Monday, December 29, 2008

Where Do the Sparrows Go When They Die?

A question I often asked myself as a child was, "where do the sparrows go when they die?" I didn't know the answer then and I still wonder about it. Now I see a dead bird silenced by some evil force, and I know he didn't die. Something killed him: the elements took him away, a lost soul in the night.

When I was six, my best friend was a boy on my street. We used to play in my sandbox, talking of things long forgotten by grown-ups -- like never growing up, or the monsters under our beds and in dark closets. His name was Tommy, but I called him Sparrow because he was small for his age. Its ironic to think of that now because he died too.

I remember the day I found out Tommy was dying. I waited in the sandbox for him, half-heartedly building the castle we began the day before. Without Tommy I was only half, so I waited for him for what seemed like forever, and it began to to rain. Then I heard a distant ring from the house. About 10 min later my mother came out, sheltered by her umbrella, but her face was wet just same. We walked together to the house. Just before we entered, I turned and watched the rain beat down the sandcastle Tommy and I built.

Once I was inside and had a cup of hot chocolate in my belly, my mother called me to the table. She put her hands on mine. They were shaking. I immediatly felt it: something had happened to Tommy. She said doctors had performed some tests a while back, and something showed up wrong. That something was leukemia. I didn't know what it was and I looked at my mother with confused eyes, but with knowing and heavy heart. She said that people who had what Tommy got — no: what got Tommy — had to go away. I didn't want him to go away. I wanted him to stay, stay with me.

The next day I had to see Tommy. I had to see if it was all true, so I had the bus driver drop me off at his house instead of mine. When I reached the door, Tommy's mom said he didn't want to see me. She had no idea how easily she could hurt a little girl. She broke my heart like a piece of cheap glass. I ran home in tears. After I returned home, Tommy called. He said to meet him at the sandbox after our parents went to bed, so I did.

He didn't look any different, maybe a little paler, but it was Tommy. He did want to see me. We talked to those subjects incomprehensible to adults, and all the while we rebuilt our sandcastle. Tommy said we could live in one just like it and never grow up. I believed him whole heartedly. There we feel asleep, engulfed in true friendship, surrounded by warm sand and watched by our sandcastle.

I woke up just before dawn. Our sandbox was like a desolate island surrounded by a sea of grass, interupted only by the back patio and the street. A child's imagination is never-ending. The dew gave the imaginary sea a reflective shimmer, and I remember reaching out to touch the dew to see if it would make the make- believe water ripple, but it didn't. I turned around, and Tommy jolted me into reality. He was already awake, staring at the sand castle. I joined him, and there we sat, locked in the awesome magic the sand castle held for two small children.

Tommy broke the silence. "I'm going to the castle now."

We moved like robots, as if we knew what we were doing. I guess in some small way we did. "I'm going to the castle now. Come visit, I'll be lonely." I promised him him with all my heart that I would. Then he closed his eyes, and then my Sparrow flew away to where I knew at that moment all the other sparrows went when they died. And there he left me, holding a souless, crippled bird in my arms.

I went back to Tommy's grave 20 years later and placed a small toy castle on it. On the castle I had engrave, "To Tommy, my Sparrow. I'll come to our castle someday, forever."

When I'm ready, I'll go back to the place where our sandbox was and imagine our sandcastle. Then my soul, like Tommy's, will turn into a sparrow and will fly back to the castle, and to Tommy, and to all the other little lost sparrows. A six-year- old again, who will never grow up.

By Casey Kokoska

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

Not quite Bing - but The Drifters do a great job too. This is dedicated to the Guys... who do a terrific job themselves. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

How I Want to Arrive in Heaven

I don’t want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.
I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with grass stains on my shoes from mowing Sister Schenk’s lawn. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor’s children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone’s garden. I want to be there with children’s sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.
(as inspired by Sister Marjorie Hinckley)

A Little Inspiration..... This is MY mantra

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, It is between you and God;
It never was between you and them anyway.

Author Unknown

Friday, December 12, 2008

If I Had My Life To Live Over ~ by Erma Bombeck

(Written after she found out she was dying from cancer.)
I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical,wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy ,I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, 'Later.Now go get washed up for dinner.' There would have been more 'I love yous' & more 'I'm sorrys.'
But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute. Look at it and really see it. . Live it and never give it back. STOP SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF!
Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ryan's Hope...Loved that show

I am NOT a soap opera fanatic - but for some reason this one caught my heart. I was so disappointed when Soap Net stopped showing this daily - I am not even sure if it's on any more. Of course I gravitated towards Mary Ryan (Kate Mulgrew) - I wonder why it was always that sort of character I liked.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

John Williams is THE man

This really makes me smile.....

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Saturday Nights & Mary Tyler Moore

Growing up, I wanted to be Mary Richards. She was pretty, wore groovy clothes, lived in a great apartment, had a nice job & drove a Mustang! Yes many a dreams were dreamt every Saturday night in my room when she was on - yes I was going to be just like Mary Richards.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dean Martin - Totally Cool....

Velvet voice, soothing to the eyes & Italian too! Yes - I have a crush on him!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Information Please - a touching story

When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it.Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was ‘Information Please’ and there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply anyone’s number and the correct time.My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy.I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear.‘Information, please’ I said into the mouthpiece just above my head. A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.‘Information.’‘I hurt my finger...’ I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily enough now that I had an audience.‘Isn’t your mother home?’ came the question.‘Nobody’s home but me,’ I blubbered.‘Are you bleeding?’ the voice asked.‘No,’ I replied. ‘I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts.’Can you open the icebox?’ she asked. I said I could.Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger, said the voice.After that, I called ‘Information Please’ for everything. I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math. She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I called, Information Please,’ and told her the sad story She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was not consoled. I asked her, ‘Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?’She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, ‘Wayne, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in.’ Somehow I felt better.Another day I was on the telephone, ‘Information Please.'‘Information,’ said in the now familiar voice.‘How do I spell fix?’ I asked.All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much. ‘Information Please’ belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall.As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me. Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown Operator and said, ‘Information Please.’Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well. ‘Information.’I hadn’t planned this, but I heard myself saying, ‘Could you please tell me how to spell fix?’There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, ‘I guess your finger must have healed by now.’I laughed, ‘So it’s really you,’ I said. ‘I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?’I wonder,’ she said, ‘if you know how much your call meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls.’I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.‘Please do’, she said. ‘Just ask for Sally.’Three months later I was back in Seattle, a different voice answered,‘Information.’ I asked for Sally. ‘Are you a friend?’ she said.‘Yes, a very old friend,’ I answered.‘I’m sorry to have to tell you this,’ she said. ‘Sally had been working part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago.’Before I could hang up she said, ‘Wait a minute, is your name Wayne?’‘Yes.’ I answered.‘Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called.Let me read it to you.’The note said, ‘Tell him there are other worlds tosing in. He’ll know what I mean.’I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.Never underestimate the impression you may make on others.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Going Green With Reuseables....

Ok - two posts in one day - hey I'll take advantage of any inspirational surge.

I am trying to go green little by little - it started with doing away with paper towels & paper napkins - WOW! Who knew how many of these things we used around here! Now we use a simple cloth napkin purchased on Etsy, along with some thick & strong cloth wipes - WONDERFUL! I still have a roll of paper towels stashed under the sink for when I bleach sanitize the counter (so I don't wreck the cloth towels) - but that's it! I have a small, separate basket only for these wipes & I wash them on hot, no softener - they dry in no time - saving money & the landfill. I also found reusable "Swiffer" products - dusters & mops. Use & toss in the wash. Another secret - I started on reusable mama pads - I only wish I found these gems twenty years ago! I have to "re-think" those days - take a little extra care & time - change a bit more frequently - but boy is it worth it! Comfortable, non-bulky & non-chemical - not for everyone - but ok by me!

Today It's Kefir

Yes - I found this gem too! Only I don't think I will be able to get ANYONE to try this one! That's OK - I LOVE it! Kefir is a fermented milk drink that originated in Turkey, Russia & surrounding areas. It is prepared by inoculating milk with kefir grains. Kefir grains are a combination of bacteria & yeast resembling cauliflower. I simply take one cup of milk & add the kefir, let it sit for a while (usually two days) & soon a yogurt like liquid is formed - I strain out the precious granules for a new batch & keep the thick liquid in the fridge. The kefir liquid then goes into the blender, along with some ice, a banana (or berries), flax seed, oats & sweetener (honey or vanilla). This "smoothie" is delicious, filling & healthy!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Kombucha Tea Anyone?

I stumbled on this phenomenon quite accidentally over on Etsy one day (a very wonderful seller - Wells of Health - I ordered it, "grew" it & haven't stopped since! What is you ask? Kombucha is the Western name for sweetened tea that has been fermented using a macroscopic solid mass of microorganisms called a "kombucha colony". The culture contains a symbiosis of Aceetobacter (acetic acid bacteria) and yeast, . The culture itself looks somewhat like a large pancake, and though often called a mushroom, or by the acronym SCOBY (for "Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast"), it is clinically known as a zoogleal mat. (Thanks Wikipedia). It dates back to 250BC China. It is quite common in China & many other parts of the world & it is now gaining popularity in the US. You need the SCOBY first, you then brew your favorite tea, add about 1/2 cup sugar, add the SCOBY & let it "ferment". Then add ice & drink away - it is a tangy tea which is a great change of pace from anything I normally drink & while I can't claim I am "cured" of anything - it makes me feel better going a little natural. DH & DS tasted some of this today & loved it - I told them it was home brewed ice-tea -but left out the "mushroom part"

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Life Lesson: Why Pets Die Before Humans

I have seen this before & felt it was important to include in my blog.

This is a great story about how such a young person can see the meaning of life so clearly through the eyes of his best friend.

Six-year-old Shane observed his beloved dog being euthanized after a long battle with cancer. Shane's parents felt as though he might learn something from the experience. Shane seemed very calm, petting the old dog for the last time, the adults wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, the dog slipped away peacefully. The little boy seemed to accept his dog's fate without any difficulty or confusion. Shane joined his parents and their vet in a small quiet room where they discussed the sad fact that humans tend to outlive their pets. Shane, who had been listening attentively and quietly, piped up, "I know why." Startled, they all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned everyone. They've never heard a more comforting explanation. He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life, like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?" The six-year-old continued, "Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."

Please pause a moment and consider to:
Live simply
Love generously
Care deeply
Speak kindly

Saturday, October 18, 2008

When You Touch A Life: The Teddy Stoddard Story – OMG I am still weeping over this story

Her name was Mrs. Thompson.

As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children a lie; like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. But that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.
Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn't play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. And Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big "F" at the top of his papers.

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise:
~Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners...he is a joy to be around."
~His second grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle." 
~His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's death had been hard on him.  He tries to do his best, but his father doesn't show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken." 
~Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school.  He doesn't have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class."

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's.  His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents.  Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one quarter-full of perfume. But she stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, "Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mother used to." After the children left she cried for at least an hour.

On that very day, she quit teaching reading,writing and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her "teacher's pets."

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer, the letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.

The story doesn't end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he'd met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the place at the wedding that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom. Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. And she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together. They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear, "Thank you Mrs. Thompson for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference."  

Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, "Teddy, you have it all wrong.  You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you."

Please remember that wherever you go, and whatever you do, you will have the opportunity to touch and/or change a person's outlook please try to do it in a positive way.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

100 Mini Purposes in MY Life

1) Eat a little healthier - starting to
2) Smile more - trying to
3) Smile and talk to a complete stranger - I do at least once a day
4) Be a better listener everyday - son & dad once a day
5) Write a poem - or try to
6) Try something completely new
7) Cut down on the junk food - see #1
8 ) Be more grateful for the everyday things - every day!
9) Feel a bit better than yesterday
10) Help a stranger - see #3
11) Call an old friend and catch up - finally caught up with the Mafia 8
12) Stand tall in the face of adversity - thankfully haven't had to face any lately
13) Be a better driver - does being an overly safe driver mean anything?
14) Write a song - or listen to good ones
15) Write a positive review of a product you like
16) Create a new TV show concept
17) Call a radio show and request a song
18) Enter a finished piece into a competition - when I get better at what I do!
19) Start reading a new book - I do once a week at least
20) Start writing a book
21) Go for a drive with no destination in mind - have been since I started the journey back in '81
22) Watch an old movie - can you say they are better than the new ones?
23) Watch re-runs of your favourite TV shows - Law & Order anyone?
24) Go and see some famous works of art
25) Track down a lost friend and get in touch - see #11
26) Call a distant relative - HA>!!!!
27) Give some spare change to a beggar without thinking about what they might spend it on
28) Plan your strategy for becoming world famous - or dream about it anyway!
29) Start a trend - everyday!
30) Create a cool new word that the young generation can catch onto - steal one from the '70's
31) Organize a fantasy crop or craft night
32) Complete a crossword or soduku puzzle without help - nah still need to cheat!
33) Go old school and write a letter to a pen-pal - wish I had one!
34) Take a picture of something random and submit it to a photography competition
35) Make a fun video
36) Laugh for no reason - everyday!
37) Leave messages on random blogs - my bookmarks are full of them!
38) Do some charity work
39) Raise some money for charity
40) Donate money to a random charity.
41) Do one a RAK everyday - I try!
42) Go explore a park
43) Get out the old photo albums and reminisce - they make me cry
44) Introduce someone who’s never done it to your favorite hobby -Creative Arts Program?
45) Set yourself a challenge to double the money in your pocket by being savvy
46) Invent a new game
47) Play a board game instead of watching T.V. - anything's better than TV
48) Give someone a lift
49) Wear something you wouldn’t normally wear
50) Write an inspirational text message and send it onto friends
51) Wash your car
52) Focus on abundance for the whole day - I am gratefull every minute
53) Become more in-tune with people - I am a people reader from way back1
54) Create a better rapport with people
55) Improve your attitude of gratitude - see #52
56) Remember that you have the power of choice at every step
57) Attract birds to your backyard - love them all
58) Start a blog
59) Write a blog post everyday - I try anyway
60) Share pearls of wisdom you’ve been holding onto - I share them with DS everyday
61) Write to your favorite author or inspiration and say thank you
62) Shift your focus from the bad to the good
63) Focus on healing any minor ailments or injuries
64) Increase your sensory awareness
65) Give advice and guidance to those who need it
66) Ask yourself better questions
67) Pray -constantly
68) Meditate for brief moments throughout the day
69) Practice following through on your decisions - how can I not?
70) Complete an unfinished project
71) Create some SOS’s (Simple Obvious Strategies) for enhancing your life
72) Focus on getting better at what you do
73) Practise being ‘in the moment’
74) Create a new way of doing a repetitive task
75) Look at a repetitive task in a new light
76) Listen to audio books throughout the day and at night
77) Apply your wisdom
78) Meditate in an open space like a park
79) Do some tai chi or yoga - starting to
80) Get a book about a new skill and learn it
81) Improve your memory and remember names and other info - easier said than done!
82) Find a good Life Coach and follow their teachings - Dr.Christiane Northrop
83) Start a new course or evening class -84) Learn to breathe more fully - thank goodness for the breathing ball
85) Cook a healthy meal - see #1
86) Volunteer at a school - do too much as it is - but love every minute!
87) Sort out your finances - finally after 25 years I have
88) Book some "you time"
89) Be more charming and attractive to the opposite sex -HA!
90) Do a very challenging task
91) Arrange a tournament of some kind
92) Get rid of clutter - every moment of every day I trash something
93) Act more consciously
94) Appreciate the rain - did you ever smell the rain?
95) Tackle something you fear head on - I fear being alone
96) Overwrite a limiting belief with an empowering one
97) Anchor your positive emotions
98) Send out healing vibes to the whole world
99) Utilize the technology you have to do good
100) Get yourself to get into action

Thursday, October 9, 2008

80 Things toLive By...

1. Forgive your parents
2. Pay off debt
3. Lose your image
4. Think critically
5. Find the silver lining
6. Make friends with children, old people and animals
7. Don’t watch the news
8. Explore outside your comfort zone
9. Try new foods
10. Invest your money
11. Get rid of clutter
12. Read the ingredients list
13. Don’t believe information you’re given when someone or something is trying to sell you something
14. Don’t grocery shop hungry
15. Lose toxic friends
16. Do yoga
17. Never stop learning
18. Get a hobby
19. Don’t buy publications that have celebrity headlines
20. Thank your parents
21. Buy used
22. Don’t buy into the housing hype
23. Learn to differentiate between needs & wants
24. Ignore socialization
25. Time does not equal dedication
26. Things are not love
27. Stop trying to change your lover
28. Learn from your AND others mistakes
29. Listen more
30. Exercise
31. Find a life outside of your children
32. Stay out of direct sunlight
33. Buy your size, not the one you want to be
34. Identify government propaganda or research it yourself
35. Get a library card
36. Don’t waste food
37. Be honest
38. Don’t let anyone intimidate you
39. Let children struggle so they can grow their own wings
40. Forgive yourself; you only did what you knew to do
41. Grow a backbone
42. Don’t ever try a cigarette
43. Learn how to make yourself orgasm first
44. If you are repeatedly treated poorly by someone, it’s because you allow it to continue
45. Confidence is sexiest
46. A great haircut is worth it
47. Say NO when you get the urge
48. Be grateful
49. When you marry someone you marry his or her family.
50. Your job probably thinks your expendable; be selective with your loyalty
51. When your kids constantly whine and misbehave, it’s not because of the school system…
52. If you are offended by something someone says about you, it’s probably true
53. Give without expectation
54. Everyone likes a birthday cake, no matter how much they deny it
55. Don’t yell
56. No one really knows what they’re doing in life
57. Communicate
58. Diversify: your friends, money and interests
59. Talk about ideas, not people
60. Don’t fall into marketable New Age hype
61. There are 400 billion stars in our galaxy, so yes, the world does not revolve around you
62. Smile (apparently, it’s the 2nd best thing you can do with your mouth)
63. Compliment more
64. Know your weaknesses, find other people to complement them
65. Mentor, mentor, mentor
66. No matter how much you know, you’re still probably ignorant
67. America needs a lot of work right now
68. Race does not define you
69. Your purpose is to be; enjoy it
70. Normal doesn’t exist; it’s all socialization put in your head
71. Live beneath your means
72. Avoid car loans
73. Clip coupons
74. Stay on the border of the grocery store
75. Tip 20% or more
76. Your beliefs are yours alone, unless some random stranger asked for a lecture, keep it that way
77. Take responsibility for your choices
78. Just do it. Anything, everything, all of it - whatever you want. Just do it.
79. It’s always easier than you thought
80. Get Over yoursel

I am particularly drawn to #s 7,9,16,21,33,44,46,61,66,70 & most imoportanly for me this year #50

Monday, August 25, 2008

Later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah. Genesis 30:21

I subscribe to New Living Translation daily newsletter, ( NLT is a website which takes Bible passages, quotes & Psalms,and breaks them down into everyday language and relates them to real life. I find it to be a wonderful to help understand and discover The Bible better.

Here is a translated passage from Genesis: "As we know, Dinah was the only daughter of Jacob and Leah. Apparently no one really paid much attention to Dinah until she went out for a walk one day in the city of Shechem. During her visit to town, she was raped the son of the ruler of the city. In Jacob's and his sons' eyes, Dinah had been damaged and their family had been insulted. Her father failed to provide any leadership in this situation and his sons took matters into their own hands. The results were treacherous and bloody. In all of this, the victim was overlooked. Dinah was neither comforted nor consulted. Instead, she was treated with almost as much disrespect by her family as she was originally by her assailant. Dinah slipped back into oblivion.:

NLT then offers this thought: "You probably know someone who can identify closely with Dinah. Perhaps you have experienced that same anonymity as a victim who was unnoticed or forgotten. Remember several glimmers of hope: Even when everyone else forgets, God doesn't, when no one seems to notice, God does; when no one seems to care, God does; when you feel all alone, you aren't. And one of the first lessons God will teach you as you depend on him is that there are others who also care and are willing to help. Do you ever wonder how many people are convinced they are worthless?"

Now I can't relate to Dinah because of her unfortunate incident (thankfully), but I can relate to being the (perceived)forgotten victim. You see I always had a self esteem problem – although I did not realize what it was – I just disliked myself and looked upon myself as a second or third rate person. I guess my attitude shone through, because in my mind I felt I was being treated as such. As in all perfect catch-22 situations, the more I thought I was no good, the more I was treated poorly and ergo I felt worse. Perceived or not, I was miserable for a lot of my life because of this. I went on with life, went to school, made friends, fell in love, got married, had a child, held down jobs….but always deep inside of me was this feeling of unworthiness constantly nagging at me. It truly affected all of my life.
and was never mentioned again. Her story reminds us of the tragedies which occur when family members are careless with each other. Someone ends up paying a high price. I had a revelation about six years ago – I AM A GOOD PERSON!!!!

I stopped worrying about what others thought of me –how I looked, dressed, acted and expressed myself. How liberating it was for me. From that time forward I began the healing process. From that time I found the person always living inside me – I dressed the way I wanted, did or did not do the things I wanted & tapped into my creative soul.I have days when that self doubt kicks in, but I now know enough to kick it back out!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Five (5) lessons to make you think about the way we treat people.

First Important Lesson - Cleaning Lady.

During my second month of college, our professor
gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student
and had breezed through the questions until I read
the last one:

"What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"
Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the
cleaning woman several times. She was tall,
dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name?

I handed in my paper, leaving the last question
blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if
the last question would count toward our quiz grade.

"Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers,
you will meet many people. All are significant. They
deserve your attention and care, even if all you do
is smile and say "hello."

I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her
name was Dorothy

Second Important Lesson - Pickup in the Rain

One night, at 11:30 p.m., an older African American
woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway
trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had
broken down and she desperately needed a ride.
Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car.
A young white man stopped to help her, generally
unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The man
took her to safety, helped her get assistance and
put her into a taxicab.

She seemed t o be in a big hurry, but wrote down his
address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a
knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a
giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A
special note was attached..

It read:
"Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway
the other night. The rain drenched not only my
clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along.
Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying
husband's bedside just before he passed away... God
bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving

Mrs. Nat King Cole.

Third Important Lesson - Always remember those who serve.

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less,
a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and
sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in
front of him.

"How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked.

"Fifty cents," replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled is hand out of his pocket and
studied the coins in it.

"Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired.

By now more people were waiting for a table and the
waitress was growing impatient.

"Thirty-five cents," she brusquely replied.

The little boy again counted his coins.

"I'll have t he plain ice cream," he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on
the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice
cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress
came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the
table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish,
were two nickels and five pennies..

You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had
to have enough left to leave her a tip.

Fourth Important Lesson - The Obstacle in Our Path.

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a
roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if
anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the
king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by
and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the
King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did
anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of
vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the
peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the
stone to the side of the road. After much pushing
and straining, he finally succeeded. After the
peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed
a purse lying in the road where the boulder had
been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note
from the King indicating that the gold was for the
person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The
peasant learned what many of us never understand!

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Brother & Sister Bond I Never Saw Before.....

"To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time." ~Clara Ortega

That's my husband Guy & his sister Sara.
Lately I have noticed something in their relationship I never saw before. They talk on the phone several times a week (Sara lives in Maine) often just to see how each other are doing. Since my MIL & FIL have both passed and they have to take care of business, they seem to have become closer. Maybe because they realize that all they have is each other, & we are all getting older & it's time to make amends, leaving the past behind (another post, another day). I envy their relationship & wish I had what they have with each other with my brother (my brother is mentally handicapped - so that will never be). I envy that he seems to be able to talk out things more with her than with me - hah - the other woman in our relationship (LOL). Whatever it is, it makes Guy happy so it makes me happy.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Maine - the way life should be...........

Good God that is soooo true!
We (DS & I) have been here since 6/24 in our new place -
I have slept late, took a nap on the couch, fell asleep in screen house (do you sense a common theme here? LOL).
DH just left for a week, as he has to work until Thursday - hopefully he'll be back up next weekend for the full week & we can extend it another week.
The week at camp was something else - more sleeping in, some 4 wheeling, swimming - I hope DS will take home a lot of memories - I know I will.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I was on Two Peas in a Bucket NSBR forum board & someone started a thread
"Do you believe happen for a reason" Which got me to thinking of all the things that happened in my life for a reason. What would have happened if Helen & Bill took the baby in the next bassinet instead of me? If my parents brought the house in Cold Sping Harbor instead of Wantagh? If I went away to school instead of staying home? If I took the job at the vitamin company instead of Sid Harvey's? IF, IF, IF.

Which brings me to Serendipity - what a word ser·en·dip·i·ty (sèrrən díppətee)

1. discovery of something fortunate: the accidental discovery of something pleasant, valuable, or useful
2. gift for discovery: a natural gift for making pleasant, valuable, or useful discoveries by accident.

Yes - my life is filled with accidental pleasantness - although at times it took me a while to figure out that a lot of events were "meant to be" - while stumbling through them, I did not see some of them that way - but looking back - I realize that I would not have changed anything for all the money in the world!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tired I am - sorely tired!

Ha - not working doesn't mean not working! Whew - In the last eight weeks I have done so much that at night I am exhausted - but very satisfied. My garden never look lovelier & my house - well it still can use a once over - but it will do! I am in the groove of thrift store visits big time - found some wonderful stuff - lots just added to my Etsy shop - now it's off to fill my Ebay store. Wish me luck

Saturday, May 24, 2008

"For beautiful eyes, look for good in others;
for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness;
and for poise, walk with knowledge that you are never alone."
Audrey Hepburn

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Busy As a Bee....

I have not stopped working since I stopped working!!!! My house is CLEAN - my living room & dinning room floors are re-finished, my kitchen has a new floor, the tiles in the bathroom have been re-grouted, the house has been power-washed, the gardens planted & mulched - all done by MOI - yes even the floors!!! WOW - I never realized how much I wasn't getting done!!!! Wonderful feeling - but boy am I tired!!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Worms Eat My Garbage

Ok - so my dirty little secret is out - I admit it - I have worms. Red Wigglers - two pounds of them to be exact. They live on my deck in their own little worm farm and they dine on my garbage everyday! After a few attempts and some false starts - it looks like this time around it's going to work! I purchased the "farm" and two pounds of worms from The Worm Woman and already harvested some worm tea. Yes it' sounds strange - but it's environmentally friendly, good for my plants & just plain fun!!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

OH MY!!!! Almost a month!

Since I last posted. Wow! Things have come together for me - house is clean - almost! Yard is shaping up - the place in Maine is livable - I feel good. I have things going well at home - I finally realized what this whole housewife thing is all about & how it works. Man goes off to work - woman stays home & keeps house - yes it works. I almost want to regret the past 20+ years. If we only didn't do what we did with the $ thing - things could have been so different for me. So it goes - I can't think like that or else it will eat me alive. I am going to try to make up for lost time. I just came to this conclusion now as I write this - sheesh I didn't even know I felt this way. Thanks Rich.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

It was easier than I thought...

Had to report to my old job today to finish up some paper work - I was nervous over it big time - I was up at 2:00 am & just rehearsed in my mind over & over. What was I rehearsing? I don't really know..... but while I was there - no emotion (well just a bit) but pulled it off without a hitch & I drove out of the parking lot & never looked back. WOW - I feel great!!!!! I must admit that I am not completely used to my new schedule - see I have no schedule - I guess that's why I get a little restless in the afternoon - but I'll think I'll adjust - LOL!!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

It's a beautiful Saturday morning!!!!

The birds are singing up a storm, the house is quiet & I am definitely in a mellow mood. I keep going back & forth on my moods lately regarding the loss of my job - I am as down as could be & then I swing so very high. I definitely like the second feeling! Now to figure out how to make that stay! DS has been better - he feels things are going to be better now than ever before - he always balanced me out - I guess that's why we still work so well together!!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Well nice guys do finish last.............

After eleven dedicated years at my job - poof - gone! Cutting back - let fifty people go. It was done so cruelly & callously. I would have done anything for that company & I did. Worked hard, gave 110% - meant NOTHING.

On the up side - I can now catch up on life. I have been working in some capacity or another since I was thirteen. (Since I was eight if you count ironing uncle Louie's shirt - but that's another story). I am now going to take sometime & see how things go. I am going to clean house, garden, read and be a full time housewife & mother.

They say God works in mysterious ways - how true.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Now I know what I have been searching for.....

A time comes in your life when you finally get it. When, in the midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks, and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out - ENOUGH! You come to terms with the fact that, in the real world, there aren't always "fairy tail" endings (or beginnings for that matter), and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with YOU, and in the process, a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you're not perfect, that not everyone will always love, appreciate, or approve of who or what you are, and that's OK. (They are entitled to their own views and opinions) And you learn that the importance of loving and championing yourself, and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of SELF APPROVAL. You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did, or didn't do for you, and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected. You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say, and not everyone will always be there for you; and that its not always about YOU. So, you learn to stand on your own, and to take care of yourself and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance!

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are, to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties; and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.You realize that much of the way you view yourself and the world around you is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. You begin to sort through all that you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, and how much you should weigh; what you should wear and where you should shop, and what you should do for a living, who you should sleep with, who you should marry and what you should expect of a marriage; the importance of having and raising children, or what you owe your parents.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. You begin re-assessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never had brought into to begin with; and in the process you to go with your instincts. You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing; and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix. You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life. You learn that you don't know everything, its not your job to save the world and that you cant teach a pig to sing.

You learn to distinguish between guilt, and responsibility, and the importance of setting boundaries, and learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry, and that martyrs get burned at the stake. Then you learn about love. Romantic love and the familial love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving,and when to walk away. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship. You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man or woman on your arm or the child that bears your name.

You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations, and outcomes. You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love and you learn you don't have the right to demand love on your terms just to make you happy. And, you learn that alone does NOT mean lonely. And you look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never look perfect, and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you "stack up."

And you learn that your body is your temple, and you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise. You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So you take more time to rest, And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels your soul
So you take more time to laugh and play. You learn that for the most part, in life you get what you believe you deserve and that much of life truly is a self fulfilling prophecy. You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for, and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline, and perseverance.

On occasions,you learn not to personalize things
You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can ONLY dream about!
A full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft, warm bed, a long, hot shower. Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself, by yourself; and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never settle for less than your hearts desire. And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.

Finally, with courage in your heart and with Spirit by your side you take a stand; you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.

Monday, February 11, 2008

We're getting our "cabin"

Sort of.........................

DH is currently converting the upstairs of my in-laws palatial garage into a studio for us - I guess we can consider this our "cabin" in Maine. At least it's a private place to hang our hats & sleep - it will be the first time for us up there that we won't be sharing living quarters. It should open up new experiences for us.

I always was determined to name our first cabin - I am swaying towards:

"La Masion" or "La Rimessa" - we'll see what the Guys think.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Some Ketchup

Sorry - I could not help the play on words - haven't posted in a while - thought I should "catch up". DS had his first "real" cold - I mean a full blown, big time adult cold. He was miserable - stayed home from school for three days - two separate days before that. He was upset and believed his world was coming to an end! I knew otherwise, but could not convince him (practicing to be an adult male perhaps?). Anyway - it is winding down for him and alas he will live - but guess who is beginning to feel "punky"? - You guessed it - me! Stopped by CVS yesterday & picked up some of the new cold preventatives (Air Borne {which tastes like VERY bad orange juice} and some other stop it before you get it things) - I hope I can at least cut down on the severity of it - as I can't stay home from work for five days.
Not much in the way of anything else new - things with DB have calmed down since he changed his med times - DH has also come a long way. I am beginning to see the light and think life is good.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

An Easy Way to Pray…

1. Your thumb is nearest you. So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you. They are the easiest to remember. To pray for our loved ones is, as C. S. Lewis once said, a "sweet duty."
2. The next finger is the pointing finger. Pray for those who teach, instruct and heal. This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers. They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction. Keep them in your prayers.
3. The next finger is the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders. Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry, and administrators. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion. They need God's guidance.
4. The fourth finger is our ring finger. Surprising to many is the fact that this is our weakest finger, as any piano teacher will testify. It should remind us to pray for those who are weak, in trouble or in pain. They need your prayers day and night. You cannot pray too much for them.
5. And lastly comes our little finger - the smallest finger of all which is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. As the Bible says, "The least shall be the greatest among you." Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. By the time you have prayed for the other four groups, your own needs will be put into proper perspective and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A Quick Quiz – by Charles Schultz

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip. You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just read the paragraphs straight through and you'll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America Contest.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. They are not second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are NOT the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones who care.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

I Still Beleive in Santa!

I knew that it would happen someday - so I began laying the ground work VERY early - to help me more than him... let me explain: Guy(DS) like every child wholeheartedly believed in Santa Claus and seeing it through his eyes was so much more magical than anything I ever experienced as a child (well almost - there's the Chatty Cathy Christmas - but that's another post!) Anyway I did all the things I could to make it magical and special - the usual cookies & milk of course - but we left reindeer food (those pesky reindeers always made "a mess" {first year mom spilt some & Guy noticed how messy they were} - well those mess' continued for a long time!!!) and Santa left "footprints" in the house and so many other things - it was truly a magical time for him and me.

But all along I knew he would eventually find out the truth - so I instilled that "everyone is Santa" and as long as you "believe in truth & goodness - there will always be a Santa - no matter how old you get".

Sure enough - one year he put two & two together and was devastated & actually MAD at ME when I told him Santa wasn't real. BUT I guess the groundwork actually worked, because after the initial denial and anger - he realized what I said & meant - which somehow softened the blow. To this day he reminds ME that Santa does exist.

Having said this - when I saw this on another blog, I had to place it on mine & tell you my story.

"I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma...I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that! My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her 'world-famous' cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true!!!!!! Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" She snorted..."Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes memad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go. "Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second 'world-famous' cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's. I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but NEVER had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill,wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, and the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he just didn't have a good warm coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that. Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby." The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good warm winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again and wished me a Merry Christmas.That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it. Grandma said that Santa ALWAYS insisted on secrecy! Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers. Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered,"get going." I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open!!!! Finally it did, and there stood Bobby. Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: 'ridiculous'! Santa WAS alive and well, and WE were on HIS team!!!

I STILL have Grandma's Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $29.95.

May you always have LOVE to share, HEALTH to spare and FRIENDS that care...And may you always believe in the magic of Santa Claus!
~Author Unknown