I’m Just Curious: Myths!

by Debbie Walker

Some weeks I could probably get into trouble if it wasn’t for the full crew of “Keepers” in my world. I’ll admit some of the things I have an interest in others just shake their heads; I enjoy living in a continued childhood even if it is only in my head. Books for children can be very interesting and I have found things in their books that I did not know. It’s all fun.

This week I was looking at the National Geographic KIDS Almanac 2014. There was a caption on the front, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Everything!”

Animal Myths Busted:

Adult opossums do not hang by their tails. (I haven’t seen any up here but I did in Florida.)

Porcupines do not shoot their quills. (but they sure can put a hurt on a dog!)

How about “Elephants are afraid of mice.” Myth!

I read that the elephant’s eyesight is so bad they would never even see a mouse!

Another myth, one I hadn’t heard was that goldfish only have a three second memory. (imagine that test!!) I can tell you from experience they can remember who will feed them and when they expect it. I saw it in person as grandson’s fish knows son-in-law is the feeder. The fish swims to whichever direction son-in-law is walking in the kitchen.

And yet another myth:

“Bulls charge when they see red.” (They prefer VISA!) Sorry, I couldn’t resist! It was never the color of the bull fighter’s cape, it was actually the motion.

How about the myth “eating carrots improves your eyesight.” That was a hoax in World War II. British soldiers claimed to have excellent night vision because they consumed carrots. The carrot bit was used to confuse Germans. It was to take their attention away from British radar.

Okay, so much for all that stuff.

Last week I printed “A TEST for OLD KIDS” and I promised the answers would be here this week. I am sure you are anxiously awaiting the answers! (If you missed The Test you can find it online here.) For all others the answers follow:

ANSWERS:

01. The Lone Ranger left behind a silver bullet.
02. The Ed Sullivan Show
03. On Route 66
04. To protect the innocent.
05. The Lion Sleeps Tonight
06. The limbo
07. Chocolate
08. Louis Armstrong
09. The Timex watch
10. Freddy, The Freeloader and ‘Good Night and God Bless.’
11. Draft cards (Bras were also burned. Not flags, as some have guessed)
12. Beetle or Bug
13 Buddy Holly
14. Sputnik
15. Hoola-hoop

I am, as usual, just curious! I would love to hear how you made out!! Contact me with questions or comments at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Thanks for taking the time out of your day to look over The Town Line.

I’m Just Curious: A test for old kids

by Debbie Walker

This is a test for us ‘old kids’! The answers will be printed next week, just in case you need them.

01. After the Lone Ranger saved the day and rode off into the sunset, the grateful citizens would ask, Who was that masked man? Invariably, someone would answer, I don’t know, but he left this behind. What did he leave behind?________________.

02. When the Beatles first came to the U.S. In early 1964, we all watched them on The _______________ Show.

03 ‘Get your kicks, __________________.’

04. ‘The story you are about to see is true.. The names have been changed to ___________________.’

05. ‘In the jungle, the mighty jungle, ________________.’

06. After the Twist, The Mashed Potato, and the Watusi, we ‘danced’ under a stick that was lowered as low as we could go in a dance called the ‘_____________.’

07. ‘N_E_S_T_L_E_S’, Nestle’s makes the very best . . . . _______________.’

08. Satchmo was America ‘s Ambassador of Goodwill.’ Our parents shared this great jazz trumpet player with us. His name was _________________.

09. What takes a ‘licking and keeps on ticking’? _______________.

10. Red Skelton’s hobo character was named _________________ and Red always ended his television show by saying, ‘Good Night, and ‘________ ________. ‘

11. Some Americans who protested the Vietnam War did so by burning their______________.

12. The cute little car with the engine in the back and the trunk in the front was called the VW. What other names did it go by? ____________ &_______________.

13. In 1971, singer Don MacLean sang a song about, ‘the day the music died. ‘This was a tribute to ___________________.

14. We can remember the first satellite placed into orbit.. The Russians did it. It was called ___________________.

15. One of the big fads of the late 50’s and 60’s was a large plastic ring that we twirled around our waist. It was called the __ ______________.

Answers next week! The only time I really enjoy these little tests is when I get to pass them along! Then it’s really fun. Hopefully this will bring some fun memories to your mind. It made me smile.

Different uses for regular things make me smile too:

I’m just curious when you will use this: I don’t like to redo something that isn’t necessary so: Take a clothes hanger and two rubber bands. On each end of the hanger attach a rubber band. I would use a band that is long enough to wind over the hanger two or three times. Your clothes will now stay on the hanger and it was a cheap fix. Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Thanks for reading.

I’m Just Curious: Shoe facts to keep you on your toes

by Debbie Walker

The kid’s books and magazines give me some different things to write about! Some of this column is from a World Magazine. I believe it is an off shoot of National Geographic World.

So we are going to start out with information about shoes:

Sneakers:

A few years ago there was a ship carrying about 40,000 pairs of sneakers in the Pacific Ocean, headed for the United States. A storm struck and the sneakers went overboard. Sometime later beach-goers from British Columbia to Oregon saw hundreds of sneakers had washed up on the shores – “they were the ‘sole’ survivors”!

Symbols:

Shoes were symbols of ownership years ago. At European weddings, the bride’s parents threw shoes to ‘say’ they didn’t own the bride any longer. Shoes became a symbol of good luck. Sometimes all the wedding guests threw shoes at the happy couple. “Maybe throwing shoes helped a marriage start out on the right foot”.

Right or Wrong

Eighteenth century people didn’t have to worry about right or left shoe. Both shoes were exactly alike. Both shoes in a pair were identical!

Someone Else’s

Napoleon I didn’t have to get blisters. His servants wore his boots to break them in for him. “They spared his imperial tootsies a royal pain.”

Fashion

About 500 years ago in Europe men wore shoes with extremely long pointy toes. Some were so long that the wearer had to fasten them to his knees – or he’d trip.

“Walks of Life”

People give shoes a real workout. Each day most people take about 9,000 steps. And over our entire lifetime we may walk far enough to circle the Earth three and a half times. That’s enough to make your feet sore!”

Altitude Footwear

Platform shoes are not new to fashion. Years and years ago in Europe decorated platform shoes were a status symbol for wealthy women. The style “peak” was called the chopine (shah-PEEN). Sometimes rising more than two feet high, this was a shoe with a view!

Okay, I guess that is enough shoe business for one day. Although I could add that my Dad used to tell Mom to take me shoes shopping. He said they would throw away the shoes and I could wear the boxes. I have big flat feet with bunions! Used to have bunions but those were taken off, yehaw! Me and shoes still don’t get along really well. And, NO, it was not my mother’s fault. She always made sure our shoes fit well.

As usual I am just curious if you have any great “shoe” stories. For questions or comments you can contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com . Thanks for reading!

I’m Just Curious: Medieval times?

by Debbie Walker

When I was going to school I hated any mention of Ancient History (very old timie stuff)! Why would I care what happened that far back. The only history class I ever looked forward to was Maine History, supposed to be taught in my eighth grade. No! They stopped teaching it when I was in the seventh grade; that was the last year it was taught in our school! I’ll catch up to it sometime!

A friend of mine sat waiting for me to come out of the bionic knee surgery; she found me a magazine she thought I would be interested in. What terrible thing did I ever do to her that she would buy “Collector’s Edition Medieval Life?” It contains stories of ordinary people in the Middle Ages. It has just enough odd subjects to capture my interest! Some of the articles are:

Inside the Medieval Mind
Revealing Underwear
Medieval Postal System
Eight Dangers of the Medieval Period
Living With Leprosy
How to Send a Letter
Can We Understand the Medieval Psyche?

I suppose people have done a lot of research of ancient books, letters, etc. I would wonder how they managed to get up in the mornings. Depressing! “Fifteen Signs Before Doomsday,” just a little taste of their readings. Superstitions and reminders of death and what was feared to come after were ever present in their lives and art.

Where I don’t have the attitude for Ancient History I do have the attitude of interest for a different life and what appears to me to be a great deal of superstitions.

I read some of the information about clothing. Some of it was discovered under a floor and in fair shape. The thing that made me laugh out loud was women didn’t wear bras; they wore “breast bags”!

Some of their pets in Medieval Times were parrots, red squirrels and weasels.

I don’t know how Lene picked out this magazine but I was actually enjoying this reading today. It wasn’t full of … and this happened in 1492, test tomorrow!

The 8 Dangers of the Medieval Period:

Bad weather, Heresy, Famine, Childhood, Child Birth, Violence, Hunting and Early Death.

Then, of course, there was thievery, prostitution, bribery and murder.

(Is that different than now?)

It was said ‘Prostitution was as much a part of life as the saying of prayers and repenting of sins.’

So much for Medieval Times…..

I came across a couple of neat tidbits in my latest magazine.

You can use cooking spray to help speed dry your polished finger nails.

Polish nails, do top coat, 30 seconds later spritz with cooking oil.

A carpenter told me that you can use cooking spray to quiet squeaking hinges. I loved that one!

Clean your paint covered hands with it. Spray with cooking oil then rub it in.

Okay, I’m just curious if this will be our last snow storm, plleeaassee.

Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Thanks for reading!

I’m Just Curious: Facts about food

by Debbie Walker

I am sure there are facts about some foods that I would rather not know about. The ones that follow weren’t too bad:

There was a time when I would not ask what a buffalo wing was. I was afraid of finding out! You see I have lived a sheltered life. Little did I know the dish was invented in the 1960s? It was chicken! A restaurant owner fried some chicken wings and served them with hot sauce and bleu cheese for dipping. They were called Buffalo wings because the restaurant was in Buffalo, New York.

Most people know honey is the only food that never spoils. It has been said honey buried in an Egyptian tomb, after thousands of years, still tasted sweet.

Chocolate chip cookies started out as Toll House cookies because they were made in a Massachusetts Inn called Toll House. One of the owners ran out of nuts so they decided to add pieces chipped from a chocolate bar. Ta-Da – chocolate chip cookies!

Hot dogs have quite a history. They started as frankfurters because they started out in Frankfurt, Germany, in the Middle Ages. Next they were known as hot dachshund sausage; of course, people were reminded of long bodied pooches. They are now known as hot dogs. Whatever the name they are pretty popular. I’ll have relish with mine!

As we all know popcorn explodes before it becomes edible. Kernels of popcorn contain a small amount of water which turns to steam when heated. The steam can’t escape from a kernel’s hard shell. So pressure builds inside the kernel until – pop – it explodes! Would you like more butter!

I like this one about Swiss cheese; not sure I will ever eat it again though. With all the holes it looks like it was hit by bird shot! Those holes are actually caused by bacteria. This kind of bacteria isn’t harmful. It helps ripen the flavor of the cheese. As cheese ripens, the bacteria give off gases that make bubbles, creating the holes in Swiss cheese. I wonder how much of the charge by the pound includes the holes………’just saying.’

Okay, that is enough about food, not because it is making me hungry. It’s because I am wondering what else I don’t know about food and don’t want to know!

If you have ever been in a vehicle accident maybe you will understand my feelings about the whole mess. First, I am aggravated that my favorite auto was “totaled” and the insurance company doesn’t figure value quite like I do. Second, I am aggravated because the person at fault evidently figured he was in more of a hurry then the rest of us on the same road. He pulled out into our lane….. Guess what. His “hurrying” cost him a lot more time than the waiting he might have experienced behind that car. As for us, we went on quite a roller coaster ride what with going up on the snow banks and just missing stationery mail boxes. So, I am just curious if you will be conscious of your own patience or lack of…

Reach me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com for all your questions or comments. Thanks for reading and don’t forget we are on line too.

I’m Just Curious: I think it’s interesting

by Debbie Walker

I think it’s interesting but do you? I have been into the magazines again; I once again, started just cutting articles out with no thought of what magazines the ideas came from. So I apologize to those writers for not being able to give them credit they are due.

Since I have no depth perception at all, as my brother told me, I was pleased to come across these: a quarter is nearly an inch in diameter and one foot is 16 pennies laid in a row. A dollar is approximately 6-1/2 inches. While we are still playing with money did you know a penny, nickel or a dime can be used as a flathead screw driver? Did you ever think of using a coin or two to steady a wobbly table? You can also use a penny inserted into a tire tread with Lincoln’s head upside down, if you can see his whole head your tires are worn out!

Don’t throw out that empty cardboard egg carton just yet. I read you can rest your laptop on it to prevent overheating. You don’t want to leave them on a pillow or blankets, seems harmless but….

Garden starter; use those disposed egg shells and cartons with a little soil to get a head start on the garden.

Although I wouldn’t recommend trying this one I had to see if you reacted as I did to the advice. I question the intelligence of this:

How to tell how hot your grill is without a thermometer: The writer claimed this tip is chef-tested (?) and trusted method. Hold your hand palm side down over the grill, about four inches from the grate. “Count the seconds you can stand (?) to keep your hand there. 2 seconds = high heat, 3-4 seconds medium heat, etc.” I have one comment “How Stupid!”

According to an Almanac Throwback of 1894, dandelions, young milkweed (?), mustard (?), horseradish (?) tops, young beet tops, cowslips (?) and turnip tops are good for greens. The ones I question marked I have questions about, imagine that! Do all of the questioned ones grow wild? And I think fiddleheads should be in this list. I love greens!!

I cruised the 2018 Farmer’s Almanac and decided to share the 11 symbols that make people think of America. They are: American Bald Eagle, Apple pie, American Bison, The Flag, Fourth of July Parade, White Picket Fences, Norman Rockwell Illustrations, Thanksgiving, Uncle Sam, Statue of Liberty, and Little red wagons!

I didn’t know how talented chickens are in gardening. It seems in the spring they are the aerators and tillers. In the summer their specialty is pest and weed control. Fall finds the chickens busy with the clean-up and fertilization. Winter is for composting, maintenance and spring prep. (even in Maine?) Who knew those little critters kept so busy and how important they are. I just thought of them in terms of my Sunday morning breakfast supplies!

Okay, I am just curious if this column gave you info you didn’t know. Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com with your questions or comments. And don’t forget we are also online.

Thanks for reading!

I’m Just Curious: I just didn’t know!

by Debbie Walker

This column’s information came from Reader’s Digest “Extraordinary USES for ordinary things.” Some evenings I get caught up in the little bits of info and can’t wait to pass it on….. to you!!!!

My favorite “Did you know?” is in the 1920s when an employee of Johnson & Johnson, because of his accident prone wife, invented Band-Aids. He came up with the idea of sticking gauge pads to tape, covering with crinoline then rolling them back up. If his wife got cut or burned she could cut one off…ta-daaa a Band-Aid!!!

My mom says “tin foil” and I say “aluminum foil.” Household foil was made of tin until 1947 when aluminum foil was brought home. Did you know that one?

I knew baking soda had a lot of uses. Recently, I was educated on how to make “Slime” by my niece Haliegh. That’s one use and there are all the known uses. What I had never realized was its usefulness in putting out fires. Keep baking soda near the stove, barbecue, a box or two in the garage, and I am keeping a couple boxes in my truck from now on.

There has always been talks about beers in the past proclaiming New England or Rocky Mountains as their homes, oh and “Milwaukee’s finest,” and, of course, now we have all kinds of new beers right here in Maine! But did you know Pennsylvania has been home to more breweries than any other state?

Bubble Wrap wallpaper? They may have been thinking of padding cells that would make more sense than thinking I want that on my wall for decorating. My niece and I would have a ball breaking the bubbles! And yes, the inventers eventually went into packing supply business.

Thankfully my mom was not one of those “Castor Oil” mothers. Not only fed to kids, it’s also was used in paints, varnishes, lipstick, hair tonic, and shampoo. It was also used in plastics, soap, waxes, hydraulic fluids and ink. Thank you, Mom, for never feeding that to us.

Okay, we are switching now to my OMG Facts calendar for last year for just a note or two. I have no idea if any of it is true; however some seem funny enough to be true:

The Statue of Liberty wears a size 879 sandal.

The meaning of the phrase “Pipe Dream” refers to ideas thought up while smoking opium.

The Barbie doll’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts. (I had no idea!)

Barbie’s life-size measurements would be 39-23-33, standing 7 feet, 2 inches tall with a neck twice the length of a normal human’s neck.

For my Florida friends: there are more plastic flamingos in the United States than real ones (and most of those are in Florida! Ha Ha!!)

As usual, I am just curious what tidbits you might have tucked away. Please contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com with your questions or comments. Don’t forget to check out us online!

I’m Just Curious: Love those T-shirts

by Debbie Walker

Last night I was looking through a couple of catalogs and I had to read the T-shirts. The following is my selection, hope you get a chuckle:

Sometimes I open my mouth and MY MOTHER COMES OUT (Sorry Mom!)
The older I get the meaner I get. I’m pretty sure within the next few years I’ll be BITING PEOPLE!!!
There is a fine line between GENIUS & CRAZY. I like to use that line as a JUMP ROPE!
I was married once. (NVR AGN) Now, I Just Lease.
PARENTHOOD is wanting to be with your kid forever one minute and being tempted to sell them the next!
I know the VOICES aren’t real but they have some great ideas!
Young at HEART Slightly Older in Other Places.
Limit Politicians to two terms: One in Office, One in Prison.
What do you call a Person who is Happy on Monday? RETIRED.
I tried to be Normal Once. It was the worst two minutes of my life!
The only EXERCISE I’ve done this Month is Running Out of MONEY.
If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. IF GRANMA ain’t happy…RUN!
Don’t Flatter Yourself, I only Look up to you because I’M SHORT.
My Day Starts Backwards: I wake up Tired and I go to bed Wide Awake.
My Smart Mouth ALWAYS gets me in Trouble, and if it’s NOT my Mouth, It’s my FACIAL EXPRESSIONS.
I’m not feeling very WORKY today.
I’m not short! I’m just compact & ridiculously adorable.
You call them Swear Words I call them Sentence Enhancers.
Of course Women Don’t Work as Hard as Men… WE GIT IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!
WOMEN ARE ANGELS When someone breaks our wings, we Continue to fly – on a Broomstick. We’re flexible like that.
FUNCLE (feNGk(e)l) – noun Like a Dad, only Cooler.
See also: Handsome, Exceptional!
Being cremated is my last hope for a SMOKING’ HOT BODY.
CRAZY doesn’t RUN in our family…. It freaking GALLOPS!
I’M A wooden spoon, lead paint, no car seat, no seat belt, No bike helmet, bed of pickup riding, garden hose drinking SURVIVOR.
An APPLE a day will keep ANYONE away. If thrown hard enough.
Life is TOO SHORT to be SERIOUS ALL THE TIME. So, if you can’t Laugh at yourself, call me…. I’LL LAUGH AT YOU!
HOW DO I LIKE MY EGGS? Umm, in a Cake.
I’VE LOST MY MIND! And I’m Pretty Sure the KIDS Took It.
If I ever GO MISSING, follow My Kids. They can find me No Matter Where I TRY to HIDE!
TO MY CHILDREN: Never make fun of having to Help Me with the Computer Stuff. I TAUGHT YOU HOW TO USE A SPOON!
OF COURSE I SPEAK MY MIND My head would Explode if I kept All this BITCHING to Myself.
I HAVE 3 SIDES: 1. The Quiet & Sweet side. 2. The Fun & Crazy side. 3. The side you NEVER want to see.

I’m just curious if you have as much fun as I do with these things. I hope so. Please any questions or comments you can find me dwdaffy@yahoo.com Thanks for reading!

I’m Just Curious: My own experience

by Debbie Walker

I have to tell you that I am permitted to carry a concealed weapon. I went through the check on who I am and do I have mental health problems that would interfere with practical use of a weapon.

I can buy a gun in local shops because I’m not in a big hurry, so I could wait a few days for approval, all done legally.

I really don’t understand what happened or who decided it was open season for school shootings. Shootings of all sorts, country concerts, etc., what was the reason? At any rate it is hard to understand any of it. However I have a story to tell you:

There was a time in Florida that I had a front row seat to life with a violent teenager. I believe he honestly didn’t know how to behave when his questions were answered with the word “NO.”

I followed the process through trying to get some help. The shocker was when I was told, “when he gets arrested they will get him some help.” Getting arrested was not my idea of “help” for a 15 year old. I figured he’d get quite an education from the more experienced! Can you imagine a parent being told, oh yeah, go ahead, and call the police on your teenager. “That’s the only way he/she will get help.”

I was at a NAMI meeting one night. NAMI is group support for these kinds of, mental health issues. We were all pretty depressed after we sat through this meeting. It was quite a letdown that day. These people had been in similar situation and things didn’t sound helpful.

Can you imagine the fear and frustration of a parent who tries again and again to get help for their child? Again and again they hear, “We’d like to be able to help but we don’t have ….”

So, you are a parent who knows their child is really in trouble (he/she is a mental health mess!). They keep trying to get help but there just isn’t anyone with an answer. After years of looking for mental health help for your child:

Now you have a phone call: your child’s school is in lockdown. You couldn’t get in if you went there. You have to wait and wait, quietly wondering if it is your child causing the lock down.

There really isn’t much relief when it’s announced this was a false alarm. The parent has already had those thoughts.

This is only about one type of situation and we all know there are many more. Just please don’t assume those parents haven’t gone through every avenue they could think of.

I know this cannot cover all the situations, it wasn’t intended to; just keep an open mind as you are looking for answers. I’m just curious how many other situations there are.

Thank you for reading, contact me a dwdaffy@yahoo.com. And don’t forget we are online too!

I’m Just Curious: Eighth grade test, Part II

by Debbie Walker

Okay, I am about to fulfill your excitement about the rest of that 1895 8th Grade Final. How many of you figure you’d still be in a lower grade now?? I probably would have been in a much lower grade!!!!

1895 test continued:

Orthography (Time, one hour), [Do we even know what this is?]

  1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?
  2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
  3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
  4. Give four substitutes for caret ‘u’.
  5. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e.’ Name two exceptions under each rule.
  6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
  7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
  8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
  9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane , vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
  10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

Geography (Time, one hour)

  1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
  2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?
  3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
  4. Describe the mountains of North America .
  5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia , Odessa , Denver , Manitoba , Hecla , Yukon , St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco .
  6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
  7. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
  8. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
  9. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

I would love to hear about your test results! I hope you got a kick out of it. When I come across funny or odd stuff I have to pass it on.

If I have ever written anything you might want to check out again you are encouraged to go to our website and check out the archives.

I’m just curious how your test results came out, Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. I’ll be waiting to hear. Thank you for reading.