Saturday, December 30, 2006
YOU'RE GONNA TALK ABOUT ALL THAT OVER DINNER, G.W.?
Chancellor Angela Merkel is coming to dinner at the White House on January 4.
So, like all good dinner dates, Mr.
G. has a clear idea of what he wants to talk about before he goes upstairs for Laura to tuck him in. These topics include:
1. global challenges
2. promoting stability and recontruction in Afghanistan
3. advancing Israeli-Palestinian
4. supporting the democratically elected government of Lebanon
5. preventing Iran from developing the capability
to make nuclear weapons
6. promoting free trade and further transatlantic economic integration
7. advancing energy
The Chancellor takes over as president of both the European Union and G-8 on January 1st, so it looks
like George gets to treat her to dinner before the Yerpians.
Those seven items look like lengthy topics. But then,
George can handle it. He's a man of few words -- and might say things like, "Won't work" -- or "Good
idea" -- "Let me run that one by Laura" -- or "Can we come back to that one?"
like that. Don't misunderstand me. Neither Quint nor I have ever been to the White House so we really don't know.
But my imagination can fill in the blank spots, thank you very much.
NO MAIL DELIVERY ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 2
No, it's not an
extra holiday tagged onto New Years Day.
It's because of an Executive Order signed by President Bush as a mark
of respect for former president Gerald Ford.
Mail delivery will resume on January 3.
Regular mail and
retail services are affected.
HAPPY NEW YEAR AND JUST WHEN YOU NEEDED IT MOST, HERE'S A PLATEFUL
OF NEW LAWS THAT GO INTO EFFECT ON MONDAY
Registered sex offenders will have to renew their drivers license
every 12 months in Illinois. And if a person is supposed to register but didn't, the drivers license can be cancelled.
Other more stringent requirements prohibit custody or visitation by a father of a child who is convicted of sex crimes that
resulted in the conception of the child.
Illinois inmates who have self-inflicted injuries will have to pay their
own medical expenses.
Each and every house and apartment in Illinois will be required to have a carbon monoxide
A new law will now make it a crime to lie about being a decorated war hero.
will now have access to expanded medical treatment. The bill expanding these benefits will now require private insurance plans
to pay for treatment of pervasive developmental disorders. Also, 20 additional outpatient visits for speech therapy will now
be required for health benefit plans.
Members of the public in Michigan can sign up to get e-mail notification
when a registered sex offender moves into their zip code.
New Mexico is setting up a DNA data base. Anyone arrested
for a felony will be required to provide a DNA sample to law enforcement officials.
Things are gonna be tougher
for lobbyists in North Carolina. Now the lobbyists are going to have to disclose the amount of money they are spending lobbying
the legislature. And furthermore, legislators will be able to sign up for a "no gift registry" to let lobbyists
know that they don't want any gifts or free lunches. (Boy, I'd like to see that short list. Is that going to be like
the free junketing ban up in Maybeville, D.C. and everybody just forgot to fill out the form? That is, until somebody
got busted, censured, or defrocked of the Mega-Squat outfit?)
For those of you who live in Alaska, health
plans now will be required to cover the costs of colorectal cancer screening and testing procedures if you are considered
high-risk or are over 50 years of age.
Social security protection is really tightening in some states.
In Arkansas, it will be illegal to publicly display a person's social security number or to require a social security
number on a web site that is not encrypted.
In Maryland, employers will no longer be allowed to print an employees'
social security number on their paycheck or any part of the pay stub.
Happy hunting! In New Hampshire, hunters
will be allowed to use a dog to track wounded deer, moose or bear -- as long as the dog is on a leash.
in Texas will start paying $1 more per pack after the first of the year.
New license plates to honor fallen
service members will be available in Colorado and Georgia. The Colorado plates will bear the word "fallen" while
Georgia plates will have the phrase "Gold star family" on them.
WHY CAN'T REPORTERS WRITE WITH ACCURACY?
Hi, This is Quint, again.
I was reading an article from AFP yesterday, "North Europe to welcome new
year with ice-free Baltic Sea". It seems that the Baltic has no ice this year, at least so far. because the water temperature
is 1 degree C. As you know, 0 C is freezing.
Tamero Kouts was quoted as saying that that the Estonian coastal
water was warmer by one degree Celius (around three degrees Fahenheit) than at the end of last year.
complaint is his saying that 1 degree C is "around 3 degrees F". One degree C is exactly 1.8 degrees F, not "around"
Mr. Kouts is supposed to be a senior researcher at the Estonian Marine Institute, as such he most assuredly
would know the conversion between the two temperature scales.
Now, either Mr. Kouts doesn't know how to compare
the two temperature scales or he was misquoted by the (nameless)reporter who wrote the article.
the sloppy reporting is poor journalism and is all too common to be acceptable.
Now, I've had my say so I'll
close with wishing a HAPPY NEW YEAR to all!!
Friday, December 29, 2006
SEE -- THOSE TRAFFIC TICKETS DO SAVE LIVES
it's the thought of being inconvenienced by getting a lawyer and going to court --
Or maybe it's the idea
of paying out all those fines and the resulting increase in auto insurance --
Don't know. Traffic tickets do
make people change their driving habits.
Over the Christmas holiday weekend, Mississippi handed out more than 4,000
tickets, according to the Associated Press.
And there was only one traffic fatality in the entire state!
Apparently there were lots and lots of tickets for people who didn't have their seat belts clicked. Maybe that's
the attributing factor to lower traffic fatalities -- making people buckle up.
The point is, even if you don't
live in a state with a very serious state police department.
And even if your state police isn't out there in
full force to save lives.
And even if your local state politicians offer wonderful-sounding alibis like
"we don't want our citizens to feel harassed."
Big credit goes to Missisippi. They want all the people
who were alive on Friday to still be alive on Monday. Especially if they're driving on Mississippi roads.
not harassment -- that's serving and protecting.
And the weekend of the Really Big Parties is looming ahead
of us. So get yourself a designated driver if you're going to be out there driving from one place to another. Or, better
yet -- park it and go to a hotel party.
Quint and I will be at home quietly and safely ringing in our 28th new
We hope yours will be the same and that the new year will find you filled with God's richest blessings,
joy and continued health.
P.S. -- Check back throughout the day -- I have a couple of other tidbits to share
with you that I'll be posting as I go through the day. (Still not 100% from my bout with the flu over Christmas.)
Thursday, December 28, 2006
If you saw Black Hawk Down,
you remember how the lawless Somalians treated the U.N. forces who came to deliver food to a starving nation and about
300,000 people died of starvation because the warlord Mohamed Farah Aidid ambushed the UN troops and stole the food.
I believe I remember that the food rotted in warehouses because Aidid wouldn't allow it to be distributed.
(Aidid, incidentally, got his education at UCLA then returned to Somalia to pronounce himself warlord.)
the U.S. Marines went over to help out the U.N. troops.
And then our Marines located the little nestegg up on the
second floor of a building where the Somalians were having a kind of board meeting -- or cabinet meeting -- to figure out
what to do about the Marines.
And then some Somalians shot down one of our helicopters. Not only that, but they
killed one of our Marines and tied his body to the back of one of their vehicles and dragged his lifeless body around the
streets of Mogadishu.
Then the people in Maybeville said, "Everybody out. Come on back home. Job's over."
That was Mogadishu then. It was 1993.
Now, the Ethiopians have arrived and taken over Mogadishu from the Muslim
Somalians. Didn't even fire a shot. Just rode in and said, "Get outta town!"
And that's pretty
much what the Islamic Somalians did. Except that as things got twisted around, the Somalian government forces have retrenched
and are riding back in.
So that's what's happening around the Horn of Africa as we speak.
And you know there will more news coming about this situation. It's just starting to heat up.
OKAY -- SO YOU ONLY WANT TO BE EXECUTED FOR FOUR OF THE MURDERS?
Sometimes, no matter how much you read something, it still doesn't make sense.
Take, for instance,
a story out of Nashville, Tennessee, about a fellow who was convicted of murdering seven fast-food employees. The convict
said, "But wait, I was incompetent to stand trail for three of the murders."
In what seems like a gross
miscarriage of time spent by lawyers and judges all the way up to the Tennessee Supreme Court, Mr. Murderer Paul Reid, still
has an execution date set.
The high court was not exactly moved to set aside his convictions.
IN BRITAIN, ONE MUST KINDLY KILL THE FOXIES
Boxing day has
long been steeped in tradition on the other side of the pond.
True, we Americans are trying to import it as a newly
assigned mega-shopping day right after Christmas. That's because we've started giving gift cards instead of presents.
$94 billion worth in 2006.
But back in jolly old England, Boxing Day was always the Day of the Hunt. Fox hunt,
Then, along comes the animal rights activists who took the position that those mean old beagles ought
not to be able to hurt the little foxies.
Instead, the dogs have to find the fox and chase it out into the open
so that the hunters can just, well, you know, kill it.
Now, isn't that a kinder, gentler fox hunt?
Anyone care to ask the fox?
IT'S AUNT NANCY, THE MAYOR OF MAYBEVILLE -- NOT UNCLE SAM ANYMORE
It wasn't all that long ago when the Democrats were quoted in an International Herald Tribune
article that they vowed to end secretive legislating.
The mega-squats have promised to bring back the textbook
version of how bills become laws, daylight debates, serious amendments and minority-party participation.
say they want to bring back civility and collegiality. Partisanship apparently has poisoned relationships on both sides of
And naturally, since the Democrats are now the Chief Mega-Squats, it's all the fault of the Underling
Mega-Squats, the Republicans.
In the land of Maybeville, no one ever has to take responsibility for what they did
wrong. And in the land of Maybeville, if a mega-squat is actually caught red-handed, all he (or she) has to do is plead "the
devil made me do it."
Shrug, shrug, get a therapist.
What an insult to all the people who are in
therapy and working hard to change their lives. But then, they identified areas of their lives they wanted to work on before
they committed any high crimes and misdemeanors.
And then Aunt Nancy, the Mayor of Maybeville, said that her new
vision of transparency included possible televising house debates live. And then a quick feint to the right, or was
it to the left?
No matter. There's not going to be any changes in televising anything.
be too disruptive.
It would be too noisy.
It would be too, well, cluttered, to have all those wires
going everywhere. Somebody might trip.
Aunt Nancy has spoken. Maybeville is still cloistered.
the land of the Way Out West, in Missoula, Montana, live coverage of the Montana legislature will debut in January.
Every floor session of the House and Senate will be televised live.
And committee meetings too.
every other taped proceeding of the 90-day session.
Cable TV was made for glory days like this.
Maybeville ought to go visit Missoula, Way Out West, to see how the Big Sky Country became Open Sky Country!
all would be well in the land.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
JANE HAS THE FLU
Who would get the flu over Christmas?
Me, that's who.
But I'm in the office thinking/dreaming about tonight when I can put my head back
on the pillow and continue my recuperation.
The treat for you, though, is that Quint says he's going to write
a blog for you. It won't be anything like the one I'm thinking about -- Mayor Nancy of Maybeville.
today, I'm too tired to try to be witty. It will have to wait for another day.
Anyway, Quint's blog will
be a lot more serious than mine are. I have no doubt that it will give you pause to think.
Over to you, Quint.
WHO GOES TO THE MOVIES OVER CHRISTMAS WEEKEND?
of people. And they spent $103,458 to get a seat! And I don't know about you folks, but we usually spend as much for popcorn
and soda as we do for tickets, so that's a lot of money at the concession stands too -- even if just half of the moviegoers
get the goodies.
Apparently not too many people were interest in the antics of Santa Claus 3 -- it slipped to 13th
place, with $1,165,697 million for its 8th week.
Casino Royale grabbed $3,200,000 and slipped to 11th place from
its previous week perch of 8th place. It was the 6th week for Casino.
Borat is still hanging in there with $619,066
for its 8th week. It slipped to 14th place. Talk about staying power! It's beginning to look like My Big Fat Greek
Other surprises include The Good German with a box office total of $95,538 for its second
Letters from Iwo Jima got a total of $76,500. I think this was its premier weekend.
So the top ten movies for this week are:
Night at the Museum -- $30,433,781
of Happyness -- $15,000,000
Rocky Balboa -- $12,158,168
The Good Shepherd -- $10,034,000
Web -- $7,566,306
Eragon -- $7,006,467
We Are Marshall -- $6,110,000
Happy Feet -- $5,600,000
The Holiday -- $4,900,000
The Nativity Story -- $4,650,000
A DIFFERENT TAKE ON GLOBAL WARMING
Hi, this is Quint, Jane is down with the flu so I get to sneak in a blog today.
We have all read about global warming being caused by human activities, such as driving our SUVs and making too much carbon
A lot of climatologists find real problems with that theory as the cause of the warming of our climate.
Recently, I read about an interesting experiment conducted by some scientists in Denmark. They bombarded a big box
of air with cosmic (gamma rays) radiation. Clouds formed in the box.
Big deal, you say. Well, it is. Cosmic radiation
from space strikes our atmosphere all the time. The cosmic radiation hits the air molecules and knocks out electrons. The
electrons cause clouds to form, like in the experiment. The sun's magnetic field draws the cosmic radiation like a magnet
draws iron filings, the stronger the sun's magnetic field the more the cosmic radiation is drawn to the sun and away from
The sun's magnetic field is stronger in the last 50 years or so than it was before so the earth's
atmosphere is not bombarded as much as it used to be. This has been measured and monitored for a long time. Also, the
amount of clouds is lower than it used to be. The fewer clouds, the more the sunlight can heat things up. So any heating
that has been occuring in the last 50 years is due to fewer clouds and therefore more sunlight hitting the earth. These are
observed events and are well documented. Again, the experiment in the box was not someone's theory but actually observed
I just thought I'd throw this out there for your information.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
QUINT AND I WISH EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS!
we sign off this blog for today, we will be done until after Christmas. We have just a few tiny things to get for Christmas
before it's a wrap -- so to speak.
Then my focus turns to making a birthday cake -- our son-in-law, Ron, has
a birthday on Christmas Day and daughter, Sharon, has a December 27 birthday. So it's cake baking time.
Rick, has a birthday on New Years Eve -- but he's in Sandpoint, Idaho, with daughter Teri. Teri gets to supply his cake
to him. Happy birthday, Rick.
And we'll wish Ron and Sharon happy birthday in person on Christmas morning
when we go over to share their holiday feast.
In the meantime, if you have not read the Advent Devotionals,
you have an opportunity to go all the way back to Day #1 which was December 3rd. Read all the updates that were posted through
And if you have not seen The Nativity, do yourself a really big favor and see the movie over
the Christmas season. It's faithful to the Bible story. It brings new empathy to the travel hardships that Mary and Joseph
endured, their meager existence as poor, hard-working people in a tiny little village, and the evil king Herod who was being
mean to everybody. The massacre of the little babies is also from the Bible passages.
Gabriel was God's messenger
during the whole Bible story.
If he were to come to earth with another message from God today, what do you think
it would be?
Maybe to find a way to find peace and love for everybody in the world. We are all God's children.
And God, our Heavenly Father, wants us all to get along with each other down here.
Love to each of you.
Quint and Jane Reinheimer
DOES THIS URANIUM STUFF GET MOVED AROUND MORE THAN THEY'RE TELLING US?
All right -- so call me a worrier. But I thought this stuff wasn't supposed to be trucked from one state
to another. Uranium dust, that is. (Oh, I'll bet Quint grabs my computer and writes a P.S. to this piece.)
it's a wire story from the Associated Press.
It happened in Benson, North Carolina. A tractor-trailer
was hauling 6,000 pounds of low grade uranium.
The truck failed to execute the turn on the ramp coming off I-95.
Must have been trying to get onto I-40 and didn't make it.
But there's absolutely no danger, we're
told. Even though the I-40 entrance ramp was closed for a few hours.
The low grade uranium -- called packaged
fissile -- was in containers. The containers didn't break open when the truck turned over. So all is well. And safe.
The stuff was being moved to Global Nuclear Fuels in Wilmington.
Over to you, Quint.
WHO WOULD STEAL ALL THE BABIES OUT OF THE MANAGERS?
were 32 little managers in the neighborhood. Each one of them used to have a Baby Jesus lying in them.
actually stole all the babies!
But now it gets really weird.
Over the weekend,
a woman in the neighborhood found all the Baby Jesuses line up along her front yard fence.
The woman took
the little plastic babies to St. Symphorosa Church on Chicago's south side. And from what we have learned, most of the
little Jesuses have been claimed by their owners.
So what do the owners have to do to make sure the little baby
makes it all the way through the Christmas season -- glue him to the manger?
Some people just have no Christmas
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA HOPES TO GO WIRELESS
Coming across the
USA TODAY wires is news that Anchorage may become yet another whole, entire city to go wireless.
is, if Mayor Mark Begich has anything to do with it.
The mayor says he'd be willing to let the telecommunications
companies put up their towers on city easements if they would bear the costs of bringing the systems into Anchorage that would
let the locals plug into the internet.
If that's the case, Anchorage would join a growing list of cities around
the world that are completely wireless.
Grand Haven, Michigan, was the first city in the United States to offer
wireless internet to all its citizens. And that was on August 1, 2004.
Now the list of WI-FI hotspots around the
country is growing by leaps and bounds. We've even heard rumors that Mayor Richard Daley in Chicago wants his really big city
to go wireless. That would be one big hot spot, let me tell you!
Philadelphia and New York City are also looking
at having a blanket of internet availability hovering over their cities. In fact, it looks like all the big cities are looking
at the possibilities.
So what's firing up all this interest in wireless internet?
Easy answer --
The police, fire and other emergency services -- including hospitals for sure -- need to be
able to communicate with each other instantly.
The internet is the information superhighway that makes that happen
The rest of us can plug into the wireless blanket that hangs over us.
Friday, December 22, 2006
THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN
Who said that? Jefferson Davis?
Robert E. Lee? No matter. The point of this little story is not obvious at first, but I hope you'll get all the way to
the delicious end.
The Census Bureau has released its 2006 population estimates and guest what?
south picked up 1,531,652 new persons/residents.
That's the area bounded by Texas on the west all the way to
the great Atlantic Ocean up to its looks like just under New York.
The west did pretty good. It got 1,016,371 new
residents. The west looks like someone just took a knife and sliced off a big chunk of the United States from North Dakota
south to the Mexican border. I think Hawaii gets included in this section. We could say that Hawaii is way west.
The midwest only got 281,339 new people. It looks like Kansas and parts east up to the western border of Pennsylvania is
this area that I call the Rust Belt -- but people cringe when I say that, so I just whisper it now.
And the northeast
grew an anemic 62,061 people. They get everything that's left over.
Now to the point of this not-so-great
geographic portrayal of the census numbers. This will really scare you.
It's about the redistricting of Congress
for the next elections.
The south got more new voters!!
And the number of representatives in Congress
is determined by a state's population. (There are only 2 senators from each state no matter what the population is.)
Don't you think there's going to be some hand wringing in the back halls of Congress when they figure out
that the population moved south late one night when they weren't looking?
My oh my. I can just hear it now
-- "What are we going to do now?"
NOW, GUYS, YOU'RE STARTING TO LOOK LIKE MEGA-SQUATS
supposed to by nice little Indians. And when you have your elections out there on the reservation, there will only be one
It's Rapid City, South Dakota.
It's the Ogalala Sioux Indian Tribe.
Bureau of Indian Affairs is recognizing John Yellow Bird as President of the tribe.
But Alex White Plume says the
election results are bogus because he was removed from the ballot. A little problem because of his felony conviction.
White Plume wants a new election.
Now it's no secret that my father's people were Cherokee. In fact,
my father was full blood. And I've always been proud of my Cherokee blood line.
The election I liked best was
the one where a woman won as Chief of the Cherokee nation -- it was 1987. Her name was Wilma Mankiller. No one disuputed her
election. In fact, when she ran for re-election in 1991, she got 83% of the votes.
HOW DID BORAT MISS THIS ONE?
This story, out of the Across
the USA column in today's USA TODAY, is one of those little snippits that's funny only because the person
survived to laugh about it.
It seems that in Eugene, Oregon, a worker in a bakery (Franz Bakery was reported) almost
died of suffocation when he was trapped face down in a huge, billowy trough of dough that was moving down the conveyor belt.
I could see Borat doing something like this in a sequel. But then, I don't know if my sides could stand a sequal
to Borat. I suspect I may have broken a rib laughing so hard in the first Borat movie.
And the bakery? It was fined
more than $6,000 for five safety violations.
Let's see -- that would be, #1 -- moving the conveyor belt while
a person is on it.
And secondly, maybe making the mountain of dough too tall?
And #3 -- maybe the quick
rising yeast was too fast.
Don't know about numbers 4 and 5.
The poor victim is now in therapy.
All kidding aside, post traumatic stress syndrome comes into play anytime a person feels endangered to the point where they
fear they're gonna die.
Maybe that would cover violations 4 and 5. They should scare people to the point where
they need therapy.
Maybe I won't tell Borat after all.
IS THIS HOW FISH GET THEIR LEGS?
The U.S. Army wants to gather
up all the (they say) neutralized nerve gas that's in Indiana, truck it all the way to New Jersey, then dump it into the
Where are the environmentalists when the fish need them the most?!!
Do you know what
all the fallderah is all about?
Not anything to do with the poor fishies. It's about transporting the gas illegally
across state lines.
Apparently there's a federal law that bans interstate movement of chemical weapons.
But if it's neutralized -- like they say it is -- how could it still be a weapon?
Wouldn't it just
be, well, you know -- gas?
Is this what happened back in the old days when the fishies were supposed to have sprouted
legs and walked up on the beaches, never to return to the water's depths again? Without scuba equipment, that is.
Now, I'm not a tree hugger, mind you. But the poor little fishies might not like being gassed.
THE RUSSIANS ARE INSPECTING OUR MISSILES!
We have a whole
bunch of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) parked at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
back in 1994,there was a Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the United States and what used to be called the Soviet Union.
Just to make sure we are all playing nice, we send our inspectors over to see what they're holding onto and the
Russians do the same thing to us.
Just so you know, in case someone starts screaming, "The Russians are coming."
They aren't our enemies anymore since the cold war thawed out.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
FOR ALL NEWS SCIENTIFIC, QUINT HAS THE LAST WORD IN OUR HOUSE!
isn't that I don't understand scientific mumbo jumbo. I took physics, biology, astronomy, even anthropology. And passed
with better than flying colors -- just one notch below the aces.
But hey. Jacks around is still a good hand!
Anyway, I rely completely on my analytical chemist husband who gleefully reads such weighty magazines as Nature
and Science. Actually, he says they aren't magazines. They're journals. Excuuuuse me.
practically sitting out on the front porch every Friday for the mailperson to deliver the weekly issue of Science.
So he tells me that the scientific community is on the brink of some really good news for the weight scale problem
It turns out that, according to an article published in Nature just only today, intestinal
microbes may be the culprit.
It took me years to learn that there's good cholesterol and bad cholesterol.
Likewise, apparently there are good microbes and bad microbes in our intestinal tract. And it's the bad microbes
living down there that put on the extra pounds. Thin people don't have the bad guys, called fermicutes.
Thin people have more of the good microbes, called bacteroidetes.
The good news is that as fat people
lose weight, they increase the number of the good microbes and decrease the bad guys.
The next step is to figure
out how to get rid of the bad guys. That will be another research project, you can bet.
Just remember: if you can
identify something, you can measure it. And if you can measure it, you can manage it.
So the scientists are at
step #1 -- they've identified what may well be the crux of the problem.
So get busy. Dieters are waiting.
FOLLOW-UP ON THE GNAWING (ALLEGED) PIT BULL INCIDENT
the headlines on news websites said four of a little babies toes were gnawed off by the family's pit bull.
so here's the deal. Where was this baby sleeping? Could the pit bull climb into its crib? And wouldn't you think the
poor little baby would have been screaming bloody murder? Why didn't the parents wake up and rescue the baby?
It turns out that it wasn't the pit bull after all.
The mom -- who is still in jail in Benton, Louisiana
-- said that it was the pet ferret.
Like that makes a difference!!!
The baby, according to the mom --
Mary Hansche, 22 years old -- was sleeping in a carrier. The carrier was on the floor, next to the mattress on which Mary
and her husband were sleeping.
So the baby was only a few feet from their parents' ears and the parents did
not hear the baby?
The couple are in jail and booked with child desertion and criminal negligence. Hopefully the
baby is still in the hospital being treated for the amputations, and then will be placed with a couple that can be more diligent
in parental care.
You would hope!
THE CORN POLICE MUST HAVE BEEN PRETTY BUSY IN IOWA THIS PAST YEAR
only patrolled the cornfields in Illinois and we zipped up and down I-57 on our way to Effingham -- not that the farmers needed
our help, mind you.
But we did like to keep an eye on things so we could make a good report to you at harvest
Well, in Iowa, I'll have you to know, the state is going to make a record 1.5 billion gallons of ethanol
They processed more than 550 million bushels of corn to make all that fuel! It was an increase of 36%
over summer before last.
We won't need to have a bake sale for any hungry beef though. Iowa produces 2.16 billion
bushels of corn.
That ought to feed a lot of steaks for the rest of us.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
CAPTAIN MARMALADE OF IRAN NOW SAYS DEATH TO PHARAOHS
he says Britain, Israel and the United States are like the pharaohs. We're going to just disappear.
what he said was that any power that is close to God will survive while the powers who are far from God will disappear like
Hmmm. Could he be prophetic? Is it possible that the election over there in his sandhill is just
about ready to send him to early retirement.
Even a we speak, the United Nations Security Council is debating the
issue of imposing sanctions on Captain Marmalade. And now he's finally 'fessing up that Iran is a nuclear power after
See, all that talk about the uranium just being for energy efficiency was just bunk.
We knew it
THE GRACIOUSNESS OF BEING MARRIED TO A WONDERFUL HUSBAND
is about Quint. There's probably no time of year that I appreciate him more than at Christmas.
You see, I'm
not married to one of those guys who just go out late in the game and just buy gifts for one person -- the wife.
Nope. Quint and I were standing in line at ToysRUs last weekend for a special gift request that our granddaughter made.
The line went all the way around the store into one of those little snakey things that's called a "line monitor."
And while I was seeing patients on Monday and Tuesday, he was out battling the crowds and the lines. "Mission
accomplished," he said with pride into his cell phone as he left a store that sells only perfume. "I'm heading
back to the office. What would you like for lunch?"
And right now, as I write this, he is wrapping the last
batch of fudge that he made last night. This batch is for our daughter and family who live nearby. And he's taking another
batch to Brad Stroube and his crew at B & R Transmission in Oak Forest. They do all the repair and service work on our
car. They have been especially kind to him this year and it's his way of saying thanks, guys.
the best fudge in all the world. Our daughter in Idaho has been known to hide some of the fudge on a closet shelf in the back
of other items -- just to make it last longer.
The kiddos were somewhat dismayed when Quint developed Type II diabetes
several years ago. They feared that it meant the end of Dad's fudge. Not so. Now it's even more of a labor of love
because he can't eat any of it. But he makes it for them still.
So, my point is -- this is for all you guys
out there. Lend a hand. You can wrap presents. Maybe not as decoratively as a woman would -- maybe better. Who knows. The
point of wrapping a present is to cover it all up so that what's inside is a surprise until it gets opened.
And ladies, listen up. Husbands don't always do things just exactly the way we'd like them to. It doesn't matter.
Doing things differently is okay.
If you insist on doing it all because no one else can measure up to your perfection,
you get to keep all the stress for yourselves too.
So share the load and be happy. Reducing stress is about reducing
expectations. Don't set them so high for yourself or for others. It will bring more joy and smiles to your holidays.
And probably all year long too, if you let other people help you.
Merry Christmas. Again.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
"I'M STILL ME," he said -- DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE?
It's no secret -- U.S.A. Today is my favorite daily newspaper. And I truly enjoy the Across the USA
page so I can see what's happening around the country in every state.
So today I noticed a little blurb from
my own state of Illinois and it reminded me of something -- so what else is new?
This paragraph is about an Illinois
veteran from Chicago -- Bryan Anderson. Anderson lost both legs and one arm in a roadside explosion in Iraq. He's on the
cover of the January issue of Esquire. In this article, he talks about his life and says, "You have two options
once this happens: Roll over and die or move on."
Then he adds, "I'm still me. I'm just 75 percent
What a great testament to human endurance, although he sounds like he'd shrug off that comment with
a "Shucks, it was nothing." Don't know. Maybe, in fact, he feels like his injuries were horribly debilitating
and his recovery seemed insurmountable at times. No matter. He endured and now says, "I'm still me."
Which brings me to today's moment of zen, as Jon Stewart would say on The Daily Show. Do you know who the "me"
is who lives inside you? You might call this person your ego -- or your identity. Doesn't matter what you call it. It's
who you are. I personally like to call it identity.
Forming a unique identity is one of the tasks we (hopefully)
complete during adolescence. We pick pieces of memories of our favorite relatives. And even some of our heroes that we admire.
These heroes can be long departed from this earth, but we should all have heroes. We can incorporate traits that are admired
in our heroes into our sense of self.
These get incorporated into an identity-forming-save-for-later little project
box that we tuck away in the back of our minds. We might say things like, "When I grow up, I'm going to be just like
my grandma. Everybody liked her because she was always so cheerful. I want to be like her." So a hoped-for-cheerfulness
piece of the puzzle gets put into the identity project box.
Maybe one of your heroes was Abraham Lincoln, who was
admired for his honesty. Maybe you want to be like him and so you put an honesty piece of the puzzle into this little project
And we travel through our adolescence pondering all these things. Teenagers are deep ponderers, you know.
Don't ever underestimate their abilities to think and feel deeply.
Then somewhere toward late adolescence,
one day we pull all these pieces of our identity puzzle out and start to incorporate them into a kind of seamless patchwork
quilt that becomes a beautiful work of art.
The teen emerges from adolescence with a unique sense of self
and can then say, "Here I am. I am me."
"And a fine job you did," we ought to say as the adults
who are standing around watching these young people as they stand on the mental bridge that spans late adolescence
and early adulthood.
I might add that we are a work in progress until the day we die. We are always revising and
refining our sense of identity to this core sense of ourselves.
The people who come into our lives may give us
a strong motivation to change our core sense of self. We see this most profoundly when people meet and fall in love.
Monday, December 18, 2006
HOLIDAY EATING TIPS from Laura Vitt
1. Avoid carrot
sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave
immediately. Go next door, where they’re serving rum balls.
2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like
fine single-malt scotch, it’s rare. In fact, it’s even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can’t find it
any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It’s not as if you’re
going to turn into an eggnog-aholic or something. It’s a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It’s later
than you think. It’s Christmas!
3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s the whole point of gravy.
Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.
As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re made with skim milk or whole milk. If it’s skim, pass. Why bother?
It’s like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.
5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in
an effort to control your eating. The whole point to a Christmas party is to eat other people’s food for free. Lots
of it. Hellooooo!
6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Years. You can do that in January
when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you’ll need after circling the buffet table
while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.
7. If you come across something really good at a buffet
table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don’t budget.
Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They’re like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave
them behind, you’ve never going to see them again.
8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of
each. Or, if you don’t like mincemeat, have two applies and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to
have more than one dessert? Labor Day?
9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it’s loaded with the mandatory
celebratory calories, but avoid it at all costs. I mean, have SOME standards.
10. One final tip: if you don’t
feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven’t been paying attention. Reread tips. Start
over, but hurry. January is just around the corner.
Remember this motto to live by:
Life should not be a journey
to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways,
chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, totally worn out and screaming, "Woo hoo, what a ride!"
PRESIDENT MAHMOUD MARMALADE OF IRAN FALLING BEHIND IN ELECTION RACE
The moderate conservatives are busy winning control of councils in Iran, according to
news coming across the wires.
The president of Iran was elected in 2005. But his big-mouthed froth about death
to Israel and the United States not having a friend in all the world has apparently gotten him into trouble with the
conservative voters who pursed their lips into those familiars little o-shaped puckers and said "no" to his
Not one pro-president candidate has won any of the council seats.
Voter turnout, by
the way, was 60%. But then, there were 233,000 candidates for the more than 113,000 council seats in various cities
and villages spread across Iran. I think they're still counting all the returns.
Quint thinks the population
of Iran is about 68 million. So that's a lot of votes to count -- at least 60% of the adults.
exported democracy. Didn't we keep any of it for ourselves?
In our country where we make the
claim of having practically invented democracy, we ought to be ashamed with our puny, anemic showing of 40%!
JOHN EDWARDS GETTING CLOSER AND CLOSER TO ANNOUNCING HIS CANDIDACY FOR 2008
First he was a senator. Then he was John Kerry's running mate in 2004.
He no longer holds any public office. He doesn't have a war chest.
What he does have is name recognition.
And a drop-what-he's-going attitude to take care of home and family and especially his wife, Elizabeth, who learned she
had breast cancer just shortly before the Kerry/Edwards team was making its concession speech. Elizabeth Edwards says
she delayed telling her husband because she knew he would drop everything to take care of her.
Which is exactly
what he did when she did tell him.
Now refreshed and in remission, Elizabeth waits to learn her husband's decision
about a 2008 run for the White House. Although I suspect that if they arethatclose, she has his ears as well as fears.
His press photos show a matured, no longer baby-face mug that an unkind media teased him about. And it's not his,
either, fault if his hair behaves. The rest of us could only wish.
True -- he doesn't have a bunch of
money. But that's what candidates hire fundraisers for -- to make commodities out of them.
John Edwards plans
to run on his hallmark platform -- economic inequality. That will do for now. Other big issues can get added on as he plows
through the primaries.
Expect a big announcement from New Orleans -- probably before New Years.
Edwards, as in Mr. and Mrs., have that old-fashioned American spirit of determinism. They're pull-'em-up'by-the-bootstraps
feeling good about themselves determinists.
They've suffered. Truly suffered. They've buried a son.
They've survived breast cancer. They're absolutely devoted to each other in a man-woman "I love you"
And the other runners -- Hillary and Osama? They got monies. They got name recognitions. They need
to make sure they don't peak too early. That's what happens to election sweethearts when they storm out of the gate
John Edwards could top their best acts. I, for one, would not want to run against anyone who has so
much of John Kennedy's bucket of charm and charisma. John Edwards brings a wide appeal to female voters that the
Housewife on the Potomac could never reach.
And where did all the Republicans go? You can't win anything by
bringing up the rear!
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE MAGIC LIKES WILL SMITH
The #1 movie this weekend starred Will Smith and his real life son, Jaden Christopher
Syre Smith, in The Pursuit of Happiness. It's based on a true story about a father and son who become homeless.
The movie took in $27 million for its premier weekend.
#2 -- Eragon -- $23.5 million
#3 -- Charlotte's
Web -- $12 million
#4 -- Happy Feet -- $8.5 million
#5 -- The Holiday -- $8.2 million
-- Apocalypto -- $7.7 million
#7 -- Blood Diamond -- $6.27 million
#8 -- Casino Royald -- #5.7 million
#9 -- The Nativity Story -- $4.7 million
#10 -- Unaccompanied Minors -- $6.67 million
Deja Vu -- $3.0 million
#12 -- Deck the Halls -- $2 million
#13 -- Santa Claus 3 -- $1.85 million
#14 -- Borat -- $1.57 million -- looks like this movie has a long shelf life -- Borat the unsexy-I-don't-know-what-sillyman
is still beating out Brad the supposed-to-be-beautiful-box-office-magic-sexy-man-of-former-years
#15 -- The Queen
#16 -- Stranger Than Fiction -- $530,000
#17 -- Babel -- $490,000
Box Office Mojo
Saturday, December 16, 2006
DRIVE SAFELY -- ESPECIALLY IN WINTER CONDITIONS
Unless you live in warm, sunny climates, the winter weather brings discomforting thoughts
of getting back out there on snow and ice.
AAA offers some time tested recommendations and tips for your winter
travels -- whether you're driving around town and going some distance for the holidays.
First of all, keep
yourself updated with weather reports. Don't get sidelined or surprised by Mother Nature. And if the forecast looks especially
bad, delay travel if at all possible. And hour or two delay is not going to make that much of a difference when it comes to
I often think about that when I see people getting hauled out of the medians or ditches. I'll
bet they wished they'd waited just a bit for conditions to change. Sometimes it's just a plain old good idea to wait
and let the fog burn off, or let the traffic melt some of that snow for you.
This is the time of the year when
you want to fill up your gas tank when you're at the halfway point. Okay, so I'm a worrier. I just don't want
to get stuck anywhere and run out of gas. If you're stuck in traffic that's moving about twenty feet in fifteen minutes,
the last thing you need to have to worry about is running out of gas. So get the tank topped off every chance you get.
Keep your cellphone charged too. If you have a charger that fits into a dash charger, bring all the contraptions you
need. There's nothing more frustrating than being stuck out there and not have a cell phone to call for help. It also
will let people get ahold of you and find out where you're at. If you're on the interstates, pay attention to mile
markers so you could give someone an idea of about where you are.
Keep a box of stuff you might need. If you're
traveling, put it in the back seat because you may get stuck and not necessarily be able to get into your trunk.
This emergency box ought to have extra hats, gloves and mittens, shoes and socks (just in case), an extra water supply,
breakfast bars for quick nourishment, and blankets.
If you're going to be out on the road for any distance,
think about packing a quart of very hot water and some of those instant soups (the kind that are in their own little cups).
I also think it's a good idea to have a couple of big rolls of plastic wrap -- the kind you can put in the
kitchen when winter is over if you didn't need to use it. As an old Girl Scout leader, I think it's a good idea
to have the plastic wrap because you could wrap your hands and feet if you do get stuck just to keep you from losing body
All the experts tell you that if you do get stuck, stay in your vehicle. It gives you shelter. It's
definitely a good idea not to go wandering off especially if you're in an area where you aren't familiar with landmarks.
And stay together if you're traveling with someone. There are stories every year where someone will go out
there in the blowing snow and trek off to find help, only to find out that the vehicle gets discovered first and the person
who took off is the one who gets into trouble, or just plain lost.
Friday, December 15, 2006
GOOD NEWS FOR DIABETICS FROM CANADA
It was a stunning discovery from scientists at a Toronto hospital. They say they proof
that it's the body's nervous system that helps trigger diabetes. They say this opens a door to a potential near-cure
The doctors injected diabetic mice with a substance that counteracts the effect of malfunctioning
pain neurons in the pancreas.
The mice became healthy overnight!
Dr. Michael Salter, one of the pain
experts at the hospital said, "I couldn't believe it. Suddenly, mice that had diabetes don't have it any more."
They're being very cautious about the findings thought. So far, this hasn't been confirmed in people yet.
They do hope to have human studies within the next year or so.
An immunologist at the hospital, Dr. Hans Michael
Dosch, says this is a unique experience in his career.
IT'S MERRY CHRISTMAS -- NOT HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
There is a huge Christian population in the United States -- about 86% of us.
It is time that we stop standing around letting a very small, loud, vocal group of people tell us that we can't say
Merry Christmas because it might offend them. How would that possibly be offensive?
Christmas is the celebration
of the birth of Jesus Christ!
Are these people trying to say that his birth didn't happen? Or if they admit
that it did, that we, as his followers, have no right to celebrate what we believe is one of the greatest moments of mankind?
This holiday is about the birth of Jesus Christ. It isn't about an over-commercialized holiday of buying and buying
I want to hear Merry Christmas. I don't want Labor Day and the 4th of July and all those other
days we celebrate lumped into a "Happy Holidays" greeting.
So Merry Christmas to each and every one of
you and God's richest blessings to you all.
A REALLY LAME DEFENSE -- EXCEPT THAT IT WORKED!
It all started when a big semi turned over somewhere near Goodland, Kansas, on I-70.
The truck was hauling cartons and cartons of cigarettes.
The fire chief stuffed cartons of cigarettes into
his uniform. He got caught.
And his defense? The chief said there was no proof that he intended to keep the
Oh really? Doesn't the 7th Commandment say simply, "Thou shalt not steal."
to the chief, are we now supposed to define stealing as taking something and meaning to keep it instead of just taking something
that doesn't belong to us?
Thursday, December 14, 2006
HOW'S YOUR CHRISTMAS FESTIVITIES COMING?
Okay -- we've got two whole weeks left. Plenty of time. Quint made his fudge. But
I can't take credit for that even if I did help spoon out the marshallow cream into the boiling stuff in the pan.
I'm fine-tuning the Christmas Card list. That's how I get into the spirit of the Christmas season. I'm behind.
But then, I always am. Quit feeling guilty about that years ago.
My sister Cookie actually takes a week off from
work about mid-November to get her cards out. Her card always arrives on the Friday after Thanksgiving. No one has ever beat
Me? I've been known to send out cards all the way until Epiphany on January 6. I figure it's never
too late to send anybody a card or to tell them I love them. So there.
We'll get to the stores one of these
days. Surely there'll be something that we can find for the people on the list.
Except for Quint. He says he
has everything he needs. So do I.
In a case like that, go for things in very small boxes. That works for me.
I did get the Advent devotionals finished. Today was #12 in the series.
IF THEY AREN'T SUPPOSED TO HAVE GUNS, WHY DO THEY NEED AMMO?
There's a really big loophole in New Jersey laws that allows anybody over the age
of 21 to buy ammunition.
That means anybody. Even if you can't own a gun legally. Like if you're a convicted
Well, it seems that when the state investigators went around to the licensed gun store owners and checked
their records, about 3/4 of all the ammo purchases were made by -- you guessed it -- ex-convicts.
amazed when these loopholes are discovered. It would seem that when the laws were originally enacted, they could have thought
of this one.
PRAY FOR SEN. TIM JOHNSON
He collapsed in his office. Worst fears were that he'd had a stroke. Turned out
not to be a stroke, but rather, an AVM. It's so similar to a stroke that it counts in equal severity.
that AVMs (arteriovenous malformation) are congenital. It's like a dark secret hiding in a person's brain from the
time of birth. Well, actually, before birth when the baby is still in the womb and the brain is beginning to develop.
Blood vessels get all tangled up. Abnormal connections exist where arteries meet veins.
And then, seemingly
without warning, one of the errant vessels will start to leak. The blood flows in the brain. A clot forms. Surgery follows,
if possible, to remove the clot. More surgery may be needed to actually repair the abnormal vessels.
to be set aside. It's time for prayers for a speedy recovery for Senator Johnson, and for strength in this high angst
time for family members.
There is no reason to think, at this point, that this would be a debilitating situation
that would prevent him from returning to his full duties in the U.S. Senate.
WHAT'S HAPPENING TO THE IDAHO DUCKS?
So far there's been about a thousand of them that have died in the remote little town of Oakley, Idaho.
The ducks were actually at Land Springs Creek, not quite two hundred miles southeast of Boise.
Experts from the
Fish and Game Department -- and Homeland Security -- are taking tissue samples to see if the culprit is avian flu.
There's a lot of other birds out there that aren't dying, according to the Associated Press. Birds like eagles,
geese, magpies, crows and other birds don't seem to be getting sick.
So far, nothing is being ruled out, including
pesticides from farm run-off.
The creek itself is spring fed and the water stands about 3 - 6 inches deep.
But only the mallards are dying.
UPDATE: December 15 -- Quint tells me that he saw a
report late last evening that the mallards had been eating grains that were either spoiled or contaminated with a fungus of
some sort. The reason the other birds -- like magpies, eagles and crows -- weren't affected is because they don't
eat grains. Those birds are meat eaters mostly.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
FINALLY, SAYING "GOD" IS FREEDOM OF SPEECH
It started when a nine year old wanted to sing Awesome God in a local talent show in Frenchtown, New
So what happened? You guessed it. Of course it ended up in court. School officials said it was kind of
The judge said the song was private speech because the program was open to the public and wasn't
part of the school curriculum.
It's a start, folks.
WHEN WILL THESE ATHEISTS JUST GO AWAY!
Wouldn't you just like to tell them to pack it up and go away?!!
86% of Americans who claim that they are Christians -- who are devoted to their faith.
So how come the other 14%
of the noisemakers are getting away with their claim of being offended?
They don't like Christmas trees. Or
And now, apparently they don't like the sound of church bells or carillons.
American Atheists Inc. demanded that the government in Griswold, Connecticut, turn off the church bells. They were too loud,
said the atheists. They wanted the bells turned off.
Finally, a local government with lots of backbone, told the
local Baptist church that they could leave their church bells on.
For me, there is something incredibly reflective
about a carillon in the evening as the day is winding down. It's not unlike hearing taps at a military funeral. It's
a time to connect and re-connect with my maker.
And yes, you bet your sweet patutie I'm a Christian.
All the atheists who are offended by me and other Christians can just go buy an island somewhere and live in their sterile,
It's "Merry Christmas," folks -- not "Happy Holidays."
HERE'S SOME GOOD NEWS!
Remember in the old, old, old, days when the very rich people would donate money to pay
for museums and art institutes and aquariums, etc.?
Here in Chicago, we have the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium
-- just to name a few. In New York, there's the Guggenheim Art Museum. Los Angeles has The Getty.
fancy places are usually named after their benefactors, and we don't mind. After all, they should get something permanent
for some really big cashola contributions.
So I've been sitting around for years wondering why all these mega
stars who are making mighty millions don't give something back for us lowly folks to enjoy. You know, a place where we
can go on Sunday afternoons and get some respite from our rat-race work weeks.
Today, I heard about a $1 million
donation from Jada Pinkett Smith to her alma mater, the Baltimore School for the Arts. It's a donation from the Will and
Jada Smith Family Foundation. The money will be used for renovations and other bigger projects.
It will honor the
late Tupac Shakur who was shot and killed in 1996.
Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
EARMARKS -- HOPEFULLY THE FINAL CHAPTER
Used to be when the bureaucrats/mega-squats in Washington wanted money for their favorite
little projects back home, they just inserted the cost into the budget with their name on it as a sponsor. And pretty soon,
all their buddies would hop on the band wagon and co-sponsor their little pet projects.
Then, what with this being
America and all, and freedom of the press, the newsies started reporting about all this pork spending going on.
then, pork started to get a bad name. There were even reports of naming a particular mega-squat each month as the King of
And then, the voters started not liking all those pork reports. And pork got a bad name. I mean, really bad
name. It was stinky. Pork was right up there with "back room politics," and "croneyism," and other
bad things that smelled like, well, feed lots, if you know what I mean.
So what's a self-proclaimed "blue
ribbon" congress to do when their best trick gets widely known?
Very simple. Change the word "pork"
to something that sounds better -- like "earmark."
And change the rules too, while you're at it.
Now, when a mega-squat wants to fund a pet project back home, just insert the cost into the budget and don't list yourself
as a sponsor. You can claim it later. It'll all get sorted out. Just keep track of how much your project is earmarked
No one will ever guess.
Yes, yes. Earmark sounds a lot cleaner. It has a crisp, bookish sound
But then, in the words of old honest Abe, you can't fool all the people all the time. Those fickle voters
out there have figured out all about the earmarks.
Son of a gun!
No more smoke and mirrors. We are transparent
again. The voters have figured out what we're up to.
So along comes the elections. All honest, self-proclaimed
good guy mega-squats ran on finger-pointing campaigns that promised to bring transparency back to government and get rid of earmarks.
That is, in the 110th congress that gets sworn in next year -- not the 109th. The 109th congress -- the lame duckers
-- will just have to worry about themselves. The 110th congress are, after all, the newly-elected good guys that are going
to get rid of the earmarks.
So the 109th congress mega-squats -- or bureaucrats as I used to call them -- ran around
their campaign territories with black eyes from all their earmarked pork projects.
"Ah, how refreshing,"
I thought when I heard that Rep. David Obey (D-Wis) and Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WVa and formerly the King of Pork) announced that
there would be no earmarks in this new budget.
See, they listened to voters on election day. All is well in
But then in the very next breath, Obey and Byrd said that lawmakers could re-apply for their pet
projects next year when the mega-squats make up the 2008 budget. This would, of course, be after all the reforms of the
earmarking process are in place.
So what's the big deal about this anyway?
Well, it's just
possible that the people of New Hampshire, for instance, just may not want to write a check to help pay for new sidewalks
or a bigger park in Seattle -- no matter how good projects are.
Maybe it's about individual states paying
for state projects, or local taxpayers paying for their own projects. Maybe it's not about all those local projects showing
up in the federal budget that everybody in the country has to shell out for.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
THIS JUST IN -- GO STRAIGHT TO JAIL, SKILLING
When the judge says "immediately," he means now, so I'd pack some
winter duds because Minnesota is quite a bit colder than the Florida digs you're used to.
In his rulings, Judge
Patrick Higginbotham of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote that Skilling doesn't really raise any new questions
that would most likely reverse the conviction that got him a 24-year sentence for 19 counts of conspiracy, fraud and insider
He doesn't remember too many details about any of those charges, but maybe time will help refresh
Let's see, Skilling is 53 years old. In 24 years, he'll be a less-than-dashing 77 year old
Go to jail. You cheated and cheated and cheated so many faithful employees out of their pensions they thought
they could count on in their old age.
Shame on you and all the other corrupt idiot thieves like you!
IRAN'S PRESIDENT IS IN CATBIRD SEAT
Well, sort of.
The guy who says Iran is going to rain down a second holocaust
on the people of Israel is up for election on December 15.
From what I've read in a couple of papers in the
region, he's not exactly in step with the people of Iran. Or the religious leaders of Iran either.
Ahmadinejad -- likening himself to be the king of Persia, I guess -- as the country was called in olden days -- might
have a surprise for himself on election day.
He says the end of Israel is what God wants. And he also says that
it's what the rest of the world wants.
He was hosting what he called a Holocaust conference and supposedly
had ultra-Orthodox anti-Israel and anti-Israel Jews and other writers -- ah, the galloping media circus again -- in attendance.
And the newspapers and broadcasters wonder why circulation is dropping and advertisers are running!
As for what God thinks, I really don't think anyone here on earth really knows for sure what God is thinking. But just
to be on the safe side, I think we all ought to remember that God has the power to move things around on the globe -- pretty
much anytime he wants to.
Remember the tsunami in Indonesia and the island of Sumatra? Well, Sumatra is an island the
size of Florida and it moved about 100 meters after the earthquake that caused the tsunami. This is the God who wants us all
to behave down here.
It's time to be very, very good.
And so far, the European countries and the
USA are roundly condemning his comments.
EX-ENRON CEO SKILLING STILL HASN'T GONE TO JAIL
Of course you can believe he's still trying to figure out a way to stay out of jail!
He was supposed to report to federal digs in Waseca, Minnesota, to begin serving his 24-year sentence today.
But, hey, a last minute maneuver by his lawyers in an appeals court in New Orleans got him a delay in the report date. The
court down there is considering whether they'll let him post bond and stay out while his appeals is in process.
Poor-baby-Skilling will have to bunk in with three others in a cell that would be crampled even for the two adults
it was built for. But hey, jail time is supposed to be a crime deterrent, right?
It's not going to be like
the palatial digs he built for himself, wife, and son on the beachfront in Florida. Runs in my mind that the spread featured
an 18,000 square foot palatial mansions. Not sure about that, but it seems like I benchmarked it to Michael Jordan's 25,000
square foot house north of Chicago -- made some kind of a mental note that it wasn't as big as Jordan's.
No matter. Jail is jail. And no matter about having a basketball court at your disposal, as Skilling would have.
And it doesn't matter that the Minnesota prison for white collar criminals is on the campus of what used to be an old
branch campus of the University of Minnesota.
When you're used to running around to your little heart's
content and hopping on a jet to anywhere you want, and probably a private jet at that, prison life is not going to be too
much fun. You can't even raid the refrigerator if you want a soda at 11 pm because you're supposed to be in bed with
the lights out.
When you are an incarcerated convicted convict, you live with someone else's rules!
Skilling probably won't care anyway. He has such giant memory loss at the Enron trial that he probably can't remember
what a nice life he used to have.
NO SMOKING SIGN -- HOW UNCLEAR IS THAT?
It's Nevada again.
The voters in Churchill County approved a smoking ban
in public places. Just like they did in Clark County (where Las Vegas is).
However, the county officials are holding
off enforcing the bans in these two counties because -- get this -- they say the language isn't clear.
A judge has granted a 15-day restraining order so that lawyers can argue whether the laws are constitutional. Lawyers
love this kind of stuff. Does the term "smoke and mirrors" come to mind? Or, are they just making up stuff to cloud
So if you're planning on heading out to Las Vegas for the holidays, you'll still be able to
smoke in the casinos.
Now that says Christmas to me!
SEE -- BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME
All of a sudden there's a huge interest in World War I at the University of Kansas.
In fact, all the seats are filled in a new history class about the first world war. A waiting list awaits the hopefuls
who didn't register in time. What a joy it would be to teacher this class -- I'll bet every student gets homework
turned in on time and research papers ought to be really interesting. This is a fascinating time period to study -- especially
how the war came about in the first place.
The school big-brains think it's probably because of the new World
War I Museum that just opened in Kansas City, Missouri.
I, for one, am glad to see renewed interest in anything
historical. And World War I -- well, it's a way of honoring all those soldiers in the U.S. Armed Forces.
grandfather, Arthur Stubbe, and Quint's father, Galen Dean Reinheimer, were soldiers. I did not know my grandfather. He
was hospitalized before I was born. But Quint's dad says he must have walked across France three times at least. He could
still, at the age of 90 years, sing the marching songs that kept them all hustling forward in a cadence.
father spent one winter with us toward the end of his life. We were overjoyed to have this Coloradan come out and spend some
time with us "flatlanders." Our children got to know Grandpa so much better than they had experienced him through
brief summer vacations.
When he returned to Colorado, he went into a senior living place. He liked that. By the
time he got back out there, he was used to being around a lot of hustle bustle because he had gotten used to kids and their
friends running in and out of the house all the time.
So one day, Quint's sisters went to visit Grandpa about
three in the afternoon at his new living quarters. They were taken aback when he was nowhere to be found. Didn't like
the idea that he could have just -- well, you know -- wandered off.
Where could he be? Was he okay?
out, Grandpa met up with another survivor of World War I and they decided to walk down to the American Legion a block or so
away and have a beer.
Each one thought he was the only survivor of the Great War. They were just catching up on
their individual histories and experiences in the war.
Born in 1895, Grandpa lived to the ripe old age of 92. He
was a joy to know and all of us appreciated so much getting to know this wonderful man.
We just know he's
in heaven celebrating Christmas with his wife, Gift, and Quint's brothers, Roger and Dicky. Here's to the Reinheimers.
And to all of you, may you all live in peace. This year and every year of your lives.
Monday, December 11, 2006
BOX OFFICE HIT REPORT
The much touted Mel Gibson violentoganza Apocalypto, captured 1st place in this weekend's top movies
#2 -- The Holiday -- $13,500,000 for its premier weekend
#3 -- Happy Feet --
$12,718,000 (in its 4th week, mind you with total box office so far of $137,738,000. Not bad for a bunch of cute little cartoon
#4 -- Casino Royale -- $8,800,000 (also in its 4th week. With total revenue of $128,894,000,
they are considerably behind the penguins.)
#5 -- Blood Diamond -- $8,515,000 (Leonardo couldn't beat the penguins.
Hmmmm. What does this mean?)
#6 -- Unaccompanied Minors -- $6,205,000
#7 -- Deja Vu -- $6,070,000 (So
far this movie has made $53,046,000. Its budget was $75 million.)
#8 -- The Nativity Story -- $5,575,000
#9 -- Deck the Halls -- $3,925,000
#10 -- Santa Claus 3 -- $3,311,000
#11 -- Borat -- $2,565,000 (Still
hanging around in its 6th week)
What's amazing, though, is that Brad Pitt's Babel came in
#16 place with this weekend revenue of $458,000. It's in the 7th week of being out there and so far has grossed only $17,607,000.
And Volver is a bit notable too. This is Penolope Cruz's supposed big Oscar role. It ended up in 21st
spot for its 6th week with a weekend take of $377,000 and a grand total so far of $2,381,000.
Hope you enjoy the
movies as much as Quint and I do. It's a great night out -- followed by great Chicago style pizza, a glass of wine --
what's not to like?
(movie reports from Box Office Mojo)
COULD THIS POSSIBLY BE WHAT ONE OF THOSE MYSTERIOUS EARMARKS LOOKS LIKE?
I've been trying for some time to get my head wrapped around the real definition
of just exactly what an earmark is.
Since nobody is giving me a real definition, I've come up with one of my
I think earmarks are what we used to call pork. The only problem is, in all the old budgets pork
became known as a naughty-naughty. And then Senator Byrd from West Virginia became plunketed as the King of Pork because he
was able to get so many mega moochos for his little state.
So, since pork is a bad word, we just have to call it
something else. It's the American way.
Now bacon bits are earmarks.
So here's an earmark, I
think. It's happening right here in my own state of Illinois. It seems that there's a whole bunch of thievery going
on when it comes to anydrous ammonia. Here in the heartland, that's known as fertilizer.
A person who has a
meth lab, however, can't get all the anydrous ammonia they need to keep their illegal little "business operations"
going because chemical companies now need to report who's buying all that ammonia.
an average ordinary crook supposed to do?
The answer: steal it.
Now, in the average ordinary course,
stealing things comes under the scrutiny of state laws. It's not a federal crime, for instance, for a thief to steal fertilizer
from 58 different fertilizer suppliers in the middle of the state of Illinois.
However, some lawmaker has
earmarked $140,000 in government grants so that these 58 businesses can increase their security. In most businesses,
isn't security kind of tucked in there under the heading of "overhead costs?"
Maybe it wasn't
a federal congressman who earmarked the grant money. Or it could have been a state mega-squat. It still sounds like pork
To make this truly an earmark, some legislator (mega-squat) would stick the $140,000 figure into the budget
and everybody on both sides of the aisle would know that it was "earmarked" for this particular mega-squat to send
Government budgets hemorrhage with earmarked money that's set aside for little pet projects. They
get away with it for two reasons: 1) you vote for mine and I'll vote for yours, and 2) there is no line item veto in the
entire federal budgetary process.
There ought to be a solution here that would make congress more transparent so
that we can see what they're up to.
YAY! LET'S KEEP ON SAVING! OR AT LEAST QUIT BORROWING SO MUCH
According to the U.S. Treasury, Americans appetite for debt increased at its slowest pace in
The net worth of Americans is now at $54.1 trillion. That’s up
from $53.3 trillion last quarter.
Personal borrowing is down and so is mortgage borrowing.
Mutual fund balances
are up and so are pension reserves.
Clinky-clinky-clinky – money in the bank.
Campers want to taste the great outdoors, stay overnight,
hike awhile and do what you’d call back-to-nature funsies.
Unless, of course, one of those California cougars
gets you in its crosshairs and decides you’d make a nice lunch. I, for one, would not like a 90-pound scratchy coming
after me while I was communing with nature along a beautiful wilderness path.
Well, the folks out there in Malibu, California,
have plans to open some of those rugged Malibu hills. It will be called the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.
everyone is in favor. There are some who say such a plan would actually increase traffic, damage the ecosystem, and maybe
even increase fire risks. (Campers aren’t always on top of things when it comes to fire safety. They’ll just throw
their old burning cigarettes anywhere.)
If I lived anywhere near the region I’d be more concerned about the sewage
generated by all those additional campers. Somewhere in the archives is a blog I wrote a while ago about the sewage problem
coming out of the great Santa Monica places. The hoity-toities don’t want sewage systems – their septic systems
are just fine, thank you. Except, of course, when the septic fields get a bit bloated with you know what.
isn’t California one of those places where people run up and down the streets shouting about leaving the wild places
alone so that the wild animals can enjoy their peace and quiet without pedestrian traffic invading their furry little spaces?
SO HOW DO YOU AUTOPSY A RADIOACTIVE VICTIM?
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any more mystifying, now comes the thought –
under the general heading of "Well, of course. Why didn’t I think of that?"
Conducting an autopsy on the recent Litvinenko, the Russian spy, is going to be very tricky. He’s the guy who died
from a very suspicious looking polonium-210 poisoning. But they’ll need an autopsy to confirm that.
I did not
know that polonium-210 is supposed to be about a trillion times more toxic than cyanide. That’s according to John Emsley,
a science writer. If you eat or breathe less than a thousandth of a gram, you’ll die in about 20 days. Litvinenko is
thought to have been poisoned on November 1st and he died on November 23rd.
Okay, so I’ve
been watching too many Sherlock Holmes movies. I just wonder how whoever did him in got the Polonium into Litvinenko when
his last meal was at a sushi buffet. Supposedly he died from a classic case of food poisoning.
As I said above, Litvinenko’s
autopsy is going to be very tricky. Body fluids would still be radioactive, wouldn’t they?
According to my chemist
husband, Quint, polonium has a very long half-life – about five years. So it’s possible that the radioactiveness
could hang around for quite a little while.
Still no idea of how the polonium-210 got to England or got to Litvinenko
for that matter. There were some Russians traveling between Moscow and London at around the time that would have been detrimental
British Airways is looking into it. In fact, there were three such flights. They’re still grounded.
the meantime I’m not reading any more spy novels. My already overactive imagination is just about worked itself into
a frenzy. I just wish they’d solve this thing so I could go onto other stories.
Saturday, December 9, 2006
MORE ABOUT HOW THE MEGA-SQUATS WORK
The budget that was passed by Congress this week allows some 8.3 million acres in
the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas drilling. One of the world's largest, most gigantic oil field is out there in the Gulf
of Mexico. It promises to be bigger than the oil fields in the middle east.
It's a budget
mess up there on Capitol Hill.
In what looks like a turnabout to me, Rep. Hoyer is now saying that he was taken
too literally at his press conference last week. That was when he said Congress would be meeting Monday through Friday and
lawmakers had just better get used to it.
Then there was all that balking and great wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Now Hoyer says that the lawmakers will have to stay in town on Tuesday - Wednesday - Thursday. But isn't that all
that they used to work?
Where's the great pre-election promised change here?
So the mega-squats
had to work til nearly midnight so that they could pass spending bills.
It's hard to feel sorry for them,
though. Seems to me that if they stayed in town more and did the work they were elected to do, they could finish up at a decent
hour and wouldn't need to whine about how overworked they are.
Four lawmakers ought to get some kind of super
mega-squat award for being completely AWOL during vote sessions. They haven't voted for one single item Barbara Cubin
(R-Wyo), Jim Gibbons (R-Nev), John Murtha (D-Pa), and Lane Evans (D-Ill).
Oh, but wait. Gibbons' hired mouth
says he was just elected to governorship.
Well, yeah. But there are some other governor-elects who managed, apparently
with great hardship, to get back to Washington for votes. They are Ted Strickland of Ohio and C.L. "Butch" Otter
Cubin called in sick. She has the flu and back problems. She says she's actually in Washington but
just laid up at home.
I, for one, am going to be watching Nancy Pelosi. She promised to get rid of the earmarks.
So we'll just see what she does with the bacon.
An earmark, if I understand it correctly, is when a lawmaker
adds money -- say $100 million to build a little bridge in the district back home. It's just an add-on to the spending
bill. The lawmaker doesn't have to introduce a separate bill -- doesn't have to run around looking for co-sponsors
and thereby build up political cronyism type debt. The $100 million just gets added in and is "earmarked" for the
And that explains how come it is that there's a 94% re-election success. Pork means favors
for the folks back home.
By the time a spending bill gets passed by the House Ways and Means Committee and goes
to the Senate, then back to the House for another vote, it gets really bloated with a whole bunch of little piggies running
through the ink on the pages of the spending package.
Your tax dollars at work!
WHAT HAPPENED TO RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE IN AMERICA?
It must have been in a galaxy far far away that made people actually want to come
to a new frontier with the hallmark idea that they could worship freely without persecution.
So here we are in
the way forward new millennium. It's the Christmas season. Except that big shot stores are wishing people Happy Holidays
instead of Merry Christmas. The excuses given are that they don't want to offend people who might not be all that into
Some stores want to get rid of the red and green Christmas colors. Instead, you're going to see
pink and orange combinations. Or blue and green combos.
Boy, that really says Christmas to me! Red and green are
too -- well -- traditional. And traditional Christmasses are kind of too Christian. Are you kidding me?
idiots have any clue as to how Christmas got started in the first place?
Remember Jesus Christ?
is the celebration of his birth on earth!
If stores want to forget that point and just keep the happy holiday
cash registers going instead, they can do without my greenbacks.
And if it really bothers you that your town won't
allow a nativity scene in the town square, then take one of your snowmen or Santas or those wire reindeer off your lawn and
put up your own creche.
Wouldn't it be great if there were nativity scenes all over town?
much better across the pond. In an article in London's Sun, the garbage collectors won't be allowed to wear
Santa hats. Reason given: It's not healthy. The garbage collectors have been wearing Santa hats for years.
the Salvation Army Band won't be allowed to sing Christmas carols in the hospital wards either. They are restricted to
public areas at Torbay Hospital in Devon.
Even though the Salvation Army has been bringing Christmas cheer to hospitalized
patients for forty years, this year there's a great fear of getting some kind of infection from the singers.
I think it's time to get rid of the PC police. There must be something useful they can do somewhere!
Friday, December 8, 2006
THANK YOU MEGA-SQUATS OF THE 109TH
The House of Representatives passed tax legislation which actually has some favorable
items for us lowly taxpayers.
Things like being able to deduct state sales tax. This is a new provision that says
you can either deduct your state and local income tax or state and local sales tax -- whichever is higher.
an allowance for deducting tuition -- up to a maximum of $4,000 for persons with an adjusted gross income of $65,000 or less ($130,000
for married couples). You get to deduct $2,000 if your adjusted gross is $80,000 or less ($160,000 for marrieds).
The mega-squats must have been feeling really generous! They'll continue to allow the underpaid, overworked school teachers
in this country to deduct up to $250 in out-of-pocket expenses.
This is the most outrageous part of the whole
package to me. These fat cat politicians have fund raisers that often charge that much per plate to their fund raisers.
In a country where Barry Bonds can squeeze out a new contract for $16 million a year, we are going to just let
the teachers who are humiliatingly embarrassingly stingily underpaid deduct up to a maximum of $250 on their income tax.
In the first place, teachers are paid a pittance that doesn't compare with the likes of
celebrity types that make millions and millions.
And finally, persons who did not have the 20% down for a mortgage
and were required to take out a mortgage insurance policy (not to be confused with homeowners insurance), can now deduct the
premium -- starting in 2007 -- from their income tax. That is, if your income isn't higher than $110,000.
guess the fat cats figure if you're making more than that, you can afford to put 20% down on a mortgage.
the vote was 367-45. It will now go to the Senate. Rumor has it that the Senators are not happy with this package. There'll
be a lot of kicking it around the Senate floor like a little football. The Senators don't like the oil exploration proviso
out in the Gulf of Mexico.
By the time the Senators add all their little "earmarks" (that's a "nice"
way of saying piggy-piggy-pork), the $40 billion price tag for the tax cuts in this tax bill will blow up like a big fat balloon.
Then it has to go back to the House for another vote.
And it goes on and on and on and on.
Such is the life of D.C. piggies.
ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER -- NOT A FATAL FLAW
I got an e-mail from Carol in Kenosha, Wisconsin, about attention deficit. Hope this
answers your questions, Carol.
I was about halfway through grad school when the thought hit me like a ton of bricks.
I have a mild form of attention deficit disorder.
When this thought hit me, I was reading something for a report
I had to write. When I had to re-read the same paragraph for the fourth time, I realized something was wrong in there between
I had to really dig in and consciously concentrate on what I was reading when I realized what I
thought was going on.
Over the years I have worked with a number of children (and adults, alike) who have attention
deficit disorder. When I explain it to parents, I liken it to awakening in the morning and being able to remember a vivid
dream. Then, for no reason, the memory of the dream just evaporates.
It must go somewhere else in my head because
no matter how hard a person concentrate, the dream is gone. Poof!
Attention deficit can be frustratingly like that.
And for sure, if it's a mild case, which mine apparently is, I can say to myself, "Self: I'm only
going to re-read this one more time, so pay attention." Almost always, that works.
For people who are not
so lucky and who have a more severe case of attention deficit, medication is a big help.
For all the parents out
there who don't want to get their kids on drugs, you need to understand what is happening the brain that makes attention
deficit happen in the first place.
It's about processing speed. Part of the brain is processing information
at a too-slow speed and the other part is processing at a much higher speed. The high rate of speed is what we'd consider
"normal" since brain messages travel along neural pathways at a rate of 200 miles an hour.
speaking, you would think that there ought to be a medication that would slow some of that thinking down. Not so. The goal
is to get the slower processing up to speed.
That's what the medications for attention deficit and its cousin,
the hyperactive variety, do.
A great number of youngsters will "outgrow" this, but for some, unfortunately,
there is an adult form of attention deficit.
But it's not a fatal flaw. If you believe you have some form of
attention deficit and you're not a kid anymore, check with your physician and get an evaluation.
Is there an
absolutely definitive test to make sure? You bet. It's called a PET scan -- for positron emission topography. Your doctor
is probably going to look at your behaviors that appear to be attention deficit rather than running you in for a PET
So if you or one of your kiddos appear to have attention deficit (ADD) or ADD with hyperactivity (ADHD),
just keep in mind that it's not a fatal flaw.
Each one of us is genetically flawed in one way or another. Or,
if you're like me, you will have a whole bunch of genetic flaws.
I have no idea which limb of the family tree
has the ADD marker on it that's flawed.
I have arthritis too but I don't really believe that my grandmother,
or her ancestors before her, did this on purpose.
My genetic flaws are the big fat nuisance varieties. They aren't
fatal flaws. I can work around the nuisances and train myself to pay better attention and learn new ways to learn.
The arthritis I can't do much about. It makes a pretty good weather predictor though.
If any of you have
any specific mental health type questions, e-mail them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sorry, I can't do any diagnostics over the web, though.
Not only is it not ethical, but it could be dangerous as
YEAH, AND SO?
In all of Sandpoint, Idaho --
and apparently in all of Bonner County, Idaho
former County Prosecutor Phil Robinson couldn't quite get around to finding an accountant to help him file
his income tax returns for eight years.
His big defense is that he had to dissolve his law practice when he was
elected to the prosecutor's office in 1996.
The Idaho Tax Commission is now asking him to ante up.
Hope he has to pay penalties for all those years he didn't file.
And he owes a big fat apology to the taxpayers
Thursday, December 7, 2006
THE MILITARY HONORS ITS OWN
My sister, Anna Mae, was married to John just a few days shy of sixteen years. In fact,
they had selected Pearl Harbor Day for their wedding 16 years ago.
He was diagnosed with lung cancer on September
11, 2006, and he died last Sunday evening. Today he was buried. It's Pearl Harbor Day.
John served in Viet
Nam. He was a medic.
The American Legion did itself proud. They arranged for honor guards. They arranged for a
wonderul bagpipe player to provide the haunting Amazing Grace and other music at the interment.
proudly received the flag of the United States from the honor guard that saluted her because she is John's widow.
Today I again saw a part of the United States Armed Forces that always serves itself proudly. It honors its fallen
with great pride.
I am glad to be an American.
Wednesday, December 6, 2006
I'm so sorry that my sister, Anna Mae's, husband died last Sunday night. I will
be out for John's funeral on Thursday morning.
My plan is to be back in the office on Thursday and post a new
blog prior to seeing patients in the afternoon.
Thanks for understanding -- Jane
POLITICAL BOOTY HAS A GRAVITATIONAL PULL
It's as if politicians live in a divine-right-of-kings black hole of entitlement.
But, hey there's great news a'coming. Starting on January 4th in the new year, the House of Representatives
will be gonged into attendance from Monday all the way til Friday. Every workday in January.
Well, they do get
to take off in the early afternoon on Fridays.
Guess they need a couple of hours to hurry home and get their
prom dresses on, or their little penguin suits.
That's a long way from their usual "work week" which
used to begin late Tuesday -- whatever time that is -- and ended on Thursdays -- probably early.
But it isn't
quite all day Mondays. The new House Majority Leader -- Steny Hoyer from Maryland -- says they are expected to be in the Capitol
and ready to vote by 6:30 p.m. on Mondays and they aren't supposed to leave until Friday at 2 p.m.
Do you realize
that Congress only worked 103 days last year?!!
That's pretty lame. I do not think it's any way to treat
us bosses -- the taxpayers.
So after they get used to working an almost full work week, maybe then they can
get used to the idea that the world does not enjoy a month-long time off period in August.
Wouldn't that be
And they get a two-week recess in April.
Wouldn't that be nice?
And they get weeks
off in February, March and July.
Wouldn't that be really really nice?
Oh goodie. Hoyer says they
are going to meet enough so that the committees can do their jobs on behalf of the American people.
Those people. That's right. The congresspersons don't actually do the work. They just hire lots of people to do the
work of the congressional committees.
But if they were never around, how did they know that the work was actually
You know -- cat's away and all.
So we'll just have to wait and see whether or not
any good old work gets done or if, as Rep. Elton Gallegly from California says, "maybe it's just a bunch of smoke-and-mirrors
In the meantime, there's some wailing and gnashing of teeth in paradise. The complaining has
already started. Rep. Mike Thompson of California says he'll have to leave his home at 3 a.m. on Sundays to catch a flight
to Washington in time for work on Mondays. He said to Lyndsey Layton at the Washington Post, "I didn't come
here to turn around and go back home."
Keep it up, Mr. Thompson. You just might gripe your way out of office.
Now, I have another suggestion for the congresspersons. Do something about social security. In fact, get rid
of your extra-special gold-plated retirement package and enjoy the same social security package that you expect your constituents/bosses
to live with.
That would be okay for starters.
Tuesday, December 5, 2006
WHITE HOUSE BOASTS 17 CHRISTMAS TREES
That must be a sight to behold.
And I thought I was doing
good to decorate just one Christmas tree. But then, I'll bet the Bush duo has White House staff who do a full-time job
of just hauling all those decorations out of the attic and putting them on trees.
But then, I don't have a
grand ballroom either. So I really wouldn't have a place to put 17 trees. My great room has a TV and a couple of comfy
chairs in it. Not enough room there either.
They probably even have a little mini-cherry picker so they reach
all the way up to the top of the tree to put the good ornaments up there.
And those little dogs -- Barney and Miss
Beazley -- have been memorialized into cookies that look just like them.
Even the ivy topiary out there in the
front hallway have Scottish terriers likenesses.
And the cat? What about the cat, for goodness sake!
Yes, yes. First cat Willie is out there among the greenery too. Willie is a topiary too. But not a cookie.
score at this point is Dogs -- 2; Cat -- 1.
LINE ITEM VETO -- HOW DID YOUR CONGRESSMAN VOTE?
Vote Results for
the Legislative Line-Item Veto Act
plain text; Democrats in italics; Independents underlined)
---- AYES 247
Davis, Jo Ann
Lungren, Daniel E.
Sánchez, Linda T.
source: Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
THE SUSHI RESTAURANT IN LONDON IS DOING JUST GREAT
Actually the restaurant is in Sheffield.
Hard to believe that not too long
ago a couple of good old buddies were just sitting there talking about some kind of murder list. And to their big fat surprise,
they were both on the list.
And of all places, they were sitting in a place called The
The owner didn't name the restaurant for the deadly little chemical element. Nope.
It has more to do with his national heritage. He's polish. Polonium was discovered by Madame Curie. She was polish. In
fact, Curie was one of Poland's national treasures. She got the Nobel prize for chemisty -- no small feat.
The Polonium started out as the name for the owner's band 30 years ago. Let's see now, would that be Five Guys
You'd think that when the word got out that these two former wise guy spies had been sitting in
there just before they came down with polo overdose, that the restaurant would change its name to something tamer. Then he
could tell everybody that The Polonium moved over a couple of streets.
No need to do that.
been a huge pick-up in business.
So for all you hungry people out there, unless you're guilty of consonant
overdose, you're perfectly safe if you head on over to the Polonium for a good plate of sushi off the buffet.
OF COURSE LETTERMAN IS GOING TO STAY ON!
Who in the world would not want to break Jay Leno's claim to greatness?
Letterman says he's good through 2010. He doesn't really have an heir apparent.
Jay, on the other hand,
is outa here in 2009. He says he's turning the show over to Conan O'Brien. But the real question is whether O'Brien
can hold the market share again The Letterman.
Emmy likes Letterman. Letterman has nine on his mantel out of a
total of 54 nominations.
It's good that he's staying on at CBS. He says that learning a new commute would
PRES CAMPAIGN 2008 HAS BEGUN
Answer me this: as a nation, have we become addicted to politico news?
don't ya think it's just a tad bit early to start the 2008 presidential campaign?
Gee, it seems only yesterday
that Hillary was running around absolutely disclaiming with any certainty that she'd be running. After all, she said,
she was still the senator from New York.
That's right, Miss Hillary. And you ran for senator. And you
won. So what does you tell the voters in New York who re-elected you? You changed your mind? You miss
living in the White House?
Then there's the story about former senator Edwards hiring
former representative David Bonior to head up his campaign. The formerly formers are getting together.
hasn't really really decided IF he's going to run, but if he does, Bonior is his guy. What is that all about? Maybe
it's a hands off maneuver. He's making it known that you'd better not pirate away his guy.
from Detroit where he served in congress for 26 years. Then he decided to run for governor of Michigan and lost. Since his
big loss, he's been teaching at Detroit's Wayne State University. His big thing is promoting employees' rights
to form unions.
And then Borack Obama met with Mucho Billionesos Soros. Don't know what went on behind
those closed doors. They'll both probably deny having ever had a meeting.
It's too early to tell.
Besides, I thought Soros said he was going to stay away from politics.
Guess he didn't mean it.
INTEL GIVES UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX THE BAD NEWS
Bad news for students too.
Intel says it will no longer reimburse employees
for courses unless they are going to business and engineering schools that have blue-ribbon accreditation.
University of Phoenix -- a school that allows online participation, als well as campus instruction.
that the employees who don't go to top-notch programs are losing out on promotions and new jobs.
chipmaker says that this change is not an indictment of for-profit schools like the University of Phoenix. (The school relies
heavily on reimbursement programs for its revenue.)
Intel was one of its largest corporate customers.
This ought to raise a red flag for students everywhere about the schools they are getting degrees from. Having a diploma
from a university needs to translate into more money -- either by becoming more employable or promotionable.
those thousands of dollars that students pay to get those degrees are wasted if the schools can't help you get jobs.
How in the world would you ever find that stuff out?
If you ask the schools -- any of the "distance
learning" schools that offer web-based curricula -- you're apt to get all kinds of assurances that the school is
going to help you get a job.
Of course. But can you talk to some of their former graduates just to check out the
Highly doubtful. Schools hold those records pretty close to their academic chests.
get in touch with someone in the human resource department at a company like the one you want to work at and see if they recognize
a web-based university.
Or -- and here's the kicker -- do they give preferential treatment to the traditional,
brick and mortar schools? You know the schools. They actually require students to come to class, listen to a professor lecture,
take notes, and take tests.
Monday, December 4, 2006
MORE ON THE PRINCESS PALTROW BIG MOUTH CONNECTION
Her fans aren't taking Princess Paltrow's assessment of Americans all that well.
I was never a fan of the Princess but I can tell you, for sure, that I will not spend another dime on anything she
has touched -- whether it's a movie or a video or whatever.
I don't doubt, though, that dinner conversation
among the Hollywood types is most likely dull and boring and money-linked back to their own good fortune -- I mean, they spend
$1,200 for a pair of high heels, and about $5,000 for a single handbag that looks like something the rest of us could get
at a Goodwill Shoppe.
Over there, people don't talk about money, according to the enlightened one.. So how
is it, Princess Paltrow that you headlined your interview with the Portguguese newspaper Diario de Noticias talking
about your not-so-favorite subject?
"Oh," you said, "the streets of London were dirty."
"Oh," you said, "the weather over there was cold and depressing."
said, "customer service was just rubbish." -- Whatever that is. I guess you're trying to sound so hoity-toity
like you're speaking another language.
And don't forget Madonna. Princess Paltrow says she's like an
older sister. "Lots of good advice about how to take care of myself."
I sure hope it isn't marriage
advice she's giving you. Madonna just announced that she and her most truly beloved will be looking for a marriage counselor.
Their perfecto union is straining at the seams.
Not to take such things lightly. If they need marriage counseling,
I hope it will work for them. But counseling is a whole bunch of work.
So is building a marriage that will last.
THE BRITISH ARE COMING!
Now you've done it! Russian spies are no longer allowed to drop dead of
polonium 210 poisoning. The Brits are going to Russia to investigate, I'll have you to know!
is sending its best, according to an Associated Press account of what's going on. So you guys, in Russia, just better
mind your p's and q's -- and I do not mean pints and quarts.
That's where that term comes
from, you know. I read that on one of those e-mails that makes its way around Jupiter and back to earth a dozen times or so
Not only that, but Scotland Yard is being assisted by the US' FBI. So you know it's a really
big story -- not just gossip.
They've even found traces of the radioactive element in the sushi bar where former
spy Litvinento and Scaramella had lunch. They met at the sushi bar to talk about the prospect of being murdered.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had promised to absolutely cooperate with all phases of the investigation.
WHERE HAVE I BEEN?
I did not know that the evangelicals were moving away from naming churches after the
denominations they belong to.
When did that start?
While reading my favorite Across the USA
column in today's USA Today, I learned that the First Baptist Church in Concord, New Hampshire, renamed itself the
For 188 years, it was okay for the church to be called the First Baptist Church.
reason the church officiates changed the name, they said, was because of a trend toward moving away from denominational
Well, all right, then. But what are the Baptists going to do when they visit your town and want to find
a local Baptist church to worship in?
They're going to be real surprised if they get a former Lutheran church
that has renamed itself to the Gospel of Glory Church, or something like that.
Just getting up and down ten times
during the service will make them wonder where they are. They may think they've joined a fitness center or something.
No, sorry pastor. I did not mean that.
IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO SAY THANK YOU
But I'd like to say to the Pentagon -- what took you so long?
Sharp, an octagenarian, finally received his Bronze Star.
It comes to him 62 years after serving on the front-line
as a medic in the Pacific Theater during WWII.
He was a member of the Army's 43rd (Winged Victory) Division
that fought on Guadalcanal, New Guinea, New Georgia, and on Luzon in the Philippines.
And I might remind our readers
of just how important -- and dangerous -- the jobs of these medics were.
For instance, the Japanese were so fluent
in English on Iwo Jima that they would scream out in the middle of the night, "Medic!" We lost I don't know
how many medics to this dirty little trick.
To you, Officer Clinton Sharp, we all say thank you. And we're
glad you got back home safe and sound.
WILLIAM AND KATE -- LOOKING VERY PROMISING
All the whole world loves a storybook love story.
That couldn't be more
true -- at least for me -- than for Prince William and his lady love -- Kate Middleton.
Gee -- someday she'll
be Queen Kate.
And HRH Cammie goes to the rear. All the way back to there.
Oh all that speculation.
Will she or won't she. Will he or won't he!
They say there are two groups of people who absolutely know
what's going on amongs the Royals -- the palace staffers and the bookmakers.
So now everytime Q2 Kate has a
dress fitting of any sort, the rumor mongers start wagging theirs.
Not only that, but Q2 has received a first-time-ever-that-a-commoner-has-been-invited
Invitation to Q1's Christmas festivities -- including a rather royal pahteeee at The Ritz in London. So why in the world
would the Queen be holding a party?
To announce The Engagement, of course. Ever the protocol present, and since
Kate is a commoner and all, we couldn't have all these goings on going on at The Palace, now could we?
it could be just an intimate little celebration of the queen and her prince on the occasion of their 59th wedding anniversary.
And then on Wednesday, Prince William and his ladylove, Katie, will have a party of their own on Wednesday night.
'Tis the season -- ho ho ho!
But the press will always be want to find something to prick royal images.
And this is just as true for Kate as it was for Diana.
For Kate, it's about her going on up to the Queen's
castle -- Sandringham House -- for a shoot. And that's not a photo shoot either.
Let's see -- what do
they shoot over there? Elk maybe?
And now there's all that tah-tah-tah about whether Kate will be the first
ever commoner to get an invite to the Queen's Christmas Day bash. I'll bet she does. For more than a few reasons.
First of all, the Queen can undo a lot of the hogwash criticism that the monarchy is made out of ground up pieces
of concrete. That's why they're so resistant to change.
So she can make a really big change and then smile
and say, "See! We can make little changes in our protocol, here and there."
And secondly, if Prince Wills
and Miss Kate do become engaged before Christmas, what's the harm? They'd already be a royal couple. That kind of
makes her the new envy of her commoner girlfriends, of which she now leaps a country mile ahead.
And finally, you
just know the Queen wants to see another wedding in the house while she's still on her throne.
So will somebody
just do something. The suspense is killing me!
MOVIE WATCH FOR WEEKEND ENDING 12/3/06
1. Happy Feet -- $17,045,000
2. Casino Royale -- $15,100,000
3. Deja Vu -- $11,032,000
4. The Nativity Story -- $8,025,100
5. Deck the Halls -- $6,650,000
Claus 3 -- $5,006,000
7. Borat (in week #5) -- $4,825,000
8. Turistas -- $3,540,000
9. Stranger than Fiction -- $3,400,000
10. National Lampoon's Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj --
We like to go to movies, don't we?
See, and you thought football was the great American
(go to www.BoxOfficeMoJo.com for more details and a listing of the top 17 movies, and other details about the movies above, like the movie
budgets, how many theaters, etc.)
FOR ALL YOU HOUSE OF BLUES FANS
And they are legion!
The House of Blues chain is in the big middle of negotiating the construction of a giant $120
million entertainment center complex in the Washington D.C. area new the Convention Center.
See -- now you have
yet another good reason to head over to Washington, D.C.
Saturday, December 2, 2006
WELL EXCUUUUUUSE ME GWYNETH PALTROW
Paltrow was being interviewed by the Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias
for an article in the magazine supplement.
She got a chance to compare Americans and British.
the Brits are so much more civilized and interesting than Americans.
But she probably likes
all that dull and boring American money that we use to go see her movies.
Or at least I used to go see her movies.
Now she's on the list of movie stars who aren't getting another nickel of my money.
to have bored you, Little Miss Puffin Stuff.
I remember Julie Andrews saying something like that years and years
ago. After her negative comments about Americans, she could hardly get a movie star role and when she did make a movie, it
hardly sold a box office.
How's that for being dull and boring? That's how we respond to arrogant, potato
headettes who think they are some kind of intellectual genius.
All you're doing, Paltrow, is reciting lines
that someone else wrote. That doesn't take intellectual genius.
WAL-MART'S NEW STRATEGIES -- WILL THEY WORK?
Wal-Mart faces some fierce competition from Target. Target has even said that its corporate
goal is to replace Wal-Mart.
So Wal-Mart has retaliated with some new strategies of its own. These include more
price cuts, even $4 prescriptions that now will travel across the country, apparently.
Wal-Mart sales now comes
to $312 billion, annually. It has 6,000 stores and 1.3 million employees.
Gee whiz. If it were all in one place,
it could be a country.
So what are the new strategies that Wal-Mart wants to use to get us in there?
Wal-Mart wants to be its own urban fashion plate. Huh? Somehow I don't think adding more stretch fabrics and knit outfits
that still look like gym ware is going to qualify for dressing up for a night out at a fancy schmancy restaurant.
Wal-Mart thought it could introduce its own designer line. They named it Metro7 and tried it in 600 big city area stores.
Guess what? It diedn't work.
Talk about a marketing department that didn't do its homework. Wal-Mart's customers
live mostly in the suburbs. They are just over five feet tall and wear a size 14. The designer line needed skinny people to
wear the hotsy totsy tight-fitting skinny jeans.
Who would buy dressy clothes at Wal-Mart, you ask? Apparently
nobody. November sales crashed.
Nordies doesn't have much to worry about here, believe me.
thing they vow to do is renovate 1,800 stores. Wider aisles would help, that's for sure. Just, please, don't pile
those tables with a mile high mountain of merchandise out there in the middle of those new, nice-sized aisles.
What's the point, then?
They also announced that from now on, Wal-Mart would have no more layaway programs.
Not sure that's a good idea. Not everyone has credit cards. And not everyone has the money to buy everything they need
all at once. Layaway helps low-income customers manage their struggles. Not sure it's a good idea to remove that program.
K-Mart is now getting Wal-Mart's layaway customers.
Imposing wage caps on Wal-Mart workers is one sure
way to head the workers toward unionizing.
Just wondering -- does the Teamsters have a retail cashiers section?
So what's left then, for Wal-Mart?
Average, ordinary everyday stuff like soap, socks and (at least
in some stores) shotguns. Now, that's a merchandise mix.
Friday, December 1, 2006
OOPS -- ANOTHER POLONIUM 210 MISHAP
Well, maybe it's a bit more than a mishap.
Mr. Mario Scaramella had lunch with the late Alexander Litvinenko
one day not too long ago -- November 1st.
Scaramella says he wanted to warn Litvinenko about a supposed death
list that they were both on. Turns out that Mario also has been hit with a dose of what more than suspiciously looks like
a whole bunch of polonium 210.
Scaramella is a professor. Don't know if that has much to do with anything.
He is, however, an Italian nuclear security expert. Whatever that is. Now he's in the hospital now being treated
for radiation poisoning.
The professor had met the supposed former spy for lunch at a Piccadilly Circus sushi place
-- although fish is not a known source of polonium 210. Scaramelle didn't eat anything -- just drank water.
is just too, too much for my overactive imagination.
Polonium 210 is a metal. How could someone who just drank
water get a dose of the poison? Enough poison that would put him in the hospital!
And now, Litvinenko's wife
shows up with polonium 210 in her body. What's that all about?
And how about that other person -- the journalist
who is now also dead? Anna Politkovskaya. What really happened to her?
Quint says polonium 210 is really really
And another thing -- the president of Belarus -- Alexander Milinkevich -- was arrested after he met
with President Bush in Latvia when Bush was there for a NATO summit.
Milinkevich ran against former president Alexander
Lukashenko last March. He beat him fair and square.
Then, along comes President B. of the good old USA and says
that Lukashenko's government "offends the conscience" of Europe and the United States.
you know, Milinkevich is in the pokey for allegedly forging a passport.
I would like to know when the butler is
going to show up.
But then, maybe I've been reading too many John Grisham novels.
If a Russian MiG
doesn't fly through my office window this weekend, I may try to find more clues.
I WORRY ABOUT MY AMINE SUPPLY
First of all, biochemists at the University of Arizona say that the body makes 10 or the 20 amino acids we need every day.
If we're missing even one of the 10 essential amino acids, the ones we can't make, then what happens is a
degradation of the body's proteins -- like muscles.
It's true -- the body stores fats and starches in the
body. This is just in case there's a famine going on.
If you look around you when you're out and about,
you'll quickly notice that there doesn't seem to be a famine going on in the United States.
But the amino
acids have to be in the foods we eat every day -- because our body doesn't store them.
Now, bear with me for
just a bit.
I'm going to give you the list of all 20 amino acids before I go any further. They are: alanine,
arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, leucne, lysine, methionine,
phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine, and valine.
All by ourselves, we make these ten:
alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine and tyrosine.
have to rummage around in our food supply to make sure we get the other ten amino acids in our diets.
is that neurotransmitters are made up of amines.
Hormones are made up of amines.
Histamines are made
up of amines.
I am suspicious that something might cause an increased need for more amines -- like when prepubescent
children are busy at that time of their lives when hormones start galloping. Is it possible that an increased need for
hormones when children are going into pubery might just cause a deficit in the manufacture of neurotransmitters.
Particular neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamines go a long way toward protecting our mental health. We don't
want those chemicals to get out of balance.
Or what about allergies. Is it possible that an overload in the manufacture
of either histamines or antihistamines might cause a deficit.
And what if our diets are missing the twenty amines.
What's the harm in a teensy tiny little deficit? Does it matter all that much?
I'm not going to
go through all ten of the amines that we have to scrounge around for. At least not today.
My knowledge of biochemistry
is next to nil. But I do like to learn new things. So maybe I'll do one at a time.
I hit pay dirt with this one as the first choice. It's found in chocolate. I have nothing to worry about.
it's also found in wheat flour and oatmeal, dairy products, poultry, beef, pork and nuts.
Since I like to put
English walnuts in both my oatmeal and my evening dish of ice cream, I'm probably not deficient in arginine.
That's good, because a deficiency here produces symptoms of muscle weakness, impairs insulin production, glucose production,
and liver lipid metabolism.
Not in any particular order, but only because we just finished Turkey Day, I'll
talk about trytophan. Thanksgiving is a day when we generally get plenty of this amine. It's the chemical that helps us
regulate our appetite, sleep better and believe it or not, elevate our mood.
Here's just a few things that
may indicate we're deficient in tryptophan: depression, anxiety, irritability, impatience, impulsiveness, inability to
concentrate, weight gain or unexplained weight loss, overeating and/or carbohydrate cravings, poor dream recall and insomnia.
Tryptophan can be found in red meat, dairy products, nuts, seeds, bananas, soy products, tuna, shellfish and turkey.
Other sources include summer squash, baked potatoes (with skin on), brown rice, tomatoes, low fat yogurt, raw
onions, green peas, red bell peppers, raw celery, green beans, brussel sprouts, lentils, cucumbers, navy beans, pinto beans,
kidney beans, romaine lettuce, and broccoli -- to name a few.
So far so good. I'll just put some chocolate
chips into my butter pecan ice cream with the English walnuts, continue eating turkey sandwiches on whole wheat bread for
lunch, yogurt with English walnuts for breakfast, and a Caesar salad for dinner. And with the other green things I eat, I
ought to have enough tryptophan coming into my system to tide me over.
But then, a steak now and then sounds good
too. Can I have some cucumber slices and fresh tomato slices with that Caesar salad?
Now I'm really cooking!
WOULDN'T YOU THINK THE DRUGSTORE CHAINS WOULD SHRED SENSITIVE PATIENT INFORMATION?
If you were a giant drugstore that makes millions of dollars a year, wouldn't one of your first concerns be patient
Why would a drugstore -- any drugstore -- throw old patient pill bottles in the trash out back?
Or customer refill lists.
Or prescription labels.
And yet, in an investigation launched by the
Indianapolis, IN TV station WTHR, some 300 trash bins were picked through in the back of big name drug stores -- Walgreens,
CVS and Rite Aid stores -- in lots of cities from Boston to Louisville to Phoenix.
This big fiasco came to light
when a grandma in Indiana said a guy showed up on her doorstep and claimed to be an employee of the drugstore where she got
her prescription for a painkiller filled. He was actually an average, ordinary, garden variety punk thief who came to
rob her. He'd found her address in a trash bin behind a drugstore.
As a result of the investigation, Walgreens
says it now requires all outdoor trash bins to be locked.
CVS now requires all trash generated in its pharmacies --
there are 6,200 of them -- to be put in special bags which are sent back to warehouses to be destroyed.
Aid Corp. is not making any changes to its procedures. Their current procedures require that all patient information,
such as prescription labels, be shredded. If a store is not set up to do that, then the information has to be sent back to
the pharmacy warehouse to be destroyed.
I, for one, am going to talk to the pharmacist at the Walgreens where I
get my prescriptions filled. How about you?
Remember when all the excitement about patient confidentiality was
supposedly protected by new HIPAA regulations? There's a blue tape line at my pharmacy window. If someone is getting a
prescription, I am not supposed to go past that line.
"Patient confidentiality" -- I was told.
But this same drug store chain is just tossing out old prescription bottles for all the thieves to find!
NEW LAW ABOUT YOUR E-MAILS AT WORK
Today is December 1, 2006.
You need to know that, starting this very day, your boss is required to keep track of
all e-mails and other electronic documents that you generate.
Don't even think about suing. This one has already
gone to the Supreme Court -- way back in April. And today's the day the Supreme Court says the law can go into effect.
E-mails and other electronically stored information are now part of documents that may be required in the discovery
part of trials. That's when both sides have to show what they've got by way of evidence.
So if you don't
want to have to explain your e-mails, don't use your boss' computer at work.
And, hey bosses:
if you think you can just not store all that stuff, think again. This is also addressed in the law. Not saving your electronic
files onto a backup tape is the equivalent of "virtual shredding."
I'll just betcha, though, that
there will be some company size that will be a kind of threshold -- like a big company of 50 employees or more.
Big companies tend to have a bigger burden in these kind of requirements.
Stay tuned. You just know this new
law is going to be fine-tuned as we go along.
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.)