Wednesday, August 31, 2016


A young couple come regularly to The Well where I volunteer.  One day, when I was working in the room where household items are placed, the woman came to check out and I said, "That's a cute cruet."  She asked, "Is that what it's called?"  She asked how it was spelled and "What is it used for?"  I spelled the word and told her that I have several cruets and I keep vinegar in one all the time and the others I use when I'm having a dinner with salad and I want to serve several kinds of dressing.

The very next week, I was stocking books on shelves and the woman approached me and said, happily, "I found another cruet." and she showed it to me.  She told me that she'd told a lot of people about the the first cruet and she giggled and said "C-R-U-E-T;  I had to spell it for everybody."

A couple of weeks later she told me, "Now I have three cruets."

I said, "Be careful;  anything more than TWO is a COLLECTION, and people will start giving them to you and your house will be full of cruets and you'll wonder how it ever started!" She answered, "Oh, I won't forget C-R-U-E-T, but now I don't know what to do with them."

I told her that when I was young, I used to fill them with colored water and set them in the window and the sunlight coming through was beautiful.  She said, "I bet I'm the only one with a cruet collection!"

Oh, yes, tomorrow I am taking a cruet to her for her collection.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016


I was pouring red wine vinegar from a bottle and I asked my brother, "Remember how Granny used to pronounce it VINGRY?"  We laughed, recalling her many comical mis-pronunciations.    I told him that I had just read an article about numerous uses for vinegar (see below) and that I remembered Granny saying to use "vingry" as a conditioner after shampooing. He said, "I thought that was crazy but one time she poured it on a cut because she didn't have any peroxide."

See the article:


Chances are you’ve got a big bottle of vinegar in your pantry right now and you use it only as a condiment.

Prized for thousands of years, this fermented liquid was discovered by accident when products like wine, beer, and cider spoiled, turning them sour. But did you know that vinegar -- particularly the distilled white and apple cider varieties -- has hundreds of household, beauty, medicinal, and even horticultural uses?

Here are 20 unusual, thrifty, and eco-friendly uses for vinegar that you might not know.

1. Condition hair: silky, shiny, buildup-free hair using a single cheap, natural product? It may sound odd, but using apple cider vinegar as a rinse after shampooing really does work like a dream. It removes residue from the hair shaft. Just add half a tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of water, plus a few drops of essential oil if you like. Pour it on in the shower and then rinse it out. Sure, your hair will smell like salad dressing for a while, but once it’s dry, the smell dissipates.

2. Kill weeds: a few rogue weeds can wreak havoc in an otherwise flawless lawn, vegetable garden, or flowerbed and are especially annoying when popping up in the cracks of a sidewalk or driveway. Forget pricey weed killers full of toxic ingredients; household vinegar really does kill unwanted plants; stronger vinegar made for horticultural use, which is 25% acetic acid, works even better.

3. Remove underarm stains: unsightly sweat stains can really ruin an otherwise beautiful blouse. Ironically, if you use aluminum-based antiperspirants, they’re even more likely to appear, thanks to a reaction between aluminum compounds in these products and salts in your sweat. Spray full-strength white vinegar on the stain before washing, and it will disappear.

4. Soften fabrics: add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle, and not only will it prevent lint from clinging to your clothes and keep colors bright, it’ll also remove soap scum from both the clothes you’re washing and the washing machine itself. Vinegar is also recommended in place of dryer sheets; simply add 3/4 cup to your washer during the final rinse cycle.

5. Sore throat remedy: many people recommend sipping or gargling with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of warm water to soothe a sore throat. Add a few tablespoons of honey (also a seriously versatile product) to this mixture in order to make it even more effective and far more palatable.

6. Deter ants: got trails of tiny ants weaving their way around your home? These annoying insects aren’t big fans of vinegar, so spraying a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water anywhere you have seen them can help encourage them to move out. The vinegar also erases the scent trails that they use to indicate sources of food to their brethren.

7. Soak sore muscles: apple cider vinegar helps draw out lactic acid, which accumulates in muscles after exercise, causing that sore feeling. Mix a few tablespoons of vinegar into a cup of water, dip a cloth in the mixture, and apply it to sore areas for 20 minutes.

8. Freshen air: whether it’s smoke, mildew, pet odor, or lingering whiffs of burnt casserole, bad smells can make a home less than welcoming. Store-bought air fresheners just cover up the smell with strong, clearly artificial scents, creating disturbing hybrid smells that only serve to worsen the situation. Acetic acid in vinegar absorbs odors, so spritzing it around the room will neutralize the smells. You can also use it to wipe down surfaces in the room that needs freshening.

9. Remove stickers: if you’re just getting around to removing that Obama/Biden decal from your bumper, or trying to peel a price tag off a new purchase, you’ll never guess what magic ingredient is about to make your life a lot easier. Warm a little bit of white vinegar on the stove top or in the microwave and then dip a cloth into it. Hold the cloth over the sticker until it’s thoroughly saturated, and it will peel right off without leaving sticky residue behind. This trick also loosens wallpaper adhesive.

10. Cure hiccups: nearly all doctors claim that hiccup cures don’t actually work, but tell that to the thousands of people who swear by vinegar as a way to ease these involuntary spasms. It’s not clear how a shot of vinegar would actually help -- other than to distract you with its acidic flavor -- but next time you’ve got a bout of the hiccups, give it a try.

11. Clean crusty paintbrushes: so you forgot to clean your paint brushes last time you used them, and now they’re so stiff and crusty, it seems that you’ll have to throw them away. Not so fast! Fill a saucepan with undiluted white vinegar and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Dip the paintbrushes into the boiling vinegar, one at a time, dragging the bristles along the bottom of the pan. Continue this process until the paint is dissolved.

12. Dissolve rust: the acetic acid in vinegar reacts with iron oxide to remove rust from small metal items like hinges, nuts and bolts. Simmer them in a saucepan full of vinegar, then rinse well with water to prevent the vinegar from further affecting the metal.

13. Eliminate stale odors: you know how lunchboxes and other food containers can take on a funny smell after a while? Vinegar can take care of that, too. Either wipe down the surface well with white vinegar or, in severe cases, leave a cloth soaked in vinegar in the container for a few hours to absorb the odors.

14. Remove mineral deposits: calcium and lime deposits from hard water don’t just stain coffeemakers and bath tubs; they can actually clog shower heads and reduce dishwasher function. Run a mixture of half water, half white vinegar through your coffee machine to remove the deposits. Use straight vinegar as a rinsing agent in your dishwasher to prevent buildup, and wrap a vinegar-soaked cloth around stained faucets until the deposits can be easily scrubbed away. To clean a clogged shower head, remove it from the pipe and place it in a saucepan full of white vinegar. Simmer for just a few minutes, being careful not to allow it to boil, and then wash off the stains.

15. Neutralize spice in foods: you have a dinner disaster on your hands: one too many shakes of cayenne powder has turned your award-winning chili into an inedible five-alarm blaze, and your guests are waiting at the table. Vinegar to the rescue! Add white or apple cider vinegar to your food, one teaspoon at a time, to neutralize the spice.

16. Prolong the life of cut flowers: bouquets of cut flowers brighten a room all too briefly, often wilting after just a few days. Squeeze a little extra enjoyment out of your arrangements by adding two tablespoons of white vinegar per quart of water in the vase, which will keep them perky just a little bit longer.

17. Clean glass, plastic, chrome, and floors: a half-and-half solution of water and white vinegar will cut the grime from the shelves and walls of the refrigerator and eliminate spoiled-food smells too. Full-strength vinegar will remove tough smudges on glass and make porcelain sinks shine. Make it into a paste with a little baking soda to scrub chrome, or mix 1/3 white vinegar with 1/3 rubbing alcohol, 1/3 water, and 3 drops of dish washing liquid for an economical floor cleaner. Just be sure not to get vinegar on marble, granite, or slate surfaces.

18. Treat fungal infections: fungal infections like athlete’s foot, toe nail fungus, and dandruff are definitely no fun. White vinegar and apple cider vinegar can both be applied topically to affected areas of the body to kill fungus. For foot-related ailments, soak in a solution of one part vinegar to five parts water for about 30 minutes a day.

19. Tenderize and kill bacteria in meat: marinate meat overnight in apple cider vinegar, and it will be delectably tender. This can reportedly also kill the bacteria that causes food-borne illnesses, including e.coli.

20. Open drains and freshen garbage disposals: clear a clogged drain without the nasty, headache-inducing chemicals. Dump about 3/4 cup of baking soda down the drain and chase it with 1/2 cup white vinegar, then plug the drain. Leave it for about 30 minutes before rinsing with a kettle full of boiling water. You can use the same trick to clean and deodorize garbage disposals, or freeze vinegar in an ice cube tray and grind them up in the disposal to clean and sharpen the blades at the same time.

Monday, August 29, 2016


Yesterday, my friend Debbie was going with me to Half Price Books and we planned to have lunch.  She said that we should go to Cracker Barrel as she had a gift card.  She wondered if the gift card would still be honored as she'd received it two years ago.  She looked and saw that it had no expiration date.   I told her that I'd been boycotting Cracker Barrel for years because of their policies, but for a free meal, I would put aside my moral dilemma.  

Here is a Sue's News article from 2014 about my "moral dilemma" of using a Cracker Barrel gift card:

                     I'M GOING TO PANERA BREAD

After learning about the policies of Cracker Barrel, I have boycotted the restaurants for years. A relative with differing political views than mine, who knew about my boycotting Cracker Barrel,  gave me a gift card to use at Cracker Barrel. 

I faced a moral dilemma: what to do with the card. Les said, "She's probably expecting you to give it back, so why not re-gift it a la Seinfeld?" The difference between her and me: I wouldn't waste my money to "get someone's goat" and I wouldn't consider imposing my political beliefs via gifts. Les said, "Make a contribution to the ACLU in her name."

Instead, I went to the gift shop at Cracker Barrel and got what I know is a very-collectible item and I donated that item to a fundraiser for my political party.

I sent a thank you card and to let her know what I'd done with the "gift"; she called and laughed and said, "We were betting you would return it." I said, "They don't allow cashing it in for money." She said, "No, I meant you'd return it as a gift to ME." Les was right! I'm very glad I donated the item to the fundraiser rather than re-gifting.

CLICK HERE to see an article about Cracker Barrel firing a 73-year-old veteran who gave cornbread and some condiments to a homeless man.

Also in the article, read about Panera Bread's policy of having customers pay an amount of what the customer thinks Panera's products are worth.

I'm going to Panera Bread!

Sunday, August 28, 2016


August 28, 1963--53 years ago--we heard the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his I Have A Dream speech.  Listen once again.

Saturday, August 27, 2016


I enjoyed this posting of Facebook today:

                                    9 YEAR OLDS WANT THE LATEST PHONE

Magenta is my favorite color. The Binney & Smith 48-crayon box of Crayola crayons was introduced the year I began school. I had a box of only 24 crayons but Lorraine Smith had a brand-new box of 48 Crayola crayons. I COVETED her crayons with all of the NEW colors: burnt sienna, Prussian blue, bittersweet, periwinkle, thistle, maize, maroon, cornflower, melon, mahogany, sea green, orchid, and especially MAGENTA.

One day we had to stay inside at recess because of the weather and there we were at our little green tables, playing games. At home, when we played with cards, we bet with matches. [I still love the smell of matches and crayons] I told the others about games we played at home and I said we could use crayons for our betting. 

Well, well, being a little card sharp, I was winning, and finally, that elusive MAGENTA crayon was put out onto the table to bet and I WON, I WON, I WON. That had to have been the happiest moment in my little six-year-old life! As I proceeded to pick up the crayons and stop playing, Lorraine went crying to Mrs. McDonald, and I was swiftly taken UPSTAIRS to the Principal's office where they called my mother and reported that I had been teaching the other kids how to play POKER and that I had them betting with crayons.

I was made  to return the crayons and forbidden to gamble again..

I am a collector of Crayola items and especially crayons and have more than twenty "collector" boxes of crayons. Several years ago, Crayola offered a special where one could order an entire box of one's favorite crayons; YES, I have a whole box of UNTOUCHED Crayola MAGENTA crayons!

When kids come to my house,  I have plenty of Crayola crayons for them to use but they are never allowed to see--let alone touch--my "sacred" collection.

I once read that crayons are the most recognizable smell for Baby Boomers.

Friday, August 26, 2016


Today, August 26, is NATIONAL WOMEN'S EQUALITY DAY.  In 1971, Bella Abzug introduced a bill to proclaim August 26 as Women's Equality Day, which celebrated the 1920 certification of women's right to vote. The Amendment to the Constitution--the Nineteenth Amendment-- was the culmination of the civil rights struggle which began in 1848 at the first Women's Rights Convention held in Seneca Falls, New York.

Nowadays, as some politicians would like to take away VOTING RIGHTS, it is good to reflect about how far we have come and that we never want to go back.

LEST WE FORGET, remember that it was not until 1920 that women WON (I hate it when the words "given" and "granted" are used) the RIGHT TO VOTE! Voter registration is an ongoing passion for me. and I have heard a great number of excuses from people for not voting..

WHAT are the reasons women give me for NOT voting?  "I have to work.";  "I have to carpool."; "I don't have a babysitter.";  "It's raining."; "I don't know where to go to vote.";  "I don't know enough about who's running.";  "I don't want to be called for jury duty." and the worst:  "One vote doesn't matter."  My mother always said, "Any excuse is better than none."

I always offer to somehow take away any of those excuses.

Please read below an old article from Sue's News:


This is a story of OUR great-grandmothers, grandmothers, and mothers who lived only 95 years ago. On November 15, 1917, women dared to "peaceably assemble" and to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless. Thus unfolded "The Night Of Terror" when the Warden of Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there. By the end of the night, some were barely alive. Forty prison guards, with their warden's blessing, went on a rampage, wielding clubs against the thirty three women for the offense of "obstructing sidewalk traffic."

Here are some of our heroines:

LUCY BURNS was beaten with her hands chained to the cell bars above her head and was left hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

DORA LEWIS was hurled into a dark cell, had her head smashed against an iron bed, and was knocked out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought that Lewis was dead and Cosu suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards beating, grabbing, dragging, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting, and kicking the women.

ALICE PAUL, the leader, embarked on a hunger strike. She was bound to a chair, had a tube forced down her throat, and had liquid poured down her throat until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was finally smuggled out and there was a public outcry.

PAULINE ADAMS in the prison garb she wore while serving a sixty-day sentence.

For weeks the only water the women received was from an open pail and the food they received was infested with worms.

EDITH AINGE of Jamestown, New York.

Every one of us should rent the movie Iron Jawed Angels. It is a graphic depiction of the battle these valiant women waged to enable us to go to our polling places, pull the curtain, and have our say. Let's not have them to have worked and died in vain. HBO released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history, social studies, and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum. I wish it were shown at political events and anywhere else women--and like minded men-- gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.

Suffragists at the National Woman's Party Headquarters, Jackson Place, Washington D.C., conferring over ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. L-R Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Abby Scott Baker, Anita Pollitzer, Alice Paul, Florence Boeckel, Mabel Vernon (standing, right).

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized but it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong and brave, he said, and that didn't make her crazy.

The doctor admonished the men: "Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.".

We need to get out to vote, register others to vote, and encourage others to vote to use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women.

HELENA HILL WEED, of Norwalk, Connecticut, while serving a 3-day sentence in a Washington D.C. prison for carrying a banner which read "Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Don't let the work that these brave women did be in vain!  VOTE!

Thursday, August 25, 2016


After reading my article about clematis, a friend mentioned that I should write about "Naked Ladies";  I told him that I already had.  

This is my Sue's News article from August, 2013:

                        NAKED LADIES

"Naked Ladies" are amaryllis and the plants have beautiful foliage in the spring which dies away and then the "naked ladies" emerge with their breathtaking beauty in the summer.

I thought that I had a great number of "naked ladies" blooming this year until I passed a woman's house and she has them growing in her front yard, her side yard, and in her back yard.  I stopped to tell her what joy it gave me to see them and I asked for permission to photograph her gorgeous display.  She told me that the plants had been growing there since her mother's time and that I was welcome to return in the fall to dig some bulbs.

A friend just became acquainted with the lovely amaryllis this year--I had to drag her out to see the splendid display-and to take the pictures you see here.

 I returned with the photographs and this article.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


clem·a·tis pronounced [klem-uh-tis, kli-mat-is]

any of numerous plants or woody vines of the genus Clematis, including many species cultivated for their showy, variously colored flowers.
1551, from L. Clematis, from Gk. klematis, name of some kind of climbing or trailing plant (probably the periwinkle), from klema "vine-branch."

My mother and I loved to watch The Victory Garden on PBS. One Saturday as we were watching, Jim Cockett told about his clematis. He pronounced it : "clem-uh-tus".  Mother looked at me and I looked at her with disbelief as we had pronounced it "cluh-mate-us" all of my life. As I always have my trusty Merriam Webster's Third International Collegiate Dictionary on the basket beside the couch, I casually picked it up thinking that Mr. Crockett had to be in error.

The pronunciations in the dictionary [I can't do the upside down e's here, so bear with me] were: klem-et-es, kli-mat-es, kli-mate-es and kli-mah-tes! AAARRRGHH!! I couldn't believe we were wrong.  I called my sister-in-law Sheila, who was my expert on all things botanical, and she agreed with our pronunciation. I called Sheila's mother Wanda who was an even greater authority, and she agreed with us. 

I ran to our home library and checked my Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged :  no "cluh-mate-us" there;  I ran upstairs to look at Les' American College Dictionary but no "cluh-mate-us" there.  Finally I grabbed my beloved OED, the ultimate authority, but, alas, no "cluh-mate-us" there either.  In all, I checked all six dictionaries in the house.  [I guess there is such a thing as having too many dictionaries, but I don't think so; after all, one of them saved my brother Norman's reputation in a great "toboggan" debate.]

Do you know how difficult it is to quit pronouncing a word WRONG? I cannot tell you the number of times people have looked at me strangely when I have pronounced clematis CORRECTLY. Several people, including one greenhouse owner, have pronounced it incorrectly after me, to let me know that they thought I was wrong.  That's a fairly amusing tactic people employ to let one know they think one is wrong, but it always results in my relating the Jim Crockett story.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Coming home from Chillicothe  I noticed a small wooded section and I wondered aloud, "Do you think that's a copse?" Gerald asked, "What's the difference between a copse and a woods?" I said, "I'll have to look it up--I think a woods is bigger."  

I continued: "Maybe it's a coppice or a spinney."

Gerald said he'd never heard those two words.  I said that I would have to look up the difference between copse, woods, grove, coppice, and spinney.

 Gerald said, "Maybe it's thicket." I said, "I think thicket suggests brambles."

I began to recite:

"Whose copse this is I think I know,
His house is in the village though,
My little horse must think it's queer
To stop without a farmhouse near."

I said, "Nah, woods sounds much better than copse; my apology to Robert Frost!"

When we arrived home I told my brother about the discussion.  He said, "Maybe it's a boscage."  I answered, "Now knowing THAT word is just showing-off!"

What I saw was a COPSE:  "a small group of trees";  not a SPINNEY:  "a small area of trees and bushes";  not a WOODS:  "an area of land, smaller than a forest, that is covered with growing trees"; not a THICKET:  "a dense group of bushes or trees";  it was definitely not a COPPICE:  "an area in which the trees or shrubs are, or formerly were, periodically cut back to ground level to stimulate growth and provide timber or lumber".

As I kept reciting definitions, Les screamed, "TMI!  TMI!"

Monday, August 22, 2016


In 2013 I wrote the following little comment on Sue's News:


Mona Lisa wrote to tell me that I suffer from ADJECTIVITUS.   CLICK HERE to see the article by Richard Nordquist.

I do admit I love a good adjective! My brother Norman chastises my overuse of the word "egregious";  I answered, "But it is so succinct!"

It is now August, 2016 and Mona Lisa challenged me recently to post on Facebook A WORD FOR THE DAY to describe one of the candidates for President.  Here is my list thus far:

DENIGRATORY               NEFARIOUS                 INIQUITOUS               EXECRABLE 

VITUPERATIVE              REPREHENSIBLE      BALEFUL                     KNAVISH   


CONTUMACIOUS           SCURRILOUS              CHURLISH                  UNCOUTH    

I must report that these daily postings have been the most well-received ("LIKED") of any of my previous Facebook postings.   Mona Lisa asked recently, "Will you have enough for 80 more days?" 

I do love a good challenge!

My brother said, "I'm more from the Hemingway school.   Why don't you just say he's a LIAR and get it over with?"
I answered, "Oh, you know I would have to say PREVARICATOR!" 

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Now, tell me, how can I possibly resist a restaurant named THE THIRSTY GOAT GRILL?

Driving through Mount Sterling, OH, my eye was caught by a metal sculpture outside a building.  I just had to stop.  I went into the place to investigate and learned it is a restaurant;  I asked the hours of operation and requested a menu to take with me.  I didn't have the heart to mention that the word SPEACIAL on the menu, or could SPEACIAL be a SPECIAL breed of goat?

On the way out, I stopped by a table where a couple and their three children were eating.  I inquired about the food and they told me they had been there several times and the food is good.

WHY would someone name a restaurant The Thirsty Goat? I must learn why the name was chosen.  Looking on the internet, I learned that The Thirsty Goat is also the name of businesses in Waterbury, CT; Port Saint Joe, FL;  Boyne City, MI;  Moody, TX and Woodland, CA.

WHY would that name be so attractive?

Years ago, I wrote an article for Sue's News, wondering why businesses chose names which do not automatically show what they are.  See below:

                                                             PUFF 'N' STUFF

Why do businesses have names which don't automatically let a person know WHAT they are?

When we passed PUFF 'N' STUFF in Springfield, I asked Gerald, "What is that?"  I guess one should have assumed it had something to do with smoking or maybe H.R. Pufnstuf.

Perhaps they think that a cutesy name is good for business; I told Gerald that the businesses should know that most people would probably not spend much time investigating WHAT it might be, but Gerald said, "But you're asking about it." I said, "But I'm not going to go back to see WHAT it is."

The same day, we passed another place and it had "River Song" on the sign. Now what could that be? I said, "Maybe they named it after the Alex Kingston character on Doctor Who." Gerald said that he doubted that they would know that River Song was a character's name in that series. I later learned that River Song is a church; why wouldn't they have River Song CHURCH on the sign?

We have a restaurant in town named The Purple Turtle. When I saw the sign, I thought it was a gift shop or boutique.  There's a hair salon named Menage;  my witty brother quipped, "Maybe they do
a trois there!"  We have a floral shop named Back-En-Thyme which I thought was a health food store.

My Facebook friend Larry Chapman recommended a restaurant in Hillsboro named EAT.  Of course I want to try it. That's the way businesses should be: OBVIOUS.

Saturday, August 20, 2016


For my next dinner party, I want to serve a different kind of salad;   unlike my mother, I do NOT foist strange things on people without their knowledge, but I do like to try "different" varieties of foods.  At the last dinner party, I served "green butter lettuce and red butter lettuce";  I'm running out of choices:  in the past I've served escarole, romaine, endive, Bibb, Boston, fusee, mesclun, radicchio, tai soi, , or ARUGULA. (Oh, I certainly can't be having arugula or people might think I've joined some "elite" group, because I recall a certain politician who was ridiculed for discussing arugula)  Arugula is not pleasing to my palate.   In the past, I have shelled, cooked, and chilled edamame, and added them to salads.  I don't want to use spinach, chard, kale, or other such greens. 

Oh, what is the green du jour?  I hope Kroger has something I haven't tried, but whatever I select, I've decided to add some purslane, that much-hated weed, right from our back yard.  It has a lemony flavor.

Mother always included some purslane with her "mess of greens";  purslane is the least abundant weed during greens season because it requires more heat to grow than Mother's favorites:  shepherd's sprouts, lamb's quarter,  poke, plantain, mustard, dock, and of course, dandelions. 

Purslane is loaded with essential vitamins and antioxidants;  contains iron and calcium;  rich in Omega 3 fatty acids;  GMO free;   contains the highest amount of Vitamin A compared with other green, leafy vegetables.

There is significant data which shows purslane is beneficial in fighting heart disease, stroke, cancer, and minimizes chances of AHDH, autism, and other developmental disorders.  

See the YouTube video:  Purslane, The Best Weed You'll Ever Eat:

Friday, August 19, 2016


In June 2016, Representative John Lewis led a Sit-Down Protest in the House of Representatives about gun-control legislation.   My husband ordered this bumper sticker for me:

I often use John Lewis' famous quote: "IF NOT NOW--WHEN?  IF NOT US--WHO?"

Everyone who knows me knows that I always say that John Lewis is my all-time hero. In 1961, John was one of the original Freedom Riders. From 1963-1966, he was the Chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), of which I was a member. On August 28, 1963, at age 23, he was an organizer and speaker at the March On Washington where Dr. King gave his "I Have A Dream" speech.

On March 7, 1965, John Lewis was beaten, nearly to death, on the Edmund Pettus Bridge during the March from Selma to Montgomery. That day will always be remembered as "Bloody Sunday".     The scars from his skull fracture are still visible today.

John Lewis was one of the so-called "Six Leaders of The Civil Rights Movement". The others were:

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Whitney Young
A. Phillip Randolph
James Foreman
Roy Wilkins

Lewis was the youngest and the only one still living.

John Lewis survived many brutalities and in 1986 he ran for Congress and is serving his thirteenth term as the U.S. Congressman from Georgia's Fifth Congressional District. He has served his constituents diligently and continues the fight for rights for minorities, women, seniors, veterans, the poor, labor, and sexual orientation.

Deservedly, John was awarded the Presidential Medal Of Freedom in 2011.

Along with John, I am deeply concerned about the efforts to deny voting rights to minorities, seniors, the poor, and young people. Fortunately, we were able to expose and defeat the attempt in Ohio to deny voting rights. However, in several other states, there are campaigns to deny voting rights.

Below is a letter from John Lewis I wish to share.

"Dear Sue,

This is deeply personal for me.

As you know, I’ve been marching and preaching and fighting for voting rights for over 50 years. Today, we’re seeing a deliberate and systematic effort on the part of Republican officials to prevent minorities, seniors, the young, and the poor from casting their ballots.

Republican Governors like Florida’s Rick Scott and Wisconsin’s Scott Walker are trying to steal this election even before it takes place.

Voting is precious, almost sacred. It’s the most powerful instrument that we have in a democratic society. We need to move quickly to launch voter education programs and counter the powerful interests that are endangering our basic rights.

Too many courageous people have fought to secure the vote. Don’t let it be taken away.

Click below to see how you can further help:

Thank you,

John Lewis

Georgia's 5th District

Thursday, August 18, 2016


Last week, I heard Paula Faris, one of the irritating women of The View, pronounced voila like "wallah".

My brother screamed, "CRINGE!  Is she from Fayette County?"  I have written previously in Sue's News about that mispronunciation here in Fayco.

I had thought this particular mispronunciation was uncommon but then I heard a woman being interviewed on CBS Sunday Morning about Q-Tips also say "WALLAH!".

Looking on the internet, I learned that the mispronunciation is indeed widespread and it seems to have started in the 1990s and is now considered by some to be "acceptable" in "informal" use.


Listen below to YouTube:

There IS an actual word WALLAH:  it is of Hindu origin and means someone involved with a particular occupation or activity such as "a clothes wallah";  it is pronounced WAH-la.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


In the aftermath of the appearance of the parents of Captain Khan at the Democratic National Convention, and Mr. Khan's showing his copy of the Constitution, I saw an article on Facebook which stated that there was a huge demand for copies of the Constitution and there was difficulty keeping up with the demand.

While rummaging around through old political paraphernalia at our Democratic Headquarters, I uncovered quite a cache of pocket-size copies of the Constitution.

They are inscribed with the name of J. Ross Haffey, who ran for the Ohio Supreme Court in 1994.  I telephoned Mr. Haffey to have permission to recycle the packets and put Ted Strickland's sticker on them. Mr. Haffey is still practicing law in Lyndhurst, OH. and said that he wished that the items had been distributed then as he could have used the votes during that losing campaign.


I now have 200 pocket-size copies of the Constitution to distribute.

In the "War Room" in Bill Clinton's campaign headquarters during the 1992 race, James Carville was credited with posting a sign showing "It's The Economy, Stupid!";  that was to ensure that the workers kept their minds on what was considered the main issue.

This year, I believe that "It's The Supreme Court, Stupid!" needs to be our mantra as our actual lives--and the lives of future generations--are in the balance depending on the person elected and the choices to be made for the Supreme Court.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


August 16 is NATIONAL TELL A JOKE DAY.  I love jokes;  I love to hear jokes and I love to tell jokes. Oftentimes I have been asked to tell my all-time favorite joke.  Below is an article from Sue's News I published in 2010:


I loved Soupy Sales. Soupy died on October 22, 2009 at the age of 83. His various shows were favorites of mine from childhood to adulthood. I still fondly remember --and can quote--White Fang, Black Tooth, and Pookie. Who can forget Soupy's quote to us kids: "Be true to your teeth, so they won't be false to you."?

My all-time favorite joke came from Soupy Sales. I will try to do it justice:

A convict was taken to his prison cell and as he was getting acquainted with his cell-mate, all of
a sudden he heard someone down the cell block yell out "17!". Everyone on the cell block erupted
in fits of laughter. A few minutes later, he heard another prisoner yell out, "22!". Again, the entire
cell block was roaring with laughter. The new convict turned to his cellmate and asked, "What's
this all about--someone yells out a number --and everyone starts laughing?" The old con explained that they had all been in prison so long that they had all the jokes memorized, so they had them numbered, so they just yelled out the number rather than telling the entire joke.

The new con, wanting to fit in, summoned all of his courage, and yelled out, "34!" There was total silence--not a giggle, not a chortle, not a guffaw--nothing. The new con turned to the old con and asked, "What happened?"

The old con said, "Some people just don't know how to tell a joke!"

In my family, if someone dares to repeat a joke, someone invariably will yell out, "34!".

Monday, August 15, 2016


United States Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota  was the keynote speaker at the Annual Luncheon of the OWDC (Ohio Democratic Women's Caucus).  The theme of the meeting was "IF YOU ARE NOT AT THE TABLE, YOU'RE ON THE MENU!"  Klobuchar naturally spoke about the importance of women in politics.

She gave a passionate 3-point speech about renewing our democracy, renewing our Congress, and renewing our economy. In a moment of levity, she remarked that with the number of women--currently 20-- serving in the U. S. Senate, for the first time in history, there was a traffic jam at the bathroom for female Senators.

I had taken a copy of Klobuchar's book Uncovering The Dome, hoping to have it autographed. The book had been Klobuchar's Master's Thesis in college and was published after she attained her Master's Degree. I asked Frances Strickland, who was sitting at Senator Klobuchar's table, "Would you ask the Senator to sign this?" She answered, "I'm sure she would love to sign it." Mrs. Strickland introduced me to Senator Klobuchar and the Senator exclaimed, "I can't believe you have this book!" and that was the inscription she wrote in the book.
After she autographed the book, I riffled the pages and she saw all the highlighting and then she said, "And you EVEN read it!"

Later, while picking up campaign materials, I laid down the book.  A woman whom I dislike intensely, tapped the book and said, "GOOD BOOK."  I asked, "Oh, then YOU have read the book?" Obviously taken aback, she fumbled her words and said, "No, but um, well, um, uh, it MUST be good if SHE wrote it!."  I said, "But unless YOU have read the book, you can't really say that!"

I so love it when my impressions of  people are justified.  There this woman was-- acting as if she knew something-- which she clearly did not.  The woman is overbearing, obnoxious, and all-knowing Besides, she was wearing animal-print stiletto heels--surely THAT is enough right there for you to get the picture--oh, my, am I not mean-spirited?

Sunday, August 14, 2016


Recently, a friend had her purse stolen and she admitted it was from her own carelessness.  Dealing with the aftermath:  hassling with the insurance company, replacing her IDs, checks, and credit cards was rather overwhelming to her.  When I offered to replace her purse she burst into tears and said that the insurance company did not want to replace it because it was "depreciated" and that she should consider NOT carrying such a "desirable to thieves" item.

In 1968 my purse was stolen from my locker at work. At that time I had ONE credit card, several IDs, my SS card, and $42.00 in my purse, along with my keys. Fortunately, the theft occurred on Saturday and the store with the credit card wasn't open on Sunday (remember the "Blue Laws"?)  It was time-consuming--and costly--to replace the contents. I posted a plea on the company bulletin board to have the contents returned.  Amazingly, weeks later, the purse reappeared in my locker but minus the $42.00.  I never took a purse into work again;  I always locked it in the trunk of the car.

Since that time, I have been very careful. I seldom carry my purse into stores or restaurants; I always pay with debit or credit cards in stores and restaurants and I carry the cards in what my husband calls "the safe" (my bra).  I keep my keys in my coat or pants pockets. I only carry a purse to weddings, funerals, etc., where I need something to hold my keys and personal items. I keep my purse locked in the trunk of my car.  During stops by police personnel, it was irritating to them when I had to get out of the car to open the trunk to retrieve my information.

If one is going to carry credit cards, etc. in a purse, here are some guidelines:

Always have credit cards, driver's license, and medical cards in separate holders. If using a wallet, never have a wallet/checkbook combination, as thieves usually go for the wallet if they are in a hurry. My niece carries her credit cards in a compact, as she thinks thieves won't go for makeup. Keep a list of YOUR credit card numbers and 800 numbers to call, driver's license and medical card copies AT HOME in a safe place. NEVER carry your Social Security card or birth certificate in your purse. Do not hang your purse on the back of a chair in a restaurant; always keep it between your feet on the floor.

Recently, I was at Kroger and a woman ahead of me had her open purse in the cart. She left the cart and bent over to pick up something from a bottom shelf; when she arose, I told her that she shouldn't leave her purse unattended. She told me it wasn't any of my business and walked off in a huff.

Sometimes "a word to the wise is sufficient" doesn't apply.

Saturday, August 13, 2016


I am in cucumber heaven as I have been the recipient of cucumbers from numerous sources. 

Last week my friend Judy brought fresh cucumbers along with bread and butter pickles her husband had  canned. I promptly sat on the couch with a salt shaker and devoured my first fresh cucumber of the season. For dinner I sliced cucumbers combined with tomatoes; since I was a child, that has been one of my favorite dishes.  The melding of those two flavors is exquisite.

Tonight, the side dish was sliced cucumbers with sliced Vidalia onions drenched in Ranch Dressing. On our honeymoon 45 years ago we had that dish in a restaurant and I asked for the recipe. The waiter returned and had a tray with a cucumber, an onion, salt, pepper, and a bottle of Ranch Dressing on it. Laughing, he said the Chef had told him to do that. I have fixed cucumbers that way ever since. I prefer the packets of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix and then add the other ingredients rather than using the bottled dressing. 

Ranch Dressing was introduced in 1954. It had been created at the Hidden Valley Dude Ranch in Santa Barbara, CA. After a great number of visitors requested take-home bottles of the dressing, Steve and Gayle Henson, the owners of the ranch, started a small plant and manufactured the packets to sell retail. Years later the dressing was also bottled and obviously that business flourished in the intervening years.

Tomorrow night we will have sliced cucumbers with sliced Vidalia onions which will be marinated in sweet pickle juice. Several times when people have looked in my refrigerator and have seen numerous jars of pickle juice, I have been quizzed about why I save pickle juice. "Waitin' for cucumbers!" is what I usually answer, but that's how we also pickle our beets.

Not only are cucumbers delicious, they are also beneficial to our health.  Read below:  

                          WHAT A LITTLE GEM THE CUCUMBER IS!

1. Cucumbers contain nearly all of the vitamins needed daily. Cucumbers contain Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. If you are feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates which can provide a quick pick-me-up which can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror; it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few cucumber slices in a small pie tin and place it in your garden and the garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes; the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. They work great on wrinkles too!

6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache-free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and are often used by European trappers, traders and explorers for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe; its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge and the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water; the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown to reduce stress in new mothers and also to college students during final exams.

11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath; the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a "green" way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean; not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won't leave streaks and won't harm your fingers or fingernails while you clean.

13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing; also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!

Friday, August 12, 2016


For my brother's birthday last year, I  bought new Chef Mats for his use in the kitchen as the old ones were rather worn and frayed.  They are such a comfort when standing on one's feet for lengthy periods.  

Rather than wrapping them, I put bows on the mats and placed them on the floor in front of the sink and another on the floor close to the refrigerator.  When working together in the kitchen, he usually stands by the sink and I work at the other counter.  

That morning, Gerald was awake before my brother and I learned later that he thought that the bows were trash and without asking me about the bows, tossed them in the trash can.  A short time later, Gerald was outside feeding the cats;  I was in the kitchen again and saw that the bows were gone.  I put two new bows on the mats.  Einstein, one of the cats, got in the house, was in the kitchen, and displaced the bows. I retrieved the bows from underneath a table and put them back on the mats. When Gerald came back in, he asked, "Why are those bows there?"

It was like a Comedy Of Errors with Gerald, the cat, and me in a farce.   

When my brother arose, he did not even notice the new mats, although the new ones were black and the old ones were red.  I finally asked, "Do you like the new mats?"  He said, "WTH are those chewed-up bows doing on there?"

So much for my "clever" packaging. 

See an old Sue's News article about fatigue mats titled Pampered Pieceworkers:

                                                  PAMPERED PIECE WORKERS

A friend died recently and I went to pay respect.

As I came in the door, a man approached me and said, "Sue, it's so good to see you." I said, "Kyle, I haven't seen you since 2002."

I asked how he knew the deceased woman and he told me that she was his son's grandmother.  I said, "Oh, that makes me feel old!  I remember when your son was born." Kyle said, "Let me go find my son; I'd like for you to meet him." When Kyle introduced me he said to his son, "This is the best boss I ever had." I said, "Thank you; that means so much to me." He told his son, "I was about your age when I started to work for Sue." I said, "I swear I have NEVER seen a son look as much like his father." Kyle laughed and said, "Mini-me!"

Kyle told his son, "She even got fatigue mats for all of us and it pissed off the guys on day shift." I said, "Oh, yeah, my counterpart on first shift even went over my head and complained to the Superintendent because I told him I wouldn't make you guys share." Kyle laughed and said, "Yeah, every night we would roll 'em up and put them in our lockers!"

When that happened, the first shift counterpart confronted me by saying, "You have the most pampered piece workers in the Company." I told him I didn't know what he meant. He said he couldn't believe that I had spent "all that money"on fatigue mats. I asked, "How's my productivity?" He didn't answer because he knew that mine was better than his. I continued, "How's my quality? How's the attendance? How's the grievance rate? How's ..." I didn't complete my litany because he put up his hand to gesture for me to stop talking.

He said, "Your guys are going to have to share the mats." I said, "In the interest of harmonious relations, I think it would be better if you supplied separate ones for your guys." He said that he didn't have the budget to buy them. I told him that I was under-budget. He said, in a smart aleck tone, "Well, lah, di, dah!, then you should pay for mine!" I said, with equal sarcasm, "Turn in an employee suggestion--mention health and safety--and you can quote how much better our statistics are than yours as reasons for needing them." He said that would take too long, because the guys were bitching "NOW!" and we needed to share.

I told him that there would be constant fighting about the mats. I asked, "For instance, what if one of your guys is absent--you have a higher absentee rate than I do--then my guy would be without his mat." He countered with, "They can turn them in to the Crib at the end of the shift." I answered, "So, you're going to make the Crib attendants responsible?" He said, "No, the guys will be responsible for turning in the mats." I answered, "But that won't work--you know that your Crib attendant leaves a half hour earlier--because he has to be here a half-hour early, just as my Crib guy is here a half-hour early and leaves a half hour early; they do that to accommodate the workers."

Since I refused to share, he complained to our mutual boss, the Superintendent. The Superintendent called me to come in early for a conference. When he asked me why we were "hiding" the mats, I gave him the same reasons that I had given to my counterpart. I ended by saying, "It's not my fault that he doesn't have budget remaining."

The Superintendent decided that my counterpart needed to find a way to acquire mats for his people. I never asked how, but shortly thereafter,  the first shift people had mats and they guarded theirs with the same tenacity that my guys did theirs.

I was glad that Kyle had remembered that incident. I told him about being at Big Lots several years ago and I saw black, brown, and red fatigue mats for sale and I'd chuckled to myself recalling what I had named the great FATIGUE MAT FOOFARAW.

The fatigue mats at Big Lots were labeled "Chef's Mats". When I saw the price of $14.99, I was taken aback because I remembered that I had spent more than that amount 20 years ago on the ones for my department.

I bought two RED ones to use in our kitchen. Les and I can be "pampered kitchen workers"!

Thursday, August 11, 2016


I have a witty and clever friend who shares my interest in genealogy.  He asked if my husband knew the derivation of his surname and he said, "Perhaps he's descended from William de la Pole."

I answered, "You mean the Duke of Suffolk, the original JACKANAPE?"

He laughed and said, "You're smarter than I thought;  I was about to say that you are a jackanape!"

I answered, "And I know that a jackanape is presumptuous and cheeky just like you!"

[William de la Pole, the first Duke of Suffolk, was highly regarded in the Hundred Years War, but later, when England lost the lands in northern France, de la Pole became the subject of derision.   His family's coat of arms showed the image of a collar and chain and at that time it was popular to have pet monkeys kept on leashes.  The monkeys were known as "jackanapes";  thus the Duke became associated with that term.  Today, the definition of JACKANAPE;  noun:  an impudent, impertinent, or conceited person;  also a mischievous child]

In discussing the Duke and jackanapes, my friend replied, "What can I say, that's my forte."

Because of his pronunciation, I directed him to an article I'd written years ago in Sue's News.  See FORTE below:

My friend Patty makes fun of me because I pronounce the word "FORTE" as "FORT" when it is referring to a special talent of a person.

Years ago, I used the word forte with one of my employees at International Harvester and he said, "You know, Sue, the proper pronunciation of that is FORT, not FOR-TAY." I immediately said, "Yes, I DO know that!" 

I was indeed flummoxed because I did know that it should have been pronounced FORT, but I thought he would not know that. He noticed my discomfort, laughed and said, "You probably thought that I wouldn't know the correct pronunciation." I said, "Well, not too many people know that." He said, "I figure if they don't know it, they'll ask me about it; I don't dumb-down and neither should you;  that's patronizing."

Good advice. That was when I quit playing to a perceived audience.

The moral of that story: never underestimate a guy building trucks who holds a Master's Degree.

People look at me strangely because of the way I pronounce FORTE, CARAMEL and CREPE.

CLICK HERE to see 79 COMMON MISPRONUNCIATIONS, which includes the three I mentioned. I agree with the video except in the pronunciation of "SCORSESE", because I've actually heard Martin pronounce his own name, so I'll agree with him.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


I saw a Sikh today and I wanted to rush up to him and engage him in conversation.  In the few seconds that he was near enough to me to have a conversation, I wondered to myself if I would want a stranger accosting me simply because I were "different".

Later, in discussing this moral dilemma with my brother, he said, "Of course YOU would have wanted him to initiate a conversation with you!"  He chided me further by saying, "I haven't seen you this excited since you spotted an INDIGO BUNTING!"

What would I have wanted to say to him anyway?  That not all Americans are ignorant;  that I am sorry that Sikhs have been treated unfairly? Please accept my apologies on behalf of sane people?

My brother asked, "So, how much do you know about Sikhs? You might have just embarrassed yourself by revealing how little you know."  I answered that I knew that the turbans and beards were part of their religious customs and that the men and women do not cut their hair.  I remembered that Indira Gandhi had Sikh guards who assassinated her.  I knew that all Sikh men have the name Singh as their middle or last name.  My brother said, "So, not much, eh?"  He continued, "Did you know that Nikki Haley was born Sikh but converted to Christianity?"  He always knows more than I do.

Sikhism is a monotheistic religion that teaches equality, honesty, and the importance of good acts and deeds over rituals.  In doing research I learned that there are 25 million Sikhs worldwide with between 250,000 and 500,000 Sikhs in the United States and the first Sikhs came to this country in the nineteenth century to escape religious persecution.  I did not know that there were large populations of Sikhs outside of India.

In the following days, I conducted a poll of twenty-five people with whom I came in contact.  I was surprised to learn that nearly all had no knowledge about Sikhs or had not heard of Sikhs, but when I described them, nearly all thought they were Muslim.  One person asked, "How could you be sure that he was a Sikh and not just a Muslim?"  I answered, "Because he was waiting in line and his name was called out, "Table for Singh."  One person who had actually met a Sikh couple and had interaction with them, had a very favorable impression of Sikhs, saying that they are "good people" but she couldn't eat the spicy food.  She also knew that it was a religion originating in India and that all Sikh men had the name Singh.

Click on the enjoyable Sikhs In America from YouTube:


Tuesday, August 9, 2016


My friend Gretchen brought a JUDITH LEIBER purse for my birthday.  I had told her numerous times that I would love to have a Judith Leiber bag but I never expected to receive one.

It is an exquisite, peau de soie evening clutch bag.  I haven't seen peau de soie used since I bought peau de soie shoes to wear with my wedding gown.

Where, oh where will I go to carry this luxe accessory?

I told her, "Now, I'll have to have a manicure and a new dress;  I'll have to wear heels."  Those wedding day shoes do not match this tony purse.

Later, my brother Les said, "So, you have to have a whole new wardrobe to match the purse?  Where will you go to show-off this wardrobe?  You're gonna be all dressed up with nowhere to go!"

Later, conferring with Gretchen, she assured me that I SHOULD have a whole new ensemble!  It is great to have an enabler for a friend.

I said, "Maybe we'll receive an invitation to an Inaugural Ball;  we did in 2008."

Another friend came to visit, and naturally, I had to show the elegant purse to her.  She also agreed that I needed a new dress and heels to wear and she said, "Oh, you'll be so soignee nobody will know that you're from Washington Court House."

In relating that conversation to my brother, he asked, "Are only French words allowed to describe the BAG?  Just don't be chichi!"

Monday, August 8, 2016


August 8 is NATIONAL SNEAK SOME ZUCCHINI ON YOUR NEIGHBORS' PORCH NIGHT, a tongue-in-cheek celebration about the abundance of zucchini.

For  the County Fair, for several years, I brought zucchini bread for the people working at our booth to enjoy. On Wednesday, someone asked, "Hey, Sue, where's the zucchini bread?"  I turned to Teddy and asked, "Yes, Teddy, where is my zucchini you were supposed to bring?"  He looked sheepish and said that he had forgotten.  The next day he brought three enormous zucchini.

Each year I receive extraordinary amounts of zucchini because people know that I will use them and that they will, in turn, receive a complimentary loaf of zucchini bread. I would be happy if someone "sneaked" them onto my porch.

Just about now, Les is tired of making zucchini bread and I think Gerald is "zucchinied out"--we've had appetizers, bread, side dishes, entrees, and desserts--all courtesy of the bountiful zucchini. Other than zucchini bread, it is difficult to find recipes to use when we're presented with the the very large zucchini. Last week, a friend Cami gave me the idea for zucchini rings and I fixed them the same way as I do small zucchini and they were delicious.


For 20 Zucchini rings: Slice zucchini into twenty slices; encircle the seed area with a sharp knife and cut out the seeds, leaving a nice-shaped hole.

1. Beat 2 eggs and 1/2 cup milk together
2. Dredge in crumbs (I use Panko, but if I don't have it, I prefer Town House Crackers, but Ritz crackers, saltines, or even flour can be used.  I do not care for corn meal.)
3. Pan fry or deep fry until tender

Another favorite:


4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup green onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon basil, finely chopped
1 teaspoon oregano, finely chopped
1 cup baking mix (such as Bisquick--I use Aldi's)
4 cups shredded zucchini, patted dry
1/2 cup oil (I use Canola)

Mix ingredients together. Spread on a large, round pizza pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until brown on top.

I use my sister-in-law Betty's recipe for Zucchini Bread.


3 eggs 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup vegetable oil 3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 1/2 cups sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
3 cups zucchini, peeled and grated dash of ginger
3 teaspoons vanilla dash of ground cloves
3 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon baking soda 1 1/2 cups golden raisins
1 teaspoon salt

Beat eggs, add oil, sugar, and vanilla. Mix well; add zucchini. Combine the dry ingredients and combine with the zucchini mixture, blending thoroughly. Add nuts and raisins to mixture and blend. Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until wooden pick comes out clean.

Sunday, August 7, 2016


Today is my friend Patty's birthday.  Re-publishing this article from 2014 is my present to her.  Patty, ENJOY!

                                   THE GARGOYLES

After writing the article about a city official saying "the girls" when referring to the women who reported to him, I was reminded about "The Gargoyles".  

Patty (who was the Secretary for the Production Department) and I disliked two women at work and we ungraciously referred to them as "The Gargoyles". When the Receptionist took her breaks, these two women (who worked in Human Resources) were supposed to take turns relieving the Receptionist, but for some unaccounted-for reason, the two women would sit together at the Receptionist's desk;   Patty said they were perched like Gargoyles atop a building. I found it difficult to believe that it took two of them to replace the Receptionist for two fifteen minute breaks and 30-minute lunch breaks daily. I said to Patty, "They just waste an hour a day; I bet I could find something for one of them to do while the other was taking the Receptionist's place." What was totally infuriating was that they took their own breaks and lunch breaks together after relieving the Receptionist.

As we were a Deming-style company, the rules were supposed to be the same for everybody. One of my female workers had come to work wearing a tank top. I told her that it was against the Dress Code and she asked, "Then why is it OK for all those women up front who go around with their boobs showing? and it's air conditioned in there; it's hot out here!" Of course, she was right but I knew that confronting the issue would cause a lot of animosity toward Production.   I am not usually passive aggressive, but instead of addressing the issue forthrightly, I put the complaint in the Suggestion Box, because I knew the Vice President held the key to the Suggestion Box and he took the entries from there very seriously.  Soon afterward, the Vice President issued a memo which stated that all employees must adhere to the Dress Code and no "sleeveless" clothes would be allowed. I remember that his Secretary was wearing a "sundress" the same day she had to type the memo and she complained to Patty.   Of course, all those women knew that the complaint had originated from Production.

Oftentimes, there would be some kind of kerfuffle when "the Gargoyles" were taking the Receptionist's place. When those kind of issues occurred, Patty and I would check the time, sigh, and exclaim, "The Gargoyles are there!" They were obviously incompetent and Patty and I could not help wondering how they retained their jobs. One of my Team Leaders said that I should put a Time Study on them.

Although Patty was not the Secretary to the Vice President and General Manager, he required Patty to take minutes at all the meetings where he presided. Although Patty wondered why, she had never asked him why she was selected to take minutes. Since it seemed logical that he would have his own Secretary take the minutes, I asked him why he'd asked "our" Patty to take the minutes. He said that his Secretary had taken the minutes in the past, but when she was absent one day, Patty was asked to "step in" and he said that his Secretary couldn't "do shorthand" and there were always errors "unless Patty did the minutes".  I guess I would have probably replaced THAT Secretary but I wouldn't make that suggestion as we might have lost "our" Patty (oh, yes, I admit I was selfish).  Patty had told me about a Director from another discipline who had asked her if she would like to join his department.  I certainly did not want to lose Patty from Production.

Once, during a staff meeting, all of the direct reports of the Vice President were there.  I was there to represent Production as our Director was absent and Patty was there, as usual, to take minutes. The Director Of Human Resources presented a report which he said had been prepared by the two women Patty and I referred to as "The Gargoyles". The HR Director passed out the reports for our perusal and he began praising what "the girls" had prepared. In the first paragraph I noticed two errors and I circled them.  As the HR Director continued reading the report aloud, he again lavished more praise on the work by his "girls", I could not believe that he was presenting such an inferior product to the Vice-President who was HIS superior.  When he finished, he asked if there were any questions. I asked, "Since this is a rough draft, when will we receive the final report?"

Of course, I knew it was NOT a rough draft because he had it bound in the usual blue covers with the name of the report printed (not typed) on the cover.

I saw the blood rushing from his neck to his face and I thought, "I bet he's thinking, "How DARE a lowly Manager question ME?" Instead, he asked, "WHAT is that supposed to mean?" While flipping through the report and pretending to count the errors I had circled, I answered, "Just from a cursory reading, I see at least thirty errors in the report; I assume you would want to have the mistakes corrected before distributing the report."  [That is an accurate quote because Patty had it in the minutes and she relished showing it to me!]  Of course, I knew from the binding that it was ready to be sent to "Corporate".  Oh, how I wished that I'd had a RED pen with me that day for emphasis!

You could have heard a pin THUD to the floor.

The Vice-President didn't wait for the Director to respond, but asked, very quietly, "Sue, would you have time to help with this report?" I answered, "Yes, sir." He continued, "John, I'd like Sue to approve the final draft before you forward it to Corporate." That was the coup de grace: a Production person to overrule the lofty HR Director.

In the past, I'd had several "run-ins" with the HR Director and members of his staff. As I felt quite certain that "they" (the HR Director AND his "girls") did not want my help, I delivered my corrected copy to the HR Director with the numerous corrections.  I said, "When THOSE WOMEN make these corrections, just give it to Patty; I'm sure she'll find more mistakes; obviously you see that the Vice President trusts Patty above all others."

He said tersely, "I'll do as I was ordered and return it to YOU; you can use YOUR Secretary any way you want!"

Oh, yeah, I'll admit that when the report was handed to me for the "Final Draft", Patty and I had the "fine tooth comb" out and, of course, we found more errors. There was even a mistake which I had corrected in the "rough draft".   That took some chutzpah for "the Gargoyles" to re-insert an item which I had corrected.   I had Patty add the "reason" it was corrected, explaining the difference between a transitive and intransitive verb.

My disagreements with the HR Director (and also with what I called the "Trickle Down Condescension" by the members of his Department) were over matters of policy and their overweening, cavalier behavior in dealing with members of Production.

It was good for the Company when he was replaced.

Saturday, August 6, 2016


My husband's aunt fancies herself an artist. The walls of her home are covered with her creations. She told me that they are all for sale but people don't want to pay what they are worth.  When there was a gallery in town for a short period, she displayed a number of her paintings but sold none of them.

One day, when I was visiting her, I looked at one painting which seemed very familiar.  I said, "This looks like a Bruegel."  She tittered, "Is that the way it's pronounced?"   I nodded and asked why she had copied Bruegel's work.   She told me that she oftentimes looked at art books and then copied favorites.   As I looked around at the many paintings, it became a guessing-game to name the artists she tried to imitate.  I asked, "Did you copy any of The Younger?"  She said, "I don't know what you mean."  I said, "The Bruegels are father and son, the Elder and the Younger."  She said, "You seem to know a lot about artists;  do you paint?"  I said, "I don't know enough about art and I have no talent; but there must be appreciators."

She asked how I became interested in art and I told her about The Gleaners, a picture by Jean Francois Millet which hung in our school and I became fascinated and investigated the artist.  She
asked, "How old were you?"  I said, "It was in the second grade because Mrs. Chapman got a book for me to see and she told me what gleaners were."  I told her that I always had a soft spot for Millet after that.  She said she was stunned that a second-grader would be that interested.

Looking at her "work",  I asked, "You can't sell these, can you?"  She responded, "They have my name on them;  I'm not trying to be a forger; I just like to imitate those styles."

The fact that I was able to recognize that she was imitating Bruegel showed that she did indeed possess artistic talent.

She asked which artists I liked.  I told her that Jean Baptiste Camille Corot was my favorite.  She did not know his work and did not have any of his work in her books.  I told her she could borrow my books.

When she came to our house to look at my books, she was sitting on the couch in the family room. At that time, we had a portrait by Jamie Wyeth of Rudolf Nureyev on the opposite wall, above the love seat.  His aunt exclaimed, "I can't believe you would have that disgusting nude up there."  I answered, "He's not nude, he's wearing a flesh-colored leotard and I think it's beautiful."  She said, "I can't believe that you think that is art."  I said, "You could imitate that."  I doubt she got my sarcasm because he just shook her head in disgust.

I asked her if she had a problem with nudes as there were so many in the history of art.  She didn't respond but I could tell she was shocked when I said, "I do have a nude by Jamie's father on my bedroom wall."  She declined to see THAT one!

She gasped, "His father?"  I said, "He's the son of Andrew Wyeth."  She didn't know the Wyeths either.  I dragged out the ten books I have showing the works of N.C., Andrew, and Jamie Wyeth.

I said, "Andrew's sister Henriette is also an artist, but I don't have any of her work and Henriette's husband Peter Hurd is quite famous."  She had not heard of him either.  I said, "He's the one who painted Lyndon Johnson's White House portrait and LBJ said it was the ugliest thing he'd ever seen."

She said that she didn't care for "modern" art.