Monday, March 31, 2014

Folk Medicine

In the olden times, folk medicine was widely practiced because it was the only alternative for the treatment of sickness.
Today, when we hear about some of them, they seem ridiculous; in other cases, we find that modern medicine is based on plants that were long ago used in folk medicine.

Remedies abound and tend to vary from culture to culture. I was reading through a list and found some that I’d never heard of. Others were familiar to me, as I heard about them when I was growing up in the rural South.

For instance, I had an aunt who dipped snuff. If ever anyone was stung by a bee or wasp, the cure was to go to Aunt Myrtle and she would take snuff from her mouth and dab it on the affected area to stop the stinging and prevent swelling. I don’t recall if it worked, but it must have because people were always seeking her out when they were in need. On the other hand, if it did work, why didn’t people just keep a can of snuff in their own first aid kit without having to go to Aunt Myrtle? Perhaps it was thought snuff required interaction with saliva in the mouth to be effective? Who knows?


The cure for a wart was to “steal” someone’s dishcloth from the kitchen, hide it under the doorstep and the wart would go away.

Clay poultice: Mix red clay (Lord knows we have plenty of that around here) with vinegar to make a thick paste and apply to sprains. Secure with a clean cloth and the swelling will go away in several hours.

Mustard plaster: Crush mustard seeds to a powder, mix with vinegar to form a thick paste. Spread on chest and cover with a clean cloth. This will cure chest colds.

To prevent colds, keep a bottle of turpentine and touch the tongue to the liquid each day throughout the cold season and you won’t get a cold. (I had another aunt who followed this practice all her life, as she was a firm believer in the effectiveness of it.)

In the old days, catching the “Itch” at school frequently happened. The cure was applying a paste made from sulphur and lard. The smell must have been horrendous. My mother tells the story of the time she and her sister had the Itch and were undergoing this treatment. Because their home was a meeting place for area children catching the bus to school, their mother made them go upstairs into the attic while other children were waiting in the warm house below. Apparently they smelled so bad their mother didn’t want the other children exposed to the scent.
Coal oil – cousin of kerosene -was once used as an internal and topical home remedy as a general cure-all. People used it for coughs, flu, cuts, abrasions, and wounds. It was given internally by adding sugar, molasses, honey or some other substance to mask the taste, while topical applications were applied and applying a bandage, or by pouring the coal oil directly on the affected area. This is a strange one because coal oil is toxic!

Indian Lilac (also known as Neem) leaves was a cure for skin boils. There was a plant growing beside the well at my grandmother’s house, from which she picked leaves and placed over boils to cure them. I am not certain the plant was Indian Lilac; it is unfamiliar to me. If not Indian Lilac, it apparently was something in which she had confidence as a cure for boils.
Headache was treated by soaking willow trees limbs in water and drinking the liquid. The tree contains salicylic acid, which is basically the component of modern-day aspirin.

I once met an old woman in rural Clayton County, Georgia, who was knowledgeable of old-time folk medicine. She walked me through the woods once and pointed out various plants known to cure various ailments. I have long forgotten all she told me, though.

Early settlers in this country learned of folk remedies from the American Indians. So much of this knowledge is now lost in the wake of modern medicine. It is interesting, however, that many of our modern day medicines are based on the plants known by the people of olden days to cure ailments and disease.

What are some of the folk remedies you have heard of? Have you ever tried any of them?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Poppy - Part II

Because our grandfather was deceased by the time we younger grandchildren were born, he remains an elusive figure, someone who danced on the fringes as a secondary star but never had the starring role. I’m certain that was not the case, however, with his children or the older grandchildren -- who were in the same age group as his own children.
This may be the only picture that exists of Poppy as a young man. He's standing on the front of the wagon. The original photo exists with an uncle's family. This reproduction of the photo appeared in the local newspaper during the 1970s. Popppy appears to be a rather handsome young man!

For us, our grandmother was the rock of the family, around who all gathered for comfort during difficulties, for companionship in times of need, for camaraderie at times of celebration. She exercised a strong pull on the affections of not only family, but neighbors as well. If anyone didn't have a place to spend holidays or long Sunday afternoons , they showed up at Miz Bammie's.
Because she wore the robe of widowhood with such strength, resolve and determination, I’ve often wondered if she was that way by nature or if it was a trait developed out of necessity.  I firmly believe it was part of her DNA. Additionally, her mother would have been a strong role model – herself having been widowed and left with five children at the age of 33.

She was the glue that held the family together. Things were never the same after her death.

Maybe it was because of her strong presence in our lives that we never felt the absence of a grandfather. 

I don't recall a single photograph of Poppy on display in Mommie's house, not significant I'm sure because it’s doubtful he ever sat for a studio portrait (and people didn’t tend to display homemade pictures in frames then as they do today). Mommie never owned a camera and any photos from his past, if they existed at all, were likely stored in a box inside the dresser. Photographs of Poppy exist today because of ones made by his grown children.

For our knowledge of him, we have relied on the little verbal vignettes provided by the story tellers in our family. Too bad I didn’t have the foresight to question my older aunts about him before they were gone. But such it is with many things in life; we sometimes don’t know what we need or want until it is no longer available to us.

Poppy at one time owned and operated a general store that was located just “across the road” from the house where he and the family lived. The house was built shortly after he and my grandmother were married, in 1900.

I do not know the year he started the business, nor do I know the year of its demise. It definitely was operating in the late-1920s and 1930s, as my mother has knowledge of it. Items such as soap, nails, snuff, lard, thread, flour – basic necessities for country people – were sold there.

The scale Poppy used in his store, still pretty close to accurate after almost 100 years!
Although it is written on the face the scale is not legal for trade, I suppose in those days the scale was near enough accurate to be acceptable!

My mother well remembers, however, why the business failed:  People didn’t pay what they owed. During the Great Depression most people suffered, including rural people of the South. While they may have been fortunate to own farms and raise crops, certain items still were needed from shops.

Poppy was a kind and gentle man and it is said he couldn’t refuse his neighbors what they needed. I’ve heard an aunt say people would come to the store, tell what they needed and Poppy would at first refuse them if they couldn’t pay. But after they stated their sad case Poppy would tell them to go ahead and take what they needed. After this situation continued for some time, naturally he was forced to close the doors.

Mr. Schmidlkofer's page in Poppy's debit ledger.
Playing a large part in the store’s failure was the closure of a saw mill less than a mile away. It was owned and operated by a Mr. Schmidlkofer. It employed several men in the area who were left without jobs and could not pay their bills after the closure. Schmidlkofer skipped off, himself considerably in debt to Poppy. (To those interested, the saw mill was located across the road from the Sam Springer place, far back in the woods on the right side of the road. Another interesting fact: Schmidlkofer later operated the Yellow Taxi Service in Florence).

After his shop keeping days ended, Poppy returned to farming until ill health prevented him from any longer doing so. By this time, his two sons assumed the duty of raising the crops planted each year – primarily corn and cotton.

Poppy died April 12, 1941. He was buried on Easter, a day Mother says has always been a sad one for her.


Thanks to readers who may not generally be interested in my family history. But I've always approached my blog as somewhat of a daily diary - about what I'm thinking about on any particular day.

I don't write about what I think is a popular subject, what's "in" at the moment or to gain the admiration of certain audiences. Neither do I write to gain followers or garner glowing comments from readers (although I do indeed enjoy those who comment here!)

Blog posts you read here are subjects dear to my heart and if you enjoy reading them I am most grateful.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Poppy - Part I

In the previous post I told the story of our lost family – Poppy’s relatives about whom we ever knew anything. There’s more to come on that story, but I’m still sifting through papers getting the full story together. Meanwhile, I wish to tell more about Poppy himself, who was actually, in a way, lost to his second batch of grandchildren, as he died before we were born.
Mommie and Poppy, 1940.
 I wonder if this is the same felt hat he used to dip water from a spring and give to his two
daughters for a cool and refreshing drink?
My grandmother used to tell us that the first time she saw her future husband he was playing a banjo at a square dance. She didn’t provide any other details and I didn’t ask questions. (WHY didn’t I?) It’s only after we are older that we care to know about our family history, and it’s often already too late to ask those who would have known.

I have been able to learn quite a bit about Poppy from Mother. Also, I questioned two of my aunts and one of her older cousins while they were still alive.

Poppy’s  banjo hung on the wall in Mommie’s house for years, but I don’t know what happened to it. I also recall that Poppy’s gun rested above  the dining room door nestled in a rather primitive looking gun rack. I don’t know what became of it either. I hope someone in our family has these two items.

Poppy arrived in North Alabama riding a horse, traveling from Adamsville, Tenn, where his mother’s family, the Stantons, lived. I don’t know the date, but it was before 1900.

He came to work as a blacksmith for Mr. Jim Waddell (father of Ferris Waddell), whose shop was directly across the road from the house known in later years as the Sam Springer place. Poppy later owned and operated his own blacksmith shop just down the road, across from his own house. It was beside the little country store he also owned and operated.

After the store went out of business, the building was moved a bit further south and converted into a small house. It  was known to us as “The Little House.” George and Wilton Bowen lived there for a time, and it was later purchased by Aunt Myrtle and Uncle Andrew and they lived there until their deaths.

When Poppy was a storekeeper, his son Buster peddled supplies into the surrounding area, first via horse and wagon and later by truck. A shed was attached to the store and the truck was parked there when not in use.

Eggs and live chickens were exchanged by farmers for the supplies they needed from the store.  Once a week, on Saturday, Poppy traveled to Athens, some 18 miles away, to sell the eggs and chickens he had collected. It is unknown to us what sort of business took chicken and eggs and paid out cash.

Occasionally, he allowed Mother and her younger sister to accompany him to town for the transaction – a huge treat for them! Mother remembers a natural spring along the way where Poppy would stop, go to the water’s edge, scoop water into his felt hat and bring to them for a cooling and refreshing drink.

Another story told many times over about Poppy and his trips to Athens was the neighbor woman, Mrs. X, who ever so often showed up on Saturday mornings asking if she could hitch a ride to town. This happened a bit more often than he liked; however, he always grudgingly obliged.

One Saturday morning, perhaps when he was in a bad mood, he came to the kitchen for breakfast and was told by Mommy that Mrs. X, was waiting outside and hoping for a ride to town.

Poppy, never one to mince words, said in a very loud voice, “Why in the #&@)_$ does she want to go to Athens? So she can priss her a-- around town so everyone can see her?”

All the while, Mommie was trying to hush him, knowing that Mrs. X , sitting just outside the open kitchen door, could hear.

After his rant was finished, Mommie walked to the door and peered out, just in time to see Mrs. X, dressed up in her Sunday best, hastily making her way across the lawn, heading  in the direction of home.

Mother said it was the last time Mrs. X ever showed up on Saturday morning looking for a ride to town.


Another rather funny story is the one when Daddy’s car wouldn’t start and he engaged Poppy’s help. The car, an  old Plymouth, the first one Daddy owned, and it was plagued with problems. The year was about 1940, shortly after Mother and Daddy were married.

Daddy borrowed his brother’s car in an attempt to get the Plymouth running. His idea was that he’d get in his brother’s car and push the Plymouth until it started on its own. He asked Poppy to sit in the Plymouth driver’s seat. When Daddy began pushing from behind and the Plymouth started moving, Poppy was to mash the gas pedal, with the hope that the nudge from behind and giving it gas would make the old car start up.

The plan was working; the Plymouth was moving after being nudged from behind. Daddy yelled out the window for Poppy to give it some gas, which he did – more perhaps than was required. The car took off, leaving Daddy in a cloud of dust, when suddenly the canvass top blew completely off the Plymouth.

Poppy was able to get the car stopped. Daddy caught up with him and found Poppy sitting behind the wheel, a bit shaken. He uttered a few choice words and told Daddy he didn’t know what happened, but that all of a sudden it “lit up like hell in here,” he not yet realizing the top of the car was gone.

My daddy always loved to tell this story when I was a little girl! He told it many times and we always laughed so hard.

Mother said when Daddy told the story when Poppy was still alive, it always brought a big smile to Poppy's face. And he wasn't a man who smiled often.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Lost Family

Samuel VanBuren Howell
I never knew my grandfather, Samuel  VanBuren “Vannie” Howell, born in 1874. He died a few years before I was born and I only knew him through the stories about him told by my grandmother, mother and her siblings.

Poppy, as he was called by grandchildren and his older children, outlived his mother by only two years. His wife, my grandmother (Mommie) lived on for more than 30 years as a widow after his death in 1942.

From what I gathered, Poppy wasn't a larger-than-life character. He had a quick temper but was generally a quiet, hard-working man who minded his own business. He was a blacksmith, a farmer, a shopkeeper (more about this in later posts).

His childhood was undoubtedly difficult. His father died when he was a baby - killed with a baseball bat by a man in Elkton, Tenn. This fact raises a plethora of questions, the answers to which no one seems to have.

Was it an accident? Deliberate? We don't even know where he was buried.

When I became interested in learning more, I asked my mother and two of her sisters who were still living at the time about it. They knew absolutely nothing about the death of their grandfather beyond what’s stated above.

Did my grandmother know the details? Did Poppy? Certainly HIS mother knew. Did she share the details? That would have been Great-Grandma Varnell, who remarried after her husband’s death and raised another family. She died in 1940.

My mother and aunts said they never remembered their grandfather’s death being discussed other than how he died.

Over the past forty or so years, a few of our family members attempted to follow this mysterious trail and learn more. They visited Elkton, Tenn., searched county courthouse records, talked to old people who were living at the time. But nothing was unearthed.

In the mid-1990, when I became interested in the subject and vigorously pursued leads, I was able to locate via the Internet a woman in Colorado who provided heretofore unknown information. It seems my great-grandfather was a widower when he married Great-Grandma Varnell (Poppy’s mother). Not only that, he had four or five children (it’s in my records and I have to look before I post next time). After his wife died, one of his brothers took his children to raise.

All were living in Tennessee at the time, but the brother eventually moved to Texas, taking my great-grandfather’s children with him.

Here was the definitive link. The records of the woman in Colorado listed my great-grandfather as having remarried Georgia Ann Stanton (Great-Grandma Varnell) and that’s the last her records show of him. She was unaware of our branch of the family.

Amazing! Poppy had half-brothers and half-sisters! Did he not know about them? I am guessing he did not!

All this makes me feel weird – like I unearthed information that was not mine to know. If Poppy didn’t know, then why should we, more than a hundred years after the fact? 

Through the miracle of technology we are able to communicate and learn things in ways unknown to people of the past.

And something else that strikes me is this: people in olden days didn’t discuss the past if the subject was difficult or painful. Life was hard and they just had to get on with it in order to survive - literally.

I love a mystery and solving one, so learning this heretofore unknown information was quite satisfying.

In future posts I’ll be relating additional details about this “lost family.” The lady in Colorado actually sent me a copy of her family genealogy which documented the existence of my great-grandfather and his “first” family.

While this post is perhaps not so interesting to readers far and wide, I know that my extended family – some of whom are readers here – will enjoy this subject.

Thank you for indulging me to tell this story!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Old Books

Here I go again, posting from the iPad. No collages today; instead testing out filters to give different tonal qualities

I find old books interesting. I pulled these from my bookshelves, textbooks from elementary school days. I love the pictures! Most aren't photographs but reproduced paintings The color, the detail, the nostalgia makes them so very special. At least to me. 

Following are a few examples of what I found between the covers of these half-century-old books. The next to last photo is from one of my mother's grade school books, an Elson reader published in 1929.  All pictures are black and white. I have shown one from the fairy tale Rumpelstiltskin. Oh how I remember and loved that one as a child!

(And by the way, something that should be simple -- finding a way to insert my text between pictures -- has escaped me. Maybe with a bit more practice I'll figure it out.)

I'm finding posting this way has some advantages, like being faster. 

So I would ordinarily type this at the bottom but cannot:

Tell me if you like old books. Perhaps none so ragged as these but antique books that are collectibles.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Few Things from the Garden

Not much to brag about yet but I did find a few things in the garden today. As you can see I'm experimenting with various collage apps and here's what I have been able to do so far. Further I'm trying, only for the second time, doing a post on iPad. It feels different and awkward but I'm giving it a go!

Hyacinth (center); daffodils (top); hellebores (bottom).

Little concrete bunny with perennial moss that spreads like wildfire and is among the first things to emerge each spring. 

A succulent plant that has survived, at left, and daffodils scattered around the front lawn. 

An old house, now abandoned and near where I live, has a front lawn literally covered with the old-fashioned and common daffodils seen so frequently throughout the countryside. 

I gathered a bouquet of many varieties of daffodils from mother's garden and took them inside for her. Here she is proudly holding the vase. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

For the Fragrance Garden: You Must Have This

No fragrance garden is complete without Lonicera fragrantissima, a species of flowering plant in the honeysuckle family known by the common names winter honeysuckle, fragrant honeysuckle, January jasmine, and sweet breath of spring.

In previous years, it has bloomed in January. But because of an unusually cold winter it has just flowered.

You don't have to search the garden to know when they have bloomed, even if they are hidden away in some remote part of your garden: your nose will lead you straight to this deciduous shrub.

Not every plant has it all, and winter honeysuckle doesn't get high marks for shape or form. Its stiff branches grow at weird angles. The photos below show mine today, before the leaves have emerged and the tree leaves cleaned away from the base.

Even after it leafs out, the winter honeysuckle is not a handsome plant. But now that I've told you all the negatives, I'll tell you why it's so great having one, or several.

You cannot believe how fragrant they are! It's difficult to describe, different from wild honeysuckle, not as sweet, but richer and fuller.

To go outdoors and be greeted by this lovely scent will make your day!

I have three plants, strategically planted around the property so that I'm never out of range of the smell when they are in bloom. I started with one plant, but sprouts came up and I dug them up and transplanted two. I gave away a few as well.

Once I rake away the leaves, I'm going to see if there any new babies that have formed. I long for a row of this plant along the fence line at the back of the house.

Now please excuse me while I go get high on the scent of winter honeysuckle!

Friday, March 14, 2014

March is the Cruelest Month

image via Pinterest

I must differ with T.S. Eliot, whose poem "The Waste Land,” widely regarded as one of the most important poems of the 20th century, declared the distinction belonged to April.

I’ve always thought March to be the cruelest -- because it teases us, taunts us, tricks us. At least that's the case where I live. 

Oh sure, it’s not the coldest; we have December, January and February to thank for that. But come March, we are teased with tantalizing warm days here and there. We peer and see a few green sprigs and declare, “Ah, spring can’t be far behind.”

But arising from warm beds and gazing on a gloomy and bleak landscape outside our window, we find hungry cardinals pecking at the frozen earth and waiting to be fed. Winds gnash against the window pane, we sigh and say, “perhaps tomorrow.”

March ekes out a few warm days. In the house or car it appears warm enough to don gloves and tools and go dig in the garden. But upon stepping outside the cold wind whips across our face and we race back indoors.

Are we wishing our lives away, waiting for the next good thing? Aren’t we to enjoy what each and every moment brings? I chastise myself, remove my coat and grab a book……And dream of a warmer day tomorrow.

When I can gather a few sweet flowers.

Thursday, March 13, 2014


I have my mind on Blue today
.The color blue has long been a favorite of mine. I once wore quite a bit of blue clothing, and used blue in the decorating scheme of one house I lived in. But not any more, for some reason.

However, I still enjoy blues in other situations. For instance in the garden:



Bachelor's Buttons, or Cornflower
And of course, hydrangea, one of my favorites.

A touch of blue is nice in outdoor spaces,
 complementing the shades in the sky

You could always decorate your Easter table in blue

Or sew blue buttons on your jacket

How about a pair of blue shoes?

Blue nails, anyone?

 Blue ornaments for the Christmas tree?

Or the sweetest of all, blue-eyed animals? Aren't these adorable?

From the Website Bourne Creative:

"Blue represents both the sky and the sea, and is associated with open spaces, freedom, intuition, imagination, expansiveness, inspiration, and sensitivity. Blue also represents meanings of depth, trust, loyalty, sincerity, wisdom, confidence, stability, faith, heaven, and intelligence.

The color blue has positive affects on the mind and the body. As the color of the spirit, it invokes rest and can cause the body to produce chemicals that are calming and exude feelings of tranquility. Blue helps to slow human metabolism, is cooling in nature, and helps with balance and self-expression. Blue is also an appetite suppressant.

However not all blues are serene and sedate. Electric or brilliant blues become dynamic and dramatic, an engaging color that expresses exhilaration. Also, some shades of blue or the use of too much blue may come across as cold or uncaring, and can dampen spirits.

Blue can be strong and steadfast or light and friendly. Blue is used to symbolize piety and sincerity in heraldry. The color blue in many cultures is significant in religious beliefs, brings peace, or is believed to keep the bad spirits away. In Iran, blue is the color of mourning while in the West the something blue bridal tradition represents love.

The blue color communicates significance, importance, and confidence without creating somber or sinister feelings. This is where the corporate blue power suit and the blue uniforms of police officers and firefighter came from. Considered a highly corporate color, blue is often associated with intelligence, stability, unity, and conservatism.

Too much blue can create feelings of melancholy, negativity, sadness, self-righteousness, and self-centeredness. Too little blue brings about qualities of suspicion, depression, stubbornness, timidity, and unreliability.

Blue gemstones are believed to aid in creating calm and relaxation in crisis situations or chaotic situations, to open the flow of communication between loved ones, to feel genuinely inspired, and to gain the courage to speak from the heart."

Different shades, tints, and hues of blue have different meanings. For example, dark blue can be seen as elegant, rich, sophisticated, intelligent, and old-fashioned, royal blue can represent superiority, and light blue can mean honesty and trustworthiness.

So what color are you feeling today? What is your favorite color?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Morning Dreams

Image via Pinterest
 After waking up at 3 a.m. and wandering around the house a few hours, I finally went back to bed at 7. It was a light sleep and when I finally opened my eyes two hours later I thought I hadn’t slept at all. A few seconds later, however, the dream came to me vividly.

I received a phone call from a friend, who asked that I meet her at a designated location.  I told her I couldn’t, that I was still in my nightclothes and hadn’t brushed my hair or teeth. She insisted, said it was quite important and that I should leave immediately. I said I would.

I met her, thinking we would sit in my car so I could find out what was on her mind. Instead, she urged me to walk with her down a hill to a picnic table where a large number of people had gathered. I asked her if she knew all these people would be there. She said she did.

I became angry with her, told her she had tricked me and turned on my heel to walk away.

I somehow ended up in a large hotel room, where many other people seemed to be having a party.  Suddenly, there was granddaughter Katie and her mom. I immediately reached for the baby but she was a bit fussy and I tried several ways to pacify her. I finally lay down on the floor and placed her on my chest, all the while noticing how dirty the floor was.

I got up, Baby Katie on my hip, and opened the bathroom door. There inside, instead of a toilet seat, was a beehive with thousands of honey bees swarming all around. Starring up at me from the floor were two of the strangest looking cats I’d ever seen, but the bees didn’t seem to be bothering them.

I quickly closed the door and someone walked over and explained that the owner was trying to find a home for the cats.

Meanwhile I handed Katie back to her mom and gathered my bag to leave. For some reason I had removed my jewelry and placed it on a shelf.  As I retrieved it I noticed a glass jar containing all of my friend’s jewelry as well.

I took the jar and set off in search for her. I found her back at the picnic table having a grand time with her friends. I handed her the jewelry, turned and walked away without a word.

The last of the dream I remember was angrily driving away.


Those skilled and knowledgeable in the field of psychology tell us that our subconscious minds never rest, and that dreams are the conscious mind’s way of working out things and solving problems. Dreams are not to be literally interpreted but each symbol stands for something else.

Some dreams are vague and cannot be remembered and/or pieced together when we are awake. Others are so vivid that it feels you actually lived it. This dream falls into the latter category.

I wonder what it means, or if I should just forget it.

I have tried to make connections of why I dreamed such a strange one. Sometimes I can; this time I cannot (except for the presence of cats in the dream, but I am definitely NOT trying to find them a new home!)

Do you believe that dream interpretation is valid? Are you a regular dreamer? Do some dreams stay on your mind for quite a while after the fact? 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I Can Read Your Mind

How about a bit of whimsy today? I have another riddle for you.

This one is EASY, not like the Einstein Riddle I posted here.

It will take you less than a minute to arrive at the correct answer. But you might be left wondering why I know your answer!

    Choose a number from 1 to 10
      Multiply that number by 9
        If the number is a 2-digit number, add the digits together
          Now subtract 5
            Determine which letter in the alphabet corresponds to the number you ended up with (example: 1=a, 2=b, 3=c, etc.)
              Think of a country that starts with that letter
                Remember the last letter of the name of that country
                  Think of the name of an animal that starts with that letter
                    Remember the last letter in the name of that animal
                      Think of the name of a fruit that starts with that letter.

                      Are you thinking of a Kangaroo in Denmark eating an Orange?

                      If you're among the 2% of the population whose minds "think alike," all of you will arrive at this same answer.
                      No, I don't really read minds. Come back tomorrow for an explanation of why this works. Or perhaps you yourself have already determined that!

                      If you can't wait, an explanation is here.
                      This is great to share with children -- for them to use on their friends!

                      I can't help it; I just love riddles and puzzles.

                      Please, do share below your results. Have you previously seen this riddle?

                      And oh, by the way, that photo at the top: Captain Kangaroo (Bob Keeshan), of course!

                      (Captain Kangaroo was an American children's television series which aired weekday mornings on American television for nearly 30 years, from October 3, 1955 until December 8, 1984, making it the longest-running nationally broadcast children's television program of its day.)

                      Wednesday, March 5, 2014

                      26 Best Beauty Products of All Time

                      The March 2014 issue of Real Simple magazine features 26 beauty products that have stood the test of time. Three hundred experts, including Real Simple readers, editors and industry pros have chosen the winners.

                      Why? "Because they are wonderful -- and they work."

                      Take a look at the list and if you have opinions on any of these products, please share them in your comment.

                      1. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair
                      2. Calgon Bubble Bath
                      3. Q-tips
                      4. Dove Beauty Bar
                      5. Vaseline
                      6. ChapStick
                      7. Oil of Olay Beauty Fluid
                      8. Pond's Cold Cream

                      9.  Aquaphor (healing ointment)
                      10. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
                      11. Clinique Facial Soap Bar
                      12. Biore Strips (blackhead remover)

                      13. AquaNet (hairspray)
                      14. Dippity-do (styling gel)
                      15. Johnson's Baby Shampoo
                      16. John Frieda Frizz Ease
                      17. Clairol Professional Shimmer Lights Shampoo
                      18. Aveda Shampure (shampoo)
                      19. Herbal Essences Shampoo

                      20. Coty Airspun Face Powder
                      21. Chanel No. 5 (perfume)
                      22. White Diamonds Elizabeth Taylor (perfume)
                      23. MAC Cosmetics Lip Pencil in Spice
                      24. Maybelline New York Great Lash Mascara
                      25. Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage (concealer)
                      26. Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker (lip gloss)

                      The items in bold are ones I've used -- many of them, such as Oil of Olay, Herbal Essences Shampoo,Clinique Facial Soap, AquaNet and Dippity-do -- years ago.

                      Q-tips, Dove Soap, Vaseline, Aveda Shampoo and Chanel No. 5 are the items I currently buy/use.

                      I wouldn't mind trying the MAC lip pencil and Laura Mercier camouflage.

                      It's an interesting list; most of the products are quite inexpensive.

                      I don't subscribe to Real Life but occasionally pick up an issue. They have interesting articles. You can check them out online here.

                      Do you see anything on the list you like or use? Are you tempted to try any now they are rated so highly by Real Life?

                      What are some of your favorite magazines? Are you a subscriber or just occasionally purchase a copy?
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