March 24, 2023
No News is Good News
The big news this week was that there was no news. I faithfully turn on CNN every day, only to hear that there is no news. Waiting for the Grand Jury in New York to indict or not indict the former president. Waiting for the Federal Prosecutor to move on the Mar a lago fiasco. Waiting for China to give Putin military aid in his despicable war on Ukraine. Waiting for Winter to LET GO! I’ll wait.
March 17, 2023
Time. A Very Illusive Subject.
I’m getting too much attention. Just had a “winter weather alert” with all the exclamation points and red letters to inform me that there would be snow in the forecast “with little or no accumulation.” OMG. Was that necessary?
And BTW, when did a weatherman become a “meteorologist”? Like how many meteors have been sighted or predicted? Why don’t we call them “asteroidiologists”? Is someone trying to make a job more important than it is? As a matter of fact, a weatherman actually is becoming obsolete. If I want to know anything about the weather, current temp, forecast for the next few hours, statistics , temperatures around the world, I only have to look down at the watch on my wrist. Or I could look out the window. At any time.
And speaking of time, what time is it really? Where did that hour go that I lost last weekend? Daylight saving? Where is it saved? On my hard drive? In a cloud?
March 10, 2023
From a New Yorker cartoon. Two birds, flying, and one says to the other, “Try not to look like a balloon.”
March 3, 2023Y
Yah Dee Dah
If you have a universal remote, it can be used for any TV in the universe. Right? Well, I have discovered a universal language/lyric that can be used for any song. “Ya dee dah dah dee dah, or any variation. So, when singing “The Star Spangled Banner” and you embarrassingly forget the words, just insert the universal lyric. “The rockets red glare, the bombs dah dah dee dah.” Or in the midst of a rousing “Happy Birthday”, “Happy Birthday to you, yah dee dah dah dee DOO.” You can easily make it rhyme with a little ad libbing.
A cautionary note. It’s probably not a good idea to use it in church, or singing at the Metropolitan Opera or while taking an oath, like “I solemnly swear ya dee dah dah dee dah.”
February 24, 2023
Hello! Anyone home?
Remember when you had a phone you could depend on? You knew where it was (on the wall in the kitchen), you didn’t have to charge it, or assign it a password. When you picked it up, there was always a dial tone. It was always working, through rain, snow, sunspots, lightening, whatever. How many times did you have to talk to someone on the other side of the world who barely spoke English, trying to get help? NEVER.
Sure, you had to pay for it, but did you ever even dream that it might not WORK? oh, excuse me. I have to answer the phone that happens to be on my wrist. Hello! Hello! Tap, tap. Dick Tracy here. Oh, just leave a message.
February 17, 2023
It happens every year.
In the morning recently I’ve heard the birds singing. Loudly. Vigorously. And yesterday I noticed some green shoots coming up from a once presumed dead plant. Halleluia! Spring is coming!
February 10, 2023
Raise Your Hand!
In nursery school and even kindergarten, you probably felt free to speak out anytime you wanted. But by the time you were in third grade, you learned that in a classroom and with a teacher in charge, you had to raise your hand and wait to be called on if you had something to say. Unfortunately, Marjorie Taylor Greene seems to be stuck in the kindergarten level of behavior, as, at the State of the Union Address, she was heard to yell out at the President of the United States 9 times, “You’re a liar”. This is the same woman who complained on Fox News that she really doesn’t like her job because it requires her to spend too much time in Washington.
As Brian Cohen said ,”I could be comatose and would have a better grasp of reality than Marjorie Taylor Greene.”
Who votes for these people? Are they listening?
February 3, 2023
Why do old, white men think they have the right to make American women give birth to a baby they don’t want to have?
Why are people allowed to glorify the Confederate flag by waving it from their trucks, carrying it in parades, wearing it on their heads -- which is clearly an insult to African Americans?
Why did the Scorpion unit of the Memphis police keep on beating Tyre Nichols, even though his hands were secured behind his back and he was on the ground?
Why didn’t one of those police officers yell “Stop” and tell the beaters to desist?
Why wasn’t Mr. Nichols given medical help the moment it arrived?
Why was a six year old given access to a gun?
Why didn’t one of the adults who knew he was carrying a gun in school not take it away from him immediately?
Why are some of the January 6 rioters spending time in jail while the person who egged them on remains free and enjoying playing golf on his resort home in Florida?
Why am I watching the news?
January 27, 2023
Yard Saga II
In the back yard he has constructed two (yes, two) pagodas, a kinda room made of four (in his case 8) columns, fastened to the ground and then covered with a fabric to protect you from the sun, rain, whathaveyou. No problem there except two of the columns are now leaning precipitously toward the hole in the fence, and the covering has untied itself and is flapping in the wind. Also in that back area is a large couch with matching chair which no one will ever sit in again, several flower pots with the remains of long dead blooms, left over building materials from projects either abandoned or still to come , and other detritus.
I’m not making this up.
January 20, 2023
My neighbor did not have a good year. First his century old tree blew down, damaging the house next door, ripping up his fence and pulling up an eight foot root ball which then destroyed his patio floor which he had spent days, weeks, months, patiently setting in pave stones. Tap tap tap, measure, level, etc.
Then he took up his rifle, practicing at the new local shooting gallery. Until he shot himself in the leg while cleaning it. Left a bullet in it and managed to pull the trigger? Then came the unseasonably cold weather and, luck would have it, his furnace failed. So they were spending every night somewhere else, presumably warm.
Three weeks later the furnace repair people show up, but they can’t fix it if they can’t get to it, so out of the basement comes pile after pile of STUFF. Empty cat litter boxes (how many can you use?) broken screen, empty boxes, pieces of wood, rags, objects of no use, chairs, broken doors, etc. etc.
Join that pile with the already laden bag of more stuff, next to innumerable ladders which he will probably never mount again (he’s graduated from a walker to a cane),hoses, tools, gasoline cans, flower pots and just plain JUNK.
So my hope for 2023 is for a strong tornado to sweep through and carry it all away. Yes.
January 13, 2023
“Unprecedented,” “never before in the history of mankind,” “last seen 200 years ago,” ”not within living memory,” etc. etc. How many times this past year have we heard these expressions of incredulity, amazement, disbelief and awe? It’s not just Trumpism. It’s the bizarre behavior of politicians, the wild weather, climate change, the proliferation of guns and gun violence, the Russians, the Chinese, you name it.
I guess if you live long enough, you can expect to notice extremes. But how do you explain it all to a ten year old? When I was ten, my parents blamed the Armenians. Who do we blame now? Ourselves? I think yes.
January 6, 2023
Democracy. Hang in there.
I’m reading the report from the January 6th Select Committee and it is jaw-dropping. For months, one man continued to promote the big lie, that he had won the election . He was continually told that he had lost, that the courts all ruled that the election was fair and legal, there was no fraud, yet he over and over maintained the opposite. Then on January 6 he attempted to disenfranchise 7 million Americans and disrupt the democratic process, the foundation of our country. Will he ever be held accountable?
And now the debacle in the House of Representatives. Stay tuned for that one.
December 30, 2022
A little Christmas present for Latin lovers – Jingle Bells!
Tinc tinc tonc, tinc tinc tonc,
Quam iucundum vehere in raeda festiva.
Tinc tinc tonc, tinc tinc tonc,
Quam iucundum vehere in raeda festiva.
Per nivem currimus.
In raeda festiva,
Per montes eximus,
In equis sonora,
In animis soles
In mundo omnia rident
Pro tintinnabulis! Euge!
December 23, 2022
This is sick.
The scene; a doctor’s office.
Characters; me and a nurse
Me: (making small talk) Many people here today?
Nurse; Pretty busy. Only a few sick people.
Me ; (confused, to myself) Wait. This is a doctor’s office. Isn’t everyone here supposed to be sick?
December 9, 2022
When you really have nothing to say, you can always talk about the weather!
So far, some weird weather. Almost 60 degrees in December, lots of storms and tornados from coast to coast. We used to blame the Armenians, then the Russians, now it’s, OMG , our OWN FAULT!
December 2, 2022
"Metamorphosis" A Word For The Ages
So scrap the list of lost, beloved TV shows and drop the sophomoric musings about learning curves and the disastrous experiment with the drone. Instead I pick up the latest translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, rendered by a woman for the first time in sixty years. Her choice of words promises to reflect a historical revisionist’s view of the world and as she says, “change is all about power.” I have three more pages before I begin, entitled “Reading Ovid Today” and I can’t wait to be able to relate Putin and Trump and Ovid’s 500 pages of elegiac couplets reflecting change in mythology, escape from abusive relationships and change in politics, especially the government in Rome from a republic to the Augustan principate. Two thousand years and we’ve gotten nowhere?
November 24, 2022
Busy day. Much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving!
November 18, 2022
No, I don’t know the password.
Not for the first time am I overwhelmed by technology. Luckily I found a person who is astoundingly adept and for $100 came into my home, crawled under the desk, unplugged a useless router, discarded three of those dust catching cords, cleaned up the computer, did something to the laptop so it will print on command and generally restored my faith in humanity. I appreciate all the advantages that being online brings, but sometimes I just wish we were back with the old telephone, the friendly operator, the black and white TV with its three stations, etc. etc. But we’re not, so ONWARD!
November 11, 2022
America is great again!
My election day take away is simply that the system worked! Democracy lives! At least some of the crazies were rejected and a sober, reasoning citizenry voted them out of the picture. What a welcome relief to have no contested results, honest, polite concessions and some interesting races as yet to be completed. Proud to be an American.
November 4, 2022
So the squirrel says to the deer, “I’ll chew on her cable wire so she can’t get on the internet.” And the deer says to the raccoon, “I’m going to poop on her front sidewalk.” The raccoon, not to be outdone, says to the hornet,”I will get my feet wet and dirty and then walk all over the front of her car.” The hornet decides to hide in her upstairs bathroom and when she’s taking a shower and her head is all soapy he flies out and bites her on the leg.
All chuckle evilly.
October 28, 2022
Monday Night Quarterback
I just finished CONFIDENCE MAN by Maggie Haberman, a well written description of Donald Trump’s persona as he moved from being a real estate developer to a politician and how consistent he was and is with his self aggrandizement and total disregard for the truth. Just so unfit to be president.
At the same time I caught the Monday night football game with the Chicago Bears and a refreshing interview with Barack Obama, always addressed as Mr. President and always pleasant, relaxed and an obviously very happy man. What a relief that he was president and I’m sorry he isn’t anymore.
October 21, 2022
BURY ME NOT . . .
Today I watched a squirrel bury a walnut in a flower pot. It’s a large pot and he used the walnut to dig deep down almost to the bottom. When he came back up the walnut was gone and he then spent some time with his little paws covering the spot with extra dirt and a sprinkle of dead leaves.
Which led to a few moments thinking about burying and how in the yard next door my neighbor buried his dog and we actually buried Big Kitty over by our fence.
And of course we had Butler, the dog, who once buried a cupcake. But that’s a whole other story.
October 14, 2022
Sound of silence
You hear it when the furnace stops running on a cold winter day.
When the train rumbles through town, blowing its horn and rattling the rails. Then total , sudden silence as it derails.
In the halls of the high school, usually resounding with teen age exuberance, loud talk, locker doors banging. The day after a popular teacher was killed in a car wreck, just so weirdly subdued and quiet. I’ll never forget it.
The sound of silence. Deafening.
October 7, 2022
Is It Really Bliss?
So what did we do in the days without Google? Actually grab a dictionary and look up a word? Complete the Sunday Times Crossword puzzle without cheating? And who can complain when you have the Mayo Clinic to answer all your medical questions?
Ignorance is no longer an excuse for anything.. Oh, wait. I forgot all those Republicans who daily make fools of themselves by showing their, yes, you have it, IGNORANCE.
September 30, 2022
Oh Goodness Me!
In spite of the evilness of Putin, the unfortunate hurricane Ian and the chicanery of Republicans, goodness survives, thanks to the late Mary Oliver.
That the clouds travel, as they do,
Like the long dresses of the angels
Of our imagination.
Or gather in storm masses, then break
With their gifts of replenishment,
And how good
That the trees shelter the patient birds
In their thick leaves,
And how good that in the field
The next morning
Red bird frolics again his throat full of song.
And how good
That the dark ponds, refreshed,
Are holding the white cups of the lilies
So that each is an eye that can look upward,
And how good that the little blue-winged teal
Comes paddling among them, as cheerful as ever,
And so on, and so on.
September 16, 2022
The Cardinal (not the cleric in a red robe, not the professional athlete)
I wanted to write about how beautiful the cardinal looks in the winter against the snow and how many artistic renderings, paint, photograph, whatever, there are in this world of that image. Until I came across the Mary Oliver (RIP) poem “Red Bird” and I realized she has said it perfectly.
Red bird came all winter
Firing up the landscape
As nothing else could.
Of course I love the sparrows
Those dun-colored darlings
So hungry and so many.
I am a God-fearing feeder of birds.
I know He has many children,
Not all of them bold in spirit.
Still, for whatever reason –
Perhaps because the winter is so long
And the sky so black-blue,
Or perhaps because the heart narrows
As often as it opens –
I am grateful
That red bird comes all winter
Firing up the landscape
As nothing else can do.
September 9, 2022
A Voice from the Past
Last week I heard for the first time the lyrics to “My Baby’s Gone” written in 1910 by Hazel Marie Houser.
Hold back the rushing minutes
Make the wind lie still
Don’t let the moonlight shine
Across the lonely hill
Dry all the raindrops and hold
Back the sun
My world has ended, my baby’s gone.
Three thousand years ago, Homer wrote in the 23rd book of The Odyssey how Athena, watching the reunion of Odysseus and his wife Penelope, separated for ten years, literally “held back the sun” by holding back the horses that drew the chariot bearing the sun, and thus delaying Dawn.
What keeps me going, through all the craziness of the modern world, is that one idea, image, or conceit, in this case “hold back the sun”, can endure for three thousand years, and with any luck, will last another three thousand. So be it.
September 2, 2022
Is there a doctor in the house?
When we came to town in 1964 there were two practicing doctors. Sometimes the waiting room was crowded, but no big deal. Today there are 27 (at least) including acupuncturists, addiction counselors, anesthesiologists, audiologists, cardiac electrophysiologists, family therapists, gastroenterologists, group therapists, midwives, nuclear medicine specialists, pediatricians, radiologists, rheumatologists, opthamologists, and many others I haven’t thought of like allergists, pain management or orthopedists.
How do we account for this? Are we that much sicker? It’s not that the population has grown proportionately. Are we too educated? Are we so self-absorbed that we need a specialist for every little health problem? Or is it that we are victims of Medicare/Socialized medicine? It probably doesn’t matter. I’m grateful that our relatively small town has such extensive medical coverage. There seems to be a new storefront related to health care opening in every block, every mall, every corner. Rehabs, referrals, or just plain exercise. Stop! Just go take a walk, breathe deeply and reward yourself with a big scoop of Graeter’s ice cream.
August 26, 2022
Once more, with feeling.
So where’s the manual on how to grow old gracefully or otherwise? Where’s the Do-it-yourself book? Is there an App? Almost nothing. I find myself Googling my way through old age. Arthritis, cataracts, you name it, Google will help.
Am I complaining? Of course. That’s one of the privileges of senior living. Am I basically enjoying the sudden abundance of free time? The bottomless bank account? The fantastic grandchildren? You betcha!
August 19, 2022
Word Choice/Choice Words
I just saw a clip of Beto O’Rourke speaking at a campaign rally (he’s running for Governor of Texas) and he was railing against assault weapons and describing passionately the recent massacre of school children when someone in the audience was heckling and laughing at him, and I don’t remember the exact words but his retort ended with “you mother-----!” Instant, spontaneous , standing ovation.
I’m quite sure that if I had to choose between someone who says “malarkey” and another who says “mother-----“ I will choose the latter because it’s the 21st century, we need someone young in leadership positions and I’ll bet there are more voters who will relate to “mother----“ than “malarkey,”
August 12, 2022
Imagine a piece of real estate, one square mile, with a couple hundred permanent residents, a main street going down the middle with a court house, church, police station, fire station, library, countless take out restaurants of many nationalities and numerous apartment buildings. At one end there’s major construction of a half block four story building surrounded by pickup trucks, vans, fences and warning signs that the sidewalk is closed.
Now add to this, in one weekend, fifteen thousand (that’s thousand with a th) twenty-year-olds, all in their cars loaded with boxes of clothes, electronic devices, six packs of beer, skate boards, checkbooks and plastic.
Conspicuously absent are broom and dust pan (what’s that?),vacuum cleaner or snow shovel.
I’m moving to Kentucky.
August 5, 2022
Remember George Costanza? From Seinfeld? He once described himself as “not bald. Bald-ING!” Well, I’m not old. Just old-ING. (I know I’ve written about this before but I can’t remember when). haha
Olding. I’ve never done this before and as far as I can tell, I only get one chance to do it right.
Olding. When newsprint gets smaller. People drive faster. Weathermen talk too fast. Doctors, lawyers, dentists, so YOUNG! People open doors for you and help you across the street. And just when you think you know everything, they come up with a new version.
Olding. I’m going to enjoy it while I can. There’s no looking back.
July 29, 2022
Every vote counts.
Herschel Walker, a former professional football player, will be running on the Republican ticket for the United States Senate seat from Georgia. This is the man who describes climate change as China’s bad air floating over to America and replacing our good air. He also said, when asked what he would do about the gun violence that resulted in the Uvalde school massacre, “What I I like to do is see it and stuff.”
If anyone is thinking of voting for this man who would be legislating policy for the whole country, please think again. OMG. Think of the consequences.
July 22, 2022
And the future?
Well, I don’t know what the future will bring for the Orangeman, but my hope is that from these Jan. 6 Select Committee hearings will come an indictment, trial and eventual conviction of at least a felony so that he will never be able to run for federal office again. I’m ambivalent as to whether he should go to jail (after all, Martha Stewart did for far less serious crimes) because I hate to see the American people put through more divisive times. If only he would just pick up and move to another country. Peru. Siberia. Please.
July 15, 2022
and the livin’ is easy . . .
As I sit on my front porch swing, without turning my head I can see the fire truck parked in the back of the firehouse, the flag fluttering on Spring Street, the roof of the Lane Public Library, TJ Max (the only store in town that sells underwear AND lamps). Kroger, Snazzy Boutique featuring used clothing from all over the world and the Garden Center which is currently ablaze with colorful mums and fall flowers. A recent arrival to town once said, “This is a place where you can get anything you want within a five minute drive.”
When I’m sitting at the back of the house, I am visited along with my morning coffee by the village doe, the groundhog that lives under the step, two chipmunks, six squirrels of various ages, the blue jay, cardinal, sparrows, starlings, robins, crested titmouse and mourning doves.
July 8, 2022
What a lovely morning! Temperature just right for sitting next to the open sliding glass door, sipping my coffee (a whole other story involving a malfunctioning coffee maker, and replacement delivered to my front porch within four hours by the Amazon wizard) listening to the song birds, the chattering squirrels, scurrying chipmunks, the beep beep of a working vehicle, the hammering of someone on a roof and uh oh, there goes the fire truck! Life goes on and hope springs eternal. The Trumpers are losing election battles all over the country, people feel free to protest discrimination and the Wisconsin Attorney General came out and said “Ban assault weapons”. I like to think the ship of state is righting itself.
July 1, 2022
Older, not especially wiser
Just a thought on getting old. I learned to drive with a stick shift and to type on a manual typewriter I know what “malarkey” is. I’m beginning to see things that aren’t there, and not see things that are there. It’s not my vision. It’s my brain, because I hear things that aren’t here (like my clock that chimed for 30 years) and not hear things that are. President Biden fell off his bike that had stopped (why is he riding at age 79?). Queen Elizabeth is finally using a cane at 96. Nancy Pelosi is 82. It’s time for them all to retire.
June 24, 2022
A Scary Thought
There’s a ride at King’s Island that is so wild and crazy that the people who work in the accompanying gift shop stand by with vomit bags when the riders get off and file through. Let’s face it. There are rides whose sole purpose is to make you scream with fear. Haunted houses are successful if you come out shaking with terror. What I don’t get is why anyone would pay money to be frightened, when you can be just as scared by watching the January 6 Select Committee hearings and watch a President of the United States attempt to change the outcome of a legitimate election and encourage a mindless mob to destroy our democracy.
It’s also scary to think someone voted for him and, good grief, what if he runs again?
June 17, 2022
Thoughts, Prayers, …Oh never mind.
Such a prolific spring! Giant dandelions, weeds overrunning the front bushes, bird nests appearing in never before seen places, not one but four chipmunks (two larger, two smaller) and yesterday two robins having a boistrous good time in the bird bath together. If only all this happiness could be transferred into the hearts of legislators in Washington and they could pass a ban the assault weapons bill. Stop! Think! Please!
June 10, 2022
I just ordered (Amazon point, click, slide to buy) a new notebook, a Mead, praised by Roger Angell “They take ink perfectly”. This will be the latest in a long series of writing receptacles, one being a moleskin, used by Hemingway. This futile attempt to find the best product is mirrored in my also recent purchase of yet another vacuum cleaner. Over 65 years I’ve had big ones, small ones, uprights, canisters, cordless brooms, one strapped on my back but so heavy I couldn’t get out of the chair. This one is really IT! Cordless, lightweight, with two attachments and able to be dismantled into a handheld dust buster. I think I’ve found it!
June 3, 2022
May! What a crazy month! I remember the days when I was teaching and suddenly you had banquets, end of the year grades and reports, graduations, birthdays, Mothers Day, Memorial Day, don’t forget to plant your garden and, this year especially, watch the rain fall OFTEN and then go after those weeds! What a life! It’s not boring.
May 27, 2022
Three Deer Say It All
I forget her exact words, but at some point Alexa nicely asked me if I would rate my recent shopping experience. I replied, just as nicely and without swearing, that it was “none of her business.” She then said she wouldn’t ask me again “for a while.” What is this? I’m talking more to this round thing on the table than to my children. And she seems to have feelings. At least she gets it that perhaps she is not welcome EVERY DAY.
Life can be overwhelming in this modern world: Republicans, the massacre in Texas, Ted Cruz saying “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. What an idiot.
And then three deer quietly walk into the back yard, munch on the new ivy leaves, lie down and take a nap. That’s better.
May 20, 2022
Get Out There and Get to Work!
Thanks to a rainy spring, what used to be my back yard has now become my back , um, um, crazy green foliage pit. The ivy, which was transplanted there to be a ground cover has burgeoned into a three foot tall mass of roots, leaves and occasional flower that is so thick I can’t walk through it without assistance. A dandelion hid in a corner of the house and emerged last week as a four foot tall aggressive weed. One climbing ivy has attacked the back door and threatens to come into the kitchen. The area, which is small and can best be described as one hundredth of an acre wood has seen so far this year a opossum, a skunk, several neighborhood cats, a doe, innumerable birds , the aforementioned chipmunk family and last week a ground hog.
So my mission involves a weed wacker, a chain saw and a shovel. Good luck with this one.
May 13, 2022
Reason and Sanity Redux
As President Biden famously said, “After four years of plague and two years of Covid-19, we’re back!” So spring has returned with a vengeance this year. Not only is everything super green, but the wildlife is especially diverse and active. Saw the first goldfinch today. And the highlight of my afternoon was after I had been singing next to the open door for a while, I stopped and, surprise, there’s a chorus of bird song in the back yard. Wonderful. The cardinals are building a nest in the boxwood right next to the house and the chipmunks have appeared. Four of them, two parents and two younger ones. I’ve never seen more than two and even then they never appeared together. So here we have the whole family with the little ones running back and forth and just so darn cute. Mother Nature Reigns!
May 6, 2022
Who’s in charge here? Oh, white men.
News from the Supreme Court is simply appalling. Overturning Roe vs. Wade! Just as bad is the action of the Republican majority in the Ohio legislature. After a federal judge ruled that the current voting districts have been unlawfully created to favor Republicans, and created a commission and a deadline (this Friday) to come up with a new district map, the members have stalled for two years and now the time ends and the judge will be forced to accept the original district. What blarney. What hypocrisy! I’m voting Democratic for the rest of my life.
April 29, 2022
Spring In So Many Words
My own words are failing to describe the glory of this spring, so I give you Mary Oliver.
Children, It’s Spring
And this is the lady
Whom everyone loves,
In her purple gown
Or, on special occasions,
A dress the color
Of sunlight. She sits
In the mossy weeds and waits
To be noticed.
She loves dampness.
She loves attention.
She loves especially
to be picked by careful fingers,
young fingers, entranced
by what has happened
to the world.
We, the older ones,
Call it Spring,
And we have been through it
But there is still nothing
Like the children bringing home
In their small hands.
April 22, 2022
Small Town News
Our local police department spends a majority of its time escorting drunk college students back to their dorm, issuing parking tickets and following complaints about loud parties. So imagine the excitement when one day they have an armed robbery and a kidnapping! With the same person! A man has a fight over some platinum teeth. He pulls a gun and forces the other guy to drive him to his apartment in town (hence the kidnapping). More altercation and the police are called. And a SWAT team. And the EMT complete with flashing lights and sirens. Finally after several hours the teeth are returned and one man arrested.
Questions remain. Platinum teeth? Whose teeth? A SWAT team? Stay tuned. I’m sure there will be a follow up.
April 15, 2022
By now everyone has seen or heard Julian Lennon singing his Dad’s song “Imagine.” But it’s worth your while to read the lyrics, because, in light of all the horror in this world, the war in Ukraine, the gun violence here at home, they reflect what everyone -- liberal, conservative, right wing, left wing, QAnoner, hippie, crazy, sane-- hopes the future will become.
Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today.
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too.
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one.
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one.
April 8, 2022
And the Winner is . . .
Just for fun I watched the debate between the Republican candidates running to take Rob Portman’s Senate seat. Two of them never lost the opportunity to mention “Trump”, like this was some badge of honor. Never mind that they have hitched their star to a thief, a chronic liar, a treasonous, democracy smashing thug. They’re proud. The third debater, a business man, looks good in his tv ads but was clearly out of his depth. He had to keep consulting his notes for his OPENING STATEMENT! The other two were interesting. One, J.D. Vance, the author, was clearly the most articulate and the other is already in Congress. Stay tuned for the result.
April 1, 2022
HOW OLD AM I?
In fact, I’m so old that the man who was president when I was in high school, Harry Truman, was a veteran of WWI, yes, the FIRST World War, the War to End All Wars . He was a commander of an artillery battalion in France, when they still used horses to pull the caissons.
In fact, I’m so old my mother told me about going to town in the horse and buggy, drawing water from the well and how she took the train to Boston and HER mother warned her about white slavers who kidnapped young women.
And now computers. Cell phones. Facial recognition and watches you can talk to. Stop. Just stop.
March 25, 2022
Older and Wiser
As I approach yet another birthday I wanted to write something about old age, but it seems it’s all been said and done, beginning with Cicero, 2000 years ago and after all, who was he to talk, who died at the age of 61, assassinated because he said something politically incorrect.
Old age. It’s better than the alternative.
March 18, 2022
Spring Into Action . . . Not
Spring! Welcome! I’m hopeful that the student boys next door have moved their party somewhere else. They had a tree stump and an axe and frequent contests involving throwing the axe, counting, yelling and drinking beer. No problem there! So I see it’s been all cleaned up and hope fervently they don’t come back.
The electric skateboarders are out in force also. Today he sped by while eating something.
And to make spring in Oxford memorable, this week saw Green Beer Day. Get your pitcher of green beer for $4 and start the . . . fun?
March 11, 2022
Bad News, Good News.
What is happening in Ukraine is simply horrendous. How can Putin and his generals sleep at night, knowing the misery, despair and just plain evil they are perpetuating every day? They will eventually be accountable , whether in this world or the next.
And BTW, some good news. The lilies are up!
March 4, 2022
Thomas Friedman in last Sunday’s New York Times calls the latest fracas “World War Wired”. Exactly. When the Russians bomb the Ukrainian radio tower with the purpose of disrupting all communication, American Elon Musk helicopters in Starlink terminals so internet service is immediately restored. Russian financial assets are frozen with one key stroke. Pictures from satellites and everyone’s phones go viral around the world. Money and aid come pouring in electronically.
Putin is going to be very sorry.
February 25, 2022
So I see this young man going up Elm Street on his skateboard, but his feet are NOT MOVING! And he’s going at least 20 mph, no seat belt, no helmet, no eye protection. Later he comes back down, at an even faster clip, in the middle of the street. I google “electric skateboard” and sure enough, it’s a thing and possibly the transportation of the future. No parking problems, no filling up at the gas station, no storage garage. Just stop, flip it up, attach it to your backpack and you’re good to go. They’re a little pricey but lots cheaper than a car.
Nothing like living in a college town to catch a sniff of what’s to come..
February 18, 2022
The Choice is Yours
Three possible topics for this week;
a. Why does every cat respond to “Here, kitty kitty” even though his name is Arthur or Fluffy?
b. The origin of the word “cocktail”. Hint – the rear end of a rooster, a particular treatment of a horse’s tail, the French word for eggcup. It’s complicated. Google it.
c. Why metereologists exaggerate or mislead. Example – “winter storm warning for the next 12 hours” followed by “little or no accumulation expected.” Really, It happened.
February 11, 2022
TANKS BUT NO TANKS
I see on the news pictures of Russian WWII tanks rumbling across snow covered fields presumably headed for Ukraine. What are they going to do once they get there? Shoot people? Run them over?
Wake up, Putin. This is not 1945. We have remote controlled drones. Satellites. No one is afraid of a tank. In fact, one was recently brought into a neighborhood park as a museum piece and kids got to climb all over it for fun.
So put on a shirt, Putin, and get with the program. No tanks.
February 4, 2022
Education or Football. Hmmm.
Mob mentality. I see it in the behavior of people at those political rallies we are still hearing about, a year after FPG (Former President Grump) was voted out. They wear tee shirts that spread lies and nod and applaud when FPG spews hate and false statements.
On a happier note, I see mob mentality when a professional sports team wins a game and mobs of fans, whether congregated in a sports bar or gathered in a neighborhood living room, all go crazy, jumping up and down, hugging, yelling, good grief! It’s just a game, folks, and should we be closing down schools in order to . . . WHAT?
January 28, 2022
Disillusioned … again
Another blow to my Disney colored bubble of reality! (I’m still reeling from the fact that “Edelweiss” is not the Austrian national song or that the folk dance in “Sound of Music” was made in Hollywood). So now I find out that “Bambi” was originally written by Felix Salten, a man more well known in his time for salacious pornography ,and the first version had not only the mother gunned down as well as the infamous forest fire, it had sweet little Thumper losing his foot in a bloody trap. His other stories featured a sparrow that hurls itself to death against a windowpane and a dog stabbed to death.
Oh well. What’s next? The seven dwarfs were really marching off to work as part of a chain gang? Cinderella a courtesan in disguise? Stay tuned for the next bubble burster.
January 21, 2022
Bumps In The Road
A little distracted this week, with daughter (third grade teacher faithfully masked) testing positive for Covid 19 Omicron, thankfully vaxxed, boosted and still symptomatic plus 18000 students coming back into town this weekend each with a car, cell phone, and varying degrees of maturity and ability to drive sensibly.
So Hang On Self! Warm weather is on its way!
January 14, 2022
If you’re concerned that FPT (former president Trump) might run for president again and (God forbid) win, let the Department of Justice convict him of leading an insurrection against the government (we all saw him do it) and then the 14th amendment would kick in and forbid him from ever holding office again.
If the name “Washington Redskins” is offensive to you, then let’s just change the mascot logo to a red skinned peanut or a red onion.
January 7, 2022
I remember now -- what I like about winter -- Christmas, gingerbread men, wrapping presents, opening presents, all the candy and moose munch, and especially the view from my couch when I can at last see beyond the trees in the back yard. With all the leaves down, what a sight! The bright blue sky, the birds in full view and today I saw for the second time this week, a murmuration of starlings, or maybe sparrows. They were up so high I couldn’t make out the shape, but the swirling and twisting and speed of the funnel of flapping black wings and bodies ! Wonderful.
And BTW, murmuration comes from, of all things, the Latin, murmurare which means . . . wait for it . . . to murmur.
December 24, 2021
A few days before Christmas and I’m still celebrating Thanksgiving; giving thanks for vaccinations, for a burgeoning family who are all healthy, for cell phones, for Zoom, for Harry and David who are keeping me supplied with apples and pears, for a president who cares, for Liz Cheney who is showing what courage and morality is, and for global warming that is keeping my electric bill down and my (albeit short term) spirits up.
Merry Christmas to all!
December 17, 2021
The Emperor’s New Clothes
So the Emperor, who was a very vain man, was flattered when the crooked tailors sold him some imaginary clothes that would show how very wise he was. They offered him a coat that only a very rich man could wear, and a shirt because he was so attractive to women. “You’ll be able to kiss anyone!” they said, and the Emperor believed them. But when he went out on November 4, some of the people didn’t see the clothes which of course were fake, and one group of voters yelled, “The Emperor doesn’t have any clothes!” and so the Emperor had to leave his White Castle and go back home and the crooked tailors went to jail.
Moral; Don’t believe everything you hear, especially from a vain emperor.
December 10, 2021
Music, the universal healer
Midst all the craziness of the last 18 months, the pandemic, the anti-vaxers, Trump’s criminal behavior, the guns, the violence, the do nothings in Congress, there is, in a remote corner of Southwest Ohio, a group of older, white haired, white men and women who meet every Thursday to sit in a Senior Center building, sip coffee and snacks and listen to a half dozen white men sing out some rigorous blue grass music. Strumming, picking, plucking and slapping, their guitars, bass, banjo and mandolin fill the room with heartfelt music, and nothing is more real and uplifting than their devotion to rhythm, harmony and melody. Thank you, unnamed blue grass band. You are inspiring.
December 3, 2021
THE GREAT ICE CUBE TRAY SAGA
I had plastic ice cube trays that flipped out the cubes with a twist of the wrist. Unfortunately, after a year of twisting and bending the plastic ripped and split and the cubes failed to eject. So on the theory that our past inventions are really better than the newfangled devices, I bought two of the metal trays with the pull up handles. Well, not really, because after a week of struggling with stubborn trays that 1, were smaller than the plastic ones, and 2, the handles broke off, I gave up and bought 4 newer plastic ice cube trays that come with covers, a really good idea, and OMG, a “users manual.” I kid you not. On a piece of paper that was folded to look like a little book but was really just one piece pf paper with 4 steps. Fill the tray, put it in the fridge, give it a twist when done and push the cube out. In four languages.
What really gets me is that my Apple watch came with NO INSTRUCTIONS. Nada. Zip.
November 26, 2021
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!
November 19, 2021
Autumn, It’s Here!
At this point only a few trees are left with leaves. Fall has been pretty late this year. With all the negative news happening, people yelling at each other, shooting, police brutality and just plain stupidity running rampant, it’s refreshing to read from Mary Oliver.
New and Selected Poems, volume two, “Song for Autumn”
In the deep fall
Don’t you imagine the leaves think how
Comfortable it will be to touch
The earth instead of the
Nothingness of air and the endless
Freshets of wind? And don’t you think
The trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
Warm caves, begin to think
Of the birds that will come – six, a dozen – to sleep
Inside their bodies?
November 12, 2021
Help! I’m Falling!
The world seems to be all sixes and sevens ( a 14th century term used in dice games to show disarray and perplexing situations). What has beFALLen us? The pandemic, killing innocent people oF ALL nationalities, a president who refuses to acknowledge his political downFALL and seems to lead an insurrection oF ALL his FALLowers with impunity. An eighteen year old boy who shoots a protestor in Wisconsin and appears on the stand to be such a caring, thoughtful young man, as iF ALL he wanted was to administer first aid. All those black men who are shot by the police while being pulled over for minor traffic infractions. And now my neighbor is building a one family residence in his back yard. Stop the world! I want to FALL off!
Never mind. I’ll just watch the sparrows eat their bread crumbs, the squirrels drink from the bird bath, and best oF ALL , watch the leaves FALL. BeautiFALL!
November 5, 2021
In memory of Mary Oliver 1936-2019
Reading Mary Oliver again, she never disappoints, I discover the delights of eating honey locust blossoms and seeds (I’d do it if I knew what a honey locust looked like) and she ends the poem with a timeless observation;
“So it is
If the heart has devoted itself to love, there is
Not a single inch of emptiness. Gladness gleams
All the way to the grave. “
Amen, Mary. RIP
October 29, 2021
SAP, as in “Don’t be one”
Point of clarification; an acronym is a word formed by the first letters of a series of words, sometimes a title, a name of a group, organization, but it must be able to be pronounced as it is spelled. So OMG is NOT an acronym, while NASA is. OMG is an abbreviation, at best. Most acronyms are used as nouns.
I bring this up because I think I’m seeing more and more of these shortcuts. At the rate we’re going, it won’t be long before we are communicating by acronyms only. No need for those antiquated grammar rules any more! Who cares about “i before e except after c” ? Sentence fragments will be a thing of the past. Puncuation? Commas? The Oxford comma? Fuggetaboutit. Awol, Snap, NASA, Snafu, Unicef, and on and on. Next time you listen to the news, watch for those acronyms. AWARE!
Add to that, SAP. When my sports channel began to have all the announcers speaking Spanish, I tried to change the setting by going to “language” and clicking on “English” but that didn’t work. To make a long story short, I finally Googled it and was told to work my way to SAP through “Audio” and fixed it that way, without ever mentioning “language.” So SAP, Secondary Audio Program, of course.
October 15, 2021
The scene; my couch, close to the open door looking out on back yard, right next to student rental back yard. I’m reveling in the beautiful late afternoon warm sun, blue skies, green leaves, brisk breeze, birds flitting from birdbath to finch feeder and general beauty of life.
The players; me on the couch, several young men milling about their back yard, talking louder than normal because, after all, they’re in a house without benefit of PARENTS.
The action; bringing empty dumpsters up from the curb, loud banging of said dumpsters, throwing dumpsters around , obvious slapping the empty bins
Them: Yew! Gross! (gagging sounds, fake retching, ) Yuck!
Sudden smell of disinfectant.
I turn on my light. Instant quiet. Gagging ceases. Talking becomes quieter. Really quiet.
Then noise, boys, gone.
And there you have it guys, the fun part of living on your own, picking up your own dumpsters, probably complete with worms and maggots as well.
End of scene. I return to the blue skies, warm sun, green leaves, peaceful fall reverie.
October 8, 2021
I have to confess I’m a scaredy-cat. This time of year brings out the image of the black cat, with arched back, hair standing on end and hissing at the world. That’s me, all right, afraid of snakes, ants, unreasonable people like Trumpsters, destruction of the planet from climate change and Republicans in general, just to name a few. So this is why I hate Halloween, a season now, not just a one day holiday, but weeks of ghouls, vampires, monsters, haunted houses and all things scary. Why people pay good money to be frightened (and more money is spent on Halloween than any other holiday even Christmas) is beyond me. Life is scary enough as it is.
October 1, 2021
Indian Summer. Keep it.
Before I start wallowing in a big mea culpa, spurred on by my guilt at being an insensitive white person, calling this beautiful fall weather “Indian Summer”, I googled it and as usual found more than I want to know. Let’s just say there are Indian wars, a lot of metereological talk and people have been saying “Indian Summer” for 200 years, casting no aspersions on Native Americans.
Growing up in New England many years ago, however, we always called it “Indian Summer” because it would be short lived and Mother Nature would be taking it back, like the gift from the “Indian Giver”. WHAT WERE WE THINKING? Squanto didn’t demand his gift of corn back from the Pilgrims that first winter when they all would have died but for his generosity. So we can keep “Indian Summer” but forget “Indian Giver.” Some political correctness is a good thing.
September 24, 2021
What Has Befallen?
Fall. A lovely season. I find myself looking forward to seeing the blue sky out my back yard. I’ve had a complete green canopy all summer. And I can hear the train, but finally I’ll be able to see it. I love the fall colors especially when the green carpet in the yard is replaced with red, orange and brown layers of leaves.
Alas, all those leaves will have to be raked. Not looking forward to the snow covered slippery steps or dragging the rubbish barrels over the icy driveway either. My old bones and muscles doth protest the onset of cold temperatures. Get out the hat and mittens! Wait! Hold it! I’m not looking forward to this at all!
September 17, 2021
There are three deer (at least) that wander at will through the Streets of Oxford. They come to my backyard, nibble the hostas, chew on ivy shoots, drink from the bird bath and, like yesterday, lie down, settle in, and take a nap. I hope I’m not alone in being delighted at their presence. And may I deer say, they are probably very effective at keeping the speeding traffic to a minimum, better than speed limit signs, flashing pedestrian crossing lights or that annoying and useless divider on High Street. For who doesn’t hit the brake when three deer calmly cross the street in front of your car, or slow down just to gawk at the deer appearing silently from behind the bank? Keep up the good work! You Go Girls!!
September 9, 2021
In A Word
What’s with the Netflix series with one word titles? The Crown. Now, The Chair. I can think of several titles for a Netflix series based on my current life; The Retirement. The House. The Car. The Microwave. The Checkbook. The Library, The Couch. Yeah! This is The Life.
August 27, 2021
Left to my own devices
When I was growing up in the 1940’s, we had one device. It was called a “radio.” Every Saturday night we would gather around and listen to “The Lone Ranger” (my favorite), “Amos and Andy” or “The Green Hornet.” A few years later we got another device, a 14” black and white TV. It was a family Christmas present and when we got the rabbit ears antennae adjusted it came on with a choir singing “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” and it was so beautiful Mum and I cried.
Fast forward to this week when my internet connection failed and I called the Spectrum tech man and his first question was “Are all your devices not connected to the internet, or is it just one?” I am nonplussed. How did he know I had more than one device? Furthermore, his question suggests that everyone has more than one internet device. (I happen to have four.)
He had me all fixed in a very short time and I am still in awe that it could be done and also that internet devices are so prolific. But then, I’ve come a long way, baby.
August 20, 2021
How to have fun.
First step; be a man, a real , bona fide man, not a wimpy trans or wannabe, and prove that by sporting a big, bushy beard. Second, get a vehicle, preferably a pick up truck and fill it with men just like you. Then give them a flag and drive around yelling in your masculine voices, threatening violence. “Hang Mike Pence!” “Death to Americans!” Then get out of your vehicle and storm the building, the embassy, the airport, whatever by running wildly and waving your arms.
Then .. . well, there really isn’t a plan. So just go home and have supper.
August 13, 2021
Sexism! It’s Everywhere!
Isn’t it time we addressed the fact that, at least in the Olympics, the women’s teams come before the men’s, as if to say, let’s put the most important team last so we can wait with bated breath for the best in the sport?
One answer would be to alternate the order, one year men play before women, the next time the women play before the men.
Of course, as things are going, soon there will be no “women’s” or “men’s” because all teams will be mixed genders. So how can we distinguish one team from another? Not a or b, because that still implies a is first and therefore better. Not 1 or 2, again because some order is noted. I guess we’ll have to take a cue from the school busses that have names like squirrel or chipmunk, or robin and blue jay.
Go for the gold, Team Blackbird!
August 6, 2021
So I just bought a saw (Amazon, click, swipe and it will arrive tomorrow delivered to my front door and Alexa will tell me when it arrives). I know, I know, if you walk into my garage you will see at least three hand saws as well as two (yes, two) chain saws plus a key hole saw I haven’t used in years. I also have there a pile of sticks, lumber and dead boughs that are too big to be broken on my knee and too small for the chain saw. And I saw a video on AOL of a saw cutting branches and small trees and WOW! That’s exactly what I could use!
So there you have it.
July 30, 2021
Here it is, the last week of July and suffering through the summer doldrums, a period best known at sea as a lack of movement due to no wind. According to Professor Google, “doldrum” comes from a combination of “dull” and “tantrum” and is characterized by a whimsical nothingness. And we are coming up to the dog days of August, a similar phenomenon of hot, motionless days, and having nothing to do with the four legged family pet, but actually named for the star Sirius (meaning “shining” in Greek) the alpha star of the constellation Canis Major (aha! Here’s the dog part) Big Dog because the Romans thought that that particular group of stars looked like a dog, just like the Big Dipper looks like a bear. Right.
July 23, 2021
I recently overheard a young father say to his seven year old son, “That’s not nice.” I don’t even know what he was referring to, but he said it in a matter of fact way, not threatening or angrily or yelling. Just “not nice.”
Now “nice” can mean “pleasant, agreeable” as in “What a nice day” or it can mean “fine, subtle” as in “That’s a nice distinction”. But I think that the boy, and certainly his father, meant it to mean “acceptable, or proper.” And I was impressed that the child was being given some kind of moral boundary, some compass, some limits and I’ll bet that the boy will grow up to be an admirable citizen, and valued member of society.
I’ll also bet that our former president was never told that something was not nice. It appears he always got what he wanted no matter who or what was in his way.
So it’s no surprise that he is not considered to be a nice man.
July 16, 2021
Wireless, wordless, anything but stressless
Have I complained recently about how complicated life has become? There used to be two choices; either “push” or “pull” or if you wanted “on” or “off”, you flipped the switch “up” or “down.” Not any more. Now you have the decision “right click or left click: or “double click.” Or “click and hold”, or “swipe up” or “down” or “to the left” or “to the right”, not to mention all those inscrutable and wordless buttons; little faces that mock your intelligence, arrows pointing to god knows where, rows of dots, single letters signifying anything. And don’t even think about unplugging, wait ten seconds and then replug. It’s ALREADY UNPLUGGED!
July 9, 2021
Oh my, how times have changed!
My annual wellness visit to the doctor went off without a hitch. Really, I could have told her I was well without going to all that trouble. But, oh WELL.
I grew up in the days when you only called the doctor when you were sick. And I remember as a child, our Dr. Burgoyne would come to our house, up the stairs to my room, sit beside the bed, open his big black bag, take out his stethoscope and do his doctor things, which usually involved setting up two glasses of water, teaspoons and instructions to take a spoonful of each every hour. We were so busy following instructions that before you knew it, I was all better!
BTW, when we came to town in 1964, there were two doctors, Goldey and Princell. Now there are two pages of doctors in the phone book (oh gee, I do have a phone book) and some kind of clinic on every street corner. Progress?
July 2, 2021
Depend On It!
The Fourth of July. Pretty much a low level holiday for me. I’m not a fan of loud noises or explosive anythings, I’ve never thought that in order to be patriotic you had to display an American flag, I would never wear red, white and blue all at the same time and I’m too old to march in a parade. One thing you can say in favor of the holiday, though. Unlike President’s Day, Thanksgiving, or Easter, you can be sure of the date and can count on it happening on the FOURTH of JULY..
June 25, 2021
Weather or Not
We always talk about the weather but I don’t think I have ever written about it. But today it’s 48 degrees outside and the last week of June. For heaven’s sake. It’s bad enough that my house and yard have been covered with cicadas for the past month and now cicada bodies, but cold? The high today will be 70 if I’m lucky.
Can we blame Putin for this? Or even better, Trump? My vegan friends maintain that if we stopped eating meat the climate would improve. Or according to the naturalists, stop using chemicals and only use vinegar for cleaning. Farmers! No pesticides or artificial fertilizers! Ditch the plastic bags and plastic forks. Promote bamboo! Please do something. I’m freezing.
June 18, 2021
Socialism. So What?
Have to go to doctor for an annual “wellness” visit, because Medicare won’t pay unless I go every year. Had to accept crutches even though I no longer needed them. Thanks Medicare. My mother was urged to get a bag for her walker. It’s free! Covered by the government. Medicare is paying for all the free vaccines. Truly grateful for that.
Emily makes more money collecting unemployment than if she were working.
Wait! Isn’t this Socialism?
June 11, 2021
The Cicada Shuffle
It involves a sudden, two handed batting of your head, a series of obscenities followed by a run for cover; your car, your house, the nearest space free from those bugs. Yuck.
These are not your lazy, days of summer. Every day it’s sweeping the dead cicada bodies off the sidewalk, clearing the door lintel before you leave the house so you can get to your car without cicadas in your hair, on your clothes, under your feet. I know they’re harmless. But still.
June 4, 2021
The Pet Perfect
I always thought I had the perfect pet. Nutsy the squirrel. He’s no bother, takes care of himself, seems to have eternal life, and has no discernible needs that I can see. But behold! There’s an even better pet out there. The robotic cat. Sits in your lap, purrs, blinks and doesn’t ask to go out, in or anywhere. No trips to the vet, no litter box to clean, no cat food, no messy cat food dish , or scratching furniture. Wow. I’ll take one.
May 28, 2021
Bird Bath Saga
It’s a plain white plastic bird bath with a hollow pedestal which I filled with gravel to stabilize it. I placed it in the back yard, right next to a slender sapling which the birds used as a springboard or just a place to wait their turn or to peruse the quality of the water. But after a year of constant filling, cleaning and picking it up off the ground where the larger animals had turned it over, I decided to move it closer to the sidewalk so I could get to it without fear of tripping on the myriad vines and debris that were on the path. Of course, now it’s ten feet closer to the house and wouldn’t you think it would be a little less popular? Surprise. It’s more popular than ever. The robin (who always bathes alone) comes daily, the cardinal and blue jay each drink regularly and the sparrows (who come in groups) are having a high time drinking, swimming and just splashing to their heart’s content.
The best surprise is that it hasn’t been knocked over once! No sapling to lean against, no array of rocks and logs at its base to keep it upright, it just stays in place. The irony is I moved it so I could get to it easily and so of course I really haven’t had to touch it at all.
So my life concern and source of pleasure is the simple bird bath. I’m truly blessed.
May 21, 2021
My daughters gave me an Apple watch for Mothers’ Day. It came in a box that was practically glued shut, and once opened contained the watch, a charging cord and NOTHING ELSE! No set up directions, no guarantee, no warnings, no help at all. Luckily my daughter had a watch herself, so she knew how to charge it and some basic things but was pretty lost otherwise as this was a new, improved version. New, improved, meaning there are almost no words, captions, or verbal directions of any sort. Instead there are little pictures that could mean just about anything. A little blue drop of water? What? A bed? Luckily Grandson Jack was available and got me synched with my phone. Google has the answer to everything.
The title of this blog should be Mind Boggle II. This little square thing on my wrist measures, feels, keeps track, talks, listens, sings, rings, and if I fall, will call 911. I’m still exploring the possibilities.
May 14, 2021
Boggle the mind.
I recently discovered that a man whom I’ve known ever since we came to Oxford years ago, just had his 97th birthday. O.M.G. He’s only three years away from being 100. He and I grew up on a manual typewriter (push the key down, up pops the metal arm with the inked letter head, press onto the paper, fall back down) and the dial telephone (stick your finger in the hole, push the dial all the way around, finger out, let it return and beware of phone numbers with multiple nines. You’ll be waiting til the cows come home to get done).
The point? Tempus fugit.
May 7, 2021
Are We There Yet?
I just finished reading “Tell Them What You Want” by Laverne Merritt-Gordon, a disturbing account of being Black in this country . She entered Talawanda High School in 1960. We came to Oxford in 1964 so I just missed being there when she was there. She became pregnant her junior year and was forced to leave school, but remarkably came back a year later, graduated and went on to get a college degree from Miami and then a Masters.
I don’t know why I was surprised at the prejudice this girl encountered, because I remember hearing, when we first arrived, that the city pool had just recently been open to all Oxford citizens, even though the Black townies did not make use of it anyway.
I guess we have made some progress in the past 50 years. We can safely say the Ku Klux Klan is probably gone underground for good and Barak Obama opened the political doors for persons of color, not to mention all the Congressmen and women who have broken barriers. But still. George Floyd?
April 30, 2021
Ants. They’re Awful.
Ugh. Ants. The big, black ones are especially abundant this year. The thing is, they are so QUIET. No warning whistle, no predatory hiss. Not a peep. They just appear on the arm of my chair or worse, scamper up my leg.
Today, after I smacked it off my arm and sent it sailing toward the other side of the room, it had the nerve to recover and follow me to the computer desk. I guess it figured, since I hadn’t outright killed him the first time, perhaps we could be friends.
Sorry buddy. Krushed with a Kleenex.
April 23, 2021
Cause for Optimism
After four years of watching the president dismantle the previous administration’s accomplishments, spend much of his time trying to get re-elected and then playing golf, what a refreshing change in the White House! Here’s a true patriot, leading the world in attacking climate change, joining other countries to stop the pandemic , just paying attention to the myriad of problems facing the modern world.
And what a relief the outcome of the trial in Minneapolis was! Finally justice from the judicial system! I remain cautiously optimistic that some systemic change for racial discrimination and police brutality is in the works.
April 16, 2021
Reading “Four Lost Cities”, an interesting account of Catalhoyuk (never heard of it in Turkey), Pompeii (been there), Angkor Wat (somewhere in Southeast Asia) and Cahokia, a prehistoric serpent mound probably a religious settlement in Missouri who practiced human sacrifice (gasp). How barbaric! But wait! What about Joan of Arc? All those Christian martyrs? The so called witches of Salem? Do we think lynchings of black men is civilized behavior? Sadly, some things never change.
April 9, 2021
Spring has sprung!
I’m sure I say this every spring, but WOW, it is such a lovely time of year! The tulips are especially bright, the forsythia fulsome and the grass so lush. What a privilege to sit by the open door and listen to those birds singing their hearts out! And it certainly adds to the optimistic feeling to get my tax refund along with the stimulus check! Yeah Democrats!
April 2, 2021
Sounds of Silence
Things you think but don’t say;
“You expect me to believe that?”
“What an idiot!”
“You call yourself a Christian?”
“I’ve seen/heard/watched this before, ad nauseam.”
March 26, 2021
Try, try again
Right after the tragedy at Sandy Hook, President Obama ordered an inquiry into gun control and put in charge, of all people, his Vice President Joe Biden! And within 33 days VP Biden had completed his work and put out a manifesto consisting of 23 actions that could be done to help curb gun violence. And of course nothing came of it because Republicans were in charge of congress.
So here we are again. The reassuring thing is that Biden is now President and has a commanding knowledge of what can be done. So VP Harris, go get ‘em! Maybe this time, at least background checks on ALL purchases and an assault weapons ban.
March 19, 2021
Spring! Bah! Humbug!
With emphasis on BUG. Lots of them. Little round ones, big flying ones and anticipating the arrival of millions of cicadas, all waking up after 17 years and loudly calling for a mate. And humbug to days of interminable rain, leading to the tracking in of mud on my clean floors. And boo, thumbs down to Daylight Saving Time. Who ever thought that would be a good thing? Big government messing with our lives once again. Spring brings tax forms, not to mention another birthday and thus another year to my rapidly approaching old age.
Oh well. At least we’re done with icy sidewalks, high heating bills and Green Beer Day. Now, on to summer!
March 12, 2021
Water on the basement floor. I understand after a rain, but in a dry spell? Just popping up?
Animals in the basement. Down the chimney? Raccoons? Mice? Through a vent?
Animals in the bedroom. Bats. Been there, done that. Mice? Chewing on paper? Rustling in the waste basket?
Neighbor’s spotlight aimed at my bedroom window. Motion sensored? Timed to stay on 30 seconds? Triggered by the wind? Stray cat? Possum?
Alexa, who refuses to speak to me any more. Instead just blinks blue and green except for a few hours at night. On a timer?
March 5, 2021
Reading a biography of Mike Nichols, I enjoy the description of the first Nichols-May performance. What a hit they were and, Hey! I was there at the Blue Angel nightclub in New York. What a place. A narrow, more like a hall, with small tables and benches along the sides. Drinks only and probably high prices but what the heck! It was 1957 and we weren’t married quite and he was trying to impress me I’m sure and it worked. And we always remembered the piece called “The Teenagers” in which Nichols is trying to persuade May to “go all the way” and it ends with his saying “I’ll respect you SO MUCH.!” A classic catch phrase for sure.
February 26, 2021
Old Age! Let’s Do It!
Being eighty. I love it. Old enough to be helped across the street, young enough to drive, to Zoom with your kids, to eat and drink at will and receive those pay checks every month without lifting a finger! Who said old age was no fun? I get to watch Congressional hearings in the middle of the day, to scroll to my heart’s content on Facebook, to shop on Amazon and revel in those grandkids who are coming up with absolutely wonderful and rewarding careers! Joy!
February 19, 2021
Well, that’s the last time (February 5) I speak in praise of the mild winter. Along comes a double whammy of snow, leaving me with a foot of snow and rubbish barrels buried at the curb. I guess life could deal me with much worse things to complain about. After all, the house is nicely warm, the fire is crackling and the internet is on. Yeah.
The Tale of Two Lawyers
Of course I’m watching the trial in the senate, and can’t help but compare the two sets of lawyers. Nine versus two (maybe more by now) for starters. Then the House side guys were well prepared and spoke from papers in three ring binders. Trump’s lawyer, whose specialty is personal injury (didn’t we call them “ambulance chasers”?) spoke from notes on a legal yellow pad. Obviously a first draft. With the whole world watching, wouldn’t you want to edit, revise or at least have someone look it over?
February 5, 2021
Global Warming Strikes Again
“In the bleak midwinter frosty winds doth moan/Earth stood still as iron, water like a stone”. NOT. I haven’t seen 3 inches of snow or single digit temperatures for several years. I miss watching my student neighbors trying to dig out their cars using brooms, cafeteria trays or bare hands. This week we had 2 inches which quickly washed away in 35 degree weather and a day of rain.
And a historical note; Christ probably was not born in December. “The shepherds watched their flocks by night” because it was too hot to go out during the day. The real Christmas should be celebrated when the weather is warmer.
Another tradition shattered.
January 29, 2021
Life is Full of Mystery/Problems
Mystery/Problems? Major? Minor? The plastic ice cube tray (okay, a minor problem) is not working. What is there to work? It’s a solid piece of plastic, no rips or tears. Either it twists and the cube pops out or not. Not? A second tray seems to work every time. So the old one is not working. Solution? Get a metal one with the handle.
Mystery #2. Major. How can any reasonable, thinking person still believe that President Biden stole the election? That he didn’t win the popular vote as well as the electoral college vote fair and square? And why should Trump get away with inciting an insurrection? Does this mean any president can be immune from any crime? Good Grief!
January 22, 2021
Oh Beautiful for . . .
What a beautiful Inauguration day! The colors, bright purples, yellows and green in contrast to four years of red, white and blue. The music, the masterful brass band and really remarkable horn fanfares, the poetry and presentation by the youngest poet laureate, and oh, the ethnic, religious and racial diversity, so welcome instead of the usual sea of white males. But best of all was to watch President Biden sign 17 orders to begin the overturning of all those awful deeds of the past administration; orders that would protect the Alaskan wildlife refuge, open our borders to immigrants and create a pathway to citizenship, and take the pandemic seriously to name a few.
It’s just such a relief to have a seasoned, compassionate President. Onward!
January 15, 2021
The New Girl in Town
My love/hate relationship with Alexa;
Love; “find James Taylor, Gilbert and Sullivan, Easy listening”
Hate; “I can’t connect with the Wifi . . . blah blah blah“
Love: “What’s the news?”
Hate; “You may have run out of (product like shampoo, food). Can I order it for you?”
The nerve! Trying to sell me something!
January 8, 2021
A Weird Week
I happen to be reading Rachel Maddow’s book Bag Man, about the fall of Spiro Agnew, just as Notmypresident is also experiencing a spectacular and probably criminal defeat at the polls. Although separated by 50 years and they are two very different people, their reaction is remarkably similar. First blame the press! It’s their fault. Then, attack your attackers. Funny how some things never change.
Meanwhile we have had the assault on the Capitol, the mismanagement by the Capitol police, the truly criminal behavior of Notmypresident in inciting the almost all white male hoodlums, the passage of the electoral college vote and
The victory in Georgia that restores my confidence in the people of America. Let’s move on!
January 1, 2021
Fingers crossed that we make it to January 20.
Before reading Barak Obama’s latest book (Christmas present, thanks, Em) I perused the pictures and was struck by how happy he looks. He really enjoyed his job! Unlike the present NotmyPresident, Obama is smiling, laughing, is intensely listening to his advisors and enjoying the company of his children. He Is pictured playing with his dog or reading quietly in a White House garden. I’d forgotten what a normal chief executive looked like! January 20. Get here ASAP.
December 25, 2020
Merry Christmas and Happy Nw Year! It's gotta be better than 2020!
December 18, 2020
A Ray of Sunshine
So I listened to the possible if confirmed Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, describing in reasonable, detailed, admirable prose sentences what he envisioned could be done in the Biden administration; improve a crumbling infrastructure, review public transportation, advance high speed trains, just to name a few. And then I thought, “Who is Transportation Secretary now? Oh, Elain Chau, wife of Majority leader McConnell. And what has she done? And if anything, why haven’t we heard about it?”
The mind boggles when it thinks of how little has been done for this country in the past four years and the heart rejoices to think of the possibilities for the future with competent, qualified people doing the jobs laid out in the Constitution.
Onward to Jan. 20! Good bye 2020!
December 11, 2020
So the White House announces they will be having 25 Christmas parties (these are people who never go to church) and all I can think of is how the Emperor Nero supposedly fiddled while Rome burned. PLAY ON! And then Leave!
December 4, 2020
Winter. Live with it.
For the first time in my life I have put up the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving day. One reason was because the kids were here to help drag it up from the basement. But the main reason was because the coronavirus is really getting DEPRESSING! And the weather is GRAY! Wintery!
The good news, of course, is the election and God willing, the upcoming inauguration of someone who, although too old, at least is reasonable, experienced, and fit for the job. Yeah!
November 27, 2020
Happy Thanksgiving Week! and much to be thankful for; family, competence in the White House, deer in the back yard and food delivery ! Life is okay!
November 20, 2020
The usual leaf quandary. Big pile on the side of the driveway. Lawn guy said he’d come back and take care of it. Not. Drag them to the street with a shovel? Not. Put them in bags? Not. Leave them alone as a pseudo scientific experiment? Will they just blow away? Does herd immunity apply here? Disintegrate in the rain and snow?
I’m going with the leave and let live and hopefully die. I.e., too lazy to tackle it.
November 13, 2020
Eleanor, a First Lady Paragon
I’m reading a biography of Eleanor Roosevelt. Wow! What an active first lady she was! She inspected orphanages, visited homes for the disabled, veterans’ hospitals and many, many schools and institutions for the homeless and poor. And she didn’t just talk to administrators. She inspected – opened closet doors, looked under beds, walked through kitchens -- and when she found something she didn’t like, she got it fixed.
I’m up to WWII. The day after Pearl Harbor, December 8, she got on a plane and flew to Los Angeles, with a refueling stop in Kansas, to talk to people to find out what needed to be done, how Washington could help, what kind of security would be needed to protect the West Coast from possible Japanese invasion. She was a listener.
Every potential First Lady should look at this admirable woman’s life. What an example for us all.
November 6, 2020
Defund and Replace
Defunding the police does not mean, as Trump has said, having therapists answer 911 calls. What you can do, however, is replace armed cops with unarmed traffic cops, people who are solely responsible for all violations concerning cars. According to an article in Sierra, 52% of people’s interactions with police come in the form of traffic stops. “If you’re going to issue a citation for a lane merge or a broken taillight or expired tags, why does it require a gun?”
October 30, 2020
Tis the Season
Mystery, a religious rite known only to the initiated, from the Greek work “to close, shut” related to “mute” and coming to mean “unknown”.
Besides the obvious mystery of why anyone would vote for Trump, my most recent mysteries include the student apartment that looks over my back yard and why it is shining bright red from both windows that I know are her bedroom’s. Or why my Words With Friends game, which used to freeze at least once every game, has suddenly stopped freezing and is behaving normally? Or why Alexa goes on and off line at will?
Should I be asking my microwave?
October 23, 2020
Money Flows Like Water in Trumpland
How often have we seen Not My President Trump seated behind the Resolute desk facing an array of chairs arranged in a semi circle in front of him? It turns out these mostly men have titles like Assistant to the President, Special Assistant to the President or Deputy Assistant to the President, and according to the author of “Melania and Me”, each one is pulling in a six figure salary.
I could go on, but it’s too depressing. The one ray of hope. I’ve voted.
October 16, 2020
Just from watching a few minutes of Not My President Trump’s speech from the balcony of the White House for a Law and Order Rally, I am appalled once again at how much he denigrates and defiles the office of the presidency. How ironic that the Law and Order Man is breaking the law by campaigning from the White House. And he lies and lies and if it were not so terrible, it might be funny. Among other things, he maintained “ Biden is a socialist, well, actually, a communist! Sleepy Joe wants your 911 call to be answered by a therapist! Biden’s people, “THEY” are burning down your churches, looting your cities, destroying the suburbs!”
But it’s not funny. It’s dangerous, hateful and just plain wrong.
October 9, 2020
Indian Summer. Keep it.
Before I start wallowing in a big mea culpa, spurred on by my guilt at being an insensitive white person, calling this beautiful fall weather “Indian Summer”, I googled it and as usual found more than I want to know. Let’s just say there are Indian wars, a lot of metereological talk and people have been saying “Indian Summer” for 200 years, casting no aspersions on Native Americans.
Growing up in New England many years ago, however, we always called it “Indian Summer” because it would be short lived and Mother Nature would be taking it back, like the gift from the “Indian Giver”. WHAT WERE WE THINKING? Squanto didn’t demand his gift of corn back from the Pilgrims that first winter when they all would have died but for his generosity. So we can keep “Indian Summer” but forget “Indian Giver.” Some political correctness is a good thing.
(A rerun from 2001 but still good!)
October 2, 2020
“Beautiful Stay At Home Days”
For all the home schoolers out there, all the virtual reality educators, here’s one more downer. No more snow days! No waiting for that phone call, that specially unexpected day that you are free from planning, grading papers, you can indulge in a two martini lunch, watch it snow and enjoy ! Sorry!
September 25, 2020
One of my favorite New Yorker cartoons; a retired Floridian couple standing waist deep in the steaming fires of Hell. The woman, hugging herself, says “I knew I should have brought a sweater.”
September 18, 2020
My Mysterious Garage
To add to the adventures in the garage (which include the monkey in diapers dead on the banana seat and the man who tried to kill himself with carbon monoxide poisoning) (I’m not making this up) I can add the mystery of the lawn/leaf bag. I went out this morning to find the contents of the paper lawn/leaf bag strewn around the garage floor and the bag itself GONE! Stolen? A bag worth about $1.50? Dragged away by a wild animal but nowhere in sight?
And is it connected to the complete loss of electrical power in the garage only? Life is too mysterious.
Mystery partially solved by electrician who reports that the fuse box breaker switch has been pulled down and off. Raccy the raccoon? You Devil!
September 11, 2020
Just when you think it can’t get any worse – the lying, the name calling, denigrating fallen veterans, the diversions, the golfing – out comes Bob Woodward’s book and the direct quote from the man himself that he deliberately down played the severity of the colvid 19 virus. In fact, he totally misled us all into thinking it was just like the flu and there was no need for precaution. How many deaths could have been prevented if he had just told the truth?
September 4, 2020
Well, fine. Never mind there’s a catastrophe sitting in the White House, a pandemic is decimating our population, Black men are being shot at an alarming rate and two hurricanes are making landfall in the South. I have to have an encounter in my bedroom in the middle of the night with a BAT!
I woke up with a vague unsettled feeling and sure enough, a black shadow passed over my head. Never mind, I think, and go back to sleep. Not. Suddenly a whoosh of cool air hits my face and I hear the flippa flippa of wings. What? So I get up, turn on the light, and sure enough something is flying around my bedroom. And it’s not little. When I’m fully awake, I realize it’s probably a bat, since this has happened to me before, many years ago, but in the daylight. So I grab the only available weapon, a yardstick, and shoo the thing into the next room where it roosts in the overhead light. I open the window, shut the door tightly and triumphantly go back to bed. Not 5 minutes later, flippa flippa flippa, it’s back. This time I open my window wide, stand by the door with my yardstick, and keep batting away (sorry) until finally it finds the window and leaves.
It turns out late August is prime time for bats to get into your house, as they are young still and not too bright. They can squeeze into a space ¼” wide. So I’m hoping that’s the end of it. But I’m sleeping with the yardstick under my bed just in case.
August 28, 2020
Keep It Short!
So here’s the short version of the short evolution. First came Bermuda shorts. Nice modest cut above the knee. Then shorts. Then the skort. And now so short that they can’t get any shorter. Or can they? I’m sorry to have to predict that next to come will be . . . wait for it . . . the THONG! OMG. Say it isn’t so.
August 21, 2020
Sometimes We All Need a Good Laugh
A ventriloquist is performing with his dummy on his lap. He’s telling a dumb blonde joke when a young platinum haired beauty jumps to her feet. “What gives you the right to stereotype blondes that way?” she demands indignantly. “ What does hair color have to do with my worth as a human being?”
Flustered, the ventriloquist begins to stammer an apology.
“You keep out of this” she yells. “I’m talking to that little jerk on your knee.”
August 14, 2020
Abolish the Tic
I’ve been quietly fulminating to myself for several weeks now every time I hear someone say “Democrat party” or “Democrat city.” “ Democrat TIC “ I would yell to no one and try to explain the difference between a noun and an adjective and secretly curse the schools for not teaching old fashioned grammar. But luckily I consulted Google before I went public with my annoyance, and it turns out it is correct to use Democrat as an adjective. It is a common grammatical use, like “shoe store” or “face mask” or “city sidewalk.” So I and other purists will continue to say “Democratic party” and “Democratic governor” but I’ll stop yelling.
August 7, 2020
Out Of This World
Today I watched two astronauts splash down into the Gulf of Mexico after months in space and indeed it was quite thrilling. At the same time I thought “How is IQ45 going to make this to be HIS triumph, how will he take credit for this achievement? “ And then I find out the program was started under Obama! No wonder NotMyPresident never mentioned it as tremendous or fantastic and actually spent the day on the golf course! Bwahahahaha.
July 31, 2020
Sunday, Monday . . .
For retirees, teachers on summer break, the unemployed, the quarantined, the stay at home Moms whose kids have been out of school since March, here’s a list of the days of the week (thanks to Jay Martel in The New Yorker); Someday, Noneday, Whoseday?, Whensday?, Blursday, Whyday?, Doesn’t matterday. Hahaha.
July 24, 2020
Big, happy news for a change! The cardinal takes a bath! Stop thinking about a Catholic church cleric undressing and stepping into a medieval stone tub of water. Au contraire, It’s a red bird, the official bird of Ohio, splashing happily in my freshly filled bird bath. Nice!
July 17, 2020
All In the Family
According to Jonathan Mack, the author of STRANGER AMONG SAINTS, a book about Stephen Hopkins,”” the man who came over on the Mayflower, survived Jamestown and saved Plymouth,” there are hundreds of thousands of descendants among which I am one, duly authorized thanks to the assiduous research by Linda. Even more astonishing, included in our little family are Dan Quayle, Norman Rockwell, Tennessee Williams Richard Gere and O . . . . M . . . G . . . Sarah Palin.
July 10, 2020
What, Me Worried?
I’m “elderly”, still upright although somewhat unsteady and holding on to hand rails and people. My eyesight is dimming, I'm capable of reading but not seeing in the distance the way I used to. I drive, I drink and I just bought a new chain saw. So what can possibly go wrong??
July 3, 2020
Everything is at sexes and sevens (an idiom from the 1300’s referring to a dice game). Complete disarray. Confusion rules. The June bugs are just beginning to appear. Hello! It’s July! And for the first time in 47 years, I’ll have no one at the high school in the fall. No grandchild, no child, not me. Ooh, this will be odd. Will I care if there’s a snow day?
The Not My President is truly psychotic and the Democratic replacement is really too old. Mandy is teaching first grade remotely and reports that it’s virtually impossible. The kids crawl under the table or just walk away for a while.
The only things I can really count on is my Beefeater martini and Rachel Maddow.
Oh well. If we are still here after being at sixes and sevens since 1300, I guess we can make it to November. Vote Blue!
June 26, 2020
Really Sad Times
In my left hand I hold the latest TIME magazine that is filled with pictures of funerals, hospital workers in PPE, families devastated by deaths and illness, while with my right hand I turn on the TV and listen to Donald Trump, leader of this country, whipping a crowd of young people into a frenzy of hate and division. Mostly white, without masks, no social distancing and crammed into a Christian church (God is Love, remember?), no less. Words fail me.
June 19, 2020
According to The New Yorker, Iceland, with a population the size of Denver, has successfully beaten the coronavirus by instant contact tracing and with no mention of masks. They recognized the danger early in January and simply followed every case with a phone call or follow-up visit. Their death rate is far below ours. They are finally allowing visitors into the country but with heavy restrictions. Meanwhile the governor of Massachusetts signed an executive order requiring everyone to wear a mask when entering a store, taking a cab, or using public transit on penalty of a hefty fine. Just sayin.
June 12, 2020
Uh . . . Uh . . .I don’t get it.
Explained at a press briefing; as Churchill stood midst the ruins of London, bombed out by Nazi airstrikes, so not-my-president Trump wanted to stand in front of the Washington D.C. church which suffered a small fire in the basement from the protestors/Nazis as a symbol of . . . uh. . . uh . Anyhow holding a bible, signifying uh … uh. . . .
June 5, 2020
Talk Abut Nutty
Not to be outdone by the protests and craziness in Minneapolis and the copy cat riots in Columbus and Cincinnati, the Oxford Police were called to the apartments on South Locust Street by a man who shot himself in the foot. Oh this wild and crazy town!
May 29, 2020
So little nervous Raccy has become a regular night visitor and last night he began grunting as he was eating. Because I have the door open I can hear him making these sounds, perhaps happiness, perhaps just nervous reaction, but definitely not what you would expect from a raccoon. Of course I happen to know some humans who also make involuntary noises so I guess there’s no surprise here. Hmmm.
May 22, 2020
What I Really Mean . . .
So he says, “I finally get to work outside” and I picture him mowing the grass, digging in the garden, washing the car, until I scroll up and see the real picture; he really means he can take his laptop out on the porch.
Oh the modern world! I have discovered virtual grocery shopping, whereby I stay on the couch, grocery list in one hand and phone in the other. I pull up Kroger’s Shopping Website and just scroll through their complete inventory, clicking on whatever I need; fruits vegetables, meat, canned goods, you name it. Then I add $10, request delivery within 2 hours, they have my credit card, and behold! Ding dong! It’s all delivered to my front porch! Now THAT’s shopping!
May 15, 2020
Stop Worrying! He’s NOT!
My latest wild animal friend is a thin, young raccoon. All I can think of is “gawky”. I try to find the origin of “gawky” and come up with” maybe Norwegian” but probably” unknown”. All I know is that I myself was pretty gawky as a child. Pictures reveal skinny, knobby legs and I remember my Mother feeding me some kind of tonic called “Accesserone” that was supposed to stimulate my appetite. I was pretty thin up until the pregnancies and then all hell broke loose.
Anyhow little Raccy is not only thin but rather nervous and he darts everywhere, even up to my hand (behind the door). Hope he’s not rabid.
May 8, 2020
Those Were The Days
Can you believe that once upon a time we would have a cake and someone would blow on it and then we’d all EAT it?
May 1, 2020
Except for reading THE SOMING OF AGE IN SAMOA by Margaret Meade in college and singing” Bali Hai” from SOUTH PACIFIC, I am woefully ignorant about Polynesia (don’t get me started on our pathetically provincial public school curriculum and its foreign language offerings of Spanish and French but no Arabic or Chinese). I bring this up because Ohio is beginning to loosen up a little and will be opening medical facilities and services and tattoo (a Polynesian word that means “to prick”) parlors but not HAIR SALONS! It’s okay to have your skin disfigured and I have to continue to struggle to keep the hair out of my eyes? Puleeze! Priorities!
April 24, 2020
Unhappy Unbirthday or
Better Luck Next Year
So during my distinctly Unmemorable birthday week I secretly boasted to myself that at my age I am managing to live independently and yes, I am smarter than a squirrel.
Wrong! First I somehow left the car ignition switch on the “on” position , left the car in the garage for two days and consequently let the battery run down completely. Luckily Spring Street Auto came right over and recharged it. Then on the way out to Hueston Woods to completely charge it I ran into and over a HUGE wild turkey. Later that night I opened the glass door to throw out meat scraps for the wild animal friends and got ATTACKED by the raccoon. And then the final insult, I replaced my bird feeders with a new, “SQUIRREL PROOF” feeder that Nutsy immediately figured out and by hanging by his feet, avoided the weighted device and proceeded to decimate the bird seed.
Pride goeth before a fall.
April 17, 2020
If the federal government boasts that they have truckloads, no , airplanefuls of masks, how come we have people making masks out of diapers, tee shirts, plastic page sleeves, scarves, or whatever? Please! We have people so desperate as to offer their first born son for a filtered face protection! (just kidding).
April 10, 2020
The Good Thing About All this . . .
So if you’re not sick, if you still have your job, if you’re “working” at home, here are some positives;
No more 6 a.m. alarms to get you up and out the door.
You can attend meetings via Zoom and still be in your pajamas.
Congregate with your friends, again via Zoom, and just leave whenever you want.
Reconnect with your family.
Shop from your couch. Just “swipe left to place your order”.
April 3, 2020
A new bird came to my back yard feeders this week – a red winged blackbird. He is as black as a crow, but smaller, about the size of a starling. He has small yellow feathers, hardly visible, called epaulettes, on each wing. And what is so distinguishable is the bright flash of red as he flies away. I have often seen the red winged blackbird in the country, flying from farm fences, but never here. I’m delighted.
March 27, 2020
Things I don’t completely understand;
March 20, 2020
Fake News Briefing
The daily coronavirus briefing starring the president, vice-president and numerous doctors and cabinet secretaries.
DT: And now a few words from the chair of this committee, the vice-president.
VP: (Looking directly into the camera) Thank you Mr. President, for your unprecedented leadership in this unprecedented crisis. I thank you, no, the whole country thanks you, no, the whole world is grateful for your decisive handling of these unusual times. And we each thank the Treasury Secretary for the thousand dollar check that we might get to boost the economy and help the stock market recover. Your quick and decisive action, Mr. President, has led us in this fight against the Chinese virus.
DT: And now we’ll take questions if they’re not critical.
Gag me with a spoon.
March 13, 2020
This is a choice?
Democrats! What are you doing? Presenting us with a choice between a grumpy old Grampa who yells and shakes his finger at us and a kindly, old, familiar Grampa who is teetering on the brink of dementia and can’t tell the difference between his wife and his sister? O. M. G.
March 6, 2020
Out of this world
The electricity goes off for literally two minutes. All hell breaks loose. Certain clocks start flashing RESET! RESET! The printer clicks and clacks. Alexa, on her own, shines green and blue and says something about reconnecting and consult your app. Something buzzes in the kitchen and the clothes dryer just permanently stops.
I know it’s not like the Nashville tornado or the coronavirus, but still it’s my little world turned momentarily upside down.
February 28, 2020
When I was growing up (1940’s in New England) there were no extra-marital hugs. In fact, there were few marital hugs (not here, how embarrassing!) and not even household marital hugs (not in front of the children! )If it wasn’t for the sex education class in the Methodist Church Youth group, I would never have known ANYTHING!
Then as the years went on, women began air kissing and an occasional hug. Men, not. Please. A vigorous handshake and elbow grasp was the manly approach.
Now of course there’s no limit to our shameless show of affection.
February 21, 2020
Georges Simenon born in 1903, wrote 75 novels between 1931 and 1972 and I have read over forty of them. They are being reprinted and I am forever grateful. What a treat they are! Here’s a detective, always smoking his pipe, stopping at a nearby bar for a brandy and solving the seemingly impossible puzzles. No cell phone, no computer, he uses any phone that’s nearby, no private car, he walks or uses a department car and driver, he just observes people, analyses behavior and in 150 pages or fewer, does his job. When I reach the end, I feel as if I’ve been to Paris, met these people and solved the problem. Incredible!
February 14, 2020
Going to the Dogs
A bright spot in this dreary time – the Westminster Dog Show. I love it every year. The dogs are so beautiful, so perfectly bred, well-behaved and most importantly HAPPY! The winners. both handler and dog are ecstatic, jumping around and joyful! What a relief from the rest of the sordid news. Thanks, doggies! Arf!
February 7, 2020
You Don’t HAVE to Center Everything.
Lessons learned this week;
1. You can’t switch from using decimals to rounding up totals in your tax calculations in the middle of the program. I did and suddenly had an income of 7 million dollars. Had to start over.
2. Count on Puxatawny Phil, We’ve had a mild winter and Spring will arrive within days. Really.
3. Grandmas rock. Nancy Pelosi rips up the speech delivered by that guilty, lying, poor excuse for a president, Elizabeth Warren is hanging in there and I just saw on TV a Great Grandma, age 103, playing the piano.
January 31, 2020
Well, it’s definitely not right.
Not my President Trump keeps saying, “I’ve done nothing wrong."
He summarily fired a 33 year career diplomat who served with distinction at posts that were often least desirable and when under threat of physical danger. She made the mistake of criticizing the machinations of his personal lawyer who was actively working to find dirt on Joe Biden, Trump’s potential political rival for the 2020 election. Trump was secretly recorded at a dinner, speaking to a man at his table whom he maintains he doesn’t know, saying to him “Get her out. Take her out. Just do it.”
That’s. Just. Plain. Wrong.
January 24, 2020
Age is taking its toll. Not only am I shrinking and my hair thinning, but my mind is beginning to miss a beat now and then. If I don’t write it down, whatever it was will disappear. My e mail account is so screwed up it finally just quit. I started another one, but I’m sure I’m missing some contacts. I’m missing some of my favorite TV programs and I never get to the end of a football game.
The truth is, I really don’t care. Technology has made life so complicated over the past 50 years that everyone expects to miss something. And in fact, I never miss a text from the kids, the Sunday New York Times crossword, or the end of a noteworthy book. I play the piano, finish a knitting project, bake bread from scratch and whip up a mean apple pie.
Wait! What was I saying?
My Facebook page was humming this morning, all about the “kitten in the tree” episode. There was lots of hand wringing “Oh, the poor little thing, pathetically mewing”, resentment, “Why can’t the fire department rescue it? It’s not their policy to rescue kittens?” disgust, “You’re all so silly” and friendly anger, “You’re heartless!”
All I can say is I remember our own “kitten in the tree” experience and my daughter standing under the stranded kitten holding a pillow, looking up and saying, “Jump, Snowball! I’ll catch you!” I don’t remember how it all ended. I just know that 25 years later the kitten is no longer in the tree.
January 10, 2020
It’s a crazy world.
The Assassinator-in-chief says that the Iranian general was “a coward.” The man had just gotten off the plane and was driving toward a meeting. How much courage did it take to get off the golf course, pick up the phone and order the execution of someone? How courageous to push a button and an unmanned drone flies out, seeks its target and obliterates the guy and the car beside him as well? We don’t know what the consequences will be, but we can hope that the result will be seen in the election in November. Vote Blue no matter Who!
January 3, 2020
I do love January, a chance to make changes or new beginnings. Keep the Christmas wreath up for at least a month. Replace a few pictures with something different. New bird feeder. Start a new knitting project. I get to open a new daily journal with a fresh page. I file away a year’s worth of book reviews, blog pages and check book receipts. And this year, it’s a new DECADE! Hoping to get rid of the orange man and his cadre of crooked cronies and replace him with possibly a WOMAN? Oh the thought. The hope. 2020, here we come!
December 27, 2019
The last week of the decade! Time to send out cards, put up the tree, light the lights, candles in the windows, presents wrapped, cookies baked, family appears, gifts unwrapped, food consumed, OMG. Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!
December 20, 2019
Just the facts, sir.
I can remember when you could choose between “true” and “false.” Not any more. Now you have to figure out if it’s a “fact” or “alternative fact”, if what you are reading is based on truth or something made up, if there is a real person behind some information on the internet or just some robot in Russia.
Nixon said “I am not a crook.” Oh, YES YOU WERE!
Trump says “I did nothing wrong.” Oh, YES YOU DID!
December 13, 2019
From Dumpty by John Lithgow
Hentsy Pentsy sat on a fence,
The most vapid and vacant of vice presidents.
A poem? Alas, at the end of the day,
Quite frankly, dear reader, there’s not much to say.
December 6, 2019
From Dumpty by John Lithgow
Trumpty Dumpty wanted a wall
To stir up a rabid political brawl.
His Republican rivals, both feckless and stodgy,
Succumbed in the end to his rank demagogy.
Dumpty’s wall made no earthly sense,
A boondoggle built at enormous expense.
But he promised in speeches despotic and shrill,
He’d make certain that Mexico footed the bill.
Trumpty Dumpty kept insisting.
More and more citizens started resisting.
Sadly there won’t be an end to this tale,
At least until reasonable people prevail.
November 29, 2019
I should have majored in Home Ec
A brief moment with my calculator/phone reveals that I have been cooking for over sixty years.
And talk about unprepared. I remember standing over the sink with a knife, a bag of apples, a pie plate and a Bachelor’s Degree in classics. Hours later I did make an apple pie, but it was just the beginning of over sixty hears of learning.
So onward to rolls and salad. Happy Thanksgiving!
November 22, 2019
Who’s in charge?
Right up there with the mysterious rankings of count, viscount, duke, earl, lord and baron, we now have, thanks to the interminable House of Representative hearings the just as mysterious secretary, deputy, assistant, under deputy, under secretary, assistant deputy and probably the assistant assistant.
The good news; they all seem to know who their boss is.
November 15, 2019
Not OK, Boomer
(and I’m not completely sure what that means)
OK, I’m too old to be a boomer, and certainly not a Gen X, Z or a millennial. Perhaps my generation is “antique.” I recently learned that some millennials cannot tell time with an analog clock, you know, the round ones with moving pointers. They can’t write cursive and I know of one young lady who doubted that she could get back to college without her phone and GPS help, even though she has made the trip hundreds of times.
What I do know is that for at least two thousand years people have committed acts of kindness, cherished pets (one Roman matron had a pet eel and decorated it with earrings) marked off time (albeit with a sun dial) and respected the rule of law. There have been dependable politicians, upright judges and honest elections. So in spite of what you hear on TV or read on Face Book, the good life goes on and honesty will prevail. Keep the faith!
November 8, 2019
Tah, tah, tah dee dah!
From the Late show. Sing it with apologies to Frank Sinatra;
Ta ta ta dee dah. Ta ta ta dee dah, DAH
Start spreading the news
Trump’s leaving to day
He wants to be apart from it
New York New York
Go tell the fake news
He’s longing to stray
Just like he s done on every wife
Uno, dos and tres
I want to wake up in a city
Without a Trump
And let him stay in Palm Beach
At his tacky gold dump
His w 2’s
Are holding the clues
Of all the sleazy deals he’s cut
In old New York
Trump’s time now here is gone
And I hope he takes his sons
And Rudy too
New York New York!
October 25, 2019
Halloween has never been my favorite holiday. It encourages children to beg and then to eat large amounts of candy. I’ve never understood the pleasure some people get by being frightened. Isn’t life scary enough without ghosts, goblins, fake ghouls, blood dripping, witches, and grotesque pumpkin heads?
Not only do Americans spend almost as much money on Halloween as they do for Christmas, but now the one day holiday, October 31, All Saints Day, has turned into a two week spree of parades, mazes, haunted houses, up town businesses trick or treat, neighborhood lights on, candy give aways, church sponsored parties, the list goes on.
If the trend continues, we’ll soon be seeing four weeks of Halloween, two days for Thanksgiving, another four to five weeks of Christmas.
Bah. Boo. Humbug.
October 18, 2019
On the playground the bully will repeat an insult back, rather than attempt to supply his own epithet. So when you say, “You’re stupid!”, he’ll just say “No, YOU’RE stupid!” So if someone accuses him of making up “fake news”, the bully in chief just shouts “No, YOU’RE fake news!” Or if it would seem the not-my-president is accused of being corrupt, he turns around and says “No, BIDEN is corrupt!”
And he just did it again this week. After losing his temper in a meeting with Nancy Pelosi, and someone accuses him of “losing it”, he turns around and says Pelosi “lost it.”
Sorry, Biggest Bully Ever. Weak. We’re not buying it.
October 11, 2019
A Toad’s Story
Years ago, in the early days of our country, men would travel from town to town selling bogus medicine, snake oil, fake curatives. And part of their sales pitch would be the enlistment of a “ toady”, short for “toad eater”. The salesman would have his assistant eat a toad, which was (supposedly) known to be poisonous. Then he would apply his wondrous elixir and behold! The toady was healed!
Thus a toady has become known as someone who would do anything, often illegal or immoral, for the benefit of the man he works for.
Enter our Vice President.
October 4, 2019
What? We Can’t Hear You!
The crickets are out and loudly rubbing their wings (not legs) together. According to Wikipedia, they are indulging in a mating call this time of year, usually at night
. I’m reminded of the male Miami students, who seem to indulge in their own brand of mating call and feel the need to SHOUT and TALK LOUDLY when outside, whether at a party or just in their yard but almost always in the presence of females. Turn up the volume, men. The women of the world are listening.
September 27, 2019
Democracy at Work
Just finished watching what will be known as the “Whistleblower Hearings.” Really sad but uplifting in a way. The Director of National Intelligence testifies that upon receiving the report, he goes to the White House to show it to the President’s lawyers and then the President himself. Then it’s off to the Department of Justice because Att. General Barr is also named. Nothing there! So since democracy seems to be dead, it’s up to Congress to hang on…and they do! Nothing spectacular except reasonable men and women, elected by the people, pursuing corruption and election interference. More witnesses to come! Down with the Dictator! Up with the people!
September 20, 2019
Vive la difference! Encore!
Observation while waiting for a haircut; brothers, waiting for their Dad, the older one slaps the younger on the butt. Hard. Both laugh and joke. Enjoyment. I’m thinking. Girls don’t ever do that. We don’t hit each other and rejoice. Boys have always found pleasure in physical contact, usually loud and violent. Girls not.
Previously noted; Three grandchildren in the toy room, all under the age of 8. The girls playing with dolls and clothes and legos. The boy, the youngest,, crawls over to the fan. Hmmm. How does this work? I f I turn this switch ,what happens? This is fun!
September 6, 2019
This has been the week of the hurricane. Dorian dominated the headlines every day until finally it blew itself out to sea. Much destruction in the Bahamas and some disruption for freshman granddaughter at the College of Charleston when she had to pile all her belongings high up on her bed (her dorm room is on the first floor) before she went home .
But beautiful fall weather here. Temp in the 70’s, just enough rain to keep the grass green and the trees still vibrant and full. Three cheers for retirement and September! Keep those checks coming!
August 30, 2019
The signs on High Street (the main drag) say “no U turn” but drivers frequently insist on taking a sharp left turn to get to a parking space on the other side of the street. Finally someone has clarified this behavior. That maneuver is known as a J turn. So either get a new sign that says “No J turn” or rewrite the law.
August 23, 2019
HANGING BY A THREAD
I never said I was the brightest star in the sky, but I really don’t understand what Not-My-President Trump meant when he said any Jew who voted for a Democrat was being disloyal to his country. Does this mean ANYONE who votes Democratic is being disloyal? What is he talking about?
The man is truly unhinged.
Tis the season for bringing your daughter to college and if it’s the first time, every mother I know experiences that uncontrollable weep session. For some reason it doesn’t happen with your son, and after that freshman year, not ever again with your daughter. I guess by that time you’ve figured out that there are real advantages to having one less kid in the house, empty nesting is empty resting, or you’re saving your tears for when you see the tuition bills.
August 9, 2019
Mum’s the Word
I’ll NEVER get tired of summer. Of not wearing a jacket, hat and mittens. Of not shoveling snow or slipping on the ice. Of battling the student traffic, fighting for a parking space or turning on the lights in the late afternoon. Really. I love summer. So why do I feel just a hint of happiness when I see the plastic Halloween pumpkins popping up at the grocery store? When it gets a little darker in the late evening? When the naked ladies appear in the back yard and the first chrysanthemums show up at the farm store? Okay. I guess I’m looking forward to a change of season, after all. Sshh! Here comes Fall!
August 2, 2019
Did You Ever?
Mini family reunion on tap with corn hole tournament, Mom’s rolls, Hampton Inn breakfasts, lots of catching up with granddaughter just back from Southeast Asia and a rousing round of “Down By the Bay”!
Did you ever see a pig . . . wearing a wig?
Did you ever see a doe . . . reading Edgar Allen Poe?
July 26, 2019
I’ll bet I’m not the only one in this world who finds solace from the ugliness in Washington by watching birds. For an hour every morning I can sit next to my open door and watch the sparrows, starlings, blue jays, cardinals and others peck away at the breakfast buffet of bread crumbs and nuts. My special visitor this year has been the catbird, easily distinguished by his mewing call and smart appearance with his black cap and long, perky tail. Not to mention the squirrels and their fat, lazy cousin Mr. Groundhog, who lives under the back step and wanders around the neighborhood, unfazed by people and anyone else. It’s pleasant and peaceful. I’ll take it.
July 19, 2019
It’s a pulpit all right and it’s not pretty.
Sickening. Frightening. Our (not my) President just concluded an hour long campaign event, highlighting Made in America objects like boats, missile launchers and motorcycles and then a long tirade about how everything is wonderful here blah statistic, blah more statistics, all probably lies if you look at his track record. Then more tirade against the four not totally white Congresswomen who he says they are free to leave the country if they don’t like it. Non sequiturs, racial slurs, out of context quotes, it’s all in the bully pulpit and it’s ugly.
July 12, 2019
INTERESTING FACT WEEK
From Annie Dillard; “It is interesting, the debris in the air. A surprising portion of it is spider legs, and bits thereof. Spider legs are flimsy because they are hollow. They lack muscles; compressed air moves them. Consequently they snap off easily and blow about.
We inhale many hundreds of particles in each breath we take. Air routinely carries intimate fragments of dung, carcasses, leaves and leaf hairs, coral, coal, skin, sweat, soap, silt, pollen, algae, bacteria, spores, soot, ammonia, and spit, as well as salt crystals from ocean whitecaps, dust scraped off distant mountains, micro bits of cooled magma blown from volcanoes and microfragments from tropical forest fires."
July 5, 2019
An Essay on Clothespins
Will necessarily be short because no one has a clothesline or a clothespin bag anymore. Nevertheless I use a clothespin, the one with a metal hinge and two wooden parts, to hold my sandal strap together while the glue settles, for keeping the potato chip bag closed, to steady the iron railing up the front steps, to make a plain metal hangar into a pants hangar and to substitute for a book mark in an emergency.
June 28, 2019
Everybody! Stop calling members of the Democratic party “DEMS”. It’s another example of how not-my-president Trump influences people’s thinking. Repeat, repeat, repeat and pretty soon everyone is saying it. “Dems” sounds just a little reminiscent of “dumb” or “dim.” It’s disrespectful. Unpatriotic. Stupid. We don’t call the Republicans “Reps.”
And note that I said “Democratic”, not “Democrat”. It’s not “the Democrat party.” It’s “the Democratic party”. Let’s not be dragged down to the simplistic, idiosyncratic and often completely wrong level of English language usage as seen from the White House.
Oh, by the way, it’s okay to call Trump “a twit.”
June 21, 2019
The Silent Visitor
Too much rain! Hastas on steroids! Ivy running amok! Trees growing out of control! Unfortunately the farmers are suffering. Most have less than half the seeds in and rain predicted well into next week.
Meanwhile I am visited by Bambi (sorry, wrong gender, she’s an obvious nursing mother) almost every day. I sit next to the open sliding glass door reading intently and all of a sudden, there she is, oh so quietly picking her way around the house, sniffing out the bird feeder, sipping from the bird bath, nibbling at the new leaves and just standing and listening with those huge ears. We have a staring contest and then off she goes, incredibly quietly for such a large animal. No hurry. Just walking delicately out the yard and probably back to her faun who is sleeping behind the bank. Love it.
June 14, 2019
A President We CanTrust
He’s an only child, his father a doctor and mother, a secretary, brought up in a middle class, Midwestern city. Goes to Harvard and majors in history and literature. As a Rhodes scholar, he studies analytic philosophy among other things and becomes fluent in Arabic and Norwegian. Back home he joins a consulting firm. With three others in a team, he goes to companies, collects data, does stuff with a computer program, analyzes the problems and creates solutions. Loves political campaigns, runs for mayor himself and wins. As mayor he similarly creates consulting teams, collects data and solves problems. He plays the piano. He reads extensively.
Pete Buttigieg. We need you in the White House.
June 7, 2019
Che sera, sera
It has been remarked (by those 65 and over) that the younger generation has access to any and all information. Just mention an unknown fact and the young person will whip out his/her phone and have the information within seconds. Need to know a news story from 1975? Out comes the device and an almost immediate quote from a reliable source. What was the population of our city ten years ago you idly speculate. Blah blah blah comes the data straight from the pocket phone and the nimble fingers.
What does this all mean, you wonder. To where is this all leading us? A universal dumbing down? Like we no longer know anyone’s phone number. Or the smartest generation ever? Stay tuned. Che sera, sera. (you can look that up, too, in case you never heard Doris Day, nee Kappelhoff, singing “Whatever will be, will be).
May 24, 2019
Just Another Day
Just when I have the feeling that life is slowing down . . .
“Natalie H” appears on an orange in Connecticut.
A Mother’s Day package arrives in the mail.
Jack’s baseball season has begun and I hurry to access Game Changer on my phone.
I finished “Where The Crawdads Sing” and am left breathless at the end.
Not-my-president Trump has a melt-down in the Rose Garden.
May 17, 2019
Oh No You Don’t!
Backyard action around the food scrap on the ground for the opossum. The neighborhood cat approaches, sees me keeping watch, abruptly turns and hightails away. Which reminds me of my teacher life time when girls used to smoke in the rest room. So the teachers whose rooms were nearby would take turns, inbetween classes, and just go in and stand by the door. The girls would rush in, OOPS, then rush out. Or take a cursory poke at their hair in the mirror and then rush out. Mission accomplished!
May 10, 2019
Hey! Come Back!
“Aleksa! Aleksa!” I’m yelling at the now silent cylindrical tube which proceeds to pulsate purple rings. Grrr. I consult my reset instructions. Unplug and plug. Unplug, wait 10 seconds, plug. Nothing. I consult the app. I scroll up, I scroll down. I search. I swipe. I poke, I double poke. After watching and waiting through the green rings, blue, green and blue, purple and finally ORANGE! I run back to the app. Nothing. The wifi connection is supposed to appear in my phone settings, but nothing.
So after two days of repeat moves, setting changes, phone confirmations, go forward, go back, I decide to try one last time. In desperation I pick up my phone and to avoid all this running back and forth from the phone in one room to the Echo in another, I carry it and sit directly in front of the speaker. And guess what? It connects at the first try. Maybe the two devices had to be in the same room! OMG. I’m going to be so smart when/if I reach 90!
May 3, 2019
COME AGAIN SOME OTHER DAY
Rain, rain, go away. This is more than ridiculous. It’s not just that everything is WET, but everything is GROWING! Here it is the first week of May and the dandelions are a foot high, the paths are completely overgrown, the lilacs are so beautiful that a strange woman came to my door asking if she could pick some, the tulips are exploding and the lilies of the valley are taking over the garden. The upside is the dead blue jay has disappeared into the ivy patch.
April 26, 2019
Recent Email from Not My President;
Natalie, Every year the Corrupt Media holds a total snoozefest White House Correspondents dinner where they thrive off their negativity and hatred towards me and my Administration.
On April 27th, while the Liberal Elites mingle with the Corrupt Media, I’ll be holding an EPIC rally in Wisconsin with REAL AMERICAN PATRIOTS.
He goes on to invite me and my guest to have a chance to share the night and have our picture taken with him for a donation of $5. What truly sickened me was how divisive his rhetoric is, his continual denigration of the free press (a cornerstone of democracy) and how self absorbed he continually is (the White House dinner is all about hatred towards him and his administration). He is really unfit to be president and truly scary.
April 19, 2019
HOW’S THAT AGAIN?
Just to help you out with the pronunciation of the name of one of the latest candidates for President, Pete Buttigieg, Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, it kinda goes along with “butter dish.”
April 12, 2019
Really Important Things I’ve Learned This Week
Rats can feel emotions. If you rub a rat’s tummy it will squeal with happiness at a decibel level higher than we can hear but can be detected by a squeal detector. Their ears will also turn pink.
Most birds either hop or walk, but robins are one of the few species that both hop AND walk.
Of course in Wisconsin robins are neither hopping or walking because it’s SNOWING!!
April 4, 2019
A College Degree Doesn’t Necessarily Make You Smart
The mason who was working on my brick wall was telling me how he had constructed a stoop for a college dorm and when finished put several barricades up and surrounded the area with yellow warning tape. Then along came a college student who walked around the barricades, stepped over the tape and stepped into the still mushy 8 inches of concrete. Then she complained that the mason wouldn’t fish out her flip flop which was sunk irretrievably into the step.
Just like the student who wanted his fake ID back from the cops in case he could use it again.
You can’t make this stuff up.
March 29, 2019
Words of more than two syllables
“Exonerate” means to “clear of an accusation,” “to free from blame.” Either Mr. Trump does not understand the meaning of the word, or he did not read the direct quote from the Mueller report which said the President was NOT exonerated, especially in regard to obstructing justice. Two more years of this?
March 22, 2019
Hello! May I Help You?
I’m jotting down the story of my life and just realized I had forgotten that year, or was it two?, that I was a car hop. Oh yes, complete with smart white boots, red shorts, white blouse and a jaunty red pill box hat, I worked at the Adventure Car Hop on Rte. 1 in Saugus, serving everyone traveling from Maine to Massachusetts and efficiently bringing out hamburgers for 35 cents or ice cream soda for 25 cents. And I made good money too.
March 15, 2019
News Flash! Beto O’Rourke is running for president! Yeah! Now if he chooses Oprah as his running mate, we’ll have a winner! Can’t wait for the debates!
March 8, 2019
“March came in like a lion/ a whippin up the water in the bay.” Ah, the alliteration! How I love the music in “Carousel”! And how tired I am of this lion like weather! Snow? More? Cold? Hats and mittens? Just STOP!
March 1, 2019
Facts from Ian Frazier; of all the domesticated animals, none become feral more readily, or survive better in the wild, than the hog. In 1982, eighteen states had wild hogs. By 1999, nine more states had reported hogs. By 2004 wild hogs could be found in twenty-eight states and on and on . There are currently in the United States about four million wild hogs.
Hogs can detect scent coming from as far away as seven miles and from twenty five feet underground. They’ve been known to swim across open ocean as far as two miles.
February 22, 2019
A Tall Tale
Not-my-president Trump recently had his annual physical checkup and he’s just fine. But thanks to Rachel Maddow’s research staff, it was noted that his height, remaining the same as last year, is probably incorrect. He is listed as 6’2 or 3 (I can’t remember exactly), but definitely not 6’ which is what the evidence shows he probably is. Does he have to lie about everything? After posting pictures of him next to people whose height we actually know, it is obvious that Jeb Bush (6’3”) is taller, Justin Trudeau (6’2”) also taller, and Barak Obama (6’) is just about equal.
February 15, 2019
Are We There Yet?
My annual paean to Spring; the skunk, possum and groundhog have surfaced, the birds are singing , the snow has melted, temperature above freezing, Punxutawny Phil did not see his shadow, my taxes are done, I’m ready!
February 8, 2019
Snap! Page One. Snap! Page Two.
I read in the paper that Miami University is digitalizing as many of their archives as possible, including the yearbooks from 1896, the student newspaper and other stuff. I wondered how that was done and accompanying the article was a picture of a student at a computer sitting next to a mounted camera that was facing an open book. And it takes 5 hours to digitalize 240 pages. They actually take a picture of every page. Holy smoke! Isn’t there some other way? Think how many man hours it will take to digitalize the Library of Congress! If we can send a man to the moon, can’t we digitalize a little more efficiently?
February 1, 2019
Donald Trump’s Hell
The middle seat on a commercial flight from Washington to LA.
No seconds on the chocolate cake.
A one hour wait in the security clearance line. Take off your shoes and empty your pockets.
Neckties that end at your belt buckle.
January 25, 2019
There is no pleasure without pain. No spring without winter. Plato.
Even in the dead of winter, life goes on. The squirrel this morning was busy stripping the bark off a tree and running away with it, I guess to build a nest. He’s not eating it, that’s for sure. And then, hopping along as if it were April, a robin. I know it’s warm today, 48 degrees, but a robin? I also know that sometimes they do not migrate, so there you are.
January 18, 2019
Since the first significant snowfall of the season I have marveled how thousands of tree limbs have become studies in black and white. One night I tried to take a picture of them as they were backlit by the city lights, but the result was just not as awe inspiring as the real scene. Snow is beautiful, especially if someone comes and shovels it for you, if it doesn’t get all dirty from traffic and if you don’t have to go out anyhow.
And straight from the White House by way of Stephen Colbert, the visiting college football champs were served an elegant buffet of hamberders, chicken nergrets, felaygo fitz, frunch firs and pizzaz.
January 11, 2019
The Three R’s; Retreat, Resign, Retire.
There’s only one way out of this Trump/wall impasse; forget the wall, make a deal that you and all members of your family will never be indicted for anything, resign, retire to Florida and play golf. Please.
January 4, 2019
Phew! It’s Hot in Here!
Looking at the past three January 1 diary entries, the temperature was 30, 4 and 6, as compared to this year’s temperature of 45. No warming trend? No climate change? And Trump includes in his list of FAKE ACCOMPLISHMENTS several obstructions to Obama’s efforts to combat the rise of sea levels and warming temperatures. Shame. Bad. Bigly wrong.
December 28, 2018
A Message to our Bumbler in Chief
Quotes from Stephen Colbert; " There’s a wedge in the White House. The simplest of tools." All the actions from Trump this week will benefit Putin and Putin’s cronies. No wonder Putin was happy.
Please! Go to Florida and play some golf. We’ll all feel better.
December 21, 2018
Gingerbread Men. One year they were too soft and after I hung them on the tree we would hear a gentle “plop” “plop” as one by one the bodies would disengage from the heads and gently fall to the floor. This year I added a dollop more of molasses and a generous tsp. of ginger but oops too much baking soda so they blew up in the oven and came out delicious but looking like grossly overweight men with severe facial seizures and distorted limbs. You’d think, after over fifty years of gingerbread men, I’d do better than that!
December 14, 2018
It’s Never Too Late to Expand Your Vocabulary
I sure love reading The New Yorker. In one article I learned three new words; “ludic”, meaning “funny”, “twee” meaning “quaintly old fashioned” and “oneiric”, “having to do with dreams.” Just sayin.
December 7. 2018
Old? What are you talking about?
Biden for President? I always said “too old” but under the circumstances ,i.e. another four years of Trump, no clear winner on the Democratic side, clearly well experienced, maybe 76 is not as old as I thought. Even though I remember that he had a habit of shooting off at the mouth, nothing can remotely compare to our present MOUTH. Anyone would be a relief from this orange nightmare.
November 30, 2018
Pretty Useless Information
Did you know that birds can smell? This particular talent varies from species to species, but birds with especially large olfactory bulbs , like parrots and sea birds, have greater capacity than others. It’s not the size of the beak, in which case the pelican would win hands down, but the little organ deeper into the head…oh just Google it.
November 23, 2018
November 16, 2018
A Sorry Sight
This morning I was asked two different times what I think is a really dumb question; “Do you want a bag with that?” I seethed within. Of course I want a bag. I’m supposed to walk out of the United Dairy Farmer store grasping a loaf of bread and a bottle of milk? Or worse, walk out of the liquor store with a large bottle of gin tucked under my arm? What’s the matter with you?
Oh sorry. Being a little testy. Someone needs a nap.
And by the way. The baby possum died. In the garage. Either from the cold, or something he ate, or from the effects of being stuck in my airtight garbage can for a week. More sorry.
November 9, 2018
Oprobably Oplaying Oppossum
I first noticed him nosing around the breakfast bird buffet, a black furred animal, too small to be a raccoon or skunk, too large for a bird. Then one night he lifted his head and I saw the triangular opossum white face and skinny white tail, so I assumed it was a young opossum. One day after rubbish pick up, I left the can open with a plastic bag liner in, just to air it out a bit. That night, as I came out with the bag of daily garbage, I noticed the plastic bag had gotten bunched up at the bottom, so I reached down to readjust it and YEOW! It’s an animal down there! Badly startled, I tipped the can over and presumed the animal would take the opportunity to exit. Later I straightened it up, threw in the garbage and firmly set on the lid. There! That’ll keep any animals out. Little did I suspect, that I was keeping the animal IN.
So the week goes by, I deftly throwing the daily bag of garbage into the can, the opossum, as I now know, munching away. Until yesterday, when it was once again put out the garbage day, and I throw in my last bag, only to see this ball of fur on the top. Once again YEOW! But I’m determined this time and I tip the can over. Nothing. So I grab a broomstick handle and start poking. Nothing. He’s acting dead. Oh My God! He’s playing possum! More aggressive poking and he refuses to move. I finally dislodge his inert body and sure enough, once onto the garage floor he kinda moves, shakes himself awake and waddles under the car. Waddles because he’s been stuffing himself for a week, trapped in that airless, smelly garbage can.
So at this point I don’t know whether he’s alive or dead. Let the story oplay itself out.
November 2, 2018
Shoot Out in the Not OK Corral
Not-my-president Trump suggests that the massacre in the Pittsburgh synagogue could have been prevented if the Jews had more armed guards inside.
Oh, let’s see. Two men, each carrying a fully automatic assault rifle, shooting it out in a room filled with innocent, unarmed people. What could possibly go wrong?
October 26, 2018
Halloween. Boo. Humbug.
My least favorite holiday is Halloween when eating candy which has no food value and is detrimental to your teeth is encouraged. When people spend a lot of money on stuff that is supposed to scare you; haunted houses, gory movies, dark decorations, ghoulish costumes. Ugh. Isn’t life frightening enough?
October 19, 2018
E-MOO-tional adventure story
A cow fell into the swimming pool. I know that sounds like an opening line of a short story but it really happened. Last week while Emily the college girl was home on fall break, and Jack the high schooler had just gotten home from school, there was a loud WHOOSH from the back yard and Jack looked out to see a cow dangling in the deep end of the pool. She was falling fast and soon only her face was above water. He yelled for Emily, who called 911 and then shouted, “We’ve got to save her!” So out they went and contrived to get her front legs on the ripped plastic pool cover and somehow drag her to the shallow end where she simply walked out, shook herself dry like a dog and proceeded out to the road whereby causing a traffic jam of fire truck, two police cars, and an ambulance.
Sorry. End of story.
October 12, 2018
Every year in the fall, the population of my Midwestern town doubles and along with the 15000 students, come at least a thousand cars. This year the burgeoning within the square mile has been confounded by an electric scooter company, given permission by a city council which has temporarily lost its mind, to introduce to the population 100 electric scooters, soon to be 150 and then joined by a second company with 300 more. Enabled by a driver’s license and credit card and elated by the vague and confusing rules, the 20 year olds are now flying down my street on two wheels and a GPS, without helmets or regard for anyone else on the street or sidewalk. More to come.
October 5, 2018
Vive La Difference!
Recounting with friends about children, how boys and girls will be very different, and how I had three grandchildren in the “toy” room and the girls, ages 7 and 9, immediately start to play with the dolls, the picture books and other toys, while the boy, age 3, went for the fan, which was not even running. “How did it work? What did this button do? Can I turn it on? Off?”
Probably a universal phenomenon.
September 28, 2018
How Can It Be Fake if it comes from the President’s Own mouth?
OMG! Concerning the NotMyPresident’s 90 minute news conference, where to begin? First, Judge Kavanagh’s (nor his wife’s nor those BEAUTIFUL children’s) life is not going to be ruined because he is NOT a justice of the Supreme Court. Then, Trump did NOT get 52% of the women’s vote. He got 52% of WHITE women’s vote. Hillary got the majority of women’s votes. He has not been accused (falsely, of course) of sexual assault by 4 or 5 women. It was more like 15. The judge’s accusers, never dignified with names, just those women, or that person, are part of a CON job, orchestrated by Democrats, of course. OMG. He went on and on and ended the conference when someone asked, “What do you have to say to the young men of this country?”
September 21, 2018
Stand up and be counted!
Concerning the Supreme Court nominee, Judge Kavanaugh and the woman who has come forth with an attempted assault charge , I feel strongly that this is serious and of major importance. Obviously this woman was emotionally affected by the incident, and even though it happened 35 years ago, it still has stayed with her. For the guys, of course they have forgotten it. But for the girl, it’s still there.
She has passed a lie detector test and is willing to testify under oath. And so should he. Even bigger, the country should see and understand the Judge’s attitude toward women. He might be voting on the life of Roe vs. Wade, and his vote on the Supreme Court will affect every woman and girl for generations to come.
Will there be enough senators who will stand up and say “no” to this nominee? We’ll see.
September 14, 2018
True Story That Must Be Told
While the student renter next door was away for the summer (lock the door and turn off all the lights), an enterprising burglar found a way in and took off with his tv and other stuff. But the real news is that he returned a week later, even when the student was back and actually in the house talking to his insurance rep, and went back into the house with an eye out for the mini fridge and full length mirror. The student and insurance guy, hearing the burglar enter the back door, exited the front door and went across the street and stood on the porch to see what would happen. The burglar by this time had purloined a grocery cart from Kroger’s (I’m not making this up) because the mini fridge and mirror would not fit into his bike basket and then proceeded to load up and start up Walnut Street. Of course he was apprehended by the Oxford police (um. . . a little conspicuous on his bike trailing a grocery cart with fridge and mirror) and according to the police report was arrested for burglary and receiving stolen property (the Kroger cart) as well as possession of drug paraphernalia (a hypodermic needle in his pocket “just in case he had a chance to do drugs”. )
The incredibly foolhardy burglar is now in the Butler County jail and maybe we are all a little safer on West Collins Street although that is debatable.
September 7, 2018
Time to Act
This does seem like an endless summer. The leaves are for the most part still green, the grass continues to grow and the heat and humidity are insufferable. Only the robins seem to know that winter will come and have departed south. And now the EU is contemplating ending Daylight Saving Time. Oh Yes! Let’s do it! It’s just nuts all this tampering with the clock. End it. I think it has to be an act of Congress. Oh well. Fuggedaboutit!
August 24, 2018
Me in Computerland
My little arrow keeps freezing up, right in the middle of my bridge game, so I run to my phone and Google “curser” “foiled again”, oh sorry, “cursor”, “freezing” “Windows 10” and several sites pop up. What follows is a trip through a series of blank walls. I manage Control pretty easily (window plus x) and then device management, but am stymied at Mouse properties. Nothing. I know I’m looking for “disable hide the arrow while typing” but can’t seem to get there. After several more blind alleys I turn it off and add a bridge game to my phone. Go to bed.
Next day I try again. Zilch. So I open the phone book (yes, that old fashioned printed thing) to “computer repair” and then try one more time, this time taking a different route (“settings” is always good) and sure enough I get through “device” “mouse” “properties” and after one more step that I have forgotten, Voila! There it is! I click it off. Turn off the computer, wait an hour, turn it back on and Lo and Behold, the arrow is moving!
So far. I have learned that in the cyber world of today, nothing is very dependable.
And so the saga continues. Once again, the arrow freezes. So I resort to my high tech, cyber smart maneuver. I CHANGE THE BATTERIES! OMG! It seems to work!
August 17, 2018
Awesomeness! Is it really a word?
The CBS Evening News ended with a story about a 7 year old kid who caught a fly ball at a MLB game and then gave it to a younger kid who was having a birthday. In a subsequent interview it turns out that there had been a previous incident where the younger kid had given a fly ball to ANOTHER kid and at the end of the interview, the one kid says, “Line of awesomeness!” Very inventive!
So I’m trying to think of another example of a “line of awesomeness” and the best I can come up with is the Rockefeller Center Rockette Chorus line! Oh I know! Every Easter in the Boston Globe there would be a picture of this Irish family of 12 children, all dressed in similar dresses and suits, made by their industrious mother! Line of awesomeness indeed!
August 10, 2018
Emojis are getting out of control. Not only am I faced with what appears to be hundreds of choices of little yellow faces depicting every emotion possible, but now there’s an app that will make one for you that looks like you. You choose eye color, hair style, etc. and voila, there you have your own little yellow face. Ridiculous.
What happened to the exclamation point? The one key that will do it all! Sadness! Happiness! Outrage! Surprise! It’s right there on the top row of your keyboard. Simplify!
August 3, 2018
Oh Gee! My Yacht!
The Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos has ten yachts and recently she called 911 because one of them had been vandalized. Someone had untied her yacht and let it go adrift. That’s vandalism? That woman is miles away from reality. And the country’s children’s education is in her hands? More scary.
July 27, 2018
Talk About a Bad Day
What a terrible news day. A duck boat capsizes and this woman loses her husband and three young children. President Trump calls himself a favorite president. Reality, sir! And a human cannonball is shot out of his cannon, misses the safety net and lands in the crowd. Ouch! Tornados are running rampant across the country, a man shoots another because he was pushed down and goes scot free because of the “stand your ground” law. Ooooh Scary. In Florida if you just feel threatened, not your life, but just bodily harm, you can pull out your gun and kill. Fine.
July 20, 2018
Who’s With Us and Who’s Not?
In an interview with CBS news anchor Jeff Glor, not-my-president Trump said that one of his major goals was peace and stability.. Well, yes. I so agree with that. But then his remarks at the press conference in Helsinki were so upsetting, it’s as if he forgot his major goals. To ignore his own government’s report on the Russian interference in the election does not rank up there with stability. Sure, world peace will be assured if we’re friends with Kim and Putin. But what about our allies?
Trump is so insecure and egotistical that he can’t stand the idea that his election might have been compromised. So he believes Putin’s assertion that he didn’t interfere over the 27 page indictment by his own prosecutor with facts and proof. Then he nominates for a high criminal justice position a man with ties with a Russian bank.
The man just isn’t temperamentally suited to be a leader of the free world.
July 13, 2018
Give Us Direction!
With all the headlines of lies, unfaithfulness, perversion, corruption and illegalities, I feel an urgent need to see someone stand up and do what is right - to act because it is the moral thing to do, not because it’s profitable. Free those displaced women and children who are seeking amnesty. Take them out of the holding pens and let them live here, for heavens sake. Appoint government officials who are qualified, never mind what political party they belong to. And remove from office anyone who will not see right from wrong, bad from good. This country needs a moral compass, sadly lacking in our blabbermouth, egotistical president.
July 6, 2018
IT’S REALLY HARD TO BELIEVE
I recently read about an Australian man with a suspended license who allegedly drove drunk to a police station and told them he had come to check in per the terms for his bail on an earlier drunk driving charge.
Or the Kentucky man who siphoned gas from a police car, had his girl friend take a picture and posted it on Facebook. Needless to say the police found him and arrested him forthwith.
Finally, right here in town, a Miami student was hauled into the police station for using a fake ID at a local bar, issued a citation and then released. On his way out, he asked if he could have his ID back, so he could use it again. DUH!
June 29, 2018
There’s so much going on that I don’t understand. Why did the First Lady wear a coat that said “I don’t care” as she went on her way to show that she DID care about the immigrants being separated from their children? Or why are the Department of Education and Labor combined? Because teachers work hard? I guess we all know that. Where is the overlap? I sincerely hope the rational is explained.
June 22, 2018
The Golden Voice
He’s such a narcissistic moron. Can’t let a day, hour, nay, minute go by without causing attention to himself. Right now we’re waiting with bated breath, for some kind of announcement that will stop breaking up families of illegal immigrants. He doesn’t know what the announcement will be because it’s being written as he speaks by someone back at the White House. So wait for it. Meanwhile he’ll conduct a meeting in which he’s surrounded by rich white guys who volunteer to speak for the press about how great a leader their man is. Oh, sorry. It’s not the cabinet meeting. Same thing though.
I feel as if the country is being led blindly down a path by a bumbling fool, who makes friends with other fat guys with funny hair and who refuses to condemn the Russians who obviously meddled in our elections. He doesn’t have a derogatory nickname for Putin because, after all, Vlad loves gold curtains as much as he does.
So now we have to watch him criss cross the country, babbling incoherencies and lies, and basking in the adoration of huge crowds, the size of which the world has never seen, all encouraging him to blame every problem on the Democrats. OMG, is there no stopping him? Oh yes. Hand him his golf clubs and get him to the golf course so we can have a few hours of blessed silence.
June 15, 2018
So when I get to the Pearly Gates (and it’s getting closer and closer) and St. Peter has to decide whether to let me in , all the pets will line up and say, “NO”, including Stubby the mongrel with frothing mouth, Butler, the parakeet whom we taught to say “Here Kitty”, the countless gerbils, stray cats, guinea pigs and all the tropical fish whom I fried by turning the fish tank heater in the wrong direction and boiled them all to death. Oh, Sorry! But on the other hand, all the birds, squirrels and trees (if they have a vote) will attest to my compassion and will say, “Let Her In!”
June 8, 2018
Growing invisibly. I never see weeds actually growing, but all of a sudden, there they are, and this year, thanks to the abundant rain and the hottest May on record, the green growth around my house is staggering. The yucca stalks appeared overnight.
Of course it’s a lot like kids. They’re toddlers one day and then, OMG, they’re six feet tall and going off to college.
June 1, 2018
Better? More is Better?
Stop updating! Stop improving! Stop adding options! I like everything just the way it is now. I can’t make up any more passwords! I certainly can’t remember any more. I barely remember the ones I have now. I just spent hours waiting for an update. Then it says I have to licence it within 9 days or it will expire. Just spend $99 a year! Don’t think so. Take your updated program and go away.
Then the library shut down (electronically) for several days to add improvements. Not so. Instead they have added three more kinds of digital formats. For pity sake, all I want is a book. Please. A BOOK! Is that so hard? I finally find it but not without a lot of scrolling.
Life. I’m sure this is all Trump’s fault.
Oh just kidding.
May 25, 2018
The New Life; Must vs. May
Must change the diapers. At one point (looking back, probably an all time low) three at once.
Must go to work.
Must be in classroom by 7:15 a.m.
May get up or not.
May go shopping if I want to.
May wear shoes or stay in slippers.
May 18. 2018
And the grand exodus begins! City streets are clogged with parents’ cars loading up, rent-a-trucks opening onto driveways and streets, kids making endless trips through their open doors to the curbside with lamps, mattresses, rugs, wastebaskets, boxes, bedding and trash Graduation is Saturday and the town will slowly empty out.
Meanwhile, the dumpster diving has commenced! Go for it!
May 11, 2018
At the NRA convention, not-my-President Trump suggested that if everyone carried a gun, a mass murder could be prevented. The mind boggles at everybody shooting willy nilly, sure, killing the perpetrator but also killing others. Good Lord.
At the same meeting, not-my-Vice president Pence said “The gun lobby is one of the most potent forces for good in this country.” Yes, like they encourage people to use assault weapons, buy and sell guns with minimal background checks and have gun shows. My kind of group, that’s for sure.
And as for the Second Amendment – we all have the right to own a gun, just not an assault rifle. We also all have the right to own a car, just not a TANK!
May 3, 2018
What’s My Job?
There’s a story in our family about the New England Film employee who was drafted in WWII and when asked his occupation, he replied “projectionist” because that’s what he did; show movies on the 16mm projector. Well, leave it to the Navy to misname him a “pharmacist” and so he found himself in the middle of the Pacific, required to perform an appendectomy.
I think of this because it might explain our current head of the Environmental Protection Agency who, when asked to serve by President Trump, must have heard “Environmental Destruction Agency” thus explaining his selling off parts of the national park lands, encouraging the pipe lines ravaging our country and now allowing drilling off the Massachusetts shore line. Not to mention lowering the bar on poisonous emissions into the air, encouraging more coal mining and ignoring the drinking water disaster in Flint, Michigan.
Pruitt is a disaster.
April 27, 2018
First Families or How I Miss the Obamas
I watched Barbara Bush’s funeral service and was impressed with many things; her honesty, her love for her husband over 72 years, her devotion to her family and to her special interests such as illiteracy . Time and again she was described as genuine, authentic and straightforward. And I watched Melania Trump and wondered if she was thinking at all how different her husband’s life is compared to the Bush family. How Trump has a malicious nickname for almost anyone who questions him, how he lies so easily, how he deals with his money or treats women. What a contrast of two families.
April 20, 2018
Birthday Week. And it’s been unusually cold. Couldn’t plant my birthday tulip bulbs because it snowed! Actually, in spite of all the warm thoughts and best wishes, it’s been a little depressing. And Barbara Bush died on my birthday. What a sport she was. I think I’ll cancel the rest of the 80 birthdays and just wait for 90. Because that can be considered OLD.
April 13, 2018
Snow on grass. Why am I surprised?
It is spring, even though there is snow on the ground and the temperature hovers around freezing. The forsythia is in full bloom, the lilies are green, the daffodils are blooming, all the regular birds are back, and this morning I woke to a huge bug skittering across the carpet. I mean it was big, like a small horse, with at least four legs and it was galloping. Welcome new season!
April 6, 2018
NOT GOING MY WAY
Our latest swamp dweller, the Secretary of the Interior, is selling off parts of our National Park in Utah for oil and gas companies to develop drilling for profit, of course. I’m sickened.
Our own Oxford City is not much better, as it allows builders to erect four story structures where grass and trees once were. Yuck! More sacrifice of natural green growth for money. And of course they have to provide parking spaces for the new tenants, so more lawn and shrubs are destroyed so we can accommodate more cars.
I think I’ll pick up my knitting and go watch the birds. Deep breath.
March 30. 2018
Once again, with feeling
The Secretary of the Interior has replaced scientists in the department with political hacks. “ The ominous pattern that is clearly being revealed is the elimination from the Government of career men of long experience and high professional competence and their replacement by political appointees.” (The New Yorker, March 26}
Oh. Wait. They were talking about the Eisenhower administration.
March 23, 2018
Really! Let Him Play Golf!
I just feel so much safer when he’s on the golf course in Mar a Lago than when he’s in the White House, looking at the red buttons on his desk, one that would fetch him a diet Coke, the other that would instigate a nuclear attack on Russia or North Korea.
March 16, 2018
The Truth Hurts
Harry S . Truman was probably, of all the modern age presidents, the only one who didn’t have an extra marital affair. Known as “give ‘em hell” Harry for his whistle stop train campaign style, he is famous for saying “I never gave anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell.”
March 9, 2018
Writing a memoir. Interesting experience. The more you dwell, the more comes up! I’m remembering stuff I’d never recall if it weren’t for the time I’m spending looking at old pictures, some 75 years old.
Second world war. Okay I confess my older brother really has a lot more than I do, but still, little stuff comes back. Like the blimp sailing over our house toward the naval base. Or the movie, “Kill or be killed.” War is bad no matter what.
March 2, 2018
TO DO LIST
It’s not that tricky.
1. Ban all automatic and semiautomatic assault guns. Illegal. You can’t own one. Take the money you would spend on a grand military parade and offer to buy them back. Then give them to the Defense department. They’re the only people who are making assaults.
2. Put a highly trained resource officer in every school.. Just one, with all the high tech equipment available, surveillance cameras, smart phones, that’s all you need. DON’T ARM TEACHERS! For pity sake, they have enough to do. Practice drills for them and the students are good.
3. Stricter control of sales of all guns. Background checks. Raise the age to 21 and have a waiting period.
February 23, 2018
RAINING CATS AND DOGS
There’s so much going on in the swamp, it’s hard to keep up.
The Stormy thing. The porn star was paid 130 thousand to keep quiet, right before the campaign.
The inauguration left over fund money. Twenty six million paid to some company for nothing and the woman who owned the company got 1 million for herself.
Senator Grassly sponsored a bill that made it easier for mentally ill to purchase guns. They don’t have to be on the federal list. Signed by the President without fanfare.
The Russian indictments. They did all that infiltration, propaganda on Facebook and Twitter without any communication with Americans? And how come all their stuff was favorable to Trump and against Clinton and others? Statement from the White House; NO COLLUSION. Well, guess what. I think we’ve figured it out that the more you say something, and the louder you say it, it probably isn’t true.
February 16, 2018
See you Later, Allegator!
He just doesn’t stop. The great Allege-ator is complaining about allegations even though, as candidate, he alleged that Obama was born in Kenya, that Hillary was so crooked she should be put in jail, that Ted Cruz’s father was in on JFK’s assassination, and even now alleges that the Clintons are allies with Russia, that the FBI cannot be trusted and lots of people in the Department of Justice are liars. The Allegator in Chief!
February 9, 2018
No Escaping Justice
From the small town police blotter;
A student returned to his parked car uptown, only to find a boot attached to his tire which prevented him from driving until he paid his parking fine. Aha, he thinks. So he removes the tire and replaces it with the spare. Drives home. Meanwhile someone reports his action to the police who trace him down and show up at his apartment where they confiscate the stolen boot and take the kid to jail.
The moral; THINK before you steal from the POLICE! Duh!
Then on Sunday night, a 65 year old man was celebrating the Super Bowl, got drunk and drove his car into a fire truck. Major damage to car, minor scratch on truck.
You can’t make this up.
February 2, 2018
Uh oh. The dreaded blank page. Writer’s block. The “nothing has happened this week” moment. Except that the students are back, there are no parking places anywhere in town and there are some crazy drivers now who not only drive too fast, but text at the same time. Kids go shopping at Kroger’s in their pajamas and according to the police report, are getting drunker than ever. Counting the days when they all go home again. Oh wait. This IS their home.
January 26, 2018
Time Flies When You’re Having Fun
Where did this week go? First the bluegrass jam, then the chocolate meltdown affair, then the gallery opening for Kelley’s paintings, daily duets, a frenzy of eating out and morning cappachinos! Whew! And it’s still January?
January 19, 2018
New Year’s Resolution
The last words of Buddha; “Make of yourself a light.” Not to shine on yourself, Oh Donald Not My President, but elsewhere in the world and to do some good. Oh, gosh. I’d better get going. Compared to a lot of people I know, I’m afraid I’m fallen short in the “do good” department. So this would make a good new year’s resolution if there was any hope that I would actually fulfill it, or for heaven’s sake, I would remember it by next week.
January 12, 2018
Easy Does It!
As the years go by, so many things are easier; telephone calls (smart phones), remembering addresses and phone numbers, (contacts) directions (GPS), keeping warm (smart thermostats), listening to music (Echo) car maintenance (computer notifications) texting (just talk).
What isn’t easier? Playing a musical instrument, making gingerbread cookies, finding the right Christmas present or cleaning out the fireplace. Life. And, it seems, keeping track of my blog.
December 29, 2017
I am much more in the Thanksgiving spirit than in the Christmas celebration and the religion that Trump seems to be taking credit for.
I am very grateful for
1. my furnace that is keeping the house at 72 degrees when the high today was a toasty 11.
2. the less than an inch snowfall yet this year, when Erie PA has 5 feet of snow and more to come
3. Aleksa, who brings me any music I want with wonderful quality. Listened to Sound of Music this afternoon.
4. my children, who rallied around for Mandy’s party, a whopping success.
5. my grandchildren, who also rallied around for the party, buying and blowing up the golden balloons, providing the 70’s music, two hours downloaded, and swept up all the confetti left by the spontaneous bursting of the balloons at the end.
6. the never ending supply of good books for my entertainment – thanks New York Times reviews, Lane Public Library, friends, kids and Face Book recommendations.
December 22, 2017
The Power of Words
Maureen Dowd gets the sentence of the week award, as seen in last Sunday’s New York Times;
“Every day TV anchors breathlessly report some bizarre new insult or accusation or hissy fit or Putin nuzzling by the president, as he wanders around howling in the storm like a late-stage Lear – raging, blowing, spouting, wits turning – in his White House of dark delusions.”
Oh how I love those last five words. Sad.
December 15, 2017
“Bully” comes from the Dutch “boele”which means “lover” or “sweetheart.” Theodore Roosevelt first used the word “bully pulpit” to mean using a position of power to advocate for a cause. “Bully” at that time meant “wonderful” or “good”. So of course now it has nothing to do with the male cow, or “bully for you”, but instead means pushing your way to the top by preying on someone weaker. Hmm. Just sayin.
December 8, 2017
Little House NOT on the Prairie, Thank Goodness
I am reading the biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of “Little House on the Prairie” and others. She lived her early life on the prairie, oddly enough, but, OMG, what a prairie. Blizzards lasting for days, all winter long. Here we have three inches of snow and everything shuts down. No school, no parking, emergency! Back in the 19th century, they had swarms of locusts that would swoop down and devour crops, clothing, small pets, anything that moved. So don’t complain when every 17 years we have cicadas that OMG, make a lot of noise. Laura’s family endured drought, malaria, poverty, disease and Indian attacks. And we complain when we can’t find a parking place?
Really. Life is good.
December 1, 2017
I wanted to say something about all the lying that’s going on, especially from the Liar-in-Chief. I always thought that lying by the president began with Nixon, but it appears that people have been lying since time began, so I’ll let others speak;
Plato, fifth century B.C. False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.
Thomas Jefferson, 1786; He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.
The thing is, I was brought up to believe that all lying is wrong. But somewhere along these 80 years, things changed and for some people it became okay to lie as long as you were not caught. So the scenario was, you lie, and if everyone buys it, you let it go! Wrong! A lie is a lie. It’s not right. Ever. Deal with this, people, and stop all this obfuscation, this obstruction, this alternative fact stuff . Veritas. Truth. I want it back.
November 24, 2017
Incredibly grateful for family, friends and free parking spaces until the students come back.
November 17, 2017
Wheelin’, Dealin’, Idealin’
Just a thought. If deals (Trump) can bring about world peace, then okay! Let’s do it. Get North Korea to the table and start talking. Exchange goods and services, buy and sell, encourage commerce, not warheads.
Because ideals (Obama) like honesty, integrity and morality don’t seem to be very effective.
November 10, 2017
I’m not trying to be unpatriotic or disloyal to my country. But our president just keeps on getting it wrong. After the murders in the Texas church, he says that it’s not about guns. Oh no, it’s about mental health. Well, in that case, why did he rescind Obama’s order to make it harder for people with mental health problems to get guns? And then he says, if it wasn’t for that truck driver having a gun, thousands more might have been killed. Oh please. The guy drives his truck after the assassin had left the church and follows him for 10 miles and then shoots him in the foot, even though the murderer actually shoots himself. Just get it right, Donald. Please.
November 3, 2017
Gosh! The news has gotten so disturbing, I’m afraid to turn the tv on. Indictments, lies, guilty pleas, misstatements, finger pointing (at Hillary of course), distractions, and now another killing spree (by truck) in New York. More finger pointing (those awful immigrants) and Trump’s Cabinet people who seem hell bent to destroy the very office to which they are appointed. The Environmental Protection Secretary is determined to bring back coal into the atmosphere. The Education Secretary promotes private schools and God knows what trouble Rick Perry plans to do with Energy.
Good news? Ummm. I’m trying. Ummm. Maybe next week.
October 27, 2017
So my prescription bottle for high blood pressure pills says, “no more refills.” Hum. I hem and haw and finally call the doctor’s office which has a hot line for refilling prescriptions. I leave my name there. Nothing happens. After a few hours I call the office directly and am told everyone is busy and leave my name and problem and they’ll get back with me. Nothing. Nothing . Finally, “ding, ding” message from my pharmacy, my prescription is ready. !!!
I’m a little put out. I have managed to get my prescription filled without seeing or talking to one human being. Like, doesn’t anyone want to know if my blood pressure is okay? I guess this is very efficient, but hello! Is anyone there? I’m not complaining. I really didn’t want to go to the doctor’s office anyway. It’s just the principle I guess.
October 20, 2017
Touchdown! Arms raised in victory! Or the frantic two handed “T” for a time out. And we have some classic hand gestures like Trump’s “thumbs up” sign when his poll numbers are good. Or the “thumbs down” as a measure of disapproval, truly classical as it was used by Caesar to show no mercy to a hapless gladiator. Not to mention the “thumb the nose at” or as it’s known as “the five finger salute” probably replaced nowadays by expletives and blatant bad language.
I’m going nowhere with this. It’s been a slow week.
October 13, 2017
The Eyes Have It.
Eye movements for the Trump Era;
Eye roll. Another golf weekend?
Sideways look. Is he serious?
Squint. What is he talking about? Cofeve.
October 6, 2017
Common courtesy. Have we forgotten all about it? It’s when someone sneezes and you say “God Bless You.” You don’t have to really think God will bless you, you may not even believe in God. It certainly isn’t going to cure your ailment; but it’s just common courtesy.
So if a funeral procession goes by, it’s just common courtesy to stand respectfully, or at least refrain from loud laughter or obscene gestures. So it should be when the national anthem is sung. It’s just common courtesy to stand quietly, don’t continue to laugh and play, or anything. It doesn’t matter how you feel about the nation or its treatment of people of color or anything. Just stand or kneel if you want, quietly until it’s over. It won’t kill you.
And BTW, Spokesperson Sanders accuses anyone who wants to talk about gun control of “politicizing” a tragedy such as the Las Vegas massacre. It’s not politics. It’s policy. And now is exactly the time to talk about banning automatic weapons. When the rat-a-tat sound of 100 rounds of bullets per minute is still echoing in our ears.
September 29, 2017
My Reverse Bucket List
Things I vow I’ll never do again;
Red seats at the Reds game
Butler County Fair
And BTW, has it ever occurred to anyone that in the 8 years of Obamacare, no one has come up with a better plan because THERE IS NO BETTER PLAN??? Even with a Republican President and Republican majorities in both houses, no one has come up with a health care plan that a majority favors. In fact, people in wheelchairs and waving signs have flooded the Senate office buildings in Washington to protest any attempt to repeal or replace the ACA. Give it up.
September 22, 2017
Iphone the Almighty
Probably as a result of my overzealous weeding yesterday, I woke up this morning with the tip of my index finger swollen, red and throbbing with pain. And sure enough, I find on the internet the very same index finger swollen, red and throbbing, a result of aggravated arthritis and treatable with hot and cold compresses. I’m so impressed. What used to be my “telephone” is now my doctor, encyclopedia, auto mechanic, nutritionist, cook, landscape consultant, yellow pages, family archivist, game player, librarian and camera.
I know. In spite of my Iphone being omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent, it is not God. It seems powerless (no pun intended) to prevent hurricanes, unfortunate election results or fat dictators with funny hair cuts. But who knows. Maybe soon.
September 15, 2017
Leave Home While You Can!
Talk about a perfect storm. This weekend will see a return of warm weather, clear skies, Miami Homecoming featuring a rival football game with neighboring Cincinnati, high school reunion parties and of all things, a neighborhood picnic. Parking will be at a premium and loud groups of inebriated college students will prevail. Evacuation is mandatory.
September 8, 2017
STICKS AND STONES. OUCH.
There’s been a complaint on Facebook about the comments and how nasty they have become. It’s true, and what bothers me the most is not the bad spelling or the swearing, although that is bad too, but the name calling. Libtard, whatever that is, or snowflake or whatever. And we can blame Trump for that because all throughout the campaign, he called out names; “crooked” Hillary, “lying” Ted, and he would say it all the time, so many times that eventually I’ll bet some people began to believe it was true.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me”. Well, yes, names DO hurt. They DO count. So just stop it.
September 1, 2017
A neighboring town which will be unnamed so I don’t embarrass anyone, is more like a speedbump on a state route. Along the one main road which you can transverse in 2 minutes, there’s a bar, two churches, a historical marker designating it as the birthplace of a fairly obscure national baseball manager, a small public park and as of the census of 2010, a population of 561.
But for several years now, well, three exactly, they have been celebrating the end of summer with the “Annual Reunion and Fall Festival” and I make note of this because of the featured events. Starting off with the “new” “Tombstone Trail Walk”, which features a walk from the downtown park to the cemetery and back, the two day celebration will have live music, with local bands including the Honky-Tonk Heroes, the women’s iron skillet toss, a football throw, a grand parade, a tractor tire flip, corn hole tournament, German beer garden, classic car and tractor show, Texas Poker and cash raffle, a Town’s Got Talent contest, encouraging those who can “sing, dance, play an instrument, tell a story, crow like a rooster, call the hogs, juggle, whistle or whatever” to participate. The weekend will end with a community church service and a special award to the widow of the founder of the first festival, three years ago, who lived next to the park and stored stuff in his garage.
So go for it, all 561 residents! Happy Festival to you!
August 25, 2017
Finally I get to say something good about the president. I watched him work the line of marines at the base in Arizona and he was tireless in signing autographs, posing for selfies and what was heartwarming was how happy and excited those young people were. Good. Sorry that some of them may be going back to Afghanistan.
Topic II. Thursday 15000 kids will be returning to Oxford, and probably 14,999 will bring their cars. One per cent of them will be from China, will speak minimal English and have no idea what a speed limit is. Brace yourself, Townies. It’s Move In Day Again.
August 18, 2017
The Likes of Which . . .
The trouble with having a fifth grade vocabulary is that you are forced to use the same words over and over again. So our president, in describing his retaliation at North Korea if they shoot any more missiles in our direction, says he will let loose fire and fury, “the likes of which the world has never seen.” Yawn. We’ve heard that many times, sir; the crowds at your inauguration, the anti-muslim celebration in New Jersey after 9/11, and on and on.
So how about the weeds in my garden, the likes of which the world has never seen? My grandchildren, the likes of which the world . . .? the traffic on High Street when the students return, the likes of which . . .? this year’s corn and blueberry crop, the likes of which . . .? It kinda loses its punch, doesn’t it, when repeated ad infinitum, ad nauseam.
Just stop talking. Stop tweeting. Please. Give us a break.
Too late. He just ranted again, the likes of which this country has never heard.
August 11, 2017
The good news, if it’s at all possible, is that truth has come front and center. Everyone now realizes that it’s really important to tell the truth and also to recognize when someone is not telling the truth or that perhaps the truth is there but in disguise. Sad that a majority of Americans feel they cannot trust the president’s words, but that’s what happens eventually to habitual liars.
Oh well, we’ll carry on. Vacation time for just about everyone in the world. Putin, all the news anchors, Melania, the Obamas. Not Trump, of course, or that Korean dude with the most god-awful haircut. Don’t we wish they WOULD take a two week break! No tweets! No nuclear threats! Oh please.
August 4, 2017
Open Letter to Not My President
Dear Fake President Trump;
Are you going to explain the words of your former communications director to your 11 year old son, Baron? Perhaps you could tell all the parents in America how they can explain to their children what that man said. You could, at the least, explain what the Mooch meant when he described an anatomical maneuver that only a giraffe could pull off.
And BTW, please keep your twitters restricted to pictures of little kittens and wild animal rescues. Thanks. Remember, tweets are not laws.
Yours in the hope you go on vacation and never come back,
P.S. Oh, never mind. Scaramouch has probably been promoted by now to Secretary of Morals and Acceptable Speech.
July 28, 2017
Too much rain. I appreciate the growth result, the lush lawn, the healthy lilacs and the outstanding corn, but OMG, the weeds! I just finish one spot, turn around, and they’re BACK!
July 21, 2017
SORRY EXCUSE FOR A BLOG; MIDSUMMER DRY SPELL
News story. A six year old girl gets attacked by an alligator. She escapes by sticking her fingers up his nose. WHAT?? I hope that doesn’t happen to me because I’m not sure I know just where an alligator’s nose IS.
July 14, 2017
Yuge and Bigly Words
Ah, the dictionary, one more thing, like the phone book or the encyclopedia, made obsolescent by the IPhone. So I get to use “crepuscular” and “kaleidoscopic” to describe the four skunks that appeared last night as they rapidly scurried back and forth on the cement walk picking up the meat scraps offered by Grammy’s evening buffet. The black and white pattern formed by the beautiful fur of these crepuscular animals was kaleidoscopic! I enjoy them bigly!
July 7, 2017
You Won’t Remember This
Fun Facts from David Letterman, 2009. Yes, I can reuse blogs. They’re called summer reruns and everybody’s doing it.
Early species of hyenas did not laugh. They just pointed and said “good one.”
Each year the average citizen inhales 44 pounds of dryer lint.
Evil Knievel had a brother named “good.”
The Chinese are supposedly close to developing a submarine that can travel above water.
June 30, 2017
The Quick Solution
In this day and age of super modern technology, Wi Fi,, I phone, cable TV, DVR, internet connection, Echo, for example, I have learned that the best way to fix something that is not working, or connecting, or doing its job, is to simply unplug. Wait. Plug it back in.
Unless, of course, it’s great aunt Flossie on her life support. Probably not a good idea.
June 23, 2017
Nobel Peace Prize for Trump
Go for it, Donald! Forget principles, morals, and human rights. Forget the environment, health care, or truth. Just get all the countries on the planet to import and export all their goods. Make deals with everybody so we’re buying and selling all over the world; China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, wherever you have or plan to have a luxury hotel. People will be so busy with their stuff that they won’t have time to shoot, bomb and kill. There we have it! World Peace! Yeah!
June 16, 2017
Notes from Oxford Police Blotter
Neighbors report to police that a man is walking down the street with a chain saw over his shoulder accompanied by a woman pushing an empty stroller. When accosted by police officer, the man admits he stole the chain saw while the woman maintains she thought the stroller had been abandoned. So the man is handcuffed and put into the back of the patrol car. And when the policeman is off somewhere, the man squeezes through the screened partition between the front and back seats and escapes. He subsequently unlocks the handcuffs with a paper clip.
I am not making this up.
June 8, 2017
Papa Hemingway Revisited
I’m reading a new biography of Ernest Hemingway, the first to be written by a woman. She was able to read many previously inaccessible letters and documents and we learn a lot about the women in his life especially his mother. Shudder. She was not a good influence to say the least. What mother, for example, would send her son the pistol which his father used to commit suicide? Yikes.
June 1, 2017
The trees are especially beautiful and lush this year, perhaps because of the wet and cool spring. And I noticed a really odd ball tree, well, technically a seedling I suppose, flourishing away in the back yard along with the numerous ash, hemlock, oak and maples. I think the odd ball is a giant sequoia. Oh yes, I fell for the Tree Day Celebration and ordered one a few years ago and I guess I planted it because that’s what it appears to be. Talk about optimism. Right now it’s a stretch to say it’s a foot tall, but I’m keeping an eye on it.
Oh gosh. Suppose it matures and thrives and some day people will drive down West Collins Street and stop and point up to the sky and marvel at the Giant Sequoia towering over little Oxford town. If it’s big enough the owner of my 1/100th of an acre wood will hollow out a road through the trunk and charge a dollar to drive through it. Anything is possible.
May 25, 2017
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
So granddaughter, whose only previous travel experience has been family vacation trips from Cincinnati to Fr. Lauderdale, goes alone from Cincinnati to Orlando, changes terminals, and then boards a Delta/Virgin Airlines flight to London. Jaw dropping experience. The plane has an upstairs! Two hot meals with a menu! Window seat! Your own television! Wake up packet with toothbrush, toothpaste and wash cloth!
Wow. Dorothy! You’re not in Kansas anymore!
May 19, 2017
Nobel Peace Prize or Jail
Frankly, and I think I can say this in one Faulknerian sentence, if our current president, with all his failings in regard to his treatment of women, his incompetence in the basics of government, his embarrassing fifth grade vocabulary, his crass taste in Oval office décor, specifically the gold curtains, and his five minute attention span, if, in spite of all that, he can manage to make a deal with Russia, China and North Korea to effectively bring about a peace agreement and broker a similar agreement in the Middle East, then I will grant him a Nobel Peace Prize, vote for him in 2020, and be extremely grateful that the whole world is talking to each other and engaging in economic activity rather than threatening, bombing their own people and blowing themselves up. I mean it.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your political party, he may not be our president much longer.
May 12, 2017
Fooling the people.
May I be the first to recommend Sally Yates for President? What a refreshing taste of honesty, real facts, intelligence and genuine knowledge of the law. No more fake news, conniving, alternate facts and lack of transparency. Why are the White House visitors logs withheld? Why has any mention of Muslims been suddenly deleted from Trump’s campaign website?
Wait. He has a campaign website? Even though he won, albeit not the popular vote? Oh. He’s campaigning already for 2020. Good luck with that. You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all the people . . . you know.
May 5, 2017
I’m reading an interesting book, LAB GIRL by Hope Jahren, which traces her development as a research scientist along with the evolution of a tree. And what is fascinating is her description of the birth of a leaf, the tremendous effort of the embryonic cotyledons, two tiny ready-made leaflets, that from a seed, inflate for temporary use and begin the photosynthesis that leads to the real leaf that makes sugar and then sends it down to the root that sends water up to the leaf that makes sugar, etc.etc.
And the wondrous part of this experience is that I’m looking out the window and seeing billions and billions of leaves in the process of growing, turning the back yard into a hugely lush garden of plants and trees and yes, dandelions.
Science. It’s a fact, Donald. And simply wondrous.
April 28, 2017
Music to my ears?
The starling. A bird so maligned in the modern world that our neighbor could take his gun, go out on the sidewalk and shoot them with impunity. They have been known to fall from the sky, birdnado style, and no one really cares. Ho hum. One hundred fewer starlings to poop on our cars or ravage our bird feeders.
But it turns out starlings are a lot smarter than we thought.. According to Elena Passarello in her charming book, ANIMALS STRIKE CURIOUS POSES, starlings can compose a four part courting song, consisting of one section each of whistle, warble, click and screech. The famed and eccentric Mozart had a three year relationship with a caged starling who actually edited his music. The composer would whistle a 5 measure theme, the starling would listen, whistle a different version back, changing a “g” to a “g sharp” for example, and Mozart would consider and then sometimes alter the original.
They say that starlings like to look humans directly in the eye. I can’t say that has ever happened to me. But I will say they certainly are a garrulous group and now that the doors are open, I’m listening for the whistle, warble, click and screech song.
April 21, 2017
The Wonder of it All.
Overwhelmed this week from birthday activities, mobile device intricacies and frustrations, state of the union, medical ethics and the wonder of spring which just keeps coming no matter what. Thanks for that.
April 14, 2017
Oh, the irony..
Does anyone else see the irony when President Trump decries the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons on its own people, when Trump himself has just signed an executive order that would rewrite Obama’s Clean Power Plan that would protect the atmosphere from 70 million tons of carbon pollution and result in 3600 fewer premature deaths and 90 thousand fewer asthma attacks on children?
The Environmental Protection Agency has been looking into the scientific data documenting the risks posed by greenhouse gases and recognizing that these emissions had contributed to public safety. The Trump budget would defund the EPA by 31 per cent and cut the staff by 20 per cent. Dump the Trump before we are all gasping for clean air.
April 7, 2017
Twitter into Oblivion. Please.
Oh how I miss Obama. And Michelle. And the girls. And honesty. And truth. And Congress doing their job.
Is our Fake President going to twitter himself into impeachment? Let’s hope.
March 31, 2017
Talk about a learning curve. In one day I learned
1. There are 100 pence in a British pound and at least five different coins.
2. Data is not text or talk and the amount of data used can be helped if you use WiFi which has to be turned on after a factory reset.
3. Factory resets can cause HAVOC.
4. The ACA lives! My postcards helped!
5. The Germans invented a towel holder that has instructions in 6 languages but only one short paragraph in English but I installed it myself anyhoo.
6. Grandaughters help A LOT when putting up curtains on the porch.
7. Spring came! Doors open! Birds Sing!
8. Life can be good!
March 24, 2017
Wrong. Just Wrong.
I know people are starving all over the world. When I was growing up we were instructed to remember the starving Armenians. But yesterday on CBS news (and it’s not fake) there were such disturbing pictures of children starving in Southern Sudan. And it’s even more awful when we have a president whose conspicuous consumption and terrible statements like “I’m so rich” emphasize how terribly thoughtless and uncaring he seems to be about suffering and poverty.
His proposed budget increases military spending and reduces foreign aid. Isn’t it more important that we feed those starving children than build better bombs? Man! What a topsy turvy world.
March 17, 2017
Good News and Bad News
The good news. High school kids have put together an ad for our local TV questioning our President’s competence. They cite his incessant twittering, his poor choice of cabinet members and his Muslim travel ban. They criticize our representative in Congress and call him out for supporting the Republican Health Care plan, not supporting Planned Parenthood and asking for a special prosecutor to look into the Russian connection to the last election.
The bad news. Our government is so out of whack that kids in high school are upset.
The good news. High school kids are paying attention to what is happening in Washington.
March 10, 2017
Is there no end to his effrontery? His top cop/attorney general lies to Congress. He rescinds the Obama executive order to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. He breaks up immigrant families as they cross the border. He appoints a radical nut to be a permanent member of the National Security Council and then takes off to Florida for a weekend in the sun and golfing.
March 3, 2017
Draining the Swamp of Reality
Unfortunately words have lost their integrity. Trump’s speech to the joint session of Congress rings hollow. We have to watch what he does, not what he says. He lies, exaggerates, hints and distorts. He talks about “so called” crowds and “fake” news. He maintains that Jews are desecrating their own cemeteries and hints that Obama is somehow behind protests. Trump may be our president, but he’s still a lunatic.
February 24, 2017
The New Fired Up
Conversation heard outside a Miami professor’s office;
Coed 1. My boyfriend is really mad at me because I don’t get wasted enough.
(Professor expects Coed 2 to say something like what a jerk)
Coed 2. Here’s a tip. Have a drink or two BEFORE you go out.
My knitting group is properly shocked but not surprised. One knitter, who was a sorority advisor, said that they have “Fired Up” parties whereby they all start drinking before going to the uptown bars.
Then they fill water bottles (Evian anyone?) with vodka.
They boast about how many times they have passed out. They consider it a badge of honor, kind of like the Girl Scout Merit badges. Yikes.
February 17, 2017
I so appreciate the Westminster Kennel Dog Show, on tv last night from Madison Square Garden. The first hound was the Afghan, all that silky, flowing, beautiful hair! The Borzoi, from Russia. The Ibizan, first seen thousands of years ago on Egyptian tombs. The Irish wolf hound, tallest of all the dogs! Yuge! And the water hound, the only hound dog with webbed feet!
What a pleasure to hear about something that is irreproachably honest and also beautiful. These are some of the world’s finest animals, and it is so refreshing to be watching the real thing as opposed to all the hypocrisy and lies coming from our “so called” leaders.
I don’t even like dogs, but for two days in February, DOGS RULE!
February 10, 2017
Senator Elizabeth Warren is barred from reading Coretta Scott King’s letter criticizing the Attorney General nominee by Mitch McConnel’s invoking an obscure ruling from 1906 whose sole purpose was to prevent senators from physically hitting each other. But then he allows a MAN to finish reading the letter.
This has got to be FAKE NEWS.
February 3, 2017
Vetting, Canine and Political
Does the OM (Orange Man) realize that with one stroke of the pen he has insulted 1.2 billion people, approximately 19% of the world population?
On a lighter note, I do believe that puppies to be chosen for the Super Puppy Bowl are vetted more thoroughly than the candidates for Cabinet positions. After 80 puppies are selected by submitted videos, they are flown to New York where they are interviewed, examined by a vet, and put through various IQ, obedience and field tests. If they fall asleep, for example, on the field, they are automatically disqualified. Watch for Sable, the pup from Oxford, #26 who is on Team Fluff. Animal Planet. 3 p.m.
January 27, 2017
Sit Tight for a Wild Ride
I guess we might as well get used to jaw dropping statements from the new administration. The latest is from Kelly Ann Conway. She maintains that her dubious statement about the attendance record at the inauguration was not a lie, a falsehood or misrepresentation. Oh no. Get this. It was an “alternative fact.” Dear God. Four years of this malarkey?
And what’s even more startling, the gag orders. Federal departments are not allowed to tweet? Reveal anything? What is going on? And the list of federal agencies that will lose their funding? I’m all for paring down wasteful spending, but most of them will only affect women and the poor people of this country (ironically, probably Trump supporters).
It’s all pretty scary until you get on Facebook and realize that people are still funny, thoughtful and kind. Hang in there America. We will survive.
January 20, 2017
Quite a depressing week. Overcast, cloudy, downright damp. Congressional hearings on the cabinet picks; Education sect. who is clearly unqualified, Energy man who wanted to eliminate that very department but unfortunately couldn’t remember the name of it. Oops.
And finally the upcoming inauguration of OP (Orange President), also clearly unqualified for the job yet going to go on anyway.
Bright spots that keep me going; no snow, no snow removal expense, bountiful birds every morning, Jack wins a wrestling match, other grandkids seem to be happy. I’m still walking and talking and knitting, even though I’ll be eighty soon. Yikes.
January 13, 2017
Ave Atque Vale!
Hail and farewell! After watching Obama’s farewell speech last night, so many words come to mind; dignity, compassion, love, intelligence, patriotism . In eight years he has brought health insurance to 20 million uninsured, insurance for those with preexisting conditions, he revived a failing economy, brought race relations to a level of conversation, and Michelle, I cannot begin to describe. It was a remarkable speech and his continuing presence in the country’s history is a ray of hope.
Orange man, on the other hand, continues to speak with such chicanery and hyperbole, it’s really hard to listen for more than a few minutes. Great! Tremendous! Brilliant! Yuck.
January 6, 2017
The Eternal Male Ego
So Cicero in the first century B.C. writes to his friend Atticus relating how much people in Cilicia love him, want him to be king, and shower him with honors. “I am the best” he writes unabashedly. Hmmm. And now we will have a president, well, you know, who says in a New Yorker cartoon, while his hand is on the bible and the Supreme Court justice is administering the (shudder} you know what, “”…and will to the best of my ability, which is terrific ability, by the way. Everyone agrees, I have fantastic ability. So there’s no problem with my ability, believe me …”
December 30, 2016
The Old, Old Story
Greetings from Christmas cards reveal that my old friend has a much younger boy friend and together they have traveled the world. “He keeps me young” she writes. Dick van Dyke, in his nineties, is married to a forty year old and writes the same. “She keeps me young.” WRONG. You may feel youthful and granted it may be refreshing, but trust me, it’s an illusion. You’re still approaching or surpassing 80 which is – HELLO -- OLD. Embrace it. Sit down. Wait for the end.
December 23, 2016
Definitely His Fault
I remember once last year seeing the Pittsburgh Steelers dressed like bumble bees. Now this year the Seattle Seahawks are playing Thursday night football looking like green neon aliens from outer space. Wha? Who’s making these decisions? Why?
Maybe we can blame Trump. Sure. Why not. Let the blame game begin!
December 16, 2016
In light of the new administration’s picks for the Cabinet of Deplorables – an education secretary who doesn’t believe in public education, an environmental protection chief who scoffs at global warming and now a department of energy secretary who wanted to eliminate the agency completely – I fear a humongous cultural shift to the rear, a recidivism.
My answer. Double my contributions to all the private organizations that will continue our path to tolerance, public education, promotion of scientific investigation and efforts to preserve the natural world. Jeesh.
December 9, 2016
The Hans Christian Anderson story about the King who was tricked into believing he was smart and suited for his job
And finally a little child yelled, “The Emperor has no clothes!”
“The Orange Man has no brains!”
On second thought,
WRONG”. He’s smart. But I’m just having a problem coming to terms with a Trump presidency.
And his cabinet of deplorables.
December 2, 2016
NOONE’S GOING TO STEAL MY CHRISTMAS!
I look forward to Christmas this year, especially since it appears that the Trumpster is not going away. Au contraire, he’s coming to Cincinnati for a rally . A rally? He won already! How can he have a rally without putting someone down, offending a group of citizens, promoting violence or telling lies?
Anyhoo, let Christmas begin. I happened to catch the last 10 minutes of The Grinch, when he has stolen all the presents and is snickering at the Who People who have come out of their houses and are standing in a circle, holding hands and singing! No crying! They don’t care about presents! They just love each other! That’s what counts!
Kind of a stretch, but somehow the Grinch looks a lot like Trump only a different color. Let’s hope for a similar conversion and he starts to realize that money/things isn’t everything.
November 25, 2016
Oh What a Beautiful Morning!
When looking at the potential leaders of our country for the next four years, and fighting despair, bigotry, the dismantling of our environmental protections, and the mindless tweets of a wholly self absorbed orange man, I take heart from the words of e e cummings;
“I thank you God for most this amazing day
For the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky;
and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes.”
So I wake every morning to a “most this amazing day”.
I will be hopeful.
November 18, 2016
From George Burns’ biography of Gracie Allen
Uncle Barnum Allen once claimed he grew grapefruits so big that 8 of them would make a dozen.
Gracie decided that horses must be deaf because she saw so few of them at concerts.
I was so surprised at birth that I didn’t speak for a year and a half.
George; Did the maid ever drop you on your head when you were a baby?
Gracie; Don’t be silly, George. We couldn’t afford a maid. My mother had to do it.
George; What’s the date?
Gracie; I don’t know.
George; Well, look in the newspaper.
Gracie; That won’t do any good. It’s yesterday’s paper.
November 11, 2016
Be a good sport.
Cubs win! Indians lose! Trump wins! Hillary loses! No lawsuits. No claims it was rigged. Just good sportsmanship, please.
Let this past week be a lesson. Live with it. No whining.
November 4, 2016
So I can spend the morning looking at a potato that resembles a princess, reading a discussion comparing Mozart and Prince, watching a Scotsman in a kilt playing Thunderstruck on flaming bagpipes, a baby emu rolling over like a dog, innumerable cute baby pictures, friends on Caribbean cruises, or hundreds of examples why no one should vote for Trump
Put on my shoes and go out and repair my Hillary sign which was vandalized ( but repairable) overnight.
Yes, I will.
October 28, 2016
As we close in on single digit days before the election, I can think of some real positives that have evolved from a predominantly negative campaign season;
1. people on the internet are much more aware of the reliability of sources. A recent post declaring Hillary’s membership in the KKK brought out hundreds of requests for links, sources, and then a revelation that the sources were extreme right wing publications. Good for everyone.
2. no more locker room talk. I’ll bet sexual assault talk will be more muted than previously allowed, especially among males of all ages. Fewer wolf whistles, groping incidents and unwanted advances from bosses or stars. Thanks, Donald.
3. the possibility that only really qualified people will volunteer to run for political office. The relentless and justified criticism of the truly unfit candidate for president should scare away any deplorable thinking he can become president.
4. the glass ceiling will have been shattered. Just as Obama opened up the possibility of any Afro-American being president, so now any woman can imagine doing the same. Yeah! At last!
October 21, 2016
Oh Yes. It’s the Teacher’s Fault Once Again.
How did THAT MAN’s supporters graduate from high school and still be so ignorant? How can they say on national television that a president can jail a political opponent? How can one tell me that Hillary wants to take away his guns? Surely teachers are teaching otherwise. But is anyone listening or learning?
My theory is that our schools place too much emphasis on sports. Not that they aren’t healthy, that they encourage good sportsmanship or they promote teamwork. All good. But they also inherently place special value on winning. Remember the beginning of this (shudder) campaign? And the orange monster kept saying, “I’m a WINNER! I’ll win for you! Vote for the winner!”
Dear God in Heaven. Grant us some THINKING people and direct them to the voting booth November 8th.
October 14, 2016
The Power of Words
Learned a new word this week. “Rodomontade”. Had to google it. It means “boastful” and comes from the Italian comic opera figure and literally means “he who rolls away the mountain.”
How fitting when the current political picture is just crazy with words, some true, some disgusting, some supposedly used in the men’s locker room. My favorite words used to describe you know who;
October 7, 2016
I’m With Her For Sure, 100 Per cent
Yes, I’m with Hillary because she’s
And she’s a GRANDMA!
And that other guy is most certainly none of the above.
September 30, 2016
I am not one to decorate my car with bumper stickers, signs or decals of any kind. I think I can safely say I have NEVER affixed anything to my window, bumper or anything. But this year, it’s happening. And it’s not for Hillary, Donald or any politician. In fact I am proudly displaying on the rear window of my expensive (for me) Ford Escape the decals of 5 different universities where my grandchildren are currently enrolled or graduated. I am inordinately proud that my children are contributing to the future welfare of this country by furthering the education of their children in spite of the crippling expense. So Kudos, Kids! Six more to go!
September 23, 2016
Good old days. Bring em back.
Or on the other hand, these new devices, the phone, the computer, the cars, are they too smart for their own good? Are they outsmarting themselves? In the period of one day, my daughter’s new car reported the tire pressure was low, mandating a trip to the garage where after a complete check up, nothing was found. That same afternoon my son’s phone kept going in and out while mine played the now familiar trick of sending the incoming call directly to voice mail.
Now granted it might be better to be informed of a potential flat tire rather than, as in the old days, you go out in the morning only to find it a done deal. But I never had any trouble with calls fading away with the old wired up phone. Nor did they ever fail to deliver the voice of the caller, no matter what.
The old typewriter never suddenly deleted whatever I had just typed. It worked whether I was connected on line or even plugged in.
Suddenly I miss the old Corona, little black carrying case with silver flip fastener and all.
September 16, 2016
Progress . What Is It?
If I live much longer, I’m going to be the only person on the planet who remembers the dial phone. You know where you find the hole with the number in it, insert your finger and pull the dial around until it hits the little silver thingy, then remove the finger, wait until the dial goes back, find the second number, insert the finger again, repeat repeat. Luckily most numbers were only four digits long. CUMBERSOME!
Or the manual typewriter. Stick the paper behind the roller, turn the knob until it pops up in front, bang the correct key so the little metal hammer jumps out onto the ribbon which then imprints the paper. Keep going until the bell rings, then yank the silver handle all the way over to the left to start another line. And beware of making a mistake. There was no turning back.
Or my mother telling HER mother that there was no more need to slam the heavy flat iron onto the wrinkled clothes because now they had electric irons that heated themselves. And this is the same woman (my Nana) who hauled water in buckets up the hill to the kitchen from the well and churned her own butter by hand.
So the smart phone nowadays knows all the phone numbers and does all the work for you with a little tap. The word processor and printer, again, require only the lightest touch. And as for the ironing, what is it anyway? My daughter doesn’t even own an iron.
And this explains why we have to go to the gym for exercise, why we’re out running our hearts out in marathons or playing pickle ball to keep in shape. The daily life that was once a physical work out has morphed to nothing.
I guess it’s progress. But you gotta wonder.
September 9, 2016
Chain Saw Power
I am emboldened.
I am woman. Hear me roar.
I have chain saw power.
Tree limbs fall. Dead branches disintegrate.
Paths are cleared. Bushes pruned.
I am woman. Hear me roar.
Oh, and pass the band aids.
September 2, 2016
CAPITALS SHOUT! AMAZE!
Hummingbirds cannot walk or hop. Their tiny feet (and I have seen them up close and they ARE TINY) facilitate their distance flying and are only good for perching on very small branches and for scratching.
Hummingbirds weigh less than a nickel.
Their wings flap 50 to 200 times per SECOND!
The ruby throated hummingbird flies 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico NON STOP!
WOW! (redundant amazement)
August 26, 2016
All last week I sporadically watched the Olympics, mostly the prime time running and swimming. Where and when were the equestrians? The discus? The rowing? All those medals! So how about an event anyone could qualify for? How about sitting?
Oh yes. I’m good at that. I could go for the couch sitting. The approach. The landing. The dismount! There could be different apparatus rotations. The chair, the porch swing, the bar stool. Or varied venues, like sitting on the fence or on the wall. How about a sit in? Or just sitting out? Let’s face it. For retirees, sitting is practically a 24/7 occupation. I’m going for the gold!
August 19, 2016
Not only is the nightly news mostly bad – fires, floods, riots, shootings and crazy Presidential candidates – but the ads inbetween are just as depressing. They try to sell me something for my constipation, diarrhea, muscle aches and pains, sleep deprivation, erectile dysfunction, headache, dry eyes and over active bladder, just to name a few.
I would really like to see some ads trying to sell me something cheerful, something I would really be motivated to buy, like a lovely bouquet of flowers, a good book, music, a trip to the Bahamas. How about a one minute commercial promoting fun games for the family, a comfortable chair, a walk in the park? (Oh, okay, that one is probably free).. Let’s hear the music and famous celebrity selling jewelry, bicycles or a sure fire best seller . . . Chocolate Cake!
On with a Commercial Revolution! Then we could all leave the nightly news a little happier!
August 12, 2016
It’s Going To Be Okay!
I had the privilege of spending five days with some members of the next generation, namely my children and grandchildren. I’m relieved to report that they do not spend their lives with their noses in their phones, texting their friends , playing Pokemon , unable to write cursive or distinguish between “your” and “you’re.” In fact, at a recent gathering, they were tossing a football, sitting around and TALKING!, sketching, playing badminton, picking up trash, not making it, and generally being really nice people. (Okay, a little bias here I’ll admit)
They all had phones which they used to supply music, fact check opinions and information and take pictures. And a further benefit to being part of modern technology – someone set up a link in which all the pictures could be seen and everyone could add his own pictures. So we had an instant record of grandparents, hoverboard thrills, softball game casualties, aunts, uncles, cousins, first, second or once removed and old friends. Wow.
So let that other candidate whose name rhymes with Chump rant and rave how our country is going to the dogs. I’m here to say we are in the hands of a next generation who are thoughtful, smart, well informed and positive. Phew! We’re going to be okay.
August 5, 2016
The Wild Ones
Do hummingbirds have personalities? Evidently. I always thought they were people friendly, but this year the one bird that comes around the feeder, takes a look at me and darts away. I think he comes back when I’m not there, because the nectar is definitely going down. Anyhow, life among the wild is interesting. It’ll get more interesting when the real wild ones come back from summer break and Miami starts up again in a few weeks.
And BTW, (and this really is the last word) let me be one of the first to predict that Donald Trump will drop out of the race. He would never tolerate being a LOSER.
July 29, 2016
One last word
The last word from me about Donald Trump. He describes his lying as “truthful hyperbole.” Wrong Donald. There is nothing truthful about hyperbole. In other words, an oxymoron, with the emphasis on MORON.
July 22, 2016
THIS IS PROGRESS!
Let’s see. Over two thousand years ago, Vergil wrote “Omnia vincit amor.” “Love conquers all.” And we’re just now discovering that?
July 15, 2016
Poke a what?
The scene; my porch and the sidewalk in front.
The players; me on the porch swing and three middle school age kids.
The dialogue. Nothing.
The action; kids walk slowly up the walk, phones in hand. One kid turns and walks away. The other two briefly consult, but mainly look at phones continually.
Question; What is the matter with kids these days?
Answer; POKEMON GO !
July 8, 2016
America. Hang in There!
With all the depressing things going on -- explosions in the Middle East, shootings in Chicago, gridlock in Washington, name calling on the campaign trail (Stop it, Donald), it was such an uplifting Fourth of July . In spite of the rain and cold, the American spirit goes on! What a treat to see so many young people, all decked out in patriotic colors, flags and bunting. Our local parade still flourishes and lines up in front of my house. Girl Scouts, United Way, horses with carriages, horses with riders, and the Senior Center Float, adorned with gray heads and white heads, lots of red white and blue hats and banging on pots and pans, ringing cow bells and playing kazoos. That particular float goes past my house, they wave, I wave. Then five minutes later, they go past again. Oops. Forgot where to go?
Hooray for the Red White and Blue! Now all we need is a woman president. Go Hillary!
July 1, 2016
GENIUS OF BIRDS by Jennifer Ackerman contains more than any sane person would want to know about birds. From the chapter “Four Hundred Tongues” we learn that Thomas Jefferson had a pet mockingbird that sang to him at night. Birds “hoot, yodel, caw, wail, rattle, chit, seet and sing like angels.” A syrinx, a structure with cartilage and two membranes that vibrate with air flow, embedded deep in a bird’s throat, is responsible. Some species can contract and relax these tiny vocal muscles with submillisecond precision -- more than a hundred times faster than the blink of a human eye.
Some birds can manipulate the organ to imitate human speech. A bullfinch was trained to sing “God Save the King”. A gray catbird could sound taps. And after weeks of silence, a parakeet spoke his first words,” Talk, damn you, talk!”
June 24, 2016
Cleveland, Fashion Capital of . . .
I have been watching basketball games all my adult life as a parent , beginning with 6th grade girls, high school varsity, 6th grade boys and junior high boys. So I have some idea what is happening on the court. I know all about the pick and roll, and I know how to get to downtown. I hadn’t watched a professional basketball game for at least a year, though, until last week when I just had to watch Game 7 and the imminent triumph of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Oh my goodness. First of all, what awful colors for a team. Black and orange? Halloween? And why are some guys wearing knee socks? And some, what appears to be panty hose? All those terrible tattoos! And the worst offense to my fashion standards, the silly hairdo of one guy, who seems to have asked the barber to cut his hair so he’ll resemble a poodle. Oh dear.
But no matter. Cleveland won a title after 50 years of drought. Now on to the Republican Convention. Can’t wait. Not that Republicans will show any diversity or imaginative hair dos. The best we can hope for are some silly straw hats like Minnie Pearl’s.
June 17, 2016
Freedom, Our Inalienable Right
I hope I am repeating what is being said all over the country after the Orlando massacre. This is America. We have many freedoms, one of which is freedom of religion. This means one is free to be a radical Christian or a radical Muslim if one so chooses.. What one is not free to do is murder. That’s why we have laws.
And surely it would help if one is a little less free to buy an assault weapon. You need a license to drive a car (a potential deadly weapon), to carry a pistol. You need a permit to purchase certain drugs, to go hunting, to build a house or to own a dog. Certainly we should ask some sort of background check or permit for those who would buy assault weapons. After all, what are you going to do with an AK 47? Not hunting squirrels, not target practice, not self- defense. It’s for ASSAULT, something that happens usually on the battle field.
If only Congress had some guts. The law that recently lifted the assault weapon ban was voted for overwhelmingly by Republicans. Even their idol Ronald Reagan said that assault weapons should be banned.
So vote, people. And vote for sensible, patriotic American Democrats.
June 10, 2016
Good Lord! What’s Next?
So! I who have lived through beer pong tournaments, corn hole games, fire pit extravaganzas (let’s burn a bike!) throw the chair in the tree, decorate telephone wires with sneakers, am now facing the latest student craze; throwing knives into large pieces of wood propped up against a wall or fence. No problem except for the humongous THUMP! I guess it’s okay except for the potential problem of an errant weapon or a misbegotten murder after a drunken argument. Anyhow, they’re gone for the summer. Revel in the uptown parking spaces! No long lines at Starbucks! Students! Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em.
June 3, 2016
Back Yard Drama or Epitome of my Evening Entertainment
The Scene; back yard cement walk
The Players; 2 skunks, 1 cat, 1 raccoon and yours truly on the other side of the screen door.
The Main Event; 6 pieces of polish sausage
All players arrive virtually at the same time. Much posturing. First to leave, the cat, totally outclassed as a wild animal.
Skunk tails up! You know what that means. Evidently the raccoon knows also, because he is next to retreat.
Skunks win! This time.
May 27, 2016
Tips for Life
What I learned at Knitters Group this week;
Someone’s husband will come to my house and remove Windows 10… for a pie.
A baby alpaca is called a cria.
How to shear a sheep, where to send the wool, how to spin it.
It’s okay to dumpster dive.
May 20, 2016
From the Oxford Press police reports;
Complaints of a noise violation leads officers to a loud party on South Poplar Street. Student residents are advised of the problem and issued a citation. An hour later, the loud music having returned, the police come back and give the kid another ticket. Student, by now fairly well inebriated, complains loudly. “You just gave me a ticket! Why do I get another one?”
Late at night, outside an uptown bar, a drunk student falls into the street and the police are called. Noting the slurred voice, odor of alcohol and the “I’m of age” bracelet, the officer asks to see his ID. Ascertaining that the ID is a fake, the police proceed to bring him to the station and book him. The kid, seeing that he is about to get a citation, admits to everything and then asks, “Can I have my ID back?” When being told it will be held for evidence, really dumb kid remonstrates, “But I need it to get into bars so I can drink with my friends.”
Oh, duh. Just graduate, kids. Leave town and go run for president.
May 13, 2016
Mourning doves love to sit together on a favorite branch. Often for quite a long time. Kinda like an old married couple.
MD1; Why are you picking at yourself so much?
MD2: I have an itch under my wing.
MD1; Well, stop it. It’s annoying.
MD2; You’re bobbing your head again, like a common pigeon.
MD1; I’m trying to see around your fat tail.
MD2; Here, I’ll turn around so we’re facing the same way.
MD1; You’re still scratching.
MD2; What kind of bird are you? It’s called preening and everybody does it.
MD1: Not as vigorously as you’re doing. Stop it.
MD2; If you don’t stop nagging, I’ll fly to another branch. Actually, here I go anyway,
MD1; I’m right behind you.
Flap flap. Life goes on.
MAY 6, 2016
LEARNING ALL THE TIME
Things I have learned this week.
Don’t keep your phone on the charger all the time. It eats energy like a goldfish eats food and eventually swells up and kills itself. OMG. It happened to me.
My new little flip up phone (related to a flip flop?) replacement, even though quite simple, has a camera, (once again I took a delightful picture of my knee), an internet connection and voice mail.
When there are multiple symbols on a button, it depends on what program you are in. Need a space bar? Press the button, even though it’s in the middle of the button #3, and voila! Same goes for the shift key, even though it’s third in line on button #1.
The cursor on my new phone is sometimes a blue outline.
When all else fails, get in your car and drive to the nearest Verizon store.
And as for the computer, when your mouse suddenly disappears, or freezes, check your batteries. New ones will clear it up!
April 29, 2016
You Know of Whom I Speak
BOMBAST! Speech that is pretentious, full of big words signifying nothing. According to some sources, originating in the German “baum wolle”, a tree wool used for padding or stuffing. But probably from the Bombax tree family, a tree known for showy leaves, dried fruit and a woody pulp. Most unlikely of all, from the ancient Greek “bombax!” meaning “ Wonderful!” “ Marvelous!”
April 22, 2016
Spring or Something has Sprung
My eyesight is definitely weakening. I like to blame it on allergies, but I confess it is probably old age. So I look across the street, and I see something colorful where previously there was nothing. It’s either yellow and red tulips OR, because it is student housing, yellow beer bottles and red paper cups. I look again. Oh wait, the mother was visiting yesterday. OKAY! Tulips!
April 15, 2016
No Words for This Guy
Ted Kruz. What an idiot. He comments on New York values. YOU know what they are, he sneers. Liberalism, pro abortion, same sex marriage. Shudder.
New York values. How about equality for women? Equal pay for equal work? How about freedom of religion? How about not having to show your birth certificate to go to the bathroom? How many times do we have to mention the courage of the first responders on 9/11?
The Dumbing Down of Americans
I hope this isn’t true, but it would appear that people are losing certain mental capabilities by giving them over to devices such as phones. If you don’t use it you lose it.
We no longer have to REMEMBER anything, Phone numbers, addresses, library due dates, birthdays, recipes, the list goes on.
We no longer have to CALCULATE anything. In fact, why do they even teach math anymore? I haven’t had to multiply or divide for years. Long division? What’s that?
We no longer have to PREDICT anything. The weather app takes care of that.
We no longer have to WONDER about anything. Just ask Siri.
And as if we need any more evidence, just look at who’s running for President for the Republican party and who’s voting for them.
April 1, 2016, and this is no joke!
Fly Away, Hat of Kings!
So Bernie Sanders, while speaking in Portland Oregon last week, was visited by a sparrow who hopped on the stage and then on the podium, right in front of the senator. Ah, if only he had hopped on the candidate’s head, snatched off his hat, flew high into the sky and then returned back to replace the hat. Then we’d know Bernie is the next president for sure because that is exactly what happened to Ancus Marcius, the fourth king of Rome, on his way into the city to claim the throne. “It’s a sign!” yelled his mother, Tanaquil, a renowned prophetess.
Alas, we’re not fortunate enough to have a renowned prophetess to interpret the behavior of the unfortunate sparrow. We just have the Donald, the polls, the media pundits and the man on the street to leave us guessing who will be our next king. And it sure is a guess, still.
March 25, 2016
Spring Cleaning Fever
What is it about the warmer weather, the return of the robins and finches, the frantic nest building, Spring Break or the rise of the naked ladies that makes me want to clean the house? And I do. I really do. I even had a professional carpet cleaner in for that white/gray/spotted rug. Maybe it has something to do with warming of the blood in the veins or thyroid activity. Or perhaps it’s that I haven’t cleaned since Christmas and the extra daylight hour is revealing a LOT of dust kitties under the bed and a gray covering on the woodwork. Get out that oil rag and get scrubbing!
March 18, 2016
Day One. I seem to have won the “Mouse in the kitchen” war only to find myself in battle with a woodpecker who is determined to make a sizeable hole in the chimney. And it turns out that yelling up the flue at the top of my voice, “Ding Dang It! Get out!” doesn’t seem to be effective
Day Two. Oh wait. I’m going to use that threat that’s as old as my children. “ Listen, Woodpecker. Don’t make me come up there!”
Day Three. Never mind. I removed the logs, lit a fire starter stick and it burned brightly for a few minutes. So far so good. No more woodpecker.
March 11, 2016
I’ll take the plain pine box thanks
From e. e. cummings, one of my all favorite poems;
When god lets my body be
From each brave eye shall sprout a tree
Fruit that dangles therefrom
The purpled world will dance upon
Between my lips which did sing
A rose shall beget the spring . . .
My strong fingers beneath the snow
Into strenuous birds shall go
My love walking in the grass
Their wings will touch with her face
And all the while shall my heart be
With the bulge and nuzzle of the sea.
Great idea, ideally and poetically. Unfortunately, some enterprising entrepreneur has devised and is selling a body bag (insert body in fetal position) to be planted with a tree seed. Voila! The tree sprouts “from each brave eye . . .” I don’t think so. Ick. Gross. Not quite ready for that.
March 4, 2016
Trump, Strumpet and Thumpers Win!
And what are we going to do for entertainment once the election is over? Oh, I get it. With Trump in the White House we can look forward to impending nuclear war, the KKK standing guard at the Washington Monument, a swim suit garbed first lady. The mind boggles.
February 26, 2016
The Moveable Vacuum Cleaner
The house across the street is a large, early twentieth century design, once owned by the mill’s owner, then his daughters and now occupied by student renters. Last year its sign was a ritzcracker box and, well, duh, entitled “The Ritz.” No sign this year, just an inflated plastic owl implanted on the roof of the porch, probably by the kid who regularly ran out onto the lawn throwing shoes, beer cans or whatever at the birds. New this year is an upright vacuum cleaner sitting on the front porch since November at least. Finally today, someone picked up all the other stuff…broken table and chairs, beer cans galore, red plastic cups, odds and ends of scrap lumber used for the snow fort, now melted into oblivion. This action is possibly connected to the arrival of an older man armed with a tape measure and shovel. He walked around, dug a few holes and then left. The mystery is not him, however, but the movement of the vacuum cleaner , not to go inside to maybe clean the house? But no, it is now sitting out in the middle of the lawn. Solo.
February 19, 2016
February. Let’s Omit It.
February’s (okay, what’s the plural of February -- Februaries? Februarys?} Anyhow, more than one February, actually, all the months of February, well, really, every February I have ever lived through has not been my favorite month. Despite the groundhog’s prediction, winter seems to be hanging on. The hawk just landed in the tree outside my window as I type, and is proceeding to viciously eviscerate a starling. The woodpecker attacked my chimney and a shower of soot flakes came down the flue and out onto the floor. On the positive side, the kids across the street managed to build (with the help of many recycling bins) a snow fort out of 2 inches of snow, which is now slowly melting away.
Anyhow, what should be the shortest month inevitably seems to be the longest. Let Spring arrive! Soon!
February 12, 2016
The Fully Functioning Wastebasket. A Saga.
So this is my world. New automatic opening, infra red doohickey, wastebasket arrives by FedEx. I install four new batteries. Nothing. I wave my hand per insttructions. Nothing. I turn it on. I turn it off. Nothing. I put in a new plastic liner (like I know that’s not the trouble, but it’s something I can do). More nothing. I take old, non functioning wastebasket, relieve it of its batteries, put them in the new. Voila! Lights flash, lids open and close! Hurray. So I take out batteries and return them to old basket and again install new batteries in the new basket. Suddenly the old basket turns on and starts opening its lid. So now I have two wastebaskets, fully functioning. Go figure.
Which all makes as much sense as Trump and Sanders.
February 4, 2016
A Total Blank
Things I’ll probably never understand;
Why the moon moves around in the sky.
A dominant fifth.
January 29, 2016
A Taxing Job and Joke
Tax preparation time. Time to get out last year’s and rethink. Time to recalculate. Time to make a list as to how I’m going to spend my refund. Time to get out Turbo Tax for 2015 and install. Just do it.
And to lighten the load, here’s one of my all time favorite jokes, by way of Roger Angell;
Teacher; Good morning, class. This is the first day of school and we’re going to introduce ourselves. I’ll call on you, one by one, and you can tell us your name and maybe what your dad or mom does for a living. You please, over at this end.
Small boy; My name is Irving and my dad is a mechanic.
Teacher; A mechanic! Thank you, Irving. Next?
Small girl; My name is Emma and my mom is a lawyer.
Teacher; How nice for you, Emma. Next?
Second small boy; My name is Luke and my dad is dead.
Teacher; O, Luke! How sad for you. We’re all very sorry about that, aren’t we, class? Luke, do you think you could tell us what Dad did before he died?
Luke (seizes his throat); He went “N’gungghhh!”
January 22, 2016
A Frightening Forecast
Remember “Sharknado”? When instead of a tornado, sharks fell out of the sky, wreaking havoc and destruction?
Enter a new word, “curzado”. A form of currency used in Brazil in the late 18th century. But eerily akin to “Cruznado”, a word I just made up, describing the national political climate and the presidential candidate Ted Cruz, who seems to be falling from the sky in frightening frequency and causing havoc with reason and destruction of the truth. He recently asserted that President Obama wants to take away your guns and Planned Parenthood should be defunded. Not to mention his denial of climate change, his opposition to same sex marriage or his willingness to bomb the Middle East.
Oh well. On to Trumpnado, an even more scary phenomenon.
January 15, 2016
Happiness is . . .
Happiness is a warm puppy? I don’t think so . It might be warm because it needs to be housebroken, not to mention obedience training, the constant feeding and poop scooping.
Happiness at this stage of my life is
1. grandchildren’s honors, awards, accomplishments, performances.
2. a fire that burns with hardly any poking, tending, blowing or crackling embers falling onto the floor.
3. a woodpecker at the feeder. Likewise a tufted titmouse or a wren that sings.
4. remembering where I put something.
5. knees that bend.
6. a good book.
7. Oh, did I mention a Beefeater martini???
January 8, 2016
Executive Orders. Hooray!
Being home all day affords me the privilege of watching live press conferences and events. So I’m very grateful to have been able to watch President Obama give a reasoned, intelligent, moving speech describing the executive order toward sensible and much needed gun control measures. Obama For President Forever! And if not, then Hillary!
Future executive orders;
1. Limit presidential campaigns to six months and one thousand dollars for everything.
2. Fix the tax code and close the loopholes so rich people pay their share.
3. With the money saved, pay for higher education for everyone.
And BTW, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order.
December 31, 2015
For Auld Lang Syne
Happy New Year!
One of my favorite movies -- right up there with “Gone With the Wind” and “Little Women” – “The Sound of Music” appeared on TV again last week, just in time for Christmas. Who can forget “Doe a Deer”, “Edelweiss” or ”The Hills all abound with the sound of music”? This movie has it all; family, music, love, politics, freedom, children and sewing clothes out of curtains! Been there!
I, for one, am glad 2015 is over. Too much stress on my house, on my knees, my back, my sciatic nerve. On to 2016! And if Donald Trump is our next president and Hillary is not, I’m packing up and moving to Canada.
December 25, 2015. Merry Christmas!
Islam is not a dirty word
After living through a season of Christian carols, church anthems and an occasional Jewish song, it occurs to me that something is missing. Music from Islam. I know they have some because I googled it and then heard a high school choir perform it on UTube.
In this day and age, I’m pretty sure that if our high school started singing Islamic songs at their Spring Concert, someone in the audience would stand up, cite the second amendment, and shoot the music director. But surely, in a quiet and non confrontational way, our children should be exposed to music from other faiths. Just a thought.
December 18, 2015
THOREAU WOULD BE PROUD
I’m getting rid of almost all my Christmas decorations and accoutrements.
The paper maiche angel head, the size of a football.
A glass Rudolph.
A red and green stuffed Elf.
One window candle powered by one battery that lasted one day.
A red and white stuffed Santa.
Spool of gold ribbon stiffened with wire. About 13 inches left.
A stuffed angel in the guise of a teacher.
Ceramic snowman covered in glitter.
Cluster of paper maiche bells that do not ring. They just clunk.
All going in a box for Goodwill. I’m reduced to fresh greenery from the Farm Market and window lights. Much better. Yeah.
December 11, 2015
No Fly, No Buy
I’m so fed up. Right after the San Bernardino shooting, Paul Ryan, the new Speaker of the House, gets on CNN and starts talking about “it’s really a mental health issue.” Then “let’s all step back and give it some time” and finally “we have to think about the constitutionality.” What baloney. The issue needs to be addressed now. No more waiting and reflecting. We’ve been doing that for years. The constitution has nothing to do with the problem and mental health is only a minor factor. It’s guns, people. Assault weapons. We used to have a ban on them. Let’s bring that back. Soon.
Hillary - yes, the one and only presidential candidate in the race – said it right. If we can have a list of people who cannot FLY, then we can have a list of people who cannot BUY assault weapons. Period.
So then our legislators in Washington introduce a law defunding Planned Parenthood and Repealing the Affordable Care Act. Good legislating you numbskulls. That’s not making laws, that’s destroying laws. Sheeese.
December 4, 2015
Last week there was a National Geographic special “Saints and Strangers” about the Mayflower Pilgrims (I suppose for Thanksgiving) featuring our Great (8) grandpa Steven Hopkins so I felt kinda obligated to watch it. I held on for about 20 minutes of crying, weeping, suffering, raining, Indians! Savages wearing threatening feathers! Arrows! More suffering! This is entertainment? Had to turn it off. Sorry Grandpa Steve! You’re history!
November 27, 2015
Happy Thanksgiving.. I be cooking.
November 20, 2015
The Art of Speaking Smart
Yes. You want people to think you are saying something important, something true, accurate and worthy of attention;
Squint. Pause. Lower your voice and speak slowly.
Or, as my education professor used to do, speak slowly and very deliberately even though you really have nothing to say. Your listeners will slowly glaze over, fidget, or drift away.
November 13, 2015
TIME MARCHES ON
Daylight Saving Time ends. Now it’s dark early. Time to adjust the outside light. The first frost last night. The geraniums are really finished now. Red, orange and brown leaves float down and clutter the driveway, walks and gutters. Hummingbirds and robins gone. Woodchuck comes nosing around and chipmunk fills his cheeks with peanuts and scurries away to his stash under the garage eave. Walmart has opened up its Christmas Shoppe and we’re talking Thanksgiving dinner.
Time for the first fire. Yeah!
November 6, 2015
I’m going through the check out line at Kroger’s on October 31, and the bagger says “Are you having a nice Halloween?” and I smile and automatically say “Sure” but in my heart I’m saying “Are you nuts?” And then today it happened again, and someone on Facebook says “Did you have a Happy Halloween?”
Is Happy Halloween like Merry Christmas? I don’t even celebrate Halloween. When you are getting frighteningly close to death, you really are not in the mood to celebrate it. And why does everyone dress in in a scary costume, and spend tons of money on decorations meant to conjure up ideas of fright, ghosts, spectral monsters, vampires and werewolves ? Isn[t life in reality scary enough?
What kind of holiday is this when you encourage children to go around begging and then threatening and then you succumb and give them stuff with absolutely no nutritional value that will corrode their teeth and make them fat?
Bah! Humbug to Halloween, Sweetest Day, and Daylight Saving Time. God forbid we start saying “Merry Veterans Day” or “Happy Bring Your Daughter to Work Day”
October 30, 2015
Because of my high blood pressure, my health professionals warn that I could go at any moment. The silent killer , it’s called. Well, in that case, at 78 …Decision Time.
KRISPY KREME DONUT ANYTIME YOU WANT! GRAETER’S MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP ICE CREAM RIGHT OUT OF THE CARTON! POUR THAT REAL BUTTER ON THE POP CORN! NO MORE LO CALORIE ANYTHING.
October 23, 2015
Feeling the Bern
Okay, everyone. Politiciians, news people, congressmen and women, candidates, voters, people of all ages. Let’s take a deep breath and stand back. Now. Instead of blaming Bush for 9/11, Hillary for Benghazi, or anything else insane, how about thinking about how we can make this country better, safer and fairer? Could we start with controlling the gun population (background checks for all sales), the people population (funding for planned parenthood and the maintenance of clinics for the poor and needy women especialy in Texas) and attention paid to the mentally ill everywhere? Let’s think forward, not backward. Let reason prevail. I’m feeling the Bern.
October 16, 2015
It’s Greek to Me
Hubris; excessive pride in defiance of the gods. Do we think we can do a better job at making a human body beautiful? Better than Mother Nature? Or God? Or Whoever?
I see limbs totally disfigured with tattoos, beautiful hair discolored with dyes, noses, ears and tongues enhanced with metal jewelry and pierced with fake gems.
The ancient Greeks knew beauty. They made statues of the human body as they saw it, unadorned (except for a fig leaf or two) and let it shine. They also invented hubris and had a healthy respect for it. Let this be a lesson.
October 9, 2015
Get Smart, People
Modest steps to reduce gun violence in America
1. universal background checks
2. tighter regulation of gun dealers
3. 10 year prohibition on possessing guns for anyone convicted of domestic violence, assault or similar offenses
4. weapons that fire only with a PIN or fingerprint
5. microstamping that allows a bullet to be traced back to a particular gun
6. liability insurance for guns, as we do for cars
In light of the shootings in Oregon, legislators; don’t send us your thoughts and prayers. Send us LAWS.
October 2, 2015
Too Many Days
Last week we had Daughters Day. What? Hallmark has invented another holiday so we can go out and buy a card? Like Secretaries Day? Sweetest Day? Where is Sons Day? How about favorite Librarian Day? Pizza Delivery Guy Day? Give Me a Break Day?
September 25, 2015
An Age Old Story
When asked about my age, I used to say, jokingly, “I’m as old as God.” Well, it turns out, I’m as old as the pope. You can’t get much closer than that.
September 18, 2015
Frustrating week without the computer. No mail, no shopping, tech guys can't seem to show up when they say, always 2 or 3 days off, but finally it's back and I'll be more coherent next week.
September 11, 2015
I seem to have tattooed on my forehead “Ignore This Woman”. And the older I get, the more brazen it becomes. This summer has been the Age of Ignorius. First the plumbers, then the excavators and now the computer technicians. Oh well. Fuggedaboudit. I’ll adjust. On the up side, the grass is growing back, only one boxwood died, I can use the useless disc tray to hold my post it notes and I saved money on the repair. Always Pollyanna.
Attention Faithful Followers
My computer goes in for repair this week. So I may not be able to publish. On the other hand, I may get lucky and have it back by Friday.
September 4, 2015
A recent Facebook listing describes a house for sale; older ranch, three bedrooms and one bath. Wait a sec! One bath? Hello! Try again. Of all my grandchildren, only two share a bathroom. Everyone else has his own. And the new apartments going up nearby, each person has his/her own bath. It’s the new normal. Along with everyone has a cell phone and you get your social security number when you’re BORN! Progress. A good thing.
August 28, 2015
Concerning Donald Trump. From the New York Times, David Axelrod and Maureen Dowd; “He’s won the swimsuit competition. Now it’s time for the talent show.”
“Keep the Headlights Burning, and Both Hands Upon the Wheel; Let Me Call You Sweetheart, I’m In Love With Your Automobile”
In the latest No. 1 Ladies’Detective Agency Series by Alexander McCall Smith Mma Ramotswe describes Botswana; “somewhere there, in that land of red earth, of green acacia, of cattle bells, was the soul of her country.”
Iran: We’re only producing nuclear energy.
World: Okay, we believe you. Proceed.
Iran: We’re going to bomb Israel.
Iran: Oh. OK.
The first Memorial Day honored the soldiers who died in the Civil War and this year, ironically, we’re honoring those who have died fighting in someone else’s civil war.
chooses the high and the low.
And so I celebrated Memorial Day, like all good Americans,...and went shopping.
The human brain is 80% water.
Harry Truman would often go on vacation and have his twin Larry take his place.
Global warming is due to a batch of faulty thermometers.
Zorro can slash the numeral “2”. Or an “N” lying down.
The Book of Leviticus contains a recipe for broccoli polenta.
Thomas Mann wrote DEATH IN VENICE after being murdered in Italy.
Phil Donahue thinks his show is in hiatus, waiting for new carpeting.
J. Edgar Hoover’s last words were “I’m not dead, don’t close the co—“
The population is 75% under the age of 25 and they never get any older.
You have homecoming in a gym, prom in a dining hall, high school plays are in a cafeteria and graduation on a basketball court.
People ask you where you live and you reply, “I live in a drinking town with a college problem.”
Everyone knows what “Kill em and hide em “ is.
You, your parents and your grandparents had Mr. Kober in class.
Diversity means bringing in an exchange student from Reily.
A haunting picture from a couple of years ago –a young woman, walking down South College Avenue, tears streaming down her face. And now again, last week, another young woman walking past my house, crying and talking on her cell phone. Does this happen in other towns? Or is it just in a college town, where relationships are fragile or where life is just a little unreal?
And then today, last day of the school year and traditionally Moving Out Day, the dogs next door begin to bark and a girl comes sailing down the street in a rolling desk chair, laughing wildly as she twirls around, careening from car to car. I’m almost disappointed that she’s not crying, talking on her cell or juggling.
I want to make it clear, right up front, that I’m not laughing AT them. I’m not laughing WITH them, either, because they, for the most part, are not laughing. Maybe laughing FOR them, oh, all right, laughing AT them, but they’re so cute. I’m talking Tee ball.
The whole team takes the field. And since the ball rarely makes it out of the infield, the fielders are placed in a semi circle behind the bases. First inning, they’re all ready, squatting in position with “alligator mouth” gloves at the ready. Every team member bats. Since it’s four to six year olds, some are decidedly better than others. No strikes. They just keep swinging until it’s a hit. So the four year old, Jack, is fine for one inning. But then attention starts to wander. By the second inning, some fielders are sitting down, picking at the grass, or playing with the dirt. Jack enjoys standing on the bag, jumping up and down, watching the little white puffs. Our catcher, all suited up and hardly able to bend over, likes to watch the ball come to her. So as the runners are progressing, she’s standing, glove ready, waiting for the ball to slowly, really slowly, dribble towards her. All eyes, parents, grandparents, siblings, are fixated on the slow moving ball. Will it make it to the glove or will it stop? Or will she take a step forward and pick it up? Oh, the drama.
They’re all primed to throw to first base. Our first baseman, who by now is more interested in something in right field, is shocked into action by the ball heading his way and as he raises his hand in self defense, the ball takes a bounce and lands plunk in the middle of his glove. It’s one of the only real catches of the game, and we’re all astonished, especially the first baseman.
There are no outs. We just keep going through the lineup. Finally in the third inning, a couple of base runners get put out. No one really cares, of course, because no one is counting, either outs or runs. There are no outs by catching fly balls because no one can catch. It’s mostly watching it land in front of you and then falling on it. There are several tussles when two fielders want the same ball. And of course by the third inning, everyone is tired. Jack keeps coming to the fence, asking Mandy if it’s time to go home yet. But, mercifully, the three innings are over, the ritual lining up and high fiving the other team and then the SNACK! Jack’s comment on the way home, “It’s too long.” Will he make it through the summer? Two games a week. Stay tuned.
We all know that language is a living entity. Words are born (blog) and words die (doth). They also take on new meanings. In my generation, “party” involved invitations, special food, decorations, balloons, streamers and a time frame, like Friday afternoon from 5 to 7. That party still exists, of course, but somewhere, just about when our firstborn entered high school, “party” went from a noun to a verb. He was out “partying”, home by 2 a.m. and sleep til noon. Now anyone can “party” in the presence of a keg and loud music.
Two of the Three Dog Night died after eating tainted pet food.
The Hawaian alphabet has only 12 letters.
Seven out of 10 people believe positive thinking extends life. The other 3 are dead.
I saw Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico, on CNN last week. He was in North Korea, trying to get the remains of American soldiers from the Korean War to be returned home. I was in awe, that here was an American actually talking to the “enemy.” He was successful and he was asked about the negotiations and he said that he didn’t negotiate with the Koreans because the North Koreans don’t negotiate or even think that way. FINALLY! Someone who goes to the trouble to find out how the enemy thinks and is willing to sit down and talk. Say, isn’t he running for President?
In addition to X-ray vision, Superman can guess your weight within 5 pounds.
Nine out of ten visitors to Delaware are there as a result of a wrong turn.
One third of the explorers who reached both the North and South Poles developed bipolar disorder.
You can grow lettuce in nothing but water and a few pills.
When Paul Revere rode through the countryside, he did not yell “The British are coming!” but instead he cried “The Regulars are Out!”
The North Star is not always the same.
And why wasn’t I told about it? So I run to my calendars, and there it is. Someone obviously told THEM. The big question now...has anyone told my computer? my DVR? my cell phone?
10. Racoon has returned
9. Neighbor who goes to Florida for the winter has also returned
8. Ice cap on my patio is receding.
7. Tanning beds are filled to capacity with Miami students getting ready for Spring Break (what happened to the idea that you go to Florida to GET tanned?)
6. Flip flops and shorts are back on the street.
5. Grackles have returned (robins, the traditional harbinger of Spring have been here all winter).
4. Easter Bunny pictures in catalogues.
3. Wood pile is diminishing.
2. Rain, not snow.
Did I say winter was beautiful? Hellooo! Well, yes, it is beautiful, but after a week of single digit cold and 8 inches of snow compounded by 2 inches of solid ice, all I can say is, winter hurts.
St. Peter is standing at the Pearly Gates. Along comes a man with a shock of unruly white hair who says he’s Albert Einstein. St. Peter says, “Do you have any identification?” Einstein says, “No, but here . . .” and he pulls out paper and pencil and begins to scribble equations. St. Peter takes one look and says, “I’m convinced. Go on in.”
Starting an afghan consisting of 25 squares and completing nine, seven of which are different sizes, colors and just FORGET IT!
Ordering from a catalogue a $400 lamp that looks nice but because of a design flaw, after being on for more than five minutes, reaches a temperature close to the boiling point and has to be turned off using an oven mitt.
Spending $3 on a leather fly swatter, hand tooled by a Native American with original design, a lovely piece of leather attached to a natural tree twig and utterly useless; by the time the leather hits the wall, the fly is halfway to Mexico.
Picture this; I’m sitting on the floor in front of my TV, VCR and Cable DVD Box, surrounded by three multi-paged manuals written in at least three languages, none of which are in an English I comprehend, and holding three remote controls, all powered by two AAA batteries (I can do that) and somehow causing my TV to go completely snowcovered with the accompanying BLAAHHHHHH.
After an hour of button pushing, remote control shaking, heart stopping frustration, i.e. nothing, I call my friendly Cable Guy, who very patiently has me running around the house (thank goodness for my cordless phone) checking other TV’s, going to my TV and actually pushing buttons on the console (I’ve never done that before), now do this, now do that, wait a minute, what does this display say, do I have the time? press this, press that, then VOILA! It’s all fixed.
10. Books I’m sorry I bought.
9. Stupid things I’ve done. (Oh, much too large.)
8. Things I have thrown through a window I thought was open but was actually closed. (Probably too small.)
7. Meals I’ll never make again.
6. Meals I’ll make at least once a week.
5. People crossed off my Christmas list. (Ooh, that’s an ugly one.)
4. Seinfeld episodes that are classic.
3. Lists I wish I wasn’t on.
2. Places I’ll never go on vacation again. (Las Vegas?)
1. Ways to waste time. And in that category, Top Ten Categories!
Even though I really don’t care for dogs (the slobber, the smell, the pleading, servile expression) my grandogs are inexplicably attracted to me and attempt to climb into my lap even though some are 100 plus pounds. I actually like my grandogs, probably because I don’t have to feed them or attend to their business. And they go home.
My Dad’s job was to go get the tree, and he never mastered the art of picking out a good one; it was too skinny, too fat, it was crooked, lopsided, too small, too big. But we’d put it up anyway and proceed to decorate it; too much angel hair, too many orange lights, tinsel not arranged artfully, too much ARGUING!
Our esteemed Oxford City Council is considering legislation that would ban outdoor Beer Pong, a current college craze that involves cups of beer on a table on the outside porch, and the inevitable litter, not to mention drunken kids. Of course it’s ridiculous. Students will drink somehow and soon there’ll be some other game, just as, if not more, obnoxious. We have ordinances against public intoxication and littering, so what else is new?
In fact, nothing. When I arrived here in 1965, Mr. M___ (I have learned not to name names) had a house on Sycamore St. that was completely filled with broken TV’s and radios. A WWII vet, he spent his time with electronic repairs. We had a small, black and white TV and at one point it stopped, so we brought it over. By that time the old covers, shells of their former life, electrical inner workings, tubes, cords, were spilling out onto his porch.
He had an unusual method of doing business. He couldn’t bring himself to say he couldn’t repair it. Instead he would lend you a working TV and you never saw your own again. Whose we were really watching was always a mystery. Possbily someone was watching ours.
Then we did without a TV for a while, until the Watergate Hearings, and we called Mr. M____ to rent one. No problem. The problem came when we were done and wanted to return it. He came but wouldn’t take money. “PLEASE! We’ve had it for two months. Take $5! PLEASE!”
Actually he lived in another house a few blocks away, but that one, too, became filled with dysfunctional TV’s which spilled out onto his lawn and the neighbors complained about the litter and there you are.