Saturday, December 01, 2007


Ladies First …

Act 1

Scene One: A terrific sale on shoes, so you pick up those black pumps you’ve been needing and, what the heck, get the same style in navy, too. Ooh, and what a great price on fisherman’s sandals, just plop the navy pair in your basket. Oops, red is sold out in your size, but at this price, go ahead and get them in black.

Scene Two: You are late for a meeting. You are dressed and ready to go. Just have to slip on those new navy pumps. Don’t need to turn on the light. Your shoes are paired up. Grab and go.

Scene Three: On the way out of the restroom to the meeting you check your outfit – perfect. You check your hair and makeup – perfect. You check your shoes – yikes! How did that THAT happen!

Scene Four: Back home again, you rematch your pumps and put the black pair in the hall closet! While you are at it, the black sandals go in the hall closet, too!

Act 2

Scene One: Which pair of earrings should you wear with this outfit; the studs or the J-hoops? Silver or gold? These hoops would look good, no wait, maybe these studs. You put a hoop in your right ear and a stud in your left. The phone rings, the dog wants out and there is a strange noise coming from the refrigerator. You answer the phone, let the dog back in and the noise was just the ice maker defrosting. Off you go!

Scene Two: You make a note to self to ALWAYS check your earrings before leaving the house and never have lunch with those teasing women again.


You find a darling pair of light beige slacks that fit perfect, are light-weight and just right for summer. Then you find the perfect top that hides those few, only a few, extra pounds on your hips and butt. It covers all the faults. A few days later you have to run to the grocery so you jump into those perfect slacks and fault-hiding top and slip into your navy sandals. You grab your cup to finish off the coffee and – splash, it speckles the front of your perfect top. In almost one motion, you strip off the top, grab another from the closet and you are out the door. As you approach the store, you notice that the young man retrieving the carts has turned around to look at you. In the store, you notice several more people looking your way, some smiling. It must be this great outfit. After you get home, you check yourself out in the hall mirror and realize that (1) your top only comes to just below your waist, (2) your light-weight slacks are slightly opaque and (3) you have on red underwear!

Now the men …

Act 1

The occasion requires a suit and tie, but which tie? This brown and yellow one will go okay with the blue suit, no one will notice anyway.

Act 2

Now for shoes. Well, the Nikes are definitely out. The black ones need to be polished. These tan loafers will look okay. Do you really need socks? Guess so. These will do.


You have no idea why the ladies looked at you so strangely or understood why the teen with the tattoos, pierced eyelid and green spiked hair gave you a “thumbs up.”

One man’s solution to the male matching dilemma …

The artist husband of one of my best friends has solved the problem of mismatched shoes and socks: black shoes, black socks. No compromise. Black shoes, black socks with everything. Nearly drives her nuts. In the early years of their marriage, she bought him socks of different colors. Had to take them back and get black socks. Tan slacks? Black shoes, black socks. Denim cutoffs? Ditto. Blue suit? Yep. Now if she could only get him to wear a black tuxedo year round he would never, ever again be mismatched!

P.S. You gotta admire a rebel in this era of regimentation.

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Irish Fruitcake Recipe

Seems a number of people are searching for the famous Irish fruitcake recipe now that the huge holiday insanity season is approaching. I know you are out there as I get three or four hits a day on my Sitemeter.

I found this recipe for Irish fruitcake years ago and have since seen a number of variations, including the Jack Daniels version.

Fruitcakes have become outrageously expensive to make at home so if you are on a budget and won't be baking this year, just read the recipe while sipping a beer!

Irish Fruitcake
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups dried fruit
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
lemon juice
1 gallon Irish whiskey

Sample the whiskey to check for quality.

Take a large bowl.

Check the whiskey again to be sure it is of the highest quality.
Pour one level cup and drink.

Turn on the electric mixer; beat 1 cup butter in a large, fluffy bowl.

Add 1 teaspoon sugar and beat again.

Make sure the whiskey is still OK.
Cry another tup.

Turn off mixer.

Break 2 legs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

Mix on the turner.

If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers, pry it loose with a drewscriver.

Sample the whiskey to check for tonsisticity.

Next, sift 2 cups of salt.
Or something.
Who cares?

Check the whiskey.

Now sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.

Add one table. Spoon. Of sugar or something.
Whatever you can find.

Grease the oven.

Turn the cake tin to 350 degrees.

Don't forget to beat off the turner.

Throw the bowl out of the window.

Check the whiskey again.

Go to bed.

Who the hell likes fruitcake anyway?


P.S. Do you have a favorite or old family fruitcake recipe or joke about fruitcake to share? I would love to add it to my collection! See my profile for my email address.
P.S. Again -- You might want to visit my December 2006 post "Fruitcake."

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Monday, November 12, 2007

No-Nos in the Workplace

CNN recently posted an article on their Web site called “Things you should never do at work.” Included is good advice about not to gossip, hit on your boss or steal office supplies.

After reading the article, I noticed a few things they left out, so I made my own list.

1. Sniff at your pits and declare to anyone who will listen, “Gee, maybe I should have showered this morning.”

2. Fall asleep at your desk, then when awakened, jokingly tell your boss you were just looking at the inside of your eyeballs.

3. Come to work in slippers and offer to show your ingrown toenails to the receptionist.

4. Bring your pet iguana to work on your shoulder.

5. Bring your three-year-old to work and explain, “The day care won’t take him because he has the mumps.”

6. Explain the reason you are late is because you changed your mind about what to wear and the zipper in your skirt/slacks broke and held you hostage until you could get someone to cut you out.

7. At three in the morning, leave a message on your boss's voice mail that you are sick and won't be in, forgetting that the sound of the party in the background will also be recorded.

8. Go to lunch and not return, then show up the next morning but offer no explanation.

9. Have a screaming phone conversation with your soon-to-be ex while customers are waiting – and listening.

10. In the lunchroom, ask a coworker to “taste this and let me know if you think it’s gone bad.”

Now then, what’s your advice about what not to do at work?

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Breaking News

It seems like almost every television news channel has “breaking news.” One local channel reported a breaking news weather alert long after the storm was over. A popular cable channel was still running a breaking news alert about a celebrity eight hours after the breaking news first broke.

Now hold on here, just how long can breaking news break? Is there a time limit?

If breaking news is red hot new news, and several hour old news is just “news,” then is day old news “olds?”

Maybe we should define the difference between new breaking news and old breaking news. Oh, wait, news is supposed to be “new,” so if breaking news is new news, is it really breaking news or just news? If we called old breaking news something like “Recent News,” it would kind of lose it’s dramatic appeal and just be old news. But then old news is not news at all, it’s just stuff that happened in the recent past.

I wonder when breaking news becomes history. You know, too old to be breaking news or even news at all. I guess “breaking history” won’t work in a scrolling banner across the bottom to the TV screen.

What about breaking news that is reported over and over and over until we are all sick of it. Would that be considered “persistent update” news or PU for short?

Well, all this is just too confusing for me. I’m going to go watch Spongebob.

Alas, where is Walter Cronkite when you really need him?!

P.S. January 17, 2008 -- Go here for a Broom Hilda cartoon giggle about "Breaking News."

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Halloween Memories

My hubby and I first lived in a new subdivision of mostly young people our age. Everyone knew everyone else and their children. It was safe then to turn the kids loose to play outside under watchful eyes from parents up and down the street.

Halloween night, from twilight to about 8 or 8:30, saw a stream of little kids from surrounding homes scurrying to one house, then another, in the age-old quest for candy, candy, candy. In simple getups, clowns, tramps, princesses and ghosts came running to our door. They carried plain old paper bags. No expensive, fancy costumes and elaborate, glowing plastic pumpkins back then.

After handing out treats, we could hear a faint, “Say thank you” from the sidewalk. A few little ones new to this fabulous idea of sugar in abundance would pause to peek inside their bags to see what they got. Experienced five year olds barely paused, knowing the faster they went, the more candy they would have at the end of their run.

By about 9 p.m., a few sugar-deprived teenagers and kids brought over in cars from other areas started coming. We turned out the lights, but kept the candy bowl handy.

One year there was a banging on the door and G. leaped up ready to throw candy (and I suspect a few choice words) out the door. There stood two of the saddest characters we had ever seen. The "daughter," who stood over six-feet tall, had a really bad hairdo, what appeared to be a missing front tooth, a tacky dress, and a very pregnant-looking belly.

The shorter "father," dressed in overalls (no shirt), had an obviously fake grey beard and a shotgun. Yikes! It was the most ridiculous our neighbors (both guys) had ever looked and just as the "father" was ready to haul off G. for soiling his daughter, we started laughing so hard we couldn't even talk.

They started to laugh, the pillow-baby fell out of Don's dress and porch lights went on in the houses around us. Neighbors came out to see what all the noise was about and soon we had a front yard party going. What a Halloween that was.

Now all the kids in my present neighborhood have grown and gone and those with children of their own trick-or-treat at parties, church events, or the malls.

Expensive store-bought costumes have replaced clever home-made getups. Little children – at least in my area – no longer whoop and shout “twick or tweat” at the door for candy, candy, candy.

I still buy miniature chocolate bars, though, just in case.


Now what in the world will I do with all this candy? Oh, silly me … never mind.

Happy Halloween!

P.S. – What’s your best Halloween memory?

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Friday, October 19, 2007

Igpay Atinlay

Ancay ouya eakspay igpay atinlay?

Sometime around the seventh grade, a group of us girls all learned to speak pig latin. This incredible language was passed on to us by Nancy’s older brother, who assured us that only we and a few chosen others could understand this strange and cryptic language.

We practiced our new communication all weekend to be ready to whisper secrets to one another in study hall or flaunt openly in front of the boys.

In no time, we became so fluent that we used the language within earshot of our parents. When on the telephone discussing that cute boy in English, we left out no details about his dreamy eyes, his wavy hair or the way he looked running track during gym class. Why, we could just say anything and our parents would have no clue.

Occasionally, just to show off, we would answer back to our moms in pig latin, then condescending say, “Oh, I forgot, you only speak English.” Betty’s mom didn’t think it near as clever as we did and Betty wound up grounded for a week.

It was great fun among us girls as we told jokes, gossiped and even did our homework immersed in the switching of consonants and adding the “ay” at the end of the word.

All was going along smoothly until one day I slipped up and muttered “ammitday” under my breath when I dropped an armful of books in the living room.

Hands on hips and feet firmly planted, my mom suddenly appeared. “Iway avehay adhay enoughway. Ifway ouya asay atthya ordway againway, young lady, ouya areway roundgay orfay away onthmay! Ownay ickpay upway hosetay ooksbay andway ogay otay ourya oomray!”

Good grief! SHE knows our secret language! She knows everything we’ve been saying. Arrrrgggggh! We’re doomed.

The next day in home room, I spread the horrible news to the other girls. Within three days of diplomatically quizzing their mothers, we were devastated to learn that yes, the other mothers and most of the dads, knew our secret language.

When we confronted Nancy’s brother, he howled with laughter. “Of course Mom knows pig Latin, you goofs. Who do you think taught it to me?!”

We decided Nancy’s brother had to be punished for lying to us and then laughing at us. We almost let him off the hook, until we found out he told the guys he hung out with what fools he made of his sister and her stupid friends.

It took a little cocoa powder, sugar, flour, butter, vanilla, salt and baking powder and we whipped up the most beautiful pan of brownies to ever come out of Nancy’s kitchen. We giggled and imagined the consequences of one extra chocolatey secret ingredient recommend by Betty’s older sister.

Almost as if on clue, the brother and his friends appeared.

“Don’t touch these brownies,” we admonished the boys. “They are for a bake sale tomorrow and they have to cool.”

We went up to Nancy’s room, hands clamped over out mouths to keep the laughter from filtering downstairs, and slammed the door. Once secluded, we buried our heads in her pillows, rolling on the bed as tears streamed down our faces.

Two hours later when we emerged, the brownies had disappeared. So had her brother’s friends. At 3 a.m., reported Nancy, her brother was locked in the downstairs bathroom.

We never spoke of the incident again.

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Dear Olive

October 20 is the birthday of the world's oldest blogger, Olive Riley, a feisty 108-year-old Australian great-great-grandmother with amazingly clear memories of her colorful life. She was born on October 10, 1899, in Broken Hill, a mining town in central Australia.

Physically frail but mentally alert, Olive lives in an aged care hostel 50 miles (80 km) north of Sydney. Her blog (or 'blob' as she calls it), The Life of Riley, is read throughout the world.

Her blogging pal, Mike Rubbo, carefully documents and publishes Olive’s stories for us all to enjoy. Olive and Mike teamed up when he as researching centenarians and then made a film for the ABC called “All About Olive.”

So here’s to you Olive on your 108th birthday.

What a joy you are and what a wonderful gift you have given us with your stories.

Now on with the celebration!

Happy Birthday Dear Olive!

Sunday, October 14, 2007


It’s been a long, exhausting and painful month. I incurred a serious attack of declutteritis.

It all started with exposure to a television program about handy-dandy ways to simplify your life. A vision quickly spread to my brain of tidy closets and litter-free table tops, bookshelves and desks.

If not caught in the early stages, declutteritis can spread to the entire body causing a flurry of activity resulting in painful aches and pains from dragging, pulling, stooping, keeling and lifting.

It can also be expensive. Victims of this all-consuming delirium are often found in department stores scooping up containers and baskets of all sizes, labeling materials and trash bags.

Fortunately, recovery requires very little medication for the normally healthy person unless attics, basements and sheds are involved, or heavy furniture or equipment requires moving. A few over-the-counter pain relievers, some liniment and a good movie on DVD, plus a few days rest, clears up the aches.

Some victims often suffer a side effect. Declutteritis may lead to garagesaleotis, a short-term frenzy to rid the home of stuff that is no longer wanted, but too good to throw away. Further aches and pains may result, but can also be treated with non-prescription pain relievers and a cup of hot tea after the sale subsides.

Warning: Recovery from declutteritis and the resulting garagesaleotis can result in a trip back to the department stores with a bag of change (mostly dimes and quarters) to bring home more useless stuff to be stored in the closets and on table tops, bookshelves and desks.

Caution: Both conditions may reoccur, primarily in the Spring and Fall.

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Monday, October 01, 2007

Things We Hardly Do Anymore

If you are from an average working family and grew up in the 30s, 40s and 50s, you will remember some of these.

Run towels through the wringer.

Sip Coca-Cola from the green bottle right out of the ice-filled box in front of the filling station.

Take shoes to the repair shop.

Trim grass with manual shears.

Defrost the refrigerator’s freezer compartment.

Drink from a woodland stream.

Walk to the corner store.

Use an outhouse.

“Patch” sheets.

Pile in the car for a Saturday night movie at the drive-in.

Press an ear to the console radio to listen to Fibber Magee and Mollie.

Make aprons out of flour sacks.

Open a beer can with a church key.

Get a really great surprise out of the Cracker Jack box.

Send off for a secret decoder ring.

Know all the words to all the songs on “Your Hit Parade.”

Wear triple roll socks.

Attach playing cards to bike wheels so they flap against the spokes and make an engine sound.


Prime the pump.

Loose a skate key.

Pluck a chicken.

Step up on the running board.

Hold your nose when administered castor oil.

Win a goldfish at the county fair.

What do YOU hardly do anymore?

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Oh, Darn

Quick – what is a darning egg? Oh, my gosh, that’s right. I can’t believe you are THAT old. What, Betty? No, it does not come from a darn chicken.

According to one of my favorite sites, Wikipedia, “A darning egg is an egg-shaped ovoid of stone, porcelain, wood, or similar hard material, which is inserted into the toe or heel of the sock to hold it in the proper shape and provide a firm foundation for repairs. When the repairs are finished, the darning egg is removed.”

I remember seeing my grandmother pulling socks from her mending basket and sliding the handy little tool into the toe or heel before expertly weaving a patch of soft thread. My mom, too, mended socks but didn’t always have a matching thread. On the days when I wore the light blue socks with the red thread repair I always made sure my shoelaces were double knotted.

You would think the skill of sock mending would be passed down from mother to daughter. Somewhere between my mom and me, that knowledge and desire flew out the window (along with the passion for dusting).

Shortly after I got married someone gave me a sturdy darning egg made of wood with a handy handle for quick retrieval. Yeah, like you can loose one of those things in a sock. My young husband was thrilled with the prospect of my darning his socks “just like mama” and I soon had a lap full of socks to go with the egg.

Being a crafty, but unwilling sock darner, I quickly figured out that being an expert sock darner meant an endless supply of socks to darn as my groom was an expert toenail grower.

I set about to end the ridulous practice of spending nine cents a skein on yarn for every color of sock imaginable and hours with needle, thread and darning egg. The tradition of sock darning stops here.

My first few darns were okay, but as more socks appeared in my new mending basket, I began to make lumpier and lumpier repairs. Oh, gee, seems a badly darned sock is a bit uncomfortable. Complaints from the wearer only resulted in more lumps. Finally I suggested, in a volume readily heard, that he just go buy new socks and throw the old ones away. The cost of new socks in those days was about the same as a skein of mending yarn.

“What?! And waste a perfectly good mate to the holey sock? Mama always darned my socks.”

After a brief and lively conversation about sock repair, I knew our marriage would eventually spiral downhill.

The topic, and additions to the mending basket, stopped for several weeks, then one day raised it’s ugly head with a pair of dark blue socks with holes in both toes. I offered to go that very minute and buy new ones, but nooooo, these had to be “mended” – and mended right now.

I quickly mended the socks, but not with the traditional needle, yarn, and stupid darning egg. My darling put on his socks, finished dressing and out the door he went. He never, ever asked me to darn his socks again. He even bought two dozen pairs of socks in assorted colors.

I bought a new box of staples.

P.S. (Added January 2, 2008) My sentiments were echoed in one of my favorite cartoons, Pickles, today.

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Blog Block

I read somewhere that the word “blog” comes from saying “web log” real fast. What is it called when a blog writer has writer’s block? I think I have “Ogbloc ” or “Gloc” because for the past few weeks I’ve had no desire to write.

Maybe it’s the weather. Here in North Florida, it’s hot and dry one day and dry and hot the next. The lawn is crispy, the plants have wilted and some of the dogwoods are dropping leaves. I would water more, but we're in the middle of a serious drought and I don't want to add to further depletion and pollution of the Florida Aquifer.

My friend in Oklahoma said their area is covered in lush green and water overflows the banks of the North Canadian River. When I lived in Oklahoma City some years ago, at this time of year, the clay soil had cracked into miniature canyons and there was only a trickle of water in the river.

There was even a joke about the North Canadian whose riverbed was often crisscrossed with tire tracks. “Hey, do you know why there are so many cats in Oklahoma City?” “No, why are there so many cats in Oklahoma City?” “Ever try to drown a bag of kittens in the North Canadian!” (Get it? Dry river bed … oh, never mind. It’s a joke, folks, just a joke.)

Television news programs give prominence to stories about the rich and famous – over and over and over. Maybe they should find out how many of us actually care about rich people in rehab. Most of us are too busy trying to keep the electricity on, gas in the car, and food on the table.

Entertainment programming is either a “challenge” of some sort, young women vying for the attention of some past-his-prime entertainer, or just plain filth or violence or both. Some of the so-called comedy programs are so laced with profanity and vulgarity that it’s hard to know what the punch line is. And we wonder why our kids are nuts. Thank goodness for PBS and the few channels that run old sitcoms and movies.

Air pollution, water pollution, floods, droughts, global warming, wars, famine, poverty, terrorists, drugs, child abuse, elder abuse, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Ackkkkk!

And politics … oh, geeze … what is there to say other than can adult men and women who aspire to the presidency of the United States get any sillier?

As soon as the weather cools down maybe my blogability will return along with some nice rain showers that aren’t defined by a “category.” In the meantime, I’m avoiding the things that I can’t change that tick me off. Well, almost everything. Okay, just a few things. To avoid everything, I would have to live in a cave – in a different country – on a different planet.

And now we return you to your regularly scheduled life. Do not adjust your brain. Plenty of people are willing to do that for you.

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Guest Blogger on “Time Goes By”

One of the first sites I found when I started blogging two years ago was Ronni Bennett’s Time Goes By. Wow, I thought, what a terrific writer and what great issues she chooses to champion. Ronni’s focus is on topics important to us elderly folks: health care, retirement, discrimination, even other bloggers. She recently started a second site for us to tell our stories at The Elder Storytelling Place.

Ronni has also been pivotal in changing our vocabulary. I never liked the word “senior” when applied to us; it sounds like we skip about in caps and gowns, grey hair aflutter in the breeze, as we graduate into the unknown. Along came our Ronni using “elder” and we enthusiastically embraced the new-old word and celebrated as it morphed into other terms like “elderblogger.”

I, like many of Ronni’s devoted readers, have received her generous pats on the back, words of encouragement and sage advice. I am a better writer and much better elderblogger because of her examples and enthusiasm.

My ego soared when Ronni published two of my stories on her Storytelling site. When her invitation came to be one of five guest bloggers while she was on vacation from Time Goes By, I drove family and friends crazy with my elation. Me, little ol’ me! OMG!

Now it’s official. Today is the day my guest shot (well, what would you call it?) appears. While I’m off being goofy with ego-itus, mixed with strong shots of humility, for the rest of the day, please come visit my contribution, “A Dose of Laughter.”

Thanks, Ronni, for making one elder gal feel very “spechul.”

Oh, and if you haven’t already, be sure to bookmark Time Goes By and The Elder Storytelling Place to visit again and again.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Have you ever been in a crowded grocery checkout line and one person’s cell phone “rings” and fifteen people dig for their own phones, even though the chances are good that their ringtone is not the same?

Have you ever wished for a magic wand to wave and mutter “cellphoneusringossameos” (Why, yes, I am a Harry Potter fan. Why do you ask?) to change all the ringtones in the surrounding area to one tune? Can you just imagine all those people scrambling for their phones, looking at the Caller I.D, then slapping the device against their free hand as they try to figure out what went wrong? Can you also imagine what the sound would be like if all those phones chirped out “I Like to Move It” from the movie Madagascar or the sequence of cannon fire from the 1812 Overture?

Have you ever wondered why the people who get the most calls have the most difficult time finding their cell phones? You’ve seen them – women digging in the bottom of large purses or men patting jackets and back pockets. Then there are the people with their phones clipped to belts or onto, not in, purses. They are usually the ones who don’t get many calls.

How about the loud talkers? Don’t you just love ‘em? Want to have some fun? Make a call or pretend to make a call, get up beside the loud talker, then shout into your phone that you can’t hear, that someone is shouting into your other ear. Be prepared to run, just in case.

A loud talker with an ear phone can be quite interesting. They can also give really dirty looks if you try to get into their conversation or interrupt to ask directions. Have a good exit plan just in case they don’t appreciate your interest.

When was the last time you left your house and realized you forgot your cell phone? Kind of like being naked in public isn’t it? Thoughts race through you head. Where did I leave it? What if I get a call? What if I need to make a call? What if I really am naked on this street corner? What if that guy next to me has one of those camera phones?

What about the people who don’t have cell phones? They function quite nicely. They seem to be much calmer and are much safer drivers. No ringtones to anguish over, no worry about battery life, no dropped calls or dead zones to explain. Ah, the good life.

Then there are . . .

Oh, wait, is that my ... yes, yes, I have to get that. I know it’s here. I can hear the cannons firing.

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Evade the Answer

Never, never answer these questions.

Who are you voting for?

My husband / wife is such a jerk. What do you think?

Want to see pictures of my grandchildren?

Do you like this chartreuse, orange and purple color scheme in the dining room?

Was $800 to much to pay for this hand-carved toilet seat?

I made some alterations to the recipe. How do you like the cookies?

Man: Is my hairline receding?

Woman: Does my tiny mustache show?

I just got these sequined glasses. Like ‘em?

Is my dog ugly?

The sales guy at the lot said this baby was a real steal. You think the engine sounds okay?

Aren’t my kids just precious?

Do these slacks make my butt look fat?

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Elder Storytelling Place – Part 2

The Elder Storytelling Place – what a fun site to spend a few minutes or a few hours reading the short stories of both novice and seasoned writers. Originator and shepherd Ronni Bennett of Time Goes By has encouraged many of us to pull out our memories, put them into words and share them.

Today, Ronni selected my story about my first driving lesson. Serious business it was learning how to drive in 1949. That old Plymouth had a manual transmission – a stick shift! Click here to read “Driving Lesson.”

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Things to Ponder

Why are Sunday newspaper automobile tire ads only in the sports section?

Would anyone touch a bench if the sign said, “Dry Paint”?

Is a 10-cent-off coupon worth cutting out?

If it’s “hotter than hell,” just exactly how hot is hell?

Are gay people really that happy?

When television programming is boring, does the entertainment center have to be renamed?

If a baseball player gets a rash from his glove, is it called athlete’s hand?

Will a roll of Lifesavers keep you afloat?

What if Sam Walton’s last name had been “Farrton?”

When the penny is abolished, how will we put in our “two-cents worth?”

If the penny is no longer minted, a what saved is a what earned?

What will happen to penny loafers?

How much will thoughts cost?

Now then, what occupies your mind and what do you ponder upon?

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross

Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple

Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery

Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott

New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Truth About Water

Water in bottles is bottled water.

Water that comes out of a faucet is tap water.

Spring water that bubbles up out the ground, put in plastic bottles and sold as magic elixir is spring water.

Water containing minerals and other substances is mineral water.

Mineral water from the French Alps is overpriced water.

Sparkling, soda, and seltzer water is artificially charged with carbon dioxide to make bubbly water.

Glacier water is very old water.

When flavored, water is either a version of Kool-Aid or cola and is flavored water.

Water enhanced with vitamins is vitamins in water.

When enhanced with fruit-flavoring and vitamins, the result is fruit-flavoring and vitamins in water.

Boiling water creates steam – evaporated water.

Ice is solid water.

Solid water in liquid water is ice water.

“Bourbon and branch” is bourbon and water. (Two ounces Bourbon, four ounces water.)

Bourbon (an American form of whiskey) contains corn, wheat and/or rye, malted barley and – water.

The bodies of adult men contain about 60 per cent water.

The bodies of adult women contain abut 55 per cent water.

Water sustains life.

Draw your own conclusions.

Drink up!

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Friday, June 22, 2007

Say What?

Did someone change the meanings of words in the English language last month or am I the only one who – at times – has no idea of what is being said?

What the heck is a “throw down” on the Food Channel? I caught the last half of a program and one of the chefs had just won a burger “throw down.”

Did they throw burger buns at a target? Did they toss hot burgers back and forth until someone dropped one? Did they have a burger eating contest to see how many the winner could “throw down” without “throwing up?”

Are most television programs based on competition and/or violence?

Maybe it’s time to “throw down” my remote control and go find a good book!


© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Another Decade

It was just a few months ago that I was barely out of my fifties. A few years zoomed by and now I'm turning the corner on another decade. Yikes! Let the serious age exaggeration begin.

How many years can you shave off your age before it becomes obvious? Is it socially acceptable to find a nice age and just stop there? For instance, stop having birthdays in your late sixties.

The only problem I can see is that you would astound medical professionals who think you are in your sixties when you are really in your eighties.

“So, Doc, how am I?"

“Hummm. Well, you say you are 67, but you have the body of an 81-year-old. Perhaps you need a little more exercise and take stronger vitamins.”

Oh, one more problem. You have to learn to appreciate the music of your chosen era. Well, goodbye Elvis, hello Beatles – at least for the next ten years.

By the time I work up, or should I say “back,” a few more decades, I’ll be deaf from the hard rock sound. Ten years or so later and I’ll have to “pimp my ride,” (wheelchair) and make hip-hop grunting sounds and mumble obscenities.

Hey, I can do that!

I may have found a new hobby – driving those smarty-pants young doctors crazy trying to guess my age.

I can do that, too.

So with all the age “extensions,” this could be a pretty good decade.

Look out seventies, here I come.

Happy birthday to me!

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Real News – Stupid News

Here’s my variation of the old “Good News – Bad News” routine.

Real News: Iraq and Afghanistan
Stupid News: Rosie and Elisabeth

Real News: Recovery of Missing Child
Stupid News: Rehab of Brittany

Real News: Nations Agree on Global Warming Solutions
Stupid News: Anything to do with Paris Hilton

Real News: DNA Breakthrough Leads to Disease Cure
Stupid News: Plastic Surgery for Boob Enhancement

Real News: Immigration reform
Stupid News: How to enter US Illegally

Real News: Feeding Children and Elderly in the United States
Stupid News: Nicole Richie’s Eating Disorder

Real News: Cure for ANY Disease
Stupid News: Concealing Signs of Aging

Real News: Capture of Osama Bin Laden
Stupid News: Glorification of Bin Laden’s Actions

Real News: Solution to Energy Problems
Stupid News: Celebrities Mansions and Autos

Real News: Honoring any American Military Service Man or Woman
Stupid News: Exalting winners of Top Model / Chef / Designer / Survivor / Singer / Dancer / any "Challenge" television program

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Summertime Dating in the ‘50s

Window air-conditioners were just becoming affordable in the early 1950s, making the ritual of Saturday night date preparation much more comfortable for us Southern young ladies who were of dating age. Prior to the installation of the mammoth metal monsters hanging from the window, we took cold showers, pointed every fan in the house in our direction and prayed the sticky anti-perspirant held until we got to the air-conditioned movie theatre.

Our attire was much different than what is worn in public today. No shorts and halters for our “hot” dates in August (yes, I said that on purpose). We wore “peasant” blouses and “circle” skirts underlined with several layers of starched crinolines. Nylon hose were worn to show off our new Capezio “flats.” We accented our dainty little necks with brightly colored silk scarves. Screw-back pearl earrings set off our Prell-washed hair. Our dates wore sports jackets or even suits, but mostly in the summer just starched and ironed white dress shirts or short-sleeve plaid shirts, ties optional, and slacks. No jeans for date night unless the date rode a motorcycle, but that’s a different story.

Since most of our dates drove un-air-conditioned cars (yes, the times were indeed primitive), we had two choices. Insist on windows up or shellac our hair with so much spray that not even gale-force winds would move a single hair. One problem. Humidity increased the stickiness of the spray causing hair to droop from the weight and/or catch every leaf, bit of paper or tine of comb, and refuse to let go. Any young man with more than an hour's experience, knew NOT to touch his date’s hair.

Summer drive-in theater dating during July and August was not even an option. In addition to hot and humid air, the mosquitoes were voracious, pouncing on every bit of exposed skin. Even with a mosquito coil burning on the dashboard, the tiny pests flocked into the car, got high on the camphor aroma, then danced around exposed skin looking for a tasty treat. So much for our Midnight in Paris, Channel No. 5 or Tigress cologne; within five minutes of lighting that coil, we were bathed in eau de citronella or camphor.

The only relief was the air-conditioned snack bar, usually crowded with sweating teens trying to look “cool.” (Yep, meant that one, too.) As soon as the lights came on between double features and the dancing popcorn boxes strutted across the screen, teens popped out of Fords and Chevys to line up for snow cones and large Cokes with extra ice.

As much fun as it was in the other seasons, the neighborhood drive-in was just not the place for a Saturday night date in August, no matter how good the “Monster from the Black Lagoon” was said to be.

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Friday, May 25, 2007

Speaking of Bathrooms

My blogging friend, Joy, over at The Joy of Six, had an interesting post, He’s in the ”Library” … Again, about time spent in the bathroom. While reading her words, I immediately became lost in memories of blissful hours spent in bubble baths and Calgon moisturizing beads.

I haven’t had a really nice, long soak for quite a while. One of the reasons is that my bathtub is only fourteen inches deep and a little over four feet long. I need longer and deeper. There also seems to be some sort of additional person attached to my body who has added way too many pounds. This poundage person has swelled my middle, hips and butt to an impressive expanse making it hard for me to get into and out of the tub. (Age has nothing to do with it so just be quiet.)

Getting in the tub is a real challenge. Before the poundage attachment, I would just hop in and sit down in a small sea of bubbles. Now I find that it’s more like launching a ship and there comes a point of no return as gravity takes over and the heaviest part of me aims for the lowest part of the tub. I learned, before giving up on baths altogether, not to fill the tub before getting in so I didn't create a lavender-scented mini-tsunami as the wake of my descent washed over the side and swirled around the tile floor.

Getting out of the tub required gymnastics and prayer. “Please God, let me haul out safely and I swear I will never feed this attached person another cookie.”

I have my fingers crossed that one day I will win one of those nifty “walk in” tubs and my desire to enjoy languid soaks will become a reality. Now if I can just convince this lumpy person to leave. Humm. Maybe I can just lure it off with a some Hershey's Kisses.

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother’s Day Hints

What Not to Give Mom on Mother’s Day

10. Toaster

9. Can Opener

8. Ironing Board

7. Iron

6. Turtlewax

5. Laundry Basket

4. Dish Pan

3. Broom

2. Bucket for Mop

1. Mop

What to Give Mom on Mother’s Day

1. Flowers

1. Chocolate

1. Dinner Out (Not Burger King)

1. Movie and Dinner Out

1. Car Detailing

1. Day at the Spa

1. Gold or Pearl Earrings

1. Gift Certificate to Department Store (Not Walmart)

1. Diamonds

1. House Cleaning Service for a Year

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Three Stages of Life

As I was sitting in the patients' waiting room the other day, it occurred to me that “patient” is a silly name for we who sit and wait … and wait. Yes, the “waiting” part of “waiting room” is accurate, it’s that “patient” part I don’t get. I was far from being “patient.”

As I thought a bit more as I waited, I realized all this hokey about all the stages of life – baby, toddler, teen, young adult, mature – can be squashed into just three stages.

Early Stage – Impatience: Birth to about age four, it’s all “me, me, me.” Feed me, change me, entertain me – NOW! Give me that NOW! Take me there NOW! Let me out of this basket NOW! At about age four to five serious interaction with other children and adults begins.

Middle Stage – Patience: From about age four to about age 65, we realize we must “behave” and "have patience" to be fed, clothed and entertained. We have to be "patient" and smile and do all kinds of stuff we don’t want to do, like go to school and work and get vacinated. As we mature, we have to be “patient” with family, coworkers, impatient children, and stand in line, to survive. If we are not “patient” we will have to live in a jail or in a cave and eat slimy things crawling up the walls. Or worse, live with other impatient people who nag us everyday to “get a life.”

Late Stage – Adult Onset Impatience: This is the most fun time because we can blame our impatience on 1. age, 2. those new meds, 3. the weather (too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, the tornado, the hurricane, etc.), 4. underpants too tight, 5. the broccoli gives me gas, 6. Didn’t sleep a wink last night, 7. Cat or dog. 8, The TV, 9. The price of groceries these days, or 10. Loosing our car keys in the house.

This A.O.I. can definitely work in our favor. “Don’t bother Grampa while he’s sleeping in his chair. He didn’t sleep a wink last night.” “No, honey, Gramma does not want to hold that stinky, wet, muddy puppy. Give it to your Mommy. She likes puppies.” “Go where? In this weather?” “Of course I can have a beer. It’s the new meds that are the problem.” “Turn down that damn noise or I’ll put my foot through the screen.” “Well, if I knew where I lost it, I would go get it now, wouldn’t I!”

Now you can tell anyone who annoys you by telling you how impatient you are that they will just have to bear with you. You’ve been diagnosed with A.O.I. and it’s incurable. And you want a sandwich – with a beer – NOW!

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Elder Storytelling Place

By the time we reach the age of 60, we have at least one whopping good story to tell. With a bit of luck, we have a whole bunch of stories to tell. With an infusion of imagination and a touch of “journalistic liberty,” we have also added a bit of drama to otherwise ordinary stories.

Also by this time, most of our family and friends have heard all our stories, even the variations (just to add a bit of interest, of course).

Now we have a wonderful new place spin our tales of life, love, and growing up, to a whole new audience on Ronnie Bennett’s recently launched The Elder Storytelling Place .

I am very proud to say she has chosen one of my stories, " The Man Who Thought He Was A Train " for the April 27, 2007, feature. (The story originally appeared here in December 2006.)

Almost everyone who lived in my city during the pre-mall era of the 1950s went to town for work or major shopping. Almost everyone who went to town knew about the train man.

I hope my story will not only bring you a smile, but also help us remember a more peaceful time when being different was accepted and people were not so ready to judge, condemn and ridicule.

Thanks, Ronni, for the honor of choosing me to join your storytellers. And thanks, too, for letting us keep alive some of our most precious memories.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Thoughts on Getting Older

As I rapidly approach my seventieth birthday, I am struck by two thoughts about the advantage of getting older. It’s not very likely you will find these elsewhere because most people who write of aging are busy telling us how to stay healthy or how to invest our vast accumulation of wealth.

Advantage of Getting Older Number One: We don’t have to hear, “My how you have grown.”

Remember that? In our youth, any adult who had not seen us for at least fifteen minutes was auto-verbalized to say those words. Out of fear of a smack on the back of the head, how many of you squelched the urge to reply with smartass things like, “Well, it’s too hard for me to shrink,” or “Did you think I would get smaller?”

As we ourselves aged, we realized those "how you have grown" comments were not so much about growth spurts, but realizations as to how fast time has passed.

Advantage of Getting Older Number Two: We no longer have to decide what we want to be when we grow up.

It seemed from the age of three up, we were constantly asked this question by relatives, teachers, and even strangers. When I was growing up, girls who replied with occupations like engineer, doctor, or astral physicist, were redirected to more “rewarding” goals like housewife/mommy, teacher, or nurse. Thank goodness the young women of today have more choices.

Now that I’ve given you two more thoughts for today, I think I’ll go grocery shopping and whisper smartass responses into the ears of shopping-cart-trapped small children so they will be prepared for the future.

Gee, this is great having no career goals or getting taller. As for being a smartass? We can now get away with that, too. Younger relatives and friends will just shake their heads and roll their eyes and explain, “You know how it is when they reach this age.”

Whoopee, “this age” suits me just fine!

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

… Or Is It Just Me?

How many times have you said:

Is it hot in here … or is just me?

Is it cold in here … or is just me?

Is this too salty … or is just me?

Is this too sweet … or is just me?

Can you smell that … or is just me?

Is that dress ugly … or is just me?

Is this bus going too fast … or is just me?

Do you feel queasy from that hot sauce … or is just me?

Do you think parasailing off this bridge was stupid … or is just me?

Do those pants make her butt look big … or is just me?

Is this the most stupid TV program ever … or is just me?

Is that wave coming this way … or is just me?

Oww, is that blister from six hours in the sun … or is just me?

Shouldn’t you throw that firecracker after it’s lit … or is just me?

Is “… or is just me?” the most stupid phrase you’ve ever heard … or is just me?

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

In the Future?

Stardate: 3165-3/7

We’ve landed safely on the abandoned planet formerly known as Eartha. We’ve confirmed that the enormous remains of a settlement that we saw from the air seems to be some sort of religious center as we’ve discovered inhabitants’ dwellings surrounded by a type of primitive concrete belt; perhaps to carry worshipers around and also away from this “city.”

Our crew of scientists will begin exploration.

Stardate: 3165-3/8

Amazing discovery. We’ve determined that this indeed is a religious center populated with numerous temples. We’ve also determined that the inhabitants worshiped some sort of bean-like object that was bathed in a ceremonial liquid. The worshipers partook of the resulting elixir to gain alertness and stamina.

Stardate 3165-3/28

We’ve discovered thousands of “shoppees” throughout the “city” that must have dispensed the elixir, as well as numerous dwellings containing religious paraphernalia such as containers to brew the elixir and share it among worshipers.

Stardate 3165-4/10

Fantastic find – we have uncovered an almost-intact major temple and subsequently, we believe to be on track to discover the name that the inhabitants called their religion. How ironic that in such a primitive society as this must have been, that the religion was based on the vision of future space travel. The ancient writing on stone and wood, when deciphered by the Cryptosphere, appears to be either “Stardeer,” Starbukkes,” or “Starbucks.”

What strange creatures these inhabitants must have been.

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Friday, February 09, 2007

Weird Words

Think about this.

Put a “T” on “here,” and you are already “there.”

Do airline personnel say “boobye” on Halloween?

Can you hit a golf ball off a tee shirt?

If a bird flew into the chimney flue, would it wind up with bird flu?

If you drop a bud into the cake flour, will it still flower?

If you stored sports equipment in your attic, would that be considered the modern-day equivalent of having bats in your belfry?

Does a “beltway” go around a city or help direct a strip of leather around the waist of your pants?

Are “belt loops” a hide tanner’s equivalent of a cereal product?

If you loose weight around your middle, did you waste your waist?

Where does "lost" weight go?

If an end zone and a time zone got married, would their child be the end of time?

Can a “dojo” also be a female deer with a nickname?

If you “toe the line,” are sandals required?

Can you read red tea leaves while riding on the Reading Railroad?

That’s enough from me. Now it’s your turn.

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Sunday, February 04, 2007

T.P. Versus Paintballs

We awoke on a recent winter morning to discover we had been the target of a paintball attack. A whole series of orange “shots” spread across the front of our house as if fired from a slow moving car. Thank goodness the shooter was no closer or we could have been cleaning up glass as well. Double thank goodness it was only paint.

After the police report was filed for both a neighbor and us, and the mess had been washed away, I came out with nice clean windows and doors and a respect for the young police officer who answered the call.

Once back inside and warm again, I got to thinking about how much has changed. Do teens no longer creep into a chosen yard in the dark and toss rolls and rolls of toilet paper over the roof, across the cars and as high into the trees as possible?

Many years ago, the good-looking high school senior who lived across the street was treated to a T.P. party by his admirers on the cheer leading squad. There was so much giggling and “shhhushing” and car door slamming, it woke half the neighbors, but not the teen or his family.

The girls did an excellent job. Morning light revealed a tree beautifully draped with long white streamers gently wafting in the breeze, cars artistically adorned with sort of a plaid pattern, and hedges topped with loops and loops of toilet paper. Just as the teen and his parents discovered the yard decorations, a light rain began to fall. Well, you know what happens when T.P. meets moisture.

By afternoon, the rain had passed as well as a car of whoohooing waving girls as our young neighbor was filling trash bags with mushy, disintegrating tissues while pretending to be annoyed.

Back to our paintballs. Whoever did this was not having fun – at least not fun in a normal sense. (We have a strong suspicion who the culprits are.) It was done out of malice … a way of “getting even” for long-past imagined injustices. How sad.

Too bad we can’t turn back the clock for our young people and let them flourish in a world of innocent T.P. tossing – and put away the guns.

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Friday, February 02, 2007

No More Free Cotton

As I picked up a prescription the other day, it occurred to me that I could hear the pills rattle. I’ve been hearing pills rattle for some time, but it never seemed significant. (There must be some aging rule, you know, like one new pill for every five years over the age of 50.) Maybe I never really paid attention to the sound before because I’ve been busy with more important matters like trying to find a good rock and roll radio station.

The pills rattled because there was no little cotton puff stuffed on top of them to cushion and minimize their space. I miss that little wad of cotton but not because of it’s cushioning effect, but because of all it’s recycling potential.

I don’t know about your house, but in mine, we had a special container just for the cotton plucked from pill bottles. Who bought cotton balls? Just get one out of the container. That cotton was used to remove nail polish, swab out the dog’s ears, apply all sorts of liquids to all sorts of places, stuff or restuff small toys and pillows, and spread oily stuff on tools. The uses were endless

Now it’s all over. The pills rattle in their cottonless containers. It’s the end of an era. Economy has prevailed. What’s next? Will we just hold out our hands so the pharmacist can pour the pills into our cupped palms? Maybe we'll bring our own containers like a chipped coffee cup and an old mayonnaise jar or save and reuse the bags in which we brought home the tomatoes?

Maybe instead of recycling my pill containers, I’ll just save them for the future. I could stand outside the pharmacy and offer them to people with no containers. “Get your red hot pill bottles here!”

Or I could save them up and build something. In no time I would have enough to build an small house. Why not? I’ve seen pictures of houses built from beer cans. I can “chink” the spaces with cotton. Oh, wait. There’s no cotton. Oh, the heck with it. I’m going back to looking for that good rock and roll radio station!

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

When a Woman Celebrity Goes On a Talk Show, Who Holds Her Purse?

Lately, I’ve been thinking about becoming a celebrity, but I’m not sure how all this “famous” business works. For example, when a woman goes on a talk show, who holds her purse? I’m sure she must need someone to watch out for the valuable stuff like credit cards, cash, expensive makeup, and jewelry. She can’t just leave her designer purse laying around in a “green room” or tossed on a table somewhere.

Celebrity women purses are not like the ones my friends and I carry around. Celebrity women have really good stuff, we ordinary women have purses full of tissues and grocery receipts. Our makeup comes off the hooks at K-Mart and our credit card has a spending limit of $200.

We ordinary women don’t carry jewelry in our purses because the gold will scratch off or the glue on the genuine, imitation diamonds and sapphires will break free.

Celebrity women must have “people” to carry big stuff that won’t fit into the teeny purses you occasionally see them with. It would be hard to stuff a full coupon organizer into a teeny purse. There’s just no room for disinfectant wipes, pair of pliers, and a squirt bottle of decongestant. Maybe celebrity women (or their kids or grandkids) don’t have to use a Wendy’s restroom or ever have stuffy noses.

Maybe I need to rethink becoming a celebrity just because of this purse business. I’m not sure all my Medicare and medical insurance cards would fit into a teeny purse and leave any room for adhesive bandages, aspirin, safety pins, lip balm, kids pictures, pet pictures, other family pictures, cell phone, calculator, tire gauge, and a ring of keys.

But then …… if I were a celebrity, I would have “people.” Now where the heck would I keep my “people?”

Well, I’ve just decided that being a celebrity is just too complicated so I’m going to Target to get a bigger purse!

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Big ‘ol Glasses Frames

What ever happened to those big ol’ eyeglasses frames of the 70s and 80s? You know the kind – they went from the top of your eyebrow to halfway down your cheek and from side to side. When glasses were still made of real glass and mounted in those babies, you almost fell forward from the weight. The plastic ones were only a tiny bit lighter, but came in fake tortoise shell and cool colors like royal blue and pink.

If you needed bifocals, the bifocally part was large enough to scan an entire page of the newspaper without bobbing your head. I always thought the “aviator” styles were quite handsome on men. My girl friends and I favored a more girly style and complimented each other on how cute we were.

For the last several years when I picked out frames, I had limited choices: teeny oval, teeny oval-ish and teeny oblong-ish. The biggest frame in the store was under an inch-and-a-half high, barely covering my eye socket. Look a teeny bit up, see frame; look straight ahead, see “out,” look a teeny bit down, oops, there’s the teeny bifocal. Without the frames, I think the lenses could be called “contacts.”

I asked if they had any frames that weren’t so “squinchy” and the glasses lady nearly fainted from horror. “Why, my dear, these are the latest styles.” Yikes. The latest styles do look cute on folks under twenty-five, but when the wrinkles start to creep in, we want as much camouflage as possible. If we’re just a teensy bit overweight by, oh, say, maybe ten or fifty pounds or so, we also want a pair of glasses in proportion to our face and figure. There’s nothing more silly looking than one of us … er, of generous proportions in a pair of those little squinchy glasses with frame arms so tight that they almost disappear into the generosity on the sides of our face.

So you frame manufacturers out there, supersize some of those frames, give us some color (I vote for red and leave off the rhinestones), and make us stylish again. Damn the squinch, full vision ahead! And don’t plan on charging more for the larger size. There’s plenty of us with a drawer full of obsolete prescriptions in huge frames and we can set up at the flea market faster than you can say “squinchy!”

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Fridge

If you were born before 1940, someone you knew still used a real ice box, the kind that held a large square of ice (straight from a real ice house) that kept cold, well sorta, the contents of an insulated metal box on legs. These were soon replaced with electric refrigerators, but for years after most folks still called the newfangled inventions “ice boxes.”

The fancy new fridges came with tiny compartments that held at least two heavy-duty aluminum ice cube trays and little else. The ice trays were a challenge, especially if encased in ice. Once released from the ice tomb, removing cubes from the tray was like removing a prehistoric mammoth from the Arctic. If the release mechanism was not operated properly, it was possible to launch ice cubes throughout the room.

This magical box also made frost around the ice compartment and defrosting became an all day event preceded by several days of “eating up the leftovers.” Depending on the time lapsed from the last defrosting, this was not a job for sissies. Pans of steaming hot water set under the ice/frost clump, ice picks, kitchen knives, screwdrivers, and even hammers, were used to break free large clumps of frost.

Some early refrigerators came with “refrigerator sets,” heavy-duty glass containers in clear or green glass. Sets usually included several sizes of storage containers and a special bottle so the happy owners could enjoy ice cold water. The water containers had a serious flaw in that they did not refill themselves and were often found on the top shelf with just enough water to cover the crumbs left by a previous sipper. Serious consequences could be imposed on the guilty one for not cleaning and refilling the bottle and “I’ll rip all the hair out of your head if you ever do this again!” often reverberated through the house. (Moms were much tougher in those days.)

Today’s modern marvels did away with all that fun. They have various compartments at just the right temperature for the contents and dispense filtered water and ice through the door. (Manual defrosting is unknown.) Some models even have sensors that read bar codes and let the owner know when it’s time to shop; some even connect to the Internet and place grocery orders. The irony is that most people are working long hours to pay for their fridges and are too tired to cook, so they eat out – all that money spent on a fridge to store soda, pizza poppers, and popsicles!

Sipping from the old water container has also been updated. An informal survey of secretive fridge behavior has revealed four out of five people squirt chocolate syrup directly into their mouths from the Hershey squeeze bottle, three out of five use their index finger to sneak a dollop of peanut butter, and when given the chance, all five lick the inside of the tops of ice cream containers!

Sigh. Modern appliances, primitive man.

P.S. Try this: a dollop of peanut butter in the mouth, then a big squirt of Hershey syrup. Ummmm, messy, but good. Just don’t tell anyone where you learned this!

© Copyright 2007 Suzzwords