Peg Bracken Quotations

I found a copy of the book ‘A Window Over the Sink’ by Peg Bracken at our local book barn this summer. I had read and enjoyed it many years ago – it didn’t disappoint the second time around. The part I liked best was the story about her aunt, Liz Noah, who had been deposited in an ‘old folks’ home when she could no longer meet the standards of nourishment and housekeeping that her concerned relatives thought adequate. The last time Peg visited Liz in the seniors home, Peg prayed, “Get her out of there – though I knew there was only one way she’d ever leave… it was no place for Aunt Liz Noah, no place at all.”

Three months later, Liz Noah chose the other way to leave that place. She packed a small bag, walked out of the seniors home, strolled down the street to the local Hotel, and checked herself in.

Having had three close relatives in Senior’s Homes, I think, now and then, about when and where I will be ‘deposited’ some day. I hope I will be able to follow in the footsteps of one of our neighbours up the road who was still living in the country, on her own, when she was 85…

Short Bio: Ruth Eleanor “Peg” Bracken (1918-2007) was an American author of humorous books on cooking, housekeeping, etiquette, travel and aging. Here are some quotes from her various books:

Still, it is a happy thing that a window over the sink can serve as a window on a world now gone. For truly, the loved and long-ago people and places in your memory can be visited only in your imagination; and perhaps the things that you ate and loved then can be tasted again only in your imagination too.
– From “A Window Over the Sink” –

Add the flour, salt, paprika, and mushrooms, stir, and let it cook five minutes while you light a cigarette and stare sullenly at the sink.

Always be sure it’s coarse-ground, because a lot of people feel that anything that’s peppered should look as though it had been fished out of a gravel pit.

Everything takes longer than you think it should, except for some things that don’t take as long.

In the past few years I have unintentionally made some culinary discoveries, mainly involving prepared foods and easier ways to do things … I am well aware that to skilled and ardent cooks my innocent pride in these findings will resemble that of the little man who showed up at the Patent Office last year with his new invention, designed for talking across distances, which he had named “the telephone.”

It’s easier to find a traveling companion than to get rid of one.

Facts must be faced. Vegetables simply don’t taste as good as most other things do.

Life is so very simple when you have no facts to confuse you.

Many people choose, early on, their own truths from the large smorgasbord available. And once they’ve chosen them, for good reason or no reason, they then proceed rather selectively, wisely gathering whatever will bolster them or at least carry out the color scheme.

(Newton’s Law of the Ever-level Suitcase) At the same time an object is lost, used up, given away, thrown out, or otherwise disposed of, another object of equal size and weight rushes in to fill the vacuum.

One of the loveliest things about being grown up is the knowledge that never again will I have to go through the miserable business of performing in Mrs. Smedley’s Annual Piano Recital at McKinleyville’s First Presbyterian Church.

Travel never made a bore interesting; it only makes for a well-traveled bore, in the same way coffee makes for a wide-awake drunk. In fact, the more a bore travels, the worse he gets. The only advantage in it for his friends and family is that he isn’t home as much.

What most of us are after, when we have a picture taken, is a good natural-looking picture that doesn’t resemble us.

Bulwer-Lytton Quotations #5 ( 2004, 2022)

The English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest since 1982. It is a literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence for the worst possible novel. The following submissions are the ones I liked best from the years 2004 and 2022.

As the hot air balloon ascended into the calm morning air over his native Bavaria, Stefan’s nerves were on edge as he reached into his jacket pocket and fumbled for the little velvet box containing his grandmother’s wedding ring, cleared his throat, and dropped to one knee in front of his beloved Gwendolyn; meanwhile, our story begins on a cold, rainy day at a pig farm near Belgrade, Nebraska.
– Jeff Green, Celina, TX –

At least it was a creative way to be dumped, Ben mused to himself as he looked at the new location of his name on the updated seating chart for his wedding reception—the singles’ table.
– Izzy Maurer, Lincoln, UK –

Doris learned two things working at the Post Office — the first was that when Jake came in and asked her if she wanted to see a really big johnson, he didn’t mean he wanted her to go through The Special Limited Presidents stamp collection, and the second was that she didn’t need to head outside at the end of each shift with a bag of envelops and a trowel because it turned out the dead letters were not, in fact, actually dead.
– Susanne Antonetta, Bellingham, WA –

Farmer Brown knew the moment he read the ransom note – the tiny, dirty footprints, childish scrawl, and a spray of seed debris among the angry peckmarks marring the paper’s surface – that the chickens had kidnapped his beloved Bichon Friese Fifi, and that the only man who could help him, George “The Chicken Whisperer” Fitzpatrick, was sleeping off a killer hangover in the outdoor privy behind the pigpen.
– Debra Mann, Subbury, ON Canada –

Hans sipped from his bottle of German Bru-hoff beer and idly read the label:
“Bru-hoff, a heady-nosed Rhine beer
has a slightly briny pose,
and if you’ve ever drawn it,
you would like the way it flows,
but all of the other Rhine beers,
Dusen lagers, and thick ales,
they never beat our Bru-hoff
in the yearly Rhine beer games.”
– Roger J. McNichols’ Pearland, TX –

He heard a bang, well not really a bang but more of a crash with metallic overtones of platinum-encrusted steel alloys, hammering against unyielding iron and iridium plates; or maybe it was the clash of huge nickel-zinc rods hitting molybdenum fused sheets of tantalum, then he felt a stab of pain and heard another bang, and wished, instead of using his extensive metallurgy skills to try and analyze the sound, he would have run like hell when he first saw the gun pointed at him.
– Ken Loomes, Winnipeg, Manitoba –

Her breath came in short, urgent gasps as beads of sweat slowly coalesced and slipped hesitantly over her lightly-tanned skin, leaving glistening trails down a cleavage that was both feminine and primal while her wide eyes betrayed a mind still struggling to accept that her physical ordeal was over and that she had, in fact, caught the bus.
– Ben Connelly, Canberra, Australia –

It was a Dark ‘n Stormy night: Dark n’ Stormy cocktails were half-off at Tata’s, the breast-themed barbeque chicken restaurant.
– Ross Ozarka, Auckland, New Zealand –

It was a dark and stormy night – actually not all that dark, but more dusky or maybe cloudy, and to say “stormy” may be overstating things a bit, although the sidewalks were still wettish and smelled of ozone, and, truth be told, characterizing the time as night is a stretch as it was more in the late, late afternoon because I think Oprah was still on.
-Gregory Snider, MD, Lexington, KY –

It was hardtack and beans for the crouching cowboys in the lee of the chuck wagon that stormy night when the wind flared the fire and the light caught the trail boss’ leather-bound, barb-wire muscled face which might have said, were he not the quiet sort, “Cookie, we should have had more salads.”
– Barry McAtee, Austin, TX –

Prior to his CNN career, Wolf Blitzer slummed the gossip magazines, once inquiring of Hugh Grant’s then-wife, Liz Hurley, why he had never been in a film with Virginia Madsen, to which she replied, “Hugh’s afraid of Virginia, Wolf.”
– Peter Bjorkman, Rocklin, CA –

The day dawned much like any other day, except that the date was different.
– Geoff Blackwell, Bundaberg , Queensland Australia –

The Director of Child Protective Services was aghast, and needed clarification, “Let me get this straight — You were rocking your baby on the tree top, and when the wind blew, the cradle rocked and the bough broke, the cradle fell, and down came baby, cradle and all?”
– John Tracy, Palm Desert, CA –

To her dismay, Julia found that her right hand seemed to be pulling her into an increasingly horizontal position; first her wrist and forearm, then her upper arm and shoulder, until her cheek lay on her shoulder, leaving her to surmise that the handrail of the airport’s moving sidewalk progressed at a more rapid pace than the sidewalk itself.
– Ann Harper, Phoenix AZ –

While scrolling through the online catalog of the Acme website trying to decide if he should order rocket roller skates, TNT, and an anvil, or—Fool-Me-Twice fake tunnel paint, the Coyote suddenly realized, ‘Hey, I could just order food.’
– Rusty Hamilton, Candby, OR –

For more ‘Best of Bulwer-Lytton Quotations’, click on the Bulwer-Lytton tag in the Posted In box below.

Quirky Quips and Quotes – Did You Know?

Be careful when you blindly follow the Masses. Sometimes the ‘M’ is silent.
– Author Unknown –

Being an adult is like folding a fitted sheet.
– Author Unknown –

Every woman’s dream is that a man will take her in his arms, throw her into bed… and clean the whole house while she sleeps.
– memionscom –

If attacked by a mob of clowns, go for the juggler.
– WallingfordSign.com –

If more government is the answer, then it was a really stupid question.
– Ronald Reagan –

It’s not what we don’t know that gets us in trouble. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.
– Mark Twain –

It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
– Author Unknown –

It’s possible to feel full when it comes to more vegetables, but not full when it comes to a piece of cake.
– Cynthia Copeland Lewis –

One thing you can learn from your dog is when to go lie under the dining room table and await developments.
– Robert Brault –

People are more violently opposed to fur than leather because it’s safer to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs.
– Alexei Sayle –

Understanding Quotations

A child is a person who can’t understand why someone would give away a perfectly good cat.
– Author Unknown –

Anyone who eats three meals a day should understand why cookbooks outsell sex books three to one.
– L.M. Boyd –

As I grow older and wiser, I’ve begun to understand how little I understand.
-Author Unknown –

Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers.
– Grossman’s Law –

I did not fully understand the dread term ‘terminal illness’ until I saw Heathrow Airport for myself.
– Dennis Potter –

I can explain it to you but I can’t understand it for you.
– Author Unknown –

I don’t understand your specific kind of crazy, but I do admire your total commitment to it.
– Author Unknown –

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
– Robert McCloskey –

I’m trying very hard to understand this generation. They have adjusted the timetable for childbearing so that menopause and teaching a sixteen-year-old how to drive a car will occur in the same week.
– Erma Bombeck –

I stopped understanding math when the alphabet decided to get involved.
– Author Unknown –

It isn’t easy being the parent of a six year old today. However, it’s a small price to pay to have someone around the house who understands computers.
– S.D. Sisseton –

I understand the concept of COOKING and CLEANING – just not as it applies to me.
– Author Unknown –

Just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean it isn’t so.”
― Lemony Snicket, The Blank Book –

Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.
– Hal Borland –

People have been cooking and eating for thousands of years, so if you are the very first to have thought of adding lime juice to scalloped potatoes try to understand there must be a reason for this.
– Fran Lebowitz, The Fran Lebowitz Reader –

Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
― Francis Bacon, The Essays –

Sometimes it’s not enough to know what things mean, sometimes you have to know what things don’t mean.
― Bob Dylan –

Sometimes the mind, for reasons we don’t understand, goes to the store for a quart of milk.
– Joel, Northern Exposure –

What part of s = sqrt{frac{1}{N-1} sum_{i=1}^N (x_i – overline{x})^2} don’t you understand?
– Author Unknown –

Normal Quotations

A ‘normal person’ is what is left after society has squeezed out all unconventional opinions and aspirations out of a human being.
― Mokokoma Mokhonoana –

But there is no obvious reason for holding that some normal adults are entitled to make choices for other normal adults, as paternalists of both left and right believe.
– Tom G. Palmer –

For every “Drive Safely” sign, shouldn’t there be a “Resume Normal Driving” sign?
– Robert Brault-

In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning.
– George Orwell –

It’s a pleasure to give advice, humiliating to need it, normal to ignore it.
– Charles E. McKenzie –

I’ve recently started a dating app for chickens. It’s not my normal day job,
it’s just to make hens meet.
– Author Unknown –

Normal sized babies are delivered by stork. Heavier babies are delivered by crane.
– Author Unknown –

Normal people… believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet.
– Scott Adams –

Remember, as far as anyone knows, we’re a nice normal family.
– Author Unknown –

The ghastly thing about postal strikes is that after they are over, the service returns to normal.
– Richard J. Needham –

The government in Egypt has asked the city’s taxi drivers to drive around Cairo sounding their car horns. It is hoped that the familiar sounds of the city will induce a return to tranquility and normality following the recent pandemic.
Operation Toot ‘n Calm ‘Em will last for the rest of the week.
– Author Unknown –

The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well.
– Alfred Adler –

The weirder you’re going to behave, the more normal you should look. It works in reverse, too. When I see a kid with three or four rings in his nose, I know there is absolutely nothing extraordinary about that person.
– P. J. O’Rourke –

What do you call just one, normal potato?
A Commontater.
– Author Unknown –

When you finally accept that it’s OK not to have answers and it’s OK not to be perfect, you realize that feeling confused is a normal part of what it is to be a human being.
– Winona Ryder –

You know what kind of person it takes to run for President? Not normal.
– David Baldacci –

Goals and Life Lists Quotations

1. Going to bed early. 2 Not leaving my house. 3. Required Naps.
My childhood punishments are now my adult goals.
– Author Unknown –

Don’t worry if plan A fails. There are 25 more letters in the alphabet.
– doozylist.com –

Be grateful for what you already have while you pursue your goals.
If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more.
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart –

Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I’ll give you a stock clerk.
– J.C. Penney –

I find my life is a lot easier the lower I keep everyone’s expectations.
– Bill Watterson –

It’s better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than at the top of the one you don’t.
– Stephen Kellogg –

My goal in 2022 is to accomplish the goals I set in 2021 which I should have done in 2020 because I made a promise in 2019 which I planned in 2018.
– Author Unknown –

My goal is to build a life I don’t need a vacation from.
– Author Unknown –

My weekend to do list is basically just a list of things I want to eat.
– abbyhasissues.com –

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do day after tomorrow just as well.
– Mark Twain –

Pink Panther’s To Do List:
– To Do
– To Do
– To Do, To Do, To Do, To Do, To Doooo dodododododo

The most important thing to do in your life is to not interfere with somebody else’s life.
– Frank Zappa –

There was a time in my life, decades ago, when I was so full of energy that I was going to not only END WORLD HUNGER but also STOP WAR and ELIMINATE RACISM. Whereas today my life goals, to judge from the notes I leave myself, tend to be along the lines of BUY DETERGENT.
– Dave Barry –

Tell Me Why!

Stephen Wright, the American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and film producer asks:

Why are there five syllables in the word “monosyllabic”?

Why are they called a-part-ments, when they’re all stuck together?

Why are they called buildings when they’re already finished? Shouldn’t they be called builts?

Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?

Why do banks charge you a “non-sufficient funds fee” on money they already know you don’t have?

Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?

Why do we put suits in a garment bag and put garments in a suitcase?

Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

Why don’t they make the whole plane out of that black box stuff?

Why, in a country of free speech, are there phone bills?

Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist but a person who drives a racing car not called a racist?

Why is it, when a door is open it’s ajar, but when a jar is open, it’s not a door?

Why is the third hand on a watch called a second hand?

Why isn’t the number 11 pronounced onety one?

Why isn’t the word “phonetically” spelled with an “f”?

Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song?

Other People ask:

If God did not intend for us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?
– John Cleese –

If Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?
– Will Rogers –

Why do they call it rush hour when nothing moves?
– Robin Williams –

Other People have Answers:

A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.
– Winston Churchill –

Don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.
– Gilbert K. Chesterton –

I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.
– Lily Tomlin –

If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings.’
– Dave Barry –

It’s true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the chance?
– Ronald Reagan –

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
– Alan Dundes –

Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don’t have time for all that.
– George Carlin –

Do you have some ‘why’ questions like these? Do you have answers to any of these ‘Why’ Questions?

Quirky Quips and Quotes – The Well of Lost Thoughts

The growth in the internet, 24-hour television and mobile phones means that we now receive five times as much information every day as we did in 1986….
– The Telegraph –

1986! That’s recent history to someone who is my age! With decades and decades of information input, my memory hard drive is full. The only way to add something new is to delete something older.  Unfortunately, I don’t necessarily remember what I deleted, which results in a blank look on my face while my mind goes “to the store” looking for what might not have been deleted but stored on a different shelf or that which was deleted but might be recovered if I quickly delete the reason I’m walking from one room to another.

A while back I wrote a post about Absent- mindedness. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but my blog is my “Well of Lost Thoughts”,   so you (and I) can read what I wrote here:  Upside to Absent-mindedness.

We really are living in an age of information overload. Google estimates that there are 300 exabytes (300 followed by 18 zeros) of human-made information in the world today. Only four years ago there were just 30 exabytes. We’ve created more information in the past few years than in all of human history before us.
– Daniel Levitin –

Are you filling your head with empty calories?
― Frank Sonnenberg, Soul Food: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life –