Monday, March 2, 2015


All of us have given and received compliments during our lives. Some we know right off are disingenuous or meant to curry favor and we shrug them off. Others can make us feel all glowy.

I tend to be skimpy giving compliments so when I do throw one out, I mean it. However I have been known to toss one out if I feel the person just needs a boost and I will search for a generic one.

Some compliments are pretty standard, "You look nice today," as opposed to how you look most of the time. Depending on the emphasis you put on "today"-- maybe a C+ compliment.

Some are back handed such as "Not bad---for a woman."  Oddly most would give those negative grades but I tend to enjoy the good, chalk up the the bad to poor upbringing  and would give it a B-.

"Those are great looking shoes." compliments the shoe maker mostly and on the side gives your taste and often your pocketbook a thumbs up. Kind of a B compliment.

"Wow, who does your hair?" This can be taken two ways. Either that your hair looks great or you should never visit that beautician ever again. Again emphasis on key words would make the ratings hover around a C.

"Your man is soooo handsome." Yes, it is mostly his compliment but it also means you had to be pretty special to land him. Of course it could also convey that he is so out of your league and how in the world did you snag him? I'll let you score that one.

We all enjoy compliments whether deserved or not. I think most of us blog because we enjoy the compliments from our readers in the form of comments and we didn't even have to leave the house, get out of our jammies, or tame our bed hair to get them.

Each of us have received compliments that have stayed with us.  They weren't the garden variety and touched on something we were pleased or surprised that another noticed.

I am 75 and there are only three A+ ones that I remember today.   Compliments don't usually have a long shelf life--- these did. None of them referred in any way to my appearance and I will retell just one today.  Phew, bet you thought I was going to rattle off all three.

After I retired the second time, I went to work part time as a gatekeeper at a beautiful Hunt and Riding club that was just 2 miles from my home. It was for 2 days a week which was perfect and it gave me some fun money.

I was replacing a friend who had worked there for several years. Kathy was sweet, positive, friendly, a touch scatter brained but very popular with the residences of the club so I felt I had big shoes to fill.

The memory required for the job was a reach for a senior brain.  We  had to remember all 300 members with multiple vehicles and their spouses but also all their family members who came to visit sporadically.  People love being remembered and are annoyed or hurt when they aren't. Security was paramount.

I worked there over a year and really loved the job.  99.9% of the residents were fun and easy to get along with. They ranged from the uber rich horsey types, hunting enthusiasts, the comfortably retired, to working souls wanting a safe place for their families. I considered them friends and am still in touch with a few 10 years later.

After we got hit by 3 back to back hurricanes in 04, I began to think seriously about relocating. Florida was wearing me down and I discovered the pluses of Arkansas living via the Internet. Florida real estate was booming and my property sold with in one day of listing so I gave notice.

Before I left, one of my favorites came up to the gate to say goodbye. She then delivered one of my all time favorite compliments.

"You are really going to be missed." she said. "We all refer to you as Kathy with brains."

While it cracked me up at the time, to me those three words were an all encompassing, keeper compliment. Thanks Pam for the delightful send off.

Care to share the favorite compliment that has stayed with you?

Monday, February 23, 2015


Hang on, I am having strange thoughts again. I really need to get more sleep.

Suppose you could go back in time to the primitive caveman era.  What would you take with you that when shown to the cavemen, would astound them into making you their leader and improve their lives?  

Our current technology would be useless. Maybe a hand tool, perhaps some seed or maybe just our knowledge.  Still, I would want something rather flashy to get their attention quickly before they clubbed me and hauled me into a cave to become entertainment for the guys. Hey, don't scoff. With their short life expectancy, they have never seen an old lady. A wrinkled, white haired old bat like me would be a novelty between the bear hides.

Maybe a huge supply of antibiotics? That would only make the germs resistant long before we even get started as a species. Besides that is not flashy unless the current leader had a huge, festering sore on his leg you could heal.

A well trained female (so you can keep the species going) hunting/guard dog? A horse? A cooking pot? Soap or maybe shoes? A harmonica? A whistle?  The wheel? A fiberglass kayak providing you are near a water source??

While it wouldn't be immediately attention getting-- agrarian, herbal or husbandry knowledge could be a useful tool. However I'm pretty sure you would need something flashy first to make them listen to better ways to produce food and medicine. Maybe the harmonica to get their attention, then some serious seed hunting and animal taming?

A compound bow and goodly supply of arrows?  Arrows would make hunting easier but it would also make murder a lot more convenient. I would refrain from taking any sort of weapon. Sticks and rocks are all ready too available to do some one in that you don't like or envy. Just ask Cain. I would like to take something that might send us on a kinder, gentler path.

Maybe a skilled mediator fluent in Neanderthal? If he looked like Sam Elliot, that would be a big plus--for me--not all that much for them. Then perhaps violence could be bred out of mankind if we started early enough and they were taught compromise was more successful in the long run than an blow to the head.

Sadly I feel the thirst for violence as a means to satisfy greed or dominance is hard to quench. Watching the nightly news makes me wish we had a do over as a species.

By the way, this could be an interesting time travel novel. You are welcome to take the premise and run with it.  A one sentence mention in the acknowledgments would be sufficient. I'm a thinker not a doer.

What would you take with you that would impress and perhaps make a difference??