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Monday, June 30, 2003

Your Quick Inspiration For The Day: Believe In Yourself

There may be days when you get up in the morning and things aren't the way you had hoped they would be.
That's when you have to tell yourself that things will get better.
There are times when people disappoint you and let you down.
But those are the times when you must remind yourself to trust your own judgments and opinions, to keep your life focused on believing in yourself.
There will be challenges to face and changes to make in your life, and it is up to you to accept them.
Constantly keep yourself headed in the right direction for you.
It may not be easy at times, but in those times of struggle you will find a stronger sense of who you are.
So when the days come that are filled with frustration and unexpected responsibilities, remember to believe in yourself and all you want your life to be.
Because the challenges and changes will only help you to find the goals that you know are meant to come true for you.

Keep Believing in Yourself!

By Bob Perks, professional speaker, author and vocalist, a member of the National Speakers Association and the National Writers Association.

Recently, I overheard a mother and her daughter in their last moments together at the terminal.  The daughter's departure had been announced and standing near the security gate, they hugged, and the mother said, "I love you; I wish you enough."

The daughter in turn said, "Mother, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed; I wish you enough, too, Mother."

They kissed and the daughter left.  The  mother walked toward the window where I was seated.  Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry.  I tried not to intrude on her privacy, but she welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?"

"Yes, I have," I replied.

Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my mom had done for me.  Recognizing that her days were limited, I took the time to tell her face to face how much she meant to me.  So, I knew what this woman was experiencing.

"Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?" I asked.

"I am old and my daughter lives much too far away.  I have challenges ahead, and the reality is, the next trip back for her will be for my funeral," she said.

"When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, 'I wish you enough.'  May I ask what that means?"

She began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations.  My parents used to say it to everyone."  She paused for a moment and looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, she smiled even more.

"When we said, 'I wish you enough,' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them," she continued, and then turning toward me she shared the following as if she were reciting it from memory:

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough "Hellos" to get you through the final  "Good-bye."

She then began to sob and walked away.

And to you dear friend, we wish you enough.


"I don't believe life is supposed to make you feel good, or to make you feel miserable either. Life is just supposed to make you feel." Gloria Naylor

Sunday, June 29, 2003



Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.

No one can go back and make a brand new start. Anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. 

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

Disappointments are like road humps, they slow you down a bit but you enjoy the smooth road afterwards. Don't stay on the humps too long.

Move on! When you feel down because you didn't get what you want, just sit tight and be happy, because God has thought of something better to give you.

When something happens to you, good or bad, consider what it means.

There's a purpose to life's events, to teach you how to laugh more or not to cry too hard.

You can't make someone love you, all you can do is be someone who can be loved, the rest is up to the person to realize your worth.

It's better to lose your pride to the one you love, than to lose the one you love because of pride. 

We spend too much time looking for the right person to love or finding fault with those we already love, when instead we should be perfecting the love we give.

Never abandon an old friend. You will never find one who can take her place.

Pass it on to your dear friends . . .

Saturday, June 28, 2003



10. Your tinted windows are also known as Hefty Garbage Bags.

9. The car reaches its optimum speed when going downhill.

8. The hi-tech stereo system often requires a new needle.

7. The rear-view mirror says, "Objects in Mirror Are Better Than This Piece of Junk."

6. The odometer on the dashboard is not as sophisticated as the everyday abacus.

5. Traffic Watch warns other drivers what highway you're taking.

4. The sticker on the windshield says, "Batteries Not Included."

3. You fill up the tank with Unleaded Coals.

2. You can only go to restaurants that offer Valet Pushing.

1. When you approach hitchhikers, they put their thumbs down.

It's summer time and the living is easy…..maybe. It's the season of "men who cook."

Definition of Outdoor Barbecuing - It's the only type of cooking a "real" man will do:

When a man volunteers to do such cooking, the following chain of events is put into motion.

(1) The woman goes to the store.

(2) The woman fixes the salad, vegetables, and dessert.

(3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils, and takes it to the man, who is lounging beside the grill, drinking a beer.

(4) The man places the meat on the grill.

(5) The woman goes inside to set the table and check the vegetables.

(6) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is burning.

(7) The man takes the meat off the grill and hands it to the woman.

(8) The woman prepares the plates and brings them to the table.

(9) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.

(10) The man asks the woman how she enjoyed "her night off."

And, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there's just no pleasing some women.

There's no such thing as vacationing for mothers!

The following came from an anonymous mother in Austin, Texas.


1. A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 square foot house 4 inches deep.

2. If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.

3. A 3-year-olds voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

4. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42-pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20 by 20 foot room.

5. You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on.  When using the ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.

6. The glass in windows (even double pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.

7. When you hear the toilet flush and the words "Uh-oh," it's already too late.

8. Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.

9. A six-year-old can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year-old man says they can only do it in the movies.  A magnifying glass can start a fire even on an overcast day.

10. Certain LEGOs will pass through the digestive tract of a four-year-old.

11. Play Dough and Microwave should never be used in the same sentence.

12. Super glue is forever.

13. No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.

14. Pool filters do not like Jell-O.

15. VCR's do not eject PB & J sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.

16. Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

17. Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.

18. You probably do not want to know what that odor is.

19. Always look in the oven before you turn it on.  Plastic toys do not like ovens.

20. The fire department in Austin, TX has a 5-minute response time.

21. The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.

22. It will however make cats dizzy.

23. Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.

"I wasn't used to children and they were getting on my nerves. Worse, it appeared that I was a child, too. I hadn't known that before; I thought I was just short." Florence King (on her first day in kindergarten).

Friday, June 27, 2003

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.

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 right now to send this to a friend, 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 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.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

We haven't taken a look back in history for a while and several interesting events occurred on this date…years ago.

1819 - The bicycle was patented by W.K. Clarkson, Jr. of New York City.

1945 - The Charter of the United Nations (UN) was signed in San Francisco, California, by 50 nations. The preamble of the Charter stated the mission of the UN: ***"to save succeeding generations from the scourge of reaffirm faith in the dignity and worth of the human person...and to promote social progress and better standards of life."***

***It certainly was a laudable goal in 1945…and still is, although it oftentimes appears more elusive to achieve that ever before.***

1949 - Entertainer Fred Allen closed out his amazing radio career. Allen was making the transition to TV. His final radio guest was his old pal, Jack Benny. Allen's caustic wit didn't play well on TV and he found himself out of the medium in short order. Benny went on to become a television legend.

***Many successful show biz personalities fell victim to the "little box" as early television was frequently referred to and there were also more than a few surprises. Edgar Bergen noticeably moved his lips which would have been a problem for less notable ventriloquists. Who knew until we saw it on the tube?***

1963 - President John F. Kennedy stirred the world when he pronounced at the Berlin Wall: "Ich bin ein Berliner" (I am a Berliner). The Berlin Wall had been erected by the Soviet Union to stop the mass exodus of people fleeing East Berlin for West Berlin and the non-Communist world. The wall, the clearest symbol of the cold war, was taken down in 1989.

1964 - The album, "A Hard Day's Night", was released by United Artists Records. The album featured all original material by The Beatles and became the top album in the country by July 25, 1964.

1976 - The completed CN Tower opened in Toronto, Canada. 63 million dollars and 1,537 people were needed to complete the tallest freestanding structure and building in the world. The CN (Canadian National) Tower, including the 335 foot (102 meters), steel, broadcasting antenna, is 1,815 feet, 5 inches tall (553.33 meters). Sixteen Toronto TV and FM radio stations broadcast their signals from the antenna.

1981 - Virginia Campbell took her clipped coupons and rebates and bought some groceries at a supermarket in Mountain Home, Idaho. A lot of them. Checkers totaled some $24,460 worth, in fact! How much did Campbell end up paying with all of those coupons and rebates? Only 67 cents! Reports indicated that she would have received a refund of $12.97, but she decided to get film and flashbulbs after the bill was totaled.

***We still hear the occasional story of a person with coupons "cashing in" big time. Now, we find ourselves dealing with digital coupons!***

Two women who became icons in entirely different fields were born on this day. Pearl S. Buck, Nobel Prize winning author and anthropologist arrived in 1892 and "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias, Track and Field Hall of Famer, in 1914.

Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias, born June 26, 1914, was One of the greatest athletes of all time. Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias won more medals and set more records in more sports than any other athlete in the twentieth-century. She started out playing basketball, then went on to track and field. In 1932, she attended the Olympic Games where she set two world records and won two gold medals in the javelin and the 80-meter hurdles. In 1934, Zaharias took up golf. She won seventeen tournaments in a row in 1947, and only lost once in seven years of competition. She died of cancer in 1956.

Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker was born on June 26, 1892, in Hillsboro, West Virginia. Her parents were Southern Presbyterian missionaries, stationed in China. Pearl was the fourth of seven children (and one of only three who would survive to adulthood). She was born when her parents were near the end of a furlough in the United States; when she was three months old, she was taken back to China, where she spent most of the first forty years of her life.

In 1910, Pearl enrolled in Randolph-Macon Woman's College, in Lynchburg, Virginia, from which she graduated in 1914. Although she had intended to remain in the US, she returned to China shortly after graduation when she received word that her mother was gravely ill. In 1915, she met a young Cornell graduate, an agricultural economist named John Lossing Buck. They married in 1917, and immediately moved to Nanhsuchou. In this impoverished community, Pearl Buck gathered the material that she would later use in The Good Earth and other stories of China.

"In this unbelievable universe in which we live, there are no absolutes. Even parallel lines, reaching into infinity, meet somewhere yonder." Pearl S. Buck


"'Men of action,' whose minds are too busy with the day's work to see beyond it….are essential men, we cannot do without them, and yet we must not allow all our vision to be bound by the limitations of 'men of action.'" Pearl S. Buck

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

A young man learns what's most important in life from the guy next door. It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.

Over the phone, his mother told him, "Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday." Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.

"Jack, did you hear me?"

"Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It's been so long since I thought of him. I'm sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago," Jack said.

"Well, he didn't forget you. Every time I saw him he'd ask how you were doing. He'd reminisce about the many days you spent over 'his side of the fence' as he put it," Mom told him.

"I loved that old house he lived in," Jack said.

"You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man's influence in your life," she said.

"He's the one who taught me carpentry," he said. "I wouldn't be in this business if it weren't for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important...Mom, I'll be there for the funeral," Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown.

Mr. Belser's funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.

Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time.

The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture....Jack stopped suddenly.

"What's wrong, Jack?" his Mom asked.

"The box is gone," he said.

"What box? " Mom asked.

"There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he'd ever tell me was the thing I value most,'" Jack said.

It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.

"Now I'll never know what was so valuable to him," Jack said. "I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom."

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox.

Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days," the note read.

Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention.

"Mr. Harold Belser" it read.

Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope.

Jack's hands shook as he read the note inside.

"Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It is the thing I valued most in my life." A small key was taped to the letter.

His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch. Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover.

Inside he found these words engraved: "Jack, Thanks for your time! Harold Belser."

"The thing he valued time."

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days.

"Why?" Janet, his assistant asked.

"I need some time to spend with my son," he said.

"Oh, by the way, Janet...thanks for your time!"


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

Have a great day-and thank you for your time...

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Your Quick Inspiration For The Day: Believe In Yourself

There may be days when you get up in the morning and things aren't the way you had hoped they would be.
That's when you have to tell yourself that things will get better.
There are times when people disappoint you and let you down.
But those are the times when you must remind yourself to trust your own judgments and opinions, to keep your life focused on believing in yourself.
There will be challenges to face and changes to make in your life, and it is up to you to accept them.
Constantly keep yourself headed in the right direction for you.
It may not be easy at times, but in those times of struggle you will find a stronger sense of who you are.
So when the days come that are filled with frustration and unexpected responsibilities, remember to believe in yourself and all you want your life to be.
Because the challenges and changes will only help you to find the goals that you know are meant to come true for you.

Keep Believing in Yourself!

By Bob Perks, professional speaker, author and vocalist, a member of the National Speakers Association and the National Writers Association.

Recently, I overheard a mother and her daughter in their last moments together at the terminal.  The daughter's departure had been announced and standing near the security gate, they hugged, and the mother said, "I love you; I wish you enough."

"Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?" I asked.

"I am old and my daughter lives much too far away.  I have challenges ahead, and the reality is, the next trip back for her will be for my funeral," she said.

"When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, 'I wish you enough.'  May I ask what that means?"

She began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations.  My parents used to say it to everyone."  She paused for a moment and looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, she smiled even more.

"When we said, 'I wish you enough,' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them," she continued, and then turning toward me she shared the following as if she were reciting it from memory:

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough "Hellos" to get you through the final  "Good-bye."

She then began to sob and walked away.

And to you dear friend, we wish you enough.


"I don't believe life is supposed to make you feel good, or to make you feel miserable either. Life is just supposed to make you feel." Gloria Naylor

Monday, June 23, 2003

We decided to start this week with a bit of inspiration. After all, wherever we are in our journey, we don't want to "look back" too much!

Beauty of a Woman

The beauty of a woman
Is not in the clothes she wears
The figure she carries
Or the way she combs her hair.
The beauty of a woman
Must be seen from her eyes,
Because that is the doorway to her heart,
The place where love resides.
The beauty of a woman,
Is not in a facial mole,
But true beauty in a woman
Is reflected in her soul.
It is the caring that she lovingly gives,
The passion that she shows,
The beauty of a woman
With passing years - only grows

If NEAT WOMEN INC has one overriding theme, it's FRIENDSHIP. We can't recall who sent us this but it's time to move it along!

A ball
is a circle, No
beginning, no end.
It keeps us together Like
our Circle of Friends But the
treasure inside for you to see
is the treasure of friendship
You've granted to me.
Today I pass the
friendship ball
to you.

Pass it on to someone who is a friend to you.


"Constant use had not worn ragged the fabric of their friendship." Dorothy Parker

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Sunday Reflection

A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, Who would like this $20 bill? Hands started going up. He said, I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.

He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up. He then asked, Who still wants it? Still the hands were up in the air. Well, he replied, What if I do this? And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. Now who still wants it?

Still the hands went into the air. My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20.

Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value: dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who love you. The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE.

You are special - Don't ever forget it. Count Your Blessings, not your problems.

Life is an Echo

A son and his mother were walking in the mountains. Suddenly, her son falls, hurts himself and screams: "AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!"

To his surprise, the son hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain: "AAAhhhhhhh!!!"

Curious, he yells: "Who are you?" He receives the answer: "Who are you?" Angered at the response, he screams: "Coward!"

He receives the answer: "Coward!" He looks to his mother and asks: "What's going on?" The mother smiles and says: "My son, pay attention."

And then she screams to the mountain: "I admire you!" The voice answers: "I admire you!" Again the woman screams: "You are a champion!" The voice answers: "You are a champion!"

The boy is surprised, but does not understand. Then the mother explains: "People call this echo, but really this is life. It gives you back everything you say or do. Our life is simply a reflection of our actions.

If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart. If you want more competence in your team, improve your competence. This relationship applies to everything, in all aspects of life; life will give you back everything you have given to it."

Author Unknown

"Life cannot be captured in a few axioms. And that is just what I keep trying to do. But it won't work, for life is full of endless nuances and cannot be captured in just a few formulae." Etty Hillesum

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Are Saturday's during the summer any sillier than usual….we'll let you decide!


1) I will have a cup of coffee in the morning and read my PAPER newspaper like I used to, before the Web.

2) I will eat breakfast with a knife and fork and not with one hand typing.

3) I will get dressed before noon.

4) I will make an attempt to clean the house, wash clothes, and plan dinner before even thinking of the Web.

5) I will sit down and write a letter to those unfortunate few friends and family that are Web-deprived.

6) I will call someone on the phone who I cannot contact via the Web.

7) I will read a book...if I still remember how.

8) I will listen to those around me and their needs and stop telling them to turn the TV down so I can hear the music on the Web.

9) I will not be tempted during TV commercials to check for email.

10) I will try and get out of the house at least once a week, if it is necessary or not.

11) I will remember that my bank is not forgiving if I forget to balance my checkbook because I was too busy on the Web.

12) Last, but not least, I will remember that I must go to bed sometime...and the Web will always be there tomorrow!

Subject: Men Are Like.....

Men Are Like... place mats. They only show up when there's food on the table.

Men are like... mascara. They usually run at the first sign of emotion.

Men are like... bike helmets. Handy in an emergency, but otherwise they just look silly.

Men are like... government bonds. They take so long to mature.

Men are like... parking spots. All the good ones are taken.

Men are like... copiers. You need them for reproduction, but that's about it.

Men are like... lava lamps. Fun to look at, but not all that bright.

Men are like... bank accounts. Without a lot of money, they don't generate much interest.

Men are like... high heels. They're easy to walk on once you get the hang of it.

Men are like... miniskirts. If you're not careful, they'll creep up your legs.

A cop saw a blonde down on her knees under a streetlight.

"Can I help you?" he asked.

Replied the blonde, "I dropped my diamond ring and I'm looking for it."

Asked the cop "did you drop it right here?"

"No," she responded, "I dropped it about a block away, but the light's better here."

*** Lost Without A Trace ***

An American and his wife were driving in Canada and got lost.

Finally they came into some city and saw a gentleman on the sidewalk.

So the man pulled up to the curb and his wife rolled down her window and asked: "Excuse me, sir. Where are we?"

The man on the street replied, "Saskatoon, Saskatchewan."

The lady rolled up the window, turned to her husband, and said, "We are REALLY lost. They don't even speak English here!"

"Humor is a rubber sword—it allows you to make a point without drawing blood." Mary Hirsch

Friday, June 20, 2003

Eve has periodically either bemoaned or poked fun at, the plethora of "special" observances. Many people attribute the rise in such occasions to a vast conspiracy on the part of greeting card companies because they have commercial value….the old, "anything to make a buck" proposition. Who knows? Eve will let you decide. Today, June 20th is recognized on one calendar as:

Toad Hollow Day of Thank You
Take Your Dog to Work Day

Additionally, June has been declared:

• Adopt a Cat Month
• Candy Month
• National Rose Month

Adopt A Cat Month

In recognition of that, we located:

How to Protect Your Pet is a page on the Humane Society's site.
The Tenants Guide to Keeping Your Pet
Websites for Pets which also includes dogs

"Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" by T. S. Eliot:

You've read of several kinds of Cat, And my opinion now is that You should need no interpreter To understand their character.
You now have learned enough to see That Cats are much like you and me And other people whom we find possessed of various types of mind.
For some are sane and some are mad And some are good and some are bad And some are better, some are worse--But all may be described in verse.
You've seen them both at work and games, And learnt about their proper names, Their habits and their habitat: But how would you ad-dress a Cat?
So first, your memory I'll jog, And say: A CAT IS NOT A DOG.
And you might now and then supply Some caviar, or Strasbourg Pie, Some potted grouse, or salmon paste--He's sure to have his personal taste.
(I know a Cat, who makes a habit Of eating nothing else but rabbit, And when he's finished, licks his paws So's not to waste the onion sauce.)
A Cat's entitled to expect These evidences of respect. And so in time you reach your aim, And finally call him by' his NAME.
So this is this, and that is that: And there's how you AD-DRESS A CAT.

• Candy Month

Eve is partial to Hershey's brand and her children have visited the theme park in Pennsylvania. will tell you about the company and describes the Hershey's Kiss Mobile and lists the schedule where you may find the good vehicle in your area!

• National Rose Month

Day To Day Rose
By: dmm 08/1999
A full blooming rose bush
Represents entire life,
Complete with the thorns
That cause in it strife. Beautiful to the vision,
But certainly not perfect;
Nonetheless, it is worth
Every branch it reflects. A small part of a whole
This day to day rose
Represents a single step
Towards reaching your goals

And, if you would like to find cards for celebrating any or all of those: /

"She is a gray cat, but around her eyes the fur is black, so that she looks like those fifteen-year-olds who believe that being Cleopatra is mostly a matter of mascara." Jessamyn West


"What's in a name? That which we call a rose.... " -William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet)

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Julia Elizabeth Wells was born in England in 1935. By the time she was 22 years old, she was an accomplished entertainer. Her name by then was Julie Andrews. In March 1957 Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote the musical Cinderella for Julie, commissioned by CBS. Mary Poppins is now 68 years old and still young in spirit. However, there are recent rumors that Julie Andrews did a concert for AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). Ms. Andrews sang a favorite from the Sound of Music, Favorite Things. There were a few changes to the words, to fit in with the AARP theme. Here are the new words to this tune:

Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,
Bundles of magazines tied up in string,
These are a few of my favorite things.
Cadillacs and cataracts and hearing aids and glasses, Polident and Fixodent
and false teeth in glasses, Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my favorite things.
When the pipes leak,
When the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel so bad.
Hot tea and crumpets, and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,
Bathrobes and heat pads and hot meals they bring,
These are a few of my favorite things.
Back pains, confused brains, and no fear of sinnin,
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinin,
And we won't mention our short shrunken frames,
When we remember our favorite things.
When the joints ache, when the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I've had,
And then I don't feel so bad.


The following were some comments made in the year 1957:

(1) "I'll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, its going to be impossible to buy a weeks groceries for $20.00."

(2) "Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won't be long when $5,000 will only buy a used one."

(3) "If cigarettes keep going up in price, I'm going to quit. A quarter a pack is ridiculous."

(4) "Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging a dime just to mail a letter?"

(5) "If they raise the minimum wage to $1, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store."

(6) "When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 29 cents a gallon. Guess we'd be better off leaving the car in the garage,"

(7) "Kids today are impossible. Those ducktail hair cuts make it impossible to stay groomed. Next thing you know, boys will be wearing their hair as long as the girls,"

(8) "I'm afraid to send my kids to the movies any more. Ever since they let Clark Gable get by with saying damn in "Gone With The Wind", it seems every new movie has either hell or damn in it."

(9) "I read the other day where some scientist thinks it's possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the century. They even have some fellows they call astronauts preparing for it down in Texas."

(10) "Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $75,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn't surprise me if someday that they will be making more than the President."

(11) "I never thought I'd see the day all our kitchen appliances would be electric. They are even making electric typewriters now."

(12) "It's too bad things are so tough nowadays. I see where a few married women are having to work to make ends meet."

(13) "It won't be long before young couples are going to have to hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work."

(14) "I'm just afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the door to a whole lot of foreign business."

(15) "Thank goodness I won't live to see the day when the Government takes half our income in taxes. I sometimes wonder if we are electing the best people to Congress."

(16) "The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on."

(17) "There is no sense going to Lincoln or Omaha anymore for a weekend. It costs nearly $15.00 a night to stay in a hotel."

(18) "No one can afford to be sick any more, $35.00 a day in the hospital is too rich for my blood."


"Though it sounds absurd, it is true to say I felt younger at sixty than I had felt at twenty." Ellen Glasgow

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Summer and special recollections of times past seem to go together. We all enjoy creating new memories and exploring different opportunities. There are constants in life that can be especially reassuring regardless of where we may be in our journey. A site, which examines a little of both, is Last year, site owner Mary Ann shared a memorable sampling with us. Her Still-Room has new offerings now and we urge you to drop by for a visit!


The hummingbird has led you to this still-room where Mary Ann mixes it up. In the Seventeenth Century a good housewife had a 'still-room' within her home where she preserved and mixed her herbs. She normally maintained a 'still-room' book, which contained everything from recipes, myth, magic, folklore handed down through generations, notes, advice for running the household and much information regarding the use of herbs.

Lemonade Days and Blackberry Summer
By Mary Ann Perry

"And the running blackberry, would adorn the parlor of heaven."
Song of Myself, by Walt Whitman

Summer: sipping iced lemonade, while lolling on the afternoon porch dreaming our dreams of 'blackberry summer'. Blackberry summer will come soon enough, those days of fine weather in late September and early October. Right now let's accept the zest and zeal the lemon in our lemonade gives us and fill ourselves with summer when the herbs and flowers speak to us.

People have developed herbal calendars and found symbolism in plants and nature since ancient times. What better way to express summer than through herbs and flowers? Many herbs are associated with summer. Helen Keller said "Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It's what sunflowers do!" What's more appropriate, sunflowers symbolize adoration and a sun worshiper in the language of herbs. The calendula or pot marigold is a symbol of sunny days with good health, joy, and affection. The calendula cares.

The Chinese, Japanese, Romans, Egyptians, American Hopi and Navajo Indians, among countless others, developed herbal calendars. Because calendars were so closely tied with nature, it follows that different months should be associated with particular herbs. Primarily the Japanese and English adopted the custom of using floral calendars. In addition to formal calendars using certain flowers, superstitions and old wives' tales about plants and flowers abound for each month of the year. These are generally connected with the changes in weather and how they affect the gardener.

Chinese Herbal Calendars specify the pomegranate as the symbol of progeny and prosperity and the month of June. When I was a child, I lived in northern climes, where pomegranates were rare and expensive. My Mom gave us the experience of this rarity and I remember experiencing the ice cold, juicy, red pulp and the crunchy seeds as a little bit of summer paradise we shared.

Japanese celebrate the peony in June, symbolizing 'hands full of cash'. The Chinese call the peony Sho-yo, which means 'the beautiful' and it, is considered the flower of prosperity. It reminds me of my Mother's summer peonies and the long lasting beauty of those huge, brilliant, pink bouquets brightening our simple, farmhouse home. At the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876 the peony was used to symbolize the American Spirit, ambition and determination to adapt and thrive.

The rose is the English Floral Calendar symbol for the month of June, and means success, love, beauty, congratulations, reward for virtue, grace, joy, "You are gentle." friendship, silence and unity. Celebrate roses by making Rose Wine to enjoy during those long 'blackberry summer' days. Pour one gallon of boiling water over 3 or 4 quarts of lightly packed rose petals, add the cut-up rind of 2 oranges and 3 pounds of sugar. Boil for 20 minutes; cool, strain, and add a package of yeast dissolved in warm water and the juice of from the oranges and 4 or 5 peppercorns (white). Let all ferment in a covered crock for about 2 weeks. Strain, discard petals, and bottle in sterilized bottles, corking lightly for about 3 months or until the wine has finished working. Seal each bottle with paraffin. "A rose by any other name would smell so sweet." From Romeo and Juliet, by Shakespeare.

The Summer Solstice occurs around June 21st and is a celebration when nature is heavy with the bounty of the coming harvest. This is a time when energies abound, and a good time for magic and purification rites. Some who practice the arcane arts choose to bury protective amulets each Midsummer Eve and construct new ones. Rue, rowan, and basil, tied in a gold or white cloth, are a good protective trio that can be carried in your pocket year round. A few cinnamon sticks tied over the door of your home are another good protective charm.

Larkspur with its ardent attachment and levity brings swiftness to the long balmy days of July in the language of herbs. The Chinese celebrate the lotus flower in July, the symbol of perfection and purity. Japanese calendars specify mountain clover as their July herb. For the English it is water lily with its great beauty that brings to mind July. In the United States what better way to celebrate the 4th of July when thyme symbolizes the courage and bravery of our fight for Independence. We place rosemary on the graves of soldiers' honoring their brave deeds with remembrance, fidelity, and devotion. With nasturtiums we celebrate our patriotism and white carnations our democracy.

If your summer herb garden has spoiled you for anything other than fresh herbs, devote your sunniest window to an indoor herb garden to carry you into 'blackberry summer and winter'. When summer has long passed a gift of an herbal jelly or rose wine, labeled and tied with a ribbon, is a much-appreciated way to share the memories of summer. Check out all the new treats in Mary Ann's Still-Room


Thank you friend, Mary Ann for sharing the loveliness of summer with us. "Friends are the perennials in the garden of our heart." CJF

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

We don't want to start your day off with a downer…so, hold onto your sense of humor and for some, you may want to "hold your nose" as well when you read this!

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 21st CENTURY 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.

We think the updated version is pretty cynical, isn't it? Somewhere in between is probably reality.



A house does not need a wife any more than it does a husband." Charlotte Perkins Gilman (The Home, 1903)

Monday, June 16, 2003

An appropriate postscript to Father's Day, sent to us by friends.

Her hair was up in a ponytail,
her favorite dress tied with a bow.
Today was Daddy's Day at school,
and she couldn't wait to go.

But her mommy tried to tell her, that she probably should stay home. Why the kids might not understand, if she went to school alone.

But she was not afraid; she knew just what to say. What to tell her classmates of why he wasn't there today.

But still her mother worried,
for her to face this day alone.
And that was why once again,
she tried to keep her daughter home.

But the little girl went to school,
eager to tell them all.
About a dad she never sees
a dad who never calls.

There were daddies along the wall in back,
for everyone to meet.
Children squirming impatiently,
anxious in their seats.

One by one the teacher called,
a student from the class.
To introduce their daddy,
as seconds slowly passed.

At last the teacher called her name,
every child turned to stare.
Each of them was searching,
for a man who wasn't there.

"Where's her daddy at?"
she heard a boy call out.
"She probably doesn't have one,"
another student dared to shout.

And from somewhere near the back,
she heard a daddy say,
"Looks like another deadbeat dad,
too busy to waste his day."

The words did not offend her,
as she smiled up at her Mom.
And looked back at her teacher,
who told her to go on.

And with hands behind her back,
slowly she began to speak.
And out from the mouth of a child,
came words incredibly unique.

"My Daddy couldn't be here,
because he lives so far away.
But I know he wishes he could be,
since this is such a special day.

And though you cannot meet him,
I wanted you to know.
All about my daddy,
and how much he loves me so.

He loved to tell me stories
he taught me to ride my bike.
He surprised me with pink roses,
and taught me to fly a kite.

We used to share fudge sundaes,
and ice cream in a cone.
And though you cannot see him,
I'm not standing here alone.

"Cause my daddy's always with me,
even though we are apart
I know because he told me,
he'll forever be in my heart"

With that, her little hand reached up,
and lay across her chest.
Feeling her own heartbeat,
beneath her favorite dress.

And from somewhere in the crowd of dads,
her mother stood in tears.
Proudly watching her daughter,
who was wise beyond her years.

For she stood up for the love
of a man not in her life.
Doing what was best for her,
doing what was right.

And when she dropped her hand back down,
staring straight into the crowd.
She finished with a voice so soft,
but its message clear and loud.

"I love my daddy very much,
he's my shining star.
And if he could, he'd be here,
but heaven's just too far.

You see he was a fireman
and died just this past year
When airplanes hit the towers
and taught Americans to fear.

But sometimes when I close my eyes,
it's like he never went away."
And then she closed her eyes,
and saw him there that day.

And to her mother's amazement,
she witnessed with surprise.
A room full of daddies and children,
all starting to close their eyes.

Who knows what they saw before them,
who knows what they felt inside.
Perhaps for merely a second,
they saw him at her side.

"I know you're with me Daddy,"
to the silence she called out.
And what happened next made believers,
of those once filled with doubt.

Not one in that room could explain it,
for each of their eyes had been closed.
But there on the desk beside her,
was a fragrant long-stemmed pink rose.

And a child was blessed, if only for a moment,
by the love of her shining bright star.
And given the gift of believing,
that heaven is never too far.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them. Send this phrase to the people you'll never forget. It's a short message to let them know that you'll never forget them. If you don't send it to anyone, it means you're in a hurry and that you've forgotten your friends.

Take the time... to live and love.


fe is a succession / of moments / to live each one / is to succeed." Corita Kent

Sunday, June 15, 2003


Father's Day, 3rd Sunday in June. The idea for creating a day for children to honor their fathers began in Spokane, Washington. A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd thought of the idea for Father's Day while listening to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909. Having been raised by her father, Henry Jackson Smart, after her mother died, Sonora wanted her father to know how special he was to her. It was her father that made all the parental sacrifices and was, in the eyes of his daughter, a courageous, selfless, and loving man. Sonora's father was born in June, so she chose to hold the first Father's Day celebration in Spokane, Washington on the 19th of June, 1910. In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Roses are the Father's Day flowers: red to be worn for a living father and white if the father has passed.

My Father
When I was:
Four years old: My daddy can do anything.
Five years old: My daddy knows a whole lot.
Six years old: My dad is smarter than your dad.
Eight years old: My dad doesn't know exactly everything.
Ten years old: In the olden days, when my dad grew up, things were sure different.
Twelve years old: Oh, well, naturally, Dad doesn't know anything about that. He is too old to remember his childhood.
Fourteen years old: Don't pay any attention to my dad. He is so old-fashioned.
Twenty-one years old: Him? My gosh, he's hopelessly out of date.
Twenty-five years old: Dad knows about it, but then he should, because he has been around so long.
Thirty years old: Maybe we should ask Dad what he thinks. After all, he's had a lot of experience.
Thirty-five years old: I'm not doing a single thing until I talk to Dad.
Forty years old: I wonder how Dad would have handled it. He was so wise.
Fifty years old: I'd give anything if Dad were here now so I could talk this over with him. Too bad I didn't appreciate how smart he was. I could have learned a lot from him.

-- Writer Unknown

When God Created Fathers, by Erma Bombeck

When the good Lord was creating fathers, He started with a tall frame. And a female angel nearby said, "What kind of father is that? If you're going to make children so close to the ground, why have you put fathers up so high? He won't be able to shoot marbles without kneeling, tuck a child in bed without bending, or even kiss a child without a lot of stooping." And God smiled and said, "Yes, but if I make him child size, who would children have to look up to?" And when God made a father's hands, they were large and sinewy. And the angel shook her head sadly and said, "Do You know what You're doing? Large hands are clumsy. They can't manage diaper pins, small buttons, rubber bands on pony tails or even remove splinters caused by baseball bats." God smiled and said, "I know, but they're large enough to hold everything a small boy empties from his pockets at the end of a day…yet small enough to cup a child's face." Then God molded long, slim legs and broad shoulders. The angel nearly had a heart attack. "Boy, this is the end of the week, all right," she clucked. "Do You realize You just made a father without a lap? How is he going to pull a child close to him without the kid falling between his legs?" God smiled and said, "A mother needs a lap. A father needs strong shoulders to pull a sled, balance a boy on a bicycle or hold a sleepy head on the way home from the circus." God was in the middle of creating two of the largest feet anyone had ever seen when the angel could contain herself no longer. "That's not fair. Do You honestly think those large boats are going to dig out of bed early in the morning when the baby cries? Or walk through a small birthday party without crushing at least three of the guests?" And God smiled and said, "They'll work. You'll see. They'll support a small child who wants to "ride a horse to Banbury Cross" or scare off mice at the summer cabin, or display shoes that will be a challenge to fill." God worked throughout the night, giving the father few words, but a firm authoritative voice; eyes that see everything, but remain calm and tolerant. Finally, almost as an afterthought, He added tears. Then He turned to the angel and said, "Now are you satisfied that he can love as much as a mother?" And the angel shutteth up! By Erma Bombeck

"My heart is happy, my mind is free / I had a father who talked to me." Hilda Bigelow

Dedicated to EVE's father……May he rest in peace.

Saturday, June 14, 2003



A small town prosecuting attorney called his first witness to the stand in a trial - a grandmotherly, elderly woman. He approached her and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know me?"

She responded, "Why, yes, I do know you Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a young boy. And frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a rising big shot When you haven't the brains to realize you never will amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you."

The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do he pointed across the room and asked, "Mrs. Williams, do you know the defense attorney?"

She again replied, "Why, yes I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. I used to baby-sit him for his parents. And he, too, has been a real disappointment to me. He's lazy, bigoted, he has a drinking problem. The man can't build a normal relationship with anyone and his law practice is one of the shoddiest in the entire state. Yes, I know him."

At this point, the judge rapped the courtroom to silence and called both counselors to the bench. In a very quiet voice, he said with menace, "If either of you asks her if she knows me, you'll be jailed for contempt!"


A lawyer says to a witness on the stand, "Now, sir, did you, or did you not, on the date in question or at any time, say to the defendant or anyone else that the statement imputed to you and denied by the plaintiff was a matter of moment or otherwise? Yes or no."

The witness looked at the lawyer and said, "Yes or no, what?"


One night, a lady stumbled into the police station with a black eye. She claimed she heard a noise in her back yard and went to investigate. The next thing she knew, she was hit in the eye and knocked out cold.

An officer was sent to her house to investigate, and he returned a half hour later with a black eye as well.

"Did you get hit by the same person?" his captain asked.

"No sir," he replied. "I stepped on the same rake."



No, Windows is not a virus. Here's what viruses do:

1. They replicate quickly - okay, Windows does that.

2. Viruses use up valuable system resources, slowing down the system as they do so - okay, Windows does that.

3. Viruses will, from time to time, trash your hard disk - okay, Windows does that too.

4. Viruses are usually carried, unknown to the user, along with valuable programs and systems. Sigh... Windows does that, too.

5. Viruses will occasionally make the user suspect their system is too slow (see 2) and the user will buy new hardware. Yup, Windows does that, too.

Until now it seems Windows is a virus but there are fundamental differences: Viruses are well supported by their authors, are running on most systems, their program code is fast, compact and efficient and they tend to become more sophisticated as they mature. So Windows is not a virus.

It's a bug.

"Lawyers are like morticians—we all need one sooner or later, but better later than sooner." Eileen Goudge

Friday, June 13, 2003


Paraskevidekatriaphobics — people afflicted with a morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th. Folklorists say it's probably the most widespread superstition in America (and no doubt in other parts of the world, as well) — some people won't go to work on Friday the 13th; some won't eat in restaurants; many wouldn't think of setting a wedding on the date. So, how many people at the turn of the millennium still suffer from this phobia? According to Dr. Donald Dossey, a therapist specializing in the treatment of phobias and credited with coining the term "paraskevidekatriaphobia," as many as 21 million do in the United States alone. If that figure is correct, something like eight percent of Americans are still in the grips of an old superstition.


So where does it come from -- the fear of 13? Its origins can be traced to Norse mythology and a dinner party at Valhalla, home of the god Odin, where Odin and 11 of his closest god-friends were gathered one night to party. Everyone was having fun, but then Loki, the dastardly god of evil and turmoil, showed up uninvited, making it a crowd of 13. The beloved god Balder tried to boot Loki out of the house, the legend goes, and in the scuffle that followed he suffered a deathblow from a spear of mistletoe.

From that mythological start, the number 13 has plowed a path of devastation through history. There were 13 people at Christ's Last Supper, including the double-crossing Judas Iscariot. The ill-fated Apollo 13 lunar mission left the launching pad at 13:13 hours and was aborted on April 13. Friday hasn't been much kinder to us. Friday was execution day in ancient Rome -- Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Put it all together, and Friday the 13th spells trouble for triskaidekaphobics. It's a testament to the phobia's prevalence that Hollywood was able to parlay our fear into a hugely successful series of slasher movies starring a hockey-masked guy named Jason.

But triskaidekaphobia isn't an exclusively American affliction. Italians omit the number 13 from their national lottery. There is a hush-hush organization in France whose exclusive purpose is to provide last-minute guests for dinner parties, so that no party host ever has to suffer the curse of entertaining 13 guests.

Engineers and architects go to great lengths to soothe our superstition. Most skyscrapers and hotels have no 13th floor; airplanes have no 13th aisle.


"A little superstition is a good thing to keep in one's bag of precautions." Gertrude Atherton

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Because we post silly stuff on Saturdays, we're offering this today instead:

From On This Day in History by, Leonard and Thelma Spinrad: "Today (June 14) is Harriet Beecher Stowe's birthday. In 1811, Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in Litchfield, Connecticut. As an adult, she wrote a book whose alternate title was Life Among the Lowly. You never heard of it? Yes, you have. The full title was Uncle Tom's Cabin or Life Among the Lowly. Her story first appeared in book form in 1852. It whipped up abolitionist sentiments in the North long before the Civil War. And its influence lasted long after that war. Today, when we call someone Simon Legree, we are recalling one of Stowe's characters; and if Uncle Tom does not mean today what it did to Mrs. Stowe, it is still drawn from her book."

Some historians have referred to women as the "conscience of our society." Certainty, Mrs. Stowe served as that. If she were here today, looking around to see how much things have changed more than 150 years after she penned Uncle Tom's Cabin, what might she think? Worth pondering.

We are of the opinion that no higher tribute could be paid this remarkable woman on the anniversary of her birth, than to offer her own words.

Harriet Beecher Stowe in her own words:

"Common sense is seeing things as they are; and doing things as they ought to be."

"The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone."

"It's a matter of taking the side of the weak against the strong, something the best people have always done."

"What makes saintliness in my view, as distinguished from ordinary goodness, is a certain quality of magnanimity and greatness of soul that brings life within the circle of the heroic."

"One would like to be grand and heroic, if one could; but if not, why try at all? One wants to be very something, very great, very heroic; or if not that, then at least very stylish and very fashionable. It is this everlasting mediocrity that bores me."

"One of the greatest reforms that could be, in these reforming days . . . would be to have women architects. The mischief with the houses built to rent is that they are all male contrivances."

"When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you till it seems you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn."

"I no more thought of style or literary excellence than the mother who rushes into the street and cries for help to save her children from a burning house, thinks of the teachings of the rhetorician or the elocutionist."

"I am speaking now of the highest duty we owe our friends, the noblest, the most sacred--that of keeping their own nobleness, goodness, pure and incorrupt. . . . If we let our friend become cold and selfish and exacting without a remonstrance, we are no true lover, no true friend."

"Home is a place not only of strong affections, but of entire unreserve; it is life's undress rehearsal, its backroom, its dressing room, from which we go forth to more careful and guarded intercourse, leaving behind us much debris of cast-off and everyday clothing."

In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, "Nearly all great civilizations that perished did so because they had crystallized, because they were incapable of adapting themselves to new conditions, new methods, new points of view. It is as though people would rather die than change."


Lasting human change often occurs, one heart and mind at a time. Neat Women Inc

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Positive Count

Count your blessings instead of your crosses,
Count your gains instead of your losses,
Count your joys instead of your woes,
Count your friends instead of your foes.

Count your courage instead of your fears,
Count your laughs instead of your tears.
Count your full years instead of your lean,
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.

Count your health instead of your wealth,
Count on God instead of yourself.

- Author Unknown


One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream.
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring.

One smile begins a friendship,
One handclasp lifts a soul.
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal.

One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam lights a room.
One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.

One step must start each journey,
One word must start each prayer.
One hope will raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.

One voice can speak with wisdom.
One heart can know what's true.
One life can make the difference,
you see, it's up to You!

- Author Unknown


A woman professed her new found faith one day. A co-worker asked her what it was like. She was caught off guard and didn't know how to answer, but when she looked up she saw a jack-o'-lantern on the desk and answered: "It's like being a pumpkin." The worker asked her to explain that one. "Well, God picks you from the patch and brings you in and washes off all the dirt on the outside that you got from being around all the other pumpkins. Then he cuts off the top and takes all the yucky stuff out from inside. He removes all those seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc. Then he carves you a new smiling face and puts his light inside of you to shine for all to see.

I'll never look at a pumpkin the same way again! God Bless you.


"Faith, it seems to me, is not the holding of certain dogmas; it is simply openness and readiness of heart to believe any truth which God may show." Margaret Deland

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Visitors to NEAT WOMEN INC occasionally pose questions about site content. Sometimes we actually answer them. Periodically, "why would a web site for women of a certain age post a lengthy essay on the importance of parenting when most women 'overcoming middle-age' have adult children or none at all?"

The answer is threefold. We all have the opportunity to "parent," regardless of whether or not we actually have offspring. Three of Eve's dearest friends are women who said farewell to fifty a couple of years ago. One has accepted full responsibility for parenting a nine-year-old girl who is a distant relative. This woman never married and never had children. When she learned of a situation where the single mother was finding it difficult to deal with two boys and a girl, she stepped in and offered to help. The child now lives with her and consequently has a brighter, more secure future. The second woman is married but never had children and she and Eve have known each other since childhood. She retired recently after teaching high school art for more than 20 years. She has "parented" literally hundreds of young people and has an exceptionally nurturing approach. She created the original Eve and Treasure Chest—brought them to life for Neat Women Inc. Finally, a lifetime friend of Eve's (since 4th grade) assumed custody of her 54 year old Downs Syndrome sister last year when their mother passed away. Jan also mothered four step children many years ago and now, at an age when most women would indeed be "resting on their laurels" she has willingly and uncomplainingly, become mother to a 54 year old child—her sister functions at about a four year old level.

Those of us who have offspring realize that one never stops being a mother, regardless of their ages. Finally, we should all care about every child as much as any good parent would, and be concerned enough to extend ourselves when the occasion arises.

We have routinely offered humorous anecdotes that fall under the heading, "out of the mouths of babes." Children are born stand up comedians but often times, by the time they can actually walk well, the world has rubbed off some of that charming patina of comedy. Eve's daughter-in-law gave her a book for Mother's Day as an expression of appreciation to the woman who had been a "good Mom" to her husband. We think it's probably one of the most charming little volumes you'll ever see. The illustrations are beautiful and the sentiment is pure love. We don't want to spoil your experience of reading it for yourself—it's more than worth the $5 or $6 so this is a just a brief excerpt:

When I'm An Old Lady by, Mary Ann Hopkins:

"When I'm an old lady, I'll live with my son, and make his life happy and filled with such fun.

I want to pay back all the joy he's provided, returning each deed. Oh, he'll be so excited.

...when I'm an old lady and live with my son.

I'll write on the wall with red, white, and blue; and bounce on the furniture wearing my shoes.

I'll drink from the carton and then leave it out. I'll stuff all the toilets and oh, he will shout.

...when I'm an old lady and live with my son."

And at the end: "And later, in bed, I'll lay back and sigh, and thank God in prayer and then close my eyes; and my son will look down with a smile slowly creeping, and say with a groan, 'she's so sweet when she's sleeping.' ...when I'm an old lady and live with my son."

We guarantee it will make you smile and put a lump in your throat at the same time….pretty much the way our kids did when they were small!

When Eve's daughter was about 3 years old, she stuffed a handful of raisins up her nose. A hysterical call to the pediatrician was embarrassing, especially when he explained that they would soon get mushy enough to fall out. When EVE asked in an exasperated tone of voice, "Why in the world did you do that," her daughter replied, "To see if they would fit." Recently, someone asked Eve the age of her children. When she explained that they're both grown, the person queried, "Oh, so they're living independently of you?" To which Eve replied, "Actually, my daughter has been living independently of me since she was about three years old!!" Mothers and daughters are a whole other story but if you've never endured one of those epiphanies when you realize your child "has your last marble"—well, that's a moment not soon forgotten!

Eve's daughter wanted to read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (she was working her way through the bookcase) when she was 11. Eve insisted she wait until she was 13. Eve did, however, give her Hot Flashes to read when she was 17 and afterwards asked what she thought. Her daughter said, "It was good—funny. But, I didn't understand that one expression that 'a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. Fish don't need bicycles! Ahhhh…"


"There are children born to be children, and others who must mark time till they can take their natural places as adults." Mignon McLaughlin (The Neurotic's Notebook 1963)

Monday, June 9, 2003

Monday is a good day to review our nutrition guide!


This diet is designed to help you cope with the stress that builds up during the day.

Breakfast 1/2 grapefruit
1 slice whole wheat toast
8 oz. skim milk

4 oz. lean broiled chicken breast
1 cup steamed spinach
1 cup herb tea
1 OREO cookie

Mid-afternoon snack
The rest of the OREOS in the package
2 pints Rocky Road ice cream with nuts, cherries and whipped cream
1 jar hot fudge sauce

2 loaves garlic bread
4 cans or 1 large pitcher Coke
1 large sausage, mushroom and cheese pizza
3 Snickers bars

Late Evening News
Entire frozen Sara Lee cheesecake (eaten directly from the freezer)


1. If you eat something and no one sees you eat it, it has no calories
2. If you drink a diet soda with a candy bar, the diet drink cancels out the calories in the candy bar
3. When you eat with someone else, calories don't count if you do not eat more than they do
4. Food used for medicinal purposes NEVER count, such as hot chocolate, toast and Sara Lee Cheesecake
5. If you fatten up everyone else around you, then you look thinner
6. Movie related foods do not have additional calories because they are part of the entertainment package and not part of one's personal fuel. Examples: Milk Duds, buttered popcorn, Junior Mints, Red Hots and Tootsie Rolls
7. Cookie pieces contain no calories. The process of breaking causes caloric leakage
8. Things licked off knives and spoons have no calories if you are in the process of preparing something
9. Foods that have the same color have the same number of calories. Examples are: spinach and pistachio ice cream; mushrooms and potatoes with gravy
10. Chocolate is a universal color and may be substituted for any other food color
11. Anything consumed while standing has no calories. This is due to gravity and the density of the caloric mass
12. Anything consumed from someone else's plate has no calories since the calories rightfully belong to the other person and will cling to his/her plate (and we all know how calories love to cling)


"I've been on a diet for two weeks and all I lost is two weeks." Totie Fields


"The first thing I did when I made the decision to kill myself was to stop dieting. Let them dig a wider hole." Gail Parent

Sunday, June 8, 2003


Comfort on difficult days,

Smiles when sadness intrudes,

Rainbows to follow the clouds,

Laughter to kiss your lips,

Sunsets to warm your heart,

Gentle hugs when spirits sag,

Friendships to brighten your being,

Beauty for your eyes to see,

Confidence for when you doubt,

Faith so that you can believe,

Courage to know yourself,

Patience to accept the truth,

And love to complete your life.

I asked the Lord to bless you

As I prayed for you today

To guide you and protect you

As you go along your way....

His love is always with you

His promises are true,

You know He will see us through.

So when the road you're traveling on

Seems difficult at best

God will do the rest.

Have you heard? It's time to let GO, let GOD!


They smile when they want to scream. They sing when they want to cry.

They cry when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous.

They fight for what they believe in. They stand up for injustice.

They don't take "no" for an answer when they believe there is a better solution.

They go without new shoes so their children can have them.

They go to the doctor with a frightened friend. They love unconditionally.

They cry when their children excel and cheer when their friends get awards.

They are happy when they hear about a birth or a new marriage.

Their hearts break when a friend dies.

They have sorrow at the loss of a family member, yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left. They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart.

Women come in all sizes, in all colors and shapes. They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you to show how much they care about you.

The heart of a woman is what makes the world spin! Women do more than just give birth.

They bring joy and hope.

They give compassion and ideals.

They give moral support to their family and friends. Women have a lot to say and a lot to give.

Saturday, June 7, 2003



Every now and then, a great invention comes along that transforms the world and makes our lives easier, if not better.

The plane, invented a century ago, gave people the freedom to travel anywhere in the world, Meet all kinds of foreigners, and, if necessary, drop bombs on them. It also created the need for large airports, where thousands of passengers could stand in line, waiting for their next flight to be cancelled.

The television, invented some 80 years ago, allowed people to invite a variety of guests into their homes, guests who would inform and entertain them, but unlike real guests, would never expect any food. Some of these guests would even wrestle each other, saving people the trouble of visiting the zoo. The Internet, invented more recently, gave people the ability to chat with strangers around the world, visit thousands of interesting websites and download pictures of actors and models, while pretending to be working. Yes, thanks to the Net, millions of people with no athletic skill whatsoever have managed to become professional surfers. And not all of them work for the government.

It's no wonder people get excited when they hear rumors of another great invention. They can't help imagining how it might improve their lives: "Perhaps it will allow me to drive my car while taking a nap. Perhaps it will allow my mother to send me delicious food by email. Perhaps it will allow my cat to operate the lawn mower and my dog to do the dishes."

Such wonderment was rampant in recent months with the news that Dean Kamen, a prominent inventor with more than 150 patents, had created something called "Ginger," expected to be more revolutionary than the World Wide Web. Even I was excited. "More revolutionary than the Web?" I asked. "Oh my goodness. What has this great inventor created? Has he helped mankind everywhere by inventing a machine that will warn us, in a reliable way, about any nearby occurrence of PMS? If so, I want to be the first to own it. And if I can't afford it, I want to be the first to steal it. It could be the greatest invention in history, even greater than the nose-hair trimmer."

With the PMS-Detector, I would know when to keep my mouth shut, when to get out of the way, when to hide under the bed. I'd finally feel safe.

But unfortunately Kamen's invention isn't that revolutionary. Though he has revealed little about it, Inside magazine apparently did enough investigating to conclude that "Ginger"  - also known as "IT" - is nothing more than a hydrogen-powered scooter.  What a disappointment, especially to Americans, who couldn't care less about scooters, whether they're hydrogen-powered or hyena-powered.

Scooters are just too small to get Americans excited. The average American has gained 30 pounds in the last few decades and is now large enough to EAT several scooters. And what about all those Americans who don't want to be just average?

Most Americans prefer vehicles that are big enough to haul not just their entire families, but also several sumo wrestlers. Just in case they go to Japan. Never mind that a scooter would be more fuel-efficient. If it can't haul a fat foreigner, what's the use?

So maybe Dean Kamen needs to go back to the drawing board. If he's intent on inventing something that's hydrogen-powered, I'd be willing to invest all my money -- every last penny -- in a hydrogen-powered PMS-Detector.

Even if I had to make all the hydrogen myself.

Friday, June 6, 2003

It's been reported that "old fashioned geography" is no longer taught in school. The statistics on how many students graduate from high school without a clue where major countries are located are rather stunning. Apparently, it's gotten so bad, that when asked to name a continent, some reply, "The breakfast of juice and a bagel you get in hotels ("Continental Breakfast)." Many think the Arctic is the name of expensive bottled water.

Thinking about geography reminds us, in certain areas of the country there are old habits that still have life in them and may never die. The south (which includes the "deep" south, and the rest of it, and the southwest which Texans do not consider their state part of because--well, because Texas is just different.)

Our mobile society has prompted lots of us to consult with experts in "local etiquette," if we want to mind our manners when traveling. A few recent books have cast a critical spotlight on specific destinations, which does not always please permanent residents. Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil comes to mind, by John Berendt. Although, a work of fiction (sort of) there were some southern traditions revealed that folks thought too outrageous to be true--until they visited Savannah.

Author Marilyn Schwartz has tackled the topic of Southern Belles in a hilarious (only to women who aren't one) book titled, A Southern Belles Primer: or why Princess Margaret will never be a Kappa Kappa Gamma.

From the "Iced Tea and Deviled Egg Plates" chapter:

"Want to know if someone is a real Southern Belle? Just look in her cupboard. If she's got an iced tea pitcher and a deviled egg plate, you can bet she's as Southern as tomato aspic. If not, she probably moved to New Orleans when she was two or three from someplace like Chicago.

Southerners don't just drink iced tea, they practically inhale it. They see no reason not to drink it when snow is on the ground. It's equally appropriate in the middle of a heat wave. When Bloomingdale's opened a store in Dallas, the manager of the crystal and china department had to make a special request that large beverage glasses be shipped as part of the merchandise to be sold. The New York buyers obviously did not understand just how important iced tea and iced water are in the South. And much to the horror of the local Southern belles, they didn't automatically ship iced teaspoons either. 'Up north, they just stir their iced tea with their coffee spoons,' observes one belle.' It's so tacky.'"

Whether or not something is viewed as "tacky" has a lot to do with geography! Eve has great respect for Southern Belles—she used to be one until the local chapter learned she didn't own a deviled egg plate.

Author Robert Fulghum has produced a body of work, which continues to offer, lessons in living life to the fullest. His first, All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, remains a best seller and carried the subtitle, "Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things." Human beings can simultaneously be common and uncommon. Overcoming middle-age presents uncommon experiences, which we may have previously viewed as rather mundane. There is a heightened awareness of the world around us and everything in it, which often eluded us when we were younger and more distracted by everyday occurrences. If someone admonished us to remember to "stop and smell the roses," when we were thirty, our reaction might have been, "What roses, no one sent me roses, I don't see any roses." There is now a T-shirt that bears the expression: Over the Hill--what hill, I didn't see any hill, was there a hill?

A neat woman's response to that could be, "What in the world does a hill have to do with anything!?"

When we find ourselves "overcoming middle-age" we have mastered much or most of Fulghum's list about "clean up your own mess, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together, etc." We are now eligible for a Storyteller's License if we are willing to abide by what he refers to as the Storyteller's Creed:

"I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge.

That myth is more potent than history.

That dreams are more powerful than facts.

That hope always triumphs over experience.

That laughter is the only cure for grief.

And I believe that love is stronger than death."

We can handle that can't we?

And, by the way, Southerners are noted for being the best storytellers in the country.


"For Southerners, storytelling is as natural as breathing." Alice Storey

Thursday, June 5, 2003

We chose not to mention this little bit of trivia yesterday because it seemed like a bit frivolous. For that matter, we intended to ignore it altogether and then decided to meet the challenge head on! The book, On This Day in History by Leonard & Thelma Spinrad, states that June 4 "used to be celebrated as Old Maid's Day, which was originated in 1946. It doesn't get much attention any more. This is not a manifestation of a mere alteration in vocabulary to satisfy feminists. It is simply that singleness is no longer regarded as a liability."

What's wrong with that statement? Almost everything. Our culture does not celebrate singleness. We do not embrace the idea that being single is rewarding. There is a subtle, but nevertheless obvious discrimination against individuals who are not married--especially if they are under the age of 60. The term Old Maid was never O.K. unless it referred to the once popular parlor game which emphatically declared the loser as the person who ended the game holding the Old Maid card. Admittedly, we've made some progress in recognizing a person's worth when it is not defined by a spouse. However, it's still far more socially acceptable to be a single man than a single woman. There is obviously no coincidence in the fact that Old Maid's day was designated in a month when weddings and marriage are highlighted. Get a grip world--lots of women are single and loving it! Hooray for them.

Speaking of the rewards of independence, one of our favorite authors, Sue Patton Thoele, who wrote Freedoms After 50, Freedoms After Fifty talks about, "Find My Spiritual Home:"

"As women over fifty, we have the right and responsibility to embrace the spirituality that resonates with our hearts while allowing others to follow what speaks to theirs. Each of is empowered to drink from the cup of spirituality that quenches her own thirst."

Consider keeping a "spiritual journey" notebook or writing a brief spiritual autobiography to share with friends and/or family, or to simply provide an outlet for reflections on such a the importance of "satisfying your spiritual longing."

Finally, here are words of wisdom from Alexandra Stoddard's Grace Notes:

"Nothing makes one more tired than just sitting around purposely. That's quite different from sitting in solitude when we can daydream in peace and then spring into action. Our minds need to be occupied not to feel sluggish.

Often unrelated actions or thoughts trigger concentration. Something kicks in, like an energy appliance. The mind is an amazing appliance. Plug it in and it goes."

Often "women of a certain age" get very preoccupied with the way our minds/brains work--or don't seem to work. Some of us are even old enough to remember that not only were we told, "blondes have more fun," we were often admonished that it was "smart" to be a "dumb blonde."

PUUULEEZE on that one. At a particular stage in life it is easy to be distracted by our forgetfulness, an erosion of our ability to do five things at once, or why we walk into a room and then can't remember what we were there to retrieve. Eve's good friend Betty is fond of saying, "Hey, I was this ditzy 30 years ago so why worry?"


Countess of Blessington wrote in1839, "Wit is the lightning of the mind, reason the sunshine, and reflection the moonlight." A beautiful picture of four women in profile, representing approximate ages of 18, 30, 50 and 80, carries the tagline, "The sunset is just as beautiful as the sunrise." The mind is still there; we simply have different perspectives at different times in our lives.

Wednesday, June 4, 2003

Eve has been an inveterate reader all her life. Anyone who was ever been "dirt poor" as a child may recall how wonderful an escape could be found in books. Eve's mother worked full time from the time Eve was two years old. Although there were no material possessions for entertainment, Eve's mother understood the potential of the written word to enrich, expand, and enlighten a young child's mind. The library was a tiny place in the living room of an old home and by the time Eve reached middle school she had checked out and read almost every book in the collection.

She now has too many favorite authors to list and is continuously adding new names to the list. One such writer, whom Eve was introduced to just five years ago by a friend she's known since 5th grade, is Anne Lamott.

Anne Lamott is a writer who can beautifully articulate matters both gut wrenching and heartwarming. She is the author of a book listed on the NWI resources page. Bird by Bird is a non-fiction work which is alternately, laugh out loud funny, and lump in the throat agonizing. Ms. Lamott refers to it as "Some Instructions on Writing and Life."

Writing professionally can be a pretty lonely experience according to those who have "been there, done that." In an era when publishing may be more fiercely competitive than it has ever been before, the success of a book can be an exercise in serendipity at best and a remarkably torturous process at worst. Judy Collins wrote in her autobiography, Trust Your Heart that writing "is actually easy, if you are willing to sit down at the typewriter, open a vein and go to work."

One of the most compelling aspects of Bird by Bird is why she chose that name. "Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'"

No a bad philosophy for living.


"I learned from the age of two or three that any room in our house, at any time of day, was there to read in, or to be read to." Eudora Welty

Tuesday, June 3, 2003

Dedicated to Eve's dear, dear friend Jan who has been there, through thick and thin—since fourth grade and will be there Forever. All friends are important and there is something quite special about a friend who has "been there" a long, long time…..someone in the distant past who made a commitment to always be with us and for us….even when separated by geography. We hope you'll consider sending this to someone with whom you share a long history!

Forever Friend

Sometimes in life,
you find a special friend;
Someone who changes your life
just by being part of it.

Someone who makes you laugh
until you can't stop;
Someone who makes you believe
that there really is good in the world.
Someone who convinces you
that there really is an unlocked door
just waiting for you to open it.
This is Forever Friendship.

When you're down,
and the world seems dark and empty,
Your forever friend lifts you up in spirit
and makes that dark and empty world
suddenly seem bright and full.

Your forever friend gets you through
the hard times, the sad times,
and the confused times.
If you turn and walk away,
your forever friend follows.
If you lose your way,
your forever friend guides you
and cheers you on.
Your forever friend holds your hand
and tells you that
everything is going to be okay.
And if you find such a friend,
you feel happy and complete,
because you need not worry.
You have a forever friend for life,
and forever has no end.

"Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling." Margaret Lee Runbeck

"Constant use had not worn ragged the fabric of their friendship." Dorothy Parker


You will find a Send to A Friend form on the bottom of this page and we hope you'll consider reminding someone of how much her friendship means to you. If you would like to send a free, electronic greeting card to lots of friends, we offer a large assortment to chose from!
Click Here

Monday, June 2, 2003

Carl was a quiet man. He didn't talk much. He would always greet you with a big smile and a firm handshake. Even after living in our neighborhood for over 50 years, no one could really say they knew him very well. Before his retirement, he took the bus to work each morning. The lone sight of him walking down the street often worried us. He had a slight limp from a bullet wound received in WWII. Watching him, we worried that although he had survived WWII, he may not make it through our changing uptown neighborhood with its ever-increasing random violence, gangs, and drug activity. When he saw the flyer at our local church asking for volunteers for caring for the gardens behind the minister's residence, he responded in his characteristically UN-assuming manner. Without fanfare, he just signed up. He was well into his 87th year when the very thing we had always feared finally happened.

He was just finishing his watering for the day when three gang members approached him. ignoring their attempt to intimidate him, he simply asked, "Would you like a drink from the hose?"

The tallest and toughest-looking of the three said, "Yeah, sure", with a malevolent little smile. As Carl offered the hose to him, the other two grabbed Carl's arm, throwing him down. As the hose snaked crazily over the ground, dousing everything in its way, Carl's assailants stole his retirement watch and his wallet, and then fled. Carl tried to get himself up, but he had been thrown down on his bad leg.

He lay there trying to gather himself as the minister came running to help him. Although the minister had witnessed the attack from his window, he couldn't get there fast enough to stop it. "Carl, are you okay? Are you hurt?" the minister kept asking as he helped Carl to his feet. Carl just passed a hand over his brow and sighed, shaking his head. "Just some punk kids. I hope they'll wise-up someday." His wet clothes clung to his slight frame as he bent to pick up the hose. He adjusted the nozzle again and started to water. Confused and a little concerned, the minister asked, "Carl, what are you doing?" "I've got to finish my watering. It's been very dry lately", came the calm reply.

Satisfying himself that Carl really was all right, the minister could only marvel. Carl was a man from a different time and place. A few weeks later the three returned. Just as before their threat was unchallenged. Carl again offered them a drink from his hose. This time they didn't rob him. They wrenched the hose from his hand and drenched him head to foot in the icy water. When they had finished their humiliation of him, they sauntered off down the street, throwing catcalls and curses, falling over one another laughing at the hilarity of what they had just done. Carl just watched them. Then he turned toward the warmth giving sun, picked up his hose, and went on with his watering.

The summer was quickly fading into fall. Carl was doing some tilling when he was startled by the sudden approach of someone behind him. He stumbled and fell into some evergreen branches. As he struggled to regain his footing, he turned to see the tall leader of his summer tormenters reaching down for him. He braced himself for the expected attack. "Don't worry old man, I'm not gonna hurt you this time." The young man spoke softly, still offering the tattooed and scarred hand to Carl. As he helped Carl get up, the man pulled a crumpled bag from his pocket and handed it to Carl.

What's this?" Carl asked. "It's your stuff," the man explained. "It's your stuff back. Even the money in your wallet." "I don't understand," Carl said. "Why would you help me now?" The man shifted his feet, seeming embarrassed and ill at ease. "I learned something from you", he said. "I ran with that gang and hurt people like you. We picked you because you were old and we knew we could do it. But every time we came and did something to you, instead of yelling and fighting back, you tried to give us a drink. You didn't hate us for hating you. You kept showing love against our hate." He stopped for a moment. "I couldn't sleep after we stole your stuff, so here it is back." He paused for another awkward moment, not knowing what more there was to say. "That bag's my way of saying thanks for straightening me out, I guess." And with that, he walked off down the street. Carl looked down at the sack in his hands and gingerly opened it. He took out his retirement watch and put it back on his wrist. Opening his wallet, he checked for his wedding photo. He gazed for a moment at the young bride that still smiled back at him from all those years ago.

He died one cold day after Christmas that winter. Many people attended his funeral in spite of the weather. In particular the minister noticed a tall young man that he didn't know sitting quietly in a distant corner of the church. The minister spoke of Carl's garden as a lesson in life. In a voice made thick with unshed tears, he said, "Do your best and make your garden as beautiful as you can. We will never forget Carl and his garden."

The following spring another flyer went up. It read: "Person needed to care for Carl's garden." The flyer went unnoticed by the busy parishioners until one day when a knock was heard at the minister's office door. Opening the door, the minister saw a pair of scarred and tattooed hands holding the flyer. "I believe this is my job, if you'll have me," the young man said. The minister recognized him as the same young man who had returned the stolen watch and wallet to Carl. He knew that Carl's kindness had turned this man's life around. As the minister handed him the keys to the garden shed, he said, "Yes, go take care of Carl's garden and honor him."

The man went to work and, over the next several years, he tended the flowers and vegetables just as Carl had done. In that time, he went to college, got married, and became a prominent member of the community. But he never forgot his promise to Carl's memory and kept the garden as beautiful as he thought Carl would have kept it. One day he approached the new minister and told him that he couldn't care for the garden any longer. He explained with a shy and happy smile, "My wife just had a baby boy last night, and she's bringing him home on Saturday."

"Well, congratulations!" said the minister, as he was handed the garden shed keys. "That's wonderful! What's the baby's name?" "Carl," he replied.

"So many gods, so many creeds, / So many paths that wind and wind / While just the art of being kind, / Is all the sad world needs." Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Sunday, June 1, 2003


A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that the dog had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them. After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother of pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold.

He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. When he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, where are we?"

"This is Heaven, sir," the man answered.
"Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked.

"Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up." The man gestured, and the gate began to open. "Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?" the traveler asked.

"I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets." The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going. After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road, which led through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book. "Excuse me!" he called to the reader. "Do you have any water?"

"Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there" The man pointed to a place that couldn't be seen from outside the gate. "Come on in."

"How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to the dog.

"There should be a bowl by the pump."

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog. When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree Waiting for them.

"What do you call this place?" the traveler asked.

"This is Heaven," was the answer.

"Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "The man down the road said that was Heaven, too."

"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates?

Nope.That's Hell."

"Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?"

"No. I can see how you might think so, but we're just happy that they screen out the folks who'll leave their best friends behind."


One song can spark a moment
One flower can wake the dream
One tree can start a forest
One bird can herald spring
One smile begins a friendship
One handclasp lifts a soul
One star can guide a ship at sea
One word can frame the goal
One vote can change a nation
One sunbeam lights a room
One candle wipes out darkness
One laugh will conquer gloom
One step must start each journey
One word must start a prayer
One hope will raise our spirits
One touch can show you care
One voice can speak with wisdom
One heart can know what is true
One Life can make a difference ----Author Unknown


Friday, May 2, 2003

On this day, May 2...

1885 "Good Housekeeping" magazine is 1st published

"Good Housekeeping" magazine is not only alive and well, but has spun off a "sister" magazine titled "more" which is published bi-monthly and targeted at boomers….

***"Good Housekeeping," the premier women's service magazine in America today, began as a biweekly in May 1885. The goal of editor Clark W. Bryan was to "produce and perpetuate perfection -- or as near unto perfection -- as may be attained in the household."

The magazine changed to a monthly in January 1891, and established the Good Housekeeping Institute in 1900. Designed to serve the American consumer, the Institute answered concerns about product quality and safety, and was a forerunner to numerous government agencies. Good Housekeeping soon began printing a statement in each issue guaranteeing the reliability of every advertisement in the magazine. In 1909, The Good Housekeeping Seal was introduced as a visual symbol of this guarantee and the Institute's evaluation process.

Good Housekeeping was purchased by The Hearst Corporation in 1911, and has continued a rich editorial tradition that embodies a commitment to the home and a woman's quality of life for herself and her family. Each month, millions of readers turn to Good Housekeeping as their trusted source of information for home, food, fitness, beauty, health, and family. In 1989, 1993 and 1999, Good Housekeeping won the prestigious National Magazine Award for Personal Service. Good Housekeeping is also published in 13 international editions.***

We have previously mentioned Eve's objections to the expression "house wife." There is no woman who is the wife of a house! Homemaking is appropriate and many of us still view that with conflicted feelings. It's a noble endeavor—BUT—who understands how worthwhile, valuable, and important this is except for some women. Not all women are comfortable embracing that notion. Here's what we at Neat Women Inc know homemaking IS NOT ABOUT:

House cleaning or any other routine household tasks. Not about the monetary value that could be affixed to the number of areas a homemaker must handle—frequently, alone.

Has nothing whatsoever to do with our perception of ourselves within the context of "duties" around the house.

For a little broader backdrop we've selected the following excerpts from a Sunday, New York Times Magazine article which appeared a couple of years. Titled "The Rest of the Story," the piece was co- written by: Natalie Zemon Davis, (a former history professor at Princeton and the author of The Return of Martin Guerre and other books) and Jill Ker Conway, a former president of Smith and a visiting professor at M.I.T. Her most recent book is "When Memory Speaks.""Understanding the millennium requires looking past the male milestones of traditional history to see the shape of women's lives. For all their drama and insight, traditional histories of the last thousand years fall short. Written mostly by men, they introduced women into the standard parade of wars, revolutions, monarchs and parliaments only at moments like their ascension to inherited thrones or religious authority. In the 19th century, most male historians compounded the problem by making women's history sound as though women had only then begun making headway.

Women's history has more to it than that. Women have always questioned their subordination and often found ways around it. Further, some institutions important in the lives of women that seem timeless, like monogamous marriage, are in fact rooted in the last thousand years; some ostensibly modern movements reach far back in time. Indeed, many turning points on the thousand-year time line of women's history are little known or little understood.

Within the white middle-class family, education and religious responsibility for children improved women's status through the 19th century. By the 1830's, magazines analyzing life from a woman's point of view began to flourish in North America. But mostly, wives were still considered their husbands' subordinates. Though they didn't participate in elections, American women believed that they had access to the political system through the right to petition Congress. But as the conflict over abolition escalated, it became clear that women's petitions were not being heard. The right to vote was moved to the top of the list.

The middle class had begun its flight from the city in the mid-19th century, and by its close servants were being replaced by new laborsaving household equipment. So suburban women were alone with their children. Whereas in the 18th century the family was a partnership for spouses and children, the 20th-century family became based on intimacy. Greater life expectancy meant that marriages lasted longer, well past a woman's childbearing years. As infant mortality declined, the family became more child-centered and private insurance and pensions, as well as governmental assistance, made older parents less dependent on working children. In the 1960's, feminists began to focus on changing the composition of high-status professions. Once access to graduate education was won, feminist scholars pushed to change patterns of research and teaching so that women were no longer regarded as a failed model of the male norm, but as a norm themselves. In so doing, they helped ignite the culture wars of the 1980's and 90's. And by the end of the 90's, women constituted 60 percent of college graduates. Even so, on leaving school they still face the continuing reality of the glass ceiling.

So what has happened to women over the past thousand years? Western women and their children have made astonishing gains in health and life expectancy, though most of their non-Western sisters have not yet shared those benefits. The scope of women's work has expanded vastly, much of it paying well enough so that women with children can survive. Women in the West have secured access to education beyond the wildest dreams of their medieval counterparts. Women's athletic prowess has captured public imagination, and a female general is no longer a novelty.

What will be the new terrain for addressing the issues of likeness and difference? What new strategies will women develop to dismantle exclusively male hierarchies? The cognitive sciences will most likely inherit the role of theology in arguing about differences between male and female. But argument -- and laughter -- about the relationship between women and men will never end."

"A man has to be Joe McCarthy to be called ruthless. All a woman has to do it put you on hold." Marlo Thomas


"If a man wants to get it right, he's looked up to and respected. If a woman wants to get it right, she's difficult or impossible. If he acts, produces and directs, he's called multitalented. If she does the same thing, she's called vain and egotistical." Barbra Streisand



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