A damselfly, with an iridescent blue body and black wings, rests on a bush.
A damselfly, with an iridescent blue body and black wings, rests on a bush.

A fashionable lady enjoying summer’s song?


Ways to save money without a lot of effort

With the costs of food and fuel heading upwards, more people than ever are looking for ways to reduce expenses. And if you’re a freelance artist, writer, or musician, you know that finding steady work can be difficult even as the effects of the pandemic begin to fade. Watching your pennies can be more important than ever.

Fortunately, there are ways to maximize your purchasing power at the grocery store. Coupons and rebates are great ways to save, of course, but don’t overlook offers available to you right while you shop.

Many grocers have displays of items on special sale…


Image of Brood X cicadas on oak leaves.
Image of Brood X cicadas on oak leaves.
Brood X cicadas cling to oak leaves during their invasion of the Mid-Atlantic United States.

Alien invasion from inner space?


Curious Turns of Phrase #4

This is the fourth in a series of short articles on idioms.

The one I’ll explore this time is: Devil’s advocate

Photo from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC. The photo is by Drew Beamer on Unsplash.
Photo from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC. The photo is by Drew Beamer on Unsplash.
Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

While the idioms I’ve previously explored have faded from common use to some degree, this one — Devil’s advocate — has not. And while many idioms have an uncertain history about their origin, this one is again different. What’s even more interesting is that this idiom is actually a job description, though it’s unlikely you’ll find it in anyone’s résumé.

It appears this was a position first given to an officer of the Sacred Congregation of Rites in 1587…


Curious Turns of Phrase #3

This is the third in a series of short articles on idioms.

The one I’ll explore this time is: the bee’s knees

“July Honey Bee” by MattX27 is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
“July Honey Bee” by MattX27 is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
“July Honey Bee” by MattX27 is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The ‘bee’s knees’ is another phrase more commonly heard in old movies or in stories written in the early 20th century, though it is still used occasionally, if only for humorous effect.

This particular idiom does intrigue me, however, as the meaning of the phrase has changed completely since its first usage. The expression ‘bee’s knees’ or ‘bee’s knee’ has been around since at least 1797, but it had a different meaning when it first came into common…


Curious Turns of Phrase #2

This is the second in a series of short articles on idioms.

The one I’ll explore this time is: beat the band

A marching band photo by Mark Leishman on Unsplash.
A marching band photo by Mark Leishman on Unsplash.

This is an expression that has been around for a long time. I have found instances of it going back to 1895. Despite these sorts of references that prove its origin is from an earlier time, it still seems to be used fairly often. It is not unusual to hear someone say, “It’s raining to beat the band.” Or, perhaps, “He was screaming to beat the band.”

There are a few different theories on the origin, however, especially…


Curious Turns of Phrase #1

This is what I hope will be a series of short articles on idioms. Every now and then I hear one of these expressions and wonder how it all got started. I’ll try to provide a little enlightenment on this intriguing (to me) subject.

The first one I’ll explore is: like gangbusters.

A duck in a trench coat carrying a Tommy gun — Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay
A duck in a trench coat carrying a Tommy gun — Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Most people have probably heard this phrase at some point in their life, though it doesn’t seem to be used as much anymore. It all started because of a radio show that aired from 1936 until 1957 called Gang Busters. I’ve read the show was originally called G-Men

K R Smith

Writing, artwork, music — maybe even a recipe for chili. For more, go to: https://www.worldofkrsmith.com/

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