Posted in March 2013


My dad likes to play pool. And while the two hip replacements and multiple back surgeries don’t stand in his way, a new issue with neck pain does. So when my husband asked if he’d like to play pool on Monday night with a couple of guys, Dad said, “I can’t play, but I can … Continue reading

Dog’s Bollocks

I’m sorry. This isn’t my usual bon mot. We were sitting in the car in a parking lot downtown, waiting for the bus from Chicago to arrive, bringing our daughter back from spring break. She was on an Alternative Break trip, learning about and volunteering at Chicago 826 with 5 other KU students. That’s a … Continue reading

At Sixes and Sevens

“I’m so frustrated with Luca; we’ve been at sixes and sevens all day.” Why do we not use this phrase in the U.S.? It’s wonderful. It’s evocative (though I’m not sure of exactly what). I love this phrase. I probably first learned it while reading an English or Irish novel. And I’ve come across it … Continue reading


I always thought of scanty in connection with clothing. As in, she was scantily dressed in a pair of short-shorts and a halter top (I know, classy, right?) Then I came across this sentence in Henning Mankell’s, The Man from Beijing, “Information seeping out from the embattled police HQ was scanty, to say the least.” … Continue reading


This word intrigues me. I heard bespoke used recently, though I can’t recall where. It might have been while watching White Collar. If anyone embodies bespoke in a character, it’s Matt Bomer as Neil Caffrey. I’ve heard the word before, and thought it meant “classic” or “well made”. But a quick peek at Merriam-Webster tells … Continue reading


It’s late one evening, and my husband is talking about vacation ideas. Well, not so much vacation, but long weekend. At one point he suggests the idea of meandering around western Kansas and Colorado. I like this. Meandering. In and of itself, the word suggests something unscheduled and peaceful. It’s not possible to meander and … Continue reading

Take No Prisoners

“Miss Howe was taking no prisoners.” I came across that today while reading Maeve Binchy’s final novel, “A Week in Winter.” For some reason this phrase always causes me to stumble. If you don’t take prisoners, isn’t that a good thing?  I see now I wasn’t looking at the alternative. According to the free dictionary, … Continue reading