Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

Hey! Where’s My Beanie?


When I enrolled in college, I was looking forward to experiencing the thrill and excitement of being a college freshman.  Okay, so I’m a little long in the tooth for some of the college activities that most students engage in…I admit it.

At my age, I might have to forego attending the toga parties and since I now abstain from alcohol I guess Keg parties are also out of the question.  But, dang it, at least I could wear a Freshman Beanie!

In case some of you youngsters have no idea what I’m referring to, here’s the item that I seem to be missing.


Yes, folks, this is a old time college beanie complete with button.  Why was the button so important?  Well, back in the fifties, freshman would be stopped in the halls of universities by upperclassmen and the older students would “button” them.  That meant that the lucky freshman was required to kneel before the students, touch the button on the beanie and say, “I’m but a lowly freshman.”

This was an old tradition that obviously didn’t carry forth through the many generations since the 50’s.  It might be for the best, since if I had to get down on my knees, there’s a possibility that I would need help getting back up (arthritis, you know).  And I might have a hard time not using another time honored tradition, called “shooting the bird”, when asked to embarrass myself in front of the entire student body.  Yeah, it probably wouldn’t be pretty!

Out of curiousity, I looked around in Cyberspace to see if college students wore beanies anymore.  To my surprise, they still have them but they look much different from the ones in the 1950’s.

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I did find a huge selection of rather novel beanies that students could wear…if they dared!

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To my surprise, when I looked in my college’s website, I found the perfect beanie for me and I’ll be ordering it today.

KU Concave Beanie Cap Navy White

Cold weather (as low as the 60’s) is drawing near and I want to be prepared to properly represent my college when I attend the football games (oh…we don’t have a team? Shucks!) But, I will take a picture of this lowly freshman wearing my new beanie once it arrives…maybe and maybe not!  We’ll have to see how it looks with grey hair tucked underneath!

You’ll notice…there’s no button!

Well, back to the books.




Report Card Memories


There I was, in the Admissions office, going down the list of requirements that were necessary to gain acceptance into Keiser University.

“We’ll need your High School transcripts,” Doreen, my Admissions counselor said.

“I don’t have them.”  I said.

“We can accept a copy.”

“I don’t have them.  I do have my yearbook…will that do?” I thought having my picture in the senior yearbook would suffice to show that I was a 1968 high school graduate.  After all, I look exactly the same as when I was 17, right?

Evidently, that isn’t enough to satisfy the registration demons, so today I must call my old high school and request my school transcripts. I’m happy to say that the high school still exists and has not been declared a historical monument…yet.  I’m very curious as to what a copy of my original transcripts will look like.

In 1968, teachers didn’t have computers to track their student’s grades.  They had what was termed “The Hell Book” by students such as myself, but were actually called “grade books” by our instructors.


The instructor would use a pen and mark down your attendance, your participation grade (this grade was usually based on your ability not to snore in class), your homework grades (including the 0’s for the one’s the dog ate) and of course, your test grades.  At the end of each marking period, the teachers would then average your total and again record it on your Report Card!

In elementary school, we got A’s, B’s, C’s, etc.  In high school, much like today, you got a number that represented your total grade.  Anything in the high 80’s to 90’s and you would run home eagerly to show your parents.  Grades in the 70’s were still respectable, but you didn’t run quite so fast to show it off.

Grades of 69 or under and you dragged your feet until it was dark and hoped your parents would forget that today was Report Card Day.

So, seeing that my transcripts were recorded for all time using a pen, I wondered how they have fared over the years.

Will they look like parchment paper found in the King’s tombs of Egypt? Will the ink have disappeared?

Will they have those special notes teachers always deemed necessary to stick on our report cards in the “Comment” sections? Snide little remarks, such as, “Mary Ellen could do much better if she would just APPLY herself!” God, I hope not!  If I’m lucky, my memory will be accurate and the college will find that I was a fairly good student.

It wasn’t hard to maintain a “B” Average (I don’t know if I was a B+ or B-) for me…I was in Secretarial Course and working after school and on Saturdays in an office, so I got lots of on the job training.

Also, the majority of my subjects were based on turning me into a prim and proper secretary, complete with stenography and typing skills.  (Anyone who still remembers or uses their hard won steno skills….raise your hands.  Anyone?) Algebra, biology, and Latin were for the college bound kids.


Well, I do remember going to a graduation ceremony and receiving a High School Diploma…so how bad could those transcripts be?  My main concern, after 45 years hibernating in the dark basement of Bassick High School, that they are still intact! We’ll see!

I imagine the phone call tomorrow could possibly sound like this.

“Good Morning, Bassick High School.  How may I direct your call?” a young eager voice will ask.

“Yes, I need a copy of my High School Transcripts.  Could you tell me how to get them?”

“No problem…what year did you graduate?”


“No, really, when did you graduate?”



Strike Up The Band!

What a week it’s been! More exciting news!

A Dream Come True


It’s celebration time!

The other evening, after a really hectic day, I decided to check my e-mail account one more time before going to bed.  I was tired, worn out and ready to hit the hay but I hate when my e-mail account overflows into the next day so I threw my p.j.’s on and sat down at the laptop.

I was delighted to find a message from Linda Barnett-Johnson, Assistant Editor of Long Story Short – Ezine For Writers informing me that they have accepted my short story “My Father, The Plagiarist” for publication in their November/December issue.

I am not only thrilled at having another story published, but I have been reading Long Story Short for quite some time and love what they do.  Their e-zine has been supporting new and emerging writers for the past ten years and Long Story Short has been on the Writer’s Digest…

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Guess Where Cranky’s Headed?

elderly3Some of you might have noticed that Cranky’s been kinda quiet for the past week. Well, I’ve been pretty busy working on something that has been on my bucket list for a very, very, long time.

Need a hint? Okay, here it is!


Yes, my friends, I’m going back to school! I have spent the last week going back and forth to Keiser University and jumping through the hoops necessary to enroll for my Associate of Arts Degree!

Whaaat?  Wondering how I’m going to take care of Danny, the house, and be a full-time student? Well, all of the classes are going to be Online and I only take one class per month. I’m sure that those 30 days are intensive, but since I’m sitting home twiddling my thumbs I decided to give it a shot.

My goal is to get my Associates Degree and, if I’m still alive and kicking once I get my diploma, I’m going on to get a degree in Journalism. Why?  Because I want to…and I’ve always dreamed of being a journalist.

But, what does Danny think of my daring return to the hallowed halls of education? He is proud as punch that I was accepted and has been a strong cheering team through the entire week.


But, I also think that Danny envisions me turning into the college co-ed he always fantasied about!


Sadly, my school clothes will probably look more like this!


But, since he’s being great about the whole deal, I might have to go out and get something special to wear for the evenings!  I know I’ll be tired, but I’ll give it my best shot!


The man deserves no less!

Seriously, folks, I am so excited and thrilled to have been accepted and to be finally living my life long dream.

Now, they tell me since I only have one course per month, I’ll still have enough time to keep up with my writing and my blogging.  Goodness, I hope so, since I now need the money from a best seller to pay the student loans I signed my soul away today to get!


So, my friends, wish me luck.  I just know that I’ll have lots to tell you as the school year goes on, so hang in there and I’ll keep you updated!



P.S.  You might want to click HERE to find out what other exciting news I got this week!


Reading Like A Writer

Some good advice I once read!

A Dream Come True

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I once read, I can’t remember where (although I want to say it was Stephen King) that writers should read a book twice.  The first time as a reader…the second time as a writer.

I have found that advice invaluable (whoever said it) and I use that technique with everything I read.  I will read a book and see if I like it.  If I do, I then reread it and find out what the writer did to lure me into their world so effectively.  Most of the time, I’ve enjoyed a book or story because of the characters…I love a good hero or a despicable villain.  The plot is important, of course, but if you don’t have great characters with lots of depth and layers, I find it hard to get into the story.

So, if the writer got my attention, I reread it to find out how they…

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And That’s A Fact, Jack!



We Haven’t A Clue!


Yesterday morning, I was cooking breakfast when Danny called to me and asked where the yellow pad was that we leave on the patio table.

“It should be right there on the table.  You used it last night!”

“It’s not here.”

Danny had written some measurements on the ever-present pad the evening prior and he used the cardboard backing to write phone numbers on.  This made it mandatory that I stop in my tracks, put breakfast on hold and focus all my attention on finding the missing pad.

Danny’s memory has suffered a bit due to the medications he takes, so I assumed (and we all know what assume means) that he just misplaced it.

So, the location of this yellow pad became the object of a major search throughout the house.  Every room was scoured…the garage underwent a major investigation and both cars were strip searched. Garbage cans were inspected (always a delightful undertaking, especially since I just emptied coffee grounds into the kitchen trash) but no sign of the elusive pad could be found.

“It’ll show up.” my optimistic self told Dan.  I scuttled back to the stove and tried to save the sausage gravy that now looked like wallpaper paste and whipped up another batch of biscuits (the first batch seemed to have turned into missiles after sitting in the oven too long).

We sat down to breakfast, and I knew that we were both playing the “blame” game in our thoughts.

“He lost it somehow.”

“She put it somewhere.”

I glanced over to Buddy, our now well-behaved puppy and noticed he was chewing happily on something that didn’t look like one of his chew toys. I had found the culprit. I went out and removed the one-inch piece of paper from his jaws and went in search of the rest of the pad.  No trace evidence was found until I looked at Buddy’s “leavings” on the lawn.

“I found the pad” I yelled “but I don’t think you want it back.”

“Why would the dog eat a pad of paper?”  Danny was nonplussed and skeptical that I had the suspect in custody.  “Paper has no flavor!”

“Well, he ate the walls!  They don’t have flavor.  He ate the remote control and I’m sure that wasn’t a culinary delight.  But, if you have any doubts, come on out and take a look!”

We returned to our breakfast (Danny ate his…my appetite seemed to have diminished since finding the evidence in the yard) and decided that we had to clear the patio table from now on before we closed up shop for the night and went to bed.

Last night, we removed all temptation but felt comfortable leaving our cigarettes (no sermons please…we know…we know) and lighters in the very middle of the table.  Buddy had never shown interest in taking up smoking, so we felt safe and secure.

I awoke this morning before dawn and headed out to the patio for a smoke and couldn’t find my pack of cigarettes.  Danny’s pack seemed to be among the missing also.

I immediately woke up Buddy and told him to cough up the cigarettes.  They don’t come cheap and they are dangerous for dogs.  He just gave me the “who me?” look and slunk away.  I grabbed a flashlight and found the “cig burgler” had evidently found cigarettes distasteful, but the packs they came in were quite tasty.  I found two piles of “smoking gun” materials, one in the pool area and one on the lawn.

Now, I’m relieved that he didn’t eat all the cigarettes as nicotine poisoning is very dangerous to animals.  The perpetrator ate a hearty breakfast and woofed down his usual gallon of water, so I don’t think he ate any of them.  Cigarettes are costly but not as expensive as an emergency visit to the vet would be.

So, Buddy is now on “lock down” for the morning…no treats for him!  And, I’ll be keeping careful surveillance on his “movements” during the day and try to catch him in action if he tries to become a repeat offender.

Why do dogs eat paper, plastic, and nasty nicotine products?  We don’t know…we haven’t a clue.  But, vigilance will be maintained to prevent him from becoming a “Serial Chewer!” and to keep him from continuing his life of crime.

Holy shades of “Marley and Me!” I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next to test our patience…I’m sure it’ll be fun for him…not so much for us!  Guess it’s time to rethink our decision not to seek behavior classes.  Silly Us!


Paying It Forward Wednesday – 10/16/13

Paying It Forward and sharing some big news about writing resources.

A Dream Come True


It is with great pleasure that I shine a spotlight on one of the most wonderful sites I’ve found on WordPress.  This site has helped me out with numerous characters and plots for my short stories and I’ve leaned heavily on the expertise the authors of this site give in a easy to use format.

Yes, people, I’m talking about The Bookshelf Muse.  Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi are writers who met on the Internet and decided to create a site to help writers like us by providing tools that were sure to help make our stories Pop!  The first book I found by these authors, The Emotion Thesaurus,  is a writing resource that I downloaded to my Kindle and access over and over as I write.

To my delight, they have now released two additional books for writers who can’t seem to pin down their characters personalities…

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There’s Something Spooky Going On!

Halloween-Night-Animated-Wallpaper_Okay, I know it’s the month when ghouls and goblins run rampant and try to spook us mere mortals.  But, it seems that one or two have been floating around my site lately and it’s starting to send chills down my spine!

Some unexplained phenomena I’ve been experiencing has me shaking my head and I’ve started to wear a garlic pendant around my neck.  I’m not easily spooked…well, not unless I’m reading a horror novel or watching a rerun of “The Ring.”  But, now I’m almost afraid to check my site and see what the ghosties have done to my posts.

While Danny was in the hospital, I couldn’t check my stats so it was a week later before I discovered that one of my posts titled “Watch Out For Those Gallinippers” caused a dramatic rise in my stats…all in one day!  If you haven’t read it, it’s about mosquitoes, okay, really large mosquitoes that were threatening my little tropical state of Florida.  It was funny (if I say so myself) but not really worthy of being viewed over two hundred and fifty times…all in one day…months after I published it. Spooky, right?

Then, this morning, I checked my site to find a mysterious thing had occurred.  In answer to one of Bastet’s Pixleventures challenges, I posted a gallery of black and white pictures on my sister site, “A Dream Come True.” I had reblogged it (I share…yes I do…with my faithful followers on both sites) and somehow…some way…a picture appeared in my Reblog Post that I hadn’t used in the challenge.

It was a black and white photo of people jitter-bugging way back in the 50’s.  I had used this photo in a piece titled “Dancing With The Shakes” and it was about the new trend called “The Harlem Shake” which I posted in February (way before twerking came our way!).  How did it get in my reblog post?

As you can see, I’m confused and surprised by all these strange goings on…but, being the fearless Cranky…I will continue to post and hope that you will let me know if you notice something strange or unusual (now I know..I’m often strange and unusual, but you know what I mean).  Because, there is definitely something spooky going on here in Crankyland!


My Black And White Backyard

Oh Oh…Crankys been out in the wild with her camera again!

A Dream Come True

Bastet’s Pixleventure’s for this Saturday’s Close-Up challenged us to catch some shots in black and white.  These are my humble submissions.  Hope you like them!  I enjoyed shooting them!

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