Archive for November, 2012


Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.  Benjamin Franklin

It has been said that Benjamin Franklin is the first one to have suggested the idea of Daylight Savings Time. It wasn’t actually started until years later, but the original idea was his.  I’ve got a bone to pick with old Ben. It has been two weeks since we turned our clocks back and my body still hasn’t adjusted. Neither has Barney the Chihuahua’s. The bladders of a middle-aged Farm Woman and a small Chihuahua are both the size of a  thimble and neither  understands that while it was bad enough getting up at 5:00 a.m. it is even worse when 5:00 a.m. suddenly becomes 4:00 a.m.  Please Government Officials, pick a time. Any time. Pick a time then leave it alone so we don’t have to keep changing our clocks and our bladders back and forth.  Every appliance in our house has a clock that needs to be changed.  We have two alarm clocks, two coffee pot clocks, the stove clock,  and the microwave clock, to name a few.  HE usually changes about four of them.  The rest of them are either forgotten or are left alone in a deliberate attempt to make me think I am losing my mind.   The clock in my car is still wrong, too.  That one isn’t hard to change, but involves getting out the manual, turning to the English language section,  pushing some up arrows down and some down arrows up,  and pressing and holding another button for three seconds while facing southwest and standing on one leg, or something like that.  With all those buttons and arrows to push on car radios/CD players/docking stations, am I the only one who ever wonders why there can’t just be a “clock” button?  All of this takes time, and

Lost time is never found again.  Benjamin Franklin

Ben was a very smart man, but the only clocks he probably checked were his trusty pocket watch and the clock in the town square.  The difficulty of getting all of his digital clocks to read exactly the same time would have possibly put him over the edge just enough to make him go fly a kite in a lightning storm or something.

 Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.  Benjamin Franklin

I would like to perhaps make this column a little longer, but it is nearly 8:00 p.m., and since I keep waking up at 4:00 a.m., I can’t seem to keep my eyes open  much later than this.  It’s a vicious cycle. Not to worry, though.  Give me four or five months and I’ll get used to it.  Here’s one more quote from our friend Ben:

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Benjamin Franklin.

Maybe I shouldn’t use that one.  In my research, I discovered that this often-used quote is actually a kind of urban legend, and that Benjamin Franklin probably never said it. I’ll let you be the judge.

 Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. Benjamin Franklin

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The Silent Game

My mother reminded me today about a family game we used to play. This was a game invented by my dad, and for some reason, we only played it on car trips or when he was listening to the Minnesota Twins on the radio. He called this game The Silent Game, and it was invented out of necessity.  Dad was a teacher and therefore, off every summer. We had many wonderful family vacations travelling all over the northern United States in a station wagon and sleeping in our tent every night. My sister and I, being about 2 1/2 years apart, tended to bicker about almost everything.  Mom would try to get us to sing songs, count telephone poles, or play “I Spy”.  Nothing would work until Dad’s deep voice would announce The Silent Game.  We would immediately become quiet, wiggling in our anticipation of who would win and trying very, very hard not to be the first one to break the silence.  I wish I could tell you that I was often the winner because I was older and (so I thought) wiser, but I was more often the loser.  Even more than I love a good sisterly competition, I love to talk.  My sister is less talkative than I, preferring quiet conversation with family or close friends. Me? I can talk to a rock.  A rock, a person, a chicken, a Chihuahua, and anyone else who will listen. I can talk on the phone for hours, and now that I have the technology to “chat” on the computer, my fingers do the talking every evening.  Because the art of conversation means it goes both ways, I hope that I am a good listener, too.  As we all know, opposites do indeed attract, so I married a quiet man.  He does not like to chat. He is sometimes monosyllabic. He is the epitome of the strong silent type. Not long ago, he was in a golf tournament with one of my coworkers.  I told the guy that hubby was a great golfer but didn’t talk much.  The next day he told me that the two of them talked through the whole game, and he dared to suggest that the reason my husband doesn’t talk is because he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in Florida of getting a word in edgewise. Very funny, that one. I played The Silent Game with my own daughter, whose love for talking is much like my own.   It doesn’t seem to work as well with just one child, though.  There’s something about the spirit of competition that keeps The Silent Game going for quite a while. Unfortunately, it should come with a warning sticker.  Before you know it, those wonderfully happy noises of children chattering, laughing, and even bickering is gone. Blink your eyes and they’re grown and living on their own.  That, my friends, is when you start talking to rocks, chickens, and Chihuahuas, because the sound of a silent house can be  the loudest noise of all.

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The Minnesota Medium

By now, most of you know how I feel about reality TV. I dislike it. I really dislike it. I have tried watching some of the shows, but they’re just not my cup of coffee. Luckily there are other things to watch, so I have been able to turn the channel away from  Dance Moms, Leaving Amish, and Hoarders. I am almost embarrassed to tell you that I actually watched 1.5 episodes of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. I managed to view the back-to-back episodes with a kind of horrified fascination before turning off the TV and finishing my book.  It was the same kind of strange fascination that comes when you see an accident unfolding in front of your eyes and you want to look away but just can’t.  I have been  pleasantly surprised though, at the reality show Long Island Medium.  Theresa Caputo has a wonderful  New York  accent, talks to dead people, and admittedly goes through a lot of hairspray every week. The dead people interrupt her everyday life, such as having her talk to the grocery store employee who is busy bagging her groceries about his cousin “who has passed”.  I like her because she is warm and funny and we seem to have a lot in common.  Not that I talk to dead people or have three-inch-long fingernails, but I think I have a few psychic abilities of my own.  When my daughter was a teen and said she was done cleaning her room, I always knew to look under the bed. Not for spirits, but for the dirty clothes, magazines, and stuffed animals that I just knew would be there.  I didn’t really have to look, but wanted to add a little drama to our own rather humdrum REAL family reality series.   I know for certain that if  I ask my husband on any given day what he wants for dinner he will answer “I don’t care”.   I know that the biggest snowfall of the winter will happen on a day that I have to be somewhere at a certain time.  I know if the Vikings make a bad play or get a bad call there will be a few naughty words spoken in our living room.  I am absolutely positive  that if I put 28 socks in the washer and transfer them to the dryer and/or clothesline that I will have 27 socks by the time they are folded.  I don’t have to burn sage and wave it around the room to let you know that my psychic abilities are telling  me that sock #28 will magically appear in a few weeks with another load of laundry.  There just might be spirits involved in that phenomena because there is just no other reasonable explanation as to why socks always disappear around here. Just like the Long Island Medium, my psychic abilities also interrupt daily life.  Just the other day, I purchased the cutest little knit baby hat in bright pink.  I just couldn’t seem to put it down.  No, I don’t know for certain if our grandchild-to-be will be a girl, but I already know that he or she will be beautiful, loved, and maybe just a little bit spoiled.  My psychic abilities are telling me that you already knew that, though.   Maybe you are psychic, too!

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