On the count of three, everybody lift

This is one of those situations for which you could never fully prepare.

We are waiting for a grocery pickup order. Our oldest daughter, who has been pulling carpet from stairs, is slumped in the driver’s seat riddled with exhaustion. I’m in the front passenger seat, offering commentary on the happenings around us, and three granddaughters in the middle seat of the SUV are downing dried fruit snacks that taste like the sole of your shoe.

Other cars have wheeled into numbered parking spots, received their orders, and peeled out. Our daughter says she hopes someone comes soon, as the order contains conditioner, and her hair is a wreck.

I suggest she lean her head out the window so they can see what a mess her hair is and maybe that will speed things up.

Just then, a soft voice from behind says, “Grandma, I need help.”

I look over my shoulder and the 11-year-old, the most peaceful, pliable one in the group, appears to be levitating.

She is in a plank-on-your-side position, her head extended toward one car window and her feet toward the other, hovering just below the top of the middle seats.

“I’m stuck,” she says, giggling.

“What do you mean?”

“I stretched over the seat to get something from the far back and I think the belt loop from my jeans is stuck in part of the shoulder strap.

“Girls, free your sister!” I snap.

Arms and legs fly, accompanied by shrieking, screaming and laughing.

“We can’t get her free!” one shouts.

I lunge between the two front seats and into the middle seat for a closer look. Her belt loop has slipped between a small opening on a plastic guide piece harnessing a shoulder strap to a middle seat. The weight of her body is pulling the belt loop impossibly taut in the plastic guide piece.

I announce that on the count of three I will lift her, which will take the pressure off the belt loop, whereupon her sisters should dislodge the belt loop from the plastic guide.

As planned, I lift her.

As not planned, I can’t hold her. I drop her. But gently.

More screaming and laughing. “Lift her again, only longer. We need more time!”

I lift her again and drop her again.

“What do you weigh, girl?”

“Seventy-five!” she says.

“Don’t take this the wrong way, but it feels like a whole lot more!”

The jeans have twisted and pulled so tight the child will probably have rug burn on the weight-bearing side of her torso.

We regroup and take another run at the mess. “I’ll put one knee under her, you two lift from your ends. It should lessen the tension enough to get the belt loop out of there.”

Everyone strained, moaned, groaned, carried on and bewildered the store employee confirming the pickup order with our driver. The belt loop was finally free and the child was tethered to nothing but gravity once again.

After we all calmed down and finished congratulating ourselves, we agreed the most amazing part of the ordeal was the strength of that denim belt loop in those jeans.

I wonder if they make them for adults.


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Favorite shirt dangling by a thread

Given the option—and social acceptability—the husband would wear his favorite shirt every day of the year.

The favorite shirt is a faded burgundy corduroy, old enough to vote, buy beer and maybe even apply for Medicare. The favorite shirt looks like large, angry dogs used it as a toy.

The shirt is miraculous. The miracle is that each time it goes through the wash, and I hang it on a hanger, it stays in one piece.

The collar alone may be one of the seven structural wonders of the world. Thread bare and disintegrating along the top, scraps of the collar remain more-or-less (mostly less) bonded by worn and ancient bits of fused interfacing. And you thought Gorilla Glue was powerful.

The shirt has an air of postmodern despair due to paint splatters, rips and tears and numerous places where it appears the wearer was snagged on barbed wire.

The elbows are fully aerated. The owner of the favorite shirt says that is why it is such a good work shirt. Thankfully, he doesn’t aerate the elbows on all his shirts.

I half-heartedly looked for a corduroy shirt last year, hoping to find a new one to use as a bargaining chip for retiring the corduroy relic, but nobody was making them. I’ve seen a couple this year, proving fashion does indeed go in 40-year cycles.

A Pinterest post featured ideas for repurposing old shirts. Like the husband would enjoy finding me crafting with his favorite shirt. “Look what I did to your favorite work shirt with the glue gun and sequins, Honey!”

Pinterest suggestions include turning old shirts into plant hangers or using them as macrame or yarn. The poster was female, and the post implied she was repurposing her husband’s old shirts. I’m assuming she is now single.

You don’t mess with a loved one’s favorite shirt. An old shirt, maybe; a favorite shirt, never.

There is a difference between the two. An old shirt is just that—old.

A favorite shirt comes with memories and history—oil changes, plumbing disasters, painting projects, cutting firewood from a fallen tree, laying a brick pathway with a four-year-old shadowing your every move, and pouring concrete for the kids’ basketball goal in the driveway.

Yes, the favorite shirt may be hideous. Yes, the neighbors may talk. Some may even leave cash in the mailbox. But at the end of the day, step away from the favorite shirt.

Don’t even think about it.

Don’t even ask about it.

You can live without a plant hanger a lot easier than a loved one can live without a favorite shirt.


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Leveling the field between youth and age

We are enjoying the aftermath of an all-grandkid weekend: fatigue, muscle cramps and a blue bucket filled with cicada shells by the back door. We will rebound shortly. Thanksgiving sounds about right.

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak—especially when you are outnumbered 11 to 2.

Our strategy is to wear them out before they wear us out. In intense heat, this means water, an inflatable pool, hoses, sprinkler heads, water blasters, water balloons, races and relays, whatever it takes. There’s nothing like blistering sunshine and high humidity to level the playing field between youth and age.

Step one is to borrow our daughter’s three-tiered inflatable pool because our pool has been trashed. She crams their pool in the back of their vehicle, hauls it to our house, where we drag it out of her vehicle, lug it through the garage into the backyard, unfold the monstrosity, then call for a search party to locate the electric pump.

The pump is in the driveway filling basketballs. Thump-thump. Thump-thump. Thump-thump. The neighbors love our get-togethers.

Meanwhile in the backyard, kids are filling water balloons. It is going as planned; they are all expending energy.

Little ones howl that they don’t have any water balloons because the bigger kids are hogging the hose. Older ones, now armed with water balloons the size of watermelons, target beloved cousins as well as grandparents.

Balloons burst spraying dime-size metallic discs into the air like Roman candles on the Fourth of July. It is raining metallic confetti. The entire yard sparkles. We have a backyard with bling. I wonder if they can see this from the Space Station. It shouldn’t be long before the starlings and red-tailed hawks arrive.

Silly me. I put out a call for balloons and someone sent confetti balloons. I will absolutely return the favor.

Water balloons spiral out of control at the same time someone asks for bug spray, another yells she didn’t get sunscreen, another needs bandages and someone else wants me to look at a red welt on her shoulder from a water balloon.

“It’s not bad,” I say. “I’ll dig that confetti out later.”

We begin a game where kids divide onto teams and compete to pick up the most marbles with their toes from a large tub of water. This buys us four, maybe five, minutes – enough time to resume normal breathing.

Water balloons commence again. Someone in the pool yells that someone deliberately splashed them. Two starlings and a hawk position themselves in a maple tree eyeing the yard and perhaps some of the smaller children.

Somebody tugs on my shirt and asks, “When’s lunch?”

They’re gaining on us. We pull out the big guns—the frozen T-shirt contest. You drench an adult T-shirt in two cups of water, fold it into a square, place it in a plastic bag and freeze it for 48 hours. Each team must unfold the frozen T-shirt and put it on a team member.

They are expending incredible amounts of energy. Look at them struggle! They’re pulling, straining, and clawing at the frozen shirts. We’re gaining on them now!

Why, yes, I would enjoy a refreshing glass of iced tea while sitting in the shade.

It was a good day and an exhausting day.

They say I nodded off 10 minutes into the movie after dinner.

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The the other woman drives the husband batty

It’s been more than 10 years since the “other woman” came into our lives. She drives us both batty. Literally.

It’s not a love triangle; it is a triangle of animosity, tension and rancor. Her name is Jane. She’s the voice on our Waze navigation system.

We can’t live with her and we can’t live without her.

GPS Jane and my husband routinely get into it and then there I am, trapped in the middle, trying to negotiate peace. You can’t reason with either one of them.

My husband worked as a photojournalist nearly his entire career. Consequently, he knows every shortcut and side street in our city, state, three nearby metro areas and the four surrounding states.

He can cut two minutes off getting to a funeral home by taking side streets that run parallel to a main artery; three minutes if we cut through an industrial park. I remind him we are going to a funeral, not a fire.

It’s been years since we waited at a traffic light at a major intersection near our home. If the light ahead is red, we wheel into a Half Price Books parking lot, pass by Donatos, skirt McDonald’s and exit on a side street adjacent to our street.

We pull into our driveway and surprise – there is no press conference on the front step or NFL teams in the front yard ready for kickoff. But if there were, he’d be ready.

We don’t need GPS Jane in the car for local driving, but if we’re driving unfamiliar interstate with construction, I like Jane for backup.

Jane will give a directive my husband disagrees with, and he snaps, “Is she kidding?”

As if I can explain the process of live satellites and AI while we are navigating orange cones sandwiched between semis.

Secretly, I wish just once that GPS Jane would answer him herself: “No, I’m not kidding!”

I got to thinking it might be the woman’s voice he objects to, so I tested various voice options as the husband drove.

We auditioned Ben, Randy, Nathan and the Jonas Brothers. Nothing. We tried Shaquille O’Neal, 90s pop star, a UK Accent, an Aussie accent and Zombie.

Dog and Cat were the only possible maybes.

We returned to Jane. After all, she once led us out of the Smoky Mountains in thick fog with only three feet of visibility. We have history together, not to mention mileage.

We recently drove a couple hours south to a resort in a pastoral part of the state to celebrate a golden wedding anniversary with my husband’s sister, her husband and family.

GPS Jane led us on a narrow, hilly switchback under a dense canopy of trees with steep drop-offs for a long five miles. It would have been a desolate stretch were it not for five vultures in the middle of the road that had picked a dead fox clean down to the rib bones.

We headed home later that night and decided not to rely on GPS Jane. My navigator knew a state road would take a few minutes longer but get us back to the interstate. For my peace of mind, he even checked the Rand McNally Atlas we brought with us.

Jane was on mute the whole way home. It was nice to have the car to ourselves.

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No rhyme or reason to family poet-tree

It’s hard to be humble, but in fourth grade I was named “Class Poet.”

Once a week, students could read a poem they had written in front of the class. A lot of weeks—OK, almost every week—I was the only one reading a poem, which likely explains the “Class Poet” honor.

I have no idea why I thought I could write poetry, except that many in the older generation often recited interesting poems at length. “The Village Blacksmith,” and “The Road Not Taken,” come to mind.

I still remember one of my favorite poems I wrote, but only in part. It was about a trip to the zoo and ended like this: “There was a commotion in that cage like no other, because the cage contained my little brother.”

I doubt Robert Frost or Carl Sandburg ever felt threatened.

Funny how it is hard to forget what you memorized as a child (“I do not like them Sam-I-am, I do not like green eggs and ham”) but infinitely harder to memorize as an adult. If only I had been able to memorize all the social security numbers, policy member numbers, credit card numbers, family birthdays, anniversary dates, account logins and passwords I would need as an adult, back when I was a kid.

My guess is that most people over 35 remember their home phone number from childhood but haven’t memorized cell phone numbers of family and close friends because they’re all on speed dial.

Meanwhile, one of our grands is memorizing all the license plates in the family.

Another grand recently announced she is conducting a poetry competition open to family members and some friends.

How now, brown cow.

I thought most might pass on the invitation, but the contest host just sent out a terse email saying, “No more than three entries per person or your entry will be disqualified!”

Doesn’t that just get you in the pentameter?

In it to win it.

Of course, now everybody wants to know who is crowding the field with multiple entries in hopes of the big win. The one conducting the contest isn’t talking, which may be part of her ruse to heighten interest in the competition. There’s nothing like mystery and the threat of disqualification to crowd the field.

Rhyming verse, free verse and bad verse are shooting through cyber space.

I just received a copy of a 5-year-old’s entry, titled “Lunch.” It goes like this: “We had some root beer for lunch, We had a sandwich. Carrots are crunchy, Crunch, crunch, crunchity crunch.

Maybe she’ll place for alliteration.

I read another submission about flowers and another about a lost black sheep: “Where did you go? High in the mountains? Low in the snow?”

I won’t tell how it ends. Let’s just say it’s a cliff hanger.

I’m not entering a poem until I’ve memorized our son’s cell phone number.


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Cooking doldrums heating up

There’s something about the end of summer that makes me lose my will to cook. Not my will to eat, mind you, just my will to cook. There’s a big difference between the two. About 2,000 calories a day.

Maybe it was that 400th round of bruschetta with all those cherry tomatoes from the garden.

You’d think they’d be about done by now, but every time we step outside, they fire another barrage. Clearly, they’ve brought in reinforcements.

It’s hot outside, it’s hot inside; the last thing you want is to fire up the oven like a nuclear reactor. I used the crockpot the other day, but made it stay in the garage.

Throw something on the grill? The grill that gets white hot and radiates heat long after the sun has set? I’d sooner turn on the furnace and crank it to 80.

I keep pulling out cookbooks for inspiration, but it’s like reading a book on computer programming. The pages are turning and my eyes are moving, but my brain is on idle.

I lean on a three-step recovery program when I enter a cooking plateau.

Step one is “Rotation” where I move the food about to expire to the front of the ‘fridge hoping food-waste guilt will prompt us to eat odd combinations like wilting spinach, spongy red peppers, orange juice and sour cream.

Step two is “Chicken.” I cook one of those huge economy packs – the whole thing. We have plain chicken, quesadillas with chicken, chicken salad, chicken sandwiches, chicken marsala, chicken and veggie stir fry, chicken, chicken, chicken. Then, for some strange reason, we are tired of chicken.

You never see a pet turn away from something in a food dish they eat day after day after day. I wonder if they ever look at the food in their dish and think, “Ack! Chicken!”

Step three is “Get the Husband’s Wallet.” The grands often give us gift cards to restaurants. We put them in my husband’s wallet and forget about them. A year or two later we re-discover them and it’s like getting gift cards all over again.

We just checked his wallet and there are three gift cards – for Chick-fil-A.

I was with a group of women when someone asked a single gal if she cooked much. She laughed and said, “Yes! Two pieces of toast at a time—one with peanut butter and one plain.”

It’s that age old question: “Wattsfirdinner?” Doesn’t matter what season of life you are in; the question is always lingering in the air.

Kids ask what’s for lunch while they’re eating breakfast and what’s for dinner when they’re eating lunch.

It’s so bad here, my husband has quit asking. He astutely senses a culinary minefield.

Lamenting what to cook is a somewhat seasonal recurrence. It is a sign you are finished with one season and ready for the next.

Forget the cookbooks; I’m tracking forecasts on my weather app.

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Ageless Barbie never gets old

With the “Barbie” movie kicking up sparkle dust, I’d like to go on record thanking Barbie for my brief foray into sewing.

As a young girl, it was nearly impossible to get the designer clothes Mattel made over Barbie’s curves. She was oddly proportioned. Even as a child still learning to carry from the one’s to the ten’s column, I had enough inkling of geometry to know elevating that heavy topside onto stilettos could throw off Barbie’s center of gravity and propel her forward.

Nose-dive Barbie.

So, I sewed clothes for Barbie. I hand-stitched a wedding gown out of an old sheer white curtain. That thing with Ken had gone on long enough; it was time for them to tie the knot. My Barbie had a loose-fitting wardrobe.

Comfy Clothes Barbie.

I never had the Barbie Dream House; I made her a villa out of shoe boxes. I never had the Barbie convertible either; my Barbie and Ken walked everywhere.

Middle Class Barbie.

Eventually, my Barbie’s nose wore off, Ken’s hair began disappearing and, frankly, they were boring.

Mid-life Crisis Barbie.

Barbie, her boy toy and all their accessories, went to live in a musty basement closet where the shut off valve to the water was.

I moved on to board games like Life. With a few spins of a wheel, I could land a car, a husband and four kids, a top-level executive job and a ton of money. No tight-fitting clothes required. Now we were getting somewhere.

I never missed Barbie and I never wanted to be Barbie.  I was glad for comfortable clothes, that I lived in a real house, not a cardboard box, and that my family had a car. I was also glad there wasn’t some guy who never knew when to go home hanging around all the time.

If you will remember, Barbie was the one with endless career changes. Barbie has had 200 jobs, while Ken has had 40 including hamburger chef, surgeon, lifeguard, and 12 times hit the shelves with the job title “beach bum.” Ken’s fallback seemed to be chauffeuring Barbie and holding her purse. Could it be that Barbie held Ken back? Asking for a friend.

Our girls had Barbies, but we never bought a single one. They were birthday gifts from their little friends. I didn’t object to Barbie, although I did harbor a growing resentment over her ageless skin.

Plastic Surgery Barbie.

Our girls’ Barbies lived under their bed, which meant they never saw the light of day, which meant they didn’t look so hot in their swimsuits. Most of the time their Barbies were naked. The girls gave up on squeezing the dolls into their clothes.

Nudist Colony Barbie.

Reviews of the “Barbie” movie confirm that it is somewhat predictable: Ken needs enlightening. No doubt it is clever in spots and has witty lines, but it is an old song with a different verse.

Technically, Barbie could be 84 years old today.

Senior Barbie.

May Barbie soon find peace with herself, men, and the process of aging.

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Zucchini, too much of a good thing?

Lori Borgman | July 31, 2023

A friend served zucchini with dinner the other night and her 10-year-old exclaimed, “Oh no, it’s zucchini season!”

The kid is right. And know this: You can run, but you can’t hide.

Gardeners flush with zucchini all adhere to the same mantra: “What’s mine is yours.” They will do whatever it takes to make sure what is theirs becomes yours.

We’ve never grown zucchini because we’ve never had to. If we want zucchini, we just stand by the curb and hold out our arms. Nine out of 10 cars will roll down their windows and toss out some zucchini. The neighbors refer to it as a drive-by zuke-ing.

You know this year’s zucchini surplus is extreme when a nearby zoo announces they will continue accepting garden produce for the animals, but please, no more zucchini.

When a neighbor was in in grad school, an international student from Lebanon asked if it was an American tradition to take tomatoes and zucchini when you visit someone.

It is.

Case in point: An older gentleman and seasoned gardener would take home-grown tomatoes along with zucchini with him whenever he visited friends. You couldn’t have any tomatoes unless you agreed to take some zucchini.

Who could blame him? Zucchinis are the vegetable equivalent of plastic food storage containers that multiply in the dark.

Some of our kids are big gardeners and often text photos of their daily harvest. In their last picture I counted 20 zucchinis.

We texted a picture back of our daily harvest. Six peas. We thought maybe they’d take pity on us and have Door Dash deliver a meal.

We’d starve to death if we had to survive on peas. Even if we rationed them, we wouldn’t make it.

“Here, have a pea,” I tell my husband at dinner.

“I had one yesterday. It’s your turn. You eat it.”

“No, you—” and he drops to the floor midsentence from hunger.

Our green beans aren’t as prolific as other gardeners’ zucchini, but they have done better than the peas. I picked 12 green beans the other day. We had three each. I’d read green beans were good cooked on the grill. I was careful turning them, but they kept falling between the grates.

Do not, I repeat, do not try retrieving a green bean wedged between white hot charcoal with tongs.

Zucchinis are popular because they are low cal and healthy. But they also top the list of vegetables often requiring enhancement before consuming. Zucchini bread, zucchini waffles, zucchini muffins, zucchini with parm, zucchini with garlic butter, zucchini bacon and cheese boats. Zucchinis are low cal—when they’re still on the vine.

Maybe you heard about the woman who left a zucchini in her car while she went shopping. When she returned, someone had broken in and left her six more.

Lock your vehicles and keep your guard up. You can never be too careful.



(where it all began a long, long, long, long time ago) 

The event is free, but tickets are required. Reserve tickets now at: [email protected]

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Packed and ready, now the wait

The turquoise backpack with flowers and a pink owl is jammed full with long-sleeved shirts, jammies, socks, underwear, a unicorn stuffie, and one slightly used sketchpad. She’s packed and ready to go.

Yes, it does appear she forgot to put in jeans and long pants, but who am I to criticize a five-year-old?

And, yes, the all-family trip to Michigan is not until fall, roughly another 12 weeks away. More precisely, 89 days or 2,136 hours. But who’s counting?

She is.

She’s waiting and thinking and daydreaming. She’s picturing herself in the hot tub, running up and down the steep slope from the rental to the lake and paddling one of the tomato red kayaks all by herself. As if.

She’s wondering when summer will end, fall will begin and everyone will pile into cars and head north for a four-day weekend with all the cousins and aunts and uncles.

And lasagna. Don’t forget there will be lasagna. It’s tradition.

The child is not simply counting down the days; she’s practicing the lost art of anticipation. Anticipating has all but disappeared in a world of instant gratification.

See. Want. Buy.

Scroll. Swipe. Click.

These days the most practice any of us have anticipating is tracking an online order. Yes, it has shipped! Yes, it is out for delivery! Yes, it will be here by 10 p.m.! The joy of hearing a thud by the front door has become our new Christmas morning.

It is not easy to anticipate much of anything when everything is at our fingertips. Literally.

I’ve read that looking forward to something causes our brains to release hormones along the brain’s reward system. It’s like chocolate, but without the fat and the calories.

Of course, there’s the other kind of anticipation as well, the anticipation of dread. Dwelling there can cause you to experience a dreaded event twice, once before it happens as you stew about it and then again when it does happens.

Where’s the shut off valve?

When a couple of our grown kids and their families lived a half-day or a two-day drive away, knowing the goodbyes would be hard, we often had a date on the calendar for when we’d next see one another. The seeds of anticipation helped ease the goodbye.

Anticipation is a form of delayed gratification. It is the waiting, holding in place, watching both the clock and the calendar, reveling in what is to come, the satisfaction of mapping out a trip, or outing, weeks in advance.

Even after the date arrives and the event has happened, there’s the anticipation of the road home, the vehicle turning into the driveway.

No doubt that little one also remembers the bonfire and the s’mores and is looking forward to doing those things again. Why have I not savored those same memories with the same intensity? Why don’t I have my jammies and toothbrush already packed?

I need to go find a suitcase.


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Getting a jump on summer

We may be alike in that you, too, believed frog jumping contests had gone the way of Mark Twain, steamboats and rotary dial telephones.

Like me, you would be wrong.

We have been with the rural wing of the family, where you weave through a dozen or more mud boots scattered on the deck to enter the house. Dried mud, wet mud, layers and layers of stratified mud; it is a mud paradise.

As such, it is also a vacation destination for frogs. Beneath the shade of towering hickory trees, frogs cluster around pondings of still brown water, lounging in tiny bag chairs situated next to tiny charcoal grills and miniature frog-size RVs parked at the water’s edge.

Due to a burgeoning frog population growing by leaps and bounds, and the proximity of a small county fair hosting a frog jumping contest, the kids began eyeing the frogs in a new light. Visions of blue ribbons danced in their heads.

They collected a dozen assorted frogs and placed them in a large plastic tub filled with pond mud and water and topped it off with a lid with holes drilled in it for air. Naturally, they named the frogs. Every single frog was named “Winner.”

But they noticed the frog population dwindling. Every morning another frog or two was missing. Meanwhile, a large bull frog seemed to be growing. The frog count dropped from a dozen to nine to seven. And then there was one.

No one wanted to think the worst, however, a bit of research found that though it is commonly believed frogs are insectivores, they are actually “generalist carnivores.” This means they will eat any small critter they can swallow, including their own kin.

A moment of silence, please.

Now a moment of disgust.

And now a moment of gagging.

It’s a frog-eat-frog world.

The kids, all entered in different time slots and age categories, agreed to share the remaining alpha frog.

Given the signal, contestants were to place their frog on a faux lily pad. They could not touch the frog but could tap around it, blow on it or yell at it. If the frog did not jump within 30 seconds, it was disqualified. If the frog jumped, three jumps were measured and that was the entrant’s score.

In the baby-to-age-5 category, Winner scored 25 inches in three jumps. In the 6-to-11 age category, Winner jumped 25 inches for one of the kids and sat motionless for another.

With the 12-to-15 age category about to begin, the 11-year-old handed off the frog to his older brother seated in the row in front of him. As he passed the frog over an older woman’s shoulder—by her head—one of the frog’s legs accidentally, and ever so slightly, grazed the side of the woman’s face.

Both boys emphasize the “ever so slightly” business, as if being slightly grazed by a frog is far superior to having one smacked directly in your kisser. They may have a point.

Nonetheless, the woman shrieked and jumped. They say it was an amazing jump. No frog in the county has ever jumped that high – or that far. Nobody knows how far she jumped, but if she ever stops running, she can probably collect a blue ribbon.

The excitement must have energized Winner. Ture to his name, he made three jumps totaling 65 inches and cinched first place in the 12-to-15 group.





On people names going to the dogs . . . 

One of my college classmates, who grew up on a farm, had several dogs and cats and he named them all after his friends:  Bob, Sandra, Lois, Steve, etc.  No ambiguity there.
-Mike M.

Ours was Bagel the Beagle!
­-Rebecca N.

I have a 100 pound chocolate lab that I suspect has some Irish Setter in  his family tree. When he’s in the sun he is more red than brown. As a result I decided to name him Clifford after Clifford the big red dog. I learned shortly after he came into my life that he likes to snuggle, so Clifford didn’t work. As a result his name now is Teddy as in bear.
-Eugene M.

We have Derek the cat. He is our 5th cat and the first with a person-related name.  We were out of ideas. We had Tuffy, Sneads, Snarles (who really was a pussycat, so he needed a tough sounding name), Buddy and now Derek.  Derek seems to like the name.  He comes when called, but usually food is involved.
-Carolyn G.

My son’s two dogs were Copper and Nickle….he’s a chemist.
-Millie W.

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