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Milli Gilbaugh

Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking...

Food For Thought

How many amateur orators have started out a nerve-wracked speech with those words. They warn the audience that they are not used to public speaking, but don’t quite explain why they agreed to do so in the first place. They seem to think that the disclaimer will earn forgiveness and sympathy should their words fail to live up to expectations– in fact, the opening statement itself automatically lowers expectations by about 50 percent and may, in some way, help to ease the pressure and discomfort for the speaker.

Facial hair and other problems

Food for Thought

Again, it was time to get my driver’s license renewed. I couldn’t wait to see what novel requirements they had dreamed up since the last time I partook of this adventure. Even though (because of my age, I suppose) I am now required to renew my license every two years, there are always new innovations to the process.

On finding people

Food for Thought

I recently had cause to contact, by mail, several old friends whose addresses I no longer had handy in my head or my little address book. Accustomed to a lifetime of being able to simply look in the phone book for that information, I was dismayed when I found that a good many of them were no longer listed. Now, if they were no longer listed, that meant that they had either moved without my knowledge, changed their phone numbers to unpublished ones, or gone completely cellular. I found it difficult indeed to track down their mailing addresses. Some, I never did manage to find.

Ouch! My ears!

Food for Thought

For the past year or two, I’ve been receiving frequent offers of reduced cost or free hearing evaluations from a company in Cedar Rapids. They seem to be under the impression that I am losing my hearing and need a hearing aid. Now, I will confess to complaining that I sometimes miss a few of the words people say at meetings and social gatherings, but I don’t think it is my auditory faculties that are the reason.

Do you say what you mean ?

There’s a medicine being advertised frequently on television that instructs anyone considering its use to, “Ask your doctor if you live in or have traveled to an area where certain fungal infections are common.” Each time I hear this, I wonder how many people wonder why their doctor would know where they’ve traveled recently. While I’m wondering about that, I forget to listen to the commercial, so I can never remember what the name of the medicine is, but I don’t think it’s anything my doctor prescribes for me.

Springtime treats and tricks

Food for Thought

However you pronounce it (mor-els or mor-els), they’re a flavorful treasure to be found only in spring and only under specific conditions. Whatever those conditions are (and the expert hunters don’t all agree) once you’re discovered them, the next step is to figure out just how to get the most from them. Having enjoyed them as a child and nearly every year since, I’ve learned a few things about finding them, cleaning them, storing them, and the best ways to cook them for the most flavor.

Morels, morals, and asparagus

Food for Thought

At this time of year, we often see people patrolling the ditches along highways and county roads. They are not picking up trash or searching for returnable aluminum cans. They are hunting for mushrooms and asparagus, but they prefer that you think they’re just taking a pleasant stroll in the country. As your car approaches, they look up and surreptitiously drop that plastic bag into the grass at their feet– often pretending to watch a meadowlark on a nearby fence post, or count the new calves in a pasture.

The inevitable has happened

Food for Thought

I knew that, sooner or later, I’d have to consider myself a member of that group known as “little old ladies.” Somehow, I had convinced myself that that time lay well in the future. No matter what my age or condition, I always felt there was still plenty of time before I had to consider myself part of that category. It just wasn’t going to happen– not while I still felt pretty much the same as I did last year, and the year before that, and...

Just wondering

Food for Thought

It’s been 10 or more years since I heard anything about the results of a discovery involving the gene responsible for speech in humans. It seems that gene involved the fine control of the organs and muscles that made it possible for humans to develop, in a period involving about 100 generations, a workable spoken language. At the time this discovery was announced, scientists were anticipating some experiments that seemed rather far out to me. For one thing, they were hoping to implant the gene in laboratory mice.

Friendship is no big thing

Food for Thought

Mari Jo, one of my high school classmates, added that little thought at the end of a recent letter. She’s known for sounding like a Hallmark card from time to time, and I don’t know where she gets all her little gems of wisdom. She’s an educator (owns and operates a private education center in Texas) so maybe it’s just one of those teacher things– meaningful mottoes to help kids remember stuff they’ll probably forget anyway.
What she wrote was, “friendship is no big thing; it’s a million little things.”

Paying forward; paying back

Food for Thought

Not long ago, anchorwoman Diane Sawyer described a program in a small southern town where people of all ages can “pay forward” with three hours of their services and later receive three hours of free help from someone else. This sounds like a sort of barter system similar to one that operated in the Iowa City area 15 or 20-some years ago.

Define ‘elderly’

Food for Thought

Elderly; past middle age, (and middle age is defined as between the ages of 40 and 60). My dictionary informs me that the term elderly is sometimes considered offensive. Just sometimes? I’ve news for them. In my book the term is definitely and always offensive– as is nearly every label that groups people into rigid categories and attributes the same characteristics to all of them.