Saturday, September 26, 2015

5014 Seasons, hearing, free rice.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Don't taunt the alligator until after you've crossed the creek.


You know how in old-timey stage shows, when there's a change of scenery, the painted backdrop falls with a thud?  Well, that's how seasons have been changing lately.  THUD, spring arrived.  THUD, summer's here.  THUD, it's autumn.  One day it was in the high 80s and steamy, and the next day it was low 70s and windy.  Thud.  I swear I heard the backdrop fall.


Ever since I entered my 50s I've been getting mail offers for hearing tests from hearing aid companies, at the rate of at least one a week.  It's annoying.

I watched some videos recently about what people in foreign countries find most annoying about American tourists, and the thing that comes up over and over is that they are so loud.  Americans seem to talk too loudly, laugh too loudly, shout at each other, on the streets, on buses, on trains, in pubs, in B&Bs, disturbing the peace of everyone around them and they don't even notice.

That's something I noticed here, and it does bother me.  At the old house, a rural area, even in town people are much quieter.  It's difficult to hear conversations in the next booth at the village diner.  Here I can hear the complete conversation between two neighbors five houses up the street.  The house across the street doesn't have good cell reception, so the woman who lived there would sit on her front steps to talk on the phone, and not only could I clearly hear every word she said, I could clearly hear the other person on the other end of the call.

So, I doubt I need those hearing tests, but I wonder if most Americans DO.


Please check out  It's run by some part of the U.N.  You can take tests in various disciplines, and every correct answer earns 10 grains of rice for starving folks somewhere.  I think they start you out with English vocabulary.  It starts out very simple, but then gets harder.  If you get one wrong, pay attention to the correct answer, because you will see it again.  So you learn some stuff, and send rice where it's needed.  Supposedly it's paid for by the advertisers, but I didn't see any ads....

My previous post on freerice, with more detail:

Monday, September 21, 2015

5013 Life advice from a six-year-old

Monday, September 21, 2015

"Those who can laugh without cause have either
found the true meaning of happiness
or have gone stark raving mad."
-- Norm Papernick --


This child is six.  Her parents are divorcing.  She's giving advice to her mother.  It's wonderful.


Transcript, courtesy of a commenter on the video:

Mum, are you ready to be his friend?
Try not to be that high up, to be friends.
I want everything to be low, okay? Just try your best, alright?.
I don't want you and my dad to be replaced, and... mean again.
I want you and my dad to be placed, and settled and be friends.
I'm not trying to be mean, I just want everyone to be friends.
And if I can be nice, I think all of us can be nice too.
I'm not trying to be mean but... I'm trying to do my best in my heart – nothing else than that.
I want you; mum, my dad – everyone – to be friends, I want everyone to be smiling, not like being mad.
I want everything... Smile.
When I see someone, I want them to smile, especially nana. Everyone. I want everyone to smile.
 And if that's for my dad, and you, mum, I think you can do it.
I think you can settle your mean heights, down a little - to short heights, then it's both, okay?
I'm not trying to be mean, I'm not trying to be a bully.
I'm trying to be steady, on the floor.
Not way down - on the straight, on the middle where my heart is.
My heart is something - everyone else's heart is something too.
And if we live in a world where everyone's being mean, there will be (nothing but) monsters in the future.
What if there's just a little bit of a person (left) And they're eat(ing away) at them. Then no one will ever be here, only the monsters in our place.
We need everyone to be a person. Everyone – including me. And my mum. Everyone.
I just want everything to be settled down.
Nothing else.
 I just want everything to be good as possible.
 Nothing else.

5012 I think I'll title all posts "Rambles"

Monday, September 21, 2015

"Few people can see genius in someone who has offended them."
 – Robertson Davies –


Since last spring, Daughter had been looking forward to visiting my sister in Florida this fall. 

Well, Daughter checked on flights, I guess in late spring, and, I don't know what she was looking at, but she said the tickets were a bazillion dollars each.  So Hercules decided no, they couldn't afford it.  Badda boom.  End of story.

When I asked her a few weeks ago when they were planning to go and she told me they weren't going, and why, I was devastated.  I hadn't realized until then that I was so excited about the idea, too.  I haven't been keeping in touch (no reason, I'm just a clod), and hadn't seen sweet Sister in years, and the thought of my daughter and Nugget visiting thrilled me in some way I can't explain.  

I was crushed.

So, I went online and checked on tickets myself.  Maybe the drop in gas prices has something to do with it, but all the flights were a hair over $200.  So I told her pish on Hercules -- I'll pay for Daughter and Nugget to go.  I'll even pay for a rental car.

Well, with that news, Hercules decided he'd go, too.  (I'm not paying for his ticket.  Pish on him.  I'm betting he's all excited about geocaching opportunities, not about Daughter seeing her aunt and Nugget meeting her great-aunt.  Pish on him!)

They leave next Thursday.  I'll drive them to the Newark airport and pick them up after.


A random reference to TMI, and what it used to mean.  

Things have changed.  In 1975 when I was pregnant with Daughter, proper maternity clothes were circus tents.  You weren't supposed to even hint at an outline, like you were supposed to pretend it was a secret or something.  I wore the proper tents to the office, but rebelled outside work.  With the hippie influence, flower power, Woodstock, things were changing. 

I had found a T-shirt with BABY in big letters across the bust, and a wide arrow pointing down, and it wasn't even a tent.  It hugged my belly.  I loved that thing and wore it everywhere.  At that time and place, it was original, unique.

And everywhere I went, I got frowns, sneers, and whispers behind hands from women, and averted eyes from men.  The shirt was absolutely disgusting to many, and they let me know.  This was, by the way, in the mid-west.  I suspect that on either coast, folks may have found it more amusing.  But St. Louis was definitely NOT amused!

I asked a friend why there was such a strong response, and she said it was because the shirt was saying that I'd had sex.

Um, yeah, all pregnant women had.  Just being pregnant says that.  Besides, I'm married, so it's ok, isn't it?

Well, yeah, it's ok, but you're not supposed to talk about it, she said.  You're supposed to hide it.  That shirt not only literally points out that you've had sex, and points out where, but it BRAGS about it.  So when people see that, it makes them think about sex, and that disgusts them.


Forty years later, I wonder what they'd think of pregnant women in bikinis?