Friday, August 29, 2014


As a writer, I love words.  As a talker, I love words.  As a texter. . .not so much love there. I do it occasionally for those family and friends who are allergic to phone conversations or Face Time.  

I confess to even sliding down the slippery slope of shortcuts that slaughter the king's English. But I cringe when I do.  Does that make it forgivable?  In my heart, I truly want to preserve good grammar, rescue it from the current current, sweeping it away!

Facebook friends know how I love word plays.  They send me puns because I enjoy the subtle humor in twisting language.

Actually most of us communicate with others in the way they prefer.  Busy schedules, availability and lifestyle affect their choice.  Notice I didn't write effect they're choice.

Recently I took a Grammar Test. I missed one in ten and was ranked The Grammar Hammer.  I took it as a compliment.  Want to try the quiz yourself?

CLICK HERE for Do You Speak English?

Remember the What Would Jesus Do (WWJD) craze?  I submit a new version.  What Would Shakespeare Do (WWSD.)  

"To text, or not to text: that is the question." 

No one knows the answer.  I believe if he did, it would take him a very long time to send one, spelling out every word, adding all those -sts and -eths.

 "Wouldst thou careth to join me for a movie in a fortnight?"  

Even if he didn't text in old English, he'd be slow, careful to avoid the acronym and number landmines. Shakespeare would never:

cu b4 the movie  

Texting can be fun and funny too.

I'm not against texting.  I'm just more for knowing good grammar!  So is the job world and Weird Al Yankovic. Who knew? He nails my position in this song. 

Friday, August 22, 2014


It's an old saying and as I researched a bit for this post, I learned it's also a song and a book.  Though I don't think of myself as superstitious, part of me must believe it though, based on a day I experienced last week.

Doug and I decided to increase our R factor (thermal resistance) in the attic insulation. A man and woman came to install the long sheets of reflective material. They sweltered in the attic, hauling rolls of aluminum sheets up the pull-down stairs.  I gave them water en masse.

Several hours into the project I heard a loud thud then the pinging of things falling onto the kitchen floor.  Instinctively I knew and hollered, "Are you OK?" I rounded the corner, looked up and saw this.

Only, at that moment, a woman's blue-jeaned leg was dangling through the hole.  She was fine but shaken.  I had her come sit and rest a bit.

Doug returned from golfing.  I heard the usual garage sounds of him putting away his clubs.  Then I heard the unusual sound of him flinging open the door to the house and yelling, "We've got a problem."  Seems when he hung up his golf bag cart, it fell off the garage wall onto the pipe leading to the water heater, breaking the pipe and shut off valve.  Doug later told me, "First thing I knew of it was when water blasted into my face.  Good thing it wasn't hot water!" 

That's the attic stuff wrapping it with duct tape!

I ran barefoot to the cement floor seeing water spurting out as he ran for the street cut off.  Standing in water, suddenly I realized all that woodworking equipment still plugged in might not be the safest place.  I came back inside.  

At the street he struggled to turn it off because the metal had shifted so he eventually cut a piece to free it up. Fortunately Doug had aimed the spewing pipe toward the street so most of the water flowed right out, causing no damage.

When the dust settled and the water evaporated, I thought, "Trouble comes in threes.  What next?"  I even mentioned it to a friend.

My dread turned to relief when I remembered something else that had already happened as we were in the granite store choosing kitchen counter tops for an upgrade.  Sitting with the salesman in his office, we heard, "Excuse me, I need to take this call."

He jumped up and ran from the office  He returned with 3 other customers and explained, "There's been a shooting in the parking lot next door by the supply building."

I asked, "Is that part of your store?"

He said, "Yes, my son works there."

"Is he OK?"

"Yes, that's who called me. They're locked inside and so are we now. You all are safe here in my office away from the glass storefront."  I felt safe, assuming granite trumped bullets.

I sat in this white chair, wondering how a shopping trip turned deadly.  Am I on a reality show?

A dozen or so police cars later, one drunk man was taken to jail.  The other man was unharmed thanks to poor aim. The police station is right across the street.  The fighters: dumb and dumber.

When I remembered the third incident, I sighed, "Thank goodness it's all over!"  

I don't think of myself as superstitious but. . .thank goodness it's all over!

Maybe I spoke too soon. Today my doorbell rang. "Ma'am, the water company broke a gas line so we're here to repair it. Your hot water will be off an hour or so."  Guess this isn't hair-coloring day after all.

The whole city has descended out front. This one is NOT on us though.  So perhaps it's my next door neighbors beginning their 3 troubles!

Small stuff.  It's all small stuff. Don't break a sweat over it.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Famous quotes often make their way into signs of the times.  These are not famous. Maybe a few are even infamous.  But it's my blog and choice so they made the cut! Enjoy!

Friday, August 8, 2014


If this blog title is familiar to you then you probably know the song.  If not, here's the original version from my era.  I remember the song but not the McCoys.  

My kids heard me sing it at a certain time.  As most mothers do, when driving and coming to a sudden stop, my right arm would fling out to protect the child in the front seat.  We even do it if he or she happens to be in the back seat.  It's a reflex.  I like to call it perpetual mother love because sometimes I still do it no matter who's sitting there.  

There's a part two in our family history about this song.  Katy, our youngest (now a mother of 6), was in college.  She called home one evening almost breathless, "Mom!  Guess what!  Hang on Sloopy is a REAL song. . .it just came on the radio.  I thought you made it up!"  Wish I had the royalties.

I remember my mother saying things that I Iater realized were not original with her.  She'd refer to Timbuktu and Kalamazoo.  Imagine my shock to learn in geography class they were actual cities, not places my mother was gonna send me to if I kept misbehaving!  

After a spanking, she'd threaten, "And that's just a sample of what you'll get if you do it again!" So when the lady at the grocery once offered me a free sample, I ran in terror! 

Long hours in the car would often be spent playing the Alphabet Game as we searched our side for A through Z.   Wish I'd found this sign.  I'd have beat Bert and Ricky more!

Mothers.  Each one unique.  Yet we're similar in so many ways.  Our idiosyncrasies which often irritate our kids in their youth, morph into funny family stories when they grow up.  Then when our mothers die, those same things become almost sacred.  

Mama's in heaven.  I wouldn't wish for her to be back here.  But sometimes I wish I could be with her there!  I look in the mirror and see her in me sometimes too.  It's a good thing. Now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               A simple phrase, a personal habit, a little song.  I wish I could hear Mama sing again. She had a stroke in her final years when I recorded this Valentine message and song for my brothers. Her once strong alto voice quavered and grew deep, but is still beautiful to our ears. This little recording now occupies that sacred place in our hearts.  It's filled with laughter as I played for her to sing and tried to use sign language to cue her the words. She gets tickled watching my gestures so music and laughter mingled. . .just like our life! 

You probably smile at this.  Me too.  But I also cry. Mingled.