Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but I just gave up with a sigh. As was said to me today, “to each his own.”  Here’s the story:

This past Saturday the following was posted on a community discussion forum:Well, I enjoy the Olympics, However, this is worse then [sic] Football season, at least there is a break in football, but 17 days of this is too much.
If there are any good movies, etc. out there I will be going to see some. Wives, any other suggestions?”  

There was a bit of further discussion, and several agreed with her.  My initial reaction was to send a post asking if she depended on the NBC stations as her sole source of entertainment, but I thought better of it. After all, “to each his own.”

Then I did post this:For those of you who, like us, do want to see some of the Olympic games, here's a link from the Boston Globe. It will save you from going crazy trying to find out what's on. Click on Television Schedule, and you will have the day's lineup on everything that will be shown - not just the more popular sports that can, after a while, get tedious to watch. Of local interest, Whitewater is on today at 11 a.m. on NBC. (Note: this is the Boston Globe, so their Channel 7 is our 36)”

Yesterday, after googling about for information on handball, I posted this: I gotta tell you – the NBC coverage of these Olympic Games is wonderful. I may be getting butt fatigue, sitting down between doing things like laundry and other household chores, but we've watched some really un-boring things today: water polo, handball, equestrian cross country, and women's kayaking. Frank was surprised at the handball – it ain't how they play it in Brooklyn! There isn't even a team from our country. We learned more about the game by going to the London Olympics site itself. If you click Sports on the menu it will direct you to any of them. Click on one and you'll find a schedule – London time – of events and a lot about the sport and the countries who participate in it, as well as the heats and finals won. What do we know about handball, track cycling, artistic or rhythmic gymnastics, or, say, trampoline? I'm willing to learn.”

Here’s the part, the reply, that made me just sigh: “Lee: To each their own. For me, I'd rather watch the paint dry. Maybe tomorrow they'll play marbles or pitch pennies. If all else fails, they can give us a few more shots of how bored the queen is. That seems to be the highlight of the games.”
This is not like watching paint dry!
I do admit that I am only marginally interested in watching some sports for hours on end. In this category I’d include basketball, swimming and diving, and, beach volleyball. But I love regular volleyball! And I love seeing some of the sports with which I’ve got only a passing knowledge, like trampoline and rhythmic gymnastics, or the fencing because I took that in college. And then there’s that handball: the kind we played against a wall with a Spalding “Pinky” was what we New Yorkers called handball.

I just cannot believe that people would liken the games to watching paint dry, would even prefer it to watching paint dry. I’m “getting a visual” of this person sitting in an easy chair watching paint dry, with Musac piped in, of course. Yes, to each his own.
Well, minor rant over – except to say that I can find it within myself to think it a bit sad that these people don’t know that they are missing, and then I think the hell heck with them...

                                                             …and to each his own.

Friday, July 27, 2012


I suppose my Grandmother taught my Mother to play Solitaire, and then my Mother taught me.  Mom knew a slew of ways to play it.  Some of my fun times with her were when we played Double Solitaire – cut-throat all the way!

Needless to say, I had to google Solitaire for this piece, and I found out that the form of Solitaire I play is called Klondike, and that the British call Solitaire “Patience”.  I think I did remember that from some of my forays into my favorite fiction.  There wasn’t much to tell me anything about the history of the game.  I’ll have to keep investigating.

Part of my work-aid for my college tuition was to act as bell girl in one of the dorms.  Unless the school was officially closed, I had to be there to let in residents at any time the doors were locked for the day.  Once all my own final tests were taken I had to stay around until the last resident left for the year. What to do? I love reading and I did some of that – after all, I’d just done at marathon of reading for the tests – but mostly I played Solitaire.  I played Solitaire until I had blisters on my thumbs from so mush shuffling.

 I just love to play Solitaire. Over the years I’ve forgotten many of the varieties I knew, because I rarely played until recently, but I never forgot the traditional game layout. Now that I’m playing it again I’m safe from getting blisters, but I might get carpal tunnel syndrome: I found the Games program on my laptop. It’s been there for years but I never thought to activate it. My granddaughters asked me if I had any games on my laptop, and at that time I could honestly say no.  I’d better not let them know they’re installed now.  I don’t want them messin’ around with my PC.

Electronic Solitaire is a thing of beauty.  No shuffling, no lifting and moving cards, and no peeking! The program even scores the game and keeps track of my high scores.  When I first found the game on my laptop I had a run of playing the game in the late evening before bedtime.  I had to stop that. 

You know how you bring the happenings of the day into your dreams? I brought the cards into my dreams and couldn’t get out of the game. Sixes on sevens on eights, oh my!  One-eyed Jacks winking at me!  Whew!

I am an avid reader and I could be doing more reading, but there is something a bit challenging in the game.  My husband thinks it’s mindless and a waste of time. I just think of the quote from Bertrand Russell: “Time you enjoy wasting is not a waste of time.”  I tend now to sit down for a game or two – or three or more! - in the late afternoon. This tends to bring the games on towards dinner.

Just one more game! Dinner’s going to be late! Tant pis! Yes, too bad because – did I mention this already? - I just love to play Solitaire.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


My Kitchen?  Not!!!
Don’t you just ‘love’ all the hints for ways to reuse rather than recycle your household items?  Many publications, in print an on line, offer up ways to reuse everything from glass jars and egg cartons to old boots and torn stockings. Every day brings reuse emails to my inbox.

Creative reuse of old boots at The Walled Nursery
in Kent.  Picture from Sharon Santoni at
her blog, My French Country Home
They all tell me to reuse glass jars to hold everything from tea lights and cotton swabs, to nuts and bolts out in the garage.  I should sort my earrings in used egg cartons, grow plants in old boots, and tie up my tomato plants with torn stockings.  Excellent ideas, but I need only one, at most a few, of each of those.  What kinda bothers me is the feeling I get that if I don’t reuse and ‘repurpose’ as many of the recyclable items as I can, I am a slacker and a threat to the environment. Sites like these don’t seem to me to be just making suggestions, they are making demands.

From Squidoo comes a list of 50 things you can reuse.  I love this one: 

14. Reuse your used margarine and butter tubs by cleaning them and keeping them for leftovers (free ziploc containers!).  And this one: 18. Reuse newspaper, interesting magazines, and other paper products by using them as wrapping paper. After a while I’d become inundated with paper and margarine tubs. I could become inundated with anything I choose to save to reuse. I could become a hoarder!

Well, the lady doth protest too much, methinks.  I suppose it’s just the righteous language that gets to me.  How ‘bout something like this: “save a the next few glass jars you empty and create some lovely tea light holders,”  or “Be on the lookout for colorful or interesting pages in newspapers and magazines: they make excellent gift-wrapping paper.” 

Meanwhile, I’m going to ‘unsubscribe’ to several of those ‘holier than thou’ sites that email all these reuse suggestions that nag at me, and I am going to continue to recycle everything I possibly can.


Friday, July 20, 2012


I start out my essay saying “Happy Birthday Fr. Gregor Mendel.”  Mendel, the father of modern genetics, would have been 190 years old today. He must have had a nice life out there in the garden: he lived to be 62. The mean life expectancy in the early 1800’s was 46, taking into account a high rate of infant mortality.  Now in Austria, where Mendel was born, the life expectancy is almost 80. I’m guessing that someday we’ll be able to change the ‘would have been’ to ‘will be’ when referring to the birthday of someone about to enter their 200th decade.

All of which leads me to Linnaeus, the father of modern taxonomy. (He’d have been 305 this past May, and I really can’t see a time when we’d live that long, yet one never knows.) But…I digress.

I must confess that when I learned of Mendel’s birthday I had a Senior Brain Spasm and mixed him up with Linnaeus as being the one to start us off on our current scheme of ‘binomial nomenclature’ (Oooh – say that three times fast! – binomial nomenclature, binomial nomenclature, binomial nomenclature. No!:  that, that, that!)

Linnaeus is the one responsible for us calling ourselves homo sapiens. Man the wise – well, I sometimes wonder about the ‘wise’ part, don’t you? I recently learned that ‘they’ find about 20 new species a day in the Amazon region. They must go bonkers dreaming up new Latin names for those. (They must go bonkers being all that time out there in the jungle.)

All of which leads me to mnemonics, the real topic of my essay. A mnemonic is basically described as any technique that aids memory, and one of my favorites, learned back in high school biology, was “King Phillip Came Over For Grandfather’s Spectacles.”  K,P,C,O,F,G,S: kingdom, phylum, class order, family, genus, species. We are Animal, Chordate, Mammal, Primate, Hominidae, Homo, Sapiens. See that? Thank you Mrs. Rapacz. 
I'm not too familiar with the new additions of domain and life.  Life? What's the alternative?  The system has become a lot more complicated since I was in high school. 

I’ve written about another of my favorites: 
Roy G. Biv. Remember him? Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet: the colors of the spectrum, the colors of the rainbow. Learned that one in General Science.  Thank you Mr. Pinkard
In Mariner Scouts I picked up “red, right, returning” as a way to remember navigational aids, but all on my own I realized that right and starboard were the long words, and left and port were shorter. That one’s come in handy many times.
I learned about ‘starboard’ from a Norwegian admiral who took us to the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo. Most people were right-handed, so the rudder, or steering oar, was on the right side of a ship as you faced the bow. The Old Norse words meant ‘the side from which to steer.’  The side was the ‘board’ – well, they were board sided ships – and now we ‘board’ a boat or ship. One thing leads to another.

Here are a few other mnemonic gems from my collection:

In March, July, October, May the ides fall on the fifteenth day. That ditty I learned in Latin I. Caesar and togas and forums, oh my! Thank you Mr. Matthews. 

Then there’s always “righty-tighty - lefty-loosey” for screwing and unscrewing jar lids and light bulbs and other screwables.

And HOMES for the first letters of the five Great Lakes.

The grammar mnemonics include “I before e, except after c,” but weirdly, it doesn’t always work that way.

My piano teacher taught me “Every Good Boy Does Fine”, the notes on the lines of the treble clef in music, and FACE for the spaces.  I like “Fat Albert Can Eat” for that one – just learned it today.

Travel expert Rick Steves gave me the hint to remember that as the words Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian get more syllables, the style goes from plain to very ornate. That bit will come in handy next time I redesign the Parthenon.

Strange, the almost useless bits of information I retain.

Mnemonics Now Erase Man's Oldest Nemesis: Insufficient Cerebral Storage

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Recently, a dear friend and I were writing back and forth about our ideas on religion. Because we’re having this ongoing discussion long-distance, from Ontario to South Carolina, we tend to elaborate on our thoughts, really flesh them out. It struck me that with a bit of tweaking there was good blog fodder in much of my reply to one of her thoughts, to wit:

I loved your description that religion “takes spirituality and instantly begins to institutionalize it.” Exactly!  Until only recent decades, very few people on this earth have been able to enjoy their own spirituality without some institution coming down on them for ‘heresy’, or trying to teach them the error of their ways.  Just think of all those zealous but frustrated missionaries who have labored in the fields of the ‘pagans’. Very few groups practicing any one religion have been able to get away unscathed by persecution and prosecution (think of the unfortunate Galileo who was ahead of his time.) The stories of the Inquisition, among others, make me cringe.

I’ve always been puzzled by the Catholic Church’s excommunication. I suppose that in the days where everyone pretty much stayed where they were, it would be a bit difficult if you were shunned by all and no one could or would talk to you, and because it was a big deal to have all the sacraments it was a big deal not to be able to have them. Technically, I am excommunicate. I suppose someone there is waiting for me to repent – they’ve probably got my name, rank, and serial number, right?  -  but they’ll have a looooong wait.  Repentance implies wrongdoing and a conscience that nags at you to rejoin the fold.  I guess that in my youth no one could inculcate me properly in the ways and wants of the Roman Catholic Church.  Quite the opposite: they alienated me in several ways, one being the change from Latin to bastard English. (More on this at a later date!) 

I still do love all the pomp and circumstance.  Give me a high mass, even a sung funeral mass, in Latin and I’d be delighted. I loved all the incense and singing. I know most of the mass because I quizzed my brother when he was a new altar boy, and I know the songs because I was in the choir. And do you know that they now have altar girls? (You might not, as I didn't, if you haven't been to a Catholic church for a while.) “Servers” they’re called, just like waitresses are no longer waitresses but servers. (Thought: do they live to serve, or serve to live?) When I was in maybe sixth grade I’d have loved to have been an altar girl. Two of my Granddaughters are servers, and boy (girl?) how times have changed.
Recently, the older one was asked to serve at one of the two upcoming ceremonies where the Cardinal would be officiating. Her role there was to hold the book for him.  Well, poor child, the Cardinal had bad breath that would fell an ox, and, on top of that, in speaking he continually spit all over her and the book. Now that was a trial: suffer it out and offer it up! Do you think she got her reward for bravery and forbearance by being allowed to carry the cross in the next ceremony? Certainly not! She held the book so well – you’d think it was a practiced skill – she was asked to do it again!

Now that I think of it, maybe I’m glad I couldn’t be an altar girl all those years ago.

I once went to a Russian Orthodox wedding and was just mesmerized by the ceremony – many things done three times in honor of the Trinity. One of the nicest weddings I’d ever been to by the way. The Reception was twofold: champagne and hot hors d’oeuvres, then coffee and wedding cake and petit fours – all of this on the lawn of a lovely restaurant overlooking the harbor.

I love big university or college ceremonies where all the Profs wear their gowns and hoods that signify their school and/or field of study, and have all manner of mortarboards, tams and other hats. I was to one once where the Profs from Spain had black hats with light blue fringe all around the edge.  I'd never seen the like before.

And then there’s all the ceremony attendant on any occasion in Great Britain – I love all the tradition and color, all embroidered and tasseled in gold, all red velvet and ermine trim. Have you been watching Queen and Country on PBS? If you are a ceremony junkie like me you will really enjoy this series. I can’t wait to see the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in London. I’m sure they’ll come up with something smashing.  And the Queen will be there, so I’ll be doubly delighted.

Friday, July 13, 2012


When I was a kid I was never really certain what to answer to that question. Depending on the last time a person asked me that question and what I had seen or done since, the answer could have been anything from a doctor - that was after I’d had two high school summers of a National Science Foundation grant to be in a program at a cancer research lab - to an English teacher or Librarian – perhaps because I love to read, and because I first majored in English in college. I wound up in banking for about twenty years, but gladly retired from that. 

Today I saw Dame Judy Dench, the actress I most admire, in a quick video on line. In looking back, I think I’d like to have been an actress. I can imagine how lovely it is to get paid for doing something like that, and as well as that.  I’m sure it ain’t all beer and skittles, but it must be most rewarding. I’ve trodden (and trod and treaded) the boards a few times. In the fifth grade I was thrilled to be the orchid (I got to dress in my favorite purple) in an Easter play about flowers, the star of which was the lily: “they toil not, neither do they spin” and all that.  I did a few turns in high school too, and enjoyed it immensely. I suppose, like many of us, I could say I’ve always been an actress, being calm, polite, and equable when I really wanted to curse and scream bloody murder or lash out and smack someone. But yes, add Actress to my list of woulda-wannabe’s. 

I’d also liked to have been an Interior Decorator. My Mother’s home was always tasteful, and I’m sure I inherited from her a good sense of what goes with what, and what goes where.  I wasn’t really aware of Interior Decoration as a profession until long after I’d been in the business world. Too bad! But I have acted as what they now call a Stylist on several occasions, helping friends and relatives arrange the furniture and pictures they already own for a better effect.  One of my Sister Chicks, for whom I made some decorating suggestions, said I should start doing this for fun and profit here in Sun City.  Yeah, we’ll see.

Once a co-worker and I did a bit of dreaming about a shop we’d love to have – one where we’d have had all the tools and supplies we could ever need to dream up and sell wonderful craft projects. In order to keep our creative juices flowing we’d have done only one or two of any item.  Ribbons and papers and fabrics and flowers and yarns and paints… Oh! We were way ahead of Martha Stewart.  Now I look at all the beautiful things available on line, on etsy.com for example, and I’d love to have made so many of them.  Websites like Esty are like on-line craft museums. 

For many years I was a wannabe retiree – and now I’m here. This is the best occupation of all.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012



I can’t seem to warm up to Facebook or Twitter, or even Pinterest, though I do belong to Facebook to take advantage of some freebies.  When I’ve time to go on line, I’m interested in finding new things for myself.  I rarely want to know what friends and family know or like, or what they’re doing.  Sounds cold, doesn’t it? But if it’s important enough I’ll hear it anyway – why go searching for the trivialities of the day.

I’m finding more and more interesting sites every day. Once the New York Times decided to charge for digital access – I’ve only my laptop, so why would I want to add on Smartphone or tablet apps – I sought out other news sites where I wouldn’t be limited to just ten articles a month. I still keep the NY Times as my home page so I can check regularly for ‘what’s happening right now’, but I’ve found Slate and it suits me much better.

My regular morning laptop routine starts like this: homepage to see what happened over night; then Slate, of course; NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day * to learn a little bit about our universe and see some wonderful pictures; Arts & Letters Daily, to see what web article The Chronicle of Higher Education has selected to further aid education today; and The Writer’s Almanac to see what of significance happened on this date, and who among the world’s past and present notables was born on this day. Where do you suppose I pick up all the interesting topics for my essays?

Then it’s on to Yahoo to check my junk mail. I use my  internet server for family and friends email. Any other emails and on-line purchases where I might attract spam go out on Yahoo.  This has kept my local emails fairly spam free.  I check the official and unofficial websites for our community, go on to check the weather and what might be of interest on the tube that day – though for all the programming out there, there is very little to interest me. I find little of value to learn on the Learning Channel and less to discover on Discovery, though there are exceptions once in a while. (All in all, for all the programing on TV, I’d rather read a book.) I end up at last with the blogs I follow.  Now there’s a treasure trove.

Some of you may know that I love ‘shelter’ magazines. My Mom was a regular subscriber to Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day and Family Circle, and the like. I am happy with Martha Stewart Living, Country Living, Traditional Home, Elle Décor, and such. So when I get to my shelter blogs I am in hog heaven. So many of the great blogs, like My French Country Home, have little teasers at the end.  After the day’s main entry it will say something such as “you may also like:” and they have clickable references to entries in the same vein – and those references have more references, and I click on and on until I forget everything I was supposed to do that day. Couldn’t happen to a nicer person!

If you’d like to see more of what interests me each day, do check out the listing on the right. One never knows – you might find something to amuse and amaze you.

* and do watch this video on Astronomy Picture of the Day.  It is guaranteed to make you smile.

Friday, July 6, 2012


How far can we see into the future?
I was just reading the essay The State of the Anglosphere in City Journal.

It concerns the financial health and wellbeing of the Anglosphere: The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, vis à vis the Sinosphere: China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau.  Many in our sphere see doom and gloom ahead in the decline and fall of our sphere and the rise of theirs.  The article, highly recommended reading, goes on to explain how it ain’t necessarily so. Well, for different reasons than they cite,

I could have told them that.

Not that I’m an expert, by any means at all, but I’ve never been worried about the Chinese. Yes, they’ve got over a billion more people there than we have, and to many Americans that’s intimidating. Many here see thousands of people, active as ants, at work in the factories that produce a lot of what we don’t necessarily need, but do buy in the west.  Should we gradually decide, as we seem to be starting to do now,  that we really don't need or don't want to spend our money on a lot of the stuff produced in China, the Sino side of things is going to suffer.

Some Anglos can foresee wave after wave of invaders hitting our shores. Sheer numbers or not, I think it’s going to take many decades for the Sino peoples to come to the point where they could do that, and by then they’d probably not even think of doing it at all. Yes, the military might of the Anglo side of things is geared up and on the alert to forestall any moves by the Sino side, but what would aggression gain the Chinese? 

I realize that generalizations about national characteristics – all Scots are thrifty or all Swiss efficient – are just that: generalizations. But in all my reading over the last decades, I’ve come to the understanding that the Chinese are, even more than generally, a race of entrepreneurs. I could never understand how their brand of communism could spread, and I can readily see its recent morphing into capitalism. Over the long run for them commune-ism gave way to their innate individual-ism. The “what’s in it for me?” attitude is in their DNA, it’s in their mother’s milk. The yuan is where their heart is – or words to that effect. 

In “Dreaming in Chinese”, a recent essay in in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Richard Wolin reported on his recent trip to China.  He told of a talk with a journalist there who had interviewed a woman who’d visited China both in the seventies and just last year. To condense it all, the woman, a philosopher and psychoanalyst, found that “she much preferred the China of the Cultural Revolutionary era, that she finds the sauve-qui-peut (every man for himself) freneticism of post-Mao China off-putting and distasteful — a 21st-century dystopia.”   Basically, they’re back to their ancient ways with a modern twist.

Chairman Mao tried to shake them up, promote a “what’s in it for us” ethic, and it seemed to work, in the global scheme of things, for a while. Eventually every one of them wanted, if it’s at all possible, to have a little business, a little income on side. What started in an era of relatively slow communication and little understanding of what the rest of the world was doing, had its demise in the electronic age where television and the internet, slowly gaining a foothold, allowed many to see what was available, and at what price, beyond their borders.

The Chinese have a lot of old sayings and a long history in which they amassed them. One saying that speaks volumes is “The heavens are high and the Emperor is far away.” For eons the Chinese were rule-breakers whenever they could get away with it, and some of them try it now. The adulteration and contamination of foods and drugs, or the short cuts taken on manufactured goods speak not only about lack of laws and oversight, but also for the “what’s in it for me?” attitude. The ‘emperor’ is closer these days, and such nefarious practices come to light relatively quickly. Yes, the “what’s in it for me?” attitude is very much alive in the Anglo world, but it usually causes others financial not physical damage, and the damage isn’t as widespread.

At present, the more modern Chinese, versus the vast, invisible majority of their population, are in the throes of reconciling and reining in that ‘self’-ish bent as they bring a basically third world country into the twenty-first century.

I once heard it said that eventually all the earth’s people will be one nice café-au-lait color.  That being so, I think we’ll also be beyond being ‘Anglo’ or ‘Sino’. I can’t foresee that time or the events, peaceful and gradual or quick and chaotic, that will precede it.  I wonder what our collective ‘Terran’ characteristics will be.

                                       - - - - - - - - - - -

Note - since I first wrote this, a month or so ago, I came up with the essay for the previous post on the future size of our teeth.  Our collective 'Terran' characteristics might be like those of the the 'alien' in that post.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


That was Little Red Ridinghood to Grandma, but I'm wondering...

…about cause and effect with the foods we eat.  Just coincidentally this month, in our Bathroom Reading Basket are “Can Technology Save Breakfast” in the June issue of Smithsonian, and “We Didn’t Start the Fire…Homo Erectus Did” in the July/August issue of Archaeology. What has one article to do with another: basically, it’s how they got me to thinking about teeth. 

In the Smithsonian article, part of its annual “Foods Issue”, a writer enlightens us on all the ways the various food conglomerates are trying to pack more nutrition, with less salt, sugar and artificial ingredients, into what we eat and drink for breakfast.  Yes: “and drink”! It appears they can get all the good stuff into good-tasting, quick-to-drink liquids. I’ll drink to that! They’re more interested in cereal grains, milk products, and fruits, of course, but I’d like to know if there’s any research into liquefying good old bacon and eggs. Well, now that I really think of that, it might be what we already have: soup. And there-in lies a quick memory of mine about how my Mom – she must have been way ahead of her time - used to prepare a huge mug of soup for my brother’s breakfast each morning. He’d drink the soup as he got ready for school

So now we come to the Archaeology article which starts with these sentences: “Some paleoanthropologists believe that people have been eating cooked food, and therefore making fires, for millions of years. The evidence for this, so far, has been evolutionary changes in hominin skeletons, such as decreasing tooth and jaw sizes.” 
Did you note the “decreasing tooth sizes”?  So there I was, getting a visual on home sapiens of the future.  In eons to come, I see us – them – as homo sapiens edentulous. Just think: no more teething at any age - I had a hard time of it when my wisdom teeth came in nice and straight but painfully – and no more visits to the dentist. Who wouldn’t love that?

Perhaps those depictions of the little ‘Martians’ are really us, come back as time travelers, with the large craniums from being great thinkers, huge eyes from looking at computer screens all day, and small, narrow jaws from sipping, not chewing, our food. 

It’s too bad I won’t be around to see if all of this is true.


Monday, July 2, 2012


... my true love gave to me –

Twelve Grillers Grilling
Eleven Buns a-Burning
Ten Burgers Broiling
Nine Hot Dogs Heating
Eight Watermelons
Seven Peaches Pitted
Six Berry Boxes
Five Hard-boiled Eggs
Four Apple Pies
Three Red Ants
Two Pickles Green
And a chicken on the Bar-B-Cue

Major Senior Moment here --- yesterday, July 1st, was the twelfth day of summer.  It's so hot down here it slipped my sweaty mind.  On days like these I think I'd like to be just where I took this picture years ago: Lucy Vincent Beach on Martha's Vineyard.