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Euphemisms

Our puppy needs a haircut, and is a very fuzzy boy. I noticed that he had two rather large dried on pieces of poop on his rear end, stuck to his fussy hair. I told husband that he had to help me with the “clinkers”, as we have called such things since we got our first dogs many years ago. I started thinking about the word and the euphemisms that we use. I am not talking about hurtful or derogatory ones, just interesting ones.

I suppose many euphemisms stem from talking about body parts or functions. Many of my child/adolescent clients are embarrassed to death to have to refer to body parts by their proper names. A good friend had a daughter who referred to boys’ parts as “hoses”, which I thought was a pretty good descriptor. I don’t know what she calls them now that she is a grown woman.

What are some euphemisms that you use? What words are hard for you to say in public?

A Woman And A Racoon Walk Into A Bar. . .

Yesterday the Fargo Forum reported that bar patrons in Maddock, ND, who were in the Maddock Bar the night of September 6 needed to be aware that they may have been exposed to rabies. It seems a rather intoxicated woman came into the bar holding a racoon she had rescued days earlier from the side of the road. She was asked to leave the bar, but not before she walked all around the bar showing people her racoon. The racoon was reportedly injured when she found it, and she had nursed it back to health and was keeping it as a pet. It is illegal to keep racoons or skunks as pets here due to the threat of rabies. They are still looking for the woman and her racoon. The bar employees say they are going to dress up as racoons for Halloween,

When I was about 6 years old, I tried lifting a friend’s rather fat beagle into my father’s fishing boat that was stored along side the garage. The beagle was not amused, and bit me on my face. It was just a nip, but my mother was panicked about it. The beagle’s owners refused to lock the dog up the required number of days to see if it was rabid, so I had to have a series of rabies shots. I got the shots under my shoulder blades. It was painful. I wouldn’t want to go through that again. The beagle wasn’t rabid, by the way, and he and I remained friends.

Know any good bar jokes? What animals would you like to see in bars? What are your experiences with rabies or rabies shots?

An Apple a Day?

My dad was a big baby about getting sick.  Luckily he didn’t get sick often – mostly when my mom would just be recovering from something.  Right about the time she was feeling a bit better, he would come down with whatever bug had afflicted her.  My sister and I had always joked about it but then it got really funny the summer before my junior year when he caught my mom’s “persistent stomach flu” and it turned out she was actually pregnant. 

That old trope about women marrying men like their fathers hit a little too close to home with my second was-band.  He was pathetic and unbelievably whiny when he was ill – to the point that I was usually out of patience within the first 24 hours.  Me!

With these shining examples, I’ve pretty much always kept my sicknesses to myself.  Since my doctors figured out my adult-onset allergies, I’ve actually been quite healthy for the last 20 years, including managing to get through pandemic so far without contracting any of the variants.  Then last week I came down with a cold (yep, just a cold; I’ve tested twice).  It’s the first time I’ve had a cold in at least 10 years. 

Being retired, I didn’t need to call in sick so except for an occasional “stuck with a summer cold” text, I was pretty much just laying low.  As the weekend approached, I realized I might have a couple of conflicts that didn’t jive well with having a bad cold.  First was my other book club that was scheduled at my house on Saturday morning.  One of the members is a little fragile; didn’t want to her to catch the cold and honestly I wasn’t up to cooking and getting the place picked up.  On Friday morning I contacted everybody and re-scheduled.  Was still hoping to attend Steve’s celebration in person – tripled masked and standing in the back of the room.  Saturday morning I was still too symptomatic so switched to the virtual celebration.

It made me feel a little silly, bowing out of commitments I had made, just because of a cold, and I worried a bit that I was blowing my cold out of proportion, acting like my dad or my was-band.  But if pandemic has done anything good, it’s made me realize that I really shouldn’t drag my contagious germs around and expose innocent folks, even if it’s “just a cold”.  And I did put on a dressy shirt and earrings for the virtual!

Guess I have a couple more days of laying low and looking up silly sick memes.

How do you take care of yourself when you’re sick?

Midnight Flight

One of my colleagues was excited last week for the arrival of her mother for a visit from Washington State. She was flying from Spokane to Bismarck via Minneapolis, arriving in Bismarck on the midnight Delta flight.

There are very few commercial airports in ND, and very few commercial carriers that come into the State. I knew exactly what the midnight flight into Bismarck is like. The airport terminal is almost dark, nothing is open, and all the airline counters are closed. There are a couple of lighted offices, and one or two rental car desks whose occupants look exhausted. The long term parking kiosk is closed, so you better have exact change for your parking bill, or else a debit/credit card.

It is sort of comforting, sort of odd to live in such a remote place and know the details of these things so well. I wonder what it will be like to move back to Luverne when I retire, and what new things I will learn, and what old things are still there.

What communities are you the most familiar with? How have they changed for better or worse over the years? What are some of the more interesting airports you have been in?

Mysteries of Life

When I was visiting my mom mid-August, we talked about the State Fair – more than once.  She wanted to know about all the things that I like to do, which is funny since Nonny would hate the State Fair.  In fact, it would be a toss-up as to which of my parents would hate the State Fair the most.  Probably my dad.  I’m not sure where my genetic pre-disposition to loving the fair came from… certainly not from either Nonny or JB.

The food, the things for sale, the animal barns and the pet pavilion are easy to explain.  Crop art was harder to explain and when I got around to the Butterheads, I was really at a loss.  I’m not sure it ever made sense to Nonny.  Truly when you think about it, how could it make sense to anyone who hasn’t seen it.

Dairy Princess and her court having their heads carved into huge chunks of butter over the course of the fair?  Sounds clear enough, typed out like this, but it wasn’t that easy to explain to my mother.  I did send her the above photo a few days ago but she hasn’t responded yet.  She’s probably still shaking her head over how I “turned out” after she so carefully raised me!

What’s the latest mystery you’ve read?

Corn Fed

I remember the first time I saw someone take a picture of their food about 20 years ago.  It was dinner with a client at Swan Court, at the Hyatt in Maui.  It was a lovely evening and we were seated outside along the lagoon when we noticed a young couple sitting close to us taking photos of their plates before tucking in.  The client and I were too polite to laugh out loud, but we did roll our eyes and we talked about it more than once over the next two days. 

Little did we know that we were witnessing the beginning of a worldwide trend.  These days social media is filled with pictures of people’s snacks, meals, drinks…. any edible will do.  For this trend, YA is all in; we can’t ever eat anywhere without the obligatory photo before she begins to eat.  And often I have to move my plate or my glass or my coffee cup so it doesn’t mess up her photo.

State Fair is about the only time I join in the food photo frenzy.  Cheese curds and cookies subtitled “Breakfast of Champions” got texted to several friends.  My pretty Margarita lemonade made the cut as well as the French Toast Bites but most of my comestibles went undocumented.  YA took photos of everything, including her roasted corn in the photo above. 

Considering how common food photos are these days, I was really surprised when a woman standing near YA said in a loud voice “Oh it’s just food.  Eat it already!”  YA just ignored her; as the aggrieved mother, I was mustering up a zinger for this woman but she had already disappeared into the crowd.  I was really stunned by this, first because YA wasn’t obstructing any traffic at all and second because taking pictures of food is so very common these days.  I can only surmise that this poor woman had been driven to distraction by her kids that day at the fair, keeping her from all her first bites of fair food by taking photo after photo!

Tell me one of your favorite corn recipes!

Fair Eats

My stomach was a little unsettled yesterday.  Not actual distress… just feeling a little sensitive.  I suppose after five days of fair food, it’s only to be expected.  Especially Sunday.  In looking back, except for the cookies and the Hawaiian shave ice, every single thing I ate was fried.  Yikes.

I’m blaming a lot of this on YA and the State Fair marketing types.  For years YA and I have gotten our coupon booklets ahead of time; we used to go through them on the bus on the way to the fair but last year and this year, YA went through a week in advance and put post-it notes on the foods she was interested in.  Then the marketing types sent us an email listing all the new foods for 2022.  YA perused this seriously and then made a list.  Yep, she’s my daughter, isn’t she?!

A few items got listed after I took the photo and what you also don’t see is that each night that we got home from the fair, she highlighted any of the foods we’d eaten during the day.  Truly the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.

It will be much easier to tell you what we DIDN’T get to.  We passed the vegan corn dog trailer more than once but it never seemed the right moment.  I’ll try harder next year if they come back.  We did want to try the sweet potato poutine but you have to really want it to stand in the lines at The Blue Barn in the afternoon.  We stopped at the global market for arepas and moletes but neither of them looked that good so we tried something else.  And even though YA put the tirokroketes on the list, she was never in the mood when we passed Dino’s.  She also decided against the cotton candy float.

Some of the items got multiple tastings (cookies and Hawaiian Shave Ice are daily staples) and cheese curds, of course.  We hit the fried blueberry pie more than once – it was a new food and it was terrific.  Cheesy Siracha Funnel Cake Bites (way better than you’re imagining), Fried Pickles and Roasted Corn are favorites.  We got the pickle pizza on the first Saturday before it went viral; the lines were blocks long in both directions on Sunday.  It was fun but again not worth standing in line that long.  In fact, I always buy my cookies in the first hour and put most of them in a Tupperware that I raid as the day goes on, because I can’t do the afternoon lines. 

Just reading through all of this had made me realize that as much as I love the fair, it’s probably a good thing it only happens once a year.  It might take my stomach until next year to recover!

When was the last time you got carried away with anything?

Crop Art Budgers

One of the things that Steve and I had in common was our love of crop art.  I’m not dissin’ other kinds of art, but crop art is just amazing.  Seeing how crop artists can blend grains and seeds to make beautiful works wows me every year.

Normally I visit the crop art on one of my alone days at the Fair but this year YA consented to go with me.  For those of you who haven’t seen the crop art at the Minnesota State Fair, the exhibit is along the far wall of the farm crop room in the Agriculture building.  Because everyone likes to look at every piece of art on the wall and table, there is almost always a line.  If you squeeze through, you can stand behind everyone else as they peruse the art.  Unfortunately most of the folks who squeeze through then push their way to the front which makes the wait for those in line even longer.  Why people will stand in line politely (more or less) for a slice of pickle pizza or a pronto pup, but they can’t bring themselves to wait for crop art, I don’t know.  Maybe if we called is crop art on a stick…

I’ve waited in line every year and experienced this phenomena over and over again.  I don’t like it, but I can’t see that it’s something I can fix.  YA had no such compunction.  When she noticed people trying to bypass the line, she stepped next to me (instead of in front of me), blocking the bypass.  Then she turned her back to the oncoming traffic  – two folks actually tried to get around her – she was immovable.  I was considering that she was taking Minnesota passive/aggressive to new heights when she said, in a voice just loud enough “crop art budgers”.   I think she may have just taken the title “Queen of Passive/Aggressive” from my mom!  From now on whenever I see somebody cut in line, I’ll be thinking “crop art budger”!

Anyway, the header photo is a red ribbon winner this year but I know that Steve would think the same as I do… it’s a blue ribbon winner in our eyes.

Did you ever glue macaroni to construction paper as a kid?

Henry?

I like to read the historical events that happened on particular days, and one of today’s I found very silly indeed.

On this day in 1889, the Second International Electrical Congress adopted the joule as a unit of energy, after James Joule, the watt as a unit of power, after James Watt, and the quadrant as a unit of electrical inductance. Inductance is the tendency of an electrical conductor to oppose a change in the electric current flowing through it. The flow of electric current creates a magnetic field around the conductor.  What I found so silly is that the name “quadrant” was later changed to henry. The henry (symbolized H) is the Standard International unit of inductance . One henry is the equivalent of one kilogram meter squared per second squared per ampere squared (kg m 2 s -2 A -2 ).

Henry? Why not Flora or Sylvester? This got me started renaming things. “Yep, husband drove 90 Biancas to Bismarck last night. ” Or “I lost 10 Elliots with my new diet.”

Come up with some silly names for units of measurement.

Learning How To Fetch

Our puppy is a delightful little fellow who never misses an opportunity to teach us new things. These past couple of weeks he taught us to fetch. We didn’t even know it until recently.

Kyrill loves to play with balls. He rolls them around and chases them. They often roll under the sofa and love seat in the livingroom, and the space is too small for him to retrieve them, so he barks and we get them for him.

I became suspicious of the sheer volume. of balls that were going under the furniture. I draped blankets in front of the sofa and love seat to block balls from rolling under, and then I noticed him roll the balls under the unblocked ends of the furniture. He was doing this on purpose! This was a Terrier game!

The Cesky Facebook group told me this is typical of the breed, and they all have yardsticks close at hand to retrieve all the toys their dogs like to shove under the furniture. Who would have guessed?

What are you favorite and least favorite games to play. What have animals taught you? Who has been the most successful getting you to do what you don’t want to do?