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Monday, March 31, 2003

Current conditions in the world have prompted some discussion of women in the military. We are there in greater numbers than anyone ever expected. We have located several sites on the subject for you to peruse at your leisure:

(Lots of interesting information and background and stats—not necessarily totally up to date but no more than five years old): Info from BUPERS archives, including which ships are open to women, and aviation stats. (Virtually all the new ships, except coastal patrol and submarines, are open to women. Minesweepers were opened to women as of July, 1999.) Some stats: 14.2% of the Navy is comprised of women; 14.1% (46,134) enlisted and 14.6% (8,008) officers. Officer and enlisted women are assigned to 123 combatants (up from 79 combatants last year) and 12 non-combatants ships. Some combatants have female officers assigned with no female enlisteds, because not all ships have had the enlisted berthings modified yet. (as of December 31, 2001) Women in the Marine Corps Women's milestones in the Corps, from the USMC site. Some stats: 4.3 % of the officers and 5.1% of the enlisted in the Corps are women. 93% of all occupational fields and 62% of all positions are now open to women, and women are now receiving combat training.

Women in the US Air Force.Some Stats: 18.9% of the force are women; 17.2% of the officers and 19.3% of the enlisted. The population of women has increased from 33,000 (5.4%) in 1975 to 66,003 (18.9%) in 2001. Women first began entering pilot training in 1976, fighter pilot training in July 1993 and navigator training in 1977. Currently, there are 418 (3.4%) female pilots and 156 (3.2%) female navigators.

Women in the Army. Some stats: Nearly 15% of the Army's Active and reserve components are women. 20% of '98's recruits were women. More than 32,000 positions are now open to women in the Army. Did you know that over 26,000 women went to Southwest Asia, and represented over 8.6% of the Army's deployed force?

Did you know that ALL positions are open to Swedish Women? The percentages of women in their force are very small, but the ones who have volunteered for these positions are doing great!

Women in the Canadian Forces Did you know that ALL positions are open to Canadian Military Women? Yes, this includes combat roles, and as of March 8, 2001, it also includes submarines!!

Did you know that all Israeli women between the ages of 18 and 26, who are physically fit, unmarried, have not borne children, and have not objected on religious grounds or grounds of conscience must fulfill their military obligation? The "draft" for men is 3 years, for women, 1 1/2. All young women with Israeli citizenship are sent their first draft notice at age 17. Most (but not all) military professions are open to women, including most recently, flight school, police force, paramilitary border police, and Officer Corps. Look for their admission to warships soon!

A Norwegian Soldier. Did you know that ALL positions, including combat positions, are open to Norwegian Women, and have been since 1985? Norway was the first country to allow women on submarines, too. There are no women in the para-rangers or marine commandos...not because they "aren't allowed", but because none of the women applying have yet met the entry requirements.

Women in the South African Forces The South African Defense Force is considering opening combat roles to women. (They're limited to support right now.)

Women in the Japanese Forces<strong> Women in the Italian Forces On September 29, '99, the lower house of the Italian parliament gave final approval, 273 – 9, to allow women to volunteer for the military. Italian men face 10 month of mandatory service. Italy has been the only NATO member that did not have women in its armed forces.

Women in the Italian Forces On September 29, '99, the lower house of the Italian parliament gave final approval, 273 – 9, to allow women to volunteer for the military. Italian men face 10 month of mandatory service. Italy has been the only NATO member that did not have women in its armed forces.

Military Woman

Women's Memorial

Gender Gap—Women and the Military

From, A Century of Women: The Most Influential Events in 20th Century Women's History, by Deborah G. Felder

"The debate over whether or not one of the last bastions of higher education—the U.S. service academies—should be opened to women was finally resolved on behalf of Congress in 1975, despite opposition by the administrations of West Point, Annapolis, and the U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard academies, alumni, and the command of the armed forces, all of which had been nearly unanimous against admitting women. In April, 1974 the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force issues official statements against admission of women to their academies, a position the Department of Defense supported. Since women were barred from combat, they argued, women had no need for the training the academies offered, and it was essential that the expensive training opportunities be reserved for those who would be asked to serve in leadership roles in combat situations. Women were also seen as a threat to the traditions and the standards of the academies. As Air Force Academy superintendent Lieutenant General Albert P. Clark explained in an argument that was echoed by academy leaders: 'The environment of the Air Force Academy is designed around these stark realities (of combat). The cadet's day is filled with competition, combative and contact sports, rugged field training, use of weapons, flying and parachuting, strict discipline and demands to perform to the limit of endurance mentally, physically, and emotionally.' The implication was clear: Women in the service academies simply could not cut it. Even many women in the military opposed admission. Retired Colonel Jacqueline Citron, who had led women pilots in the Women's Air Service Patrol (WASP) during World War II, argued that since women could not be in combat situations, they should not receive the special training given at the service academies. Captain Robin L. Quigley, the women's director for the Navy, agreed that women need not be trained for seagoing and combat specialties in which they were denied service.

In the summer of 1976, 119 women matriculated at the Military Academy, 81 at the Navy Academy, and 157 at the Air Force Academy. Each academy handled the arrival of women differently, which had a major effect on the first class of women and their attrition rate. At West Point few concessions were offered women cadets, who were expected to maintain traditional tough standards administered by many academy supervisors and upperclassmen who remained convinced that the admission of women was a mistake."


"What a rope of sand we are without a leader." Marjorie Bowen

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Heavens Grocery Store

As I was walking down life's
highway many years ago
I came upon a sign that read
Heavens Grocery Store.

When I got a little closer
the doors swung open wide
And when I came to myself
I was standing inside.

I saw a host of angels.
They were standing everywhere
One handed me a basket and said
"My child shop with care."

Everything a human needed
was in that grocery store
And what you could not carry
you could come back for more.

First I got some Patience.
Love was in that same row.
Further down was Understanding,
you need that everywhere you go.

I got a box or two of Wisdom
and Faith a bag or two.
And Charity of course
I would need some of that too.

I couldn't miss the Holy Ghost
It was all over the place.
And then some Strength and Courage
to help me run this race.

My basket was getting full but
I remembered I needed Grace,
And then I chose Salvation for
Salvation was for free
I tried to get enough of that
to do for you and me.

Then I started to the counter
to pay my grocery bill,
For I thought I had everything
to do the Masters will.

As I went up the aisle I saw
Prayer and put that in,
For I knew when I stepped outside
I would run into sin.

Peace and Joy were plentiful,
the last things on the shelf.
Song and Praise were hanging near
so I just helped myself.

Then I said to the angel "Now how much
do I owe?" She smiled and
said "Just take them everywhere you go."

Again I asked "Really now, How much do
I owe?" "My child" she said, "God
paid your bill a long long time ago."

"This poem was sent to you for good luck. It originated in the Netherlands and has been around the world 9 times." We thank the person who sent it to us…we miss you Suze.

Saturday, March 29, 2003


Subject: Diets

(A.) The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

(B) On the other hand, the French eat a lot of fat and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

(C) The Japanese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

(D) The Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

(E) Conclusion: Eat & drink what you like. It's speaking English that kills you.

Should College Professors Be Declassified?

If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed and dry cleaners depressed?

Laundry workers could decrease, eventually becoming depressed and depleted. Even more, bed makers will be debunked, baseball players will be debased, landscapers will be deflowered, bulldozer operators will be degraded, organ donors will be delivered, software engineers will be detested.

The BVD company will be debriefed, and even musical composers will eventually decompose.

On a more positive note though, perhaps we can hope politicians will be devoted.

Friday, March 28, 2003

A perfect way to get in the mood for the weekend.

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable. A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the kitchen with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time.

Let me tell you about it. I turned the volume up on my radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning talk show. I heard an older sounding chap with a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business himself. He was talking about "a thousand marbles" to someone named "Tom". I was intrigued and sat down to listen to what he had to say.

"Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital." He continued, "Let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities."

And that's when he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles."

"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years."

"Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900 which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now stick with me Tom, I'm getting to the important part." "It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail", he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy."

"So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round-up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear plastic container right here in my workshop next to the radio. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away." "I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight."

"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it until next Saturday then God has blessed me with a little extra time to be with my loved ones......"

"It was nice to talk to you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your loved ones, and I hope to meet you again someday. Have a good morning!"

You could have heard a pin drop when he finished. Even the show's moderator didn't have anything to say for a few moments. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to do some work that morning, then go to the gym. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my spouse up with a kiss. "C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast."

Smiling, "What brought this on?"

"Oh, nothing special," I said. " It has just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles."



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

Thursday, March 27, 2003


Close your eyes....
And go back in time......
Before the Internet or the MAC,
Before semi-automatics and crack....
Before SEGA or Super Nintendo.....
Way back.....

I'm talkin' bout hide and go seek at dusk.
sittin' on the porch,
Hot bread and butter.
The Good Humor man,
Red light/Green light,
Chocolate milk,
Lunch tickets,
Penny candy in a brown paper bag.
Playin' Pinball in the corner store.
Hopscotch, butterscotch, Doubledutch,
Jacks, kickball, dodgeball.
Mother, May I? Red Rover and Roly Poly,
Hula Hoops and Sunflower Seeds,
Jolly Ranchers,
Banana Splits,
Wax Lips and Mustaches
Running through the sprinkler.
The smell of the sun and lickin' salty lips......

Watchin' Saturday Morning cartoons,
Fat Albert, Road Runner, He-Man,
The Three Stooges, and Bugs....
Or back further,
Listening to Superman on the radio,
Catchin' lightning bugs in a jar,
Playing with a slingshot.

When around the corner seemed far away,
and going downtown seemed like going somewhere.

Climbing trees....
An ice cream cone on a warm summer night,
chocolate or vanilla or strawberry, or maybe butter pecan.
A cherry coke from the fountain at the corner drug store.

A million mosquito bites and sticky fingers,
Cops and Robbers,
Cowboys and Indians,
Sittin' on the curb,
Jumpin down the steps....
Jumpin' on the bed.....
Pillow fights,
Runnin' till you were out of breath,
Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt.....
Being tired from playin'
.....Remember that?
ain't finished just yet....
Eating Kool-aid powder with sugar.....
Remember when.....

When there were two types of sneakers,
for girls and for boys, (Keds & PF Flyers)
and the only time your wore them
was for "gym" at school?

When it took five minutes for the TV to warm up,
if you even had one?

When nearly everyone's mom was at home
when the kids got there?

When nobody owned a purebred dog.

When a quarter was a decent allowance,
and another quarter a miracle.

When milk went up one cent
and everyone talked about it for weeks?

When you'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny.
When girls neither dated nor kissed until late high school,
*..if then.

When your Mom wore nylons that came in two pieces.
When all of your male teachers wore neckties
and female teachers had their hair done, every day.

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

When laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or
towels hidden inside the box.

When any parent could discipline any kid,
or feed him or use him to carry groceries,
and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it.

When it was considered a great privilege to be
taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your

Then they threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed...
and did!
When being sent to the principal's office was nothing
compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving
student at home.

Basically, we were in fear for our lives,
but it wasn't because of drive by shootings, drugs,
gangs, etc. Our parents and grandparents
were a much bigger threat....
and some of us are still afraid of 'em!

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

I want to go back to the time when........

Decisions were made by going "eeny-meeney-miney-mo."
Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, "do over!

"Race issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest.
Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in

It wasn't odd to have two or three "best" friends.

Being old referred to anyone over 20.
The worst thing you could catch
from the opposite sex was cooties.
It was magic when Dad would "remove" his thumb.
It was unbelievable that dodgeball wasn't an Olympic event.

Having a weapon in school
meant being caught with a slingshot.
Nobody was prettier than Mom.
Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.

Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true.
Olly-olly-oxen-free" made perfect sense.
Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down
was cause for giggles.

The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team.
War was a card game.
Water balloons were the ultimate weapon.
Taking drugs meant orange-flavored chewable aspirin.
Older siblings were the worst tormentors,
but also the fiercest protectors.

If you can remember most or all of these,
then you have really LIVED!!!!!!

Pass this on to anyone who may need a break
from their "grown up" life....



"The past is never where you think you left it." Katherine Anne Porter

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

With the Ides of March behind us and the promise of spring ahead, many people are apparently in a nostalgic frame of mind. The stock market is an uncontrollable force at this point and we're faced with the prospect of high prices, coupled with an economic slowdown. Times did seem simpler once.


These informational statistics are taken from the book "When My Grandmother Was a Child" by Leigh W. Rutledge, and begins, "In the summer of 1900, when my grandmother was a child..."

The average life expectancy in the United States was 47.

Only 14 percent of the homes in the United States had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost $11.

There were only 8,000 cars in the US, and only 144 miles of paved roads. The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California. With a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.

The average wage in the US was 22 cents an hour. The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year. A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2500 per year, a veterinarian between $1500 and $4000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births in the United States took place at home.

Ninety percent of all US physicians had no college education. Instead, they attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as "substandard."

Sugar cost 4¢ a pound; eggs were 14¢ a dozen; coffee cost 15¢ a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering the country for any reason, either as travelers or immigrants.

The five leading causes of death in the US were: 1. pneumonia and influenza, 2. tuberculosis, 3. diarrhea, 4. heart disease, 5. stroke.

The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.

Ride-by shooting, in which teenage boys galloped down the street on horses and started randomly shooting at houses, carriages, or anything else that caught their fancy-were an ongoing problem in Denver and other cities in the West.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was 30. The remote desert community was inhabited by only a handful of ranchers and their families.

Plutonium, insulin, and antibiotics hadn't been discovered yet.

Scotch tape, crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented.

There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

One in ten US adults couldn't read or write. Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Some medical authorities warned that professional seamstresses were apt to become sexually aroused by the steady rhythm, hour after hour, of the sewing machine's foot pedals. They recommended slipping bromide - which was thought to diminish sexual desire - into the women's drinking water.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores. According to one pharmacist, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and the bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health."

Coca-Cola contained cocaine instead of caffeine.

Punch-card data processing had recently been developed, and early predecessors of the modern computer were used for the first time by the Government to help compile the 1900 census.

Eighteen percent of households in the United States had at least one full-time servant or domestic.

There were about 230 reported murders in the US annually.

"History's like a story in a way: it depends on who's telling it." Dorothy Salisbury Davis


"Americans want action for their money. They are fascinated by its self-reproducing qualities." Paula Nelson

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

The following two items were sent to us by a long time, dear, close friend named Howard Williams. Howie worked for the telephone company….there was only one when he started and by the time he retired, there were too many to count (phone companies that is). He sent this is mid-January and in mid-February, Howard passed away unexpectedly. He was a bright, witty person with a talent for playing the piano and making people laugh and feel comfortable in his presence. We miss him.

Note: I'm told this actually happened.

One thing that has always bugged me, and I'm sure it does most of you, is to sit down at the dinner table only to be interrupted by a phone call from a telemarketer. I decided, on one such occasion, to try to be as irritating to them as they were to me. This particular call happened to be from AT&T; and it went something like this:

Me: Hello?

AT&T;: Hello, this is AT&T...;

Me: Is this AT&T;?

AT&T;: Yes, this is AT&T...;

Me: This is AT&T;?

AT&T;: Yes This is AT&T...;

Me: Is this AT&T;?

AT&T;: YES! This is AT&T;, may I speak to Mr. Byron please?

Me: May I ask who is calling?

AT&T;: This is AT&T.;

Me: OK, hold on.

At this point I put the phone down for a solid 5 minutes thinking that, surely, this person would have hung up the phone. I ate my salad. Much to my surprise, when I picked up the receiver, they were still waiting.

Me: Hello?

AT&T;: Is this Mr. Byron?

Me: May I ask who is calling please?

AT&T;: Yes this is AT&T...;

Me: Is this AT&T;?

AT&T;: Yes this is AT&T...;

Me: The phone company?

AT&T;: Yes sir.

Me: I thought you said this was AT&T.;

AT&T;: Yes sir, we are a phone company.

Me: I already have a phone.

AT&T;: We aren't selling phones today Mr. Byron. We would like to offer you>10 cents a minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Me: Now, that's 10 cents a minute 24 hours a day?

AT&T;: (getting a little excited at this point by my interest) Yes, sir, that's right! 24 hours a day!

Me: Now, that's 10 cents a minute 24 hours a day?

AT&T;: That's right.

Me: 365 days a year?

AT&T;: Yes sir.

Me: I am definitely interested in that! Wow!!! That's amazing!

AT&T;: We think so!

Me: That's quite a sum of money!

AT&T;: Yes sir, it's amazing how it adds up.

Me: OK, so will you send me checks weekly, monthly or just one big one at the end of the year for the full $52,560, and if you send an annual check, can I get a cash advance?

AT&T;: Excuse me?

Me: You know, the 10 cents a minute.

AT&T;: What are you talking about?

Me: You said you'd give me 10 cents a minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. That comes to $144 per day, $1,008 per week and $52,560 per year. I'm just interested in knowing how you will be making payment.

AT&T;: Oh no, sir, I didn't mean we'd be paying you. You pay US 10 cents a minute.

Me: Wait a minute, how do you figure that by saying that you'll give me 10 cents a minute, that I'll give YOU 10 cents a minute? Is this some kind of> subliminal telemarketing scheme? I've read about things like this in the> Enquirer, you know.

AT&T;: No, Sir, we are offering 10 cents a minute for...

Me: THERE YOU GO AGAIN! Can I speak to a supervisor please!

AT&T;: Sir, I don't think that is necessary.

Me: I insist on speaking to a supervisor!

AT&T;: Yes, Mr. Byron. Please hold.

At this point I begin trying to finish my dinner.

Supervisor: Mr. Byron?

Me: Yeth?

Supervisor: I understand you are not quite understanding our 10 cents a minute program.

Me: Is thist a Teeth & Teeth?

Supervisor: Yes, Sir, it sure is.

I had to swallow before I choked on my food. It was all I could do to suppress my laughter and I had to be careful not to produce a snort.

Me: No, actually, I was just waiting for someone to get back to me so that I could sign up for the plan.

Supervisor: OK, no problem, I'll transfer you back to the person who was helping you.

Me: Thank you.

I was on hold once again and managed a few more mouthfuls. I needed to end this conversation. Suddenly, there was an aggravated but polite voice at the other end of the phone.

AT&T;: Hello Mr. Byron, I understand that you are interested in signing up for our plan?

Me: No, but I was wondering -- do you have that "friends and family" thing? Because you can never have enough friends and I'm an only child and I'd really like to have a little brother...

AT & T: Click

(Howard was an only child and a great prankster!)

*~ I've learned.... that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

~*~ I've learned.... that the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

~*~ I've learned.... that when you're in love, it shows.

~*~ I've learned.... that just one person saying to me, "You've made my day!" makes my day.

~*~ I've learned.... that having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.

~*~ I've learned.... that being kind is more important than being right.

~*~ I've learned.... that you should never say no to a gift from a child.

~*~ I've learned.... that I can always pray for someone when I don't have the strength to help in some other way.

~*~ I've learned.... that no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.

~*~ I've learned.... that sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.

~*~ I've learned.... that simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.

~*~ I've learned.... that we should be glad God doesn't give us everything we ask for.

~*~ I've learned.... that money doesn't buy class.

~*~ I've learned.... that it's those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.

~*~ I've learned.... that under everyone's hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

~*~ I've learned.... that the Lord didn't do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?

~*~ I've learned.... that to ignore the facts does not change the facts.

~*~ I've learned.... that love, not time, heals all wounds.

~*~ I've learned.... that the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.

~*~ I've learned.... that everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.

~*~ I've learned.... that life is tough, but I'm tougher.

~*~ I've learned.... that opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.

~*~ I've learned.... that when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.

~*~ I've learned.... that I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away.

~*~ I've learned.... that one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.

~*~ I've learned.... that a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

~*~ I've learned.... that I can't choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it.

~*~ I've learned.... that when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, that you're hooked for life.

~*~ I've learned.... that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.

~*~ I've learned.... that it is best to give advice in only two circumstances; when it is requested and when it is a life-threatening situation.

~*~ I've learned.... that the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.

Author - Andy Rooney

The world is now one "really good guy" short. Catch you later Howard!


"A human being does not cease to exist at death. It is change, not destruction, which takes place." Florence Nightingale

Monday, March 24, 2003

Did all your favorite entertainers win awards last night? Could there be any other more highly publicized, well-attended, or intensely viewed example of wretched excess? Not, with an estimated audience of over a billion people! But, we can hardly afford to be critical, because the "glass house" we live in has three TV sets, all of which were tuned in—so we dare not throw even the smallest pebble—never mind a stone!

With such successful female singers as Sarah Vaughan and Mariah Carey celebrating birthdays this week as well, it could be called, "The Day of the Chanteuse." On the other hand, "The Day of the Diva" describes both of them AND the woman who was the embodiment of that expression, Gloria Swanson, who, if she were alive today, would be 103—and probably not very happy about it. The following are excerpts from two excellent web sites featuring Gloria Swanson one of which is no longer available online. The estate of Ms. Swanson still offers a site and if you visit and have audio, you may want to turn down the speakers a bit. Hearing Ms. Swanson's distinctive voice can be a little unnerving!

Gloria Swanson was born Gloria May Josephine Swanson on March 27, 1899 in the Lake View district of Chicago. Her father worked for the Army so the family moved frequently during her childhood. She lived in Key West, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico for several years. Eventually, Gloria and her mother would return to Chicago while her father remained stationed oversees. Gloria was a beautiful and talented child and her mother was constantly making her beautiful clothes. Her mother worried that her ears were too large and she was always making her special muffs and hats to hide them. During her school years, Gloria loved to perform and she acted in a number of school plays and was the star of an operetta while in Puerto Rico. She possessed a lovely singing voice and she decided that she wanted to be an opera singer.

Gloria was 15 and she and her mother had moved back to Chicago when Gloria's aunt suggested that they make a trip to Essanay Studios. Essanay was a film studio in Chicago, which also had studios in California. Gloria was immediately fascinated with filmmaking but she thought that movies themselves were crude and vulgar (the most famous films at the time were slapstick comedies). Before she knew it, Gloria had requested a bit part in a film and her good looks and stylish clothes got her the attention of Essanay directors. The money was good and the work was not that bad, so Gloria continued to accept jobs at Essanay. It was a good way to earn extra money for her favorite past time - buying clothes!

Luckily for Swanson, one of the greatest Hollywood directors had his eye on her. Cecil B. De Mille, master of the bedroom drama, had noticed Swanson's potential years earlier in a Mack Sennett comedy. Beginning with "Don't Change Your Husband", De Mille transformed Swanson into a glamorous clotheshorse who became the envy of women all across America. Swanson made six films with De Mille and it was a very happy and satisfying time in her career.

De Mille's films catapulted Swanson into superstar status. Her every move was followed and reported by fan magazines. They expected to see her dressed to the hilt in the latest fashions and Swanson never disappointed them. Her producers soon learned (after her drab attire in "Under the Lash") that she must wear lavish clothes in her films or her films would not be successful. In her private life, she bought a fabulous mansion and lived like a queen.

However, for a period of time, Gloria Swanson's career seemed to be stalled and several unremarkable films were poorly received. Almost ten years following her last film, Swanson would make the most memorable comeback in film history. Swanson was reunited with Cecil B. De Mille in "Sunset Boulevard." The role of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard had been turned down by Mae West but Gloria snatched it up. Her portrayal of a faded silent screen film star who imagines a glorious comeback was inevitably compared with Swanson herself, but it was to be a portrayal that would be forever remembered by film audiences.

The plot about a young screenwriter who ends up being a gigolo to an aging silent film star who is intent on making a comeback was a runaway hit. It would be interesting to see how Gloria Swanson would be seen today had she not made "Sunset Boulevard." It was a great comeback and introduced her to a whole new audience. Of course, this was nothing to compare to her success in the 1920's when she was worshiped by a nation of obsessed fans. But in Sunset, she gave an unforgettable performance playing an unforgettable character and she would forever be associated with Norma Desmond whenever her name was mentioned.

Swanson unfortunately lost the Oscar to Judy Holliday. It was probably the most competitive year ever in the Best Actress category with Bette Davis in "All About Eve" winning as many accolades as Swanson. The race was considered a dead heat between Swanson and Davis and many believed that their race was so tight that they canceled each other out. Possibly so, however, Judy Holliday's performance in "Born Yesterday" was nothing to sneeze at. Ironically, Swanson told Holliday - "my dear, you will have many opportunities at winning but this was my last chance". Ironic because Holliday died young in 1965 of cancer and never got another role like "Born Yesterday."

Some of the lines from "Sunset Boulevard" have never lost their "punch." Bill Holden, in the role of Joe Gillis,"You're Norma Desmond. You used to be in silent pictures. You used to be big." Swanson as Norma Desmond, "I am big. It's the pictures that got small."

Despite giving one of the greatest performances in film history, Swanson's film career did not progress much further. A forgettable comedy, "Three For Bedroom C," followed "Sunset Boulevard" but failed at the box office. An Italian film, "Nero's Mistresses," was made three years later but was so bad that it was not released to American audiences until seven years later. Swanson did not return to the screen until the 1970's when she made a memorable television film called "Killer Bees" and played herself in the disaster epic "Airport 75." Gloria Swanson was married 7 times and died on April 4, 1983, in New York, NY. If you would like to hear the sound track from the recent remake of Sunset Boulevard by Andrew Lloyd Weber, our favorite musical site offers renditions of all of them:

"I'll be eighty this month. Age, if nothing else, entitles me to set the record straight before I dissolve. I've given my memoirs far more thought than any of my marriages. You can't divorce a book." Gloria Swanson

"All creative people should be required to leave California for three months every year." Gloria Swanson


All right Mr. DeMille, We're ready for our closeup!

Sunday, March 23, 2003



Jake, the rancher, went one day to fix a distant fence.
The wind was cold and gusty and the clouds rolled gray and dense,

As he pounded the last staples in and gathered tools to go.
The temperature had fallen and the snow began to blow.

When he finally reached his pickup, he felt a heavy heart,
from the sound of that ignition, he knew it wouldn't start.

So Jake did what most of us do if we'd have been there.
He humbly bowed his balding head and sent aloft a prayer.

As he turned the key for the last time, he softly cursed his luck.
They found him three days later, frozen stiff in that old truck.

Now Jake had been around in life and done his share of roamin'.
But when he saw Heaven, he was shocked-it look just like Wyomin'.

Of all the saints in Heaven, his favorite was St. Peter.
Now, this line, it ain't needed but it helps with rhyme and meter.

So they set and talked a minute or two, or maybe it was three,
Nobody was keepin' score-in Heaven time is free.

"I've always heard," Jake said to Pete, "that God will answer prayers,
But one time I asked for help, well He, just plain wasn't there.

Does God answer prayers of some, and ignores the prayers of others?
That don't seem exactly square-I know all men are brothers.

Or does he randomly reply, without good rhyme or reason?
Maybe, it's the time of day, the weather or the season.
Now I ain't trying to act smart, it's just the way I feel,
And I was wonderin', could you tell-what the heck's the deal?

Peter listened very patiently and when Jake was done,
There were smiles of recognition, and he said, "So, you're the one!

That day your truck, it wouldn't start, and You sent your prayer a flying,
You gave us all a real bad time, with hundreds of us a trying.

A thousand angels rushed to check the status of your file,
But you know, Jake, we hadn't heard from you in quite a while

And though all prayers are answered, and God ain't got no quota,
He didn't recognize your voice, and started a truck in North Dakota.

A true story by Josh and Karen Zarandona

Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing. Although she was scared to death, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff. In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took a hold on the rope, and started up the face of that rock. Well, she got to a ledge where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the safety rope snapped against Brenda's eye and knocked out her contact lens. Well, here she is on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below her and hundreds of feet above her. Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had landed on the ledge, but it just wasn't there. Here she was, far from home, her sight now blurry.

She was desperate and began to get upset, so she prayed to the Lord to help her to find it. When she got to the top, a friend examines her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found. She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff. She looked out across range after range of mountains, thinking of that Bible verse that says, The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth. She thought, Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and you know exile to the bottom.

At the bottom there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens? Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it?

An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it. Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You." I think it would probably do some of us good to occasionally say, God, I don't know why you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will.

God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

Saturday, March 22, 2003


Actual Statements Found In Insurance Forms

The following are actual statements found in insurance forms where car drivers attempted to summarize the details of an accident in the fewest words.

1. Coming home, I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don't have.

2. The other car collided with mine without giving warning of its intention.

3. I thought my window was down, but I found out it was up when I put my head through it.

4. A truck backed through my windshield into my wife's face.

5. A pedestrian hit me and went under my car.

6. I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother- in-law, and headed over the embankment.

7. I attempted to kill a fly, and I drove into a telephone pole.

8. I had been shopping for plants all day, and was on my way home. As I reached the Intersection, a hedge sprang up obscuring my vision and I did not see the other car.

9. I had been driving for forty years, when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident.

10. I was on my way to the doctor with rear end trouble and my universal joint gave way, causing me to have an accident.

11. My car was legally parked as it backed into the other vehicle.

12. An invisible car come out of nowhere, struck my car and vanished.

13. I told the police that I was not injured, but on removing my hat, found that I had a fractured skull.

14. An indirect cause of the accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth.

15. I was thrown from the car as it left the road. I was later found in a ditch by some stray dogs.

16. The telephone pole was approaching. I was attempting to swerve out of its way when it struck my front end.


A kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they drew. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's artwork. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, "I'm drawing God." The teacher paused and said, "but no one knows what God looks like." Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing the girl replied, "They will in a minute."


A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her 5 and 6 year-olds. After explaining the commandment "Honor thy Father and thy mother," she asked, "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?" Without missing a beat one little boy answered, "Thou shall not kill."


An honest 7-year-old admitted calmly to her parents that Billy Brown had kissed her after class. "How did that happen?," gasped her mother. "It wasn't easy," admitted the young lady, "but three girls helped me catch him."


One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast to her brunette hair. She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, "Why are some of your hairs white, Mom?" Her mother replied, "Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white." The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, "Momma, how come ALL of grandma's hairs are white?"


A 3-year-old went with his dad to see a litter of kittens. On returning home, he breathlessly informed his mother that there were two boy kittens and two girl kittens. "How did you know?" his mother asked. "Daddy picked them up and looked underneath," he replied. "I think it's printed on the bottom."


The children had all been photographed, and the teacher was trying to persuade them each to buy a copy of the group picture. "Just think how nice it will be to look at it when you are all grown up and say: "There's Jennifer; she's a lawyer, or That's Michael. He's a doctor." A small voice at the back of the room rang out, "And there's the teacher. She's dead".


A teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood. Trying to make the matter clearer, he said, "Now, boys, if I stood on my head, the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I would turn red in the face." "Yes, sir," the boys said. "Then why is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position, the blood doesn't run into my feet?" A little fellow shouted, "'Cause yer feet ain't empty."


For weeks, a 6-year old lad kept telling his first-grade teacher about the baby brother or sister that was expected at his house. One day the mother allowed the boy to feel the movements of the unborn child. The 6-year old was obviously impressed, but he made no comment. Furthermore, he stopped telling his teacher about the impending event. The teacher finally sat the boy on her lap and said, "Tommy, whatever become of that baby brother or sister you were expecting at home?" Tommy burst into tears and confessed, "I think Mommy ate it!"


On the first day of school, the Kindergarten teacher said, "If anyone has to go to the bathroom, hold up two fingers." A little voice from the back of the room asked, "How will that help?"

"The character and history of each child may be a new and poetic experience to the parent, if he will let it." Margaret Fuller

Friday, March 21, 2003

Hello spring! This is the first official day. Also, today marks the anniversary of the establishment of an organization, which led the way for women to come together for professional reasons. It's hard to imagine, in the era of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of sites and other online opportunities for women, a time when it was considered inappropriate, virtually revolutionary for women to participate in a business endeavor at all, and a professional club in particular.

Then along came Jane. Jane Cunningham Croly was a journalist, which was one of the few accepted business roles for women in the latter half of the 19th Century. She was probably America's first syndicated woman's columnist and not surprisingly, the name of her column was "Jennie June." Her work originally went to an array of newspapers in the East and the South, however, in 1862, she became editor of the New York World in addition of continuing to write her column.

When Croly was refused admission to the New York Press Club to hear a special program by Charles Dickens, on this date in 1868, she founded Sorosis, the first professional club for women. Although not an active suffragist, Croly was committed to equal rights for women, and believed it was more important to lift women throughout all levels of society, and all other important reforms would follow. She convened a national convention of women's clubs in 1889, which became the General Federation of Women's Clubs.

Jane Croly raised the status of all women, particularly career women, not by "lowering the bar," but rather, by raising the energies of women to overcome the hurdle at any height.

We've previously mentioned Eve's election to the Board of Directors of a triple A baseball club—actually, the farm team for the Toronto Blue Jays. She was the first woman to ever be elected to that Board and when the President of the Board stopped by her place of business to introduce himself and provide her with a brief orientation, he began by saying, "I think you should know, it was not a unanimous vote. Some of the guys still think that baseball is a man's game." Clearly, the two gentleman who were responsible for her being elected had noticed that women represented more than 50% of the attendees at each game. Most of the Board Meetings were held at a "men's club." This was the late 1980's folks—and women had only been allowed to use the front door of the club for a few years. Eve asked a financial question at the first Board meeting she attended and was greeted with stony silence….then the meeting went forward as though she was not present. The club's manager gave a monthly report and always used the expressions, "OK guys, now listen fellows, by the way gentlemen." Yep—23 guys and Eve. Even when Eve had to deal with a difficult medical condition, she vowed that she would never miss one of those meetings, even if she had to be wheeled in on a gurney. It's not easy being a "token" but without enough of those, we still would be using the back door at that club.

On this day in 1905, author Phyllis McGinley was born. She wrote books primarily for young people but embraced a philosophy the rest of us can relate to as well. She won the 1960 Pulitzer Prize for volumes of light verse titled, "Times Three." Although born in Canada, she was known as an U.S. author and poet and died in 1978. We were not successful in finding any information about her except her work…and the following quotations taken from some of her books. They do reflect a writer with a gift for the art of transforming the ordinary into the spectacular.

"Body…..Our bodies are shaped to bear children, and our lives are a working out of the processes of creation. All our ambitions and intelligence are beside that great elemental point.

Fathers…..The thing to remember about fathers is, they're men. A girl has to keep it in mind: They are dragon-seekers, bent on improbable rescues. Scratch any father, you find someone chock-full of qualms and romantic terrors, believing change is a threat -- like your first shoes with heels on, like your first bicycle it took such months to get.

Gossip….Of course we women gossip on occasion. But our appetite for it is not as avid as a man's. It is in the boys gyms, the college fraternity houses, the club locker rooms, the paneled offices of business that gossip reaches its luxuriant flower.

Men and Women……I do not know who first invented the myth of sexual equality. But it is a myth willfully fostered and nourished by certain semi-scientists and other fiction writers. And it has done more, I suspect, to unsettle marital happiness than any other false doctrine of this myth-ridden age.

Silence…..Sticks and stones are hard on bones aimed with angry art. Words can sting like anything but silence breaks the heart.

Nothing fails like success; nothing is so defeated as yesterday's triumphant Cause.

The trouble with gardening is that it does not remain an avocation. It becomes an obsession.

Praise is warming and desirable. But it is an earned thing. It has to be deserved, like a hug from a child."

"We all of us deserve to be happy or none of us does." Mary Gordon, "The Company of Women"


"No one has a right to consume happiness without producing it." Helen Keller

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Today is the birthday of two people who couldn't possibly be more different, but both of whom have had a profound effect on our culture. Fred Rogers and Spike Lee. Mr. Roger's Neighborhood and Mr. Lee's "Hood." Light years apart? Maybe—perhaps not as much as it would appear.

Before we talk about that, today is also the day when Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin first appeared in book form. It had previously been serialized in an abolitionist newspaper. Within six months of the book's publication, 1 million copies had been sold—the year was 1852.

We found the following at

"Harriet Beecher was born June 14, 1811, the seventh child of a famous protestant preacher. Harriet worked as a teacher with her older sister Catharine: her earliest publication was geography for children, issued under her sister's name in 1833. In 1836, Harriet married widower Calvin Stowe: they eventually had seven children. She died at the age of 85, in Hartford Connecticut. While she wrote at least ten adult novels, Harriet Beecher Stowe is predominantly known for her first, Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852). Begun as a serial for the Washington anti-slavery weekly, the National Era, it focused public interest on the issue of slavery, and was deeply controversial. In writing the book, Stowe drew on her personal experience: she was familiar with slavery, the antislavery movement, and the underground railroad because Kentucky, across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Ohio, where Stowe had lived, was a slave state. Following publication of the book, she became a celebrity, speaking against slavery both in America and Europe. She wrote A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin (1853) extensively documenting the realities on which the book was based, to refute critics who tried to argue that it was inauthentic; and published a second anti-slavery novel, Dred in1856. In 1862, when she visited President Lincoln, legend claims that he greeted her as 'the little lady who made this big war': the War Between the States."

Now, we return to Mr. Rogers and Spike Lee. Both men, through their work, have exhibited the same sense of responsibility to their culture and the lives of the people struggling with important issues such as diversity, family, history and the vast concept of "neighborhood." Both tap into that theme and it's value to humanity. If you don't have that impression of Spike Lee, you may not have seen all his movies. Furthermore, it's imperative to remember that each man reaches audiences "where they live," figuratively speaking.

Excerpts from an article written by Joyce Millman, for the Salon Brilliant Careers site.

"For the past 30 years, it has been a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Fred Rogers steps up onto the porch, opens the door and beams a wide, welcoming smile, as if we light up his life. He changes from his suit jacket to his zippered cardigan sweater, from his leather slip-ons to his navy blue canvas boat shoes, and sings, 'Would you be mine, could you be mine, won't you be my neighbor?'

Outside Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, there has been Vietnam and Watergate, Chernobyl and Challenger, Ethiopian famine and ethnic cleansing, Oklahoma City and Littleton, Polly Klaas and JonBenet Ramsey. But inside, there is peace and calm, familiarity and safety. Troubling feelings and fears are gently explored. Reassurance is given. 'The whole idea,' Fred Rogers recently told Jeff Greenfield in a CNN interview, 'is to look at the television camera and present as much love as you possibly could to a person who might feel that he or she needs it.'

Love. Is it that simple? Mister Rogers thinks so. Yet many children go wanting. So Rogers has dedicated his life -- not just his career -- to making children's programming with love. Consistent, patient, respectful and pleasingly repetitive, "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" is the longest-running show on PBS, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Rogers has resisted merchandising, razzle-dazzle, fads (though he did break dance once on the show) and technological flash (it took until 1999 for Rogers to agree to put up a "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" Web site), reasoning that children's basic needs don't change with the decades. The children of 1999, he told CNN, are "deep down, the same" as the children of 1969 (and, you can surmise, the children of 1909 and 2009): "We all long to be lovable, and capable of loving." Mister Rogers from the Neighborhood Passed away February 27, 2003. If you would like to revisit his neighborhood or send a message of condolence we offer these links: will take you there and the memorial site

Spike Lee was born in Atlanta, on this date in 1957. He grew up in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, the son of an accomplished jazz bassist (his father, Bill Lee, scores many of his films) and an art teacher. The Actor, Director, and Writer is married to Tonya Linette Lewis and the couple have two children, Satchel, and Jackson Lewis. Spike Lee speaks publicly of his love for his family and his commitment to that relationship. He attended Morehouse College and New York University.

In our estimation, one of his best was, Get On The Bus, celebrating the Million Man March.

From a review: "Fifteen African-American men, a bus, and a journey. These are the simple ingredients of Columbia Pictures' movie, Get on the Bus, directed by Spike Lee. But these simple ingredients have produced a profound film that is likely to deeply move anyone who watches it. The film was made in 20 days—something virtually unheard of but the push was to time the release with the first anniversary of the march. But everyone was totally dedicated to the project. The film quickly rose beyond docudrama to being an event. Everyone knew this and was prepared to make sacrifices. The film was about real issues, and had moral fiber. It wasn't about making money. And sacrifice means commitment. Everyone had to want to do it. The producer states that the kind of cooperation exhibited was achieved through the leadership of Spike Lee.

The film's common thread of unity transcends race, and can therefore bring all people together. The producer also contends, it's about brotherhood, solutions arrived at through the heart, unity, and self-respect, he says. And it's not just for black audiences. White people will get the same message, a sense that everyone is on equal ground, they are not devalued, everyone has equal rights and equal respect and equal responsibility. You can find it at your local video store."

We've now come full circle: three people, a woman of the 19th Century and two men of the 20th—That last paragraph says it all:

  • common thread of unity transcends race
  • solutions arrived at through the heart, unity, and self-respect
  • the same message, a sense that everyone is on equal ground, they are not devalued, everyone has equal rights and equal respect and equal responsibility

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Fred Rogers, and Spike Lee—not as different in their missions as we might have thought initially.


"I've got such as much conscience as any man in business can afford to keep, --just a little, you know, to swear by, as 'twere." Harriet Beecher Stowe

Wednesday, March 19, 2003


According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 40's, 50's, or 60's probably shouldn't have survived.

Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets. (Not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking.)

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps then rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. No cell phones.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, videotape movies, Surround Sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, or Internet chat rooms.

We had friends! We went outside and found them.

We played dodge ball, and sometimes, the ball would really hurt.

We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. They were accidents. No one was to blame but us. Remember accidents?

We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it.

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live inside us forever.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked on the door, or rang the bell or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Some students weren't as smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade. Horrors! Tests were not adjusted for any reason.

Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected; no one to hide behind. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law.

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever.

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

And you're one of them. Congratulations!

Please pass this on to others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before lawyers and government regulated our lives, for our own good.

"Surviving is important, but thriving is elegant." Maya Angelou

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

$20 bill

A well-known speaker started off her seminar by holding up a $20 bill.

In the room of 200, she asked, who would like this $20 bill?

Hands started going up.

She said, I am going to give this to one of you, but first, let me do this.

She proceeded to crumple the bill up.

She then asked, who still wants it?

Still the hands were up in the air.

Well, she replied what if I do this?

She dropped it on the ground, and started to grind it into the floor with her shoe.

She picked it up, now crumpled and dirty.

Now, who still wants it?

Still hands went into the air.

My friends, you all have 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 dollars.

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 that 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 whom we know, but by who we are.

You are special, don't ever forget it!

Pass this on to those you care about, even the one who sent it to you.

You will never know the lives it touches, the hurting hearts it speaks to, or the hope that it can bring.

Always count your blessings, not your problems.

"All the great blessings of my life / Are present in my thoughts today." Phoebe Cary


Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the Send To A Friend form.

Monday, March 17, 2003

Begin this week with a quick mental exercise. Guess the year:

The U.S. launches its first satellite, called Explorer I, into space.

For the first time in 26 years, the U.S. Postal rates go up. It now costs 4 cents to mail a first class letter.

VISA and the American Express cards are introduced.

The median U.S. family annual income is just over $5,000.

Uncle Sam calls; Elvis listens: Our first mega-rock star is inducted into the Army.

The U.S. experiences an economic recession, as unemployment goes over 5%.

Sweet n' Low is introduced as an artificial Sweetener, using saccharin instead of sugar. Meanwhile, Cocoa Puffs is introduced; it contains 43% sugar.

The first Pizza Hut opens in Kansas City.

The first Grammy Award is given to the song, "Volare."

The Wham-O company introduces the Hula Hoop; over 100 million are sold.

The New York Yankees win the World Series, defeating Milwaukee.

The Brooklyn Dodgers become the Los Angeles Dodgers and play their first season at the L.A. Coliseum.

Arnold Palmer wins the U.S. Masters' golf tournament.

The Boeing 707 goes into production.

The Academy award for Best Picture goes to "Gigi."

Did you guess? The year was 1958. is the place to find information of the "coming of age" years of Baby Boomers.


"How is one to say exactly where history begins or ends? It is all slow oscillations, curves, and waves which take so long to reveal themselves….like watching a tree grow." Gretel Ehrlich

Sunday, March 16, 2003


If I could catch a rainbow
I would do it
Just for you
And share with you
Its beauty
On the days
You're feeling blue

If I could build a mountain
You could call
Your very own
A place to find serenity
A place to be alone

If I could
Take your troubles
I would toss them
In the sea

But all these things
I'm finding
Are impossible for me

I cannot build a mountain
Or catch a rainbow fair
But let me be
What I know best
A friend
That's always there

This is a Hug Certificate!!

Send One to All of Your Friends You Think Deserve A Hug And Those Who Need One!
(Simply scroll down to the bottom of this page and fill out the Send To A Friend form…it's fast and easy)

Did you know that an eagle knows when a storm is approaching long before it breaks? The eagle will fly to some high spot and wait for the winds to come. When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below the eagle is soaring above it. The eagle does not escape the storm. It simply uses the storm to lift it higher. It rises on the winds that bring the storm.

When the storms of life come upon us - and all of us will experience them we can rise above them by setting our minds and our belief toward God.

The storms do not have to overcome us. We can allow God's power to lift us above them. God enables us to ride the winds of the storm that bring sickness, tragedy, failure and disappointment in our lives. We can soar above the storm.

Remember, it is not the burdens of life that weigh us down, it is how we handle them. The Bible says, "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles." Isaiah 40:31

Beauty Tips
by Audrey Hepburn

For attractive lips, Speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, Seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, Share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair, Let a child run his fingers through it once a day.

For poise, Walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed. Never throw out anybody.

Remember: if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find One at the end of your arm. As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

Saturday, March 15, 2003


The blond called up the airline ticket counter and asked, "How long are your flights from Los Angeles to Phoenix?" The counterman answered, "Just a minute." At which, the blond thanked him and hung up.

My forgetter's getting better
But my rememberer is broke.
To you that may seem funny
But, to me, that is no joke!

For when I'm "here" I'm wondering
If I really should be "there."
And, when I try to think it through,
I don't even have a prayer!

Ofttimes I walk into a room,
Say, "What am I here for?"
I wrack my brain, but all in vain;
A zero, is my score.

At times I put something away
Where it is safe, but, gee!
The person it is safest from

When shopping I may see someone,
Say "Hi" and have a chat,
Then, when the person walks away
I ask myself, "Who was that?"

Yes, my forgetter's getting better
While my rememberer is broke,
And it's driving me plumb crazy
And that isn't any joke.

A Year To Live

A fellow went to the doctor who told him that he had a bad illness and only a year to live.

So he decided to talk to his pastor. After the man explained his situation, he asked his Pastor if there was anything he could do.

"What you should do is go out and buy a late '70 or early '80 model Dodge Pickup," said the Pastor. "Then go get married to the ugliest woman you can find, and buy yourselves an old trailer house in the panhandle of Oklahoma."

The fellow asked, "Will this help me live longer?"

"No," said the pastor, "but it will make what time you do have seem like forever."

A Year To Live

A woman had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital. While on the operating table she had a near death experience. Seeing God, she asked "Is my time up?"

God said "No, you have another 43 years, 2 months and 8 days to live."

Upon recovery, the woman decided to stay in the hospital and have a face-lift, liposuction and a tummy tuck. She even had someone come in and change the color of her hair.

Since she had so much time to live, she figured she might as well make the most of it. After her last operation, she was released from the hospital.

While crossing the street on her way home, she was killed by an ambulance.

Arriving in front of God, she demanded, "I thought you said I had another 40+ years? Why didn't you pull me from the path of the ambulance?"

God replied, "I didn't recognize you."

Friday, March 14, 2003

From On This Day in History,

"Throughout the United States, town meetings are regularly held to keep local populations informed about and involved in matters directly affecting their community. Today is the anniversary of America's first town meeting. In 1743, a group of concerned citizens met at Boston's Faneuil Hall to voice their opinions on key issues.

Neat Women Inc editorial comment:**No doubt, because the town meeting format can be televised now, nationwide, in living color, the concept has been embraced by individuals running for President. The important distinction may be that in the early days of America, government was essentially comprised of "citizen legislators," and today, the "professional politician" is the norm.**

Eli Whitney got a patent for his cotton gin on this day in 1794. The cotton gin patent, however, turned out to be only one of his great contributions. His cotton gin did reduce the need for hand labor, which gave a tremendous boost to the South's development. But Whitney also fathered the idea of mass production; the use of interchangeable parts; and the concept of the assembly line. Very few Americans have contributed as much to the nation's economic development as Eli Whitney. The next time you go to your mechanic to have the car fixed, you might stop and think of how much more that repair bill might be if Whitney hadn't come up with the concept of interchangeable parts.

Neat Women Inc editorial comment:**No doubt Eli Whitney would have been highly skeptical to learn that by the beginning of the 21st Century, science had learned to duplicate human body parts and to apply the theory of interchangeable parts to human organs.**

Desperate times often trigger desperate actions. After months of suffering a severe drought followed by a dry winter, it looked as if there wouldn't be enough water to supply New York through the summer. A crisis was in the making. On this day in 1950, New York hired an old-fashioned rainmaker. Dr. Wallace Howard, director of New Hampshire's Mount Washington Observatory, tried every trick in the book to make it rain. And one month later, it snowed. The crisis was averted.

Neat Women Inc editorial comment:**It does bring to mind the old saw about be careful what you wish for because even rain can slow things down in the Big Apple, while snow can almost bring the city to a standstill.**

Today is Albert Einstein's birthday. Born in 1879 in Ulm, Germany, Einstein's life story illustrates quite a few morals. For one thing, the man who is regarded as one of the world's greatest geniuses was not a particularly good student. He was not really a late bloomer, just an individualist who went at his own pace in his own way. He won the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics for creating a tremendous revolution with his theory of relativity, which he once explained in simple terms. 'When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it's longer than an hour. That's relativity.' He also escaped Nazi Germany and immigrated to the United States, where he spent the rest of his life championing the need for atomic research. Einstein even wrote to President Franklin Roosevelt to plead his cause. If there is any truth in the old adage that right makes might, Einstein's story seems to bear this out. This man of peace helped forge the key to the world's most terrible weapon. He was a German exile who became on of his adopted country's great assets."

It's been said that the reason the staunch pacifist Einstein supported the development of the A-bomb was because of his fear that without it, the Nazis' would win the war. He devoted a great deal of time and energy in the last years of his life advocating and end to war for all times. He died on April 18, 1955.

We decided to conduct a little experiment of our own—searching the web for "the female equivalent to Albert Einstein"….the effort was futile…even the Internet apparently does not know what to do with that type of inquiry. Some interesting issues popped onto our monitor: there was only one recorded quote from Elsa Einstein - his wife, who said essentially that she didn't exactly understand what her husband's work was all about but that she knew him to be a trustworthy person. An article titled, "Brain Structure May Influence Male-Female Behavior Differences," published in the New York Times more than a year ago. It included a reference to the recent report that an analysis of Einstein's brain indicated it was unusually formed in ways that could possibly explain his great intellect.

The one aspect of Einstein's persona, which has frequently been highlighted, was his very down to earth manner. Witness the following quotes:

"God is subtle but he is not malicious."
"If my theory of relativity is proved successful Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare I am a citizen of the whole world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say I'm a German and Germany will say I'm a Jew."
"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."
" Imagination is more important than knowledge."
"The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax." Albert Einstein had a great sense of humor. Who can forget the remarkable photograph of him on his seventy-second birthday, sticking his tongue out as far as it would go?

And we'll leave you with the following, which we suspect Mr. Einstein would have liked.

*** Anybody ***

This is a little story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody's job.

Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

"The softest, freest, most pliable and changeful living substance is the brain—the hardest and most iron-bound as well." Charlotte Perkins Gilman


"The brain is only three pounds of blood, dream, and electricity, and yet from that mortal stew come Beethoven's sonatas, Dizzie Gillespie's jazz, Audrey Hepburn's wish to spend the last month of her life in Somalia, saving children." Diane Ackerman

Thursday, March 13, 2003

From: "On This Day in History" We reserve the right to insert our own little editorial observances ** ** when appropriate.

1992 Building public trust and confidence, including and beyond financial credit, is only the tip of the iceberg; maintaining that trust takes a lifetime of unfailing and honest work. When the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously voted on this day, to publicly identify 355 current and former members who had overdrawn their accounts at the House bank, public confidence was dampened by an atmosphere of mistrust in elected officials.
NWI editorial comment: **Are they kidding? Hadn't public trust in politicos already been hosed down on enough occasions that the whole political establishment was soaking wet long before this…and speaking of "soaking"…there are those who contend it's the only thing politicians know how to do well to the American taxpayers!?**

1988 The struggle to be heard hit a high watermark on this day, when I King Jordan became president of Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. Students of this liberal arts college for the hearing-impaired demanded to be heard: They protested the school's tradition of hiring hearing-persons as presidents. Mr. Jordan became the school's first hearing-impaired president. NWI editorial comment: **Kudos to the following:
researchers who have provided breakthrough technologies for the hearing-impaired, the television industry for the closed caption feature; producers of the newest hit program, "The West Wing" for recognizing the talent of Marilee Matilin and giving her an important role in that weekly drama; everyone who has made it a point to learn to sign and Richard Dryfeuss and other cast members in the in the movie, "Mr. Holland's Opus" which further raised the public consciousness about the world of the hearing-impaired. finally, on a very personal note, to a young woman who befriended EVE in high school—a young woman who did not allow her inability to hear prevent her from being a cheerleader, a top college student, a good employee and the wife of a hearing-impaired man and mother of hearing children….thank you Mary Ann Jones. **

[SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY] the first person who writes to correctly identifying the letter represented above….one letter of the alphabet will receive a large NEAT WOMEN INC mug

1974 Dependence on a single resource is a weakness that can enslave and destroy even the mighty. The United States learned that lesson on this date. The group of oil producing Arab nations who had imposed a five-month embargo on sales to the U.S. ended their sanction. American dependence on outside oil resources crippled both industry and the economy. They tried to solve the problem by tapping into oil sources closer to home.
NWI editorial comment**How soon we forget…..with bigger and bigger vehicles on the roads in America, the recent boost in gas prices has been a painful "sticker shock" experience which does not seem destined to abate any time soon. Of course, drivers in many other countries have been paying as much as $5 a gallon for gas for years—notice how much smaller their cars are.**

1930 On this date, scientists announced the discovery of the planet Pluto—which is a matter currently being hotly debated in the scientific community—where many now believe it is not actually a planet.

1884 Though time may seem to pass more slowly in some places than in others, clocks all over the world are synchronized. It isn't the same time everywhere, but we can look at our watches and calculate the time in Singapore or Moscow or Timbuktu. We've only been able to do that since this date. That's when an international conference which was held on this date in Washington, D. C. established an international time standard. Using Greenwich, England as the commencement point from which all time is measured as plus or minus Greenwich Mean Time, all the time in the world was adjusted at thirty minute and one hour intervals.

1877 Chester Greenwood of Farmington, Maine, was granted a patent on this day for an invention that anyone who has been spared from cold ears on a frosty day can applaud. Inspired, no doubt, by a chilly New England winter, Mr. Greenwood invented a pair of ear mufflers.
NWI editorial comment: **According to fashion consultants, ear muffs have recently made a big comeback—of course they do get in the way of a cell phone for those who seem to perpetually have one at an ear.**

1852 Uncle Sam is America's most popular relative. He's been around a long time and today's his birthday. In 1802, the lanky Yankee in the star-spangled suit was born in the issue of The New York Lantern, a weekly newspaper. Frank Bellow drew the original character that replaced the nation's previous cartoon symbol—Brother Jonathon.
NWI editorial comment:**We're not ready to concede that Uncle Sam is America's most popular relative**

1781 and 1733 Nature played a key role in a couple of events that occurred on this date. In 1733, Joseph Priestey was born in Leeds, England. This Yorkshire chemist's discovery—oxygen—swept the world like a breath of fresh air. And in 1781, British astronomer Sir William Herschel discovered a huge planet residing just past the planet Saturn in our solar system. Uranus was the first of three planets to be sighted during the next two hundred years. Notable events which occurred during the last 268 years on this date pertain to:

Public confidence in politicians took a nose dive
Progress for the hearing-impaired took an important step forward
America's dependence on oil was highlighted
The discovery of Pluto was announced
Time worldwide was standardized
Earmuffs were patented
Uncle Sam was first published
Scientists heralded the discovery of Uranus
The person who discovered oxygen was born
Life is amazing isn't it?!


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

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Last Sunday was the "birth date" of a female known around the world who is now, most definitely, a "woman of a certain age" because she's 51. Of course, she has endured in a far more durable fashion because…. Well, because she's not human…although she has been treated as a human for her entire "life"—have you guessed? Here's a hint: her full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts and her "mother's" name is Ruth Handler. To date there have been more than 1 billion images in her likeness sold. In 1959 she cost $3 and today the price ranges from $6 to $900.

She's a successful businesswoman, a member of a rock band and a Women's World Cup Soccer player. Who is this superstar? It's none other than Barbie doll. A little hard to believe, but the Barbie Doll started out as a human being! She was Barbara Handler, the daughter of Ruth and Elliot Handler. Ruth Handler passed away on April 27, 2002 at the age of 85—may she rest in peace.

In the early 1950s, Handler saw that her young daughter, Barbara, and her girlfriends enjoyed playing with adult female dolls as much or more than with baby dolls. Handler sensed that it was just as important for girls to imagine what they themselves might grow up to become as it was for them to focus on what caring for children might be like.

Because all the adult dolls then available were made of paper or cardboard, Handler decided to create a three-dimensional adult female doll, one lifelike enough to serve as an inspiration for her daughter's dreams of her future. Handler took her idea to the ad executives at Mattel Corp., the company that she and her husband, Elliot, had founded in their garage some years before: the (all-male) committee rejected the idea as too expensive, and with little potential for wide market appeal.

Soon thereafter, Handler returned from a trip to Europe with a "Lilli" doll, modeled after a character in a German comic strip. Handler spent some time designing a doll similar to Lilli, and even hired a designer to make realistic doll clothes. The result was the Barbie doll (named in honor of the Handlers' daughter), a pint-sized model of the "girl next door."

Mattel finally agreed to back Handler's efforts; and the Barbie doll debuted at the American Toy Fair in New York City in 1959. Girls clamored for the doll, and Barbie set a new sales record for Mattel its first year on the market (351,000 dolls, at $3 each). Since then, Barbie's popularity has rarely flagged; and today, with over one billion dolls sold, the Barbie product line is the most successful in the history of the toy industry.

The first Barbie doll sported a ponytail hairstyle, black and white zebra-striped bathing suit, open-toed shoes, sunglasses and earrings. A line of fashions and accessories was also available. Buyers at the industry's annual Toy Fair in New York were not impressed, but little girls certainly were and the Barbie doll took retailers by storm. Mattel was so swamped with orders that it took several years for supply to catch up with demand.

The Barbie doll was introduced as a teenage fashion model, but in the years that followed she has taken on many aspirations roles. She has tackled almost every conceivable profession, including dentist, doctor, firefighter, astronaut, paleontologist—even Presidential candidate.

The Barbie doll has been joined by friends and family over the years, including the Ken doll—named for the Handlers' son—in 1961, Midge in 1963, Skipper in 1965 and Christie—an African-American doll and the first of many ethnic friends—in 1968. More recently, in 1995, the Barbie doll gained a little sister, Baby Sister Kelly, and, in 1997, a disabled friend in a wheelchair, Share a Smile Becky.

40th Anniversary Barbie Commemorating her 40th anniversary in 1999, Barbie doll is further expanding her versatile and limitless roles to inspire girls' dreams as she prepares for the new millennium.

The world of the Barbie® doll today is a great deal more than a doll and accessories. Barbie doll is keeping in step by allowing girls to use their computers to program and personalize their Barbie doll and design, create, play and dream using Barbie™ software. The Barbie line has also developed into a broad array of exciting licensed products for girls, including books, apparel, food, home furnishings and home electronics.

From the beginning, Barbie has also had her critics: the major accusation, from feminists and others, has been that she reinforces sexism, representing a young woman with questionable intelligence and a near-impossible physique. The late 60s even saw the creation of the "Barbie Liberation Organization," after Mattel introduced "Ken" (named after the Handlers' son), as Barbie's "handsome steady." Despite such criticisms, playing with Barbie dolls seems as a rule to enhance girls' self-image and expand their sense of their potential rather than the opposite. This has become more true over the years, as Barbie herself has expanded her horizons: she has now appeared as a doctor, astronaut, businesswoman, police officer, UNICEF volunteer, and athlete. Over the years, Barbie has achieved the title of the most popular fashion doll ever created.

Ages: 5 and up.

  • Number sold: About 1 billion. If placed head to toe, they would circle the Earth more than 11 times.
  • Barbie's most popular incarnation: Totally Hair Barbie, introduced in 1992, with hair that falls to her toes. More than 10 million have been sold.
  • Historical tidbit: The first Barbie was largely ignored by toy buyers, who thought parents wouldn't allow such a sexually developed doll for their daughters. They were wrong. Ken was introduced in 1961.
  • New for '96: Veterinarian Barbie, Engineer Barbie and Olympic Gymnast Barbie. For collectors, there's the $900 Pink Splendor doll, the most expensive Barbie ever produced.
  • One of the most successful dolls in history, with sales of more than US$1.7 billion in 1998.
  • The average American girl between the ages of 3 and 11 owns ten Barbie dolls.
  • Barbie doll is currently sold in more than 150 countries around the world.
  • The best-selling Barbie doll ever created was Totally Hair Barbie, introduced in 1992. With hair from the top of her head to her toes, Totally Hair™ Barbie sold more than 10 million units, generating worldwide sales of US $100 million.
  • By the way, the Handlers had a son. His name was Ken.
  • Barbie dolls sell at the rate of two dolls every second.
  • Ruth Handler invented something in 1959 which became so quintessentially American as to be included in the official "America's Time Capsule" buried at the celebration of the Bicentennial in 1976: the Barbie doll.
  • Barbie® doll is a register trademark of Mattel Corporation.

Eve NEVER owned a Barbie doll….and says, I'm just a Raggedy Ann doll in a Barbie world!"

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Our Celebration of Women's History Month Continues

If you have never read "In A Different Voice" by Carol Gilligan, it's still relevant today although originally published in 1982. Gilligan reviews studies revealing that girls begin to lose confidence in themselves at about 11 years of age. The author also draws from another female writer's work. She quotes from Jean Baker Miller's, "Toward A New Psychology of Women", 1976. "Thus women not only define themselves in a context of human relationship but also judge themselves in terms of their ability to care. Women's place in man's life cycle has been that of nurturer, caretaker, and helpmate, the weaver of those networks of relationships on which she in turn relies. But while women have thus taken care of men, men have, in their theories of psychological development, as in their economic arrangements, tended to assume or devalue that care. When the focus on individuation and individual achievement extends into adulthood and maturity is equated with personal autonomy, concern with relationships appears as a weakness of women rather than as a human strength."

Gilligan concludes, "As Freud and Piaget call our attention to the differences in children's feelings and thought, enabling us to respond to children with greater care and respect, so a recognition of the differences in women's experiences and understanding expands our vision of maturity and points to the contextual nature of developmental truths. Through this expansion in perspective, we can begin to envision how a marriage between adult development as it is currently portrayed and women's development as it begins to be seen could lead to a changed understanding of human development and a more generative view of human life."

While we were browsing in the "oldies but goodies" section of our bookshelf, we stumbled upon another examination of life as a woman. "Our Own Years" by Alice Lake was published in 1979 and ends with this observation: "Right now, at least, midlife is the stage when men may suffer crisis and women experience fruition. 'It's a glorious time, the point when everything is finally coming together for me,' one woman says. Poised at life's midpoint, with our strengths on the rise and our weaknesses waning, these are indeed our own years."

"Is it not possible that middle age can be looked upon as a period of second flowering, second growth, even a kind of second adolescence? It is true that society in general does not help one accept this interpretation of the second half of life." Anne Morrow Lindberg, "Gift From the Sea" (1955). That was then and this is now and society in general has finally "gotten it" and "women of a certain age" have come into their own!


"I remember adolescence, the years of having the impulse control of a mousetrap, of being as private as a safe-deposit box." Anna Quindlen

Monday, March 10, 2003

We hope your week is off to a good start. Not everyone greets Monday with enthusiasm. Let's see:

M   aybe

O   ur

N   eeds

D   on't

A   dd

Y   ears
to our lives, and we should think about that! Maybe Our Needs Don't Add Years? Manufacturing acronyms is harder than it looks. Well, coming up with useful ones at any rate! Do we need more time in every day, every week, each month, and eventually years of it? Time for what? Hold that thought (or ditch it).

How many of us are still trying to "do it all," "have it all," and make it all work? Some of us had Ginger Rogers (who always danced backwards in five inch heels), Lucille Ball (who portrayed a character who did housework in heels and a frilly apron), and Donna Reed (who also lived to launder and iron her families underwear while wearing a full skirt and a frothy smile) as our early role models. Then, along came Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Richards, a young, professional woman on her own in a big city. However, it wasn't until the final years of the series' long run that she began to actually exhibit some independence. That Girl, played by Marlo Thomas was yet another freshly scrubbed, perky to die for "girl" finding her way in a halfhearted pursuit of a career.

Added to that mix we watched Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman who could deflect bullets with her bracelets, Bionic Woman who was awesome, though still very much second fiddle to her Six Million Dollar fiancée, and let's not forget Charlie's Angels who have just been resurrected to fight the "bad guys" on yet another day!

Looking around online we found no shortage of sites created to honor all of those earlier heroines and syndication has given most of them a whole new "cult" status life. We encountered one particularly poignant essay, authored by a young woman who was apparently in a reflective mood. An excerpt from her piece:

"Between the ages of seven and eight, I couldn't get enough of Wonder Woman. I went off to school every day with my Wonder Woman lunch box, sometimes wearing Wonder Woman UnderRoos, and couldn't wait until summer vacation when I could be Wonder Woman every day -- a day at the pool never went by unless I was in my Wonder Woman bathing suit and had my Wonder Woman beach towel by my side.

In retrospect, I know that most of my heroines weren't as free and strong as I had once imagined. Wonder Woman was a secretary by day who wore low-cut dresses and filled out her super-hero outfit with an ever-so-curvy body, the Angels always had to answer to Charlie (when they weren't fighting crime in bikinis), and the Bionic Woman was hardly worth as much as her six million dollar fiancée....

However, all feminist theory aside, I'm glad that I had these women to emulate. Even though I rarely watched the TV shows, I eagerly copied these women and became used to the idea of being a "super girl." I gladly fought crime alongside the boys on the playground...only I did it my way. My heroines belonged to me -- not some stupid boy".


"I am my own heroine." Marie Bashkirtseff

Sunday, March 9, 2003


We commemorated International Women's Day yesterday with a special posting. However, this message which was sent to us last year seems to have more relevance today than ever—as the world strives for peace we think it's well worth pondering now:



More than a quarter of a century has passed since 8 March 1976, when we first celebrated International Women's Day at the United Nations. Twenty- five years on, we have many reasons to celebrate. Much progress has been achieved in the advancement of women -- from better legislation to greater participation, from the Cairo conference on population and development to the Beijing Platform for Action, from economic empowerment to intellectual emancipation.

But this International Women's Day is also a reminder that for the majority of the world's women, daily life remains a difficult and sometimes dangerous struggle. The past year has brought into sharper focus the objectives of gender equality, development and peace that remain at the heart of our agenda, and that are still far from being achieved.

The "Beijing Plus Five" Special Session of the General Assembly showed that while we have move forward in some areas in implementing the Beijing Platform, there are many points on which we have yet to make serious headway. The UN Security Council highlighted one of the most pressing of these challenges when it held its first open debate on women, peace and security.

It is one of the tragic features of modern conflict that women and girls suffer its impact increasingly and disproportionately. They are neither the initiators nor the prosecutors of conflicts, and yet they have been specifically targeted, often as a way to humiliate the adversary and break the morale and resistance of whole societies. Steps have been taken to end the culture of impunity surrounding this lamentable practice – both at the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and in the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

We must build further on that work. And we must do more. As the Resolution adopted by the Security Council makes clear, we must address the issue of women, peace and security on several fronts. While women are often the first victims of armed conflict, they must also be recognized as a key to the solution. We must strive to integrate women more effectively in peace processes worldwide.

It is increasingly realized that women possess particular skills and experiences that enable them to contribute to all stages of a peace process. In times of conflict, it is often women who take over the running of homes, farms and villages. Women understand the root causes of tension and know which power groups within communities and countries are most likely to support peace initiatives. Women are able to work together and communicate across barriers and divides.

We must make greater use of that potential. We must ensure that these experiences are replicated at all levels, in national and international arenas. We must build partnerships among all actors -- governments, non-governmental organizations, community groups and the private sector -- to bring more women to the negotiating table and into decision-making positions. We must act on the understanding that women's full participation in preventing and resolving conflicts is essential for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security in the 21st century. On this International Women's Day of 2003, let that be our credo for a more peaceful millennium.

This will take you to a site where you can hear, in the language of hundreds of countries, the spoken prayer for peace:

May Peace Prevail on Earth
Prayer for world peace in various languages
Peace Prayer Messages in the World

The Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow charity;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, the truth;
Where there is doubt, the faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light; and
Where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying to ourselves that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

Saturday, March 8, 2003

March 8, 2002 is International Women's Day

Founded in 1911, International Women's Day is the kernel around which Women's History Month (1987) was established in the U.S. On March the 8th, 1857, in one of the first organized actions by working women anywhere in the world, hundreds of women garment and textile workers went on strike in New York City protesting against low wages, long working hours, and inhumane working conditions. The event ended in violent struggles with police. The international holiday has been set aside to recognize the achievements and successes of women the world over.

International Women's Day (8 March) is an occasion marked by women's groups around the world. This date is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday. When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.

International Women's Day is the story of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men. In ancient Greece, Lysistrata initiated a sexual strike against men in order to end war; during the French Revolution, Parisian women calling for "liberty, equality, fraternity" marched on Versailles to demand women's suffrage.

The Role of the United Nations

Few causes promoted by the United Nations have generated more intense and widespread support than the campaign to promote and protect the equal rights of women. The Charter of the United Nations, signed in San Francisco in 1945, was the first international agreement to proclaim gender equality as a fundamental human right. Since then, the Organization has helped create a historic legacy of internationally agreed strategies, standards, programs and goals to advance the status of women worldwide.

Over the years, United Nations action for the advancement of women has taken four clear directions: promotion of legal measures; mobilization of public opinion and international action; training and research, including the compilation of gender desegregated statistics; and direct assistance to disadvantaged groups. Today a central organizing principle of the work of the United Nations is that no enduring solution to society's most threatening social, economic and political problems can be found without the full participation, and the full empowerment, of the world's women.

"The sad truth is that excellence makes people nervous" Shana Alexander ~The Feminine Eye, 1966

"Women should be tough, tender, laugh as much as possible, and live long lives. The struggle for equality continues unabated, and the woman warrior who is armed with wit and courage will be among the first to celebrate victory" ~Maya Angelou~

"Every woman should have a purse of her own" ~Susan B. Anthony~

"Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less" Susan B. Anthony

"Sons branch out, but one woman leads to another" ~Margaret Atwood~

"Knowing what you can not do is more important than knowing what you can do. In fact, that's good taste" Lucille Ball ~ quoted in The Real Story of Lucille Ball, 1954

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started" ~Sally Berger~

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome" ~Charlotte Bronte~

Friday, March 7, 2003

Two offerings today—one for those who chose motherhood and the other for all women, whether they make that choice or not.

Why Women Cry...

A little boy asked his mother, "Why are you crying?" "Because I'm a woman," she told him.  "I don't understand," he said.  His Mom just hugged him and said, "And you never will." Later the little boy asked his father,  "Why does mother seem to cry for no reason?"  "All women cry for no reason," was all his dad could say. The little boy grew up and became a man, still wondering why women cry. Finally he put in a call to God.  When God got on the phone, he asked, "God, why do women cry so easily?" God said: "When I made the woman she had to be special. I made her shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the  world, yet gentle enough to give comfort. I gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection that many times comes from her children. I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going when everyone else gives up, and take care of her family through sickness and fatigue without complaining. I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and all circumstances, even when her child has hurt her very badly. I gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults and fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart. I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts his wife, but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside him unfalteringly. And finally, I gave her a tear to shed. This is hers exclusively to use whenever it is needed." "You see my son," said God, "the beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair.  The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart - the place where love resides." Please send this to all the beautiful women you know today in celebration of Women's History Month. If you do, something good will happen - You will boost another woman's self-esteem!


A good woman is proud of herself. She respects herself and others.

She is aware of who she is. She neither seeks definition from the person she is with, nor does she expect them to read her mind.

She is quite capable of articulating her needs. A good woman is hopeful.

She is strong enough to make all her dreams come true. She knows love, therefore she gives love.

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

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

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

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

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


"Where there is a woman there is magic." Ntozake Shange

Thursday, March 6, 2003

We hope that after you've read this, you will consider logging on and enjoying it with music, and then sending it to a friend! The site name is Send a Friend

A daughter complained to her father about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved another one arose.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil.

In one he placed carrots, in the second he placed eggs, and the last he placed ground coffee beans. He let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

The daughter sucked her teeth and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. In about twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them a bowl. Then he ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her he asked. "Darling, what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

He brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. She smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

She humbly asked. "What does it mean Father?"

He explained that each of them had faced the same adversity, boiling water, but each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. But after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water. "Which are you?" he asked his daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

How about you?

Are you the carrot that seems hard, but with pain and adversity do you wilt and become soft and lose your strength?

Are you the egg, which starts off with a malleable heart? Were you a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a divorce, or a layoff have you become hardened and stiff. Your shell looks the same, but are you bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and heart?

Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean changes the hot water, the thing that is bringing the pain, to its peak flavor reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water gets the hottest, it just tastes better.

If you are like the coffee bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and make things better around you .

How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or coffee?

The Send A Friend's page of inspiring offerings:

"A woman is like a teabag—you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, March 5, 2003

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

Giving Up Too Soon
(Author Unknown)

A man meets a guru in the road. The man asks the guru, "which way is success?"

The berobed, bearded sage speaks not but points to a place off in the distance.

The man, thrilled by the prospect of quick and easy success, rushes off in the appropriate direction. Suddenly, there comes a loud "SPLAT." Eventually, the man limps back, tattered and stunned, assuming he must have misinterpreted the message. He repeats his question to the guru, who again points silently in the same direction.

The man obediently walks off once more. This time the splat is deafening, and when the man crawls back, he is bloody, broken, tattered, and irate. "I asked you which way is success," he screams at the guru. "I followed the direction you indicated. And all I got was splatted! No more of this pointing! Talk!"

Only then does the guru speak, and what he says is this: "Success IS that way. Just a little PAST splat."


"Any road is bound to arrive somewhere if you follow it far enough." Patricia Wentworth

Tuesday, March 4, 2003


About women....

WOMEN have strengths that amaze men. They carry children, they carry hardships, they carry burdens, but they hold happiness, love and joy. 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.

WOMEN wait by the phone for a "safe at home call" from a friend or relative after a snowy drive home.

WOMEN have special qualities about them. They volunteer for good causes. They are pink ladies in hospitals, they bring food to shut ins. They are child care workers, executives, attorneys, stay-at-home moms, biker babes and your neighbors. They wear suits, jeans, and they wear uniforms. They fight for what they believe in. They stand up for injustice. They are in the front row at PTA meetings. They vote for the person that will do the best job for family issues.

WOMEN walk and talk the extra mile to get their children in the right schools and for getting their family the right health care. They write to the editor, their congressmen and to the "powers that be" for things that make for a better life. They don't take "no" for an answer when they believe there is a better solution.

WOMEN stick a love note in their husband's lunch box. They do without new shoes so their children can have them. They go to the doctor with a frightened friend. They love unconditionally.

WOMEN are honest, loyal, and forgiving. They are smart, knowing that knowledge is power; but they still know how to use their softer side to make a point.

WOMEN want to be the best for their family, their friends, and themselves. They cry when their children excel and cheer when their friends get awards.

WOMEN are happy (or cry) 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.

A WOMAN'S touch can cure any ailment. They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart. She can make a romantic evening unforgettable.

WOMEN come in all sizes, in all colors and shapes. They live in homes, apartments and cabins. They 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. All they want back is a hug, a smile and for you to do the same to people you come in contact with.

WOMEN have a lot to say and a lot to give. The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen in 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, and the beauty of a woman with passing years-only grows!

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD HAVE.... old love she can imagine going back to...and one who reminds her of how far she has come...

....enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own...even if she never wants to and needs to...

....something perfect to wear if the employer or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour...

....a youth she is content to leave behind...

....a past juicy enough that she is looking forward to retelling it in her old age...

....the realization that she is actually going to have an old age and some money set aside to fund it...

....a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra... friend who always makes her laugh...

....and one who lets her cry...

....a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family...

....eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal that will make her guests feel honored...

....a resume that is not even the slightest bit padded...

....a feeling of control over her destiny...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... to fall in love without losing herself... to quit a job, break up with a lover, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship...

....when to try harder...and when to walk away... to have a good time at a party she'd never choose to attend... to ask for what she wants in a way that makes it most likely she'll get it...

....that she can't change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents...

....that her childhood may not have been perfect...but it is over...

....what she would and wouldn't do for love or more... to live alone...even if she doesn't like it...

....who she can trust, who she can't and why she shouldn't take it personally...

....where to it to her best friends kitchen table..or a charming inn in the woods..when her soul needs soothing...

"I'm a woman / Phenomenally. / Phenomenal woman, / that's me." Maya Angelou


"A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle." Irina Dunn

Monday, March 3, 2003

This is National Women's History Month and we intend to dedicate several days a week on the Today's Treasure page to women—which is what we do routinely. In fact, we'll select "special" women—but our bias is that all women are special.

At any rate we decided to start with a unique category—you know the type of thing we're talking about. This time of year we have already begun to grow weary of shows where the words "And the winner is" are heard umpteen times followed by, People's Choice Award, Golden Globe Award, Grammy Award, and so on. Those words are often followed by, "In the best, supporting, new, whatever—you fill in the blank." So, at the risk of sounding like every other show on television right now, we're going to begin with,

And the winner is EVErywoman today and always!

For All Women Online

Customer Service Representative: Can you install LOVE?

Customer: I can do that. I'm not very technical, but I think I am ready to install now. What do I do first?

CS Rep: The first step is to open your HEART. Have you located your HEART ma'am?

Customer: Yes I have, but there are several programs running right now. Is it okay to install while they are running?

CS Rep: What programs are running ma'am?

Customer: Let me see....I have PASTHURT.EXE, LOWESTEEM.EXE, GRUDGE.EXE, and RESENTMENT.COM running right now.

CS Rep: No problem. LOVE will automatically erase PASTHURT.EXE from your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent memory, but it will no longer disrupt other programs. LOVE will eventually overwrite LOWESTEEM.EXE with a module of its own called HIGHESTEEM.EXE. However, you have to completely turn off GRUDGE.EXE and RESENTMENT.COM. Those programs prevent LOVE from being properly installed. Can you turn those off ma'am?

Customer: I don't know how to turn them off. Can you tell me how?

CS Rep: My pleasure. Go to your Start menu and invoke FORGIVENESS.EXE. Do this as many times as necessary until GRUDGE.EXE and RESENTMENT.COM have been completely erased.

Customer: Okay, I'm done. LOVE has started installing itself automatically. Is that normal?

CS Rep: Yes it is. You should receive a message that says it will reinstall for the life of your HEART. Do you see that message?

Customer: Yes I do. Is it completely installed?

CS Rep: Yes, but remember that you have only the base program. You need to begin connecting to other HEARTS in order to get the upgrades.

Customer: Oops...I have an error message already. What should I do?

CS Rep: What does the message say?

Customer: It says, "ERROR 412 - PROGRAM NOT RUN ON INTERNAL COMPONENTS." What does that mean?

CS Rep: Don't worry ma'am that's a common problem. It means that the LOVE program is set up to run on external HEARTS but has not yet been run on your HEART. It is one of those complicated programming things, but in non-technical terms it means you have to "LOVE" your own machine before it can "LOVE" others.

Customer: So what should I do?

CS Rep: Can you find the directory called "SELF-ACCEPTANCE"?

Customer: Yes, I have it.

CS Rep: Excellent, you are getting good at this.

Customer: Thank you.

CS Rep: You're welcome. Click on the following files and then copy them to the "MYHEART" directory: FORGIVESELF.DOC, SELFESTEEM.TXT, REALIZEWORTH.TXT, and GOODNESS.DOC. The system will overwrite any conflicting files and begin patching any faulty programming. Also, you need to delete SELFCRITIC.EXE from all directories, and then empty your recycle bin afterwards to make sure it is completely gone and never comes back.

Customer: Got it. Hey! My HEART is filling up with really neat files. SMILE.MPG is playing on my monitor right now and it shows that WARMTH.COM, PEACE.EXE, and CONTENTMENT.COM are copying themselves all over my HEART!

CS Rep: Then LOVE is installed and running. You should be able to handle it from here. One more thing before I go...

Customer: Yes?

CS Rep: LOVE is freeware. Be sure to give it and its various modules to everybody you meet. They will in turn share it with other people and they will return some really neat modules back to you.

Customer: I will. Thank you for your help.

In keeping with our philosophy that "She who laughs, LASTS," we offer:


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

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

"Behind every successful man is a surprised woman." --- Maryon Pearson

"Our struggle today is not to have a female Einstein get appointed as an assistant professor. It is for a woman schlemiel to get as quickly promoted as a male schlemiel." --- Bella Abzug

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

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

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

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



Need the occasional reminder to stop and smell the roses? Get your printable Ten Commandments For Stress Reduction.

Sunday, March 2, 2003



Not too long ago I had "one of those days." I was feeling pressure from a writing deadline. I had company arriving in a couple days and the toilet was clogged. I went to the bank, and the trainee teller processing my deposit had to start over three times. I swung by the supermarket to pick up a few things and the lines were serpentine. By the time I got home, I was frazzled and sweaty and in a hurry to get something on the table for dinner.

Deciding on Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup, I grabbed a can opener, cranked open the can, then remembered I had forgotten to buy milk at the store. Nix the soup idea. Setting the can aside, I went to plan B, which was leftover baked beans. I grabbed the Tupperware container from the fridge, popped the seal, took a look and groaned. My husband isn't a picky eater, but even HE won't eat baked beans that look like caterpillars.

Really frustrated now, I decided on a menu that promised to be as foolproof as it is nutrition-free: hot dogs and potato chips. Retrieving a brand new bag of chips from the cupboard, I grabbed the cellophane and gave a hearty pull. The bag didn't open. I tried again. Nothing happened. I took a breath, doubled my muscle, and gave the bag a hearty wrestle. With a loud pop, the cellophane suddenly gave way, ripping wide from top to bottom. Chips flew sky high. I was left holding the bag, and it was empty.

It was the final straw. I let out a blood-curdling scream. "I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!" My husband heard my unorthodox cry for help. Within minutes he was standing at the doorway to the kitchen, where he surveyed the damage: an opened can of soup, melting groceries, moldy baked beans, and one quivering wife standing ankle deep in potato chips. My husband did the most helpful thing he could think of at the moment. He took a flying leap, landing flat-footed in the pile of chips. And then he began to stomp and dance and twirl, grinding those chips into my linoleum in the process!

I stared. I fumed. Pretty soon I was working to stifle a smile. Eventually I had to laugh. And finally I decided to join him. I, too, took a leap onto the chips. And then I danced. Now I'll be the first to admit that my husband's response wasn't the one I was looking for. But the truth is, it was exactly what I needed. I didn't need a cleanup crew as much as I needed an attitude adjustment, and the laughter from that rather funky moment provided just that.

So now I have a question for you, and it's simply this: Has God ever stomped on your chips? I know that, in my life, there have been plenty of times when I've gotten myself into frustrating situations and I've cried out for help, all the while hoping God would show up with a celestial broom and clean up the mess.

What often happens instead is that God dances on my chips, answering my prayer in a completely different manner than I had expected, but in the manner that is best for me after all. Sometimes I can see right away that God's response was the best one after all. Sometimes I have to wait weeks or months before I begin to understand how and why God answered a particular prayer the way he did. There are even some situations that, years later, I'm still trying to understand. I figure God will fill me in sooner or later, either this side of Heaven or beyond.

Do I trust Him? Even when he's answering my prayers in a way that is completely different from my expectations? Even when he's dancing and stomping instead of sweeping and mopping? Can I embrace what He's offering? Can I let His joy adjust my attitude? Am I going to stand on the sidelines and sulk, or am I willing to learn the steps of the dance he's dancin' with my needs in mind? I'll be honest with you: Sometimes I sulk. Sometimes I dance. I'm working on doing more of the latter than the former. I guess the older I get the more I realize that He really does know what He's doing. He loves me and I can trust Him. Even when He's dancin' on my potato chips!

"God has not called me to be successful; he has called me to be faithful." Mother Teresa

Saturday, March 1, 2003


"If Noah had been truly wise, he would have swatted those two flies." - Helen Castle

The following were taken from recent classified ads in newspapers:


















The blond called up the airline ticket counter and asked, "How long are your flights from Los Angeles to Phoenix?" The counterman answered, "Just a minute." At which, the blond thanked him and hung up.

I work in a busy office where a computer going down causes quite an inconvenience. Recently one of our computers not only crashed, it made a noise that sounded like a heart monitor. "This computer has flat-lined," a co-worker called out with mock horror. "Does anyone here know how to do mouse-to-mouse?"

Catchy Slogans

"Frankly, Scallop, I Don't Give a Clam." (seen on Cape Cod)
"That's It! I'm Calling Grandma!" (seen on an 8 year old)
"Wrinkled Was Not One of the Things I Wanted to Be When I Grew Up"
"Procrastinate Now."
"My Dog Can Lick Anyone."
"I Have a Degree in Liberal Arts - Do You Want Fries With That?"
"Party - My Crib - Two A.M." (on a baby-size shirt)
"Finally 21, and Legally Able to Do Everything I've Been Doing Since 15."
"FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION. It comes bundled with the software."
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance."
"They call it 'PMS' because 'Mad Cow Disease' was already taken."
"He who dies with the most toys is nonetheless dead."
"Time's fun when you're having flies.......Kermit the Frog."
"POLICE STATION TOILET STOLEN... Cops have nothing to go on."
"A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS, but it uses up a thousand times the memory."
"The Meek shall inherit the earth....after we're through with it."
"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana."
"HAM AND EGGS - A day's work for a chicken; A lifetime commitment for a pig."
"The trouble with life is there's no background music."
"The original point-and-click interface was a Smith & Wesson."
"Computer programmers don't byte, they nybble a bit."
"MOP AND GLOW - Floor wax used by Three-Mile-Island cleanup team."
"NyQuil - The stuffy, sneezy, why-the-heck-is-the-room-spinning medicine."
"Quoting one is plagiarism. Quoting many is research."



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