Mid-March Madness

Are you DUMBSTRUCK? A  Denver Bronco's mask with a Wichita State Shockers T-shirt? Really?  (Pictures by Marylin Warner)

Are you DUMBSTRUCK? A Denver Bronco’s mask with a Wichita State Shockers T-shirt? Really? (Pictures by Marylin Warner)

Instructions for painting van Gogh's swirly landscape. Do what Goodland, KS did and paint your art replica 80 feet high!

Instructions for painting van Gogh’s swirly landscape. Do what Goodland, KS did and paint your art replica 80 feet high! Challenge what your friends think they know about you.

Don’t confuse this post with the March Madness of college championship basketball competitions.  This post is about MID-MARCH Madness, the three strange “special” March day designations that all take place on the same day: March 15th.

Today, Saturday the 15th of March, is on the Roman Calendar as both the first day of Spring…and the “Ides of March.” On this day in history Julius Caesar warned “Beware the Ides of March.”  It was the day he was stabbed by his friend Marcus Brutus. (“Et tu, Brutus?”) It was a lousy first day of Spring for Caesar.

Today is also “Dumbstruck Day.”  According to the description, you should prepare for something so shocking or surprising that you’re dumbstruck, unable to speak.

And finally, March 15th is also “Everything You Think Is Wrong” Day.  Did the Ides of March later influence the other two designations?  If you think about it, on this last day in Julius Caesar’s life, surely everything he thought was one way, actually turned out to be just the opposite. His best friend stabbed him to death, which also would have made Caesar dumbstruck…

To prove wrong what you probably thought you knew—and to make you dumbstruck—see if you can match the real, original names of these people with their later name changes:    (answers at end of post)

___ 1. Albert Brooms  ——————————-A. Hulk Hogan

___ 2. Terry Jean Bollette —————————B. Howard Allen Francis O’Brien

___ 3. Pauline Ester Friedman ———————-C. Albert Einstein

___ 4. Ehrich Weiss———————————–D. Abigail Van Buren –“Dear Abby”

___ 5. Author Anne Rice—————————–E. Harry Houdini

Last week we turned our clocks forward by an hour for Daylight Savings Time.  My mother understood why DST was necessary in war time, and maybe also during the oil embargo to conserve oil. But why the rest of the time, the back and forth, dividing the country?  “Why do we cause all that confusion?” she used to ask.  “There are still only twenty-four hours in a day.”

Oh, how I wish Mom’s dementia would fade away for an hour!  Actually, I often wish that, but especially now, when I’ve found something she would laugh at and enjoy. It would confirm that she wasn’t the only one who thought this was wrong.

This is supposedly a Native American Indian comment: When told the reason for daylight savings time, a wise old Indian said this: “Only the White Man’s Government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket.” 

Don’t be discouraged about the three “down days” of March 15th.  Take heart. Tomorrow, March 16th, is “Everything You Do Is Right” Day.  But, as my mother used to say, “Each day is what you make of it.”

Answers to the Name Game: 1. C,  2. A,  3. D,  4. E,  5. B (really, it’s B–does that dumbfound you?)

Delicious ginger-bear cookie. What if your child wanted to eat 3 or 4 of these? Keep your answer in perspective...

Delicious ginger-bear cookie. What if your child wanted to eat 3 or 4 of these? Keep your answer in perspective…

Keep the size of the cookie in perspective next to a quarter. Hey, at least I didn't use a headless chicken to make the point this week! ;)

Next to a quarter, it’s not a big cookie. Hey, at least I didn’t use a headless chicken to make the point this week!


Filed under Dementia/Alzheimer's, names, Special Days in March, special quotations

76 responses to “Mid-March Madness

  1. juliabarrett

    No kidding? Anne Rice is a guy? Huh. I was just thinking about the Ides of March. The date never bodes well.
    Your mom, oh your mom. It must be so hard. I’m sorry. I wish I could turn back time for you.

    • That was my question about Anne Rice, too, Julia. So I looked it up. That is her real name–way ahead of the male-names-are-good-for-girls-too–but the Francis part is what was supposed to stick…but didn’t. Those were her given names, though; you can understand the change.
      Thanks, Julia. I wish I could turn back time too, just for a few minutes to hear Mom laugh or watch her smile and really know who we all are when she hugs her great-grandchildren and tells them she loves them with all her heart.

  2. Hi Merylin. Very interesting facts about the mid-march madness. I would agree with your mom that “each day is what you make of it”. What a wonderful way to live by making the most of every day of our lives. Lovely post. Take care and God bless.

    • And tomorrow the focus changes, and supposedly “Everything we do is right” day…almost as dangerous a thought as thinking everything is wrong today. Mom had it right; we need to make the most of every day. Thanks, Samina.

  3. Well you brightened up my mid-March considerably thanks Marylin.
    You get confused with Daylight Saving Time dividing your country. Ours doesn’t start until March 30th ( which is our mother’s day too this year) and all of a sudden we have different time zones all over the place to contend with again.
    It would be wonderful to have your Mum back for an hour but oh how you’d miss her again.It must be very hard seeing that she doesn’t know family when they talk to her but think of the pleasure that company is bringing and because of her memory, how that pleasure is repeated every time. Though she may not recognise you now, she still knows in her heart who the family are and that she loves you.
    Hugs Unlimited xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • Your DST starts at the end of March, and by then we’ll finally be getting used to ours! When DST first begins, we have some people missing church or being late to school or jobs, but then we adapt. But it’s not like adapting to the dementia, and you’re right, David. One hour clear would make the following dark hours even worse. I feel the unlimited hugs–thank you!

  4. Good quiz! The only one I knew was Harry Houdini. I am surprised at Hulk Hogan and not surprised he was keen to change his name. But one of Britain’s most famous wrestlers, Big Daddy (an ex-Coldstream Guardsman), had the real name of Shirley Crabtree. I find daylight saving a nuisance. We don’t use it in HK but I have to remember when other time zones have changed and for some reason a 7 hour difference with London always works better. Your mother and the Native Indian were both wise people.

    • Shirley Crabtree was Big Daddy’s real name??? What were parents thinking? Oh, wow. He and Anne Rice would have done better to trade given names. I can see why they both changed theirs.
      Even if HK doesn’t have DST, it is still affected by everywhere else that does, and David just explained that theirs starts in a few more weeks.
      Thanks for the comment about my mother being wise along with Native Indians, Andrew. She would like that very much if she understood.

  5. Don

    Loved the name matching, Marylin. Funny how a name provides a kind of picture of the person and when you discover another name it just doesn’t fit the image. 🙂 I’m going into this day hoping to be dumbstruck and challenged about what I think is right – but the Ides of March, well I’m a little wary of that. 🙂

    • Oh, the Ides of March. I’m wary of it as well, Don. If you look at this day’s track record, there all kinds of problems and altercations that come from exaggerated excuses for happening today. But I like your plan to hope to be dumbstruck and challenged today. Good plan!

  6. I am looking forward to March 16th. It will be nice to have an Everything You Do is Right day. 🙂 Like the cookie and the coin perspective! You may be amused to know that your headless chicken story inspired me to post a photo of my grandmother dealing to a chicken on her farm. (It’s a faded photo, so nothing too dreadful to behold.)

    • When I read your post, you had me drooling over baked fruit dishes…and then came the picture of your grandmother with the chicken!
      How many of us could join together and start a club: “Daughters and Granddaughters of the Chicken Killers” ??? Sounds like the title of bad horror movie, but the truth is, we come from good women who knew how to get things done!

      • Marylin, I can’t stop laughing over the name of the Club! But they were good women and would probably shake their heads in disbelief at our inability to get our food from farm to plate, all by ourselves. Yet, they would also be glad that we have good homes and a good education and live lives that honour their hard work.

      • The title of our “club” would make our mothers and grandmothers laugh, I hope. Then they would probably shake their heads and whisper to each other that we’re nice enough girls, but we’re pretty weak when it comes to killing and cleaning our dinners!
        But I agree; they’d be proud of us for our homes and our lives…and our appreciation for all they did for us and our ancestors.

  7. Hey Merilyn, hope you have been well this many days. I found this an interesting post especially the quote of the Native American. Very witty.
    And as others agree, if we could wind time back for your old lady, it is among the few things I would gladly do.
    Have a lovely weekend

  8. Great theme–chock full of info, as always. I did know Harry Houdini in your quiz, the rest were a puzzle to me. About DST: If you use the “blanket” metaphor, I guess the only rationale would be wanting a lighter (brighter?) color at the end of the blanket. I miss the hour until we gain it back in the fall.

    What would I add? Maybe Alice’s March Hare. Or St. Patrick’s Day perhaps? But you can catch that on my blog post today. Not Alice in Wonderland . . just our neighborhood’s nod to the wearing of the green.

    Wonderful post, cute ending. Thanks, Marylin.

    • I thoroughly enjoyed your post about St. Patrick’s Day, Marian. Our daughter and her family, and all of Chapman, KS celebrate with a huge parade. It’s a strongly Irish community, where there’s a significant percentage of red-heads, and the wearin’of the green is gorgeous.

      Like you, I will be very glad to reclaim our hour this fall.

  9. Oh how I look forward to my Saturday morning coffee with Marylin and her fascinating bits of trivia and inspiration! Have a wonderful weekend my dear friend! XO

  10. I thought the Ides of March was on the 8th. Glad you cleared this one up! I like the play, “Julius Caesar” and “Othello” as favorite serious plays. But I mainly love Shakespeare’s comedies! I wasn’t aware of the other two days, dumbstruck and everything is wrong, day! It is always amusing to read the way you take a subject and inject it with such interesting ways to connect to the material, Marylin! I loved this “test” and would have failed it. Wish we could turn back the way time flies, and also read people’s minds. I am sure that your mother feels love when her family hugs and kisses her. She must know a sense of well being. I am sorry that you are going through this. Wish it could be different. I have been seeing my Mom’s mind slip and will continue to do what you do, simply love her! Smiles, Robin

    • We’re both on the right tracks, Robin, just simply loving our mothers during these difficult times. And I believe you’re right; when we hug and kiss her, my mom may not know who we are, but she has a sense of well being that comes from being loved.
      Thank you for these comments.

  11. I’m with you there on turning back the hands of time, Marilyn. I miss the chats and visits with my folks. I wish you could do the same. It would do your heart good. Just know that your Mom loves you. 😉

    As for the name game quiz: I knew Dear Abby’s name, guessed correctly at Albert Einstein’s … had no clue on the other 3. I was totally flummoxed by Anne Rice’s real name. Good one.

    • INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE by Howard Allen Frances O’Brien just doesn’t have the same ring, does it? I can see why she opted for a name change, Judy.
      While I do miss talking with my mother, calling or visiting and taking her for rides and hearing her tell stories and share new things she’s learning, this stage is a peaceful “winding down” without pain, and actually with very little confusion. You can’t ask for more that that with a 95-year-old with advanced dementia. But when I saw the Indian quote about DST, I knew she would have laughed and clapped her hands at that.

  12. Yikes! Marylin, I was dumbstruck with fright. LOL And it sure was a lousy first day of Spring for Caesar. And I too wish your mom’s dementia would go away for at least one hour. Anne Rice, really? Great fun post, Marylin. 🙂

  13. Nancy Parker Brummett

    Hi Marylin. I referenced “The Ides of March” to someone this week and they were “dumbstruck!” Literary references are becoming a thing of the past I fear. Thanks for a light mid-March read!

    • Thank you, Nancy. Just between us, the same surprise I feel when someone has a blank look about “Ides of March” is probably what many feel when they see my blank look as they use contemporary slang, refer to current trends and acronyms. Even my grandchildren are starting to give me that “Oh, poor Mor-Mor. Let’s explain it to her” look!
      I’m waiting for tomorrow, the “Everything You Do Is Right” day. 😉

  14. When Daylight Savings first came to Australia the farmers claimed that the cows would have less milk! I enjoy it being light for the the extra hour at the end of the day so it does feel we “gain” an hour.
    Funny about the name change of Anne Rice… now that is back to front!

    • You know, Elizabeth, as a former farm woman, my mother said she’d heard the same concern from some of the local Kansas and Missouri farmers. I think, though, that what they all ended up doing was ignore the clock and get up at the same internal time each day.
      If my parents had given me the long, male name that Anne Rice’s parents gave her, I think I’d change mine, too. But even with just our regular given names, my guess is that many of us go through periods, especially as children, when we don’t like our names and want to change them.

      • I am going through that now. I want to drop my (now ex) husband’s name, don’t want to return to my childhood name, and yet do not know of any suitable alternative. Maybe I will just drop my last name altogether and be known by my first two names. Cher did it.

      • Hey, if Cher can do it…
        Elizabeth, I have a good friend who after her divorce took back her childhood surname but changed it slightly in spelling to make it uniquely her own. Here, the law is that you can change your name to whatever you choose–as long as there’s no confusion to mislead or profit off someone else’s name–but then you have to change all legal documents and licenses and accounts, etc. But it’s your new life…and your new name.

  15. I like the sound of the “everything you do is right” day – I’ll have to let my husband know about that one … 🙂
    For some reason, I knew Houdini and I guessed Einstein but that was as well as I did. I liked your perspectives with the teddy bear cookies too – but he looks too sweet to eat!

    • Good try with telling your husband, Jenny. He’ll probably just smile and say that on the 16th it will also be his day to claim that everything he does is right! 😉 I think that’s known as a stalemate.
      The ginger bear cookies are adorable. They were also delicious. All gone now, and I ate as many as my grandchildren did. Good thing they were so small, but they added up!

  16. A rose by any other name…
    This was a fun post. I wonder if people know we have ides every month – got the following from Wikipedia. Idus, Ides—thought to have originally been the day of the full moon, was the 13th day of the months with 29 days, but the 15th day of March, May, July, and October (the months with 31 days).

    • Excellent information, Rod. Thanks.
      I think the Ides of March–the look out/be aware warning–get the attention because of Julius Caesar’s murder, and of course Shakespeare making it memorable. Oh, the power of those pesky writers and playwrights!

  17. By the way, Mexico changes to DST on April 6 this year. Wouldn’t you think, if we are going to observe this strange ritual, we could at least harmonize the dates around the world? It was W who made the last change and Canada kind of went along for the ride. That’s what happens when you sleep next to an elephant – no disrespect intended.

    • No disrespect taken, Rod. Sleeping next to an elephant is a good phrase. Unfortunately, here we also have trouble with the donkeys, and we find ourselves caught in the middle and really shaking our heads!

  18. I just love that native Indian response to Daylight Saving. We don’t get it where I am now, but used to when I lived further south in the city. We have two towns very close here in Australia that are on the border of two different states – one has DST and the other doesn’t, so you can drive for five minutes and have to adjust the time, then drive home and adjust it back again. As if life isn’t complicated enough 😀
    Your mom is so right – each day is what you make of it. Hugs to her xxx My mother-in-law (who lives next door to us) has dementia only she’s in the early stages and knows she has it which is really frustrating for her and very sad.

    • Thanks, Dianne, and I’m glad you’re near your mother-in-law and she’s in the early stages. But sometimes that’s a difficult time because it is both frustrating and frightening.
      The lines of the time zones are also confusing. In western Kansas the line between central time and mountain time is drawn on the plains. I used to wonder if people made mistakes in one zone, could they step over the line and go back an hour and have a do over. I can’t imagine where you live and the border of two different states and have to adjust every five minutes.

  19. Here in Australia we are still on DST. I think we turn the clock back sometime in April when we are well into autumn. At the moment it stays light for one hour longer in the evening, therefore it gets light one hour later in the morning. I would rather have it light earlier in the morning for I like to get up early and it is so much nicer if the sun comes up soon after I get up. 🙂

    • I smiled when I read that April is when you’re into autumn. In Colorado, April is the end of winter when we can still have lots of snow woven in with spring. Our rule is to wait until Mother’s Day to set out seedlings or plants because of chances of a spring freeze, and then we go into summer.

  20. Our clocks will be going forward on 30th March for British Summer Time – I always dislike the forwarding of the clocks, but do enjoy having an extra hour in the autumn! Supposedly it causes less accidents by giving us more light in the evenings, but just as I was beginning to enjoy the fact that its now light when we take the dog for his walk first thing! Everything you do is right day has begun – thank goodness!

    • I don’t know if there’s any real continuing reason in the US for us to keep the clocks springing forward in the Spring and falling back in the Fall, Andrea. The tradition just continues, despite protests, and some states are exempt, for whatever reason. Like you, I do enjoy the extra hour to sleep in when the clocks fall back in the Fall.

  21. “Each day is what you make of it.” What a wise woman, your mother. Oh how I wish, your mother’s, my mother’s and everyone’s dementia would fade away for an hour or forever.

    • We’re on the same page wishing this for our mothers, Jill. Since it isn’t going to happen, though, we can remember that each day is what we make of it, regardless of dementia.

  22. What an interesting summary of daylights savings time – hadn’t heard it put that way before! How does one celebrate “Everything You do is Right Day?” What’s the origin of that one?

    • Actually, there are numerous sources/sites where individuals and groups can propose naming days. I don’t know how the process continues, Shel, as I’ve never been a part of that process. Once a designation is accepted (by whatever committee or organization makes the decision), the newly named day is officially posted on all the sites. Whether or not the nominator(s) are identified is up to the agreement.
      Sometimes I find full histories, details going back decades of individuals and families who earned the honor of naming the day. Other times there’s no information available, and that response is also on all the sites I check (I always check at least 3-4 sites to be sure).
      This special day is one of those with unavailable background information. But I’ll take it; the consistent interpretation is that this day is to encourage those who have second-guessed themselves or not taken chances because they doubted themselves, and they should claim this day with confidence, which I thought was a nice balance after the Ides of March.

  23. Gwen Stephens

    Wow – lots of cool information in this post, Marilyn. Thanks for sharing!

  24. Hi Marylin,
    I did hear a shocking story yesterday! How funny. It was a tall tale by a guy who is know for his imaginative stories. Thanks for giving me the association between the his story and (haha!) Dumbstruck Day!
    I don’t agree with DST either. Just leave it alone I say and let the sun/moon rule!
    xo Joanne

    • Yea, Joanne! As long as we don’t have to catch a plane or a train–or be on time to appointments–you and I (and my mom) will just let the sun/moon rule! Isn’t it funny how a shocking story made you feel dumbstruck on the designated day? I love it!

  25. I love mama’s advice: each day is what you make it. I am starting off today just right in that in am having a sweet relaxing Sunday. Yesterday, I was a bit dumbstruck with the bill from the health food store. I suppose what I bought will help to make my tomorrows right 😄

    I love the love the Native American quote! The image of cutting off part of the blanket from the top and then sewing it back on at the bottom is hilarious😄

    Have a happy Sunday. Nice post.

    • I’m glad you liked it, especially the Native American quote!
      We’ll hope that your bill from the health food store pales in comparison to how you feel on “Everything You Do Is Right” Day!

  26. Jim

    Once again Grandma Mary has a way putting it simply, “Each day is what you make of it.” Those are good words to live by, though not always easy. Another version I recently heard is, “Perception becomes reality,” or what I learned as a grumpy seven year old when my mom made me go with her to my very first art show, which happened to be ‘modern’ art–“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, little man, so why don’t you try a little harder!”

    • Yea for Oma! Your mom did a good thing telling you to try a little harder, Jim! Her grumpy 7-year-old son grew into a husband who definitely tries harder than any man I know to appreciate and encourage his wife’s writing, his daughter’s adventures as a mom and a Director of Employee Development, and his grandchildren’s antics and adventures in school, sports, art, and lessons in life. Both of your parents are smiling down on you, sweetie, proud of the differences you make in so many lives. I can’t even imagine you ever being a grumpy child!

    • Molly

      Of all the stories that you have shared about your adventures while growing up, this one was never shared. Hmmmmm it must have really been a painful, and not had a “moral” to the story…


      • Get your dad to tell you the rest of the story, Molly. He wanted to play baseball with his friends, but Oma wanted to take him to the art exhibit.
        I don’t imagine they had a spectacular time! 🙂

  27. Hey, I got all the answers right? What do I win?

    I’m with mom (again) regarding daylight savings. The whole notion of increasing efficiency by making “longer days” eludes me. I love the Indian story. I’m pretty sure I heard that same story from an Ojibway.

    • Marilyn–do you have an e-reader or do you only do “real” books? I’d like to send you a book.

      • I am partial to “real” books, Tracy–there’s nothing like the weight, feel and scent of new book pages–but for the convenience and extra choices based on Mom’s needs and moods when I visit here, I keep my Kindle loaded with all kinds of poetry, children’s stories and poems, and articles.

      • send me your address, I’ll send you my book

        tracyleekarner (at) gmail (dot) com

    • You and Mom are on the same page again, Tracy! There’s just too much creativity and common sense blending together with you two!
      You win my awe and applause for getting all the answers right! I wrote the post, and I didn’t know two of the name changes until I looked them up!

  28. Molly

    I am all about ANYTHING March related…madness or otherwise. I love the picture of Gannon in his Wichita Shockers shirt, and the Denver Broncos mask. All I can say is that I hope that the Shockers do better in the BIG tournament then my Broncos did in the Super Bowl. 😦

    Wonderful post, as always!

  29. Gannon was so cute that day, trying on masks and growling, so I had to take his picture. The Shockers are on a roll. We’re not going to talk about the Super Bowl…ever. 😉

  30. Ha Ha! Love the Native American comment and so true!! Also your dear mom’s very perceptive and right-on observation. ‘Each day is what you make of it’. Oh Marylin, how I wish your mom’s dementia would just disappear too. It’s so wonderful reading about her in the words shared through her writing, her art, her stories, that she is here with us all in a very vital way thanks to you, her amazing daughter, still sending on her wisdom.

    As for the 15th March being ‘Dumbstruck Day’ it was certainly true for Hubby and I this weekend. We had planned a little weekend getaway from Friday to Sunday as a belated birthday and anniversary (today, 8 years!). Not far away, in a lovely English village area called The Cotswolds (post to follow of course!) but had to come home a day early as got an urgent message that Claire was taken very ill. Thank God my mum was around. So our plans went completely pear-shaped but we did manage to have one day out and a nice evening meal and Claire is doing a bit better now.

    I like ‘Everything you do is right Day’ but I like your mom’s saying much better 🙂

    • Sherri, I’m glad things turned out well, but I’m sorry your getaway was cut so short. Your terms like “our plans went completely pear-shaped” are a breath of fresh air! Also, I look forward to your post on the Cotswolds English Village!
      Thank you again for your ongoing support and appreciation for my mom’s stories, Sherri. Several things are slowing down for her in noticeable ways, and your words are a sweet reminder that her life stories matter.

  31. as usual Marylin, an information packed post…
    Funnily enough I was almost struck dumbstruck just after the kids arrived on the 15th, no names, no pack drill, and one of them pulled her top up and said, ‘look granddad, boobies’ I slapped her mother and gave HER a cuddle …….

    But, on Lady Day or Feast of the Annunciation, 25th March ….. Ishbel are off to The Royal Opera House to watch 3 hrs of The Sleeping Beauty performed by The Royal Ballet, so that will be our special day and an early 38th Anniversary pressie to us from us .xxxxx

    • Happy upcoming anniversary to you and Ishbel, Tom!!! 38th anniversary!
      As happy as I am for your special day’s plans at the Royal Ballet, the detail I’ll remember and laugh about is your granddaughter’s proud announcement about getting boobies, and the cuddle she received even though her mom didn’t do as well. I hope you’ll write a post about that. There’s a nice parallel about “Sleeping Beauties” and a young girl “blossoming” and being so proud she tells her beloved grandpa!
      Many hugs to you and Ishbel on your 38th!!!

  32. Great post! I didn’t know about Dumbstruck Day. I certainly was floored to learn Anne Rice’s given names. I knew about “Dear Abby’s” real name, especially since her sister also was a syndicated advice columnist.

    • I once heard there was some sisterly competition between Dear Abby and Dear Ann Landers. But I never read a column where either gave advice about dealing with sibling rivalries. As far as Anne Rice’s long given name, I totally understand why she changed it! 🙂

  33. Karin Van den Bergh

    “dumbstruck day”..learned something new. Haha I love the wise comment of the Native Indian 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s