I’M JUST CURIOUS: More T-shirt messages

by Debbie Walker

I couldn’t resist doing it again!! I got new catalogs with message t-shirts and felt the need to share! Hope they give you a chuckle or two:

People who wonder if the glass is half empty or half full miss the point. The glass is refillable!

If you think I’m crazy you should meet my sister! (Couldn’t resist that one!)

I’m not short. I’m built low to the ground for speed and accuracy. (Believe me it has to be easier in a fall!) can’t believe how old people my age are! (OOPS!)

I meant to behave but there were too many options. (ask the teacher I work with, she’d say that is me!)

I call my fashion style “Clothes that still fit!” (How True!)

When I get tired of shopping I sit down and try on shoes! (I have better luck trying on the boxes!)

Sometimes I wonder what happened to people who have asked me for directions. (I’d have to know where “I” am!!)

Being cremated is my last hope for a Smoking Hot Body!! (Now my secret is out)

When you’re happy and you know it Thank Your Meds!

I acted my age once. It was boring! (Haven’t done it since!)

I run like a girl, try to keep up. (Not a problem here!)

Forget the glass slipper, this princess wears running shoes!

Sawdust is Man Glitter.

I am a happy-go-lucky ray of friggin’ sunshine!

Wooden Spoon Survivor (We didn’t have one when I was growing up,Yardstick!)

I have a daughter. I also have a gun, a shovel and an alibi.

Stress balls really work when you shove them down someone’s throat!

Someday I’m going to eye roll myself into another dimension!

In order to insult me I must first value your opinion. Nice try though!

I should be given an award for keeping my mouth shut when there is much left to be said!

When women get to a certain age they start accumulating cats, this is known as the many paws! (What do you think of that one Laurie!)

A little gray hair is a small price to pay for all this wisdom!

Patience is a virtue. It’s just not one of mine!

I don’t have gray hair. I have wisdom highlights!

Don’t grow up! It’s a trap!

Life is short – smile while you still have teeth!

Does running late count as Exercise?

Instead of a sign that says, “Do Not Disturb,” I need one that says, “Already Disturbed, Proceed with Caution.”

My patience dies faster than my phone battery.

You’re never too old for Nappy Time, (Right, Mom!)

Some days the supply of curse words is insufficient to meet my demands!

Not to brag but I can forget what I’m doing while I am doing it!

I’m returning your nose dear! I found it in my business,

I’m everything you dreamt of but with a belly!

Yes, I’m a nurse. NO I don’t want to look at it!

Life is too short to waste time matching socks!

I’m just curious if any of these make you laugh at yourself! I know I did. Questions and comments please send to dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Don’t forget we are on line also. Thanks for reading!

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Farmers’ Almanac fan

by Debbie Walker

Just about anyone who listens to TV News must have heard the Farmer’s Almanac came out last week. I ordered a 2015 and a 2019 and they were delivered in just a couple of days. Yehaw! Can you tell I am a fan?

We all know by now that I get excited about some strange things. So you won’t be surprised when I tell you I couldn’t wait to get a hold of my copies of THE almanac! My excitement was not so I could figure out if it would snow on my birthday in January! My excitement was to read the included articles, and I have not been disappointed!

If an almanac was on the table right in front of me, for many years I wouldn’t have even picked it up. I’ve never been overly interested in the weather. It is what it is. I don’t plant a garden so I wasn’t interested what you plant during what moon. I just couldn’t see why I would be interested in the publication.

I am sure Patsy must have been behind my finally picking one up to look at. OMG! They got my interest! and have kept my interest for a couple of years now. As I said I also ordered 2015. I plan to buy more of the older ones, especially if I run out of my own ideas for columns.

Almost forgot to mention the on-line newsletter I get every month and the little specialty notes now and then. It can be said they know how to keep my interest.

This latest edition now has 20 hot pink book marked pages with titles such as: The Language of Flowers, Keep Those Pests Out Naturally, Air Conditioning (?) and A Man Who Could Make It Rain, just to name a few. You can also check them on-line at Farmer’s Almanac.com.

Do you have any magazines that keep holding your interest, issue after issue? How about sending me the name and why it continues to please you.

I enjoy some of the old sayings I read in the 2019 issue about weather:

Cold is the night when the stars shine bright. — If a circle forms ‘round the moon, ‘twill rain or snow soon. – When the dew is on the grass, rain will never come to pass. – Trout jump high, when rain is nigh. And when sounds travel far and wide, a stormy day will betide.

I also got a chuckle from reading The Language of Flowers. I think you could write a letter using the names of flowers, their colors and their description as code words:

Baby’s Breath: Innocence Carnation (white): Innocence, faithfulness, sweet and lovely, pure love, Good luck.

Iris: Wisdom, your friendship means so much to me.

Rose (white): Innocence, purity, secrecy, or friendship.

So put a bouquet of those flowers together for a gift for a newborn and you have wished them a wonderful future. OR maybe a gift for your first love. (More some other day!!)

I’m just curious what ideas you might come up with. Please, send questions or comments to dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Thank you for reading and don’t forget we do have a website!

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Christmas is coming!

by Debbie Walker

Time passes and with that Christmas will arrive on December 25 in about 117 days. My thought is just to give you a heads up and with that some ideas.

The little ones are easy to buy for. It doesn’t take much to make them happy. Beware though, they will unwrap, throw the paper, look at the gift for a second or two then throw that too and on to the next. Later they will go back to it.

It’s hard to know the interests of children in this day and age of everything computers.

My pet project idea is next: Do they have their own books or magazines? Promote reading whenever you can. Even long distance you can read to them. Get two books, mail them one and you keep one. They will look forward to your calls. Eventually they could read to you. Children can also tell stories from pictures.

When my grandkids got a little older I started giving them Experiences. An experience can be a new movie coming out, maybe a children’s museum. (These will work for other gift giving occasions as well.) Maybe a membership to a “Y” where they can play ball or swim would be good. Maybe you can take them to some workshops at The Home Depot.

When they become teens the Experience still works well. You can also use gift cards. If you live near them you could have a shopping trip and lunch. What about a weekend for two at a motel, especially one that has a gym and restaurant. I would suggest you both have limited cell phone and internet use. The idea is you are giving them yourself, your time and interest. Priceless!

Your adult children’s gifts, you are on your own. The best I can tell you is to listen to anything they may mention they need or babysit and send them to dinner or a movie. How about a cleaner to do the kitchen and bathrooms or yardman for a day?

If you are lucky enough to have an elder in your life, of course, they would appreciate your time. If you live in their area you might take them to a movie and lunch. If they could use some help you could always hire a cleaner or yardman for them, too. You can also have someone clean their windows. You can buy gift certificates for hair or even for car maintenance. Listen, really listen to them.

Women – Do not disappoint yourself again. I learned, finally, to be very specific about my list to the husband/significant other. I have been known to bring home what I wanted and put it in front of Ken and said, “Look what you got me,” so far he has been relieved and grateful AND I am not aggravated or hurt. They are not like our female friends who understand hints. They don’t seem to have that gene!

I am just curious what ideas you may have. Questions and comments, please. Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com and don’t forget we are also on line. We have archives, too!

SOLON & BEYOND: No news! so this is what Leif and I did in our travels

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

Here I sit once again at this computer, hoping against hope to find some news that I can share with all of you. But there is nothing… and so I’ll write a bit about what Lief and I have been doing. We have been on the road quite a lot. Last weekend, we spent three days up in Lief’s favorite, the ‘County.’ We had a wonderful time, visiting with some of his family, and going to his annual school reunion supper. On Saturday the veterans were honored in the parade, and Lief was among them on a float with many of his friends. It had rained in the early morning, but cleared up before the parade started.

Many of the fields were full of different crops: potatoes, wheat, grain, cabbages, and some others; but there was a new one added this year! Acres and acres of sunflowers, all in bloom! Such a beautiful sight, it was breath taking for our artists ‘ eyes to see so many different colors in the wide open spaces up in that county.

Now, I’m going to share with all of you about the mystery that Lief and I are having to put up with, (especially with all the traveling we’ve been doing!) Lief had discovered some evidence a while back that we had some unwanted critters traveling with us. He found lots of torn up toilet paper in the back under the seats and other things that were wrong. We had discovered the problem on one of our trips up to camp. Eleanor had given Lief two mouse traps as we were leaving, and they put peanut butter on both traps. The next morning after we got home, he checked the traps and lo and behold, the peanut butter was gone but the trap had not been sprung! My only explanation is, there must be two of these critters, and one holds the spring while the other one eats the peanut butter, and then they switch places!

Anyway, we haven’t been able to corner whatever has been traveling with us, and when we were on the interstate traveling to the ‘County,’ I suggested that it might be wise not to go 75 miles an hour, because if that “whatever it is” climbs up my leg, I’m going to yell bloody murder! We did make it up to the county and back, as you can see.

And so, as always, I would love to hear from you, with some of your news, but since I haven’t recently, ” I’m going to end with more of Percy’s memoirs.

One entitled: Little Things: It’s not the great things in this world that make our lives worthwhile, It’s the little things like a tiny flower or perhaps a baby’s smile. A little word, sincerely spoken, can lift our spirits high; Like a tiny bird perched on a limb sends his message to the sky. A little dewdrop on a rose and tiny blades of grass, All sparkle in the sunlight, to cheer us as we pass. The lovely johnny jumpups, the smallest flower that grows, Delight the heart of youngsters peeping up around their toes. A friendly gesture or a smile mean more to me than gold. They help us feel that someone cares when we are growing old. Money cannot buy the things that mean so much to me, They are part of God’s creation, and all of them are free. (words by Laina Owen.)

And now for two that I hope give you a good laugh. They were sent to me back in 2002. In a Uniontown, Pennsylvania, cemetery: Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake. Stepped on the gas instead of the brake. And this one, on the grave of Ezekial Aikle in East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia: Here lies Ezekial Aikle. Age 102. The Good Die Young.

May you all have a wonderful week! Will try and gather up more news next week.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Multi-purpose items

by Debbie Walker

There are a lot of items now that it seems have multiple purposes. My question is “exactly how were these uses for items discovered?”

One item on my uses list for Coke Cola (and store brand cola) is giving a scrapbook page a vintage look. Apply a few drops to a copy of a photo or document, pat, let dry and ta-da an “old” photo. So … someone tipped a glass over, quickly wiped it off and “Oh My look what happened.” Making pennies shiny was probably a similar situation.

Shiny hair – after spilling on your hair (or dog’s hair) and rinsing off would I notice it was shinier? Supposedly you can de-gum hair by soaking the area in Coke for a few minutes and rinse.

Have you ever defrosted your windshield or washed a home window using Coke? Gargling with Coke for a sore throat; why not just drink it? Soaking a steak covered in Coke to tenderize (I could probably follow that recipe for a marinade!)

How exactly do we go from recipes to cleaning off battery terminals and rust from bumpers or to clean toilets (that didn’t work for me!).

Now, I am moving onto uses of toothpaste. I have used toothpaste to patch a hole in a wall and then moved. I hope it worked. However, I never thought of using it to clean the underside of my fingernails. From feet to teeth, who would have thunk it!

Have you seen the kits to clean headlights? Toothpaste can be used to clean them. But are they talking about the actual bulb or the cover? Anyone know?

Ever get stains and smells in plastic ware? Toothpaste clean. Get garlic and onion smells (etc?) off your hands. Toothpaste clean. Clean off your sticky iron base (if you still have one!). Scuff marks on wood floors. Toothpaste clean. Erase crayon marks from walls. Toothpaste clean.

I had not even heard the term Witch Hazel since I was a young girl. My great-grandmother used it but I was too young to remember for what purpose. Then I saw uses for it in Woman’s World magazine. Yes, I now have a bottle. Soo…..

Declump (new word) nail polish by adding a few drops and stir. Window cleaner – use one cup witch hazel, one cup water and a few drops of dish soap. Spray on glass.

Poison ivy – soak paper towel in witch hazel and dab on itch. Mosquito bites – 1 cup of witch hazel, one cup of water and 20 drops scented essential oil in spray bottle. Might be a good one?

For the last hint: Need a cool nights sleep? Think I will try this one: fill a hot water bottle with equal parts water and rubbing alcohol, freeze it, lay a dish towel over it and slide into pillowcase on top of pillow. The liquids should turn into a very cold slush. Maybe, who knows.

I am just curious who and what happened to the person who discovered using Preparation H for bags under their eyes? Contact me a dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Thanks for reading and don’t forget that we have a website and archives thanks to Eric!

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Grieving

by Debbie Walker

I remember thinking when we got out of school in June: “Wow, I’ll have more time for my projects!” I had been collecting the necessary items to be able to complete those projects. Well, that creates a mess of sorts because the house is not huge. So I also figured I would be making the house look less cluttered, too. I wasn’t expecting:

Mom just up and died! I think the train came along and said, “All aboard!” and Mom always has enjoyed a train ride, so off she went. She had just gotten her new driver’s license two weeks earlier. That’s how we know she didn’t know about the train ride coming so soon. If she had known she wouldn’t have bothered with taking that driver’s test for just two weeks of driving!

I am hoping you all have an effective way of dealing with grief and I know some folks rely on time lessening their pain. Grieve as you need to, acknowledge and accept the feelings you have a right to have and don’t beat yourself up if someone foolishly tells you, “It’s been long enough.” But please do try to fit in some of those special memories that are yours and make you smile. I suppose the time thing is part of ours, too. But in the meantime:

When Uncle Allen died in a white water canoeing accident the adult nephews who had been with him put things in his coffin they felt he needed to have: Twinkies and a can of Coke like they had shared that day. They all emptied their pockets of change and put that in because, “Unc didn’t go anywhere without money.” They also included a mini motorcycle (he was an avid rider).

When Grammie Bailey died my cousin Dennis and I got Gram’s last pack of Winstons [cigarettes] and put them in with her as she once requested. She told us she wouldn’t need a lighter! My Mom put in a crochet hook and a little yarn, she was a little shy about doing this (the process was new to her) until she stood by the casket and saw the big skein of red yarn and knitting needles, Mom let out a chuckle. My cousin Christy went up and told Mom that Grammie had promised her a pair of red mittens that winter and Christy was holding her to it!

We’re not really being disrespectful of the person who passed or anyone’s personal beliefs. Fortunately, some parts of this process are a bit less solemn with Celebration of Life gatherings. We had a DJ at Mom’s. It was our DJ’s way of expressing his love for Mom.

I pretty much lost the whole month of July and the first half of August has been given to a close friend’s wedding. Life does go on.

I am NOT just curious about what is next! Thank you for reading. Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com with questions or comments.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Book report

by Debbie Walker

As you may be aware, children in Maine are soon heading back into classrooms across the state, and so am I. After the kid’s book I just read I believe I am possibly looking forward to the first days more than our children. This is my book report:

The book I read is The Exceptionally Extraordinary Ordinary First Day of School by Albert Lorenz. The book has a story and it has “Facts.” I must admit that some “facts” in this book had me going over a few memories of my own. I remember seeing the big yellow bus coming down the road and my earlier excitement turned to FEAR! Guess what! According to this book the “fact” about the bus is: “School Bus – A terror filled nightmare on wheels. Where you sit depends on who you are. Life only gets worse from here on out.” (Well, isn’t that a lovely thought.) (All authored in fun, just saying!)

More Facts: “A Backpack – A place to store squished bananas, sandwich crusts and broken pencils.” (This reminds me of what we called a book bag and a lunch box and we actually carried a book or two.)

The book went on to some more “facts” as follows: Lips – the things on your face that you use to kiss your dog. Nose – The body part that yearns to have your finger in it. Tongue – the licking muscle. Facial Hair – what boys aspire to and girls dread. Teeth – Brush these twice a day or you will wind up like George Washington. He started losing teeth in his 20s and had dentures made from gold, ivory, lead, and animal teeth. (Not wood). Children – small but extremely intelligent humans. Delicious, too. Passing on – A nice way to say “pushing up daisies “or “kicked the bucket” or “eaten!”

I have to interrupt all these interesting facts from this book to direct this one to anyone who uses “hair gel” – Check out the ingredients on your bottle. Noble women in medieval England used bird droppings and lizard fat. On purpose!

Can’t you just imagine what a lovely book this is?! I can hear the kids now with all their comments “Oh, gross!, or oh, nasty!” all the while pushing for more “facts.”

Some of their critter definitions are:

Frogs – jumping amphibians that eat flies. And that have legs you can eat. Parrots – tropical birds that can learn to talk and are a pirate’s best friend. Flies – there are more than 300,000 kinds. Female houseflies lay 500 to 600 eggs in their lifetime of 30 days. Fish – the only pet your parents might let you have. They don’t bark, yowl or spit up hair balls. Cat – a furry creature that poops in a box.

Okay, so let’s not kill the messenger. I just thought I would pass on thoughts as were noticed by the author Albert Lorenz as he researched his book. Not to worry, as a college instructor told me: Childhood phases don’t usually last long; she just couldn’t promise the next one would be any better!

As usual, I am just curious what education this school year will bring (my education!). Find me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com for questions and comments. Thank you for taking the time to read!

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Yummy pickle juice

by Debbie Walker

Do you have any idea how many uses there are for pickle juice? I didn’t have a clue. I am passing on more information from my Farmer’s Almanac Newsletter from 7/4/18 (https://farmersalmanac.com/uses-for-pickle-juice-28005). If you enjoy this stuff you really should join if you haven’t already, obviously I am a fan!!

I was surprised to find out pickle juice makes a natural sports drink – you can swig it or make popsicles. I was not real surprised to read the pickle juice is also an excellent way to season your potato salad, just add to your taste.

Other recipe helpers might be to add the pickle juice to flavor your boiled eggs; put juice in the water of your steamer for veggies; boost the flavor in corned beef and cabbage (add a splash to tenderize the meat). Then you could use pickle juice in place of the vinegar to make marinades and salad dressings. You could also use pickle juice and olive oil for a salad dressing, etc, etc.

You may also see the value of it in tomato juice, V8 juice or in your Bloody Mary. One thing I am finding more and more is to make ice cubes out of such and add it that way… Oh and if you are suffering from a hangover you just swig some to hydrate and restore your electrolyte level.

I maybe need to carry some around with me in a bottle. It also mentioned taking a swig to relieve muscle cramps and restless leg problems. Take a swig of the juice for a cure for hiccups or as a heartburn remedy. How about using it for a cough medicine, you got it, you just need a swig. Seems it helps with just a swig for losing your voice or for sore throat. Now for constipation it takes a whole glass of THE juice. Hey, whatever works! Another one I never heard of is to quench appetites, so if you are in my house and see all these dry pickles in the jars you will know what happened. It wasn’t from all the cooking I (don’t) do it was from my using a “new sports drink!”

Fourth of July is long since over, just think of all those jars of juice you dumped down the sink and the new uses you have for them! That’s okay, there are more cookouts to come and of course you can’t forget Memorial Day cookouts.

I would like to take this space to thank all of you with your notes of kindness in the month of July when Mom died. We decided we really can’t be sad because she passed so quickly, no lingering on for her. We are all grateful for that.

I’m just curious if you have ever tried any of these remedies and recipes. Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com and of course Thank You for reading.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Reunited…after all these years!

by Debbie Walker

A while ago I had the chance to visit with a cousin I had not seen in probably 30 years. It was such an amazing visit. There were no uncomfortable silences. We fell right into the same comfort zone we had all those years ago but possibly a bit more mature.

Lorna and I went through grade school together. She reminded me of the time our teacher, Doris Cookson, took us home with her for an overnight. We were treated like princesses that night and we enjoyed reliving the memory together.

We did some high school together until my family moved and instead of five minutes away from each other we were 15 minutes apart. Neither of us had driver’s licenses at that point.

Lorna and Basil got married and I was a bridesmaid. A bit after that I got married and moved away and we lost touch, so that was about 1970. Yes, that was a lot of years ago, like about 48 years ago actually. We may have seen each other for a few minutes at a time over the years, both of us on the run doing something that couldn’t be held off.

Her daughters have grown up without my meeting them; she saw my daughter and grandkids at mom’s Celebration Party on the 14th. Her husband died and I divorced mine. Lorna lost her sister and I lost a brother. She lost her parents and I have now lost mine. She stayed in Burnham and I wound up in Florida for 30-plus years. Life has a way of going on.

Even when I came back to Burnham it still took us some time to get reunited and reunited we are. We take every chance we get to visit. Lately we have been able to visit on Saturday mornings, have tea and we enjoy every visit.

It is one thing when you are related but the neat thing is when you really “like” each other, even as adults.

My reason for writing this in a column, aside from honoring Lorna and our wonderful reunited friendship, is to pass on to you what we have learned.

Possibly we all have someone we were close to at one time in our lives and then for whatever reason that relationship fell by the wayside. Life can certainly get in the way as it did with us. I am not saying each one would flow as smoothly as ours has but you don’t know if you don’t try.

If you have family or friends you have lost touch with over the years, think about reuniting. It may prove to be a very touching experience. Don’t wait for that proverbial family reunion at a funeral; it may be the wrong person dying. That would be so wrong.

I am just curious if you will try reuniting. It starts with a “hello.” Contact me with questions and comments at dwdaffy@yahoo.com . I love hearing from you! Don’t forget we are online too; we even have archives for past columns and such. Thanks for reading!

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Summer drinks: kind of old ones

by Debbie Walker

Have you ever heard of Switchel or Shrubs? I never had. I know what a switch is and a shrub but they were nothing like what you will be reading. Mom’s friend Debbie knew what I was talking about. It may be because Debbie is celebrating 92 years now! I love asking her questions but that is another story!

I was reading my e-mail newsletter from Farmer’s Almanac. I got to the section about “Old Fashioned Lemonade Recipe” and that led to the “Switchel” drink mix. Later I found the “Shrubs” recipe on Kitchen.com and it was posted by Emily Han.

“Switchel” has been around from the 1700s into the 1900s. Early American colonies recipe might have come from the Caribbean before it got here. This vinegar and ginger drink was known as “Haymaker’s Punch” in the early 1900s and used for the field workers.

It is supposed to be better for us than any soft drink or sports drink. It is said to be high in potassium if molasses is used. It is supposed to replace electrolytes. But do me a favor and don’t trust me, check it out before you try the recipe that follows:

Switchel

Basic Recipe: 1 Cup water, 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 4 teaspoons ground ginger or 1 teaspoon fresh grated (sifted) ginger. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to a day. Pour over ice or mix with soda water.

So maybe if you are working in the field and someone brings you a strange drink, maybe it will be this one. If not it might be ….

Shrubs

Basic Recipe: 1 Cup Elderberries (or raspberries or stone fruit), 1 Cup apple cider vinegar (red wine vinegar tastes sweetest, champagne vinegar tastes grape-y), Soda to serve.

Wash and dry berries, put in pint size jar, lightly crush with fork or masher. Add vinegar and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, occasionally shake or stirring. Give mixture a good shake- strain using fine mess strainer or cheesecloth. Discard solids. Measure liquid. For every cup of liquid use 1 cup of sugar. Combine liquid and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-low heat. Stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Let cool, bottle and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks, (possibly much longer).

Serve with sparkling water, Start 1 part shrub to 6 parts sparkling water and adjust to taste. The syrup may also be mixed with water or used in cocktails.

Please let me know if any of this is familiar to you. I had never heard of it but I am fairly confident that I will have to try these. We will say my need to try this is for “a history” experience. However I don’t feel the need to go out to the hayfields. I’ll skip that part.

I’m just curious what I will hear from you. Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com and don’t forget we are on line and have archives, too. Thanks for reading!