Thursday, December 24, 2020

WE WISH YOU A

Glaedelig Jul Veselé VánoceFeliz NavidadBuon Natale Feliz NatalVrolijk kerstfeest

Joyeux Noël Frohe Weinachten

And From Franklin and Penelope

Merry Kissmas







Tuesday, December 22, 2020

A BIG CHRISTMAS SURPRISE, AND NO, IT'S NOT A PENIS, MISTRESS MADDIE

 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I spent more than an hour on Monday with a dear friend I met in high school. Other old friends have fallen by the wayside, but she is extra special and we've managed to stay in touch without seeing each other face to face. We talked over the telephone about The Cheeto in The White House, and discussed shows we've been watching on streaming services. 

She didn't reveal that a surprise was on its way. This afternoon I awoke from a nap and saw a gigantic box on the doorstep of The Little House On The Swamp. I sighed and thought, Another box delivered that's not for me. We'll have to get it to the correct address.

But it was addressed to me! Dear Friend sent me a gift!!!!

The box is beautiful:


And here are the contents:




It's the mother lode of cookies from Cheryl's! If you've never had their treats, then I can assure you they're delicious. 

I love this nativity scene that Carol gave me, but Baby Jesus better not try to take my cookies:


The scene rests on a red placemat provided by Carol. And the red placemat rests on a Christmas table topper that I embroidered. I guess a table topper is different from a tablecloth, but I don't know why the package said Table Topper To Embroider. Did you swing by Mitchell's place to catch the discussion of bread-and-butter plates? It became so  lively that it continued the next day.

After I opened the box, I saw a text from Dear Friend warning me that a box had been delivered so I'd better grab it before Porch Pirates saw it. We've only had package thieves in the hood once. They followed the UPS truck and snatched parcels within minutes of their arrival. They made the mistake, though, of also taking children's bicycles from their yard. Mom called the police, and three cars filled with cops showed up to stop those nasty Christmas stealers.

Now Favorite Young Man and I pronounce ourselves amazed by the vast quantity of cookies in our humble home. Thank you, Dear Friend.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug









TIP TUESDAY CONUNDRUM: WOULD N'T COULD N'T SHOULD N'T

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Lovely Joanne who blogs at Cup On The Bus, asked a question in her comment on Franklin's most recent post:

Ask your mom about this, Franklin. I'm currently reading The Song of the Lark, Willa Cather, 1915. I'm seeing all contractions written as would n't, could n't, should n't, etc. Can she sometime write a little history of when the space between d and n elided?

Franklin responded by saying he was sure that I would do it, but I'm afraid Franklin spoke too soon. I don't know the answer and can't find it in any of my grammar texts or through online research.

I recall seeing contractions written in this way from reading My Antonia, also by Willa Cather, for a class on American novels that I took long ago.

If it was commonly done at the time, however, I do not remember seeing it in other books from the early 1900s. Perhaps they had been updated, or I didn't notice the space. My Antonia is so beautifully written that it has always stood out to me.

So, how about it, Brilliant Friends? Do any of you know the answer to Joanne's question? Feel free to show off your knowledge. 

And if you feel the need for lovely, cotton tea towels, Joanne weaves them. You can see her offerings at Everything Old Is New Again


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug








Friday, December 18, 2020

FRANKLIN FRIDAY: WE GOTS KISSMAS LIGHTS!

Hi! Hi Hi Hi! Hi! It's me! It's me! Its memememememe! Franklin, the Bordernese. For Kissmas, let's have a cheese ball, if you please.

I don't have no balls, but that's okay. I don't need 'em. Do you have balls? I've noticed Mom doesn't have any. Maybe Human Brother does, but I've never seen him in the shower.


That's enough ball talk. I wanna show you Kissmas lights at our house. I have to write today because Santa Paws will be here soon. Then I'll be busy with new toys and treats and fun stuff to do. I wonder if Mom will bake peanut butter doggy biscuits. Those are my favorite food. We always put some out for Santa Paws.

Wow! It's hard for me to think straight when I know Santa Paws will be here next week.

Did you know Penlapee pooped in the living room when it thundered a few days ago? snicker snort  That Penlapee.

Here's our Kissmas tree in the living room. Good thing Penlapee didn't poop on that. We need the tree so Santa can put our presents underneath it. It's kinda hard to see in pictures. I think I could take better pictures than Mom does, but she says I can't use the camera because I don't have posable thums. I don't know what that means. I tried to pose Mom's thums and it didn't work.



 We have new lights, too. Human Brother gots lights that can go outdoors so he put them on the house. They are sooooooo pretty.




Here's me at the front door. I help by watching. When I sound the alarm, Penlapee joins me. We say so when a human person and a human dog walk by. We talk about cats, too. I don't like cats. Mom thinks they're nice. I don't know why.


Okay! Okay! Okay! Now you've seen our lights so go home. Go back to your home or me and Penlapee will bark at you.

Okay. I love you. Bye-bye.

Friday, December 11, 2020

PENELOPE SPEAKS: YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT I HAVE

 It's me it's me it's me. It's Penelope. Wait till you see what I have!

Mom Mom told Santa Paws that it's cold and he brought me an early present. It's a new sweater!!!!!

It has the body of a penguin on my back and then my head sticks out of the opening so it looks like I'm a penguin. Mom Mom said I'm the most adorable penguin in the world. Human Brother called me Peneloguin. Then he said I'm CUTE! I wonder if being cute will make me fly like the reindeer on the TV.


I bet I'll fly the next time Human Brother says I'm cute. I almost flew in the backyard already because I ran fast fast fast in a big circle around the yard WHILE I WAS WEARING MY NEW SWEATER!

I'm a happy penguin. Happy happy happy.

Would you like to see a picture of me as a penguin? You know penguins are cute.

Wait a minute. You should see a penguin first because you might not have ever seen a penguin.


See? Penguins like art. I bet I'll get invited to an art museum now that I'm Peneloguin.

Okay. Here's a picture of me that Mom Mom took after I got tired and needed a rest from running in circles around the yard.


Wow. I am cute. I'm sure I'll fly soon.

I thought of something else. This isn't the way I write. I'd better write the way I usually write or you might think I'm Franklin.

Hello. It is I, Penelope. 

No, Peneloguin! I don't care about writing the way I usually do. Let's have fun and fly!

Bye! See you soon! I know Santa Paws will bring more presents for me on Kissmas and I hope every present will be new clothes for me to wear because I'm CUTE!

Thursday, December 10, 2020

DON'T THROW OUT YOUR CRACKED TUPPERWARE

 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I have Tupperware™ I've owned for 40 years. Yeah, I'm old. 

I love Tupperware. It's pretty and it provides a good, airtight seal. Please don't write comments about how you hate Tupperware because you had a container that ate your cat or broke a guest's leg and the person sued you. Whatever. I take Tupperware's side in all complaints. I don't care about your cat or your guest.

I feel fussy tonight. I was going to write about all the reasons I'm fussy, but decided to write about Tupperware instead because I try not to dwell on negativity. hahahahaha The joke's on you because I always dwell on negativity.

And please don't call the plastic containers you can buy in the grocery store or Wal-Mart or Target or The Dollar Store Tupperware. They are not Tupperware. I seldom let my Tupperware out of my sight. I allowed Willy Dunne Woofers to take my Tupperware home with him because he returned it to my gaze every time. Willy Dunne Woofers and I broke up a long time ago, and after the big event, he actually returned my Tupperware. Left it on the doorstep where my cracked, broken body lay.

Well, anyway. Tupperware. Yeah, Tupperware. After 30 or so years, some of the lids for my Tupperware cracked, split, broke. Became useless. Like me.

But the great thing about Tupperware is that you can call them and get replacements for the shipping/handling fee of $5.75.

When I made my most recent request for new lids, Tupperware no longer stocked the lids I needed. Makes sense since my Tupperware is 75 or maybe even 100 years old, as am I.

Here's my new Tupperware. Greet it kindly, please. Its feelings are easily hurt.


Favorite Young Man asked if we're going to leave the new Tupperware on the dining room table or put food in it. Definitely leave it on the dining room table.

These particular containers are called Freezer Mates. They're not cheap. I looked them up. I received more than a hundred dollars worth of them for calling 1-800-TUPPERWARE and giving the customer service person the model numbers from my no longer happy lids, which I did not toss in the garbage. Boy, am I ever superior.

Okay. Well, I guess that's it for now, so I'll go back to feeling fussy in the privacy of my own little home.

Oh, yeah. I should add this tidbit: Don't be afraid of me. I do not sell Tupperware and will not try to talk you into having a Tupperware party.

Infinities of love,

Fussy The Same Way Babies Are Fussy Janie Junebug

Maybe I'm hungry or my diaper needs to be changed. Or maybe I want to be held.











Tuesday, December 8, 2020

TIP TUESDAY: WHICH OR THAT

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Yesterday was Pearl Harbor Day, a day of remembrance that most people probably no longer observe. 


I confess that years after hearing Roosevelt's speech, I finally realize that he said "a date which will live in infamy," while I always thought it was "a day."

Of course, Penelope knew it was date.

My word choice question, however, concerns which or that.

If I wrote the speech, I would use "a date that will live in infamy." But my grammar texts tell me that, although many writers prefer that, which is acceptable.

Do you prefer which or that?

Infinities of love,
Janie Junebug









Friday, December 4, 2020

PENELOPE SPEAKS: I LEARNED TO VOTE

 Hello. It is I, Penelope. 

During November, all Mom Mom and Human Brother talked about was voting. Everyone should vote, they said. What is this voting? I demanded.

Mom Mom said, Voting is about making important decisions.

So I voted. I voted for more kibble in my bowl. I voted for Human Brother to share his tortilla chips with me. I voted for sunshine on a rainy day. I voted for Mom Mom to add DogTV to the satellite dish. I voted for Franklin to disappear.

My votes did not get me what I wanted. I will not give up.

It is cold. I must wear my sweater, but honestly! It is so last winter.


Mom Mom purchased some new clothes for me at Target, the fancy store for dogs. I tried them on and they were too small.

Mom Mom said, Penelope, you need to lose a few pounds.

So I vote for the pounds to go away. I am certain that this vote will come to fruition and I will be in my new clothes by Kissmas.

Good luck with that vote, Penelope, Mom Mom said.

I think she was being sarcastic. 

That is all. Goodbye.

Friday, November 27, 2020

MOVIE WEEKEND: HILLBILLY ELEGY

 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Has anyone else watched Hillbilly Elegy (2020) on Netflix streaming? I'm a little confused by it.


Hillbilly Elegy is based on the 2016 memoir by J.D. Vance, a book I haven't read in which I now feel interested. Glenn Close (Mamaw--Vance's grandmother), Amy Adams (Bev--Vance's mother), Gabriel Basso (adult J.D.), and Owen Asztalos (young J.D.) inhabit their roles––an ability I admire tremendously. Everyone else in the movie is great, too.  Ron Howard directs.

Adult J.D. has to leave Yale Law School, where he seeks a summer internship with a prestigious law firm that will pay him enough money to allow him to stay in school, to return to the town where he grew up, because his mother overdosed on heroin. We also see numerous flashbacks to J.D.'s younger years as he struggled to deal with his abusive mother and the addictions that apparently began when she was a nurse in a hospital and stole pain pills.

Young J.D.'s crusty, tough grandmother took him in and scared away his bad friends. She demands he pay attention to his schoolwork:

Mamaw: I don't care you hate me. I ain't in it for popularity. You gotta take care of business, go to school, get good grades to even have a chance.

So, what bothers me about the movie?

Does it magnify stereotypes or reflect real life? Mamaw and Bev deal with abusive men, never have enough money (it bugs me that Mamaw smokes like a chimney yet lacks funds), spout profanity constantly, and are quite nasty themselves. Mamaw gets rid of her cruel, drunk husband, but he lives down the street and they spend some time together. Bev goes from one bad man to another. 

Real life: physical and emotional abuse exist and the cycle is hard to break, lots of people remain addicted to smoking no matter the consequences, drug and alcohol abuse are a never-ending problem, many people curse, and plenty of people are nasty. Mamaw and Bev probably would have been Trump supporters. 

I hope you can see why I ask for your opinions of the movie. 'Tis a conundrum for this Junebug. 


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug 


: I don't care you hate me. I ain't in it for popularity. You gotta take care of business, go to school, get good grades to even have a chance.  

Thursday, November 26, 2020

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM A GRATEFUL JUNEBUG

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Everyone knows that 2020 has been a tough year. We're all afraid of getting the Corona Virus, but we're tired of wearing masks. We're tired of the folks who refuse to wear masks or who put on the masks but don't cover their noses. Some of us have even lost a family member or a friend to the horrible virus. The United States went through a tough presidential election. Those who voted for Donald Trump are disappointed. Businesses closed––some never to reopen. Unemployment rages. Plenty of people can't pay the rent or the mortgage. Some don't have enough to eat. Food banks struggle to help. 

I have it relatively easy. I have food. I can pay the mortgage. I don't go to stores unless I must, which has happened only twice in the past month. Franklin and I continue to go for walks to the neighborhood park, where we can stay well away from peeps. 

I have many reason to be grateful, including the following:

  • We'll have the vaccine soon. Healthcare workers will receive it first, which is as it should be. I have no fear of getting that shot.
  • Joe Biden was elected. That says it all for me about the election.
  • After two-and-a-half years, I resigned from my job. When I applied and Human Resources questioned my experience with Janie Junebug Righting and Editing, so many of you emailed HR to let them know that, yes, I assisted you with your writing. I'll always be thankful for that. Now I'm glad not to be there anymore. I prefer editing. Maybe I'll come across another job with health insurance.
  • Favorite Young Man and I will eat Thanksgiving dinner together today.
  • I'm on a different antidepressant, which improves my mood.
  • I love my children. I love my friends. I love Franklin and Penelope. I love you.

Here's something cool. Sherry Ellis of Mama Diaries sent me a copy of her second middle-grade book, Bubba and Squirt's Mayan Adventure, published by Dancing Lemur Press. I love Sherry. I love her writing. I'm thankful she allows me to edit her work. She presents a great learning experience for young readers. I hope you'll consider ordering a copy for your favorite- or not-so-favorite child (I don't earn anything for promoting the book; I'm happy to do it).


Doesn't the cover look great?

I'm super-proud of Sherry for her persistence in getting her work published.

Now, how about the rest of you turkeys? Whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving today, why are you grateful? What will you eat for dinner? I pray that each and every one of you has a safe home, a good meal to eat, and someone to love.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug





Tuesday, November 3, 2020

THE BIG DAY

 Dear Hearts: Will it take until this baby is grown up for us to have an election result?

Will Bernie Sanders become president if you don't vote? I swear Robyn wouldn't vote if it meant that her beloved Bernie could be president. 



But I suspect that a lot of us have already mailed our ballots or dropped them in a ballot box. I voted early by mail and was able to confirm that my vote was received and counted.

It's still an important day, though, so if you aren't among those of us who have voted, please get your butt out to your polling place.

I wish Carol had run for president. She'd be the best one ever.



Carol has already voted. Now, how about you?







Monday, November 2, 2020

A NEW ROUND OF DOGGY TOY SNEAKERY

 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's been a while since I wrote about the game of Doggy Toy Sneakery, but this is a good time to bring it up because the game changed Saturday night. We have a new player.

Doggy Toy Sneakery has always been a game between Franklin and me. Each autumn when it cools off––as it is now––Franklin picks up a doggy toy. He's furtive about it. Very sneaky, as if he's a secret agent.

He takes the toy to the backyard. I go out to pick it up and bring it back in the house.

Sometimes I don't see that he's taken a toy, but I discover it when I go out back. As usual, it comes back in the house so he can take it out again.

Saturday night, Franklin picked up a green ring toy. I watched with joy as he took it outside.

The game had begun!

But Penelope also watched. Within minutes she marched outside and brought the toy back in, where it has remained thus far.

I shall keep you apprised of any updates on the game.

It's been a joy to finally see Penelope gain confidence and develop relationships with other people. It started with the lovely lady who lives across the street. Penelope allowed herself to be touched because the lovely lady kept her back to Penelope but held her hands behind her. Penelope responded by touching her hand. Soon she allowed complete petting.

Then Penelope bloomed while Carol was living with me. Penelope trotted in and out of Carol's bedroom all day long. Carol responded by sharing snacks with Penelope. The snacks and love from Carol helped Penelope to open up the same way my tea roses do.


Isn't this the sweet face of a happy little girl?













And here's the face of a sneaky boy.

It's time to shop for Penelope's winter wardrobe. She'll be pleased to have new clothes.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

You know what to do this week if you haven't already done it:






Thursday, October 29, 2020

THE TRUTH ABOUT COUSINS

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I made such a mess of the post about second cousins. It was too long and too complicated. At first I thought I'd rewrite the post and break it up into two posts and then do third cousins.

Then I realized that we'd all be better off if I share the comment made by 

Jean, who blogs at  DelightfulRepast.com and describes herself as "an amateur genealogist from way back."

She simplified the cousin issue for me, so I can simplify it for you.

Here's what she said:

Sibling 1----------------Sibling 2 = Siblings


Child of Sibling 1-----------Child of Sibling 2 = 1st Cousins


Grandchild of Sibling 1--Grandchild of Sibling 2 = 2nd Cousins


Great Grand of Sibling 1-Great Grand Sibling 2 = 3rd Cousins

Now how about if we say thank you to Jean and leave it at that? We're all cousins of some sort.

Thank you, Jean!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug




Tuesday, October 20, 2020

TIP TUESDAY: WHO'S YOUR SECOND COUSIN?

I screwed the pooch with this post. I'm going to rewrite the info about how we're related to various people.



Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Last week on TIP TUESDAY we learned about first cousins and first cousins, once removed. If you missed out on that lesson, you can click HERE. I should also add something I missed last week: Your first cousin once removed is your first cousin's child, but your first cousin, once removed can also be your parent's first cousin.  I apologize for leaving out the part about the parent's first cousin. 

Now, as I promised, we move on to second cousins. My dad had a first cousin named Helen, who lived in Minnesota. She and her husband Gordon were lots of fun. We loved visiting them because we got to sleep in the attic, which had been Helen's mother's apartment before the mom went toes up. 

Helen was my first cousin, once removed

Helen and Gordon had one daughter named Carol (not to be confused with my good friend Carol). As my parent's first cousin's child, Carol is my second cousin

Carol never had children, so that ends her story––for our purposes.

Let's try my dad's cousin Maxine instead. She lived in Denver. I don't remember the names of her husband or all of their children with the exception of a boy named Jeff, who was older than I was and very nice. Maxine was my first cousin, once removed, and Jeff is my second cousin.

Furthermore, I know that Jeff got married and had children. Because Jeff is my second cousin, his children are my second cousins, once removed. Note: At first I said Twice Removed, and then a lovely lady corrected me.

The next part sounds kinda tricky to me. My Grandma Goltz, whose name was Frances Esther Weber Goltz, was the oldest of seven sisters. The seven sisters had seven brothers. That's a lot of family. 

Grandma's mother, who not only popped out a boatload of children, also had plenty of second cousins (her parent's first cousin's child or children). Grandma's second cousins were also my second cousins, once removed.

Are we clear on second cousins and second cousins, once removed? 

I hope so. 

Next week we'll finish up with third cousins. I can't go any further than that.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


Now you know why I'm not a genealogist.
It's too complicated.


Friday, October 16, 2020

RICK WATSON IS GONE

The sky is bluer

The clouds marshmallows

 Rick has gone to his glory.


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

As you're aware if you visit my blog regularly––or try to visit––I haven't blogged much this year. In fact, I haven't blogged a lot for a couple of years. When I did blog regularly, something I counted on every day was reading Rick Watson's blog posts. 

But I didn't blog much for quite some time. When I resumed posting recently, I kept wondering, Where's Rick? I went to his blog and read that he'd had an infection back in July. Then he seemed to disappear.

I tried to email him as I had so many times before and didn't get a response. I didn't think to visit Jilda's blog. Then I asked the big question in the comments on my most recent blog post: Where's Rick Watson? Elephant's Child very kindly answered to let me know that Rick had died and Jilda is struggling without him. 

Rick and Jilda met in high school and were married for close to 50 years. I know that she adored him, and he absolutely adored her. Based on my dealings with him, I'd describe Rick as kind, compassionate, calm.

I'm glad to be able to say that I reviewed and promoted his books and sent a few friends to read his blog and they became his followers. His writing was a cool, gentle breeze in a blazing world.

After I read Jilda's description of his illness and death, I sobbed. Simply sobbed. Cried harder than I had in years. Someone I never met, yet he was such a good friend.

Rick Watson was the kind of man who made the world a better place. It is a lesser place without him. 

Rick, I haiku you.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug




Thursday, October 15, 2020

MOVIE WEEKEND: DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Last weekend on Netflix Streaming I watched a documentary that I loved. Actually, we're talkin' LOVED! It's called Dick Johnson Is Dead (2020 PG-13).  I laughed and I cried over this chronicle by filmmaker Kirsten Johnson that celebrates the life of her beloved father, Dr. Dick Johnson, while she helps him––and probably helps herself at the same time––prepare for his death.

Dr. Johnson was a long-time Seattle psychiatrist until dementia forced him into retirement. He's also a widower: Kirsten's mother died from Alzheimer's Disease (and I swear to God the next time I hear someone say Altimer's . . . well, I don't know what I'll do). 

When it was no longer safe for him to live alone, Kirsten helped him move to New York City to live with her and her two children. But she also came up with an idea to ease her anxiety over losing him and to help him get used to the idea of dying: "Dad, what if we make a movie where we kill you over and over again until you really die? And he laughed."

Using a filmmaker's techniques, Kirsten comes up with inventive ways to "kill" her dad. With ineffable good humor, Dick Johnson plays along. He even suggests: "You can euthanize me."

I'd love to tell you everything that happens in this documentary, but then I'd be a party pooper. Instead, I recommend that you see it for yourself as soon as you can. 

Happy Viewing!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug