There’s the rub, and there’s the rub.


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Today’s old A&J is from 1989. It’s going to be a short work week around here, but I’m OK with that. It’s the week of Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. I like Thanksgiving, because it’s a difficult occasion to mess up. I know, I know. The big retail chains are trying, and they make inroads every year, but I’m not launching into that rant now. Besides, it is possible to ignore all that. Just stay home—or go to the home of family or friends—and whip up some comfort food; make it as lavish or simple as you like. Enjoy, pausing occasionally to remind yourself how good you have it. That’s it! What could be better?

86 thoughts on “There’s the rub, and there’s the rub.”

  1. So nice that we are all mostly the homey kind of people, isn’t it?
    And yes, we all have things to be grateful for. Even if it isn’t all perfectly what we would prefer, even I have my 93 year old mom with me, Mike is still alive and has a chance of survival, I have two daughters, two son in laws and two grandchildren with a third on way. Family to be appreciated.

    Jimmy, I am disappointed that we don’t have Arlo cooking this week or Mary Lou and Gene. I was sure you’d do some “family time” strips with the holiday and the extended family!

    Love, Jackie

  2. I left a short essay earlier this morning on the “male bonding” page regarding the Ferguson violence. I’d like to discuss civilly if anyone is interested.

  3. I was watching the Food Network and Bobby Flay was saying that Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday (Giving thanks, being with family, good food) but also his most stressful (being with Family, MAKING good food at the correct time). He did not exactly say this, but I have added to it.

    Of course another important part of Thanksgiving is football….which causes it’s own brand of stress.

    Taking this week off to put new flooring in the dining room and kitchen. Dining room has beautiful hardwoods under the subfloor and got that done yesterday. Just started on the kitchen and there is a hodgepodge of flooring under the sub-floor. The sub-floor is nailed and not stapled down, so I have decided to save my body and just put new sub-floors is the dining room and lay Pergo over both. I was hoping to yank all of the sub-floor off and make it closer to the same level as the Living Room, but physically I just cannot do it. Maybe some day I will hire someone to do a gut job and do the whole kitchen. Just don’t have the money for that now.

  4. David, I totally agree with all you said. I did reply over on that day’s comments, I am last in line! We switched to here.

    I grew up in deep South, Mississippi Delta cotton farm. While I have lived many places since, even in the Delta I was a minority.
    In fact, here in Oklahoma I am a minority, Caucasians are surrounded by Native Americans, we are the smaller group. It is sobering to realize you are indeed a minority if you think about it.

    There have been many acts of violence in past but I doubt anything positive ever resulted from them. I like to think that real change has occurred when there were small acts of individual courage that broke down the old walls. I would like to believe I was part of that change by things I did personally that so far as I know never caused harm or damage to anyone.

    Yesterday and day before while Ferguson was seething I spent reading the first Federal census following the Civil War in 1870.
    This was in my home parish, Tensas, Louisiana. A truly sobering and elucidating document. My parish has always been predominately black but in 1870 white residents were out numbered by about 10:1 or more. There were almost no white males except some categories like farm worker or a trade.

    I mentioned this to Mike and he said, “They were all killed in the war.” Which is true.

    So, luckily I spent a large part of my life elsewhere which taught me even more about living with people who are of a different ethnicity.

    What Ferguson says to me is that all the things I did to change the South and Jim Crow may have been wasted. Which is an awful realization.

    Hope this is civil enough!

    Love, Jackie

  5. Jackie said: “So nice that we are all mostly the homey kind of people, isn’t it?” My first read was way off the mark, I stumbled on homey. 😉

  6. I had to think long before posting this, usually not a subject I speak out on.

    The Tragedy of Ferguson; narrow minded people on all sides who are being pandered to by self serving media interests.

  7. I have major travel plans this week – about 26 miles to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving feast. This year I am in charge of the turkey (fried), cream and fruit pies (chocolate silk and apple) and breads/rolls. I may make up a small batch of tamales just because I like them. And red chili. And whipped cream (but not to go with the chili!). Easy and relaxing.
    We ignore the football (I know, a sacrilege) as well as the shopping madness. When the nearest major retailer is a 60 minute drive it’s easy to pay it no nevermind. Although I may do a tad of on-line shopping.
    This is a time to count our blessings, not our calories! Mine mostly revolve around the fact that I’m still kicking!

  8. As always, I won’t be home for Thanksgiving. My sister and I will be at the LAX Marriot all weekend because of LosCon 41. I will be running Handicapped Services, a minor department of the convention. Marcia, and her Co-Chair Robbie Bourget, will be promoting LosCon 42, which will be held at the same venue next year. Don’t worry, the hotel has WiFi and it’s free for guests who are members of the convention, so I’ll be staying in touch. Hope you all have as much fun this weekend as we’ll be having.

  9. Re Ferguson, the saddest part is that probably very few have bothered learning the facts gathered by the grand jury. I watched the news conference and as soon as they mentioned that no charges would be filed, CBS quit broadcasting the news conference, just as he was starting to explain some of their findings that came out in the investigation. Apparently that didn’t interest CBS; they were more interested in showing the people outside starting to become agitated and running down the streets.

    I understand why the grand jury kept the investigation to themselves, but at this point, the people protesting have decided on their own what “facts” they want to believe. (As my dad used to say “I’ve already made up my mind. Don’t confuse me with facts!)

  10. Yeah, Bonnie, that was kind of my point. The ones who most need to read the testimony are the ones least likely to do so. But I doubt that most people who get their information exclusively from social media and TV talking heads with vested interests would be swayed by the evidentiary information, anyway. Sad.

  11. I’M HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL!!!

    I will still have to take IV antibiotics for three more weeks, but at home after dialysis. Ghost, thanks for the link. I intend to read the transcript, but I only made it through the weekend CSI testimony. I was interrupted by the pleasant business of leaving the hospital. Now that I’m home I feel a nap coming on.

  12. Ghost Rider – I agree and it angers me that the news people also have very little interest in the investigation findings. The truth apparently doesn’t matter at all – Give us dirty laundry! Sad situation all around.

  13. Congrats David fA! Now you can get some rest!

    Hope our other medically challenged Villagers and family will also have good reports.

    We have a lot to be thankful for.

  14. Good for you, David from Austin, home from the hospital in time for Thanksgiving dinner! Hope it’s a good one and that you can eat whatever you want.

  15. Good to see you home David. I was trying to explain to my 93 year old mom how I had a friend in Austin I was worried about……now that is a challenge! She is used to me having boating friends all over the world but the internet confuses her of course. The reason I have boating friends all over the world is the same reason I have all the Village friends all over the world!

    So glad you are home and glad they are letting you do IV there and not come in.

    Love, Jackie

  16. Dave – Great news! Rest, recoup, recharge.

    Jackie – Don’t be so sure about those geek genes – you are here, aren’t you?

    Neal – I am sure you’ve seen a whipper or three in your days, you just didn’t know it. By the light of the day they look just like everybody else.

    Ghost – Journalism apparently has no place in mainstream media. Ferguson and ebola are just two recent examples of the “anything for a rating” and “first and loudest” mentality that has even consumed mainstream news.

  17. Sand, I agree completely and I will add this, thousands of fine young men are shot and killed in the streets of America every year. Many more have been sent to other countries and come back in a box. Where are the news people? Where is the anger about their deaths? It’s like missing children. I always wonder who is the person who decides which case will get all of the publicity this week. Nancy Grace? There’s an oxymoron. Second-I guarantee that the lack of a can opener will not keep me out of a can if I really need to open it.

  18. So glad you got home in time for Thanksgiving, David! Hope it’s blessed by continued improvement in your health – and that goes for everyone else in the village, too!

  19. From Charles Lamb’s essay “Grace before meals” –
    The custom of saying grace at meals had, probably, its origin in the early times of the world, and the hunter-state of man, when dinners were precarious things, and a full meal was something more than a common blessing; when a bellyful was a windfall, and looked like a special providence.

    Ancient Tibetan Buddhist blessing (not limited to meals) –

    May you be filled with loving kindness.
    May you be well.
    May you be peaceful and at ease.
    May you be happy.

  20. Okay, my carry-over from yesterday:

    If a bad rendition of “Imagine” was the worst of the world’s troubles, I would gladly hear it forever. Stay warm and safe all!

    Dave – Congrats on breaking out!

    Early day, early bed time – today was a LOONG day.

  21. If Al Beeg Daddi (or whatever his name is) wants to attack this country he will have to come over my dead body, but I would also say this to him, may God bless all of the people of all countries.

  22. Way to go, David!!

    (or something like that from back in my teens)

    Just got my 9-, 10-, or 11-year old Cad in for the ignition switch recall. I think all that was done was to replace the ring holding actual key to its fob with smaller ring(s). For this I spent 3 hours and $5′ worth of guzzle-ene? They could have mailed out the smaller rings for a lot less hassle and cost. If anyone knows more of what was done than I, do speak up and tell me.

  23. Thanks to all for the warm welcome home. After a nap and a shower I am almost a new man. For the former military here: I got two out of three “S” accomplished.

  24. I’m former military, but “I got two out of three “S” accomplished”??

    Positive health note: 20 yr. ago, at my annual physical, doc said I was his healthiest 65-yr. old. Today [same doc], his healthiest 85-yr. old. I’ve lots to be thankful for, and I know it.
    Think I’ll have a beer w/ supper. [He knows / my restrained beer regime.]

    Peace, emb

  25. Someone was reminiscing about pin ball machines and getting beer tabs paid. When I was in my teens/college I was very good at both pin ball and football machines. (Remember those?) To this day I don’t know why, but I won a lot and earned a lot of free beer which I usually just gave away. I never took up computer games, so no idea if it is same skills as the old machines.

    In the 50’s and 60’s no girls/women wanted to be labeled as a “brain”, the equivalent of todays geeks. So I definitely often underperformed in school. But I think my lack of math and math related sciences skills was real, To me that was the land of real brains, the people who understood computers.

    While I have taught myself a few computer skills, mine are more akin to a word processor or typewriter than true computing skills.

    Love, Jackie

  26. I was seen as a “brain” from the Second Grade on — I had skipped the First Grade — and in my small town, all the kids knew this. But I didn’t care! Sure, I took some teasing for reading books and “using big words” but the enjoyment of reading made up for that. I was happy to get pretty good report cards — not too happy to finish homework on time, but did okay anyway.

    When I got to college, I had the wonderful good fortune to meet a nice-looking fellow student, who just like me was a life-long reader and used many long words; and we loved the same kind of music. It didn’t take long for us to fall in love and get married. And I finished college, too!

  27. I’ve had a very quiet life here in my corner of New Hampshire. I am so in awe of the amazing life that Jackie has led! If she ever covered up her “brains”, that was a long time ago. Her remarkable brain power shines through the stories of what she has done and how she’s done it. She is an inspiration to this rather timid and retiring person!

  28. I will admit I have NEVER been timid nor retiring. And honestly I never tell all the stories for fear I will sound like I am making them up. I have always loved people and wanted to be loved in return, so I didn’t want to have people envy me or resent me, even as a child. I too skipped grades and in any school, especially small ones, that sets you apart. Reading was my “real” world where I could go and be anyone and I used to say I read anything with print including cereal boxes.

    One regret is that I never experienced a school or teachers that could deal with children like me. I’d like to think education departments now can challenge children to learn at any level and take pride in their abilities and grow.

    Love, Jackie

  29. “In the 50?s and 60?s no girls/women wanted to be labeled as a “brain”, the equivalent of todays geeks.”

    Fortunately, wife didn’t mind that in the late ’40s in H.S. She was valedictorian in her small town graduating class of 37* or so. Continued to do well at Cornell in Ithaca and at CUNYH School of Nursing in Manhattan [BSN ’53] and straight A student at the local college/univ., BA biol. and Engl., summa, ’70, and MA Engl. ’73. Actually, at both Cornell and here, I’ve run into lots of women, perhaps more than men, who aren’t the least concerned about being known for their smarts. A more common problem is that, in mixed discussion groups, male students do most of the talking. Too much female reticence there.

    Another local problem is that many smart American Indian students won’t speak up in groups. There’s a cultural “don’t stand out” value that’s hard for many to overcome.

    *Same town, same distance from Manhattan [50+ miles, Amtrak] had a graduating class of 150+ at wife’s 50th reunion in ’98. Brewster, NY is now largely a bedroom community. Peace, emb

  30. Will be going out to eat with our Corps officers (pastors) and their brother this year. Don’t know how that came about, it just did. It is their first year without a big family get together so it will be different for them. My better half and I quit cooking for Thanksgiving about 12 years ago so we have been going out for a while for Thanksgiving. It doesn’t make sense to cook a big dinner for just the two of us, so we are going to share our time with them. The big Salvation Army Corps Thanksgiving dinner for the community was tonight so we have done all we need to do in cooking and serving for this year.

  31. Yay, Salvation Army! I pride myself in never passing up a bell ringer’s kettle without dropping in a dollar. Of course, that’s in addition to the check I send the local SAC office around the first of each December. That stems from my military days, where it was my personal experience that the SA did more for the troops than other service organizations.

  32. I used to keep a framed Charlie Brown poster for a long time of Schroeder I believe , “The heaviest burden is a great potential.”

    Took me a lot of therapy and analysis of myself to begin to understand what drove me to a lot of what I did in life. Part of it was a fearlessness and another was coping with rejection and neglect. Two of my favorites at an early age were Holden Caulderfield and Holly Golightly, neither anti-heroes you’d choose for your children. Loved the authors but I identified with the characters unfortunately!

    Not a good memory probably for a Thanksgiving memory! Both authors had unhappy lives all the way to the end I think. My one chance to meet Capote as he sat next to me and Mike kept threatening me if I spoke to him or even smiled.

    He looked so sad, all alone in his little red toggle coat and his little legs dangling off the bar stool, shorter than mine which are VERY short! They were making him eat in the bar because he didn’t have a coat and tie on, despite fact he was staying in the hotel forever. Manager was a friend, so heard sad story of how alone he was.

    Think I’ll give up and take my dog off to see the cats and go to bed. And finally take a turkey out of freezer I keep forgetting.

    Love, Jackie

  33. Mark, I forgot to tell you about the contact you found for me about my ghost that was killed in our house! I found quite a bit more information but I also found two Smiths who were researching a lot of family members and they were indeed the ones looking for him. So, I wrote them and promptly got a reply the next day.

    Sad part is his son died last week who I suspect was one of the genealogical researchers. He said he will contact me as soon as he returns home. So, after 90 years we may get some resolution on this poor man’s death? Genealogists feel like television detectives sometimes.

    Love, Jackie

  34. Such a difference, Jackie — my childhood was a very happy one. Teen age, not bad either. Loving parents and grandparents, and their friends. Most of my friends were adults! My whole life has been happy, in fact. I give thanks for my good fortune, every day, and feel sad for folks who haven’t been so lucky.

    I’m sad that you didn’t get to meet Truman Capote, and am wondering why Mike didn’t want you to talk to him.

  35. I am troubled by any group that, when denied the “justice” that they seek, burn down, loot, or otherwise destroy their own neighborhoods and the businesses owned by their neighbors. To me that is insane… I happen to be a volunteer chaplain at a state psychiatric hospital… So, I do know what “crazy” looks like.

  36. A further thought. When toddlers throw a tantrum, tossing their toys about, we step out of the way and do our best not to laugh while calming those children. When adults throw a tantrum, destroying their own neighborhoods, what should we do? What can we do?

  37. Good morning Villagers…..

    Granny Carol and Denise….my pleasure, you’re welcome.

    Off subject….we brought George the Rooster into the packing room yesterday….we’re going to start doing that as he’s getting so big. He flaps, he struts, he crows, and I smile.

    Husband bought a pork loin for Thanksgiving dinner…..pork, the other white meat!

    And Rachael and Andrew are back together, they will be spending Thanksgiving supper with us, as we all have to work. Rachael is a CNA, and works in a group home for the mentally handicapped. Will be going in to the nursing home and spend some time with Mom this evening. My one sister will be having the family Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow….too many people for me…swarms of fam damily. But I love them.

    Ya’ll have a blessed day

    =^..^=

  38. AND David…glad you’re home in time for the holidays…..I always thought it was the 4 “S”s…___t. shine, shower and shave…..don’t know where shine came from though.

    And Bryan is feeling well enough to cook the turkey and pies….you can drop the pies off at my house 🙂

  39. Well, gotta see your reflection in your right shoe, anyway. (See my previous post re starched fatigue uniform and spit-shinned boots.)

    Coming soon: Ghost’s Top 10 List of Things I’m Thankful for This Thanksgiving

  40. I was considered brainy or geeky or nerdy because I read a lot-which tells you something about the other students at my school-but I have never been good at math or sciences. I failed miserably in high school because I had not grown up in that small rural community and was not kin to any of the old families, so the teachers ignored me and I couldn’t get anything explained. The funny part is, if you give me a series of math problems on paper I can’t do them but move them into the kitchen as working with recipes and I’m good. 🙂

    Yesterday was grocery shopping, and today is baking pies, biscuits, and cornbread and getting the dressing ready to bake, and brining the turkey. Oh, and making the cranberry sauce.

  41. Week in the field training. Followed by Saturday morning full field inspection. Assured you had no sleep Friday night; time spent: scrubbing, cleaning, and polishing. Gigged on Saturday morning, no pass on Saturday night; repeat and rinse as needed. 😉 Those were the days!

  42. I think having everyone know I was a “brain” was part of my burden. By second grade they wanted to skip a grade for me. By third they did, then I hit junior high and same thing, by high school and graduation I was taking driver’s ed, typing, Senior English and P.E. That was all there was to put me in and mom wouldn’t let me just go on to college.

    By college my picture and articles were in all local newspapers and television because I had been a Merit Scholar, scored highest scores ever achieved on Louisiana’s college entrance exams and the SAT’s. That is a heavy burden to put on a young person so I have always been sympathetic to the unfortunates who go through football super stardom. When I threw my hands up over all the college scholarships I just took a local college since I had full scholarships to all the state colleges.

    So I started class there with a huge article on front page of the college newspaper, along with a local gay guy who had come in second to me. He was no doubt even more confused by all this than I, although we both had sexual identity issues!

    I think Mike got it right when he said the aliens dropped off me and my three gay buddies who were born on same night, day, year in the Delta. I met these guys as adults in Houston and yes, we could have been hatched from the same pods. They never fit in anywhere either and headed for the big city.

    There was no way to avoid being “different” so I suppose in many ways I just embellished it. Hence the Holden Caudlerfield and Holly Golightly comparisons all my life.

    The reason Mike wouldn’t let me talk to Capote, which he knew I would, is that Mike believes you do not bother celebrities by acknowledging who they are, you leave them in peace.

    I say he was lonely, not in peace necessarily.

    Love, Jackie

  43. Jean, I am terrible in math and sciences that require math, like chemistry. All courses requiring more word skills I aced. It is like my brain just does not compute math, like I am a computer programmed wrong. Yet when I was younger I read so fast they could not actually count it with their tests then, so whoever wired me gave me high skills in one area and goofed on another.

    Anyone else ever think about our brains? Or talents? Why can one person throw a baseball faster than machines? Why can one compose and play music from birth? Or paint? Or compute complex equations of math? I think about this a lot actually, not that I understand why.

    Remember that New Yorker magazine joke where the two professors are standing in front of a black board with an endless math equation and just laughing their heads off? I actually saw that played out in college, just like the joke only the joke appeared much later. I opened magazine and go….”Twilight Zone theme music.” For the life of me, what is funny about math?

    Love, Jackie

  44. Jackie – I don’t remember that cartoon but I do remember another one with a blackboard covered with a complicated equation. There was a big gap near the end, before the = answer, which had been filled in with “and then a miracle occurs”.

  45. Jean dear, sounds like I need to bring my Mom over for The Meal tomorrow. 🙂

    I had a similar problem in school; I didn’t do all that well in biology, but in real life… 😉

    Yeah, sand, really makes you nostalgic, don’t it?

    Funny story, Jackie…I was the only National Merit Scholarship finalist in my senior class of 400+. But unlike in your case, the school didn’t make a big deal out of it, which was fine with me. I think it was probably because they were a bit embarrassed that had I transferred into their system when I was a sophomore and therefore wasn’t really “one of theirs”.

  46. High school didn’t even get credit for me, Ghost. Just went there senior year. Scored so high when I was at another school where I only went one year also. But they were the big city school and wanted the publicity for themselves and their students. Other “brain” in photo went there also.

    Funny thing was what I was known for at the school was more my practical jokes and crazy behavior, as I tended to do things like that to counter any suspicious behavior for intelligence! So everyone there is going “Huh?”

    Then local college went nuts having us both go to school in local school instead of where we should have gone, like taking scholarships to prestigious uni’s we were offered.

    I already know you are smart, Ghost! Did your dad fill out your financial papers for school and scholarships? Mine wouldn’t. So I took one that was automatic and didn’t require any paperwork.

    Just kept making decisions like that all my life I think?

    Love you, Jackie

  47. Ghost’s Top 10 List of Things I’m Thankful for This Thanksgiving

    10. That I have no need for a product I’ve seen advertised called “Recticare”.

    9. That, with the exception of my tonsils and my wisdom teeth, I still have all the bodily parts I was born with.

    8. That I have a roof over my head that doesn’t have a huge hole in it. (I couldn’t say that on this date in 2005.)

    7. That I am not a politician, so I don’t have to tell my Mom I make my living playing the piano in a whorehouse.

    6. That the only nutritional problem I have is the opposite of starvation.

    5. That tomorrow my only dressing will be on my plate and not on my head, my torso or a limb.

    4. That tomorrow the only “turkey” I’ll have to deal with is the one on my table and not the one I report to at work.

    3. That fewer Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen will have to eat their Thanksgiving dinner in the field this year than last. (Although I suspect I may not be able to say that next year.)

    2. That, despite its problems, the country I live in is the best one in the world.

    1. That I have family and friends who care about me.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you all, and may you all have a wonderful one.

  48. Ghost, that is wonderful thanks report!

    I was just thinking that my life may not have always been perfect, that many bad things have actually happened to me, yet I am still alive and there have been many joyful moments and exciting events, a lot of fun sometimes and a lot of love, too. I don’t think wealth was ever high on my list, so that is OK too.

    If we all sat down and did what Ghost did, we would find we have a lot to be thankful for and some of it was gifts to us, we didn’t earn it. I know I did just now and it makes one think seriously about what we are appreciative of.

    Love, Jackie

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