Sunday, May 31, 2009

A "Visit" and Economizing in today's Economy

Today we celebrate the feast of the "Visitation" and it has always made me reflect on how self-less Mary was. She found out Elizabeth was getting closer to her due date and she went to help her prepare for her new arrival. Mary gave of herself at a time when she could have withdrawn and thought of her own impending needs. The Blessed Mother is such a wonderful example for all of us to follow!

As I begin my post mixed with humor and thought, let me start by saying that no matter what the state of our economy, Jesus is there to guide us through it all if we let Him, the key here being to "let" Him.
I found this photo which said it showed one way to save on gas, but this person must never have had to pay towing charges! A better way would be to do multiple errands in one day and plan your route to save time and simple, but it works. So does waiting to get something even if you'd like it right now!

Here's a nice rustic sign that speaks for saved money by being recycled!

There's a little problem with grammar here, but if the bags are free, there's truth in it! The best way to go is to buy and use your own...hmmm, right now I have about five or six in my van, but I can't ever remember to bring them into the store...maybe if I looped one over an ear???

This photo said that you could save money and do your own haircuts, but it failed to say that you could also make people laugh hysterically.

Guess who was the barber and hair stylist for her whole family? My mom was (among many careers) once a licensed beautician and I say that the talent for that was inherited. My son loved to change his hair style in high school and would give me many challenges and his hair turned out really good (God's blessing on me). But this one time he wanted to have his hair short around the bottom and longer on top (it was getting warm out). Unfortunately I didn't check the position of the electric hair cutter as I was so intent in asking him if he was SURE he wanted to do this and buzz went the clippers and bald went my son!! After the first strip of bald occurred, I asked him if he wanted me to stop (he hasn't too pleased about now), as I told him he could always lean to the left and pretend it wasn't there. another blessing is his great sense of humor which took over and we just finished it with a half bald look!

Another good way to save energy and money is to invest in the curly light bulb (a beautician must have designed this) and we now have them in almost every fixture in our home.

Also, saving up nickels, dimes, quarters and pennies really can count up. The other day we counted Kelly's stash and she had over twenty dollars which even surprised her! So she is adding to her car emergency fund and emergency wallet fund, both hidden inside those items for an emergency situation, something I have advised all my loved ones to do.

This worked out really well for my late hubby, Mario. He had to get his car inspected in Arizona and that involves getting in a long line of cars (basically you are trapped) to get to the emissions check point. Once they test your car and it passes, you pay and get your inspection slip. Mario had started listening to me about keeping some money in the car, but not "totally", for it was only loose change. He did have credit and debit cards as well as a check...NONE of which they took!! It was cash only!! He semi panicked after being in that long line and then having the car checked out, when he remembered that he had all that change, so he started counting as they were finishing the check up. It cost $20.00 and he manged to come up with $20.03, after emptying out his pockets as well! After that, he carried "emergency" money in his wallet and car.

Now here is a good way to save money on renting horses for a parade and it makes them look so dashing, doesn't it?

 of my favorite ways of saving money and natural resources is water. No leak is safe from me finding a way to stop it...I even learned how to fix a leaky toilet on my own, years ago (Mario, being in the Army, would be gone for long stretches of time). I make sure I do full loads of wash and boy can I pack that dishwasher creatively. We even have a water barrel now, but that's another story as it only holds water and refuses to give water.

Here's another way to save on multiple pet beds, but this might take a bit of coaching and some work!

And here some pointers I snagged from the Internet:

Cut down on coffee drinks. If you put into savings $4/day you would have spent on a latte at Starbucks, the money would grow in 30 years at 5% interest to $100,000.If you do want something to drink, buy a bottle of juice: It's better for you and cheaper.
Step 2
Pack lunch. Spending $5~$10/day going out to lunch will quickly add up.
Step 3
Whenever you buy anything ask yourself 3 times "do I really need this?" Chances are your quality of life would be better without it.
Step 4
Power of compounding interest. Basically, saving when you are young will put time on your side. When you are ready to retire in 20~30 years, your money will be earning serious interest.
Step 5
Spend money on people, not things.
Step 6
Live just beneath your means. You don't have to be live like a pauper to save money, just go one step below what you could get. Instead of a BMW, buy a Acura. Instead of a two week vacation, go for 10 day vacation. Save the rest!"

Also found this neat site that is from Great Britain:

Now for a little humor on it all:

These are some of Jay Leno's thoughts on the economy:

The rest of the country might not know this: Today is Furlough Friday here in California. Furlough Friday, where 200,000 -- the state is so broke, 200,000 workers are asked to stay home without pay as a cash-saving measure. This is what I love about California: They make it sound like it's fun. Oh, Furlough Friday.

What's the next big holiday, Selling-Your-Blood-For-Money Saturday?

It looks like more than 13,000 people were caught up in that Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. You know what a Ponzi scheme is? That's where you throw good money after bad, or as the government calls it, a stimulus package. But very similar.

President Obama, getting very tough now, has imposed a $500,000 salary cap for executives getting federal bailout money. And, listen to this: Now on weekends, they can only play miniature golf. No more 18 holes.

See, the whole theory behind this salary cap is if you're not performing well, and you're taking taxpayer money, then that should be reflected in lower wages. Of course, under that criteria, everybody in Congress should get like, what, 2 bucks an hour?

Hey, listen to this -- according to 'The Wall Street Journal,' the city of Las Vegas wants to use $2 million worth of the economic stimulus package for neon signs. I just hope it doesn't make the city look tacky.

And today, President Obama announced a salary cap of $500,000 for executives at banks and companies that have received taxpayer bailout money. And you know — it is good. But I'll tell you something, you can tell a lot of these CEOs don't get it. They said, 'Well, that's $500,000 a month, right?'

This information came over the internet some years ago.

It purports to be the answers given by students in science exams around the world. It came with the comment that “it is truly astonishing what weird science our young scholars can create under the pressure of time and grades?.” I was unable to trace the author, but as the work deserves wider dissemination, I present here the answers of most interest to a medical audience.

Couldn't resist my own commentary on this in green!!

“The body consists of three parts - the brainium, the borax, and the abominable cavity. The brainium contains the brain; the borax, the heart and lungs; and the abominable cavity, the bowls, of which there are five - a, e, i, o, and u.”
This person obviously had no "brainium"!!

“When you breathe, you inspire. When you do not breathe, you expire”
This depends on your breath mints.
“Respiration consists of two acts: first inspiration, then expectoration.”
This one did a little copying from the one above.

Cardiovascular:“The three kinds of blood vessels are arteries, veins, and caterpillars.”
If they ever turn into butterflies, we're all in trouble!

Gastrointestinal:“The alimentary canal is located in the northern part of Alabama.”
No wonder we get so hungry.

Dentistry:“A permanent set of teeth consists of eight canines, eight cuspids, two molars, and eight cuspidors.”
And one strange looking mouth.

Orthopaedics:“The skeleton is what is left after the insides have been taken out and the outsides have been taken off. The purpose of the skeleton is something to hitch meat on.”
This statement is what is left after only the brain has been removed.

Reproductive medicine:“Artificial insemination is when the farmer does it to the cow instead of the bull.”
This one is just plain scary.

“To prevent contraception, wear a condominium.”
One of the best, workable solutions I have ever heard!

“Many women believe that an alcoholic binge will have no effects on the unborn fetus, but that is a large misconception.”
Lots of meaning here.

Haematology:“Before giving a blood transfusion, find out if the blood is affirmative or negative.”
Even the blood has to sign on the dotted line.

Eyes and nose:“To remove dust from the eye: pull the eye down over the nose.”“
At this point, the dust will stop bothering you altogether as the pain will take over.

For nosebleeds, put the nose lower than the body until the heart stops.”
Definitely takes care of the nosebleed, but doesn't do much for overall health.

“For a cold: use an agoniser to spray the nose until it drops in your throat.”
You've heard of a 'frog in your throat', now your nose can join it.

First aid:“For fainting: rub the person’s chest or, if a lady, rub her arm above the head instead.
And ask your pretend friend to help.

Or put the head between the knees of the nearest doctor.”
And watch doctor pass out.

“For asphyxiation: apply artificial respiration until the patient is dead.”
This is definitely still illegal.

“For drowning: climb on top of the person and move up and down to make artificial perspiration.”
This will distract the person so much that they will regain some state of consciousness, but be very unhappy about it.

“For dog bite: put the dog away for several days. If he has not recovered, then kill it.”
This person may need to be put away for more than several days.

~~~Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of using our creativity to save our precious resources as well as to help others.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Back and Forth Post..and the forth part now

Well I pulled my little guts out on the front lawn of the church, but it's gonna take a lot more pulling to get it all done, especially since I was the only one there in that area (at least I got a lot of praying done...near the end some of it went "Oh, Lord please help me make it to that corner where I'll finish.")...others were trimming and pruning and sawing and cleaning...guess the pulling is not so much fun (boy, am I a good judge of fun or what?) for everyone.

The back of me and this dog had a lot in common!!:

Of course, someone had to take some pictures for our newsletter and sensed that I would be a good subject, all there by myself...the head line will probably read "Crazy redhead takes on whole lawn and lawn wins!"

I have decided that some weeds have roots that go to China and on that end they must look like pretty flowers and the Chinese (all of them) are pulling against me!! My right hand is actually very unhappy with me and a little swollen...wonder how the Chinese hands are???

I had the oh so clever idea of using a plastic bag to sit on as the lawn was wet, so I would drag it with me as I went, (ever so slowly) from one spot to the next. Sad to say, the bag decided to disintegrate on its own, but I was so intent on my mission of weed pulling that it escaped me until I finally called it quits almost two hours later. Upon standing up (slowly and painfully) I felt more than a little seems I had used the bottom of my pants and pants' legs to "clean the lawn", so I was not only very wet but very muddy!

Michael wanted me to pick up some coffee for him from a convenience store on my way home, but I didn't want to cause accidents by walking into or out of some place looking like I was in a mud hole wrestling pigs.

P.S. For Eileen, who asked: I just started taking thyroid meds about seven months ago after a routine blood work up. It said in the prescription warnings not to take it to lose weight, but it should have added "because it won't help at all... ever!" That's one time I would have enjoyed a side effect.

(Earlier post today:) is the game plan for me something in a few minutes because by then my thyroid med will have done its thing, gather my trusty screwdrivers and gloves, some water and something to snack on (this is "just in case" since I have intermittent hypoglycemia which means that when the hunger feeling hits randomly, I become likely to grab most anything to eat that is handy, so it could look pretty wacko if only shrubs and grass are available at the church grounds (although when I burped up my alfalfa tablet yesterday, it did taste like I had been eating grass...yum...NOT!) After I finish this activity, part two of "the Plan" is to come back home and finish this Post, so hold onto your seats as more thrills will be coming later.

Must give you your joke fix for today, though:

Tell what happened

The policeman arrived at the scene of an accident to find that a car had struck a telephone pole.

Searching for witnesses, he discovered a pale, nervous young man in work clothes who claimed he was an eyewitness. "Exactly where were you at the time of the accident?" inquired the officer.

"Mister," exclaimed the telephone lineman, "I was at the top of the pole!"

F.B.I. phone logs

The following is a direct quote from the Center for Strategic and International Studies report on GLOBAL ORGANIZED CRIME. FBI agents conducted a raid of a psychiatric hospital in San Diego that was under investigation for medical insurance fraud.

After hours of reviewing thousands of medical records, the dozens of agents had worked up quite an appetite. The agent in charge of the investigation called a nearby pizza parlor with delivery service to order a quick dinner for his colleagues.

The following telephone conversation took place and was recorded by the FBI because they were taping all conversations at the hospital.

Agent: Hello. I would like to order 19 large pizzas and 67 cans of soda.

Pizza Man: And where would you like them delivered?

Agent: We're over at the psychiatric hospital.

Pizza Man: The psychiatric hospital?

Agent: That's right. I'm an FBI agent.

Pizza Man: You're an FBI agent?

Agent: That's correct. Just about everybody here is.

Pizza Man: And you're at the psychiatric hospital? Agent: That's correct. And make sure you don't go through the front doors. We have them locked. You will have to go around to the back to the service entrance to deliver the pizzas.

Pizza Man: And you say you're all FBI agents? Agent: That's right. How soon can you have them here?

Pizza Man: And everyone at the psychiatric hospital is an FBI agent?

Agent: That's right. We've been here all day and we're starving.

Pizza Man: How are you going to pay for all of this? Agent: I have my checkbook right here. Pizza Man: And you're all FBI agents?

Agent: That's right. Everyone here is an FBI agent. Can you remember to bring the pizzas and sodas to the service entrance in the rear? We have the front doors locked.

Pizza Man: I don't think so. ** Click **

***For the blessings of so many good things to do today, I thank you, Lord.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Some Polish Treasures

Nope, these two are NOT from Poland (but they definitely are favorites)...little Oliver got rescued from a rest stop where he had been abandoned and our puppy, TinkaBelle limped up to our door two and a half years ago, whimpering at midnight!! She has loved and protected Oliver, the orange fluff ball, since Kelly brought him home. Nonetheless, they are two of our four beloved fur baby treasures.

This first unique item you see is made from leather. I used to have several of them, but gave them to my DIL and son. They are done so amazingly well...who would think you could create artistic pictures from leather? (My photography skills are pitiful time I will get on a chair or stilts!) There was a lovely lady named Wanda living in Poland whose son was staying with us and attending school in the States, so she would send us things on special occasions as a 'thank you".

Another lovely item direct from Poland is a tapestry hanging of poppy flowers. There is actually a narrower matching one, but I took these pictures some months ago and for some odd reason, didn't take one of the match to this. (Wanda knew I was especially drawn to poppy flowers.)

Here is a lovely mold of the Blessed Mother that Mario and I picked up when we finally got to go to Poland, just a few years before his death. It looks like wood and most art you find in Poland is wood carved.

Like this lovely wood carving of the Blessed Mother and Baby Jesus that hangs to the left side of our front door (oddly enough, it also hung on the left...or maybe the right side, but definitely the side of the front door when I lived in Arizona). It is carved from one solid piece of wood.

While all of these are beautiful in their own right, the real treasure part of them is the thoughtfulness that went into them and the memories they have given.

In spite of the fact that there are a bazillion things to be done in our front and back yard, my plans for Saturday morning include being part of the volunteers to work on our church ground. Me and my trusty screw driver will go pull up weeds galore in front of the church and along the driveway.

Now for some corny type jokes:

There were three men on a hill with their watches. The first man threw his watch down the hill and it broke.

The second man threw his watch down the hill and it broke.

The third man threw his watch down the hill, walked all the way to the bottom, and caught it. The other two men were puzzled and asked the third man how he did it. The third man said, "Easy. My watch is 5 minutes slow!"


(I know, I know, this is not the normal kind of divider thingy, but sometimes, I just HAVE to "color outside the lines")

A warthog hits this lady and the husband calls 911.The operator asks, "Where are you at"?The husband replies, "I'm on Eucolipstic Road."

The operator asks, "Can you spell that for me?""Well... I'll just drag her over to Oak so you can you pick her up there?"


Q: How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Only one, but the light bulb has to WANT to change.


A police recruit was asked during the exam, "What would you do if you had to arrest your own mother?"

He answered, "Call for backup."


~~~For the blessings of all the treasures, both animate and inanimate that You have given us, I thank You, my Lord and my God.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Madder than a wet hen

Well...I have been hemming and hawing around this one, as anger is no fun (for anyone). It doesn't give one warm fuzzies (maybe cold fuzzies?), but we need to know some constructive and christian ways of handling it. Somehow, it feels as if God is nudging me here and I am balking, so maybe He needs to use this to help me and others "grow".

It is true that Jesus got angry with the people who were desecrating His Father's place of worship by selling and buying goods right in front of the Temple. There is such a thing as righteous anger, but it's too easy to say it works in all our situations.

In most of the times that I lost my temper in the past, I can honestly say that the ability to look back on those sad times makes me wonder that it even happened. It's times when I wish I could re-wind and do it over.

Michael used to ask me the answer to so many problems in the world (when he was first coming back into the church) and another "God moment" inspired me to say that "No matter what the problem, love is the answer." For Jesus, the love and honor for His Father was at work in the Temple that where does that place us when someone cuts us off in traffic or runs ahead of us (with 552 things in their cart) to an open register (where is the love here)??? So now I pray (it's okay to pray not to follow through with bonking the person over the head or saying something sarcastic), ideally, that I can remain kind and calm, but also for that person to be more loving.

As for the venting of our anger, there are so many terrific ways to "let it out":

1. In the case of a genuine injustice that has harmed someone in some way, we use the judicial system, not so much for ourselves, as to not let it happen again to anyone else.

2. House cleaning...a great way to have a spic and span home...just beat that dirt and dust up!

3. Exercise (bonking people over the head does NOT count) in some form or manner...walking, lifting (carefully) your furniture as you move it around to confuse family members (my late husband came home once and almost fell trying to sit where there used to be a chair!).

4. Pray, pray, pray.

5. Force yourself to do something nice for someone...even a little note on a sticky pad.

6. Use your sense of humor of find something funny to read or watch.

7. Do something nice for yourself .

8. Take deep, relaxing breaths for several minutes.

Finally, here's my little family story. Growing up, my daughter Ria became very serious as a teen-ager and had her sense of values about what was proper and improper. We were in Germany at the time, walking down a street in the downtown area of Bamberg when a serious case of silliness hit the younger two and myself (my husband Mario usually just looked on in amusement). We were doing kind of a Star Wars thing and "shooting" each other and laughing like crazed maniacs. Ria was horrified, mortified and then "madder than a wet hen". In fact, she was so angry that she walked as far away as she could from us and you could practically see the steam coming out of her. This made me sad for her, so I went up and started talking calmly to her, but she just stayed angry. This caused me to pull out my "ultimate weapon", my crazy sense of humor (which she could accept since no physical actions were involved). She started to snicker a little, then she actually laughed and finally she said "stop making me laugh...I want to be angry." Her own comment made us both laugh and the anger was gone instantly!!

Let's all remember that Life is too short to get angry over too little (things) and LOVE is the answer.

Here's a little tidbit I snagged from the internet:

"Ok. Let's move to anger. Now anger is a really difficult emotion. And, it's really different from fear. First of all, the action of anger is completely different than the action of fear. The action of fear is to run away from something. So when you are afraid, you run away. And the action of anger actually is to do almost exactly the opposite. It's to run towards something and attack it. Now, another action that goes along with anger that is usually not there with fear is the action of thought. It's kind of what we start thinking. So we start thinking 'this shouldn't be this way, this is unnecessary, things could be different...' When we're angry at people we almost always think they should not be the way we are... they are. And so the two things to look for in anger are going to be first you're going toward something and want to attack it. And the other thing is that somewhere you're thinking that whatever is there should not be there. "..


So here's a cute joke to go with today's musings:

A young girl who was writing a paper for school came to her father and asked, "Dad, what is the difference between anger and exasperation?"

The father replied, "It is mostly a matter of degree. Let me show you what I mean."

With that, the father went to the telephone and dialed a number at random. To the man who answered the phone, he said, "Hello, is Melvin there?"

The man answered, "There is no one living here named Melvin. Why don't you learn to look up numbers before you dial them?"

"See," said the father to his daughter. "That man was not a bit happy with our call. He was probably very busy with something, and we annoyed him. Now watch . . ."

The father dialed the same number again. "Hello, is Melvin there?" asked the father.

"Now look here!" came the heated reply. "You just called this number, and I told you that there is no Melvin here! You've got a lot of nerve calling again!" The receiver was slammed down hard.

The father turned to his daughter and said, "You see, that was anger. Now I'll show you what exasperation means."

He dialed the same number, and a violent voice roared, "HELLO!"

The father calmly said, "Hello, this is Melvin. Have there been any calls for me?"

~~~Thank you Lord for the blessings of being able to become better people by finding positive solutions to our shortcomings.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Story of Mr. "Sunshine"

Before I start the story of Mr. Sunshine, let me say that I am so glad that I did some Blog visiting before my post for today because I discovered that someone who is a true born Mrs. Sunshine is having a birthday today, a very kind, loving blogger at On My Own and her name is Bernie, short for the beautiful name of




The True Tale of Mr. Sunshine

Once upon a time when I worked in a wonderful bank that cared about both its employees and customers, there came to us a very, very grouchy, unhappy and snappy (boy am I waxing poetic today) customer.

In those early days I was working in the drive-in part of our bank and there were three of us, with each one taking a turn for a week at handling the first window which was the business and busiest window.

His normal daily routine would be to throw his bank bag into the sliding drawer with a scowl on his face and then turn away somewhat disgustedly while we did the deposit. Each one of us would always say thank you and have a nice day, to which he would reply..."scowl, grump, scowl" and take off hurriedly like we had just wasted his time. It got to the point where my two fellow companions dreaded his arrival.

Well, God had His Hand in this and inspired me to do something outrageous. Although I sorely wanted to change this man's ways, I know this was another God moment because it surprised me too. The next time he came by, with the same attitude and grumpiness, never replying to anyone, instead of just saying thank you, I said (in a VERY nice, sweet and meaningful tone) thank you, Sunshine. He looked up at me like I had used a cattle prod on him, then left out as usual. Each day I continued to use the same term, even saying "Good morning, Sunshine" when he arrived. When the initial shock subsided, he slowly started smiling...the other two ladies were speechless. Even when I wasn't taking my turn at that window, I would make a special effort to go over to it just to give him his greeting and THEN, he actually started saying thank you along with smiling!!!

Finally, he, who could barely stand to come to the bank before, started talking to each of us when he came and sharing a little of his day. The very best day came when, about a month or so later, he told us "You know, my favorite part of the day is coming to this bank." It was no longer just a title, he had truly become Mr. Sunshine!! God can work wonders when we let Him use us!

This would have been Mr. Sunshine in the early days:

Two friends met in the street. One looked sad and almost on the verge of tears. The other man said, "Hey my friend, how come you look like the whole world has caved in?" The sad fellow said, "Let me tell you. Three weeks ago, an uncle died and left me 50-thousand dollars." "That's not bad at all...!"

"Hold on, I'm just getting started. Two weeks ago, a cousin I never knew kicked-the-bucket and left me 95-thousand, tax-free to boot."

"Well, that's great! I'd like that."

"Last week, my grandfather passed away. I inherited almost a million." "So why are so glum?" "This week - nothing!"


Q: What do you call a grumpy cow?

A: Moo-dy


Two kids went into their parents bathroom and noticed the weigh scale in the corner. "Whatever you do," cautioned one youngster to the other, "Don't step on it!" "

Why not?" asked the sibling.

"Because every time mommy does, she lets out an awful scream!"


~~~Thank you Lord for the blessings You give us when we say yes to things that seem so impossible to change.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

***It was Myla's Birthday May 25th***

I wanted Myla to have her own special birthday post, so I waited until after yesterday's holiday.

Here is my precious granddaughter Myla at one year old, helping to pick the abundant blueberries at my friend, Mimi's house...she's pretty darn tickled to be getting those blueberries. The only problem was that she loves them so much, she wouldn't drop them in the cup, but just kept on eating them!!

Here is darling little Myla at two years old, once again visiting Georgia from Phoenix, AZ and once again helping to pick some blueberries at Mimi's, but this time she actually would put some in the bowl and eat some and put some and eat some...

This is Myla helping decorate the Easter tree in Phoenix, AZ this year and very pleased about it...think she may have her sweet mama's crafty side.

More darling and recent pictures of the little girl with no curl who turned three yesterday!

After my son's first born, Corbyn blessed us with his appearance into this world, we were so enthralled with how cute he was and how he had these big beautiful eyes and long lashes. When we found out that another blessing was on the way three years later, we wondered how the next baby could keep up with Corbyn's precedent of cuteness and beauty. We discovered that God solved that problem by making, in effect, a girl Corbyn. Not really, but they do look so much alike, yet one is left handed and one is right handed. Corbyn started out so agreeable (for the longest time) with everything mommy wanted, whereas Myla started out with her own little ideas of what she did and didn't want.

Myla has always been 'gifted' with the biggest, best smile there is. When she came into Georgia as a little baby, to visit, I was worried about how she would behave with me ( I hadn't seen her since I went to Phoenix to help out after her birth), but there was nothing to worry about as she greeted me with the sweetest and happiest of smiles. It was then that I gave her my pet nickname for her...Myla Smyla!

Here's Michael, me and Myla visiting Fernbank Museum in Atlanta last year:

She is a treasure and I can't smooch or hug her enough!!

Now for some jokes (you might notice the names have been changed, hee hee):

A father wanted to read the paper, but was being bothered by his little daughter, Myla. Finally, he took a sheet out of his magazine, on which was printed the map of the world. Tearing it into small pieces, he gave it to Myla, and said, "Go into the other room and see if you can put this together."

After a few minutes, Myla returned and handed him the map correctly fitted together. The father was very surprised and asked how she had finished so quickly.

"Oh", she said, "on the other side of the paper is a picture of Jesus. When I got Jesus in His place, then the world came out all right."


One Spring afternoon, I came home to find two little girls on the steps of my building. Both were crying hard, shedding big tears.

Thinking they might be hurt, I dropped my briefcase and quickly went over to them. "Are you all right?" I asked.

Still sobbing, one held up her doll. "My baby's arm came off," she said. I took the doll and its disjointed arm. After a little effort and luck, the doll was again whole.

"Thank you." came a whisper.

Next looking into the tearful eyes of her friend, I asked, "and what's the matter with you, young lady?"

She wiped her cheeks. "I was helping her cry," she said.


Little Myla, 4 years old, walked down the beach, and as she did, she spied a matronly woman sitting under a beach umbrella on the sand. She walked up to her and asked, "Are you a Christian?" "

Yes." she replied.

"Do you read your Bible every day?"

She nodded her head, "Yes."

"Do you pray often?" the girl asked next, and again she answered, "Yes."

With that she asked her final question,"Will you hold my quarter while I go swimming?"

~~~Lord, how is it possible to thank You sufficiently for the enormous blessings of the little children in this world, but thank You, thank You so much!!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

~*Remembering Memorial Day*~

This day, like all others of course, is a blessing from God. This one differs in that we honor those who gave their lives to make us free to worship our God and enjoy many other freedoms. How hard it must have been for them to be so selfless.

My own dear father fought admirably in World War II and, before meeting my dad, my mother had been engaged to a man who lost his life in this war. My late husband was in Viet Nam twice and got wounded both times. The first time was right before we were due to meet in Hawaii for his R & R (six months after he got to Viet Nam), so when he called me from Japan, one of the first things he sweetly said was that he was sorry that we wouldn't be able to go on R & R( as for me, his being okay and alive was such a blessing, that the mini vacation was then the LAST thing I was thinking about!) The next time Mario went to 'Nam, it only took him three and a half months to get wounded, so I used to tease him that he learned how to get home faster by getting wounded faster...both times were blessings because he did not lose his knee or leg (shrapnel) nor did he lose the use of his right arm (tracer bullet).

My mom got a flag like this when my dad died and then I got one when I lost's a flag you never want to get, but which makes you proud for, as well as, of them!!!

Some interesting info on our Pledge of Allegiance:

"While the phrase "under God" was officially incorporated into the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954, it had been in earlier use. The first man to initiate the addition of "under God" to the Pledge was Louis A. Bowman (1872-1959). The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution gave him an Award of Merit as the originator of this idea. He spent his adult life in the Chicago area and was Chaplain of the Illinois Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. At a meeting on February 12, 1948, Lincoln's Birthday, he led the Society in reciting the Pledge with two words added, "under God." He stated that the words came from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. He repeated his revised Pledge at other meetings."

Before I give you the jokes for today, let me tell you a family joke. My mom's brother, Uncle Richard volunteered for the Army when WW II broke out and my Uncle Jim, his younger brother, also desperately wanted to volunteer, but he had had scarlet fever as a child and was refused at first. Finally, the military really got anxious for more volunteers so Uncle Jim said he reported for the 'new and improved' physical which involved two doctors seated on either side of the candidate. They both looked into opposite ears and if they didn't see each other, you were in the Army!!!

Now here are some jokes, NOT intended to slur the military (esp. since I was a

very proud Army wife and teared up every time we went to the movies and they played the Star Spangled Banner!) in any way as they are our finest, but just to give a chuckle:

Joining the Army

As the family gathered for a big dinner together, the youngest son announced that he had just signed up at an army recruiter's office.
There were audible gasps around the table, then some laughter, as his older brothers shared their disbelief that he could handle this new situation. "Oh, come on, quit joking," snickered one. "You didn't really do that, did you?"
"You would never get through basic training," scoffed another.
The new recruit looked to his mother for help, but she was just gazing at him. When she finally spoke, she simply asked, "Do you really plan to make your own bed every morning?"


An Army Ranger was on holiday in the depths of Louisiana, where he tried to buy some Alligator shoes. However, he was not prepared to pay the high prices. After failing to haggle the vendor down to a reasonable price level, he ended up shouting "I don't give two hoots for your shoes, man, I'll go and kill my own!" The shopkeeper replied, "By all means. Just watch out for the two Marines who are doing the same. "So the Ranger went out into the Bayou, and after a while saw two men with spears, standing still in the water. "They must be the two Marines," he thought. Just at that point he noticed an alligator moving in the water towards one of them. The Marine stood completely passive, even as the gator came ever closer. Just as the beast was about to swallow him, the Marine struck home with his spear and wrestled the gator up onto the beach, where several already lay. Together the two Marines threw the gator onto its back, whereupon one exclaimed "Damn! This one doesn't have any shoes either!"


The chief of staff of the US Air Force decided that he would personally intervene in the recruiting crisis affecting all of our armed services. He directed a nearby Air Force base that will be opened and that all eligible young men and women be invited. As he and his staff were standing near a brand new F-15 Fighter, a pair of twin brothers who looked like they had just stepped off a Marine Corps recruiting poster walked up to them. The chief of staff walked up to them, stuck out his hand and introduced himself. He looked at the first young man and asked, "Son, what skills can you bring to the Air Force?" The young man looks at him and says, "I'm a pilot!" The general gets all excited, turns to his aide and says, "Get him in today, all the paper work done, everything, do it!" The aide hustles the young man off. The general looks at the second young man and asked, "What skills to you bring to the Air Force?" The young man says, "I chop wood!" "Son," the general replies, "we don't need wood choppers in the Air Force, what do you know how to do?" "I chop wood!" "Young man," huffs the general, "you are not listening to me, we don't need wood choppers, this is the 20th century!" "Well," the young man says, "you hired my brother!" "Of course we did," says the general, "he's a pilot!" The young man rolls his eyes and says, "So what! I have to chop it before he can pile it!"

~~~Lord, I thank you for all the blessings I received while being an Army wife, as well as the blessings showered on our country by the fine men and women who serve and keep our country safe.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Up and running again

Well, yesterday had a few challenges. Michael already had a computer, as did I, when we got married. However, they, like us, are now hooked up together! His PC went down yesterday and the next day he took mine down with his (how's that for togetherness?) Anyway, he's up and going and now I am too, as you may have guessed already!!

While waiting for all this to return to normal, I went out and pulled more weeds and prayed. It was a really nice time to pray because as I was pulling weeds that were so close to the delicate green onions and carrots, the thought occurred to me that this is what patience is all about, a slow steady process or the onions and carrots will come up too. Isn't it great that God does wait for us and not just "pull us up" when we get a little "weedy" or closed in by other "weeds"??

These are actually my "Before" pictures...guess there needs to be some "After" ones too, as my fingers are truly sore (even though I had my trusty screwdriver with me) after all that weed pulling. There were so many weeds in that last picture that you can hardly see the lettuce or the leeks, and definitely not the teeny tiny green onions!!

Here are some wise gardening "tips" I found:

"The best way to garden is to put on a wide brimmed straw hat and some old clothes. And with a hoe in one hand and a cold drink in the other, tell somebody else where to dig.

Compost is best aged a little like a fine wine. I mean, would you prefer to drink a nice 97, or something that was made last Thursday.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.

Spring does not arrive until the ice is out of the compost heap.

Winter does not arrive until the ice is IN the compost. Until then, all bets are off.

Any self respecting rock will break at least one shovel before accepting its new home.

A good compost pile should get hot enough to poach an egg, but not so hot it would cook a lobster.

Gardening requires a lot of water most of it in the form of perspiration. "


"Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?

Why women can't put on mascara or feed a baby with their mouth closed?

Why don't you ever see the headline 'Psychic Wins Lottery'?
Why 'abbreviated' is such a long word?
Why is it that doctors call what they do 'practice'?
Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dish washing liquid made with real lemons?
Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?
Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?
Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?
Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes?
Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?
You know that indestructible blackbox that is used on airplanes? Why don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff?!

Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?
Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?
If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?
If flying is so safe, why do they call it the terminal?"
~~~Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of being able to watch things grow and work in Your good earth.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Explaining her name

There's something I need to clear up from when I posted Ria's birthday. I can understand why it happened, but when I wrote her name is AnaMaria and put it all together like that, it REALLY is that way, even on her birth certificate. Mario and I both loved this name, but we didn't want her to be called just Ana and yet we also wanted the Maria to be distinct, so we chose to do it this way...maybe it IS best that she gave herself her new more confusion!

Hmmm, that reminds me of a funny little story Ria told me, but it needs a preface in order to appreciate it. In Spanish, there are lots of ways of making a name more loving (guess we kind of do it with nicknames in English), but someone who has Ana in front of their name would be called Anita, so from time to time I would call Ria by Anita, or even AnitaMaria. When she got married, I found a beautiful card and wrote "To my sweet Anita" on the inside.

Ria decided to put all of her wedding cards in a scrapbook. A few years later, her sister-in-law picked up her scrapbook and started looking through it. The card from her father and me was right in the front...Bridget read the "To..." and said, very seriously..."Boy, these people don't know you very well, do they?" Naturally, Ria cracked up laughing and said "Nope, they're just my parents!"

On Fridays, I guess I will start doing what Eileen has suggested, naming or showing some favorite things, as well as being "Friendly."
Down below you will see two photos (which I had to take multiple times because of the glare and probably thought that these WERE the 'glarey', blurry ones!) of paperweights. These are favorites for many reasons:
1. They remind me of, and take me back, to when we were blessed to visit Ireland.
2. They are actually from Ireland (ordered in an Irish catalogue).
3. I read an Irish novel that involved and explained the incredible process of glass blowing and designing.
4. These colors are supposed to have captured the blues and greens of Ireland.
5. They were also ON SALE if you bought both of them.

Here are some really sweet jokes:

A little boy was in a relative's wedding. As he was coming down the aisle, he would take two steps, stop, and turn to the crowd. While facing the crowd, he would put his hands up like claws and roar. So it went, step, step, ROAR, step, step, ROAR, all the way down the aisle. As you can imagine the crowd was near tears by the time he reached the pulpit.
The little boy, however, was getting more and more distressed from all the laughing, and was also near tears by the time he reached the pulpit.
When asked what he was doing, the child sniffed and said, "I was being the Ring Bear."

Six-year old Angie and her four-year old brother Joel were sitting together in church. Joel giggled, sang and talked out loud.
Finally, his big sister had had enough. "You're not supposed to talk out loud in church."
"Why? Who's going to stop me?" Joel asked.
Angie pointed to the back of the church and said, "See those two men standing by the door? They're hushers."
~~~Thank you, dear God, for the blessings of weddings and memories to warm our hearts.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

God and the Helicopter

Today is not only my regular prayer group meeting, but it is also Ascension Thursday when our Saviour, Jesus Christ, rose to be with His Father after rising from the dead and spending time with His apostles and disciples...always thought of this as a good reminder to keep our minds and hearts looking upward instead of just around us.

"Every morning God gives us a blank sheet to create a story of ourself and the people and situations that come by. Be an author that writes with love and hope. "

Since this world is so full of tragedies and problems, one might question where our wonderful Creator is, amidst all this chaos, which we ourselves (unless we have NEVER done anything wrong or made any wrong choices) are directly and indirectly responsible for!!

Even though, we and our parents and theirs etc. etc. have caused this mess the world is in to come about, our Creator's love is ever obvious, even when we don't "feel" it.

In high school I was blessed with this awesome analogy told to us by a nun. Whenever you are questioning how God can "let" something happen in our lives that is tragic, it is important to remember that we have been blessed with free will by a loving Supreme Being.
She proceeded to ask us to imagine yourself flying around in a helicopter, just enjoying the scenery on a beautiful day. Your flight is going to take you above a crossroads in the countryside and, while you are well above it, you are close enough to see clearly what's going on down below.
There is a stop sign there, for one direction, but none the other way. Perhaps, due to carelessness (bad choices) someone has not trimmed the high hedges that somewhat block the view.
You now see two vehicles approaching the intersection at approximately the same time. In one of them you recognize three family members. In the other vehicle you see a couple of your best friends.
Some sort of distraction is occurring in both vehicles with each driver (the world is such a huge distraction from spirituality). You can tell that something tragic is about to happen and it breaks your call out, but they are distracted and can't hear you. So, too, God never wants or wills anything bad to happen but free will is both a curse (when we misuse it) and a blessing (when we do good things for others).

God will never, never:
(But I don't suggest you do this to your local stop signs unless you like wearing black in prison garb.)

"Pray unceasingly..."

Here are some funnies:

Careful What We Ask For

A man walks into a restaurant with a full-grown ostrich behind him. The waitress asks them for their orders.The man says, 'A hamburger, fries and a coke,' and turns to the ostrich, 'What's yours?''I'll have the same,' says the ostrich.

A short time later the waitress returns with the order 'That will be $9.40 please,' and the man reaches into his pocket and pulls out the exact change for payment.

The next day, the man and the ostrich come again and the man says, 'A hamburger, fries and a coke.'The ostrich says, 'I'll have the same.'Again the man reaches into his pocket and pays with exact change.

This becomes routine until the two enter again. 'The usual?' asks the waitress.

'No, this is

Saturday so I will have a steak, baked potato and a salad,' says the man. 'Same,' says the ostrich. Shortly the waitress brings the order and says, 'That will be $32.62.' Once again the man pulls the exact change out of his pocket and places it on the table. The waitress cannot hold back her curiosity any longer.

'Excuse me, sir. How do you manage to always come up with the exact change in your pocket every time?

'Well,' says the man, 'several years ago I was cleaning the attic I found an old lamp. When I rubbed it, a Genie appeared and offered me two wishes. My first wish was that if I ever had to pay for anything, I would just put my hand in my pocket and the right amount of money would always be there.'

'That's brilliant!' says the waitress. 'Most people would ask for a million dollars or something, but you'll always be as rich as you want for as long as you live!' 'That's right. Whether it's a gallon of milk or a Rolls Royce, the exact money is always there,' says the man..

The waitress asks, 'What's with the ostrich?' The man sighs... pauses and answers, 'My second wish was for a chick with long legs and who agrees with everything I say.'

What does a Chinese chicken say?

Wok wok wok wok wok

I label this one:

A man was out for a walk and saw a funeral procession. But this one was strange. There were two funeral cars... then a man and a dog walking behind them... then a very, very long line of people.
Curious, he went up to the man and asked, "who died?" The man answered "my mother-in-law and my wife" So then the man asked "if you don't mind me asking, how did they die? " The man answered "my dog killed them" The man thought for a moment then asked "Can I borrow your dog?" The man pointed behind him and said "Get in line"
~~~Thank you Lord for the awesome blessing of loving us and not wanting us to make any wrong choices, please keep us prayerful so that we make good decisions.