The Further Wackadoodle Adventures of 1956 Mom

Dear Readers, here are some more tips from the pages of this 1956 Betty Crocker Cookbook (see earlier tips here) that I got at — guess where? That’s right! The thrift store!

Anyway, I noticed when compiling these tips that the “tip section” is prefaced by this cheerful poem written to inspire 1956 Mom to keep working like a dog no matter what!

If you’re tired from overwork,

Household chores you’re bound to shirk

Read these pointers tried and true

And discover what to do

–1956 Edition of Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book

As you can see, comfortable clothing for 1956 Mom consisted of a pencil skirt, and apron tied tight enough to cut off circulation to the kidneys and shoes that one’s heel didn’t fit into.

Which was a big improvement over the comfortable clothes Betty Crocker suggested for 1955 Mom which was a sturdy pair cactus needle pedal pushers, a cardigan sweater woven entirely of straw and wooden clogs.

Oh that Betty! She knew 1956 Mom needed to conserve her energy so that she could keep working from the crack of dawn to the stroke of midnight and what better way than to alternate sitting and standing!

If you look closely at the big roller that 1956 mom is operating, it looks as though she may have inadvertently flattened her right arm! 1956 Mom is still smiling though because she got to be sitting down while she was doing it!

Frankly, when giving this tip, Betty Crocker seemed to be slacking off a bit by leaving off both the illustration and the punctuation –but hey, maybe she was trying to get 1956 Mom to use her own imagination for once.

Well, at least Betty managed to assign “head work” for 1956 Mom while 1956 Mom keeps her hands busy dusting, sweeping and washing! For instance, 1956 Mom can be planning family recreation or planning the garden or planning how she will run away from home and never ever come back.

As you can see in this tip, Betty Crocker is pointing out to 1956 Mom that with a little planning and organizing, she can train her family to help with different jobs.

Young children can clear the table or, perhaps, get a job in the textile mill down the street for 12 hours a day; while the older ones can cook or, perhaps, plow the fields and chop wood til the sun goes down because Betty Crocker knows that chances are the Child Protective Services of 1956 will more than likely never know.

That Betty has a heart as big as all get out! Just when 1956 Mom cannot wash one more dish or vacuum one more floor or think up one more plan for her family’s recreation, Betty Crocker has suggested that 1956 Mom actually sit down and close her eyes and just relax her muscles!

That’s right 1956 Mom. Betty Crocker says it’s OK to let your arms, hands and head fall limp. There now. Don’t you feel better now 1956 Mom? . . . .1956 Mom? . . .   1956 Mom answer Betty!  . . .

Hmm . . . apparently 1956 Mom is too tired to revive just yet — but rest assured Betty Crocker will keep trying . . . for there are so many more household chores still to be done!

And for crying out loud, she hasn’t even started the cooking yet!

Until next time . . . I love you just as much as Betty Crocker does

Trifecta Weekend 33-Word Poetry Challenge: Reaching Singularity

This weekend’s Trifecta Writing Challenge is to write a poem in 33 words:

Reaching Singularity

on an elevator
with just yourself
life delayed
on an elevator
with just yourself
plus 14 people — but they’re so quiet it’s like being
on an elevator
with just yourself

“Maybe this is the alone button.”

How I Single-Fingered-ly Became the World’s Worst Secretary!

Yesterday, I was having a dialog about typos with fellow blogger Harper Faulkner who has a great blog,  All Write (and who is on my blog roll of course!)  And I was reminded of the career I used to have as the World’s Worst Secretary.

When I graduated from high school back in the year 19mumble, I was all set to go away to a four-year college in the fall.  Well, for reasons I can’t exactly remember (I didn’t pay much attention back then), that plan fell through at the last minute.

Suffice it to say, my safety wasn’t Harvard.  It was the local community college that, as luck would have it, had established itself the same year I graduated.  Being a new college, it offered two courses: Secretarial training and nurses training.

I chose secretarial training because having just seen the movie, Mash, I imagined the job of a nurse to be just like a Mash unit where people lined up around the block waiting to get in while blood squirted out of their every artery, vein and orifice.

Besides, I already knew how to type having taken typing class my sophomore year in high school — where I practiced typing everyday for an entire school year. (And this was back when kids went to school five days all in a row, each and every week.)

You’d think I would have become a pretty decent typist . . . you’d think.

The first day of high school typing class,  I actually got my fingers caught between the manual typewriter keys. I was hopeless at typing.  Heck, I could draw better than I could type and, as you know,  my drawing skills suck like a collapsed straw.

Anyway, since I now found myself painted into a backwater community college corner, I chose to study the art of the secretary — despite my uncoordinated typing skills.  My mind was made up.  I would get  myself a one-year secretarial certificate or I would get every finger permanently stuck in a manual typewriter trying!

My college typing teacher would hand my assignments back with comments like:

Linda, five full minutes of typing and you only managed 27  words AND with 3 errors?  See me after class.


Linda, there is no 7 in the word brown. See me after class.

I eventually found out, through trial and error, that I was a much better typist using just one finger.

So what saved my secretarial career was the fact that I was a whiz at shorthand.  I could take shorthand like nobody’s business.  Only trouble was they were using shorthand in nobody’s business — thanks to some slick, new technology called a dictaphone.

Still, relying on my  impressive shorthand skills, and the fact that potential bosses were always overly impressed by my ability to  repeat back to them what they had just said (Oh I could take a letter alright, I just couldn’t give it back), I managed to worm my way into a job as the World’s Worst Professional Secretary!

Which just goes to show you what a person can do if they will just put their mind to it.

Until next time . . . I love you

Pottery Barn FAQ’s

This is NOT your ordinary wicker chair.  It’s a Pottery Barn chair! Which can only mean one thing:  this chair was made entirely of sea grass . . . SUSTAINABLE sea grass! 

Naturally everybody and their dog wants to know how Pottery Barn makes a chair out of sustainable sea grass.  How? how? how? everybody asks!  Woof? Woof? Woof?  asks everybody’s dogs.

And so, here’s some Pottery Barn Sustainable Sea Grass FAQ’s:

What does Pottery Barn mean by seagrass?

Pottery Barn knew you wouldn’t know that.  Like most Americans, you have probably never spent much time, if any, walking around on the bottom of the ocean like Pottery Barn has.  But if you did, you would find that on the bottom of every ocean is a gigantic lawn where sea creatures of all shapes and sizes bring their families to relax, play croquet and run three-tentacled races.

What does Pottery Barn mean by sustainable?

You don’t get out much do you?  After paying out beaucoup bucks and attending umpteen seminars on global warming and adhering to strict guidelines ad nauseam, PB has become licensed by Al Gore, himself, to use the word sustainable to describe a person, place or thing in Pottery Barn catalogs until well past the year 2017.

What does Pottery Barn mean by sustainable seagrass?

You would ask that.  Sustainable seagrass is any seagrass that has been painstakingly trimmed by the very fingers of Al Gore, himself,  in such a way as to make it grow back quickly and also in such as way as to give Al Gore a killer back ache in such a way as to cause Al Gore to hire a female masseuse to come to his room and give him a massage in such a way as to cause Al Gore to act so weird his wife divorces him.

But how does Pottery Barn make a chair out of seagrass?

Nosy aren’t you?  Again the answer lies with  Al Gore. As you may or may not know, Al Gore used to be the Vice President of the United States of America where he spent hours upon hours snacking on Funions and waiting for something untoward to happen to Bill Clinton.  He managed to keep busy by inventing a process he calls braiding.

On any given day, you can find Al Gore along with Leonardo Di Caprio (Al Gore’s best-looking, boot-licker sidekick) busily braiding sustainable seagrass chairs, lamps and even masseuse tables for Pottery Barn to offer to their highly discerning customers who are willing to pay top dollar for any furniture braided by Al and Leo as long as they 1) promise to wash their hands first and 2) promise to preface all Al and Leo’s offerings with the adjective “sustainable.”

But why does Pottery Barn call itself a  pottery barn when it is clearly a store?

Go away kid you bother me.


Until next time  . . . I love you (way more than Pottery Barn)

Trifecta Weekend Writing Challenge Try 2: Herbert Huv Gets the Heave Ho!

This weekend’s Trifecta challenge is to write a story between 33 and 333 words using the picture for a prompt. 


Herbert Huv Gets the Heave Ho!

Herbert Huv’s wife, Hev, was about ready to give Herbert Huv the heave ho.  Hev Huv had had it with Herbert Huv’s hoarding.   Oh how Hev had hounded Herbert — yet Herbert was still hellbent on hoarding.

One day however Herbert Huv said he would hoard no more.  Hev Huv was so happy she hugged her husband Herbert Huv hard!  “How Heoric!” Hev Huv homaged.

It wasn’t until he added that he was also a hermaphrodite hooked on heroin that he got the heave ho.

The Archaeology Gazette – Breaking News About What Happened A Long Time Ago!

Today’s Top Stories in Archaeology:

15,000-Year-Old Fishing Village Discovered

On the count of three, a team of French Archaeologists unearthed a 15,000-year-old fishing village off the coast of Nip, Antarctica, suggesting that early Neolithic fishermen fishing off the coast of Nip were just as cold then as they are now.

The discovery was made by Jacques Pierre Jacques, a leading French Archaeologist who has been carefully sifting through snow looking for telltale signs of a 15,000-year-old fishing village for the last 27 years. 

Last week, his dedication was rewarded when he came across several 15,000-year-old snowballs, and what appeared to be several fishing poles crudely fashioned out of 15,000-year-old snow. 

Further excavation revealed an entire village of snow huts containing snow furniture, snow utensils and even primitive, beaded jewelry made entirely of snow.

Pictured: a 15,000-year-old fishing pole and primitive necklace made entirely of snow

The team of highly-paid, French Archaeologists will be returning to Yoplait, France with their findings where they will be performing further tests on the 15,000-year-old, snow artifacts using the latest in Magnetic Resonance Imaging.  The entire team is working together to keep their fingers crossed to ensure the snow does not melt.

Was the Ice Man Coming or Going?

I think he was on his way home . . .

A Team of French Archeologists have begun a 42-year study of Otzi, the ice man who was discovered under an extremely large pile of snow in the Alps in 1991, and who, prior to that, had been missing for approximately 6,000 years.  

Experts believe that Otzi was from a nearby Neolithic farming village where a rock was recently discovered with 6,000-year-old carvings scrawled onto it.

A team of highly-paid, French Neolithic Scrawl Experts were called  to the scene and after 17 years of research — they were finally able to translate the scrawls as:  a quart of ibex milk, a pound of yak butter and a dozen eggs from any animal that happens to be laying them. 

Using the latest in Magnetic Resonance Imaging, the team of highly-paid, French Archaeologists are hoping that it will take 42 years to determine whether the 6,000 year old ice man was just leaving for the store or was just coming home from the store.

No wait a minute . . . maybe he was just leaving . . .


Tooth Marks Thought to Be Those of Leonardo Di Vinci

A Team of French Archaeologists have been debating whether the tooth marks embedded in a 500-year-old chocolate chip cookie found underneath a cushion of an authentic Louis the XIV sofa  (currently belonging to  Jacques Pierre Jacques) are indeed those of Leonardo Di Vinci or those of Jacques Pierre Jacques’s brother-in-law, Pierre Jacques Pierre,  who was visiting last week and complained of hunger pangs.

“Well they could be Leonardo’s teeth marks because Leonardo didn’t like nuts and there are no nuts visible . . .
Using the very latest in Magnetic Resonance Imaging the team of highly-paid, French Archaeologists are hoping to have the answer before the end of the  next century. 

Until next time  . . . I love you

Salad Dressing Scientists Explain How to Make Salad Dressing The Scientific Way!

Today Dear Readers, I have a special treat in store for you!

I managed to track down a group of elusive scientists and talk them into showing us how to make oil and vinegar salad dressing the scientific way:

First, let’s meet The Scientists:

“Hi! My name’s Joe.”

“Hi!  My name’s Joe too.”

“Hi!  My name’s Joe but people call me Joe!”

“Hi I’m Joe and I’m about as Joe as it gets.”

Let’s take a minute to give our Salad Dressing Scientists a round of applause!

And now . . .how to prepare Oil and Vinegar Salad Dressing the Scientific Way!

Step One:  Reconfigure your kitchen refrigerator so that the reciprocating compressors are working to maximum capacity.

Uh oh!  Watch your step there Joe!

Oh sure it sounds like a lot of work, but really all you have to do is climb up in your kitchen attic (every kitchen has one) and disassemble the compressor.  Vacuum the dehydration system and viola!  Accessible Hermetic Compressors!  Who knew it would be so simple!

Step Two: Stick an olive on the end of a lead pipe.

That’s right!  Just like that!

This will give “slow” Joe (the Joe that’s always getting in everybody’s way) something to do while the other Joe’s continue to prepare the scientific salad dressing.   (Slow Joe LOVES eating olives off lead pipes.)

Step Three:  Adjust the Atmospheric Pressure Valves according to the atmospheric Pressure, PSIA.

OK, this is kind of a pain, but really it’s simply a matter of finding your kitchen’s cellar (every kitchen has one) and going down there and adjusting the knobs until the calibration level is 11.336.847.11111.0000.1.2.2.f.3.4.

If Joe can do it so can you!  Oh and don’t forget to wear rubber gloves!

Step Four:  Take one large Baskin Robbins container, eat all the ice cream out of it, then fill with oil and pour onto the  Refrigeration Compressor

Do it this way like Joe is only don’t get it all over the place like Joe always does.  Joe’s whole house smells like an oily rag!

Step Five:  Stick another olive on a lead pipe and hand it to “slow” Joe as by now he has probably figured out how to put the last one into his mouth.

Poor guy is addicted to these things!

Step Six:  Go to Costco and buy two restaurant sized jars of pickles, eat all the pickles out of each and pour oil in one and vinegar in the other.  (Be sure to remove the finely divided carbon so as not to restrict oil flow, but that goes without saying, of course!)

Make sure the liquid in both containers is Even Steven.

Step Seven:  Pour a little out of both jars onto some lettuce making sure to strain out soluble or entrained metal salts and oxides.

This is a critical step in which everything could go horribly wrong due to low-side pressure in the evaporator — but as long as there is no drop in pressure in the suction line everything should taste pretty darned delicious!

Step Eight:  Have Head Honcho Joe give it a taste test!

Uh oh!  Head Honcho Joe isn’t pleased with the consistency and, unfortunately,  it’s far too late to do anything about that!

Step Nine:  Draw Head Honcho Joe a scientific diagram of just exactly what went wrong with the scientific salad dressing, scientifically.

This will explain everything.

Step Ten:  Offer Head Honcho Joe an olive on a lead pipe and keep feeding them to him until he ingests so much lead he can’t tell a Critical Property of Refrigerant from a Pressure-Temperature Refrigerant! HA!

Mmmmmm . . . .me really starting to likee these things says Head Honcho Joe!

Until next time . . . I love you

How to Tell if Your Husband Has Been Watching Too Much Golf

  • He used to be honest but now there’s nothing he likes better than a good lie

  • He’s always trying to calculate his gas yardage

“Uh . . . let’s see here . . . $4.37 times 280 miles divided by 36 inches . . . wait . . .”

  • He’s 63 now but he just can’t wait to turn 60 FORE!

  • He insists the only thing that quenches his thirst is a big glass of water hazard.

“Now you pinkie swear this is from the 7th hole at Spyglass, right?”
  • When it’s time for bed he announces he’s going to hole out.

  • He has to make sure everything is done the fairway.

  • He says he’ll only watch a movie that has Humphry Bogey Gart in it.

  • He’s trying to rig up the washing machine so it will have back spin.

“Wait . . . which way was it going before?”
  • Before he eats a potato chip he announces he’s going to “chip in”.

“Quiet everybody I’m chipping in!”
  • He has completely cut out food you have to slice.

“I can’t eat that! It will ruin my mental game!”
  • He won’t eat hard boiled eggs anymore because they don’t have dimples.

“What? No dimples? No eatie!
  • He freaked out because he bought a dozen donuts and there wasn’t a hole in one.

    “Wait! Don’t eat any! I’m going to take them back because I don’t think there’s a hole in one.”

Until next time . . . I love you

Trifecta Weekend Writing Challenge: Sean Penn Gives His Mom A Very Special Mother’s Day Gift

The  Trifecta Weekend Writing Challenge: write a 33-word story incorporating the word mother. Here’s try 2:



Sean Penn Gives His Mom A Very Special Mother’s Day Gift

After the Mother’s Day E-card hurricane, Sean Penn borrowed a rowboat and rowed through a sea of nouns, commas and adjectives to save his mother who was clinging to a raft of spam.

“Ma! Grab onto the boat!  Hurry Ma!”



Trifecta Weekend Writing Challenge: A Very Special Mother’s Day Gift


I am so happy and delighted, Dear Readers, to announce that My Brain Peanuts wrote a story called Henny Zoots Meets an Enigma that won this week’s Trifecta Writing challenge!! YAY!  My Brain Peanuts will be celebrating by eating three  huge pieces of Trifecta Writing Challenge Triple Chocolate Cake! 

Now for the weekend challenge:  write a 33-word story incorporating the word mother.

A Very Special Mother’s Day Gift

 Father outdid himself the year he arranged for Mother to square off with Sonny Liston for Heavyweight Champion of the World.  The fight lasted seven seconds.  Pity she didn’t remember any of it!

Until next time . . . I love you

Adventures in 1941 or Drunk as a Skunk Wearing War Time Trousers!

Sometimes things just keep getting better.  I opened one of my vintage cookbooks this morning and guess what I found folded up neatly inside? A section of a newspaper from May 12, 1941, almost 60 years ago to the day!

So let’s take a look at some of the ads to see if we can discover what was on the minds of the average 1941 citizen:

Here’s an ad that will ruin your appetite:

Apparently back in 1941, people had a lot of excessive ugly hair which was not to be confused with plain ol’ ordinary ugly hair. Because in 1941, everybody’s hair was ugly, that goes without saying.  But apparently, it was only the excess ugly hair that they were worried about.

And apparently if you wanted this excessive ugliness eradicated, you had to go to a Gypsy Fortune-Teller/Seance-Conducting Madame where you could get your offending follicles removed scientifically using multiple needle electrolysis on your superfluous (and uncalled for!) hair.

And speaking of ugly hair, here’s an ad for making it look even worse:

Ah! Back in 1941, nothing gave hair that natural healthy glow like Bay Rum, Barbo Compound, and half a pint of water.

The ad says to try the recipe today and see how much younger you will look — assuming you fore go applying it to your hair and just chug it!

And then there’s the enigma of Wartime Trousers:

Heh? This one is a little tricky to figure out. Let’s see . . .  there’s a war going on . . . so therefore men’s vests don’t match their pants anymore . . .. so they have to send their vests to the Pants Matching Co. . . so they can make a vest to match their pants which are now called “Wartime Trousers”.

And even though the gentleman in the ad has an abnormally large head, he apparently doesn’t have an abnormally large brain — because if he did, why has he taken off his “War Trousers” when he’s suppose to be sending The Pants Matching Co. his vest?

Well anyway, we are going to have to chalk it all up to “Wartime Trouser Secrets of World War II and move on to:

You People Who Are Sick

Well thank goodness there was at least one Dr. Shane D.C. practicing medicine without a license back in 1941!  And not only did this guy somehow get a hold of an X-ray machine, he’s going to diagnose you without asking you a single question!  Talk about saving time!

Of course it’s going to cost you one, hard-earned dollar, so you might not want to do it.  But wait . . . .what if he throws in a Oscillotonometer  heart examination and what if he capitalized HEART EXAMINATION in the newspaper ad?  Would it be worth your hard-earned dollar then?

Still no?  But  what if you suffered from something on the list of symptoms like Deafness or Lumbago or, heaven forbid,  Piles?  What then?

You mean to say you would have actually walked around town in 1941 wearing an ill-matching Wartime Trouser/vest combination with your ugly excessive, hair sticking out everywhere  –drunk as a skunk from ingesting the Barbo hair dye recipe — with extra rum?

OK fine go ahead . . .but I’m telling Madame Stiver on you, so watch out!

Until next time  . . . I love you

Trifecta Weekend Writing Challenge: Stealing Rose Con Pollo’s Heart

This week’s Trifextra challenge is simple, but ambiguous.
Three truths and a lie.
33 to 333 words

Stealing Rose Con Pollo’s Heart

Whenever she watched Fernando, Rose Con Pollo’s stomach spasmed with a jolt of love and her heart went pitty pat, pitty pat,  pitty . . . pat . . . pat. . . pitty . . . because she was in love and because she needed a pacemaker — but mostly because she was in love.
Rose adored everything about Fernando. The way he could hold his breath for four and a half minutes at a time, the way he could dive so deep to the bottom of the sea; but mostly, she loved the way he looked at her when their eyes met through the green bubbly water of the glass-bottomed boat where Rose liked to sit and watch her beloved Fernando dive for pearls.
Fernando  had stolen Rose Con Pollo’s heart, plain and simple.
Of course, there was no way Rose Con Pollo was going to leave her husband, Arroz, and run off with Fernando no matter how many pearls he found for her.  Don’t make her laugh!  No way!  Not a snowball’s chance  . . .