Welcome to Wiser Now’s weekly email blast which reflects my eclectic interests and, I hope, yours. It’s Oatmeal Month, a food I only consider comforting as cookies and pancakes (Ask for my recipe) but must be popular in its breakfast format, because 80% of U.S. households have it in their cupboards. I chose it for my weekly theme because Oatmeal, Texas is a reminder that this country has a full menu of amusing place names, as this week’s quiz proves.

In the meantime, my AATH friend Jim-Bob Williams is an instant haiku producer on any subject and offers this:

Hot comfort breakfast
A cholesterol buster
Feeling my oats now
Jim-Bob is secretary of AATH and a therapeutic humorist (reach him at or

I hope you are finding these offerings fun, and perhaps even useful, and I welcome your feedback. ( And if you haven’t yet pressed the subscribe button so this newsletter doesn’t go to spam, please do so now.

The Quirky Quote

On more than one occasion, the camera has cut to me after a break as I'm still trying to swallow the last bite of cookie. Those of you who have thought to yourselves, 'That guy talks like he has marbles in his mouth,' should know that they are not marbles, but oatmeal cookies.
~ Lester Holt

Fun Fact: Oatmeal cookies are the number one non-cereal usage for oats, followed by meatloaf. Who would have guessed?

The Quirky Fact

Oats were one of the earliest cereals cultivated by man.  They were known in ancient China as long ago as 7,000 B.C.  The ancient Greeks were the first people known to have made them into porridge.

The three main types of oats include quick oats, rolled oats, and steel cut oats, which refers to how the oats are cut and how long they take to cook. Although steel cut take the longest to cook and are also known as Irish Oatmeal, a staple in almost every Irish household, they have a snobbish appeal in the U.S. Alan Alda is a fan who describes them like this: “[Irish oatmeal] pops in your mouth when you bite into it in little glorious bursts like a sort of gummy champagne.”

Bet you didn’t know: Oats are used in a lot of cosmetics and the brand Aveeno is a slight variation on the botanical name for oats: avena.

The Quirky Observation

I have always been fascinated with geographic names and wonder what corny jokes you might have to endure if you lived in a place like Corn, Oklahoma or chicken-crossed-the-road jokes if you lived in Chicken, Alaska.

Would it be sweet to live in Cookietown, Oklahoma, Candy Town, Ohio, Pie, West Virginia, Pie Town, New Mexico, Ding Dong, Texas or Yum Yum, Tennessee?

If you overdo your intake in Onion Creek, Washington, Beans, New Hampshire or Cheesetown, Pennsylvania, would you be encouraged to pass Gas in Kansas?

The Question

Have you ever lived in or passed through a town with an unusual name? Share it with family and friends, and if you are so inclined, with me at

Featured Product 

It’s winter, the perfect time to order my Winter Celebrations slide show. Winter abounds in celebrations, some of which are covered in the slide shows Happy New Year and Love and Marriage (sort of related to Valentine’s Day). This one covers the exuberance of Groundhog Day, the Chinese New Year, and Mardi Gras/Carnival. Featuring stunning photos, it includes trivia quizzes, word games, discussions, and imagination exercises. Order it here; you’ll want to live each one over and over!

The Quiz 

As noted under my Quirky Observation above, American place names cover quite a broad menu. This quiz concentrates on breakfast. You can likely only guess at the answers but enjoy doing just that.

  1. We’ve already noted that Texas is the place for Oatmeal, but if you are craving plain Cereal for breakfast, you’ll find it in:
               South Dakota ___           Pennsylvania ___
  2. If you prefer eggs, you’ll find Two Egg in:
               Florida ___                     Nevada ___
  3. You can find Bacon in two states:
               Indiana and Georgia ___        Alabama and Nebraska ___
  4. You’ll find Toast in:
               Colorado ___                  North Carolina ___
  5. I couldn’t find Hash Browns anywhere, but if you’re not too fussy, you might settle for Fries in:
                Virginia ___                    Iowa ___
  6. You can get Tea in one state and Hot Coffee in another. They are:
                Maine and Louisiana ___      South Dakota and Mississippi ___
  7. And if you’d like Cream with either of those, you’ll find it in:
                Georgia ___                    Wisconsin ___
The Shameless Request

Please share Wiser Now Wednesday with anyone you think might be interested, and if you represent an organization that would like a customized version, please send me a note at

The Resources

Answers to the quiz
  1. Cereal, Pennsylvania
  2. Two Egg, Florida
  3. Bacon, Indiana and Georgia
  4. Toast, North Carolina
  5. Fries, Virginia
  6. Tea, South Dakota and Hot Coffee, Mississippi
  7. Cream, Wisconsin – The Dairy State, of course
My multiple goals are to amuse and inspire you, to share what I and people whom I admire am doing, to stimulate your curiosity and spur you to action. I hope you enjoyed this offering. You can access previous issues here. We welcome your feedback. (
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Copyright (c) 2019 Kathy Laurenhue | All rights reserved.

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