I know it is not morning and yet had the need to post the following  and did not want to change my sign-on.  I have opted not to enter the political realm anymore on this blog and have a political blog set up specifically for that reason.

Today I came across something so profound on a friends facebook site that it has to be shared in full simply cut and pasted from the library page.  The special part of it is that I had the opportunity to meet this great lady in Washington DC in her office in the summer of 1964.

Please find following a speech by Sen. Margaret Chase Smith.  Remember this was during the McCarthy Era.  Please take special note of her assertion of what she believes are the principles of Americanism about half way through.

This was found at:


“Declaration of Conscience”

Senators Joseph McCarthy and Margaret Chase Smith participate in Congressional hearing.


Cold War
Radio statement
January 30, 1949

Women’s World Group
Radio statement
Easter 1949

Senate Bill – S. 200
Proposal making membership in the Communist Party illegal
January 7, 1953

McCarthy Letter
Letter to Joseph McCarthy
July 14, 1956

Leave It to the Girls
Lyrics to presidential campaign tribute to
Margaret Chase Smith
January 1964

Maine State Representative Shirley Richard recreates “Declaration of Conscience” speech.

History Channel audio

Maine Public Broadcasting
Maine Experience

Top 100 Speeches

United States Senate Historical Office
Classic Senate Speeches

For Release Upon Delivery
Statement of Senator Margaret Chase Smith
June 1, 1950

“Mr. President:

I would like to speak briefly and simply about a serious national condition. It is a national feeling of fear and frustration that could result in national suicide and the end of everything that we Americans hold dear. It is a condition that comes from the lack of effective leadership in either the Legislative Branch or the Executive Branch of our Government.

That leadership is so lacking that serious and responsible proposals are being made that national advisory commissions be appointed to provide such critically needed leadership.

I speak as briefly as possible because too much harm has already been done with irresponsible words of bitterness and selfish political opportunism. I speak as simply as possible because the issue is too great to be obscured by eloquence. I speak simply and briefly in the hope that my words will be taken to heart.

I speak as a Republican, I speak as a woman. I speak as a United States Senator. I speak as an American.

The United States Senate has long enjoyed worldwide respect as the greatest deliberative body in the world. But recently that deliberative character has too often been debased to the level of a forum of hate and character assassination sheltered by the shield of congressional immunity.

It is ironical that we Senators can in debate in the Senate directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to any American, who is not a Senator, any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming an American — and without that non-Senator American having any legal redress against us — yet if we say the same thing in the Senate about our colleagues we can be stopped on the grounds of being out of order.

It is strange that we can verbally attack anyone else without restraint and with full protection and yet we hold ourselves above the same type of criticism here on the Senate Floor. Surely the United States Senate is big enough to take self-criticism and self-appraisal. Surely we should be able to take the same kind of character attacks that we dish out to outsiders.

I think that it is high time for the United States Senate and its members to do some soul searching — for us to weigh our consciences — on the manner in which we are performing our duty to the people of America — on the manner in which we are using or abusing our individual powers and privileges.

I think that it is high time that we remembered that we have sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution. I think that it is high time that we remembered; that the Constitution, as amended, speaks not only of the freedom of speech but also of trial by jury instead of trial by accusation.

Whether it be a criminal prosecution in court or a character prosecution in the Senate, there is little practical distinction when the life of a person has been ruined.

Those of us who shout the loudest about Americanism in making character assassinations are all too frequently those who, by our own words and acts, ignore some of the basic principles of Americanism —

The right to criticize;

The right to hold unpopular beliefs;

The right to protest;

The right of independent thought.

The exercise of these rights should not cost one single American citizen his reputation or his right to a livelihood nor should he be in danger of losing his reputation or livelihood merely because he happens to know some one who holds unpopular beliefs. Who of us doesn’t? Otherwise none of us could call our souls our own. Otherwise thought control would have set in.

The American people are sick and tired of being afraid to speak their minds lest they be politically smeared as “Communists” or “Fascists” by their opponents. Freedom of speech is not what it used to be in America. It has been so abused by some that it is not exercised by others. The American people are sick and tired of seeing innocent people smeared and guilty people whitewashed. But there have been enough proved cases to cause nationwide distrust and strong suspicion that there may be something to the unproved, sensational accusations.

As a Republican, I say to my colleagues on this side of the aisle that the Republican Party faces a challenge today that is not unlike the challenge that it faced back in Lincoln’s day. The Republican Party so successfully met that challenge that it emerged from the Civil War as the champion of a united nation — in addition to being a Party that unrelentingly fought loose spending and loose programs.

Today our country is being psychologically divided by the confusion and the suspicions that are bred in the United States Senate to spread like cancerous tentacles of “know nothing, suspect everything” attitudes. Today we have a Democratic Administration that has developed a mania for loose spending and loose programs. History is repeating itself — and the Republican Party again has the opportunity to emerge as the champion of unity and prudence.

The record of the present Democratic Administration has provided us with sufficient campaign issues without the necessity of resorting to political smears. America is rapidly losing its position as leader of the world simply because the Democratic Administration has pitifully failed to provide effective leadership.

The Democratic Administration has completely confused the American people by its daily contradictory grave warnings and optimistic assurances — that show the people that our Democratic Administration has no idea of where it is going.

The Democratic Administration has greatly lost the confidence of the American people by its complacency to the threat of communism here at home and the leak of vital secrets to Russia through key officials of the Democratic Administration. There are enough proved cases to make this point without diluting our criticism with unproved charges.

Surely these are sufficient reasons to make it clear to the American people that it is time for a change and that a Republican victory is necessary to the security of this country. Surely it is clear that this nation will continue to suffer as long as it is governed by the present ineffective Democratic Administration.

Yet to displace it with a Republican regime embracing a philosophy that lacks political integrity or intellectual honesty would prove equally disastrous to this nation. The nation sorely needs a Republican victory. But I don’t want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny — Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry and Smear.

I doubt if the Republican Party could — simply because I don’t believe the American people will uphold any political party that puts political exploitation above national interest. Surely we Republicans aren’t that desperate for victory.

I don’t want to see the Republican Party win that way. While it might be a fleeting victory for the Republican Party, it would be a more lasting defeat for the American people. Surely it would ultimately be suicide for the Republican Party and the two-party system that has protected our American liberties from the dictatorship of a one party system.

As members of the Minority Party, we do not have the primary authority to formulate the policy of our Government. But we do have the responsibility of rendering constructive criticism, of clarifying issues, of allaying fears by acting as responsible citizens.

As a woman, I wonder how the mothers, wives, sisters and daughters feel about the way in which members of their families have been politically mangled in Senate debate — and I use the word ‘debate’ advisedly.

As a United States Senator, I am not proud of the way in which the Senate has been made a publicity platform for irresponsible sensationalism. I am not proud of the reckless abandon in which unproved charges have been hurled from this side of the aisle. I am not proud of the obviously staged, undignified countercharges that have been attempted in retaliation from the other side of the aisle.

I don’t like the way the Senate has been made a rendezvous for vilification, for selfish political gain at the sacrifice of individual reputations and national unity. I am not proud of the way we smear outsiders from the Floor of the Senate and hide behind the cloak of congressional immunity and still place ourselves beyond criticism on the Floor of the Senate.

As an American, I am shocked at the way Republicans and Democrats alike are playing directly into the Communist design of “confuse, divide and conquer.” As an American, I don’t want a Democratic Administration “white wash” or “cover up” any more than I want a Republican smear or witch hunt.

As an American, I condemn a Republican “Fascist” just as much as I condemn a Democrat “Communist.” I condemn a Democrat “fascist” just as much as I condemn a Republican “Communist.” They are equally dangerous to you and me and to our country. As an American, I want to see our nation recapture the strength and unity it once had when we fought the enemy instead of ourselves.

It is with these thoughts I have drafted what I call a “Declaration of Conscience.” I am gratified that Senator Tobey, Senator Aiken, Senator Morse, Senator Ives, Senator Thye and Senator Hendrickson, have concurred in that declaration and have authorized me to announce their concurrence.”






 noun \kə-ˈnən-drəm\

: a confusing or difficult problem

Full Definition of CONUNDRUM

1 :  a riddle whose answer is or involves a pun

2a :  a question or problem having only a conjectural answer

b :  an intricate and difficult problem

 See conundrum defined for English-language learners »

See conundrum defined for kids »

Examples of CONUNDRUM

<the conundrum of how an ancient people were able to build such massive structures without the benefit of today’s knowledge and technology>

… giving parents a wealth of educational options sometimes presents a familiar inner-city conundrum: What if all your choices are bad ones? —Katherine Boo, New Yorker, 9 Apr. 2001



origin unknown

First Known Use: 1645

Related to CONUNDRUM


closed bookmysteryenigmahead-scratcher,mystificationpuzzlepuzzlementriddlesecret

Related Words


Yesterday as I was traveling up the highway to get a special little guy this word came to the conversation.  There actually have been a couple of examples of this lately so I am just going to put them out there for your consideration and contemplation.


The first example is really a question.  Why do we say Happy New Year, Happy Valentine’s Day, Happy Eater, Happy Mother’s Day, Happy Father’s Day, Happy Fourth of July, Happy Labor Day, Happy Halloween, and Happy Thanksgiving when we end the year with Merry Christmas?  Can you answer this?  I cannot.

Further in the United Kingdom they do say Happy Christmas.  They have no Fourth of July or Thanksgiving of course.  I am not sure they celebrate Mother’s and Father’s Days either.

The only discussion I could find on the web was about actually using the word Christmas instead of Holidays.  That is not what I am discussing.  I am talking about the use of Happy for all holidays except Christmas and there we simply are Merry.  Answers?

The SECOND thought put forth I found fascinating.  I challenged my passenger to start their own blog as they are so very curious and knowledgeable as well.  In the meantime I will use our discussion to satisfy my own curiosity, further my knowledge and have a topic on which to expound!

Why when referring to some lakes the word Lake comes first and others it comes last.  We could not think of a lake in Maine that the word lake did not come last: Sebago Lake, Long Lake, Moosehead Lake, Echo Lake, and Eagle Lake for example.  Even the Ponds it seems had their names last – Long Pond, Chris’s Pond, Deer Pond to name a couple I know personally.

That started a discussion that ended with me doing some research. Of course we discussed that the Great Lakes all have the word lake first.  With the exception of three New York state also has the name lake appear after the name of the body of the water.  I started spotting other areas of the country.

As I looked Wisconsin, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, California and Idaho to name a few had a mix though most of the bodies of water had the word lake last.  Massachusetts, Maryland, Arkansas, Washington and Florida for the most part used the word Lake first.  I could not check them all and simply did a quick look.

I googled the question “Why does the word Lake appear before some lakes and not others?”  There were few answers.  Yahoo answer suggested it could be from origin or size.  The lakes I looked at did not qualify either way.  There was one interesting blog reference about lakes in Arkansas and I have copied the link below.

For me it is still a conundrum and the question still is why?




This past weekend I made a soup and a chowder.  Now in my neck of the woods this is called “Chowduh”.  It is usually clam chowduh or could be a seafood chowduh or even a fish chowduh.  Lobster however is never a chowduh it is a bisque – uppity creature those lobsters!  They actually are called lobstuhs so have no idea where their high fallooting name for a soup came and yet there it is on most menus – Lobster Bisque!

To go with my liquid creations I purchased a couple of different kinds of crackers.  Now in my home we had Saltines with any liquid dinner of any kind like soups or stews.  My favorite was sitting next to Daddy.  He would take his crackers out and butter up a few at a time so he would not have take time each time he wanted to eat one.  His bowl would be surrounded by buttered crackers ready for the eating.  As I said I sat next to him and rarely remember buttering my own cracker as I would just casually take one of his.  I think he knew yet every time we had stew there they would be for the taking.

I make a pretty mean fish chowduh.  Basically it is the same as it relative clam in that it is in a white broth.  NO tomato clam chowder in this house.  I was aghast when I my mother-in-law proudly said we were having clam chowder for lunch.  When the tomato based Manhattan clam chowder was served I was at a loss of what to do.  After all there is a blue law in Massachusetts that bans this kind of aberration.  Growing up so close to this state I believed it must be a universal law.   I struggled through and shared my knowledge of the laws!

My fish chowduh is loaded with fish and has my own special seasoning.  I got the whole thing from a cookbook that was gifted tome.  It was called “Cooking Yankee with a French Accent” by Monique Belisle.  As many in Southern Maine are this woman was  of French decent and shared her recipes that way.  She used to have a half hour cooking show on our local network before the Food Network came into vogue.  The cookbook has her own seasoning salt which helps create the flavors of her recipes.  I made the seasoning salt and kept it in my cabinet labeled “Belisle Salt”.  After all these years I no longer label it and call it my own.  I found hers way too salty and have made some flavorful adaptations.

This past weekend I served Fish Chowduh and French Onion soup.  The guest who participated in the potluck brought the bread and salad fixings.  There were two gatherings and for one I was providing the breads so got the above mentioned crackers which takes me to Oyster Crackers and fifth grade Sunday School.

My fifth grade Sunday School class met in the kitchen in the basement of our church.  I think I may have mentioned this all before so will be brief.  The kitchen had open shelves for some of the boxed food stuffs that were there for our church suppers.  One of the boxes was Oyster Crackers.  These were a rarity in my home as I said we had Saltines and betting that was due to budget.  Many a Sunday morning we would be passing around oyster crackers under the table and eating them when Mrs. Hamblen was not looking.   It was a treat for me and they were so small and easy to sneak.  The best thing of it was it was Mrs. Hamblen’s son who would start all this.  Doesn’t that just figure???  Where were our manners?

As well as making a decent fish chowduh I am a stickler for manners.  I believe that good manners can take you anywhere.  I was raised to use them.  Even after my mother died and surrogates and eventually a new step-mom took over manners were important. 

I wrote about “Anna” last year and how she helped me learn about setting a fancy table for a dinner party.  She shared with me information about cocktails and aperitifs, something that was not common in my home.  My step-mom was a real advocate of Emily Post Etiquette and my wedding was executed according to that book.  I now am trying to pass some of this on to our grandchildren.

Our grandchildren have manners do not get me wrong.  It simply seems, and I have observed this in numbers of kids, that school lunches have them eating fast in an effort to feed so many in a short period of time.  The few times that I ate at our school lunch I do not remember being so rushed.  Of course there is also the food group that we have that indicates the whole non manners issue.  It is called fast food and manners need not enter those establishments.   Heavens some even have gyms attached!

I try not to hound the grandchildren about this.  I will casually touch and elbow of the one nearest me if I see it on the table or smile that “manners” look across the table.  My husband is a bit more vocal with his “let’s slow down and eat slowly” that is occasionally said around our table.  I know they think me a pain and yet indulge my desire that they be able to go anywhere in life with good manners.

They were all here after Christmas.  It was wonderful and we had the chance to share many a meal.  The dessert is the favorite.  Ofschwans tin course the Christmas cookies were all consumed and the ice cream really took a hit for which I was glad.  I buy Schwan’s French Vanilla ice cream every year.  It comes in a Currier and Ives tin and I have them dating back to 1982.  I KNOW I have blogged about this before too.

In recent years the tins stay in the freezer long as we do not eat it quite as quickly as we did when the kids were young and I would buy multiple tins.  The tins are re-purposed each time with buttons of threads or whatever the need be at the moment the ice cream is gone.  

One of our last dinners together with the grandchildren the tin had so little ice cream in it that I took it out of the tin and put it in a pyrex dish for keeping in the freezer rather than take up space with the 10″ diameter 4″ high container.  I scooped out all the excess ice cream in the tin and licked the spoon off and set it aside.  I wish you could have been there to see what happened next.

dixie cupI am basically still a kid at heart.  I will grow old though growing up is not an option for me.  When we had (back in the dark ages) Dixie Cup ice creams in the summer you pulled off the top and licked the cover before tossing it away.  Sooooooo – right there in front of these 3 cherubs who think their Grandmama is a royal pain in the neck about manners I took the cover of the ice cream tin and proceeded to lick the melting ice cream off the lid. 

JAWS DROPPED!  HANDS WENT IN THE AIR! WORDS STARTED FLYING LOUDLY!  The youngest said it all, “Snippety old Grandmama broke the rules!”  Much scolding and laughter ensued.  It was a very good end of the tin of ice cream this year!!!   




I went back to my posts of last January to see if I had a word of the year last year.  I believe I had a word and simply did not write about it.  You see each year I believe I get a word that guides me throughout the year.  One year it seemed I heard the word “Passion” everywhere I went and in everything I read.  One year I heard “Bold” and I believe last year I heard the word “Joy”.  I lived in Joy last year.  I am awaiting the word for this year.  What is swirling around me as I have been listening these last few days of 2014 is the word “HOPE”.  Perhaps that is the word this year?

What is HOPE?  As with many of my questions I was led to google the word HOPE.  I was very surprised by what I found.  First there was Project HOPE which I had actually heard about long ago.  They do good works throughout the world. From their website:

Since 1958, Project HOPE has worked in more than 120 countries to make quality and sustainable health care available for people around the globe. Our work includes educating health professionals and community health workers, strengthening health systems, improving the health of women and children, fighting diseases such as TB, HIV/AIDS and diabetes and providing humanitarian assistance through donated medicines, medical supplies and volunteer medical help.. – See more at:

Then I read that there is a HOPE Scholarship in Georgia.  From their website:

Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship is available to Georgia residents who have demonstrated academic achievement. The scholarship provides money to assist students with their educational costs of attending a HOPE-eligible college in Georgia.

There also is a HOPE TV Channel.  From their website:

The official television network of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Hope Channel offers programs on wholistic Christian living and focuses of faith, health, relationships, and community. It’s television that will change your life! Using the latest technology, we produce more than 95 percent of our programs and reach not only across the United States and Canada, but also other countries.

Lastly, I found HOPE COLLEGE in Holland, Michigan which may be of interest to some friends of mine who are moving out that way this year.  Who knew?  From  their website I learned:

Hope graduates are educated to think about life’s most important issues with clarity, wisdom, and a deep understanding of the foundational commitments of the historic Christian faith. They are agents of Hope who live faithfully into their vocations.

– See more at:

Then of course I looked it up in the dictionary and on Wikipedia.

 HOPE: to want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true

intransitive verb

1:  to cherish a desire with anticipation  2archaic :  trust

transitive verb 1:  to desire with expectation of obtainment  2:  to expect with confidence :  trust

— hop·er noun — hope against hope :  to hope without any basis for expecting fulfillment

From Wikipedia:

Hope is the state which promotes the desire of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or in the world at large.[1] Despair is often regarded[by whom?] as the opposite of hope.[2] Hope is the “feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best” or the act of “look[ing] forward to something with desire and reasonable confidence” or “feel[ing] that something desired may happen”.[3] Other definitions include: “to cherish a desire with anticipation”; “to desire with expectation of obtainment”; or “to expect with confidence”.[4] In the English language the word can occur either as a noun or as a verb, although hope as a concept has a similar meaning in either use.

In leadership

[5]Napoleon Bonaparte said: “A leader is a dealer in hope”.[citation needed]

Robert Mattox, social activist and futurist, proposes a social-change theory based on the hope phenomenon.[6] There is significant research on the ability of leadership to effect change,[citation needed] but little research exists that examines the conditions of leadership necessary to initiate and successfully lead change.

Many[quantify] leadership theories presuppose that an individual who does the right things will be an effective leader.[citation needed] Dr. Larry Stout postulates that certain conditions must exist before even the most talented leaders can lead change. Dr. Stout highlights four conditions necessary to lead change:

people (who)

place (where)

position (what)

period (when)

If a leader has a green light in all four conditions, they will be able to lead change.[7]

Considering these leadership conditions among other macro social change-drivers, Robert Mattox proposes a change management theory. Dealers in Hope explores four leadership profiles: Steve JobsBarack ObamaMike Morhaime, and the historical[citation needed] figure Moses – each of who succeeded or failed to lead change based on whether or not they were a dealer in hope. Robert Mattox prescribes how a leader can lead change and shape culture within their community or organization by creating a hopescape and harnessing the hope system – illustrated using a “hope diamond” metaphor (from coal to diamond process).

In my quest for knowledge Wikipedia let me see that HOPE is organized, of course according to them in many categories.

History of hope

Understanding hope

Measuring hope

In philosophy

As a literary concept




On the Wiki website I was also shown a picture of the Allegory of Hope painted by Francesco Giardi in 1747.  The History of Hope section took me to mythology and Pandora.

 Pandora opened the box after being warned not to, and those evils were released into the world; hope, which lay at the bottom of the box, remained.[13]

I especially liked Dr. Stout’s diagram.  I like pictures – think it is the child in me still.  It is a clear depiction of what could happen when the right circumstances come together.  I actually have seen this work in some of the volunteer organizations in which I have been involved.  I simply thought it was enthusiasm being shared and forwarded to action.  In the end according to the diagram it was hope in action.

I have ever said that I am the original cock-eyed optimist and sure enough on the wiki site there was a line about Hope and Optimism.

Hope versus optimism[edit]

The difference between hope and optimism: hope entails pathways and thoughts to an intended goal. Optimism leads one to “expect the best, but it does not necessarily provide any critical thinking about how we are going to arrive at this improved future”.[21]

For me I think I will opt for both in equal measure!!!