These "Tale Spinner" episodes are brought to you courtesy of one of our Canadian friends, Jean Sansum. You can thank her by eMail at
Vol. XVII No. 14
The falls were not very big but the pools were deep enough for people to jump in and there was a natural water slide on one side with a bump at the bottom that people were shooting off. People had wet suits on. We figured it was too cold to swim in so we watched for awhile, and then headed up the coast to Narooma, where we were planning to spend the next couple of nights. We stopped at a town along the way as Dad was trying to find a gift. We saw a drive- through bottle shop (liquor store). I took a picture of the gas prices too. It was very hot 34 degrees so we had to have ice cream to cool off. That´s my story and I´m sticking to it.
We checked into the YHA hostel in Narooma. It had a lovely rock pool and garden out the back to sit in. We booked into a mixed multi-share room but it had its own bathroom/shower, fridge, and TV. We shared with six other people and the first night I was the only woman. It was only $26 a night each, compared to the $40ish we had been paying.
Dad and I went to check out the beach. The fellow at reception told us about a quiet little beach by going to the cemetery and down to this beach from there. There were some cool rock formations there and I was drawn to one to just lie down and listen to the ocean, and Dad wandered off. Dad and I have been in each other´s pockets for days so it was nice just to have some time to myself.
We went and got groceries as we could finally cook again, and after dinner we decided it was time to do a bit of laundry. The hostel did not have a laundry facility, which is unusual, but the laundry mart was near the grocery store. When we headed over there, I gave someone a terrible fright because I came out of the hostel on the wrong side of the road. Lucky there was a bicycle lane because in my fright, I headed to the wrong side. It took half a block before the poor fellow honked, I scared him so badly. Unfortunately, after all that we got there too late for the laundry and we had to go in the morning.
After we did our laundry the next day we decided to go to Seashell beach, and we invited Nathan, the young Canadian from BC who slept in the bunk above Dad, to join us. As we left the hostel with Dad as the navigator, we turned left. I asked Dad whether the beach was north or south, and he said north of course. I tried to tell him that we were going the wrong way, the same way we had come the day before, but he said, "You are the driver and I am the navigator and this is the way to go ... just drive." I asked to see the map but he refused to let me see it. Finally, when we had gone 20 or so miles, I pulled over and refused to go any further until I saw the map, and sure enough, we were going the wrong way. We rode in silence for awhile until I started a conversation with Nathan, and then Dad apologised. I told him it didn´t matter; I loved him anyway, and it was off to Seashell beach. We were just taking the scenic route. It was also funny because we are both Leos, so there we were, both of us trying to lead and neither wanting to follow. It must have been interesting to be the observer of all this. I realized that we were very alike, he and I.
We had a lovely day checking out a couple of beaches, sun baking, and shell collecting. It was obvious Dad loved being by the ocean, just watching the waves. He said it would probably be his last trip because when he turns 80, the travel health insurance will double, making it difficult for him to afford it.
Nathan showed us where Australia rock was: a hole in a rock formation shaped like Australia, and we had a photo session. We invited Nathan to join us for dinner and we had a lovely sweet chilli stir-fry, then sat and drank tea and visited. Dad and Nathan talked about how Nathan could add refrigeration to his electrical trade - something he had not thought of that made sense for him. It looked as if again it was not just a chance meeting, but the universe had thrown them together for a reason.
The next day we had quite a drive ahead of us as we had only one more night. We were planning to go to Wollongong, making it a short drive into Sydney on the last day. We stopped and bought a chicken and buns for lunch, meaning to find a place for a picnic. We drove and drove and couldn´t find anywhere, so we finally pulled off a country road and ate in the car in a little pull-in. It was after 2:00 and I was really hungry.
I discovered a message from my friend Kerrie in Yeppoon, so I called and had a little chat with her. I was planning to go to Brisbane, but changed my mind to go see her next. Even though the flooding in Brisbane had not affected my friends, I just thought the city needed a bit of time to clean up. Kerrie said if you hadn´t heard the news, you wouldn´t know about the floods in Yeppoon. I got excited to see her. It has been 18 years since she had come to Canada last to see me.
To be continued.
First, in answer to Carol Dilworth´s query about which side of tinfoil should be next to the food it is wrapped around, Anne Rahamut writes: When I use tinfoil in the oven, I use shiny side next to the food, dull side out. That way, a little extra heat is reflected back to the food. Perhaps the argument could be reversed in the refrigerator?
Betty Fehlhaber joins the discussion: In response to Carol Dilworth´s query about the proper way to use tinfoil: If you are wrapping a potato to bake, for example, always put the shiny side next to the potato and the dull side out. This will keep the potato hot. Also, wrapping things you want to keep hot, such as a dish for a pot- luck supper, the shiny side goes next to the food. If you are wrapping a cake or pie for the freezer, the shiny side should be out. Shiny side in to retain heat, shiny side out for freezing, or if it doesn´t really matter.
Carol Shoemaker sends the clincher from the site of a manufacturer of aluminum foil:
"Actually, it makes no difference which side of the aluminum foil you use - both sides do the same fine job of cooking, freezing, and storing food. The difference in appearance between dull and shiny is due to the foil manufacturing process. In the final rolling step, two layers of foil are passed through the rolling mill at the same time. The side coming in contact with the mill´s highly polished steel rollers becomes shiny. The other side, not coming in contact with the heavy rollers, comes out with a dull or matte finish.
"The exception is when using Reynolds Wrap® Release® Non-Stick Aluminum Foil. The non-stick coating is applied during manufacturing to the dull side of the foil. Always place the non-stick (dull) side toward the food."
Next, comments on last week´s editorial about my reaction to all the bad news in the media. First, Catherine Nesbitt writes: Thank you for stating so clearly why jokes are important. I agree with you in regard to the steady diet of upsetting news that we are forced to see each day. A break from the horrors helps me to keep from retreating into depression. I cannot solve problems in other countries, not even if I donated every cent I own. I cannot control what happens politically in Ottawa, nor in British Columbia. I can vote, and I do, but I cannot ensure that politicians, once elected, will carry out campaign promises. You and I are of a similar age, and have lived through many Interesting Times. The only thing I know for sure is that there will be Interesting Times ahead.
As I have said before, receipt of the Spinner each weekend is something I look forward to. It is a welcome break from daily life.
Doris Dignard´s note is short and to the point: My sentiments exactly!
Geoff Goodship writes: It´s hard not to be swept away in the maelstrom of bad news. I feel no better after sending the letter below to Prime Minister Harper:
"Thoughts on the war in Libya
"A civil war is happening in Libya. Canadians were not invited
"The first casualty of war is truth.
"Smart bombs and laser guided missiles are not smart enough to know the sex, the age the family, the ancestry of those they kill.
"Canada permits just one man, the Prime Minister, to declare war on many others simply by calling another man a dictator. We think Canada is an advanced democracy?
"Attempting to remove 12 members of the Gaddhafi family means killing thousands of others. This is no fair bargain. Is it right to kill 1000 Libyans in order to prevent them from killing 1000 other Libyans?
"Regime change is not our hunt. We´re supposed to think of ourselves as peace keepers.
"The legacy of all war is injury, hatred, and the desire for revenge.
"Not in my name, Prime Minister Harper."
Norma Patterson writes: Every Saturday when I am at the computer and I start laughing, my husband says, "Oh, those must be Jean´s jokes," and he comes to read them too! They are a highlight of our Saturday! Don´t ever stop printing the jokes. You are so right about the news: who needs all that?When we had dinners with the gang down South, I got up and told a joke of the week! They all thought they were great.
ED. NOTE: It seems I am not alone in my reaction to the steady diet of bad news!
Jim Olson sends some thoughts from an elderhostel in Arkansaw
Use verse to probe
Their feelings. Maggie says
Sitting on chiggers will also
Gerrit deLeeuw forwards a story about
After being married for 50 years, I took a careful look at my wife one day and said, "Fifty years ago we had a cheap house, a junk car, slept on a sofa-bed and watched a 10-inch black and white TV, but I got to sleep every night with a hot 18-year-old girl.
"Now I have a $500,000, a $35,000 car, a nice big bed and a large- screen TV, but I´m sleeping with a 68-year-old woman. It seems to me that you´re not holding up your side of things."
My wife is a very reasonable woman. She told me to go out and find a hot 18-year-old girl and she would make sure that I would once again be living in a cheap house, driving a junk car, sleeping on a sofa- bed and watching a 10-inch black and white TV.
Aren´t older women great? They really know how to solve an old guy´s problems!
Carol Hansen forwards this gem, which was also printed in Lew´s News:
There was a knock on the door this morning. I opened it to find a young man standing there who said, "I´m a Jehovah´s Witness."
I said, "Come in and sit down. What do you want to talk about?"
He said, "Beats the shit out of me. I´ve never got this far before."
Zvonko Springer sends this story of
Two elderly people living in a retirement community, he was a widower and she a widow, had known each other for a number of years. One evening there was a community supper in the clubhouse.
The two were at the same table, across from one another. As the meal went on, he took a few admiring glances at her and finally gathered the courage to ask her, "Will you marry me?"
After about six seconds of "careful consideration," she answered "Yes. Yes, I will!"
The meal ended and, with a few more pleasant exchanges, they went to their respective places. Next morning, he was troubled. "Did she say yes´ or did she say ´no´?"
He couldn´t remember. Try as he might, he just could not recall. Not even a faint memory. With trepidation, he went to the telephone and called her.
First, he explained that he didn´t remember as well as he used to. Then he reviewed the lovely evening past. As he gained a little more courage, he inquired, "When I asked if you would marry me, did you say ´Yes´ or did you say ´No´?"
He was delighted to hear her say, "Why, I said, ´Yes, yes I will,´ and I meant it with all my heart." Then she continued, "And I am so glad that you called, because I couldn´t remember who had asked me."
Betty Fehlhaber sends a link to a fascinating demo of how our spines affect our bodies. Move your mouse over back bones and see the parts that are affected:
Bruce Galway forwards this link to a video proving that people are awesome, and that you don´t have to be crazy to do some of these stunts, but it helps:
Catherine Nesbitt writes: If you read this list of current hoaxes, you will probably recognize it when someone sends one to you:
Pat Moore sends a link to what happens when you point the Hubble space telescope to a seemingly blank patch of sky: A view that takes you to the edge of the universe!
The photo director for National Geographic, David Griffin, knows the power of photography to connect us to our world. In a talk filled with glorious images, he talks about how we all use photos to tell our stories:
The blueberries found in blueberry bagels, cereals, breads and muffins are REAL blueberries right? Wrong! Award-winning investigative journalist Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, exposes the deceptive chemical ingredients and dishonest marketing of "blueberry" products from big-name food and cereal companies. The blueberries, it turns out, are made from artificial colors, hydrogenated oils and liquid sugars.
If you have ever played basketball, you will find the Dunking Devils´ moves unbelievable:
Nevil Horsfall suggests this site for a video of a diver feeding sharks:
To check out the features of the "freedictionary", which change daily, go to
"There is no such thing as ´on the way out´ as long as you are still doing something interesting and good; you´re in business because you´re breathing."
- Louis Armstrong