Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Les said that any time I have a comeuppance it's TOO GOOD NOT TO SHARE.

In another BLOG article, I mentioned that I was upset because WalMart and other stores did not have Memorial Day flowers marked down shortly after Memorial Day. As I was driving past Dollar General, I saw Memorial Day flowers outside with a sign showing they were marked down 40%. I bounded from my car and when I had my cart full of flowers, a woman approached me and asked, "How much are they?" I answered, $1.81." She asked, plaintively, "Are there any left; I only need three?" I gestured toward the remaining stock and said, "Those with crosses are only $3.00." She responded, "I like those", as she pointed to my cart load. She said, "I need them for my parents and my murdered sister." I asked, "Geneva?" She said, "Yes, did you know my sister?" I said, "No, but I know your sister Lori."

I pulled out three arrangements from my cart and asked, "Did you want them all alike?", as I was taking out matching arrangements of purple flowers. She exclaimed, "Oh, that was her favorite color!" She thanked me profusely and told me that the latest Parole Board hearing for the convicted murderer was scheduled for the following day. I said that I was glad to be able to help.

When I told Les he said, "Oh, it's great to see you get played; how could YOU ever top a murdered sister to get your way?" I screaked in disbelief to have my character so assaulted! OK, I'm woman enough to admit that I am sometimes a wee bit manipulative!

I said, "Now I remember that NOT one member of her family was at the last annual Domestic Violence Vigil!"

Les said, "Yeah, you got played!"

Monday, July 30, 2012


One morning, a man returns the boat to a lakeside cottage after several hours of fishing and he decides to take a nap.

Although not familiar with the lake, the wife decides to take out the boat.

She drives out a short distance, anchors, puts her feet up, and begins to read a book.

The peace and solitude are magnificent.

Along came a Fish and Game Warden in his boat.

He pulled alongside the woman and said, "Good morning, Ma'am. What are you doing?" "Reading a book," she replied (thinking to herself, "Isn't it obvious?").

"You're in a Restricted Fishing Area," he informed her.

"I'm sorry, officer, but I'm not fishing. I'm reading."

"Yes, but I see you have fishing equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I'll have to take you in and write you up."

"If you do that, I'll have to charge you with sexual assault," said the woman.

"But I haven't even touched you," said the Game Warden.

"That's true, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment."

"Have a nice day Ma'am," and he left.

Never argue with a woman who reads.

It's likely she can also think.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Phil Ochs wrote his masterpiece "The Crucifixion" after the death of President Kennedy. The powerful message is about the way people relish death and tragedy and the public's sick fascination with the creating, destroying and deifying of "heroes". Listen to the song, but more importantly, read the lyrics. Some of my favorite lines:

"Tell me every detail, I want to know it all,
And do you have a picture of the pain?"

"So good to be alive when the eulogy is read."

"The climax of emotion, the worship of the dead!"

The "overkill" of media coverage of the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, is deplorable and reminds me of Ochs' brilliant words. It is sickening to hear and see people's maudlin behavior and pointless speculation. One outlet said the alleged perpetrator belonged to one political party while another said he belonged to a fringe group. Les said caustically, "It's good Clint Van Zandt has a job every time there's a shooting!"

I don't want to hear or see any more coverage quoting somebody's "cousin's mother's aunt grandfather's niece" or any others flagged down to fill a slot for the 24-hour cable audience with their pathetic attempts to realize Warhol's "15 minutes of fame". I call them "professional mourners"; they remind me of people I know who rush to "viewings" and funerals. I think they have vicarious enjoyment of witnessing the grief of people, because they invariably report how "well" mourners are "handling" the tragedy. ["And do you have a picture of the pain?"] They are oh, so sympathetic. ["So good to be alive when the eulogy is read."] and praiseworthy ["The climax of emotion, the worship of the dead."] I find all this behavior inappropriate and reprehensible.

That is why in our family we have "invitation only" funerals. When a death notice is in the paper, we always put that arrangements are "at the convenience of the family." Quite plainly, we don't want people seeing what is PRIVATE!

I had an encounter with a cousin after the death of my brother and she asked, "What happened to Bode?" I said, "He died." (I also hate the "passed away" phrase). She said, "Well, I know that." I turned to walk away. She asked, "How come nobody was allowed to know when the funeral was?" I said, "Everyone who was supposed to know did." She said, "I called the funeral home and they wouldn't even tell me when the viewing or the funeral was." I answered, "That's because we believe that grief is private and we don't believe in viewings." "That sounds just like your mother." I replied, "Thank you", to what she clearly meant to be an insult. She said, "You people are wierd." I said, "No, people like you are weird because you want to feast on others' sorrow!" ["And do you have a picture of the pain?"]

Among my grandmother's possessions were photographs of people in coffins and on biers. I was thirteen at the time and I can recall recoiling in horror. My mother said it was common to photograph deceased relatives in those days. I cut up the photographs, much to my father's chagrin. There is always outrage when the the "last" photos of celebrities are published, but I am not surprised because the tabloids are only providing what the sick populace wants. ["Tell me every detail, I want to know it all, and do you have a picture of the pain?"]

Saturday, July 28, 2012


My subscription to the Sunday edition of The New York Times expired. I was at a store and I picked up a paper. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it. At the cash register, the clerk rang it up but picked up the paper again and looked at it. She asked, "This really costs this much?" I said, "Yes", actually not knowing the price. She asked, disbelieving, "Isn't it just a newspaper?" I said, "But it's the BEST newspaper in the world." She looked at the paper again. She said, "I can't believe a newspaper could cost that much."

I said, "Well, they have to send it all the way from New York!"

She asked, still disbelieving, "Is it THAT good?"

I said, "There's a reason that it's known as the the paper of record!"

She said, "Man, it must be good!"

When I got home, Les asked how much it cost. It was then I recalled that I hadn't even looked at the price, despite all the talk between the clerk and me. I yelped, "SIX dollars; am I out of my mind?" I went on the website to have it delivered once again at a much lower cost!

Friday, July 27, 2012


Today, someone told me the following story:

A legendary, local, wealthy farmer and businessman went to New York City; he was dressed in bib overalls, flannel shirt, and work boots. He went into a chichi restaurant and was declined service. The man then proceeded to tell the maitre d' that he was going to fire him. When the maitre d' asked how he was going to do that the man answered that he was going to buy the restaurant that same day with cash!

I burst out laughing and said, "That's apocryphal." The person kept insisting that he knew it was true. I asked, "Were you there?" He answered, "No, but so-and-so told me." (He mentioned another prominent local person) I asked, "Was that person there?" He answered, "Well, I've heard it from more than one person."

I said, "I've heard that same story attributed to Bob Evans, Dave Thomas and the owner of the King Ranch!"

Les said, "It sounds like a B-movie plotline!"

Thursday, July 26, 2012











Wednesday, July 25, 2012



A group was asked to rearrange the letters to spell out an important part of the human body which is even more useful when erect.


People who wrote SPINE became doctors. The rest are all my crazy friends.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Gerald, why, oh, why didn't you bring your camera?

I don't think I can top last year's sights at the fair, but I should hold off making that statement.

Last night:

A woman bent over to fill out a slip for a giveaway at our booth. Her boob almost fell out of her top! She grabbed her chest, giggling!

Straight across from us, a woman wearing plaid shorts, bent over to fill out a form at State Farm Insurance booth and the cheek of her ass showed below the shorts. Someone should have told her that anyone weighing more than 200 pounds should NOT wear PLAID!

A woman paraded slowly in front of our booth, wearing a tee-shirt with reprehensible things written about the President. She obviously wanted to elicit comments. Nobody commented. She turned around and came back. A fellow worker patted me on the shoulder and whispered, in a worried tone, "Are you going to say anything?" I think that she was concerned that I might make a scene! I laughed, very loudly and inappropriately, and said, "WHAT people like that can't stand is to be ignored!"

Last year, a chiropractor had people recline on a bench and did evaluations. You know what's amazing? He told everyone that one leg was shorter than the other! This year, he's in another section. I said that I am going to put a pad in my shoe to confuse him!

Monday, July 23, 2012


A friend and I were discussing acquaintences who are "name-droppers". She said that a friend of hers is always referring to prominent people who are "dear" friends, "good" friends and "my" friends.

Another friend of mine is related to a well-known, prominent, practically legendary, person in the community. Invariably people will ask if she's related to him. She likes to deflate their questions because people always want to ask personal questions about him, which she doesn't want to answer.

Recently, a name-dropper, who is my acquaintence, learned of the family connection and asked my friend, "So you're related to...?" My friend replied, "Yeah, his dog comes over and poops in my yard."

Sunday, July 22, 2012


An older friend of mine told me that he met someone who thought that I "hung the moon". I had never heard the phrase before, but I treasure unusual sayings. As my friend is from the South, I thought it must be a Southern expression, but in researching, I found that the origin, although an American 20th Century idiom, is unknown.

The definition from Cassell's Dictionary Of Slang: "To be very important; to think very highly of; extremely wonderful, amazing, or good; used as an example of a superlative act attributed to someone viewed with excessive awe, reverence, or infatuation."

Well, I don't think I "hung the moon" THAT much!

I learned there are several different songs with the phrase "hung the moon", performed by artists as varied George Jones, Patty Smith, Better Than Ezra, Rockwell Church and Toby Keith. I enjoyed the one by Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors the best of all.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


In this week's People Magazine there's an article entitled "WHAT IS YOUR ALL-TIME FAVORITE SUMMER SONG?"

Among those interviewed, Stevie Nicks said, "The Boys Of Summer by Don Henley. We love the boys of summer. Need I say more?" NO, Stevie!

Janet Jackson answered, "Hot Fun In The Summertime by Sly And The Family Stone because it takes me back to when my brothers were on TV every Saturday with their cartoon. It was a magical moment."

I liked that one, also, remembering listening to it in the summer of 1969; that was the first summer Gerald and I spent together. Every evening we would go to the Dairy Queen and I would have a cherry-dipped cone, which is still my favorite DQ treat!

My all-time favorites:

1. Summertime from Porgy and Bess, by a number of artists including Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson Trio, Big Brother And The Holding Company
2. Hot Fun In The Summertime by Sly And The Family Stone
3. Under The Boardwalk by The Drifters
4. Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days Of Summer by Nat King Cole
5. Summer Breeze by Seals & Croft
6. A Summer Song by Chad & Jeremy
7. In The Summertime by Mungo Jerry
8. Summer In The City by The Lovin' Spoonful
9. Summertime Blues by Eddie Cochran
10. Saturday In The Park by Chicago

CLICK HERE to see the TOP 30 SUMMER SONGS according to Billboard Magazine.


1. Surfin' Safari by The Beach Boys
2. Centerfield by John Fogerty
3. Hazy-Crazy-Lazy Days Of Summer by Nat King Cole
4. Hot Fun In The Summertime by Sly And The Family Stone
5. Sunday In The Park by Chicago
6. Surf City by Jan And Dean
7. Wipeout by The Surfaris
8. Summer Breeze by Seals And Croft
9. Cruel Summer by Bananarama
10. Surfin' USA by The Beach Boys

GRETCHEN'S: (in no particular order)

1. Any by The Beach Boys
2. The Summer Wind--Frank Sinatra
3. Summertime by Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff
4. Hot Fun In The Summertime by Hall And Oates
5. Night Moves by Bob Seger
6. Cruel Summer by Bananarama
7. Summer Girls by LFO
8. Summer Nights by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
9. Itsy-Bitsy-Teeny-Weeny-Polka Dot Bikini by Brian Hyland
10. School's Out by Alice Cooper
11. Summer Breeze by Seals And Croft
12. Sailing by Christopher Cross (I LOVE THIS SONG!)
13. Hey, Deanie by Shaun Cassidy
14. Paradise By The Dashboard Light by Meatloaf


1. Rain On The Roof by The Lovin' Spoonful
2. In The Summertime by Bill Anderson
3. Summer Of 69 by Bryan Adams
4. Summertime Dream by Gordon Lightfoot
5. Summertime Blues by Alan Jackson
6. She's My Summer Girl by Jan And Dean
7. Hot Fun In The Summertime by The Beach Boys
8. Endless Summer Nights by Richard Marx
9. Last Rose Of Summer by Clannad
10. Summer Of Love by The Beach Boys
11. Girls Of Summer by Aerosmith
12. That Summer by Garth Brooks
13. One Summer Night by The Danleers


1. Summertime Blues by Eddie Cochran
2. Summer Breeze by Seals and Croft
3. Everything Beach Boys


1. Tim McGraw by Taylor Swift
2. All Summer Long by Kid Rock

Friday, July 20, 2012


Each year since 2004, at our county fair, the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints has a booth adjacent to the Fayette County Democrats booth. Each year there have been two, earnest, young men occupy the booth. Each year there are two different young men; their being at the booth was part of their "mission" and each wore a badge with "Elder" on it. Each year, I use this gambit to initiate a conversation: "Isn't it an oxymoron to be a YOUNG ELDER?" I am sad to report that in the intervening years, not one of the "young elders" has known the meaning of the word "oxymoron". I then ask them if they know of the work of the author George W. Givens who wrote the definitive book about the tragedy at Nauvoo. Of course the youngsters know about Nauvoo. When I see that I have piqued their interest, I explain that I am a descendant of George Givens and the author George W. Givens is also a descendant and we are collateral cousins! By this time "the Elders" suspect that I might be a member of the faith! Oh, but they have been trained to be diplomatic; they are not going to ASK outright if I am! A nice amount of cozing ensues; thus, my week-long "relationship" with them begins!

This year, I am greatly disappointed because there are two young women at the booth instead of the usual two "young elders"! I worried, "HOW will I initiate a conversation with them?"

Both young women were wearing long skirts and black Mary-Jane shoes. One of the women had the pinkest legs I have ever seen. I thought, "I wonder if she's wearing pink hose?" Of course I had to get close enough to see. I went close to their booth; I bent over to pick up a pen I deliberately dropped. Yep, no hose; it's the pinkest skin I've ever seen. My sick curiosity satisfied, I noticed that there was a large selection of DVDs on the table. I asked, "Is there one about Nauvoo?" I could see that they were excited and probably suspected that I might be a Mormon! Except, they must ask themselves, "Would a Mormon be wearing those liberal campaign buttons?" Still, they were very interested. Neither had heard of George W. Givens, but when I completed my spiel about him, I said, "You can find his book In Old Nauvoo at Amazon."

I returned to our booth. I said, "Five will get you ten that they'll be over to talk to me!"

Gerald asked, "Why do you tease them?" I said, "I actually feel sorry for them because they work so hard and get very few people to stop; I am the anti-boredom factor for them!"

See last year's fair article about the ELDERS: July 26, 2011 "7 Fayette Center".

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Gerald hates the term "tow-head". My friend Kit showed me pictures of himself and his brothers and cousin and I said, "Oh, I didn't know you were a tow-head!" I learned that Kit also dislikes the term "tow-head"! I guess I'll never use the term again! Kit said he was also called "Cotton-Top" when he was a boy. Gerald escaped that nickname.

I have always thought the term "tow-head" was cute and affectionate, but if I were called a tow-head, I might have a different opinion.

"Tow-head" is an American term. It's derived from the process of turning flax into thread. The fibers from that process are called tow; as the fibers have a blonde, whitish appearance, terms for people with hair resembling that are called tow-heads and flaxen-haired. I've always thought "flaxen-haired" to be poetic.

I told Gerald and Kit I would call them flaxen-haired!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Imagine my shock when I awoke and Gerald had a blue toboggan cap on his head. I know that I have the air conditioner on the FRIGID setting; thus, I assumed that his head had gotten cold and he donned the cap rather than awakening me or turning off the air conditioner.

When he awoke, I asked, "May I ask why you were wearing a toboggan cap to bed?"

He answered, "Because you and Les always make fun of my BED-HEAD; I thought this might prevent it."

Les said, "Please tell me you're not going to put this on your blog!"

I said, "But how can I resist?"

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Oprah used to have a segment on her show featuring her favorite, best new things. I used to try ones which were not too expensive.

Recently, on Dr. Oz's show, he told about a spray one could use to eliminate the # 2 bathroom odor.

Although I was skeptical, I asked Gerald to order some.

The product is named "m9" and it works. It has a somewhat medicinal smell, although it's labeled "unscented".

It is my best new thing!

Les said, "Oprah probably has it waft out automatically in her bathrooms!" (I had to admire his use of "waft"!)

Gerald said, "Oh no, this is going to be like Tempo towels where all your family and friends must have it--I better order a dozen!"

CLICK HERE to see the article mentioning Tempo towels.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Recently, in a restaurant, a woman shook her glass of ice to get a waitress' attention!

The waitress came to our table instead. Gerald handed her a dollar and said, "I want to apologize for that person over there." The waitress refused the tip; of course Gerald just added it to our own tip. The waitress went to the other table. When the waitress returned to our table, Gerald told her that was the worst manners he'd seen since he saw a guy snap his fingers at a waitress to get her attention. The three of us discussed bad manners and told about other rude and crude customers.

In The Chintz Room at Lazarus, a busser came by and had a tray full of glasses and other items. The tables were very close together. The tray started to fall and the glasses and other items tumbled onto the floor. Some of the water splashed on a customer's pant leg. He jumped up, started screaming and cursing at the poor girl, demanding to see the Manager. The girl was down on her knees on the floor picking up the ice cubes, etc. Gerald got down on the floor with her and was picking up ice. He crawled on his knees over to the obnoxious man's chair and I could tell he said something. When he returned to our table, I asked, "What did you say?" Gerald said, "I asked him if he felt like a big man picking on a little girl!" When the Manager came, the creep demanded that the restaurant pay to have his pants cleaned. Gerald walked over, tossed down a $5.00 bill on the table and said, "That should take care of it, Big Man!" The man stood up and I thought there was going to be an altercation, but the man didn't say a word to Gerald. Gerald just turned and walked away! Later, Gerald said, "That's the way bullies are; they don't pick on ones their own size!"

I am usually the outspoken one, but Gerald also cannot stand to see an injustice!

Once, during the Christmas shopping season, my sister-in-law Sheila and I were shopping at Lazarus. I was in line to pay and a woman barged up to the counter and asked the sales clerk, "Do you have any white slacks?" The clerk answered, politely, "No, we only have those in the summer." The woman started yelling, "I'm not stupid; I know they're for summer, but a lot of people go to Florida and other places where they wear white slacks now." I'm sure that the clerk, along with everyone else in line, was shocked by such an unwarranted outburst! The woman started screaming for the Manager. I said, "You should go to where they sell white pants." When a Manager arrived, the woman demanded that the "girl" be fired. I walked over to the Manager and said, "I, along with others, witnessed this and your employee did absolutely nothing wrong!" The woman told me to keep my nose out of it. I said, "You barged up here, instead of waiting your turn so this IS my business!" The Manager said he would take care of the problem.

It always bothers me when I see people in serving positions be treated unkindly.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Les came into the family room, exaggeratingly trudging, sad-faced, head wagging, and said, sotto voce, "This is the worst movie of all time." Once again, I had ordered a movie from Netflix which was critically acclaimed: Le Quattro Volte, which disappointed him.

I said, "But A.O. Scott RAVED about it!"

Les said, "I don't care if SIX other Scotts recommend it--Scott Fitzgerald, Sir Walter Scott, Scott Hamilton, Ridley Scott, Scott Bakula, Winfield Scott and Scottie on Star Trek, it's still atrocious!" I said, "That's seven!" He said, "I forgot the best one--Robert FALCON Scott; he wouldn't recommend it, either!"

I said, "TMI!"

As I watched the movie Les kept peeking in the room, gauging my reaction. After it was over, he asked, "Was your buddy Tony right?" ("Tony" is A.O. Scott, the film critic for The New York Times.) Not only did I NOT understand it, I hated it!

Les kept on, saying other people named Scott: "EVEN if Dred Scott, Scott Joplin, Scott Carpenter, Francis Scott Key...". I said, "STOP!"

He said, "Oh, no, I have some more!"

I said, "That's enough!" He continued, "Scott Baio, Randolph Scott, George C. and Campbell Scott..." I clapped my hands over my ears, feigning lack of hearing. He yelled, "Ah, come on, now, be a good sport: Scottie Pippin." I said, "Oh, I get it: sport--he's some sports person; I yelled, I can top you on that, Sport--Barbara Ann Scott." He said, "Who's that--did you just make that up?" I said, "She was an ice skater, Sport."

"GREAT SCOTT!", he said, triumphantly.

See A. O. Scott's review.

"Le Quattro Volte," an idiosyncratic and amazing new film by Michelangelo Frammartino, is so full of surprises that even to describe it is to risk giving something away.

Saturday, July 14, 2012



Pinning a pin onto a red hat, I asked, "What do you call these things that are put on the back?"

Les said, "Look it up."

I learned that they are called "butterfly clutch", "military clutch", "pin catch", and "pin back".

The sharp point of a pin is called a "stem". The clutch locks into place when it covers a stem.

The back of the pin has a stem attached and when the clutch is squeezed and pulled up from the stem, the pin is released from the clutch.

I already knew what an AGLET is, and was able to supply the word to someone doing a crossword puzzle!

AGLET: the sheath over the end of a shoelace or ribbon; also, the ornamental cord or braid on the shoulders of uniforms.

Friday, July 13, 2012


A friend asked, "Don't you think it's terrible that the schools want to do away with cursive?"

I answered, "No, I think teaching writing is a waste of time; we are in a computer age; all a person should have to learn is to write his name--to have a signature."

I said that I print nearly everything by hand clearly. She said printing is too slow. I took out paper and pen and told her to copy something from a book and I would print the same thing at the same time. My printing was much faster than her writing. She protested, "But I can't print fast." I said, "That's because you haven't done it."

She said, "But handwriting is important in lots of things."

I said, "I think handwriting is only important with CALLIGRAPHY and SIGNATURES!"

She said, "But people with an artistic bent need to learn cursive."

I said, "Then it should be an elective for those artistes!"

We had a lengthy discussion. I teased her, "It's because YOU have pretty handwriting!" She said, "But you have pretty handwriting also!" I answered, "Just think about people who don't have whatever right brain/left brain function allows us to have that knack. You do know it's a knack, don't you?", I asked.

I said, "I know greatly intelligent people who have illegible handwriting." I told her about a guy who'd gone to school at Bloomingburg for twelve years. He practiced and practiced because he wanted straight A's, but try as he might the best he could achieve were C's in penmanship. There were probably less than 20 in his graduating class, and he was undoubtedly the smartest one in his class, yet, from that tiny, rural school, he went to Harvard University and became a professor and is a noted economist.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I've had several comments about my MUMBLETY-PEG article. One friend wrote, "How about RED ROVER, ANDY OVER and THE FOX AND THE GEESE?"

Those take me back to childhood and sweltering summer nights and frigid winter afternoons.

RED ROVER was a summertime game played when there were a large group.

Kids are divided into two equal teams. They form two lines at least 50 feet apart. The members of each team join hands together.

The team chosen to go first calls out a name to the opposite team:

"Red Rover, Red Rover, have Suzy (e.g.) come over." Then Suzy must run across and try to break through the line. If able to break through the line, she chooses one of the two players she broke through to return back to her team. If she fails to break through, she must join the other team.

The game is over when everyone is in one line.

Obviously, this can be a dangerous game. The following practices were not permitted when I was a kid:

1. Double-linking of arms instead of linking hands.
2. "Clotheslining"--raising arms up to hit the opponent in the throat or other places.
3. Thrusting joined hands outward to form a fist to jab the opponent.

CLICK HERE to see the video of "HOW TO PLAY RED ROVER".

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


After becoming a Manager at Rockwell, each morning I met with an Engineer who had been assigned to my Department. When I took over the Department, the most seasoned Engineer was assigned to the Department, because of the serious condition of the Department.

After our Department's Quality improved dramatically, the Engineering Department assigned a different, young Engineer to review the NDRs (the write-ups which would require Engineering consultation and approval) with me to "triage"!

Each day, the young Engineer, Ron, was prompt and very business-like. He always brought along a cup of coffee and I had my Coke setting there. He was deferential, calling me "Mrs.". The only personal conversations we'd had were about movies and we were both cineastes! One Monday, Ron asked, "Did you have a nice weekend? I understand it was your anniversary." I had taken a vacation day and Ron had to confer with my boss, who took my place in the Department that day. I said, "Yes, thank you, we went out to dinner with my brother and his wife as we share the same wedding anniversary day." I also mentioned that we had gone to see a movie. He inquired which movie. I answered, "Aurora Encounter." Ron said he hadn't heard of the movie; I knew he expected it to be an intellectual movie. I said, "We were so lucky to see my favorite actor in a tour de force performance." "WHO is that?", Ron asked, obviously impressed with the tour de force line. I said, very deadpan, "Jack Elam."

At that moment, Ron had taken a drink of coffee; he started laughing and choking and he spit the coffee on the desk, the documents and us! We jumped up, trying to clean up the coffee. I knocked over my Coke!

When we regained our composure, he said, "You WERE kidding about Jack Elam, weren't you?" I said, "Oh, no, my brothers and I have loved him ever since we saw him in old TV shows like Cheyenne and Sugarfoot."

I did an imitation of Elam, reciting this line from the movie Hawmps!: "I'm ready, I'm loose, I'm walking death and destruction!"

Ron asked, "Isn't he the one in Cannonball Run?" I exclaimed, "Another bravura performance."

Ron said, "No number of French and Italian words can convince me!" "I'm walking death and destruction!" became our inside joke.

After that, Ron and I became friends--as close friends as a 20-something and a 40-something can be! When he accepted a position with another company, I was invited to his going-away party and I was the only Management--and I might add--the only OLD person there. Several people there commented about those facts and Ron lifted a glass and toasted, "To the only person who loves Fellini AND Jack Elam!"

Of course I responded, "I'm walking death and destruction!"

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Last night, as we were driving home, Gerald said that our leaving was "good timing" because there was little traffic. Of course I started singing Good Timin', a song from my teenage years. After doing the "a ticka-ticka-ticka" part on the first verse, on the second, I repeated it. Gerald said, "It's tocka-tocka-tocka now." I disputed his word. He insisted, "You know, like the tick-tock of a clock."

Oh, no, an important disagreement accompanied by a willingness to bet, with the expected taunt, "How much money did your mama let you bring with you?" from me!

I said, "I need a Blackberry; I could check it out right now."

Gerald said, "Or wait till we get home and check on the computer." I called my brother but there was no answer.

Oh, no, I needed to know RIGHT then! Earlier in the day our friend Connie had told about carrying her "Top 40 Hits" book along with them when they went on trips because invariably, questions arise.

I called Connie and asked her to look in the "sacred book" to see who sang it! I said, "I think his first name was Phil."

A short time later, Connie called and said, "Jimmy Jones!" I said, "Yes, and he also did Handy Man!"

Later, I said, "I still think I need a Blackberry." Gerald asked, "How about just getting a SACRED BOOK?"

Enjoy Good Timin' and Handy Man.

Monday, July 9, 2012


SUICIDE. The word itself causes a pall to cover us.

"The terrible ifs accumulate", Winston Churhill said.

"IF ONLY I....."

No note.

"WHY?" "WHY?" "WHY?"

No words are adequate to console the parents.

No note.

No explanation.

"NO!" "NO!" "NO!"

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.


"I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the cold ground, I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned."--Edna St. Vincent Millay

"The terrible ifs accumulate."

Sunday, July 8, 2012


At a recent gathering, a grand niece and her cousins were discussing music and I was listening to their conversation because I am always interested in what's new and interesting. One of the group mentioned that she liked Taylor Swift and another mentioned a singer I didn't know and I was told that the singer Skylar Laine had appeared on American Idol. I said that I had never watched the show.

The grand niece said, in a condescending tone, "I like everything EXCEPT country." She was obviously putting-down the musical tastes of the others.

I asked, "So you like classical?" She answered, emphatically, "YES!"

I said, "Mendelssohn's my favorite; who is yours?"

She said, "Beethoven."

I asked, "What's your favorite piece?"

She answered, "The Fifth Symphony."

Although the grand niece was out of place with her obvious put-down of the cousins, I was not going to interject anything mean, although I thought she probably didn't know anything about classical music but was merely posturing when challenged.

A wiseacre there said, "Hum a part of that; I don't think I know it." I couldn't help myself; I giggled. It was too perfect!

The grand niece was flummoxed, embarrassed, uncomfortable, and obviously without a clue. The wiseacre stood, raised his arms in the fashion of a symphony conductor, and said, loudly, "All together now!" and he began dah-dah-dah-dahing the most famous part of the Fifth Symphony. The grand niece stomped away.

The wiseacre said, "Don't act like you know stuff you don't know in front of Aunt Sue!"

Saturday, July 7, 2012


On the latest episode of Aaron Sorkin's new series Newsroom, a character asks why his written word "which" had been changed to "who" in his script, and another character answered, matter-of-factly, "Because you were referring to a person, not a thing." I CHEERED!

Recently, in Fayette County, I have heard:

CONCRETE used for CEMENT (Cement is that gray stuff used to make the hardened concrete.)

FARTHER used for FURTHER (Farther refers to a physical distance and further doesn't.)

TOWARDS used for TOWARD (No "s")

ANYWAYS used for ANYWAY (No "s")

ITS/IT'S an acquaintance continually misuses ITS for IT'S in writing.


I have heard several people say SUPPOSEBLY rather than SUPPOSEDLY!

I received an e-mail recently and the person wrote: "they are suppose....". I hope it was a typo.

HOPE? That brings me to the misuse of the adverb HOPEFULLY!

Recently, a person ended a sentence with the word "hopefully". Of course, using, "I would hope." "it is hoped" or "one would hope." would have been correct.

I no longer offer suggestions to people but I HOPE that people will correct my errors (Norman, i.e.).

Please see the attached: HOW TO USE HOPEFULLY

Friday, July 6, 2012


In the 1970s Carl Wilt told me about using the dishwasher to prepare corn on the cob for eating and freezing. At that time Mother raised corn in the garden and we would freeze 26 packages of corn--enough for corn every other week for the remainder of the year.

When I have company for dinner, I don't like to have the kitchen sweltering and I try to plan meals during the summer without using the oven. One of my favorite meals for my birthday week includes corn on the cob. For one dinner I planned to have 16 ears of corn, but I didn't want to have the huge pot steaming on the stove. At that dinner, some of the guests were non-family--imagine the gasps when I opened the dishwasher to take out the corn!

Instructions for preparing corn in the dishwasher:

1. Remove husks and silk from ears of corn.

2. Place corn in dishwasher. Wash (without soap, of course!) on normal cycle and heated dry cycle.

3. Remove heated corn and if wanting to eat, it's ready to serve.

4. If preparing for freezer: remove heated corn from dishwasher and put in large pot filled with ice water to stop the cooking cycle.

5. Once corn is cooled, remove the corn and dry thoroughly.

6. I like to freeze both corn on the cob and corn removed from the cob. Package for freezer.

7. Place corn in freezer bags and place in freezer.

See the article for other non-traditional uses for the dishwasher.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Andy Griffith, dead at age 86. R.I.P., dear Andy.

Of course, I loved him as Andy of Mayberry and Matlock but my favorite character Andy Griffith played was Larry "Lonesome Rhodes" in the movie A Face in The Crowd.

I had seen Griffith on the Ed Sullivan and Steve Allen shows, where he performed stand-up comedy or skits. My brother Kenny had seen Griffith's skit What It Was Was Football in the earlier 1950s. Kenny loved that routine, bought the record and would perform the whole routine for us. I also saw Griffith in the teleplay No Time For Sergeants, which he later starred in on Broadway. He also starred on Broadway in the musical Destry Rides Again, which had been a famous movie starring James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich.

I have always said that if I hadn't seen Griffith in A Face In The Crowd, that I would probably never have watched The Andy Griffith Show, Matlock, and his specials. I wanted to see the movie because Patricia Neal was the star and I'd admired her since seeing The Fountainhead. Walter Matthau and Lee Remick also played in the movie.

In the film Griffith played Lonesome Rhodes, a slimy, con-man who was able to become a radio and television commentator with the help of the character Marcia, played by Patricia Neal. Neal played a producer who discovered Rhodes. She nicknamed him "Lonesome Rhodes" and because of his folksy charm he became an overnight star. Lonesome Rhodes eventually went to New York, became an advisor to a Senator wanting to be President. Lonesome Rhodes was brought down because of his lust and greed for money and power and his betrayal of all the people who had helped him in his rise to power. Patricia Neal's character left the microphone open and Lonesome Rhodes' vitriolic attack aimed at the "morons" who watched his show was revealed to all.

When the reprehensible Glenn Beck was still on the air, each time we would see his lies exposed on another network, either Les or I would say, "Lonesome Rhodes lives!"

CLICK HERE to see my favorite ad in the 2008 Presidential campaign which was done by Andy Griffith and Ron Howard.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


In conversation, a friend asked when I had been the most scared. I told about a time on the school bus when Johnny Hagler had his marbles in a cigar box and when the bus came to a stop the box rolled on the floor and the marbles began a RAT-A-TAT-TAT sound that sounded like what I imagined a machine gun would. Several people, including myself and the school bus driver, ducked for cover!

My brothers and I had marble bags with drawstrings made by Mother. Many kids envied these. Mine was denim, made from old Wranglers. Les just told me that his was made from parachute material. Our brother Neil was a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne and had brought home a bad parachute. Mother made a quilt and several marble bags from the material. We gave Johnny Hagler a marble bag the next day.

At a family reunion, one of Gerald's grand-nephews asked if anyone knew how to play marbles, because he had marbles. To my surprise, none of the men there said that they knew how to play. I said, "I know how to play." The grand nephew brought out his marbles.

I got a stick and drew a circle in the dirt.

I got down on my knees and started to show him how to play. Several kids came around and soon joined us.

My arthritic fingers and thumb do not work as well as when I was a kid, but I was able to shoot a pretty mean game! The kids asked me to write the "rules" for them. I'm sure my brothers will have some corrections, but the following is my recollection from the Dark Ages:


1. Draw a circle at least 3 feet wide in the dirt. Make a mark in the middle of the ring.
2. Choose the first player by having each player stand behind the lag line and toss his marble into the ring; whichever player's marble lands the closest to the mark is the first player; the next closest, the second player, etc.
3. Select a marble to be a shooter. The shooter is usually larger and more distinctive than the other marbles.
4. All players place their marbles into the the ring (the "pot").
5. The first player shoots by kneeling on the ground and keeping his hand on the ground, flicking his shooter with his thumb from his curled index finger and aiming at a target marble in the ring. ("knuckling down")
6. If the player knocks any marbles out of the ring, he gathers them and has another turn. He continues shooting until he does not knock any more marbles out of the ring.
7. Players continue until all marbles are out of the ring.

The player with the most marbles, is, of course, the winner.


FAIRSIES: the rules of playing marbles
KEEPSIES: the player keeps all the marbles he wins
FRIENDLIES: the player returns all the marbles to the original owners
KIMMIES: (or "mibs") target marbles
SLIPPIE: when a marble slips accidentally out of a player's grip.
JUMPSIES: (also called "plunking" and "skipping") shooting in a manner that
makes the marble jump into the air and hit the target marble without
hitting the ground first.
STEELIES: marbles made of steel; very prized
BOMBIES: (or "dropsies") dropping the marble onto another marble
SNOOGER: marbles near the rim of the circle
POT: all of the marbles placed in the ring for competition
TAW LINE: (or "shooting line") line from which players shoot
LAG LINE: line from which players determine the playing order
SHOOTER: (also called "taw" and "boss") the marble used to knock other marbles
out of the ring.
DUBS: when two or more marbles are knocked out of the ring with one shot
FUDGING: moving hand forward while shooting
MIBSTER: a marble player

After the game of marbles, I asked the guys, "Any of you ever played mumblety-peg?" None had, but the boys wanted to play. I said, "You must ask your parents' permission as it's a dangerous game." One of the kids asked, "Is it more dangerous than football?"

I said, "It was Tom Sawyer's favorite game."

I yelled, "Gerald, I need your pocket-knife." Nobody else had a pocket-knife. One of the mothers said, "I can't believe your mother allowed you to play a game involving a knife!"

"Allowed?" I shouted, "ALLOWED? She's the one who taught us how to play!

See the attached: "HOW TO PLAY MUMBLETY-PEG"

CLICK HERE to read the rules.

Monday, July 2, 2012


At the Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati, I had a number of interesting encounters in the waiting room.

The waiting room volunteer said that there was coffee, tea and water available. I said, "Sweetheart, I think I'll have some tea." Luann, another person there waiting, jumped up and said, "I'll get it for you." Gerald said, "You have more than one sweetheart!" I thanked her for fetching the tea for me and we had a delightful conversation about the word "fetch".

I can get used to being served!. I did my best Blanche Dubois imitation, "I've always depended on the kindness of strangers."

Later, a woman named Pat and her daughters and nieces came in to the waiting room. Pat's daughter Tonya admired her cousin's hot-pink Coach purse. The cousin told Tonya she could get a very good deal for her and began making phone calls. Tonya began to fret that her husband would not like for her to spend that much money and I spoke up and said, "Just tell him that you're getting the Coach purse instead of a JUDITH LEIBER purse." None of that group had heard of Judith Leiber; I brought up Judith Leiber's designs on the internet. I said, "See, this sweet little minaudiere costs JUST $2,450.00. I said, "Even better, let's tell him that you're NOT getting a BIRKIN bag!" None of the gals had heard of Birkin either. Oh, I just had to show them a Birkin by Hermes. I said, "Shucks, the starting bid is just $69,000.00 compared to $114.00 for the Coach! Just tell him how lucky he is that you JUST want the Coach!"

However, I cannot behave myself for very long. The news about the Supreme Court decision about the Affordable Care Act was announced and several people were discussing it and one said, peevishly, "Well, there isn't anything we can do about it NOW!" I said, "THANK GOD!" It is always amusing to me when people are obviously NOT accustomed to being contradicted. The word HARRUMPHED is perfect for the reaction I received!

Sunday, July 1, 2012


In the waiting room at the Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati, I remarked to the elderly volunteer in the waiting room that I had never seen BIG-BUTT CHAIRS like the ones in the cafeteria there. These are DOUBLE-WIDE chairs with one of the BIG BUTT chairs set at each of the dining area tables. The volunteer said, as she gestured toward the seats in the waiting room, "You can't believe the people who come in to the waiting room who cannot fit in these chairs; that's why we had to also put in these settees in the waiting room." [Yes, she used the term "settees". I would have said love seats. So, WHAT is the difference between a settee and a love seat? A love seat is designed to hold two people while a settee is designed for more than two!]

Gerald and I began discussing the WIDETTES from Saturday Night Live and decided to name the chairs THE WIDETTES in their honor. The volunteer had never heard of THE WIDETTES so I brought them up on the internet!

She said, "We're having entirely too much fun in the waiting room!" I said, "Yes, we definitely need decorum here!" as several more people came to join in the frivolity.