Friday, March 31, 2017


Today at lunch I observed a young woman wearing a hooded sweatshirt stating:  "YOU SAY 'RAISED IN A BARN' LIKE IT'S A BAD THING." My "Wild Bunch" Luncheon group and I then had a discussion about "raise" and "rear".  As I am abysmally ignorant about using my cell phone to take pictures, I asked Lee, one of my luncheon mates to take a picture if we would be permitted.

I summoned the hoodie-wearer to me and said, "Jacqueline, I was reared on a farm where we raised hogs." Naturally, she thought I was insane!  I asked for permission to take her picture, explained that I write a daily BLOG and thought she and her sweatshirt would make an interesting article.  She graciously consented to have her photograph taken and I told her I would send her the article.

I had a very pleasant conversation with her and her friend Caitlin.  I asked Jacqueline if she pronounced her name in the French, Jacqueline Kennedy way, and she said , "No, it's pronounced like Jack-lyn."  I asked Caitlin about the spelling of her name and I said, "Oh, good, that's how Dylan Thomas' wife Caitlin's was spelled."  She didn't know Dylan Thomas.

Caitlin said, "I bet you know my grandma."  When she told me her grandmother's name I said, "Oh, yes I do, but tell me, why would you automatically think I knew her?"  She said, "Oh, you just seem like someone who would know my grandma;  she knows a lot too." I said, "Yes, we're both very outgoing."

Jacqueline said, "You're too young to know my grandparents, but maybe you know my parents."

Oh, how sweet of her that she thought I wasn't old enough to know her grandparents!

Thursday, March 30, 2017


Quite often, when I am in stores, I have people ask me the whereabouts of items.  If I know about the requests, I always respond with an answer but then I look at the clothes I'm wearing to see if the clothes resemble a uniform.  I always wonder if--and why-- they think I work at the stores.

It happened again today when a man and woman approached me;  the woman was in a wheelchair, and she asked, "Do you have any craft supplies here?"  Obviously, she assumed I worked there.  I was wearing black slacks, a black turtleneck sweater, and a turquoise jacket trimmed in black which in no way resembled the smocks worn by the store employees.  Later, relating the story to my brother, he asked, "Why don't you just ask them why they think you work there?"  I said, "I'm always taken aback and just give them the information." 

I was sorting through a bin of $3.00 movies. Oftentimes, I am on the lookout for bargain bin movies which I, Gerald, Les, and a number of family and friends might want.

I have a specific method of sorting.  I take out 20 movies, put them in the shopping cart, then stack the remainder in piles, working my way around the bin, which enables me to see all the titles.  I always compliment myself that this also helps other shoppers.

A woman came up to MY bin (yes, I realize I am very territorial during my pursuit) and began looking at movies, but she was ruining my method as she was tossing the movies willy-nilly around the bin.  I asked, "Are you looking for something in particular?"  She answered, "Nah."  I said, "I keep a list of ones I'd like to find." and I produced my fat notebook of lists which I maintain.  She looked at me as if I were the craziest person she'd ever met.  She said, "Oh, I thought you worked here."  Fortunately for me, she left quickly before she completely destroyed my process.  

Success:  I found a copy of Touch Of Evil which my sister-in-law wants!

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Yesterday, a woman who lives in my precinct, approached me in Kroger and told me that she'd changed her mind about the man who now occupies the White House.  I quoted Salena Zito, who wrote "The press took him literally, but not seriously, but his supporters took him seriously, but not literally."  She said she didn't understand what that meant.  I explained the quote and I told her, "I took him literally AND seriously!"

She asked my opinion of the local Primary races in May.  She is a person who has changed her party affiliation several times, has announced to run for office numerous times and subsequently withdrew her name, and is unbelievably wrong-headed, mercurial, and displays an egregious lack of knowledge.  

I asked her which candidate she had chosen for the Municipal Court Judge race. She said that she was going to vote for the incumbent.  I asked, "Really, why?"  She said she would never vote for the challenger and while telling several items, she mispronounced the name of the challenger.  I said, "I think the name is pronounced..." and I said the name and also spelled the name.  She continued, "Well, my daughter worked at the restaurant and I know a lot about them."  I asked, with a faux innocence, "Oh, did the candidate work there also;  is that how she got to know her legal ability?"  She answered testily, "I know a lot about the whole family." I replied, "So, you've changed your mind about the incumbent?  I remember that in the last election you had the opponent's signs in your yard and you told me you wouldn't vote for the incumbent that time."  She answered that the incumbent wasn't "much better" and then made a false, reprehensible allegation about the incumbent which I knew to be untrue.  I corrected her and said that it was false and she should not be saying things like that.   She asked, "Which one are you for?"

I said, "Neither one;  I'm in the other party." 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


A friend who is a grammarian sent an urgent message to me today: "THE END OF OUR WORLD IS NEAR: Google shows LITERALLY and FIGURATIVELY meaning the same!"

I replied, "NO! NO! NO!"

I don't mind if my hero Mark Twain misused it when he wrote that Tom Sawyer was "literally rolling in wealth" or that Fitzgerald wrote that Jay Gatsby "literally glowed", I shall not give in to the misusage!

Recently, at a meeting, someone said, "I literally died!" I grimaced and wrote on my notepad: "FIGURATIVELY, dammit!" A person sitting beside me, a retired teacher of English, wrote beside my note: "I gave up!"

Also, see THE URBAN DICTIONARY example:

People often confuse this word with figuratively.
-Dude, you figuratively died of embarrassment, you illiterate dipshit.

Monday, March 27, 2017


A young friend and I were going to an event together.  As she was getting a coat from her coat closet,  I noticed a button on the floor.  I picked up the button and asked which coat it was from; she pointed to a plaid jacket.   I asked, "Did you want to wear that one today?"  She said, "No, but I wonder where it goes on the coat?"  There were buttons down the front of the jacket;  buttons on pockets on the front;  buttons on the shoulders holding decorative tabs;  a button at the neck to fasten another tab; and buttons on the sleeves.  Finally, after examining the jacket, I saw that the button was missing from another decorative tab on the back of the jacket.  I said, "This makes SIXTEEN buttons!  I'll bet that's an expensive jacket."  We had a discussion about covered buttons and other features which made clothing costly. 

I asked, "Do you want me to sew it on the jacket?"  She said, "Oh, yes, I am no good at those things;  I would have put it on with a safety pin."  She said that she didn't have any needles or thread;  I told her I had a little sewing kit in my "work bag" in my car.  I carry a purse, but I also have emergency items in another bag in the trunk of the car.  

I said, "You're driving;  I'll do it in the car;  I'll have it done in a whipstitch."

She said she had never heard that usage.

I said, "Well, it's an idiom;  my mother used to say it, but a whipstitch is also an actual stitch, but you don't use a whipstitch to attach a button."

Today, I looked for the definition of whipstitch and after the definition about sewing, it shows that, as an idiom, it means "at short intervals";  all of my life I've thought it meant "quickly"; I do learn something new each day, and sometimes, it's in a whipstitch! 

Sunday, March 26, 2017


At a recent all-day training session, I was fortunate to be seated next to a charming, and interesting, witty conversationalist.   Before the meeting and during breaks we found we had a great deal in common.  We began trading whispered comments and notes during the presentations.  

One of the instructors used the term "jive" when it clearly should have been "gibe";  the instructor was an attorney and one could assume he was educated and should have known the difference.  I jotted down "GIBE!" and my fellow-attendee jotted down "JIBE?" beside my note.

Thus began stream-of consciousness repartee between her and me.

She wrote:  "JIVE Talkin'!".    I jotted down "GIBBS!".  After my reference to the Bee Gees, she jotted down "NCIS", a reference to Mark Harmon's character's name on the series.

The back-and-forth competition began:

BARRY, ROBIN, MAURICE (with names of various people with those names)

JIVE TURKEY with a small drawing by her.

SHUCKIN' AND JIVIN' with several comments.

She wrote:  "JIBE THE MAIN SAIL" followed by my note: "See how the main sail sets'' with her question:  "Huh?"  I wrote:   "That's from Sloop John B."  followed by her question "Beach Boys?",  with my answer, "No, The Weavers."  She wrote "Lemme go home!"  I wrote, "I'll call the captain ashore!"

During the break, I wondered aloud to her, "Should we tell him?"  She answered, "Yeah, YOU tell him it just doesn't JIBE;  that he needs to cut out all that JIVE, or you'll GIBE at him!"

See the article below from Grammarphobia:

Jibe, gibe, and jive

Q: I see both “jibe” and “jive” used to mean agree, as in “His testimony did not jibe/jive with what he said earlier.” As a sailor, I know “jibe” refers to changing tack while sailing downwind. “Jive,” on the other hand, refers to deceptive talk. How on earth did we get from point A to point B here?

A: We’re dealing with three similar-sounding words: “jibe,” “gibe,” and “jive.” That’s confusing enough.

To muddle things more, dictionaries recognize “jibe” and “gibe” as variant spellings of each other. And the nautical word for changing tack is spelled “jibe” in the US and “gybe” in the UK.

If you’re still with us, there are two more flies in the ointment. The verb “jibe” has a second meaning, primarily in American English: to agree.

And as you’ve noticed, “jive” is often used for “jibe” in the sense of agreement, though no authoritative dictionary considers this usage standard English.

To get to the bottom of all this, let’s begin with some definitions.

The verb “jibe,” as you say, is a nautical term that refers to changing course by shifting a fore-and-aft sail from side to side while sailing before the wind. (Remember, British dictionaries spell the word “gybe.”)

However, “jibe” has another meaning that’s not etymologically related to the nautical usage: to agree or be consistent with, as in, “Those figures don’t jibe.” The Oxford English Dictionary describes this usage as “chiefly U.S.”

The word “jive” can be either a noun or a verb, as in “Don’t give me that jive” or “Don’t jive me.” It’s a Jazz Era slang term that usually refers to deceptive or nonsensical talk, though it can also mean jazz music.

A third word that’s often confused with these, “gibe,” is both a noun and a verb referring to teasing, taunting, or caustic remarks, as in “Ignore his rude gibes” or “He tends to gibe when he’s annoyed.”

These three words cover a lot of etymological history, so let’s take a look at their origins. (We’ll discuss them in order of seniority, saving “jive” for last.)

The oldest is the verb “gibe,” first recorded in the mid-16th century. The OED says to “gibe” is “to speak sneeringly; to utter taunts; to jeer, flout, scoff.”

As we’ve said, the nautical “jibe” is not related to the agreeable “jibe,” which first showed up in American English in the early 1800s, meaning “to chime in (with); to be in harmony or accord; to agree,” to quote the OED.

This leaves us with “jive,” a term of unknown origin that showed up—both noun and verb— in American slang in the Roaring Twenties. It has close associations with jazz, Harlem, and black American English.

The OED defines the verb as meaning “to mislead, to deceive, to ‘kid’; to taunt or sneer at.” To “talk jive,” Oxford adds, is “to talk nonsense, to act foolishly.”

And the noun “jive” is defined similarly: “talk or conversation; spec. talk that is misleading, untrue, empty, or pretentious; hence, anything false, worthless, or unpleasant.”

Saturday, March 25, 2017


This week, I asked my younger brother, "Do they still have the NIT?"  He asked, "How do you even know about the NIT?"  I answered, "When I was a kid, it was a big deal;  UD went there and so did Saint Bonaventure, Gonzaga, Villanova and others; that's how I learned about all those schools!"  As I reminisced, he sighed and said, "Ohio State didn't even get invited to the NIT  this year."  I said, "They always went to the NCAA;  oh, WOW, I remember when Cincinnati and OSU played!"  He said, "You are positively OLD!" 

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

Several years ago, my friend Charles was filling out the brackets for the NCAA basketball championship.  I made an enlarged copy for him to use;  I had the original copy from the newspaper.  As a lark, I also filled out the form along with him.  Charles laughed at my choices and methods for choosing.  I told him, "There is no method to my madness!" Charles kept the forms and would call me after each game, breathlessly, to tell me how we fared in our competition.

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

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

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

So, of course, I actually had NO method!

After that first year, it was always our "thing" to complete and compete with our BRACKETS. Charles was especially excited when I told him about President Obama's charts.  He posted his brackets, mine,  and the President's on his wall.  After Charles' death, my interest waned, but I still completed the forms in his memory, and at my brother's amused urging, vying against President Obama's choices.

This year my brother asked, "No brackets?"  I said, "Nah, Syracuse isn't in the competition this year so I'm  just MAD with no method!"

 But good luck to Gonzaga!  

Friday, March 24, 2017


In a conversation with my "Wild Lunch Bunch" my friend Lee asked if we made Cat's Head Biscuits, and I was the only one who had heard of them.  I said, "they're called that because they are as big as a cat's head!"  

When I went home I told my brother I needed to look up the recipe.  He said, "It's probably right with your recipe for Puppy Dumplings."

When I was a child, my mother made delicious drop dumplings in leftover soups and stews and even in blackberry juice.  She called them "puffy dumplings", but when my oldest brother was little, he thought she said "puppy" dumplings;  it's always been a family saying to call them "puppy dumplings"rather than puffy dumplings or drop dumplings. 

Asa young bride I learned that my husband liked his mother's drop dumplings.  Naturally wanting to please him, I decided to make drop dumplings although I had never made them before.  I called my mother to get her recipe and that evening I prepared the dumplings in leftover beef stew.  However, I mistakenly put a tablespoon of batter in the broth instead of a teaspoon and the result was gigantic drop dumplings.  When I told Gerald we were having "puppy dumplings" for dinner, he gave one glance and said, "They look more like St. Bernard Dumplings!"

Thursday, March 23, 2017


Looking at synonyms for "crotchety", I noticed "querulous" and said, "I am NOT querulous."  Les laughed and gave me several examples.  

When I am in line, I don't want anyone close to me seeing me entering my PIN, writing a check, or using a credit card.  I seldom use an ATM, but I don't want anybody close to me when I do.

In stores, I like to have all of my items on the conveyor belt before the clerk starts the transaction.  When I am finished loading my items on the conveyor belt, I always place a divider, and oftentimes help the next person put items on the belt, and also offer coupons. However, I deliberately leave the cart between us, rather than pulling it forward because I want to have MY SPACE.

I respect the spaces of other people;  I expect only the same in return.

It offends me when I see able-bodied people who continue sitting when elderly or disabled people, or pregnant women are waiting in line.

Recently, we were at an Olive Garden Restaurant and there was a large number of people waiting yo be seated.  I was fortunate to have a seat while waiting.  A very-pregnant young woman came in, and her husband went to register and receive a pager.  Among the people sitting there waiting with me were several young people.  I said quietly to a young man sitting next to me, "Get up and let her sit down."  He didn't budge, so I rose and told her to take my seat.  She said, "Oh, no, I'm OK.  I answered, "No, you are NOT OK!"  I went and stood next to Gerald.

Shortly afterward, an elderly couple came into the restaurant and the man was using a cane.  I stood in front of the same man I'd asked to give his seat to the pregnant one.  He looked away and I said,  "Do you see the man with a cane who is old enough to be your grandfather?"  He nodded and I said, "Younger people such as you and I should offer our seats to older, disabled or pregnant ones."  [I thought that including myself as a "younger" was rather amusing, yet effective]  He got up, as did the young woman with him, and I went to the couple and said, "There are two places for you."

I realize that some people have had "no raisins", but whatever happened to common decency? 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


It's bad enough to endure panhandlers coming up to our cars at stop lights or those Shriners with their buckets, but now store clerks are "guilt-tripping" me!  Am I the only one who is irritated when the clerks ask, "Do you want to donate a dollar to the Miracle Kids Network?" or, "Do you want to round up for the Food Bank?"  I complained to the Manager that I didn't appreciate being "guilt-tripped"!

Today I was at the Family Dollar Store and the clerk asked if I wanted to donate my "change" to a Kids Reading Program. Although that cause would touch my heart,  I resented feeling coerced and refused.  

Perhaps it is my imagination, but I think the clerks raise their voices so others in line can hear.
I sometimes ask, "Will I receive a receipt for tax purposes?"  When they aren't dumbfounded, they will usually say it's on the receipt.  I answer, "No, I would need a formal receipt!"

Once, in a drive-through, I had two cents change forthcoming. The clerk tossed the two pennies into a receptacle under the window.  I said, "I want my change."  She looked startled and said, "I put it in there.", pointing down toward the receptacle. I answered, "Yes, I saw that, but you didn't ask me;  I want the money or get your Manager."  She got into her pocket and said, "I only have a nickel."  I answered, "Then make change." She asked, "You really mean that?" I replied, "Yes, I want my two cents!"

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Mona Lisa wrote, "You should have an ongoing series about crotchety like you do with CRINGE--FAYETTE COUNTY TALK."

Here are some examples:

People texting other people while talking to me--right in front of me--they don't even try to conceal it!

Ones who are typing away on the computer at home while they are supposed to be talking to me on the telephone.

"Professionals" who address me by my first name before I have given them permission.  I like formality and distance.  At our first meeting, my new "health care provider" actually asked what name I preferred.  I complimented her good manners and professionalism.  Thus, I call her "Doctor" and she calls me "Ms. Raypole". 

Parents who allow their children to run wild in stores and other places.  Today, a girl ran by me and she brushed against me and I yelled, "Did you say EXCUSE ME?"

At Aldi's it is clearly marked that "sitting, standing, and walking" is NOT permitted on the counters where groceries are to be sacked.  Parents, WHY are you so peeved when I tell you?

If I hear another person say "NO PROBLEM" in a situation where there is obviously NO problem, I am going to scream!  An example:  in a restaurant, I had no eating utensils at my place and as a waitress drifted by, I asked, "May I have my silverware?"  She said, "No problem."  Of course it should be NO problem as I was supposed to already have my damned eating utensils!  

Even worse:  ones who answer "NO PROBLEMO!".

Monday, March 20, 2017


Les said, "You're getting crotchety in your old age."  Defensively, I moaned, "Whadda ya mean:  OLD?"  He replied, "It is interesting that you would be offended by the OLD rather than the CROTCHETY!"  

I asked, "What the Hell does crotchety mean, anyway?"  

From Merriam-Webster:
CROTCHETY:  "subject to whims, crankiness, or ill-tempered." SYNONYMS: irascible, bad-tempered, irritable, grumpy, grouchy, short-tempered, tetchy, testy, curmudgeonly, ill-tempered, ill-natured, cross, peevish, waspish, crabby, crusty, prickly, touchy, snappish, snappy, cranky, and ornery.

Les said, "At least I didn't say you were IRASCIBLE."  I said, "I do rather like TETCHY!"

This made me start to thinking about words which are usually just associated with those who are OLD:



Les just chimed in with:


We discussed that a great number of these are gender-specific:

FEMALE: hag, crone, battle-axe , crow, slattern, garrulous
MALE: coot, codger, hoary

So WHY are there more derogatory ones toward women? OOPS! Being CROTCHETY!

Sunday, March 19, 2017


R.I.P. CHUCK BERRY 1926=2017

Saturday, March 18, 2017


I am frequently irritated by the number of people I hear conducting cell phone conversations within the earshot of me and other people. Oftentimes they reveal intimate details but usually it just annoying.  

Do these people think we want to hear these conversations and don't they realize how LOUD they are?

I saw the apparatus called "HUSH ME" on television.  It's designed to allow a person to use his phone without annoying other people.

I hope offenders buy them and use them!  

Several years ago I was at my doctor's office and the receptionist called a woman to her desk and told her there was a problem with her insurance.

The woman sat down and called her insurance company on her cell phone. Everyone in the waiting room could hear her side of the conversation. It was obvious that she was being transferred from one section to another and naturally, she was irritated.

After hearing her tell her name, address, birthdate, and social security number twice, the next time time she repeated the information, I jotted down the details. When she finished talking, I went over to her and handed her the note and she asked, "What's that?" I told her that everybody in the waiting room could hear her giving out that private information and that she should go outside into the hallway.

Instead of thanking me, she actually said that I should just mind my own business. Miffed by her ingratitude, I answered that anybody in the waiting room had enough information to be able to empty her bank account and burglarize her house.

I complained to the office manager and there is now a sign posted to instruct people NOT to use cell phones in the waiting room.  

Friday, March 17, 2017


St. Patrick of Ireland is one of the world's most popular saints. Apostle of Ireland, born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387; died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, 17 March, 461.

Patrick was born around 385 in Scotland, probably Kilpatrick. His parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa, who were Romans living in Britian in charge of the colonies.

As a boy of fourteen or so, he was captured during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. Ireland at this time was a land of Druids and pagans. He learned the language and practices of the people who held him. Patrick's captivity lasted until he was twenty, when he escaped after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britain, where he reunited with his family.

He had another dream in which the people of Ireland were calling out to him "We beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more."

He began his studies for the priesthood. He was ordained by St. Germanus, the Bishop of Auxerre, whom he had studied under for years.

Later, Patrick was ordained a bishop, and was sent to take the Gospel to Ireland. He arrived in Ireland March 25, 433, at Slane. One legend says that he met a chieftain of one of the tribes, who tried to kill Patrick. Patrick converted Dichu (the chieftain) after he was unable to move his arm until he became friendly to Patrick.

Patrick began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and began building churches all over the country. Kings, their families, and entire kingdoms converted to Christianity when hearing Patrick's message. Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions.. After years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering, he died March 17, 461.

Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. He feared nothing, not even death, so complete was his trust in God, and of the importance of his mission.

Why a shamrock?
Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity, and has been associated with him and the Irish since that time.


Thursday, March 16, 2017


In 2011, Gerald and I went to Montgomery, Alabama for the dedication of the SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center) Wall Of Tolerance and to have our names enshrined on a brick in the Wall.

At the ceremony, I was sitting beside an elderly woman and we began talking about hats as she and I were the only ones who were wearing hats.  I told her that I was allergic to the sun and I wore hats to protect my skin and she said she'd always worn hats to church, but she wore them now mostly because she'd lost nearly all of her hair.

I introduced myself and Gerald to her and told her where we came from and she asked, "You came all the way from Ohio for this?"  I told her it was one of the most important things in our lives as I had been a member of SPLC since its inception.  When I asked her name, she responded, "Sippie."  I asked, "Were you named for Sippie Wallace?"  She exclaimed, "Honey Chile, how on earth do you know about Sippie Wallace--you're too young--and too white!"  I began singing: "

"Now, women be wise,
Keep your mouth shut,
Don't advertise your man."

Sippie said, "You do know her!"  I told Sippie that I became a fan in the 1960s during the Folk Music Revival. I said, "I know I'm a Mighty Tight Woman, Up The Country, and.";  I was about to continue a list of Wallace's songs,  but Gerald interrupted and said, "Please don't get her started!"

I mentioned, "Bonnie Raitt would never let us forget those wonderful women blues singers, and by the way, Sippie also loved hats!"

She did not know Bonnie Raitt and when I told her about all the work Bonnie had done to guarantee that the old-time blues and rock musicians received their royalties, she was amazed. She asked, "Is she a singer too?"  I answered, "Yes, ma'am, she's a blues singer."  Sippie shook her head and asked, "Well, pshaw, is she a white girl?"  I answered, "Yes ma'am." and Sippie replied, "Well, doesn't that just beat all?"

Sippie Wallace (Beulah Belle Thomas) was born in Texas in 1898 and died in 1996.  She was a classic female American blues singer comparable to Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith. In the 1920s she began recording and became known as "The Texas Nightingale".   She said that her nickname "Sippie" came because her teeth were so far apart she had to sip everything.  

After an impressive career in the 1920s and 1930s she faded into obscurity but found a new, appreciative audience during the popularity of folk music in the 1960s.

Instead of hearing me, listen to Sippie sing Women Be Wise:

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Last year I published the article below which was entitled "THEY'RE B-A-A-A-CK!" about the yearly visit of buzzards to our yard as they rest on their return to Hinckley, Ohio on March 15..

Our buzzards arrived early this year and they are gone on schedule.

                          "THEY'RE BA-A-A-CK!"

Today my brother came in and exclaimed, "They're b-a-a-a-c-k!" and I immediately knew that he meant that the BUZZARDS are here.  I said, "They're early!", knowing that the Annual Return Of The Buzzards in Hinckley, Ohio, is March 15.  I said, "It's probably because of global warming.", as the temperature is 49 degrees today.

Each year, when the buzzards are traveling to Hinckley, Ohio, a great number of them stop and rest in trees in our side yard.  My husband will run into the house and yell, "The buzzards are here!", grab his camera and go out to photograph the event.  We moved to our present home in May, 1984, and in March, 1985, we noticed approximately thirty buzzards roosting in the large trees on the east side of our property.  We are always fascinated by their soaring, eerie beauty.

Several years ago, a woman came to our house and asked, "Can I come to your house when the buzzards come?" I asked, "How do you know about the buzzards?" She answered, "We were driving by one day and saw them in your trees and I told my daughter that I was going to ask you if we can come to your yard when they come again so we can see them up close." I asked, "How do you know they'll come again?" She answered, "We've seen them two different years so I figure they come every year." I replied, "Of course you can come join us." She asked, "Why hasn't the newspaper ever covered this?" I said, "I think some of my neighbors would be upset if I publicized it."

She said, "We call your house the Buzzard House." She saw me wince at the reference and said, "Oh, every time we drive by, we talk about the buzzards!"

She said, "You should have a party!"

When I told my brother, ever the wit, said, "Yeah, you could serve bird's nest soup!"

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Celebrate PI DAY on March 14--3/14!

The Greek letter Pi is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant--the ratio between a circle's diameter and its circumference--approximately 3.14159.  

PI has been calculated to more than one trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely.

I always bake a pie to celebrate PI DAY!


Monday, March 13, 2017


At a recent rally I was pleased to see a young woman wearing a tee-shirt proclaiming "A WOMAN'S PLACE IS IN THE HOUSE--AND THE SENATE";  happily I said, "Bella lives!"

I could tell from her curious look that she didn't understand my comment.  I said, "That comes from Bella Abzug's campaign slogan in 1970."  The woman said she had never heard of Bella.  I said, "She was one of your FOREMOTHERS."  She said, "I thought you meant Bella from Twilight."  We need to do a better job of educating our youngsters.

Sunday, March 12, 2017


Today is the birthday anniversary of my godson who died from AIDS.  If he were alive today, there would be great hope that he would be able to live and possibly be cured.

The Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation and The Clinton Foundation have committed billions of dollars in the fight to treat, prevent, and find a cure for AIDS.  

According to the United Nations, about 34 million people worldwide are living with HIV, and 2.5 million were infected last year alone. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control states there is an alarming rise in the spread of HIV among teenagers and young adults, with 1,000 new infections each month. Yet public officials and health care workers say the world is nearing a turning point on AIDS, the disease caused by the HIV virus.

But for every person who receives treatment, two more become infected. Only about 8 million HIV patients in developing countries are receiving treatment. The United Nations' goal is to have 15 million people receiving treatment by 2015.

But experts say that testing and education also are crucial. The CDC recommends routine testing for everyone.

Dr. Jonathan Mermin of the Centers for Disease Control spoke to VOA via Skype. "HIV testing should be as common as cholesterol screening," he said.

Saturday, March 11, 2017


 When I asked my sister-in-law Jean what was on her "bucket list" of wishes for her birthday, she said that she would like to taste petit fours, ganache, and marzipan.  I told her that I have made ganache numerous times and after I described marzipan, she decided she had no interest in trying it but would like the petit fours and ganache..

  To acquire petit fours, I went to a local bakery and asked if I could order petit fours and the proprietor said that she had made them previously.  I ordered a dozen. I also mentioned that my sister-in-law wanted ganache and she said she would cover them with ganache.  However, during the transaction, she pronounced petit fours after me, but she said "PETITE FOURS", rather than the French way I had pronounced it:  

Not only did she pronounce it "petite fours" one time, but she also said it TWICE!  I let it pass without comment.  However, when I went to pick up the order, she said, "Oh, you're the one who ordered the PETITE FOURS!", emphasizing her pronunciation.  I answered, "No, I ordered the petit fours."
In relating the incident to Les and Gerald, Les commented, "You should just chuckle to yourself and let those slights go." 

I have written previously about the awkward moment when a person repeats a word or phrase I have just used--only using a different pronunciation-- with the obvious intention of letting me know that he/she thinks I have misused or mispronounced a word.  I have never understood that passive aggressive method:  why not just TELL ME?    It has happened to me with my using the words chamomile, peridot, deign, clematis, demonstrable, and banal. 

Friday, March 10, 2017


We love The Big Bang Theory and look forward to reading the "Vanity Card" which is posted at the end of each episode.  Tonight's card, #544 was headed with the instruction:  "Sing with me":

NYET, Chuck Lorre!

Thursday, March 9, 2017


Yesterday I wrote about having PMLE (Polymorphous Light Eruption) or SOLAR URTICARIA.  Naturally, this has limited my activities in life.  I have always been very careful and protection-conscious.

Two years ago I was caught in an unfortunate situation of being exposed to the sun for a lengthy period of time and although I was able to protect my face, neck, and arms by using an umbrella, I ended up with an outbreak of PMLE on my hands and feet.  

On that day I was wearing "Mary Jane" style shoes, with straps across the feet.

After an emergency room visit, it took two weeks of visits to my doctor and dermatologist to recover from the ordeal.  After the recovery, I was left with a very noticeable "suntan" on my hands and feet.  Because of the strap on the shoes, the resulting suntan on the feet was particularly peculiar-looking.

The following week, I was dressed to attend a wedding;  my husband laughed at seeing my feet in pumps and said that I had "two-toned" feet!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


Today, someone asked, "Oh, can you stand this dreary weather?"  I answered that I am a PLUVIOPHILE and enjoy this weather.  I suffer from PMLE (Polymorphous Light Eruption) which means I am allergic to the sun.  I am very careful;  I slather on sunscreen, avoid sunlight, wear long sleeves even in the summer, have tinted windows, usually ride in the back seat of the car, wear gloves and hat when I rarely work in the yard.  

Being allergic to the sun, I suppose it is normal that I like rainy days, cloudy days, overcast skies, and nighttime.  A friend quipped, "So, Rainy Days And Mondays don't get YOU down?"  I answered, "Even though I like the Carpenters and Paul Williams, I'm more of a Charles Addams kind of girl."

See one of my favorite Charles Addams cartoons from The New Yorker where the Addams family is looking out the window on a terrible rainstorm and Gomez says happily, "Just the kind of day that makes you feel good to be alive!"

Last winter my doctor told me that my Vitamin D level was low and prescribed 1200 MG extra calcium a day. She told me that I could discontinue using them during the summer because I'd probably get enough from the sun.

I told her that I do not go out in the sun very often because I'm allergic to the sun. She looked shocked and said, "How long has this been going on?" I told her, "All my life."

She asked, "Did you ever tell me that?" I said, "I'm sure it's in my original paperwork that asks about allergies as I'm allergic to nickel alloy and the sun." She leafed through fifteen years of charts and said, "I'll be damn; it is there."

She asked me what would happen when I am in the sun and I told her I would have blotches and blisters appear accompanied by severe itching. She said that I have SOLAR URTICARIA. I told her that in the 1960s a dermatologist diagnosed my condition as PMLE. She said it's the same thing.

Les says I look like a "Red-Hat beekeeper" when I go out just to pick flowers for bouquets. In the 1970s a friend bought a bonnet for me at an "Amish" store and in those days, I actually helped with gardening and the bonnet had a lot of service. I should get another one, but wide-brimmed straw hats are better because they also protect the back of the neck.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

MARCH 7, 1965

LEST WE FORGET.  Today is the anniversary of "Bloody Sunday". On March 7, 1965, approximately 600 people crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge--named for a white supremacist--in an attempt to begin the Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights.  Alabama state troopers violently attacked the peaceful demonstrators.  This event caused President Lyndon Johnson and the U. S. Congress to enact the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 

I am pleased to republish my BLOG article from 2012 titled I STAND WITH JOHN LEWIS and also a letter from John Lewis.

                                           I STAND WITH JOHN LEWIS

Anyone who knows me knows that I always say that John Lewis is my all-time hero.  Along with John, I am deeply concerned about the efforts to deny voting rights to minorities, seniors, young people, and the poor.

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. He was beaten, nearly to death, on March 7, 1965, 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 the rights for minorities, women, seniors, veterans, labor, and sexual orientation.

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:

Thank you,

John Lewis

Congressman John Lewis
Georgia's 5th District

Monday, March 6, 2017


After watching the premiere episode of the new FX series Feud:  Bette and Joan, about the filming of the movie Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?, my ever caustically witty brother gave a succinct critique of the show:  "No scenery left."

I did a spit-take and answered, "So they chewed it all up?"

He replied, "Ole Lucille would probably be furious that the title has BETTE listed first since the project was her idea."

In the show, Bette kept referring to Joan as "Lucille" as Joan's real name was Lucille Le Sueur.

With Susan Sarandon over-the-top as Davis, Jessica Lange great as Crawford, they are aided by a marvelous supporting cast with the wonderful Judy Davis as the witchy Hedda Hopper, Kathy Bates as the blowsy Joan Blondell,  Alfred Molina as long-suffering Director Robert Aldrich, and the surprising Catherine Zeta Jones portraying Olivia de Havilland.

I am actually looking forward to the next episode.

Sunday, March 5, 2017


A friend sent an article: "10 Old English Words You Should Be Using" and I realized that I can use UHTCEARE because it means "lying awake before dawn and worrying". 

I must admit that the only word I knew of the ten words is "MUGWUMP" which I remember from high school American History and the famous cartoon.

The Mugwumps were Republicans who supported Democrat Grover Cleveland rather than Republican James G. Blaine. Charles Dana coined the phrase "Mugwumps" by writing that those turncoats had their "mugs" on one side of the fence and their "wumps" on the other side of the fence! 

I guess I could use the term again today as I see a lot of fence-sitting.

Saturday, March 4, 2017


Since November, I had been wearing a safety pin as a small solidarity symbol.  Yesterday, a woman said, "Oh, I see you know about not getting shocked when you touch somebody else."  Obviously, I looked dumbfounded as she pointed to the safety pin on my lapel.  I told her that I had never heard of that and she continued, "Oh, yes, it works and if you wear one in the hem of your pants, it prevents static cling."

Intrigued, I looked up the history of the lowly safety pin and learned that it was invented in 1849 by Walter Hunt.  I also learned other helpful hints about the safety pin:

Friday, March 3, 2017


I asked Les, "Am I the only one who notices that Sergey Kislyak resembles the actor who played the Russian Ambassador in Dr. Strangelove?"

He answered, "Well, Putin's Puppet does like Central Casting!"

It's time to watch one more time Kubrick's masterpiece Dr. Strangelove Or:  How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb.

Thursday, March 2, 2017


In 2014, I had written (see SAVANNAH FROWNS below) that I wanted to support Girl Scouts but thought that $4 per box was exorbitant.  

Yesterday, I stopped where they were being sold and planned to buy two boxes.  I commented that there were two new ones.  I noticed that one of the new cookies was gluten-free and I thought I would get one for a friend who follows a gluten-free diet.

I handed the girl $12.00.  She said, "That will be $13.'  I said, "Four plus four plus four equals twelve, doesn't it?"

She said, "The new ones are $5.00"  I screaked, "FIVE dollars?  I don't like him THAT much." (That's not true, John, but I would never miss an opportunity for a good comeback!)

FIVE DOLLARS?  But, I am making LEMON LUSH today.

               SAVANNAH FROWNS

I sincerely want to support the Girl Scouts because of the right-wing zealots attacking them, BUT:

A Girl Scout Troop was set up outside Kroger and I chose three different boxes of cookies which I thought that Gerald, Les, and I would enjoy. The Scout, her mother, and I chatted amiably and I told them that I had recipes using Girl Scout cookies. The Scout asked about the recipes and I told her that my favorite recipe called for the lemon cookies to make a crust and then add cream cheese, lemon pudding, milk, and whipped cream for a delicious dessert. The girl was very cute and said, "Will you bring me some? I'll be here awhile!" I said, "I think I should bring you hot chocolate as it's rather cold."

I handed the Scout's mother a $10 bill and she said, "That will be $12.00."

I gasped and said, "I'm sorry, but I'm just going to buy one box!"

$4.00 for 6 ounces of "Savannah Smiles", which is approximately 25 little cookies, is ridiculous.

Les said, "They should be called SAVANNAH FROWNS"

              LEMON LUSH DESSERT

1 package Savannah Smiles Girl Scout cookies, crushed (reserve 1/4 cup)
1 stick melted margarine
1/4 cup sugar

Mix together crushed cookies, margarine, and sugar; press into a 9 X 13 inch baking dish. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool.

2 small packages instant lemon pudding
3 1/2 cups milk
1 8-ounce package cream cheese

Mix together thoroughly and spread over cooled crust.

1 10-ounce container Cool Whip

Spread over pudding. Sprinkle crumbs over Cool Whip.

Chill at least 2 hours.

To see more Girl Scout Cookies recipes click here:

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Tonight, with the tornado warnings, I am recalling the tornado which destroyed our home in Bloomingburg when I was four years old.   I published the following article in 2010:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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