Wednesday, October 31, 2012


A friend told me yesterday, "You're SO ornery!" WHY would she say that?

Perhaps it was because I'd told her that when I go to any store which has books, I put other books in front of the books I detest. For instance, I was so delighted to be able to put Fifty Shades Of Gray in front of Rick Santorum's latest screed! I enjoyed being able to put Caroline Kennedy's book in front of Bill O'Reilly's insipid book about President Kennedy. It's always particularly satisfying to place something MEANINGFUL in front of loathsome books, but when that's not possible, ANY J.K. Rowling book will suffice, as they are always BIG!

Nearly everyone I know complains about political calls. I relish them, especially from candidates whose views are opposite from my beliefs. I keep the callers on the line just as long as I possibly can. Being a person who makes political calls on a daily basis during campaigns, I know how MANY calls I can make in an hour; thus, if I keep the callers on the line, it prevents their making very many calls. My all-time record of keeping a political caller on the line is 42 (FORTY-TWO!) MINUTES. For some inexplicable reason, before the Primary this year, I received a call from the Newt Gingrich campaign. I said that I was very interested in Mr. Gingrich's position on the TENTH AMENDMENT as I'd heard him speak about how he would defend it. Of course, that caller didn't know what the Hell I was talking about; I was handed over to a Supervisor who also didn't know Gingrich's positions. After talking to three operatives, I was told they would send literature to me. Within a few days, I received a letter from Newt thanking me for my support!

Oh, it's just those small things which give me great pleasure!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


As we were watching the third Presidential Debate with a large group of people, a participant stood up and began waving her arms. I noticed the action as she was nearby to me, but I didn't grasp why she was waving her arms. My friend Lana immediately understood that the victim meant she couldn't breathe. Lana began to wrap her arms around the victim to try to perform the Heimlich Maneuver although she did not do the thrusts against the back. I could tell she was having difficulty wrapping her arms around the victim and I said, "I'm putting you over the back of this chair." Another person started hitting her around the shoulder blades. I said, "Don't do that; that doesn't work!" That person was offended and said, "Well, it helped me when I was choking." I said, "You're supposed to place the palm of your hand here," and as I gestured, I administered the back thrusts and the woman began to breathe.

After the ordeal, the victim was sitting, trembling, and we learned that she had NOT been choking on food; she was gagging and couldn't breathe. She didn't know why she started gagging, but she has many allergies to scents and odors and there were a great number of people in the room as well as aromas from the food, and that might have caused her gagging. When I know I am going to be in contact with her, I do not wear perfume, but others are not aware of her sensitivity.

As we were sitting there, she said, "I don't know why I'm shaking," and I answered, "Because you just had the shit scared out of you!"

She answered, "I'm glad someone knew what to do." I said, "I'm glad Lana recognized what was wrong; I thought you were dancing!"

When I went home, I told Les about the episode and he said, "Well, some of those lies in the Debate probably made her gag!"

CLICK HERE to read the article: How To Perform The Heimlich Maneuver In 6 Different Situations.

Monday, October 29, 2012


The heat at my client's house is cranked up to a tropical level. He's cold, covered with several blankets, and I'm hot!

I had put away my summer clothes in tubs and Les stacked the tubs in a spare closet; I now have my closet filled with autumn items. I told Les that I needed to get out some summer tops as I wanted to wear something cotton and short-sleeved because I was perspiring yesterday.

He said, "Aw, come on now, you're old enough to SWEAT!"

Sunday, October 28, 2012


On Monday, October 29, 2012, we will be honored to be in the presence of true heroes--four survivors of the March 7, 1965, March from Selma to Montgomery--which is known as "BLOODY SUNDAY"! That date in history is indelibly etched on my brain. Those people risked their lives on the Edmund Pettus Bridge to guarantee our right to vote. Nobody understands voter suppression better than these people. The survivors who will be visiting us all live in California but are traveling throughout the country to increase awareness of the shameful and craven attempt of voter intimidation and suppression by several organizations.

After the struggle of the Civil Rights Movement, it is unbelievable that in my own lifetime that I would see the emergence of a group of people who cannot tolerate the thought of having a President who is bi-racial and will try "every means necessary" to ensure his defeat. Since spending billions of dollars hasn't worked and they cannot defeat the President honestly, they are now planning to employ the tactics of voter intimidation. If the Tea Baggers and others of their ilk try to intimidate voters from executing their Constitutional RIGHT to vote, there will be others ready to confront those enemies of FREEDOM!

Let us--once again--vote as if our lives depend on it!

Please come to meet these genuine heroes:

WHEN: MONDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2012, 7:30 PM

CLICK HERE to read: The Selma to Montgomery March: The Struggle for Voting Rights

Saturday, October 27, 2012


My client has a grape arbor and I was looking forward to making grape jelly from the grapes. However, morning glories and three enormous poke plants overcame the grape vines and there were very few grapes produced this year. I told him, "I'm going to destroy those poke plants so they won't be there next year." He asked, "You mean they come back?" I said, "Yes, they're a damned weed, so of course, they come back."

At our house, we have just one poke plant and it is enough for us to have "Poke Salad" once a year! Every year I pick a "mess" of greens in honor of my mother who was a great greens-picker! We always combined poke with dandelions, shepherd's sprouts, lamb's quarter, watercress, mustard, plantain, sorrel, and a "little bit of burdock". Poke is a poisonous plant and Mother always warned that the greens had to be washed three times and the water discarded after each washing! As a kid, I liked to PICK, but not to CLEAN. I think watercress is the prettiest plant and love to see it growing.

It is interesting that "poke salad" is not a salad at all, but cooked greens! The correct name is "POKE SALLET" (see the URBAN Dictionary article below. I think the Urban Dictionary is wrong, because we always said "Poke Salad" (not "Polk" or "Sallet") and I know for certain that Tony Joe White's masterpiece is Polk Salad Annie; but the Urban Dictionary Editor was probably just being clever with using Polk Sallet Annie! I had never heard of "sallet" until reading the article, but in talking to a friend who is from the South, she said they always say "sallet" but it's not pronounced in the "French" way!

poke sallet:

The term poke sallet is an old Southern term for the cooked young leaves of the poke weed. Sallet comes from Middle English and refers to a mess (another Old or Middle English term) of greens cooked until tender. The term Polk Salad is a gentrified way of referring to poke sallet, and I'm afraid it reflects our inferiority complex when it comes to standing up for our Southern terminology. We are not making a mush of Polk Salad; actually, we are being true to our English ancestors who settled here a long time ago.

Some folks around here always add a little molasses and fatback to the water when they cook their poke sallet. That's the traditional way.

Don't you just love Tony Joe White's song Polk Sallet Annie?

Friday, October 26, 2012


I have people say things which tickle me; they are usually not enough for an entire article, but are sometimes priceless to me.

Today, my client said, "I can't believe I got to be almost ninety years old and had never heard of LINGUINE!"

He now loves Linguine with Alfredo sauce; it just goes to show that we don't have to become "old and get set in our ways".

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


My friend Lori says that APHORISMS from another BLOG article is her all-time favorite posting.

Here are more:

It's not whether you win or lose,
but how you place the blame.

We have enough "youth".
How about a fountain of "smart"?

The original point and click interface
was a Smith & Wesson.

A Fool and his money
can throw one heck of a party.

When blondes have more fun, do they know it?


Don't Drink and Drive
You might hit a bump and spill something.

If at first you don't succeed
skydiving is not for you.

We are born naked, wet and hungry.
Then things get worse.

Ninety-nine percent of all lawyers
give the rest a bad name.

Xerox and Wurlitzer will merge
to produce reproductive organs.

Alabama state motto:
At least we're not Mississippi.


The latest survey shows that
three out of four people make
up 75% of the population.

"You know why a banana is like a politician?"
"He comes in and first he is green,
then he turns yellow
and then he's rotten."

The reason Politicians try so
hard to get re-elected is that they
would hate to have to make a living
under the laws they've passed.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I asked my nephew why my brother didn't REALLY retire; after all, he receives an Army pension, a pension from International Truck and Engine, and Social Security, and yet he still works full-time. My nephew said, "Retirement--half as much income--TWICE AS MUCH WIFE!"

Monday, October 22, 2012


George McGovern, the United States senator who won the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 1972 as an opponent of the war in Vietnam and a champion of liberal causes, and who was then trounced by President Richard M. Nixon in the general election, died Sunday in Sioux Falls, S.D. He was 90.

His death was announced by his family in a statement. He had been moved to hospice care in recent days after being treated for several health problems in the last year.

To the liberal Democratic faithful, Mr. McGovern remained a standard-bearer well into his old age, writing and lecturing even as his name was routinely invoked by conservatives as synonymous with what they considered the failures of liberal politics.

He never retreated from those ideals, insisting on a strong, “progressive” federal government to protect the vulnerable and expand economic opportunity while asserting that history would prove him correct in his opposing not only what he called “the tragically mistaken American war in Vietnam” but also the American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Below is an article from Morris Dees, Co-Founder of the Southern Poverty law Center. It says everything--and better than I can--that I feel about my hero George McGovern.

October 21, 2012

Dear Friend of the Center,

It's a sad day for our country. I just learned that my great friend George McGovern has died at the age of 90.

Senator McGovern was a true American hero.

As a pilot during World War II, he helped liberate Europe from the Nazis – once saving the lives of his crew by safely landing his damaged bomber.

But that was just the beginning of his heroism.

George McGovern and Morris Dees during McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign. After being elected to the U.S. Senate in the 1960s, he took a strong but highly unpopular stand against the Vietnam War. If only our leaders had listened.

His anti-war activism was just one facet of his political career.

The man I knew was a fierce and unwavering champion of society's most vulnerable – a kind, compassionate and principled man who believed deeply in justice and devoted his life to creating a level playing field for all. A child of the Great Depression, he fought poverty and hunger, both at home and abroad, with a rare vigor.

I first met Senator McGovern as he was preparing for his 1972 presidential campaign. It was also shortly before Joe Levin and I launched the Southern Poverty Law Center, and we were right in the middle of a lawsuit that would desegregate the all-white Alabama Legislature.

Because of my admiration for Senator McGovern – and because he shared the same values as you and me – I was proud to serve as his finance chairman when he ran for president. He lost to Nixon, as we all know. But looking back, I think a great many Americans would agree that the country got it wrong that year.

I saw Senator McGovern many times in recent years, and he visited my home in Montgomery, Alabama, on a number of occasions. He was a powerful advocate for the work of the Southern Poverty Law Center, believing passionately in our fight for justice and tolerance.

We owe him our gratitude for everything he did for America. I'll miss him.

But we can draw inspiration from his life and what he stood for. Thank you for standing with us. Senator McGovern would be proud.

Morris Dees
Founder, Southern Poverty Law Center

Sunday, October 21, 2012


My friend Patty's younger brother went to school with Don Gummer, but, growing up in Indianapolis, the now renowned artist and sculptor was called Donnie Gummer!

I called Patty to ask her if she'd seen "Donnie Gummer's little girl" in the new television show. Don's daughter Mamie Gummer is the star of her own series Emily Owens, M.D. I was struck by the fact that Mamie looks very much like her mother's side of the family and not Donnie's side. I could see gestures and mannerisms reminiscent of her mother.

You might be wondering how I know so much about Mamie's mother. Perhaps it's because her mother is my favorite actress and you might have heard of her also, as she is probably more famous than her husband, who is Mamie's father.

In Indianapolis, Mamie is Donnie Gummer's little girl and not just MERYL STREEP'S daughter.

CLICK HERE to read the article: Gee, She Looks Familiar - about Mamie Gummer.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Remember when Jackie Gleason (as Ralph Kramden) would say to Audrey Meadows (as Alice Kramden), "One of these days, POW, right to the moon, Alice!", gesturing as if he were going to hit her, and she would answer, "Right in the kisser!"?

Why did we think an expression of domestic violence was funny? Precisely because everyone could share his exasperation and we also knew he would NEVER do it!

Whenever I cause Gerald or Les to become exasperated with me, Les will show the Ralph Kramden "POW!" gesture and say, "A LUNAR EXCUSION, Alice!"

Friday, October 19, 2012


Only women of a certain era will fully appreciate this true story.
(if you don't understand this, tell your mother; she'll get it)

A Michigan woman and her family were vacationing in a small New England town where Paul Newman and his family often visited.

One Sunday morning, the woman got up early to take a long walk. After a brisk five-mile hike, she decided to treat herself to a double-dip chocolate ice cream cone.

She hopped in the car, drove to the center of the village and went straight to the combination bakery/ice cream parlor.

There was only one other patron in the store: Paul Newman, sitting at the counter having a doughnut and coffee.

The woman's heart skipped a beat as her eyes made contact with those famous baby-blue eyes.

The actor nodded graciously and the star-struck woman smiled demurely.

Pull yourself together! She chided herself, "You're a happily married woman with three children, you're forty-five years old, not a teenager!"

The clerk filled her order and she took the double-dip chocolate ice cream cone in one hand and her change in the other. Then she went out the door, avoiding even a glance in Paul Newman's direction.

When she reached her car, she realized that she had a handful of change but her other hand was empty. "Where's my ice cream cone? Did I leave it in the store?" Back into the shop she went, expecting to see the cone still in the clerk's hand or in a holder on the counter or something. No ice cream cone was in sight.

With that, she happened to look over at Paul Newman. His face broke into his familiar, warm, friendly grin and he said to the woman, "You put it in your purse."

Thursday, October 18, 2012


What is Celibacy?

Celibacy can be a choice in life or a condition imposed by circumstances.

While attending a Marriage Weekend, Frank and his wife Ann, listened to the instructor declare, "It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other."

He then addressed the men:

"Can you name and describe your wife's favorite flower?"

Frank leaned over, touched Ann's arm gently and whispered, "Gold Medal-All-Purpose, isn't it?"

And thus began Frank's life of celibacy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


So many people to hate, so little time.

If there's an apostrophe HELL this has to be it. If you see that fellow with his banner, ask him, "Why do you love the apostrophe so much? Repent and believe in grammar."

But don't let that banner push you away from apostrophes either. There are places where an apostrophe has its place.

Finally, rest assured there's no Hell, grammar or otherwise. You don't need to pay for the overuse of apostrophes in another life. Overall, the universe's apostrophe store stays in balance. It seems our linguistic world was intelligently designed; for every gratuitous apostrophe there's an instance where it's omitted.

My thank's to the reader who sent me that mans photo.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Today's urban DICTIONARY gave me a chuckle as I recalled an incident from my family!

One summer evening, years ago, Gerald and I were dressed to go out for the evening and Carol and my brother dropped by for a visit. I was wearing a dress exhibiting decolletage. Carol rushed over to me and, in an exaggerated motion, acted as if she were trying to bring the dress together over my breasts. She said, "Ooooh, you need to cover up." She was wearing shorts. I said, "Carol, I'll make a deal with you; I won't say anything about your ass hanging out of your shorts if you don't say anything about my boobs hanging out!"

October 14: booty hangers

A pair of short shorts that when you wear them your "booty" hangs out of the bottom.
Girl 1: "Wow! Lydia's booty is coming out of the bottom of her shorts!"
Girl 2: "Yeah, she always wears booty hangers."

Monday, October 15, 2012


My brother Duke is a very talented woodworker and I have been the recipient of a great number of his beautiful creations. Of all of the items, my friends were all envious of my sink board which covers my sink to add extra space when we are serving a buffet. I use his rolling pin and cutting board quite often. His candle holders grace our dining room table.

However, the jewelry box he created for me is my favorite; it reminds me of Eero Saarinen designs: modern, functional, yet beautiful. (CLICK HERE to see article about Eero Saarinen)

Today Duke brought a present for me (for no occasion, he just "made" it) and I exclaimed, "I need those!" Gerald asked, "What are they?" I said, "They're bookends."

Duke said, "NO, they're napkin holders." Then I noticed that the two sections were connected by a leather piece. They weren't big enough to hold books (unless it were some very tiny volumes!).

They will certainly grace our Thanksgiving tables.

The wood he used is poplar and the napkin holders have a high, glossy finish with cherry stain to match my dining room. Les asked, "Is that pernambuco wood?" That is our ongoing family joke: pernambuco wood is very scarce and Duke and I want to see pernambuco wood some day! The wood is used primarily to make violin bows (CLICK HERE to see accompanying article).

Les said, "You can call it FAUX PERNAMBUCO!"

Sunday, October 14, 2012


October 9 was the last day to be able to register to vote.

Yesterday was a joyful day:

A man brought in his mother's voter registration form. He told me that his mother had never voted in her life. She was born in 1928. CONGRATULATIONS, Frances!

Later, a mother brought in her daughter to register her to vote. It was her daughter's birthday and she's 18 years old. CONGRATULATIONS, Amy!

This is what makes it all worthwhile!

Saturday, October 13, 2012


These are from a book named Disorder In The American Courts and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and published by court reporters who had the torment of staying calm while the exchanges were taking place.

ATTORNEY: "What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?"
WITNESS: He said, "Where am I, Cathy?"
ATTORNEY: "And why did that upset you?"
WITNESS: "My name is Susan!"
ATTORNEY: "What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?"
WITNESS: "Gucci sweats and Reeboks."
ATTORNEY: "Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: "No, I just lie there."
ATTORNEY: "What is your date of birth?"
WITNESS: "July 18th."
ATTORNEY: "What year?"
WITNESS: "Every year."
ATTORNEY: "How old is your son, the one living with you?"
WITNESS: "Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which."
ATTORNEY: "How long has he lived with you?"
WITNESS: "Forty-five years."
ATTORNEY: "This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?"
ATTORNEY: "And in what ways does it affect your memory?"
WITNESS: "I forget.".
ATTORNEY: "You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?"
ATTORNEY: "Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?"
WITNESS: "Did you actually pass the bar exam?"
ATTORNEY: "The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?"
WITNESS: "He's 20, much like your IQ."
ATTORNEY: "Were you present when your picture was taken?"
WITNESS: "Are you shitting me?"
ATTORNEY: "So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?"
ATTORNEY: "And what were you doing at that time?"
WITNESS: "Getting laid."
ATTORNEY: "She had three children, right?"
ATTORNEY: "How many were boys?"
WITNESS: "None."
ATTORNEY: "Were there any girls?"
WITNESS: "Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?"
ATTORNEY: "How was your first marriage terminated?"
WITNESS: "By death."
ATTORNEY: "And by whose death was it terminated?"
WITNESS: "Take a guess."
ATTORNEY: "Can you describe the individual?"
WITNESS: "He was about medium height and had a beard."
ATTORNEY: "Was this a male or a female?"
WITNESS: "Unless the circus was in town, I'm going with male."
ATTORNEY: "Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?"
WITNESS: "No, this is how I dress when I go to work."
ATTORNEY: "Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?"
WITNESS: "All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight."
ATTORNEY: "ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?"
WITNESS: "Oral."
ATTORNEY: "Do you recall the time that you examined the body?"
WITNESS: "The autopsy started around 8:30 PM."
ATTORNEY: "And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?"
WITNESS: "If not, he was by the time I finished."
ATTORNEY: "Are you qualified to give a urine sample?"
WITNESS: "Are you qualified to ask that question?"
And last:

ATTORNEY: "Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?"
ATTORNEY: "Did you check for blood pressure?"
ATTORNEY: "Did you check for breathing?"
ATTORNEY: "So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?"
ATTORNEY: "How can you be so sure, Doctor?"
WITNESS: "Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar."
ATTORNEY: "I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?"
WITNESS: "Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and
practicing law."

Friday, October 12, 2012


Recently, I have noticed people using the word FAIL as a noun and an interjection, both on television and in person. Les asked, "Is it a NERB or a VOUN?"

Yesterday, a young acquaintance said, "That's a fail." I didn't feel as if I knew her well enough to ask, "WTH?"; besides, we were with a group of other people and I felt it would be declasse of me to inquire about her usage.

I particularly like the accompanying article from Slate, (CLICK HERE to read) because of the title Goodbye, schadenfreude; hello fail, because I, along with a number of my friends, LOVE the word schadenfreude. (CLICK HERE to see my BLOG article SCHADENFREUDE)

Also, enjoy the article from The New York Times. CLICK HERE to read it.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I've written several articles about words that make me sound old. Here are new ones:

HUBBY for husband (I have never heard anyone my age or younger use this)

ICE BOX for refrigerator (a friend who is two years younger, just said it tonight)

Add those to the ongoing list:

RECKON (as in "I reckon")
PIKE (instead of "route")

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I have written before about my husband's EXACTITUDE!

Here is a typical argument between my husband and me:

We were riding in the car tonight and and I looked at the moon and I said, "The moon's 3/4."

He glanced out the window and said, "It's more like 2/3."

I responded, testily, "You can't just give me THAT?"

He said, "Well maybe 7/12!"

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Everyone who knows me agrees that I have the best husband in the world, but there is ONE problem: he can't stand for me to be DUMB. It doesn't bother me if I'm dumb about some things. My mother always said, "We're all smart in different ways." (or was it "We're all dumb in different ways."?)

For example, he corrects me every time I ask him to "tape" something on television. (He KNOWS what I mean!) He will reply, "You mean record?" When I ask him to "print" something, he will ask "You mean copy?" (HE KNOWS what I mean!)

What is it with this exactitude?

The horn on my car sounds like a dying frog CROAKING. The horn must have been this way since the accident when the hood of my car flew up and hit my windshield but I didn't notice the "croaking" until several days after the car had been repaired. When we have the chance, we're going to take it to be repaired, but in the meantime, it doesn't bother me since I don't use my horn very much.

Yesterday, I was sitting in the parking lot of the bank. I had taken the key from the ignition, ready to alight from the car. Suddenly the horn started croaking; I saw a red light flashing on my dash and the oil light came on; I put the key back in the ignition and turned on the car, but the "croaking" continued.

I called Gerald on my cell phone. Gerald said, quietly, "Get out of the car." I thought, "Oh, Hell, the car's going to explode." I got out of the car and Gerald said, "Put the key in the door and turn it." I did that. The noise stopped. It was only THEN that I realized that I must have turned on the car alarm system when I cradled the keys in my hand and accidentally pressed the red button! If I had been outside the car, I would have known what was happening, because I would have seen the lights flashing and if the horn had had its usual sound, I would have known that the alarm system had been activated, because it's happened numerous times.

Couldn't Gerald have just said, "Turn off the car alarm" instead of THAT routine?

Then I was furious with myself! I thought, "Here I am, this fiercely independent woman--a feminist--for crying out loud, and I immediately acted like a poor little damsel in distress!"

Monday, October 8, 2012


While eating at a downtown restaurant, my luncheon companion picked up the check. I insisted on leaving the tip. When the waiter came I handed him the tip and he said, "You didn't have to do that!"

Shocked, I said, "Yes, I did!"

He said, "You must be from out of town."

When he returned with the change for my companion, I said, "In all my years of eating in restaurants, I have never heard a waiter or waitress say I didn't have to do that."

He told me that he was just so surprised, because he isn't used to getting a generous tip.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Tuesday, October 9, 2012 is the last day for voter registration in Ohio.

If you know anyone who is not registered to vote or anyone who has moved or had a name change, please tell them to go to:

Fayette County Board Of Elections
135 South Main Street
Washington Court House, OH 43160

8:00 AM--4:00 PM


Fayette County Democratic Headquarters
153 South Main Street Suite # 1 (use the East Street entrance)
Washington Court House, OH 43160

Hours: 12:00 PM--9:00 PM

Saturday, October 6, 2012


My client nicknamed a neighbor's granddaughter "Catbird" the first time he saw her in the hospital after she was born. Her real name is Ahliza Mary Jane Johnson! Today, Ahliza was visiting and I asked if she'd ever seen a catbird. She said that she hadn't even seen a picture of a catbird; I showed her numerous pictures of catbirds on Google, including ones with cat faces morphed into the bodies of birds. Ahliza, who is nine years old, said she'd like to have a catbird picture on her screen saver. I told her she could write about catbirds for school or do a show-and-tell.

Later, Ahliza was demonstrating some cheerleading moves and I said, "Well, you're in the catbird seat now!" Of course, I wasn't surprised that the little girl had never heard the saying, but I assumed that my client, who is 89 years old, would know it. My client had never heard the saying, although Ahliza's grandfather knew the phrase. Perhaps it's because the grandfather and I are close in age!

I told Ahliza, "Being a catbird means you're above everyone!" (See the accompanying article regarding the origin of the phrase.)

I knew James Thurber's short story The Catbird Seat as I have The Thurber Carnival (which contains the short story), and I had read it years ago, but I was delighted to be able to re-read it on the internet.

In researching about catbirds, I was pleased to learn that the term "sitting pretty" also came about because of catbirds, because they ARE sitting pretty high in the trees! It was also very interesting to hear the sounds made by catbirds (there are several examples on You Tube) because that's how they were named catbirds because of the unique "mewing" sounds made by catbirds.

CLICK HERE to read the origin of the phrase, In The Catbird Seat.

Friday, October 5, 2012


I've told you about the neighbors across the street who spell out "HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS" at Christmastime, in their chain link fence using STYROFOAM CUPS. After Gerald put out all of our yard signs with a huge Obama-Biden in the middle, this appeared the following day!

Thursday, October 4, 2012



A nostalgic musical clip, with vignettes of so many scenes of clowns I remember from the first time around that I got misty-eyed, but happy, to see them again.

The musical accompaniment by Frank Sinatra is especially poignant and the piece is beautifully recapped at the end by Orson Welles.

Be sure to wait for "the clowns" while Sinatra sings.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Last year I read The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates. I had seen the author Wes Moore interviewed on C-Span's Book Notes. Moore had been a Rhodes Scholar, decorated war veteran, White House Fellow, and is a businessman. The author had seen an article in a local newspaper about another person named Wes Moore and as they had come from the same city and were contemporaneous; he wondered what they might have in common other than their shared name. The OTHER Wes Moore was a convicted murderer serving a life sentence. The author made contact with the other Wes Moore and the result is the book which is a fascinating study.

One of my nephews always asks what interesting books I've recently read. When I told him about The Other Wes Moore, he asked, "Do you know how many Sue Shirkeys are on Facebook?" I said that I had never thought about looking. My nephew said that I should get in contact with the OTHER Sue Shirkeys to see if we had anything in common.

Including myself, there are ten Sue Shirkeys currently on Facebook. I sent messages to the other Sue Shirkeys listed.

I received responses from five other Sue Shirkeys. Only three are REAL Sue Shirkeys, as the others married Shirkeys. All respondents are within five years of my age.

I wrote a BLOG article (7 SUES) about seven Sues in my first grade class and how six of us had to be called by our first name at school instead of our middle name, although we were all called Sue at home. Sue was a very popular middle name in my generation. Thus, I wasn't surprised that several of the Sue Shirkeys with whom I made contact were called Sue and it was also their middle names.

Here are the Facebook Sue Shirkeys:

Sue Shirkey-Knudstrup
Sue Shirkey-Banonis
Sue Shirkey
Sue Kowalczyk-Shirkey
Linda Sue Shirkey
Karen Sue Shirkey
Sue Shirkey (married to Michael J. Shirkey)
Sue Bunker-Shirkey
Shannon Sue Lauber Shirkey

Although our names are interesting, unfortunately, all of us Sues are rather uninteresting!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


As we Silver Surfers know, sometimes we have trouble with our computers.

I had a problem yesterday, so I called Eric, the 11 year old next door, whose bedroom looks like Mission Control and I asked him to come over to help.

Eric clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem.

As he was walking away, I called after him, "So, what was wrong?" He replied, "It was an ID ten T error."

I didn't want to appear stupid, but nonetheless inquired, "An, ID ten T error? What's that? In case I need to fix it again."

Eric grinned and answered, "Haven't you ever heard of an ID ten T error before?" "No," I replied.

"I'll write it down, and I think you'll figure it out", he answered.

So, he wrote down:


I used to like Eric, the little shit head.

Monday, October 1, 2012


This is my 1,000th posting for Sue's News.

The reason I started the blog is because my nephew asked me to relate some "family stories" to tell his children because the grandparents were deceased. After I began the BLOG, another person asked me to write a column for an internet newspaper; I continued with Sue's News; that lasted for a short period. Another friend published some of my material on his website.

Having my articles be available on Google has been a blessing and a curse; I have had a two-year battle with a man who absolutely detests a group of which I'm a member and although I have written only twice about the organization, the man has left numerous negative comments which I deleted; I now ignore them.

On the positive side, because of my article about Richie Havens, his brother, Donald Havens, from Brooklyn, is now a reader and a friend. He saw the article on Google.

Just recently, I had a comment from Eric about an article I wrote in 2010 about his brother Kevin; the article was about an incident in 1973! He saw the article on Google. (CLICK HERE to see article HITCHHIKERS)

I get lots of comments--and corrections--from family members!

A friend asked, "WHERE do you get all your ideas?" Another friend, whenever we speak on the phone, always asks, "What did you learn NEW today?", because I've always said that I learn something new every day! That's my answer to the first friend--I learn something new every day--so I have something to write about every day!

Now, what the Hell am I going to write about for tomorrow?