Wednesday, August 25, 2010

8 Nouns That Describe My Life

1. Family
My family is my blessing. Everything I do is connected to them – whether my career or my academics, all have the purpose of my family’s welfare in mind.

2. Children
I’m happiest when I’m surrounded by the sound of children’s laughter – either my own children or those I work towards making a difference in their lives.

3. Teaching
I’m working on obtaining my masters in education – one baby step at a time. As impatient as I know I am – I need to focus on the journey rather than the destination.

4. Hobbies
My hands and my mind are constantly looking for kinesthetic activities to keep them busy. I knit, crochet, scrapbook, do ceramics and porcelain dolls, and sew the most. I also enjoy looking at my finished work in the gardens or having a nice dinner I’ve thrown together (even though I swear I hate the process) with my family. I do love baking cookies though – especially around the holidays.

5. Laugh
Laughter is my muse. I enjoy laughing and making others laugh – even if I have an odd sense of humor.

6. Learning
I love learning about the world around me and why things are the way they are. Of all the reasons for life – I choose to be a participant and a spectator.

7. Love
I’m passionate about those I love and try to share that love with others in hopes of making the world a better place.

8. Time
Time is a commodity I never have enough of. There are never enough of those moments to appreciate the simple things in life before they change in the blink of an eye.

You are the call and I am the answer

Bei Hennef - a poem by D.H.Lawrence

Bei Hennef

The little river twittering in the twilight,
The wan, wondering look of the pale sky,
This is almost bliss.

And everything shut up and gone to sleep,
All the troubles and anxieties and pain
Gone under the twilight.

Only the twilight now, and the soft "Sh!" of the river
That will last for ever.

And at last I know my love for you is here;
I can see it all, it is whole like the twilight,
It is large, so large, I could not see it before,
Because of the little lights and flickers and interruptions,
Troubles, anxieties and pains.

You are the call and I am the answer,
You are the wish, and I the fulfilment,
You are the night, and I the day.
What else - it is perfect enough.
It is perfectly complete,
You and I,
What more-?

Strange, how we suffer in spite of this.

D. H. Lawrence

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Be generous

Be generous with your encouragement and frugal with your judgment. Learn to gratefully accept whatever comes, and to make positive use of whatever you have.
Give your love and your kindness just because you can. Do a little less analyzing and a lot more living.

Become skilled at quickly letting go of those things that don't really matter anyway. Rise above the distractions and give the power of your focus to what you know is truly important.

When you stumble, go ahead and get back up. When you're making good progress, be sincerely thankful and keep on going.

Recognize the unique beauty that is in each moment. Fulfill the value that is in every situation.

Real, meaningful success is ready to happen for you. Smile, and let it be.

Ralph Marston

Love without concern

Love, without concern over whether you'll be loved in return. You will be.
Diligently and effectively put forth your best effort, without concern for the result. It will be worth your while.

Speak honestly and from the heart, without concern for what others will think. They will respect you for it.

Move boldly and intently toward the goals you have set, without concern about the challenges that might come along. You will find a way to get through every challenge.

Connect with and explore your deepest purpose, without concern for how you will express it. You will find opportunities in every circumstance.

Live fully with joy and positive purpose in this moment, without concern about when it will end. You will experience a total presence that leaves all limitations behind.

Ralph Marston

Each day is a gift

"Each day offers us the gift of being a special occasion

if we can simply learn that as well as giving,
it is blessed to receive with grace and
a grateful heart."
Sarah Ban Breathnach

Happiness comes from giving

Happiness Comes from Giving

This story is about a beautiful, expensively dressed lady who complained to her psychiatrist that she felt that her whole life was empty, it had no meaning.
So, the lady went to visit a counselor to seek out happiness. The counselor called over the old lady who cleaned the office floors. The counselor then said to the rich lady"I'm going to ask Mary here to tell you how she found happiness. All I want you to do is listen to her."
So the old lady put down her broom and sat on a chair and told her story: "Well, my husband died of malaria and three months later my only son was killed by a car.
I had nobody... I had nothing left. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat, I never smiled at anyone, I even thought of taking my own life. Then one evening a little kitten followed me home from work. Somehow I felt sorry for that kitten. It was cold outside, so I decided to let the kitten in. I got it some milk, and the kitten licked the plate cle an. Then it purred and rubbed against my leg and for the first time in months, I smiled. Then I stopped to think, if helping a little kitten could make me smile, maybe doing something for people could make me happy. So the next day I baked some biscuits and took them to a neighbor who was sick in bed. Every day I tried to do something nice for someone. It made me so happy to see them happy. Today, I don't know of anybody who sleeps and eats better than I do. I've found happiness, by giving it to others."
When she heard that the rich lady cried. She had everything that money could buy, but she had lost the things which money cannot buy.

Focus on the Joy

Cherish, Love & Respect Yourself
by Jane Powell

“Focus on the joy.”

How many things in your daily life do you do just for the joy of it?

When you do something just for the “joy” of it you are not worried about what you get in return, nor do you do it because you “should” or “have-to.” You do it because you want to.

As you infuse your life with this kind of joy, you internalize the message that you cherish, love and respect yourself. Your self-esteem, self-confidence and self-worth all get a boost because you’re doing things that are important to YOU.

Do something today, just for the “joy” of it. When you experience joy, others around you feel it too!

Enthusiasm is like a magnet

The Massive Power Your Enthusiasm Holds
by Jane Powell “The power of enthusiasm works like a magnet.”

The more excited you are about accomplishing something important to you, the more excited others will be about helping out. Enthusiastic emotions are contagious.

Many great people committed to worthy causes are full of enthusiasm. Their infectious excitement naturally attracts the help and support of others.

The more passion you have for your life and activities, the more charisma and enthusiasm you will communicate. These two traits draw people to you like magnets.

Use the power of your enthusiasm and watch how effortlessly you attract the support of others into your life.

Do it with love and joy

In what you do, whatever it is, do it with love and joy. Make each moment precious by appreciating the value that is surely there.
Give your best attitude and expectations to those around you. Brighten every place you go.
Life is filled with outstanding possibilities. In every situation there is great value.

Continually celebrate the good fortune of being alive and aware and able to make a difference. Go forward carrying the assumption that life is filled with goodness, and events will prove that assumption to be true.

Live with love and genuine appreciation for all that is around you. Give your own unique meaning to the abundance in which you're immersed.

With love, see the true, magnificent value of what you have this day. With love, make it even greater.

Ralph Marston


Manners are a

sensitive awareness of

the feelings of others. If you have

that awareness, you have good manners,

no matter what fork you use.

Emily Post

How we treat others

Being rude doesn't feel very good even while you're doing it. Being genuinely considerate, on the other hand, can leave you feeling more positive and empowered for a long time afterward.

Rudeness and arrogance are unmistakable signs of weakness and insecurity. Kindness and polite consideration are reliable indicators of rock-solid confidence and strength.

How do you treat those whom you have no reason to impress, from whom you have nothing to gain? It says a lot about you, and people do indeed notice.

Those who are truly in a position of responsibility have no need for arrogance. Any positive impression you seek to make through arrogance or rudeness is immediately contradicted by the arrogance itself.

Don't let your own arrogance waste your energy and set you back. Use each encounter as an opportunity to offer genuine respect and kindness.

Lift up the lives of those around you. And you lift up your whole world.

Ralph Marston

What you scatter

I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.

Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.

'Hello Barry, how are you today?'

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

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

'Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time..'

'Good... Anything I can help you with?'

'No, Sir. Jus' admirin' th em peas..'

'Would you like to take some home?' asked Mr. Miller.

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

'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?'

'All I got's my prize marble here.'

'Is that right? Let me see it' said Miller.

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

'I can see that. Hmm mmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?' the store owner asked.

'Not zackley but almost.'

'Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble'. Mr. Miller told the boy.

'Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.'

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me.

With a smile she said, 'There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever.

When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.'

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado , but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.
Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket.

Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

'Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about.

They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size.....they came to pay their debt.'

'We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,' she confided, 'but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho .'

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

The Moral :
We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.

Words can hurt

Be ever mindful that your words can harm

or they can heal. Choose what you say to

yourself and to others carefully. Use

your words to comfort and heal rather

than to injure.


Don't just sit around

Don't sit around waiting for enough energy

to get going. Get yourself moving and you'll create

the energy necessary to keep you in motion.

Do you just not feel like doing anything?

That's the time when you can make the

biggest positive difference for yourself

by going ahead and taking action anyway.

In ways small and large, your world right now is filled with

opportunities to make a difference. Take the initiative.

The only thing you need to take the first step is your

decision to do it. Take that first step

and put momentum solidly on your side.

If you think you can't do it, stop thinking and start doing.

The smallest positive action can begin to erase even the biggest doubt.

This is a day that you can fill with valuable and

purposeful accomplishment.

Take the initiative, and make something of it right now.

Ralph Marston

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A bed for baby and me

Today we went to Big Lots to pick up the rest of the bed for Molly and me. I’ve grown tired of sleeping near the floor and was looking forward to a good night’s sleep somewhere above 5 inches from the ground. Molly had been pining for a buggy stroller she had seen when we picked up the mattress part of the bed and as we had promised her to get the stroller when we picked up the bed, she’d began counting the days down until mom got paid again.

Ironically, it was the same gentleman that had helped us choose the mattress we had bought the last time we were there and he had remembered us well. He asked if we had measured the throughway to accommodate the box spring to help us decide if we needed a split boxed spring set or a regular set. Hoping to save money – the split boxed spring was more expensive – I had Kevin measure the area we had to pass through; a task I was too lazy to undertake and boy am I paying for it now!

While waiting for Kevin to bring up the truck, the gentleman asked me why the height from the floor was so important to me. I sheepishly admitted that I needed the under bed storage space for my yarn stash. He laughed hysterically. Apparently, his wife uses the under the bed area to store her 100+ pairs of shoes.

Personally, I’ve never been much of a shoe hound. I’ve simply found no good reason to own more shoes than you can wear in a lifetime. Off the top of my head, I think I have 6 pairs of shoes; 1 pair of sneakers, 2 pair of sandals, 1 pair of pumps, 1 pair of boots and a pair of flip flops for those rare occasions when I get a pedicure. What’s the deal with shoes?

I suppose those things that you spend your money on are those most important to you. For some it may be shoes – for me – well, I guess it’s yarn and power tools. I never claimed to be normal.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Don't look back

Don't look back on what has happened,
Disappointments and sad things...
Instead look toward the future,
And the joy that each day brings.

Don't live your life unhappy,
From things already done...
Concentrate on your accomplishments,
Battles fought that you have won.

The chapters of your life are like,
A book you might have written...
Full of fun and many good times,
And those when you were bitten.

Looking back will serve no purpose,
And is a waste of time...
Mere lessons from the book of life,
That guide you down the line.

Don't look back upon your failures,
Instead keep moving on...
For life is what you make it,
And too soon has come and gone.
© Loree (Mason) O'Neil

Truth Behind the Words

Truth Behind the Words

There's always a little truth
behind every "just kidding",
A little knowledge behind
every "I don't know",
A little emotion behind
every "I don't care",
A little pain behind
every "it's ok."


If you chase happiness, it will run away faster than you can catch up with it. Why is that?
Because when you strive to create happiness, that very act of striving pushes the happiness away. The more you want it, the less you have of it.

Happiness is not something you can go out and get. Real happiness does not have to depend on creating a certain set of circumstances.

Happiness is a way you can choose to be. And you can simply choose it at any time, in any circumstance.

When you do, you instantly become more creative and effective, more authentic and fully alive. Living from a perspective of happiness, you're able to live at your best because you see positive value everywhere you look.

Stop striving to get happiness and just choose to be happy, right where you are. Give your happiness to life, and watch as its positive power fills your world.

Ralph Marston

To be alive

Feel what a privilege it is to
be alive today. Consider all
The possibilities available
to you, right now.
See the wonder and the beauty
all around you. Let yourself
Truly love who you are and
where you are in this moment.
Sense the eagerness within
you to get started, to make
Things happen, and to create
value. That eagerness comes
From your genuine excitement
about expressing yourself
Through your accomplishments.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


You can make your life a triumph in spite of every adversity. Or you could make your life a mess in spite of every advantage.
Success does not depend on where you start. If it did, no one would have ever been successful.

Success comes from what you choose to do with whatever you have. It is fully available to anyone who decides to make the effort and the commitment.

Whatever the day holds, it also holds the possibility of success and achievement. Whatever the situation may be, there is a way to create real value from it.

Choose to see the positive possibilities, and you will. Choose to follow those possibilities, and success takes root.

The opportunity for success is always yours, and so is the responsibility. Decide to do what it takes, and create the success that is your own special destiny.

Ralph Marston

Be a force of goodness

Be a force of goodness in this world. Be a source of light.
Let the joy you imagine flow out from you and take on a life of its own. Give love and see it grow.

Feel the dreams and values and visions that are most authentically you. Let them guide your thoughts and actions.

You are beautiful in your very own way. That special beauty is your gift to life, so give freely and enjoy each precious day.

Live true to what you know is good and what you know is right. What you gain by so doing is truly worth having.

Feel the miracle of which you are a part. And live the goodness in every moment.

Ralph Marston

Follow your dreams

When you are doing what you know you are meant to do, there's no need to struggle. Instead of difficult or challenging or frustrating, there is simply doing.
When you are merely interested, or when you're following someone else's dream, anything can distract you. Yet when you're pursuing your very own passion, nothing has the power to stop you.

True passion is not a matter of gritting your teeth and forcing yourself to take action. True passion is allowing all your words, thoughts and actions to resonate with who you most authentically are.

There's no reason to fight against yourself. Instead, allow yourself in every moment to live out those interests, qualities, longings, ideals and purposes that you value most.

There is a reason why some things feel right and other things don't. Pay attention to those feelings, for they tell you who you truly are.

From your own beautiful, unique spirit can flow a wealth of goodness and meaningful achievement. Feel it, know it, allow it and it will come.

Ralph Marston

Take five

Protect Your Energy
by Jane Powell

“Take Five.”

There’s nothing worse than being overloaded with tasks and having minimal control over your amount of work, especially when you’re feeling the pressure of deadlines. The longer this goes on, the more frustrated and unhappy you start to feel.

It’s not worth it! You need to take care of yourself. Take a break if you need it, and get back in touch with yourself.

Something as simple as a five-minute walk can do wonders. It gives you time to think clearly, relax and put things back in perspective.

Remember, that you can only do what you can do, and stressing out over the impossible wastes the precious energy you need for the rest of your life.

So, take five, and feel glad to be alive.

Set your standards

Let us be about setting high standards for life, love,
creativity, and wisdom. If our expectations in
these areas are low, we are not likely
to experience wellness. Setting high
standards makes every day and
every decade worth looking forward to.
Greg Anderson

Choose your path

Do not ask to walk smooth paths
nor bear an easy load.
But yet pray for strength to climb
the rocky road.
May you have the courage to cope with
the hardest peaks along the way;
and then you shall learn to transform
each and every stumbling block
into a stepping stone.

Keep your heart

Keep your heart free from hate,
Your mind from worry.
Live simply.
Expect little.
Give much.
Scatter sunshine.
Forget self,
Think of others.

Andrew Vincent Peale

Love him or hate him, he sure hits the nail on the head with this! Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2 : The world won't care about your self-esteem.. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity.

Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping:

they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So, before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters.

You don't get summers off and

very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life.

In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and

go to their jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds.

Chances are you'll end up working for one.

You have this day

You have this day, this moment. No one has any more or any less.
Thinking that you are too old, or too young, or too much this, or too little that, is merely a deception you impose upon yourself. Focus instead on what you can do right now.

This is a moment to take your most highly cherished values and put them into action. This is the day to give life to your dreams.

Right now you have the opportunity to do something with this day. Right now you are in a position to express the beautiful, unique person you are.

No matter what the circumstances may be, the conditions are always right for making a positive contribution in your own special way. Whatever may have happened before, this moment right now is when you can make a difference.

Consider how truly fortunate you are to be here in this moment. Then get going and make something great out of that good fortune.
Ralph Marston

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Life is Subject to Change

What was happy can turn to sad, things get
rearranged and nothing stays the same. You cannot
always choose the changes that come your way.
But you can always choose your response. Whether
you are facing an empty nest, life after divorce, a
new city, change in your health or a change in your
daily job policy and procedures, change in weather or
a change of heart from a friend/lover/spouse, learn to
adapt rather than be a victim of change.

Sometimes change is needed but you want to hold on
in spite of the writing on the wall. The need to
change or let go can be obvious, inevitable and the
signs are everywhere to be seen and heard. You
may be resisting change with all your will in fear of
the unknown or the need to have what's comfortable
and familiar remain status quo.

Just like the seasons change, your life
changes. You have to be open to the change that
is coming and willing to learn the lesson it often offer."

Jewel Diamond Taylor

Showing someone you care

Receiving a loving hug from a parent,
or perhaps a smile from a friend, or even
a stranger, give us a special feeling inside.

We know we are important to others when they
show us their love through attention.
And we sometimes forget that we matter to others.

Family members and friends feel good in the
same way when we show them our love.
Everyone needs to be loved.

How can we show our love?
It might be through a hug.
Doing a favor for someone is loving.
Helping around the house or the yard
is loving, particularly when we've
volunteered our help.

Giving an unexpected gift to a friend is a
way of showing love.

What new way can we show someone
that we care today?

Why settle for less?

Why Settle for Less?
by Jane Powell

“Believe in yourself and set your standards high.”

Next time you’re tempted to settle for something less than ideal – a man, a job, a home, a friend’s behavior… perhaps even a pair of shoes – stop!

You’re a woman of many talents and inner strengths. Your gifts enhance life and nurture so many. You deserve and are worthy of far more than second best. So, why accept less?

Never settle! Be discerning. Be demanding. Instead of lowering your standards, wait for the quality you deserve. The wait will be worth it.
Jane Powell

Isn't love grand?

I had lunch with 2 of my unmarried friends. One is engaged, one is a
mistress and I have been married for 20+ years. We were chatting about
our relationships and decided to amaze our men by greeting them at the door
wearing a black bra, stiletto heels and a mask over our eyes.

We agreed to meet in a few days to exchange notes.

Here's how it all went.

My engaged friend:
The other night when my boyfriend came over he found me with a black
leather bodice, tall stilettos and a mask.He saw me and said,'You are the
woman of my dreams. I love you.' Then we made passionate love all night

The mistress:
Me too! The other night I met my lover at his office and I was wearing a
raincoat,under it only the black bra,heels and mask over my eyes. When I
opened the raincoat he didn't say a word but he started to tremble and we
had wild sex all night.

Then I had to share my story:
When my husband came home I was wearing the black bra,black
stockings,stilettos and a mask over my eyes.
When he came in the door and saw me he said, 'What's for dinner, Batman?'

For the love of Dogs

I love and miss my Cody! This article really upset me -|htmlws-main-n|dl5|link3|

The love you give away is the only love you keep.

I've been reading a lot about making socks for other people and how difficult it is when the receiver isn't pleased with the gift. I've had many similar experiences with this and therefore can empathize very much with those crafters who feel slighted at the response they get from the receiver.

For me, craft work is a way of life for me. I love looking at my finished worked (we've talked about this before) and seeing that I made something with my hands from little to nothing at all. Regardless of quality of product I'm using or the project itself - perhaps the bottom line is that every piece I work is done with love; both the love of the craft and for the love of that person.

In further thinking of this thread of discussion - I've had to re-think my position on the work or the finished product banter we had a bit ago and admit that I do take some pleasure in the process of the project far more than I want to believe I do. Each piece is like a time vault - the time I invested in working the piece - (and I am one to take craft work with me wherever I go to keep my hands busy) details the life I'm living at the moment and the emotions I'm dealing with when working the piece.

It is therefore expected that some crafters would and somewhat should be a little upset when the receiver of the gift isn't as appreciative as we'd hope they'd be. I think this is a big reason why many crafters don't make things for money - rather for love. There just isn't enough money in the world to compensate those lost moments of "work", but there is no price you can put on love.

With that being said, I can honestly say that when I do make gifts for others, I do so with a heart full of love. And as such, I wouldn't want someone to put my love in a drawer and forget about it, or look at me disappointedly hoping I was going to give them an iPod rather than a new pair of socks. The gift is the love and the time I dedicate to making that gift. There is no monetary value you can put on love - it is priceless. So of course, it hurts just a little when the receiver isn't happy with the gift, but, such as in life, I've learned that when I give my love and it's not given back, I don't harbor ill will - I just focus my love on others who will be better receptive to it. It is not the acknowledgement I'm looking for from the recipient - its the return of love and a little appreciation. Love sometimes means having to use the 6 slice toaster your mother bought you when you already have two other toasters because she bought it for you. Love sometimes means wearing the lop sided crocheted scarf your daughter made not because it keeps you warm - but because she made it. And yes, love means sometimes wearing a pair of socks you didn't need because the person who made them for you loves you that much.

What usually ends up happening (time and again) is that the person who was so offhanded about my homemade gift eventually realizes what a special treat they've been given, but by then I've filtered them to the bottom of my to do craft list - and they'll just have to wait until everyone else gets some of my love - a long wait by any standard.

My oldest learned this lesson.

Being the first child she had everything hand crafted, but when she got older and started to complain about homemade gifts I focused my work on others (especially her younger sister) and now she begs to have a pair of mom socks.

In all of my time crafting, I can honestly say that I still have not made (ever) anything for myself to keep. Love is best when you give it away generously and I hope the experience has taught my oldest that love is a precious thing that should be appreciated when it's offered so willingly (especially in craft form). Without it - life is not worth living.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kevin vs. Satan

A few minutes before the church services started, the congregation was sitting in their pews talking.
Suddenly, Satan appeared at the front of the church.

Everyone started screaming and running for the back entrance, trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away from evil incarnate.

Soon the church was empty except for one elderly gentleman who sat calmly in his pew without moving, seemingly oblivious to the fact that God’s ultimate enemy was in his presence.

So Satan walked up to the man and said, “Do you know who I am?”

The man replied, “Yep, sure do.”

“Aren’t you afraid of me?” Satan asked.

“Nope, sure ain’t.” said the man.

“Don’t you realize I can kill you with one word?” asked Satan.

“Don’t doubt it for a minute,” returned the old man, in an even tone.

“Did you know that I can cause you profound, horrifying agony?” persisted Satan.

“Yep,” was the calm reply.

“And you’re still not afraid? asked Satan.

“Nope,” said the old man.

More than a little perturbed, Satan asked, “Why aren’t you afraid of me?”

The man calmly replied, “Been married to your sister for 48 years.”

Focus on your talent

Talent does not mean that you have to be an artist who paints
Masterpieces, or a gymnast who does flips. Talent resides
Within you right now, in many different ways.

Caring for others is a talent, teaching is a talent, making people feel
Welcome is a talent, solving problems is a talent and parenting is a talent.

Never underestimate your talents and try not to compare or wish for
The talents of others. Focus on and accept the talents you have,
And you will find great fulfillment in life.


Leave the Light on

Remember, if you light a lamp
for somebody, it will also
brighten your path.



Give kindness, and it keeps going.
Give kindness, and it continues
Long past the original expression.

Kindness inspires more kindness.
A little bit of kindness can go
A long, long way.

But why stop with just a little?
Offer great kindness, again and again,
And you truly change the world.

Think of how good it feels
When someone is kind to you.
Make it your goal to pass
That feeling along to others
Every chance you get.

Give kindness and
Something amazing happens.
Your own strength, confidence
And joy will increase.

Add some kindness to your world today.
And see the positive benefits
As it continues to grow beyond you.
-- Ralph Marston


Time to be Lazy

Allow yourself time to be
lazy and even unproductive.
Rest isn't luxury; it's
a necessity.


Spotting Qualities

Spotting Qualities

A compassionate person develops an eye for spotting the qualities that make each person special. Even when others are at their lowest ebb, it is possible to help them restore their self-belief by keeping a firm, clear vision of their goodness and specialities. Taking a gently encouraging approach, I must never give up on anyone.


Allow yourself comfort and joy

Care for Others Without Resentment
by Jane Powell

“Allow yourself comfort and joy.”

Think about everything you’ve done for other people this week; the ways you brought comfort and joy to partners, children, parents and friends. Now think about the things you did for yourself. Chances are, there’s a big imbalance, right?

As women, we need to remember to nurture our own emotional needs and make our well being a priority. Give yourself permission to feel tired or sad. Comfort yourself with a leisurely bath or an early night with a great book. Stay connected with others and seek joy through a lunch with friends. Why not treat yourself to a bouquet of your favorite flowers? There are so many things you can do.

It’s important that you comfort yourself so you have the energy to take care of others without resentment. Through this you feel comfort and joy!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Just because no one
has been fortunate
enough to realize what
a gold mine you are,
doesn't mean you
shine any less.

Be Blessed by Stress

I'm glad each morning when I rise.

I'm glad for the breath and health inside.

I'm glad I can hear the birds sing and musical sounds.

I'm glad for the inner peace I've found.

I'm glad I can see sunsets, faces, trees and rain.

I'm glad I'm getting stronger and overcoming my pain.

I'm glad I can feel and touch my loved ones.

I'm glad I can smell flowers and food in the oven.

I'm glad I'm giving up this stressful race.

I'm glad for each precious day and hour.

I'm glad because of Him, I have power.

I'm glad I'm growing and opening up my mind.

I'm glad that things do get better with time.

I'm glad when others are pleasant and give me a smile.

I'm glad for what I'm learning each miracle mile.

I'm glad to know His love sets me free.

I'm glad to learn to let go of worry, anger, self-pity and mess.

I'm glad because now I know...I'm too blessed to be stressed.

Jewel Diamond Taylor

Cup of Tea ~

One day my mother was out, and my dad was in charge of me.
I was maybe 2 1/2 years old. Someone had given me a little 'tea set' as a gift, and it was one of my favorite toys.
Daddy was in the living room engrossed in the evening news when I brought Daddy a little cup of 'tea', which was just water. After several cups of tea and lots of praise for such yummy tea, my Mom came home.
My Dad made her wait in the living room to watch me bring him a cup of tea, because it was 'just the cutest thing!' My Mom waited, and sure enough, here I came down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy; and she watched him drink it up.
Then she said, (as only a mother would know), "'Did it ever occur to you that the only place she can reach to get water is the toilet?"

In a Moment

"The moment we begin to fear the
opinions of others and hesitate to tell the
truth that is in us, and from
motives of policy are silent when we should
speak, the divine floods of
light and life no longer
flow into our souls."-
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 1890

Learn to Love

Learn to love
Learn to love the challenges, and you will grow stronger. Learn to love putting forth effort, and you'll find yourself becoming more capable and effective.
Learn to love making a positive contribution, and your life will grow richer. Learn to love being around people who are different than you, and you'll gain many valuable new perspectives.

Learn to love discovering what you do not know, and your knowledge will greatly expand. Learn to love truly listening, and your wisdom will increase.

Learn to love giving, and your life will be blessed. Learn to love being thankful, and you'll know real abundance.

Learn to love the ordinary moments, and you'll find each day filled with warm golden treasures. Learn to love simply being, and you'll rise to a whole new level of awareness.

Learn to love something about each day, and your days will bring rich fulfillment. Learn to love, and you'll know how to live.

A Smile

Few things in the world
are more powerful
than a positive push.

A smile.

A word of optimism and hope.

A " you can do it " when times are tough.

Richard M. Devos

Something to Think About

There is no one lonelier,

Than he who must stay inside,

And must depend on others,

To be comfortable and fed,

Who never has a visitor,

To talk to him and smile,

To make the life he has to live,

A little more worthwhile.

He does not ask for magazines,

For candy fruit and such,

But just a friendly visit

And words that mean so much.

He wants to see the sun come out,

In place of all the rain,

And know that someone cares about

His trouble and his pain.

And surely somewhere out of all

The moments made of play,

There must be time to call on him

And say hello today.

“Visit the Sick” by James Metcalfe

Seeing Red

Will you give this to my Daddy?

As a Company, Southwest Airlines is going to support 'Red Fridays.'

Last week I was in Atlanta , Georgia attending a conference. While I was in the airport, returning home, I heard several people behind me beginning to clap and cheer. I immediately turned around and witnessed one of the greatest acts of patriotism I have ever seen.

Moving through the terminal was a group of soldiers in their camos. As they began heading to their gate, everyone (well almost everyone) was abruptly to their feet with their hands waving and cheering.

When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and cheered for, it hit me. I'm not alone. I'm not the only red-blooded American who still loves this country and supports our troops and their families.

Of course I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so we can go to school, work and home without fear or reprisal.

Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of our service men and women, a young girl, not more than 6 or 7 years old, ran up to one of the male soldiers. He kneeled down and said 'hi.'

The little girl then asked him if he would give something to her daddy for her.

The young soldier, who didn't look any older than maybe 22 himself, said he would try and what did she want to give to her Daddy. Then suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave him the biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek.

The mother of the little girl, who said her daughter's name was Courtney, told the young soldier that her husband was a Marine and had been in Iraq for 11 months now. As the mom was explaining how much her daughter Courtney missed her father, the young soldier began to tear up.

When this temporarily single mom was done explaining her situation, all of the soldiers huddled together for a brief second. Then one of the other servicemen pulled out a military-looking walkie-talkie. They started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it..

After about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to Courtney, bent down and said this to her, 'I spoke to your daddy and he told me to give this to you.' He then hugged this little girl that he had just met and gave her a kiss on the cheek. He finished by saying 'your daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and he is coming home very soon.'

The mom at this point was crying almost uncontrollably and as the young soldier stood to his feet, he saluted Courtney and her mom. I was standing no more than 6 feet away from this entire event.

As the soldiers began to leave, heading towards their gate, people resumed their applause. As I stood there applauding and looked around, there were very few dry eyes, including my own. That young soldier in one last act of selflessness, turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney with a tear rolling down his cheek.

We need to remember everyday all of our soldiers and their families and thank God for them and their sacrifices. At the end of the day, it's good to be an American.

Tequila and Salt

Tequila and Salt

This should probably be taped to your bathroom mirror where one could read it every day.
You may not realize it, but it's 100% true.

1. There are at least two people in this world that you would die for.

2.. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.

3. The only reason anyone would ever hate you is because they want to be just like you.

4. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don't like you.

5. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.

6. You mean the world to someone.

7. You are special and unique.

8. Someone that you don't even know exists loves you.

9. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes from it.

10. When you think the world has turned its back on you take another look.

11. Always remember the compliments you received..

Forget about the rude remarks.


If you are a loving friend,

send this to everyone,

including the one that sent it to you.

If you get it back, then they really do love you.

And always remember...

when life hands you Lemons,

ask for Tequila and Salt and call me over!

Good friends are like stars.........

You don't always see them,

But you know they are always there.

"Whenever God Closes One Door He Always Opens Another,

Even Though Sometimes It's Hell in the Hallway"

I would rather have one rose and a kind word

from a friend while I'm here

than a whole truck load when I'm gone.

Happiness keeps You Sweet,

Trials keep You Strong,

Sorrows keep You Human,

Failures keeps You Humble,

Success keeps You Glowing,

But Only

God keeps You Going

Having a Positive Attitude

A negative attitude can be contagious. Fortunately, so can a positive attitude.

One of the biggest challenges of staying positively focused can come from the negative people who cross your path. Yet instead of letting them get you down, you can choose to lift them up.

When someone is rude to you, the most powerful response is not to reply with your own rudeness. After all, what would that accomplish?

Your best choice in such a situation is to respond with courtesy, kindness, consideration and understanding. Though it may seem strange and unnatural at first, it can have a profoundly positive impact on the situation.

Most people, when given the chance, will be glad for you to rescue them from their own negative momentum. When you come across someone who is clearly in a bad mood, you have the opportunity to be the best part of that person's day.

Seize that opportunity and make the most of it. When you give a little kindness, it can make a big, big difference.

Ralph Marston

Thank You!

Make it a habit to tell people thank you.
To express your appreciation, sincerely

and without the expectation of anything in

return. Truly appreciate those around

you, and you'll soon find many others

around you. Truly appreciate life, and you'll

find that you have more of it.”

—Ralph Marston; author and

publisher of The Daily Motivator


You Have the Opportunity

You have the opportunity, right now, to make today mean something. Instead of just getting through this day, you can live it in such a way that it positively transforms your life and your world.
There is an essential part of you that longs to make a difference. Underneath all the superficial comings and goings of daily life, there is a driving purpose that is your life.

Whatever you may be doing on the outside, there is a way to express the purpose that lives on the inside. The more you discover, explore and stay connected to that purpose, the more rich and fulfilling your life will be.

You can make real and lasting meaning out of the smallest, most seemingly insignificant moment. In this day there are countless chances to do so.

You Can Make a Difference

When things around you seem too noisy, hectic and out of control, be extra calm, peaceful and patient. If the people in your life seem too greedy and selfish, that's the time to be extra loving, giving and sincerely compassionate.
When the world seems a bit too confused and aimless, be extra focused and purposeful. For the world outside will soon reflect back to you the energy you give it.

If you don't like what you see, you have the opportunity to change it by changing the way you are. If there is darkness all around you, that's an opportunity for you to shine your own special light.

Even a small beacon in the darkness will shine for a long, long way. Choose to be the difference that makes a real difference, and your efforts will bear abundant fruit.

When things around you seem to be at their worst, that's when you can accomplish the most by being your best. That's when you can truly make a valuable, much-needed positive difference.

When trouble and confusion surround you, see the situation as the opportunity that it is. Shine your positive light in the face of negativity, and you will change your world.

Challenge Yourself

To sincerely challenge someone is the most loving thing you can do.
The best teachers are not the ones who simply explain the material, but rather the ones who challenge their students to explain it. The best coaches are the ones who refuse to accept anything less than outstanding performance.

The more challenges we have, the more we learn, and the more we grow. Challenge inspires us to innovation. It forces us to look at things in a different way. It motivates us to get starteed. It helps us to persevere when the going gets rough. It makes us strong and gives us the confidence to attempt great things.

Make challenge a part of your experience every day. Challenge yourself. A big enough challenge will force you to be the best you can be. It will bring out strengths and abilities you never knew you had.

Life at its best is a series of challenges. The strength to tackle the big challenges comes from success at overcoming the easy ones. Take on challenges and you will bring yourself to life.

The Story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

I had never heard the story of where Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer came
from. Hard to believe the gesture Montgomery Wards made!

The story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Did you know the origin of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer?
I had never heard this story.
Enjoy and Merry Christmas!!!

A guy named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty

apartment window into the chilling December night.. His 4-year-old daughter,

Barbara, sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bobs wife, Evelyn, was dying of

cancer. Little Barbara couldn't understand why her mommy could never come

home. Barbara looked up into her dads eyes and asked, "Why isn't Mommy just

like everybody else's Mommy?" Bob's jaw tightened and his eyes welled with

tears. Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been

the story of Bob's life. Life always had to be different for Bob. Being

small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too

little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called names he'd

rather not remember.

From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in. Bob did

complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as

a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression. Then he was

blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-lived. Evelyn's bout with

cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were

forced to live in a two-room apartment in the Chicago slums. Evelyn died

just days before Christmas in 1938. Bob struggled to give hope to his child,

for whom he couldn't even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he couldn't

buy a gift, he was determined a make one - a storybook!

Bob had created an animal character in his own mind and told the animal's

story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope. Again and again Bob

told the story, embellishing it more with each telling. Who was the

character? What was the story all about? The story Bob May created was his

own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit

outcast like he was. The name of the character? A little reindeer named

Rudolph, with a big shiny nose.

Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on

Christmas Day. But the story doesn't end there. The general manager of

Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a

nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book. Wards went on to print

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and distribute it to children visiting Santa

Claus in their stores. By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed more than

six million copies of Rudolph. That same year, a major publisher wanted to

purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book. In

an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all rights

back to Bob May. The book became a best seller. Many toy and marketing deals

followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy

from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter.

But the story doesn't end there either. Bob's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks,

made a song adaptation to Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by such

popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore , it was recorded by the

singing cowboy, Gene Autry. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was released in

1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other

Christmas song, with the exception of "White Christmas." The gift of love

that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning to bless

him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear

friend Rudolph, that being different isn't so bad.. In fact, being different

can be a blessing!


Friendship isn't about
who you have
known the longest.....
but about who
came and never
left your side.

Rise above the temptation to QUIT

Rise Above the Temptation to Quit
by Jane Powell

“A person without special gifts, just an I won’t quit! attitude, will succeed.”

Everyone wants to be a success in life. But, unless you make a commitment to never quit no matter what, it may never happen.

The one thing that makes a woman successful is persistence. It’s not talent, not ability, nor education. Just plain old persistence!

Life will always present you with opportunities to succeed, as well as reasons to quit. Rise above the temptation to quit and find an incentive not to give in.

Today, make an I’ll never quit! commitment to yourself. Because you can do anything if you try.



Just Perfect

“Don't wait until everything
is just right. It will never be perfect.
There will always be challenges,
obstacles and less than perfect
conditions. So what. Get started
now. With each step you take,
you will grow stronger and stronger,
more and more skilled, more and
more self-confident and more
and more successful.”
—Mark Victor Hansen,

Mom's Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor, sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground.

I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:

I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze; but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.

I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.

If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.

I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother," because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely.

It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold.

Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always, MOM...

P.S. One more can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa.

Challenged Senior

Challenged senior.

I think about the 30 year business I once ran with 1800 employees, all without a Blackberry that played music, took videos, pictures and communicated with Facebook and Twitter.

I signed up under duress for Twitter and Facebook, so my seven kids, their spouses, 13 grandkids and 2 great grand kids could communicate with me in the modern way. I figured I could handle something as simple as Twitter with only 140 characters of space.
That was before one of my grandkids hooked me up for Tweeter, Tweetree, Twhirl, Twitterfon, Tweetie and Twittererific Tweetdeck, Twitpix and something that sends every message to my cell phone and every other program within the texting world.

My phone was beeping every three minutes with the details of everything except the bowel movements of the entire next generation. I am not ready to live like this. I keep my cell phone in the garage in my golf bag.

The kids bought me a GPS for my last birthday because they say I get lost every now and then going over to the grocery store or library. I keep that in a box under my tool bench with the Blue tooth [it's red] phone I am supposed to use when I drive. I wore it once and was standing in line at Barnes and Noble talking to my wife as everyone in the nearest 50 yards was glaring at me. Seems I have to take my hearing aid out to use it and I got a little loud.

I mean the GPS looked pretty smart on my dash board, but the lady inside was the most annoying, rudest person I had run into in a long time. Every 10 minutes, she would sarcastically say, "Re-calc-ul-ating" You would think that she could be nicer. It was like she could barely tolerate me. She would let go with a deep sigh and then tell me to make a U-turn at the next light. Then when I would make a right turn instead, it was not good.

When I get really lost now, I call my wife and tell her the name of the cross streets and while she is starting to develop the same tone as Gypsy, the GPS lady, at least she loves me.

To be perfectly frank, I am still trying to learn how to use the cordless phones in our house. We have had them for 4 years, but I still haven't figured out how I can lose three phones all at once and have to run around digging under chair cushions and checking bathrooms and the dirty laundry baskets when the phone rings.

The world is just getting too complex for me. They even mess me up every time I go to the grocery store. You would think they could settle on something themselves but this sudden "Paper or Plastic?" every time I check out just knocks me for a loop.

I bought some of those cloth reusable bags to avoid looking confused but I never remember to take them in with me.

Now I toss it back to them. When they ask me, "Paper or Plastic?" I just say, "Doesn't matter to me. I am bi-sacksual."

Then it's their turn to stare at me with a blank look.

Remember me

If I am to be remembered,
I hope it is for the honesty
I try to demonstrate, the
patience I try to live by,
and the compassion
I feel for others.
John Reed