Thursday, June 30, 2016


I always say that our family motto is:  "WHERE THERE'S A WILL, THERE'S A RELATIVE."

Yesterday, when I used the phrase, a friend said, "Hey, that's a PARAPROSDOKIAN."

I was impressed that my friend knew the word.  I said, "I wrote a BLOG article about paraprosdokians years ago."

Read the article below:


Paraprosdokians are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected and frequently humorous. Winston Churchill used and loved paraprosdokians.

1.  Where there's a will, I want to be in it.
2.  The last thing I want to do is hurt you but it's still on my list.
3.  Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
4.  If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.
5.  We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.
6.  War does not determine who is right, only who is left.
7.  Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is NOT putting it in fruit salad.
8.  They begin the evening news with "Good Evening", then proceed to tell you why it isn't.
9.  To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.
10. Buses stop in bus stations; trains stop in train stations; on my desk is a work station.
11. I thought I wanted a career; turns out I just wanted paychecks.
12. In filling out an application, where it asks: "In case of emergency, notify", I put "Doctor".
13. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
14. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and        a beer gut and still think they are sexy.
15. Behind every successful man is his woman; behind the fall of a successful man is usually             another woman.
16. A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.
17. You do not need a parachute to skydive; you only need a parachute to skydive twice.
18. Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
19. There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.
20. I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.
21. You're never too old to learn something stupid.
22. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
23. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
24. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
25. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes           you a car.
26. I'm supposed to respect my elders, but it’s getting harder and harder for me to find one               now.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


At a recent gathering, after we sang the song What Did You Learn In School Today?  I told this story:

Every day, when I was in the first grade,  I would come home and my mother would ask that question, "What did you learn in school today?"  One day, I said, "We had music."  She asked "What did you do?"  I said, "the teacher told us to sing our favorite song to see how we sounded."

Mother asked, "What did you sing? Buttons and Bows?"

I answered, "Oh, no, I sang that one you always sing when you're ironing."  Bewildered, she asked, "Which one is that?"

I began singing:

"My Mama done told me,
When I was in pigtails"

Mother interrupted and asked, "WHAT did the teacher say?"  I answered, "He said alto., but he had a funny look on his face just like you do."

Flash forward:  at my high-school graduation, as we were lined up in the auditorium to receive guests, my former music teacher strolled down the aisle, snapping his fingers, and when he came to me, he began singing:

"My mama done told me,
When I was in knee-pants,
My Mama done told me, "Son...."

I was cringing with embarrassment until he said, "If I live to be a hundred years old, I'll never forget a six-year old singing Blues In The Night!"  

Listen to Ella Fitzgerald's rendition, which would have been Mother's choice of arrangements:

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


At a recent memorial service for a former classmate, we were sharing fond reminiscences about our school life.  Earlier, during the service, the brother-in-law of my classmate had performed several selections with his guitar.  After the service, he played several songs and then, because we were telling about school life, he  asked, "How about this one?" and began playing What Did You Learn In School Today?  

I said, "Pete Seeger."  He answered, "No, Tom Paxton wrote it."  I said, "You are right;  I do know that.  Tom Paxton is a Facebook friend of mine."  Obviously surprised, he asked, "How did you get to be his Facebook friend?"  I replied, "I saw his name on Bob Lind's site and I sent him a friend request and he accepted."  He asked, "Bob Lind's a friend too?"  I said, "Yeah, along with John Sebastian, Barry McGuire, and others,"

Listen to Tom Paxton's version:

I joined in, singing along with him.  When I began the second verse, he said, with surprise, "You know all the lyrics?"  I laughed and said, "I'm an old folkie!  I especially like the third verse."  He laughed and said, "Now you're just showing off!"

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school toady,
Dear little boy of mine?

I learned that Washington never told a lie,
I learned that soldiers seldom die,
I learned that everybody's free,
And that's what the teacher said to me.

I learned that war is not so bad,
I learned about the great ones we have had,
We fought in Germany and in France,
And someday I might get my chance.

I learned our government must be strong,
It's always right and never wrong,
Our leaders are the finest men,
And we elect them again and again.

I learned that policemen are my friends,
I learned that justice never ends,
I learned that murderers die for their crimes,
Even if we make a mistake sometimes.

And that's what I learned in school today,
That's what I learned in school.

I told him that my nephew calls me a "Star Fornicator" (well, I cleaned that up a wee bit) because of all my "famous Facebook friends";  my brother quipped, "He should have said you're a HAS-BEEN FORNICATOR!"

EEEWWW, now that was mean!

Monday, June 27, 2016


I received a call from my credit card company to verify three recent charges at Beuhler's in Wooster, and Orrville, Ohio.

NOPE, I've never been to a Beuhler's store and I've never been in Wooster or Orrville, Ohio.  The only thing I know about Wooster is that there is a college there and that Orrville is the home of Smucker's.


After charges of $200 and $205, the card was denied at a third location.  Of course I won't have to pay the charges, but the credit card had to be destroyed, a new one issued, and fraud investigation reports will need to be filed.

In reading about skimming, I learned that the most prevalent skimming sites are ATMs and gas stations.  I had not used that card for ATM withdrawals, and anyone who knows me knows that I do not pump gas;  thus it wouldn't have been used at gas stations.  I reviewed my credit card statement and there were only three local places where I used the card.  I won't be frequenting those places again.

See here a report about skimming:

Read the link from a report a friend did about skimming:

Sunday, June 26, 2016


Recently, my husband pointed out that I was "too full of myself". My family derives great delight in reminding me of my many errors and gaffes. They write on the calendar when I make an error. My pronunciations of "POE-tassium", and "real-A-tor" were duly noted, as well as the last time I said "pray-shush" instead of precious. 

Yes, you can take the girl out of Fayette County, but you can't take Fayette County out of the girl, no matter how hard she tries.

Some of my family's favorite gaffes of mine:

1. Les tapes nearly everything I watch on television because I love to "fast-forward" through the commercials and parts I don't want to see. Last year, during tornado season, I was watching one of the tapes and it had a tornado warning to "take cover immediately"; I rushed upstairs, banged on Les' door, and woke up Gerald to tell them that we needed to go to the basement. They looked out the windows and turned on their televisions while I was busy shrieking that we needed to get to the basement. THE TAPE WAS A WEEK OLD!

2. I was watching a French movie with subtitles and I asked Les to turn up the volume. AS IF I UNDERSTOOD FRENCH. Duh!

3. My "directionally-challenged" escapades are legendary. I was in Columbus and I needed to find a place on Route 3; I stopped at a gas station and the guy working there told me I was on Route 3. I said I thought I was on Route 62. He pointed to a sign: I was at the convergence of Routes 62, 3, and Westerville Road.  He was an old guy and he said, "This is the 3-C Highway." I hadn't heard "3-C Highway" since my father used to say it when I was a kid.

4. I thought Route 62 was North and South. Let me see, how many years have I traveled on that road and seen the signs? TOO many, but when Gerald corrected me, I jumped in the car and drove to Route 62 to prove him wrong. OOPS!

5. Norman corrected me about my pronunciation of "oligarchy" by sending an e-mail from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary; although my pronunciation IS acceptable, it is number 2. Norman couldn't possibly accept my number 2 pronunciation as truly legitimate. That's my FORTE, Norman.

Saturday, June 25, 2016


This week, with the tornado warnings, I am recalling the tornado which destroyed our home in Bloomingburg when I was four years old. 

All of our lives we heard about "the cyclone";  I was in the ninth grade when Mrs. Biddle told us that it had actually been a tornado and explained the difference between a cyclone and a tornado.  Despite that knowledge, it was always "the cyclone" in our family.

The birth of my younger brother, the tornado and its aftermath, are my earliest memories. The day of the tornado, March 19, my brother Norman was was playing on the kitchen floor, and I was sitting at the counter as Mother was making blackberry cobbler. 

I can remember the big bowl of purple liquid as I saw white things falling into it. Suddenly my mother grabbed me and she was on top of me and my brother Norman on the kitchen floor.

Our home, which had been an old store building beside the post office, was destroyed. What followed was the defining moment of my life. My father and the four older boys went to live with his mother in Bloomingburg, while Mother, Norman, the baby Roger, and I were, as my mother would always say, "bandied about from pillar to post"; we were homeless. We went to stay with her mother but  that was short-lived, because her mother wanted to whip us. My mother, herself an abused child, never struck any of us; she didn't believe in hitting a child. I never had a lick, a spanking, any physical punishment in my life except scraps with the brothers and schoolyard tussles. [My husband says THAT is what is wrong with me!]

I can vividly remember the day we left my grandmother's house.  I was in the back yard of my grandmother's house and there were some other kids by the fence. I wanted to play with them, but I had been warned to stay in the yard. Suddenly, my grandmother grabbed my arm saying that she had told me not to be there and she said she was going to get a switch to whip me. My mother ran out of the house, rescued me, and her mother said that if she couldn't discipline the "heathens" then we could "hit the road!". There we were, Norman and I, with Mother carrying the baby, trudging along the street to my aunt's house, carrying our few belongings in paper bags. We couldn't stay there long either; my aunt had, at that time, six children of her own. We stayed with other friends until my mother finally was able to arrange for us to return to Bloomingburg and we lived in one large room at the Dave Tway house on Main Street. Dave had an apartment and the rest of the house was made into apartments. I can remember our happy reunion with my brothers who had been living with our other grandmother. By that time, we had been "bandied about" for more than a year. After that, we lived in a succession of rentals: a small house in Bloomingburg, in a house on Myers Road during the blizzard, then on Lewis Road, and finally on Yatesville-Wissler Road.

I know that the ordeal was what made me want to have my own home and also the reason I have rental properties. I always think that if something "happens" to this house, that I can always live in one of the others.

My mother had a life-long enmity toward the American Red Cross, because when she asked for help, they refused. She was told we could stay with relatives. The names of the Red Cross officials: "Ole" Rell Allen, Arch Reiber, Arthur Maddux, and Emmitt Passmore were anathema in our family.

One day,  thirty years after the tornado, Mother mentioned the "cyclone" and I asked, "Mother, Norman and I were in the kitchen with you; where was the baby?" In all those intervening years, I had never thought about where my younger brother was during the tornado.  In my entire life, I saw my mother cry just twice, but at that moment, I saw tears well up in her eyes as she said that he was in the bedroom. She said that she knew she couldn't get to him and she just got on top of Norman and me.  I said, "Well, obviously Duke didn't get hurt." She said, "No, he never even woke up!" I put my arms around her and sensing the depth of that emotion and the split-second decision she had to make, I was so grateful that I had never had to make a "Sophie's Choice" in my own life!

Friday, June 24, 2016



How many times does one have to make the determination of which story to believe?  A recent example involved a person who had a confrontation with another person and told his version of the incident to the supervisor.  The supervisor naturally believed the first person and castigated the other person--although not by name--in a daily meeting.

As I had been involved in hearing about the confrontation from the second person, I notified the supervisor that the second person had a decidedly different version.  After  the supervisor had talked to the second person, the supervisor asked me, "Which one would you believe?"  Without missing a beat, I answered, "I believe the good worker."

The supervisor asked me to talk to the second person to let her know that she was not in trouble because she didn't know which one to believe.

I asked the person why she hadn't gone to the supervisor about the confrontation.  She said, "Well, I didn't think he would go and tell a lie."

I said, "I don't usually give advice but I'm going to tell you a story about why it's important to always be the first person to tell, even if you are in the wrong."  I told her the following story:

As a young supervisor I was in charge of Shipping and Receiving and I was ready to leave for the day, having finished loading all the trucks.  As I walked through the warehouse, I saw a load marked CLEVELAND/DETROIT setting in the staging area.  I looked in the dock and saw that the truck for that load had left. I ran to get the paperwork and those units had not been marked off as having been loaded; but no matter, the truck was gone.

I was in a panic, and I stewed and fretted, but then, with great fear and trepidation, I went to my boss and told him what had happened. He immediately spun around in his chair, dialed the telephone, and told the customer the situation and told them we'd get another truck there quickly.  He called and made arrangements for another truck.  I was thinking of the extra cost associated with having to do that and I was nearly trembling in fear that I was about to lose my job because of such a careless mistake by my employee.

My boss asked, "So how long did it take you to come to tell me?"  I answered, sheepishly, "20 minutes." He said, "Well, you've probably punished yourself enough already, but here's a lesson for life: ALWAYS BE THE FIRST TO TELL because I would have been really pissed off if the customer had been the one who told me about the mistake and not you."

I breathed an inward sigh of relief.

He said, "Well, you'll have to stay to load it."  I said, "I can't do that; we'll have a grievance."  He threw his head back, laughed, and said, "Yeah, I'd like to see that, especially compared to what discipline you'll be taking with the screw-up who forgot to load it!"

There was no grievance.

Thursday, June 23, 2016


I was bustling about, putting away groceries, as my brother was listening to Q-FM 96 radio (which was formerly called CLASSIC ROCK but is now called ICONIC ROCK, with music from the 1960s and 1970s).

A public service announcement came on, urging the usage of condoms.  The announcer said, "Don't be laissez faire about using them."

My brother and I both erupted with laughter.  I said, "Perhaps he doesn't know that the laissez faire system means not interfering;  obviously he shouldn't be telling people what to do."

My brother, as usual, topped me by saying, "He's just concerned with the ECONOMICS;  he wants FREE MARKET condoms!"

I asked, "What can you expect from a station that misuses the word ICONIC?"

Read my old BLOG article titled IRONIC/MORONIC about the misuse of the word ICON:

                                                          IRONIC MORONIC

I try to use the word icon only when referring to religious pictures properly called ICONS.  I am sometimes forced to refer to the little symbol at the bottom of my computer screen as an "icon", but it is painful for me to do so. My brother commented, "Sometimes you're so damned strict I think you're French." (I must admit that's a rather adroit and amusing assessment.)

I nearly screak every time I hear an UN-ICONIC object, person, or thing described as ICONIC.

Please read the essay from the Poet M.E. Tuthill called ICON'T STAND IT. (A bonus: I had not read her poetry, but after reading her essay I ordered The Linen Man.

CLICK HERE to read the article "Icon, Iconic, and Other Overworked Words."

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


I do not currently follow professional basketball but "back in the day"--the 1960s--I was quite a fan. This year, one couldn't escape from hearing about the NBA championship series and the LeBron-Steph battle for supremacy.

I was listening to NPR and a sports commentator said that LeBron's playing during the series has been  "JORDANESQUE".  I chuckled and wondered aloud to my brother, "Do you imagine that JORDANESQUE will ever make it to the dictionary like FELLINIESQUE did?"

He replied, "I never heard JABARRESQUE, BIRDESQUE, COUSEYESQUE, RUSSELLESQUE, O'NEALESQUE, ROBERTSONESQUE, or even CHAMBERLAINESQUE.",  as he rattled off the names of former greats.

 I continued, "What would one do about JOHNSON?  Call it  MAGICESQUE?"

He responded, "There would be the same problem with DR. JESQUE and KOBEESQUE!"

Later, recalling one of our all-time favorites he asked, "How about HAVLICHECIAN?  That has a certain flair!"  He continued, "I wonder who decides whether it's to be an ESQUE or an IAN?  How did Shaw become SHAVIAN, for crying out loud?"

I cried out, "I must stop because this is becoming KAFKAESQUE!"

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


November 23, 1943--June 21, 1964

"HE TRAVELED A SHORT WHILE TOWARDS THE SUN AND LEFT THE VIVID AIR SIGNED WITH HIS HONOR"--from Andrew Goodman's tombstone (paraphrasing a quote from Stephen Spender's poem,  I Think Of Those Who Are Truly Great)

Andrew Goodman (photo above) was born on November 23, 1943, in New York City and was reared on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the second of three sons of Robert and Carolyn Goodman and brother to David and Jonathan. The Goodmans were an intellectual family committed to progressive activism and social justice. They believed in "doing well by doing good";  Andy was an activist from the age of fifteen; he graduated from the progressive Walden School which was known for its anti-authoritarian approach to learning. While a sophomore at Walden, Goodman traveled to Washington D.C., to participate in the "Youth March For Integrated Schools" and as a senior, he and a friend visited a depressed coal mining region in West Virginia to prepare a report on poverty in the United States. He interviewed Jackie Robinson, one of his heroes.

Goodman attended the Honors Program at University of Wisconsin--Madison, for a semester but withdrew after falling ill with pneumonia. He transferred to Queens College, New York City, partly because of its strong drama department. With his brief experience as an off-Broadway actor, he originally planned to study drama, but switched to anthropology.

In April, 1964, he applied for and was accepted into the Mississippi Summer Project. He volunteered, along with Michael Schwerner, to work as part of "Freedom Summer", a CORE (Congress Of Racial Equality) project to register blacks to vote in Mississippi. Having protested U.S. President Lyndon Johnson's presence at that year's World's Fair, Goodman then left for training at the Western College For Women (now part of Miami University) in Oxford, OH. In June, Schwerner and Goodman were sent to Mississippi to begin registering blacks to vote.

On the night of June 20, 1964, the two reached Meridian, Mississippi, where Schwerner (photo left) was designated to be the head of the field office. There they joined with James Earl Chaney, a black man who was also a civil rights activist. On the morning of June 21, 1964, the three set out for Philadelphia, Mississippi, in Neshoba County, where they were to investigate the recent burning of a local black church, the Mount Zion Methodist Church, which had been designated as a site for the Freedom School for education and voter registration.

The three were initially arrested by Deputy Cecil Price for allegedly driving 35 miles over the 30-mile-per-hour speed limit. The three were taken to the jail in Neshoba County where Chaney (photo left) was booked for speeding, while Goodman and Schwerner were booked "for investigation".

After Chaney was fined $20, the three men were released and told to leave the county. Price followed them on State Route 19 to the county line, then turned around at approximately 10:30 p.m. On their way back to Meridian, they were stopped by two carloads of KKK members on a remote rural road. The men approached their car and then shot and killed Schwerner, followed by Goodman, and finally Chaney.

Eventually the Neshoba County Deputy Sheriff and conspirators were convicted by Federal prosecutors of civil rights violations but were never convicted of murder. The case formed the basis of a made-for-television movie Attack On Terror:  the FBI vs. The Ku Klux Klan" and the feature film Mississippi Burning.

On September 14, 2004, the Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood announced that he was gathering evidence for a charge of murder and intended to take the case to a Grand Jury. On January 7, 2005, Edgar Ray Killen was arrested and later found guilty of three counts of manslaughter--not murder--on June 21, 2005, exactly 41 years to the day after the murders. Killen, then age 80, was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

Andy's parents, Robert and Carolyn Goodman, set up the Andrew Goodman Foundation in 1966. The mission of the Foundation is "to recognize, encourage and inspire creative and effective local and individual action in support of civil rights, human dignity and social justice". Visit

Goodman Mountain, a 2,176 foot peak in the Adirondack Mountain town of Tupper Lake, NY, where Andy Goodman and his family spent many of their summers, is named in Andy Goodman's memory.

New York City named "Freedom Place" a four-block stretch in Manhattan's Upper West Side, in honor of Goodman. A plaque on 70th and West End Avenues tells his story.

Queens College has a memorial to honor Andy Goodman. The day of his murder is acknowledged each year on campus and the clock tower of the campus library is dedicated to Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner.

The Walden School, at 88th Street and Central Park West, named its middle and upper school building in honor of Goodman's memory. The Trevor Day School now occupies the building and has maintained their building's name as the Andrew Goodman Building.

An outdoor memorial theater exists at Miami University in Oxford, OH, dedicated to the Freedom Summer alums. Miami University's now defunct Western College for Women, also included historical lectures about Freedom Summer.

Those Three Are On My Mind was written by Pete Seeger to commemorate the three victims.

The Simon and Garfunkel song, He Was My Brother was dedicated to Goodman. Paul Simon had been a classmate of Goodman at Queens College.

To hear He Was My Brother,  click on the arrow below.

Andy lives forever in the hearts of his family and friends.

Monday, June 20, 2016


June 20 NATIONAL AMERICAN EAGLE DAY.  It is sponsored by The National Eagle Foundation. The following article is from

This day is set aside to honor our national symbol, raise awareness for protecting the Bald Eagle, assist in the recovery of their national environments, and to take part in educational outreach.

The Bald Eagle is both the National Bird and also the National Animal of the United States of America and appears on the Great Seal of the United States.

In the latter twentieth century, the Bald Eagle was on the brink of extinction in the continental United States.  Eventually, populations of the bird recovered and in July, 1995, the species was removed from the United States Federal Government's List of Endangered Species and transferred to the List of Threatened Species.  In June, 2007, the Bald Eagle was withdrawn from the List Of Endangered And Threatened Wildlife in the Lower 48 States of the United States.

The Bald Eagle's range includes most of Canada, all of the contiguous United States and Northern Mexico.  The eagles can be found near large bodies of open water where there is an abundant food supply and old-growth  trees for nesting.

Opportunistic feeders, Bald Eagles survive mainly on fish, swooping down and snatching fish from the water.  Their nests are the largest nests of any North American bird and the largest tree nests ever recorded for any animal species.  The largest eagle's nest was found in St. Petersburg, Florida.  The nest measured 9.5 feet in diameter and was 20 feet deep;  it weighed nearly three tons!

The name Bald Eagle derives from an older meaning of "white-headed", as the bird is actually NOT bald.  Adult eagles are mainly brown with a white head and tail.

For more information visit

Sunday, June 19, 2016



Yesterday, an acquaintance asked what I was doing this weekend and during the conversation, I mentioned our wedding anniversary.  I said, "I like him better today than the day we married."

When thinking about choosing the date for our wedding, I told Gerald I would like June 19 because that was the date of the anniversary of my brother Ken and his wife and they made me know that life-long love was possible.  Gerald commented, "And they accepted me right from the beginning.  In retrospect, it's now difficult to believe that Gerald wasn't immediately accepted as he is held in much esteem now.  As my brother now says, "But WHO would have been GOOD ENOUGH for you?"  Recently, I was very touched when one of my nephews said that Gerald had influenced his life by showing how a man should behave.

As we shared the same anniversary date, Gerald and I would oftentimes celebrate it with Ken and Betty.  We went to numerous memorable places such as The Maramor, Annarino's, Yannucci's, The King Cole, and The Kenley Players, but my all-time favorite memory is from when we saw Ed Ames perform in the musical I Do! I Do! at the Country Dinner Playhouse.  The song My Cup Runneth Over comes from that show.  Listen to Ed Ames' lovely rendition:

Saturday, June 18, 2016


I have been volunteering at BREAD OF LIFE, a local organization which provides a free meal and food pantry items to needy local residents.

Last week there was a full box of over-ripe bananas left over from the offerings. The bananas were going to be thrown in the garbage.  I said, "I'll take them home and make banana bread for next week's dessert."

When I came home with the bananas my brother sighed and quipped, "Oh, is this like 'When life gives you lemons, make lemonade'?"  I answered, "When life gives you bananas, make banana bread for the multitude!"

I dehydrated the bananas.  The house had a banana aroma for three days.

I looked on the internet and found a recipe for BANANA CHIPS MUFFINS.  I made SIXTY muffins.


Dehydrate bananas.

Grease muffin tins or use muffin papers (which I also spray with PAM)

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 pound butter, softened
2 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup banana chips

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Cream together brown sugar and butter; add eggs, milk, and vanilla.  Add flour mixture and blend.  Add mashed bananas and blend.  Add walnuts and banana chips and blend.

Scoop into muffin tins.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted in middle comes out clean.

This recipe was for 18 large muffins;  I tripled the recipe and made 60 medium-sized muffins.

My brother said, "Wow!  Look how much time you spent and how much money you spent by SAVING those bananas!"

Well, at least I felt good about myself!

Friday, June 17, 2016


Since beginning Sue's News in 2010, I have written seven times in CRINGE, FAYETTE COUNTY TALK, about the use (misuse) of the word IDEAL being used in place of the word IDEA.  I have often wondered, "Is it only in Fayette County that people do not know the difference between IDEAL and IDEA?"  Recently, as I have been in contact with a large number of diverse people, I notice the prevalence of the problem.

Several years ago, at a Candidate's Forum, one of the candidates for public office said, "I have no ideal." in response to one of the questions being asked.  I cringed, mainly because he is from my political party.

I asked the Chair of our Party, "Will you please tell him the difference between IDEAL and IDEA?"

I no longer quiz or correct people about this peculiar usage;   however, several years ago I did talk to a friend because she also says IDEAL for IDEA.  She told me that her whole family says IDEAL.  I asked, "Didn't any teacher ever tell you the difference?"    She was confounded, and after my saying "IDEA", she would repeat after me, "IDEAL." I asked, "Do you know that they are two different words with two completely different meanings?" She stated that she cannot HEAR the difference.

I read that was the same problem--with people who say "AKS" or "AXE" for "ASK"--that they cannot HEAR the difference.  HOW can this be?  It is very difficult to believe how our Fayette County School System has failed its students.

In checking the Internet, I learned that the use of IDEAL in place of IDEA is mostly a problem in the North.  Of course, people from Massachusetts say "IDEAR" rather than "IDEAL", but that is just regional dialect, rather than actually NOT knowing the difference between the two words.

Thursday, June 16, 2016


June 16 is NATIONAL FUDGE DAY.  This is a good excuse to try different kinds of fudge.

See the video from YouTube about fudge-making at Murdick's Fudge on Mackinac Island where, in 2015, they debuted their DOUBLE CHOCOLATE TOASTED SEA SALT FUDGE.  I am eagerly awaiting the specialty for 2016.

Every year I make ROCKY ROAD FUDGE to donate to various fundraisers for different organizations and especially to the Fayette County Historical Society's Cookie and Candy Sale, which is the main fundraiser for the organization.  The cost is $7.00 per pound, which, is very economical compared to the prices at "gourmet" shops.

                              My super-easy recipe for ROCKY ROAD FUDGE:

1 cup milk chocolate morsels
1 cup semi-sweet morsels
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*3 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup chopped English walnuts.

Melt the chocolate over low heat.  Add the milk, vanilla, marshmallows, and nuts;  blend.

Spread into an 8" x 8",  buttered, foil-lined pan.  Refrigerate to harden.  (lining the pan makes it easy to turn out onto a cutting board and makes for an easy clean-up)

*For Christmas, I sort out the GREEN colored marshmallows from a bag of colored miniature marshmallows.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


I screaked at my brother, "There's a gallynipper!"  He asked, "What the Hell is that?"   I answered, "I think other people call them Daddy Long Legs and Crane Flies but Mother always called them gallynippers."  He said, "I never heard of either of  'em."

I said, "I haven't seen one in years."  He said, "Is it a spider?  I see eight legs."  I replied, "They have eight legs but they're not spiders; they're not insects; they are arachnids."  He said, "Hunh?"  "They're arachnids but not spiders;  they have one body section, spiders have two; they have two eyes; spiders have eight; they don't produce any silk or venom."  He said, "That's TMI."  I said, "I can't help it;  I was corrupted by Charlotte's Web when I was a kid;  I have an abnormal love of spiders!"

I said, "Mother always said that gallynippers  were good because they were mosquito eaters."

He answered, "I gotta look this up;  how do you spell it?"    He returned with a note which showed "galley napper" and "gallinipper" but none with my spelling and we also learned that is a myth about their being mosquito eaters, but they are good for the environment.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


 FLAG DAY is celebrated on June 14.  It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, by a resolution of the Second Continental Congress which happened on June 14, 1777.  Click on the flag above to view the history of our flag.

Monday, June 13, 2016


In yesterday's article I used the word "snarky" and was quizzed about it today.  I know that it's probably difficult to believe but several times in my life, I have been described as being "snarky", but I have never been accused of being "smarmy";  recently I have noticed the words being used interchangeably, which, of course, is not correct.  See below the article On Smarm And Snark from Grammarphobia.

I love the word "smarmy" and it's one which my brother cautions me about my overuse.  One time in a class, I used the word "smarmy" and the instructor said he didn't think it was a word.  I was immediately atop my insulted high horse and challenged him to a bet. I shall give him credit because on the following day he apologized in front of the class.

I have always used the word "smarmy" to test dictionaries: it's my opinion that if the dictionary does not contain the word "smarmy", it is not worth having.

Since the use of the internet, I don't think that people are great users of dictionaries.  I still have--and use--several dictionaries.  I have one beside my chair in the family room, one beside the computer upstairs, one in our bedroom, one in my brother's room, one in Mother's room, and among the dictionaries in our library are: Dictionary Of Synonyms And Antonyms, The Dictionary Of Cliches, The Dictionary Of Thoughts, Descriptionary, A Thematic Dictionary, Larousse's French-English Dictionary, Merriam-Webster's Spanish-English Dictionary, Mondadori's Italian-English Dictionary, and the "sacred" one:  The Oxford English Dictionary.  Gerald said that if the house were burning, I would probably grab the OED.

                                        On Smarm and Snark from Grammarphobia:

Q: The commentarians can’t seem to stop talking about “smarm” and “snark.” Where did these two words come from?

A: Yes, there has been a lot of talk in the media about “smarm” and “snark,” especially since Isaac Fitzgerald, the book editor of BuzzFeed, told  that he wouldn’t publish negative reviews.

We won’t contribute to the cultural finger-waggery in the “smarm-versus-snark” debate, but we’re happy to discuss the evolution of these terms.

The latest incarnations of these words are still works in progress, taking on different shades and spins and tones each time they’re used.

In general, though, “smarm” is being used now to mean smug, disapproving self-righteousness and “snark” to mean scornful, dismissive nastiness.

You won’t find the latest senses of these shifty words in most standard dictionaries, but “smarm” and “snark” have etymological roots that date from the 19th century.

The noun “smarm” is derived from a colloquial verb that showed up in the mid-1800s and meant to smear or bedaub, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

The dictionary says the verb “smarm” first showed up (spelled “smawm”) as an entry in A Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words (1847), by James Orchard Halliwell: “Smawm, to smear. Dorset.”

By the early 1900s, according to OED citations, “smarm” was being used to mean “treat in a wheedling, flattering way” or “behave in a fulsomely flattering or toadying manner.”

The dictionary’s earliest example of this Uriah Heepish sense is from the March 1902 issue of Little Folks, a magazine for children: “You can go and smarm him over if you want to.”

And here’s an example from Widdershins, a 1911 collection of ghost stories by the English novelist Oliver Onions: “It had been the usual thing, usual in those days, twenty years ago—smarming about Art and the Arts.”

In the 1920s, according to OED citations, the adjective “smarmy” showed up, meaning “ingratiating, obsequious; smug, unctuous.”

Here’s an example from The Deductions of Colonel Gore (1924), a mystery by Lynn Brock: “Don’t you be taken in by that smarmy swine.”

The noun “smarm” appeared in the 1930s, meaning “an unctuous bearing; fulsome flattery; flattering or toadying behaviour,” according to the OED.

Oxford’s first example is from Clunk’s Claimant, a 1937 detective story by the English author Henry Christopher Bailey: “That smarm of holiness … was pretty near the ruddy limit.”

The dictionary’s latest example, from the Feb. 19, 1978, issue of the Guardian Weekly, uses “smarm” in that same toadying sense: “ ‘George’ did this, ‘George’ did that, all the way through. ‘George’ is the victim of bonhomie and smarm.”

Most standard dictionaries still define “smarmy” and “smarm” in terms of obsequious flattery or excessively ingratiating behavior, though the Cambridge Dictionaries Online website includes “disapproving” as an informal sense of “smarmy”.

The disapproving, self-righteous sense of “smarm” is a relatively recent phenomenon. We haven’t pinned down exactly when the obsequious “smarm” got its disapproving sense, but the usage took off after BuzzFeed’s declaration that negative reviews were a no-no.

In an article last month entitled On Smarm, for example, Tom Scocca, the features editor at Gawker, offered this definition of the term:

“What is smarm, exactly? Smarm is a kind of performance—an assumption of the forms of seriousness, of virtue, of constructiveness, without the substance. Smarm is concerned with appropriateness and with tone. Smarm disapproves.  Smarm would rather talk about anything other than smarm. Why, smarm asks, can’t everyone just be nicer?”

The noun “snark” first showed up as an imaginary creature in Lewis Carroll’s poem The Hunting Of The Snark (1876), but the word we’re talking about here is derived from a verb that appeared a decade earlier.

The OED describes the verb “snark” as a dialectal term “of imitative nature” that means to snore or snort.

The earliest citation for the verb in Oxford is from an 1866 issue of the journal Notes And Queries: “I will not quite compare it [a sound] to a certain kind of snarking or gnashing.”

In the early 1880s, according to the dictionary, the verb took on a new sense: to find fault with or to nag.

The OED’s first example of the new usage is from an 1882 edition of Jamieson’s Etymolological Dictionary Of The Scottish Language, which defines “snark” as “to fret, grumble, or find fault with one.”

In the early 1900s, this fault-finding sense of the verb “snark” gave us the adjective “snarky,” which Oxford defines as “irritable, short-tempered, ‘narky.’ ” (“Narky” is a British and Australian term for being irritable or sarcastic.)

The OED’s first example of “snarky” is from The Railway Children (1906), a children’s book by the English author Edith Nesbit: “Don’t be snarky, Peter. It isn’t our fault.”

The related noun “snarkiness” showed up in the 1960s, according to Oxford, but we’ve found only one passing reference to it in eight standard dictionaries. The abbreviated noun “snark” hasn’t made it into the OED or standard dictionaries.

Like “smarm,” the noun “snark” is a relative newcomer. One of the earliest examples we’ve seen is from an essay on book reviewing by the author and editor Heidi Julavits.

In the March 2003 issue of The Believer, a literary magazine she co-edits, Julavits discusses reviews that display “wit for wit’s sake,” “hostility for hostility’s sake,” and a “hostile, knowing, bitter tone of contempt. I call it Snark, and it has crept with alarming speed into the reviewing community,”.

In the article, she uses the terms “snark,” “snarkiness,” or “snarky” 15 times (no “smarm,” however).

Yes, that’s a lot of snark. But David Denby has written a whole book about it, Snark:  It's Mean, It's Personal, And It's ruining Our Conversation (2009).

Sunday, June 12, 2016


A friend, who accuses me of having OCD (OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER), sent a new definition to me:  OLD, CRANKY, AND DEMENTED.

I hope that when I'm very old--or even now--that people will not let me get away with outrageous behavior simply because I am old. It has always been irritating to me to hear old people say reprehensible things just because they think they will not be challenged.  I remember my own grandmother saying that she could say anything she wanted because she was old. I don't want to be THAT person.

An elderly woman I met recently (and unbelievably, spent six hours with her) has probably been spewing misinformation for a long time and gotten away with not being challenged because of her age. Obviously, in her mind, if she doesn't know something, then it is non-existent.

She has a wonderfully retentive memory about what she wants to believe, but a great deal of it is erroneous, based on prejudice, and not fact.

We were discussing Presidents and she was shocked when I said that I detested Jefferson. She exclaimed, "But he was a genius." I said, "I don't deny that, but there have been numerous geniuses who weren't good people." She said that she thought an intelligent person (said with a tinge of snarkiness in her voice) such as I, would admire him. I ignored her snarky insinuation and I said, "Oh, it's that pesky little thing about being a slave-holder and a rapist!" She said, "That's not true." After we argued about DNA testing she said, "Well, she went to Paris with him willingly." I screaked, "Willingly? How could anything be willingly for a SLAVE?" She said, "That's just the way it was then." I said, "That doesn't make it right or moral;  besides, that's a generalization; it was NOT that way with John Adams." She said, "He was in the North; they didn't have slaves." I said, "OMG, yes there WAS slavery in the North and it was before, during, and after the Revolution!" She kept denying it and I said, "Look up 1780 in Pennsylvania and you'll learn that I'm correct." She said, "You seem very sure of yourself." I answered, "Yes, I'm willing to bet $100 that I'm right about anything I've said."

I gave my thumbnail opinions of all Presidents. OK, yes, I admit I was showing off rattling off the names of the Presidents IN ORDER and using their MIDDLE names! I told her that Harding's middle name--GAMALIEL--is my favorite.

In the midst of defending Herbert Hoover, she said that he "founded Stanford".  I said, "Oh, no, it was founded by Leland Stanford in memory of his son and the real name of the university is The Leland Stanford Junior University!" She said she'd never heard of Leland Stanford. I said, "Oh my goodness, he was a railroad tycoon who became the Governor of California."

She had to know that she was wrong with her assertion that Hoover had founded Stanford because she backpedaled and said, "Well, I know Hoover WENT there and his father died when he was a baby and his mother scrimped and saved so he could go to college."

I said, "Well, Herbert CLARK Hoover DID attend Stanford and he claimed to be its first graduate, but his mother did NOT scrimp and save because she died several years after his father and Hoover was reared by uncles who sent him to that NEW college, Stanford."

She said, "Well, you MUST be a Hoover fan to know so much."

I said, "Heavens NO! Just the opposite; but one must always know the enemy."

Assumptions! Because of my love for Mr. Lincoln and my detestation for the likes of the "Democrats" Jackson and Buchanan, she assumed I was a Republican.  I told her I would have been a Republican back then. We had a disagreement because she thought Mr. Lincoln started the Republican Party. When I explained that John C. Fremont was the FIRST Republican Presidential candidate she said she'd never heard of him. I asked, with exaggerated incredulity, "You don't know the Pathfinder?"

After that exchange, she realized I am a Democrat and I knew she was a bigot.

We then had a disagreement about FDR and his Vice Presidents. I told her that he had three: John Nance Garner, Henry Wallace, and Harry Truman and she insisted he had 4. I said that FDR kicked out Garner in favor of Wallace and also kicked out Wallace in favor of Truman and she said, "Oh that Wallace was a Communist." I laughed and said, "WORSE than that; Wallace had been a Republican before becoming a Democrat in 1936." That humor escaped her.

I asked her who was the first President she voted for and she answered, "Thomas Dewey." I said, "EWWWWW; did you ever hear that Alice Roosevelt Longworth described him as the little man on top of the wedding cake?" She said, "She was nasty." I said, "Oh, yes, I love TR's daughter; one of my favorite quotes is from her: "If you don't have anything nice to say, come over and sit next to me!"; I think she was the last Republican with any humor."  I told her that the best thing Dewey ever did was to get Eisenhower to run against that horrible Robert Taft. She said, "But he was from Ohio." I said, "That is a shame we have to live with in Ohio."

She made snide remarks about all the other Democrats who served after Roosevelt and I corrected all her falsehoods.

As much as I loved parrying with the old bigot, our conversation had to end when she began babbling about "that half-nigger Muslim." I got up, thanked my host and left. My host walked me to the door and apologized and I told him that it is disheartening to know that there are actually people like her.  I said that all we could hope for is to outlive such ignorance.

WHY do I waste my time with people like this? I know that I am not going to change them or their ideas.

My brother says I have taken on the role of "The Lone Voice In The Wilderness".

Saturday, June 11, 2016


In writing the article THE GREEN PEPPER/MANGO MYSTERY, I spelled the plural of mango as "mangos" but Spell-Check would not accept it.  I had to change it to "mangoes"

All dictionaries I consulted (the OED, The Oxford Dictionary Of Current English and Webster's Collegiate Dictionary) show "mangoes" as the preferred plural.

Although words ending in "o" can take "s" or "es" as the plural,  "es" is more commonly used, but then I wondered about "pianos", "concertos", "banjos", "sopranos", "radios", "zeros", "zoos", "dodos", "manifestos", and "videos".

I sighed and said to myself, "Exception always seems to be the rule."

Oh, no, now I wonder if Spell-Check should be hyphenated or should it just be Spell Check!

Friday, June 10, 2016


In yesterday's article "PINE-EES", I mentioned that my grandmother called green peppers "mangoes";  I thought that was a regional phenomenon as I had heard it that way all of my life, but when I was in Kansas and Missouri, I saw a sign advertising "mangoes for sale", and on observation, I saw that they were indeed green peppers.

A sister of one of my sisters-in-law was living in Illinois and she began working in a greenhouse. She was mortified when, after using the the word "mango" to describe a green pepper plant, a customer guffawed;  the owner took her aside to tell her that mangoes are actually tropical fruits. She had, of course, heard "mango" all of her life to describe a green pepper.  Fortunately, for me, I never committed that faux pas  because my mother told us early on not to adopt Granny's tortured pronunciations.

The following explanation is from The Word Detective:

                                     THE GREAT MANGO GREEN PEPPER MYSTERY

The first mangoes imported into the American colonies were from the East Indies, and since this was long before either high speed transport or refrigeration, the mangoes arrived, not as fresh fruit, but in pickled form.  This fact turns out to be the key to the mango green pepper mystery.  At some point, early on, there was a popular misunderstanding of the word "mango" in America, and people began using :"mango" as a general synonym for any "pickled dish", no matter what the dish was made from.

Thus, in 1699, we find references in a cookbook to "a mango of cucumbers" and a "mango of walnuts".  Pretty soon, almost anything that could be pickled was called a "mango".  Apples, peaches, apricots, plums, and even bunches of grapes, once pickled, became "mangoes", usually in the form of "mango of peach", etc.  "Mango" even became a verb in the 18th century, meaning "to pickle".

One of the most popular "mangoes" was created by stuffing bell peppers with spiced cabbage and pickling the whole shebang!  Apparently, this concoction was so popular for so long that the green pepper became known as a "mango" and this is the usage that persists mostly in the American Midwest today.

Thursday, June 9, 2016


For people who do not believe in Global Warming/Climate Change, please tell me what the Hell is happening.

In April I picked pink peonies.  The magenta and white peonies were not even budded.  A friend who is a Garden Club member did not believe that the peonies were actually blooming and condescendingly told me I was confusing them with other spring flowers.   I presented a bouquet of pink peonies to her.  Perhaps she believed that having the mantle of "Master Gardener" equipped her to make judgments before seeing evidence.  

 I love the heavenly fragrance of peonies perfuming the house.  Fortunately, a friend from Bloomingburg gave several bouquets to me after my peonies quit blooming.  In the past I would have peonies to use for bouquets to decorate for Gerald's birthday party in June, but all of my magenta and white peonies were spent this year before Memorial Day.   

I can recall helping my mother and grandmother prepare flowers to take to cemeteries for Memorial Day; Granny called Memorial Day "Decoration Day".  We would cover coffee cans with aluminum foil;  I became the official bow-maker.    Peonies and irises (which Granny called "flags") were the main flowers in those arrangements.  

Granny called them "PINE-EES";  another older woman I knew pronounced it as 
"PEE-OH-NEES".  I think those are just regional pronunciations as they also call bell peppers "MANGOS" and cantaloupes "MUSH MELONS" rather than musk melon.

Although the date has changed and we now observe Memorial Day on the last Monday of the month, when I was a girl, it was marked on May 30, no matter the day of the week. Memorial Day meant that school was over for the year but now kids are still in school in June.  We always school the day after Labor Day, but now they start in August.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


In my recent article YOUTH DEW I also mentioned White Shoulders perfume.  

When I was a girl, I thought that only OLD LADIES wore White Shoulders perfume.   Whenever there was a gathering where there were a number of mothers, the aroma of that perfume was so prevalent, I called it the WHITE SHOULDERS MIASMA!

Most people who know me know about my obsession with perfume. My life work should have been as a a perfumer (or as the French say, a Nez, which means "nose" in French).

Making perfume was my junior high school science project. My mother and I continued to make scents after that, but none of which we wore. We used the scents for potpourris, sachets, and rose water for recipes.  Jean Ann Miller won the science project with her knowledge, drawings, and sculptures of horses.

I remember the first time I smelled the men's cologne Canoe, I said, "That smells like bergamot!"  I still have a bergamot plant and I fondly recall using the petals to make potpourri with my mother.

When I smell someone's perfume I usually do not forget it. Perfume is my favorite gift to give. I wore the same scent, L'Interdit for 30 years, until it was discontinued (see BLOG "L'Interdit" from July 7, 2011). My dream/fantasy is to own the formula, go to the House of Caron, and have it blended just for me.  After L'Interdit, I tried all the other Givenchy perfumes, all the Caron perfumes, all the Dior perfumes, all of the Yves St. Laurent perfumes, and ones by Hermes, Gucci, and others. I even tried "old" perfumes such as Arpege, Chantilly, and Bal A Versailles, but Gerald liked only L'Interdit on me.  When L'Interdit was "re-introduced", I could finally be ME again!

With each new fragrance I tried, the little-used bottles ended up on my mother's dresser, as everything smelled good on her.  She wanted the new ones because she didn't like the OLD LADY PERFUMES.

When I was growing up, my mother's favorite perfume was Nuit de Noel, (see BLOG "NUIT DE NOEL" from July 5, 2011), but she wore less expensive ones like Wind Song ( I still remember the song with the Wind Song ad: "Wind Song stays on my mind"). My best friend's mother wore L'air du Temps which I thought was very elegant. She also had Arpege, My Sin, and Chantilly on her dresser.  I remember the ads always had My Sin by Lanvin.  The mother of my sister-in-law Sheila wore Shalimar.  

My friend Cammy and I would sniff and apply all the perfumes at the Lazarus perfume counter and take home the scent cards.  I couldn't buy the expensive L'Interdit at that time but I said, haughtily, "It smells better than Joy!" Joy by Jean Patou was advertised as "the most expensive perfume in the world".  Cammy wore Tabu and as my sister-in-law Betty sold Avon, I wore Cotillion. Other girls at school wore L'Aimant and other Coty and Avon scents.

Below are introduction dates of OLD LADY PERFUMES:

1921 Chanel No. 5
1922 Nuit de Noel
1925 Shalimar
1927 L'Aimant
1930 Joy
1932 Tabu
1941 Chantilly
1945 White Shoulders
1947 Miss Dior
1948 L'Air du Temps
1952 Wind Song
1953 Youth Dew
1957 L'Interdit

I started the list with the best and ended with the best!

Monday, June 6, 2016


                                             HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY HUSBAND

I gave the 1957 Nomad to Gerald for his birthday in 1972.

WOW!  Look at Gerald's red beard!

Sunday, June 5, 2016


It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of Muhammad Ali.  The following is an article which I originally published in Sue's News in 2010.   

February 25, 1964: the Sonny Liston-Cassius Clay fight. This was in the days before Pay-For-View and televised championship fights. The radio reception was terrible at our house so Duke, Les, and I jumped in our brother Norman's car and rode around in the car listening to the fight. Norman, Duke, Les, and I LOVED Cassius Clay, but my brother Gary couldn't stand him.

I had bet Gary $20.00 that Cassius would win; he ridiculed me by saying he didn't want to steal my money. When Cassius won, Gary was a poor sport and refused to pay me by saying it really wasn't a bet. I guess he didn't like the 7-1 odds. 

The next day, Cassius became Muhammad Ali and I supported him 100% in his decision, much to Gary's chagrin. I had been a fan of Cassius Marcellus Clay since he won the 1960 Olympics as a light-heavyweight.

In my life, I've probably had 100 fights about Muhammad Ali.

In 1973, my job was threatened simply because I defended Muhammad Ali.  One night, at lunchtime, a bunch of the guys were in a discussion about Ali and there was just one guy, Buddy, defending Muhammad and I also spoke up to defend him.  Knowing that most of the men were chauvinists, I should have known to keep my mouth shut, but Hell, I grew up with seven brothers, so why would I let a bunch of guys who weren't EQUAL to my brothers intimidate me? One guy, Howard, became so incensed that the veins were bulging from his forehead and neck as he screamed at me.   Howard already disliked me, because I had been hired and his son had not been hired, and also because I had NEVER turned down any overtime; he told me that I was greedy. [It's always been a strange--but true--psychological fact that people who don't want to work overtime still resent those who are willing to work it.] Howard once told me that I shouldn't even be working there, because my husband had a "good job"; I told him that it wasn't "good enough" for me.

At that time, I had not completed my "probationary period" in with the Company.   Buddy told me that two other guys had gone to the General Foreman and told him that he should "get rid" of me, because I was a "troublemaker", but fortunately, Buddy told me as it enabled me to prepare myself.  Later that evening, the General Foreman called me into his office and told me that he'd had a complaint about me. I responded like a naif and asked, "How could someone complain about my work; I ALWAYS make production?" I knew that ploy would force him to acknowledge MY work. He said that my work was great, but that I should keep my "political opinions" to myself.  I asked if the guys were getting the same warning about expressing their opinions and if he'd spoken to Buddy about his expressing his opinions.  . He told me that since I was a "probationary employee", he wasn't going to discuss it with me. I asked him if I could have opinions once my probation was served. He told me he didn't like my "smart mouth" to which I answered that I believed I was just employing LOGIC (even though he and I both knew I was being sarcastic).  I also realized that I was in grave danger of losing my job at that moment, but I was young and idealistic and had never been one to back down if I were right. He then told me that the ONLY reason that he wasn't firing me right then was because I had set production records in the short amount of time I had been there, but that I "better watch" my "step"!

After the meeting, Buddy told me it took a "lotta guts" for me to speak up, but that I needed to be careful because several of the guys were out to get me; I had five days remaining before my 90-day probationary period was up and I would be "in the Union". On the 90th day, Howard came up to me and said, "You'll be gone before the night's over." I answered, "And if I am gone, just think of all the money I've earned working YOUR overtime; I made a down payment on my house with all that money!" Of course, that wasn't true, but everyone knew that we had just purchased a house.

That night, the power went off and we were all sitting in the dark around our machines when the General Foreman came over and asked if I would work overtime if the power returned, because we needed to ship the order. Of course I worked the OT.

The next night, I was safely "in the Union"; the Steward handed me my union card at the beginning of the shift.  Howard was the forklift driver for my area and he kept delaying taking away my units--which I knew was deliberate--which interfered with my production. After Howard  had ignored several of my my calls to take away my loads, I jumped on another forklift and moved the units from the conveyor and set them down on the floor adjacent to my machine to enable us to keep producing. I had also written on my production sheet about the downtime caused by the forklift driver.  I resumed running my machine. Howard was furious and ran to get the Steward and he was standing by my fixture--literally screaming-- that I didn't have a forklift license and then the Foreman came and told me to stop running my machine to "work this out";  I told him that I could actually "walk and chew bubble gum at he same time" and that I could also work and talk at the same time.  I said that I "couldn't stop" because I had to "catch up" because of the productivity loss that "the forklift driver" had caused.  Howard heard the entire exchange, all of which further enraged him, because he couldn't keep me from producing.

The Foreman told me I wasn't allowed to use the forklift.  I answered that I was SO sorry, but since I had a forklift license from my other job, I was "merely reacting to a SERIOUS SAFETY ISSUE" and then I pointed to the Safety Slogan on the wall.  Of course, Howard was hearing all of this and he asked, "WHAT safety issue?"  I said to the Foreman that I was worried that my units would fall on the floor, because "the lift driver" wasn't moving them and I knew that our safety was more important than anything else. It also infuriated Howard that I would not address him, only speaking to the Foreman or the Steward, and that I wouldn't refer to him by name, only as "the lift driver". [I learned a FEW things about arguing growing up with a father and seven brothers. I'll admit that I was enjoying all this "trash talk", knowing full well it would only further antagonize Howard.]

Howard was screaming that I should be "written up" to which I responded, "I'm sure the Contract FORBIDS anybody interfering with production; which do you think is worse--losing production--or operating a forklift?" I also mentioned that "the forklift driver" was causing more production loss by standing there screaming rather than doing his job. The Foreman ordered Howard to get on his forklift and "clean up the mess!" Howard was screaming, "Aren't you gonna write her up for using the forklift?" I yelled, "Hell no, Mr. Forklift Driver, I'm going to get a medal!" Howard was given disciplinary action which made him even angrier, but the Steward negotiated with the General Foreman that I would delete the reference about "interference with production" on my production sheet as I achieved my usual 100% productivity despite the downtime.

IRONY or FATE? Would I have lost my job if the power hadn't gone off and we needed to work overtime to be able to ship the product? I went on to become the first female Manufacturing Supervisor in the history of that Company. After I became a Supervisor, I asked the General Foreman if he were really going to fire me that night if the power hadn't gone off and he said, "Of course not, you had the best production in the department."  Not surprisingly, when I became a supervisor, Howard transferred to another department.  I left that Company in 1978, and in 1986, Howard called me and asked if I would help his son get a job at Rockwell. Now that's CHUTZPAH!

Saturday, June 4, 2016


A colleague and I had been discussing how poorly a cleaning woman had performed at a client's house and we were pointing out "dust bunnies" and other deficiencies. As I glanced at the umbrella stand in the corner by the living room door, I noticed there were two twenty-dollar bills in the bottom of the stand.

When I told the client about finding the money, I learned that it had been placed there deliberately in case any of the client's children needed to pick up any sundry items, they could get the money from the stand and not bother the parent who might be sleeping or was absent.

The client said, "I wonder why the cleaning woman didn't see it." I said to my colleague, "I also wondered that; just think, if she were a good cleaning woman, she would have thought that was one helluva tip!"

Friday, June 3, 2016


I have recently been in weekly contact with a woman I had not seen since 1969,  as we are volunteering at the same place. After several times of reminiscing, I said, "Don't you wear Youth Dew any more?"  She said that it used to be her favorite.  I said, "Yes, I know, I bought it for you for your birthday in 1969;  Gerald and I went Lazarus to get it."  She asked, "How on earth do you remember that?"  I told her that I am rather talented about recognizing and remembering scents that people wear.  I continued, "I notice that you're wearing White Shoulders now;  my best friend's mother always wore that."  She invited me to visit at her home and her vanity was lined with bottles of White Shoulders.

In the 1970s I was working with a man who usually wore nice colognes and after-shave lotions.  Colognes for men were not as plentiful then as today.  As I recall, Hai Karate, Brut, and EnglishLeather, along with the old standards, Old Spice, Aqua Velva, and Canoe were the most frequently worn. One day I said, "Carl, that smells like Aramis that you're wearing."  He said, "Boy, you're good;  my wife just bought it for me."  I told him that my husband wore it most of the time.  My husband had warned me NEVER to ask a man "What do you have on?" because I might be the recipient of an unwanted, risque response.

As I had complimented Carl on several occasions, I didn't feel awkward when I said, "Carl, I'm usually good at recognizing fragrances, but you smell like Chanel No. 5 today."  He looked very sheepish and said, "I was out of any of mine, so I splashed on some of my wife's."  I answered, "That's a very expensive substitute."  He said, "Don't tell anybody."  I replied, "Since it's Chanel, it's entre vous et moi!"  Carl asked, "Hunh?"  I said, "Since Chanel is French, entre vous et moi  means it's just between you and me."  At that time I was "studying" French--by using tapes in my car--and I was forever foisting fractured French pronunciations on innocent victims.  

Before The Bionic Woman was on television, we called my mother "The Human Bloodhound" because we said that she could detect smells which nobody else could, and the scents were usually of an unpleasant nature.  After seeing Lindsay Wagner, Mother was then known as "The Bionic Nose".
Mother also had the world's best memory. Oftentimes, she would say that aromas or odors were reminiscent of ones from her childhood. After I read Remembrance Of Things Past, I told her that she was as good as Proust at remembering every detail.  I would mutter, "Where's the madeleines, Mama?", whenever she would start going into excruciating detail.

A friend of mine says that she has such amazing olfactory prowess that she can distinguish her family members' flatulence.

Now, I'm not THAT good--or bad--depending on one's perspective.

Thursday, June 2, 2016


This week a man came to the house asking if we needed our trees trimmed.  He gave me his business card which showed that he was "insured and bonded";  however, I noticed that the telephone number was not a local number.  Having family in Florida, I recognized the number as being from Florida.  I said, "I see you're from Florida."  He said that he lived here now but "hadn't gotten around" to changing his phone service.  I asked where his business was located and he replied that he rented a storage shed for his tools.  I asked where he lived and he gave me an address.  I asked for references and he actually gave me a list but none were local.  I told him I would call him back after I had checked his references.   

I noticed that he had an Irish surname.  When I asked, "Do you speak Shelta?",  I noticed a strange look cross his face and he answered, "No, Ma'am."

Shelta is the language of The Irish Travelers.

I told Gerald, "I think we just had an Irish Traveler come to the door."  My brother quipped, "They make all of us Irish  look bad!"

Several years ago, I learned of two people who were victims of the same scam.  A con artist, Rosie, worked as a waitress at a local restaurant and I believe she was a member of the group known as "The Irish Travelers".

The first person who told me about the scam had actually suggested that I request the particular waitress to be my server when I went to the restaurant because she was the "best" waitress she'd ever known.

One day, the customer opened her door to find Rosie there, crying. Rosie told her that her utilities were ready to be turned off and that she was behind on her mortgage, car payment, etc., and she had her grandchild at home. Rosie asked the customer to loan her money and she showed her a picture of a house in Florida that was supposedly being sold and said that she said she would be getting a check from there soon and she would be able to pay her back with interest. Somehow, Rosie was able to get $5,000 from this person.  I asked the obvious question: "Have you gone to the police?" The answer was no, because by the time she realized she'd been duped, the waitress couldn't be found, her address in town was phony, and she'd left her job without notice, and besides, she was too embarrassed to report it.

The second person, whom I knew only slightly, called me and told me that she was trying to find a waitress who had worked at a local restaurant and she'd been told that the waitress had gone to another restaurant where a woman named Raypole was the Manager. I gave her the relative's telephone number. I asked, "You probably don't want to tell me, but is the waitress named Rosie and did she come to you with a hard-luck story and that she had a house in Florida?" The woman said, "Yes, were you a victim too?" I said, "No, but you're the second person who has told me this story." 

This woman then told me that she and her husband went to the restaurant regularly and when Rosie came to her home, the woman gave her only $2,000 with the proviso that Rosie must come there to work off the debt. Of course, Rosie agreed. Little did the woman know, but Rosie waited for the woman to leave and came back later and accosted the woman's husband, who gave Rosie $3,000! 

Can you imagine the nerve? When Rosie did not show up to work at the couple's business, the husband and wife returned to the restaurant and learned that Rosie was no longer there; when they inquired they were told she went to another restaurant. That wasn't true. The couple was also too embarrassed to go to the police.

I wonder how many people Rosie was able to con before moving to another locale or was her goal just $10,000?   Rosie had an Irish surname.

Why do people so willingly divulge personal information to complete strangers? I have the reputation of "interviewing" everyone with whom I come in contact. I do it because I'm interested in people. As I said to the first person who was scammed, "She found out EVERYTHING she needed about you: she knew what kind of car you drive, where you live, how many kids you have,  that you live alone and she knew you were a generous tipper, so she knew you had disposable income." Both of the victims couldn't believe they had been taken. I said, "They're clever and they know their marks!"  WHY don't people report it to the authorities?

CLICK HERE to read a blog article entitled "Abbreviated History of the Irish Travelers."