Sunday, September 14, 2014


My husband's niece posted the picture (see here) on Facebook which contains the caption: "CHILDREN MUST ALWAYS WEAR A SEAT BELT, EXCEPT IF YOU PUT 50 OF THEM IN ONE VEHICLE."

I replied by telling her that I had worked for a company which manufactured school buses and if school districts wanted seat belts installed, all they had to do was order them, because the Company was glad to install them because, quite simply, that generated more income for the Company.

I mentioned that the state with the strictest standards for school buses was Kentucky. You might wonder, as I did, why would Kentucky be so strict about their buses? In the 1990s there was an horrific school bus accident in Kentucky when a bus went over a cliff and killed all the children. After that, seat belts became mandatory in school buses.

A delegation would come from Kentucky to observe their vehicles were being built. They were free to roam the plant, talk to employees, and inspect our methods and procedures. That, of course, would be a very pressure-filled time, with the customers able to watch every action. I didn't have any fear because I knew what my employees did every day and I always followed my mother's saying, "We do the right thing because it's the right thing to do."

I must admit that we were shamelessly sycophantic when we knew that the Kentucky customers were scheduled to be in our plant. Because we were a Deming-style plant, all employees wore uniforms, but when we knew that Kentucky customers would be coming, there were many people wearing Kentucky Wildcats tee-shirts!

One wonders why school buses would be built without seat belts. Read the article Why Don't Buses Have Seatbelts? which was published in the trade periodical Public Transport.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


At dinner recently we were discussing the "best places" that had been in town when we were young and now were no longer in business. Someone mentioned Alkire's Bakery and each one of us told of a particular favorite pastry from there: bear claws, Napoleons, crème horns, oval-shaped oatmeal cookies, etc. One of the dinner guests asked, "Did you know that a bakery in Leesburg bought all of the recipes and equipment when Alkire's shut down?" None of the dinner guests knew that and he said he would find out the name and location of the bakery.

He called several days later and told me that the name of the bakery in Leesburg was BATTER UP BAKERY and I answered, "Oh, isn't that cute?", meaning the play-on-words about "batter" and cake mix was cute! I later learned that there is a "baseball theme" at the bakery and thus the choice of name Batter Up. See the logo here:

40 East Main Street
Leesburg, OH 45135
Telephone: 937-780-2253

Open Wednesday and Friday 5:30 AM--7:30 PM; Saturday 7:00 AM--noon

You can check their gorgeous creations on Facebook.

I'll be going there before the next dinner party to buy dessert. I hope the Napoleons, crème horns, oval-shaped oatmeal cookies and bear claws are as good as we remember.

 I feel like Marcel Proust! (see BLOG article)

Friday, September 12, 2014


After reading my BLOG article IF NOT US, THEN WHO? IF NOT NOW, WHEN? my friend Sharon sent this posting from the Urban Dictionary and wrote, "NOW we have a name for THEM!"

Facebook Warrior
Someone who posts on Facebook about all their ideals and causes....without doing any real work. They find a cliche post that someone else wrote and re-posts it, thinking they're part of the fight. But their post gets lost in Facebook's "previous post limbo", never to be seen again by anyone. They can be a part of millions of different causes without lifting a finger (other than their mouse clicking finger). Posers.

Did you see Mary's Facebook Warrior flavor of the week? It's called CABWHEL... I don't know, it has something to do with Cousins against Big Wheels or something.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Occasionally I become disheartened by the behavior of people and I conclude that there isn't much hope for the human race. Whenever I think about contributions to humanity, I think of Jonas Salk who refused all profit from the polio vaccine.

Each time I am grousing about people, my husband will ask, "How about Tim?"

Tim was a friend who was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I told Tim, "If you need anything, you know you can depend on us." He said, "I know that, and thank you, but I'm OK." As the weeks went by, he needed to have an operation and he had to be off work and use his disability insurance. His wife had been injured at work and she was attending college to prepare for a different career. Each week I would call to ask how they were doing and he would continue to tell me that his disability checks were covering their expenses and he wanted to make sure his wife continued her schooling, but they were OK.

After a couple of months, I received a call and he said, "You know you told me that if I needed help, you knew some resources." I learned that he had used all of their savings; taken out all of his 401K investments; the 66 % payment he received from disability was not covering their expenses; he was in debt $2,500 for doctor and hospital bills; he needed to start a round of 35 chemotherapy visits and he wouldn't have funds for the co-payments.

I asked him to let me make some phone calls and I would call him the next day. I also asked him to let me help him write an appeal to his insurance company. He said he didn't think it would do any good, but I reminded him that I had written an appeal for my mother and they had reconsidered. We wrote the appeal and I mailed it.

I took him to Community Action to inquire about any benefits available.

Weeks before Tim called me I had been to the Medical Arts Building for therapy on my shoulder and I'd noticed a cookbook being offered for sale at the Receptionist's desk; I asked what group it was to benefit, and the Receptionist told me it was for The Tree Of Life and its mission was to help cancer patients. I called the Tree Of Life and told Tim's story and I was told to have him write a letter telling what was needed and submit it and they would consider his case. I typed a letter, took it to him for his signature, and mailed it the same day.

I recalled that when I'd gone to a Candidate's Forum before the last election, one of the candidates told that she belonged to a sorority with a charitable mission to help cancer patients. I got in touch with her and she told me they were meeting that very next night to decide where to allot their funds. She told me to have him write a letter and get it to the Secretary. I immediately typed a letter, took it to him to sign, and I hand-delivered it to the Secretary at her place of business.

I called several people to ask their churches to donate and I imposed on a friend to ask her St. Vincent de Paul group to donate. I called my brother and told him that the Catholics were giving $200; of course, the Pentecostal had to match that. I sent out a letter to friends and family. I had a yard sale.

Gerald told him that he would drive him to Wilmington for the five-times-a-week, 7-week chemotherapy treatments.

Because of the generosity of family, friends, churches, and the charitable groups, we were able to raise the $2,500 to be able to have him out of debt.

He recovered wonderfully well; he returned to work and his wife completed college and was working in her new field. Several months later, Tim called me and said, "You're not going to believe it, I just got a check from the insurance company and I want to re-pay you and Gerald for all you've done."

I said, "NO, NO, we don't want that!" I did NOT say what I was actually thinking, which that he might need the money in the future. He said, "Well, I'll call your brother and the others." Several people reported to me how he'd tried to re-pay them, but each had refused.

He could have so easily kept that money, and nobody would have known, and of course, he had every right to keep the money, but he instead wanted to re-pay those who had helped him.

A couple of weeks later, I was attending a funeral and a woman who worked at Community Action beckoned for me to come to sit with her. She said, "You know, I've been working there for 30 years and NOBODY has ever returned money to us until your friend came in and gave us the money!"

I said, "Kinda restores your faith in humanity, doesn't it?"

See pictures from BuzzFeed which will restore your faith in humanity.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


After reading my BLOG article SHOPPING WHILE BLACK (see here) a friend called to remind me of an incident which happened to him when he was called for jury duty.

My friend had worked at International Truck and Engine Corporation in Springfield for more than 30 years and he was a Millwright when he retired; skilled trades people were paid very well.

He had been called for jury duty for the first time and he had completed and submitted his required jury questionnaire.

He told me that he was furious because of all the jurors questioned, he was the ONLY one questioned about INCOME! He asked me, "Do you think it's fair that I was the only one asked about my income?" I said, "Well, they can ask anything, but those bigots can't believe that a black man could make $100, 000 in a year!"

He said, "They thought I was lying!" I said, "You know they wouldn't want anybody they thought was UPPITY!" He was excused by the prosecutor with a peremptory challenge. He said, "He didn't want me because I'm black and the defendant was black!"

I told him about a time when I was called for jury duty and a black woman was called for questioning before me. The prosecutor asked her exactly one question: "Are you the mother of ......?" When the woman answered that he was her son the prosecutor excused her with a peremptory challenge. She became very upset and demanded that the judge tell her why the prosecutor was allowed to excuse her. The judge said that he didn't have to give a reason. She said that her son had nothing to do with whether she could be a good juror. She was very emotional and the judge had the bailiff to escort the woman from the courtroom. I knew her son's name from having seen it in the local newspaper for criminal offenses. I'm sure the majority of the people in the courtroom also recognized the name.

Monday, September 8, 2014


See the e-mail from my friend Patty entitled STOOOOOOPID!:

People rarely like to admit their ignorance of a subject. There should be no shame, but somehow there always is. With that in mind, here is what I learned for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I did not know that a corn stalk had only one ear of corn on it! I thought all stalks had ten or twenty ears on them. My old "farmer" husband looked at me when I uttered my opinion like I had just stolen the Hope Diamond! "You're kidding." he said over and over; I knew this because I heard him over and over again! We moved into our current place four years ago and a man behind us plants a tiny garden behind his house. He always has several corn stalks there. Now that I know he is getting only six or seven ears out of them, I wonder why he bothers. I wonder what else I will find out this year--I'm still getting over that cranberries come from--

I sent this YOUTUBE video to Patty showing guys picking more than one ear per stalk!

Sunday, September 7, 2014


I've written before about my friend who invariably begins a conversation with this question, "What have you learned new today?", because I once said that I learned something new every day.

Because a friend of ours follows a gluten-free diet, I try to accommodate that when he's a dinner guest. As I was researching gluten-free options, I learned today that BUCKWHEAT is not related to WHEAT, as it is not a grass. KASHA, I now learn is made from roasted buckwheat groats!

The origin of buckwheat is believed to come from China or central Asia. It is a fruit seed and it is related to rhubarb, sorrel, and knotwood, thus it is a suitable substitute for people with Celiac disease and other problems associated with sensitivity to grains which contain gluten. Buckwheat is very nutritious. Whole buckwheat can be used as a substitute for rice and can be cooked as cereal. Buckwheat flour can be used in making cakes, bread, and PANCAKES..

Mother used to make buckwheat pancakes. After reading about buckwheat, I was waxing reminiscent about those pancakes. Les and I decided to make some because we both remembered them with fondness.

Now I have a nearly-full box of Aunt Jemima's Buckwheat Pancake Mix to give to someone! Any takers? Obviously the pancakes weren't as good as we remembered!

Saturday, September 6, 2014


I am acquainted with a woman who habitually refers to people she views as "prominent", "influential",
"powerful", and "successful" as her "friends". I think it must be an ego-boost that she can convince others that she is "friends" with "important" people and associate herself with people she considers eminent, even if it's only in her imagination. I think it's an "upwardly mobile" fixation; in the old days she would have been called a "Social Climber".

Her comeuppance happened one Sunday at church when she and I were making a presentation for a group to which we belong; we were hoping to get donations. After completing our presentation we were walking up the aisle while parishioners were exiting their pews. Suddenly, my acquaintance whispered breathlessly to me, "There's my friend XXXXXX; I'll introduce you!" and she hurried up the aisle. I didn't have the opportunity to tell her that I knew WHO the person was, but he certainly was not someone I considered a "friend". When she started to introduce me to him, he said, "I know Sue!" and then his wife came from behind him, squealed with delight, and embraced me.

Then the man turned to my acquaintance and asked, "What did you say YOUR name is?"

Can you imagine the mortification? She further embarrassed herself by reminding him that her mother had been a member of the church and that she used to come to church with her mother. He asked how long ago that she had been a member and she told how long her mother had been dead. He said that he did not remember her mother but he'd been a member there for 20 years.

Later she asked why I hadn't told her that they were my friends. I said, "Because they are NOT my friends." She said, "They sure acted like you are!" I said, "That's because I give nice wedding presents." I continued, "I used to BABYSIT with her and her sister; I watched her grow up, but I haven't seen them since the wedding, so I don't really even KNOW them." She said, "I can't believe he doesn't remember me!" I said, "He probably has a different concept of friendship than you do."
Unfortunately, that humiliating experience has not deterred her from claiming others as "friends"!

Friday, September 5, 2014


I was talking to a woman and she said she wanted to meet her brother;  he was getting out of a car.  I called him by name and said that I'd met him at my husband's high school reunions.  She said, "You have a really good memory."  I answered, "He has an unusual name I'm not apt to forget;  in fact, was he named for a character in Thomas Hardy's The Return Of The Native?"   She said, "No, he was named for my father."  I said, "Oh, then he's a Junior?"  She said, "No, thank goodness;  I hate the term junior."  She said that her dislike of "junior" was the reason she named her son "the second."  

I said, "So he's named after his paternal grandfather or paternal uncle."  She looked at me with bewilderment and said, "No, he's named after his father."  I said, "But it's only correct to name a boy the second if he's named after his paternal grandfather or uncle;  if he's named for his father then it's junior."  She said, "I've never heard that."

I said, "The best example is with Bobby Kennedy's sons;  one son is Robert Francis Kennedy, Jr.,  and another son is one is Joseph Patrick Kennedy II because he's named for his grandfather and uncle."

I could tell that she didn't appreciate the information.  When I told Les about it, he said, "Didn't you learn about foot- in- mouth disease when you corrected someone in Gerald's family?" (see my BLOG article THE SECOND)
I have noticed the practice of naming boys "the second" is quite prevalent in Fayette County. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014


A friend commented, "Haven't seen any CRINGE articles lately."

Another friend told me she'd heard:  "ran the GAMBIT, rather than run the GAMUT"!
"THINGS I LEARNED GROWING UP IN THE SOUTH"  (See below) is a posting from a Facebook friend Carol Ann Robinson (the "Ann" is to distinguish her from another friend Carol Jo Robinson) but I told her that I have heard some of the same things here in FAY-YETTE County:
FIXINTO which means that one is getting ready to perform a task
ONCED and TWICED which are the same as ONCE and TWICE to other people
FORWARDS and BACKWARDS which means one knows a person quite well
JEET is actually a question meaning "Did you eat?" 
                          THINGS I LEARNED GROWING UP IN THE SOUTH
1.   A possum is a flat animal that sleeps in the middle of the road.
2.   There are 5,000 kinds of snakes and 4,998 live in the South.
3.   There are 10,000 types of spiders.  All 10,000 live in the South, plus a couple no one's seen before.
4.   If it grows, it'll stick ya;  if it crawls, it'll bite cha.
5.   Onced and twiced are words.
6.   It is not a shopping cart, it's a buggy.
7.   "Jawl-P?" means, "Did you go to the bathroom?"
8.   People actually grow, eat and like okra.
9.   Fiixinto is one word;  it means I'm going to do that.
10. There is no such thing as lunch.  There is only breakfast, dinner and supper.
11.  Iced tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it when you're two.
12.  We do like a little tea with our sugar.  It's referred to as the wine of the South.
13.  Backwards and forwards means I know everything about you.
14.  The word "jeet" is actually a question meaning "Did you eat?"
15.  You don't have to wear a watch because it doesn't matter what time it is;  you work until it's done
        or it's too dark to see.
16.  You don't PUSH buttons, you MASH them.
17.  Ya'll is singular;  all ya'll is plural.
18.  All the festivals are named after a fruit, vegetable, grain, insect, or animal.
19.  You carry jumper cables in your car--for your OWN car.
20.  You only own 5 spices:  salt, pepper, mustard, ketchup, and Tabasco.
21.  Everyone you meet is Honey, Sugar, Miss (first name) and Mr. (first name).
22.  The local papers carry national and international news on one page, but require 6 pages for local
        high school sports, motor sports, and gossip.
23.  You think that the first day of hunting season is a national holiday.
24.  You know what a hissy fit is.
25.  Fried catfish is the "other" white meat.
26.  We don't need no danged Driver's Ed.  If Mama says we can drive, we can drive!
27.  You understand these and forward them to your Southern friends and those who just wish they
        were from the South.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


See the cartoon sent to me from a friend who also wears under wire bras

OK, my fellow women, unless you have been suddenly stabbed by a rampant wire from an under wire bra into the soft tissue of a breast, you have not experienced woman's greatest pain!

Yeah, I know I'm going to overruled by ones who are going to say that it cannot compare to childbirth, but I'm gonna say, "Let me stab you with an under wire!"

Second greatest pain: having a hole in the toe of stockings!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Gerald is not a persnikety eater but there are two items he doesn't like: peas and hominy.

When Mother was alive and making her home with us, she did the majority of the cooking and Gerald is very good about eating leftovers and we have always used leftover items.

One day Mother served hominy as a side dish. Gerald said that he didn't like hominy and didn't take any to eat. I like hominy but could not eat the entire contents of the bowl.

The next day, at dinner time, there was a casserole topped with buttered bread crumbs which looked very appetizing. Gerald asked, "What's that?" and Mother answered, "Home fry casserole." Gerald took a spoonful on his plate and when he tasted it, he said, "Now, Gladys, you know you can't disguise that hominy!"

As most of my brothers were finical eaters, Mother would fib to them and tell them that a dish was something different than it was just to get the boys to eat it. My favorite fib: she would tear the chicken wings apart and tell the boys that one part was "baby drumsticks".

In my family, it's a given that if something isn't eaten one day, it will probably return the following day in another guise. (see BLOG article about leftovers)

Monday, September 1, 2014


With America's working families under unprecedented attack, it is important to remember what unions have provided for us. From the weekend to sick leave, child labor laws, and safe working conditions, unions will always stand for the rights of working people.

Sunday, August 31, 2014


I am constantly astounded by people who post egregious lies about the President on Facebook and elsewhere, and yet, so proudly proclaim themselves to be "Christians".  There is no way that a person who truly follows the teachings of Jesus Christ, could morally post those insidious lies, and yet, they have the unmitigated gall to proselytize.

Other people tell me to just "unfriend" the ignoramuses, and I have done that in the past, but I hearken back to a quote from JFK which paraphrased an earlier quote from Hillel The Elder.  JFK asked, "IF NOT US, WHO?  IF NOT NOW, WHEN?" It is my moral obligation to correct the liars.

The most ludicrous postings are the ones referring to the President as a "tyrant".  Are these people so abysmally ignorant that they do not comprehend that IF he were indeed a tyrant, then they would not exist, let alone be allowed to post their scurrilous screeds?  Perhaps they are so uneducated not to know about Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Pinochet, et. al.  I wonder if do they really think that tyrants like those would have let them live?  If the President were a tyrant, do they actually think that he would allow the existence of the DO NOTHING CONGRESS? 
One friend tells me to ignore them because it's hyperbole, but it is still disheartening that there are people that I actually know who have no scruples in forwarding such lies.

I see in posts that the same person will charge that he is a SOCIALIST, COMMUNIST, and FASCIST.  How sad that they didn't learn the differences, say, in the fifth grade of elementary school.  Those doubting his religion, I always ask:  "What makes one a Christian?  I think it's saying that one IS a Christian."  What makes them think that they are "better" Christians than he?    As the President was reared by his grandparents after the death of his mother, I'm sure that they were the biggest influence in his life.  If the liars bothered to read books by the President, they would know his beliefs.

I understand--and accept--people who disagree with me about policies, but the people whom I mention persistently just tell reprehensible lies, rather than engage in civil discourse.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


After publishing the article SNIFF ROSEMARY (see here), I have had several readers make amusing remarks, but the best one happened yesterday. A friend went with my husband and me to the Air Force Museum; our friend wanted to see President Kennedy's "Air Force One" and I said I'd like to see MY plane, the B1-B.

As we had to wait for a shuttle to take us to see JFK's plane; we decided to have lunch; while waiting for lunch to be served, I was trying to tell an incident about our friend Tim, but for some strange reason, I kept saying "Tom" rather than "Tim".

After several times of reversing the names, our friend asked, in a loud voice, "Is there anyone here named Rosemary?" The hostess heard him and answered, "My mother's name was Rosemary." Our friend said, sotto voce, "Bring her over so Sue can sniff her!" We had to explain the reference about Rosemary. She said, "I'll see if we have any in the spices in the kitchen!"

Later, checking in for the JFK exhibit at the Museum, one of the volunteers was an elderly woman named Rosemary. Our friend said, "Come on over here, Rosemary, you can help prevent Alzheimer's!" Naturally, we had to explain the reference about rosemary to her. She said that she used a lot of rosemary in her cooking, but our friend concluded that Rosemary didn't "get" it and said she should probably have started sniffing rosemary earlier in her life.

Friday, August 29, 2014


My friend Bobbi's daughter posted the following on Facebook:

Sometimes, I just don't get it....I understand we live in a world where we need to be more careful about the things we do, but do we need to stop caring altogether? Today, on my way to Home Depot, I passed a car that was on the side of the road with its emergency lights flashing. On my way back, I noticed it was still there. I slowed down and asked the young woman if she was alright; she said she had run out of gas but her dad was on his way. I went home and did some yard work. About an hour later, I looked down that way and she was still sitting there. Concerned to why she would still be there, I grabbed a gas can and drove down the road. She was on the phone with her dad who was lost and driving up and down Route 35 looking for her, but he was on the NEW Route 35 and she was on the OLD Route 35! I told her I would give her some gas and she could meet him in Washington Court House. They both knew where WalMart is and decided to meet there.

My reasoning: What if that were my son? It was 92 degrees today and that poor girl was covered in sweat, lost, out of gas, and scared! I remember those days when I was young and thought that "empty" meant I could go another 50 miles. Sometimes we just have to "CARE"!

I was not surprised by Tammy's action because she is a very compassionate person. I sent her the article Why Random Acts Of Kindness Are So Important.

Random Acts Of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty is a children's book by Anne Herbert. She coined the phrase in 1982 and Jack Canfield used the phrase in his book Chicken Soup For The Soul.

Today I was at my doctor's office in Wilmington and an elderly woman left the Receptionist's area and sat down. The Receptionist asked if she needed anything else and the woman said she was waiting for a cab. She was still sitting there when I came out from seeing the doctor. I asked the woman if I could take her home. I said, "We can ask the Receptionist to call the cab company to tell them you've left." We had a very enjoyable conversation on our drive to her home and she insisted on paying me and I told her, "Just PAY IT FORWARD and do something good for somebody else." I told her I would wait until she went in the house. She went to her porch and brought back a sack of cucumbers. Of course I could not refuse. I now have THIRTY cucumbers; does anybody want cucumbers?

Thursday, August 28, 2014


This week marks the 79th anniversary of the passage of the Social Security Act. Franklin Roosevelt deserves plaudits, of course, but special credit should always go to the architect of the plan, the Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins.

I just completed reading one of my birthday presents: The Woman Behind The New Deal The Life Of Frances Perkins, FDR's Secretary Of Labor And His Moral Conscience by Kirstin Downey. I especially like the part of the title: "His Moral Conscience".

Perkins has been one of my heroines since I first read about her as a youngster. At a time when women did not usually hold public office, she was a controversial choice as FDR's Secretary of Labor and was the first female to hold a Cabinet position. She was responsible for the enactment of the minimum wage, work-hour limitations, and most importantly, the Social Security Act. She was not able to achieve another of her goals--national health care--but when it was enacted more than 80 years after she proposed it--I said that it should have been called the Frances Perkins Affordable Care Act.

During her term, the witch-hunters in Congress tried to have her IMPEACHED because she refused to have Australian native Harry Bridges, the leader of the Longshoremen's Union, deported because he was suspected of being a Communist. Although Perkins disliked Bridges because of his personal behavior, she would not sacrifice her own integrity--her"moral conscience"-- because she knew that Bridges was being treated unfairly. Oh, how we need people like her today!

Read here an excerpt and a good review of the book from NPR.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


I admit that I am a sucker for Facebook quizzes.  How else would I have known that the President I am most like is Mr. Lincoln and that I was Aristotle in a past life?  However, I hated the one which revealed the actress I was most like was Katharine Hepburn--whom I dislike--when I know for certain that I am more like the divine AUDREY!

 Here is one question from a Facebook quiz asking "HOW MUCH OF AN OHIOAN ARE YOU?":

Question:  Someone just asked you a question that you did not quite hear.  How do you ask them to repeat the question?

1.  "Come again?"
2.   "What?"
3.   "Huh?"
4.   "Please?"

I'll bet that you have heard all of those because I know I have.  I guess that "Excuse me, I didn't hear you."  is not an option.

Oh, by the way, I scored 41% on that quiz and did NOT share it.  I'll also admit I've spent a large part of my life trying NOT to sound like an Ohioan, especially one from Fayette County--or, as it's said by most natives here--"FAY-YETTE County"!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


My friend Charlene recently posted the following piece on Facebook:

This is just me, but I don't give my money, or my husband's hard-earned money to any establishment that I KNOW does not hire African-Americans, has a prejudice/stereotype view of African-Americans, or have shown me personally that they're not capable of treating me with respect or dignity. Now saying this, I know people can put on fake smiles while serving me, and that's alright as long as they smile while taking my money. But I have been in establishments where:
  1. the clerk refused to touch my hand while giving me change.
  2. where my husband and I had to wait for service for an unusually long time (we left and never returned.)
  3. filled out a job application at a place, was not given a "call-back", only to have the regional manager call a month later (after I was employed at another woman's retail establishment), and she had found my application balled-up in the back of a filing cabinet. She apologized profusely, asked me to work for them, at double the rate I was currently being paid, which I kindly refused. I never spent a dime at that establishment, and they eventually closed down.
I have worked in retail where white sales women purposely ran the other way when an African-American or Indian person came into the store, which only helped my sales to SKYROCKET! I have seen ignorance, and fear on every level.

What's the point in sharing this with you? ECONOMIC POWER SPEAKS! That old saying "Hit them where it hurts." works. I KNOW that the African-American community has great wealth and wealth potential. Maybe, just maybe, we should use our economic power to cause change. Money "talks" and maybe now is the time to start "TALKING"!


Reading Charlene's message, I was reminded of a time when three other women and I went to Detroit to inspect product which had been recalled. Two of the women were Caucasian and one was African-American. One day, after work, we went to a local WalMart because we needed supplies for work and the women wanted to pick up some personal items.

I had the Company credit card and as I finished the transaction I noticed that one of the women was in a heated discussion at a check-out. The other two women were standing waiting at the end of the aisle. I asked, "What is the problem?" and I learned that the clerk was asking for identification from the woman in line--the African American--but had not asked for identification from the other two.

 Of course I had not been asked for identification and I had made a large purchase. I asked to see the Manager and when I did not receive what I considered a satisfactory response, the two women and I went to customer service and returned our purchases. I demanded the Regional Manager's name and when we returned to the motel, I called to complain and I wrote a complaint letter which all four of us signed. We went to K-Mart where we were treated correctly.

That occurred in the 1990s; see my BLOG article INTENTIONAL/UNINTENTIONAL RACISM which shows more recent incidents which proves the old adage "the more things change, the more they stay the same."

There are so many documented cases of unfair treatment from law enforcement toward African-American drivers--especially males--that there is an acronym for it: DWB (DRIVING WHILE BLACK). Eric Holder, our Attorney General, recently shared humiliating experiences he'd had. See the link to The Huffington Post which features an article from a mother who states that all parents must teach their children--especially sons--"The Lesson" of how to act when confronted by law enforcement.

Read a brilliant article written in 2011 by Sharon Thomas for the Record-Herald which also addresses SHOPPING WHILE BLACK!

Monday, August 25, 2014


In Ellisville, Missouri, Michael Elli was given a $1,000 citation because he flashed his headlights at other motorists to warn them of a speed trap.

In answer to Elli's lawsuit, a Federal judge ruled that flashing one's lights at other motorists is a protected right under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment's right to free speech. (See report from fellow BLOGGER George Mathis)

I am unapologetic when I admit that I also flash my lights at other motorists to warn them of the presence of cops.

One time, I flashed my lights at a cop's car because it was after dark and everyone should have his headlights on, including law enforcement. The cop turned his car around--unsafely-- in the middle of the road and came racing after me, with blue lights flashing and siren blaring, but did not turn on his headlights.

"License and registration!", the cop demanded. I started to open my car door and he shreiked, "Stay in the car!" I said, "My purse is in the back seat." He said, "You can reach it from there." Knowing full well that I couldn't, but I unbuckled my seat belt and I admit, I made exaggerated motions to try to reach my purse, even rolling over to the passenger seat, but I could not retrieve my purse from the back seat.

He said, "I'll get it." I said, "Oh, I don't think you should do that." He said, "OK, get out!"

I got out of the car, retrieved my purse, and got back in the car. I deliberately took plenty of time to fish through my purse to locate my driver's license. When I handed my driver's license to him, I had with it a copy of the U. S. Constitution, which family and friends will attest, I always have in my purse. He said, snidely, "What's this for?" I answered, "I thought you might like it to read." I then leaned over and took out the registration and insurance card from the glove box. He said, sarcastically, "You should keep all that stuff together." I asked, "Then how could I identify myself outside the car if I did that?"

He asked snottily, "Do you know why I stopped you, ma'am?" I answered, "No, officer, I have no idea." He asked, "Because you were flashing your lights." I answered, quite coyly, "Oh, officer, I thought that was the international symbol to let other people know when they don't have their lights on; you do know it's the law to have one's lights on AFTER DARK, don't you?"

He begrudgingly let me go.

Sunday, August 24, 2014


I have read several reports about the benefits of sniffing rosemary to help memory and to aid to help prevent Alzheimer's Disease. (see article from The Huffington Post)  

The studies show that sniffing rosemary has an arousing effect on a brain chemical called acetylcholine.  As long as I don't have to ingest the rosemary, I'll be fine!  The only thing I have used rosemary for has been in chicken dishes and it hasn't been my favorite flavor.

Gerald said that if my memory gets any better, they're going to put me in the Guinness Book!

I told my friend Mona, "I'm going to buy several bottles and have one to use in the car and I'll give others to friends and my Red Hat Ladies as a favor."  She answered,  "I'd be careful if I were you;  as many times as you get stopped by the cops, they might think you have another HERB!"

Saturday, August 23, 2014


When one of Gerald's great niece married, our wedding present for her was for me to cater the food for the reception.  It was relatively (can't help the pun!) easy as there were only fifty guests expected to attend.

I had to be at the reception site early.  I was wearing a low-cut, teal-colored, silk dress, with dyed-to-match shoes and I was also wearing a teal-colored, plunge bra and slip.

I did not know it beforehand but the bridal attendants' dresses were low-cut TEAL-colored gowns. 

I went in to the room where the young women were preparing for the wedding, and I saw that one of the bridesmaids had her WHITE bra visible.  I went to her and asked, "Are you a C-Cup?"  Stunned, she answered that she was.  I said, "Come with me."  We went to the bathroom and I said, "You're going to wear my bra;  we can't have your bra showing!"  She and I exchanged bras and when she walked down the aisle her bra wasn't showing and she looked lovely in the pictures.

Unfortunately, I had to pin my low-cut dress together to hide the white bra.  Before the ceremony, when I sat down beside Gerald, I asked if he noticed anything different.  He said, "Your ta-tas aren't showing."  I whispered, "The bridesmaid is wearing my bra!"  and told him the reason for the bra exchange.

He muttered, "Only you, Sweetheart, only YOU would do that!"

Friday, August 22, 2014


I recently attended the celebration of the eighty-seventh birthday of a friend who is a retired math teacher. We were talking about the changes we have experienced as women in general and teachers in particular. I told her that my grandmother was not allowed to teach after her marriage. (see LIST OF RULES FOR TEACHERS IN 1914) She commented that although she herself was allowed to teach after marriage, when she became pregnant, she was told that she couldn't teach any longer.

She said that she had the last laugh because the Principal found out he couldn't find another math teacher to come to a small, rural, Ohio school and she even received a raise. She taught--uninterrupted--for 50 years, although she had two more pregnancies.

I said, "Being a math teacher was FIRE-PROOF!"

Another friend who is my age is also a retired teacher, and he sometimes works as a substitute teacher. He told me that because of absenteeism, sick leaves, and meetings of teachers, he could work every day if he so desired.

I was shocked. I said, "Teachers didn't miss work when we were kids; I can count on one hand the number of substitute teachers we had in 12 years."

One of our substitute teachers was the wife of a local prominent businessman; she had discontinued regular teaching after her marriage. She was referred to as "Old Hatchet Face" by many students; she wore ridiculous amounts of Pan-Cake make-up, rouge, and lipstick, but her clothes were beautiful with matching purses and shoes.

My brother said that her make-up tool was a trowel! (Kids were mean back then too) I know it was "Pan-Cake" brand because I once saw the compact in her purse because she would always re-apply her lipstick after lunch. Whenever I see an overly made-up woman, I always think of her, and I dislike seeing women applying make-up in public.

My mother had beautiful complexion; I often wondered what kind of skin "Old Hatchet Face" had under that matte mask.

"Pan-Cake" was a fiercely guarded registered trademark of Max Factor. See an advertisement from the 1940s featuring the beautiful Merle Oberon. Numerous stars such as Lana Turner, Rosalind Russell, Maureen O'Hara, Esther Williams, Ginger Rogers, and Judy Garland were used to advertise Pan-Cake make-up.

For no other reason than I love the song, listen here to Teach Your Children by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


I was at the Bloomingburg Community Day festivities and an elderly woman I did not know approached me and asked, "Honey, would you like a head of cabbage?" I said "Sure, I never turn down anything free!" When I lifted the bag from her car, I said, "This is the biggest head of cabbage I've ever seen; I bet it weighs 20 pounds!" At home, when Les weighed it, the weight was actually 8 1/2 pounds, but that is still a big head of cabbage!

I said to Les, "I wonder why a complete stranger would offer cabbage to me." He said, "Since she's old, she probably thought you resemble Mrs. Wiggs Of The Cabbage Patch." I replied, "That's a pretty obscure reference; I didn't know you knew that book."

He said, "I meant the movie." I answered, "I hope I don't look like Zasu Pitts!" He responded, "Oh, Zazu didn't play Mrs. Wiggs; she was the spinster!"

I said, "I CAN'T believe you know that movie." He said, "Of course I do; after all, W.C. Fields was in it!"

We both remembered that W. C. and Zazu were in the movie, but I had to go to IMDB to see who portrayed Mrs. Wiggs; the actress' name was Pauline Lord. (see the movie clip here with Pauline Lord, Zazu Pitts, and W.C. Fields)

I said, "I guess I'll be grateful to look like Zazu; she looked good when she was young!" Les replied drolly, "At least I didn't say you looked like Cabbage Patch DOLLS!"

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Les and I like this cartoon from this week's New Yorker. The caption: "Summer's here. Do you want to start talking incessantly about tomatoes and corn?" just about sums up our summer conversations.

We are fantastically lucky to be the recipients of free sweet corn. The ears have yellow and white mixed kernels and they are oh, so sweet! Les just finished "putting up" 15 bags for the freezer and we're promised more ears Monday!

My brother Duke told Gerald about a device that his friend uses for cutting the corn from the cob and Duke had made one also. Gerald immediately set about making one; see Gerald's device.

I am very happy because I had been WHINING about having a blister last year from all the cutting I did; I had been online looking for one of those corn cutters.

Les says not to buy one because this homemade device works wonderfully well.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


An acquaintance wanted a medallion for the grave of her great-grandfather, who was a Civil War veteran. I told her that my brother had gotten one for the grave of our Great-Grandfather Levi Shirkey who was a Civil War veteran. She got in contact with the local VSO and learned that the Veteran's Administration no longer provides medallions except to surviving spouses of veterans. Of course there are no surviving spouses of Civil War veterans! She then got in contact with her Senator to no avail.

The medallions are the flag holders that one sees beside the graves of veterans on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

Feeling that it is very unfair to have a Civil War veteran's grave not have a flag placed to honor him, I decided to make it my mission to acquire a medallion. I made at least a dozen telephone calls.

I was able to acquire a medallion quickly because of my association with the LGAR (Ladies Of The Grand Army Of The Republic). You will notice "GAR" on the medallion.

The GAR (the Grand Army Of The Republic) was founded 1n 1866 and by 1890 had more than 500,000 members. Only honorably discharged veterans of the Civil War could be members. The group was instrumental in founding soldiers' homes, securing pension legislation, relief work, and making sure that Civil War veterans were recognized and honored. The final Encampment (as conventions were known) was held in 1949. The last GAR member died in 1956 at the age of 109 years. Descendants of Civil War veterans can join the SUVCW (Sons Of The Veterans Of The Civil War) and the LGAR (Ladies of the Grand Army Of The Republic).

The medallion had been in storage. Although I personally liked the patina, I wanted it polished to be placed at the gravesite. I looked on the internet about polishing bronze and the first hint was to purchase bronze cleaner. We already had Brasso and the directions on the can show it is also useable for bronze. There are numerous ideas of making home-made pastes which include using lemon juice, baking powder, salt, flour, and vinegar. Here is a YouTube video showing a cleaning method using some of those items.

My brother Les, the masterly polisher, cleaned and polished the medallion. Les said, "Look how it changes when it's turned in the light." I said, "Yes, that's because of the bas-relief." He said, "The BAH-WHAT?" I knew that he knew the term, but he likes to razz me. I said, "You did a lovely job of burnishing." Les asked, "Burnishing--how often do we get to throw the words burnishing-and bas-relief-- into a conversation?"

Monday, August 18, 2014


I just conducted a survey of twenty people and asked the question:

When entering an aisle where people are seated and you need to get to your assigned seat, do you:

1. Have your backside toward the person?
2. Have your front-side toward the person?

Every respondent said Number 1.

The reason for my survey: when Ziggy (husband of our great niece) was visiting recently, he asked me to tell his mother how he'd learned the word frottage. Click here to read the story of the time Ziggy and I attended a concert and two large-bosomed women had to pass us to get to their seats and both turned their front-sides to Ziggy and their breasts brushed his chest. I shared the word frottage with him.

CLICK HERE to see the article from MADAME NOIRE when she was lectured by a fellow church-goer that it's rude to turn one's backside.

However, this poses another qustion: Why is "backside" ONE word and "front side" is TWO words?

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Last week, at dinner with friends I mentioned that we "MUST SEE" the movie Boyhood and one of our friends, a true cineaste said, "Oh, the only place to show that will be the Drexel."

Memories of the Drexel Theater flooded over me. When Gerald and I began dating, we would "go to the movies" at least once a week and the Drexel was the place to see the "independent" movies not available at other theaters and to see the work of directors I'd only read about. I vividly remember crossing a picket line to see The Life Of Brian, which was being protested by the Legion Of Decency. That movie, about the hypocrisy of some religions, remains relevant today, but it is now hardly controversial.

The Drexel Theater opened in Bexley in 1937, closed for awhile in the 1970s, re-opened in 1981, and became a triplex in the early 1990s. Its Art Deco style décor still remains, along with the neon lighting on the marquee. In 2011 the Drexel Theater became a non-profit organization operated by CAPA (Columbus Association For The Performing Arts).

Yes, Boyhood IS showing at The Drexel. Click here for a nice article from The Columbus Underground newspaper.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Why will a weed grow anywhere but a flower that I treasure will not? (See the picture of a dandelion growing out of the foundation of our house.)

I love Black-Eyed Susans. Gerald has planted them at different places in the yard, diligently followed directions, but with no luck; they just won't "take"! He's bought seeds to start from scratch; we have dug wild ones and transplanted them, but they won't grow. What is wrong with my yard that a WILDFLOWER won't grow? Daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, peonies, crocus, amaryllis, and roses--all bloomed this year-- but the black-eyed girls obviously do not want to live here!

(CLICK HERE to see my BLOG article about Gerald picking a bouquet of Black-Eyed Susans and being stopped by the Highway Patrol for picking wildflowers!)

Don't get me wrong, I love dandelions (click here to see my BLOG article IN PRAISE OF DANDELIONS), although I don't make dandelion wine. (I'm sorry about the WHINE in the title, but couldn't resist.)

Friday, August 15, 2014


A Facebook "friend" posted an "inspirational" quote from Norman Vincent Peale. I responded that I detested Mr. Peale because he was opposed to John Fitzgerald Kennedy just because JFK was a Roman Catholic. I stated that Mr. Peale was a bigot and in what I thought was a good gibe, I wrote that the title of Peale's most famous book should have been "The Power Of Positive Prejudice" rather than The Power Of Positive Thinking. I also mentioned the hypocrisy of Billy Graham because he's an anti-Semite. I suggested listening to the Nixon Oval Office tapes.

Relating those facts caused a great deal of animosity toward me. I have never understood why people do not appreciate being given FACTS, but instead lash out at the messenger.

One very vituperous respondent attempted to upbraid me by lecturing that her belief is that EVERYONE has something good about them. I responded that I'd actually heard that some people thought that Hitler had said some good things. She replied that she was sure that Hitler loved his family. I told her that Hitler didn't represent family values very well because he wouldn't marry poor ole Eva until the last minute.

I quoted my witty brother: whenever he hears someone defend reprehensible people he always says, "Yeah, and Mussolini had the trains run on time."

I was UN-FRIENDED! Perhaps it was because I shared Jack Nicholson's famous "You can't handle the truth!" scene from A Few Good Men which caused my being banned! But I don't want to be "friends" with those kind of people.

They can't handle the truth OR humor!

Thursday, August 14, 2014


I've often wondered why Web addresses shown as ".com" are called DOT COM rather than PERIOD COM or even more correctly POINT COM.

Click here for a link to a Grammarphobia article which shows I am not the only one who has wondered.

Les heard my giving my telephone number on a message and he asked, "Why do you say 0 in 5-0-5, but say "ZERO" in 6-ZERO-x7?" I didn't realize I was doing it that way, but since he brought it to my attention, I am self-conscious about it now and invariably make a mistake. I should be British and say ZED! (CLICK HERE to see the article about why we say "zee" and they say "zed")

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


I just said to my husband, "When I grow up, I want to be just like Helen Philpot."

He asked, "WHO is THAT?"

I said, "Helen is an elderly woman who writes a BLOG with her friend Margaret and it's called MARGARET AND HELEN BEST FRIENDS FOR 60 YEARS AND COUNTING." (click here for a link to ENJOY!)

Helen Philpot is from Texas and Margaret Schmechtman is from Maine; they have a BLOG but do not write every day, but when they do publish, it's priceless. Helen wrote: "My grandson taught me how to do this so I could "blog" with my friend Margaret who I met almost sixty years ago."

I think the word "pithy" was created for them!

Years ago, at a political event, I was standing next to a woman old enough to be my mother, and standing next to me was a woman much younger than I. I put my arm around the older woman and said, "When I grow up, I want to be just like you." My younger friend chimed in and said, "And when I grow up I want to be just like you, Sue!" That's the THIRD best compliment I've ever received. CLICK HERE to see the BLOG article for the first and CLICK HERE to see the second best compliments.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


As we were working in the kitchen, Les was listening to one of his sports programs and the commentator was questioning whether Tiger Woods would break Jack Nicklaus' record. I asked Les what the record was to which he was referring and Les said that Jack had won 18 Majors and Tiger had won 14. I asked, "What are the Majors?" He answered, "The Masters, the PGA Championship, the U.S. Open and the British Open, but they don't call it that anymore."

I said, "Oh, no, that's too bad; Tiger will probably beat Jack's records; I don't want him to beat Jack." Les asked, incredulously, "Why? You don't know anything about golf." I answered, "Well, I think Jack is a good man; you've never heard a bad word about good ole Jack, have you?"

Les said, "No; Jack's one of the good guys!"

I said, "The first set of golf clubs I bought for Gerald were by Jack and I bought a Golden Bear golf shirt for him too!"

Les continued, "You know it's interesting that Ohio has produced great athletes who were also good guys." I asked, "Like who?" He answered, "Like Jesse Owens, Archie Griffin, Edwin Moses, and another golfer Tom Weiskopf."

I added, "Scott Hamilton and Hayes Alan Jenkins." Les asked, "WHUT? WHO is Hayes Alan Jenkins?" I said, "He's the great Olympic ice skater; he is married to Carol Heiss."

Les answered, "Oh, I forget that the ONLY sports you know about are skating and curling!"

I said, "AND the 1960 OSU basketball team: John Havlicek, Mel Nowell, Jerry Lucas, Joe Roberts, Gary Gearhart and....". Les stopped me and said, "Surely you're not going to include Bobby Knight in the list of good guys!"

I answered, "No, of course not; besides, he was second string; I was going to say Larry Seigfried!"

He answered, "Of course you know the starting line-up AND an extra!"

I said, "I hear that Jeff Shaw is a good guy; I know he gave $100.00 to Andy's benefit."

Then I began laughing, and said, "We've forgotten the most famous one of all."

Les said, "Please do not say LeBron."

I said, "No, he's from right here--ART!"

Les said, "Remember, we were talking about the GOOD GUYS!"

Monday, August 11, 2014


I attended a public meeting last week and a woman walked in wearing a wrinkled tee-shirt, Capri pants, and sandals. Another person was wearing denim shorts and a tank top with bra straps showing. This meeting was definitely a place where people should have, at least dressed appropriately, if not dressed professionally.

I can't imagine dressing that way going to the grocery, let alone to a public meeting.

I have lamented before (CLICK HERE to see DRESS CODE) about inappropriate dress.

The last time I was called for jury duty there was a woman wearing shorts, a low-cut top, and flip-flops. Jury instructions clearly state that one should dress "appropriately". She was not selected. I am constantly taken aback by clothing choices I see at weddings and funerals.

I was at my doctor's office today and a drug representative came in and she was wearing a very attractive ecru-colored lace blouse combined with black slacks, stiletto heels, a nice handbag, along with her briefcase. Her white bra was showing, conspicuously and glaringly, through the blouse. I thought, "Her mother probably never told her about camisoles!"

I think the first rule of business dress is that one's fashion shouldn't cause detraction--and distraction-- from the job! That's the reason that uniforms are great. At one place where I worked--a Deming philosophy company--uniforms were required for ALL employees which included everyone from the riveters to the President. What a tremendous cost-saving for me!

Driving through town today, I saw three women wearing tops with the bra straps showing and one was pink bra straps! Is this a fad or don't they realize how unattractive it is? I know I sound old-fashioned, but can anyone actually think that is becoming? Les says I sound like an "old fogey"; I tell him I was also a "young fogey"! Besides, the temperature was 60 degrees today!

I never criticize young people and their clothing choices; in fact I have defended kids and their choices because I remember how ludicrous some of my choices were, but I grew up!

Sunday, August 10, 2014


A Facebook friend posted a photo (see below) showing women protesting the immigrant children at the border in Texas.

It reminded me of another famous photo of a fifteen-year-old girl named Hazel Bryan spewing racial epithets at Elizabeth Eckford, who was one of nine children trying to enter school in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957.

I have always called that photograph "THE FACE OF HATE" because my friend Cammy used that photo to illustrate her Senior Paper about the Civil Rights struggle.

With these hate-filled people, I see a NEW face of hate. The more things change, the more they stay the same!

CLICK HERE to see my BLOG article ELIZABETH AND HAZEL which features a marvelous book by David Margolick which details what became of the the lives of those two teenage girls.

Saturday, August 9, 2014


Les just told me that he'd heard the top 3 critically-acclaimed movies of 2014 are:

The Grand Budapest Hotel

I have read 4 adulatory reviews of Boyhood in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and The New Republic. I've seen other movies by the director Richard Linklater-and I especially liked Bernie--and I am looking forward to seeing Boyhood, despite the fact I do not like Ethan Hawke.

The Grand Budapest Hotel has a huge cast, including Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, and Saoirse Ronan. I watch all movies with those three.

Snowpiercer is a sci-fi movie, but I'll watch it with Gerald, because amusingly, Tilda Swinton is in it too! We LOVE Tilda Swinton!

Les asked, "You think Linklater is related to Hamish and Catherine?"

Now I DO know who Hamish Linklater is but I didn't know about Catherine.

Damn him! Catherine Linklater is a character's name in Safe House! I was so glad I didn't ACT like I knew her!