Monday, November 23, 2009

My Confession

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it.. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to..

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Hurricane Katrina).. Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'

In light of recent events.... Terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said okay..

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Giving Joy

Giving is a joy if we do
it in the right spirit.
It all depends on whether
we think of it as
"What can I spare?"
or as
"What can I share?"
Esther York Burkholder

The Government Can

Be First

" Strive to be first:, first to nod, first to smile, first to compliment, and first to forgive."


Happy People

The truly happy people
are those who have a
source of happiness too
deep to be seriously
disturbed by
ordinary troubles.
Marion K Rich

Reach Out

Reach out and care for
someone who needs the
touch of hospitality. The
time you spend caring
today will be a love gift
that will blossom into
the fresh joy of God's
Spirit in the future.

Sweet and Simple

I am beginning to learn
that it is the sweet, simple
things in life which are
the real ones after all.
Laura Ingalls Wilder

Nothing Small

Live your life while you
have it. Life is a splendid
gift - there is nothing
small about it.
Florence Nightingale


If you have knowledge,
let others light
their candles
at it.
Margaret Fuller

The Soul Speaks

If your lips can speak a
word of encouragement
to a weary soul, you
have a talent.
Eva J. Cummings

Well Being

The greatest degree of inner
tranquility comes from the
development of love
and compassion.
The more we care
for the happiness
of others, the greater is
our own sense
of well-being.


Enjoy the gifts
that come with age and
may you have the grace
to endure the struggle
in any area of life where
you have been placed.

Involve Yourself

Involve yourself in the
things you believe in,
and your actions
will give you strength.

Get Rich

Think about getting rich:
Friendships are priceless,
time is invaluable,
health is wealth,
and love is a treasure.
~*~ Unknown



I feared being alone...until I learned to like


I feared people's opinions...until I learned

that people would have opinions about me anyway.

I feared failure.....until I realized that

they are only the stepping stones to success.

I feared rejection ....until I learned

to have faith in myself.

I feared pain...until I learned

that it is necessary for growth.

I feared the truth....until I saw the ugliness

in lies.

I feared life...until I experienced

that it depends solely on my attitude.

I feared death....until I realized

that it is only a beginning.

I feared hate...until I saw

that it was nothing more than ignorance.

I feared love....until I realized that

I do need the other person to love me back

I feared ridicule....until I learned

how to laugh at myself.

I feared success ... until I learned

that it is okay to be the best I can.

I feared growing old....until I realized

that I gained the beauty of wisdom every day.

I feared the dark...until I saw

the beauty of the stars and moonlight.

I feared the past....until I realized

that it can only hurt me if I allow it to do so.

I feared the future....until I realized

that it is only this moment that matters.

I feared change.....until I saw

that even the most beautiful butterfly had to undergo a metamorphosis before it could fly.


Gratitude takes three forms:
a feeling in the heart,
an expression in words,
and a giving in return.

An Inspiring Message

People are often unreasonable,
illogical, and self-centered --- forgive them anyway!

If you are kind, people may accuse you
of selfish ulterior motives --- be kind anyway!

If you are successful, you will win some false friends
and some true enemies --- succeed anyway!

If you are honest and frank,
people may cheat you --- be honest and frank

What you spend years building,
someone could destroy overnight --- build anyway!

If you find serenity and happiness,
many people may be jealous --- be happy anyway!

The good you do today,
people will often forget tomorrow --- do good

Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough ---
Give it the best you've got anyway!
by Mother Teresa

Be a Christmas Angel

How to be a Christmas Angel

Polish your halo with a secret good deed.

Find a bright star in the sky and name it
after someone you've loved and lost.

Deliver Christmas food baskets in person to needy families.

Do something for someone else every day in December.

Bake gingerbread snowmen for a nearby kindergarten class.

Spend a day at a nursing home, visiting those who are alone.

Offer your arm to elderly neighbors caught in the holiday rush.

Offer to help decorate your church for the holidays.

Hold doors open for everyone.

Give a pair of gloves to someone in this season of warmth.

Be as generous with time and money as you can this Christmas.
Reflect on how God has blessed you and those you love.

Give the gift of hope to all you meet.

Adopt a needy family and make it a Christmas to remember.

Apologize to anyone you wronged during the year.

Feed the birds and enjoy their song of thanks.

Read one book during the holidays that affirms your faith.

Ask a nursing home if you can be a 'buddy' to a lonely senior.

Teach your children pride in their ancestors' holiday customs.

Watch fewer games on TV during the holidays
And play more with your kids.

Try to do better between now and next Christmas.

Count your blessings.

Sing your heart out.

Make a joyful noise.

Go home for the holidays if you can.

Give the gift of "I Love You" this Christmas
To someone who hasn't heard it enough.

Practice kindness to all.

Don't be a Scrooge.

Send cards signed "Love, Santa"
To nursing home resident who don't get much mail.

Run errands for an elderly person who has trouble getting around.

Give thanks.

Believe in what you cannot see.

Bring tidings of comfort and joy to all you meet.

Share stories with your kids of favorite
Christmas mornings when you were a child.

Share your Christmas meal.

Let good cheer begin with you.

Do your best to give others a very merry Christmas.

Look for miracles in every child's eyes.

Give the gift of giving.
Give more than you take.

Write a Christmas letter to the one person
Who made you believe in yourself.

Toss all your regrets and "Bah Humbugs" away.

Put visions of sugarplums in a child.

Strengthen family ties.

Wear red a lot.

Take a homebound neighbor to see the holiday lights.

Wear one red and one green sock,
just to bring a smile to someone's face.

Point out to others the beauty of Christmas.

Lift someone's spirits.

Give a Scrooge a reason to believe in Christmas.

Keep spirits bright around you.

Take an elderly neighbor Christmas shopping and out to lunch.

Let nothing you dismay.

Hang an ornament on your tree to honor a loved one who passed away.

Give a gift to those who make your life run smoothly.

Don't forget to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

Keep a list of ways to make the holidays brighter and check off one a day.

Buy a cup of coffee for someone working out in the cold.

Listen closely when people share their Christmas memories.

Give from your heart.

Spread Christmas joy everywhere you go.

Learn to say "Merry Christmas" in different languages.

Prove to a child that Santa is real.

Forgive someone's debt this Christmas.

Help a child mail a letter to Santa.

Listen to Christmas bells, and remember how angels get their wings.

Ask Santa what he wants when you sit on his lap.

Bring a basket of Christmas cheer to your local fire and police station.

Surprise your kids by waking up before they do on Christmas.

Be the first to wish "Merry Christmas" to all you meet.

Practice forgiveness this holiday season until you get it right.

Help rekindle someone's faith in Christmas.

Hug someone who has the Christmas blues.

Discover the true pleasure of giving anonymously.

If friends are alone for the holidays, invite them to join you.

Be good for goodness sake.

Listen to the prayers of children.

Be someone's secret Santa.

Count your blessings and don't stop until you reach one hundred.

Thank those who make you realize you have a wonderful life.

Be a friend who listens in this season of fragile emotions.

Keep the fantasy alive for a child.

Bring joy to someone's world.

Let the memories of those you loved and lost live on.

Be merry and bright.

Make someone's Christmas the best ever.

You are Christmas Angel

Remember Christ

Twas the month before Christmas*
*When all through our land,*
*Not a Christian was praying*
*Nor taking a stand.*
*See the PC Police had taken away,*
*The reason for Christmas - no one could say.*
*The children were told by their schools not to sing,*
*About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*
*It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say*
* December 25th is just a ' Holiday '.*
*Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit*
*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*
*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*
*Something was changing, something quite odd! *
*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*
*In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.*
*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*
* At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.*
*At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears*
*You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.*
*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*
*Are words that were used to intimidate me.*
*Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen*
*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !*
*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*
*To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.*
*And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith*
* Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*
*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded*
*The reason for the season, stopped before it started.*
*So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'*
*Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.*
*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*
not Happy Holiday !*
Please, all Christians join together and
wish everyone you meet during the
holidays a
Christ is The Reason for the Christ-mas Season!

Afraid to Risk

Afraid To Risk?
An old poem by Richard Armour makes a good point:

The bride, white of hair, is stooped over her cane
Her faltering footsteps need guiding.
While down the church aisle, with wan toothless smile,
The groom in a wheelchair comes riding.
And who is this elderly couple you ask?
You'll find, when you've closely explored it,
That here is that rare, most conservative pair,
Who waited 'til they could afford it.

Are you ever afraid to take a risk? Afraid to commit because of an uncertain future? Afraid of failing? Not that anyone would wait an entire life before taking a chance on marriage, but do you tend to wait until all possible risks are minimized before setting out in a new direction?

Though caution and common sense are certainly important, sometimes a risk is called for. As the late William Arthur Ward wisely said:
To laugh is to risk appearing a fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk revealing your true self.
To place you ideas, your dreams, before a crowd
is to risk rejection.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk disappointment.
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard
in life is to risk nothing.
Those who risk nothing, do nothing, have nothing,
and become nothing.
They may avoid present suffering and sorrow, but they
will not learn, feel, change, grow, love, or live.
Chained by their fear, they are slaves who have forfeited
their freedom.
Only a person who risks is free.
The pessimist complains about the wind;
The optimist expects it to change;
And the realist adjusts the sails.

Is fear preventing you from taking a necessary risk today?
Steve Goodier


Take note today of all the
opportunities you have to offer a
helping hand to another
person. You can notice too
many times a friend, or
even a stranger reaches
out to us in a helpful way.
The opportunities to contribute
to life's flow are unending.
Think of the wonderful
collection of invitations
that await you today.
~ Unknown

Monday, August 10, 2009

What is most important


Author Erynn Miller said: "It takes a lot of understanding, time and
trust to gain a close friendship with someone. As I approach a time in
my life of complete uncertainty, my friends are my most precious

I had a friend who felt that way. I sat next to Hal's "death-bed" and
thought about the fact that I had known him for over twenty years. Hal
knew he was dying and that these next few days would be his last. I
held his hand.

We spent time reminiscing about his long and fruitful career as a
church pastor. We talked about old friends. We chatted about his
family. And I listened as he offered a piece of sage wisdom to someone
he believed represented a "younger generation."

Hal seemed to carefully consider what he was about to say next. Then
he squeezed my hand, gazed intently into my eyes and whispered, just
loud enough for me to hear, "Nothing is more important than

I knew that this utterance somehow mattered a great deal to him. He
seemed to consider a lifetime of experiences - personal, professional,
spiritual and family - and this one simple observation surfaced above
the rest: "Nothing is more important than relationships."

"Don't get too caught up in your career," he said. "And don't use
people just to get what you want, then throw them away. No project, no
program, no task - NOTHING - is more important than your friends and
family." I never knew Hal that well, but I wondered if he were talking
as much to himself as to me.

Remember," he repeated, "that in the end, only your relationships will
matter. Tend them well."

Writer Og Mandino put it this way: "Beginning today," he said, "treat
everyone you meet as if he or she were going to be dead by midnight.
Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can
muster, and do so with no thought of any reward. Your life will never
be the same again."

At the end of a long life, my friend Hal would have agreed.

Steve Goodier

Great and Noble tasks

I long to accomplish a great and
noble task, but it is my chief duty to
accomplish humble tasks as
though they were great and noble.
The world is moved along, not only by
the mighty shoves of its heroes, but
also by the aggregate of the tiny
pushes of each honest worker.
~*~ Helen Keller

A friend

Friend derives from a
word meaning "free." A
friend is someone who
allows us the space and
freedom to be.
~Debbie Alicen

The 10 commandments of success

1. Thou shall stop sitting on your assets, gifts and talents.

Procrastination is a thief. Tap into your creativity, purpose,

imagination, intuition, network and resources.

2. Thou shall stop worrying. Action and faith speak louder than fear.

Thou shall let go and let God.

(Therefore do not worry and be anxious.– Matthew 6:31)

3. Thou shall keep the main thing…the MAIN THING.

Follow your list of things to do to remain focused,

organized and productive.

4. Thou shall find a balance between encouraging and

helping others in need and knowing when to distance

yourself from “energy vampires” who drain you with

their drama and negativity.

5. Thou shall do the math and count your blessings.

Praise God in the good and the difficult times.

6. Thou shall have the self-esteem and courage to say “no” or “yes”

when it is appropriate and necessary.

7. Thou shall be a good listener and observer.

Keep your eyes, ears, heart and mind open.

Blessings and breakthroughs can show up in unexpected ways.

8. Thou shall be punctual and be one others can count on.

9. Thou shall continue to seek ways to grow in your education,

faith, self-esteem, skills and personal growth.

10. Thou shall drink water, eat healthy foods, stretch/exercise and

take good care of your body. Thou shall have a daily “laughsitive.”

because laughter moves out joy-blockages i.e. toxins, stress, anger and fear.

written by Jewel Diamond Taylor

You are still blessed

* You may not have the house, car or job
that you want --- but you know you are still

* You may not have someone to call you
sweetheart --- but you know you are still blessed,
worthy and whole.

* You may not like the way your body feels or looks
right now --- but you know you are still blessed and

* You may be achieving slow progress with your
goal --- but you still feel determined.

* You may complain at times ---- but you know you
are still blessed.

* You may struggle with issues of anger,
resentment, depression or worry --- but you know
you are too blessed to be stressed.

* You may feel stuck between "when and why" ---
and yet, you remain grateful, hopeful and

* People may misunderstand you, drain you,
criticize you or ignore you --- and yet, your self-
esteem, courage and peace of mind
remain in tact.

* You may struggle with an addiction --- but each
day you are overcoming it with a strong "Yes, I

* You may find fault in yourself and others --- and
yet, you continue to teach your heart to heal and
live with wisdom, discernment and love.

* You may be tired of waiting for your
breakthrough --- but you won't give up.

Jewel Diamond Taylor

Honest emotion

Go beyond merely appearing to
be happy, and dive into the authentic
joy of making a positive difference.
Give the best that you have to life,
and you'll find each day to be even
more fulfilling than the last. There
is a treasure within you that is
yearning to weave itself into the
fabric of life. Go ahead
and let it come shining through.
Ralph Marston


We're all on a trip, following different
road maps, but to the same destination.
Be ready to lend a helping hand
to a troubled traveler today.
It will breathe new life into
your own trip.

A friendly face

We can beautify the day by
smiling throughout all the
experiences it offers us. The
expression of love to everyone
we meet guarantees to make
us more lovable in return.

Have the courage

Have the courage
Have the courage to appear foolish, for the real fools are those who never attempt anything. Have the courage to make mistakes, for they can teach you like nothing else can.
Have the courage to take action. For even though your actions carry the possibility of failure, if you never act then you are certain to fail.

Have the courage to live each day fully, with enthusiasm and a generous spirit. Though there are many problems in this world, there are a whole lot more positive possibilities.

Have the courage to do what is right instead of what is easiest or most convenient. It will earn you the respect of others and, even more importantly, the respect of yourself.

Have the courage to see and accept things for what they are. That will put you in position to make a real difference.

Have the courage to love, to speak your mind, to follow your curiosity and your passions. Have the courage to give of yourself, for the goodness you give will come back to you over and over again.
Ralph Marston

What you want to hear

There are things you love
to hear but you would
never hear it from the
person whom you would
like to hear it from, but
don't be deaf to hear it
from the person who
says it with his heart.

Keep pressing forward

The difference between success and failure is not in how many times you get knocked down. The difference is in how quickly you get back up.
High achievers experience at least as many setbacks as everyone else, and often quite a few more. Yet they refuse to let those setbacks stop them.

There are plenty of things that can come along to ruin your plans, and many of them are impossible to avoid. You don't have to let those things ruin your day, or your attitude, or your determination to move forward.

In fact, the more life pushes against you, the more clearly you'll see and understand how to push ahead. When you so choose, you can transform every setback into a new opportunity.

When the situation changes unexpectedly, choose to quickly adjust. Somewhere in all that change there is valuable energy that you can harness and put to good use.

When you get knocked down, get back up quickly. You'll very likely see a new way forward that you had never noticed before.

Ralph Marston

Wearing other shoes

Always put yourself
in other's shoes.
If you feel that it hurts
you, it probably
does hurt the person too.

Today is the day

Today is your opportunity to express
yourself to the world through
the life you live and the actions
you take. The challenges of this
moment provide a rich
canvas upon which
you can paint the highest
vision you have.
~ Ralph Marston

Make it Happen

If you really want to do something you'll find a way; if you don't you'll find an excuse.

Letting your light shine

Does the world around you seem too hectic and frenzied? Then your best response is to be extra calm, peaceful and patient.
Does the world around you seem too greedy and selfish? That's your opportunity to be extra loving, giving and sincerely compassionate.

Does the world around you seem too confusing and aimless? Then choose to be extra focused and purposeful.

The world outside reflects back to you the energy you give it. If you don't like what you see, you have every opportunity to change it by changing the way you are.

When you're a beacon in the darkness, your light will shine for a long, long way. When you're the difference that makes the difference, your efforts will bring abundant fruit.

If things around you seem to be at their worst, that's when you can accomplish the most by being your best. Shine your positive light in the face of negativity, and you will change your world.

Ralph Marston

The color of your shell

Don't go for looks,
they can deceive.
Don't go for wealth
even that fades away.
Go for someone
who makes you smile.

From the mouths of babes

Written by a 15 yr. old School Kid in Ohio :
New Pledge of Allegiance (TOTALLY AWESOME!)
Since the Pledge of Allegiance & The Lords Prayer
Are not allowed in Schools anymore
Because the word 'God' is mentioned...

A Kid in Ohio wrote the attached...

NEW School prayer :

Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.
If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.
Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise..
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.
For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the state.
We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks..
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.
We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King.
It's 'inappropriate' to teach right from wrong,
We're taught that such 'judgments' do not belong.
We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.
It's scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!
If you aren't ashamed to do this,
Please pass this on.
Jesus said,
'If you are ashamed of me,
I will be ashamed of you before my Father.'

Is There Something Missing?

If there are things that are missing in your life, ask yourself this question. Have you given those things a place to live?
The person who has many friends is the person who has made a place for friendship in her life. The person who is amazingly knowledgeable is the person who has made a place for learning in his life.

In order to receive a delivery at your home, you must tell the delivery service where to take it. In the same way, for the best things in life to be yours, you must provide a space within your life where they can arrive.

Make a place in your life for love, and love will certainly fill it. Make a place within your life for joy, and joy will soon be there.

Create the time, the space, the energy, the interest, the passion and the commitment in your life for whatever it is you seek. And the things you seek will begin to inhabit the places you have made for them.

Give the best things in life a place to live within yourself. And you'll soon find those things filling your world.

Ralph Marston

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mel's Personality Test Results

The Dewey Color System® is the world's first and only validated, color-based personality career testing instrument. Based on our experience and your interests, your best suited occupations are listed below.

Best Occupational Category

Key Words:
Self-Control, Practical, Self-Contained, Orderly, Systematic, Precise, and Accurate
These conservative appearing, plotting-types enjoy organizing, data systems, accounting, detail, and accuracy. They often enjoy mathematics and data management activities such as accounting and investment management. Persistence and patience allows them to do detailed paperwork, operate office machines, write business reports, and make charts and graphs.

Suggested careers are Administrator, Secretary, Printer, Paralegal, Building Inspector, Bank Cashier, Private Secretary, Statistician, Operations Manager, Financial Analyst, Bookkeeper, Medical Records Technician, Developer of Business or Computer Systems, Clerical Worker, Proofreader, Accountant, Administrative Assistant, Banker, Certified Public Accountant, Credit Manager, Store Salesperson, Actuary, Dental Assistant, Business Education Teacher, Food Service Manager, IRS Agent, Budget Analyst, and Underwriter.

Your very careful, conscientious, conservative nature gives others the confidence to trust you with handling money and material possessions. Structured organizations that have well-ordered chains of command work best for you.

Suggested Organizer workplaces are large corporations, business offices, financial lending institutions, banks, insurance companies, accounting firms, and quality control and inspection departments.

2nd Best Occupational Category

Key Words:
Independent, Self-Motivated, Reserved, Introspective, Analytical, and Curious
These investigative types gather information, analyze and interpret data, and inquire to uncover new facts. They have a strong scientific orientation, enjoy academic or research environments and prefer self-reliant jobs. Dislikes are group projects, selling, and repetitive activities.

You are worthy

You are worthy

You are worthy of reaching for the greatest of accomplishments. And you are worthy of achieving them, no matter what other people think of you, no matter what your job title is, no matter what you have done up to this point in life. You are worthy of the best. You are unique; you are special. You are creative and effective. You have much value to offer, regardless of what anyone has told you. And no one can express that value but you. You're the one who can do it. You're the only one who can be you. You are the person who deserves to live your dream. You're the only one who has what it takes to reach that dream.
If you can see it, if you can imagine it, if you can dream it, you are worthy of reaching it. And it is possible. No one will hand it to you. In fact you'll strive day and night to reach it. When you give the best you have, when you refuse to be stopped by the obstacles in your way, when you do what must be done, you'll get what you deserve -- a full, rich life that is like no other. Each day, with your thoughts and actions, live up to the fact that you're the best.

My Own Happiness

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



A sick man turned to his doctor as he was preparing to
Leave the examination room and said,

'Doctor, I am afraid to die.
Tell me what lies on the other side.'

Very quietly, the doctor said, 'I don't know.'

'You don't know? You're a Christian man,
and don't know what's on the other side?'

The doctor was holding the handle of the door;

On the other side came a sound of scratching and whining,

And as he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room

And leaped on him with an eager show of gladness.

Turning to the patient, the doctor said,

'Did you notice my dog?
He's never been in this room before.
He didn't know what was inside.
He knew nothing except that his master was here,

And when the door opened, he sprang in without fear.

I know little of what is on the other side of death,

But I do know one thing...

I know my Master is there and that is enough.'

Good Friends

*~* Good friends are like fancy chocolates,
it's what's on the inside that makes them special.*~*


*~* Too often we underestimate the power of a touch,
a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, and
honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring,
all of which have the potential to turn a life around. *~*

Leo Buscaglia

A smile

A Smile
She smiled at a sorrowful stranger...
The smile seemed to make him feel better...
He remembered past kindnesses of a friend
And wrote him a thank you letter...
The friend was so pleased with the thank you
That he left a large tip after lunch...
The waitress, surprised by the size of the tip,
Bet the whole thing on a hunch...
The next day she picked up her winnings,
And gave part to a man on the street...
The man on the street was grateful;
For two days he'd had nothing to eat...
After he finished his dinner,
He left for his small dingy room...
He didn't know at that moment
That he might be facing his doom...
On the way he picked up a shivering puppy
And took him home to get warm...
The puppy was very grateful
To be in out of the storm...
That night the house caught on fire...
The puppy barked the alarm...
He barked till he woke the whole household
And saved everybody from harm...
One of the boys that he rescued
Grew up to be President...
All this because of a simple smile
That hadn't cost a cent...
Written by: Barbara Hauck


"Optimism is the faith that leads
to achievement. Nothing can
be done without hope
and confidence."
Helen Keller



When you extend pure love to everyone with

selfless motivation that is an attitude of kindness.

When you send good wishes and pure feelings

to those who are in deep sorrow, that is an

attitude of mercy.

When you see the virtues rather than the weaknesses

in people that is an attitude of compassion.

When you bless and uplift someone even as they

defame you, that is an attitude of forgiveness.

When you tolerate a situation and take responsibility

as well as give cooperation even when not appreciated,

that is an attitude of humility and self-respect.

Every second, every moment and every breath

of your life is nurtured by attitude.

A gentle word

A gentle word, like summer rain,
may soothe some heart and
banish some pain.

There is much joy that will
spring from just the simple
little things.

Having someone who really
understands is a great blessing for
ourselves. Being that someone who
understands is a great
blessing to others.

One Person

To the world you might
be one person, but to one
person you might be the world.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Be Kind

Be kind and merciful.
Let no one ever come to
you without coming
away better and happier.
Mother Teresa


*~* Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn't stop to enjoy it.*~* W. Feather

Giving Challenge

Giving challenge

Few things provide as much satisfaction as being needed. We usually go to great lengths in seeking comfort and pleasure, and certainly do enjoy them. Yet even the most delightful pleasure seems a bit hollow if we're not doing something to make a difference. And so it follows that one of the kindest things you can do for other people is to make it possible for them be needed. In your desire to help others, you naturally think of giving comfort and pleasure. Look for a way to also give challenge -- the challenge to make a difference.

Several years ago, certain residents of a nursing home were given the opportunity to make a difference when they were each permitted to select a houseplant and to make decisions related to its care. After a year and a half, the residents who were caring for houseplants were found to be more cheerful, active and alert, with less than half the death rate as a similar group of residents who were not caring for plants.

Even the most seemingly insignificant challenges can be truly life enhancing. Make a big difference by providing others with the opportunity to make a difference, too.


*~* A smile is a curve that can straighten out a lot of things*~*

The Person you Choose to be.

You are the person you choose to be. So choose to be the person who fulfills and brings to life the values you hold most dearly.
Today is your opportunity to express yourself to the world through the life you live and the actions you take. The challenges of this moment provide a rich canvas upon which you can paint the highest vision you have.

Listen to the yearnings of your heart and keep pointing yourself in their direction. By focusing on what is truly meaningful, you will cause much real value and richness to spring forth from the life you live.

Choose to glide right past the shallow concerns that hold so many people back. Keep your eye on the big picture, and create new positive substance as each moment passes.

Go beyond merely appearing to be happy, and dive into the authentic joy of making a positive difference. Give the best that you have to life, and you'll find each day to be even more fulfilling than the last.

There is a treasure within you that is yearning to weave itself into the fabric of life. Go ahead and let it come shining through.

Ralph Marston

The size of God

God is so big
He can cover the whole world with His love,
and so small He can curl up inside your heart.
--June Masters Bacher

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Hope is the knowledge
that life is everlasting,
and that miracles
happen every day.

Monday, May 18, 2009

My Mantra

My soul is stronger than your soul.
My passion is stronger than your passion.
My heart beats stronger than yours.
I will win
I will prevail.
You have no power over me.

Giggle a Little

I Listen to the creek, and it says:

"Relax; go with the flow.
Tend to what's really important,
and let the rest go by.
Keep moving - don't be
hesitant or afraid.
Lighten up -
laugh, giggle."

Dr. Charles Roper

Remember Me

The best portion of a good
man's life - his little, nameless,
unremembered acts
of kindness and love.
~William Wordsworth

It's nice to be important,
but it's more important
to be nice.
~Author Unknown

Jump In

Jump in
It's easy and pleasant to sit back and watch the world. It's even better to jump in and participate.
There is so much you have to offer. There are so many beautiful gifts you have to give.

Weave the thread of your own special perspective into the fabric of life. Become an active part of your world and all will be richer for it.

Get up, get out, get going and get involved. Every day, in all sorts of ways, there are opportunities to make a difference in your unique way.

Put real meaning into life by participating fully in it. Put real value into your world by giving of the value that is within you.

Don't just sit there and watch life happen. Make yourself a vital and positive part of it, and you will make it great.

Ralph Marston

Moving Forward

When you are ready to move forward, there is a way. When you are no longer content to stay where you are, a new door opens.
When you are anxious to learn, a teacher appears. When you long to make a meaningful difference, a challenge comes along to supply the opportunity.

When you seek joy, you'll see the beauty in all that is around you. When you long for love, there will be those with whom you can share it.

When an obstacle blocks your path, the resources and determination to get around it are available to you. When the problems become more pressing, the solutions become more evident.

When time is short, you find a way to become more effective. When need arises, a pathway to satisfy that need also opens up.

As the minutes, the days and the years go by, life will ask much of you. And in answering the call you'll come to know life's greatest treasures.

Ralph Marston

Give as you Receive

We should give as we would receive,
cheerfully, quickly, and without
hesitation; for there
is no grace in a benefit
that sticks to the fingers.

Giving Up

Giving up doesn't always
mean you are weak.
Sometimes it means that
you are strong enough to let go.
Author Unknown



In this world it's refreshing to find
People who still have the time to be kind.
People still ready-by thought, word, or deed-
To reach out a hand in the hour of need.
People who still have the faith to believe
That the more you give, the more you receive.

Helen Steiner Rice

A letter to my mother

Dear Mother:

I really wanted to take some time to think about your email before I responded in haste or anger. The question you left me was “anything else you want to accuse me of?”

I have not heard from you since your trip to Vietnam. As you know, I had many apprehensions about your trip home, not only because it is a communist country, but also because of all the history and blame that comes attached to it. Your pension to remember and keep a grudge for many years is obviously a trait I acquired, because I’ve never forgotten that you laid blame upon me and my birth as the reason why you could not return to your country after the near end of the war. I will never forget the shoebox you kept in the hall closet with letters from your father requesting your return without me or your husband. I knew then as I know now that you will always make me responsible for that loss, even though I had no say in your choice. Knowing all this, I knew this would be a difficult journey for you, and one that would probably once again awaken your animosity for me, so I felt it best not to bother you until you were ready to communicate with me. If the entire reason for you moving to Georgia, as you often said, was because you couldn’t take the stress from your family, I certainly didn’t want to create more of a problem.

Recently, I’ve had a lot of problems with Megan, who’s now at the age I was when you and I used to regularly go round about in tongue lashings. She’s said and done some nasty things that I take to heart and have a hard time forgetting and forgiving. Last week, we had a sort of intervention with her, in which an epiphany suddenly hit me – it was this behavior in me as a teen that created the rift between you and I, and I quickly shared with her that if she continued on her given path, that the relationship between her and I would end in the same way you and I have. I do realize that the things I said and done as a child still ring in our relationship today, and I often consider this when I grieve for what Mo gets from you that I don’t, and I’m not talking about monetary goods either. Simple contact with her and her children are more than I receive until I complain about it.

The fact that I realize in this epiphany, is that no matter what, Megan is my daughter and I am her mother, and as the adult in this relationship, it is my responsibility to teach her and nurture her and try to give her all that I can to one day make her a strong responsible adult. I cannot hold her accountable for her behavior because she is a child, anymore than I believe you should hold animosity towards me for past mistakes made in childhood. In the end, who she is, and who she will become is my burden because I cultivated those traits in her, as you have in me, and I vow to never turn from this responsibility because I know that a child never stops needing their parent, whether they are 6 or 60, nothing ever replaces a mother’s love and guidance.

Over the years, I’ve come to grudgingly accept that Mo is more favored in your heart that I, and therefore, whenever the kids come with new grandma clothes or Mo gets a lavish gift from you, I know that I must accept that it is the way it is, whether I like it or not. I only hope that you look at the situation with an open mind and realize how much it hurts that neither my girls nor I will ever have that special place in your heart, and why when things go wrong, I always turn to it as a reason for the lack of attention from you. Perhaps it’s a rift that may never be mended, but may it not be so without you understanding how I feel about it. You may be disappointed by the broken relationship I have with Mo, but it is for these reasons that they exist; I can’t stand to be the bastard child, and she can’t stand not having all the attention focused on her.

It gets extremely tiring keeping my responsibility and my promise to you to look out for Mo and the kids when I’m treated like a servant. Only when I’m needed, is what I do appreciated, and otherwise, I’m supposed to grovel in thankfulness over a gift she put no thought into, instead, asking everyone around me what I “needed”. The money wasn’t the point. Certainly you know $20 whopping bucks doesn’t buy much today, but a better use (if its intention were for Hanna’s benefit) would have been to give it to HER to decide what to get, not anyone else. A better alternative would have been to spend TIME with Hanna (which we eventually did last week), just hanging out together, and spending that $20 having a Big Mac or seeing a show. That meant more to me than a bunch of glasses I don’t need – that was the point I was trying to make with you. Not that I didn’t appreciate the thought behind your actions.

Since Mo has evolved with Brandon (who thankfully likes kids more than the Jay guy before him) she now has no use for me to care for her children unless she’s working, and makes no bones about reminding me that she pays for my services and that I’m not Hanna’s mother. I’m treated like a hired hand, when I did and continue to do more for her than anyone would for any amount of money. For Hanna’s birthday I promised her that the next weekend (because her mother had plans for her on her birthday weekend), that we’d go shopping and out to dinner to celebrate, but it had to be on a Friday because I had a committed schedule. Hanna was ok with this and told me that she’d let her mother know she wanted to stay with us on Friday, as she said her mother gave her the choice for Fridays as to whether she wanted to stay with us or her. Suddenly, Mo had party plans, and friends coming over, which was more important that Hanna entertain their children rather that spend time with her family. Mo even threatened to call the police on me if I tried to leave before Brandon came to pick her up (as if that was my intention). I’ve since then never forgotten how crappy she behaved, nor that she cares more about her friends than those that stand behind her and supported her through her bad choices. Now, the only time I hear from her is when she believes we are gossiping about her – truth be told, I could care less about what she’s doing and have better things to waste my breath on, but then again, perhaps it’s her way of gaining attention from me , regardless if it’s negative attention she’s getting. I only shake my head in pity to think that she’s that worried about what I think about her, when in fact, I’ve long learned to stop worrying or caring about what goes on in her life, because none of it matters and my first responsibility is to my own dramatic children.

I can’t expect you to be the mother I would like you to be for me, nor can I be everything you wish I could. I can’t change what has already happened between us and I’m sorry to be such a disappointment to you. I only want you to understand how much I grieve for the relationship I’ll never have with you as long as we travel this path, and hope for a better ending before it’s too late. Unfortunately, life doesn’t serve you second chances and there’s no way to do over what’s already been done. The only hope is for better tomorrows.



Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

Breakfast at McDonald's

I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree.
The last class I had to take was Sociology.
The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with.

Her last project of the term was called, 'Smile.'

The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions.
I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway.
So, I thought this would be a piece of cake, literally.

Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son.

We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did. I did not move an inch... an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.

As I turned around I smelled a horrible 'dirty body' smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men. As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was 'smiling' His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's Light as he searched for acceptance. He said, 'Good day' as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.

The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation.

I held my tears as I stood there with them. The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted.. He said, 'Coffee is all Miss' because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm). Then I really felt it - the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes.

That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action. I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray. I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman's cold hand. He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, 'Thank you.' I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, 'I did not do this for you. God is here working through me to give you hope.'

I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son.
When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, 'That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope..'

We held hands for a moment and at that time, we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give.
We are not church goers, but we are believers. That day showed me the pure Light of God's sweet love.

I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand. I turned in 'my project' and the instructor read it. Then she looked up at me and said, 'Can I share this?' I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class.

She began to read and that is when I knew that we as human beings and being part of God share this need to heal people and to be healed. In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald's, my son,the instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.

I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn:


Much love and compassion is sent to each and every person who may read this and learn how to LOVE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS - NOT LOVE THINGS AND USE PEOPLE.

To My Child


Just for this morning,
I am going to smile when I see your face and laugh
when I feel like crying.

Just for this morning,
I will let you choose what you want to wear,
and smile and say how perfect it is.

Just for this morning,
I am going to step over the laundry
and pick you up and take you tothe park to play.

Just for this morning,
I will leave the dishes in the sink,
and let you teach me how to put that puzzle of yours together.

Just for this afternoon,
I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer off,
and sit withyou in the backyard and blow bubbles.

Just for this afternoon,
I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble
when you scream and whine for the ice cream truck,
and I will buy you one if he comes by.

Just for this afternoon,
I won't worry about what you are going to be when you grow up,
or second guess every decision I have made where you are concerned.

Just for this afternoon,
I will let you help me bake cookies,
and I won't stand over you trying to fix them.

Just for this afternoon,
I will take us to McDonald's and
buy us both a Happy Meal so you can have both toys.

Just for this evening,
I will hold you in my arms and tell you a story
about how you were born and how much I love you.

Just for this evening,
I will let you splash in the tub and not get angry.

Just for this evening,
I will let you stay up late while we sit on the porch and count all the stars.

Just for this evening,
I will snuggle beside you for hours, and miss my favorite TV shows.

Just for this evening when I run my finger through your hair as you pray,
I will simply be grateful that God has given me the greatest gift ever given.

I will think about the mothers and fathers who are searching for their missing children, the mothers and fathers who are visiting their children's graves instead of their bedrooms.

The mothers and fathers who are in hospital rooms
watching their children suffer senselessly and screaming inside that little body

And when I kiss you goodnight I will hold you a little tighter, a little longer.
It is then, that I will thank God for you, and ask him for nothing, except one more day..............

My Daily Wish

My daily wish is that we may
See good in those who pass our way;

Find in each a worthy trait
That we shall gladly cultivate;

See in each one passing by
The better things that beautifyA softly spoken word of cheer,
A kindly face, a smile sincere.

I pray each day that we may view
The things that warm one's heart anew;

The kindly deed that can't be bought
That only from good are wrought,
A burden lightened here and there,
A brother lifted from despair,
The aged ones freed from distress;

The lame, the sick, brought happiness.
Grant that before each sun has set

We'll witness deeds we can't forget;

A soothing hand to one in pain,
A sacrifice for love - not gain;

A word to ease the troubled mind
Of one whom fate has dealt unkind.

See good in all who pass our way.

Never Judge a Book by it's cover

Man complicates life

Man must feel the earth to
know himself and recognize his
values.... God made life simple.
It is man who complicates it.
~Charles A. Lindbergh,
Reader's Digest, July 1972

Value what's yours

Value already yours

When you take something for granted, you can quickly forget
That it's even there. If you take it for granted long
Enough, it may in fact be gone the next time you look for

Why is gratitude so very powerful? Because it keeps you
Connected to all the good things in your life.

Don't let the immense value that's already yours wander away
Because of neglect. Take time to remember, take time to
Celebrate and be grateful, and take time to say thank you.

Instead of continually wishing for more, take a loving and
Thankful look at all that you already have. By sincerely
Appreciating what's already yours, you can build upon it to
Reach any dream you could possibly imagine.

Make it a habit to reflect each day on how truly fortunate
You are. It is your awareness that enables your richest
Blessings to continue unfolding and expanding throughout
Your world.

See the beauty that's already there, and the value that's
Already yours. It is more than enough to propel you
Positively and meaningfully forward.

~~Ralph Marston

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Facing Fear

You gain strength, courage, and confidence
by every experience in which you
really stop to look fear in the face.
You must do the thing
which you think you cannot do.
~Eleanor Roosevelt~

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Serving Others

If I have been of service,
if I have glimpsed more of the nature
And essence of ultimate good,
if I am inspired to reach wider
Horizons of thought and action,
if I am at peace with myself,
It has been a successful day.
Alex Noble

Kind Words

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak,
but their echoes are truly endless."
Mother Teresa

I've Learned

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I've learned that the Lord didn't do it all in one day, what makes me think I can?

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

I've learned that when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.

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

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

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

I've learned that there's nothing sweeter than sleeping with your babies and feeling their breath on your cheeks.

I've learned that no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Taking the Time

Taking the time every day to recognize what
you're grateful for helps keep things in
perspective. Gratitude carries you through the
tough times, and gives you the strength to surpass
the stress of challenges.

Reflect on your family, your friends or the place
where you live, and the satisfaction they
bring you. Think about your good health and your
mental or physical talents. Consider the pleasure
you receive from a phone call with a friend or
a laugh you shared with your children.

Look back on small and large moments - the affection
of a pet, your success in the garden or a deep and fulfilling
relationship. These are all things that nourish gratitude.
And gratitude makes life worth living.

Jane Powell

Friday, March 27, 2009

Chain Reaction

Believe, when you are
most unhappy, that there
is something for you to do in the world.
So long as you can sweeten
another's pain, life is not in vain.
Helen Keller

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A great sacrifice

Daddy's Poem
Her hair was up in a pony tail,

her favorite dress tied with a bow.

Today was Daddy's Day at school,

and she couldn't wait to go.

But her mommy tried to tell her,

that she probably should stay home

Why the kids might not understand,

if she went to school alone.

But she was not afraid;

she knew just what to say.

What to tell her classmates

of why he wasn't there today.

But still her mother worried,

for her to face this day alone.

And that was why once again,

she tried to keep her daughter home.

But the little girl went to school

eager to tell them all.

About a dad she never sees

a dad who never calls.

There were daddies along the wall in back, for everyone to meet.

Children squirming impatiently,

anxious in their seats

One by one the teacher called

a student from the class.

To introduce their daddy,

as seconds slowly passed.

At last the teacher called her name,

every child turned to stare.

Each of them was searching,

a man who wasn't there.

"Where's her daddy at?"

She heard a boy call out.

"She probably doesn't have one,"

another student dared to shout.

And from somewhere near the back,

she heard a daddy say,

"Looks like another deadbeat dad,

too busy to waste his day."

The words did not offend her,

as she smiled up at her Mom.

And looked back at her teacher, who told her to go on.

And with hands behind her back,

slowly she began to speak.

And out from the mouth of a child,

came words incredibly unique.

"My Daddy couldn't be here,

because he lives so far away.

But I know he wishes he could be,

since this is such a special day.

And though you cannot meet him,

I wanted you to know.

All about my daddy,

and how much he loves me so.

He loved to tell me stories

he taught me to ride my bike.

He surprised me with pink roses,

and taught me to fly a kite.

We used to share fudge sundaes,

and ice cream in a cone.

And though you cannot see him.

I'm not standing here alone.

"Cause my daddy's always with me,

even though we are apart

I know because he told me,

he'll forever be in my heart"

With that, her little hand reached up,

and lay across her chest.

Feeling her own heartbeat,

beneath her favorite dress.

And from somewhere there in the crowd of dads, her mother stood in tears.

Proudly watching her daughter,

who was wise beyond her years.

For she stood up for the love

of a man not in her life.

Doing what was best for her,

doing what was right.

And when she dropped her hand back down, staring straight into the crowd.

She finished with a voice so soft,

but its message clear and loud.

"I love my daddy very much,

he's my shining star.

And if he could, he'd be here,

but heaven's just too far.

You see he is a Marine

and died just this past year

When a roadside bomb hit his convoy

and taught Americans to fear.

But sometimes when I close my eyes,

it's like he never went away."

And then she closed her eyes,

and saw him there that day.

And to her mother's amazement,

she witnessed with surprise.

A room full of daddies and children,

all starting to close their eyes.

Who knows what they saw before them,

who knows what they felt inside.

Perhaps for merely a second,

they saw him at her side.

"I know you're with me Daddy,"

to the silence she called out.

And what happened next made believers,

of those once filled with doubt.

Not one in that room could explain it,

for each of their eyes had been closed.

But there on the desk beside her,

was a fragrant long-stemmed pink rose.

And a child was blessed, if only for a moment, by the love of her shining star.

And given the gift of believing,

that heaven is never too far.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them.

Michael's Night

At the prodding of my friends, I am writing this story. My name is Mildred Hondorf. I am a former elementary school music teacher from Des Moines , Iowa . I've always supplemented my income by teaching piano lessons-something I've done for over 30 years. Over the years I found that children have many levels of musical ability. I've never had the pleasure of having a prodigy though I have taught some talented students. However I've also had my share of what I call 'musically challenged' pupils. One such student was Michael. Michael was 11 years old when his mother (a single Mom) dropped him off for his first piano lesson. I prefer that students (especially boys!) begin at an earlier age, which I explained to Michael. But Michael said that it had always been his mother's dream to hear him play the piano. So I took him as a student.

Well, Michael began with his piano lessons and from the beginning I thought it was a hopeless endeavor. As much as Michael tried, he lacked the sense of tone and basic rhythm needed to excel But he dutifully reviewed his scales and some elementary pieces that I require all my students to learn. Over the months he tried and tried while I listened and cringed and tried to encourage him. At the end of each weekly lesson he'd always say, 'My mom's going to hear me play someday.' But it seemed hopeless. He just did not have any inborn ability. I only knew his mother from a distance as she dropped Michael off or waited in her aged car to pick him up.. She always waved and smiled but never stopped in.

Then one day Michael stopped coming to our lessons. I thought about calling him but assumed because of his lack of ability, that he had decided to pursue something else. I also was glad that he stopped coming. He was a bad advertisement for my teaching! Several weeks later I mailed to the student's homes a flyer on the upcoming recital. To my surprise Michael (who received a flyer) asked me if he could be in the recital. I told him that the recital was for current pupils and because he had dropped out he really did not qualify. He said that his mother had been sick and unable to take him to piano lessons but he was still practicing 'Miss Hondorf I've just got to play!' he insisted. I don't know what led me to allow him to play in the recital. Maybe it was his persistence or maybe it was something inside of me saying that it would be all right.

The night for the recital came. The high school gymnasium was packed with parents, friends and relatives. I put Michael up last in the program before I was to come up and thank all the students and play a finishing piece. I thought that any damage he would do would come at the end of the program and I could always salvage his poor performance through my 'curtain closer.'

Well, the recital went off without a hitch.. The students had been practicing and it showed. Then Michael came up on stage. His clothes were wrinkled and his hair looked like he'd run an eggbeater through it. 'Why didn't he dress up like the other students?' I thought. 'Why didn't his mother at least make him comb his hair for this special night?' Michael pulled out the piano bench and he began. I was surprised when he announced that he had chosen Mozart's Concerto #21 in C Major. I was not prepared for what I heard next. His fingers were light on the keys, they even danced nimbly on the ivories... He went from pianissimo to fortissimo. From allegro to virtuoso. His suspended chords that Mozart demands were magnificent! Never had I heard Mozart played so well by people his age.

After six and a half minutes he ended in a grand crescendo and everyone was on their feet in wild applause. Overcome and in tears I ran up on stage and put my arms around Michael in joy. 'I've never heard you play like that Michael! How'd you do it? ' Through the microphone Michael explained: 'Well Miss Hondorf . .. Remember I told you my Mom was sick? Well, actually she had cancer and passed away this morning And well . . She was born deaf so tonight was the first time she ever heard me play. I wanted to make it special.'

There wasn't a dry eye in the house that evening. As the people from Social Services led Michael from the stage to be placed into foster care, noticed that even their eyes were red and puffy and I thought to myself how much richer my life had been for taking Michael as my pupil. No, I've never had a prodigy but that night I became a prodigy.. . . Of Michael's.

He was the teacher and I was the pupil for it is he that taught me the meaning of perseverance and love and believing in yourself and maybe even taking a chance in someone and you don't know why.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Doing the right thing

Two Choices What would you do? ... you make the choice.
Don't look for a punch line;there isn't one. Read it anyway.

My question is: Would you have made the same choice?

At a fund raising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended.

After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does is done with perfection.Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.Where is the natural order of things in my son?'The audience was stilled by the query.The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.'

Then he told the following story:Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guida nce and said, 'We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.'Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt.

I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again.Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.

The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.The game would now be over.The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates.

Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first!Run to first!'Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!'Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball, the smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.All we re screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay'Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third!'Shay, run to third!'As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!'Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team.'

That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'.Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!

Moving Forward

Days do become difficult at times.
Don't focus on the discomfort
you may have to endure.instead, go ahead and feel
the extreme sense of satisfactionand accomplishment that comes
from moving forward and doingwhat must be done.

Crocheted Easter Basket

NOT my own pattern, but a beautiful little teacher gift!

Miniature Easter Basket Pattern
Fiber: 2 colors worsted weight yarn (color A, and B); I used Caron Simply Soft
Hook size: G US/4.00 mm
Notions: darning needle, small stitch marker
Stitches Used: ch, dc, sc, sl st
This basket is crocheted in continuous rounds.
With color A, ch 2
1: Work 6 sc in second ch from hook. Make sure to mark the beginning of each round with the stitch marker, remembering to move it up to the next round as you go.
2: 2 sc in each sc around. (12 sts)
3: (sc in next st; 2 sc in next st) rep to end of round. (18 sts)
4: (sc in each of next 2 sts; 2 sc in next st) rep to end of round. (24 sts)
5: (sc in each of next 3 sts; 2 sc in next st) rep to end of round. (30 sts)
6: (sc in each of next 4 sts; 2 sc in next st) rep to end of round. (36 sts)
7: (sc in each of next 5 sts; 2 sc in next st) rep to end of round. (42 sts)
8: (sc in each of next 5 sts; sc2tog) rep to end of round. (36 sts)
9-12: sc in each sc around. Break off yarn A.
13: With Yarn B, sc in each st around.
Shell Edging: (ch 1, skip 1 st, sc in next st, ch 1, skip 1 st, 5 dc in next st) repeat a total of 9 times. Ch1, skip 1 st, sl st into first st of next round, finish off.
With yarn B, ch 36.
1: sc into second chain from hook, sc into each chain across. Break off yarn B. Turn.
2: With yarn A, Ch 1, sc in each st across. Do not turn work.
3: Continuing with yarn A, sc 2 sts around end of chain, continuing on to sc into the bottom edge of each chain across. Do not turn work. Finish by sc 2 sts into the end of the chain. The end result is 1 row of color B surrounded by a row of color A on all sides.
Attach the handle to the basket, fill with an Easter treat, and you are done!

Liking Yourself

Success is liking yourself,
liking what you do,
and liking how you do it."
Maya Angelou
Daddy, how was I born?
A little boy goes to his father and asks 'Daddy, how was I born?'
The father answers, 'Well, son, I guess one day you will need to find out anyway! Your Mom and I first got together in a chat room on Yahoo. Then I set up a date via e-mail with your Mom and we met at a cyber-cafe. We sneaked into a secluded room, where your mother agreed to a download from my hard drive. As soon as I was ready to upload, we discovered that neither one of us had used a firewall, and since it was too late to hit the delete button, nine months later a little Pop-Up appeared that said:

You Got Male!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Never Give Up

Don't give up.
When we still have something to give,
nothing is really over until
the moment we stop trying.

Nancye Sims


Optimism is the faith that
leads to achievement.
Nothing can be done
without hope and confidence.

~Helen Keller~

Being Different

Don't undermine our worth by comparing ourselves with others.
It is because we are different that each of us is special.

--- Nancye Sims --


Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is a beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is life, fight for it!

Mother Teresa

Chains of Love

We may not always realize
That everything we do
Affects not only our lives
But touches others too.

A single happy smile
Can always brighten up the day
For anyone who happens
To be passing by your way.

And a little bit of thoughtfulness
That shows someone you care
Create a ray of sunshine
For all of you to share.

For happiness brings happiness
And loving ways bring love
And giving is the treasure
That contentment is made of.

© Samuel Beach 2007

Tears of the Sun

I thought about my family today and realized it's been a month since my mother returned from Vietnam and I have yet to hear from her.

When she spoke of going back to her country I was apprehensive about the outcome. I suppose I had every right to feel that way - I have yet to communicate with her since. It has been 41 years since she last saw her country as a teenage wife and mother fleeing her war torn homeland. I remember her telling me that I was the reason she didn't return home after the war had ended.

My mind drifted back to the first severe punishment she ever endowed upon me. I remember her telling the story of her brothers lying supline on their stomach while the punisher lashed their backside for as long as the punisher felt was deserved. All the while, never moving nor flinching from the pain and discomfort - rather taking this reprimand with dignity and respect. This was the behavior she expected from me, and because I was unable to lie dormant and suffer, the punishment was more severe.

After this beating, I remember crawling to her for forgiveness, and hoping that she would mother me and scoop me into her arms and gently rock away that pain. Rather than the love I desired, she turned to darkness, avoiding my pleas and touches - behaving as if I were unworthy of life and affection. These are the memories I am left with when I think of her return adventure to her homeland.

It was late in the 70's that I recall a shoebox my mother always hid on the top shelf of a linen closet. In this box contained pictures and letters written in her native tongue - all of which she would never translate nor read to a child eager to know of grandparents or uncles so far away. What she did tell me - often out of loathe - was that her father had wrote her professing an end to the war and a request for her to return home. When she informed him of my existence, his reply was to leave me behind and return alone. I was the sole reason she never returned, and she made no bones about reminding me of the burden I'd put upon her. Obligation as a mother prevented her from going home, prevented her from the existence she desired. She made it clear that she despised me for this, and I'm almost certain that she carries this animosity yet today.

As I was the burden, my middle sister was an attempt to save a dying and loveless marriage. The youngest sister was created to serve as a teacher to the middle child, as doctors speculated that the 7 year difference between her and I was too broad for a child with special needs to mimic from. In between these pro creations my parents slept in separate rooms and separate beds. Perhaps it is these reasons why my mother favors my youngest sister, or maybe it is because she too was the youngest in her family.

There are days, like today, where I equally loathe both my youngest sister and my mother for the feelings of inadequacy I am left with.

My sister has always realized the vantage point she sits upon. Knowing that she's the favorite, as well as her offspring, gives her leverage for preferential treatment when gifts or financial rescues are granted. I know that she didn't conscientiously choose this favoritism based on birth order. She has however, evolved to expect these gifts and never hesitates to boast about her superiority, nor does her children hesitate to remind my daughters of their inferiority when gifts are mailed from grandma.

Rather than despair about inequality and wallow in self-pity, I have vowed to let God deal with the things they do, but I must admit, I have a hard time waiting patiently for justice.

More than this, I worry about history repeating itself within my daughters. My oldest; brooding, needy, transcending into adulthood and pushing away from my protection, while my youngest, knowing she is the last, lavishes in the love of a despairing mother clinging onto the desire for the unconditional love a young child offers. Each two very different individuals, as my youngest sister and I, and I wonder if time will find me in my mother's shoes - granting preferential treatment of one over the other. Despite my vows of equality amoung my girls, I worry that one day I may find myself loathing my oldest because of opportunites I bypassed for her well-being as my mother does me. I worry that the rift of these teen years will rip apart the fragile fibers woven between mother and child, and I pray with passion that she will never know the emptiness that fills one's soul upon realizing the void of a mother's love - this very void I am left with today.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Kevin's Girl

'Forever Your Girl (Video)' by Paula Abdul
'Forever Your Girl (Video)' by Paula Abdul

Housecleaning Tips


This was simply too much of a time saver not to share it with you.

1. Put both lids of the toilet up and add 1/8 cup of pet shampoo to the water in the bowl.

2. Pick up the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom.

3. In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close the lid. You may need to stand on the lid.

4. The cat will self agitate and make ample suds. Never mind the noises that come from the toilet, the cat is actually enjoying this.

5. Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a 'power-wash' and rinse'.

6. Have someone open the front door of your home. Be sure that there are no people between the bathroom and the front door.

7. Stand behind the toilet as far as you can, and quickly lift the lid.

8. The cat will rocket out of the toilet, streak through the bathroom, and run outside where he will dry himself off.

9. Both the commode and the cat will be sparkling clean.


The Dog

Monday, February 9, 2009

Scatter Kindness

"No kind action ever stops
with itself. One kind action
leads to another. Good example
is followed. A single act of
kindness throws out roots in
all directions, and the roots spring
up and make new trees. The
greatest work that kindness does to
others is that it makes them
kind to themselves."
Amelia Earhart, U.S. Pilot

Friday, February 6, 2009

First help thy neighbor

I know you think you should
make a trip to Calcutta,
but I strongly advise you to save your
airfare and spend it on the poor in your
own country. It's easy to love people far away.
It's not always easy to love those who live right
next to us. There are thousands of people
dying for a bit of bread, but there are thousands
more dying for a bit of love or a bit of acknowledgement.
The truth is that the worst disease today is not
leprosy or tuberculosis; it's being unwanted,
it's being left out, it's being forgotten.
Mother Teresa

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


"It really doesn't matter
if the person who
hurt you deserves to
be forgiven. Forgiveness is a
gift you give yourself. You have
things to do and you
want to move on."


Since you get more joy out
of giving joy to others,
you should put a good deal
of thought into the happiness
that you are able to give.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Secret of Being Happy

One of the things I keep

learning is that the secret

of being happy is doing

things for other people.

~*~ Dick Gregory

Everyday is Christmas

Every day is Christmas
When you have the kind of mind,
That stores up all the goodness
And the sweetness it can find.
When you don't need an occassion,
To spread a bit of cheer,
But just keep on a-giving,
Of yourself throughout the year.

Every day is Christmas,
With a gaily wrapped surprise,
When you've learned
To see the friendship,
In someone else's eyes.
When you try a little harder,
And complain a little less,
Holding fast to all the fervor
Of the faith that you possess.

Every day is Christmas,
When you've found that you can be
More concerned with words like "you"
And less with "I" and "me".
When it's fun to do a favor,
And to lend a helping a hand,
When being understood means less,
Than when you understand.

Every day is Christmas,
With a beauty deeply cast,
When you find it doesn't matter,
If you're first or if you're last.
When you can face your conscience,
And be glad of what you are,
Then every day is Christmas,
With a stable and a star.

Personal War

Be always at war with your
vices, at peace with your
neighbors, and let each
new year find you
a better man.
Benjamin Franklin

Seeing Goodness

Rejoice and be glad. That is a hard request when pain and fatigue are constant companions. Isn't it annoying when people tell us to smile sometimes? And don't you just want to smack the yellow smile face stickers?

Did I make you smile? It does help really. Medical studies have shown us that laughter is good for us physically. But even if we cannot manage to find it in us to laugh out loud, we can be joyful in our spirit.

On even my worst days I try to look for things to lighten my heart. One of my favorite mugs states simply ..."Life is good" There are many good things to find in each day. Simple things. A warm cup of tea. A soft fleece blanket. The purr of my kitties. Just recently on a cold windy day I stepped onto the porch and found a tiny wild violet growing near my porch. I pressed it and put it in my Bible,maybe God put it there just that day, just for me.

I take joy in a warm bowl of homemade soup. The birds that flock to my feeder. The smile of a child. The blue of the sky on a clear day,and the peaceful sound of raindrops while I rest on the couch. Dear friends life is good. God is good. All the time.

The Road to Happiness

The road to happiness lies
in two simple principles: find
what it is that interests you
and that you can do well, and
when you find it, put your
whole soul into it -- every bit of
energy and ambition and
natural ability you have.
John D. Rockefeller III


Nothing is ever
lost by courtesy.
It is the
cheapest of
costs nothing,
and conveys
Erastus Wiman

A Meaningful Life

A meaningful life will not be found
in the next job or the next car.
The way you get meaning in your life
is to devote yourself to helping others
and creating something that
gives you purpose."
~~Morrie Schwartz in
Tuesdays with
Morrie by Mitch Albom

Each New Challenge

Each New Challenge

The faster you move forward, the more the wind blows against your face. When you encounter much difficulty and resistance, it is because you're in the process of making significant progress.
Those who have no problems are those who never venture out to accomplish anything. Those who face the most challenges are those who end up creating the most value.

When a particular problem arises, it is because you have progressed to the point where you can deal with it. When a challenge comes along, that's because you are truly ready for where it can bring you.

See the obstacles as gateways and you'll see their true value. Each new challenge is a stepping stone, a way point on the journey to real and meaningful accomplishment.

Feel the stiff wind as it blows against your face. And know that what you're feeling is your rapid movement forward.

~~Ralph Marston