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.

I’m Just Curious: More T-shirt sayings

by Debbie Walker

I knew one day I would do another column about T-shirt sayings but I never figured it would be this soon! I do get a kick out of some of them. I really hope you do too.

So here goes:

It clearly states PRINCESS on my birth certificate.

Sometimes when I open my mouth my mother comes out…(Honest Mom I would be proud!)

My alone time is sometimes for your safety.

I could be a morning person if morning happened at noon. (Oh yeah, that one could be me!)

I have neither the time nor the crayons to explain this to you.

Wait! I do not snore! I dream I’m a motorcycle!(That would be Ken, he swears he does not snore but he fibs!)

I’m just going to put an OUT OF ORDER sticker on my forehead and call it a day!

Never laugh at your wife’s choices, you are one of them!

The relationship between a husband and wife is psychological, one is Psycho, the other is Logical!

Just remember if we get caught, you’re deaf and I don’t speak English.

Back off I have a SISTER and I’m not afraid to use her! (I may be guilty of saying ‘you don’t want to meet the wrath of _____!)

I’m going to stop asking How dumb can you get? People seem to be taking it as a challenge.

I turn BEER into pee. What’s your superpower?

DON’T GROW UP It’s a trap! (I’m lucky; my Grammy warned me about this growing up business!)

The best thing about the good old days was that I wasn’t good and I wasn’t old.

Sometimes I meet people and feel bad for their dog.

You are about to Exceed the limits of my medication!

Don’t judge my dog and I won’t judge your children.

You don’t have to be crazy to hang out with me… I’ll train you!

No I don’t need anger management, you need to stop –issing me off!

When I die, the dog gets Everything!

So if a redhead goes crazy, is it called Ginger Snaps? (Don’t even think about it Ken, it wouldn’t be healthy!)

No need to repeat yourself, I ignored you just fine the first time! (That is the kind of stuff going through Ken’s head!)

I may be Left handed but I am always Right!

A little gray hair is a small price to pay for all this Wisdom! (there is always hair dye, it might be true that hair dyes kill off brain cells!)

I should come with a warning label!

When I was a kid I wanted to be older… this crap is not what I expected!

As far as I know I am just Delightful!

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

Does running late count as Exercise?

Okay, that’s enough of that! So how many of those sound familiar? Questions and/or comments appreciated. Find me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com Sub line: t-shirts. Thanks for reading and don’t forget our online version!

I’m Just Curious: Gardening tips

by Debbie Walker

I suppose it’s a little late to be helpful with your gardening this year but hopefully you will cut this out and save it for the next growing season. (Don’t think too seriously.)

This info was printed in another Maine paper, their July/August issue. I cut this out of the paper and trashed the rest. Whoops. I am sorry (but I did add some stuff).

If there is a frost after March 15, it will not cause any damage to your garden (not sure what part of the country we are talking about!)

If there is a frost, when the wind is blowing from the south, it will destroy all of your plants in the garden. (Did you already know this?)

The worst day to plant is on the 31st of any month (especially Dec., Jan., March, so does that mean Feb. is good cause it doesn’t go to the 31st?).

You will experience a wonderful crop if you have early thunderstorms. (Does that include the winter thunderstorms?)

If a pregnant woman plants any type of plant it will grow well. (Is it a hormone thing?)

If you hear a turtledove coo on New Year’s Day, it is a prediction that all crops will be good for the coming year. (I guess for that to happen in Maine you would have to have the happy, contented bird in a cage inside! I don’t think it would coo very long outside!)

Planting seeds at noon means they will grow. (I doubt that one; it just means the person was lazy, not getting to the fields until noon!)

If you put fertilizer on the ground during the light of moon it will not decompose and will do no good. (It will decompose but in the dark you put it in the wrong place and just can’t find it!)

If you see a frost between the time of the new moon and the full moon, your plants will not have to worry about frostbite. (I don’t think the plants will worry about anything.)

Stretch a piece of yarn string over the rows of your plants in early spring. The frost will then collect on the yarn and not hurt your plants. (You might break a leg if you trip on all that string!)

Placing rusty nails or old irons around your plants will help them grow. (Oh sure, and if you step on the rusty nail it will really hurt!)

Okay, so this is all pretty ridiculous but I thought I would pass it along. Of course it was titled “Old Wives’ Tales for Gardening.” Geez, old wives get blamed for so much!

I am just curious what you remember as old wives tales. For comments and questions try dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Sub. line: Old Wives.’ Thanks for reading and don’t forget the online site, tell your friends and families about us.

P.S. I don’t know how you can take any of this serious if you take into consideration that this writer is planting a flowering weeds garden on purpose!

I’m Just Curious: Dictionaries

by Debbie Walker

Did you know there is a dictionary of dictionaries? Yup, sure enough. I was at a yard sale recently and there was this huge thing! Well it is a book and it was large so, of course, I had to check it out. (I have a thing for dictionaries)

It is Webster’s Encyclopedia of Dictionaries, North American Edition. So…in this book that if I refer to it as WED you will know what I am talking about. It holds an amazing amount of information.

There is a regular Webster’s Dictionary in it.

Next is a section of Synonyms, Antonyms and Homonyms. Anyone know what all these are? Someday I may use that section.

The next section is Crossword Puzzle Dictionary. I may have use for that one. The next collection is the Medical Dictionary. I probably wouldn’t use that. This dictionary is the 1976 model and is way behind what the computer can tell you now.

So as we travel on there is the Bible Dictionary. I am guessing it’s all the words and maybe names you would find in the Bible. I doubt any of that has changes recently.

Too funny! The next one is the Rhyming Dictionary of one and two syllable rhymes. I would probably be tempted to use that section one day, especially if some part of that would help the kids at school. They loved rhyming stories last year.

Next on this trip through this huge book is the Music Dictionary. So far, in looking at this section, the only thing I understand are the words naming the musical instruments. The other words might as well be written in Greek!

Next in our adventure is the Book of Familiar Quotations. Shakespeare said, “Abuse is the bitter clamor of two eager tongues.” About acting, of course, Shakespeare said, “All the world is a stage.” Now I might use that section for a column someday.

Onward is the Legal Dictionary, I probably won’t be interested in that one. But you never know for sure.

The Dictionary of Scientific Terms, yuck! I have absolutely no interest there!

After that is Outline of U.S. History. Now I may have to cruise that one a bit. The problem I have with written history is you have to think about who is writing what and why. The old writings about anything involving Native Americans is usually trash talk.

Gazetteer Atlas – okay – well it has the information about countries and states. Probably very outdated info, some countries have even been renamed since I left school.

I’m just curious what kind of books you have laying around. Enjoy your read. Questions and/or comments you can send to dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Sub: Dictionaries

Thank you for reading! (Check out our paper online if you can.) That book is so big I think I will give it its own name; maybe a good one would be Harriet!

I’m Just Curious: T-shirt sayings and wisdom

by Debbie Walker

I guess by now you know that I will read most anything. I’m just curious about your interests (oops, you are reading this column!) It was said of a friend of mine that she would read toilet paper if it had words on it.

I do enjoy reading a lot of different subjects and tonight it has been ads for T-shirts with different sayings on them. So… the T-shirt sayings are pretty funny. The following ones came from a catalog called “Things You Never Knew”:

• I may have the right to remain silent… but I don’t have the ability.

• I try to take one day at a time but sometimes several days attack me all at once!

• Not sure if I washed the spider down the drain in my shower or if he took one look at me naked and then leaped willingly to his death!

• People who Tolerate me on a daily basis…they are the real heroes! (Yup Ken is my hero)

• Don’t let my motorcycle ride interfere with the safety of your phone call! (Please be careful about motorcycles)

• Don’t follow in my footsteps…I think I stepped in something!

• I should be ashamed of my behavior, let’s be clear here I’m not but I should be. (I have too much fun!)

• You know that little voice inside your head that keeps you from saying things you shouldn’t? I should probably get one of those.

• Let’s stop sending money to other countries and let them hate us for free!

• I don’t do drugs and I don’t drink, at my age I can get the same effect by standing too fast!

• People should seriously stop expecting normal from me … we all know it’s never gonna happen! (I do think most of my friends and family have stopped expecting normal from me!)

• When is this “Old Enough to Know Better” supposed to kick in?

• Why is it I can remember the lyrics to my favorite song in high school 20 years later, BUT I can’t remember why I came to the kitchen? (that’s a daily happening thing around here.)

• IF you don’t have to give up your car because others drive drunk with theirs … Then why do you have to give up your gun because others commit crimes with theirs?

• Note to self…Wearing headphones doesn’t make my farts silent!!

• Have you hugged an idiot today? Me neither, come here.

• Respect Your Elders; they graduated school without the internet!

• I just did a week’s worth of Cardio after walking into a spider web!

• I thought growing old would take longer!

• I plan on living forever, so far so good!

• Give me one good reason to act my age!

• Common sense, so rare it’s kind of a superpower.

• Prayer is the best way to meet the Lord BUT messing with my daughter is faster!

There are so many more sayings, and this is just three pages of them! I hope they gave you a giggle or two or three. I’m just curious what your favorite would be! So… contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com sub: T-shirts.

Once again, thank you for reading.

I’m Just Curious: Southern remedies

by Debbie Walker

You know by now that I have a love for odd, not the normal (?) books. I can’t help it, some of them are just so amusing and some have amazing information.

This past trip to the south (two weeks ago) offered me some very good pickins’ for books. One book I had to have is titled Thangs YANKEES Don’t Know, by Bil Dwyer. By the title you can tell the south is still blistered by the fact they lost THE war.

In this very southern book I found the section of “Rustic Remedies.” The author does give a note of warning and does suggest you should talk to your medical professional before trying any such remedies. Here are a few for you to contemplate:

Arthritis – Drink a mixture of honey, vinegar and moonshine. (Any wonder how this one works!)

Athlete’s Foot – Step in fresh cow dung (sure I’ll get right over to the neighbor’s pasture!)

Burns – Scrapings from a raw potato will draw out the fire. (I’ll bet that one works.)

Colds – Drink whiskey and honey mixed or a mixture of honey and vinegar. (Throw in some moonshine and fix your arthritis and the cold!)

Pneumonia – Give patient two teaspoonful of oil rendered from skunk fat. (Sure and they would have this at our nearest pharmacy?)

Sores – Put a little lard around the sore and let the dog lick it. The dog’s saliva will cure it.

Stop bleeding – Use chimney soot or spider webs. (A friend’s mom actually did that spider web thing on him and it worked. She also used black pepper to stop bleeding.)

Warts – Rub a clove of garlic on it every day or rub the wart with a rock and put the rock in a box. The person who opens the box will get the wart (!!!!). (Another friend of mine used clear nail polish. That one actually worked!)

Chicken pox – Can be relieved by letting a rooster fly over their head. (!!!)

Corn – To remove corn, rub it with a grain of corn, then feed the corn to a black chicken.

Cramps – If your toes cramp put your shoes upside down under your bed. (I have to tell Ken that one!)

Earache – Fried onion juice poured in the ear or persimmon sap. (Oh yuck!!)

Whooping cough – Get rid of this malady by getting a stick as long as you are and throwing it into the attic. (???)

Dizzy spells – Mixture of blackberry juice and moonshine (how do they think they got dizzy? That moonshine would be my guess!)

I know you probably have a few of these ingredients on your grocery list right now so you can be prepared! All the credit for collecting this information goes to the author Bil Dwyer and I have enjoyed sharing all this with you. Hope it gave you a chuckle or two!

And I will always be curious! Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com sub line: southern remedies.

Thanks for reading!