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Wednesday, June 29th, 2016
12:58 pm - Early Reminiscences
T's children begged for "young" stories about us growing up.  Caught off guard, I could not pop out ones on cue like that.  Lou expressed wonder when I told her that, but I explained, "We keep stories fresh in our minds by retelling them frequently [as to children, grandchildren, visiting relatives....]  I get few visits because of the distance between me and the others, and have only four legged children, who do not sit around listening to stories in the daily course of their lives, but if you want to catch one up one of the horses individually and groom it while you dump your troubles, they're all over the experience.

After they left, I remembered BW feeding a chunk of chocolate chip cookie to our newborn baby brother.  She got scolded (a rarity for her) as 1) she'd been told to be quiet and leave him alone as he was sleeping and 2) babies only a few days old are not on solid food yet.  Mom was safely able to fish the offending chunk of cookie out of his mouth.
(File under Kill-'em-with-kindness department.]

current mood: warm fuzzy

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10:56 am - Foodless Capture
Before they left, Cole put the last piece and someone's unfinished bowl of spinach lasagna in the coon trap and armed it.  The morning after they'd left, they caught three kittens, then two different kittens, and eventually, Mellow Yellow, who will stay in the trap contentedly until he hears me, then call.

After a few days, I got the grabber and removed the cleaned, but soggy from dew paper plates and bowl, and again reset the trap but put in no bait.

This morning, when I went out at 7 to place the cat food in the feed pan and turkey roaster, the closed door growled at me. The kittens are getting hoarse, I thought, then walked over to the side so I could see what was hidden by the trap door.  A possum, the spreader of a dread disease that kills horses over a two year period.

MS showed up to dispose of it.  He moved the crate away from the house, and put a bullet in its eye, but after five minutes, it was still standing (I was reminded of a newsreal I saw as a child where beheaded chickens raced around a farmyard until the children caught and began plucking them.  A second attempt evidently richocheted off, but the third one did the trick.

I remember Debut and Raven, both wasting away after catching the disease the possums carry.  I still have five left and would rather have them die of old age.

current mood: elated

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10:54 am - Sabotage?
Jennae (the youngest?) found a Tollhouse Chocolate Cookie dough package in my freezer and asked if she could bake some.  I told her yes, never smelled a thing, so don't know if they ate raw dough, or what.

BUT, the little stinker must be trying to sabotage me!  Even though I distinctly remember explaining to her when she set down her plate full of T's spinach casserole on the edge of my lap board that I was trying to stay on a diet and had already had my slice of bread for the day, so could not have the pasta on top of it, Dieting evidently didn't sink into her mind.  (I did taste the spinach sauce portion - it was delicious.)

Instead of taking it with them or passing it out among the five kids, she folded the top over the unused portion and put it on the top shelf, right hand front corner...label side up.

I have NOT succumbed as yet.  (But, it's been a close thing.)

One of the boys found a partially consumed package of Hostess Ding Dongs above the fridge.  He thrust it under my nose and asked if he could have it.  I said yes, and it disappeared into his hollow leg, but again, the others did not evidently share, and I eventually DID gorge on the two remaining packages.  (Bet you can't eat just one.  No, that's the wrong product.  That was a potato chip commercial, wasn't it?)

current mood: surprised

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Sunday, June 26th, 2016
5:29 pm - Random Thoughts on Choosing a Mate
My sisters both dated their way to Mr. Right; the best I could hope for after college was Mr. Left Still Standing.  Thanks for the offer, but no thanks!

The cream of the crop had been culled prior to graduation as dutiful daughters dutifully fulfilled their manifest destinies to marry compatibly to a “top earner” to secure a good future for themselves and their (hopefully, still unborn, but sometimes not) children.

I was oblivious to that paradigm.

I remember one discussion in the teacher's lunch room.  It was a "hen party" day.  Two banquet tables full, and NOT ONE teacher or aide had been "unencumbered" when married.  I kept my mouth shut, striving my best for a poker face, shocked beyond belief.

Sometimes, since most were from the same small town, the information was simply a restatement of a long-known fact, but others were admitted shyly or with obvious chigrin.

The shock to me was not that some were "embarrassed" at the time of their marriage, to borrow and translate a Spanish word for pregnancy, but the 100% figure.

current mood: pensive

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Tuesday, June 21st, 2016
1:36 am - On Childishness -- Dick Van Dyke
Scripture says you should put aside childish things when you grow up.  I take that to mean willfulness, self-centerdness, and things like that—not imagination, creativity, and joyful curiosity.
•••••••••••••••••••••Dick Van Dyke, actor, in his memoir Keep Moving

I generally read magazines from back to front, so I hit p. 33 and wrote the nine previous posts prior to hitting p. 29, which contains this gem.  He came to it sooner than I did, however...

current mood: content with likemindedness

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12:31 am - #1 Delicious Political Quotes -- All by Foreign Big Wigs: William Whitelaw

He has been going around the country deliberately stirring up apathy.

•••••••••••••••••••••William Whitelaw, British politician, (The Reader's Digest, July/August, 2016, p. 33)

Reader's Digest, July/Aug., 2016, Candidates Say What?!, p. 33, (posted in random order; the originals were not rated)

In a functioning democracy, ratings based solely on personal opinions really is a job that should only be done by various individuals, based on their own opinions, thoughts and prejudices.

Obviously, I saved the best for last.  Those of the (D) persuasion need to dump their apathy during this very helpful time when people seem to be waking up and in the mood to squish.  IF the (D)'s and moderate, thinking (R)'s don't put their voting lever where their poll-answering mouth is, we could be in a world of hurt!

I'm feeling far more bruised than usual during a political campaign.

If we can't get financial limits through our DO NOTHING congress, maybe they'd go for TIME LIMITS, which would also reduce the ridiculous expensiveness that blocks participation by best minds not necessarily found in coordination with extreme wealth.  Logically, the effects of pure capitalism reduce the likelihood of that, it seems, judging by past political winners ((R) variety).  I've been voting since 1960, never missing an election, and one political party has never before collected all the bigots quite so effectively as recent experiences are revealing.

I am an independent who has always delighted in seeking the brightest, most talented applicants, regardless of political affiliation (or is that affliction, nowadays?)  (R)'s, bit the bullet and clean your gene pool before the stagnation cripples you for life.

We seriously need to get back to a system that rewards TALENT for putting the best practices in place to benefit the whole world, all people living in the US, then ourselves personally, in that order.  Mean-spiritedness is NOT a USA trait that needs our support.  It's already rampant.  Let's spend the days to the election in a bid for alt

Science tells us even animals have a gene or two for that quality.  Practice makes perfect.  Let's prove that we BELONG at the pinnacle of the hierarchy.

current mood: apathetic, (what else with a quote like that?)

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12:18 am - #2 Delicious Political Quotes -- All by Foreign Big Wigs: Paolo Romani

[He clings] to data the way a drunkard clings to lampposts.

•••••••••••••••••••••Paolo Romani, former Italian prime minister, (The Reader's Digest, July/August, 2016, p. 33)

current mood: poetic politics!

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Monday, June 20th, 2016
11:52 pm - #3 Delicious Political Quotes -- All by Foreign Big Wigs: Tony Banks

The honorable member is living proof that a pig's bladder on a stick can be elected to Parliament.

•••••••••••••••••••••Tony Banks, British politican, (The Reader's Digest, July/August, 2016, p. 33)

current mood: reminds me of Iowa's Joan the gelder

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11:43 pm - #4 Delicious Political Quotes -- All by Foreign Big Wigs: Paul Keating

"He's like a shiver waiting for a spine."

••••••••••••••••••••Paul Keating, former Australian prime minister, (The Reader's Digest, July/August, 2016, p. 33)

Top poetic imagery for the list.  Good job!


1. (Brit, slang) astounded; astonished.


gobsmacked (comparative more gobsmacked, superlative most gobsmacked). ( chiefly Britain, Australia, slang) Flabbergasted, astounded, speechless, ...

gob smacked
I was completely gob smacked when my girlfriend told me she was really a man! 

Seeing that water skiing squirrel has left me gob smacked!

current mood: Gobsmacked

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11:39 pm - #5 Delicious Political Quotes -- All by Foreign Big Wigs: Vincent Cable

The House has noticed the prime minister's remarkable transformation in the last few weeks from Stalin to Mr. Bean.

••••••••••••••••••••Vincent Cable, British politican (The Reader's Digest, July/August, 2016, p. 33)

current mood: slight smile

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11:36 pm - #6 Delicious Political Quotes -- All by Foreign Big Wigs: Winston Churchill

He occasionally stumbled over the truth but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.

•••••••••••••••••••Winston Churchill,  former British prime minister (The Reader's Digest, July/August, 2016, p. 33)

current mood: tickled

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11:35 pm - #7 Delicious Political Quotes -- All by Foreign Big Wigs: Nigel Farage

I don't want to be rude, but really, you have the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk.

•••••••••••••••••••••Nigel Farage, British politican, (The Reader's Digest, July/August, 2016, p. 33)

(Wonder if he has met Trump?  In the class-conscious British social milieu, that last is a far worse insult than what most Americans would consider being called that would be.)

current mood: catty, a quality I dislike in myself :-(

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11:34 pm - #8 Delicious Political Quotes -- All by Foreign Big Wigs: Jonathan Aitken

She probably thinks Sinai is the plural of sinus.

•••••••••••••••••••••Jonathan Aitken, British member of Parliament (The Reader's Digest, July/August, 2016, p. 33)

current mood: Laughed out loud

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8:30 pm - Delicious Political Quotes -- All by Foreign Big Wigs: David Lloyd George
The right honorable and learned gentleman has twice crossed the floor of this House, each time leaving behind a trail of slime.
David Lloyd George, former British prime minister, (The Reader's Digest, July/August, 2016, p. 33)

current mood: amused

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Saturday, June 18th, 2016
12:00 am - Quote and Letter to the Editor

5-Minute Memoir


by Lisa TE Sonne


My parents encouraged me to use my imagination in writing, but not in grammar and spelling. Until I learned to be more of a conformist for the sake of clarity, I was known to write across the top of my papers a quote by Thomas Jefferson:  “I have nothing but contempt for anyone who can spell a word only one way.” ...

Writer’s Digest, July-August, 2016, inkwell, page 10

After reading the entire article, I sent the magazine the following via Reader Mail: As a notoriously poor speller (now somewhat saved by spellcheck, except where my vocabulary outstrips the built in dictionaries) I took the Thomas Jefferson spelling quote to heart, deciding to post it on my blog.


In a nutshell, it’s fiction, attributed erroneously to many famous people over its LONG history.  Hope Lisa TE Sonne’s amusing incident occurred BEFORE the advent of quick internet fact-checking.

current mood: content

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Friday, June 17th, 2016
2:35 pm - Poor Research Goof -- NOT THOMAS; I Should Have Doubted!
Oops - an internet search shows it under "spurious quotations", giving a stupendous listing of sources checked without discovering it...

As usual, I get too soon old and too late smart. (attributed in my tax preparer's office as an old Norwegian saying.)

current mood: chagrin

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Thursday, June 16th, 2016
2:31 pm - On Spelling Poorly -- Thomas Jefferson
As a notoriously poor natural speller, here's my new(ly found) favorite quote:

"You should never trust a man who has only one way to spell a word."
~ Thomas Jefferson

current mood: amused

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Thursday, June 9th, 2016
11:30 am - Sisterly Exchange, Confusion Abounds
On May 25, 2016, at 7:01 AM, Tonia Begonia wrote:

Let me know how your appt goes today.  I'm still looking at June 10-13 to be in Rochester.  My eldest is trying to come too if she can get off work.

Love and miss you!

Sent from my iPhone

On Jun 8, 2016, at 5:31 PM, Pandemo wrote:

I got the brace off my thumb today… onward to physical therapy -  He said, “Do you still have a whirlpool?  That would be very good for it.”  He later added as he left, “Use the heck out of it.” (meaning the thumb, not the whirlpool) Currently, it will barely bend and had trouble with the weight of a full 8 oz. glass of milk.  I quickly switched hands.  I did NOT want to try to clean milk out of the living room carpet.

He put today’s best view ex-ray up against the one from two weeks ago, where healing had barely started — it was remarkable.  There still is a bit of line there, but nothing like it was.

On Jun 9, 2016, at 6:21 AM, Tonia Begonia wrote:

Yay!  So glad to here you are moving in the right direction.

I'm sorry to hear about Aunt Joan's passing, such a lovely person.  She will be missed by many. I was hoping to swing thru and see her either on my way north or south but I'm too late.  Will you plan to attend funeral? I'm not sure what I'll do yet.

We still plan to make this trip.  We plan to arrive in Rochester Saturday afternoon.

I hope it works out to see you...somehow.

Lots of love,


Sent from my iPhone

On Jun 9, 2016, at 9:59 PM, Pandemo wrote:

I just had a heart to heart with Lou.  I am busy exercising my thumb.  As I was talking to her, I mentioned that MY ANKEL had swollen up again.  She read me the riot act.  NOBODY told me to support the ankle.  I took a second fall two days later (not as damaging, but the point is, I was constantly having it give out on me, but did not realize that I should have been icing it/wrapping it and needed to do so for 4-6 MONTHs if I didn't want to spend the rest of my life not knowing if I could count on it bearing weight at any one time, or not.

I thought that since the thumb was the worst, and was now operational, that the leg should have been better, too.  Didn't even think to tell the dr. how often it was NOT there for me.

Lou and Ran are going to Rushville to the funeral 2 pm. Sunday.  So are Chuck and Bon, I believe.

On Jun 9, 2016, at 9:08 PM, Tonia Begonia wrote:

I'm sorry about your ankle:(
What are your plans?

On Jun 9, 2016, at 9:41 PM, Pandemo wrote (BCC: Poopsie Lou):

Tomorrow, I'll talk with my doctor (or his nurse.)  Whatever he recommends, I'll do.  I'm doing the second icing for 20 min. on it as I type.  It felt much better after the first time!  (I like no pain, or decreased pain, without medications.)  Lou said if I could get to them, they'd take me to Ohio with them.  I doubt I can hold up for that long.

YEah! the buzzer!

On Jun 9, 2016, at 9:55 PM, Poopsie Lou wrote:

I've is your new best friend

Sent from my iPhone

On Jun 9, 2016, at 10:24 PM, Pandemo wrote:

What?  Are you channeling Mom?  I don't know what you mean...

On Jun 10, 2016, at 12:22 PM, Poopsie Lou wrote:

Darn auto correct.  ICE is your new best friend😊

current mood: laughing

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Monday, May 30th, 2016
1:15 pm - The Cookie Thief
As the unmarried sister, I was known to last only a few hours, max, with a gaggle of children.  All five of the young'uns were entrusted to my care while the parents went off Christmas shopping.

The youngest was in love with my Irish Setter, who shared my low tolerance for the attentions of avid, but overly enthusiastic, youngsters.  To escape, she crawled behind the couch.  So did my youngest sister's youngest.  Unlike my "child", he was unable to crawl out the other side successfully.  The couch was old, but solid.  By the time I had him extricated, he was in tears.

"I know what would make him stop crying, Auntie," proclaimed a sincere four-year-old pixie.

When I gave her my attention, she continued, "Cookies and milk."

Doubtfully, I confided, "We have the milk, but no treats before supper.

The oldest, who had scooted a chair over beside the counter, announced matter-of-factly, "The cookie jar is empty."

The blue eyed four year old tugged on my sweat shirt.  "We could bake cookies."

Doubt covered my face.

"I'm my mother's little helper," she cajoled guilelessly.   "We do it all the time."

"Uh...  No, Chris!  You'll fall!"  Grabbing the boy by the back of the t-shirt as he dangled face down into the space behind the couch, I noted that my dog was again cowering behind the couch.  The youngest was crawling toward her.  Another cheery young face blocked the far end, her usual avenue of escape, so she lay on her side, industriously clawing her way underneath, sideways.

Foreboding flushed my face.   Anyone bouncing on the couch now would crush her for sure, I thought grimly.

"Cookies," pronounced the pixie.  "If you and I bake cookies, everyone will settle down and watch cartoons," proclaimed the future politician.

The oldest held up the Disney Bambi VHS tape they'd all uniformly rejected not five minutes earlier as too boring, watching my eyes to see if the deal was on, or off, as I stood a suddenly cooperative Chris upright on the floor, and CariAnn backed out from behind the couch under her own steam.

"Okay," I relented, "as long as you're SURE your mother lets you do this."

A chorus of assents echoed down the basement stairs as they trouped to the TV and popped the tape into the VCR.

I’m known in the family for making a pretty mean chocolate chip cookie.  Of course, we all use the TollHouse recipe on the back of the bittersweet chocolate chips, but once, as children, I accidentally got distracted as I was pouring vanilla into the shortening and eggs.  How much did I use?  Tip the open bottle over the bowl about as long as it takes you to turn your head, then turn it back.  I can attest, everyone will notice the difference.  For years, I wouldn’t tell the “secret”.  Who wants to admit that their vaunted “expertise” is nothing more than an accident?

Toni and I proceeded into the kitchen, where she scooted the chair over to a bare spot on the counter and began to climb up.

“First you gots to get out the right stuff,” the blond haired tot announced gravely, surveying the strange kitchen of the third sister of the triumvirate of which I am the eldest, her mother being the middle one.

Opening cabinet door after door, drawer after drawer produced a bowl, measuring cups and spoons, mixing spoons, spatulas, canisters of flour, and granulated sugar, baking soda, a bottle of vanilla, a container of Morton’s table salt, the all important Toll House chocolate chips, but no brown sugar.
 Chris, the eldest child of the house, was summoned and pointed to a small orange tupperware container sitting, oddly enough, right next to the yellow granulated sugar container we’d found with no trouble.

Much egg cracking, butter blending, flour fluffing, and ingredient mixing ensued until at long last, a batch perfect chocolate chip circles decorated the tabletop.   Immediately, responding to no signal I could discern, five nearly drooling children eyed them with longing.

“Next batch.  Who wants to help load?”  Toni skipped over, soon happily spooning dough onto the cookie sheet, while the rest bolted down the basement stairs again.  As soon as the oven door closed, she joined them as I put the flour canister away.

Not a tyke in sight, but the last cookie on the very edge of the table, the one closest to the living room and the basement stairs, had disappeared.  I peeked into the living room, expecting to catch a glimpse of someone with a smeared face or covered in cookie crumbs, but the room was empty.  Opening the basement door, I saw five bodies avidly staring at the TV.  I may not know much about kids, but four would not be quiescent while a fifth devoured one of the coveted cookies!

Returning to the scene of the crime, I filled the sink with warm, soapy water, plunged in the empty mixing spoon and measuring cups, then glanced over my shoulder.

"No snacks before a meal," I hopefully announced to the empty air as I moved cooled cookies onto the table, beginning with the easiest spot to reach - the again empty edge of the table.  My dog was comfortably snoozing underneath the table, woven between the two back chair’s back legs, no child tormenter in sight.

The buzzer rang, promptly producing Toni.   Back on her chair, she scooped more dough onto the cookie sheet, precisely spacing them across the front.   I rotated the sheet so that she could reach, then we carefully placed it just so in the oven as I steadied her with one arm.

As I was replacing the rest of the dry items in their empty spaces in the cupboard, I noticed that the edge cookie had again disappeared.  In a bit more angry voice, I griped, “Who won’t be hungry at supper tonight?” vowing to keep a closer eye on the table, since I’d now failed twice to catch the guilty culprit.

When the bowl was finally empty, both it and the spatula found their way into the cooling water.  By the time we’d finished the baking, the entire tabletop was nearly completely covered with delicious looking cookies, not a burned one in the bunch.  The only negatives other than the flour-coated four year old and pile of dirty dishes and pans in the sink?  Nearly double the normal amount of time I’d have used to do the deed alone - and a total of five cookies had disappeared.

Before I could nail the thief, I had to catch them in the act.  Sitting carefully in the living room with a clear view of the kitchen table, I was astonished to see my Irish setter, who had been "sleeping" against the back wall, protected by multiple crosshatched chair legs, emerge.  Posing regally at the corner of the table, she reached her elegantly long neck to the max, carefully slurping up the end cookie.

current mood: tickled

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Sunday, May 1st, 2016
6:14 pm - Favorite Line from Definitely, Maybe (2008)

00:52:37 "And 'syntax' isn't what Nevada brothels pay the IRS."

  • Time - Phrase

  • 00:52:30 (Summer Hartley, played by Rachel Weisz) I'm writing these really dumb items for New York Magazine.

  • 00:52:35 (Summer Hartley) Waiting for my big break.

  • 00:52:37 (Professor Hampton Roth, played by Kevin Kline) "And 'syntax' isn't what Nevada brothels pay the IRS."

  • 00:52:43 (Summer Hartley)  I'm gonna go listen to the Professor.
                   (Will Hayes played by Ryan Reynolds) Sure.

  • 00:52:45  (Will Hayes) Nice glasses.

current mood: amused (LOL, actually)

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