Monday, November 27, 2023

Grammar. Folks

I have a pet peeve. It is something that drives me insane. I am constantly yelling corrections at the person on TV who has offended me.

People who earn a living by speaking should be able to do it correctly. The words establish, ask, escape, especially, escort, escalator, espionage, and espresso (to name but a few) have no "x" in them. Look at them. Not an x in the bunch. Yet people who should be educated enough to know better constantly say "extablish, ax, excape, expecially, excort, excalator, expionage, and expresso". As Lucy would say in Charlie Brown, "AAAAARG!"

Problems with pronouns is another peeve. For instance usage of I/me are constantly confused. You would never say Me have a necklace. That is not a problem. I have a necklace for me is also not confused. Why then do folks insist on saying, "I have a necklace for he and I"? I is subjective while me is an objective pronoun. I is the doer of a sentence. Me is the receiver of the action. Try it with he/him. He has the necklace. The necklace is for him.  Easy enough to remember.

Then there are what my teachers used to call modified oaths. Rather than say Hell we would say Heck. What we said were not considered to be "bad" words. But they replaced bad words. The most annoying word I hear is Fricking. If you mean to say it then SAY IT!

I am not above grammatical faux pax. You may notice that I do not use punctuation in most places. That is by design. I know proper punctuation. I choose not to use it because my typing skills are so poor that punctuation takes me a lot of time. 

How about calm. People have begun to pronounce it as call-mm. It is pronounced com. Look it up. Often is in the same category. It is pronounced off-en. The t is silent. 

And do not get me started about nauseous. If you are nauseous you are causing nausea. In other words you are making me sick. If you have an upset stomach you are nauseated. Someone else has made you sick!

I have a major grammatical flaw that drove my mother crazy. I say things like "A whole nother thing." Mom corrected me every time she heard me say it. I have no idea why I say it and I know it is wrong but say it I do.

Thursday, November 23, 2023


I only had one child at the time. My baby boy was one year old. We lived in the big city in an unsavory part of town. Our apartment was on the third floor. It was a medium sized building with approximately 25 apartments.

Directly across the street from us was a small hotel. It was used by the friendly ladies for short times to entertain their gentlemen friends.

It was a hot summer and none of the apartments had air conditioning. We spent a lot of time gathering on the front steps trying to stay cooler. 

Of course we had to see the ladies. They stood on a corner to let men know they were available for a quick visit. They wore  lovely dresses. One I remember in particular was a beautiful yellow. The ladies looked much nicer than some I had seen on other corners,

Because we were doing nothing we watched the women. A game was to time how long a particular woman stood on the corner before accepting an offer of companionship. Then we timed how long the visit to the hotel lasted. 

In the meantime my adorable baby boy was playing outside which was good for him. I did not allow him to be too far from me. After all it was a seedy neighborhood. I did not worry too much. He was a leg child. He never got too far from me.

Then came the day that a couple of the girls had enough extra money to walk up to the fast food restaurant on the next corner. My shy little leg child saw their legs and started to follow them. I waited for him to realize what he was doing.

I was right behind him for his safety. It finally dawned on me that their legs were more appealing than mine. I decided that it was time for his nap.

That evening when I told his father what had happened. He was so proud.  ?????

Thursday, November 16, 2023


My coworker's son was arrested. The crime he was accused of was a heinous crime. 

It was embarrassing for my coworker because he worked the same place we did and the police arrested him in the shop. Eventually he went to trial and was found guilty.

This lovely woman had always been kind and friendly to everyone. Suddenly she walked hunched over and looked completely dejected. She stayed to herself. 

One day I caught up to her as we were all going into the break room. I asked how she was doing.

She told me she was totally embarrassed and knew no one wanted to talk to her. I tried to convince her that was not the case. She again told me how ashamed she felt. She wondered if she should act like her son does not exist.

Because I had a son who was in prison I knew a bit of the way she felt. The first thing I explained was that she did not have to like what her son did. She had nothing to do with it. 

The second thing I told her was that he is her son. She loved him. A person does not have to stop loving someone simply because you do not like something they did. The two things do not necessarily go together.

And I will not dislike someone simply because someone they care about has done something I do not like. 

Sunday, November 12, 2023


 I did not learn to read early. I am like most other children. Reading did come easily to me. I enjoyed the stories.

My parents both liked to read and we children read a lot too. Mom liked mystery novels like those of Agatha Christie. Daddy liked cowboy books like those written by Zane Gray. They did not limit themselves to just those books though. Any story was welcomed.

Now that I am grown I will read almost anything. My favorite books are biographies. I like to know how the person's environment was and what influenced them to make the choices they made.

One of my brothers immersed himself in ancient Chinese history. Everyone seems to have different tastes.

One town we lived in for longer than a year had a library. As a family we would go once a week to return the books we already enjoyed and choose more to check out. The only limit on number was that we be able to read them in a week. There were a lot of us. We checked out a lot of books. 

Eventually we had read all the books in the library at least once. As soon as new books came in the librarian would call. So periodically there were new books to read.

Of course my parents made sure the books we wanted to read were appropriate. That is one of the things parents are supposed to do. I did the same with my children.

So now there are those who want to ban some books. I am totally against book banning. I do not worry about what our little ones are reading. We oversee that. As an adult I will read whatever I wish to read. 

I want to know the true stories of history. Maybe I want to know how slaves felt. Maybe I want to know how and why people owned slaves. Maybe I want to know how they became slaves. The real lives of kings and queens could not all have been easy. I want to know about explorers lives and what they discovered. I could go on and on. There is so much to learn. Those who would ban books would deprive me of that.

Some things do not belong in books or anywhere else. Crimes against children, how to commit crimes. But no publisher should put them in print to begin with. So there you are. NO BOOK BANNING!

Saturday, November 11, 2023


There are three songs that always make me cry. They make me hurt inside.

Willie McBride by the Irish Rovers. This song is based on the true story of a young man who died in World War I. Another young man had been walking through the huge graveyards all day and sat down to rest for a moment beside the grave of Willie McBride. The young man wonders about Willie's life and death. Willie McBride was a real person who was killed in the war. The whole song is heart-wrenching and tells of the circle of war but the ending always does me in.

The American Trilogy by Elvis Presley. It is both patriotic and full of pathos. When the part comes where another mother gives birth to a child she cannot afford I am in tears.

And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda by Liam Clancy. It tells of a young soldier returning from war. As his broken body comes down the gangplank of the ship the Australian Military Band plays Waltzing Matilda which is Australia's anthem. It will break your heart.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Dance Songs

I cannot dance anymore. Since I had a stroke my legs do not want to cooperate and I would end up on the floor. But I can "chair "dance. I may look silly but I do not care

So what dances do you enjoy? They might be dances you can dance or maybe you just enjoy waching others do them.

The first that comes to mind is the easiest to do. It is the twist. It was easy to do so anyone who wanted to dance could twist. About that time came the fly and the pony. Again easy to do and just a bit of versatility.

In the 40's and 50's we had the slop, the hucklebuck, the jitterbug, the shimmy and the jive. These were the popular dances at sock hops. Sock hops were held in the high school gymnasium. To make sure our shoes did not scratch the finish of the floor we had to take shoes off and dance in our socks.

We lived for a time in a Polish neighborhood. My daughter was in a Polish dance class. She learned the Polonaise and troika along with ither ethnic dances. 

In the roaring 20's The Charleston and black bottom were among the favorite dances. I do not know how to do the black bottom but the Charleston is fun.

There are country dances. Square dancing is fun. Line dances are country versions of the stroll. 

I love ballroom dancing. I watch Dancing With The Stars faithfully. With the proper partner I can do a lot of the dances... not well but I can.

.Do you like to dance? What dances do you do?

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Time For Class

 Did you realize that every conversation you have is a learning opportunity? All that is needed is the ability to listen. 

For instance when a child is telling a story you can learn the things they are interested in, what things make them afraid, or make them happy. Often they will talk about their dreams for the future. These things might change by tomorrow but many times there is a common thread in there. 

In an adult conversation differing opinions can be discussed. As long as it is done respectfully you might come away with a different point of view. There is not one person in this world with whom I totally agree about everything. I do try to respect their thoughts. If nothing else I learn a bit more about the person.

Did you know that each walk in your neighborhood offers something new? All that is needed is to actively pay attention to your surroundings. 

How many houses are on your block? What colors are the flowers? Who owns a dog? Is it friendly or more protective of its yard. Are there any fruit trees? Can you smell honeysuckle?

Do you notice if one house needs a bit of work? Who lives there? If it is an older person perhaps they can use a bit of help with yardwork in the summer or shoveling snow in the winter. Do not just offer. Do it.

My feeling is that you can learn if you are open to it. Everything that happens is a learning experience. 

Try exchanging recipes and trying something new to eat. 

Read a book someone recommends.

Listen to a new song someone else likes.

See a movie they say is good.

Go to a different church. You need not change your religion of course but you may understand another better.

The more we know about someone or something the better we can understand. Understanding leads to tolerance. Tolerance leads to peace.