Thursday, August 31, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

A Swedish film, En man som heter Ove, which in English is titled  A Man Called Ove, is the perfect movie to watch this weekend to cheer you up, whether you're sad about Hurricane Harvey, worried about North Korean missiles, sick of the 45th president, or all of the above (2015, PG-13, Available on DVD and free on Amazon Prime Streaming). This movie is in Swedish with English subtitles.

Ove (pronounced oo-vay and portrayed by ) is a man alone. His beloved wife Sonia has died. He's being forced into retirement. He's the Grumpy Gus of his neighborhood, where he demands that everyone follow the rules.

He visits Sonia at the cemetery regularly, where he promises her he is going to join her. Ove then sets out to commit suicide, but what could be tragic turns comedic as one thing after another interrupts his attempts. The worst interruption of all is by his annoying new neighbors from Iran, who do nothing but cause him grief.

As the movie progresses, we see flashbacks to Ove's boyhood and his youthful romance with Sonia that help us to understand what kind of person he really is: a man with a heart of gold who goes to great lengths to help those in need in spite of the personal cost.

A Man Called Ove earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval. It was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2017 Academy Awards and is based on the novel of the same name by Fredrik Bakman. I haven't read the book, but I certainly want to do so now. Its overarching theme is my favorite––the interconnectedness of humankind.

Happy viewing!

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Have you noticed that in spite of the devastation in parts of Texas and Louisiana that quite a few people are pretty calm and relaxed in places where insanity could easily reign? (I'm not saying that some people aren't upset and in tears, and they have a right to be.)

What I see on my TV is a city that's pretty much in ruins, but people aren't panicking the way they did during Hurricane Katrina.

I see two major differences with Hurricane Harvey:

1. People can connect with others on Twitter, Facebook, whatever. People have even used social media to get out the message that they need to be rescued. Having some kind of a connection with the world instead of feeling totally alone means a lot.

2. I see people being rescued with their pets. Cat carriers are loaded into boats. Dogs ride on their daddy's or mommy's shoulders. During Hurricane Katrina, if I remember correctly (and if I'm wrong you can set me straight), people were told they couldn't bring their pets to shelters. They had to leave their beloved animal friends behind to die. Do you think I'd climb into a boat and float away without Franklin and Penelope?

If your answer is HELL NO, then you're correct.

One rescuer spoke of picking up a family that included a bull mastiff who weighed well over one hundred pounds.

It's a well-known fact that having a pet can bring down blood pressure, along with having other health benefits, especially relief from depression and anxiety. If I were dragged away from my pups, I'd scream and cry non-stop. They are my family.

Additionally, when people reach the shelters, they seem to have supplies on hand, the supplies that the people of New Orleans lacked: water, diapers, food, clothes, blankets.

Not everyone will survive Hurricane Harvey. Some people have already died, and no doubt, some pets have died and will die.

But I see a greater spirit of camaraderie during this hurricane. At first I thought that not having a mandatory evacuation of the city was insane. Then I learned that when they had an evacuation in the past (not sure when it was or what the emergency was), that people panicked and more were killed in the evacuation than in the rest of the emergency.

Not evacuating also leaves a lot of people there who have boats and are willing to use them to save others.

I also don't see news reports about African Americans who are looters, but white people who do the same are simply seeking out supplies. I see white, black, and Hispanic people working together. It's a world away from the hatred we saw in Charlottesville.

Let's keep the spirit of togetherness going.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Here's a bit of presidential trivia:

When Hurricane Betsy hit New Orleans in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson went to the city and visited evacuation centers, as reported HERE and in numerous other places:

"On September 10, 1965, the day after Hurricane Betsy plowed through southeastern Louisiana, President Lyndon Johnson flew to New Orleans.  He went to the people, to shelters where evacuees were gathered, to neighborhoods all over the city.  There was no electricity and, so that people could see and hear him at one shelter, he took a flashlight, shined it into his face and said into a megaphone, "My name is Lyndon Baines Johnson.  I am your president.  I am here to make sure you have the help you need."

And that's exactly what he did.  He cut through bureaucratic red tape and, before he'd even left the city that day, he saw to it that the wheels were set in motion for the city's recovery.
Those who remember Betsy will always be grateful to President Johnson for his decisive leadership, his critically needed comfort and his determination to bring timely help to the area, and to immediately start rescuing, recovering and rebuilding."

Monday, August 28, 2017


the person to whom you give the nickname likes it, Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell.

In THIS POST that I wrote last week, I chatted about giving nicknames to people. Some of you pointed out in your comments, and they were wise comments, that we have to be careful about nick names (The High Guy who works at Target doesn't know that I think of him as The High Guy and he never will, nor will anyone else know except for all of you out there and Favorite Young Man, and FYM doesn't even know which person I'm talking about because he's never seen The High Guy).

Fundy Blue, a.k.a. Louise of Standing Into Danger (one of my favorite blogs, not that all the rest of you don't also write my favorite blogs), made the following comment:

Funny post, JJ! I admit to occasional mental, not-uttered, nicknames for certain people in my life. And I've been collecting various nicknames for our leader which is hilarious fun. 

As a second and third grade teacher, I had to spend time dealing with conflicts and hurt feelings over nicknames. This age group has a heightened sensitivity of what is fair and what is not. The topic of fairness cropped up all the time. Young kids can be creatively cruel with nick names. So we would have class meetings every year, sometimes multiple times, over the issue of names and nicknames and the fairness of using them. 

The worst brouhaha occurred when one of my white boys whispered to the black girl sitting next to him (during a spelling test) that she had lips swelled up like a pufferfish. So for several days she was "Pufferfish," and what a time I had dealing with the fallout and stamping out the use of that nickname! 

Who would suspect that a science word I added to the spelling test for bonus points could lead to meetings with the principal, the social worker, the psychologist, and outraged parents on both sides of the racial divide, not to mention having to rearrange the seats in my classroom? 

I would always share that I had multiple nicknames when I was a kid based on both Myrtle and Louise, as in variations of "Myrtle the turtle lost her girdle" and "Weasel" and that those and other nicknames I was plagued with really hurt. So there was a lot of emphasis on learning what name each child wished to use and learning its correct spelling.

I don't have a problem with nicknames now, and I [sic] always happy when I get a big hug from my brother and he whispers, "I love you so much, Weasel." LOL

Thank you for sharing this story with us, Louise.  A nickname is never cool if it's shared publicly and it hurts the person who has been given the name. Many of us are already self-conscious enough.

When I was a medical assistant in a doctor's office, the other underlings and I had nicknames for each other. The second medical assistant was Neesie; the x-ray tech was Teeny; the receptionist was San-Pan; and I was June––for June on Leave It To Beaver because I was thought to be the kind of person who would vacuum my house while wearing a dress and high heels. June gradually morphed into Junebug, which is how I became Janie Junebug.

But we also had a second part-time receptionist. I nicknamed her Marge for the police chief in the movie Fargo. I think I called her Marge two or three times before she said, Please don't call me that.

That was the end of that nickname. Never used it again.

And that's the way it should be, unless a nickname is so unkind that it should never be uttered at all. In fact, I should have asked her if it was okay to give her that nickname. That's my policy from now on, unless I don't ever call the person by the nickname.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

In THIS POST, we talked about prefixes, suffixes, and root words. To date, that post has had more than 1,400 page views. I have no idea why it was so popular, but let's see if we can break that record by discussing more meanings of word parts (I'm not telling Willy Dunne Wooters about the 1,400+ because he'll say it's spambot; I'm sticking my tongue out at you, WDW).

According to our source, Vocabulary for a New World by Linda J. Palumbo and Frank J. Gaik, "learning the building blocks of words can help you to figure out and remember the meanings of many new words you encounter."

Palumbo and Gaik point out in one section of the book how the root "patri or pater, for father, spawns several related words."

Patri plus archy, which means rule gives us

patriarchy = rule by the fathers

Patri plus mony, which means wealth gives us

patrimony = the wealth of the father


patrimonialism = a system of authority based on inherited wealth

The suffixes -ic, -al, and -ous mean "made of or characterized by" and can be "used to turn some words into advectives."

poetic = in the form or spirit of a poem
porous = having pores
aquatic = of the water 

Do you recognize these word parts related to forms and measures?


Neo, of course, means new, as in neo-Nazi, but I'd say a Nazi is a Nazi is a Nazi.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thanks, fishducky!

Monday, August 21, 2017


But I don't mean obscene names for the president, Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

We've always been big on nicknames in my family. My mother used to call a young woman with short curly hair who lived in her neighborhood "Betty Boop." It became so popular that everyone who lived there started calling the woman Betty Boop––sometimes to her face.

But I also invent names for people based on certain facets of their personality or their behavior (not cruel names).

A few months ago I shopped at Target and no matter what I said to the cashier, he replied, oooookey doooookey. Based on the way he emitted his okey dokeys, I suspected he was as high as the sky.

Naturally, his name is now "the high guy." I have no idea what his real name is.

And how about those name tags some cashiers wear that say


I know it means that the person has been working there that long, but I always want to ask, If you've been George for seven years, then who were you before that?

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, August 18, 2017


And you do not want to deal with a Junebug in a bad mood, Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

When Donald Trump was elected, I was shocked. I didn't turn on the news until late in the afternoon on that fateful day. I looked at the available returns and polls and knew: She will win the popular vote, but he will win the electoral college.

For the next two weeks, I cried every day. But I was also in denial. I told myself and my friends, It's going to be all right. Somehow it will be okay. We'll be fine.

Then I looked at the glass in my hand and realized it was half-empty. I accepted reality.

Now we've had a tragic clash in Charlottesville, with bad people on both sides, according to the president. But why did people who don't even live in Charlottesville gather there to hold their White Nationalist shindig? The side with the Tiki torches may have had a permit to gather, but they didn't have a permit to incite violence. With a group like that, however, a gathering amounts to inciting violence. That's what these good ole' boys are all about, and Charlottesville was not prepared to deal with their numbers.

As each day passes since that event, I haven't learned to feel calm and at peace about it. I haven't said, This too shall pass. I haven't let it go and moved on.

Rather, as I learn more about what occurred from people who were actually there, my anger grows. I'm beyond being able to say, Let's find something to laugh about.

Favorite Young Man and I watched quite a bit of news on Saturday and Sunday. He expressed surprise that such a thing would happen in Charlottesville, a liberal university town.

I told him that Charlottesville has long been a town divided (no doubt town officials disagree with me), and, thus, ripe for the picking by the KKK, Aryan Nation, alt-right––whatever they call themselves, "they" are those who come in hatred.

I went on to explain to Favorite Young Man that white descendants of Thomas Jefferson wouldn't consider allowing the black descendants of Thomas Jefferson to join their organization until the black descendants took DNA tests to prove their lineage, and even then the descendants of the Jefferson-Hemmings union were invited to attend the white descendants' meetings as guests, not as full-fledged members. This occurred in spite of the fact that historians began writing about the children of Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemmings, in the 1970s. This occurred in spite of the long-known "open secret" in Charlottesville that if one saw a light-skinned black person with red hair, then that person was likely to be a Jefferson family member. This occurred in spite of the knowledge that Sally Hemmings and her siblings were of mixed race and were half-siblings to Jefferson's wife. Hemmings' children were of mostly European descent. But one drop of so-called black blood? They're not the real thing, apparently.

I doubt if the white descendants ever had to take DNA tests to prove their status.

This refusal to acknowledge ALL of Jefferson's direct descendants is an emblem of the division in Charlottesville, a town that is predominantly white. And Southern.

Sadly, my theory about the town has been confirmed by some articles I've read and by comments from citizens of Charlottesville. One African-American woman stated that the master in Monticello had been looking down on them in the town for far too long. That doesn't mean we should knock down Monticello and disavow Thomas Jefferson as one of the founders of our country, but it does mean we need to recognize his role in the misery that was slavery. It does mean we need to recognize his second family.

We can acknowledge the grief and the mistakes of slavery in museums. We do not need statues of Confederate leaders in parks and city centers. To ask "where will it stop?" and suggest that statues of George Washington will be pulled down next is to demonstrate one's ignorance. Yes, George Washington owned slaves, but he wasn't a traitor to his country who suggested that the Union of States be divided.

I also heard someone say on television that having a statue of Robert E. Lee certainly wasn't as bad as having a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest. Aren't they all traitors to the Union?

Plus, until a few years ago, my own city had a Nathan Bedford Forrest High School. It took many years to remove the name of the man who founded the KKK. Now, let's change the names of all schools named after Confederate leaders. We don't need Jefferson Davis High School any more than we need Robert E. Lee High School. Let's name our schools after peacemakers and heroes, not losers.

Yes, I am one angry Junebug, and I don't picture myself getting over it anytime soon.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

public domain photo

"Let us reject any among us who seek to reopen old wounds and to rekindle old hatreds. They stand in the way of a seeking nation. Let us now join reason to faith and action to experience, to transform our unity of interest into a unity of purpose. For the hour and the day and the time are here to achieve progress without strife, to achieve change without hatred—not without difference of opinion, but without the deep and abiding divisions which scar the union for generations."

Friday, August 11, 2017


Gentle Readers . .  and Maxwell,

I first published A FINAL EVENING ON LAKE JUNEBUG on October 6, 2014. It's had 232 page views, but it won't complain if more people look at it. I think it's a good time to read it again, or read it for the first time, because Lake Junebug overflows from daily thunderstorms.

A unique feature in this post is the appearance of the late, handsome Harper––a smooth collie/malinois mix. Harper plays two roles. First, he is the "wildlife." The he returns as the suave, dignified guest, Monsieur Malinois. Exactly the kind of dude you meet during a vacation on Lake Junebug.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug, proprietor

Many of you have written posts about the arrival of autumn. It's still warm here in Northern Florida, but it's pleasant. The humidity is tolerable. While the weather is nice, I recommend you take one last vacation for the year. You need an evening on Lake Junebug.

My prices are low (however much I owe the IRS so about $4,000 and that can be a group rate if you want to bring some pals or the whole family). It's rained a great deal lately so the lake is full. Notice the trees reflected in the beautiful clear water:

Architecture buffs will enjoy attractions such as the steps that lead down to the lake:

Look at the beautiful vegetation right next to the lake:

You'll feel as if you're visiting the Galapagos. Wildlife surrounds Lake Junebug:

Monsieur Malinois, I presume? You meet the elite when you vacation on Lake Junebug:

The dining area, where our chef prepares gourmet meals on the grill:

Another lovely view of the deluxe amenities:

The fence guarantees privacy should you want to indulge in a little skinny dipping:

I haven't set up the hammock yet, but it's a hammock for two. Romance guaranteed. If you bring the kids, they can sleep on the deck itself. They'll be thrilled by this outdoor adventure.

Be sure to book your trip soon. If you wait too long, the party will be over.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


AND DON'T COME BACK SOME OTHER DAY, Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

With a thunderstorm nearly every day, Lake Junebug is quite full. I would suggest that you make your reservations for the Lake Junebug Resort, but it doesn't stop raining long enough to do anything.

I was out gallivanting around this afternoon when today's storm started. Going from a store to my car, I got soaked. I looked as if I had taken a shower with my clothes on.

Before yesterday's storm, it was somewhat dry just long enough for Franklin to roll in the muck in the backyard. His new name is Stinky.

According to the forecast, the weather system that's with us now is supposed to hang around and get worse by the weekend. I don't know how it can get worse, but anything is possible.

Lappie is fine now. She has no complaints about the duct tape holding her together.

I continue to apply for jobs, so I'm not blogging regularly. Previous interest from employers resulted in an interview for a job that I could have done in my sleep. Of course, I didn't get it.

The search continues.

Infinities of love,

A Soaked Janie Junebug

Lake Junebug looks a lot like this photo that I took after Hurricane Matthew visited us last year:

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

After a scan, I think Lappie is herself again--except that one corner of her case will be held in place by duct tape.

It's going to take me a while to catch up on everything.

Thanks to all of you who offered sympathy and advice.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

My laptop is home, but she is wounded and not working properly.

I should not have taken her to a repair store without talking to Willy Dunne Wooters first. He had a good experience with this chain of stores, but the place he used is in a different location. The store closer to my home is run by children. They might be self-described nerds, but they are not very responsible nerds.

They want $200 to repair her. Don't tell Lappie that I said this, but she's not worth it. She only cost about $400 in the first place.

Therefore, I'm not spending $200 on her. Yes, I can duct tape her together (it's the bottom case that came apart in one corner), but she'll have to be replaced at some point.

And she is not the same sweet Lappie I took to the store run by child nerds. Ads pop up on her all the time. Notices pop up that say Google is tracking my searches. I know I had some kind of blocker on her, but I can't remember what I did before to make her my darling Lappie.

Oh, dear. Oh, dear. Oh, dear.

I bet one of you will remind me how to make her into my Lappie again, or Willy Dunne Wooters will help.

I'm not thinking clearly after my terrible experience with the little boy nerds.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug