Toilet Paper — Over, Under, or Just Right

As faithful readers know, I like to look up anniversaries of events that changed modern life. So imagine my delight when I discovered December 22, 1891 is the date Seth Wheeler received the patent for his toilet paper roll. I’m informing you now because life gets hectic that close to Christmas and you might want… Continue Reading

Thanksgiving Trivia

If you’re looking for silly activities after your Thanksgiving meal, why not play Thanksgiving Trivia? Category 1: How did Thanksgiving get started? Before Thanksgiving meant too much food, football games, and the Macy’s Day Parade, it was a day to thank God for, in the case of Pilgrims, sustenance itself. The first Pilgrims to America… Continue Reading

NANOWRIMO aka National Novel Writing Month

Writers are solitary people who play with imaginary friends. We function best in spaces where we can shut the door. If that isn’t possible, we’re known to wear noise-cancelling headphones. Ernest Hemingway famously said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” He failed to mention that… Continue Reading

Thoughts on Weekends aka Work-Life Balance

On Fridays I post a floral picture and wish everyone a good weekend. But even as I extend my wishes, I realize that what I think of when I use the word “weekend” isn’t accurate. Many people work on weekends as part of their regular hours. Others bring work home. I did that for years.… Continue Reading

JACK-O’-LANTERNS & STINGY JACK

Jack-o’-Lanterns carved from orange pumpkins are a Halloween staple. Traditionally the pumpkin is cleaned out, it’s shell carved into a scary face, and a candle placed inside. As simple or as elaborate as the artist decides. But why do we call them Jack-o’-Lanterns? Why not Carved Pumpkins or Scary Faces in an Orange Vegetable? There… Continue Reading

“We’re This Close” – World Polio Day, October 24th, 2017

Once polio ranked as one of the most feared diseases in the United States. Today most Americans don’t give the disease a second thought. The first recorded polio outbreak in the United States was in 1894 when Vermont reported 132 cases. In 1916, 27,000 cases in New York City resulted in 6,000 deaths. Researchers began… Continue Reading

The Chicken Dance Comes to America

This is a picture of 30,000 participants following former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson in the Chicken Dance at the 2015 Oktoberfest Zinzinnati. The popular Chicken Dance has an unusual history, as many dances do. Werner Thomas, a Swiss musician who played the accordion at Swiss holiday resorts, said he came up with the tune about… Continue Reading

Durga Puja 2017

  Durga Puja, the annual festival in honor of Goddess Durga, begins tomorrow, September 26 and continues until Saturday, September 30. It’s a moveable festival with dates coinciding with the sixth through tenth day of the bright lunar fortnight in the Hindu month of Ashvin. For five days revelers in Kolkata engage in pandal hopping,… Continue Reading

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