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Monday, May 31, 2004

Celebrated in most states on the last Monday in May, Memorial Day is a time to remember the U.S. men and woman who lost their lives serving their country. Originally known as Decoration Day, it was established in 1868 to commemorate the dead from the Civil War. Over the years it came to serve as a day to remember all U.S. men and women killed or missing in action in all wars.

We located two Memorial Day sites you may want to visit:
Beautiful photos and commentary and Memorial Day monuments
This is a personal tribute to all veterans by Roz Fruchtman and if your computer has audio capability, there are stirring renditions of "America the Beautiful" and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."

From the Old Testament, Isaiah

"They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." Something for people all over the world to pray for and strive to achieve.

"Hope is the thing with feathers -- / That perches in the soul -- / And sings the tune without the words -- / And never stops at all." Emily Dickinson

Sunday, May 30, 2004



A college professor challenged the class with this question. "Did GOD make everything there is?"

One student bravely answered, "Yes!"

"Everything, young man?"

"Yes, HE did, sir," the young man replied.

The professor responded, "If GOD made everything, then GOD made evil, and if we can only create from within ourselves, then GOD is evil."

The student didn't have a response and the professor was happy to have once again proved the Christian faith to be a myth.

Then another student raised his hand and asked, "May I ask you something, sir?"

"Yes, you may," responded the professor.

The young man stood up and said "Sir, is there such thing as cold?"

"Of course there is, what kind of a question is that? Haven't you ever been cold?"

The young man replied, "Actually, sir, cold does NOT exist. What we consider to be cold, is really only the ABSENCE OF HEAT. Absolute zero is when there is absolutely no heat, but cold does not really exist.

We have only created that term to describe how we feel when heat is not there."

The young man continued, "Sir, is there such thing as dark?"

Once again, the professor responded, "Of course there is."

And once again, the student replied. "Actually, sir, darkness does NOT exist. Darkness is really only the ABSENCE OF LIGHT. Darkness is only a term man developed to describe what happens when there is no light present."

Finally, the young man asked, "Sir, is there such thing as evil?"

The professor responded, "Of course. We have rapes, and murders, and violence everywhere in the world, those things are evil."

The student replied, "Actually, sir, evil does NOT exist. Evil is simply the ABSENCE OF GOD. Evil is a term man developed to describe the ABSENCE OF GOD. GOD did NOT create evil. It isn't like truth, or love, which exist as virtues like heat and light.

Evil is simply the state where GOD is NOT PRESENT, like cold without heat or darkness without light."

The professor had nothing to say.

Author Unknown—

"God is not in the vastness of smallness. He is not in the general. He is in the particular." Pearl S. Buck

Saturday, May 29, 2004



- Favorite Food
Dogs: kibbles
Computers: bits

- Method used to end undesirable behavior
Dogs: hit with rolled up newspaper
Computers: hit control-alt-delete

- After destruction of personal property
D: dog not found
C: file not found

- Favorite trick
D: roll over
C: play dead

- Comic-page hero
D: Dogbert
C: Dilbert

- Fun way to mess with their heads
D: peanut butter on roof of mouth
C: peanut butter in CD-ROM drive

- Consequence of virus
D: replace valuable carpeting
C: replace valuable data

- Widely ignored government mandate
D: leash law
C: Communications Decency Act

- Waste disposal tool
D: pooper-scooper
C: uninstaller (necessary only on Win-tel machines!)

- Sensitive internal procedures
D: must be undertaken by fully qualified professional
C: may be undertaken by that guy at work who fixed "one kind-of like this" once

- Method of marking territory
D: lifting leg
C: "Designed for Windows 95"

- Unique behavior
D: lick and drag
C: click-and-drag

- Inexplicable physical feature
D: dewclaw
C: scroll lock key

- Estimated lifespan
D: 12 years
C: 12 months

- At end of useful life
D: euthanasia
C: tax deduction


This is an actual job application someone submitted at a McDonald's fast food establishment. Apparently they hired him.

NAME - Greg Bulmash

DESIRED POSITION - Reclining. Ha ha. But seriously, whatever's available. If I was in a position to be picky, I wouldn't be applying here in the first place.

DESIRED SALARY - $285,000 a year plus stock options and a Michael Ovitz style severance package. If that's not possible, make an offer. Obviously I am a desperate man.


LAST POSITION HELD - Target for middle management hostility.

MOST NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT - My incredible collection of stolen pens and post-it notes.

REASON FOR LEAVING - Fired for stealing pens and post-it notes.

DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL SKILLS? Yes, but they're better suited to a more intimate environment

MAY WE CONTACT YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER? If I had one, would I be here?


DO YOU HAVE A CAR? I think the more appropriate question here would be "Do you have a car that runs?"

HAVE YOU RECEIVED ANY SPECIAL AWARDS OR RECOGNITION? I may already be a winner of the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes

DO YOU SMOKE? Only when set on fire

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING IN FIVE YEARS? Living in the Bahamas with a fabulously wealthy super model who thinks I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. Actually, I'd like to be doing that now.

SIGN HERE: Scorpio with Libra rising"

A True Story (?) The Original Stupid Crook……

A guy walked into a little corner store with a shotgun and demanded all the cash from the cash drawer.  After the cashier put the cash in a bag, the robber saw a bottle of scotch that he wanted on the shelf behind the counter.

He told the cashier to put it in the bag as well, but he refused, saying, "I don't believe you are over 21."

The robber said he was, but the clerk still refused to give it to him because he didn't believe him.

At this point the robber took his driver's license out of his wallet and gave it to the clerk.

The clerk looked it over, and agreed that the man was in fact over 21 and he put the scotch in the bag.

The robber then ran from the store with his loot.

The cashier promptly called the police and gave them the name and address that he got off the license. They arrested the robber an hour later……

Friday, May 28, 2004

I Want To Be A Kid Again.

I want to go back to the time when:

... Decisions were made by "eeny-meeny-miney-mo; catch a tiger by the toe"

... Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, "do over!"

... Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in "Monopoly."

... Catching the fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening.

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

... Being old referred to anyone over 20. (OUCH!)

... The net on a tennis court was the perfect height to play volleyball and rules didn't matter.

... 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 dodge ball 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.

... It was a big deal to finally be tall enough to ride the "big people" rides at the amusement park.

... Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true.

... Abilities were discovered because of a "double-dog-dare."

... Saturday morning cartoons weren't 30-minute ads for action figures.

... No shopping trip was complete unless a new toy was brought home.

... "Oly-oly-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.

... Baseball cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle.

... Taking drugs meant orange-flavored chewable aspirin.

... Ice cream was considered a basic food group.

... Older siblings were the worst tormentors ... but also the fiercest protectors.


"In memory each of us is an artist: each of us creates." Patricia Hampl

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Dear God,
I'm writing to say I'm sorry
For being angry yesterday
When you seemed to ignore my prayer
And things didn't go my way

First, my car broke down
I was very late for work
But I missed that awful accident
Was that your handiwork?

I found a house I loved
But others got there first
I was angry, then relieved
When I heard the pipes had burst!

Yesterday, I found the perfect dress
But the color was too pale
Today, I found the dress in red
Would you believe, it was on sale!

I know you're watching over me
And I'm feeling truly blest
For no matter what I pray for
You always know what's best!

I have this circle of E-mail friends,
Who mean the world to me;
Some days I "send" and "send",
At other times, I let them be.

When I see each name download,
And view the message they've sent;
I know they've thought of me that day,
And "well wishes" were their intent.

I am so blessed to have these friends,
With whom I've grown so close;
So this little poem I dedicate to them,
Because to me they are the "Most"!

So to you, my friends, I would like to say,
Thank you for being a part;
Of all my daily contacts,
This comes right from my heart.

God bless you all is my prayer today,
I'm honored to call you "friend";
I pray the Lord will keep you safe,
Until we write again.

God Bless You


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

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

It's no accident that five pages at Neat Women Inc are dedicated to friends! Eve just spent a week with two lifetime friends and knows what it means to treasure friends as precious jewels!

What Friends Are For:

1. In kindergarten your idea of a good friend was the person who let you have the red crayon when all that was left was the ugly beige one.

2. In first grade your idea of a good friend was the person who went to the bathroom with you and held your hand as you walked through the scary halls.

3. In second grade your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you stand up to the class bully.

4. In third grade your idea of a good friend was the person who shared their lunch with you when you forgot yours on the bus.

5. In fourth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who was willing to switch square dancing partners in gym so you wouldn't have to be stuckdo-si-do-ing with Nasty Nicky or Smelly Susan.

6. In fifth grade your idea of a friend was the person who saved a seat on the back of the bus for you.

7. In sixth grade your idea of a friend was the person who went up to Nicky or Susan, your new crush, and asked them to dance with you, so that if they said no you wouldn't have to be embarrassed.

8. In seventh grade your idea of a friend was the person who let you copy the social studies homework from the night before that you had.

9. In eighth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you pack up your stuffed animals and old baseball cards so that your room would be a "high schooler's" room, but didn't laugh at you when you finished and broke out into tears.

10. In ninth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who went to that "cool" party thrown by a senior so you wouldn't wind up being the only freshman there.

11. In tenth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who changed their schedule so you would have someone to sit with at lunch.

12. In eleventh grade your idea of a good friend was the person who gave you rides in their new car, convinced your parents that you shouldn't be grounded, consoled you when you broke up with Nick or Susan, and found you a date to the prom.

13. In twelfth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you pick out a college, assured you that you would get into that college, helped you deal with your parents who were having a hard time adjusting to the idea of letting you go...

14. At graduation your idea of a good friend was the person who was crying on the inside but managed the biggest smile one could give as they congratulated you.

15. The summer after twelfth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you clean up the bottles from that party, helped you sneak out of the house when you just couldn't deal with your parents, assured you that now that you and Nick or you and Susan were back together, you could make it through anything, helped you pack up for college and just silently hugged you as you looked through blurry eyes at 18 years of memories you were leaving behind, and finally on those last days of childhood, went out of their way to come over and send you off with a hug, a lot of memories, reassurance that would make it in college as well as you had these past 18 years, and most importantly sent you off to college knowing you were loved.

16. Now, your idea of a good friend is still the person who gives you the better of the two choices, hold your hand when you're scared, helps you fight off those who try to take advantage of you, thinks of you at times when you are not there, reminds you of what you have forgotten, helps you put the past behind you but understands when you need to hold on to it a little longer, stays with you so that you have confidence, goes out of their way to make time for you, helps you clear up your mistakes, helps you deal with pressure from others, smiles for you when they are sad, helps you become a better person, and most importantly loves you!

"There was a definite process by which one made people into friends, and it involved talking to them and listening to them for hours at a time." Rebecca West


"One faces one's future with one's past." Pearl S. Buck

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Three women share the birth date, May 25th (along with many other notable folks, too numerous to mention) who epitomize the expression, "Woman with an attitude!" They have worked hard, suffered life's inevitable personal and professional crises, succeeded and prevailed—whether we like them or not is immaterial—all three have been strong role models.

And now taking center stage, Beverly Sills, from her professional debut at the age of three as Bubbles Silverman on Uncle Bob's Rainbow House radio show has made the performing arts accessible to generations of Americans.

With her brilliant runs and thrills, she became one of the most beloved and respected sopranos in the 20th century. Sills delighted audiences around the world with her talent and charisma. A member of the New York City Opera from 1955 to 1980, she performed in the world's leading opera houses, recorded 18 full-length operas and numerous solo collections, and appeared in hundreds of television programs. In addition to the many awards for her albums, Sills received four Emmys for her weekly television program, Lifestyles with Beverly Sills. Her autobiography, Bubbles: A Self -Portrait, became a bestseller. Under her leadership at the New York City Opera, opera became accessible to the masses when she introduced to American audiences the use of subtitles for all foreign language productions -- a method soon adopted in opera houses around the world.

Since her retirement from performing, Sills has served as General Director and then President of the New York City Opera. In 1993, she became the first woman, the first performing artist and the first former head of an arts company to become chair of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, which encompasses 11 world-renowned institutions, including the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic and the New York City Ballet.

Quotes from Beverly Sills:
Art is the signature of civilization."
"You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try."
"My voice had a long, nonstop career. It deserves to be put to bed with quiet and dignity, not yanked out every once in a while to see if it can still do what it used to do. It can't."

Dixie Virginia Carter was born on May 25, 1939 in McLemoresville, Tennessee. Upon her graduation from Southwestern University in Memphis, Miss Carter made her New York debut as Perdita in A Winter's Tale with the New York Shakespeare Festival. Other theatrical credits include Kiss Me Kate, Carousel, Oklahoma! Brigadoon, A Little Night Music, Mame, Pal Joey, The Student Prince, The New Moon, Babes in Arms, John Ford Noonan's two-character play A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking, and The King and I at the Front Street Theater in New York. She created the roles of Dixie Avalon in Taken in Marriage and Liz Conlon in Buried Inside Extra in New York and at the Royal Court Theater in London. She also appeared in productions with Music Theater of Lincoln Center and in revues at Upstairs at the Downstairs. In 1993, she performed the role of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire in Memphis.

Since moving to California, Miss Carter has made numerous guest appearances on television series. In the years since her popular CBS sitcom ended, the woman best known for her role as feisty Julia Sugarbaker has starred on Broadway in Terrence McNally's award-winning Master Class, appeared in two yoga videos, and has recorded two music CDs, Come a Little Closer and Dixie Carter Sings John Wallowitch Live at the Cafe Carlyle. Miss Carter's book Trying to Get to Heaven is published by Simon & Schuster in both hardcover and paperback. For the past several years, she has appeared each spring in a cabaret act at the Cafe Carlyle in Manhattan. Between tunes, Carter tells heartwarming, hilarious tales about her girlhood in Tennessee and life with her husband and former co-star Hal Holbrook, with whom she still enjoys a passionate love affair.

Before there was Oprah, Rosie, Ricki, Jenny, Kathie Lee, etc., the first woman of television talk land was Sally Jessy Raphael. Though her television show was unceremoniously cancelled, her fans are loyal and enthusiastic. Her detractors are equally outspoken. But, she just keeps on keepin' on!

"Listening -- to guests, to the audience, to therapists and experts -- is what keeps our show attuned to the issues our viewers truly care about." - Sally Jessy Raphael

People just naturally wanted to confide in Sally Jessy Raphael. And she just naturally wants to listen. Perhaps that is why, after working as a broadcaster since Junior High School, she achieved national recognition when she began doling out advice on her syndicated talk radio show, almost 20 years later. "But the funny thing is," Raphael is quick to add, "I never really gave advice! I just listened and let callers know I understood how they felt. That helped them to figure things out themselves."

Raphael hosted her own radio call-in, advice show for six years (1981-87) on NBC's Talknet, and for three years on ABC radio. In 1992, she was honored by the National Association of Radio Talk Show Hosts as Talk Show Host of the Year, having already received an Emmy™ for Outstanding Talk Show Host in 1989.

Raphael's own life experience made it easy for her to relate to the problems of others. Success did not come easily to her. Money was often scarce, but self-confidence was not.

"There are some people who achieve success in show business quickly and easily," Raphael reflects. "I was not so blessed, but I was stubborn. For years, I kicked around and took any job that I could find on the air. I got so many jobs -- and lost so many jobs -- that the natural question was, 'Why didn't you just give up?' The answer was: my family wouldn't let me. And l didn't know how to do anything else!"

Before launching her signature talk show on October 17, 1983, Raphael worked as a radio and television broadcaster in 24 cities -- and was fired eighteen times. She tried out for 142 commercial voice-overs -- and never landed one.

"I was the victim of a syndrome you often hear women in news talking about: 'Make her hair longer, shorter, blonder, bigger.' In the end, I was manipulated so much physically in so many stations, that, when the chance to do a national radio advice show was offered, I was more than ready." Sally continues: "The advice show made me realize how compelling real people's stories are. No two are the same. I became interested in the human condition, as opposed to hard news."

Along the way, Sally raised a brood of children, two biological, one adopted, two stepchildren and three others who shared her home, and her indomitable spirit. By her side through it all has been her husband of 36 years, Karl Soderlund. "We always liked having a lot of kids around us. They're all grown up now. I'm very proud of the successful and interesting lives they have established -- and that they continue to stay in touch."

Charitable causes have always been important to Sally. She continues to lend her time and name to many, including the Pearl S. Buck Foundation, UNICEF, The Falling Star Foundation for Pediatric AIDS, AMFAR and other AIDS organizations, the Children's Cancer Foundation, the YMCA of Greater New York's Campaign for Youth, the National Head Injury Foundation, the NYC Food and Hunger Hotline, the Distinguished Citizens Advisory Board of the American Police Hall of Fame, the Crohns and Colitis Foundation, and many more.

It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it. ~ Lena Horne ~


Always keep that happy attitude. Pretend that you are holding a beautiful fragrant bouquet.
~ Candice M. Pope ~

Monday, May 24, 2004

Interesting Trivia

Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.
Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.
The national anthem of Greece has 158 verses. No one in Greece has memorized all 158 verses.
There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.
The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.
A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.
There are more chickens than people in the world.
Two-thirds of the world's eggplant is grown in New Jersey.
The longest one-syllable word in the English language is "screeched."
Almonds are a member of the peach family.
Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.
Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable.
There are only four words in the English language which end in"-dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.
A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.
An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
Tigers have stripped skin, not just stripped fur.
In most advertisements, including newspapers, the time displayed on a watch is 10:10.
Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.
The only real person to be a Pez head was Betsy Ross.
When the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers play football at home, the stadium becomes the state's third largest city.
The characters Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra's "Its A Wonderful Life."
A dragonfly has a lifespan of 24 hours.
A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.
A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.
On an American one-dollar bill, there is an owl in the upper left-hand corner of the "1" encased in the "shield" and a spider hidden in the front upper right-hand corner.
It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
The reason most people play golf is to wear clothes they would not be caught dead in otherwise.

"Laugh and the world laughs with you, / Weep and you weep alone. / For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth, / It has trouble enough of its own." Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Today's Sunday Reflection is on the topic of graduation. This time of year is filled with the hopeful and happy events pertaining to a transition—a rite of passage oftentimes. Whether it is high school, college, or post-graduate work, there are celebrations in honor of people of all ages who have achieved a diploma. Many of us feel as though we've periodically attended "the school of hard knocks." Regardless of the type of diploma, a graduate is looking forward to new and interesting challenges, better prepared to deal with them as a result of the learning process. Oftentimes, the method required to accomplish the goal is as important and worthwhile as the specific knowledge gained.

We offer the following insights from some of the world's most gifted teachers:

Spread love everywhere you go:
first of all in your own house.
Give love to your children,
to your wife or husband,
to a next door neighbor....
Let no one come to you without
leaving better or happier.
Be the living expression
of God's kindness;
kindness in your face,
kindness in your eyes,
kindness in your smile
and kindness in your warm greeting.
~ Mother Teresa ~

Dark as my path may seem to others,
I carry a magic light in my heart.
Faith illuminates the way.
Although doubts lurk in the shadow,
I walk unafraid toward the Enchanted
Wood where the foliage is always green;
Where joy abides; and where life and
Death are one in the presence of the Lord
..........Helen Keller

We may never see tomorrow; there's no written guarantee
And things that happened yesterday belong to history.
We cannot predict the future, we cannot change the past,
We have just the present moments, we must treat them as our last.

We must use this moment wisely for it soon will pass away,
and be lost forever, as part of yesterday.
We must exercise compassion, help the fallen to their feet,
Be a friend unto the friendless, make an empty life complete.

The unkind things we do today may never be undone,
And friendships that we fail to win may nevermore be won.
We may not have another chance on bended knees to pray,
and thank God with a humble heart for giving us this Day.
..................Author unknown…………..

"The world of learning is so broad, and the human soul is so limited in power! We reach forth and strain every nerve, but we seize only a bit of the curtain that hides the infinite from us."
Maria Mitchell

Saturday, May 22, 2004


Subject: The Office Visit

More and more doctors are running their practices like an assembly line. A man walked into a doctor's office and the receptionist asked him what he had.

"Shingles," he said. So she took down his name, address, medical insurance number and told him to have a seat.

Fifteen minutes later, a nurse's aid came out and asked him what he had. He said, "Shingles." So she took down his height, weight, a complete medical history, and told him to wait in an examining room.

A half-hour later, a nurse came in and asked him what he had. He said, "Shingles." So she gave him a blood test, a blood pressure test, an electrocardiogram, then told him to take off his clothes and wait for the doctor.

An hour later the doctor came in and asked him what he had. He said. "Shingles." The doctor said, "Where?" He said, "Outside in the truck. Where do you want them?"

Oil Changing Instructions

For Women:

1. Pull into to Jiffy Lube when the mileage reaches 3000 since the last oil change.
2. Drink a cup of coffee.
3. Fifteen minutes later, write a check and leave with a properly maintained vehicle.

Money Spent:
$20       Oil Change
$1         Coffee
Total:     $21

For Men:

1. Go to O'Reilly auto parts and write a check for $50 for oil, filter, kitty litter, hand cleaner and tree-shaped car deodorizer.
2. Discover that the used oil container is full. Instead of taking it back to O'Reilly to recycle, dump in hole in back yard.
3. Open a beer and drink it.
4. Jack car up. Spend 30 minutes looking for jack stands.
5. Find jack stands under kid's pedal car.
6. In frustration, open another beer and drink it.
7. Place drain pan under engine.
8. Look for 9/16 box-end wrench.
9. Give up and use crescent wrench.
10. Unscrew drain plug.
11. Drop drain plug in pan of hot oil; get hot oil on you in process.
12. Clean up.
13. Have another beer while oil is draining.
14. Look for oil filter wrench.
15. Give up! Poke oil filter with screwdriver and twist it off.
16. Beer.
17. Buddy shows up; finish case with him. Finish oil change tomorrow.
18. Next day, drag pan full of old oil from underneath car.
19. Throw kitty litter on oil spilled during step 18.
20. Beer. No, drank it all yesterday.
21. Walk to 7-11; buy beer.
22. Install new oil filter making sure to apply thin coat of clean oil on gasket first.
23. Dump first quart of fresh oil into engine.
24. Remember drain plug from step 11.
25. Hurry to find drain plug in drain pan.
26. Hurry to replace drain plug before the whole quart of fresh oil drains onto floor.
27. Slip with wrench and bang knuckles on frame.
28. Bang head on floorboard in reaction.
29. Begin cussing fit.
30. Throw wrench.
31. Cuss for additional 10 minutes because wrench hit Miss December (1992) in the left boob.
32. Clean up; apply Band-Aid to knuckle.
33. Beer.
34. Beer.
35. Dump in additional 4 quarts of oil.
36. Beer.
37. Lower car from jack stands
38. Accidentally crush one of the jack stands
39. Move car back to apply more kitty litter to fresh oil spilled during step 23.
40. Test drive car.
41. Get pulled over; arrested for driving under the influence.
42. Car gets impounded.
43. Make bail; get car from impound yard.

Money Spent:
$50         parts
$12         beer
$75         replacement set of jack stands; hey the colors have to match!
$1000      bail
$200       Impound and towing fee
Total:     $1337

"Personally, I like two types of men—domestic and foreign." Mae West

Friday, May 21, 2004

Those of us who are now on the path of "overcoming middle-age" have very useful lessons we can impart to the women following us (chronologically) into this new millennium. Have you ever daydreamed about what it might have been like when you were, say 16 years old, to have the opportunity to sit down and chat with the 50 year old you? Many of us have reason to suspect we'd make all the same stupid mistakes and more than a few of us have identified with the Mickey Mantle expression, "If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself." But would we have done that?

Noted illustrator, Mary Engelbreit, has published a little book of her special brand of whimsy and bright colors, titled, Don't Look Back. It's a lighthearted look at the road ahead and all the possibilities. And, in 1981, author Hazel Henderson, wrote, "If we can recognize that change and uncertainty are basic principles, we can greet the future and the transformation we are undergoing with the understanding that we do not know enough to be pessimistic." Carpe diem!

Have you ever sat around and waited for inspiration to strike? Heard the one about 90% of life is just showing up? Think it might be the ultimate dream to win the lottery?

Life changing events are always lurking around some corner and it's rarely ever possible to actually be prepared when they overtake us. If you've ever witnessed a "what goes around, comes around," event, you know that the element of surprise is generally the common denominator in earthshaking moments.

When we were young. If we're not careful, it is easy to fall prey to the notion that life was perfect then. When EVE and her husband attended her 10th high school reunion, he remarked about half way through the evening, "These people act like they all hate each other." Why should ten years have made a difference? Just once, it would be interesting to talk to someone who actually liked high school and thought it was a great time in their lives.

EVE has a dear friend who is 89. One day she said, "I don't know why you bother with me. My memory is gone and I'm not worth the trouble." EVE quickly remarked that, in fact, "Wil" had shared many wonderful recollections about her life growing up: a physician father, whose office was an addition on the side of their home, how he made house calls, and that when he passed away when she was only 6, "Wil's" mother immediately began taking in boarders to help support two small children and herself.

So, Wil replied, "Well, when you're an old lady, I hope some young woman is as nice to you as you are to me." EVE thought silently, "So do I." So much of the good we do in life comes back to us. Same thing applies to the bad. Consider taking time for someone who no longer has the mobility we often take for granted.

If youth is, indeed, a state of mind, we don't have to lose it. We can simply move to another "state." EVE's been looking for the State of Grace on her map. Anyone know the directions?

As a child, did a parent ever say to you, "Just wait 'til you grow up and have children of your own!" It was enough to make some of us reconsider procreation. Another favorite was, "Why do you have to learn everything the HARD way?" There were lots of those questions, which had no answers.

Were you ever sent to bed without dinner? Did you ever have your mouth washed out with soap? When television was still a novelty, not being allowed to watch for a week usually got our attention.

Now that we're all grown up, more or less, we have to struggle with disciplining ourselves. That's often more difficult than it looks. Marcelene Cox said, "The ultimate mistake in discipline is the ultimatum." Boy howdy, don't we know it. Especially when we try to impose it on ourselves. Exercising self-control can be like trying to drive an eighteen wheeler backward for a thousand miles. Eating properly, exercising adequately and enjoying the moment seem simple enough in the abstract.


Countess of Blessington wrote in 1839, "Wit is the lightning of the mind, reason the sunshine, and reflection the moonlight." A beautiful picture of four women in profile, representing approximate ages of 18, 30, 50 and 80, carries the tagline, "The sunset is just as beautiful as the sunrise." The mind is still there; our perspective often changes at different times in our lives.

Thursday, May 20, 2004


Face it, you're gonna have to go outside eventually. Sure, will deliver right to your door and now even Taco Bell does delivery.

Wear Pants - Countless attempts to better oneself have been cut tragically short by leaving the house without proper attire.

Use Your Real Name - Sorry, but nobody will be impressed if you go by the name "2HOT4U", "Monarch" or "SATAN666". Names like "Steve" or "Greg" will do just fine.

Do Not Stare at Breasts - Remember, women can see what you're doing now. Send this to a guy who needs a little reminder!

The Telephone is Your Friend - Hear that ringing sound? Pick up the phone. Now speak into it.

If Your Car Crashes, You Cannot Simply Reboot It.

Do Not Be Surprised That Nobody Looks Like Gillian Anderson.

Do Not Flame People - Comparing everyone you disagree with to unclean primates will not win you friends. In fact, you may get into a physical fight. If so, the next tip may be of help.

That Red Stuff is Called Blood - Not to be confused with ketchup, blood is what keeps you alive. If you are leaking, the real world offers human tech-support in the form of doctors and hospitals.

The NEAT WOMEN INC web site could use the slogan, "A cliché a day, keeps the doctor away." We believe in laughter, mirth, comedy, humor and anything else that comes under the heading "Is the best medicine." We should also probably issue a warning to people who log on for the first time, alerting them to the possibility of being clobbered by clichés. We could change the name of the site to Clichés R Us. All of that by way of explaining that sometimes we have silly days even when it isn't Saturday! And, to prove the point:

He who knows little quickly tells it. Italian Proverb
Start off every day with a smile and get it over with.
Why is there an expiration date on sour cream?
A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me. I'm afraid of widths. Steve Wright
When you do a good deed, get a receipt. In case heaven is like the IRS.
What if this weren't a hypothetical question?
To err is human; to forgive is against company policy.
When your dreams turn to dust, vacuum.
Assumption is the mother of all screw-ups. Wethern's Law
I'll listen to Logic and Reason when it comes out on CD.
The future ain't what it used to be. Yogi Berra
I am in shape. Round is a shape.
When everything comes your way, you're in the wrong lane.
And, today's winner -- WARNING! Dates in calendar are closer than they appear!


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

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

A friend sent us the following GEM about fibromyalgia. For those unfamiliar with the condition, we offer this from the Fibromyalgia Network website—we urge you to log on for much more useful information:

Symptoms, Treatments and Research

FMS (fibromyalgia syndrome) is a widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue disorder for which the cause is still unknown. Fibromyalgia means pain in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons – the soft fibrous tissues in the body.

Most patients with FMS say that they ache all over. Their muscles may feel like they have been pulled or overworked. Sometimes the muscles twitch and at other times they burn. More women than men are afflicted with FMS, and it shows up in people of all ages.

To help your family and friends relate to your condition, have them think back to the last time they had a bad flu. Every muscle in their body shouted out in pain. In addition, they felt devoid of energy as though someone had unplugged their power supply. While the severity of symptoms fluctuate from person to person, FMS may resemble a post-viral state. This similarity is the reason experts in the field of FMS and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) believe that these two syndromes may be one and the same. Gulf War syndrome also overlaps with FMS/CFS.

We want to thank Gena Marie Hendrix for this submission and wish her well in the daunting struggle to manage fibromyalgia:

Gena Marie's GEM

Hi! I have just come across your site this week - love it! I understand that Eve has fibromyalgia as do I. I was diagnosed with it three years ago at the age of 41. I've gone through (and still am going through) the traumatic life changes and the torment that this syndrome causes. I've attached a poem that I scratched out at about 2:30am a couple of nights ago when I couldn't sleep. I believe that Eve and all who suffer from fibromyalgia will be able to identify with this work. I would prefer to keep my name attached to this poem. Thank You! Gena Marie Hendrix


You probably will not recognize me as sick or disabled.
Believe me, I'm not whole anymore . . . 'fibromyalgia' it's labeled.
It's silent and camouflaged - hides itself very well;
Unless you are the one it attacks - then, you've got your own personal 'hell'!
Those everyday things that you once did without thinking
Now cause pain in areas that you never realized were in your being.
Those hobbies and simple things that brought the joy to your life before
Now bring agony in long days and make you wonder "What am I good for?"
Sleepless nights are plentiful and only make matters worse;
But, with every muscle hurting, you do get to watch the moon's course!
If it is 'fibromyalgia' that's stated when your diagnosis is made,
Your days of normalcy are over; with relentless pain and fatigue you'll watch your life fade.

Gena Marie Hendrix May 2004

For all our fibromyalgia friends we offer:

Free note pads specifically for your condition Color Fibromyalgia Color Notepads Black and White Fibromyalgia Black and White Notepads A N.E.A.T. article titled The Fibromyalgia Fox Trot—Dancing With the Pain Fibromyalgia Article

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Thought we might start the week off with a few worthwhile insights on surviving life in the "real" world, wherever that is!


In southwest Asia during the 14th century, Emperor Tamerlane's army suffered a devastating defeat and dispersed in retreat. While enemy troops scoured the countryside, Tamerlane hid in a deserted manger.

As he lay in the mud, feeling desperate and dejected, Tamerlane noticed an ant trying to carry a grain of corn - larger than the ant itself - over a perpendicular wall. Fascinated, the emperor counted the number of times that the ant fell back, each time he failed. On the 70th try, the ant pushed the grain over the top.

Inspired and motivated, Tamerlane went on to defeat the enemy and regain his throne. Source: Glenn Van Ekeren, "The Speaker's Sourcebook" (adapted)

We don't always have to be strong to be strong. Sometimes our strength is expressed in being vulnerable. Sometimes we need to fall apart to regroup and stay on track. We all have days when we cannot push any harder, cannot hold back self-doubt, cannot stop focusing on fear, cannot be strong.

There are days when we cannot focus on being responsible. Occasionally, we don't want to get out of our pajamas. Sometimes we cry in front of people. We expose our tiredness, irritability, or anger.

Those days are okay. They are just okay.

Part of taking care of ourselves means we give ourselves permission to "fall apart" when we need to. We do not need to be perpetual towers of strength. We ARE strong. We have proven that.

Our strength will continue if we allow ourselves the courage to feel scared, weak, and vulnerable when we need to experience those feelings.

Today, help me to know that is it okay to allow myself to be human. Help me not to feel guilty or punish myself when I need to "fall apart." ~Author unknown~

Finally, some words of wisdom fromThe Sunday (5-16-99) New York Times, Metropolitan Diary provided a wonderful gift from a woman named Ellen Conford titled,

Conversation With Myself On A Certain Birthday

"Who wants to be 20? Twenty hasn't got a clue.
And no one over 30 can tell 20 what to do.
Who wants to be 30? Who says 30's prime?
Thirty's got the energy but never has the time.
Who wants to be 40. Forty is the pits.
Forty thinks how great she looked when she was 36.
But 50 has perspective,
Fifty's savvy, wise, mature.
And there's nothing wrong with 50
That 60 cannot cure."

Someone has said that aging is not for sissies. Apparently, it's perfect for poets though. Orchids to you Ms. Conford!


"Do not deprive me of my age. I have earned it." May Sarton

Monday, May 17, 2004

Two dozen merchants and brokers established the New York Stock Exchange on May 17th in 1792. In good weather, the men operated outdoors; in bad weather, they moved into a coffeehouse. Well, they've come a long way baby. When Martha Stewart "went public" it seemed like a victory…however, we've observed that "Maathaa" is a lot like liver—love it or hate it but no in between!

Personally, EVE is feeling a bit "war weary" from an entirely different type of roller coaster ride! The "battle of the bulge" can be exhausting, particularly when the enemy so often has better strategies—

"I'm so tired, a bowl of ice cream will make me feel better;
I had french fries for lunch, so I might as well eat hearty at dinner;
tomorrow I'll start walking every day now that summer is practically here; it's actually too warm to walk much now."

Even the fittest among us realizes that when we reach "a certain age," there is a high maintenance factor which kicks in and we find ourselves spending more and more time at one "body shop" or another trying to preserve and protect what now appears determined to wear us out, so to speak.

We got DIETS! Smart diets, poverty diets, guaranteed or your money back diets. Knowing Eve's incurable penchant for acronyms, you will not be surprised to learn that her definition of DIET is Did I Eat That??!!
Yes, she did…and she has the scales to prove it.

What is really important is to have some idea of where we're going and why. If we know ourselves and understand what we're all about, it leaves nothing to fret over. One of the best examples of having a good personal sense of direction is the medieval fable found on the home page of the NEAT WOMEN INC site!

Our guides are plentiful--family, friends, colleagues and unexpected visitors. When we reach a certain age, we are entitled to throw out all the old maps and create a new one all our own. We may abandon traditional means of transport for the remainder of our journey. We can finally succumb to a sense of adventure -- how often youth blocked the path until now. We can embrace the big R word--RISK. Really Inspired So Kick those old habits. Remember, "A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are built for." Grace Murray Hopper

So, why worry? You are now in charge of your life and the captain of your ship. If there's a little mutiny around the hips or a bit of slippage in the stern….you don't have to let it sink the whole craft! Sail on. Look at us…we've mixed metaphors with reckless abandon here and nobody threw up or broke out in a rash!

"There's no place where one can breathe as freely as on the deck of a ship." Elsa Triolet


Don't forget to check out the Mental Health section where you will find a wide array of resources:

If you've never surfed through the archives you could be missing some of the classic CARYL, N.E.A.T., and Today's Treasures postings. Check them out

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Sunday Reflection


I woke up early today, excited over all I get to do before the clock strikes midnight.

I have responsibilities to fulfill today. I am important. My job is to choose what kind of day I am going to have.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today I can murmur dejectedly because I have to do housework or I can feel honored because God has provided shelter for my mind, body and soul.

Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped.

And here I am the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.

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

Have a great day...unless you have other plans.

EVE's mother gave her a copy of this poem more than 35 years ago:

If all that we say, In a single day, with never a word left out,
Were printed each night, in clear black and white,
T'would prove strange reading, no doubt
And just suppose 'ere one's eyes she could close,
She must read the day's record through
Then wouldn't one sigh and wouldn't one try
A great deal less talking to do?

Amen to that!

It may be one of the most forgotten cliches of our time but, remember, "If you can't say something good about someone—say nothing at all."

Saturday, May 15, 2004


Dr. Seuss fixes your computer

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
and the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
and the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
then the socket packet pocket has an error to report.

If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,
and the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
and your data is corrupted 'cause the index doesn't hash,
then your situation's hopeless and your system's gonna crash !!

If the label on the cable on the table at your house,
says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
but your packets want to tunnel on another protocol,
that's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,
and your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss,
so your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse,
then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,
'cause as sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gonna hang!!

When the copy of your floppy's getting sloppy on the disk,
and the microcode instructions cause unnecessary risk,
then you have to flash your memory and you'll want to RAM your ROM.
Quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your mom.

Great Truths About Life That Adults Have Learned

* Raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-o to a tree.

* There is always a lot to be thankful for if you take time to look for it. For example, sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt.

* Reason to smile: Every seven minutes of every day, someone in an aerobics class pulls a hamstring.

* The best way to keep kids at home is to make the home a pleasant atmosphere... and let the air out of their tires.

* Car sickness is the feeling you get when the monthly car payment is due.

* Families are like fudge .. mostly sweet with a few nuts.

* Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.

* Laughing helps. It's like jogging on the inside.

* Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.

* My mind not only wanders, sometimes it leaves completely.

* The more you complain, the longer God lets you live.

* One day I shall burst my buds of calm and blossom into hysteria.

* If you can remain calm, you just don't have all the facts.

* Eat a live toad first thing in the morning, and nothing worse can happen to you the rest of the day!

* You know you're getting old when you stoop to tie your shoes and wonder what else you can do while you're down there.

* Life's golden age is when the kids are too old to need baby-sitters and too young to borrow the family car.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Seventy four years ago this week, United Airlines began employing stewardesses (1930). Sixty four years ago this week, nylon stockings went on sale for the first time (1940). Earlier this month marked the forty ninth anniversary of the first commercial jet airline passenger service. In 1952, the first passenger flight took off from London, England, and landed in Johannesburg, South Africa. Little did anyone on that flight know, at the time, that jetsetting would become a way of life in less than a decade.

EVE worked as a flight attendant for a major airline in the '60s. While lots of other young women were donning love beads and wearing their hair at least down to their shoulders, EVE was dressed in a uniform which was regularly checked before flights to insure that the skirt, blouse, jacket, hat and white gloves were spotless and in accordance with company standards. Visitors to NEAT WOMEN INC, when they least expect it will be either treated to or subjected to some of her better "stewardess stories." For now, however, she would refer you to the CARYL page and the essay in the archives titled It's Not Chests. She hopes you'll think it's "a hoot" when you read it.

There are people who would argue that those three milestones, stewardesses, nylons, and commercial jets forever changed women's lives. Perhaps in a way they did….they certainly had a significant impact on many. Initially, stewardesses were required to be RNs and there was no misunderstanding of their role in the friendly skies--safety first, passenger comfort second and safety again. It wasn't long, however, before American cultural began to view women in a role that had everything to do with sex and virtually nothing to do with safety or comfort. The days of "coffee, tea, or me" introduced a whole new dimension to the job of being a stewardess. On this subject, EVE has considerable expertise and experience. As we just mentioned, she flew for a major airline for five years and then worked another year as a stewardess recruiter and interviewer. In the years between 1960 and 1980, stewardesses were not allowed to be married and in fact, could only wear one ring, which must be displayed on the right hand. This conveyed an image of availability. Each of the "so-called" big four airlines had a specific "look" they were anxious to portray:

American Airlines--all American girl, freshly scrubbed, little make-up; appearing to be both glamorous and down to earth

United Airlines--perky "to die for," cuteness one could gag on

TWA--sleek, elegant, slightly sultry

Eastern Airlines--a combination of all of the above

O.K. There are some slight exaggerations there and over time, it became more of a typical job where male and female flight attendants both could have families (children as well as spouses), and basically lead more normal lives. Of course, cockpit doors had to be locked, hi-jacking was rampant and the skies often seem a lot less friendly.

Nylon stockings--now there's a subject for another time. Garter belts, panty hose, and a vast array of uncomfortable paraphernalia. Do we know if these were the result of some evil plot to make us struggle with yet one more beauty enhancing myth? Well, by the 60's, we had thrown them out, along with our bras and the re-emergence was on our own terms. And we paid a price, as Doris Day so succinctly put it: "If a man does something silly, people say, 'Isn't he silly?' If a woman does something silly, people say, "Aren't women silly?"

One of the most favored strategies for survival at Neat Women Inc…. humor, laughter, silliness! Just to prove it, we offer the following. Occasionally, flight attendants make an effort to make the "in-flight safety lecture" and their other announcements a bit more entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:

On a Continental Flight with a very "senior" flight attendant crew: "Ladies and gentlemen we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."

On landing: "Please be sure to take all your belongings. If you're going to leave anything please make sure it's something we'd like."

"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane..."

After landing: "Thank you for flying Delta Business Express. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."

As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Washington National, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella. WHOA!"

It has become increasingly difficult to keep a sense of humor while flying today. Eve's dear friend Ruby is fond of repeating, "If you have time to spare, travel by air." It's certainly no longer remotely like the "good old days." Today's Treasure is dedicated to Betty and Ruby, Eve's "partners in crime" and two of her closest friends!

"I feel about airplanes the way I feel about diets. It seems to me that they are wonderful things for other people to go on." Jean Kerr

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and hope enriches our mental health.


Don't forget to check out the Mental Health section where you will find a wide array of resources:

If you've never surfed through the archives you could be missing some of the classic CARYL, N.E.A.T., and Today's Treasures postings. Check them out

Thursday, May 13, 2004

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month

The following is an excellent article written by Dr. Nancy Snyderman, and published by the National Mental Health Association.

Managing Stress
Completely free of stress in everyday life? Who is? Find out how to manage it.

Stress Awareness
Seeing where stress occurs in your life is the first step in handling it.

Stress and Health
Find out about the physical effects of emotional turmoil.

Relaxation Response and Techniques
Tense? Angry? Worried? Relax!

Stress Calculator
Feeling on edge? Your stress index score will help you determine how stressed you are!

Stress is a natural part of life. Every day there are responsibilities, obligations and pressures that change and challenge you. In response to these daily strains your body automatically increases blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, metabolism, and blood flow to muscles.

However, when this natural response is prolonged or triggered too often without sufficient adjustments to counter its effects, it can threaten your health and well-being. Therefore, it is essential that you learn to cope with these natural responses in order to avoid physical and/or emotional problems.

Did you know?...

75-90 percent of visits to physicians are stress related.
Job stress is a major health factor costing businesses an estimated $150 billion annually.
Stress related disorders are a major cause of rapidly increasing health care costs.

Am I Suffering From Stress And Tension?
Each person handles stress differently. Some people actually seek out situations, which may appear stressful to others. A major life decision, such as changing careers or buying a house, might be overwhelming for some people while others may welcome the change. Some find sitting in traffic too much to take, while others take it in stride. The key is determining your personal tolerance levels for stressful situations.

Stress can cause physical, emotional, and behavioral disorders, which can compromise health, vitality, and peace-of-mind, all of which may affect personal and professional relationships. Too much stress can cause relatively minor illnesses like insomnia, backaches, or headaches as well as potentially life-threatening diseases like high blood pressure and heart disease.

Can you identify negative reactions to stress and tension?

Do minor problems and disappointments upset you excessively?
Do the small pleasures of life fail to satisfy you?
Are you unable to stop thinking of your worries?
Do you feel inadequate or suffer from self-doubt?
Are you constantly tired?
Do you experience flashes of anger over situations which used to not bother you?
Have you noticed a change in sleeping or eating patterns?
Do you suffer from chronic pain, headaches, or backaches?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, consider the following suggestions.

Reducing Or Controlling Stress and Tension
As you read the following suggestions, remember that success will not come from a halfhearted effort, nor will it come overnight. It will take determination, persistence and time. Some suggestions may help immediately, but if your stress is chronic it may require more attention and/or lifestyle changes. Determine your tolerance level for stress and try to live within these limits. Learn to accept or change stressful and tense situations whenever possible.

Be realistic -- If you feel overwhelmed by some activities (yours and/or your family's) learn to say no! Eliminate an activity that is not absolutely necessary or ask someone else to help. You may be taking on more responsibility than you can or should handle. If you meet resistance, give reasons why you are making the changes. Be willing to listen to other's suggestions and be ready to compromise.

Shed the "superman/woman" urge -- No one is perfect, so don't expect perfection from yourself or others. Ask yourself: What really needs to be done? How much can I do? Is the deadline realistic? What adjustments can I make? Don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it.

Meditate -- Just 10 to 20 minutes of quiet reflection may bring relief from chronic stress as well as increase your tolerance to it. Use the time to listen to music, relax and try to think of pleasant things or nothing at all.

Visualize -- Use your imagination and picture how you can manage a stressful situation more successfully. Whether it's a business presentation or moving to a new place, many people feel visual rehearsals boost self-confidence and enable them to take a more positive approach to a difficult task.

Take one thing at a time -- For people under tension or stress, an ordinary workload can sometimes seem unbearable. The best way to cope with this feeling of being overwhelmed is to take one task at a time. Pick one urgent task and work on it. Once you accomplish that task, choose the next one. The positive feeling of "checking off" work is very satisfying. It will motivate you to keep going.

Exercise -- Regular exercise is a popular way to relieve stress. Twenty to 30 minutes of physical activity benefits both the body and the mind.

Hobbies -- Take a break from your worries by doing something you enjoy. Whether your interests include gardening or painting, schedule time to indulge yourself.

Healthy lifestyle -- Good nutrition makes a difference. Limit intake of caffeine and alcohol (alcohol actually disturbs, not helps, regular sleep patterns), get adequate rest, exercise, and balance work and play.

Share your feelings -- A phone call to a friend lets you know that you are not the only one having a bad day, dealing with a sick child, or working in a busy office. Stay in touch with friends and family. Let them provide love, support, and guidance. Don't try to cope alone.

Give in occasionally -- Be flexible! If you find you are meeting constant opposition in either your personal or professional life, rethink your position or strategy. Arguing only intensifies stressful feelings. If you know you are right, stand your ground, but do so calmly and rationally. Make allowances for other's opinions and be prepared to compromise. If you are willing to give in, others may meet you halfway. Not only will you reduce your stress, you may find better solutions to your problems.

Go easy with criticism -- You may expect too much of yourself and others. Try not to feel frustrated, let down, disappointed, even "trapped" when another person does not measure up. The "other person" may be a wife, a husband, or child whom you are trying to change to suit yourself. Remember, everyone is unique, and has his or her own virtues, shortcomings, and right to develop as an individual.

Where To Get Help
Help may be as close as a friend or a spouse. But if you think that you or someone you know may be under more stress than just dealing with a passing difficulty, it may be helpful to talk with your doctor, spiritual advisor, or local Mental Health Association. They may suggest you visit with a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or other qualified counselor.

National Mental Health Association

"For nearly a century the psychoanalysts have been writing op-ed pieces about the workings of a country they've never traveled to, a place that, like China, has been off-limits. Suddenly, the country has opened its borders and is crawling with foreign correspondents, neurobiologists are filing ten stories a week, filled with new data. These two groups of writers, however, don't seem to read each other's work. That's because the analysts are writing about a country they call Mind and the neuroscientists are reporting from a country they call Brain." Susanna Kaysen, "Girl, Interrupted" (1993) which became a movie with Angeline Jolie who won an Academy Award for her performance.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and friends are good for our mental health!


Don't forget to check out the Mental Health section where you will find a wide array of resources:

If you've never surfed through the archives you could be missing some of the classic CARYL, N.E.A.T., and Today's Treasures postings. Check them out

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

One final, big smiling salute to Mothers everywhere!


When I'm an old lady, I'll live with my kids,
and make them so happy, just as they did.
I want to pay back all the joy they've provided,
returning each deed. Oh, they'll be so excited.
When I'm an old lady and live with my kids

I'll write on the wall with reds, whites and blues,
and bounce on the furniture wearing my shoes.
I'll drink from the carton and then leave it out.
I'll stuff all the toilets, and oh, how they'll shout.
When I'm an old lady and live with my kids

When they're on the phone and just out of reach,
I'll get into things like sugar and bleach,
Oh, they'll snap their fingers and then shake their head,
and when that is done I'll hide under the bed
When I'm an old lady and live with my kids

When they cook dinner and call me to meals,
I'll not eat my green beans or salads congealed.
I'll gag on my okra, spill milk on the table
and when they get angry, run fast as I'm able.
When I'm an old lady and live with my kids

I'll sit close to the TV, thru the channels I'll click,
I'll cross both my eyes to see if they stick.
I'll take off my socks and throw one away,
And play in the mud until the end of the day.
When I'm an old lady and live with my kids

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

~Author Unknown~


"My mother phones daily to ask, 'Did you just try to reach me?' When I reply, 'No,' she adds, 'So, if you're not too busy, call me while I'm still alive," and hangs up. Erma Bombeck

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

We genuinely believe that Mothers should be celebrated every day—not just one day a year. Let's not forget that there are all sorts of Mothers—step mothers, foster mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers, surrogate mothers, adoptive mothers, biological mothers, and mothers of the heart—who mother us for no other reason except that they love us.

Someday when my children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates a parent, I will tell them:

I loved you enough ... to ask where you were going, with whom, and what time you would be home.

I loved you enough ... to insist that you save your money and buy a bike for yourself even though we could afford to buy one for you.

I loved you enough ... to be silent and let you discover that your new best friend was a creep.

I loved you enough ... to make you go pay for the bubble gum you had taken and tell the clerk, "I stole this yesterday and want to pay for it."

I loved you enough ... to stand over you for two hours while you cleaned your room, a job that should have taken 15 minutes.

I loved you enough to let you see anger, disappointment and tears in my eyes. Children must learn that their parents aren't perfect.

I loved you enough to let you assume the responsibility for your actions even when the penalties were so harsh they almost broke my heart.

But most of all, I loved you enough to say NO when I knew you would hate me for it.

Those were the most difficult battles of all. I'm glad I won them, because in the end you won, too. And, someday when your children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates parents, you will tell them.............

Was your Mom mean? I know mine was. We had the meanest mother in the whole world! While other kids ate candy for breakfast, we had to have cereal, eggs, and toast. When others had a Pepsi and a Twinkie for lunch, we had to eat sandwiches. And you can guess our mother fixed us a dinner that was different from what other kids had, too.

Mother insisted on knowing where we were at all times. You'd think we were convicts in a prison. She had to know who our friends were, and what we were doing with them. She insisted that if we said we would be gone for an hour, we would be gone for an hour or less.

We were ashamed to admit it, but she had the nerve to break the Child Labor Laws by making us work. We had to wash the dishes, make the beds, learn to cook, vacuum the floor, do laundry, empty the trash and all sorts of cruel jobs.

I think she would lie awake at night thinking of more things for us to do.

She always insisted on us telling the truth the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

By the time we were teenagers, she could read our minds. Then, life was really tough! Mother wouldn't let our friends just honk the horn when they drove up. They had to come up to the door so she could meet them. While everyone else could date when they were 12 or 13, we had to wait until we were 16. Because of our mother we missed out on lots of things other kids experienced. None of us have ever been caught shoplifting, vandalizing other's property or ever arrested for any crime. It was all her fault. Now that we have left home, we are all educated, honest adults. We are doing our best to be mean parents just like Mom was. I think that is what's wrong with the world today. It just doesn't have enough mean moms –


"My mother is a woman who speaks with her life as much as with her tongue." Kesaya E. Noda

Monday, May 10, 2004


Summer is almost upon us and schools will be dispatching their students whose thoughts long ago turned to leisurely days in the sun. Eve is a firm believer in "life long learning." How is that defined? Just about anyway you would like for it to be, as long as the end result is new knowledge. In Eve's case it was piano lessons at 42, fencing lessons at 44, achieving an undergraduate degree exactly 20 years to the month she began originally and started graduate school at 46. Oh—tap dancing at 50.

Eve's of the opinion that one of the wisest educators was viewed in his day as a cranky comedian. However, he imparted profound insights with the deft turn of a phrase.

As proof positive, an excerpt from a speech by Mark Twain delivered at Barnard College in 1906….Twain, a great philosopher and a good teacher of "life's lessons."

"It's my opinion that every one I know has morals, though I wouldn't like to ask. I know I have. But I'd rather teach them than practice them any day. 'Give them to others' -- that's my motto. Then you never have any use for them when you're left without. Now, speaking of the caprices of memory in general, and of mine in particular, it's strange to think of all the tricks this little mental process plays on us. Here we're endowed with a faculty of mind that ought to be more supremely serviceable to us than them all. And what happens? This memory of ours stores up a perfect record of the most useless facts and anecdotes and experiences. And all the things that we ought to know -- that we need to know -- that we'd profit by knowing -- it casts aside with the careless indifference of a girl refusing her true lover. It's terrible to think of this phenomenon. I tremble in all my members when I consider all the really valuable things that I've forgotten in seventy years -- when I meditate upon the caprices of my memory.

There's a bird out in California that is one perfect symbol of the human memory. I've forgotten the bird's name (just because it would be valuable for me to know it -- to recall it to your own minds, perhaps).

But this fool of a creature goes around collecting the most ridiculous things you can imagine and storing them up. He never selects a thing that could ever prove of the slightest help to him; but he goes about gathering iron forks, and spoons, and tin cans, and broken mouse-traps -- all sorts of rubbish that is difficult for him to carry and yet be any use when he gets it. Why, that bird will go by a gold watch to bring back one of those patent cake-pans.

Now, my mind is just like that, and my mind isn't very different from yours -- and so our minds are just like that bird. We pass by what would be of inestimable value to us, and pack our memories with the most trivial odds and ends that never by any chance, under any circumstances whatsoever, could be of the slightest use to any one."

The one thing we can all remember without even trying—life long learning is the best kind and we always have a lot to learn!

"The ability to learn is older—as it is also more widespread—than is the ability to teach."


"Learning is always rebellion….Every bit of new truth discovered is revolutionary to what was believed before." Margaret Lee Runbeck

Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant? I'm halfway through my fish burger and I realize, "Oh my gosh....I could be eating a slow learner." -- Lynda Montgomery

Sunday, May 9, 2004



The child asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"

"Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in heaven I don't have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy."

God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And, you will feel your angel's love and be very happy."

Again the child asked, "And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language?"

God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak."

"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"

God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray."

"Who will protect me?"

God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking it's life."

"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore."

God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about me and will teach you the way to come back to me, even though I will always be next to you."

At that moment there was much peace in heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, "God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel's name."

You will simply call her "Mom."

Lift a mother's spirit, send this to a mother you know. May the Angels watch over you.

This is for all the mothers who froze their buns off on metal bleachers at football games Friday night instead of watching from cars, so that when their kids asked, "Did you see me?" they could say, "Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world," and mean it. This is for all the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, "It's OK honey, Mommy's here."

This is for all the mothers of Kosovo who fled in the night and can't find their children. This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes. For all the mothers of the victims of the Colorado shooting, and the mothers of the murderers. For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror, hugging their child who just came home from school, safely. For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who DON'T.

What makes a good Mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time? Or is it heart? Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time? The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby? The need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a school shooting, a fire, a car accident, a baby dying? So this is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the mothers who wanted to but just couldn't. This is for reading "Goodnight, Moon" twice a night for a year. And then reading it again. "Just one more time."

This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair and stomp their feet like a tired 2-year old who wants ice cream before dinner. This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead. For all the mothers who bite their lips sometimes until they bleed * when their 14 year olds dye their hair green. Who lock themselves in the bathroom when babies keep crying and won't stop. This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot. This is for all mothers whose heads turn automatically when a little voice calls "Mom?" in a crowd, even though they know their own off spring are at home. This is for mothers who put pinwheels and teddy bears on their children's graves. This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can't find the words to reach them. This is for all the mothers who sent their sons to school with stomachaches, assuring them they'd be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up. Right away.

This is for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation. And mature mothers learning to let go. For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers. Single mothers and married mothers. Mothers with money, mothers without. This is for you all. So hang in there. Please pass along to all the moms in your life. "Home is what catches you when you fall - and we all fall." Please pass this to a wonderful mother you know. (I just did) ~Sandy

"Who ran to help me when I fell, / And would some pretty story tell, / Or kiss the place to make it well? / My Mother." Ann Taylor

"My mother is a poem I'll never be able to write / though everything I write is a poem to my mother." Sharon Doubiago

If your would like to pay special tribute to someone on Mother's Day, we think this is the best on the Internet!

Saturday, May 8, 2004



1. The Female always makes THE RULES.

2. THE RULES are subject to change without notice.

3. No Male can possibly know all THE RULES.

4. If the Female suspects the Male knows all THE RULES, she must immediately change some of THE RULES.

5. The Female is never wrong.

6. If it appears the Female is wrong, it is because of a flagrant misunderstanding caused by something the Male did or said wrong.

7. If Rule #6 applies, the Male must apologize immediately for causing the misunderstanding.

8. The Female can change her mind at any time.

9. The Male must never change his mind without the express written consent of The Female.

10. The Female has every right to be angry or upset at any time.

11. The Male must remain calm at all times, unless the Female wants him to be angry or upset.

12. The Female must, under no circumstances, let the Male know whether she wants him to be angry or upset.

13. The Male is expected to read the mind of the Female at all times.

14. At all times, what is important is what the Female meant, not what she said.

15. If the Male doesn't abide by THE RULES, it is because he can't take the heat, lacks backbone, and is a wimp.

16. If the Female has PMS, all THE RULES are null and void and the Male must cater to her every whim.

17. Any attempt to document THE RULES could result in bodily harm.

18. If the Male, at any time, believes he is right, he must refer to Rule #5.


1. Humans shall make no law respecting an establishment of boundaries or prohibiting the free exercise therein, or abridging the freedom of access, or the right to peaceful assembly. In other words: The cat is entitled to go outside anytime he wants.

2. A well-carried provisional chamber, being necessary to the fulfillment of a feline's whims, shall not be infringed. In other words: The cat is entitled to EAT anytime he wants.

3. The right of the feline to be secure in their domain and effects against unreasonable discomposure shall not be violated. In other words: The cat is entitled to SLEEP anytime he wants.

4. Humans shall issue no warrants or decrees or edicts as prescribed to the demarcation of possessions or property, which are in direct conflict with right of life, liberty and the pursuit of feline affirmation. In other words: The cat is entitled to sleep ANYWHERE he wants.

5. The feline shall be immune to all criminal accusations, indictments and complaints. The accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and impartial dismissal of any and all charges provided said feline's compulsory right to obtain any or all witnesses, including character witnesses, are obtained in his favor. In other words: Cats can do anything they want as long as it's cute.

6. Neither serfdom, vassalage, or involuntary servitude will be tolerated, except by said cats in proprietorship of their humans. In other words: What I say goes. (And I say feed me ... Again.)

7. No Canis familiaris shall, in time of peace or at any other time, be quartered in any dwelling without the consent of the potentate, or in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by sovereign. In other words: No dogs in the house without my permission.

8. The right of the feline to be protected against unreasonable search and seizures shall not be breached or infringed upon at anytime or any place. In other words: Don't disturb me when I am sleeping.


According to the Knight-Ridder News Service, the inscription on the metal bands used by the U.S. Department of the Interior to tag migratory birds has been changed. The bands used to bear the address of the Washington Biological Survey, abbreviated:

Wash. Biol. Surv.

until the agency received the following letter from an Arkansas camper:

"Dear Sirs:

While camping last week I shot one of your birds. I think it was a crow. I followed the cooking instructions on the leg tag and I want to tell you, it was horrible."

The bands are now marked Fish and Wildlife Service.

"One reason cats are happier than people / is that they have no newspapers." Gwendolyn Brooks

Friday, May 7, 2004

Someone sent this yesterday and it is such a glorious tribute to the profound impact a teacher can have on pupils…we decided offer it along with some humor as Part II of the Neat Women Inc salute to teachers everywhere!


Donna's fourth grade classroom looked like any others I had seen in the past. The teacher's desk was in front and faced the students. The bulletin board featured student work. In most respects it appeared to be a typically traditional elementary classroom. Yet something seemed different that day I entered it for the first time.

My job was to make classroom visitations and encourage implementation of a training program that focused on language arts ideas that would empower students to feel good about themselves and take charge of their lives. Donna was one of the volunteer teachers who participated in this project.

I took an empty seat in the back of the room and watched. All the students were working on a task, filling a sheet of notebook paper with thoughts and ideas. The ten-year-old student next to me was filling her page with "I Can'ts". "I can't kick the soccer ball past second base." "I can't do long division with more than three numerals." "I can't get Debbie to like me." Her page was half full and she showed no signs of letting up. She worked on with determination and persistence. I walked down the row glancing at student's papers. Everyone was writing sentences, describing things they couldn't do.

By this time the activity engaged my curiosity, so I decided to check with the teacher to see what was going on but I noticed she too was busy writing. I felt it best not to interrupt. "I can't get John's mother to come for a teacher conference." "I can't get my daughter to put gas in the car." "I can't get Alan to use words instead of fists."

Thwarted in my efforts to determine why students and teacher were dwelling on the negative instead of writing the more positive "I Can" statements, I returned to my seat and continued my observations. Students wrote for another ten minutes. They were then instructed to fold the papers in half and bring them to the front. They placed their "I Can't" statements into an empty shoebox. Then Donna added hers. She put the lid on the box, tucked it under her arm and headed out the door and down the hall.

Students followed the teacher. I followed the students. Halfway down the hallway Donna entered the custodian's room, rummaged around and came out with a shovel. Shovel in one hand, shoebox in the other, Donna marched the students out to the school to the farthest corner of the playground.

There they began to dig. They were going to bury their "I Can'ts"! The digging took over ten minutes because most of the fourth graders wanted a turn. The box of "I Can'ts" was placed in a position at the bottom of the hole and then quickly covered with dirt. Thirty-one 10 and 11 year-olds stood around the freshly dug gravesite. At this point Donna announced, "Boys and girls, please join hands and bow your heads."

They quickly formed a circle around the grave, creating a bond with their hands.

They lowered their heads and waited. Donna delivered the eulogy. "Friends, we gathered here today to honor the memory of 'I Can't.' While he was with us here on earth, he touched the lives or everyone, some more than others. We have provided 'I Can't' with a final resting place and a headstone that contains his epitaph. His is survived by his brothers and sisters, 'I Can', 'I Will', and 'I'm Going to Right Away'. They are not as well known as their famous relative and are certainly not as strong and powerful yet. Perhaps some day, with your help, they will make an even bigger mark on the world. May 'I Can't' rest in peace and may everyone present pick up their lives and move forward in his absence. Amen."

As I listened I realized that these students would never forget this day. Writing "I Can'ts", burying them and hearing the eulogy. That was a major effort on this part of the teacher. And she wasn't done yet.

She turned the students around, marched them back into the classroom and held a wake. They celebrated the passing of "I Can't" with cookies, popcorn and fruit juices. As part of the celebration, Donna cut a large tombstone from butcher paper. She wrote the words "I Can't" at the top and put RIP in the middle. The date was added at the bottom. The paper tombstone hung in Donna's classroom for the remainder of the year.

On those rare occasions when a student forgot and said, "I Can't", Donna simply pointed to the RIP sign. The student then remembered that "I Can't" was dead and chose to rephrase the statement. I wasn't one of Donna's students. She was one of mine. Yet that day I learned an enduring lesson from her as years later, I still envision that fourth grade class laying to rest, "I Can't".

We couldn't help but think when reading that how appropriate it might be in many different settings—families, businesses, and perhaps even on an individual rather than a collective basis. The most fascinating aspect to those of us, who wear the mantle of "women of a certain age," is that society can no longer look upon our chronological status as reason for assuming, "We can't."

Be advised that we each can bury the former "I can't's" and declare…."Says Who?!"

"A teacher's day is half bureaucracy, half crisis, half monotony, and one eightieth epiphany. Never mind the arithmetic." Susan Ohanian


"Good teaching is equal parts perspiration, inspiration, and resignation." Susan Ohanian

Thursday, May 6, 2004

What profession does every citizen in every country around the world feel is essential to their personal well being as well as that of their environment? This also is, regrettably, a job, which has often been maligned, and lumped, in the same category as lawyers, doctors, and politicians. Have you guessed yet? If not, you've never taught school. This is Teacher Appreciation Week and Tuesday was Teacher Appreciation Day in the U.S. Eve taught school at one point in her life—7th and 8th grade. Teenagers are Eve's favorites although people regularly look at her as if she just fell out of a tree on her head when she mentions that fact. Admittedly, it's an age when young people don't know if they're "on foot or on horse back," but it's also one of the most dynamic periods in an individuals life. And, anyone who doesn't understand that it is simultaneously one of the most painful phases, must have been unconscious during puberty!!

Eve's son taught school briefly….6th and 7th grade math. He was living almost 1,000 miles from home but called weekly to report on the new experience. End of week one…."Mom, it really is an exciting challenge. I enjoy relating to the students but I have to be careful so they don't realize I'm not that much older than they are!" (He was 22) End of week two…"Mom, it makes me so angry when I see how school districts have to struggle financially….all the politicians talk about their commitment to education but none of them want to put their money where their mouth is!" End of week three…."Mom, you can't imagine how stubborn these kids are sometimes!" Oh, yes she could! When he finally found a job in the profession he had majored in, Information Technology, and had to leave the classroom, his exact words were, "Mom, this is very bitter sweet—to be making so much more money but not in a setting as rewarding as a classroom." He married a schoolteacher three years later.

We like the bumper sticker that says: "If you can read this, thank a teacher."


"I am teaching…..It's kind of like having a love affair with a rhinoceros." Anne Sexton

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Anything Is Possible

If there was ever a time to dare,
to make a difference,
to embark on something worth doing,

Not for any grand cause, necessarily...
but for something that tugs at your heart,
something that's your inspiration,
something that's your dream.

You owe it to yourself
to make your days here count.


Know, though, that things worth doing
seldom come easy.
There will be good days.
And there will be bad days.
There will be times when you want to turn around,
pack it up,
and call it quits.
Those times tell you
that you are pushing yourself,
that you are not afraid to learn by trying.

Because with an idea,
and the right tools,
you can do great things.
Let your instincts,
your intellect,
and your heart,
guide you.

Believe in the incredible power of the human mind.
Of doing something that makes a difference.
Of working hard.
Of laughing and hoping.
Of lasting friends.
Of all the things that will cross your path this year.

The start of something new
brings the hope of something great,



"People need dreams, there's as much nourishment in 'em as food." Dorothy Gilman

Tuesday, May 4, 2004

May is Older Americans Month. Because Neat Women agree that "old" is passe` we don't necessarily relate to it, and we found the following comedic insights truly hilarious. If you care to submit a personal anecdote all are welcome. We selected just a few. Some are "senior moments," others are well, see for yourself!

Three ladies were discussing the travails of getting older.
One said, "Sometimes I catch myself with a jar of mayonnaise in my hand in front of the refrigerator and can't remember whether I need to put it away, or start making a sandwich."
The second lady chimed in, "Yes, some times I find myself on the landing of the stairs and can't remember whether I was on my way up or on my way down."
The third one responded, "Well, I'm glad I don't have that problem; knock on wood" as she rapped her knuckles on the table. Then said, "That must be the door, I'll get it!"

My friends all get older... much faster than me. They seem much more wrinkled, from what I can see. I've got "character lines", not wrinkles... for sure, But don't call me old... just call me mature.

The steps in the houses they're building today are so high that they take... your breath all away. And the streets are much steeper than ten years ago. That should explain why my walking is slow.

But I'm keeping up on what's hip and what's new, And I think I can still dance a mean boogaloo. Another senior moment.........

Two elderly men were eating breakfast in a restaurant one morning.
Ed noticed something funny about Joe's ear. He said, "Joe did you know you've got a suppository in your left ear?
"I have? A suppository?" He pulled it out and stared at it. Then said: "Ed, I'm glad you saw this thing. Now I know where my hearing aid is."

When you are younger you get blamed for crimes you never committed, and when you're older you begin to get credit for virtues you never possessed. It evens itself out. I.R. Stone 1907-1989

"After thirty, a body has a mind of its own." Bette Midler (who is now past 50)


"I have a problem about being nearly sixty: I keep waking up in the morning and thinking I'm thirty-one." Elizabeth Janeway (Works for us!)

Monday, May 3, 2004

Yesterday marked the anniversary of the 1st publication of "Good Housekeeping" magazine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For a little broader backdrop we've selected the following excerpts from a Sunday, New York Times Magazine article which appeared a couple of years ago. Titled "The Rest of the Story," the piece was co- written by: Natalie Zemon Davis, (a former history professor at Princeton and the author of The Return of Martin Guerre and other books) and Jill Ker Conway, a former president of Smith and a visiting professor at M.I.T. Her most recent book is "When Memory Speaks."

"Understanding the millennium requires looking past the male milestones of traditional history to see the shape of women's lives. For all their drama and insight, traditional histories of the last thousand years fall short. Written mostly by men, they introduced women into the standard parade of wars, revolutions, monarchs and parliaments only at moments like their ascension to inherited thrones or religious authority. In the 19th century, most male historians compounded the problem by making women's history sound as though women had only then begun making headway.

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

Within the white middle-class family, education and religious responsibility for children improved women's status through the 19th century. By the 1830's, magazines analyzing life from a woman's point of view began to flourish in North America. But mostly, wives were still considered their husbands' subordinates.

Though they didn't participate in elections, American women believed that they had access to the political system through the right to petition Congress. But as the conflict over abolition escalated, it became clear that women's petitions were not being heard. The right to vote was moved to the top of the list.

The middle class had begun its flight from the city in the mid-19th century, and by its close servants were being replaced by new laborsaving household equipment. So suburban women were alone with their children. Whereas in the 18th century the family was a partnership for spouses and children, the 20th-century family became based on intimacy. Greater life expectancy meant that marriages lasted longer, well past a woman's childbearing years. As infant mortality declined, the family became more child-centered and private insurance and pensions, as well as governmental assistance, made older parents less dependent on working children.

In the 1960's, feminists began to focus on changing the composition of high-status professions. Once access to graduate education was won, feminist scholars pushed to change patterns of research and teaching so that women were no longer regarded as a failed model of the male norm, but as a norm themselves. In so doing, they helped ignite the culture wars of the 1980's and 90's. And by the end of the 90's, women constituted 60 percent of college graduates. Even so, on leaving school they still face the continuing reality of the glass ceiling.

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

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

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


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

Sunday, May 2, 2004



To forget what you have done for other people and to remember what other people have done for you

To ignore that the world owes you, and to think what you owe the world

To put your rights in the background, your duties in the middle distance and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground

To come to every situation in life thinking what can I contribute to this situation in a positive manner, rather than concentrating on the negative

To see that your fellow men and women are just as REAL as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy, love and happiness as much as you are

To understand that probably the only good reason for your existence isn't what you are going to get out of this life, but what you are going to give to life

To close your book of complaints against the management of the universe and look for a place where you can sow a few seeds of happiness along the pathway you travel

Are you willing to do these things, even for a day?
If so, then you have a very good chance of having a healthy, happy and wholesome life, bringing many smiles of joy upon those you happen on to throughout life...

Author Unknown

"Hope" is the thing with feathers--/That perches in the soul--/And sings the tune without the words--/And never stops at all. Emily Dickinson

"And, through and over everything, / A sense of glad awakening." Edna St. Vincent Millay

Saturday, May 1, 2004


Today is a local holiday in the place of EVE's birth. It's the day of "the run for the roses," the "most exciting two minutes in sports," and the "whole enchilada" for horse fans. Yep—the Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday of each May at a place named Churchill Downs. You can see hilarious hats, haute couture, mint julips, celebrities by the bushel full and the approximately 100,000 people who gather at the "end field" probably never see a horse! It's Madi Gras, Halloween, 4th of July, and every other major celebration all rolled into one. Two weeks ago on this day, Derby Festival was officially kicked off by an event called "Thunder Over Louisville"—a 3 million dollar fire works display—largest in North America. Today is the 130th running of the Kentucky Derby.

We'll just stick with the usual silly stuff….a good bet and one that nary a person loses!


"Eagle? I thought you said BEAGLE."

"We're all out of red, so I used pink."

"There are 2 Os in Bob, right?"

"Sorry, sir, your chest will only hold the bottle dinghy."

"That call was for you. Hope you meet someone else named Tahiti Sweetie."

"Gosh, I hate it when I get the hiccups."

"Anything else you want to say? You've got plenty of room back here."

"I'll bet you can't tell I've never done this before."

"The flag's all done and, you know, the folds of fat make a nice waving effect."


* You automatically double-knot everything you tie.

* You find yourself humming the Barney song as you do the dishes.

* You hear a baby cry in the grocery store, and you start to gently sway back and forth, back and forth. However, your children are at school!

* You can never go to the bathroom alone without someone screaming outside the door.

* You start to like the smell of strained carrots mixed with applesauce.

* You get so into crafts you contemplate writing a book called 101 Fun Crafts to do with Dryer Lint and Eggshells.

* You spend a half hour searching for your sunglasses only to have your teenager say, "Mom, why don't you wear the ones you pushed up on top of your head?"

* You are out for a nice romantic meal with your husband, enjoying some real adult conversation, when suddenly you realize that you've reached over and started to cut up his steak.


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