The Importance of Walking

>> Friday, March 30, 2012

Walking can add minutes to your life. This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $3,000 per month.  

My grandpa started walking five miles a day when he was 60. Now he's 97 years old and we have no idea where he is.  

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.  

The only reason I would take up walking is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.  

I have to walk early in the morning, before my brain figures out what I'm doing.  

I joined a health club last year, spent about $250. Haven't lost a pound. Apparently you have to go there!  

Every time I hear the dirty word 'exercise', I wash my mouth out with chocolate.  

I do have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them.  

The advantage of exercising every day is so when you die, they'll say, 'Well, he looks good doesn't he?'  

If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country.  

I know I got a lot of exercise the last few years,......just getting over the hill.  

We all get heavier as we get older, because there's a lot more information in our heads. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  

You could run this over to your friends, but just e-mail it to them! It will save you the walk!  

(Author Unknown)  


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T B R

>> Tuesday, March 27, 2012

As I read Robin Lee Hatcher’s blog this morning - http://blog.robinleehatcher.com/ - my mind traveled back over my life and my love of books. As a child … not allowed to do anything … reading was my entertainment and escape. In my first marriage I again turned to reading to bring any comfort to my life.  

Books are my friends.  

That’s why it was extremely difficult to sort through and give away so many books two years ago when we moved to our new home. For many of the books on my shelves today, I can remember where I purchased them … and perhaps where I sat as I enjoyed reading.  

And I always have a few books just waiting for me to discover what they hold within their pages.  

Robin’s blog this morning gave a name to that pile of books … the TBR pile … to be read. Looking at my pile of unread books gives me warm fuzzies … safe and secure in the fact I will not run out of reading material.  

As I thought about the TBR acronym, I realized I need to see people as unopened books … ready for reading. I can remember where I met my friends and conversations we’ve had. I would never be able to sort through them and give some away; so many wonderful memories of places and conversations.  

But there will always be new people just waiting for me to meet them … get acquainted … and learn their story.  

That TBR pile is endless.  

“Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.” Proverbs 17:17 (MSG)


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F R O G

>> Monday, March 26, 2012

I was told a story about a lady in the hospital who was near death when an area Chaplain came to visit her. This Chaplain was a very young female with long blond hair. She listened to the lady who was ill and then left her a small gift for comfort. It was a tiny ceramic frog.  

The next day, one of the people from the lady’s church came to visit. The lady told her friend about the beautiful young Chaplain who had come to visit her. The friend was so impressed with the way the lady had improved and felt the need to talk to the young Chaplain.  

In her search to find the young gal, she was repeatedly reassured that the chaplains are never very young and that there was never a gal that fit the description given.  

Upon returning to the lady in the hospital, a visiting nurse entered the room and noticed the ceramic frog. The nurse made the comment, “I see you have a guardian angel with you”. As she held the little frog, we asked why she made that comment. We were informed what the frog stood for.


Forever Rely on God

(Author Unknown)


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A Dream Delayed

>> Saturday, March 24, 2012

Measurements are a funny thing. They need to be correct. As a seamstress, I understand that if I measure incorrectly, the clothes will not fit. Usually the error can be fixed, but with frustrating hours of ripping out, re-cutting and re-sewing. The same criteria are true for many other areas … such as baking a cake … or building a house.  

Measurements also need to be correct for constructing tables, shelves and cutting table for a sewing area.  

Somehow the measurements for the cutting table were wrong. It’s a gorgeous table … on wheels so I can move it out from the wall … with a fold-down extension on the back. The drawers and doors are designed specifically for my stuff.  

But it’s too long to fit in the slot intended.  

Thus, the bookshelf that was to go on that back wall had to be moved to the other wall. That required further re-arranging of the bookshelves on the other wall … along with moving the furniture already in my room over about three inches.  

The Formica shelf attached to the side of the bookshelf (for my iron when I’m ironing) had to be removed because it is now against the wall.  

I’m on hold.  

Delayed dreams are frustrating. It took me several hours to work through my emotions. Being in limbo is unsettling. And I felt so sorry for the builder, who took it very hard. But that is exactly the way life works. Re-arranging the room is not the end of the world. The ideas for the original layout came from a borrowed book on designing sewing rooms.  

Who knows? Maybe the end results will be better than I planned.  

“We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God's purpose prevails.” Proverbs 19:21 (MSG)


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A Dream Realized

>> Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I learned to sew as a child … on a treadle sewing machine. Thanks to a rescue by my brother, Tony, that machine now resides in my guest bedroom. We had no money for patterns, so I designed my own clothes … at first using material from flour sacks. As a teenager, my wedding dress was sewn on that treadle machine.  

When my husband left me, I became a seamstress to earn money. As my daughters grew old enough to marry, I created wedding dresses, bridesmaid’s dresses (using my designing capabilities to make one into a maternity dress) and dresses for the flower girls.  

Then life happened. No time … or room … for sewing. In my last home of fifteen years, my sewing machine resided in a closet and was retrieved only for mending emergencies.  

But my dream of a spot designed for sewing never left me. I still have things to learn … like how to use a serger … and make quilts. And so … tomorrow … that dream will be realized. Cabinets, shelves and a sewing table will be installed.  

I’ll be the one standing to the side … grinning.   

It’s taken a long time for this dream to come true. Some dreams are that way. If you have a dream for something in your future … don’t give up. You just never know when it might come true … maybe even when you are 69.  

“May He grant you your heart's desire and fulfill all your plans!” Psalm 20:4 (ESV)

  

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Remembering Mom's Clotheslines

>> Monday, March 19, 2012

We had a long wooden pole (clothes pole) that was used to push the clotheslines up so that longer items (sheets/pants/etc.) didn’t brush the ground and get dirty. You have to be a “certain age” to appreciate this one…..  

But you younger ones can read about the “Good Ol’ Days”. I can hear my mother now…..  

Basic Rules for Clotheslines (If you don’t even know what clotheslines are, better skip this.)


1.               Hang the socks by the toes … not the top.  

2.               Hang pants by the bottom/cuffs … not the waistbands.  

3.               Wash the clothesline(s) before hanging any clothes. Walk the entire length of each line with a damp cloth around the lines.  

4.               Hang the clothes in a certain order, and always hang “whites” with “whites”, and hang them first.  

5.               Never hang a shirt by the shoulders … always by the tail. What would the neighbors think? 

6.               Wash day is on Monday. Never hang clothes on the weekend, or on Sunday … for Heaven’s sake.  

7.               Hang the sheets and towels on the outside lines so you could hide your “unmentionables” in the middle (perverts and busy bodies, y’know).  

8.               It didn’t matter if it was sub-zero weather … clothes would “freeze-dry”.  

9.               Always gather the clothespins when taking down dry clothes. Pins left on the lines were “tacky”.  

10.            Line the clothes up so that each item did not need two clothespins, but shared one of the clothespins with the next washed item.  

11.            Clothes were off the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket and ready to be ironed.  

12.            Ironed???? Well, that’s a whole other subject!  

(Author Unknown)


 

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Earworms

>> Saturday, March 17, 2012

I didn’t realize I was infected. In over six decades of living, no one mentioned earworms to me … and the affect they had on my life. A few nights ago, my husband played a video for me … describing exactly what occurs in my life … and I discovered I was not the only living human being with earworms.  


Research followed … and I was fascinated by the information.  

According to WebMD, 98% of people have earworms. That means you probably have them too. Just in case you have never heard of an earworm … it is those songs, jingles, and tunes that get stuck inside your head. And if you mistakenly believe you are in the 2% unaffected, here is the top ten earworm list: 

1.               Your own personal worst earworm.

2.               Chili’s “Baby Back Ribs” jingle.

3.               “Who Let the Dogs Out”

4.               “We Will Rock You” (a close second for me)

5.               Kit-Kat candy-bar jingle “Gimme a Break …”

6.               “Mission Impossible” theme

7.               “YMCA” – (my personal favorite)

8.               “Whooomp, There It Is”

9.               “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”

10.            “It’s a Small World After All”

An earworm can attack in an instant. I will be perfectly fine … hear just a snatch of a song … and then it’s stuck. The only way to remove that song is to sing a different one …such a catch 22. My loving husband enjoys giving me just a few bars of a song … especially at bedtime … and then smiles when he knows what he’s done to me. (But since our recent discussion about earworms I now know that his is “It’s a Small World After All.” Guess what I’ll be singing at bedtime?  

Oh, that’s right … it would get stuck in my head too.  

As all these thoughts bounced around in my head, I wondered if there is a name for memorized scripture … when suddenly a verse comes to mind and sticks there. I confess I have a lot more songs than scriptures in my head.  

After typing the list … my earworms are competing.


“…thrill to God's Word; you chew on Scripture day and night.” Psalm 1:2 (MSG)


 

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Wonderful English from Around the World

>> Friday, March 16, 2012

Cocktail lounge, Norway:

LADIES ARE REQUESTED NOT TO HAVE CHILDREN IN THE BAR.  

Doctors office, Rome:
SPECIALIST IN WOMEN AND OTHER DISEASES.  

Dry cleaners, Bangkok:
DROP YOUR TROUSERS HERE FOR THE BEST RESULTS.  

In a Nairobi restaurant:
CUSTOMERS WHO FIND OUR WAITRESSES RUDE OUGHT TO SEE THE MANAGER.  

On the main road to Mombassa, leaving Nairobi:
TAKE NOTICE: WHEN THIS SIGN IS UNDER WATER, THIS ROAD IS IMPASSABLE.  

On a poster in Johannesburg:
ARE YOU AN ADULT THAT CANNOT READ? IF SO WE CAN HELP.  

In a city restaurant:
OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK AND WEEKENDS.  

In an Irish cemetery:
PERSONS ARE PROHIBITED FROM PICKING FLOWERS FROM ANY BUT THEIR OWN GRAVES 

Tokyo hotel's rules and regulations:
GUESTS ARE REQUESTED NOT TO SMOKE OR DO OTHER DISGUSTING BEHAVIOURS IN BED.  

On the menu of a Swiss restaurant:
OUR WINES LEAVE YOU NOTHING TO HOPE FOR.  

In a Thai bar:
SPECIAL COCKTAILS FOR THE LADIES WITH NUTS.  

Hotel, Yugoslavia:
THE FLATTENING OF UNDERWEAR WITH PLEASURE IS THE JOB OF THE CHAMBERMAID.  

Hotel, Japan:
YOU ARE INVITED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE CHAMBERMAID.  

In the lobby of a Moscow hotel across from a Russian Orthodox monastery:
YOU ARE WELCOME TO VISIT THE CEMETERY WHERE FAMOUS RUSSIAN AND SOVIET COMPOSERS, ARTISTS AND WRITERS ARE BURIED DAILY EXCEPT THURSDAY.  

A sign posted in Germany's Black Forest:
IT IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN ON OUR BLACK FOREST CAMPING SITE THAT PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT SEX, FOR INSTANCE, MEN AND WOMEN, LIVE TOGETHER IN ONE TENT UNLESS THEY ARE MARRIED WITH EACH OTHER FOR THIS PURPOSE.  

Hotel, Zurich:
BECAUSE OF THE IMPROPRIETY OF ENTERTAINING GUESTS OF THE OPPOSITE SEX IN THE BEDROOM, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE LOBBY BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE.  

Advertisement for donkey rides, Budapest:
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RIDE ON YOUR OWN ASS?  

Airline ticket office, Copenhagen:
WE TAKE YOUR BAGS AND SEND THEM IN ALL DIRECTIONS.  

A laundry in Rome:
LADIES, LEAVE YOUR CLOTHES HERE AND SPEND THE AFTERNOON HAVING A GOOD TIME.  

(Author Unknown)  


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The Demise of a Grand Idea

>> Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It’s disquieting to watch the demise of a grand idea.  

Robert Schuller had a dream … of a new way to worship … with a positive message. In 1955, he became pastor of a community church in Garden Grove, CA … that met at a drive-in theater. No one could have imagined that humble beginning would blossom into the church we now know as the Crystal Cathedral.  

That dream has become a nightmare for the Schuller family.  

Bankrupt … the church building has been sold to the Roman Catholic Diocese … and they have three years to find a new home. Robert Schuller has retired … leaving first his son and then his daughter as senior pastor. Last Sunday the daughter announced she was leaving to start her own church. Three other family members have been fired from the ministry by the Board of Directors.  

The saddest sentence in this whole scenario was a quote by Robert Schuller, after giving a statement to the press that he and his wife would not be moving with their daughter to her new ministry.  

“How we express ourselves in worship remains up in the air.”  

He’s 85 and has no church home.  

I’ve watched the drama unfold … and pondered what went wrong. But the bottom line for me is … what dreams do I have … and am I applying myself to keep those dreams on track? I believe there are so many little vicissitudes of life that can side track a grand idea. If Robert Schuller … the guru of positive thinking … can become churchless … then I certainly need to be on guard.


“The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” Matthew 3:10 (NIV)

  

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True Words to Ponder

>> Tuesday, March 13, 2012

As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world, too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.  

Whose business is it, if I choose to read, or play, on the computer, until 4 AM, or sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 50, 60 &70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will. I will walk the beach, in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves, with abandon, if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.  

They, too, will get old.  

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And, I eventually remember the important things.  

Sure, over the years, my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break, when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But, broken hearts are what give us strength, understanding and compassion.  

A heart never broken, is pristine, and sterile, and will never know the joy of being imperfect.  

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.  

As you get older, it is easier to be positive.  

You care less about what other people think.  

I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong. 

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become.  

I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be.  

And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).  

(Author Unknown)  


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The Truth ... Just Too Humiliating

>> Friday, March 9, 2012

Calling in sick to work makes me uncomfortable. No matter how legitimate my excuse, I always get the feeling that my boss thinks I'm lying.

On one recent occasion, I had a valid reason but lied anyway, because the truth was just too darned humiliating. I simply mentioned that I had sustained a head injury, and I hoped I would feel up to coming in the next day. By then, I reasoned, I could think up a doozy to explain the bandage on the top of my head.  

The accident occurred mainly because I had given in to my wife's wishes to adopt a cute little kitty. Initially, the new acquisition was no problem. Then one morning, I was taking my shower after breakfast when I heard my wife, Deb, call out to me from the kitchen.

'Honey! The garbage disposal is dead again. Please come reset it.'

'You know where the button is,' I protested through the shower pitter-patter and steam. 'Reset it yourself!'

'But I'm scared!' she persisted. 'What if it starts going and sucks me in?'

There was a meaningful pause and then, 'C'mon, it'll only take you a second.'

So out I came, dripping wet and butt naked, hoping that my silent outraged nudity would make a statement about how I perceived her behavior as extremely cowardly. Sighing loudly, I squatted down and stuck my head under the sink to find the button. It is the last action I remember performing.

It struck without warning, and without any respect to my circumstances. No, it wasn't the hexed disposal, drawing me into its gnashing metal teeth. It was our new kitty, who discovered the fascinating dangling objects she spied hanging between my legs. She had been poised around the corner and stalked me as I reached under the sink. And, at the precise moment when I was most vulnerable, she leapt at the toys I unwittingly offered and snagged them with her needle-like claws. I lost all rational thought to control orderly bodily movements, blindly rising at a violent rate of speed, with the full weight of a kitten hanging from my masculine region.

Wild animals are sometimes faced with a 'fight or flight' syndrome. Men, in this predicament, choose only the 'flight' option. I know this from experience. I was fleeing straight up into the air when the sink and cabinet bluntly and forcefully impeded my ascent. The impact knocked me out cold.

When I awoke, my wife and the paramedics stood over me.

Now there are not many things in this life worse than finding oneself lying on the kitchen floor butt naked in front of a group of 'been-there, done-that' paramedics. Even worse, having been fully briefed by my wife, the paramedics were all snorting loudly as they tried to conduct their work, all the while trying to suppress their hysterical laughter … and not succeeding.

Somehow I lived through it all. A few days later I finally made it back in to the office, where colleagues tried to coax an explanation out of me about my head injury. I kept silent, claiming it was too painful to talk about, which it was.

'What's the matter?' They all asked, 'Cat got your tongue?' If they only knew!

(Author Unknown)


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A Promise Broken

>> Sunday, March 4, 2012

I tried to care … I really did. Twice I pushed myself out of my cocoon of pillows and covers and walked to my desk … sat at the keyboard … and stared. Guilt washed over me. I had made a promise … of when I would write … and now I was reneging on that. No words were flowing from my fingers … because no words were available in my brain.  

I was sick.  

For over a week now, my world has been a blur. Three of those days I needed to go to work. The energy I expelled in arising … sitting … showering … sitting … dressing … sitting … and then driving to my place of employment … exhausted me as though I had run a marathon.  

Weakling.  

And the nights. Coughing so hard I literally saw flashes of light in my closed eyes. Wondering if my husband was getting any sleep. In the spaces between coughing fits, I slept so hard I never knew when he showered and left for work. My daily exercise routine was cast aside.  

I know you’ve been there. It’s no fun.  

And now I’m in the recovering stage. As my mind begins to function again (scary thought) I think of those who have no recovery phase. Those injured in Iraq … who made promises to return to loved ones … and they have. But for some of them, they will never see again … never take their children for Sunday drive … or even have the ability to think clearly.  

They live with a promise broken … but for the rest of their lives.  

And so I’m grateful … for being able to breathe again … eat food that doesn’t taste like cardboard … and to know that I will recover. My heart goes out to those who deal with the broken promises … due to broken bodies or minds.  

May they feel God’s arms around them as they grasp a new way of living.


“…Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” Job 2:10b (NLT)





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Ten Peeves that Dogs have about Humans

>> Friday, March 2, 2012

If only dogs could talk:  

  1. Blaming your farts on me … not funny … not funny at all!! 
  2. Yelling at me for barking.  I’m a DOG!!
  3. Taking me for a walk, and then not letting me check stuff out. Whose walk is it anyway? 
  4. Any trick that involves balancing food on my nose. Stop it!
  5. Any haircut that involves bows or ribbons. Now you know why we chew your stuff up when you’re not home. 
  6. The sleight of hand, fake fetch throw. You fooled a dog. WhooooHoooo. What a proud moment for the top of the food chain. 
  7. Taking me to the vet for the “big snip”, then acting surprised when I freak out every time we go back. 
  8. Getting upset when I sniff the crotches of your guests. Sorry, but I haven’t quite mastered the handshake thing yet. 
  9. Dog sweaters. Hello??? Haven’t you noticed the fur? 
  10. How you act disgusted when I lick myself. You’re just jealous. 
Now lay off me on some of these things. We both know who is boss here. You don’t see me picking up your poop do you?  

(Author Unknown)


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