Saturday in the studio

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Have I shown you this? It’s an idea I was fooling around with back at the turn of the century. You know, you used to hear that phrase used a lot before the century actually turned but not so much since. I guess all that century turning could get confusing. What was I talking about? Oh, yeah… this was going to be a fanciful strip about these kids who lived in the low country, sort of like son Gene’s family now. I dug this particular one out of some old stuff a few days ago, and it’s been lying around on my desk since. So, I thought I’d show it to you. The boys’ names are Skeeter and Nat. Get it? Skeeter and Nat!! Ha Ha! There are several more of these prototypical strips around somewhere, and if I find them, I’ll show them to you, too.

194 responses to “Saturday in the studio”

  1. No, I don’t get it. Unless it is some sort of bug reference. There are no bugs here at the moment. (Canada, winter)

    Good cartoon, even though you chickened out on the lumps on the front of the mermaid.

    She’s a kid, Don!

  2. I remember you once said that the Syndicates (sounds like organized crime!) did not like to run strips that were regionally based because it might only appeal to one part of the country. Personally funny is funny. But how would you have found time to do TWO strips?

    Hard to believe that the turn of the century was 15 years ago (14 to some of you). That means our HS seniors have no memory of the 1990’s!

    That’s why there’s only Arlo & Janis today!

  3. John, my heartfelt condolences. David, I know based on my sister-in-law’s transplantation, that a kidney can be transplanted anywhere from 48-96 hours after the donor’s death. Yes, there is the odd experience of waiting for the donor to die. I can only suggest to pray for God’s Will. If you receive the organ, the donor’s family will feel feel better knowing that something good came as a result of their loved ones death. So live life to the fullest!

  4. It is an interesting strip. I wouldn’t mind seeing more. Is there any other “magic” besides mermaids?

    I think a strip of Gene and his new family might make a good spin-off. We already care about the characters. And the fan base here seems to miss it when we don’t have a Gene strip in a while.

  5. Not strange that you would pick this particular part to set your comic in. I have a good friend who is an elementary school teacher in the bend of Florida’s gun barrel shape, the kind of teacher you’d pray your child would get. Retired Air Force special forces, the kindest of the kind with kids. He has kids still living in the swamps, on shanty boats, in shacks hidden in the wild.

    When Mike was in the hospital, every kid in the class drew and wrote a little get well card themselves and they were sent to Mike en mass. Boats and the water and wonderful children learning to care for the right kind of heroes. I know John Boy told them stories about Mike and his courage.

    How rare to have teachers who try to teach values.

    Love, Jackie

  6. If there were no regional cartoons there never would have been POGO
    I Go Pogo

    Prayers to the grieving, Prayers to the suffering, and Prayers for us that never had it so good.


  7. Interesting. Would Skeeter and Nat’s boat have had the names of people you wanted to give shout-outs to on its transom? 🙂

    Lumps or no lumps, it appears whichever of the boys that is in the bow is prepared to watch the mermaid leap for a while.

  8. Bravo! Bravo! I go Pogo! (Wish I still had that campaign button) And Albert and Owl and all the denizens of the swamp.

    My current possum I am feeding is of course Pogo. Very handsome possum.

  9. John, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

    David, I’m praying for the best possible outcome for your kidney transplant.

    Jerry, I knew you were joking! A friend of mine in Florida, a transplanted Michigander, told me that some recent, harsh winters had been rough on Florida natives.

  10. Jackie, please contact your physician today about your blood sugar levels so that timely changes can be made to your insulin schedule, your diet, and your activities. Besides the life-threatening aspect of low blood sugar, brain cell loss can occur. You’re right that activity levels and stress are factors. You will benefit from the input of experienced medical professionals in balancing this equation. You do know your body best, and I apologize for taking this liberty. Please know that I am prompted to do so though a serious concern for you. As my Mom’s sole caregiver, I had experience with extreme blood sugar levels.

  11. Jackie: “How rare to have teachers who try to teach values.”

    Maybe not so rare, and maybe not so good when some do. I did it a lot, but probably half or fewer of them realized it. They knew I went to church, but also that I treated all equally.

    They knew that, if an Hh woman married an HY man [h = the allele for hemophilia, Y is the Y chromosome, which makes you male, but has no H/h locus], any daughters would be carriers, like their mother, and the chances were 50:50 that a son would be a hemophiliac. Then I asked, should they have kids? I didn’t provide an answer, but they learned that decisions have results. I am blessed with a Hh DIL who has no children, I think / deliberate choice by her and that son. She has sisters by the same hY father, and recently a grandnephew was born who is hY.

    Similar questions / ecologic realities, overpopulation, pollution. I often pointed out that one job of a liberal education is not to make you more comfortable, but to teach you what the choices are. Another is to make your life richer, whether it be Shakespeare, classical music, or germ theory. Also, of course, there were students who perceived a conflict btw. science and faith. They knew I was open to one/one discussion about that, and often we were both enriched.

    Peace, emb

  12. Yeah, I didn’t say it was right, I was just mentioning some short-sided comic executives. I remember Snuffy Smith as a kid too. I suppose BC is kind of another one.

    Jackie stress can greatly alter the insulin levels, so I would at least consult with a Dr. or Diabetes support group.

    My daughter drove from Chicago to Royal Oak and I forgot that she was coming. When I heard about the huge 193 pile-up on I-94 between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek that included a truck loaded with Fireworks catching fire (Ironically near Climax, MI) I emailed her and she texted me and said she was on I-94. We figured out another route and she would screen shot her location off the Map on her phone so that I could figure out if there was any accidents along the way. She made home in time for dinner, but 2 hours late.

  13. Steve in Royal Oak, my goodness, what a hair-raising story! I’m glad your daughter got home safely. Now I am worrying about my daughter and her husband who are are driving from Buffalo to Chicago today (Saturday). The weather radar shows all clear if they made it out of Buffalo okay … lake effect snow there apparently.

  14. You all are going to have to laugh at me. I made a list of the six specialists I see to control my diabetes and assorted body malfunctions. Put it on a legal pad and got ready to schedule them all, heart, eyes, endocrine specialist, autoimmune, my biopsy on my thyroid, sleep study.

    All the stuff I let slide some while Mike was so sick.

    Picked up phone and looked at date and info on phone, realized it was Saturday and everyone was closed!

  15. < The boys’ names are Skeeter and Nat. Get it?


    lived in the low country

    I didn’t know that was a US expression. Thank you. To me, the “low country” is the Netherlands.

  16. I miss Pogo, it was one of those gems that could be taken on a very cerebral level, or at a very basic level. As for Barney Google and Snuffy Smith it is still out there, I read it every day. I enjoy it more because I live in the Appalachians and am very familiar with some of the stereotypes it uses.

  17. Gnat- a biting insect that gets you in Florida, worse than mosquitoes. Some people call them “No seeums”.

    One is named Skeeter for the mosquitoes, the other one Nat for the gnats that sting you.

    Love, Jackie

  18. Miss Snuffy and Loweezy. Is it on net or in your paper?

    I grew up with all my relatives being like that strip, so I found great humor in it, it was so true. Preacher riding the mule? Even the way they dressed.

    The Appalachians came to Louisiana about 1800-1810 and settled in the middle of the state in Winn Parish where the hills, dirt, rocks and pine trees were like “home”. They kept the languages and habits too including the log cabins, design styles, everything.

    Love, Jackie

  19. Dear Jackie, good that you are working on the medical checkups. Isn’t it always the way, when someone needs to see the doctor or book appointments, it’s the weekend! Happens so often. Monday will be here soon and you can make those important phone calls.

    I liked Li’l Abner a lot, growing up, and preferred it to Snuffy Smith or Barney Google. Better drawing, wildly unlikely and hilarious plots, endlessly different characters. But perhaps you folks who live in the South didn’t find it all that funny … too close to the bone as some would say … let me hear how you feel about it?

  20. One thing I’ve learned, Jackie, is that your blood sugar levels go up when you’re sick. I had a nasty bladder infection last year and my morning readings were well over 200 for several weeks, no matter what I did. Once that cleared up, however, they came right back down on their own.

  21. For those who are still having trouble with the boy’s names, this may help. Back in 1941, Fleischer Studios released a feature cartoon, Hoppity Goes To Town, where all of the characters are insects. The villain of the piece, C. Bagley Beetle, has two henchmen: Swat the Fly and Smack the Mosquito.

  22. Jackie, I was so concerned about you as I got caught up on comments that I plumb forgot today was Saturday, too, and that your doc might not be in!

  23. Charlotte, I grew up in the South, and I loved Li’l Abner…and would have even if Daisy Mae and some of the other female characters had not been so outstandingly pneumatic and amazingly pulchritudinous. 🙂 Al Capp was one of the great cartoonists.

    Here’s a story about the big Tallahassee mall of many years ago (and lumps; but you probably guessed that didn’t you?)–

    Back in the day, I once caught a charter flight to Tallahassee for a local business man who was considering the purchase of a boutique-style women’s clothing store in that mall. I rode in with my passenger and sat in the store to wait while he met with the owner. I thought the store had a rather clever layout, with the different departments in separate rooms that looked like small shops situated on a boulevard. It was obviously aimed at a younger but upscale clientele…not a bad idea in a university town.

    I quickly realized I had, quite by accident (I swear), taken a seat that gave me a view down the “alley” that led to the changing rooms. The store was busy, and there was a steady stream of attractive co-ed types headed down that way to try on garments. And with so many strategically-placed mirrors along the way, I could see them from all sides as they walked toward the rooms.

    You probably would not believe how many of them yanked their t-shirts and sweatshirts over their heads well before they actually reached a changing room. Given the demographic, you probably would believe how many of them were sans brassieres when they did so. “What are you smiling about?” my client asked me about an hour later when he collected me for the ride back to the airport.

    “Nothing,” I smiled.

  24. For some reason, I never thought of Maine as being “one of the country’s smallest states”. But I checked and yep, it’s just #39 among states in area. Somehow, it looks larger on the map, perhaps in comparison to some of the other New England states.

  25. I too loved L’il Abner, Daisy Mae, Stupefying Jones, Jubilation T. Cornpone and all the Southern characters Al Capp created. Remember Evil Eye Fleagle? And who walked around with a black cloud over his head? And Smoo’s who were fantastic.

    You don’t get more Southern than the Mississippi Delta and a cotton plantation full of mules, people of color and Al Capp types walking around.

    Love, JaCKIE

  26. “perhaps in comparison to some of the other New England states.” All.

    CT is smaller than MN’s St. Louis Co., and there are two others back East smaller than MN cos.

    Peace, emb

  27. Jackie, that was Joe Btfsplk, the jinx, with the rain cloud always over his head. (Which has to be one of the better character names in the comics world.) I always felt sorry for him, because he didn’t mean to be a jinx; he couldn’t help it.

  28. Jackie,

    Do you ever see the musical “Li’l Abner?”. Though we weren’t up to Broadway standards, my high school peformed it one year. I was Abner. It was amazing how many students and townspeople said afterwards to me, “I didn’t know you could sing!” (at 6’6″ I was the varsity basketball center– basketball was all they expected.)

    Just had a call from the transplant coordinator. They are running the crossmatch tests now. I should know something by 10:00 or 11:00 tonight. I’m still hopeful.

  29. Dearest Ghost, I have to smile and giggle at your story of pulcritudinous Tallahassee girls. Weren’t you fortunate, to be in the right place at the right time! Funny, I wouldn’t have imagined you being an Al Capp fan. You keep on surprising us! Yes, Maine is small in area, and NH and the other New England states are REALLY small, or must seem so to you far away folks.

    Jackie, I’m glad you are a fan of Al Capp, too — and you can remember those funny characters so well.

  30. I LOVED L’il Abner! Saw it in a touring version in Houston and also the movie. I should look it up because I am forgetting who sang the Abner role. We must have had an album of the musical because I am remembering lyrics suddenly.

    I cannot sing a note and always wanted to be able to dance and sing in musicals. The closest I ever got to “singing” was in Bye Bye Birdie when I got to play the horrible off key Birdie fan who sang “We love you Birdie, oh yes we do” as idiot fans of Birdie, the rock and roll parody.

    Did a lot of super nummery (spell?) spear carrying parts with strict instructions to keep my mouth shut and not open it to peep. My specialty seemed to be ditsy dumb girl friend roles.

    And crowd scenes.

    Ghost never surprises me but often delights.

    Love, Jackie

  31. I read every funny paper I could get my hands on when I was a little girl, including Li’l Abner. When I was about 8 or so, I discovered an old trove of newspapers under the cushions of one of my grandmother’s old upholstered chairs. I guess they were being used to help shore up worn out springs. I carefully pulled them out, read the comics, and put them back. Those papers were yellow with age, so probably were from the late 1940’s or early 1950’s. On Sundays I would ask my mother to buy a Raleigh paper so I could read the funnies in color – a special treat!

  32. Comics taught me to read. I can remember my mother buying stacks of comic books for me when I was small child. When I finally got into school I was already reading adult comics like Superman and adventure comics, was a big fan of Al Capp and Walt Kelly in the first grade.

    Never lost my love of comics, why else am I here besides the good company?

    By the way today’s Arlo and Janis was not only funny, it made me laugh and say, “Well I NEVER did that!” Then it made me realize Jimmy’s mind works unlike any of us probably and I wonder if his life has been as interesting as Arlo’s? Or has Arlo been a way to experience things without actually doing them?

    Love you, Jimmy. Jackie Monies

  33. “. . . two others back East smaller than MN co’s.” Becker Co. is larger than Rhode Island and Beltrami Co. is larger than Delaware.

    Re Rhode Island, somewhere I have a contour map of Kenya that includes Kilimanjaro in adjacent Tanzania. I decided the bunched up contour lines at the base of Kilimanjaro made a good border for that magnificent volcano’s area. It’s about the same as R.I., including R.I.’s bays. Don’t have the math handy; that baseline is roughly circular; probably did it by roughly pi.r.sq, for the mt. and official area for RI.

    Re that notch in the border btw. Kenya and Tanzania, both were British colonies and Queen Victoria had two sons, one somehow heir or gov. general to one and one the other. The notch puts Kibo in Tanzania and leaves Africa’s 2nd highest mt., Mt. Kenya, in Kenya.

    On a mammal-watching safari, wife and I slept in the only double bed at Mountain Lodge, in the room Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh occupied when she learned that she had become Queen. [Mentioned ages ago on this blog, before some of you came on board.] That was a good safari, run by a late [tobacco-related, I think] mammalogist for members of the Am. Soc. of Mammalogists and their guests, incl. $250 / person for the Young Mammalogists Fund. His travel agency ran tours ~ that. Previous bird tour of Kenya had been, I believe, for the NJ Chapter of the Audubon Soc., with a ~ donation. Makes for a more focused group. Don’t know if the agency still exists.

    Dr. Van Gelder was retired Curator of Mammals at the American Museum of Natural History, was more or less my contemporary but in a different grad school [U.Kan?]. He was independently wealthy: “Old Money.” I expect the Van Gelders were in the Hudson Valley when Peter Stuyvesant took over as Governor of Nieuw Amsterdam, and stayed when the Duke of York displaced Pegleg Pete, whom my HS is named for. There was no particular reason for settled Dutch to leave. I expect they named the Schuykill River in PA, which Philadelphians pronounce “shoe-kill.” Oh, well.

  34. Weird! Anyway,

    Word from the transplant coordinator, crossmatch test was positive. Someone will be getting a new kidney tonight, but it won’t be me. I know that my antibodies are high. It is possible that I may never get a kidney, but I will continue to hope.

  35. I was at a kindergarten assembly not too long ago. The classes filed in and sat on the floor in neat rows. My eye was caught by two little girls, sitting next to one another, and they took turns hugging each other. I then recalled being in kindergarten myself Back In The Day and observing such behavior in my own female classmates and concluding that girls were just very strange creatures; the thought that one might sit next to me and try to hug ME was quite disconcerting.

    Until I reached a Certain Age. To say that my opinion about being hugged by a girl underwent a drastic change is an understatement of Biblical proportions.

    It is my surmise that Skeeter and Nat will reassess the entertainment value of the Potato Chip Eater at that Certain Age as well. Tallahassee will have to wait…

  36. Ron: If you need more inspiration, the guy doing the interviewing used to be the sports director at one of our local TV stations. He and a few others there foresaw some changes coming with new management and went off on their own. One of their productions (which this was probably part of) shows up on our local PBS channel. They also have a website, of course –

  37. Oh yeah, just remembered I had a cousin who grew up in Tallahassee who was called Skeeter. He was much older than me so I didn’t really know him. I cannot recall his real name!

  38. Jackie, and isn’t it funny that the “Southern” strips of Pogo and Li’l Abner were created by Northerners? Walt Kelly was from Connecticut and Al Capp was from New York. That link I posted for you earlier has a heading which says Vintage. If you click on that it gives you a chance to see old strips. The Barney Google on it is from January 1938. The modern selection contains most every syndicated strip which is not part of this site.

    Sorry to hear you didn’t qualify, David. I certainly hope your turn comes soon, perhaps a willing living donor will turn up.

  39. Among the Southern strips I miss are Kudzu with Rev. Will B. Dunn and other wonderful totally typical Southern characters. I always loved when they stood in front of the coffin and made remarks, like “Don’t he look good?”

  40. I forgot Geech is gone too and Bloom County which I count as Southern strips too.

    Wait, Jimmy why was it the syndicate didn’t want you to do a Southern strip?

  41. I lived in Tallahassee for 6 months in 1959 while my father went to school. My wife was in the same school but a grade ahead of me and we did not know each other, although I like to tell people that she was the little girl who was always kicking me in the shins. We didn’t really meet until 1997. I began this evening full of gloom and doom. Needless to say I have cancelled my Christmas 2015 trip to Paris. The recent events there put me in mind of Peter Sellers without the comedy. I happened to watch a program tonight which I expected to be a program about dying bravely, but actually Life Itself is about how to live. I was not a particular Roger Ebert fan, but this program is uplifting. I believe that it will continue to be shown on CNN for awhile so you my want to check it out.

  42. There was more to that comment but it’s somewhere out there in the “cloud”. My wife and I went to the same school, but she was a grade ahead of me and I did not know her. We didn’t meet until 1997. I won’t type the rest again, but watch Life Itself on CNN if you have a chance. I found it uplifting.

  43. Good morning Villagers….

    David, I share your disappointment….. I’m so sorry….but, please don’t give up hope. Remember my “Important List”? “The worst thing to be without…hope.”

    Freezing rain coming…..


  44. Is A&J really a southern strip? Abner, Snuffy, and Pogo are/were specifically set in the South. First few years I had no idea where A&J was set, and the only southern thing [that struck me, at least] was Gus’s place, and that was years later.

    Obviously was not this far north, but leaves turn and there is snow, there aren’t lots of Southern phrases or accents, and Jimmy’s dialog doesn’t follow the rule, “never use one syllable when two will do.” He didn’t have to sneak anything by anybody. That offshore rock where the mermaid sat, and Arlo’s gear when he rowed out there looked pretty Northeastern to me.

    Peace, emb

  45. emb, them there are stereotypes of southern life. People also have stereotypes of Minnesotians and Upers that are not accurate of the whole.

  46. Let us just say that Arlo and Janis live in The Village, somewhere near a large metro area where they work, large enough to garden on the lot, with lots of birds, squirrels and Ludwig can go outside. Close enough to the shore to drive down and visit kids and grand kids and walk the beach. Safe enough for Janis to walk and she knows the neighbors.

    It’s a nice place, The Village, and I know I am privileged to visit.

    Love, Jackie

  47. About carrying emergency nutrition bars, I found that I loved Kind bars and buy mine in pharmacy but I can often find them even in convenience stores and large groceries. Anyway, they bought out two new flavors (to me) one called Honey Mustard and the other Honey Smoked BBQ.

    This must be the new sweet-savory trend, as it is a little weird with nuts, granola and whole grains tasting like a big bar of crunchy barbque.

  48. So, does The Economist have a comics page?

    David, I’m sure this is not the first “roller coaster ride” you’ve taken since you got on the The List. Hang in there.

    Jackie, your comment about “a big bar of crunchy barbque” prompted me to wonder if anyone has come up with the concept of BBQ breakfast cereal. On second thought, never mind.

  49. I have a question for you, Ghost. How do you handle the Weight Watchers meetings? Do you go and get weighed in or do you do the internet WW? If you go, do you find the programs motivating?

    You see, I have learned something about myself a long time ago and that is that I am not a club woman or a group member. I just don’t fit in well, I am as you all know by now, idiosyncratic and while I can lead, it is hard to get me to follow!

    If I come across my old Richard Simmons diet “game boards” that was a great system. You planned your meals, you closed the board windows when you ate that particular item and when you got them all closed, you quit eating! God forbid you ate the entire day before 11 a.m.

    It also made you accountable for the water drinking, exercising and affirmations.

    He may be a little silly but his ideas work. By the way, I was in college with Richard Simmons, he was in theater arts, fat, geeky and I only vaguely remember him, yet I know I did know him and seem to remember actually dancing with him at a party. Short, too as I recall.

    Love, Jackie

  50. I love pork rinds…hot and spicy…with a cold brewskie.

    Jackie, did you, have you, are you keeping a diary? I’m so glad you can recall days of future past. I can’t….synapses don’t fire like they use to.

  51. Tried to do diary/journal off and on. It is a good way to know yourself if you don’t resort to constant whining and downer comments! All that past time spent lying on shrink’s couches had better pay off somehow. Seriously, I didn’t lay on any couches I remember. I do remember some nice offices and big cushy arm chairs. And I learned a lot about myself.

    Here I am listening to wonderful piano classical music and found myself swaying to the music and smiling. So, maybe it was a good investment. But I do not do well in support groups, only tried a few but they were mostly unpleasant and ended badly, meaning I quit.

    Talking to myself seems adequate! It’s when I answer you have to worry.

    Mike kept journals and I bought them for him to fill. I have never opened them in life and am not sure I should in death. I am looking at a stack in office library right now.

    Love, Jackie

  52. Jackie, I’m working on an answer to your question about Weight Watchers and will get back to you soon. You know how long-winded (or whatever the written equivalent is) I can be. 🙂

    I did want to say something about Mike’s journals while it’s on my mind. I can’t help but think it would be a tragedy for them to be stored away uninspected or, Heaven forbid, destroyed. They might even need to be published. I sure he realized, even many years ago, there was a good chance you would survive him, so I can’t imagine there would be anything in them hurtful to you. At the same time, I recognize that now is probably not the best time for you to read them. Have you thought about having a trusted friend, one who knew Mike well, review them before you decide on their proper dispensation?

  53. Jackie, start reading them. It will be obvious to you quickly whether or not he was writing for you. I think that it would be a very few people who write only for themselves.

  54. Well,, I am hoping they are about building boats or the books he was reading!

    There is a neatly arranged book for every boat he ever built. I found one this week with all this information on woodworking techniques, carefully saved and in sheet protectors and a flippable notebook.

    While he was still working on the road he missed boats so much. He was going to build one called the Two Paw dinghy, a small sailboat that came apart in middle and bolted back together.
    Our friend (now) who designed it did it more as a yacht tender actually.

    Mike wanted to go look at one that had been built in OKC to see what it actually looked and worked like. I was along and having a bad lupus day. I looked at boat, said it was not up to Mike’s standards of building but it was OK and just buy the #### thing and go sail it. Which we did.

    Mike took it all over Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico on his sales trips and sailed it where he could find a mud puddle big enough. One of best gifts I ever gave him.Fit in a minivan or a truck bed camper.

    Years later I sold it back to original builder who has since improved as both a builder and sailor and is a dear friend. Also my webmaster on my Sail OK site. This all supports my belief that life is an endless circle, never ending and infinite.

    Love, Jackie

  55. Village, Don’t forget that we are well acquainted with some of the neighbors. It has been established that the Bumsteads live next door and of course Herb lives on the other side of him. I’ve always wondered why Dagwood and Arlo don’t ever carpool together.

  56. Jackie, It was wonderful of you to be so supportive of his interests. Keep posting. This is like the general store or the café. Always open and someone will be here.

  57. Jerry, among the stuff I have been going through and tossing, I found a half written column of mine that I never used. It was called “Stand By Your Man” and the reason I never finished it is the same reason I started to write it.

    I have hundreds of internet and “physical” friends who write me and talk to me. Almost all of them are men and I may know some better than their spouses do. It has always caused me sadness that these men want to share their love, their passion and have no one with whom to share. The wives not only don’t go out, they often are in opposition to their husbands’ interests.

    And this isn’t just boats, it can be most anything, like gardens, fishing, hunting, hiking, you name it and men are often doing it alone. That is one reason I love A and J, that Arlo and Janis do stuff together, walking, gardening, beaching and cooking.

    Marriage should be support and sharing. OK, I am opening my heart about what I believe but it seems to be JJ’s too and what drew me to his art.

    Love, Jackie

  58. Jackie – and anyone else sorting through “stuff”: notebooks, diaries, letters, etc., can be wonderful windows into the lives and personalities of their authors for their children and grandchildren who might have been too young to know or appreciate them. They may also be of interest to libraries, museums, or organizations specializing in particular regions, historical periods (example: WWII experiences, both military and civilian), or hobbies/activities. I’m sure Mike’s boat building notebooks would be useful references for other builders.

    Of course, being both a librarian and a bit of a packrat might make me a little biased 🙂

  59. No, Ruth Anne you are totally right. I am a pack rat too and have way too much “stuff”.

    Mostly right now we are trying to clean and organize my house and begin to put things where they belong to make it “my house” again. But I am trying to cut down on clutter. I have entire sofa covered in stack of clothing and I am going to find homes for them so they aren’t wasted.

    My mom and Mike’s moms were such pack rats that we used to joke about whose mother was going to fall through floor or have the piles of magazines and newspaper fall onto them in bed and suffocate them.

    Love, Jackie

  60. Good afternoon Villagers….

    I love a dismal, rainy, Sunday, noonish catnip…oops…..catnap 🙂

    The rain into a wintry mix is upon us here in S IN. Not looking forward to the morning commute.

    Ian came home from work, and said “another $%^&### auger went out, but they did get it put back in. Said they did 192 cases. Good girls…the hens, not the ‘boys’.

    Jackie, read those journals for your daughters….they will be a treasure trove of life through the writings of their father.

    Think I’ll head to U tube….the men are watching “Smokey and the Bandit”…..uugghh.


  61. Aw, sorry to hear David! Hoping you get a match soon!

    Came home from work yesterday and immediately began straightening up my porch. All went well until Blacklight realized I was home. Loud yowls from the other side of the door. I let her onto the porch, only for her to immediately whine to be let back in. (Enclosed porch, not meant for year round use – warmer than outside, but by no means warm.) She started yowling again as soon as I let her back in. After a few false starts, she finally came out again – only this time, I wasn’t letting her back in until I was done. You would have thought the world was ending. She sounded like I’d stuffed her in her carrier and tossed her in a snowdrift.

  62. Debbe, I have a good friend with a beautiful boat he built after he sailed one of ours, named “Forever Young”. I wanted to buy it for Mike this year but he wouldn’t let me.

  63. Mindy, One of the comments that we make often about Cilla is that she knows what she wants and knows when she wants it-now, and she will definitely tell you so. They can be very much like humans, immature and spoiled.

  64. Jerry, I tried to make Mike’s life interesting and better from the day we met. Sometimes I could, and sometimes I didn’t but I tried. How many women would send their husbands off to the University of Hawaii with a beautiful new nose? /Fortunately I ended up able to go too but we enrolled him before I transferred over.

    The joke about Mike’s complaint on a location he got at a trade show was “Mike, you could have your booth in an elevator. You’ve got Jackie.” That was how it was, even in retirement. You want to give them whatever you can. I have never been a saint, that title probably was deserved by Mike.

    Love, Jackie

  65. I love Lil Abner. The sad part is the only place I can find it on a daily basis has been doing the same 5-6 basic stories for several years now. Most of them from the earliest days when the cartoon was in it’s formative years. Although it does do one Fearless Fosdick, one of my heroes.

  66. And today’s misadventures – I’m out shoveling. I hit a patch of slushy snow, and uncover what appears to be a MASSIVE spider lurching towards my shovel. In the .000003 seconds it took my brain to process the “spider” was an unfortunately shaped chunk of vegetation, I had a major heart attack, and quite clearly I could hear in my head, “Nope. I quit. Massive snow spiders in Indiana? I’m done. I quit. I’m moving out of the planet.”

  67. Not that massive spiders wouldn’t scare me too but I have this thing about snakes. I have snake nightmares and probably should not have brought them up because I just realized I haven’t had any very recently. Digging a snake out of a snow bank would get me!

  68. Ursen what state are you in there in Appalachians? I will be coming that direction someday soon dragging a boat and trailer, going to North Carolina and Virginia. I am no ice and snow driver, so have to wait for the Spring melt.

    Love, Jackie (By way, Yahoo usually has comics one hour earlier than GoComics)

  69. Mindy, Divas is exactly what they are. Cilla has always walked like one. Spunky is a Tomboy and Elvis swaggers like he knows who he’s named after. I would send a picture if I had any idea how to do it.

  70. –Standard advice…if this is of no interest to you, scrolling down will fix that for you–

    Jackie, re Weight Watchers…

    Disclosure: I have only attended a few meetings since my sister’s death, but I now recognize that was due to the grieving process from which I have just recently begun to emerge. (Watch out for grief; it will make you do things you shouldn’t, and not do things you should do, and later you will have no idea why you did or didn’t do them.) As I have mentioned, my sister was a class leader and got me involved in WW. I associate WW with my sister in a good, way, but I still associate her with it, if you understand what I mean. I will be starting to attend again in the near future.

    In the beginning, I attended weekly WW meetings religiously. I found that very helpful, especially at first. Some class leaders were better than others, but all were much more than just adequate, and I found them to be knowledgeable and supportive, without being “pushy”. (WW class leaders are all members who have reached and maintained their goal weights on Weight Watchers.) I would definite recommend attending meetings when you get started, as it gives you a good grounding in how the process works, and the encouragement you get from class leaders and members does help. Also, statistics show that WW members who attend classes regularly do indeed realize greater results than those who do not. I would recommend that newbies try to attend weekly meetings for about 6 months, or until they are thoroughly familiar and comfortable with the program, and then at least monthly. We have a number of members locally who often or almost always drop by just to weigh in, without staying for the meetings.

    For those who do not know, WW is (in my opinion) basically a scientifically valid healthy eating/portion control program, based on tracking point values assigned to the foods you eat. Tracking is not at all difficult to do, despite what some competing programs would like you to believe. What has really made it work for me is that, by paying by the month (rather than by the meeting), I have access to WW’s eTools online, which, in addition to giving access to a lot of good recipe and meal planning info, makes point calculating and tracking almost effortless. It also gives access to the synced app version for your mobile devices, allowing you to calculate and track on the go. And you can always take a photo of your plate when you eat out and track it later.

    My advice to anyone interested would be to sign up, get access to WW eTools, and attend as many weekly meetings as you can. Even after you are well grounded in the program, you may find you will enjoy attending. It’s just a group of good folks with a common goal and a common interest. Not unlike the Village, come to think of it.

    [Jackie, make sure they are aware of your medical history, of course, particularly your diabetes.]

  71. Jackie, you may get a smile out of this. I also get regular emails from Weight Watchers with useful info, and, in line with WW’s increased targeting of male members, one I got recently included an article entitled “The Top 10 Pieces of Cookware a Guy’s Gotta Have”. I chuckled a bit, not having what I’d guess is the typical “single-guy kitchen” (a can opener, a microwave and every carry-out eatery in a 7-mile radius on speed dial), but I read it anyway.

    As I guessed, I was 10 for 10. But it was a good list of important cookware and a good article explaining why they are needed.

  72. Thanks, Ghost. My primary experience with WW was way back in 60’s and early 0’s when you couldn’t eat bread, rice, potatoes, basically carbs, no sugar, etc. You may remember I almost bought a franchise in Alabama and Mississippi. Gee, I’d have maybe met you?

    I very briefly tried it again up here about 15 years ago under the new WW meal plans. I am thinking this will no doubt help keep me on a balanced meal plan for the diabetes actually. My endocrinologist had recommended Nutrisystem (?) who has a special meal plan for diabetics and he said the only patients of his who had successfully stayed on an eating plan and gotten control and thinner had used this plan. I wasn’t sold, as it seemed more expensive and you still had to supplement the meals with additional items to balance them.

    As long as I had Mike and mom to cook for, WW wasn’t going to work. Now I have no excuse.

    Boy, this getting a new life is going to require some work. I also have to go sign up at the Wellness Center and get back exercising. The last few days we have been focusing on emptying out clothes and moving me back into the main house. Hopefully I can find clothes to wear now without sending out too many search parties! And maybe not.

    I just realized my ex-housekeeper had so many of mom’s clothes mixed in with mine that I can be absolutely certain she mixed mine in with mom’s.

    Love, Jackie

  73. Giant snow spiders? Wasn’t that a bad movie on SyFy? That would give me a heart attack too!

    But we have big spiders here too. Those garden spiders that make huge circular webs and some that aren’t that big but seem to have similar webs. I stepped out my side door one morning and went through one of those big ones. And nearly went through the screen door too, yelling and jerking like a madman trying to “get it off, get it off!”.

  74. Somewhere I have a photo I took of a giant spider and giant web off my decks. If you are from the South you know how big cypress and live oak trees get. I have a row of cypress along my creek bed. I looked up and there was the largest spider nest I have ever seen going from the side of the giant oak across entire deck and joining the first cypress on other side of deck. I can’t measure in dark but I’d guess 20 feet?

  75. So I got to thinking… there was a “Skeeter” who showed up as one of Meg’s friends! It was on March 10th last year. But his friend was named “Ladarius.” I don’t think the diminutive of that is “Nat…” 😉

  76. Skeeter actually showed up on March 11th; it was the week of dailies that began on Monday, March 10th that began his appearance. (Since I know I’ll be checked on this) 🙂

  77. Jackie: “Digging a snake out of a snow bank would get me!” Unless it had been there only a minute or two, it would probably be too late to save the snake, poor thing. Peace, emb

  78. No snow here, but according to AccuWeather and my AccuKnee (from a motorcycling incident some years ago; having the bike totaled out from under me still bothers me more than my slightly banged up knee), we are in for some rain tonight or tomorrow morning. I’ll be on the lookout for aqua-arachnids.

  79. Just watched part of this tonight. I plan to be there in March for the next launch taking my caretaker along to watch over me. She will enjoy all the men I think.

    Warren who filmed this is a professional sports writer, has a book about “sport” called “Without A Paddle” and other videos. But I had not seen this one. If you are mildly curious about people who risk their lives in this particular hobby, watch “The Challenge”, I personally find this group to be extraordinary people. I am StoryTeller in the tribe, so maybe I will write about this one coming up. Used to cover the Class 4 monohull fleet entries.

    I am a loss on kayaks and canoes and multihulls, although I can of course interview entrants.

    Love, Jackie

  80. Last one is correct one. The amazing things are the size of boats, tiny, conditions they sail in, terrible, the way they punish their bodies and boats and most of all that no one has died yet.

    Since I really like these people and they are well equipped with emergency gear, I hope that continues.

  81. It was a balmy -4C (about 25F) today. I shoved the Parka back in the closet. I got it out a few days ago when we were -26C (about -15F) with wind chills of at least -35C (about -31F).

    Jackie, I would love to have lower blood sugar. I spent the past year and a half with readings between 340 and 500 (and lost 65#). I have been on new meds for the past two months and have gotten it down under 180. Unfortunately I have gained back about 50# during that time. I suspect insulin will become part of my life soon.

  82. I realize that it is midnight and many of you will not come back here tomorrow and read this, but I will not be sleeping for awhile yet. My wife and I have talked about this for sometime and she is going to sleep, but I have to talk to somebody, so guess what. To save you from guessing, let me say right off the bat what this is about. My wife’s granddaughter has for sometime now been involved with drugs, both using and the distribution. She went through rehab but you know how that is. My wife’s daughter will not now nor has she ever listened to anyone’s advice. The situation now has become much worse. First of all let me say that my knowledge of any of this is third hand and I want to keep it that way. As I understand it the granddaughter is guilty of accessory after the fact. The charge? As serious as it gets. She goes to court tomorrow and what happens after that we will have to see. I plan on telling my wife’s daughter that I do not want her daughter at my house for the foreseeable future and I will not be going to her house. I may broaden that later to the mother staying away too. I don’t want to overreact, but we have been dealing with this situation for a long time and I am now concerned that we may have the authorities following them and I don’t want to be involved in this. I refuse to throw money at this situation as they are a bottomless pit. I would expect for my PD to be going crazy but other than being angry I think that I am handling it well. Sorry for the downer. Any suggestions are welcome.

  83. Jerry, I think you’ve already made the right decision. I’m sure you know from your background in LE that the odds of her improving her life are now minimal to say the least. And it sounds as though the situation is about to spiral out of control, if it has not already done so. If she is using to the point of having to sell to support her use, there is very little that anyone other than she herself can do to turn it around. And the other charge is just the icing on the cake. My $.02 worth.

    Good luck.

  84. Good morning Villagers….

    Jerry, we have a similar problem here…my brother-in-law is staying with us again this winter. His daughter, who almost 30, is an addict. She has stolen thousands of dollars from her father, who is a retired mechanic from the coal industry. He won’t prosecute. Last month, she got a hold of his debit card (he still gets mail at his house) and wiped out his checking account…to the amount of $6,000. He didn’t do a thing to her. She’ll show up here, begging him, beating him down to get money. He wrote her a $100 check, and she forged the numbers and made it a $400 check. Still won’t prosecute. My husband gets so angry at him. I am thinking about a restraining order on her. He doesn’t realize that if he’d prosecute, she’d go to jail and maybe get straightened out in there….but prisons aren’t rehab centers though…so, I don’t know what to tell you…..I think, as GR wrote, that you have made a good decision.

    It’s a steady 35 degrees out there…rained all night. The freeze line is further north….I feel for you Indy Mindy…..9 degrees is your high tomorrow…so how much snow did you get?

    Bought new boots….they’re not going to work for me. Wore them around the house the other morning and my feet got cold…and I had two pairs of socks on, the boots are fur lined on the bottom insole and sides. I’m taking them back. Guess I head to Rural King this week…..I hate driving through that town as the store is way on the south side of town.

    Ya’ll have a dry day….

    GR 😉

    today’s grin:

  85. Jerry, I think you have made the right decision. You can’t force the other person to change. All you can do is protect yourself from their bad decisions by not being part of them. Good luck to you and your wife, and may the granddaughter pleasantly surprise all of you by changing for the better.

  86. Jerry, the only thing you can do. My wife has a cousin that is the same way. The cousin stole repeatedly from their grandmother until GMA went into the nursing home with Alzheimer’s. Cousin’s children did the same to his mother. Eventually cousin, wife, and one kid went to jail. You’re doing the best you can.

  87. Jerry – My location and my line of work gives me ample opportunity to interact with addicts and dealers. You are definitely making the correct call. Nothing will change until extraordinary measures are put into place.

  88. Just read this morning’s posts above mine. They put my ‘problems’ in perspective. No advice to give other than the wise counsel given. Peace, emb

  89. Jerry, Mark in TTown said it well:. “You can’t force the other person to change. All you can do is protect yourself from their bad decisions by not being part of them.” Good to be reminded of that from time to time. A caring person will try to help. If you can truly make a difference in their lives, wonderfu!. But when they have proven repeatedly that they won’t let you, then choose to walk away.

  90. Jerry, one last word on that from me. My mom spent a lot of money and love on a relative of ours who did show up at her funeral sober, off drugs and looking remarkably cleaned up. But before that he was using, manufacturing and dealing, along with his mother. His dad had thrown him out of house and repeatedly bailed him out, including out of prison time. I told them all that tough love was needed but that is hard to give.

    Since I have been here in Village, his dad died in a suspicious lonely road rollover accident while driving the son’s (actually dad’s) truck and I am sure taking it away from the boy. Do I suspect the drug cartel the boy had gotten involved with? Of course I do.

    Everyone was stoned at dad’s funeral, the boy and his sisters threatened to kill me, created enormous scenes at all services. Dad had girl friend who has since committed suicide, son ended up in prison. We are still trying to disengage our family and property from the mess created.

    Maybe prison cleaned him up. He asked my forgiveness at mom’s funeral and was on totally good behavior. I hope so and told him so.

    Everyone is right, only someone motivated to change can do so. Protect yourself and your wife because the family needs protection. I watched my own mother being used and taken for her assets by more than one addicted relative and those doing it see no wrong in it, believe they “deserve” what others have.

    Love you, Jackie

  91. Gary, I found out I had diabetes in a hospital emergency room with blood sugars near 500 and a doctor asking me why I wasn’t taking my medications. What?

    So I started on oral meds and about 15 years later was still fighting too high readings but they weren’t constantly dramatic, but enough years of 200 doesn’t do much good! I fought going on insulin until I was on Medicare but I knew my bad insurance or worse, no insurance would bankrupt me with insulin pens. I already had drug costs running into thousands per month.

    Here I am fighting low sugars now but I think we can adjust that easily. I over test now because I am fearful of the dramatic lows. Try readings in 40’s?

    The best results I have attained after I got sent to an endocrinologist who also studied autoimmune diseases seriously because they go hand in hand.

    Love, Jackie

  92. And yes, I am getting ready to start making appointment calls for myself as soon as I feed the dogs their breakfasts. And feral cats. Birds can wait for help later, there is still food out for them.

    By the way, advice from LuAnn comic today: “Senor, sometimes NO is the bravest thing to say.”

    Love, Jackie

  93. Jerry, I agree with everyone else that you are doing the right thing. It might get hard to stand your ground, but ultimately better for you and your wife.

  94. After most of a week of temps in the teens and 20s today it’s mid-forties and rainy. I’m looking out the kitchen window and all I can see are clouds down to the ground (remember, I’m on a mountain here) and ghost trees, and if I go outside it is very quiet. It’s sort of an “only person in the world” feeling.

    I don’t so much hate spiders, but it has taken me most of my life not to be terrified of them, merely afraid. When I was about six or seven years old I was playing tag with my friends and ran between two trees that had a big web and several of those big black and yellow spiders on it. My mom said I went into hysterics and she had to take my shorts and shirt off me and shake them out to prove there weren’t spiders on them. And no, I don’t like snakes, either.

  95. One of my weirder collecting of materials efforts is tied to Spanish moss. Girls and I were doing a floral show somewhere and we passed some trees loaded with Spanish moss, so for some reason I stopped and gathered a lot of it. Think I had forgotten to bring moss with me?

    Anyway, not too far down the road we discovered these crawling bugs that we thought were small spiders. Nope, they were ticks! So, we immediately stopped and ditched the trash bag full of Spanish moss and tried to get ticks off us but they had infested the truck or van we were in.

    Unhappy end to story is we ended up doing repeated tick searches of body and I had to set off a fumigant bomb inside van to kill them all.

    Can one of our resident authorities tell me why I got thousands of ticks in that moss?

    Love, Jackie

  96. Jerry, you are right to stand firm. If she visits too often (and even once can be too often!) you run the risk of losing your home over allegations that illicit materials have been stored, created, or sold there.

  97. Remind me again why some people characterize illicit drug use as “a victimless crime”. I imagine there are, among others, countless medical professionals, social workers and cops who would have a different take on that.

    Family members who act as enablers, intentionally or otherwise, are not helpful, either. “None are so blind as those who will not see.”

  98. Jackie, re Nutrisystem…

    I looked into it and talked to some people who had used it before I settled on WW, and I decided it was “Weight Watchers for Dummies”. Not to mention unnecessarily expensive for the prepared meals they ship you. To me, choosing and eating the foods I like (and preparing them myself) is the way to go. If I wanted to eat MRE’s, I’d join the Army.

    Also, I suspect that the effectiveness of a diet plan may be inversely proportional to the number of women in bikinis they use in their ads.

  99. Jackie: My totally unscientific answer to your ticks in the moss question is that the moss you picked up happened to be in a place with a lot of ticks. It reminds me of a time when Bob and I were hiking (more like walking casually) on a section of the Florida Trail and suddenly noticed that we had ticks crawling up our shoes and falling onto our arms; we later read that the area was notorious for its tick population. Growing up we were always warned about red bugs in moss, but here’s some info disputing that –

  100. Really, Jean dear? Ghost trees? 🙂

    I remember early one morning, some years ago, driving a motor home down out of the clouds from an RV park on top of a mountain (it was to me, anyway) outside of Fort Payne AL. Very much like making a low-ceiling instrument approach to an airport in a light twin.

    One good thing about a hard freeze or two around here is that it thins out the tick and flea population for the coming spring.

  101. Just got back to a computer.
    All I got to was PS 132 on Amsterdam Ave before moving to NJ
    MN land area is 14X state of CT – CT smaller than water area of MN (Land of 10,000 Lakes)
    All of New England would fit in MN with room for a couple more states.

    Stereotypes are never typical – but some of MN stereotypes are pretty close.
    Then Norwegian jokes are Caricatures not stereotypes. My son says “Hittites” – there are not many of those around to get offended.

    How It’s Made did a thing on pheasant egg incubation.

    Talking to yourself is OK – answering yourself is OK – but losing an argument to yourself?
    You MAY have issues.

  102. Today we went to exercise class and met with the cabinet man at the new house. My extreme gratitude to everyone for your kind comments. We have all heard that it is easier to talk to a stranger and this group certainly fits that description. Seriously my wife and I are on the same page and in complete agreement on this issue. As some of your comments have noted we all have things going on and no matter how great a life may look we have things that we wouldn’t want to stand up in church and talk about. I am fortunate to have the Village. See you around town later.

  103. If you are going in tall grass or woods – lots of DEET on shoes and pant legs. The “experts”
    say ticks climb not fall on to you – personally I don’t take that for granted.

  104. Gary, many of the drugs that treat diabetes cause weight gain. (Naturally, I’m not on any of them, although I was when I was on that clinical trial.) Most of the time, it’s only water weight, and there’s not much you can do about it unless your doctor gives you a diuretic to compensate.

  105. Jerry:

    Are you telling us that we are strange? Wow, you haven’t even met me and you are spot on! lol

    All I can do is offer prayer and humor. Too many people have been affected by these drug “terrorists” That seems to be the best word to describe drug abuse. That and Satan.

    Take care.

  106. One thing about drug addiction that’s I’d like to know: How many of those with both the addiction and a mental illness would not have the mental problems had they not messed with the drugs they abused? Would those mental problems have been as severe? Were those mental illnesses “triggered” by the drugs?

    All I’m sure of is the patient needs to address both the illness and the addiction to ever be fully functional and have a productive life again.

  107. Oh yeah Debbe – Snowfall for last night looks to be about three inches or so. Made lugging that stupid overflowing trashcan to the alley REAL fun. 🙁 On the plus side, I won’t have to drag it down again for a while. One perk of single life and never being home – very little time to make trash. Tomorrow’s low -10! Brr!

  108. Ursen, just saw a suggestion posted on another site. Go to the Google newspaper archives, find one which carried the strip, and read them from the papers Google has archived.

  109. About half an hour so I will bring you up to date by saying she has been granted immunity. Lesson learned? Nothing. She has never even seen a jail and not spent a second in detention. Just like her mother she blinks her eyes, acts cute and slides right out of it. Ok, play ball!

  110. Here I am back from my first shopping expedition in a month and the fridge is overflowing with fresh fruits and veggies, I have enough whole grain breads to freeze for an extended siege and I didn’t buy a single unhealthy item and bring it home. I am sitting here crunching away on veggie chips with a sprinkle of sea salt.Freeze dried I am assuming. Really, really good too.

    Also bought Glucerna snacks to carry in my bag and some nuts and Fig Newtons, crackers and peanut butter, crackers and cheese for low blood sugars.

    Dang, these Nature’s Harvest crisps are fantastic! First time I ate them. Had tried all the green beans and sugar snaps before, loved them.

    Confession time, my scales say I am 20# lighter than I was a month ago, totally possible. I am doing a lot more, walking more, being more active. So I intend to keep it up. But at the end of two long shopping excursions in one day I couldn’t find the pita chips anywhere to go with all the hummus I had bought. Searched everywhere they’d ever been. Deli manager hailed a department manager and we hunted together. Still no pita chips. He thought maybe they had been moved to chip department.

    I said you know where those chips are, completely at back of store and I will go buy them at my local Braum’s ice cream store before I will walk back there! I used to “mall walk” inside the big super stores and it only takes a few laps to get in two miles. I am not back in that shape yet!

    Is anyone else besides me irritated by the big box stores rearranging of merchandise, departments, products until you lose interest in buying them?

    Love, Jackie

  111. Ghost, don’t know why but just read news about Jennifer Lopez’ nip slip at the Golden Globes and instantly flashed to you!

    Surely they had those small pieces glued to her skin?

    Love, Jackie

  112. Yes, Jackie, I hate when that happens. We’re such creatures of habit, aren’t we? That’s why 90% of my market shopping in recent years has been done at our Kroger store…I know where everything I need is located, and where just about everything I don’t need is, too.

    Kroger will now get the remaining 10%, as the other market I shopped has remodeled, moved everything, taken out their deli (best noontime plate lunches in town) and 86ed their sushi bar. Are you —–ing me? No more sushi?

    Your weight loss should encourage you to continue to make the changes you need to make. It always does me.

  113. By “I hate when that happens”, I of course meant markets getting rearranged, not J-Lo exposing one of her bits. 🙂 I’ll have to check that out.

  114. I am guessing that the 65# I lost of the past 1.5 years may have been mostly water. I was drinking close to two gallons a day but all that water (and likely more) came out every day too. The weight gain in the past two months may just be water too. I really need to work on losing some weight. I really liked how much easier things were when I was 65# lighter.

    Jackie, do you drink diet soda or use artificial sweeteners? Recent studies have shown that these sweeteners may not contribute to caloric intake but they invoke the same insulin response that sugar would produce (the brain is not happy when you try to fool it). This tends not to be a good thing for diabetics and those on the edge of being diabetic.

  115. Jackie, I find that Costco often changes locations for items. You are never sure if the are not carrying them at the moment (which happens a lot) or they are in some other part of the store.

    Luckily, I usually have 2 kids with me when we are grocery shopping so I can send them out searching while I make the regular rounds. I dread the day when I am going to have to do this by myself.

  116. Naw, I don’t believe that whatever slipped was was J-Lo’s nip. The putative boobular appurtenance didn’t seem to me to be located anywhere near where it should have been. I suppose it’s possible she has a very careless plastic surgeon, but I doubt it.

  117. I thought she had a GOOD plastic surgeon, frankly!

    Back when I could afford one, I went to see my “artist” plastic surgeon friend (I sold his brother’s beautiful pottery and would have loved to sell doc’s paintings) to talk about a face and breast lift and reduction while we were at it. He told me I wasn’t ready for one on either face nor any other parts, gave me a target date. Well, when we got there my money was gone!

    So, I have struggled through the rest of my life with my own body, I guess any alterations are up to my own commitment! And I don’t mean committed to any institution.

    Unfortunately I am indeed addicted to Diet Coke and caffeine. I know it is bad, Mike told me it was bad, my doctors tell me it is bad, my Whole Foods daughter repeatedly tells me. I have given it up before for long sustained periods and I think I can again. But that one is harder than just going back on a healthier diet and exercise program.

    Ghost, I am going to go back and join WW again. I have NO idea where that “Rejoin Us” postcard ended up, so I should look and see if they have any coupons floating around internet.

    My philosophy has always been that if you have to change your life, you might as well try and improve it. So, I am.

    Love, Jackie

  118. Have a good friend from Oregon who serves roasted duck with green and yellow vegetables and sides in honor of the Ducks. Which they devour, so I suspect he is not a fan.

  119. Jackie, Wally World is one of the worst offenders in the “you learned where it is so now we must move it” group. And much of the staff is so untrained that I find myself telling people where to find things when I hear them asking about them.

    I did the same thing in the Waldenbooks here when we still had one. Now we are down to just Barnes and Noble, who are nearly as bad as Wally about moving things around. Only I don’t go there often enough to keep up with the stock myself.

  120. Among many genres of music I love is country and western, or at least C and W as it once was.

    Somehow I ended up listening to David Allan Coe, Hank Jr., Allan Jackson, Waylon and Willie and a host of others tonight. “Midnight in Montgomery”, “The Ride” “Are You Sure Hank Played It This A Way” All that testosterone oozing out of the speakers.

    Somehow I miss the outlaws. I started with some real plaintive ones, “This is the last cowboy song” and decided to go for more upbeat ones and ended up on those Alabama ones, hardly upbeat! But good music.

    So glad he who cannot be named is no longer around. Even if you don’t love country, everyone is so polite you can politely say you don’t. I like that.

    Love, Jackie

  121. I am proud to be a member of such a polite group. It’s very pleasant. And the people I see on Facebook are polite and interesting too. I am a lucky woman!

  122. I agree with half that statement, Jackie!

    I prefer bluegrass music to standard C&W, though for some reason I grew to like a song called “Pistol Packin’ Mama” after my dad played it enough. Guess because it didn’t sound like the rest of his country records. But I like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Charlie Daniels and a number of others that sort of walk the line between country and rock.

    Good night everybody, 530 comes early everywhere, and I’ve got a feral cat to catch tomorrow for my niece to take to the vet.

  123. Lynyrd Skynrd is a favorite of course and I think of them as rock. I too love blue grass but didn’t mention, I am particular to mandolin and dulcimer but a lot of sailing guys seem to play ukes as well. We have a big blue grass festival not far from me each year but they hold it in heat of summer and I can’t do the sun and heat.

    My rock mason is a professional mandolin player with a specialty in gospel blue grass.

  124. I always said that I would learn to play the banjo when I retired. I shouldn’t have put it off. Now I wouldn’t be able to put my fingers around the neck. Hmmm. Has anyone ever heard of some sort of adapted instrument that might work? Urban Myer is the second most unpopular college coach in Florida, but Ohio State did a great job.

  125. Does anyone except me remember Jerry Van Dyke (little brother of Dick) esd s banjo player? He used to play clubs when I was young, both as a comedy act and as a banjoist. He was really quite good on the banjo and I enjoyed going to his shows. He played small dinner show venues and not big stage shows. He also played banjo sometimes on “Coach” when he was on that show.

  126. Good decision, Jackie, on WW. I don’t think you’ll regret it. And I think you are the type person who will do well with the program as it currently exists.

    As someone once said, “I like both kinds of music…Country AND Western.” Actually, I like pretty much all of them, with a couple of notable exceptions.

  127. My notable exception is hip hop and rapping. I like Hispanic and Tejano, all forms of instrumentals, opera, symphony, jazz, folk, blue grass, rockabilly, rock, on and on but I just remembered I am not much of a heavy metal fan although I can tolerate some of it. And elevator music or muzak. I don’t like that either.

    But I can tolerate Barry Manilow and Wayne Newton, with whom I once shared a table. And yes, he is as ghostly white as he appears on stage and his hair is as black, dyed I am sure.
    I couldn’t help thinking he belonged on the Muensters but never saw him there. Or a duet with Elvira, who I have also seen in person. Mike was a fan.

    Love, Jackie

  128. Good morning Villagers….

    Guess who showed up yesterday afternoon? BIL’s daughter. And the guys were out grocery shopping when we got home. I was on the phone when I heard this “timid” knock on the door, saw it was ‘her’, opened the door, took the mail from her hands, told ‘her’ they weren’t here, and to go away….then I shut the door in her face. She left.

    Indy Mindy…..I see it’s a minus 5 up in your neck of the woods…here’s it’s a balmy 24 degrees.

    gotta go…..

    Stand your ground, Jerry.

    Oh, and let’s not forget Steve Martin who also is an excellent banjo player. I enjoyed the show “Coach”

    ya’ll have a blessed day

  129. Debbe, bravo for the way you handled her! I like “Dogs.of C Kennel”, too. And I just want to weigh in on on also missing “Pogo”.

  130. Yes, Ghost Sweetie, “ghost trees”. Bare, gray, and hiding in the clouds.

    My sister was on Nutrisystem for a while. She was shipped the basics, but still had to buy fruits and veggies and such. She finally dumped that and joined Weight Watchers and did much better.

  131. Which is what I plan to do as well, although I never sent the Nutrisystem people any money. I was once on same exact liquid diet that Oprah lost all her initial weight on with just as dramatic results. It was started by one of my doctors in Houston and for the life of me, I cannot remember the name of the stuff! You drank nothing but the shakes and they had a rather ghastly aroma of the fish scales that was one of their chief ingredients. I think they may still be around as an over the counter diet program but in those days you had to be under a medical doctor’s supervision, have weekly check ins, blood work done, very intense program.

    Well, yeah, it was going to work especially if you walked two miles a day which you were supposed to! Needless to say my results were just like Oprah’s, I looked fabulous for awhile and then noshed my way back to gaining weight!

    Having my wake up Diet Coke and watching birds outside my window. Either they are bigger or fluffed up feathers trying to keep warm. Huge cardinal in wisteria vines.

    Love, Jackie

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