Monday, December 5, 2016


My Mom was in inventor. Sadly though each time she applied for a patent, someone had all ready beaten her to it. Two that I can remember were the disposable toilet mop and a portable purse organizer. She just missed each time.

I inherited her desire to find an easier way but like her, my timing has always been off. My most ambitious one was a hydraulic toilet seat. I thought I had made my fortune with this one.

By stepping on a lever, a man could raise a toilet seat without touching it.  Then when he finished, by just removing his foot from the lever the hydraulics would quietly lower it back down.  I thought of all the arguments it would save and would make the perfect wedding gift.

I even talked a friend who is a mechanical engineer into working out the bugs. Fortunately, he did some searching and found it had all ready been invented. Rats. At that time there was a patent for my very idea.
         The Flipper.  Mine would have been more complex
   and hydraulic but basically the same principal.  
Then the other day I was moaning that I must be losing arm and back strength for making my bed was not much fun anymore.  Today's deep mattresses are heavy enough but I've also recently added three inches of memory foam on top to add to the weight.  I thought if only I had something to tuck the sheets between the mattress and box spring without the heavy lifting, life would be much easier.

I thought of many things then realized that with my luck, someone has all ready solved the problem.  Sure enough, there is a thing called a Tucker. 

The Tucker (Bed Sheet Tucker Tool)

When I saw how it worked I realized I had something in my kitchen that looked similar and should work.

I've had a plastic pie server for years that I never used. Son of a gun, it works perfectly as a sheet tucker. A metal one might tear the sheet.

I just push the sheet between the mattress and box spring with the server and it makes a really neat, very quick tuck. Easy as can be on the back and nails. You're welcome.

Well I again didn't get to invent anything but at least I found a simple version that works. Hope it is something that will help you also.

Have you ever had a cool idea only to find someone else has beaten you to it?

Monday, November 28, 2016


Spare Change: The Memory House Collection (The Wyattsville Series Book 1) by [Crosby, Bette Lee]
I normally peruse the free Kindle books on Amazon's top 100 every day. Most days I get nothing but every now and then I will find several of interest.  Over the years I have amassed a library of 1200 to be read books plus around 500 that I have read.

You might think free books are of poor quality.  However many best selling authors will offer an early effort in an attempt to make you want more.  Sometimes I will find a book that is very special and I want to share.

Spare Change  by Bette Lee Crosby is one of the delights.  She reminds me a bit of Fanny Flagg in how she incorporates quirky characters into a gritty yet heartwarming tale.  She is quite the story teller and has about 14 books on the market.

When I know a writer has me is when I find myself  sympathetic towards an unsympathetic character. She managed this in spades. This book is about the paths two people who are unaware of but need eachother.

One character is Olivia, an independent woman who fears marriage but even more, fears the thought of children robbing her of her life, freedom and career. Thus she stays single by choice into middle age. She finally finds the love of her life only to become an almost instant widow.  She is quickly swallowed by grief.

The second character is Ethan Allen, an 11 year old boy who has a life that breaks your heart as he struggles to find someone who cares.  His mother is basically despicable yet I felt for her and at times hoped she would get the life she craved.

His father has only one love in his life, his wife, that he has no idea how to make happy with out losing her.  He has little room in his life for his son.  Except for producing Ethan Allen, his parents should never have married.

Ethan Allen witnessed two brutal murders and goes on the run in fear. If he is caught, he knows he will become the third brutal murder. While searching for a grandfather he has never met, he finds Olivia.

Frankly, I wouldn't have wanted to be related to or even the neighbor of anyone in the first part of the book. They were all struggling in the wrong holes life had stuffed them. Yet the author made me feel compassion for almost all of them and I really wanted their lives to work out.  That takes really good writing.

What is also rewarding is that there is enough Southern humor woven in so the story is not just one of fright and despair but at times light, easy and fun.  It was an interesting and complex ride with more delightful characters than scary ones.

There is a touch of religion in the book but is in no way preachy. This is an at times fun, at times horrifying but always entertaining tale that will eventually leave you with a warm glow and faith in humankind.

As of now it is a free Kindle download but it is one I would pay for. I will read more of this author.