Category Archives: Wow! I never thought of it that way before.

An Unconventional Solution to a Controversial Problem

Good morning Everyone!

Spurred on, no doubt, by the fact that today, April 17 in Alabama, I am huddled under a quilt with the heat on, I have discovered the way to solve the many sided problem of global warming and climate change with a minimum of fuss.

Take one representative from every side of the problem, and lock them in a room with any mother of  three children that are between the ages of 4 and 8, or, if you have particularly trenchant representatives, a mother of three boys between the ages of 11 and 15.  A solution will be reached.

Such a mother is skilled at the art of compromise (such as “If you can’t agree, I”ll settle this issue for you and none of you are going to be happy”), the art of  playing nicely (ie., “Sorry Mr. Ecology, you just can’t take your crayons and go home if the other people don’t agree with you!”) and the art of getting people to listen  and obey who originally didn’t want to (as in “Captain of Industry, sit down and shut up.  Now!”).

She might need a few extra rooms to use for time outs, and someone to help with meals and snacks, but I’m pretty sure that after about 3 days the group will reach a consensus.

Have a great day!



Adages that Aren’t plus Other News

Adage –  a proverb or short statement expressing a general truth

1)       Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.  – Not really; it just makes me sleepy.


From ClickArt Online, by Broderbund

2) Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. –  If we didn’t, how on earth could we ever buy a dozen eggs at the grocery store?


3) Handsome is as handsome does. – Nope.  By any standard of conduct, Pierce Brosnan, George Clooney and Sean Connery are handsome.

geese and gosling AJKoops

4) A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.  – Not if you’re a birder seeking to win the big year, or participating in the World Series of Birding in New Jersey!


5)  Out of sight, out of mind.  – Obviously, whoever made this one up never had a pressing problem to worry about.


From Print Shop Professional 2.0

6)  There is no such thing as a stupid question. – Well, yes, yes there is.

United States coinage penny

7) A penny saved is a penny earned – unless you owe back taxes, then it is a penny paid to the government.

Prisoner Costume

8) Practice makes perfect. – No, imperfect practice perfects imperfection

Sticks and Stones:  From Clip-Art Online

Sticks and Stones: From Clip-Art Online

9)  Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.  – Really?  Wounds from sticks and stones heal relatively quickly but word wounds will sting for generations!

USDA Food Pyramid

10)  An apple a day keeps the doctor away.  Not according to the USDA food pyramid or plate or whatever it is they are using these days.

Newspaper, news, magnifying glass

Breaking News!

And in other news –

(Dedicated to the Jefferson Davis High School “get-by” class of 1986, working its way through to a new generation!)

The following conversation repeated verbatim from yesterday.

Mom, in response to an e-mail from a teacher:  Kayla, what is this about you not having your study sheet in social studies today?

Kayla:  Mom, she told us to take it home last night.

Mom:  So?

Kayla:  She didn’t tell us to take it back.

Mom:  Kayla, it’s implied!

Have a great weekend everyone!


The Only New Year’s Resolution You Will Ever Need!

Good morning Everyone!

New Year's Baby

From by Broderbund. Copyright protected.

Believe it or not, we are already half way through the first month of 2013!  Studies show that by now, many who made New Year’s resolutions have already let them slide, and by the end of the month, most of the rest of us will follow suit.  A few years ago, however, I discovered the secret to keeping a New Year’s resolution, and I thought today I’d share it with you.

long list

A list of New Year’s resolutions – from by Broderbund. Copyright protected.

Before I learned this secret, I also participated in the New Year’s resolution mania, coming up with a long list of resolutions worthy of the finest list keepers in the realm, with all of the usual suspects on it – lose weight, eat right, exercise, get organized, keep the house better, and complete every uncompleted craft project I ever laid hands on along with a few inherited ones – only to wake up somewhere around mid-January to find that I had not kept one resolution out of the fifty or so that I had made.  Then, one year, lightning struck and I discovered the way off of the New Year’s treadmill.

From by Broderbund.  Copyright protected.

From by Broderbund. Copyright protected.

Here it is – the one and only New Year’s resolution you will ever need.  (Do you hear the fan fare in the distance?  Is the suspense gathering?)  Ladies and Gentlemen, I am proud to introduce you to THE RESOLUTION:


Applause, audience


This lofty but eminently keepable resolution is not without its pitfalls, however.

Avoid pitfalls! From by Broderbund.  Copyright protected.

Avoid pitfalls!
From by Broderbund. Copyright protected.

The worst pitfall is the peer pressure that slowly builds upon the resolver to make another New Year’s resolution, any other New Year’s resolution, as the previous year draws to a close.  The pressure is at its peak the week between Christmas and New Year’s, as the media inundates you with stories about the types of resolutions to make and how to keep them and the way the life of Susie B. Smith in Smalltown, USA was changed forever to the good because SHE kept HER New Year’s resolution to open a museum dedicated to the noble history of chocolate chip cookies.  (The free samples Susie B. Smith gave when you entered her museum certainly aided her success!).  You start to think that maybe you could try just one little extra resolution.  In spite of this pressure, stand firm.  Cut the thought “Well maybe I should resolve to…” off at the knees.  Think firmly “NO!  Stop the insanity now!  Not another year!”  After a while it becomes second nature.

The second pitfall is to believe that by keeping the resolution not to make any more New Year’s resolutions you are resolving never to change.  This thought adds to the pressure on you to make additional resolutions at New Year’s, since everyone wants to change for the better sometime.  Simple common sense (which is usually neither simple nor common) shows the fallacy of this fear.

Instead of never changing, keeping this one resolution frees you to change whatever you want, whenever you want at any time of the year except January 1!  By restricting yourself on one day out of 365 (366 in leap years), you gain 364(365) more days to make whatever changes you want.  Such freedom is dizzying and empowering – if you believe you need to change something in your life, by agreeing not to package it up with the New Year’s insanity, you have freed yourself to make one small change at the time of your choosing, leading up to one huge success by June 16 or October 21 or November 2 or whatever other day you might choose.

Mind-blowing, isn’t it?  So who’s with me?


From ClickArt Online, by Broderbund

Have a great day!


Exit Guilt; Enter Chocolate!

Good morning Everyone!

Cocoa pods ripening on the Cacoa tree

Cocoa pods ripening on the Cacao tree

I have the most wonderful, glorious news to share this morning – chocolate is, in fact, a vegetable!


From Print Shop Professional 2.0

How did I make this discovery?  A combination of  illogic, basic horticultural facts and culinary methods.  The basic ingredient in chocolate is the cocoa bean!  Any food based on a vegetable such as a bean must fall into the vegetable department.  (Technically, the cocoa bean originates in a fruit, since it grows in a pod along with many siblings, but then, tomato is a fruit, and it is considered a vegetable when we eat it.  I don’t think we should discriminate against the cocoa bean by elevating the tomato over it, do you?)


Linnaeus, who invented the means of classifying various organisms. This picture was painted just after he discovered that chocolate was a vegetable.

It takes approximately 300 to 600 cocoa beans to make 2.2 pounds of chocolate, so logic would dictate that each mouthful of the wonderful stuff is chock full of the same delicious vitamins that one receives from other beans and assorted vegetables as well.

Cocoa Beans in the Cacoa pod

Cocoa Beans in the Cacao pod

Exit guilt; enter chocolate….

My next question – since it contains chocolate, eggs, flour and often milk, does this make chocolate cake a super food?  Just wondering!

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

Have a great weekend!



Good morning everyone!

Quill Pen

Between my job as a lawyer, my writing here, e-mails, that wonderful, terrible, addictive game, Words With Friends, and some other writing that I do, I usually write a great many words in one day.  In the course of doing so, every once in a while a word will strike me as strange, and yesterday, it was the word “pants” which started me wondering – why is the word “pants” plural?  For that matter, why are most words involving things we wear on our legs (with the exception of variations of “panty hose”)  plural?

We wear, on other parts of our anatomy, a shirt, a blouse, a T-shirt, a hat, a dress (well at least some of us wear a dress occasionally), a skirt, a suit.  We wear a belt to keep our pants up.  We wear a scarf, either for warmth or decoration.

Givenchy Scarves; Photograph from Wikimedia Commons by Themepark Mom

We do wear shoes and socks, but that makes sense, because there are two of them, one for each foot.  The same is true for gloves and mittens – they are not connected, and we wear one on each hand.  If I am going to wear one, I say I am going to wear a mitten on one hand, and a glove on the other, making the singular/plural use logically consistent.

Motorcycle Riding Gloves

But when it comes to our legs, we wear pants, trousers, slacks, shorts, tights, leggings and jeans. Even things that hold our pants up in the years before elastic or belts (apparently) were plural – suspenders.   In years of yore, little girls wore pantaloons.

Pantaloons peek out underneath this little girl's dress from 1838.

The only other things that we wear that are treated the same way are eyeglasses – there is really only one unit. but glasses and spectacles always are plural, also.  (Notice I have to say “are glasses” not “is glasses” even though technically  if I am wearing glasses, I am wearing one item.  Of course, the store that makes glasses charges me as much for them as if I really were getting two units of something and not one, but that involves the science/art of economics, which makes my head hurt.)

We even went out and made another word, monocle, for glasses with one lens, rather than just calling it  a “glass” because it only involves one eye.

Actress and Screenwriter Ruth Gordon wearing a monocle in November 1919

I have read through a couple of on-line etymologies for the word “pants” and while interesting – through a long chain of events, the origin for the word “pants” comes from a Christian martyr, Saint Pantaleone, who was beheaded six times, and each time his head reattached and he continued to live  (Pantaleone basically means “all compassionate” and I guess being beheaded six times and having your head reattach would certainly help you in being compassionate)  – eventually they all can be boiled down to “see trousers.”  When you look at “trousers,” the etymology explains that the root of the word “trousers” is the Scottish “trews.”  No one explains why “trews” is plural.

A painting of Sir John Sinclair wearing trews - they look like pants to me!

That just struck me as odd.

Trousers - they still look like pants to me!

If anyone has an idea about why pants are plural, I’d love to hear about it!  Otherwise, I am afraid it will be time soon to go back to research the Ugg Clan’s family history one more time….

Have a great day everyone!


Golf – for the rest of us!

Good morning everyone! 

Golf is a game whose aim is to hit a very small ball into an even smaller  hole, with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose. – Winston Churchill

It has been early spring since I played golf.  Of course, I use the term “play” quite loosely – a better description of my golf game involves the use of the terms “machete” and “hack” but you get the idea.  Mark is much better than I am, but due to a condition similar to Phil Mickelson’s psoriatic arthritis, some days he plays better than others.  Kayla’s golf game has yet to be defined; she currently has been told that she plays a specialized position known as “ball spotter and fetcher” which requires a person to run out and retrieve balls from a distance, but does allow a chance at a shot or two to the green from a short distance away, along with an occasional turn at driving the golf cart.   

The reason the pro tells you to keep your head down is so you can’t see him laughing. ~Phyllis Diller

Even though we haven’t played golf, not even gone to the driving range, since about April, we do watch it quite frequently.  The pros make it look so easy!  The magnificent way they step up to a ball, take a swing and hit it continually amazes me, not to mention the fact that they can make that same ball travel an amazing distance in a straight line!  This year’s Master’s finish was one of the most exciting finishes to a pro tournament I can remember for a long time, and I think we all were excited to see Rory McIlroy, a young (to me) Irish kid who seems as nice as he possibly can be, win the U.S. Open.  The pros make me believe for one shining moment that I can hit the ball – until that deflating moment when I stand at the first tee of the first hole, carefully place my ball on the wooden peg, take my practice swing, then swing with everything I have – only to find that I completely missed the ball, yet again.

If your opponent is playing several shots in vain attempts to extricate himself from a bunker, do not stand near him and audibly count his strokes. It would be justifiable homicide if he wound up his pitiable exhibition by applying his niblick to your head. ~Harry Vardon

However, Mark, my husband, had a brilliant idea while we were at the beach, driving around and passing by golf courses on which I never will be good enough to play.  (Why do they insist on putting people’s houses on either side of the fairway?)  He calls it “Mark’s Golf Course for Regular Guys.”  Its motto is “Golf – for the Rest of Us!”  He has gone so far as to prepare the following prospectus:  

Mark’s Golf Course for Regular Guys:  The only water is in bottles and par is a theoretical ideal, not a hard and fast goal. In fact, score cards are generally frowned. The greens all slope toward the middle like a big drain and mulligans are in vogue. The quality of the golf may not be world-class, but there is plenty of barbecue and good friends. Prices are low, the scores are high and everyone has fun. For investment opportunities contact….

I intend to be one of the first customers! 

I know of a great tool that will take five strokes off  any game.  It’s called an eraser.  – Arnold Palmer

Have a great day everyone!