartet and Chet Baker played with him. As talented as he was playing the trumpet and flugelhorn, I believe his singing is even superior. He was the epitome of COOL West Coast Jazz! The Mulligan Quartet's version of "My Funny Valentine" was a huge hit and is still highly regarded.

I have read Baker's unfinished autobiography "As Though I Had Wings: The Lost Memoir"; "Chet Baker--His Life And Times"; "Deep In A Dream--The Long Night Of Chet Baker"; and a beautiful photography book "Young Chet", all of which detail his phenomenal talent and descent into drugs. In a drug-related beating in 1966, he lost his teeth which ruined his embouchure, but after being fitted with dentures, he was able to develop a new one and toured until his death in 1988.

When I play Chet's music, I think of Millay's poem:

"My candle burns at both ends,
It will not last the night;
But, oh, my foes, and oh, my friends,
It gives a lovely light!"

Friday, May 20, 2011


My last addition to CRINGE--FAYETTE COUNTY TALK prompted a number of responses:







NO, JU? rather than NO, DID YOU?
NO, SQUEAT rather than NO, LET'S EAT

The following aren't mispronunciations, but we hate them:

WE'RE PREGNANT (Norman said when a man told him that he answered, "You're not even showing!")

IT IS WHAT IT IS (What the hey does that mean?)


Thursday, May 19, 2011


Recently, I went to hear my friend Faye Helsel give a presentation about Elder Abuse. She stated that every year there are 2.1 million older Americans who are victims of physical, psychological, financial exploitation and other types of abuse or neglect. She continued by saying that those numbers do not tell the complete story because for every one case reported, there are an estimated five cases which go unreported. She also reported that it is difficult to measure the true prevalence of abuse because many victims never come to the attention of authorities.

In 2010, in Fayette County, from statistics provided by The Ohio Family Violence Prevention Project:

*It is estimated that there are 240-300 cases of unreported seniors abused, neglected or financially exploited.

*It is estimated that 30-50 unreported cases of seniors in long term care facilities are abused, neglected or financially exploited.

*There were 28 actual reports of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation filed for seniors.

*There were 24 reported incidents of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation of seniors in long term care facilities.

The saddest part was to hear that most abuse is committed by family members. The statistics in 2006:

*33% of elder abuse was committed by adult children
*22% by other family members
*16% by strangers
*11% by spouse/intimate partner

If anyone needs further information or where to turn for more information, help or guidance, get in contact with Faye at:

Telephone: 740-636-3900
FAX: 740-636-9301
24-hour Crisis Line: 740-572-2919

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


My dear friend Martha Hoffman died at age 96. We became friends through the Arthritis Foundation's Water Exercise Program at The Fitness Center. Martha was nearly blind and hard-of-hearing, but she always recognized my voice and told me how much she appreciated the fact that I could "project" my voice so she could hear the instructions. She was well-informed, quick-witted and a delight to have in class. As the Instructor, I had songs to accompany the exercises. Martha would suggest different songs, usually prefacing her remarks by saying, "You're probably too young to remember this one." One time I started the "Side Step" exercise to which I usually sang "Side By Side"; Martha asked, "How about singing "Steppin' Out With My Baby"?" I immediately started singing:

"Steppin' out with my baby,
Can't go wrong 'cause I'm in right,
It's for sure, not for maybe,
That I'm all dressed up tonight."

Martha laughed and said, "You're older than I thought." When I said, "That's an Irving Berlin song," she answered, "NOW I know you're really old!"

I usually sang "Zippedy Do Dah" to the Zipper exercise, but I had been thinking about my mother singing "Good Morning, Mr. Zip, Zip, Zip" and I sang that instead. Martha asked, "Just how old are you?" I said, "My mother used to sing it to us to wake us!" Martha was one year younger than my mother. Another friend, Lee Reno recalled that her mother also sang it to her! I learned from the Internet that it was a song from World War I.

My favorite memory of Martha: another woman at the pool was talking about her various ailments and she said, very dramatically, that she couldn't wait to die and would be happy to receive her "glorified body"; Martha turned to me, and in a sotto voce voice said, "I can wait--how about you?"

Martha Haas was born June 6, 1914, in Lancaster, OH; she married Tracy Hoffman and moved to Washington C.H. in 1939; preceding her in death were her husband Tracy, her son Dr. James Hoffman, her grandaughter Tracy Hoffman, her brother Bernard Haas and her sister Eileen Smith. Martha worked at the Aeronautical Products Company during World War II while her husband served in the Navy. After the war, she operated a drapery, upholstery and alterations shop for more than ten years. She began going to college after her children were in school and graduated from Ohio University and taught Elementary Education at Bel Aire School for eighteen years. She loved to travel and until her sight failed, she loved photography and had marvelous photographs of her world travels.

RIP, dear Martha!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Before we retired, my husband and I had two alarm clocks set each work day; the electric, very-annoying one was on his side of the bed and the wind-up "Baby Ben" was on my side of the bed (we called it THE IN-CASE CLOCK; this was IN CASE there was a power outage, we had an alarm). This past Saturday I had the alarm set to wake up at 6:00 AM, because I needed to be up in time to bake two breakfast casseroles and get ready for the annual May Breakfast; I was scheduled to be there at 7:45 AM to help set up at the Commission On Aging Center.

I woke up with the sunshine coming through the window. The electricity was off! I shrieked and asked Gerald what time it was and he had trouble finding his watch. It was 7:10 AM! Fortunately, I was able to have a hot shower.

I was the proverbial "chicken with my head cut off", looking for everything and running around like a crazed-woman and cursing myself for not having organized everything the night before. [Of course, the night before, I knew that I would be arising at 6:00 AM and would have plenty of time to find everything while the casseroles were baking!] I needed to have petitions, signs, voter registration forms, pens, tub of t-shirts, checkbook, and the casseroles, along with my Coca Cola for the day ready to put in the car. I said, "I can't find all the door prizes I committed to donate!" Gerald said, "Take something else out of the hope chest!" I said, "Well, the casseroles will have to be baked at the Center!"

As I was loading stuff into my car, Gerald's brother Beryl and our next door neighbor stopped to ask what had happened. As I was loading the last items in the car, another neighbor stopped to tell us that a car had hit a pole and the electricity would be off at least two hours.

WHEW! I made it to the Center and put the casseroles in the oven and everything was OK, but when I got home, I got out the old IN-CASE CLOCK!

Monday, May 16, 2011


As I was washing my hair this morning, I took time to read the label.

I am in shock! The shampoo I use that runs down my entire body says "for extra volume and body"! That explains everything!

Tomorrow I am going to start using "Dawn" dish soap. It says right on the label "dissolves fat that is otherwise difficult to remove."

It pays to read the warning labels.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


ANOMIA: the inability to recall names of people.

My husband suffers from anomia! Yesterday, we were sitting and talking with my brother and Gerald could not remember the name of a classmate. My brother asked if he'd taken his Aricept but I doubt that this is the onset of dementia because Gerald's always been this way. He tells people that he married me because I could keep all of his nieces and nephews straight for him. Gerald's brother Foster had nine children and when Gerald and I met, three of the boys were similar in age, height and looks. I called them the "Stairsteps". After I met them once, the next time I saw them, I called them by name. Gerald asked, "How do you do that; I can't tell them apart!" I learned NOT to call them "tow-heads" because Gerald finds that term offensive.

Once we were shopping in Columbus and Gerald saw a person that he'd served with in the Navy. As is his wont, Gerald began snapping his fingers, which is how he tries to remember. Fortunately, the ex-Navy guy was having the same problem as Gerald--face recognition--but with no clue to the name. I walked over, extended my hand and said, "Hi, I'm Sue Raypole, Gerald's wife." The guy told his name and he and Gerald reminisced--funny how they remembered ports-of-call, drinking, names of ships but NOT their own names.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


My brother Norman used the word "fetid" in conversation yesterday and my husband said he'd never heard the word before. Norman and I both laughed and said we'd heard it from our mother all of our lives. It is such a PERFECT word because it totally conveys what one is thinking!

I think back to my mother's wondrous vocabulary! My brothers and I have a myriad of words which she used which cannot be found in any dictionary. Oftentimes we'll use a word and ask, "Is that a real word or one of Mother's?" For years, I thought the word "BOLLIX" was just one of my mother's words, but I was looking for another word in the dictionary and there was "bollix"--a perfectly good Anglo-Saxon word--I called Mother and exclaimed, "Mother, bollix is a real word!" My mother would always say we were "bollixed around from pillar to post" after the tornado destroyed our home.

Some of my mother's words which are NOT in any dictionary:

TOPLEY: When cooking, that's the amount of flour or other dry ingredient which is left when you grab an amount from the canister--it's the amount left in your cupped hand--when making pie crust it's the amount put on the bread board between rolling the crust.

BRIGGITY: Norman says it means smart-assed; I think it means that one is "too big for one's britches", but you get the meaning! Duke agrees with me.

HOIKY: My mother told the story of how someone spat on her sister's new purple coat and their mother wrote a letter to the school complaining about the person who'd committed the disgusting act; she wrote that it was a "hoiky gob". EEEEEEOOOOOW! Oh, it certainly conveys the disgusting act! Norman said he used "hoiky gob" at work quite often.

CHATTAMATOOGY: That was a "bridge" or "riff" when Mother would be "scat" singing! Oftentimes followed with "PURTY YEA HOO"!

Friday, May 13, 2011


6%. The voter turnout on Tuesday's election was 6%. It was "issues only" on the ballot and all of the levies were renewals. I noticed a wide discrepancy in the "cemetery levy". I wondered why people would vote against a renewal of a cemetery levy.

In a discussion with another voter about the pathetic turnout, I was dismayed to learn of his lack of knowledge about the issues. It constantly amazes me--and depresses me--when I realize how unbelievably ignorant some people are about issues.

A fellow voter and I were lamenting the low voter turnout and I referenced the various levies and that the "Fire Levy" was the only one with wide support. The person said, "The only one I voted for was the Fire Levy." I was dumfounded. I asked, "How the Hell could you vote against the cemetery levy?" I continued, "I think it's our moral obligation to take care of the cemeteries!" The person answered, "I think people should have to buy their own plots." It took me several seconds to realize that the person actually believed that the cemetery levy had to do with selling plots at the cemetery. I asked, "Then you don't realize that the cemetery levy is for the MAINTENANCE of the cemetery--making sure that the grass is mowed, equipment is purchased, etc.?" The person, realizing that his ignorance was exposed, became very defensive and said, "The only one I care about is if my house is on fire!"

I said, "And NOW I wish that the voter turnout had been 1% IF other people vote like you do, and don't even understand the issues!"

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


In gathering signatures for the SB5 Petition, I have oftentimes been in the homes of older people, who want MOSTLY to talk. Tonight I was in the home of an 86-year-old widow who called me because she had seen my name in the newspaper. I arrived at 5:30 PM and did not leave until 7:00 PM. She lost her husband of 62 years and her only living relative is a sister who lives in Hillsboro. We talked of many things and she was such an enjoyable person that I hated to leave. As I tried to leave, she kept talking, showing me pictures and delaying my exit.

Driving home I thought of the great John Prine song, "Say Hello In There". The song is about an older couple whose children live away and all the friends and co-workers have either died or moved and the couple doesn't talk much anymore. The refrain is:

"Old people just grow lonesome,
Hoping for someone to say "Hello in there."

The last lines of the song are especially touching:

So, if you're out walking down the street sometime
And you spot some hollow, ancient eyes,
Please don't pass them by and stare,
As if you didn't care,
Say "hello in there; Hello!"

If we live long enough, we are all going to be there where we need someone to say "Hello in there!"


On Sunday, at La Bamba, our favorite Mexican restaurant in Greenfield, the meal serving was so large I needed a box to take home the remainder.

I asked the waiter, "Como se dice BOX?" I thought that he answered, "CACA". I laughed and said, "That's not what CACA means in English or Yiddish!" He repeated it and I understood it was "CAJA".

I took a Spanish class to assist me in registering Hispanic Americans to register to vote. I've registered only five since 2008. The Spanish class has helped me more than it's helped prospective voters.

I was in a store recently and I could not reach the top row of 2-liter Caffeine-Free Coca Cola. I saw a young Hispanic couple and the man was tall. I approached them and asked the female, "Me puedes ayudar?" which I think is "Will you help me?" She said, "Si"--I was thrilled that she actually understood me! I pointed to the Coca Cola and I couldn't remember the word for "high", but I remembered "alto" was TALL and I pointed to him and to the Coke and said "alto" and gestured that I couldn't reach it. They laughed. He asked, "Cuantos?" I was thrilled--cuantos--quantity--YES! I practically screamed with delight, "Todos!" for ALL! I counted as he put 10 in the cart, "Uno, dos.......diez!" We all laughed.

I was in a store another time and I saw two young men looking at the different kinds of coffee--regular and decaffeinated--in red and green cans. The writing on the cans was in a fancy script. I could glean from the conversation that they did not know which was which. I pointed to the red can and said, "Regular" and I pointed to the green can and said, "Descafeinado". They were both effusive with their gratitude and started speaking to me in Spanish--I gestured with my fingers to show a miniscule amount--and said, "Yo hablo poco Espanol!" (I speak a little Spanish!")

Read my BLOG article "GRAZIE!" from January 29, 2010, to see WHY I needed a Spanish class.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I am always barefooted in the house. Yeah, I know, "You can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl!"

One evening, we had eight people for dinner to have some of Norman's famous soup Caldo Gallego. One of my friends brought her four-year-old daughter. The child was bored and restless and I took her to the family room and showed her the toy box, but she was soon back in the dining room playing underneath the table.

Suddenly, I felt the unmistakable feeling of someone sucking on my toes. I SCREAMED and jumped up and there was the little girl, peeking from underneath the table, just giggling and laughing hysterically. Her mother, with great aplomb, asked, "Were you sucking Sue's toes?" Everyone screamed with laughter and I didn't know if it was from my reaction, or from the blase, matter-of-fact method the mother used to elicit the information. Obviously, toe-sucking was not a recent development in the child's repertoire! The little girl was still giggling and her mother said, "Don't do that!" I thought, "OMG, I've had my shoes off for hours and my toes must be filthy!" but I didn't say anything!

Do I think the mother handled it correctly? ABSOLUTELY!

Monday, May 9, 2011


At our last dinner party, the questioned was posed, "WHEN did you know you were ready to get married?" I revealed a secret which I had kept from my husband for forty years! One time, shortly after he and I began dating in 1968, Gerald handed his wallet to me to take money out to pay for an item. I noticed that there was a half of a dollar bill in one of the picture holders. I asked him what it was for and he said that someone else had the other half. Intuitively, I knew not to pursue the subject, but I also knew that it had to have been from his former fiancee. Each time his wallet was open that I could see, I always peeked to see if that half dollar bill was still there.

After we had dated for a short while, Gerald asked me to marry him. I wanted to get married but I would not consider it as long as that damned half dollar bill was in his wallet. Instead of being honest, I told him that he didn't make enough money to get married. He broke up with me and I used every feminine (and probably unfeminine) wile to win him back because I knew that I loved him. Another time he broached the subject of marriage and I used the excuse that I had too many responibilities to expect him to assume.

On June 6, 1971, it was Gerald's birthday, and I had fixed his favorite meal: lasagna, garlic bread, salad, mushrooms and German's Chocolate cake. After dinner I presented him with his presents which included a new wallet because his wallet smelled so bad. Sitting on the couch, he said, "I might as well just change everything over now." He found several items in the wallet which were duplicates or out-of-date and he had a little pile of stuff to throw away. He started to take the pictures out to transfer to the new wallet and he tossed the half dollar bill into the throwaway pile. I said, matter-of-factly, "I'll throw this stuff in the trash for you."

The next evening, June 7, 1971, we were sitting on the couch and I turned to him and said, "I think we should get married." He was shocked, but asked, "When?" I answered, "June 19." He asked, "Next year?" I said, "No, this year." The look that crossed his face was a mixture of fear and bewilderment. He asked, "Why so quick?" I answered, "Because I want to get married on Betty and Kenny's anniversary because they make me know that life-long love is possible." He asked, "That's the ONLY reason?" I then realized WHY he was concerned by my wanting to be married so quickly after turning it down numerous times. I said, "Yes, that's the ONLY reason." A look of great relief--and happiness--crossed his face.

The next day, I went to Lazarus and bought my wedding gown and the following day we went to buy Gerald's outfit. We went to Indiana for the blood tests the week before the wedding and made arrangements with a Justice Of The Peace to perform the ceremony on June 19. I called my brother and asked him and his wife to go with us for the wedding.

After our guests had left, Gerald asked, "WHY didn't you just tell me that it bothered you and I would have removed it?" I answered, "Insecurity--fear--pride--any number of reasons that seem so silly NOW!"

Another secret: I'm older than Gerald and at the time of our wedding, I was terribly embarrassed by that fact; I wanted to be married AFTER his birthday but BEFORE mine on July 19 so that when the license was published in the newspaper it would look like there was one year LESS in our age difference.

Gerald always enjoys telling people that I proposed to him! NOW he knows WHY!

I swear this is FULL DISCLOSURE!

Sunday, May 8, 2011


My mother was very pretty, but she hated to have her picture taken as do I and three of my brothers. I have only three photographs of her. The one shown was taken when she was 21 years old holding my brother Gary. She always laughed when she told me that she was married two years before she became pregnant and she thought she could not have any children; then she had eight children in 21 years! We were loved unconditionally.

Of all of us siblings, Gary looked the most like my mother, with his pretty skin, dark complexion, pretty teeth, black wavy hair and "snapping black eyes" (as my grandmother would say). Oh, damn, I look like my father's sister! When I saw my aunt the last time, I turned to my brother and said, "Please tell me I don't look like her!" He answered, "You better start saving for the facelift!"

My mother--I'm going to phrase this politely--had a "prominent nose". One day when my brother Gary was about 10 years old he came home from school and said, "Boy, Mom, I thought you had a big nose until I saw Mrs. Greene's!" Mother said, "Well, I'm glad someone's is bigger than mine and Jimmy Durante's!"

My mother always looked young for her age and as my father was eleven years her senior, she was often mistaken as his daughter. When my father and mother came to my eighth grade graduation, one of my fellow students said, "I didn't know you had an older sister." I answered that I didn't. She then asked, "Who was that girl with your dad?" I answered that it was my mother and she asked, "Wow, she's pretty--what happened to you?"

Saturday, May 7, 2011












Friday, May 6, 2011



Ø Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

Ø I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

Ø The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.

Ø Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Ø If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong.

Ø War does not determine who is right; only who is left.

Ø The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Ø Evening news is where they begin with "Good evening", and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

Ø To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

Ø A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

Ø How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

Ø Some people are like Slinkies; not really good for anything, but you can't help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs.

Ø Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.

Ø I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted paychecks.

Ø A bank is a place that will lend you money, if you can prove that you don't need it.

Ø Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "If an emergency, notify:", I put "DOCTOR".

Ø I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

Ø I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with "Guess" on it, so I asked, "Implants?"

Ø Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

Ø Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

Ø Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?

Ø Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

Ø A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

Ø You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

Ø The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

Ø Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back.

Ø A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.

Ø Hospitality: making your guests feel like they're at home, even if you wish they were.

Ø Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

Ø I discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.

Ø Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.

Ø There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.

Ø I used to be indecisive; now I'm not sure.

Ø I always take life with a grain of salt, plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila.

Ø When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

Ø You're never too old to learn something stupid.

Ø To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

Ø Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

Ø Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.

Ø A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.

Ø If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?

Ø Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


The holiday is a celebration of Mexican culture, of food, music, beverage and customs unique to Mexico.

Cinco de Mayo honors the bravery and victory of Texas-born General Zaragoza's outnumbered militia against the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo has become increasingly popular in the United States, especially in areas with a high Mexican population.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


The Sailor Pictured Below Is
Navy Petty Officer PO 2
(Petty Officer, Second Class)
(Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Second Class)


April 5, 1981 ~ September 29, 2009

Mike Monsoor
Was awarded The Congressional Medal Of Honor For giving his life in Iraq as he jumped on, and covered with his body, a live hand grenade saving the lives of a large group of Navy Seals who were passing by.

During Mike Monsoor's funeral, At Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, in San Diego, California, and as the six pallbearers removed the rosewood casket from the hearse, lined up on each side of Mike Monsoor's casket, were his family members, friends, fellow sailors, and other mourners.

The line of people continued from the hearse all the way to the grave site. What the group didn't know at the time was, every Navy Seal (45 To Be Exact) that Mike Monsoor saved that day was scattered throughout the assembly.

As the pallbearers carried the casket past the line of people to the grave site, the line would form a column which followed behind.

Each time the casket passed a Navy Seal, each Navy Seal would remove his gold Trident Pin from his uniform, and slap it down hard, causing the pin to embed itself into the top of the wooden casket.

Then each Navy Seal would step back and salute.

For those who don't know what a Trident Pin is, here is the definition:

After one completes the Basic Navy Seals Program which lasts for three weeks, and is followed by Seal Qualification Training, which is 15 additional weeks of training, necessary to learn new Tactics and Techniques, required for an assignment to a Navy Seal Platoon after successful completion, trainees are given their Naval Enlisted Code, and are awarded The Navy Seal Trident Pin. With the Gold Trident Pin they are officially Navy Seals.

It was said, that one could hear each of the 45 slaps from across the cemetery.

By the time the casket reached the grave site, it looked as if there were a gold inlay from the 45 Trident Pins that lined the top of the casket.

This Was A Fitting End To An Eternal Farewell For A Warrior Hero.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Proofreading is a dying art, wouldn't you say?

Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter
This one I caught in the Tribune the other day and called the Editorial Room and asked who wrote this. It took two or three readings before the editor realized that what he was reading was impossible!! They put in a correction the next day.

I just couldn't help but sending this along, it's too funny..

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
No crap, really? Ya think?

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
Now that's taking things a bit far!

Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
What a guy!

Miners Refuse to Work after Death
No-good-for-nothing' lazy so-and-so's!

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
See if that works any better than a fair trial!

War Dims Hope for Peace
I can see where it might have that effect!

If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
Ya think?!

Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
Who would have thought!

Enfield (London) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
They may be on to something!

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
You mean there's something stronger than duct tape?

Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge
He probably IS the battery charge!

New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
Weren't they fat enough?!

Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
That's what he gets for eating those beans!

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
Do they taste like chicken?

Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
Chainsaw Massacre all over again!

Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
Boy, are they tall!

And the winner is....

Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
Did I read that right?

Monday, May 2, 2011


My friend posted an article on her BLOG about her grandmother's ration books from World War II. I said, sheepishly, "I have MY ration book from WWII." Yes, I AM older than dirt!

During World War II, one could not walk into a store to buy as much coffee, sugar, butter or meat which one wanted, nor could one fill up the car with gasoline. The government introduced rationing because many items were in short supply and with the Declaration Of War, the economy shifted to war production and consumer goods took a back seat to the needs of the military.

In May, 1942 The U.S. Office Of Price Administration (OPA) froze prices on practically all everyday goods starting with sugar and coffee. War Ration Books and coins were issued to all families describing how much gasoline, tires, meat, silk, shoes, and nylons that one person could purchase. 8,000 Rationing Boards were created to assess the families' rationing requirements. Cookbooks were even revised to adjust recipes to rationing.


UNIFORM COUPON RATIONING: provided equal shares of a single commodity (e.g.: sugar) to all consumers.

POINT RATIONING: Provided equal shares of commodities (e.g.: meat, cheese, processed foods) by coupons issued for points which could be used as a combination or in a group.

DIFFERENTIAL COUPON RATIONING: Provided shares of a single product (e.g.: gasoline, fuel oil) according to varying needs.

CERTIFICATE RATIONING: Allowed individual products (e.g.: tires, cars, stoves, typewriters) only after an application demonstrated the need.

How FORTUNATE are we today, with two wars being waged, not to have rationing?

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Learning A Word A Day:


1. An order or decree imposed without popular consent.
2. A harsh settlement imposed upon a defeated party.

From German Diktat (command, order, dictation), from Latin dictatum (something dictated), from dictare (to dictate), frequentative of dicere (to say). Ultimately from the Indo-European root deik- (to show, to pronounce solemnly), which is also the source of words such as judge, verdict, vendetta, revenge, indicate, dictate, paradigm, interdict, and fatidic. Earliest documented use: 1922, in reference to the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, by Germany.

"Public participation in politics [in China] may not yet be approaching the raucousness in India, but it is equally incorrect to view the Chinese as obedient zombies silently following the State's every diktat."
Cultural Evolution; Hindustan Times (New Delhi, India); Dec 19, 2010.

If there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. -Albert Camus, writer, philosopher, Nobel laureate (1913-1960)