Root Beer

Root Beer

Summer, oh glorious summer. So many memories. Here’s a special one from the 1940’s, early ’50’s: my father’s home-made root beer.

It might have been the last week of June that he started the first batch but for weeks before he scavenged glass beer and tonic (soda) bottles as six days a week he walked back and forth between the subway and his job at the Paul Revere House in Boston’s North End.

Finally it was time. Earlier in the week he had sterilized the bottles, twenty I think, and on a Sunday afternoon he put on a baker’s apron and set out the equipment and the ingredients. He poured large amounts of water in a very big vat which he then set on the stove to heat. At the right temperature he stirred in sugar, yeast, and root beer extract. When all that had blended, he let it cool, and then began the bottling operation. I can’t recall how he filled the bottles from the vat, but as each bottle was ready he let me use a special gadget to secure a cap on the bottle. How I loved that job.

Next he would carry the bottles to the basement ( or the cellar as we called it), a few at a time, and place them in a wooden crate that was sectioned and had once been used commercially . When the crate was full he turned it on its side and covered it with an afghan which I can still picture. Made by my Aunt Carrie, it was knitted rectangles of various colored yarns, joined and edged with black yarn.

During the next five or six days, he would uncover the crate, turn the whole thing over, and recover it. Each day I would ask, “is it ready yet, Daddy?”  When it was, he would bring one bottle up to the kitchen where my mother and I watched as he ceremoniously uncapped it. He would pour just a bit in a glass, and after approving it, he would pour some for each of us.

The supply was carefully rationed out over time, usually “straight” but sometimes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to make a brown cow. (Root beer float.)  Once the last bottle was left too long, and we heard a loud bang from the cellar as it exploded. After the last bottle was gone, he would soon start the whole process again, making two or three batches a summer.

Any root beer I’ve had in my life I’ve compared to that brew. Some has come close, but none has ever been as deliciously perfect as that brewed by Garner T. Corson, my   father!

Dorothy C. Judd         (C) 2017



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I C UM I   =  In case you missed it   A texting acronym

A man aged 48, died on the day of the home-opener of the final season at Shea Stadium. A childhood friend with whom he had attended many, many Mets games traveled across the U.S. with the friend’s  ashes, flushing a portion of them away in  each of 16 ballparks. One self-imposed rule was that the game had to be in progress.

                                                 NY Times 5/2/17


Nordstrom’s is selling men’s jeans that are coated with  cracked, caked-on mud. The price: $425.  Is the buyer pretending to have a dirty job?

                                         Seen on FaceBook 4/25/17


A New York court was asked to determine if a chimp is legally a person.

                                                AP 3/17/17


Cats can suffer whisker fatigue from over –stimulation of whiskers. This can happen, for example, if feeding dish is such that whiskers  repeatedly touch the rim.                                            

                                          Widely reported recently.


 There is a new documentary, developed by Carl Reiner , featuring interviews with well-known people over 90 still living productive lives. Think Betty White and Dick Van Dyke. Title of this HBO show is “If you’re not in the obit, eat breakfast.

                              Valley News  6/4/17


                 Dorothy C. Judd © 2017




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Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Memorial Day… I remember when it was always May 30th and not just the last Monday of May so there would be a three-day weekend. I remember when it was a solemn day for remembering those who had given their lives for this country , when it was not just about sales and when BBQ’s were a rarity. I remember when it was a day for a patriotic parade and a time to visit family graves and perhaps leave a plant or wreath.
I remember that each year of elementary school the biggest occasion of the year was a Memorial Day program.  It being suburban Boston and late May, lilacs were in full bloom, and bouquets of them were packed blossom to blossom along the edge of the stage.  We kids had been taught “My Country ’tis of Thee,” all the verses of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and all the verses of “America the Beautiful,” and of course our national anthem. . Encouraged to dress in white, we wore cross-shoulder sashes of red , white and blue and proudly stood to sing these songs.

There were kids -three I can call by name even now- who had solos: ” Just Before the Battle Mother,” and “We’re Tenting Tonight on the Old Camp Grounds” were all favorites., and we joined in on “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again.” We especially liked the “Hurrah, hurrah” of that song.

 Each year one student was chosen to recite “In Flanders Fields” a WWI poem about the poppies and crosses on the once battle field.
Veterans from the different services attended , and I have
a memory of someone in uniform helping an old, fragile, shaking soldier to the podium and introducing him as from the Civil War. Of course this was probably only possible the year I was in first grade and the old soldier had to have been a young drummer boy in the war.

These are old memories. When I was in first grade, 1944-1945 , the United States was still at war, and there was a universal feeling of patriotism and solemnity which lasted for several years. All I know is that when I smell lilacs I am transported to the Fulton School in Medford, Massachusetts, and hear  patriotic music ringing in my ears.

Dorothy C. Judd  (c) 2017

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More Fun Facts

Broken a promise…….Yes

Smoked a cigar…………Yes

Been in a dance contest…No

Been bullied……………..Yes

Been a suspect…………..No

Gone hunting……………..No

Shot an arrow…………….Yes

Been fired…………………..Yes

Had a pen-pal……………… Yes

Made a crank call…………Yes

Pulled an all-nighter……..No

Owned an exotic pet………No

Scored a hole-in-one………No

Bowled a 300 game………..No

Sailed a boat…………………..No

Been kayaking………………..Yes

Been scuba diving…………….No

Ridden a zip line……………….No

Ridden in a helicopter……….Yes

Won an award…………………..Yes

Had stitches…………………….Yes

Sung a solo………………………..No

Had my heart broken…….. Yes

Written a poem……………….Yes

Patented an invention………No

Caught a fish………………………Yes

Known someone famous…….Yes

Run or walked a 5K………………..Yes

Climbed a mountain………………Yes

Held a snake………………………….Yes

Seen the Northern Lights………..Yes


Dorothy C. Judd   © 2017

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Love this Life

Bought a t-shirt, and this manifesto was printed on the back of the shirt. It is by David Culiner and I want to share it.

is about celebrating the moment and that we’re not guaranteed or owed another day and how cool it is that what we hide can actually be the fuel towards our glory and that it’s not so bad being proven wrong

is about welcoming the blind turn and the possibility that there’s no such thing as coincidence and that empathy is incredibly sexy and that it’s never too late to pick up a guitar or a paintbrush or to make an amend or to make a new friend

could be about rekindling a past flame or igniting a new one or shapeshifting from a dreamer into a doer or savoring the caress of a love long gone

means whatever it is you want it to mean because lovethislife… is a celebration of you and your path

‘cuz it could go at any second

you rock.

copyright 2002, david culine

Shared by Dorothy Judd May 15, 2017

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Fun Facts


Fun facts for Dorothy Judd

Marriages ………….1


Number of Children…3

Pets right now…………1



Number of states lived in……5

Broken a bone……………Yes

Shot a gun……………No

Quit a job…………….Yes

Been on TV……Yes

Furthest traveled……..Israel

Seen a ghost…………….Yes

Watched someone give birth…….Yes

Watched someone die………….Yes

Sung  Karaoke………………….Yes

Been downhill skiing…………Yes

Been water skiing……………….Yes

Been ice skating…………………Yes

Been roller skating……………….Yes

Been parasailing………………No

Ridden in a hot air balloon….Yes

Ridden a horse……………………….Yes

Ridden in back of police car……….No


Pretended to be someone else……Yes

Won first prize…………………Yes

Been held at gunpoint……………………..Yes

Been shot at…………………………………….No

Questioned by FBI……………………………Yes

Strangest food eaten……………………Horse meat

Saw   form of this inventory on FB and had fun with it. Decided to tweak it a bit (additions; deletions) and think you might have fun with it too.

Dorothy C. Judd   (c) 2017

Next Post: May 15th


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Hi. My name is Benedict Patterson Judd , and I am the guest blogger for today.  Oh, and I should mention that I am a cat.
In case you’re wondering how I got such a fancy name…well. When my human and I met at the shelter, they told her I had been a stray for probably a year or more and that  my name was Patterson. But she wanted me to have a name that began with “B.” That’s because her most recent cats before me were named Barnum, Bailey, Bonkers, Bixby, and Bonnie. Bonnie was still living in my forever home, so my human chose Bennie for my name.
Now a few days after she brought me home, my human saw on the news that Pope Benedict was visiting in the United States. She also read in the paper that The Pope was a huge cat lover and was only sorry he couldn’t take any of his cats with him to The Vatican. My human had been thinking that Bennie didn’t sound special enough for me, so, voila, I became Benedict. Most of the time I am Bennie, but officially I am Benedict Patterson Judd.

How my human and I met: Her cat named Bixby had recently gone to that great catnip field in the sky, so after a decent length of time, she went to the Humane Society to look for a cat. They showed her into a room full of  about 38 cats. Did The cats were all different colors and combination, but I was the only orange Tabby. I knew right away this was the human for me, so I went  over to her and stretched up my front legs on her jeans and looked right at her. She actually thought I was saying, “what took you so long?”

Did I already say I am an orange tabby with beautiful markings and golden eyes.  Interesting fact , I have mostly  white whiskers but four black ones.  In addition to being particularly handsome, (so they say) I am very smart. I understand English, and my human first figured this out when she would say, “Time for bed, ” and I would race in and jump up on the bed before she got there. Now I have also learned “Time for a nap.” Here is something really clever though: my human loves to lie on the couch in the sun, pretending it is the beach. After a while she would say, “Bennie, let’s go to the beach” and I would run fast as anything and jump up on the back of the couch. Of course it didn’t take me anytime at all to learn the word catnip which she gives me each morning. If she ever forgets, that is the only time I follow her around and meow.

My schedule: I get up when my human gets up, and we go to the kitchen. While coffee is brewing, she puts food in my dish and water in my bowl. Oh, and I also have a water thingamajiggy that plugs in and keeps recycling some water with a little splash down a ramp. She got me that automatic water thing because I would try to lead her into the bathroom to turn on a trickle of water in the tub. After breakfast, I look out the front window for a while, checking the yard and then I go in on the bed and take a very long nap. I sleep a long time, and then it is time to check the yard again. I particularly like watching the squirrels. My next move is to the living room where I lie on the back of the couch and either get the sun or again watch the yard.
If my human is home in the evening, I love to sleep on her lap, in fact I get in her lap whenever she sits down. I got so I really liked watched “Jeopardy,” and my human got a perfect picture of my doing this. She sent the picture to Alex Trebek who sent back an autographed picture that said, “To Benedict, my most loyal feline fan.”

I go to bed when the humans do, but being a cat, I often get up in the night and wander around.  In the early morning, even if it is still dark. I will sit in a side window for an hour or more, just watching what I can see by the light on the house.

Habits: if anyone so much as puts a hand on the doorknob into the apartment, I race under the bed. and stay there until they are gone.That is my safe spot. In fact, when we moved, I stayed under the bed for two weeks.
Also I have a habit my human can’t figure out. When I am fast asleep, in her lap or on the bed, or on the very top level of my very tall cat tree I will wake up, jump down, go to my dish, eat two or three pieces of dry food, and then go back to wherever I was and go back to sleep.

Oh, and in the night I like to open the doors of the closets; they are bi-fold and a cinch for me.

Sometimes I hear my human say that if it were allowed, she would love to get another cat or two. I am awfully glad she can’t because I don’t think I’d like sharing attention. I mean Bonnie was all right, but I don’t miss her at all.

My human keeps telling me I am the best cat in the world. I think she’s pretty special too. We were both in luck that day at the shelter.

Dorothy C. Judd  (c) 2017
Next post: Monday, May 1.


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