Category Archives: Humor

Have You Heard Of This? You Will Now!

Has this ever happened to you? You’ve just heard of something for the first time, then suddenly you see it everywhere. You’re not the only one who’s had this experience. It happens often enough that it even has a name. It’s called “Baader Meinhof phenomenon.”

Imagine that you’re sitting at a stoplight and notice the car in front of you is an Isuzu Ascender. You’re thinking to yourself that you’ve never heard of this vehicle. You’re wondering if Isuzu is even still around. Then you remember all those Joe Isuzu commercials from the 90s and wonder whatever happened to that guy. Next thing you know, someone is honking at you because you’re sitting a green light daydreaming about decades old car ads.

Later, you meet a friend for lunch. He’s sorry he’s late, but was tied up at the mechanic’s shop getting his Isuzu Ascender repaired. The next day, your sister calls and wants you to look at a used car she’s thinking about buying. It’s an Isuzu Ascender. What?!  This is what they call Baader Meinhof phenomenon.

If you have never heard of Baader Meinhof before, you will now. It happened to me shortly after the first time I heard this peculiar term. I heard it on a sitcom, of all places, then a few days later heard it again from a friend. The fact that this phenomenon exists is interesting enough, but when the name of the phenomenon becomes the phenomenon… that’s just weird!

My husband and I were discussing buying a new bed and he mentioned the purple mattress. I’d never heard of it so I Googled it. Now the dang thing is everywhere! The purple mattress ad pops up every time I read an article on my phone. It shows up on the games I play, in my Facebook newsfeed. Although, I’m not actually sure if this is Baader Meinhof or the government selling my search information. Who knows?

However, I may have found a glitch in the system. Here’s yet another car story…

My daughter and I were walking out of a movie theatre when when a car caught my eye. It looked like a station wagon and an SUV had a baby. My daughter tells me that these are called “crossovers.” I looked at the name on the back of the car and stored it in my swiss cheese brain. Later, when I wanted to look it up and do some research, I couldn’t remember the make of the car. Why wasn’t Baader Meinhof kicking in and showing it to me on tv commercials and in my neighbors’ driveway? Was it because I couldn’t remember the name? Apparently, this phenomenon doesn’t phenom unless you have a good memory.

I did remember, however, that the car was a Subaru. So… guess what I started seeing everywhere? You guessed it. Subarus everywhere I went. Just not that Subaru. Finally, a few weeks after that first sighting, I spotted a little baby SUV/Station wagon on the road. I bobbed and weaved through traffic to catch up with it. Crosstrek… yeah, that’s it.  Now that I know the name, I expect Baader Meinhof to take effect and I’ll start seeing them everywhere. But will you see them everywhere too because you read this? We’ll see.

One more completely weird thing before I go… While searching for a photo about Baader Meinhof phenomenon, I found the picture below. What are the odds of this?

Lost Remote

We recently lost our tv remote. When I say “we,” I mean me. I was the only human in the house when it went missing, but I feel better pretending it was a group effort. I knew the lost remote couldn’t have gone far, because I had barely moved all day. I had just used it. I was binge watching a show on Netflix. If you’re familiar with Netflix, you know that it automatically shows episode after episode without you having to do a thing. But every now and then Netflix gets all insecure and wants to make sure you’re still paying attention. It asks “Are you still watching?”  It reminds me of my kids when they were little… “Mommy, look at me. Look what I can do!”

I had just reassured Netflix that I was in fact still watching when I got up to let the dogs out. When I returned, I wanted to rewind a few seconds to see if I’d missed anything, but couldn’t find the remote anywhere.  I’d been sitting in my husband’s recliner the whole time. Usually, he’s in his chair and I’m on the couch. But he wasn’t home and his chair is closer to the heater, so that’s where I was camped out for the day.

I knew it wouldn’t be long before Netflix would need my validation. I had to find the remote before it asked me, “Do you still love me? Am I still pretty?”

lost remote

Last known location

I looked under the chair and in the chair. I shoved my arm between the seat and the arm of the chair. Back when I was a kid, this was my primary source of income. If the ice cream man was coming down our street, I headed straight to the couch and dived for lost change. This time, there was no money. There was also no remote. I found lint and dog hair. Then I had to do the other side with the same hairy results. (Remind me to get the vacuum cleaner out as soon as we’re finished here). I looked all over the house, even though I knew it never left the chair. I looked in the kitchen and bathroom just in case I carried the lost remote with me and left it there. When my husband got home he looked in all the same places. He even looked in my car. As if!

For the next few days, we used the television the old fashioned way. Living like the Amish, we changed the channel and volume manually.  Then one night, the tv was acting really weird. It would randomly pause for no reason, change channels by itself, just basically had a mind of its own. Then I noticed that every time the tv did something strange, my husband was leaning back, readjusting his chair, or fidgeting. I knew the lost remote had to be in his chair somewhere. So we lifted the chair and shook it. Suddenly the remote fell out of the chair on to the floor.

They say something isn’t really lost until Mama can’t find it, but this Mama couldn’t find it. So I thought it was really lost. There’s got to be a lesson in there somewhere… Never Give Up. Don’t Quit. If you believe it, you can achieve it. I don’t know, but we’re back to living in the 21st century and all is right with the world.

National Grammar Day: A Day to Talk Pretty

National Grammar Day

March 4th is National Grammar Day… the perfect day to write a blogpost about my love of proper English and spelling. When I’m writing this blog, I think about the readers in the UK who follow me. I wonder if they know that I’m actually spelling things correctly in American English. It’s their language, but we hijacked it and changed a few things. I want them to know that I honor the English language, even if I don’t honour it.

When I think about all the strange rules of English and how they came to be, I picture men in white wigs sitting a large wooden table thinking up cockamamie ideas to confuse and distract us (much like the politicians of today).

I am thankful to have grown up speaking English because I could never have learned it as a second language. It’s difficult at best with all of it’s rules, exceptions to rules, and silent letters. How do you teach someone how to pronounce ‘ough’? There’s tough, though, through and thought. Four different pronunciations for the same group of letters. The exceptions to the “I before E except after C” rule are many… seize, vein, weird, their, heir, feisty, foreign, leisure, either, neither, heinous, heist, height. I could go on, but you get the point. Speaking of height… “heighth” is not a word. I’ve heard “heighth and width” more times than I’d like.

I’m convinced that good spellers are not allowed to make memes:

Paid, not payed

Laid, not layed

There’s no way, in one post, to write about all the ways that our language is being butchered on a daily basis. However, lately I have noticed an increase in a couple of misuses. One) I keep seeing “could of” and “would of,” instead of “could have” and “would have.” Maybe because “could of” sounds similar to the contraction “could’ve” but it’s still wrong. Two) suddenly people are confusing “a part” and “apart.” These are actually opposites. “I’d really like to be apart of that club” means you want to be separated from it. I think what you want is to be a part of it. This meme explains it in a much better way…

My not so “smart” phone thinks it should add an apostrophe to pluralize a last name. NO! They’re the Smiths, not the Smith’s. Unless the Smiths own something which would be the Smith’s thing. I want to send a Christmas card to the The Smiths, not to their possessions!

One of my biggest pet peeves is that the dictionary eventually gives up and adds non-words due to rampant misuse. I predict that it won’t be long before the contraction “you’re” completely dies and it replaced by “your” simply because so many people don’t use the correct word.

There was a time when you could convince someone that a word is not a word because it was not in the dictionary… “Ain’t ain’t a word because it ain’t in the dictionary.” Those days are gone. Not only can you find ain’t in the dictionary but also irregardless and orientate. Irregardless is a non-word that has been so overused that is now considered to be interchangeable with the correct word “regardless” according to the Oxford Dictionary.

To summarize: On National Grammar Day, I’d like to orient you to proper spelling regardless of the multiple misspelled posts that you’re going to see on social media. I want you to set yourself apart from those who could’ve learned proper grammar if only they had paid attention.



The Perfect Husband (My Personal “This Is Us”)

It’s that time of year again… our anniversary. I’ve written about all the frogs I had to kiss on the road to finding my husband (The long and winding road). I’ve also told you the story of how we met (Our story). Like many of you, I’ve become a fan of the show “This Is Us” and I’ve come to realize that Rebecca isn’t the only one with a perfect husband. I’m living my own personal This Is Us story.

If you watch this show, then you have heard Mandy Moore’s character, Rebecca, refer to her husband Jack, as perfect. (Jack is perfectly played by the wonderful Milo Ventimiglia.) Rebecca doesn’t say this flippantly in that way that we throw words around without meaning them or even thinking about them. No, she backs it up with examples.

My Jack is called Joe. And he is also perfect.

I came into this marriage with two teenage girls and a dog. In both cases, you would never know that these had once been mine, not his. The dog fell immediately in love with Joe and I became some woman he used to know. The girls are his stepdaughters, but he would never tell you that. By word and deed, they are as much his daughters as they are mine. He would do anything for them and for me. He has done far more for us than we have for him. I could never list all of the rescues, repairs, and lessons he has provided for my daughters. I could never tally up all the hours he has spent unselfishly doing things for us. And I could never repay him.

Those Three Little Words

Joe knows how important it is to say those three little words… “You’re not fat.”  Years ago, I was watching a show about a woman who weighed several hundred pounds. I asked him if he would leave me if I got that big. He said, “Are you kidding? I’d marry you all over again!” Now that’s true love.

Babies and dogs love him. Joe almost always knows the right thing to say. He will do anything to avoid a fight… so we rarely fight. I certainly can’t complain about that. I’ve never heard anyone say anything bad about him. He’s a great gift giver. He serves his country in the Air Force and serves his city as a firefighter. That’s TWO superhero uniforms he wears.

Jack Pearson (from This is Us) believes that you find your soulmate, you get married, you stay together until you die. Period. Joe is much the same way. There’s no giving up. For years we had a clipping posted on our bulletin board that said “Period. Plain and Simple.” because that’s Joe’s philosophy. Things are simple. No need to complicate them.

We (the teenagers, the dog and I) moved into the house where Joe had once lived alone and we immediately filled it up! We considered moving into something bigger, but we put it off so long that eventually the kids grew up and left and we no longer needed more space. Now I’ve been living here for 15 years and that’s the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere. This man has brought a stability into my life that never existed before. Say what you will about change being good… I have loved having a steady, predictable life for a change (no pun intended).

Maybe “perfect” is too strong a word. Of course he has a fault or two. For instance… I can’t get an honest opinion from him when I want to know if I look ok before I leave the house. No matter what I look like, he’ll tell me I look beautiful. Any imperfection he may have is far outweighed by the good. Even if he’s not perfect, he’s perfect for me.

Happy anniversary, Joe!




TV Theme Songs

I am fortunate to have grown up during a time when TV shows had theme songs. The shows from before my time had great, catchy tunes but no lyrics – i.e., I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show, Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie. TV shows today don’t have songs. They have a identifying sounds like the Donk-Donk of Law and Order. But in the seventies and eighties, TV theme songs held just as many life lessons as the shows themselves, even those “very special episodes.”

From Mary Tyler Moore we learned that we could turn the world on with a smile. We could take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile. Many say it was her character’s single-woman-with-a-career that made the show so iconic, but I say that song influenced us just as much. By then end of the opening credits, we knew that we were gonna make it after all.

We learned that it takes Different Strokes to move the world. From Growing Pains, we know that as long as we’ve got each other, we can take anything that comes our way. Who’s the Boss offered us a brand new life around the bend. Golden Girls taught us to say thank you for being a friend. You hung out at Cheers because everybody knew your name. And their troubles were all the same. Full House showed us everywhere you look, there’s a hand to hold on to. The Jeffersons made us want a piece of the pie, so that we could move on up to the east side. The Love Boat showed us that love could be exciting and new. Let it flow and it flows back to you. We were lucky to have Good Times. Long before I had a crush on a young republican named Alex P. Keaton, Family Ties told me that there ain’t nothing we can’t love each other through. Sha-la-la-la.

Laverne and Shirley could have been a big influence with their “making our dreams come true” message, but we were all busy trying to figure out what they said before that. Arm in arm, playing hopscotch and chanting jibberish that we couldn’t understand. We had no search engines back then to get answers regarding our misheard lyrics…

Is it Po-TAY-to, Po-TAH-to, Positive Pepper Incorporated? 

No, it’s The Easel, The Otter, Hops in Pressure Incorporated. 

You’re both wrong. It’s The Measels, The Nozzle, Call the Wrecker Incorporated

As it turns out, they were saying “shlemiel, schlemazel, hasenpfeffer incorporated.” I had heard of hasenpfeffer in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. But since none of the kids in my neighborhood were fluent in Yiddish, shlemiel and schlemazel went right over our heads. According to my research, the first one is someone who is a born loser and the other is someone who can’t catch a break. Those are people who would definitely want their dreams to come true, for me and you.

Even in the 90s, there were still some great tv theme songs. My favorite was FRIENDS. Even now, if I hear it… No one told you life was gonna be this way … I have to do the CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP. You do it too, don’t you?

My hats off to all those great tv theme songs….


I Don’t Want To Be Pretty!

In my family, anything you say can and will live on forever. When my oldest daughter was little, she had unruly hair that could only be tamed with a barrette. But, she didn’t want the barrette. So it became a two person job. One of us would distract her like a rodeo clown while the other wrestled the hair accessory into position. The distraction would continue until she’d forgotten that her hair was being forced to comply, then we could get on with our day. One time, I don’t remember who, but someone told her how pretty she looked with the barrette in her hair. She ripped it out, threw it on the ground and yelled, “I DON’T WANT TO BE PRETTY!”

Fortunately or unfortunately for her, she’s still pretty. No barrette required. That was nearly 30 years ago, but we still quote it to this day. We say it as a joke on days that we don’t feel like doing hair and make up. But I also say it as a true statement. I don’t care about being pretty, maybe because it’s never really been an option, but I’d rather be seen as smart and/or funny. Ok, leave out the “or.” I’d rather be smart and funny.

I’ve always been average looking. A handful of people might have found me pretty at some point in my life, but there’s an equal and opposite handful of people who find me repulsive. Overall, I don’t think I register with most people at either end of the pretty/ugly scale. I’m just sitting in the middle keeping the scale balanced.

I discovered in high school that boys were intimidated by pretty girls, afraid to talk to them. I had a slew of boy friends, not to be confused with boyfriends. Because of my non-intimidating appearance, boys talked to me and I gained an insight into the male species that pretty girls will never have. This may be why Halle Berry has had three short-lived marriages and I’m approaching my 15th anniversary.

We expect the beautiful to stay that way forever.  We’re always disappointed when our favorite attractive celebrities start to fade. Carrie Fisher had to tell her fans to stop debating about whether she had aged well or not, whether she was still hot. The pretty have that burden. But for us average looking girls, aging doesn’t taking anything away from us. When I run into old friends, they can say with all honesty “you’re just as pretty as you were back in high school.”

Of course a person can be beautiful and smart, or attractive and funny, or even all three. But how surprised are we when that actually happens? When you find out that some pretty celebrity graduated from Harvard, do you roll your eyes and assume that she was coddled by starstruck professors? I don’t know about you but if I read an interview of a gorgeous actor and he uses a few big words, I’m all “oooh, I didn’t know he was smart too!”

Don’t worry if you’re not pretty or handsome or beautiful or good-looking. Beauty fades but smart lasts a lifetime, or at least until senility sets in. And funny is forever.


I Resolve To Be Resolute In My Resolutions

There’s something about a new year that makes us take a long look at ourselves, decide we’re not good enough and resolve to change. A new year doesn’t always mean January 1st. It could be a Birthday, anniversary, fiscal year or Rosh Hoshanah. Whatever it is, it makes us want to start something new or renew something old.

We’re several days into the new year, and I still haven’t started on my resolutions. If you’re like me, you only make these decisions to change when the calendar changes. Whether it’s a new year, new week or new day… no one decides to change in the middle of the day on a Tuesday. The reverse is also true. After I’ve made a change, and then fall off the wagon, I have to wait for a new day, or week, or month to get back on again. For example, if I’m on a healthy eating kick then eat a candy bar, I’ll say “well I’ve blown it today. May as well eat junk for the rest of the day and start over tomorrow.” We seem to think that whatever wagon we’re on won’t roll through town again until next week, like an Old West stagecoach. Why doesn’t it run every 20 minutes like a bus?

We call the desire to change a “resolution.” The follow through is usually called “failure.” Making resolutions is the easy part. Sticking to them… not so much. If you went to the gym this first week of the year, it was packed with folks who have resolved to get healthy. By Valentine’s you’ll have the place to yourself.

Maybe we should make a resolution to stick to our resolutions. In that spirit, I resolve to be resolute in sticking to my New Year’s resolutions. But first, I have to decide what they are. I have the usual cliche resolutions… eat better and lose weight. By eat better, I mean better for me, not better tasting. If I eat better tasting, I won’t attain the resolution to lose weight!

More importantly, I want to reconnect with the organized person I used to be.

Once upon a time, my books were grouped by height and my CDs were stored alphabetically. My bills and important paperwork were filed in a drawer in labelled folders which were, of course, alphabetical. I am so organized that my mother makes fun of me for having an orderly junk drawer. I have never “cleaned out a closet” in my life. I don’t even know what that entails.

Then I married a disorganized man. He has many wonderful qualities, but being organized is not one of them. He buys tools, can’t remember where he put them and buys more. My closet is organized by short sleeves, then long sleeves, then pants, etc. But  when he puts away the laundry (which I appreciate) it goes in the closet in no particular order.

I didn’t realize that there were levels of organization but it turns out my organizational skills are far outweighed by his lack of them. He has won the order vs. disorder battle but I’m preparing for a rematch. I’m not trying to change him. I just need to step up my game.

I don’t recall when I lost touch with her, but I know that organized girl still lives inside me. I picture her trapped under a pile of paperwork, and lost tools, the way they find hoarders trapped in their homes. I’m going to pull her out from under all of that stuff (and put it where it belongs) then together we can conquer all the things that need to be done. I see a label maker in our future!

2016: Get Thee Behind Me!

At year’s end, bloggers feel compelled to write a recap. But who in their right mind would want to remember 2016? As Americans, nay as human beings, we collectively experienced a pretty rotten year full of protests, anger, division, terrorism, and loss. This is a humor blog, dedicated to finding the funny side of any given situation, but 2016 made it difficult to find the funny. 2016 owes us an apology!

This year, we suffered an inordinate number of celebrity deaths. We began the year by losing David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Glen Frey within a few days of each other. Soon after we lost Prince. We lost some of our favorite tv parents: Florence Henderson and Alan Thicke. John Glenn was the last man with The Right Stuff. At the end of the year, we lost Carrie Fisher then her mother, Debbie Reynolds, the very next day. I can’t list them all, or what they meant to me, but on a personal note, Debbie Reynolds affected me the most.

While not technically a death, in 2016 saw the end of Brangelina, a couple that probably no one was rooting for in the first place. We often find ourselves taking sides in divorce, but this is the first time I can recall the masses siding with a third party. Most who gave a crap about this ending, gave it to Jennifer Aniston, the scorned ex-wife of the “Bra” part of Brangelina. Apparently, he lost the “d” in the divorce.

There were more boycotts and protests this year than I can recall. The Oscar boycott. National anthem protests. Political protests. Brexit. Remember last year when our biggest debate was whether the dress was blue and black or white and gold? Unfortunately, 2016 in America was dominated by the worst election year ever. We were expected to choose between the two most unpopular candidates in American history. What are the odds that the two worst candidates would both be running for president at the same time?

This year also brought several new words and phrases into our collective vocabulary that I would love to retire: Sheeple, Get Woke, a certain P word that we heard way too much on tv, and my personal favorite… private email server.

While 2016 had a terrible year, by comparison, many of us were able to look at our personal lives and realize that we had a pretty good year. If 2016 were a person, he or she would probably be more disliked than the aforementioned presidential candidates (although that’s hard to imagine). Most people just want it to go away and leave us alone, but 2016 did have a few shining moments. The Olympics brought us much pride, (if you forget about Ryan Lochte). The market is up. Unemployment is down. The Cubs won the World Series after a 108 year wait.

When a year is this awful, it gives us hope that the next one can only get better. Agreeing on that point may be the first step in coming together again. Before you know it, we’ll find that we have more in common than 2016 allowed us to see. Let’s hope that all the bad that came with this year will leave with it. Lift your glasses high and say goodbye to 2016.

What I’ve Learned About Life From the Hallmark Channel

It’s that time of year again. Whether I’m wrapping presents or addressing cards, I’m doing it in front of the tv watching the endless loop of Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel. I’m telling you this without the slightest hint of embarrassment. Yes, I know they’re cheesy. They’re like the tv movie equivalent of the ugly Christmas sweater. No matter how hokey they are, you drag them out every year and wear them in public without shame. Even better, you love getting new ones. The same is true for Hallmark Christmas movies.

Before Hallmark had it’s own channel, they made tearjerker commercials about their cards. They were like mini-movies and best ones were at Christmastime. We’d fight back tears as the lonely old guy who thinks he has no friends gets a Hallmark card from the kid next door. The hardened professor who’s about to retire gets a card from a former student and our hearts collectively melt as we see the influence the professor had on the world. The senders of these cards “cared enough to send the very best,” we were told. Now these mini-movies are full length and full of lessons. Here’s a few things that I’ve learned…

Monikers matter

The holidays can be busy and stressful. With all of the shopping and preparation, there’s little time left to look for love. I’ve learned from Hallmark that your chances of finding love at Christmastime are exponentially greater if your name is holiday related. Names like Holly, Noel, and Eve seem to fare well this time of year. Most often, love will be found with someone she can’t stand, especially if his name is Nick or Chris.

Holiday happiness

In Hallmark movies, families don’t discuss politics around the dinner table. There’s no Facebook or fake news. No election year craziness. Sure they have money problems, loneliness, and bitterness about the past, but these are problems that can be easily solved if they’d just open their hearts and minds to believe in the magic of Christmas.

They’ve lost the Christmas spirit, but something or someone will come along and remind them of what they’ve lost. Isn’t that why we love these movies? They give us hope that the spirit of Christmas can live on all year.

Santa is real

Another thing I’ve learned is that I believe in Santa Claus. We all lose that somewhere along the way, but it all comes rushing back when I sit down and watch these sappy movies. Hallmark movies teach us that Santa is still watching over us well into adulthood. It’s much harder for us to see it, and a kid will have to convince us, but eventually we believe again.

Hearts heal

The characters in these movies have often experienced painful losses. It may have been divorce, loss of a spouse or a parent who abandoned them. They’ve hardened their hearts to avoid feeling that pain, but that’s not how their storied end. From Hallmark, I’ve learned that no matter what life throws at you, the heart heals and can love again.

A few more things

Other Hallmark lessons… It will snow on Christmas. It’s never too cold to go out for a walk. No matter how cold it is, your nose won’t run, you won’t shiver, and you’ll look fantastic. You can have a nice home with beautiful Christmas decorations on the tiny salary you earn at a bakery, or diner, or the front desk at a small town lodge. Being forced into close quarters with someone you don’t like will almost always lead to love, as will broken down cars, cancelled flights and falling on someone at the ice skating rink.

So put on that ugly sweater and join me in front of the television for some hope and love and the spirit of Christmas. May it live all year long.

My Sister’s Brother and Other Fictional Characters

The blog posts that have received the most feedback and comments have been the ones about losing my dog and my grandfather. In my first blog post, I mentioned that I once tried to be a writer, a novelist, but the agents who read my submissions didn’t like my writing style. It seems that my talents are better suited to biographies rather than fiction. However, my sister once created a fictional character so believable that she was given bereavement time off work to mourn his passing. Let me explain…

My sister had used up all of her time off at work, but really wanted to be with the rest of the family for a weekend at the lake. So, she created a fake death in the family. Her make-believe deceased loved one had a name and a backstory, as any good fictional character would have. His name was Vance. He was only 36 when he dropped dead from a sudden, and unexpected, heart attack.

Luckily, in those days employers didn’t ask for obituaries or death certificates to prove that a relative had indeed died. This was a simpler time when employers treated employees like adults and trusted us to behave as such. Perhaps fake dead relatives are the reason we are no longer afforded this luxury!

Ironically, Vance’s death was only the beginning of his story. Months later, when my sister had long forgotten about the passing of her imaginary brother. she started dating her manager. He accompanied her to family events and fit right in with us. After being in our homes, listening to our stories and looking at the framed family photos on display, he noticed that something was missing. Eventually, he asked my sister why we never talk about our brother. She responded that we didn’t have a brother, there were just three sisters.

Then it hit her! She had to come clean and tell her boss that she’d invented the story just to get the weekend off. Perhaps this was the moment that he understood why she returned to work after the “funeral” with a sunburn!

My writer’s hat is off to my sister who is far better at creating fictional characters than I am. No one ever suspected that her story wasn’t true. Not even me! After that weekend at the lake, I sent my sister a sympathy card. It said, “Sorry to hear about the loss of your brother. Love, Your Sister.