Saturday, April 28, 2018


Hey, diddle, diddle…the cat and the fiddle…and the cow jumped over the moon. The little dog laughed to see such sport...and the dish ran away with the spoon.”

That Mother Goose rhyme inspired this wall mural that I painted a few years back. While painting it I couldn’t get that silly rhyme out of my head. What did it mean? Where had it come from & who was the imaginative person who wrote it?

I decided to do a little research on the web and the one that seemed to be most plausible came from Wikipedia: “It is likely that this poem is a satire of a scandal during the time of Queen Elizabeth I. The cat is Elizabeth and the dog is Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, whom she once referred to as her ‘lap dog’. It is also speculated that the ‘dish’ is a server at the royal court, whereas the ‘spoon’ referred to the taste-tester.”

Interesting stuff...except where does the cow come in and why is it jumping over a moon? I guess I’ll go to my grave pondering these earth-shaking questions. I did, however, find a version of this poem that my animal-loving friends will relate to, so I will close with that: Hey, diddle, diddle, the cat did a piddle...all over the kitchen floor. The little dog laughed to see such a the cat did a little bit more.”

Monday, April 23, 2018

1990 Wellesley College commencement…

In 1990 George H. Walker Bush was half-way through his tenure as President of the Unite States. It was also the year that his wife Barbara gave her unforgettable commencement address at Wellesley College. It must have been a great coup for the college to have her as speaker but I doubt if any of them could foresee that her final words would resonate so loudly today … 3 decades later.

Wellesley College, founded in 1870, is a womens liberal arts college in Massachusetts, with a proud heritage of producing strong women. Although not a graduate from there the First Lady surely fit that description and these were the final words of her speech:

Somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow my footsteps — and preside over the White House as the president’s spouse,” she said. “And I wish him well!”

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Credit where it's due … Senator Thom Tillis (R) of NC..

Senator Tillis: Since April of 2017 you and Senator Burr have been the recipient of over 30 letters from me. I have not been shy when expressing my dismay with the GOP and the way our country is being run. However, I now find myself in the pleasant position of commending you.

I strongly believe that the fate of our country depends on bipartisanship and that is only possible with compromises being made between right and left. Your lead sponsorship of a bill that will protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from being fired is an example of the courage it takes to stand up for what you believe. Your answer to those who chastise you for not blindly standing behind whatever our President proposes is classic … “spare me your righteous indignation” you said, pointing out the hypocrisy of their complaint.

As a North Carolinian I commend you and I hope that our other NC GOP Senator (Richard Burr) will have the backbone to support the bill also.  

(UPDATE)  Speaking of backbone, the day after I posted this Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell made this statement:  "I'm the one who decides what we take to the floor, that's my responsibility as the majority leader and we will not be having this on the floor of the Senate"  

Friday, April 13, 2018

Around the dining room table ... in the 1940s

Some of the best conversations I have ever encountered have been during or after an evening meal. The body is fed and the mind follows. This was particularly true of my childhood home.
By the mid 40’s none of us had left home yet so our dining room table was always full. It was very enough to seat 10 comfortably. We needed that space because we were 5 girls, (separated in age by 8 years!), my mother and father, and an assortment of boyfriends and other guests.

Everyone was welcome and it was understood that if you stayed for dinner you would participate in the lively discussions and games that followed. The menu might be scant, due to rationing or lack of funds, but, the enthusiasm was abundant.

One of our favorite games revolved around the Dictionary. One person would hold the opened book on their lap, eyes closed and point to a word. It was then up to all the participants to define the word and the winner was the one who came closest to the actual definition in the dictionary. An example might be: the word PICOT. (Typical answers could be: “a small bed”, “a quaint saying”, “ used to make a fancy fence”…etc.) Of course the actual definition is “ornamental loops in embroidery”. It was not only an amusing game but it helped to increase our vocabulary and to promote an interest in words. I loved it.

Another high-light of those evenings were the discussions.  We would relate our day's events, talk about the world or national events or just plain listen. Our guests were an eclectic group so we would often be mesmerized by what they shared.  What a lucky little girl I was !

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Let sleeping dogs lie …

I love catch phrases and it's fun to find where they originated.  “Let sleeping dogs lie” aptly describes this picture. It is a phrase believed to have been originated by Chaucer around 1380 in Troilus and Criseyde, 'It is nought good a slepyng hound to wake'... meaning that one shouldn't stir up a potentially difficult situation when it's best left alone

Then there’s “it’s a piece of cake” meaning that it would be an easy task...but, where did that saying originate? I tried to find the answer but there were many conflicting opinions. It was often paired with “easy as pie” and I was amused to read that many women said it must have been coined by a male since “there’s nothing easy about making a pie...or a cake, for that matter.”

Then there is our plain-speaking US President Harry S. Truman.

He is credited with two phrases that have stood the test of time (since 1949). They are: “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” which he often would say to his staff, and: “The buck stops here.” He did not originate the later but had a sign to that effect on his desk for his stint as President so he is usually thought to have coined it.

And, of course, when our carefully prepared plans go wrong we are quick to shrug our shoulders and say: “The best laid schemes of mice and men often go astray”. This can be traced directly to a Robert Burns’ poem entitled “To A Mouse, 1786”. He had upturned a mouse’s nest while plowing a field and the poem is his apology to the mouse !

Well, I could go on forever but they say that “brevity is the soul of wit” (Shakespeare's
Hamlet, 1602) so I’ll call it quits and see what you guys come up with !!

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

All hail to the dictator .....

A year ago I decided to start a writing campaign to our two North Carolina Senators ... Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, both Republicans.  I realized that I would have little effect on what they stood for and how they voted but at least it made me feel like I was exercising my rights as a citizen and vocalizing my concerns. So far I've sent 29 emails to them.

Basically I've shared these emails with my immediate family but I feel compelled to share the one I wrote today with my blogger family too.  Here goes:

Senators Burr & Tillis: It becomes clearer with each passing day that President Trump is more concerned with his own personal wishes than in considering or acting upon those things that most affect the country as a whole. His narcissistic need for LOYALTY (not to the ideals of the Constitution but, literally, to himself) is ludicrous. He is demanding loyalty from all of you and wants to know how far you’ll be willing to go to protect him, no matter what you’ll have to justify or how unprincipled you’ll have to be in order to do it. Can you, or the GOP, honestly justify this?

I've read that the new appointees that he is bringing on board will need to sign a loyalty oath (to HIM) and, if that is true, we might as well forget that he is President and change his status to Dictator, on a par with his good buddy Putin. If this happens we can all thank you and the rest of the spineless Republicans who put their own "needs" ahead of the real needs of our country.