Monday, August 30, 2010

Typical Monday

Today I went to work really tired. Did not sleep hardly at all last night and I was feeling it as I walked through the door of Margate Elementary School. It was one of those days. On lunchroom duty today, I herded kindergarten and first grade children toward the trash compactor. The original idea was that they put their tray on the shelf, give it a little shove and it goes into the compactor cleanly and efficiently. But we're talking about 5 and 6 year old kids. Anything liquid, which today was mostly milk, barbecue sauce and juices, splattered on the walls, on the floor and on me. Somehow someone missed the window entirely and a big wad of mashed potatoes ended up on the floor directly under my feet. A puddle of milk made walking dangerous so I had to put up a Caution sign till we got it mopped up. Phew! I barely escaped with my life.
I really didn't think anyone was out to get me. Not yet anyway. On the way home, we were stopped at an intersection waiting for the light to change when the man in the next car, near me, mind you, opened his car door and leaned out.
"Gross!" I said to George. "He is going to spit. I hate that when people do that. It is so disgusting."
I would have settled for spitting however. In one second, he had barfed up his lunch right in my field of vision. I was mesmerized and watched him throw up again. I'm glad Monday is almost over.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Early Writer

In case you are curious how a writer begins their long journey of words, I remember writing as a child. My sister and I often teamed up to write stories and I thought I might share some of them in my blog. When we were in middle and high school we became entranced with a girl whose mother was hopelessly inflexible and old-fashioned. Her two girls became reflections of their mother's taste. This sparked in us our first stories about Trudy Jean Cox. Believe it or not, the Trudy Jean stories (circa 1964-65) although misplaced, have been memorized by my sister with her Kodak-brain. So I present to you the early musings of a writer. Actually a writer team.
The Name of this story was Ankle Sox
Trudy Jean Cox stared distastefully into the mirror. Where, out of all the shops, boutiques and department stores in Holloway Park alone, had her mother managed to dig up this rag?
(Her photographic memory fades here. "Oops, I can't remember what the rag looked like. Did it have puffed sleeves and a gathered skirt? I seem to recall that it was a dingy brown."
Just picture Cinderella...
"Trudy Jean!" called her mother from the living room. "Come here! I want to see the dress on you."
For a minute, Trudy Jean hesitated. But she knew her mother wouldn't be happy until she'd seen her in the dress, ugly as it was. So she steeled herself and walked out into the living room.
Now Diana goes on to say, "I think we might have to reconstruct the story. It's starting to sound pretty good to me. Remember that after her mother approved the dress, she went and shortened another one in her closet, and wore it with her Sunday shoes." ...They weren't new, and had a strap around the ankle, but they were better than saddle shoes, and her mother had a fit.
But right before that, they went to a hoity-toity shoe store named Hanover House, where a tall, distinguished salesman introduced himself as Mr. Dahl, and showed her some school shoes. She liked the first pair, but her mother made him take them back and bring out saddle shoes instead. When he brought some boxes out, "Mrs. Cox took the liberty of opening the first box, while the salesman examined the wrinkle in the carpet which had caused him to assume a prostrate position on the floor and throw the boxes at Trudy Jean."
Then she says that it just gets better and better. One can only hope...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fly Away!

One of my favorite kinds of writing is poetry and yes, does rhyme. I am very careful with my rhyming and work at it for endless hours, making sure that it fits well into my theme. Here is one I wrote a couple of years ago. It was to be in an anthology for Lee Bennett Hopkins but it didn't work out. So I thought I would try a change of pace today and put out one of my poems.
Fly Away!
By Jeanne Kraus
Rev Sept 1, 2008

Flies are swarming our front door.
We don’t want flies here any more.
With sticky pads on hairy feet,
flies carry germs that aren’t so sweet.

One by one I stalk each pest
The last invader’s not impressed.
He’s zooming, zipping far and wide;
determined to remain inside.

His buzz, buzz, buzzing multiplies,
He’s mocking me with compound eyes.
He rockets, soars in loop-de-loops,
he swims the backstroke in my soup!

Annoying, taunting, bugging, teasing,
his presence here is so displeasing.

I’m on the prowl.
I’ll get him now!

The wall he scales is way too high
He’s out of reach, this wily fly.
He moves across the ceiling tile
in creepy-crawly insect style.

I raise my arm, my weapon poised;
his feet are warning.. human noise!
He senses air that whistles by
My arm comes down…SWAT!

One more try…

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Tomorrow's Friday.After the first week of school, it will be a well-needed break. In 5 days, we spent most of our time figuring how to get all the children safely home again. It is amazing how difficult it is to make sure that every child gets safely home that first week. They don't remember so it's up to us, the school staff to make sure that they get home okay. Sound easy? Not if a child is a car rider on Monday, a bus rider on Tuesday, a walk-up, pick-up on Wednesday and Thursday, and is dismissed early Friday for an appointment. Multiply that by almost 1200 kids and you can see why stress takes its toll by Friday. We did amazingly well though. Everyone got where they were supposed to be with only a few more gray hairs on all of our heads.
My favorite part was talking to the new children. I especially liked trying to communicate with children who did not speak English. They were so cute. In a few months they will be talking away in English but in the meantime, we have to make them feel comfortable and loved, because it has to be pretty scary in a strange land.
For tomorrow, besides it being Friday, it is also (get ready for this!) Oil and Gas Industry Appreciation Day. In the wake of the huge oil spill, that is a tough one. I am still recovering from the pictures of the poor animals who lost their lives to the oil slicks that covered them. And the people who died at the site. And the people whose jobs depended on the clean waters of the ocean. Perhaps an Appreciation Day for all the Volunteers and Workers who worked tirelessly to clean up and try to protect the environment.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hump Day

Interesting Day. After a bit of maneuvering, I was told that I could be on my favorite oldies radio show this morning at 9. I was very excited. This was to be my third radio interview and they are kind of fun...done from home on the phone. It was hard to get the information I needed. DJ's are even busier than I am so we finally got it settled that this morning would be the day. Of course, I was working so I let my boss know that at 9:00 I had to do this interview. He was excited for me and let me know that first we would have a practice fire drill at 8:40. So...close timing but I knew we could do it. At 8:30 I went outside to take my position to watch the teachers bring their classes out for the firedrill and make sure everyone evacuated in proper form. At 8:45, I was still standing there. Mosquitoes had taken their toll and I was sweating bullets from the humidity. This is south Florida, after all. I listened on my walkie-talkie for signs of movement.
Voice: We can't do the fire drill unless the sprinklers are turned off.
This necessitated an urgent visit from our chief custodian.
Voice: The gate is locked and I don't have a key to open it.
This necessitated an urgent visit from our chief custodian.
Finally at 8:45, the bell rang and the drill began. The children emerged from the building in perfect form, absolutely silent and serious about their mission. I called in to the office, herded them back into the building and ran into the office. The phone rang about 3 minutes later. I had a great interview, talking with my favorite DJs about my book, and about life as a Baby Boomer. It was cool. I was cool.
I finished up the interview, thanked the DJ's and hung up. Done!
My husband informed me that I was not on the radio at all, even though he listened for an hour for signs of Jeanne-life. So I am wondering...Was it a pre-recording for another time. If so, when? Or was it one humongous joke on Jeanne Kraus?
Friends listened was humiliating. More about that if I find out any more.
On the other hand, tomorrow is National Dog Day. What a great way to celebrate your furry four-legged friends! My wiener dog is getting a lot of extra attention tomorrow. Wait. She already gets a lot of attention!
It is also Women's Equality Day. I'm just wondering. Equal to what?

Monday, August 23, 2010

The First Day of School

Oh, what a disaster! We started out the day pretty well, with all in its place. Unfortunately, as often happens in the fall in south Florida, severe thunderstorms started right at dismissal time. Our carefully planned and executed first day went awry as we tried to get all 1200 of our children safely home. It was exhausting and of course, the children were not yet trained how to go through the drill and get from point A to point B without problems. So my reaction was to find something funny to charge me back up again.
I've always liked plays on words, specifically puns. So I went online and found some that I thought were funny. These caught my eye...
What would you get if you crossed a parrot with a centipede? A walkie-talkie!
A termite walks into a bar and asks, "Is the bar tender here?"
I used to be a marathon runner but couldn't stand the agony of de feet.
What is the difference between an ornithologist and a stutterer? One is a bird watcher and the other is a word botcher.
And just one more...
If we cantelope, lettuce marry! (Groan!)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The First Day of School

Big day tomorrow. The first day of school is amazing. As a reading specialist I have only two jobs tomorrow. Make sure each child gets to their class and make sure they all get home. I will spend most of my day determining how our "Mystery Students" get home. They come to school without knowing how they will go home. And since kids don't come with an instruction manual, we have to devote long hours on the telephone to make sure everyone will go home at the end of the day.
The beginning of school is like no other beginning. The kids are scrubbed and excited, but a little shy until they get the hang of it. There will be some crying kindergartners, but there will be more crying kindergarten moms. Parents will have to be ushered out because they won't want to leave their children. What an awesome responsibility a school has, and one we do not ever take lightly.
"Back to School" will be my holiday of choice for Monday. For those of you who do not celebrate this date, you can celebrate "Valentino Day." If you are interested, go to Wikipedia and look up information on the life of Rudolph Valentino. I read it and it was quite a life I tell you! Unfortunately the "Latin Lover", as he was called, died at age 31 from complications after appendicitis. I won't give away the rest of his life, but the words "lesbian love triangle" and "dildo" figured prominently in the story. For 31 years, he had a lot of history!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

You Know You're Really Old...

As a teacher of 30 years, I have touched a lot of lives. As of late, it seems that some of the "kids" are coming back into my life in unusual ways.
Last year, I agreed to tutor a little girl. I had been recommended to the mother and she called me. We agreed on a time. I answered the door and there stood one of my fourth grade students from about 1983, all grown up with 3 daughters of her own. She wasn't sure it was me, although she knew the name was the same. It was amazing. I now tutor 2 of her children.
Facebook is a great way to stay in contact with former students. Usually I lose track of them for about 20 or more years and then all of a sudden reconnect. I just reconnected with the 3 year old flower girl at my wedding not too long ago. She is all grown up. My sister's flower girl is now married with kids going off to college.
One of my ex-students, who is a writer, is now married and has a boy. I first met her in second grade.
I ran into two of my students who waited on my table at restaurants. We recognized each other right away. But the biggest evidence of the passing of time is the 30 year old ex-student who sat with me today to help me with my will and trust. No longer do we talk about fourth grade math and reading. He explains things to me that in a million years, I could not thoroughly understand. But its okay. By the time I need it, it will be someone else's problem to figure out!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Holidays for Saturday

First of all, in itself, Saturday is a welcome holiday when you have just started back at school. I celebrated "Hug Your Boss Day" today since I did not know if I would see him tomorrow. Also Jan our assistant principal got a hug.
Saturday is an important day. It is also National Homeless Animals Day. There are so many without homes, all of which I would bring home with me if George would permit it. He thinks three cats and one wiener dog are enough, though.
Saturday is also Poet's Day, not to be confused with our previous holiday, Bad Poetry Day. It is also Senior Citizen's Day. The age of senior citizens varies from place to place. Some places offer senior prices to people 50 and over. Some 60 and over, some 65. Saturday is a day to be patient with the white-haired men driving huge oversized cars slowly down the highway. It is a day to remember that we will all be seniors someday.
Add to that Daffodil Day and you have a nice collection of holidays to celebrate.
Whatever I do for these holidays, you can be sure of one thing. I will be glad to be home.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


As far as I am concerned, today's holiday hit the spot. Cory and Ashlee came over for dinner. Ashlee performed magic on my computer and now my links work and together we all celebrated "Black Cow Root Beer Float Day". Yummy!
I know that you're anxious to know what's coming up tomorrow so don't let me keep you waiting. First of all tomorrow is Men's Grooming Day. I have already informed George, who then asked, "So you want me to shave?" It is also "Virtual World's Day."
I looked up information on this holiday and it is not one that we personally will celebrate but it seems that everyone around us is celebrating with all their virtual games and stuff. I personally have not mastered the interest in all this stuff.
Just a head's up! Saturday is "Hug your boss day." I am planning to celebrate this tomorrow because I am off Saturday. And I am not going to track him down on the weekend for a hug!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Holidays and Frustration

Well, let's start with the good news for tomorrow. Tomorrow is "Aviation Day." Spread your wings and fly. Have a paper airplane contest. Watch the movie "Kitty Hawk," all about Wilbur and Orville. I love that movie. While you are watching the movie, make yourself a root beer float, AKA Black Cow, cause it is "Black Cow Root Beer Float Day." If I do indulge in a root beer float tomorrow, and there is a great possibility that I might, there might be a few more Black Cow Days in my future. Great treat for the heat.
Now this is exciting. Tomorrow is National Medical Dosimetrist Day. What is that, you ask? It would be good to know. This medical professional is an active member of a medical team that deals with cancer patients.Without getting too technical, since my readerships tends to hover around a fifth grade reading level (just kidding!) suffice it to say that this doctor deals with radiation oncology treatment. Wow. We'd better celebrate the importance of these people.
As for today, I have denoted it to be "What Else Could Go Wrong Day?"
What a day. First of all, I had two workshops to attend, each at opposite ends of the earth. This for the person who does not drive on big highways. So I get my directions on Mapquest. It will take me 32 minutes to get to my first workshop if I go on the highway, and something like six hours if I take back roads.(OK, I am exaggerating.) However, I took the second choice. In avoiding the highways, I took two wrong turns, necessitating U-turns in morning rush hour. This got me to the workshop a few minutes late. In addition, my seat belt was giving me some problems. It kept tightening, keeping me plastered against the back of the driver's seat. My windpipe felt a little constricted. I couldn't move. Finally, I figured that the lap belt was caught in the car door. I opened the door, and I could breathe again.
As I got out of the car, I dumped a glass of water that I had been drinking. The glass unfortunately fell and shattered all over the parking lot, right where my tires would be sure to roll when I left. I spent 10 more minutes cleaning up the glass and making sure there was none left on the pavement. I cut my hand on a shard and blood started making my work even more difficult. Finally I pulled it together and headed into the building. There were no seats left at the tables so I had to sit in a chair against the wall like time out.
Finally some good luck! The first workshop ended early. It was 10:20 and I had till 12:00 to get all the way across town in time. Even a loser could do that. This time, in having to reverse the directions, I missed three turns and went about 20 minutes in the wrong directions. 3 U-turns later I was beginning to wonder if I would get there after all. OK I was late to the last workshop also. All the wrong turns had taken their toll. I had to pee. As I got out of the car, I slammed the door. It didn't shut all the way. Now, I am loaded down with books, bags and a purse. I slam the door again. It does not shut. Third time is a charm. I hobble into the school where the meeting will be, and there are two "greeters" stationed there to open the door for me. They look at my disheveled appearance, my bag hanging from my arm, my open purse, which had just turned upside down in the car and dumped everything from my purse onto the pile of broken glass. I also had a briefcase with my workshop materials in it. They offered me some help which I declined. I may have looked like I needed help but I was not sinking to that level. But I was huffing and puffing and definitely out of breath.
Once again the workshop has begun and there is nowhere to sit except on the very front table at the very end of the table facing the back of the room with my back to the speaker. I could not see her presentation and could barely see her.
My face started sweating from the warmth in the room and the 200+ people who were there. My eyes started to sting. I had finally broken down and bought some wrinkle cream to see if it really worked. It had migrated to my eyes. Hours later they are still burning.
Sorry, readers, if this post is too long but I knew that you would have to have all the details. I am looking forward to "Black Cow Day." I think I deserve it.
By the way the wrinkle cream must be working on my eyes. Not a wrinkle!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wednesday Holidays

Wednesday is Cupcake Day. Now you can easily celebrate this. Cupcakes are the greatest thing ever invented. As you are eating your cupcake browse through your Mail Order catalog because it is Mail Order Catalog Day. Order whatever you want. Pay for it on your credit card. Feel free as the wind. Today is to celebrate catalogs. Shopping without leaving your house. Great plan. Of course, then when we come to National Pay Off Your Debt Day, you will be up the creek. (If there is such a holiday.)
But now the important holiday. It is "Bad Poetry Day." Many people write bad poetry, but they do it with the misguided idea that it is good poetry. However, there are many people who write Bad Poetry just to write bad poetry. And guess what ? You can find it on the internet.So, as usual, I am doing the research so you can reap the benefits. If there are any benefits.
Here is one called Underwear by Pogi&S
they were pink
he recalled
as he got out
of his blue ones
weren't u wearing pink bunny?
he asked her coyly
bunny din't say, but
just lay
wondering if she should care
about her boyfriend
stealing her underwear.
Then we have Untitled by Padraic Fitzcarraldo
If you ever say to someone,
"Read this poem.
It means so much to me."
They will read it
and it will mean nothing to them.

Very very true!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tuesday's Holidays

First of all, it is National Thrift Shop Day. As a great believer in thrift, I am liking that holiday. However, our celebration will more likely be on the weekend, when I have time to pursue thrift.
It is also The Meaning of "Is" Day. The idea behind this is that "is" is a really hard word to define without using the word "is" in your definition. If you are brain dead like I am tonight, you may want to save this holiday until a day such as National Beer Drinkers Day or Marguerita Day, where you can ponder the meaning of "is" after you are loosened up!
Today was our first day back at school, just the teachers. Just a whirlwind day of meetings, lunch provided by PTA, announcements, inducting the new teachers,smile for the camera for ID badges, and all school employees get on the stage for a staff picture. No bunny ears, no closed eyes, no nose picking. It was a tough job to get all of us smiling at the same time. Meanwhile, my shirt was dirty from unpacking boxes and my deodorant had given out about 3 hours earlier. On to tomorrow.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Once again technology has reared its ugly head in my direction, making me look like a fool. My first problem today is that I wanted to add some links to my blog. Not only did I manage to de-link my old links, I could not get what I wanted done, despite the step-by-step directions provided for me. Will try again tomorrow.
Then Kayla, our roommate, brought over her boyfriend today. We had not met him before but he is a wonderful nice guy with a big smile. He is tall. George and I felt quite shrunken next to him.
Anyway his specialty is computers and he just finished school. So he proceeded to tell me about how a Wi-Fi works. Kayla calls him "J".
J: "So you connect this router and this cord and need this password and you are set up for internet."
Jeanne: "Uh huh."
J: "Do you have a router?"
Jeanne: "I don't know."
I start rooting around in my desk drawers, piling everything that looks like a wire into his hand.
"Are any of these what you need?"
"No. Do you get internet on your little laptop?"
"I don't know. Maybe."
"Let's look."
We get all excited. I DO get internet. It is right there on my laptop. How cool is that?
When J finished telling me about the Wi-Fi, which I keep confusing with Hi-Fi, like when I was growing up, I say,
"Well, J. That was all very entertaining.I hope you don't expect me to be able to comprehend any of that though."
I just wanted to make sure he knew what he was dealing with. For now, don't click on my links....

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Best Friends

There are several holidays for tomorrow. One of them is "National Relaxation Day." It comes on the last day of the summer vacation for teachers so I hope they heed this holiday and spend some time with their families. We could use more of this holiday. One a week would be okay with me.
Tomorrow also is Best Friends Day. I suppose this might be celebrated more by women than men. I am always amazed and grateful at the friends that have entered my life and changed it for the better. Some hang around for a long time, some are there for just a short while, but all of them make a difference to me in who I am and who I can become. As years go by, and circumstances change, friends move on to other friends who fulfill their needs in a different time and space. New friends become important to you. Tomorrow I will be reflecting on all of the loving people who have been important to me in my life. I hope that in some small way, I have made a difference to them.

A New School Year is Upon Me

Well, next week I go back for my week of teacher pre-planning. It is always a little crazy, running here and there, trying to be available for everyone that needs me. (I am a curriculum specialist). Then on Friday I have to take the tour to compliment everyone on their beautiful and welcoming classrooms. All their hard work has paid off and they are pumped.
So in anticipation of complete and utter exhaustion, George and I ran around and did last minute stuff. I wanted to finish decorating the master bedroom, you remember, the one that has one green wall and three peach walls. Well, I was sure that my color scheme would create the bedroom of the year. One of those hoity toity magazines would be knocking on my door to photograph it.
I had started out with a bright rainbow quilt that I picked up at a snazzy gay community garage sale. Supposedly the color scheme on it was meant for a gay couple, but I just liked the variety of colors. Once I got it home, I realized I would need a new bedskirt, sheets, pillows, the whole bit. So we spent the weekend shopping, my desire to bring out all the brilliant colors in the quilt. We ended up with a hodge-podge of color that does not really match anything but I like it. It's like having a bouquet of wild flowers, they don't match anything but are beautiful just as they are.

Friday, August 13, 2010

You Might Learn Something

Holidays coming up tomorrow have some historical significance. First of all, and this was news to me, it will be National Navajo Code Talkers Day. This holiday was first named by President Reagan to commemorate the bilingual Navajo Natives who were recruited during WWII by the Marines to transmit secret tactical messages.
Speaking of WWII, Saturday is also V-J Day which means "Victory Over Japan", representing the day that Japan surrendered at the end of World War II. I am guessing this holiday is not celebrated in Japan.
Celebrate "Sandcastle and Sculpture Day" preferably at the beach, unless you like lugging tons of sand to your house. An alternative could be cat litter, I suppose but your sculpture might be rather grainy. And not smell too good.
Then my favorite. "National Garage Sale Day." I love a good garage sale. They are sprinkled all over south Florida. You can just get in the car on a Saturday morning and drive. Our car is equipped with a GSF, a Garage Sale Finder. It automatically turns to the nearest garage sale, especially when I am driving. It's a little hot right now, but when it cools off I'm there. We buy tons of crap at a really cheap price, get it home and never use it. A year later, I put it on Freecycle, or sell it at a garage sale. Politicians refer to these items as the Gross National Product, so-named because nobody wants them.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Friday The 13th

For those who tend to be a bit superstitious, this might be the day to lay low, pretend there are no holidays to observe. I, not having any such superstitious beliefs, could celebrate the day easily by doing things in groups of 13: read 13 pages of a book, spend 13 minutes in exercise, eat 13 pieces of chocolate, and use the restroom 13 times.
Tomorrow is also "Blame Someone Else Day." Evidently, this holiday is celebrated more than once a year in south Florida. It would probably be more appropriate to celebrate "Blame Yourself Day." At least that would be a switch from the norm.
Friday is also International Left Hander's Day. This leaves me in a predicament. I am right handed but both my sons are left-handed. I can celebrate in their honor though by writing left-handed for the entire day.
Finally, Kool-Aid Day. Boy, I grew up on Kool-Aid. That was all we had to drink other than water, which was not even considered as an option. We made pitcher after pitcher of Kool-Aid, drank it, sold it on the corner and froze it into Kool-Aid popsicles. That's probably why I turned out the way I did.
Tomorrow will also be my last weekday of summer freedom. On Monday I go back to work at Margate Elementary. So I may do some celebrating of my own. Do they consider cleaning the house and laundry as celebrating in some cultures?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Holidays for Tomorrow

I am not really thrilled with the holidays for tomorrow so therefore I may go back and celebrate Barbie-in-a-Blender again. Tomorrow, Aug 12th is IBM PC Day. Now, as a family that has all Apple computers, and having a son that works at Apple, I can tell you right now that we will not be celebrating this one.
It will also be International Youth Day, which to me is a little bit of an oxymoron. When my kids were growing up, it seemed like every day was their day. Has that changed? Anyway, this holiday was developed by the United Nations and this year's theme is communication among youth of different cultures. Now I get it. That sounds good. Communication leads to understanding which leads to tolerance.
Next is Sewing Machine Day. This also will not be celebrated at our house. Although I wish I could sew (my sister is a whiz at sewing) I was not blessed with the sewing gene. I can't even sew a button on. I get threads all over the outside of the button and it looks terrible. The sewer in my home is my husband George. So I hand over my mending projects to him. And ironing projects. I don't iron either. For that matter, I don't cook. He does all the cooking. What is it that I do? I'll get back to you on that in a future blog.
The final holiday, which just fills me with nostalgia, is Vinyl Record Day. I remember fondly my collection of 45s and 33 albums. The 45s had a bright yellow adapter that fit in the middle so that you could put the record on the turntable. Scratchy sound, it was great. The 45s always had a hit on one side and an unknown song on the back. One of the 45s I owned had a song called "Parkin' Meter" on the back. The lyrics consisted of

"Parkin' meter
Parkin' meter
Put a penny in the parkin' meter."
I believe that was about it for the lyrics, along with some sound effects to sound like coins dropping.
I also owned an "Asian" record recorded by Hari Kari and His Six Saki Sippers. Why I bought it I don't know but I did have many hours of hilarious fun listening to the two songs, sung with authentic "Asian" accents: "Yes, Sir, That's My Baby", and "Yokohama Mama" (Twas in Yokohama, I met this hot mama. She served radishes, octopus, rice and fried squid)
Not sure about those lyrics. They were a little unclear.
Then there was "Sandy Went Away." Another lyric sensation.
"Sandy went away
Oh how I miss her.
Sandy went away
I long to kiss her.
Maybe some day I pray
She'll come back to me to stay, to stay,
Wo wo wo wo wo..."
This one was a special favorite of my sister's.

We lost something when we gave up our vinyl records. You haven't lived till you have put a record on the spindle and watched it drop down, with the needle arm moving over to play it. Talk about technology!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Holidays for Tomorrow

Well, tomorrow's holidays were a learning experience for me. Tomorrow is Ingersoll Day. Now that does not mean that you should search out a friend with the last name of Ingersoll and give them your congratulations. (I knew one...Barbara Ingersoll) Ingersoll Day is named after Colonel Robert Ingersoll (1833-1899), a Civil War veteran, American political leader, and orator. Ingersoll made history in the state of Illinois with his famous speeches on agnosticism, antislavery and women's rights. But here is the part that amazes me. His three hour speeches were memorized, no cue cards, no notes, no script. Now that is what he should be known for!
In addition, it is President's Joke Day. I know that you will want to know about that. You probably think it's about making jokes about the president. Well, that's not it. It is a day to commemorate Ronald Reagan's joke on himself on August 11, 1984. Just before his speech, he was doing voice tests with the microphone. He quipped, thinking the sound system was not on live feed: "My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in 5 minutes." To his dismay, this message went out to the public. Hence, this day is now known as "President Joke Day." Watch our president carefully and see if he makes a joke.
As far as I'm concerned, today was my "Jeanne is a Joke" Day. I went over to my school and when I wanted to leave I could not find my purse. I walked into every place I had been, had all the office staff worried about my purse. Everyone brought every color of purse they could find to me to no avail. Aha! My brilliant mind went into overload. I called my cell phone number on the school phone. It started ringing and I realized the purse must be near me. I turned to the left, no purse. I turned to the right. No purse. I went in circles. No purse. The ringing was driving me bonkers! Finally I found the my pocket. But still no purse. Eventually I found the purse, but felt like a blooming idiot for a while, going around in circles.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Holidays for Tuesday

Some important holidays are coming up tomorrow. First and I think foremost, S'mores Day. Boy, those were a favorite when I was a girl scout. Yes, I was a scout. Hard to believe. We would make those s'mores when we went camping. It is also Smithsonian Day. If you are up that way, stop in at the Smithsonian and see Archie Bunker's Chair or Dorothy's red ruby slippers. Cool stuff.
Tomorrow is also Perigean Spring Tides Day. Now some of you uninformed people may need a little help on this one so I am going to provide some information on this most auspicious occasion.What I have been able to ascertain is that perigee is when the moon is closest to the earth. So this day would celebrate the tides that occur when the moon is closest to the earth. Some scientists claim this causes flooding. Others say no it doesn't. I say don't spend much time on this holiday. Just eat your s'mores.
Now the last one I have no clue why this would be a holiday. It is National Duran Duran Day. Now I ask you, Did you like Duran Duran during their day? Are they still around" Why did they have a first name and last name exactly the same? I am just going to wait till National Neil Diamond Neil Diamond Day.


Well, if you have not viewed the Middle-Age Woman video yet, check it out. Not only will it become an earworm (those annoying songs that get trapped in your brain for hours, sometimes even days) it may become your theme song. It's kind of a "I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar" kind of song but with a definite twist, or maybe I should say it is twisted. Anyway I love it.

Well, our little visitor from Assistance Dog Day has departed to go home with his family. George was getting a little worried that we were adding 4 more paws to the fold.

School is starting for me soon. I thought I would reflect on the teachers at my school, (Margate Elementary School) today. I have 4 more years till retirement, 4.5 if you are counting, but most of the faculty at my school is very young. It has caused me a great deal of reflection. Read on.

Help! I’m Surrounded by Barbie Dolls!

OK, I admit it. Like a ripened Gouda or a really fine wine, I have aged. My teaching career has spanned over 30 years and I’m still kicking.
New generations of educators develop, mushrooming into a complex tech-savvy society of dedicated professionals. I dub them the Barbie Dolls, a name that has nothing to do with their incredible teaching skills, but everything to do with their appearances.
The Barbie Dolls wear adorable dresses and teetery heels. Their long shiny hair and perfect white teeth offset tanned muscular legs and arms. They text-message, use iPhones, and DVD players with ease. Their designer sunglasses cost more than my car payment. Most are in the boyfriend-fiancée-just married-baby stage of life; distant memories for me.

As teachers, their high energy levels make learning exciting. They run and jog, they could cartwheel all the way to lunch. They teach dance and gymnastics in their spare time, they attend classes at night, and they have social lives. They know about bling and how to use it. They line-dance, wear fashionable clothes, and sparkle with enthusiasm and zest.

98% of the faculty at my school are Barbie Dolls. The other 2%, of which I am a part, wear sensible sneakers for lower back pain and knee problems. We represent a variety of body replacements such as hips and knees, and are researching the possibility of TBA (total body replacement). We are perplexed by the lumpy layer of fat that has spread, donut-like, around our abdomens and wonder if there is anything, other than exercise, that we can do to eliminate that. In the meantime, we conceal the rolls with elastic waistbands and oversize shirts.
As we chow down on our bagels and chocolate-covered donuts, we are not sure why the Barbie Dolls seem to have no trouble maintaining those perfect bodies. Lunchtime tells the whole story. Our lunches consist of a high carb lunch from the school cafeteria, with extra mashed potatoes and rolls. The Barbie Dolls seem satisfied with a low-fat yogurt, a piece of fruit and a salad.
Unlike Barbie Dolls, we do not sit down directly on the floor with the kids, unless we have a hefty adult on either side to hoist us up again. We carry extra underwear in our purses. You never know when a cough or a sneeze will set your whole urinary system in motion. Avoid really funny jokes.
Despite these obvious differences, I never noticed much disparity between me and the Barbie Dolls until one of the girls chatted with me about my teaching longevity.
She asked, “Tell me, have you ever felt like a fish out of water with all these young chicks around?”
Up until now, I had never been compared to any kind of sea animal.
I responded thoughtfully to her insightful question.
“No, I haven’t. Thanks for getting me in touch with my feelings.”
That was my first indicator that they realized how young they were, and how old I was. In my mind and heart, I felt young, which led me to question my belief system.

Was I once a Barbie Doll?
If so, what happened?
Will all the Barbie Dolls eventually turn into me?
One can only hope.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Holiday Surprises

Well, I did not expect to celebrate "Assistance Dog Day" in such a real way. Today, George and I were on the way home from lunch and we saw a little black and white moppy looking dog all by himself. I got out and lugged him into the car. He may be little but he's solid. We took him home and got out notices to advertise that we found him. Gave him a bath and now we are hoping mommy and daddy come and get him. He's adorable but the Kraus Zoo is fine with 3 cats and one dog.I guess we assisted a dog to celebrate.
Not much going on with holidays tomorrow unless you happen to be an Indigenous person. Tomorrow is "International Day of the World's Indigenous People." Indigenous means "aborigines" or people in certain areas of the world who have remained true to their culture, without Western civilization influence.

George and I went to a party last night with a 70s theme. We wore these cool tie-dyed t-shirts and jeans. Today for lunch we wore them again, and got a lot of interested looks from people. One guy asked us if we were "deadheads." Although we knew he meant to ask if we followed The Grateful Dead, there was some truth to our being deadheads, at least at times. Off to animal land.

Bloggers Beware!

OK I may be slow but I am learning. Last night I added my video section, and if you are interested in Boomer Humor please go onto to the YouTube link. I love it. I think it should be my theme song for my book.
Hopefully you have gotten your zucchini ready for your holiday events tonight. I did my research on Eleanor Roosevelt and added a couple of her best quotes in my last blog. Here is another one she said: "A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think."
Heck, I have already started that simplification stuff. She would probably like my chapter on creating the Low Maintenance Life. Talk about simplification.
I am finding that simplifying is becoming important. All the "stuff" that I have collected over the years is weighing me down. I am giving it away, selling it in garage sales and re-inventing myself. Now, if I could only get George to enter this simplification movement with me. He clutches his 65 years of gathered crap tightly and will not throw anything out or give it away. Once in a while, he offers me some token of garbage to get rid of. It is supposed to give me hope that eventually he will get rid of some of the piles of stuff that he is saving. With George, the rule is, "If I haven't used it in fifteen years, I will keep it for a few more decades. You never know when I might need it."
My response is that if you have not used it in 15 years, "No offense, honey, but toss it. It's crap." George usually wins unless I can spirit some of it out of the house in small doses.
Well, we are off to make some "Happiness Happen" for Cory and Ashlee and for ourselves by going to lunch with them.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Holidays for Sunday

I am taking a break from painting my cotton candy bedroom to provide you with tomorrow's holidays so that you will not be cast adrift like a piece of flotsam at sea.

For our writer friends, tomorrow is the "Day to Create." So no more excuses. BIC (Butt in Chair) and write. Celebrate writing.
It is also Eleanor Roosevelt Day. Celebrate her day by learning a few facts about her.
I have a couple of quotes from her that you may enjoy. "A woman is like a tea bag- you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." and my favorite one..."I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall." What a sense of humor!

It is also "Happiness Happens" Day. Seems to be an offshoot of the one that says "Shit Happens." And remember, you can create your own happiness by being true to yourself.
It also happens to be "Assistance Dog Day" which is kind of cool. I did some research on Assistance Dogs and have a great respect for what they can do and how their owners depend on them.
Finally, my favorite. I am hoping none of my neighbors are reading my post. It will be "Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Night." I have not researched this yet but have my own suggestions to make this a safe and fun night.
1. Decide on cooked or raw zucchini.
2. Raw zucchini should not be hurled from a car window. That is a sign of aggression.
3. Cooked zucchini in a casserole is an appropriate expression of holiday celebration.
It also should not be hurled from a car window.
4. Anonymous gifts will probably be trashed. If you took a long time to make a
delicious zucchini pie, you might want to take credit for it.
5. Do not include random objects in the zucchini casserole or pie. This does not make
good neighbors.
I will personally be celebrating "Happiness Happens Day" because I will be having lunch with my husband, my son, Cory and his girlfriend, Ashlee. That sounds pretty happy to me.

Reflections from Wrinkles, Waistlines, and Wet Pants

In case you have not read my latest book, I thought I would provide you with some of the introduction....

Wrinkles, elastic waistbands, and peeing have taken over my life. The day of my 50th birthday was the biggest wake-up call yet. It was finally time to take a critical look at myself to determine what the hell had happened. My body had matured, but Mother Nature had cruelly switched me over to the express track. The speed with which I had aged had accelerated to an unbelievable momentum.
There is no turning back. Once I overtook that half-century marker, my body developed an iron will of its own, exacting revenge for all of the rampant abuse I had heaped upon it during my earlier years. Simple coughs and sneezes now may require changes in underwear. Gravity is the victor in the ongoing tug of war between my top and my bottom. My body weight has been forced to migrate from my northern hemisphere south to my equator. One fateful day, I viewed myself in the mirror and realized that I had morphed into a human Tinker Toy.
Meanwhile, the biggest stress of all is that the world expects us females to keep up with the latest styles on the Paris runways. My life message to women my age? Limp as far away from fashion as your Tinker Toy legs can carry you...
...Don't get me wrong. I admit that aging has not been a totally seamless transition for me. Every time I progress to a new decade, the U.S. Bureau of Age Reduction issues a retraction statement, the latest one being, "Fifty is the new thirty!" Wouldn't you know it? I had finally recovered from the indignities of my over-the-hill celebration, and here I was, thrust back down to the valley of youth again. When I thought at long last I was achieving my Golden Years, my life was rewound like a bad movie. How many times do I have to suffer through frickin' menopause?
I say it's about time that someone took a stand on all of this aging gracefully crap. Let's all leap into old age like the pioneers did, both feet square on the ground, by cracky! No more tiptoeing around exercising and eating tofu products. Let's set fire to all those piles of self-help books and read some juicy slutfest romance novels. Become the fuddy-duddy of your dreams.
If this sounds familiar, maybe, just maybe, you can relate to how I feel. Perhaps you too have a mismatched body, and an avid distaste for exercise. Yet, you have a great appreciation for hot paramedics, offset by an immature and socially unacceptable sense of humor. Keep in mind the Jeanne Kraus tenets of aging freely and without reservation...
Your outward body is showing signs of wear and tear. Big deal.
Inside, you are probably the same fool you always were.
The difference is now you don't have to care!

(This is a partial excerpt from the introduction.)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Holidays for Saturday

As it turns out, I am going to need a holiday on Saturday. Today has been crazy busy. Tutoring at 8:45 AM, and working on emails and paperwork all morning. Then George and I decide to paint the master bedroom, which, like most of the house, except my office, has stayed a kind of dirty white since we moved in a bunch of years ago. We had some of the green paint left from my office and I like it so that is how we started. But we only had enough to cover one wall. So we argued about a few colors.
George is color-blind. I don't know why he cared but he did. We agreed on sunny yellow. 1 green wall and 3 sunny yellow walls. We get to Home Depot and I pick out a sunny yellow little sample card and show it to George.
He frowned. "I was thinking of a more rosy yellow." (Huh?)
We went over to the paint swatches till he found a peach color. Who cares? I said OK and we started painting today. We have one green wall and one peach wall. Its like living in Marshmallow Peepsville. We may have to accessorize...
Ok back to holidays.Saturday is a big day. BIG! Let's start out with "Lighthouse Day." Give thanks for all the lighthouses. If you live near one, honk as you go by. We also need to celebrate "National Mustard Day." Now, this even includes Dijon so let's start thinking. Activities could include a hot dog roast, using mustard to finger-paint, or a rousing game of "Clue" (Colonel Mustard!)
Next is "Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day." I celebrate this day by packaging up something to take to the Post Office, something in a package that will create a buzz among all the people waiting in line and to make the postal employees' heads spin around a couple of times. It is also "Professional Speakers Day." Enjoy a workshop or convention tomorrow and be sure to thank the speaker for their contributions to our world.
Tomorrow is also Twins Day. I don't know what activities they have up their sleeves, but I am sure it is something. Double the fun, double the headaches. That's twins for you. Be aware that Sunday is a big holiday day also. Don't save some of these holidays for Sunday because you will have more than enough to keep you busy!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Speaking in Public

I have had some calls for me to speak in public about "Wrinkles, Waistlines and Wet Pants." As I mentioned before, my first one will be for a group of stroke survivors. I am looking forward to that one. I believe that we all need to get perspective on our own lives by realizing what some people live with on a daily basis.So I will plan carefully for this particular group because I need to find out what they would find as funny. My sister, who is an emergency room nurse, will fill me in on what might appear to be funny to stroke victims.
Another group called today. I met them at the Senior Expo and they have a ladies' group that will be meeting for High Tea. Right away I confessed to Esther, my caller, that I am not really a High Tea kind of person, and pretty much devoid of social skills in hoity-toity situations. She assured me that I would be fine. She got to talk to me quite a bit at the Expo and said I will be perfect. "After all," she said. "It's High Tea but we get all the stuff from Publix." So that sounded a little better. So I have to create a decorative hat to wear which I will festoon with items that reflect my book, hmm, some tinker toys, some dietary information, a proctologist's rubber glove and a toilet. We'll see how this one goes.

Holidays for Tomorrow

Well, as my friend, Mr. Pensive Sarcasm himself, has noted on his blog, I am a bit of a tecchie dinosaur. As a matter of fact, I typed in the title of this post and hit the wrong button so I had a post with just "Holidays for Tomorrow." on it. But thanks to my quick-witted thinking I was able to go back and complete the work.

Holidays for tomorrow...Well, you need to plan to do some work ahead for this one.
1. It is Hiroshima Day. A little research might be good here.
2. It is also Braham Pie Day. Now, here is the problem. I did not know what kind of pie that was but I was thinking it couldn't be good. The only thing that came to mind was that the word reminds me of a Brahma Bull and that would make it bull pie, which does not sound like a good thing. So I researched it for you. It turns out that Braham, Minnesota, yes, its a town, considers itself the Homemade Pie Capital. Tomorrow is their Pie Festival. So if any of you live in that area, could you please send me some pie?

Last, but not least, it is National Fresh Breath (Halitosis) Day. I cannot emphasize the importance of this holiday. The other day I meant a man that had breath that could knock you off the Sears Tower. Putrid rotting breath. It almost killed me. So please celebrate. I have some great suggestions for this holiday.

1. Hand out mints to anyone suffering from Halitosis.
2. Gently place a stick on note to their shirt, when they are not looking, advising
them of their breath problem.
3. Pinch your nose shut when you are assaulted by bad breath. They will recognize
that as a hint.
4. Wear a T-shirt with the message, "Have you checked your breath today?"
5. Check your own breath. I'm doing mine now.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Holidays for Tomorrow

I realize I did not address the holidays for tomorrow and Thursday yet. Being that you need to prepare, you should know ahead of time so here they are. First of all, tomorrow on Wed, we celebrate Coast Guard Day. I am serious about that one. Florida has a long shoreline and we need to have our protectors there to check out boats and problems along the border. Which brings us to our next holiday tomorrow. What a perfect thing to do. Stop by that Coast Guard station with some hot cookies out of the oven, chocolate chip of course. Wednesday is National Chocolate Chip Day. Yum on that.If you are not near a Coast Guard station, eat them yourself and send them a picture. No. That would be mean.

Big day coming up on Thursday. First of all it is International Beer Day. Now I think that should be of interest to many people who drink beer. They can still drink beer, just more of it. Now me, I am not a beer drinker, but maybe a root beer can count (in a frosty cold mug!) Mmmm. And the best is saved for last...Thursday Is National Underwear Day. Need some suggestions for National Underwear Day?
1. Clean out your underwear and throw out anything that looks disgusting and ratty.
2. Wear no underwear!
3. Trade underwear with your spouse for the day.
4. Wear your underwear backward.
5. Wear your underwear outside your clothes.
Enjoy Underwear Day. It only comes once a year. I think.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Susan Boyle

Susan Boyle has occupied my thoughts quite a bit since she became famous. Ever since her coming out performance which I viewed over and over on a YouTube video, I have wondered how she is doing. Here she was, a nobody in a little town, who was, from all accounts, rather lonely and unhappy. She had some learning disabilities as a young person and was taunted in school. From these early unhappy beginnings came this most beautiful voice. I was very taken with her story. Right away I wanted to move to her town.
"George!" I said. "I have an idea. Susan Boyle is just freaking out with all of the publicity. Overnight all of her life has changed and it's very hard emotionally for her. I want us to move over there and take care of her. She will have someone she can trust. She needs a cushion to protect her from the media. We could be her friends." I looked at George.
"You just want to move over to Scotland?" He looked at me, disbelieving.
"Yeah. I am going to retire soon. And we can write her a letter and tell her we are available to support her and help her out. It would be fun. And she deserves it. She has had a hard life."
George thought. "What would we do with the animals?"
"Take them with us of course. Diana took all of her animals, I think it was 1 dog and 5 cats, when she and Don moved to France. It just about drove her out of her mind as they unloaded all these pet carriers but she did it."
George turned down my idea. "We can't move to Scotland. You'd be away from the kids. My mother."
As it turned out Susan Boyle seems to have adjusted to the limelight and there is probably a George and Jeanne type couple helping her out right now. But the thought was there.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Another hot day in sunny south Florida. I am realizing my vacation is over in a couple weeks so I need to get on Warp Speed and get everything done that I had on my Want-to-do-list. George and I started with me deciding to paint the bedroom.
George doesn't like the green color. I comment that it is free, because it is left over from our last paint job. Unfortunately there is not enough for the whole bedroom. We can either buy more of the green paint that George does not like or go for a contrasting color like the fancy magazines have. At first George suggested brown which I nixed right away. Brown walls do nothing for me. Now I am thinking purple or yellow. It is more of that Who Cares? attitude. It's our bedroom. We can make it look like a circus tent if we want. But here is what was funny, or sad, depending on your viewpoint.
We could not find the paint. All our left over paint is in the garage in various states of rustology. We could not find the green one. We looked and looked. I realized we are not done organizing out in the garage at that point. We looked for about 10 minutes and I came back in, giving up. There it was on the kitchen counter, waiting to be opened. One of us had brought it in and left it there. Neither of us claim responsibility. Sad. You'll be there too some day.