I’m Just Curious: Words

by Debbie Walker

This afternoon has been just wonderful with our first and second graders. I’m not exaggerating. When you introduce words to a child (18 of them) and they get excited about what they can do with these words, their teacher and I couldn’t help but get excited. You see we are word lovers as well.

The activity started out as a project to write Christmas cards (yes, I did say Christmas). Their first task was to come up with words they might want to use for their cards.

I pointed out that sometimes when I write, if I have trouble coming up with the subject for a column, I will start thumbing through magazines and books for ideas. So….

I dug out all of our Christmas story books for them to go through on their word hunt. Their teacher took them through a process where they all had a chance to look over the books for “their” words. The process I believe was called a “Book Pass.”

I was pleased to see them with their answer, for each of them to have used all the books, not just the one given to them. We also have special dictionaries for the class. Sometimes in a free time the kids will choose a dictionary to look at. Word, word, words!

I’m Just Curious: “Nana Daffy”

by Debbie Walker

Recently, I referred to myself as “Nana Daffy.” I commented that I would tell that story at another time. TIME is here.

Have you ever been in a conversation about names with a little one?

It goes something like this: “Momma’s name is ….?., Daddy’s name is ….?” It was one of those discussions when I added “Nana’s name is …?”

Tristin reached that age first. When asked “what’s my name?” She answered “Nana Deffy.” I looked at my daughter and we both giggled. I remember quietly telling Deana that I thought I liked Deffy better than Debbie anyway. However, Tristin, it seems, heard us and that little rug rat called me Nana Deffy after that.

Then along comes Blake and when he hit “the” age he had other ideas about my name. I then became Nana Daffy and it has stuck for 23 years!

When my grandkids were in Day Care I would often pick them up. It wasn’t long before every little one there noticed when I came in. Just picture about 30 of these little cookie crunchers charging towards the door yelling, “Nana Daffy!!!”. It was a great way to start or end a day.

Christmas at School

This is my second school year as a foster grandparent. I just love it! I am working with a classroom of first and second graders. Last year we only had two weeks of Christmas. (I only volunteer two days a week) My teacher, Kathy, had me wait until mid-December to get into anything Christmas. Well, that’s not happening this year! I have warned/told her that Christmas starts Dec. 1! That’s the Friday before you get/got The Town Line paper.

I am wearing one of my wild Christmas sweaters, headband of antlers with flickering lights, Christmas jewelry and my story time that morning will be a Christmas story! Humpfree will have lights on his antlers until Christmas is over. And… my craft/art class time will certainly be another bit of annoyance to Kathy because it is bound to be more Christmas!

I have been rather chatty tonight; hope you don’t mind all this information.

Important Studies?

Just when you have pretty much heard about all you want to about wasting of money, along comes a humdinger! The only saving grace for this one is it has been done in another country. But wait – if it is being done in another country, you don’t suppose this country would waste money like that, too, do you?

Dogs sleeping skills are being recorded. It seems they (whoever that country was) are studying sleeping dogs. Isn’t there some kind of saying about “let sleeping dogs lie”? I only remember them saying dogs could learn in their sleep!!! Maybe I’ll try that myself, hopefully I will learn something interesting.

Okay, I know, enough of that stuff! As usual you can find me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. I’m just curious if you have nights like this when several things jump you in one day and you just have to have an opinion? I hope I helped you smile.

I’m Just Curious: The story of Humpfree

by Debbie Walker

I apologize, I goofed last week. I thought I had sent in my column. OOOppps, in checking my computer for “last sent to Townline,” a big OOPS, I had not sent one after the “Mother’s Sayings”.

It’s not something I really want to think much about. Today is the day after Thanksgiving and I believe in years past it has been the biggest shopping day of the year. All I really want to say about the whole subject is: CHRISTMAS IS COMING! No, I am NOT ready!

I have to tell you a little story about my pocketbook. His name is Humpfree and he is a Maine moose. Patsy found my moose at our favorite thrift store, the little one in Unity village. In our classroom we have a theme of Maine animals so I was thrilled with what I thought was a stuffed moose. Guess what! The moose was a bag; it was possibly just a kid’s overnight bag. It is now my pocketbook. He is rather large (so am I!), and he is quite noticeable. The kids at school just love Humpfree and so does my niece, Haliegh. Well, you know we have a hunting season here in Maine, we had to protect Humpfree from the hunters. He had to wear some orange, so we put a pair of orange gloves on his antlers! He was safe. I say “was” because today we removed the “orange” and put little LED blue lights on his antlers. The lights are beautiful! So if we wind up in Waterville shopping and you see us be sure to stop us and say “Hi”.

I have to tell you the neatest thing about carrying Humpfree, it’s people’s reaction to him. Some people will smile, some will laugh out loud and others will stop to laugh and chat. Carrying Humpfree has been a wonderful experience.

Coming soon will be a Santa pocketbook and after that I think it will be the pig, for a pocketbook! Santa and the pig both had to be adapted. I told you before that I have just too much fun. Oh, I have to tell you what Mom said. I think she was embarrassed about some of my actions, but then said that her saving grace was she was able to tell people that I work with first and second grade kids (like that makes it ok).

As usual I am just curious what makes you smile. Please, any questions, comments, or thoughts, send to dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Don’t forget to check us out online!! Thanks for reading!

I’m Just Curious: Mother’s sayings

by Debbie Walker

As usual I am just curious. I am going to share these “Hilarious Things My Mother Taught Me…”. I am sure it was e-mailed to me quite some time ago and I printed it off for a future reference. And, yes Mom, I did recognize a couple of these and I think I have used a few myself!

1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE. “If you are going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”
2. My mother taught me RELIGION. “You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”
3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL. “If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”
4. My mother taught me LOGIC. “Because I said so, that’s why.” Yes Mom, I remember hearing that and I remember using it myself!
5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC. “If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.” (I love that one!)
6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT. “Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.” I would love to know if anyone was left out on that one!
7. My mother taught me about IRONY. “Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.” Oh yes Mom, I remember that one. Ranks right up there with “I want to change my name, even just a day!”
8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS. “Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”
9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM. “Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck?”
10. My mother taught me about STAMINA. You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

I’m not giving this one a number but poor Mom. If she did it once she did it a hundred times. It seems that all tops for anyone big busted have always been very low cut. Mom found more safety pins to fix any tops I had!

Since our weather has really been the pits for a few days I want to share a poem I saw in the Kids version of The Old Farmer’s Almanac:

“When pigs carry sticks, The clouds will play tricks; When they lie in the mud, No fears of a flood.”

“If bees stay at home, rain will soon come; If they fly away, Fine will be the day.”

I had to add this: When having to paint trim (mirror, around windows, etc.) you can keep paint off the glass. You can dip a Q-tip in petroleum jelly and apply to the glass where it meets the frame. When paint is dry just wash the glass.

As usual I am just curious what your memories are. It’s time to share! Thank you for reading. Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com with questions or comments. Check out our web page!

I’m Just Curious: Really?

by Debbie Walker

I’m not sure how this “New Tiny Houses” thing came about; it has become the newest in home ownership. Newest? That’s my “really?” question.

Well, I don’t believe “new” should be included in the term. When I was driving home the other day I saw at least three “tiny houses.” These homes probably were not as fancy as the ones on that Sunday night TV show. However, it is a way for people to have a “home” and not pay rent. It has been going on for a long time.

We have a friend who built what he calls a “camp.” It is small and he works on it as he can afford it. The difference is some of the “tiny houses” are meant to travel, the ones on the way home were not, nor is our friend’s.

I know I am probably not seeing the whole picture but I am seeing some serious problems with moving some of these little “Tiny Houses” down the road. If they want to move around what is wrong with some of the travel trailers?

There are some beautiful “homes” (a home is whatever size and structure you are fond of). The trailers are built for going down the road, wherever your heart desires and to live in with comfort. Some are luxury and some are suited to a rugged camping experience. Storage is everywhere, inside and outside under the trailer. I believe with most companies you can do some customizing, my in-laws used to design their fifth wheel according to their (her!) needs.

I am kind of wondering if this “Tiny House” thing will last a long time. The TV show certainly will not have the run time of “Captain Kangaroo.” I lived in a travel trailer some years back, for a year, and I enjoyed it. We were in Florida and spent a lot of time outside. But even in “weather” we were comfortable. Ken and I spent at least three summers up here in our motor home. We did enjoy those summers even though Ken wasn’t quite as happy as I was contented.

Well anyway, that’s my rant about the “Tiny Houses.” Please don’t hesitate in letting me know your thoughts.

WEATHER

(Copied from The Old Farmers Almanac for Kids)

Little Girl’s Poem About Snow

Charley looked at the snowflakes fair,
Falling so swiftly through the air.
With wonder in her big blue eyes
She looked at the fairies from far-off skies.
Soon she called, “Momma, come look at these things,
Floating as softly as if they had wings
I guess, Momma, the angels up there
Are combing the dandruff out of their hair.

by Cora E Talbot (1865-1938)

With that cute little poem I am trying to build myself up for what is sure to come soon, after all this is Maine. Please contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com with questions or comments. Don’t forget to check out our website. Thanks for reading!

I’m Just Curious: Would you be interested?

by Debbie Walker

You already know I buy strange books and magazines to read and sometimes share info with you. Today is one of those days. The information that follows is from a 2002 Almanac that I found. The info I am sharing should be useful, even now in 2017!

$$Ways to Save Money

Put a freeze on impulse purchases:

They mean business; literally put your credit card in an empty ice cream carton. First put in some ice cubes, then the card/cards, then put in more cubes. Doing this puts the cards a little deeper than just an ice cube tray! Makes you have to wait longer to thaw to get your hands on the card.

Organize your receipts for taxes:

Don’t buy a file cabinet. Get a 12-bottle (or two six-bottle) wine box from a liquor store (you can always decorate!). Label each of the 12 holes, for its month. Ta Da!

To keep furniture looking good:

You can protect the finish of your furniture with tiles you may have used in your house or a friend’s home. You can also find tiles at The Home Depot, in Waterville, (and I hope you meet Chris, the best customer service I have had in years!) Pick out your tiles and glue felt on bottom to protect furniture.

Drape to distraction:

If you want to paint your room, change the color, but one wall may need some repairs you can’t afford right now. It might be an idea to make a long curtain from ceiling height to floor. You could make the curtain from marked down fabric (at Wal-Mart, in Waterville!). If you need a long curtain rod you can try a long dowel (from Chris at The Home Depot!! We got one as wide as our bedroom).

Express your appreciation:

If you really like a product write to the manufacturer. Explain why you like their product. You may receive a reply and a bunch of coupons. It might save you money on something you like to buy.

Find pencils and pens in a flash!:

Can’t find something to write with in a hurry? This article’s idea is to get a cheap flashlight that has a magnet on it. Take the top, the bulb housing and the batteries; put them away in a drawer where you will find them another day. Then hang the body of the empty flashlight on the ‘fridge and add your pencils and pens.

This all came from an article printed in Yankee magazine and shortened for the Almanac and then I saw it, it has traveled well!

So was the information of use to you? I hope at least one note was. I’m just curious what tips you have to share. Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com . Thanks for reading and don’t forget our website!

I’m Just Curious: Sorry, Christmas is coming!

by Debbie Walker

You know how sometimes you think you have things figured out and you are happy? And then “Whoops!” things change. That is Christmas for me.

I need to give you some background here before we go on. When my grandkids got to be about nine or 10 years old I stopped buying gifts. They were getting to an age where I just didn’t even want to try to figure out what to get. I didn’t know their music or if they were fussy about what they wore, and I was around them a great deal of the time! It was at that time that I switched over to gifting them an experience.

We all lived in Florida (they still do) so coming up with places for them to visit was easy. I think their favorite was the Museum of Science.

When they (granddaughter and grandson) got to be 14 or 15 I decided to change things up a little. I had certain gadgets and other kitchen items that I really like to use so I decided I was going to start buying that kind of stuff for the kids. I figured before too many years went by they would be going out on their own. I started picking up kitchen items and holiday decorations. I bought the same for both of them; some of the items I got in thrift stores and Dollar Tree. And… I wrapped them all in aluminum foil (kitchen theme!) The following year they even had a use for the foil, rolled it all into a big ball and bounced it through the house till just before the next Christmas.
I picked up those kinds of things all year. I don’t think I ever enjoyed gifting quite so much! The kids appeared to have fun with that Christmas so I decided the next year would be done the same way. My daughter said she had overheard the kids telling friends about Christmas with Nana Daffy and, yes, they still call me that, but that’s words for another week!)

My living in Maine and they in Florida makes things a little difficult but… I talked to Tristin the other day about the possibility of a new computer. Before our conversation was over she had put her bid in for their old Christmas’. She explained to me that she didn’t need a computer but she would love some more “kitchen stuff.” Two days later I know exactly what I am going to send them!

So I know what I am doing for Christmas, I’m just curious if you know what you are going to do? Sorry but Christmas is coming. Thanks for reading! Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com, I love hearing from you! Don’t forget, check out our website!

I’m Just Curious: Marriage history

by Debbie Walker

Last year I fell in love with almanacs! I had no idea they had so many useful, interesting pieces of information. My friends were surprised when I started buying the latest almanacs. But even I was surprised when I bought the hard bound 2002 issue, I was so hoping for some other interesting articles and I was/am happy! I was more than pleased when I saw the article about brides, then and now!

I am looking forward to sharing the information with you. Let’s get started…

The Marriage History touches on several different areas of “weddings.” The article was in the 2002 almanac, written by Robert B. Thomas. It was written as “Wonderful Weddings” by Christine Schultz.

There were a few quotes, one was by Ben Franklin: “Keep your eyes wide before marriage, and half shut afterwards”.

Mae West left the following saying: “A man in the house is worth two in the street.”

“Popping the question” used to be the big question and was presented to the dad of the future bride. All present would have held their breath awaiting the answer. Now you are more likely to see the question written in the sky or their faces on the screen at a big game. Dad’s answer is not necessary these days.

There is talk about prenuptial agreements in a lot of the couples, especially more advanced professionals. Needless to say there are probably a great many of conversations.

The day of the week for the wedding celebration has some interesting history. In New England Wednesday was the luckiest day for weddings and Friday (hangman’s day) was the unluckiest. Now dates may be determined by the anniversary of their meeting, possibly their grandparent’s anniversary and some just so the bride can marry in June. (I still don’t know why June is “the big month.)

I did get a chuckle about a couple of the wedding gifts:

  • A bottle of Jim Beam and two glasses. (Wonder about the meaning here!)
  • A yard ornament that reeked of mothballs, from and older couple who are family friends. It must have been a “re-gift” from their own wedding.
  • A life-sized statue of a sea gull. Where do you display such an item? In a dark space in the closet where no one else will find it!

I got a kick out of the subject of “Maids of Honor” and “Best Men.” It used to be an unmarried “maid” and we now have gone all the way to the bride’s best friend being a “male” or her “dog.” My how things have changed!

There is a lot more information available if you are interested. Once again I hope this is enough. I’m just curious if you have any strange wedding traditions. I’d like to hear. Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com: Marriage. Don’t forget to check out our website!

I’m Just Curious: A collection of thoughts

by Debbie Walker

How about I start out with “You Are Not a Duck!” Bet you are wondering where I am going with that one! Well… Oil of Olay had a commercial once upon a time that used that quote. For some reason that one really caught my ear-sight, even though I’m not one for a ritual of skin care. The rest of the ad has a picture of a duck and a woman. The words for that part said, “To camouflage her body, the female mallard duck assumes a dull, colorless hue, ‘You are not a duck!'”

I am sure there are still some people who believe it is wrong for a woman to dress and “color” herself up. I am not one. Right now my hair is burgundy. The other day I had a laugh with a lady who looked at me and said “your hair matches your top!” She was right, it did! My hair has been a variety of “reds.” There was one time when it came out like a funny clown’s hot pink hair. That day I was going to my niece’s birthday party. I rang the doorbell and my little niece answered the door. She looked at me and finally said, “Auntie, did you do that on purpose?”

Fortunately, I have a wonderful friend, soul sister, etc., who can fix just about anything I can mess up with hair color! It’s a miracle that I still have hair after all the things I have done to it!! I am definitely not a duck!

People soon may be wondering if I am a zoo keeper when they see my pocketbooks. That sounds like a strange comment but I am running around now with a moose pocketbook. I love it. People smile, some laugh and some stop to talk. My pocketbook has antlers and his name is Humpfree. Ken, of course, just shakes his head slowly but Mom, well that is another subject. I believe Mom knows that I am going to be her “forever child.” To save my mom from embarrassment I believe she just reminds herself and tells other people that it’s okay, what I do, because I volunteer with first and second graders. And yes, the kids love Humpfree. (I have a unicorn, pony and fish coming soon!)

Speaking of the kids, I love being part of their reading and writing program. The teacher gave them an assignment the other day. They were going to be writing about a personal experience they had that day. They were going to have 10 minutes to do this. You just never know what a child is going to say, that was proven again that day. Some of the kids wrote about an outside run, and some of the little writers wrote about our now painted and decorated classroom bench. One of our little writers, when asked what he was writing about, he replied “about 5 minutes on the toilet.” Needless to say the teacher and I had to control our expressions! I keep learning over and over again; don’t ask a child (or grown man!) if you don’t want to know!

I am just curious about some of the daily personal subjects you would like to write about. As usual, please contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com with your questions and comments. And don’t forget to try out our web page. Thank you for reading.

I’m Just Curious: Wedding Boxes, etc.

by Debbie Walker

“Wedding Box” brings different thoughts to each person who might see the words. I originally thought it was some sort of a goody box wedding present.. Nope, that is not what it is. I did some looking but all I could find was that the author is “unknown,” I don’t know who wrote it and the first time I saw it was on the internet being passed around. I printed it off because I thought it was rather special. So I hope you enjoy it too.

Marriage Box

Most people get married believing a myth that marriage is a beautiful box full of all the things they have longed for; companionship, intimacy, friendship etc. The truth is that marriage at the start is an empty box. You must put something in before you can take anything out. There is no love in marriage. Love is in people. And people put love in marriage. There is no romance in marriage. You have to infuse it into your marriage. A couple must learn the art and form the habit of giving, loving, serving, praising, of keeping the box full. If you take out more than you put in, the box will be empty.

I am hoping all of you who are married or in a committed relationship will take this all quite serious. How wonderful it would be if we could bring up our children with two loving parents. You will have to excuse me; I put my rose-colored glasses on for a few minutes!

Okay, now I have room for one of my questions. I have soooo many questions! This one involves underwear. Why can bras and panties be advertised on models on TV and pictures in catalogs but if anyone went into a store dressed like that they would be arrested for indecent exposure!

Now that would be rather foolish, because bathing suits with less fabric than most underwear can be worn in public. I just don’t understand.

Onto my next subject: Some of you know that I am involved with the Foster Grandparent Program. I just love it! If you volunteer in a school or day care now it would be to your benefit to check this out. You would call Maria Staples at 973-3611. If you are just one person or are involved in a group have Maria come and speak. This is part of Penquis. It is interesting and the kids are wonderful! They can use your attention.

And as usual I Am Just Curious, hoping you will be a little curious about the Foster Grandparent Program. I am looking for any questions or comments, send to dwdaffy@yahoo.com, sub: Marriage, Underwear, or FGP. Have you checked us out on-line yet?