Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Strange Details and Opinions Cluttering Helen's Mind

Or should that be - Details and Opinions Cluttering Helen's Strange Mind?

In either case, here goes.

Heard it, read it, made it up. I wrote this over the span of several days, adding as things came to me. Some of it may have “come” to me after a glass or two of wine, so ... If nothing else, I made myself laugh.

The white dessert wine known as a sauterne is actually made from rotten grapes. The French call it “the noble rot” and is only made in the Sauternes region in France.

Anyone who has kids knows that it was someone without kids who decided stainless steel should be the new trend for kitchen appliances.

The woman about whom Eric Clapton wrote the song Layla was actually George Harrison’s wife. My niece dated “Layla’s” nephew for a time. He was pretty cute and amazingly nice.

If you cut the sucker branches off your tomato plants you’ll end up with many more tomatoes, but the plants end up looking stupid. Really stupid. And they’ll hate you for it.

Wear a watch if you want to tell time in Las Vegas. There are no clocks in the casinos.

Some cats drool. A lot. I’ve had plenty of wet T-shirts to prove it.

Butter knives were not meant to do double duty as screwdrivers, and I have the bent tips to prove it. Every woman should have her own tool kit stashed in a kitchen cabinet.

According to the Treaty of Madrid (1891) one can only label a sparkling wine “champagne” if it comes from Champagne, France. A sparkling wine from any other location is just a sparkling wine.

Frog or toad, doesn’t matter, can’t see how they can give you warts.

I’m finally too old for camping.

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but I’ll betcha dollars to donuts it’s a woman who feeds the poor critters.

If fifty’s the new forty, then what the hell is forty? Forty-five? Anyone? I have no idea how old I am.

I wish I knew then what I know now applies at any age. I don’t care if you’re twenty-nine or eighty-nine, there’s bound to be something you’ll figure out in a few years that you will some day wish you knew now. So … figure it out. Now. You know, instead of later.

Luxury is having the time, the clear conscience and the perfect 800 thread count sheets for a Sunday afternoon nap.

When I was a kid my parents used to take “naps” almost every Sunday afternoon. Back then I used to think they slept an awful lot. Now, I’m thinking I should be a little less worried about thread counts.

I’d take the sound of a mourning dove over an alarm clock to wake me up any day.

And last, but probably the most important piece on information you will pick up here today …

There are no oil glands in the skin on our neck. Keep slathering on that lotion, sweetie, no matter how old—or young—ya are.

It’s obvious I’m a sucker for useless information. Tell me … what do you know?


Betina Krahn said...

Helen, you're a woman after my own heart. Trivia! Useless knowledge-- I've got tons.

I learned recently-- researching a book, don't ask-- that rabbits are not rodents, despite the similarities. They're an entirely different order. Squirrels, chipmunks, mice, rats, voles, shrews, hamsters. . . all are related rodents. Rabbits are speeecial. Their only North American cousins are pikas. . . which are so adorable they ought to be outlawed.

Also. . . owls can live 25 or more years in the wild. . . and up to 40 or 45 in captivity. (Or maybe it just seems longer.) Also, some parrots have IQ's rivaling human children's.

And if you leave your rechargeable drill in the case for two years without opening it. . . the batteries may go dead, utterly and completely dead. And buying new ones rivals the cost of the danged drill itself! May as well just throw it a way and buy a whole new tool. Planned obsolescence-- ain't it great!

Apparently there are quite a few women who never read Dear Abby growing up and never learned not to sleep with men who have children by more than one woman they never married.

Diane in Syracuse said...

Rotten is in the eye (nose, tongue) of the beholder. If a nice fungus makes grapes sweeter, why argue? We don't complain about the nice fungus that turns all the sugar into alcohol...

You never know when useless information will come in handy.

Michele Hauf said...

Words of wisdom, Helen! I've already started telling my kids not to fault their mistakes now, because they'll eventually know better.

I don't think I know much this morning, except: if one wakes with a woozy, allergy head, rise slowly or...don't rise at all. If there's no one else in the house, who's going to kick you out of bed?

'nuf said.

Helen Brenna said...

Owls live 25 years. That one'll stick. And that Dear Abby thing, Betina, I hear ya.

Too true, Diane. The amazing thing is that sauternes are nummy. I try not to think about cheese and mold.

Good one, Michele!

Debra Dixon said...

We have an owl living in our back yard and it freaks the dog out some nights. Guess I can't reassure the dog that the owl will be dead soon. LOL!

My cat drools. She curls up on my chest with one paw curled around each side of my neck, tucks her head beneath my chin and proceeds to drool. It's all really adorable right up until the time she begins to drool.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Currently all my working brain cells have been assigned to making mountains out of molehills, aka, coming up with one--just one--great proposal. I'm looking at all these wonderful factoids and thinking, What do I know? Nothing. That thing about the neck. That explains a lot.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Oh, and I tried to keep that tool kit handy in the kitchen drawer, but the stuff kept walking away until I found a set with pink handles. So far so good.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Oh, and about the owls and dogs. Quite a few winters ago we had a Great Grey Owl in our wooded back yard for a whole day. They only gome this far south (yeah, south) when the snowpack up north drives out all their prey.

Have you ever seen one? Man, that guy was HUGE. Our Aussie went nuts, and the owl sat up there watching him with pure disdain, swiveling his head as the dog made a fool of himself on the ground not far below his perch. Finally Owl spread those enormous wings--an avian Kevin Garnett (whom we might lose this week, more's the pity)--and swooped down inches above canine teeth just to show who the Big Dog really was. My poor puppy went slack-jawed. It was an amazing moment.

Helen Brenna said...

Pink handles - smart move, Kathy!

Great Grey's ARE huge. We saw one swooping around up in Alaska. They could probably carry off a small dog.

Helen Brenna said...

And Deb, yes, cat drool's gross, but dog drool's worse.

Shoestrings - major yuck!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Speaking of mold, has anyone ever made saurkraut? Did it once, don't remembe why. You have to age the cabbage for a couple of weeks and actually scrape off the mold.

And we used to live near a cheese plant. Near? We were out in the country, probably 15-20 miles away. But when the wind was right, the smell was almost unbearable.

We eat stuff like this and we carry around our little bottles of hand sanitizer? Okay, I don't. Gotta make choices about what to load into the purse. Heck, I'll even open the door in a public bathroom with my bare hand!

Mold, fungus, bacteria--they have a place, right? They probably do less damage to me than I do to them.

Cindy Gerard said...

Amazing information. Not sure how I lived this long without it :o)
Here's my worthless piece of knowledge (and trust me I have several but I'll contain myself)
Ever heard the expression: "Colder than the balls on a brass monkey" Ever wonder why a monkey would have brass balls? Well, they don't. A brass monkey is like a platform on wheels where cannon balls were stored on warships so they could be wheeled to the cannons. Apparently the cannon balls got very cold in cold weather.
File that one away ... far, far away.
And Helen - just what are those frogs doing???

Christie Ridgway said...

My summer trivia: The day before the cleaning lady comes, during the week when you have two dogs in the house instead of one, your teenager will want to have all his friends over...and "Gee, Mom, who cares about the nests of dog hair in the corners?"

Towels left in damp wads around the pool develop a mold that perhaps you could make a nice sauterne out of...shall I try?

The plastic owl we set out in the backyard is being mocked by the mockingbird that sings all night long. I'm often up counting all his many tunes. Have made it up to eleven before I'm not sure if it's a new one or a variation on the old.

Keri Ford said...

Next time you go out on a drinking bender, drink all the water you can shove down your throat before going to bed. It’ll take care of the hang-over.

Your eyes close automatically when you sneeze to keep them from popping out. That’s what I heard anyway.

I KNOW I know a lot more of these, but only remember them if something jars my memory.

Cindy, I noticed the frogs too and just told myself that’s their way of carrying their young. You know like kangaroo’s carry their babies in a pouch.

Kathleen Eagle said...

About that sneezing, we say God bless you or Gesundheit because the soul leaves the body for an instand, blown out by the sneeze. But you all knew that.

And this is true: stifling a sneeze is like trapping hurricane force inside your body. I cracked a rib once when I stifled a sneeze and twisted at the same time. It was the dr. who told me the hurricane force bit and said they actually see resulting cracked ribs quite often. Hairline fracture--had to wear a brace for several weeks, but there's really not much they can do. It just has to mend.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Oh, and there's no point in slathering lotion on any portion of your body unless it's moist with water. A dermatologist told me that it's the water, not the lotion, that does the moisturizing. The lotion holds the water. So slather the lotion after your shower.

And I'd thought water on the face was actually drying, so you were supposed to use special "cleansing agents." No, it's soap that's drying. Strips the water. So, cleansing agents with water.

Kathleen Eagle said...

I'm supposed to be working on a proposal. Can you tell?

Betina Krahn said...

Wow, you guys! Talk about serendipity. . . I'm including a Great Gray Owl in my new book!!! He's quite a character! How did you know I meant "Great Gray" when I said owl earlier? And Kathy, I just learned about the southward migration of the Grays into Minnesota two days ago! Wow! Maybe it's a sign!

Helen Brenna said...

Boy, we are full of it, aren't we!

Cindy, leave it to you to notice those frogs. I can only guess what they're doing, but seeing as how I'm a romance writer, I'm thinking you can guess what I'm thinking!

Christie, eeeww, on the pool mold sauterne and I'm not sure I know what a mockingbird sounds like. Do we have them in MN? Anyone know?

Keri, I've heard that about all the water curing a hangover too. Does it work?

Betina, does your owl character have a name?

And you, Kathy, get to work!

Keri Ford said...

Helen, that's what my cousin tells me, so I believe him considering he was an active Marine for 4 years.

I've never tried it myself because I've never gotten that drunk to where I had a hangover the next morning. Just wasted enough I had to think to walk in my stiletto heels :)

Betina Krahn said...

Helen, my owl's name is Strix. . . which is the first of the two part scientific name for the Great Gray.
Strix nebulosa.

And yes, he's a character.

Helen Brenna said...

Stilettos and walking always mean thinking, Keri, for me!

Great name, Betina. Bet you're having fun with that character.