Please click on Posts by Topic in navigation to read postings and columns about the many humorous (in retrospect) events encountered by my family, friends and me. The above drawings by son Greg (way over qualified for that task) illustrated a couple of my books. You may click on each to enlarge if you wish to see more detail. And, yes, I really did hit an owl on the highway and unknowingly drive all over town with him hanging from the grille.
Does this look like a medium royal blue T-shirt to you?
Ray ordered me a T-shirt with the words I’m a February girl. I was born with my heart on my sleeve, a fire in my soul and a mouth I can’t control. Thank you for understanding. He is convinced that the person who wrote those lines must have known me.
The T-shirt he ordered was size medium in royal blue. When it arrived last week, I eagerly opened the package to find a gray hoodie in extra-large. For the record, extra-large is HUGE!
But not to worry. The person who packaged my T-shirt could read. The sticky tag on the shoulder of the gray extra-large hoodie says “T-shirt (Royal) M.” So . . . what would you believe? The tag? Or your lyin’ eyes?
I emailed the company about the mix-up and today I received a reply. They say they'll make it right and they apologized for the inconvenience. (I'm a little worried about how inconvenient it will be to return the hoodie.) They also asked for pictures. Do you think these three are enough?
"Marsha!" Ray shouted, "Come quick!"
When Ray summons me in that hurry-up manner, I have a pretty good idea that he has spotted a critter. "Have you seen a bird like that?" he asked. "Is it some kind of owl?"
From the back, it looked like an owl, the same sort of coloration and pattern, but when he turned sideways, we could tell it was a hawk . . . but not one we have seen in our neck of the woods. He was cold and miserable and looked as fierce as an eagle.
Note in the photo at right the ice at the end of his beak. That ice made Ray worry that he had been after the fish in the water garden. Yes, the goldfish and shubunkin are swimming around instead of hibernating or whatever they are supposed to do in the winter. I actually don't know if hawks, other than osprey, have a hankering for fish or if, like Ray, they would eat fish only if they were starving.
As is my wont, I called son Greg's high school biology teacher who is my go-to-guy in cases like this. He looked at my photos and said he is 88.64% certain our visitor is a red-shouldered hawk. Their numbers are said to be increasing in Kansas, but they are still rare enough that we haven't seen one. He seems to be hanging around so maybe, if he can find a mate, we might increase the population with some little hawks. I just realized he may be a she, in which case she will need to find a he. Whatever . . . it's all good.
WHO said it couldn't be done? Well, that would be me. Still, with the help of IT son and a bunch of nice tech guys and gals (too polite to ask, "How dumb can you be?"), I have successfully moved my website.
You will see some under construction signs on a few of the pages I'm still working on, but I hope you find this a fun experience. Clicking on Posts by Topic in Navigation at the very top of this site will bring up a menu showing you the various pages you can access.
Real Steel Autos features stories of all the cars we have owned. Well, not all of them yet, but the ones that are on there have stories to tell and, let me tell you, they are real blabbermouths.
There is another page that features our adventures on our Rose Bowl Trip when 2014 turned into 2015 and granddaughter Zoe's Blue Springs High School band marched in the parade. It was the coldest parade on record. Wouldn't you just know it? I'm not sure that Lawrence, Kansas wasn't warmer than Pasadena, California that New Year's Day.
You'll get to watch this site improve. I'm learning more every single day. So have fun exploring and if you have suggestions or comments, there is a comment page. I'd love to hear from you!
Jest for Grins has moved! It isn't easy moving a website from one host to another. It is tedious and time-consuming, making me wonder just how cheap I must be to value my time so little. Turns out I can be as fickle about web hosts as I am satellite providers.
But don't let the title of this post fool you. It isn't all about saving money, although that's a big part of it. I'll have new features to offer you as soon as I learn to use them. I promised a long time ago that if I could ever figure out how to post videos, I would post one of the herd of deer (eight bucks and six does) that Ray videotaped cavorting in our back yard. A caveat, though, the video has to be under one gigabyte.
I've even saved the night video Ray's trail cam captured when Critter Control set safe traps for the lady skunk living under our sidewalk by the front door. When an attractive female skunk lives under your sidewalk, it creates a very stinky situation because of the many male suitors vying for her attention. Still, I am glad the critter guy was able to release her at Clinton Lake. He said if we had lived within the city limits, he would have had to kill her. Why? City skunks should have the same rights as country skunks.
But I digress. Should you find links that don't work, rest assured that they will be quickly addressed. I'm archiving a lot of the older posts (I've been doing this for six years), and categorizing them into groups: Critters, Real Steel Autos, Holidays, Rose Bowl Trip, etc. The good thing about humorous and historical articles is that they are timeless.
If only Direct-TV had tried half as hard to keep me as they’ve tried to get me back! They certainly had their chances. I guess they thought our 21 year marriage was solid.
When we built our house on a hill in the country, cable wasn't an option. We paid $1,200 for the D-TV satellite and Ray installed it himself while standing on a wooden ladder in the bed of his pickup truck to give him the extra height needed to reach the highest peak of our house. In less than a year, the satellite and installation were free with a contract.
My marriage with D-TV had its ups and downs, as all marriages do. Technical assistance almost broke us up several times. After one frustrating call, I wrote a column about it. Want to read Boondocks living means no cable television? Click HERE.
But what really broke up our union was the doubling, tripling, quadrupling of our bill. Enter DISH, a suitor that brought with it a really good deal, both price-wise and feature-wise. I called D-TV several times trying to negotiate a better rate. They wouldn't budge.
So I am currently in the middle of a sizzling romance with DISH that is going very, very well. Hopefully, when this contract ends, they won't jack up their prices a la D-TV. Attention DISH: I love you now, but I'm clearly fickle about satellite providers when it comes to my pocketbook. You'd be wise to remember that.
My Christmas gift to you:
As a Christmas present to all of you — especially Rangers of any era and those who love them or who love history — you may download free on Amazon an electronic version of my short little book Recognition Denied beginning Saturday, December 23 through Wednesday, December 27. The book is the untold story of a daring WW II mission by several Darby's Rangers which is still unacknowledged by the Army. I believe it happened because of how I first, and subsequently, learned about it. Decide for yourself whether I proved my case. For a few brief days after publication, this little book was Amazon's Number 1 best seller for short history and Number 2 for WW II history. The men — one of whom was my father — are likely all long dead. The ones whose names are known certainly are.
One of the best things about being a writer is that I get to meet some amazing people. However, I (and Ray, too) have rarely bonded with an interviewee like we have with Katie, a real-life World War II Rosie the Riveter. Katie is the youngest 96-year-old you’ll ever meet and her friend Pat, with whom she lives, is a vigorous 84-year-old. Together, they are a dynamic duo, endowed with energy, enthusiasm and humor.
They are such avid KU Jayhawk basketball fans that Pat long ago painted her barn a vivid blue. That barn has been featured in a number of cards I have sent them and when Ray and I wanted to give them a Christmas gift, we decided to give something no one else could: a 2018 calendar prominently featuring the blue barn.
In January, the barn hosts Pat and Katie’s “Rockin’ New Year’s Eve.” In February, it is a tunnel of love and it is the venue for an Irish Extravaganza in March. Bunnies paint Easter Eggs in front of the barn in April, Pat and Katie present a spring festival in May and own a garden center housed in the barn in June. They sell fireworks out of the barn in July, have a back-to-school book sale in September and in October, turn the barn into a haunted house. Pat and Katie boast a turkey farm in November, tagline: “We raise ‘em; you roast ‘em.” In December, they present Santa’s workshop for kids of all ages.
But we knew Pat and Katie would love most that the barn turns into a theatre in August, starring nephew Brad Zinn, a talented comedy impressionist in his one-man show called The Great Comedians: Those Felt Hat and Big Cigar Funny Men. Katie and Pat are button-busting proud of Brad and think he is the greatest of performers. If you want to judge for yourself how good he actually is, click HERE.
Our resident rogue rodent likes our new mattress. Or perhaps he (or she, hard to tell with groundhogs) likes the box. If it’s a she, I fear she may want the cardboard she shredded from the shipping box for a nest. That would be bad news for us because we don’t want one groundhog, let alone a litter. Until now, we have had a laissez-faire relationship with the groundhog — did I mention that it is huge, has long wicked claws and really big teeth? — expecting it to mind its own business, while we minded ours.
Regarding the bedding the rodent tried to reach, I have written books in less time than it took me to decide which online mattress to buy. I narrowed it down to T&N (Tuft & Needle), Casper and Nectar and finally decided on T&N because it is made in the USA, uses fewer chemicals in manufacturing their adaptive foam and 95% of buyers keep it (they said so and I must believe them because I bought it after multiple online chats to quell my insecurity about buying a mattress online). Also, I keep thinking Casper is a ghost and Nectar might attract bees.
I am using the singular word mattress, but, in fact, we bought two XL twins for our king-sized bed in the hope that we will eventually buy an individually adjustable bed. But first, I need to make sure the mattresses work for us. Like Goldilocks, we want it to be not too hard, not too soft, but just right. We have 100 nights to find out
I ordered the mattresses on Monday and they arrived two days later on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Ray and I were home all day, which is unusual for us, but we didn’t realize the boxes were there until Ray heard something and opened the door to see the groundhog opening a box with its very long and sharp claws. Ray shooed off the rodent and we brought the boxes inside. We won’t learn whether the mattress is damaged until we open the boxes on Friday.
I’ve burned up the Internet buying gifts online this year so I hope next time a FedEx driver delivers a package to our home, he or she will ring the bell so we know a package has arrived. Got that, FedEx?
Only problem now is getting rid of our king mattress. Perhaps if we drag it to the front porch the groundhog will shred it like it shredded the box, thus allowing the strong winter zephyrs on our Kansas hill to blow it away. Nah, we like the neighbors east of us.
Wishing you — and us — a Happy Thanksgiving and sweet dreams for many years to come.
Many years ago, when Ray discovered I was neither Betty Crocker nor Suzy Homemaker, he bought me the little statue of a cleaning lady which son Greg used as a model to draw the pen-and-ink sketch above to illustrate one of my books.
The book I will never write is one filled with household tips and yet I am giving you one now in case you should you ever scorch an item. I never thought I would need such a tip because the last time I ironed was circa 1969. But did you know your dryer set on low could scorch a puffy king-size alternative-down comforter if you kept it in there too long? Me neither.
I thought I'd have to dye it brown, but, happily, I learned that all you have to do to erase the scorch marks on a snowy-white comforter is soak a cloth in hydrogen peroxide, lay it on the scorch marks and iron it with a hot, but not too hot, iron. (I used the wool setting.) It's a miracle cure!
Next month on December 16th marks the 73rd Anniversary of the start of the World War II battle dubbed Battle of the Bulge when 200,000 German soldiers and 1000 tanks broke through a 75-mile stretch of the American front in the Ardennes Forest of Belgium, France and Luxemburg. The American defenders in the Ardennes were four divisions of inexperienced or battle-weary soldiers stationed there for either preparation or rest.
By the end of the battle on January 25, 1945, Americans had suffered 75,000 casualties and the Germans, 80,000 to 100,000. The December attack was Hitler’s last major offensive and fewer than nine months — but sadly, many more lives — before Germany was defeated on September 2, 1945.
I am always stunned when I think of what our fathers endured. To quote from one of my father's letters to his parents from Anzio Beachhead: "To the combat soldier who lives in holes like animals, whose existence is characterized only by the barest minimum of the necessities of life, and who has for almost a year and a half suffered day after day from heat or cold, in desert or in icy, muddy mountains, going without sleep, or bathing, or changing clothes for days, weeks and months, life has been crystalized into the expression of one desire -- to return home!"
Dad had a long war, from Africa, through Sicily, Italy, France, Belgium -- he was wounded during the Battle of the Bulge -- and Germany. This painting brings his words home in ways my imagination cannot.
When Grams' devious renter told me her gun, the subject of the following posting, was a Lady Smith, I took him at his word. Why would I do that after learning that he was a stranger to the truth?
However, my friend Gary, who knows more about guns than Wyatt Earp, told me the little gun is a Smith & Wesson Bekeart and rarer than the Lady Smith. "It was the Remington ammunition that gave it away," he said. "It is a long gun and there were no Lady Smith long guns."
I have no idea what long gun means; it doesn't look very long to me. Perhaps it has a longer range. I forgot to ask, but I am trusting that Gary is correct. He did a lot of research and he was never one of Grams' renters.
An important preamble: The little gun pictured below belonged to my grandmother. Funny story about that: when Grams was in a nursing home in Lawrence, Ray and I were charged with checking on her properties in Sabetha. Once when we were up there, I was talking in front of her house with one of her renters and her neighbor man across the street. The renter said, "I loaned your grandmother a little Lady Smith gun because she was afraid and I'd like to have it back." That sounded strange to me because Grams was never afraid, keeping a bat beside her door should anyone break in. I told him I'd ask her about it and he said, "Oh, never mind. I wouldn't want to bother her." After he left, her neighbor said indignantly, "Don't give him that gun. I was with him when your grandmother showed it to us and said your grandfather purchased it for her." And now, without further ado (drum roll): OMG, I'm writing about guns!
Yes, I guess I am. Not to worry, though, this isn’t a political piece, just a story about some of my experiences with guns. Grandpa Henry was a “trick shot” in the circus. That was way before my time, so I really don’t know exactly what he did except he must have been good at it. Dad was a sportsman — we ate lots of pheasant and quail and even some rabbit and squirrel — so my sisters and I grew up with a rack of rifles and shotguns hanging in our parents’ bedroom.
There were handguns, too. Mom’s little Stevens .22 which she once used to defend sister Lesta and me when we were babies and Dad was away (If you want to read about that, click HERE). Then there was Dad’s Colt .45 automatic (but not, I don’t think, the one he carried as a WW II Ranger because I’m told he gave that gun to my male cousin, never dreaming that he might have grandsons who would cherish it, and perhaps because he didn’t have good memories of using it in combat).
At 15, I had an up-close-and-personal experience with the .45 when my parents and younger sisters were out of town and I was home alone. I expected them home before dark and became anxious when they weren’t and a suspicious car kept driving by our house. Instead of closing the picture window drapes, I decided to get a gun and flash it around the window to scare off the occupants of the car. Next thing I knew, I had shot twice through the living room floor and once through a chair. My lasting memory is that a .45, when fired in a small living room, is really loud. In retrospect, I also realize I really was a dumb blond at age 15.
As a police officer, Ray carried a .38 Smith and Wesson Chief Special. On vacation in Oklahoma while heading to Six Flags over Texas, Ray and I accompanied my cousins Mike and Herb to a gun range they set up in the country. They were firing black powder muzzle-loading long guns, holding them against their shoulders and aiming toward a bullseye a long ways away. Ray shot at the target a few times with his .38, then asked if I wanted to try it.
Naturally, I did. As the guys watched the target through scopes to see if I could hit it, I aimed the gun by holding it close to my right eye. I fired and was knocked backward into a tree. My first thought was that I had shot myself in the head. I was fortunate that the detective who owned the gun before Ray had filed off the hammer spur so he could easily pull it out of his pocket. Otherwise, in addition to a big purple bump over my eye, I would have had a puncture in my head. When we arrived at Six Flags a couple of days later, I resembled a unicorn with its horn off-kilter. Did I mention I hit the 9-ring? My cousin Mike said I’d be a really good shot if I armor plated my forehead.
Years ago, Butch bought me a gun for protection, knowing I was often driving alone in the country at night and believing “when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.” Then he took me to a gun range and taught me how to shoot it. I guess I will get political and say I support the Second Amendment to the Constitution but with this caveat: If you own a gun, make sure you know how to use it so you won’t injure any innocent floors and chairs.
... I don't know what will!
For a couple of years, grandson Gabe appeared in Coterie Theatre's presentation of Night of the Living Dead at Kansas City's Crown Center. And, yes, we went to see him each time. At the end of the play, all of the zombies — and there were a creepy bunch of them — came out in front of the audience and performed Michael Jackson's Thriller Dance.
For the last 11 years, my city has hosted a Zombie Walk. I think it is a shame that Gabe never participated in that celebration and he certainly won't be doing it this year since he will be spending his birthday and Halloween in Peru. However, I have just learned that Peru celebrates Día de los Difuntos (Day of the Departed) although, according to the Internet (don't believe everything you read there), it consists only of putting the departed's favorite foods on an altar on November 1 and flowers on his/her grave the next day.
Perhaps Gabe can teach his new friends the Thriller Dance, get them to dress up like Zombies (he knows how to put on the makeup) and parade them through the streets. It can be his gift to the country! But they may not need a new tradition because he sent the photo below of a cafe with a very cool and very large blue skull.
I'm thinking of buying some black licorice and root beer in honor of my late mother (just a stroke of luck that those happen to be my favorite foods, too). I wonder if Peruvians eat the food off the altar. Probably not, but I likely will.
If you want to see photos of the Zombie Walk in Lawrence — and see them doing the Thriller Dance -- click HERE.
Hey guys! You know that sinking feeling when you travel 200 miles to a snazzy wedding, check into the hotel, carrying in your suit cover and then, when you start to get dressed, discover you have your suit coat, shirt, tie, belt, but no pants? If so, Ray can feel your pain.
Driving up to Omaha the day of the wedding and back the next morning, all we had with us was one pair of jeans each and a small bag containing a change of clean socks, underwear and shirts. What to do? Tried calling my niece whose son was getting married; couldn’t reach her. Then tried calling my sister Vicki who had also traveled from Lawrence to see if we should go to the wedding or stay at the hotel. Connected with her just as she and her son Chris were walking into the club. “Oh, no!” she exclaimed, then suggested that we come anyway.
Meanwhile, I tell Ray I am having a flashback to the movie Christmas Vacation and imagining niece Debby introducing us as her relatives — Marsha and Cousin Eddie — from Kansas. I repeated that to Jake who transported us to the swanky golf club in the hotel shuttle and he said reassuringly, “He’ll be fine.” I figured we’d have Jake wait and if they wouldn’t let us in, we’d go back to the hotel.
Fortunately, like my late father, Ray looks good in whatever he is wearing, even when he’s working in the yard. Still a black suit coat paired with light blue jeans, even though they fit well, is hard to overlook. “Maybe I’ll set a new fashion trend,” Ray said.
“Or, I countered, they’ll think you’re a billionaire country music star.” Ray was wearing dress cowboy boots, but that was intentional. He owns dress shoes, but always wears boots if he’s not wearing sneakers. He wore sneakers driving up, but fortunately remembered his boots.
Jake, our driver, said it best to Ray as he dropped us off, “You’ll probably be the only one comfortable at the wedding." And both of us were comfortable. I did explain to the bride’s parents that Ray actually had pants that matched his coat, because I figured we owed them that given they had obviously dropped a bundle on the wedding. First wedding I can remember where there was a full complimentary bar.
We had a wonderful time at the wedding, ate great food — salmon for me, KC strip for Ray — toasted the beautiful bride and handsome groom, visited with family and made new friends.
Had a fun drive home (we love to travel by car). And when we carried our bag and Ray’s suit coat into the closet to hang it up, there were his pants lying on the floor. That was a good place for them because it turns out that we didn’t miss them at all!
My friend Sherry says that kids are simple, but honest. She uses her boys as evidence. When they were young, they categorized everyone they knew as either sweethearts or stinky-butts.
I have written much about honesty in my columns because that quality is important to me. As my father often said, "You can always watch thieves and while you're watching them, you know they are not stealing from you; but with known liars, every time their mouths are moving, you can't be sure they're not lying to you."
At any rate, Sherry's posting on Facebook reminded me of a long ago column (long enough ago that my newspaper hasn't archived it). It begins: Two-year-old Zoe toddled up to her mother and stated emphatically, “Something STINKS!” You notice these things when your nose is so close to your diaper. I converted that column to a PDF in case you want to read it. Just click HERE.
... if you would like to read a letter sent to my mother by a Ranger who served with Dad in WW II. That letter means more to me than Dad's medals. I have also posted an ad I placed in a Ranger reunion book which honors Dad and those men who returned home to pick up their lives.
When you write for a living (or, in my case, a supplemental income), one of the biggest perks is the opportunity to meet some amazing people. Margaret Shirk, who recently died a few days after her 100th birthday was one of them.
Two years ago, I wrote an article about her in Amazing Aging, the newspaper I edit and primarily write for a non-profit. At 98, she was still volunteering for the Red Cross blood drives, something she had done for almost 50 years. To the end, she was the most avid supporter of the KU Jayhawks, never missing a basketball game and often dancing with the Baby Jay mascot. And she put her money where her mouth was, reportedly giving over a million dollars to her alma mater.
It is nearly impossible to describe how vibrant she was, but I gave it a try in "Margaret Shirk: Serving the Red Cross since 1966." If you would like to read it, click HERE.
When I learned she had celebrated her 100th birthday, I made and mailed her the special card pictured below. I so hope she saw it. Do you recognize the players? I guarantee that, if she saw it, Margaret did! Rest in peace, Wonderful Lady!
Mrs. Margrave, my second grade teacher, wrote “Ain’t fell in a bucket of paint!” on the blackboard, complete with a drawing of a paint can. It obviously made an impression on me because I still remember it. It was my first formal introduction to proper grammar.
Don't worry. I'm not the person silently correcting your grammar. That would be my sister Vicki for whom I bought the sign. And she's not the only one. Have you ever borrowed a book from the library and noticed that a previous borrower took time to make corrections to the text? Sometimes the corrections mark simple typos; other times, they note poor grammar.
You couldn't grow up as one of Dad's daughters without being instructed on the proper use of I and me. I never accidentally confused the two pronouns after asking Dad, "Will you take Wanda and I to a movie?"
"Would you say, 'Will you take I to a movie?'" Dad asked. I confess that I have sometimes used me when I is proper but sounded stilted in one of my columns. But that is a purposeful misuse ... or perhaps not. Winston Churchill is said to have advocated the use of "It's me" over "It's I" in answer to "Who's there?"
So, yes, I notice misuse of I and me, was and were and her and she. In fact the other day, I heard a TV personality who I believe is intelligent say, "Her and her supporters." Yikes!
Vicki admits to calling out news anchors for their egregious use of improper English. "I realize they are just reading what someone else has written," she says, "but someone should catch it."
The only time I emailed a TV news director was when an attractive young woman reporting a brutal murder ended her report by saying, "Both her legs were decapitated."
Tongue in cheek, I wrote, "Just thought your reporter might like to know that only heads can be decapitated."
I loved the response I received: "She didn't. We did. We should have caught it. Our bad."
My mother was my go-to grammarian if I had a sticky grammar question. She was expert at diagramming sentences and distinguishing parts of speech. And when I sometimes ended a sentence with a preposition (again because to do otherwise sounded too stilted for a humor column), I know she cringed. Still, she once admitted that her college English text instructed: Never use a preposition to end a sentence with.
Note: When I ran this posting through Word's spell and grammar check, Word suggested that I change is to am in the following sentence, making it read: I confess that I have sometimes used me when I is proper but sounded stilted in one of my columns. You can't always trust Word. Oh, and do you think I improperly used who when I should have used whom in the sentence about the intelligent TV personality's grammar goof? Nope, who is correct ... and if it isn't I'm pretty sure that Vicki will tell me!
Like clockwork every fall, Ray and I would head to Colorado. No more . . . or at least, not yet. The above photo, snapped in September 2013, tells you why. Sure, we are grinning like idiots in the picture but that was before we realized how bad the flood would get, trapping us there with no cell signal, landline nor Internet connection.
And yet, as choppy as the water behind us looks, it wasn't nearly as rough as the Arkansas River we rafted on with the Salida River Runners during an earlier trip. I have a habit of letting Ray talk me into things a smarter cookie would eschew. Could he talk me into that again? Doubtful, but I have learned never to say never where he's concerned.
I wrote about that experience where only Ray and I and our professional river runner spoke English in our raft. Our fellow passengers sprach nur deutsch. I thought they were overdressed in wetsuits, but turned out we were underdressed in shorts and T-shirts. If you'd like to read that column about my whitewater rafting experience, along with a few other scary things Ray persuaded me to do, click HERE.
Note: My original title for the column is the one I used for this post. The newspaper headline writer changed it as he was wont to do . . . usually for the better. This time, I like my title best.
I recently took a color test that promised to determine my dominant character trait. According to the test, my dominant trait is COURAGE. First, I laughed and then I remembered this cup which had been relegated to the highest shelf behind a bunch of other celebratory and advertising mugs collected over the years. The friend who gave me this cup obviously saw me that way.
The only line in the cup's poem that is fact is You like to defend as can be confirmed by the boy I hit with a little blue wooden chair in kindergarten when he called Sonja, my disabled friend, dumb and ugly. My mother was called to school for my offense by the teacher who clearly suspected I might be a bad seed. Perhaps she knew that in Latin the meaning of the name Marsha is: Mars (Roman god of war).
I was obviously pleased that my friend who bestowed the cup believed I was brave, even if I didn't see myself that way, because I wrote a column in which I mentioned it. (Click brave.pdf to read that really old column.) Of course, there is very little in life I haven't written about, making my life pretty much an open book.
I'm still not sure how a color test can determine character traits. Sure BLUE denotes sad, YELLOW cowardice, RED anger, GREEN envy, but the test wasn't that simple. However, it did determine that my friend Judi's dominant trait is kindness which hit the nail right on the head. Perhaps I am more courageous than I think I am. (Nah!)
For 15 years, I wrote a humor column titled Jest for Grins for my local Lawrence, KS Journal-World
newspaper.While I stay busy with speaking engagements, writing articles and books and serving as editor and primary writer of a newspaper for a non-profit agency, I really miss writing about the funny things life throws my way. This website allows me to do that.
I freely admit to being a control freak who wants to do things on my own, but my new friend Ruth has been a tremendous help to me. I kept trying to make this website perfect before publishing, but finally decided that was like waiting to have children until you can afford them: it will never happen. So here it is; you'll get to watch it improve.
If you develop into a frequent Jest for Grins visitor, you'll quickly become familiar with my usual cast of characters: husband Ray, sons Ray, Jr. (aka Butch) and Greg, daughters-in-law Linda and Valerie, grandchildren B.J., Gabe, Sammi and Zoe, sisters Lesta, Bette and Vicki, as well as a host of family and friends (not one of whom is boring). If the topic has the potential to be embarrassing to them, be assured that they read it and gave it their OK (otherwise, sister Lesta has threatened to sue me).