“I’m figuratively dyin’ here!”


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I limp to the end of this week with a rather generic offering from 1993. However, I’m beginning a project which should have an indirect affect on what we do here. “The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum” at the Ohio State University has accepted my donation of several dozen original Arlo & Janis comic strips, going back to when the strip began. In the next few weeks, I’ll be rooting through pretty much everything I’ve drawn since 1985. I’m going to pick out a couple of strips from each year to give to the folks in Columbus, but I’ll keep an eye out for anything that might interest us here, as well. Who knows what lurks? I certainly don’t remember. Now, somebody please explain what Boxing Day is.

158 thoughts on ““I’m figuratively dyin’ here!””

  1. Congrats Jimmy – Columbus is about a six hour drive from Paducah and this summer I drove up and back in a day to see the Watterson/Thompson exhibits. What a treat! It was also very cool to see a lot of the other artwork they had stored there.

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  2. Happy Boxing Day. Boxing Day is a British tradition for the servants. All of their servants had to work on Christmas Day so they were given the day after Christmas off to celebrate with their families. To them it was as big as Christmas. I lived in New Zealand several years and discovered to them it is part of the holiday package. Now it seems as a day to clean up all of the boxes from Christmas here.

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  3. Here’s what Writer’s Almanac says:

    “In England this date is called Boxing Day, with offerings for the poor collected in church boxes. Gratuities are given to the postman or gardener or cleaning lady for services rendered the previous year, and children go begging from door to door, as on Halloween in America.”

    Which reminds me, we/I have the best newspaper deliverers ever. Must write a check.

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  4. I suppose I am a bad person, because somehow I yesterday failed to attend what is by most accounts a thoroughly stupid movie to show the Norks that I support “Freedom of Speech”. You know, the Constitutionally enumerated right to say most anything one wishes, so long as one does not say it on a school campus, and/or say anything that might conceivably hurt the feelings of at least one person of exquisitely delicate sensibilities. [See Postmodern Doctrine of “I-Personally-Don’t-Approve-So-There-Should-Be-A-Law-Against-It”]

    As Arlo says, “Everybody’s so serious these days.”

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  5. Ghost:

    ‘See Postmodern Doctrine of “I-Personally-Don’t-Approve-So-There-Should-Be-A-Law-Against-It” ‘

    Amen. Postmodernism also includes the notion, ‘Science is just one way of looking at things.’ Of course, it’s true; there are other ways. But science is the best way to answer some pretty important questions about this physical universe. And we are a part of that universe.

    Peace, emb

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  6. True, emb. Various forms of that “doctrine” seems to be burrowing into the fabric of our society in many ways besides legal rights. There seem to be many who hold that “I have the right to my opinion, no matter how silly, ignorant, biased and unsupported by the facts it is, and, by the way, it is as equally valid as any other opinion.”

    Also, it’s ironic that some that proclaim the value of tolerance toward others are the most intolerant among us.

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  7. Santa Claus brought me a black oxide finished multi-tool by SOG Specialty Knives. (A multi-tool is what a Swiss Army knife hopes to be when it grows up.) Somehow, however, I still have 79 items on my Amazon Wish List. šŸ™

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  8. Boxing Day in the British Army is the day where the officers serve as mess stewards to the enlisted personnel.

    GR6, I carry an original 1980’s Leatherman PST on my belt. She is very plain by modern design, but a personal friend I don’t wish to replace. I also have a great folding Buck knife that is my other belt buddy. I also have a Swiss key on the key ring, just in case. Fun fact, a PST is one of the only non regulation items you can bring to Ranger school. I’ve always been surprised that the military has never made the PST standard issue.

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  9. I posted a response to Boxing Day at 6:26 this morning (yes – up at that hour the day after Christmas) for Debbe – but the answers above are pretty close to it too.
    It’s the Canadians who are milking it for a whole week! Who’d they learn that from? or to keep the pedantic happy, From Whom did they learn that?

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  10. Had shrimp and ham for lunch and no problems with any of the kitties. A surprise since one of them floats to the counter or table anytime she thinks she can get by with it.

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  11. Now I know I’m old! I can’t remember why I walked into a room but my wife, doing a crossword puzzle, asked me who played Wally Cleaver and I didn’t even have to think about it.

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  12. sand, my pocket-clipped, assisted opening Kershaw Cyro II is my current EDC knife, but I have a Buck folder that lives in my car’s glove box. Either will very efficiently open an envelope. šŸ™‚

    As they say in Texas, “A man with a knife in his pocket or on his belt is not armed, he is just dressed.”

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  13. “The human brain is truly amazing. Half the time I can’t remember where I left my car keys ten minutes ago, but I can remember all the words to ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ theme song.” – Dave Barry

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  14. GR6, this well dressed Texan thanks you for the above link.

    Ursen,
    We have a paratrooper cat. He has learned the easy path from loft to downstairs is through the railing. He does a graceful pushoff and a perfect four-point landing on the sofa.

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  15. Jerry – You are not getting old. I forget the science-y stuff behind it, but our brains connect objects with rooms. Crossing a threshold leaves the object you wanted connected to the other room, so you “forget.” Which is also why you remember the object as so as you turn around and re-cross the threshold. Apparently, this happens during video games too.

    Blacklist insists on a nibble – not to eat, but to turn her nose up at it.

    And my Boxing Day has been the most appropriate of all – boxing up and wrapping Christmas presents. (Ours is tomorrow.)

    Hugs to all.

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  16. As for video games I peaked at Pong and, another admission, I have no idea what a “hashtag” is unless it’s that squiggly thing that they’re putting on most things these days.

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  17. Don’t feel bad, Jerry. For a long time I thought “#stuff” meant “pound sign stuff”.

    Which, come to think of it, makes about as much sense either way.

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  18. Ghost, the signature page requires you enter an email address and you have a choice of public or private entry. I don’t mind having a public entry or having my email available to the family, but I have issues with putting my email on a public list that just anyone can see.

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  19. Phone and address info will apparently not be displayed, but it it is not clear that email address will not be.

    Of course, I have more “burner” email addresses than I can keep up with.

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  20. Thank you Ghost and all the Village. I know the love I have found here and that is OK. I have found in life that love is truly its’ own reward and all one can ask for.

    Love, Jackie

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  21. I saw just a day or two ago on a rerun of the TV show M*A*S*H that boxing day was a day in England when servants exchanged places with the masters, or in the case of British military, where officers traded places with the enlisted. If there are problems with that version of the holiday, please inform Alan Alda.

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  22. Someone here not only posted their full name the other day but exactly where they live. Not a particularly good idea. Someone may want to show up and pose nude for you.

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  23. I posted this on the Christmas Day post just before today’s was posted:

    Today is also the Feast of St. Steven (from Royal Oak). Although I believe that I have over feasted since Monday (my birthday) Stepen was a great martyr of the very early church and deserves a special day.
    Also, I have never quite understood the spelling of Stephen. My Mom named me after her Grandfather who spelled it that way. When asked for the spelling on the birth certificate, she said ā€œwith a ā€œvā€” as she did not want my name to be Steffen.

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  24. Good morning Villagers….

    GR šŸ˜‰ thank you for posting the link, Jackie has been on my mind a lot.

    So, I just couldn’t help myself with that Cheezeburger pic…..when I saw it, I almost spit my coffee out on the screen. Then GR, you came up with a pretty funny joke.

    hc…thanks for helping to explain ‘Boxing Day’…seems to be various answers as to why and what. I see where JJ is asking about it too.

    Yesterday was nerve wracking….I had two 15 year olds…..and “Skittles” (alias Dakota) was getting very close to me “knocking his block off”….he is such a child in many ways. Today, I will have three teens, the oldest being 18, he too has a low tolerance for “Skittles” I will be taking my prescription bottle of anti-stress tabs to work today šŸ™‚

    My mom got out of the nursing home for one night….my one sister had her spend Christmas night at her house. Mom was thrilled, she said she slept until 10ish…..going in after work again to see her, as the weather is going to be getting colder all week long.

    Received a phone call last night…they are dropping little Kyler off for babysitting today and tomorrow……glad I’m working today.

    ya’ll have a dry Caturday………………..

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  25. Jerry and Indy Mindy, I have a Calvin and Hobbes strip taped to the fridge that has Calvin’s dad walking into the kitchen and saying “Why is it I can remember a commercial jingle from twenty years ago but I can’t remember why I walked in this room?”

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  26. This has to stop. I’m eating two breakfasts to try and get rid of all of the cakes and pies and other goodies and I haven’t even touched the rumcake yet. Cloudy with storms predicted for later. It’s usually warm for much of December with some years being a big exception. This has just been a consistently cool month. No sweaters or heavy jackets required yet. No frost this morning for a change. I’m still adjusting to life up here in the Florida hills.

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  27. Ummm. Rum cake.

    Actually, I only fixed one this year and had none of it, as I left it with my Lower Alabama friends. Debating whether or not to go to a New Year’s Eve party at other friends’ house…may make another to carry to them.

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  28. There appears to be a bit of testiness on display over on TDS this morning. Have you ever noticed that any cartoon dealing with Arlo and Janis’s sex life seems to bring that out?

    Me, I’m just having fun thinking about what “gift” Janis considered worthy of a gift certificate presentation. šŸ˜‰

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  29. Jackie is home for a couple days with Michele, Brandon (SIL) and Jack, almost 3 in March. My gardener/helper and my dog and cat sitter spent all day wrapping beautiful packages for him, arranged in piles on his Pappa’s bed. He had a beautiful Christmas from Mike and my mother and my “staff” who deserve special boxing day gifts. That is what Boxing Day was about in its’ second incarnation, to reward those who served and labored for you and your family.

    Dickens, the Christmas dog, almost had a conniption fit when I finally came back to bed and spent entire night licking me until his little tongue almost fell off. The cats jockeyed for space and licked a few licks too.

    The donations to the American Cancer Society in Mike’s honor are beginning to arrive. The letters and internet posts and cards. They do help. I am truly humbled to have touched so many lives but Mike deserves the praise for he touched mine as no one else.

    I checked, the funeral home and they do not show e-mail addresses at all. They do that to prevent spammers and trolls, who troll the dead as well as the living. In fact, you can use your signature, like Debbe or Ghost or EMB and that is fine, I will know. And you can also send them to me privately and no one else will see them.

    I promise not to appear at Ghost’s house in any attire. That didn’t come out right.

    Love to all, Jackie Monies

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  30. All:

    Off topic. Culling files, noticed the URL below, thought it worth posting. I would not have used some of the vulgarity therein, but it does report a sad trend in this nation, and perhaps others. And I’m not sure the apex has been reached, or that it had not been reached earlier; remember the war to eliminate Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction?

    Peace, emb

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/08/01/1228320/-The-Fawning-Police-State-The-Apex-of-American-Insanity-Has-Been-Reached?detail=email

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  31. Congratulations, Jimmy! My sister and I visited the Billy Ireland museum this past summer to see the Watterson/Thompson exhibit. Lovely place, lots of light, and plenty of parking in the nearby parking garage. We may return this summer and it would be great to see your work there.

    Merry Christmas to you and to all in the Village.

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  32. Cool ! I got the entire DVD set of the Wild Wild West for Christmas – it’s the original steampunk
    ——- —-

    12/26 12:14 PM “But science is the best way to answer some pretty important questions about this physical universe”, which scientists do I pick?
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303480304579578462813553136 – ——

    12/26 9:12PM – “posted their full name the other day but exactly where they live” , eh yeah, but you’d need my gate code

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  33. three up “remember the war to eliminate Iraqā€™s weapons of mass destruction?”
    yes and people forget it was one of the several reasons for going therehttp://hotair.com/archives/2010/10/24/wikileaks-documents-show-wmds-found-in-iraq/

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  34. Now that there has been more back and forth about a certain movie and who may have done or not done something, I’ve changed my opinion a bit on that issue but we’ve known for some time that politics is a minefield that devours good will voraciously so I won’t get into it. Believe it or not, I completely agreed with Rodney King when he said “Can’t we just all get along?”

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  35. OF erupted about 10 min. ago. Decent crowd was leaving, clothed sensibly for the season, +/- as people here should dress for stargazing, if the clouds ever clear. Next Sunday, 4 Jan., I think, will be the latest sunrise.

    Brown Christmas, temps only single digits above today, night, and Sunday. Little dusting on lawns/streets this morning, but mostly sublimed courtesy of a partly cloudy day. Bleak now, scattered snowflakes, time to run down to Qdoba for a burrito, tonight’s and Monday’s supper. [They are humungous.] Also will steam some veggies. Peace, emb

    http://www.nps.gov/features/yell/webcam/oldFaithfulStreaming.html

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  36. Just want to Symply wish everyone a healthy safe prosperous and most importantly a happy new year(yeah yeah the holiday too), I hope your Hannukahs and Christmas’ brought you much joy and family together(whether a joy or not šŸ˜‰ ). I’m hoping to have one of the most Fargone years ever. Y’all do the same!

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  37. Flu is worse than last yr. in MN. One reason is that the virus has mutated enough that the vaccine devised for ’14-’15 is not as close a match as was hoped. It STILL is better protection than none. Local hospital is restricting visitors and asking them to wear masks, wash hands, use hand sterilizers [mounted at many door ways and all patient rooms].

    I’m playing hooky from UMC tomorrow to hear a favorite preacher at FLC tomorrow, on a sad anniversary for both of us. [She did wife’s eulogy, the hardest job at that UMC funeral. Our UMC pastor also officiated; he did well. She and wife were close friends.]

    I don’t envy her preaching two services tomorrow; her dad is dying. As soon as her second service is over, she and her husband will be driving 160 or so miles to be with him. Roads should be better than they often are in late Dec. Prayers.

    Peace, emb

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  38. Forgot to mention that, ideally, people in crowds [e.g., at church] should avoid the hugs and handshakes bit. Fist bumps, or better, the stereotypical Japanese bow, would be more appropriate in flu season.

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  39. Dear Jackie, so very glad that you are at home. It must seem like a refuge after all that’s happened. No wonder your dog and cats are relieved at your return. How are your mama’s dogs doing?

    Also glad your good nature is still shining through. You can bend, but can’t be broken. I’ve thought of you and Mike so much these last few days, and so have all the Villagers, I’m certain.

    With much love, Charlotte

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  40. Daughter, son in law, Jack and I went to Tulsa to pick up Mike’s ashes and hand carry them to Louisiana, plus a lot of other errands connected to services, like a suit for SIL who came hurriedly. There were all marching around Garden Ridge Pottery’s big box store, shopping for cherry wood large plant stands to put the large urns of roses on either side of coffin and lovely bronze urns to hold them, a cherry stand for Mike’s ashes and flowers.

    I know Mike was laughing at us because it was just like we have always been. We dragged down stands off displays, compared them, haggled the manager down for a discount since there were scratches, shopped entire store to find the urns on “red line” markdown, 50% off. We decided what to order from florist, called her to let her get in a rose order in time, warning her we were all retired florists and show designers. This is a good thing to tell a shop, it is disconcerting to find this out later. We try to be gracious, not overbearing. I know I cannot do this personally, so they must be my hands.

    Getting through is hard. I am trying to keep diabetes and other issues under control, stay hydrated, eat regularly and sensibly, get some sleep. Sounds simple but I have decided to focus on most basic issues.

    Love, Jackie

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  41. Wilma. my pet caretaker loves those animals. Blue is in laundry room, Brownie in mama’s room.
    They are grieving I know.

    My “staff” bought me beautiful flowers for my desk. They all got Boxing Day gifts today, except the ones who will get them Monday.

    Love, Jackie

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  42. Jackie, you are keeping your friends here up to date, bless your heart. The love and the interest in life shines through your thoughtful messages. We have to smile at picturing you and the family shopping and bargaining for the things you need. I’m awfully glad you are taking such good care of yourself; that’s reassuring. And thanks for telling us about the animals. What a wonderful bunch of helpers you have!

    Lovingly, Charlotte

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  43. Jackie, knowing the way you’ve talked about your “staff” here before it doesn’t surprise me they’re doing anything they can to help you now, Boxing Day gifts or not. It’s obvious you adore them, and they you. They will take good care of you, I have no doubt. Thank you for letting those of us in the Village know how you are doing since we can’t be there with you. We do worry about you.

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  44. Good morning Villagers….

    Have to go into work today…..it’ll be just me and ‘Skittles’….and the four men will be babysitting “Little Fire Chief” (which is the nickname they have given two year old Kyler. (Kind of glad I’m working šŸ™‚

    Visited with Mom yesterday, told her about my friend in Oklahoma and the loss of her mother and husband….my Mom said to tell Jackie that she had her sympathy. It seems that Mom threw a little hissy fit the other day at the nursing home and that is why she was given a 24 hour leave. Mom said no one knows what it’s like to be stuck in a room all day long. She fell, and they had her attached to an alarm that when she got out of bed or the recliner the alarm went off. As I left, my other sister, Jacquie, came to visit. Visits will be more frequent this year.

    Got to go……

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  45. We had a colder / usual Nov., but a mild Dec. Cold now, -2 or so, temps for year’s end predicted single digits above and below, well w/in normal range for now. Peace, emb

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  46. Jimmy, today’s real-time strip is a great twist on the classic theme!

    Jackie, Mike and your Mom must have loved watching that shopping trip. My Dad has been gone almost 44 years, yet he is here every day for me. That’s one of the few comforts upon which we can rely in life: that the people we love can always be a part of our present. You said that “getting through is hard.” It really is, hon, and all we can do is grit our teeth and keep loving.

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  47. Jerry, I missed that totally. I was laughing at Ludwig and the kitten but just because I have had cats and kittens, dogs and puppies like that.

    I just commented that Jimmy really nailed it, I have had a puppy who hung onto my keishhound
    like that, being dragged all over the house with a puppy on her fur.

    Love, Jackie

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  48. I enjoy once or twice a day going to the Abbey Road live cam to see what the Brits and the crazy tourists are up to. There was almost a bad accident this morning as someone turned out to the wrong (right) side of the street and almost hit another vehicle head on. They both stopped in time, but I can imagine calling 911 and reporting an accident on Abbey Road.

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  49. Ghostly Observation #27

    Judging by the dumpsters at my Mom’s apartment complex, Christmas is not only the happiest day of the year, it’s the trashiest day as well.

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  50. Q: Do you know why no one in (name of central European country people tell jokes about) knows how to call 911?

    A: They can’t find the “eleven” on their phones.

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  51. Keeping checking in with us, Jackie. You never know what brand of inspired foolishness you may encounter here.

    Speaking of which…

    Obscure reference of the day: “A lĆ©gpĆ”rnĆ”s hajĆ³m tele van angolnĆ”kkal.”

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  52. Mark, one of the Beijing daily newspapers publishes a list of American slang phrases each day. Phrases like,”Kodak moment” and The cat kicked the bucket” leaves Chinese readers confused. Not always easy to explain. So whenever I come across funny foriegn pharses I always wonder what I don’t know. šŸ˜‰

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  53. sandcastler, in 10 years “Kodak moment” will be a nonsense phrase to elementary school children, like “a real stem-winder” is to those born after battery-powered watches took over. The same probably applies to anything to do with photographic film.

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  54. You all make me smile, just as you did when I was lurking here. Keep it up, Laughter helps as pain relief and therapy. Just ate some great spiral ham from neighbor with a Diet Coke. Had Italian wedding soup for dinner. See? I am getting some nutrition, nothing compulsively fattening or driving up my blood sugars. In fact, usually the opposite, I’m having to watch the lows.

    But I’m trying to be good and take meds, get some sleep, which I will do in a minute I think. The dog and cats comforted me all night last night. How do they know? They do. Dickens slept in a curled up “ball” with his head on my heart all night. He has never done that in his life. Skipper got right beside him while Ashes and Garfield took the left side flank.

    I am going to keep sleeping in back part of house with animals and keep front half clean for Jack and Michele’s use. Plus, Jack has to have the master bath floor to erect train tracks and put together the bridges and catapults, etc. It is same size as master bedroom, as it was once a room, not a bath.

    Love, Jackie Monies

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  55. ā€œCray-cray epic photobomb fail while merked.ā€ = “An ill-advised attempt by someone to insert himself/herself into someone else’s photograph malfunctioned disastrously due to the perpetrator being under the influence of alcohol/recreational drugs.”

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  56. Jackie some of us have gone through what you are experiencing now – it is never easy nor exactly the same. I never know what to say, so just HUGS.
    We have a tradition that helps – whenever the family gathers or there is a significant day
    we set a place at the table for those “that have stepped on the rainbow”. They are with us.

    emb:
    8 inches here west of The Cities.
    About that article you posted – there was a TV program about that situation.
    I was going to say something stereotypical but I don’t need anyone showing up at my door
    clothed or not. Just say that FF in my area in NE knew most of the final findings 20 years before.

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  57. Q: Do you know why no one in (name of central European country people tell jokes about) knows how to call 911?

    A: They canā€™t find the ā€œelevenā€ on their phones.

    In this area, it would be a northern European country. On the Iron Range [‘da Rainche’], you’d have to add a southern European country. The Range, BTW, includes a city named Virginia, so around here, you have to add ‘state of’, if appropriate.

    Peace, emb

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  58. emb:

    Down this way it is a state just south of MN.

    In seriousness – Nine One One is stated that way so kids and panic ed people don’t waste time
    looking for the elusive 11.

    OB

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  59. Hoping you all had as nyce a holidays as I did…had Hannukah with the Old Lady and her daughter, it’s nyce to have folks with the same traditions as you around again… after 26 years, then it was off to my middle son for Christmas and yesterday to my oldest son’s house for more of the same and again it is nyce to celebrate the holidays the way we used to(funny to say that about both Judaism and Christianity, if only I’d adopted a Muslim I’d have all three in my immediate family lol)….saw 7 of the 8 grandkids and headed to TX to Symply visit with my daughter and youngest grandchild for a few daze(from what I hear about Ryan (1.25 yrs), I better have my track shoes on) in January…..and I’m still Fargone limping from the back surgery Oh well. It is good to read about you all, sorry I am as distant as I am now, but times are busy. If you are in central Mass. for January try to come by one of our shows and let me know…got a lot of good shows coming up if you like blues…..so nice to visit here in the village when time allows.

    To all, the most healthy, happy, safe and prosperous year in 2015.

    Oh anybody like my new project(Dr. said I can ride agian, so it is nyce to know I am not building it for someone else!

    https://scontent-b-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/1912312_10204612992278035_4394075523409280048_n.jpg?oh=4b5ad51296c2bd165cd085169ba914fc&oe=552E7E24

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  60. I always had heard hissy fit and conniption fit but a good friend always talked about being a catirumptious fit, if I spelled that right. I had heard about cat fits and dog fits as expressions but I thought all the cat loveers here might not know what a catirumptious was?

    Love, Jackie (who loved the article too)

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  61. Jackie, I haven’t heard of a catirumptious fit, but I have heard cattywampus.

    Debbe and Mindy from Indy, (I can’t remember who asked), I found out that my niece is at Indiana University.

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  62. Hello to all! Life has had me by the ears lately (or is it that I’ve had the wolf by the ears?) but I wanted to stop in to wish everyone a splendid New Year. I’m more than ready to let go of the old one.

    I just read all of Jackie’s latest posts — oh, Jackie, I am so sorry for all you have been through and will continue to face. I can only wish you strength and peace. Please do take care of yourself. You will endure, and do it bravely. I know that you already know this, but I wanted to say it in writing. Many hugs to you.

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  63. I heard “I swan” from my father, who was born, raised and lived in New York City for 62 years. However, it was cited (by him) in a little ditty referring to rural America, so ought not be termed a NYC-ism. Just which part of rural America was not obvious. Other lines referred to “I’ll be switched, the hay ain’t pitched.” and a farm.

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  64. I’d heard swan before, but being in/from Massachusetts I have to believe I picked it up from Symply reading Sam Clemens as a child.

    @Nodak Wayne,

    Not my shop, a friend’s where work gets done and bulls get shot or thrown,careful where you Fargone walk!

    @sandcastler

    I believe I am going to be very full of this machine, certain I can spare a screen shot for the village….care to see the air sucker?

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/1476055_10204612996278135_5053564998966621687_n.jpg?oh=7613b00c316e8420d1fb441cb11c49f8&oe=54F9384B&__gda__=1429150241_9a9adab5e6d71cbffd6b70464655dec4

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  65. I also heard “I swan” – from my mother or grandmother, I think. Grandfather on that side was from Birmingham, Alabama; grandmother was born in France, grew up in Chicago, so had an interesting mix of expressions.

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  66. Actually, about the only times I’ve heard “I swan” is on a TV show or in a movie was when non-Southern actors/actresses were trying to “sound Southern”. Not saying it’s not authentic, just that it wasn’t very common in the parts of the South where I’ve lived.

    Two I have heard in the South:

    “He’s so ugly he has to sneak up on a glass of water to get a drink.”

    “She’s as plain-looking as a mud fence.” (Followed, of course, by “Bless her heart.”)

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  67. My Kentucky relatives said “I swan” quite often. I always thought it was a variation of “I swear.”

    Similarly, I had two aunts whose names ended with “a”, but I didn’t know that as I child. I thought the names ended with “y”! Those gals put a “y” on almost every name. For example, instead of “Gloria” I was known as “Glory”. Glad that didn’t follow me throughout life!

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  68. I’m not sure of the origin of most colloquialisms, but am guessing that lovely list is not all Southern in origin. ‘Ugly as a mud fence’ may well be; heard it first from Mom, who grew up in Bay St. Louis.

    First, and most often, heard ‘gag a maggot’ from a fellow bio prof*, who grew up on ‘da Rainch’. He was of Irish ancestry, but surrounded by Poles [who, BTW, call themselves Polocks], Norskies, EYEtalians, Finlanders, and a smattering of others. Lots of Scandihoovian Looterans. *died at 64; serious nicotine addict.

    Most of the German Looterans are farther south, mixed, of course, w/ many German Catholics. Stearns Co., MN, is said to have the highest % of Catholics in the US. It’s the home of St. John’s U. and [m] Monastery, the [f] Monastery and College of St. Benedict [in the town of St. Joseph]. Its major city = St. Cloud, which is in three counties, mostly in Stearns.

    Also, first heard ‘herd of turtles’ here, after age 29 or more, but possibly from another prof, and they come from all over. Peace and Bonne AnnĆ©e, emb

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  69. emb – You have just made my evening. My grandma once informed me that my beloved Herbie (a ’92 Dodge Spirit, with a horn that sounds like it was swiped from the famous Beetle) took off like a “herd of turtles.” I get most of my favorite “-isms” from her.

    P.S. The county where I grew up is heavily German Catholic and the local dialect is more Southern in flavor. When I attended college at Eastern Michigan and lived in Rochester Hills, everyone thought I was from south of the Mason/Dixon. I get odd looks around here because I say soda, wash with NO *r*, orange with NO *i*, and refuse to say or write “drive thru window.” (You aren’t driving THROUGH the darn window, you drive UP TO the window!)

    Must go to bed. Hugs to all.

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  70. No one can find anything in my house, including my clothes, so daughter and I did a fast run to larger town to look for red and black clothes refined enough for services. I do not know if I said I was burying my mom in a lovely red and black cocktail suit, red lipstick and nail polish with huge arrangements of all red roses on either side and large rose arrangement on top of cherry wood coffin. I promised her I would do this.

    We also promised Mike we would not wear doleful black for him either. When he was fighting cancer so hard, he railed out at my mom about her tendency to wear black like Johnny Cash. He wanted us to wear colorful clothes, so we packed up mom’s huge collection of black clothes, leaving her with an equally huge collection of colorful ones.

    My mom was so poor that in college she and her two sisters shared three dresses and they would take turns wearing them. My grandfather educated five daughters with degrees, including one grad school in an era when women were not educated at all.

    I think this left my mom with a hunger for clothes because she always had way too many and often gave them away to her family unworn. We plan to donate most of her clothes to a women’s shelter I support that helps battered women locally, along with most of my mother in law’s clothes, since I have not had time to sort and donate them either.

    Those of us who have too many material things, as Arlo often points out to Janis should do this more. I try to donate to local groups, not large nationals, as I feel the locals tend to get the donations distributed better than large ones.

    Really tired and need to get some sleep and get up early. I hope Debbe is OK, I always fear one of those augers or belts is going to take her out. Don’t ask me how I would worry about that!

    Love, Jackie

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  71. Forgot to say how much I have enjoyed the Southern dialect conversation. I have a neighbor just down street here in OKie Land who says “I swan” all the time. I come from a long line of Southern colloquial speakers.

    I have told the story of my grandmother who raised me and her description of taking a sponge bath: “You wash down as far as possible, then up as far as possible. Then you wash possible.”

    That one beats “You can see creation in that dress!”

    Love, Jackie

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  72. I am a 1770’s (USA) reenactor. In our period Boxing Day is not called same. It is, of course, the first day of Christmas (no Christmas Day is Christmas Day, not the first day of Christmas, count the days to Jan 6 and it will work out) and St Stephen’s Day.

    On this day children are given small gifts by parents if they have been good (really small gifts – a piece of candy or fruit, a very small toy, a piece of coin (or a piece of a coin).

    Gifts were given to servants on this day (in the US most servants were slaves or indentures). Again a gift of a coin (or piece thereof) or a small piece of silver jewelry such as a bracelet.

    If a man A did business with man B (for example) and man B’s employee (say a carter who delivers items for man B to man A) is involved on a regular basis, then Man a will give a gift or vale (as it is called, a tip in our terms) on this day.

    In London the poor boxes were opened and the money distributed.

    It was became common for the gifts to be given in a box and in the the 19th century the term Boxing day came into use.

    The other things mentioned – such as military – have obviously developed.

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  73. I know I’m late to the “I swan” discussion, but I’m a Southerner born and bred (Carolinas) and I’ve never heard that expression. Far more likely to hear someone say “I declare!” in what I take to be similar usage.

    Ghost is right about the “bless her heart” added to any comment about someone else’s misfortune. And oftentimes it’s really just a thinly veiled insult or, to be honest, the southern form of schadenfreude.

    Regarding other southern expressions, I was well out of college before it was brought to my attention that “might could” was not proper grammar. As in, “I might could get two cakes baked in time for the church ladies’ luncheon.” I had absolutely no idea — and I went to a good university! No one had ever corrected me.

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  74. Good morning Villagers……

    I’m baack!!! I have been defragged, it took Ian three times to defrag old Dell here. He says it should clean things up and run a little faster. I went through withdrawal yesterday by not being able to post my usual morning rant.

    You guys are so sweet to worry about me šŸ™‚

    I love the above colloquialisms (spell check helped me on that). Never heard of “I swan”, and some of them took me down memory lane.

    Loved the T-shirt Mark…I really should get one of those.

    Got stuck with just ‘Skittles’ yesterday, and Andrew came by to check on us. Those idiots brought in three roosters and enclosed them in three skids….hoping to see a fight. You know what, they just flapped their wings and huddled together. Skittles discovered a rooster the other day whose comb is so big and red, and heavy that it hangs over his left eye thereby closing his left eye. It is hard for him to even lift his head, but he does manage to eat and drink. I told Andrew that we should get an itty bitty eye patch for him and call him “Rooster Cogburn”….but we’ve used that name before.

    Say your prayers for me today as I will have all three teenagers….by myself….The Boss’s and my objective is to get both hen houses’ curtain backs and beams scraped off….literally knocking the chicken poop into the pit. My one nephew-in-law (Jason) is living with us and is in between jobs now….so The Boss said he could help. Ian and him will be at the other hen house.

    (Note to self….take your anti-stress tabs with you today…and remember, only three a day are prescribed šŸ™‚ )

    GR šŸ˜‰ how was your time spent with your Mother? Are you back at work?

    The two songs links I will have to listen to later. I’m interested in seeing how much faster they down load since I’ve been “defragged”. Oh, and I’m virus free too…..that didn’t come out good, did it?

    Ya’lll have a blessed Tuesday….

    =^..^=

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  75. Good morning Debbe, welcome back. Like the caption on the cat with the blinds. Think of it this way, everything is a toy to a cat.

    Glad to hear from you, too, Jackie. Who needs organization? Just get a big enough search party and keep looking!

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  76. hang on to your 2014 calendars for 2025 and 2031 and you can pull out your 1998 or 2009 calendars to use for 2015. —– — –and I always get misty eyed when I see the TCM little tribute film of everyone who died in the year, they’re all on youtube “tcm remembers”

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  77. Most celebrity splits seem to follow a pattern…amiable separation, online sniping, public displays of anger, bitter divorce. And of course, somewhere along the way there is often the “leak” of a sex tape. We shall see.

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  78. Jackie, your Mom’s clothes hunger explains a lot about my Mom and her stuffed drawers and closets. I used to tell her that she had enough clothes for six women, and because of that, five other women were running around naked.

    Debbe, good to know the Dell is back up and running, and that no augers were involved.

    Meryl A, what a treasure-trove your post is! Thank you!

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  79. Loved the cats, especially the stairs one. That nailed the troll!

    Watched a video yesterday/t.v. show on alcoholic woman drinking hand disinfectant while having my nails and pedicure. I am not much of a t.v. watcher, as you know, so the fact people do this does not surprise me, just that they’d go on Dr. Phil with live footage.

    Told daughter sitting next to me that she did not have to worry about me doing anything like that in grief. She said if I did I wouldn’t last long with my pancreas and liver. We had to laugh, as I managed to get hepatitis of all the alphabet multiple times and cirrhosis and pancreatic disease as part of my autoimmune destruction. Nonmedical personnel think you were once an alcoholic.

    I am avoiding packing, so I suppose I tend to have avoidance tendencies. You all have given me a wonderful way to spend time I do not consider wasted.

    Love, Jackie

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  80. The thing I love about “Bless your heart” is that it can have several meanings depending on the situation and the speakers’ tone of voice. It can be as simple as “I’m so sorry things aren’t going well for you”, but then again it can mean “Lord, child, you’re dumber than moose poop!”

    I have also heard “I swan”, but not recently. That one seems to be dying out somewhat.

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