Ears on pitchers?


The adults were talking and the grandkids were playing.  I wasn’t really paying attention until someone pipped up, “little pitcher’s have big ears,” which immediately sent me into a tailspin. What exactly does that mean?

My husband used that phrase a couple of times when our kids were younger.  I had never heard that odd saying before and was not sure if he was talking about the guy that throws baseballs, the thing  you pour milk from or, for that matter, the framed landscape that hangs on the wall.  I asked him once what the heck it meant and he said that his stepmother used to say it all the time and point to him behind her raised, flattened hand.  It always made him mad.  He quit using that saying around our house.

I forgot all about that annoying idiom and filed it away somewhere in my mind’s folder with other things of nonsense like, “why is a raven like a writing desk?”  But, the other night when almost in that zoned out, turn off the light place, in bed, reading Flannery O’ Connor, I bolted straight up when her character said, “little pitchers have big ears.”

Twice in one week, forced me out of bed, to the computer and to google. There it was, the phrase, and it’s meaning.  Seems like someone, somewhere thought that children are like milk pitchers and their ears are like the handle – hence, even though they are little, they can hear what the adults around them are saying.  Really?

Still annoyed and confused, I ask you, why not,  “Little sugar bowls have big ears?”.

There is a Word for It – only it’s not English

Searching for connection, I found a place,

A country, an inner domain,  a word.

A word not spoken with native tongue.

A condition rarely lived, yet highly desired.

It’s meaning:  balanced, content, satisfied.

Dare I say, almost un-American?

Not too much, nor too little, just right.

A Goldilocks kind of chair, bowl, bed,

With just enough to share.

Discovered on a Swede’s blog,

Pronounced on a wiki-link,


The Incredible EGG (carton)

White Eggs in Carton
Image via Wikipedia

It’s morning and the grandkids are hungry. After going over what’s in the cupboard for the umpteenth time, we all decide on scrambled eggs. I take out the frying pan and whipping bowl, go to the refrigerator to retrieve the eggs, and for the I-don’t-know-how-manyith time, marvel not at the incredible, edible egg, but at the incredible, functional perfection of the egg carton.

Much has been written and discussed about the chicken and the egg. Many beginning art students struggle with the challenge of putting the egg on paper, but have you ever wondered why we have never heard anything about the person responsible for inventing the perfect storage cradle for this delectable, delicate orb?

Due to the eggstrordinary, age in which we live, I have the eggsceptional ability of locating answers to every hair brained question or random thought in eggsactly 2 minutes. Being no eggspert, but eggspecting to find eggsactly what I need, I google “egg carton” so that if, like me, you’ve been wondering how the egg carton came into being, I can eggsplain.

A pretty savvy newspaper editor named Joseph Coyle is said to have come up with the humble carton or “egg box” as it was called back in 1911, to solve a dispute between a local farmer and a hotel owner (names eggscape us here). Seems the hotel owner complained about the number of broken eggs that the farmer delivered. Baskets were the means for carting eggs back then. Coyle’s design provided safer transport and fewer egg fatalities, but cartons, as we know them, did not become the common tote until the 1950’s.

Personally, I am quite grateful to old Joseph Coyle. Because of him, I am spared the yucky task of having to clean up great quantities of broken shell, yolk and slimy, sticky, clear goop. I break my fair share of eggs after I take them out of their safe little nests.

I hope that Coyle got a patent for his eggceptional discovery and made lots of eggstra cash. He probably just got a little peace and quiet from his feuding friends and his eggsasperated neighbors.


For those craft junkies out there – 10 Smart Uses For Egg Cartons (huffingtonpost.com)