Household Tips

A friend sent me this–I thought it might be of interest to you.   I don’t know who originally wrote it, so I can’t give credit—but whoever it was, thanks!

Better than paper towels.


You can buy 1,000 at a dollar store, even the large ones.
1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.
(I’m going to try this one for sure.)

2. Clean windows, mirrors, and chrome… Coffee filters are lint-free so they’ll leave windows sparkling.

3. Protect China by separating your good dishes with a coffee filter between each dish.  (Ah ha!  I have used paper plates, but they can add height to the stack of dishes.  This sounds like a great alternative.)

4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.

5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.

6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.

(While we are on the topic of shoe polish: the other night I was going out and needed to give my shoes a quick shine.  Mayonnaise works really well.  Next time, I’ll put a dab of mayonnaise on a coffee filter and shine my shoes!  Works when one is in a hurry.  Also a bit neater than using shoe polish.)

7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.

8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.

9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods. (Why didn’t I think of this?)

10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes. (Spring is on its way and I have some plants needing to be repotted.  Hope I can remember to do this.)

11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.

12. Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows? Use strips of coffee filters..

13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc on them.. It soaks out all the grease.

14. Keep in the bathroom. They make great "razor nick fixers.."

15. As a sewing backing. Use a filter as an easy-to-tear backing for embroidering or appliquéing soft fabrics.

16. Put baking soda into a coffee filter and insert into shoes or a closet to absorb or prevent odors.

17. Use them to strain soup stock and to tie fresh herbs in to put in soups and stews.

18 Use a coffee filter to prevent spilling when you add fluids to your car..

19. Use them as a spoon rest while cooking and clean up small counter spills.

20. Can use to hold dry ingredients when baking or when cutting a piece of fruit or veggies. Saves on having extra bowls to wash.

21. Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage.

22. Use them to remove fingernail polish when out of cotton balls.

23. Use them to sprout seeds. Simply dampen the coffee filter, place seeds inside, fold it and place it into a zip-lock plastic bag until they sprout.

24. Use coffee filters as blotting paper for pressed flowers. Place the flowers between two coffee filters and put the coffee filters in phone book.

25. Use as a disposable "snack bowl" for popcorn, chips, etc.

26. Great in the tool room when separating nails and screws then use in to bottom of containers to remove moisture and prevent rust.

I didn’t know most of this stuff!


The Belcourt Theater in Hillsboro Village, Nashville, TN will show MOTHER OF GEORGE, a film produced by Matthew Parker—he produced BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD which is up for four (4—COUNT ‘EM!) Academy Awards!

If you would like to go to this showing, it is at 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 31—ONE SHOW ONLY!  And, yes,  Mr. Parker will be there to answer audience questions after the show.

Go here to read the previous post about MOTHER OF GEORGE!

(Note, I got the date wrong initially thinking that it was December 31, but it is January 31, 2013.)

And go here to purchase tickets:


Here we come again!


Well, ‘course you went to sales.  It was sun shiney, it was crisp, but not cold, and there WERE sales!” chuckled Jabberwocky who has, too long, been forced to be silent. 

She always gets a laugh out of the Brocanting Brigade, as do I, myself.  And maybe you do too?

Yep, we were all there—Thumper, Vanna (in her stylish Panda Sweater), Girlfriend, Cupcake, Sosew and yes, even Jabber.

Starting later than usual, because sales started later than usual, we did find several treasures—everyone found something!

Here is my ‘loot shoot’ of the day:

image  image

The basket and everything in it for $5.  How cute are the utensils?!


image  New wastebasket for the office, $5


                                                                                                                                                                                     Small box, free!                                                                                                                                                                         image  Zipper-enclosed case with new scrapbook supplies, colored pens, scissors, $3


Four boxes of ornaments and a Sorcerer nutcracker, $2 for all.


Yes, I confess, I did.  I bought more Christmas.  This, after having my family invade the attic, decide what they’d like and take many ornaments home with them.  I am a Christmas addict.  I’m beyond redemption, I fear.

And, besides, it’s only 332 days, 10 hours, 10 minutes and 32 seconds until Christmas!       

But……..we all had a grand time!  And really, that’s the only thing that matters.


For the Y-Knots


My son sent this photo this morning—from Illinois.

Oh yes, the Y-Knots are well known!!



I say it’s time we got into some new mischief!  This blog is getting boring—I need some new material.  And, we must live up to our reputation, right?  I’m waiting!


It’s ALWAYS Something!

Cleaning up here, discovered a wheel was off the bottom rack of my rather old (18 years) dishwasher.  I found the wheel and decided I’d empty out the dishwasher and put the wheel back on, even though it’s, well, it’s melted a bit—fell on a coil.  It still looked serviceable.

Imagine my surprise when I saw that all three wheels on one side of the rack were gone!  Hmmmmmm………I’ll have to order some if I can locate the right ones.  I have no clue where they disappeared to!

I investigated further.  I found some sort of a ‘pin’ with a metal coil stuck in a cup in the bottom.  I don’t know what it does, nor what it is supposed to do, so I removed it.  There was a screen at the bottom of the dishwasher.  I’d never paid any attention to that before and there in the center was the cup which also held a rather large piece of broken clear plastic and some other items I was not able to identify.  Pretty bad.  So, I figured out how to remove the screen—it was very packed with dried soap, mostly on the underside.  So, I cleaned it, scrubbed it with a brush and hot water and put it back into place.  (This took a while—I have never cleaned the dishwasher assuming that, well, it’s a dishwasher and it was always cleaned?  No.  Evidently not so.)

Time to clean the dishwasher. 

So, of course, I went to the internets where I found this excellent post about how to clean your dishwasher.  Pretty simple:  use white vinegar and then baking soda.  If you have a PLASTIC INTERIOR, you can also use bleach; if you have a metal interior, you can NOT use bleach.  You DO NOT use all of these ingredients together.  One at a time.  Go here and read about it!

So now I will clean the dishwasher AND my washer on the same day every month.  I really had no idea they would need cleaning, but they do!

Gotta’ go surf the internets now to find out where to order the missing wheels.  Maybe my friend, Baker (who is also a Master Plumber) can enlighten me on what the pin I removed is supposed to do.

Happy cleaning!

Tale of One City

It was the best of times……it was the worst of times.

Wait a minute, this is sounding familiar. 

What?                     Oh. 

It’s already been written.  No wonder the words came so easily. 

Oh well……so much for my entry into the world of writers. 

Or may best not or so…….that made no sense, which is why it is called ‘nonsense.’  Much of my life is like this—nonsense–read on, you’ll see.  It has a point.

What city I bet you’re wondering.  (Forgotten the question already?  It’s the title, weeder!)  Well, Nashville, of course.  You watch the TV show, do you?  Even Alice watches the show.  Or so I’m told (I have made the acquaintance, thru Jabber, of several White Rabbis/rabbies/rabbits, something like that).


I have.  I’ve watched it several times, actually.  Never more than about 5 minutes at a time, but I do claim to watch it.  My friends report the producer has done a great job showing off our beautiful city on the TV screen, enhancing the Blue Bird (sometimes of happiness, sometimes not) as well as some iconic places maybe most tourists don’t see or know about when they come for a visit.

Heck, I lived here decades before I knew about them.  So, yes, the show does a great job of showing off our city.

A friend remarked that it doesn’t show any of the more ‘seedy’ side of our city.  I reminded her that we don’t really HAVE a ‘seedy’ side.  That is something which struck me way back in the last century, in ‘81, when I arrived on the Nashville Scene (now a newspaper, not mine and I neither worked there nor had anything to do with it) at the not-so-young-nor-naïve age of thirty-something.  Yes, did.  No seedy side.  (However, I suppose I might have had a seedy side, but we won’t get into that here.)  I was amazed and awed.  (For accuracy’s sake, let me add that I grew up outside of Shee-car-go which does have numerous seedy sides.)

That said, the script has failed to ‘grab’ yours truly. 

I’m talking about the TV show NASHVILLE!  Pay attention, here, weebelos!

It’s not their fault, it’s entirely mois.  This because I never did like what is referred to as ‘soaps’—unless they really have something else to offer, which this one so far hasn’t for moi, but seems to for friends of mine.

The second reason is a prejudiced reason.   You will be shocked.  If you are a Nashvillian or you live in the South, you will be shocked.  Even Northren’rs will be shocked.  Confession of the day:

I do not like the Suthren’ accent.

It is a form of prejudice on my part.  I know it.  I admit it.  I’m sorry about it.  But I don’t like it.  And I have worked to overcome my prejudice, too, truly I have.  I mean, I even MOVED here truly to get over my prejudice, thinking if I could just immerse myself in the accent, well, I, too would learn to appreciate it.

What happened was

a.  I couldn’t understand half the people I met  including my boss who talked so FAST and with such an accent including the REAL Nashville/LA (that’s lower Alabama for those of you who are NOT Suthren’) accent of putting an ‘r’ on the end of words which end in a vowel, and using all sorts of colloquialisms. 

I didn’t know who he was talking to for several days, either, after beginning employment, when he would bellow out, ‘LADY!” (someone behind me? was there someone NAMED “Lady”—you know, like “Lady Bird Johnson” in the outer office?  I was clueless).  I finally understood that I was “Lady” and when he yelled out his newly invented nickname for me (in the South everybody seems to have nicknames), it was I/me/moi he was asking to come in and take dictation.

That was back in the day alright.  Dictation.  As in shorthand.  As I mentioned before, nonsense to me….. 

Bad enough I couldn’t understand his accent.  I had no clue what words he spoke when he did speak something akin to English.  This because I’d not only changed locations, I’d changed professions—and he spoke in Legaleze sometimes.  Sometimes Brokerspeak.  (In all fairness, I do credit my experience in this realm as helping me develop my ability to understand, if not speak, Poodlesse which has been most useful dealing with Security who lives here.  Refer to some previous posts for more information on this topic.)  (Does this make me bi-lingual?)

As an example, let me explain that when one says, “Uniform Gift to Minors Act” in Southren’, it comes out sounding like, “Uniformed  giff to Manors Act” and I wrote it down in this way and then transcribed it as I had written it—in shorthand.

Needless to say, this was not correct.  I was asked to correct it to what sounded like ‘miners’ and although I had no idea who would want to give some type of uniform (what kind of uniform?) giff to miners (coal miners?), I dutifully typed it up that way.

It took a while.  It was during this encounter that I learned my name was, “Lady!” often spoken rather loudly from the private office.


b.  I subconsciously suppressed the human tendency to develop the same accent with which one is surrounded—that is to say, I refused to sound Suthren’.

(On the other hand, I have never come close to sounding like a Poodle, although I imagine some might disagree with me on that.)

And the longer I encountered Suthren’ accents, the more determined I became.  This has prompted questions such as “Hey, Lady, Ware you from?” 

I know you think I am kidding.  I am not kidding.  And evidently, every woman is called “Lady” by the Suthren’ gentmun if he does not know one very well.  I am giving you tourists tips here, in case you ever venture South to Nashville, prompted by the TV show which we are discussing here, for a visit.  We ARE discussing the TV show, right?

So, as you can tell, my prejudice has been reinforced, not remedied.  And I have been here for a good 30 years and counting, weedalongs.  Yes. 

And that’s all I’ve got to say today on the topic of Nashville.

This is a true story.  There are more.  You will not believe how many more.  As I said, Or may best not or so….




Deaf Ted recalled……..

So it is on this cold, rainy, January day in 2013, I am recalling a poem I read and partly memorized a half century, a lifetime. ago–these are the words which I recall…..

We fight the baddy baddies,
For colour, race and cree
For Negro, Jew and Bernie
Deaf Ted, Danoota, and me.

Clearly a John Lennon poem–back in the day (as the young now say and sometimes the 110 year olds like me, too), John was all the rage, writing such nonsense poetry (was it?) and singing such wondrous songs, sometimes writing them as well–and they echo over the decades in my mid-afternoon twilight sleep, the poetry of my life.  The songs which so influenced me.  Where are the songs of today to raise awareness, to call the young to action?

So much for poetic writing, I think.  What does that have to do with life today?  Well, you might wonder, but I suppose I don’t.   For, of course, I have fought the ‘baddy baddies’ over the decades, for just those things–for colour, race and cree, for Negro, Jew and Bernie…………..

wait a minute. 

I KNOW Bernie…..

and yes, he is a cause worth the fight. 

Right now, Bernie is in the hospital recovering from hip replacement surgery done yesterday.  Tomorrow he comes to our house to spend a few days.  Then he returns to his rustic home and farm, 17 miles down the Natchez Trace.  Yes, I know Bernie.  I just didn’t know him then.

Who would have imagined that 50 years ago, this poem I would memorize and recite as sort of a ritual, laughing outside at the absurdity of the words and on the inside about how ridiculous it really would BE to fight the baddies, this poem would run a common thread through my life?  The baddy baddies were, after all, societal norms, the lack of justice.  I sort of did it anyway.  Fight against them.  Quietly.  You know, with that unspoken rebellious nature.  It never left me.  Ahhh youth!  In every 110 year old is an 18 year old trying to get out.  Or get back in, I’m not sure which it is.  Anyway, that’s moi.

They still are baddy baddies.  Only today it might read, "For Muslim, Jew and Blacks" or maybe we’d just eliminate the "Jew" part of the poem and settle on Muslim, Black and Bernie."  Yes.  I’d definitely include Bernie.  (More likely, we’d leave out Muslim rights.  I’m not a person who doesn’t see reality, you know.  Including Muslim rights might be a tad too far in this day and age.  But recall, including Blacks and Jews was JUST as inflammatory back in the day.  Which is why, quite literally, some of my best friends are….well, all three.  And now Bernie.)

It’s funny how time seems to circle.  I have been thinking lately about how that comes about.  Perhaps we really ARE operating in something of parallel universes, I got a glimpse of "Bernie" in the 1960’s and somehow knew it was important.  Or perhaps John Lennon who wrote the poem knew of Bernie.
Either way, I know John would approve–of both of us.  So, for that I’m pleased.
Here are all the words to Deaf Ted, Danoota, and me:

Deaf Ted, Danoota, (and me)
Thorg hilly grove and burly ive,
Big daleys grass and tree
We clobber ever gallup
Deaf Ted, Danoota, and me.
Never shall we partly stray,
Fast stirrup all we three
Fight the battle mighty sword
Deaf Ted, Danoota, and me.
With faithful frog beside us,
Big mighty club are we
The battle scab and frisky dyke
Deaf Ted, Danoota, and me.
We fight the baddy baddies,
For colour, race and cree
For Negro, Jew and Bernie
Deaf Ted, Danoota, and me.
Thorg Billy grows and BurnIey ten,
And Aston Villa three
We clobber ever gallup
Deaf Ted, Danoota and me.
So if you hear a wonderous sight,
Am bluster or at sea,
Remember whom the mighty say
Deaf Ted, Danoota, and me-
(sometimes we bring our friend, Malcolm.)

I never did figure out who Malcolm was, though.

So I suppose now you want to know who Bernie is.

Bernie can speak for himself and has.  Often.  He also has spoken on behalf of medical marijuana and paid quite a price for his actions of growing a little bit and helping out four of his terminally ill neighbors.  Got raided on his remote farm for a small amount of mary jane.  I mean, please folks, does anybody care if he was helping people.  He wasn’t making a dime on it.  The raid was by the Feds–this because, in my somewhat enlightened opinion, but maybe I’m wrong, he drew the wrath of the powers-that-be (the baddy baddies) by starting a now-deceased organization called "Gathering to Save Our Democracy" to which 39 states sent representatives.  This as Bush took over what was left of our Democracy and got himself selected to be President.  Nevermind that.  Nobody was trying to oust him (at least not this group).  Nope, this group simply wanted our ballots counted accurately.  NEXT TIME.  Which isn’t happening and wasn’t then.  Only now it’s worse.  We’ve moved on.  Other fish to fry, I guess, beginning with a couple of wars.

So you see what I mean here.  Bernie was leading the charge of democracy.  AND, at the same time, he was somewhat of a revolutionary in that he knows a tremendous amount about medical uses of marijuana, substance abuse, politics, the Constitution, democracy, not to mention the ancient ways of many Indian cultures.  Lots of degrees.  I mean, this guy is edumacated.  He’s smart.  And he can grow corn.  All by his own self.
Diverse guy, right?  Google him if you don’t believe me.  Bernie Ellis.  Or see links at the bottom.

Yes.  And he can write, which is what he began to do while in the half-way house serving out his sentence for a non-crime.  And he managed to post it and send his writings to friends he picked up along the way, from all over the country.  Wonderful stories, which were true–both of his life and his friends’ lives, of the half-way house, of his loves, of his experiences.  Bernie got himself on the cover on our local ‘rag’–and there was a huge benefit to help him save his farm, which the Feds were trying to confiscate as payment for the marijuana charge.  They got 25 acres in the end.  But he got to stay on the farm and keep the rest of it.

He continues to fight the baddy baddies–this time for his own liberation (he’d like a pardon, but it has not been forthcoming yet), but also for all of us.  You may not be aware, but your vote may or may not count.  There is no way to tell with automated counting machines without a paper trail.  Happy trails to you, my friends.  Happy trails.

And so, in that way, our politicians are selected.  Oh, sure, there are a million ways to skin the cat so to speak–to steal elections–and it’s been going on forever, we all are aware of it.  At times, I, too, got my panties in a wad over it all–to use the crude image.  I’ve learned, though.  Best keep oneself calm, cool and collected and do it quietly and from the inside.  You know, like this–just write it down and maybe post it or whatever, and the baddy baddies may be exposed for their badness.
Or maybe not.

At any rate, that’s Bernie.  That’s how I got to know him.  I think he’d give you or me the shirt off his back if either of us needed it.  At this point, he has little else other than his farm AND his shirt.  At least he’s going to have use of the legs again, which is a godsend given that he does so much manual labor on his farm himself. 

And did I mention, he’s a wonderful organic gardener, will give tours of his farm, grows blueberries (a gorgeous blueberry patch and you’d not believe how much work he’s done to get it going). He’ll educate you on organic gardening.   He’ll sell you produce.   You can come pick your own blueberries or he’ll pick for you.  The blueberries were gorgeous and delicious last year.  And the cost, minimal.  And, if you are down and out, it’s Bernie who will keep your family going–he takes his produce and feeds 10 families during the summer.

Yes, I’ll fight the baddy baddies, for colour, race and cree, for Negro, Jew and Bernie………..Deaf Ted, Danoota and me……………..

Want to join me, in your own quiet way?  Bernie could use a bit of a boost.  To help in any way, go here:

For news on Bernie, go here:

Boots and Parkas

“Well, doggone! if it isn’t sleeting!” said Jabberwocky looking through the window a while ago.

And so ‘tis. 


God has a Sense of Humor

Or, if you prefer, Mother Nature is pulling a fast one on us all.*

This email conversation on current weather, this morning, from Minnesota to Nashville, TN.

From a friend, Darlene, who lives in Minnesota near the Twin Cities:

“He created bugs that have butts that light up! So fun on a summers eve to catch them and put them in jars…………… where are they. Used to be fields of them looking like a fairy princess land. Well they have cousins I think-box elder bugs and those are all over my house in the winter”

From Kathie in the Wisconsin Dells area:

“Our weather too is a mystery ……………Thursday night I wore a cardigan out to dinner. Our big snow from before Christmas is pretty much gone-fine by me. Tonight to be close to 0. One winter up here we had 3 weeks of 0 and below. We had no garage-our cars were froze up. Snow crunchie to walk on and nose stuck together breathing. I do think the most scary though were those daily rains we had at 4 p.m. where Lake Delton broke its sides and the Baraboo River was flooding. Every day like clock work the skies would blacken at 4 – I would walk out of work and look up. There it was and then the race to get home. Home was about a 20 min drive and I couldn’t make it before the winds picked up and the rain so hard that the wipers couldn’t handle it. It was hard to see the driveway and I was so afraid cars behind me wouldn’t see that I’d stopped to turn”

From me, in Nashville, Middle Tennessee:

“Raining like crazy here. It was 70 degrees the past two days—we have had snow and ice in the past in January. Not this year. Yet.

But, TMWLH just told me the weather forecast is for possible SNOW tomorrow night.

No wonder the bugs are confused. Folks wearing shorts  and T-shirts yesterday will trade them for boots and parkas tomorrow.

The bugs just turned off their lights.”


*It ISN’T nice to fool Mother Nature. 

And scientists have proof and a warning for us all.  NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT ON GLOBAL WARMING.  Link below.


What news!  What news!  Wow, this is SOOOO Exciting,” clamored Jabberwocky as she watched the announcements this morning.

Yes, ‘tis!  The movie has been nominated in several categories for Academy Awards!  I wrote about it on this blog back in July here:

Turns out that the producer, Matthew Parker, is the son of one of our friends!  She is in our workout class and we got to meet him after the premiere at the Belcourt here in Nashville.   

She reports she is VERY excited.  I recall her wondering out loud (jokingly) what she’d wear on the red carpet?  WELL, GUESS WHAT?  Yes!  She will be ON THAT RED CARPET!  It is a dream come true.

CONGRATULATIONS!  Here is the list for the categories in which this film is nominated (along with other nominees):

Best Picture


"Beasts of the Southern Wild"

"Les Miserables"
"Zero Dark Thirty"
"Life of Pi"
"Silver Linings Playbook"
"Django Unchained"

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Jessica Chastain — "Zero Dark Thirty"
Jennifer Lawrence — "Silver Linings Playbook"
Emmanuelle Riva — "Amour"

Quvenzhane Wallis — "Beasts of the Southern Wild" (I can’t pronounce her name either.  This is the little 9 year old girl, she was 6 when she acted in this movie!)

Naomi Watts — "The Impossible"

Best Director

Michael Haneke — "Amour"
Steven Spielberg — "Lincoln"
David O. Russell — "Silver Linings Playbook"
Ang Lee — "Life of Pi"

Benh Zeitlin — "Beasts of the Southern Wild"

Best Adapted Screenplay

Tony Kushner — "Lincoln"
Chris Terrio — "Argo"
David O. Russell — "Silver Linings Playbook"
David Magee — "Life of Pi"

Benh Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar — "Beasts of the Southern Wild"

And another reminder:

MOTHER OF GEORGE coming January 31—Matthew Parker is the producer of this as well!

ONE SHOWING ONLY AT THE BELCOURT. Contact the theater directly for tickets.


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