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Saturday, December 31, 2011

SAMANTHA SPADE



My brother had been having trouble snoring and his doctor recommended his going to a sleep clinic. As he was completing the paperwork with the doctor's assistant, she asked, "Have you remarried?" My brother answered, "No, why do you ask?" She responded, "I just wondered who was hearing you snoring?"

She immediately realized she had committed a faux pas by asking such a personal question. She began apologizing profusely and my brother laughed and told her that if she didn't work out in that job she could always become a private detective.

Friday, December 30, 2011

"WE WERE GOOD FOR NOTHING"


In a restaurant today a woman sitting behind me was telling her parents about her daughter who was receiving $10.00 weekly allowance and she was expected to clean her room but the girl wouldn't do the work. The grandparents said that they wouldn't give her the $10.00. The father said he didn't want to take the allowance away from her.

I turned around and joined in the conversation as I said, "Tell her you could be eating at L'Antibes instead of the Waffle House if you took away her allowance." Gerald said, "They might not know the reference to L'Antibes." I then told them about how Gerald's niece called to seek my advice in getting her two children to do their chores. They were receiving $7.00 per week.

After Gerald's niece called, I went to their home and I said to the grand-niece and grand-nephew, "I'm going to clean your rooms and your mom is going to pay me $14.00."

Their protestations began: "Oh, no, Aunt Sue, I'll do it." and "Please, Aunt Sue, don't go to my room." I said, "I can't believe you're getting an allowance; when I was a kid, we were good for nothing." [It went over their heads.]

As I sat and enjoyed conversation with the parents, the kids were busily cleaning their rooms. They called down the stairs for their mother to come to inspect and it obviously passed muster as she handed $7.00 to each one of them.

The threat of calling Aunt Sue worked very well for quite some time.

Today, I said to the couple in the restaurant, "Don't you have an old Aunt Sue-type you can use?"

The mother answered, "They're all too nice." I responded, "Nobody ever accused me of being NICE!"

Thursday, December 29, 2011

"IS IT BURNING A HOLE IN YOUR PALATE?"


I received several gift cards for Christmas. As I was making the menu for dinners this week I wrote that we would be going to Olive Garden one evening.

Gerald asked, "Is the gift card burning a hole in your PALATE?"

I so love a good pun!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"ID EST"/"EXEMPLI GRATIA"


Sadly, at a recent gathering, one of the participants said, "i.e.", instead of saying "that is". I cringed at her use of the abbreviation for "id est" while speaking. Even sadder was that the proper term she should have used was "for example", as she was giving an example. I thought, "Miss Digman would turn over in her grave if she knew the misuse of "id est" and "exempli gratia" in speech versus writing!"

Later the same woman said, "I feel badly." I refrained from checking her fingers to ascertain if they were functioning properly. I wondered if she also felt sadly, gladly and madly or just loved adverbs!

I recall Miss Digman grabbing a student's hand who had committed saying the unpardonable "I feel badly", and checking the fingers and saying, "You feel BAD unless your fingers aren't working!"

Ah, Miss Digman, R.I.P. ("REQUIESCAT IN PACE").

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

ER



I was called and told that Charles, for whom I have Power Of Attorney, was taken to the Emergency Room. I immediately went to the hospital. Charles and I had been there for an hour when a nurse finally drifted in and took a case history. It was simple, Charles couldn't POOP! He had been to the ER for the same problem two other times. This time, we waited and waited and WAITED! Of course I knew that the ER handled patients depending on the seriousness of the condition and as unpleasant as it was, Charles just couldn't POOP!

We we situated directly across from the Nurse's Station. I kept the curtain open. During the first hour I was there, nobody came to check on Charles or to take any specimens. Shortly after I arrived, I saw a young woman hurriedly escorted to a room with a door on the right side of our space. I soon saw someone whom I recognized from The Victim Witness Program go into the room and a Deputy Sheriff soon arrived and also went in the room. It was obvious to me that this was a rape case. After about an hour the young woman left with another woman whom I assumed to be her mother.

The doctor and the nurses were at the Nurse's Station and I could hear their comments and they were doubting the veracity of the rape victim. I went to the Nurse's Station and said, "You must not realize that I could hear everything you just said about the rape victim." Although they looked sheepish, none of them even bothered to apologize for their unprofessional behavior. I continued, "You shouldn't be making remarks like that!"

It was nearly two more hours before the doctor approached Charles' bed. He did not bother to ask Charles' name. Of course he recognized me from criticizing him and the nurses. He said, tersely, "You have a UTI and I've given you a prescription for Cipro." I said, "Excuse me, how could you make that diagnosis?" He flipped the chart around in front of me and grandiosely circled a section and said, imperiously, "Because that's what the lab results show." I said, "You must be looking at the wrong chart because there have been no specimens taken." He looked at the top of the chart and started to turn away and I said, "Wait, aren't you supposed to follow a protocol to find out to whom you're speaking? I thought that was the purpose of the wrist bands!"

The doctor ignored me and instead went to the cubicle beside us and I heard him say, "You have a UTI; I'm giving you a prescription for Cipro." He left that area and I went to the cubicle and there was a young woman there with her mother and I asked them what they thought about the doctor. The mother said, "I don't know how he could tell that--he never even looked at her pussy!" I nearly fell on the floor laughing!

It was rather humorous to see the looks on the faces of my husband and brothers when I told the story because I'd never used that word for female genatalia in my life but I had to say it out loud it to give the full effect of her outrage!

I wrote a letter of complaint to the Board of Trustees.

Charles was at the ER another time and when the doctor came to see him she immediately checked his bracelet and asked if his name were the same as on the band. Charles stuttered with his answer and stuttering is a symptom of his condition. The doctor then began directing her questions to me: "Is this his first stroke?" I said, "He hasn't had a stroke." She said, "He has many of the symptoms." I said, "He's diagnosed with Lewy's Body Dementia and I told that to the nurse." The doctor said, "Oh, I wondered what that note was; I've never heard of that." I said, "It exhibits symptoms of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, but it's a separate diagnosis, according to Dr. Fahey, his neurologist." She said, "I've never heard of it!"

The doctor left and returned about 15" later and said, "I called a colleague at the Cleveland Clinic and it IS a separate condition." I felt like saying, "Well, DUH!" but I contained myself and instead, answered, "Estelle Getty, from "The Golden Girls" had the same thing."

The doctor said, "You must know a lot about medicine." I said, "No, I'm abysmally ignorant, but I do listen to the doctor!"

Monday, December 26, 2011

CEDAR POINT



"Did you hear that Cedar Point is being closed?"

"Yeah, they don't want boys going to SANDUSKY!"

My doctor told me that joke. As I've written previously in another blog posting, each time I go to my doctor, he tells a joke and I must have a joke, preferably topical and risque, with which to respond! Oftentimes I will call my nephew, ahead of the appointment, to get a joke and he'll ask, "Are you sick?" and I'll answer, "Of course I'm sick, but that's just my mind!", to which he'll repond, "Calling Dr. Freud!" After that Vaudeville patter, he usually has a joke for me to use.

This week, I was able to deliver this line in response to the doctor: "Penn State--the only college where you can major in minors!" It's not as good as the one from my doctor, but I really was ILL!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

CHRISTMAS MUSIC #8

Can't get any better than this!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

CHRISTMAS MUSIC #5

My brother Bode used to sing this to me--that's how I got the spelling of my name--Suzy!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

CHRISTMAS MUSIC #2

Les' all time favorite:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

BIG SHOES

My brother Bode had a good line: "Do you know what they say about a guy with big hands and big feet?'
"He also has big gloves and big shoes!"

My brother Norman worked with a guy who always wore shoes which were too big and the shoes turned up on the end, making them look like elf shoes. One day Norman told him, "Just so you know, there's no truth to that rumor!"

From my brother Les: "Don't criticize a man until you walk a mile in his shoes; that way you can be a mile away from him and you've got his shoes!"

My brother Duke knows all the words to Elvis "Big Boots"! I cry whenever I hear either one of them sing it!

"If the shoe fits--buy it!"--Imelda Marcos

What kind of shoes do frogs wear? open-TOAD!


Saturday, December 10, 2011

MORE HELPFUL HINTS


Blood stains on clothes? Just pour a little hydrogen peroxide on a cloth and wipe off every drop of blood.



Spray a bit of perfume on the light bulb in any room to create a lovely and light scent in each room when the light is turned on.


Use vertical strokes when washing windows outside and horizontal for inside windows. This way you can tell which side has the streaks. Straight vinegar will get outside windows really clean. Don't wash windows on a sunny day. They will dry too quickly and will probably streak.

Place fabric softener sheets in dresser drawers and your clothes will smell freshly washed for weeks to come. You can also do this with towels and linens.

Candles will last a lot longer if placed in the freezer for at least 3 hours prior to burning.

Friday, December 9, 2011

BURN OUT


Margaret was one of the Company inspectors at Rockwell and when we completed the B1-B Contract Margaret went to work for the Department Of Defense as an Inspector for the Army trucks at BMY in Marysville.

While at Rockwell, Margaret asked me to review her resume and also asked if I would be a reference for her. In her resume I noticed that she had been a Registered Nurse. I asked why she had given up that career to go into such a dramatically different field.

She answered, "I knew that I could no longer be a nurse when I drove home one night and saw a body along the side of the road and I merely went in the house and telephoned the Sheriff's Department instead of going to help!" She said she realized that she was suffering from "Burn Out" because she didn't care enough to check on that person and knew that she could no longer function as a nurse. Ironically and serendipitously, Margaret was instrumental in my going to work at BMY.

When Margaret asked me to review her resume I asked what her plans were for the future and she said that she had applied to be a government inspector at a "place in Marysville building Army trucks." I said, "I should apply there." After I finished at Rockwell I did apply at BMY and the Personnel Manager telephoned me and told me that although they were impressed with my qualifications, I was very "overqualified". I returned to International Trucks. One evening, I was surprised to receive a call from Earl Pittman, with whom I'd worked at Rockwell. He told me that he was working at BMY and that John Wood wanted to talk to me. John and I had worked at International and I had heard he'd gone to BMY. I asked why John didn't call me and Earl said John thought it might be a "touchy situation" as John had left International for BMY and I'd only recently returned there. I called John and he asked, "What would it take for you to come over here and help me?" I answered, "TWO WEEKS!" John asked, "Aren't you going to ask me about the position or salary?" I said, "Don't need to; I know you'll be fair!" When I'd returned to International it was at a much lower salary and position than I'd had at Rockwell. I went the following Saturday to BMY and spent eight hours interviewing with the different Department Heads. John let them believe they had a say-so in my hiring!

As I toured the plant with John, Margaret came over and said, "I told this guy he better get you over here to straighten out this mess!" John nodded and Margaret winked at me and said, "I'm kinda getting BURNED OUT!"

Thursday, December 8, 2011

SEMPER PARATUS


For years my mother prepared a "Winter Survival Kit" for me to carry in my car. She was worried about my driving long distances to work and becoming stranded in a snow drift. She'd seen a television report about a woman who was stranded in a snow bank and she kept the engine running, not realizing that the tail pipe was packed with snow and she died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

The report suggested that people make a Winter Survival Kit by packing items into a 3-pound coffee can and the first year that's what she made. It is amazing the number of items one can pack into a coffee can. However, with each year the kit increased; after several years my kit was in a valise and eventually in a suitcase!

Among the items:

a coffee can to make a candle stove
long burning candle (a candle can add 8-10 degrees F)
matches
a metal pan to melt snow for drinking
black plastic garbage bag (to keep warm)
snack packages
knife
colored ribbons
gloves

Throughout the years other items were added:

flashlight, batteries
cigarette lighter
blanket
socks, hat, scarf, boots, long underwear, sweater and pants, ear muffs
sleeping bag
first aid kit
collapsible shovel
Sterno
Kleenex (to use as toilet paper)
poncho
thermometer
note pad and pencil
nuts, dried food, backpack meals

Each time my mother would get in the car in the winter she would lecture me: "You know you're supposed to keep it on the passenger side of the car in case you can't open the boot!" (Fayette County talk for "trunk"!) Invariably I would answer, "I knew you were going to be in the car.", to which she would respond, "Then you should have it in the back seat!"

Fortunately I never had to use the kits she so lovingly and thoughtfully prepared.

SEMPER PARATUS!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

HELPFUL HINTS



From CAROL JO ROBINSON

For icy door steps in freezing temperatures: Get warm water and put Dawn dishwashing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won't refreeze.

To remove old wax from a glass candle holder, put it in the freezer for a few hours. Then take the candle holder out and turn it upside down. The wax will fall out.

Whenever I purchase a box of S.O.S Pads, I immediately take a pair of scissors and cut each pad into halves. After years of throwing away rusted, smelly and unused pads, I finally decided that this would be much more economical. A box of S.O.S pads now lasts me indefinitely! In fact, I have noticed that the scissors get "sharpened'' this way!

Permanent marker on appliances/counter tops (like a BLUE store receipt.) Put rubbing alcohol on paper towel and the mark will go away.

Crayon marks on walls? A damp rag, dipped in baking soda. The marks come of with little effort.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

IF IT'S WORTH DOING, IT'S WORTH OVERDOING


As Les looked at the table with more than 50 Santa music boxes on it, he let out an exaggerated sigh and said, "If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing!" as I'd quoted Mother's "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well!" earlier in the day.





My sister-in-law Sheila
used to say, "There's no such thing as too many Christmas decorations!" Les and Gerald disagree, especially after toting down more than 100 tubs from the attic and a dozen more from the basement. [No, sadly, I am NOT exaggerating; Les said he quit counting after 100!] The family room is the Santa Room, the laundry room is the Nutcracker Room, the kitchen is the Oreo tin room, the hallway is the Holly Room, the dining room is the 12 Days Of Christmas Room, the living room is the Sleigh Room and the library is the Coca Cola, Elvis and Train Room! Mother's room is the Cardinal Room, the bathroom is the Christmas Seashell Room, the hallway is the Basket Room, the spare bedroom is the Poinsettia Room, our bedroom is the Miscellaneous Room and Les refuses to have his room "decorated"!

There must be a tree in every room! The Santa tree fell over yesterday because the ornaments weren't well-distributed. The "Button Tree" is decorated with buttons collected since childhood with the top button being the cabbage rose from my wedding gown! The Nutcracker Tree sets on the hamper in the laundry room and I hear Les' grumbling about it on Monday, Wednesday and Friday because those are laundry days. I reminded him that there are only 4 weeks left until Christmas! On the kitchen table I have the Cookie Cutter Tree. The dining room has the 12 Days Of Christmas Tree; the library has a Coca Cola tree and also an Elvis Tree; the bathroom has a tree decorated with seashells. The living room tree has the Waterford ornaments in the front, Gerald's Star Trek ornaments on one side and my Wizard of Oz, Crayola, etc. ornaments on the other side. (Les said, "Sides? A tree doesn't have sides!"). Along the stairway are my mother's bubble lights and my sleigh ornaments.

As a kid we had one of those god-awful aluminum trees with the color wheel. That's why I've always had a "real" Christmas tree in the living room. Two years ago we bought an artificial tree and I hate it!


Last year, an acquaintance came to the house, and not knowing that I decorate every room, said, "OMG, I used to say that I thought the Grinch lived here because you don't have any Christmas decorations outside!" I said, "I have the sleigh on the porch and wreaths on the doors--I don't have time to do any outside decorating!"


Last year I promised that I would ONLY decorate the downstairs but Les caught me decorating the bathroom at 2:00 AM! He tried to extract the promise from me this year and he said he's calling Dr. Drew, Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz and Dr. Kildare for an INTERVENTION!

Monday, December 5, 2011

PENNY POSTCARDS

From CAROL JO ROBINSON


What did your town look like according to Penny Postcards?

Check out your old stomping grounds during the times of the penny postcard.

Click on the state and then on the county name to see old penny picture postcards from that area...pretty neat.

For example, here's Court Street at the old Masonic Temple.

Click here to see the link.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER


On Jeopardy! the Final Jeopardy answer was: how many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns?

1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the Tomb Of The Unknowns and why?

***21 steps. It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

2. How long does he hesitate after his about-face to begin his return walk and why?

***21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1.

3. Why are his gloves wet?

***His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.



4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time and, if not, why not?

***He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

5. How often are the guards changed?

***Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.



6. What are the physical traits of the guard?

***For a person to apply for guard duty at the Tomb, he must be between 5' 10" and 6' 2" tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30".


Guards must commit 2 years of life to guard the Tomb, live in a barracks under the Tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off-duty for the remainder of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the remainder of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform or the Tomb in any way.

After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin which is worn on his lapel signifying that he served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. The guards must obey these rules for the remainder of their lives or give up the wreath pins.

The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates which extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt.

There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.

The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone nor watch TV. All off-duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred.

In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington DC, it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They respectfully declined the offer. Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a service person. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, since 1930.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

MAYBE SHE'LL GET THE MESSAGE


While I was registering at a local office, the supervisor of the Intake Clerk interrupted and gave instructions of how she wanted to have the Intake Clerk train another person.

Although I thought it was unprofessional for her to interrupt the process, she was precise and to the point. In situations like this, I usually say something like, "I was here first; you need to wait." After Les warning me that I'm going to get shot by some crazed person I've confronted, I have been trying to be a kinder, gentler person! [In stores, when the clerk answers the telephone instead of waiting on me, I always tell her/him that I was there first!].

After the supervisor completed her instructions, she then laid her hand on the Intake Clerk's shoulder and thanked her. I noticed the person cringe slightly.

After we completed my registration I asked the Intake Clerk, "Do you find that physical contact offensive or patronizing?" She said, "Oh, not really, she's very nice." I said, "I thought I saw you cringe." She nodded somewhat in agreement.

I said, "Where I worked that would be entirely unacceptable." She answered, "I know she doesn't mean anything by it; it's just her way and she's always very complimentary." I asked, "Does that make you do a better job?" She said, "No, but it's nice to be appreciated." I said, "You should tell her that I commented it is unprofessional and maybe she'll get the message; it's always better coming from an observant outsider."

When I told the story at home, Les said, "Or maybe she'll say a bitch was complaining!"

Friday, December 2, 2011

A GOD'S PLENTY


When Gerald and I were a young married couple, there were still neighborhood stores like The North Street Market, Elm Street Market, Enslen's and Fayette Street Grocery. We were both working two jobs, saving for the down payment for our house, and shopping time was limited but I watched the sales at all of the stores and whenever Coke was on sale we would go "load up", oftentimes buying only the Coke. Once, when we went to the Fayette Street Grocery, Gerald asked, as he always did, if there were a limit on the cartons of Coke. No limit had been advertised. Gerald already had six in the cart and I was behind him with six more in another cart. The guy answered, "Well, I think four would be a God's plenty!" Gerald and I sheepishly put two cartons each back on the shelf.

To this day, I still shop for Coke on sale and just yesterday I reminded the clerk at the Dollar Store that the limit was 6 and when I got home Gerald said, "Well, that's a God's plenty!"

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"WOULD DONNA REED TALK LIKE THAT?"


I've written previously that my mother would use some indelicate language. A friend posted recently that her grandmother used to say that she was "full of piss and vinegar"; Mother also used that phrase. The Free Dictionary gives this description: "Although many speakers assume that the phrase has a negative connotation, it is often used as a compliment, because vinegar is an old slang term for enthusiastic energy." Many people use the more polite term "pith and vinegar" but that makes it lose its flavor [oops! an almost unintentional play on words: flavor/vinegar; to keep with the flavorful connotation I could have written that Mother's language was "salty" or "spicy" which would be more accurate than "indelicate"!]

Whenever Mother would use language that we thought was unbecoming, we would ask, "Would Donna Reed talk like that?" The Donna Reed Show had Donna play Donna Stone, the embodiment of the perfect mother/housewife of the the 1960's.

During our "Montgomery Clift Movie Festival", my brother and I were watching "From Here To Eternity" and when Donna Reed demonstrated less than perfection as her character as a "lady of the night" Les piped up, "Would Donna Stone act like that?" I said, "She didn't win the Academy Award for "It's A Wonderful Life" but for that performance!"