Monthly Archives: November 2015

Flinging Pillows

Life is good.

Life is pleasant on Pleasant Street.

If you lived in 1906, Teddy Roosevelt would be your President. You may, or may not, have voted for him. But, you probably used his famous line, “Bully for you.” For all I know, you might even have used the popular slang of the day and spouted off, “23 skiddoo”, in addition to “bully for you.”
If you wanted to make a real impression you’d think beyond your command of popular slang. You’d show off your wealth by placing a 3-minute long distance phone call across the country. A call, such as this, cost eleven dollars. Not cheap when you consider the average wage earner made 22-cents an hour. Also, shampoo must have been a huge expense because most women in 1906 washed their hair only once a month with egg yolks or borax. Even though they knew they were “worth it,” they didn’t splurge on shampoo when eggs were the less expensive choice. Coffee costs 15 cents a pound and no one had heard of Starbucks or a four-dollar pumpkin spice latte. The speed limit stood at 10 mph in most cities. Can you imagine the horror of some speed demon blowing past you at 15 mph in a rickety Ford buggy car! But there weren’t as many people back then to fear for their lives from speeding buggy cars. A little drink-water town known as Las Vegas claimed a population of just 30 in 1906. It’s true. What happened in Vegas really did stay in Vegas. Unless one of the 30 residents had flappin’ loose lips and traveled out of town to tell the world what you did while in Vegas. Oh my! They did whaaaatt? In Vegas, you say?
All this to say, 1906 happened in a different world than we live in today. read more

I’m Getting Rich In My Laundry Room (and other things I’m thankful for)

Six Things I’m Thankful For

I think the homeowners had to fight very hard on Black Friday to get this beautiful Christmas tree in blue lights, on sale at Home Depot.

I think the homeowners had to fight very hard on Black Friday to get this beautiful Christmas tree in blue lights at Home Depot.

1. Black Friday

Ordinarily I don’t like any type of event that causes me to get out of bed before noon. And the idea of waking up at 2 a.m. to go shopping while slugging my way through the door has not appealed to me in the past. Some stores give away beautiful snowglobes to the first 50 or so customers racing through their doors on Black Friday. Even that incentive hasn’t encouraged me to experience this fun Friday affair after Thanksgiving. However, I need a pre-lit Christmas tree and I don’t want to spend the big bucks (some cost $1,000). I called Lowes and asked the saleslady if they planned to discount their Christmas trees for Black Friday. “Some,” she said. I asked her when the store opens on that day. “Last year it was 5 a.m., so I think that’s the time it will be this year,” she said. “Oh no!” I wailed, “You’re not serious!” She replied, “You think that’s bad! I have to be here at 4:30 a.m.” Then she wailed. I suddenly felt like we were kindred spirits at this point, so I asked if I could call her a few days before Black Friday to see what trees would be on sale. “Sure,” she said and told me her name is Connie. Even though I now have a friend at Lowes, I’m feeling stress at the thought of waking when it’s still dark outside to get dressed and make the 40 minute drive to Lowes. Really, is a Christmas tree that important? Why don’t I get a 90-inch TV at Best Buy while I’m at it…to make my suffering worthwhile. Even so, I’m thankful for Black Friday as we didn’t have this shopping event after Thanksgiving when I was a kid. Actually we didn’t have fake Christmas trees that look better than fresh-cut trees… like we have today. Back then, fake Christmas trees had branches made of aluminum foil, some had big globs of white, pasty stuff to resemble snow. If you had a fake Christmas tree back then, people actually felt sorry for you. They would whisper to one another, “Do you know Mrs. Smith has one of those artificial trees! Oh poor Mrs. Smith. I can’t even fathom the pain she must feel having to look at that thing on Christmas morning!” Today, fake Christmas trees look exactly like the perfect Christmas tree you always dreamed of but couldn’t find at a Christmas tree lot. Even better, they don’t get pine needles on the floor and don’t need water. You can even spray them with pine scent that smells like the pine woods. How wonderful modern times are! And now we have Black Friday to help us buy one of these precious wonders at 5 a.m. read more

Enjoy Snobbery and Other Reasons To Travel


“To travel is to live.” ~ Hans Christian Andersen

12 Reasons It’s Good To Travel

1. Taste new things.

The eggs in England look better and taste richer than U.S. eggs. Our American eggs come from chickens stacked in cages so tiny they can’t move. Or smooshed together in processing factories. Did you know it’s actually illegal to take eggs from the United States to England? Don’t ever be caught smuggling our tasteless eggs to Great Britain. It’s probably a felony. If I were a U.S. chicken crammed into a tiny cage, would I want to produce flavorful eggs with bright orange yolks? I think not. I’d be angry that I’m not running wild and free on someone’s farm like British chickens do. Travel not only brings new tastes, but sorrowful thoughts of oppressed chickens back in the states. read more