Tuesday, December 31, 2013


A friend of ours inherited hundreds of old postage stamps from his mother; he uses them on everything he mails to us. On this year's Christmas card (see envelope picture) he used:

2 five-cent stamps honoring President Kennedy
2 five-cent stamps honoring American music
2 five-cent stamps honoring the fine arts
2 five-cent stamps emblazoned with "Search For Peace"
1 six-cent Leif Erikson commemorative stamp

I love them and all are especially meaningful to me, but now I face a moral dilemma: the stamps are not cancelled. What should I do? Peel them off? Use them again? A MORAL DILEMMA!

I don't collect stamps as a philatelist would, but I have a sizable collection, as I love stamps which are significant to me; I don't want to "keep" them; I like to use them when I send items to people I know who will also appreciate them. For example, I still have 29-cent Elvis stamps which I reserve for fellow fanatics; I use Mark Twain stamps to correspond with a fellow devotee, and I use snowman stamps for Christmas cards for my friends I know who love snowmen! Last week I prepared a package to send to my friend Patty and it had the following stamps attached:


I took my box of additional stamps with me in case I needed to add more postage.

When I went to the post office the clerk asked, in a loud voice, "Do you want to send this the cheapest way possible?" I didn't like being asked that, and I replied, quietly, "What are my options?" She began rattling off a list of items such as bottles and explosives which could not be mailed, and she also mentioned books. I said, "Yes, there's a book inside." She said, "Then you have to go medium." I didn't know what that meant, but I asked, "So, if I lied and said I didn't have a book, then I could mail it less EXPENSIVELY?" I could tell she did not appreciate my sarcasm. I wanted the $50.00 insurance for the package and she told me the amount of the additional cost and as she started to stamp the additional postage, I raised my hand--and my voice--and said, "NO, I have the stamps here; how many more will it take?" She told me that it would require 7 additional stamps; I stood there going through my numerous stamps, deciding which ones to apply which Patty might enjoy and I did not hand them to the clerk but applied each one by myself.

I hope Patty's stamps are not cancelled and that she will use them again! WHY would that clerk even presume to think I would want to send a package "the cheapest way possible"? Yes, I'm laughing at myself!

Monday, December 30, 2013


Mona Lisa sent me the article (see here) "25 PARTY APPETIZERS THAT SHOULD BE BANNED FOR LIFE.

Her accompanying note read: "For the undisputed Queen of hors d'ooeuvres who not only knows how to spell them, pronounce them, and cook them, and also knows the difference between them and canapés!" I read that the literal translation for hors d'oeuvre is "out of work"; all I have to say is that your appetizers look like a lot of work. Here's hoping for some rumaki at your next get-together!

Sunday, December 29, 2013


Mona Lisa wrote to tell me that I suffer from ADJECTIVITUS. CLICK HERE to see the article by Richard Nordquist.

I do admit I love a good adjective! My brother chastised my overuse of the word "egregious" and I answered, "But it is so succinct!"

Saturday, December 28, 2013


At a birthday party today, I was sitting with a male friend and as some of the people were leaving, one of the men said, "Aren't you glad you were able to see me?"

I was taking a drink at that moment and I did a spit-take; I asked my male companion, "Do you know that there are things that ONLY men say?"

He asked what I meant and I mentioned what had just been said and I continued, "Here's another: what can I do you for; no woman would say that!"

He asked, "What are some other examples?"

I said, "Only men say are you working hard or hardly working and ever since Christ was a Corporal."

My companion laughed in recognition of the quotes. I said, "But my favorite is when men are in stores and they see a male acquaintance they will ask are you going to pay for mine too?"

"When you say "Hi.", men will answer, "Not for a long time."

I told him that I'd written a BLOG article entitled THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN (see here) and that I'd mentioned that men seem to have a problem with small talk.

I swear I have never heard a woman use any of these conversational gambits!

Friday, December 27, 2013


My Facebook Friend Hazel Lee posted the following: "Does anyone remember when men would remove their hats when entering a room or building? Remember when men would tip their hats when seeing a woman on the street?"

I answered that my husband STILL removes his hat or cap when entering rooms or buildings. He's lost a couple of hats in the years we've been together.

I said that the reason that one doesn't hear the word "doff" any more is because men don't doff their hats because most men don't wear hats, and can one doff a baseball cap?

When Gerald and I went to The Alamo, we were milling about before the presentation. I asked several men to remove their caps. Each one of them acted offended and asked why. I said, "Don't you know that you're in a CHURCH?" I was greeted by several "hunhs"! When the docent came in to relate the story of The Alamo, he told the men to remove their hats. I felt vindicated.

One time, my nephew was to meet me for lunch at Bob Evans. When he sat down I said, "Take off your cap." Dumfounded, he asked why and I said, "Because you're supposed to!" An older woman--at least I think she was older than yours truly--leaned over to our table and said, "Thank you, honey!"

I was at the home of my sister-in-law for Christmas Eve and the boyfriend of her granddaughter was there to meet the family for the first time. All during the time he wore a ridiculous, chartreuse-colored, patterned, ski cap. When I suggested that he remove it to eat dinner, he refused, saying his head was cold!

This past week, I was at a nursing home to attend a wedding (yes, a wedding!)and several men were sitting there wearing baseball caps. I said, "Please remove your caps, gentlemen, we're going to have a wedding!" Only one did!

WTH is wrong with men? I know it's not JUST young men as those guys were all OLD!

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Les said, "I just saw the most adorable thing."

Number one, for my brother to use the word "adorable" was enough to pique my interest, and Number two, I was prepared for some fun-poking! I asked, "Is it poignant or moving?" Knowing that those words often come up in his descriptions of the sometimes-sappy things I enjoy (CLICK HERE to see BLOG article JOIE DE VIVRE), I expected a snappy retort.

But no, he was serious! I asked what could possibly have affected him and he asked, "Have you seen the video with the little girl signing Christmas carols to her deaf parents?"

Gerald oftentimes says that I am as "sensitive as an old brown shoe". Les said, "And tell your equally-callous friend that she would have to have a heart of stone not to be touched by this!"

OK, I admit this is touching, moving, and poignant!


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


I went to pick up an order at our local deli. There are always religious quotes on a white board they have displayed. I always think to myself, "I wonder why they waste their time hand-printing these Biblical quotes rather than posting specials?" I wonder who they think they are going to convert; believers already believe and non-believers don't believe. They do a good job with what I want; I just ignore the proselytizing!

Today as I paid, the young clerk said, "Merry Christmas". I didn't respond and as I was putting away my wallet, a man behind me piped up and said, "I'm just glad you didn't say Happy Holidays." Knowing that his little "lecture" was meant for my benefit, I answered, "Perhaps you don't know the derivation of the word holiday; it actually means HOLY DAY, so people saying Happy Holidays are quite observant also!"

As I left the store I said, loudly, "SEASONS GREETINGS!"

How dare people to try to enforce their so-called "beliefs" on others!

Monday, December 23, 2013


I went to visit a friend at his nursing home and as I was leaving, there were car loads of people exiting their vehicles and heading to the building. I asked, "Are you carolers?" and when they answered that they were, I asked if I could join them. The group was comprised of old, middle-aged, and young people, including one man carrying a baby! I asked how many were in the group and the leader told me 27. I asked, "Is this your whole congregation?" and one of the women laughed and answered, "Just about!"

Their group is from a church in Sabina and one of the women told me that her brother is a patient at the nursing home and this was their fifth caroling session that day!

The pastor asked if I knew my way around the facility. I said, "Please come to sing for my friend Charles." We sang as we walked down the hallway and when we got to Charles' room, one of the songs to be sung was Joy To The World. One of the women started to hand me a sheet with the lyrics on there. I said, "Oh, I know all four verses!" She said, "We only have two."

When it was time to sing the third verse, only MY voice rang out:

"No more let sin and sorrow grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground
He comes to make his message known
Far as the curse is found

All joined in for the chorus!

I would have gladly sung the fourth verse but the group was easing out of the room.

After we'd finished caroling throughout the facility, one of the women asked me to take a picture of the group; I said that I would try but I am not a good picture-taker!

I told one of the women that I write a daily BLOG and that I am always on the look-out for "an adventure" and this would be my next article! I said that I wanted a copy of the picture to use with the article. I went to speak to the woman with the camera and I gave her one of my business cards with the e-mail address on it and I, in turn, asked for her e-mail address. When she wrote down "Patty Wheeler" I exclaimed, "You sell Gold Canyon candles!" She asked, "How do you know that?" I exclaimed, "I'm Sue Raypole; you and I have been playing Facebook tag for a month!" Patty wanted to attend different craft shows and we kept e-mailing each other, but had never met!

The pastor asked me to join them for dinner at Frisch's. Of course, I was not going to let them pay for my dinner but they insisted; when I offered him money as a donation to the church, he said to give it to the waitress! I said, "I already left that poor girl a generous tip!"

I just sent a check in a Christmas card.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


The A Kidnapped Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum is a rather dark tale which is ironically set in Laughing Valley where Santa resides with elves, fairies, pixies, knooks, and ryls. Also living there in caves, are daemons, and they kidnap Santa because they want to prevent him from making toys which will make children happy. Of course their plot doesn't turn out the way they intended.

CLICK HERE for a link.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


The Burglar's Christmas was first published under the pseudonym Elizabeth Seymour when Cather was 23 years old. This story of love and redemption is a re-telling of the Prodigal Son parable.

CLICK HERE to read the story.

Friday, December 20, 2013


One of my brothers told me NOT to post my favorite Christmas carols AGAIN on the BLOG this year. He said, "It's bad enough that we have to listen to your singing carols from the day after Thanksgiving until after Christmas!"

Instead, I'll be sharing some of my other favorite Christmas stories. You all know The Gift Of The Magi, A Visit From Saint Nicholas, A Christmas Carol, and the Little Match Girl, but there are lesser-known stories which I treasure. For example, I adore Mark Twain's A Letter From Santa Claus.

Twain began by writing to his beloved daughter as if he were Santa: "My dear Susie Clemens..." and he continues in that vein with a letter which is charming and imaginative and filled with good will for others in need and instructing Susie how she should receive her gifts and Twain ends by writing: "Your loving Santa Claus whom people sometimes call The Man In The Moon."

CLICK HERE to see it.

The picture of Samuel Clemens as Santa is wonderful!

Thursday, December 19, 2013


I love Christmas music and when I attended a cantata recently I heard a song I had not known previously. The name of the song is No Room At The Inn.

The rendition was a solo performed by a young woman with a beautiful voice. She gave a slow, soulful, bluesy presentation. It was if she were channeling Nancy Wilson or some other jazz singer. I was surprised because I was in a Pentecostal church!

After the performance I went to meet the singer to compliment her performance and to learn about the song. She told me that she had been singing it for years and that she knew that a great number of singers had recorded it.

I wish I had her version to share. The one that I found on YouTube from The Staple Singers is nice but misses the passion of the amateur singer.

Looking at the lyrics online and listening to the song from several different singers (including Mahalia Jackson and Anne Murray), I realize that the singer ad-libbed the closing line because I recall that she ended by singing a question:

"When Jesus comes, will you say there's no room?"

Wednesday, December 18, 2013



1. You accidentally enter your PIN in the microwave.

2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to yours.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with family and friends is that they don't have e-mail or Facebook addresses.

6. You pull up in your driveway and use your cell phone to call someone inside to help with the groceries.

7. Every commercial on television has a website listed at the bottom of the screen.

8. When you leave the house without your cell phone, (which you never had for the first 20/30/40 years of your life), it is now cause for panic, and you turn back around to go get it.

10. You get up in the morning and go on-line before you've had your coffee.

11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. :)

12. You're reading this, and nodding and laughing.

13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you're going to forward the message.

14. You are too busy to notice that there's no Number 9 above.

15. You actually scrolled up to see.

16. Now you're laughing at yourself. Blessed are they that laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to amuse!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"OH" or "0"?

Les always makes fun of me when he hears me giving my telephone number to anyone because I say "5-OH-5-6 ZERO x-x" for 505-60xx (x for privacy issues). I don't know why I say the "OH" and then automatically follow with the "ZERO"! When I give my home telephone number, I always say "ZERO" but there's only ONE "0" in that number!

CLICK HERE to see the Grammarphobia article "The Many Ways To Say Nothing". OH, I guess I'm not the only ONE!

Monday, December 16, 2013


See the link and take the test. It asserts that 91% is excellent!

My friend Ken Cole wrote that he had 100% correct answers. I replied that I also had 100% but I had to quibble that it should show "DO YOU HAVE..." rather than "HAVE YOU GOT...". I am also told that I am "picky"!

CLICK HERE to take the test.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Mona Lisa sent this article from THE WISE GEEK with a note:

"Does anyone read poetry? I challenge everyone I know to name a current poet; of course, you are exempt as I know YOU would know a contemporary poetess, but I don't know anyone else who would. How will 'new' clichés begin if people don't read? Then why are you the only one I know who quotes poetry, Quote Girl? Just some questions. But I was SOOO proud of myself--on Jeopardy! last night--for knowing that CHRISTINA ROSETTI was the sister of Dante Gabriel! Knowing you has been my liberal education. Oops, shall I attribute that to Shaw? Oh, Hell, I must look it up!

[Note: Mona Lisa is known for her stream-of-consciousness writing and lack of paragraphs.]


Studies show the statements that rhyme are more likely to be perceived as
being true and accurate.

Statements that include rhyming words are more likely to be perceived as being true, research shows. In one study, two versions of aphorisms, or concise statements presenting general opinions or ideas, were presented to participants — one version that rhymed and another version that substituted a non-rhyming word that had the same meaning. Aphorisms containing words that rhyme, such as “birds of a feather flock together” were rated by participants as being more truthful than those that did not. Researchers believe this could be because the brain has an easier time processing rhymes, and people might mistake this ease as indicating truthfulness.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


I only want to sit on the aisle whether it is on an airplane, in a theater, or any other event, because I don't want to be the ONE putting my FRONT or REAR in the faces of others! (See the URBAN DICTIONARY item below). The Urban Dictionary writer seems to think BACK-FIRST is preferable, but I think both are equally distasteful. If I am forced to be anywhere in a place in other than a seat on the aisle I will STAND to avoid the back or front of others.

Ziggy, the husband of my husband's grand-niece Aron, prefers the front-side from women because he enjoys a little frottage! (CLICK HERE to see BLOG article "ZIGGY".)


When someone walks in front of you getting to their seats at a sports event and they choose to go facing you. If you are still sitting down then it will be their crotch to your face. This is considered poor practice and should be replaced by their backside in your face.

I was at the game last night and these guys walked past us to get to their seats and they went by crotch-first. It was so gross.

Friday, December 13, 2013


My grand-niece published this cartoon on Facebook; I answered with this comment:

I named my turkey "Tom", my fudge "Candy" and my darling little citrus fruit "Clementine". No, I couldn't help the pun! Please, please, I hope some of her Facebook friends "get" it!

Thursday, December 12, 2013


My brother has lectured me about my overuse of exclamation points in my writing! I told him that one of my New Year's resolutions would be to guard against it! [Yes, of course I realize that I just wrote two sentences and ended each with an exclamation point!] I'll try next year!

The URBAN DICTIONARY has a word for the problem: BANGORRHEA. See below.


1) Overusing exclamation points in a vain and failing attempt to make your writing sound more exciting. Trying to put more "bang" in your prose, but looking instead like you have exclamation point diarrhea.

"Checking in with a bad case of 'bangorrhea' -- the official grammedical term for exclamation-point overdose -- is Kanye West. In a single blog post, West used 188 exclamation points. At least we think it was 188. We tried counting and the ordeal made our eyeballs twitch." --Martha Brockenbrough, MSN Encarta columnist

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


I was reminiscing about how great our school lunches were--I know that kids today find that unbelievable--but we did have good lunches.

Mrs. Elliott (Jackie Elliott's mom) and Mrs. Houseman did the cooking every day during my 12 years at Bloomingburg School. The only thing they did not cook well was navy beans--we called them "bullets"--because they were hard. Mother said that they didn't have time to cook them until they were "done"!

I can recall sitting in study hall and the potato washing machine made a a rumbling noise. I am now amazed that those two women were able to cook all that food in the time allotted to them.

Staples such as beef stew on biscuits, and cream dried beef over toast (shit on the shingle, folks!) were delicious and I still make those dishes. Fridays were meatless because of the Catholic kids but the peanut butter sandwiches and tomato soup were good! To this day I still serve cottage cheese with peaches just the way it was presented in those little dessert dishes!

As a grown-up I called Nina Elliott to ask her how they fixed the pineapple slices with the lime Jell-O; here's the secret: remove all the juice from a can of pineapple; pour lime Jell-O into the can and refrigerate until set. Push the pineapple and Jell-O from the can and slice! Put a dollop of mayonnaise on top! I said, "So you did that with all the cans of pineapple; enough to serve the whole school?" She merely laughed and said that it was an easy dessert to prepare!

One day I asked Les, "Remember Perfection Salad? We had it all the time at school." He said he did not remember it. A survey of the other brothers resulted in one saying "Yuck!" and the other having no recollection. I said, "I think I'll make it." I went online to get the recipe and I made it. It is absolutely disgusting! See the picture and the recipe.

Perhaps my memory of school lunches is fallible!

Perfection Salad


1 cup boiling water
1 (3 ounce) package lemon Jell-O gelatin
2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold water
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely shredded cabbage
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
2 tablespoons chopped pimiento

Pour boiling water over jello in bowl.
Stir until jello is disolved.
Stir in vinegar, veggies, salt, and cold water.
Pour into mold, chill until firm.
Serve unmolded on chilled plate, topped with a generous dollop of mayonnaise (family tradition of the last 30 years or so demands that you use Best Foods mayo brand - *never* Miracle Whip).
If preferred, use 1/2 cup celery and 1 cup grated carrot.
You can use sugar-free jello for a diabetic/lowcarb version of Perfection Salad. Sometimes lemon jello is difficult to find - we've sometimes used lime instead.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Today I've been singing, "Oh, the weather outside is frightful..." and I just wanted to complete my errands, return home, build a fire in the fireplace, have some hot chocolate, and watch a movie!

On Elm Street, hardly a block from home, I was following behind a Jeep. Suddenly the Jeep went off the street, hit a puddle of water, and splashed the water all over the vehicle. I assumed it was a kid in the Jeep, and Hell, I've done that myself; I was merely amused as I wasn't following closely and didn't get splashed. Suddenly the driver slammed on the brakes. Then I thought it might be an erratic drunk driver. I looked in my rear view mirror and as there were no cars behind me I was considering backing up in a driveway, turning around, and getting away from that car but my intuition told me there might be a problem.

I pulled up beside the Jeep and the driver looked over--it was not a kid--and I mouthed the words, "Are you okay?" He rolled down his window and I rolled down mine. He said, "I think I just dozed off." I said, "Pull over, take a nap; there is nothing so important for you to risk your life." He pulled the Jeep off the street and I pulled behind him. I got out of my car and went to his car and I told him to get out and walk around. I then bored him with stories of my travails of driving to Marysville and I would stop in London, get out of the car, get a Coke, and then go home and also driving to Columbus and stopping at Harrisburg. I told him that I'd even taken naps; I said, "Your nap won't last long; you'll wake up from the cold!"

When I got home Les said, "It's a wonder you didn't put him back to sleep with your stories!"

CLICK HERE to read an article about the lack of sleep and vehicle accidents.

Monday, December 9, 2013


I am dismayed by people who give unusual names to their children. One of my friends said, "I just gave it the President's test--how does President TIFFANY sound? If it doesn't sound presidential, don't name them that!" That was good advice before President Obama!

Recently a grand niece of my husband named her child "ETHEN" rather than using the standard spelling of "ETHAN". I reminded her that her own sister has struggled with her name being spelled "STEPHENIE" rather than "STEPHANIE"! Until I gave Steph a bracelet with "Stephenie" on it, she said she'd never seen her name spelled "right"!

In selling charms, it is a sure-fire sale if I can guarantee a name will be spelled "right" ("Yes, Kaytelyn, I can get it spelled correctly!", I said just last week.) My biggest selling point is that I can have ANY name inscribed on a charm. I call them the "names du jour". My supplier and I have an ongoing competition (CLICK HERE to see BLOG article: NEVAEH)

This month I have had five spellings of the same name: Kallie, Calleigh, Kalli, Calli, and Callie! It's the name du mois! (I can't help myself: mois is French for month!)

Over the years, I have read numerous articles which tell the problems of having unusual names! Today "THE WISE GEEK" published the following:

People who have uncommon names tend to be happier.
A person’s name might affect his or her happiness, because people who have rare names report higher levels of happiness than those with more common names, research shows. Researchers believe this could be the result of humans’ subconscious desire to be considered unique from others.
Research also reveals that people who have common names are likely to rate their names as being more rare than they actually are, a psychology term referred to as the false uniqueness effect.

I doubt this assertion. I notice that no "research" information is cited. CLICK HERE to see an article which dispels that notion.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


I am usually impatient if I have to wait; if we go to a restaurant and there's a long waiting line, I tell Gerald, "Let's go somewhere else, the food isn't good enough to wait!" I recall that the last time I waited in line was to see The Exorcist!

Waiting is tolerable if I have "interesting" people to view! Today I was in the waiting room at our hospital and there was a splendid panoply of people and their outfits for me to enjoy! It's difficult to believe how some people go out in public. (CLICK HERE to check the "Walmartians" or Google for more!)

The first person who came in was a petite woman who was obviously dressed for the weather. She was wearing gray sweat pants which were tucked into rather stylish black boots. She was wearing a black suede jacket, black suede gloves accompanied with a green hat and matching scarf; she was carrying a small, black Coach purse. Since she was so "matchy-matchy" (that's a derisive term from the Fashion Police), and coordinated, I thought she might be of my generation, but I must admit I am totally incompetent at guessing age. I judged her to be in her 60s because of her shuffling gait when she walked in (but that might have been from the boots), and she looked like, as my brothers would say, "she was rode hard and put up wet"! She had rough skin and deep wrinkles, but I could see dark hair visible from under her hat. After our opening conversation gambit about the weather, she asked why I was there and then I asked her the same and she told me her daughter was there. As we were talking, I noticed that she still had her natural teeth; I thought that she might be younger than I had originally thought. I asked her daughter's age, but I was floored when she said, "18; she'll be 19 in January." I began adding and subtracting in my head and I thought, "If she were 18 when she was born, that would make her 36; 18 plus 25 would make her only 43; 18 plus 35 would make her 53; well, she's probably in her 50s." NO, I didn't have the crassness to ask her age!

When her name was called, she got up and I saw that PINK was appliqued on the rear of the sweat pants! That might be appropriate for a thirteen-year-old, but not for someone who has an 18-year-old daughter! How disappointing to see that from a "woman of a certain age"! When I told Les he said, "At least it didn't have JUICY!"

I thought, "I wonder if these people are assessing me?" I was wearing brown shoes, brown slacks, white blouse, and a camel-colored jacket. My overcoat was taupe and my gloves were brown.

I looked down at my Burberry purse and thought, "That looks very springish; I should have used a dark brown purse."

As I was contemplating my possible fashion faux pas, a woman walked in wearing a parka with a fur-lined hood, Crocs, and SHORTS!

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Granny would always say that she'd "been out among 'em", when she'd been out socializing, meaning that she'd come in contact with different kinds of people.

Selling at craft shows each weekend for the past month, I've been "out among 'em", meeting greatly diverse shoppers and fellow vendors.

It's time for a new collection of CRINGE--FAYETTE COUNTY TALK:

JEWLERY rather than jewelry
BIDNESS rather than business
WADN'T rather than wasn't
SOSE rather than so as
NOTHER rather than other
ACROSSED rather than across
REOCCUR rather than recur
AKS rather than ask
SNUCK rather than sneaked
HEIGHTH rather than height
CANNIDATE rather than candidate
SUPPOSABLY rather than supposedly
DOGGY-DOG WORLD rather than dog-eat-dog world
UPMOST rather than utmost
EXCAPE rather than escape
HEIGHTH rather than HEIGHT
PROBLY rather than probably

And, of course, the Fayette County constant:

IDEAL rather than idea

And this one, especially for my friend Patty, who thinks I am picayune about FORTE:

FORTE: it is pronounced FORT unless speaking of music. I wouldn't have mentioned it but it was said by an OSU graduate who said, "That's my FOR-TAY!" in response to a person inquiring about a product. In a short conversation, the OSU connection was mentioned TWICE! No, Patty, I didn't correct the very proud OSU alumna as I was hopeful of selling OSU charms!

Friday, December 6, 2013


I attended a Kiwanis Club presentation about Senior Scams. Ryan Lippe of the Ohio Attorney General's Consumer Protection Agency gave a very informative presentation.

During the question-and-answer period I told that just a few days before the meeting I received a very impressive packet; inside there was no letter, just a check for $2,150. Of course, I knew it was some kind of scam. The return address was from "SWISS CHAVELAS" in Scott, Missouri. I Googled that address and learned that the address was actually the number of the Scott County Ambulance Business Office. The person there was very interested and she gave me the number of the County Sheriff's office. The Sheriff Department's individual took down all of my information and told me that she was going to report it to the Missouri Attorney General.

Then I called the telephone number from the check; it was an answering machine with a demonstrably foreign accent. I left a message. Next I Googled the business name and learned that the "business" is owned by Larry Cohen and has 1 employee and the revenues last year were $50,000. The phone number from that site was different than the number on the check. I called that number and the voice of "Larry Cohen" was on that answering machine. I asked for him to call me.

I called our local Sheriff's office and the person showed no interest in taking any information and told me to call the Attorney General. The number I was given by the local Sheriff's Department was for the wrong department; I went online and found the correct number to call. I was instructed to mail all of the items and what I'd learned.

Of course, I never heard from the first number nor the second number I'd called; however, I received a call from the Missouri Attorney General's personnel, which impressed me a great deal.

Of course, I recognized it as the scam. Other "elderly" people might fall for them.

Our local newspaper, the Record-Herald, featured an article with my comments and a photograph! (See the article of November 27, 2013, front page.)

I had a client who sent out at least 5 sweepstakes entries weekly. He actually believed the sweepstakes offers he received were legitimate and he donated money to nearly all of them. He had been giving $10.00 a month to one organization. I went online and showed him that only 1% of the revenues went to any cancer-related organization. On one offer in particular he showed me a letter "guaranteeing" a win. I said, "Read the fine print; it says IF your name is chosen", but the proof did not phase him; he was certain he would win and kept donating; I told him I would bet him $1,000 that he would NOT receive the check. (Boy, I would have been sorry for that one IF he had won!)

He even kept submitting entries in his late wife's name, and told me that his attorney had told him that he could receive the winnings. I told him, "That would be only for ones she submitted before she died." He sincerely believed that he could continue entering in his wife's name and receive the money!

I went online and showed him that the only legitimate one he was donating to was St. Jude's; all the others were just money pits for unscrupulous con men. One organization had 5 different scams in its organization: one was for Kids With Cancer and four other cancer-related "sweepstakes"! My client was donating to all of them. When I showed him that the CEO was being paid nearly a million dollars, and that the donations had been only 3 million; and that 98% of the funds were for "overhead". As a former businessman, the client finally realized it was a massive scam. He did quit that one but there are at least 10 others to take its place.

He obviously has money to burn. I calculated that he spends more than $200 per year in postage and more than $2,000 in donations to the sweepstakes scams.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


In my years of caregiving, I found a great number of "generational differences". Some of the most contentious dialogues I've had with older people are about the use of sponges, mainly in the kitchen. One time I threw away a kitchen sponge and the client was furious with me; I bought another but it went unused by me! When I said they weren't "sponge-worthy", I found it difficult to explain the reference from Seinfeld from the character Elaine! (see YouTube segment below)

Recently, I was helping a nephew set up in his apartment. Another family member (just a year older than I) had kindly brought many cleaning supplies, among which were sponges. I told my nephew to use them only once and stated that they were the "dirtiest household item". The other family member took exception and said that she'd used them "all her life". My exclamation of "EEWWWW" was not greeted warmly. She said that they can be put in the dishwasher and I countered with the argument that the water didn't get hot enough to kill the bacteria. She said that they could be put in the microwave or boiled. Another "EEWWW" was my counter-argument.

See the lengthy BLOG article here from "The Parsimonious Princess": The Dirty Truth: Get Rid Of Your Kitchen Sponge.

Also see the article below from THE WISE GEEK:

The dirtiest household item is often a kitchen sponge, with more than 75% of all sponges containing potential fecal bacteria, research has shown. Kitchen sponges have been found to be more than 200,000 times dirtier than toilet seats. The average kitchen sponge is thought to contain more than 10 million bacteria per square inch (6.45 square cm), which is typically the result of its moisture levels and small crevices that allow germs to breed. The risk of spreading germs with a kitchen sponge can be reduced by microwaving it to kill bacteria.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Several of my readers have requested that my BLOG be sent daily to their e-mails.

If you would like to receive my BLOG in your email, go to the right side of my BLOG to the new item called "Follow by Email" and enter your email address. A confirmation block will appear with a captcha; complete the information and a confirmation will be sent to your email. You must click on the confirmation to activate the service.

I hope you like the new option and share my articles with others.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Did you ever have one of those days, weeks, etc., when everything seems to go wrong? Hey, it's Thanksgiving--count your blessings--right?

Thanksgiving Day; 1:00 PM; time to put Tom in the oven. Flashing light F9 came on the stove. I have had the stove 20 years with nary a complaint. Fortunately, we have a "manual/warranty drawer"; Les checked it out and the instruction was to turn off the power for a short period then return to the power. Les shut off the breaker and after checking several times, the elements in the oven stayed on, glowing fiery red!

I called my brother with the plaintive cry, "Houston, we have a problem," and told him that Gerald could take the turkey, noodles and potatoes to him to cook. I sent detailed instructions regarding the turkey and noodles, but with the potatoes I only sent a large pan, 2 sticks of butter, and a potato masher, with no instructions.

My niece called and said, "I've NEVER mashed potatoes except from a box!" After I gave her some "comforting" words ("WHAT? You've NEVER...? Surely your dad knows how to mash potatoes!") I gave instructions. Les got out 2 Nesco roasters and we fixed the stuffing, sweet potatoes, and corn casserole in those. Oh, NO! What about the rolls? That's my brother's favorite thing. I put away the yeast and went to the store! The only thing resembling a dinner roll were BOLILLOS and croissants ! I grabbed a couple packages and headed back home. Les wrapped them in foil and put them in a Crock Pot to warm.

So, the turkey was delicious, the noodles were the best ever, and Tracey's mashed potatoes were great!


I called the 800 number for Sears repair and I guess my asking the guy, "How's the weather in Mumbai today?" was not a good opening gambit. After a few minutes, he said that there would be a repairman at our house the next day--Black Friday--between the hours of 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

After waiting all day, I told Les, "I'm going to double check at 3:00." When I called, I didn't get my Mumbai native, but another representative said it would be DECEMBER 20th for the repairman. I didn't "screak"--I SCREAMED--"This is patently ridiculous!" (Yes, I actually said "patently"!) The representative said she would continue checking.

While she was checking, Gerald came downstairs and said that he'd received an e-mail showing that it would be December 30 (yes, December thirtieth!) for the repairman to come!

I hung up the phone and called the local Sears store and I was given the name of a local guy; he came in thirty minutes and although he had to order a part, he switched off the oven which allows us to use the burners and microwave and when he receives the part he'll repair the oven!

I called to cancel the appointment with the 800-number people, and I was actually asked WHY I was cancelling the appointment!

Les says the moral of this story is not to piss off a guy from Mumbai!

Monday, December 2, 2013


See the article below from The Wise Geek which asks the question "Is clothing for women getting bigger?" Also, CLICK HERE to read my blog "I Don't Take A Good Picture."

My wedding gown is marked "size 10". It was from Lazarus and it was expensive even though it came from the sale rack. It is satin with Alencon lace with empire waist, covered buttons, petticoat and a cathedral train. Recently, I took my gown from storage for a "size 4" person to try on as she was interested in borrowing it for her wedding (she was interested in a "retro" wedding!) I assumed it would need to be "taken in", but alas. it is TOO SMALL for her! I know that I was NOT as small as this person but our builds are totally different; I've always had large ta-tas (as evidenced from my wedding picture) and the girl is practically flat-chested, but the dress is too small in the waist and bodice for her. The peau de soie shoes I wore on my wedding day are clearly marked "size 6" and although I can still get my feet into them, they are very cramped, but today, I must get size 7 1/2 and sometimes 8; of course, depending on the brand and cost!

I've known for a long time that expensive clothes are made bigger than less costly clothes of the same size. I suspect that it is Psychology 101-- that women who can afford expensive clothes want to have smaller "sizes" to make them feel better-- and designers accommodate that!

In the back of my closet I have "meaningful and celebratory clothes"; e.g.: the outfit I wore on my first date with Gerald; the sweater from my high school graduation picture; my dress from a high-school banquet before the prom, as I didn't go to the prom; my first Pendleton jacket; my first cashmere sweater; an outfit I wore at IH; an outfit I wore at Rockwell; and clothes I wore in other pictures. I don't know why I keep them because I'm pretty sure I'll never--or probably want to--wear them again! Some of them are egregious "fashion faux pas"! I don't think I want to examine very closely WHY I've kept them or I might become very sad!

When my sister-in-law Carol came to the United States from Korea in 1968, she was a "size 4"; I remember taking her shopping and it was almost impossible to find clothes for her in the "grown-up" section rather than the kids' section. I imagine that size 4 of yesteryear would be size "00" today!


Women's clothing is significantly wider at the waist than clothes marked
the same size were during the 1970s.

Women’s clothing has gotten bigger, with labeled sizes now having larger
measurements. For example, in 2012, size 14 women's trousers in the United
Kingdom measured about 4 inches (10.16 cm) larger at the waist than the
same size did during the 1970s.

This practice, referred to as "vanitysizing" or "size inflation," also has occurred
in the US. Dresses labeled a size 0 in 2006 were found to be roughly equivalent
to a size 8 from the 1950s. Brands that make the physical measurements of
women’s clothing bigger but keep the label size the same have been more likely
to increase self-esteem in customers, making them more likely to purchase from
that brand.

I believe the moral of this article is: VANITY, THY NAME IS WOMAN!

Sunday, December 1, 2013


I have a couple of people in my life who are always mysterious and make me "dig" for information. It's not that I even care about the information they are imparting; it's just the fact that both have to "beat around the bush", before "revealing" what they obviously wanted me to know in the first place.

A friend tells me I am "blunt"; I prefer the word "direct"! That friend tells me that the mysterious ones "obviously enjoy drama". My husband says I am accustomed to quick wit and "verbal shorthand" and repartee of family and friends. I told him, "No, I just want people to answer the damned questions I ask and not who shot John and forty-eleven other things!" He says I sound like Judge Judy!

I can't understand it when people can't get to the point! Why do they belabor? Yesterday, I asked a simple question, "What is she going to do with them?" Finally, after a long-winded ad nauseam preface which included how she knew the person, who the person was related to whom she knew, where the person lived, all of which had nothing to do with my simple inquiry, I finally screaked, "What the Hell is she going to do with them?" Only then did I have the answer which contained seven words, which is all that I really wanted to know!

Recently, one was bragging about being "out west". I believe that in a normal conversation, one would ask why the other person was "out west", but when I did that, I was greeted with a furtive response which just irritated me. I asked, "Do you think you're Austin Powers, The International Man Of Mystery? I think the sarcasm was lost on him! Why tell me about being somewhere if he didn't want me to know "the rest of the story"? Should adults be forced to play "20 Questions"?

Why do they make me "pry" for information? Why do they feel compelled to shroud everything in mystery? Today one of the two said mysteriously that she couldn't meet with me because she had to be somewhere else. WHERE? I didn't care; I didn't take the bait this time. I've decided that will be my tack in the future; I'll just ignore the drama!

If they don't want me to know, why broach the subject in the first place?

Saturday, November 30, 2013


I highly recommend Whoopi Goldberg's new documentary about Jackie, Moms Mabley, which is currently showing on HBO. I can recall seeing Moms perform on the Merv Griffin Show and with Ed Sullivan in the 1960s. One of the most touching moments was when she sang her version of My Way when she sang "What is a woman, what has she got, if not herself, then she has not, to say the way she truly feels, and not the word of one who kneels" and she ended the song by singing, "Yes, it was Mom's way!"

Moms, born in 1894 and died in 1975, was a star of "The Chitlin Circuit" which was the African-American Vaudeville circuit where black performers appeared. She eventually made it to the Apollo Theater where it is reported that she earned $10,000 weekly and by the 1960s she appeared at Carnegie Hall. Moms was a lesbian who dressed in mens clothing offstage. In the Black Renaissance of Harlem in the 1920s, Moms was friends with Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston until a disagreement with Hughes made her choose the side of Hurston and then later she split with Hurston in the 1950s over political differences: Moms was supporting Progressive Democrats and Hurston was for Robert Taft!

In 1969 Moms was the oldest performer in history to have a Top 40 hit record with her version of Abraham, Martin, And John. Listen here for her moving rendition:

Friday, November 29, 2013


Bob Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone was chosen as the greatest rock and roll song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. I, along with nearly every critic surveyed, agree with this assessment, and although I agree it is the greatest song, Just Like A Woman, performed by Richie Havens--not by Mr. Zimmerman--is my personal favorite Dylan song.

The video was crafted by a 27-year-old Israeli Vania Heymann and it is phenomenal! It is thrilling that this song, after forty-eight years, is still unbelievably powerful and speaks to all generations.

You can see an example below from YouTube.

But go to:


and you can see the song lip-synched by numerous people and you can flick back and forth from person to person. It is a channel-surfer's dream come true!

As I would have said in 1965: "COOL!"

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


For the first time since 1888, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah will converge, marking the first joint celebration of the two holidays aptly named Thanksgivukkah.

This year Thanksgiving Day will mark the first day of Hanukkah – the eight-day festival that celebrates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, when Jews revolted against their Greek-Syrian oppressors called the Maccabean Revolt. Since Hanukkah starts on Wednesday at sundown, the second candle will be lit on Turkey Day.

The “once-in-a-lifetime” holiday is being marked by Jews across America by decorating their homes with turkey menorahs known as menurkies and dreidels decorated with birds known as turkels to commemorate the special event.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


I was behind a woman in a store tonight and a child and a man I assumed to be her mate were standing at the side of her shopping cart. I could not get around them, but I was waiting patiently for them to move. The man noticed me and said, gruffly, to the woman, "MOVE, so she can get around." The woman turned around and said, "You could have said excuse me, Bitch!" I was so shocked I was speechless for a moment. I then asked, very calmly, "Why would you speak that way to another human being? I was waiting patiently for you to move." She yelled, "PATIENT HELL, F***K YOU!" I clapped my hands over my ears in mock outrage and said, "Oooh, oooh, how can you talk that way in front of this child? You have no class!" Of course, my making fun of her by covering my ears and criticizing her at the same time, only exacerbated the situation! She started toward me --and I did not move--and she said, "I'll show you some class!" The man grabbed hold of her arm and pulled her away. I could tell that she was surprised that I didn't move; obviously she has gotten away with bullying previously!

I said, "Just because you were irritated with this man, you shouldn't talk that way in front of a child!" I could tell she was furious by my lecturing her about her lack of parental skills and exposing her true motive! The little girl was hanging her head. The woman twisted around and gave me "the finger"! I said, "Oh, that's amazing that you can use your digits! Are you teaching THAT to the child also?" She then smacked her buttocks and I said, "Oh, that poor child; is this the kind of behavior you want her to EMULATE?" The man continued forcing her to move on down the aisle. I continued with my shopping but did not encounter them again.

I was nearly finished shopping when the child came back around to where I was and picked up some bread and I said, "I'm so sorry for you, little girl, that you have a mother like that."

When I left I noticed the three of them were in the middle of the store.

When I went home I told the story to Les and he chided me for speaking to the little girl. He said, "It wasn't her fault; until then, you had the HIGH GROUND!" I agree that I should not have spoken to the little girl, but I'm not QUITE as bad as that woman!

What would you have done with somebody calling you a bitch?

Monday, November 25, 2013


My friend Patty--a Hoosier--sent INTERESTING FACTS YOU MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN ABOUT INDIANA. I wrote back to ask her how anyone from Indiana could leave out THE HICK FROM FRENCH LICK as even I know Larry Bird is from French Lick!

Les asked, "How about R. Dean Taylor?" The one-hit wonder from him is Indiana Wants Me.

I was thrilled to learn a new word: CRINOID. See below.


Tomato juice was first served at a French Lick, Indiana, hotel in 1925.

The first tomato juice factory was also in French Lick, IN.

The world's largest orchid species collection is found at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

The first regulated speed limit (20 - 25 mph!) was initiated on Indiana roads in 1921.

The steepest railroad grade in the world is in Madison, Indiana.

An average of 400 funnel clouds are sighted each year in Indiana.

The city of Gary, Indiana, was built on fill brought from the bottom of Lake Michigan through suction pipes (that explains a lot).

There are only two Adams fireplaces in the United States. One is in the White House and the other in the Diner Home in Indiana.

Josie Orr, wife of former Indiana Governor Robert Orr, flew bombers and cargo planes during World War II.

The Indianapolis Methodist Hospital is the largest Hospital in the Midwest.

One of the first complete bathrooms in Indianapolis was in the home of Hoosier poet, James Whitcomb Riley.

The career of Dorothy Lamour (famous for the Bing Crosby-Bob Hope Road Movies) was launched in Indianapolis.

Aviatrix Amelia Earhart was once a Professor at Purdue University.

Crown Hill Cemetery (Indianapolis) is the largest cemetery in the U.S.

The library in Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana, houses one of the largest genealogy libraries in America.

Wabash, Indiana, was the first electrified city in the U.S.

Pendleton, Indiana, was the site of the first hanging of a white man for killing Indians.

The Courthouse roof in Greensburg, Indiana, has a tree growing from it.

The world's first transistor radio was made in Indianapolis.

Clark Gable and wife Carole Lombard (born in Fort Wayne, IN ) honeymooned at Lake Barbee near Warsaw, Indiana.

The American Beauty Rose was developed at Richmond, Indiana.

Elkhart, Indiana, is the band instrument capitol of the World.

Frank Sinatra first sang with the Tommy Dorsey band at the Lyric Theater in Indianapolis.

Purdue Alumnus, Earl Butz, served as the Secretary of Agriculture (there are lots of jokes about that).

U.S. 231 is the longest highway in Indiana (231 miles).

Johnny Appleseed is buried at Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The singing McGuire Sisters spent their childhood summers at the Church of God Campground in Anderson, Indiana.

The main station of the Underground Railroad was in Fountain County, Indiana.

There are 154 acres of sculpture gardens and trails at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

La Porte County is the only county in America having 2 functioning courthouses.

Nancy Hanks Lincoln is buried in Posey County, Indiana.

Crawfordsville, Indiana (Montgomery County), is the only site in the world where crinoids are found. (What is a crinoid, you ask? A form of deep-water marine life that looks something like a starfish.)

Pendleton, Indiana, was the site of the Fall Creek Massacre. A museum housing 3500 artifacts of pioneer heritage now exists on that site.

St. Meinrad Archabbey is located in Spencer County and is one of only 2 archabbeys in the U.S. and seven in the world (Abbey Press is an operation of the archabbey).

A buzz bomb (German - WW II), believed to be the only one on public display in the nation, can be found on the Putnam County Courthouse lawn in Greencastle, Indiana.

Roberta Turpin Willett was born in Indiana.

James Dean was born and is buried in Indiana.

The world's tallest woman, Sandy Allen, lived in Indiana.

Red Skelton was born in Vincennes, Indiana, and was a proud Hoosier until the day he died!

Mae West and Claude Akins were from Bedford, Indiana.

The inventor of the television, Philo T. Farnsworth, lived in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Forrest Tucker was from Pendleton, Indiana.

You can't ship wine to Indiana. (So how does it get there?)

Bob Greise is from Evansville, Indiana, and was quarterback at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN.

Toni Tenille (of The Captain and Tenille) is from Indiana.

Oprah Winfrey built her residence in N/W Indiana.

Florence Henderson is from Indiana.

The much sought-after Hoosier Cabinets are an Indiana product.

90% of the world's popcorn is grown in Indiana.

The Jackson Five are from Gary, Indiana.

The birthplace of the automobile, the pneumatic rubber tire, the aluminum casting process, stainless steel and the first push-button car radio was in Kokomo, Indiana.

Frank Borman, NASA astronaut, born in Gary, Indiana.

Pretty neat, huh? And you thought there was only corn in Indiana! Don't forget, breaded tenderloin sandwiches are seldom found anyplace else!


Sunday, November 24, 2013


I find it fascinating what people buy at auctions--not the dealers--but people in general. A friend was determined to acquire a family memento and after a bidding battle, she won the bid. I said that the other bidders might be collateral family members and as she's been tracing her family history, I told her that she should ask them if they were relatives. I think she was too peeved because she felt they "ran up the bid", and I said, "I'll go ask them; they might be your cousins!" The other bidders said they weren't members of that family. When I told my friend they weren't relatives, she asked, "Why were they bidding then?" I told her I didn't have the nerve to ask THAT!

My brother told me that it was almost irresistible NOT to run up the bid when one's been outbid. I asked, "Is that a testosterone thing? Isn't it crazy? You might get stuck with stuff you don't want!" He said, "Yeah, but you just have to show them; you just CAN'T let them have it!" WTH!

A woman sitting beside me said she was going to bid on old feed sacks. When I asked her what she did with them she said she made purses from them. She quit bidding at $10.00. She said she couldn't make any money if she went any higher. I said, "You'd have to be like Vera Bradley; if you were like me and had them as clothes when you were a kid, you wouldn't want a purse!" Another woman paid $35.00 apiece for the five feed sacks which were imprinted with a feed company's name from Greenfield, Ohio. I was touched when I learned that the feed sacks came from her family's business and she was going to give one to each of her siblings. The woman beside me sighed and said, "Then I'm glad she got them!"

A man sitting beside me told me that his passion was books about science. I asked, "What's your greatest acquisition?" He told me that he'd been at an auction at Case Western Reserve University and he'd acquired a document from The Manhattan Project at Los Alamos. I squealed with delight, "Did it have Oppenheimer's signature?" He immediately knew he'd found another aficionado but told me it didn't have Oppenheimer's but it did have Teller's signature. I rattled off other names: Fermi, General Groves, Niels Bohr, and Szilard, but he said it was from Teller's section and his name was the only one he really recognized.

I was interested in several items, but fortunately, I have good sales resistance. I have been to few auctions, and as I do not know how to bid, I always depend on whomever I'm with to bid for me. On one item, I said to my friend, "I'll bid $10.00." When the bid went to $12.50, she asked, "Don't you want to bid higher?" I told her no. When the winning bid was $15.00, she said, "You could've had that for $15.00!" I said, "But I wanted it for $10.00--it isn't worth $15.00 to me!"

At the auction, I had an interesting encounter in the women's restroom. There are two stalls in the restroom and four women were waiting in line and during a conversation between two of the women, a third woman asked one of them, "Who are you?" I was the fourth person there, and although I was not a part of that conversation, I naturally interjected, "I'm nobody! Who are you?" Two of them looked shocked, but a third exclaimed, "She quotes Emily Dickinson!"

That made my day!

Of course, I recited the remainder of the poem although it was my turn to go into the stall!

by Emily Dickinson

I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody too?
Then there's a pair of us--don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

Saturday, November 23, 2013


A current Facebook game: a friend sends a number to you and you must answer that number of questions: THINGS OTHERS DON'T KNOW ABOUT ME. The number given to me was 5. As I think I'm very transparent and everybody knows everything--read my BLOG, right--I couldn't think of seven things!

I didn't answer until I saw this URBAN DICTIONARY article. Then I realized that I am "challenged" on at least FIVE areas!

Not only am I:
1. "charger-challenged" (see below)
2. "geographically-challenged" (I invariably turn the wrong way!)
3. "remote-control challenged" (why do I have to have THREE remote-controls for ONE television?)
4. "cell-phone challenged" (I had to return my smartphone because after 13 days, I was never able to "swipe" it to answer a phone call!)
5. "new-car challenged" (I wasn't able to set the clock when the time changed and somehow I ended up with kilometers showing on my speed)


The inability to remember to plug a cell phone in to recharge occasionally, thus resulting in a battery-dead device.

Jean's Iphone never work's when she needs it. She cannot ever remember to plug it in overnight. She is definitely charger-challenged.

Friday, November 22, 2013


Of all sad words of tongue or pen
The saddest words are these:
"It might have been."
----John Greenleaf Whittier

50 years ago our President was killed. Everyone who was alive then is asking, "Where were you when....?" Books, documentaries, and discussions are surfeiting me. I have dozens of books here--some read--and some unread. On my library wall I have a print of the portrait seen here and I love the painting by Elaine de Kooning also seen here.

I hesitate to write about the loss because my words are so paltry and although my brain is roiling, I know I will never have the words to adequately describe the loss I felt then and now. Mary McGrory said, "We'll never laugh again" to which Daniel Patrick Moynihan answered, "We'll laugh, but we'll never be young again."

Listen to Phil Ochs' That Was The President; Phil wrote it shortly after the assassination and it's full of the raw emotion we felt.

Listen to Phil's masterpiece The Crucifixion, recorded years after the assassination when he had time to reflect. My favorite line is: "And do you have a picture of the pain?"

Quite simply, I still grieve for what might have been.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


I hate to wear my seatbelt--please, NO lectures--I believe in wearing seatbelts. Fortunately, I was wearing my seatbelt when I had my accident and also, every time I've been stopped by the cops!

Gerald won't start the car unless I am buckled-up!

The seat belt irritates my neck; I suffer from NIPLASH (see the URBAN DICTIONARY definition below)! I have bought apparatuses which supposedly prevent the problem, but they don't work.

I wear the belt under my breasts but how safe is that?


whiplash of the nipple or nipples.
Extreme soreness of the nipple or nipples from seatbelt or clothing malfunction.

After the fender-bender, Ralph discovered he was suffering from niplash.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


A friend and her son want to get the "perfect Christmas gift" for his girlfriend. They know she likes music boxes and her favorite Christmas carol is "Away In A Manger". VOILA! They found a Fontanini music box online which plays the perfect song.

When the box arrived it had "Away In THE Manger" written on the outside of the box. When they wound it, it was not the tune they are accustomed to hearing.

She said a 45-minute debate ensued over whether it was the "real" tune as it sounded different than what they were used to hearing. She went to YouTube and found a version by the Kings College Choir, Cambridge, which used the same tune as the music box!

When she called me, I of course started singing what I consider the "Catholic version" rather than the "American version". My friend said, "I knew you would know!" I told her that the "THE" on the box was probably just a misprint!

Listen here to the Celtic Woman sing it as I think it should be sung!

When I told Les about it he said, "Of course Fontanini would have THAT version!"

Les and I began singing it and it became a dreaded "EARWORM" (CLICK HERE to see BLOG article) the remainder of the day. One time during the day, when I was singing the part: "the cattle are lowing", Les started making cattle-lowing sounds! I yelped, "Sound effects?" He said, "That Baby could not have slept through THAT!"

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I found this in a box of old clippings in my mother's dresser:


If an "S" and an "I" and an "O" and a "U", with an "X" on the end spells "SU",
And an "E" and a "Y" and an "E" spell "I",
Pray, what is a speller to do?
Then, if also an "S" and an "I" and a "G" and an "H", "E", "D" spells "CIDE"
There is nothing on earth for a speller to do but to go and commit:


It reminds me of the old conundrum usually attributed to George Bernard Shaw, but the first documented usage was by William Oiler:

GHOTI is pronounced "FISH":

The "GH" is pronounced as the "F" sound in "TOUGH"
The "O" is pronounced as the "I" sound in "WOMEN"
The "TI" is pronounced as the "SH" sound in "NATION"


Here is another example:


"GH" as the "P" sound in "HICCOUGH"
"OUGH" as the "O" sound in "THOUGH"
"PT" as the "T" sound in "PTOMAINE"
"EIGH" as the "A" sound in "NEIGH"
"BT" as the "T" sound in "DEBT"
"EAU" as the "O" sound in "BUREAU"


It's not surprising that English is difficult for speakers of other languages to learn.

Just consider these five words ending in "OUGH":

BOUGH rhymes with COW
COUGH rhymes with OFF
ROUGH rhymes with PUFF
THOUGH rhymes with GO
THROUGH rhymes with SHOE

Monday, November 18, 2013


"The more things change, the more they stay the same."

The following article from The Urban Dictionary reminded me of gross-out things my brothers did when they were kids.

They had a "belch jar" which they would belch into and hurriedly put the lid back on and then they would take it to their barber Gordon Lynch who seemed to enjoy such "boyish" pranks! They had their hair cuts monthly; you can imagine the stench from that jar.

I see that things haven't changed!

fart reduction

The process of repeatedly farting into a confined space or area, or on an item so as to infuse the space or item with the pure essence of the fart musk.
I totally gave my ex-girlfriend's pillow a fart reduction the week after we fought.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Yaphet Kotto is a Facebook friend of mine. Yaphet is a descendant of African Jews; his father was the Crown Prince of the Cameroons who escaped to come to New York when the home country was conquered. Yaphet's name means "beautiful" in Hebrew.

In case you don't know, Yaphet is an actor who was on Homicide: Life On The Street. I consider that series the second best dramatic series ever on television, right after The Sopranos. He also appeared in the movies Midnight Run, Running Man, Alien, and Live And Let Die. Interestingly, Yaphet's character on Homicide, Lieutenant Al Giardello, was half-black and half-Italian. As a youngster, Yaphet had lived with an Italian-American family and learned a lot of Sicilian which prepared him for the role!

Between acting jobs, Yaphet and his wife operate the "Running Man Institute" in the Phillipines which is an artists' retreat to work with people from the entertainment industry to foster creativity and it centers around holistic health. There is a hardcore punk rock band named after him, which I choose not to feature because of the language.

I guess he puts the "F" in his name to distinguish himself from all the other Yaphet Kottos in the world!

Saturday, November 16, 2013


A friend upbraided me for calling a candidate for City Council an "elitist snob" because of her "bragging about her summer house". My friend said that perhaps the candidate didn't realize she was bragging.

I said, "She was insouciant; how could she NOT know that she was bragging in the presence of poor people!"

My friend said, "First of all, YOU are NOT poor, and second, I don't know what that word you just used means, but I don't assume that YOU are bragging because you actually use such words in the presence of someone who might not know the word!"

I responded, "But that's NOT an apt comparison; and I was referring to the person who was with me who IS definitely poor!"

My friend said, "But oftentimes people are just having conversations and don't realize they are bragging."

I said, "If I were with people who didn't have a car and I said I had a Corvette, then that would be bragging, just as the poor person who was with me doesn't own ONE home, let alone a second home!"

My friend responded, "But how was she supposed to know she was with so-called poor people?"

I fairly screaked, "There were 5 people sitting at the table with her and her husband and she'd already asked two of them what kind of work they did; that would have been MY first clue, but then I'm not blasé!"