Thursday, March 31, 2016


I often say that I've spent my life trying NOT to sound as if I come from Fayette County but I'll paraphrase the old saw that "you can take the girl out of the county.......".

Today in a discussion about vegetable soup I used the used the word "wangy" to describe the way that vegetable soup tastes on the second day if one uses cabbage in it.  Nobody at the lunch group had ever heard the word.  In a little survey I conducted later, I found that nobody I quizzed outside my family had ever heard the word.

My brothers and I all know what that word means to us, but it's probably just another "Gladys Word" which we inherited from our mother.  In our usage, although "wangy" rhymes with tangy, it means that the taste is "off" or "tainted", and not pleasant.

I checked on the internet and there's no dictionary which gives a definition for WANGY except for my beloved URBAN DICTIONARY:

WANGY:  "An onomatopoeic word to describe a rubberized stretchy quality;  of food, having lost its consistency, but possibly still edible."  EXAMPLES:

1.  "Don't heat the pasta in the microwave; it will go all wangy."
2.  "Don't eat the sandwich;  it's wangy, the edges are curling up."
3.  "The toast is a bit wangy;  it's been made a couple of hours."

Although these examples deal with foods, the definition is different than ours.


Recently, on  Jeopardy! the Final Jeopardy category was "mottos" and the answer was that Louis B. Mayer and Oscar Wilde had the same four-word motto.

I screamed, in delight, "ARS GRATIA ARTIS!" because I was certain that was the answer after having seen the phrase emblazoned above the roaring lion since I could remember.

Les, who is the self-appointed scorekeeper, "gonged" me and said, "WRONG--it asked for a FOUR-WORD motto."

I whined, "But I KNOW that it means ART FOR ART'S SAKE!"

He replied, "Too bad, smarty-pants show-off, it asked for FOUR-words and that has THREE words, so you lose!"

None of the contestants had the correct response.

Les, triumphant in declaring my answer as incorrect, said, "SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI."  I said, "Wow!  I'm impressed."    He laughed and said, "That's the only Latin I know;  I don't even know what it means.  Didn't they say that when Lincoln died?"

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


I went to a Round Table Discussion by our Senator Sherrod Brown about the "epidemic" of heroin use.

When I arrived, I asked to be directed to the area where the Senator would be holding the event. The person at the Information desk asked if I had been invited.  I answered, "No, the newspaper did not specify it was closed."  She answered curtly, "It's by invitation only."

 I asked to see the Deputy Director of the organization.  When the Deputy Director came, she greeted me warmly by saying, "Hi, Neighbor."  I asked, "Is it OK if I I attend?"  She said, "Of course!" and she accompanied me to the conference room.  (I wasn't a bit embarrassed to play that "neighbor card" and I smiled smugly at the woman at the Information desk.)

Among the panelists with the Deputy Director were:  a County Commissioner, the Washington C.H. City Manager, the Fayette County Sheriff and his Chief Deputy, the Director of Community Action, the Hospital Director of Business Development, the Director of The Chamber Of Commerce, two men from the Pickaway County Area Recovery Services, the Washington High School Superintendent, and the Marketing Director from a local nursing facility.

Before the meeting began, as the Senator was greeting people in the audience, one of the City Council members was in attendance with her daughter.  The daughter told the Senator that she was a "recovering heroin addict and an alcoholic".   The Senator told them that they should sit at the table with the other panelists which they promptly did and the Senator's Aide quickly produced place cards to which they applied their names.

I learned a great deal from the panelists and was glad I was able to attend.  All of the panelists--and especially the two men from Pickaway Area Recovery Services--supplied much pertinent information, but the discussion was dominated by the two NON-PANELISTS:  the City Council member and her "recovering heroin-addicted, alcoholic" daughter.

Frankly, I was embarrassed by their grandstanding, show-boating display.  I felt that the other panelists received short shrift because of the monopolization of the Council member and her daughter.  I would much rather have heard more from the panelists about what they are DOING to combat the "epidemic" rather than by the self-aggrandizement of the "recovering heroin-addicted alcoholic"!

As I was "nosing" at the notes on the Aide's notebook, I could tell which people with whom he had been impressed.  I leaned over, pointed at a couple of names, and said, "Too bad they are Republicans!"  I then pointed out the few Democrats in the room.  Of course it was NOT a political event but I was fairly amused to see the schmoozing  and photo ops with the Senator for whom they probably did NOT vote!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Mona Lisa called and asked, "Have you heard people say 'I' when it should be 'my' or 'mine'?" I told her I didn't think so and I asked for an example. She said she had recently heard someone say, "We had a lot of people come to Bill and I's party." I screaked in horror. She said she had also received a thank you card which read: "Thank you so much for Joe and I's gift."

Fortunately, I hadn't heard these screamers but Grammarphobia identified the same problem. In the article it suggested Googling "John and I's", which I did. The problem must be widespread!


“I” strain

Q: I hear more and more people substitute “I’s” for “my” or “mine.” For example, “My friends had a wonderful time at Jason and I’s party.” Ouch! That hurts my ears! Is this something that will fade away, or will it eventually become accepted?

A: You’re right. A lot of people are using “I’s” as a possessive of “I,” though mostly in place of “my,” not “mine.”

We got millions of hits when we Googled “John and I’s,” “Bob and I’s,” and so on. Here are a few examples:

● “You really captured the spirit of John and I’s relationship and I absolutely cannot wait to see more of the shots!”

● “Thank you for supporting Jason and I’s celebration.”

● “Bob and I’s story is short, pathetic and kind of sweet!”

● “Tomorrow is Sam and I’s 2nd wedding anniversary.”

This usage seems to be relatively new. The earliest examples we could find were from 2004. Here’s an early one from the film producer Harvey Weinstein about the Weinstein brothers’ rocky relationship with Disney.

“They get to see my books all the time, so there’s no hiding what we do. On the flip side, Bob and I’s pay is determined by accounting from Disney. I don’t get to see everything unless I ask for an audit.”

Getting back to your question, what should be used in place of “Jason and I’s party”?

Well, “Jason’s and my party” would be correct, but that’s not the most felicitous phrasing. We’d prefer something like “our party” or, if you need to mention Jason, “our party, Jason’s and mine.”

Is this “I’s” business something that will fade away? Probably, but only time will tell.

In looking into your question, we came across a paper by Karen Milligan, a linguist at Wayne State University, about the grammar of joint possession.

In “Expressing Joint Possession: Or, Why me and Mary’s paper wasn’t accepted (but Bob and I’s was),” she suggests that the natural way of expressing joint possession (she calls it “the default construction”), is “me and Sean’s.”

She says this is “syntactically the most economical choice and the one utilized by children first. It is also the one adults revert to subconsciously—when under stress or in unguarded speech.”

Ms. Milligan writes that the early usage “declines with age, leading to eventual abandonment” as the “over-extension or misappropriation of prescriptive rules results in constructions that are semantically altered and/or unpredicted by the grammar of English.”

In other words, she seems to be arguing, we got it right as toddlers and we can blame English teachers for our difficulties in expressing joint possession as adults.

Monday, March 28, 2016


Do people STILL do "spring cleaning"?  I can recall, as a child, my mother would take out all of the glassware from the "china cabinet" and I would wash and dry the pieces and I would hear the history of each piece.

With all the modern conveniences now available, I would think that "spring cleaning" is just a reminder of a "time gone by".  In July, 2013, I wrote a BLOG article titled NO MORE STUFF and I claimed that I was going to DE-CLUTTER.  I have always been a very organized person and followed my mother's dictum:  "a place for everything and everything in its place", but I STILL have too much STUFF!

Our friends Bob and Connie gave me the book the life-changing magic of tidying up, the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing as a Christmas present and since January, I have been diligently sorting and collecting STUFF for a planned Rummage Sale to benefit the Dog Rescue group RESCUED ANIMALS FOR THEIR FUREVER HOMES.  (OK, I know that "furever" is outrageously cute, but I rather like it!).

I recently saw Peter Walsh, the organizing maven, tell his secrets of Spring Cleaning with his RULE OF FIVE:

5. give away FIVE items
4.  toss FOUR items that are stained, broken, or are trash
3.  clean out THREE major areas of the house
2.  perform TWO chores outside the house
1.  gift ONE item to a friend.

OK, I have done ALL these items!  I gave a brand-new designer purse to my friend.  She and I were having lunch to celebrate her birthday and I was carrying the purse for the first time and I plopped the purse on the seat beside me.  She admired the purse and I told her that it reminded me of her and she could have it.  When we were leaving I told her to come to my car.  I opened the trunk, dumped the purse contents onto the trunk floor and handed the purse to her.  She insisted that she shouldn't take it and she would gladly pay me for it.

She knows me well-enough to know that I am NOT an "impulse buyer" (especially with expensive items) but when I told her that I didn't actually like the purse ("It's not ME!") she asked why I had bought it.  I told her that it reminded me of HER!

I said, "You know I am SO old-fashioned that I would need my shoes to match my purse and there's NO way I could find shoes THAT color!"

Sunday, March 27, 2016


Chocolate Easter bunnies--which to choose--hollow or solid chocolate? Both have their negative points: the hollow chocolate, when broken turns into little fragments of chocolate shrapnel; the solid ones, too difficult to bite.

Each year I bite the ears from the chocolate Easter bunnies I give to my brother and husband. I was amused to learn several years ago that the character "Sally" in the comic strip Sally Forth also bites off the ears of her daughter Hilary's Easter bunny.  Hilary schemes to find the bunny before her mother chomps the ears.  Only once, on March 23, 2008, was Hilary able to get to the bunny before Sally. The annual competition since has Sally continuing to bite the ears.

This year, I was able to purchase a bunny with really large ears! His name is "Biggy Ears" and he's "EARresistable" according to the package. Should I just nibble a bit from the top or bite down to the head? Hmm? I'm looking at that chocolate rabbit now and he's beckoning "Sue---ooooooh", "Sue----ooooooh"; I don't know how long I can resist! Resist, Hell! See the "before and after" pictures!

There must be a deep psychological compulsion which makes "Sally" and me do this, but I just think it's fun!

Saturday, March 26, 2016


Today, at lunch, I asked a friend how her son's English classes were "going";  she asked, in an exasperated tone, "WTH are GERUNDS?  I swear I never heard of them and didn't have them in school."

I said, "Gerunds are words that end in I-N-G;  they are verbs made into nouns--like GOING."

Later that day I quizzed several exceptionally intelligent people and NONE could tell me what a gerund IS!

GERUND:  a noun made from a verb by adding the letters  "I-N-G".  Every gerund, without exception, ends in "I-N-G".  Gerunds function as nouns and will be subjects, subject complements, direct objects, indirect objects, and objects of prepositions in sentences.

The gerund form of the word READ is READING;  WRITING is the gerund form of WRITE; SMOKING is the gerund form of SMOKE;  see the examples:

SMOKING is a very expensive habit.
My favorite past time is READING.

SMOKING CIGARETTES costs a lot of money.
My favorite past time is READING HISTORY.

1.  READING has been my favorite avocation.  READING is the subject of the verb "HAS BEEN".
2.  My first passion is READING.  READING is the subject complement of the verb "IS".
3.  I enjoy READING more than watching television.  READING is the direct object of the verb "ENJOY".
4.  I give READING a lot of my spare time.  READING is the indirect object of the verb "GIVE".
5.  When I had ten books in my briefcase, everyone knew I was devoted to READING.  READING is the object of the preposition "TO".

However, not ALL words ending in "I-N-G" are gerunds;  some are PRESENT PARTICIPLES; present participles complete progressive verbs or act as modifiers.  EXAMPLES:

1.  One day, I was READING a magazine.  READING is the present participle completing the past progressive verb "WAS READING".
2.  A drink splashed on my READING MATERIAL;  READING is the present participle modifying "MATERIAL".
3.  I always keep my books in safe READING areas.  READING is the present participle modifying "AREAS".

Friday, March 25, 2016


The most beautiful words in the English language:  "IT'S BENIGN!"

After waiting FIVE days for biopsy results, I was certainly relieved to hear those words, although I am embarrassed to admit my using the words is NOT original, but a quote from Woody Allen.

Maxim Gorky wrote that the most beautiful
words in the English language are:  "NOT GUILTY!"    Dorothy Parker wrote that "CHECK ENCLOSED" are the most beautiful words.  Obviously ole Max, Dorothy, and I aim for the cuteness.

Henry James wrote that "SUMMER AFTERNOON" have always been the most beautiful words in the English language.

Years ago I read that the word "murmur" is supposed to be the most beautiful word: I have always loved the sound of "ineffable", "mellifluous", "ethereal", "serendipity", and "ephemeral".

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Today, in a local store, I heard a woman trying to explain to two young children what an IRON and IRONING BOARD are.  She told them, "In the old days, women used to iron clothes and they used a tool called an iron."  I spoke up and said, "I still do."  After a bit, I learned that these were her grandchildren.  I asked, "You know when clothes are wrinkly, how does your mother make them smooth?"  One of the girls answered, "She doesn't."

I told them that I keep my ironing board and iron set up in the spare bedroom.  I told about a time when my niece and her five-year-old daughter came to spend the weekend. The grand-niece wanted to see where her room was located.   When we went to the room, I began to take down the ironing board and she asked, "Aunt Sue, what's that thing?"  I explained about ironing and I took a blouse from the closet to demonstrate and she said it looked like FUN!

She ran downstairs to tell her mother about the ironing board and the "fun" time we'd had.  Her mother said, "Well, Aunt Sue's idea of fun and mine are two different things!"  The grand-niece asked, "Why can't we have an ironing board?"

Her mother said, "It's because I don't like to iron clothes and I don't buy anything that needs to be ironed!"

In the 1970s, I worked with a man who had always been impeccably dressed;  his shirts and slacks were always nicely ironed with creases on the shirt sleeves and pant legs.  One day I noticed that his shirt was wrinkled and that he had worn the same shirt the previous day.  My first thought was that his wife was ill, but I did not inquire.  After several days of seeing his rumpled attire, I realized that he wasn't living at home.  Feeling that we were close enough friends, I asked, "How long have you been living away from home?"  He asked how I knew and I told him that I had noticed that his clothes weren't ironed.  He asked if I thought that anyone else had noticed and if were people talking because he didn't want our boss to find out, as he wanted to move back home and he didn't want to be the topic of gossip.

He asked if I knew someone who would iron his clothes.  That's how my mother got a part-time job!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


I have the BUTTERMILK BLUES:  you know, when one must buy a QUART of buttermilk for a recipe and then one is faced with the quandary:  WTH to do with the remainder?

Whatever happened to being able to buy a PINT of buttermilk? Through the years I have tossed numerous containers of leftover buttermilk and please, don't tell me to DRINK it and no, I do not want to use the vinegar/lemon juice addition to real milk as a substitute for buttermilk.

I wanted to make Carla Hall's biscuits and the recipe called for just 3/4 cup of buttermilk.  The biscuits were quite flaky but not as delicious as my mother's biscuits which do not require buttermilk.

A friend sent a recipe for ORANGE BUTTERMILK SALAD:

 1 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple, undrained
 3 tablespoons white sugar
 6 ounces orange gelatin
 2 cups buttermilk
 1 8-ounce container of Cool Whip

Mix pineapple and sugar together in a medium saucepan;  bring to a low boil, stirring occasionally.  Stir in gelatin until completely dissolved;  remove from heat;  let cool to room temperature.  Add buttermilk and mix.  Refrigerate 1 hour or until partially set. Gently fold in Cool Whip.  Pour mixture into a lightly greased gelatin mold or into a lightly greased
8 x 8 glass pan.  Refrigerate 8 hours or until completely set.

I STILL have leftover buttermilk!  I shall FREEZE it to use in Gerald's birthday cake:  German's Sweet Chocolate Cake!

I shall freeze the remainder and save it to use to make Gerald's German's Sweet Chocolate Cake for his birthday!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


In Saturday's BLOG, I wrote about confronting one's fears.  During the same conversation I mentioned that I'd been surprised by the number of people I know personally who are afraid of--or dislike--CLOWNS!

My friend's acquaintance said, "That's because they are child molesters." Although I was stunned and shocked at such an ignorant stereotype, I shrieked, "I AM A CLOWN!" Then the woman actually said to me, "I wouldn't allow you around my grandkids."  (Trust me, she said this with NO hint of humor.)

I was seething with rage at such a comment and I responded, "What would make YOU think I would want to be around YOUR grandchildren?"

I am STILL disturbed that someone would THINK-- and say-- something that despicable!  How DARE she suggest that I am a child molester simply because I have been a clown!   I know that there is little hope of changing people and their ignorance.  Victor Hugo wrote:  "There is no worse sight than ignorance in action."

I guess Emmet Kelly can turn over in his grave!

While working at North American Rockwell, I was an active member of the National Management Association.  Our Club had more than 500 members. When I became Vice-President, under my umbrella were the responsibilities of Public Relations and Community Activities;  included in those were the Reading Rehabilitation Program at Alvis House, being the publisher of the Club newsletter Pass The Word, and The Rockwell Clown Unit.

The Rockwell Clown Unit served the Columbus community for more than thirty years.  In July, 1961, Ed Ryan donned clown makeup to entertain the children at the North American Management Club picnic. This act was the impetus for starting an amateur Clown Unit to entertain children who needed help, sympathy, and cheering-up. The ages and sizes of the children did not matter; the Clown Unit would entertain infants as well as retirees. In December, 1962, an Administrator from Children's Hospital asked the Clown Unit to consider making monthly visits to the hospital. After that, the Clown Unit never missed a single month. Members of the Clown Unit came from many different backgrounds, but their common trait was that they were volunteers who had the ability to share fun and happiness with others.

I joined the Clown Unit and became "Klutzy The Clown" which was an apt name for my clown persona as I am naturally KLUTZY and I learned many valuable things such as how to fall without injuring oneself and the health benefits of clowning (such as lowering blood pressure).  My costume is pink and purple and my makeup features pink shades with purple freckles.
One day, after a performance, I was very tired, and I decided just to drive home while in costume. I stopped to get a Coke at a gas station and I heard a voice ring out, "Look, Mommy, a clown!" It didn't matter how tired I was, I immediately was on stage AGAIN, because clowns take an oath that if they are in costume, they must keep the persona intact.

After the shutdown of North American Rockwell in 1988, the Clown Unit wanted to remain intact and sought a new sponsor.  After leaving Rockwell, I worked in Springfield and could no longer participate regularly in "clowning around" with the Unit, but I have donned my outfit for special occasions and reunions.

Now, tell me, does KLUTZY remind YOU of a "child molester"?

Monday, March 21, 2016


At an organization where I volunteer, there is a "community refrigerator";  one of the women was getting ready for lunch and she saw that her pepperoni had been taken.  I said, "You should have put your name on  it."

I call my darling little citrus fruit "Clementine" (No, I couldn't resist that darling pun!)    

At Thanksgiving, when I commented how beautiful "Tom" looked, I was surprised that a young friend had never heard the term "Tom" used for a turkey!  

Les said, "If you have to explain 'em, it's no good."  I said, "I thought that everybody knew Tom Turkey!"  

I also call some Freestones "Ty Cobb",  and my Friday meal "Jim Hunter", and I used to call Tropicana "Orenthal" but I no longer do that!  

Les said, "You know, not everybody knows "Catfish" Hunter and that Ty Cobb was "The Georgia Peach" or OJ's real name!"

 I admit I didn't "get" it when he named the cornbread Cedric Maxwell!

Sunday, March 20, 2016


First, let me say that I am currently abysmally ignorant about sports.  However, as a youngster, I was a walking compendium of sports knowledge as I was under the influence of my sports-loving brothers and father.  After moving from home and meeting my husband, my interest in sports vanished because Gerald's only interests are golfing and auto-racing, which much to his irritation, I told him that those really aren't sports.

Several years ago, my friend Charles was filling out the brackets for the NCAA championship. As I had made an enlarged copy for him to use, I had the original copy from the newspaper.  As a lark, I also filled out the form.  Charles laughed at my choices and methods for choosing.  I told him, "There is a method to my madness!" Charles kept the forms and would call me after each game, breathlessly, to tell me how we fared in our competition.

Imagine his shock--and mine--when I chose 48 of 64 correctly and he had 32!

My brother told me that I should enter the next year's competition because I fared better than most of the "experts".

Some of my method:  I always choose Syracuse because they are the "Orangemen" and my family came from Northern Ireland.  Immediately suffering from Liberal guilt for choosing something for ethnic reasons, I immediately chose some Catholic colleges.  I chose Gonzaga because I recalled that it was Bing Crosby's alma mater and a double-whammy, it is also a Catholic school. I chose Butler because Gerald's mother was born there in Indiana. I chose Ohio State because I feared for my own safety from my basketball-crazed friends if I did not choose THE Ohio State University team.  

So, of course, I actually have NO method!

This year I had a dilemma:  my, oh, my:  an Ohio Catholic school--the UD Flyers vying against my beloved Orangemen--I chose Syracuse.

Saturday, March 19, 2016


In an amusing conversation with a friend and her acquaintance, the topic was confronting one's fears. Surprisingly, at least to me, both of the women said that they were afraid of "midgets".

Incredulously, I asked, "How about dwarfs?"  They said they did not know the difference.  My friend Gretchen had corrected my misinformation about the differences awhile back; I was able to impart the correct information but I said, "I think that they prefer to be called 'little people' rather than those other names."

Midgets are very short people who have normal body proportions;  dwarfs are very short people who have disproportionate body parts.

I think they became bored when I told them that the plural of dwarf is "dwarfs" but the variant "dwarves" was popularized by J.R.R. Tolkein in the books The Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings.

My mother did not believe in corporal punishment;  thus I never had a spanking, slap, punch, or any other kind of physical punishment. My brother Les, who is nine years younger, never had any punishment either but he has an unforgettable, vivid memory of being "walloped" once.  

When he was four or five years old, he and I were in town together and we saw a dwarf and he began pointing and making fun of the man and I did "wallop" him!

Friday, March 18, 2016


In his introduction of his Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, President Obama used the word "comity";  I have heard the President use the word previously when referring to relations between our country and others.

A young person of my acquaintance asked me, "Do you believe he just said COMEDY?"

I told him that the President had said "comity" and NOT "comedy" and that word means courtesy and considerate behavior toward others.

My brother said, "Wouldn't it be great if your Facebook friends displayed comity?"

I learned that I had not known about the meaning of comity when applied to religion and law.  See the complete dictionary definition here:

1. courteous behavior, politeness, civility
2. an association of nations for their mutual benefit
3. an agreement among cooperating Christian denominations to avoid duplication of churches, missions, etc., in specific areas
4. the principle by which the courts of one jurisdiction may give effect to the laws and decisions of another, or may stay their own proceedings in deference to those in another jurisdiction.

Thursday, March 17, 2016


On March 13 of this year, at a Saint Patrick's Day celebration in Portsmouth, OH, a young friend asked, "Why do they say Saint Paddy's Day?  That's dumb!"  I answered that Paddy is the diminutive of Patrick and it's a common nickname in Ireland.

Later I saw several people wearing tee-shirts proclaiming "Easter Rising 1916-2016";   after complimenting the people wearing them, I was very pleased to have some interesting conversations with them about the Centenary and Irish history. My young companion had no knowledge of the Rebellion although he proudly claims to be "Irish".

My brother asked, "Why would you expect people to know Irish history?  Hell, they don't even know OUR history!"

At a very enjoyable lunch at the Port City Cafe and Pub, I feasted on an appetizer of small Yukon Gold potatoes covered with corned beef, scallions, and drenched with cheese.  I will copy that recipe!

We were entertained by Irish bagpipers and Step Dancers who were wearing the tartans of Clan MacLellan.

Later,  from the audience, I began singing along with the band;  they were surprised I knew all the words to Roddy McCorley!

On Saint Patrick's Day I wear ORANGE. Several people have commented about my lack of the "WEARING OF THE GREEN", which gives me the opportunity to tell them that one side of my family came from NORTHERN Ireland and that we are ORANGEMEN! (In a bit of chauvinism, I always choose Syracuse University as my favorite team in March Madness because they are the "Orangemen"; just like the devotion of some others to Notre Dame's "The Fighting Irish".)

I believe in a United Eire.  For years I had a bumper sticker on my car reading "26 + 6 = 1" but only one person outside my family "got" its meaning!

My brother asked, "When people don't get it, does it diminish your revolutionary fervor?"

A woman of my acquaintance who attends a local Evangelical church said that she was having a St. Patrick's Day party. I asked, "Isn't that against your religion?" She said, "What do you mean?" I didn't even mention the probability that there would be the consumption of alcoholic beverages at such a gathering, but I did comment, "Well, Saint Patrick was obviously Catholic and you are obviously a Protestant." She seemed offended and answered tersely, "I'm not a Protestant, but I'm Irish." I asked, "From which county in Northern Ireland did your family originate?" She said she didn't know. I asked, "But don't you understand that your church, along with all the other sects, stem from the Protestant Reformation?" She seemed stunned.  I asked, "Do you know the history of your church? It's an offshoot of another Protestant church." She said she did not know the history of her church and she was surprised that I did.  I asked, with some incredulity, "You joined a church without knowing its history?"

On Facebook, on Saint Patrick's Day, I am always amused to see numerous St. Patrick's Day messages and nearly all are from non-Catholics. My brother said, "Everybody's Irish on St. Paddy's Day!" See the message from THE WISE GEEK:

The number of Americans who report having Irish ancestry is seven times larger than the total population of Ireland.

About 11%, or 35 million out of about 310 million, Americans claim Irish ancestry, according to 2011 US Census data. Ireland's total population is about 4.6 million citizens, which means that the US has more than 7 times more people of Irish heritage than Ireland. These numbers were split rather evenly between both men and women and across a fairly wide range of age groups and levels of education. The large number of Irish-Americans may be traced back to the country's wave of Irish immigration experienced in the mid 1800s.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


My daffodils are blooming;  I am a happy girl.

As Wordsworth wrote in Daffodils:

"A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company"


"And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils."

(picture from my kitchen table)


                                                                        by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud,
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering, dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle in the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay;
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee;
A poet could not be but gay
In such a jocund company;
I gazed, and gazed, but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought;

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


I know that it might sound mawkish, but I believe it is my patriotic duty to vote.  As a member of the minority party in our county, I feel especially compelled to vote in the primaries. Please vote in the March 15, 2016 Primary.

See this link:  There have been numerous elections won by ONE or very few votes.  In 2004, John Kerry lost Ohio in the Presidential election and although he had carried the large cities Kerry did not carry southern Ohio.  When Barack Obama ran four years later, his campaign concentrated on southern Ohio with a liaison in every county.  We were instructed that IF John Kerry had gained NINE votes per precinct in southern Ohio, he would have carried Ohio and would have won the election.  Our rallying cry in 2008 was "NINE VOTES PER PRECINCT" and the Obama campaign was successful.

I have never missed an election since I reached my "majority" (as it was so quaintly put "back in the day").  When I began voting, the age requirement was 21. When I presented myself to vote at the Primary of my first voting year, I was 20 years old. Of course, one was required to provide proof of birth, and when I gave my birth date as July 19, I was told by the poll worker I could NOT vote. Being quite aware of the law I told the worker I most certainly could vote because I would be 21 before the General Election. It was unbelievable to me that the poll worker had to confer with others before allowing me to vote.

I was alarmed to learn of the latest voter suppression plan by Ohio's current Secretary of State as he issued a directive that 17-year-old citizens will NOT be allowed to vote in the March Primary even if their eighteenth birthday is before the General Election in November.  I learned that the court decided AGAINST Husted's plan!  In the past this Secretary of State has restricted early voting, trashed provisional ballots, defied court orders to keep open for early voting, and retaliated against voting officials who opposed his policies.  When he launched a voter fraud investigation about alleged voting by illegal immigrants, it found exactly FOUR cases since 2000.  Just another waste of taxpayer dollars!

One time I arrived at my polling place at 7:20 PM because we'd had an emergency at work. I exceeded the speed limit on Route 38 and was stopped by a Sheriff's Deputy and he actually let me go with a warning.  I now vote early by absentee ballot.

It seems the only time there's a big turnout is to defeat levies. At our last General Election, the vote in Fayette County was 24.3% of the registered voters; in our last Primary the percentage was 21%. That is shameful.

Monday, March 14, 2016



Sunday, March 13, 2016

roman a clef

After reading my BLOG article about not judging a book by its movie, Mona Lisa asked, "So, what movies do you think are better than the books?"

I answered, "The Bridges Of Madison County, definitely!"   See a list from the article FIFTY MOVIES BETTER THAN THE MOVIES.   I disagree about their inclusion of To Kill A Mockingbird , Les Miserables, and Sense And Sensibility.  It's interesting that there are four on the list from Stephen King (Shawshank Redemption, Stand By Me, Misery,)and two by Elmore Leonard.

I have read books AFTER seeing the adapted movies:  The Godfather, Julie and Julia, and The Princess Bride;  it is difficult to assess whether the books are better after having been influenced by the movies.  I agree with the list that Dr. Strangelove........, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, and Breakfast At Tiffany's are better as movies, as I had read those prior to seeing the movies.

When I was 13 I went to see Elvis' movie King Creole.  Even at that young age, I was a reader of credits.  I saw that the movie was based on A Stone For Danny Fisher, with the author's name listed as Harold Robbins.
At that time Robbins was not the fantastically successful novelist that he eventually became, but I just had to get the book.  Being that young, I couldn't get it from the library as it was definitely an "adult" novel.  My brother checked it out, read it, and told me that it was obviously a roman a clef  (NO, I did not know what a roman a clef was at that time!).

When I read the book I learned that the movie was very little like the book.  The book was a Depression-era, coming-of-age story about a Jewish guy in New Orleans.

King Creole was set in New Orleans;  that's about all that is similar to the book.

Saturday, March 12, 2016


Definition of the adjective AWESOME:  extremely impressive or daunting;  inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear."

I sometimes think that "awesome" is the only adjective some young people know as I notice daily the absurd overuse--and incorrect usage--of the word.

I'm merely amused when young people misuse the word;  after all, I remember when I was a youngster using "cool", "hip", and other nonsensical words to convey an idea, I am hopeful young people will outgrow their "slanging" of "awesome', but when I hear the incorrect usage from grown-ups, I am dismayed.

At a recent City Council meeting, one of the members used the word "awesome" THREE times; the subject being referenced could NOT possibly be considered of an awesome nature.

The same Council member also actually said, "I seen....";  I nearly fainted!  I certainly hope that two other Council members who proclaim themselves as "educators" will take aside the colleague and explain about CONJUGATION!

FAYCO--Fayette County talk!

Friday, March 11, 2016


I ordered The Intern from Netflix.  Les asked, "WHY did you order that;  didn't you read the synopsis?", obviously meaning that it wasn't "OUR" kind of movie.  I answered, "Well, after all, it IS de Niro!"

The story centers around de Niro's character--a retired widower--who takes a job as an intern at a company founded by Anne Hathaway's character.  One of the movie's taglines is "Experience never gets old."  and the story centers around the young people learning from the old codger and vice versa.

After watching it, I told Les it was "sweet" and he asked, "Don't you mean TREACLY?"  I do admire one who would use the word "treacly".

Yes, the screenplay was formulaic, predictable, and cute, but I was touched by one scene where de Niro's character advises a young man he's mentoring about the importance of a man carrying a handkerchief.

Naturally--and predictably--a time comes in the movie when the young man's having a handkerchief to offer to a weeping woman is important to his wooing the girl.

See the article from Jezebel about the importance of men--and women--carrying a handkerchief and that doesn't mean a pocket square in a suit jacket or a wadded-up Kleenex at the bottom of a purse:

Thursday, March 10, 2016


From The Urban Dictionary

I hate to wear my seat belt--please, NO lectures--because I DO believe in wearing seat belts.  Fortunately, I was wearing my seat belt when I had my accident and also, each time I have been stopped by the cops I have been wearing my seat belt!

Gerald won't start the engine until I have buckled-up!

Seat belts irritate my neck;  I have even bought apparatuses to prevent the problem, but they don't work.

I wear the seat belt UNDER my breasts!  How safe is that?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


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 wrote 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."  Dumbfounded, 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.

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!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


In conversation with a young woman who is going to be in a performance of a local college production of The Great Gatsby, I asked, "Have you ever watched any of the movie adaptations?" She asked, "What movies?"  I answered, "The Great Gatsby;  Alan Ladd was in the first, Redford in the second, and Leonardo was in the last one."  She said that the Director had said not to watch anything but just to read the book and the play.

I screaked, "ALAN LADD--can you believe that Alan Ladd played Jay Gatsby?"

Of course I was not surprised when she said she had never heard of Alan Ladd.  I asked, "Ever heard of Shane?"  I then went into my imitation of Brandon de Wilde crying out, "Shane, Shane...." but she didn't know that movie!

I told her that I thought none of the movies captured the essence of Jay or Daisy and that I was a great fan of Fitzgerald, having read everything by him, and about him, and also Zelda.  I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that she did not know who Zelda was.  I told her how much I disliked Hemingway and his treatment of Fitzgerald.

When I told her about the new movie about Maxwell Perkins, I saw her eyes glazed over and I realized I was probably boring her.

Monday, March 7, 2016


The Urban Dictionary defines COMMERCIAL GAME (see below) as the game that people watch during a commercial break of the game they're actually watching.

Although I don't watch very many sporting events, I am a CHANNEL SURFER as I do flick to other channels during the commercials while watching other shows, so I guess the proper terminology is my Commercial Show, rather than Commercial Game!  I seldom watch anything LIVE as my brother Les kindly records nearly everything for me to watch at my convenience.

However, when Gerald and I watch Jeopardy! in "real time", I am constantly flicking to something else during the commercials. Gerald and Les hate to watch anything with me because I am the constant channel surfer!

From The Urban Dictionary

The game I watch during a commercial break of the game I'm really watching.
"Yeah, I watched it, but it was my commercial game."

Sunday, March 6, 2016


Once again I heard someone say, "Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result."

Nope, it's not a quote from Einstein (see GRAMMARPHOBIA article below), who, like Twain, Franklin, Shaw, Lincoln, Churchill, Wilde, and Dorothy Parker, is quite a "quote magnet";  the first known written example attributing the "insanity" quote to Einstein comes from the novelist Rita Mae Brown in her 1983 book Sudden Death, and possibly from a draft of a book for Narcotics Anonymous.

From Grammarphobia:


Q: I used to work in management training, where this saying was cited in arguing for innovation — “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  Brainy Quote attributes it to Einstein, but gives no evidence. Is this one of those “quotes” that float around until someone decides to give a brainy person credit for it?

A: The words are correct—more or less—but the attribution is wrong.

The Yale Book Of Quotations says the American novelist Rita Mae Brown, not Albert Einstein, is the source of the earliest known appearance of the quotation in print.

However, a similar quotation appeared around the same time in a book published by Narcotics Anonymous and two years earlier in an unpublished draft of the NA book.

There are also tantalizing suggestions that the quote may have been floating around in the addiction-recovery movement even earlier than that.

The quotation can be found in chapter four of Brown’s novel Sudden Death (1983). We’ll quote a couple of relevant paragraphs to provide some context:

“The trouble with Susan was that she made the same mistakes repeatedly. She’d fall in love with a woman and consume her. Susan thought that her mere presence was enough. What more was there to give? When she tired, usually after a year or so, she’d find another woman.

“Unfortunately, Susan didn’t remember what Jane Fulton once said. ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.’ ”

(The “Jane Fulton” referred to is another character in the novel.)

A similar quote—“Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results”—appeared on page 11 of an unpublished 1981 draft of a book on recovery prepared by Narcotics Anonymous.

But that was a working draft. The approved version wasn’t published until 1983, when it appeared in the book Narcotics Anonymous. That was the same year Brown’s novel appeared.

Another version of the quotation appeared in a pamphlet, Step 2: Coming to Believe (Rev. ed.), published in 1992 by the Hazelden Foundation, an addiction-treatment organization.

In the pamphlet, a recovering addict is quoted as saying, “When I came into the program, I heard that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

We’ve seen suggestions that a 1980 version of the Step 2 pamphlet might have contained that quotation. But we’ve read the 1980 pamphlet, which is very different, and the quote isn’t there.

We wouldn’t be surprised, though, if an earlier source shows up, perhaps in the addiction-treatment movement, as more published works become digitized.

However, it’s not likely to be Einstein, whose writings are well known. Nor Mark Twain or Benjamin Franklin, as some Internet sites have claimed.

We’ve written before on our blog about “quote magnets,” famous people who get credited for every catchy quote that comes down the pike.

Perhaps the most popular quote magnets of all time are Twain and Winston Churchill. Runners-up include Franklin, George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Abraham Lincoln, and Dorothy Parker.

They all said and wrote many quotable things—but not all the quotable things they’re credited with.

Saturday, March 5, 2016


My friend Margie Hiermer posted this on Facebook:  CARING FOR A NEEDY WORLD WITH THINGS WE THROW AWAY:

I was taken by this program to donate empty pill bottles:  here is a link:  matthew-25-empty-pill-bottle

Here are some of Margie's tips to remove labels:

1.  Use a blow dryer for a few seconds to peel off the label;  however they will be "sticky".
2.  Wipe sticky residue with an old rag with thinner.
3.  When you get a bunch, wash in the sink with Dawn.  Dry thoroughly.
4.  Mail to:
     11060 Kenwood Road
     Cincinnati, OH 45242

From Matthew 25 Ministries website:

In developing countries, medicines, when actually available, are often dispensed into hands, pockets, leaves, or any other available container.  Matthew 25 Ministries accepts donations of basic medical supplies such as empty pill bottles to help improve health care quality in developing nations.

Donations of clean, unlabeled pill bottles help the poorest of the poor in many ways:  medicines can be distributed in sterile containers.  Pill bottles that are not appropriate for shipping are recycled for cash that goes toward Matthew 25 Ministries' programs.  This plastic recycling program keeps thousands of bottles out of landfills each year.

Matthew 25 Ministries accepts the following types of clean and unlabeled empty pill bottles:

*  prescription pill bottles
*  large and small pill bottles
*  pill bottles with and without child-resistant caps
*  over-the-counter pill bottles

Placing a nickel, dime, or quarter in each bottle helps with shipping costs.

Mail donations to:

11060 Kenwood Road
Cincinnati, OH 45242

Friday, March 4, 2016


A Facebook friend sent a message:  CAN YOU NAME A SONG THAT HAS A COLOR IN THE TITLE?.

I submitted Scarlet Ribbons, Green, Green Grass Of Home, Yellow Submarine, and Mood Indigo.

My brother, obviously to one-up me, said, "Oh, I can think of two songs which have TWO colors in the song title:  Don't It Make Your Brown Eyes Blue and A White Sport Coat And A Pink Carnation."  Later he added: Devil With The Blue Dress, Pink Cadillac, Blue Moon, Blue Moon Of Kentucky, Blue On Blue, Blue Velvet, Wild Blue Yonder, Blue Bayou, Modern Blue, Red Red Wine, Purple Haze, Red River Valley, Blue Skies, Lady In Red, and Tangled Up In Blue.


It was a pleasure to see the wide range of ages and the wide range of songs contributed.  My respondents ranged in age from a 19-year old to an 80-year old. The youngster submitted Yellow by Cold Play and the 80-year old contributed Red Sails In The Sunset, Am I Blue?, Green, Green, It's Green They Say, Lavender Blue, Yellow Brick Road, and Flying Purple People Eater!

My friend Patty Burch even one-upped my brother by contributing Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White, Black and White, Crimson and Clover, Tie A Yellow Ribbon, Purple Rain, Purple Haze, Itsy, Bitsy, Teeny Weeny, Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, Behind The Green Door, Back To Black, Am I Blue?, and her personal favorite Long Cool Lady In A Black Dress.

When he saw her list, he sniffed. condescendingly, and said, "She probably meant Black In Black rather than Black To Black;  tell her Ebony And Ivory!"

From my friend Vivian:  Purple Rain, Blue Velvet, I'm Blue, Green Door, Blue Moon, Blue Monday, Silver Bells, Pink Cadillac, Sweet Georgia Brown, and White Christmas.

We went to dinner with our friends Connie and Bob and I took a note pad to record their input:  Red Rubber Ball, Little Red Corvette, Green Eyed Lady, Behind The Green Door, A Whiter Shade Of Pale, Nights In White Satin, Purple Haze, Itsy Bitsy, Teeny, Weeny, Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, Snoopy And The Red Baron, Lonely Blue Boy, Red Sails In The Sunset, Blue Suede Shoes, and Am I Blue?

So, I thought, we couldn't be outdone, but a Facebook friend Ken Lessley wrote that he compiled the following list in THREE minutes:  Purple Rain, Red Rain, Tombstone Blues, Paint It Black, Crystal Blue Persuasion, Green Is To Black, Black Hole Sun, Blackbird, Is It Because I'm Black?, Black Is Black, Fade To Gray, Whiter Shade Of Pale, White Lightnin', White Christmas, Red Blood, White Snow, White Wedding, Brown Eyed Girl, Green Tambourine, White Bird, White Horse, Green River, It's Not Easy Being Green, Green Lantern, Green Eyed Lady, Greensleeves, Blue Moon, and Blue Danube.

I must admit that there were three on his list I did not know and had to go to the internet!

Thursday, March 3, 2016


                                              DID I READ THAT SIGN CORRECTLY?


















And the winner is:

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


THANK YOU CARD WEEK is March 3--March 9.

Last year I gave what I consider to be generous gifts to several graduates and did not receive a single Thank You card.  What has happened to the common courtesy of sending a note of appreciation?

I would often tell my sister-in-law Sheila that her mother Wanda Sisack should conduct a class to instruct people HOW to write Thank You cards.  Wanda's thank you cards were always prompt, specific, and just CLASSY!  Wanda would be proud that her grandchildren follow her example.

My friend Patty is superb with her cards.

I now tell a friend of a  younger generation--my friend Gretchen--that SHE should conduct a class about Thank-You-Card-writing as she is also marvelous.

See Grammarly's 5 Tips To Writing The Perfect Thank You Card:

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


Gerald's niece Carrie posted this on her Facebook page:  "My treasure found today at an auction.  I bought 100 albums and found this.  American Pie has significant meaning to the Christmas parties that my Aunt Sue Shirkey-Raypole used to have.  I miss those days.  My $4 find was worth it!"

I replied with words from Don McLean:
"A long, long time ago,
I can still remember how
That music used to make me smile......"


"Oh, there we were all in one place,
A generation lost in space,
With no time left to start again...."

For twenty years, Gerald and I hosted an annual "Open House" Christmas party.  Our musician Gary Wilson had a huge repertoire of songs and people would yell out requests.  My brother Ken had requested George Jones' He Stopped Loving Her Today and our friend Dino asked for Brook Benton's Rainy Night in Georgia and I yelled out Malaguena Salerosa and proving his wide range, Gary played and sang all of them with his 12-string guitar.

From the poker-playing room, my brother Norman yelled, "Play American Pie!" and Gary answered "Only if you get up and sing it."  This was NOT karaoke, and Gary asked, "Do you know all the words?"  I answered, "Of course!"  It was astounding that Norman came to the microphone because that was totally uncharacteristic of him, and later when I asked him about it, he said that he had to "rally to the challenge about knowing all the words"!

After that, it became a tradition to sing American Pie and the next year, Gerald's nieces Carrie and Gina joined in and in the intervening years, more people would join in with the somewhat raucous renditions;  after awhile, I provided copies of lyrics for people to use.

Norman and I knew all the words and the meanings of all the references. Each February 3, one of us would call the other to commemorate the "day the music died" and yes, we did remember WHERE we were when we first heard the news.

February 3, 1959, was when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper died. We had always heard that Waylon Jennings gave up his seat in a "coin flip" and that's how Ritchie Valens was on the plane.  Dion di Mucci, of Dion and The Belmonts, was also a performer on the "Winter Party Tour" and he has a totally different recollection of the events. Please read his version:


1.  Buddy Holly chartered the plane just for the “headliners.” We were the ones making the most money and, therefore, were the only ones that could afford the flight.
2.  Buddy was able to charter a plane with only four seats including the pilot's seat. Because there was not enough room for all four of us to fly, someone would have to ride the bus.
3.  In a closed dressing room we flipped a coin to see who was going to fly. The Big Bopper and I won the toss. I then discovered that the flight would cost $36, the exact amount of rent due monthly that my parents constantly argued about. I said to Ritchie, "You go." He accepted and took my seat.
4.  Only the four of us knew who was getting on that plane when we left that dressing room that night. I am the only one who survived beyond February 3, 1959 who was in the room that night where the coin toss occurred.

I talked about all that happened for two whole weeks on the bus after the plane crash because the tour continued until February 18, 1959. Everybody on the tour bus heard exactly what happened.
The truth is that if all the people who said they flipped a coin with Buddy Holly to get a seat on that   plane, they would have needed a 747. There have been so many stories over the years that were simply made up, so many "created" stories about the "coin flip".I didn't think the coin flip was important because it was never the deciding factor in my decision not to fly.  You know how I feel. I believe the truth is important.  This is OUR music, OUR culture, OUR lives. After all, Rock & Roll says "tell the truth ‘til it hurts".