Jan Goldfield, Ph.D. is the best-selling author of

A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining Your Pond

AND/OR  in "curmudgeon" on the Google Custom Search just below for a drop down menu of Her Stories 






I often think of how many things have changed in our pre-boomer lifetimes.  From a telephone that hung on the wall and to use it, you had to speak with a telephone operator to wireless telephones and even watches that are telephones – shades of Dick Tracy.

Something no one notices all that much is lights. Our lives are bombarded with lights.  Usually little lights. They crept up on us.  First, we got night lights that stayed lit all night so we would not be afraid of the dark.  I don’t even remember the first ones. Now that we are older, we have night lights, so we can stumble to the bathroom in the middle of the night in relative safety.

Then we got electric clocks.  No more winding of clocks, now they are all plugged into the wall. They hang on our walls or sit on our nightstands shining or blinking and go dark when the power is out.  Then they do nothing.  Oh, and they tell us the time instead of us telling the time. Something is dreadfully wrong with that.

When we were youngsters, a TV set occupied a place of honor in the living room. And it lit up.  Then came remote controls and they made the TV light up when we pushed buttons that also lit up.  Then they came with boxes to hook up and the boxes had lights on them.  We paid for those boxes. We still do and call it the miracle of cable TV so we can find 500 channels of infomercials and porn. 

Now we have modems and routers. They light up and blink. Constantly.  If they are not blinking, something is wrong and we must call the cable company and raise our blood pressure trying to talk to something called ‘customer service’ to fix it.  Those lights must blink or they are broken.

Our stove buttons light up. Is it to tell us that the stove is hot? How did we ever know that before the lights were there?

Our microwave ovens light up, beep and somehow through some strange process I will never understand, get our food hot.

Someone decided that every household needed smoke detectors. Of course, they came with lights.  Sometimes they blink and other times they do not blink. I have no idea what the significance of the blinking is.

Oh, the refrigerator has a light.  It’s always been there except at my grandma’s house when it was called an icebox and held ice. No light needed.

My dryer also has a light inside. Why? To find the orphan socks, maybe?

Our cameras light up when we turn them on. My Brownie box camera never lit up.

What did I miss?  In the door of my refrigerator is a water dispenser. It lights up. Why? 

Oh lordy, my toothbrush lights up. Who thought of that?  Did they think I could not find my mouth?

I plugged my cellphone in to charge as it blinked good night.

And when I got up this morning, I noticed a light on the thermostat. Really?

This little light of mine is shining and shining and it looks like it shall never be dimmed.


Click on the INDEX of links below to go to OTHER Great Stories

JAN - Three Years Old in the Pond




" I was finished listening to that drivel...."

Vegan? Or Vegetarian?


I was born a curmudgeon

As soon as I was self aware, I started asking questions.  Mostly of my family because, duh, those were the only people I knew.  I questioned values mainly and then not my grandparents because they spoiled me, gave me ice cream, homemade bread and blueberry pie. (continue reading)

I object to your bad grammar

C'mon people. Please start learning and using good grammar and spelling. We can't understand what you want to say when you use loose instead of lose. Or their instead of there or they're. Learn the difference between hear and here. And fergawd's sake, no more apostrophe esses on the ends of words unless it's a contraction. See: It's. Contraction for it is. Easy, right? Well do it then.


HERE IS A SERIES OF Stories from the Pond and Beyond including:

The Vernal Equinox is Upon Us-

Yes, the vernal equinox is upon us, the pond is waking up from winter. In most of the northern states, the snow has been replaced with brown slush. In the warmer South, plants are sprouting, the pond rushes are greening up and signs of long asleep pond life is awakening.

When the last danger of frost is over, put your pump back in the pond and plug it in. Be sure your pond is clear of sludge and has at least 1 bunch of submerged vegetation per square foot of surface area.

When your sleeping goldfish wake up, they will be hungry.
Do not feed them now.

Sounds and paths that change,a meditation in nature


You get what you get and don't complain.

What in the hell are they saying?

In my lifetime we have seen women come from employable only in menial jobs to most any job they wish, albeit only at 77% of what men make. But we are working on that. When I finished undergrad school, an employer could say, "Sorry, we don't hire women for that." And not realize what he was saying. And we could do nothing about it. When I finished grad school things had not changed.That was 1969 and I was finished listening to that drivel....


Vegan? Or Vegetarian?
How do I start?
What's next?

Do you eat jello?

You have made the decision to become a vegetarian, knowing all the obstacles ahead. Giving up everything today is probably not the best way. Make it just a bit easy on yourself. Start by eating no beef. No burgers, no steaks, no meat loaf. No beef.

I Survived Katrina


 ... Katrina hit, but when a storm runs away with your house and all its contents, you remember. Trust me, you remember.  Now many of you are trying to survive after the biggest storm so far decade century. I learned a few things... I would like to share them and just maybe they could help you.

PRACTICAL ADVICE exactly what to do after the storm,and how to do it

FEMA and more...

Let me tellya ...


Let me tellya ...

how I feel about civil rights and living as an outsider

how I feel about movies

how I feel about hate filled bigots

how I feel about cell phones for "seniors"



 In 1986, Hillary Rodham Clinton said of the Ozark Folk Center herb garden, "It is not just a decorative garden, it is a repository of past knowledge" 

This 'repository of past knowledge' began humbly in 1977, when volunteers began to bring their own herbs and ideas to the Ozark Folk Center to start a dedicated herb garden. Volunteers transplanted seeds from their own garden and sowed the idea of the Heritage Herb Garden.

available at online booksellers

by Best-Selling Author
Jan Goldfield

A Practical Guide
to Building and Maintaining Your Pond



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