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Experts estimate that the total monetary cost for the U.S. - including long-term veterans care - of the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan may eventually total as much as $4 trillion.

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    LOOK!  They're rebuilding the Surf City Waterslide!  


Tuesday, November 11th, 2014...  If our economy is in the doldrums, how can so many people afford smart phones?  I looked at a chart broken down according to age groups, and I was shocked to find that 95% of adults have cell phones compared to only 80% for teenagers.  I would have bet my, my......well, I would have made a substantial wager and LOST.  I don't know anyone without a cell phone.  Do you?  I know they are all not smart phones.  In today's market, all cell phones support texting and the taking of pictures.  I am proud to say that everyone in my family has entered the smart phone era....even my youngest finally purchased one after much encouragement from friends who would laugh at her flip phone.  Okay, now that I am passed the preliminaries, I want to talk about all my senior friends that have made the transition from no cell phone to smart phones.  It is tough to teach old folks new stuff, but I guess everyone - even seniors - want to keep up with the youth of today.  Most of the senior citizens that I know have the peculiar habit of turning off their cell phones unless they are using them.  I am not in that category.  Mine is on 24/7.  A few of my senior friends are having trouble with the abbreviations used in texting.  Some they have down pat; others they forget.  A few of my senior friends have made up their own, and this makes it impossible to understand what they are trying to communicate.  My friend in Tennessee once sent me FWIW.  I could not figure it out.  So I had to ask for an explanation - FORGOT WHERE I WAS.  Naturally, his wife doesn't allow him to drive anymore.  He once used DWI, which to him meant DRIVING WHILE INCONTINENT.  That too is a good reason for him not to drive since they only have one car.  A relative in Florida uses WTF to mean WHAT'S TODAY'S FISH.  I don't want to bore you, but I have one more that a friend in Pennsylvania uses.  His favorite one is LWO, which translates to LAWENCE WELK IS ON.  One more from my friend in Tennessee - see if you can decipher it.  WIWYA!  Good luck. 
(Next Rambling will be posted on November 25th)

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014...  I know it will change soon, but the weather here for the last few weeks has been perfect after a so-so summer.  What will the winter bring?  Let me go check the Old Farmer's Almanac....  I am back.  What do they know?  I hope they are wrong because it stated...."and another teeth-chatteringly cold winter is on its way across the United States!"  While I was looking for this faulty prediction, I encountered a section on words.  Now, my readers know how I love words.  The first one really wasn't a word.  It was an abbreviation that I don't think I ever knew how it was formed.  Now, I know where "lb." originated.  Helga says that I forget a lot of things, and I have to believe her.  However, I know the big A is not even close...I hope.  Back to lb....  The abbreviation for pound, lb., comes from the Roman astrological sign Libra.  Interesting, right?  Well, I found a few other interesting words.  Let's go with one more word - erythrophobe.  I bet there are millions of people who have this condition.  When I first started teaching, I had a female student with this condition.  She would "blush" when I called her name to ask her a question.  She was such a blusher that even her legs would blush.  Now, remember this was back in the day when all girls had to wear skirts.  Yes, back in the dark ages.  I don't want to bore you folks with more words so stop reading now.  However, if my grandkids are reading this, the first one to email me with the word for the handle on a bucket or kettle will win ten dollars.  I am closing with gnomon, griffonage, and sternutation, which is something we all do every day.  I'll be back on November 11th.

October 14th, 2014...  I can honestly say nothing exciting is happening at 1205 so I have to resort to my Apple writing app - Prompts.  WE are going to make a run to New Jersey soon; but since we have not done that yet, I can't write about it unless I make stuff up.  Everyone knows that I never make things up.  Grandchild number four loves to make up stories; he must get that from the Steller genes.  Well, back to my app.  I hit the plus sign for a topic.  It was - "Then, suddenly, the move went wrong."  Now that could be a good one, but nothing positive came to my mind.  As my readers know, I don't write about negative things like our President or the other liars in Washington, D.C.  Hmm, that was a little harsh, but everyday a little more comes out.  Now with this Ebola scare and a possible war with ISIS, those same folks in Washington need to be honest with us.  Gees, was this "a move that went wrong" by me?  Okay, let me go back to my Prompts app and hit that plus sign again.  I promise I will write about whatever comes up because I told my students many, many years ago that they should be able to write about any topic that is given to them.  Our minds are creative and we should use that part of our brain more than we do.   Okay, here goes - hitting the plus sign.  "The first postcard I received was from...."  Now that one I can write about.  I might have to fudge it a little, but I can do it.  Back in the old days, when students were allowed to go on vacation during the school year - don't forget I taught in an area where most of the parents worked seasonal jobs - they would ask for their assignments.  I would tell them that I would give them time to make them up when they returned - mainly because it was a hassle for me to list assignments that we were going to complete while they were gone.  However, I would tell them that they had to send me a postcard while they were on vacation.  The postcards were placed on the bulletin board.  I knew I could do it!  I'll be back on October 28th unless I am in New Jersey.

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014...  My first car was a 1951 Ford.  It should have been a '48 Ford, but a few years before I obtained my license, my sister Marion cracked it up.  I think she has always blamed me for that accident, but that is impossible because I wasn't even with her.  I remember the day of her accident as if it were yesterday.  It was a Friday afternoon, around 5pm, and she was going east on Batchelor Street (All the streets in our neighborhood were named after war heroes.) to pick up my Cousin Barbara, who worked at the Olds dealership which was on the corner of Route 37 and Hooper Avenue.  Now - anyone who knows the area will see right away that she was going the wrong way.  But that is not part of this Rambling.  I was riding on my bike with my dog Jingles at my side.  I was going west towards our home on the corner of Batchelor and Dickinson.  We were about to pass each other about three blocks from our home.  However, Jingles spotted the '48 Ford and stopped in the middle of the road.  Marion, naturally, stopped the car and this is where she made her mistake.  She opened the door to allow Jingles to jump in the car.  I waved - see you later - and headed home.  I am surprised that I didn't hear the accident because only a block or two later she ran into a tree.  Why?  Well, Jingles jumped on her lap to get out the window because he changed his mind and wanted to be with his favorite person.  There is more to the story which needs to be told, but my Rambling already is too long.  This wasn't even the topic for the week.  The topic was ....  Never mind, maybe I will save it for anther writing.  How's October 14th for you?  Let's make it a date.

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014...  "Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream - Make her the cutest that I've ever seen...."  Yes, those are the words my mother sang to me at night when I couldn't fall to sleep.  She would, then, make-believe she was dropping sand in my eyes.  Now I am older, and I need toothpicks to keep my eyes open at times.  I have discovered that fifteen minute power naps work much better with me than a ninety minute snooze in the middle of the day.  As most of my readers know, I love to learn so I decided to research the origin of the sandman putting something in the eyes to bring on sleep.  I found two written versions about the sandman - one written in 1841, by Hans Christian Andersen.  Here it is.......suitable for all ages.  "In the evening, while the children are seated at the table..., he comes up the stairs very softly..., then he opens the doors without the slightest noise, and throws a small quantity of very fine dust in their eyes, just enough to prevent them from keeping them open, and so they do not see him.  Then he creeps behind them, and blows softly upon their necks, till their heads begin to droop.  Under each arm he carries an umbrella; one of them, with pictures on the inside, he spreads over the good children, and then they dream the most beautiful stories the whole night.  But the other umbrella has no pictures, and this he holds over the naughty children so that they sleep heavily, and wake in the morning without having dreams at all."  I'll bet that tale has been enjoyed by many, many children over the years.  Here is the one that they never tell.  I know all my grandkids will love this one so I must include it here.  E.T.A. Hoffman's (1776-1822) short story about the mythical sandman would be rated R today so stop reading if you are weak of heart.  His sandman would throw sand in the eyes of naughty children who wouldn't fall asleep, causing their eyes to fall out.  The sandman would then collect their eyes and feed them to his own children.  Was I right or was I right?  I'll be back on September 30th.


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