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.