Spots Make Me Dotty


I was looking for my favorite umbrella, which is black, with little spots all the same

size, in all kinds of colors. I loved that it had an overall bright look to it, along with

the main color of black mellowing it out. I felt dressy and fashionable with it, never

‘gaudy,’ despite its colorful polka dots of lavender, bright pink, turquoise, yellow, lime

green and orange. I retraced my steps and while doing this small town tour, popping

into the library to check its lost and found, stopping at the coffee shop on the corner,

going into the gas station, where I sometimes set my umbrella down to open one of

the refrigerator cases. Finally, going up the stairs of my apartment to ask the manager

if anyone had turned it in. I started thinking of the dozens, no more than that! Lots of

ways we use spots and dots in our everyday lives.


So, let me get us started. . .

When you get into a ‘jam,’ you are in a ‘spot.’  If it is a financial ‘spot’ you are in, you

may ask someone to ‘spot’ you some money. You may even ask a friend, “Can you loan

me a ‘spot’ of cash?”


Mom mentioned, as I was telling her about my lost spotted umbrella, over the phone,

“Stars are mere dots in the sky.”

I asked her if she remembered my old Reader book about Jane and Dick, didn’t they

have a dog named, “Spot?”

She replied, “Since Spot is one of the most common names (in the U.S.) to give a dog,

it may have been named, ‘Spot.’ I don’t remember.”

Do you?


It made me smile when she reminded me to tell my ‘blogging friends,’ that my brother’s

spotted Dalmatian was named, “Galaxy.”  When he wanted her to come, he would say,

“Come on, Gal.”

Wordplay is always something our family enjoys.


The children’s animated film, “101 Dalmatians” really had a lot of ‘spots’ in it.

Do you like spots on dogs?


Did you ever see ‘spots?’ Did this experience cause you to faint?


Many times, when thinking about food, you may imagine spots to be ‘bad,’ as when a

banana has ‘brown spots’ or an apple has ‘soft spots.’ Those darn mushy fruits make you

dislike ‘spots.’ I have a ‘soft spot’ for pineapple, which while choosing it, you do wish

the outer layer of green with brown triangles, to ‘give’ a little, showing it to be soft and

sweet inside, along with being ripe.


When I think of a positive way of thinking about ‘spots’ I change it to ‘dots’ and I do like

those chewy candy “Dots.” I also like the dark chocolate saucer-shaped candy with white

sprinkles on them which are called, “Nonpareils.” I used to buy a strip of white paper with

different pastel colored ‘spots’ or dots, made of sugar for pennies.


When I think of an ice cream with spots,

I think of chocolate chips or nuts sprinkled on it. One of my youngest daughter’s favorite

ice creams is Graeter’s Raspberry Chocolate Chip ice cream. My younger brother, Rich, just

tried and enjoyed “Blue Moo Cookie Dough Ice Cream” at UDF.  “Spots” placed on vanilla

ice cream in a cone become “eyes” in some children’s minds. Have you ever eaten

an ice cream cone with “eyes” on it? I used to order these for my children at Friendly’s

and also, our local Dairy Depot or Dairy Point with my ‘grandies.’


My favorite dress of all time, was one my Mom hand sewed. With its fabric being

called, Dotted Swiss, it was a light peach color. Those white soft, tufted spots

made me feel quite happy wearing and looking at it. The texture was one which

enticed me to smooth it down, running my hand across the surface, while sitting

in church.


When you have a ‘blemished record,’ you may have a spotty record.

(But you also could have a ‘checkered’ past.)


The positive thing about having those raised acne ‘spots’ or ‘zits’ as a teenager is,

you may have nice moist skin now, which appears young for your age.


Another set of ‘spots’ on your face, while we were growing up, would cause some

alarm, since it could be measles.


“X” marks the Spot, which is what is one of the best parts of a Treasure Map.

Have you played this with your children or grandchildren?


While driving in your car, you need to remember to check your blind ‘spots.’


Other ‘down’ sides of spots are when you have used the wrong dishwasher

detergent and your beautiful pieces crystal has ‘spots’ on them. The labels

to almost all of these products claim to produce “Spot-Free” dishes, silverware

and glasses.


In games, spots are often featured. There are ‘spots’ of white on black Dominoes.

The double colored spots in Candy Land, mean you get to travel past two of those

colored spots. You must beware, there is a sticky spot on the game board, too.


The saying, “Leopards never change their spots,” generally means that people

are also not likely to change.


In Art,  a technique of painting spots or dots next to each other, making it look

from a distance like they are connected is called, “Pointillism.” George Seurat made

this a famous way of painting, along with  Paul Signac. (Late nineteenth century.)

The style of making spots on canvas is a branch off the larger art category or genre

labeled,  “Impressionism.” When I was teaching Language Arts in middle school,

there was a fantastic, creative art teacher who connected art with music. She played

the Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, where it goes “Da da da daaah!” Those pounding

notes on the piano, brought the children to make dabbing splashes of spots on

their paper in art class to create their own pointillism examples. I enjoyed hanging

these up along the hallway, leading up tomy class for parents’ Open House Night.

These turned out awesome, as was the period she had paired sunflowers of Van Gogh

with the music of Electric Light Orchestra.


You may get into some ‘tight spots.’

Hope they are as fun as getting into a crowded VW or an old phone booth with your

boy or girlfriend.


Freckles look like the cutest ‘spots’ ever on the faces of red-haired children.


Young animals often have faint spots, like the robin on the white feathers under

the beak. The fawn, like Bambi, has white soft spots on their coats.


In England, at a British tea party, you might hear someone ask you,

“Would you like a ‘spot’ of tea?”


When you think of Lawrence Welk, do you think of polka dots?


When someone cooks a great country dinner with all the fixings,

you may exclaim, “This dinner really hit the ‘spot!'”


On a stage, there are certain “spots” that actors stand on, so the

lime lights will light them, while they deliver their lines. A director

may yell, ‘Everyone get on their spots!”


In marching band, you march to create patterns and it is very important

to ‘stay in formation.’ The band director may also yell, “Everyone get on

your spots.”


When I think of iconic “spots” I think of Lucy with a black and white

spotted skirt and Minnie Mouse, with her red and white spotted skirt.


When you think of a sore “spot,” you may picture your muscles or a canker

sore on your mouth. But, you also may think that someone talking about

a particular subject is rubbing a ‘sore’ or ‘touchy’ spot.




The Ink Spots may entertain you with one or all of these


“If I Didn’t Care”

“I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire”

“I’m Making Believe” (with Ella Fitzgerald)

“Into Each Life, Some Rain Must Fall” (with Ella Fitzgerald)

“The Gypsy” their # 1 song.

By the way, they were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of

Fame in 1989.


What tight or tough “spots” have you been in during your life?

For fun, what is a spot you like to head to on vacation?

Or please give us another example of the word, “spot.”


Finally, did I make you slightly ‘dotty’ over the usage of the word, “spot?”

Would you mind sharing about the bright “spots” in your life?








52 responses »

  1. I spotted your blog notice in my email right now and clicked my way over. I had to hit the exact right spot or I wouldn’t get here. Thank you, Robin, for finding the spot in my morning to make me a happy reader. 🙂

  2. Robin … Your post is ‘spot on.’ You brought up so many memories. Yes, Dick and Jane had a dog named ‘Spot.” I loved nonpareils and had a navy blue dotted Swiss (white spots) pantsuit that I love. You’ve earned a spot in my heart for your charming post. 😉

    • Thanks, Judy, for the label of ‘charming!’ I haven’t had nonpareils for such a long time. I am sure it is not hard to get a hold of?
      I am glad you had some memories brought back and shared them here. I am glad Dick and Jane’s dog was named “Spot,” since I didn’t bother to check that fact! Also, enjoying the thought of a pant suit with navy blue dotted Swiss with white spots on it! I seemed to be a little “touchy feely,” at least in my thoughts about the peach dress I wore with the textured tufts on it! Did you like to ‘touch’ or ‘rub’ on those spots? I am wondering what a therapist or a OT would think of this? ha ha!

      • According to Wikipedia: In the Dick and Jane books, “Supporting characters included Baby (or Sally), Mother, Father, Spot (originally a cat in the 1930s, but a dog in later editions), Puff the cat, and Tim the teddy bear.”

        I didn’t realize Spot used to be a cat.

      • I never knew that “Spot” was a cat before, either! Do I need to send you a check for your being such a good ‘editor’ and ‘fact-checker?” ha ha! Big smiles and thanks, Judy!

  3. What fun with spots ! Spots everywhere from umbrella to ice cream. I would like to add here A red spot which Indian married women proudly puts on her forehead to show her married status, known as an auspicious red bindi.

    • This is an amazing addition to this post, Rashmi! I really appreciate your thinking of a very special red ‘spot’ known as the auspicious “red bindi.” Wow, you are a fountain of information. I like to be knowledgeable while writing about all the subjects that wander into my thoughts. Thank you and hope you have an amazing day!

  4. I am amazed at the fanciful varieties of spots you came up with inspired by misplacing your spotted umbrella. I chuckled at your mention of Dalmatian dogs and their trademark black spots on white coats because, during our time living on the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia, we never once saw a Dalmatian dog. I asked some locals about the dogs of the same name, and we were told some breeder elsewhere in the world must have liked the name because the only Dalmatians in Croatia are humans. 🙂 – Mike

    PS – I hope you find your umbrella.

  5. I like this international chuckle about Dalmatians! I never knew where the word came from! I still have not found my umbrella, Mike! May have had someone needing one, taking it and will have to go on a new umbrella search soon, meanwhile wearing a hooded jacket or coat everywhere I go! Cannot lose them, since they are attached, as is my head…. implying I would lose it, of course!

  6. I think there is no spot left for me to add anything in – you covered it all.

    I also had readers in first grade, only ours were called Janet and John, but their dog too was named ‘Spot’. Mother cooked, cleaned and looked after Janet and John and Father. Father went to work and cleaned the car and smoked a pipe. 🙂 Ah, the good old days!

    I hope you find your spotted umbrella. And if not, that you find another umbrella that makes you feel really happy!

    • I am smiling at your first grade reader which had a variation on ours, or ours was a variation on yours, Pauline. I like the names Janet and John. It is interesting Spot must be a universal dog’s name!
      I appreciate your hopes for my umbrella, when I look at the racks of them at stores, I don’t ‘feel’ ready to acquire a new one. So far, none have caught my eye…
      I did enjoy the good old days, and in my most recent watching of the first animated “101 Dalmatians” the head of household smoked a pipe. (My grandies noticed this and commented on it, too.)
      My Dad used to smoke cigarettes, but would get some cherry burkham (not sure of spelling, but it smelled good,) and stuff his pipe with it. It was pleasant and so did my Grandpa. (Who never smoked cigarettes and only on rare occasions, cigars.) There are still a lot of old Santa Claus books that have the pipe smoke, with the famous one being, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

      • Whilst I cannot stand the smell of cigarette smoke I still do love the smell of a pipe and a really expensive cigar! I haven’t smelled that enticing aroma for a few years now and I have no idea why it is so enticing – but I used to be like a dog with a really good scent in his nostrils – all focus and a-quiver 🙂

      • I don’t personally have anyone close to me that smokes anymore, either. One of my friend’s husbands smokes cigars and has ‘joined’ a cigar shop. She is a little dismayed, since when they first married (her second time around) he had said he would quit cigarette smoking, and not only did he not quit, he adds cigars into the mix. But she has prevailed no smoking inside the house. My Dad had a Time cover about cigarettes causing cancer from the 60’s and stopped smoking in the house in the 70’s, even made wooden bows painting them pink and blue, with the words, “Baby’s lungs inside, Kindly don’t smoke.” He gave them as gifts to those who had babies in my parents’ neighborhood.
        I am not sure why scents and aromas are enticing, but sometimes as with pipes, it connects me to another time and place, with my Dad or Grandpa…
        I always enjoy your comments, Pauline!

  7. What a great post, Robin; it really “hit the spot” for me today. I love the numerous uses of words, and you outdid yourself on this one. But it was the cute exceptions that made me laugh, like “Galaxy” as the name of the Dalmation.
    If you can’t find the spotted umbrella, you might try stripes…not as many play on words, but it’s a new opportunity. 😉

    • I am glad you pointed the dog’s name out, Marylin. Since I thought that was also a cool name my brother chose for his spotted dog. (Like a reverse on what you would expect…)
      Oh, so wonderful of an idea, Marylin, trying stripes… Hmm… I like from the distance my black umbrella looked black, wonder if I can find multi-colored ‘pin stripes?’ Thank you for getting me going a new direction.

  8. What a fun post Robin! I love spots and stripes and wear both quite a bit (more so than anyone I know). I think a polka dot dress can make almost any woman look classy (especially if it is cut 50s style). Love the name ‘Galaxy” for a dog – genius!

    • This was such a fun comment, especially since you noticed the dog’s name and found it ‘genius!’ Leave it to my artist brother to think of it! Anyway, I loved “Pretty Woman” scene where Julia R’s character wears a brown dress with white polka dots, so cool and classic. The 50’s style really is flattering by cinching at the waist and flaring out. Thanks, Yolanda and hope you are having a fine weekend off.

    • You are so classic, as Yolanda just mentioned how nice the look of polka dots is timeless, too. The black or navy blue dresses with white polka dots have been often repeated and I have one with black background and one with a deep blue. They are both flouncy in the skirt, which I used to cover my pear shape this way, now that I have ‘lost my tush’ it adds to my shape. Smiles for this tiny spots idea, Elizabeth. This would brighten up a dress compared to a solid color.

  9. I love this, Robin!!!! I loved the candy ‘Dot’ when I was a kid. My sister and I would eat rolls and rolls of the sweet candies. Do you remember the candy ‘Zots’, not to be confused with spots?
    You’ve covered all the spots, great job! One thing I kept thinking of while reading was when my sister my sister and I got the chicken pox and we were covered in spots.
    I hope you found your umbrella. xo

    • Jill, I liked “Zots” since they were more flavorful than those chewy Dots or the candy ‘Dot’ on paper strips. I have tasted them, since they appear at vintage shops sometimes, and I am not sure why I liked them? The ‘dots’ were just like those little sugar shaped ‘eyes’ on ice cream or even on Easter bunnies. I think half the fun was just having endless strips of sugar!
      Oh, so glad you reminded me of another ‘bad’ case of spots: Chicken Pox! My Mom, being a practical woman, sent me over to my neighbors’ house, (first asking permission), to stay for a few days while the three girls in the house had chicken pox. It was summer time and she figured being a teacher would be good to ‘get it over with,’ so I caught them and came home to spend my sick days and infect my brothers. All in ‘one fell swoop’ we were done with them! ha ha! I never scratched them but one of my brothers did and has a couple of indentations from them. Thanks for adding another two cases of ‘spots’ to this post!

  10. You made me smile at your spots and dots. I especially smiled at the Inkspots as mumma and pop penguin had their record that I remember listening to. I don’t mind spots, though we did have a politician over here and depending what side of the fence you barracked for, she was well known for wearing her spots. So if you wear them now, you can get called her. Sorry about your brolly. xx

    • I am smiling at the English version of umbrella. I love it being called a ‘brolly,’ Jen! I am glad you know who the Ink Spots are and letting me know that your parents enjoyed them. They were quite pleasant and positive in their appearance, demeanor and I don’t think they were ‘wild’ in their behaviors. Quite fitting for the ‘older set,’ but I also enjoy their blended voices and the emotions they send me through their songs…
      I also appreciate the way you mentioned the person/politician who has changed her spots or changing the position of the fence. I had to think a minute about “what side of the fence you barracked for,’ meant. I think I have it, Jen! xx

    • Your favorite spot is a special place while it is cool outside, Beth, probably wrapped in a cozy blanket or soft, comfy crocheted throw. In the summer, I think of your having coffee, on your patio with your fairy garden as a special ‘spot’ to be in. Also, off from work, which is always nice no matter what spot you choose! (Everyone who loves children understands you need a ‘break’ from them. Smiles!) Glad to know you like polka dots, too!

      • Thanks, Jenny, for adding to the fun by mentioning the humorous side of this book. I will trust your judgment, someday find it out on a shelf waiting for me to take out of the library. I tend to get a lot of books from my friends who ‘send them around.’

    • Barb, it really suited her, too. She was a great dog for my artist brother, who took her everywhere. Very patient and not the typically hyper Dalmatian. Once upon a time, our very first dog, while we were in elementary school was a Dalmatian and her name was ‘Becky.’ Not nearly as cool a name, and quite a handful, too!
      I have not heard of the book, “A Spot of Bother,” but find the title very unique so may one day pick it up at the library. Great addition to the spots collection here, thanks!

    • I either like wordplays or definition posts, I liked my meaning of regret and one on patience, along with a fun one on uses for ‘frame’ and ‘framed.’ I will need to check out your one on ‘shed,’ Jenny! Does shed get used in the title or on the side column of tags? Thanks for leading me, hope I find it! smiles

      • It was a post called ‘Welcome to my shed of Enlightenment’ and I’m sorry, I don’t know how to put a link here as I’m using my iPad and I’m rather new to how everything works! Haven’t discovered yet how to cut and paste! Try my July 2013 month archive ….

      • I am so glad I circled round to this post, I will look up July, 2013. It is always nice to read someone who has used a similar approach to a different subject! I like to think of George Carlin meeting James Thurber, with a dash of Jean Kerr to make my posts relevant and entertaining. No one captured parenting better than, “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies!” Smiles and off to read your ‘shed’ post with Enlightenment promised. . .

  11. I think I spotted a new star of blogland here Robin. 🙂 I’ve never known of so many reasons for spots. And I do feel a bit dotty after reading of all of these spots and now I’m thinking of the candy dots that were little spots sticking to paper. You had to peel them of to eat. And here we are peeling off your blogs like candy treats. 🙂

    • I loved this comment and sorry, just noticed it! Colleen, the words you finished with caught me and made me smile! I hope some of my posts are like ‘treats!’
      Sorry about the dizzy way my spots made you feel dotty! Also, those candy dots were something that so many of my friends liked, too. We would go around our neighborhood, where there were new homes being built, picking up empty bottles and then with a full wagon, ‘trade’ them in for candy at a Polish (Cleveland) shop called, Szarka’s. Fun memories…

    • I didn’t know this, Shelley! Can you believe how many times we have been visitors back and forth? Now, I know I am not as faithful as I should be, but I was astounded to find your comment in my limbo land. (Awaiting moderation area on my Dashboard….) Anyway, thanks for this comment and now I know spots are pimples. Never too late to learn something new. Sorry about my tardy comment to you!

  12. Those “Spot the Dog” books by Eric Hill, plus the children’s TV series about the adorable pup’s adventures, were my son’s favourites during his pre-school years. Thus, I feel very nostalgic about all the times we snuggled up to enjoy all those spotty dog stories.

    • I adore the Spot books and my grandchildren’s favorite one is the first one, “Where’s Spot?” with his going to school and Christmas books close seconds. Thanks so much, Sarah, for your visit back to this post!

      • I’m so glad to know that Spot is still going strong. I’ve not managed to persuade my son to part with certain books for sentimental reasons, so that I can give them to my grandson, so it seems that I’ll have to buy a whole new set all over again!

      • I have grandchildren who have been dismayed at their brother or sister having worn out the flap on the piano with the hiding animals and the torn ones that have been re-glued and taped. They say, “I would never ruin a nice book!” Smiles, Robin

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