Writers’ Guide to Hominyims and Similar Situations


Homonyms and similar-sounding words can be real buggers.  Spell Check won’t help, and although Word tries to do the thinking for you, when you really need its help, it lets you down every time.  What’s a body to do?  Relax!  You might not be using the wrong word after all!  It’s all in how you spin it.  This little article will lay many of your worst fears of embarrassment to rest, and down the road I’m bound to come up with a Part Too.

If you are squandering your time, you are usually wasting it, but if you are doing it by spending day after day eating at the local buffet, then it is A-OK to say you are waisting it.

Hanging out with your piers is OK if you are a dock repairman or a yachting enthusiast.  Hanging out with pears is appropriate if you own an orchard or are employed by a canning factory.

Going to collage is not acceptable, unless your institution of higher learning is an arts and crafts shop teaching classes on cutting and pasting.  If you are only into serious art, or don’t like art at all, do yourself a favor and just attend university.

Runway models exhibit wears, GPS gizmos display your wheres, (but not your weres), and flea market vendors sell wares. 

If you plan on altaring a business suit, first make sure the church accepts clothing donations.  And if they except clothing donations, that means they’d rather you gave it to the Salvation Army instead.  (Cash donations are not usually excepted.)

BUT, if you go to the alter to take care of sin business with the Lord, that is definitely OK.  He expects you to alter your ways when you repent.

If you are baring a child, you are getting your little one ready for his bath.  And by the way, beware of Greeks baring gifts!  (I’m told that their traditions do not include wrapping presents.  I like surprises, myself.)

Yes!  Your interest can be peaked!  Peaked interest refers to an extremely  high level of curiosity.  If yours reaches those altitudes, make sure you take your inhaler along.  The air gets thin in the mountains.  (But don’t allow your curiosity to lead you into peeking at things that are none of your business.)

“Balling all over the place”  is only OK if you are a roly poly bug or if it hurts so badly that you are curling into the fetal position.

Righting a term paper?  Go ahead, if you are a copy editor.  I hope you are getting paid well, as this can be a most frustrating assignment.

Hare dryer — I saw one of these handy-dandy appliances at the local farm store.  For best results, be careful to follow the included rabbit jerky recipe to the letter.

I’m sorry, it is not possible to horde money.  But, if you travel with Genghis Khan or Attila the Hun, you will probably come into plenty of loot to hoard, if that’s your fancy.  (It’s more fun to spend it, though.)

So much for today’s taste of homonym grits.


Published in: on January 8, 2010 at 9:15 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , ,

Recommending a Blog

I don’t read a lot of other blogs, mainly because I don’t have time.  But there is one that has captured me in recent days, thanks to a featured post at WordPress about it.

The blog is by Nancy Bailey, who has a couple of Morgan horses and a few other critters, along with some super animal artwork. 

I’ve always loved Morgans, and always would have liked to have had one.  I ended up with a 1/2 Saddlebred instead, and that was over thirty years ago.

Anyway, the photos of Cliffy, a beautiful Morgan, and the artwork of the lady who owns him caught my interest.  And then I got involved in their story as well.

Do yourself a pleasure and visit Cliffy’s Mom’s Blog.  If you love horses, I guarantee you are going to like this one.

Weird Search Terms #3


It’s time for another edition of Weird Search Terms, where we look at how people get to this blog and ask the all-important question, “Why would you want to know?”  Here are some of the latest goodies I have collected:

“Why should we eat cheese curds?” — There are several very important reasons.

1.)  They are good for the economy.  Without the consumption of cheese curds, Wisconsin dairy farmers and cheese factories would be in grave danger of going belly-up, which would in turn cause soaring unemployment for the entire state, since the job market rests entirely upon the three-legged stool of dairy, paper mills, and cranberries.  Chop off that dairy leg, and the employment platform goes BOOM!  Eating cheese curds also keeps the national economy healthy.  The makers of Ex-Lax and Milk of Magnesia are counting on us.

2.)  If you are a Wisconsinite, abstaining from cheese curds is unpatriotic.  Our mamas ingrain loyalty to the state in us from the moment we can toddle, and eating the right cuisine is part of that.

3.)  Fresh cheese curds keep your teeth clean.  As you chew them, they rub all over your gums and molars, removing plaque and stimulating healthy gum tissue.  It’s true!  Ask your dentist.

4.)  They taste better than escargot, caviar, grits, and jambalaya.

“When it rains, I have maggots in my window sill.” I’m sorry — truly.  I would freak out if I had maggots in my window sill.  I would call Orkin or Roto-Rooter or even the Highway Patrol — ANYBODY who might be willing to help me!  I have had ants who thought they were termites and mice as big as beavers in my home, but never once have I had maggots in the window sills.  If it is any comfort, at least they are not in your corn flakes.

Let’s think creatively for a moment.  Get your man to buy a sturdy chainsaw at Home Depot.  Have him cut the window sill completely out.  (Make sure you keep a disposable bath towel under the area of deconstruction to catch the filthy little wigglies if any fall out during the process.)  Have your guy carefully carry the window sill and bath towel outside so that none escape onto your linoleum or into your carpet.  We don’t want any of them to go undiscovered and then migrate to your corn flakes.  Once he has removed the major portion of the problem to the great outdoors, minutely inspect what is left of the window and surrounding wall with a magnifying glass.  If any maggots remain, unfortunately, you may have to cut out the entire wall.  Call Home Depot or the Highway Patrol to find out for sure.  Do NOT call me!

“Sample Rummage Sale Signs” — Hobby Lobby might have them in a variety of tie-dye styles.  Your local newspaper may give you a couple for free if you buy the $35.00 classified ad to announce your sale.  If you make your own, be distinctive — even creative — in your spelling.  It will make your sale stand out from all the others.  Rumge, rumage, ramuge, and rummidge sail are all acceptable variant spellings for the great summer event here in Wisconsin.  Whatever you do, don’t call it a “yard” or “garage” sale, or you will have umpteen wiseacres who think they are original asking how much you want for the sod or the shed.

“50 or over benching contest” — Believe it or not, we have a yearly benching competition here in Appleton.  Only, you have to be 65 or older to qualify.  The recreation department collects the benches from the parks all over town and deposits them on the main drag.  From there, the fun begins.  We have contests in various categories, such as

1.)  Musical benches — Gets a little rough sometimes.  Some of the geezers are pretty aggressive and are not above pushing, shoving, etc. to get their bench.  Caning another contestant will produce immediate disqualification.

2.)  Guinness Book of World Records event — Who can sit the longest without wiggling a muscle?  It’s a stiff competition.  Serious contenders practice year-round to get their stamina up for this one.  We’ve had some sit from July, when the official contest opens, right down until the frost hits in the end of September.

3.)  Bench-dancing — The judges seem to prefer tap dancing or jitter bugging, although square dance teams have been known to place in the finals.  Dressing up like Sammy Davis Jr. or wearing a Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire mask will not enhance your chances of winning.   If you tip your bench over and can’t dance it back up again, expect disqualification. 

4.)  The grand finale is the bench race.  Teams from all over the Fox River Valley spend the winter months streamlining their stripped-down, customized boogie-benches.  Watch your baby strollers, moms!  If you leave them unattended for a moment at the mall, you may lose the wheels.  These guys don’t care how they get the parts.  Winning is everything!   One guy drives, one rides shotgun, and four harness up to gallop down the stretch.  Beats the bed race in Seymour’s Hamburger Fest any day of the week!


Baby Boomer Humor Contest Winners

The winners of the Over 50, Still Kickin’ Baby Boomer Humor Contest are now posted at our web site.  The winning entries can be seen at


Over 50, Still Kickin’

Baby Boomer Humor Writing Contest!

Over 50, Still Kickin’  is sponsoring its first-ever writing contest. This is a writer-to-writer, Boomer-to-Boomer contest. It’s meant to be fun and to give out modest prize money in the process.

The rules are pretty simple, and anyone is eligible to enter (except Dave Barry, because it wouldn’t be fair to the rest of us).

$5.00 entry fee


1st place: $125.00
2nd place: $75.00
3rd place:  $50.00



My Latest Inspiration


I have been reading Tasha Tudor’s biography, Drawn from New England, and it has inspired me to write a biography of my best friend Peggy–authorized if she is enthused, and unauthorized if she isn’t. She won’t have a choice!

I thought the Tasha Tudor thing had a pretty good title, seeing she was an illustrator (Drawn) and from New England (lived in New England). So I’ve decided to go with a catchy title like that for my buddy’s biography. We want the readers to know she’s an artist (she’s into basketry), and we want them to know she is from Wisconsin, so we’ll call it, A Basket Full of Bratwurst. Isn’t that good??!!!

I haven’t got much material yet–just a great title–so I’ll have to interview Peg (for the authorized version) or those that know her (for the unauthorized version). Better yet, why don’t I just make it up as I go along? Who cares if it has any basis in reality? Hey, Hillary Clinton got away with this, and look how well her book did! Especially for the unauthorized version, we will have to find people who aren’t Peg’s favorite friends and can provide scoops of dirt (isn’t that the way they do it for the celebs?). Maybe, true to the Drawn from New England style, we’ll just stick with my own fond remembrances.

I’d better make this biography sound convincingly positive to Peg, so that she’ll cooperate, because we’ll need lotsa pictures–cute baby ones right up through the awkward years. (No, I’m not referring to adolescence. It’s the latest stage we’re in–the almost Depends generation.) We’ll want to include the colorful pictures of her accomplished artwork–knit sweaters, baskets, paintings, quill boxes, silk banners, grapevine wreaths, beadwork, and any other of her past art passions that I can’t recall right now. I’d just go steal the pics off her web site, but she has them all scientifically sabotaged so that they can’t be swiped.

If I do an unauthorized version, I probably won’t have to pay her anything from the massive profits I make. But then, she probably won’t let me have the pics, and I’d have to rely on dirt. Such a hard decision! Tsk.

This biography brainstorm has just got to be a winner! I figure, with Peg’s colorful, multi-faceted art career, she has at least as much going for her as Tasha Tudor. All Tasha did was create art while living like the pioneers did 100 years before her. Hey, Peg did bugs and butterflies, too! (See Chapter 9–The Lepidoptera Years.) We could add a little extra interest by having her pictured crafting an art piece in an RV with a flat tire out in the woods of Door County. It’s a sure winner. Yes, I like the ring of it–A Basket Full of Bratwurst.

Purchase at Amazon: Drawn from New England


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