I was never a huge fan of Halloween.  I participated though truth be known I do not like being scared.  When the kids were little I tried to get into it and painted my face green and answered the door in a witch costume.  Then I tired of the costume and it was a hat and makeup then it was a hat.  I think the turning point of no make-up was when I frightened a little boy who came to our house and he almost fell off the porch and I reached out to stop his fall.  I figured I had scarred that child for life.

If we are home we still give out candy.  I have to admit it is cute to see the little kids in their costumes these days.  Many are cuter and less monsters.  I do not like the scream mask and inevitably one usually shows up and scares me to death.  I tend to let others answer the door now in case.

There are the usual horrid stories about rotten people who do untold things that turn my stomach.  Thus the vague way I have alluded to the atrocities.  I do not understand people like that.  Today Halloween takes great trust.  Our grandchildren usually do a trunk and treat at their local church.

My aunt used to spend hours putting together little bags to give out as treats.  I remember one year – not sure if it was Auntie or not – getting a white bag with a marshmallow face on top of a stick to make the whole thing appear as a ghost.  It was filled with candy corn and other appropriate holiday fare.  One cannot do that today as everything has to be prepackaged.   One of my favorite houses to go to gave out nickels – boy I thought that was great too.  I could buy my own candy at the 5 and 10 cent store.  One year we were in an area where few people came and I did the same by giving out quarters – inflation you know!

Lots of schools have Halloween parades.  Glad that was not the norm for us.  Our costumes were what we could make up from what was on hand not the store bought ones we see now.  My sister was wonderful in making costumes for her children.  They were creative and clever.  I made a few.

The best costume I ever made was a tiger for our son’s first Halloween.  I think he must have been almost two.  We did not see the sense in taking him as an infant.  I made this tiger costume.  It had a gold belly and matching hands and feet and hat.  I made the hands and feet and hat unattached against the pattern instructions.  I could not see him confined and if they were not sewn on he could grow a bit and still wear it.  And he did as did others.  I have a bunch of pictures of other little children including our daughter in that costume.  It is a fun memory and great snapshots.

So this year once again the light will be on and the candy ready and hopefully it will be all gone by lights out.  Wonder if Sandy will interfere?


By ktsquared Posted in Trivia



Piece of cake – for us.  Sandy is still raging and we are praying for everyone else who is still in her path.  At 5AM this morning every state east of the Mississippi was being affected by Sandy in rain or wind or snow.  Over 8 million people are without power.  Two million of them are in the New York City area and another 2 million in New Jersey.  New Jersey and New York have been declared disaster areas.  Many an ocean pier has been washed away.  Much of the Boardwalk in Atlantic City has been flooded away.  Many areas were flooded.  There are fires and coming this morning rising tides that will be bringing more water.  Then there was snow on the west side of her in West Virginia.

This epic storm reached from the shore of New Jersey to the shores of the Great Lakes.  Wall Street in New York became a river.  A New York City substation blew up and power was lost.  Sandy directly involved 17 states.  At one point the entire Atlantic Seaboard from Virginia to Maine was under assault from Sandy.    

The work that meteorologists do is breath taking in its scope.  We could see the path and estimated times of arrival.  They were not far off.  For us it appeared that it was going to go directly over our house – literally.  Maybe that was the best place to be.  Many times when storms are coming our way they veer north or south and we sit in a small trough and get no weather when I might want a rainy or snowy day.  This time I am grateful. 

This storm was the most interesting weather mix I have ever seen.   I do not understand all the intricacies of it still.  I know we had one storm coming from the west to east.  We had Sandy coming up the coast with a 1000 mile wide storm area.  It came up and turned from the east to west.  The storms were going to meet.  The winds came in 90 mph gusts.  We had, if we could have seen it, a full moon phase of the lunar cycle.  During the course of the storm we had high tides bringing more water in larger measure than normal.

I think the best thing was the preparedness that has so improved since Katrina.  We who were not involved in Katrina sat by and watched as authorities failed to implement plans. We watched people not heed warnings.  We saw loss of life.  I believe people watched listened and learned.  There seems to be much more warning and much more listening and much less loss of life as people prepare.

We made all the preparations that we could.  Sandy stopped by though ever so lightly.  The most we got was strong wind and rain.  After that when the eye arrived it was the eerie quiet then a little more of the same.  The hardest thing was sitting up babysitting the power so we could start the generator if it went out. It never did. We got off easy.  We sigh a big ‘thank you Lord’ of relief.

I started with a flippant remark and I end with sincere belief.  While we are now cleaning up in this country even with the wet and rain still here blowing I believe that all will be well soon.  You will see the kindness of strangers kick in as America does what she does best – pull together to help each other.  Neighbors will help neighbors.  Strangers will send canned goods and monies to alleviate the costs of restructuring.  Sandy may have devastated, still be devastating, our country, she cannot destroy our goodness. 




On Friday of last week we got a call from our county emergency preparedness line telling us that a state of emergency was being declared and we had to be prepared for the coming storm.  They said that we could get further info via phone.  If we wanted to list a cell phone for notifications we were to go to their website and do so.  This is the second time we have received this kind of call.  The other time was Hurricane Irene.  We prepared for Irene. 

Well we are prepared all the time.  I grew up in the state of Maine.  We have weather there – all sorts.  We have hurricanes, snowstorms, blizzards, nor’easters.  I am not sure I have ever heard of a tornado in Maine.  We experienced that living in Missouri.  It was North Carolina that taught me the lesson.

When we moved from Maine I let my cellar pantry go.  The house we were moving into had a lovely large kitchen pantry though it was not as large as a basement.  In North Carolina I thought I would only keep 5# of flour ahead as the store was ten minutes away not 30 if I should run out of something.  I thought that the weather would be calmer with few storms until the first snow was predicted. 

I normally went to the grocery at 8:30AM after the school bus came and continued the same in NC.  One day I was coming out of the store an hour or so later and droves of people were coming into the parking lot.  I could not imagine what was happening.  I heard the snow prediction on the radio.  Once the flurries came accident upon accident happened as I judged people did not know how to drive in snow.  I vowed to stock the pantry as much as I could like Maine.  I did not want to be on the roads if weather came as these people did not seem to know how to handle snow.  I have kept that up ever since.  I have 25# of flour, bottled water, powdered milk, canned milk, and canned goods of all sorts in our basement.  I do not need to ever go prepare for a storm.  I live in a state of readiness.  Then again I am also married to an Eagle Scout!

For Irene we added a generator to our preparedness.  I am not so sure it was simply for Irene or also for the fact that we are anticipating getting another travel trailer of some sort.  It served two purposes at the time of purchase.

Cute story – our neighbor spoke with my husband about Irene the coming storm.  There was the possibility of loosing power and we have sump pumps in our basements.  If that pump stops then the basement floods.  The generator will alleviate that.  My husband told the neighbor we had a small 1000W generator to take care of our pump.  It was a good idea he thought.  The next thing we knew he had a whopping 7000W generator under his deck.

Irene only brought rain to us though we were all prepared.  My husband had a tarp set over our garage so the generator could be outside and he could start it without getting wet.  Our neighbors 7000W beauty did not get used either.  He has, and deservedly so, taken full credit for the lack of disturbance from Irene.  He believes he scared the daylights out of that storm.  I did not disagree and took him cookies later that week!

So we are facing Sandy.  Last summer my husband decided since he had not used the 1000W that he would trade it in on a 4000W as there was a better sale at Harbor Freight and Salvage – his store of choice.  The 4000W is gassed and ready.  We have 5gal. of gas ready.  Both vehicles have full tanks.  We have milk, bread and other essentials on the shelves. 

This could be a really big deal.  Sandy is coming up the coast and going to meet up with a storm coming from the west.  Together they are being called the Perfect Storm or the Storm of the Century.  Worse than Irene is the forecast.  We will see. 

We have no control over the weather.  We do not panic.  We prepare.  We pray.  We pray that those who have experienced this storm are okay and will get back to normal quickly.  We pray that those who are in its path have taken the prescribed precautions.  We pray that once Sandy hits the land that she tuckers out and her strength is diminished to a rain occurrence only.  If she does not we pray that no harm comes to anyone for the duration of her wrath.

We are ready.  If we lose power we will survive.  We have flashlights and batteries for our radios.  We can read.  While I will not be able to iron I can still work at cleaning out the basement and setting up my craft cave!  OR NOT! Sandy will hopefully be no more than an inconvenience.




In church this week I sat behind a mother with four daughters.  They were very pretty girls.  I am thinking they aged from 13/14 down to about 5/6.  The youngest two were very busy ladies and the littlest knew all of Mom’s buttons and pushed away during the service.  The mom must have been tired by the time they left.  It was the third daughter that caught my eye.

This little girl was a beauty.  While her sisters were pretty and cute she had a little bit of a different air about her.  The oldest two girls had the ‘required’ long straight hair and the littlest had hers in a ponytail/bun atop her head.  The third girl had a nicely cut one length bob and her hair was a bit more blonde than the others.  It was a perfect style for her.  I looked further.

She had on a shiny athletic jacket with white piping on it.  Her skirt was layered ruffle and looked to be more like a tu-tu in fabric.  It was then I noticed the shoes.  She was wearing flip flops.  Now this whole picture really was a statement in and of itself.  Either her mother was rushed and did not care about clothes when it came to her or she came from dance or she chose her outfit carefully.  Since all the other girls and Mom were dressed nicely I am guessing she chose what she was wearing.  Then the shoes became a focal point.

The flip flops were different colors.  How clever!  I believe this too was intentional.  When a child does not like what they are wearing they shy away from notice.  This little girl was very comfortable in her skin.  I thought “Good For You!!!”  I wish I knew more about her.  It is my bet that she is a spitfire of intelligence and very creative. 

Our children both wore shoes of different colors. There was a fad with Chuck Taylor sneakers that you owned a couple of pairs and wore one of each.  Our son had plaid and our daughter had a lime green pair and a pink pair and often wore one of each.  My Grandfather was quite a joker and if he wore mismatched socks would say, “I’ve got  another pair home just like these!”   Aside from the fad what does it take to be original and different?  I think it takes intelligence, creativity and courage and determination.  Both of our children, and I am guessing the blond girl in front of me with two different colored flip flops, have these attributes in spades.

Not to negate the service going on around me in which I really was participating, it occurred to me that Jesus indeed was different as well.  He struck out on a different path and brought the world a new day.  Our priest used the song ‘Day by Day’ from Jesus Christ Superstar in his homily.  On my way out the door I told him he was copying me as I had used the song in a blog three weeks before. 

So how different is our faith?  It tells us to turn the other cheek.  It calls us to be faithful in marriage.  It calls us to respect life.  It calls us to truth.  It calls us to love our enemies.  This was a very different path when Jesus spoke it and today comes up against the more worldly values. People who choose to live their faith may be seen as counter cultural and need determination and courage.  I wonder if Jesus had sandals that were the same color.





I used to love to feed the birds and watch them flock around a new batch of food in the feeder.  I think one of my favorite feeders was a clear plastic one that suctioned onto the window.  You could see them up close.  I had one attached to the window over my kitchen sink.  The only problem with that was that they left droppings on the outside of the house.  It was difficult to fill as well so it was a short lived feeder station.

Another feeder I enjoyed was a lighthouse feeder I bought years ago.  I really like lighthouses as well.  This black and white lighthouse served two joys for me.  I thought it would look nice hanging off the deck.  It did!  It has now been hanging in three different locations as we moved it from MO to MS to MD. 

When I feed the birds the song from ‘Mary Poppins’ normally pops in my head.  I can visualize the scruffy lady feeding the birds.  A picture of the bird lady from ‘Home Alone’ also comes to mind. 

We had a lady in my hometown that would feed the birds out on the ball field during the winter.  Marion Hayes would go over there every day and toss food for them.  Flocks and flocks of seagulls would come to her.  By the time spring came around there was an odor there from all the leftovers and droppings.  It would go away as the rains of ‘mud season’ came and the new growth popped up.

Once again we are feeding the birds off our deck.  Yesterday at lunch I watched them gather and eat and fly.  There were wrens and finches and titmouse and chickadees.  It was great entertainment.

The funniest entertainment I have experienced concerning birds came when we lived in Batesville, MS.  That house had a balcony off the master bedroom.  Off this balcony and the patio below we had one really large tree.  We hung the lighthouse birdfeeder on a branch of this one tree and enjoyed the southern birds.

My husband got very frustrated with this set-up.  The branch thin so the feeder could not go out very far.  The squirrels could climb up the tree and stretch to get into the feeder.  He would scream out the patio.  Then he came up with the idea of shooting the squirrels with his BB gun off the balcony.  The BB gun had permanent residency in our bedroom closet.

I share the following with permission.  Let me set this up.  If you were standing in our bedroom door to your right would be a side table, our bed, another side table and space then the outside wall.  Across from you is the door to the covered, though not screened, balcony.  On that back wall and to the right of door are two windows that face the foot of our bed.  To the left as you are standing in the bedroom door is a wall and in the middle of that wall is a door opening into our bathroom.  As you go into our bathroom you can see the door to go through to the master closet. Got it?  The bed is on right, bathroom and closet on left – balcony straight ahead.

One weekend day I was making our bed.  It was a gorgeous day and I had all the windows open as well as the door to the balcony.   I was in the bedroom on my side of the bed making it so I was far right of the door.  My husband was in the bathroom getting ready for the day. 

All of a sudden I heard some expletives and a rustle and hustling and bustling.  I looked up from tucking in my sheets on the far side of the bed just in time to get a vision I will not ever forget.  Tearing out of the closet through the bathroom and running out the door to the balcony was a streak.  I heard ‘GOTCHA!’  It took a minute for it all to sink into my mind.  THEN the Elmer Fudd like person came back into the doorway with a grin on his face gun at rest.  I realize that my normally clothed, sane, calm husband had just streaked through our house gun pointing out in the aim position to the balcony in his tightie whities!!!  I screamed ‘what about the neighbors’ and his comment was ‘I got the squirrel right in the butt.’  I sat on the bed shaking my head alluding to the fact that we could finally wear the badge ‘Redneck’ proudly.  The only thing missing from this picture was a rebel yell.  I was told that I had to be happy that at least he had some clothes on his person!!!

Feed the birds – they will provide tons of entertainment!  Sometimes more than you think.






A couple of weeks ago I was reading my Sunday paper and came across an article written by Chelsea Clinton.  She was answering the question “Who Helped You?” in a short 250 word article.  I am thinking I must try to stay to 250 words!

The article was the sixth in a series of inspiration messages from NBC journalists in response to a request from ‘Make a Difference Day’.  NBC has partnered with them this year.  NBC has their own program called ‘Making a Difference’ to inspire millions to help others.

The description of the program from their website makeadifference.com is,

“Make A Difference Day, the largest national day of helping others, is sponsored annually by USA WEEKEND Magazine and its 800 carrier newspapers. Make A Difference Day takes place on the 4th Saturday in October each year.”

I had no idea of this movement.  What a great idea.  I went to the website and it led me to some interesting history.  In his inaugural speech in 1989 George H.W. Bush called for ‘1000 points of light’ to come forth and serve America.  In 1990 the ‘Daily Point of Light Award’ was established.  It was an award for individuals who make a difference in their communities.  President Bush formally recognized and awarded 1000 volunteers during his administration.

Then from the website pointsoflight.org I found even more history. 

In response to President Bush’s call to action, Points of Light Foundation is created as an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization to encourage and empower the spirit of service. The new nonprofit extends President Bush’s vision, understanding that “what government alone can do is limited, but the potential of the American people knows no limits.”

The Presidents that followed helped continue this volunteer action by adding programs of their own.  In 1993 President Bill Clinton founded ‘AmeriCorp’, a national service program.  In 2002 President George W. Bush created the ‘USA Freedom Corp’ in his State of the Union speech.  In 2009 President Barack Obama signed Ted Kennedy’s “Serve America Act”.  In 2009 as well President Barack Obama began his ‘United We Serve’ campaign.  Each subsequent President has believed and supported volunteerism in America.

I also found: 

2007: Points of Light Foundation and HandsOn Network merge to become Points of Light, creating the largest volunteer management and civic engagement organization in the nation.

Make a Difference Day is a part of the Points Of Light Program.  Is is so interesting all that is being done throughout our country.  Newman’s Own has supported this program by giving $130000 in awards to deserving activities.

I got carried away finding out all this information and wanting to share it that I got completely away from the point of the post. 

I believe in volunteerism.  It is a part of my heritage and upbringing.  My own mother was a Girls Scout leader, my mother Marie was our youth group leader and my Dad spent many a week in the summer as a counselor at our church camp Pilgrim Lodge.  I carried on this tradition in my own life in schools and community.  I even had, at age 20, an application to join VISTA – Volunteers In Service To America.  Before I filled it out I met my husband – enough said.  The intent was there and my service to America was from my own communities.

Make a Difference Day called me to look at how in this last minute I can serve on Saturday the 27th.  I am not able to participate this year this day in an organized activity.  Next year I can see if there is a project in our community or even start one perhaps.  I volunteer on a regular basis in other areas which will have to count this year for tomorrow. 

Helping my neighbor is a big deal to me.  I believe it does not have to be organized.  It can simply be a small act of kindness.  That is service.  Taking over some cookies or calling to see how people are.  Keeping in touch.  I do not believe ‘Make a Difference’ has to be only one day a year.  We can try to do it everyday in our everyday lives.  How can you make a difference?  An even better question to ponder is the one Chelsea Clinton answered.  Who helped you?




Yesterday I went to buy some tomatoes for our dinner salad.  Too late!  The yummy large red gems of summer are really all gone.  There are still some large tomatoes there though they are a pale red and not inviting to pick up and contemplate eating.  I settled for the smaller tomatoes in the plastic packaging.  It got me to thinking about tomatoes.  Not a common everyday occurrence as I have other things to juggle around in my mind.

Tomatoes in this area are a huge deal.  The first year we moved here I kept hearing that we HAD to have a Jersey tomato.  We did, straight from a farm stand in Jersey.  Do not know what the big deal is.  It was good.  Others are good as well. 

My mother-in-law was a real tomato person.  She loved the rich ripe red orbs of summer.  She would even have the occasional tomato sandwich.  Sliced tomatoes were part of most suppers in summer at her table.  This is one thing on which we did agree fresh tomatoes are good.

What are tomatoes?  That was the thought from my shopping.  I know the discussion fruit or vegetable so went to investigate for a definitive answer.

Science Bob says:

To really figure out if a tomato is a fruit or vegetable, you need to know what makes a fruit a fruit, and a vegetable a vegetable. The big question to ask is, DOES IT HAVE SEEDS? If the answer is yes, then technically, (botanically) you have a FRUIT. This, of course, makes your tomato a fruit. It also makes cucumbers, squash, green beans and walnuts all fruits as well. Along with the fruit from a plant or tree, we can often eat the leaves (lettuce,) stems (celery,) roots (carrots,) and flowers (broccoli.) Many of these other parts of the plant are typically referred to as VEGETABLES. Now don’t go looking for tomatoes next to the oranges in your grocery stores; fruits like tomatoes and green beans are usually (alas, incorrectly) referred to as “vegetables” in most grocery stores and cookbooks.

The Oxford English Dictionary says:

The confusion about ‘fruit’ and ‘vegetable’ arises because of the differences in usage between scientists and cooks. Scientifically speaking, a tomato is definitely a fruit. True fruits are developed from the ovary in the base of the flower, and contain the seeds of the plant (though cultivated forms may be seedless). Blueberries, raspberries, and oranges are true fruits, and so are many kinds of nut. Some plants have a soft part which supports the seeds and is also called a ‘fruit’, though it is not developed from the ovary: the strawberry is an example.

As far as cooking is concerned, some things which are strictly fruits, such as tomatoes or bean pods, may be called ‘vegetables’ because they are used in savoury rather than sweet cooking. The term ‘vegetable’ is more generally used of other edible parts of plants, such as cabbage leaves, celery stalks, and potato tubers, which are not strictly the fruit of the plant from which they come. Occasionally the term ‘fruit’ may be used to refer to a part of a plant which is not a fruit, but which is used in sweet cooking: rhubarb, for example.

So, the answer to the question is that a tomato is technically the fruit of the tomato plant, but it’s used as a vegetable in cooking.

Did you understand all of that?  So a tomato is a fruit until you use it in cooking then it becomes a vegetable?  Clever little morsel that red gem!!!  I think I will just call them good and enjoy them when I can each summer.  The home grown ones are not here long!




How many times have we said any of the above words?  ‘Why’ is this happening?  ‘If only’ I could?  ‘How come’ I am the only one?

Picture your calendar and there is a date for you to be at an appt.  It is a couple of hours till you have to leave to be there on time.  You continue your day until the appointed time to leave and run smack dab into the middle of a major disruption on the road.  You could have left earlier.  There was no reason for this disruption as at this time of day this path is usually free and clear.  Why today?  How come it is me?  If only I had left earlier I might have missed this?  What is the lesson here or is it simply happenstance?

Is there such a thing as destiny?  Fate? Will of God?  God’s plan for us?  Each of us has to answer this for ourselves.  I thought I would do a cursory look on the web to find a few ideas.  I looked up the word fate and found it is a series of inevitable events. I discovered that the early Greek Religions were polytheistic with concepts that spoke to the Ultimate Reality.  The Oracle at Delphi said that no one not even a God can escape his appointed fate.  Hinduism says our actions create our destiny.  They believe in Karma the law of cause and effect.  I am certain there is much more.

When we are at a stop light and racing to an appointment it does not matter does it?  Why would this be fate?  Could it be a lesson we are to learn?  Is it a religious experience or simply coincidence?

I tend to look at it from the lens of my faith.  I try to live God’s Plan for my life.  This means taking me off center stage.  That was a huge deal for me some years ago.  Somehow I believed that I was in control, in charge and could make the world do what I wanted and if not why not!

What is center stage?  There is a play of this name as well as a theater.  I am not speaking of either.  I am speaking of the stage direction where when the curtain goes up on a play the star is standing at center stage which is the prominent place in the middle of the stage as the play moves around the star.

When you look beyond yourself to realize that you are NOT the center of the world it is pretty humbling.  Think of it for a minute.  Do you believe you can control all things in your world? When you speak are you talking only about what affects you?  If there is a confrontation are you thinking of how you alone are feeling or can you imagine how this confrontation is affecting the other person?  Does it matter?  Do you listen to hear only the words that are being said or take into consideration the whole person speaking them?  If someone is sick or takes a sick day from work are you concerned with their welfare or are you concerned about how your day will be effected?  Do you care about them getting well or just back to work?  If it is a long illness do you share your concerns or put any of them aside to share hope for the other?  Are you the center of your world? Are you in the center of the stage with all else whirling around you?  Is it all about you?

Years ago I walked off center stage.  It was too much pressure for me to continually think that I knew best for myself and everyone else.  I could not control what was happening in my life.  There were not enough poles to hold all the plates that I was spinning.  I left center stage.  I surrendered my will.  I no longer obeyed the urges to be in charge.  I let go.  I became an occupant of the audience of life, a cheerleader, not the star of the show.

It is a much nicer way to live.  I chose to live God’s Plan for my life.  The thing is I do not know what it is and there is the excitement of each day.  I surrendered my will for me to His will for me.  Best trade EVER!

I would like to tell you that the world became light and colors and rainbows as God came down from heaven and stepped onto the center of the stage.  That would be the Cecil B DeMille or Spielberg effect.  It was not like that. It was freeing and comforting at the same time.  It was running in your bathing suit from a cold ocean to the towel to dry you as you sit and enjoy the warmth of the summer day.  It was not free of angst.

I can now sit at a stop light and wonder what am I to be learning by this light?  The lesson probably is that I can choose to allow more time to make appointments.  I look at hurts and think of the person as I make a choice of how to deal with the situation.  What lesson am I to have here?  I am not a door mat.  I am simply trying to make kinder choices remembering I am not in charge.  As I see loved ones, friends or family, struggling I can step back and let them make their own choices without interference. 

I am still a work in progress and struggle with myself daily to live off center stage.  The joy of being in the crowd is the reward.  The play of life is too wonderful for me to think arrogantly that I know best.  I like watching it unfold daily.  I no longer say ‘If only’ they had listened to me. Or ‘how come’ I was not consulted.  I do say ‘why’ still and know that the answer is in the backwards spelling of the word….YHW.  Your Holy Will.  After all I have heard that ‘coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.’




Last night Bob Schieffer was the moderator for the last Presidential debate of the 2012 election cycle.  He had before him the man who ran the country for the last 4 years and the contender.  The question is which man is going to be the President of the United States?

I found myself thinking this is rather a boring debate considering the last two outings of these men.  Then I sat there and purposely listened and watched.  As I have said in many posts listening is more than hearing the words.  It takes into consideration the attitude and tone of the speaker of the words.  The fact checkers will take care of the actual information.

The fact checkers have already done their jobs.  There were a few major areas that were called into the discussion.  One was Romney’s defense of his auto industry bail-out stance.  Obama said Romney never said he would use government funds for the auto industry.  This is in fact wrong as in an op ed Romney did have a line about government loan guarantees.

The second quite loud interchange was the discussion about education in Massachusetts.  President Obama insisted that the improvements happened before Romney became the Governor.  In fact Gov Romney created the changes with his legislature during his term.

There was the ‘apology tour’ and mention of us not being a leader to which the President disagreed and the fact-checkers say the President never said he was sorry on the tour he took to the middle East.  The UN has also said that the US has had a leadership role.

The one that hit me and made me wonder who actually was running this country was President Obama’s demeaning attitude as he mentioned that the Navy is different than it was:

“You mention the Navy, for example, and the fact that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets. We have these things called aircraft carriers and planes land on them. We have ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.” He added, “It’s not a game of Battleship where we’re counting ships, it’s ‘What are our priorities?’”

Last night during the debate I understand a Marine tweeted that the Marines still used bayonets. I would offer the following for President Obama’s edification.


Commuters streaming out of the PATH train station at the WorldTradeCenter in Lower Manhattan on Wednesday morning may have spotted the shrouded newcomer:
a 16-foot-tall sculpture of a Special Operations soldier on horseback. The statue is a memorial to the troops who led the American invasion of Afghanistan in response to the Sept. 11 attacks on the trade center and the Pentagon.

It is quite something so I hope everyone checks the info about this statue out.  It gives one pause to think that the President is unaware of a large bronze statue of a horse soldier.  Wonder if he is aware we used them in Afghanistan?  

The President told Gov. Romney that “Everytime you’ve offered an opinion you’ve been wrong.”  President Obama told Romney he was misinformed and ‘the1980’s, they’re now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know the cold war has been over for 20 years.’ 

Romney said: “Attacking me is not an agenda .”  He also said, “I have clear eyes on this. I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia or Mr. Putin, and I’m certainly not going to say to him, I’ll give you more flexibility after the election. After the election he’ll get more backbone.”

Those were the words and many have said that the debate was won by President Obama.

Language is more than just words.  Language is body speak as well.  Pundits have described President Obama’s face at times as smug.  His tone was demeaning and patronizing.  They said he was rude and insulting.  I saw this as well.  He was motioning almost as much as Joe Biden did. 

Mitt Romney on the other hand sat with a small smile on his face as he listened.  He had his hands clasped in a pose of a counselor listening.  When he responded he was measured as he spoke.  It appeared as if he was trying diligently not to be drawn into an argument.

President Obama reminded me of a scrappy kid on the playground with his hands up challenging his opponent to a fight.  Mitt Romney looked like the opponent with his hands in his pockets watching the little scrappy guy and deciding whether to engage or go. 

I saw two very different people on that stage.  One was a Chicago ‘brawler’ and the other was a Massachusetts ‘preppie’.  Having grown up a ‘townie’ I will choose the ‘preppie’ every time as they are usually better educated and smarter!

Years ago TONI, a beauty product that put a permanent wave into straight hair had a commercial that asked the consumer to judge between two models.  One had a permanent wave and one had naturally wavy hair.  The commercial asked, “Which one has the Toni?”  I would ask which one on the stage last night will be our President?


GO TEAM GO!!! (language warning)

GOOD MORNING WORLD (language warning) 

This morning as I wondered what keys I would be hitting to write my post I came across a couple of situations that I believed needed a cheerleader to say “You are doing GREAT!!!  GO TEAM GO!!!”

I think we all need a cheerleader in our lives.  Perhaps this could be the latest new toy.  It will be a small button on a doll or even a box with a picture of a cheerleader on it.  When you push the button the cheerleader jumps up way high in joy over the least little thing that you do.  I would enjoy that.

I get the ironing all done and the basket is empty back on the shelf. Do I get acknowledgement?  No!  Hit the button.

I clean out all the cabinets in the kitchen and dust off the shelves and everything is now back in its place no dishes on bowls.  Acknowledgement?  No! Hit the button.

I spend the whole day cleaning and dusting and vaccing……acknowledgement? No! Hit the button again.

I used to do these things and then when someone would come over I’d open the doors to show them my job well done just to hear the raves.  My Aunt Becky was the best.  She would come in and see something new and gush!  She WAS a cheerleader in high school so sang my praises well!  Loved it.  Perhaps she would consider moving in to live with me to cheer.  She has occasionally left a wonderful comment here on the blog to spur me on as well. 

I have to also submit that my husband is very good about noticing and commenting on differences – especially a closet full of his clean ironed shirts!

The point here is the following quote.  I could not find the author.  So it is from an unknown and I think it fits my premise. 

‘Everybody deserves somebody who makes them look forward to tomorrow.’

That is the description of a cheerleader.  When the world is giving you the raspberries it is hard to stand strong and plod forward. 

I do not swear much anymore and rarely ever used the ‘F’ word.  One friend heard me say it once and wrote on her calendar that on that date I said that word.

One of my favorite shows – play, movie and TV – is the Odd Couple.  I smile when I think of it.  One of the best lines of the whole thing is Oscar Madison, the messy one telling Felix Ungar, the neat one,

“I told you 158 times I cannot stand little notes on my pillow.’We are out of cornflakes. F.U.’ It took me three hours to figure out F.U. was Felix Ungar.” 

We need cheerleaders to get rid of the “F.U.” messages we get in our lives.  Others may see our plight as hopeless and tell us so by words or actions.  Others disagree with a goal we choose and are negative and tell us by word or behavior that we cannot reach it.  So I say we need a cheerleader to help us get over these messages.  

When the world is giving you these ‘FU’ messages I say smile back and if you swear tell them “F‘n A” or find some other way to tell them you have a cheerleader button and will push it.  If you have to have the alliterative “F” sound what about “Forge Forward or Up” or the super hero “Flame On” or Biblical “Fear Not”?  You might try the Little Engine. “I’m gonna make it”.   

Let me be your cheerleader.  I am convinced that there is nothing I or you cannot accomplish if we put our heart, soul and mind to it!!!  I do take requests for cheers and have a refrigerator list of those who want them!!!


By ktsquared Posted in Trivia



Dearest Beautiful Person,

I am in receipt of the news of your struggles.  Suffice it to say that I have been and am more aware of your struggles than you would acknowledge.   My heart is ever so heavy and I have no idea how to help.  I am so far away physically yet in my heart and soul I am a right by your side. 

What can I possibly say to alleviate your pain or even move you forward?  I have thought about this for a long time.  Many quotes came to my mind the first was from a movie and I have used it as the tagline above.  “Take care of you”…..”Take care of you.”  It is a quote from a conversation between Kit and Vivian in “Pretty Woman.”  They are both hookers and say “Take care of you” to each other whenever they part.  It warms my heart when I hear it as it seems to be the best thing they can do for each other in their horrid occupation.  They take care of themselves first to be present when the other needs help. 

Another quote I came across the other day was from Lewis G. Carroll and it said, “All that is really worth doing is what we can do for others.” 

I try to live in my faith and today’s Gospel scripture was Mark 10:45 and it says that ‘Jesus came to serve not to be served’. 

Lastly think of an airplane.  What do they tell you in the instructions – they tell us to take the oxygen for ourselves before our children. 

It all sounds so counter cultural doesn’t it.  In our country at this time there is a big push to live a ‘me’ centered selfish lifestyle.  All things are for my own pleasure – the latest iGadget or plasma screen or car.  Every single one of the quoted examples above are telling us it is okay to take care of ourselves first with a proviso – we must be doing it for others benefit.  Is it contradictory or healthy?

I am thinking it is healthy in these instances to take care of you first.  If I take care of myself I am here to smother my grandchildren with love and gifts.  If I take care of myself first I am here to feed my family.  I am here to help out my neighbors as they need.  When I cook too much I can share it.  When I am going somewhere I can offer a ride.  I am doing as I wish and serving as well.

Now to wow you with my knowledge!  The following quote has been accredited to Plato, Socrates and Aristotle.  Is that not heady company for me to be searching through???  The quote and I love it is, “An unexamined life is not worth living.”  Let this not be misconstrued.  All life is worth living.  I believe this quote is telling us to live life and examine everything. 

I was looking for this quote and came across a website called relaxfocussucceed.com.  An example used there refers to our lives as maps.  They ask the question of who can find a destination better – a person with a map or a person without a map. 

I really enjoy maps.  I have never though of my life with this concept.  Using it I could chart the map of my life with peaks and valleys.  The peaks would be varying heights and the valleys different depths.  The highest peaks would be my marriage and children I am sure.  The lowest valleys would reflect the loss in my life.  The roads would lead literally and figuratively to where I have been in the past. 

Charting this all out makes an interesting picture. I relate it to the collage of my life that heads the blog site.  Finding all those images to describe me and then paint the picture gave me a real sense of who I am.  Using the map analogy, when I can clearly see what I have lived I think it might be easier to map a future. 

I am not sure I or anyone can do this without guidance.  I am certain everyone who does this, either through a journal or with a counselor, will have a better life.  How can it not be so?  If I know the valleys I can choose a path around when warning signs are in the way.

You are a wonderful child of God deserving all good things.  I use God in the generic as I am not certain where your faith lies.  God does love you Beautiful Person.  I am with you.  I am telling you that the choice is yours.  I hope you choose to take care of you to benefit all the others including me!

I Love You,


The above is a letter I could have written to many people over the course of my life.  Today it seemed important to put these words down for all the Beautiful People who may be reading this blog.  Take care of You!





Frenetic is a great word.  Have I mentioned that I like words?  While my vocabulary is not extensive by collegiate means it is large by normal I believe.  When I find a word I like I have to try it out.

This morning I was here there and everywhere with what I was going to write.  I was in politics for a minute.  I was at a football game in my mind.  I was trying to remember last nights dream.  I thought about writing a note on the itch I could not reach to scratch.  I’ve received a tough phone call this morning that I have put into prayer.  I was looking over the leaves that are going way too quickly as fall flies by.  I was really struggling on a focus.

There it was – no focus frenetic.  Webster’s says frenetic is an adjective and means frenzied.  Frenzy means violent mental agitation or delirious excitement.  The first definition, though not sure it is violent, seemed to fit this morning – frenzied – frenetic. 

The one thing that was sticking in my mind is the plum wool V neck sweater and matching wool plaid Evan Picone slacks I bought myself my junior year in high school.  Why?  I have no idea.  I just remember going to Sachsman’s and buying it with my own money.  A friend of mine also bought the same brand slack in a green striped.  We thought we were something.  Actually truth be told these were very expensive.  The slacks were fully lined and we looked like a million bucks.  For what?  I again have no idea.  We did not have football at our school to need warm clothes.  I remember wearing this outfit to a couple of neighboring school’s games and had a real sense of high self esteem.  Clothes in that case did make the girl.

I worked hard each summer to buy my own school clothes.  I bought some very nice things and lots of name brands.  Funny how things change!  Once I started to really make my own clothes the labels seem to fade away and quality of the item took over.  Labels do not always mean quality.  In the same vein you can also find quality labels in lower stores that are great buys.  What remains still is the fact that if you feel great with the clothes on your skin then you will project great.  Odd little item.  So that was the football game thought.

The politics remain the disgust with this current administration and their misuse of the American trust.  They have lied and cheated and now are involved in a cover-up worse than Watergate I believe as people died in this case.  I have proclaimed on facebook and do so here as well that I believe that the Romney – Ryan ticket will win big in Nov. and the country will be better for it.  I believe that the Republican ticket will take all the states they need for a 300 +/- Electoral College win.  I have it written on a piece of paper here as my husband does not agree.  Further I believe a majority of women will go for Romney and I believe fewer blacks will vote for Obama.  Let it be written.  Or check out the results of the College in Denver that projects the same.

The dream was the weirdest thing.  The itch was hysterical.  I woke at 4ish to go to the potty.  I got back into bed and the middle of my back itched.  You know that spot that no matter how hard to try to reach it your arms are just not long enough?  I would not wake the ‘purring’ person beside me though I did roll him over to stop the purr!  I got out of bed and went up to a door sill and scratched my back over it until I the itch had gone.  Back to bed.  I woke from a sleep at 5ish with the same darned itch.  What in the world was going on?  The door sill was not working so I thought of a comb. 

I went under my sink in the dark to grab a comb.  I did not want to turn on the light to wake the ‘purrer’.  My hands were searching around and all of a sudden they touched bristles.  I did not think I owned a brush any longer.  Then I remembered I bought one at the spa after I had my haircut.  The girl said I HAD to have this particular brush to get my hair the way she styled it.  I paid the $$$ for it and away I went.  I have used it twice since I have been home.  It is difficult for me to style my hair with the angles she said I needed to hold my hairdryer in the other hand.  The idea of two hands going two different directions is hard for me to comprehend at my advanced years I guess.

I pulled out the brush and scraped it across my back and scraped it across my back and again.  AHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhh…….at last I can say that the money I spent to buy this brush was money well spent.  To sleep to dream a better dream I now had a tool to alleviate any itch.  The other thought that came to mind was maybe in my next life my arms could be gorilla length!




I am headed out this morning to go get our youngest grandson for the weekend.  I am very excited as we have not seen him in over a month.  With our other grandchildren logistically closer also perhaps we will be able to see them more often as well.  As I was going over the timeline to go get him, the directions and the menu for when he is here I was thinking about his booster seat.

A similar question came up when I drove the two grandchildren back from Texas.  Our granddaughter gets car sick and does much better in the front seat.  The issue then was air-bag safety.  Cars are so very different today.  Maybe it is not the cars so much as the rules of the road for safety.  Then I wandered over into the fact that school buses do not require boosters or have seat belts.

Hi Ho Hi Ho it is to the web I go………..

At the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website I found all sorts of information about the proper car set.  There was info on how to select a car seat and ratings for it.  I found out you can register a car seat as well as have an inspection of it.  There was info on recalls and whether to re-use it after a crash.  I discovered there were no National Laws regarding the use of the car seats.  

Child Passenger Safety Laws – October 2012

Child passenger restraint requirements vary based on age, weight and height. Often, this happens in three stages: infants use rear-facing infant seats; toddlers use forward-facing child safety seats; and older children use booster seats.

Many laws require all children to ride in the rear seat whenever possible, and most states permit children over a particular age, height or weight to use an adult safety belt.

First offense fines for not complying with a state’s child passenger safety laws vary from $10 to $500. Some states also use driver’s license points as an additional penalty for noncompliance.

All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands require child safety seats for infants and children fitting specific criteria.

48 states and the District of Columbia require booster seats or other appropriate devices for children who have outgrown their child safety seats but are still too small to use an adult seat belt safely.

The only states lacking booster seat laws are Florida and South Dakota.

5 states (California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey and New York) have seat belt requirements for school buses. Texas requires them on buses purchased after September 2010.

As I was preparing to write this there also was a news report of a school bus accident and it occurred tome that they had no seat belts.  As you can see from the above note I was wrong and some states actually do require seat belts.  I found these headlines on the NHTSA site that would lead me to further information should I or you care to look.  The headlines were fairly clear on their own merit.


School buses are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in avoiding crashes and preventing injury. 

School buses are the safest mode of transportation for getting children back and forth to school. 

School buses keep an annual estimated 17.3 million cars off roads surrounding schools each morning 

Those my age reading this all know that there were no child safety laws when we were little.  I often sat in the car in my father’s lap.  On longer trips I have a memory of lying across the front seat with my head in Dad’s lap.  Our children used to be in a car bed in the back seat.  When they could sit up we had a chair that was nothing more than a bottom and back in a metal frame.  The base of the frame was inserted into the joint of the car’s actual seat and snapped in place.  It was serviceable to keep the child in one place.  Have no idea how safe it was. 

I also have to note here that in some states that have requirements of 4’9″ and 80#.  I have grown friends that are not too far from those numbers – really?

It was just a thought as I prepared to make my trip this afternoon up and back to get our best ‘Little Guy’.  Isn’t is hypocritical of us to spend all the time and money on safety seats for the cars and not buses?  I also cannot see where buses are safer by their design than cars.  The car seat business is a billion dollar industry.  Who are the laws created for I wonder?






How many times have you said that?  Did you say it the first day of a new diet?  Or the first day of a new exercise regimen?  Or the first day of a school year?  Or after a fight with your spouse?  Or whatever the occasion you can think of that would suit the phrase.  Have you said it recently?  I have not though I got to thinking about it yesterday.

I got some news that a dear friend/relative is dealing with cardiac issues.  Then, and this is the silly part, I was watching my soap – yes I still watch one soap – and a main character is dying.  The two items just sort of had me sitting there and thinking.  Both people are very aware of their situations one is real and one is not.  Blessedly the real situation is in good hands. All that can be done is being done. There will be a good healthy outcome and many more years of living. 

The soap lady will be gone – she must be retiring – and is being finally written off the show.  Better to be written off than and accident I understand.  Years ago the death knell for a character was an accident.  The actors often comment that if they have an accident they know they are being fired.  There are very few daytime soaps left.  I do not even watch it in the right timeslot now that I can DVR it.  I usually watch it after my lunch before my afternoon schedule kicks in.  Yesterday it was ironing.

The writers for the soap character really had a field day with the situation.  Before it ended the character, Stephanie, had the opportunity to give a soliloquy about how her world seems now that she knows she has a limited amount of time to live. Part of what she says is that she knows we all know we are going to die.  Knowing that she has a date certain is making everything so very different.  There is nothing like the poetry of soap writers as she went on to describe the beauty of her family and life!  The husband is going to throw her a party to celebrate her life while she is still here!  Thought that a fun idea!

So the meditation part for me was to think about my life and my surroundings and am I living it to the best I can?  Would I change anything?  Am I as healthy as I want to be?  What can I change?  Do I want to change anything?  Do those I care about know just how much I care?  Have I told them lately that I love them?  If not why not and can I do better?  As you can see it was an interesting next few minutes. 

The words and question still linger.  Have I done the best I can do in my life?  What about going forward?  What about you?  Years ago a priest gave a homily about a review he did of his day each night before sleeping.  He used an acronym which I cannot remember.  The review each night still sounds like a good idea.  Am thinking if I would do it regularly perhaps it would allow me to sleep better?

In the mid 70’s I was clipping sayings from magazines and posting them around as inspiration.  The one that has stayed with me and moved to sit on every kitchen sink sill or shelf says much the same thing as the sentiment with which I began.  I placed the clipping in 2X3 gold frame.  Over the 35+ years it yellowed and stained.  Last year, to make it easier to read, I retyped it and place it back in the frame.  I try to read it daily.  I try to live it daily.  Try is the operative word here.   It excuses a messy house and bulging ironing pile.  It reads:

“If I had 24 hours for living,

The things that don’t matter could wait.

I’d play with the children and

hear all the stories,

I’d tell you I love you before it’s too late.”

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.  I love you all – even the sweet person who called me a narrow-minded racist bigot and the friend I asked to leave my home.  There is a difference between who you are and the behavior you exhibited.  All are important to me – those I know and those I have yet to meet.  Today it is not too late for me.  It is the first day of the next 62+ years (I am going to live to 124) and I am going to make the most of it!!!

Your turn…….


By ktsquared Posted in Trivia



I watched the debate last night.  I think the moderator was not as bad as it was feared she would be before the debate happened.  She did make a couple of really bad calls.  The worst perhaps being the questions she chose.  I thought the questions were quite easy and missed many a point.  I wondered what they did not choose.  I liked the format and loved the challenging and questioning.  Let the fact checking begin. I did a bit of that on my own quickly.

President Obama said that monies that were paying for our wars would be available to be used here.  Are we not borrowing money to run those wars?  Has he not said that those wars were put on a credit card???

Gov. Romney really pushed on the drilling and the fact that oil production is down.  According to the fact checkers this was a draw.  Both of the men were right.  Yet from my point of view I still question the fact that many oil rigs in the Gulf – from our country at least- are still not back on line.  Other countries are drilling there just not America.  Perhaps this needs more fact checking on my part.

I was surprised that the President thought he had done much with immigration.  His interview by the Univision reporters certainly led one to believe that they did not think he had done much or at least what he said he would do.

Gov. Romney believed that what he proposed for Detroit is what the President actually did.  The fact checkers say that it would not have worked as they industries were bleeding too much money and needed the government intervention.  From my point of view I think Romney was correct.  The only difference was an infusion of public funds rather than private funds.

While it is taken as knowledge that the Presidents do not have control over the price of gas, many use it as a gauge for their job approval.  The fact is the gas prices are double what they were when he took office. 

Another thing that irritated me about both of them is they refer to the Bush tax cuts.  Didn’t Obama approve them last year?  Why are they now not the Obama Tax Cuts?

Lastly, not the only other fact to check just the last one I am going to do was President Obama’s discussion of Libya.

Kerry Ladke of Minneola asked the President about Libya.  He asked, “…reports that the State Department refused extra security for Benghazi…who denied enhanced security?”

The President answered, “As soon as we found out the Benghazi consulate was being overrun I was on the phone with my National Security team and gave them three instructions. 1) Beef up our security and (stutter) safe ah an pro…procedures not just in Libya but in every embassy and consulate in the region.  2) Investigate exactly what happened regardless of where the facts lead is to make sure folks are held accountable and it doesn’t happen again.  3) We are going to find out who did this and we are going to hunt them down because one of the things I’ve said throughout my Presidency is when folks mess with America we go after them.”

The fact checkers focused on the exchange the came after when Gov. Romney challenged that the President ever called it a terror attack.  The Comcast fact checker found the following:

OBAMA: The day after last month’s attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, “I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people and the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened. That this was an act of terror and I also said that we’re going to hunt down those who committed this crime.”


ROMNEY: “I want to make sure we get that for the record, because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.”

OBAMA: “Get the transcript.”

THE FACTS: Obama is correct in saying that he referred to Benghazi as an act of terrorism on Sept. 12, the day after the attack. From the Rose Garden, he said: “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. … We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act.”

But others in his administration repeated for several days its belief that the violence stemmed from protests over an American-made video ridiculing Islam. It took almost a month before officials acknowledged that those protests never occurred. And Romney is right in arguing that the administration has yet to explain why it took so long for that correction to be made or how it came to believe that the attack evolved from an angry demonstration.

I looked a little further.  The following is what he said in the Rose Garden the day after the consulate was attacked.  He did not call it a terrorist attack.  He did say no acts of terror.

10:43 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning.  Every day, all across the world, American diplomats and civilians work tirelessly to advance the interests and values of our nation.  Often, they are away from their families.  Sometimes, they brave great danger.

Yesterday, four of these extraordinary Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Benghazi.  Among those killed was our Ambassador, Chris Stevens, as well as Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith.  We are still notifying the families of the others who were killed.  And today, the American people stand united in holding the families of the four Americans in our thoughts and in our prayers.

The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack.  We’re working with the government of Libya to secure our diplomats.  I’ve also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world.  And make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.

Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths.  We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.  But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence.  None.  The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.

Already, many Libyans have joined us in doing so, and this attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya.  Libyan security personnel fought back against the attackers alongside Americans.  Libyans helped some of our diplomats find safety, and they carried Ambassador Stevens’s body to the hospital, where we tragically learned that he had died.

It’s especially tragic that Chris Stevens died in Benghazi because it is a city that he helped to save.  At the height of the Libyan revolution, Chris led our diplomatic post in Benghazi.  With characteristic skill, courage, and resolve, he built partnerships with Libyan revolutionaries, and helped them as they planned to build a new Libya.  When the Qaddafi regime came to an end, Chris was there to serve as our ambassador to the new Libya, and he worked tirelessly to support this young democracy, and I think both Secretary Clinton and I relied deeply on his knowledge of the situation on the ground there.  He was a role model to all who worked with him and to the young diplomats who aspire to walk in his footsteps.

Along with his colleagues, Chris died in a country that is still striving to emerge from the recent experience of war. Today, the loss of these four Americans is fresh, but our memories of them linger on.  I have no doubt that their legacy will live on through the work that they did far from our shores and in the hearts of those who love them back home.

Of course, yesterday was already a painful day for our nation as we marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks.  We mourned with the families who were lost on that day.  I visited the graves of troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hallowed grounds of ArlingtonCemetery, and had the opportunity to say thank you and visit some of our wounded warriors at Walter Reed.  And then last night, we learned the news of this attack in Benghazi

As Americans, let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because there are people who are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it, and in some cases, lay down their lives for it.  Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe.

No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.  Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America.  We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act.  And make no mistake, justice will be done.

But we also know that the lives these Americans led stand in stark contrast to those of their attackers.  These four Americans stood up for freedom and human dignity.  They should give every American great pride in the country that they served, and the hope that our flag represents to people around the globe who also yearn to live in freedom and with dignity.

We grieve with their families, but let us carry on their memory, and let us continue their work of seeking a stronger America and a better world for all of our children.

Thank you.  May God bless the memory of those we lost and may God bless the United States of America.

10:48 A.M. EDT

You can be the decider of this argument as you have all the information.  My conclusion is the President is parsing his words.  In the Rose Garden speech he said, ‘ Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths.  We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.  But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence.  None.  The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.’  He did not call this a terrorist attack.  He spent the next 14 days after the attack on Benghazi referencing an anti-Muslim video and a spontaneous demonstration.  On Sept. 16th our representative to the UN went on 5 television shows and said this was not preplanned or pre-meditated. The President himself continued to say the same on Sept 20th to Univision.  He said it on Sept. 25th at the UN and again on Sept 26th.  He said it on The View and David Letterman.  The President of Libya called it a terrorist attack the next day.  Rep. Mike Rogers did the same.

The way the President used ‘no act of terror’ seems to be generic as it could happen down the street.  When we refer to the 9/11 attacks we call them ‘terrorist attacks’.  Why when an Ambassador is killed is this not the same?  Are there degrees of terrorism?  Is there some distinction that I am missing?  Why did the President not call this attack on our Consulate a terrorist attack?  It is our soil and it was a terrorist attack?  Or am I just parsing words?  Has the White House called this a ‘terrorist attack’?

The thing I heard that I had NOT EVER heard before was last night at (I have since found out the time at 10:09PM) the President said, “…I was on the phone with my National Security team…”.  I have not ever heard him say that since the attack.  In writing this post I do note that he did say in the Rose Garden speech he had directed his administration to increase security at all diplomatic posts.  Never heard this reference ever again.

Golly when Pearl Harbor was attacked FDR made the ‘Day of Infamy’ speech the next day and it was on the radio.  After the original 9/11 President George Bush spoke to the country from a schoolroom and I bet all remember his standing there.  Even his getting the word as he read to the children.   Both memorable.  Our President was standing before us all on Sept 12th and no one remembers him telling us that this was a terrorist attack or what he did to or was doing to counteract this attack.  What we remember is his continually blaming the video.  I think Hillary Clinton called it a terrorist attack before the Commander in Chief did. 

It was an interesting way to pass the evening.  I personally think it was a draw despite the moderators help.  I am guessing everyone heard what they wanted to hear.




I was shocked to hear this news last night.  I could not believe my ears so had to use my eyes and Google the information this morning.  It does not seem possible in this country that this could be happening.  Are we going forward or backward?

In 2001 President George Bush proposed the ‘No Child Left Behind” legislation so that all children could receive the same and best education.  This was a bi-partisan bill.  The facts from Wiki are:

The legislation was proposed by President George W. Bush on January 23, 2001. It was coauthored by Representatives John Boehner (R-OH), George Miller (D-CA), and Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Judd Gregg (R-NH). The United States House of Representatives passed the bill on May 23, 2001 (voting 384–45),[6] and the United States Senate passed it on June 14, 2001 (voting 91–8).[7] President Bush signed it into law on January 8, 2002. The legislation was proposed by President George W. Bush on January 23, 2001. It was coauthored by Representatives John Boehner (R-OH), George Miller (D-CA), and Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Judd Gregg (R-NH). The United States House of Representatives passed the bill on May 23, 2001 (voting 384–45),[6] and the United States Senate passed it on June 14, 2001 (voting 91–8).[7] President Bush signed it into law on January 8, 2002.

The provisions in the bill (overview) were briefly:

Provisions of the act

No Child Left Behind requires all government-run schools receiving federal funding to administer a state-wide standardized test annually to all students. This means that all students take the same test under the same conditions. Schools which receive Title I funding through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 must make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in test scores (e.g. each year, its fifth graders must do better on standardized tests than the previous year’s fifth graders).

One of the goals was to:


Effects on racial and ethnic minority students

Seeks to narrow class and racial gaps in school performance by creating common expectations for all.

Requires schools and districts to focus their attention on the academic achievement of traditionally under-served groups of children, such as low-income students, students with disabilities, and students of “major racial and ethnic subgroups”.[68] Each state is responsible for defining major racial and ethnic subgroups itself.[68] Many previous state-created systems of accountability measured only average school performance, allowing schools to be highly rated even if they had large achievement gaps between affluent and disadvantaged students.

Remember this is from Wikipedia which can be edited though for my purpose of explanation I believe it gives the idea and goal – that all American children should get the very best education available.  While I am no longer actively involved in our schools as our children have grown I do try to keep current.  One of the things I have gathered from schools is that this program was harder to implement than intended and created more paperwork than necessary and may not have been the success it was thought it could be for the students.  There was talk that teachers were teaching to the tests and not just teaching.  The teachers were complaining about all the red tape.  Not sure this would be deemed a success.

President Obama has issued waivers from this program to about half of the states in the union.  He also has proposed various reforms to the education system in this country.  I am not sure his plan included what is going to happen in Florida.  He granted a waiver from NCLB for Florida on Feb. 9, 2012.

Florida has since decided that all children cannot learn in the same way?  I leave a question mark as I really do not understand.  From the CBS affiliate in Tampa I found the following information.


The controversy comes from the Palm BeachCounty’s Board of Education’s plan that sets goals according to race.  This plan clearly sets expectations to be different for different races.  How can that happen in this country? 

Babies are all birth in the same ways.  They come from mothers who have nurtured them in their wombs. Babies all are born with receptors to accept love and information.  There is no difference in these precious children except the race to which they belong.  All children have the capacity to learn at the same strength.  

I realize there are socio- economic factors that may come into play later on in their education.  These can create learning issues.  Race is not one of the factors that inhibit learning.  Why are we educating according to this as a norm?  I am not a teacher or education professional in any way.  I am a mother and love children and know they all are beautiful, precious and smart.  This morning I am very confused.






I entered the world of internet language with our granddaughter yesterday.  She sent me an email and said, ‘Hi PEEPS”.  Now I know enough cyber slang to know that this anachronism meant ‘people’.  Since she only has one grandparent named “Grandmamma” I was saddened to see it not used.  I understand the ‘cool’.  For goodness sakes I sometimes referred to my father as ‘Daddio’!  I decided to look further into all this language.

It is a new way of talking and we who are older must quickly learn or be left behind.  I called it ‘cyber slang’ as I found that was one of the names used for this phenomenon.  It is also called ‘net speak’ or chat speak’.  It is ‘Greek’ to me however and that means I do not speak ‘Greek’!!!

Today I began my post with ‘cyber slang’.  I had to use GMA for Good Morning World as the W in this language stands for George W Bush – who knew this slang W did  not stand for world?  The information junkie (translation to cyber speak is ‘info addict’) in me of course sent me to the web for further enlightenment.

I found the website – http://www.internetslang.com/  – web abbreviations.  Here it says there are 8517 of these bits of cyber slang.  Below is an example from the home page.


Up For Grabs


Just Got Back


What Shall We Talk About?


In Honor Of


Farewell For Now


Don’t Need To Know


Away From Real Life


Out Of This World


Stay In Touch


Never In Doubt


Fear Of Missing Something


You Are Very Welcome


Same Time Next Year

The funny thing to me is that like my example of information junkie to cyber slang info addict – there is not much difference in some examples.  The often used LOL – laughing out loud – does eliminate lots of letters.  It would lead one to believe you just use the first letters of the word.  Easy way to learn until you discover that the internet clang for Money is LOLLY – where does this make sense???  Another anachronism for Money is PAPER which makes more sense.  When did a COOKIE become a small thing relating to a website and not a sweet treat to hold in your hand?

It really does mess up a logical mind even further with C meaning COMPUTER LANGUAGE so why does not W stand for world?  I could understand SWAK from when I was a kid.  I even got PS for Post script and all the elemental table letters.  I was on board with PAD meaning house.  Or when we left Maine in 1990 and were introduced to the world of PUDs (planned urban developments) I accepted that.  Then the world became @.@ (confused).

As if letters were not enough numbers and symbols also are in the mix.  Who knew that 4/20 was anything other than the 20th day of April.  It is also ‘WEED smoking day’!  And of course we all know that 459 stand for ILY or I love you.  The only number conversion I ever knew was 7734 for hell upside down! 

There is a whole world out there in this language.  I bet you can even write a complete letter using just these abbreviations.  I do not have enough time to try – have to make this POTD (post of the day) and then come up with my POA (plan of action) for my COD (call of duty) to get things in shape for the LOML (love of my life)  and DIN DIN (supper).




A few weeks ago on his way out to work my husband looked at the three plums I bought at the store on Saturday.  He said, ‘These are getting wrinkles.’  To which I replied, ‘So are we!’ AND we laughed!  It was a nice way to start the day.  The back story to this is that I do buy fruit thinking I will love it and then it goes bad before I can eat it all.  You can only eat so much fruit in one day without issues.  That is one of the reasons I gave up buying grapes as the bags are too big for me to eat. 

The focus here really is on laughter.  The silly things we all do on our own lives that create circumstances for happy hysteria.   At weddings when we are asked to give the wedding couple advice, sometimes there is paper on the tables to write notes, I say live with passion in all things – your laughter, your fighting and your loving.  Laugh with passion.  There is nothing more invigorating than a good old belly laugh.  Last time you had one?

This being Sunday I decided to look to see if the Bible had laughter in it.  I cannot remember one verse that refers to laughter.  I went to my books to check to see if the word was even in the Bible.  I found Scripture references to Divine Laughter in Psalms 2:4; Laughter with an aching heart, Proverbs 14:13; meaningless laughter, Ecclesiastes 2:2; and several others referring to laughter of fools, scornful laughter and the thought that laughing today will bring tears tomorrow.   I also googled ‘examples of laughter in the Bible’ and found this website:


It said that there are 42 references to laughter in the Bible.  As the references above it can be derisive or even mournful rather than just a happy laugh like we have when we are enjoying the circumstances where we find ourselves at the moment.  I think the words joy or glory were used when we might use the word laugh today. 

I was not surprised to find few references.  I think the first Christians were probably fairly scared as to share their faith could mean death.  Today the living of our faith is more a celebration I believe and think joy and laughter must be included.  Who wants to join a group who is dour all the time?  Not me!  I loved seeing a young teen dancing with the joy of Christ at church a few years back.  In another church we attended a couple of young girls gave a dance performance on the altar also – both were beautiful celebrations.

Is laughter the best medicine?  I believe so. I believe it brings us closer to each other when we share a story or joke or situation.  I think laughing at ourselves is endearing.  I believe that sharing joy is contagious.  Think I mentioned it before about a chuckle just starting and then another person chuckles then the whole room is laughing.   

As I was writing this a song all of a sudden popped into my head.  It was a song years ago by the BeeGees.  It was 1968 and the Songwriters were Maurice Ernest Gibb, Robin Gibb, and Barry Alan Gibb called ‘I Started A Joke.’  The words are interesting.


I started a joke, which started the whole world crying,
But I didn’t see that the joke was on me, oh no.

I started to cry, which started the whole world laughing,
Oh, if I’d only seen that the joke was on me.

I looked at the skies, running my hands over my eyes,
And I fell out of bed, hurting my head from things that I’d said.

Til I finally died, which started the whole world living,
Oh, if I’d only seen that the joke was on me.

I looked at the skies, running my hands over my eyes,
And I fell out of bed, hurting my head from things that I’d said.

Til I finally died, which started the whole world living,
Oh, if I’d only seen that the joke was one me.

This has been interpreted a couple of ways faith or war through Hitler?  Since the devil supposedly fell from heaven to hell perhaps that is the joke? However you interpret it I think laughter works for the good – healthy laughter not derisive laughter.   

When was the last time you experienced this belly laugh phenomenon?  Or even a happy chuckle of watching a child play?  A quiet smile of seeing a friend?  Prescription of the day – take two laughs and call me in the morning!




I watched the Biden-Ryan in great amazement.  I knew who Paul Ryan was and had a small idea of the moderator.  Who in the world was the ‘other guy’?  I thought Joe Biden was going to show up for this debate.  The man that was sitting there looked eerily like the Joker from Batman.  Seriously did you catch it?  When he was in a major grin, which was often, the shape of his face was almost the same triangular shape as that of the Joker in the Batman comics.  It does not give me a warm feeling that the Joker is a heart beat away from running this country.  I think I was okay when I thought it was Joe Biden.

The debate physically had an interesting setting.  I am used to podiums with debates.  Sitting next to each other seemed to have set the scene for familiarity.  What is it they say about familiarity that it breeds contempt.  If that is true then the setting certainly was enhanced with Good Ole Joe’s antics.

I believed debates were filled with respect and decorum.  That thought was shattered on Thursday by Biden’s actions.  He guffawed, laughed, interrupted and acted for the whole 90 minutes.  There was one and only one place that I saw truth and that was when he was talking about his first wife and the accident.  With that exception I believe Joe Biden was acting a role in a play.  He was ad-libbing and playing the part of a good ole boy who knew more than this young pup next to him.  He was disrespectful and ridiculous.  One pundit said he believed he was supposed to act aggressive though not like a clown.  I believe we saw the clown.  Never in my life would I ever anticipate calling our Vice President a clown.  His actions on Thursday lead to no other conclusion.

I listened to all the pundits on the 11 hour drive I had yesterday.  It is reported that Joe Biden interrupted 80+ times.  I am thinking that if they were at podiums this might have been easier to moderate.  He used the word fact over 26 times in various ways.  He outright lied and gave misleading information.

He said, “We did not know…”.  It was just the day or two before that Ms Lamb testified on Capitol Hill that they had been watching the raid on Benghazi almost in real time.  There had been no protest about a video.  If Joe Biden had been aware of what was going on in his world he might have known that some one knew.  If it was not he and the President then we are in real trouble. 

He said the middle class below $1 Million would have no tax increase.  The number his administration has been using is $250,000 I think.

He said the recession fell out of the sky with a great flourish of his arms.  I was interested in fact checking this.  It has received much play on facebook by those who support Obama as a real high point.  The facts behind this are a little fuzzy for good ole Joe.  He said ‘they’ put two wars, a prescription drug benefit and a trillion dollar tax cut for the wealthy on a credit card.  The fact, Joe’s favorite word on Thursday, is that it was not ‘they’.  Good Ole Joe voted for both wars.  He also voted for a prescription drug bill just not the one that was signed into law.

He said that Mitt Romney said that it would be a good idea to have GM go into bankruptcy instead of rescuing it.  The fact is that Romney said that it should go through a private financial restructure.  That means using private funds not public.  GM was bailed out with a public restructuring using OUR money.  Same thing happened only difference was public vs. private monies.

Lastly he said that Obamacare did not discriminate against the Catholic Church.  Paul; Ryan’s answer was spot on.  The Government is being sued by the Catholic Church exactly due to this fact.

Good ole Joe has been in our government for over 30 years.  Living here in the Delmarva Peninsula we hear much about Joe and his service as the Delaware News Journal is the major paper.  He has taken or did take the train everyday from Wilmington,DE to DC. A conclusion could be made that perhaps he has stayed at the party a little too long.  His antics on the stage on Thursday show a little too much of a happy warrior.  It was a borderline display of a resident of an in-patient mental center.  Buffoon, Brilliant or Boorish – you decide.

The Scriptures are dead to many people in this day.  For me as I have shared often the Scriptures are alive.  The one that surfaced yesterday says it all and I believe shows the Bible is real for all times.

Proverbs 29:9 – “When a wise person debates a fool, the fool rages and laughs and there is no peace and quiet.”




I wrote down two lines from a movie I caught on TV the other day.  It is a kid’s movie.  I have seen it before and if we do not own it I think I would like to purchase it for the grandchildren.  The movie is “The Sandlot”.  It is a story about kids playing baseball.  The narrator of the story spoke a couple of lines I wrote down as something I wanted to remember. 

One was, “Everybody gets one chance to do something great.”

The other was, “Heroes get remembered, legends never die.”

I thought both of these very appropriate for today – Columbus Day. 

We celebrated Columbus Day on the 12th of October every year when I was a kid.  I do not remember having the day off from school though.  The holiday was established by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937. There had been celebrations of this event in our country and the best known one began in New York City in 1792.  It changed for convenience to the second Monday of October in on June 28, 1968 when the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed.  It took 4 holidays – Washington’s Birthday, Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day – and changed them to Monday’s and went into effect federally in 1971.  This change coincidentally brings it to the celebration of Canada’s Thanksgiving. 

Columbus Day was for me really the beginning of fall.  It was Oct. 1st when the teachers would have our rooms decorated with fall leaves.  One teacher usually had a poem on her ‘greenboard’.  Our blackboards were green!!!  Columbus Day we studied the history of Christopher Columbus discovering America.  “In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean Blue.”

It was much later in my life when I read further in history to find out that old Chris might not have been a great man after all.  It is said by many that he and his crew were responsible for the elimination of indigenous peoples of this continent.  Not sure that can rest on just one man’s shoulders.  I was also interested to discover that 1492 was the actual date and that he made several trips to find America and then may actually not have found us after all. 

Is he a hero for getting in that tiny ship and crossing the big ocean or is he a legend.  Surely he had a chance to do and did something great.

I had the occasion to be in St. Augustine, Florida one time when they had the replicas of the three very very tiny ships in the harbor.  We were not able to board them only look at them.  I have however been aboard Old Ironsides in BostonHarbor.  Now that is not exactly the same timeframe yet it is a small ship.  My 5’3” head almost touched the ceiling.  I cannot imagine crossing an ocean in a vessel as small as that.  I do not think there were any stabilizers on these boats.

A hero is defined as, ‘a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities’.

A legend is defined as, ‘A traditional story sometimes popularly regarded as historical but unauthenticated.’

For a young man the son of a weaver who went to sea at age 16, I do not think it matters.    He had to have courage to get in those boats and cross a huge ocean and as far as I am concerned so that alone makes him a hero. He made huge documented discoveries so the legend part is acceptable.   In the end does it really matter?   On this the traditional Columbus Day I declare he was both!!!