Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Leap Years are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth's revolutions around the sun. It takes the Earth approximately 365.242199 days – or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds (a tropical year) – to circle once around the Sun.

However, the Gregorian calendar has only 365 days in a year; if a day weren't added nearly every 4 years, six hours would be lost from our calendar every year. After 100years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days!

One Leap Year tradition, according to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, Saint Bridget struck a deal with Saint Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every 4 years. This is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how Leap Day balances the calendar.

Mary Ann Brown, born February 29, 1932, is the founder of the Worldwide Leap Year Festival, held every fourth year since 1988 in Anthony, Texas. Mary Ann is going to celebrate her 20th birthday, but she's going to be 80 years old!

American singer and actress Dinah Shore was a Leap Year gal, born in 1916, and died in 1994.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


A friend from whom I hadn't heard in a long time, called today and a few minutes into the conversation, she asked, "What did you learn new today?" I answered, "BULGARIAN BUTTERMILK." She reminded me that I used to say that I learned something new every day.

She asked, "Is that something real?" I told her that I had made beans and cornbread for dinner and my client and he said, "Boy, I'd like to have some Bulgarian buttermilk to go with that cornbread!" I said that I'd never heard of Bulgarian buttermilk and I went to the computer to be educated about it.

I learned that Bulgarian buttermilk is a version of cultured buttermilk in which the cream cultures are supplemented or replaced by yogurt cultures and fermented at higher temperatures for more acidity. It can be more tart and thicker than cultured buttermilk.

When used in cooking, Bulgarian buttermilk makes a richer product.

I couldn't find why it is "Bulgarian" buttermilk except that Bulgarians claim they invented yogurt and the Turks stole it!

Monday, February 27, 2012


Anyone who associates with me or reads my blog or Facebook page knows that I detest Wal-Mart. Their policies are anathema to me and the monopoly they have in Fayette County causes me to shop in Chillicothe and Wilmington.

However, I am ashamed to admit I have gone to Wal-Mart when I cannot find items locally. I wanted to get a TV as a birthday present for my friend Charles who is in a nursing home. He can only have a 19" or smaller TV because of space restrictions in his room.

Because of the projected snowstorm and the fact that I had waited until the "last minute", I went to Wal-Mart. In the electronics section, a young man came to help me. I told him what I wanted and I pointed to two different 19" TV models on the shelf and asked the differences. He said, "You smell nice." Shocked, I said, "Thank you, it's Chanel No. 5." He asked, "Where do you get it; I'd like to get some for my mom." I answered, "Elder Beerman, Macy's, or Nordstrom's but my husband usually orders it online." Of course, I knew it was a sales ploy to "soften up" a customer, and I am not swayed by blandishments, but I thought, "He's so sweet, I'm feeling bad because I hate Wal-Mart!" However, my warm heart soon turned cold.

The spaces beneath the 19" models were empty and he said they didn't have any in stock. I said, "I'll take the one on display." He said he couldn't do that. I asked why and he said that they would have to replace it with another one when the shipment arrived. I said, "Well, that's stupid." He literally took several steps backward and asked, "What do you mean--stupid?" I realized that he was thinking that I was calling him stupid; I answered, "I didn't say that YOU are stupid, but it's a stupid policy not to sell the display model." He said, "We'd have to put a new one up there." I began whimpering, "Awwww, that sounds like so much work!" to make fun of such a ludicrous excuse. I told him that I didn't have the time to discuss it with the store manager and I pulled out my cell phone and said, "But I have the District Manager's number on my Speed Dial." He asked, "You wouldn't do that would you?" I said, "Of course I would; it seems like every time I come in this horrible place I end up calling the District Manager!"

Gerald and I went to Meijer's in Springfield and the 19-inch TV we purchased was $19.00 CHEAPER than Wal-Mart's and is an LCD; the salesman there tried to explain the difference in an LED and LCD but it was beyond my poor power to understand.

Gerald said, "We were coming to Springfield for our eye exams so I don't think I wasted $19.00 on gas!"

Sunday, February 26, 2012


At The Purple Turtle (local "restaurant and cafe"), "Jambalaya" was listed as the soup of the day. When I ordered a bowl, I asked the waitress, "Do you have crawfish pie?" I saw that she was dumfounded, so, of course I started singing, "Jambalaya, crawfish pie and fillet gumbo." Seeing that she also did not GET that, I said, "Hank Williams, it's a very famous song." She said she didn't KNOW Hank Williams! (I thought better of mentioning Junior and the Third!) I said, "You're too young." She answered, "I'm 41." I said, "Oh, you're just a baby." A woman, sitting at a table, waiting to have her food delivered, said, "I'm 53 and I don't know it, either." I had gauged this woman as being OLDER. She had dreads longer than Bob Marley and Lenny Kravitz and she was wearing a long skirt and sweater that looked reminiscent of hippie clothes from the sixties.

When my luncheon companion joined me, he also did not GET the reference.

So, there I was, a person who doesn't even like country and western music, singing "Jambalaya", in public, to five people who don't GET it.

When I related the story to Les, he said, "It doesn't do any good to make cultural references when your audience isn't going to GET them!"

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Each time I see someone wearing apparel which shows their being a veteran, I walk over and extend my hand and say, "Thank you for your service." It is a little thing to do to receive great rewards. The reactions range from surprise, amazement, and joy.

I was at Frisch's with a friend and a couple walked in and I saw "World War II Vet" on his cap. I got up and went to their table and the wife had already gone to the salad bar. I extended my hand and he offered his left hand because his right hand was deformed. I thanked him for his service and he told me how much he appreciated it.

When his wife returned I heard her ask, "What was that all about?" and the veteran replied, "She thanked me for my service."

As they were leaving the veteran waved to me and as he went to pay the bill, his wife stopped by the table and said, "Thank you, that meant so much to him; he started to cry."

Whenever I see a veteran, I think of John Prine's masterpiece song, "Say Hello In There":

So, if you're 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."
Say hello in there--HELLO!"

Friday, February 24, 2012


My grandmother loved using big words (oh, my, maybe it's genetic!) but she was also the mistress of mangling the words with her unique mispronunciations. She would say "in-come-pet-unt" instead of incompetent;
"re-seep" instead of recipe; "per-cue-lator" instead of percolator; "heighth" instead of height; and the WORST of all: PRO-NOUNCE-E-ATION" instead of pronunciation!

She told my mother about receiving a government document which had written on it: "Do not fold, spindle, or mutilate" but when she told my mother mutilate came out as "mutt-uh-late".

To this day, whenever we mispronounce a word, someone in the family will say
"mutt-a-late" to bring us back to our senses.

My brother just reminded me that I mispronounced "oligarchy" which I did NOT, as it has TWO acceptable pronunciations! My friend Patty pointed out that I say
"POE-tassium", but she says "CEE-ment"!

Thursday, February 23, 2012



"Recently I was discussing various charities with a few friends and made the statement that I try to never walk by a Salvation Army red kettle without dropping some folding money through the slot. The ringing of the SA bell to me is just as much a part of Christmas as is Santa Claus.

Over the years, when tragedy strikes, my wife and I, to the degree we're able, will write a check to a charity of our choice. That charity is often the Salvation Army. It doesn't bother me that they are a religious based organization. All that matters is when disaster strikes the Army is often first on the scene, feeding people, and not asking questions about personal religious affiliations.

At one time our charity of choice was the Red Cross. But someplace we began thinking that the RC was not using their revenues in the most efficient way. When you look at a charity one measurement is the amount of money is actually spent on services. Some charities pay their CEOs too much money and their operating expenses come close to equaling what goes to those they serve.

I’m sure our feelings about the RC were based on the findings of a reputable website, such as Charity Navigator, that monitors a huge number of charities in America. This morning I revisited their site and found that the American Red Cross now receives their highest rating of four stars. The Salvation Army is not rated because it is a religious based charity and not required to make its financial data public.

Charity Navigator has a number of “10 Most” lists. One is the “10 Inefficient Fundraisers” charities and looking down the list reminded me of all the phone calls I get from “police charities” seeking my support. I question them all, hang up quickly, and never write them a check. The cited list makes me feel justified with my decision.

Reading through the “10 Charities in Deep Financial Trouble” list makes it clear that in these troubled times the fine arts are not doing well.

Last night I was watching some videos on the website Funny or Die. Two that I enjoyed had Will Ferrell portraying President George W. Bush and you can imagine Dubya didn’t come off looking good. Well, he doesn’t come off looking very good on the list of low rated charities either. His George Bush Presidential Library Foundation only gets a single star. The irony is that in Ferrell’s video he mentioned his plans for a library and his description sounded more like he was planning a Chuck E. Cheese’s pizza rather than a center of learning.

Anyway, as you begin your year and give some considerations to who you’ll give a little help to in the coming months, you may want to do a little research at one of the many sites that rate charities. Charitable dollars are in short supply and it serves everyone if the bulk of those limited dollars actually end up in the hand of those in need."


A family member is very anti-organized religion. However, she is a strong supporter of the Salavation Army both by shopping at the stores, donating items to the organization, and by donating to the Kettles and other money donations. One of her biggest thrills was when we went to Columbus and I took her to ALL the Salvation Army stores in one day!

One day, at a store, there were extra copies of "The War Cry". I receive them by mail; I pointed to them and asked her, "Do you receive "The War Cry" in the mail?" She asked what it was and I said, "It's the official publication of the Church." She asked, with obvious incredulity, "What church?" I responded, "The Salvation Army." She said, "That's not a church." I was stunned that she did not know it was a religion. I told her I was always surprised by her generosity to the Salvation Army but I assumed she put aside her anti-organized religion feelings in the quest for bargains. She said, "I don't believe this!"

I went on to tell her about General William Booth and the history of the religion and I asked, "Didn't you have to read the Vachel Lindsay poem when you went to school?" She said, "I can't believe it's a church!" I laughed and asked, "Didn't you see "Guys and Dolls"?" Since then I haven't asked her whether she's had a dilemma deciding what to do: bargains versus beliefs!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Writing recently about the movie "Diner" being considered the most influential movie of the past thirty years, I was struck by how influential movies are in our lives. I read once that before the advent of movies, people kissed with their eyes OPEN! When the kissing scene was on the screen the actors had their eyes open and the audience, in the silent-movie theater, were tittering. When the actors began CLOSING their eyes, the audiences did not laugh.

I had never read a Stephen King book before I saw "The Shawshank Redemption"; I haven't read one since! I read James Dickey's book "Deliverance" ONLY after seeing the movie. I read Harold Robbins roman a clef "A Stone For Danny Fisher" after learning that Elvis' movie "King Creole" was based on that book; about the only thing similar in the movie was the name Danny Fisher!

On our first date, Gerald said that he liked the music from "Also Sprach Zarathustra". I said, "I detest that anti-Semite Wagner!" He countered with, "How about Ligeti?" How could I not fall in love with someone who knew "Lux Aeterna"? He admitted he was under the spell of "2001: A Space Odyssey"!

Since I was a teenager, I've used the phrase, "Of all the unmitigated gall!". I'm going to confess right now that I stole it from Joan Crawford as she said it in "Mildred Pierce"! Last year, during a Facebook thread squabble, a man used "Of all the unmitigated gall" in a response, and I chastised him for not attributing it to the writers of "Mildred Pierce"! He admitted that was where he'd heard it!

At Rockwell, I had a love/hate relationship with the Union Committeeman, John, who was also a movie lover and prided himself as a "psychologist". He knew when I was "acting" as if I were furious and he would say which actress I was emulating for my "performance". One time, he and a worker, Marilynn, were in my office as I was dispensing disciplinary action and when Marilynn began crying, I stood up and said, "I'll give you the opportunity to compose yourself, Marilynn; I'll just step outside." John followed me to my secretary's desk and I said, "Go back in there and tell her that the waterworks don't work on me!" He said, "Is that Barbara Stanwyck or Rosalind Russell?" My secretary, Myra began laughing. I said, "No, that was more like my mother!"

My office was next to my Labor Representative Dave. Another time, John and Leo, the Zone Committeeman, were in my office and we were having a heated conversation and I hit the wall with my hand, knocking down a picture from the wall. Dave heard the commotion and rushed over and as the door was open, he walked in and asked if everything was OK. John said, "She's just doing her BEST Joan Crawford!" John DID know me well. John said, "When she's really mad, she crosses her arms and speaks in a very low voice; that's the only time I take her seriously!"

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


A girl potato and a boy potato had eyes for each other. And finally they got married, and had a little sweet potato, which they called "Yam". Of course they wanted the best for Yam.

When it was time, they told her about the facts of life. They warned her about going out and getting half-baked, so she wouldn't get accidentally mashed, and get a bad name for herself like "Hot Potato", and end up with a bunch of tater tots. Yam said not to worry, no spud would get her into the sack and make a rotten potato out of her!

But on the other hand she wouldn't stay home and become a couch potato either. She would get plenty of exercise so as not to be skinny like her shoestring cousins. When she went off to Europe, Mr. and Mrs. Potato told Yam to watch out for the hard-boiled guys from Ireland and the greasy guys from France called the French Fries. And when she went out west, to watch out for the Indians so she wouldn't get scalloped. Yam said she would stay on the straight and narrow and wouldn't associate with those high class Yukon Golds, or the ones from the other side of the tracks who advertise their trade on all the trucks that say, "Frito Lay".

Mr. and Mrs. Potato sent Yam to Idaho P.U. (that's Potato University) so that when she graduated she'd really be in the chips. But in spite of all they did for her, one day Yam came home and announced she was going to marry Tom Brokaw. Tom Brokaw! Mr. and Mrs. Potato were very upset.

They told Yam she couldn't possibly marry Tom Brokaw because he's just...

Are you ready for this?

Are you sure?



Monday, February 20, 2012


The United States marks the 50th anniversary today of the first flight of an American into orbit. But the historic landmark is bittersweet: the first nation to land people on the Moon now depends on Russia for its manned space flights.

At 9:47am on February 20, 1962, on the eleventh try, astronaut John Glenn took off from Cape Canaveral aboard an Atlas rocket to make three orbits around the Earth in just under five hours, and made an overnight national hero out of Glenn.

Now 90 years old, Glenn has not forgotten the political implications of his mission.

We always say that we remember what we were doing when the President died, and other momentous occasions. On February 20, it was the day after my brother Kenny's birthday and for Kenny's birthday, Betty had made a German Chocolate Cake from scratch. It was so good it was all eaten. She and I decided to make another one on February 20.

In between sifting, melting, baking and icing, we excitedly watched the flight of John Glenn.

GODSPEED, John Glenn!

Sunday, February 19, 2012


When I told my fellow Waterford lover about the Waterford Bride and Groom piece which I had found on, he wanted to see it. I wrapped it carefully in towels and took it to show him. I held it up to the sunlight to view the hallmark. I said, "Even if it's a fake, it's beautiful and worth the $6.99 I paid for it." He said, "That piece would cost at least $300.00!" I said, "I looked on eBay and it was selling for $139.00." "WHY would someone donate Waterford?", he asked.

I said, "They probably have STEUBEN!"

I have always wanted a piece of Steuben and I learned that the company folded and now I'll probably never have a piece.

To read the story about Steuben, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


A recent tragic death in my husband's family prompted this exchange:

One person said, "Those poor little girls", in referring to the death of a young mother who left behind a husband, a daughter and step-daughter.

The second person said, "I feel sorry for the husband, the kids will be OK; they're young; they'll get over it."

The first person said, "Get over it? They'll NEVER get over it; they'll always have a hole in their hearts; they might be raised by their dad or by the grandparents, but they'll never have that mother."

The second person either missed the point or the passion of the first person, and answered, "But kids are resilient."

The first person answered, "I couldn't disagree more! They will never be able to grow up to be the people they should have been."

How I admired the passion of the first person and detested the platitudes of the second person, but being an "outlaw" I decided for once to keep my mouth shut as the first person had said it all!

Friday, February 17, 2012


In Springfield recently, we passed a mall and I saw a business sign "Puff 'n Stuff". What would you assume it to be? A "head shop"? A cigar store?

Why do businesses have names which don't automatically let a person know WHAT they are?

Perhaps they think that a cutesy name is good business; I told Gerald that the businesses should know that most people would probably not spend much time investigating WHAT it might be, but Gerald said, "But you're asking about it!" I said, "But I'm not going to go back to see WHAT it is!"

The same day, we passed another place and it had "River Song" on the sign. Now what the heck could that be? I said, "Maybe they named it after the Alex Kingston character on Doctor Who." Gerald said that he doubted that they would know that River Song was a character! I later learned that River Song is a church; why wouldn't they have River Song CHURCH on the sign?

My Facebook friend Larry Chapman recommends a restaurant in Hillsboro named EAT. Of course I want to try it! That's the way businesses should be: OBVIOUS!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


My dog sleeps about 20 hours a day.

My dog has his food prepared for him. He can eat whenever he wants.

His meals are provided at no cost to him.

He visits the doctor once a year for his checkup, and again, anytime, during the year if any medical needs arise.

For this he pays nothing, and nothing is required of him.

He lives in a nice neighborhood in a house that is much larger than he needs, but he is not required to do any upkeep.

If he makes a mess, someone else cleans it up.

He has his choice of luxurious places to sleep.

He receives these accommodations absolutely free.

He is living like a King, and has absolutely no expenses whatsoever.

All of his costs are picked up by others who go out and earn a living every day.

I was just thinking about all this, and suddenly it hit me like a brick in the head:


Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Recently, during the tragedy of the cruise ship "Costa Concordia" off the Tuscan coast, in dinner conversation with a group of people, I used the word "FOUNDER". None of the seven other people in the group had ever heard the word used to describe a sinking ship.

Feeling challenged, I immediately went to the Oxford English Dictionary. (Les says the OED is the only sacred book in our house!) Whew! With six incredibly intelligent people sitting there, doubting my knowledge of the word, and feeling under siege, I was relieved to find the definition there which matched my usage. One of the doubters said, "Oh, that's just ENGLISH!" I then whipped out the Webster's Third New International Dictionary and the definition was there also!

Gerald kept saying, "Go to the internet!" but nothing feels better than cracking open the OED!

I said that I'd heard the word used by my mother to describe stumbling and falling (e.g., like a drunk falling down) but I also knew that she had used the other meaning to describe a sinking ship or a cave-in.

As John Muir wrote about Catharine Merrill: "Knowing her was a liberal education! Thank you, Mother for a wealth of words!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Valentine's Day is more than greeting cards, flowers and candy, and more than telling your sweetheart that you love each other. It is also love in general toward others and sacrifice. There is much history about Saint Valentine, dating back before the 14th century, but the holiday is generally celebrated world wide.

Prior to Chaucer in the 14th century, no links between the Saint named Valentinus and romantic love existed. Earlier links were focused on sacrifice rather than romantic love.

The "roses are red, violets are blue" saying dates back to Edmund Spenser's epic of 1590:
"She bath'd with roses red, and violets blew,
And all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew."

One of the nursery rhymes by Gammer Gurton's Garland in 1784:
"The rose is red, the violet's blue,
The honey's sweet, and so are you.
Thou art my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
And Fortune said it shou'd be you."

And to my Sweetheart, Gerald:

Monday, February 13, 2012


Recently, the movie "Diner" was named by "Vanity Fair" magazine as "The Most Influential Film Of the Last 30 Years". (see link below)

Gerald, Les, and I love the movie. Whenever I begin talking about the "flip-side" of records or any other similar trivia, Les will say, "OK, Shrevie" which is a reference to the character Shrevie in "Diner" because of his obsession with his records and the "B" sides.

Whenever we're discussing words, I will quote the character Modell: "You know what word I'm not comfortable with? Nuance. It's not a real word like gesture. That's a real word. With gesture, you know where you stand."

When Eddie asks, "You're making out--who do you prefer--Sinatra or Mathis?" and when Boogie answers, "I prefer Presley", I just howl!

We were having dinner with friends who are also fellow movie aficionados. With my meal I ordered fries and I asked to have the fries topped with gravy. One of the friends said, "You must have seen "Diner". I laughed and said, "That's where I got the idea!"

CLICK HERE to see "Diner - named the most influential movie of the last 30 years" article.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Today is the 203rd birthday of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, born in Kentucky. Lincoln led the country through the American Civil War, preserved the Union, ended slavery, and promoted economic and financial modernization. Lincoln was raised in a poor family, mostly self-educated, but became a lawyer and an Illinois state legislator. He is well known for his Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and promoted the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, abolishing slavery.

Lincoln appealed to the American people with his gift of oratory. His Gettsburg Address was the most quoted speech in American history.

Six days after the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at the Ford Theater. This was the first assassination of a United States President, and he was always ranked one of the three greatest presidents.

Lincoln signed the Revenue Act of 1861, creating the first U.S. income tax. Currency honoring Lincoln includes the United States' five-dollar bill and the Lincoln cent, which represents the first regularly circulating U.S. coin to feature an actual person's image.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


All of my friends who have seen the movie "The Help" have told me what a great movie it is. I know that Oprah raved about it, but I have hesitated to see it because Melissa Harris-Perry, whom I greatly respect, detests it, and the book on which it's based. (see below)

I do read film criticism and in my younger days I was greatly influenced by the film criticism of James Agee, Dwight MacDonald, Dorothy Parker, Stanley Kauffmann, and Pauline Kael.

I still read film criticism in The New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times and Vanity Fair but I am seldom swayed if a movie is one I think I would want to see by a favorite director or actor.

Melissa Harris-Perry: ‘The Help’ movie ‘ahistorical and deeply troubling’

Tulane Professor Melissa Harris-Perry broke down for Lawrence O’Donnell the new feel-good move The Help, which downplays the plight of black women during segregation.

“The problem is that it is so ahistorical as to be inaccurate,” Harris-Perry said Thursday after seeing the movie. “Look, the issues that faced African-American women were not ‘Real Housewives of Jackson, Mississippi,’ ‘Mean Girls’ behavior, it was rape, it was lynching.”

“I know there are a lot of bad movies and troubling books, but this one got to me.”

Watch this video from MSNBC’s The Last Word, broadcast Aug. 10, 2011.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Friday, February 10, 2012


In my article "Caregiver", (Sue's News, October 29, 2011) I quoted F. Scott Fitzgerald, who famously wrote, "The rich are different from you and me."

My sister-in-law and I are caregivers for a well-to-do couple. I guess I should no longer be surprised that rich clients "look down on" us; after all, in their view, we are "servants". I am actually amused because I believe that they firmly believe that they are NOT patronizing. He has actually uttered the words: "we're like family". When I hear that I always mutter to myself, "The fourth oldest lie in the world." (see my article "The Three Oldest Lies In The World" January 22, 2010).

On my first day on the assignment, the client gave me fine instruction on how to mix his cocktail and seeing the shot glass, I said, "This looks like Waterford." I don't think that he realized he was being condescending when he asked, "You know Waterford?" I answered, "Why, yes I do." I was so proud of myself for NOT saying, "I have far more Waterford than you!" I held up the glass to the light to see the hallmark.

He was obviously so stunned by this revelation that he mentioned the conversation to my sister-in-law and she told me she told him that I had "hundreds" of pieces! The next day he said that my sister-in-law had told him about "all" my Waterford. I neither denied nor agreed on the number of pieces. I replied, "You'll have to come over to see my collection." He said, "She said you even have chandeliers." I said, "But those are Capodimonte, NOT Waterford."

One day when I entered the house, I asked, "How are you?" and he answered, "Fair to middlin'." He then said, "Oh, you probably don't know that saying." I answered, "I believe it's how cotton is graded." He said, "You are the first person up here who has known that." He and his wife are originally from the South.

Once when I answered, "It is I.", he said that he was surprised to hear good grammar. I asked, "Here in Ohio or from me?" He didn't respond and I could not keep from laughing and said, "I can also spell very well."

I know that he thinks we are "low class", but also ignorant?

A large part of the job is hearing him regale me with stories of his wartime exploits, travel, and his supposed expertise of history. He said something about Mr. Lincoln which was inaccurate and I told him, very nicely, what was accurate about "my hero Mr. Lincoln". I said, "There have been lots of problems in the South with inaccuracies in their textbooks."

Clearly irritated, he asked, "Since you're so educated, why are you doing this kind of work?" I knew that question was inevitable because my sister-in-law had told me he had asked her why I was doing "that kind of work".

I was prepared for the question and I answered, "I believe it takes a great deal of perspicacity to be qualified for this kind of work."

He asked, "Do you know how to spell that?" I said, "Yes, p-e-r-s-p-i-c-a-c-i-t-y; would you like to look it up in the dictionary?"

He told my sister-in-law that I'm "feisty"! She thinks I should be like her and "ignore" him; I told her that he is the one who broaches the subjects so he obviously wants to discuss them. She told me that I am "out of place" to correct him; I laughed and said, "I know MY PLACE, after all, we are LIKE family!"

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Kara, a young friend, says that the word "veer" is used only by old people!

I used the term "Charley Horse" yesterday and my friend Patty thinks it is a word used only by oldsters! Patty and I took "oleo" out of our vocabulary several years ago because we learned it made us sound old!

Today I used the term "davenport" and my co-worker said she hadn't heard that term since her grandparents used to say it. I told her that the piece of furniture we were discussing was indeed a davenport and she said that it was a "couch"; I could tell she was bored when I explained the differences between sofas, couches, and davenports but when I said "chesterfield", she held up her hand and said, "TMI"!

How can there ever be too much information? Martha Stewart would understand!


PIKE (instead of ROUTE)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Years ago, we took my mother to a new restaurant for Mother's Day. The restaurant was in an historic Victorian house and I had heard that the food was marvelous and that we could tour the house.

The decor was lovely and there was a pianist playing Gershwin! I was delighted. When we received our menus there were extensive selections. On the appetizer section I noticed "crabmeat cocktail" listed and it was $7.95 and the shrimp cocktail was only $5.95. I said, "Wow, I've only had shrimp cocktail before; I'm going to get the crab meat because crab is my favorite." [Although I thought "crabmeat" should be "crab meat", I was in an appreciative mood, and I did not quibble nor correct!]

Gerald placed our orders and Mother said, "I can't believe we have to order a la carte!" but I said, "But, Mother, this is a NICE place!"

When our appetizers arrived, I immediately noticed that my "crabmeat" was pollock and NOT crab meat. I called for the waiter and I told him very quietly that I had ordered crab and not pollock. He insisted that it was crab and I said, "Please send the Manager to see me." When the Manager came, I told him that I had ordered crab and he said, "That's what you got." I said, "No, what I HAVE is pollock." I touched it with my cocktail fork and said, "You can see that it's dyed to resemble crab."

He didn't offer to do anything; I said, "Please have the waiter bring our bill for the drinks and we'll be going!" The Manager said, "You'll have to pay for the three appetizers too." I said, "Oh, no, I won't, because we haven't touched them and tomorrow I'm going to call the Better Business Bureau to report this fiasco!" The Manager said, "You don't have to act like that!" My mother spoke and said, "Yes she does!"

As I was leaving, I said, "Oh, and by the way, crab meat is TWO words!"

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I asked my doctor why do I and other people urinate (pee) so much at night time. The answer from my cardiologist: gravity holds water in the lower part of your body when you are upright. When you lie down and the lower body seeks level with the kidneys it is then that the kidneys remove the water because it is easier.

I knew you need your minimum water to help flush the toxins out of your body, but this was news to me. Correct time to drink water: (very important from a cardiologist)

Drinking water at a certain time maximizes its effectiveness on the body:
2 glasses of water after waking up - helps activate internal organs
1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal - helps digestion
1 glass of water before taking a bath - helps lower blood pressure
1 glass of water before going to bed - avoids stroke or heart attack

My doctor told me that drinking water at bed time will also help to prevent night-time leg cramps. Leg muscles are seeking hydration when they cramp and that's why we wake up with a charlie horse.

Monday, February 6, 2012


When I went to the post office to get the 420 1-cent stamps, there were two clerks working. The clerk Susie was busy helping a couple complete applications for passports. There were three people ahead of me in the line of the other clerk named Debbie. Debbie was telling the first customer about her divorce and about her son's living arrangements. I was shocked by such inappropriate behavior. The second customer, turned to look behind him, and he and I rolled our eyes at each other in disbelief. When the man got to Debbie he asked for two stamps and plopped coins on the desk. The next person in line was a young woman carrying a baby. Debbie commented that the baby was "precious" and the clerk and the woman began chatting about different family members.

I began tapping my car keys on the table and I looked around and five people were lined up behind me.

When it was my turn I said that I wanted 420 1-cent stamps and Debbie asked, "Are you sure?" I answered, with seething rage, "I'm QUITE sure!" Debbie continued, "Well, a lotta people are confused by the Forever Stamps." I answered, "I have NO confusion; I NEED 420 1-cent stamps." She looked in her drawer and said, "I don't have that many." I said, through clenched teeth, "Perhaps you could ask Susie if she has any." Debbie returned with a stack of stamps and counted them into one pile. I said, "You didn't count right; SHALL I show you HOW to count them?" I took the stamps and counted 5 each into 4 piles and I said, "There's 400; I need 20 more." I counted out 20 pennies and gave her four 1-dollar bills.

Her behavior was unprofessional and unacceptable, mainly because she was inefficient! There's a time and place for lively banter but NOT when there are eight people waiting in line.

At home I was fuming about whether I was going to call the Postmaster or write a complaint letter, and Les said, "You're lucky she didn't go POSTAL on you!"

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Today is my mother's birthday and she would have been 99 years old.

She hated to have her picture taken! It must be a genetic trait which Norman, Duke, Les and I inherited. The other brothers didn't mind having their pictures taken and one of them loves to have his taken, because we see it in the newspaper quite often!

My mother was very pretty. I write this, not because my brothers and I think it, but because nearly everyone we came in contact with would mention the fact.

When I was a teenager, my parents came to pick me up and later a classmate asked, "Who was that girl in the car?" I said that it was my mother and the girl answered, "She's pretty--what happened to you?"

Did I mention I still suffer with self-esteem issues?

Saturday, February 4, 2012



Are you tired of those sissy "friendship" poems that always sound good, but never actually come close to reality?

Well, here is a series of promises that actually speak of true friendship. You will see no cute little smiley faces on this; just the stone cold truth of our great friendship.

When you are blue ~ I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

When you smile ~ I will know you are thinking of something that I would probably want to be involved in.

When you are scared ~ I will rag on you about it every chance I get until you're NOT.

When you are worried ~ I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be until you quit whining.

When you are confused ~ I will try to use only little words.

When you are sick ~ Stay the hell away from me until you are well again. I don't want whatever you have.

When you fall ~ I will laugh at your clumsy ass, but I'll help you up.

This is my oath: I pledge it to the end. "Why?" you may ask! Because you are my friend.

Friendship is like peeing your pants; everyone can see it, but only you can feel the true warmth.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Now, this is for my dog friends and my friends who need to smile!

An older, tired-looking dog wandered into my yard. I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home and was well taken care of. He calmly came over to me; I gave him a few pats on his head; he then followed me into my house, slowly walked down the hall, curled up in the corner and fell asleep.

An hour later, he went to the door, and I let him out.

The next day he was back, greeted me in my yard, walked inside and resumed his spot in the hall and again slept for about an hour. This continued off and on for several weeks.

Curious, I pinned a note to his collar: "I would like to find out who the owner of this wonderful sweet dog is and ask if you are aware that almost every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap."

The next day he arrived for his nap, with a different note pinned to his collar: "He lives in a home with 6 children, 2 under the age of 3; he's trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?"

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Groundhog Day, February 2nd, is a popular tradition in the United States. It is also a legend that traverses centuries, its origins clouded in the mists of time with ethnic cultures and animals awakening on specific dates. Myths such as this tie our present to the distant past when nature did, indeed, influence our lives. It is the day that the Groundhog comes out of his hole after a long winter sleep to look for his shadow.

If he sees it, he regards it as an omen of six more weeks of bad weather and returns to his hole.

If the day is cloudy and, hence, shadowless, he takes it as a sign of spring and stays above ground.

The groundhog tradition stems from similar beliefs associated with Candlemas Day and the days of early Christians in Europe, and for centuries the custom was to have the clergy bless candles and distribute them to the people. Even then, it marked a milestone in the winter and the weather that day was important.

According to an old English song:

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again.

According to an old Scotch couplet:

If Candlemas Day is bright and clear,
There'll be twa (two) winters in the year.

Another variation of the Scottish rhyme:

If Candlemas day be dry and fair,
The half o' winter to come and mair,
If Candlemas day be wet and foul,
The half of winter's gone at Yule.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


This post is dedicated to all my Cleveland friends and family. I've always tried to stay young at heart by remembering fun things from my past. Here are just a few of them.

First up is a small amusement park located east of Cleveland that closed its doors in 1969.

EUCLID BEACH PARK was an old school amusement park that had many great rides, one big wooden roller coaster, and this:


Euclid Beach was also the home of this creepy thing:

"LAUGHING SAL" was a mechanical fat lady that was placed at the entrance of the fun house. The old hag's spooky looks along with her loud, hysterical, and non-stop laughing traumatized many a young soul, including mine!

Since the 1980's Cleveland has had it's very own DAWG POUND.

And these are just a few of the characters that occupy it!
Browns fans, do you remember this?

It's JOE "TURKEY" JONES and his legendary pile-drive sack of Steelers HOF Quarterback Terry Bradshaw on 10/10/76. I do believe the NFL implemented a few QB protection rules because of that hit. To Bradshaw's credit, he overcame the hit and was able to continue playing.

Cleveland rocked the 70's with the Buzzard


Cleveland still ROCKS to this very day!

Speaking of the 70's! Cavalier fans, do you remember this guy?


Stay tuned for more memories tomorrow.