Today is a rather unusual day in the life of the Catholic Church.  The pope is resigning.  Usually a Pope is appointed for life.  He is citing health and promises to follow the new pope faithfully.  Watching this is quite something.  I found this interesting about what the world was the last time a pope stepped down.


The last time this happened, things were a bit different.

When Pope Celestine V abdicated in December 1294, five months after being elected, just 37 years had passed since the first recorded meeting of the seven electors of the Holy Roman Empire, according to OhioStateUniversity’s History Timeline.

Only three years had passed since the Crusades had ended, and a scant 79 years —a single human lifetime — had gone by since King John of England signed the Magna Carta.

A few scratches with a pencil will tell you Celestine abdicated 719 years ago. But let’s have some more context. That same year, Kubla Khan, the last of the great Mongol rulers, died.

The next year, Marco Polo returned from China, full of all sorts of stories about the Far East and its exciting products. Accounts vary, but he is widely credited with introducing Europe to the ideas of paper money, coal and eyeglasses, among other things.

The Knights Templar were still riding around. They wouldn’t disband for another two decades.

It would be another 30 years before iron cannons were first forged in France; 31 until the Aztecs settled their capital in Tenochtitlan; 53 years before bubonic plague, or the Black Death, first struck Europe.

Seventy-four years would pass before Zhu Yuanzhang threw the Mongols out of Beijing and established the Ming Dynasty, whose objects we now consider almost unfathomably old.

For me to write all that is happening will be redundant. You can turn on the TV or check the internet yourself.  The facts surrounding all of this are very interesting.   Since he is not dead there are things that will not happen.  The funeral of course being a major non-happening.  The funeral of Pope John Paul II was quite a spectacle.  We were told all that was happening moment by moment and the reason for each little nuance.

For instance, the Papal ring is destroyed as the Pope is dead.  The Papal ring will still be destroyed this time.  The seal will also be destroyed.  All these little items are ones that we would not think too much about except it has not ever happened in our lifetime.

Pope Benedict XVI is going to Castel Gandalfo, the summer residence, until his apartments in the Vatican are complete.  I found it interesting that he will be accompanied by the Swiss Guard for a short time.  They are going to stand outside the Castel until he is settled in there with his ‘family’, those that serve him, and then at 8PM they are going to leave and return to Rome.  He will be guarded no longer and be called His Holiness Benedict XVI Pope Emeritus.  Really remarkable to watch.

The Conclave will begin soon.  That too is fascinating to me.  One of the best books I ever read about this was “The Shoes of the Fisherman” by Morris L. West.  It was about a Pope who came from Poland.  Now keep in mind this book was written in 1963.  Anthony Quinn played him in the movies. Pope John Paul II, native of Poland,  did note assume the title until 1978.  Both the book and movie give insights into the Papal protocol.  The book allowed us to meet a reluctant Pope who at times had feelings of being smothered by that protocol.

I am far removed from ever meeting a Pope though I would love to do so one day.  I have friends who have been in audience with him.  One of them has a picture of John Paul II blessing her stomach as she was pregnant when the audience was held.  I remember the peaceful feeling that fell over St. Louis the week he was there for a youth rally.  I will watch the next few weeks with awe and interest as the new Pope is discerned.  I love that it is not really an election.   Though I am certain the cynics will taut the behind the scenes politicking that probably goes on as political.  It still remains one mans vote after prayer.  That is a powerful and humbling thing.  Today is a historic day for the Catholic Church.


By ktsquared Posted in Faith



When I was a young child my mother would dress my sister and I in matching clothes.  We had shirt and short sets that were just alike.  One I remember was a plaid top with khaki color pants.  They were bought together and worn together.  We were not alone.  Another of my friends had a sister the same age as mine and sure enough – matching.  One particular picture I remember from the family album show the four friends on our way to camp two sets of girls in two sets of matching clothes.

When our children were very little there was Buster Brown clothing for boys and Polly Flinders smocked dresses for girls.  Our son was dressed in Buster Brown.  It was good quality clothing though a tad costly.  Then Garanimals were born.  I was amazed to see they still had a website.

About Garanimals

Garanimals was founded on a simple but unique concept: to help parents affordably dress their young children in comfortable clothing that is easy to mix and match. Each Garanimals line may be mixed and matched as separates, and the color and style mix and match with any piece within that line.

History of Garanimals

Garanimals was born in 1972 out of the idea that there is a positive connection between how children dress and how they feel about themselves.

The kid-friendly Garanimals mix-and-match separates makes clothes easy to pair and fun to wear. The Garanimals pairing system brings creativity and independence to young children as they select their own clothes and dress themselves. Through these small, successful decisions, children develop early feelings of self-confidence.

“”Garanimals…helps the pre-schooler to handle his/her own wardrobe. That sense of ‘I Can’ fosters the child’s growing sense of independence.” – Dr. Joyce Brothers

Today, Garanimals continues to be dedicated to its heritage. Garanimals clothing, now made for newborns as well as young children (up to 5T), provides color and trend-right silhouettes, and comfortable fit. Each line is carefully designed to provide kids with fashion and comfort while guaranteeing quality, value, and ease of shopping to parents.

Moms love the fool-proof simplicity. Kids love to look good and feel good. The Garanimals family would not have it any other way.

The safety of the children using and playing with our Garanimals products is our primary concern, that’s why all of our products meet and exceed all safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM). Before any of our products can be sold in North America, the materials, paints, sealants and all components that comprise them are tested rigorously by independent testing facilities to ensure their safety.

They were and are cute affordable clothes for kids.  I can still get them for our youngest grandson though he is quickly outgrowing the label.

I have been told I wear Garanimals.  I was probably programmed from that early age to wear matching clothes.  I buy pantsuits, unlike Hillary’s, that are the same color.  One that I own is a yellow sweat pant set that has the same color pants and top and the top has a lovely daylily on the front panel.  The pant fabric is a waffle weave and while the same color it is a different fabric from the top.  Another I have is really a tip back to the 60s and rarely is worn outside of the house.  It is a gray blue with embroidered flowers around the beck and pant legs bottoms.  Others of my clothes are either the same color or coordinating tops and bottoms.  I really do have clothes that do not match and still coordinate – I was raised to coordinate.

I admit it I am a throw back and wear Grandmama Garanimals!!!  Wonder if there is a self-help group for people like me???  Today it is a striped top with pants that match and have an anchor on the knee.  Not bought together and still match.  I give up!!! I accept the label!!!




After my rant of yesterday I was reminded of the above title quote.  My immediate response was that of course it was correct.  The other side of it is that the unspoken word does not fix anything either.  If there is something wrong then must we not speak up?  Are we not called to do so in fact?  I have written about all this before.  Speak up.  Remain silent.  How do you know which is the best in any given situation?

Yesterday, after I posted my blog I did my daily Scripture reading.  It was very interesting in light of the negativity I heard the day before.  The reading was from Luke.

Luke 6:36-38

Jesus said to his disciples: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”

My immediate response was to marvel at how closely this scripture came to the situation I was in on Sunday.  The person being so negative was putting that forth and it evidently was swirling right back to them.  This is not a new idea.  “Do unto others as you want done unto you” is also in that same book Luke 6:31.

Am I being called to speak these words of wisdom to Mr. Negativity?  If so the call is really clear that I must be kind and forgiving when doing so.

Another response I had when I read this was reinforcement that a spoken word can do good if it is the right word or done the right way.  We are called in John 13:34-35 to “Love One Another”.  In the same book in Matthew 5:43-48 and Romans 12:14 we are told to love those that persecute you.   I had not expected an answer so quickly and yet there it was in the scripture.  I was made aware of why the person could not see good.  He was not putting forth any good words to come back to him.  I also understood quickly how, if I was to respond, I was to do so kindly with well chosen positive forgiving words.

The other response I meditated upon after I read this scripture was to question why anyone would even question the relevance of the Bible today.  If the Bible becomes unspoken words so to do no harm how is it going to help?   We must speak the words we hear in the Scripture.  This is a living book.  The words need to be read, meditated upon, shared and definitely spoken.

I was amazed.  I look to my faith for answers in my life.  I believe God has a plan for me and gave me a book with any answer I might need.  All I have to do is read it.  The answer may not come in words as clearly as it did yesterday.  I may have to read for days or weeks or even years depending upon what I am asking.  The toughest thing for me is to understand that if the words I want to hear are not spoken to me then that too can be an answer.  It might be “Not yet.”  “Not at all.” I may hear a continual “No.”  That is an answer as well.

I believe no word in that book is void.  They are filled with answers and more questions and understanding when we read, meditate and speak them.  In the old testament in Isaiah 55:11 we are told, “…so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

The conclusion I take from all of this is when God speaks to me through this book He will get what He wants for me.  I hear that when we speak we must do so carefully.  Negativity as I have read in this Book brings negativity.  It was indeed what I was experiencing as the words were being spewed forth a couple of days ago.  Looking for the positive in my life I am called to give positive messages.  When I do this good will come back.  Seems fairly simple.  Unspoken words do no harm is wise and true.  When words are spoken they must be done so carefully.  Lesson learned!






WARNING!!! WARNING!!! WARNING!!!  This is going to be a rant for me only.  You may choose to stop reading right here.

One of my earlier posts was about how we can accentuate the positive when we are speaking out against an issue.  I still am trying to deal with this especially in the political arena.  There is little I like about the policies of the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.  It is very hard to discuss my dislike of the policies in a positive way.  I came to the conclusion that there may be a difference in negativity.  In the political arena there usually is an opposite point of view that one sees as positive for the cause.  Instead of being negative one could place the positive first.  Still find this hard to do in the political and am having to work with this reality.

It is the negative for no other reason or so that someone has something to say or likes to hear themselves talk or gets stuck in a way of living that drives me absolutely up a wall.  Love that image ‘up a wall’.  The picture is me on hands and knees going up my family room wall much like Spiderman.  Kind of funny in my own mind actually.

Yesterday I was in the presence of supreme negativity.  In fact the person could have been named Mr. or Mrs. Negative and worn the label well.  I will use the Mr. as fewer letters to type.  I was livid.  If looks could damage then this person would have had two black eyes.  I could only look/glare at them with absolute disbelief and anger.

The scene was a group of people sitting around a table trying to make the best out of a disappointing event.  The invited guests for this specific event did not show up.  We, there were 6 couples, forged ahead and enjoyed the potluck lunch that was before us.  The conversation of course was about what we could do the next time so that disappointment was not again the end result.

It turned into a very kind enjoyable loving time.  At one point we were told that a few of the invited had sent notes as to why they would not be there.  These were read and we heard the reasons why they were unable to be with us that day.  We also heard that their lives had been changed by attending an earlier event.  This news took some sting out of being stood up by the others.

Another couple at our table shared that they had taken a small action to invite friends to come to a future event.  It was a quiet little offering of how they did this. They simply decided to write some personal notes and invite their friends to the next activity.   It was so simple.  It spread like wildfire through the periphery of the table.  Each couple in turn said, “I can do that” with emphasis and a plan to carry out the activity.  The mood changed.  It was palpable and real.  There was no longer disappointment there was now hope.  It was the warm sun pouring down on your skin after you have come out of the water.  It was a cuddly blanket.  It looked like a campfire glowing orange with hot coals.  It felt good!  All from two sweet kind positive people who took one small positive step. The afternoon picked up as ideas were enthusiastically shared.

Then IT happened.  The bottom fell out of the room as Mr. Negativity informed us that all we were doing was for naught as the program was dismally flawed at its core.  There were changes that had ruined the format, the presentation, the follow-up and all that we were discussing.  It would never be the same.  The old way was the only way and Mr. Negativity knew that what he had experienced was the best and it would not ever come again!   Had he not heard the good things that had just been shared?

The anger boiled up in me and I had all I could do to keep my mouth shut.  I glared.  I bit my tongue.  I thought about all the people that were being tossed aside in the rantings of Mr. Negative.  I thought of loving kind people who were being verbally destroyed.  There were many people who gave hours, weeks, and years to keep this program alive.   I wondered why he was still involved with what we were doing if he believed this way.

I felt like I had been hit with a pail of ice cold water.  It was a horrible way to end the day.  Few spoke after that.  In the real world of life and death what Mr. Negative thinks does not mean a whole lot.  How he delivered it was the problem.  He would not shut up.  The cold water poured and poured.  I was ever so glad when he did finally stop talking.  I felt like I was dripping wet and grabbing for a towel to get this cold wet out of my soul.

Yesterday I truly understood Maya Angelou’s belief that words hang on the walls like cobwebs.  I am working very hard to get the words I heard out of my mind.  I am trying to replace yesterday’s negative assault with positive actions.  Perhaps, if I can find the person I want to be, I will write a note to Mr. Negative.  I can share my angst in a kind manner.  I can ask him to forgive my glaring. I can invite him to try the format, he believes is no good, again and offer to pay.  I will have to think about all these actions. One thing I can do right now is pray that Mr. Negative has a good day.  For me I am just glad to have these thoughts and feelings out of me through my fingers to ‘paper’ so I can make my day a great one!!

Phew!  Got that out. If you are still reading thank you for your support.


By ktsquared Posted in Trivia



I have shown you a couple of pictures around our home.  A few were of our powder room.  Isn’t that an odd name for a room really?  I am certain it dates back to the Victorian Age.  Got this from the wisegeek.com.

The term powder room dates back to the early 18th century, when it was used to refer to a closet-sized room where people went to have their wigs repowdered. The expression carried through to Victorian times, when any reference to personal bodily functions was considered indelicate. Ladies of the era were embarrassed to speak of such things and would excuse themselves from mixed company to go to “powder their noses.” In fact, many women still use refer to a public ladies’ room as a powder room.

I had not really remembered powdered wigs.  It is all so interesting.  Love information!

I think my favorite powder room was that of a friend of mine.  Norkie had this little spot under a staircase in an old house.  She papered it with a wild theatrical blue white and orange-red paper and hung a porcelain bedpan with a plant in it on the wall.  I copied that idea in mine years later when I came across the same type of bedpan in an antique shop.  Two other favorites of mine were ours.  One in Tennessee was a gorgeous red tone on tone wallpaper with white fixtures and trim.  Another was a smaller room that I stenciled a lilac tree on the wall behind the toilet and birdhouses on stands were stenciled on the other walls.  I don’t stencil so much anymore though I still love the look.

In the powder room in this house is a chalkboard that is an old time 8×10 slate with wood trim.  It has a piece of chalk attached to it.  It is opposite the throne in case you are inclined to scribble while you wait.  This chalkboard used to keep notes by our phone in other houses.  There is no place here so after a few years on a shelf it found its way to the bathroom wall.DCF 1.0

I had a few things written on it from long ago that are still there.  One is “The ten commandments are not multiple choice.”  Another is simply ‘Psalm 37:4’.   There is a “Hi Kathy” that was written there years ago by our youngest girl. Then there is the God quote that says, “It’s not your job to fix all the things in the universe, it’s mine. Love God”.  Someone wrote ‘thank you for dinner’.  Another wrote “Happy Thanksgiving”.  Someone put two swords or crosses on it.  Another added two connected hearts.  I had decided that one day soon I am going to take it down and scrub it clean so it can be used more fully.

That is going to have to wait for another day I believe.  Recently, no picture yet, someone took the time to erase some of the scribbles and to add something that has led me to believe that this chalkboard has found a very special spot.  Not to be moved.  I will take it down and clean it one day though it will be awhile.  I want to enjoy the latest entry.

Someone wrote, “Some answers are not found on google.”




I am no longer a morning person.  Time was when early morning was a neat place to be.  Have to admit those times were when I had stayed up having fun all night.  Then there were the early mornings that I awoke before the whole family and tiptoed to the living room to read in the quiet.  No longer.  I must be honest and say that I have to drag myself out of bed most days.  I really would like to find the magic potion to get me back to jumping out to greet the day.  That will be a new adventure one day perhaps!

Yesterday morning I was up earlier than normal at 6:45 or so.  I looked out the bathroom window and saw the most vibrant red sky I had seen in years.  There was almost a line across it like a child had painted it.  Below was a rich deep red orange much like the color of a Doritos bag.  It look like the heat ring of a glass cook top.  It appeared as if it would burn your hand should you reach out to touch it. This red orange had black streaks through it.  Above this line was a lighter color that was fading to pink like a tie dyed shirt.  The color mutated to a clear that appeared to gradually become a light blue tint on the whole sky.

I brushed my teeth and turned back around and it was a little less brilliant.  I walked downstairs to discover that in that short amount of time the earth had moved or the sky had lightened and the color had faded to the horizon.  I could barely see it any longer.

As the granddaughter of a lobsterman and the daughter of a man who was in marine hardware sales all his life I am very familiar with the ‘Red at Dawning’ quote.  I was interested to see what the rest of the day was going to be.

I googled the quote only to discover that the Library of Congress has a wonderful website.  I am certain I will use it more.  I knew I could find books here.  I was not aware of all the other information that was available.  The place I was led this time was called, “Everyday Mysteries” and had an answer to the query of the quote.  See Below:

The Library of Congress Everyday Mysteries


Question: “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning” true, or is it just an old wives’ tale?

Answer:    Within limits, there is truth in this saying.

Have you ever heard anyone use the proverb above?

Shakespeare did. He said something similar in his play, Venus and Adonis. “Like a red morn that ever yet betokened, Wreck to the seaman, tempest to the field, Sorrow to the shepherds, woe unto the birds, Gusts and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds.”

In the Bible, (Matthew XVI: 2-3,) Jesus said, “When in evening, ye say, it will be fair weather: For the sky is red. And in the morning, it will be foul weather today; for the sky is red and lowering.”

Weather lore has been around since people needed to predict the weather and plan their activities. Sailors and farmers relied on it to navigate ships and plant crops.

I was fascinated to discover the Bible quote as well as Shakespeare.  The article went on to talk about particles of dust, pressures and all sorts of informational items to spoil the beauty of a simple sunrise!  I did not need to know that the deeper the red the more moisture leading to bad weather.  I trusted my grandfather and father all these years and have been fairly well taken care of from their use of the quote.  Many a time I would have raingear on when I left home to walk to school.  I was told I would need it.  I would discover few other classmates had their raincoats.  I however was all set to walk home when the rain inevitably arrived later that day.

Yesterday a little after 1PM the weather bureau started publishing winter weather warnings for Friday and Saturday.  I had to be out for the afternoon.  I watched the day slowly dwindle from the light blue tinted cloudy sky to the overcast to the solid gray sky.  As I was pulling back into my street I could hear and see weather on my car. It was a rain sleet mix. I got into my garage with no plans to leave again that day or the next.

Red at dawning?  I’ll heed the warning and continue to believe Grumpa and Daddy and those old wives whoever they are!


By ktsquared Posted in Trivia



When our children were younger and were grocery shopping we would try to pick up something new and different in the fruit or veggie aisle.  Mostly fruits.  Veggies were not a big hit.  Each of them ‘did time’ at the table to finish some sort of green vegetable.  The old ‘you are not leaving this table until you eat your____’ – fill in the blank.

One time at the grocery we tried a Ugli.  Wasn’t too bad though the name was off-putting.  We bought star anise and other such different things.  We also tried mangos and papayas as newly accessible to us way back then.

In the grocery the other day I saw this fruit.  Could not find a name for it.  The only distinguishing mark was a sticker that said Chili on it.  It was a yellow color.  In the bin they varied from bright yellow to a pear yellow and it was hard to know which to choose for ripeness.  Upon check out we discovered it was a lemon plum.  Had no idea what it was going to taste like and decided to wait until just before dinner to try so all in the household could have a bite of this new interesting treat.

I said at the time that I was going to write a blog about it.  Waiting gave me the opportunity to investigate this new taste treat – at least I hoped.  For this info I thought that Wikipedia would be acceptable as a simple source. I found the following.

A lemon plum is a rare fruit imported from Chile, it resembles the taste of a plum, and is very sweet and juicy. They have a similar shape to a lemon, except one end is rounded and the other has a nipple. When unripe they have a bright yellow color. As they ripen, their color changes from yellow to a golden orange and then finally to a dark sunset reddish purple when ripe. They have a slightly floral, very fragrant smell. Their peak availability in the United States is very short and is typically within the month of February.

In the search for the what and why of it I discovered it is fairly new though ‘Taste of Home’ has a recipe to make a sorbet using lemon plums and two cups of sugar.  Someone had also developed a recipe for a smoothie using 10 lemon plums with chipolte powder and lots of yogurt.

The moment arrived.  We stood around the island as I cut into this yellow fruit.  We had no idea what it was going to taste like.  I cut the slices.  We took bites.  Varying degrees of discomfort fell across our faces.  Too bad a camera was not available as I am certain my wrinkly face would have looked like a bull dogs!   The fruit was bitter.  We saved the pit to try to grow a vine and tossed the rest away.

You will not convince me that this lemon plum is sweet though I might try it again in the more amber color that I discovered after the fact is the right color for ripeness.  I give second chances regularly.  I wish the grocery had not put them out there tempting me with the color and no knowledge.  Lemon plum indeed is was simply another name for a sour lemon of another shape.  So should have simply been called a PLemon with the P standing for Plum or Puckery?


By ktsquared Posted in Trivia



I could not really imagine on June 1, 2012 that I would still be at this 274 days later.  I intended, I planned, I hoped and prayed.  I also know I have very little self-discipline.  I now can say that the majority of my goal is behind me.  Imagine that!!!

Along the way I have managed to see some growth in my writing.  I can see how I am occasionally taking a thought from point A to point B without hitting a million other points in between like a pin ball machine as is my custom.  I have to admit that I still allow myself to wander now with intention most times.  Still again rambling is part of my writing.  I love to use the grammar check.  I believe it is a good day when I get the “Fragmant (consider revising)” error more than once!  That is my voice.  I speak in fragments.  I know what I am talking about and it is good if others keep up.  It frustrates some.

There is a scene (see here I go off on a pin ball like detour) in the movie “Life With Father” that is a favorite in this house.  The clip is below for a ‘you tube’ of it.  This clip illustrates very clearly what I am talking about.  In this house when conversations are not being understood you might occasionally hear, “Well don’t you let them.”   This means we are not speaking the same language!!!


Back on track with my great day of reaching 3/4 of my goal.  I am pleased with my openness and surprised at some of my honesty.  Truly someday I have the sense that I am fighting for a heavenly cause to have people understand kindness and love and dare I say common sense.  You may not agree with the political positions I take and that is just fine.  I would hope that you could agree with a few plain facts that you cannot spend more than you take in and be successful.  Or that we were founded on firm beliefs.

I like that perhaps I have challenged some.  How can we as a society kill babies on one hand and cry for the poor on the other?  Well some can it appears, though where is the sense in it?  How can you be kind to strangers and unkind to your own?  If I have raised questions then it is a good thing.

The trivia is most fun as it has allowed me to explore things I did not know about.  After visiting Vampira this morning I am now going to look up why some blood samples are frozen.  We also bought a new fruit that I am going to investigate.  I love to learn and finding new info to answer a casual question is fun for me.  Perhaps I should have been a researcher?  When I worked in an insurance company I was in charge of booking travel for our agents and I really enjoyed that.  I could have been a travel agent.

The world of ‘could have been’ is full of people still wanting to learn.  Count me in!

What is next?  I am seriously thinking of compiling all of these – or a vast majority – into some form of anthology.   The political writings will be outdated for any sort of publication.  I actually put together a self-printed large font three ring binder for my father for his birthday.  I made it very large font so he might be able to read it.  I have a couple of cousins who have published books so I am thinking I can give it a whirl.

One hard part will be to decide which blogs to publish.  You could all help by noting your favorites if you want.  I envision it in chapters such with names like Fun, Faith, Family or Friends.  WOW!!  “The Four Fs”!  Do I have a title?  I do not think so – a start maybe!

The other hard part is the marketing of it.  Of course I want to be rich – why not!!!  It really would have been better to use the word richer.  I am rich in all that is important – family, faith and friends.  A little extra green would be a good thing.  Perhaps I could really buy the Cadillac Dad has always wanted instead of yet another navy blue match box Cadillac.  If I write the book  then it will all come together I am certain of that if that is the plan God has for me.

I also want to challenge myself in other ways.  Lots of newspaper columns are limited to 300 words.  Now this would be a real challenge to get my thought across with fewer words.  Going to try it though.  I also want to spread out to new areas of information.  Look into ideas and concepts that I have no real thought about so that I may learn.  I want to take up some of the challenges from wordpress.  I am not using this site to its fullest I know.  There still is the website I want.  I want to change my name from ktsquaredtreasures to something more streamline and focused.  I have much to do this next 91 days.  Deciding if I am going to keep a daily blog after may be the first choice!!!




I am out of the picture this morning.  I can add few words to what our President has said about Sequestration.  It is his idea.  He owns it.  If you do not believe me see what he says.  I have taken the liberty of using the bold to highlight some of his remarks.

NOV. 21, 2011

From Forbes:

President Barack Obama gave a press conference after the Supercommitteeofficially admitted it failed to reach an agreement to cut $1.2 trillion in budget spending over the next 10 yearsObama told reporters he would veto any attempt to get rid of the automatic cuts which are set to kick in as a part of the sequester proposition, which will be triggered unless Congress reaches over the next year.

Asking Congress to “work with a scalpel, not with a hatchet,” President Obama sought to provide the people, and markets, with a little hope.  Despite the Supercommittee failing to agree on spending cuts for $1.2 trillion, Obama noted there’s still a year before automatic cuts kick in.

The sequester proposition, which will trigger $1.2 trillion in cuts in defense and domestic spending, in equal parts, will kick in if Congress doesn’t get its act together over the next 12 months, the President said.  Obama had his game face on, and took on Republicans asking them to work as hard to defend tax cuts to small businesses and middle class Americans as they did to defend tax cuts for the rich.

Threatening a veto, Obama asked Congress to reach a bi-partisan solution that would put the country’s debt situation on a sustainable path to recovery.  “I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts,” said Obama from the White House’s briefing room, adding “the only way to get rid of those cuts is to get Congress to come together and work on a deal.”

You can watch the whole presser on the following link to You Tube.


Not to use one source I found this on CBS.


“Already some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts. My message to them is simple: No,” Mr. Obama said from the White House briefing room Monday evening. “I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending.”

“One way or another we will be trimming the deficit by a total of at least $2.2 trillion over the next 10 years,” he said. “The only way these spending cuts will not take place is if Congress gets back to work and agrees on a balanced plan to reduce the deficit by at least 1.2 trillion dollars. That’s exactly what they need to do.”

“They continue to insist on protecting $100 billion worth of tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, at any cost, even if it means reducing the deficit with deep cuts to things like education and medical research, even if it means deep cuts in Medicare,” he said. “So at this point at least, they simply will not budge from that negotiating position. And so far, that refusal continues to be the main stumbling block that has prevented Congress from reaching an agreement to further reduce our deficit.”

“We need to keep the pressure up to compromise, not turn off the pressure,” he said. “Although Congress has not come to an agreement yet, nothing prevents them from coming up with an agreement in the days ahead.”



“The sequester is not something that I’ve proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed.”

— President Obama, in the third presidential debate, Oct. 22, 2012

As the saying goes, success has a thousand fathers, while failure is an orphan. And if there ever is an orphan in Washington these days, it is that odd duck known as “sequestration.”

We’ve earlier written that there are bipartisan fingerprints over the looming defense cuts that Mitt Romney has sought to pin on President Obama. Now, in the final presidential debate, Obama sought to toss the hot potato of sequestration — the process that is forcing those defense cuts and reductions in domestic spending — into Congress’s lap.

Fortunately, there is a detailed and contemporaneous look at the debt ceiling deal that led to the current budget crunch: Bob Woodward’s “The Price of Politics.” The book clearly had the full cooperation of top White House and congressional officials. With the help of our colleague, we took a tour through the relevant sections in order to determine the accuracy of the president’s statement.

The Facts

The battle over raising the debt ceiling consumed Washington in the summer of 2011, with Republicans refusing to agree to raise it unless spending was cut by an equivalent amount. Obama pressed but failed to get an agreement on raising revenue as part of the package. Woodward’s book details the efforts to come up with an enforcement mechanism that would make sure the cuts took place — and virtually every mention shows this was a White House gambit.

Page 215 (July 12, 2011):

They turned to [White House national economic council director Gene] Sperling for details about a compulsory trigger if they didn’t cut spending or raise taxes in an amount at least equivalent to the debt ceiling increase.

“A trigger would lock in our commitment,” Sperling explained. “Even though we disagree on the composition of how to get to the cuts, it would lock us in. The form of the automatic sequester would punish both sides. We’d have to September to avert any sequester” — a legal obligation to make spending cuts.

“Then we could use a medium or big deal to force tax reform,” Obama said optimistically.

“If this is a trigger for tax reform,” [House speaker John] Boehner said, “this could be worth discussing. But as a budget tool, it’s too complicated. I’m very nervous about this.”

“This would be an enforcement mechanism,” Obama said.

Short version: The White House proposed the idea of a compulsory trigger, with Sperling calling it an “automatic sequester,” though initially it was to include tax revenue, not just spending cuts. Boehner was “nervous” about using it as a budget tool.


Am I correct in understanding that now the President is blaming the Republicans for this sequester?

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/02/remarks-by-president-obama-on-the-sequester-full-text-87788.html#ixzz2LRjXlf99

As I said in my State of the Union address last week, our top priority must be to do everything we can to grow the economy and create good, middle-class jobs.  That’s our top priority.  That’s our North Star.  That drives every decision we make.  And it has to drive every decision that Congress and everybody in Washington makes over the next several years.

And that’s why it’s so troubling that just 10 days from now, Congress might allow a series of automatic, severe budget cuts to take place that will do the exact opposite.  It won’t help the economy, won’t create jobs, will visit hardship on a whole lot of people.

Here’s what’s at stake.  Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce our deficits by more than $2.5 trillion.  More than two-thirds of that was through some pretty tough spending cuts.  The rest of it was through raising taxes — tax rates on the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans.  And together, when you take the spending cuts and the increased tax rates on the top 1 percent, it puts us more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances.

Now, Congress, back in 2011, also passed a law saying that if both parties couldn’t agree on a plan to reach that $4 trillion goal, about a trillion dollars of additional, arbitrary budget cuts would start to take effect this year.  And by the way, the whole design of these arbitrary cuts was to make them so unattractive and unappealing that Democrats and Republicans would actually get together and find a good compromise of sensible cuts as well as closing tax loopholes and so forth.  And so this was all designed to say we can’t do these bad cuts; let’s do something smarter.  That was the whole point of this so-called sequestration.

Obama owns this sequestration.  He fought to keep it in there.  The Congress passed the fiscal cliff by agreeing to his tax hikes.  Now what Mr. President no spending cuts?

I wonder if anyone at all remembers during the campaign that the Speaker of the House last August asked Congress to review all of this before it was too late.  In case you did not here is a letter from him and other leaders.


GOP Leaders: House Will Return in August if Senate Votes to Stop All the Tax Hikes, Stop Defense Cuts

Posted by Speaker Boehner Press Office

August 1, 2012

Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – House Republican leaders sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) today urging him to follow the House and bring legislation to a vote stopping all of the coming tax hikes that threaten our economy – including President Obama’s tax hike on small businesses – and replacing the ‘sequester’ defense cuts that threaten our national security.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) pledge that if Senate Democrats take action to address these threats, the House will be called back into session during August for the purpose of sending solutions to the president’s desk.

NOTE: The House passed legislation in May to replace the ‘sequester’ with common-sense spending cuts and reforms, and will vote this week to stop all of the tax hikes which threaten more than 700,00 jobs. You can read the letter from House leaders below or click here for a PDF.

August 1, 2012

The Honorable Harry Reid

Senate Majority Leader
522 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC20510

Dear Senator Reid,

The House passed legislation in May to eliminate the threat to our nation’s security by replacing the defense sequester cuts with common-sense spending cuts and reforms.  This week the House will pass legislation to eliminate the threat to our economy posed by the approaching small business tax hike that Ernst & Young estimates will cost our economy more than 700,000 jobs.  We write to notify you of our readiness to bring the House back into session in August for the purpose of sending legislation to the president in the event the Senate should follow the House in passing such bills to eliminate these looming threats.

The defense sequester is, as you know, the result of President Obama’s desire to avoid an additional vote on raising the nation’s debt limit before the presidential election.  We passed it reluctantly, at your urging, after receiving a commitment that the president and the Democratic leadership in the Senate would work with Republicans to avert the sequester by enacting a deficit reduction package built on pro-growth tax reform and much-needed changes to strengthen and stabilize our entitlement programs.

The president and Senate Democrats failed to make good on this commitment, and it is now essential that the defense sequester be replaced with common-sense spending cuts and reforms.  Replacement is necessary to avoid harmful cuts to our military at the beginning of 2013 that President Obama’s own Defense Secretary has warned will be “devastating” to national security.  House Republicans remain committed to the full savings required by the Budget Control Act, and we passed a plan to replace the arbitrary cuts to our defenses with responsible spending cuts and reforms.  If the Senate passes its own package of alternative cuts and reforms to replace the defense sequester, it is our commitment that the House will reconvene to either consider it or to go to conference to produce a consensus package that can be sent to the president for his signature.  However, in order to avert the threat to our nation’s security that is posed by the defense sequester, the Senate must act.  A Senate vote to simply postpone the sequester, rather than replace it with common-sense cuts and reforms, is unworkable and unacceptable.

On the tax front, the House this week will act to stop the tax increase on small businesses favored by President Obama and lay the groundwork for fundamental reform of the tax code.  It is in the interest of our economy to quickly remove the threat of the entire tax hike.  As you are aware, the measure passed by the Senate last week does not stop the small business tax hike.  If the Senate follows the House in passing legislation to stop the entire tax hike — including the small business tax hike — in a manner that requires House approval before it can be sent to the president, it is our commitment that the House will reconvene immediately to ensure the measure is enacted at the earliest opportunity.  But in order to avert the threat to our economy, the Senate must join the House in acting to stop the entire tax increase.

Congress must take action to eliminate both the threat to our economy posed by the looming small business tax hike and the threat to our security posed by the defense sequester.  By the end of this week, the Republican-led House will have acted to eliminate both threats.  The Democratic-controlled Senate must follow suit.  In the event the Senate takes action, we stand ready to bring the House back into session for the purpose of enacting solutions.


John Boehner

Eric Cantor
Majority Leader

Kevin McCarthy
Majority Whip

Jeb Hensarling
Conference Chairman

If anyone remembers this plea it was little heard or fell on deaf ears.

Not sure about anyone else.  In this household when a debt is looming we do all we can to cutback and save to pay the bill.  Guess the government is lacking in common sense?  Dare I even think it might be a lack of leadership?




Yesterday was a fun facebook page day for me.  I had not been on it for a couple of days and had to read many posts to catch up.  Some were really funny.  A couple I laughed right out loud.  Even today there was another funny cartoon.  It said,

“Sweet girls come from the south, Barbies are from Cali, but New England girls have fire and ice in our blood.  We can drive in snow, handle the cold, tan at the beach, be a princess, throw a right hook and drink with the boys. We love our Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics!!  We can cook a WICKED good meal and if we have an opinion, you bet your @$$ you’re gonna hear it!!!  Re-post if you are a NEW ENGLAND GIRL!”  You have to know I reposted that one!!!

Yesterday’s laugh line was,

“I stay a bit overweight because it wouldn’t be fair to all the skinny people if I were attractive, intelligent, funny AND thin.  It’s a public service, really.”

I reposted this one as well.

Last night and this morning we had real laughter in our home.  Simple comments that gave us belly laughs.  Isn’t that a great thing??? Laughter really is a good medicine the best they say!  I am positive I have blogged about this before.  Think it is okay to repeat. I am certain I am taking a different look at it as well.

I googled the word LAUGHTER.  I am amazed art some of what I found.  There is something called Laughter Yoga.  The website is below and do go look it is interesting.  There are clubs in the US.


It is easier for me to copy the description here rather than retype for accuracy of course as well as the fact that I am a poor typist.

Laughter Yoga is a revolutionary idea – simple and profound. An exercise routine, it is sweeping the world and is a complete wellbeing workout.

The brainchild of Dr. Madan Kataria, a Physician from Mumbai, India, launched the first Laughter Club at a Park on March 13, 1995, with merely a handful of persons. Today, it has become a worldwide phenomenon with more than 6000 Social Laughter Clubs in about 60 countries.

Laughter Yoga combines Unconditional Laughter with Yogic Breathing (Pranayama). Anyone canLaugh for No Reason, without relying on humor, jokes or comedy. Laughter is simulated as a body exercise in a group; with eye contact and childlike playfulness, it soon turns into real and contagious laughter. The concept of Laughter Yoga is based on a scientific fact that the body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter. One gets the same physiological and psychological benefits.

Media coverage
This innovative concept has a worldwide following, and has been featured by many popular publications like TIME Magazine, National Geographic, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Daily Telegraph (UK) among others. Laughter Clubs have appeared on popular Television: Oprah Winfrey Show, BBC, CNN, ZDF (Germany) NHK (Japan), ABC News (USA) and others around the world. Many film features on Laughter Yoga and Laughter Clubs have been produced in different languages of the world. The media has been highly influential in the growth of Laughter Yoga globally.

The spectrum of people that this is helping spanned all sorts of areas.  They helped a lady who had had a stroke, one who had fallen and needed assistance as well as going to the survivors of Sandy.  I have copied this link as I thought it deserved a look.  Imagine trying to find laughter after the devastation and it helped.


I went on further to explore the aspects of it being a good medicine and sure enough in the link from Psychology Today there is clear medical evidence.  Link and info below.


From the article:

Now comes hard new evidence that laughter helps your blood vessels function better. It acts on the inner lining of blood vessels, called the endothelium, causing vessels to relax and expand, increasing blood flow. In other words, it’s good for your heart and brain, two organs that require the steady flow of oxygen carried in the blood.

At this year’s meeting of the AmericanCollege of Cardiology, Michael Miller, M.D., of the University of Maryland reported that in a study of 20 healthy people, provoking laughter did as much good for their arteries as aerobic activity. He doesn’t recommend that you laugh and not exercise. But he does advise that you try to laugh on a regular basis. The endothelium, he explains, regulates blood flow and adjusts the propensity of blood to coagulate and clot. In addition, it secretes assorted chemicals in response to wounds, infection or irritation. It also plays an important role in the development of cardiovascular disease.

“The endothelium is the first line in the development of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries,” said Dr. Miller. “So given the results of our study, it is conceivable that laughing may be important to maintain a healthy endothelium. And reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

As I looked further I found Edna of “Laugh Therapy Enterprises”.  I do not wish to be disrespectful and still the thought came to me about the letters after her name.  I wondered if the ‘L’ stood for ‘laugh’ and simply accepted that it probably stood for ‘licensed’.


We need to laugh more and seek stress reducing humor in our everyday lives. Laughter is the human gift for coping and for survival. Laughter ringing, laughter pealing, laughter roaring, laughter bubbling.Chuckling. Giggling. Snickering. Snorting. These are the sounds of soul  saving laughter which springs from our emotional core and helps us feel better, see things more clearly, and creatively weigh and use our options. Laughter helps us roll with the punches that inevitably come our way. The power of laughter is unleashed every time we laugh. In today’s stressful world, we need to laugh much more.

Laughter Therapist, Enda Junkins, LCSW, LMFT, BCD

“Before the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”  Mark Twain.

I am thinking now that I am really on the way to better health.  After yesterday’s conclusion that I can dance the “Hand Jive” and do crosswords and live to be old, I can now add laughing!  Life is good!!!




Last Saturday night I had the opportunity to spend an evening dancing.  We were at a Valentine’s event with many of our friends and it was a good time.  As we were cruising about the floor we wondered when dancing first began.  We acknowledged that it has been around ‘forever’.

In researching this I found we were not far from wrong.  Dance has been depicted in cave walls since prehistoric times.  There are paintings in the Pock Shelters of Bhimbetka in India that are dated to be 9000 years old.  Egyptian tombs that are 3000 BC have paintings depicting figures dancing.

I remember reading ‘The Clan of the Cave Bear”.  As an aside it is a great book and the whole series is well worth the time.  In this book there are descriptions of men gathering and drinking potent liquids and dancing in a frenzy before a hunt or in celebration.  Usually women were not allowed.  Look at nature and the dances that the animals do in courting each other.  I am thinking that the earliest people studied nature and copied their actions to a certain degree.

Movement and dance were a way to pass down history before the written word came about.  Dance has been (and still is) used in healing rituals.  Dance has been used in rituals, for grief, ecstasy as in Greek Dionysiac Dances celebrating the grape harvest and thanking Bacchus.  More like drunken orgies of the time!

Dancing began to be seen as entertainment and especially provocative with scantily clad ladies entertaining men as in the example from scripture of the ‘Dance of the Seven Veils. In the 15th Century Ballet became very popular in Italy.  In the 16th Century Catherine de Medici brought it to France when she became queen in 1547.

The only other dance that seems to have this lengthy a history is clogging.  It is popular in this country.  I found this website and have to share this information as too lengthy to paraphrase.


What is Clog Dancing?

Written by Jake Fuller

In the U.S., clog dancing or clogging, as it is sometimes known, takes its origins from square dancing. This is not where or how clogging began however. It is not quite clear but clogging may have been developed as long ago as the 1400s, which would make it one of the oldest types of dancing still in existence since its creation. Clog dancing is the official name but many people refer to it as clogging.

Before coming to be known as clogging or clog dancing, there was bluegrass dancing. This type of dance was done to music that often included the fiddle and was affectionately referred to as old time music for its many different steps and taps. African, German, Irish and English dances can all be somewhat identified in clogging, which is something of a mixture of moves from all of these backgrounds.

So what then, is clogging and how is it different from other types of dances? Clogging is a dance style that is accentuated by the type of shoes that are worn during the dance. The shoes are used to make a loud percussion noise with the toe or heel or in some cases both the toe and heel to make a rhythm. This rhythm or beat is often compared to the sounds that percussion instruments make and is the basis of clogging.

Other names for clogging that are used include flat-footing, buck dancing, jigging, foot-stomping and clog dancing. Each of these names shares that same definitive indications that clogging does, which is that the foot taps and heel clicks make this style of dance what it is. In Wales, clogging has taken to competition level and you can witness the dancers jumping high in the air over brooms.

Interested in a little bit of English history about clogging? Believe it or not, hard-soled shoes were required for individuals who worked at the weaving machines. They would tap their feet to keep them warm during working sessions. On the lunch period and after work, they would have unofficial competitions to see who had the best sounding percussion beats and rhythms. Now you know!

Here’s another interesting fact you may not know about clogging: It is the official state dance of both North Carolina and Kentucky. Ready to get clogging? There’s no time like the present to learn more about the fascinating dance that’s been around for a very long time. Take clog dancing shoes, for example. Clog dancing shoes often have taps on the toe and the heel so that they make a rhythm sound when you walk. Clogging with these types of shoes makes it possible to hear the sound even if you are on carpet.

In the United States, dance crews are even taking clog dancing to a new level by competition on national television with this type of dance. So what is clogging? It’s a dance style that’s all over the world and enjoyed by people everywhere. With the right shoes and a little initiative, you too can be clogging your way to some good old fashioned enjoyable clog dancing before you know it!

Read more: Clog Dancing History Clogginghttp://www.centralhome.com/clog-dancing.htm#ixzz2LG3L4kp5
Dance Fitness Sports www.Centralhome.com

This http://www.centralhome.com site was wonderfully interesting in all aspects of dance.

Today dance is used in exercise with Richard Simmons contributing with his “Dancing to the Oldies” videos.  Aerobics and Jazzercise are still active ways to participate in dance of some form to help your body function at its best.  It is said to reduce stress raise serotonin levels and give one a sense of well being.

Looking around I found an article that says that dancing makes us smarter.  The premise is dancing can increase cognitive acuity, stimulate one’s mind thus ward off dementia.  There is an article in the New England Journal of medicine that reports the effects of recreational activities on our brain in aging.  The summary that I read said that it was a 21 year study of people over 75 and older.  It was led by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in NYC.  It was funded by the National Institute on aging.   The method they used was to measure the rates of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease in these people.

They studied cognitive activities of these individuals including reading, writing, playing musical instruments, cards and doing crosswords.  They studied physical activities from tennis to housework.  They were surprised to discover that almost none of the physical activities protected them against dementia with one exception – frequent dancing.

I took the next from an article by Richard Powers.  You can read the whole on the website: http://socialdance.stanford.edu/syllabi/smarter.htm

He wrote:

One of the surprises of the study was that almost none of the physical activities appeared to offer any protection against dementia.  There can be cardiovascular benefits of course, but the focus of this study was the mind.  There was one important exception:  the only physical activity to offer protection against dementia was frequent dancing.

Reading – 35% reduced risk of dementia

Bicycling and swimming – 0%

Doing crossword puzzles at least four days a week – 47%

Playing golf – 0%

Dancing frequently – 76%.
That was the greatest risk reduction of any activity studied, cognitive or physical.

Quoting Dr. Joseph Coyle, a Harvard Medical School psychiatrist who wrote an accompanying commentary:
“The cerebral cortex and hippocampus, which are critical to these activities, are remarkably plastic, and they rewire themselves based upon their use.”

And from the study itself, Dr. Katzman proposed these persons are more resistant to the effects of dementia as a result of having greater cognitive reserve and increased complexity of neuronal synapses.  Like education, participation in some leisure activities lowers the risk of dementia by improving cognitive reserve.

Our brain constantly rewires its neural pathways, as needed.  If it doesn’t need to, then it won’t.

Interesting.  ‘Dancing With the Stars’ certainly has shown the benefits of this physical activity as most of the contestants have had much weight loss.  The mental acuity of these people is left up to you.

Think of how dance has changed in your lifetime alone.  I went from square dancing, jitterbug and waltz in junior high to the Twist which was outrageous and bad!  I googled dances of the 60s and found this website and the information about the Twist.


Faced with explaining to the youthful audience how to do the dance, a member of Checker’s entourage came up with the following description:

“It’s like putting out a cigarette with both feet, and wiping your bottom with a towel, to the beat of the music.”

I grew up in an era when we danced the Mashed Potato, the Monster Mash, the Hully Gully, the Watusi, the Frug, the Pony, the Swim, the Freddie, the Hitch Hike, the Jerk and the Locomotion.  We brought the Madison and Stroll back from the 50s.  Many of the dances had songs associated with them.  As soon as the song faded so did the dance and a new craze would come along.

Fun how one simple question can lead to a morning’s musings.  The conclusion I draw from this is I must get my 65 year old body remembering the movements of the 60s and start mashing or dancing – oh how tiring.  Wait there was also a dance called the ‘Hand Jive’.  …..and there it is…I can go with doing the Hand Jive put a pencil in my hand and do a crossword puzzle – I may just make it to 124!!!




I am certain that everyone reading this has stories that pass through the generations of their families.  I certainly do.  I do not remember many of my grandparent’s stories. Though there are a few.  The stories mostly deal with them as parents to my parents.

The one favorite of my paternal grandfather is when my Dad said a bad word.  I have not ever been told the word and can only imagine.  He was taken to the ‘wood shed’ figuratively.  Though not so far off the mark.

My grandfather was a lobsterman and made his own small wooden punts.  These boats were wooden boats to get to the big boat.  Rowboat may be an easier word for you to understand.  It had two oars and he would row from the dock where the punt was tied to his lobster boat in the harbor.  To make these he had a workshop above his garage.

I loved that place.  I loved everything about it.  It smelled of newly sawed wood and had a rich dusty smell.  Of course there was tons of saw dust around.  You could get there from a door off the kitchen and did not even have to go outside.  Up a set of rickety stairs and VOILA a world of wood and wood smell and creativity.  He made lawn chairs and other things as well.  Their cat would usually choose somewhere near here to hide and have her babies.  Even she liked the workshop.

My dad went to the workshop and “Grumpa” told him with a swat across the face in no uncertain terms that they could curse like sailors in the workshop and never in front of his mother or three sisters.  I rarely heard my father swear so I assume the lesson was learned.

My mother’s side has lots of stories with six children I am certain though I remember few.  Our family has a wonderful treasure in that my great-grandmother wrote a diary in 1917 and my aunt has it.  I have read it and have a copy of it.  It is full of the chores she did daily, her boarders and the times one of the six grandchildren would come visit each week.  Still it is a story of the year of my family and that makes it full of value.

Our family has tons of stories about my and my husband’s childhood.  The stories of our children’s growing up.  The stories of the people we invite to be part of us.  They are the glue that binds us to each other I believe.  Some are funny, some not so and some are downright absurd.  The time we were vacationing with friends in N.H. comes to mind.  The husband of the other family had dropped his wife’s toothbrush in the toilet by accident.  He decided to clean it by boiling it.  As he stood to watch the whole thing fell apart in the heat.  That one we were just reminded of the other day and had a big laugh all over again.

Along with stories, in our home each winter you can usually find a jigsaw puzzle on a table waiting to be assembled.  Everyone is invited by reason of being in the house to participate.  Family and guests.  My dad has been putting puzzles together as a hobby all his life and he is good at it!  At 91 he still has one set up in his home ready for completion and works on it daily.  Another one appears as soon as one is finished.  Makes for an easy great Christmas gift for him each year.

I have given him intricate pictures to keep him busy.  I think I gave him one of all marbles or balloons or some such that was full of colors not many other distinguishing details.  This year I sent up one of FenwayPark.  I found it at Costco and it was in a little suitcase box and fit the bill.

The last time I was over at Costco they had a couple left.  I got one for us that had posters and license plate in varying configurations.  The words ‘See America’ are emblazoned across the whole like a huge poster unto itself.

When I do a puzzle as Dad, I put all the borders in first to give me reference points.  I might also have spots of little pieces that I have found that fit together scattered here and there until I find their place in the whole.  It is the border that goes first.

This most recent puzzle has 1000 pieces and the border was assembled quite easily except for one piece in the bottom.  We all have looked for it.  We decided it would probably be the last one found or that this was the piece that is actually missing.  Factory production error.

A couple of nights ago we had some friends over.  I was telling the story of family puzzles and she is looking at our work in progress.  I was sharing our frustration over that one border piece and the certainty we had that it wasn’t there.

The next thing I know she reaches down and picks up a piece and finished the border.  Hooray!!!  We had spent days searching for this one piece and she stepped up and found it right off.  I am certain this will be one of the stories we tell in the future when we speak of our puzzles.  It is the good stuff.

On another note and tying this to the two previous days, isn’t it a breath of fresh air when someone is honest and truthful enough to take the time to come forward and boldly give a new perspective on what is going on right in front of us?  Even the ease of completing a border on a puzzle gives the world around us a whole new picture!





I was riding home from Costco the other day and listening to talk radio and Rush Limbaugh said, “How do you know if it is true?”  I said right out loud, “I was going to write about that tomorrow.”  Do not think Rush heard me.  By the way before you ignore me due to my listening choices you might want to check out how often this man has been correct in his voiced opinions.

How do we know what is truth anymore?  Does everyone really lie?  Sadly a lot of people do.  I only trust what I can hear if the speaker is saying the words and those I double check.  For instance Nancy Pelosi did tell us ‘we had to pass it before we could read it’.  Truly what kind of logic is that?

Our President has been caught in multiple lies and still is the President.  In fact he was voted back into office despite the lies he told.  I hear you out there “what lies?”

1- we could keep our healthcare – we cannot if an employer does not offer it

2- there were no ‘death panels’ – there will be non- medical people deciding whether we need a treatment

3- it would save us money – it is going to cost anywhere from $2500 up per family

4- he said it would not pay for abortions – it does

5- he called them terrorists from the beginning – he did not specifically for over 14 days


Sen. Harry Reid accused Mitt Romney of not paying taxes.  He ‘heard it from a reliable source’.  Romney documented paying millions in taxes.

Wasserman-Schultz lied during the DNC about who intervened to get God back in the platform.  Stephanie Cutter lied. I documented that at the time as well as other lies.

I watched Bill Clinton lie.  I watched Martha Stewart lie.  I watched Richard Nixon lie.  I watched TV anchors lie.  I am sure that probably others have lied as well and I just did not see them do it.  I am documenting what I have seen.  How can anyone believe anything that is happening now?  How can we know what is true?

Our current President sold the world on green energy and it has cost us financially.  Solyndra lost money went bankrupt and now has billions in refuse of which it needs to dispose itself.   Other green energy business have gone out of business costing America.  The green energy cars have been a flop despite the amount of monies spent on them.  He told us this was the way to a better world.  He told us again in the State of the Union.  Is this true?  It wasn’t for Solyndra so why are we listening again?

During the most recent campaign the Republicans lied as well as documented by Robert Reich in an opinion piece.  http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/reich/article/How-Republicans-reinforce-campaign-of-lies-3850026.php

I do not understand why people do this in this day and age of the computer as they can easily be fact-check or reviewed to find the truth.  The thing is we are getting to be like the boy who called ‘wolf’.  When do we believe?  Who do we believe? Hillary Clinton said all Bill’s problems were from a vast right wing conspiracy.  Are conspiracy theories how things are running?  Is everything a conspiracy?  Is there no clarity?  I do not see it.  Our truths are being clouded until it is almost hard to know what is real.  That is a bad place to be I judge.

This past week an ex-cop from California, Christopher Dorner, is a hero to some as he believes he has been wronged by the Police Department.  So he kills police officers?  This makes him a hero?  Is this not a little warped?

The Pope has announced he will step down on February 28th.  An interesting decision in modern times.  Already some are asking if he is doing this to escape situations that exist in the Vatican.  How do we know?  Can we not trust that he has prayed and decided this is the direction God wants him to take?

Finally we hear that Hillary Clinton called someone the night of the attack in Benghazi.  This truth, if it is from Leon Panetta, puts a whole new spin on her words “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

There are those that say and try to show that the Newtown massacre did not happen.  I saw some of the videos and it can leave one asking questions.  Are the facts real or distorted?  Where is Walter Cronkite the one news man we trusted for years?

Where is truth in our news?  Is there none?

Yesterday I spoke about honesty and truth and came up with the Merriam definition.


1a archaic : fidelityconstancy

b : sincerity in action, character, and utterance

2a (1) : the state of being the case : fact (2) : the body of real things, events, and facts : actuality (3) often capitalized : a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality

b : a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true <truths of thermodynamics>

c : the body of true statements and propositions

3a : the property (as of a statement) of being in accord with fact or reality

b chiefly British : true 2

c : fidelity to an original or to a standard

4capitalized Christian Science : god

— in truth

: in accordance with fact : actually

Examples of TRUTH

At some point you have to face the simple truth that we failed.

Their explanation was simpler but came closer to the truth.

The article explains the truth about global warming.

A reporter soon discovered the truth.

Do you swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

Her story contains a grain of truth but also lots of exaggeration.

There is a word we need to understand truth with exaggeration or spin?  Where is the whole truth and nothing but the truth?  When are real reporters going to go back to digging to find the truths?

I am eagerly waiting and until that day will be searching TV, newspapers and the web to find truth.




I started to write, a couple of days ago, an essay on truth and where was it.  In it I quoted lots of people who told lies.  I gave the lies and real answers.  An example of this is from the White House.  Obama said Obamacare would not cost us anything, would not pay for abortions and we could keep our own healthcare.  None of those are true statements.

There are those who tried to point this out from the beginning and we were called haters, liars and other not so kind words.  I was called a ‘narrow minded, racist, bigot’ specifically for my opinion on this subject.

Facts are out now.  Abortions are paid for under this program.  If an employer decides to pay the fee and not offer healthcare many will not be able to keep their same insurance.  The Obamacare plan is going to cost many of us $2500 more each year.  If the flaws in this plan were pointed out the speaker was berated.

Maybe I will not quote so much from this and use it tomorrow as I explore honesty and truth together on separate days?

Starting with the definitions for understanding.  I am walking this through my own brain and if you like the read great otherwise this may be slow so – ‘warning’ – stop and move on I am trying to wrap my brain around this.

From Merriam both definitions:

hon·es·ty   noun

1. the quality or fact of being honest; uprightness and fairness.

2. truthfulness, sincerity, or frankness.

3. freedom from deceit or fraud.

4.Botany . a plant, Lunaria annua,  of the mustard family, having clusters of purple flowers andsemitransparent, satiny pods.

5.Obsolete , chastity.

truth   noun

1a archaic : fidelityconstancy

b : sincerity in action, character, and utterance

2a (1) : the state of being the case : fact (2) : the body of real things, events, and facts : actuality (3) often capitalized : a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality

b : a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true <truths of thermodynamics>

c : the body of true statements and propositions

3a : the property (as of a statement) of being in accord with fact or reality

b chiefly British : true 2

c : fidelity to an original or to a standard

4capitalized Christian Science : god

— in truth

: in accordance with fact : actually

Both these words are nouns.  I find that interesting.  The facts are the truth.  So truth is a noun.  Telling the truth….telling is the action.  Honesty is a quality of truthfulness.  Being honest has the action with the verb as being.  I would have thought that honesty was a verb or adverb or adjective not a noun.  Honesty connotes some form of action to me.

“I honestly believe that…” in this case isn’t honestly an adverb?  How do you believe?  Believe is the verb and how you believe – honestly – the adverb?

“She has a real sense of honesty…” in this case She is the noun and of honesty is a prepositional phrase describing sense?

It has certainly been a long time since I diagramed a sentence for understanding.  Wonder if children learn this in school today?  It helps me to understand things – well at least until today.

I am honest.  I believe in honesty.  I want to be treated with honesty and truth.  I think that whatever the type of word it is that honesty is missing today.

This goes along with respect that I wrote about last month I think.  I remember reading and seeing in movies depictions of what how the Founding Fathers debated.  I think this tact is still used in Great Britain’s Parliament.  They speak of “The Gentleman or Lady of the good state of____” and follow it with kinder words of “I believe is mistaken or misinformed or unaware” rather than calling names such as racist or bigoted like we seem to do today.  Which is more honest?  I am not sure.  The thing that is missing is truth as a judgment has been made on the part of the speaker.

I am no further toward understanding then when I began.  Perhaps it is that some veil honesty with tact and truth is lost?  In trying to tell someone you do not like what they have to say, it is couched in such a way as to appear kind truthful?  The truth is you do not like this person or their opinions and do not know how to say it?  Why not come out and say it honestly?

When someone asks you do you like my dress?  If you do not what do you say?  No?  Why is that wrong?  It isn’t.  Tact comes in here.  Perhaps that is what I am looking at all along?  Being tactful?  What a waste of a morning’s musings?  No, I do not like that dress is okay to say.  Then why don’t we if it is the truth?

Honesty?  Truth?  If we cannot use these words correctly how do we expect others to do so?  Is the adage “If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.” truthful?  Tactful? Honest?  Now I am back to silence.

We must be honest if we care about each other.  Otherwise aren’t we living in a false sterile hands off type of world?  I want honesty and truth in my life.  If you do not like what I have to say tell me.  If you do not want my opinion do not ask. (though this could come unsolicited at times just ask our kids)  If you want to understand let’s talk.  I am still learning to walk in truth in sometimes uncharted ways of kindness not harm.

I began with the White House and it’s want to bend truth and speak with ‘their’ honesty.  Perhaps that is the key to it all.  Do we all have our own sense of honesty?  When I point out the truth that is not coming from our government I am perceived as negative, opinionated and wrong.  How can a fact that is published be wrong?  Obamacare is going to cost more per individual than we were told.  That is a fact.  I am a ‘narrow minded racist bigot’ for believing a fact?  Or am I simply honest for believing the truth and stating the fact?

Perhaps we all need to stay in the fluff pink world of rainbows and lollipops and wear smiles on our faces and be sweet only and believe the world is Disneyland for everyone.

Not I thank you.  I live in a very real world of color – black the presence of all color, white the absence of color and gray the meeting of the two.  I ask nothing of anyone except respect, honesty and kindness.  I love being loved and I love loving.  I accept the failings of others and support their right to try and fail.  I like loving real people flaws and all.

If you want me to listen be truthful.  If you want me to stay away tell me.  Pacification is lukewarm.  Passion is the name of the game.  Living is what is real – positive, negative, up, down, crying, laughing, arguing, agreeing, and pretty or not so pretty.  Life is full of flavor and spice and it would be a real sad thing not to taste it all even the sad, negative or uncomfortable.  We can learn from everything.

Today I offer an apology to the reader – this was a journey I had to take and still not sure the destination.  I am still searching and know that I am………..




Today is a day to tell those you love that you love them!  Why can’t we do this everyday?  I suppose many need the one day to be reminded.  Luckily I do not as I tell those that I love that I do at the end of phone conversations or through gifts or just in general.  Not perfect and still trying to remember love can easily be given away.

My favorite way of showing this is in the ‘just because’ range.  I love to send a note or small gift to someone simply for who they are and remembering something I may have heard them say they liked.

I believe I have previously said that I have all the Valentines I was given in grade school in scrapbooks somewhere in the basement.  They are corny and cute and some really pretty.  As I saw the Valentines to day they are more topical having the latest super hero or girl pal on them.  Ours just had fuzzy little animals or birds or flowers.  Then again we were not inundated with ‘gotta haves’ in the 50s.  We barely had TV and commercials were not aimed at kids.

You had to know I would ‘look it up’ – our kids most hated words!!!  I found the following at: history.com

The Legend of St. Valentine

The history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?

The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly–romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.

Origins of Valentine’s Day: A Pagan Festival in February

While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial–which probably occurred around A.D. 270–others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.

My Valentine actually shopped early and my card and chocolate covered cherries and Russell Stover Chocolate sampler is sitting on the kitchen counter waiting for opening today!!!  He rarely brings flowers anymore as I buy them for myself regularly when I grocery shop.  At a dozen roses for $9.99 – cannot beat that !

I have the card in hand for my Valentine and will be making his favorite Arroz con Pollo ala Piedmont tonight for dinner.  Sounds fancy doesn’t it.  It is chicken and rice in a red sauce!  Very easy!!!

Got it from a cookbook I bought for $1 each time got groceries!  They were a set of a dozen and this was from the World Wide Cooking book #11!  Yes purchased the same way as our encyclopedias!  When you did not have money you did the best you could.

Valentine’s Day is also another kind of day for me.  By this time I am finally finished with the Christmas put away.  Or in the case of this year (and others truth be known) I finally took up the Christmas throw rug in front of the front door!

I also am finally getting my cards in the mail.  Not the cards TO my Christmas list.  I am talking about the cards FROM our families and friends.  For years I never knew what to do with them and it killed me to throw them out – remember the Valentines from my childhood above – and I could not save them all!!!

This was a quandary and many years ago my husband had been talking with someone at work and they told him about St. Jude’s Ranch in Nevada.  They reuse Christmas cards in their recycled card program.  Their website says:

“Our Recycled Card Program, an entrepreneurial teen-run job training program, teaches teens critical employment skills so they are prepared to be productive, wage-earning citizens in the community when they leave us.”

Here is the link if you chose to participate as well.


It’s Valentine’s Day and Christmas is finally put away and Lent has begun.  I have the sense that this year is flying by faster than the last.




I was going to write about the State of the Union address last night.  I was planning to watch it and then only saw bits and pieces.  What I did watch left me feeling like a Peanuts character saying, ‘WAH WAH WAH’ or ‘BLAH BLAH BLAH’.  He still does not understand what the United States of America is and how we thrive.  It is by working not taking that America thrives.  There is no such thing as a ‘fair share’.  The top 5% of this country are already paying 59% of the taxes.  How is that fair?

Perhaps this is a good day to look at paying forward.  God asked for a tithe.  A tithe is 10% of what you earn.  So let’s do that.  Everyone who earns anything at all levels give 10% to the government.  If you earn $100,000 you pay $10,000.  If you earn $10 you pay $1.00.  Why wouldn’t that work for the government?

Is God’s way a good one?  Today begins a period of 40 days before Easter.  Christians all around the world begin this day to prepare for the Easter joy.  The definition of Lent came from christianity.about.com.

Lent is the Christian season of preparation before Easter. In Western Christianity, Ash Wednesday marks the first day, or the start of the season of Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter (Sundays are not included in the count).

Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting,repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ – his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection.

Not all Christian churches observe Lent. Lent is mostly observed by the LutheranMethodist,Presbyterian and Anglican denominations, and also by Roman CatholicsEastern Orthodox churches observe Lent or Great Lent, during the 6 weeks or 40 days preceding Palm Sunday with fasting continuing during the Holy Week of Orthodox Easter. Lent for Eastern Orthodox churches begins on Monday (called Clean Monday) and Ash Wednesday is not observed.

The Bible does not mention the custom of Lent, however, the practice of repentance and mourning in ashes is found in 2 Samuel 13:19; Esther 4:1; Job 2:8; Daniel 9:3; and Matthew 11:21.

For years I gave up something for Lent.  I gave up chocolate or candy in general or soda or some other treat I enjoyed.  My strong silent husband had me in awe when in his senior year of college he gave up beer!  His fraternity house had a bar in the game room so this seemed like a huge sacrifice to me.  He even completed all 40 days!  Quite a guy this man I married!!!

This is one area where I struggle with my church.  Evidently it is okay not to keep the fast on Sundays as we go to church and are in the presence of our Lord.  I understand this in my head.  In my heart I wonder if Jesus went for the straight 40 days of fasting or if he gave in every 6 days?  Being an all or nothing kind of gal in some areas I struggle with this loophole.   The faith of my birth comes back in full force and I try to honor all 40 days.

I am not sure what I am going to do.  Last year I forgot and after a few days had not had diet soda (I think that was the one I chose) so decided I would give that up.  Most of the time lately I do not sacrifice.  I try to do more.

For instance I may try to do a Bible study for the 40 days.  Or I try to write a note of encouragement to 40 someones each of the 40 days.  Or I try to keep myself on a schedule to keep the house in better shape for my family.  I like this idea better as it pushes me harder than to give up something.

Have you ever taken part in this type of holiday preparation?  Give up or do more?  Perhaps both?  I think in the end the goal is to make we Christians act and live more like Christ.  For some it could be as simple as proclaiming Him every day.

Ashes are distributed on Ash Wednesday and Christians wear them on their forehead today.  The ashes mark the cross on the forehead that symbolizes that all Christians are free from sin through the death and resurrection of Christ.

My favorite Ash Wednesday story has to be from a friend of ours.  Steve traveled often for his work at one time.  He had gone to church on Ash Wednesday and the ashes were on his forehead as he entered the plane and sat down.  People walked by, looked and nodded.  One guy came down the aisle and said: “Hey Dude you forehead is dirty.”  Steve nodded a thank you!!!

One year I decided to read the scriptures daily with my husband.  That was a good 40 days.  I am doing that again this year and think I may add a prayer a day as well. I found some websites to share with you in case you would like to join me.





I will end today with a simple prayer that these 40 days of Lent be a season of renewal for your spirit.





This past weekend my husband and I participated in our ministry with Worldwide Marriage Encounter.  This is a weekend for married couples.  It has the potential to take good marriages a step further to even better marriages.  If you believe what we tell you it can keep your marriage strong intimate and great for many years to come.  The couples attending have a choice and most find themselves happily enriched with each other by weekends end.

There are occasionally couples that attend that have us scratching our heads as to why they came to begin with on the weekend.  It does not seem that they are interested in renewing their marriage or even spending time with each other as the weekend format suggests.  It leaves me speechless and frankly makes the weekend stressful as I want the others to not be derailed by their distractions.

We had one of those this past weekend.  The situation kept trying to push me and the others off ministry into doing a job.  I stuck to my guns following through with words that I can only say came from somewhere else to try to heal.  I came home tired and exhausted not invigorated as usual.  For one brief moment the thought of why am I doing this crossed my mind.  It certainly is not the pay of $0.00 though of course I am hoping I will reap a heavenly reward.

I got up and posted my blog yesterday and then spent a bunch of time catching up on the snowstorm and news on facebook before I got to my day.  What a storm it appeared to be.  The most fun was to see a video of my young cousins jumping from a hot tub to making snow angels and going back to the hot tub.  There were also pictures of our youngest grandson tubing down a slope after having been hauled up by a lift. Now that looked like fun!!! These were helping to move my mood from the negativity and tired to the positive.

Then I came across a post by our daughter that created wet spots in my eyes.  It speaks for itself.  It was really needed after the weekend I had just experienced.

Our Daughter’s post:

As I was going to sleep last night, I kept thinking about my grandfather. I was all of a sudden struck in awe of the perfect example of Christ’s love that he has been. He may not always be perfect but……………. He has buried two wives, and currently is married to my grammie…….He raised two little girls with the help of family. Then two more children after his second wife died. He has watched his children and his grandchildren not make great choices…….But you knew EVERYTIME you walked in the house, you would hear I love you and a receive a hug. Much like our heavenly father, He doesn’t always like our choices and when we turn away, He won’t chase us. He will sit and worry, like my grandfather. But the moment we return, we are received with open arms and now questions. I was just struck by the level of unconditional love I was shown as a child from my grandparents and then my parents. They didn’t always like my choices, but I never questioned if they loved me, I already knew. That great example of Christ’s love has been such a blessing in my life. Do I know everything about Him, no? Just like I don’t know everything about God. Some things are not for me to know. I pray that in my life I can show that level of love to my kids, my nieces and nephews and family. I may not love or even like your choices. And please understand, when I have to not be there, you are doing wrong and I can’t support it. But NEVER doubt that I LOVE YOU. I will always be here with a hug and an I love you……………Love the example my Grandfather has set forth for our family… Love you Grandfadoo!!!!

There also was a sharing from our son about a mayonnaise jar (http://en.avaaz.org/843/remember-to-make-time-for-the-really-important-things-in-life) and how we needed to take care of the big things and the little would fall in beside.  In a different sharing the same child asked me to read a chapter in the Bible.

Our second daughter, as quiet as she is, shared some inspirational posts as well on my wall this very same day.

“I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure” (Matthew 11:25-26).

God is indeed good!  Thank you my children for leading me this day!!!




I have decided I am a sprinter rather than a runner. Of course the fact that I never put on sneakers to do either is completely irrelevant. In this case I really do not like sneakers as shoes. I’ll wear anything else just not sneakers.

Think of the name ‘sneakers’. Who wants to wear shoes that have a name like that? Sneaking connotes furtive, secretive, slink, skulk or thievery. These are comfortable shoes I understand. They lull you with comfort to do furtive things? I know silly! I simply do not like sneakers.

I see people running or jogging all over the place. They are in parks or roads or on treadmills. Did you ever see one of them smile as they were doing this? Who wants to do something that has you grimace or sullen the whole time you are participating in this activity?

I looked up runner in the online free dictionary and came up with all these meanings.

run•ner n.

1. Sports One who competes in a race. 2.a. Baseball One who runs the bases. b. Football One who carries the ball. 3. A fugitive. 4. One who carries messages or runs errands. 5. One who serves as an agent or collector, as for a bank or brokerage house. 6. One who solicits business, as for a hotel or store. 7.a. A smuggler: a narcotics runner. b. A vessel engaged in smuggling. 8. One who operates or manages something: the runner of a series of gambling operations. 9. A device in or on which something slides or moves, as: a. The blade of a skate. b. The supports on which a drawer slides. 10. A long narrow carpet. 11. A long narrow tablecloth. 12. A roller towel. 13. Metallurgy A channel along which molten metal is poured into a mold; a gate. 14. Botany a. A slender creeping stem that puts forth roots from nodes spaced at intervals along its length. b. A plant, such as the strawberry, having such a stem. c. A twining vine, such as the scarlet runner. 15. Any of several marine fishes of the family Carangidae, especially the blue runner (Caranx crysos), of temperate waters of the American Atlantic coast. Also called blue runner.

Look at all these meanings. Toss out the ones about sports, the ones about furniture and floors and you are left with some sly meanings. Bank Collectors, narcotics smuggler, gambling, creeping vines and channels that move molten metal? All pretty questionable ideas? Smuggling- Gambling – creeping – who wants to be a runner?

Again I note who wants to participate in any activity that does not let you smile?

Now look at sprinters. The definition of them is simple. Not lengthy like that of a runner. The definition of sprint is ‘a short run at full speed’. A sprinter does small things quick and fast.

AHAH! That is me! Blogging is writing a thought in short form. Well except when I go onto many tangents. Then I can become a creepy vine entwining myself with words though, on second thought, there is usually one thought involved so still sprinting. This analogy is getting tricky. Sprinting does have an element of running as of course you are actually doing that activity. The difference is there is a short distance to the goal instead of miles. Sprints are usually referred to as some numbered meter dash. Dash is quick and short so the form of running to complete this is a sprint. PHEW! There back to the original short spurts which I believe are truly me.

I like water color painting vs oils as they dry quickly and you have to get your color down and set before the drying. It takes thought and quickness and in about 1 +/- hr you have a picture. Sometimes I have taken my time or a couple of days, not months or years, if it is an intricate picture like the fall landscape I did for our son-in-law. I used little water treating the medium more like water based acrylic paints than the sheer water color. Oh I’ll never be a master. I like to play with paints like any little kid!

When I take on a project I make a plan, carry it out.  I am all in and full of passion until it is done. Unless of course it is a lengthy needlework project like a quilt or embroidery piece. I lose focus and have to be reignited to do another sprint. Multiple sprints and the project is complete.

Like housework – oh so boring and my chosen field. I can only do it well if I look at it as a series of sprints. One room this day another the next. The laundry piles up and I get it done a sprint at a time. The trick is to not let it linger in the house or on my mind. Here I can fail and I can then feel pangs of guilt. Realizing that I am a sprinter is allowing me to let go of some angst. To know myself and to be able to divide things into pieces lets me sprint to the finish.

That is really me in a nut shell. I am a Jill of all trades master of none. This knowledge allows me to try many things and not have to worry about being successful at any. This way I have lots of fun and variety. Is not variety the ‘spice of life’? My life is thus pretty tasty!!!

The only place I can think of where this does not apply to me is in love. In this area I am an iron man. If I love you or call you friend I am there for life whether you like it or not!!!




In the past week with Drs. appointments and paying bills and sending Valentines to our grandchildren I bet I have written my name a dozen or more times.  My penmanship used to be good, not excellent, merely good.  I passed all the penmanship challenges in school as I learned the Palmer method of writing.  I’ve let speed and laziness take over and my once slightly attractive signature is now becoming more of a scrawl.   For instance my capital G is now more like a large little g like my mother used to write.  In school my signature was very close to my father’s.  I really did not forge his though I practiced it and could have done so.

All this led me to thinking about penmanship in school today.  I wrote a note to our 8 yr old grandson and he told he could not read cursive yet.  I wondered when we began learning to write it.  I think it might have been 4th or 5th grade?  Each classroom had letters above the boards and in some grades they were printed and others cursive.  Not sure in which grade we began cursive.

The definition according to http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cursive is:

cur·sive   adjective \ˈkər-siv\

Definition of CURSIVE

runningcoursing: as

a of writing : flowing often with the strokes of successive characters joined and the angles rounded

b: having a flowing, easy, impromptu character

It really is a beautiful way to write.  I love to see a nice signature.  The Palmer Method that we used in grade school was created by Austin Palmer in the late 1800s.  He published a book about it in 1894.  Following is my wikipedia cheat for the day:

Under it, students were taught to adopt a uniform system of cursive writing with rhythmic motions. Left-handers were usually made to use their right hands. The method developed around 1888 and was introduced in his 1894 book Palmer’s Guide to Business Writing. Palmer’s method involved “muscle motion” in which the more proximal muscles of the arm were used for movement, rather than allowing the fingers to move in writing. In spite of opposition from the major publishers, this textbook enjoyed great success: in 1912, 1 million copies were sold throughout the country. The method won awards, including the Gold Medal at the Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, California, in 1915, and the Gold Medal at the Sesquicentennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1926.

Proponents of the Palmer Method emphasized its plainness and speed, that it was much faster than the laborious Spencerian Method, and allowed the writer to effectively compete with thetypewriter.[1] To educators, the Method’s advocates emphasized regimentation, and that the Method would thus be useful in schools to increase discipline and character, and could even reform delinquents.[2]

Palmer’s style fell out of popularity and was replaced by a movement to teach children manuscript before teaching them cursive, in order to provide them with a means of written expression as soon as possible and thus develop writing skills.

The style is now experiencing renewed attention, from those working in facilitated communication for the disabled. Because the Palmer method has a focus on shoulder and arm movements, it is helpful for many with limited movement of the fingers.palmer method

My fondest memory of cursive is in Mr. Johnson’s class.  We used to have writing exercises and I liked them.  Think perhaps the reason was it was easy for me and artistic as well.  Mr. Johnson had been my father’s teacher in school too!

I see a lot of printing happening these days and wonder if our children are even being exposed to this kind of writing.  Do they know how to write other than on a computer???  Do they know the frustration and joy of writing a letter with no mistakes?  I do not see it. There is a website so there may be hope.


Along with cursive letter writing is an art as well.  My husband often shares frustration when he receives reports that are written other than correctly.  He simply shakes his head with comments like 4 years plus of college and people cannot write a proper report with a questioning look on his face.  Are these nice things of days gone by?

Simple little things that add joy.  I love to receive a handwritten note.  I like to take my time and write them.  Even I do not do that much anymore.  I now know why Grammy used to type her letters to us as she aged.  My handwriting is not so good anymore though my intentions, as were Grammy’s, are to keep in touch.  Sometimes email is easier though I hope I still take the time to send notes on occasion.





Sometimes I think my thoughts and opinions can be boring and disliked.  Today I am going to let others do the talking and let you draw your own conclusions.

I researched a couple of items where the current President made a point to show his compassionate side.



July 22, 2009

President Barack Obama says police in Cambridge, Mass., acted “stupidly” this week when they arrested Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates, someone they knew was in his own home.

In the final question of a live prime time news conference this evening that largely dealt with health care, Obama was asked about the Gates case.

“My understanding is that Professor Gates then shows his I.D. to show that this is his house and, at that point, he gets arrested for disorderly conduct, charges which are later dropped,” Obama said.

Police dispute the extent of Gates’ cooperation, saying he didn’t initially provide identification when asked and berated the police.

However, Obama continued, “I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that [Gates case]. But I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That’s just a fact.”



Associated Press   02/13/12 05:17 PM ET

WASHINGTON — The White House says President Barack Obama’s thoughts and prayers are with Whitney Houston’s family, especially her daughter.

Press secretary Jay Carney says it’s hard not to be an admirer of the singer’s “immense talent.” And, he says it’s a tragedy to lose somebody so talented at such a young age.

Carney said he wasn’t sure if Obama and Houston ever had met.

The 48-year-old singer died Saturday.



Posted: 03/23/2012 10:36 am Updated: 03/23/20123:39 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. — For the first time since the controversy erupted on the national scene, President Barack Obama weighed in on the killing of Trayvon Martin, calling it a tragedy, urging cooperation among law enforcement and declaring that “some soul searching” was needed throughout the country.

“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Obama said, underscoring how the issue affected him on a personal, and not just a political or legal, level. “I think [Trayvon’s parents] are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”



Chris Kyle, a well-decorated Navy SEAL sniper, completed four tours in Iraq with an extraordinary record of kills. Kyle’s book about his experiences in the clandestine fraternity gained him much admiration. Then, a week ago on a firing range in Texas, Eric Routh, a Marine reservist who served in Iraq, killed him and his fellow veteran Chad Littlefield.

Kyle was beloved by many because he tried to support his fellow vets in returning to civilian life, but it seems clear that Kyle himself never really left the military. He overcame his own struggles with alcohol and a fear of leaving his house by re-building a military cocoon as a means of therapy. Kyle’s idea of what worked best for returning veterans was the military espirt de corps of an active unit. He used the tools of his military experience at his Fitco Care Foundation, designing treatments built on exercise, counseling and veteran camaraderie. And he kept a live-fire range open and invited others to shoot for therapy.

The first three people were ordinary citizens that our current President chose to speak out about publicly.  He invited Prof. Gates and the officer he interacted with to the White House for a ‘Beer Summit’.  He sang one of Whitney Houston’s songs to his wife during a State of the Union address.  He said Trayvon Martin would look like his son.  Personal comments about ordinary citizens.

I could find no comments pro or con that President Obama has made about the death of military hero, Chris Kyle, who was killed February 2nd, 2013.