Peculiar People Day

January 10th has been described by Mental Floss as the day that commemorates the unicorn in all of us.

unicornA day to honor uniquely, different people. Certainly each of us can be described as peculiar… odd…distinctive…special…unique…idiosyncratic…atypical…different…unusual…weird…eccentric… one-of-a-kind.

Celebrate what makes you peculiar!

e130817_McWaters_213751-3Happy Peculiar People Day to my two favorite unicorns!

Wreaths for Veteran’s Day

Last week I received an email from Meghan encouraging me to purchase a Christmas wreath from Wreaths Across America and decided I should share it today, Veteran’s Day, so others can take advantage of this opportunity.

I know that every year you all hear me go on and on about how much I love my wreath so I figured I’d share it with you this year. I get the wreath from the organization Wreaths Across America. They collect sponsorships to be able to lay wreaths on the headstones of Vets at military cemeteries across the country. Jon and I attended this event a few years ago at Florida National Cemetery and it was really cool to see wreaths on so many headstones.

Meghan recommends purchasing the Patriot Pair. For $30, a wreath (with a door hanger) will be delivered to your house and a second wreath will be sent to Arlington to be laid on a headstone. Another option is to purchase a Personal Remembrance Wreath. For $20, you’ll receive a wreath with a door hanger delivered to your house, however, this option doesn’t provide a second wreath for a headstone.


Patriotic Pair – a wreath for home and Arlington National Cemetery

Meghan insists that the wreaths which are delivered the first weekend of December lasted throughout the holiday season and that their fresh aroma remained until New Year’s Day when she took down her Christmas decorations.

Veteran’s Day is the perfect time to order one or more wreaths from Wreaths Across America as a way to save thank you to our country’s veterans, and since this year’s wreath laying will take place on December 13th, you don’t want to delay or you’ll miss out on this opportunity.


Trick or Treat?

With Halloween three weeks away, it’s time to decorate, chose a costume, and buy treats for the trick-or-treaters.

I always thought that the term trick or treat referred to tricks played on homeowners who don’t provide treats, but after seeing some of the “goodies” for sale I believe perhaps the tables have turned. It looks like the costume clad children may be the ones tricked this Halloween.

I remember thinking Bit-o-Honey and those snack boxes of raisins were the worst “treats” dropped in my plastic pumpkin. I also hated getting pennies. Again, not my idea of a treat.

Instead, I looked forward to M&Ms, blow pops, bubble gum, and most anything chocolate. Sweet tarts and candy corn are Halloween treats, not stickers or bookmarks.

However, Bit-o-Honey, raisins, pennies, stickers, and bookmarks are amazing compared to what’s being sold this year…packs of Halloween tissues! You’ve got to be kidding! Anyone who drops a pack of tissues in a trick-or-treaters bag deserves to be tricked.

Tissues as treats?
Tissues as treats?

The only thing I can think of that would be worse than getting tissues for Halloween would be getting a flu shot!

I hope the tissue thing doesn’t catch on!


So what do you think? What were the best and worst “treats” you received when trick or treating?

Happy Labor Day Weekend

Tomorrow as you enjoy your picnic and day off for Labor Day, remember to thank unions. This annual holiday which celebrates workers and their achievements was first proposed by union leaders in the early 1880s and became an official holiday in 1894.

That’s pretty amazing considering a 12 hour work day and a 7 day work week was not uncommon and workers as young as six worked in mills, mines, and factories in many states.

Thanks to labor unions laws passed to regulate working conditions, air quality, work hours, and a “workingman’s holiday”. Not only did these laws impact union members, but most U.S. workers, even in businesses or industries where employees are not represented by unions.

Besides tomorrow’s holiday, here are some other reasons you should thank a union:

  • eight hour workday
  • paid vacation
  • sick leave
  • Social Security
  • overtime pay
  • child labor laws
  • workplace safety standards
  • employer health care insurance
  • holiday pay
  • worker’s comp
  • 40-hour workweek
  • breaks, including a lunch break
  • minimum wage

Unions have fallen out of favor recently, but I’m proud to have been a member of N.E.A. since 1979. After all, any business with a union deserves one.

Image from:

Happy Labor Day Weekend!



Happy Doonerism Spay!

It happens to everyone. Your mouth spits out words faster than your brain processes them and as a result parts of words get reversed creating ridiculous phrases. These crazy word combinations (like Doonerism Spay), known as spoonerisms, have their own special day, July 22, the birthday of Reverend William Archibald Spooner, for whom spoonerisms were named.

Apparently Reverend Spooner was famous for his butchering of the English language with accidental substitutions and as a result spoonerisms were born. On one occasion, he toasted the Queen Victoria with, “Three cheers for our queer old dean!”

It’s said that he once ended a wedding with the words: “It is now kisstomary to cuss the bride.”

And another time he referred to a well-oiled bicycle as a “well-boiled icicle”.

Therefore, spoonerisms are the perfect name for these word slip ups.

I remember the story of a sportscaster committing a spoonerism as he excitedly called a football game in which Tucker Fredrickson scored a touchdown and the author Shel Silverstein wrote a children’s book crammed with spoonerisms called, Runny Babbit: a Billy Sook.

Getting ready for National Hammock Day and Doonerism Spay on Tuesday!

So Tuesday while you’re relaxing in your hammock on National Hammock Day, have a happy Doonerism Spay and let me know if you hear any of these word bloopers. Or maybe you should just go a shake a tower!








Fathers and Fishing: 13 Quotes

The two most important men in my life, my dad and my husband, share a love of fishing. Perhaps fishing is actually the secret to being a good father. Standing on the beach or sitting in a boat with a rod in hand, all is right in the world…regardless if a single fish nibbles on the line. Alone, with each other, or with another angler a day on the water can only be described as a good day.


“Everyone should believe in something. I believe I’ll go fishing.” ~Henry David Thoreau

“The solution to any problem – work, love, money, whatever – is to go fishing; and the worse the problem, the longer the trip should last.” ~John Gierach

“Fishing too much. Can’t be done.” ~Ernest Hemingway

“If all politicians fished instead of spoke publicly, we would be at peace with the world.” ~Will Rogers

“Many men go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” ~Henry David Thoreau

“There is certainly something in angling that tends to produce a serenity of mind.” ~Washington Irving


“Bragging may not bring happiness, but no man having caught a big fish goes home through the alley.” ~Ann Landers

“I go fishing not to find myself but to lose myself.” ~Joseph Monninger

“The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions of hope.” ~John Buchan

“The two best times to fish is when it’s raining and when it ain’t.” ~Patrick F. McManus

“I love fishing. You put that line in the water and you don’t know what’s on the other end. Your imagination is under there.” ~Robert Altman

“Three-fourths of the Earth is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn.” ~Chuck Clark

Happy Father’s Day to two terrific dads who also happen to be first rate fishermen.

“Fishing is not about the fish. It’s the time spent together catching them.” ~Unknown

Let’s go fishing!




Visit Veteran’s Park

Monday’s Memorial Day which signals the end of the school year and the beginning of summer, but it’s also a day to remember the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. armed forces. Special events are taking place throughout the nation at memorials and national cemeteries, but these places are open for visitors year round.


The Ocala-Marion Veterans Memorial Park was established in 1997 as a memorial to veterans who fought for our country’s freedom. The park includes more than 500 bricks, 200 benches, and 100 plaques recognizing those who fought in all conflicts in our nation’s history.

The park serves as a place to learn about our history beginning with the Indian Wars in the 1600s and continuing through the present while honoring those who lost their lives in service to our country. A small museum with artifacts donated by local citizens is located in the park office which is open Monday-Friday from 9:00am-1:00pm.

Monday’s Memorial Day, a day to remember; but Ocala-Marion Veterans Memorial Park as well as the national cemeteries provide an opportunity to learn and remember any day of the year.



Quotes for Mom

The second Sunday in the month of May, the day set aside to recognize mothers. Since I lack any profound words to share with my mother, I’ve included a salute to my mom and mothers everywhere with these quotes by the famous and not so famous.

IMG_4860Sometimes life can be difficult.

That’s when it’s good to have a Mom.

~Kevin Morehouse, age 10

Who in their infinite wisdom decreed that Little League uniforms be white? Certainly not a mother.

~Erma Bombeck

I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it’s such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her.

~Ellen DeGeneres

I’m sure if mothers of various nations could meet, there would be no more wars.

~E. M. Forester

I don’t understand why some women say, ‘I’m just a mom’.

Remind me again what job on the planet is more important…

~Susan Hallem

All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.

~Abraham Lincoln

There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.

~Jill Churchill

My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw.  All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual, and physical education I received from her.

~George Washington

Mother – that was the bank where we deposited all our hurts and worries.

~T. DeWitt Talmadge

Thanks, Mom for everything and Happy Mother’s Day!


Happy 2014!

A new year…some traditions to follow!

First, it’s time to make a New Year’s Resolution. While I don’t believe the first day of the year is the only day to make resolutions, I’ll be making some today.

  1. Read at least 30 minutes daily.
  2. Don’t work during lunch. In fact, if I read during lunch, I can take care of two resolutions at once.
  3. Write in my journal at least weekly, hopefully daily.
  4. Maintain 2013 weight.

    First read of the new year.
    First read of the new year.

Second, last year we started the year at a state park for a “First Day Hike” at Payne’s Prairie’s LaChua Trail. This year we’ll head to Rainbow Springs State Park for a “First Day Hike”.

First Day Hike 2013 - LaChua Sink
First Day Hike 2013 – LaChua Sink

Finally, today’s the day to establish our 14 in 14 list. Can’t wait to sit down with John to compare our lists for the new year. I wonder where the list will take us.

What a great way to start 2014!

Happy New Year!

Pancakes: A Holiday Tradition

The chairs lining the boulevard since the middle of last week signal the coming of the annual Ocala Christmas parade for most, but for me, this is a sign that Pancake Day is just around the corner.

For most of the 35 years we’ve lived in Ocala, we’ve eaten pancakes on Pancake Day held in the cafeteria at Eighth Street Elementary. Since we eat pancakes at home most weekends, it’s not the food that draws us. Instead it’s the event.

The famous Super Stacker cranks out pancakes at the rate of 1000 per hour.

Who wouldn’t want to stand in line outside, often in the cold and sometimes in the rain for a plate of pancakes and sausage? Nowhere, like the packed cafeteria, can you catch up with so many so quickly. I know this is the place to be to see friends, retired coworkers, and former students. It’s a great holiday tradition and as a bonus we support the summer program for children at Camp Kiwanis.

No one in the family is running in the Reindeer Run this year and since we watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, we’re going to skip the Saturday’s run and parade; but we’ll start the day with pancakes.