I’M JUST CURIOUS: Have you ever wondered…

by Debbie Walker

Have you ever wondered how long different things might last? Well, I found a few listed in an HGTV magazine awhile back. I thought maybe it might hold some interest for you. It’s an odd assortment of subjects listed in an ABC index. Here we go:

Aloe Vera gel – 12 months once it’s been opened. It’s suggested to store it in the fridge.

Bulbs – 10-15 years These bulbs are of the plant variety, not electrical.

Cast Iron pans – Generations (finally something that lasts). Suggested to use warm water and a non-scratch scrub brush.

Deli-meat – Up to 5 days. (Told you it is an odd assortment). Best if kept in meat drawer.

Exterior Paint Job – Up to 10 years preparation, the quality of paint and color play into it.

Fertilizer (dry or liquid) – Forever. If it clumps or crystals break with a trowel.

Hot Water Heater (tank) – up to 12 years, (tankless) up to 15 years. Maintenance is big issue – should be flushed out when heat system gets checkup.

Ice Pops – Up to 18 months. Home made only about three weeks. Store in back of freezer.

Skipped J, K on to L

Laptop – three to five years. That one is funny! I know kids who can kill them off fast. Then you have me who has been using my adult granddaughter’s cast off for over six years!

Mattress – Up to 10 years. If it’s not a pillow top it ought to be rotated two times a year. We’re waking up achy, may be time for a new one. The achy can’t be because of US growing old.

Nut Butter – Up to 6 months. Store opened jars in fridge. Oil separation is normal, if it smells like oil paint, it’s bad.

Skipped O & P

Quinoa – three years. Keep it in cabinet away from heat source. It’s not a grain and any moisture may make it sprout.

Razor Blades – up to six weeks If you shave more than 2 times a week, anything over six weeks you’ll get razor burns and nicks.

Shower Curtain Liner – one year.

Skipped T,U & V

Wood Cutting Board – A lifetime, maybe even a passer-oner.

Skipped X,Y & Z

Okay, on to something else. Have you ever heard of Spoonerism? I hadn’t but I like it! It is an error in speech or a deliberate play on words where letters are switched between two words in a phrase. Examples follow:

Heard at a wedding: “It is kisstomary to cuss the bride.”

Heard a nervous college student on an official visit: “Is the bean dizzy?”

Heard from many a mother: “Now you go upstairs and shake a tower!”

Heard from aggravated fan: “I can’t believe they scored a Dutch town!”

I’m just curious how many times I have done the word swap! Thanks for reading! Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Don’t forget this winter when you can’t get out to get a paper, we are online!

I’M JUST CURIOUS: The meaning of “Unity”

by Debbie Walker

One of the definitions for the word Unity is ‘harmony.’ If the town fathers named the town of Unity for its harmony I’ll bet they never pictured this past weekend. The Common Ground Country Fair is the ultimate of proof of unity (harmony) in their little town.

Once a year, the third weekend of September, MOFGA sponsors the Common Ground Country Fair, in Unity. MOFGA is the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardener’s Association (Website is www.mofga.org/the-fair/schedule). If you weren’t able to attend and are curious that website is full of information.

It seems a lot of people look forward to the experience of the fair. In fact last year it is said that 60,000 people from all over the country were on those grounds. If you look up their website your questions as to ‘why’ will be answered. The content is amazing.

There is education of value to many different ages and interests. There are demonstrations to peak a curiosity into a possible serious interest. There are many activities for children of all ages. There are foods you may never have experienced before. There are also entertainers.

Unity is a small town surrounded by small towns. Sixty thousand people affect each one of these towns. It looks to me like this fair may be a little inconvenient, three days a year, for residents due to traffic, however it is great for the merchants of Unity. The surrounding town’s merchants must also enjoy the extra business brought their way with them doing little to no marketing for such. Today I saw something else.

On a day I was out riding without my yard sale/thrift store shopping buddies (and I was on my way to a meeting) I couldn’t believe all the yard sales set up in private yards and parking lots! Just think, all that traffic and they didn’t have to advertise. If I think of it next year I will try to remind everyone of the fun to be had at the Common Ground Country Fair or in surrounding towns!

I’m just curious about one activity. Who would and why would anyone want to be part of the Harry S Truman Manure Pitch contest? (It was listed on their site!)

In the spirit of the weekend I am adding these little jokes I found in Blum’s Farmer’s and Planter’s Almanac:

Gardening is cheaper than therapy……………and you get tomatoes.
A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.
How well is your garden going to grow? ………. Only thyme will tell.
Why did the gardener quit? ………… His celery wasn’t high enough.
Why didn’t anyone laugh at the gardener’s jokes? …………..They were too corny.
What’s the gardener’s favorite sport? …………..Squash
Why was the gardener so busy over the weekend? …….. He had a really long Honeydew list.
Garden Wisdom: ……. The best way to garden is to put on a wide brimmed straw hat and some old clothes. And with a hoe in one hand and a cold drink in the other, tell somebody else where to dig.

OK, OK, now I am just curious if I will be allowed to write again! Thanks for reading, don’t forget about our website and please send me any questions or comments to dwdaffy@yahoo.com.

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
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!


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.