Category Archives: Cincinnati Ohio

Join Me for a ‘Spell’

Standard

When my grandmother would ask me to “Come and sit for a spell,”

this meant we would gaze out at the back yard and enjoy the view.

Sometimes, it would take awhile but there would be words shared

and some little fragment of a story, which meant I would have to

gently pull the rest of her thoughts out. Asking questions and then,

waiting. I had a quiet, gentle grandmother who lived with us from

when I was only three years old up until I was a sophomore in

high school. She had what people call, the ‘mother in law’ suite.

 

Eveline was her name and she grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio with

a few tendencies to use Kentucky or Tennessee expressions. Did

any of your grandparents or parents use the words, ‘sit a spell?’

 

Spell is such an interesting word. Here is a current definition of

it  with a few of my own little ‘takes’ on this fun wordplay and

word analysis. I hope you will add your  favorite interpretation

of “spell” in the comments’ section.

 

The vastness and variation of the definitions for “spell” are

amazing. I started this with only three actual uses and found

out there is so much more dimension to the word.

 

“spell”

noun-

1. a spoken word or form of words held to have magic power.

2. a state of enchantment.

3. strong, compelling influences or attraction.

4. a short indefinite period of time.

5. a period of weather of a particular kind.

6. one’s turn at a task or work.

 

verb-

1. orally recite the letters or give the spelling of a word.

2. to relieve someone from work, by taking a turn.

3. to allow someone to rest awhile.

 

I am especially fond of the sitting in a rocking chair, sipping lemonade

with a relative or friend, and pondering while not in any rush to finish

the conversation. Time passing slowly, like the image which is often

used, ‘watching the grass grow.’

 

I enjoy movies where you can see, through the director’s guidance

and the film crew’s efforts, the ‘exact moment’ someone is caught

in a ‘spell.’ I even like the idea of someone’s falling in love and

calling their first meeting, ‘magical.’

 

There have been many love songs, where there are descriptions

of the initial meeting, the spell being cast and the enchanted couple

finding this memorable. Details during the meeting come back and

are mentioned again and again, to children and others who like to

know ‘how it all began.’ It can include, “She bewitched me.”

 

“Strange Magic,” was a fantastic and beautiful animated children’s

film. Of course, there are many songs in it, including the Electric

Light Orchestra’s song, “Strange Magic.” There is a bright purple

bottle which contains a “love spell” from captured fairy, “Tinkerbell.”

It contains purple blossoms from the flowers on the edge of the

forest. They are ‘forbidden’ to be picked. Micah, my oldest daughter,

Carrie and I saw this on Sunday evening.

 

I was surprised at all the different songs that were included in the

children’s movie, all popular ones from the 70’s. George Lucas directed

this film. There were several adult couples holding hands and giggling

at the antics in the movie filled with elves, fairies, and evil grasshopper-

looking king of the “dark forest.”

 

 

Please share a name of a song and include the group or individual

who performs it.

 

Another use of the word ‘spell’ I heard at a quilting bee, one where

I was a guest and enjoyed watching the ladies working together.

One of the women asked me to ‘spell’ her on some of the stitches

and watched me, giving me suggestions and compliments on my

even stitches. Have you ever used the word, “spell” to take a turn?

 

One of my favorite uses of the word “spell” was in the classroom usage.

I enjoyed having “Spelling Bees,” while I was a young teacher. I would

buy candy bars and give them to the ‘top’ spellers. I also would give the

classroom popcorn for good behavior while participating in the ‘bee.’

 

Later, when I had a daughter who ‘hated’ spelling, since we think she

missed out on my ‘spelling gene,’ I realized this may not always have

been such a fun way to practice spelling. It is embarrassing to those

who are either shy or are not able to spell.  The only ‘comfort’ would

be that sometimes those who spell well, cannot do well in math.

 

This math knowledge skill my oldest daughter had inherited  from her

father, I tried to promote and encourage.The balancing out the ones

who could do math with the ones who could spell, still has a few who

are not successful in either case.

 

I would admit to my Language Arts classes, I ‘hated’ the game of

“Around the World,” when I was in school. This game played off

two students,  one who was standing and the other sitting at their

desk.

 

The teacher would ‘flash’ a problem and the other would have to

give the correct answer to be able to move around the classroom.

If unable to be quick with your response or give the wrong answer

and you would be ‘bested’ by another student, taking their seat.

I used ‘flash cards’ for spelling and math, along with ‘sight words,’

when I babysat all those years. I think practicing and keeping my

children and my ‘clients’ caught up during the summertime really

helps close the ‘gap’ while they are still enjoying recreation. I

always rewarded everyone or would just encourage clapping for

the right answer. Either way, I stopped giving ‘better’ prizes to the

ones who were successful.

 

This is now called in education, “intrinsic rewards.” They ‘know

inside themselves,’ they can do their tasks or skills. Being happy

you are successful will get you far in life, since not always are

there rewards. Teaching this lesson early is a good way to be

promoting self-worth, too.

 

I think all of us can relate to the idea of ‘dry spells,’ in our own

creative thoughts, whether we are producing books, music, art or

writing poetry to enchant our fellow bloggers.

 

In my periods of being ‘alone,’ and not dating anyone, I have been

known to be exasperated with my long, ‘dry spells’ without a man

in my life.

 

The weather usages of ‘dry spell’ and ‘rainy spells’ don’t excite me

but create important references for the weather man or woman.

They can tell us how many days in a row we have gone without any

rain or have had rain. Even though the definition ‘implies’ you can

use ‘spell’ with ‘any particular form of weather,’ I just cannot imagine

using it with snow.

 

When it comes to ‘dry spells’ you may wish to listen more closely to

the words in the America band song, “A Horse With No Rain.” I did

and it really is not ‘aimless’ at all, it has purpose to the song. I have

always loved it, but did not know it had depth and meaning to it.

 

Here is a serious “pause” in my blog:

“All of our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with you in New England

and hope you have electricity, warmth and food sources. We are very

concerned for this huge snowstorm you are weathering.”

 

Lastly, my grandkids knew how to ‘spell’ the name of their home state,

because their parents are Buckeye fans.

Let me hear the first two letters:

“O – H!”

always answered with,

“I – O!”

We play in the car, the “Give me a __” and it can go like this,

“Give me an ‘S’, then they will say the letter back to you, S!”

And we can keep on going until we spell “Skyler,” or we  may

start with a “D” and keep on going until they have chanted

the letters for “Daddy.”

Of course, if you are from another country or have not played

this shouting or chanting game, you finish with the letters and

say,

“What does that spell?”

Their reply is yelled, “______!”

I used to do this with my babysitting kids when they were all

in elementary school. It was a fun way to pass time while on a

short drive to gymnastics, the park or pool.

 

Don’t forget to let me know if you have a special song with

the word, ‘spell’ included.

Even though, “Some Enchanted Evening” (from the musical,

“South Pacific,” doesn’t mention specifically the word, “spell”

it describes what one is.)

Here are a few of the lyrics, listening to Frank Sinatra or Perry

Como singing this would make you smile and reflect on love.

Across a crowded room you will find a stranger, “you’ll see

her again and again.”

You may hear someone’s laugh and “the sound of her laughter

will sing in your dreams.”

The ending is just so sweet, I get tears in my eyes:

“Once you have found her, never let her go.”

 

Don’t forget to let me know of one of the ways, ‘spell’ may have

captured your interest or meant something to you. Sharing a

song or memory will make us all feel like the ‘spell’ worked!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bits and Pieces

Standard

There have been a few odds and ends that have been rattling around

in my mind. Some are not worthy of an entire post, some I could in

the future, expand and expound about them. There are interesting

little tidbits that I heard recently on the news or read in a magazine.

 

One article of interest was found in “University of Dayton Magazine,”

which was about the UD Flyers’ football team in 1939,  going out to

California and visiting a famous alumni. I love any kind of ‘archive’

photographs, this one with the dashing movie star, Tyrone Power,

and the football team, all in their coats, ties and dress pants caught

my eye.

 

My favorite Tyrone Power’s movie is called, “Witness for the Prosecu-

tion.” It turns out this was one of the last movies he ever made. Sadly,

at age 44, the action movie star was battling with a sword, had a heart

attack and died on the way to the hospital. The movie he had been

acting in was called, “Solomon and Sheba.” I have never seen this one

nor his beginning two either.  “Merchant of Venice” was his first film

and his second movie, which earned him popularity and a place on the

billboards was, “Girls’ Dormitory.”

 

I believe we need to have a new version of this, a ‘re-make’ of this

light-hearted movie. I sense this would have innocent humor, with

sly innuendos. Nothing like the current R-rated comedies which rely

so much on stupid jokes and mean acts.

(Yes, this comment is a little ‘tongue in cheek.’)
Anyway, Tyrone Power originated from Cincinnati, Ohio. He was

the son of an actor and grandson of a comedian. He had, as they

frequently say, “acting in his blood.” He was born in 1914 and the

sword-fighting scene which ended his life, was in 1958.

 

A quote from the “UD Magazine,” uses the source of an Arizona State

University Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies describing

Tyrone Power as:

“Mystical, darkly handsome, a glorious matinee idol and a rather

‘forgettable’ actor.”

 

Although this comment is rather harsh,  Tyrone Powers was chosen

in an actor’s popularity poll taken of University of Dayton students

and he was found to be number four. The university newspaper took

one of their students from ages 17-18 up to ages 22-23. This poll was

conducted after the UD football team had visited 20th Century Fox.

The tour had contacted and was led by Tyrone Power, an alumni.

 

Tyrone Power may have ‘grown’ more serious over the years,

following several ‘good looking’ and ‘attractive’ stars and starlets

choosing parts with more depth in the characters and plot lines.

 

Here is the list of the Top 3 Actors ahead of Tyrone Powers

(from the UD newspaper poll, taken in 1939):

1. Errol Flynn

2. Jimmy Stewart

3. Gary Cooper

 

While he led a short life, Tyrone Power ‘lived large,’ in my mind.

Here are a few examples of Power’s personal adventures:

1. Served in the military, as a United States Marines, as a pilot.

This was in 1942, during WWII and one particular exciting time

was during transporting materials to Iwo Jima. Next month, on

my February calendar, I make note of the famous day when the

U.S. flag was raised on Iwo Jima.

 

2. “Wild” in his love life, dating co-stars while the movies were

being filmed, just to move on to the next movie and starlet.

 

3. Like James Dean, he enjoyed riding a motorcycle.

 

4. In his 44 years on earth, he was married three times.

 

5. Rather ‘scandalous’ for his time, he relied upon the income of

his second wife. Financial support in the acting world, sometimes

did have the “leading woman” making more than her husband.

 

6. “Mark of Zorro,” was a favorite movie and the poster is still one

of my favorites of all time. His work as a ‘swash buckling’ leading

character and dangerous criminal were displayed in, “Jesse James”

and “The Black Swan.”

 

February 27th- Coming up next month, another famous actor and

director, a genius of his time, is going to be featured at the Gateway

Film Center. This is called an “Independent Cinema in the Heart

of Columbus.” I love the catchy title, “Magician: The Astounding

Life and Work of Orson Welles.”  I am going to see if my friend,

Anna,  or my guy friend, Bill, will go with me to check out one of

the films presented there.  I would like to see the documentary of

this famous Hollywood legendary star and director.

 

A small little ‘bit of wisdom,’ which could be used in so many

different ways is the expression,

“Pachoko Pachoko,”

which in the Lake Malawi area of Africa means,

“Little by little.”

This conjures much meaning in such a succinct form.

 

The CBS Morning has a great feature every week on their Sunday

program which is called, “The Week at a Glance.”  I noticed the

Hall of Fame Awards for Theater were going to be presented on

Monday, January 26, 2015.

What makes this interesting to me is that I watched, “Amadeus,”

on Saturday after Micah went home. The main antagonist of the

film about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was Antonio Salieri. In the

movie, this character is played by F. Murray Abraham. Definitely

nice to have this coincidence, seeing an actor I admire and it would

be a great awards show to be able to attend.

 

There is an anniversary of the German “Death Camps,”  Auschwitz

and others this week; January 27, ’15. A day of memorial and tribute

to those who either died or survived their horrendous experiences

there.

 

All those Star Wars fans, who have money to splurge on memorabilia,

there will be a major auction on Wednesday.  Hope you have a fun

and happy mid-week celebration. If you don’t have money saved for

buying souvenirs, you can always indulge in watching one of the “Star

Wars” movies.

 

Thursday, Amy Poehler is being given “Woman of the Year” award by

the Hasty Pudding Theatrical group. She is best known for her comedy

skits on “Saturday Night Live,” along with her “Parks and Rec” t.v.

show.

 

Harvard University’s group is simply called, “The Pudding.” In 1897,

John Wheelwright described the cross-dressing theatrical group as:

“A kindly association of men of all ages in a gay evening of simple

enjoyment.”

 

I am sure Amy will have a ‘ball’ and she will fit right in, too. I hope to

check this out ‘after the fact,’ on YouTube. I enjoyed when Neil Patrick

Harris’ was given his Roast for “Man of the Year” another year.

 

At University of Cincinnati, there will be a police enforcement

symposium, incorporating all aspects of agencies, beginning a

meaningful ‘conversation’ about their performance in the pursuit

of justice. This will be held on Friday, January 30, 2015.

 

The other activities, on Saturday and Sunday, were so quickly

spoken that I did not catch them. They said something about what

President Obama was going to do and something about the “Annie”

awards show is for. Keep your ears open for these two upcoming

subjects in the news. . .

 

Tonight, there will be a spell-binding special mini-series about the

Revolutionary War. It is titled, “Sons of Liberty” and ironically it

has mainly actors who are not American.  For example, George

Washington’s character is portrayed by Irish actor, Jason O’Mara.

John Hancock is played by British actor, Rafe Spall, in a sort of

flamboyant performance. (Interesting; hm-m!) The British actor,

Marton Csokas will play General Thomas Gage.

 

I am looking forward to checking out this television event on the

period of time historically where we were “enemies” with the Brits,

while seeing them portray the leaders of this revolution. Interested

also, in who they have playing Benjamin Franklin. The British actor

who portrays Samuel Adams is Ben Barnes. This presentation

will be on the American History Channel.

 

“Sons of Liberty” is n conflict with my S.A.G. awards ceremony,

though. The Screen Actor’s Guild show will be tonight, also. May

need to ask Jenny to ‘DVR’ the other show, or just pop in on it,

during commercial breaks. I just love award ceremonies, along

with the Red Carpet pre-shows.

 

In our brains, scientists, researchers and physicians have studied

many things. The newest findings of where ‘happiness’ can be

found through the measurement of the area of the brain called

the “striatum.” There even is a new numerical formula which is

able to ‘measure’ happiness by our brain’s reactions to rewards.

The formula, though, relies on our reactions to our expectations.

This was also featured on CBS Sunday Morning, January 25, 2015.

I am sure this combination of numbers and processes can be

found somewhere on the CBS coverage, it was shown written in

numerals and I could not write it quickly enough, nor would I

have been able to comprehend this.

Apparently, if you have high expectations, as so many positive

people walk around and hope for the best do, than the way

the numbers may reflect lower amounts of happiness. This

brought up a commentator’s valid question,

“If you go into your day with little or no expectations are you

more likely to experience a measurable amount of happiness?”

This portion of the program was titled, “Not Great Expectations,”

should you wish to examine the research and reactions to this

new equation.

 

I have featured another article or post about brain studies, which

used endorphins and other information to measure happiness.

 

I will still head off every day, ‘into the world,’ with lots of hope

and high expectations. I tend to believe you will receive more

and will acknowledge more simple acts and things which will

give you bursts of endorphins and fill your life with happy

moments. I could not go out, seeking nothing and expect to

find happiness. This just goes against the ‘grain’ of my brain!

 

What did you read today that gave you ‘pause’ or something

to think about?

 

Have you any new information or something you may not wish

to fill a whole post about, but wish to share here?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life and Death: Basketball and Christmas

Standard

A unique and special idea for those children who are disabled, with illnesses and

cancer is to celebrate Christmas in July.  There was a Hallmark movie, called,

“November Christmas” that also follows the concept that “Life is too short. . .”

From babies to a specific college freshman basketball player named Lauren, who

have dealt with cancer and deadly diseases and illnesses, we are sending out our

heartfelt wishes for healing and relief of pain. Wishes for families to keep up the

valiant work in making their lives comfortable and meaningful. This post is not

meant to depress readers, but to show how much others are willing to extend

themselves to make special ones ~ young people’s lives~  dreams come to fruition.

 

Brian Rutledge has property set up in Ohio, where he has “Santa’s Hideaway Hollow.”

His friend, from Mecca, Ohio, B. B. Simons arrived in July with his own rendition of

the Tow Mater, (the red truck which has a country accent), in the children’s animated

films from “Cars.” His Tow Mater had a large furry white beard that caught children’s

eyes. Their hearts and hopes to see Santa, fulfilled by Brian’s large-framed Santa,

dispensing not only “Ho Ho Ho’s” but a grand and festive meal, ice cream treats and

other wonderful holiday ‘treats,’ such as red tubular ‘balloon hats,’ with white tubular

‘beards,’ blown by one of the numerous volunteer elves.  Children wore these, along

with visiting a ‘nails and beauty’ salon, where colorful nails with glitter were ones

that little girls and boys displayed.

The red clad volunteer ‘elves’ arrived on horseback, in golf carts and other means of

transportation for this event, where three large tour buses with over 300 hundred

people, families and children unloaded. Some were shy, some were outgoing and

dancing to the beat at the drum circle, where a parent of two special children who

include one with  battling sickle cell anemia and hydrocephalus were there.

Toys and gifts given by donations from others, are specifically labeled, since Santa

Brian remembers the children who have come here a few times, along with messages

sent ahead from guests’ adult members, making sure the gifts fit the little ones’

requests. Santa’s Workshop is filled with wonder and excitement by all who enter.

 

The song, “It’s a Small World” (After All), reflects the true meaning of this place and

the holiday spirit.

 

There is a young college freshman basketball player, named Lauren Hill, who has been

battling a serious case of terminal cancer, found in an inoperable mass in her brain.

She came to Ohio’s Mt. St. Joseph University, fully intending to be a basketball ‘force

to reckon with,’ but her aggressive cancer has caused the NCAA to give permission

and there is a special game to watch, nationally played on Fox Sports today. It is held

at 2 p.m. so put Lauren and her team in your thoughts and prayers. The Cincinnati

location of Xavier College basketball courts, with Hiram University versus Lauren’s

team causes me to hold my breath and heart in a pinch. I just felt so much emotion,

reading this in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Sunday November 2, 2014.

The part that grabbed me and would not let me stop from writing this post, was the

doctors and family did not even expect Lauren to be able to wait for  the originally

scheduled November 15, 2014 game. Special arrangements between her Coach, Dan

Benjamin, and Hiram’s girls’ basketball Coach Emily Hays, plus the permission of

the NCAA meant this is like a ‘last wish granted’ to Lauren.  Everyone working to

make this ‘happen’ deserve: “Thanks!”

 

Go Mt. St. Joseph University Girls’ Basketball!

 

For those who are professionals in hospitals and doctors’ offices, all those who teach

and touch these young peoples lives, through paid positions and volunteering, all

are ones who get a ‘Big Thank You’ for making a difference in these families’ lives.

The ones who leave money to Hospice and “Make A Wish” foundation, along with

cancer research programs, also are in our hearts and minds.

 

Life, death, Christmas and basketball…

 

September 17th is Doubly Worth Celebrating

Standard

September 17th celebrates two special days for everyone, especially Americans.

Both of these events can be loosely based on the fruit of an apple. . .

First of all, on this historic day in 1787, our Constitution came into “fruition.”

Sometime much more recently, we have delegated a day that doctors ‘approve

of,’ while teachers are happy for their pay ‘bonus.’

I am stretching this ‘fruity’ tie a bit, aren’t I?

Today is known to as both, “Constitution Day” and “Eat An Apple Day!”

There have been some politicians from both parties making the rounds

in the news and in a wide variety of locations, celebrating the United States

Constitution.

Teachers may have planned to serve apple cider, discussing how apples are

pressed to make this delicious drink. Or maybe they had children or middle

school aged young people chopping up apples and serving them with some

caramel dip or sprinkling cinnamon on them. They may have ‘gone all out’

in their celebrations of the apple, by having some students learn how to

make pie crust. I remember as a preschool teacher, finding this to be as

good as making play dough.

Since many people get the Constitution confused with the Declaration of

Independence, I will give you a ‘third grade’ review of this fine document.

The Constitution of the United States is the ‘supreme law’ of the land in the

U. S. of A. It is a set of rules that are enforced by the three levels of the

government. We have the Branches of the Legislative, Executive and the

Judicial levels.

The Constitution was originally written and created in September, 1787 but

did not get accepted, approved or ‘ratified,’ until June 21, 1778. In 1789, what

is called the “Bill of Rights” was added.  There are 7 articles with the #s 4, 5,

and 6th ones discussing the relationship between the States and the Federal

Government. This includes the rights and responsibilities of the now fifty

States. It discusses or defines the concept of Federalism in the articles.

Unlike other countries’ forms of Constitution, our amendments are not

inserted into the original document but are added at the end.

Here are some fun books to look up and read to children from Grades

Fourth through Eighth Grade:

“Our Constitution Rocks,” by Juliette Turner.

“We the Kids:  The Preamble to the Constitution,” by David Catrow.

“Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution,” by Jean Fritz.

 

Here are some fun songs, starting with one that is a ‘chant,’ using

arms and hand motions:

1. “Apple Tree”

“Way up high in the apple tree (Raise your hands up in the air.)

Three little apples looked down at me. (Hold up three fingers and can be dramatic

using your eyes and eyebrows lifted.)

I shook the tree (Pretend to shake your trees!) as hard as I could

Down came the apple. . .

M-m-m

M-m-m

It was good!” (You may rub your tummy to demonstrate!)

(Anonymous)

 

2. “Apple Tree”

(You may listen to this on a 4 minute ‘track’)

“Swing with me,

Underneath the apple tree.

We will swing,

We will sing,

Till the dinner bell.”

(Doesn’t it seem to need ‘ring,’ here?)

To and fro we will go,

flying to the sky.

Happily, merrily,

Up we swing,

With the birds we fly.”

(Author Unknown)

 

Now for some adult versions of songs with the name of apple

in the group or song. You will recognize most of these, which

you may be excited to know there are plenty more in a list on

the internet!

3. Doris Day’s lovely song, begins with a stanza about her true

love, Johnny leaving her and she is sitting by her lonesome:

“The apple tree

The apple tree

The apple tree,

Still sitting under the apple tree

With nobody else but me.”

 

(Why do I remember this as, “Don’t go sitting with nobody else

but me;  under the apple tree?” Memories play ‘tricks’ on me!)

 

4.  Louis Armstrong’s song, “In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree.”

 

5.  Dionne Warwick’s song, “As Long As There’s An Apple Tree.”

 

6.  The Ink Spots’ “In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree.”

 

7.  Alice Cooper’s song, “Apple Bush.”

 

8.  An American Country Music Band in 2002 was called, “Hot Apple Pie.”

 

9.  Bob Applebaum’s song, “The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree.”

(Isn’t this guy cool, has apple in his name, too!)

 

10. Jake Owens’ song, “Apple Pie Moonshine.”

 

Which is interesting, since this Friday, to ‘kick off’ our Fall weekend, I have written a post about

fermented apple cider. I really enjoy the flavor of “Angry Orchard,” hard apple cider made in

Cincinnati, Ohio. There is a new trend brewing apple cider, although the practice has been around

since the Mayflower ship brought the Pilgrims here, and even before then. . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Odds and Ends

Standard

Like the ends of fabric bolt rolls and the end of a great movie,

I hope to bring you some smiles on this Sunny Monday. There will

be one possible frown ‘producer’ but it is more of a question of

values and appropriate behavior guidelines.

At the Cincinnati Zoo, a new baby giraffe arrived, on May 2, 2014!

Her name was voted on and received 32% votes to become, “Nasha.”

She is adorable, awkward and of course, gangly-looking! I want to

go see her and her family.

When I picked up my youngest daughter from the Columbus Airport, it

was on Mother’s Day morning. She treated me to a breakfast/brunch

at a place on the East side of town, called The Angry Baker. It is

located on Oak Street.

Today, I was answering my coworkers and friends who inquired,

“What did you do on Mother’s Day?” by saying that I went with her

to brunch at a little quaint and unique place.

We sat out in the sunshine, with a few clouds intermittently

covering the sun, for over an hour chatting and catching up.

Her adventures with her ‘new’ family and seeing the sights of

St. Louis were very cool. When a few coworkers stopped to ask

what I ordered there to eat, I told them that I had spotted

and decided my ‘dessert’ first which helped me to choose my

main meal. I saw in the refrigerated display case a triple

layered white torte with what they were calling “Green Tea

and Coconut” icing. In between the three layers was vanilla

cream. Yummy!

I had ordered an asparagus and leek quiche and a ‘field

greens’ salad with raspberry vinaigrette. They asked what

else sounded or looked good, I responded,

“I would like to try next time I get treated to breakfast,

the French toast sandwich with Swiss cheese and ham or bacon

in between.

It was served like a ‘fork and knife’ sandwich, with a small

pitcher of maple syrup. Had I eaten that, I would have probably

not eaten the dessert. Which was as scrumptious, as it had

appeared!

As I passed through my day, I also, inquired into others’

family or individual activities over the weekend. There were

a lot of family cookouts and visits to restaurants, along

with some buffets of home-cooked meals mentioned. I was so

happy, that almost no one ‘reported’ a challenging Mother’s

Day! Even the fathers and sons were pleased with their days.

I heard from a single man who is friends with Anna, that she

requested they go out for a Chinese meal for her Mother’s Day.

I was rather surprised that I had 2 people admit they didn’t

know or asked,

“What is quiche?”

One guessed it was a type of fish and the other guessed a

type of cheese. Interesting who they were, too.

A very important message was given on my CBS This Morning

Show, today (May 12, 2014).

I was sure that this was “News” but once I researched this

subject, it has been an ecological concern and has been around

since 2012 and in 2013. I found headlines from those years,

that this was endangering the Great Lakes!

Have you heard of the Los Angeles scientific study into women’s

(and some men’s) personal care products that include micro-beads

or micro-exfoliates in their ingredients?

I had not heard about this one, until today!

Apparently, it has become scientific research that is being taken

more seriously recently. Actions and results are finally being

taken by major companies.

The products that include these beads are facial scrubs and

body washes. I have also purchased, once or twice, a Bath and

Body Works’ hand sanitizer that had little blue beads in it. I

liked the ‘grit’ and also the way it made my hands feel.

Well, hate to tell you this, especially if you are quite attached

to any cleansing products or cosmetics which include these beads…

They are not good for the environment!

Especially, fish!

And then, fish eaters!

The micro-beads absorb fertilizer and other unnatural by-products

that are in the water system. They tend to ‘grow’ in size, due

to the absorption of these dangerous elements.

They attract fish’s attention.

They consume these, which can be dangerous for us to consume.

Since we are the next ones in the food chain. They can also kill

the fish!

The deadly elements in the water supply have been able to be

measured, viewed and studied under a microscope. It can be lethal,

in so many ways.

One company, ‘stepping up to the plate,’ is Johnson and Johnson,

who have promised to slowly phase these cosmetic and cleansing

products out by 50%, by Christmas. Due to the severity of the

situation reported, I am recommending my friends and fellow bloggers

to go ahead and find another product to use, since this is already

pretty controversial.

My youngest daughter has already started using a ‘Green’ and more

ecologically sound product.

My last “Odds” is not really a positive one, so I will try to think

of something funny to close today’s post. Here is a ‘rant.’

I had a nice time with my girlfriend, going to a place we had

eaten my ‘birthday meal,’ called Horsey Hall. On Friday, they were

having a nice arts and crafts sale, with antique items also for sale.

These were displayed in a large barn and a smaller gardening shed.

It was quite nice and had many reasonably priced items. I ended up

buying some homemade candy that tastes just like a “Heath” or “Skor”

bar. She bought some peanut butter fudge.

We saw Morgan Treni, my favorite local musician, sat on a bench and

drank coffee, while listening to her wonderful voice. I have written

about her, before this.

I am going to ask a question, if someone is just asking an open-ended

“Why…” question is it okay to ‘rail’ on the subject a bit? I mean,

if someone asks you for your opinion, you are allowed to voice it,

right?

I was with a close (over 20 years long friendship) good friend

who asked,

“Why, when we believe in our country in the Bill of Rights and

Freedom of Speech, do we crack down on people who are saying what

they believe?”

She went on to mention the newest two young builders and participants

in a HG-TV project, the twins, David and Jason Benham whose new show

was almost ready to air, called, “Flip It Forward.”

Although the two brothers had been scrutinized for their father’s

very outspoken opinions, they had said they would not reveal their

religious beliefs on air. They felt that their positions on gays,

abortion, divorce would not be an ‘issue.’ The producers had asked

about this before they had begun their project. Also, their family

does not like the fact there is a Muslim mosque at Ground Zero,

(9/11/2001’s tribute to those of all cultures and ethnic backgrounds

who died on that day.)

My friend thought this should not be a ‘problem’ while they were

buying old houses, fixing them up and reselling them. The builders

felt they were helping teach others to ‘flip houses,’ along with

ones who were poor or on a fixed income.

Apparently the source of the controversy is from incidents and

an interview that occurred in 2012. One was at an abortion clinic

and another was where their father had said that “Jesus doesn’t

like Muslims.”

While being interviewed, one of the twins was more outspoken

on the subjects of anti-homosexuals and anti-divorce comments.

My thoughts reflect that of a comment of someone that writes on

an entertainment and news blog. To me they make sense,

“Why rub LGBT employees of HG-TV and possible viewers the wrong

way with having these guys be the center of an upcoming show?”

Mainly, my thought about my friend’s comment is this:

“If you choose to be in front of the media, get your paycheck

from the media and your viewers are the world, you owe it to the

ones paying you, to keep your opinions to yourself!”

It is not a question of ‘Freedom of Speech,’ to me but one of

making good choices. In my opinion, you have to realize that the

ones who are not accepting others, really are a ‘problem.’

Even if you are a Christian, it is not your place to ‘judge others.’

No one has that right, I believe.

Seriously, espousing these beliefs, as this Benham family did, in the

recent past of 2012, had to surface and come under the scrutiny of

the employers and possible viewers eventually.

By saying what they were saying, it was only one short step

away from bigotry. It is not cool, it is not acceptable and I

would have cancelled their show, too!

My Dad and Mom used to use the terminology of ‘slippery slope.’

When they thought that someone said a disparaging or prejudiced

comment, if they did not respond or react to the negative words,

they felt that it was a ‘slippery slope’ to becoming ‘just as

bad as the ignorant ones, who were saying those things!’

On this same subject, Sunday evening while turning to my Arts

and Entertainment Channel (A & E) to watch, “Turn,” the

Revolutionary War show, I caught the ‘tail end’ of “Duck Dynasty.”

I really feel like ‘boycotting’ A & E, which you may remember

I was upset about the leader of the Robertson’s Clan, Phil…

How many months ago?

The story I wrote was called, “The Cost of Silence,” written on

January 22, 2014.

“Good ole Phil” is back on the show, folks! The network gave him a

‘slap on the wrist’ for his horrible comments in an interview. It

was a short hiatus, like serving in ‘detention hall,’ where he was

not allowed to be on the show.

Like it was okay to say what he did to “GQ” magazine, while on

A & E’s payroll.

What a shame!

For my ‘funny’ ending that I promised here are two things to get

you smiling.

First, have you ever imagined how a baby giraffe was conceived?

Second, my Mom and I talked for an hour from 11 p.m. until 12,

midnight, leading into Mother’s Day. She knew that I had had a

splendid picnic with all 3 kids and 6 grandkids on this past Wed.

Also, I had written two letters and sent two Mother’s Day cards

to remind her of my Sunday plans. She had joked over Easter that

I wasn’t her mother, but I did tell her I would have liked to be

two places at one time!

I had told her, I was going to spend my Mother’s Day picking my

youngest daughter up from the airport.

My youngest brother and his wife are at a Reading Convention

in New Orleans, which they were pleased to attend. (It means

neither one has to put on their Doctorate robes and hand out

any diplomas at their respective universities they teach at.)

When I asked Mom if she remembered I wasn’t coming this

weekend she responded,

“You wrote it on my bulletin board and my calendar, what

chances did I have to forget?”

When I asked Mom if she minded just ‘hanging out and having

dinner’ with my middle brother, the artist, she cracked me up:

“What other choices do I have?”

Cliff Notes

Standard

All day in the area I was working, I would bump into

a member of the Cycle Count department. His name is

Cliff and we have been friendly coworkers. We have

our lockers nearby and he is approximately ten years

younger than I. He is a ‘good family man’ who I have

admired the way he interacts with his boys.

When Cliff took his family on a trip out West, their

goal was to see all the states from here to the Grand

Canyon trip last summer. Cliff had chosen to take both

his weeks in a row which included the four weekend days.

This meant a rather long and extended time in the car,

but I was sure they would have an awesome time.

When Cliff came back, he was reluctant to brag. He knew

that I had been up at Mom’s, not any real vacation plans.

But I certainly reassured him, asked to see any travel

photos he may have had on his cell phone, at break time.

I was happy for his three boys and wife, too.

One neat family traveling activity, that brought some

memories back and nostalgia flowing, was Cliff’s family

played ‘car games.’

He told me they still like to play an alphabet game

and a license plate game in the car. When the boys

have participated in these for about an hour a day,

Cliff says he asks if they want to play their own

games, with headphones on. He says, it makes him

feel good that they don’t beg to do this all the

time. You can tell, he enjoys ‘together time’ with

his wife and sons.

When I was talking to him recently, Cliff and I were

discussing the movie, “Brave,” and how at first, even

at age four and a half, Micah (my youngest grandson)

was unsure how ‘cool’ it would be. He even said,

“That movie’s for girls, Nana!”

Cliff noted that it all depends on how he, as the father

of boys, approaches things. He shared that any time the

boys tend to make a comment, hesitate or indicate they

are prejudging something, he will bend over backwards,

saying, “We have to try this!” and I just knows it

will be good!”

We discussed in short snippets, as we were working,

about how society has transformed young people into

being overly conscious of ‘what people will think.’

I did say that this probably isn’t as “new” as we

like to think!

Cliff shared his positive attitude adding that,

“It is all how you approach things!”

He got his two boys who are in middle school and

one who is a high schooler to watch the movie,

“Brave.” Cliff said that his wife and he had really

wanted to see it at the movie theater. He said,

that by admitting he wanted to see it, the boys

when asked wanted to join them.

At Christmas, one of the gifts he purchased was

the Wii game for “Brave.” He says it is ‘great

fun!’

I like Cliff, think he is a great father and

husband. I asked him what he was going to do to

celebrate Valentine’s Day, in barely two days?

He was so enthusiastic, glad I even asked such a

question. He is taking the family to Cincinnati,

where they have reservations for two nights

consisting of two rooms, side by side. The plan is

to leave straight after work, on Friday. They have

their bags packed and are raring to go!

“The boys will stay next door,” he winked, “if you

know what I mean.” They were going to the perfect

place for people who are ‘sick’ of the snow!

They were heading off to the Newport Aquarium

on Saturday morning. They plan to stop on their

way south through Columbus at either a Bob Evans

or the Cracker Barrel south of ‘C-town.’

I was also applauding his idea of what to do on

Sunday morning. He has reservations at a nice

restaurant for their ‘brunch.’ It will be an

overall special occasion, with some privacy

and alone time, included. He also has plans

to stop on their way home at one of the big

Outlet Malls. Each member of the family will

use their own extra money or allowance, he

let me in on this fact.

What really pushed me into writing this post,

was not just to let guys know that it is very

thoughtful to think ahead about holidays.

Another reason was because I found out more about him

in the few hours he was ‘in my way,’ counting products.

He wanted me to tell you that his wife is named, “Joan.”

But for “forever and a day,” his parents and he have

called her, “Joanie.” Not her parents though!

When I asked him why?

Cliff answered, “Ever since Cliff Clayban was a character

on the hit television series, ‘Cheers,’ I have been kidded.

Sometimes, it has been about delivering mail, sometimes

about drinking every night at a bar, (which he assured me

he doesn’t do this, thinks it is ‘wrong’ and ‘not good for

building a strong marriage.’)

He loves to hunt with his boys, sometimes go on long walks

with one of them, with their family dog. Cliff also enjoys

the way he gets to know his boys, individually, on separate

hiking trips. This he does, sometimes, with his wife and

sometimes, not.

So, what happened to cause him to change the name “Joan”

into “Joanie?”

Oh, wait, I thought I had it!

Cliff saw my ‘light bulb come on’ and asked,

“Come on, Robin, why do we call her ‘Joanie?'”

I got excited and said, “Joanie Loves Chachi!”

And I continued,

“Then, the both of you have to live the life

of a television character!”

That show, by the way, was a spin-off from the long

lasting, “Happy Days.” It lasted with Erin Moran and

Scott Baio playing the leading roles, only from 1982

until ’83.

Didn’t make too much of an impression on many

people. Small viewing audiences didn’t choose to

watch and help make it last.

That show came out the year that Cliff graduated

from high school and met his wife, Joan, at the

local bowling alley in Marion, Ohio. They had fun

roller skating, bowling, hiking and swimming. they

liked going to Delaware to the Drive-In movies on

Cheshire Road.

Cliff says they got married at age 20 and smilingly

added,

“And we didn’t look back!”

The last part of my Cliff story is about the curious

habit that he has had since very young. He is passing

this habit on to his trio of boys.

He loves cartoons!

He rents or borrows cartoons from the past, including

Bugs Bunny, Coyote and the Roadrunner, and Mr. Magoo.

His favorite one that he spent two summers ago was

watching with his boys, every evening for one hour of

together time, excluding weekends was, “Johnny Quest.”

Cliff stopped from going any farther and his whole

demeanor changed. He gave me an exaggerated sad face.

I asked, “Oh no! What happened? Did your computer stop

projecting the Youtube copies of ‘Johnny Quest’ onto

your big screen television?”

Cliff shook his head.

I cannot help myself, when someone is silent, I have

to guess the reason!

“Is it too immature for the boys’ age now?”

Cliff looked at me like I was crazy!

“No! For some reason, I cannot find it on Youtube

anymore! So, no more ‘Johnny Quest!'”

“What happens now?” I wondered.

I got quiet, as if in mourning the passage of time

or the loss of a loved one.

I kept on picking my auto parts and putting them

into the five hampers I was pushing on the rails.

Finally, as if he knew my impatience or curiosity

was getting to me, (I have a face which doesn’t

hide my emotions.)

Cliff announced his proud decision:

“We watch ‘Scooby Doo!'”

I can just visualize those ‘men:’ two in middle

school, one in high school and one who is

supposedly the ‘adult’ in the group.

The father who wants to make his boys laugh.

A rather wonderful gift, indeed!

Memories of Toys and Wishes

Standard

What was your favorite toy or game you played while a child?
Sometimes this is very simple and one that lasts for a long time, too.
What did you wish for “on a star,” throwing a penny into a fountain or
a hurried, anxious whisper to Santa Claus.

My favorite toys were:
While a toddler, blocks and stuffed animals. I have a black and white
photograph of myself dialing a “real” black telephone.

While a child, baby dolls came next. I loved the baby buggy that I
would push down the sidewalk. I loved my “real” babies, my baby
brothers. One born 18 months after my birth and the other one, born
two years later. I loved to dress my youngest one up in baby booties,
a little outfit and a hat upon his head, tied under his chubby chin.

While a little older, Barbie, Tammy doll, Ken, Skipper and Alan came
along. To play “acting out like a teenager” with beautiful dresses,
mostly hand-sewn by my Grandma Oldrieve or my Mom. Later still, I had
a Tutti, who was Skipper’s little sister, I still have a few matching
outfits those two wore together. I always wished I had a SISTER!

Even older still, I loved to play with my Mom’s jewelry, fancy clothes
that she would ‘pass down’ for my friends and I to play “dress up” in.
I enjoyed wearing her high heels and clicking around in the house in
our uncarpeted hallway and on the sidewalk– to the detriment of the
dressy shoes!

I enjoyed the Madame Alexander collectable dolls from foreign countries,
dreaming of places far and wide. I had Spain, France, England and also,
Germany. (The 6″ sized ones, one each birthday or Christmas so I would
take care of them! I just gave a “Mary Poppins” doll to my friend, Felda’s
daughter, Kridia Dawn out of my collection. I now pass them on, not
worrying about their ‘value’ except in the smiles I receive when given!

My favorite gift of all time was the kitchen and grocery store that my
Dad set up for my brothers and me to play with in the basement. I had
a sink, a refrigerator, a stove and a pantry full of shelves. The kitchen
set was a combined birthday and Christmas present before I reached second
grade. I remember it so well, little plastic dishes, pots, pans and a
“real” rubber silverware holder, with plastic utensils. There was even a
new “potholder” and new kitchen towel with a rooster on it.

In the grocery store, we had a fishing tackle box, we used as the “cash
register.” We had a small pad of paper, a little chalk board that we
would write the “special sales” on and play money. My Dad threw in a
big glass jar of pennies to use, too.
On all the multiple shelves in our grocery store, Mom had saved boxes
of Jello, Rice Krispies, Wheaties, Quaker Oats cardboard circular boxes
and plastic tubs for putting things in. Mom or Dad had absconded with
a huge pile of paper sacks, too!
There was a large tin can with the words Conn’s potato chips on it. We used
this for our stool behind the “cash register.”

Many, many innumerable hours passed with my brothers, neighbors, my cousins
and I spent “playing house,” “playing school,” and “playing grocery store.”

I ran into a couple of news items about toys, just to add to this memory
post:

1. “Matchbox cars” came about due to a teacher in Anne Odell’s classroom
making a rule up in 1952, that nothing could be ‘played with’ or brought
to school: “Unless they were no bigger than a match box.”
Her father was an engineer and made her a tiny die-cast steamroller. Got
the patent and thus, the creation and invention of the Matchbox cars and
vehicles! What ingenuity! Glad to hear a little girl was the impetus, too!

2. Play-doh was someone’s invention that some parents would “rue the day”
that stuff entered their houses! I think the inventor must have been a
child who loved playing in the mud or with their glue. Actually, it is an
interesting OHIO story! The inventors, Joe McVicker and Bill Rhodenbaugh,
used this compound as a 1930’s wallpaper cleaner. Some parent who worked
with it, let their child play with it making it a modeling compound. In
the 1950’s, the “recipe” was reworked to make it safe for children, it
was then marketed to Cincinnati Schools. I used to love this as a way to
calm children after they played outside, using all kinds of cookie cutters
and letting them use cups to mix the colors, etc. When I was a special
education preschool teacher, the Occupational Therapist and OT Assistant,
would use this again, as a way to calm a child or get some hands actively
working making “snakes” and other things. It would be something that
children with Autism and on the ‘spectrum’ would resist, due to the ‘feel’
of it.

3. Gumby was originally the supple, green and friendly face going to be
used for an animated jazz video! Imagine that! Art Clokey was picturing
him as such, but once presented to studio heads, the ones in charge of
the whole operation, saw this creation as they knew kids would love him.
Art Clokey made these clay humanoids into a popular toy, also the clay
animation for “David and Goliath.”

Check out more of the origins of toys and fun facts in the book, “Toy
Time!” by Christopher Bymes!