Why Do They Say “Party of One” When One is Never a Party?

Perhaps one of the few (maybe only) advantages of living alone is you may double-dip without worry. Go ahead. Scoop that chip in the five-layer dip. Take a bite, and dip the same chip in again. I don’t, however, recommend getting into the habit, lest you embarrass yourself, should you ever again dine among fellow humans.

That is just one of the many things I have learned about eating, sleeping – living alone. Actually, I’m not completely alone. I have the most devoted collie. I admit the possibility she isn’t all that faithful. Maybe she just knows she is chipped, and I would find her if she ran away. Well, either way, she’s good company and comfort. Continue reading

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National Engineers Week

If you live, work, or have ever sought shelter in a building that is structurally sound; If you regularly cross a body of water, cloverleaf interchange or similar high overpass, confident the bridge will not fail;

If you can turn on lights, keep warm or cool, and dry your hair because of energy generated by a massive dam/hydroelectric source;

If you have enjoyed hike and bike trails and other municipal or National Park amenities;

If you drive cross country, or just take your child to school via a network of strategically designed streets and highways;

If you can flush your toilet, never doubting that waste will be carried far from your home and appropriately treated, so we can live free of waste-borne diseases…

Thank an engineer.

February 17-23 is “NATIONAL ENGINEERS WEEK.”

Celebrate the security of the safe, healthy society they create and maintain.

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Pearl Harbor Day

For the post-baby boomer generations who were taught the U.S. barbarically, mercilessly bombed Japan in 1945, it’s not your fault.  No one ever told you the Japanese were not always the cool, car-building, techno-genius, anime-creating society you know them to be.  So, please look up December 7, 1941.

The “date which will live in infamy” was essentially “9-1-1” before September 9, 2001.

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I’m Rubber and You’re Glue… What Name Offends You?

When I was a kid, the standard response to name-calling was, “Sticks and stones may break my bones. But, words can never hurt me.” Apparently, a lot has changed since my idyllic Baby Boomer childhood. These days, it takes very little to offend someone. In fact, it takes no effort. Whereas, in the past, a sarcastic “No offense” was meant as a feigned apology for an intentional jab, these days people are offended when, truly, no offense was intended.

As a society, we are now required to (borrowing a couple of my mom’s phrases) “walk on egg shells” and handle people “with kid gloves.” Ideology, gender, and ethnicity seem the hot buttons now. In my child and growinguphood, it was often more about appearance. Continue reading

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My Loss Was Always A Baby – Not a Clump of Cells – A Baby

On this date in 1977, after waiting and praying over the long holiday weekend, I was officially told by my obstetrician that the baby I had carried for five months had died in utero.

I had not felt her kick for about a week. A visit to my doctor on the Friday before Memorial Day detected no heartbeat. In those days, they did not have sophisticated sonogram equipment in the doctor’s office. The most reliable instrument was the stethoscope. My doctor listened intently. Then, diplomatically called his associate in, telling me Dr. Sparr had “much better hearing.” Yet, even the doctor with the best hearing could find no heartbeat. Nevertheless, Dr. Stephens sent me home with some small hope that my baby might just be turned in an awkward position, and perhaps by Tuesday morning, that would change.

We did spend the long weekend praying and trying to find those familiar kicks – to no avail. Continue reading

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Why I Love Collies

After quite a dry spell – not so much writer’s block as, at worst , starter’s block; at best, finisher’s block, I realized I had to write something – anything. So, with nary a nod to nasty politics, I thought I would start slowly with an elementary school style essay on why I love collies.

Without further ado… ahem…”Why I Love Collies” by Nancy Krenrich:

It should come as no surprise that this Baby Boomer grew up watching “Lassie.” I was too young for the Jeff episodes with Tommy Rettig (1954 – 1957). It was the Timmy shows (starring Jon Provost) that I watched every Sunday night.

It might be that my love of collies is hereditary. I have seen a picture of my big brother (before I was born) holding what appeared to be a tricolor collie puppy, whose name I am told, was Tippy. My mom never had pets, because her mother was not a fan, and was appalled at the very idea of actually keeping and feeding them. Heaven forbid they should be allowed in the house! So, any affection for animals would likely come from my father. After I was born, we had a sable collie named Sandy until my parents divorced. Mom got my brother and me. My dad got custody of the collie.

Continue reading

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Barbed Wire Fences and Other Baby Boomer Country Memories

Yesterday, I saw something I had not seen in years – a barbed wire fence.

It evoked memories of a brief, yet, impactful time of my childhood. We lived, for a time, with my grandmother who lived in a rock house in the country, and had farming neighbors.

I remember waking up to roosters, catching lightning bugs, and slinging “supper” leftovers across the fence to the chickens and cows. It was a time when a simple plastic paddle with a wire handle, called a “flyswatter” was used, not just as an insect weapon, but, also like a switch, to threaten us kids. Continue reading

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In-law Christmas

This next weekend is usually designated as what I used to affectionately call “in-law Christmas,” when you gather with the non-alpha in-laws to celebrate the holiday (as opposed to the real festivities with your actual family).

For further clarification, the “alpha in-laws” are typically the woman’s family. I’m not sure why that is. It likely harks back to that old adage my grandmother often cited, “A son’s a son ‘til he takes a wife. A daughter’s a daughter all her life.” While that is not always the situation, fortunately, it worked out that way for me. My family was the alpha. I’m not sure I could have survived had it been otherwise. There were three sisters-in-law, and having only a big brother, I never really understood how to relate or get along with sisters. Besides, two of those women viewed my husband as the “baby brother.” And my mother-in-law? She was my brunette Marie Barone of “Everybody Loves Raymond” (impeccably portrayed by the late Doris Roberts). I never questioned the precept governing alpha in-laws as long as it was working in my favor. Continue reading

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In-law Thanksgiving

This weekend is usually designated as what I used to affectionately call “in-law Thanksgiving,” when you gather with the non-alpha in-laws to celebrate the holiday (as opposed to the real feast with your actual family).

For further clarification, the “alpha in-laws” are typically the woman’s family. I’m not sure why that is. It likely harks back to that old adage my grandmother often cited, “A son’s a son ‘til he takes a wife. A daughter’s a daughter all her life.” While that is not always the situation, fortunately, it worked out that way for me. My family was the alpha. I’m not sure I could have survived had it been otherwise. There were three sisters-in-law, and having only a big brother, I never really understood how to relate or get along with sisters. Besides, two of those women viewed my husband as the “baby brother.” And my mother-in-law? She was my brunette Marie Barone of “Everybody Loves Raymond” (impeccably portrayed by the late Doris Roberts). I never questioned the precept governing alpha in-laws as long as it was working in my favor. Continue reading

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