Browse Posts by Date
Congratulations Lynn Ruth Miller for 2012 Gold Communicator Award for Best On-Air Talent!
Our Broadcast Partners
ListenIn My DayLynn Ruth Miller
Check out our hilarious new segment, In My Day, with octogenarian comedian Lynn Ruth Miller. She is a renaissance woman who wears many hats. She entertains audiences of all ages with comedy and song. She is living proof that the older you are, the more fun you have.
Click on the audio players to hear the segments as only Lynn Ruth can deliver them.
In my day, honey was the most used product in my mothers medicine cabinet besides vinegar and the rectal thermometer. If I had muscle cramps, she made me take two teaspoons of honey with my meals and told me to stop complaining. If I had a sore throat, she gave me tea with lemon and honey, fever or not, and she told me to stop complaining.
My mother used honey instead of alcohol to sterilize cuts and open wounds because it didn’t sting. If her skin felt dry, she made up a poultice of eggs, flour and honey and used it as a hand lotion. I can still remember her shaking my teacher’s hand and both of them had to teach the rest of the class.
In the late 40′s, I had to deal with acne and momma rubbed honey on my face and covered the pimples with Band-Aids overnight and told me to quit complaining. By morning, my skin was smooth and clear. A little stiff, but smooth and clear. She told me not to smell the flowers. Why? She never explained that one.
My father had a very touchy tummy and mother made him swallow a spoonful of honey everyday to calm his intestine and stop his complaining. Read more…
In my day, we didn’t go to Google for answers, we asked our mother and she always knew the answer. Even if she didn’t. If I wanted to know how to get to Norma Odeski’s house, my mother would say “Ya walk.” I would say “But where is it?” and she’d say “For God sake, Lynn Ruth, follow your nose.” And then I’d know Norma’s house was just around the corner.
If I wanted to know what the weather was going to be that afternoon, Mother would open the window, rub her shoulder and say, “It’s gonna rain, take an umbrella.” If it didn’t rain, I’d say “What happened?” and my mother would say “I took an aspirin.” When I had a funny looking bruise, I’d show it to my mother and she would say, “Who have you been kissing?” and I’d say “How did ya know?”
My mother insisted she read all the answers she needed on my forehead. I came home from school one day with chocolate smeared on my face and said, “I have a stomach ache!”. My mother said “You never should’ve eaten that second slice of fudge cake.” and I said, “How did ya know I did that?” She said, “I read it on your forehead.” and I said “Did it tell you I brought home another slice for you?” and my mother said “Don’t you get smart with me Lynn Ruth! Read more…
My mother believed in food. It was her remedy for everything that bothered us. If I was constipated, she’d say, “Stop complaining and eat prunes. I don’t care what color they coat your tongue, they clean you out.” If I had a fever, she never called the doctor. She fed me an apple and told me to watch my sister while she went to the movies. She said she had to get away from all my complaining, but I think she needed a cheap babysitter.
If I was listless, she’d cook up a batch of spinach, sprinkled it with lemon juice and said, “There. That’ll put hair on your chest.” What she meant was, it would make me strong. But I had no ambition to lift weights. Bulging biceps can spoil the effect of a strapless dress. The cleavage is all wrong. My mother thought spinach was the answer to anything fruit didn’t cure. If I gained weight, she’d boil another batch of spinach with even more lemon juice and say, “Eat that and you’ll get thin.” Actually, that worked really well, because I hate spinach. When she put it on my plate, the smell made me so ill, I couldn’t eat anything. Read more…
In my day, we didn’t waste our money on electric blankets or heating pads, no sir. We used the hot water bottle for everything. My momma filled it with boiling water and wrapped it in a towel to put in the bed before she gave me a bath. When I got between the covers, the sheets were toasty warm. In those days, the hot water bottle eased aching muscles and tummy aches and my momma used it on our boils and abscesses to get them to pop. And you know what else she did? She wrapped it in a towel and put it on her head when we gave her a headache, which was just about everyday.
And she even used it for that most hateful, horrible procedure…the enema. Back then, everyone believed you must have a bowl movement everyday, but nice children didn’t call it that. They called it number two. My momma didn’t want us to advertise our functions to the whole world, so she told us to call it number four. We foured, the dog foured and if we didn’t like someone, we’d say “He’s full of four!” Every morning we would report our condition to our mother and if our answer was no, the next thing we knew we were lying on our bellies in the bathroom floor and she was administering warm soapy water from the hot water bottle into our posteriors. Read more…
When I was a kid, my mother used vinegar for everything. If I got a bee sting she rubbed vinegar on it and if the kid next door bit me, she poured vingear on him and called his mother. There didn’t seem to be anything vinegar couldn’t fix in those days.
If you got the hiccups you drank a tablespoon of vinegar and they were gone. After your father pounded you on the back and your sister jumped out from behind the couch and screamed “BOO!” It was magic!
If I had a sinus infection, momma put vinegar in a vaporizer and made me inhale it until I started breathing again. She liked to help it along by pounding on my chest and if I turned blue, my sister jumped out from behind the couch and screamed “BOO!” Magic again!
My mom taught me to give my hair a vinegar rinse after I shampooed it to get rid of dandruff and those little bugs I got from the kid next door. Sore throat, gargle with vinegar and then swallow. The germs were gone and so was your appetite.
Vinegar and honey and a little cayenne pepper got rid of my cough, but if you boiled it with water, tomatoes, sour cream and peanut butter, you got soup! Read more…
In 1936, when I was three years old, I had my tonsils and adenoids taken out in Dr. Steinfeld’s office. I loved Dr. Steinfeld, because he was the same height I was. That man was so short, the nurse had to lift him up to reach my throat. But he sure had a way with children.
The Doctor put a cloth soaked with ether over my face and the next thing I knew, I had the worst sore throat ever! But before the tears could start, he gave me a lemon drop. For those of you who have no clue what ether was or is, we use it these days for rocket fuel and to kill fleas.
Dr. Steinfeld sent me home with my mother and she fed me yummy chocolate ice cream and gave me lots of kisses and I got to read all my favorite books. I felt just like a princess, until the flatulence hit. I know that modern methods of removing your tonsils are very efficient and much safer than they were in Dr. Steinfeld’s office. But I sometimes wonder if the precautions they take these days are worth the emotional cost to a child.
You know, back then, I got to hold my momma’s hand while the doctor anesthetized me and I didn’t wake up to find myself surrounded by strange smells and sounds with strangers forcing me to take medications I didn’t understand. Read more…
In my day, everyone shared their telephone line with their neighbor. When I was small, my momma would say to me, “if you ever need help, call the operator and stop complaining!” When the kid next door spit at me, I called the operator and she said, “Tell your mother.” I guess you had to be there.
You gave the number you wanted to call to the operator and she connected you from a central switch board. Those operators got to know everyone and they really cared, whether we liked it or not. Sometimes, I’d pick up the phone and she’d say “Lynnie Ruth, take off your mother’s high heels, she’s on her way home.” And sometimes she’d say, “Lynn Ruth, what are you doing?”
Nowadays, it’s the FBI that picks up. You have the internet but we had the party line.
I shared a party line with my high school Latin teacher, Henryetta Stateker. She was a heavy smoker with a nasty disposition. When I’d pick up the phone and she was breathing heavily, I knew we’d get that sweet subsitute the next day because Ms. Stateker’s asthma had kicked in.
That party line gave us access to everybody’s dirty laundry. Read more…
In my day we didn’t spend a lot of money on medications to cure depression. We didn’t have Zoloft or Paxil. If we complained my mom pushed us outside and told us to get back on the horse. What she meant was, get over it. Never did find that damn horse.
If we started to whine, she would pour herself a glass of red and say, “You kids are driving me to drink. Don’t you listen to Bing Crosby? You know, ‘You gotta Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the positive. Eliminate the negative. Latch on to the affirmative and don’t mess with Mr. In-Between.’ And, don’t get in his car either.”
We didn’t hospitalize people with depression. If someone in the family was acting funny, we locked them in the attic and we waved to them when we backed out of the driveway. And sometimes they even waved back and my mom would say, “See I told you. He’s fine.” We didn’t go to psychiatrists either. No one in his right mind would pay some stranger good money just to complain. We just talked out our troubles to our friends and if they didn’t listen, we talked to strangers.
Now don’t get me wrong, depression is really serious. Read more…
In my day no matter what ailed me, my father fixed it up with blackberry brandy. If I ate too much for dinner, and I swore I would explode, Daddy would give me a hefty shot of blackberry brandy. If I suffered from the trots, out came the bottle of brandy and I downed it in one gulp. If I complained of a sore throat, he insisted I gargle with it and the best part was I got to swallow. In moments I was singing like a canary, or so I thought.
He also used the brandy as a preventative. If we were all going out caroling or to a community sing we would all drink a Warsaw cocktail before we left the house: vodka, vermouth, blackberry brandy and lemon juice. You can’t beat that for numbing the throat, or the whole body for that matter. Now you’d never do that because you’d be charged with child abuse.
Ah, but the malady it cured best was insomnia. Before bedtime Daddy would mix up a Purple People Eater, raspberry and almond liquer, cherry and blackberry brandy, vodka, orange, pineapple and grapefruit juice, and within seconds we were so sound asleep, we often didn’t wake up until dinner time the next day, much to my mother’s delight. Read more…
In my day my mother said baking soda did everything. She sprinkled it all over the bathroom because she said it absorbed odors. I guess it worked because our toilet seat was so gritty I always went next door. Whenever I took a bath, I looked frosted. That’s probably why I love cake. My mom polished her silverware with baking soda and cleaned out our baby bottles. That made the silver look like ivory and I still hate the taste of milk.
My mother didn’t spend money on caustic cleaners. She used baking soda to polish plastic, porcelain and glass. And when she felt a storm coming on, she ran outside and put baking soda on the car’s windshield. She said it repels rain if you wipe the windows inside and out and it keeps lightning from striking the car. When I asked her why she didn’t just pull the car into the garage, she washed my mouth out with baking soda. I think that’s why I’m afraid of thunder.
She made us gargle with baking soda, and when we got sweaty, she rubbed it under our arms. She made us drink baking soda and water if we had indigestion and she smeared it on us for measles, chickenpox and insect bites. Read more…
Free Webinar Coming Up May 30 on University of San Francisco’s Online MSN
RX: Nurse Talk eBlast
A dose of what is coming up on the show and a laugh or two. Take one weekly.