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Friday, April 30, 2004

BLAST FROM THE PAST

At least one greeting card company tells us that today is Hairstylist Day. Those of us, who have been around a few decades, certainly remember the agonies of past hairstyles. We've endured perms, bobby pins, teasing, coloring, and a multitude of "bad hair days." Regardless of how much time and energy we devote to the care and upkeep of our tresses, it never seems enough.

How many of us have been heard to say, "If my hair looks good, I don't worry about anything else." We copied Jackie's bouffant, Doris' bangs, and everyone's page boy. If you really want to take a stroll down memory lane, you'll find no more colorful array chronicling the history of women's hair than this site:


The Costume Gallery Hairstyle History Online Costume Library
www.costumegallery.com/hairstyles.htm

Do blondes have more fun? They certainly find themselves the target of more jokes than any other woman. It wasn't hard to find one depicting the intellectually challenged golden haired woman at the hair stylist.

A blonde girl goes into a hair salon and she's wearing earphones connected to her Walkman.

She tells the hair stylist to cut her hair but NOT to take off her earphones. He had to cut around it. But, he thought it would look really stupid if he didn't cut under her earphones so he picked them up and lifted them slightly.

Suddenly, she fell to the ground, dead. The hair stylist picked up the ear phones to see what she had been listening to and a recorded voice was saying "Breathe In, Breathe Out. Breathe In, Breathe Out."

As some kids we know are fond of saying, "That's really lame!" We can't argue with the insight of this story, however.


THE STORY OF SOMEONE GETTING A HAIRCUT

Women's version:

Woman2: Oh! You got a haircut! That's so cute!

Woman1: Do you think so? I wasn't sure when she gave me the mirror. I mean, you don't think it's too fluffy looking?

Woman2: Oh heavens no! No, it's perfect. I'd love to get my hair cut like that, but I think my face is too wide. I'm pretty much stuck with this stuff I think.

Woman1: Are you serious? I think your face is adorable. And you could easily get one of those layer cuts - that would look so cute I think. I was actually going to do that except that I was afraid it would accent my long neck.

Woman2: Oh - that's funny! I would love to have your neck! Anything to take attention away from this two-by-four I have for a shoulder line.

Woman1: Are you kidding? I know girls that would love to have your shoulders. Everything drapes so well on you. I mean, look at my arms - see how short they are? If I had your shoulders I could get clothes to fit me so much easier.

Men's version:

Man2: Haircut?

Man1: Yeah.

We hope you're having a good hair day and if not, remember "she who laughs, lasts." And, tomorrow is another day!

"I have always believed that hair is a very sure index of character." Katharine Tynan

"Hair bring's one's self-image into focus; it is vanity's proving ground….Hair is terribly personal, a tangle of mysterious prejudices." Shana Alexander

(CILYM)

"I've discovered over the years that if my hair is all right, then generally speaking, so am I." Maureen Lipman

"The three most important things to a Southern girl are God, family and hair, almost never in that order." Lucinda Ebersole


Thursday, April 29, 2004

ANDY ROONEY'S VIEW OF WOMEN OVER 40

Andy Rooney says.... "As I grow in age, I value women who are over 40 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

An over 40 woman will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, "What are you thinking?" She doesn't care what you think.

If an over 40 woman doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And it's usually something more interesting.

An over 40 woman knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants, and from whom. Few women past the age of 40 give a darn what you might think about her or what she's doing.

An over 40 woman usually has had her fill of "meaningful relationships" and commitment." The last thing she wants in her life is another dopey, clingy, whiny, dependent lover.

Over 40 women are dignified. They seldom have screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you if they think they can get away with it.

Over 40 women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it's like to be unappreciated.

An over 40 woman has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn't trust the guy with other women. A woman over 40 woman couldn't care less if you're attracted to her friends because she knows her friends won't betray her.

Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to an over 40 woman. They always know.

An over 40 woman looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women.

Over 40 women are forthright and honest. They'll tell you right off you are a jerk if you are acting like one. You don't ever have to wonder where you stand with her.

Yes, we praise over 40 women for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot woman of 40+, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year-old waitress.

"Ladies, I apologize." Andy Rooney

(ILYC)

"Life begins at forty." Mae West Or 50 or 60 or 70! NEAT WOMEN INC says.


Wednesday, April 28, 2004

SOMETHING TO BRIGHTEN UP YOUR DAY!

If I could catch a rainbow

I would do it just for you

And share with you its beauty

On the days you're feeling blue

If I could build a mountain

You could call your very own

A place to find serenity

A place to be alone

If I could take your troubles

I would toss them in the sea

But all these things

I'm finding are impossible for me

I cannot build a mountain

Or catch a rainbow fair

But let me be what I know best

A friend that's always there

This is a Hug Certificate!!

God Bless!! Have a great day



God is crazy about you.

If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.
If  He had a wallet, your photo would be in it.
He sends you flowers every spring.
He sends you a sunrise every morning.
Whenever you want to talk, He listens.
He can live anywhere in the universe, yet  He chooses your heart.
Face it, friend-He is crazy about you!
PASS IT ON... to brighten up someone else's day.

"Positive things happen to positive people."

(CILYM)

Send this to every "beautiful person" you wish to bless.

God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.


Tuesday, April 27, 2004

HOW TO STAY YOUNG

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height.
Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her.

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever.
Never let the brain idle. " An idle mind is the devil's workshop."
And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on.
The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves.
Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it.
If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips.
Take a trip to the mall, to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

(ILYCM)

"This is a youth-oriented society, and the joke is on them because youth is a disease from which we all recover." Dorothy Fuldheim


Monday, April 26, 2004

This is a re-working of an old favorite, and it seems like a good way to begin a new week…..as we like to say at NEAT WOMEN INC….something to ponder!



I'll be happy when...

We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough and we'll be more content when they are. After that, we're frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, when we are able to go on a nice vacation or when we retire. The truth is there's no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when? Your life will always be filled with challenges.

It's best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. Happiness is the best way to live. So, treasure every moment that you have and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time with ... and remember that time waits for no one.

So, stop waiting ...


Until your car or home is paid off.
Until you get a new car or home.
Until your kids leave the house.
Until you go back to school.
Until you finish school.
Until you lose 10 lbs.
Until you gain 10 lbs.
Until you get married.
Until you get a divorce.
Until you have kids.
Until you retire.
Until summer..
Until spring.
Until winter.
Until fall.
Until you die.

There is no better time than right now to be happy. Happiness is a journey, not a destination. So work like you don't need money, love like you've never been hurt, and, dance like no one's watching.

If you want to brighten someone's day, pass this on to someone special. (You will find a form at the bottom of this page for that purpose.) We just did!

(CILYM)

"Happiness is the ability to recognize it." Carolyn Wells


Sunday, April 25, 2004

SUNDAY REFLECTION

Life Isn't......

Life isn't about keeping score.

It's not about how many friends you have or how accepted you are.

Not about if you have plans this weekend or if you're alone.

It isn't about who your family is or how much money they have

Or what kind of car you drive.

Or where you are sent to school.

It's not about how beautiful or ugly you are.

Or what clothes you wear, what shoes you have on, or what kind of music you listen to.

It's not about if your hair is blonde, red, black, or brown Or if your skin is too light or too dark.

Not about how smart you are, or how smart everybody else thinks you are.

It's not about what clubs you're in or how good you are at "your" sport/hobby/business.

It's not about representing your whole being on a piece of paper and seeing who will "accept the written you."


LIFE JUST ISN'T

But, life is about who you love and who you hurt.

It's about who you make happy or unhappy purposefully.

It's about keeping or betraying trust.

It's about friendship, used as a sanctity or a weapon.

It's about what you say and mean, maybe hurtful, maybe heartening.

About starting rumors and contributing to petty gossip.

It's about what judgments you pass and why. And who your judgments are spread to.

It's about who you've ignored with full control and intention.

It's about jealousy, fear, ignorance, and revenge.

It's about carrying inner hate and love, letting it grow, and spreading it.

But most of all, it's about using your life to touch or poison other people's hearts in such a way that could have never occurred alone. Only you choose the way those hearts are affected, and those choices are what life's all about. Author Unknown

Believe In Yourself

You are your greatest asset
there is nothing you can't do.
No one can keep you from dreaming
only you can stop them coming true.
Your achievements are determined
by the desire that you possess.
Believe in who you are.
Believe in what you do.
It's not a quirk of fate
It's strictly up to you.

"Let's dare to be ourselves, for we do that better than anyone else can." Sue Patton Theole


Saturday, April 24, 2004

SATURDAY SILLINESS

THE RULES FOR LIFE

* Lerman's Law of Technology: Any technical problem can be overcome given enough time and money. Corollary: You are never given enough time or money.

* Murphy's First Law for Wives: If you ask your husband to pick up five items at the store and then you add one more as an afterthought, he will forget two of the first five.

* Law of the Search: The first place to look for anything is the last place you would expect to find it. Corollary: It will not be in the last place you expect to find it.

* Kauffman's Paradox of the Corporation: The less important you are to the corporation, the more your tardiness or absence is noticed.

* The Salary Axiom: The pay raise is just large enough to increase your taxes and just small enough to have no effect on your take-home pay.

* Miller's Law of Insurance: Insurance covers everything except what happens.

* First Law of Living: As soon as you start doing what you always wanted to be doing, you'll want to be doing something else.

* Weiner's Law of Libraries: There are no answers, only cross-references.

* Isaac's Strange Rule of Staleness: Any food that starts out hard will soften when stale. Any food that starts out soft will harden when stale.

* Kenny's Law of Auto Repair: The part requiring the most consistent repair or replacement will be housed in the most inaccessible location.

* Second Law of Business Meetings: If there are two possible ways to spell a person's name, you will pick the wrong one. Corollary - If there is only one way to spell a name, you will spell it wrong anyway.

* The Grocery Bag Law: The candy bar you planned to eat on the way home from the market is hidden at the bottom of the grocery bag.

* Yeager's Law: Washing machines break down only during the wash cycle. Corollary: All breakdowns occur on the plumber's day off.

* Lampner's Law of Employment: When leaving work late, you will go unnoticed. When you leave work early, you will meet the boss in the parking lot.

* Quile's Consultation Law: The job that pays the most will be offered when there is no time to deliver the services.

* Loftus' Law: Some people manage by the book, even though they don't know who wrote the book or even which book it is.

* Lovka's Dilemma: You never get away, you only get someplace else.

The Sound of Music...sort of A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS

Maalox and nosedrops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,
Bundles of magazines tied up with string,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Cadillacs and cataracts and hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,
Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

When the pipes leak
When the bones creak
When the knees go bad
Then I remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets, and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food nor food cooked with onions
Bathrobes and heat pads and hot meals they bring,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Back pains, confused brains, and no fear of sinning,
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinning,
And we won't mention our short shrunken frames
When we remember our favorite things.

When the joints ache, when the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I've had,
And then I don't feel so bad.
THEN I REMEMBER THE GREAT LIFE I'VE HAD
AND THEN I DON'T FEEL SOOOO BAAAAD.

"Ignorance, if not bliss, often saves a good deal of time." Anthony Gilbert


Friday, April 23, 2004

BLAST FROM THE PAST

DATELINE: Louisville, Kentucky, 1966. It was a Saturday and on this date 38 years ago Eve wed for the first time. As it happens, it was also the only time and today she has been married for 38 years to the same man. They had approximately 8 dates before tying the knot. Barely knew each other (WHAT were they thinking?) and within the first two weeks as they became better acquainted they quickly realized, they had virtually NOTHING in common. He was first generation Irish and a New Yorker. Both his parents were born on the Emerald Isle. His father hailed from County Cork, his mother from Limerick. Eve was born in Kentucky and her lineage dates back to 1710 in Virginia and North Carolina.

It was a bright spring day, sunny, breezy and a few spritzes of rain were not enough to notice. There were 325 people in attendance at the ceremony in a Roman Catholic Church. Twenty-five of those gathered were Catholic and the remaining 300 were primarily Protestant. There were three Methodist ministers among the guests. It was the first time anyone in Eve's family had ever been to a Catholic wedding—including Eve herself, who had made her first communion the weekend before.

The reception following earned the distinction of the first "dry" wedding Eve's husband had ever endured. In fact, he did not find himself at another such occasion until their only son married some 31 years later. They left for a honeymoon in the Great Smokies and Eve's newly betrothed visibly blanched when he spotted a sign proclaiming, "Last legal alcoholic beverages for sale for the next 150 miles." There are 120 counties in Kentucky and at the time 100 were "dry" and most still are today. Legend has it that as long as "corn licker" continues to be profitable, it will remain illegal. Some counties have passed local laws deeming them as "moist." Which means beer and wine can be purchased but nothing stronger. It is, however, entirely acceptable to walk into a fine dining establishment with a brown paper bag under one arm and order "mixers" all around.

During a week in a cabin beside the Little Pigeon River in Pigeon Forge, Kentucky, Eve discovered that her new partner for life had never tasted grits—and loathed them the minute he did. She, on the other hand, was startled to discover that she would now be sleeping next to a person who snored throughout the night at the noise level of a freight train. It was a true adventure.

The more challenging experience was learning to live together for the next 38 years. They have succeeded in doing that. In recent years they've had several uproarious conversations about the long saga that began 38 years ago on this date. They literally NEVER agree about anything…at least they had not until now. For the first time ever, they actually agree on three points: that if they had gone out on three more dates, they never would have gotten married; they agree that they have absolutely not ever agreed on anything; and finally, they agree that it's a miracle they haven't killed each other….but there's still time.

"It was only long after the ceremony / That we learned / Why we got married / In the first place." Lois Wyse

(ILYCM)

"I used to believe that marriage would diminish me, reduce my options. That you had to be someone less to live with someone else when, of course, you have to be someone more." Candice Bergen


Thursday, April 22, 2004

EARTH DAY

We officially welcomed spring this week and that does prompt thoughts of new growth, a special season, and a time when in many parts of the world, ground that lay fallow through the winter months will soon be "springing" back to life. Gardening has experienced a renaissance in recent years and "tree huggers" are no longer looked upon with the disdain they endured only a couple of decades ago. Eve organized a large forum, which her employer sponsored on the environment some 10 years ago. Her most vivid recollection of that event was the introduction delivered by a friend of hers. Oren Lyon is the faith keeper of the Turtle Clan and his first words were "If we do not become more careful and vigilant, the white man will catch the last fish and chop down the last tree." Eve has found it uncomfortable to drink out of a sytrofoam cup since then. From, www.distinguishedwomen.com we bring you the following:

**Mary Agnes Meara Chase (1869-1963)

The botanist Mary Agnes Meara Chase was born in 1869 in Iroquois County, Illinois, U.S.A. to Martin J. Meara and Mary Brannick Meara. Her father, a railroad engineer from Tipperary, Ireland, died when Agnes was only two years old. The rest of the family moved to Chicago and, as soon as she was out of the elementary school, Agnes started working to help her mother support the family. As a teenager she worked at a newspaper as a typesetter and a proofreader. In 1888, she married William Ingraham Chase, the editor of the School Herald, but he died less than a year later.

Chase became interested in botany and started collecting the flora of northern Illinois. Rev. Ellsworth Hill, a bryologist (specializing in mosses) hired her as an illustrator and she contributed to two Field Museums of Natural History publications. In 1903, she obtained a position as an illustrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Bureau of Plant Industry in Washington, D.C. Her new salary was $720 per year. She began a 30-year collaboration with a grass specialist, Albert Spear Hitchcock. When Hitchcock left in 1936, Chase took his place as a senior botanist. During her work at the Bureau, she made great contributions to the study of grasses (agrostology) and her work had important applications for agriculture. She collected over 4,500 specimens from Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the U.S. and later donated her collections to the Smithsonian and the National Herbarium. She was active well into her senior years and went on a field trip to Venezuela when she was in her seventies.

Mary Agnes Meara Chase died in 1963 at a nursing home in Bethesda, Maryland.

"Native women were America's first farmers. They owned the fields they cultivated, as well as the proceeds therefrom, and passed them on to their daughters. They were also America's first geneticists, experimenting with different strains of plants, domesticating the wild weeds that they came upon in their early hunter-gatherer days, developing them into plants such as corn, beans, squash, potatoes, peanuts, peppers, sunflowers and tomatoes."
--Diana Steer in Native American Women**

"Earth's Treasures" by Mamie Ozburn Odum, 1954

When shall humankind learn earth's treasures?
Are not gold, silver or myrrh,
Or "things" that clutter up the home
Or worldly passions stir?
When shall humankind find earth's treasures?
Etched in the heart of a rose,
Soft cool rain, evening's breezes,
Or a baby in repose.
A golden sun sinking to rest,
Shade from a spreading tree,
A mellow-throated Mocker's song
Trilling glad and free?
Here people shall find earth's treasures
In quiet familiar lanes—
Gold white light in early night
Outlining windowpanes.
Childish voices free from care,
Sweet rest in evenings gloam.
'Tis here treasures are waiting
Carved deep in heart and home.

Mrs. Odum was Eve's housemother in college and called Eve her "yellow butterfly." May she rest in peace.

(CILYM)


Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Let's Hear It for the Seniors!

Senior citizens are constantly being criticized for every conceivable deficiency of the modern world, real or imaginary. We know we take responsibility for all we have done and do not blame others. BUT, upon reflection, we would like to point out that it was NOT the senior citizens who took:

• The melody out of music,
• The pride out of appearance,
• The romance out of love,
• The commitment out of marriage,
• The responsibility out of parenthood,
• The togetherness out of the family,
• The learning out of education,
• The service out of patriotism,
• The religion out of school,
• The Golden Rule from rulers,
• The nativity scene out of cities,
• The civility out of behavior,
• The refinement out of language,
• The dedication out of employment,
• The prudence out of spending, or
• The ambition out of achievement,

And we certainly are NOT the ones who eliminated patience and tolerance from personal relationships and interactions with others!!

Does anyone under the age of 50 know the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner? Just look at the Seniors with tears in their eyes and pride in their hearts as they stand at attention with their hand over their hearts!

Remember....... Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened!

YES, I'M A SENIOR CITIZEN!

the life of the party...even if it lasts until 8 p.m.
I'm very good at opening childproof caps with a hammer.
I'm usually interested in going home before I get to where I am going.
I'm awake many hours before my body allows me to get up.
I'm smiling all the time because I can't hear a thing you're saying.
I'm very good at telling stories; over and over and over and over...
I'm aware that other people's grandchildren are not as cute as mine.

I'm so cared for -- long term care, eye care, private care, dental care.
I'm not grouchy----- I just don't like traffic, waiting, crowds, lawyers, loud music, unruly kids, Toyota commercials,
Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, barking dogs, politicians and a few other things I can't remember.
I'm sure everything I can't find is in a secure place.
I'm wrinkled, saggy, lumpy, and that's just my left leg.
I'm having trouble remembering simple words like.......

I'm realizing that aging is not for wimps.
I'm sure they are making adults much younger these days, and when did they let kids become policemen?
I'm wondering, if you're only as old as you feel, how could I be alive at 150?
I'm a walking storeroom of facts...I've just lost the key to the storeroom door.

Now- Have I already sent this to you???????

(ILYCM)

"Perhaps one has to be very old before one learns how to be amused rather than shocked." Pearl S. Buck


Tuesday, April 20, 2004

GREAT TRUTHS

GREAT TRUTHS THAT LITTLE CHILDREN HAVE LEARNED:

1) No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.
2) When your Mom is mad at your Dad, don't let her brush your hair.
3) If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always catch the second person.
4) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
5) You can't trust dogs to watch your food.
6) Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
7) Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time.
8) You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
9) Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.
10) The best place to be when you're sad is Grandpa's lap.

GREAT TRUTHS THAT ADULTS HAVE LEARNED:

1) Raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-O to a tree.
2) Wrinkles don't hurt.
3) Families are like fudge...mostly sweet, with a few nuts.
4) Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.
5) Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.
6) Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.

GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT GROWING OLD

1) Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
2) Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.
3) When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you're down there.
4) You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
5) It's frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.
6) Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.
7) Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.

THE FOUR STAGES OF LIFE:

1) You believe in Santa Claus.
2) You don't believe in Santa Claus.
3) You are Santa Claus.
4) You look like Santa Claus.

SUCCESS:

At age 4 success is . . . not wetting in your pants.
At age 12 success is . . . having friends.
At age 16 success is . . . having a drivers license.
At age 20 success is . . . going all the way.
At age 35 success is . . . having money.
At age 50 success is . . . having money.
At age 60 success is . . . going all the way.
At age 70 success is . . . having a drivers license.
At age 75 success is . . . having friends.
At age 80 success is . . . not wetting in your pants.

Pass this on to someone who could use a laugh.

(CILYM)

Always remember to forget the troubles that pass your way BUT never forget to remember the blessings that come each day.


Monday, April 19, 2004

This week marks the anniversary for two unspeakable acts of violence and the birth of a man so evil that his brutality and inhumanity will forever be etched in the cultural history of hate. On April 20, 1889, Adolf Hitler was born in Branau, Austria. On this date, eight years ago, the Oklahoma City bombing occurred. And, the same week (April 20, 1999) was the massacre at Columbine High School. We feel compelled to pause and once again express our deepest and most heartfelt sympathy from women of the Neat Women Inc neighborhood—we are a community.

"Every sorrow suggests a thousand songs, and every song recalls a thousand sorrows, and so they are infinite in number, and all the same." Marilynne Robinson

April 19, 2000 Web posted at: 9:28 p.m. EDT (0128 GMT)

OKLAHOMA CITY (CNN) -- Hundreds of family members, friends and survivors gathered at a powerful service to dedicate the Oklahoma City National Memorial, honoring the 168 people who died in the truck bombing that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building five years ago.

The $29.1 million memorial was built on the grounds where the Murrah building stood, a place called sacred by speakers at the service. The monument's 168 empty stone-and-glass chairs stand in mute testimony for those who died on April 19, 1995.

The chairs recall tombstones and are lined in nine rows, one for each floor of the building. A name of a victim is engraved on each chair.

After prayers, hundreds of tearful family members rose from their seats with arms on one another's shoulders to listen to the hymn "Holy Ground." They then bowed their heads to observe 168 seconds of silence -- one second for each victim -- which was broken by the tolling of bells.

Friends then read out each of the victim's names. Upon hearing the names, victims' family members rose and were escorted to the memorial by an honor guard, to the chairs that honor their loved ones.

"We have come here to remember those who were killed, those who survived, and to offer comfort peace, hope and serenity," said Doris Jones, a family member.

LET'S LEARN
~By Monique Nicole Fox~

LET'S LEARN TO APPRECIATE EACH OTHER
for everything we do every day
for sustaining joint energy and commitment in a special way
LET'S LEARN TO NURTURE NOT SMOTHER

LET'S LEARN TO APPRECIATE LIFE FOR IT IS SHORT
for one day you are here and the next you are dead
for one day you are a baby being fed
for one day you may be stabbed blood red
LET'S LEARN TO BUILD A HAPPY HOME FORT

LET'S LEARN TO LOVE NOT HATE
for we all are human and feel
for we all are god's children and that is real
for we all need to get rid of sin, pray and kneel
for we all need to get better and take an anti-prejudice pill
LET'S LEARN TO UNDERSTAND AND EQUATE
LET'S DO IT NOW AND DON'T HESITATE

(CILYM)

"Give your sorrow all the space and shelter in yourself that is its due, for if everyone bears his grief honestly and courageously, the sorrow that now fills the world will abate. But if you do not clear a decent shelter for your sorrow, and instead reserve thoughts of revenge—from which new sorrow, and instead reserve most of the space inside you for hatred and be born for others—then sorrow will be born for others—then sorrow will never cease in this world and will multiply." Etty Hillesum


Sunday, April 18, 2004

SUNDAY REFLECTION

KEEP YOUR FORK

There was a woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things "in order," she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.

She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. The woman also requested to be buried with her favorite Bible.

Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the woman suddenly remembered something very important to her. "There's one more thing," she said excitedly. "What's that?" came the pastor's reply. "This is very important," the woman continued.

"I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."

The pastor stood looking at the woman, not knowing quite what to say. "That surprises you, doesn't it?" the woman asked. "Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the pastor.

The woman explained. "In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.' It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming...like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful and with substance! So I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder 'What's with the fork?'.

Then I want you to tell them: 'Keep your fork....the best is yet to come.' The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman goodbye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the woman had a better grasp of Heaven than he did. She KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and her favorite Bible and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the pastor heard the question "What's with the fork?" And over and over he smiled. During his message, the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right.

So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you oh so gently, that the best is yet to come. Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us.

Show your friends how much you care. Send this to everyone you consider a FRIEND even if it means ending back to the person who sent it to you.

If you scroll down to the bottom of this page, you'll find a Send To A Friend Form.


Saturday, April 17, 2004

Saturday Silliness

TECHNICAL SUPPORT

Customer: "You've got to fix my computer. I urgently need to print a document, but the computer won't boot properly."
Tech Support: "What does it say?"
Customer: "Something about an error and non-system disk."
Tech Support: "Look at your machine. Is there a floppy inside?"
Customer: "No, but there's a sticker saying there's an Intel inside."

Tech Support: "Just call us back if there's a problem. We're open 24 hours."
Customer: "Is that Eastern time?"

Tech Support: "Ok, now click your left mouse button."
Customer: (silence) "But I only have one mouse."

Here are some conversations, which had actually happened between help desk people and their customers.

Customer: "Excuse me can I use this disk? It has a hole in it."
Tech Support: "Do you have 3 1/2 inch diskettes?"
Customer: "No, I only have 3 of them."

Tech Support: "I need you to right-click on the Open Desktop."
Customer: "Ok."
Tech Support: "Did you get a pop-up menu?"
Customer: "No."
Tech Support: "Ok. Right click again. Do you see a pop-up menu?"
Customer: "No."
Tech Support: "Ok, sir. Can you tell me what you have done up until this point?"
Customer: "Sure, you told me to write 'click' and I wrote 'click'."

Customer: "Now what do I do?"
Tech Support: "What is the prompt on the screen?"
Customer: "It's asking for 'Enter Your Last Name.'"
Tech Support: "Ok, so type in your last name."
Customer: "How do you spell that?"

Customer: "I received the software update you sent, but I am still getting the same error message."
Tech Support: "Did you install the update?"
Customer: "No. Oh, am I supposed to install it to get it to work?"

Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone! But you may meet a better class of people! (Think about it for a few minutes)


Friday, April 16, 2004

GROWING UP……..

Hey Dad," one of my kids asked the other day, "what was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?"

"We didn't have fast food when I was growing up," I informed him. "All the food was slow."

"C'mon, seriously, where did you eat?"

"It was a place called 'at home,'" I explained.

"Grandma cooked every day and when Grandpa got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I did like it."

By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table.

Here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I figured his system could have handled it:

Some parents NEVER owned their own house, wore Levis, set foot on a golf course, traveled out of the country or had a credit card.

In their later years they had something called a revolving charge card. The card was good only at Sears Roebuck. Or maybe it was Sears AND Roebuck. Either way, there is no Roebuck anymore. Maybe he died.

My parents never drove me to soccer practice...mostly because we never had heard of soccer.

I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, slow.

We didn't have a television in our house until I was 11, but my grandparents had one before that. It was, of course, black and white, but they bought a piece of colored plastic to cover the screen. The top third was blue, like the sky, and the bottom third was green, like grass. The middle third was red. It was perfect for programs that had scenes of fire trucks riding across someone's lawn on a sunny day. Some people had a lens taped to the front of the TV to make the picture look larger.

I was 13 before I tasted my first pizza; it was called "pizza pie." When I bit into it, I burned the roof of my mouth, the cheese slid off, swung down, and plastered itself against my chin and burned that, too. It's still the best pizza I ever had.

We didn't have a car until I was 15. Before that, the only car in our family was my grandfather's Ford. He called it a "machine."

I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone in the house was in the living room and it was on a party line. Before you could dial, you had to listen to make sure some people you didn't know weren't already using the line.

Pizzas were not delivered to our home, but milk was.

All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers. I delivered a newspaper, six days a week. It cost seven cents a paper, of which I got to keep two cents. I had to get up at 4 AM every day. On Saturday, I had to collect the 42 cents from my customers. My favorite customers were the ones who gave me 50 cents and told me to keep the change. My least favorite customers were the ones who seemed to never be home on collection day.

Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies. Touching someone else's tongue with yours was called French kissing and they didn't do that in movies. I don't know what they did in French movies. French movies were dirty and we weren't allowed to see them.

If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you may want to share some of these memories with your children or grandchildren. Just don't blame me if they bust a gut laughing.

Growing up isn't what it used to be, is it?

(ILYCM)

"A finished person is a boring person." Anna Quindlen


Thursday, April 15, 2004

I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had just finished a rough first day on the job: (a flat tire made him lose an hour of work & his electric drill quit) his ancient one ton truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.

On arriving he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier. Oh, that's my trouble tree," he replied. "I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing's for sure, those troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them. Then in the morning I pick them up again."

Funny thing is," he smiled", when I come out in the morning to pick 'em up, there aren't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."

We Change!!

When I was in my younger days,
I weighed a few pounds less,
I needn't hold my tummy in
To wear a belted dress.

But now that I am older,
I've set my body free;
There's comfort of elastic
Where once my waist would be.

Inventor of those high-heeled shoes
My feet have not forgiven;
I have to wear a nine now,
But used to wear a seven.

And how about those pantyhose-
They're sized by weight, you see,
So how come when I put them on,
The crotch is at my knees?

I need to wear these glasses
As the prints were getting smaller;
And it wasn't very long ago
I know that I was taller.

Though my hair has turned to silver
and my skin no longer fits,
On the inside, I'm the same old me,
Just the outside's changed a bit.

"The excitement of learning separates youth from old age. As long as you're learning you're not old." Rosalyn S. Yalow

(CILYM)

No one ever grows old; people get old when they stop growing!


Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Something to think about
Parable for life
The Power of the Tongue

A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the unfortunate frogs they would never get out.

The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and simply gave up. He fell down and died.

The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and suffering and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out.

When he got out, the other frogs asked him, "Why did you continue jumping? Didn't you hear us?" The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.

This story teaches two lessons:

1. There is power of life and death in the tongue. An encouraging word to someone who is down can lift them up and help them make it through the day.

2. A destructive word to someone who is down can be what it takes to kill them. Be careful of what you say. Speak life to those who cross your path.

The power of words ... it is sometimes hard to understand that an encouraging word can go such a long way. Anyone can speak words that tend to rob another of the spirit to continue in difficult times.

"Those whom we support hold us up in life." Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

(CILYM)


Tuesday, April 13, 2004

My grandparents were married for over half a century, and played their own special game from the time they had met each other. The goal of their game was to write the word "shmily" in a surprise place for the other to find.

They took turns leaving "shmily" around the house, and as soon as one of them discovered it, it was their turn to hide it once more.

They dragged "shmily" with their fingers through the sugar and flour containers to await whoever was preparing the next meal. They smeared it in the dew on the windows overlooking the patio where my grandma always fed us warm, homemade pudding with blue food coloring.

"Shmily" was written in the steam left on the mirror after a hot shower, where it would reappear bath after bath. At one point, my grandmother even unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper to leave "shmily" on the very last sheet.

There was no end to the places "shmily" would pop up. Little notes with "shmily" scribbled hurriedly were found on dashboards and car seats, or taped to steering wheels. The notes were stuffed inside shoes and left under pillows. "Shmily" was written in the dust upon the mantel and traced in the ashes of the fireplace.

This mysterious word was as much a part of my grandparents' house as the furniture. It took me a long time before I was able to fully appreciate my grandparents' game. Skepticism has kept me from believing in true love----one that is pure and enduring.

However, I never doubted my grandparents' relationship. They had love down pat. It was more than their flirtatious little games; it was a way of life.

Their relationship was based on a devotion and passionate affection, which not everyone is lucky enough to experience.

Grandma and Grandpa held hands every chance they could. They stole kisses as they bumped into each other in their tiny kitchen. They finished each other's sentences and shared the daily crossword puzzle and word jumble.

My grandma whispered to me about how cute my grandpa was, how handsome and old he had grown to be. She claimed that she really knew "how to pick 'em."

Before every meal they bowed their heads and gave thanks, marveling at their blessings: a wonderful family, good fortune, and each other.

But there was a dark cloud in my grandparents' life: my grandmother had breast cancer. The disease had first appeared ten years earlier. As always, Grandpa was with her every step of the way. He comforted her in their yellow room, painted that way so that she could always be surrounded by sunshine, even when she was too sick to go outside. Now the cancer was again attacking her body. With the help of a cane and my grandfather's steady hand, they went to church every morning.

But my grandmother grew steadily weaker until, finally, she could not leave the house anymore. For a while, Grandpa went to church alone, praying for God to watch over his wife.

Then one day, what we all dreaded finally happened. Grandma was gone.

"SHMILY" There it was again---scrawled in bright yellow ink on the pink ribbons of my grandmother's funeral bouquet.

As the crowd thinned and the last mourners turned to leave, my aunts, uncles, cousins and other family members came forward and gathered around Grandma one last time.

Grandpa stepped up to my grandmother's casket and, taking a shaky breath, he began to sing to her very softly. Through his tears and grief, the old song came, a deep throaty lullaby. Shaking with my own sorrow, I will never forget that moment. For I knew that, although I couldn't begin to fathom the depth of their love, I had been privileged to witness its unmatched beauty.

"S-h-m-i-l-y---------See How Much I Love You!"

So, we are asking you to pass this on to some of your friends and tell them how much you love them, for there may not be another day that you will talk to them.


How To Recognize A Good Woman

A good woman is proud. She respects herself and others. She is aware of who she is. She neither seeks definition from the person she is with, nor does she expect them to read her mind. She is quite capable of articulating her needs.

A good woman is hopeful. She is strong enough to make all her dreams come true.

She knows love, therefore she gives love. She recognizes that her love has great value and must be reciprocated. If her love is taken for granted, it soon disappears.

A good woman has a dash of inspiration and a dabble of endurance. She knows that she will at times have to inspire others to reach the potential God gave them.

A good woman knows God. She knows that with God the world is her playground, but without God she will just be played with.

A good woman knows her past, understands her present and forces toward the future.

A good woman does not live in fear of the future because of her past. Instead, she understands that her life experiences are merely lessons meant to bring her closer to self-knowledge and unconditional self-love...

Pass this along to all the good women you know. We just did.

(CILYM)

"Those whom we support hold us up in life." Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach


Monday, April 12, 2004

Prediction Perils

In the event you occasionally make a personal or professional prediction that doesn't pan out, take heart. The following are some strong, brash predictions by eminent individuals and organizations - that fell a bit short of the mark.

--LIFE IS....

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is a beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is life, fight for it.

(ILYCM)

"I began to have an idea of my life, not as the slow shaping of achievement to fit my preconceived purposes, but as the gradual discovery and growth of a purpose which I did not know." Joanna Field


Sunday, April 11, 2004

EASTER SUNDAY

I had a dream the other night,
I was entering a room,
I stood upon its threshold,
It was quiet as a tomb. It was large and filled with crosses,
Like the one, on which Christ died,
Some stood alone, erect and tall,
Others stacked or tilted on a side. They seemed to be in different sizes,
Shorter, taller, broader, too,
Each was decorated,
A few with different hues.

Some crosses, wreathed in garlands,
Others, hand carved in solid Teak,
Some, cast in almost pure gold,
Each cross - a cross unique. I looked around, as I stood in awe,
And inhaled a strange perfume,
I saw a sea of crosses,
In this most amazing room. I had brought my own cross with me,
It was small and unadorned,
Its plainness was wearisome and dull,
It was old and toil-worn. So I laid it down upon the floor,
Other crosses made me curious,
I spotted one with bold design,
Intriguing and mysterious.

With its promise of adventure,
It was enticing and inviting,
I carried it a mere two steps,
But found it too exciting. I had to put it back in place,
I became entangled and confused,
Too much for me to handle,
Not right for me to use. Then I saw a cross with jewels,
Almost too dazzling to see,
Diamonds, rubies, emeralds,
Oh, that's the cross for me.

It smelled of means and money,
And represented countless wealth,
I'd feel so fine, if it were mine,
I picked it up and held it to myself. But I staggered underneath its load,
It near crushed me with its weight,
No, this cross I could not carry,
It was a burden far too great. Next, in my dream, I saw a cross,
Of such beauty I'd not known,
I'd never seen so many roses,
So red - so lush - full-blown.

Glorious - awesome - it stole my breath,
I rushed to grab it with both hands,
But, in horror, I jumped back,
I bled.  I did not understand. I did not know beneath those blossoms,
Lurked sharp and piercing thorns,
How could I manage such a cross,
So deceptively adorned? I wiped the blood from my poor hands,
Tears were misting in my eyes,
Then I spied my cross still on the floor,
Where I had dropped it from my side.

So small - so unpretentious,
So plain, and dull, and worn,
It was just my size - a perfect fit,
It was comfortable and warm. I gently picked it up,
And pressed it to my breast,
This cross was mine; I knew it well,
And I could bear this cross the best. I awakened then; my dream was done,
My day was ready for its start,
The morning sun crept through my window,
Peace and acceptance filled my heart. 

By Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
(copyright 2000, used with permission)

Visit Ginny's Poetry Home poetrybyginny.com


Saturday, April 10, 2004

SATURDAY SILLINESS

LETTER FROM A COMPUTER WIDOW

My Dear Husband,

I am sending you this letter via this Internet communications thing, so that you will be sure to read it. Please forgive the deception, but I thought you should know what has been going on at home since your computer entered our lives TWO YEARS AGO.

The children are doing well. Tommy is seven now and is a bright, handsome boy. He has developed quite an interest in the arts. He drew a family portrait for a school project, all the figures were good, and the back of your head is very realistic. You should be very proud of him.

Little Jennifer turned three in September. She looks a lot like you did at that age. She is an attractive child and quite smart. She still remembers that you spent the whole afternoon with us on her birthday. What a grand day for Jenny, despite the fact that it was stormy and the electricity was out.

I am doing well. I went blonde about a year ago, and discovered that it really is more fun! George, I mean, Mr. Wilson the department head, has uh, taken an interest in my career and has become a good friend to us all.

I discovered that the household chores are much easier since I realized that you didn't mind being vacuumed but that feather dusting made you sneeze. The house is in good shape. I had the living room painted last spring; I'm sure you noticed it. I made sure that the painters cut holes in the drop sheet so you wouldn't be disturbed.

Well, my dear, I must be going. Uncle George, uh, Mr. Wilson, I mean, is taking us all on a ski trip and there is packing to do. I have hired a housekeeper to take care of things while we are away, she'll keep things in order, fill your coffee cup and bring your meals to your desk, just the way you like it. I hope you and the computer will have a lovely time while we are gone. Tommy, Jenny and I will think of you often. Try to remember us while your disks are booting.

Love, Your Wife


LIFE'S REFLECTIONS (Oldies but goodies!)

1. I'm not into working out. My philosophy is no pain, no pain.

2. I'm in shape. Round is a shape.

3. I've always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific.

4. Ever notice when you blow in a dog's face he gets mad at you, but when you take him in a car he sticks his head out the window?

5. Ever notice that anyone driving slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac?

6. You have to stay in shape. My aunt started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 now and we have no idea where she is.

7. I have six locks on my door, all in a row. When I go out, I lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three of them.

8. They show you how detergents take out bloodstains. I think if you've got a T-shirt with bloodstains all over it, maybe your laundry isn't your biggest problem.

9. Ask people why they have deer heads on their walls and they tell you it's because they're such beautiful animals. I think my husband is good looking, but I only have photographs of him on the wall.


DETECTIVE TRAINING
(What we like best about this oldie, is the fact that the last time we saw it, the people being questioned were blondes—not cops)

Three guys were pulled out of detective training for special attention, because they were not very bright. The police chief was interrogating them to determine if they were smart enough to become detectives. If not, they couldn't continue with the training. Things had not gone well so far.

To test their skills in recognizing a suspect, he shows the first detective a picture for five seconds and then hides it.

"This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?" The first guy answers, "That's easy, we'll catch him fast because he only has one eye!"

The policeman says, "Well...uh...that's because the picture only shows his PROFILE." Slightly flustered by this ridiculous response, he flashes the picture for five seconds at the second guy and asks him, "This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?"

The second guy laughs, rolls his eyes and says, "Ha! He'd be too easy to catch because he only has one ear!"

The policeman angrily responds, "What's the matter with you two? Of course only one eye and one ear are showing because it's a picture of his PROFILE! Is that the best answer you can come up with?" Extremely frustrated at this point, he show the picture to the third guy and in a very Testy voice asks, "This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?" He quickly adds, "..think hard before giving me a stupid answer."

The guy looks at the picture intently for a moment and says, "Hmmmm... the suspect wears contact lenses."

The policeman is surprised and speechless because he really doesn't know himself if the suspect wears contacts or not. "Well that is an interesting answer... wait here a few minutes while I check this file and I'll get back to you on that." He leaves the room and goes into his office, checks the suspect's file in his computer, and comes back with a beaming smile on his face.

"Wow, I can't believe it..it's true! The suspect does in fact wear contacts. Good Work! How were you able to make such an astute observation?"

"That's easy," the guy replied. "He can't wear regular glasses because he only has one eye and one ear."

"There's really no such thing as an "ex-cop" or a cop who's "off-duty" or "retired." Once trained, once indoctrinated, a cop is always alert, assessing reality in terms of its potential for illegal acts." Sue Grafton


Friday, April 9, 2004

Tomorrow (April 10th) is the anniversary of the day in 1849, the safety pin was patented. It seems like such an insignificant little thing. Yet, how many of us, through the years, have pinned our hopes and our dreams, pinned our bras and our skirts and tried to pin our problems on someone else? EVE confesses guilty on all counts. Webster's New World Thesaurus offers: clip, catch, needle, clasp, nail, fastener; also, these types: common, safety, hat, hair, knitting, clothes, bobby, brooch, badge, stud, sorority, fraternity, or school. Looking at such a list could give one pause--might we get through life as easily without pins? In the juke box of our lives, wasn't there a song titled, "Little Things Mean A Lot?" Have you ever experienced a time when you felt like you were, "hanging on by a thread?" On those occasions, we would be welled advised to borrow a friendship pin--a clasp to help us hold it together.

We're going to take a humorous look at age today. Is there any other way to approach it? Just remember, "She who laughs, lasts!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What You Understand At Age 50 (and sometimes a lot earlier)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1. The badness of a movie is directly proportional to the number of helicopters in it.

2. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight-saving time.

3. People who feel the need to tell you that they have an excellent sense of humor are telling you that they have no sense of humor.

4. The most valuable function performed by the federal government is entertainment.

5. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.

6. A penny saved is worthless.

7. The most powerful force in the universe is: gossip.

8. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we all believe we are above-average drivers.

9. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is: age 11.

10. There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

11. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

12. Nobody is normal.

13. At least once per year, some group of scientists will become very excited and announce that:
    * The universe is even bigger than they thought!
    * There are even more subatomic particles than they thought!
    * Whatever they announced last year about global warming is wrong.

14. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved its full potential, that word would be "meetings."

15. The value of advertising is that it tells you the exact opposite of what the advertiser actually thinks. For example: If the advertisement says, "This is not your father's Oldsmobile," the advertiser is desperately concerned that this Oldsmobile, like all other Oldsmobiles, appeals primarily to old farts like your father.

16. The same principle used for advertising products seem to apply to political advertising as well. If a politician ever ran for president under a slogan such as "Harlan Frubert: Basically, He Wants Attention," I would quit my job to work for his campaign.

(ILYCM)

"We are not old unless we desire to be." Taylor Caldwell


Thursday, April 8, 2004

DUSTING

"A house becomes a home when you can write "I love you" on the furniture."

I can't tell you how many countless hours that I have spent CLEANING! I used to spend at least 8 hours every weekend making sure things were just perfect -"in case someone came over". Then I realized one day that no one came over; they were all out living life and having fun!

Now, when people visit, I find no need to explain the "condition" of my home. They are more interested in hearing about the things I've been doing while I was away living life and having fun. If you haven't figured this out yet, please heed this advice.

Life is short. Enjoy it! Dust if you must, but wouldn't it be better to paint a picture or write a letter, bake a cake or plant a seed, ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there's not much time, with rivers to swim and mountains to climb, music to hear and books to read, friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world's out there with the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair, a flutter of snow, a shower of rain. This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind, old age will come and it's not kind.

And when you go - and go you must - you, yourself will make more dust!

Share this with all the wonderful women in your life! We JUST DID. (You'll find a form at the bottom of this page for that purpose).

It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.

(ILYCM)

"The worst thing about work in the house or home is that whatever you do it is destroyed, laid waste or eaten within twenty-four hours." Lady Hasluck

"Housekeeping is like being caught in a revolving door." Marcelene Cox


Wednesday, April 7, 2004

THE WOODEN BOWL

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. "We must do something about Grandfather," said the son. "I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor." So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner.

There, Grandfather ate alone while he rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, "What are you making?" Just as sweetly, the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food when I grow up." The four-year-old smiled and went back to work. The words so struck the parents that they were speechless.

Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done. That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

Children are remarkably perceptive. Their eyes ever observe, their ears ever listen, and their minds ever process the messages they absorb. If they see us patiently provide a happy home atmosphere for family members, they will imitate that attitude for the rest of their lives. The wise parent realizes that every day the building blocks are being laid for the child's future. Let's be wise builders and role models.

(ILYCM)

God, we ask not that you move the mountains, but that You give us the strength to climb. "Life is about people connecting with people, and making a positive difference" Take care of yourself, ... and those you love, ... today, and everyday!


Tuesday, April 6, 2004

April is, according to at least one online greeting card provider, Humor Month. With that in mind we offer the following Blast From the Past….blasting was an integral part of the work involved in the project. Most of us have heard the expression, "And, if you believe that, I've got a bridge I'd like to sell you." There are some who insert "in New York" after the word bridge. When people think of New York and bridge, it's usually the Brooklyn Bridge. We were surprised to learn that the person most instrumental in bringing the work on the Brooklyn Bridge to completion was a woman. Furthermore, historians have accorded her a significant measure of respect and suggested that without Emily Warren Roebling, there would not be the bridge, as we know it. Emily was 49 years old when she took over the project.

At first I thought I would succumb, but I had a strong tower to lean upon, my wife, a woman of infinite tact and wisest counsel." -Washington Roebling

The words of Washington A. Roebling, husband to Emily Warren Roebling, only gives a hint of the great influence Emily imparted. As quite possibly the first woman field engineer such recognition wasn't established in her time, instead controversy surrounded her as to what role she actually played in the design and overseeing of construction of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The Brooklyn Bridge was conceived of by John A. Roebling father of Washington A. Roebling. After his death in 1869, Washington took over the completion of the bridge. A task of such enormity became too much for Washington to bear. Collapsing under the strain and pressure of the day to day dealings with the bridge, Washington became a "bed-ridden invalid" However, Washington's tragedy became Emily's moment of historical precedence. Washington came to rely on his wife to carry out his plans for the completion of the bridge. Emily, a well-educated woman of her time already, was taught "higher mathematics, the calculation of catenary curves, strength of materials, stress analysis, bridge specifications, and the intricacies of cable construction."

Emily played such an integral role in the project that assistant engineers and contractors solicited advice and suggestions from her, many coming to believe she was the Chief Engineer. She was on site daily, supervising construction and relaying the detailed progression of the project back to her husband, while at the same time mediating political officials and uprisings that threatened to halt construction and almost remove her husband from the project. This prompted Emily to deliver a moving speech, on behalf of her husband, before the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) to ensure his position as Chief Engineer. This was the first time a woman formally addressed the organization.

Halfway through the completion of the bridge, there was a great ceremony in which the trustees of the project credited Emily for the success of the bridge thus far. Few women of this time ever received the high honor Emily did upon the opening of the bridge when the key note speaker described Emily as, "...deserving equal share in his [Washington Roebling] unparalleled achievement. Today there are two plaques, one for each tower of the bridge honoring Emily Roebling for her outstanding achievement and undying dedication to the uprising of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Emily Warren Roebling was a multi-faceted woman of her time and beyond. Emily was born in 1843 and died in 1903. If it were any other span, the saga of its progression would be a guaranteed big yawn! But, "A short Brooklyn Bridge History based on the Chronology by Barbara Head Millstein, the Brooklyn Bridge Exhibition 1983, Brooklyn Museum is something we thought you might find interesting.
-- 1802 A petition to the State Legislature proposes constructing a bridge.
-- 1857 A bill is proposed to the New York Legislature to build a suspension bridge over the East River to Brooklyn.
-- 1865 John A. Roebling and Wilhelm Hildenbrand draw plans.
-- 1866 A bill is passed by the New York State Legislature for construction.
-- April, 1867 The New York Bridge Company is incorporated.
-- May, 1867 The New York Bridge Company makes John A. Roebling engineer.
-- 1869 President Ulysses S. Grant signs a bill approving the plan.
-- July, 1869 John A. Roebling 66, dies in an accident making observations to determine the exact location of the Brooklyn tower. His son, Washington Roebling, succeeds him.
-- January, 1870 Work begins. From www.afterimagegallery.com/brooklyn.htm

Number of workers dying during construction - 20-30 Deaths
Bridge Style - Suspension Bridge.
Distance of roadbed above water - 135 feet
Height of Towers - 271 feet
Tower Structure - Stone clad steel towers
Brooklyn Bridge East River Span - 1595.5 feet
Supported land span - 930 feet.
Thickness of wooden walkway boards - 1 1/2 inches
May 24,1883 The Brooklyn Bridge is opened.

World Record Status at time of completion
    Fifty percent longer than any bridge ever built
    First use of pneumatic caissons

Brooklyn Bridge Traffic:
- 144,000 Vehicle Crossings (average weekday in 1998)
- Average Daily Bike traffic - 1115 (1998)
- Average Daily Pedestrian traffic - 2001 (1998)

We thought it might be fun to use an engineer joke now—and who better to handle that than Eve's good friend Jan—who is an engineer:

What is the definition of an engineer? Someone who solves a problem you didn't know you had in a way you don't understand.

When does a person decide to become an engineer? When he realizes he doesn't have the charisma to succeed as an undertaker.

How can you tell an extroverted engineer? He looks at your shoes when he's talking to you, rather than his own.

Why did the engineers cross the road? Because they looked in the file and that's what they did last year.

How do you drive an engineer completely insane? Tie him to a chair, stand in front of him and fold up a road map the wrong way.

(ILYCM)

"To tend, unfailingly, unflinchingly, towards a goal, is the secret of success." Anna Pavlova


Monday, April 5, 2004

Yesterday marked the birth of one remarkable woman and the anniversary of a major milestone for women in American history. Each one in very different ways has served as a role model for our own Eve. The first, born in the 19th Century, was a ground breaker in politics and Eve considers any woman who ever served in a public office, not previously held by a female, a good example for all who follow. This woman has a rightful place of honor in The National Women's Hall of Fame and we would urge you to visit that web site, or better still, to tour the museum in Seneca Falls, New York if ever you have the opportunity. It is so well done and exhibits in many striking ways the achievements of those whom we can point to with pride—as you walk through the building, you can almost hear the voices of the women celebrated there and you cannot leave without being inspired and proud! www.greatwomen.org Taken from that site:

SUSANNA SALTER: VOTED FIRST WOMAN MAYOR

"Soon after Kansas women gained the right to vote in municipal elections, voters elected a woman as Mayor of Argonia. Susanna Salter was elected the first woman mayor in the United States.

Born in Ohio, Susanna Madora Kinsey moved to a Kansas farm with her parents in 1872. Eight years later, while attending the Kansas State Agricultural College, she met and married Lewis Salter. The couple soon moved to Argonia where she cared for their young children and became an officer in the local Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

Nominated by several Argonia men as a joke, Salter surprised the group and received two-thirds of the votes. She was elected in April (on this date) 1887, just weeks after Kansas women had gained the right to vote in city elections. The twenty-seven-year-old woman knew more about politics than her detractors realized. She was the daughter of town's first Mayor. Her father-in-law, Melville J. Salter, was a former Kansas Lieutenant Governor.

Although she apparently performed her job well, Salter never sought another elected office. Within a few years, the Salters moved to Oklahoma where the nation's first woman mayor died in 1961 at the age of 101."

Now, you have to love a victory like that one! Nominated as a joke by local men….that is the best kind of win and Eve should know. The first time she ran for County Legislator, she defeated the incumbent majority leader of the Legislature who throughout the campaign told people he had nothing to worry about because "she's just a house wife." She was also outnumbered more than two to one in terms of voters registered in the party she represented—but that's why it's a secret ballot folks—you can vote for whomever you chose without anyone knowing and the constituents in his party had not felt well represented for sometime. Her third time, running for reelection, the man hoping to unseat her ran on the platform, "She's too nice and it's about time we get a man in there to do a man's job!" That was a pretty nice victory for Eve also. After three terms, however, she felt she had accomplished all she had hoped to and retired from politics but she still remembers those two election nights in particular.

"The stakes are too high for government to be a spectator sport." Barbara Jordan

The second woman we're saluting today was born, Marguerite Johnson, on this day in St. Louis, Missouri in 1928. The following is an excerpt from a biography, which was contributed by Lisa Clayton Robinson to another beautifully done and informative site: www.africana.com

"The wit, wisdom, and power of Maya Angelou's work have made her one of the most beloved contemporary American writers. Her family moved to California soon after her birth, but her parents divorced when she was three, and she was sent to Stamps, Arkansas, to be raised by her paternal grandmother. When Angelou was seven, her mother's boyfriend raped her. The trauma of this experience rendered Angelou mute for five years, and it was during this period that she began to read widely. The result was I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which was published in 1970 and became a best seller.

Throughout her diverse career, Angelou has often broken new ground. In her words, 'humility says that there were people before me who found the path. I'm a road builder. For those who have yet to come, I seem to be finding the path and they will be road builders. That keeps one humble. Love keeps one humble.' Yet despite her humility, Maya Angelou's determined road building, and her willingness to share herself in her work, have earned her widespread admiration, respect, and love.

"And I Shall Rise" by Maya Angelou:

"Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise.
I rise.
I rise."

(CILYM)

"The mistake a lot of politician's make is in forgetting they've been appointed and thinking they've been anointed." Mrs. Claude Pepper


Sunday, April 4, 2004

Out of the mouths of babes—God appreciates their innocence and we should as well!

Kids Misinterpreting Prayers and the Pledge

When my twin daughters were young, I taught them to say this prayer before going to bed. As I listened outside their door, I could hear them say, "Give us this steak and daily bread, and forgive us our mattresses." My husband and I always had a good laugh over this and the memory still remains in my heart. Groton, Massachusetts

My mother spent her early childhood saying, "Hail Mary, full of grapes." Missoula, Montana

My son, who is in nursery school, said, "Our Father, who art in Heaven, how didja know my name?" Uniontown, Ohio

I remember thinking this prayer was "Give us this day our jelly bread." Covina, California

I recall reading something years ago about the Pledge of Allegiance. Some child thought it began, "I led the pigeons to the flag." Cleveland, Ohio

When I was little, I often wondered who Richard Stands was. You know: "I pledge allegiance to the flag . . And to the republic for Richard Stands." Tampa, Florida

When my husband was 6 years old, he thought a certain Prayer was "He suffered under a bunch of violets." The real words were "under Pontius Pilate," but at that age, he didn't know better. To this day, we still chuckle in church whenever that prayer is read. Oak Harbor, Washington

When my older brother was very young, he always walked up to the church altar with my mother when she took communion. On one occasion, he tugged at her arm and asked, "What does the priest say when he gives you the bread?" Mom whispered something in his ear. Imagine his shock many years later when he learned that the priest doesn't say, "Be quiet until you get to your seat." Grand Junction, Colorado

"A child's attitude toward everything is an artist's attitude." Will Cather


Saturday, April 3, 2004

SATURDAY SILLINESS

STRAY CATS

Stray cats will not be fed.

Stray cats will not be fed anything except dry cat food moistened with a little milk.

Stray cats will not be fed anything except dry cat food moistened with warm milk, yummy treats and leftover fish scraps.

Stray cats will not be petted, played with or picked up and cuddled unnecessarily.

Stray cats that are petted, played with, picked up and cuddled will absolutely not be given a name.

Stray cats with or without a name will not be allowed inside the house at any time.

Stray cats allowed inside will not be permitted to jump up on or sharpen their claws on the Furniture.

Stray cats will be permitted on furniture but must sharpen claws on new $114.99 sisal rope scratching post with three perches.

Stray cats will sleep outside.

Stray cats will sleep in the garage.

Stray cats will sleep in the house, but not in our bed.

Stray cats will sleep in our bed, but not under the covers.

Stray cats will not play on the desk.

Stray cats will not play on the desk near the computer.

Stray cats are forbidden to walk on the computer keyboard on the desk when the human is using it.

Stray cats will not QAWSDFXCRFTGHBJUIM,L.;//

We especially enjoyed that one. The founder of Neat Women Inc and her family (there's no such thing as "the family cat" in contrast to "the family dog" of which there are millions—cats are a kingdom unto themselves and mere mortals are permitted to visit but never allowed to actually be residents of the kingdom the cat rules….which bears a striking similarity to the home the humans lived in before the cat arrived…which proves the point of that little ditty!) were under the dictatorship of a cat for seventeen years. Eve was fairly certain the cat would outlive her. The cat was forbidden to jump up on ANYTHING, which meant she regularly jumped on EVERYTHING. On one of those occasions, Cheesecake (her name---don't even think about asking why) jumped onto the mantel above the large stone fireplace in the family room, where Eve had placed a valuable antique bottle. Cheesecake knocked it off the wide mantel and it hit the bricks (literally—fireplace was stone, hearth was bricks) breaking it into a zillion little pieces. That was about 20 years ago and at that time the market value of the bottle was $300+ which is when Eve decided that if she couldn't get away with killing the cat then, the doggoned cat would definitely outlive her!

"The way to get on with a cat is to treat it as an equal—or even better, as the superior it knows itself to be." Elizabeth Peters


Friday, April 2, 2004

I believe...

• that we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

• that no matter how good a friend is, he/she's going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive him/her for that.

• that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

• that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

• that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

• that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

• that you can keep going long after you can't.

• that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

• that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

• that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.

• that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

• that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

• that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

• that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.

• that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

• that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.

• that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

• that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

• that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.

• that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

• that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.

• that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

• that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

• that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.

• that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

• that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

• that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

(CILYM)

"What an interesting life I had. And how I wish I had realized it sooner." Colette


Thursday, April 1, 2004

What is April Fools Day and how did it begin? Well, that is a very good question. The origin of this holiday is rather uncertain. However, the common belief holds that during the reformation of the calendar the date for the New Year was moved from April 1st to January 1st. During that time in history there was no television and no radio so word spread slowly. There were also those who chose to simply ignore the change and those who merely forgot. These people were considered "fools" and invitations to non-existent parties and other practical jokes were played on them. "All Fools' Day" is practiced in many parts of the world with practical jokes and sending people on a fool's errand.

Another thought is that the origin began with the celebrations of the Spring Equinox.

In Scotland, April Fools Day lasts 48 hours, day two is know as Taily Day and pranks involving the posterior are played. The victim of the practical joke is referred to as "hunting the gowk"; the gowk is the extinct cuckoo bird.

In France, he is the "poisson d'Avril" or "fish of April." The fish in April are newly hatched and easily caught.

Día de los Santos Inocentes is held in Spain on December 28th. This is The Feast of the Holy Innocents. It's celebrated similarly to April Fools' Day with practical jokes.

The first of April, some do say,
Is set apart for All Fools' Day.
But why the people call it so,
Nor I, nor they themselves do know.
But on this day are people sent
On purpose for pure merriment.
Poor Robin's Almanac (1790)

www.infoplease.com/spot/aprilfools1.html

April Fool's Day Has Serious Origins: "Fools" Ignored the New Calendar by David Johnson

April Fool's Day is one of the most light-hearted days of the year, yet it stems from a serious subject—adoption of a new calendar.

A Traditional New Year's: Ancient cultures, including those as varied as the Romans and the Hindus, celebrated New Year's Day on April 1. It closely follows the vernal equinox (March 20th or March 21st.)In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered a new calendar, (the Gregorian Calendar), to replace the old Julian Calendar. The new calendar changed the order of the months and called for New Year's Day to be celebrated January 1.

In France, however, many people either refused to accept the new date, or did not learn about it, and continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April 1. Other people began to make fun of these traditionalists, sending them on "fool's errands" or trying to trick them into believing something false. The French came to call April 1 Poisson d'Avril, or "April Fish." French children sometimes tape a picture of a fish on the back of their schoolmates, crying "Poisson d'Avril" when the prank is discovered.

In 1751, Great Britain finally accepted the Gregorian Calendar, and April Fool's Day began to be celebrated in England and in the American colonies. Pranks and jokes are of course still popular on this day—not to mention the rest of the year.

(ILYCM)

"April / Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers." Edna St. Vincent Millay




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