I've published a book of short fiction on Amazon's Kindle store.

Find it HERE -- Just $4.99 USD

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mashed Potatoes, Black Olives, and Brussels Sprouts

Have you ever noticed there are two kinds of food aversions? With a natural aversion, the person seemingly is born with a dislike for a certain food. An example of this would be my hate/hate relationship with mashed potatoes. I have no memories of a time when I enjoyed mashed potatoes; I can’t stand their taste, their smell, their texture in my mouth. As far as I can tell, I entered life with a disdain for mashed potatoes.

Glut aversion, on the other hand, is caused by indulging in a surfeit of a particular food and developing a revulsion to that food as a backlash. An instance of glut aversion is my Aunt Jo’s hatred of black olives. At family dinners, she would visibly cringe as we kids piled our plates with olives and started munching even before we passed the serving dish. When I grew up enough to care about adult food preferences, I learned the reason for her repulsion—an olive-eating contest in her childhood, ending in a disgust for olives that she never outgrew.

One of the election results for me is that I’ve developed an aversion to politicking, with its mudslinging and personal attacks. Where I used to salivate at a charmingly crafted campaign speech, I now eye the latest oratorical offering with the sickly gaze of one being urged to eat a fifth piece of wedding cake. It may be beautiful, but I don’t like it! The same goes for political punditing and election forecasting. I used to devour it all. Now, thanks but no thanks.

Don’t misunderstand, I’m a responsible citizen. I research platforms and track records. I vote, but it’s the civic equivalent of eating my brussels sprouts: it’s good for me and a good example to others, but it only seems to affect my life in a far-off, slow-grinding way. Afterward, I drive home and return to my regularly scheduled life. Four years. I’m thankful for the breather. Maybe in four years, I’ll learn to like the taste again.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Apology and Explanation

OK, folks, I want to say "sorry" for my recent scarcity, and offer an explanation for my recent extended (and somewhat continuing) absence. Let me offer some "facts of (my) life."

1. I have a play script that must be done by December 31, 2008.
2. I need to finish a brochure that I signed up for months ago.
3. I need to submit an outline for a resource I proposed weeks ago
4. I have a manuscript that's been ready to be shipped for almost a year.
5. I'm taking a university writing class.
6. I have a new baby grandson!


I'll get here when I can. Please be patient with me.

Dog & Cat Diaries - Nicole C. Slivensky

The Dog's Diary

8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing! 

10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!

12:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Dinner! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!

11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

The Cat's Diary - Day 983 of My Captivity

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates my capabilities. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. Slimeballs!

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow, but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released, and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird must be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now ...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday's Mischief

The relatives gathered in the waiting room of the hospital where their family member lay gravely ill. After what seemed like an eternity, the doctor finally joined them, looking tired and somber.

"I'm afraid I'm the bearer of bad news," he said as he surveyed the worried faces. "The only hope left for your loved one at this time is a brain transplant. It's an experimental treatment, and very risky, but it is their only chance. Insurance will cover the procedure, but you will have to pay for the brain yourselves....'

The family members sat in silence as they absorbed the news. After a great length of time, someone asked, "Well, how much does a brain cost?"

The doctor quickly responded, "$5,000 for a male brain, and $200 for a female brain."

The moment turned awkward. Men in the room tried not to smile, avoiding eye contact with the women, but some actually smirked.

Eventually, a man unable to control his curiosity, blurted out the question everyone wanted to ask, "Why is the male brain so much more expensive?"

The doctor smiled at the man's childish innocence and explained to the entire group, "It's just standard pricing procedure. We have to mark down the price of the female brains, because they're used."

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I'm back!...I think....

Hi there!  After an unscheduled hiatus, I'm back!...I think....  With family home a lot more, I didn't always have time to post during the day.  And with all the summertime activities, I didn't always have energy to post at night!  But people are  back in school now, so that will hopefully free up some more writing time.  

I'll start off with a joke today, and another tomorrow, for Monday Mischief.  Ready?

There once was a major league pitcher named Mel Famey who played relief for his team. On this particular day, near the end of the game, the starting pitcher was still doing so well that Mel decided he wasn't going to be needed.  He had smuggled a 6-pack into the dugout, so he started to drink the beers, one right after another. Well, right after Mel had polished off the 6-pack, the starting pitcher threw out his shoulder. The manager called on Mel to go out and finish the game. Mel was so loaded that he could barely see straight, let alone throw straight, and walked the other team to victory. As the winning team headed to the showers they went by Mel's team's dugout and saw the pile of beer cans that Mel had left. "Look...", said one of the winning players....

"...that's the beer that made Mel Famey walk us!"

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday's Mischief

The Difference Between Men and Women

The way women operate....

The way men operate....

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday's Five

Five "Interesting" Things I've Eaten
  1. snapping turtle
  2. mako shark
  3. prickly pear cactus
  4. earthworm
  5. octopus

Monday, July 07, 2008

Monday's Mischief

Busy Little Lizzy

Busy Little Lizzy
Is usually all in a tizzy
Caring for big, handsome Chris
And sweet little Baby Mack.

Busy Little Lizzy
Can make herself totally dizzy
Making sure nothing's amiss,
And hurrying" there" and back.

Busy Little Lizzy
Wonders, "Who is she or who is he?"
Teaches Mack how to be a big sis,
Plans on getting her figure back.

Busy Little Lizzy
Soon a teacher all bubbly and fizzy
Wants to give all the children a kiss
Replacing the love they lack.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

We Have A Winner!

And the winner, by random drawing, is..................

Liz Wright!

Congratulations, Liz! Your personal poem will appear as all or part ot next week's Monday Mischief. Your poem will come complete with copyrights and bragging rights!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Friday's Five

Five Things That Say "July 4th" to Me
  1. fireworks
  2. grillin' all day
  3. having lots of friends over
  4. running through the sprinkler
  5. hot and humid, with a chance of a pop-up thunderstorm
Even though my list is fairly superficial, I am thankful to live in a country that has as many freedoms and opportunities as we do!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Monday's Mischief

When asked this riddle, 80% of kindergarten kids got the answer, compared to 17% of Stanford University seniors.
What is greater than God,
More evil than the devil,
The poor have it,
The rich need it,
And if you eat it, you'll die?
I really want people to guess! I'm going to moderate comments on this one, until Friday. That way, one person doesn't guess it right away and end the fun. Or, the first person doesn't have to guess "blind" while later "guessers" have the advantage of knowing some of the things it isn't.

During the week, I'll post the name of anyone who guesses correctly.

There will be a winner, and there will be a prize!

The grand prize will be an original poem written about the winner, and posted on my blog. In the event of more than one correct answer, the winner will be chosen by a random drawing. (The "draw-er" will most likely be my toddler granddaughter.)



Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday's Five

Five of My Favorite Ice Cream Flavors

  1. butter pecan
  2. Mackinac Island fudge
  3. Cherry Garcia
  4. mint chocolate chip
  5. pumpkin

Bonus: I can't put it on the list because, technically, it isn't ice cream...peppermint frozen custard from Payne's!

What ice cream flavor(s) do you like?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wednesday's Word

Bucket or Funnel?

Freely you have received, freely give. Matthew 10:8b

Some people are "funnel people" and some are "bucket people".  What does that mean?  I'm glad you asked!  Allow me to explain....

Funnels are conduits.  Things pass through funnels on their way to someplace else.  Funnels are into resourcing.  Funnels are generous.

Buckets are containers.  The things you put into a bucket, the bucket keeps. Buckets are into accumulating.  Buckets are selfish.

Buckets see themselves as the owners of whatever ends up in their keeping. Funnels realize that they are just stewards of the things that are poured into them.

Are you starting to wonder, "Is she talking about tools, or people?"  It looks like we've followed that parabolic arc, again.  There we were, standing over there, talking about tools--innocent and boring.  Suddenly, we're over here, talking about stewardship and greed--a little uncomfortable.

So let's talk about funnels and buckets.  A funnel person sees what they have as a resource to be shared.  They're on the lookout for someone who needs what they've been given.  A bucket person wants to know what's in it for them.  They want more, bigger, better, faster, newer.

The problem with being a bucket?  God has called us to be funnels. Sometimes, it's hard.  My Inner Bucket tries to hold something back, to keep "just a little bit" of what He's intended for me to pass on to others.  But there's reassuring news in the same passages that call us to funnelhood.  In the same breath that He tells us to give it away, Jesus promises our needs will be met, and then some!

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38

And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Luke 12:29, 31
"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,  so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matt 6:1-4
So let's answer the call to funnelship!  Let's cast aside our bucketish tendencies and choose "the easy way" to learn the habit of giving. Let's voluntarily choose the funnel lifestyle and not wait until circumstances force us to learn what the difference is between a bucket and a funnel....

...A funnel is just a bucket with the bottom knocked out of it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday's Mischief

The Not-So-Dumb Blonde

A lawyer and a blonde woman are sitting next to each other on a long flight.

The lawyer asks if she would like to play a fun game.

The blonde is tired and just wants to take a nap, so she politely declines and tries to catch a few winks.

The lawyer persists, that the game is a lot of fun.

"I ask you a question, and if you don't know the answer, you pay me only $5; you ask me one, and if I don't know the answer, I will pay you $500."

This catches the blonde's attention; and, to keep him quiet, she agrees to play the game.

The lawyer asks the first question.

"What's the distance from the earth to the moon?"

The blonde doesn't say a word, reaches in to her purse, pulls out a five-dollar bill, and hands it to the lawyer

Now, it's the blonde's turn. She asks the lawyer, "What goes up a hill with three legs, and comes down with four?"

The lawyer uses his laptop, searches all references.

He uses the Airphone; he searches the Net and even the Library of Congress.

He sends e-mails to all the smart friends he knows, all to no avail.

After one hour of searching he finally gives up.

He wakes up the blonde and hands her $500.

The blonde takes the $500 and goes back to sleep.

The lawyer is going nuts not knowing the answer.

He wakes her up and asks, "Well, so what goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four?"

The blonde reaches into her purse, hands the lawyer $5 and goes back to sleep.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday's Five Things

Five Species of Birds Seen in My Yard
  1. robin
  2. mourning dove
  3. cardinal
  4. oriole
  5. turkey vulture

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday's Word

From the Beginning....

"You see it's all clear,
You were meant to be here...
From the beginning."
--Emerson, Lake, and Palmer

I’m a big fan of the butterfly effect theory, also known as “sensitive dependence on initial conditions.” Part of the chaos theory, it says that a small variation at the beginning of a dynamical system can cause a large variation at its end. As an illustration, it says that the flutter of a butterfly’s wings can cause minor atmospheric changes that ultimately result in altering the path of a tornado, increasing or decreasing its speed, or preventing it altogether.

Hollywood likes to play with the idea of the butterfly effect. It’s A Wonderful Life, Sliding Doors, all three Back to the Future movies, and The Butterfly Effect each explore the difference made by small, seemingly insignificant decisions. It’s A Wonderful Life goes so far as to have snow falling in the world with George Bailey and a snowless Christmas in the world without him. It’s a fun “what if” to play with.

But isn’t it true that each of us is creating our own little (or maybe not so little) butterfly effect? What if we are not only making a difference, but have been placed by God precisely where we are to make that alteration. There are verses in the Bible that seem to say so:

Mordecai, calling on his niece, Esther, queen of Persia, to save her people from destruction, said, “...who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14 - NKJV)

In his letter to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul says, ”...we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10 - NIV)

We can’t know all the differences we bring about with our little, everyday choices. Smiling over the fence at the neighbor. Letting the other driver go first at a 4-way stop. Helping a child understand a concept in language or science. Unlikely as it seems, those little “flutters,” the little unconscious decisions we make, could change the course of history—or greater still, the course of eternity. That’s why it’s so crucial to have our decision-making process guided by God, moment by moment.

...those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires...the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; ...You...are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. (Romans 8:5b, 6b, & 9a - NIV)

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. Galatians 2:20 -NIV

"...it's all clear, you were meant to be here...."

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday's Mischief

A Few Words for Lexophiles* to Think About
  1. A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired. 

  2. A will is a dead giveaway. 

  3. Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana. 

  4. A backward poet writes inverse. 

  5. In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes. 

  6. A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion. 

  7. If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed. 

  8. With her marriage she got a new name and a dress. 

  9. Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you a flat miner.
  10. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds. 

  11. The guy who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered. 

  12. A bomb exploding on a kitchen floor in France resulted in linoleum blown apart. 

  13. You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it. 

  14. Local Area Network in Australia : The LAN down under. 

  15. He broke into song because he couldn't find the key. 

  16. A calendar's days are numbered. 

  17. A lot of money is tainted: 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine. 

  18. A boiled egg is hard to beat. 

  19. He has a photographic memory which he has never developed. 

  20. A plateau is a high form of flattery. 

  21. A short fortuneteller who escaped from prison is a small medium at large.
  22. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end. 

  23. When you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall. 

  24. If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine. 

  25. When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye. 

  26. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis. 

  27. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses. 

  28. Acupuncture is a jab well done.
*lexophile = one who loves words

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Only A Dad

Only a Dad with a tired face
Coming home from the daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame
To show how well he has played the game,
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see him come and to hear his voice.

Only a Dad, with a brood of four
One of ten million men or more
Plodding along in the daily strife,
Bearing the whips and scorns of life
With never a whimper of pain or hate,
For the sake of those who at home await.

Only a Dad, neither rich nor proud,
Merely one of the surging crowd,
Toiling, striving, from day to day,
Facing whatever may come his way;
Silent whenever the harsh condemn,
And bearing it all for the love of them.

Only a Dad, but he gives his all
To soothe the way of his children small
Doing with courage stern and grim
The deeds that his father did for him,
This is the line that for him I pen,
Only Dad, but the best of men.

—Edgar A. Guest

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday's Five Things

Five Movies That (Still) Make Me Laugh

  1. Funny Farm
  2. For Richer or Poorer
  3. Junior
  4. Over the Hedge
  5. A Night at the Opera

Monday, June 09, 2008

Monday's Mischief

The Joys of Being a Girl

1. We got off the Titanic first.

2. We can scare male bosses with the mysterious gynecological disorder excuses.

3. Taxis stop for us.

4. We don't look like a frog in a blender when dancing.

5. No fashion faux pas we make could ever rival the Speedo.

6. We don't have to pass gas to amuse ourselves.

7. If we forget to shave, no one has to know.

8. We can congratulate our teammate without ever touching her rear end.

9. We have the ability to dress ourselves.

10. If we marry someone 20 years younger, we are aware that we will look like an idiot.

11. We will never regret piercing our ears.

12. There are times when chocolate really can solve all our problems.

13. We can make comments about how silly men are in their presence because they aren't listening anyway.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Friday's Five Things

Five Songs That Refer To Writing

  1. "The Love of God"
  2. "Just Breathe (2 AM)"
  3. "Hafta Say 'I Love You' In a Song"
  4. "You're So Vain"
  5. "Be Thou My Vision" (for me, anyway, it's about writing)

Are there any songs about your job?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Wednesday's Word

"...As We...."

Matthew 6:9-13

Key verse:
...forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
Matthew 6:12 (NLT)

I realized a hard truth the other day. Everytime I pray the Lord's Prayer, I've technically made an agreement with God...

"...and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us...."

"As" could have one of two meanings here: "while we forgive" or "in the same way that we forgive"

Either way, when I apply it to my life, all I have to say is "Ouch!"

But exactly how do I forgive?

Forgiveness isn't just "wave the magic wand" and the transgressor is forgiven. Forgiveness means giving up your right for revenge and letting God be God, even in this circumstance. Forgiveness does not mean "no consequences"—the transgressor will reap from the sin he sowed. Anyone who's been a believer very long at all knows that God can deal with a sinner better than we ever can!

Also, "I forgive" does not mean "I blindly trust". The transgessor needs to do whatever it takes to try to prove to you that you can begin to trust him again. Depending on how serious the breach of trust, he may need some accountability with a godly, more mature Christian.

Forgiveness is hard, and it's an ongoing process, like dieting.

Here's what I mean.... If you're on a diet, there are certain things you've decided it wouldn't be good for you to eat. It would be great if you could swear off those foods, never crave them again, and instantly the weight would fall off! Unfortunately, that's not how it works. Your human nature is drawn to those "bad foods" and you cave. You eat a big bowl of ice cream.

Does that mean you immediately gain back every pound you've lost? Does it mean that dieting doesn't work for you and you'll never lose the weight? Of course not! It means a glitch that exists in the mind of every human tripped you up. You get up, dust yourself off, and recommit to losing weight!

Now here's how I see that it's the same.... If you've decided to forgive someone, you've decided that there are ceertain thoughts and feelings it wouldn't be good for you to have toward that person. It would be great if you could swear off those thoughts, never have them again, and instantly the relationship would be restored! Unfortunately, that's not how it works. Your human nature is drawn to those unforgiving thoughts, and you cave. You throw yourself a pity party and rehearse the whole scenario again in your mind.

Does that mean the relationship is immediately back where it was the day you were sinned against? Does it mean that forgiveness doesn't work for you and you'll never be able to forgive them? Of course not! It means a glitch that exists in the mind of every human tripped you up. You get up, dust yourself off, and recommit to forgiving!

When the time comes that you're ready to try forgiveness, something that can help is to learn and quote Bible verses when you're tempted to be unforgiving. I would suggest you memorize these two, for starters:

Ephesians 4:32 (New Living Translation)
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (New American Standard Bible)
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

OK, now who do you need to forgive?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday's Five Things

Five Comments That May Indicate You're Dealing With A Strong-willed Child
  1. Oh yeah? Who's gonna make me?
  2. I'll do it, but I won't like it!
  3. I may be sitting down on the outside, but I'm standing up on the inside!
  4. You can spank me, but you won't make me cry.
  5. It's not fair! Why do you get to be the boss?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Monday's Mischief

Best Things You Can Say If Caught Sleeping At Your Desk At Work
  1. "They told me at the blood bank this might happen." 
  2. "This is just a 15 minute power-nap as recommended in that time management course you sent me to." 
  3. "Whew! Guess I left the top off the White-Out. You probably got here just in time." 
  4. "I wasn't sleeping! I was meditating on the mission statement and envisioning a new paradigm."
  5. "I was testing my keyboard for drool resistance." 
  6. "I was doing Yoga exercises to relieve work-related stress." 
  7. "The coffee machine is broken..." 
  8. "Someone must've put decaf in the wrong pot..." 
  9. "...in Jesus' name. Amen."

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday's Five Things

Five Signs of a Really Good Friend
  1. You can pick up right where you left off, no matter how long it's been.
  2. You can call each other any time of the day or night, if you need to.
  3. You can do all the publicly embarrassing things around each other—sneeze, scratch, belch, cry.
  4. You can tell each other the hard truths.
  5. You can still love, despite knowing each other's flaws.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wednesday's Word

Rain, Rain....

He will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will graze in broad meadows.
Isaiah 30:23

So, this week I'm having a dry spell. (aka "Writer's Block") Rather than fret (I'm growing to love that word)....ahem....Rather than fret and get more tense and more stuck, I'm just going to share a couple verses and a short prayer.

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret....
Psalm 37:7

He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Matthew 5:45

Father, Thank You for Your promises to "send the rain".  As we wait for You to end the dry spells we all will face, help us to be patient and not to fret.  Amen.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday's Mischief

How To Give A Cat A Pill
  1. Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.
  2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.
  3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.
  4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.
  5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.
  6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.
  7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.
  8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.
  9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.
  10. Retrieve cat from neighbor's shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.
  11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Throw t-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.
  12. Ring fire department to retrieve cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil-wrap.
  13. Tie cat's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of fillet steak. Hold head vertically and pour 2 pints of water down throat to wash pill down.
  14. Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.
  15. Arrange for ASPCA to collect cat and ring local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.

How To Give a Dog a Pill
  1. Wrap it in bacon.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday's Five Things

A Toddler's Five Favorite Words

1. No! (about everything)
2. Mine! (about the same everything)
3. Dada! (Mama went through 9 months of pregnancy and 36 hours of labor, but nooooooo, it's "Dada!")
4. Cookie? (usually when Grandpa's around, and usually right before dinner)
5. Up! (always when you're tired, your back hurts, and your hands are full and/or gunked up)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wednesday's Word

The Gift, or the Giver?

James 1:2-5, 12, 16-17

Key verse:
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

"Praise God from whom all blessings flow...."

But what if the blessings don't flow?

A month ago, I was prayed for in a healing prayer service. No big hoopla, just kneeling quietly in church while hushed voices of friends and pastors prayed for me. For two days after that, I had no Parkinson's symptoms! Zero! Nada! Not even the stupid little ones! I know some might say it was psychosomatic, but I had a Parkinson's-related skin condition totally vanish in about 6 hours! My neurologist cut my meds by 2/3!

Over the past few weeks, though, my symptoms have gradually returned. It's like being diagnosed all over again. I've wept and prayed. I've asked God, "Why?" The only answer I've had is a quiet question that repeats in my heart: "Which do you desire more...the gift or the Giver?" So I started looking at desiring the Giver, more than the gifts He gives. And I found that there are gifts He promises to give us—no matter what—if we choose Him!

In Luke 11:11-13, He promises the Holy Spirit.

"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

In Ephesians 1:3, 6-10, the things promised are:
  • glorious grace
  • redemption
  • forgiveness
  • riches of grace
  • wisdom
  • understanding
  • knowledge of the mystery of His will
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. . . to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

And according to James 1:2-5, 12, 16-17, we are promised:
  • perseverance
  • maturity
  • completion
  • wisdom
  • a crown of life
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Ev'ry blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise,
And when the darkness closes in, Lord,
Still I will say,
"Blessed be the name of the Lord,
"'Blessed be Your name!"

I choose the Giver.
Habakkuk 3:2, 17-19
LORD, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD.
Renew them in our day,
in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy.

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.

Friday, May 09, 2008

One Word X 35

I got this as an email from my friend, Chris, and since I'm "in a mood," I've decided to blog it instead of emailing it! If you decide to do it, please leave me a comment so I can check out your answers.

YOU CAN ONLY TYPE ONE WORD !!! Not as easy as you might think! Copy, change the answers to suit you and post it on your blog. You just might find it hard to only use one word answers.

1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Your significant other? Lloyd
3. Your hair? wavy
4. Your mother? Ruth
5. Your father? Corwin
6. Your favorite thing? conversation
7. Your dream last night? none
8. Your favorite drink? Jazz
9. Your dream/goal? bestseller
10. The room you're in? office
11. Your hobby? shopping
12. Your fear? disability
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? traveling
14. Where were you last night? Walmart
15. What you're not? bored
16. Muffins? berry
17. One of your wish list items? cure
18. Where you grew up? Indiana
19. The last thing you did? phoned
20. What are you wearing? dress
21. Your TV? widescreen
22. Your pets? none
23. Your computer? laptop
24. Your life? interesting
25. Your mood? excited
26. Missing someone? Dad
27. Your car? Chevy
28. Something you're not wearing? watch
29. Favorite store? thrift
30. Your summer? short
31. Like someone? many
32. Your favorite color? pinks
33. When is the last time you laughed? today
34. Last time you cried? Tuesday
35. Who will post this? Keetha?

Friday's Five Things

Five Short Stories I Can't Forget

1. "The Country of the Blind" - H.G. Wells
2. "The Lottery" - Shirley Jackson
3. "I Sing the Body Electric" - Ray Bradbury
4. "The Last Leaf" - O Henry
5. "How Much Land Does A Man Need?" - Leo Tolstoy

Bonus: For all-out creepiness, "The Metamorphosis" - Franz Kafka

What short story sticks in your memory?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

FYI ("Four" Your Information)

Just to prove to Deven that someone does read her blog, I'm temporarily changing my name to Christiane Amanpour and responding to her tag. Deven, I hope you appreciate the time I took from my busy news-gathering schedule to do this!

Four Jobs I've Held
1. Student Librarian (work study job in college)
2. Cafeteria Dishroom Peon (also work study) That job brought out my inner Lady Macbeth. "All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this hand."
3. Accounts Payable Clerk (for a CB radio distributor)
4. Barista (Tree of Life)

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over
1. Somewhere In Time
2. Minority Report
3. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
4. Stranger Than Fiction

Four Places I've Lived
1. Marion, IN (two different times)
2. Huntington, IN (still the longest stay in one town)
3. Des Plaines, IL (waiting for my knight in shining armor)
4. Vladimir, Russia (for a total of only eight weeks, but I felt so at home!)

Four TV Shows I Like to Watch
1. The History Detectives
2. Keeping Up Appearances
3. Antiques Roadshow
4. Secrets of the Dead
(I know...all PBS shows.... I'm a nerd!)

Four Favorite Foods
1. melted cheese
2. barbequed chicken
3. taco salad
4. dried papaya

Four Places I'd Like to Be
1. London
2. Caribbean cruise
3. Russia
4. Wherever my DH is!

Four People I Tag
1. Beth B.
2. Cindy K.
3. Liz W.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog....

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Wednesday's Word

Stronger Than Fiction

Psalm 90:5-6, 10, 12

Key verse:
Teach us to realize the brevity of life,
so that we may grow in wisdom.
Psalm 90:12 (NLT)

I recently watched the movie, "Stranger Than Fiction". Interesting premise. The main character, Harold, begins hearing a voice-over narrating his life as it happens. He finds it puzzling, annoying, disconcerting. But then, the narrator begins discussing Harold's impending death! This starts him on a frantic quest to find out who is telling the story of his life and convince them that he shouldn't die.

As Harold carries out his search, he gets to know a literature professor who believes him about the narrator. He also believes that Harold can do nothing to prevent his own death. When Harold is mourning the approaching end of life, the prof tells him, "Make the most of the time you have! It's your life, Harold! Make it the one you've always wanted!"

As I sat pondering the movie, I realized the absurdity of my thoughts. Why? Allow me to quote what I heard in my head:

"That would be so strange, to know you were going to die, but not know when or where or how...."

Wait a minute! That's happening to all of us! Harold is Everyman! We all know we're going to die, and although some of us may think otherwise, none of us truly knows when, where, or how. So, am I going to do like Harold does, and try to make deals with the Narrator, to buy more time? Or will I make my life the one I've alway wanted, the one that pleases God and blesses others? Granted, I don't want to lose sight of eternity, but I choose to make the most of my moments here. I want to keep it all in balance, so my achievements are more than just the words I leave on paper. I want my life to be "stronger than fiction."

There remains for us only the very narrow way, often extremely difficult to find, of living every day as though it were our last, and yet living in faith and responsibility as though there were to be a great future. —Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Friday, May 02, 2008

Friday's Five Things

Five Simple Pleasures

1. eating warm, homemade pudding
2. swinging high on a playground swing
3. holding a sleeping newborn who's all snuggled up to me
4. smelling peonies, or lilacs, or roses, or lilies of the valley
5. curling up in a comfy chair with a fluffy blanket, a warm drink and a good book

playing with webdings
(Can you figure out what this says?  Clue: If you have a blogger account, the answer is right at your fingertips!)
OK, survey!  Please leave a comment and tell me...  In the "Bonus" do you see words or symbols?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday's Word

Wednesday's Five Things has been moved, and will become Friday's Five Things, in order to make room for Wednesday's Word.

On to Completion....

Philippians 1:3-8

Key Verse:
...being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

Have you ever had to push a car up a driveway? Most driveways are on a slight incline, which makes pushing the car from street to garage...umm...”interesting.” You push and push, straining every muscle fiber to move it a few inches, then someone needs a rest, or a chance to reposition their hands on the fender or the trunk lid. And as soon as there’s a pause in the momentum, what’s the natural development? The car begins attempting to roll back down! How much easier would it be if you could just drive it up the slope?

In the same way, we sometimes find ourselves involved in the process of taking something to the “next level.” It may be spiritual maturation, physical healing, ministry growth. Whatever it is, we’re certain it’s of God—it’s His idea! But somewhere along the way, we forget whose plan we’re working on and start feeling like we have to “push” God’s agenda for Him. That’s when we start feeling stress, frustration, and burnout. We snap at people, lose sleep over the project, and generally make ourselves miserable—not to mention irritating everyone around us!

What we too easily forget is that we don’t have to push what God has already set in motion. Like a car with the engine running, God’s plans have an internal power—His power! All He asks is that we do our little part and leave the progress to Him.

Trust in the LORD and do good;

 dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

Delight yourself in the LORD

 and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the LORD;

 trust in Him and He will do this:

He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,

 the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Psalm 37:3-6

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Bragging about what?!

OK, I took the blogging addiction test on Keetha's blog.... I'm not adding the widget, so if you want to take it, you'll hafta go here:

Keetha's Blog

I will tell you my results, though. I'm 81% addicted! A close second! And she tells me I don't blog enough! Apparently what I lack in
quantity, I make up in commitment. So there! Ha!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Not Me

About 11:30am today, our power went out. Like a dutiful little consumer, I called the utility company and reported it. Before too long, a truck from the power company arrived at the intersection. It sat there for about an hour while the workers...worked. Then it left.

Not too long after, a truck from the phone company arrived at the corner. What follows is a synopsis of the goings-on down at the corner:

  • phone company truck and power company truck
phone company leaves
2 power company trucks
2 power company trucks and a “supervisor” truck
3 power company trucks and a “supervisor” truck

  • 3 power company trucks and 2 “supervisor” trucks

  • 1 “supervisor” truck leaves
the other “supervisor” truck leaves
4 power company trucks
3 power company trucks
2 power company trucks

  • it appears they are going to replace a utility pole
  • (I am called away to the phone--when I return....)
  • 4 power company trucks

  • they are replacing the pole

  • 5 power company trucks
4 power company trucks
the pole is going up
power company trucks begin to leave
  • (I leave for an appointment)
  • (power is restored while I’m gone)

As I’ve worked in my office today, I’ve kept an eye on the progress being made at the intersection. With all the excitement at the intersection, all the training and manpower involved, all the hours invested, and effort put forth, watching it happen has made me feel like a kid again, and I just want to say....


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wednesday's Five Things

Five Signs of Spring Seen From My Office Window

1. Robins (and other little birds) hopping around the yard.
(We won't talk about the turkey vulture!)
2. Daffodils blooming.
3. Farmers in the fields.
4. Trees sprouting tiny leaves.
5. A convertible with the top down.

What have you seen that says "spring!" to you?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy IVGLDSW Day!

Today is International Very Good Looking, Darn Smart Woman's Day, so please inform the people who you think fit the description.

And remember these words to live by:

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body. Rather, the plan should be to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, glass of wine/cup of coffee/whatever in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "WOO HOO! What a ride!"

Have a wonderful day....

P.S. I checked.... IVGLDSW Day can be any day you choose!

Friday, April 18, 2008

I'm a Mover and a Shaker!

Sometimes in the morning, if I've kicked off the covers (or had them stolen!) and gotten cold, I've been known to get really bad tremors. This morning, even though I didn't feel cold, I woke up shaking really hard. I was shaking so hard, the bed was shaking! In fact, I must have reached a new stage, because I was shaking the whole house!

Wait a minute!!! I'm only 5'3", 105 lbs.! Shake the whole house? There's no way!

"It must be an earthquake," I mumbled to Lloyd. I breathed a sigh of relief, turned over, hit the snooze, and went back to sleep for a few more minutes.

I was relieved that it was an earthquake?! I'm not sure what that says about me, but it definitely makes me go, "Hmmm...."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wednesday's Five Things

Five Awesome Romantic Rock Songs

1. I Will - The Beatles
2. From the Beginning - Emerson, Lake and Palmer
3. Don't Want to Miss a Thing - Aerosmith
4. Color My World - Chicago
5. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face -Roberta Flack

Got a great one I haven't mentioned? Tell me!

Monday, April 14, 2008

That's What Friends Are For....

So now that I'm a lab rat, the researchers have asked me to recruit my own control subjects. You know...the rats that don't get any experimental drugs and don't contract the disease?

In the past, researchers have been able to identify culprit genes in the DNA of hereditary PD patients. What this study is about is comparing non-familial (non-inherited) PD DNA to non-PD DNA, to see if there's a common denominator among the non-fam PDs that is not shared by the non-PDs

What I'm supposed to do is try to find up to 4 people within 5-10 years of my age, female, who live nearby and don't have neurological problems. Then they will do the same things I do--family medical history, interview, neurological eval, and blood draw. Well, right out of the box, I've got my four! Enthusiastic, adventurous ladies, with as much curiousity as a boxful of kittens. And now they/we have decided to all go together for our research appointments. ROAD TRIP!! Woo hoo!!

Who are these modern Amelia Earharts, you ask? These intrepid explorers, expanding the frontiers of medical science, with only occasional stops at the fashion mall to resupply? Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the "Rat Pack" - M.G., T.B., G.O., and N.C.! Think you know? Ask them!

Now, don't you wish your friends were a bunch of rats?!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Wednesday's Five Things

Five Things That Make Me Smile
(in no particular order)

1. Family get-togethers
2. Climbing trees
3. Snuggling in the moonlight
4. An excuse to dress up
5. Lively, wide-ranging conversations

Thursday, April 03, 2008

I'm a Lab Rat!

I've been asked to be part of a gene study. They're wanting to map the genes of PD patients who don't have it in their family history. They want to look for a common denominator. It includes physiological testing (balance, etc.), an interview, and a blood draw. The researcher is a colleague of my neuro. And I'm enough of an information junkie that the whole idea's got me psyched! Just wanted to let you know....

“Pray, and let God worry....” (link)

In this instance, I'm talking about a very sick little girl, Chrissy. She and her family need all the prayer they can get. You can learn more by visiting her website:
Even if she won't know you, leave an encouraging comment, to show her and her family how widespread the caring reaches!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Wednesday's Five Things

I saw this idea on another blog, and it looked like fun. (Plus you know I'll be posting every Wednesday.) Here's this weeks list:

Five Foods I've Been Craving

1. Sun Chips - Original
2. trail mix
3. smoked salmon
4. beef jerky
5. chocolate pudding

Tune in again next Wednesday, for the next "Five Things"!

Friday, March 21, 2008

A New Addition for a New Addition

If you look carefully, you'll find a new widget on my blog. It's a countdown ticker! And if you look very carefully, I think you'll be able to figure out what I'm counting down....

It's a baby! Nate and Tiff are going to be parents, and I'm going to be a grandma again! She's due in mid-September. I can hardly bear to wait. I want to know this little person--quiet or loud? reader or athlete? fair or dark? boy or girl?

I love meeting new people! Five months, three weeks, and four days!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

What's the common factor?

There were several "items of note" this week:

1. Larry Norman died on Sunday.
2. I started making notes for the sequel to the play I wrote, which was successfully performed on 2/22/08.
3. I contacted an organization that has been planning to distribute a brochure, and offered a business proposal to do the writing.
4. My husband officially reached the -30 pound mark in his effort to lose a total of 60 pounds. He's half way!
5. Friday, 2/29, was Leap Day.
6. I made a marriage proposal.

Now...what do all these "news items" have in common? How about some clues?

1. Larry Norman was a Christian rock musician. Early on, in the late 60s and into the 70s, he was THE Christian rock musician. He did things in music and ministry that nobody else seemed to have the guts to do. He's credited with the beginning of the Christian contemporary/Christian rock genre. Musically and spiritually, he influenced the people who influenced the people who are the "names" in the genre, today.

2. The night of the play, after the show, my friend, Tamara, made the comment that she wanted to have a part in the sequel, as Nora's mother. I glibly told her what her name was going to be, and moved on. The next day, I found myself making notes about plot and characters. Now, with a year until a possible performance, and about 10 months before the script would need to be done, not only am I excited about writing a sequel, there seems to be a growing number of people who are eager to support it, act in it, see it performed.

3. The organization in question has been saying for several months that they were going to develop a booklet/brochure to distribute to the public. As far as I've seen, "it ain't happenin', folks"! Not to fault them—their staff have been very busy. So I contacted them and more or less said, "You haven't got this done yet. You've got a big event coming where you need it ready. Here's my fee—let me know if I'm hired."

4. He's been planning to do this for quite a while, but it just wasn't going anywhere. After the first of the year, I saw a new determination. He started working out and drink lots of water, he cut portion size and fat content, and the pounds started coming off! I'm very proud of him! Thirty pounds! That's like losing a small child, or three cats! Hmmm.... He'd like the idea of three cats being gone!

5. Yesterday was a "make-up day" for the calendar, to correct for the fact that it takes the Earth 365 days and a few hours to travel once around the sun. It only happens every four years, so people who a born or married on 2/29 only have their special day once every four years, technically.

6. Traditionally, Leap Day has been a day for women to take the initiative in a relationship, ie., propose marriage. Since my husband did it last time (28 years ago) I thought it was about time for me to take a turn! Plus, it was another way to tell him I love him, and you can't say that enough!

So..... There are the six "big events" in my week. What unifying concept do you see? Leave me a note.

To be continued....

(Clue: There are sayings about the common factor that refer to hay, iron, and a phrase in Latin.)

...the common factor

1. Larry saw a need that wasn't being met. In spite of the opposition and criticism, he found an intersection between his talent and God's plan. In the process, he changed the face of Christian music for generations and the lives of thousands for eternity.

2. When I started the play, it was something I'd never tried before. It was bigger than any writing project I'd ever tackled. After the fact, I'm glad I took the risk. I'm ready to go for it again! Maybe it's the starting point in a Butterfly Effect.

3. With regard to my Butterfly Effect speculations, maybe this is the first shft in the "weather". I'm not sure I would've pitched for the job a month ago. But, now, I know I can do it. They know I can do it! Will they recognize the opportunity on their doorstep?

4. He could have looked at 60 pounds as an unobtainable goal, but instead he decided it was time to start, and now he's winning the benefits of his efforts.

5. Any Leap Baby or Leap Couple who wanted to celebrate their day on the day had a 24-hour window, now they'll have to wait until 2012. Let's hope the celebration was "party-ful" enough to last them four years!

6. This one's easy! You should make sure the people you love know that you do, every chance you get!

The common factor? In every instance, someone didn't wait around for a risk analysis—they went for it!

"Strike while the iron's hot."
"Make hay while the sun shines."
"Carpe diem! (Seize the day!)"

Monday, February 04, 2008

How's that go again?

I love the funny things kids end up with when they try to say "grownup things"—You know, big words they can't pronounce that we use to talk about big ideas they can't understand. Anyway, a radio station here in town has local school kids sign up to say the Pledge of Allegiance every weekday morning. The common recitation glitches I hear in that segment got me thinking, "What's the worst possible screwed-up mess a kid could make of the Pledge, using real words?" Here's what I came up with:

I pudge our reasons
Two-door flag
Of the ninety snakes of America
And two-door public
For Richard Sands
One ace in Underdog
In the fizzle bowl
Miss Wiberdy
Adjust us
For all

Scrambling the Pledge was pretty fun! Care to join me? If you come up with something that makes you laugh, please share!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go visit my granddaughter and try using little words to help her understand some big ideas.... Like love.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Santa in the Off-Season

We all know that during the off-season, Santa is busy making the toys he'll need to deliver the following Christmas.

[Hey! A rabbit trail! Not only is Santa omniscient (He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake...), he's also prescient! How else would he know how many of which toys he should be making?]

Anyway...back to the main road.... Sure, Santa spends his summers making toys for good little girls and boys, but who can make toys 24/7?! So what does Santa do on his days off? He shops at Wal~Mart! "Pshaw!" you say? I was there, I tell you! I saw it with my own two eyes!

OK, here's what happened.... I was in Wal~Mart the other day, buying a few groceries, checking out the clearance racks, "same old-same old", when I heard it. Two identical little voices said in stereo, "Mommy, look!" Since my name is Mommy, I instinctively looked.

There, in the cereal aisle, was a cart laden with two matching preschool boys. Eyes wide open, mouths agape, index fingers clearly pointing. As I turned to follow the aim of the little pointers, I heard their voices again—"Mommy, look! It's Santa Claus!"

At the same moment, my gaze arrived at the fingers' target. Pushing his cart past the corn flakes was an older looking man—jeans and red plaid flannel shirt, gray stocking cap on his head, full white beard hiding his chin, and what could be termed the appropriate body type. He smiled sheepishly, as if this wasn't the first time he'd heard it. The mom shushed her boys with some vague comment and all the players in the scene moved on.

Intrigued, I followed "Santa" through the store, waiting to see if it happened again. A couple aisles over, I saw my friend, Judy. We made the usual chit-chat, but I was bursting to tell someone what I'd just witnessed.

"Judy, I just saw the cutest thing! Two little guys thought he," I flicked my eyes toward the Man in Red, "was Santa!"

We giggled together, and just as she started to say, "Oh, how funny," her little boy piped up, "Look, Mommy! There's Santa!" Judy and I grinned at each other and went our separate ways. I continued to follow the Man in Red as he finished his shopping and went through the checkout. I can tell you that "Santa" likes Red Baron pizza and Classic Coke, but there's also somebody at the North Pole who eats stir-fry and drinks Gatorade!

When asked about his identity, the Man in Red claimed that his name was "Lloyd", and that he was (get this!) a schoolteacher! But as you know, all the Big Shots have an alter ego—just look at Clark Kent and Peter Parker. Come to think of it, a teacher's calendar might work pretty well for Santa! He'd have summers off to spend in the workshop, and a two week break at Christmas to take care of last minute details before delivery.

I wonder if, now that he's been identified, he'll have to move on, like the Witness Protection Program? If he does, maybe come spring he should consider trimming his beard down to a goatee. Then, he could think about trying a more plausible secret identity—like...say...
Colonel Sanders?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Another parody....

Status Quo
(to the tune of "Let It Snow")

Oh the relatives think it’s frightful
The way we act so spiteful
But since we refuse to grow
Status quo! Status quo! Status quo!

It seems there is just no stopping
This marital bellyflopping
Our behavior is really low
Status quo! Status quo! Status quo!

Each determined that we are right
Ev’ry contact turns into a storm
If we’re going to stop this fight
We’ll have to use chloroform

Well, we’ve heard there are folks a-sighing
And forever "goo-goo eye"-ing
What it's like we will never know
Status quo! Status quo! Status quo!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Caramel Corn!

I promised everybody at the Blog Party that I'd share the recipe for the Caramel Corn that almost was—

1/4 cup pancake syrup
1 stick butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
dash of salt

Cook in microwave-safe container on High for TWO minutes (glass is best). Stir. Cook on High for approximately 4 minutes—until mixture has boiled for 2 minutes.

Add 1/2 teaspoom baking soda. Stir until foamy.

Immediately, pour over 4 quarts (16 cups) of popped popcorn in a paper grocery bag. Close bag and shake vigorously. Pour onto waxed paper or cookie sheet to cool. Guard vigilantly!


Some of my blogging buddies were hearing stories last night of my granddaughter's recent discovery of chocolate. Here's a little photo-documentary....

When Grandpa gives you chocolate, he doesn't skimp!

Chocolate is messy...

...REALLY messy...

...but it sure can make you smile!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Dad!

It’s been a whole year since you stepped across Heaven’s threshold. Does it seem to you like it’s been that long? Is it as if only an instant has passed, or does it feel like you’ve always been there?

Sometimes for me, it’s as if you’ve been gone a long, long time. Then there are the days when it feels as if it was only a moment ago that your pastor called, and as gently as he could, shared the news that broke my heart and forever altered my life’s landscape.

What’s Heaven like, Dad? I know you’re having a great time “hangin’ out” with Jesus. You and He always seemed like such good friends. What about all the other stuff we imagined? What’s it like not to have hay fever or need glasses? Was I right, and you finally like coconut? Or is it like you thought, and there is no coconut in Heaven?

Have you had a chance to meet any of the “big names” yet? Who did you talk to first? As much as you read the epistles, I bet you picked Paul, huh? ‘Course, you really liked the psalms, too, so maybe your first choice was David?

We’re all “pluggin’ along” here, living for Jesus and trying to make you proud. I’ve spent some time looking back at your life, seeing and hearing the life-changing difference you made for so many people in your quiet, unobtrusive way. You’ve given me a lot to think about, Dad, and set a high standard to reach for. But you always were encouraging me to “work up to my potential”!

Well, I can’t talk too long. My job here isn’t done. Mom’s doing OK. You’d be proud of her. Yeah, I know that’s nothing new--you always were! You’d be pleased, too, at how we all look out for her, and how we always say “I love you,” whenever we say “goodbye”--to her and to each other. Tell all my grandparents “Hi!” and give them my love. I don’t know yet when I’ll be arriving, but I promise I’ll be coming to see you all.

Until that day, know that I love you and I’m proud to be recognized as...

Your Daughter,