Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Banned Words — Good Ridance!

There is a limit to how many times some phrases and words are used, and Lake Superior State University has published this year's overused words and phrases:

Banned words list offers no 'bailout' to offenders - Yahoo! News

My favorite, which is not mentioned, is "at the end of the day." I got tired of that in 2006 — everyone seemed to be using it then — I got sick of it in 2007 and it made me want to scream in 2008.

New Year's Resolutions

There is a great message in the story told at this web page:

New Year's Resolutions: The Two Lists

May there be much love in every moment of your every day.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tiny pushes

I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.

Helen Keller
Blind and deaf writer and lecturer

Inspirational Story

Just when you have lost faith in human kindness, someone who teaches at Kean Elementary in Wooster, Ohio forwarded the following letter.  The letter was sent to the Principal's office after the school had sponsored a luncheon for the elderly.  An old lady received a new radio at the lunch as a door prize and was writing to say thank you.  This story is a credit to all humankind.

Dear Kean Elementary:
God bless you for the beautiful radio I won at your recent senior citizens luncheon.  I am 84 years old and live at the Sprenger Home for the Aged.  All of my family has passed away.  I am all alone now and it's nice to know that someone is thinking of me.  God bless you for your kindness to an old forgotten lady.  My roommate is 95 and has always had her own radio, but before I received one, she would never let me listen to hers, even when she was napping.  The other day her radio fell off the nightstand and broke into a lot of pieces.  It was awful and she was in tears.  She asked if she could listen to mine, and I told her to kiss my ass.
Thank you for that opportunity.

Be thankful

Should you find yourself at a loss, wondering what life is all about and what your purpose is, be thankful. There are those who didn't live long enough to get the opportunity to wonder.

- Unknown

I am your dog (or cat)

I am your dog, and I have a little something I'd like to whisper in your ear.  I know that you humans lead busy lives.  Some have work, some have children to raise.  It always seems like you are running here and there, often much too fast, often never noticing the truly grand things in life.  Look down at me now, while you sit there at your computer.  See the way my dark brown eyes look at yours?  They are slightly cloudy now, that comes with age.  The gray hairs are beginning to ring my soft muzzle.

You smile at me; I see the love in your eyes.  What do you see in mine?  Do you see a spirit? A soul inside, who loves you as no other could in the world?  A spirit that would forgive all the trespasses of prior wrong doing for just a simple moment of your time?  That is all I ask.  To slow down, if even for a few minutes to be with me.  So many times you have been saddened by the words you read on that screen, of other of my kind, passing.  Sometimes we die young and oh so quickly, sometimes so suddenly it wrenches your heart out of your throat.  Sometimes, we age so slowly before your eyes that you may not even seem to know until the very end, when we look at you with grizzled muzzles and cataract clouded eyes. Still the love is always there, even when we must take that long sleep, to run free in a distant land.

I may not be here tomorrow; I may not be here next week.  Someday you will shed the water from your eyes, that humans have when deep grief fills their souls, and you will be angry at yourself that you did not have just "one more day" with me.  Because I love you so, your sorrow touches my spirit and grieves me.  We have NOW, together.  So come, sit down here next to me on the floor, and look deep into my eyes.  What do you see?  If you look hard and deep enough we will talk, you and I, heart to heart.  Come to me not as "alpha" or as "trainer" or even as "Mom or Dad," come to me as a living soul and stroke my fur and let us look deep into one another's eyes, and talk.

I may tell you something about the fun of chasing a tennis ball, or I may tell you something profound about myself or even life in general. You decided to have me in your life because you wanted a soul to share such things with.  Someone very different from you, and here I am.  I am a dog, but I am alive.  I feel emotion, I feel physical senses, and I can revel in the differences of our spirits and souls. I do not think of you as a "Dog on two feet" --I know what you are.  You are human, in all your quirkiness, and I love you still.

Now, come and sit with me, on the floor.  Enter my world, and let time slow down if only for 15 minutes.  Look deep into my eyes, and whisper into my ears.  Speak with your heart, with your joy and I will know your true self.  We may not have tomorrow, and life is oh so very short.

-- Love (on behalf of canines/felines everywhere)

Author Unknown

Monday, December 15, 2008

How far you go in life …

Quote Details: George Washington Carver: How far you go... - The Quotations Page
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong -- because someday you will have been all of these.
George Washington Carver
US horticulturist (1864 - 1943)

The White Envelope Story

A dear friend emailed me this story:

White Envelope Project | Original Story

I think we could all stand to learn a lesson from this!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Best Deal in Town

It seems like the number of problems we are confronted with is insurmountable. But, as Lao-tzu said, "the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step." In other words, concentrate on one small issue until it is resolved, then move onto another concern. Today, I would like to write about recycling, more specifically, the use of millions of water bottles consumed every day, not all of which are recycled. Many of us involved in "green" effort believe there is a much better approach.

Everyone agrees that drinking a sensible amount of water daily is a healthy habit. And many of us go to the store and buy cases of bottled water every month. The bottles are not reusable because the plastic they are made of will either decompose and contaminate the water or bacteria will build in the bottle and make it unusable. Even if we recycle all our plastic bottles, the resources used to create them are huge! So the "green" community recommends that we install a water purifier on our tap (because many cities have problems cleaning the water supply) and refilling our own reusable bottles. Not only will we save money, but we will also help save the environment. OK, so far nothing new that you probably have not read before.

The kids and I adopted this strategy. The water filter was a minor adventure, and we settled on a Brita unit for the tap. We have been very happy and the taste of our water is considerably better when is filtered than not. The second part was to get a reusable bottle we could use. After much searching, I bought us several bottle brands, with prices ranging from $6 to $9 each bottle. None of them were worth the price we paid. They either leaked, or were hard to handle, were not safe in the dishwasher, etc. I finally found one that I am happy with and would like to recommend to everyone: the Rubbermaid "RefillReuse" line of bottles rocks! But, there is a catch -- they are not easy to find! I located them by "accident" at a CVS store. The 32 Oz bottle (model 3163, which I prefer) is $2.99, while the 20 Oz unit (model 3161, which is better for the kids) is $3.29. Of course, prices may vary. If you have a CVS near you, I recommend that you get these bottles now! Search the Internet for the same bottles and you will find that they are priced much higher even when bought in case quantities!

I hope this will help you all be healthy and keep our planet a little greener!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Nice (although not true)

The following are very interesting "facts" about Life in the 1500s, although they appear not to be factual at all. But they are nice reading anyway!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Are we prepared?

For as long as I can remember, I have believed in the Boy Scout's Motto: "Be Prepared." But, are we prepared, as a nation, for the possibility of a terrorist attack?

Being prepared--Israeli agent's advice & warning.

From the report:
Aviv also was concerned about the high number of children here in America who were in preschool and kindergarten after 9/11, who were 'lost' without parents being able to pick them up, and about ours schools that had no plan in place to best care for the students until parents could get there. (In New York City, this was days, in some cases!)

He stresses the importance of having a plan, that's agreed upon within your family, to respond to in the event of a terroristic emergency. He urges parents to contact their children's schools and demand that the schools, too, develop plans of actions, as they do in Israel.

Does your family know what to do if you can't contact one another by phone? Where would you gather in an emergency? He says we should all have a plan that is easy enough for even our youngest children to remember and follow.

Aviv says that the U S. government has in force a plan that, in the event of another terrorist attack, will immediately cut-off EVERYONE's ability to use cell phones, blackberries, etc., as this is the preferred communication source used by terrorists and is often the way that their bombs are detonated. How will you communicate with your loved ones in the event you cannot speak? You need to have a plan.

That thought hit home with me! What would I do if I cannot call the kids school or if they cannot get in touch with me? Does the school have a plan for a serious emergency? What is that plan? I guess I am not prepared -- are you?

Message from my wedding ring

I have worn my wedding ring continuously for ten years. For most of that time it was nearly impossible for me to take it off. For the last two years it was virtually impossible to remove it from my finger. But something interesting happened recently.

Last Monday night (11/24/08) the kids and I began our drive north to spend Thanksgiving with our family in NY. We had scheduled a stop in WV to visit with dear friends. Sometime around 5 AM I felt my wedding ring did not feel normal. I twisted it and it fell incredibly loose. With almost no effort, it came off my finger. I was amazed!

I slid it onto my pinky finger so that I could show the kids that it had come off. I have been trying to lose weight and I thought this was proof that I had lost weight. I had the best intention to put the ring back where it had been for a decade. After I showed the kids and my friend that the ring had come off my finger, I was unable to slide it back. It now refuses to go back on my ring finger. I am not sure what exactly this means, but I felt I needed to share it with all of you.