And the Sign Said

What George?
What word? Hearing is not quite what it once was as you know.

Quit? Is that it? What kind of an attitude is that George? You know I will not give up … Not as long as … Well never mind … 

You too George? And I considered you such a perfectly loyal magpie … Are magpies known for loyalty George? So why are you not going to share … Tell me what you saw back there?

You are very quiet George. Cat get your tongue?

So are you going to share or do I have to beat it out of you! What did the sign say?

Talk don’t fight? That’s it? Nothing more profound than that?

Oh! I see … Errrrr rather I understand … Well sort of …
You think we need better commmunication  do you George? And how do you propose we tackle that one?

OK … Well you can’t say I have not tried.

Well George … Again this morning I was booted out of a site … Accused of vile deeds … I am innocent George …

Doesn’t matter where … False accusations  … I did no wrong … Doing my Elder Duty is what I was trying to do George … Trying to post this notice that might help people in NYC

Click to access communication_board.pdf

You know George … This communication idea might be bigger than you think.

Yes of course I realize that you are a thinking entity. I’ve been told I have the same flaw. 

Yes George. Let’s talk.


Internationional Day of the Child

Today is International Childrens Day … So … Does anyone know?
November is a special day dedicated by the UN to remind us about the 
UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Thinking about being a kid … Getting a vaccination … Ouch … 
Is it something parents still do … Get kids vaccinated? 

George … Does anyone ever ask questions about vaccinations?

You know … Questions … Like … Where do vaccinations come from?
Who authorizes … Who pays … Who gets paid … Who does research … Who conducts trials … Who participates … Who wins … Who loses … Who invests … Who oversees … Who condones … Who condemns … Who verifies … Who reports? 

Kenya? What about Kenya?

Canada Standard Sizes

Canada Standard Sizes
I am not insinuating anything George.  It really has nothing to do with me if so many people wear the same shoe size.  
The way things are going George, one of these days there won’t be a factory on this planet producing a sensible pair of good-quality shoes. So we won’t really need to worry anymore about shoe sizes.  Will we George?

Elder Pride

See you May 2015 in Gloucester County, New Brunswick, Canada




“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826); American Declaration of Independence, 1776”

Where did I find this George? Good question. (Look down below at the bottom of the page for *1) I’d like to explain — I was on this particular page because I had asked a question on another page. The question was about Elder Law. I had never before come across this particular expression and was wondering what it was.  As usual, not only did I not get a straight answer —- err no that is wrong George — the answer was quite straight — immediately under the little box saying “Ask A Canadian Lawyer Now” —- there it was plain as day: “Sorry the term Elder law is misspelled or the definition does not exist …” well yes there was more George … Basically telling me to look for it myself I guess.

So just to check the spelling and verify that I had it right — well George what I did then was I went back to the previous page where I had found the expression (*2 look below)

yep — there it was … Plain as day … Ah but then my eye was caught … Yes George … What I was saying was that I was distracted … A yellow box over on the far right of the page … And I read the contents of the box

Another quote George “The law … is a mistress only to be wooed with sustained and lonely passion; only to be won by straining all the faculties by which man is likest to a god. Those who, having begun the pursuit, turn away uncharmed, do so either because they have not been vouchsafed the sight of her divine figure, or because they have not the heart for so great a struggle.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1934”

Don’t be confused into thinking that this is about sex George … I believe it is more like a metaphor. Nice thought though isn’t it. Ah were I only younger George … Were I a man … And were I to have the financial resources … You know George … I might be tempted … As it is … Well that is another story George.

Back to the alligator swamp for me George — I still need to find out what exactly is meant by “Elder law” … Well yes George … I guess I do consider myself an Elder … For me at least … I try to follow my own best advice …  So I guess that makes me an Elder.

As for Elder law — well I did find an Elder law lawyer website (*3) so I guess there must be something called Elder law — which, by the way is a good thing — it is scary enough growing old nowadays George — all the stories you hear about old folks being forced out of their homes and into something called “special care homes” — sure George some people might like to spend their final days in a hotel atmosphere taking happy pills  — but where is the pool and sauna — and a cafeteria is not exactly my idea of fine dining — as for someone feeding me off a tray in the privacy of my room — that takes a lot of patience George.
As for Elders being told to ” eat up all the numm-numms” — well George I think I would not really like that —

Another thing is the signs George — tiny little printing — do you realize George that it is perfectly normal for Elders to have less accute sight in later years.  And ask yourself George can the Elder actually read the particular language on the sign?

Less acute eyesight can also affect colour choice — a brown sock and a blue sock might not look like a perfectly matched pair when your eyesight is perfect George … But no it is not necessarily a sign of senility — it is a more likely a sign of fading eyesight.

And if the dear old soul stops wearing makeup and a certain brand or style of clothing? That is not a legitimate sign of senility.

Talking about signs of senility — don’t be too quick to judge that one —
Changes in personaliy — well of course there are going to be changes in personality — as there will be changes in anything — Change can be very good — sometimes what the soul needs most is change.

As for Elders saying something peculiar … Well George … When the hearing starts to go and what you ask them is not what they hear — what can you expect but a somehat inappropriate answer to a perfectly straightforward question.

And if they look at you in a strange manner … Well maybe it is simply that they cannot make out what you are saying because your mumbling sounds more like obscenity than speech.

Have a little respect George. If you are speaking to an Elder — well you don’t have to yell but don’t mumble — speak distinctly and clearly.

About that Elder law — well I really am curious George.

hmmm look here: “… legal, social and health needs of older persons and their families. …” talks about what Elder law is about (*4)

Here is another one (5.)
And something here on an Elder Law Clinic (*6.)

I guess that is all good — wonder about New Brunswick — hmmm suppose that’s another story huh George?

Elder Pride? What do I mean by Elder Pride? Being an Elder and Proud of it!

*1. Ask A Canadian Lawyer
*2. Law as Mistress

Snow White Clean

Yes George … You told me … But I was only trying …
But … But … But … Yes George … I’ll try harder … You did warn me …

Ok what about music … I was thinking about  turning some of my poems into songs … Oh too much politics you say?
Nature … Oh … Birds and bees fall under that sex category? … I see.

What can I talk about? 
No sex … No religion … No politics … 
Not much left is there George?
I do have this very old book … Dusty … Torn … Musty 
A gift from my dearly departed long-gone favourite person … My Grandma

The date:1923 

Surely George … Nothing written in 1923 could possible be unrepeatable today … Could it? Hmmm … Here on page 4 is a blurb for a Proctor and Gamble product … Ivory Soap … Imagine George
Here goes:

“Can good soap ruin a delicate silk blouse or a chiffon negligee”

Hmmmmm … What do you think George? On I go

“or even a woolen sweater – in one washing?
Yes, of course it can! Good soap may not be good enough!

How, then,  can you tell — before you run the risk — whether or not any particular soap is good enough — whether it will ruin your really precious garments?  Of course, a white soap is needed.”

That’s not offensive is it George?
“Here is a simple test that will prove soap safe or unsafe as easily as you tell night from day:

Would you be willing to use that soap. On your face?”

Like it George? You don’t suppose it would offend anybody? But boring is good too.  Boring is hardly likely to offend many people — for one thing if it is boring enough or tedious enough or long- winded enough — well George who would bother reading it?

Ah now I get it — brilliant George … The acceptable blog must be so boring that nobody will read it so nobody will know what it is about. That way everybody will say they love it … Or hate it … Depending upon the writer … because they will be too embarrassed to admit that they didn’t even read it. Ok … more George?

“Think of Ivory Flakes in this way.
At once you are sure, for Ivory Flakes is just Ivory Soap in flake form — the very same Ivory Soap that millions of women during two generations have found mild and gentle for the skin.
What a relief it always is when a woman first realizes that with Ivory Flakes she need no longer fear for the safety of her most precious garments!

A teaspoon or so of these delicate, petal-thin flakes; instant suds; a few moments of dipping and squeezing — and the gentle cleansing soap has done its work — safely, yet thoroughly.”

Isn’t that lovely George?  So inpirational … True art!

“Ivory Flakes is economical enough even for the family washing, but it has that unique margin of safety which distinguishes its use for the washbowl laundering of exceedingly precious garments.

May we send you a small package of Ivory Flakes with our compliments and a useful booklet of washing and ironing suggestions?  You will find the proper address in the upper right-hand corner.”

Sure enough George — there it is — the adress: Section 15 AF, Dept of Home Economics, The Proctor and Gamble Co., Cincinnati, Ohio.

What do you say George … Suppose the free sample is still availabe?
…  Nearly 90 years later … There is no expiry date that I see … There is a copyright notice … I imagine it would have expired by now however.  Where did I hear that copyright expires after 50 years?

November 14, 2012 Wednesday

Double Standard

Well George … Ever think about the expression “double standard”?
I have … Just thinking about Sinead O’Connor for example reminds me … 

What do you mean you don’t get it?

George … There you go again … Sweetheart that you are … There are times when your thickness is … Well almost sluggish.

Look at it this way George … Juxtapose Sinead O’Connor, the famous  Irish female singer with a famous Irish male Irish singer … Let’s Say Bono for example … Do you get it George?  The more outrageous Bono has been … Well for an Irish person …

 The Irish are known for … Well we must admit … Not being the most outrageous in the world … Might have to do with being raised to distance themselves with “the troubles” … 

I am not knocking Bono and U2 … They have apparently donated millions of dollars to support young musicians in Ireland.  I’m just wondering about the struggle of women artists … Wondering whether they get the same support as men.

Many prominent figures justify the avoidance of political activity into injustice in their own country by supporting little black babies thousands of miles away … Well yes George some people might rightly consider my remarks … Well … Torn patches of controversy … But you know what George … Truth often is controversial.

Anyway here we go again George … Getting sidetracked when all I wanted to do was simply point out what I see as double standard … As long as Sinead O’Connor was meek and demure and young and fresh and lovely … Well wasn’t she the little darlin’ of the world?

That’s the way it is George … The way it always is … Men are permitted to show character lines … To make demands … To hold the world to task. Women are expected to be good little girls … Serve their masters … button their lips and go gracefully and without complaint into that darkest night.

That’s the way it is George … the double standard…

Macassar, Me and Emily Dickenson

Macassar, Me and Emily Dickinson.

What is it? Well you might ask George. I’d never heard of it before today either. Apparently, 
“Macassar oil was an unguent for the hair commonly used in the early 19th century. The poet Byron called it “thine incomparable oil, Macassar.” The fashion for oiled hair became so widespread in the Victorian and the Edwardian period that housewives began to cover the arms and backs of their chairs with washable cloths to preserve the fabric coverings from being soiled. Around 1850, these started to be known as antimacassars. They were also installed in theatres, from 1865.” (Source

An antimacassar (/ˌæntɪməˈkæsər/) is a small cloth placed over the backs or arms of chairs, or the head or cushions of a sofa, to prevent soiling of the permanent fabric. Also refers to the cloth flap on a sailor’s blouse, used to keep macassar oil off the uniform.
… ”
You know George this reminds me … And yes George this possibly is another of those peculiar connections that only I would make …

In any case, it reminds me of my personal experience as a member of Toastmasters International … Once long ago but not so far away … Before I was quite insulted by the president at the time … A man, yes .. some man George … Yes … Another story …
The man who insulted me also happened to be the district … Hmmm well I forget the exact term he used George but I recall him being quite puffed up with pride over being the district someone-or-other.

The point? The point of my story? Well yes George I am slowly making my way there. And really my connection is not all that far off. Macassars were made to keep men’s greasy hair oil off the furniture.  As to how it relates to me … Well it really has to do with my love of poetry and my very special feeling of connection with Emily Dickinson.

No George I am not subtly suggesting that all those men who rejected Dickinson’s poetry were greasers … Well maybe one or two were a bit greasy in their attitude but I very much doubt that the term “greaser” had yet become was it was to be in the 1950s or maybe even the 1960s. Remember John Travolta and Olivia Newton.  What year was that George? Hmmm I don’t remember either.

No George I am not off on a tangent … Not at all … Merely setting the table for the main dish so to speak.

So here we have these hairgrease prevention cloths called Antimacassars .
Yes George … Please be patient … As I was about to say … Somebody had to make them … The women did make them for their homes … My grandmother did George … Called them doilies … Much nicer … More feminine word … Don’t you think George?

What does all of this have to do with Emily Dickinson?

Look here George …
Have you ever heard of an American literary critic and poet named Richard Palmer Blackmur (January 21, 1904 – February 2, 1965)?
Well don’t fret George, I probably would not have heard of him either were it not for my love of poetry in general and Dickinson in particular.

” Blackmur in an attempt to focus and clarify the major claims for and against the poet’s greatness, wrote in a landmark 1937 critical essay: “… she was a private poet who wrote as indefatigably as some women cook or knit. Her gift for words and the cultural predicament of her time drove her to poetry instead of antimacassars ” ”

So what do you think about her choices George … Write poetry or make doilies … 

And how does this relate to toastmasters? And where exactly do I fit into any of this George?

Well I was a painfully shy young woman who loved to write poetry and paint and draw.  I joined Toastmasters hoping it would help me overcome my shyness and help me build the confidence and connections I needed to develop a career. 

I was also a married stay-at-home  wife-and-mother work-at-home-graphic-artist … The original attempt at being Super-Mom.
 Which brings me closer to the point … Being insulted by the Toastmaster district someone-or- other. 

No George I have absolutely nothing against Toastmasters. I would never have joined had I thought otherwise. Whether I personally received value for my money … Well … Something I’d need to really think about George … My dearly departed father used to tell me to say nothing if I had nothing good to say … Yes I must admit that my poor father despaired of ever having an obedient daughter.

Ok ok …. Here it is … What the Toasmaster said … Well … during coffee break we were having a friendly chat … He asked me about myself and when I told him I was a painter and draughtsman … As in being a graphic artist … Well George here it is … What he answered was, 
“That is nice, something to do in your spare time, when you are not busy looking after your family.”

That was possibly the point when I realized that if ever I was to have a career it would certainly not be thanks to  people like Mr. District someone-or-other and I might as well not have spent the hundred plus dollars I had scrimped together to join Toastmasters International.

Do you suppose … Would my life have taken a different turn if the group I joined had been named Toastmistresses International?

Forensic Oratory

Yes George, I am still researching Cicero.
What good?
Well if Cicero links to Plato and from Plato to Socrates … That is good enough for me.

I see you picked up on “torned”.

… torned out to be “forensic oratory” in the essay “Moral Goodness” by Marcus Tullius Cicero.

Yes George it did begin as a typo … An actual error on my part. Then … Another eureka moment George … Another Eureka … “Torned” really does express what it is I am trying to say here. Subtle George … Very subtle … Another story … And yes George I will tell you … Some day … Hmmm some rainy day …

” I believe, of course, that if Plato had been willing to devote himself to forensic oratory, he could have spoken with the greatest eloquence and power; and that if Demosthenes had continued the studies he pursued with Plato and had wished to expound his views, he could have done so with elegance and brilliancy. I feel the same way about Aristotle and Isocrates, each of whom, engrossed in his own profession, undervalued that of the other.”

Source:Book I. Chapter I. Page 4
DE OFFICIIS.  Marcus Tullius Cicero.  Translated by Walter Miller.
Loeb edn.  Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1913.

Where did I find this on the internet?
At the URL:

So George … now I am on a mission. 

Forensic Oratory

Today I am researching Cicero.
What good  comes of such research?
Who was Cicero?
Questions and more questions … That’s the thing that makes research like a stroll in the desert. You sometimes end up facing as many questions as there are grains of sand in a shifting sand dune.  

I decided I would just stop at the first unfamiliar expression I stumbled across.  This unknown expression torned out to be “forensic oratory” in the essay “Moral Goodness” by Marcus Tullius Cicero.

” I believe, of course, that if Plato had been willing to devote himself to forensic oratory, he could have spoken with the greatest eloquence and power; and that if Demosthenes had continued the studies he pursued with Plato and had wished to expound his views, he could have done so with elegance and brilliancy. I feel the same way about Aristotle and Isocrates, each of whom, engrossed in his own profession, undervalued that of the other.”

Source:Book I. Chapter I. Page 4
DE OFFICIIS.  Marcus Tullius Cicero.  Translated by Walter Miller.
Loeb edn.  Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1913.

Where did I find this on the internet?
At the URL:

So George … now I am on a mission.