Saturday, March 31, 2012


A wife came home late at night and quietly opened the door to her bedroom.

From under the blanket she saw four legs instead of two. She reached for a baseball bat and started hitting the blanket as hard as she could. Once she was done, she went to the kitchen. As she entered, she saw her husband there, reading a magazine. "Hi Darling," he said, "Your parents made a surprise visit and since they were so tired, so l let them stay in our bedroom. Did you say hello to them?”

A friend sent that cute story to me. I am reminded of this true story: a husband was away on business. A friend of the couple was stranded and the wife went to pick him up to stay at their home. He slept on the couch. The next morning, a neighbor, knowing that the husband was out of town, came to check on the well-being of the family. The wife was in the bathroom. The friend, dressed in the husband's pajamas, thought nothing about answering the door when the neighbor came.

The neighbor saw this innocent situation, but imagined something entirely different. The rumor mill flourished. This couple endured years of whispers, gossip, and innuendo. But because of trust, the couple survived.

Friday, March 30, 2012


I understand addiction. I am an addict. I do not say this with any humor. I have been addicted to Coca Cola since I was a child. I recognize my addictive personality. I am empathetic with people who are addicted to smoking and other addictions which do not harm others.

In 1985, Coca Cola committed what is considered to be one the biggest blunders in the business world by bringing out "New Coke" with plans to retire the original Coke (NOW known as "Classic Coke"). When the announcement was made, I, along with many others, began stockpiling Coca Cola.

To illustrate the extent of my addiction: I was scheduled to go to California for a week on Company business. In my carry-on bag I packed one change of underwear and cosmetics, and in my other luggage--two large bags--I packed ALL Coca Cola, because I was AFRAID I couldn't buy Coca Cola when I arrived there. I knew I could buy ANYTHING else there, but, as my brother said, I was worried about "scoring Coke"! At that time, there was not a store in Washington Court House with any original Coca Cola remaining on its shelves! I had gone to every store which could possibly carry Coca Cola. I had cases of Coca Cola stored in the house and garages, arranged by expiration date!

A furor erupted from other obviously-addicted consumers and after what seemed like an eternity (three months), Coca Cola finally understood the popularity of the original Coke and reversed its plan.

I haven't had a Coke since November 9, 2011. I had been drinking as much as two liters a day. The first thing I would do on Sundays was to check all of the store flyers to see the best buy that week. I had taken to buying the two-liter bottles as it was a better buy! I've lost 27 pounds and NO, I don't feel any better! There's not a day that goes by that I do not want a Coke! I've given up drinking Coke several other times in my life, but it was like Mark Twain quote on giving up smoking: "Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world; I know because I've done it thousands of times."

I gave up Coke for six months one time. Will I be more successful this time? I hope so.

CLICK HERE to read the article: 25 years since Coca-Cola's big blunder.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


After reading my article "THAT BEING SAID", my brother suggested everyone would LIKE the following article:


Every language has its vocalized pauses, which are meaningless words used to keep the conversation flowing smoothly. In English, it's usually "um", "er", "ah", or "you know." In North America, especially among young people, it's common to use the word "like" as a vocalized pause. It began with "Valley speak" which is a stereotypical manner of speaking that originated in Southern California in the 70s. If you're, like, totally hooked on using the word "like," then these instructions will help you speak more professionally and stop being (like, so) annoying.

Everybody has done it at least once, teachers, professors, even President Obama has the habit. If you feel informal for having the habit, you're not alone.

Know that using the word 'like' a lot makes you sound uncertain or unsure of yourself. When you take this out of your vocabulary, you start sounding more definitive and confident of your answers.

Know how the word "like" is supposed to be used. There are only two correct usages:

Similarity - "This tastes like chicken."
Enjoyment - "I like this movie."

Pause when you would typically insert "like." Vocalized pauses are just filling places where you should pause. So, each time you anticipate saying "like," pause instead. This approach works for other vocalized pauses, such as: "um," "er," "ah," and, "you know."

Pausing will also make you sound more authoritative. Record yourself to see how often you use the word "like" incorrectly. Once you can pinpoint your most common mistakes, it'll be easier to catch yourself in action and make corrections. In any conversation or when speaking freely for a few minutes, you'll probably notice a few patterns, which are addressed in the following steps.

Stop using "like" when quoting someone. Whenever you catch yourself using "like" to put words in someone's mouth, replace it with "said". Better yet, come up with a verb that more specifically describes how the person spoke: yelled, whispered, answered, exclaimed, insisted, etc. Doing this helps the reader imagine what you're describing, and your stories will be much more enjoyable to listen to.

Incorrect: "He was like 'Where are you going?' and she was like 'None of your business!'"

Correct: "He asked 'Where are you going?' and she yelled 'None of your business!"

Don't use "like" to approximate. When you're giving a quantity that you're not sure of, you might use the word "like" to indicate that you're guessing or approximating. In this case, it can easily be replaced by the following words: about, approximately, or roughly.

Incorrect: "She's, like, five feet tall."
Correct: "She's about five feet tall."

Incorrect: "You'll need, like, three tablespoons of butter."
Correct: "You'll need roughly three tablespoons of butter."

Stop using "like" before adjectives and adverbs. You might also find yourself plugging other fillers such as "so" or "really" in between.

Incorrect: "He was, like, so tall."
Correct: "He was tall."

Incorrect: "She's, like, really irritated."
Correct: "She's irritated."

Improve your vocabulary. Your speech might feel "naked" without the word "like" to fill in gaps. The best remedy for this is to become more articulate. Whenever a statement feels plain, try to think of ways you can be more specific or descriptive.

Bad: "He's like 160 lbs."
Good: "He's about 160 lbs."
Better: "He weighs 160 lbs and has a stocky build."
Bad: "She's, like, really happy with her new job."
Good: "She's happy with her new job."
Better: "She's more satisfied with her new job."

Quit using the word "like" altogether. If you find that you're still having a hard time using "like" correctly, you might want to abandon the word altogether, at least temporarily, just to break the habit. Even though there are ways to use "like" correctly, there are also ways to replace it. You can't use the word incorrectly if you don't use it at all!

Similarity: Replace "like" with "similar to."
Enjoyment: Replace "like" with "enjoy" or "savor" or "love."

Ask friends, family, and co-workers to let you know whenever you use the word "like" incorrectly. For more encouragement, have them make you put some money in a jar (a quarter, a dollar) every time you say "like".

Don't replace "like" with another filler such as "um", "ah", "actually", "basically", "ya'know", or "and stuff".

Wednesday, March 28, 2012



A 92-year-old, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with his hair fashionably combed and shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today.

His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready.

As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window. "I love it", he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.

"You haven't seen the room; just wait.", I said.
"That doesn't have anything to do with it", he replied. "Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time."

"Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged; it's how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do."

"Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away just for this time in my life."

"Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you've put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories!"

Thank you for your part in filling my Memory Bank. I am still depositing.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Recently, we were at dinner with a couple and their two young children, a boy and girl.

I was paying a great deal of attention to the boy and when there was a lull in the conversation, the father said to his daughter, "Why don't you tell Sue about your science project?" The girl's project was very interesting and then I spent a great amount of time talking to her, going into detail and asking questions.

Later, when both the children had gone to the concession area, I leaned over and said to the father, "Thank you for directing my attention to your daughter." He looked surprised and I asked, "Did you think I didn't get the message that I was ignoring her?"

I told him that I grew up with seven brothers and I always gravitated towards boys and that I have always made a conscious effort to be attentive to my nieces as I am naturally inclined toward the nephews. He said that he'd noticed that tendency in several women.

I was very impressed with his deft handling of the situation and I just want to tell him what a wonderful father he is and thanks for the valuable lesson.

Monday, March 26, 2012



For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives, read on.

At a computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated:

"If Ford had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."

In response to Bill's comments, Ford issued a press release stating:

If Ford had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation" warning light.

7. The airbag system would ask, "Are you sure?" before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.

PS: I'd like to add that when all else fails, you could call "customer service" in some foreign country and be instructed in some foreign language how to fix your car yourself!

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Joanne's wedding day was fast approaching. Nothing could dampen her excitement, not even her parent's nasty divorce.

Her mother had found the PERFECT dress to wear, and would be the best-dressed mother-of-the-bride ever! A week later, Joanne was horrified to learn that her father's new, young wife had bought the exact same dress as her mother!

Joanne asked her father's new young wife to exchange it, but she refused.

"Absolutely not! I look like a million bucks in this dress, and I'm wearing it," she replied.

Joanne told her mother, who graciously said, "Never mind sweetheart. I'll get another dress. After all, it's your special day."

A few days later, they went shopping, and they did find another gorgeous dress for her mother. When they stopped for lunch, Joanne asked her mother, "Aren't you going to return the other dress? You really don't have another occasion where you could wear it."

Her mother replied, "Oh, I'll find somewhere special to wear it."

She wore it to the rehearsal dinner, the night BEFORE the wedding!

Saturday, March 24, 2012



The Best Story of the Year:

The pastor asked if anyone in the congregation would like to express praise for answered prayers.

Suzie Smith stood and walked to the podium.

She said, "I have a praise. Two months ago, my husband, Tom, had a terrible bicycle wreck and his scrotum was completely crushed. The pain was excruciating and the doctors didn't know if they could help him."

You could hear a muffled gasp from the men in the congregation as they imagined the pain that poor Tom must have experienced.

"Tom was unable to hold me or the children," she went on, "and every move caused him terrible pain."

"We prayed as the doctors performed a delicate operation, and it turned out they were able to piece together the crushed remnants of Tom's scrotum, and wrap wire around it to hold it in place."

Again, the men in the congregation cringed and squirmed uncomfortably as they imagined the horrible surgery performed on Tom.

"Now," she announced in a quivering voice, "thank the Lord, Tom is out of the hospital and the doctors say that with time, his scrotum should recover completely."

All the men sighed with unified relief.

The pastor rose and tentatively asked if anyone else had something to say.

A man stood up and walked slowly to the podium.

He said, "I'm Tom Smith."

The entire congregation held its breath.

"I just want to tell my wife the word is - STERNUM."

Friday, March 23, 2012


My friend Beth sent this amusing story. I don't know if her story is apocryphal, but following her story IS a true story:

If you've ever worked for a boss who reacts before getting the facts and thinking things through, you will love this!

Arcelor-Mittal Steel, feeling it was time for a shakeup, hired a new CEO. The new boss was determined to rid the company of all slackers.

On a tour of the facilities, the CEO noticed a guy leaning against a wall. The room was full of workers and he wanted to let them know that he meant business. He asked the guy, "How much money do you make a week?"

A little surprised, the man looked at him and said, "I make $400 a week. Why?"

The CEO said, "Wait right here." He walked back to his office, came back in two minutes, and handed the guy $1,600 in cash and said, "Here's four weeks' pay. Now GET OUT and don't come back."

Feeling pretty good about himself, the CEO looked around the room and asked, "Does anyone want to tell me what that goof-ball did here?"

From across the room a voice said, "Pizza delivery guy from Domino's."


In 1979, at International Harvester, the Plant Manager, a retired Marine named Bill Duvall, toured the plant daily, with a huge cigar in his mouth. One morning, in Department 28, Duvall stopped in his tracks and called over a Supervisor, my friend John Steinhauer, and Duvall pointed to a guy sitting on the edge of a conveyor, eating a sandwich. Duvall screamed at John, "Go fire that lazy S.O.B.; doesn't he realize the line is running?" John didn't change a word, but simply went over to the guy and walked with him out of the department, as he noticed Duvall's approving look.


John said that he went to the guy and said, "You see that S.O.B. standing over there chomping on the cigar?" The guy nodded that he did. John said, "He thinks you work here and he wants me to fire you." The guy asked, "Do you want me to act upset?" John told him that would make it perfect. The guy was from Ohio Bell and was there in the plant to fix the phones! John and the repairman had quite a laugh as they circled the department and returned to the same spot.

Years later when Duvall was leaving the Company for another company, John called the Ohio Bell repairman and asked him to come for the Farewell Party. He introduced the guy to Duvall and told Duvall that the story about firing the Ohio Bell repairman was legendary! After the introduction, the Ohio Bell repairman said to Duvall, "I guess all bosses are A-holes!"

Thursday, March 22, 2012



Our #2 granddaughter, Kallie, 4 years old, but sooooooooooooo smart, was at our house Thursday night with her family. We were making dinner, and Kallie was really, really fading. She needed a “Power Nap” before dinner, but did not want to give in to it. The problem was that “Bear” had been left at her house. When she gets sleepy, she needs “Bear” and her thumb, and then everything goes according to plan. We knew we had big problems without “Bear”. She agreed to lay down for a few minutes on MiMi’s bed with her Momma. In desperation, Momma had gone downstairs and had found MiMi’s Cleveland Browns stuffed bear, which is always hidden in a sacred place away from the grandchildren. After a few minutes, Momma came out and said “She wants YOU to lay with her.” I figured this would be a piece of cake. We laid there quietly a few minutes, and I asked if she wanted to hear a story. This 99 1/2% Always Sweet Child said, “NO!” I continued, "Do you want me to rub your back?” "NO!” She informed me she wished everyone would leave the house and leave her in there by herself. I told her we couldn’t do that because we had nowhere else to go. Finally, I handed her my beloved Cleveland Browns stuffed bear and asked her gently if she wanted to hold him. Without hesitation, this normally charming, sweet, child flung the bear across the room, and said “I DON’T WANT TO SLEEP WITH SOMEONE I DON’T KNOW!”

......... may you always feel that way, Kal Kal.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I said that my friend's lips were "pooching out" and my ever-chary friend exclaimed, "WHAT--pooching?" "Now, THAT can't be a real word!"
I answered, "My mother always used it; all of us use it." I said, "I'll have to check my Thesaures Norman, Duke and Les." I thought that maybe "pooching" was one of my mother's made-up words like "briggety"!

All of the brothers agreed with the usage of "pooching"!

Since my friend is so smart, I decided I'd better check the OED! Guess what? POOCHING is a perfectly good Anglo-Saxon word and it's not even slang! (NOTE: while writing this, Spell Check denies it, but dammit, I KNOW it's a word!)

POOCHING: present participle of "pooch":
to bulge, protrude or cause to protrude. Used with "out".
Example: "his lower lip pooched out in disappointment."

Les just yelled at me: "Do you know what a pooch punt is in football?" (No, of course, I DON'T!)

POOCH PUNT: "A kick used by punters when the team is too far out for a field goal and too close to kick a normal punt."

Yes, we learn something new every day and yes, my dear friend I used "EVER-CHARY" to describe YOU (who does not want her name mentioned!)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


My client and I love Eggs Benedict and he was lamenting that there was no place around to get them. I told him that I had had them at Bob Evans and although they were no longer on the menu, one could tell the waitress and she would tell the cook and he would prepare them.

Shortly after that conversation, he learned that someone who came to the house in a professional capacity had been a Manager at Bob Evans. He told her that he and I were going to go there to have Eggs Benedict; she informed him that Bob Evans didn't carry English muffins, let alone make Eggs Benedict! He did not have the opportunity to tell me about the exchange.

However, the following day, when I walked through the door, I was introduced to the person and she said, "I've been looking forward to meeting you." I said, "That's nice to hear", foolishly assuming that she'd heard nice things about me. Obviously, I was blindsided. She then said, with some hauteur, "I thought you'd like to know that Bob Evans doesn't make Eggs Benedict." Immediately insulted, I said, "Funny thing--I just had Eggs Benedict there last week." She continued, condescendingly, "They don't even have English muffins." I countered, "Funny thing, my Eggs Benedict were properly made on English muffins." Undaunted, she continued, "I know better, I was a Manager there." I said, "And I know EVEN better, because I ATE them there last week!"

I could tell that she was unaccustomed to being corrected, but I was highly offended and shocked by her unprofessional behavior and arrogance. I asked, "So how much money do you have with you?" She asked, "What does that mean?" I said, "It means that is how much I'm willing to BET you that I'm right!"

She left in a huff.

What kind of person tries to attack another person about something as innocuous as whether Bob Evans makes Eggs Benedict? The person was at the residence in a professional capacity and yet launched into her silly diatribe. Why did she feel the need to make a big display of her supposed knowledge about something which had absolutely nothing to do with her professional capacity? And what was her motive in desiring to demean a complete stranger?

Today, we went to Bob Evans and had Eggs Benedict. We asked our waitress if she remembered the former Manager and she agreed that she did. My client told her the story of the former manager. Gerald took a picture of my client, the waitress, and the Eggs Benedict.

When we returned to his home, he immediately called to tell her about his Eggs Benedict; she wasn't there but he left a message for her to return his call. I was glad that he was offended on my behalf. He said, "She needs to know she shouldn't lie."

I answered, "What she did was even worse than a lie--she acted as if I didn't know what I was talking about!"

Monday, March 19, 2012


My elderly client recently lost his beloved wife of sixty-two years. Yesterday, he answered his telephone and the voice on the other end identified himself as his grandson and the caller said that he was in Mexico and that he was in trouble and that he needed money sent right away. My client told him that he was sorry but he didn't have any money he could send. The caller then asked if he could put the money on a credit card. My client told the caller that he did not use credit cards.

When my client hung up, he began crying and said that he was so sorry but he just couldn't send the money to his grandson.

I told him that it was a scam and that an elderly female friend of mine had gotten the same kind of call from her supposed grandson and unfortunately, she had sent money, only to learn later that she had been duped.

My client became very upset and said, "I know my grandson's voice!" I suggested calling the grandson on his cell phone. My client kept insisting that he knew it was his grandson because it sounded exactly like him and he asked how would somebody else know that he was his grandson. I said, "It's because your grandson's name was listed in the obituary and he lives a great distance away and they pick out people that way!" I continued and told him that the scam-artists prey on grief-stricken people with home invasions and ruses such as this one.

Fortunately, when the client's son arrived, he called his son and learned that he would be arriving soon at the grandfather's house.

There should be a special place in Hell for people who would take advantage of grief-stricken elderly people.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


My brother mentioned that his doctor was talking to him and she said, "That said." and then continued with the subject.

I asked, "Did she contradict what she had just said?" He said that she had not. I said that the phrase is meant to be used as a transition from something one has just said to something different, which contradicts the first statement.

I said, "To be grammatically correct, she should have said, "That having been said." "That being said" is an adverbial participle phrase; the verbal portion of the phrase "being said" does not contain a finite verb and ONLY finite verbs are tensed!

Oh, why do I quibble?

I asked, "What's wrong with saying HOWEVER?"

Since then I have also noticed the prevalence of that phrase in the conversations of other people. I think it is a HOOK to be able to continue on with a statement.

My own HOOK, which I have tried to quit using is "ANYWAY". I encourage people to point it out when I use it to help me to overcome using it. THAT HAVING BEEN WRITTEN, at least it isn't as bad as saying: "You know what I mean?" or "You know."!

Saturday, March 17, 2012


On St. Patrick's Day—Saturday, March 17—millions of people will don green and celebrate the Irish with parades, good cheer, and perhaps a pint of beer.

But few St. Patrick's Day revelers have a clue about St. Patrick, the historical figure, according to the author of St. Patrick of Ireland: A Biography.

"The modern celebration of St. Patrick's Day really has almost nothing to do with the real man," said classics professor Philip Freeman of Luther College in Iowa.

Who Was the Man Behind St. Patrick's Day?

For starters, the real St. Patrick wasn't even Irish. He was born in Britain around A.D. 390 to an aristocratic Christian family with a townhouse, a country villa, and plenty of slaves.

What's more, Patrick professed no interest in Christianity as a young boy, Freeman noted.

At 16, Patrick's world turned: He was kidnapped and sent overseas to tend sheep as a slave in the chilly, mountainous countryside of Ireland for seven years.

"It was just horrible for him," Freeman said. "But he got a religious conversion while he was there and became a very deeply believing Christian."

St. Patrick's Disembodied Voices

According to folklore, a voice came to Patrick in his dreams, telling him to escape. He found passage on a pirate ship back to Britain, where he was reunited with his family.

The voice then told him to go back to Ireland.

"He gets ordained as a priest from a bishop, and goes back and spends the rest of his life trying to convert the Irish to Christianity," Freeman said.

Patrick's work in Ireland was tough—he was constantly beaten by thugs, harassed by the Irish royalty, and admonished by his British superiors. After he died on March 17, 461, Patrick was largely forgotten.

But slowly, mythology grew around Patrick, and centuries later he was honored as the patron saint of Ireland, Freeman noted.

Friday, March 16, 2012



From my friend Patty Burch's granddaughter's Girl Scout Troop 789.

The picture shows some of the different outfits worn by Girl Scouts in the past 100 years.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


OK, I'll admit that I am a cooking SNOB. Yesterday my sister-in-law reminded me that I had once said, quite haughtily, "I've never used a cake mix."

Two weeks ago, at a lovely luncheon after a funeral, on the dessert table was a plate of sumptuous-looking cookies. After sampling one, I went back for a second. Not only were they delicious, but the cookies also demonstrated PIE (acronym in my family for "PRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING"!). When I inquired who had made them, I was directed to Stacy Mabra and she told me they were very easy to make. I asked for the recipe and we exchanged e-mail addresses and she sent the recipe the same evening.

Imagine my surprise when the first item on the recipe was DUNCAN HINES CAKE MIX!

I made the cookies this week and took them to a gathering and three people asked for the recipe! My sister-in-law did not hesitate to mention my saying that I'd never used a cake mix!


1 box Duncan Hines Red Velvet cake mix
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup softened butter

Mix together and roll into balls (about the size of your thumb and forefinger making a circle). Place on a greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Let cool completely.

Spread filling on cookie and top with another cookie.


1/4 cup softened butter
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix together and spread on cooled cookies.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012


A young wife sat on a sofa on a hot humid day, drinking iced tea and visiting with her mother. As they talked about life, about marriage, about the responsibilities of life and the obligations of adulthood, the mother clinked the ice cubes in her glass thoughtfully and turned a clear, sober glance upon her daughter.

"Don't forget your sisters", she advised, swirling the tea leaves to the bottom of her glass. "They'll be more important as you get older. No matter how much you love your husband, no matter how much you love the children you may have, you are still going to need sisters. Remember to go places with them now and then; do things with them."

"Remember that "sisters" means ALL the women, your girlfriends, your daughters, and all your other women relatives too. "You'll need other women. Women always do."

"What a funny piece of advice!", the young woman thought. "Haven't I just gotten married? Haven't I just joined the couple-world? I'm now a married woman, for goodness sake! A grownup! Surely my husband and the family we may start will be all I need to make my life worthwhile!"

But she listened to her mother. She kept in contact with her sisters and made more women friends each year. As the years tumbled by, one after another, she gradually came to understand that her mother really knew what she was talking about. As time and nature work their changes and their mysteries upon a woman, sisters are the mainstays of her life.

After more than 60 years of living in this world, here is what I've learned:

Time passes.
Life happens.
Distance separates.
Children grow up.
Jobs come and go.
Love waxes and wanes.
Men don't do what they're supposed to do.
Hearts break.
Parents die.
Colleagues forget favors.
Careers end.


Sisters are there, no matter how much time and how many miles are between you. A girlfriend is never further away than needing her can reach.

When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you have to walk it by yourself, the women in your life will be on the valley's rim, cheering you on, pulling for you, intervening on your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley's end.

Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk beside you, or come in and carry you out.

Girlfriends, daughters, granddaughters, daughters-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, mothers, grandmothers, aunties, nieces, cousins, and extended family: all bless our life!

The world wouldn't be the same without women, and neither would I. When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we would need each other.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012



Can you cry under water?

Why do you have to "put your two cents in" but it's only a "penny for your thoughts"? Where's that extra penny going to?

Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?

Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

What disease did cured ham actually have?

How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

Why is it that people say they "slept like a babe" when babies wake up like every two hours?

If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?

Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

Why do doctors leave the room while you change? They're going to see you naked anyway.

Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?

If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song about him?

If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why can't he fix a hole in a boat?

Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs!

If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME crap, why didn't he just buy dinner?

If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?

If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

Do the Alphabet song and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" have the same tune?

Why did you just try singing the two songs above?

Why do they call it an asteroid when it's outside the hemisphere, but call it a hemorrhoid when it's in your butt?

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?


Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting dead?

Why do banks charge a fee on "insufficient funds" when they know there is not enough money?

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

Why do they use sterilized needles for death by lethal injection?

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Whose idea was it to put an "S" in the word "lisp"?

Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?

Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?

Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?

Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try?

How do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures?

When we are in the supermarket and someone rams our ankle with a shopping cart then apologizes for doing so, why do we say, "It's all right"? Well, it isn't all right, so why don't we say, "That really hurt, why don't you watch where you're going?"

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?

In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?

How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?


The statistics on sanity is that one out of every four persons are suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends; if they're okay, then it's you.

Monday, March 12, 2012


Gretchen, our new contributor to CRINGE--FAYETTE COUNTY TALK, has a particular pet peeve:

"DONE ALREADY" as in the following: "He done already left."

She has also noticed:

AMBALANCE for ambulance
ALBLUM for album

Gerald worked at a poll on Election Day and sitting in the next Precinct were two retired teachers who were also poll workers.

Gerald heard one of the teachers say, "It don't."

I asked, "Didn't the other teacher take him to the woodshed?"

Gerald said he felt like taking a hickory switch to him!

During the Campaign To Repeal SB 5, several of the volunteers and I were having a discussion about "CRINGE" words and I said, "If I hear HAVE WENT one more time, I am going to scream!" It was not an hour later when a newcomer to the Headquarters said the dreaded "HAVE WENT" and I let out a slasher movie kind of scream. Every one there except the offender began laughing! The offender asked, "What's funny?" Quick on the uptake, one of my friends said, "She's practicing for the Blair Witch Project 2!"

Sunday, March 11, 2012



Dear Diary,

For my birthday this year, my husband purchased for me a week of personal training at the local health club. Although I am still in great shape since being a high school football cheerleader 43 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try.

I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Christo, who identified himself as a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear.

Friends seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.

Started my day at 6:00 a. m. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Christo waiting for me. He is something of a Greek god with blonde hair, dancing eyes, and a dazzling white smile.

Christo gave me a tour and showed me the machines. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which he conducted his aerobics class after my workout today. It was very inspiring!

Christo was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time he was around.

This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!!

I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Christo made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air and then he put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. His rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT! It's a whole new life for me.

The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot.

Christo was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. His voice is a little too perky for that early in the morning and when he scolds, he gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying.

My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Christo put me on the stair monster. Why the hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Christo told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. He said some other shit too.

Asshole was waiting for me with his vampire-like teeth exposed as his thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a half an hour late; it took me that long to tie my shoes.

He took me to work out with dumbbells. When he was not looking, I ran and hid in the restroom. He sent some skinny bitch to find me. Then, as punishment, he put me on the rowing machine which I sank.

I hate that bastard Christo more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic, anorexic, little aerobic instructor. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat him with it.

Christo wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps! And if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me the damn barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich. The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?

Satan left a message on my answering machine in his grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing his voice made me want to smash the machine with my planner; however, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel.

I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my husband will choose a gift for me that is fun like a root canal or a hysterectomy. I still say if God had wanted me to bend over, he would have sprinkled the floor with diamonds!

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Last month, for our monthly dinner party, I wanted to make a special soup which required leeks. Alas, not one store in Washington C.H. had leeks. To the Produce Manager at Kroger I lamented, "It's so close to St. David's Day, I can't believe that you don't have leeks." Seeing the dumfounded look, I proceeded to bore the poor guy about Welsh men wearing leeks in their lapels on March 1--St. David's Day--and women wearing daffodils!

I had always wondered how the men kept those huge vegetables in their lapels. The parents of my Great-Great-Great-Great Grandmother, Nancy Morgan Givens, came from Wales and I have long had an interest in Wales. I was glad the women from Wales could wear daffodils instead of leeks on St. David's Day!

Yesterday, one of my friends asked, "Have you ever heard of ramps?" I asked, "As in freeway ramps?" She said, "No, the vegetable ramps--I thought you knew everything!"

When I went home, I called my brother and asked if he'd heard of the vegetable ramps and even he--who usually does know EVERYTHING--said that he didn't.

Finding it on the internet, I was delighted to find that ramps are wild LEEKS!

In talking to my elderly client this morning, I asked if he knew what the vegetable ramps are and he said, "Sure, they grow wild all the way up to Quebec!" He said that he'd even tasted ramps!

Later, in talking to a another brother--who obviously DOES know everything--he said, "Yeah, I bet those Welsh guys substitute ramps for the big leeks on St. David's Day!" I exclaimed, "HOW do you know about St. David's Day, leeks, AND ramps."

He answered, "I also know about daffodils. It was on a chyron on March 1."

WHEW, I'm glad I knew the word chyron ["graphics or words at the bottom of a TV screen, usually unrelated to the current viewing content"] or I would have lost all credibility in the family!

From the BBC News:

Prince Charles visited Carmarthenshire to mark St David's Day, as events take place at home and across the world. Parades were staged in Cardiff and Wrexham as part of celebrations. And St David's Day is also being marked in places as far afield as China and New York.

Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Wales has given a sermon, urging people in Wales to keep "our identity" without being "narrowly nationalistic".

The Welsh dragon is flying above Downing Street, while Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan is due to read at the annual St David's Day chapel service at the House of Commons.

There will be St David's Day events in cities across the United States, as part of Wales Week.

US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton sent over her best wishes to the "people of Wales". "On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Wales as you celebrate St David's Day," she said. "The United States is enriched by years of influence from Welsh-Americans."

From Time U.S.:

Have you ever found yourself saying, "Ah, a fine spring day at last! I wish I had a ramp to gnaw on!"

No? Then you're unlike the many, many chefs and green-market enthusiasts across the country who constitute the Church of the Ramp. Of course, they don't really gnaw on raw ramps, also known as wild leeks; they pickle them, char them and do a million other artful things with the onion-like stalk, the first green vegetable of spring in much of North America. There is no shortage of enthusiasts, both at home and in restaurants; after all, the Church of the Ramp is one of the fastest-growing denominations in the religion of seasonality.

"Ramps are a spring treat that have a quick season and are much better-tasting than cultivated leeks, scallions or chives," says Mark Fuller of Seattle's Spring Hill, one of Food and Wine's best new chefs last year. "Our guests also get excited for ramps."

"The ramp is not a salad green, but it is a green vegetable, and it is the first legitimately green thing that appears from the ground in April.

Friday, March 9, 2012


At the Genealogical Society meeting this month, one member told how she had been surprised by her DNA testing (see information from The National Geographic below) which showed she had a great amount of Middle Eastern genetics. She then showed a chart that showed her ancestors in the 1400's and one of them was Murad II and in her presentation she mentioned that each time Murad would conquer a territory, he would "add another wife". I said, "Today we call that RAPE." She said that she was surprised to find she had Islamic ancestors, because her family (surname Amole) was from Alsace-Lorraine. When the earlier ancestors came from the Ottoman Empire they had the surname "de Turk" which of course meant they were from Turkey!

I said, "You'll probably be on a Watch List and not be able to board an airplane!"

She said her particular female link was to one named "Fatima" which she pronounced "Fa-teem-uh". I said, "Obviously you're not Catholic or you'd know it's Fat-uh-muh". My friend Rosanne punched me in the side and whispered, "You're NOT Catholic!" I said, "But I know about Our Lady Of Fatima." I then said to Rosanne, "I wonder if it's Fatima or Fatimah." Rosanne asked the difference and I said, "Mohammed's daughter's name was spelled with the h on the end and Fatima is the town in Portugal."

It's sometimes comforting to reflect on our ancestors and our little link with history, but we oftentimes forget that some of own ancestors were probably NOT the heroes/heroines we would like to imagine or believe them to be. I always say that I want to find miscreants, scoundrels, scalawags, caitiffs, and rapscallions in my tree, but alas, I've found a bunch of teachers, men of the cloth and farmers!

From the Encyclopedia Britannica:

Murad II, (born June 1404, Amasya, Ottoman Empire [now in Turkey]—died February 3, 1451, Edirne), Ottoman sultan (1421–44 and 1446–51) who expanded and consolidated Ottoman rule in the Balkans, pursued a policy of restraint in Anatolia, and helped lead the empire to recovery after its near demise at the hands of Timur following the Battle of Ankara (1402).

Early in his reign, Murad had to overcome several claimants to the Ottoman throne who were supported by the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaeologus and by many of the Turkmen principalities in Anatolia. By 1425 Murad had eliminated his rivals, had reestablished Ottoman rule over the Turkmen principalities of western Anatolia, and had once again forced Byzantium to pay tribute. He then turned his attention to the Balkans. In 1430, after a five-year struggle, he captured Salonika (modern Thessaloníki), in northern Greece, which had been under Venetian control. At first the Ottoman armies were successful against a Hungarian-Serbian-Karaman alliance; but after 1441, when the alliance expanded to include German, Polish, and Albanian forces, the Ottomans lost Niš and Sofia (1443) and were soundly defeated at Jalowaz (1444). After signing a peace treaty at Edirne (June 12, 1444), Murad abdicated in favour of his 12-year-old son, Mehmed II.

European powers, under the auspices of Pope Eugenius IV, soon broke the truce; and Murad, leading the Ottoman army, inflicted a severe defeat on the Christian forces at the Battle of Varna in November 1444. Under pressure from court notables and faced with external threats, Murad reassumed control of the state in 1446. In 1448 he defeated the Hungarians at the second Battle of Kosovo (October 17).

In Anatolia, Murad pursued a policy of caution because of the westward advance of the Timurid Shah Rokh, who posed as protector of the Turkmen principalities. The Ottomans gained suzerainty over the Turkmen rulers in the Çorum-Amasya region and in western Anatolia, but the principality of Karaman, which through its alliances with the Balkan Christian rulers was a major threat to the Ottomans, was left autonomous.

During Murad’s reign the office of grand vizier (chief minister) came to be dominated by the Çandarlı family. The Janissary corps (elite forces) gained in prominence, and the hereditary Turkish frontier rulers in the Balkans often acted independently of the sultan.

From the National Geographic:

Join a real-time, landmark research project! Learn something about your deep ancestry while contributing to the overall success of the Project.

The Genographic Project is a global research partnership of National Geographic and IBM. With support for field research from the Waitt Family Foundation, Dr. Spencer Wells and a group of the world's leading scientists will attempt to collect and analyze more than 100,000 DNA samples from indigenous people all over the world. The goal of the Genographic Project is to learn about the migratory paths our ancestors took and how humankind populated the planet. Find more detailed information on the Genographic Project, at or just CLICK HERE.

The general public can actually take an active part in this remarkable effort by purchasing a Genographic Project Public Participation Kit and by submitting an anonymous sample of their DNA using an easy and painless cheek swab. By participating, you will not only contribute to this great endeavor, but you may discover something fascinating about your own genetic past as well. Furthermore, the proceeds from the sales of the Kits will be channeled back into the Project to support additional research and to fund education, cultural conservation, and language revitalization efforts for indigenous and traditional communities around the world.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


An old German Shepherd
starts chasing rabbits and before long, discovers that he's lost. Wandering about, he notices a panther heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch.

The old German Shepherd thinks, "Oh, no! I'm in deep doo-doo now!"

Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the panther is about to leap, the old German Shepherd exclaims loudly,

"Boy, that was one delicious panther! I wonder, if there are any more around here?"

Hearing this, the young panther halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him, and he slinks away into the trees.

"Whew!," says the panther, "That was close! That old German Shepherd nearly had me!"

Meanwhile, a squirrel who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the panther. So, off he goes.

The squirrel soon catches up with the panther, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the panther.

The young panther is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here, squirrel, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!"

Now, the old German Shepherd sees the panther coming with the squirrel on his back and thinks, "What am I going to do now?," but instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old German Shepherd says,

"Where's that squirrel? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another panther!"

Moral of this story:

Don't mess with the old dogs! Age and skill will always overcome youth and treachery!

Bullshit and brilliance only come with age and experience.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


What is more perfect than an OREO? NOTHING!

Raise your glass (of milk) and celebrate 100 years of Oreos!

I learned that more females than males take the cookie apart to enjoy!


Click here to see the Oreo Birthday website.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


In re-reading the article "CAVEAT EMPTOR" I thought about how often women--and especially OLD women--are victims of unscrupulous dealers.

In the old days, when buying cars, furniture and appliances, nearly all the sales staffs were male and I would always ask to have a saleswoman, which usually resulted in being told there weren't any saleswomen. I knew that there were plenty of capable women who could sell cars, furniture, and appliances, but those were COMMISSION SALES jobs so men usually had them, while women were assigned to non-commission sales. I was very pleased when I saw that a local car saleswoman was ranked Number One, but unfortunately, it is not a car dealership we would use.

I wouldn't consider making a car purchase without the guidance of my husband or brothers, although I consider myself to be rather wary and would probably not be taken advantage of, but my brothers and husband are just smarter than I am about SOME things! I asked Norman to go with me to choose Gerald's camera, because I am abysmally ignorant about it.

I went to Sears to buy a tool for work and I told the salesman exactly what I wanted and the salesman asked, "Does your husband want metric?"

I said, "My husband doesn't want anything; the tool is for me." He said, "Wow, that's amazing; I haven't met any women who know about tools." I said, "NOW you've met one!"

Monday, March 5, 2012


Today, as some politicians would like to take away the rights of women, it is good to reflect about how far we have come and that we never want to go BACK!

This is the story of OUR grandmothers and mothers who lived only 90 years ago.

Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.

And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of "obstructing sidewalk traffic".

(Lucy Burns)
They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

(Dora Lewis)
They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and she suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the "Night of Terror" on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.

For weeks, the only water for the women came from an open pail. Their food-all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.

(Alice Paul)
When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because - why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?

(Mrs. Pauline Adams in the prison garb she wore while serving a sixty-day sentence.)

Every one of us should rent the HBO movie "Iron Jawed Angels". It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say.

(Miss Edith Ainge, of Jamestown, New York)
All these years later, voter registration is still my passion.

(Berthe Arnold, CSU graduate)
HBO has released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum. I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.

(Conferring over ratification [of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution] at [National Woman's Party] headquarters, Jackson Pl[ace] [Washington, D.C.]. L-R Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Mrs. Abby Scott Baker, Anita Pollitzer, Alice Paul, Florence Boeckel, Mabel Vernon (standing, right))
It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.

The doctor admonished the men: "Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity".

Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know. We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women.

(Helena Hill Weed, Norwalk, Conn. Serving 3 day sentence in D.C. prison for carrying banner, 'Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.')
History is being made.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


I unplugged my cell phone from the charger and everything was OK; a short time later I tried to make a call and the phone was DEAD. I went to my local dealer where I have always gone, and although the time on the door showed they were supposed to be open at 9:30 AM and a neon sign showing "open" was lit, it was then 10:06 AM but the doors were locked. I drove across town to the other dealer.

I told the salesman the problem and he looked at the phone and took it to the rear of the store and returned and said it was dead and I'd have to get a new phone. I asked if I were eligible for an uprade.

He brought up my account and told me that I was not eligible for a new phone until October and that a new phone would cost me $299.00. I said, "That's crazy, I'm not going to pay $300.00 for a phone!" He reminded me that my contract wasn't up until February, 2013. He said, "There's another option; you can add another line for $10.00 more per month and get a new phone." I said, "I don't understand; WHO would have the phone?" He answered that one phone would be a "dummy" phone and wouldn't be used and I could use the new phone. I said, "Well, that sounds like blackmail to me: if I don't want to spend $300 on a new phone, then I can sign up for a phony line and spend $120 a year!" He said those were the options. I said that I knew that I had to complete the contract but I would NEVER renew! I said, "I'll just use my husband's Trac Phone!" and stormed out!

I thought, "That young brat thinks he can take advantage of an OLD woman!" When I went home, I called my brother and he told me that if I had an old phone that still worked, it could be reprogrammed, and I wouldn't have to buy a new one. I said, "That young crook could have told me that!" He laughed and said, "Caveat emptor; he wanted the $300.00!"

I found the old phone and took it with me to the original dealer. I did not tell him about what had occurred at the other dealer. I gave him my current phone and he examined the phone, took it to the rear of the store and returned and said, "It's OK; it must have just had a glitch!" He also checked the old phone and said that if something did happen to the current phone, I could use it.

Then I told him about the other dealer and I said, "I must report this," and he said that he couldn't blame me for doing so.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


I went to Kroger to order a floral arrangement for a funeral. I always send the same arrangement to funerals: a fireside basket with red carnations, baby's breath and greenery. As I have a number of fireside baskets, I usually take a basket for the florist to use as it defrays the cost by $10.00.

As there was nobody in the floral department, I asked the woman in the liquor department if Terry were available and she said that he had gone for the day. Terry, the floral designer, had done beautiful arrangements for me, with his piece de résistance being my Thanksgiving centerpiece: a Waterford cornucopia with cranberries used as the oasis-style medium and completed with lovely fall flowers to match my dining room decor. I asked if she could get someone to help and she paged for help in the floral department. A young man named Jamrin came to help, but told me that he couldn't help but he made several other pages. Finally, he said there was nobody in the store who could help with an arrangement.

I said that obviously I would have to go somewhere else. Jamrin agreed. At that time, Tabitha, who works in the bakery department came by and asked if she could help and I said, "It's a very simple arrangement; I could show you how." She and I went behind the counter. I told Jamrin that I needed 24-30 carnations, greenery, and baby's breath. He returned and said that he had only 4 red carnations in inventory, but brought some baby's breath and greenery. Tabitha pointed to the bunches of flowers for sale in the tubs and she went over and came back with 6 bunches of red carnations. I said, "Now, I need oasis, a container for the oasis, floral tape, and scissors." We found a container and we soaked the oasis in water and taped the container to the basket. I started sticking the flowers into the oasis and I said, "Tabitha, start putting that baby's breath into empty spaces so it will look symmetrical." I commented, "That's pretty greenery; I haven't seen it before." Tabitha said, "It's Italian hibiscus; we use it in the food department, because it's safe to use around food." I said, "Wow, I learned something new." I dispatched Jamrin to get more baby's breath and Tabitha and I kept filling the empty spaces in the arrangement. The arrangement didn't look as good as Terry's would have, but it looked pretty darned good for the work of three amateurs!

I told them I wanted their names as I was going to let the manager know what a great job they did.

There was nobody to deliver the flowers. Jamrin brought back a banana box and I loaded the flowers into the car and delivered them to the funeral home!

Friday, March 2, 2012


My brother Neil and Gerald both worked at International Harvester and both had riders. One evening Neil called to tell Gerald that he was changing shifts and he wanted to know if Gerald would give his rider a ride to work. Gerald said that he would, but he would have to ride in the front seat as Doug always slept in the back seat.

Gerald picked up the guy at his house, amazingly, just one street over from us. Gerald usually left at 5:30 AM. As Gerald was going into South Charleston, the new rider threw his hands on the dash and began saying "NIK, NIK, NIK" in a very loud voice. Of course, it scared Gerald and it woke up Doug. Gerald had not said a word but Doug said, "What the Hell is that?" The guy handed cards to the guys and Gerald stopped the car to read the card and he learned that the man has Tourette's Syndrome.

When Gerald told us about the incident, Les said, "Well, at least he didn't call you a douche bag!"

After I educated myself about Tourette's, I learned that coprolalia (uttering inappropriate words and phrases) among Tourette sufferers is rare.

One day in Bob Evans Restaurant, we were in a booth and in one section over we heard a man "ticing" in a loud voice. [Their utterances are known as tics.] The Manager was going around to tables and apologizing for the situation. When the Manager came to us, I said, "It's obvious the guy has Tourette's; he's not going to hurt anybody; he just has to get the tics out of his system."

They were moving people from the section and I told the Manager, "You can move us over there, because it won't bother us."

We moved to that section and the waitress said, "You're so kind." Gerald said, "No, she isn't; she's just weird!"

Thursday, March 1, 2012


When my brother Bode died, my brother Neil went to a local establishment which sells "monuments" and ordered a tombstone.

My mother and sister-in-law had agreed on what style and engraving they wanted on the tombstone.

They wanted the tombstone to read: "BELOVED HUSBAND, FATHER, SON AND BROTHER".

The salesman gave us a date when the tombstone would be mounted and assured us there was no need for concern. I would be taking my mother to the cemetery before Memorial Day to view the tombstone. The week before Memorial Day I went to the cemetery to see the tombstone, but there was no tombstone on his grave. I called the monument business and the salesman, in a very churlish voice, said, "You must be at the wrong location; we mounted it last week." I replied, "I have been coming to this cemetery since 1957 and I know WHERE my brother's ashes are buried!" He again insisted that I must be in the wrong place. Fortunately, the cemetery caretaker was there. When I appealed to him, he said, "I know where that monument is; I'll show you." We walked to a different section and there indeed was a tombstone with my brother's name on it. I gasped and asked, "Whose grave is this?" The caretaker said that he would have to look in the records. We went to his office and I learned that my brother's tombstone was on the grave of a woman who had died recently.

On the tombstone was engraved: "BELOVED HUSBAND, FATHER, SON, AND BRO". I screamed in disbelief. The caretaker said, "That's why I remembered where it was."

Enraged, I drove back to Washington C.H. to the monument company. The snippy salesman showed me the original order and "BRO" was written on it. The insensitive guy said, "We just did what you ordered and your brother signed the contract." I screamed, "How could anybody not know that wasn't acceptable? Why wouldn't you call to confirm?" He said, "We thought that's what you wanted." I said, "Are you out of your freaking mind? Why in the Hell would we want BRO on the tombstone?" I went to my attorney and I learned that since my brother had "agreed" to it by signing the contract, we had no cause of action.

I went back to the monument company and I said, "I am going to tell everyone I know, and everyone with whom I come in contact about you and how little you care." He sneered and did not reply. I said, "Well, each time I tell someone about you and I know that they have gone somewhere else, I'll call you to let you know you missed another sale, because I'm pretty damned good at boycotting!"