About Me

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West, United States
I love to hike, bike, ski, run, swim, read, write, teach, learn, experience and enjoy loving others.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

An Adventure-- Breaking Through to the Inner True Soul

Before reading this note please take time to read a beautiful Christmas story just posted in Paulo Coelho's blog. I refer to it below and you will miss the point if you have not been enlightened by its message.


I want to thank Paulo for this beautiful and inspirational story – It has touched me greatly. We all want to be able to reach our true inner soul—the light of God.

The following analogy has been helping me to move toward my inner light.

Think of your true inner soul being covered by five various shells – much like the Babushka Dolls of Russia.

If we can take off or get through the outer shells, we will discover our Divinity. We learn by removing each shell on our journey inward.

SHELL ONE: Even though it might seem awkward, risking by praying to your Higher Power with your own words/thoughts --- Some might start with memorized prayers of their religion, then move into a conversation with their Higher Power… (much like Tevya, from Shalom Aleichem’s stories) Always keep a prayer in your heart.

SHELL TWO: Reading and learning from various scriptures and articles from various faiths – ALL religions have truths sent by God/Goddess --- ponder them and meditate – and listen for your inner voice ;-) Patience is required here… Listen..Listen..Listen

SHELL THREE: Not to be afraid to show charity for those less fortunate --- remembering that ALL of your cohorts here on this world, man, (rich, poor, well, sick) animal, plant, and even land, at times need a helping hand --- if you are continually praying, seeking and especially listening, you will know those who need your aide. You were blessed with talents…USE them for the Good of the entire Soul of this World.

SHELL FOUR: This is where most of us stop. To literally break the shell of this doll, we must not be faint-hearted and fearful because it is only through true humility that we will get to know our higher power… We must develop a deep lasting faith– and become “lowly in heart.” We begin to remember and rejoice over all that is good in us. This will strengthen our inner selves and leave us less dependent on outward acclaim. When we pay less attention to public praise, we then also care very little about public disapproval. Competition and jealousy and envy now begin to have no meaning. Patience and unconditional love is gained as we overcome our weaknesses; and like the boy in this beautiful story “even through the journey gets heavy,” the rewards though any times not seen are of such profound strength and quiet triumph of faith that we are carried into an even brighter sphere. This fourth doll is broken open, just as a contrite heart is broken and we are reborn.

SHELL FIVE: The inner doll… our true soul… the sacred center of existence --- the boy, through the recognition of the beautiful Vicar was able to feel of his true being…. For those of us who have the courage and faith to break through to the center of our existence we will find the brightness, the wisdom, and the warmth of a the loving power who keeps all of this universe in a continual motion…going forward with brightness.

My blessing for all is for you to know that YOU ARE HOLY--- that YOU HAVE DIVINITY right there within you waiting to be uncovered --- unleashed--- brightened.

Merry Christmas …

((((LOVE)))) and ****Warm Bright Blue Light**** radiating your way from this side of the world

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


This is the winning recipe from the chocolate contest at the 2010 Sevier County Fair. I was a judge and although we wondered if these balls were donations from a kitty litter box, we were brave and bit into them. OH MY! They were heavenly. I have to admit they are a very romantic treat for your better half and you. ;-)


• 3 cups sweetened whipped cream chilled in the freezer – not to ice cream stage, but firm.
• 1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces (In the USA just buy 2 Hersey Symphony Bars )
• 3/4 cup crunched almond toffee pieces -- Crunched quite small to 1/8 pea size
• 1 1/2 cup Graham Wafer or Digestive Biscuit crumbs -- Crunched almost to powder…
• 1/4 cup cinnamon
• 1/8 cup sugar
• 1 2oz bottle of Confectioner’s Dessert Sprinkles

Place semi-sweet chocolate pieces/chunks --- and almond toffee pieces in a bowl and microwave until the mixture starts to soften. (about 30 to 40 seconds) Take a fork and blend the mixture so the toffee pieces are well distributed among the chocolate. When somewhat cooled, mix the chocolate/toffee into the whipped cream and then place the mixture back into the freezer. Let it stay there until the mixture is once again firm, but not frozen.

While the chocolate mixture is setting, crumble the Graham Wafer or digestive biscuits. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and mix it with the wafer/biscuit crumbs. Place this mixture in a wide bowl and set aside.

In another wide bowl, take the “sprinkle”lid off of the dessert sprinkles and dump the colorful little balls into the bowl. Set it next to the wafer/biscuit crumb bowl.

When the chocolate mixture is firm, take the round tablespoon and dip it into the mixture. Then scoop the mixture out of the round tablespoon with a regular dinning spoon and drop it into the crumbs. With clean hands or hands covered with plastic chef gloves, roll the drop of the mixture around in the crumbs just enough to lightly cover it. Then take this ball and drop it into the dessert sprinkles. Roll it around until it is covered and very round. Place the completed ball on a plate that will fit in your freezer. Keep dipping and rolling until the mixture is gone, then place the balls back into the freezer for a while. In fact, I leave them in the freezer and take them out a little while before serving. You will want them a little firm but not frozen.

Now, I am aware that the balls look a little strange, but OH MY, once your guest bites into one, he/she will be hooked.

Tin Soldiers

by Elaine Street

"These sure are cute little lacy plants." the neighbor gushed, and then continued, "What kind are they?"
"Oh, they're Elaine's marijuana plants." mumbled the sweet gray headed lady as she grabbed another towel from her laundry basket to hang on the clothesline.
"Well, did you hear about the little Nielsen girl? Can you imagine, getting married so young?" the jaws yammered. "I'll bet she's pregnant."

* * *

The summer of 1974 was going to go down as one of the most memorable for Elaine. With high school graduation in the next week, she was thinking how each minute had to be lived to its fullest, because who knew what would come next.
"Honk, honk." bellowed a familiar horn.
Elaine glanced up as she was striding toward her tan, Olds 88, bomb in the school parking lot. A deep maroon, Chevy Chevelle 447 cruised up beside her. It was Dennis, her boyfriend of two years. Elaine's parents were not too pleased with their relationship. Dennis' family was okay, but he was not the "church type". Elaine was shocked the first time he asked her out; she didn't think she was his type. Being cute in a “Teddy Bear” sort of way on the outside, he marred is inside by partaking, once in a while, a few illegal substances. Elaine figured that she could "save" him so she accepted. Thoughts of dating someone on the edge intrigued her. The two immediately hit it off and had a blast whenever they were together as long as she saluted his commands.
"Come on. Get in. I've got something to show you," he snapped.
"Okay," said Elaine as she jumped in and slid over by him.
As rubber squealed out of the parking lot, he enlightened her. "You know Randy, the guy taking auto body with me at the Tech? The one with the hopped up Vega. . . ?
She nodded.
"Well, he's going to be in serious trouble if we don't help him. You see Randy kicked his roommate, Greg, out of their house, and Greg is not too happy because he has had to sleep in the Lion's Park the last few weeks."
Dennis went on to explain that Greg was getting even with Randy. For the last two years Greg had grown marijuana around his father's cornfields in Wayne County. Harvesting it before his father caught on, Greg had himself quite a stash, with plenty of seeds for a new batch. He told Dennis that he had planted marijuana seeds all around Randy's rented house in Richfield. Greg knew that the police would bust Randy. What a way to get even!
"The plants are just right for transplanting" Dennis mentioned. "Let's go get some before I tell Randy and he digs them all up."
Elaine had never seen a marijuana plant before. She was curious, but she was also cautious. "You're sure no one knows about this? We won't get caught or anything will we?"
"Oh lighten up. You worry too much."
He pulled his car up in front of the little house. No one was home. Grabbing some paper cups and spoons Dennis had brought, they walked around the house. Sure enough, little marijuana plants were poking their heads up to see the world.
"Come on. Let's hurry!" Dennis commanded, "You dig over there and I'll dig here."
"But I just wanted to watch."
"Hurry. Help me before Randy comes," he ordered her like a four star general.
Snapping to, Elaine quickly and carefully transferred three healthy plants into the paper homes and carted them back to the Chevelle. Setting them on the seat like fragile glass sculptures, she thought, “They are kind of cute. I wonder what they look like when they flower? I wonder if I dare take them home like I would a puppy?” As Dennis got in, she asked, "Now what do we do with them?"
His car motored in a slower than normal motion as they discussed various options. Then it was decided. He would take his home and so would she.
After she got back into her own car, Elaine looked at the frail little specimens. “I've always been able to level with my mom. I'll tell her just what they are and see if she'll let me grow them in the backyard.”
As Elaine pulled up in front of her home, she noticed some young boys playing in the baseball field next to the house. It was Robin and his friend Kelly. The boys were laughing and having fun. Elaine longed to be like them again without the thoughts of graduation and the future lurking in the back of her mind.
Protecting the lacy little foliage from snapping in the breeze, Elaine carried them in the house and explained the situation to her, preoccupied, dinner-cooking, mother. Then added, "I don't care to smoke it. I just want to see if I can grow it and see what it looks like when it flowers."
"Okay. Set them over there on the counter, and help me by putting the dishes on the table for supper."
As Elaine sauntered into the kitchen the next morning, the counter was empty. They were gone. She was a little comforted thinking that her mother had thrown them away, but the back door opened.
"I've found a home for your plants. Come and see!" her mother beamed.
Ambling behind her, Elaine was led to a spot in the backyard. There they were, in the shade of the blossoming cherry tree, lined up like tin soldiers ready to withstand anything.
"Thanks Mom," she swallowed.

* * *

The summer was a busy one. Between teaching swimming lessons and life guarding at the city pool, Elaine didn't have a lot of time for her relationship to grow with Dennis, but her tin soldiers grew taller and wider every day. “I hope we don't get caught,” was always in the back of her mind. “I wonder why Dennis seems so calm about the whole thing? Is he used to this?”

* * *

By the middle of August, white hats were starting to adorn the three- foot tall soldiers.
"That is a dainty little flower," commented her mother.
"Yes, it is. It's toooo bad they won't hold up when it freezes," Elaine came back in a slightly sarcastic way. She was thinking about the added stress because of them and relieved at the thought of frost.
Finally the first of September - - The kids were out of school for Labor Day, the last time the cooling plunge would be open that year. After sitting in the hot sun for what seemed like hours, Elaine was highly contented to get into her tan bomb and propel herself home. As she rounded the corner, a sight made her heart stop. A sheriff's car had stationed itself in front of her home.
"Oh no!”
She whipped past her house and immediately cracked down to Dennis' place.
"Good, he's home," she gasped as she screeched into his driveway.
"Calm down," he said as she told him about the cop car. "If you were in trouble, they would have arrested you at the pool. Now go home and act as if nothing has happened. If they are there to scope out the plants, tell them you didn't know what they were. " Then he ordered her as if he had epaulets on his shoulders, "Don't you dare get me involved with this."
“Hey, weren’t we in this together?” she thought as she dejectedly planted herself back in the bomb.
Summoning up all the acting ability inside, she rehearsed the scene as the bomb coasted around the corner again. The four-wheeled guard was still there keeping watch. Strategically placing the bomb for a quick get-away, Elaine got out and started walking toward her doom.
“Hey, Elaine. Come and pitch some fast ones to us,” yelled a voice from the baseball field.
“Yeah. It’ll be fun,” chirped Robin.
She walked toward them like a prisoner trying to sneak away from work detail, but then she stopped. “What if they come and arrest me in front of the boys?”
Elaine said reluctantly, “Sorry guys. I would love to play with you tomorrow though. Dad showed me a new curve I’d like to try.” Then she mumbled under her breath, “If there is a tomorrow.”
Taking a deep breath as she started to head for her house, Elaine thought, “I can do this.”
Her legs seemed like mushy spaghetti as she wobbled through the front door. Expecting to see a room filled with people, there was no one. All was silent except for her quick breaths. She worked her way out of the back door and heard the endless chatter of people. Just then the aroma of barbecue touched her nostrils. Inching her way along each of the cinder blocks that lined the house, she was able to get view of the crowd. Dad was frying hamburgers on the grill; Mother and two ladies were preparing the picnic table under the cherry tree; another lady was stirring punch; and two men, one of them in a sheriff's uniform, were sitting directly in front of the marijuana soldiers. In fact, as the breeze blew, the soldiers waved fingers across the back of their necks.
Just then Elaine's father noticed her. "Hey come on out here and meet some friends I met in Alcoholics Anonymous." The introductions went on until he said, "And last but not least, is the sheriff in charge of drugs and alcohol, Officer Jensen."
"How are you, young lady?" Urged the officer as he shook her hand. "Won't you come and sit down over here with us and chat a while?"
"Ahhhh. . . no thanks. . . ahhh. . . I've got a date tonight. . . It was nice meeting you though." Elaine murmured as she backed into the house. Her breathing was easier now. In fact, she chuckled. "That guy did look a bit on the senile side. Maybe he's never seen a marijuana plant before."
Just then the phone rang. It was Dennis.
"Is everything okay?" He interrogated.
"It's fine. False alarm. . . I'll see you later on main and explain."

* * *

A few days later, Elaine went home after helping close up the pool. She could hear her mother talking to someone while hanging out clothes. Peering out the window, Elaine noticed that it was “The Mouth,” a nickname her father had given the neighbor lady across the street.
"These sure are cute little lacy plants. . . "
Just then Elaine eyed her three tin soldiers. Her mother had carefully placed them into shiny ceramic homes. They were sitting on the porch exposing themselves to the neighbors.
After “The Mouth” had yammered for a while and gone, Elaine stamped out and demanded, "Mother what were you thinking? Now she'll go all over town spouting out, 'Elaine Breinholt is growing marijuana!' Why did you pot them in the first place? I wanted them to freeze."
"What are you so upset about? They'll make cute house plan. . . you mean they really are marijuana? . . . You're always teasing me. . . Elaine, what am I going to do with you?"
"That does it! I'm getting rid of them once and for all." Gathering the soldiers in her arms, she marched directly to the canal behind her home. Splitting up the ranks, she pitched them in one at a time for a final burial at sea. Watching as each one drew its last breath, Elaine's mind was clear, clearer than it had been in a long time. She was not only getting rid of her three tin soldiers, but also their general.
* * *
“Hey, Elaine are you ready to show us that new curve?” yelled Robin.
“You know it!” She said freely, “Just let me get my mitt.”

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Sweet Innocence of Children

Lainee Brian wanted her two boys, ages five and six, to have a fun time at the annual neighborhood Halloween costume party. In the years past, she had come up with outfits for the boys to wear: clowns, cowboys, and football players. But now the two were old enough that they wanted to be different characters and not go as a duo.

“We are not twins, mom!”

Lainee decided to see how creative her boys were in coming up with an idea for a costume. To help them with ideas for characters, she talked with the boys about the superhero characters that they thought were powerful. Lainee added. “Take three days to think this over so that you are certain about the shoes you will step into. It’s hard to change costumes at the last minute.”

The elder of the two started going through magazines and talking with this young mother about various superheroes. The five-year old didn’t give it much thought and spent his time busily riding his big wheel around the block, visiting the neighbors and playing with friends.

The morning of the 3rd day, both boys came into the kitchen. The oldest said, “I want to be Batman because he made himself a superhero.”

“Nice choice,” Lainee responded, “I think we can manage that.”

The youngest son got a great big bright smile on his face and exclaimed, “This was easy. I want to be Jesus because he’s the greatest of all the heroes!”

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Grandma's Aprons


By Tina Trivett and By Robert Ragan

I don't think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect
the dress underneath, because she only had a few. 
It was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they
used less material; but along with that, it served as a
potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on
occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying
eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to
be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were
ideal hiding places for shy kids.

 And when the weather was cold
grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a
perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought
into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.
After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

 In the fall, the apron was used to bring
in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road,
 it was surprising how much furniture that
old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out
onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men
folks knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents
something that will replace that 'old-time
apron' that served so many purposes.

Grandma used to set her hot baked
apple pies on the windowsill to cool.
 Her granddaughters set theirs on the windowsill to thaw.

They would go crazy now trying to figure
out how many germs were on that apron.

I don't think I ever caught anything bad from an apron.
I caught a case of LOVE from one.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Streets Hit The Road

I talk a wild talk about Harley-Davidsons, but in truth, I am scared to death of them ;-)… Let’s just say that I have been given rides on the back of five different motorcycles. Of the five trips, I have been in wrecks three times. The last ride was with my husband who had just bought a nice road motorcycle. He begged and pleaded with me to get on. I finally relented. We were cruising through our town and were passing by a friend’s home – both of us were waving at our friend because he was outside in his yard. We were not paying attention to the road. Suddenly, “wwhhaackk..ssplaaaatt..whuuumppp” I flew and my husband flew and we both skidded across the asphalted street. The motorcycle had hit something in the middle of the road…the friend watching said it was a dog. I was upset and got up from the road to see if it was okay; but it wasn’t there. It had run off. I checked to see if my hubby was okay. He was scraped a bit but fine…so I kissed him and took off in search of the dog. Now, I’m thinking that we had hit a small dog who now needed major medical attention. Nope, it was a huge Great Dane, and believe it or not, it was in better shape than my husband or myself. The dog is still alive today…my husband and I recovered from our scrapes and bruises; however, I have not gotten on a motorcycle since.

The dog was the only Great Dane in the neighborhood and everyone was familiar with it, (a crazy dog some said) so it wasn’t hard to find. He was a little shaken, but okay. I went back and checked on him for the next two weeks and he was fine. The motorcycle now has a little bent bar that surrounds the engine. I feel kind of sad for my husband because he bought the bike thinking that we could cruise together around the countryside and now his wife is too afraid. I keep telling him to just go and enjoy the ride and that I will wait for him. He won’t go though.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

An Early Biking Adventure

Yes, it is worth it

Paulo Coelho

Life is like a big bike race where the goal is to fulfill you personal legend.
At the start, we are riding together, sharing the camaraderie and enthusiasm. But as the race progresses, the initial joy gives way to the real challenges: tiredness, monotony and doubts about our own abilities.
We notice that some have withdrawn. They are still running, but only because they cannot stop in the middle of a road. They are numerous, pedaling alongside the support car, talking to each other and performing only their obligations.

Eventually we distance ourselves from them and we are forced to face the loneliness and the surprises of the unknown curves with the bikes. And after a while, we begin to wonder if it’s worth the effort.

Yes, it is worth it. Just don’t quit.


 After reading this in Paulo's blog, I remembered an experience/adventure that changed my life.

When I was much younger, around 11 years, I loved riding bikes with friends and also alone. At this age, I discovered that I had matured much faster than my friends; however in this race, I decided, at first, to remain, as much as possible, “with the pack.” I wore huge shirts to cover my size D cup breasts. Even though my mother insisted, I would not wear a bra. I just wanted to be like the other neighborhood children my age — most of them boys. I even cut my hair short to fit in. We had a baseball park next to my home, and I could pitch a baseball with the best of them.

One morning, “braless,” I put on my huge shirt and started on a solo bike ride to the nearest store to buy some penny candy. As I was pedaling past the ballpark, I noticed a motorhome that had parked there for the night. An older lady and a man were sitting in folding chairs sipping their morning coffee. As I rode by, the lady commented rather loudly and snippy, “Is THAT THING a boy or a girl? I can’t tell.”

I rode on contemplating her remarks. "People from the sideline during the race of life CAN influence the outcome if you let them."

"I AM a girl, lady…How dare you!!!"

When I pedaled back from the store, the lady was still there sipping away at her coffee… I edged my bike close enough to her so that I could see that she really didn’t have much up front in her blouse. Then, I lifted my shirt proudly showing her my well developed front and remarked to the old coot, that I was one hundred and ten percent girl and that she had better not judge people so rudely especially when they had more than she. Then I continued on my trek.

I really don’t know what possessed me to do that; but, I’ll have to admit, the look on her face was priceless.

“When onlookers make negative remarks at your progress toward your personal legend, let their remarks flop in a can like garbage…that is unless you have a great comeback line that will leave them thinking – especially with their mouths open."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It Was Just a High School Assembly

It Was Just a High School Assembly

Written by Dr. John L. Lund

The event was similar to what we could find at a typical high school in Southern California on a Friday for an assembly. There was a big game that night between rival schools and a dance was to take place afterwards. The bleachers in the gym were filled with nearly three thousand students. Excited to be out of their classes and with their friends, there were three thousand voices all abuzz about everything from the upcoming game to who broke up with who and what would be the appropriate attire for the evening. My daughter was a senior and one of the three thousand voices. She had brought home an announcement that the assembly speaker would be addressing the topic of "Overcoming Adversity." Uninvited and yet welcomed, I asked for and received permission from the principal to attend the lecture.

The noise from the student body was deafening and a determined vice-principal finally brought the crowd under control and yet there was a persistent din in the background. I quickly moved as close to the speaker's podium as possible in order to hear. What I expected was a polished presenter who would be dressed for success, someone filled with wit and wisdom, someone who had overcome drugs or alcohol and now was a role model at the top of his or her field of employment. What followed was a life changing moment.

Standing in front of the entire student body was a woman in her mid-forties. She was blind and flanked by her two daughters. She told the most horrific story of being stocked, sexually violated, stabbed and left for dead. Her details were so graphic that one could hear a pin drop as she told of how this vile man wrapped her in a shower curtain to dispose of her body. She was not dead as he had supposed. She groaned unconsciously as he tried to put her body in the trunk of his car. He immediately reached for a gun and placed it at the side of her head. The bullet removed her eyes and the bridge of her nose.

The gun shot brought a startled neighbor and the man fled. He was eventually apprehended by the police and served seven years in prison and is now back in society. The woman's husband divorced her and abandoned this woman and the two girls that sat behind their mother on the stage. She spoke of her long and painful facial operations and her recuperation. She related her experience of learning brail and going to college and eventually graduating. She bore testimony that every student in that gymnasium could overcome whatever adversity that life might place in their pathway and stood as a living witness.

When she finished, she invited the students to ask her any question that they would like. A special microphone had been set up for that opportunity. Two hundred or more students lined up. Most left the line when the first question was asked as they all had the same question. "How much time do you spend thinking about the man that did these terrible things to you and the fact that he is free to be in our society?"

She said, "I get that question everywhere I lecture. I will have to live with the consequences of what he did to me and I will be blind for the rest of my life, but I refuse to be a victim of self pity and neither should you. All of you will become the victim of the selfishness of others. You cannot choose how others may treat you but you can always choose how you are going to respond. Let me tell you that I have done the worst thing that any human being could ever do to that man. I have forgiven him and turned him over to God. He has had all of me that he is ever going to have. And I am not going to give him my todays, and I am not going to give him my tomorrows!!!.

There was a stunned moment of silence followed by every student jumping up and applauding this woman. There was an intrinsic truth in what she had said and we all knew it. It was just a high school assembly, but I left pondering this question, "How many of my todays and my tomorrows do I want to give to my yesterdays?"

Friday, October 1, 2010

Explanation of God

The following was written by an 8-year-old named Danny Dutton, who lives in Chula Vista , CA . He wrote it for his third grade homework assignment, to "explain God". I wonder if any of us could have done as well?


"One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.

God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off.

God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have.
Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista . At least there aren't any who come to our church.
 Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him. But He was good and kind, like his Father, and he told his Father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said, 'O.K.'
 His Dad (God) appreciated everything that He had done and all his hard work on earth so He told Him He didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So He did. And now He helps His Dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones He can take care of Himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important.
You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time. You should always go to church on Sunday, because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God! Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway.
 If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared, in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.
 But... you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases.
And... that's why I believe in God."

Sunday, September 5, 2010


THREE LITTLE BOYS were concerned because they couldn't get anyone to play with them. They decided it was because they had not been baptized and didn't go to Sunday school.
So they went to the nearest church.. But, only the janitor was there.

One little boy said, "We need to be baptized because no one will come out and play with us.
Will you baptize us?"
Sure," said the janitor.
He took them into the bathroom and dunked their little heads in the toilet bowl, one at a time.
Then he said, "You are now baptized!"
When they got outside, one of them asked, "'What religion do you think we are?"
The oldest one said, "We're not Kathlick, because they pour the water on you."
"We're not Babtis , because they dunk all of you in the water."
"We're not Methdiss , because they just sprinkle water on you."
The littlest one said, "Didn't you smell that water?
They all joined in asking, 'Yeah! What do you think that means?'
"I think it means we're Pisskopailians!"
Have a good week, everyone.  Share your smile with at least 7 people today.
Author: Anonymous

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Move that Mattress

Background:  Before reading the following, please consider that the victim in this story pulls pranks on friends and family all the time.  I am sure that he will get even somehow.  He is not married at this time and really is "kind of a slob" - according to his sister.  I just say, "Meh...Men will be men."

Adventure: My good friend Kimberly and I have been known to go on a few "side field trips" as we call them.  We are both school teachers in our area, and we are happy to say that we have never quite grown up.  Since school is starting next week, we are fully aware that we need an adventure or two before the rigor and relevance of the classroom sets in.  I give her a call and she is more than happy to pick me up in her Yukon Denali to see if we can find adventure in our small town.  It isn't more than thirty to forty-five seconds until we have our adventure outlined.

As we are driving around the block beyond my home, we notice a very wet (it has rained on and off all day) mattress lying next in the curb in front of Kimberly's brother's house.  Both of us comment that the mattress has been there for almost two weeks.  Kimberly comments, "Man, why does my brother have to be such a redneck.  He parks his cars on his front lawn and now he is letting that mattress sit there in the road because the trash pick-up won't haul it off.  Why can't he just put it into the back of his truck and haul it himself?"

Then the idea hits and we both laugh.  I even laugh harder when I think about including another friend, (one whose name I can't mention because of the prominence she has in the community,) to witness our endeavors.  I laugh so hard when I think about her getting a kick out of our antics that I get some soda up my nose.  LOL

Kimberly drives to WalMart.  We enter the Martz, purchase our adventure material and leave.  We call our prominent friend who is stressed out and busily prepping for next week.  We tell her, "Hey, this will only take ten minutes and you won't be seen.  You can sit in the back of the Denali behind black tinted windows and observe."  She relents (she really needs a break) and climbs in the back seat of the vehicle.  She doesn't really know what we are going to do.

We park next to Kimberly's brother's house, get our ammo and walk to the curb to try and maneuver the mattress that is lying flat on the ground to where it can be seen.  It is extremely heavy because of the rains and rain water it has soaked throughout the day.  We manage to tip over an empty trash can that is next to it and slowly, with trial and lots of error, muscle the wet monster over the can, but our work will not be totally seen.  Kimberly sneaks around the side of her brother's house and takes two 2x4 lumber pieces and brings them around by the mattress.  We form a criss-cross with them behind the mattress which then stands up in full view of the motorists passing by.  Taking red spray paint ammo from WalMart, we spray the words...

"Woman Wanted."

Our friend, bravely gets out of the Denali and takes our picture.  During this time, Kimberly's brother has been in his house.  His two dogs are barking like crazy and he, without even looking in our direction, open's his side door and lets them out.  They come barreling at us..we grab the spray can lids and dash for the vehicle.  Our poor friend is slower than us and doesn't quite make it.  One of the dogs nips her on the butt and rips a hole in her pants, but she makes it in and slams the door.  We are all laughing so hard we can't breathe.  Not bad for three fifty year-old women.
We drive around for a while, and every so often, steer by our new art work.  Others are motoring past the new monument too.  Kimberly notes that her brother's friend and cohort at his work would love to see the adventure of the week.  Stopping at this home, we tell him of our creation.  He laughs, calls to his wife and they both hop into his truck to take a gander.  We follow them, but notice that the mattress has been toppled over by Kimberly's bro. who has seen it.  The friend and wife drive on by.  We stop, run, prop the mattress back up, dash back and get into the Denali just as her brother is coming out of his side door.  He sees us, gives us a questioning look to which Kimberly replies in gesture, "Hey, it wasn't me.  See, it was him!"  just as the friend drives by. 

Oh the adventures we can find if we just observe the everyday.  Later, we drive by, and the mattress is totally gone.  I wonder where it will turn up?

To be continued...

THE OLD GERMAN SHEPHERD - A Fable (Using Experience To Continue Life's Adventures)

 Anonymous Author

One day an Old German Shepherd starts chasing rabbits and before long, discovers that he is lost.  Wandering about, he notices a pather heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch.

The old German Shepherd thinks, "Oh, oh!  I'm in deep in it now!"  Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat.  Just as the panther is about to leap, the old German Shepherd exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious panther!  I wonder, if there are any more around here?"

Hearing this, the young panther halts his attack in mid-strike.  A look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees.  "Whew!" says the panther, "That was close!  That old German Shepherd nearly had me!"

Meanwhile, a squirrel who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the panther.  So, off he goes.

The squirrel soon catches up with the panther, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the panther.

The young panther is furious at being made a fool and says, "Here, squirrel, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!"

Now, the old German Shepherd sees the panther coming with the squirrel on his back and thinks, "What am I going to do now?"  Instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old German Shepherd says .... "Where's that squirrel?  I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another panther!"

Moral of this story....

Don't mess with the old dogs... Age and skill will always overcome youth and treachery!  BS and brilliance only come with age and experience.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Land of Gods

BACKGROUND: My husband, Edward, has wanted to take me hiking through the Zion Narrows of Zion National Park for the last three years. My two sons and my husband have hiked the Narrows two different times. Having heard tales from my two sons about, “the hike that changes lives,” and with Edward’s heart surgery in June - a stint placed in an artery which has helped him feel better than ever now, - I knew it was time to go.

THE TREK: Edward announced that he would be taking his vacation the first week in August and I was to clear my week because he had something planned. I was excited wondering where we would go. I asked my youngest son, Logan, now eighteen and starting college in the fall, who responded, “I think you are going to hike the narrows with dad and I’m not invited.” He smiled while saying this last part. Hey, mom and dad are starting the empty nest dating time. I acted surprised when Edward said that he had made reservations at a hotel close to the park for Wednesday evening. We would hike the Zion Narrows, one of the ten most popular hikes in the world, the following morning.

I got on youtube and found this video http://bit.ly/bk0oRm plus, I looked at a map of Zion National Park to see where I would be going. I noted that my hubby and I would be hiking during potential flash flood time, http://bit.ly/9xJ2TP . This is scary because each year people are killed in flash floods. Many times blue sky is seen through the narrow parts in the canyon, but a thunderstorm can take place up to 25 miles away, and with the sand and lime stone formations, the water runs right off into the mother of the canyon, the Virgin River that is an exquisite, but wildly, crazy woman at times.

We arrived at the visitor’s center at the west end of the park and walked toward a shuttle, I looked up toward our destination. Nestled in under the Utah, blue sky, the beauty took my breath away.

We took a shuttle into the park, we were dropped off at the river walkway, walked the mile trail, stopped to take in the grandeur of everything and prepared ourselves for the journey. I was told, to wear a body suit, (it gets cold in the canyon as the sun doesn’t shine much in there) a "Camelback" water pack, a waterproof container for my camera, snacks in waterproof containers, hiking shoes that could get very wet, padded stockings that went above the ankle, and a walking stick.

After descending the seven steps of the observation deck into the Virgin River bed, I quickly realized why one carries a walking stick. The river bottom was overwhelmingly filled with round slippery boulder-sized rocks. Navigating the three miles upstream was going to be a task. I felt like a child learning to walk for the first time at the start, but soon, the stick and I became one and the trek became manageable.

A beautiful place - this virgin has created…

It has taken her millions of years to patiently carve this magnificent and God inspiring land. She has nourished her bed with luscious flora so that her fauna can thrive.

It doesn’t take long for the upstream battles to make the journey tedious and arduous. Just when I thought my vigor might not last, around the bend would be another magnificent view that would shoot a beam of energizing light right into my heart.

The sun, wanting to take every opportunity not to be outdone by the virgin, would radiate his light just so on the face of this lovely, older Goddess. When commenting about the wrinkles of an elder Goddess of his tribe, a Navajo medicine man once said, “Our elders seem to begin to take on the look of Mother Earth as they age, with the cracks and crevices of character and living making maps across their faces.” http://nativeamericannetroots.net/diary/569/flora-sombrero-lind-1923-2010

Many times, wading next to the sheer rock boundary is best. The wall is a sturdy, sure guide like Melchizedek was in Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. His essence was so strong that the boy was able to strongly keep a hold of his dream and see it realized.

The upstream battle with the rocks, the current, and the depth at times of the cold water was relieved when, like an oasis in the desert, an outcropping of sand and rocks jutted out enough for us to climb and find a place to rest, warm our bodies, have a snack, and take in the majesty of this wonderland.

It was time now to make the final conquest of ever pressing current to our destination, a place called, Wall Street with its 300 meter in height walls reaching straight up to the sky on each side of the river like unto the famous, New York City, street. Many of the hikers who started with us turned back before this final assault. Luckily my spiritual stock account was still filled with enthusiasm so that the journey, although trying, was still manageable.

We made it!!! Only two other hikers were in this majestic area with us.

It was too dark to take a picture of its grandness, so Edward shot one going straight up. A picture cannot begin to show the ominous presence one feels while surrounded by this power.

We were beaming for only a few minutes, when God took a flash picture … then a roar of thunder echoed through the canyon. I smiled as I knew that He was testing us to see if the dream was worth our efforts. “I think we’d better high tail it out of here!” Edward urged.

I can tell you that the thought of the flash flood youtube video went through my head as, thank heavens, going down the river was a bit easier than battling the upstream force going up. However, there were still rocks and deep pools to maneuver. When it came time to make the choice of traversing around the deep pools or swimming, I swam. Each time an opening with rocks to climb to safety came along, I would look at Edward, who would check the color of the water and urge us not to climb but continue our descent. If you are aware, when the river changes color you have, not a lot, but some time to climb. We took chances, yes; but, I could feel the Goddess hugging me and whispering that we would be okay and to proceed with joy.

With about a mile left to hike, we came upon a lady with two older teenage sons. She was panicking. I tried to calm her by hugging her and telling her to just keep a steady motion … that we could make it safely… only she didn’t speak English and I didn’t understand her language. She looked at me strangely and broke from me yelling at her boys as fear etched her face. They tried to run back down the river. This only made them stumble and fall all the more. Edward and I steadily paced ourselves and passed them. Eventually they caught on and followed our gait to the seven steps of the observation deck. As I wearily stepped up each one, I thought about life and what my sons had said about “the hike that changes lives.” Yes, it is a true statement. The Zion Narrows is a tremendously inspiring quest.

I took a moment to thank God for giving me a second chance to come back and experience this world he so lovingly created for us; I thanked him for my wonderful children; I thanked him for allowing my sweet husband and I to have more time together; I thanked him for truly testing Paulo so that Paulo would see his destiny and write the book that has and is changing and uniting our world; and lastly, I blessed God and his Goddess with the patience to endure while witnessing the sorrows and joys of their children on this world.

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