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!

I’m Just Curious: In case you wondered; uses for duct tape and WD-40

This is a new column. The editor, Roland, is going to let us have a little fun with these “You used _______ to do what?!” I am hoping you will have as much fun reading these and trying them out as I am having putting them together for you. Questions are welcomed! Email me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com, and I’ll do my best to answer them. We are not sure if this will be a twice a month column or ? We’ll let you know as soon as we know. I hope you enjoy!!!

I am starting out this week by relaying something my Maine farmer/doctor told me this week. He said “A real Mainer will have duct tape and a blue tarp (gray or any other color too, I think) however I would like to add the WD-40!

Let’s start with duct tape:

Hem your pants: My brother used to use staples but I think the tape would work better. It will last through a few washes.

Lint remover: wrap duct tape around your hand and it works so good. Removes lint and animal fur. Keep a role handy!

Duct tape for a bandage: You know it will stay stuck. One Maine summer trip my sister’s toenail got lifted, so the nail stood up but was still attached. Oh yeah, painful! Since she was flying home that day we bandaged the toe and then covered it with duct tape. It protected that poor toe.

Secret hidden car key: Hold a spare key under the car with duct tape, just in case you are like me and have been known to lose a key or lock it in the car!

Repair a vacuum hose, actually probably any hose.

Repair outside furniture cushions.

Mend a screen so those nasty bugs won’t move in with you!!

Repair a tent.

Pool patch. Kids are so disappointed if their little pool deflates so this is a quick fix. The fun is on!!

Repair your ski pants. Don’t give up a ski trip because you’re getting too much ventilation! Carry that duct tape with you when packing to go anywhere.

WD-40:

Remove strong glue: I love to play with the do-it-yourself finger nails. I have used Super glue for them (lasts longer). Well, I have, in the past, goofed and glued fingers together. That is kind of scary, but now I just spray on the WD-40, it works. Also you can take glue off surfaces where it doesn’t belong. I’ll be using it today on the kids’ desks at school. (It worked great!)

Stuck on ring: wash your hands after but spray the finger with the stuck on ring.

Zippers: Spray on a zipper that’s being difficult. I had to use it on Ken’s jacket and it really helped the zipper function better. (I like that word, function!)

Bugs and insects: (I wouldn’t use it if I had teething children) Spray WD-40 on windowsills and frames, screens and door frames, critters don’t like this. Don’t inhale fumes.

Remove chewing gum from hair: spray the gummed up hair. Gum will comb out. Again don’t inhale.

Remove scuff marks: spray and rub off the floor. Possibly remove tar as well.

Well once again I have run out of word space, it happens. Gotta go! Let me know what you think. dwdaffy@yahoo.com sub: Uses Remember to check out the on-line version!

I’m Just Curious: The inner child within us

by Debbie Walker

The other day my mom stopped in with one of my aunts, a cousin and two great-cousins. Poor Ken, we are a rather loud family when together. Even poor Benji, our grumpy old Shit-zu reacted by barking at us because he doesn’t like loud.

Some of you know that I have written some Fairy stories, 21 at last count. I know it will sound strange but I find my writing is assisted by what I happen across for critters (toys). Recently I was given a little rabbit (toy) with such a look on his face, his name is now Hiram. His story is running through my mind just waiting for me to write it.

These critters usually sit on my kitchen table until I introduce them by giving each its own story, and add it to my collection of stories. We live together in a way.

When the girls were here, Christy Ray (great-cousin) asked me if I was still writing fairy stories. So… we were off in our own little fairy world! Mom certainly came to life on that note! She explained that she has had three adult children and one who is a forever child. Guess who she meant, with me sitting here showing Christy Ray (16) my latest critters and thoughts of my next stories.

I will admit I enjoy being “a child.” My grandmother, mom’s mother, told me that we have to grow older chronologically, however we don’t have to grow up. She was 81 when she told me that! And my grammy wouldn’t lie!

Keep in mind I work with first graders at school and I love it. I have this past year’s five, six and seven year olds convinced (?) that I am only five years old. I turned six on my birthday in January, they insisted. However on the last day of school I became five again for the fall’s children!

I said all that to tell you we all have a little child inside. Don’t be intimidated into keeping him/her inside and hidden. You will so enjoy the time spent with him/her. Even when your “child” is not front and center people will be impressed with your child-like enthusiasm for life. I can’t say for sure that we will live longer, however you will so enjoy your time here!

Of course I am just curious if you are enjoying your inner child. For any questions or comments I am reachable at dwdaffy@yahoo.com sub: inner child.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to check us out online!

I’m Just Curious: Just a thought

by Debbie Walker

# When I made my usual trip into Walmart I noticed people at the self-serve registers. I am disappointed when I see people checking themselves through. To me those self-serve registers are one step closer to a cashier losing a job. Not many stores even have people working enough hours for benefits anymore. I don’t want to be part of the demise of another job if I can help it.

# I am not a very political person. I get disgusted with the process and the arguments (oops, I mean discussions). I am sick to death of hearing about what Russia did or didn’t. Which political figure talked to whom?

# I really wish we didn’t have political parties. Watching from the sidelines it seems there is an awful lot of wasted time and effort for the three-plus parties to argue over any subject out there. It doesn’t matter how important the issue, what one wants the other will fight it. What a waste.

# Even the reporters are lame as far as I’m concerned. These people are very much opinionated about the winner or the loser. I want to know if they are really trying to play up their own “no favorites” but are showing they are clearly judgmental. Do they really believe people don’t hear their tone of voice or see their body language?

# Another disgusting matter is the deer ticks. I understand this is basically a man-made mess. More and more people are becoming sick with Lyme disease. My mom always told us kids if you make the mess get back in there and clean it up! So… to whoever is responsible: Clean it up!

# Oh yeah, then we have all the mess about insurances. How about if we get everyone on the same insurance as the senators and congressmen? Either that or put them on the insurance we have or don’t have, whichever the case. Oh yeah, and they need to pay for their own. (And stop taking their families on a government business (their vacation) trip. We know who’s paying what!

Okay, you know this is not a reflection on the newspaper; these are my thoughts, such as they are. I really don’t ever intend to offend anyone, I’m sorry if I have.

AND, don’t forget we have the column on the website for The Town Line and you can look up a past printings as well. I really enjoy Roland’s Scores and Outdoors. I love the stuff about our little critters!!

So… I’m Just Curious about soooo many things. How about you? Let’s keep our childlike curiosity! It’s fun!! Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com sub: Curious

Watch for “In Case You Wondered.” It’ll come out soon!

I’m Just Curious: Safe summer fun

by Debbie Walker

It’s that time of year again. It’s the time of year when children want to play in the water. It is always intended to be wrapped up in fun and hopefully some learning.

Children reach a certain skill level in the water. It is somewhat different with each child even if they attended the same classes.
Please remember that children are never completely safe. They still make the wrong choices sometimes, even your teens (even adults sometimes!)

Part of all this I know because I was mom and dad’s water rat child. I loved the water, still do. There was one day when my cousin and I decided to see how far we could swim, we could swim out and then come back. We had gotten to the lake, across the road from my home, without knowledge of either mother. (We were tweens at this point) We were lucky that day. We thought turtles were nipping at our toes and we headed back to shore. Had it not been for the turtles (?) we might have stroked till we went as far as we could and might have used up our strength, oh maybe, mid-lake. There was no raft, etc. to rest on, just the other half of the lake. It might not have turned out well for us.

Please parents, grandparents and friends, remember children of all ages need careful supervision. Don’t rely on them hollering for “Help.” Drowning is usually ‘silent’ despite what some folks think. Please don’t leave them even for a minute. It’s just not safe.

I’m just curious if you would be comfortable asking me any water safety questions. I’m here at dwdaffy@yahoo.com.

I would like to tell you that we will be starting a new column: “IN CASE YOU WONDERED.” The plan is for it to be about a favorite subject of mine and I hope you will enjoy it. I am doing it on ‘uses’ of ordinary products used for surprising results. Some of it will be me answering questions others ask about the uses, feel free to e-mail me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com with any questions you may have or any odd-ball uses of things that you have found in the past. Lately one that surprised me was using “glow-in-the-dark” nail polish to mark a light switch that is difficult to find in the dark. It works! I found the nail polish on Amazon. I am going to paint my nails with it to show my little first graders tomorrow! (Some days I just have too much fun!)

I am hoping you will be looking for it every other week. Oh, and don’t forget we have an online version of The Town Line. You can read current copies and past columns in the archives.

Hope you enjoy the paper and your summer!

I’m Just Curious: History of a few clichés

by Debbie Walker

You know I have purchased some rather unique books. Tonight I dug out The Dictionary of Clichés because I wanted to look up an old saying.

A couple of times recently I have caught myself saying “Between you and me and the fence post …” I looked it up and found it! It does read “between you and me and the bedpost/gatepost/four walls/lamppost.” It is the long version of “in strictest confidence”. It’s usually followed up with gossip!

“Add insult to injury” means to make harm worse by adding humiliation. The saying is traced all the way back to a Greek fable.

“Ass in a sling” – to be in deep trouble. The saying was common about 1930. The ass referred to is not the animal but the term for buttocks.

“In one fell swoop” – A single operation. Goes all the way back to Shakespeare. Vultures attacked chickens in “one fell swoop.”

“At one’s beck and call” – Required to tend to someone’s wishes. The word “beck” only lives on in this cliché. It meant a mute signal or gesture of command (nod of the head or pointing your finger).

“At the drop of a hat” – at once without delay. It comes from the dropping or waving a hat as a starting signal for a race, prize fight or other event.

“Bad penny always turns up” – unwanted or worthless object or person is sure to return. It’s written in several languages. It’s dated back to when pennies were maybe made of inferior metal.

“Baker’s Dozen”– Thirteen. There was a law passed in England in 1266. It specified exactly how much a loaf of bread should weigh and put a penalty for shorted weight. Bakers protected themselves by giving their customers 13 loaves.

“Bane of one’s existence”- One’s ruin or misery. The earliest meaning of the noun bane was “murderer.” Sometime later the meaning was “poison.” Now, dating back to 1500s, it means an agent of ruin.

“Barefaced liar”- a shamelessly bold untruth. It means bold-faced or brazen but it is believed in the 16th century it meant “beardless.”

I wanted to leave a little room here to add a little info about nail polish:

Don’t shake it to mix, roll the bottle between your palms. Shaking puts in air bubbles that can muck up your job.

There is a way to dry the nails quicker. Spray aerosol cooking spray to coat nails from about six inches. Wait a few minutes and rinse. Sally Hanson also has top coat called Insta-Dri. It is wonderful, I love it!

Dab nail polish on screws in eyeglasses to keep them secure.

OK I used up my words for the night. Hope all is well with you. I’m just curious what we’ll learn next! Contact me with comments or ideas at dwdaffy@yahoo.com sub: Next.

I’m Just Curious: Finger nail polish uses

by Debbie Walker

A monster has been created! I have some great books about “Amazing Uses” and I was not going to go with that info for another week. I was going to give you a break but… then I came across uses for Nail Polish.

First I have to tell you I have been introduced to “glow in the dark” nail polish. I have had nail polish that changed color in the sun and that was fun for a while, however it was a little limited in its uses.
One of the first things I came across in my “Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things” (Published by Reader’s Digest). “Nail Polish Around the House.” In this chapter I was introduced to a new (to me) concept.

I did not know there was such a thing and I have always loved nail polish. How did I miss it! Oh yeah I’m excited now! I got on the computer to start my search. I do like Amazon (it’s where I get most of my books) and it didn’t let me down. I found it! As yet I have not received it but when I do I will let you know if it was worth the hunt!

Now let me tell you some of the uses for it:

Paint your remote volume button or any button you hit wrong in the dark.
Polish a mark on your keys and keyholes to find in the dark.
Polish a difficult to find in the dark light switch.

You can mark other things with regular polish:

I am going to mark my shower dial instead of using the trial and error for water temp.
Decorate and/or seal an envelope with nail polish. It doesn’t even melt with steam from boiling water!!
Turn rocks into pretty paper weights. My brother would have loved this!
You can tarnish proof costume jewelry with clear nail polish. I’ve been doing this for years because I love my junk jewelry!
Dip ends of shoe laces in polish to prevent fraying. Let dry overnight.
Oh yeah, fix the run in panty hose to keep it from traveling.
Get rid of warts. Cover with polish. Keep doing it until there is no more wart. I have seen this one work.
Polish thread on buttons to prevent fraying.
Mend holes in window screens.

All of these odd uses I have printed for three weeks don’t even put a dent in the other Amazing Uses. Are you tired of this info? Let me know please. It will help me to keep you reading!

I would like to be better late than never with my feelings of honoring veterans that have passed. They gave us the freedoms we have today. I also try to honor all veterans. If I can tell someone is a veteran I like to shake their hands and thank them for their service. I am always amazed when they say they would do it all again. I do feel bad that it is not easy to know who the female veterans are but I want you to know I honor you.

I’m just curious what subject I will find interesting next. Do you have any thoughts on what you might be interested in reading? Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com sub: Help.