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Monday, July 22, 2024




 If you remember my last post, I said I was starting a new book. It is set in the 1800s in Europe, and the Swedish, Jewish, and Gypsie cultures would meet. So, I have started my research into the Romani gypsies. Their culture is complex for me to understand, and I wonder if I can write it in a fiction novel in a way the reader will understand.

I came across this story, which I will share with you. Let me know what you think.

                                           The Sevenfold Liar

A traveler meets a deaf and dumb man on the road and asks him how far it is to the next village. The deaf and dumb man replies, "Quite a way. Perhaps three to four miles." The traveler moves on, meeting a blind man and asking him what the time is. The blind man looks at his watch and says, "Ten to three." The traveler moves on again, next meeting a naked man, whom he asks for a smoke. The naked man obliges by producing from his pocket a pouch of tobacco. The traveler moves on again and next meets a man with no arms wheeling a sack of potatoes along whilst being chased by a man with no legs who is crying, "Stop, thief, stop!" The traveler soon arrives at the village, where he meets a man over 100 years old. The old man is sobbing. "I was living with my grandfather," he weeps,  "and he has just thrown me out because he's getting married again and doesn't want me around." The traveler finally reaches the center of the village, and as he passes the church, a coffin moves past, and the lid of the coffin is lifted, and a face looks out and recognizes the traveler. "Would you like a pint of beer?" the body in the coffin asks.

The story ends with the storyteller saying, "That's the truth. No truer words have ever been spoken!"

I am told this story is all about telling the truth while it seems to mock the physical laws. It is part of the Romani belief in the Otherworld, which comprises the Upperworld, Middleworld, and Lowerworld. It is an example of Romani humor. It shows life turned upside-down.

This story is on pages 170 and 171 of We Borrow the Earth by Patrick Jasper Lee. 

If you understand this story from the Romani Gypsies' point of view or if you have any information on Romani Gypsies of the 1800's in Europe other than what is on Google, please let me know. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

 I came across this curious bit of trivia, which you might enjoy.

We have all heard the expression, 'to jump out of the frying pan into the fire.' The history of that expression may start with second-century Greek, which was 'out of the smoke into the flame'; the Italians and Portuguese had 'to fall from the frying pan into the coals'; the Gaelic said, 'out of the cauldron into the fire, and the French had 'to leap from the frying pan into the fire.'

We know that the expression means to escape one evil by leaping into another just as bad or worse.

The expression was first used in England (as far as I know) during a religious argument between William Tyndale and Sir Thomas More.

In 1528, Mr. More published a paper titled A Dialoge concerning Heresyes. The paper was read by Mr. Tyndale. He disagreed with the thinking of Mr. More, so in 1530 he wrote, "An Answere unto Sir Thomas More's Dialoge."  Mr. More did not like Mr. Tyndale's "Answere" so he wrote "The Confutacyon of Tyndales Answere," In which he said, "Mr. Tyndale "featly conuayed himself out of the frying panne fayre into the fyre".  (I used the English spelling of that day.)

I think both men jumped from a frying pan into a fire.  William Tyndale, who translated the Bible into English, was publicly strangled and burned as a heretic in 1536.  The author of Utopia, Sir Thomas More, because of perjured testimony, was hung as a traitor because he would not approve of the bigamous marriage of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn.

The following is another bit of trivia.

We all know Francis Scott Key wrote the words of the Star-Spangled Banner. Mr. Key's son, Philip Barton Key, became a U.S. attorney for Washington, D.C. He was reputed to be a ladies' man, and even though he was a friend to Daniel E. Sickles, who represented New York constituents in Congress, he had an affair with Theresa, Mr. Sickles's wife.

Mr. Sickles found out, and after a heated discussion with Theresa, she confessed in writing, so Mr. Sickles sent his wife back to her mother.

On Sunday, February 27, 1859, Mr. Sickles saw Mr. Key walking on Pennsylvania Avenue. He grabbed his pistol and ran to Mr. Key and, near the White House, shot him at close range. Mr. Key died on the street.

The congressman was arrested and, at his trial, said he had temporary insanity. The jury said he was not guilty, and they joined the congressman at a hotel celebration. The public sentiment was for Mr. Sickle, as no one should trifle with another man's wife. 

Mr. Sickles jumped from the frying pan but avoided the fire of disgrace and prison.   Mr. Key was shoved from an affair frying pan into the fire.


Now, a personal note having nothing to do with jumping from a frying pan into a hire, at least I hope so.

As some of you know, my house has squeak hall floors. I call them Nightingale floors. While writing Texas Cakewalk, which took about 3 years, the characters would come into my bedroom just as I was falling asleep. They would tell me their side of the story and what they thought I should say about them.

The book was published in June, and the characters no longer annoy me. However,  different characters want me to write about them, so they trudge into my room, making the floors squeak (although some people say it is temperature and humidity, but I know better).

The characters are from the 1800s in Europe. They are from three different cultures: Swedish, Jewish, and Gypsy. The Swedish characters speak English with a strong Swedish accent, the Jewish character speaks Yiddish, and the Gypsies speak their own language, which has never been written, so no dictionary helps.  I've told them they must all learn English so I can understand their perspectives on the events.

Recording the people and events at Texas Cakewalk took three years. I think this book will likely take five years, which means I will fall asleep listening to their jabber, have chaotic dreams, and wake up with a morning headache.

Saturday, June 1, 2024


                    Could this be True?

 The news is filled with courtroom trials, so I researched some laws and trials for your edification in case you ever need them. 

 A homeless woman in Washington State confessed to stealing $299.00 of merchandise from Bon Marche. She was convicted, but the story doesn't end there. She appealed stating that the merchandise at Nordstrom was less than $250.00  which was less than the felony. The Supreme Court of Washington State agreed with her and overturned the conviction. It was determined that market value and not retail value were the criteria for the felony or misdemeanor. The ruling seemed to indicate comparison shoplifting.

Justice Richard P. Guy, the dissenting judge, said, "A thief, at a minimum, should comparison shop before, not after, he or she decides to steal."

-State v. Kleist, 126 Washington 2d 432,895 P.2d 398 (1995)


In Maryland, in an appellate court, the judge listened to the defendant who, after being convicted of bribing a judge for $2,500.00 wanted to have his money refunded.  The judge said to him, "For whatever else you may lack, you do not suffer for lack of chutzpah." 

State v. Strickland, 42 Md.App.357, 400 A.2d 451 (Maryland Ct.Spec.App. 1979)


Do You Believe This One?

In the state of Georgia, a defendant in a crime broke into the sheriff's office and stole some weapons that were under a desk.

Judge H.Sol Clark, in the appeals court, describes the burglar's behavior as chutzpah. He said this as support of his finding, "The definition of Chutzpah in Leo Rosten's Joy of Yiddish of Chutzpah, is one who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself upon the mercy of the court because he is an orphan."

Can you believe it? The judge reversed the conviction. I can't believe it!

Williams v. State,, 126, Ga. App. 350, 190 S.E. 2dthe the  785 (Georgia Ct. App. 1972)


 In Illinois, a defendant was on trial for the murder of a prison kitchen supervisor. He objected to his public defender's refusal to call witnesses and went into the judge's chambers for a discussion. He threw a chair on his counsel's head and punched the judge.

He was convicted of the murder so he appealed because the judge and public defender could have been prejudiced against him because of his assaults.

His conviction was sustained.

People v. Hall, 114 Illinois 2d 376, 499 N.E.2d 1335 (1986)


Here is an interesting law in Nevada Revised Statutes, 642.480

Funeral directors in Nevada can be arrested for using profane language in the presence of a "dead human body."  Does this mean that to enforce this law, Nevada may need to have undercover police act as a dead body to collect the evidence. Sounds risky to me.


Sleepwalkers in Oklahoma need to be aware of this law: It is illegal to trespass at night and injure melons. ( I guess other fruits and vegetables are okay to step on.) Oklahoma Statutes, Title 21 1772


Traffic!Traffic!Traffic! Have you been caught in the lane for carpools and buses during rush hour?

It happened to the driver of a mortuary van. He was ticketed on an Orange County freeway for not having at least two occupants in the vehicle.

The driver took it to court and said the occupants were four frozen cadavers. However, the judge said the passengers must be alive to qualify. The driver had to pay the ticket.

People v. Hanshew, 5 Cal Rptr.2d 172 (California Ct. App. 1992)


I wonder how this law works in Oklahoma? If a driver of a car hits and kills a person, the driver must give his name, address, and vehicle registration to the person who was struck and killed. What does the deceased do with the information?  I wonder.  Oklahoma Statues, 47-10-104


Do you like soap operas? The state of Washington must have many drivers who do. A law forbids a TV in the front seat even during gripping soap operas. Revised Code of Washington. 46.37.480


A woman in New York and her new husband left their wedding reception. The groom later wanted to stop and get out of the car. He stood in front of it and told her to drive over him. She did.

The commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles revoked her driver's license. The woman thought that was excessive punishment and challenged the decision.  The commissioner said she could reapply for her license after thirty days. I don't know if she did. 

Bonitatibus v.Melton, 74 A.D. 2d 975,426 N.Y.S. 2d 188 (New York. App. Div. 1980

From Ludicrous laws & Mindless Misdemeanors by Lance S. Davidson 

I would love to have your comments on this. Pat Stinson

Friday, May 17, 2024

Jack Prelutsky poem

                                  A Fun and Silly Poem by Jack                                       Prelutsky 

        This was sent to me by a dear lady in the Cobblestone Writers Group.

I wave good-bye when butter flies
and cheer a boxing match,
I've often watched my pillow fight,
I've sewn a cabbage patch,
I like to dance at basket balls
or lead a rubber band,
I've marveled at a spelling bee,
I've helped a peanut stand.

It's possible a pencil points,
but does a lemon drop?
Does coffee break or chocolate kiss,
and will a soda pop?
I share my milk with drinking straws,
my meals with chewing gum,
and should I see my pocket change,
I'll hear my kettle drum.

It makes me sad when lettuce leaves,
I laugh when dinner rolls,
I wonder if the kitchen sinks
and if a salad bowls,
I've listened to a diamond ring,
I've waved a football fan,
and if a chimney sweeps the floor,
I'm sure the garbage can. 

Poem by Jack Prelutsky

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Mother's Day

                      Mother's Day 

For centuries, some forms of Mother's Day have been celebrated in different parts of the world.
It did not start in the U.S. until the end of the Civil War.

In 1868, Ann Reeves Jarvis, who lived in West Virginia, started the first "Mothers' Friendship Day" by inviting the mothers of former Union and Confederate soldiers to promote reconciliation.

Ms. Jarvis was helped when Julia Ward Howe wrote the "Mother's Day Proclamation" in 1870. She called for the mothers to organize and promote world peace. 

Ann Reeves Jarvis died in 1905. Her daughter, Anna Jarvis, took over for her mother's idea. 
In 1908, Anna Jarvis convinced Philadelphia store owner John Wanamaker to financially support her efforts. In May 1908, she held the first official Mother's Day observance at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia. On the same day, Mr. Wanamaker held an event at one of his retail stores in Philadelphia, which thousands of people attended.

Anna Jarvis then started a substantial letter-writing campaign to make Mother's Day the national calendar.
She wanted it to be a special day to honor motherhood, as she contended the other holidays honored male achievements. In 1912, she established the Mother's Day International Association. 
President Woodrow Wilson (in 1914) signed a document officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day. 

By 1920, Anna Jarvis decried the commercialization of Mother's Day. She saw it as a day for families to be with their mothers. She did not like flowers, cards, and candy taking over. She disowned the national holiday. She never married or had children. She died in 1948.

My mom was Dorothy Stinson. She was born in 1915. She married Bob Stinson, and they had three children. She lived to see her six grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
We still think of her today. She loved us, taught us, and prayed for us. A little bit of her lives on in each of us. 

I hope you spend a happy day with your mother or have good memories of her on Mother's Day.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Review of Wild River

                          Review Wild River

I am putting this review of my book Wild River in my blog. The view just came out from the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. I am doing this as some people have notified me they will be at the Northtown Mall Book Fair

on April 20th from 11 a.m. to 3, where I will have this book and others. If you are interested, this will give you an idea of what is in the book.

"Title: Wild River

Author: Patricia Stinson

"Wild River" by Patricia Stinson takes readers on a gripping journey back to 1871, where Dr. Edmund Proft, hailing from Connecticut, confronts the unforgiving realities of life in the New Mexico territory. As Proft navigates through a landscape fraught with gunfights, robbery, and pervasive ignorance, the novel delbes into the depths of prejudice, shining a spotlight on the conplexities of human nature, including Proft's own biases.

Set against the backdrop of the untamed West, Stinson's narrative skillfully captures the harshness and demands of the era, immersing readers in a world where survival is a constant struggle and danger lurks around every corner. Through Proft's experiences, the novel explores themes of resilience, adaptability, and the transformative power of facing one's own prejudices. 

Sinson's vivid prose and meticulous attention to historical detail bring the setting to life, transporting readers to a time and place where every decision carries weight and every encounter is fraught with tension. "Wild River" is not merely a tale of survival, but a poignant exploration of the human spirit and the enduring quest for understanding and acceptance in a world fraught with challenges.

 With its richly drawn characters, evocative setting, and thought-provoking themes, "Wild River" ... Stinson's masterful storytelling and compelling narrative make this novel a standout work that will captivate audiences and leave a lasting impression."

Review by Al Calderon, the Organizer of the L.A. Times Festival of Books.

My newest book, Texas Cakewalk, does not have any reviews yet. 

Monday, March 25, 2024

Reading Joy

                                                              I Opened a Book

"I opened a book and in I strode.

 Now nobody can find me.

I've left my chair, my house, my road,

My town and my world behind me.

I'm wearing the cloak, I've slipped on the ring,

I've swallowed the magic potion.

I've fought with a dragon, dined with a king 

And dived in a bottomless ocean.

I opened a book and made some friends.

I shared their tears and laughter.

And followed their road with its bumps and bends

To the happily ever after.

I finished my book and out I came. 

The cloak can no longer hide me.

My chair and my house are just the same,

But I have a book inside me."

                                                                            Written by Julia Donaldson

Isn't this a great thought? 

Northtown Mall in Blaine, Mn., is having a book fair on April 20, 2024, from 11a.m. to 3 p.m. I will be there with my new book, Texas Cakewalk. There will be a variety of children's books and adults. 

If you come I'm sure you will have fun. Stop by my table and say hi. 

I've added this poster. 


                                    Gypsies!  If you remember my last post, I said I was starting a new book. It is set in the 1800s in Euro...