Saturday, November 30, 2019


Every family has its quirks. The weird uncle or aunt. The hidden skeleton in the closet. The prison sentence. The boozer. The odd way of describing things. The family traditions and habits that seem queer but mean something to people who lived through it or remember being told about it.

Here are some of mine.

I don't have any killers, except if you count my mother's uncle Nick who blew up a cow with a firecracker in its ear. He and his brother Jake thought they were Jesse James. They both did some time in jail--not sure about prison. Petty crimes, they weren't smart enough to be gangsters. Besides, they were Ukrainian.

We have a peculiar way of remembering conversations and are able to pick them up years after first initiated. Walk into a room and just start talking about the topic where you left off. This is an art, in my opinion. My uncle Eugene was particularly masterful at this, but any member of the family knows what's going on. This may not extend to the other branches on the tree, but it probably does.

Certain phrases some people might not understand.  Such as "the way you go down the cellar" which means, simply, the cellar stairs. There is no "way you go up the stairs" to go to the second floor. We say "ahm" instead of I'm. Lots of folks say that. Sloppy tongues. "Whaddycall" instead of  what do you call it, and it's linguistic brother "Howdycall", meaning something like the same thing, only different.

The way to tell if your hair is clean after washing is to squeak it with your fingers.

To signify a great deal of something, you say simply "whoady". 

There are more. For the moment, these are at the top of my memory.

Oh, yeah. Both of my grandfathers made and sold illegal hooch. One actually spent a night in jail because of a dissatisfied customer, the other avoided the Volstead folks by going out the back door when they were at the front door. 

Other wonderful snippets of my less than illustrious family to follow. And no, these are real relatives, not the made up ones I write about. 

The above are not my relatives.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Brilliant Hallmark moment

Story idea, bound to become a moneymaker.

Santa's favorite female elf falls in love with the Angel of Death.

Think of the possibilities!!!!!

This is my idea. No steals.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Timely death or it's about time!

Not a sad day.
Really, not sad, even though there is a death to report.

Since, oh, last March, I have been using a container of Oil of Olay 7 something. I don't really know the name, but it is a face lotion that is supposed to do wonders for one's face.

I've been using this stuff for a few years. As far as I can tell, it hasn't done much, but I continue to have faith that it will eventually do SOMETHING about the wrinkles and bags. I will say that since it has an SPF listing, I have not had a sunburn, but then, since I don't go out in the sun, well...who can say if it is working?

For months, I have thought the contents were running out. After all, how long can a few ounces of cream last. Every  morning after my ablutions, I'd apply the cream and that was about it. I waited for a miracle on my face. Didn't happen.

But the bloody pump thinger, which should only have lasted a month or two, kept going and going, dispensing more and more Olay.
I'd pull it from the drawer, suggest that this was the last time we'd meet, but time after time, it fooled me.

Since Sunday, I've sorta known the end was near.

Today, the last blop blopped out of the spigot and that was it.

RIP, little jar or bottle or whatever it is called.

You served your time. Off to the neverland of recycling you go.
May you join others of your ilk and be happy.

And smoothing.

Monday, October 28, 2019

I Dreamt I was in a Hallmark Movie

Well, it finally happened.

Yesterday, I was exhausted after a long weekend of camping. I fell asleep on the sofa during a Hallmark of my Christmas favorites about a veteran. Actually, I had just watched the end of my other favorite about a veteran played by Michael Shanks (from Stargate fame) who falls in love with a war widow and buys her husband's old motorcycle with his re-enlistment money. But I digress.

This second movie stars two of my all time favorite Hallmark actors. This time, it is a woman Marine who was a dog handler who got out of the Marines when they reassigned her dog to someone else. Search and Rescue...that's what her job was. Anyway, her car breaks down in this sweet little fantastic town somewhere in Illinois where it snows a lot. I mean, it is just about Christmas and there is snow everywhere on the green leaves that they carefully try to avoid in each outdoor shot. It's Canada, everybody knows that, but you try to show one license plate and that sets the scene. So, it snows a lot in Illinois in December, right around Christmas, and the whole town is Christmas-mad. I mean, every possible space is decorated with greenery and balls and bells and ribbons and trees and candy canes and hot chocolate stands...and a merry-go-round because it is the big town wide celebration week.

Well, that was that movie.

The one I was in was probably the same place, only with fewer decorations, but the guy...oh, he was there for me.

So, I went through the being lost part and the him finding me and offering to take me in because there were no hotels in the small Illinois town, but not into his house because he has a reputation to uphold, but he's a super nice Hallmark kinda guy.
There I am. Stuck in Nowheresville. The townspeople think I'm safe and treat me well and this nice guy is interested in me.

Now...wait. It's not the me I am now! Of course not. It's the me of me in my prime.

I keep thinking I have to leave, there is something vague I need to see to, but I can't because it's one of those movies. So, I stay and probably fall in love with the guy, even though his face is rather narrow and he's slim and gorgeous and dresses well.

Just when he kisses me and asks me to marry him, I wake up.

That was a relief, actually.
I do not need any further complications in my life.

But I do need to purchase a card for a wedding on Friday. 
It will probably be a Hallmark.

Friday, October 11, 2019


It doesn't have to be a ghost to haunt you.

It can be good, or bad, memories that visit your mind at inopportune moments. 

This week, I have been plagued by ghosts...things conjured from my memory that have long been thought dead. I remembered some stuff that crept out of the depths from my childhood. I wanted to talk to someone about these thoughts, but there was no one who would either remember or give a rat's ass about what I was thinking.

That's the trouble with odd memories. Good or bad, sometimes they are just your own and therein lies the problem. You might be able to unload them if there was someone to share the pain or joy. But, no. They lie in wait for you to shut your eyes and hope for sleep without dreams, or nightmares.

That's when these memories spring up and spill over you.

Most of the time--they hurt.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Why people keep going

Lost causes.

After doing something to find something--a cure, a treasure, an answer, a hope--and getting nowhere--(how many dashes are okay?) what makes people continue?

Einstein said something about doing something over and over the same way and not getting what you want is idiocy. That's paraphrased, to be sure, and I am not even sure it was Einstein who said it, but, well, it makes sense.

Finding the Loch Ness Monster, for instance. I've seen four different programs on television this week, four different groups of people, scouring the lake for signs of this huge prehistoric animal and finding nothing.  Thousands of dollars down the drain, searching for a legend. They find nothing, yet they keep going back to Scotland with hope.

The treasure of Oak Island...another search. Yes, they try different holes, different methods, star charts, high tech satellite photographs, you name it, they've tried it to find treasure. It's been about ten years of this particular team, the Laginas, who have poured money into this venture. So far, they've found a few coins and a lead cross and a crossbow bolt, a couple of semi-precious jewels...but not this huge treasure. The treasure of the Templars and maybe precious first editions of Shakespeare's works...maybe buried somewhere on a small island off the coast of Nova Scotia. Okay, they drill and dig and use every conceivable scientific and geologic method to search for wonders beyond price. 

They've got nothing much so far but a fun television show.

Yet they go on and on, searching, hoping, digging, making television shows. This is 21st century stuff. It has happened all throughout history. Columbus. Ponce deLeon. Name any explorer, any alchemist, anyone who hoped to discover something, anything, that would stop that itch they have to keep going.

Sometimes, an individual does find something of value. Schleimann found Troy. Salk found a cure for polio. There is a huge list of successes, but probably an even bigger list of failures.

Yet, they go on. They keep trolling Loch Ness. The Laginas keep digging on Oak Island. They don't give up.

There may be something more than grace in continuing. But there may be grace also in realizing that the quest is over and giving up.

I am not telling anyone to give up searching, to stop hoping to find a cure, a treasure, a reality (UFOs and Bigfoot), but there has to come a time when either the questions are all answered, or you just plain throw in the towel.

One day, that one day when the decision is made, or the treasure is located, or the monster comes up and bites you on the butt, well, I guess there is always the chance that it may happen, so, okay, you have to keep on trying.

Albert, even you had to keep on going. Scientists and mathematicians and explorers are still trying to prove your ideas. 

Never give up, never surrender!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

On psychics on the telephone

The past few days, I've caught some television ads for psychic readings...on several cable channels.

Women in the commercials, pretty, blond sincere looking women tell the camera how precise and wonderful their over the telephone psychic readings were. How the person knew them, knew their problems and gave them correct advice...advice they'd base their lives on from now on.


Good guessing.

Let me tell you about a friend of mine who got a job as a telephone psychic back a few years ago when they were hot and a thing

This lady, for she was and still is a lady, told me that she got the job, not really knowing what it was going to be about. The people in charge handed her a loose-leaf notebook full of answers to give to the suckers who called. 

Now, this lady never claimed to possess any psychic powers whatsoever. The phones rang, people poured out their hearts to her and she was supposed to riffle through the pages of the guide and whip out an appropriate answer. None of these answers were direct. None of them actually professed to guide the questioner in exactly what they should or shouldn't do. (careful of lawsuits). But they were innocuous and sounded good. Or made little sense unless the person being read already knew what they wanted the words to mean.

Sort of like the Oracle of Delphi, only in New York City.

Well, by and by, this lady friend realized that people were calling, asking for help with their personal problems. She, being a mother and wise woman of more years than the callers possessed, gradually interjected some of her own wisdom, leaving the callers with more practical, definitive, motherly advice than was found in the loose-leaf.

She got fired.

Beware, any who think calling a number for a buck a minute is going to be the answer to any or all of your problems.

 She never got to take the loose- leaf home with her.