Wednesday, March 21, 2012
By Carol WeimerDo you do spring cleaning in your home?
Are you a working career gal who doesn’t have the time to do anything like that?
In today’s modern age, people don’t do spring or fall cleaning like they used to 20 or 30 years ago.
Some tell me (if I ask) I only do something like that when a room needs to be “done over;” that would be called spring cleaning in their sense. In other words, when the walls need redoing, floors, baseboards, etc. The windows might get cleaned once or twice a year, but otherwise the room isn’t redone until the lady of the house thinks it’s needed or it’s time. Perhaps that is the best way and you can save a lot of time, which many women who work don’t have and also energy in just keeping up with the everyday things.
Every room has to be torn up, curtains washed, drapes cleaned, windows given a once-over both inside and out, the walls wiped down, baseboard washed and the floor or carpeting having a “going over.”
The bedding is taken care of each week, but the mattress and springs only receive a good cleaning once or twice a year. Then when it’s all done, everything is put back in its place, you survey the work you have accomplished and you are both pleased and proud.
Now, you multiply this by how many rooms you have in your house and it takes courage, ambition, patience and energy to get it all done. Some might only do a few rooms that year and then the other ones you alternate with either in the fall or the following year. It’s up to you.
Years ago this housecleaning was mandatory. Times have changed. Modern vacuum sweepers can be used weekly to keep thins clean. There aren’t the wood and coal stoves with their ashes and smoke that made cleaning necessary. Miracle fibers in today’s carpeting and curtains clean easier.
Remember when window shades were two-faced? One side was cream colored and the other side that was towards the street was dark green? And whatever they were made of, they didn’t wipe clean or really weren’t supposed to be cleaned with water.
Today’s window dressings are available in so many different shapes, designs, colors and more as well as their fittings. What would our grandmas think of them?
And windows. They come in a zillion shapes, patterned, hardware convenient to opening and closing as well as cleaning. Sliding glass doors. Imagine what grandma would have thought of them. Wouldn’t housecleaning have been a breeze for her and her helpers?
Whether you do spring or fall housecleaning or neither, take heart; you’re living in the 21st century
Thursday, March 15, 2012
By Carol Weimer
The thirsty would have us believe that he taught his countrymen the art of distillation and that Poteen, the traditional drink for his day, was named for him. Yet, history tells us that Patrick and his followers maintained strict abstinence.
He is credited also with driving all the snakes from Ireland; but experts doubt that Ireland ever had snakes, given her climate and isolation.
Tradition tells us that Patrick planted shamrocks and used the triple leaves to explain the Trinity. Botanists tell us that the plant has been found throughout the world, for centuries.
Even his birthday is disputed - A.D. 367 or 386, 389, 395 have been offered as possible dates - and his place of birth - Bannarem Taberniad - is said to have been located in Scotland, Wales or even France.
Only the day of his death, March 17, seems to be accepted although you can get arguments on the year - 461 or 462 A.D. An unproven but often told legend claims that he lived to 120 years, or as old as Moses.
Indeed, to confuse things even more, some historians believe there were two St. Patricks whose deeds were so entwined that they are now attributed to one man, which would at least explain his long life span.
What has been accepted is that he was born of a well-respected family and that at age 16, he was captured by Gaels and taken to Ireland, where he was sold as a slave. After serving as a shepherd where he experienced visions that he considered divinely inspired, he escaped by boat to Brittany.
For the next 18 years he devoted his life to religion, becoming first a priest, then a bishop. In the year 431 he was named Patricus and sent to Ireland on a mission to convert pagans to Christianity.
All of which is little known and of no concern to those who celebrate March 17 in spirited style. And you don’t have to be Irish to celebrate.
On St. Paddy’s Day it seems most everyone has a bit o’ Irish in him.
The green is seen on so many folks.
The girls in the office where I worked would each receive shamrock plant in a small clay pot from a gentleman who had offices in our building.
They would grow and we’d combine them in a large pot and have a beautiful large shamrock plant.
I wear the green and can honestly claim a drop or two of Irish blood.
My father’s mother’s maiden name was Donnelly and her brothers all had red hair that turned snow white as they aged.
Her name was Isabelle and a true Irish lassie she was.
Enjoy the saint’s day; it’s Irish for sure that you are on that day only.
Have a happy 17th.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
By Carol WeimerWe have a funny language. We were reading about an American who had language problems while visiting England recently because she didn’t speak “English” and this caused us to wonder about our own language and if it really means what it says. We’ve all worked at this game, but why not add to it?
For instance - is baby oil really that?
Are your potatoes really shoe string?
And toilet water. Better not go there.
When you picked the table up after dinner - wasn’t it quite heavy?
When you baste a roasting turkey is it the same as basting a seam when sewing?
Is the car really running?
Is your spider really a frying pan?
And how about these sayings we use every day?
Slower than molasses in January
One foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel
Sharper than a hound’s tooth
Everything but the kitchen sink
Our language is colorful, too. A person will be white with fear, purple with passion, green with envy, black with rage, red with anger, blue when sad and a yellow coward. If we has all these feelings at the same time, we’d be a virtual rainbow.
Is it any wonder our language is often a puzzle to those who come here from other countries? If you watch films or TV shows from the BBC, to have to pay strict attention at times to figure what they are in conversation about. Trucks are lorries, car trunks are boots, bathrooms are loos and so on.
We all seem to get our point across, and the peculiarities in the language always seem to be ironed out when one becomes acquainted - perhaps over a cup of tea or coffee.
Sayings can be confusing also -- “the pot calling the kettle black,” “I’d like to be a fly on the wall,” “it’s the bee’s knees,” “raining cats and dogs,” -- and on and on.
I’m sure you can come up with more; if you are having a slightly boring time and want to get the conversation perked up, bring up some of the above and see how far it can go.
While it may seem everyone knows these idioms, they don’t. We had a nephew by marriage that moved from Buffalo some time ago and every so often when in the conversation one of these would happen to come into the conversation, he would look puzzled and then someone would explain the saying and he would crack up laughing as, in his family ,nothing like that ever came into the day-to-day conversation.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
By Carol WeimerEverybody is talking about the weather, a lot more than usual. It always has been a good topic for a conversation opener but these days you don’t even have to think about it. Except for the snow lovers who have all kinds of fun machines, everyone else couldn’t be happier. Folks who you don’t even know will strike up a conversation at the check-out corner in the supermarket while waiting your turn in the long line to cash out. “Isn’t this weather great?” or “Don’t you just love it?”, “We can keep this kind of weather all the time.” And on and on it goes. The only other bits of talking are “I just hope the snow doesn’t come all at once and we really get dumped on” or “The man upstairs and Mother Nature are giving us a present and we surely should thank them for it.”
Some weather vanes have been taken form their perches atop houses, garages or barns, put on poles and made into lamps in the yard as night lights and conversational pieces.
But the weather vanes mounted on the roof are definitely not for lamps, they are for telling which way the wind is blowing. The weather is very important to farmers.
Before radio, TV and computers, the weather vane was a key piece of high-tech gear; the wind is a sure sign of things to come.
On the Weimer farm in Union Corners, the barn had a weather vane that stayed with the farm. When the family moved to the village, the house had a small barn, but no weather vane. Grandpa wouldn’t rest until there was something placed on the barn roof so he could tell what the weather was going to be. You can take the boy off the farm - but you can never take the farm off the boy. Grandpa still relied on a weather vane instead of the radio that he bought when he moved to the village.
He knew by the way the wind blew and, of course, other signs when storms were on their way. Mildness told him of the winter ahead and also the spring growing season. Also other signs and weather teasers included crickets, peepers or tree toads and locusts, whose singing noises or their chirps would foretell the weather to come.
He said we couldn’t hear the “signs” because we weren’t listening.
This was back during the ‘50s before we had smog, global warming and other things that have changed our weather so much.
It seemed Grandpa’s predictions were always so accurate; it makes people wonder.