Newest Blog Entries


They Shall not Remain Nameless: Why I—and others nickname our cars, homes and other nonliving objects

December 11, 2020 Margaret Crane

  The second car my late husband and I owned was a bright blue 1965 230 SL Mercedes convertible with two tops. The car had blown a rod and my husband spotted it sitting in pieces in some mechanic’s garage in 1969, had it fixed, bought it and drove it home. The car was adorable. I named it “Nellie” on the spot. She was cute and perky. And when I drove Nellie, a stick shift, no less, I felt like I was riding with a good friend whose job was to get me where I needed to go. Through the...


What ticks us off? Do you really want to know?

December 04, 2020 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

Some of us joke that we’ve been in a bad mood since the prior election of 2016, others were in a bad mood after the 2012 one, and some are now down in the dumps due to the recent election results.  Politics, however, isn’t all that stirs our pot until it reaches a boil and maybe spills over into many of our interactions. Yes, we admit it, we’re a lot angrier these days. We roar, we curse, we use sarcasm, or we tune others out for fear of confrontation. Then, we might go silent, which is passive-aggressive behavior and that...


Time for Giving: Gifts convey our best wishes for those we care about, including ourselves

November 27, 2020 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

Gift giving can be a lovely, generous and tangible expression of how much we care about someone.  Who doesn’t love presents? Well, one of us does (Barbara) and one tends to pooh-pooh the whole gift giving notion (Margaret).    However, since we want to get into the holiday spirit, this is a collective effort of our present to you, dear readers, to share what great gift ideas we’re seeing online, in magazine and TV ads and viewing on our very few ventures into stores this season. We try to buy local when we can, so we know those favorites will...


Comparisons Can Trip You Up, so be Careful About What You Covet

November 20, 2020 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

Some comparisons can be fun, even funny, to make. We do it all the time. A couple of times we both entered a Wisconsin cheese contest expecting to win because each of us thought ours was the best. Sadly, neither of us won. Most recently, we decided to hold a baked apple cider doughnuts bakeoff and were able to get together to sample each other’s effort. Barbara felt Margaret’s tasted better but were too sugary and Margaret didn’t care for the cakey consistency of Barbara’s doughnut, but it otherwise tasted great. These doughnuts have become a popular fall staple. Then,...


Thanksgiving Goes Topsyturkey in 2020: Will it be virtual & a good time to start some new traditions?

November 13, 2020 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

We’re here to pick a bone about Thanksgiving 2020. This is the iconic American family holiday when multiple smells of cooking waft throughout our homes. We set our tables with the good dishes and get ready for the big day with lots of guests, food, multiple courses, fancy centerpieces and typically the same cast of characters. It’s also a time to revel and rejoice, to give thanks for one’s blessings, although 2020 has been a challenging year for all, turning our world upside down and our Thanksgiving topsyturkey. We don’t want to be killjoys, but this year our Thanksgiving might...