July 17, 2009

Friday Brain Dump - Oh, The Places I've Been!

Today's posting is just a random bunch of links I've been to lately, and pesky thoughts that are running through my feeble mind.

Book Giveaway Challenge

Stop by How to Eat a Cupcake and take part in Cassie's 'Hello, Cupcake!' book challenge! All you have to do is create one of five cupcakes featured in the book (she picked out the selections), and follow her directions - you just could win yourself a book! I'll be making the Corn on the Cob cupcakes.

Get Your Dialect On!

Over at Life With a Little One and More, Jenners had a post a while back about regional differences in the US as to whether your favorite carbonated beverage is called a pop or a soda. That got me thinking about Pittsburghese. If you've ever lived in 'Da Burgh', or in Southwestern Pennsylvania, you may have used some of the weird pronunciations of words found on the PIttsburghese site. I feel I can criticize them because I grew up there (and later lived in Pittsburgh), and had to re-learn certain words when I lived in other areas of the country - people laughed at me when I said 'yinz'. And I clean now, I don't 'read up the room'.

The Water was THIS High...

Sandy at Notes from the Forest sent an email about David Mc Cullough's book, 'The Johnstown Flood'. I also lived in the Johnstown area for a while. If you're ever in the area, you should check out the Johnstown Flood Museum. It's pretty cool; they have a short film re-enacting the flood - when it was over, The Boy (who was three at the time) said, "Boy, that was a DISASTER!" Darned accurate, son!

An Emotional Trip

More about the Johnstown area: When I first moved there, I was perusing a regional map and came across two towns that I just had to visit: Panic and Desire (see map). Well, when I lived in Pittsburgh, I dated a wonderful man who agreed to take me to Panic and Desire (by vehicle, although I'm sure we dabbled in those two emotions, too). My idea was to call someone, frantic, and say, "Help me! I'm halfway between Panic and Desire, and I don't know what to do next!" He took my picture beside the sign for each town...alas, they got lost in a move somewhere.

Traveling to Redneck Mecca Without My Prayer Rug

I saw something on TV about NASCAR being the ultimate redneck destination. Au contraire, my good readers! For the epitome of redneck euphoria, you have to visit The Buford Pusser Home and Museum, in Adamsville, TN! Buford Pusser was the county sheriff in 'dem der hills who walked softly and carried a big stick. Hollywood memorialized his life in the movie Walking Tall (1973). When I lived in TN, I was fortunate(?) enough to visit this museum...I'll never forget it. It was a veritable shrine to the man, and a lasting tribute to shag carpeting and bad 70s decor. Go there, you'll know what I mean.

Swan Lake Minus the Tutu

While you're in Dixie, you should plan a May trip to Sumter, SC to visit the Iris Festival. Held at Sumter's Swan Lake, it is a great place to take the family. Check out the lovely irises, the swans, and local artwork and craft vendors. I lived in Sumter, too. Just be careful at Tuomey Hospital (now called Tuomey Healthcare System)- when my daughter broke her wrist in a bike accident, the nurse put the wrong splint on - ouch, that hurt! Also, if you need a primary care physician, don't be surprised if the doctor or his (or her) staff ask you if you have a home church. That was a frequent question from co-workers, neighbors, and folks you talked to in checkout lines. They really worry about your mortal soul in Sumter!

Oh, in case you're keeping score - yes, I've lived in several states in my adult life. Nine to be exact, and even lived in Pennsylvania twice. And I was never in the military, though I did work at an Air Force base hospital. My children and I are nomads. I want to clarify that we were NOT gypsies - we NEVER moved in the middle of the night, nor tried to talk unsuspecting elderly homeowners into getting their roof tarred. Just wanted to clear up any misconception here.

Have a marvelous weekend - get out there and experience something new!


  1. That is a lot of states for not being in the military ... but I think it is interesting. What was your favorite?

    And I had relatives who came from Johnstown and I think we went to that museum one time.

    And the cupcake thing sounds fun!!!

  2. I think my two favorites were Nashville (even though I have no interest in country music), and Pittsburgh.

    And, of course, the St. Louis area is DA BOMB!


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