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Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Message: Keep Your Girlfriends

I sat on a porch in Waycross, Georgia on a fall day, drinking iced tea and visiting with my Mother. "Don't forget your girlfriends," Mother advised, clinking the ice cubes in her glass. "No matter how much you love your husband, you are still going to need girlfriends. Remember to go places with them now and then; do things with them. And remember that girlfriends are not only friends, but sisters, daughters and other relatives too."

What a funny piece of advice, I thought. Hadn't I just gotten married? Hadn't I just joined the couple-world? I was now a married woman, for goodness sake, not a young girl who needed girlfriends. But I listened to my Mom.

I kept contact with my girlfriends and made more each year. As the years tumbled by, one after another, gradually I came to understand that Mom really knew what she was talking about.

Here is what I know about Girlfriends:

Girlfriends bring casseroles and scrub your bathroom when you need help.

Girlfriends keep your children and keep your secrets.

Girlfriends give advice when you ask for it. Sometimes you take it, sometimes you don't.

Girlfriends don't always tell you that you're right, but they're usually honest.

Girlfriends still love you, even when they don't agree with your choices.

Girlfriends laugh with you, and you don't need canned jokes to start the laughter.

Girlfriends pull you out of jams.

Girlfriends will give a party for your son or daughter when they get married or have a baby, in whichever order that comes!

Girlfriends are there for you, in an instant and when the hard times come.

Girlfriends listen when you lose a job or a friend.

Girlfriends listen when your anyone breaks your heart.

Girlfriends listen when your parents' minds and bodies fail.

Girlfriends cry with you when someone you loved dies.

Our daughters, sisters, family, and friends bless my life!

When we began this adventure we had no idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we would need each other.

Pass this on to your girlfriends/sisters/daughters/cousins. We just did. (You will find a Send to A Friend icon at the bottom of this page.)


"You can keep your friends by not giving them away." Mary Pettibone Poole

Monday, September 29, 2003

"Older Women" Andy Rooney Says:

"As I grow in age, I value older women most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

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

An older woman knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of 50 give a hoot what you might think about her.

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

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

Most older women cook well. They care about cleanliness and are generous with praise, often undeserved.

An older woman has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn't trust the guy with other women. Older women couldn't care less.

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

An older woman looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women or drag queens.

Older women are forthright and honest. They'll tell you right off you are a jerk if you are acting like one.

Yes, we praise older women for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coifed babe of 70 there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year-old waitress.

Ladies, I apologize for all of us. That men are genetically inferior is no secret. Count your blessings that we die off at a far younger age, leaving you the best part of your lives to appreciate the exquisite woman you've become, without the distraction of some demanding old man clinging and whining his way into your serenity."


"Age puzzles me. I thought it was a quiet time. My seventies were interesting, and fairly serene, but my eighties are passionate. I grow more intense as I age." Florida Scott-Maxwell

Sunday, September 28, 2003


The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7b)

The Rented Room

Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to outpatients at the clinic.

One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. "Why, he's hardly taller than my eight-year-old," I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body. But the appalling thing was his face, lopsided from swelling, red and raw.

Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, "Good evening. I've come to see if you've a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the Eastern Shore, and there's no bus 'til morning."

He told me he'd been hunting for a room since noon but with no success; no one seemed to have a room. "I guess it's my face. I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments..." For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: "I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning."

I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us. "No thank you. I have plenty." And he held up a brown paper bag.

When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn't take a long time to see that this old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury.

He didn't tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was prefaced with a thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going.

At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children's room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded, and the little man was out on the porch.

He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, "Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won't put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair." He paused a moment and then added, "Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don't seem to mind." I told him he was welcome to come again.

And on his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they'd be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4 a.m., and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.

In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden.

Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious.

When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning. "Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!"

Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But, oh! If only they could have known him, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear. I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God.

Recently I was visiting a friend who has a greenhouse. As she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, "If this were my plant, I'd put it in the loveliest container I had!"

My friend changed my mind. "I ran short of pots," she explained, "and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn't mind starting out in this old pail. It's just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden."

She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven. "Here's an especially beautiful one," God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. "He won't mind starting in this small body."

All this happened long ago -- and now, in God's garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand.

Friends are very special. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear and they share a word of praise. Show your friends how much you care. Pass this on, and brighten someone's day.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Saturday Silliness

These are the 10 winners of this year's Bulwer Lytton bad prose contest, wherein one writes only the first line of a novel. It is held annually by the English Department at San Jose University. Some of them are so bad they are really good.

"As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break wind in the sound chamber he would never hear the end of it."

"Just beyond the Narrows, the river widens."

"With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned, unblemished oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep azure-blue eyes fringed with long black lashes, perfect teeth that vied for competition, and a small straight nose, Marilee had a beauty that defied description."

"Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he crept along the east wall: "Andre creep... Andre creep... Andre creep..."

"Stanislaus Smedly, a man always on the cutting edge of narcissism, was about to give his body and soul to a back-alley, sex-change surgeon to become the woman he loved."

"Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from eking out a living at a local pet store."

"Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then penguins often do."

"Like an overripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage cheese, the corpulent remains of Santa Claus lay dead on a hotel floor."

"Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn't know the meaning of the word 'fear,' a man who could laugh in the face of danger and spit in the eye of death -- in short, a moron with suicidal tendencies."


"The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved aside darkness, crept along the greensward, and with sickly fingers, pushed through the castle window, revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown asunder, gaping in frenzied horror at the sated, sodden amphibian lying beside her, disbelieving the magnitude of the frog's deception, screaming madly, 'You lied!'"

This just tells you how hard it is to be single these days... This was on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on September 7, 1999. Jay went into the audience to find the most embarrassing first date that a woman ever had.

The winner described her worst first date experience. There was absolutely no question as to why her tale took the prize!

She said it was midwinter...snowing and quite cold...and the guy had taken her skiing. It was a day trip (no overnight). They were strangers, after all, and truly had never met before. The outing was fun but relatively uneventful until they were headed home late that afternoon. They were driving back down the mountain when she gradually began to realize that she should not have had that extra latte apres-ski. They were about an hour away from anywhere with a rest room and in the middle of nowhere.

Her companion suggested she try to hold it, which she did for a while. Unfortunately, because of the heavy snow and slow going, there came a point where she told him that he had better stop and let her pee beside the road, or it would be the front seat of his car. They stopped and she quickly crawled out beside the car, yanked her pants down and started.

Unfortunately, in the deep snow she didn't have good footing, so she let her butt rest against the rear fender to steady herself. Her companion stood on the other side of the car watching for traffic and indeed was a real gentleman and refrained from peeking.

All she could think about was the relief she felt despite the rather embarrassing nature of the situation. Upon finishing however, she soon became aware of another sensation. As she bent to pull up her pants, the young lady discovered her buttocks were firmly glued against the car's fender. Thoughts of tongues frozen to pump handles immediately came to mind as she attempted to disengage her flesh from the icy metal. It was quickly apparent that she had a brand new problem due to the extreme cold.

Horrified by her plight and yet aware of the humor she answered her date's concerns about "what was taking so long" with a reply that indeed, she was "freezing her butt off and needed some assistance"!

He came around the car as she tried to cover herself with her sweater and then, as she looked imploringly into his eyes, he burst out laughing. She too, got the giggles and when they finally managed to compose themselves, they assessed her dilemma. Obviously, as hysterical as the situation was, they also were faced with a real problem. Both agreed it would take something hot to free her chilly cheeks from the grip of the icy metal.

Thinking about what had gotten her into the predicament in the first place, both quickly realized that there was only one way to get her free so, as she looked the other way, her first time date proceeded to unzip his pants and pee her butt off the fender.

Rescue accomplished, they returned to the car although for the remainder of the trip home there wasn't much conversation and apparently, despite their "intimate encounter," the two did not see one another again.

As for the Tonight Show...she took the prize hands down...or perhaps that should be "pants down." And you thought your first date was embarrassing...A whole new definition of being "pissed off"

"You can't drown your troubles….because troubles can swim." Margaret Millar

Friday, September 26, 2003

This is worth revisiting and what follows seems especially apropos of how so many people are feeling at the moment!

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

Decisions were made by going "eeny-meeny-miney-mo".
Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, "do over!"
"Race issues" meant arguing about who ran the fastest.
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.
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 dodgeball wasn't an Olympic event.
Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a slingshot.
Nobody was prettier than Mom.
Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.
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.
"Olly-olly-oxen-free" made perfect sense.
Spinning around, getting dizzy, and falling down was cause for giggles.
The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team.
War was a card game.
Water balloons were the ultimate weapon.
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. (You mean it isn't???!!!?)
Older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors.

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

If you can't do "corny" or a little "hokey" you may want to stop here. This site is probably eligible for both categories….but it is also filled with a charm and poignancy that are a delightful combination. It's GranGran's place--we recommend you log-on and enjoy this complete with balloons and other fun graphics and "bouncy" music!

This is her anthem:

I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult.

I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of an 8-year-old again.

I want to go to McDonald's and think that it's a four star restaurant.

I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle. . . .. . . .and make ripples with rocks.

I want to think M&M;'s are better than money because you can eat them.

I want to lie under a big tree and run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer's day.

I want to return to a time when life was simple.

When all you knew was colors, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes, but that didn't bother you, because you didn't know what you didn't know and you didn't care. All you knew was to be happy because you were blissfully unaware of all the things that should make you worried or upset.

I want to think the world is fair. That everyone is honest and good. I want to believe that anything is possible. I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things again.

I want to live simply again. I don't want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news, how to survive more days in the month than there is money in the bank, doctor bills, gossip, illness, and loss of loved ones.

I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, justice, a kind word, truth, peace, dreams, love, imagination, mankind, and making angels in the snow.'s my checkbook, my wallet, my car-keys, my credit cards and my 401K statements.

I am officially resigning from adulthood.

And if you want to discuss this further, you'll have to catch me first, cause,

"Tag! You're it."


"We thought we were running away from the grownups, and now we are the grownups." Margaret Atwood

Thursday, September 25, 2003

The Cab Ride

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. It was a cowboy's life; a life for someone who wanted no boss. What I didn't realize was that it was also a ministry.

Because I drove the night shift, my cab became a moving confessional. Passengers climbed in, sat behind me in total anonymity, and told me about their lives. I encountered people whose lives amazed me, ennobled me, made me laugh and weep, but none touched me more than a woman I picked up late one August night.

The call was to a small, brick fourplex in a quiet part of town. I assumed I was being sent to pick up someone who had been partying, or someone who had just had a fight with a lover, or a worker heading to an early shift at some factory in the industrial part of town.

When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground-floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation, so unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself, so I walked to the door and knocked.

"Just a minute", answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

"Would you carry my bag out to the car?" she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm, then we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.

"It's nothing", I told her. "I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated".

"Oh, you're such a good boy," she said.

When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, "Could you drive through downtown?"

"It's not the shortest way," I answered quickly.

"Oh, I don't mind," she said. "I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice".

I looked in the rear view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.

"I don't have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I don't have very long."

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. "What route would you like me to take?" I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "I'm tired. Let's go now."

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

"How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse.

"Nothing," I said.

"You have to make a living," she answered.

"There are other passengers," I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly. "You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said. "Thank you."

I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life. We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware--beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.



"Human relations are built on feeling, not on reason or knowledge. And feeling is not an exact science; like all spiritual qualities, it has the vagueness of greatness about it." Amelia E. Barr

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Beginning today I will no longer worry about yesterday. It is in the past and the past will never change. Only I can change by choosing to do so.

Beginning today I will no longer worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will always be there, waiting for me to make the most of it. But I cannot make the most of tomorrow without first making the most of today.

Beginning today I will look in the mirror and I will see a person worthy of my respect and admiration. This capable woman looking back at me is someone I enjoy spending time with and someone I would like to get to know better.

Beginning today I will cherish each moment of my life. I value this gift bestowed upon me in this world and I will unselfishly share this gift with others. I will use this gift to enhance the lives of others.

Beginning today I will take a moment to step off the beaten path and to revel in the mysteries I encounter. I will face challenges placed before me with courage and determination. I will overcome what barriers there may be which hinder my quest for growth and self-improvement.

Beginning today I will take life one day at a time, one step at a time. Discouragement will not be allowed to taint my positive self-image, my desire to succeed or my capacity to love.

Beginning today I walk with renewed faith in human kindness. Regardless of what has gone before, I believe there is hope for a brighter and better future.

Beginning today I will open my mind and my heart. I will welcome new experiences. I will meet new people. I will not expect perfection from myself nor anyone else: perfection does not exist in an imperfect world. But I will applaud the attempt to overcome human foibles.

Beginning today I am responsible for my own happiness and I will do things that make me happy . . . admire the beautiful wonders of nature, listen to my favorite music, pet a kitten or a puppy, soak in a bubble bath . . . pleasure can be found in the most simple of gestures.

Beginning today I will learn something new; I will try something different; I will savor all the various flavors life has to offer. I will change what I can and the rest I will let go. I will strive to become the best me I can possibly be.

Beginning today. And every day. by Penny Jacqueline White


"It is so seldom in this world that things come just when they are wanted." Margaret Oliphant

Tuesday, September 23, 2003


During the waning years of the Depression, in a small southeastern Idaho community, I used to stop by Mr. Miller's roadside stand for farm fresh produce as the season made it available. Food and money were still extremely scarce and bartering was used extensively. One particular day, Mr. Miller was bagging some early potatoes for me. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas. I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller and the ragged boy next to me.

"Hello Barry, how are you today?"

"H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin them peas…sure look good."

"They are good Barry. How's your Ma?"

"Fine. Gittin' stronger alla'time."

"Good. Anything I can help you with?"

"No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas."

"Would you like to take some home?"

"No, Sir. Got nuthin to pay for 'em with."

"What, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?"

"All I got's my prize aggie, best taw around here."

"Is that right? Let me see it."

"Here 'tis. She's a dandy."

"I can see that. Hmmmm, only thing is, this one is blue and I sort of go for the red. Do you have a red one like this at home?"

"Not 'zackly….but, almost."

"Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red taw."

"Sure will. Thanks, Mr. Miller."

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, "There Are two other boys like him in our community. All three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes or whatever.

When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble, or an orange one, perhaps." I left the stand, smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Utah, but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys and their bartering.


"We are rich only through what we give, and poor only through what we refuse." Anne-Sophie Swetchine

Monday, September 22, 2003

Strength...and what it means seems to be a good way to start a new week!

We don't always have 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.

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 it is okay to allow myself to be human. Help me not to feel guilty or punish myself when I need to "fall apart."

*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*Author Unknown*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*


There is a story in circulation about an optimistic farmer who couldn't wait to greet each new day with a resounding, "Good morning, God!" He lived near a woman whose morning greeting was more like, "Good God. Morning?" They were each a trial to the other. Where he saw opportunity, she saw problems. What brought him satisfaction brought her discontentment.

One bright morning he exclaimed, "Look at the beautiful sky! Did you ever see such a glorious sunrise?"

"Yeah," she countered. "It'll probably get so hot the crops will scorch!"

During an afternoon shower, he commented, "Isn't this wonderful? Mother Nature is giving the corn a drink today!"

"And if it doesn't stop before too long," came the sour reply, "we'll wish we'd taken out flood insurance on the crops!" And so it went.

Convinced that he could instill some awe and wonder in this hardened woman, he bought a remarkable dog. Not just any mutt, but the most expensive, highly trained and gifted dog he could find. The animal was exquisite! It could perform remarkable and impossible feats, which, the farmer thought, would surely amaze even his neighbor. So he invited her to watch his dog perform.

"Fetch!" he commanded, as he tossed a stick into a lake, where it bobbed up and down in the rippling water. The dog bounded after the stick, walked ON the water, and retrieved it.

"What do you think of that?" he asked, smiling.

"Hmmm," she frowned. "Can't swim, can he?"

I believe that attitudes are the world's most communicative diseases. They can be as catching as any known virus. And when negative and cynical, they can be just as deadly. But a stubbornly positive attitude can often make the difference between happiness and misery, between health and illness and even between life and death. Once infected, you'll never be the same.


Just because we're happy, doesn't mean everything is perfect. It simply means we've decided to ignore the imperfections.

Sunday, September 21, 2003


God's Boxes

I have in my hands two boxes
which God gave me to hold.
He said, "Put all your sorrows in the black,
And all your joys in the gold.
I heeded His words, and in the two boxes
Both my joys and sorrows I stored
But though the gold became heavier each day

The black was as light as before
With curiosity, I opened the black
I wanted to find out why
And I saw, in the base of the box, a hole
Which my sorrows had fallen out.

I showed the hole to God, and mused aloud,
"I wonder where my sorrows could be."
He smiled a gentle smile at me."
My child, they're all here with me."

I asked, "God, why give me the boxes,
Why the gold, and the black with the hole?"
My child, the gold is for you to count your blessings,
The black is for you to let go."

We should consider all of our friends a blessing.
Thinking of them and that they are a joy in your life.
A ball is a circle, No beginning, no end.
It keeps us together Like our Circle of Friends

But the treasure inside for you to see
Is the treasure of friendship You've granted to me.
Today we pass the friendship ball to you.
Pass it on to someone who is a friend to you.....

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

Saturday, September 20, 2003


We are returning to humor and remembering that laughter is, indeed, good medicine and the best time to laugh is any time you can.


NOTICE: You may wish to delay reading this until you have more free time.

1. I believe that if anything is worth doing, it would have been done already.

2. I shall never move quickly, except to avoid more work or find excuses.

3. I will never rush into a job without a lifetime of consideration.

4. I shall meet all of my deadlines directly in proportion to the amount of bodily injury I could expect to receive from missing them.

5. I firmly believe that tomorrow holds the possibility for new technologies, astounding discoveries, and a reprieve from my obligations.

6. I truly believe that all deadlines are unreasonable regardless of the amount of time given.

7. If at first I don't succeed, there is always next year.

8. I shall always decide not to decide, unless of course I decide to change my mind.

9. I shall always begin, start, initiate, take the first step, and/or write the first word, when I get around to it.

10. I will never put off tomorrow, what I can forget about forever.

Vincent Van Gogh's family tree

His obnoxious brother - Please Gogh
His brother who ate prunes - Gotta Gogh
His brother who worked in the convenience store - Stopn Gogh
His grandfather from Yugoslavia - U. Gogh
His brother who bleached his clothes white - Hue Gogh
His cousin from Illinois - Chica Gogh
His uncle, the magician - Wherediddy Gogh
His cousin from Mexico - Amee Gogh
His Mexican's cousin's American half brother - Grin Gogh
His nephew who drove the stagecoach - Wellsfar Gogh
His constipated uncle - Cant Gogh
His ballroom dancing aunt - Tang Gogh


People in other countries sometimes go out of their way to communicate with their English-speaking tourists. Here are some signs seen around the world:



Information booklet about using a hotel air conditioner, Japan COOLES AND HEATES: IF YOU WANT CONDITION OF WARM AIR IN YOUR ROOM, PLEASE CONTROL YOURSELF.




One of the Mathare buildings MENTAL HEALTH PREVENTION CENTRE.

A sign seen on an automatic restroom hand dryer DO NOT ACTIVATE WITH WET HANDS.

In a Pumwani maternity ward NO CHILDREN ALLOWED.











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

Friday, September 19, 2003

For those times when we don't notice the obvious or forget that good things often come in special packages…not necessarily small ones.


The man whispered,
"God, speak to me"
And a meadowlark sang,
But the man did not hear.
So the man yelled,
"God speak to me!"
And the thunder rolled across the sky,
But the man did not listen
The man looked around and said,
"God let me see you"
And a star shone brightly,
But the man did not notice.
And the man shouted,
"God show me a miracle"
And a life was born,
But the man did not know.
So, the man cried out in despair,
"Touch me God and let me know that you are here!"
Where upon God reached down and touched the man
But the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.

Don't miss out on a blessing
because it isn't packaged the way you expect.


Thursday, September 18, 2003

The Neat Woman who sent this wrote the following:

"I haven't a clue on the source of this. But I will say it would have to be quotes from the early '50s (or late '40s) because I received minimum wage of $1.05 when I went to work for Kroger in May 1956." Jan


(1) "I'll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, it's going to be impossible to buy a week's groceries for $20."

(2) "Have you seen the new cars coming out for next year? It won't be long when $5000 will only buy a used one."

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

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

(5) "The Government is wanting to get its hands on everything. Pretty soon it's going to be impossible to run a family business or farm."

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

(7) "When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 50 cents a gallon? Guess we'd be better off leaving the car in the garage."

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

(9) "Also, their music drives me wild. This `Rock Around The Clock' thing is nothing but racket."

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

(11) "Also, it won't be long until couples are sleeping in the same bed in the movies. What is this world coming to?"

(12) "Marilyn Monroe is now showing her bra and panties, so apparently there are no standards anymore."

(13) "Pretty soon you won't be able to buy a good 10-cent cigar."

(14) "I read the other day where some scientist thinks it's possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the of the 20th Century. They even have some fellows they call astronauts preparing for it down in Texas."

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

(16) "Do you suppose television will ever reach our part of the country?"

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

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

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

(20) "Marriage doesn't mean a thing anymore, those Hollywood stars seem to be getting divorced at the drop of a hat."

(21) "I'll tell you one thing. If my kid ever talks back to me, he won't be able to sit down for a week."

(22) "Did you know the new church in town is allowing women to wear slacks to their services?"

(23) "Next thing you know, the government will start paying us not to grow crops."

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

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

(26) "Why in the world would you want to send your daughter to college? Isn't she going to get married? It would be different if she could be a doctor or a lawyer."

(27) "I just hate to see the young people smoking. As I tell my kids, 'Don't take a cigarette from ANYONE. You never know what might be in it.' "

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

(29) "There is no sense going to Lincoln or Omaha anymore for a weekend. It costs nearly $15 a night to stay in a hotel."

(30) "No one can afford to be sick anymore; $35 a day in the hospital is too rich for my blood."

(31) "If a few idiots want to risk their necks flying across the country that's fine, but nothing will ever replace trains."

(32) "I don't know about you but if they raise the price of coffee to15 cents a cup, I'll just have to drink mine at home."

(33) "If they think I'll pay 50 cents for a hair cut, forget it. I'll have my wife learn to cut hair."

(34) "We won't be going out much anymore. Our baby sitter informed us she wants 50 cents an hour. Kids think money grows on trees."

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


"Living in the past is a dull and lonely business; and looking back, if persisted in, strains the neck-muscles, causes you to bump into people not going your way." Edna Ferber

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

A timely reminder of the special qualities women bring to the banquet called life.

"Women have strengths that amaze men. They carry children, they carry hardships, they carry burdens, but they hold happiness, love and joy. They smile when they want to scream. They sing when they want to cry. The cry when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous.

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

Women have special qualities about them. They volunteer for good causes. They are pink ladies in hospitals, they bring food to shut-ins.

They are childcare workers, executives, attorneys, stay at home moms, biker babes and your neighbors. They wear suits, jeans and they wear uniforms.

They fight for what they believe in. They stand up for injustice. They are in the front row at PTA meetings. They vote for the person that will do the best job for family issues.

Women talk and walk the extra mile to get their children in the right schools and for getting their family the right health care.

They write to the editor, their congressman and to the 'powers that be' for things that make for a better life. They don't take no for an answer when they believe there is a better solution.

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

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

Women want to be the best for their family, their friends, and themselves. They cry when their children excel and cheer when their friends get awards. They are happy (or cry) when they hear about a birth or a new marriage. Their hearts break when a friend dies. They have sorrow at the loss of a family member, yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left.

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

Women come in all sizes, in all colors and shapes. They live in homes, apartments, and cabins. They drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you to show how much they care about you. The heart of a woman is what makes the world spin!

Women do more than just give birth. They bring joy and hope. They give compassion and ideals. They give moral support to their family and friends. And all they want back is a hug, a smile and for you to do the same to people you come in contact with. Women have a lot to say and a lot to give."

Not all of us may be all of that, but much of it is worth striving for.


"Long before Playboy, woman was not the sum of her parts: her parts were her sum." Marya Mannes

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Two Traveling Angels

Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family.

The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion's guestroom.

Instead the angels were given a small space in the cold basement.

As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it.

When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied, "Things aren't always what they seem."

The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife.

After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night's rest.

When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears.

Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.

The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel how could you have let this happen?

The first man had everything, yet you helped him, she accused.

The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die.

"Things aren't always what they seem," the older angel replied.

"When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall.

Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn't find it."

"Then last night as we slept in the farmers bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead.

Things aren't always what they seem."

Sometimes that is exactly what happens when things don't turn out the way they should. If you have faith, you just need to trust that every out come is always to your advantage. You just might not know it until some time later...

Some people come into our lives and quickly go..
Some people become friends and stay awhile...
leaving beautiful footprints on our hearts...
and we are never quite the same because we have made a good friend!!

Right Now -

-somebody is very proud of you.
-somebody is thinking of you.
-somebody is caring about you.
-somebody misses you
-somebody wants to talk to you.
-somebody wants to be with you.
-somebody hopes you aren't in trouble.
-somebody is thankful for the support you have provided.
-somebody wants to hold your hand.
-somebody hopes everything turns out all right.
-somebody wants you to be happy.
-somebody wants you to find him/her.
-somebody is celebrating your successes.
-somebody wants to give you a gift.
-somebody thinks that you ARE a gift.
-somebody loves you.
-somebody admires your strength.
-somebody is thinking of you and smiling.
-somebody wants to be your shoulder to cry on.



Never take away anyone's hope. That may be all they have.

(You will find a Send to A Friend icon at the bottom of this page)

Monday, September 15, 2003

Subject: The Three Old Men

A woman came out of her house and saw 3 old men with long white beards sitting in her front yard. She did not recognize them. She said "I don't think I know you, but you must be hungry. Please come in and have something to eat."

"Is the man of the house home?", they asked.

"No", she replied. "He's out."

"Then we cannot come in", they replied.

In the evening when her husband came home, she told him what had happened.

"Go tell them I am home and invite them in!"

The woman went out and invited the men in"

"We do not go into a House together," they replied.

"Why is that?" she asked.

One of the old men explained: "His name is Wealth," he said pointing to one of his friends, and said pointing to another one, "He is Success, and I am Love." Then he added, "Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home."

The woman went in and told her husband what was said. Her husband was overjoyed. "How nice!!", he said. "Since that is the case, let us invite Wealth. Let him come and fill our home with wealth!"

His wife disagreed. "My dear, why don't we invite Success?"

Their daughter-in-law was listening from the other corner of the house. She jumped in with her own suggestion: "Would it not be better to invite Love? Our home will then be filled with love!"

"Let us heed our daughter-in-law's advice," said the husband to his wife.

"Go out and invite Love to be our guest."

The woman went out and asked the 3 old men, "Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest."

Love got up and started walking toward the house. The other 2 also got up and followed him. Surprised, the lady asked Wealth and Success: "I only invited Love, Why are you coming in?"

The old men replied together: "If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of us would've stayed out, but since you invited Love, wherever He goes, we go with him. Wherever there is Love, there is also Wealth and Success!!!!!!"

OUR WISH FOR YOU... -Where there is pain, we wish you peace and mercy.
-Where there is self-doubting, we wish you a renewed confidence in your ability to work through it.
-Where there is tiredness, or exhaustion, we wish you understanding, patience, and renewed strength.
-Where there is fear, we wish you love, and courage.

You have two choices right now: 1. Click this off
2. Invite love by sharing this story with all the people you care about.

We hope you will choose #2.

We did ALSO, like a very dear friend of mine did for us.............

You will find a send to a friend icon at the bottom of this page……

Sunday, September 14, 2003

SUNDAY REFLECTION—This ends our week of remembrance and tribute.

He Gathers Every Teardrop From: 

Regardless of the circumstance,
Regardless of the fear,
Regardless of the pain we bear,
Regardless of the tear.

Our God is ever in control,
Performing as He should,
And He has promised in His Word
To work things for our good.

But as a loving Father would,
He sometimes lets us cry
To cleanse the hurt out of our heart,
To wash it from our eye.

Yet gently gathers the tears
Within His hands to stay
Until He turns them into pearls,
and gives them back someday.


On a positive note I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it  seems today, life does go on, and it will be better.

"God is no White Knight who charges into the world to pluck us like distressed damsels from the jaws o dragons, or diseases. God chooses to become present to and through us. It is up to us to rescue one another." Nancy Mairs

Saturday, September 13, 2003

The Sweet Adeline's are women who believe in the power of song—voices raised in harmony…

Received this from a Sweet Adeline friend in Cincinnati. Jan

In a message dated 9/17/01 4:44:41 AM, Chealey4 writes:
Received this from PK Ebert, O. K. City Chorus SAI, a cousin had forwarded it to her, she doesn't know who wrote it. Here it is for all of you - to maybe ease the tension just a little, and to let our Barbershop world re-affirm. The Grinch Version


Each U down in U-ville liked U.S. a lot,

But the Binch, living Far East of U-ville, did not.

The Binch hated U.S.--the whole U.S. way!

Now don't ask me why, for nobody can say.

It could be his turban was screwed on too tight.

Or the sun from the desert had beaten too bright.

But I think that the most likely reason of all

May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.

Whatever the reason, his heart or his turban,

He stood facing U-ville, the part that was urban.

"They're doing their business," he snarled from his perch.

"They're raising their families! They're going to church!

They're leading the world, and their empire's thriving,

I must keep the S's and U's from surviving!"

Each weekday, he knew, all the U's and the S's,

Would put on their pants and their shirts and their dresses.

They'd go to their offices, playgrounds and schools,

And abide by their U and S values and rules.

And then they'd do something he liked least of all,

Each U down in U-ville, the tall and the small,

Would stand all united, each U and each S.

And they'd sing U-ville's anthem, "God bless us! God bless!"

Around their Twin Towers of U-ville, they'd stand,

And their voices would drown every sound in the land.

"I must stop that singing," Binch said with a smirk,

And he had an idea--an idea that might work!

The Binch stole some U airplanes in U morning hours,

And crashed them right into the U-ville Twin Towers.

"They'll wake to disaster!" he snickered, so sour,

"And how can they sing when they can't find a tower?"

The Binch cocked his ear as U's woke from their sleeping,

All set to enjoy their U-wailing and weeping,

Instead he heard something that started quite low,

And built up quite slow, as it started to grow.

And the Binch heard the most unpredictable thing--

And he couldn't believe it--they started to sing!

He stared down at U-ville, not trusting his eyes,

What he saw was a shocking, disgusting surprise!

Every U down in U-ville, the tall and the small,

Was singing--Without any towers at all!

He hadn't stopped U-Ville from singing! It sung!

For deep in the hearts of the old and the young,

Twin Towers were standing, called Hope and called Pride,

And you can't smash the towers we hold deep inside.

So we circle the sites where our heroes did fall,

With a hand in each hand of the tall and the small,

And we mourn for our losses while knowing we'll cope,

For we still have inside us U-Pride and U-Hope.

For America means a bit more than tall towers,

It means more than wealth or political powers,

It's more than our enemies ever could guess.

So God bless America! Bless us! God bless!

"America! America! / God shed His grace on thee / And crown thy good with brotherhood / From sea to shining sea!" Katherine Lee Bates, "America the Beautiful" (1895)

Friday, September 12, 2003


Friends, The message below was from a good friend of mine, John Burleson, in Portland, Oregon.  He is one of the most kind, generous, and loving individuals I know and his solution to this horrible tragedy that struck us all on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 is the best I have seen yet. Please read on and remember that I love each and every one of you.  You are all dear friends, family members, and some of you are faceless as we have never met in person but have made a connection over this thing we call "the Net".  Regardless you have touched my life in a special way and you are all always in my thoughts and prayers.  Blessings to all of you. Enjoy Cheyenne

It's about 8:30, Friday evening, and I'm sitting here in my BVD's drinking luke warm ice tea and listening to a free broadcast of the Portland Symphony play something by Beethoven (or whoever used oboes and bassoons--those sneaky instruments with the skinny little reeds--a lot).  And I can't get the Larry King interview with Ted Olson out of my mind.  His wife, Barbara, was one of the victims on the plane that smashed into the Pentagon.  She was a beautiful person and a great commentator for CNN.

Ted got home about 1:00 a.m. the morning after the murders.  He's the Solicitor General and it was probably a very busy day.  He found a note from his wife on his pillow.  It wished him a happy birthday (September 11th was his birthday) and said, "I'll see you soon.  I love you."

You know, before we finally put those sleep for ever and ever, the fiendish horde will bring more filth and evil into our lives.  It has an abundance to share.  They're miserable existence is based on filth and evil...a perversion of their God's Law.  It is all it has to share: horrid filth and vile slime.  It knows nothing else.  It deserves nothing better.  It bring its version of hell into all our lives.

And its only way to do that is to take love away.  

Maybe I can't destroy you, fiend.  It's very hard to destroy what has no honor.  And maybe I can't fight you, fiend.  It's hard to fight slime.  And maybe I can't provide your if I wanted to share Glory with garbage. But I can beat you.

I love you, Justine.  I love you, Bill.  I love you, Jeannette.  I love you, Kathy.  I love you, Jim.  I love you, Jenny.  I love you, Justin.  I love you, Sandy.  I love you, Jimmy.  I love you, Cheyenne.  I love you, Kim.  I love you, Alex.  I love you, Joshua. And I love you, John.

Darkness and filth can take my buildings.  Horrid sub-human monsters can destroy my planes.  Gutless murderers can destroy innocence. But never love.  And that's what will do you in. From the upper left-hand corner.

My husband wrote this poem last night, and it was so touching to me, I asked him if I could share it with you all...

I cried today.
I cried today for the children,
Whose mothers won't be home
For those that wont be tucked in tonight,
By those loving hands they've known.

I cried today for the wives,
Whose husbands are forever gone.
The empty bed, the silent house,
The task of continuing alone.

I cried today for the once loving houses,
That now are broken homes.
The beautiful families, and cheerful days,
They are no more. They're gone

I cried today for the two-month-old,
Whose Brave father helped crash a plane,
To save the lives of countless others,
His act was not in vain.

I cried today for the dreams,
That will never come to pass.
Those dreams, they crashed down with the towers
Amidst the mortar, iron and glass.

I cried today for the nightmares
That will haunt us forever more
The sleepless nights, the blurry days
The dread of the coming war.

I cried today for our nation
Once proud and tall we stood
Our only crime was the pursuit of freedom
I ask you, is that not good?

These are the tears I shed today
In the wake of this horrid event
How long shall I feel this pain
How much more till it is spent?

I WILL NOT cry for the monsters
Who committed this horrid crime.
Justice will be had, and they will pay
The bell has tolled, its time.

- written by Ron Zilinsky, Michigan, USA ...because they don't come with instructions!

"Hope is a song in a weary throat." Pauli Murray

Thursday, September 11, 2003

NEAT WOMEN INC is an American based site. Today, our prayers are for the victims, their families and friends. God help us all.


I wonder what she thought
As she stood there, strong and tall.
She couldn't turn away,
She was forced to watch it all.

Did she long to offer comfort
As her country bled?
With her arm forever frozen
High above her head.

She could not shield her eyes
She could not hide her face
She just stared across the water
Keeping Freedom's place.

The smell of smoke and terror
Somehow reduced her size
So small within the harbor
But still we recognized...

How dignified and beautiful
On a day so many died
I wonder what she thought,
And I know she must have cried.

As the soot and dirt and ash rained down,
We became one color.

As we carried each other down the
stairs of the burning building,
We became one class.

As we lit candles of waiting and hope,
We became one generation.

As the firefighters and police officers
fought their way into the inferno,
We became one gender.

As we fell to our knees
in prayer for strength,
We became one faith.

As we whispered or shouted
words of encouragement,
We spoke one language.

As we gave our blood in lines a mile long,
We became one body.

As we mourned together the great loss,
We became one family.

As we cried tears of grief and loss,
We became one soul.

As we retell with pride of
the sacrifice of heroes,
We become one people.

We are:
One color
One class
One generation
One gender
One faith
One language
One body
One family
One soul
One people

We are The Power of One.
We are United.

We are America.

This candle was lit on the 11th of September, 2001.
Please pass it on to your friends and family so that it
may shine all across America.

"A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle,
it gains a greater brilliance."

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

"We wish for you..."

Comfort on difficult days,

Smiles when sadness intrudes,

Rainbows to follow the clouds,

Laughter to kiss your lips,

Sunsets to warm your heart

Gentle hugs when spirits sag,

Friendships to brighten your being,

Beauty for your eyes to see,

Confidence for when you doubt,

Faith so that you can believe,

Courage to know yourself,

Patience to accept the truth,

And love to complete your life.

God Bless you!

We asked the Lord to bless you

As We prayed for you today

To guide you and protect you

As you go along your way....

His love is always with you

His promises are true

No matter what the tribulation

You know He will see us through

So, when the road you're traveling on

Seems difficult at best

Give your problems to the Lord

And God will do the rest.

We prepared the following as a possible "print out" which you may want to place in spot where it can serve as a useful, daily reminder:

Don't feel totally, personally, irrevocably responsible for everything. That's my job.
With love, God

Tuesday, September 9, 2003

More messages from far and near which we printed two years ago at this time.

We are keeping this candle burning for all the people and their families who were in the planes, buildings and anywhere near the explosions today. May God be with them and help them through this terrible time. God Bless

Keep The Candle Going
I asked God for water, he gave me an ocean.
I asked God for a flower, he gave me a garden.
I asked God for a tree, he gave me a forest.
I asked God for a friend, he gave me YOU.

"There is not enough darkness in the world to put out the light of one candle."

The Candle of Love, Hope and Friendship

In remembrance, September 11, 2001

Dear friends, It's awesome how people come together in times of trouble despite differences or cultures. In today's global village, made so much smaller by modern communications systems, the world comes together in times of tragedy.

I live in Newfoundland, a little province of Canada, that most of you have probably never heard of, (in Springdale, a town of 3500 people). But we have been wearing red, white, and blue ribbons today. My two daughters and I have been participating in our annual Craft and Trade Show this weekend, and today we had a moment of silence for America. Also, the town of Gander, our international airport, a town of about 7500, doubled in population this week with the stranded passengers being hosted there. I carried some groceries to our local Salvation Army just a couple of hours ago, who are collecting food and other necessities to aid the town in taking care of these passengers. Actually a couple of organizations in town are collecting food and will take it to Gander (2 hours away) tomorrow. Many planes are still not being cleared to leave. In our capital city of St. John's we also hosted many stranded passengers. Here's how a friend from a local list described it:

"Like many others in the St John's area we had four passengers  from one of the delayed Delta flights stay at our home. This morning at three thirty we were called to deliver two of them to the pickup point where they would join others to be bused to the airport. The pickup point was a High School where 700 others (from various flights) were billeted for the last three days in classrooms, the gym, the auditorium etc.  It was quite a sight. Sixty-five teachers had been on rotating shafts looking after the needs of these people E.G. feeding them, providing shower places, and arranging mini-tours and a little shopping. It was a well-organized operation and despite the circumstances the people I spoke with were very appreciative. Wal-Mart had supplied truckloads of blankets and pillows, Tim Hortens and others supplied plenty of donuts, coffee, soft drinks etc., etc. But what really impressed me...was the number of High School students who had volunteered their services on a round-the-clock basis doing every conceivable job to help make the situation as pleasant as possible. Some of the students spoke some French or German and were able to help in that fashion, others brought in TVs and radios and still others entertained with music and song."

Sorry this is so long, but I just wanted to share this because I think it's fantastic that though the miles separate us, yet we are so connected. :-) Warmly, Rose from Springdale, Newfoundland who appreciates all of you very much!

Monday, September 8, 2003

This begins a week of commemoration and tribute at NEAT WOMEN INC. We printed this one two years ago:

These are messages we've received in the past few days. You may not agree with some or all of the sentiments expressed here, but the right for people to speak out is exactly what makes America strong—stronger than any terrorist act.

Dateline 9-11-01 Evening

The horror of what has happened to you today is overwhelming and we want you all to know we are grief stricken for you all and your families. It is difficult for us to comprehend the enormity and motivation for such attacks on you and your country. We cannot express in words the sympathy and love we wish to send to you all after these terrible attacks on your nation and its people. You are in our thoughts and love today. Caryl, I can only tell you how shocked and upset everyone I speak to here is about the terrible thing that has happened. Even so far away New Zealanders are feeling your pain and shock and losses. We are thinking of you and please accept our deepest and sincerest condolences. Fiona and family.

Dateline 9-11-01 Afternoon

I was thinking this afternoon about all of those people that died. In the planes and on the ground. Those people could just have easily been me, or anyone of us. They went to bed Monday night just like we did. They had what they thought were important issues in their lives going on, stresses, inconveniences and irritations.  They had best friends and people they disliked.  And so I was thinking.  How important is all that when you die suddenly? Do you think the people on the cell phones were calling to make sure their mail was delivered on time?  Were they calling people to finish an argument and have the last word?  No, they were calling family to say that they loved them.

Think about this.  How important is it for you to hold on to that grudge you have been carrying now for so long?  How important is it for you to always be first, or always be right?  When was the last time you stopped talking long enough to hear what your family and friends were actually really saying?  Think about it. 

This tragedy, this horrific senseless attack.  Don't let it *not* affect you.  Let the anger, and the sadness and the overwhelming horror of it help you to adjust  your thinking and your attitude on your own personal life.  Make your life and the life of your family and friends better *because* of this. Eileen Praying for Peace in America

Dateline 9-11-01 Evening

Oh, my dear ones.  This morning's attacks on America are beyond belief.  I felt God wanted me to send out a message to you: HE IS STILL ON THE THRONE.  Turn to Him for calm and pray for our nation and the dear ones who have been taken.

This is not the time to turn away from God.... but it is a time that we can truly see that without HIM - we have nothing.  Let's come together - in Jesus Name.

Pray!  Give your heart to God - bring Jesus into your life . . . and we MUST bring God back into AMERICA!  This is no small thing - and God is there waiting for us to come to Him.  Stand tall - our WARRIOR is God! I love you all.  GET YOUR BIBLEs out and read and pray.  God is in control - not some terrorist group.  Only God.  We are being tested . . .and we can be ready.  Oh, do pray.  Come to the Lord with your life and put it into His hands. With love and prayers Misty
Ordinary Woman/Extraordinary God

Dateline 9-15-01

I received this today in an e-mail and thought I would share it.  It certainly makes a strong point for the American way of life.                                   



Well, you hit the World Trade Center, but you missed America. You hit the Pentagon, but you missed America. You used helpless American bodies, to take out other American bodies, but like a poor marksman, you STILL missed America.

Why? Because of something you will never understand.

America isn't about a building or two, not about financial centers, not about military centers. America isn't about a place, America isn't even about a bunch of bodies. America is about an IDEA. An idea that you can go someplace where you can earn as much as you can figure out how to, live for the most part, like you envisioned living, and pursue happiness. (No guarantees that you'll reach it, but you can sure try!) Go ahead and whine your terrorist whine, and chant your terrorist litany: "If you cannot see my point, then feel my pain." This concept is alien to Americans. We live in a country where we don't have to see your point. But you're free to have one. We don't have to listen to your speech. But you're free to say one. Don't know where you got the strange idea that everyone has to agree with you. We don't agree with each other in this country, almost as a matter of pride. We're a collection of guys that don't agree, called States. We united our individual states to protect ourselves from tyranny in the world. Another idea, we made up on the spot. You CAN make it up as you go, when it's your country. IF YOU'RE FREE ENOUGH

Yeah, we're fat, sloppy, easy-going goofs most of the time. That's an unfortunate image to project to the world, but it comes of feeling free and easy about the world you live in. It's unfortunate too, because people start to forget that when you attack Americans, they tend to fight like a cornered badger. The first we knew of the War of 1812, was when England burned Washington D.C. to the ground. Didn't turn out like England thought it was going to, and it's not going to turn out like you think, either. Sorry, but you're not the first bully on our shores, just the most recent. No Marquis of Queensbury rules for Americans, either.

We were the FIRST and so far, only country in the world to use nuclear weapons in anger. Horrific idea, nowadays?  News for you bucko, it was back then too, but we used it anyway. Only had two of them in the whole world and we used 'em both. Grandpa Jones worked on the Manhattan Project. Told me once, that right up until they threw the switch, the physicists were still arguing over whether the Uranium alone would fission, or whether it would start a fissioning chain reaction that would eat everything. But they threw the switch anyway, because we had a War to win. Does that tell you something about American Resolve? So who just declared War on us? It would be nice to point to some real estate, like the good old days. Unfortunately, we're probably at war with random camps, in far-flung places. Who think they're safe. Just like the Barbary Pirates did, IIRC. Better start sleeping with one eye open. There's a spirit that tends to take over people who come to this country, looking for opportunity, looking for liberty, looking for freedom. Even if they misuse it. The Marielistas that Castro emptied out of his prisons, were overjoyed to find out how much freedom there was. First thing they did when they hit our shores, was run out and buy guns. The ones that didn't end up dead, ended up in prisons. It was a big pain in the ass then (especially in south Florida), but you're only the newest pain in the ass, not the first. You guys seem to be incapable of understanding that we don't live in America, America lives in US!  American Spirit is what it's called. And killing a few thousand of us, or a few million of us, won't change it. Most of the time, it's a pretty happy-go-lucky kind of Spirit. Until we're crossed in a cowardly manner, then it becomes an entirely different kind of Spirit.  Wait until you see what we do with that Spirit, this time.

Sleep tight, if you can. We're coming!     YOUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED!


Sunday, September 7, 2003


Today is National Grandparent Day in the United States and we offer this in tribute to Grandmothers and Grandfathers everywhere:

Grandma and the Cake

While his grandma is baking a cake, a little boy is telling her how "everything" is going wrong: school, family problems, severe health problems, etc. She pauses to ask her grandson whether he would like a snack. Of course, he replies that he would.

"Here, have some cooking oil," she offers.

"Yuck!" responds the boy.

"How about a couple raw eggs? "

"Gross, Grandma!"

"Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?"

"Grandma, those are all yucky!"

To which Grandma replies, "Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves, but when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake!"

God works the same way. Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times. But God knows that when He puts all these things in His order, they always work for good! We just have to trust Him and eventually they will all make something wonderful!"

"Grandma was a kind of first-aid station, or a Red Cross nurse, who took up where the battle ended, accepting us and our little sobbing sins, gathering the whole of us into her lap, restoring us to health and confidence by her amazing faith in life and in a mortal's strength to meet it."
Lillian Smith

"No one who has not known the inestimable privilege can possibly realize what good fortune it is to grow up in a home where there are grandparents." Suzanne LaFollette

Here's a sweet little site dedicated to Grandparents Day, including the history of how it came about:

Saturday, September 6, 2003


1. Everyone has a photographic memory; some don't have film.

2. He who laughs last, thinks slowest.

3. A day without sunshine is like, well, night.

4. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

5. Back up my hard drive? How do I put it in reverse?

6. I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory.

7. When the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.

8. Seen it all, done it all. Can't remember most of it.

9. Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

10. I feel like I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe.

11. He's not dead, he's electro-encephalographically challenged.

12. She's always late, in fact, her ancestors arrived on the JUNEflower.

13. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you.

14. I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.

15. Honk if you love peace and quiet.

16. Pardon my driving, I'm reloading.

17. Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how it remains so popular?

18. Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

19. It is hard to understand how a cemetery can raise its burial costs and blame it on the higher cost of living.

20. Just remember...if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.

21. The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

22. It is said that if you line up all the cars in the world end to end, someone would be stupid enough to try and pass them (probably on the wrong side).

23. You can't have everything. Where would you put it?

24. Latest survey shows that 3 out of 4 people make up 75% of the world population.

25. If the shoe fits, get another one just like it.

26. The things that come to those that wait may be the things left by those who got there first.

27. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day drinking beer.

28. Flashlight: A case for holding dead batteries.

29. The shinbone is a device for finding furniture.

30. A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.

31. It was recently discovered that research causes cancer in rats.

32. Everybody lies, but it doesn't matter because nobody listens.

33. I wished the buck stopped here, because I could use a few.

34. I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.

35. When you go into court, you are putting yourself in the hands of 12 people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty.

36. Light travels faster than sound. This is the reason why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Friday, September 5, 2003


Do you ever say, "I'm certainly glad to see this week finally end?!" We probably all do at one time or other. We seem to talk about endings a lot--end of the month, end of the year, end of the summer, end of an era, and recently, the end of a century. We have also experienced relationships that end, careers/jobs that end, and projects that (oftentimes, mercifully) finally come to an end.

The good news is, we also find many new beginnings throughout the course of our lives. In fact, months, years, seasons, relationships, careers and projects that are beginning, often replace the same things we saw as ending.

Our perspective has a great deal to do with how we handle and adapt to those changes. There's the old, "either the glass is half empty (pessimistic) or the glass is half full (optimistic)" view of events. But lots of times it isn't a totally "cut and dried" proposition. We speak of people who are as different as, "day and night." We sometimes apply that theory to other aspects of life.

Change has so many faces. It is fundamental to human nature to anticipate change with either high anxiety or a heart filled with hope, or someplace in between. Someone once said that most professional economists have two outlooks summed up in the expression, "If things don't get worse, they'll probably get better." That most definitely can be said of almost every thing in life.

There's the time-honored joke about "the only two things that are certain in life are death and taxes." Which has always made EVE wonder--do people with that attitude think they might have to pay taxes after death? The only other guarantee is that life will be filled with changes and we can ride them out, bail out, or fall out. There is no shortage of gloomy quotes on this subject but it's Friday and we don't do gloom on Friday's.

* "The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind." Maya Angelou

*"People change and forget to tell each other." Lillian Hellman

*"Come, come, my conservative friend, wipe the dew off your spectacles, and see that the world is moving." Elizabeth Cady Stanton

*"I knew here could never be as sweet as there; going was a question, staying was an answer." Linda Ellerbee


"Change is the constant, the signal for rebirth, the egg of the phoenix." Christina Baldwin

Thursday, September 4, 2003


Many years ago I had a teacher whose husband unexpectedly died suddenly of a heart attack. About a week after his death, she shared some of her insight with a classroom of students.

As the late afternoon sunlight came streaming in through the classroom windows and the class was nearly over, she moved a few things aside on the edge of her desk and sat down there. With a gentle look of reflection on her face, she paused and said, "Before class is over, I would like to share with all of you a thought that is unrelated to class, but which I feel is very important. Each of us is put here on earth to learn, share, love, appreciate and give of ourselves. None of us knows when this fantastic experience will end. It can be taken away at any moment. Perhaps this is God's way of telling us that we must make the most out of every single day."

Her eyes beginning to water, she went on, "So I would like you all to make me a promise. From now on, on your way to school, or on your way home, find something beautiful to notice. It doesn't have to be something you see – it could be a scent perhaps of freshly baked bread wafting out of someone's house, or it could be the sound of the breeze slightly rustling the leaves in the trees, or the way the morning light catches one autumn leaf as it falls gently to the ground.

Please look for these things, and cherish them. For, although it may sound trite to some, these things are the stuff of life. The little things we are put here on earth to enjoy. The things we often take for granted. We must make it important to notice them, for at any time... it can all be taken away."

The class was completely quiet. We all picked up our books and filed out of the room silently. That afternoon, I noticed more things on my way home from school than I had that whole semester. Every once in a while, I think of that teacher and remember what an impression she made on all of us, and I try to appreciate all of those things that sometimes we all overlook.

Take notice of something special you see today. Go barefoot. Or walk on a beach at sunset. Stop off on the way home tonight to get a doubled ice cream cone. For as we get older, it is not the things we did that we often regret, but the things we didn't do.


"If you get used to life that is the crime." Jean Garrigue

Wednesday, September 3, 2003

Today, September 3rd, commemorates a sort of microcosm of extremes—an anniversary of one war's end and the start of another. On this date, in 1783, the American Revolution formally ended when Great Britain and the U.S. signed the Treaty of Paris. But in 1939, this was the date that Great Britain and France declared war against Germany and was the official beginning of the Second World War. (In spite of the earlier belief that World War I was supposed to be "the war to end all wars")

On this day in 1888, George Eastman patented his roll film camera and registered his Kodak name. In light of that picturesque historic moment, we can thank Mr. Eastman for allowing those of us with less than photogenic memories to recall pleasant moments and historic occasions in a flash or at least with the turn of a photo album page.

George Eastman's legacy is one that no longer seems like such a delight to many of us. We're not too thrilled with the notion of being "caught" on camera. Why? Oh, we may have gained too much weight or believe that we "show our age." They say a "picture is worth a thousand words," but at this point we're perfectly happy to be silent and avoid those "Kodak moments."

"I believe in hard work. It keeps the wrinkles out of the mind and the spirit." Helena Rubenstein


With all the talk about the present economic downturn, if you haven't read this CARYL, it might be worth your time to take a look:

Tuesday, September 2, 2003

Worth pondering!

a.. Live beneath your means and within your seams.
b.. Return everything you borrow.
c.. Donate blood.
d.. Stop blaming other people.
e.. Admit it when you make a mistake.
f.. Give all the clothes you haven't worn in three years to charity.
g.. Every day do something nice and try not to get caught.
h.. Listen more; Talk less.
i.. Every day take a 30-minute walk in your neighborhood.
j.. Skip two meals a week and give money to the homeless.
k.. Strive for excellence, not perfection.
l.. Be on time.
m.. Don't make excuses.
n.. Don't argue.
o.. Get organized.
p.. Be kind to kind people.
q.. Be even kinder to unkind people.
r.. Let someone cut ahead of you in line.
s.. Take time to be alone.
t.. Reread a favorite book.
u.. Cultivate good manners.
v.. Be humble.
w.. Understand and accept that life isn't always fair.
x.. Know when to say something.
y.. Know when to keep your mouth shut.
z.. Don't criticize anyone for 24 hours.
aa.. Learn from the past, plan for the future, and live in the present.

Eleanor Roosevelt wrote this about friends:
Many people will walk in and out of your life,
But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.

To handle yourself, use your head;
To handle others, use your heart.

Anger is only one letter short of danger.
If someone betrays you once, it is his fault;
If he betrays you twice, it is your fault.

Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.

He who loses money, loses much;
He, who loses a friend, loses much more;
He, who loses faith, loses all.

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature,
But beautiful old people are works of art.

Learn from the mistakes of others.
You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.

All I need to know I learned from Noah's Ark . . .

One. Don't miss the boat.

Two. Remember that we are all in the same boat.

Three. Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.

Four. Stay fit. When you're 600 years old someone may ask you to do something really big.

Five. Don't listen to critics, just get on with the job that needs to done.

Six. Build your future on high ground.

Seven. For safety's sake travel in pairs.

Eight. Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.

Nine. When you're stressed, float awhile.

Ten. Remember the Ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals.

Eleven. No matter the storm, when you are with God there's always a rainbow waiting.


"Surround of rainbows / Listen / The rain comes upon us / Restore us." Meridel Le Sueur

Monday, September 1, 2003

From the United States Department of Labor:

The History of Labor Day

"Labor Day differs in every essential from the other holidays of the year in any country," said Samuel Gompers, founder and longtime president of the American Federation of Labor. "All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation."

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.

More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers. Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold." But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, l883. In l884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in l885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 2l, l887. During the year four more states -- Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York -- created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday -- a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio and television.

The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership -- the American worker.

"Human history is work history. The heroes of the people are work heroes." Meridel Le Sueur

United States Department of Labor



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