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?

I’m Just Curious: Learning a little about Halloween past

by Debbie Walker

I almost feel bad for you all to be left to my mind for any of your reading material. But I doubt that many others have as much fun in their heads as I do. Yesterday, my head was busy dreaming up new pocketbooks. Once I get the kinks worked out I’ll let you know how they come out if you are interested. Today, I saw some clothes in a catalog that I think I may attempt to make one or two similar. This kind of stuff happens all the time!

Tonight I wanted to pass on some Halloween history. This was printed in The Country Register, written by Elizabeth Nix. I have pulled out bits and pieces of interest.

Trick or Treating started in the 1930s and early 1940s. In those years children were given homemade cookies and pieces of cake, fruit, nuts, even coins and toys. When I started Trick or Treating we were still given baked goods and store bought treats. That was in the ‘50s. Fudge made by mom was and always will be the best treat. That is my best Halloween memory!

In the 1950s candy manufacturers started to promote their products for Halloween. About 1970 or so the “boughten” candy became more important. There was and still is a problem with safety. Why in the world anyone would ever be cruel enough to try to harm children. I am afraid there is a sickness involved.

I like the idea of Trick A Trunk. My grandsons used to go to their church for Trick A Trunk. They had the fun of dressing up and to be able to holler Trick or Treat and be safe.

One of the things I enjoyed about Ms. Nix article was the history of some of our “today” candies:

1900 – Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar invented
1907- Hershey’s Kisses
1923- Milky Way bars
1928- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
1930- Snickers bar
1932- 3 Musketeers bar
193?- Mars bar
193?- Nestle Crunch bar
1937- Kit Kat bars
1941- M&Ms

The really neat one is the tri-color candy corn that was invented in the 1880s!

So, I don’t know about you but just from writing this I feel like I am on a chocolate rush and I haven’t had a bite! I do like chocolate especially the dark stuff. But when I start buying candy for Halloween I make sure I buy the stuff I don’t like! Keeps me out of it (pretty much!).

I’m just curious what your favorite memories of Halloween are? Let me know at dwdaffy@yahoo.com sub: Halloween. Don’t forget to try out our website!

I’m Just Curious: The Tree of Life

by Debbie Walker

When I learn something new I enjoy passing it on. Not all that I/we write is going to be interesting to all who considers reading articles that I/we have written. So once again I am in your face with something that just boggled my mind. I, of course, am interested in what some of you may think; keeping in mind that some things I am interested in my poor mom just shakes her head. I can’t help it; I just enjoy “stuff.”

I am bringing this to you without very much research. I am sorry that all I may do is just peak your interest a bit, maybe. Searching out information is just a journey for me that I am not quite ready to take. I am hoping some of you will have to look up the subject. It will mean something a little different to all of us, I am sure.

Image Source: pixabay.com

Last week I was having a medical visit, met up with my nurse and as usual, the talk was on. She had on a pair of earrings that matched my ring. It is simple design, it is called the Tree of Life, have you ever seen it? To me it has always been the grandmother’s tree (that explanation will come later) but it is known as the Tree of Life. My nurse asked if I knew the story behind it. I have to admit that with all my curiosity I did not ever think to look it up. Well, she had been guided by a medical friend of hers to look it up on the computer. She shared this info with me. We went to Google, typed in Placenta, Tree of Life and up pops this website that has all these pictures of PLACENTA, normally I would say “Oh Yuck!” but I was too shocked. In each of the dozens of pictures you can easily see the copied design of the “Tree of Life.” It is absolutely amazing!

A doctor friend I love to share stuff with said the placenta provides nutrition for the fetus like a tree root system. I shouldn’t be surprised at all of this, babies are life, and they are in the chain of how life begins.

As I said earlier, some of you will be interested enough to look further as I may someday. I am just enjoying being so amazed about this much of it. I would hope for you that each day you find something that you are “Just Curious” about.

Please contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com with your questions and comments. Don’t forget to check out our website for The Town Line.

I’m Just Curious: Fall thoughts

by Debbie Walker

I can’t believe how fast this summer sped by. I personally hate the idea of fall because behind that will be winter. Thirty years of winters in Florida was a nice escape before I came back to Maine winters! Well, it’s a good thing I look at life as a journey to learn! ‘Cause I certainly feel like I am always learning. I believe that is where my “curiosity” comes from.

I know that it is curiosity that seems to have me addicted to magazines. One of my most recent purchases is the latest HGTV magazine. I found the neatest facts about pumpkins:

Did you know that jack-o’-lanterns started out as carved out turnips or beets? (You know of course I may have to try that!) I think carving out a turnip is going to be tough, they are soooo hard! The carving story comes from an Irish myth about Stingy Jack’s ghost carrying a carved out turnip with a burning coal for a light. Just close your eyes for a minute and imagine the sight.

Moving on… the “largest” pumpkin pie was 20 feet wide. Yes, 20 feet wide and doled out 5,000 slices in New Bremen, Ohio. The filling used 187 cans of pumpkin, 2,796 eggs, 109 gallons evaporated milk, 525 pounds of sugar. I love the idea they added 14-1/2 pounds of cinnamon (love cinnamon!), etc.

Also in the magazine was a blip about floating pumpkins! Did you ever think, probably not, I never had thought about it either? My Uncle Royce grew a record sized pumpkin; I would have never thought to truck it down to the lake for a float! On Tualatin Lake in Tualatin, Oregon, they held the 14th year of the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta; the next one will be October 21.

The heaviest pumpkin weighed 2,625 pounds, that would be the same weight as a 2-door Mini Cooper (a compact vehicle). I just cannot imagine no matter how many times I close my eyes!

I have seen so many products with pumpkin flavoring. Have you? Coffee? Oreos? Ice cream? Knowing all of this I have to admit that I was still shocked to see pumpkin flavored Cheerios! Worse yet, I had to buy a box because I knew my mom would love them. I like pumpkin pies but I really don’t know that I want anything else with that flavor.

Then, of course, we will finish with the most famous pumpkin, Cinderella’s carriage! Little girls have been dreaming of this for years and the movie is, of course, a favorite.

I’m just curious what you think of the “pumpkin” stories. Let me know what your thoughts are. Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com, I’ll be waiting. Don’t forget to check out our website. Thanks for reading.

I’m Just Curious: Southern superstitions

by Debbie Walker

So… I told you this week we would be doing the Southern superstitions and there are a lot of them. Don’t worry we won’t print them all. What follows is just a few that I found in 2001 Southern Superstitions, by Bil Dwyer:

If two spoons are accidentally put into a cup, a wedding will result.

To put on any one’s engagement ring is a sure sign that you will never have one of your own.

If you do not wish to dream, put both shoes under the foot of your bed at night.

If you dream of flying, pleasant things await you the next day.

If you lick your plate at breakfast (must have been good!) there will be rain before supper.

If you drop a dish cloth, step over it and make a wish.

If your shoe string comes untied, somebody is talking about you.

If you wear your shoes out on the side, you will be a rich man’s bride.

If you wear your shoes out on the toe, you will spend money as you go.

If you wear your shoes out in the middle of the sole first, you will be rich some day.

Slips from plants should be stolen. Only stolen ones will grow. (I can see how some of these appear to bring bad luck!)

It is bad luck to burn grape vines. (Evidently it’s not good to cut them back either, I did and mom’s favorite grapes still haven’t showed up again!)

It brings bad luck to count freight cars. (Especially if you are driving while counting, sounds like an accident to me!)

Eat a dozen onions before you go to bed, to become beautiful, (you’ll probably be lonely and I really doubt the beautiful, too!)

If you eat the crust of bread, your hair will become curly. (Wow! Bread is a lot cheaper than a perm!)

If you eat burnt bread, your hair will become curly. (That must be why I have some curl in my hair, I like burnt bread! Maybe I ought to eat a little more now that I know the cause!)

You never carry your old broom into your new home.

Before you enter your new home you throw your new broom through the door first.

OH, OH, OH, I had to use what follows:

Married in white, you have chosen right; Married in red, you’d better be dead;
Married in yellow, ashamed of the fellow; Married in blue, your lover is true;
Married in blue, your lover is true; Married in green, ashamed to be seen;
Married in black, you’ll ride in a hack; Married in pearl, you’ll live in a whirl;
Married in pink, your spirits will sink; Married in brown, you’ll live out of town;

(Just for a note here: I was married in white but it turns out I had not chosen right!)

Okay, well that is enough of that. Now you get to decide who is more superstitious. As usual I Am Just Curious what your answer will be. You can find me at the other end of dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Can’t wait to hear from you! Enjoy your paper or find us online.

I’m Just Curious: Who is more superstitious?

by Debbie Walker

Remember those books I told you I bought in the south, one was titled Southern Superstitions. I decided I would give you some of the New England and some of the Southern Superstitions. Save this column because next week will be the southern version of the subject! Then you can compare. It’s up to you to figure who is more superstitious.

I believe the following New England information comes from the New England Historical Society and I took the license to edit the information for this column. The Town Line is not responsible for my choice.

New England Puritans were a superstitious lot who believed luck ruled their lives. They took measures to ward off bad luck, attract good luck and change their luck from bad to good. One of their odder customs was to place old shoes in the walls of a house wards off evil. (Wish I had read that one before we closed up the walls in this house, we could have used a little more good luck!)

  • Dropping bread and butter with the butter side downs brings bad luck. (Who wants to eat dirty bread?)
  • Rock an empty chair and you will have bad luck. (Never heard the bad luck but I knew we weren’t supposed to rock that chair empty!)
  • Tripping on something is a sign of bad luck. The remedy is to walk over it again. If you’ve tripped on a stone, go back and touch it. (Since I have lost most of my balance control there is a lot to that tripping business!)
  • If you put on an apron inside out, wear it that way or your luck will change. (Maybe that is why so many homes don’t have any aprons anymore!)
  • If you have bad luck playing cards, get up and move around your chair. Or blow on your cards to change your luck. (You could just give up and say goodnight!)
  • See a pin and let it lie, come to sorrow by and by.
  • Finding a penny is surer to bring you good luck than anything else.
  • It is good luck to fall up a hill.
  • If a spider spins down from the ceiling toward you, it will bring good luck.
  • If you move to a new home, don’t bring the cat with you. It will bring bad luck.
  • If you see a cat sitting with her tail to the fire, expect bad luck.
  • If a strange dog or cat comes to live with you, it will bring good luck. A black cat will bring its owner good luck.

I’m just curious if you remember if you’d missed an issue of The Town Line and you have a computer you can look up the week you missed. So…hold your decisions until you read the southern version. Keep in mind the New England Superstitions has a sailor/fisherman version of their own! Maybe we will look at those one day. In the meantime send any questions or comments to dwdaffy@yahoo.com.

I’m Just Curious: Likely events

by Debbie Walker

Tonight on the evening news, as has been other times, part of their chat was about “Distracted Driving.” Recently most folks hear those two words and their first thought goes right to cell phone use.

Driving distractions have probably been going on longer than I can remember. Were you ever one of the parents with your auto’s back seat full of children? How many times did you hear “He touched me!,” “She’s looking at me!,” “Ouch, you hurt me!?” So how many times did you have your right arm and hand over the back of that front seat trying to referee a fight? Now remember, no seat belts either so the kids can move all over the place. Is this a memory for you? Oh yeah, driving distractions have been around for a long time.

Okay, this “pot” thing is rather interesting. I think most of us knew when the government figured out a way to get a cut of the money, it would be legalized. Still there are some real issues involved, such as the states and the feds not agreeing on the subject, that’s quite a joke. (Sarcasm here!)

I realize pot use has changed over the years and there are medical reasons for the use. My mind goes back to the times when it was either smoked or eaten in brownies.

I think it’s interesting about what is acceptable in our culture. I have written before about lighting up a cigarette in a restaurant and “Oh my word” a ruckus would follow. However, at the next table over may be Joe and he is drunk and a bit obnoxious, but that’s okay, they (?) know him. Oh yeah, did I tell you he is his own driver?

A doctor friend of mine laid out some of the medical problems created from pot use. He put together quite a list of proven problems. It’s harsh to say the least, and serious.

I smoked cigarettes for years. Ken and I both quit about three years ago. There is, I am sure, a harsh list of problems that follow smoking. COPD seems to be one. It affects your breathing easily or not breathing at all.

So we go back to Joe who was drinking at the restaurant. Those people are disgusted with my cigarettes because they say it affects them with second hand smoke. Those same people know Joe and that he is driving himself home, but, oh well, they are driving, too. Accidents happen every day; they are called “accidents” but are they? If you get behind the wheel impaired, is it really an “accident”?

I remember a phrase used at school, “cause and effect.” I suppose that would fit here, too. I guess people have to study, ask questions of each other and make decisions for themselves.

As usual I’M JUST CURIOUS what your thoughts are. I’d love the questions and comments sent to dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Sub line: Events. Thanks again for reading and remember we are online, too.