Thursday, November 30, 2006
HERE'S AN IDEA -- LET'S MAKE LEARNING FUN!
The video game market is worth $25 billion annually.
That must mean there are a whole bunch of kiddos out there
who are bending around corners, running their cars vertically up concrete canyon walls of buildings, and doing who knows what
So I have an idea. Why not make a video game that uses real battles -- say the Civil War. Maybe an actual
character named Abe Lincoln -- and U. S. Grant, and Jefferson Davis and General Robert E. Lee.
And maybe places
like Gettysburg, and Appamatox, and Ft. Sumter.
Video game carnage for Gettysburg wouldn't even have to be
fictionalized one little bit.
If game makers used real people and real events and made them tantalizingly fun,
wouldn't it be great if the kids actually learned who the players were in the Civil War, and where the great battles were
The possibilities are endless. And, well, yeah, it's sort of like learning history. But it could have
some twists built into it. I mean, what would have happened if General Lee had brought a few thousand more soldiers?
After the Civil War, we could just slice our way back through time and see what the Holy Roman Empire looked like. How come
they made it all the way to England and I did not know about it until Quint and I went over there a few years ago?
I thought they had stayed down there in their little boot, and just made marauding excursions into the Holy Land when Christ
Never did I ever know that they were trying to burn up the globe with all their little horse trotting
skirmishes. I did know, though, that they made killing Christians their national sport.
I could even see a Biology War Game about Carrie Corpuscle making a trek through the human body -- sort of like Sacagawea
going to the Pacific Ocean with her buddies, Lewis and Clark.
Carrie Corpuscle could have many adventures going
to various landing sites in the body -- like the lungs where she could show what really happens to healthy tissues when cigarette
smoke invades the passageways.
Those little ice melting people could have a lot of fun revisiting ecology. They
already made the study of the ice age beyond-belief-amusing.
It just needs a little imagination -- or talent --
to bring game stories to life.
THINK ABOUT THIS NEXT TIME SOMEONE ASKS YOU FOR A CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION
More specifically, it's Kinky Friedman's campaign office. There are 150 people lined up
because his staff in charge of giving away stuff is out there at the sidewalk, probably, giving away furniture.
see, Kinky did not get elected on November 7. He was running for governor.
So all that furniture and stuff has
to go. That's what campaigns usually do. They just give it away.
If they don't liquidate the assets, then
the campaign organization has to pay taxes on the assets.
Well, we can't have that. These are law-abiding politicians.
They just want to get elected. They don't want to pay taxes.
FORGET THE 3 Rs, SOUTH CAROLINA WANTS THE 4 Ts
If Oregon can't get the 3 Rs figured out, an economist, Doug Woodward, at the University of South Carolina makes
the suggestion that would help move his state out of the lag behind the rest of the country.
South Carolina lags
behind in income, education and innovation.
So Woodward says that South Carolina could do much, much
better if it had the 4 Ts -- technology, talent, trade and taxes.
Don't you just love it?
to me that if you just had people with talent, they would figure out how to develop the technogy and that in turn would increase
trade. And everybody knows that when trade goes up, the politicians will tax it.
So all they need is talent. Lots
Talent always pulls the rest of it along.
THIS MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE AT ALL!
First it started as the No Child Left Behind Act.
Among other things, this Act was supposed to weed out teachers
who couldn't teach. If teachers could not meet the most minimum of standards, they would have to go somewhere to be recertified.
Hopefully, back to school where they were supposed to have learned to teach in the first place.
Then, in a perfect
world, we would actually have capable teachers.
Students are curious little sponges whose middle names are "Why."
These curious little people should, at the very least, be able to bounce into a classroom where capable, qualified teachers
can help them get all the mighty questions of the universe answered.
Then, these little kiddos could pass all their
In a perfect world.
In a pig's eye.
However, now comes the word that the U.S.
Department of Education has told the people out in Oregon that the state should adjust the scores needed to
pass standardized tests in math, English and science, in order to comply with testing requirements!
says the Department of Education, is that if the passing scores are raised, then fewer students would pass.
let's say the child has to get at least a 70 in math to pass.
But if little Johnny only got a 65, then let's
either raise (adjust) his score up to 70, or lower the benchmark down to 60 so that he could pass.
Johnny got left behind, didn't he? Because he still can't pass a math test.
WHEN IS CHANGING YOUR MIND NOT A LIE?
In Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, local taxpayers are going to have to shell out $3,500 for extra security that was needed when
Vice President Cheney showed up to campaign for Republican candidates in the not too far distance past election.
The taxpayers were absolutely assured that the costs of the campaign visit wouldn't be charged to them.
ahem, the powers that be have decided that they won't ask the Republican Party of Idaho to reimburse security expenses
for Mr. C.
Well, only if I stretch the rubber band of logic tightening around my forehead can I make that work.
So let's see. All the taxpayers in Coeur d'Alene are Idaho taxpayers.
All the members of the
Republican Party of Idaho are Idaho taxpayers.
So if everybody is a taxpayer of Idaho, does it matter who foots
Actually, it does. The Republican Party of Idaho has a much broader base of money-givers. A lot of them
may put their part of Idaho taxes into the piggy bank in Boise. Maybe the people in Boise could care less about Cheney
coming to Coeur d'Alene.
If Coeur d'Alene wants him at the podium, let them pay for his visit. You think?
But wait a minute. I thought each and every taxpayer in the United States paid for security for the Vice President.
Isn't that what the Secret Service is supposed to be doing?
What exactly is "extra security measure?"
Maybe the police escort for the motorcade?
I have a bigger problem with all these elected officials running
around all over the country. Don't they have jobs to do?
I know. I know. They call recesses when it's time
to run for election. That way they get time off with pay to go running around all over the country helping their buddies get
Just get back to work. All of you. And quick running up tabs to the poor little people around
the country because you have to get special treatment.
DID ANYBODY ASK THE FISHIES IF THIS WAS OKAY?
If California were a country, it would be the fifth richest in the world.
And that's just money -- not people.
But you can bet there are plenty of people out there. And people generate a lot of -- well, sewage.
I will admit
that I never gave it that much thought until recently when the Hoity Toities in Malibu came to public notoriety because of
a really big sewage problem. Guess the locals didn't really want the rest of us to know that they were just dumping their
sewage into their front yard -- or back yard -- or wherever their septic fields happened to be located.
all that focus on the Malibu sewage came to surface -- so to speak -- because the spinach fields were besieged by
e-Coli. Authorities were looking everywhere to find the cause.
Okay -- so fast forward to today.
are going out to sea to inspect a pipe that takes sewage from Los Angeles and dumps all that stuff into the ocean.
Isn't California where all the environmentalists live. You know -- the ones who don't want anyone
or anything tampering with the ecosystems of the earth's biggest ponds?
And sewage from human beings isn't
tampering? I don't think that's a very nice thing to do to the fishies.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
TWO WOLVES -- from Alice Stubbe
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a
that goes on inside people.
He said, "My son, the battle is between two
"wolves" inside us all.
One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret,
Greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority,
Pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility,
Kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."
The grandson thought about it
for a minute and then asked his grandfather:
"Which wolf wins?"
The old Cherokee simply replied,
"The one you feed."
A DIFFERENT CHRISTMAS POEM -- from Kathy Brandenburg
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed 'round the room and I cherished the
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded
by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave
a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the
dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this
moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on
a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown
in drifts ...
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said, "It's
really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night.
"It's my duty to stand at
the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
"My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers.
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam,
And now it's my turn and so, here I am.
"I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
my wife sends me pictures; he's sure got her smile."
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
red, white, and blue -- an American flag.
"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole
with little to eat.
"I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.
"So go back inside," he said, "Harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
Give you money," I asked. "Or prepare you a feast?
"It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we
come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled
Is payment enough, and with
that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."
The above poem is sent with
this note from LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN:
Please, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people
as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate
these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes,
living and dead, who sacrifice themselves for us.
LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment,
Logististics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq
And thank you, Kathy, for sharing this poem with all our
CHRISTMAS LETTER FROM JESUS
Thank you, Alice Stubbe, for sharing this e-mail:
It has come to my attention that
many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually
born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was
actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.
How I personally feel about
this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of their
own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
Now, having said that, let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting
My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If
all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of
them all around town. How true -- how true!
Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday
tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape
vine if you wish. I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our
tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15:1-8.
If you want to give Me a present in remembrance
of My birth, here is My wish list. Choose something from it:
1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to
the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid
and lonely this time of year. I know -- they tell Me all the time.
2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't
have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.
3. Instead of writing George
complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll
be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice for him to hear from you again.
Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them
the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down there. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.
5. Pick someone who has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.
6. Did you know that someone in your
town will attempt to take his or her own life this season because this person feels so alone and hopeless? Since you don't
know who this person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile. It could make the difference between life and death.
7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work
there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas,"
that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much
money on that day, they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with families.
8. If you really
want to make a difference, support a missionary, especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard
9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only have no "Christmas"
tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts
and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.
10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian.
Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of
Don't forget -- I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do.
I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work -- time is short.
I'll help you,
but the ball is now in your court.
And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love -- and remember
I love you,
BUT IF THEY'RE CONVICTED OF CRIMES, SHOULDN'T THEY LOSE THEIR BENEFITS?
You know, politicos, eventually you're gonna get the idea that the taxpayers are more than just a little bit tired of
paying and paying and paying and paying for your antics.
Like being a corrupt politician.
Journal Sentinel got records under Wisconsin's open-records law that shows former state congressman Scott Jensen
can cash in insurance credits worth about $70,000 when he reaches his 55th birthday.
Other corrupted assemblymen
-- Chuck Chvala and Gary George and Steven Foti are eligible for $60,000 each in health insurance.
Bonnie Ladwig, is eligible for $19,000 in insurance credits. Oh, but wait. She says she's not going to use the money.
Yeah, right. Just wait until she gets a bill from her lawyer for her appeals.
Another corruptee, Brian
Burke, could get about $22,000 in benefits.
Let's see now. If you're working in private industry and you
get fired for cause, your health benefits usually end at the last day of the month you were working. I don't think employees
get cash for benefit credits.
What is that all about?
Personally, I don't see why lawmakers
should have any better benefits than the rest of us peons.
Last time I looked at the constitution, we don't
have divine rights of kings -- and queens -- in this country. So how come it is that they get to vote these little cream of
the crop benefit packages for themselves?!!
THAT NEVER DID LOOK SAFE TO ME
We watch road graders and caterpillars running all over their little manmade mountains near Charleston when we head south
And more than once, I've wondered if they weren't just hanging a bit too precariously onto the
dirt. "What if they slipped?" I wondered.
Well, it wasn't in Charleston, Illinois. But in Ft. Myers,
Florida, just such a thing happened. The embankment was too steep. The tractor he was driving slipped and tumbled down the
hill and tossed him into a lake.
The driver lost his life. He was under water for about a half hour before rescue
workers were able to pull him of the lake.
So everytime I pass those workers near Charleston, I'm going to
say an extra prayer for their safety. They're packing down an embankment that's going to have concrete slopes that
will have I-beams resting on it for the overpass. The embankment is very steep. Looks to be about forty-five degrees to me.
It just doesn't look safe to this overprotective mom/grandma.
IMPEACHED JUDGE SAYS HE'S DISAPPOINTED HE DIDN'T GET PLUM JOB
That would be Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Florida.
Hastings was first elected to Congress in 1992.
had kind of caught him doing some naughty bribery stuff in 1983. Not exactly sure what. But since he was a judge, he
managed his own defense. Some of his judicial buddies say he fabricated his defense.
The House of Representatives
impeached him in 1988.
Then in 1997 the Justice Department found an agent had falsely testified against him. The
case was never reopened though.
So now Madam Queen Speaker-of-the-House-to-Be Pelosi appears to be reneging on
her political promise to appoint Hastings to chair the House Intelligence Committee.
Pelosi's big out is that
she promised to clean the House. We just can't have a impeached anything in such a powerful position like committee
chair since Pelosi promised all that reform. It would just look too much like business as usual. So it has to at least look
like she's going to keep her dustpan handy.
So let's see. What might Hastings be able to do? It appears
that he knows a lot about the judicial system. And all its ins and outs. That makes about as much sense as his chairing something
POST OFFICE DEADLINES FOR 2006 HOLIDAY SEASON
If you're mailing a package overseas to your favorite military person, the U.S. Post Office says the deadline is December
11 if the final destination is Afghanistan or Iraq.
For packages with a destination inside the U.S., the deadline
is December 13 for parcel post.
You can wait a bit longer if you're sending first class. That deadline is
But if you're really going to put things off, then you can ship priority by December 20. After
that, you're going to pay a bundle for express mail with a deadline of December 22, to guarantee a delivery by Christmas.
Get those cards and letters in the mail.
A BILLION HERE -- A BILLION THERE
And pretty soon, to paraphrase Will Rogers, you're talking about real money.
The retail market for hip-hop
fashionwear now tops out at $500 billion. That's what U.S. teens are willing to spend on clothes. These hopefuls
are shelling it out to look like their favorite rappers.
That's a lot of moola.
I'm not about
to make any comment about the teen's fashion sense. I'm way too old to be even close to relevant.
only thing I care about is that their butts are covered and their boobs aren't trying to escape out of their clothes.
Other than that, I don't care how much they spend.
I do find it curious, though, that the price tag so far
for the war in Iraq is somewhere around $300 billion.
That figure does not include a new request going before congress
for an additional $150 billion in emergency funding for the war.
But even so, the $300b + $150B for war funding
doesn't yet equal brand new teen duds that are intentionally designed to look as if they'd been thrown down the
attic stairs, or been beaten on a rock in the Tigris River for two days straight. Why in the world would you want to buy something
that has fake worn-out holes in the legs! And frayed cuffs!
For sure, that $150 billion request for new funding
in Iraq won't be the end of it. Especially since the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously yesterday to keep
international coalition forces in Iraq for another year.
Haven't heard the response yet from Sen. Carl Levin,
D-Michigan, who said on Monday (11/27/06) at a press conference, that the White House should commence the phased redeployment
of U.S. troops from Iraq in four to six months.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
MORE LA TE DAHS FROM ACROSS THE POND
Some of us are vitally interested in the royal princes.
Like the fact that Prince Williams' most wonderful
friend Kate Middleton is probably about to receive the coveted honorable invite to Queen Herself's Christmas luncheon
at Sandringham Castle. Actually, Kate could be invited to spend the whole entire day at the castle.
be a big deal first time that an unmarried partner would get such an invitation.
My, oh my.
mean that the royal monarchy is thawing just a bit?
I, for one, never did think they were cold and aloof. They
just sleep in big drafty houses that were built at the turn of the century -- the tenth century, that is.
is atwitter in jolly old England. Thoughts of another royal wedding are heavy into speculation. One cup manufacturer has already
ordered 100,000 commemorative thingeys that will be pressed into sales lots as soon as -- or if -- the love birds become a
Right now the cups just have their cute little pictures on them. Woolworths, the giant retailer in
Britain, would like to put a little gold date on the mugs and ship them out to shops for sale.
THE LONDON OLYMPICS IN 2012 -- MAYBE, IF THE WORKERS WILL GET OUT OF BED
At least that's what Sir Robin Wales says about it all.
My, my. He says Londoners are "too lazy"
to get up before 11 am to go to work at the Olympics. I'd just like to know how Borat missed giving this guy a starring
role in The Movie!
Keep in mind that this is the same guy who says he's the leader of the council and is responsible
for all Newham Council's services, like education, housing, leisure and parks. He also says he has an ambitious vision
for this borough, and that's because Newham's people are ambitious and forward-looking too.
And then there
was Valerie Forde of London, who is one of Wales' volunteers who says she got up many early mornings -- 4 or 5 sm
-- to support Hizzoner's initiatives and events.
Forde says she, like many of the other volunteers, are all
professionals working long hours in their careers.
So, Sir Robin, it doesn't sound like all your constituents
are looking for the handouts. Or that they are all loafing about. Or that they are all too lazy to get out of bed.
It seems like you might want to build some bridges with your volunteers. How are you ever going to get re-elected without
the help of an army of volunteers. At the very least, you could be a little bit more grateful.
It's just a
thought. Would you agree?
HAPPY FEET #1 WEEKEND DRAW
Box office revenue for the Thanksgiving weekend puts Happy Feet in first place with $37.9m in ticket sales.
Other films in the Top Ten box office draw, in descending order, are:
Casino Royale -- $31.0m
-- $20.8 m
Deck the Halls -- $12.0m
Borat -- $10.4m
Santa Claus 3 -- $10.0m
Stranger than Fiction
Flushed Away -- $5.8m
Bobby -- $4.9m
The Fountain -- $3.7m
IF YOU'RE GOING TO HAWAII, WATCH OUT FOR THOSE BIG WAVES
Several years ago, our daughters sent Quint and me to Hawaii for our 25th anniversary.
We had this beautiful room
on the eleventh floor of the Halukalani Hotel overlooking Waikiki Beach. On the very first morning of our vacation, there
was lots and lots of commotion out in the water.
We had a front row seat on the balcony where we were sitting
with our morning coffee.
There were helicopters galore. And lots of boats grabbing simmers out of the water. "What
in the world is going on down there?" Miss Snoopy asked as Quint shrugged his shoulders and said, "I don't know."
Later we found out that this was the day of the annual swim from Diamondhead to some point down the beach.
The problem is the swim meet should have been called off. The current was too swift. There were boats out there in the water
throwing life preservers to the swimmers and dragging them to the beach for safety. We saw some swimmers getting rescued by
It was very exciting and fortunately, everyone made it to safety.
Not so, this last week
when a nineteen-year-old got swept away by a big wave off the coast of the Big Island. He was vacationing in Hawaii.
They have signs all over the place in Hawaii to beware of currents. And rip tides.
The problem is, most of us
have never encountered a rip tide. Since my swimming is restricted to pools that are lined with concrete -- so as to reduce
any threat of encountering snakes -- I do not have to worry about rip tides. In my case, the wild life saves my terrified
But that's not the case for the big, brave swimmers who think they can handle anything. After
all, it's just a beach and the water looks calm enough.
Just be careful. Really careful. When you are looking
at the water, all you're seeing is the surface. The undercurrent can be deadly.
If you have any reluctance
at all, stay in the pool.
I JUST DO NOT UNDERSTAND ACCIDENTAL SHOOTINGS
Mistake #1: A 17-year-old kid stole a .380 Colt pistol from a patrol car.
Mistake #2: He says he didn't
know there was a bullet in the chamber.
Mistake #3: He shot his 16-year-old buddy in the forehead. His buddy died.
What a dumbox! I'm trying real hard to visualize this.
First of all, why would anybody hold a gun
that was aimed at someone's forehead?
I've fired guns before. And let me tell you, when you cock the hammer,
you can figure out that something is about to happen. If your friend is standing in the line of fire, wouldn't
you think any idiot kid would do something else besides pull the trigger? Like maybe point the darned thing at the ground
instead of at your so-called friend?
Mistake #4: It seems to me that the state of Florida could find a charge more
serious than manslaughter for the 17-year-old who killed his friend.
NEW ANTI-PIRACY TECHNOLOGY IS HERE
Did you know that you aren't going to be able to copy those commercial CDs, DVDs and e-books anymore?
DVD players will have safeguards built into them so that you won't even be able to play bootleg copies.
super dooper high tech technology is in the works from Microsoft that will save us all from pirates roaming around out there
selling counterfeit goods from the trunks of their cars at swap meets -- or wherever they sell such pirated booty.
MOTORCYCLE COP IN BUSH MOTORCADE DIES OF INJURIES
You hardly ever hear of something like this. I mean, these officers are the best of the best to even be considered for
duty that includes escorting the presidential motorcade.
Well, there were three of them.
Hawaii. A light rain was falling. The roads were slick.
The motorcade was traveling across Hickam Air Force Base.
The president was going to meet troops for breakfast last week. And then the motorcycles lost their grip on the pavement.
The other two officers were treated at the hospital and released. But Steve Favela, an eight-year veteran of the police
force, remained in the hospital in critical condition.
Unfortunately, this father of four didn't make it.
He died from his injuries.
HOMELESS BUT NOT HELPLESS IN NORTH LAS VEGAS
Some little old lady in her big old Cadillac hit a nine year old girl who darted out in front of the car.
The girl got
Then, realizing that she had hit the child, the 66 year-old driver of the car stopped cold. Right on top
of the little girl.
There were some homeless locals standing around on the sidewalk watching the horror unfold.
Get this -- they ran over to the car and pooled their energy -- then whammo -- they lifted the car right up off the
little girl. Who is still alive, thanks to the good samaritans who came to her rescue.
The little girl is still
in the hospital in serious condition -- an upgrade from the critical condition she was in when the ambulance zoomed her into
And the little old lady? She's frantically upset and being treated by crisis counselors.
Monday, November 27, 2006
BEWARE -- THERE'S A DIAMONDBACK OVER THERE!
And before he saw it, it struck. Seemingly out of nowhere.
Now Hillsborough County Sheriff's Deputy Brandon
Parker, 28, is lying in Tampa General Hospital in very, very serious condition. His wife plans a press conference at 3 o'clock
this Monday afternoon.
Parker was walking with a friend on a trail at the English Creek Park. His friend, Deputy
Jason Bateman, shot the snake. It's dead.
The Eastern Diamondback is the largest rattlesnake in North America.
It's absolutely the ugliest thing you'd ever want to see. Unless, of course, you're looking at the Western
Diamondback. Also ugly.
The Eastern Diamondback grows from 3' to 8', although their usual adult length
is 5 - 6 feet. They weigh about five pounds, when fully developed.
Its favorite trick is ambush. It will
lie in a tight curl and just wait for an unsuspecting little mammal to come along. It can sit like that motionless for an
entire day -- sometimes even a week. Then, whammo. Down goes the gopher. Or rat. Or rabbit. Or squirrel.
strike at 175 mph.
Its home range often will cover as much as 500 acres.
Its pits are so sensitive that
it can detect a change in temperature of only a half a degree.
I met a Western Diamondback when I was about six
years old. I had just put on a freshly starched little white pinafore to keep my school dress clean. I was running out
the kitchen door to school.
Unbeknownst to me, my father -- the great Cherokee Hunter of southwestern
Arkansas had killed one of those stupid snakes and had cut its head off and was draining it. That's what he called it
when he hung snakes on the tree limb to let all the blood drain out. Then he'd later use the snake to make snake
leather for belts and hat bands. He sold his wild and wooly things to Montgomery Wards. Like he did with all the raccoon
pelts that he tanned and stacked in our house by the roomful.
Anyway, here comes Little Miss Always-In-A-Hurry
Jane. I ran right into the Headless Big Ugly and got his bright red smeery stuff all over my pinafore.
It was a
most disturbing scene -- both audio and visually. That was the day I learned to scream really good.
I have been
terrified of snakes -- both little and small -- venomous or not -- since that day.
From the time I was a little
girl, my father would take my sister, Cookie, my brother Al, and I with him to run his trotlines. He was adamant about us
always watching where we put our feet. "Watch out for snakes," he'd say.
But if a snake can
strike at 175 miles an hour, it wouldn't have mattered. Who would have a chance?
UPDATE: The snake is
dead. Parker is expected to make a full recovery, according to his wife, Courtney. The snake was six feet long.
and his buddy had only hiked into the trail for about 50 yards when the snake bit him in the leg.
FOR TERI -- IDAHO IS A LONG WAY FROM SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Just moving to Idaho is far enough. Moving from warm, sunny climes to brrrrrish cold Idaho must seem like penance for something.
You know it's too cold when distance from the Canadian border is measured only in double digits.
We pray for
you, and your brothers and sister, every morning -- now we'll bump up our daily petitions to several times. For travel
safety and warmth. And a warm, loving husband to greet you when you get back to your cozy home. That would be Rick.
We haven't hit really cold weather here in Illinois yet -- either in Tinley Park or Effingham. My sister, Cookie, in
Evergreen Park says it was 45 degrees the other day. We enjoyed 68 degrees. That was good because I was still blowing leaves
I made the Mt. Everest of leaf piles and Quint torched it.
There is not a single, solitary
leaf on our lawn. Then, just to be neighborly, I started air raking our next door neighbor's yard. She's in a nursing
home for now. Got her front yard done and part of the back yard.
Then I found a hole I'd rubbed in my hand.
Guess if I didn't have enough sense to take a break, Mother Nature would get my attention. So now I'm recuperating
until my owie gets better.
SO NOW, ONTO BIGGER THINGS
THE GETTY IS IN TROUBLE. The Getty is an
art museum in Los Angles. Years ago, when daughter Teri was still a Californian, she took Quint and me to The Getty on an
excursion. The Van Gogh exhibit was there. I'm not sure if Van Gogh is a permanent display or if this was a special deal.
There were lots of his iris paintings.
Van Gogh spent the last year of his life in an asylum until his tragically
premature death. So, being an artist, he painted and painted and painted. The asylum had lots of iris beds so that's what
He is to irises what Monet is to water lilies.
But now -- apparently, The Getty has some
of Italy's antiquities. And Italy wants all 46 looted paintings back. The Italian Culture Minister, Francesco Rutelli,
says Italy is on a campaign to get back its antiquities that have been sold illegally around the world.
MORE FROM BIRMINGHAM, ALA: Remember the Lt. Governor who was rushed to the hospital last Thursday?
I would not
have wanted to be the chef for that family dinner. Guilt coming out of my ears. Did I cook the Thanksgiving Beast long enough?
Could it have been food poisoning? But no one else got sick.
Well, it turns out much more serious than that. Lt.
Gov. Baxley suffered a stroke last Wednesday before she even showed up for the Turkey fest with family and friends. Remember
her in your prayers.
WHOEVER STOLE THE LOOKING GLASS, PLEASE BRING IT BACK!
Actually, it was a
letter that Lewis Carroll wrote to a friend way back in 1890. It came up missing from Yale University's valuables department
and somehow ended up on e-Bay. For sale, of all things!
The fake owner who put it up for auction returned it to
the Yalies when he learned it was stolen, so all's well that ends well.
Whoever sold it to him may be in a
bit of trouble, though.
Caveat emptor warns about stuff life that. You have to know who's selling
you stuff and if they can't give you a Bill of Sale or an invoice, beware. It could be stolen goods. In most states, it's
illegal to receive stolen goods.
Just so you know.
GEE, WHAT A THOUGHT!
superintendent of schools in Washington, D.C. says he wants to replace principals and teachers at nearly a half-dozen schools
So, what's he saying? Teachers aren't teaching, maybe?
Teachers blame parents
and parents blame teachers.
Who loses? The children who aren't learning, that's who.
-- there are some kiddos who learn in spite of their teacher -- not because of them. But for the most part, students need
teachers there to explain things to them. And if the teachers don't understand the subject matter, there is one huge big
As far as the parents are concerned, students need to be doing homework every night. I'd say for at
least an hour. And for those little darlings who swear by all that's holy that they don't have any homework, I'd
have a little packet of work I'd pull out and have them work on. At the kitchen table where I could watch.
then, Sharon and Teri sometimes thought they were horribly deprived because there was no TV turned on during the school week.
Somehow they got through childhood none the worse for wear.
So parents, listen up. Sometimes you gotta be
I DID NOT KNOW THAT GENERAL GRANT ONCE HAD A MILITARY CAMP AT MATTOON, ILLINOIS
think something would have dawned on me when I pass the U.S. Grant Motel on U.S. 45, but then he was a famous person. There's
even a Scotch named after him. Maybe it was his drink of choice. He was know to tip a few, if I read the gossip columns of
Anyway, sure enough Grant had a military encampment in Mattoon. Problem it, the old flagpole
that has stood on the library lawn for years and years and years finally bit the dust and the library board says it needs
to be replaced.
I need to get up to Mattoon one of these days and check that out. Home Depot is no longer the only
reason to go to Mattoon.
BUILDING MORE PRISONS?
Did you know that the national average of spending
for prison and justice department programs is now at $228 per person in the U.S.? That's the per capita annual tax load.
I did not know that. But I did know that it costs about $58,000 a year just to maintain one inmate on death row.
That's an old figure. It's probably a lot more than that now.
In Nevada, however, that spending-per-person
is $147. That's one of the lowest figures in the country.
But not for long. Nevada prison people want about
$268 million from the state legislature for five construction projects. That sounds like more brick and mortar stuff
That they'd better tell that Officer Real Friendly down in Las Vegas to keep his pants on so the Dept.
of Corrections won't have to keep buying him squad cars and other cop stuff.
DID YOU KNOW THAT THERE
ARE 37 MILLION BLOGS OUT THERE. All the more reason for me to be extremely grateful that you are reading mine. Thank you from
the bottom of my heart! And Quint loves you too.
CAUTION: DO NOT SHOOT ANYTHING WEARING AN ELECTRIC ORANGE
CAP. IT IS NOT A DEER!
Be careful out there. In Pennsylvania alone, some 900,000 people will be heading after white
tailed four-legged creatures, hoping to bag the big one.
It's the beginning of the deer season, so be careful.
Every year some hunters get killed.
So here are a few Reinheimer Rules.
If it's rustling twigs
up in a tree, it's not a deer. Don't shoot.
If it's wearing those electric orange or yellow or red
hats, it's not a deer. Don't shoot.
HEY -- HOW ABOUT MOVING IT TO NEVADA?
Texas has an
old prison in Sugar Land, that's not been used for decades. There had been threats just to knock the darned thing down
but I guess that's not going to happen. The Texans are thinking about using the prison site as some kind of development.
After all, it is sitting on 2,000 acres near Houston.
I still think it would be a right neighborly thing
to do if they just moved the old building to Nevada. Apparently they need more jails out in the desert state. Maybe Nevada
could take some of their brick-and-mortar money and move the Texas jail.
That way, Nevada would only have to fund
four construction projects.
POLITICIANS CAN ALWAYS FIND A WAY TO ZING TAXPAYERS
when they retire legislatures can claim all the sick pay they didn't use.
This amounts to some $3.2 million.
How nice. So even though they are not always present when the legislature is in session, they never actually claim
sick pay. They just aren't there.
I'll bet their secretaries and mail clerks and office staff and gardeners
and maids and dusters and state house polishers and trash-emptiers can't get away with that.
take a roll call? Seems like the Personnel Department ought to get over to the state house and see just who's there and
Let's see -- the rule is if you didn't pre-apply for vacation days, then you must be sick.
Then you get a sick day charged to your time.
That sounds fair.
No? Then you're a dirty rotten bum
sticking it to the taxpayers again.
And that takes care of my traveling about the U.S. for today.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Hello, Robin. Robin is my niece who lives in Dallas, Texas. She is my sister's daughter. Her voice is a welcome one at
the other end of the line when she says, "Hello, Aunt Jane..."
So Robin -- today's blog is for you.
I'm still taking my tour around the US, zeroing in on some pretty funny headlines from USA Today the other
There was this story from Las Vegas, Nevada. It's about a corrections officer -- like maybe a probation
officer or a jail guard. The article didn't say. Anyway, this officer kind of "lost" his uniform, badge, handgun
and car. They were stolen. Right out from under him. Literally.
He probably wasn't supposed to be having sex
with a prostitute even if prostitution is legal in Nevada. Actually, I think Clark County (where Las Vegas is located) is
the only county in Nevada where prostitution is not legal.
But no matter. The prostitute was underage. That means
making naughties is illegal all by itself. Not only that, but the officer was caught on tape (with the teenager/prostitute
buying condoms at a nearby store). Then they went into the alley behind the store and got kind of busy doing other things
that apparently didn't have anything to do with corrections officering.
Then while they were very busy, his
squad car was stolen.
Tsk. Tsk. Busted!
More cop stories. This one from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Up until just recently, all the rolling fleet had global positioning devices in the squad cars. This was so that the dispatchers
could tell where all the roving police officers were in case there were emergencies that needed tending to.
of the officers said that the GPS is a way to keep tabs on them.
And why wouldn't it
be okay for the dispatcher to know where all the on-duty officers are at any given moment?
So, the Officer Friendlies
in Miwaukee figured out that they could used a little aluminum foil to disable the GPS devices.
Now, you don't
suppose there's any chance at all that the officers in Milwuakee might just be too busy doing other things, do you?
In Iowa, it started out as a great idea. The Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa says it's going to give
away 2,000 morning after pills throughout the state next month. They want to get the word out that the morning after pill
is now available.
Problem is, they're only going to give away 2,000. After that, you'd need a rain check.
To say the least, I'd say. They're going to need more than a rain check. Like maybe booties, don't you
Minnesota is trying to make students better at math. The fourth-graders will be required to take Algebra
I by the end of 8th grade.
And they'll have to take Algebra II before they get out of high school
My question is -- how long do the fourth graders stay in fourth grade?
But then again, Kentucky says that
53% of all the students coming into its public colleges and universities have to take some kind of remedial courses.
The lawmakers in Kentucky are trying to figure out how to make students do better.
Like requiring students to study,
maybe? How do they legislate that?
Maybe Kentucky students are stuck in Algebra I, like their buddies up north
In Minnesota, fourth graders have four years to get through this tough course.
with that, we are headed back to finish blow drying our lawn's green grass. Actually we are finished with our yard. What
we're doing now is getting rid of the leaves in our next door neighbor's yard.
She went into a nursing
home a day before her 90th birthday shortly after we bought our house. She fell and broke a rib, I think. Even if she were
able to come home before the snow flies, she'd be in no shape to rake her leaves.
Next, we're going to
go up and down the block to see if other neighbors would like us to rake their leaves. Our new electric rake leaf blower isn't
broke in yet and the novelty hasn't worn off.
And tomorrow is Sunday. A day of worship and rest and refreshment.
Sunday is the day when one week ends and another one begins. It's also the day when Quint and I head to church to join
our friends in worship.
We'll be back on Monday.
Friday, November 24, 2006
IN CASE YOU DIDN'T HEAR IT YET --
USA Today readers have voted and the results are in!
Arizona's Grand Canyon has been named the 8th Wonder of
You need to know that to make your Friday after Thanksgiving a complete newsday. Maybe. The other titillating
piece of newsgoody is that Penelope Cruz is probably sitting for designer dress fittings for Oscar night. She sure hopes that
Volver will get her a little gold guy. It's a movie about hardship and tragedy. And to top if off, she gets to
wear a fake big butt bottom. Now that translates into Oscar for me. Plus, it only grossed $680,896 in its initial limited
release. I think the starzies like to give each other Oscars when their buddies' movies don't do all that well. It's
kind of like a consolation prize.
Gut-wrenching Babel took all of four weeks to make $12 million. Good
old Brad Pitt maybe ought to turn in his sexiest man alive trophies (he got two years) for acting lessons.
on the other hand, has grossed $90 million in its first three weeks. Maybe Brad Pitt ought to try his hand at playing a nitwit.
Toilet humor Flushed Away only took in $48 million in three weeks. Even the dangling chain beat out Brad.
King Nicholson in The Departed topped out at $114 million in seven weeks. Can't find him in theaters anymore,
so I'm guessing he'll be in Christmas stockings for the remainder of this film's funrun.
Crowe's A Good Year only grossed out at $6 million. That's pretty paltry. Just goes to show you that when
you toss a phone at a a serving staff person in a hotel your career tanks. So saying you're sorry would be enhanced
if you checked yourself into an anger management rehab place.
I have an idea. How about all these big screen idiots
try doing something useful with their lives instead of sitting around designing their $40,000 dresses and figuring out which
villa they're gonna stay in because they're bored with the Hollywood scene.
And if you don't
want photogs taking your picture anymore, go to Namibia. And stay there. You're boring Quint and me.
I'm not a movie critic. I'm too busy painting the kitchen cabinets (still) and blowing leaves in the yard (we got
half of them blown and torched yesterday afternoon).
My idea of a great movie star is the late Anne Bancroft --
especially in Charing Cross Road with Anthony Hopkins. I also like Peter O'Toole -- especially in A Lion
in Winter with Katherine Hepburn. O'Toole has been nominated for the big O no less than seven times, but has yet
to win. He's hoping to this year. O'Toole did get one honorary Oscar. What is that?!!
So this year, O'Toole
plays an old geezer thespian who is trying to woo a nineteen year old into some kind of romance. Hey, that's just almost
not legal. Guess guys always dream of high energy in their later years. Im just wondering if O'Toole is really acting
all that much. It's not a movie that I'd spend ten bucks to see.
The Russian spy died, by the way. Doctors
in intensive care in London are not real sure why. Quint has an idea -- suspected polonium would probably do it.
We had a long conversation last night about the deadliness of thallium. I also learned a lot of exciting new things about
many other chemical elements in some kind of table.
Madame Curie named the element after Poland, her native land.
Polonium is pretty deadly stuff. It's also readioactive. It's also found in smoke detectors. It's an ionizing medium
-- whatever that is. That, in a nutshell, is all I know about this chemical of death.
It's at least as bad
as rattlesnake venom. Because of that, it should be avoided by anyone who values life of self.
Speaking of table,
there was something in Alabama that didn't set well with the Lt. Guv. She was rushed to the hospital after enjoying
the Thanksgiving Beast with family and friends in Birmingham. She'll spend a couple of days being medically surveiled,
running tests and what-nots.
So why don't you just do the honorable thing and just quit, you goofball!! That is,
city alderman in Newport, Arkansas, Pinkey McFarlin. He pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. But here's
the rub. The very soonest that the mayor can get him out of office is December 28. Pinkey's term expires at the end of
So -- here's something new to add to the list of people never to vote for -- people whose name is
Pinkey -- and people whose eyebrows meet in the middle.
Here's another one for the "Just say you're
sorry" notebook. It happened in Los Angeles -- Carson High School, specifically. Seems that an article was published
in the school newspaper that compared a group of rowdy black students at a fast food restaurant to a "pack of monkeys."
The high school officials apologized. They said -- get this -- that an article is written anonymously each month by one
of the paper's top editors.
The paper could make everybody use a by-line. When I was doing journalism classes
in high school at the Paducah (Kentucky) Tilghman Bell, it was a really big deal to get a by-line. It
would seem to me that -- in the very first place -- that kind of observation does not even deserve a thimble full of
printer's ink -- but in the second place -- if you're going to make really stupid observations, put your name on it.
Then you could stand in front of your house that's freshly painted pink and yellow and purple and say, "Golly
gee, now who do you think could be mad at me." And after that, the roving Picassos could just shrug
and say they were sorry and that they didn't know what got into them.
Kind of like Seinfeld's Richards for
his non-so-funny rant the other night.
Just say you're sorry. It's the American way. You've been busted!
Just remember, cell phones are everywhere. Snap. Snap.
So quick picking your noses at red lights. And roll
your windows up if you insist on singing when you can't carry a tune in a bucket.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
THANKSGIVING TRIBUTE TO OUR FAT FEATHERED FRIENDS
When we arrived in Effingham, we were greeted by our little feathered friends who were practically waiting for us with
knife and fork in hand. Last week we filled up a bird feeder by the back door. Put out nearly 8 pounds of grub for the little
feathers. They almost ate it all.
The word went out across the feather-waves that for a good time, come to the
Reinheimers. There's plenty for all!
So we are on our way to Wal-Mart for more bird chow. We're particularly
partial to songbirds, like Cardinals.
There were beautiful bright red Cardinals posted as lookouts. They probably
recognized our car, since it is also red. They must think our Focus is some kind of hugely humongous red bird.
don't know much about other birds -- can recognize a sparrow and a Cardinal and a Hummingbird, Blue Jay, and Woodpecker.
All the other birds are Dowdy Birds (if you're a female anything), and Puff Birds (if you're cold.) Even a sparrow
turns into a puff bird and gets to be about the size of a small eagle when it's shivering.
The guy birds are
the prettiest. Mother Nature gives them the fanciest outfits.
Anyway, there's just about enough food left for
them to have a nice brunch. Then we'll be back with more vittles.
Our other big adventure for the morning was
finding a WI-FI place so that I could post this blog. Wouldn't want to disappoint any of you who might wonder what the
silly Reinheimers are up to in Effingham. There are several WI-FI places in Effingham although they're closed for Thanksgiving.
Doesn't matter. We can slurp up the wiffy waves from their parking lot. Yay.
Then, after a big Thanksgiving
lunch, I'm going to get back at the leaves. Still have about a half acre of leaves to corral. Then I'm going to torch
them. Smells like childhood to me.
We hope you're having a great Thanksgiving. Be careful with the turkey.
It's loaded with tryptophan, you know.
Tryptophan may sound like Superman stuff but it isn't. Rather,
it's the active ingredient in many sleep aids, which is why you always want to take a nap after Thanksgiving dinner.
And you probably thought it was all that pumpkin pie.
Catch you later.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
TAKE LOTS OF DEEP BREATHS AND LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS
Aren't the holidays great?
All those festive, mood-enhancing hugs and kisses at the top of the love pyramid.
Stress-free living for one entire day. Wouldn't it be great?
There are two neat little tricks that you can
do right now -- today -- to help make your holiday stress free no matter who's screaming and yelling around you.
I know. I know. Some of you have irritable teeny boppers running around your house, full of little ego-popping naughty
Makes Norman Rockwell look like a fibber.
But if you are reading this, you are coming down to
the wire. The big bird is waiting for you. Glowering at you every time you open the refrigerator. Hoping you'll pick someone
else to cook. "Hey, how about the pork roast," the turkey shouts. "Or the ham. People like ham. Choose someone
"Nope," you say. "All twenty-one pounds of your lovely mound of flesh is going to hit
the roasting pan. So just keep your feeble little ant-size brain's opinion to yourself."
And about that
time, someone is bound to come into the kitchen. "Hey, mom, who are you talking to?"
At this point, the
safest thing for you to do is deny that you are talking to a dead bird sitting in your refrigerator. There's just no sense
in going into this holiday season looking like you have three heads.
Take deep breaths. If you do it right and
breathe from the diaphragm, you can actually stop the production of those stress chemicals that get pumped out of your adrenal
glands. You can tell if you're breathing from the diaphragm if you put your open palm on your tummy and when you inhale
your tummy pooches out.
If your shoulders are lifting up as if you suddenly became six inches taller, you are
not breathing from your diaphragm. The object of diaphragm breathing is to get the pressure off the organs in the middle of
your body. Especially the adrenal glands which are sitting up there on top of your kidneys.
Now you only need five
or six good deep breaths to get you calmed down again. So close your eyes, think pleasant thoughts of a nice sunny beach somewhere
-- preferably a place where you had a good time and didn't get bit by anything.
Like those microscopic fire
ants on a beach on Sanibel Island. Or Ft. Lauderdale.
Think of something wonderful -- like an adoring husband
who rubs your back down with slathery stuff, then dashes off to get you another sippy smoothie to add to your umbrella collection.
The next trick in conquering the stressors-on-patrol is to lower your expectations. I mean really lower them. It is,
after all, the holidays.
For high holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, I try to get my expectations as close
to zero as I can.
I say things to myself like:
No one's coming over.
Everyone will be late.
People will forget it's Thanksgiving.
No one will bring the side dishes they volunteered to make.
The turkey won't be done.
I'll forget to put all the food out. (I forgot the cranberry sauce
Guests will put on phony manners and say a lot of insincere stuff.
Guests will be rude and
Quint will disappear when I need his help.
Quint will be my shadow and I'll trip over him all day.
Everybody will be standing in the doorway when I'm trying to move food from the kitchen to dining room.
will eat too much.
No one will eat anything.
That just about covers my expectations.
I like to
put the bird into the oven about midnight. I let it cook at 250 degrees until I get up about 6 am. Then I bump the temperature
up to 350 and cook the turkey until it's done. I do not rely on those little popper things. Instead, I pull my handy dandy
little meat thermometer out of the back of the junk drawer in my kitchen and cook the turkey until the "fowl" temperature
Then, if you've put sugar into your pumpkin pie -- the magic ingredient I happened to have forgotten
one year -- you'll have a great day.
It's open season on the holidays. Just think, you can go shopping
on Friday. And work yourself up into an absolute frenzy by December 24. J
ust do yourself a big favor -- wrap the
presents as you buy them. Otherwise, you're going to be up until dawn on Christmas morning.
Changing the subject,
I have to tell you about the devotional series that I'll be putting on the blog starting December 3. December 3rd is the
first day of Advent. So there will be an additional blog each day starting in Advent.
Advent is a time of preparation
for the birth of Jesus Christ. The blog devotionals will give us something to think about as we ready ourselves for the real
reason that we celebrate Christmas in the first place.
Think -- deep breaths. And I call
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
IF YOU ARE FLYING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, GET TO AIRPORT PLENTY EARLY
The simplest solution of all would be to get to the airport the night before and just camp out. That could be a wonderful
adventure -- unless you're traveling with the kiddos.
Quint and I are lucky, in a way. O'Hare Airport has
about a half a zillion little restaurants. From the time we step into the airport proper until we actually get to the gate,
we could graduate from small little chest twinges to a full-blown coronary just by looking at all the fast-food, not-good-for-you
To reduce the amount of stressors that hassles with security gate people can cause, we try to
arrive at the airport at least three hours early. We plan this arrival into the concept of our traveling adventure.
At O'Hare Airport, we go through a lot of screenings -- all in the name of security -- so I'm not complaining. It's
just one of the things we are willing to give up so that we can fly without fear of falling out of the sky because some idiots
hauled out red bandanas from their pockets and started running around the cabin screaming that they were going to paradise
and taking us along as uninvited guests.
Nope. I'll just shut my big fat mouth and go through the pre-screening.
That's where TSA separates out people who truly need to be on the "No Fly List" and us. We get those big SSSSSs
down in the right hand corner of our ticket when we print it out at the ticket kiosk. (I have it on good authority that there
are about 40,000 names on the current "No Fly List.")
The extra Ss don't mean we're extra special.
It means we need to be scrutinized. We made the unthinkable error once by purchasing a one-way ticket to Kansas City when
my mom was in the hospital and we weren't sure when we'd be returning. Actually, we had round trip tickets. We just
weren't booked on a return flight.
Who knows but what Grandma and Grandpa here might have been going to Cow
Town to blow something up. One can never be too sure.
So we get invited over to a corner by TSA agents who are
young enough to be our grandchildren. They apologize when they have us stand there as if we were figureheads adorning
the front of the Titanic, while they "wand" us down. They try to tell us that the Ss are put on tickets by a totally
Nonsense. For us, it's 100% of the time. How random is that?
Once we clear that
screening, we proceed to the next stop. That's Checkpoint #1. This is where we take off our shoes and walk in stocking
feet. We get our shoes back when it's absolutely for sure certain that we don't have any little bomb-making pieces
hidden in the souls, or explosives anywhere.
Now we get to go through the metal detector. We've already taken
our glasses off. And belts, if we wore them. And rings and bracelets and other silly stuff we've worn because we weren't
From now on, all my travel jewelry is going to be plastic. It will add a new chic to
This is also where Quint gets a new pocketknife. He never remembers to leave his stabbing equipment at
home. And since he's been carrying a little pocketknife since he was about nine years old, it's part of his body weight.
The last ten pocketknives he's purchased have all said "Welcome to Chicago."
After the great fun
we have at the metal detector, we proceed to the puffer gate. I'm not for sure what this is but I think it may be part
of a cataract detection system that the optometrists lobbied for. They have a strong lobby in Washington, you know.
After it's determined that I do not have cataracts, we proceed to -- you guessed it -- the Secondary Screening.
Sometimes this is where the wanding down or patting down takes place. It depends. In a big airport like O'Hare where
no one is in much of a hurry, we could get wanded twice. What a thrill.
Then, finally, we get to go to the Departure
Gate. Even after all that, some 25% of all dangerous stuff is missed by the wandings, puffings, and patting-downs.
But they never miss Quint's boyhood tool, his pocketknife.
We check in at the gate. We always do this
just to let the airline know that we are in the building and they should not let the plane take off without us.
we get to have breakfast, or lunch, or something in between. It depends on what time our flight is supposed to leave.
Then I buy about three newspapers to read on the plane. Quint has a book. We get a fresh cup of coffee and go back to our
gate and try to figure out which one of the persons is the air marshall who's been assigned to protect us during flight.
Since I'm the psychologist, Quint lets me win. He hates it when I mope. Actually, since I'm the paralegal,
I present a stronger argument. But then, on the other hand, since Quint is the scientist, he thinks his lab skills make him
a better observer. We pool our resources and come up with one or two sure-fire candidates. Mind you, we never test our observations
by actually going up to our suspected-marshall-on-board to introduce ourselves. We just surveil our suspect for
the entire flight.
We amuse ourselves like a couple of three year olds until the time to board -- about five minutes
Then we go to our seats and sit there for another forty-five minutes because planes never depart on time.
Monday, November 20, 2006
WHAT'S A GOOD CREDIT SCORE AND HOW CAN I MAKE MINE BETTER?
So what's the big deal about having a good FICO score -- and, for that matter, what is FICO anyway?
credit reporting agencies have your number. Your FICO number, that is.
FICO is a brain child, if you will, of an
organization called Fair Isaac. When loan officers talk about FICO scores, they are all talking about the same thing. Credit
The national average FICO is 678.
Anything between 760 and 850 is super dooper excellent.
That puts you at the top of the heap.
How that translates into money for you means that the better your FICO score,
the better interest rate you qualify for.
If you want to borrow $300,000 for a mortgage, then with a high FICO,
you'd qualify for a 5.8% loan. Or, if your FICO was between 620-659 (which puts you in a risky category for credit worthiness),
about the best you could hope for would probably be in the range of 7.2%.
Big big difference.
say you've been sailing along -- kind of goofing off a bit here and there. Not too worried about your FICO.
After all, you're just out of college and you've had a little bit more fun than you should have with the MasterCard
and Visa. Maybe you've told yourself that you're young and have lots of time to correct credit mistakes you've
Maybe you hadn't even heard of FICO until yesterday when you got the bad news on a car loan application
that your rate would be 8.2% because your FICO was low -- like 590.
What are some quick fixes to get your FICO
boosted up there?
Unfortunately, there aren't exactly any quick fixes.
The people who move money
around like to have access to your credit history. For years and years and years. Any naughty stuff you've done, like
not paid your bills on time -- to the point where your creditors have had to get a collection agency to make you pay back
money you asked them to loan you -- will stay on your report for a long time.
Collection agency stuff stays on
your credit reports for seven years or so.
The very best thing you can do, right now, this month is to pay your
bills on time. All your bills. And pay them on time each and every month. Fair Isaac likes that. And he'll be kinder to
you if you develop this kind of credit habit.
You don't do yourself any favors, either, by keeping your
credit cards maxed out. That brings your FICO down.
And when you're walking through the mall, don't open
an account at each and every store you go into. I don't care if they offer you a 10% discount. Having a bunch of credit
cards open is going to make your FICO score sink like a rock.
Even when you close a credit card account, the payment
history stays on your credit report.
Quint and I have credit card accounts that we've paid off fifteen years
ago. The report is still out there. Fortunately, in the payment history column there are all "1s." That means we
paid the account each and every month. What you don't want in that column are "2s" and "3s." That
would mean you were making payings every other month (every 2nd month = a 2) or every third month (every 3rd month = a 3).
While you may be able to get an account open -- like that $300,000 mortgage, it could mean that instead of paying
the best interest rate of 5.886%, you'd be paying 9.134% instead.
That's a difference of $1,777 at the
5.886% and $2,443 at the 9.134% rate.
Your good credit score is worth more than $600 a month for that mortgage
What's worse, I just read an article last week about insurance companies being able to check your
credit report so that they could set your insurance premium rate. A great hue and cry went out through the greenback community
and then the insurance companies all said -- at the same time -- oh, we would never do a thing like that!
emphatically say, "Yeah, right."
HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN -- OR ARE THEY?
House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi has made a most interesting promise to develop her agenda of getting us in the middle-class
out of our financial squeeze.
So how's she gonna do this and what's her plan?
she's going to try to see to it that bills are passed that will raise the minimum wage.
She wants to cut interest
rates for student loans.
And she wants to do something with Medicare that will somehow mean lower drug prices
Interestingly enough, what isn't on her agenda is a return of the military draft. Charlie Rangel,
D-New York, has been tauting and shouting this as his agenda.
I, for one, get really worried when anyone from the
government says they're going to help me. Somehow it always ends up costing me a wheelbarrow full of money.
I don't know what this guy from New York is talking about. One minute, the Dems are talking about reducing the size of
the military and pulling out of Iraq post-haste. The next time we hear them talking, they want a military draft because we're
going to need a lot more soldiers if we have to go into Iran and Syria.
Huh? Where did that come from?
And then there's Mr. Hard-to-Understand, Henry Kissinger. He says a military victory is not possible in Iraq. I find
that hard to believe.
If you look up "military might" in the dictionary, you see a picture of the United
States. We are the biggest and the best.
If Mr. H-T-U Kissinger thinks the American military is a bunch of babies
who can't fight a war, he needs to go watch "Flags of Our Fathers."
The American military is second
That makes me feel safer a nights, just knowing our navy is on patrol. Just knowing our air force is flying
over. Just knowing our army is walking the walk. And just knowing our marines have our hearts in their hearts.
single freedom we enjoy, we owe mightily to the men and women who serve in our armed forces. They keep our freedom alive
and working well.
And there you have it from one lonely little voice out here in the heartland.
WHAT OKLAHOMA REALLY NEEDS IS A PECAN PATROL
It was a long, hot summer.
In Ada, Oklahoma, that means that the pecan harvest will be delayed until about mid-December.
Naturally, a smaller and delayed harvest is going to translate into more money for nut lovers everywhere.
of pecans has jumped from $7.25 per pound all the way up to $8.50. There's "only" 20 million pounds to go around
to all us fudge makers this Christmas.
That's still a $170 million harvest.
Maybe next year, when
Quint and I are finished with our Corn Patrol in Illinois, we could head on over to Oklahoma and do a pro bono Pecan Patrol
for them. Maybe shaking a few trees would be helpful.
Then again, maybe the people in Oklahoma would have something
to say about a Nut Patrol from Illinois.
SHE WILL ALWAYS BE A LITTLE GIRL. She was not much bigger than a
doll herself when her father, President John Kennedy, was assasinated. A display of some 70 dolls that she received as gifts
from dignataries around the globe goes on display at the Truman Presidential Museum & Library in Independence, Missouri.
The dolls will be on display until March 15.
The Truman Library was one of mom's favorite places to take visiting
family and friends when she lived in Warrensburg, Missouri. It is a peaceful place set among towering trees in the local landscape.
Our trips out to visit her often included a trip to Truman's library.
Mom was a transplant from Paducah, Kentucky,
but oh, how she loved her adopted home state of Missouri.
I SAY WE MAKE DRUNK DRIVERS WEAR PINK JUMP SUITS.
The convicted drunk drivers in Tennessee don't like being shamed because their jump suits were supposed to have "I
am a Drunk Driver" written on them.
For shame -- too much shame.
Well, okay. When I see orange
jump suits, I figure they're all drunk drivers anyway. Maybe they are and maybe they aren't. But until drunk drivers
take responsibility for driving when they have too much alcohol in their blood, we aren't going to get anywhere with DUI
I favor the idea of pink jump suits. It's kind of like the Maricopa County Sheriff making the inmates
in his jails wear pink boxer shorts. These inmates do their time out in the desert. It's so hot out there that the inmates
often strip down to their undies. Pink. They're not going anywhere. And they certainly are not going to take any chances
in heading out across a desert that's loaded with inhospitable slithery things like the Diamondback Rattlesnake, which
is known to get really big. More than 8' big. With a big bite to match.
THE CHILDREN IN AMERICA ARE DOING
WHAT THEY DO BEST -- BEING COMPASSIONATE
Children in the United States raised money by saving their pennies to
pay for shipping the Statue of Liberty from France. This is a little known fact that gets lost from our collective memory.
Yes, it's true that the children in France raised the money to make the Statue of Liberty. But who knows where the lady
of the harbor would have stayed had it not been for all those pennies collected by U.S. schoolchildren.
little tykes are going to send Christmas cheer to the schoolchildren in Iraq. For the last couple of months, some twenty kindergarten
students have been collecting school supplies to send to the children in Iraq.
Okay, so it's a holiday gift,
not so much a Christmas gift. It's just that the supplies will arrive about mid-December.
KATE SMITH STILL DOES IT BEST
For those of you whose patriotic hearts swell at
the sound of "God Bless America" -- and for those who still feel a tingle of national pride, you can listen to Kate
Smith singing this Irving Berlin favorite.
When President Roosevelt introduced Kate Smith to King George VI of
England, Roosevelt said, "Miss Smith is America."
Not only that, but in just one hour on CBS radio,
Smith sold $107 million in war bonds.
She was truly a national treasure.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
HERE'S YOUR BIG CHANCE -- ELVIS TRYOUTS IN TUPELO, MISS
It's hard to believe that Elvis was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, in 1935 -- that would make him 72 on his next birthday
I can understand how Tupelo was one of the cities that earned a slot in the finals competition for
Elvis Week -- August 11-19 -- but what I don't understand is how Toronto, Canada, got the other slot.
for the other city, why not Memhis where Graceland is? At least Elvis lived there.
Oh well. This is the first annual
Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest so maybe they'll figure it out next year and keep the festival somewhere in the
I'LL BET YOU WISH I'D GET OFF THIS VOTE SUBJECT -- Some of the legislative races
in South Dakota were so narrow that the loser can ask for a recount. Kind of automatically. That would be a margin of some
twenty or so votes in Sioux Falls -- and 32 votes in Aberdenn.
I'll just bet you the precinct captains -- for
both parties -- are kicking themselves for not picking people up and driving them to the polls. I think this would be a great
opportunity to have a pot luck lunch for people who go vote. Make it a big party -- patriotic song singalongs, a warm lunch,
red-white-blue desserts, etc. Get a big stretch van and call it a "VOTEMOBILE" and go get people, bring 'em
back to a lunch hall of some sort, and then entertain them for a while.
Hey, there's a whole bunch of seniors
out there who would enjoy having such an outing for the day.
And since election day is the one day of the year that
we apparently don't have the need for separation of church and state, maybe the churches that are the polling places would
also consider being a host site for a luncheon.
GOOSE LIVERS MAY BE A DELICACY BUT -- I'M SORRY -- CAPONS
At least not in my book. The Humane Society in New York is suing because foie gras producers do mean things
to the birds by force feeding the little darlings so their livers get fat.
Goose fat is not one of my favorite
dishes -- although the livers might have been okay before they were tampered with.
But what about the poor rooster
who has his little thingeys cut off to fatten up the roosters. I haven't heard about any Humane Society finding fault
with that process.
Just ask the rooster how he feels. Being Sunday dinner is bad enough, but do we have to mutilate
the animals before we kill them?
DID YOU EVER WONDER WHAT HAPPENED TO "TURKEY BYPRODUCTS?" -- Gee,
I thought pretty much all of the turkey was there when I bought it. Aren't the byproducts what's in that little
bag of secret parts and pieces (that I accidentally left in the bird one year and it got cooked, right along with the rest
of the bird and we didn't even die).
The people in Carthage, Missouri, don't care for the way the secret
parts and pieces smell. Okay, maybe they're talking about the wet feathers and spindly little turkey legs. Anyway, it
must stink pretty bad because a company known as Renewable Environmental Solutions spend more than $3 million on odor
controlling equipment. That way, people will quit suing this company because they make the air smell bad.
you guys should have come over to Chicago when we had the stockyard here. You should have tried driving on Archer Avenue
through the Back of the Yards area on a hot summer day without a clothespin for your nose.
parts of the turkey are renewable, for heavens sake!
UH OH, I'M DETOURING AROUND NEBRASKA -- especially
since a new state law allows everybody to carry a concealed handgun starting January 2nd. Governor Heineman just approved
the curriculum for classes that will teach people how to carry a handgun properly.
After you take the class (and
pass it), then you can go to one of the state police places for a permit. The permit costs $100.
Bullets not included.
NEW LAW IN WISCONSIN: INATTENTIVE DRIVING -- Oh boy. We should have seen this one coming. If you're using
your cell phone in Glendale, Wisconsin (a suburb of Milwaukee) you most definitely should not be driving.
are talking on the phone and driving and you are in an accident, it will be assumed that the driver who is on the phone is
the one at fault. Then you pay a $96 fine. Plus damages to the other vehicle, I'm guessing.
But what if both
drivers are on the phone? Then what?
I only mention this because a whole bunch of people from the Chicago area
go up the Milwaukee area during football season and baseball season. That's pretty much the whole year, isn't it?
And that's just about a wrap. Tomorrow is Sunday -- a day of worship and a day of the refreshment of rest.
I will be back Monday morning this week since we didn't go to Effingham. We'll be heading down, instead, on
Wednesday for Turkey Day.
IT'S GOOD TO HAVE TIME TO WIND DOWN
We all need time to wind down -- to gently nudge ourselves in our different direction.
Abruptness often brings
about transition problems as we try to adjust to the world spinning us around too fast.
We see such a quick spin
right after the holidays. The big let-down hits us right after the first of the year. All those dreams of a wonderful family
time and jolly old ho-ho-hos. The Norman Rockwell holiday, to some, seem more a fiction than a reflection of reality.
For you, I hope that the holidays bring a lot of family, food and football.
And I pray that each of you can
slip into the new year without feeling like you've lost the traction that holds you on life's tracks of reality.
I hope you can keep that in mind as this holiday season gears up.
Now is the time to steel your resolve
that this year will be a different expression of what the holidays truly mean. Christmas especially is a spiritual holiday.
It is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
I will be posting a blog for a daily devotion during the Advent
season that starts December 3. I hope that you will join me as I try to prepare for the spiritual Christmas. But more about
that in a later blog.
What started my thinking down this whole transition spiral was watching the motorcade of
the President and First Lady as they tool around around South Korea and Viet Nam. They're treated like royalty as they
go from one gala to another.
So, in one way, and only in a small little sliver of reality kind of way, having these
two years to settle down and get used to the idea of moving out of the Big House, is a good time for a slow transition for
It will be soon enough for them to get back to Texas. Two years is plenty of time for a gentle transition.
There will be time for an emotional disconnect from all the propensities of power.
Shucky darn. They'll probably
have to leave the chef behind. And staff. And personal secretaries who do all the logistics of their globe-trotting. When
I think about it, I can't quite picture Former First Lady Barbara Bush calling up American Airlines and ordering tickets.
But back to our little people worlds.
I knew I was getting behind when my sister, Cookie, told me
the other day that she was starting to work on her Christmas cards. For years and years and years, Cookie's card has always
arrived on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
My cards, on the other hand, can arrive anywhere between December 1st
and Epiphany, which is January 6th. It's one of the ways I get into the Christmas spirit. I truly enjoy getting the cards
out and writing little notes for our friends who live in faraway places.
Listening to Christmas carols is another
beautiful way to get into a holiday spirit. I found a beautiful web site at http://ingeb.org that has the words and music to many of the Christmas carols. There are many other choices to select -- patriotic songs,
folk songs, etc. Hope you enjoy.
I'm also adding this web site to the list of links on this web site, along
with two others I found. Like the most haunting of all songs, to me, is the Navy Hymn. Reminds me of my brothers,
uncles and cousins who were in the navy. Aside from that, though, it's a beautiful song. On this particular web site,
the song is sung.
Friday, November 17, 2006
DESPITE BORAT, LITERACY RATE OF KAZAKHSTAN IS 98%
Sasha Cohen, a Cambridge educated Jew, brings us what looks like a world champion nitwit. His movie, Borat, is
now enjoying some pretty good sales figures at the box office. Like Mencia on Comedy Central, no one but absolutely
no one is safe from his blistering, in-your-face humor.
I only mention that he's a Jew because he promotes
the annual running of the Jew as his country's big festival each year. I also hasten to point out that there is no
such festival. The real truth is that the country just dedicated the largest synagogue in Central Asia.
says that a delicacy in his country is cheese made from human breast milk. This is also not true. But what is true would have
little appeal to me -- the traditional besparmak which is a dish of boiled horsemeat and noodles. Uh, no thank you.
I'll just have a PBJ, which is a delicacy in the United States. It can be found anywhere that peanut butter, bread and
jelly can be found.
But don't let the humor fool you or the stupid looking villagers from his home back
in Kazakhstan, and all the absolutely frantic antics he delivers while trying to get from New York to California.
The literacy rate of Kazakhstan is higher than the U.S. In this country, we are at 97%, that's 55th in the world. Pretty
puny for a country that prides itself in being the best of the best!
Not only that, but there are 30 million people
in the U.S. above the age of 16 who cannot read a bus schedule. This is the same group of people who struggle to read
a newspaper article.
Oh my goodness -- and 70% of the people in state and federal prisons can barely read.
Literacy is defined as being able to read at fourth grade level.
I'm beginning to see a relationship
between poverty and crime and unemployment and human rights abuses -- all tied to literacy, or the lack of it.
tied for first place in literacy rates of 99.9% are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark,
Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Luxenbourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland,
and the United Kingdom.
So we're the richest country in the world with a net worth of $10 trillion dollars.
How come we can't read any better than that?
A PERFECT SCORE IS 300 IN SCIENCE AND BOWLING
Let me see -- when I was teaching psychology at both Moraine Valley College and Joliet Junior College, an F was any score
The fourth graders in the United States got an average score on a national science test of
As Borat would say, thatsa not so hotso. In fact, it's a nation full of
The big deal headline on the news channels here in the Chicago area yesterday was that Chicago students
tied for the worst science score in the country. Chicago tied with Los Angeles with 42%. Cleveland and Boston were only slightly
better than Chicago.
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the top ten cities scored like
this: Austin -- 147; Charlotte -- 145; Houston -- 138; San Diego -- 138; New York -- 134; Atlanta -- 133; Boston -- 133; Cleveland
-- 128; Los Angeles -- 126 and then there's Chicago -- 126.
That was the fourth graders.
graders didn't do any better. In fact, their scores went down.
Presumably, 8th graders should be reading better
and understanding bigger and better words than their little brothers and sisters in the 4th grade.
Hah! We wish.
Here's how the 8th graders scored: Austin -- 144; Charlotte -- 142; San Diego -- 136; Boston -- 131; Houston --
130; New York -- 128; Chicago -- 124; Cleveland -- 122; Los Angeles -- 121; Atlanta -- 117.
Those scores would
have to be at least 195 out of 300 questions just to be at the F/D threshold.
Now, hold those thoughts for just
a second and visualize the long, long lines of people camped out for the last couple of days (since Tuesday) in front of Wal-Marts
and Best Buys and Targets and Circuit Cities and every other store that put the PS3 on sale this morning for $500.
There's only 400,000 units available anywhere in this country today. At the bargain basement level price of
$500 -- not the E-bay going-for-bid price of $5,000 -- those 400,000 units will set out for $200 million.
does that have to do with education?
A whole lot, my friends.
People are not just standing in line,
but setting up cute little pup tents on cold, wet concrete sidewalks around stores that sell a computer program box and
little game thingeys that kids can play.
It's about motivation.
Our great educational gurus
need to figure out a way to make learning enjoyable and yes, I dare say, fun.
There are millions of youngsters
out there in unitedstatesofamericaland who are more than willing to learn. The adults who are the educators have a responsibility to
make learning interesting.
In fact, the teachers need to learn how to make learning fun.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
I LEARNED TWO THINGS FROM DANCING WITH STARS
I had no idea who Emmitt Smith was. Now I know.
I had no idea Smith was the all-time NFL rusher of all-time. Did
I say all-time? I thought that title was still held by Chicago's own, Walter Payton. Not a Dallas Cowboy, for cryin'
I had no idea who M.C. Hammer was. He thought Emmitt's rendition of his famous dancing style was
pretty cool. Good job/sport, Mr. Hammer. Did you invent all that fancy footwork by yourself?
Some dancing. And
don't you love Smith's cute little green shoes he wore for his final number? Judy Gardland, step aside. Your little
red sequin numbers from the Wizard of Oz can't hold a candle to Smith's adorable gold "foot mittens," or
his green ones either.
What I liked most about Smith was his quiet, noble not-in-your face arrogance. For that,
I'm glad he won.
A bit unlike the new Mega Mouth in Washington, D.C. who just lost her first big political
battle in The Dome. "Murtha's got the votes," we all heard. Then some guy from Maryland came from seemingly
out of nowhere and got more votes.
Having eaten more than my share of crow, I would suggest to Her that it would
be a good time for the grandma from California to stop making pronouncements about victories she hasn't won yet.
It's just a thought.
THE QUEEN IS COMING, THE QUEEN IS COMING -- BUT SHE'S NOT BRINGING HER GREEN
This will be E2's fourth state visit to the colonies. She's coming in May to celebrate the 400th
anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, a little hamlet that the Brits lost when we declared war on those guys over there.
She'll be bringing The Big Prince -- Mr. Phillip from Edinburgh.
She will not be bringing her Little
Green Prince -- Mr. Charles from Windsor. Bonnie Green Prince Charles has put all his staff out on bikes. Saves petrol, you
know. Hence, he's green.
Does that mean he won't be driving his Jag anymore?
Does that mean
the Green Prince is really England's secret toad?
But I probably won't be invited
to the E2 festivities either. Guess I'll just have to wait for the video.
Don't you just love all
these cute little technicolored "pets?" If the Green Prince doesn't suit your fancy, how about the Blue Dogs?
(Blue Dogs were formed in 1994.The name comes from some old saying that Southerners would vote for a yellow dog.
But a Blue Dog is a conservative who believes in such gasping ideas as a balanced budget and reduced federal budget mostly.
A blue dog is a moderate who has been "choked blue" by Democrats for a long time.)
Dogs are what the conservative House Democrats are called. These are the winners who took Republican seats in this last
election. The Republicans didn't lose their elections to liberal Democrats, but rather, to Blue Dogs.
I don't think the Republicans lost as much as they gave the election away. With only 40% of the good citizens in this
country going to the polls, there were a whole bunch of lazy people who couldn't get off their you know whats and get
to the polls.
The votes were within a hair's breath of going either way, so I shouldn't say so much about
the Republicans. The Democrats were playing hooky too.
So all you voters out there have exactly two years to beef
up on high energy drinks. Then maybe you can make it to the polls.
Otherwise, just remember -- there will be no
complaining in paradise!
AND NOW FOR MY QUICK TRIP AROUND THE WHIRLWIND IN MY HEAD -- AND OTHER PLACES
Some pastor in Scottsdale, Arizona, has to pay back $60,000 he stole from his church. See, Rev., if you steal, you
don't break just one of the Big Ten. There's those little lies you tell, if only to yourself. That's another commandment.
It's a lie even if you just tell yourself that it's okay to steal because the church isn't paying
you all that much anyway. See, your pay is a contract your have with your church. A contract is negotiated between TWO entities
-- you and your church.
If it wasn't enough money, you let yourself down. Now you have to go and explain your
at-least-two sins. There's probably more in there by the time you get around to the envy and coveting parts of the tail
end of the commandment list.
It reminds me of a similar situation here in the south suburbs of Chicago. It involved
a treasurer of a local church. She used to take the money home on Sunday afternoons, count it, then deposit the money on Monday
One day, the president of the church went into the bank about an entirely different matter and the
teller just kind of off-handedly remarked, "Gee, you guys don't deposit any twenties anymore." Quite frequently,
this particular teller would double-check the deposit from the church treasurer on Monday mornings.
So then began a sting operation of twenties going into the offering plates, with serial numbers recorded on a little sheet
of paper. The twenties never found their way into the church's bank account. Can you imagine such a thing?
of thousands of dollars later, the treasurer came up on stealy-skulduggery charges. Got seven years, she did! And she had
to give the money back.
And this note is from the Blue Blood State of Connecticut. A man drove over his wife
when she wouldn't quit nagging him about a ticket he got. A jury found Walter Blakeslee guilty of manslaughter because
they didn't think he really meant to actually kill his wife.
So you think he was just trying to scare her into
shutting up. Well, she's dead, not scared. But he did manage to shut her up.
Too bad they didn't try him
for murder. I say that anytime you run over your wife with your pickup truck, you're probably intending for her to die.
But I haven't finished enough of John Grisham's books yet to be any good in a court room. King of
Torts is my next book. Death by car definitely seems like a breach of tort. (A tort is when you hurt someone but
it's tried in civil court not criminal court.)
Definitely looks like a case of child abuse to me. A dad
in West Palm Beach, Florida, was pulled over doing 100 MPH in a construction zone on I-95. He had his 13 year old son in the
car with him. It was 3 a.m. Just a tiny guess, but do you think it might be possible that he could have had a bit to drink?
Just wondering. He was charged with both child abuse AND reckless driving.
You will not get away
with that kind of speeding through construction zones any longer here in Illinois. We have cameras all over the place,
especially in construction zones.
Mainly because we had a lot of Florida-type-speeders knocking off our construction
workers last summer and summer before last.
It's a $375 fine. Plus administrative and processing fees (to cash
your check, heh heh heh). Brings the total to more than $500, suckers!
And don't worry one bit about the state
(and City of Chicago) spending "all that money" on camera equipment. Last month alone, the state of Illinois netted
$1,245,000 from people speeding through construction zones and running red lights and just general everyday garden variety speeding
If that didn't make the caution light go off in your brain, then consider this:
The City of Chicago was recently looking for a way to close a $10 million gap in a budget shortfall. The State of
Illinois is always looking for a million dollars here, and a million dollars there.
If traffic violators can ante
up mega millions from bad driving habits, don't you think there are going to be more, not less, cameras?
the ACLU, that bastion of protection for all the n'er-do-wells in this country said, "There's no way to defend
this kind of ticket."
The ticket comes in the mail to you from the Secretary of State's Office. It has
a photo of who's driving your car. (Probably looks like you.) And there's a photo of your license plate. Then there's
that little print-off in the right hand bottom corner that says what the date and the time was and how fast your car was going.
If perchance you think you'll just ignore the ticket and not pay for it, then guess what?
drivers license will be suspended. And the next time you get pulled over for any old thing, you'll be driving without
a valid license. It goes downhill from there.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP!
TURNS OUT, GOD DID IT -- High mercury content in the water runoff at the Salmon Falls Reservoir has long been suspect.
The good ole environmentalists have been running around Rogerson, Idaho, looking for the bad guys. They were mainly
focused on mercury being carried on the wind from nearby Nevada gold mines.
I have it on very tood authority
from my retired analytical research chemist husband Quint that Mercury is very heavy and even if it got picked up by big winds,
it wouldn't go very far.
Besides, it turns out that the mercury is naturally occurring. So there.
ACTUALLY, THIS MAKES A LOT OF SENSE TO ME
Vermont does not like drunk drivers. Especially late at night.
Not that imbibers haven't figured out that all they have to do is take their reveling little hearts
over the state line and party, party, party in New York.
Just don't drive back home, folks.
Officer Friendly awaits.
When you cross the state line back into Vermont, your blood alcohol content does not
miraculously and instantly get back down to the legal limit.
Besides, that is not what we call responsible drinking.
So if you have more than you should, just stay put and get a room in New York. Or have a designated driver to haul you back
The rule is one ounce of alcohol an hour. That's all your liver can process.
an ounce of alcohol in a 12-ounce beer.
There's an ounce of alcohol in one shot of alcohol -- like vodka,
or rum, or gin, etc..
There's an ounce of alcohol in a six ounce glass of wine.
So you may think
you can drink a couple of cups of coffee and it will sober you up. Or any of your other favorite anti-drunk trick drinks.
It just is not so.
Your liver doesn't work that way. It's a stubborn, methodical little chemical factory
that lives somewhere approximately behind your belly button. And it won't get in a hurry just because you have to get
Better yet, when the bartender calls "Last call," don't go running over there and getting two
for the road, one for the booth, and one for now.
That is not being responsible. It's abusing alcohol.
SOUNDS LIKE A TYPICAL BUREAUCRATIC BUDGET TO ME
All it cost Ohio cell phone users is 32 cents a month.
That way, technology would be put into place to find out where 911 calls are coming from.
Sounds like a great idea.
There ae 88 counties in Ohio.
The state has collected $25.6 million so far. But only $16 million has
been distributed to about half the counties.
Sure hope the state will distribute the other almost nine million
to at least most of the other counties, and then they can stop collecting the thirty-two cents, right?
that takes care of the tidbits I found interesting from USA Today's trip around the United States.
HOW WOULD A MILLIONNAIRE KNOW WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO HAVE TO SHOP AT WAL-MART?
I saw a headline on CNN today that
says John Edwards and Barack Obama are teaming up with WakeUpWalMart.com to force the giant retailer to "put families
Unless I'm mistaken, Wal-Mart does an incredible job trying to get prices so that families can
get a break on their household budget expenses.
Not everyone in this country can afford to shop at Macy's or
Carsons or Nordstroms. Not everyone has a net worth of a million+ dollars.
Some of us have to go to stores
where we can afford to shop. The Wal-Marts and Targets of this world do us all a great service by keeping prices low. And
even that is often a challenge for today's families.
For instance, I ask moms and dads who come in for counseling
what they spend just on back-to-school supplies for their youngsters. It isn't unusual for parents who have three or four
kiddos to spend about $80 for each child.
It's a big deal expense just to get youngsters ready to go back to
school. And that's just the paper and pencils and boxes of tissues and other stuff that's required for each student.
Maybe the millionnaires ought to donate some of their spare change they get from their book sales and ticket sales
to their dinners. Maybe it would make people feel like politicians think voters' families are first, do you think?
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
ANY IDEAS ON HOW TO IMPROVE VOTER TURNOUT?
In this most recent election, there were a grand total of 78,707,495 voters who went to the polls.
40.4% turnout, according to the American University's Center for the Study of the American Electorate.
the turnout was 39.7% -- like this year is a big improvement.
The all-time high for a midtern election was back
in 1982 with an equally abominable 42.1%.
If you did not vote in the 2006 election, what would motivate you to
If you did vote and would like to share your thoughts, can you briefly tell me what moved you to go to the
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
and share your point of view. Please also let me know if you are willing to share your e-mail with other readers (first name
and city/state only will be used).
Thank you. -- Jane
MY FAVORITES FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY
But first, a really big welcome to our new German readers! I'm not sure how you found my blog, but it's a super-sized,
wonderful world out there and I hope you return often. You, and the readers from the Netherlands have elevated us to international
And I can hardly get my head through the door anymore. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome.
grandfather Leopold Stubbe hailed from Pottsdam in 1846. He settled in the Racine, Wisconsin, area. That takes care of my
mother's side of the family.
My father's people are Cherokee and they hailed from the Dallas, Texas --
Texarkana -- and Shreveport, Louisiana, area.
Now all I need to know -- because inquiring minds want to know --
is how these two people ever got together.
If there are any Haltom (father's side) or Stubbe (mother's
side) people out there who know this well-kept family secret, please let me know. I may want to write a book some day.
And now, on with the blog for today. Hopefully, we have a different flavor of humor than Borat has.
of Borat, now we have to add another sub-genre of humor -- raunchy!
Please don't sue me, Borat.
My choice of movies over the weekend was between Borat and Flag of Our Fathers. I was intrigued about
how a comedy that was heralded as uproariously funny could be rated R. Now, after having seen the movie, I know.
I think my favorite scene in the movie is when Borat presents the Wedding Bag to Pamela Anderson, his intended, never-before-met bride.
This is an ancient custom in Kazikstan. The idea is to put the bag over the woman's body and carry her off.
Borat hadn't had a real go at this trick with American women. We're more than a tad sharper than Kazikstan women,
I'd say. Pamela manages to get out of the bag, run off to safety, and leave her body guards are to deal with Borat.
So now I understand, from other scenes, why the movie is rated R. I also understand why the movie is outlawed in Russia.
And I think I understand why Borat is being sued by some people who say they were duped by him. It is hard for me to understand
how Borat could dupe anybody though.
If Borat isn't careful, he just may give Jack Nicholson a run for
his comedic money. To me, Borat is a cross between the Pink Panther and Nicholson. But that's just my opinion. Movie critic
I'm not. But I can spot inept from a distance, though.
On to my run around the United States -- thanks to USA
Today, one of my favorite newspapers.
From Colorado -- Glenwood Springs, specifically. Chopping-down-Christmas-tree
permits went on sale for the chopping-down-season which starts November 20. The permits cost $10 per tree, but get this --
you are limited to trees UNDER fifteen feet.
You're even provided with a map of the White River National Forest
so you can find the best area to go tree hunting. On the surface, this doesn't sound like such a big deal until you really
think about it.
I mean, who would cut down a tree taller than 15 feet and even if you did, what size Hummer would
you need to haul it out of the woods, and how big a crane would you need to hoist the darn think up on the top of your vehicle,
and where would you put it when you got it home? Your living room? I suppose if your house had a three story atrium, you'd
want a really tall tree. But aren't trees heavy?
How much would a twenty foot tree weigh? Quint's best
estimate -- including branches and cones -- would be about four hundred pounds. Definitely would not want to put that thing
either on a car or a Hummer. Squoosh would go the tires -- and boing would go the springs!
-- Look what they've done to Rudolph! Linda Peck's property in Rockville has now become a dump, of sorts.
Someone -- or someones -- have been gifting her with unused parts of deer -- about five of them in the last several
Problem is, the deer are now missing their hind quarters, hide and antlers.
That's a really
big no-no. Aside from the fact that her house is on private property, you can't just go shoot a deer all to pieces, then
take off the parts that you want and leave the rest behind.
Or even take the behind with you.
I say, if you're going to dump off a deer, leave the whole thing, fur and all.
From Nevada -- I think
you'd be able to spot the house without the tag on it.
Here's how brilliant citizens propose to figure
out how to spend their time in Reno.
An advisory board wants to put a big red tag on the houses that have had
repeated police calls for all the ruckus the residents cause -- things like kegger parties, excess ambulance calls and police
sirens blazing through the neighborhood.
So my question is this: If they're making that much noise, don't
you think the houses would be fairly easy to spot? Just follow your ears to the boomboxes.
-- A typical budget mess.
A cleanup project at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is woefully behind in its promised
schedule to cleanp stuff at the Molten Salt Reactor.
In fact, it's about twenty months behind schedule.
And $10 million over budget.
And the blame-it-all reason? Suspected drug use and other personnel issues.
My, oh my, oh my.
Not only that, but the cleaning has been HALTED since a fluorine leak was found in May.
Monday, November 13, 2006
NOTHING SAYS AUTUMN LIKE CRUNCHY LEAVES
With a yard that's 60 feet wide and 190 feet long, we have lots of leaves. That's primarily because of two giant
maples that think they're sequoias. I thought maples kind of settled down and quit growing at about thirty feet. Not so.
We have three maples that are at least fifty feet tall.
Fortunately for me, they have more than
an ample supply of leaves. They're also a pretty goldish-red when they turn color. So I'm happy! Only God can make
We arrived in Effingham on Friday afternoon. I practically leaped out of the car and charged to the basement
where my newest yard toy is stored -- a handy dandy leaf blower. The leaves were wet. Must have rained while we were gone.
I figured I'd blow the leaves way up in the air and that would kind of help dry them off a bit as they cascaded back to
Instead, I made a giant pile. Then it got dark. I was only about a sixth done.
Mother Nature had gifted me with a carpet of autumn splendor.
And Quint, who is ordinarily a super
sport of understanding, refused to put headlights on my leaf blower. The best he would do was to turn on the measly back porch
Then he came out and said the neighbors might appreciate it if I wasn't making so much racket.
Kind of like it they might be watching TV, or just enjoying what used to be a peacefully quiet evening.
was a new day. We made our regular sojourn to Menards. It turns out Quint is replacing the drain in the bathroom sink. And
grocery shopping on our way home.
We keep each other company when we shop. We've always had too
much fun together. So while he's looking for plumbing stuff, I'm planning my next project (for him to do).
Then on to the store. Quint is a master at shopping. He can disappear faster into another aisle than anybody
I've ever seen. One minute I'm talking to him because I think he's within earshot of my voice, only to discover
that he's nowhere in sight but some nice gentleman answers my question anyway. Then Quint reappears with something from
the list. I looked all over for him one day and had to resort to calling his cell phone to find out which aisle he was
Finally, after lunch I cook my own version of White Castle Jalapeno cheeseburgers and tater tots.
Then I can get back to the leaves. It takes more than two hours to burn them all. There was a mountain
of leaves that I piled up at the entrance to the driveway. We are allowed to burn leaves in Effingham. It's an autumn
Next weekend, I'll get at least another sixth of the yard blown away and burned. More if the leaves
I am happy to report that the Illinois cornfields are all mowed down and the corn cobs have
Now our task is to keep an eye on the highway department's removal of tire carcasses that litter
the shoulders of I-57. I would not want to be anywhere near one the those big rigs when they blow off a big chunk
of their tires.
NOW FOR MY VERSION OF WHITE CASTLES.
First of all, you have to understand that
White Castle does not fry or flame broil their burgers. Instead, they are cooked on a bed of steaming onion flakes. That's
all there is to it.
Put some water in a skillet and add dehydrated onion flakes. When the bed of onion flakes is
nice and juicy, put the beef patties on and cook 'em til they're done. Add a slice of cheese and some jalapeno
slices. Yum yum.
The brown mustard is equal parts of yellow mustard and A-1 sauce. They might deny that this is
their secret recipe, but it tastes good to me.
As far as the tater tots are concerned, it seems that Taco
Bell has invented this most delicious little dish.
Start off with a small bowl -- individual serving
size -- then put some cheese whiz on the bottom. Then add crispy cooked tater tots and add a dollop of sour cream. Then add
some chopped green onions. If you're in a hurry, you can use the Sour Cream/Chives potato chip dip. It's just as good.
Then have a nice salad and you've got your favorite foods right from the warmth of your tender loving kitchen!
Friday, November 10, 2006
UP TO DATE HIT NUMBERS
Updated: November 13, 2006: When I started the blog at www.janereinheimer.com I had no idea that it would get as many hits as it has so far. Thank you so much for visiting
the site. Hits so far are: June – 42; July – 7; August – 13; September – 128; October –35; and
November so far this month (11/9)– 2,910. (This is a corrected number.) The grand total since the beginning of blog
time is 3,835.
JUST SOME THIS AND THATS
United Airline jets clipped each other today at about 9 a.m. at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.
It happened as
both planes were taxiing down the same runway.
Apparently the second jet was following just a bit too close because
when the first jet started to make a left turn, its wing tip hit the tail of the other plane.
One plane was headed for
New York’s LaGuardia Airport with 110 passengers on board. The other plane was going to Washington, D.C. with 96 passengers.
Fortunately, there were no injuries.
REMEMBER THIS FOR TRIVIAL PURSUIT
highest temperature ever recorded – anywhere on Earth - was in Libya in September 1922 – 136 degrees Fahrenheit.
highest temperature ever recorded in the United States was in Death Valley, California in July 1913 – 134 degrees.
The new deduction for 2006 is 44.5 cents a mile. That’s four cents a mile less
than the temporary rate set for the last quarter of 2005 even though gas prices have risen since then.
if IRS has any mercy on us at all because of the gas prices rising like a volcanic eruption.
I would like to thank Alice Stubbe -- my cousin by marriage (she's lucky enough to be married to my cousin, Al Stubbe
-- for sharing these "laws" -- Law of Mechanical Repair: After your hands
become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch or you’ll have to go to the bathroom.
Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the lease accessible corner.
Probability: The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.
Law of the
Alibi: If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat
Law of Close Encounters: The probability of meeting someone you know increases when you are with someone
you don’t want to be seen with.
Law of the Result: When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t
work, it will.
Theater Rule: At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle will arrive last.
Law of Coffee: As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until
the coffee is cold.
Law of Dirty Carpets: The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor
covering are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet.
Law of Location: No matter where you go,
there you are.
Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don’t know what you are talking about.
Oliver’s Law: A closed mouth gathers no feet.
Wilson’s Law: As soon as you find a product that you
really like, they will stop making it.
Get answers to basic health questions, including a BMI calculator at www.familydoctor.org
IF YOU'RE TRAVELING BY AIR THIS HOLIDAY SEASON --
Follow the 3-1-1 rule:
3 ounce bottles or less
quart-sized, clear plastic, zip-top bag
1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin
The 3-ounce bottles
must fit into the quart-sized plastic bag. TSA recommends that you X-ray this bag separately to speed screening.
If you have any doubt at all, put the liquids or cosmetics in your checked luggage. If you must travel with a larger size
– such as medications, baby formula or milk that is more than three ounces, be sure to declare the items for inspection
at the checkpoint.
Check with www.tsa.gov for a lot of other rules and regulations. Above all, come earlier and be patient. If your airline
says you should arrive at the airport two hours early for your flight, go earlier than that and have a cup of coffee of breakfast.
We’re lucky at O’Hare Airport in Chicago. There are some wonderful restaurants
to choose from. If our flight is at 1:00 p.m., it’s not unusual for Quint and me to arrive at the airport around 10:30
or so and have a light brunch, find our gate and settle in with a book, magazine or newspaper. And no matter how picky our
screeners are in the United States, it’s nothing like trying to get out of Berlin, or Paris, or Dublin, or London.
Someday if you ever have Quint all to yourself, ask him what he was thinking when we were leaving Berlin a few years ago.
We had gone to Oberammergau in Bavaria to see the Passion Play. In one of my shopping forays, I bought a beautiful stein with
a music box that plays Edelweiss. I put it into Quint’s luggage, not thinking much about it.
was one security guard. Then there were two. Then there were three. They were the armed no-nonsense variety. "Are you
certain, sir, that you have nothing to disclose?"
Quint assured them that everything was okeedokey. There
certainly was nothing like clockworks and music boxes or anything else that could be used to set off anything. Then they went
into a private little room. Imagine Quint’s surprise when he discovered that he did, in fact, have a music box in his
bag. Then they let him go.
Thursday, November 9, 2006
THE SMITH'S BIG MOVE TO IDAHO
Daughter Teri and her husband Rick are packing up and moving from Lake Forest, California (about halfway between San Diego
and Los Angeles) to Sandpoint, Idaho (about 20 or 40 miles from the Canadian border).
I immediately googled Sandpoint
since we will be going there in the near future -- after our room (the guest room) in their new home is decorated. The
last guest room was done in a safari motif. The theme was suggested by their ferocious cat, Rocky.
is, Rocky thought we were interlopers who had come to run him out of his room. He did not like it too much that we'd go
in there and sleep. And shut the door, of all the nerve. Locked that cat right out. I think he went off to his pouting corner
somewhere and laid awake all night to think of ways to get even with us.
So when Teri said they were moving, Quint
and I had a big discussion about whether it would be Rick or Teri who would get the joy of traveling all the way from southern
California to Idaho with The Cat.
Turns out, they're flying.
Oh great. Turn Rocky over to some
poor unsuspecting airline pet sheriff.
Rocky has to have a note from his vet so he can get on the plane. I sure
hope it doesn't say something like "CAGE RAGE" in big red letters.
That happened to someone I know
who took her dog to the vet. This lady is the most gentle, kind woman. When I saw her, both hands were bandaged, as well as
several fingers. I asked her what in the world had happened to her. That's when she shared with me that the
dog was not happy at all about being put into a cage. When she went to pick up the dog from the vet later, he was given back
to this lady with "CAGE RAGE" written in big red letters on his discharge papers.
When I related this
story to Teri with the thought that maybe Rocky's vet could give the cat some Kitty Prozac or something to calm the poor
little thing, Teri said that she'd already covered that base and the vet, instead, suggested that she just give the cat
Well okay. But maybe lots of benadryl. How much benadryl does it take to reduce a slurpy growl to
But aside from the move and the cat, the only other mishap is that Teri accidentally shredded Rick's
He only used it once when they went to Nigeria last winter. Didn't even get the
good out of it. And the other really amusing thing is that she's supposed to supply a copy of the passport in order to
get a replacement. So, let me see. If you have a copy of it, why would you need a replacement?
Just kidding. Of
course Teri made a photocopy of their passports before they left the United States. Being organized and efficient runs in
And Rick quickly forgave her for shredding his passport. He said he's done some really stupid things
in his life too. Then he thought about how that sounded.
Are you referring to the time
that Teri sent you to Idaho with only a one-way ticket? Even if getting a one-way ticket puts you on TSA's terrorist watch
list. Oh, those things happen. Of course she wanted you to come back home.
Quint and I are on the same list.
When we get our boarding passes, there are all those big capital "SSSS" in the bottom right hand corner. That means
we've been "randomly" selected to be searched extra special. We just give ourselves another half hour to go
through the airport screening. We had bought one-way tickets to Kansas City last year when my mom fell and broke her hip and
we didn't know exactly when we'd be coming back to Chicago.
We're practically on a first-name basis
with the TSA screeners at O'Hare Airport.
DO NOT EAT THE SEEDS
There are books out there for nature lovers who want to go out to the woods and forage around looking for edibles to make
a tasty toasty little meal over a cute littel campfire. Living off the land. For a few hours.
tempted to do such things, you need to know that somethings that grow are dangerous. Even poisonous. Even deadly.
Sure, you could have a nice little snack if you're lucky enough to find a potato plant. But if you can't identify
a potato plant by its twigs sticking out of the ground, then take care. (Potatoes are root vegetables that
Having been a Girl Scout leader many years ago for many years, at one time, I actually
carried one of those edible-foods-in-the-wild pocketbooks. The ilustrations were absolutely gorgeous. I don't
see how anybody could miss.
I will tell you that one of my girlfriends from high school got bad mushrooms. She was
an avid "shroomer." Julia used to go up to Kentucky Lake to pick the wild ones.
I'm not a mushroom
gourmet. In fact, I don't eat any mushrooms that aren't grown in some little cave in the moonlight. I go foraging
for mushrooms in the produce section at my supermarket. They're just fine.
Anyway, Julia brought her basket
of mushrooms back to her house and sauteed them in butter, just like always. She had a yummy little feast.
too much later, she started developing flu-like symptoms. Got so bad that she made a trip to ER. They sent her home with a
checklist of things to do for flu.
About 2 a.m. she felt really really bad. She used her last bit of strength to
call 911. She at least had the presence of mind to crack the front door open so the paramedics could get in. She was taken
to the hospital in a coma and died before the sun came up.
Julia was a practiced mushroomer. So if she could make
a mistake, then that's all the more reason why I will stick with cave grown mushrooms until the day I die.
all of that brings me to the most idiotic thing I've ever heard of. That is people eating the seeds of jimson weed.
First of all, jimson weed is from the nightshade family. We used to call it "deadly blooming nightshade."
When people eat jimson weed seeds, hallucinations don't start for about two hours. So people get
this idea that if they aren't "feeling it" then the seeds must not be working. So they eat some more. And then
Then the next thing you know, they're on their way to ER.
The effects of Jimson weed
can last for days. An overdose can put you in a coma. Or seizures. Or respiratory arrest. Or playing checkers with Julia.
They are not the same thing as pumpkin seeds, which, by the way, are okay to eat.
LIFE LESSON #1 -- WE GET AWAY WITH NOTHING
There's a whole bunch of people out there who apparently didn't learn one of the most valuable life lessons there
is -- and that is the old "fly on the wall" concept.
That is -- it's not about what you can get
away with. It's about doing the right thing, especially if someone isn't watching to make sure that you do.
When you do the right thing because it's the right thing to do, then you have reached a higher level of maturity --
emotional and spiritual. Okay, so some of you aren't ever going to get to that point -- research says about a third of
you won't. You're going to sit back and wonder what the fuss is all about while the rest of us try to figure out why
you don't get it.
Even politicians finally got it. Some got it in the seat of the pants --metaphorically --
by voters who kicked them out of office. Some resigned before they got booted out.
But gone they are.
Like former Florida representative Ralph Arza from Florida. If you don't watch the news, he's the one who was screaming
racial slurs and some really nasty language on a voice mail of another representative. Arza resigned.
Rule #1 --
Messages left on voice mails aren't covered by the same laws that say it's illegal to tape someone's phone conversations.
(Or wiretaps) In other words, if you leave a voice mail on someone's phone, there is not a presumed expectation of privacy
It's the same kind of rule that says when you are walking (or standing) on a public sidewalk,
anybody can take your picture.
And how about former congressman Foley -- also from Florida. He was the homosexual,
yet to be determined maybe pedophile, who left some pretty explicitly sexual e-mails for congressional pages.
kidding, he said. Yeah, right. It was all a big joke when he got caught. Who's laughing now?
On a much more
local scale, a local hometown just two miles from our front door, three intersections are now boasting cameras that will take
photos of people who run red lights. It seems that when the traffic studies were done to figure out which three intersections
were going to be the lucky ones, it was really easy to decide.
There were no less than a combined 149 red light
runs in one hour!
Drivers can scream and holler all they want -- but remember being photographed while you're
out in public does not violate any of your civil rights. The right to privacy is not violated when a driver is out on a public
road and disobeying traffic rules.
You're just going to have to obey the rules and make an assumption that
you are being watched.
If big government doesn't keep you in mind, there is someone else who's watching
every move you make.
Just behave and you'll be fine. It isn't about what you can get
away with. You know in your heart when you are doing something you ought not to be.
Wednesday, November 8, 2006
U.S. ELECTIONS HAVE AN UNENDING WAY OF HANGING ON
Two Senate seats hang in the balance -- too close to call at this hour are Virginia and Montana.
I'll bet there
are a lot of voters in both those states, and other states as well, who woke up this morning and wished to high heaven that
they'd gone to the polls yesterday. I can just hear them now, "Well, maybe my vote would have mattered."
Truth is, folks, votes always matter. It's one of the ways you can maintains your own sense of freedom.
Curious, though, that in Virginia, the recount can't go forward until the election is certified. I believe that would
be November 27. Unless the lawyers can get in there and get some kind of special legal dispensation. But then, those election
laws are legislated and I'm not sure the courts can undo legislation like that.
But we shall see.
I think the real winner in this election is Joe Lieberman. I say that because Mr. Moderate Democrat from Connecticut wasn't
slated by the Regular Democrat Mucky Mucks because Mr. Nice Guy Lieberman was feared/accused of swinging too far toward the
center, i.e., the right.
So they didn't slate him.
Mr. L says, "Okay, then I'll run as
an Independent." And that's just what he did. And of all things, his followers had the audacity to elect him. And
rather handily at that.
Now comes the irony.
If, in fact, the Senate races end up for grabs -- in a
49/49 split -- and there's already one other Independent sitting in the Senate, then Mr. Lieberman is the man of the hour
in just about every Senate vote.
So the Connecticutican Slaters thought they were going to strip Lieberman of power
and punish him for leaning toward the right. What they really did was make him the Man of the Hour Sitting in the Catbird
Seat on Capitol Hill.
How's that for Much Ado About Nothing?
Congratulations to Mr. Lieberman.
Now, let's all take a deep breath and settle back to see where Montana and Virginia are going to put the numbers.
In the final analysis, the quiet, always the gentleman, Mr. Lieberman is the winner in this election.
entirely different matter -- things did not go so well for Linda Long, a forty-eight year old church goer at the East London
Holiness Church near Lexington, Kentucky. Even though the church enthusiastically denies anything about snake handling
as part of their worship services -- probably because "handling" the slithery little critters carries up
to a $100 fine -- Linda got bit.
In fact, when they wheeled her into the University of Kentucky Medical Center,
she said she had been bit by a snake at her church.
No matter. The fine won't work here. Linda died from
Snake handling goes back to one passage in the Bible that says if you are really a believer,
then you can pick up serpents and you won't even get hurt.
I'd have to get out my concordance to
verify the passage but I believe it has to do with when the Apostle Paul was run aground in a storm on the island of
Malta. Paul was going to make a fire on the beach and accidentally grabbed ahold of a poisonous viper when he thought he was
reaching for a piece of firewood. The startled snake bit Paul on the hand but he didn't die. Paul shook the snake
off as if it were nothing at all. The stunned people around Paul just knew he'd finally met his end but Paul didn't
even get sick.
You can read about this account in Acts 28:3-6. This passage lends the premise for snake
handlers back up in these hill country churches. They have big fat deadly monsters of snakes -- Cottonmouths, Rattlesnakes,
Copperheads, and God only knows what else. I've read where they even drink a deadly coctail of strychnine from a
Mason Jar as a real test of believership.
Another Bible passage that talks about snake handlers can be found
in Mark 16:15-18 where Jesus says, "...And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name, they will drive
out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly
poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."
am certainly not a snake handler. Not even an innocent little garter snake. I would surely have a coronary right on the spot
if it even looked at me cross-eyed.
Tuesday, November 7, 2006
WE VOTED -- DID YOU?
I timed us. From the time we got out of the car and walked into the polls, signed a sheet of paper that came out of a
binder (at least here in Cook County, Illinois), took our ballot over to a top secret, high security voting booth that's
in a long line of other voting booths positioned so people could probably see what I was doing if they wanted to, and back
to a scanner where we -- and only we -- were allowed to touch our ballot and put it through a reader-scanner-computer,
and back to the car again, took a grand total of eight minutes.
So who says they don't have time to vote?
But what I don't understand is this -- how come we can't pray in schools, and some nitwit has been trying
to get "one nation under God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance because we have to have separation of church and state
(which is pure baloney) -- and everytime there's an election, the local county government comes around and puts election
polls in CHURCHES!!!!
Now, mind you, it makes me no never mind that the polls are in the churches -- but don't
you think it's just a teensy weensy bit hypocritical?
There's a big fat juicy block of 86% of Americans
who say enthusiastically that they are Christians. So get off the sidelines and make your voices heard. This is a Christian
country -- it was founded on Christian morals and values and as long as I have a voice in the matter, it's going to stay
Maybe what the churches need to say to the politicos and mega squats is "We'll put your polls
in our churches when you put prayers back in our schools."
I'd say Amen to that!
But back to
the election. You still have hours to go. So if you haven't voted, get yourself up out of your chair and get the polls.
If you don't have a ride, call somebody. Whether you're Democrat or Republican, it doesn't matter. There are people
at local offices of candidates who will be happy to come over to your house and pick you up and take you right up to the door
of the poll and wait for you to finish voting. Then take you back home.
And back in the old days, two hundred
years ago when I was young and a most energetic precinct captain, if you'd called for a ride to the polls, you'd have
gotten not only a ride but a free lunch out of the deal too.
So don't be shy.
If you want to see
one of the best outlines of election information across the country, including Alaska and Hawaii, go to http://www.opinionjournal.com
. It's been prepared by the Wall Street Journal. Another web site that looks really good is http://www.realclearpolitics.com
Real Clear Politics will be monitoring the results throughout the evening. Believe me, no matter
how much I enjoy watching the results on TV, I can just barely abide all that opinionated stuff from pundits who think
they can read the minds of voters like me.
I first became interested in politics when I was in fourth grade and
every student in our class at St. Paul Lutheran in Paducah, Kentucky, got a copy of The Weekly Reader
. It was when Dwight D. Eisenhower was running for president. He ran against Adlai Stevenson. Actually,
Stevenson ran against Ike for a second term too. Stevenson lost both times. Stevenson later had a fatal heart attack on a
sidewalk in Chicago. Just keeled over. We named one of our major expressways after him, since Chicago is rather known to be
a Democrat strong haven. (Chicago likes to honor Illinois' favorite sons.)
Ever since fourth grade, when November
rolls around, I start salivating. I never -- not even once -- dragged myself to the polls because it was my duty.
Just try to keep me away from the polls on election day. You'd have better luck keeping me away from
And if you say you don't vote because politicians are corrupt, I say don't vote for the
corrupt ones, silly.
Monday, November 6, 2006
BACK FROM ON THE ROAD AND OTHER NOTES FROM THE CORN POLICE
I am happy to report that there is only one farmer between Vollmer Road and Effingham who has yet to harvest his corn.
Quint and I pay attention to such things with great interest. Mainly because by the time we get to Charleston, we've covered
all the topics on our agendas and we've pretty much run out of mile markers on our countdown.
We're going to
give him one more week, then we might just pull up to his house and do our "knock knock" thing -- just to make sure
he's not sick. Then we'll decide whether we should issue an admonishment or return with a warm casserole. Depending
on whether he's well or not.
On our trip down last weekend, we counted tire carcasses -- you know, those pieces
of tread that semis blow off their tires. I've never actually seen one of those things peel off but I know people who
have and I guess it's a pretty scary sight to behold.
Here's a clue for the truck drivers -- quit driving so
We know who you are. I have to kick up my poor little Focus all the way to 73 mph just to get around you. And
you, Mr. Truck Driver, are supposed to drive a maximum of 55 mph.
I did read that the truckers want the limit raised
on their "governors." Governors are like little limitators that keep trucks from going any speed above 68 mph --
which is what they're set for in Illinois. The trucking companies are after the State of Illinois to let them raise the
governators to 72 or 73 mph.
Now let me see. The maximum speed limit for trucks is set at 55 mph, and you already have
your governors set for 68 mph and you want to raise it to 73 mph. I'm missing something here because your logic fails
to ignite any sensibility in my meager little brain.
Oh. It's because of Iowa and Missouri where you can legally
drive 70 mph, just like the cars do.
Well then. The solution is simple. Just go around Illinois if you don't like
our speed limit laws. And stay off of I-80 while you're at it. You little speed demons on 18 wheels have made the
entire length of I-80 one big traffic hazard.
You run cars off the road. Heck, you bad boys even run into each
Just quit it. That thing you're driving is not a guided missile. It's a truck. 'Course I could say
the same thing for the cars that zoom around me at 90 mph.
You know there's a direct correlation between excess
speed and fatal crashes.
HOMEWORK HELPS: I love to check out new web sites that offer really good homework
help. The one I'm most impressed with right now is www.studybuddy.com. It gets a WOW in my book. I like the graphics and can understand a lot better when things move around like they're
supposed to so I can understand concepts.
Check it out. Another good web site I've just run across is www.funology.com. It has lots of boredom busters for the kiddos. Check out the "findawords" for a big variety of themes, among
DID YOU KNOW that China leads the world in number of executions? According to Amnesty International,
in the entire world last year, there were 2,184 executions, 1,770 of which were in China. China came under a lot of criticism
lately with the world community yelling in these giant foghorns to slow down a bit. So now China has adopted a new motto,
Kill fewer, kill carefully.
Apparently, the Chinese have discovered that a lot of people confessed after police
beat them up. They were actually innocent, but their innocence wasn't always discovered in time to stop executions.
China, tax evasion, drug smuggling and corruption carry the death penalty, right along with murders and other bad crimes against
At least a new rule is in place that says people who are sentenced to be executed must have their case reviewed
by a high court. That may help. Somewhat.
In the United States, 60 people were executed in 2005.
And if you haven't
read John Grisham's book, The Innocent Man, it will amaze you to learn that this man spent 12 years on death
row and wasn't even at the scene of the crime -- the crime being a horrible rape/murder.
Grisham weaves the story
as if it were a mystery novel. Read it for yourself and see if your view of the death penalty gets nudged in a slightly different
Texas just executed its 23rd convicted killer this year. This was a guy who collected $200 to kill a teenager
to keep him from testifying about a drive-by shooting. Hey, don't mess with Texas! In fact, if you're going
to commit any kind of bad crime, you'd better not be south of the Mason Dixon Line. They're not exactly crime sympathizers
WHAT A GREAT IDEA! LET'S PROOFREAD THE BALLOTS. Uh oh. It's Ohio in the news again
at election time. This time, Miami County is now requiring the the ballots be proofread. (They weren't before?) It seems that
the name of an unopposed incumbent was left off the ballot. You guys are really in trouble now. I hope this motion received
unanimous approval from the four-member election board.
HERE'S THE GREAT HUNTER IN MINNESOTA. I hate
to say it, guys, but a women huntress has bagged the giantest buck ever killed in Minnesota. Deb Luzinski, 38 years old, with
a bow and arrow no less, got herself a 24-point white-tailed deer in White Bear Township. She's been an archer for 15
JUST GIMME THE FACTS MA'M -- I admit that I have been intrigued about the "cause of death"
since my mother passed away and her autopsy listed about ten reasons why she died. But I have never seen "failure to
execute a turn" before in an obituary. Sadly, it was about a 17-year-old young man who was driving too fast for conditions
-- the conditions being a wet road on a curve.
Thank you, readers. In June, when this web site came into being, some
42 of you visited this site. Then, in July there were only 7. (I guess everyone was on vacation.)
Then in August, there
were 13 (six people came home?), in September 128, in October there were 735, and so far this month, there have been 1,797
hits to the web site.
If you want to make this your home site, click on "Tools" while you are on the
home page, then go to "Internet Options" and select Home Page. That ought to do it.
did we do in Effingham this weekend? Well, I left an immaculately clean kitchen floor and we burned leaves, and took naps.
Sounds like a great weekend to me. What did you do?
Friday, November 3, 2006
GOOD HEAVENS -- IT'S THE WEEKEND ALREADY!
We will be heading for our getaway house in Effingham, Illinois, for the weekend -- or, as Quint calls it, our "dude
ranch." (Quint, we are not dudes and it's a Cape Cod -- not a ranch -- but if you want to call what we do "duding"
Mind you, we have been living in a condominium for thirty years. We've enjoyed watching lawn care
people rake and vacuum up our leaves -- mow the grass -- shovel the snow, etc. etc. We have some new lawn toys for our Effingham
pleasure. One is an electric leaf blower. Last time I made a huge pile of leaves. This weekend we'll burn them. They've
had all week to dry out from last week's rain. We could have burned them wet. That would have really endeared us to our
neighbors, don't you think? We can burn leaves in Effingham -- until 6 pm. What a nostalgic fragrance that is -- burning
leaves. It smells like childhood autumns.
We also have a big firepit. For that, I needed another electric toy. A saw.
It's good for limbs up to about an inch thick.
Black & Decker, I love you!
We did, at least, hire someone
to take care of the lawn. It's the same reliable person who says he'll take care of snow removal for us. Allyn
is really dependable and we feel ourselves most fortunate to have made his acquaintance.
During the evening hours, I'm
painting kitchen cabinets. There are a lot of cabinets. That suits me just fine because I have accumulated a lot of dishes
over the years.
Effingham is about a three hour drive from the Chicago area. It's practically due south on I-57.
We stop at Rantoul, the halfway point, and fill up our car. The price of gas is almost always ten cents cheaper in Rantoul
than in Chicago, and many times, about a nickel cheaper than in Effingham.
Then we head back on Monday in time for counseling
appointments, then on to Trinity Lutheran Church in Tinley Park, Illinois, at 7 pm for worship.
My point is, I
will be thinking of you.
We don't have our DSL connected yet in Effingham -- or cable TV for that matter. We are
getting caught up on our reading though. So, unless we get out to one of those WI-FI places, I won't be able to post a
blog until we get back to Chicago area on Monday.
Which reminds me. Several weeks ago, we did get into one of those
WI-FI places -- it's the Great American Bagel store in Effingham. We wanted to check the weather to see what we were in
for as we made our way north. So we settled in and got our wireless up and running when the owner came over and congratulated
us. He said he'd had the WI-FI connected for about eight months but we were the first people to use it.
I was surprised.
Then he said that actually a lady had come in a few weeks before us and wanted some of that "free wiffy coffee"
that he had advertising on his marquee. It said "Free Wi-Fi and coffee." He said he gave her the coffee anyway because
he didn't want to embarrass her. Wasn't that nice?
I especially like reading your e-mails about the blogs. Thank
you for writing. For those who haven't written yet but are thinking about it, just remember to put something in the subject
line that will give me a clue that you are responding either to the web site or to the blogs.
All my best,
U.S. MILITARY GETS THE BEST OF THE BEST
Charles S. Ciccolella, assistant labor secretary for veterans' employment and training, says it's a myth that service
members pick the military because of limited employment opportunities. "That's absolutely flat wrong," he says.
"Today's service personnel are not only smart, they are well-educated, are very highly motivated, and are part of
the best military this country has ever seen."
He continued, "They have the characteristics that matter the
most: courage, honor, integrity, loyalty, and leadership."
It's an all-volunteer military. No more draft in
the United States. No need to either.
New recruits pass through a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) for a
medical exam, drug test, HIV test -- all to ensure that they're fit for duty. Another test, the Armed Services Vocational
Aptitude Battery, makes sure that they meet the military's aptitude standards.
Typically these recruits are above-average
high school graduates. Army Master Sgt. Mark Schoeppner, an Army liaison officer, bristles at talk that military standards
have dipped. "There's a perception that we will allow anybody in, and that's absolutely wrong," he said.
counselors at the MEPS station in Baltimore sit with recruits to review their options and help steer them to the military
that most closely matches their interests and aptitude. "We want to ensure that when we put you in a particular area
that we are setting you up for success."
"The overall concept for us in retainability," says Army Sgt.
1st Class Todd Dreeszen. He emphasizes that a good initial "fit" is a good indicator of how long a servicemember
will stay in the military. "We're not looking at a single enlistment," he said. "We're looking for
The Baltimore MEPS processes 8,000 recruits a year for all military services.
new recruits enter as civilians through one door and leave as new men and women of the armed forces who have signed their
military contracts and taken the oath of enlistment.
"This is a big step for me today," said Samuel Blevins,
a new recruit. "This is a change of life, a change of direction. It's a part of growing up. I feel the chills."
NEARLY 100,000 NEW JOBS ADDED FOR MONTH OF OCT 2006
I don't know if my exuberance for the job data report this morning is because of my business administration background
and it's just an old interest that I've never let go of --
Or if it's because the economy is a never-ending
conversational theme around our house with Quint and me tinkering around with notions that a good economy means everybody
who wants to work has a job --
Or if it's because my mental health work says that when people are working, they
have a better chance at well-being --
Or all of the above.
So, we wait on the edge of our seats on the first Friday
mornings of each month, switching back and forth between MarketWatch and the Bloomberg Report to get the skinny from financial
gurus on the floors of the exchanges.
Individually, we are all better off if we're working. We can buy more stuff
for ourselves and our kiddos. We can make our mortgage payments. We can buy new cars. We can afford to put gas in the cars
to go visit grandma and grandpa.
On a bigger level, those 92,000 new jobs pump a lot of money into the economy.
those new workers pay only $13,000 in taxes, that pumps $1,196,000,000 into the economy. Yep. That one billion, one hundred
ninety six million greenbacks.
Oh, and another part of this report is that the previous two months are revised on this
most august of days in the economic cycle.
The September 2006 jobs report was revised to reflect 148,000 new jobs and
the August jobs report is now revised to show 230,000 new jobs.
And the unemployment rate fell to 4.4%. That's the
lowest rock bottom rate it's enjoyed since April 2001.
And earnings went up 0.4% for the American workers.
also heard -- and this has nothing to do with the job reports, but it was interesting, nonetheless -- that the video game
industry in this country has now reached an annual price tag worth $30 billion. That's a lot of off-with-your-heads Mortal
Kombats and whatever else they do on video games. Never play a video game. I got creamed by my six year old grandson a few
years ago and swore off them forever. These games are not for the slow reacting grannies like myself. But $30 billion? WOW!
could almost clean up New Orleans for that much money.
With that kind of "pocket change" -- the kiddos are
getting pretty close to the lipstick and eyeliner price tags. (Actually I don't think it's just the kids buying the
video games anymore.) Although at any given time, my grandkids probably have more in their piggy banks than I do.
idea of a video game is at http://www.dedge.com/flash/hangman -- it's a Halloween game sent to me by my good friend Joyce in Wisconsin.
Anyway, I've got some army numbers
too. So come on back. I'll be adding blogs throughout the day.
Thursday, November 2, 2006
SOMETIMES SAFE DRIVING MEANS NOT DRIVING INTO A FLOOD
I read with a great deal of interest that in Houston, the city fathers are going to install some kind of marker on
a freeway underpass that will tell drivers how deep the water is during rainstorms. This follows two drownings in recent times
because a mother tried to drive through the underpass. It was flooded. The woman and her 16-year-old daughter were in an SUV.
-- this was a big deep flood. The SUV eventually was covered up in ten feet of water.
So who would try to drive through
a ten foot flood?
For starters, someone who thought she could get through to the other side of the underpass. What she
didn't realize, most likely, is what a lot of people do not know and that is -- an SUV will float in about two feet of
water. And since they aren't really airtight -- like a boat -- they'll sink.
When any vehicle is going under
-- another law of physics comes into play -- PSI -- or pounds per square inch. The water on the outside of the door is
pushing against the door. Try pushing the door open with that much pressure.
We make big mistakes when we start trifling
with Mother Nature.
Just remember not to drive into standing water at underpasses. And if you don't know how deep
the water is, don't go in there.
WE NEED BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES IN THE U.S.
I am a huge fan of William Buckley -- have read him for years but I disagree with his speech at Yale the other day that
the Democrats should all withdraw from the November race.
Buckley, who is even more conservative than my dear Quint,
was speaking in jest (I hope). He's surely smart enough to realize that if we only had one political party in this country,
we'd have a dictatorship with a zillion little fifedoms planning palace coups.
No -- having only one party would
mean that everybody would have to just about think alike. How boring would that be!?
To keep things in perspective,
just remember that the politicians and their wannabees will do and say just about everything and anything to make sure the
voters go to the polls. And hopefully, along the way, these voters can be persuaded to vote "correctly."
Kerry can continue to stick his foot in his mouth -- George Bush can still call it "nukular" -- not nuclear -- and
"relator" -- not realtor. Makes me no never mind.
Besides, we live in the Chicago area -- home of the Daley
political dynasty. I remember some brilliant journalist asking the late Richard J. Daley why a certain politico hadn't
been elected, to which Daley looked at the reporter and said with a real poker face, "Because he didn't get enough
votes." It's hard to fight that logic.
My point is that we all have a way of sometimes saying the wrong thing
at the most inopportune times -- of sticking our feet into our mouths -- of saying things one way when we meant another.
we really try, we can all resurrect some style and grace from deep within if we truly want to go forward. Or we can dwell
on all those "wrongdoings" and just stay stuck where we're at. It comes down to making a choice.
one, believe that misery is overrated -- so my money is on the former.
Having said all that, I personally do not understand
why anyone would want to be president. The minute you're elected, you have one whole big term (and maybe re-election)
of never doing anything right -- if you hear what the "other" side is saying. And you never do anything "wrong"
-- if you listen to your own party minions.
Just remember, folks -- it's the national debate that keeps America
running on intellectual energy -- and sometimes maybe even hot air.
I, for one, like to hear the other opinions. I do
not require everyone else to mirror my opinion.
U.S. MILITARY IS WELL EDUCATED
When you compare just high school education (diploma or equivalency) of the general population in the U.S. (88%) to our military
(99.3%), we've got an incredibly educated bunch of men and women protecting our freedoms, our borders, our national safety,
and our way of life! Some say the U.S. military is the best educated in the world.
And they are all volunteers -- each
and every one of them. But mind you, the Army doesn't take just anybody. Only three out of ten volunteers who try to get
in are actually recruited.
But how about college?
The Air Force has 19.2% of its folks with college; the Army
is at 12% higher education; the Navy is 6.6% and the Marines are 3.7%. Those figures are even higher among commissioned officers
where 97.5% of these folks are college graduates.
That compares to 56% of the general population who have either some
college coursework or a college degree on their resumes.
I say hats off to our military! They are bright. They are
purposeful. And they love their country as much as we do.
In Quint's and my families, we have brothers, a son,
cousins, uncles, nieces, nephews, grandfathers, fathers-in-laws and fathers who have either gone off to wars or served in
peacetime. We thank you -- each one of you for perpetuating the gift of freedom for the United States of America.
we thank God for you.
Wednesday, November 1, 2006
SOMETIMES, A PERSON SHOULD JUST SIT DOWN AND BE QUIET
I know -- what with freedom of speech and all, we can say what we want. Right?
Not! If you're a former presidential
candidate who's giving some thought to maybe -- just maybe -- twist my arm a bit maybe -- running again, you ought
to watch what you say. Remember those sound bytes? They're still haunting Kerry like a little bulldog nipping at his ankles.
when John Kerry told students at Pasadena City College [to] "... study hard, you do your homework and you make an
effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."
So what's the big deal?
He said later that he was just trying to make a joke.
How funny is that?
I'd like to hear his joke about
the war in the Pacific after Pearl Harbor was bombed from Mr. Kerry Comedian.
For fear of being accused of lacking any
sense of humor at all, I'll give him his feeble attempt at humor. All right, he said he "botched a joke."
last, I have something I can agree with Kerry on.
What I don't agree with him about is our military "getting
stuck in Iraq" because they didn't do well in school -- that somehow the uneducated, stupid people are over there.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
This is the same man that sponsored the notion, through his minnions, that
Bush was as dumb as a box of rocks. Anybody who has an MBA from Yale -- like GW -- is far from "dumb as a
box of rocks."
Keep in mind, folks, that Kerry is not the expert who ought to be running around talking about intelligence
Turns out, when their military entrance exams were compared, Kerry's I.Q. measured 120 while
Bush's came up to 128. How about them apples!
To be perfectly honest, Kerry probably didn't actually say Bush
was dumb as a box of rocks. He didn't have to. No political candidate has to go that far out on the limb -- Republican
or Democrat. They all have minions who do that for them. Or spin doctors, or whatever they call them. Then when they get caught,
they just stand there and shrug their shoulders and give you that "deer in the headlight" stare.
So now Kerry
has hightailed it back to his home on the elitist New England coast where he can teach his blueblood mouth some new tricks.
And maybe eat his fading away, over the hill words, "I apologize to no one."
'Nough said about that.
We won't see Kerry much for the rest of this campaign. He just said he was going to stop campaigning because he didn't
want the firestorm about his comments to become campaign fodder. He used the word "distraction." Sounds like he's
pouting, to me.
Truth is, candidates that he was scheduled to co-appear with have sent the word out
to him that he's uninvited. In other words, go ride your bike. Or go sailing. Or something. Just stay away from
mikes. There are sharks in the water and they are hungry.
So forget Kerry. Another really poor idea of a joke was this
lawyer type out in Maine who actually dressed up like Osama bin Laden, strapped some fake dynamite to his chest and carried
a mean looking (fake though) rifle out onto the streets where he was waving the rifle around in traffic.
you think a 49 year old lawyer in Maine would have more smarts?
So along comes Mr. Policeman and orders him to drop
the gun. The officer says he had to order the lawyer to drop the gun several times. If he's not careful, he could
give lawyering a bad name.
Eventually, the lawyer complied, but he was charged with being "criminally threatening"
anyway. The lawyer, Thomas Connolly, said he was protesting some changes in local tax rules.
Connolly? He was the lawyer that got George Bush's arrest records (that were sealed) out of storage and thought he was
going to be cute and publish them during the 2000 presidential election. (Bush had been arrested in 1976 for a drunk driving
So what was Bush's response to this surprise that made a big media splash during his first campaign?
He looked straight into the camera and said, "It's the dumbest thing I ever did."
No alibi. No whitewash.
Just plain ole honesty.
We welcome July readers from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Germany,
Greece, Hungary, India, Latvia, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden,
Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, Vietnam and United
This video is the most beautiful depiction of what happens
in the womb when the baby is developing and growing. The video was developed by Yale professor Alexander Tsiaras. Just beautiful.
Warning, though. Some of the images are graphic. But nothing gross. It is just a reminder to me that life is a beautiful baby
and life is absolutely precious. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKyljukBE70&feature=player_embedded#!
July 29, 2012
Update on Quint: He
is making an incredible recovery. The skin cancer is essentially gone. When we met with the surgeon for a post-op appointment
on Friday, we learned that the biopsy of the frozen section shows all the cancer was removed. The incision is healing nicely.
It's about a 6" incision down the side of his face in front of the left ear. The doctor put so many stitches in that
any scar is hardly visible. Thanks to all for prayers you have been lifting up for his health. The surgeon says there are
dissolving stitches in three levels of tissue. We also met with our oncologist last week and he says the lymphocitic/leukemia
will continue to make Quint vulnerable to skin cancers. Please keep him in your prayers so that all his cancers, and mine
as well, will remain in remission.
I received the following about a child's reason for why he believes in God
from our friends, John and Sherre, in Wichita, KS:
Little Boy's Explanation of God
He wrote it for his third grade homework assignment,
to 'explain God.'
I wonder if any of us
could have done as well?
'One of God's main jobs is making people.
He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there
will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't
make grownups, just babies. I
think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up
time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.'
'God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some
people, like preachers
and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to
the radio or TV because of this. Because
he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in
his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off.'
'God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you
shouldn't go wasting
his time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you
'Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista [California]. At least
aren't any who come to our church.'
'Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and performing miracles
and trying to teach
the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him
preaching to them and they crucified him.
But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his
father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive
them and God said O.K.'
'His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him
he didn't have to
go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps
his dad out by listening to prayers
and seeing things which are important for God to take care of
and which ones he can take care of himself without having
to bother God. Like a secretary, only more
'You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of
them is on duty
all the time.'
'You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to
Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And
sun doesn't come out at the beach untilnoon anyway.'
'If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your
parents can't go everywhere
with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when
you're scared, in the dark or when you can't
swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big
'But. . .you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can
take me back
anytime he pleases.
And...that's why I believe in God.'
July 13, 2012
Quint is recuperating
from surgery on July 11, 2012. Surgeon removed a growth on left cheek that turned out to be squamous cell cancer. Prognosis
is good because doctor says he got good margins. Please continue to pray for him. He has a 4" incision on left cheek
from about the corner of his eye all the way down to jawbone. Looks worse than it is.
In another matter, this
link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2172551/Art-genius-Nine-year-old-painter-tipped-greatness-buyers-world-snap-work.html shows some incredible artwork that a young, 9-year old in England, artist has painted and his work is beginning to sell
July 1, 2012
I'm a Lutheran
and I sure wish the Lutheran Church had authored this video or one like it: http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=D9vQt6IXXaM&hd
No matter, it's a message that needs saying so hats off to the Catholic church!
On another subject,
the temperature here in Middle Illinois at 6 p.m. as 102.8 degrees. That's really hot.
Stay safe out there. If
you do not have air conditioning, or if your AC goes out in this heat, sit in a tub of cool water. It will do wonders pulling
heat out of your body. And let's remember in prayers all those folks on the eastern seaboard who don't have electricity. They
don't even have fans to plug in.
Kind of reminds me of going to church when I was a kid. Oh, was that hot. And
remember those hand fans that funeral homes gave out free to churches? We wore ours out.
June 24, 2012
The heat is
the story here in the Midwest part of the United States. I can't tell you when the last time there was rain, but the corn
stalks are starting to look pretty wilted. The word "parched" comes to mind. The beans don't look any better either.
So the big conclusion that some people have arrived at is that God is punishing the United States because so many
people have turned away from Him?
And how many?
and doomers pontificate about how we're all going to die and go to hell can't give any numbers. Can't offer any hope.
Well, folks, don't you believe it. God is a God of love. He wants all of us to be saved.
And to those people
who think they can define the reasoning of God are being sacrilegious. They are talking when they should be listing to God.
My God is a God of love. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to die for our sins. Because of that, we are
assured of salvation and life eternal.
But there are those who are going through these crises of faith. They're
noisy. When God talks to you, listen to Him. It's that still, small voice inside you. And don't believe the naysayers who
think they have he last word on what means and what God intends to do. They don't know. They just don't know.
faith is what will bring you closer to God. Let Him into your hearts and listen to Him.
June 6, 2012
We don't laugh enough.
We are not light hearted enough. Way too serious. Oh, there are times when serious is good for you, but there are many more
days when we just are not enjoying a good laugh.
So someone sent me a link to Mark Lowry. He's a Christian comedian
and good for a real belly laugh, I can guarantee you.
Here's the link: http://jesus-loves-you.org/?p=6641
I'm going to You Tube and search for him and see if he's got other material. He's really funny.
May 15, 2012
Our U.S. Constitution
is not flawed. It's not dead. It's not irrelevant!
Those who think it's out of touch with today's "modern
thought" fail to realize that the U.S. Constitution is modernized each time the United States Supreme Court reviews a
law or an incident and decides whether the rights of our citizens are abridged or impeached.
The language of the
U.S. Constitution does, in fact, reside in a little book small enough to fit inside a man's jacket pocket or in a lady's handbag.
However, volumes and volumes of interpretive material fills libraries. Interpretation by the sitting Justices keeps our Constitution
May 12, 2012
Our God is awesome!
God controls the waters and the seas. Take a look at this video of the angry sea. http://www.dump.com/angryseas/
May 10, 2012
I am in the process of researching the involvement and the role that the National Road (U.S. 40) played in military
activities -- specifically troop movements. If you know of any such movements, please email me at email@example.com and put "National Road info" in the subject line. I'd be ever so grateful. If you do not want your name used, be
sure to tell me. Otherwise, I'd like to share that you found the information. This is for a funding opportunity for Effingham
County and it will focus on the role that the National Road has played in the significance of Effingham.
April 27, 2012
Well, that was
a nice little rest.
Since I've last posted, I've fretted that frost would get my lovely irises. It didn't. Nor
did the frost chip away at my roses. I have never had roses blooming in April before. They have exploded into full bloom.
Bright red blooms against our white house. Wow!
And the irises are just as beautiful. I have some really deep purple
irises, light lavender, some two-toned purple and white, bright yellow, a lighter lemon chiffon color, a pink iris and a peach
colored one that is a double.
The spirea finally decided it would bloom too.
All in all, considering
that I did absolutely nothing last year in the flower bed, it's amazing that my little troopers have done as well as they
have. The irises apparently are no longer upset with me for snipping them back at the end of January and early February. Again
in March when they started sending up things that looked like they'd bloom.
We've still had frost tucked in between
80 degree days but nothing serious enough to hurt my darling little flowers.
Quint and I are doing well. We continue
to see our oncologist every three months and get blood work to check markers for cancer that might have decided to invade
us again. So far, so good. Platelet counts are coming back to normal and we're working on our stamina.
I do have
to take some medication for five years -- well, four years now -- that inhibits estrogen. It will keep breast cancer from
recurring. Problem is, it makes the long bones in my legs and muscles in the thighs really ache. Nothing that can't be tolerated
though. Compared to the benefits of what the medicine does for me, I'd say I came out the winner at this point.
lymphoma is still in remission too, so we're pretty health for the shape we're in.
And now I'm going to fix us
a snack of yogurt, sliced strawberries, sliced bananas and walnuts. Then we're going to watch some spy thrillers on Netflix
Nice to be back and thank you for not giving up on me.
April 10, 2012
I am getting
over the grandaddy of all colds. I expect to be better by morning, after having laid around all day today. Finally just gave
it up and stayed in bed.
Until now, that is.
And you know how I love kids and their entrepreneural spirit.
Well, here's a video of a young lad in east LA who build an arcade out of cardboard boxes in his dad's auto parts store. His
name is Caine and he's 9 years old. It's just precious! http://games.yahoo.com/blogs/unplugged/nine-old-cardboard-arcade-launches-college-fund-182844242.html
Oh, and one other thing before I head back to my comfy easy chair. We have frost warnings for tonight. 30 degrees!
My irises and roses are blooming. Wonder how that's going to set with them.
I just thought I'd mention something
about all those spam emails and telemarketer calls you may be getting. Even if you're signed up for "do not call"
lists, you still can get calls. Here's how. If you take part in an online voting request, or if you call to participate in
a TV vote, you are setting up what is known as a "special relationship." Special relationships with a state allows
any advertiser of that station of promo outfit to put you on their callers who are exempt from the "do not call"
If you live in Illinois and you get a telemarketer call, just tell the caller that Illinois is a "do
not call" state and you do not want to be on their lists. They are required to hang up at that point. I've tried it and
Also, here's a tip for getting rid of all those preapproved gimmicks that find their way into your mailbox.
When I get the offers, the first thing I do is draw a big diagnonal line through the offer and write VOID on it. Then I stuff
the document back into the self-addressed postage paid envelope that they provide. The advertisers are going to stop sending
you stuff pretty quick rather than pay postage twice.
April 5, 2012
Thursday - the first part of the Easter trilogy.
Maundy Thursday was the night when Jesus shared bread and wine
with his disciples and commemorated the event that we've followed in the Lutheran Church for ages since that time.
When I was confirmed on Palm Sunday many years ago, Maundy Thursday was the first opportunity I was given as a new confirmant
to take my first communion. It was an awesome experience then, and it continues to be every chance I get.
that it is the same for you as you draw near to the Easter story.
Tomorrow is Good
Friday. Part 2 with the significance of Christ dying on the cross for our sins.
And then, of course, there's Easter
Sunday when we celebrate Christ's resurrection.
Sin and death no longer have a hold on us because Christ died for
April 4, 2012
Ready to watch
a miracle? Here's a video showing a woman in an SUV sinking. She couldn't swim. The SUV sank. But the miracle is not that
she was somehow pulled from the SUV but the after-story: http://salesianity.blogspot.com/2012/04/woman-drowning-in-her-suv-is.html --
May the blessings of Easter catch you up in the miracles going around you every day. Life is a miracle.
God brings miracles to us today just as He did thousands of years ago when Jesus died and rose again. I pray that you will
get caught up in the miracle of the Easter story all over again. Christ died for our sins and rose again, and because He rose
again, we have eternal life guaranteed to us by our Heavenly Father.
April 2, 2012
Want to know what
video of a couple of famous dancers has gotten more than 118 million hits? None other than the big routine from Dirty
Another trivia question that some of you may know the answer to has to do with the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's
failure at sea. April 15 is the date of this tragedy. If you thought most of the folks on board perished in the icy waters,
you'll be surprised to learn that only half died. Well, maybe "only" is not a good word. One would be too many on
a ship that was touted as unsinkable. There were 2,223 passengers and crew. 1,517 died. A little more than half.
April 1, 2012
If you haven't
heard this song by the Barn Again Gang -- On My Father's side -- am sure you'll enjoy it. And thanks to you, Joyce
from Frankfort, IL for sending: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5ddoyfn6g4
And here's Kaitlyn Maher, a 4-year old, singing in America's Got Talent. Mind you, she's had 26,585,501 hits on
her debut on the national stage. She is absolutely adorable! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwAbtizFCzo&feature=related
Kaitlyn Maher again, this time singing Ave Maria - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR0AXNtwqZE&feature=related
And she got to sing for President and First Lady Laura Bush: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fpt_UU96EG8&feature=related
Here she is singing the National Anthem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhD9kKb3hSM&feature=related
I have not ever heard the story about the "Praying Hands" so I am especially thankful to
Cody in Warrensburg, MO for sending Back in the fifteenth century, in a tiny village near Nuremberg, lived a family with
eighteen children. Eighteen! In order merely to keep food on the table for this mob,
the father and head of the household,
a goldsmith by profession, worked almost
eighteen hours a day at his tradeand any other paying chore he could find in
Despite their seemingly hopeless condition, two of the elder children, Albrecht and
Albert, had a dream. They both wanted to pursue their talent for art, but they knew
full well that their father would
never be financially able to send either of them
to Nuremberg to study at the Academy.
After many long discussions
at night in their crowded bed, the two boys finally
worked out a pact. They would toss a coin. The loser would go down
into the nearby
mines and, with his earnings, support his brother while he attended the academy.
Then, when that
brother who won the toss completed his studies, in four years, he
would support the other brother at the academy, either
with sales of his artwork or,
if necessary, also by laboring in the mines.
They tossed a coin on a Sunday
morning after church. Albrecht Durer won the toss and
went off to Nuremberg.
Albert went down into the dangerous
mines and, for the next four years, financed his
brother, whose work at the academy was almost an immediate sensation.
etchings, his woodcuts, and his oils were far better than those of most of his
professors, and by the
time he graduated, he was beginning to earn considerable fees
for his commissioned works.
When the young
artist returned to his village, the Durer family held a festive
dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht's triumphant
homecoming. After a long and
memorable meal, punctuated with music and laughter, Albrecht rose from his honored
at the head of the table to drink a toast to his beloved brother for the
years of sacrifice that had enabled Albrecht
to fulfill his ambition. His closing
words were, "And now, Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn.
can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream,and I will take care of you."
All heads turned in eager
expectation to the far end of the table where Albert sat,
tears streaming down his pale face, shaking his lowered head
from side to side while
he sobbed and repeated, over and over, "No ...no....no ..no."
Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks. He glanced down the long
table at the faces he loved, and then, holding
his hands close to his right cheek,
he said softly, "No, brother. I cannot go to Nuremberg. It is too late for me.
... Look what four years in the mines have done to my hands! The bones in every
finger have been smashed at
least once, and lately I have been suffering from
arthritis so badly In my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass
to return your
toast, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with a pen or a brush.
No, brother ....for
me it is too late."
More than 450 years have passed. By now, Albrecht Durer's hundreds of masterful
pen and silver-point sketches, water colors, charcoals, woodcuts, and
copper engravings hang in every great museum in
the world, but the odds are great
that you, like most people, are familiar with only one of Albrecht Durer's works.
More than merely being familiar with it, you very well may have a reproduction
hanging in your home or office.
One day, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed, Albrecht Durer
painstakingly drew his brother's
abused hands with palms together and thin fingers
stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing simply "Hands,"
but the entire
world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed
his tribute of
love "The Praying Hands."
March 30, 2012
I have to
share with you that the operators of this web site have become increasingly frustration to work with. The way I see it, I
have two choices: (1) shut down the site altogether and discontinue the blogs, or (2) find a site that is more responsive
to what I want from a web site.
In the meantime, one of the questions that Jesus asked is #80 -- If you do not
believe Moses' writings, how will you believe me? (John 5:47)
Old Testament writings often come under fire as being
"irrelevant" or "out of date" or just "too old."
All of those excuses are flawed,
in my view.
In the first place, the Word of God is eternal.
Because the Word is eternal, it transcends
time and space.
For that reason, when you read the Bible, the breath of God is still on the paper; still on the
words. The Bible is the Word of God. It will never get "too old" or "out of date."
the Word. Absorb it; take it in. If you find any challenge whatsoever about understanding what some passages mean, then the
Counselor will be sent to you, just for the asking. Just pray that Jesus will send you His Counselor to assist you in your
Blessings to you in your spiritual journey through the Word of God.
March 27, 2012
Here is one
of the most precious tapes I've ever heard of a child: http://www.maniacworld.com/stay-calm-dad.html From my friend Shirley in Arizona. It's just precious!
This is a video I found on my own. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rtt-TmReaw&feature=related I love the innocence of this little girl. I pray that she will hold onto her dreams all her life and never let anyone
snatch them away from her.
God keeps the dreams of children in his right hand pocket. And woe be to those who
steal the dreams of a child.
Today I am going to discuss Question #66 from Luke 18:7 -- Will not God then
secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night?
In the first place, I consider myself
one of God's chosen ones because I claim the inheritance of being a child of God.
And how did I get to
be a child of God? Simple. I believe that Jesus Christ, God's only Son, died for my sins and offered me salvation. By doing
this, He names says that I share in the inheritance of God's richest blessings.
And you most certainly can enjoy
this same inheritance and become a Child of God by believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins too.
that simple. You have only to believe.
This is my right, in God's own words. He says: Will not God then secure
the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? I believe that because I know that God does not lie.
He's good for His promises and when He says He's going to secure my rights, what do I have to fear?
And do I call
out to God day and night? Yes. In my car when I head out to work. I pray that some idiot does not plow into me head-on. I
pray that I don't get tee-boned by someone running a red light or a stop sign.
I pray that when I enter that miraculous
place of empty thoughts of what seems to be unconsciousness, that the veil will be lifted in the morning and I will re-awaken
to a new day. Sleep itself is a miracle. We fall into a mindless abyss every night and awaken refreshed to a new day. Is that
a miracle or what? How does God do that?
I remember reading or hearing this "what if" thought that when
you awaken in the morning, what if the only things you had in your life were the things you thanked God for yesterday! Kind
of put a new perspective on things for me. Instead of just nagging and nagging -- which I can be pretty good at -- for things
I think I want, or things I think I need -- I stop every day and thank God for what He gives me. The gifts are enormous and
I only get them because He is a gracious God. I certainly deserve nothing.
But all day and all night I talk to
God. We have an ongoing conversation. Help me with this, please. Oh, and thank you for that. Or how about all those problems
that you just can't seem to solve. Then He says, "I can help you with that." Or, after the problem is solved and
I nod a quiet thank you, He says "All you had to do was ask."
God is my friend. This King of the Universe
took notice of me when I was about four years old. That's when I started talking to Him in my head. I knew it was God because
I learned about Him in Sunday School. My Sunday School teacher told me I could just talk to God simply like he was an ordinary
person. I took her at her word and have never thought of God as anything but.
Even though I know for sure, now
that I have a few more years on me, that God is nothing ordinary at all. But I also know that He is never too busy to secure
my rights as one of His chosen ones.
Enjoy your day and rest easy in your sleep, dear friends. God is watching
out for you.
March 26, 2012
#32 that Jesus asked was, "Could you not watch for me one brief hour?" -- Matt. 26:40
There are lots
and lots of ways to travel through the Lenten season on the way to Calvary. And the reasons for doing things differently are
many and varied.
People offer up the thought that they can worship anywhere. They feel just as close to God, they
say, when they are listening to a beautiful piece of music, or walking through the woods in the late afternoon.
things are true.
But it seems to me that if you want to go down that path to Calvary, you ought to do it the way
that Jesus wants you to do it. Not the way you think, in your not-so-infinite pseudo-wisdom of coming up with these cute
little excuses. Cute, you think.
Truth is, Jesus wants you to go to your church, or your temple and watch
with him there, in that place.
This question that Jesus asks from Matthew sounds like a plea to me. Couldn't
you watch with me one hour?
Well, sure you could, if you thought it was important enough.
and I go to Lenten services and the church is not even half full. Where is everybody? Working? Playing? Doing homework? Driving
around? Out to dinner? Where are you? Those who couldn't come to this worshiping place to watch with Jesus one hour.
What if I told you that I had learned that Jesus was going to make one of those rare earthly appearances for one week only.
He was actually going to come to church because He wanted to talk to me.
I'd move heaven and earth to get there
on time. I want to meet this man while He's still alive. You bet I'd watch with him an hour. In fact, I'll stay up all night
if he stuck around to talk to me.
And talks to me He does. When I'm sitting in that pew, I can almost feel his
eyes burning a hole in my skin. Kind of at the back of my neck. I can almost feel his hand on my shoulder while he bends around
to look at me and whispers to me, "I'm so glad you came tonight. I'm doing this all for you, you know."
He's my Savior. We're connected. It must break His heart to see so many empty pews when they should be overflowing with
people who are willing to give Him one hour of their busy schedules.
"Why couldn't you watch with me one
hour?" He asks. It's a question you'll have all of eternity to answer Him one day.
March 25, 2012
Now this is precious!
It's a two year old dancing to Jailhouse Rock. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wt824D1Bqg He's got some good moves too.
March 24, 2012
At this time
of year, one of my favorite places on earth is Kentucky when the dogwood and redbud are in full bloom -- and nowhere are they
more beautiful than my home town -- Paducah, Kentucky.
Just look at these gorgeous photos and you'll see what I
These quips come from my cousin who lives in a small town not too far from Houston -- well, in Texas, 200 miles
is a "small distance" I think: THE POSITIVE SIDE OF LIFE:
Living on Earth is expensive,
but it does include a free trip
around the sun every year.
How long a minute is
depends on what side of the
bathroom door you're on.
Birthdays are good for you;
the more you have,
the longer you live.
Happiness comes through doors you
didn't even know you left open.
Ever notice that the people who are late
are often much jollier
than the people who have to wait for them?
Most of us go to our grave
with our music still inside of us.
If WalMart is lowering prices every day,
how come nothing is free yet?
You may be only one person in the world,
but you may also be the world to one person.
Some mistakes are too much fun
to only make once.
Don't cry because it's over;
smile because it happened.
We could learn a lot from crayons:
some are sharp, some are pretty,
some are dull, some have weird names,
and all are different colors....but
they all exist very nicely in the same box.
A truly happy person is one who
can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
Have an awesome day, and
know that someone
who thinks you're great
has thought about you today!..
"And that person was me.".....
Please don't keep this message
to yourself.....send it to those
who mean so much to you.... "NOW".
Thank you, Frances. I love the one about some mistakes. Hope you don't have too many people
out there who are all to eager to point each and every little mistake you make. Those, I think, are the ones who go to
their graves with the music still living inside them. It's just too much "vinegar energy" to look for flaws in people.
And God knows I have more than my share, it seems. But here's the thing: I don't make mistakes on purpose and I never
make mistakes with the idea of making someone's misery index go up. I just thank God that I am surrounded by true
friends who cut me some slack. You know the ones. They really care about you. I like the idea that we are all living in a
big crayon box. That has to be one of those lessons learned in kindergarten. But then, I'm old enough to realize that
we didn't have kindergarten when I started school.
I celebrated kicking off my educational pursuits by going down
the big slide on the playground with a somersault from the top. I was grounded from recess for the rest of the week.
These beautiful thoughts also come from Frances:
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW THAT IT IS CHRISTIAN
PERSON WEEK AND YOU SHOULD SEND THIS TO
ALL BEAUTIFUL CHRISTIAN PEOPLE
When I say that 'I am
a Christian', I am not shouting that 'I am clean living. I'm
whispering 'I was lost, but now I'm found and forgiven.'
When I say 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride. I'm confessing that
I stumble and need Christ
to be my guide.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I'm
need His strength to carry on.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success. I'm admitting I have
failed and need God to clean my mess.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect. My flaws
are far too
visible, but God believes I am worth it.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting
of pain. I have my share of
heartaches, so I call upon His name.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier
than thou, I'm just a simple sinner who
received God's good grace, somehow!
Today is Beautiful Christian Person's
Pretty is as Pretty does but, Beautiful is just plain Beautiful..
I'm supposed to send this to Beautiful
and you are one of them!!!
March 21, 2012
sermon text at our 5th Midweek Lenten Service in Matthew 28:16-20 comes the command of Jesus that we are to go into all the
world and make disciples of all men.
Well, I don't know about you but I can't go to the airport and get a ticket
to go to some faraway place and work in a mission field. But those very words are the marching orders of the church.
What I can do is partner with the Lutheran Women's Missionary League and be a supplier of stuff that missionaries
can use. Quilts, for instance. Quilts are made in Lutheran churches all across this country. They find their way into orphanages.
In hospitals. In remote villages where they are placed over a low branch and become the roof of a home. If the villager is
lucky, a second quilt could be a floor. We need more quilts -- more than the 355,000 that have been made this winter. That
means there will be an unmet need.
Our church is going to put baby kits together. These baby kits will have a few
diapers in them. Some tee shirts. Some tiny little caps. Diaper pins and little sleepers. We're making the receiving blankets
and it will have a bunch of baby supplies in it, then pinned with the diaper pins. Missionaries can take these baby kits and
go into villages and give them to new mothers who often don't have clothes for newborn babies. And if they have a receiving
blanket at all, it was made from their old clothes that were too worn out to use anymore. Imagine the joy when a new mom gets
a bright, colorful receiving blanket that has been made with so much love and joy and prayers!
Yes, the women of
the Lutheran Women's Missionary League can partner with missionaries who are in a position to tell others first-hand what
Jesus has done for them. They can ground others by bringing them the Word of God.
And how long are we supposed
to do all this?
Jesus says "Until the end of the age." That is, we're supposed to keep on keeping on
until Jesus comes back for us.
In the meantime, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of ways that
I can reach out to people around the world and spread the wonderful message that Jesus Christ died for our sins and because
of his death on the cross, we can claim salvation as a child of God.
So this is the reason I write this blog. It's
my way of going around the world to talk to people about what Christ has done for each one of us. That would be you. And it
would be me. My computer is my magic carpet and on it, I can ride through cyberspace to reach you in 23 countries so far this
God bless each and every one of you.
March 20, 2012
results in Illinois: http://www.wthitv.com/subindex/elections/results Not all results are in at this writing.
If you are anywhere near middle Illinois on March 23, you could do
yourself a favor and go to the Effingham Performance Center at 8:00 p.m. and catch the show headlined by Scott Wattles of
Blue Suede Crew. Tickets are $5. He's an incredible performer for those of us who wax nostalgia over Elvis, Roy Orbison, Marty
Robbins, and a host of others. What a voice!
We had an opportunity to hear him for the first time on Sunday evening.
All Gospel songs. And a standing ovation for How Great Thou Art!
If I tried that it would come under the
category of making a joyful noise, but I am filled with appreciation for anyone who can sing really well. We are fortunate
because own Pastor Rensner is also a wonderful vocalist. I love listening to someone who loves to sing. And both these gentlemen
Earthquake near Acapulco registers 7.6! That's a really hefty earthquake even if it is about 200 miles
from Acapulco. God is sure rattling the earth these days. Two hundred miles is nothing when an earthquake ripples its way
through the earth.
It is still 78 degrees in the house. And Quint mowed the grass -- or part of it -- yesterday
afternoon. Don't remember that happening in March. Ever. We sure do enjoy having the windows open and soft warm breezes blowing
across us when we're sleeping though.
We pray for God's blessings to all of you. Some of you are living in dangerous area and you are especially in our prayers.
And we thank you for prayers too.
March 19, 2012
quote: PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU
SAID ~BUT~THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM
It's time for a patriotic song and this just arrived from Shirley, my favorite snow bird who has not
returned from Arizona yet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TPgJSZf5Vw&feature=youtu.be
And here's a cute little story sent by our friends John and Sherre in Wichita:
Subject: A New Pet
A single guy decided life would be more fun if he had a pet.
So he went to the pet store and told the owner
That he wanted to buy an unusual pet.
After some discussion, he finally bought a talking centipede,
(100-legged bug), which came in a little white box
To use for his house.
He took the box back home, found a good spot for the box,
And decided he would start off by taking his new pet
To church with him.
So he asked the centipede in the box,
"Would you like to go
To church with me today?
We will have a good time."
But there was no answer from his new pet.
This bothered him a bit, but he waited a few minutes
And then asked again,
"How about going
To church with me
And receive blessings?"
But again,there was no answer
From his new friend and pet.
So he waited a few minutes more,
Thinking about the situation.
The guy decided to invite the centipede one last time.
This time he put his face up against
The centipede ' s house and shouted,
"Hey, in there!
Would you like to go
ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS ......
Came out of the box,
"I heard you the first time!
I ' m putting my shoes on!"
March 17, 2012
the day when the whole world is Irish. That includes my cousin, Mark, who sends this blessing. It's beautiful poetry by Phil
Coulter and narrated by Roma Downey. I thank you Mark for this beautiful blessing and, in turn, send it along to all my friends:
http://www.andiesisle.com/ThisBlessingIsForYou.html Looking at the beautiful photos, I am reminded of a wonderful vacation that Quint and I took to Ireland a few years
ago. It's a beautiful country and I got an answer to why the green grass is so vibrant and emerald colored. Supposedly it's
because of the high level of minerals in the soil, most particularly calcium. And that's one of the reasons why Queen Elizabeth
sends here pregnant horses to Ireland to deliver. Munching on good Irish green grass makes for healthy bones for the baby
horse in the mom's womb, and also when the little baby horse starts to grow and develop. The grass really is emerald colored.
They aren't just kididng.
Ready for a little humor? This comes from my friend Cody in Warrensburg, MO:
Billy Graham was returning to Charlotte after a speaking engagement and when his
Plane arrived there was a limousine
there to transport him to his home.
As he prepared to get into the limo, he stopped and spoke to the driver.
'You know' he said, 'I am 87 years old and I have never
Driven a limousine. Would you mind if I drove
it for a while?'
The driver said,
'No problem. Have at it.'
Billy gets into the driver's
seat and they head off
Down the highway.
A short distance away
Sat a rookie State Trooper operating his
first speed trap.
The long black limo went by him doing 70 in a 55 mph zone.
The trooper pulled out
And easily caught the limo
And he got out of his patrol car to begin the procedure.
The young trooper walked
up to the driver's door
And when the glass
Was rolled down,
He was surprised to see
Who was driving.
He immediately excused himself and went back to his car
And called his supervisor.
'I know we are supposed
To enforce the law....
But I also know that
Given certain courtesies.
I need to know what
I should do because
I have stopped a
The supervisor asked,
'Is it the governor?'
The young trooper said,
he's more important
The supervisor said,
'Oh, so it's the president.'
'No, he's even more
Important than that.'
The supervisor finally asked,
then, who is it?'
The young trooper said,
'I think it's Jesus,
Because he's got Billy Graham
for a chauffeur!'
Smile - God loves you! I ask the Lord to bless you, as I pray for you today;
To guide you
and protect you, as you go along your way
God's love is always with you, God's promises are true.
you give God all your cares, believe with all your might that God will see you through.
March 16, 2012
I see a lot
of anxious people who come for counseling. And even though anxious people want very much to not be anxious anymore, they resist
doing the very thing that un-anxious people know all about. That is, un-anxious people live their lives on a foundation of
faith. Christ lives in their hearts. The Holy Spirit is used as a daily ever-ready counselor.
In going down the
list of 100 Questions That Jesus Asked, I come to Luke 12:26 which asks: If even the smallest things
are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest?
It's a humbling thought that we don't
have all that much control over the external events of our lives. For instance, there's that old Liar, Satan, who likes to
poke his nose into every facet of our business. He'd like to think we're easy pickings for his nasty little harvest. And beware
that you say such things as, "I'd give anything ..." Satan is the one who will seize that opportunity and yes, he
can grant your wishes, too. Many times he does. Then he comes back for payment from you a nickel at a time.
want wealth? Satan will give it to you. Then what? How many lives have been ruined by winning the lottery? But you say you'd
like to just try it? Don't bother. Satan doesn't play fair. He wants to own you, lock stock and barrel.
on the other hand, says, Do my work and I will prosper you. God is not against prosperity. It's not money that gets
people in trouble. Rather, it's the love of moneythat leads to sin. The love of money leads to greed and corruption.
People who are thousandaires strive to become millionaires. Millionaires strive to become billionaires. No matter how weather
they are, they are never satisfied with what they have. Prosperity, on the other hand, comes with contentment.
we are prosperous we thank the Lord that we have enough to spare and some left to share.
Lots of people are anxious
about money because they have this idea that they want more and more and more, and never realizing that they don't have enough,
and probably will never have enough to suit them.
But money isn't the only thing that causes so much anxiety. It's
the fear that we're never going to be in control of situations or events in our lives.
When you look at your life,
what is it that you think you do have control over? Your children? Your addicted spouse? Your job? Your ability to drive down
the street and not have an accident? Your shopping for food and making the assumption that the food hasn't been tampered with
by an idiot who has figured out a way to slip a poison into your food without it being detected until you get sick and are
rushed to a hospital? Or you order and egg at a restaurant and get a dose of salmonella.
How's that control thing
working out for you?
But here's what you do. First of all, get down on your knees and pray to God. Pray to Jesus
Christ. Ask the Holy Spirit to come into your heart and help you figure things out better. God likes our prayers better when
we are reverent, I've found. That's why kneeling is best; it's humbling.
Don't want to do that? Well, you don't
have to. Life can continue the way it's been going for you if you are filled with fears and anxieties. But if you want your
life to change, let Jesus Christ into your heart. He has solutions for you that you can't even imagine.
Master of the universe and it's Jesus Christ who is the agent of change in your life, not you.
March 15, 2012
Oh my, what
a beautiful day we had today. It warmed up to a perfect 74 degrees. Soft, gentle breezes. Then there was this dark, ugly row
of clouds that I had my eye on as I drove to work. It was about twenty miles away. Never did get a drop of rain. The clouds
scooted east and stayed out of my way. The storm must have hit Detroit. I saw some pretty ugly video of tornadoes over there
late this afternoon. Lots of damage and rubble. Hope there were no casualties.
On another subject, I have been
thinking about compassion a lot these days. The people who are able to express and share it with others are so welcome in
my world. Here's the deal. We all have to fashion our responses to other people similarly to what our Lord and Savior, Jesus
Christ, would do.
Compassion and gentle tenderness. And love and kindness. And helping one another.
comes from good friend Shirley all the way from Arizona:
This is SIMPLY AWESOME!I’ve never seen this
before! Whoever put “The Resume of
Jesus Christ” together is surelya blessing to us all! Please share
it! The last
sentence says it all...
The Resume of Jesus Christ
Phone: Romans 10:13
Website: The Bible . Keywords: Christ, Lord, Savior
My name is Jesus -The
Christ. Many call me Lord! I've sent you my resume because
I'm seeking the top management position in your
heart. Please consider my
accomplishments as set forth in my resume.
I founded the earth and established the heavens, (See Proverbs 3:19)
formed man from the dust of the ground, (See Genesis 2:7)
I breathed into man the breath of life,
(See Genesis 2:7)
I redeemed man from the curse of the law, (See Galatians 3:13)
The blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant comes upon your life through me, (See
I've only had one employer, (See Luke 2:49 ).
never been tardy, absent, disobedient, slothful or disrespectful.
My employer has nothing
but rave reviews for me, (See Matthew 3:15 -17)
Skills Work Experiences
Some of my skills and work experiences include: empowering
the poor to be poor no
more, healing the broken hearted, setting the captives free, healing the sick,
sight to the blind and setting at liberty them that are bruised, (See
am a Wonderful Counselor, (See Isaiah 9:6). People who listen to me shall dwell
safely and shall not fear evil,
(See Proverbs 1:33 ).
Most importantly, I have the authority, ability and power to
cleanse you of your
sins, (See I John 1:7-9)
I encompass the entire breadth and length of knowledge,
wisdom and understanding,
(See Proverbs 2:6).
In me are hid all of the treasures
of wisdom and knowledge, (See Colossians 2:3).
My Word is so powerful; it has been
described as being a lamp unto your feet and a
light unto your path, (See Psalms 119:105).
I can even tell you all of the secrets of your heart, (See Psalms 44:21).
I was an active participant in the greatest Summit Meeting
of all times, (See
Genesis 1:26 ).
I laid down my life so that you may live, (See
II Corinthians 5:15 ).
I defeated the arch enemy of God and mankind and made a
show of them openly, (See
Colossians 2:15 ).
I've miraculously fed the poor, healed
the sick and raised the dead!
There are many more major accomplishments, too many
to mention here. You can read
them on my website, which is located at: www dot - the BIBLE. You don't need
Internet connection or computer to access my website.
Believers and followers worldwide will testify to my divine healing, salvation,
deliverance, miracles, restoration and supernatural guidance.
Now that you've read my resume, I'm confident that I'm the only candidate
qualified to fill this vital position in your heart. In summation, I will properly
direct your paths,
(See Proverbs 3:5-6), and lead you into everlasting life, (See
John 6:47 ). When can I start? Time is of
the essence, (See Hebrews 3:15 ).
Send this resume to everyone you know,
you never know
may have an opening!
Thanks for your help.
March 14, 2012
I just got
this link from my friend in the Quad Cities area in northern Illinois. It's an eagle mom sitting on her nest. And the article
points out that the nest if seven feet in diameter! http://www.alcoa.com/locations/usa_davenport/en/info_page/eaglecam.asp
Got this from Mary, a friend who lives in Springfield. It comes to her from an attorney. And just an aside, when
your credit card is stolen, you do know that you have to file the report in the police department where the fraud/theft took
place, don't you? There's lot of good advice here and I thank you, Mary, for sending this. I'm going to write "photo
ID required" on each card as I receive new ones. That's a great idea!
All Credit Card Users Advice
Advice for all credit card users posted by Bluwolf at Caps Corner
Sunday morning 03/11/2012
bluwolf] Read this and make a copy
for your files in case you need to refer to it
we should all
take some of his advice! A corporate attorney sent
the following out to the
employees in his
1.Do not sign the back of your credit cards.
Instead, put 'PHOTO ID REQUIRED.'
you are writing checks to pay
on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the
line. Instead, just put the last four
numbers. The credit card company
knows the rest of the number, and anyone
who might be handling your check as it
passes through all the check processing
channels won't have access to it.
3.Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If
you have a PO Box use that instead
of your home address. If you do not have a PO
Box, use your work address. Never have your SS# printed on your checks.
You can add it if it is necessary. But if you have It printed, anyone can get
the contents of your wallet on photocopy machine. Do both sides of each
license, credit card, etc. You will know what
you had in your wallet and all of
the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in
a safe place. I also carry a photocopy of my passport when I travel either here
or abroad. We've all heard horror
stories about fraud that's committed on us in
stealing a Name, address,Social Security number, credit cards..
Unfortunately, I, an attorney, have firsthand knowledge because my
wallet was stolen last month. Within a week, the
thieves ordered an expensive
monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line
to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN number from DMV to change my
driving record information online, and more.
But here's some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know:
5.We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately.
But the key is having the toll free numbers and
your card numbers handy so you
know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.
6.. File a police
report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc.,
were stolen. This proves to credit providers you
were diligent, and this is a
first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one). But here's what is
most important of all: (I never even thought to do this.)
Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations
immediately to place a fraud
alert on your name and also call the Social Security fraud line number. I had
heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an
application for credit was made over the Internet
in my name. The alert means
any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they
to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.
By the time I
was advised to do this, almost two
weeks after the theft, all the damage had
been done. There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves'
purchases, none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then, no
additional damage has been done,
and the thieves threw my wallet away this
weekend (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them dead in their
Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about
your wallet, if it has been
2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
3.) Trans Union : 1-800-680 7289 1-800-680 7289
4.) Social Security Administration
(fraud line): 1-800-269-0271
We pass along jokes on the Internet; we pass along
just about everything. If you are willing to pass this information along, it
could really help someone that you care
March 13, 2012
It has been
a really long day at an all day board meeting for Lutheran Women's Missionary League (LWML). The location of the meeting is
some 95 miles from home. We passed a resolution for mission grants in the amount of $75,000.
The women of the LWML
are amazing. They collect small amounts of change on a regular basis and add them all together and pretty soon, there are
thousands of dollars in our district, and almost two million at the national level. Then the money is sent all around the
world to help feed hungry children, start new churches, help church workers go to school, and a wide variety of projects that
One of the member groups, called Societies, is finishing up some 170 quilts they have been making
this winter. Another group, from my zone, has made 127 quilts. These quilts will be sent to Lutheran World Relief and shipped
to people around the world wherever they are needed.
It's a long day to meet for quarterly board meetings but
it's refreshing to partner with so many other women of faith who share a single commitment to help make the world a better
place to live in.
We had a mission pastor speak at our church last Sunday and he tells of the horrible poverty
in Central America. Did you know that there are children who do not have clothes to wear. And they eat maybe once every two
or three days?
Why aren't more people on fire with a passion to join in a partnership with churches that are working
hard in these poverty-stricken countries? These are the groups that make sure almost 100% of any money that's collected goes
right where it's needed. And much of that money is spent distributing the goods that are collected.
Pray for the
hungry and the naked children who live in squalor and poverty.
God bless you, each and every one.
March 11, 2012
the day when it feels like we've moved into another time zone -- one just to the west of us because the sun stays up longer.
My dear friend Joyce sent me this link to a video that is nothing short of adorable.
It's about a mother black bear and her three newborn cubs getting tagged in the wilds of Ontario. The commentator
is pretty funny too. Thank you, Joyce.
Here's another one from Joyce. It's about a young woman who's talking to
her grandpa about the ipad she gave him. He assures her that he's using it and knows all about the apps, etc. Watch this:
-- See, don't tell fibs.
And this comes from my cousin, Frances, in southern Texas:
How children perceive their Grandparents......
1. She was in the bathroom, putting on her makeup, under
eyes of her young granddaughter, as she'd done many times before.
After she applied her lipstick and
started to leave, the little one
said, "But Grandma, you forgot to kiss the toilet paper good-bye!" I
probably never put lipstick on again without thinking about
kissing the toilet paper good-bye....
2. My young
grandson called the other day to wish me Happy Birthday.
He asked me how old I was, and I told him, 80. My grandson was
for a moment, and then he asked, "Did you start at 1?"
3. After putting her grandchildren
to bed, a grandmother changed into
old slacks and a droopy blouse and proceeded to wash her hair. As she
children getting more and more rambunctious, her patience
grew thin. Finally, she threw a towel around her head and stormed
their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings. As she left
the room, she heard the three-year-old
say with a trembling voice,
"Who was THAT?"
4. A grandmother was telling her little granddaughter
what her own
childhood was like. "We used to skate outside on a pond. I had a swing
made from a tire; it hung
from a tree in our front yard. We rode our
pony. We picked wild raspberries in the woods."
The little girl
was wide-eyed, taking this all in. At last she said,
"I sure wish I'd gotten to know you sooner!"
5. My grandson was visiting one day when he asked, "Grandma, do you
know how you and God are alike?" I mentally
polished my halo and I
said, "No, how are we alike?'' "You're both old," he replied.
6. A little
girl was diligently pounding away on her grandfather's
word processor. She told him she was writing a story.
it about?" he asked.
"I don't know," she replied. "I can't read."
7. I didn't know
if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I
decided to test her. I would point out something and ask what color
was. She would tell me and was always correct. It was fun for me, so I
continued. At last, she headed for the
door, saying, "Grandma, I think
you should try to figure out some of these colors yourself!"
When my grandson Billy and I entered our vacation cabin, we kept
the lights off until we were inside to keep from attracting
insects. Still, a few fireflies followed us in. Noticing them before I
did, Billy whispered, "It's no
use Grandpa. Now the mosquitoes are
coming after us with flashlights."
9. When my grandson asked me how
old I was, I teasingly replied, "I'm
not sure." "Look in your underwear, Grandpa," he advised "Mine
I'm 4 to 6."
10.. A second grader came home from school and said to her
guess what? We learned how to make babies
today." The grandmother, more than a little surprised, tried to keep
her cool. "That's interesting." she said... "How do you make babies?"
replied the girl. "You just change 'y' to 'i' and add 'es'."
11. Children's Logic: "Give me a sentence
about a public servant,"
said a teacher. The small boy wrote: "The fireman came down the ladder
The teacher took the lad aside to correct him. "Don't you
know what pregnant means?" she asked.
said the young boy confidently. 'It means carrying a child."
12. A grandfather was delivering his grandchildren
to their home one
day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the
fire truck was a Dalmatian
dog. The children started discussing the
"They use him to keep crowds back," said one child.
"No," said another. "He's just for good luck.."
A third child brought the argument to a close."They
use the dogs," she
said firmly, "to find the fire hydrants."
13. A 6-year-old was asked where
his grandma lived. "Oh," he said,
"she lives at the airport, and when we want her, we just go get her.
Then, when we're done having her visit, we take her back to the
14. Grandpa is the smartest
man on earth! He teaches me good things,
but I don't get to see him enough to get as smart as him!
Grandparents are funny, when they bend over, you hear gas leaks
and they blame their dog.
March 7, 2012
Got this earnest
prayer from a dear friend, Diane, who lives in Hidalgo:
Hi Lord, its me.* *We are getting older and
things are getting bad here.*
*Gas prices are too high, no jobs, food and heating costs too high.* *I
have taken you out of our schools, government and even* *Christmas,
but Lord I'm asking you to come back* *and re-bless
America .* *We really
need you!* *There are more of us who want you than those who don't!* *Thank
Lord,* *I Love you.* *If you agree, send it on---if not just delete.*
*Only you & the Lord will know.*
*"Life without God is** **like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point."*
As a side note, there
is a prayer group that stops to pray at 8:00 p.m. Central Standard Time. The prayer is for America to return to its Christian
roots and rid Washington, D. C. of all corrupt politicians. People all over the country are joining together in this common
prayer. Join in if you can.
Last night was Ladies Aid at church. What a privilege it is to meet with other women
of like Christian values and to share God's word in a Bible Study, then our hostess for the evening, Melissa, made a wonderful
spread of fresh fruit. She also made cookies but I didn't have any. It seems that sugar has become my enemy since learning
that I have gout that settled in my lower back and my right thumb. The medicine that I now take is for people who specifically
took Cytoxan as a chemo treatment for breast cancer. So, no sugary desserts. But then, since Quint is diabetic,
Splenda has become my friend. And I can also get chocolate covered cherries from Figi's and have them shipped to me. Yummmmmmy!
It's really windy here. So bad that the windmill has blown over twice in the last day or so. I also heard that
there were 90 mph gusts in Las Vegas. Not that anybody who goes to Las Vegas goes outside to stand on the sidewalks to enjoy
the weather. I mean, they don't even have clocks in the casinos. They'd probably like it if people took their watches off,
but that's not happening much either.
Got this from both cousins, Mark and Alan, so you know it's serious
Can't eat pork,
Can't eat chicken,
Can't eat Beef, Mad cow
Can't eat eggs, Salmonella.
eat fish, heavy metal poisons in their waters.
Can't eat fruits and veggies E coli, insecticides and herbicides.
I believe that leaves Chocolate
and ice cream!!!!!!!!
Remember - - - 'STRESSED'
March 5, 2012
Got this poignant
story from cousin Mark. Enjoy! Gratitude is a acquired pleasure.Have a great day full of love and happiness.
Change Your Thinking
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.
One man was allowed
to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain
the fluid from his lungs.
His bed was next
to the room's only window.
The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked
for hours on end.
They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement
military service, where they had been on vacation..
Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could
sit up, he would pass
the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the
The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world
would be broadened and enlivened
by all the activity and colour of the world
The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.
Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young
lovers walked arm in arm amidst
flowers of every colour and a fine view of the city
skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by
the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the
other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine
this picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.
the other man could not hear the band - he could see it in his mind's eye
as the gentleman by the window portrayed it
with descriptive words.
Days, weeks and months passed.
One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring
water for their baths only to find the
lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.
She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate,
the other man asked if he could be moved next to
the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making
sure he was
comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to
take his first look at the
real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed.
It faced a blank wall.
The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had
described such wonderful things outside this window.
The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not
even see the wall.
She said, 'Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.'
is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.
Shared grief is half the sorrow, but
happiness when shared, is doubled.
And these quips from "kids in church" comes from dear friend,
Cody, in Warrensburg, MO:
A little boy was in a relative's wedding.
As he was coming down the aisle, he would
take two steps,
stop, and turn to the crowd.
While facing the crowd, he would put his hands
up like claws and roar.
So it went, step, step, ROAR, step, step, ROAR, all the way down the
As you can imagine, the crowd was near tears from laughing so hard
by the time he reached the pulpit.
When asked what he was doing, the child sniffed and said,
"I was being the Ring Bear."
Sunday in a Midwest City ,
a young child was "acting up" during the morning worship hour.
The parents did their best to maintain some sense of order in the pew
but were losing the battle.
Finally, the father picked the little fellow up
and walked sternly up the aisle on his way out.
Just before reaching the safety of the foyer,
the little one called loudly to the congregation,
me! Pray for me!"
One particular four-year old prayed,
"And forgive us our trash baskets
as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."
A little boy was overheard praying:
if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it.
I'm having a real good time like I am."
School teacher asked her little children, as they were on the way to church
service, "And why is it necessary to
be quiet in church?"
One bright little girl replied, "Because people are sleeping."
A little boy opened the big and old family Bible with fascination,
at the old pages as he turned them.
Then something fell out of the Bible.
He picked it
up and looked at it closely.
It was an old leaf from a tree that has been pressed in between the pages.
look what I found," the boy called out.
"What have you got there, dear?" his mother asked.
With astonishment in the young boy's voice he answered,
"I think it's Adam 's suit".
The preacher was wired for sound with a lapel mike,
and as he preached, he moved briskly about the platform,
the mike cord as he went.
Then he moved to one side,
getting wound up in the cord and
nearly tripping before jerking it again.
After several circles and jerks,
a little girl
in the third pew leaned toward her mother and whispered,
"If he gets loose, will he hurt us?"
old Angie , and her four-year old brother, Joel , were sitting together in
Joel giggled, sang
and talked out loud.
Finally, his big sister had had enough.
"You're not supposed to talk out loud in church."
"Why? Who's going to stop me?" Joel asked.
Angie pointed to the back of the church and said,
those two men standing by the door?
My grandson was visiting one day when he
"Grandma, do you know how you and God are alike?"
polished my halo, while I asked,
"No, how are we alike?"
"You're both old," he replied.
A ten-year old, under the tutelage of her grandmother,
was becoming quite knowledgeable about the Bible.
Then, one day, she floored her grandmother by asking,
"Which Virgin was the mother
of Jesus ? The virgin Mary or the King James Virgin ?"
A Sunday school class was studying the
They were ready to discuss the last one.
teacher asked if anyone could tell her what it was.
Susie raised her hand, stood tall, and
"Thou shall not take the covers off the neighbor's wife."
March 3, 2012
your hearts in prayer for the victims of this horrible rash of tornados today. These are killer winds. In addition to fatalities
reported, there's dangers with houses being lifted off their foundations. It's a good night to stay in, be safe, and
pray that God will embrace all those people who are suffering with heavy losses. Harrisburg, in southern Illinois, was particularly
hit, it seems to me. But there are other areas, with just as deadly outbreaks. I heard on one of the news channels that this
year would be as bad as the tornado season in 1978.
We pray steadfastly, also, that our nation will return to
its Christian roots on which it was founded.
I look forward to going to church on Sunday and hearing a message
from the Gospel lesson that, at least in part, says For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and
sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
I think there are a whole bunch of people out there who have kind of postponed thinking about what
they're going to do with all this Christianity stuff. "I'll worry about all that when I get older," they seem to
Well, think of Andrew Breitbart, who now lays cold and quiet at the tender age of 43.
He was one of my favorite reads. He was the kind of journalist that Pulitzer hoped to reward for courage through the printed
word. I pray that he was okay with God before he took his last breath. I have a feeling that he was.
But what about
all the other people out there? You know the ones -- they don't want the children to pray in school. They don't want to say
the word "God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. They don't want to hear anything that sounds like Christian talk. Woe
be to those who turn their backs on God. This verse in Mark tells them exactly what God will do in retaliation. And don't
think for one minute that they can appease God with some half-witted excuse like, "I didn't mean it. You know I wasn't
serious, don't you?"
It's time to pray like you mean it. It's time to spend your days thinking about God.
Oh, you don't have to jump up out of your chair screaming "Hallalujah." But you can think about the Great and Wonderful
Creator of the Universe who allows you to take each breath throughout every day of your life. Be thankful for that.
I have always wondered about the people who want to go to heaven. Don't they realize that they will spend their time praising
and worshiping God? If they are looking forward to the time when they are able to do that, wouldn't you think they could spend
more time worshiping and praising God every day, in some way?
There are so many things a person can do to worship
God. He sees us when we are kind to others. He sees us when we are compassionate and generous. He sees us when we try with
all our heart to lead a life as free as sin as we possibly can - not that we'll ever be totally sin-free, what being human
and all. But we ought to try as best as we can to avoid temptation and sin in our lives.
God likes it when we strive
to do that.
February 29, 2012
to ask yourself --
Can you tell the difference between being tested and being tempted?
When you're tempted, it involved a sin of some sort.
Being tested is a form of discipline. Discipline makes
you grow in faith. It enriches you and tempers your faith into a tool as strong as steel.
The passage that started
all this thinking about being tempted was from the Epistle lesson a week or so ago. It's from the Book of James, and
says: Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and
he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. -- James 1:13-14
So if you feel like you're being tempted, who do you think might be the culprit?
Another easy answer
-- Satan himself.
Satan is the author of evil. Not God. God does not tempt us, Satan does. Temptations involve
sins. Testing involves love through discipline.
This notion that there is a person named Satan reared its head
out on the campaign trail a few weeks back. Santorum made the comment that "...Satan had his eye on Washington."
What a firestorm that set off. Here came the spindoctors who tried to make Santorum look like a religious kook. Until some
organization did a survey and found that 70% of Americans believe -- truly believe -- that Satan really does exist.
Remember way back in Sunday School days hearing that the best trick Satan has going for him is that he convinces people
that he does not exist. Well, that doesn't happen in the United States.
We're a Christian nation and we know he's
real. And his favorite game is Gotcha!
If you want an inkling about who Satan is, take a look at the Book of Job.
In the very first chapter, in verse 6, we read: One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord,
and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, "Where have you come from?"
Satan answered the
Lord, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."
Then follows a conversation
recorded between the Lord and Satan. So if the Lord recognizes Satan and calls him by name, who are we to even think that
he does not exist?
Rest safely in the arms of the Lord, my friends, and pray fervently for his protection from
Satan and all that is evil.
February 28, 2012
I go off in a different direction, you have to watch this video of the Daytona 500. Talk about races, burning cars, fast bumps,
and one big brewhaha. One spill took out six cars: http://news.yahoo.com/video/turnerweekendtop5-20497430/weekend-top-5-daytona-28446636.html#crsl=%252Fvideo%252Fturnerweekendtop5-20497430%252Fweekend-top-five-homestead-27337497.html
Here's a video that is precious. It's about Pastor Ed Dobson, who developed ALS. He talks about his new role as
a different kind of pastor now that he no longer has an active church. http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/18/tending-the-garden-one-person-at-a-time/
Pastor Rensner talked about how come God, who has the power to stop the storms in our lives, doesn't do that.
Pastor said that sometimes God calms the person going through the storm rather than calming the storm. And why would He do
that? His reasons are his own and they are not my ways.
I am working on a thesis of the difference between being
tested and being tempted. I hope to have it finished by this time tomorrow, so I hope you'll come back to read it.
Blessings, prayers and hugs,
February 27, 2012
This story comes from
Connie today. She says it will give you the chills....... GOOD chills. See if you agree.
A young man had been
to Wednesday Night Bible
Study. The Pastor had shared about listening to God and obeying the Lord's voice
The young man couldn't help but wonder, 'Does God still speak to people?'
After service, he went out with
some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed
the message. Several different ones talked about how God had
led them in different ways.
It was about ten o'clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in
his car, he just began to pray, 'God...If you still speak
to people, speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to
As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought to stop
and buy a gallon
of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, 'God is that you?' He didn't get a reply and
started on toward home. But
again, the thought, buy a gallon of milk.
The young man thought about Samuel and how he didn't recognize the voice
and how little Samuel ran to Eli. 'Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk.' It didn't seem
like too hard
a test of obedience. He could always use the milk. He stopped and purchased the
gallon of milk and
started off toward home.
As he passed Seventh Street, he again felt the urge, 'Turn Down that street.' This
is crazy he thought, and drove on past the intersection.
Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street
At the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh.
Half jokingly, he said out loud, 'Okay,
God, I will.'
He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop He pulled over
to the curb
and looked around. He was in a semi- commercial area of town. It wasn't
the best but it wasn't the worst of neighborhoods
either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark like the people were
already in bed.
Again, he sensed something, 'Go and give the milk to the people in the house across
the street.' The young man looked
at the house. It was dark and it looked like the
people were either gone or they were already asleep. He started to open
and then sat back in the car seat.
'Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake
them up, they are going
to be mad and I will look stupid.' Again, he felt like he should go and give the
Finally, he opened the door, 'Okay God, if this is you, I will go to the door and I
will give them the milk.
If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want
to be obedient. I guess that will count for something, but if
they don't answer
right away, I am out of here.'
He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could
hear some noise inside. A
man's voice yelled
out, 'Who is it? What do you want?' Then the door opened before the
young man could
The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He looked like he just got
of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn't seem too happy to have some
stranger standing on his
doorstep. 'What is it?'
The young man thrust out the gallon of milk, 'Here, I brought this to you.' The man
took the milk and rushed down a hallway.
Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen.
was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming
down his face.
The man began speaking and half crying, 'We were just praying. We had
some big bills this month and we ran out of
money. We didn't have any milk for our
baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get some milk.'
His wife in the kitchen yelled out, 'I ask him to send an Angel with some. Are you
young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him
and put in the man's hand. He turned and
walked back toward his car and the tears
were streaming down his face.
He knew that God still answers prayers.
This is so true. Sometimes it's the simplest things that God asks us to do that
cause us, if we are obedient
to what He's asking, to be able to hear His voice
more clear than ever. Please listen, and obey ! He will bless you (and
February 25 -- 26, 2012
adding this video at the front. It's from my cousin Mark and it's a video showing an owl coming in for a landing on a security
tower. http://www.dogwork.com/owfo8/ It's unbelievable footage showing the owl "putting on the brakes," so to speak. And look at those wing maneuvers!
It's only a minute long, but fascinating.
Beautiful photograph by Paul Bunyard, set to music -- called Chasing
the Light. It's a four and a half minute respite! http://www.dogwork.com/bnpcduk8/
One of my favorite videos -- this is a dog in a contest -- apparently the judges don't give him very high marks
because he can't seem to get it right. But then, just wait until the amazing end! http://www.dogwork.com/tconmv8/
This is a video (1:40) of cranes flying over Venice, Italy. Fascinating photography of the landscape below, but
also of the cranes communicating with one another while flying: http://www.dogwork.com/crafly9/
Here's a video, also from dogworld.com that shows a little bird coming into a bluegrass festival and sitting on
the lead singer's guitar. Too funny! http://www.dogwork.com/blugrs9/
Now, before you watch this next one, please realize that dogs are not supposed to stand upright and walk, much
less dance. But here's a cute little dog doing a Paso Doble. Yes, dancing: http://www.dogwork.com/psdqwk8/
Danica Patrick crashed intot he wall at Daytona today: http://www.breitbart.tv/danica-patrick-crashes-at-daytona/
Oh dear. This video shows someone getting creamed by an oncoming traffic. Just another reason why I don't do any
road ranging during ice and snow and black ice weather: http://www.breitbart.tv/nissan-frontier-shattered-into-bits-by-oncoming-semi/
Here's a recently discovered amateur video of the shuttle that exploded. After watching it, the videographers
didn't really understand what had happened. It seemed like they thought the crash was the booster rocket separating. http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2012/02/24/vo-challenger-amateur-video.newscientist
And this final video is about a man named Omar and his seeing eye dog Salty. Omar was working on the 71st floor
of the World Trade Center when the building was hit. Watch this video of this remarkable dog rescuing and saving his best
friend, Omar: http://www.dogwork.com/arfp8/
February 24, 2012
know that 2012 is a leap year, don't you? Just thought I'd bring that up, in case you overlooked the fact that February has
29 days in it this year.
So it's Friday night here at home. It's cold outside with the wind whipping around the
corner of the house. And we're about ready to settle down to a good old mystery on Netflix streaming and Quint asks from the
kitchen, "You want popcorn with that?" Who could say no? Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks.
3-2-1 cakes for dessert. If you remember, I have a big plastic bag into which I mixed together a sugar-free yellow cake mix
and an angel food cake mix. Really mix them well. Then, whenever you want a quick little cake, you mix 3 tablespoons of this
cake mix and 2 tablespoons of water. Microwave that for 1 minute and you have this unbelievable little cake.
I got fancy, I did. I put about 1/2 tablespoon of margarine and 1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar blend (with Splenda). Microwave
that for about 5 seconds until the butter is melted. Stir that up and put in 1/2 tablespoon of crushed pineapple. Then add
the mixed up 32-1 cake mix and microwave that for 1 minute. Yummmy!
I'm going to see if sliced strawberries in
the bottom of my little dish (which is about the size of a ramekin), then put the 3-2-1 mixed up cake mix and see if it passes
for a strawberry short cake. It might. Or it might be close enough to pass for a suitable substitute.
the subject, the weather here has taken a dive down to 36 degrees. This time yesterday it was almost 60 degrees. For those
of you who just joined us from the United Arab Emirates, it probably doesn't matter that much. You have heat all year round.
But you also have sand. I don't know if I could really get used to living on a sand hill. It just looks - well, dry.
But since readers are from all over the world, it's probably a curiosity for some who never experience snow. (You're not
missing much at all.)
And as a side note, I'm so glad that you liked the blog from a few days ago about the man
praying the Lord's Prayer. It's unbelievable how many emails I've gotten in favor of this prayer. And how it's made you pause
and think about what you're saying when you pray. You know, God really is right around you every minute of the day. And he
cares about you, so keep on praying.
My prayer for you is that you will be blessed with many wonderful people
and opportunities that God will put in your life today. Enjoy each and every one of them.
February 23, 2012
was Ash Wednesday service at church. It marks a time when we begin a remembrance of the death of Jesus Christ and his resurrection
three days later at Easter. It's a somber time and as I sat in church and looked around me, I saw the usual faithful worshipers.
I felt closer to them than I do at other times of the year. The imposition of ashes reminds us that we came from dust and
it is to dust that we will return. In the meantime, we are to live our lives as Christians and walk through life behaving
as if --
...as if Christ were right beside us, visibly point out pitfalls,
... as if Christ were steering
us around the misdeeds we might otherwise get ourselves into,
... as if we remember that we are never alone,
... as if we realize consciously that Christ is watching us,
... as if we remember that it is Christ who
sits at the right hand of God interceding for us on our behalf,
... as if we remember, also, that it is Christ
who will judge us when we catch up with eternity,
... as if we always remember that we are to pray to God, our
heavenly father, and we can only get there through Jesus Christ,
... as if we want more than anything to please
God and Jesus Christ,
and finally, as if we are truly sorry for all our sins.
This isn't one of the
questions that is listed as having been asked by Jesus, but sometimes, when I do really silly stuff, I have this vision of
Jesus asking, "What in the world did you do that for?" It helps me not to do things anymore that I really don't
want to do and know that I shouldn't do.
February 21, 2012
feel the earthquake this morning? It registered 4.0 on the Richter Scale. I'll have to tell Quint that it wasn't the wind
that was rattling the windows that woke him at 4:00 am, but rather, the temblor shifting around close to the New Madrid fault
line. Here's a map that shows exactly where the earthquake was: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsus/Maps/US10/32.42.-95.-85.php
But if you really want to see something, take a look see at this map of the United States -- 806 earthquakes in
the last 24 hours. California and Alaska are always feeling a lot of shaking going on.
Stay safe out there, my
Changing the subject, back to the List of 100 Questions that Jesus Asked:
Question #79 -- How
is it that you seek praise from one another and not seek the praise that comes from God? John 5:44
this question with me for a moment. Remember the last time you went to get a new outfit? You found something that you thought
would look good on you. You looked in the 3-way mirror to make sure the outfit draped across your body just the way you wanted
it to. And why is that?
Simple. When we buy something new to wear, we're thinking of what others will think of
it. Then they'll tell us how nice it looks.
We'll get praise.
But hold on here for a moment. The question
that Jesus is asking is how come you're thinking about what others think?
How come you aren't all that concerned
about what God thinks of you?
I think there might be a couple of answers to this question.
One of the
thoughts I have is that because we don't physically see God, it's sometimes hard to imagine that he's right here, right now,
in this very room, reading over your shoulder. Maybe watching you curiously to see how you get through your day. But, our
humanness sometimes fails us spiritually because we aren't always consciously thinking that God is present everywhere
at the same time.
How can that be? I don't know the answer to that. My brain can't get wrapped around that possibility,
but I know it's true because the Bible says so.
I know that after Quint and I finish our breakfast and we join
hands for our daily prayers, God is in the room with us. And I also know that it pleases God when his children talk to him.
That's what we do. We let him know what we're thankful for because he does so much for us. We wouldn't have a thread to wear
if it weren't for God's grace. Oh, I don't mean that he puts a hanger with clothes on it in our closet. But he makes provisions
for us to get the things we need as we go through our lives. And it's been like that since the day we were born.
God has always been a stellar provider. He has never failed to provide us with what we need.
By the same token,
he puts situations in our paths to see what we're going to do about them. He brings people to us to see how we're going to
react to them.
We need to always think about what we are doing so that we live our lives in ways that please God.
To me, that's a lot more important than whether someone else likes a dress I bought.
I care what God
thinks. I most definitely care what he thinks. And I hope that anything and everything I do in life tickles him. He is
not a person I ever want to be displeased with at me!
February 20, 2012
couldn't use a bit of humor in these harried political days? Got this one from my cousin Al in Virginia Beach:
female journalist heard about a very old Jewish man who had been going
to the Western Wall to pray, twice a day,
every day, for a long, long time.
So she went to check it out. She went to the
Western Wall and there he was,
walking slowly up to the holy site.
him pray and after about 45 minutes, when he turned to leave,
using a cane and moving very slowly, she approached him
for an interview.
"Pardon me, sir, I'm Rebecca Smith. What's your name?
"Morris Feinberg," he replied.
"Sir, how long have you been coming to the Western Wall and praying?"
"For about 60 years."
"60 years! That's amazing! What do you pray
"I pray for peace between the Christians, Jews and the Muslims."
"I pray for all the wars and all the hatred to stop."
"I pray for all our children to grow up safely as responsible adults and to
love their fellow man."
"I pray that politicians tell us the truth and put the interests of the people
of their own interests."
The reporter then asked, "How do you feel after
doing this for 60 years?"
"Like I'm talking to a wall."
And our good friend Joyce sends us this cost analysis of how much it costs to run a
Volt. Can you tell that Joyce is a banker by trade?
Subject: Cost to operate a Chevy Volt
Take a few
minutes to read thru this analysis. This is truly an economic failure,
until technology improves to change these costs!
This is what the Obama
Administration is pushing in his new budget! Just another "cash sink hole", from our
taxes, and huge debt!
Eric Bolling (Fox Business Channel's Follow the Money) test drove the Chevy Volt
the invitation of General Motors.
For four days in a row, the fully charged battery lasted only 25 miles
Volt switched to the reserve gasoline engine.
Eric calculated the car got 30 mpg including the
25 miles it ran on the battery.
So, the range including the 9 gallon gas tank and the 16 kwh battery is
It will take you 4 1/2 hours to drive 270 miles at 60 mph. Then add 10 hours to
charge the battery
and you have a total trip time of 14.5 hours.
In a typical road trip your average speed (including charging time)
would be 20 mph.
According to General Motors, the Volt battery hold 16 kwh
of electricity. It takes
a full 10 hours to charge a drained battery.
The cost for the electricity to charge the Volt is never mentioned
so I looked up
what I pay for electricity.
I pay approximately (it varies with amount used and the seasons)
$1.16 per kwh.
16 kwh x $1.16 per kwh = $18.56 to charge the battery.
$18.56 per charge
divided by 25 miles = $0.74 per mile to operate the Volt using the
Compare this to a similar
size car with a gasoline engine only that gets 32 mpg.
$3.19 per gallon divided by 32 mpg = $0.10 per mile.
The gasoline powered car cost about $15,000 while the Volt costs $46,000.........
So Government wants
us to pay 3 times as much, for a car that costs more that 7
times as much to run, and takes 3 times longer to drive across
- I have a question. After the battery just up and dies, how much will it cost to
destroy it? I doubt if the batteries will be allowed in landfill. I mean, if you can't even put an old, dead cell phone in
the landfill, what are you going to do with the Volt battery?
But what if you keep the Volt and decide to replace
the battery. I read somewhere a couple of years ago that the battery alone cost $25,000. Can that be right? Does anybody know?
If you do could you shoot me an email. Please.
this from my dear cousin Frances in Broaddus, Texas:
We need to show more sympathy for these people.
* They travel miles in the heat.
* They risk their lives crossing a border.
* They don't get paid enough wages.
* They do jobs that others won't do or are afraid to do.
* They live in crowded conditions among a people who speak a
* They rarely see their families, and they face adversity all day
~ every day..
I'm not talking about illegal Mexicans ~
I'm talking about our troops!
Doesn't it seem strange that so many are willing to lavish all
kinds of social benefits on illegals, but don't support
Wouldn't it be great if we took the $360,000,000,000 (that's
billion) we spend on illegals every year, and spend it on
February 17, 2012
one of the best versions of an interactive Lord's Prayer that I've ever read. It's sent to us from my dear friend
Cody in Warrensburg, MO. I do pray that it will enrich your life today and that you will think about this when you pray the
THE LORD'S PRAYER- Rather cleverly done. This is in two parts,
The prayer(in blue
type) and GOD(in red type)-in response.
It is very, very good.
Father Who Art In Heaven.
Don't interrupt me. I'm
But -- you called ME!
No, I didn't call you..
Our Father who art in Heaven.
There -- you did it again!
"Our Father who art in Heaven"
Well, here I am..
What's on your mind?
But I didn't mean anything by it.
I was, you know, just saying my prayers for the day.
say the Lord's Prayer.
It makes me feel good,
Kind of like fulfilling a duty.
Okay, Hallowed be thy name .
it right there.
What do you mean by that?
"Hallowed be thy name"?
It means, it means .. . Good grief,
I don't know what it means.
in the world should I know?
It's just a part of the prayer.
By the way, what does it mean?
means honored, holy, wonderful.
Hey, that makes sense..
I never thought about
what 'hallowed' meant before.
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in Heaven.
Do you really mean that?
Sure, why not?
What are you doing about it?
Why, nothing, I guess.
I just think it would be kind of neat if you got
of everything down here like you have up
There. We're kinda in a mess down here you know.
Yes, I know;
But, have I got control of you?
Well, I go to church..
That isn't what I asked you.
What about your bad temper?
got a problem there, you know.
And then there's the way you spend
Your money -- all on yourself.
And what about
the kind of books you read ?
Now hold on just a minute!
Stop picking on me!
just as good as some of the rest
Of those People at church!
you were praying
For my will to be done..
If that is to happen,
It will have to start with the ones
are praying for it.
Like you -- for example ....
Oh, all right. I guess I do have some
Now that you mention it,
I could probably name some others.
I haven't thought about it very much until now,
But I really would like to cut out
some of those things.
I would like to, you know, be really free.
We'll work together -- You and ME.
I'm proud of You.
Lord, if you don't mind,
I need to finish up here.
This is taking a lot longer than it usually does.
this day, our daily bread.
You need to cut out the bread..
You're overweight as it
Hey, wait a minute! What is this?
Here I was doing my religious duty,
all of a sudden you break in
And remind me of all my hang-ups.
Praying is a dangerous
You just might get what you ask for.
Remember, you called ME -- and here I am.
too late to stop now.
Keep praying. ( pause .. . )
Well, go on.
Scared? Of what?
I know what you'll say.
Forgive us our sins,
As we forgive those who sin against us.
See? I knew it!
I knew you would bring her up!
Why, Lord, she's told
lies about me, spread stories.
She never paid back the money she owes me..
I've sworn to get even with her!
But -- your prayer --
What about your prayer?
-- mean it..
Well, at least you're honest.
But, it's quite a load carrying around all
bitterness and resentment isn't it?
Yes, but I'll feel better as soon as I get
even with her.
Boy, have I got some plans for her.
She'll wish she had never been born.
you won't feel any better.
You'll feel worse.
Revenge isn't sweet.
You know how unhappy you are --
I can change that.
You can? How?
I'll forgive you;
And the hate and the sin,
will be Ann's problem -- not yours.
You will have settled the problem
as far as you are concerned.
Oh, you know, you're right.
You always are.
And more than I want revenge,
I want to be right with You . . (sigh).
All right, all right . .
I forgive her.
How do you feel?
Well, not bad.
Not bad at all!
In fact, I feel pretty great!
You know, I don't think I'll go to bed uptight
I haven't been getting much rest, you know.
Yeah, I know.
not through with your prayer, are you?
Oh, all right.
And lead us not
but deliver us from evil.
Good! Good! I'll do that.
put yourself in a place
where you can be tempted.
What do you mean by that?
You know what I mean.
Yeah. I know..
Go ahead. Finish your prayer.
For Thine is the
and the power,
and the glory forever.
Do you know what would
bring me glory?
What would really make me happy?
No, but I'd like to know.
I want to please you now...
I've really made a mess of things.
I want to truly behave like Christ
I can see now how great that would be.
So, tell me .. . .
How do I make you happy?
February 15, 2012
a break from the questions that Jesus asked, I have to share with you that Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) took Secretary (Health
and Human Services) Sebelius to task today about whether or not she had consulting with any bishops before drafting the contraceptive
order for the White House. Her response was that she had not, but assumed that the folks over at the White House must have.
Well, that wasn't quite good enough to Hatch who then made the statement that he believed all religious organizations
should be exempted from the contraception demand. (See article at: http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/02/15/sebelius-didnt-consult-bishops-on-contraception-deal/)
There are several layers to this argument, if you ask me. One is that of whether you believe women ought to be
able to buy contraceptives.
The other is a question of honoring all religions who are opposed to abortion and believe
that abortion is about killing an unborn child. In that event, then the "morning after pill" would make the trip
down that slippery slope.
Then there is the constitutional camp which is inhabited by people who believe that the
government has no right in tampering with freedom of religion. Forcing organizations, whether directly with religious
organizations, or imposing on the insurance companies who insure employees of religious organizations makes no difference.
The question isn't about who pays for the contraceptives -- the religious organization or its insurance company. It's about
whether the government has the right to mandate any such behavior.
Clearly there is not a lot of wiggle room with
folks who believe strongly that they have a right to hold onto their religious beliefs without interference from the government.
And yes, of course, the fed have overstepped its constitutional boundaries.
Bet this one makes it to the Supreme
February 14, 2012
question that Jesus asked is in Mark 8:12 -- Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign?
was when Jesus was meeting with the Pharisees and they wanted to test him. Guess they wanted to see if he could really perform
some good magic tricks. They asked him in verse 11 for a sign from heaven. You know that Jesus must have been a bit perturbed
because verse 12 starts out with Jesus sighing deeply.
Well, if you were the Son of God and you knew you could
move a mountain if you just wanted to, wouldn't you get just a bit exasperated with people trying to put you on the spot all
Why couldn't people just believe that Jesus was the Son of God? Would you? If you were expecting the
promised Messiah to be more, well, kingly, would you still believe a person who arrived on the scene dressed in something
that looked like a homespun robe? So he went around doing miracles. These were real miracles. They weren't magic signs that
could be explained by a slight of hand.
No, no. Jesus healed the sick. He made the lame walk. He even touched the
leper and made him clean. And he saved his best miracle to last when he raised a dead man back to life.
Not really. Because the very idea that he had brought a man back to life was used to prosecute him.
If you were reading the Galilean Daily Chronicles and there was this banner headline about a dead man walking again,
wouldn't you call to get a ticket to this man's next event?
Of course you would. And you'd probably try to get
a front row seat so that when this guy Jesus asked if anyone in the audience would like to come down to the front and ask
for anything they wanted, you'd hop on down there. What would you want? Win the lottery? Cure for your arthritis? A baby for
your barren womb? A fairy tale, drop dead gorgeous superman for a husband? A shiny new Corvette to tool around the Galilean
countryside? A big fancy yacht to troll around the Sea of Galilee, catching fish and stuff?
If you could have anything
you wanted, what kind of a sign would satisfy you that Jesus is the true Son of God. In fact, he's the only Son of God.
Jesus must have grown weary of people who had to have this proof that he was who he said he was.
think it's any different now -- 2,000+ years later? Aren't people still looking for a sign?
Can you just accept
in your hearts that Jesus is Lord? No signs are needed for those who believe.
And for those who do not believe,
there aren't enough signs in the whole world to bring the proof that they require.
It's all about faith. And believing.
February 13, 2012
my hands on a wonderful list called 100 Questions that Jesus Asked.
What a wonderful
springboard for our conversations here on this thread.
Eventually I want to go all the way through the questions
that Jesus asked. And the first one is from Matthew 6:27 -- Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifespan?
My recent - and I call the last two years of my life as recent -- bout with breast cancer jumps up and out of
the depths of that rusty barrel that houses my brain.
I will say that never during that entire ordeal did
I feel desperate and anxious about living or dying. That was because of a couple of reasons, not the least of which is the
verse quoted above. I know that somewhere in Jeremiah, there's a reference to the fact that God said he knew me when I was
still in my mother's womb. In another verse way back there in the Old Testament, probably from a psalm, there's a reference
to God knowing how many hairs I have on my head, and also how many days I will spend here on earth.
view those cancers for both Quint and me as God specifically not answering our prayers. I take a counter view because we have
both gone through that long, black tunnel of chemo. Radiation added for me. When we talked it through, all the way to the
core, we came to understand that God had, in fact, answered our prayer. You see, at our age, if there was to be cancer, it
was far better to get it out of the way, so to speak, before we got really old. Advanced age puts severe limitations on what
chemo you can get and what you can't tolerate. We are blessed to have gone through all that and are now in remission. In fact,
we just may be in better shape now than a lot of people who are incubating cancerous cells and don't know about it.
So, knowing that God knows all those details about my life, I have little to fear because I also know that he walks with
me through all my days.
Besides, God doesn't seem to put the same sense of desperation on dying that we humans
do. Perhaps that's because God thinks of death as the death of a soul. I figure that he's elated when a person's body dies
because those persons get to come back home to be with him in heaven. Who could cry about that?
It doesn't mean
we don't go through a grieving process when we lose our loved ones. And there might even be a few people who will be said
when my creaky old bones end up in the fiery pits of a crematorium. But I hope they will be overjoyed when death finds me
skipping through that tunnel that near-deathers describe.
After all, as Pastor Rensner says, "What are you
going to do, threaten me with heaven?"
So, no worries. Enjoy each and every little sunbeam as you travel down
the road of life. And get down on your knees and thank the good Lord above for all the blessings he has given you in this
life, right now.
February 12, 2011
Navy Seal quote
of the week
Dana Perrino ( Fox News) describing an interview she recently had with a Navy SEAL .
all the countries he had been sent to, she asked if they had to
learn several languages?
"No ma'am, we don't go there to talk."
February 9, 2012
ran over a hawk on the way home from work this afternoon. How could I ever explain how I could kill a bird on the wing! But
sure enough, the silly thing flew right in front of me about a foot higher than the hood of the car. He got real close to
the edge of the air.
That's Quint's reason for airline crashes. Planes crash when they go past the edge of the
Changing the subject, I'm making cookies for little kiddos at church. We have an after school program and
offer the kiddos a snack when they get off the bus and come into the play area with tummies that have caved in from hunger.
They get a half sandwich, a cookie and a piece of fruit. Then they go charging around the gym and burn it all off and go home
starved for supped.
I'm making cookies from a cake mix. To do that, you out two eggs into 1/3 cup oil and mix well.
Then, mix that into the dry cake mix. Makes a bit more than 2 dozen little cookies. The cookies are baked at 375 degrees for
6 - 8 minutes.
I got a confetti cake mix since little darlings adore confetti and sprinkles.
I got this beautiful story from my cousin Mark:
Tell me this one doesn't put life in perspective.
In Phoenix , Arizona , a 26-year-old mother stared down at her 6 year old son, who was
Although her heart was filled with sadness, she also had a strong feeling of determination.
Like any parent, she wanted her son to grow up and fulfill all
his dreams. Now that was no longer possible.
The leukemia would see to that. But she still wanted her son's
dream to come true.
her son's hand and asked,
'Billy, did you ever think about what you wanted to be once you grew up
Did you ever dream and wish what you would do with your life ?'
Mommy, 'I always wanted to be a
fireman when I grew up.'
Mom smiled back and said, 'Let's see if we can make your wish
Later that day she went to her local fire Department in Phoenix , Arizona, where she met Fireman
who had a heart as big as Phoenix .
She explained her son's final wish and asked if it might be possible
to give her
6 year-old son a ride around the block on a fire engine.
Fireman Bob said, 'Look, we can do better
than that. If you'll
have your son ready at seven o'clock Wednesday morning, we'll
make him an honorary
Fireman for the whole day. He can come down to the fire
station, eat with us, go out on all the fire calls,
the whole nine yards !
And if you'll give us his sizes, we'll get a real fire uniform
for him, with a real
fire hat - not a toy one with the emblem of the
Phoenix Fire Department on it, a yellow slicker
like we wear
and rubber boots.'
'They're all manufactured right here in Phoenix , so we can get them fast.'
Three days later Fireman Bob picked up Billy, dressed him in his uniform and escorted him from his hospital
bed to the waiting hook and ladder truck.
Billy got to sit on the back of the truck and help steer it
to the fire station. He was in heaven.
There were three fire calls in Phoenix that day and Billy
go out on all three calls.
He rode in the different fire engines, the Paramedic's' van, and
the fire chief's car. He was also videotaped for the local news program.
Having his dream come true, with
all the love and attention that was lavished upon him, so
deeply touched Billy, that he lived three months longer than
any doctor thought possible.
One night all of his vital signs began to drop dramatically and
the head nurse,
who believed in the hospice concept - that no one should die alone, began to
call the family members to the hospital.
Then she remembered the day Billy had spent as a Fireman, so
she called the Fire Chief and asked if it would
be possible to send a fireman in uniform to
the hospital to be with Billy as he made his transition..
chief replied, 'We can do better than that. We'll be there in five minutes. Will
you please do me a favor ?
When you hear the sirens screaming and see the lights flashing, will you announce
over the PA system that
there is not a fire? 'It's the department coming to see one of its finest members one more time. And will you open
the window to his
About five minutes later a hook and ladder truck arrived at the
hospital and extended its
ladder up to Billy's third floor open window --------
climbed up the ladder into Billy's room!
With his mother's permission, they hugged him and held him and
him how much they LOVED him.
With his dying breath, Billy looked up at the fire chief and
'Chief, am I really a fireman now?'
'Billy, you are, and The Head Chief, Jesus, is holding your hand,' the chief
With those words, Billy smiled and said, 'I know, He's been
holding my hand all day, and the angels
have been singing.'
He closed his eyes one last time.
February 8, 2012
this mountain of mud sitting at the edge of the yard. It's the residue from the sewer line repair the other day. Rather than
spread it out flat with the rest of the yard, we were told that the spring rains would pound it down so that the trench would
eventually be filled in. Sounds reasonable to me, but I think I'll get out there with a rake one of these days, all of the
same. Otherwise, I'm going to go out there in the next day or so and find a ski lift with very little people using the little
mound for their winter fun.
It got cold in the last day or so. Even had a dusting of snow. We are woefully behind
with our snowfall. According to the old wives' tale, since we had our first snowfall on the 27th of December, we can expect
27 snowfalls in total. Last night's dusting was only #4. Now, mind you, I don't mind not having 27 snowfalls. It's not like
it's a goal or something.
Oh, another thing. Changing the subject, NASA says that the oceans are not rising, but
rather, the level of water went down a bit. According to the weather/climate change/global warming gurus, weren't we told
that because of global warming, the ice sheets would be melting and we'd have so much more water in the oceans that our eastern
coast would be flooded. So how come the water level is going down? Faulty theory = flawed results. But then, just maybe because
the Russians drilled a hole in the ice sheet in Antarctica to get to an underground lake, maybe water is draining down into
the hole. Hey, it could happen!
Quint took me to lunch at Cracker Barrel today. When we were coming out to go back
to the car, we noticed that there had been a bunch of pansies in bloom before they got frosted. Now, who would plant blooming
pansies in the middle of winter? Sure enough, they got frostbit last night. I love the meatloaf at Cracker Barrel. If I close
my eyes, I can imagine that I'm back at Grandma Stubbe's boarding house in Paducah. Cracker Barrel's meatloaf tastes just
like hers. Maybe they found her recipe somewhere. It's delicious. So is their Cream of Potato Soup which is my favorite soup
And now my client has arrived for a session. I see her pulling into the driveway now.
February 6, 2012
world to be a better place? Then do something. Think about joining the huge group of volunteers in America.
this is old data, but it's the source I found when I went looking. It's a research article on volunteerism in America written
by Richard D. Young. He cited a Bureau of Labor Statistics report that says 59% of people in the United States who are 16
years old or older volunteered for an organization in some capacity. And that was for the year way back in 2001 to 2002.
that was 27.6% of the American population.
most often donate their time to religious organizations (33.9%). Second on the list is educational organizations who get 27.2%
of the volunteers. But it's the old folks who are 65 and older who donate
the most time to churches -- 45.2%.
Further, the Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies several
activities in which volunteers engage in consistently. The list below shows which activities are most predominate.
or coaching (24.4 %).
Canvassing, campaigning, or fundraising (22.9 %).
making, serving, or delivering goods (22.2 %).
● Serving on a board, committee, or
neighborhood association (16.3 %).
Providing care or transportation (12.3 %).
● Consulting or
administrative work (14.0 %). So this ties in with the Gospel lesson at church yesterday.
It's from Mark 1:29-39 and tells the story of Jesus healing Peter's mother-in-law from a fever. What's the first thing she
did when her fever went away? She got up and began to serve them.
Not because she had to, as Pastor Gillet said.
But because she wanted to.
When it comes to serving in the Kingdom of God, it's something we get to do.
We don't have to, but rather, we are allowed to serve.
In another article, again pulling data
from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we read that ... nearly 63 million Americans, slightly more than a quarter of the
population, volunteered for charities last year, providing services valued at nearly $173-billion. That’s down from
2009, when 63.4 million adults, or nearly 27 percent of the population, donated their time. The volunteer rate has not changed
significantly since 2006, hovering around 26 percent. Volunteerism reached nearly 29 percent from 2003 to 2005 and has been
as low as 20.4 percent in 1989, says a report by the Corporation for National and Community Service, which is based on annual
and monthly surveys of roughly 100,000 Americans age 16 or older, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor
What's neat about this article is an interactive map of the United States that compares the percentage
of volunteers in a state and compares it to the national average when you move your cursor over the state. http://philanthropy.com/article/Volunteerism-Holds-Steady-in/128565/
So get out there and be a good neighbor. While you're at it, volunteer to help out at your church too.
February 4, 2012
and I headed over to Culvers after closing up the junior quilting shop at church. When we started looking for a spot to sit
down at, I heard a familiar voice say, "Jane." It was the vice president of the Effingham/Shelby Zone and she invited
us to sit with her and her husband. They were just finishing up the flavor of the month (chocolate eclair) ice cream, so we
After talking about a dizzying list of favorite subjects, Chris and I then started talking about cake
recipes. I told her I was going to start visiting churches in the Zone. Tomorrow is my first outing. It's at a church where
the church council is making soup for lunch. I told her I was going to make a yellow cake with a peach pie filling and after
sharing that quick recipe with her (it's on the recipe page over there on the left), she said, "I'll tell you how to
make a cake."
She explained, first you mix a cake mix with an angel food cake mix. It can be any kind of cake
mix you want, but it has to be with an angel food cake mix.
Then, when you get those two cake mixes mixed well,
mix 3 tablespoons of the dry mix with 2 tablespoons of water and microwave for 1 minute.
She says it's easy to
remember because it's 3-2-1.
When I got home I mixed a sugar free yellow cake mix with an angel food mix that I
picked up on the way home.
Sure enough, it works! So I have this cake mix in a ziploc bag ready to make a cake
in a minute.
I even bought one of those new cans of frosting mix that Pillsbury has. It looks like a whipped cream
container where you kind of bend a plastic tip a bit and out comes the frosting.
What an amazing age we live in!
I remember when I was a little girl my grandmother would send me to the bakery to buy two layers of a yellow cake
if she didn't have time to bake a cake for a church event. And she thought that was cheating. But no one ever knew. She always
covered it with her famous 7 Minute Frosting so who would have ever been able to tell.
One of my other favorite
memories of my grandmother was her little forest of African Violet leaves. She had a big pan of sand which she kept wet. Then
she would take leaves from her African Violets and stick them in the sand. After some mysterious length of time, she'd know
when to take the leaves out because they'd have roots developed. She'd plant them in little pots and after a while, little
baby African Violets would pop their little faces up through the dirt. Eventually, she'd cut the big leaf off and put it back
in the sand to make a new generation.
I got up enough nerve to try that this year. A nurse at the oncology center
assured me that this method would work so I gave it a try. I now have a beautiful purple and another pink African Violet and
when I get a little new plant, I give them to clients who want them.
Except that I only use African Plant Food
water. That makes them bloom like happy little campers. Pretty much all the time too.
February 2, 2012
groundhog can be believed, we don't have to worry about winter weather so much. We had fog as thick as pea soup. Not only
could the rat not see his shadow, I doubt if he could see his cute little paw in front of his face. Yay! Go groundhog.
I received this from my friend Cody in Warrensburg, MO:
One of the best I've seen lately........
Ever wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?
What if we
carried it around in our purses or pockets?
What if we flipped through it several times a day?
if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?
What if we used it to receive messages from the text?
What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?
What if we gave it to Kids as gifts?
if we used it when we traveled?
What if we used it in case of emergency?
This is something to make
you go....hmm...where is my Bible?
Oh, and one more thing.
Unlike our cell phone, we don't have to
worry about our Bible being
disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.
Makes you stop and think 'where
are my priorities? And no dropped calls!
When Jesus died on the cross, he was thinking of you!
I read another article today on the web warning about yet another scam. This one has to do with jury duty. Supposedly someone
sends you an email or calls you to let you know there's a warrant for your arrest because you didn't show up for jury duty.
After you pick yourself up off the floor and start to explain that you never got a summons to appear for jury
duty, then the most helpful scam artist at the other end of the phone asks you for your social security number and birthday
so it can be double checked against the list of warrants. Now, we aren't going to give anybody that kind of information, are
Please say you won't.
Scam artists are mean. They're usually crooks who need to go where other criminals
If you live in Illinois, you need to know that Illinois is a "do not call" state. That means if
you get an annoying telemarketing call, immediately tell the caller that you are aware that you live in a "do not call"
state and want your name taken off the list he/she is calling from. The caller has to stop the conversation immediately.
Also, there's a link on the Links page on this website to put your phones on the "Do not call list." I probably
need to do that again because I'm starting to get calls again. Putting your phone numbers on the list is not a permanent solution
but when you start to get calls again, just go back in and renew your numbers.
February 1, 2012
through the Bible at an accelerated pace in our Sunday morning adult discussion class. It's an ambitious undertaking because
we're actually going to go from Genesis to Revelation in a 10-week segment. Oh, for sure, we aren't going to do any really
in depth stopping over points. We can always go back and focus on aspects of the textbook we're using individually at a later
One of the quick points that was made in an early chapter was that Genesis 15:1 was the first time that
the term "the word of the Lord came to..."
In this particular instance, the reference was to Abraham.
He was the first man to whom the word of the Lord came. Abraham was a prophet. In this particular instanc, the word prophet
means one who receives the word of the Lord.
Don't you think it would be exciting to pick up the Bible and get
into the Word? Page after page after page of the Word brings us richness and depth to our soul. It's a blessed journey to
walk every day with the Lord.
There's mending to be done when we weep from heavy grief. Our soul yearns for healing
and it's right there, in between the covers of the Book.
There's learning that jumps off the pages with so much
history. The Bible is not a complete history of what was going on in the world. For instance, from 1250 to 1190 BC the Greeks
and Trojans were fighting the famous Trojan War. It happened. We know that from recorded history. But it's not a Bible story.
And did you know that from 1750 - 1040 BC, China's Shang Dynasty had a system of writing. They organized a bunch
of armies too.
There were earthquakes too. From 1150-950 BC, earthquakes rattled the area around Cyprus.
Accupuncture was first introduced during the Chou dynasty at 1030 BC.
For sure, there were people in other places
doing other things. Their stories were not captured in the Bible.
What the Bible does bring us is the bloodline
of Jesus all the way back to Adam and Eve. The Bible traces this lineage through the House of David, through his line of history
to a little town of Bethlehem.
There's much in the Word to sift through and think about. Absolutely no other book
in the history of mankind has had the impact as the Word of God. Nor has any one single individual, save Jesus Christ, had
as much of an impact on civilization than the Son of God who came from heaven to become flesh and blood and to live among
us. Then he died as a sacrifice on the cross for the sins of each one of us.
This month we recognize Ash Wednesday
as the beginning of the season of Lent. It's a time when we stop what we're doing and ponder the miracle of God's great love
which he so graciously gifts us with.
Let the Word of God come to you. Pick up the Bible and just hold it in your
hands. Then open it and start to read.
Prepare to be amazed.
January 31, 2012
It's hard to
believe that here in Middle Illinois, it's 58.1 degrees. Highly unusual for January 31. Only two days 'til Ground Hogs Day
and this year, do I dare say, "Who cares?"
Actually, when you think about it, it doesn't matter whether
the rat sees his shadow or not. Spring is six weeks away no matter what. Just count the days on the calendar.
I left you last night I was talking about the bad rap that controlling and manipulating people have gotten over the years.
We've put a negative connotation onto those two words when, in fact, they can be life-saving.
I mentioned that
the reason people are controlling is because they want life to be predictable. And who doesn't want that?
we're asking for trouble in trying to control people, places and events that we don't have any business messing with. There's
all kinds of attempts at controlling that could even land you in jail. For instance, if you forged someone's signature because
you wanted to control your ability to get out of debt so you think stealing someone's identity and/or money is acceptable.
That's not even close to be included in this discussion.
What you can control, though, is your
behavior. How you react to events and people in your life can be a healthy way to control your environment.
for instance, who smile and giggle at you make it awfully easy and heartwarming to pick them up and cuddle them. They've learned
at a very early age that positive behaviors get more favorable attention from the big people in their lives. In a small way,
they've figured out how to control someone to come over and pick them up.
I remember when my daughter and her husband
were trying to get back to Los Angeles when, for some reason, their flight was abruptly cancelled. No new flights were
scheduled at that airline. So she went over to another airline and said to an already overstressed service attendant that
she realized the burden that this lady was under and she certainly didn't want to push her for help, but she was hoping ever
so much if there was anything that she could do to get them on a plane. She engaged the lady in a few light moments and the
next thing you know, she and her husband were on a flight, with a "Thank you so much. You are a lifesaver." And
off the went to the other end of the airport where the other airline's terminal was.
She learned when she was
a little girl that when you're reasonable, you're more able to operate on your environment and more often than not, get the
results you want.
Call it whatever you want, but being pleasant will get you farther along than being pushy and
ignorant and belligerent and demanding.
When you wake up in the morning, look at the daylight and say, "Today
is going to be a great day. I'm going to have some adventures and come in contact with people I enjoy being with." Then
get up, get dressed, and put your very best smile on your face as you out to operate on your environment. Make things happen.
But in a pleasant way that shows people you care about them.
January 30, 2012
in between clients right now, so this will be a bit brief. I'll finish my thought tomorrow in a bit more detail.
What I want to discuss before the thought goes too far away is this whole idea that controllingness and manipulation is
a bad thing. I say -- not necessarily.
The reason we need to control or manipulate things is to make life more
predictable. We all need predictability in our lives. So the question really wraps itself around why we feel insecure when
our lives are not predictable.
Jean Piaget, the psychological guru who developed the school of cognitive development,
says we all learn how to "operate" on our environment and the people in it.
It does not make you a bad
More about this after I've had a good night's rest.
About the time I think there's not
much new under the sun, this comes to my email. It's from Linda over in Lawrenceville. Thank you, Linda!
Monday Morning Message
This is SIMPLY AWESOME! I've never seen this
before! Whoever put The Resume
of Jesus Christ together is surely a blessing to us all! Please share it!
sentence says it all... Send this resume to everyone you know, you
never know who may have an opening! Powerful!
Have a blessed day!
of Jesus Christ
Address: Ephesians 1:20
Phone: Romans 10:13
Website: The Bible . Keywords: Christ, Lord, Savior and
My name is Jesus -The Christ. Many call me Lord! I've sent you my
because I'm seeking the top management position in your heart. Please
consider my accomplishments as set
forth in my resume.
I founded the
earth and established the heavens, (See Proverbs 3:19 )
I formed man from
the dust of the ground, (See Genesis 2:7 )
I breathed into man the breath
of life, (See Genesis 2:7 )
I redeemed man from the curse of the law, (See
Gal at ians 3:13 )
The blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant comes upon your
life through me,
(See Galatians 3:14 )
only had one employer, (See Luke 2:49 ) .
I've never been tardy, absent, disobedient,
slothful or disrespectful.
My employer has nothing but rave reviews for me,
(See Matthew 3:15 -17 )
Skills Work Experiences
of my skills and work experiences include: empowering the poor to be
poor no more, healing the brokenhearted, setting
the captives free, healing
the sick, restoring sight to the blind and setting at liberty them that are
(See Luke 4:18 ) .
I am a Wonderful Counselor, (See Isaiah 9:6 ) . People
who listen to me
shall dwell safely and shall not fear evil, (See Proverbs 1:33 ) .
Most importantly, I have the authority, ability and power to cleanse you of
your sins, (See I John 1:7-9 )
I encompass the entire breadth and length of knowledge, wisdom
understanding, (See Proverbs 2:6 ) .
In me are hid all of the treasures
of wisdom and knowledge, (See Colossians
2:3 ) .
My Word is so powerful;
it has been described as being a lamp unto your feet
and a light unto your path, (See Psalms 119:105 ) .
I can even tell you all of the secrets of your heart, (See Psalms 44:21 ) .
I was an active participant in the greatest Summit Meeting
of all times,
(See Genesis 1:26 ) .
I laid down my life so that you may
live, (See II Corinthians 5:15 ) .
I defeated the arch enemy of God and mankind
and made a show of them openly,
(See Colossians 2:15 ) .
fed the poor, healed the sick and raised the dead!
There are many more major
accomplishments, too many to mention here. You can
read them on my website, which is located at : www dot - the BIBLE.
don't need an Internet connection or computer to access my website.
Believers and followers worldwide will testify to my divine healing,
deliverance, miracles, restoration and supernatural guidance.
In Summ at ion
Now that you've
read my resume, I'm confident that I'm the only candidate
uniquely qualified to fill this vital position in your heart.
I will properly direct your paths, (See Proverbs 3:5-6 ) , and lead you into
everlasting life, (See
John 6:47 ) . When can I start? Time is of the
essence, (See Hebrews 3:15 ) .
Send this resume to everyone you know,
you never know who may have an opening!
Thanks for your help.
September 26, 2012
one-liners from friend Cody in Warrensburg, Missouri:
Don't let your worries get the best of you;
Moses started out as a basket case.
Some people are kind, polite, and sweet-spirited
you try to sit in their pews..
Many folks want to serve God,
But only as
It is easier to preach ten sermons
Than it is to live one.
The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose,
But mosquitoes come close.
When you get to your wit's end,
You'll find God lives there.
People are funny;
They want the Front of the bus,
the Middle of the road,
And Back of the church.
Opportunity may knock once,
But temptation bangs on the front door forever.
Quit griping about your church;
If it was perfect, you couldn't belong.
If a church wants a better pastor,
It only needs to pray for the one it has ..
God Himself doesn't propose to judge a man until
he is dead. So why should you?
Some minds are like concrete
Thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
starts with a smile.
don't know why some people change churches;
does it make
which one you stay home from?
lot of church members singing 'Standing
on the Promises'
Are just sitting on the premises.
Be ye fishers of men.
You catch 'em - He'll clean 'em.
Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.
Don't put a question mark where God put a period.
fruits create many jams.
God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
God grades on the cross, not the curve.
But probably prefers 'fruits of the spirit' over
promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.
who angers you, controls
If God is your Co-pilot, swap seats!
Don't give God instructions, just report for duty!
The task ahead
of us is never as
great as the Power behind us.
Will of God never takes
you to where the
Grace of God will not protect
The message changes us.
You can tell how big a person is
it takes to discourage him.
The best mathematical equation I have ever seen:
+ 3 nails = 4 given .
Do you think the US Navy would ever name a ship after an army guy, even if he
is a Green Beret? Well, if your name is Roy Benavidez, it would. Benavidez got the Medal of Honor too. You have to see his
story to believe it. This comes from cousin Mark: http://biggeekdad.com/2010/01/tango-mike-mike/
Oh my goodness - what fun! This letter from a New Orleans attorney provides, in addition to a good
argument, a bit of history at the same time. Thank you, Mark:
You have to love this lawyer.......
Part of rebuilding New Orleans caused residents often to be challenged with the task
of tracing home titles
back potentially hundreds of years. With a community rich
with history stretching back over two centuries, houses have
been passed along
through generations of family, sometimes making it quite difficult to establish
a great letter an attorney wrote to the FHA on behalf of a client:
A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA loan for
a client. He was told the loan would be
granted if he could prove satisfactory title to a parcel of property being offered
as collateral. The title to the property dated back to 1803, which took the lawyer
three months to track down. After
sending the information to the FHA, he received
the following reply:
(Actual reply from FHA):
review of your letter adjoining your client's loan application, we note that
the request is supported by an Abstract
of Title. While we compliment the able
manner in which you have prepared and presented the application, we must point
that you have only cleared title to the proposed collateral property back to 1803.
Before final approval can
be accorded, it will be necessary to clear the title back
to its origin."
Annoyed, the lawyer responded
"Your letter regarding title in Case No.189156 has been received.
I note that you
wish to have title extended further than the 206 years covered by the present
application. I was
unaware that any educated person in this country, particularly
those working in the property area, would not know that
Louisiana was purchased by
the United States from France, in 1803 the year of origin identified in our
For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to the
land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France,
which had acquired it by
Right of Conquest from Spain. The land came into the possession of Spain by Right of
made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher Columbus, who had
been granted the privilege of seeking a new
route to India by the Spanish monarch,
The good Queen Isabella, being a pious woman and almost
as careful about titles as
the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold
jewels to finance Columbus's expedition...Now the Pope, as I'm sure you may
know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the
Son of God, and God, it is commonly
accepted, created this world. Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that God
also made that part of the world called Louisiana. God, therefore, would be the
owner of origin and His origins date
back to before the beginning of time, the world
as we know it, and the FHA. I hope you find God's original claim to be
Now, may we have our loan?"
The loan was immediately approved.
September 24, 2012
I do another thing, I want to share a link with you from a friend of mine. It's an outstanding vocalist, a ten year old young
lady named Jackie Evancho. You know how I love to watch and hear people who excel at anything, regardless of their age. Just
listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foUrBztgzZA She was on America's Got Talent, and boy does she!
Changing the subject, today was the day when one of those
mega-mega-zoom-zooms arrived from our sun to lay havoc with the Earth's magnetic fields. Even Delta Airlines re-routed some
of its flights to dodge the solar winds from the Coronal Mass Eruption. http://www.space.com/12581-stunning-photos-solar-storms-flares-sun-weather.html
Wow! The northern lights must have danced quite a little Texas Two Step.
Now, on to other matters of
some import. It's all about retraining your communications ability so that you don't fall victim to people who want to get
and keep you on the defense.
In the first place, don't think you have to jump in and answer someone who demands
an immediate answer. No no no. Take a deep breath and give yourself a bit of time to send a response back over the fence,
so to speak.
Yes, it's more than okay to answer a question with a question. In fact, it's how you get out of all
those defense-intended maneuvers that are being shot at you. You simply do not have to answer with all that immediacy.
For instance, when someone says to you, "Why don't you want to talk to me?"
Your response could
be, "About what?"
Or, "Why didn't you call me?"
"Was I supposed to?"
"Who said that?"
Slow down a bit and give yourself time to frame
Try it. It will take some time to get in the habit of allowing yourself to proceed slowly. In the
long-run, it will help you set your boundaries and maintaining them. Especially if you get the inkling that someone is trying
to invade your peace of mind by demanding that you defend yourself.
And how can you recognize defense maneuvers?
Aside from your gut reaction, densive maneuvers usually start with the word "Why."
are not part of polite conversation. The intent is for one person to try to get and keep the upper hand over someone else.
September 23, 2010
is one of those off the beaten path pieces of information that you may not have known. I didn't either until today's issue
of American Profile arrived.
The there it was on Page 12. Yet another reason that Chicago can claim to
be a winner at something.
The Field Museum in Chicago has won the 2011 America's Best Restroom Award.
So what, you may ask, does a "best restroom" have going for it that would beat out other competitors? Well, for
starters, it has little people potties. And there's a nursing room complete with a sofa in it.
So congrats, Chicago.
'Nuff said about that.
Now it's official. Quint is in remission from his chronic lymphocytic/leukemia. We
made our trip to the oncologist today and learned that the results of the CT scan he had a couple of weeks ago show that the
lymph nodes have returned to normal. Thank you for answered prayers. We're both now on the once-in-three-months regimen. I
did have a new medication to the list of what the doctor has in my file. That's Allupurinol. So when I told him, he said,
"Oh, you've got gouty athritis."
Yep. That's me. The medication is specifically for people who has been
given Cytoxa for chemo with breast cancer.
But then I found out that eating cherries -- only 6 a day -- will help
out a lot. Sure enough, we found cherries in the produce aisle. Fresh from Chile. They are delicious. After only a week of
cherry snacks, I've seen an improvement. I can now bend my thumb with no pain at all. That's the only place, plus my back,
that seems to be bothered. Oh, it's just a nuisance. Nothing fatal. I'll take nuisances.
January 20, 2012
just jumping up and down for joy watching those pink icy, wintry mix patches float by on the weather map. And up north, oh
my goodness. I remember those days when a six inch snowfall was kind of sort of ordinary.
We do not miss it.
Here is a link to a beautiful young girl who is a prodigy -- Akiane Kramarik. She has been painting since
she was very young, age 4. Her paintings are incredible. And thanks to friends in Wichita, John and Sherre for the link: http://www.shangralafamilyfun.com/prodigy.html
Here's a link to Gene Simmons of KISS performing for the troops: http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=5MtdIO23MKM Makes me want to stand up and march around the dining room. Thanks, Mark, for sharing.
January 20, 2012
just jumping up and down for joy watching those pink icy, wintry mix patches float by on the weather map. And up north, oh
my goodness. I remember those days when a six inch snowfall was kind of sort of ordinary.
We do not miss it.
Here is a link to a beautiful young girl who is a prodigy -- Akiane Kramarik. She has been painting since
she was very young, age 4. Her paintings are incredible. And thanks to friends in Wichita, John and Sherre for the link: http://www.shangralafamilyfun.com/prodigy.html
January 18, 2012
so here's my ignorance showing. I don't know where either of these teams are from -- Trinity and Millsap -- but this link
that my cousins Al and Mark sent to me shows one of the most phenomenal football plays I have ever seen in all my born
Talk about teamwork! This one play won the game. Wow!
And Mark sends these tips too:
1. I think part of a best friend's job should be toimmediately clear your computer
history if you die.
Nothing sucks more than that moment during an
argument when you realize you're wrong.
3. I totally take
back all those times I didn't want to
nap when I was younger.
4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.
5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
6. Was learning cursive really necessary?
7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know
how to get out of my neighborhood.
I especially like #7.
As for the second point, I'll have to see if Quint can even remember a time when
he was wrong. About anything. ha ha
Me? I try to keep my mouth shut unless I know pretty much what the answer is.
Reminds me of a fella in grad school who had a most unique form of discipline. He says it's more effective than time
outs and has been using it since his kiddos were real little. He makes them sit down so that he can tell them the entire
history of slavery. All total, it takes about 45 minutes.
January 17, 2012
from 61 degrees this morning to a cool 28 now. There's a raw wind blowing that makes it feel like 2 zillion below zero.
Thank goodness Ground Hogs Day is only weeks away. That's the day I first celebrate spring.
when I was a little girl the teacher would pass around those mimeographed pictures for our class to color. After I became
an adult, I realized that the ground hog is nothing but a big rodent and the whole thing used up all my brown color crayons.
My irises did die back again though. Poor little things. I can hear them shivering under their little
dirt shoes. I have a huge variety of colors. Some are yellow, a peach color that's really a double. Looks pretty and
frilly. Various shades of purple, one almost black. And finally a pink iris. I like irises. They remind me of Vincent Van
Gogh. He painted irises for the whole year that he was in the asylum. People sometimes comment about how they must have been
Van Gogh's favorite flower. The truth is, they were the only flower planted at the asylum. So of course he painted irises.
What else were there? Besides, by that time he was probably tired of doing self-portraits, being one ear shy of having a full
face and all.
Thank you for all your "as if" comments. It was very interesting to hear about how you
are using the same concept. Actually it's little more than positive thinking. But it works. People who are negative get dumped
on a lot. They aren't any fun and they suck all the air out of relationships, out of the sky and out of their hearts. So lighten
up everybody and live your lives as if you are the successful person you want to be!
January 16, 2012
Live your life as
It's a Biblical concept. Believe you will get what you pray for, and it is yours, we are promised.
It's the underlying principle of the best-seller The Secret.
So let's all put a whole bunch of
positive energy out there. The idea is that if you send positive energy out from yourself, it will come back to you.
That's where you embrace the idea that you'll do better in life if you live your life as if.
married couples who live their lives as if can somehow keep a vibrancy alive in their relationship. Remember
those days when you tried to do all the thoughtful, courteous things you could to attract this handsome guy, or gorgeous lady,
into your life? If you're going to be late, do you call and let somebody know you're being detained? If you're living your
life as if, then you're going to do such thoughtful things like making a call.
Or how about getting that
dream job? What happens when you are sitting in your cubicle doing some grunt project and wishing the clock would advance
a few hours so you could get out of there? Well, if you're living your life as if you'd just gotten into an interview
and were trying to convince a prospective boss that you really wanted the job, you'd go ahead and do the best you could do,
even if every day isn't always exciting and creatively challenging.
Or how about parenting. Remember those days
when you couldn't wait for Little Baby Ten Toes to arrive? Live your life as if those days beckon you and you back
to the days when you promised yourself that you'd be the best parent you possibly could be to the new baby yet to be born.
Living as if will help you get through long, fright-filled nights when you're waiting for an errant teenage to wander
on back home.
And most of all, live your life as if Christ were headed this way from the other side of
the universe and he is just about ready to come down out of the clouds. Living your life as if he were just about
here just may change your life choices.
Good luck with that. Think about ways you could live your life as if.
January 13, 2012
Yes, we got the snow. Not
much. Just a couple of inches. Then it stopped for a few hours. I reminded Quint that when the snow started up again, it counted
as a new snow. At least for my reckoning. He doesn't have to count the snows separately if he doesn't want to. It's just that
if you don't, you end up with some extra snowfalls anticipated by the end of the season.
Yesterday I saw a red
fox loping along across the neighbor's yard across the street. At first I thought it was a dog, but then, that tail is a giveaway.
Red fox it was. Pretty good sized one too. We have some woods behind our house. Figure he lives back in there with the deer
who come out every once in a while looking for good chow, like when the neighbor's beans are about ready to pick. I told her
to get a bottle of Liquid Fence at the hardware store, last year. It works. It's kept deer, squirrels and rabbits away from
my garden goodies ever since I planted a garden down here. Not too cheap, but it does the trick. You spray around the perimeter
of the garden, not on the veggies. A quart bottle lasts most of the season.
It even works on those naughty dogs
who like to hike up their legs and take a leak on my rose bush out front. Actually they're probably marking their territory.
Doesn't matter, me and my Liquid Fence go out there and give the bush a squirt where the dogs squirted. They don't come back
so much. Nothing to reclaim if they can't get a whiff of their aroma.
Tomorrow I'm going to my first meeting of
the Christian Writers Group here in town. Looking forward to meeting others who are plying their craft too.
anxious to see if anyone else uses what I call the Ernest Hemingway approach -- you know, three to four word sentences. He
was a master at it and I figured if he made it work, so could I. Problem is, my spell checker does not like fragmented sentences.
But hey, that's the way people talk. So I say I write "conversationally." ha!
Oh, changing the subject.
What do you think the stock markets are going to do on Monday morning, now that Standard and Poors has downgraded the financial
houses of Yerp? France and Austria lost their AAA ratings. A total of 15 European nations' ratings were cutting in the
S&P slash and burn come-uppance move. One of these days, the US is going to get downgraded again if we don't get a grip
You can't spend all your money!
I watched one of those news interview programs, maybe
a Jay Leno man on the street. Not sure. Anyway, the commentator was asking the people where they thought money came from.
One lady said she thought the president printed the money in the basement of the White House. Unfortunately, she was serious.
She even knew who the president was.
God said something about wasting the blessings He gives us. We'd better all
listen up and pay attention, folks.
January 11, 2011
glad that Netflix survived the stupidest marketing debacle yet -- raising money on top of money by doing a double tier charge
system. Never could figure out what they were going to charge so we canceled everything but the streatming, which we used
mostly anyway. We do get one video still, though. What we have both come to really like is the video of a fireplace burning.
That's all it is. Just a fireplace burning. It makes the living room seem warm and cozy. Okay, so it doesn't make the room
actually warm, but the crackling fire and licking flames do okay by me.
Just in time, too, for a winter storm heading
our way. I fear that this one isn't going to miss us. We might get several inches out of it. It's heading SSE out of Iowa
and looks to cut a big swath across Illinois as it heads east. I guess that's the end of our 40 degree winters.
well, it was nice while it lasted.
Now, on to Groundhog's Day which is February 2. Somehow I don't think the little
groundhog is going to be a harbinger of spring. This is going to be one of those winters where it's going to be snowing for
Easter, I'll bet. When the girls were little tykes I remember them hopping through snow on the way to the church on Easter
Sunday. Didn't do their little patent leather slippers any good.
Not much news going on except politics, in case
you haven't noticed. Politics in the US has become a mult-billion dollar business. So the ads and speeches and debates and
spin doctoring are going to continue until November.
One good thing did come out of the Supreme Court today. Believe
it or not, the justices reaches a unanimous decision that says churches can hire people of their own choice - whether it's
a priest, pastor, rabbi, or imam. The supremes said the government had to "butt out" in so many words.
Well, it's about time.
And my cousin Frances in Texas says the jonquils are sprouting and the bluebells are really
thick, though not blooming just yet.
I will add that my irises are totally confused. I have cut them back twice
now and could cut them back again but I'm not gonna. If they decide to bloom when it snows, I'll take a photo for posterity.
And with that, no matter where you are, please drive carefully. I know that some parts of the midwest are supposed
to get 10" of snow or more, but the rest of us can expect 1 to 2 inches of the white stuff. I don't care if we only get
one inch of snow. If it's sitting on icy pavement, it can still be deadly.
Prayers for safety for all of you.
January 9, 2012
Had he lived,
today would have been my brother, Allison's, 67th birthday. His middle name was Wallace, probably named for some long lost
relative I've never heard of. So we called him A.W. because that's what people in the south do. There's usually at least one
first degree relative identified only by initials. So wherever you are, A.W., I hope you're enjoying the choirs of angels
and that at the last moments on your deathbed you begged forgiveness for a life filled with sins. I suspect that you did get
that idea as you lay dying of lung cancer. But I don't know that. I just pray that you did because I would love to see you
Changing the subject, I have received more than quite a few emails about this Mayan thing and what's
going to happen at the end of 2012.
In the first place, the Bible reference to the end of the world is very clear
about who knows what. I believe it's in Revelation where the verse says that no one knows when the world will end except the
Father. Even His Son, Jesus Christ, does not have that information.
Yep. It says so in the Bible. Look it up.
Or if you don't have a Bible with a good commentary that can point you to the verse, go to www.ask..com and type in a question like, "Where in the Bible does it say ............................................"
You'll get a reference.
That's exactly what I did this evening before I started this writing. I knew that somewhere
in the Bible, there was an answer to some prophet who asked God how he would end the world the "next time" since
he'd promised in a covenant after the flood that he would never destroy the population with a flood again. Then he put a rainbow
in the sky. To this day, when I see a rainbow, I am reminded of God's promise not to send a flood again.
about this point that the Mayans supposedly thought the world was going to end? Did they actually say that? Not really, unless
you interpret their writings to fit into that concept. But what if it'd the Mayan calendar, not the world, that is supposed
to end in December 2012? After all, we have Bible texts that say only the Father knows. If He didn't get around to telling
His much beloved Son, Jesus Christ, do you really believe He would have told some Indians out there on the Yucatan Peninsula.
So what did God tell the prophet?
In the New International Reader's Version, in Hebrews 12, we
25 Be sure that you don't say no to the One who speaks. People did not escape when they said
no to the One who warned them on earth. And what if we turn away from the One who warns us from heaven? How much less will
26 At that time his voice shook the earth. But now
he has promised, "Once more I will shake the earth. I will also shake the heavens."—(Haggai 2:6)
27 The words "once more" point out that what can be shaken can be taken away. I'm talking
about created things. Then what can't be shaken will remain.
We are receiving a kingdom that can't be shaken. So let us be thankful. Then we can worship God in a way that pleases him.
We will worship him with deep respect and wonder. 29 Our "God is like a fire that burns everything
There are also references to
God shaking the earth in Psalm 115:3 and Haggai 2:6.
I am reminded of the reference in Verse 28 that "...we
can worship God in a way that pleases him." That pretty much takes care of people who say they don't go to church because
they believe they can worship God in a forest, or somewhere else. In fact, God tells us that he wants us to meet in assembly
with fellow believers.
So get up on the Sabbath, get dressed and make your way to church where you can "assemble"
with "fellow believers." Just do it. Don't say "no" to God.
And then there's
this Tebow guy. Don't you love him?! Over the weekend he rushed 316 yards. That was the accumulated passes he threw and I
think he ran the ball some too. When he heard the stats broadcast with his last winning throw of the day that he was responsible
for 316 yards that won the game for the Denver Broncos, what does he do? Did he swell up and sing, "How great I am?"
Not on your life. He dropped to his knee and thanked God for his blessings. He later explained that when he heard that,
all he could think of was John 3:16.
January 7, 2012
I'm stuck at the weight
where I've plateaued so Quint and I headed for the gym today. That's how you get off those plateaus - either drastically cut
back on calories or step up the exercise.
Well, since our life is pretty sedentary as it is, just walking out
the door to get intot he car is an improvement on the sedentary lifestyle. So, since we're Silver Sneakers on our Humana insurance,
we headed for the gym where we used to go faithfully before all this cancer nonsense started. We walked on the treadmill for
a big fat 20 minutes. We got all the way up to a 27 minute mile. Then we did some work on the strength training machines.
I got on the machine that works the hamstrings. I personally think my hamstrings have completely atrophied, but that could
be just a bit hyperbolic. Truth is, I don't like needing to hang onto something just to stand up, for crying out loud.
Okay, so I don't expect to jump up out of my seat, but I would like to look less like an invalid. I'll work up to
walking for an hour, or get up to five miles. I remember when I was a Girl Scout leader I used to go on five mile hikes with
frequency. But then, those were called "all day hikes" for Brownies.
Oh well, we're expecting it to
take some little while to get some semblance of stamina back.
On our way home, we stopped at Walgreens where I
got my flu shot. The doctor only had one left when we were there for our last checkup, so Quint got it.
stocked up on sugar free candy. Russell Stover is my friend!
Changing the subject, I can always rely on my cousin
Mark to send the Darwin Awards for the previous year. And here they are:
THE 2011 DARWIN AWARDS
You've been waiting for them with bated breath, so without further ado, here are the
2011 Darwin Awards:
In Detroit , a 41-year-old man got stuck and drowned in two feet of water after
head first through an 18-inch-wide sewer grate to retrieve his car keys.
San Francisco stockbroker, who "totally zoned when he ran",
accidentally jogged off a 100-foot high cliff on
his daily run.
While at the beach, Daniel Jones, 21, dug an 8 foot hole for protection
wind and had been sitting in a beach chair at the bottom, when it collapsed, burying
him beneath 5 feet
of sand. People on the beach used their hands and shovels trying
to get him out but could not reach him. It took rescue
workers using heavy equipment
almost an hour to free him. Jones was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Santiago Alvarado, 24, was killed as he fell through the ceiling of a bicycle shop
he was burglarizing.
Death was caused when the long flashlight he had placed in his
mouth to keep his hands free rammed into the base of his
skull as he hit the floor.
Sylvester Briddell, Jr., 26, was killed as he won a
bet with friends who said he
would not put a revolver loaded with four bullets into his mouth and pull the
After stepping around a marked police patrol car parked at the front door, a man
walked into H&J Leather & Firearms intent on robbing the store. The shop was full of
customers and a uniformed
officer was standing at the counter. Upon seeing the
officer, the would-be robber announced a hold-up and fired a few
wild shots from a
The officer and a clerk promptly returned fire, and several customers also
their guns and fired. The robber was pronounced dead at the scene by Paramedics.
Crime scene investigators
located 47 expended cartridge cases in the shop. The
subsequent autopsy revealed 23 gunshot wounds. Ballistics identified
rounds from 7
different weapons. No one else was hurt.
47, and his wife Bonnie were bored just driving around at 2 A.M. so
they lit a quarter stick of dynamite to toss out
the window to see what would
happen. Apparently they failed to notice that the window was closed.
Kerry Bingham had been drinking with several friends when one of them said they knew
a person who had
bungee-jumped from a local bridge in the middle of traffic. The
conversation grew more excited, and at least 10 men trooped
along the walkway of the
bridge at 4:30 AM. Upon arrival at the midpoint of the bridge, they discovered that
one had brought a bungee rope. Bingham, who had continued drinking, volunteered
and pointed out that a coil of lineman's
cable lay nearby. They secured one end
around Bingham's leg and then tied the other to the bridge. His fall lasted 40
before the cable tightened and tore his foot off at the ankle. He miraculously
survived his fall into the icy
water and was rescued by two nearby fishermen.
Bingham's foot was never located.
AND THE WINNER IS....
Zookeeper Friedrich Riesfeldt ( Paderborn , Germany ) fed his constipated elephant
22 doses of animal laxative
and more than a bushel of berries, figs and prunes
before the plugged-up pachyderm finally got relief. Investigators
Friedrich, 46, was attempting to give the ailing elephant an olive oil enema when
the relieved beast
The sheer force of the elephant's unexpected defecation knocked Mr Riesfeldt to the
he struck his head on a rock as the elephant continued to evacuate 200
pounds of dung on top of him. It seems to be just
one of those freak accidents.
January 9, 2012
lived, today would have been my brother, Allison's, 67th birthday. His middle name was Wallace, probably named for some long
lost relative I've never heard of. So we called him A.W. because that's what people in the south do. There's usually at least
one first degree relative identified only by initials. So wherever you are, A.W., I hope you're enjoying the choirs of angels
and that at the last moments on your deathbed you begged forgiveness for a life filled with sins. I suspect that you did get
that idea as you lay dying of lung cancer. But I don't know that. I just pray that you did because I would love to see you
Changing the subject, I have received more than quite a few emails about this Mayan thing and what's
going to happen at the end of 2012.
In the first place, the Bible reference to the end of the world is very clear
about who knows what. I believe it's in Revelation where the verse says that no one knows when the world will end except the
Father. Even His Son, Jesus Christ, does not have that information.
Yep. It says so in the Bible. Look it up.
Or if you don't have a Bible with a good commentary that can point you to the verse, go to www.ask..com and type in a question like, "Where in the Bible does it say ............................................"
You'll get a reference.
That's exactly what I did this evening before I started this writing. I knew that somewhere
in the Bible, there was an answer to some prophet who asked God how he would end the world the "next time" since
he'd promised in a covenant after the flood that he would never destroy the population with a flood again. Then he put
a rainbow in the sky. To this day, when I see a rainbow, I am reminded of God's promise not to send a flood again.
So what did God tell the prophet?
In the New International Reader's Version, we find:
Be sure that you don't say no to the One who speaks. People did not escape when they said no to the One who warned them on
earth. And what if we turn away from the One who warns us from heaven? How much less will we escape!
26 At that time his voice shook the earth. But now he has promised, "Once more I will shake the
earth. I will also shake the heavens."—(Haggai 2:6) 27 The words "once
more" point out that what can be shaken can be taken away. I'm talking about created things. Then what can't be shaken
28 We are receiving a kingdom that can't be shaken.
So let us be thankful. Then we can worship God in a way that pleases him. We will worship him with deep respect and wonder.
29 Our "God is like a fire that burns everything up."—(Deuteronomy 4:24)
January 4, 2011
this could be the beginning of a developing article about recognizing saboteurs within an organization. You know -- they're
the ones we refer to as alligators. Every organization has them. And they show their true colors more prominently than you
Here's an old maxim as you start your new year: If you want people to like you, you have to make yourself
That takes care of the bossy ones. People run from these guys. They sit in their chairs and issue edicts
and "fetch orders." "Get me this," or "get me that" seems to be their motto. You don't see these
people surrounded by a big crowd of people, do you? Organizations are full of these little chiefs.
So what can
you do to make people like you? Easy. If you want something, go get it yourself. That's for starters. The world does not raise
citizens who wait for you to beckon them.
That is, unless you're a politician or a monarch, or something that
gives your blue-blooded attitude the self-imposed right to sit on a chair and make demands.
Tied to likability
is another maxim: Good leaders make good followers. You can spot the good leaders in your organization by looking around to
see who the workers are. They're the ones who make the good leaders. The people who don't want to do any real work in a group
are the same ones who will keep the organization at the status quo. No growth. They say, "I liked it better when we were
smaller." All too often, these little-minded people have a secret agenda of their own. They seldom do anything to help
the organization grow. Does the definition of passive aggressive come to mind?
Just remember, aggression
is always a hostile act.
And passive aggression is disguised as sabotage. Each and every time. Passive aggressive
people are on a perpetual search for power. And what do they want the most? Whatever strength you've got. They're
trying to run a little micro counter-culture in your organization.
But there's good news. You reward (reinforce)
the behavior you want to continue. That's behavior modification rule #1. If you find yourself surrounded by people who
don't share your values, then for your own sense of well-being, find another venue. There are plenty of organizations and
opportunities out there in this big, wide wonderful world that welcome hard workers.
It's even Biblical to shake
the dust from your sandals and walk away. Whatever happened between the "shake the dust from your sandals" theory
and the "turn the other cheek motto?"
Well, that thesis can be bridged with a good sermon. I'm
not a pastor so I'll leave that one for theologians to wrestle with.
January 2, 2012
be it resolved -----
I don't ordinarily make New Years resolutions. But this year is an exception.
can trace my weight gain all the way back to 1985 when my thyroid was removed. I had what's known as a "thyroid storm"
at work and was taken by ambulance to Northwest Memorial Hospital from the law firm where I worked. An endocrinologist diagnosed
Graves Disease, an autoimmune nuisance. Problem was I had my daughter's wedding gown about half done and was looking down
the barrel of her wedding in about two weeks. I finished the gown, had the thyroid ablated with a radioactive iodine. Quint
said I glowed in the dark. The doctor released me much earlier than he would have ordinarily because I promised to return
post haste after the wedding for quick checkups. That only entailed a quick cab ride over to his office from the law firm
where I was back at work.
The problem was, my weight started to slowly rise. At about a 60 degree slope upward.
I put on seventy pounds in a year!
I tried lots of diets. All the wrong ones. Low carb diets, for instance, are
never any good. I don't care who recommends them, they are not good for your body's chemistry. The human being is meant to
eat grains and grain products. Problem was, I wasn't eating anything differently than my pre-ablation days.
in 2006 Quint and I moved. We bought a Cape Cod. People thought I was nuts to move into a house that had three levels when
we had lived in a condominium that was all on one level. Not to mention that my knees were giving me fits. But after we moved
I started to lose weight. Slowly. Ever so slowly. After about six months my knees were not giving me any problems at all.
I wasn't doing anything much different except I was out from under the sedentary lifestyle that came with my counseling practice.
I was walking around more. I enjoyed the physical activity. At the end of a year I was 49 pounds lighter.
is the year I'm going to take off the rest of the 25 pounds that I packed on. And how am I going to do this? Simple. Give
up most of the flour products I eat.
Following a gout diet is not that difficult. Sugar is my enemy. Yeast products
are also my enemy. Meat is my enemy too. No more bacon with my eggs. No more smoky links that are stuffed with cheddar cheese
and jalapeno peppers.
No more cookies. At least not more than two at one sitting. Ice cream is okay so it's a
good thing that I really like Eskimo Pies -- sugar free that is. This afternoon I'm going to make a cookie that has a chocolate
turtle stuffed inside. The cookie dough is a Pillsbury sugar free cake mix and the chocolate turtles are sugar free from Russell
Stove. I'll cut the turtles into quarters to make them go farther. Does it cost more to make them? You bet. But it's cheaper
than all the medicines that you have to take if you're diabetic. I can have a couple of cookies with impunity.
cheeses and cottage cheese are also very good for me. And for some reason, tart cherries are also good for the gout diet.
They are low in purines. The lower the purines in the bloodstream, the lower the risk of too much uric acid in the blood.
Fresh apples and oranges and bananas are good for the low purine diet too. But I seldom eat bananas. Once in a while we'll
put them on cereal for breakfast. (Did you know that a serving of banana is only 1/2 of the banana?) It has too much sugar
in it. I learned that from Quint's diabetic diet.
Two weeks ago I started a lifestyle change that will allow me
to get control of the gout. I've now lost 5 and a half pounds.
I'm looking forward to being at least ten pounds
lighter by the end of January. That's the only resolution that I've made so far.
I'm thinking about slowing down
a bit. Especially now that I'm working at a job that I really enjoy in the afternoons. It's working for a dual parish church
office. Fortunately, the pastor I work with was a friend of mine before I started working with him.
I'm not willing
to give that up. But I am willing to give up my "over-do" list. It's too easy for people to mistake my generosity
with my time and energy. So I'm going to step back this year and let other people do some of the things that I used to
do. In the meantime, I have joined a Christian Writers Group that meets here in Effingham County. It's a group of about ten
people who are writing for publication.
And I have a couple of grants that I promised to write for some business
people here in the county. I like writing grants. It keeps my paralegal skills honed. And I like helping business people get
their enterprises off the ground.
I also want to continue with my own writing projects.
And that should
keep me busy and productive in the new year.
That's only two resolutions. They're two that I can commit to that
I know I will follow faithfully. That's the key to success when it comes to re-inventing yourself. Pick a re-invention project
that you are willing to commit to completely. And don't take on too many projects at the same time. You'll only frustrate
yourself. Pick a project that you are motivated to work on. For me, it was the dreaded fear that if I kept on gobbling away,
I'd hit 300 pounds. That's just something that I'm not willing to embrace. Besides, losing weight is all about math. If you
eat more calories than you use up, you'll gain weight.
I've watched people who claim that they "just can't
lose weight." They'd have you believe that they have tried everything. Yet, when you look at their plates, there's potatoes,
noodles, and bread and butter. Then there's the entree and maybe, just maybe a little bit of green vegetable. Never ever eat
potatoes and bread in the same meal. And I don't know what they think they're doing by dumping noodles or dressing onto the
plate. After all, you're not required to eat everything on the menu. So, if you're an adult, make a fist. That's about a cup.
Half of that amount would be a serving. If you're eating a closed fist size of mashed potatoes, you're eating too much. Oh,
you could have that much in green beans. That's for sure. But not if the beans are highly seasoned with butter and bacon bits,
I figure you've probably seen this letter that my cousins Mark and Al sent to me, but
it's worth another read through:
Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month.
The day after she
passed away my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking
about how much she missed Abbey.
She asked if
we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God
would recognize her.
I told her that I thought
we could so, and she dictated these words:
Will you please take care of my dog?
She died yesterday and is with you in heaven.
her very much.
I ' m happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.
I hope you will
play with her.
She likes to swim and play with balls.
I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will
know that she is my dog.
I really miss her.
We put the letter in an envelope with a
picture of Abbey & Meredith , addressed it
We put our return address on it.
several stamps on the front of the envelope cause she said it would
take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way
to heaven. That afternoon she
dropped it into the letter box at the post office.
A few days later, she asked if
God had gotten the letter yet.
I told her that I thought He had.
Yesterday, there was a package wrapped
in gold paper on our front porch addressed,
'To Meredith' in an unfamiliar hand.
Meredith opened it.
was a book by Mr. Rogers called, 'When a Pet Dies.'
Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to
God in its opened
On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:
Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help and I recognized
Abbey isn't sick anymore.
Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart.
loved being your dog.
Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your
so I ' m sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and
have something to remember Abbey by.
Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it
and sending it to me.
a wonderful mother you have.
I picked her especially for you.
I send my blessings every day and remember that
I love you very much.
By the way, I'm easy to find.
I am wherever there is love.
January 1, 2012
What a beautiful
message I've received from my cousins, Mark and Al:
WHAT HAPPENS IN HEAVEN WHEN
> This is one of the nicest e-mails
I have seen :
> I dreamt that I went to Heaven
and an angel was showing me around. We
> walked side-by-side inside a large workroom
filled with angels. My angel
> guide stopped in front of the first section and said,
'This is the
> Receiving Section. Here, all petitions to God said in prayer are received.
> I looked around in this area, and it was terribly
busy with so many angels
> sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets
and scraps from
> people all over the world.
> Then we moved on down a long corridor until we reached the second section.
> The angel then said to me, "This is the Packaging
and Delivery Section.
> Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are processed
> delivered to the living persons who asked for them." I noticed again how
> busy it was there. There were many angels working hard at that station,
> since so many blessings had been requested and were being packaged
> for delivery to Earth.
> Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the door of
a very small station. To my great surprise, only one angel was seated
> there, idly
doing nothing. "This is the Acknowledgment Section, my angel
> friend quietly admitted
to me. He seemed embarrassed.
> "How is
it that there is no work going on here? I asked."
"So sad," the angel sighed. "After people receive the blessings that they
asked for, very few send back acknowledgments."
"How does one acknowledge God's blessings? "I asked.
> "Simple," the angel answered. Just say, "Thank you, Lord."
> "What blessings should they acknowledge?" I asked.
> "If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof
> overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world.
> If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish,
> you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy, and if you get this on
your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that
> "If you woke up this morning with more
health than illness.. You are more
> blessed than the many who will not even survive
> "If you have never experienced
the fear in battle, the loneliness of
> imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs
of starvation... You are
> ahead of 700 million people in the world."
> "If you can attend a church without the fear of
> torture or death you are envied by, and more blessed than, three
> people in the world."
> "If your parents are still alive and still married.... you are very rare."
> "If you can hold your head up and smile, you are
not the norm, you're
> unique to all those in doubt and despair......."
> "Ok," I said. "What now? How can I start?"
> The Angel said, "If you can read this
message, you just received a double
> blessing in that someone was thinking of you as
very special and you are
> more blessed than over two billion people in the world who
cannot read at
> Have a good day, count your blessings , and if you care to, pass this
along to remind everyone else how blessed we all are..........
> ATTN: Acknowledge Dept .
"Thank you Lord, for giving me the ability to share this message and for
me so many wonderful people with whom to share it."
If you have read this far, and are thankful for all that you have been
> blessed with,
how can you not send it on?
thank God for everything, especially all my family and friends.
do you know how many pearly gates there are? -- If you guessed 12, you'd be correct. See Revelation 21.)
here's a profound story from my friend Linda, in Lawrenceville:
Read it before but just as powerful the second or third time.
GOD BLESS. Please do not forget the real reason for the
This is so beautiful!
A little boy was selling newspapers on the corner, the people
were in and out of the cold.
The little boy was so cold that he wasn't trying to sell many
He walked up to a policeman and said, 'Mister,
you wouldn't happen to know where a poor boy could
find a warm place to sleep tonight would you?
You see, I sleep in a box up around the corner there and down
the alley and it's awful cold in there for tonight. Sure
would be nice to have a warm place to stay.'
The policeman looked down at the little boy and said, 'You go
down the street to that big white house and you knock
on the door. When they come out the door you just say John
3:16, and they will let you in.'
So he did. He walked up the steps and knocked
on the door, and a lady answered. He looked up and said,
'John 3:16 .' The lady said, 'Come on in, Son.'
She took him in and she sat him down in a split bottom rocker
in front of a great big old fireplace, and she went off..
boy sat there for a while and thought to himself:
John 3:16 ....I don't understand it, but it sure makes a cold
Later she came back and asked him 'Are you hungry? 'He said,
'Well, just a little. I haven't eaten in a couple of days,
and I guess I could stand a little bit of food,'
The lady took him in the kitchen and sat him down to a table
full of wonderful food. He ate and ate until he couldn't
anymore. Then he thought to himself: John 3:16...
Boy, I sure don't understand it but it sure makes a hungry
She took him upstairs to a bathroom to a huge bathtub
filled with warm water, and he sat there
and soaked for a
while. As he soaked, he thought to himself: John 3:16 ...
I sure don't understand it, but it sure makes a dirty boy
clean... You know, I've not had a bath, a real bath, in my
whole life. The only bath I ever had was when I stood in
front of that big old fire hydrant as they flushed it out.
The lady came in and got him. She took him to a room,
tucked him into a big old feather bed, pulled the covers up
around his neck, kissed him goodnight and turned out the
lights. As he lay in the darkness and looked out the
window at the snow coming down on that cold night,
he thought to himself: John 3:16 .....I don't understand it
but it sure makes a tired boy rested.
The next morning the lady came back up and took him
down again to that same big table full of food. After he
ate, she took him back to that same big old split bottom
rocker in front of the fireplace and picked up a big old Bible.
She sat down in front of him and looked into his young face..
'Do you understand John 3:16 ? ' she asked gently. He replied,
'No, Ma'am, I don't. The first time I ever heard it was last
night when the policeman told me to use it,'
She opened the Bible to John 3:16 and began to explain
to him about Jesus . Right there, in front of that big old
fireplace, he gave his heart and life to Jesus. He sat there
and thought: John 3:16,“I
don't understand it, but it sure makes a lost boy feel safe.
You know, I have to confess I don't understand it either,
how God was willing to send His Son to die for me, and how
Jesus would agree to do such a thing. I don't understand the
agony of the Father and every angel in heaven as they watched
and die. I don't understand the intense love for ME that kept
Jesus on the cross till the end. I don't understand it,
it sure does make life worth living.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not
perish, but have everlasting life....
If you aren't ashamed to do this, please follow the
Jesus said, 'If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of
you before my Father.' Pass this on only if you mean it.
I do Love God . He is my source of existence... .. He keeps
me functioning each and every day. Phil 4:13 If you love
and are not ashamed of all the marvelous things he has done
for you, send this on..
Take 60 seconds & give this a shot ! Let's just see if Satan
stops this one.
All you do is:
1) Simply say a small prayer for the person who sent you
this, 'Father, God bless this person in whatever it is that
You know he or she may be needing this day. In Jesus' Name,
Amen ! '
2) Then send it on to other people. Within hours many people
have prayed for you, and you caused a multitude of
pray to God for other people. Then sit back and watch the
power of God work in your life for doing the
thing that you
know He loves.
(This is a good example of what I call Network Prayers. It really makes me feel
great to know that people are praying for me, and I love to pray for others too. Thank you, Linda, for sending.)