Questions about Pennsylvania!

Let’s see, what shall I share with my fellow Word Press bloggers now that I have decided to get back to writing and let the pandemic and other worldly issues stay in the background. Other than keeping with staying safe by practicing social distancing, wearing our mask and only going out in public if it is truly necessary – what else can we do.

Seeing that we have a lot of stuff that should be gone through and gotten rid of, cannot think of a better time to do it. So, purge away we go.

But you didn’t stop by to hear what I am going to do with my days so being from Pennsylvania allow me to share with you questions that many people around the country (outside of Pennsylvania) have asked Pennsylvanians.

What questions am I referring to? Well, the first one that comes to mind is: Just what is Shoofly pie and why such a weird name? Both my wife and I enjoy Shoofly pie and as a matter of fact, one of my sisters worked for a well-known Shoofly bakery in Reading, PA called Wixon’s Bakery.  Unfortunately they are no longer in business as they closed a few years ago after being in business 100+ years.  The pie is made with molasses and as such attracted flies when it was cooked in outdoor ovens. Another story was that when the bakers of this concoction placed the pies on the windowsills to cool, flies wanted to land on them to get a taste and the bakers would shout: “Shoo flies! You get the picture. In any case, the pies are delicious and if ever in PA, especially in the Berks County area, seek out this tasty dessert. You will wish they made it wherever you live.

And then if you like Diner eating, when travelling through PA, stop by a diner for breakfast. You will see scrapple listed on the menu. Here is my suggestion, order it, eat it and if you like it, let it be. If you don’t like it, you may want to ask what it is made of. Chances are, when told, you will tell yourself, “Now I know why I don’t like it. Scrapple’s ingredients include the organs of pigs, including the heart, head, and liver. Personally, I like it but would I have a steady diet of it – NOPE – once or twice a year while in PA visiting satisfies my taste buds until the following year.

Okay, one more interesting fact about Pennsylvania. Many people over the years (while we were living in PA) used to ask the question – “Don’t you ever just want to leave PA for good?” Let’s see, how shall I answer this question – the misconception is that many Pennsylvanians are just stuck living in PA. Not true. They are not – they live there because they want to live there. Some, like me, leave for a while or for good BUT we always return.  No, we don’t go back for good. We go back to visit and to enjoy being back home. I know this is true about some people just wanting to live there and never leave because I am but one of eight children and am the only black sheep, so to speak, of the family. I left PA in 1969 and have now been in FL longer than I ever was a resident of PA. But all my siblings are still in PA and I doubt seriously that any of them will be leaving PA anytime soon.

Hope you enjoyed this little piece of PA history. Something different to rant on about. Now what will I come up with next week.

Until then though, stay safe.

Prove you’re not crazy.

This week’s post is something different – it is a short story I wrote just to wile away the time and do something wild and crazy.

I was just sitting there, staring out of the window enjoying watching the squirrel do his best to get up the bird feeder. Surely his intentions were not honorable. Why does he do that, I wondered! Isn’t there enough seed on the ground from the droppings created by the blue jays, gold finches, and other bird species native to the area as their beaks throw seeds they cannot open or possibly do not like to the ground.

As I watched the squirrel almost reach the top only to slide back down the pole, I caught a brief glance of what appeared to be someone dressed in white heading for my front door. And what’s that they are carrying? Is it a jacket of sorts?

Could my eyes be deceiving me? Did she finally call them? I know I am prone to say and do wild and crazy things but really, “Was she that anxious to be rid of me?”  I mean who hasn’t gone into a supermarket and taken someone else’s shopping cart while they are deciding which can of Campbell’s Soup they want?

And what is wrong with telling the user of the cart, when told to get my own cart because they have already been up and down all the aisles gathering this stuff: “What’s the problem, you already know where everything is so it shouldn’t be hard to retrace your steps.”

Besides, just think, when I get the stuff home, it will be a real treat because looking in the cart, I noticed that there were many different types of food there. Types of food I never have eaten before.

Problem is I don’t think describing this scenario to the administrator of the institution when they get me there will be enough to make them believe that I am not crazy. And I’m sure they won’t just take my word for it when I just come right out and say: “I’m not crazy!”

Maybe I should not have used two packets of sweetener or I should have had plain black coffee, no sugar, sweetener, or cream. So many things running through my mind. Perhaps I should have built a feeder for the squirrel too. Hmmm, could it be that the squirrel turned me in?

What’s that noise I hear? Is that an alarm clock ringing? Why am I wrapped up in all this white stuff? Is that a picture hanging on the wall with a birdhouse, a squirrel on the pole while various birds are feeding?

Wait, it’s coming back to me. Now I remember. That was some wild and crazy birthday party I was at last night. I do remember someone undoing a funny looking jacket that had belts or straps so that I might be able to drink my morning coffee! What day is this? Is it daytime? I’m not crazy… or am I?

SOMETHING DOESN’T ADD UP!

As has been evident in some of my past writings, I am the type that looks to write something comical on most of my blogs. At times I write trivia, sometimes I write funny jokes and at times I just ramble on and write whatever comes in my head. The following is just my way of coping with all that is going on in the world today and my wanting to smile and laugh rather than sit and worry why the world seems to be going to !@#$% in a handbasket. Please take the article in the light within which it is provided. A funny story. No more. No less.

Years ago when visiting our home state and going to the place where several of my ancestors settled, we visited some of the cemeteries where long lost relatives were buried. Now some might not think that visiting cemeteries is a place where something funny can be dreamed up but in my warped sense of humor, I was able to pen the following post with the hopes that it might just bring a chuckle or two by those reading my attempt at humor.

One of the things noticeable when strolling through a cemetery is the type of headstones found there but more importantly was some of the inscriptions found on some of those headstones.

Why are inscriptions written there – well, primarily to tell a brief story of our dearly departed. But as we all know space is rather limited and so one has to have a vivid imagination. Why you ask? Well the story, being written in basically a few lines, would in all probability be told partly within the lines and partly between the lines if you get my drift.

These old inscriptions were engraved into the headstones with the sole purpose of providing some insight into who the person resting beneath the headstone was. The inscription also enables those of us still living to understand the values of the people who have gone before us.

Now I am not talking about some of the headstones depicted in the old west like those found out in Tombstone, Arizona where you might see a tombstone sporting the following inscription:

Dawn Under

Here lies my wife

I bid her Goodbye

She rests in peace

And now so do I

Or

Joke’s Over

Let Me Out Now!

By now, many of you are wondering where the humor part comes into play with regards this writing. Well as evidenced by these two inscriptions, humor can be found in the wildest of places. Need another example? Picture this, what if the person creating the inscription on the tombstone wasn’t good at math.  The inscription might read as follows:

7 times 4 years I lived an honorable life,

8 times 6 years I loved a righteous wife,

Tired at last of life, I rest.

Born 1892      Died 1972

Need I get my abacus out to tell you what is wrong with this picture?  Until next time!

Black Moon

Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.” ― Carrie Fisher

The above is a quote I came across while trying to figure out what I wanted to rant and rave about during this week’s post. I have been coming up empty regarding ideas to write about as I usually have a boatload of comical items to write about. But, with the negative news we continually read about and all the crap our country is going through, it is hard to get, let alone stay, in a comical mood. Enter the above quote which got me to thinking – something I am constantly doing – “hey, go through the wild and crazy news articles you read about each morning and find something wild and crazy to write about and just go for it.” As Carrie Fisher says above: “Stay afraid, but do it anyway.”

With that thought in mind, I decided to look at some of the news articles being discussed today and lo and behold, I came across an article on Black Moon.  

Black Moon – Use your imagination!

With that I decided to venture into another world and write a different type of post. Here goes:

One of the top news stories today is the fact that today, July 31, 2019 we will experience what is known as a Black Moon. So what is a Black Moon? Well we have heard of blood moon, full moon, quarter moon, maybe even a blue moon but how many of us have heard about a black moon?

According to what I have read, this phenomenon known as a “Black Moon” will be occurring again this evening in North America. The last time anyone recalled a “Black Moon” was in 2016. Now this phenomenon will only be seen in North America this evening. Sorry other parts of the world, you will have to wait until August 30 to catch your glimpse of a Black Moon.

But, here’s the thing, what does this even mean to us lowly humans. Is it important? First thing we need to learn is – “what in the world is a black moon?”

Supposedly a black moon is – are you ready for this – the second new moon of the month – yes, I said second new moon of the month, a rarity in and of itself. Let me provide a few more details but believe me when I say, I am definitely not an expert in this field. A black moon is similar to a Leap Year. As we know, a lunar cycle takes about 29 days to complete. Easy – right? Not true! Our months as we know are slightly longer with some being 30 days and others being 31. How does that old saying go when we wanted to remember which ones had 30 days and which had 31 days:

30 days has September, April, June, and November

All the rest have 31 except February which has 28

 So, using the theory mentioned above, sometimes, about every 32 months, we experience two full moons or as they have been referred to: New Moons. Taking it one step further, the second full moon in a month is called a blue moon while the second new moon is called a black moon.

Now remember my little diddy about remembering which months had 30 days versus those that had 31 days. Well,  guess which month has no new moons? If you guessed February, you would be correct because there are no new moons in February because of its few days (remember there are only 28 days in February except for the Leap Year which has 29 days). Supposedly this is less common than the other type of black moon and only occurs about once a decade.

Now before you set your alarm clock to go out tonight and see the black moon, let me burst your bubble ahead of time. Chances are that you will not see anything because, well, a black moon is nothing other than a new moon. So, what’s the big fuss about – well it is the second new moon of the month. This new moon will probably blend in with the sky so well, you may not even see the moon. And that is a shame too because it is also supposed to be a supermoon which means that the moon will appear bigger than usual. Why, because it is closer to the Earth but again I mention, seeing that it’s a new moon, you still won’t be able to really see it. 

And therein lies your science lesson for today or consider it a lesson in Selenology (in Greek, our moon is named “Selene,” as is the moon goddess of ancient Greek mythology. The English word “selenology,” or the study of the moon’s geology, derives from it). Hopefully I will be able to come up with something more comical to write about next week.

But, at least it wasn’t all bad news. Not comical, but not tragic either.

Until next time!

Chicken Soup or Is it Broth?

Cold Chicken Broth

Have you ever spent an evening with a relative that you haven’t seen for a long time because you happened to be in the neighborhood and were just too tired to drive fifty more miles to get to your own apartment?  Besides, you thought to yourself, “This will be great, it’s been quite a few years since you seen her and the two of you could catch up on what has been happening in each of your lives. You could drive home in the morning fully rested.

Okie dokie. The evening went well, Aunt Priscilla was glad to see you and the two of you caught up with the latest happenings before heading to bed. When you wake in the morning, you notice that Aunt Priscilla is still sleeping (being a widow and getting on in years – she is not an early riser). You do your best not to make any noise as you make your way to the kitchen.

Daily habits can be a curse and being in someone else’s house does not make it any easier to follow one’s routine. Now I must admit, while I am not on a diet, I do try my best to be careful about what I eat. Having said that, I would like to continue this story by saying that after locating the loaf of bread kept in her cute “Bread Wrapper” shaped bread box, that I ate dry toast with a cup of black, decaffeinated coffee. Notice I said, I would like to say that ……. but that wasn’t the case.

Besides what happened next made it that I definitely had to find something to eat but I am getting ahead of myself. At home, one of the first things I have upon awakening is a small glass of orange juice and so before I even think about toast and coffee, I must have my orange juice. Now some people do not like to keep their store-bought orange juice in the cardboard box it comes in from the store and so they pour same in a Tupperware pitcher, glass pitcher, or what have you as soon as they get home. Me, I leave it in the box, plastic bottle, or whatever it comes in direct from the store. Back to my story.

Having found a Tupperware pitcher in the refrigerator, I noticed that the amount of liquid showing through the plastic was rather low, which to me was a sign that there was not much in the container. Now some of us need our coffee in the morning and some of us need something else. Me, I need both but for the moment let’s just concern ourselves with the orange juice. What to do – what to do? Oh well, perhaps, if I just take a sip or two direct from the pitcher, that will accomplish two things (I know – not too sanitary, but go with me for the moment as it adds to the story):  (1) I will get my orange juice fix and (2) Aunt Priscilla will be none the wiser, plus I will be sure to only take a sip or two so that she has some when she wakes up.

What is it with senior citizens when they get older? Do they lose their marbles or just become senile? Why would I even think about doing such a thing? What happened next just about sent me heading for the sink or bathroom. I opened the pitcher and took my sip, thankfully a small sip. Never, never in my wildest dreams, did I expect what was to flow over my lips and into my mouth! Yuk! Cold chicken broth!!!!! 

Guess that will learn me! ……… Truth or Fiction? You be the judge!

Until next time!