Wednesday, January 31, 2007
BIDEN THE "BLOVIATOR" HAS LOTS TO SAY
AS HE READIES HIS RUN FOR
THE WHITE HOUSE
By now you've probably read about the senator from Delaware's description of boma
boma O'Bama in Biden's interview by Jason Horowitz in the New York Observer. Get this -- Biden says O'Bama
is "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."
Okay, by his own admission, Biden admits to a tendency to bloviate.
Well, Mr. Bloviator, I think
you did more than that. Haven't you learned anything from your ill-fated run for president in 1988 that from the time
you announce your run for the Ovals, everything that comes out of your mouth becomes a quotable sound byte?
just one single sentence, you probably turned off every well-meaning, articulate registered voter in this country who is African
American. There just went 15% of the voters in the United States. Bye Bye Mr. Bloviator.
Oh, and incidentally,
the Bloviator pulled out of his bid for the White House in 1988 because of some little problems with plagiarism.
So how can he be a bloviator and a minimizer at the same time?
He summed up his opinions about all the Democratic
presidential candidates with this little power speech: "They may be politically right, and I may be politically wrong.
But I believe I am substantively right, and their substantive approaches are not very deep and will not get us where I want
Is he a lawyer too?
Well, it turns out that he is. He graduated from the
Syracuse University College of Law in 1968 and practiced law in Wilmington, Delaware, before beginning his illustrious congressional
career, following a brief stint at local politics -- city/county council or something like that.
Oh yes -- the
Bloviator has something to say about all his opponents. More about that later.
What a guy!
is a compound of the word "blow" -- as in "to boast" -- or what we, here in America call "blowhard."
And since Americans are also great language-lifters, we give it a fake Latin ending -- kind of makes it very self-important. (World
I like another word that is a synonym of "bloviate." That is, absquatulate. That's
a far better word for mega-squats to be using. But then, I can think of another word that rhymes with absquatulate.
Just sit down and be quiet, Joe.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
HASTERT RECUPERATING FROM SURGERY
Dennis Hastert, former
speaker of the house, is recuperating from surgery for removal of his gall bladder at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
Hastert represents the 14th congressional district in Chicago's western suburbs. He is expected to make a full
source: Associated Press
CUT YOUR HEATING BILLS WAY DOWN
It may not sound like much
but cutting your thermostat back to 60 degrees at night and no higher than 68 degrees during the day makes a huge difference
in the money you spend for heating.
For instance, this current bill we have is for the coldest month so far this
year -- is $68.77. That compares to the coldest month last year when we weren't making any thermostat adjustments when
the bill was $123.83.
Quite a savings, wouldn't you say?
Our plants are thriving quite nicely too.
But then plants like cool temperatures unless they're zinnias and daisies and other summer crops.
So we put
on a sweater if it gets a tad chilly. And we no longer run around in bare feet. Slippers do quite nicely to keep our little
piggies warm until it's time to tuck them into bed.
If you have cold feet when you get to bed -- here's
a trick: take a couple of bath towels and throw them in the drier for about five minutes. Take the towels out and fold them
in half, then roll them up. (As if you were making a bedroll.) Put the nice warm towels between the sheets where your feet
go. Then, when you get into bed, just listen to your cute little toes sing your praises!
Another thing you can
do is to make sure the putty around the windows is nice and uncracked. Okay, so now is not the time to go outside and recaulk
or putty your windows. What you can do though is fold up some newspapers and put in between the window and storm window to
give you a bit of insulation to get you through the coldest months until spring.
When we were kids, mom would
crumple up newspapers and push them against any cracks that were letting air in. Made the windows fairly airtight and
it fit her meager, stretched-too-far budget. You can get out there in the spring and do a more complete job of weather-proofing
your windows, but this will work as a temporary measure.
While you're standing there by the windows, go ahead
and lock them if you haven't already. That will make sure they're closed nice and tight. It'll keep the therm
thieves out of your house -- at least from the windows.
Oh yes, remember the dust problem? Get your handy dandy
little feather duster -- or if you have a Swifit, that works really good. Then go around to all the heating ducts and get
the dust out. Give the cold air return a really good going over too.
You want as much warm air coming through those
ducts as possible. Dust gets in the way. Don't block the air flow with big clunky pieces of furniture either -- or drapes
Stay warm. And you can save money while you're doing it too.
THE AL FRANKEN SHOW BITES THE DUST
And Air America is going
Franken's last show will be February 14. In a Wikipedia article that was revised January
29, 2007, Al Franken was supposedly asked to leave the show "due to it's [sic] unpopularly held beliefs."
So now the comedian -- who got to fame and fortune as a writer for Saturday Night Live, is thinking about
running for the U.S. Senate from Minnesota. He ought to feel right at home with all the little mini-presidents.
only that but he'll give Rush Limbaugh comic material until the cows come home -- back home to Minnesota, that is.
He has a couple of books that keep the moolah flowing in to him -- one is Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and
Other Observations and Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, and The
Truth (with jokes).
A web site -- www.frankenlies.com -- takes a look at some of Franken's "truths" and disputes them.
If you're a Franken fan, you've
just two weeks left to bow properly.
THE REAL SKINNY ON THE TUNA INDUSTRY AND THE
FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE
American Samoa is where the tuna processing plant belonging to DelMonte is located.
DelMonte is owned
by StarKist Tuna.
StarKist Tuna is located in Nancy Pelosi's home district in California.
were lots of tsks tsks tsks when The Hill learned that American Samoa tuna workers were going to be exempted from
the federal minimum wage rate that was proposed to go up to $7+.
It didn't get the blessings of the senators
so the proposed new wage package is kind of out of commission right now.
The point is, Susan Crabtree
over at The Hill brings some enlightenment to the whole story that, on first glance, baked Pelosi in inuendo.
The truth is American Samoa has had exemptions to the federal minimum wage acts since all the way back to 1956. And
folks, there have been lots of switching back and forth as far as who was in power on any given congressional clock.
And during all that time, only one DelMonte employee has ever donated money to a political campaign -- and that was $500
which was donated to a Republican -- Brian Bilbray of California.
There has been some $18,000 donated to PACS,
party committees and candidates in the last three elections -- $13,000 of which went to Republicans.
so DelMonte employees aren't political high rollers, but how about StarKist? Does Charlie the Tuna grease the wheels of
AW -- SOMEONE OUGHT TO HELP THESE NUNS OUT
It started out
as a great idea for the 55 sisters of the Saints Kirikos and Ioulitis monastery in the town of Sidirokastro.
Buy a knitting machine and make warm things for people.
The problem is they started going into debt. Deeper and
deeper and deeper.
Finally, they became nuns on the run.
Reuters say they ran up $777,000 in debt before
they sought sanctuary at another monastery. Now they're in hiding even though the Church of Greece has offered to help
them pay off their debts if they'll just come out of hiding.
Well, the Greek Church may have the money to help
but it doesn't look like they've figured out how to help the nuns not feel shame. And all because they couldn't
keep their little knitting company running as a profitable, going concern.
Cost accounting is a tough concept --
even for seasoned accountants. The nuns probably didn't get any accounting courses when they were going to school so it
would have been very difficult for them to run a competitive business.
IF YOU'RE GOING TO PARIS THIS SUMMER --
And I know
at least a few of you are planning European summer vacations or summer educational jaunts for 2007.
In a story
filed with Associated Press, the City Hall in Paris says it's going to follow the example set by Amsterdam and make thousands
of bicycles available to commuters, strollers and tourists.
That is, until the 14,100 bikes are used up.
That ought to help out with traffic jams along the Champs Elysees.
Monday, January 29, 2007
TALK'S CHEAP -- IT TAKES MONEY TO BUY VOTES
reform -- by way of lobbying rules change and PAC money distribution changes seems to have gotten some window dressing
changes late in the 109th Congress.
Since I'm either a cynic or a contrarian, I have little faith that any
real reform will take place. I think that by this time next election, we're still going to be yammering about the need
for campaign reform.
But maybe not.
The grass roots are sprouting again.
In Aaron Blake's
blog on The Hill, there is a group of conservative bloggers who have decided to withhold campaign contributions to
any Republican senator who votes against Bush's plan to surge the military presence in Iraq.
Same goes for
donations to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
The campaign was organized by Hugh Hewitt,
the internet-wide townhall address on the information superhighway (www.townhall.com). Hewitt says that the troops and the war trump partisan politicans. He's sending a message to senators that if they
vote for Senator John Warner's (R-Va) resolution, it's a deal breaker that means no campaign contributions and also
no more volunteering for the re-election campaigns of senators who don't support the president/commander in chief/soldiers
in the field.
So far, Hewitt has 10,000 signatories pledged to his point of view.
Even if that amounted
to $10 each, that would be $100,000 that would be withheld. But what if it means $100 each, then it would amount to $1 million.
Now we're talking real money.
Oh, the internet -- that bastion of instantness. No longer do journalists have
to wait for the printing press -- or the delivery trucks. Nope -- in the length of time that it takes to type an article and
hit the "publish to the web" button, the message is out there for anyone who's interested to read it.
SO WHO CLEANED UP THEIR MESS?
Never mind -- I think I can
These are the war protestors who were allowed -- in the name of the 1st Amendment's Right to Freedom
of Speech -- to express themselves.
Problem is, they decided to spray paint their messages on the Capitol Building.
According to Jackie Kucinich, writing on The Hill, the protestors sprayed "our capitol building" and "you
can't stop us."
Isn't that like defacing a government building or something?
the Capitol had baricades in place but the expressionists breached the barricades and the police officers were told to stand
Where in the world did the protestors/expressionists/anarchists ever get the idea that the Capitol Building
Doesn't it belong to all of us as our seat of governmental power?
Don't we let
those congressional people just use those offices from one election to the next?
The trash/messages were cleaned
up almost immediately by the Capitol staff -- some of whom came in on their day off to do it.
I'd like to know
when those people think their right to express themselves overrides the rights of law-abiding citizens of this country
who want government buildings free of defacing graffiti!
I'd also like to know if Cindy Sheehan
was in that crowd of 300 protestors who stormed the barricades.
And Jane Fonda was also in town making her self-proclaimed
wonderful speeches to her masses. Was she one of the 300?
So much for your apologies to the American people, Janie.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
ARE YOU LIVING HEALTHY?
Cooking Light recently compared
the living habits of 1,072 adults all across the country. These adults are the ones who successfully take actions every day
to improve their health. Well, they aren't the only ones but they responded to the survey. So they're the ones who
Here's the results of their eating habits:
70% drink lower fat milk instead of whole milk
59% eat chicken with the skin removed
54% take vitamins
52% use lower fat alternatives when cooking
nutrition labels on food
6% get 30 minutes of exercise a day
22% exercise three or
four times a week
19% walk or bike instead of taking transportation
41% take the stairs whenever possible
regularly park their cars farther from the door to get in extra walking
67% recognize that
making small, healthy improvements today add up to big benefits later
76% are satisfied with their mental and emotional
45% are satisfied with their body weight
58% are satisfied with their stress level
The last thing you should have
to worry about when you go to the hospital is getting an infection while you're there.
Wouldn't you think
that the people who work in the medical profession would know all about how to prevent infections. After all, aren't they
the experts on germs?
Well, that's what Governor Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania thinks. He's calling
for an immediate reform that will protect patients when they check into a hospital. He points to the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare
System as a national leader in curbing such infections.
The infections are know as hospital-acquired infections
(HAIs). They frequently attack the urinary tract, surgical wounds, bloodstream and lower respiratory tracts of patients. In
Pennsylvania, these infections account for 2,478 deaths out of the total reported 19,154 HAIs. It also adds additional charges
of $3.5 billion and jumps up the mortality rate to 12.9%, as compared to 2.3% for a hospital stay without an HAI.
The highly prevalent source of an HAI is staphylococcus. And guess what? Staph bacteria lives on our skin. Improved hygiene
will go a long, long way in getting staph off your hands. Just splashing your hands under the faucet is not good enough. It's
better than nothing, but to really get those little stinky germs off your hands, a good soaping is what you need -- then rinse
your hands really good and down the drain they go!
HOW CREDIT CARD COMPANIES PLAY "GOTCHA!"
of all, the credit card companies lure you into low interest, sometimes even no interest, balance transfers. In some cases,
it may be okay. Or at least the lesser of two evils if you use a balance transfer to pay off a horrifically high credit card
balance with a high interest finance charge.
If you do a balance transfer at, say 0% interest, then under no circumstances
should you use that same card to charge anything. Not even for a $10 item.
If you make any charges whatsoever,
you will end up with a credit card with two different balances, and you'll be paying two different finance charge rates.
So what's the big deal, you may ask.
Here's the rub. All of your monthly payment will be applied
to reducing the no interest balance. Not one penny will be applied to reducing the $10 balance. In fact, the $10 balance will
have an interest rate applied to it that will actually increase that portion of your balance. There's not going to be
a reduction in the $10 balance until the entire zero percent interest balance is paid off.
By that time, your $10
balance is going to become bloated with those monthly additions of finance charges.
And yes, it's legal. It's
part of the credit card agreement that came with your new card. Problem is, it's in the mouse print size type that very
few people read.
You should. For your own protection.
Another way that credit card companies are becoming
part of the growing super rich companies is by collecting late fees. By the time all the books are closed for 2006, there
is an expectation that credit card penalty fees will amount of $17.1 billion dollars!
That's an increase
of 906% from what these companies collected in 1996, according to CNN senior money writer, Jeanne Sahadi.
late fee can be as much as $35 whether you're a day or a week or a month late.
But beware. Credit card companies
are now contemplating a new change in the terms of their agreements with many consumers.
This has to do with the
consumers who are fortunate enough to be able to pay off their balances each month.
The credit card companies
are thinking about charging those who pay off their monthly balances an annual fee. Not sure how much it might be.
But be warned. If you get an envelope from your credit card company that says something like Important Changes in Terms
of Your Agreement, read it even if you have to use a magnifying glass. And if you don't understand what it means
even after you wade through the legal mumbo jumbo, call the credit card service department and make someone explain
it to you.
All this information has come to light as a result of the Senate Banking Committee's hearings
chaired by Senator Christopher Dodd, the chairman.
My suggestion to any of you who do not get a satisfactory explanation
from the credit card customer service person, contact the Senate Banking Committee or send an e-mail to Senator Dodd's
You can do this fairly easily by going to www.senator.gov -- then find Senator Dodd -- eventually you will find a tab that will let you contact Senator Dodd and there will be an e-mail
form for you to fill out.
I'm certain that one of his administrative persons will somehow get your e-mail
into his stack of highlighted notes. He doesn't sound happy with the way the credit card companies are conducting their
Friday, January 26, 2007
TOYOTA MOTOR CORP. RECALLS 533,000 VEHICLES
There are a whole
bunch of people out there who actually believe that Detroit can't make a good car. They say that only the Japanese can
do it right.
To prove their opinion is correct, they point to the fact that the Japanese carmakers never have to
Well, listen up.
The Japanese carmakers are not required to issue recalls. Not like Detroit
is required to do.
But lo and behold, yesterday, in an article published by Reuters, Toyota says it will be recalling
533,000 SUV's and Tundra trucks to repair faulty components that could make the vehicles difficult to steer.
Now is that a safety hazard or not?
Just imagine going down the expressway at 90 mph and have your steering wheel
quit working right.
Do you think you'd do a barrel roll, or an end-over-end flippy thing, or just steer off
into the median and get bogged down in the mud?
Last year, Toyota recalled more than a million vehicles in Japan
and 760,000 vehicles in the United States.
The vehicles in question in this latest recall are the 2004 to 2007
Sequoias and 2004 to 2006 year Tundras.
Just want to point that out to all the people who like to tease Quint and
me for faithfully buying only American made vehicles, specifically Fords, which have never let us down in the near thirty-years
SOME REPUBLICANS SAY THEY'RE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT TOO
GOP field is getting crowded now.
Here are the hopefuls who want the Oval Office:
Rep. Duncan Hunter,
14 term congressman from California -- used to be chairman of the House Armed Services Committee until the Democrats took
control of the House. He was an Army Ranger in Vietnam. His son has spent two 7-month tours in Iraq. He worked his way through
law school doing construction and farming jobs. He just announced his candidacy.
Sen. John McCain of Arizona
Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas
Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor
and Rudy Giuliani, for
mayor of New York City
source: Associated Press
SEEMS LIKE A CONSTITUTIONAL CLASH COMING FOR BUSH AND CONGRESS
Bush says today, "I'm the decision maker."
He was referring to sending more troops to Iraq.
He was referring to being the Commander in Chief.
He quickly dispatched his newly appointed U.S. Commander
Army Lt. General David Petraeus to Iraq. He told his new army guy to "Get to the zone ... and implement a plan that will
achieve our goals."
I am certainly not an expert military strategist. I would not want to be in Bush's
position. But then, I wouldn't have wanted to be in Harry Truman's position either when he deliberated how to best
end the war in the Pacific. I would not have wanted to be in Abraham Lincoln's position when the Battle of Gettysburg
I'm a big cry baby. I want every man and woman who is over there in the Middle East to come back
home safe and sound. Preferably today.
Those are the peeps I'd like to see run for congress and get on
the military committees.
And if they need shadows to guard their backs, and more money to keep their rifles filled
up with bullets, then let's do everything we can to give them everything -- and I mean everything -- that they need to
And yes, even comfortable. It's okay for them to have a mat to sleep on. That is, when they are
able to get some sleep.
IT'S NOT EASY BEING GREEN -- ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE AUNT NANCY'S ENTOURAGE
The Mayor of Maybeville has landed in Baghdad -- and included in her entourage are Rep. Tom Lantos,
(D-San Mateo), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Rep. Ike Skelton, (D-Mo), chairman of the House Armed Services
Committee; and Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa), chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that oversees the military budget.
I guess they didn't take any staff people. At least none were mentioned.
However, what strikes me is
that it's not exactly a bipartisan entourage. Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't there a lot of promises about
"reaching across the aisle?" Or did I misunderstand what Aunt Nancy was talking about?
MORE ABOUT JOHN KERRY NOT RUNNING
It isn't so much that
he has pulled out of the presidential run for the White House -- but that he has $13 million left from the last time he ran.
That's it. Just a curiosity. Bet we wont' be seeing any John Kerry War Museum under construction in Massachusetts.
Kerry says he's going to concentrate on bringing the troops home instead.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
HERE'S AN IDEA FOR USING UP ALL THAT LEFTOVER CASH FROM CAMPAIGNS
The more I have thought about it, the more I realize how greedy politicians really are.
-- here they are, running around begging us for money. They say they need millions to mount a viable campaign.
there's this relatively new law that lets them convert unused campaign funds to their own little political action committees
All the while, there are homeless people in this country, living on the threshold of hunger. There are
families living in missions with very bright children who have no place to sit down and do homework.
food pantries with near-empty or empty shelves.
In other words, there are many, many, many programs out there that
are a lot needier than a politician who has a net worth in excess of a million dollars. The only time they even come in contact
with poverty is during photo opportunities when they're on the campaign trail.
So here's my idea -- when
they get done with their campaign, take all the leftover money and either contribute to a program for the poor that already
exists or start a program somewhere in their district.
But under no circumstances ought they be allowed to keep
the money for themselves or their own little political action committee fifedoms.
The point is, people donate to
political campaigns because they believe that they are helping a candidate get elected.
Tell me honestly -- would
you donate to a candidate if they said to you, "I've already collected so much money I'll have a ton of money
left over that I'll eventually put into my own little PAC?"
But get this -- not
only did the senate refuse to pass the federal minimum wage bill this week, but they also ignored a really big part of the
reform package. That is, spouses can still be lobbyists.
Gee -- do you think that if the spouses
are lobbying, somehow that PAC money becomes available to them?
The problem is, when the politicians
get ahold of your money, they keep it. Even if they don't use it for their campaigns, they keep all the money. Somehow.
So much for campaign reform.
I personally am of the opinion that PACs ought to be eliminated altogether.
That would be a start in the right direction.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
BREAKING NEWS -- SENATE REFUSES TO PASS MINIMUM WAGE LAW
keep in mind that these are the self-righteous potentates who are running around saying that the Republicans are the ones
who are not the friends of the poor and the middle class.
These are the mighty and wonderful senators who all
think they would be a better president -- if only the voters would let them at the White House -- than whoever happens to
occupy the Oval Office.
The problem is -- the voters just won't give them a chance at the job.
they keep running anyway.
Now comes word this afternoon that the senate has refused to pass the legislation that
Aunt Nancy sent over from the other end of the building.
Not quite sure what's going on in the senate but it
doesn't look like they're going to be happy unless there are provisions (special favors) that would allow for tax
breaks for restaurants and other businesses that have to hire cheap laborers.
So if the lawmakers give special
dispensations to all the companies who want tax breaks why have a new law at all?
Oh, and another thing --
SENATOR JOHN KERRY SAYS HE'S NOT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT. Do you think that maybe Miss Pickle wouldn't
give him any money to play political war games with? Maybe she secretly told him to stay out of New Hampshire. And Iowa too.
Maybe he's been banished to Maybeville?
REFORM BILL GETS SOME LAST MINUTE TINKERING
I thought I ought to start showing a bit more respect for the politicos in Maybeville, they start acting like mega-squats
Those sneaky little so-and-sos!
They tried to put a two year extension into the much-touted reform
package that would take pensions away from crooked, convicted, evil, dishonest congresspersons who get piggy fat off the hard
work of the voters back home.
Where do they get their nerve?!!
If all had gone the way of the 2-year
proviso that was inserted at the last minute, then the House measure would have matched the Senate measure.
aha! Somebody was looking.
Somebody even accused the mega-squats of writing the change on a napkin . The change
moved the effective date from January 1, 2009, back to its original date of January 1, 2007.
Then there was
the parliamentarian debate of rules nitpicking because the change back to the 2007 effective date was thrown in at the last
minute and disregarded floor debate.
And then a freshperson tried to move the measure while the debate rules
were in suspension. That way, the bill would move quickly back to the Senate, presumably for closure.
-- not so fast there. Let's talk about fairness. Clearly the American people believe that a congressperson who is convicted
of a felony because he or she abuses the power of the office ought to most certainly not be given a pension for life.
And believe me, those pensions are the envy of every working man and woman in the country.
Nice try, no
cigar. The attempt at adding a two year delay got pulled and the legislation got passed.
So, as it stands now,
if you're a crooked congressperson and you get convicted, you don't get to keep your pension. As of January 1, 2007,
your pension is doomed!
I'd just like to know what happened to that $90,000 in cash
that was stashed in the representative from Louisiana's office refrigerator in The Capitol. That can't possibly be
stamp money. Congress allows special stamp provisions, called franking to Congress members.
I love the
internet. It's going to be the catalyst that will finally make government transparent. There are eyes everwhere watching
everything. Even congress is coming under very close scrutiny.
IF WEBSITE CLICKS WERE VOTES, THE HILLARY WOULD BE TRAILING
Boma O'bama is getting 12% of the surfer hits coming off the www.senate.gov site -- comparing to Hillary's mere 7%.
Good thing for Hillary those hits aren't votes. She had been at
a stagnant 4% until she threw her hat into the presidential ring last weekend.
Republicans aren't doing any
better. McCain and Boxer -- a this and a that -- are tied at 2%. Thought you were more populaire, didn't you?
Then there's Beetlebomb Kerry -- like the tired old racehorse, he gives a very poor showing of 1%. He ties with
other one percenters -- Senators Joe Biden, Chris Dodd and Sam Brownback.
It's still very early in the game,
folks. What do we have -- 21 months to go?
I'm bored already.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
LET ME VISUALIZE THIS
According to USA Today, a
police officer used his cruiser to pull an arrested woman's belongings for twelve miles.
Her belongings were
in a shopping cart so I'm guessing the woman in Bradenton, Florida, was homeless.
So the officer towed her
shopping cart a total of twelve miles to the jail.
Does that look like a cartoon or what?
got reassigned to desk duty for a while.
He wasn't, by any chance, working undercover with the Reno 911 officers,
was he? Those characters have their own feature-length movie coming out but it's not due to be released until late in
Can't wait for that one.
Maybe the Brandenton cop could move to Reno and join the Reno
AND THE RICH GET RICHER!
Political Money Line reports that
Former Representative Joe Kennedy's political action committee -- Citizens for Joe Kennedy 1988 -- has a balance
Can you believe that income from investments in just the last quarter of 2006 came
to $90,266. The account was started in July 2001 when he converted his campaign fund into a political action committee.
Did you know that politicians can do that?
Apparently there was $1.6 million left over from his 1988 campaign
that he didn't spend.
That's a nice chunk of change to start a PAC with.
So let's all go
run for something and raise a lot of money. Then after a couple of years, just convert the campaign money to our very own political
action committee. I'll bet the rules are less stringent for those committees than they are for candidates.
political action committee would be called the Committee for Honest Congress, or CoFoHoCo, because it rhymes with Yoko Ono.
We could have Beatles music playing all the time on our corporate bicycle.
OKAY -- SO AUNT NANCY GOT HER SIX INITIATIVES PASSED WELL UNDER THE HOPED FOR
100 HOURS -- SO NOW WHAT HAPPENS?
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, all but two of those initiatives
don't just automatically become law just because the House says so.
They have that whole bunch of mini-presidents
over on the Senate side of the building to contend with.
For instance, the House said there ought to be a law about
all those politicians flying around on corporate jets. That would be mostly when they're campaigning or when they fly
back to their districts or fly somewhere else on vacation/junket spots as long as they're claiming to be doing the work
of the U.S. government.
I still, for the life of me, can't figure out why Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
of Nevada felt like it was government business to fly down to Peru to look at old ruins in hopes of discovering something
about their security system.
Anyway, the Senate -- probably feeling some groundswell heat from voters -- passed
it's own version of the travel bill.
The Senate ethics bill says any candidate for federal office will have
to pay jet owners the charter cost of flying on those really nice, posh private jets -- not first class, which is
Naturally, the Senate exempted themselves if they own their own planes or their spouses do.
So I think I see where this is headed. There's going to be a lot of campaign money being used to buy their own
jets. They'll probably get them at way under fair market value from companies that are cleaning out their jet closets.
Maybe they ought to pass legislation about that too, while they're at it.
They're a sneaky bunch.
You can bet they'll figure out a way around it.
Here's my thought: make all the candidates and congress
people fly commercial planes. I'll bet a whole bunch of things would start to happen.
First of all, they
would somehow figure out how to make those TSA people get the lines moving just a bit faster. And maybe there wouldn't
need to be five checkpoints at big, international airports.
It would give congressional people a new appreciation
for what us regular, plain old folks have to contend with when it comes to scheduling our trips.
Oh, the great
wailing and gnashing of teeth that would be heard all the way from the Potomac to another big wind -- this one
on the left coast -- the Santa Ana.
But think of the positives for the candidates. It would give them a great
opportunity to reconnect with the constituents -- that is, us voters.
Now wouldn't you feel safer if half
the plane was loaded up with Secret Service guarding those highly exalted candidates who have an overblown view of their personal
Stay tuned. The Senate version and House version of this one bill aren't exactly alike. They'll
have to iron out some differences and see what the compromise bill looks like.
Fortunately, there aren't any
earmarks added in. I think everybody's watching for those little pet piggy-pork projects that used to get slipped into
bills. Earmarks that had nothing to do, for instance, with the travel/etchics bill.
Then, if the lawmakers really
wanted the kiss of death for any bill, they could always add in a line item veto provision. That would be the end of that
It's called gridlock. And the Senators say, "If you don't like that, we'll just filibuster
it to death. Either way, you'll be sorry for messing with us."
And you just know there's a web site
that keeps track of what all these people are spending: www.politicalmoneyline.com.
AND THE NOMINEES ARE ...
The Associated Press covered the
list of Oscar nominees for the 79th annual run for the gold.
For best picture: Babel, The Departed, Letters
from Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine and The Queen.
For best actor: Leonardo DiCaptrio, Blood
Diamond; Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson; Peter O'Toole, Venus; Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness;
and Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland.
For best actress: Penelope Cruz, Volver; Judy
Dench, Notes on a Scandal; Helen Mirren, The Queen; Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada; and Kate
Winslet, Little Children.
For supporting Actor: Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine; Jackie Earle
Haley, Little Children; Djimon Hounsou, Blood Diamond; Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls; and Mark Wahlberg,
For supporting Actress: Adriana Barraza, Babel; Cate Blanchett, Notes on a
Scandal; Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine; Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls; and Rinko Kikuchi, Babel.
What surprises me is who's not and what's not.
For instance, I don't see Brad Pitt nominated
anywhere even though Babel got the nod in other categories.
I don't see Jack Nicholson for The
Departed. But then, Jack has won so many times that maybe the Academy might have thought it was someone else's turn.
But that isn't what "best actor" is supposed to be, is it?
I was surprised that Dreamgirls wasn't
at least nominated for Best Picture, although it was nominated in other categories. But then, do musicals get nominated for
best picture? Seems like the Academy likes other genres.
Don't know. I'm certainly not an expert.
We're not done with Borat yet. Sacha Baron Cohen and his buddies -- Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham, Dan Mazer
and Todd Phillips got the nod for Best Adapted Screenplay. They'll be competing with Alfonso Cuaron, Timothy J. Sexton,
David Arata, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby for Children of Men; William Monahan, The Departed; Todd Field and
Tom Perrotta, Little Children; and Patrick Marber, Notes on a Scandal.
go to this web site for
the complete listing:
Monday, January 22, 2007
THANK YOU, ALICE STUBBE, FOR ENLIGHTENING US!
I always knew
-- or at least suspected -- that Texans were smart -- but I had no idea until you sent me this:
After having dug to the
depth of 1000 meters last
year, Scottish scientists found
traces of copper wire dating
back 1000 years and came
to the conclusion that their
ancestors already had telephone
networks more than 1000 years
Not to be outdone by the Scots, in the weeks that followed, English scientist
dug to a depth of 2000 meters and shortly after headlines in the UK newspapers read:
have found traces of 2000 year copper wire and have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications
network a thousand years earlier than the Scots."
One week later, Texas newspapers reported the following:
"After digging as deep as 5000 meters in West Texas, Texas Aggie scientists have
found absolutely nothing. They have therefore concluded that 5000 years ago Texas inhabitants were already using wireless
Do yourself a favor and check out this
website. This fellow is an incredible artist and what he can do with a can of spray paint!
It's a little over
eight minutes long, but believe me, it's worth it.
And thank you, Joyce Cunningham, for send this to me.
Hi, Barbara. All the way from Pond Gap, West Virginia.
It was great to hear from you.
All good wishes to you and Rich.
GOD REALLY DOES ANSWER PRAYERS!
I figured we'd just about
get back to the Frozen Tundra North Country (Chicago) when the weather would turn really sour again.
We left Effingham
at 8 a.m. An hour later we were at Grand Slam Quint's favorite Denny's in Tuscola for breakfast, then hopped
back on I-57.
Two hours later I was making my approach to exit at Vollmer Road -- mile marker 342. The temperature
had dropped to 31 degrees and precip was slushing up my windshield.
Thank you, God, for answering our prayers for
In our travels north, we saw a huge semi off the road on the right side. It had obviously jack-knifed.
And a young lady, probably a college student but who can be certain, was in the median.
Black ice, maybe.
It wasn't a good day to be going 80+ miles an hour. The visibility was down to about a mile. That's a far cry from
the 18 miles-out-there-horizon.
SO FAR THE DEMOCRATS ARE FIELDING 8 WOULD-BE PRESIDENTS
only thirteen months to go until the New Hampshire primary kicks off the Golden Premier Silly Season of Political Rhetoric,
there are a grand total of eight Democrats who are absolutely rock-solid certain that they can lead the country better
than anybody ever has or ever will.
In alphabetical order, they are Joe Biden, the Delaware Senator; Hillary Clinton,
the New York Senator; Chris Dodd, the Connecticut Senator; John Edwards, the former North Carolina Senator (and vice presidential
candidate in 2004); Mike Gravel, the former Alaska Senator; Dennis Kucinich, the Ohio Representative; Barack Obama, the Illinois
Senator; and Tom Vilsack, the Iowa Governor.
Do you notice how many of them come from Blue States out there
on the east coast? That ought to be interesting. Again.
Before we get to the New Hampshire primary in February
2008, there will probably will at least another four or six, maybe ten. The Democrats like to field lots of candidates.
That's because they're mostly all senators and they think they're already little mini-presidents -- Democrats
and Republicans alike.
Haven't heard much from the potentates on the Republican side of the world. Of this
we can be certain, it will not be George Bush again.
HOW'D THE MOVIES DO?
There must have been a football
game or something because there sure weren't too many moviegoers, according to BoxOfficeMoJo.
Yard stayed in first place for its second week, with $13.3 million.
And can you believe Night at the Museum
is still in second place?!! This is the fifth week for this adorable movie. Loved Owen Wilson as a little miniature cowboy.
The movie gleaned $13 million in sales. Total ticket sales to date comes to $205,840,000.
from 4th place last week to 3rd place this week. No doubt, the Golden Globes aroused some interest. This is the sixth week
for this movie. Ticket sales came to $8,711,000.
This was the debut weekend for The Hitcher. Even so,
it couldn't beat out the top three. Hitcher got $8,234,000 in ticket sales.
You can get the complete listing
of the top 38 movies at www.boxofficemojo.com as well as reviews.
We have a weekend off before Super Bowl on February 4. Game will be in Miami and you know
who I'm rooting for in the battle between the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL -- WHO'S THE RICHEST OF US ALL?
won't need to have any bake sales for these female entertainers.
According to Forbes, the richest of them all
Oprah Winfrey -- came in tops with a reported worth of $1.5 billion -- so you see, she can easily afford
to build a school in South Africa for $40 million
J. K. Rowling comes in second with a cool $1 billion. Not bad
for this welfare mom who penned the first Harry Potter book whilst sitting at her kitchen table and writing furiously fast
on yellow legal pads (I've read).
Martha Stewart -- the cook and hostess with the mostest -- comes in next
with $638 million
Then comes Madonna with $325 million
Celine Dion has $250 million, followed by Mariah
Carey with $225 million
Janet Jackson has $150 million and Julia Roberts comes in last on the list of 8 top millionnaires
with $140 million. But then, The Julia didn't make any movies last year; otherwise, her bottom-basement-lowest-fee-for-walking-in-front-of-the-cameras
of $20 million would have bumped her up a notch.
And now I'm going to make Quint some beef vegetable noodle
soup. He says even if we were millionaires -- which we are far far far far from being -- he'd still want me to make
him homemade soup. Yum yum.
HARRIS POLL RELEASES LIST OF MOST FAVORITE MOVIE STARS
- Denzel Washington
#2 - Tom Hanks -- down from #1 last year
#3 - John Wayne -- again -- the late, great!
- Clint Eastwood -- advances two spots from last year
#5 - Will Smith ties with Julia Roberts
#7 - Johnny Depp ties
with Mel Gibson-- Depp drops five spots from last year
#9 - George Clooney -- drops one spot
#10 - Harrison Ford
-- drops seven spots from last year
The Harris Poll is an annual survey of 1,147 U.S. adults. They were surveyed
between December 12 and 18, 2006.
OF COURSE SHE'S RUNNING -- WAS THERE ANY DOUBT EVER?
realize that some of you don't read the news -- and who could blame anybody these days.
Unless there are pools
of blood in parking lots or on sidewalks, you're more likely to see little mini-clips that feature weight loss advice,
Hollywood types trashing the president or espousing some opinion that they think makes them look like deep thinkers.
So let me be the first to tell all of you who have insulated yourselves with sanity, in ten words or less, the Housewife
on the Potomac is going to try to get the keys to the White House again. But this time, she wants the Oval Office all by herself.
That would be Senator Clinton.
I'll bet she gives that little kitchenette off the oval office a good
scrubbing down too.
So let's see -- that brings a total of six so far, if you count Sharpton who is only just
whispering about running. I bet he throws his hat in the ring eventually.
My point is this. You're going to
be hearing a lot of cheap talk and criticisms of each other.
But mostly, in order to sound presidential,
they all have to espouse what they think are great and wonderful opinions that disagree with the real Mr. President.
Also keep in mind that they may even try to resurrect some old, ugly comments about Mr. Bush's intellect. John Kerry
did that when he ran against Bush. His campaign workers likened Bush to a box of rocks.
Then the military entrance
tests were published. Kerry's IQ is 120 -- Bush's is 128.
Heh heh heh.
Now who's laughing.
Bush is only eight points off Mensa's IQ of 135 for genius.
Friday, January 19, 2007
WE CAN ALL BREATHE A SIGH OF RELIEF -- AUNT NANCY'S GOT HER AGENDA PASSED
THROUGH THE HOUSE!
Now we're all going to see how legislation really works.
Only the first
two initiatives -- changing the House Rules on Ethics and how they conduct their own business.
The rest of the
initiatives sound like they've changed the laws. But they haven't.
For instance, they say they've
"pushed through an increase of the minimum wage." In truth, the Senate has to bless it and the president has to
Aunt Nancy says the House has expanded federal funding for stem cell research but they only passed a congressional
version of what they want to be the law. The Senate has to bless it and the president has to sign it. He's already said
he'd veto this one and the House has said they don't have the votes to override a veto.
Then the House
said they passed legislation that gives students a cut in interest rates. The president said he'd prefer to give low-income
students outright grants -- not loans. Expect a veto on this one too.
And yesterday, the House passed its last
of the six initiatives when they passed legislation to collect more than $15 billion in new fees, royalties and taxes from
the oil industry.
So to give credit where credit is due, they did do something.
And with time to spare.
They didn't even come close to using up the 100 hours that Aunt Nancy thought it would take.
Problem is, they
can't go around saying they've passed new laws. What they've done is pass a House version of laws they'd
like to see enacted.
Here's where we all get a civics lesson in the legislative process. The House bills
now go to the Senate to see what all those little mini-presidents think of the House's work.
Aunt Nancy isn't
the most powerful woman in America over at that end of the building. Remember Senator Clinton. She thinks she's pretty
Thursday, January 18, 2007
GOOD NEWS FOR LOW INCOME COLLEGE STUDENTS
The House went
ga-ga over its legislation packet that eased in reductions for student loan interest.
The White House took a dim
view of this reduction schedule and rejected the congressional proposal.
What the White House wants to do is offer
more direct aid grants to low-income students. Reducing an already-low 6.8% interest rate on federally backed college loans
is not what Bush will agree to.
Just keep that in mind when all the political rhetoric starts up again about Bush
not caring about the poor people and just wanting to give money breaks to rich people.
Bush wants to provide aid
grants to poor people who can't afford college tuition -- not lower interest rates on student loans.
AUNT NANCY'S CLOCK IS AT 34 HOURS AND 5 OF THE 6 BILLS PASSED
kidding aside and to give Nancy Pelosi her just due, she has somehow managed to get passage of five bills of the six on her
These bills include passing:
-- change rules that govern ethics, budget and
lobbying rules (passed Jan. 4-5)
-- a bill that wants to pump up terrorism-fighting efforts (passed Jan. 9)
federal minimum wage (passed Jan. 10)
-- expand federally funded stem cell research (passed Jan. 11)
government to negotiate for lower Medicare Rx prices (passed Jan. 13)
Still to pass will be legislation focusing
on fees, taxes and royalties that come from oil and gas companies.
So Aunt Nancy and the representatives who passed
the legislation have been busy.
Some of the bills will need to go through the Senate. And then on to the White
House for either presidential signature or veto.
Don't misunderstand me here. I don't have an agreement
at all with this minimum wage exemption that Aunt Nancy somehow got for her tuna canning buddies in San Francisco.
That's a bunch of baloney!
And I can certainly compromise on the stem cell research. I'm all for ongoing
research. Just think that it needs to be funded privately. But, hey, I've been wrong before. Even in this century.
So if she's used up only 34 hours -- she just may get the sixth item passed through the House before the
break on February 19 for President's Day. The following days through February 23 is set aside for in-district work.
I'll bet she comes back from San Francisco with a new list of legislation that she wants the House to work
A new things to do list is coming, don't you think?
I also suspect that a response to this
blog will be coming from Quint. He tends to be a tad more conservative than I am.
But we decided a long time ago
-- many many years, in fact -- that we don't have to think like each other.
Saves a lot of disagreements and
hurt feelings. Especially if I mope around. We do have some very intellectually stimulating discussions about a lot of
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
THOSE POOR REPUBLICANS JUST CAN'T GET A BREAK
think people would have figured it out by now.
Especially the power brokers out there in Maybeville. But let me
repeat it once again in case you weren't in class that day: To the victors belong the spoils.
about standing on principle because something is right. It's not even about reaching out to other members across the aisle.
You didn't believe that old song and dance, did you now?
It was just political rhetoric and it
makes a better sound byte than "It's our turn to get even."
Now, according to an article at www.thehill.com, the Republican press secretaries can't seem to find a meeting room under the Dome.
They really liked meeting
in the Dome's spacious budget hearing room. They could lean back in their comfy chair chairs. They could stretch their
legs out. They could feel ultra important.
I mean, the budget hearing room! Does it get any more powerful than
Then they lost. More than the majority in Congress. They lost the most coveted meeting rooms in Maybeville.
Now, like silly little penguins traipsing single file down the halls, they had to go over to the Rayburn Gold Room.
Hey! What's wrong with that? Sounds like a pretty nice room to me.
Oh, and that became unavailable
Well, how about the Cannon Caucus Room?
Aunt Nancy's office said, "Let me get back to
you on that."
The press secretaries meet at 1 p.m. on Mondays. Someone finally called Friday night to let
them know that the caucus room would be available.
Whah whah whah. The good rooms -- the best and mightiest rooms
-- get picked first. By the party in power, you silly whiner.
I learned that in first grade. So why are the Republican
press secretaries whining? Or surprised?
Maybe -- just maybe -- the next time there's a national election
in this country, maybe the Republicans ought to get the voters in their districts over to the polls. Each and every one of
their voters. Pick them up and drive them to the polls. And then take them to lunch. You have to give them some motivation
to go to the polls. You don't think they vote because it feels good, do you? Not! This is America. The land of reciprocity.
Apparently you didn't do that last November.
When the weather gets nicer, you could consider
a picnic meeting on the grounds of the Capitol. I would think that somewhere on the 274 acres, there ought to be a couple
of nice shade trees.
Someone could be in charge of contacting the Capitol Concierge and ordering some picnic baskets.
A couple that I thought might be especially meaningful for you would be the Chocolate Power Basket. It goes from $45 - $85.
I guess it depends on how many pounds of fudge you order.
Another basket that sounded like it was right in
the ballpark for you would be the Good Cheer Basket. It goes from $50 - $100. But mind you, you're going to have to share
with each other. These baskets are a bit steep, if you know what I mean.
So make sure one of you is in charge of
taking the baskets home with you, then take turns bringing them back in subsequent weeks filled up with picnic goodies.
See, now that wasn't so hard, was it?
Oh, the Capitol Concierge's phone number is 202-331-0621.
Their web site says that they are dedicated to taking any task off your hands, big or small. When you are pressed for time
and you need that perfect something, just call them. They even have event planners.
There, I'm sure glad I
could help you out.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?!!
You could have seen the headline
on www.drudgereport.com, or www.foxnews.com or www.cnn.com and, of course, www.nbc10.com, a news affiliate in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The story is about a naked man. He's a criminal defense attorney.
He was naked in the courthouse conference room in Philadelphia.
That's bad enough. Ugly ugly ugly!
What's worse is that he was with a 14 year old girl -- not his client.
The attorney has been charged with
solicitation, attempted statutory sexual assault and other counts related to that.
He's going to need a good
lawyer. Surely he won't try to represent himself. He's already shown what a good lawyer he is.
It was Monday.
The courthouse was closed in observance of Martin Luther King's birthday. But the courthouse was open to attorneys who
needed to conduct business.
Oh really. And what business would that be that brings this attorney to the courthouse
conference room on the third floor?
And how did the fourteen year old girl get into a closed courthouse?
Somehow I don't think this lawyer is going to be a friend of the court for very long.
He ought to be disbarred
-- just for starters.
You see, somewhere along the line, people have forgotten that God is watching us. This lawyer
doesn't need to worry so much about what the judge or jury is going to do to him.
He ought to worry about how
he's going to explain this lapse in judgment to God, who is, after all, watching each one of us.
I, for one,
do not want the Most Mighty One angry at me for anything! He's watching you, too.
BREAKFAST WITH AUNT NANCY
After I read one of the headlined
articles at www.thehill.com my imagination just ran wild with the possibilities of conversations that might have been. I can just hear Aunt Nancy talking
to the freshpersons of the Class of 2006 in the Continental Congress. I call it the Continental Congress because she serves
a Continental Breakfast.
So even if the freshpersons balk at the idea of cold, heartless menu fare that is
remindful of all those campaign stops, she'd probably say to them, "And you'd just better be there. All 42 of
you newly elected Democrats.
"Every week. Well, every week that My House is in session.
I don't care if you have this misguided notion that breakfast ought to have at least one warm dish.
I say it's breakfast, it's breakfast. So grab a muffin and some strawberries and melon balls and sit down. I'm
about to explain to you how things work around here."
Somehow I don't think this was a social invitation
complete with gold engraving on eggshell colored paper. But then, maybe it was metallic burgundy print on pink paper. Who
knows. There's a new speaker at the podium and since she's the most powerful woman in America, she can do just about
anything she wants to.
Aunt Nancy even has a person who is in charge of -- get this -- incumbent retention. I always
wondered about that. I mean, a freshperson finds himself/herself in Maybeville and gets a new office in The Building.
Does it have more than a desk and a credenza?
Where do I get more paper clips. And how about a stapler with
staples, they might ask. Oh, send that one back. I want one with that cute little insignia on it that says I'm a member
of Congress! Better yet, get me a dozen. I'll send one to my mom, and my sister and both my brothers.
much do they cost? Really! Then just get me two. I had no idea they cost that much. What do you mean they don't
have them in Central Supply? I'm not paying the same prices that tourists pay! No way.
Notice how those of
us who used to be called voters are now called tourists. They even have a special place for us to sit if we go to Maybeville
to watch them work at their big wooden desks down on the ground floor.
We're tourists now and we have to sit
up there as if we were the unwashed. It's called the Gallery.
Things are different now. We won't
get gladhanded for another year and a half, or whenever the mega-squats go back out to their districts. And you'd just
better not bother them with requests for any special favors, like tours of the White House.
Those kinds of little
favors are the work of a person in charge of constituent services. This is one of the first employees that freshpersons hire.
A Constituent Sheriff can make or break a political career.
But first Aunt Nancy has to get through this first
hundred hour deadline that she set for herself and mostly veteran lawmakers to pass six pieces of legislation. But for sure,
she wants all the help she can get from the Class of 2006 Freshpersons.
So first of all, you'd better show
up for breakfast. It will usually be held in the Conference Room in Aunt Nancy's office.
Oh really? Gee, my
dining room only holds twelve people if they are sitting down to eat and I put all the leaves in the table. How in the world
can she have breakfast for as many as a hundred hungry freshpersons in her conference room?
That must be some conference
And one other thing, she'd share with the new class. There will be no political talk around here. Not
under The Dome. Remember that. And don't let me catch you talking politics around here.
You are to be prepared
to make at least a five minute speech on the House floor at least once a week. And I want you to keep yourselves busy with
Special Orders work. Those are very special meetings and they're usually going on late into the night.
care if the Chamber is empty. C-SPAN is there taping speeches and it's broadcast live.
So just be there.
I'll be watching you!
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
LIFE'S LIGHTER MOMENTS SHOW UP ON THE RED CARPET
Oh the wretched turmoil of actually starring in a sitcom heralding you as an
ugly person. Ugly Betty, to be specific. But alas, America Ferrera stepped out on the red carpet and we realize that
Hollywood, is well, Hollywood.
It's all smoke and mirrors, and makeup and spray glue. And even I would look
gorgeous in a designer gown made especially to hide all my creaky wrinkles. Names like Chanel or Carmen Marc Valvo.
It must take the red carpet faux beauts hours to get tan-sprayed. I read last week that there are even "artists"
who sculpt in muscle definitions that make the stars look like they spend all day at fitness centers.
if you look at the pulpy stuff at the supermarkets like I do -- after all, it's the reason I intentionally get in the
longest line -- paparazzi roam the southern California beaches on daily cellulite patrols.
If I were a Hollywood
type, I can tell you for sure that I wouldn't dare go out on one of those beaches unless I had body armor on, covered
head to toe. Since I do not care about getting a tan, then why bother! Besides, ladies are not supposed to sweat.
So Quint says, "Why don't you just buy the paper," to which I explain for the 780th zillion time, "I'm
not paying for this trash."
My favorite part of the evening was when Helen Mirren won best actress for her
roles in both the TV series Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II in The Queen.
Elizabeth I is my absolutely
favorite on the short list of Heroes, Deceased.
The Heroes, Living is a longer list because
it grows and grows and grows. It's a list of people I admire and continue to admire. People like my daughters, Sharon
and Teri, are on that list too. It wasn't easy growing up in a house with a mother who has an adult version of Aspergers
Syndrome. It definitely does not mix well with a mild case of Attention Deficit Disorder, a plague which forever needs cerebral
rescuing. Keeps me on my toes. And I never even liked asparagus.
Back to the 64th Golden Globe awards. By the time
you read this, you'll probably have already devoured the list of winners. So I'll just say that I'm also pleased
with Hugh Laurie, star of House for winning. Sure, he gets some good scripts that lead him into good lines, but his
character continues to draw me in. If I ever get some exotic thing that's gone wrong with me, I hope House will come to
Since I've always been a fan of Clint Eastwood, I'm also glad he got his Globe for his foreign
language film Letters from Iwo Jima. Eastwood is a class act. What I like about him is that he doesn't run around
claiming to own anything, or anyone.
Tomorrow, we'll see what the equally vain nitwits on the Atlantic side
of town are doing.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
WE ARE HEADING FOR OUR BUNKER FOR THE ICE STORM COMETH!
our condo in on the second floor, so it's hardly a bunker.
But there is a big fat ice storm coming, so we are
not going to venture out until Tuesday morning.
And depending on which weather expert you believe, we are going
to get 1-3", or 3-5" or 7 inches or more. Plus ice.
Since neither Quint nor I are big fans of being stranded
out on interstates in the middle of nowhere, we are going nowhere.
We'll be watching movies, eating popcorn,
and painting the guest bedroom.
I'll be back Tuesday morning.
"BUT I WAS MISUNDERSTOOD," SAYS BARBARA (CARRIE-ANN) BOXER
Isn't that what everybody says who --
(1) was too drunk to make any sense
(2) put their
feet in their mouths
(3) didn't know what they were talking about and got caught
(4) or was just
trying to make a joke but instead looked incredibly stupid.
So the Boxer -- in her best shrilly voice -- leaped
on every opportunity to get at Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with little stabby words --and finally, when she realized
she wasn't making any good, rational points, finally reminded the Secretary that Rice wouldn't have any idea how it might
feel to have a son or daughter serving in Iraq since Rice doesn't have children and isn't married.
Limbaugh said that it was "hitting below the ovaries."
Another blogger in his Swampland blog
called the exchange "Womb Wars."
So that's why I've renamed Boxer the Carrie-Ann -- because she,
like a vulture or a buzzard -- looks for weak spots. She appears as if she's occupying some lofty perch of intelligentsia.
Truth is, she would never get through the first round in a debate tournament. She just divebombs in, then acts so
surprised when people challenge her mean-spiritedness.
Just hang in there, Madam Secretary. You've got
Carrie-Ann outclassed by a country mile.
I remember a psychology professor warning my class in a Psychology
of Women course that it's what women do to women that's horrible. How true, how true!
I'D SAY THAT WAS A BIT TOO CLOSE
In an article reported
in USA Today, two helicopters had to set down in a hurry in Jacksonville, Florida.
The two helicopters
were flying too close to each other when their rotors touched.
Too close to each other? What an understatement!
They were flying over the St. Johns River. So they landed -- one on the north bank and the other on the south bank.
And you just stay over there on your side!
BIG EARTHQUAKE OFF THE NORTH OF JAPAN
Just in case you missed
the news -- and for those of you who do not catch the news because it's (1) ridiculous, (2) not credible; (3) too managed,
or (4) it's too depressing, you ought to at least be aware that an 8.3 earthquake happened in the northwestern Pacific
-- off the Kuril Islands.
The Kuril Islands look like a string of pearls off the northern coast of Japan.
The earthquake was at a depth of 6.2 miles (10 km). It happened at 14:48 UTC, which used to be Greenwich Mean Time, now
it's Coordinated Universal Time.
Naturally, there has been a number of "little" quakes following
that big one -- that is, if you can count a 5.1 as a little quake.
Friday, January 12, 2007
I'M SURE GLAD SOMEONE EXPLAINED THE TIME OUT SYSTEM IN MAYBEVILLE'S CLOCK
Okay -- so every game invented by man has a system of time-outs. And commercial breaks.
did not know that Aunt Nancy was going to drop to her left knee every time the House of Representatives did something that
didn't have anything to do with passing legislation.
In the first place, I thought she said these six new laws
were going to be passed in the first hundred hours after her regime change.
I have been properly corrected.
What she meant was the first hundred legislative hours.
That does not include any time spent on
other things -- even though the legislature is in session and all Aunt Nancy's people are on the floor.
The way she figures it, according to an article posted by the Associated Press, she's only used up seventeen hours of
Folks, it will be this time next year before she gets to the half-time game!
doesn't matter anyway because she's actually counting the increase in minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour except
for the tuna industry in her favorite town -- none other than San Francisco, right smack dab in the big middle of her district.
Imagine that. The tuna industry in San Francisco -- StarKist and DelMonte and Chicken of the Sea are exempt from paying
their workers the new federal minimum wage, according to an article by Charles Hurt in The Washington Times.
Could this possibly be from the the same Aunt Nancy -- the one who promised to look out for us little guys and finally
give American workers a pay raise -- and she promised to bring back honesty in government.
In the meantime, Reuters
says that President Bush signed the Magnuson-Stevens Fish Management Act. This law will prevent overfishing in U.S. waters.
Overfishing is defined as bottom feeding. I'm not even going to make a smarty comment about bottom feeders in
We have been duped again, folks. Are you surprised?
Maybe President Bush ought to include
big tuna companies in the definition of bottom feeders because they somehow managed to get an exemption from paying the minimum
Maybe I won't eat any tuna until they start paying workers the new federal minimum wage.
LET'S BE CLEAR ABOUT THIS: NO ONE EVER SAID THAT STEM CELL RESEARCH SHOULD
NOT GO FORWARD
What was said is that embryonic (live babies) tissue should not be used to harvest stem
There are millions of us who believe that embryos are real live, tiny little human beings. We most
certainly don't want these little persons to be aborted so that the stem cells could be harvested.
firestorm that burned around President started to smolder when he said that federal tax money ought not to be used for such
So, for instance, if you have an eight-year-old son who has leukemia and you get pregnant so that you
could harvest stem cells from the embryo of your unborn child, that would pose an ethical dilemma.
a thought. Why not get the stem cells from your unborn baby's amniotic fluid and let the baby live?
don't have to do away with your unborn baby just to get stem cells.
The hypocrisy of it all is that we
charge a mother with murder if she microwaves a month-old baby. But we don't do a cotton picking thing to a mother
who aborts an unborn baby in the very sterile environment of a hospital operating room.
Will someone please explain
to me how one is murder and the other isn't.
On second thought, maybe I don't want to hear from some
of you. According to the National Right to Life, there have been 47,282,923 abortions since 1973.
population of the United States just passed 300,000,000. We could have enjoyed the birth of 15.6% more souls had they not
That's a giant farm of stem cells that just got thrown away. Or incinerated. Or just thrown in
the trash dumpsters.
Didn't we, as a most righteous culture, say something about the horribleness of the Nazis
killing 6,000,000 jews?
And we aren't taking too kindly about 3,000 soldiers being killed in the
war in Iraq.
It does seem clear to me, though, that it's safer being a soldier in Iraq than being a baby in
I would be really curious to know what God thinks about all this hypocrisy.
EVERYBODY IS GETTING INTO THE ACT
Wow! Former Senator George
McGovern (1972 presidential candidate) is going to talk to the National Press Club luncheon about his plans to pull U.S. troops
out of Iraq.
Wonder what Barbara Boxer thinks about the properness of his credentials. Like how old is he, 112?
Does he have any kiddos in Iraq? I highly doubt it.
Is there anybody in Maybeville who does not have an opinion
about the Iraq war.
Even Senator Clinton is going over there for a four-day here's looking at you trip.
She'll be joined by Senator Evan Bayh (D-Indiana) and Representative John McHugh (R-New York).
illustrious senator from New York supposed to be at The Hearing about Iraq? Same for you, too, Mr. Bayh.
you send staff to take notes for you?
THERE'S A REASON WHY PRESIDENTS GO TO CAMP DAVID EVERY WEEKEND
since Dwight Eisenhower named this scenic, rustic retreat after his grandson David, presidents and their families have enjoyed
getting away from the Washington hustle bustle and all the trappings that living in Maybeville have to offer.
every once in a while there are those who criticize this privilege by those who occupy the Oval Office.
me tell you what I have learned about these little pajama parties in the Maryland hills.
Contrary to the opinion
that they're living in the lap of luxury while they're on retreat, the president's Secret Service detail
gets to go home and spend the weekend with families.
That's because the United States Marine Corps guards
the inhabitants of Camp David.
This is going to be a working weekend though. According to the newswires, Bush will
be joined by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McDonnell of Kentucky, Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott of Mississippi, House Minority
Leader John Boehner of Ohio, and House Minority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri.
Mr. and Mrs. President are already
on their way.
Do you think they go over early to fluff up the pillows? Maybe run the vacuum around the high spots.
After all, it is a rustic place, I've heard.
Or maybe to get the roast in the oven. Do they even bring chefs?
Do marines cook for them?
Does the helicopter stay there all weekend just in case Mr. President has to rush back
to the White House to do important things like sign bills or pass out paychecks to the staff.
Are Mrs. Bush's
daffodils popping up too early, like mine?
Why are the Whips going with them? What do Whips do anyway? Do I really
want to know?
So many questions, so few answers.
WHERE DOES ANY WOMAN EVER GET THE RIGHT TO QUESTION ANOTHER WOMAN'S OPINION
JUST BECAUSE THE SECOND WOMAN HAS NO CHILDREN?
You'd expect such outrageous idiocies from mindless
On second thought, maybe that's what Senator Barbara Boxer is.
I read in an article
printed in the New York Post that Boxer actually had the unmitigated gall to tell Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice that she is not qualified to make policies at the highest levels of the American government because Rice is a single,
Does Barbara Boxer ever stop to think about what she's saying before speaking? Or do
the words just fall off her tongue every time there's an airhole that didn't get plugged up by the conscious
restraint of her lips?
Besides, if she's talking about qualifying to discuss the Iraq situation only if
you are a parent of a soldier, then I have news for her.
Look around you, Barbara. Last I heard, Ted
Kennedy doesn't have any kiddos over there either. Nor does Hillary. Nor does Warner. Didn't hear you eliminate them
from having their right to voice an opinion because they're too old to be parents of the Iraqi soldier generation.
As for you, Barbara Boxer -- this is where and how Congress gets its 16% approval ratings. In case you can't
work the math, that means that 84% of the American voters do not think Congress is doing its job for the American
people, nor do we think you are in touch with us.
Every classless comment that politicians make become sound bites
for opponents in your next election.
I, for one, hope this is your last term in office, Barbara Boxer.
You are far from the best that America has to offer.
And then Quint asks, "Yes, but what do you really
Thursday, January 11, 2007
STEM CELL RESEARCH GETS APPROVED BY THE HOUSE
No matter that
President Bush has threatened to veto the bill if it gets passed by Congress.
And no matter that he did veto a
similar bill once before.
The House now thinks it has the votes to over-ride a presidential veto.
first the bill will have to go to senate. The senate will then make up its own bill.
Most probably, the senate
and house bills will be quite a bit different from each other. If that turns out to be true, then the senate and house will send
the package to a conference committee -- made up of house members and senators.
And they'll debate and talk
and compromise and get a third version of the bill put together and it goes back to the both houses for action.
this compromise version gets passed, then it lands at the White House where the president will probably veto it -- that is,
if the bill uses embryonic stem cells.
Amniotic fluid sources or umbilical cord sources of stem cells are okay
-- just no embryos (babies).
The vetoed bill gets send back to Capitol Hill to see if the votes are there to over-ride
And I think that finishes #3 of Aunt Nancy's 100 Legislative Hour Things To Do List.
see - we got the rules changed in the House, minimum wage upped, and now stem cells. Yep, that's #3.
mind that Pelosi didn't say the bills would become laws. She only said the House would pass bills. The Senate has something
to say about some of these bills too.
In the Senate, the votes are 51-49, with the Democrat majority. But Senator
Tim Johnson of South Dakota is not going to be able to vote for a while. He's only very recently been upgraded to fair
from critical following his surgery for an arteriovenous malformation.
The last thing he needs to be concerned
about right now is floor votes.
REMEMBER THE PREDICTION OF $100 A BARREL FOR OIL?
scared. We were already paying $3.00+ a gallon for gasoline and the price seemed to be in a upward spiral out of control.
Then Mother Nature gave us a break.
Warm weather. Unseasonably warm weather for the midwest.
Now there's a marked reduction in the demand for oil supplies, according to Reuters. For the first time since
May 2005, the price of crude has slipped below $52/barrel. Okay, so $51.90 a barrel is just barely under $52 -- but it counts.
But don't get too foot-loose and fancy free, my friends. By next Tuesday, the temperature is supposed to get down
to about 8 degrees -- more in keeping with the season.
And hopefully my daffodils will keep their little faces
beneath the dirt where they belong until spring!
But back to oil. Another thing that is helping relieve the strain
on oil prices is that Russia has ended a three-day halt in its pumping. Russian oil is now flowing again through the Druzhba
pipeline to Central Europe.
We need a lot of oil in the U.S. because our usage is right at 20 million barrels
a day just driving our cars and jets and trucks and busses and everything else that requires petroleum. After all, it just
won't do if the Europeans use up oil that we may need.
Russia outproduces the Saudis. Did you know that? That
just started happening a month or so ago.
And just in case you're of the opinion that the whole reason we're
in Iraq is because we just want their oil -- the following information from the Energy Information Administration (at www.gravmag.com) may help you become more factual in your point of view.
Listed below are the countries from whom we buy our crude,
as of November 2005:
Canada -- 18%
Mexico -- 15%
Nigeria -- 12%
Saudi Arabia -- 12%
Angola -- 6%
Iraq -- 5%
Algeria -- 3%
Columbia -- 3%
Ecuador -- 3%
U.K. -- 2%
Equatorial Guinea -- 1%
Norway -- 1%
It doesn't add up to 100% because we do drill for oil
here at home too.
Canada has been our greatest source of oil since 2001, according to the Energy Info. Adminstration.
There's a wealth of other information on their web site. You can find the web address under "oil" in
the list of other links.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
I THOUGHT MY FAVORITE HORSIE WAS DOING BETTER
hasn't been a lot of news lately about Barbaro so I clearly thought he was on the mend.
Apparently that isn't
the case. He had more surgery last night. More damaged tissue had to be removed from his left hind hoof.
had even been talk of releasing him later this month from the hospital at the University of Pennsylvania.
shattered his right when he ran in the Preakness last May. Then in July he needed to have 80% of his left hind hoof removed.
Ordinarily horses -- even great horses -- come and go.
But Barbaro was poetry in motion.And
when he ran the Kentucky Derby, all his muscles flexed into a thing of beauty.
I sure hope he will make it. But
laminitis is often fatal. Horses have to have an even distribution of weight. That's hard to do when one of the limbs
is so compromised.
NO SMOKING IN THE SPEAKER'S LOBBY
I had not known that
the Speaker of the House had a separate lobby.
My my my.
From now on, there will be no smoking in Her
lobby, thank you, very much.
After all, the Capitol is the center of our nation's democracy, says John Kirkwood,
president and CEO of the American Lung Association.
Yeah, well, you just wait to see how democracy in action works
when all those little mega-squats start having spitball contests when they can't get the cooperation they need to pass
Congressmen cooperate with noone -- unless they get promises to vote for earmarks -- yet these little
oinkies will continue until somebody manages to get the rules changes.
In the meantime, there's great scurrying
It's hard to tell whether they're little rats or little pigs.
Can't tell by the smell.
A feed lot is a feed lot and everybody tries to elbow their way up to the budgetary trough.
Just remember -- Congress
only has a 16% approval rating.
They're going to have to do a whole lot of improving before the American people
even start to think about approving of their antics.
And I was even gladder to see some of the outrageous mega-squats
didn't automatically get re-elected. I sure hope that's a new trend!
HERE LITTLE PIGGIES!
The list of pork champions is maintained
by that watchdog group called the Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW).
Every month they name a big ole porking
honcho. And last month that distinction (can't really call such fleecing of the taxpayers an honor) went to Sen.
Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) for the parts he played in garnering some $275 million since 2000. That figure includes a tidy little
million for the development of an American River Museum in Dubuque (2002) and $250,000 for the National Cattle Congress in
Don't know what the Cattle Congress does. Maybe they sit around and have beef tastings. Or
maybe they compare whether Merlot or Cabernets go better with Rib Eyes or Filets or Porterhouses.
a congress so you can be sure there are meetings. And there's bound to be lots of beef and good vino when congress is
about its serious business.
Just last year, the Iowanians garnered $72,197,000 in earmarks.
wait. Senator Harkin says he doesn't mind that pork was renamed earmarks. He doesn't even call it earmark. Instead,
he prefers to call it "Congressional directed spending."
As most of you know, I have been trying to nail
down a real working definition of just exactly what pork is.
Guess what? The CAGW does that in its Congressional
Pig Book Summary (which is available at its web site: www.cagw.org. You can also read about each monthly porker all the way back to January 2001 when President Clinton was named Porker of
So here's how pork/earmarks are defined:
-- requested by only one chamber of Congress;
-- not specifically authorized;
-- not competitively awarded;
-- not requested by the President;
exceeds the President's budget request or the previous year's funding;
-- not the subject of congressional hearings;
-- serves only a local or special interest.
The Pig Summary book is more than fifty pages long. I just
made a quick read and found these little piggies:
$1,433,000 for curriculum development at Mississippi Valley State
$250,000 for ethnobotany research in Alaska; also $75,000 for seafood waste research
$260,000 for grazing
research in Wisconsin, and $30,000 for Great Lakes aquaculture
$545,000 for advanced computing research and education
$516,000 for Western Kentucky University
$4,500,000 for the Geographic Information System Center of Excellence at West
$750,000 for multiflora rose control
$180,000 for turfgrass research (maybe West Virginia wants
its grass to look like its neighbor's bluegrass
$500,000 for apple fire blight research in Michigan and New York
$273,000 for urban development -- Cornell University proposes to implement "Garden Mosaics" -- so far, since 2003,
$620,000 has been appropriated for this project
$234,000 for the National Wild Turkey Foundation
in conference for eight additional C-130s
$22,000,000 for Maui Space Surveillance System (Huh? Maui now has its own space
$500,000 for the Arctic Winter Games in Alaska
$1,000,000 for crossroad cluster communities at Fort Knox
-- what's that?
$8,270,000 for breath alcohol testing equipment -- are you saying we have a drinking problem?
$5,600,000 for the basic neuroscience and effects of alcohol and drug abuse on the brain -- given to the Ernest Gallo Clinic
& Research Center at the University of California
$1,000,000 for competency-based distance education initiative with
Western Governors University in Utah
And that covers just little pieces of the first seventeen pages of the
Pig Report. It goes on and on and on for another thirty-five pages.
We even have $13,500,000 earmarked for the
International Fund for Ireland for cross-community projects like the Donegal Town Waterbus, the Chef Development Program and
the World Toilet Summit.
$350,000 was added by Richard Durbin (D-Ill) for the Chicago Greenstreets Program -- included
the design, installation, and maintenance of over 950 hanging baskets. Supposedly, this newly added feature overflows with
splashes of vivid color and delicate foliage providing a welcoming touch to the streets of Chicago
for the Byrd Honors Scholarships -- these scholarships are named after Senator Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.)
for the Underground Railroad Program. Wait a minute -- how many quilts can you collect? And didn't the train stop running
after the slaves were freed?
$450,000 for plantings on the eastern front of the Capitol. How nice. But doesn't
the Park District or Dept. of Interior take care of the grounds? Why is the Legislative Branch putting this into its budget?
$6,800,000 for a physical fitness center at Ft. Hood -- there are already six fitness centers at Fort Hood -- but
wait, this new one includes a coed sauna. Oooh. It also includes computerized cardiovascular equipment with TV access,
three racquetball courts, an eight-lane 25 meter swimming pool, and other stuff
$3,500,000 for Auburn University
in Alabama to develop high-efficiency free piston sterling converters
$1,000,000 for the Bring Back Broad Street
initiative in Mobile, AL
$5,000,000 for the Industrial Outreach Service at Mississippi State University
$150,000 for the Wasilla (Alaska) Police Dept. for technology upgrades. Wasilla has an estimated population of 7,700 in
2004. Baltimore City, Maryland, received a $100,000 earmark for the same purpose and it has a population of more than 600,000
Now, nobody is saying that these projects aren't worthwhile.
But what is important, I think, is to
get the expense of the projects out on the hearings floor and engage in some sort of debate about whether they are good, federal
Many of the pork projects are isolated expenses for just one state. Why, for instance, should the taxpayers
in Oklahoma pay for the technology upgrades of a police department in any other state?
I'm still mystified
about the Maui space project. I'd love to see that grant application or budget request to justify the appropriation.
The piggy book is free to download and print. Read it and weep.
WHEN IS AN EASTER EGG HUNT LIKE THE NEW, IMPROVED ETHICS RULES OF THE 110TH CONGRESS?
Now, let's see. The new rules kind of hinted that the mega-squats weren't going to get all that
free travel on corporate air yachts. (Which they look luxuriously comfy and good in photos). Maybe it's the white
leather plumpy sofas and those little TV monitors that seem to be attached to the arm rests that make them look so inviting.
Then again, maybe it's because corporate jets are just waiting in their own little hangar out there near
the runways. No need to go through screening or showing identification. Everybody already knows you -- you can bet your bottom
dollar that's true.
Whatever -- mega-squats are supposed to be flying coach just like the rest of us.
As least the representatives. Apparently the senators never heard of such a thing.
And then, a most unfortunate
wrinkle hit the travel plans of the senator from Nevada -- former President Gerald Ford died.
Did the senator from
Nevada and now head honcho over in the senate cancel his trip to pay respects to a former president? Or his widow?
All those meetings down in Peru would just be too difficult to reschedule, Reid says.
Like any president of any country wouldn't understand attending a former president's funeral. That couldn't
possibly be important enough to warrant a reschedule.
Nice try but don't give me that. Nothing is difficult
for any of you guys. You have staff that take care of the zillion little details of delaying a trip a day or two so you can
at least show up for a state funeral.
So let's see. The guest list on the little government paid trip to Peru's
ancient city of Machu Picchu right after Christmas included several other senators -- and their spouses -- as well
as staff. Other senators on board included Dick Durbin (D-Ill), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Robert Bennett (R-Utah),
and Ken Salazar (D-Colo).
One of the staffers did say, from a cell phone aboard a U.S. military plane, that all
those trip schedules would be just too difficult to cancel.
Hey, wait a minute. I can't use a cell phone when
I fly. Everybody in the cabin is told that there would be a gravest of consequences if people used cell phones. It could interfere
with flight towers and make the plane fall like a torpedo out of the sky. Or something hyperbolic like that.
senator did, however, try to reach Mrs. Ford to tell her what a great guy her husband was and he wanted to offer his
deepest condolences. Well, they must not have been too deep as he did his robo-senator thing traipsing around the Peruvian
If you would like to take a virtual tour of what the illustrious senators might have seen, go to www.destination360.com/peru/machu-picchu.php.
Hey, forget all those meetings. I would consider the trip -- not that I'd ever be asked, unless
someone wanted to throw me over the edge of a cliff for not keeping my mouth shut -- just to see all the different colored
orchids growing everywhere blooming profusely.
I'd go to Machu Picchu just for that. But I would
first offer my condolences to Mrs. Ford in person. If I were a VIP senator, I could probably get that close.
And I wouldn't make up any wild stories about wanting to check out a security system of a place that is the poster
child for lost cities in the Andes Alps.
Any city that takes ten days to get to by rugged rock trails
ought to be pretty safe, in my book. Especially if the city is sitting on top of a little mountain.
But for some
reason, the people abandoned their town of Machu Picchu just before the Spanish conquest. (I'll bet aliens came and
took them off somewhere to settle new lands in the deserts of Nevada.)
It wasn't until 1911 when a Yale explorer
-- Hiram Bingham -- found the city in the dense mountain lushness.
Bingham apparently put it on a secret
"Must See List" that exists to this very day.
Now, average ordinary tourists can reach Machu Picchu
by flying from Lima, staying overnight in the hilltop city of Cuzco, then taking a train on up to the ruins. This may
take a few hours. And be warned -- there are a lot of switchbacks.
Or, if you've arrived in coach class
like the rule-following congresspersons and feeling a little intrepid, you can hike up one of the trails. This could
take as much as ten days, depending on which path you take. Then you would definitely not be back in time for any funeral.
Kind of keep in mind that all this ethics reform and requirements about flying coach from now on, applies to
the House of Representatives. So far, Aunt Nancy's reach doesn't get over to the senate chamber where a hundred little
miniature presidents sit and pontificate all the livelong day.
For Quint and me, it would probably take
a month to get up to the ruins. We've noticed in our travels that many of our hikes don't look so much like switchbacks
as doublebacks because we see a lot of great touristy things more than once. We never knew that until we looked at our
photos after one of our trips.
"Yep, stand over there, Quint. I'll get a picture of you coming around
the other side of the rock," I say.
But never mind. If you're a very busy potentate senator who just wants
to check the trip off his wife's list of "Places I've Been and Things I've Seen" you can just take an
old helicopter ride on up to Machu Picchu.
The wives can then look at the blooming orchids and go "Ooh and
Ahh" and stand near the precipice for really daring photos. This version of the trip is called the "Senatorial LOL
Travel List" for travel trumpeters who are hoping the little taxpayers back in the U.S. will forget about trying to see
if they ever reimburse some company for use of the corporate jets and helicopters (in about three years).
for you -- the internet has arrived. It will bring a lot of transparency to many money places you'd hoped would get
overlooked. Thanks, in part, to web sites like www.politicalmoneyline.com.
You could say the internet is the Overlooked Committee because it took over when the Oversight Committees
in Maybeville failed so miserably.
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
GREAT NEWS FOR ALL OF YOU WHO ARE SUPPORTING STEM CELL RESEARCH
cell research is on the agenda for this Thursday in the House of Representatives, according to an article in Reuters.
Furthermore, the Representatives say they have enough votes to override a presidential veto.
It's a subject
that has been hotly debated for quite some little time now. It became a campaign issue in this last election. Currently, federal
law has tight constraints on using taxpayer money to pay for experiments using embryonic stem cells.
If the House
does pass the bill, then it goes over to the Senate where it's also likely to pass it in the Senate chambers. Then it
heads on over to the White House where President Bush has already said he would veto it.
Then it comes back to
the House to see if they can override the veto.
As a thought, Quint says that many other countries do not allow
embryonic stem cell research. So it isn't just the United States that fails to allow this. But those few countries that
do allow stem cell research have presented no breakthroughs for curing diseases.
Keep in mind that there
are currently 22 lines of embryos for research that have already been allowed for the last several years. There is ongoing
research but so far no medical breakthroughs.
I can tell you this -- I am not an expert but I know that every
baby that's born has embryonic stem cells in the umbilical cord -- and amniotic fluid presents new stem cells.
But I do know this: so far -- even with the old 22 lines -- scientists have not been able to take the stem cells and make
them grow into the human tissue cells they hope for in order to achieve a medical breakthrough.
Quint has this
suggestion: Apparently the amniotic fluid preserves very well -- so why not freeze some supply and if (or when) the baby grows
into a person with a disease, then that person would have access to its own private reserve of stem cells within the fluid
that was preserved?
And maybe by that time, research will have caught up with the clock.
Sort of like
when the cosmic clock strikes the minute hand of destiny, then it's time.
You know that Quint and I will keep
these discussions very much alive.
You should just hear some of our dinner conversations!
IT QUACKED LIKE AN EARMARK, WALKED LIKE AN EARMARK ...
it added up to better than $1 billion according to an article I read at www.thehill.com. Deny it, he will, but Senator Harry Reid, who is now known as Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-Nev), had some money
earmarked for his favorite state of Nevada.
It was for a water project. Some of the water was going to snake its
way by pipeline into glitzy Las Vegas, a city that's always thirsty -- what with faux Venice, and faux waterfalls, and
faux faux, and zillions of people taking showers every day out in the desert. In hotels, of course.
And then, the
water gets cloudy, so to speak.
The big project that was a hoped-for-soon-to-be-funded-by-earmark under the last
tail end of the 109th Congress somehow got delayed. It had to do with the Southern Nevada Water Authority and a White Pine
Then White Pines withdrew its support for the project.
Ahem! What are you doing there,
Goodbye money. The new regime has landed. No more earmarks unless the governator mega-squats put their
names on them.
Oh, but wait a second. This doesn't have much to do with preserving pristine wilderness where
all those little slithery things drag their fangs around, does it?
Didn't I just read somewhere that Harry
Reid's son Rory is board chairman of Clark County?
Isn't that where Las Vegas is located?
THIS WOULD BE PRIOR TO THE GREAT AND WONDERFUL PRE-ENGAGEMENT ANNOUNCEMENT OF
THINGS TO COME
All right, everybody. Especially if your name starts off with Mr. Paparazzi -- listen
You have made the Prince very angry.
No, this is straight from the Prince
whom you claim to adore -- you know, the son of Her!
And you'd better stop calling her Kate. She's already
made it quite amply well known that henceforth she prefers to be called by her real name, Catherine.
goes better with Queen. Kate is so, well, ordinary. So quit it.
Now, as far as your hanging around in front of
her London flat like a bunch of buzzards ready to pounce the moment she tries to make it out to her car at the curb, just
please back up a bit.
From what I've been able to see, you have some pretty expensive telephoto thingeys on
your camera so there is no reason on the good earth that you should be so close that you get a whiff of her shower soap fragrance.
CBS News has reported that News International is not going to publish paparazzi
pictures anymore in any of its publications. That includes the Times, the Sun and the News of the World.
So you're just being unelegantly trashy about the whole thing. I'm guessing you're from those pulpy
things -- newspaper wanabee types.
In the meantime, show a little style and grace and leave my darling Catherine
WILL SOMEONE PULEEEZE START THE CONGRESSIONAL ENGINES?
the 110th Congress, that is.
They've been sworn in a week now. Well, almost a week.
Looks like they're
going to proceed to commence to begin with legislation that would require ALL shipping containers coming into the U.S. ports
I dunno about that. I seem to remember from statistics courses that if you randomly
select every fifth item, you get the same effectiveness as if you had selected each and every item.
for fear of sounding like I'd be minimizing security, I'll just keep my mouth shut -- as amazing as that may seem.
Some of the six monumentous tasks will require joint action with the House and the Senate. And
since neither the House nor the Senate can overrule a presidential veto right now, it's time for all the politicians to
What the House did do was change the rule that says they can now raise taxes with a simple majority
(50-50 +1), not the previously required super majority (2/3 +1).
Here we go, folks.
Aunt Nancy, the
mayor of Maybeville, says that she is absolutely not in favor of a tax increase.
But what is most likely going
to happen is over in the Social Security corner of the room. Some speculation exists that the House of Representatives
is poised to raise the threshold of social security to a $150,000 minimum. And then they'll turn around and increase (slightly)
social security benefits to a zillion seniors. Then everybody will be happy.
Except for the
worker class who find out next year that when they get to $90,000 they will still be paying FICA for a long, long time. Since
the worker drones don't necessarily read the news from Capitol Hill, they'll be really really surprised when they're
expecting the FICA to drop off somewhere along about the end of September or October.
Monday, January 8, 2007
THE 5-DAY WORKWEEK HASN'T STARTED YET IN MAYBEVILLE!
the last election? The one where the Democrats blistered the Republicans at the polls -- for a lot of reasons.
one of the things the Democrats said had to absolutely stop right now was this business of Congress not working a 5 days workweek.
Steny H. Hoyer said back then -- that he expected (as House Majority Leader) to round up all the mega-squats
and get them into the Chamber for -- well, the business of the American people.
And Aunt Nancy, the Mayor of Maybeville,
outlined a most ambitious plan of some eight proposals that she plans to get passed during the first 100 legislative hours.
Uh, has the clock started ticking yet? I don't think so. And they've been sworn in quite a little while.
So far, the press release from Hoyers office says -- about today -- The House is not in session.
are all sorts of rumors running around on two-legs -- hithering and thithering all around the town.
Could it possibly
be a championship football game between the Ohio Buckeyes and the Florida Gators. That must be a really big hotsytotsy game,
let me tell you.
Otherwise, you just know all those hard-working politicians would much rather be in the House
Chambers where they're paid to be instead of going to some old drudgerous football game between two highly sparked rivals!
But cheer up -- the House will be back in session tomorrow.
And next Monday will be a holiday to commemorate
the late Martin Luther King, Jr.
Don't know about the 22nd and 29th of January. Might just be other good reasons
why Congress won't be in session. In that event, January would be a month of 4-day workweeks.
change? Have I missed something so obvious that I failed to wrap my little pea brain around this momentous event!
HERE'S YOUR BOX OFFICE MOJO FOR THE WEEKEND
Can you believe
that Night at the Museum stayed in first place for the third weekend in a row with gross sales of $24 million for
The Pursuit of Happyness stayed in second place with $13 million -- not bad for the fourth
weekend of its release.
And it looks like Children of Men came in third for its second weekend out there.
It took in $10.2 million.
Apocalypto fell to 18th place (last weekend it was in 14th place) with $1.6
And oh my goodness -- where is Borat? Looks like he fell to 27th place with weekend ticket
sales of $460,000.
That's almost neck and neck with Pitt's Babel. Brad beat out Borat with the
weekend ticket take of $464,000.
Remember, you can get all kinds of information from www.boxofficemjor.com, including reviews, and as much information as you could possibly want about all the movies that are out there.
MY TULIPS AND DAFFODILS WILL BE RUINED IF IT DOESN'T GET COLD SOON!
I never thought I'd see the day when I'd actually want colder weather -- well, just a little colder.
We managed to find a window of opportunity to head back to Effingham to check things out. Lo and behold, we have daffodils
coming up. Not just peeking out of their beds, but up waving at the sky 3 inch green stalks.
Fortunately not all
50+ little cuties, but at least a half dozen or so. I was so looking forward to this particular variety -- it has pink centers,
not the usual yellow variety.
The good news is that the weather is going to sink back down into the twenties tonight
and some snow ought to cover the flower beds again. Hopefully it won't warm up again until maybe mid-March. Then the daffodils
and tulips can come on out from under their dirt blankets. Then they can stay up and bloom gloriously.
the three hour trip back from Effingham without incident. We did stop at Denny's in Tuscola where Quint got his Grand
Slam. He's happy now. Got lots of ham to chow down on. Then shopping at the Tanger Outlet Mall. Then back on I-57 for
a sunny trip north.
I have to tell you, though, that the Puddle Police has been busy noticing all that standing
water in the cornfields. Actually it's a good thing. There needs to be plenty of water in the ground table so that the
corn next summer will be plump and juicy -- just the way we like it.
So even though the Corn Police is off duty
until planting season in the spring, we will be watching the puddles carefully.
Saturday, January 6, 2007
THE VOTE WAS 233 IN FAVOR OF PELOSI AND 202 AGAINST
all her adamance about bipartisanship, the vote to elect her lined up along party lines. In fact, it was exactly on party
lines: 233-202. It was an hour-long roll call vote. I'm guessing that it took that long to do the roll call because she
probably didn't get a majority right off the bat.
The House was busy in its first few days -- not just electing
Aunt Nancy, as Mayor of Maybeville, but also a new set of ethics rules. For instance, members of congress can't ride around
in corporate jets anymore. And they're not supposed to accept any gifts from lobbyists either.
They also said
they want honorable whosiwhatsits to be able to get their pictures on postage stamps.
And the Boise team got a
huge bunch of atta boys for winning the Fiesta Bowl.
Just a reminder: Aunt Nancy pledged to the American people
that she would get some 8 pieces of legistlation passed during the first 100 (legislative) hours of the 110th Congress.
Don't confuse that with the 100 resolutions they passed -- many of which were passed along to committees where
they will die a natural death if noone remembers to Lazarus them.
According to a Rasmussen poll, only 16% of the
likely voters who were polled believe that Congress is in touch with the American people.
As far as Aunt Nancy
is concerned, depending on which poll you look at, her approval rating is anywhere from 30% to 45%.
on whether you ask women or men -- or Democrats or Republicans -- or voters or non-voters.
If you have an interest
in things that look like polls, you can go to http://www.rasmussenreports.com
If you want to see all the horrifically labored resolutions that get to the floor of the House, go to http://clerk.house.gov or or www.house.gov
IT'S GONNA HAPPEN! PRINCE WILLIAM AND KATE MIDDLETON WILL ENJOY A ROYAL BETROTHAL
BEFORE MUCH LONGER
HRG -- Her Royal Girlfriendness -- and Prince William are becoming quite the public
couple. And apparently the photographers just could gobble her up.
Papparazzi, however, never did do a very good
job and respecting anybody's safe distance so when Himself and Herself left a little nightclub the other night, his Royal
Guards call for reinforcements. Suddenly two big vans full of more cops came 'round the corner.
Not only that,
but now she's got protection when she goes to work. She's an accessories buyer for a chain of stores called Jigsaw.
Ah, another super shopper will enter the family.
I was trying to find HRG Catherine in the
Christmas festivities with QE2, but she wasn't listed as present when the Queen went to church on Christmas in Sandringham,
I did learn from The Internet Forum that she was offered an invitation by QE2 to attend Christmas
festivities at the Scotch place but a friend of hers is quoted in The Daily Mail as saying, "Kate would love
to be with William on Christmas Day, and it was a huge honour for her to be invited, but she is very close to her family
and wants to share Christmas with them."
So take that, Madam Queen -- and besides, I'm going to get
a queenship of my own some day. So there.
So what did Kate give Wills? You're not going to believe this, but
the rumours circulating about the island over there says she painted a nudie of him which he plans to hang in his bedroom. But
that was for his 24th birthday, according to a wombat story. One can only imagine what he might have gotten for Christmas.
Supposedly, he's delighted. And QE2 thinks it's raunchy. After all, Kate and Wills aren't supposed to
-- well -- know each other in that way.
For shame! For all the disgusting shame of it!
How could you
do this, Kate?
Actually that naked portrait story is just gossip. We don't really know if it's totally
true. But just to be on the safe side, I'm not going back to London for many years. I'd probably be arrested
on the spot for even saying the words out loud.
Hey, they're just a couple of blue blooded kids having
some fun in the back corridors of the palace. In a galaxy far far away.
Friday, January 5, 2007
U.S. ECONOMY STILL ROARING STRONG -- ADDING NEW JOBS EVERY MONTH
December 2006, the new jobs added came to a very healthy un-puny 167,000!
So for the entire year of 2006, the economy
added 1.8 million new jobs. Most of these jobs were in the business and service sectors.
The manufacturing section
lost 12,000 jobs -- the factory draw just isn't there so much anymore.
Another section that lost jobs was the
goods-producting section. It lost 11,000 jobs. Then the construction workers took a layoff for 3,000 workers in December.
I'm always curious about what that means for the kiddos of today because I see quite a few of them in counseling.
When I ask them what they want to be when they grow up, they say things like basketball star, NFL player, video game maker,
and other one-in-a-million waiting-to-be-discovered ways to make a living.
Okay, so they're only twelve and
thirteen year olds and still have time to iron out the wrinkles in some of those dreams of fame and fortune. Reality checks
will take care of some of that wistfulness.
As for the job losses in the sectors mentioned above, the big concern
among American workers is all those jobs going overseas.
Just for comparison purposes, consider that
the U.S. annual (at a federal minimum wage of $5.15 per hour) salary is $10,712. We're probably not ever going to
see American workers making strings of Christmas tree lights when they can be made cheaper in China where the average annual
pay comes to $3,004.
Keep in mind that there are 2,000 work hours in a year, so the average hourly pay for the
United States worker is $5.35, while in China, it is $1.50. That equals cheap Christmas tree lights.
be willing to up the $3.99 you paid at Walgreens for the lights to $14.23 per strand for the "made in America" string
But wait -- we can get the Christmas lights even cheaper if we order them from Thailand where the annual
salary is $1,170 -- or $.58 an hour for their minimum wage. That would mean one strand of lights now would cost $922.41!
Just in case you might be wondering, the annual wage in the United Kingdom is at $19,098. Switzerland's annual
wage is $28,911. Australia is at $20,315. And our old friend Borat, who claims to hail from Kazakhstan, would make $831 US.
That compares to their poor neighbros in Azerbaijan who make $381 a year.
In part, many of the factory jobs are
going overseas because the cheaper goods are sold in this country! There is a reason why people shop at the big box stores
-- and it has everything to do with cheap stuff.
If you are getting tired of all the jobs going overseas, just
buy only stuff that's made in America. That is, if you can find what you're looking for.
Truth of the matter
is, if we all quit buying the cheap stuff that's made overseas, the market would evaporate and only the Made In American
items would be left. Sure, we'd pay more -- a lot more -- but at least the jobs would come back to the U.S.
I don't think that's going to happen.
SO YOU'RE THE MOST POWERFUL WOMAN IN AMERICA! ENOUGH ALREADY, AUNT NANCY.
NOW GET TO WORK!
Having power is one thing. Being gracious about it is something entirely different.
Somehow that photo of Aunt Nancy holding a whip and reminding everybody (in the camera audience) that she is so powerful doesn't
quite do it for me.
Isn't that a bit like crowing?
I will give her the moments of history that she
has carved out for herself. She most certainly deserves some recognition for besting all those mega-squats who truly wanted
the job she has.
But Nancy Pelosi managed to rise to the top of the heap.
I'm just going to stand
over here in the quiet and watch to see what happens.
I have no doubt that ethics rules and reforms will pass the
I also have no doubt that there will be mountains of violations. It will come in the form of "Oops,
my staff forgot to turn in that form. Shame on me. Sorry."
Somehow the lobbyists will figure out a way to
spend more than a hundred dollars a year on lunches and goodies for the mega-squats.
The term fair market value
may just have to go out the window. That could happen if definitions get re-calibrated to, say, a beef luncheon. That would
be worth $.99. Wouldn't matter if it were a filet or a hamburger.
$1.49 would be the supersized version. That
would include fries and a drink. Or -- a double-baked potatoe and a glass of really yummy vintage red wine. And not that stuff that
comes in a box either.
I can just hear it now as these minnions get back to their offices, "Boy, that was
the best cheeseburger I ever ate. It was so tender I could have cut it with a butter knife. I had no idea that restaurant
even had hamburgers on the menu!" And someone else would pipe in with, "And how about those potatoes! The flavor
was incredible. Cheesy-fries are my favorite!"
And so goes the $1.49 filet with a side of au gratin
Anybody can put a fence of new rules up. But who is going to ride the range and look for breaches in
Who's going to do that? Surely not the people who stand to gain! We know that when it comes to politics,
self-policing doesn't work.
In a country where politicians are ranked right up there with used car salesmen,
the House Morals and Ethics Committee can't find anybody but beef eaters with their hands out.
Good luck anyway.
I hope it works. I have faith in people. Some people. I have to keep telling myself, "There are some good people -- even
But then, I've always been an eternal optimist.
Thursday, January 4, 2007
HERE'S THE 100-HOUR (LEGISLATIVE HOURS, THAT IS) PLAN FOR THE NEW AMERICA:
1. Clean up the House ethics rules.
2. Put the "pay as you go" budget rules back in
3. Adopt the 9/11 Commission recommendations.
4. Raise the federal minimum wage.
Promote embryonic stem cell research.
6. Negotiate lower Medicare drug prices
7. Reduce student loan
8. Repeal tax breaks for energy companies
Let's see now. The work week in Maybeville
is very much different from what you and I are expected to put in.
They certainly don't work five days a week,
or eight hours a day.
In fact, if they get to work on Tuesday and leave either late Thurday or early Friday, it
might just take them until the middle of the summer before they get to their 100 legislative hours.
Oh, you thought
that Aunt Nancy meant the first 100 hours of the 110th Congress? No no no no. That might have been what she said, but it clearly
isn't what she meant.
For sure, they can get the first two items finished pretty quickly. Those require internal
rule changes, something that Congress has the power to do right now.
Everything from #3 down to the end of the
list will require both the Senate's approval and President Bush's as well.
Get ready for the ride. This
is going to be an interesting couple of years. Then we get to vote for the 111th Congress.
Tuck this list away
somewhere. Use it to keep score.
I'll help you keep track of how our illustrious elected officials/mega-squats
To be perfectly truthful, I wish them success. Mainly because they are just congress people. We -- you
and I -- are the real government. The mega-squats are just sitting up there on Capitol Hill spewing forth all their self-absorbed
When it comes to government, these United States belong to us -- you and me! We only let them sit
up there at our pleasure. And we can bring them back down the steps if they don't do their jobs. Just remember that!
Wednesday, January 3, 2007
ELEPHANT STORY FROM MY COUSIN ALICE STUBBE
In 1986, Mkele
Mbembe was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University. On a hike through the bush, he came across a
young bull elephone standing with one leg raised in the air.
The elephant seemed distressed, so Mbembe approached
it very carefully. He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded
As carefully and as gently as he could, Mbembe worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the
elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared
at him for several tense moments.
Mbembe stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually
the elephone trumpeted loudly, turned and walked away.
Mbembe never forgot that elephant or the events of that
Twenty years late, Mbembe was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the
elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Mbembe and his son were standing.
large bull elephant stared at Mbembe, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several
times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.
Remembering the encounter in 1986, Mbembe couldn't
help wondering if this was the same elephant. Mbembe summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way
into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder.
The elephant trumpeted again,
wrapped its trunk around one of Mbembe's legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.
wasn't the same elephant.
WERE THESE SUBJECTS COVERED IN DRIVERS ED?
Quint and I are
out on the expressways quite a bit. We continue to be amazed at driving habits that are illegal -- both in town and out on
the road. We have come to the conclusion that maybe some of these habits are just not covered in drivers ed anymore.
Two hundred years ago when we were young, our kids went through drivers ed. And we were always so proud of how safe they
were behind the wheel.
Driver laws are state laws -- though some laws are just universal. It doesn't matter
where you're driving, the thinking is you ought to know better.
For instance, in Delaware there's such
a law as the "move over" law. This law is meant to protect emergency workers.
It's not the same
as "move to the right" law that requires you to give the right-of-way to emergency vehicles. You're actually
supposed to come to a stop when you see an ambulance, fire truck, or squad car trying to get through traffic.
"move over" law, however, means that you have to give the emergency workers a lot of extra space -- when they're
on the side of the road and flashing their lights.
If you can't give the emergency workers the distance of
a full lane, then you have to slow down significantly. "Significantly" does not mean slowing down from 90 mph to
80 mph, or even 70 mph.
In fact, just to be on the safe side, I would say "significantly" is defined
by the officer who could pull you over and give you a ticket. He gets to decide if you have slowed down signficantly enough.
Crossing a double yellow line is also illegal. It doesn't matter if you do it all the time. You could get a ticket.
Same goes for driving in what I call fake islands. The road construction companies didn't build in enough money
to actually put raised curbs where the yellow diagonal lines are. If you're driving in one of those approaches, you
could get a ticket. Won't do you any good to shrug your shoulders and say, "I had no idea that was illegal."
The officer will just hand you your ticket and say, "Here's your sign."
Then your insurance
premiums go up.
So you pay a ticket of, say $90 or so. Then the ticket eventually gets put on your driving record
and your rate goes up.
One patient of mine actually had her insurance rate go up by about a hundred a month --
for a year. She was driving on those diagonal yellow lines and blew a traffic light. It was yellow before she entered the
intersection, which is another no-no that traffic policemen don't like at all.
The other thing is about speeding.
No speed above 70 mph is safe on the highway. If you just have this irresistible urge to open up your car, then move to a
state where it's legal to put your life in jeopardy every time you get behind the wheel.
Yes, there are some
states. Montana comes to mind. But it's during daylight hours and not on rainy or snowy days.
But on an expressway?
You put your life in peril, not to mention the innocents who travel in the lane next to you.
"NOT EVEN POVERTY COULD DIM THEIR LIGHT," SAYS OPRAH
was in South Africa to open her $40 million school for disadvantaged girls near Johannesburg.
Having come from
poverty herself, Oprah has remained sensitive to the needs of impoverished people even as she became more and more successful.
Many of the young ladies are orphaned -- having lost parents to AIDS. They're often left to fend for themselves,
as best as they can. But they couldn't go to school without a uniform.
Oprah more than generously stepped up
to the plate and opened the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. She told USA Today, "I wanted to give
this opportunity to girls who had a light so bright that not even poverty could dim the light."
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
THE ISLAM RADICALS NO LONGER CONTROL SOMALIA
else non-news readers need to know: The Ethiopians have been successful in running the al-Quaeda extremists out of power in
Somalia. Now the regular, traditional Islam government can get back to the work of running their country.
I think they ran over the hill.
Some left in boats.
Three of the guys heading
out to somewhere in boats are very much wanted by the United States for bombings of a U.S. embassy a few years ago.
Remember that embassies in foreign countries are sovereign territories that belong to the country they represent. Bombing
an embassy would be akin to walking up to our White House and throwing a bomb inside.
All right, so they want to
do that too. But they'd be caught immediately so they take the chicken's way out -- they walk down the block
and throw a bomb over the fence. Then they run away and hide. Back to their spider holes or wherever they live. Probably snake
pits. Or maybe chicken coops.
IRAN'S CAPTAIN MARMALADE SAYS HE'S GOING TO HUMILIATE U.S.
our fault -- supposedly -- at least according to Capt. Marmalade -- that the UN Security Council voted -- all 12 members --
to impose sanctions on Iran.
It wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that Iran has been told and told
and told that having uranium power for energy is one thing -- using uranium to make a big fat bomb is something that the world
powers wouldn't tolerate.
It hasn't been all that long ago when this man said that the United States did
not have a single friend-country in all the world.
Out of the other side of his mouth, he is now saying that the
United States was the influential power in the passage of the United Nations resolution that imposes sanction on the country
that used to be called Persia -- Iran.
Now he says he's going to humiliate the United States. He says Iran
knows how, he threatens. Iran has humiliated the United States before.
I'm guessing he's talking about
the long siege of hostages that were taken when the Iranians overran the U.S. embassy in Tehran.
So even if you
don't read the news, you ought to get just a smidgin' of daily headlines so you know what's going on in the world.
TODAY IS A FEDERAL HOLIDAY AS WE REMEMBER GERALD R. FORD
holiday is for banks, federal government offices like the post office, and schools.
So if you're wondering
-- along about 11:00 a.m. -- why your mail hasn't arrived, this is why.
Former President Gerald R. Ford's
funeral is at the National Cathedral this morning, then he will be taken to Michigan on Wednesday where he will be interred
at his presidential library.
We have been watching the events surrounding the lying-in-state at the Capitol Rotunda,
and the placing of wreaths as tributes and to my view, the real trooper here is his widow Betty Ford.
lady. What she has endured in this past week. Getting through one service is hard enough for a widow, but there have been
several, starting with the prayer service at their home church in California last week.
Then the national funeral
this morning. And she still isn't done yet!
On to Michigan tomorrow.
That will be the most difficult,
I would think. All these other events still left her with him. But on Wednesday, when he is interred, he will finally be taken
from her grasp. I think that would be the hardest part.
But then, I'm only thinking of all the loved ones that
Quint and I have buried. It's so hard to leave them behind and go on to somewhere else without our loved ones.
Our prayers are with Mrs. Betty Ford. What a lesson in endurance!
HERE'S THE BOX OFFICE TALLY FROM BOXOFFICEMOJO.COM
movie draw again this week was Night at the Museum, taking in $46,700,000 for its second week. That brings the movie
up to over $125,000,000 gross.
In second spot was Will Smith's The Pursuit of Happyness, in its third
week with hefty ticket sales of $24,700,000, bringing it to a total of $103,746,000.
And in third place came Dreamgirls
with $18,672,000 for its fifth week, for a total gross of $41,637,000.
Rocky Balboa fell to 6th place
in its second week, with sales of $13,660,000. That brings the movie sales total to $51,132,000.
And Borat dropped
to 19th place with sales of $1,025,000, bringing it to a total of $126,055,000. Not bad for a picture with an $18,000,000
budget. Guess we won't have to have a cookie sale for Kazakhstan.
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.)