Wittering on about Twitter by Sheila Deeth

Originally posted on Second Wind Publishing:

My sons used to complain that I “wittered on” about things. I thought of that this morning when my husband asked me why I “waste so much time” on Twitter. This inspired me to ask google for the meaning of “wittering on;” I learned it’s an English phrase, meaning “to talk for a long time about things that are not important.” Does that make Twitter a way to talk for a shorttime about things that areimportant?

Not knowing for sure, I decided to look at a file I keep of my random tweets. They don’t seem terribly important to be honest, but what do you think? This one comes fairly early in the file; I guess I was just learning to count my characters…

The twittering twerp has tweeted,

Work defeated,

Waits for twime,

While twiters twirl ‘n twype their twales.

This twit is falling off the rails.

Later there’s this:

I can’t believe you…

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Desperate Voyage – Introduction

Meet Captain Chipman. He’s a real nice guy with more responsibility than anyone should be asked to take on, but he’s about to take on a bunch of passengers who would try anyone’s patience and faith.


The ship Chipman captains is new and fast, and although the German U-boat wolf-packs control the North Atlantic sinking Allied shipping almost at will, there are no German warships of any kind known to be operating in the South Atlantic. For Captain Chipman and the passengers and crew of the Port Jefferson it should be a safe and easy passage across the South Atlantic from South Africa to Argentina.

Things begin to go very wrong when they see a distress flare and go to help. The survivors have been adrift for two weeks. They claim to be Dutch, but when closely questioned it is discovered they are Germans from a decoy ship that sank when it hit a loose mine.


TUESDAY – 13 January 1942
Excerpt one

In the oven like heat of his quarters, Captain Jeffrey Chipman sat at a gray, steel desk. He was a large man. He had always been a large man, but now at the age of fifty-five he had added two pounds of weight for every one of his thirty years at sea. His light blond hair was beginning to turn gray but was not noticeable because he kept it cut short and the gray was not much lighter than his natural hair. In school he was called ‟Sandy” because of the color of his hair. No one called him ‟Sandy,” or ‟Jeff,” or “Jeffrey,” any more. Officers of equal, or higher rank called him ‟Chip.” Everyone else, including his wife, called him ‟Captain.” She had called him that before he ever was one. Continue reading

I Talk to the Trees

PaintPoor Clint Eastwood. In the movie, “Paint You Wagon” he sings a song that says, “I talk to the trees, but they don’t listen to me.” His problem was that he wanted the trees to listen to him, whereas he should have listened to what the trees had to say.

I will admit, that very often trees tend to repeat themselves. I think that is because very few people stop to listen to what they have to say and so they think they have to say it again and again. You know, the idea that repetition is education.

I have a group of trees that I talk to as I go for my walk. Today I asked them if they would mind if I quoted them. Continue reading

All About Words

Fair 1The first summer after I came to the United States my parents sent me to spend the summer on the same farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania where my father had spent his summers while growing up.

At the end of haying season the farmer took us all for a day away from haying to the county fair. Like most everything those first few months away from my home in the Congo, everything was new, startling and amazing. I had never seen anything like the midway at a county fair. Continue reading

Who and What Is PM&M?

Who and what is Paper, Mud and Me?


Let me try to answer that question that everyone is asking. Man, oh man, don’t I wish everyone was asking it, but I’ll answer it anyway.

Paper pilePaper – A material upon which for centuries man has inscribed his thoughts and images trying to preserve as much as possible what he thought was important, precious or entertaining. Unfortunately it is easily destroyed by fire, deteriorates quickly when exposed to the elements of light and moisture, and is consumed by various insects and animals.

Paper is now being replaced by all kinds of electronic devices; microchips, computers and other things beyond my comprehension. I am told that once a message, a thought, a work of art or anything else has been sent out into cyberspace, whatever the hell that is, it is never lost. It is there forever and ever and could be retrieved if you knew how to go about it. Maybe, maybe not.  But mankind has always been on quest to find the eternal, has he not? Continue reading

The Grinch that Stole Mother’s Day

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

You’ve all heard about the Grinch that stole Christmas. Oh, you haven’t? Well neither have I. Not Really. But I heard there was such a thing or I would never have been able to use the word “Grinch.” What is a Grinch, anyway? He, or she, must be a bad someone to steal Christmas.

In my opinion the Grinch that stole Mother’s Day is much worse than the one that stole Christmas. I never met Santa, or Dr. Seuss, but I did meet my mother and lots of other mothers and they were all kind of cool. Not only that, this Grinch may not be able to steal only this Mother’s day, but the coming Christmas as well and he, she or it, will not return what was stolen when he hears the student singing, celebrating and enjoying creating even though he stole their day.

Oh, didn’t you hear about it? Well the Grinch is trying to put an end to a happy event that has been going on for more than 30 years. Now I know that’s not as long as Christmas has been around, but it is still something the students get excited about celebrating. Continue reading

What’s the Problem Here?

I had a nasty fall the other day. Fortunately there were some other people around so I wasn’t left there to die. One young man asked, “Are you all right?”

There I am, flat on my back, bleeding from both elbows and knees and he has the nerve to ask, “Are you all right?”

Now it seems to me that it would be quite obvious to the gentlemen that something isn’t just the way it should be. I don’t know, but it just doesn’t seem right to lie down in the middle of the sidewalk in the middle of the day and start bleeding. Continue reading