Thursday, April 30, 2015


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What's in a name? A few years ago, I heard a name that was new to me. Now, if this is your name, or that of a loved one, please forgive me.

I asked myself, when I heard (read) the name, "Why would anybody on God's green earth ever hang a name like that on a pore (southern pronunciation) little, defenseless baby?"

Well, I have two friends who named their little boys Zander, which is why I didn't ask it out loud.

So, this morning, I looked it up. Come to find out, it is an abbreviated form of the name, Alexander, and its origin is Slavic and Greek. It means, "strong defender ".

My apologies for the critical view that I had taken. When I realize that I am wrong about something, I'll be the first to admit it.

More power to all you little Zanders out there! May you live up to the meaning of your name and defend the weak and powerless! 

And don't pulverize them when they poke fun at your name, please.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


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One of the most difficult lessons we face in life is that of yielding, or giving over, to another person or situation.

It is an innate characteristic we possess.

It is a lesson we have to learn over and over, from the time we are small children, learning to yield to parents demands, then in school to teachers' demands, and in, oh, so many situations as adults.

To be yielding is often considered to be soft, giving up, docile - yet, it sometimes requires great inner strength to yield or to cede what we hold dear. 

In days of Old in England and France, the days of Kings and Knights, they had jousting tournaments, and other contests of strength and valor. When a knight was bested, he either yielded or was slain. 

We are cautioned, however, about yielding to temptation and are urged to yield our lives to Christ and turn in faith to Him and Saving Grace.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Callie, The Xanthippe

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Herman Wilkins sighed. Callie Hawkes, next door, was at it again. Would she ever be happy with anything Benny did to try pleasing her?

Looking out his window, he observed the couple on their patio. Benny had just finished trimming the hedge around the edge of their yard, and, to Herman, it seemed to be quite even and neat.

"I wish I could get mine to looking that good," Herman was thinking.

Benny sat down at the table, placing the hedge trimmers on the edge of the table. His wife, Callie, was sitting and drinking a cold glass of something, doing her usual carping.

"Benny!  "Those hedges are not even! Don't you know how to do anything?" She shouted shrilly at him.

"Apparently not," he muttered to himself.

"Get those nasty trimmers off the table! It's like living with a heathen!"

She went on, not stopping for a breath.

"You forgot to carry out the trash last night, and I had to do it myself! Just like everything else around here! God knows why I ever agreed to marry you!  My dear Mama warned me! She told me you'd wind up being the death of me! But I didn't listen! More's the pity!"

"Hmmm. I agree, Callie." He muttered again.

Herman turned away from the window, and went to hug his own wife, who was in the living room. 

Outside, Benny stood, turned slightly, smiling, to the woman who never seemed to let up on her caustic criticism of him as a man. He picked up the hedge-trimmers.

"Perhaps I'd better have a go at a do-over," he replied and revved up the electric hedge trimmers. ...

Monday, April 27, 2015

Wants, Wishes and Work

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We were poor, so there were no extras. Many times, food was scarce or non-existent. Mama had a "saying" for just about everything or situation .

If we expressed a want, Mama would most likely counter with, "There's a man in jail, wantin' out, too."

We knew that meant we weren't going to have whatever we had asked for. But for years, I wondered who that man was, until I realized that she meant no particular person, just anybody who was in jail.

We might say we wished something and she would say, "Put the wish in one hand and spit in the other. See which one fills up first."

Through the years, we came to realize that in order to fulfill wants and wishes, we needed to work to do so. Rarely will any thing just be handed to us on a silver platter. My Mama encouraged us to always do our best

Her saying for that was, "Things that you do, do with your might; things done by half are never done right."

Each of my siblings and I grew up with a wonderful work ethic. 

The only things that come free to us are sunshine, rain, fresh air, and God's Love, personified in the person of Jesus the Christ, if we accept Him as our personal Savior.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


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Do you know any victims? I'll bet you do!

They are the ones who are asking, "Why do things always have to happen to me? What did I do to deserve this?"

Or they may think that everyone is out to get them. 

"I just can't seem to get ahead...something is always getting in the way of success."

One doesn't have to be murdered to become a victim. It is many times the result of a state of mind. 

Sure, bad things happen to people, but look at the stories of so many people who have overcome such things.

Helen Keller and Fanny Crosby are two good examples of blind people who turned tragedy into triumph.

Every day, for those who read the newspapers or watch television, they see and hear stories of how people who could have turned sour on their circumstances turned around to help others. 

Victimology can be turned into victory. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Under the Weather

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Okay, so I looked this one up. I was curious about it, anyway. 
It seems that when sailors or persons who were on a ship would become seasick, they went below deck, where the rocking motion of the ship was not so great and the stomach could settle. 

The illness would most often happen when the weather made the seas rough, thus causing the deck to be more difficult to stand on.

Hence, one would be "under the weather" below deck, when they had to leave the deck and go below. 

I always pictured a person who was said to be under the weather, walking around with a rain cloud over their head. Ha. 


Thursday, April 23, 2015


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We often think of time: what time is it? What time is the doctor's appointment? What time are they coming to visit? What time is ... and on and on.

Some people try to hold off the ravages of time by getting plastic surgery, or going to spas to rejuvenate. Hah! I'm proud of every line and wrinkle I have. I earned them.

Here are a few quotes from various people about time.

"Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is the current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept away and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away."  Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor of 2nd century AD.

"Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils."
Louis - Hector Berlioz, French composer conductor of the 1800's

"Life is precious and time is a key element. Let's make every moment count and help those who have a greater need than our own." Harmon Killebrew, American Professional Baseball Player.

"Time, you old Gypsy Man
    Will you not stay,
Put up your caravan
   Just for one day?"

Ralph Hodgson, British Poet 

This last one has been made into a song and was Frank Sinatra's last recording published. Kaye Ballard sings it on UTube. 

What are your thoughts on time, if you have time to share them? 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Social Media

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Are you a "Tweeter"?  Do you put your face (and other parts of your anatomy) on Facebook?

How "social" are you in relation to web media?

Web media is a useful tool in the right hands. In the wrong hands, however, it can become a weapon.

 As I write this, I'm watching a television show about the growing abuse of web media.

Compared to some seniors my age (and some younger people, in fact) I may be considered quite knowledgeable in its use.

However, I know almost nothing about it compared to what my children and grandchildren know.

There are others who are in school and business that can top what my family members can do.

Like most everything, social media is used for both good, and evil. In the hands of criminals, or malicious people, it has become a disastrous tool.

One doesn't even have to be a user of the internet or social media to feel the abuse created through it by hackers.

Opinions, anyone?


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Relativity of Relatives

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The relativity of relatives has changed over the last forty years, or perhaps even longer ago than that.

What I'm trying to verbalize is the fact that since the fluidity of society has increased, cousins no longer necessarily grow up in the same town, city, or even state.

They no longer have that closeness of seeing each other more often than one week out of the year, or perhaps not even that much.

Close family members ( brothers and sisters) move to other places because of work demands. I have cousins that I was once close to, both in proximity and activities. Not so much any more.. 

(And some of them have passed on through the years) Some I haven't laid eyes on in years; don't even know if they are still living, in fact.

I still love them, but what can we talk about other than "Old Times", and reminisce about who married who, and was that five kids they had or was it six...

If it were not for " Social media " even the amount of staying in touch that we do now, would be lost to many.

In the final analysis, it's all relative, isn't it?

Monday, April 20, 2015


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Those of you who know me, know that I am a quilter of sorts (quilts, too, ha.) I don't claim to be expert at it. I just like to make them. 

My purpose today is just to show you some of the many (I've lost count) that I've made. I don't sell them, but give them away to friends and family. The main pattern I use is called the six hour quilt, based on the Log Cabin pattern. 

It does take me more than six hours to make one, though. Some I've made are king and queen and twin size and are always reversible, with both sides being different.

This is just a sampling. I'm not expert at placing the pictures where I want them. 
Sorry. Hope you enjoy looking at them. 

Grammy Ruby.  

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Phases and Pastimes

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The major emphasis on our lives is about marriage, raising families, working, etc.  

The minor is on pastimes. What we do with the leisure time is important, too. It fulfills the refreshing, the renewal of self.

Phases. Pastimes. That can be applied to many things. 

I'm choosing to apply them to the creative sections of my life.

In my creative phases were macramé, pottery and ceramics, Native American and regular storytelling, quilting, rubber stamping creations. 

Mixed in during those years was drawing, painting, and small item crafting. 

I also embroidered and crocheted items. 

Writing stories, blogging, and game playing take up a great deal of time at present. Working jigsaw and crossword puzzles are also lifetime enjoyments. Quilting, of course, cannot be left out.

Reading has been a pleasurable pastime during the last seventy-five years, and I can't forget all the music I have enjoyed, from big band of the 1940's to the music on American Idol and The Voice, along with church music and country music. 

Much can be learned from all these things as well. What I have done as enjoyment, many people earn a living by doing. 

Of course, it stands without reason that I enjoy spending time with family. That is a given.

Wow! Isn't it amazing that there is so much clean stuff to enjoy here on God's Green Earth? 

How very blessed we all are! 

What about your pastimes?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Old at 82?

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Back when I was a kid, when someone reached the age of 65 or 70, they were considered to be really old, and, behaved so.  But even so, they lived with family until they were called to die.

Now, however, the number of people living into their 90's, is becoming quite common.

In fact, in the ladies' Sunday School class that I teach, seven or eight of them are older than I am (81). The oldest is 95 and is still driving. The majority of them live alone, but some live with family.

Both of my parents lived at home until they died in the hospital. My sister, Margaret, who never married, was their caregiver.

As for me, I am blessed in still being able to be on my own, paying my own bills, still driving, making my own decisions. I have no idea how long that will continue, but like most all seniors most likely do, dread the time when it is bound to change unless God sees fit to take me home first. I am very aware that it could change at any time. 

If I did become disabled, who knows what would happen? Not I. I can only trust that my children would see that I am cared for.

Many of America's seniors face untenable situations in their daily lives . They live in nursing homes that are just holding pens comparable to cattle way stations. A fortunate few are in upscale places, but not with family, as they used to be. They are still just waiting, mostly.

Times have changed.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Nap Time, Anyone?

Naps, I'm in favor of them. In fact, hardly a day goes by without my taking a nap on purpose, or one that just happens. My body just shuts down for a few minutes, sometimes.

Hey, I think I feel one coming on right now. I've been sitting here working on a quilt, after a long day.

What? Did something just happen? Oh! Did I just drift off? Sorry !

Well, I'll see you tomorrow . I think maybe I hear my recliner calling me.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Millinery - My Hat's Off to You!

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Millinery - Ladies' hats to you -

A long time ago (before my time of wearing them, by the way) if one wanted to purchase a lady's hat, one went to the millinery shop to obtain it. 

A hat could be ordered made the way one wanted it or it could be purchased ready-made. 

I've always loved hats. Maybe it is because of my stature??? I don't know. I just think they add to one's attractiveness, like a beautiful well-fitted dress or jacket. 

About twenty-five years ago, I began wearing them to church on Sunday morning, and I have continued the custom. Sure, I'm mostly the only one that does, but who cares? Not I. I never minded being the lone person to do something. 

On the bed are most of my Sunday hats, I took the pic while my cat, Bella, was sleeping. Ha.

The second picture is, of course, yours truly at Christmas a couple of years ago. 

Do you have any hats? Do you wear them on Sunday or when? 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Literacy Is A Life Changer

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I taught school for twenty-eight years, as well as being an elementary school librarian part of those years. It is a tragedy to see adults, all the way from high school graduates to the elderly, who can't read above a fourth grade level.

Some of the posts I see on Facebook, convince me that some of the illiterate are appearing there. If you don't believe me, read some of them. You don't even have to read them closely.

Even in reading some books, I see blaring grammatical errors in them.

You can bet your boots that people who say, "I don't like to read", are most likely among the functionally illiterate.

We give Bibles to people to read, then don't make sure that they are capable. 

Thirty-two (32) MILLION American adults are illiterate.

21% of all American adults read below 5th Grade level or not at all.

Over 70 % of America's prison inmates read AT or BELOW a 4th grade level.

85% of all juveniles who wind up in court system are illiterate.

A person who can read well can learn how to do almost anything, if it is in writing!

This is not to say it is criminal to be unable to read, but oh, what a shame it is on us, we who claim to be the richest nation in the world (or used to be), to have so many people who can't read and experience that joy!

"There is no frigate like a book, To take us lands away,"
Emily Dickinson. 

I cannot tell you the number of hours I have spent in far away places, reading. Well, that's a whole other story.

Monday, April 13, 2015


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Kisses... how many kinds are there? Just one, since a kiss is just a kiss, you say? 

Nah! I got to thinking about it yesterday and decided to see how many I could think of. Once you begin thinking, I'll bet you could name a few more.

Baby kisses (the kind that babies give when they are just learning - open mouth on the side of your face or on your chin).

Perfunctory kisses - the kind that hubby gives wife when he gets ready to walk out the door on the way to work or appointment (whatever).

First kisses - when you're just learning how.

Slobbery kisses - like the dog gives you (I don't let a dog kiss me)

Children's kisses - those unexpected wonderful gifts you receive when least expecting them.

Lover's kisses (well, there's all kinds of those - I won't go there)

Sisterly kisses that are given among family members

Friends' kisses of greeting.

Air kisses -- which ain't kisses really, as far as I'm concerned. (Yes, I know ain't is not grammatically correct, but here, who cares?) :P

The kiss of betrayal, The Judas kiss.

Okay, you get the idea about kisses. I know there are probably a lot more. I'll leave it up to you to mention those.

Got any to mention?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Joie de vivre

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Joie de vivre... the joy of living or of life. Do you still have it? Are you overflowing with it, or is it just somewhere hidden under the surface. If you've lost it, do you know where or how to find it? 

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to joke around, that I'm terrible punster. I'm so glad to be alive! How about you?

When you wake up each morning, do you look forward to the day and its events? Or do you say, "Umph. Wonder what I gotta do today?" 

Does each day look the same to you as you struggle from bed to get to the bathroom? Is there no joy in Mudville?

Or are you saying, "Wow! Thank you, God, for another day of life to enjoy the beautiful world you created for us!" 

Just something to think about...If you feel down, look around you, and be glad you have another day of life that your mother struggled to give you, as you were brought into this world. Another day to serve God. 

Here's to Joie de Vivre! 

Friday, April 10, 2015


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Some  people value their individuality, others want to be like someone else, maybe a famous person.

I always prized not being like anyone else, always wanting just to be appreciated for who I am.

Spare me from being considered a " cookie- cutter" person, please!

Readers Digest used to have a true story in it each month written by different persons. It was called, "My Most Unforgettable Character".

I always thought that it would be nice if someone would write such a story with me as the central subject. What a hoot that would have been for me. 

First and foremost, though, I would want them to say that I'm a believer in Christ.

Yep, I am an individualist. What about you?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hospital Horror Stories (True ones)

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Hospital horror stories.... Do you have any that you'd like to share? That happened to you or someone you know?

I have several, but one will do for now.

I was in the hospital with an EColi infection just a year ago. I wasn't sleeping well, so Doc prescribes a sleeping medication.

After taking it, I awakened at midnight, seeing blood dripping down my hand, then disappearing, only to reappear a minute later.

Yep, I was in Hallucination City, just as though I was high on some kind of illegal. (I reckon, since I've never used).

"Wow!" I thought later, "so that is what tripping is like!"

Needless to say, no more of that stuff for me. I don't even remember what drug they said it was. Guess I need to find out, huh?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Grandparents and Grandchildren

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There is a special bond that grows between grandparents and their grandchildren. I have experienced it on both ends.

Unfortunately, the only grandparent I knew was my dad's mother. All my others were deceased by the time I came along. Granny Campbell, Dad's mom,  passed away the year I turned 14, in February prior to my May birthday. I knew her best by playing at her house with my cousins, who lived with her, some right near her home. In fact, she took care of some of them quite often, and helped raise three of them.

My mom and dad had a close relationship with all their grandchildren. My daughters and I lived with them for several years. My own grandchildren I feel a real bond with, because we visited and spent lots of time together. Dubby and I took a trip to Disneyland in Florida with two of them; I spent several weeks caring for another grandchild, spent time living with some of them.

The great-grands are also close and we spend as much time together as possible. Their parents, my grands, provide me with opportunities to be with them.

I am very blessed. Would you like to share some experiences you have had?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


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Farewells...a natural part of life. There are all kinds and occasions for saying good-bye. Our lives are full of them, from the time in our life that we can understand the words, until the final time.

One of the interesting things about these occasions is the fact that we never are aware that when we use those words, it could be the last on this earth for them or us.

I was reminded of that fact almost five years ago. My husband, Dubby, and I had just been in Texas for two weeks. I had gotten him settled in the nursing home. I hugged him goodbye and kissed him.

"I'll be back in a week, cause I have to go back to Tennessee and pack up the house to move the furniture and stuff. I love you, Baby!"

When I got back to Texas, I was tired from traveling for two days, so instead of going to see him after I knew he was most likely asleep, I decided to wait till the next morning. 

The next morning, early, we got the phone call that he had gone to be with the Lord during the night. When I talked to his nurse the next week, he told me that Dubby had told him that he was going home that night, meaning home to be with Jesus.

A missed opportunity on my part? I realized he was most likely happier to be where he was than here with me . After all, what a wonderful exchange for him!

As much as I enjoy life, and, believe me, I do, I'm not dreading to say my final farewell. When the body will  refuse to move, with all its aches and pains, when even sleep is interrupted by aches and pains, life becomes difficult.

The final good-bye becomes inevitable. We never know when we are going to be called from this life. Are you prepared to meet The Lord? 

Monday, April 6, 2015


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The object of my post today is not to debate the matter of equality. We are all aware that inequality exists everywhere. Rather, it is to get your response to the question of equality in America.

When my daughters were little, I attempted giving to them equally. If one of them received a new dress, the other one was the recipient of a new one, as well. I never wanted either of them to feel she was less or more important to me than the other. I still don't.

A great debate looms over our country today, over inequality of rights. I'm not going into that discussion, just mentioning a few.  The races; the sexes; rich people versus poor people; education: are all in a period of flux. You can probably name a few more.

These inequalities have been around forever. Don't expect them to change. That does not mean, however, that people won't continue with group and individual campaigns in their wars for justice.

Do any of these get your knickers in a twist? Are you doing anything to change any of them? If so, would you like to share?

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Defining Moments

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Defining moments in our lives quite often occur without warning, and also our awareness at the time.  
The moment when you get a gift, or are hired for a job - the day you meet your future mate - or when you get into your car for a routine trip down to the grocery and are hit head-on by another car. All of those can be defining moments influencing the rest of our lives.

For me, one of my most recent life-changing moments was when I was offered a big kitty cat who needed a home. By big, I mean an eighteen pound one. She is named Bella and now has the run of my home and tries to boss me around, as well. I gave her the name Bella, because it is Italian for beautiful, and she is.

She loves to sit herself on my quilting as I try to stitch it on my sewing machine. She loves being near me, and is never very far away from me. She has changed my life tremendously. Now, I talk to her instead of to the television. We communicate quite nicely. 

Do you have a "Bella" in your life? 

What were some "Defining Moments" in your life?

Friday, April 3, 2015


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 One of the leading characteristics of Jesus Christ is that of compassion. Dr. Spurgeon, the great evangelist says that when Jesus looked on the sorrows of mankind, his inner being was agitated with deep feelings of pity and compassion. (my translation).

I believe that today's society is deeply lacking in compassion for one another. It is simply easier to condemn or to look the other way when we see situations that could use some sorrow and pity; some understanding could only help.

In the Gospel of Matthew, the phrase, "He was moved with compassion" occurs five times. Each time, Matthew is speaking of Jesus' love and caring for other human beings. 

Think how much sorrow He must feel as He sees the world as it is today. People everywhere still in need of healing, angry with one another, hungry for power, all the way from school children bullying one another to adults killing each other, up to countries that can't get along with one another. 
Even with the advance of modern medicine, electronics, communications, and bigger and better war machines, compassion is still sadly lacking. Go figure! Man is still fallen.

On Sunday, Christians everywhere celebrate Easter, the day when Jesus came back from the death for mankind's sake, after conquering sin and the grave. His heart broke as he hung on the cross. He is still full of compassion for the lost and dying world. Jesus saves!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Boredom Valley

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Have you made the claim lately of being bored? Shame on you!

Boredom is not a word or feeling with which I am well-acquainted. My mind is a busy place, and quite often my daughters claim they think it must be a scary one as well. Ha ha.

I don't believe there should ever be an acceptance of the statement, "I'm b-o-o-o-r-e-d! There's nothing to do!"

Children, and adults as well, should have more that can occupy time and minds than at any time before.

If there is nothing to do with hands, there is creative thinking. There are books to read, radios, CD's, magazines, yes, even the Comics to look at, and understand, even if one can't read them.

It seems there are few who don't have access to modern media of some kind. There are always things to learn, new horizons to explore, minds to expand.

Call a shut-in you know, if you can't get out, and cheer them up. It'll cheer you up as well. 

Write!  For goodness sake, record ideas, memories, songs.

I know I'm preaching to the choir here, because most of you reading this are writers. (Smiley inserted here)

A mind is a terrible thing to waste! Hey, I think maybe I've heard that expression someplace before, haven't you?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Auntie Em

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I, too, like Dorothy, had an Aunt Em. However, we called her "Auntie", but, being Southern Country, we pronounced it as "Ain'ty".

Now, Aunt Emmaline was born back in the 1870's or thereabouts, and wore the long black dresses of that era. I, being born in the 1930's, knew her mostly in the 1940's through the 1950's. 

She was my Mama's aunt, and her daddy's sister. Auntie was a caregiver and "stayed" with people who were ill. She carried a doctor's black bag with her and, I suppose, fancied herself equal pretty much to a doctor. Auntie was a diminutive woman, only about five feet tall, I believe.

Occasionally, Mama would receive a letter bearing tidings of a coming visit from Auntie. 

Auntie had a wry mouth (twisted to one side) and an extra little finger on one hand. Quite often when mealtime was over, she would shake that extra little finger and speaking from that wry mouth, tell a leftover that she was having it for supper. I reckon maybe she was telling us as much as she was the leftover.

When bedtime came, it fell to me to share my bed with her. When she came to visit, I got very little sleep because she sounded like a buzz saw. 

Do you have any "Auntie's" in your acquaintance?