Well, here we go again, gearing up for the coming elections. Who we vote for is a private thing (or at least it is to me). I despise politics, especially when someone tries to shove their political opinon down my throat. It is of course a touchy subject, which is why I stay under the radar, so to speak.

Whoever we vote for is a private thing. We are all entitled to our opinions, and that’s a good thing. But the bad thing about it all is that too many people get into arguments about politics. Sadly, this can sometimes lose a family member or a friend. To me, it’s a private thing. Should someone come up to me and ask who I will vote for, I will always say “nunya.” Meaning “none of your business.”

The coming election is a touchy subject, and of course we are all on edge because of the virus too. This should be a time when we come together and leave our arguments at home. This should be a time when we remember how we became the greatest nation in the world. This should be a time when we cherish our families and friends. This should be a time when we remember our own history and how we became the great nation that we are.

We can hate anyone we want to, but we don’t have to drag everyone else into it as well.


It May Be Old-Fashioned, But It’s Polite!

Sometimes I feel that politeness and gratitude have left us all. Folks of my generation were brought up to write thank-you notes when you received a gift. It was a polite way of saying to the giver that 1) you received their gift, and 2) you enjoyed it. It’s sad that we can’t seem to find the time to let the giver know that his/hers gift was received and appreciated.

I wrote the following quite a while ago, but it still stands.


Back in the dark ages when I was growing up, when someone gave you a gift for your birthday, Christmas; whatever—you always wrote a thank-you note to the person who gave you a gift. It was considered extremely rude and selfish not to do so; after all, that person who gave you a gift spent both time and money picking it out (or making it themselves).

Here are some examples of good thank-you notes:

  1. “Dear Aunt Alice, thank you so much for the beautiful scarf you sent me; I love it! The colors are lovely, and I have already worn it. It goes with nearly everything I own, and I have gotten many compliments on it already. It was sweet of you to think of me, and again, thank you so much!”
  2. “Dear Uncle Joe, I was so surprised and so happy to receive your wonderful gift of the painting that Auntie Barb painted! I have loved that painting for years, and it now is in pride of place in our living room where we can enjoy it every day. Thank you so much!”
  3. “Dear Grandma, I am thrilled that you gifted me with the beautiful gold necklace that your brother brought back from the war! You have told me the story of it so many times, and I am so grateful that you gifted me with it. I will wear it proudly and with love every single day.”

And here are some examples of terrible thank-you notes:

  1. “Dear Granny, my mom made me sent you this note. Thanks for the suitcase, but I never go anywhere. Do you want it back?”
  2. “Dear Uncle Len, why would you ever send me an old book that my great grandfather wrote? I never read books anyway.”
  3. “Dear So and So, I got your gift. I didn’t like it so I gave it away.”

So what’s the big deal about thank-you notes? Basically, this is it:

A thank-you note lets the giver know that 1) you received the gift, 2) that you like the gift, and 3) that you acknowledge that the giver went out of their way to buy the gift, wrap it up nicely, and went to the post office to send it. If it truly isn’t anything you like, you really don’t have to tell the giver that; it truly IS the thought that counts.

The Great Gift of Friends

The older I get, the more I love and cherish my friends. Most of us got to know each other in grade school; some of us found friendship in the work place and so on. Some friends stepped into our lives like beautiful angels. Sometimes we even marry them. In any case, they are a blessing in our lives.

Sometimes we lose touch with our friends, and we realize too late that we let them go because of an argument, a difference of opinion or some other trivial thing. Sadly we are often too proud to make things right. Is it really so much more important to be stubborn than it is to ask forgiveness?

Even if we cannot agree to disagree we still hold those friends in our hearts. Whether or not we ever speak to them again, we still keep a place in our hearts for them. There are many reasons why we keep or abandon a friend; sometimes it’s our fault, sometimes it isn’t. We have to decide if it is worth keeping our pride (usually foolish) or going to our friend to apologize–even if we feel we didn’t actually drop the friendship.

But once a broken friendship mends, it is amazing how it changes us. We feel that a great weight has slipped off our back and we feel free again. We realize that it doesn’t matter who said what; it’s all water under the bridge. Once we can do that, we are free and our friendship can begin to heal.

“Come One, Come All!

If you read my blog (and thank you if you do!), you know that the Crankee Yankee and I are cat lovers. We are also massive suckers for the strays in our area too. We put out food and water for our “frequent flyers,” the neighborhood cats, but any creature who is hungry and thirsty is welcome as well.

Our “regulars” are cats and sometimes the odd skunk (it seems we have made a deal with them; as long as they don’t spray us). Neither of us can stand seeing any creature who is hungry and/or cold. During the winter months, we provide warm shelter in our garage and under our back porch. (And probably right now you are thinking ‘jeez, these people ae nuts!’ And you would be right; we are.)

Our diners may have homes and people who love them, but we can’t tell, so everyone eats at our house. I never had children, so therefore I have become one of those crazy cat people. Hey, to each his/her own. The Crankee Yankee also has a soft heart, so he is also on board.

We have been doing this for years, and it also makes me think of the fabulous Cab Calloway who sang this song “Everybody Eats Wehn They Come to Our House:”

“Have a banana, Hannah
Try the salami, Tommy
Get with the gravy, Davy
Everybody eats when they come to my house.

Try a tomato, Plato
Here’s cacciatore, Dory
Taste the bologna, Tony
Everybody eats when they come to my house.

I fix your favorite dishes
Hopin’ this good food fills ya
Work my hands to the bone in the kitchen alone
You better eat if it kills ya.

Pass me a pancake, Mandrake
Have an hors d’oeuvre-y, Irvy
Look in the fendel, Mendel
Everybody eats when they come to my house.

Hannah, Davy, Tommy, Dora, Mandrake
Everybody eats when they come to my house

Pastafazoola, Tallulah
Oh, do have a bagel, Fagel
Now, don’t be so bashful, Nashville
Everybody eats when they come to my house!”

How to Keep Your Purse Safe

I wish I had a dime for every time I’ve been in the grocery store and have seen women who have left their purses open in their carts. It is incredibly easy for someone to snatch that open purse and walk off with it, or simply take the cash out and walk away. If this sounds like I don’t trust my fellow man, you’re right; I don’t. Either take the purse with you or zip it up and keep your hqnd on it as your push your cart.

Here’s another thing to be watchful for: when you gas up your car, lock your doors (keep your keys on you of course). If you leave your purse sitting on the seat with the window down and walk over to the other side to pump gas, it is very easy for someone to snatch your purse and take off with it

The way things are today, we must be vigilant. Personally I would like to think that every person is good, kind and wouldn’t even think of stealing a purse. But things being as they are, we need to be aware and “act as if.”

Here’s another thing that I see too often; people with backpacks. Usually, the backpack has a zipper facing out (and not against the person wearing it). It’s very easy for someone to unzip the backpack and take what they want.

I would love to think that all people are good, kind and well-intended—sadly, there loads of people who care only about themselves and their needs. I really don’t like to come off as an ‘I hate everybody’ kind of person; I’m just keeping my eyes open and being safe.

Stay safe and stay alert.


Getting the Face You Deserve

I posted yjod quite a while ago, but the message still stands.

No, I am not talking about face lifts. I’m talking about how our faces change as we experience new things, when big or small changes come into our lives, when we lose someone we love, when we get an “ah ha!” moment, when we age.

We all know people who age gracefully; even their silver hair and wrinkles do not distract from their beauty. Then there are those who still wear the clothes and makeup they wore in their teens and 20s.

I get a kick out of the makeup ads featuring young and beautiful girls; when you are that age, you can wear silver and gold eyeliner. You can line your unlined eyelids with black “cat eye” makeup, you can wear orange eye shadow, you can wear bright flame-red lipstick and look absolutely adorable.

But when our eyelids wrinkle and our eyebrows thin, when our neck gets crepe-y and our cheeks show tiny spider veins, it’s time to adjust our makeup and tone down. Trust me, less really IS more. If you’re not sure how to make the transition, go to any one of those wonderful places where you can get an expert opinion on what kind of makeup will work best for you.

As we change, so should our makeup and clothes. This doesn’t mean that we have to wear old lady clothes and makeup; it just means that it’s time to adjust to the times. Going to a professional is worth every penny. You will come out of there looking gorgeous and feeling beautiful. Of course doing all this doesn’t come cheap, but trust me; it’s worth it.



“Not My Zoo, Not My Monkeys!”

When ever something happens near me, around me or about me that I frankly don’t give a hoot about, I always say “not my zoo, not my monkeys.” It’s a funny way of letting people know that whatever the issue/problem, it’s not mine to fix; period, the end.

It’s funny how we latch on to different sayings for different things. For example, just the other day I was going through the cucumber bed in our garden to see if we had new cukes overnight. A jogger came by, stopped and ran in place and asked me why more people on our street didn’t plant gardens like we did. Without thinking, I said, “well, not my zoo, not my monkeys.” The jogger laughed his head off, and ran away chuckling.

Let’s face it; there are a lot of people who will hound you about this, that and the other thing—and you really don’t want to get involved. So I find that saying “not my zoo, not my monkeys” will pretty much halt the conversation.

Besides, you don’t want to be one of those people who have to know everything about everything. Annoying as they may be, it’s kind of savage amusement to mess with them by saying “not my zoo, not my monkeys.” Most people, upon hearing this statement will do one of those things that dogs do when they don’t understand what’s going on; head tilted to one side, eyes wide open, and saying “errr?”

Yup—not my zoo, not my monkeys.



The Cats’ and Skunks’ Buffet

If you read my blogs every day (and big thanks if you do!), you know that the Crankee Yankee and I feed our resident stray cats every day. Of course, in the animal world, it got out that they can eat day and night at our house. Seriously, we have turned into the animal equivalent of the All You Can Eat Buffet.

In the evening, we can also expect visits from some of our local skunks and the odd raccoon here and there. They know they will get fed too. Just last night, two young skunks took turns eating out of the food bowl. Everything was going fine until one of them tipped over the bowl.

They squabbled for a few minutes (just imagine the skunks saying to one another; ‘don’t be so damn greedy!’). But they finally worked it out, ate up the spilled kibbles, and everyone toddled away, burping as they went.

I realize that not everyone is thrilled to have skunks and stray cats come by each evening, but, suckers that we are, we feed whatever critter shows up. They just know that we are soft-hearted idiots, but we’ve grown used to them. It’s sort of our hobby, and the “outdoor eaters” are used to us as well.

I already know what you’re thinking: “you people are SUCKERS!” Well, yes—yes, we are. But as feeding strays have become such a hobby for us, no “frequent eaters” are complaining. Yep, we own and operate the Cats and Skunks Buffet.


“There is no Frigate like a Book”

Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886) wrote this poem:

“There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away, Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – This Traverse may the poorest take Without oppress of Toll – How frugal is the Chariot That bears a Human soul.”

I remember well hearing this poem when I was in grade school. The boys in the class always snickered hearing the word “frigate” as it was so close to the usual “oh, frig it.”

However for me anyway; reading a gripping book was exactly like being on a wonderful journey (by boat, car or plane). I can’t remember all the times my mother told me to stop reading and go to bed already. But when I turned my light off, I would pull the blankets over my head and turn on my flashlight to finish the book I was reading. If a book was gripping enough, I would read until I fell asleep.

There is something wonderful about letting yourself go into the book you are reading. There have been many books I’ve read that made me want to “live in a good book,” as I think the singer Maggie May once sung (if I’m wrong, please let me know). Even when I finish a book, it often takes days for me to stop smiling. A good book can lift you up and out of fear, doubt, worry and anger like nobody’s business.

Ever since our most unwelcome pandemic has forced us all to be pretty much house-bound, reading is a great way to get out of the glooms and dooms. I started to read and re-read loads of my book collection. The Crankee Yankee asked me if I would like to go to our local Barnes and Noble bookstore to get some new books. Would I! Just yesterday, I spent some very happy time there and came home with seven new books. From now on, the Crankee Yankee refers to the bookstore as “a visit to Doctors Barnes and Noble.”

There is indeed no frigate like a new book. Once I’ve read to my heart’s content, I come out of that happy daze thinking ‘what pandemic?’ These are strange times indeed, but reading a great book can change your attitude. Oh, of course a good meal and booze are fine, too, but you can’t beat a good read.