Musings of an everyday woman . . .

Reflections on living and loving life . . .

Spent Last Night With Dr. Henry Lee!!! UPDATED!!! November 13, 2009

Filed under: Adventures,Reflections — everydaywomanusa @ 6:10 am
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Spent last night with Dr. Henry Lee!  Who knew that this world-famous forensic scientist could be so FUNNY? Details to come . . .

So sorry I’ve been MIA. . . or should I say at school?  Here are the details. . .

Well, this week we found ourselves at a Chamber of Commerce Meeting where our family farm was being recognized for a “Beautification Award” for the town, which was very nice!  But, before I even knew about the award, I saw that Dr. Henry Lee was the keynote speaker and I was intriqued!

Well, this guy talked for more than an hour and had people at the edge of their seats.  I knew he was smart, that he sees details that others miss, and he’s been involved in the forensic work on some of the most notable cases around, including the Kennedy assasination, the O.J. case, and most recently, the murder of a Yale grad student, which is close to home for us.

What I didn’t know is this guy is FUNNY!  As he rattled off jokes and funny anecdotes—in between sharing slides of grizzly murder scenes (not sure how you do that!)—people were laughing out loud.

A few interesting facts about Dr. Lee:

  • He’s 71, looks MUCH younger, and says he has the physical body of a 20-year-old.
  • He and his wife came to the U.S. in 1965 with $50 between them and neither spoke English.
  • His father died when he was 4 years old and his mother raised 14 kids alone.
  • He sleeps 4 hrs. a night (a man after my own heart!)
  • He speaks all over the world and has 22 honorary Doctorates, so how did our little, local Chamber of Commerce attract him?

What I like about him:

Dr. Lee, who was born in China,  raised in Taiwan, and has traveled the world,  says that the U.S.A. is “the best country in the world.”

“It’s the only place where, even if you can’t speak English, but are willing to work hard, you can be successful!”

He left the Taipei Police Dept. where he said “you just forced suspects into confessions.”  He decided to go the route of forensic scientist where you had to be objective, not subjective.

What made me laugh:

“CSI is the greatest show.  It has done a lot for crime scene investigations.  But, if we don’t have  clue by the second commercial and if  case not solved by end of  episode, we have failed!”

“CSI—every investigator has  beautiful lady riding with him.  No beautiful lady riding with me; my wife, Margaret, would beat on me!”

Person he’s most afraid of:  his mother!

As he tossed tiny badges around the room to members of the audience who named the correct case, i.e., “Woodchipper!” “O.J!”, etc. . . Dr. Lee also told about the signs of aging:

1st thing to go:  Memory

2nd:  Sight

3rd:  (I really don’t remember!  Oh, oh! Is that the first sign?)

4th: Men forget to “zip up” after leaving restroom

5th: Men forget to “zip down” when going in restroom

6th: (Can’t say; not appropriate for this here blog!)

Anyways, it was a fun night and I was happy to see that someone so smart, so hard-working, and so successful, could also be so funny and down-to-earth!


Dr. Henry Lee with his wife, Margaret




1/2 Empty or 1/2 Full? April 14, 2009

One of my all-time favorite bloggers, Chile,  got me thinking with her “Half Empty or Half Full?” post.

I’ve always seen my glass as “half full,” I think, and a couple of recent events really convinced me of this.  I think I’m a pretty positive person, at least that what everyone tells me . . .

A couple of weeks ago, I was involved in a very minor head-on accident.  (Minor and head-on are oxymorons, don’t they?)  Anyway, an elderly woman hit me as we were both pulling out of driveways across from each other, onto a very busy state road.  I saw her coming into my lane and I braked and she was just crawling, so we really barely hit.  It was a beautiful, sunny day and I had just popped the top down on my convertible that my family had given me for Mother’s Day.  All I could think of was my little ‘stang would be crushed and my wonderful family’s feelings would be crushed, too.  I certainly didn’t want to be the first one to put a dent or ding in it.

I got out to see how the other woman was.  Neither of us was hurt, physically, thankfully.  We both just shook our heads, so sorry that it had happened.  I encouraged her to pull into our farm market driveway (that’s where it happened) and I called our local police, because that’s what you’re supposed to do.  Since it wasn’t an emergency, we must have waited 20 minutes or so.  In that time, we chatted and she said that she used to sell bread to my mother-in-law at our farm market and what respect she always had for farmers.  We then talked about organic gardening, insurance rates, and how she was afraid her rates might go up or she might lose her license.  She was really a very nice woman.

What really surpised me was that the damage to my little red ride was very minimal, perhaps  nonexistent.  How is that possible with a head-on collision?  When the cop finally arrived, he asked, “Where is the damage to your car?  Do you really want me to fill out a police report?”


Wow!  There really wasn’t any visible damage.  Then, the young cop (young enough to be my son) told me what a nice car I have . . .and if I ever got tired of driving it . . .

Back to the 1/2 full . . . I was a little “gun shy” the next few days when I was pulling out, always looking left, right, and straight ahead, a few extra times . . . and all I could feel was thankful.  I took this minor accident as a wake-up call.  It could have been a lot worse and I really should pay more attention to the job at hand when driving instead of thinking of all the things I have on my “to-do” list.

I felt so lucky that this woman and I were both fine, really no damage to our vehicles, and we both had another chance to be more careful next time.  Some people don’t get a second chance.

OK, there’s something else too, but this is really gross . . . I don’t think I’ll post a picture just yet.  I had to go through a very ugly procedure recently to take care of pre-cancerous cells on my forehead.  It was actually a chemotherapy cream that BURNS your skin–all layers—and then forms these VERY UGLY scabs that take forever to fall off before the new skin forms.  All I could think was THANK GOODNESS for bangs (which I had cut to hide the ugliness, because I felt like a leper!) . . . and now thank goodness for the new, baby-like skin which I have now. . . and that I have a second chance to take care of it, to be smart enough to wear sunscreen and cover up, so it won’t get worse!  (More on that later. . . as I do have pix, that my own kids are threatening to break out when they see me in the sun again!)

I was also concerned about scaring the children at school because I really did look like a leper.  My doctor said I should use it as a Science lesson, but I really didn’t want 8- and 9-year olds to think their teacher was dying or something, so I hid it the best I could.   A colleague suggested I should make up a good story to explain the scabs to the kids.  I really wasn’t into story telling until this happened . . .

8-yr-old girl, looking at me, kind of strange.  (I realized my bangs must have opened to reveal the crusty scabs on my forehead.)

Me:  “Oh, don’t let that distract you.  Just a little snowboarding accident.”

Girl:  “How OLD are you?”

Me:  “Old enough to know better.  I should have been skiing instead of snowboarding.  I’m a much better skiier!”

And that was that . . .

OK, so I’m pretty much a “half-full” kind of person, but what about you?



Cleavage–NOT OK for Work! February 20, 2009

Filed under: Fashion,Humor,Reflections — everydaywomanusa @ 10:54 pm
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Work Spouse

OK, am I the only one out there who finds this offensive–I mean, in my face, at work? 

I may be old enough to have grown children, but I’m definitely NOT a prude!

But, would you agree, unless you work somewhere that involves a pole for dancing, that this amount of cleavage is NOT appropriate for your line of work?

I work in a school system and I see a fair amount of skimpy, midriff-baring, cleavage-peaking blouses just about daily.  .  . and it’s not just the young, perky teachers and staff!  Sometimes, it’s my contemporaries, and as my own children tell me when they’re hanging aroud our pool in the summertime, “Really, Mom, nobody wants to see that. . . put them away!”

What gets me in schools is, who exactly are these women dressing this way for?  Colleagues don’t want to see this—and parents definitely DON’T want to see this, either!  And, please, let’s protect the innocent children.

If anything, I find myself inspecting my necklines and questioning if I should add a T-shirt under tops and dresses, just so I don’t insult or embarrass anyone.  On the other hand, if I’m going out for an evening and I’m not likely to run into any of my students–or their parents–that’s another story!

On another, related note . . .

Here’s a funny greeting card that I just couldn’t resist buying the other day.  I’ll probably give it to my good friend, Pat, on her next birthday:

Two fifty- or sixty-something-year-old women friends at the beach in bathingsuits (not that we’re THAT old!):

Friend A (I’ll call her Patty): “The bad news about getting older is that we get flabby thighs.”

Friend B (Could be me!):  “The good news is that our boobs cover them!”

Inside message:  “Hope you’ve got a happy birthday covered!”

OK, there’s your laugh for the day . . . but if there’s something that you just have to get off your chest about all the cleavage out there, let ‘er rip . . . and leave a  comment!


GOING TOP-LESS!!! August 14, 2008

Filed under: Humor,Reflections,Summer,Thankful Thursday — everydaywomanusa @ 9:04 am
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I’ve really enjoyed going top-less this summer . . . in my ride, that is!

OK, I think I mentioned a while back that my crazy, wonderful family gave me a red hot Mustang for Mother’s Day.  While I NEVER knew I NEEDED a convertible, I sure have had a lot of fun with it this summer!  As far as being green, it uses less fuel than my SUV (which is a necessity in the winter to even get up our driveway),  and I’ve gone without airconditioning!!!

On a lighter note, here are the TOP TEN benefits of a convertible:

1. A convertible eliminates blind spots.
Put the top down on your convertible, and the dangerous blind spot created by the c-pillar (the column that supports the roof at the back of a car) disappears, leaving unobstructed 360 degree visibility. What could be safer than that?

2. A convertible facilitates passive multitasking.
In an increasingly busy world, any time you can add a second task to your day without any additional effort, you’d be silly to pass up the opportunity. A convertible allows you to add sun tanning to your commute.

 3. A convertible responds to your moods.
Even on the nicest of days, people occasionally experience sour moods. Driving a convertible doesn’t mean you have to drop the top every time you leave a parking space (although I do!) — you can still choose to huddle beneath the fabric top, preserving that sour face until you are fully ready to face the day. Once you cheer up, you can put the top down and share your shining face with the world.

4. A convertible has unlimited headroom.
How many times has this happened to you: You’re on the road, when you see the perfect, authentic, 10 foot tiki totem pole for your backyard, and it’s only $10! The only problem is that your sedan’s trunk will barely hold a golf bag and the tiki gift stand is going out of business forever. If you were driving a convertible, that beauty would be in your garden right now, and it would have been a magnificent spectacle traveling down the highway all the way home. (Unlimited headroom also helps when three people in my immediate family are 6’4″ or taller!)

5. A convertible gives you entry options. Haven’t we all tried the Dukes of Hazzard entry into our sport coupes, leaping through the open window directly into the driver’s seat? Well, with a convertible you can actually use those vaulting skills that your high school gym teacher insisted that you develop, and you’ll have a chance of getting behind the wheel without sustaining major head trauma. (I haven’t mastered this one yet!)

6. A retracted convertible top eliminates embarrassing phone calls.
Leave your convertible top down all the time and you’ll never have to call the auto club to confess that you’ve locked your keys in the car — again.  (Just don’t get caught talking on the phone while driving, as it’s a lot easier for our friendly policemen to pick you out in a convertible . . . talking from experience here.)

7. A convertible fosters an interest in science.
Take your children for a late night drive in your convertible, and encourage them to look up at the stars in the sky. Before long, you may be chauffeuring a potential NASA astronaut or rocket scientist.

8. A convertible is great for a relationship.
Think about it — when was the last time you saw an unhappy couple driving around with the top down? It’s much harder to argue in a convertible — the combination of wind noise and exposure make a fight much less likely in a Bentley Continental GTC convertible than in a sedan.

9. Convertibles are fun!!!
Driving a convertible is the kind of fun that doesn’t rely on speed or handling. Even a slow convertible is fun to drive. There’s nothing better than being out in the elements while still being in your car — the wind in your hair, the sun on your face, the smell of nature instead of the chill of air conditioning. When you have a convertible, you’ll look for opportunities to drive — a beautiful day can be amplified by a nice drive in your drop top—or by going “topless” as my husband likes to call it! 

10. Chicks dig convertibles.
If you are a girl, you know that this is true; if you are not a girl, you will find that driving a convertible will help you to attract and retain them. This is a proven fact, at least according to my expert industry analysis.

Or so my son, Jonathan, thought when he drove our ’66 Mustang Convertible to UMaine at the end of his last semester.  Turns out it was a “50-year-old man magnet.”  Chicks simply did NOT dig the old ‘stang.  Ummm. . . some truckers also dig convertibles and you might hear their airhorns! 

So there you have it. That should be enough ammunition to go out and rent or buy your next convertible. I would gladly give you more — but I’ve got to get this totem pole out of my back seat and into the garden before the neighbors start to talk.

 So, can you tell what I’m thankful for this Thursday?  Going Top-less!!!