Monday, October 31, 2016



A man was walking home alone late one foggy Halloween night, when behind him he heard:




Walking faster, he looked back, and through the fog he made out the image of an upright casket banging its way down the middle of the street toward him.




Terrified, the man began to run toward his home, with the casket bouncing quickly behind him.






He ran up to his door, fumbled with his keys, opened the door, rushed in, slammed, and locked the door behind him. However, the casket crashed through his door, with the lid of the casket clapping.




on his heels, as the terrified man ran.

Rushing upstairs to the bathroom, he locked himself inside; his heart was pounding; his head was reeling; his breath was coming in sobbing gasps.

With a loud CRASH, the casket broke down the door, bumping and clapping toward him.

The man screamed and reached for something, anything, but all he could find was a big bottle of Robitussin! Desperate, he threw the bottle of cough syrup at the casket.


(one hopes that you're ready for this!)


Sunday, October 30, 2016


For the current campaign, the volunteers are provided "scripts" to use for telephoning voters from our "Phone Banks". Yesterday, I was handed an "updated script" and after I briefly looked at the "script", I responded, "I can't possibly say THIS!"  When the Organizer asked why I replied, "Because it's grammatically incorrect."

Looking stunned as probably only a "college junior" could, I was asked, "Whaadah ya mean?"  I replied, "Perhaps you don't know the difference between a transitive and intransitive verb, but I'm sure the erudite voters I'll be calling will."

I returned the script with revisions.  I wrote "KISS" atop the sheet.  I said, "It's too wordy; they would hang up before I could finish that first FAULKNERIAN sentence."  I know that the Organizer is not a "literature major";  perhaps I should have substituted "lengthy" for "Faulknerian" for clarity.

I said, "I don't need to tell people it's a "grassroots campaign", and, OMG, do not expect me to end the spiel with "HAVE A NICE DAY.";  I would slam down the phone if someone said that to me."

The Organizer said, "I don't see anything wrong with that."  I said, "I hate phony platitudes!"

Later, in relating this incident to my brother, he asked, "Aren't all platitudes phony?"


Saturday, October 29, 2016


After reading my article EATING HUMBLE PIE, my brother said, "I remember that Grandpa killed a dove and he heard the mate wailing for hours and he said he'd never kill another dove." I said, "Oh, they mate for life, so the mate was crying."  He answered, "So Grandpa never killed another dove."

As a hunter--always for food, and NEVER for "sport"--our grandfather had a certain reverence for the animals he hunted as he always called them "Brother".  I always thought that sounded rather Native American to say that.  He would say "Brother Squack" for squirrels and "Brother Jibuck" for rabbits.

A friend and I admired a wooden "rack puller" which was shaped like a squirrel.  I copied the design and asked Gerald to make one each for my friend and me. Gerald made three and I kept one, and gave one to my friend as a stocking stuffer. I asked Gerald why he'd made three and he said he knew I'd want another one for somebody else.  Knowing my proclivity for inflicting "my best new things" on family and friends, Gerald asked, "Just how many more do I need to make?"

The rack-puller is nifty; one can just attach the head of the wooden squirrel to an oven rack and pull it out; eliminating the possibility of having a burned wrist. Flip over the rack-puller to push in the oven rack.

I have nicknamed my rack puller "Brother Squack" in memory of my grandfather.

Friday, October 28, 2016


I just told my brother Les that I was going to write about eating squab. He said, "Oh, that sounds so much better than saying you ate DOVES, doesn't it?" I said, "Squab is also pigeon." He answered, "That's even worse!"

Being the youngest in the family, Les was not as exposed to our wide array of "epicurean delights" as the older ones were.

Our mother would fix any wild game brought home except opossum or raccoon. I think it was because opossums were so disgusting and we had raccoons as pets.  We enjoyed quail, pheasant, rabbit, and especially turtle. 
 I still like "offal": gizzards, livers, tongue, heart, kidneys, lungs, tripe, and brains (yes, I admit that I've eaten brains!);  Les said, That's an OFFAL story!"

Gerald grimaces when I mention those delicacies; I've told him it's hard for me to believe that he grew up on a farm--as poor as we were-- and had not eaten these rare treats  I said, "If I say I love pate de foie gras, that'll be OK, rather than goose liver." I like braunschweiger (liverwurst) but I cannot tolerate blood pudding, head cheese, or souse.

As kids, we ate ground hog and muskrat, but Mother insisted we say "marsh rabbit" as that euphemism sounded so much better.   I never tasted "mountain oysters"; Mother said she was tricked into eating them once and although they were delicious, she would NOT have eaten them if she'd known what they were.

The derivation of the saying "To eat humble pie", which means to apologize and face humiliation, is from the Old English word "umbles" which was the term for offal from deer and was considered "humble" to eat.

Thursday, October 27, 2016


In a recent meeting, I mentioned that I have five friends named Gail/Gayle who are all in the same age range. When I went to school there were also several Gails. The cyclical nature of the choice in names has always been interesting to me. Who would've thought that "Hazel" would be a popular name again? It is probably because of Julia Roberts naming her daughter Hazel. Recently, I reminisced with a woman with whom I'd worked in the 1960's and her name is Hazel. She and I talked about all the "little Hazels" around now.  She said that she had been named after the comic strip character Hazel.

The impact of celebrities' choices of names for their children is not a recent phenomenon. I read that "Gloria" had never been an actual given name until Gloria Swanson adopted it as her stage name (her original name was "Glory"). I read that Gloria Vanderbilt was named that because of Gloria Swanson.  Cheryl was a very popular name when I was born and I read that it was because that was what Lana Turner had named her daughter. I feel sorry for those children of current celebrities with their bizarre given names (Apple, Kal-el, Sage Moonblood, Pax, Suri, Harlow,  and North). I hope not many people choose to imitate those name choices by celebrities. However, I do delight in the fact that Demi Moore named her daughter "Scout" after the heroine in To Kill A Mockingbird. I remember that a local person named her daughter Chassity; the woman was a Cher fan, but didn't know that Cher's baby's name was spelled Chastity!  I have asked several people with the name "Dylan" if they were named after Mr. Zimmerman or perhaps after Mr. Thomas.

My name was ALMOST Diana Lynn because my mother had told my brother Bode that he could name the baby if it were a girl (Diana Lynn was a cute debutante actress at the time), but after FIVE boys, Mother thought she would have another boy; when I was born, she immediately vetoed "Diana Lynn".   Over the years, every time I have met a female named Diana I always ask her middle name and only once has it been any other name than Lynn. My grandmothers insisted that I should be named for them, but one wanted MARY MARGARET and the other wanted MARGARET MARY, but Mother adamantly rejected that suggestion.  She hated naming "after" people.  .Phyllis Sue was the compromise, because my aunt suggested Phyllis and Mother liked the name Sue.  My mother called me Suzan Jane as a pet name all of my life, because she never liked the name Phyllis. I was always Sue at home.

When I was in first grade, there were seven girls named SUE.  Interestingly, it was the MIDDLE name of each one of us and we were ALL called Sue or Suzy at home. Why do parents name a child one thing and call them another?

The first grade teacher, Mrs. McDonald had us draw straws to see which one would be called Sue at school; as I drew one of the short straws, I was called Phyllis throughout school. The one who picked the long straw and was allowed to be Sue at school was RUTH SUE MARIE MASSIE. For crying out loud, she had 3 names; how fair was that?

At about the third grade, the seven of us began calling ourselves the "Sue Club". When any of us "Sue Club" members would see each other we always say Sue.

I thought it would be interesting to see the most popular names over the years. According to the Social Security Administration, the most popular baby names for 2015 were:

Noah and Emma.

The most popular names by decades:

2000s: Emily and Jacob
1990s: Ashley and Michael
1980s: Jennifer and Michael
1970s: Jennifer and Michael
1960s: Mary and David
1950s: Linda and John
1940s: Mary and Robert

At BMY, where we had nearly 1,000 employees, seven of my employees were named Sherry/Sherri/Shari/Sharie/Cheri/Cherie and Cheree!

NORMA JEAN: every time I have heard of a female named Norma, her middle name has always been JEAN: from Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jean Baker) to my husband's niece, Norma Jean Raypole.  When I mentioned that observation to my friend Patty, she asked, "What about Norma Rae?"

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


I have stated that I could easily live just eating appetizers.  In restaurants, I relish (oh, yes, that is an INTENTIONAL usage) appetizers such as stuffed mushrooms, bruschetta, mozzarella sticks, fried zucchini, potato skins, onion rings, and toasted ravioli, oftentimes ordering appetizer samplers rather than a meal.

At home I prepare ham rollups, cheese balls, dips, and other delightful appetizers and canapes. 

In the movie Mermaids, Cher portrayed a single mother with two daughters;  she did not prepare meals but created artistic appetizers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  See the hilarious clip below:

In the movie Another Stakeout, Rosie O'Donnell's
character created appetizers such as the penguins seen on the right side here as well as armadillo-shaped meatloaf.

I prepared Ladybug Canapes and ended up eating all of them because my husband and brother didn't care for the "bruschetta-ish" creation.

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

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


While spending a great deal of time recently with a chatty associate, she has, on several occasions given detailed examples of how she is NOT racist and reminds us of how many black friends she has and the wonderful kindnesses she has bestowed on black people;  This is always spoken by her in a very self-congratulatory, self-satisfied manner, as if to proclaim, "See how wonderful I am, because I have black friends and get along with them."  After one such conversation, a friend leaned over and whispered,  "I'm always suspicious of people who just have to tell you how un-prejudiced they are; why is she always trying to CONVINCE us how magnanimous she is?"   I said, "The lady doth PROCLAIM too much, methinks!", making a little pun on Hamlet.  My friend said, "You just wanted to use METHINKS!"

Today, there were several people in a conversation about the racism demonstrated by one of the candidates for President and his supporters.  She said, "I know a lot of blacks who are also very prejudiced."  I said, "REALLY?  You know a LOT of racist blacks?  Well, I guess I can understand WHY they might be!" She was obviously shocked by my answer.  She continued, "My college roommate hated ALL whites."  I answered, "And you continued being her roommate?"  She replied, "Well, I got along fine with her."  I said, "Well, then she must not have hated ALL whites, since YOU were able to get along FINE with her."  She seemed flummoxed by that dose of logic.  I continued, "So, she must not have hated ALL whites, or was it because YOU were so special?"  She looked askance and said, "Well, I guess that's true."

Monday, October 24, 2016


Once again, at a restaurant, I have had pollack foisted upon me under the claim that it was crab.  When I called it to the attention of the waiter, he said that it was indeed crab.  I insisted that it was pollock and told him, in a smart aleck way, to show me the package.   I told him that I would be leaving and to please bring my bill.  When I received the bill, he had the crab entree figured in the total.  I said, "I have not touched this;  I shall not eat this, and I will not pay for it;  please summon the manager."

When the manager arrived, I told her that I was unhappy with the entree and that I would not pay for it as I had not touched it but had indeed informed the waiter that it was not crab which was advertised on the menu.  She offered to bring another entree and I told her that I was leaving.  When I told my tale of woe  to my brother, he said, "Oh, you were just being your usual CRABBY self!"  I said, "This isn't the first time!" 

Years ago, we took my mother to a new restaurant for Mother's Day. The restaurant was in an historic Victorian house and I had heard that the food was marvelous and that we could tour the house.

The decor was lovely and there was a pianist playing Gershwin. I was delighted and squealed, "How nice is this--dinner music." . When we received our menus I was delighted to see the extensive selections. On the appetizer section I noticed "crabmeat cocktail" listed and it was just $7.95 and the shrimp cocktail was only $5.95. I said, "Wow, I've never had crab cocktail before;  only shrimp; I'm going to get the crab meat because crab is my favorite." [Although it was listed on the menu as "crabmeat",  I was in an appreciative mood, and I did not quibble nor correct.]

Gerald placed our orders and Mother said, "I can't believe we have to order a la carte!" but I said, "But, Mother, this is a NICE place!"

When our appetizers arrived, I immediately noticed that my "crabmeat" was pollock and NOT crab meat. I called for the waiter and I told him very quietly that I had ordered crab and not pollock. He insisted that it was crab and I said, "Please send the Manager to see me." When the Manager came, I told him that I had ordered crab and he said, "That's what you got." I said, "No, what I HAVE is pollock." I touched it with my cocktail fork and said, "You can see that it's dyed to resemble crab."

When he didn't offer to do anything; I said, "Please have the waiter bring our bill for the drinks and we'll be going." The Manager said, "You'll have to pay for the three appetizers too." I said, "Oh, no, I won't, because we haven't touched them and tomorrow I'm going to call the Better Business Bureau to report this fiasco." The Manager said, "You don't have to act like that!" My mother spoke and said, "Yes she does!"

As I was leaving, I said, "Oh, and by the way, crab meat is TWO words!"

Sunday, October 23, 2016


I love making popcorn balls and other treats that kids are not expecting!  See below for the instructions to make WITCHES HATS, Carla Hall's recipe for FALL ACORNS and my mother's recipe for POPCORN BALLS.

WITCHES HATS::   take fudge striped cookies; turn upside down;  add orange icing;  top with a Hershey's Kiss.

How cute is this?

Fall Acorns Recipe by Carla Hall - The Chew
These adorable acorns are a perfect Halloween snack!

Popcorn ball making was a big family event when we were kids.  My brother Kenny was certainly the most creative:  for the Halloween popcorn balls he added M &  M candies, candy corn, and food colors to the recipe.  For Christmas, he added red and green food colors.  The recipe calls for "wrapping";  ours seldom needed wrapping!  My mother's recipe:


3 quarts popped corn
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light Karo (You can use ONLY KARO, folks!)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Pop the popcorn;  spread on baking sheet.
Combine sugar, Karo, butter, and salt in heavy saucepan.  Over medium heat and stirring constantly, bring to a boil.  Boil 2 minutes while continuing to stir constantly.  Remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla and baking soda (this bubbling will shock first-time makers!)  Pour syrup over popcorn.  Butter your hands (or put on plastic gloves which you spray with cooking spray, we learned years later after many burns!).  Shape into balls.  Wrap in plastic.  This recipe makes about 12 3-inch balls.

Saturday, October 22, 2016


October 22 is NATIONAL NUT DAY.  Gerald, Les, and I love nuts with cashews being the favorite. My grandfather had butternut trees and I have not tasted them in years but I recall that they are delicious.

I am not interested in inedible nuts such as acorns and buckeyes and some edible seeds and dry fruits are sometimes confused with nuts.  Peanuts are legumes, not nuts.  After researching, I compiled this list of true, edible nuts:


I have eaten all of these except for CANDLE NUTS and OGBONO, but will search to find some.  I only know about BEECH NUT because of BEECH NUT gum. I  knew PILI NUTS because I worked with a woman from the Phillipines who spoiled me with traditional cooking from her homeland.

My question:  WHY are some nuts ONE word while others are TWO words (BUTTERNUT versus HICKORY NUT, for example)?

Friday, October 21, 2016


After reading my article about Dylan's being awarded  the Nobel Prize For Literature, my friend Mona Lisa said, "Hey, tell about Subterranean Homesick Blues."  This article was published in 2010:


One Saturday, Gerald and I had gone to see Dylan in concert and the following Monday, at lunch time, I was standing by our department secretary Patty's desk. She and I were discussing my love of Dylan as she cannot stand what she termed his "A-tonal wheeze."

 To goad her I began to do my imitation of Bob by singing Subterranean Homesick Blues.   Chuck, one of my favorite people at work, heard my "singing" and he came over and said, "So it WAS you at the Dylan concert!" I asked where he had been sitting.  He continued, "I told my wife that it looked like you down there in the good seats, but I told her I couldn't believe you were a Dylan fan." I asked, "Why would you think that I'm not a Dylan fan? I'm the biggest Dylan fan; that's my generation!" Chuck said, "Well, you're so, well, uh, well, uh...." His voice trailed off and I could tell he was struggling for an appropriate word. I said, "Spit it out--what am I?" He grimaced and said, "Well, uh, conservative." I told him, "I get that conservative thing a lot." He said, "Well, I actually used the word "square" to my wife." Patty laughed and said, "She's the most liberal person I know, but I can't believe this normally intelligent person could be a Dylan fan!"

Chuck said later, "If I hadn't seen you at that Dylan concert and heard you singing to Patty I would never have gotten to know how much fun you are!"

I get that a lot too!

Listen to Dylan:

Thursday, October 20, 2016


"Having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition." read the statement from the Nobel Committee in awarding the Nobel Prize for Literature to Bob Dylan. 

It has been reported that the Nobel Committee has not been able to get in contact with Dylan and he has not acknowledged the honor and it is unknown whether Dylan will appear to receive the honor.  This is not a surprise from the mysterious, elusive Dylan.

I have loved Dylan since 1962.  Of course I possess all of his "albums" and have duplicated most of them with CDs.  Gerald and I have seen him at least twenty times in concert and those appearances ranged from phenomenal to god-awful;  we have never met him "up close and personal".  It has always been astounding to me to see the diversity of audience members which includes people like us of Dylan's generation to young people and even teenagers.

Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone was chosen as the greatest rock and roll song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. I, along with nearly every critic surveyed, agree with this assessment, and although I agree it is Dylan's greatest song, Just Like A Woman, performed by Richie Havens--not by Mr. Zimmerman--is my personal favorite song by Dylan.I have said, so many times, that Dylan wrote Just Like A Woman FOR me that people might think that I actually believe it is about ME!

See the YouTube interactive video of Like A Rolling Stone being song lip-synched by numerous people and you can flick back and forth from person to person. It is a channel-surfer's dream come true!

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

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Years ago, on one of our shopping excursions, my sister-in-law Jean and I discovered cranberry beans at Big Bear..  We both bought a bag and cooked them.  Cranberry beans soon became one of my family's favorite.  After Big Bear went out of business, it became difficult to find them;  K-Mart carried them for awhile. Whenever one of us would locate the beans, an APB (or "APBB", as Les remarked!) alert would go out.  Last week, Jean called and said that Kroger had them.  She and I bought all the bags that were on the shelf!  

As well as being healthful, and economical, cranberry beans are also aesthetically pleasing.  The bean has cranberry-colored striping on an off-white background.  They have a nutty flavor, compared to navy beans.  I have found several interesting recipes on the internet.  I have piqued the interest of several of my friends, but not enough to share my stash of beans.  Our larder is full and Les exclaimed, "No more beans until I put them on the list;  these will expire;  you have enough to last a year!"

Cranberry beans are also known as "October beans" because, unlike most beans, they are harvested in the fall, rather than in the summer.  Other names include "shelly beans", "horticultural beans", "French horticulture beans", "wren's eggs", "bird egg beans", and "speckled beans"; in Italy, they are known as "borlotti".  An interesting note:  nearly all borlotti beans used in Italy are imported from the United States.

I like a variety in meals and I plan the meals each month and we do not prepare the same dinner entrees in a month;  once a month we have some kind of bean soup.  We like beans so much, we have a rating system for soup beans:

5.  15-BEAN SOUP

Those are my preferences;  Gerald likes 15-bean soup the best and doesn't like lima bean soup.

So, when you were a kid, did you recite the MIRACLE FRUIT jingle?

"Beans, beans, the miracle fruit,
The more you eat, the more you toot,
The more you toot, the better you feel,
So why don't you eat them every meal?"

When I was a youngster, my mother did the laundry on Mondays and every Monday she would cook beans, because a pot of beans did not require much tending.   When the wringer washer, washboard, and hanging out clothes on the line were replaced by the modern conveniences of a washer and dryer, then she seldom cooked beans.  A pot of beans and cornbread became a treat!

Oftentimes, on the second day, Mother would put "dumplins" in the leftover beans.  Grandpa called the leftover, second day dumplins, "daddlins".

At school, our meals were usually good, but when the school cooks fixed beans, they were hard and never "done"!  We called them "bullets"!

Oh, how did we ever tolerate each other without BEANO?  Les calls it the MIRACLE PILL!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


In my article BEAT YOUR GOOD HORSES, I quoted a man using the term "jacking around".  See my BLOG article from 2013:

                     THOSE DAY SHIFT JACKS 

In my early days in manufacturing, it was common parlance to refer to people on other shifts who were not doing their share of the work as "those day shift Jacks".

When I used that phrase in the presence of my older brother he asked, "Do you know what that actually means?" and I answered, "Yeah, it means they are not doing their job." My brother informed me that the use of "Jack" referred to a common term for masturbation. I said, "Well, that is officially out of my vocabulary!" I never used the term again.

A friend sent a very interesting article to me about THE URBAN DICTIONARY (CLICK HERE to see it) and how The Urban Dictionary  is now referenced in court cases because it is an authority on the use of slang and what the terms actually mean to current users. The site has been used in court cases ranging from sexual harassment, armed robbery, and requests for personalized automobile license plates.

I was amused to see that "Jack" now also means "to steal".

Monday, October 17, 2016


I volunteer at The Well At Sunnyside and The Bread Of Life, two not-for-profit organizations whose mission is to help less fortunate individuals and families.   The motto of The Well is "Freely Received, Freely Given".  With both of the organizations, there is a core group of dependable volunteers;  others come and go.

During the current election campaign, it has been very difficult to attract and retain volunteers. We did not have this problem in the 2008 and 2012 Presidential campaigns nor in the 2011 campaign for SB5.

I reviewed my list of previous volunteers from those campaigns and began calling potential volunteers, fully expecting a good response.  I have been disappointed by the outcome.  I have not finely analyzed the difference, but note a lack of enthusiasm and commitment this time.

It is interesting that the most dedicated volunteers THIS time are three NEW volunteers.  When our young Field Organizer suggested to me that these people "might be willing to do more",  I hooted, "You don't want to beat your good horses to death", to which a friend, a current volunteer, commented, very a propos:  "Or your good jackasses!"

I told her of one of my experiences:  I had a a marvelous group of piece workers who never failed to make their quotas which of course made me look good.  One evening, I knew that I was not going to make "Prime" which was how I was judged.  I turned to my best, most dependable, worker, whose nickname was "Seaweed", and shared my concern, hoping that he would "save" me!   He said, "You know, you beat your good horses to death."  Shocked, I asked what he meant.  He pointed to a less productive worker and said, "You let that guy get away with jacking around and you expect me to make up the difference."  ["jacking around" will be saved for another commentary]

His criticism stung but it literally changed my life.  Yes, I realized had been taking advantage of my good workers and letting the less productive ones "slide".  The next night I began paying greater attention to the others, rather than depending on the good will of my "good horses".  Changing MY behavior actually made me a better, more productive, more professional manager.  

A couple of weeks later, Seaweed called me over to his area and asked, "Have I done something wrong?"  I asked what he meant and he said that I didn't come around  to "shoot the breeze or anything";  and I immediately knew that I would NOT mention the "beat your good horses" incident but realized that he had been missing my "attention".  I answered, "Oh, you know, Leon has me doing so many extra things for him."  Seaweed threw his head back in laughter and said, "You're his ONLY good horse!"


Sunday, October 16, 2016


My brother says that I have a "uniform" consisting of slacks (or sometimes a skirt), blazer, and a pussybow blouse.  He has pointed out several photographs of my wearing THAT outfit. "Pussybow" or "pussycat bow" are terms for the large, floppy bows at the neck of women's blouses.  The bows are so named because they resemble bows put around the necks of felines and are not associated with any part of the female anatomy.  "Pussybow" blouses were de rigueur for professional dressing, especially in the 1970s.

After the exposure of Donald Trump's lewd comments, we were eagerly awaiting the Second Debate and we were joining a Debate Watch Party at our local Democratic Headquarters   When the camera panned to the family members of the candidates, I certainly noticed Mrs. Trump's attire.  When I went home, my brother asked, "Do you think it was a coincidence about her wearing the pussybow blouse?" I screaked in delight, "I didn't think about that!"

Mrs. Trump's blouse has been identified as a Gucci design selling for a mere $1,100.  It looked very pretty.  I went to my closet and saw that my favorite pusybow blouse is from Kasper!

Saturday, October 15, 2016


Gerald and i attended the ODP dinner and our President gave an inspiring speech.  The rallying cry from 2008 and 2012--"FIRED UP, READY TO GO!"--echoed again!

Friday, October 14, 2016


After seeing my article MR OPPORKNOCKITY, my brother said, "I thought PARDON ME ROY was your favorite pun,".  See my BLOG article from 2010:

                                              HE JUST LICKED HIS EYEBROW

I told ONE dirty joke in my life and it was difficult to live down; today I do not remember the joke, but I do recall the punch line: "He just licked his eyebrow", because during the intervening years, several people have reminded me of the joke and would repeat the punch line to me to embarrass me.

This past weekend, Joyce, a friend I hadn't seen in years, and I were with a group of people and we were reminiscing. Joyce was telling the assembled group that I told the best jokes and she said, "I'll never forget the one you told, but I can only remember the punch line." I had a moment of anxiety as I thought that she was going to repeat THAT punch line, but she repeated a different punch line and she asked me to tell the joke. Fortunately,it was a pun which I did remember.  I had heard the joke on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson when Roy Rogers was a guest and a young actress told the pun to Roy. It really has to be said aloud to get the full effect, but Ill try to do it justice.

One day Roy Rogers was passing a boot maker's shop and he saw the most beautiful pair of boots he'd ever seen. Roy just had to have those boots and he left the shop, proudly wearing them. On the way home it started to rain and as he was going from the stable to the ranch house, his new boots got muddy. Dale was waiting at the door and she told Roy he had to remove the boots and leave them on the porch. As Dale and Roy were having dinner, they heard a terrible caterwauling sound and Roy looked out the door just in time to see a cougar running away carrying his new boots in his teeth. Roy put on his other boots and jumped on Trigger and took off after that cougar. Roy returned a few hours later and he had that dead cougar strapped across Trigger's back. Roy's once beautiful boots were hanging out of the saddle bag, ripped to shreds.

Dale was waiting at the door and as Roy approached, Dale sang out, "Pardon me, Roy, is that the cat that chewed your new shoes?" [Dale's question must be SUNG to the tune of  Pardon Me, Boy, Is That The Chattanooga Choo-choo!]

Roy's reaction was priceless, and he almost fell off the end of the couch, laughing.

Joyce and I both said that we could never hear the song without thinking of the pun.

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Whenever she comes across an unusual word, Mona Lisa is fond of saying to me, "I looked in the dictionary for the word and there was your picture!" After reading the BLOG article GROANERS, which she had sent to me, she sent the message: "I looked in the dictionary for PARONOMASIA and there was your picture!"

Paronomasia means the love of puns.

I do love puns and my all-time favorite is about Mr. Opporknockity, the piano tuner:

Mr. Opporknockity was the world's greatest piano tuner and was justifiably proud of his work; he always guaranteed that he only needed to make one service call. Once, a dissatisfied customer called and told Mr. Opporknockity that his piano needed to be tuned again. Mr. Opporknockity answered, "That's impossible, I can't do it, because OPPORKNOCKITY ONLY TUNES ONCE!"

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Because of my love of puns and the fact that I had recently published number 19 (see below) on Facebook, Mona Lisa sent the following list she thinks are GROANERS:

1. Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent.

2.  A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, "I'll serve you, but don't start anything."

3.  Two peanuts walk into a bar, and one was a salted.

4.  A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

5.  A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says: "A beer please, and one for the road.'"

6.  Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: "Does this taste funny to you?"

7.  "Doc, I can't stop singing The Green, Green Grass Of Home." The doctor said, "That sounds like Tom Jones Syndrome." "Is it common?" "Well, It's Not Unusual."

8.  Two cows are standing next to each other in a field. Daisy says to Dolly, "I was artificially inseminated this morning." "I don't believe you," said Dolly. "It's true, no bull!," exclaimed Daisy.

9.  An invisible man married an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.

10. Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bull before.

11. I went to buy some camouflage pants the other day but I couldn't find any.

12. A man woke up in a hospital after a serious accident. He shouted, "Doctor, doctor, I can't feel my legs!" The doctor replied, "I know you can't; I've cut off your arms!'"

13. I went to a seafood disco last week and pulled a mussel.

14. What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh.

15. Two fish swam into a concrete wall. The one turned to the other and said "Dam!"

16. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

17. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?", they asked, as they moved off. "Because", he said, "I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."

18. A woman had twins and gav them up for adoption. One of them went to a family in Egypt and was named "Ahmal". The other went to a family in Spain ; he was named "Juan". Years later, Juan sent a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she told her husband that she wished she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responded, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."

19. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot almost all of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

20. And finally, there was the person who sent twenty different puns to her friend, with the hope that at least ten of the puns would make her laugh. No pun in ten did.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


In discussing my BLOG article INDIGENOUS PEOPLES with several people, I mentioned that I refuse to use the term "Indian" to describe Native Americans as it is offensive.

One person told me, with an overweening attitude, that not only was it not offensive, but, in fact, was complimentary, because the word is derived from the Spanish phrase gente di dios (people of God).

I reacted by asking, "Are you out of your mind?" She answered, "I've read it several different places." Because of her arrogance, I answered, with great irritation, "Don't you know that paper will hold still for anything to be printed on it; it doesn't mean it's true?"

I offered to bet that I was right, with no success.

I received the following from one of my favorite websites Grammarphobia. Of course I forwarded the article to her.


Q: I came across a website that says the use of the word “Indian” for a Native American is derived from the Spanish phrase Gente de Dios. Whaddya think?

A: Didn’t your mother tell you not to believe everything you see on the Web?

The website of La Prensa, a weekly newspaper for Latinos in the Midwest, does indeed say the term “Indian” is derived from that Spanish phrase for People of God.

A “Latino History” page on the site says Gente de Dios was later shorted to en Dios, then endios, and finally “Indian.”

“Yes, ‘Indian’ they were called Indians,” La Prensa adds, “not because they were thought to live in India but because they were children of God.”

As you suspect, that etymology is nonsense—or as one would say in Spanish, una tontería.

The truth, as you were undoubtedly taught in school, is that Christopher Columbus did indeed think he’d reached India when he landed in the Americas and that he referred to the natives as “Indians” in Spanish.

In the diary of his first voyage to the Americas, which Columbus wrote in 15th-century Spanish, he repeatedly referred to the indigenous population as indios and yndios.

Here’s a modern Spanish version of the diary in which he describes the islands he visited in the region as estas islas de India (these islands of India).

As the Oxford English Dictionary explains, the use of the term “Indian” for the indigenous people of the Americas is the result of “Columbus’s assumption that, on reaching America, he had reached the east coast of India.”

The word “Indian” in this sense first showed up in English, according to OED citations, in the mid-16th century.

The earliest reference in the OED is from A Treatyse of the Newe India With Other New Founde Landes and Islandes (1553).

Here’s the citation from Richard Eden’s translation of a work by the German cartographer Sebastian Münster: “They saw certayn Indians gatheringe shel fyshes by the sea bankes.”

Not surprisingly, the adjective “Indian” in reference to the people of India entered English a lot earlier—in the late 1300s, and the noun “Indian” in that sense first showed up around 1400, according to OED citations.

Although English adapted the adjective and noun “Indian” from the Anglo-Norman and Middle French indien, the dictionary notes, the geographic name “India” is a direct borrowing from Latin and showed up centuries earlier.

The OED has two Early Old English citations from History Against the Pagans, a work by Paulus Orosius, a church historian who lived in the late 4th and early 5th centuries.

We won’t go through La Prensa’s “Latin History” page point by point, but we should note one other questionable statement: “Christopher Columbus, by the way, was not his real name—it was Cristóbal Colón.”

Columbus, who made four voyages to the New World under the auspices of the Spanish Crown, was born Cristoforo Colombo on Oct. 31, 1451, in the Republic of Genoa, now part of modern Italy.

“Christopher Columbus” is an Anglicized version of his name in Latin, Christophorus Columbus. Cristóbal Colón is the Spanish version of his name and Cristóvão Colombo is the Portuguese version.

Columbus was a man of the world who spoke all those languages. We imagine that he referred to himself by the name used in whichever language he was speaking.

In his diary, for example, Columbus writes his name in the Spanish of his time: almirante don x’val Colón (almirante is Spanish for “admiral” and “x” is short for Cristo, or “Christ”).

Columbus, by the way, didn’t invent the use of “x” as an abbreviation for “Christ.” This convention is more than a thousand years old, as we’ve written on our blog.

In a posting six years ago, we noted that the practice grew out of Greek, in which “Christ” begins with the letter “chi,” or “X.” In Greek letters it’s spelled ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ.

Monday, October 10, 2016


For many years I have not "celebrated" Columbus Day; instead, I join with A.I.M. (the American Indian Movement) to demand that our country abolish it as a "holiday" or "observance"; and instead recognize INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY or NATIVE AMERICANS' DAY.

If you'd like to know the true story about Christopher Columbus, please read on. But I warn you, it's not for the faint of heart.

Once again, it's time to celebrate Columbus Day. Yet, the stunning truth is: If Christopher Columbus were alive today, he would be put on trial for crimes against humanity. Columbus' reign of terror, as documented by noted historians, was so bloody, his legacy so unspeakably cruel, that Columbus makes a modern villain like Saddam Hussein look like a pale codfish. 
Question: Why do we honor a man who, if he were alive today, would almost certainly be sitting on Death Row awaiting execution?

CLICK HERE to continue reading.

Sunday, October 9, 2016


After purchasing stamps for postcards for a campaign mailing, I was leaving the Post Office;  I was wearing a large button proclaiming OHIO for HILLARY. 

 A man whom I recognized from two previous encounters was also leaving.   He said, as an aside, "Poor KILLARY!"  I ignored his obvious baiting but he continued by saying, "Oh, poor, poor KILLARY."  I took the bait and responded, "Poor YOU; you lack originality! 

He asked, contemptuously, "So how do you defend those e-mails?"  I answered, "How do you defend Trump's producing his shoddy merchandise in foreign countries rather than employing Americans?"  Laughing, he said, "But that's the American way!"  I replied, "It's not MY American way."  He countered by saying, "I bet that outfit you're wearing wasn't made in the U.S!"  I said, "Oh, yes it was;  in fact it was made right here in Fayette County;  my mother made it for me."  He said, "You're lucky your mother is still with you."  I said, "Oh, no she's not but she made this in 1988 but good things last just like Hillary Clinton."  I could tell that he was furious at having been one-upped and he was hurrying to get into his vehicle.  

I said, "Hey, wait--wait--you still owe me that $100 you bet me in 2011." He looked dumbfounded and said, "I don't know what you're talking about."  I answered, "How could  you forget?  it happened right here in front of the Post Office."  He shrugged and I said, "You confronted me about collecting signatures for the SB5 campaign and you said that the issue would fail and I told you I would bet."  He said that he did not recall the incident.  I said, "Don't you remember--I asked you how much money your wife had let you bring with you that day--and you agreed on $100."   

He climbed in his car as I was saying, "I called you the day after the election to remind you that you owed me, but you hung up on me;  that was just bad manners!"   

See my BLOG article from 2011 about the confrontation:  



As we are winding down the campaign to collect signatures for the referendum to repeal Senate Bill 5, I am pleased to report that in the two months and twenty events which we have staged, I have had only two incidents of people being unprofessional.

Outside of the Hike For Hospice event, we had set up table and chairs to collect signatures. A local car dealer came to the table and asked, in a loud voice, "Who gave you permission to do this?" I crossed my arms and said in a very quiet voice, "As long as we maintain access and egress and do not hinder passersby, we are within the law and do not need permission." He asked, in an even louder voice, "Who gave you a permit?" I answered, still in a quiet voice, "As I stated previously, sir, as long as we maintain access and egress and do not hinder passersby, we are within the law and do not need a permit." He must have been disappointed that his attempted intimidation was unsuccessful. He shouted, as he mounted his large truck, "I'll see about this!" I laughed and said, "Tell Mr. Denen to stop by and sign!" Later, a participant in the Hike called me and said, "The women over here at the registration table are talking and one of them said, "Well, SHE says she has the right to be there!" I said, "Tell them to capitalize the "S" on she!"  We did not have a visit from any authorities as he had threatened.

The second incident occurred a week later outside of the U.S. Post Office when a man approached the table where a friend and I were set up to collect signatures for the petition, and said, "I wanna see your permit!" I answered, very quietly, "Sir, as long as I maintain access and egress and do not hinder passersby, I do not need a permit." He continued, "I checked with the police and this is solicitation and that is against the law." I replied, "Perhaps you should check with the boss of the police--the City Manager--and by the way, the City Manager's wife signed my petition." He stated that his wife had been there earlier in the day and we had "solicited" her. I said, "No, I know who your wife is and she was merely asked if she had signed and whether she wanted to sign;  obviously there was no solicitation."

He became very agitated and said, "You people put yourself above all others and think you're better than everybody else." I replied, "Sir, your saying "you people" is a ridiculous generalization; you are making assumptions without any basis in fact; you do not know me nor do you know anything about me so you're just being totally illogical." He said, incongruously, "You don't know nuthin' about me neither!" I answered, "And I have no desire to know anything about you but I won't be making any assumptions about you." He pointed to his 

polo--type shirt with the name of a business embroidered there and said he was the owner of the business.  I did not respond and he became very irate and said, "You think you're better than everybody else." I ignored him once again. He then threatened to go to the "cops";  I said, "Go right ahead, but you're being disingenuous because you said you'd already been to the cops." He said, "Oh you think you're smarter than me using big words!" I answered, "Disingenuous? that's a little word in my family; go home and look it up." He said, "You're so smart; you won't think you're so smart when the cops come!" 

He continued his rant and I said, "Sir, you need to leave because you are being quite OBSTREPEROUS!" He said, "That's not even a word." My friend who had stood up, interjected, "Yes it is; she's the best sesquipedalian I know." I said to my friend, "Oh, what was the word of the day today--OBTEST?" She and I laughed and she said, "Yes, that's it." I chuckled and said, "Thou doest OBTEST too much, sir.", being quite proud of my little Shakespearean pun.   

He moved toward his car, but returned and said, "You're gonna lose."  I answered, "So, how much money did  your wife let you bring with you today?"  He asked, "What does that mean?" I answered, "Because that's how much money I'll bet that we will win."  He said, very condescendingly, "How about $100?" I said, "Hand it over to my friend here; she'll keep both mine and yours."  He just stormed away.  My friend actually called the police to file a complaint.

When I went home and related the incident, my brother asked, "Was he packing heat?" That certainly gave me pause for thought. I'll still be collecting signatures until June 29, but I WILL NOT engage in any more contretemps, especially knowing about the crazy gun laws in Ohio. I am sincerely grateful for all of the well-mannered people in Fayette County who declined to sign the petition, but more than that, I am grateful to the people who signed as Fayette County has more than 3 times the needed 3%.


If you like learning new words, check out the "Word Of The Day" website by CLICKING HERE.

Saturday, October 8, 2016


A young woman whom the ODP has supplied to our county as a Field Organizer for the political campaign this year tries to recruit volunteers from every person who comes into the Headquarters or with whom she speaks on the telephone.  This, of course, is how she should conduct herself and I like her enthusiasm, idealism, and work ethic; I recognize that she is following what her superiors have instructed but I hearken back to the time when I also thought that I knew everything.

Yesterday I was out of the office attempting to locate people listed as purged voters, trying to re-register them.

When I returned, the Field Organizer told me that a woman had come in to pick up yard signs and she'd asked her to volunteer and the woman had reacted in a very negative, insulting manner.  She found it hard to believe that she even wanted signs or that she was a "good Democrat" because of the "attitude";  I explained the difference between "attitude" and "behavior", but realized the comparison was lost on the young idealalogue.

The following colloquy ensued between the two of us:  I asked, "What did you say to her?"  She answered, "I told her that we needed volunteers." I asked, "And what did she say?"  She replied, "She told me that she had always done her part."  I asked, "How old is she?"  "Oh, I think she's old enough to be my mother."

I said, "Please tell me that you DID NOT say WE need to be doing more than JUST vote."   She looked bewildered and admitted that she had used that exact.phrase and asked, "How did you know what I said?"  I told her that I'd heard her say it on the telephone numerous times.  She asked what was wrong with saying it. I asked, "Don't you realize how condescending that is?"  She said that she didn't believe it was condescending.  I said, "So, here you are, a kid, talking to a woman old enough to be your mother, who has participated in numerous campaigns before you were even born, and you used the dreaded WE."  She asked, "What's wrong with saying we?"  I replied, "It is very patronizing and it comes off as lecturing and critical from you, a kid, to tell HER that she needs to do more than JUST vote when she knows what she has done in her life and you DO NOT!"  I told her, "I told myself that this campaign I was NOT going to say that it is the most important election of my lifetime."  She didn't allow me to finish but said, "But it IS; and YOU understand THAT, why don't they understand that?"  I said, "Because, just like you, I thought my first campaign was the most important."

She said that she still didn't understand WHY people don't care. I told her that while I agree that WE need to do MORE, I am not a naif who thinks we can SHAME people into doing it.

I told her that I wanted to give her an example of the danger of being young and condescending.   When I was a young supervisor I was about to enact disciplinary action for the first time in my career. I called the employee to come to my office where I was sitting down behind the desk.  I gestured for him to sit down but he he remained standing, with arms crossed over his chest.  I opened by saying, "I thought that we could sit down to discuss the problem."   He answered, "WE?  Do you have a TURD in your pocket?" I was stunned and speechless.  He continued, "And what the Hell do you think you're doing, calling me in here without my Steward?  Get my Steward NOW!"

Obviously, that session was a complete failure on my part.  Later, in discussing MY problem with my boss, he told me, "Never be condescending to a person old enough to be your parent."  I began defending myself by saying, "I don't think it's condescending."  He said, "Well, then, choose another word--perhaps PATRONIZING--you seem to be good with words;  you should never talk to a grown-up man as if you are all-knowing!"

Not only did I learn not to be condescending, I also learned from that employee and used his tactics at other times in my life: such as seizing the conversation, using a power move such as refusing to sit down, and the defense mechanism of crossing arms over one's chest.

I oftentimes wondered if the man understood the psychological dynamics of the situation with his machinations or that he was just naturally a PRICK!

Friday, October 7, 2016


In 1996, Sherri, a woman in her twenties, came into work one morning and I noticed that one side of her mouth was drooping; I asked her if she were OK and she said that she had awakened feeling strange. I asked her if she had looked in the mirror. I escorted her to the Medical Department and the nurse Althea immediately called to have her taken to the hospital believing that Sherri might have experienced a stroke.

I said, "I'll bet she has Bell's Palsy." Althea asked where I had gotten my medical degree and that I shouldn't say things like that in front of an employee. Of course she was right about that, but I thought she was very young for a stroke. After Sherri was taken to the hospital, I told Althea that my sister-in-law had had Bell's Palsy for awhile and that's how she looked and it had lasted several weeks. When Sherri returned, we learned that the doctor had indeed diagnosed Bell's Palsy.  Fortunately, Sherri's case lasted only three days. You can imagine that I had a lot of razzing about "diagnostic questions" after that.
The nerve that  is injured with Bell's Palsy originates in an area of the brain stem known as the Pons.

I knew that Bell's Palsy can afflict one for hours, days, months, or years. My friend Lee Ann and I began working together in 1979.  She had been diagnosed with Bell's Palsy when she was a young housewife and mother. It had affected one entire side of her face. Her husband was a teacher and coach and they had two children. He died quite young and Lee Ann had two young children to rear all alone. She knew that she must find employment but she had never worked outside the home, having married right after high school. She knew that her opportunities for employment were limited because of the Bell's Palsy.

 A man for whom she had been a babysitter, when Lee Ann was a teenager, and had also been one of her husband's students and athletes had gone into management at International Hatvester.  When he came to pay his respects at the funeral, he of course said the obligatory, "If there's anything I can do....".    Several weeks after the funeral, the Bell's Palsy disappeared. In the weeks following, as she was trying to find employment, the school had decided to name the athletic field in memory of her husband. She and the children went for the dedication. The man for whom she had been a babysitter was there and he came over and said that he could help her get a job.

She was hired in an entry-level position but with her determination she went on to become a Supervisor and her General Foreman was, yes, the man for whom she'd been a babysitter.

Lee Ann supervised the section on first shift which I ran on second shift. When the second was curtailed she and I worked together on first shift and we became friends and allies.  She had a very winning personality and was greatly respected by workers and management alike. After being a widow for more than twenty years, she married a fellow supervisor and helped to rear his son.

Lee Ann's hairstyle was always one with bangs covering one side of her forehead. I had noticed that Lee Ann had age lines on one side of her face but none on the other. Over one summer shutdown I had gone from a shoulder-length hairstyle to a short pixie-cut. At lunch one day Lee Ann complimented my new style and said she wished she could change her hair style. I asked why she didn't and she said that the bangs covered her wrinkles. I told her she didn't have any wrinkles. She lifted her bangs and showed me that on the side of her forehead not affected by the Bell's Palsy was WRINKLED, but the other side was SMOOTH!  She then told me that the "benefit" of Bell's Palsy was that that side of her face hadn't moved in the years she was afflicted and was UNWRINKLED! She said it looked very bizarre when she exposed her forehead with half of it wrinkled and the other half unwrinkled so she'd kept it covered.

When I first heard of Botox, I thought about Lee Ann. I called her and we went to lunch and she laughed and said the one side had ALMOST caught up with the other as far as wrinkles were concerned.  She had kept her same hairstyle, but now with gray hair.  She laughed and said, "I'm too old to change now!"

Thursday, October 6, 2016


For years my husband held a monthly poker party and each month I would prepare a different menu; one month was Italian, another Mexican, another the Indoor Picnic, but after awhile, I ran out of "themes" for the parties. 

One of my brothers was known as The Soup Nazi because he liked Seinfeld and also because he made a great variety of delicious soups and breads. The Soup Nazi  suggested that we should have a variety of soups and he suggested that everybody could bring a different soup. The Soup Nazi, of course, had to outshine everyone else as he brought his famous "Caldo Gallego". The only other entries were navy beans and vegetable soup.

As the poker-playing was a male-only activity, the testosterone level was usually high at those get-togethers, and the women had to find other activities to pursue after dinner.  The month we served  Soup and Sandwiches,  I had invited a woman to teach us wreath-making.

 I knew that the world had changed forever when I heard my deer-hunting brother and my sports-minded nephew discussing cookware! Pointing out the three large pots on the kitchen stove, my brother said, "Well, I prefer the Belgique over the Circulon."

My nephew admitted that he had "pot envy" because his cookware was merely Farberware. Another brother, standing in the doorway, dipping bread in his bowl of soup, said, "What next, boys, flower arranging or poker?"

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Years ago, when I was working in Illinois,  I asked one of the employees to "fetch" something for me and he asked, "Fetch--fetch--like a dog?" I answered, "No, not like a dog!" He said that he had only heard the term applied to a dog.  I replied, "Well, it's a perfectly good Anglo Saxon word;  it's the only one which means to go get something and bring it back." He asked, "What kinda talk is that?' I answered, "It's DOWN HOME COUNTRY GIRL TALK!" After that, any time I would use what he considered to be an unusual word, he would ask, "Is that some more down home country girl talk?"

Yesterday, I used the word "fetch" and I noticed the quizzical look on the face of the other person to whom I was speaking, and I related the incident from Illinois.  

Later, he called and asked, "What about RETRIEVE?" He also mentioned that he consulted his dictionary and that although fetch is a synonym for retrieve, his same dictionary does not give retrieve as a synonym for fetch. 

 Go figure!

I said, "It's good you could STEP AND FETCH IT."  I meant "it" to refer to the dictionary
and of course, I use any opportunity to have a pun, but I learned that my young acquaintance had never heard of Stepin Fetchit, thus the pun was lost on him!

However, it gave me the opportunity to tell about Stepin Fetchit, and his unlikely friendship with Muhammad Ali and the history of black people in the movies and why the "Stepin Fetchit" term could be considered offensive if misconstrued, and then I said, "Oh, Hell, It just proves TWO things: 

1. the joke is worthless if the recipient doesn't GET it and 
2. I'm OLD!"

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Some time ago, I had read that Biblical scholars believed that the "apple" in the Garden of Eden had to be a pomegranate because apples were not indigenous to Mesopotamia. In a discussion with a friend who believes in the literal translation of the Bible, I mentioned the apple/pomegranate quandary.  I quipped that I could see why there was so much trouble in the Garden because of the difficulty with eating pomegranates. (I also told her the problem wasn't the apple on the tree but the PAIR on the ground but she doesn't share my love of puns.)

I have never liked pomegranates and thought they were more bother than they were worth, but I asked another friend, who loves pomegranates, to give an in-person demonstration of easy-opening techniques.  He sent the YouTube demonstration:

As Kroger had pomegranates on sale--10 for $10--I thought it wouldn't be a too expensive trial.

I love Sandro Botticelli's painting of "The Madonna Of The Pomegranate", and pomegranates are a traditional food at Rosh Hashana, but I still DON'T like pomegranates!

The French word for pomegranate is GRENADE; the syrup GRENADINE was originally made only with pomegranates from GRENADA, but the most fascinating tidbit to me is that HAND GRENADES are called that because grenades resemble pomegranates. Oh, those French have a way with words.

Monday, October 3, 2016


The High Holy Days (October 2--October 12) begin with Rosh Hashanah, which is also referred to as the Jewish New Year.  It is observed for two days. In Jewish tradition, Rosh Hashanah marks the anniversary of the creation of the world as described in the Torah.  It is also the day on which God inscribes the fate of each person in the "Book of Life" or the "Book of Death," determining both if they will have a good or bad year and whether we will live or die.

Rosh Hashanah also marks the beginning of a ten-day period on the Jewish calendar that focuses on repentance or teshuvah.  Jews mark the holiday with festive meals  and prayer services, and will wish each other l'shanah tovah meaning a "good new year".


The ten-day period known as the "Days of Awe" (Yamim Nora'im) or the "Ten Days of Repentance" (Aseret Yamei T'shuvah) begins with Rosh Hashanah and ends with Yom Kippur. The time between these two main observances is special in the Jewish calendar. Jews are required to focus on repentance and atonement during this period. While God passes judgment on Rosh Hashanah, the books of life and death remain open during the Days of Awe so that Jews have the opportunity to change which book they are in before it is sealed on Yom Kippur. Jews spend these days working to amend their behavior and seeking forgiveness for wrongs done during the past year.

The Shabbat that falls during this period is called Shabbat Shiva; this Shabbat is ascribed special importance as a day during which Jews can reflect on their mistakes and focus on teshuvah even more than on the other "Days of Awe" between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.


Often referred to as the "Day of Atonement," this is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar and concludes the period of the High Holidays and ten "Days of Awe." The focus of the holiday is on repentance and final atonement before God before the books of life and death are sealed. (For this reason, on Yom Kippur Jews wish each other a chatima tovah or "Good Sealing"). As part of this atonement, adult Jews who are physically able are required to fast for the entire day (though not all Jews observe this ritual) and abstain from other forms of pleasure (such as wearing leather, washing, and wearing perfumes). Most Jews, even many secular Jews, will attend prayer services for much of the day on Yom Kippur. At the end of Yom Kippur, Jews who have atoned consider themselves absolved of their sins from the previous year, thus beginning the new year with a clean slate in God's eyes and a renewed sense of purpose to live a more moral and just life in the year to come.

Sunday, October 2, 2016


A  friend suggested that I re-publish this article from 2010;

                                            LEFTOVERS AGAIN?

Shortly after my wedding in 1971, one of my friends, thinking it would be a wonderful gag gift, gave me a copy of  The Total Woman. which was a book brought out as a polemic against "women's liberation";  basically, the book told women to be subservient to their husbands and to do everything to please them
As I read through it, one item piqued my interest. It suggested that one should wrap herself in Saran Wrap and lie waiting, seductively, on the bed for him to arrive home. I followed the instructions and there I was, lying on my side, wrapped in Saran Wrap, with my thigh posed at its most advantageous angle, and when he opened the door, he asked, "Leftovers again?"


As a young bride I found it difficult to cook for just two people as I'd grown up in a family with seven brothers. My husband said that he loved meatloaf. There were obviously a lot of leftovers when I fixed a meatloaf;   I sent it for his lunch for several days. During those days, I also sent little "love notes" in his lunch box. Imagine my shock when I learned that my husband had traded his meatloaf sandwich for another guy's bologna sandwich. I asked, "Why did you trade your sandwich?"  He replied that he was tired of meatloaf after three days.

How did I know he'd traded?   When I was preparing his lunch box for the following day, I opened the sandwich container and found a note.  I learned that Gerald had handed his wrapped meatloaf sandwich (with a naughty note tucked inside) to Randy and Randy had opened the sandwich, read the note, and wrote a note in return saying that he liked the meatloaf and that he'd also be glad to oblige the request in my note!  I shrieked, "Didn't you know there was a note in there?"

He said, "You usually put the notes with the fruit, so I never give those away!" Years later, when I went to work at International Harvester, guess who worked for me? Yep, Randy, who never let me live down the meatloaf story!


I would usually make homemade cookies for my Gerald's lunch box. My brother Neil worked in the same department and he felt free to go to Gerald's lunch box and take cookies. One day, I put Oreos in the lunch box as I hadn't made any cookies for that week. That evening, when I opened the lunch box, there was a note from my brother, "NO S. B. COOKIES!" I was relieved to learn that S .B. meant STORE BOUGHT!

Saturday, October 1, 2016


I believe that the current Republican candidate for President has no redeeming social value. Samantha Bee on Full Frontal gave her list of the reasons she could not support the candidate.  I posted my contributions on Facebook:



Oh, yeah, a respondent wrote that he was a good father, but if you've seen the numerous examples of his being creepy about and with his daughter, you'd add PERVERT to the list!