Friday, January 27, 2012


I’m Beatrice Bell—Bea to my friends—and I am happily retired.  I’m not looking for work, either part or full time because my friends, Hattie and Connie, I manage have managed to stay busy trying to solve a couple of cases of criminal activity that came our way.  But that’s a story for another time.
I bring up the subject of work because for the past 3 or 4 years this country has been in a job crisis.  Every politician is either shouting about the need to create jobs, or they’re boasting about how many new jobs they’ve brought to their communities.  I was kind of curious about these jobs that have been created and those that will be created in the future. Back in the day parents urged their children to be doctors, lawyers, or teachers.    As trends changed and the economy grew, there were many non-traditional jobs that were open to men and women alike.  This was especially true in the manufacturing industry.  These “good jobs” paid salaries that helped grow  the middle class.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics  (BLS) has looked at categories of jobs that will likely disappear by the year 2018.  Some of them surprised me.  Others I never thought about.
By 2018, it is predicted that there will be 700 fewer jobs for judges— magistrate judges, and magistrates—then there were in 2008.  This will be mainly due to budget cuts. Surprisingly, another reason is that judges once left for better paying jobs in the private sector, but they now stay on the bench because of the economic down turn.
Fashion designers are among those jobs are predicted to become distinct.  It is estimated that by 2018 only 200 more designers will find work in that field.  To quote Carol-Hannah Whitefield, who was a finalist on Project Runway in 2009, “The world doesn’t need another [fashion] designer.”

Thanks to improved software, Insurance Underwriters are doomed to extinction.  It’s easy to see that job being absorbed by others, especially since they punch in figures and the software lets them determine if a client is approved or not.  Add to the fact that the insurance field is in such turmoil; the future for underwriters looks grim.
Remember in the not too distant pass when we all had money to travel and we’d call a Travel Agent?  Now, thanks to web sites such as,, Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects 1,200 fewer travel agents to have work in 2018.
Everyone knows how the newspapers have disappeared from the scene and along with them the job of Newspaper Reporter.  The BLS states that 4,400 jobs will disappear by 2018.  It’s no wonder.  With the Internet, people who can read want the news fast and quick.  
You get the picture.  So where are these jobs of the future coming from?  It looks as though the service industry will be a mainstay.  The health field will provide jobs.   Unfortunately the majority of the jobs of the future now pay less than $30,000.  Everyone knows that people need jobs but with rising prices and inflation, they will barely sustain the middle class life style that many of us have enjoyed in the past. 
The bright side is that our children may have to struggle a little more to create their version of the good life. History tells me that just like in the past, the job market may change but there is every reason to believe that the jobs will be there and the future will be bright.  So muse on that.

Friday, January 20, 2012


I’m Hattie Collier and I’m about to give up watching television.  I thought I was ready to give up on all the nit-pickin’ and kindergarten nonsense of the government—both local and national.  If it’s not that then it’s some story about some celebrity that I don’t know about, don’t care about, and don’t want to hear about.  This person had a baby that person’s gets divorced; now this week it was all about Paula Deen.

 In case you haven’t heard, a lot of people are in an uproar over Paula Deen announcing that she has Type 2 diabetes.   I’ve heard this lady’s name from time to time, but I really wouldn’t know her from a talking donut.  Turns out she is a well-known chef and has a show on cable’s Food Network.   Now I don’t cook that much and I sure don’t watch cooking shows, so I’ve only seen her once or twice.   Turns out Deen has been cooking professionally for about 20 years and has built quite a fan base and an empire along with it. 

The problem is that Deen has been promoting her cooking recipes and they are loaded with butter, sugar and salt.. She describes it as “Southern” cooking.  Though some deny it, to most people, southern cooking means lots of fried foods, lots of sugar and lots of salt—exactly  what she delivers; and the more butter the better.

So far, no crime has been committed, right? I mean, no one’s ever been jailed for having diabetes or shot for cooking with butter; but many of Deen’s fans, fellow chefs, and other diabetes victims are crying foul.  They say Deen is a hypocrite for hiding her condition for three years.    Recently, she fessed up to having the disease on the CBS Today Show, but at the same time she made that announcement, she sweetly added that she has been working with Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical company as well (although she didn’t volunteer that she was a paid spokesperson).  Now people are speculating that she kept on dishing out her fattening recipes until it was profitable to tell about her condition.

The woman makes money from cooking shows, restaurants, book deals and public appearances.  She’s a cook, not a fool.  Of course she wants to protect her income and pointing out that the same food you glorify can give you diabetes—and that you’re living proof of that fact—can be a money killer.

So now she sings a different tune, sort of.  She says that you can eat her cooking, but in “moderation”.  Check with your doctor, she says.  She also says that she’s not going to stop the way she cooks, but advises that folks don’t have to eat it every day.  In addition, she’s going to be working with the drug company to offer advice on dieting and controlling diabetes.  She won’t stop the way she cooks or eats but she is “cutting out the sweet tea.”  Say what? 

Well Paula, here’s some advice that I would like to give to you. I say keep dancing on both sides of the fence.  That makes you no different from fast food joints, calorie laden vending machines or gourmet restaurants that cleverly hide the fat and sodium content of their food.  Someday people will learn that they are responsible for their own actions and if they trust their health to the advice of a cook rather than a doctor or dietitian, they will pay the consequences.

For years the medical profession has been shouting about cutting fat and salt intake, exercising, and eating smaller portions. I say if that piece of chicken drowning in a ton of grease is calling your name, don’t listen to the doctors listen to Paula go for it.

As Paula told Oprah, “I’m your cook not your doctor.”  Now muse on that.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Hi folks!  It’s Connie this week welcoming you back with us in the year 2012.
I was hoping that this year would be much better than the last one in some respects, and I’m sure that it will be, but thinking about what happened recently with my teenage granddaughter, Tina, it looks like some things might remain the same.
You see, a short while ago she rushed into my house flushed with excitement.  Her eyes were shining.  Her smile lit up the room like sunshine.  I just knew that she was about to make a major announcement that would have me beaming with grandmotherly pride.  Maybe she had gotten straight A’s on her report card, or perhaps she was running for class president.  No!  Better yet, maybe she had decided to work toward the goal of becoming the first woman President of the United States!  She could do it.  I knew that she could! I would help her, groom her, and encourage her along the way.  After high school she would go to Yale or Harvard where she would graduate at the top of her class. She would become an attorney, win headline making cases and eventually run for the U.S. Senate and then become the unchallenged nominee for the President of the— 
“Beyonce and Jay Z just had their baby!”  Tina gushed breathlessly as she made her announcement. 
Say what?  My grandiose daydream crashed to earth like a meteor. All I could do was stand there and look at her.
“It’s a girl!”  She squealed, prancing around the room like a contestant on Dancing with the Stars.  “Her name is Blue.” 
Huh? Who names their kid a crayon color?  So I asked, “What’s her middle name, Red?” 
She didn’t appreciate the flash of humor.  “Her middle name is Ivey,” she informed me haughtily.
“Blue Ivey?” I echoed.  “I wonder what they’re going to name the next one, Red Beans and Rice?  Yellow Fever?”
I thought that was funny, but Tina didn’t like that one either as she said with an adolescent pout, “It’s obvious that you don’t get it.”
She was right.  I don’t get it. Why in the hell am suppose to care if some singer and her rapper husband had a baby?  It wasn’t as though married couples didn’t have babies every day. 
What I do get is that this obsession that our country has with celebrities has gotten out of hand, and it seems to be getting worse.  Maybe as our lives become burdened with the realities of life—unemployment, foreclosures, divorce, infidelity—it’s much more exciting getting wrapped up in the lives of people who seem to have everything.  We want to be them. Unfortunately, these obsessions don’t solve our problems. Instead it uses up the energy we might be able to direct toward making our own lives a little more satisfying.  What a waste.
Meanwhile, Tina did give me credit for at least knowing who Beyonce and Jay Z were.  She gave up on me ever understanding the significance of the birth of Blue Ivey to mankind.  She says that I’m “hopeless”; but she’s wrong about that.
I have a lot of hope that her obsession with the lives and success of others will become a self obsession that will take her far in life. I know that I plan on doing everything that I can do to see to it that the next time she waltzes into the room so excited her announcement will be about real accomplishments—her own.  
Happy Musings!

Friday, January 6, 2012

THE YEAR 2012!

 A Brain Fart  by Miss Fanny
So here we are in a new year.  It’s 2012 and all I’ve got to say is Hallelujah! When you get my age you‘re just glad when you wake up in the morning, but if you really think about it I guess that we’re all are living on borrowed time.
This is a leap year, which means that there’s one extra day added to the 365 that we normally have.  Unfortunately that gives folks an additional day to act a fool this year, and I’m sure that there are plenty of them out there who will prove me right.
Last year was pretty exciting for me.  I’m sure that you heard about my good fortune.  If you didn’t that means that you having been reading our story, especially the one about how my daughter-in-law, Hattie Collier, made headlines in Las Vegas—talk about somebody acting a fool!  Of course Hattie and her two best friends, Bea and Connie, are still running around here trying to be some kind of detectives.  It’s really pitiful, since they have no idea what they’re doing, and this year they have an extra day to prove how truly crazy they are.
If you ask me, half the world has gone crazy, and a new year probably won’t improve the situation, especially since it’s an election year too.  Lord have mercy!  I can’t wait until that’s over.  In the next couple of months we’re gonna hear more lies coming from the candidates than the law ought to allow.  I’m thinking about moving to a foreign country until the election is over, and I’ll mail in my absentee vote.
Speaking of foreign countries, one of my fondest wishes for this New Year is that I won’t have to hear one more word about that royal family in England.  Didn’t America defeat that country way back when?  You wouldn’t know it the way the media here slobbers all over every little thing that the “royals” do.  Why a bunch of foreign welfare recipients who live off of the taxes of their hard working countrymen get so much attention I can’t understand.  What they need to do is make some of those princes and princesses get some jobs and then they could support that queen mother.  That ought to help the European financial crisis I keep reading about.  It seems to me that the royal family is just some sort of show case and they are about as useless as the U.S. Congress, the Kardashians, and the other so-called reality shows, including the one about the fat folks.  I’m tired of reading and hearing about all of them.
In spite of my complaints, I’m realistic and I know that there’s little hope that my wish for the year will come true. Like I said earlier, I’m just glad that I’m here to see another 365…oops, 366 days, and I’ll enjoy every one of them that the good Lord grants me.  I hope that you do too.  
This is Fanny Collier wishing you Happy Musings!