Today we helped Sarah move into her new apartment even though we had sworn that we wouldn’t do it again. She didn’t even have to ask. We offered to help. That’s what moms and dads do. We’ve moved Sarah a lot. Once when she wasn’t even there to help. John has been a wonder this week. Lifting and climbing stairs with heavy loads. He is black and blue from hauling our stuff on Thursday and Sarah’s stuff today.

Sarah was really appreciative. She even bought us lunch. And we didn’t say, no, we’ll pay. There’s a first. All of this has me thinking about what my parents did for me and whether I was appreciative enough.

They came to my concerts in high school, or at least my mom did. They took me to music lessons. We went to the beach. They loaned us money for our first house. I got a car for my college graduation. When I was young, we went on vacations. My mom always took my side in arguments. They let me play ping pong (hah) in the basement with my boyfriends. They came to my wedding.

Often I spend a lot of time recalling what they didn’t do for me and feeling bad about it. There were plenty of shortcomings. But what wouldn’t I give now, to be able to give them a hug and say thanks for all the times that I forgot to.

Towel throwing

Since I promised yesterday –

The expression “to throw in the towel” comes from boxing. When a boxer was pretty well beaten up, his seconds would throw something in the ring to indicate that they were ready to admit defeat on his part. The handiest thing was usually a sponge or towel which was kept in the boxer’s corner.



We’ve been moving households this past week and I’ve tried to keep up with the blogging but today I have to throw in the towel. Hmmmm…I wonder where that expression came from? Hopefully, tomorrow I’ll have the answer to that and other really important things. Thank you for stopping by.



I was thinking about opposites yesterday. There were a lot of things, especially as a child, that I regarded as opposites. Probably if I did a word association kind of thing and I had to say the first opposite that came into my mind, these strange opposites would still pop up.

What’s the opposite of vanilla? Why chocolate, of course, except that they are both merely different flavorings for ice cream. Why shouldn’t mint chocolate chip be the opposite of vanilla then? Or the opposite of chocolate for that matter.

How about salt? Pepper, I’d say. But these are just different seasonings.

I agree that white is the opposite of black, but if I said red, would you say blue? Or green? Green is the complement of red. (I asked Sarah what was the opposite of red and she said, “Anti-Communist?” She obviously thinks much deeper thoughts than I.)

In the condiment field, is mustard the opposite of ketchup?

John thinks chicken is the opposite of beef. I thought it was fish.

Do you have silly opposites?


On a completely different subject, I was in Costco and they had a set of attractive chargers (not the horse.) So I was wondering where this word, charger, came from. Thank goodness for the internet for providing answers to all one’s obscure questions.

Here’s the etymology from –
“ A charger plate is a large dish on the table when you are seated and other plates and dishes are placed, or loaded, on top of it. The term is either from the Anglo-Norman chargeour meaning that which loads, or from the Old French chargeoir meaning a utensil that is used to load (in this case food onto a dish). The command “charge your glasses” traditionally given before toast is of the same origin. The term dates to the early 14th century.”

I saw on another site that John the Baptist’s head was placed on a charger. That would be rather earlier than the 14th century.



Is it hot or is it just me? For a woman in those delicate years (you know, when no one thinks of you as having a sex other than bothersome), it’s sometimes hard to tell whether it’s hot outside or your own personal generating plant is the cause. Really, somebody ought to find a use for all this energy. Maybe all women 50 and older could spend 15 minutes a day plugging their fingers into some sort of receptacle which could then take the heat and turn it into a renewable power source. By the time you are at this stage in your life, there is so much you could pass on along with the energy – knowledge, compassion, love, irony – you get my drift.

Actually, I was thinking about how hot it is on a non-personal basis. All across the nation, people are wilting, even dying from the heat. I watched a tennis match from Indianapolis yesterday where one of the guys had to withdraw with heat exhaustion. The temperature on the court was a cross between the surface temperature of 118 degrees and the air temperature of 98 degrees. Plus there was a lot of humidity. What’s going on? Is this just a blip on the weather radar or a sign of things to come? We’ve had a lot of hot years in a row. And we’ve had a lot of unusual weather. There’s been a lot of hurricanes in the southeast, a lot of rain in the southwest and a lot of drought in between. Should we be paying more attention to this on a national level? Are we emitting too many greenhouse gases? Is some other country emitting to many?

The bottom line is this; it’s too damn hot. And I’m hot already.



It’s gotten to the point where I just don’t want to listen to the news anymore. There is so much violence and hatred in the world. There’s so much division and backbiting in our own government. There’s not enough money to deal with human needs in our country let alone in the rest of the world. With terrorist acts, ideologues, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, religious zealots, sexual predators, and the price of crude oil awakening me every morning, I just want to pull the covers over my head to block it all out.


In today’s NY Times puzzle, one of the down clues was “hardly sesquipedalian.” I got the answer, “terse,” basically by getting the acrosses. I looked up sesquipedalian in the dictionary later and found the meaning below. I usually think of “terse” as being shortly concise rather than using short words. It’s a nuance of meaning I found interesting.

Sesquipedalian – Given to the overuse of long words

Sesquipedalian comes from Latin sesquipedalis, a foot and a half long, hence inordinately long, from sesqui, one half more, half as much again + pes, ped-, a foot.

IKEA, East Palo Alto, California

Yesterday, John and I had lunch at IKEA in their cafeteria. We were shopping; it was lunchtime and it seemed easier to have lunch there then go get in the car and drive somewhere. Plus, with the price of gas here, driving is less of a first option. (Found a low price station where the gas was $2.55 yesterday. Most of the ones around here are about $2.67 for regular.) Anyway, we were pleasantly surprised.

We had the couscous special which was couscous and lentils with lots of different vegetables. These included red peppers, onions, carrots, corn, eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms. All the vegetables were well-seasoned although the whole thing was a little greasy. This came with a thick, white garlic sauce which was so-so. We also got a fried stick of vegetables in a batter which was reminiscent of a hush puppy.

Probably the best part was the salad which was from a limited salad bar. The greens mix had lots of argula and also some watercress, radicchio and something else they looked sort of like dandelion. The toppings were chickpeas and carrots. The greens were really tasty. There was also a selection of rolls. We had dill rolls. They were good.

The whole bill including drinks came to $12. Pretty good meal, pretty good price.

Mary’s grade – B
John’s grade – B+



Patrick’s puzzle is in the New York Times today! His name is right there next to Will Shortz’s name. What a triumph. Patrick is a friend by way of being Ryan’s sister’s boyfriend. We discovered we had a mutual love of crosswords. He’s now taken it one step further.

The puzzle is great. It has a theme and lots of contemporary clues. Clever ones too, like “Mormons, initially.” It’s a three letter answer.

So hat’s off to Patrick who has made it to the BIG TIME!