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Thursday, July 31, 2003

This was written by an 83 year old...

Dear Bertha,

I'm reading more and dusting less. I'm sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I'm spending more time with my family and friends and less time working. Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure.

I'm trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them. I'm not "saving" anything; We use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom. I wear my good blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries. I'm not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank.

Someday" and "one of these days" are losing their grip on my vocabulary; if it's worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now. I'm not sure what others would've done had they known they wouldn't be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted. I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner or for whatever their favorite food was. I'm guessing; I'll never know. It's those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn't written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn't tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them.

I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. And every morning when I open my eyes, tell myself that it is special. Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift from God.

If you are reading this, it is because someone cares for you. If you're too busy to take the few minutes that it takes to send this page, would it be the first time you didn't do the little thing that would make a difference in your relationships? I can tell you it certainly won't be the last. Take a few minutes to send this along to a few people you care about, just to let them know that you're thinking of them.

"People say true friends must always hold hands, but true friends don't need to hold hands because they know the other hand will always be there." I don't believe in Miracles. I rely on them. Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

You will find the Send To A Friend form at the bottom of this page—take a minute and let someone know you care.


"You don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or when. You can only choose how you're going to live. Now." Joan Baez

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

In Japan, they have replaced the impersonal and unhelpful Microsoft error messages with Haiku poetry messages. Haiku poetry has strict construction rules - each poem has only 17 syllables; 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second, 5 in the third. The poems are used to communicate a timeless message, often achieving a wistful, yearning and powerful insight through extreme brevity.

Here are 15 actual error messages from Japan that are the essence of Zen:

Your file was so big.
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.
The Web site you seek
Cannot be located, but
Countless more exist.
Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.
Program aborting:
Close all that you have worked on.
You ask far too much.
Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.
Yesterday it worked.
Today it is not working.
Windows is like that.
First snow, then silence.
This thousand-dollar screen dies
So beautifully.
With searching comes loss
And the presence of absence:
"My Novel" not found.
The Tao that is seen
Is not the true Tao- until
You bring fresh toner.
Stay the patient course.
Of little worth is your ire.
The network is down.
A crash reduces
Your expensive computer
To a simple stone.
Three things are certain:
Death, taxes and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.
You step in the stream,
But the water has moved on.
This page is not here.
Having been erased,
The document you're seeking
Must now be retyped.
Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.

Aren't these better than "your computer has performed an illegal operation?


"Americans are so often thrown by Japan. It looks familiar but, an inch below the surface, it isn't anything like the West at all." Cathy N. Davidson

Tuesday, July 29, 2003


Some things you keep. Like good teeth. Warm coats. Old wives and husbands. They're good for you, reliable and practical and so sublime that to throw them away would make the garbage man a thief. So you hang on, because something old is sometimes better than something new.

These are my thoughts; they make me sound old -- old and tame, and dull at a time when everybody else is risky and racy and flashing all that's new and improved in their lives. New careers, new thighs, new lips, new cars. The world is dizzy with trade-ins. I could keep track, but I don't think I want to.

I grew up in the fifties with practical parents -- a mother, God bless her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it -- and still does. A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones.

They weren't poor, my parents, they were just satisfied. Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away. I can see them now, Dad in trousers and tee shirt and Mom in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, and dishtowel in the other. It was a time for fixing things -- a curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, and the hem in a dress.

Things you keep. It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, reheating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant there'd always be more.

But then my father died, and on that clear autumn night, in the chill of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any 'more.' Sometimes what you care about most gets all used up and goes away, never to return.

So, while you have it, it's best to love it and care for it and fix it when it's broken and heal it when it's sick. That's true for marriage and old cars and children with bad report cards and dogs with bad hips and aging parents. You keep them because they're worth it, because you're worth it. Some things you keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate you grew up with, there are just some things that make life more important -- people you know who are special ... and you KEEP them close!

--Author unknown—


"The need to find meaning in the universe is as real as the need for trust and for love, for relations with other human beings." Margaret Mead

Monday, July 28, 2003

A good way to start the week—ponder this……

I woke up early today, excited over all I get to do before the clock strikes midnight. I have responsibilities to fulfill today. I am important. My job is to choose what kind of day I am going to have.

Today I can complain because the weather is rainy or I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.

Today I can feel sad that I don't have more money or I can be glad that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely and guide me away from waste.

Today I can grumble about my health or I can rejoice that I am alive.

Today I can lament over all that my parents didn't give me when I was growing up or I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.

Today I can cry because roses have thorns or I can celebrate that thorns have roses.

Today I can mourn my lack of friends or I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new relationships.

Today I can whine because I have to go to work or I can shout for joy because I have a job to do.

Today I can complain because I have to go to school or eagerly open my mind and fill it with rich new tidbits of knowledge.

Today I can murmur dejectedly because I have to do housework or I can feel honored because I've been provided shelter for my mind and body.

Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped. And here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.

What today will be like is up to me. I get to choose what kind of day I will have!

Have a GREAT DAY . . . unless you have other plans.


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

Sunday, July 27, 2003



Subject: Homework Assignment This was written by an 8 year old, Danny Dutton of Chula Vista, CA, for his third grade homework assignment. The assignment was to explain God. Wonder if any of us could do 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 grown-ups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way He doesn't have to take up His valuable 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 couldn't have."

"Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista. At least there 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 important. 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 make happy, it's God. Don't skip church or do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon 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 kids." 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.

"You can never prove God; you can only find him." Kate Douglass Wiggin

Saturday, July 26, 2003



While on a car trip, an old couple stopped at a roadside restaurant for lunch. The old woman unfortunately left her glasses on the table, but didn't miss them until they were back on the highway. By then, they had to travel quite a distance before they could find a place to turn around.

The old man fussed and complained all the way back to the restaurant, telling his wife she needs to be more responsible about her belongings.

When they finally arrived, as the old woman got out of the car to retrieve her glasses the old man said, "While you're in there, you may as well get my hat, too."

"Dana," asked Kim thoughtfully one day, "what would you do if you caught your husband with another woman?"

"Another woman with MY husband?" Dana thought it over. "Let's see; I'd break her cane, shoot her guide dog, and call a cab to take her back to the institution she escaped from."

One rainy evening, my husband, John, and I emerged from a restaurant only to find that he had locked the keys in the car.  He insisted he could open the door with a wire coat hanger, so we went back to the restaurant to get one. There were none to be found.

John then ran to a department store a quarter-mile away and returned with a hanger.  After a few attempts, he got the door open and we climbed in.  As we sat there, soaked and cold, Carey stuck the hanger under his seat.  With a smug grin, he said, "Now if this ever happens again, I'll have one." (OK—we confess we had to think about this one for a couple of minutes)

"When he said we were trying to make a fool of him, I could only murmur that the Creator had beaten us to it." Ilka Chase

Friday, July 25, 2003

Neat Women exhibit so many special traits it is a bit difficult to highlight just ONE. However, there is no mistaking the relentless pursuit of humor that we all strive for daily. So, a tip of the hat to Fiona and Joan of New Zealand for the following and a four star salute to Sue in Indianapolis for the second bit of hilarity!

Women Beware!!!

Most of you have read the scare-mail about the person whose kidneys were stolen while he was passed out-well read on. While that was an "urban legend" this one is not. It's happening everyday....

My thighs were stolen from me during the night of August 3rd a few years ago. It was just that quick. I went to sleep in my body and woke up with someone else's thighs. The new ones had the texture of cooked oatmeal. Who would have done such a cruel thing to legs that had been wholly, if imperfectly, mine for years? Whose thighs were these? What happened to mine? I spent the entire summer looking for them. I searched, in vain, at pools and beaches, anywhere I might find female limbs exposed. I became obsessed. I had nightmares filled with cellulite and flesh that turns to bumps in the night.

Finally, hurt and angry, I resigned myself to living out my life in jeans and Sheer Energy pantyhose. Then, just when my guard was down, the thieves struck again.

My buns were next. I knew it was the same gang because they took pains to match my new derriere (although badly attached at least three inches lower than the original) to the thighs they had stuck me with earlier. Now my rear complimented my legs, lump for lump. Frantic, I prayed that long skirts would stay in fashion.

It was 2 years ago when I realized my arms had been switched. One morning while fixing my hair, I watched, horrified but fascinated, as the flesh of my upper arms swung to and fro with the motion of the hairbrush. This was really getting scary. My body was being replaced, cleverly and fiendishly, one section at a time.

Age? Age had nothing to do with it. Age was supposed to creep up, unnoticed and intangible, something like maturity. NO, I was being attacked, repeatedly and without warning.

During one spring, my attention was riveted to upper arms... female arms. I studied them from every angle, being careful not to raise mine in public or flatten them too tightly against my body.

In private, I held them straight out and did endless circles that would have tightened my real arms but did nothing for these new "Silly-Putty" caricatures.

In the end, in deepening despair, I gave up my T-shirts. What could they do to me next? My eyes began to remind people that they needed new pair of Hush Puppies. My poor neck disappeared more quickly than the Thanksgiving turkey it now reminded me of.

That's why I've decided to tell my story; I can't take on the medical profession by myself. Women of the world wake up and smell the coffee! That isn't really "plastic" those surgeons are using. You know where they're getting those replacement parts, don't you?

The next time you suspect someone has had a face "lifted," look again! Was it lifted from you? Check out those tummy tucks and buttocks raising. Look familiar? Are those your eyelids on that movie star?

I think I finally may have found my thighs....and I hope Cindy Crawford paid a really good price for them!

There's more "truth than poetry" in this one!

Mirror, mirror on the wall
Do you have to tell it all?

Where do you get the glaring right
To make my clothes look too darn tight?

I think I'm fine but I can see
You won't cooperate with me,
The way you let the shadows play
You'd think my hair was getting gray.

What's that, you say? A double chin?
No, that's the way the light comes in.

If you persist in peering so
You'll confiscate my facial glow,
And then if you're not hanging straight
You'll tell me next I'm gaining weight.

I'm really quite upset with you
For giving this distorted view;
I hate you being smug and wise
O, look what's happened to my thighs!
I warn you now, O mirrored wall,
Since we're not on speaking terms at all,
If I look like this in my new jeans
You'll find yourself in smithereens!


"TV cameras seem to add ten pounds to me. So I make it a policy never to eat TV cameras!" Kitty Carlisle

Thursday, July 24, 2003

We frequently hear about "the good (?) old days." We'll ask you to judge for yourself.

The following is from an actual 1950's Home Economics textbook intended for high school girls, teaching them how to prepare for married life:

1. Have dinner ready: plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal--on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him, and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.

2. Prepare yourself: take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little happy and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.

3. Clear away clutter: make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too.

4. Prepare the children: take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces if they are small, comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them play the part.

5. Minimize the noise: at the time of his arrival eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad to see him.

6. Some DONT'S: don't greet him with problems or complaints. Don't complain if he's late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day.

7. Make him comfortable: have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing, and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.

8. Listen to him: you may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.

9. Make the evening his: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment; instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his need to be home and relax.

10. The Goal: try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can relax.

SOMEONE HAS WRITTEN AN UPDATED VERSION INTENDED FOR THE 90'S WOMAN, a time when young men and young women both may take classes having to do with marriage and family preparation but no one has used the term Home Ec. in a VERY long time. If the following seems a little cynical for your tastes, keep in mind that it was sent to EVE by a woman who at the age of 40 something has decided that a husband is an unnecessary inconvenience (she's exceptionally cynical on the subject).

1. Have dinner ready: make reservations ahead of time. If your day becomes too hectic, just leave him a voice mail message regarding where you'd like to eat and at what time. This lets him know that your day has been crummy and gives him an opportunity to change your mood.

2. Prepare yourself: a quick stop at the "Clinique" counter on your way home will do wonders for your outlook and will keep you from becoming irritated every time he opens his mouth. (Don't forget to use his credit card!)

3. Clear away the clutter: call the housekeeper and tell her that any miscellaneous items left on the floor by the children can be placed in the Goodwill box in the garage.

4. Prepare the children: send the children to their rooms to watch television or play Nintendo. After all, both of them are from his previous marriage.

5. Minimize the noise: if you happen to be home when he arrives, be in the bathroom with the door locked.

6. Some DON'TS: Don't greet him with problems and complaints. Let him speak first, and then your complaints will get more attention and remain fresh in his mind throughout dinner. Don't complain if he's late for dinner, simply remind him that the leftovers are in the fridge and you left the dishes for him to do.

7. Make him comfortable: tell him where he can find a blanket if he's cold. This will really show you care.

8. Listen to him: but don't ever let him get the last word.

9. Make the evening his: never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or other places of entertainment; go with a friend or go shopping (use his credit card). Familiarize him with the phrase "Girl's Night Out."

10. The Goal: try to keep things amicable without reminding him that he only thinks the world revolves around him. Obviously, he's wrong. It revolves around you.

It is pretty cynical, isn't it? Somewhere in between is reality. We do have one bias—stopped saying "housewife" years ago…we don't know any woman who is married to a house! We do have utmost respect for homemakers—theirs is no easy task.


"The very fact that we make such a to-do over golden weddings indicates our amazement at human endurance. The celebration is more in the nature of a reward for stamina." Ilka Chase

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

We expect you've probably seen both of these before, and no doubt will encounter them again. We firmly believe, however, that they are two insights and bits of wisdom that are worth regular review—hope you'll agree!

The Station, By Robert J. Hastings

Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long trip that spans the continent. We are traveling by train. Out the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls.

But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day, at a certain hour we will pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags waving. Once we get there so many wonderful dreams will come true and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a completed jig saw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering---waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.

"When we reach the station that will be it!" we cry. "When I'm 18." "When I buy a new 450 SL Mercedes Benz!" "When I put the last kid through college." "When I have paid off the mortgage." "When I get a promotion." "When I reach the age of retirement, I shall live happily ever after!"

Sooner or later we must realize there is no station, no one place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.

"Relish the moment" is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24: "This is the day, which the Lord had made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." It isn't the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today.

So, stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more, cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.

"Time and Friends: Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, probably. EACH OF US HAS SUCH A BANK--IT'S NAME IS TIME! Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours. There is no going back. There is no drawing against 'tomorrow.' You must live in the present on today's deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success! The clock is running. Make the most of today. Treasure every moment that you have. And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time. And remember that time waits for no one. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it's called the PRESENT."

Before another 24 hours pass, take a few moments to hug someone you care about, sit quietly and ponder the precious nature of life, and think about the wonders of our world--your world---and give thanks.


"I must govern the clock, not be governed by it." Golda Meir

Tuesday, July 22, 2003


Comes with this disclaimer….it was sent to us by a very reliable friend….however, we cannot guarantee the performance of any of these suggestions and do not necessarily endorse them….but we probably will try some of them ourselves.

Mayonnaise - will KILL LICE; it will also condition your hair
Elmers Glue - paint on your face, allow it to dry, peel off dead skin and blackheads
Shiny Hair - use brewed Lipton Tea
Sunburn - empty a large jar of Nestea into your bath water
Minor burn - Colgate or Crest toothpaste
Burn your tongue - put sugar on it!
Arthritis - WD-40 Spray and rub in, kill insect stings too
Bee stings - meat tenderizer
Chigger bite - Preparation H
Puffy eyes - Preparation H
Paper cut - Crazy Glue or Chapstick (glue is used instead of sutures at most hospitals)
Use a Maxi-Pad in your cap as a sweat band (of course I think I would staple this or pin it wouldn't want it to drop on the ground) Ha
Stinky feet - Jell-O!!
Athletes foot - cornstarch
Fungus on toenails or fingernails - Vaporub
Peanut butter - will get scratches out of CD's! Wipe off with a coffee filter paper
Sticking bicycle chain - Pam no-stick cooking spray
Pam will also remove paint, and grease from your hands!
Peanut butter will remove ink from the face of dolls
When doll clothes are hard to put on, sprinkle with corn starch and watch them slide on
Heavy dandruff - pour on the vinegar!
Tie Dye T-Shirt - mix a solution of Kool-Aid in a container, tie a rubber band around a section of the t-shirt and soak
Preserving a newspaper clipping - large bottle of club soda and 1/2 cup of milk of magnesia, soak for 20 minutes and let dry; will last for many years!
To keep goggles and glasses from fogging, coat with Colgate toothpaste
Stay-Free Maxi Pads- clean window, floors, just stick to the palm of your hands and work! Can also be used as a knee pad.
Pampers as an absorbent! Remove stains from the carpet with club soda, and a pamper to absorb.
Wine stains, pour on the Morton salt and watch it absorb into the salt.
To remove wax - Take a paper towel and iron it over the wax stain, it will absorb into the towel.
Remove labels off glassware, etc. - rub with peanut butter!
Baked on food - fill container with water, get a Bounce paper softener and the static from the Bounce sheet will cause the baked on food to adhere to it. Soak overnight.
Also; you can use 2 Efferdent tablets, soak overnight!
Crayon on the wall - Colgate toothpaste and brush it!
Dirty grout - Listerine
Stains on clothes - Colgate
Grass stains - Karo Syrup
Grease Stains- Coca Cola, it will also remove grease stains from the driveway overnight. We know it will take corrosion from batteries!
Sweat Stains - Efferdent, or vinegar
Last but not the least, it our favorite one!
To Keep FRESH FLOWERS longer - Add 2 Bayer aspirin, or just use 7-Up instead of water. Or use a small amount of mouthwash in the water.


"Housework ain't no joke." Louisa May Alcott

Monday, July 21, 2003

Let's start off the week with a tribute to special friends—of which, we hope you have many!


Anyone can stand by you when you are right, but a
Friend will stand by you even when you are wrong...

A simple friend identifies herself when she calls.
A real friend doesn't have to.

A simple friend opens a conversation with a full news bulletin on her life.
A real friend says, "What's new with you?"

A simple friend thinks the problems you whine about are recent.
A real friend says, "You've been whining about the same thing for 14 years. Get off your duff and do something about it."

A simple friend has never seen you cry.
A real friend has shoulders soggy from your tears.

A simple friend doesn't know your parents' first names.
A real friend has their phone numbers in her address book.

A simple friend brings a bottle of wine to your party.
A real friend comes early to help you cook and stays late to help you clean.

A simple friend hates it when you call after she has gone to bed.
A real friend asks you why you took so long to call.

A simple friend seeks to talk with you about your problems.
A real friend seeks to help you with your problems.

A simple friend wonders about your romantic history.
A real friend could blackmail you with it…but would never even think of doing it.

A simple friend, when visiting, acts like a guest.
A real friend opens your refrigerator and helps herself.

A simple friend thinks the friendship is over when you have an argument.
A real friend knows that it's not a friendship until after you've worked through a fight.

A simple friend expects you to always be there for them.
A real friend expects to always be there for you!

They say that a dog is "man's best friend," but dogs can teach all of us a few good lessons:

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

Let others know when they've invaded your territory.

Take naps and always stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you are happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

No matter how often you are criticized, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout. Run right back and make friends.


"There's something so beautiful in coming on ones' very own innermost thoughts in another. In one way it's one of the greatest pleasures one has." Olive Schreiner, author

Saturday, July 19, 2003


A Duck walks into a bar and orders a beer. The barman says, "Hey, you're a duck!"

"Nothing wrong with your eyesight," observes the duck.

"Yeah, but I mean...I've never seen a talking duck," says the barman.

"Have you ever seen a duck drinking beer?"


"You will as soon as you pour me one." answers the duck.

The barman serves the duck a pint and asks him, "So, what brings a duck like you to these parts?"

"Oh," says the duck, "I work on the building site across the road. We'll be here for a couple of weeks, and I'll most likely be in every lunch hour."  The duck drinks his beer, wiggling his tail happily. And just like he said, every day he waddles over from his job and has his lunch time lager.

The next week, the circus comes to town.  The Circus owner wanders in for a pint and the barman tells him about the talking duck. "You should get this duck to join your circus," he says.  "Everyone would love to see a talking duck."

The circus man nods his agreement and the barman agrees to talk to the duck about the circus.

The following day, the duck comes in at lunch time as usual. The barman says to the duck (with dollar signs in his eyes), "You know, the circus is in town, and yesterday I was chatting to the owner about you."

"Really?" says the duck.

"Yeah.  You could make a lot of money there.  I can fix it up for you easily."

"Hang on," said the duck. "You did say a CIRCUS, didn't you?"

"That's right."

"That's the one with those big canvas tents, isn't it?"

"Of course," replied the barman, "I can get you a job there starting tomorrow.  The circus owner's crazy about the idea."

The duck looked very puzzled. "But why would he want to hire a plasterer?"

OK—we admit we're not convinced the punch line was worth all the trouble to get there, but, hey, it's Saturday, Summertime and we are taking it a bit easy!

A man was wheeling himself frantically down the hall of the hospital in his wheelchair, just before his operation. 

A nurse stopped him and asked, "What's the matter?"

He said, "I heard the nurse say, 'It's a very simple operation, don't worry, I'm sure it will be all right.'"

"She was just trying to comfort you, what's so frightening about that?"

"She wasn't talking to me.  She was talking to the doctor!"


Steve Martin plays a fireman with a big nose in the movie "Roxanne", (also starring Daryl Hannah). After a man in a bar makes a wisecrack about his nose, Steve Martin claims he can do better than that. He's challenged to come up with 20... and ends up coming out with no less than 25 nose jokes! Here they are, in their full glory:

1. Obvious: Excuse me. Is that your nose or did a bus park on your face?

2. Meteorological: Everybody take cover. She's going to blow.

3. Fashionable: You know, you could de-emphasize your nose if you wore something larger. Like ... Wyoming.

4. Personal: Well, here we are. Just the three of us.

5. Punctual: Alright gentlemen. Your nose was on time but you were fifteen minutes late.

6. Envious: Ooooh, I wish I were you. Gosh. To be able to smell your own ear.

7. Naughty: Pardon me, Sir. Some of the ladies have asked if you wouldn't mind putting that thing away.

8. Philosophical: You know. It's not the size of a nose that's important. It's what's in it that matters.

9. Humorous: Laugh and the world laughs with you. Sneeze and it's goodbye Seattle.

10. Commercial: Hi, I'm Earl Schibe and I can paint that nose for $39.95.

11. Polite: Ah. Would you mind not bobbing your head. The orchestra keeps changing tempo.

12. Melodic: Everybody! "He's got the whole world in his nose."

13. Sympathetic: Oh, What happened? Did your parents lose a bet with God?

14. Complimentary: You must love the little birdies to give them this to perch on.

15. Scientific: Say, does that thing there influence the tides.

16. Obscure: Oh, I'd hate to see the grindstone.

17. Inquiry: When you stop to smell the flowers, are they afraid?

18. French: Say, the pigs have refused to find any more truffles until you leave.

19. Religious: The Lord giveth and He just kept on giving, didn't He!

20. Disgusting: Say, who mows your nose hair.

21. Aromatic: It must be wonderful to wake up in the morning and smell the coffee ... in Brazil.

23. Appreciative: Oooo, how original. Most people just have their teeth capped.

Yes, there were originally 25, however, we deemed two of them inappropriate for this site.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, July 18, 2003

Summer gardens were planted long ago and have been bearing fruit, flowers, and vegetables for all of us to enjoy. We believe in the value of other gardens—which enrich our lives as much or sometimes more than Earth's bounty.


Plant three rows of peas:
Peace of mind
Peace of heart
Peace of soul

Plant four rows of squash:
Squash gossip
Squash indifference
Squash grumbling
Squash selfishness

Plant four rows of lettuce:
Lettuce be faithful
Lettuce be kind
Lettuce be happy
Lettuce really love one another

No garden should be without turnips:
Turnip for service when needed
Turnip to help one another
Turnip the music and dance

Water freely with patience and
Cultivate with love.
There is much fruit in your garden
Because you reap what you sow.

To conclude our garden
We must have thyme:
Thyme for fun
Thyme for rest
Thyme for ourselves

Pretty nice garden, don't you think? Pass it on!!!!


* A good long talk can cure almost anything.

* Everyone needs someone with whom to share their secrets.

* Listening is just as important as talking.

* An understanding friend is better than a therapist; and cheaper, too!

* Laughter makes the world a happier place.

* Friends are like wine; they get better with age.

* Sometimes you just need a shoulder to cry on.

* Great minds think alike, especially when they are female!

* When it comes to "bonding," females do it better.


* Girls just want to have fun.

* It's important to make time to do "girl things."

* Calories don't count when you are having lunch (or any other food) with your girlfriends.

* You can never have too many shoes.


Visit Eve's Friendship Garden


"Authentic female friendship is when we allow another woman to see our core, go to our core, and risk sharing our souls." Sue Monk Kidd, author

Thursday, July 17, 2003

This is a date in history with fairly significant implications for people who have, in fact, exhibited real genius. A woman and a man who share a rare and exceptional aptitude for comedy, of all things….the latter focused more on whimsical humor and the former wielded the "in your face" variety of hilarity!

Phyllis Diller was born on this date in 1917.

"Born Phyllis Ada Driver, she combined wild costumes, untamed hair and a raucous laugh with self-deprecating monologues to create one of comedy's most popular characters. A 1955 club booking skyrocketed her to success: scheduled for two weeks, she stayed 89. After moving to Webster Groves in 1961, Diller honed her act in St. Louis clubs such as Gaslight Square's Crystal Palace. Mid-1960s television routines featuring "Fang," her imaginary husband, brought national acclaim. In addition to her television, film and stage work, Phyllis Diller made five records, wrote four best-selling books and performed on piano with over 100 symphony orchestras."

Think about it—a woman who made every day "a bad hair day," and became wealthy doing it! Plus, she took the term "housewife" and twisted it around to capitalize on the many absurdities associated with that vocation—and the institution of marriage which she turned on it's ear—and made a lot of money doing that….and loved every minute of it! She's had numerous face-lifts and, with her hands on her hips in that inimitable manner, dared anyone to give her a hard time about it! Rave on Phyllis!

A stark contrast to Ms. Diller, glamorous Diahann Carroll [Carol Diahann Johnson] was also born on this day in 1935.

And the genius of whimsy and humor who on this date in 1955 broke ground on his dream project? Walt Disney.

Work began in 1954 and Disneyland opened its doors in rural Orange County, California on this day in 1955. Construction on Disneyland began July 21, 1954. A 160-acre site filled with orange groves was carefully cleared out and carefully landscaped. Every aspect of the Disney magic was put to work on this project. Orange trees were replaced with the tropical jungles of Adventureland. Pine and oak trees rose over the site to become the framework for Frontierland. An entire river was carved out of the ground, only a short distance from the waters of the Jungle Cruise.

Buildings also began to rise from the ground. A castle from a fairy tale stretched to the sky right along side the Main Street of old. Rocket ships, old western forts, pirate ships and many other amazing sites began to take shape.

As hard as the Disney crew worked, problems remained. The sandy soil would not hold the waters in the rivers of America, so they laid down some natural clay, and it quickly sealed the problem. Construction crews threatened strikes, but Walt and Roy smoothed things over. In one of the more comical mix-ups, crews carefully marked all of the trees with colored ribbons to signal whether the tree should be moved, saved or removed. After much confusion, it turned out the bulldozer operator was color blind...

With all of the problems solved, Disneyland was set and ready for opening day: July 17, 1955. "I don't want the public to see the world they live in while they're in the Park," said Walt Disney, "I want them to feel they are in another world." And with that, he dedicated Disneyland. "To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts, which have created America. . .with the hope that it will be a source of you and inspiration to all the world."


"The total absence of humor renders life impossible." Colette

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

As long as we're reminiscing, the 50's were a very good decade for many of us. We may have been boring but the world was a kinder place in many respects. So, we looked for 50's memories and found the following:

The Ice Screamers

Now, by far one of our most fun findings was this site,

"Just who are the Ice Screamers anyway? The Ice Screamers, whose numbers are in excess of 500 families, are a bunch of enthusiastic ice cream buffs who enjoy the fun and magic associated with ice cream parlors, soda fountains and all aspects of ice cream. They study its history and specialize in the collecting of its memorabilia."

We think that sounds like a lot of fun! This little stroll down memory lane would not be complete without:

u>How to Make a Perfect Soda Fountain Float

Relive the days of soda fountains and malt shops with this recipe for the perfect soda fountain float.
Difficulty Level: Easy       Time Required: 5 minutes

Here's How:
You'll need: a bottle of Coca-Cola, vanilla ice cream and a tall glass.
Loosely spoon ice cream into the glass until it is about two-thirds full. Do not pack down -- the crevices created when the ice cream is spooned loosely into the glass creates crevices into which the Coca-Cola will flow.
Slowly pour the Coca-Cola into the glass.
As you pour, foam will rise in your glass. Allow it to subside before added more Coca-Cola.
Be patient -- you might have to add more Coca-Cola several times before you have completely filled the glass with cola.
At this point, your float is thick enough to eat with a spoon -- or, add two straws to the glass and spend the afternoon talking and sipping with your sweetheart, just like in the good old malt shop days.


Coca-Cola in cans or plastic bottles can be used but Coca-Cola in glass bottles will give you the purity of an authentic soda fountain float.
Start with room temperature Coca-Cola, rather than chilled. There's a better reaction with the ice cream and you'll get an icier crust.
Substituting root beer for Coca-Cola is perfectly acceptable.

And what would a soda fountain be without a juke box playing one of our favorites….some of us don't need instructions but for those who weren't around then or have forgotten:

How to Dance the Twist

On August 6, 1960, a young Chubby Checker debuted the Twist on The Dick Clark Saturday Night Show and revolutionized teen dancing forever.
Difficulty Level: Easy       Time Required: Depends on your stamina

Here's How:

Start by playing some of Chubby's classics -- The Twist, Let's Twist Again, Twistin' ' USA, Twistin' Around the World, La Paloma Twist, Slow Twistin' or The Fly or Sam Cooke's hit Twistin' the Night Away.
Stand with one leg placed slightly ahead of your body.
Slowly start twisting your body, particularly your hips. Twist faster until you're in-sync with the music.
While twisting at the same speed as the music is important, smoothness counts. Long continuous twisting, not jerks, are your goal.
Twisting can be done to any speed of twist music. Simply adjust how quickly you twist.
Once you've mastered the basics, twist down to a crouch and then back up again. Don't cheat -- to do this twist properly you have to continue the twisting movement all the way down and back up again.
Another variation is to twist around until you're facing a different direction and dancing with a new partner.
The ultimate test of balance while twisting is to dance leaning forwards or backwards.


Dancing to The Fly requires a slight variation on the standard Twist. Flap your arms to imitate a buzzing fly.
Try to keep your backs straight while twisting. Leaning forward will cause you to lose your balance.
Slow Twistin' is the perfect song to practice your dancing with someone you love.


"Few cultures have not produced the idea that in some past era the world ran better than it does now." Elizabeth Janeway

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Summertime brings a variety of interesting possibilities. For those of us who have grown children, the summer camp ordeal is a distant memory. Eve remembers well one of her worst "child challenges." Eve's daughter is an exceptionally stubborn person—which made her childhood a trial on more than one occasion. Eve's son and daughter often visited their Kentucky grandparents during the summer and on one of those occasions, Eve's daughter was enrolled in a summer camp. The setting was in the rolling hills, an antebellum mansion, horse stables, dog kennels—nothing remotely "roughing it" about the place. The following year, Eve enrolled both of them for a week at a far more rustic camp. When they pulled into the gravel and dirt parking area, Catherine announced, "I am NOT staying here!" Whereupon, Eve admonished her daughter that, "We are not driving away from here with you in the car! Period!" So—there they sat. Ten year old girl, forty year old woman—glaring at each other—for 45 minutes. Eve repeated her intentions—silence. FINALLY, after an hour and a half…Catherine got out of the car, turned and said, "I'll never forgive you for doing this!!" Forty-eight hours later Eve received a tear-stained letter from Catherine, pleading to come home…didn't happen. To this day, she still tries to make Eve feel guilty. So we all had a good laugh when the following arrived in our mailbox today.

Dear Mom and Dad,

Our Scoutmaster told us to write to our parents in case you saw the flood on TV and were worried. We are OK. Only one of our tents and two sleeping bags got washed away. Luckily, none of us got drowned because we were all up the mountain looking for Chad when it happened. Oh yes, please call Chad's mother and tell her he is OK. He can't write because of the cast.

I got to ride in one of the search and rescue jeeps. It was neat. We never would have found him in the dark if it wasn't for the lightning. Scoutmaster Walt got mad at Chad for going on a hike alone without telling anyone. Chad said he did tell him, but it was during the fire so he probably didn't hear him.

Did you know that if you put gas on a fire, the gas can will blow up? The wet wood didn't burn, but one of the tents did. Also some of our clothes.

John is going to look weird until his hair grows back. We will be home on Saturday if Scoutmaster Walt gets the car fixed. It wasn't his fault about the wreck. The brakes worked OK when we left.

Scoutmaster Walt said that with a car that old, you have to expect something to break down; that's probably why he can't get insurance. We think it's a neat car. He doesn't care if we get it dirty, and if it's hot, sometimes he lets us ride on the fenders. It gets pretty hot with 10 people in a car.

He let us take turns riding in the trailer until the highway patrolman stopped and talked to us. Scoutmaster Walt is a neat guy. Don't worry, he is a good driver. In fact, he is teaching Terry how to drive on the mountain roads where there isn't any traffic. All we ever see up here is logging trucks.

This morning, all of the guys were diving off the rocks and swimming out in the lake. Scoutmaster Walt wouldn't let me because I can't swim, and Chad was afraid he would sink because of his cast, so he let us take the canoe across the lake. It was great! You can still see some of the trees under the water from the flood. Scoutmaster Walt isn't crabby like some scoutmasters. He didn't even get mad about not having life jackets.

He has to spend a lot of the time working on the car so we are trying not to cause him any trouble. Guess what? We have all passed our first aid merit badges. When Dave dove in the lake and cut his arm, we got to see how a tourniquet works. Wade and I threw up, but Scoutmaster Walt said it probably was just food poisoning from the leftover chicken.

He said they got sick that way with the food they ate in prison. I'm so glad he got out and became our Scoutmaster. He said he sure figured out how to get things done better while he was doing his time.

I have to go now. We are going to town to mail our letters and buy bullets. Don't worry about anything. We are fine.

Love, Jordie

P.S. How long has it been since I had a tetanus shot?


"July was the month when summer, like bread in the oven, might change color, but it would rise no higher. It was at its height." Jessamyn West

Monday, July 14, 2003

We make a concerted effort not to be too profound on Mondays. Furthermore, we are convinced that very little mental brilliance is available to any of us at the beginning of the week. Of course, we make up our own rules as we go along (a MAJOR perk of being "women of a certain age!) and that allows us to "coast" when we're inclined to…did you know it's actually possible to "coast" uphill? Think about the roller coaster…..

Now, consider a time long past!

Close your eyes... and go back...
Before the Internet or the MAC,
Before semi-automatics and crack
Before chronic and indo
Before SEGA and Super Nintendo

Way back...

I'm talkin' bout hide and go seek at dusk.
Sittin' on the porch,
The Good Humor man, Red light, Green light.
Chocolate milk, Lunch tickets, Penny candy in a brown paper bag.

Playin' Pinball in the corner store.
Hopscotch, butterscotch, doubledutch, Jacks, kickball, dodgeball, y'all!
Mother May I?
Red Rover and Roly Poly, Double Dog Dares

Hula Hoops and Sunflower Seeds, Jolly Ranchers, blowpops, Mary Janes, Banana Splits
Wax Lips and Mustaches and Licorice Records
Running through the sprinkler The smell of the sun and lickin' salty lips,

Watchin' Saturday Morning cartoons, Fat Albert, Road Runner, He-Man, The Three Stooges, Fractured Fairy
Tales, Scooby, Bugs Bunny Catchin' lightening bugs in a jar, Playin' sling shot.
When around the corner seemed far away, And going downtown seemed like going somewhere.
Bedtime, Climbing trees,

An ice cream cone on a warm summer night
A million mosquito bites and sticky fingers,

Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians,
Sittin' on the curb, Jumpin' down the steps, Jumpin' on the bed. Pillow fights
Being tickled to death Running till you were out of breath
Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt
Being tired from playin'.... Remember that?

Crowding in a circle around the 'after
school fight', then running when the teacher came.
What about the girl that had the big bubbly hand writing??
When there were two types of sneakers for girls and
Boys (Keds & PF Flyers) and the only time you wore them at school, was for "gym."

When it took five minutes for the TV to warm up
When nearly everyone's mom was at home when the kids got there.
When nobody owned a purebred dog.
When a quarter was a decent allowance, and another quarter a miracle.

When you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked,
and gas pumped, without asking, for free, every time. And, you didn't pay for air.

When any parent could discipline any kid, or feed him or ask him to carry groceries, and not think a thing of it.
When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents.

When being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home.

Didn't that feel good... just to go back and say,
Yeah, I remember that!

Every day there are so many opportunities to create memories, yet we often become too caught up in our frenetic lifestyles to pause for those occasions. Consider approaching this particular new week by hitting your "pause" button before the day is over. Go slowly, serenely and without worrying about deadlines, expectations and demands. Whether you're 35 or 85, turn on the sprinkler and run through it, catch a firefly and then release it, and think about the following from Robert Fulghum's book, "It Was On Fire When I Lay Down on It:"

"Young man, this tree is occupied." Voice from somewhere above me. Dismayed am I. As much by being called a young man as by having a tree I was about to climb turn out to be inhabited."

Dutifully returning to the ground, I peered up through the branches. Sure enough, there was an old lady up there. Way up there. White hair tied in a dark yellow bandanna, outfitted in blue jeans, sneakers and leather gloves. An elderly tree spirit was settled into a high wide fork in this great elm. She wasn't coming down, either. "Find your own tree"—friendly but quite firmly. "Yes, ma'am."

Walked over the where a park workman was pruning bushes, but before I could ask he gave me my answer: "Yes, I know, there is an old lady up in that tree over there." He went on to explain that she was about sixty-five, retired, lives in an apartment down on Federal Avenue. Come spring and summer, she takes to the trees in the park. The workman thinks maybe she will have to be peeled out of her roost by the fire department someday, but in the meantime she seems to know what she's doing and doesn't bother anybody doing it. The lady just likes climbing trees."

As much as we enjoy the work of Mr. Fulghum, we do take great exception to his referring to this person as "old" at 65. Having said that, we do agree there's a lot to be said for tree climbing, regardless of a person's age.


"Every time I meet a tree, if I am truly awake, I stand in awe before it. I listen to its voice, a silent sermon moving me to the depths, touching my heart, and stirring up within my soul a yearning to give my all." Macrina Wiederkehr

Sunday, July 13, 2003


~We Can Be Forever Young ~

Youth is not a time of life -
it is a state of mind, it is a temper of the will,
a quality of the imagination,
a vigor of the emotions,
a predominance of courage over timidity,
of the appetite for adventure over love of ease.

Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years;
people grow old only by deserting their ideals.
Years wrinkle the skin,
but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.
Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair -
these are the long, long years that bow
the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust.

Whether seventy or sixteen,
there is in every being's heart
the love of wonder, the sweet amazement at the stars
and starlike things and thoughts,
the undaunted challenge of events,
the unfailing childlike appetite for what next,
and the joy and the game of life.

You are as young as your faith,
as old as your doubt;
as young as your self-confidence,
as old as your fear,
as young as your hope,
as old as your despair.

So long as your heart receives messages of beauty,
cheer, courage, grandeur and power from the earth,
from man and from the Infinite,
so long you are young.

When the wires are all down
and all the innermost core of your heart
is covered with the snows of pessimism
and the ice of cynicism,
then you are grown old indeed
and may God have mercy on your soul.

~Author Unknown~

Saturday, July 12, 2003



An old, bearded shepherd with a crooked staff walked up to a stone pulpit and said, "And lo, it came to pass that the trader by the name of Abraham.Com did take unto himself a young wife by the name of Dot."

And Dot Com was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she had been called Amazon Dot Com. And she said unto Abraham, her husband, "Why dost thou travel far, from town to town, with thy goods when thou can trade without ever leaving thy tent?"

And Abraham did look at her as though she were several saddle bags short of a camel load, but simply said, "How, dear? And Dot replied, "I will place drums in all the towns (and drums in between the towns) to send messages saying what you have for sale and they will reply, telling you which hath the best price. And the sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah's Pony Stable (UPS)."

Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums. And the drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all the goods he had, at the top price, without ever moving from his tent. But this success did arouse envy. A man named Maccabia did secret himself inside Abraham's drum and was accused of insider trading.

And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the deafening sound of drums, that no one noticed the real riches were going to the drum maker, one Brother William of Gates, who bought up every drum company in the land. And, indeed, he did insist on making drums that would work only if you bought Brother Gates' drumsticks.

And Dot said, "Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others. And, as Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel, or as it came to be known, "eBay", he said, "We need a name that reflects what we are," and Dot replied, Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators."

"Whoopee!", said Abraham.

"No, YAHOO!" said Dot Com...and that is how it all began.

It wasn't Al Gore after all.


"Be good and for your birthday I'll buy you a motorcycle!"

"How on earth can you see the TV sitting so far back?"

"Don't bother wearing a jacket--it's quite warm out."

"I think a cluttered bedroom is a sign of creativity."

"Yeah, I used to skip school, too."

"Just leave all the lights makes the house more cheery."

"Could you turn the music up louder so I can enjoy it, too?"

"I don't have a tissue with me--just use your sleeve."

"Well, if Timmy's Mom says it's okay, that's good enough for me."

Friday, July 11, 2003

Is this story a bit hokey? Probably. Is it true? We have no idea but it certainly could be. Is there a good message? Absolutely.

Just A Few Drops
Author Unknown

It was one of the hottest days of the dry season. We had not seen rain in almost a month. The crops were dying. Cows had stopped giving milk. The creeks and streams were long gone back into the earth. It was a dry season that would bankrupt several farmers before it was through. Every day, my husband and his brothers would go about the arduous process of trying to get water to the fields. Lately this process had involved taking a truck to the local water rendering plant and filling it up with water. But severe rationing had cut everyone off. If we didn't see some rain soon...we would lose everything.

It was on this day that I learned the true lesson of sharing and witnessed the only miracle I have seen with my own eyes. I was in the kitchen making lunch for my husband and his brothers when I saw my six-year old son, Billy, walking toward the woods. He wasn't walking with the usual carefree abandon of a youth but with a serious purpose. I could only see his back. He was obviously walking with a great effort...trying to be as still as possible.

Minutes after he disappeared into the woods, he came running out again, toward the house. I went back to making sandwiches; thinking that whatever task he had been doing was completed. Moments later, however, he was once again walking in that slow purposeful stride toward the woods. This activity went on for an hour: walk carefully to the woods, run back to the house. Finally I couldn't take it any longer and I crept out of the house and followed him on his journey (being very careful not to be he was obviously doing important work and didn't need his Mommy checking up on him).

He was cupping both hands in front of him as he walked; being very careful not to spill the water he held in them...maybe two or three tablespoons were held in his tiny hands. I sneaked close as he went into the woods. Branches and thorns slapped his little face but he did not try to avoid them. He had a much higher purpose. As I leaned in to spy on him, I saw the most amazing site. Several large deer loomed in front of him. Billy walked right up to them. I almost screamed for him to get away. A huge buck with elaborate antlers was dangerously close.

But the buck did not threaten him...he didn't even move as Billy knelt down. And I saw a tiny fawn laying on the ground, obviously suffering from dehydration and heat exhaustion, lift its head with great effort to lap up the water cupped in my beautiful boy's hand.

When the water was gone, Billy jumped up to run back to the house and I hid behind a tree. I followed him back to the house; to a spigot that we had shut off the water to. Billy opened it all the way up and a small trickle began to creep out. He knelt there, letting the drip, drip slowly fill up his makeshift "cup," as the sun beat down on his little back. And it came clear to me. The trouble he had gotten into for playing with the hose the week before. The lecture he had received about the importance of not wasting water. The reason he didn't ask me to help him.

It took almost twenty minutes for the drops to fill his hands. When he stood up and began the trek back, I was there in front of him. His little eyes just filled with tears. "I'm not wasting," was all he said. As he began his walk, I joined him...with a small pot of water from the kitchen. I let him tend to the fawn. I stayed away. It was his job.

I stood on the edge of the woods watching the most beautiful heart I have ever known working so hard to save another life. As the tears that rolled down my face began to hit the ground, they were suddenly joined by other drops...and more drops...and more. I looked up at the sky. It was as if God, himself, was weeping with pride.

Some will probably say that this was all just a huge coincidence. That miracles don't really exist. That it was bound to rain sometime. And I can't argue with that...I'm not going to try. All I can say is that the rain that came that day saved our farm...just like the actions of one little boy saved another.

I don't know if anyone will read this...but I had to send it.... To honor the memory of my beautiful Billy, who was taken from me much too soon....but not before showing me the true face of God, in a little sunburned body.


"Life has taught me that the greatest tragedy is not to die too soon but to live too long." Ellen Glasgow

Thursday, July 10, 2003

We've selected some events that occurred on this date and added our own editorial observations in parentheses.

1866 - Edison P. Clark of Northampton, Massachusetts patented his indelible pencil.

(Regardless of the phenomenal progress of technology—the pencil is still with us!)

1900 - One of the most famous trademarks in the world, 'His Master's Voice', was registered with the U.S. Patent Office. The logo of the Victor Recording Company, and later, RCA Victor, shows the dog, Nipper, looking into the horn of a gramophone machine.

(Mementos of this famous dog and equipment catapulted to fame are now big sellers at flea markets and auctions.)

1913 - It's summer in the northern hemisphere and while you are baking at the beach or lake, keep this factoid in mind: The highest temperature ever recorded in the continental United States was 134 degrees which melted thermometers this day in Death Valley, California.

(Global warming could top this record in the U.S. in our lifetime.)

1920 - One of the greatest horse races in America was run as Man o' War defeated John P. Grier in the Dwyer Stakes. Man o' War set a world-record time of 1 minute, 49-1/5 seconds in the 1-1/8 mile event.

1928 - George Eastman, in Rochester, New York, showed a group of viewers the first color motion pictures ever exhibited. The film subjects included flowers, butterflies, peacocks, goldfish, and attractive women.

(We can only wonder what George might think of Demi Moore in "Striptease?")

1929 - The U.S. government began issuing paper money in the small size we currently carry.

(However, we carry more of the plastic kind these days.)

1937 - Ingrid Bergman married her first husband, Dr. Peter Lindström, whom she later left in a scandalous move to marry Roberto Rossellini.

(We can still recall the first time we saw her daughter, Isabella Rossellini, in "Cocoon"—absolutely the image of her mother.)

1938 - Howard Hughes completed his flight around the world. It took him 91 hours to complete the trip.

(That was about 20 years or so before Mr. Hughes "went round the bend" and unended up a recluse with a major psychosis.)

1942 - The Magnificent Ambersons, based on Booth Tarkington's novel and directed by Orson Welles, opened in theaters. The film starred Joseph Cotton, Delores Costello, Anne Baxter, Tim Holt, and Agnes Moorehead. Soon after filming, Welles left the country on another project, and RKO took scissors to his lengthy footage. The studio chopped 50 minutes of the film and added a happy ending. The cut footage was destroyed; the only record that remains of the removed scenes is the cutting continuity transcript. Welles was horrified at the choppy mess his film had become, and it was critiqued brutally by critics. Despite this, the film was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture, and Moorehead received the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress.

1949 - The first practical rectangular television picture tube was presented. The tube measured 12 by 16 inches and sold for $12.

(Should we say, "It was all downhill from there?)

1962 - The communications satellite, "Telstar", was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. "Telstar" would usher in a new age of communication via telephone and TV, with voice and picture transmission from Europe to America and back. Signals were picked up by a 38-ton antenna in Andover, Maine. To commemorate the event, an instrumental hit by the Tornadoes, an English surf-rock group, made it to number one for three weeks in November, 1962. It was titled, "Telstar", of course.

1975 - Cher filed for divorce from rocker Greg Allman, just ten days after the couple had married.

(Some things don't change all that much!)

1985 - The Coca-Cola Company announced that the former (regular) Coke was coming back to share shelf space with the New Coke, after a consumer furor. The original formula was renamed Coca-Cola Classic.

1989 - Mel Blanc, the beloved voice man of Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Sylvester the Cat, Elmer Fudd, Foghorn Leghorn, Tweety Bird, the Roadrunner, and nearly a hundred other characters in the Warner Bros. "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies" animated cartoon shorts, died on this date at the age of 81. Blanc also did voices for Jack Benny's radio program, Disney Studios and Hanna-Barbera cartoons, which included the voices of Barney Rubble and Dino the Dinosaur for the 1960s prime time cartoon, The Flintstones. Knowing that he would not live forever, Blanc carefully tutored his son, Noel, so that Bugs Bunny and his other characters would live on after his passing.

1991 - Boris N. Yeltsin was inaugurated as the first democratically elected president in Russia's 1000-year history. Yeltsin's public acclaim was partly due to his favoring of a market-oriented economy and a multiparty political system. However, the war in Chechnia and the failure of his economic reforms to improve material conditions dimmed his popularity. Despite poor health and low ratings, Yeltsin was reelected to Russia's presidency in 1996.

1996 - The critically acclaimed children's film, Harriet the Spy, starring Michelle Trachtenberg and Rosie O'Donnell, opened in U.S. theaters. The film was based on Louise Fitzhugh's book.

Born This Day...

1834 - James Whistler (artist: Whistler's Mother)

1920 - David Brinkley (TV journalist)

1923 - Jean Kerr [Collins] (author) "Please Don't Eat the Daises"

1926 - Fred Gwynne (actor) "The Munsters"

1943 - Arthur Ashe (International Tennis Hall of Famer)

1947 - Arlo Guthrie (folk singer)

In the immortal words of Mel Blanc----"Theeeeethat's all folks!


Wednesday, July 9, 2003

Computer Friends

"I sit and think everyday
How lucky I am to have my Computer Friends..
What wonderful memories and thoughts
They have given me Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

I consider you my friends
Although we've never met
You've managed to touch my heart
Through this thing called 'The Net'

You've been there for me
When I've needed someone
How can I ever thank you
For all that you've done

When I've needed a shoulder
A prayer, a hug or an ear
You have been there for me
Like we've been friends for years
I don't quite understand it
Us meeting as cyber-friends
But I feel God had a hand in it
In order for me to mend

I prefer not to use it
This term 'cyber-friend'
I'll leave off the 'cyber'
And just call you friend
I feel I must thank you
For showering me with love
My angels right here on earth
Sent from Heaven above"

Author Unknown

God Bless My Computer

"Now I know that it's not normal
To bless a mother board
But listen please Lord to me

You see, that little metal box
Holds more than odds and ends
Inside those small components
Rest a hundred of my 'Best Friends'

Some it's true I've never seen
And most I've never met
We've never shaken hands
Or shared a meal as yet

I know for sure they like me
By the kindnesses that they give
And this little scrap of metal
Is how I travel to where they live
By faith is how I know them
Much the same as I know you
I share in what life brings them
From that our friendship grew.

'Please' take an extra minute
from your duties up above…
to bless this hunk of metal
that's filled with so much love."

Author Unknown


"Americans….attach such a fantastic importance to their baths and plumbing and gadgets of all sorts. They talk as if people could hardly be human beings without all that; we in Europe are beginning to wonder if people can be human beings with it." Ann Bridge

Tuesday, July 8, 2003

"On July 8 in 1835, the Liberty Bell cracked while it chimed in honor of Chief Justice John Marshall who had recently died. The day is now observed as Liberty Bell Day. The Liberty Bell stands silent in Philadelphia. It rings only in our memories and our hearts.

We sometimes forget how different our times are from those in the past. July 8 brings a reminder. In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed, but it took four more days before it was publicly read. July 8 marks the anniversary of that first public reading in Philadelphia. The next day it was read aloud to General George Washington's troops in New York. It took two days to prepare copies for shipment to all the colonies. It took another month until all the copies were signed."

It's actually a bit intimidating to realize that a baby being born today will grow up in a world dominated by technology and specifically, the ability to communicate globally in an instant! Remember how awed we were when we heard a voice say, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind?" The person speaking was standing on the surface of the moon. We grew up thinking that travel in space might not advance very dramatically in our lifetime. Now, there is a female astronaut who was the commander of a mission into the heavens. We have seen the most amazing advances in every area of human life, which have evolved at a faster pace than any time before in the history of Homo Sapiens.

When we reflect on the fact that 226 years ago, the Declaration of Independence was read publicly for the first time, it is rather stunning to ponder a document that has withstood the test of that much time. Yet, the American culture is still in an infancy stage compared to many other countries and continents.

Now we here we are in a new century and we can barely imagine what other surprises are in store. It is an exciting time to be alive, and that's an indisputable fact!

Perhaps one of the most startling reminders of the advances just in the last two decades, is the fact that so many people have forged close friendships in a place called cyberspace.


"Technology evolves so much faster than wisdom." Jennifer Stone

Monday, July 7, 2003

Out of the mouths of babes!

A teacher asked her young pupils how they spent their vacation. One child reported the following:

We always spend our vacation with Grandma and Grandpa. They used to live here in a big, brick house, but Grandpa got retarded and they moved to Florida and now they live in a place with a lot of other retarded people.

They live in a tin box and have rocks painted green to look like grass. They ride around on big tricycles and wear nametags because they don't know who they are anymore.

They go to a building called a wrecked center, but they must have got it fixed because it is all right now. They play games and do exercises there, but they don't do them very well.

There is a swimming pool too, but they all jump up and down in it with their hats on. I guess they don't know how to swim.

At their gate there is a dollhouse with a little old man sitting in it. He watches all day so nobody can escape. Sometimes they sneak out. Then they go cruising in their golf carts.

My grandma used to bake cookies and stuff, but I guess she forgot how. Nobody there cooks, they just eat out. And they eat the same thing every night: Early Birds.

Some of the people can't get past the man in the doll house to go out, so the ones who get out bring food back to the wrecked center and call it pot luck.

My Grandma says Grandpa worked all his life to earn his retardment and says I should work hard so I can be retarded one day, too.

When I earn my retardment I want to be the man in the dollhouse. Then I will let people out so they can visit their grandchildren.


"Retirement may be looked upon either as a prolonged holiday or as a rejection, a being thrown on to the scrap-heap." Simone de Beauvoir

Sunday, July 6, 2003


Paul Harvey Writes:

We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse. For my Grandchildren, I'd like better. I'd really like for them to know about hand-me-down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches, I really would.

I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated. I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car. And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen.

It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep. I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in. I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother, and it's all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room, but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he's scared, I hope you let him. When you want to see a movie and your little brother wants to tag along, I hope you'll let him.

I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely. On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don't ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won't be seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom. If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one. I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books. When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head. I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a girl, and when you talk back to your mother that you learn what Ivory soap tastes like.

May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole. I don't care if you try a beer once, but I hope you don't like it. And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend. I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your grandpa and go fishing with your uncle.

May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the holidays. I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor's window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Christmastime when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.

These things I wish for you - tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness. To me, it's the only way to appreciate life.

Written with a pen. Sealed with a kiss. I'm here for you. And if I die before you do, I'll go to heaven and wait for you. Paul Harvey

"If logic tells you that life is a meaningless accident, don't give up on life. Give up on logic." Shira Milgrom

Saturday, July 5, 2003

This is a Saturday to really be sillier than usual. Why? Because we feel like it! When women reach "a certain age," we've offered enough explanations, excuses, and apologies for two lifetimes…. And, we just aren't going to do it any longer…so there.

A Woman's Dictionary

Airhead (er*hed) n. What a woman intentionally becomes when pulled over by a policeman.

Argument (ar*gyou*ment) n. A discussion that occurs when you're right, but he just hasn't realized it yet.

Balance the checkbook (bal*ens da chek*buk) v. To go to the cash machine and hit "inquire."

Bar-be-que (bar*bi*q) n. You bought the groceries, washed the lettuce, chopped the tomatoes, diced the onions, marinated the meat and cleaned everything up, but, he, "made the dinner."

Blonde jokes (blond jokes) n. Jokes that are short so men can understand them.

Cantaloupe (kant*e*lope) n. Gotta get married in a church.

Clothes dryer (kloze dri*yer) n. An appliance designed to eat socks.

Diet Soda (dy*it so*da) n. A drink you buy at a convenience store to go with a pound of M&M; chocolate covered peanuts.

Eternity (e*ter*ni*tee) n. The last two minutes of a football game.

Exercise (ex*er*siz) v. To walk up and down a mall, occasionally resting to make a purchase.

Grocery List (grow*ser*ee list) n. What you spend half an hour writing, then forget to take with you to the store.

HairDresser (hare dres*er) n. Someone who is able to create a style you will never be able to duplicate again. See also "Magician."

Hardware Store (hard*war stor) n. Similar to a black hole in space...if he goes in, he isn't coming out anytime soon.

Childbirth (child*brth) n. You get to go through 36 hours of contractions; he gets to hold your hand and say, "Focus...breath...push...Good Girl!"

Lipstick (lip*stik) n. On your lips, coloring to enhance the beauty of your mouth. On his collar, coloring only a tramp would wear...!

Park (park) v./n. Before children, a verb meaning, "to go somewhere and neck". After children, a noun meaning, a place with a swing set and slide.

Patience (pa*shens) n. The most important ingredient for dating, marriage and children. See also "tranquilizers."

Valentine's Day (val*en*tinez dae) n. A day when you have dreams of a candlelight dinner, diamonds, and romance, but consider yourself lucky to get a card.

Waterproof Mascara (wah*tr*pruf mas*kar*ah) n. Comes off if you cry, shower, or swim, but will not come off if you try to remove it.

Zillion (zil*yen) n. The number of times you ask someone to take out the trash, then end up doing it yourself anyway.

Subject: Reasons to be a guy

Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.
You can go to the bathroom without a support group.
You can leave the motel bed unmade.
You get credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
Wedding plans take care of themselves.
If someone forgets to invite you to something, he or she can still be your friend.
Your underwear is $10 for a three-pack.
If you are 34 and single, nobody notices.
Everything on your face stays its original color.
You can quietly enjoy a car ride from the passenger's seat.
Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.
You don't have to clean your apartment if the meter reader is coming.
Car mechanics tell you the truth.
You can quietly watch a game with your buddy for hours without ever thinking, "he must be mad at me."
Same work, more pay.
Wedding dress - $2,000. Tuxedo rental - 75 bucks.
You can drop by to see a friend without having to bring a little gift.
If another guy shows up at the party in the same outfit, you just might become lifelong friends.
You are not expected to know the names of more than 5 colors.
You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
You almost never have strap problems in public.
The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.
You don't have to shave below your neck.
One wallet and one pair of shoes, one color, all seasons.
You can do your nails with a pocketknife.
You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.

"Don't try for wit. Settle for humor. You'll last longer." Elsa Maxwell

Friday, July 4, 2003

While the NEAT WOMEN INC web site has had visitors from as far away as the Ukraine and Nova Scotia this past week, the site does originate in the United States and this is a particularly significant day for those of us who are American.

From On This Day in History by Leonard & Thelma Spinrad:

"Independence Day is a celebration: a day to enjoy the unalienable right to the pursuit of happiness. Back in 1776, the men who signed the Declaration of Independence on this date said, and meant it literally, that 'we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.' Is history a matter of chance or is there some great director guiding its course? When we consider this day, we find some interesting facts. Two of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence died years later on exactly the same day in 1826. President Thomas Jefferson and President John Adams--whose lives were so closely intertwined in both destiny and friendship--died fifty years to the day after they signed the Declaration of Independence. And five years later, President James Monroe--author of the Monroe Doctrine--passed away in 1831. But in 1872, future President Calvin Coolidge was born in Plymouth, Vermont."

That is an incomplete account of the men who signed the document that established American's hard won freedom. FOUR different neat women sent us the following:


Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.

Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.

Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.

Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated. Presbyterian minister John Witherspoon, founder of Princeton University, was the only clergy. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson Jr, noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.

Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.

Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild-eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: "For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor." They gave you and me a free and independent America.

The history books never told you a lot about what happened in the Revolutionary War. We didn't fight just the British. We were British subjects at that time and we fought our own government!

Some of us take these liberties so much for granted, but we shouldn't.

So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.

Remember: freedom is never free!

It's time we get the word out that patriotism is NOT a sin, and the Fourth of July has more to it than beer, picnics, and baseball games.

Other notable events which occurred on this day:

Stephen Foster was born--author of "My Old Kentucky Home" (EVE was born in Kentucky) and we all hear it if we tune into the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May.

Henry D. Thoreau went to live near Walden Pond.

Lewis Carroll first told the story of Alice in Wonderland.

"In every human breast, God has implanted a principle, which we call love of freedom; it is impatient of oppression and pants for deliverance." Phyllis Wheatley


Thursday, July 3, 2003

We're getting into an "independence" frame of mind and thought we might talk about our own. After all, when we reach "a certain age," if we haven't already figured out that we actually are entitled to personal freedom, there's no time like the present to start considering it.

Does that mean we should simply turn our backs on everyone we know and strike out in a new, uncharted direction? Not necessarily. But, possibly. It does mean that when we begin each new day we can do it by thinking about ourselves. We can end every day the same way and even devote some time in the middle to contemplating what we want to do, how we want to do it, when we want to do it, and why we want to do it. Many of us have been convinced that our lives consist of a duty bound obligation to care for everyone but ourselves. Putting ourselves first has always seemed selfish. At some point, however, it's worth noting that we can't truly take good care of others until we take good care of ourselves first! How revolutionary! But also, a blinding flash of the obvious.

Learning to examine what is important to each of us on a very basic yet profound level may take some getting used to. Lots of us don't even know where to begin. Some of us have been so driven at times, that we've been in too much of a rush to ask what we might be running from or think we're running toward. Or we've been so distracted and absorbed in all our responsibilities to family, friends, colleagues and others, that we fail to notice a veil covering the real person we might discover we are and not know how to deal with. Self-discovery can be pretty heavy going.

Today, ask yourself these questions: what's my favorite color, what's my favorite food, what's my favorite destination, and why do I especially like all those things? Give yourself an A+ if you can think of answers quickly and if you cannot, allow yourself an extra 5 minutes a day to think about what matters to you.

As always, we believe that sharing the sentiments of other women (particularly when they're heavily laced with humor) can be beneficial. If you've never seen this list before, you should find a chuckle or two. It's called "The Smart Women's List" and we can safely say they all are VERY independent:

"I'm not offended by dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb....and I also know I'm not blonde!" Dolly Parton

"You see a lot of smart guys with dumb women, but you hardly ever see a smart woman with a dumb guy." Erica Jong

"I want to have children, but my friends scare me. One of my friends told me she was in labor for 36 hours. I don't even want to do something that feels good for 36 hours." Rita Rudner

"Never lend your car to anyone to whom you've given birth." Erma Bombeck

"If high heels were so wonderful, men would still be wearing them." Sue Grafton

"I'm not going to vacuum 'til Sears makes one you can ride on." Roseanne Barr

"When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country." Elayne Boosler

"I base most of my fashion taste on what doesn't itch." Gilda Radner

"In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man; if you want anything done, ask a woman." Margaret Thatcher

"I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career." Gloria Steinem

"I never married because there was no need. I have three pets at home, which answer the same purposes as a husband. I have a dog which growls every morning, a parrot which swears all afternoon and a cat that comes home late at night." Marie Corelli

"If men can run the world, why can't they stop wearing neckties? How intelligent is it to start the day by tying a little noose around your neck?" Linda Ellerbee

"I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man, I keep his house." Zsa Zsa Gabor


"You can be pleased with nothing when you are not pleased with yourself." Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Wednesday, July 2, 2003

Life Lessons in (Children's) Literature

In the world of children's literature, we often find books that are enjoyed as much, if not more, by adults.

The latest works to attract such major "dual" popularity are about a young lad named Harry Potter. Penned by a previously unknown writer, the tales of Harry's adventures have been literally flying off the bookshelves—a feat that Harry requires a broomstick to accomplish.

Harry Potter even appeared on a cover of Time magazine originally and has inspired subsequent covers on Time and numerous other publications. In an effort to explain such phenomenal success the first article stated, "But, as devoted Harry Potter fans have learned, knowing a magic charm is not the same as performing magic. Rowling's (the author) secret is as simple and mysterious as her uncanny ability to nourish the human hunger for enchantment; she knows how to feed the desire not just to hear or read a story but to live it as well. That is why so many people both young and naïve and older and jaded have surrendered to the illusions set forth in Harry Potter's fictional world. They want to believe the unbelievable, and Rowling makes it easy and great fun for them to do so."

What an amazing scenario for a fictitious little orphan boy with a big heart and a broomstick! We'd like to share excerpts from other so called "children's books" which adults have found profound and moving.

One of the first books EVE read to her children was The Little Prince, originally written in 1943. An review:

"A fable in the most classic sense, this wise story offers layer upon layer to be peeled away with each reading. Just as with the narrator's Drawing Number One, The Little Prince can be truly understood only by children (a classification that has nothing to do with age). The narrator, who has spent too many years in the company of grown-ups and still doesn't care much for them, runs across the little prince while repairing his airplane in the desert. The 'extraordinary small person,' after demanding that the narrator draw a picture of a sheep, proceeds to tell him the story of his journey from planet to planet, a trip that has finally led him to Earth. In his galactic travels, he meets a variety of archetypal characters, each a different and equally undesirable manifestation of adulthood; along the way he encounters a king, a tippler, and a geographer, all of whom possess particular absurdities seen all too clearly through the eyes of the little prince. The bewildered prince visits Earth, which appears just as strange and alien as the other planets—until he meets a small fox who shows him what he has been looking for."

Another message through metaphors, ostensibly written for children, but containing a very adult sort of wisdom is The Giving Tree. Again, we've selected a review from which was written by Karin Snelson:

"To say that this particular apple tree is a 'giving tree' is an understatement. In Shel Silverstein's popular tale of few words and simple line drawings, a tree starts out as a leafy playground, shade provider, and apple bearer for a rambunctious little boy. Making the boy happy makes the tree happy, but with time it becomes more challenging for the generous tree to meet his needs. When he asks for money, she suggests he sell her apples. When he asks for a house, she offers her branches for lumber. When the boy is old, too old and sad to play in the tree, he asks the tree for a boat. She suggests that he cut her down to a stump so he can craft a boat out of her trunk. He unthinkingly does so. At this point in the story, the double-page spread shows a pathetic solitary stump, poignantly cut down to the heart the boy once carved into the tree as a child that said 'M.E. + T.' 'And then the tree was happy…but not really.' When there's nothing left of her, the boy returns again as an old man, needing a quiet place to sit and rest. The stump offers up her services, and he sits on it. 'And the tree was happy.' While the message of the book is unclear (Take and take and take? Give and give and give? Complete self-sacrifice is good? Complete self-sacrifice is infinitely sad?), Silverstein has perhaps deliberately left the book open to interpretation."

Believe it or not, EVE insists that the third, in the trilogy of her favorites, offers the most extraordinary insights for "women of a certain age." The Velveteen Rabbit, written by Margery Williams and published in 1922 captures the essence of one of life's most compelling questions.

"The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it. 'What is REAL?' asked the Rabbitt one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender before Nana came to tidy the room. 'Does it mean having things buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?'

'Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'

'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit.

'Sometimes,' said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 'When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.'

'Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,' he asked, 'or bit by bit?'

'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.'"

There's a philosophy in that last paragraph which speaks for itself. One we can all embrace.


"The real thing creates its own poetry." Anzia Yezierska

Tuesday, July 1, 2003

This is a Test
This is a test of the Emergency Friendship System

....... A Friend....

(A)ccepts you as you are
(B)elieves in "you"
(C)alls you just to say "HI"
(D)oesn't give up on you

(E)nvisions the whole of you (even the unfinished parts)
(F)orgives your mistakes
(G)ives unconditionally
(H)elps you
(I)nvites you over

(J)ust "be" with you
(K)eeps you close at heart
(L)oves you for who you are
(M)akes a difference in your life

(N)ever Judges
(O)ffer support
(P)icks you up
(Q)uiets your fears
(R)aises your spirits

(S)ays nice things about you
(T)ells you the truth when you need to hear it
(U)nderstands you
(V)alues you

(W)alks beside you
(X)-plains thing you don't understand
(Y)ells when you won't listen and
(Z)aps you back to reality



"Life is easier than you'd think; all that is necessary is to accept the impossible, do without the indispensable, and bear the intolerable." Kathleen Norris



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