Wednesday, March 31, 2004

This Just In
Here's a great quote from Teresa Heinz Kerry about her husband, presidential candidate John Kerry:

"I think he's a man who likes complexity, understands it and doesn't shy away from looking sometimes as though he is saying one thing and doing another, when in fact anybody who understands this knows exactly what he means."

Now, who are YOU voting for this fall?
Looney Embassy
Did you see this article in Monday's paper? There is a guy in Nevada selling property on the moon! He claims he can do it because of the United Nations Outer Space Treaty, which states that outer space is the province of all mankind. I suppose he takes that to mean if he says, "DIBS!" the moon is his to sell. So, if you want to buy some of the moon, go here. If you think $19.99 per acre is too high a price, contact me and I'll beat his price. If I can't beat his price, I'll give it to you for free!
Do you need any stuff? Don't go shopping. Call me. Come over. Take my stuff. I have too much stuff. What do you need? Just ask. I'll probably give it to you.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Can't Escape the Lawsuit
Up in Madison, Wisconsin, some college bars recognized there was a problem with college students and alcohol. With full knowledge that they could be sued if a patron is injured or injures another, and recognizing the risks the students take with binge drinking, the bars got together and agreed not to have cheap drink promotions on the weekends. What did they get? A class action lawsuit alleging they had formed a cartel and were price-fixing!!! Go here to see the article. (I love the last sentence!!)
I don't know why, but something I wrote 8 years ago appeared on my desk last night. I've decided to share it with you, somber as it is.

I remember the day well. I was between classes at the OU School of Law and had just settled down at a table in the lounge with my friend Jon. It was our daily ritual to spend the 9:00 hour working the crossword puzzle, debating life and idly chatting with anyone who wandered our way. Suddenly, probably about 9:10, a friend of Jon's ran by saying a building in downtown Oklahoma City had blown up and they were plugging in a television upstairs to watch the news. We went.

Jon and I were among the first at the television. All we could see from the helicopter cameras was a big cloud of smoke. We were amazed at the size of the cloud. The newscasters were guessing it was caused by a natural gas explosion. As they learned about the building (the "Murray" building), they told us what they knew - but it was hard to tell from the sky just which building had blown. There was speculation in the crowd that it might be the federal court house (where many law students worked, just south of the Murrah building). As the smoke cleared, we began to see the devastation to the building. As the now-famous site revealed itself, tears began to flow. It was apparent that death was inescapable.

Was it a foreign terrorist? I don't recall whether the newscaster or a fellow student first posed the question, but my head was reeling. Terror struck me. I felt a strong urge to extricate myself from the public building and go home. Had someone started a war? I went home.

The television on, I watched the morning unfold. Cameramen were on the street and bloodied people were sitting, walking, crying...the confusion and fear on their faces. I felt helpless. We were warned to stay away from downtown. The emergency services feared traffic jams that would delay help to the wounded and dying.

A threat of another bomb was announced. Rescue workers had detected another bomb and cleared the area. I watched as people ran from the site. My heart stopped. I was sobbing.

50 Penn Place was evacuated because it was home to the FBI. I had studied terrorism in college and knew terror is best caused by random violence. I was thinking terrorism had come to the United States - and they had gone first for the heart. I became determined to fight the fear.

James called. My parents called. I promised to stay home. Then Rob called. Rob had been a good friend through law school. Our friendship was built on our similarity of heart and morals. He wanted to go to the building. I told him we would do more harm by being on the roads...we would be in the way. He said he would be by to get me in 15 minutes. We would take the back roads and walk the last two miles.

I called James to tell him my plans, then changed my answering machine message to say, "This is Jan. I'm okay. I'm not in Oklahoma City. Thank you for calling."

Rob arrived and rushed me into the car. It was noon. We stopped by his house, where he started taking piles of his own sweatshirts and stuffing them into a trash bag. He said, "Its going to rain. People are going to need something warm to wear." I was amazed at his generosity, and embarrassed that I hadn't brought anything! Rob didn't have much to give, but he didn't hesitate. He didn't sort the shirts and save his favorite or most expensive. They all went.

We took country roads and drove up to the University Hospital. We parked his car in a vacant lot and began walking. We expected to be stopped, but Rob was determined to get the shirts in. Nobody stopped us. Four blocks from the site it began to rain and we came upon a group of people loading a pickup truck from a larger truck. We asked if they needed help and they asked if we would ride on the truck to the triage area and unload the supplies and food there. Rob said yes. I was scared.

We rode in and went to work immediately. Several RVs had parked about two blocks from the building and had opened themselves up for workers to take a break. They offered me a rain jacket, which I gladly took. There was an area in the parking lot where people were beginning to set up food and supplies. I was amazed at what was already there. Restaurants had sent truckloads of sandwiches, pizzas, colas, bottled water....there were boxes of umbrellas, flashlights, batteries, tables, medical supplies. People were driving up with more supplies every minute. We took them and sorted them. The Red Cross truck pulled up and someone suggested we load all the food donations to keep them out of the rain. I hopped in the truck and people brought me boxes of sack lunches. I stacked them to the ceiling until it was full. Then the Red Cross staff started arriving. I was fired.

No matter. I found Rob carrying tables to triage and joined him. A tent had been erected outside the old post office (triage) and they were setting up tables of food for the rescue workers. I went into the post office and announced my availability. Without hesitation, I was handed a box of goggles and sent to the south entrance of the Murrah Building.

The triage was at the northwest corner of the building. The streets were covered with glass. Debris was everywhere. I saw an axle. As I started my walk, I passed a van that was at the stop sign. It was just sitting there in the street. All the glass was broken. Parked cars were smashed up. It was a war zone.

The church to my right had lost its windows, and tree limbs were scattered about. I could touch the building. I prayed there was not another bomb inside. I braced myself for what I might see. I thought of my answering machine..."I'm not in Oklahoma City..." No, just touching the building.

The south side of the building was an elevated pavilion. I made my way up the steps and across the terrace. There were civilian rescue workers receiving instructions - ready to search the inside of the building. They offered that I might join them. I declined. I handed out goggles and looked up at the building. It was creaking. Just below a window I saw a large spot of blood. Someone had jumped or fallen and hit the side of the building. I looked at the ground. Glass, blood and soot. Tiny splashes of blood.

I walked to a bench that faced south, sat down and cried. But, a rescue worker came to me with a supply request. - hats with lights. They needed hats with lights. I had to help.

I made several trips between the building and triage. Nobody had hats with lights. But they sent a radio request and I know the need was announced by the television stations.

Rob and I decided to go home around 6:00. The rain had let up, but it looked as if a huge storm was on its way. We walked north, dragging from exhaustion and feeling guilt for not having done more. The fences were going up and security was tightening, but we were leaving so nobody questioned us. As we crossed a street several blocks north of the building, a small car with 5 Iranians drove by slowly, windows down, as they looked at the bombed-out building. They scared me. I wondered if they were the terrorists. At that time, nobody dreamed a Timothy McVeigh was at work. I thought it was a gas leak or terrorism.

The two-mile trek back to the car seemed to take an eternity. We listened to the radio on the way home and heard that it was the 2-year anniversary of Waco. Madness.

I don't recall much detail of the following week. I remember looking at the building the day I was there and thinking it would take days to clean it up. It wasn't until later that night that I realized how many dead bodies were buried under that building where I had stood hours before. I can't understand how I could have stood on the threshold without understanding the true impact. I suppose I was more optimistic than I thought.

All of Oklahoma watched the news non-stop. I had finals in two weeks and my wedding in four, with graduation stuck in there, but I couldn't study. The emotions were overwhelming. The families were waiting...waiting.......waiting for theirs to be found. I suppose the hope they would find someone alive kept us watching. It didn't happen.

Oklahoma was somber. I have never experienced such widespread sorrow. People drove slowly, lights on, and you could see tears. People talked quietly. Everybody wanted to help, but nothing seemed sufficient.

One year later, Channel 4 did an update on the survivors. I was moved by the story of Dot Hill. She lived - but she didn't want to. She felt she wasn't saved by God, but that the devil had saved her to torture her. What must she have seen? I still pray for her and watch for her in the news.

When I think of the horrors the survivors and rescuers witnesses, I tremble. One rescuer killed himself to end the pain. I feel more for the survivors and rescuers than I do for the dead. They suffer. I wish I could hug them all.

Timothy McVeigh's act of violence was far-reaching; death, destruction, disfigurement, maiming, scarring, psychological trauma. It touched the victims, the families, the volunteers, the rescuers. There are children and adults alike afraid of sirens and regular citizens who feel guilt because they couldn't help.

Timothy McVeigh has been sentenced to death.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Rent a Child
We're having a special this Saturday. You can borrow a child all day for FREE!!! Yes, that's right, FREE. (We might even pay you). What a bargain. Only the seriously interested should apply. First come, first served. Please...don't push.

(We want to go to the Family Vision planning workshop)

Sunday, March 28, 2004

BlogSpot ads by Google
Up at the top of my blog is a banner ad. It is there because I don't pay anything for my blog. I love to see what they are advertising. It is always related to something in my blog. Right now its anti-depressants!!!! There is never anything religious up there, even though I have a lot of religious stuff in here. I'm very curious about it all. Do you suppose somebody at Google is paid to read blogs and choose advertisers to link? Or is it computerized? I think it may be a person because I don't mention anti-depressants in this blog (until now), so somebody must have read about my thyroid problem and diagnosed me. ??? So, this is a test.....if somebody from Google is reading this, please post a link to a Christian book seller. You choose. Thanks.
Since I've been in BSF I have become very interested in Old Testament prophecy and how it is fulfilled in the New Testament. I've decided I'll share some from time to time on this blog. The first has to do with the birth of Jesus.

Old Testament
Then Isaiah said, "Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel (God with us)." Isaiah 7:13-14

New Testament
...His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:18-23
...God sent the a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary... Luke 1:26-35
Thanks, Flylady
This is the sort of email The Flylady is always sending me:

Date: Saturday, March 27, 2004
Time: 8:00AM EST (GMT-05:00)

Is it hiding in the washer? Getting smelly!

Cold and wrinkled in the dryer?

Are you living out of a laundry basket?

Go Re-boot your laundry. It has 5 steps:Sort, wash, dry, fold and put away.

Don't leave out a single babystep!

If you will stay on top of this, it will not take over your home.

You may have too many clothes! Reduce your clothing and have fewer laundry pile ups.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Marketing At Its Best
CDBaby knows how to treat its customers and how to make me smile. I don't hear from them often, but when I do, I always enjoy it! At least two of my friends sell their music on CDBaby: Nathan Schnorrenberg and David Anderson. I recommend both. Here's the email I got today:

Hi Jan -
Ever since you bought that first CD from us (DAVID ANDERSON: This Is My Real Job!!!!!) - we've had your picture on our wall as "Customer of the Year".

Every Friday night, we bake some mint cookies and sit in a circle around your picture, chanting, "Oh Jan, oh Jan - what would make you happy?"

After weeks of obsessing, I think we've finally got something that will make you happy:

The $5 CD sale.

We did this so you could afford to experiment and get a LOT of new music at once, so feel free to get as many as you want!

Derek Sivers, CD Baby

P.S. You look great today! That's a nice shirt on you.
Bubble Trouble
When a 57-year-old diabetic nurse walks into an 8-foot tower of bubbles, the city better beware. Afterall, she should not have to be on guard where she steps!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

This time last year I was not doing well physically. I was tired beyond tired all of the time, my thinking was fuzzy, my tongue felt thick (so my speech was slurred), I was crying too easily and my muscles ached. All of this because my body was lacking in one chemical: thyroid hormone. I knew I wasn't right, but no amount of mental power could change things. I even knew what was wrong, but we (my doctor and I) just hadn't gotten the levels right yet. And then last summer, we finally got it right! Slowly but surely I came back to myself, and now I feel "normal" again. It was so odd to discover what a small change in chemicals can do to a person. It made me realize how little control people have over their own beings. And it made me thankful for researchers and doctors and pharmaceutical companies and pharmacists. So very thankful. Without them, I'd surely be in bed 20 hours a day by now. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Smart Driving
Okay, here's a coupla tips for your driving safety:
1) When planning to turn left, but while waiting for oncoming traffic to clear, do not turn your wheels. This way if someone should hit you from behind, you will not be pushed into the oncoming traffic.
2) Do not use your cruise control in the rain. Apparently this creates a hydroplaning hazard. (I checked out on this one).
You're welcome.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Cleaned Up
A friend told me about a place where you can order videos that have been edited to remove questionable content. From what I understand (and I could be wrong), the questionable content is completely deleted from the film. In other words, its not as if the word is bleeped but you can still see the lips moving. The entire moment is deleted. Its an interesting concept and I thought some of you might be interested in it. Maybe some would argue that editing infringes upon the artistry of the film, but I'd rather infringe on artistry than my children's ears and eyes!
Crafty Ideas
Here's a website that offers lots of crafts for your children. We visit often to print off coloring pages from Veggie Tales, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Thomas the Tank Engine. Hours of fun.
Silly Putty Recipe
I worked with the children at BSF this morning. In addition to learning some new discipline techniques, I learned how to make silly putty! It's not quite the same consistency as the real thing, but its slimy, cold and fun to play with!

Mix together:
1 cup white glue
1 cup water

Mix together:
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. Borax until dissolved completely.

Combine the two mixtures and stir vigorously until you have putty!
You can color the stuff with markers and play all day.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Bass of all Basses
Last year I went to see Edgar Meyer play with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. I had never heard of him, but I love the bass and was looking forward to the concert. How many times do you hear a bass soloist? Not often. I was in for a big treat. I had second row seats, which I normally shun. They were perfect for this concert. Mr. Meyer is THE master of the bass. I had to hold my jaw shut it was so stunning. He wrote his own concerto (see the Meyer Bottesini Concertos with YoYo Ma), which showed every wonderful nuance of the bass that you never knew existed. Just beautiful. If you ever have a chance to see him in concert, GO. FAST. I'll be right in front of you.
Sands of Time
Let the sand, the billion year eroded peaks of mountains unmapped, flow through your fingers one more time before you sleep. You cannot count them, these are the goodnesses that have held you up. In a thousand years they may yet support another lonely wanderer on a midnight beach.-Theodore Joslin

Sunday, March 21, 2004

These Friends of Mine
I spent Saturday in Dallas with a group of friends from highschool. We were all there for our friend Dana's wedding. You may be suprised to know that we all graduated in 1982 and remain friends. Dana, Cheryl, Britt, Bob, Karen, Nancy, Jeff, Wade, Allen, Lisa, Annette, Patti and I. (Patti was unable to attend but the rest of us were there!) I have known some of them since 1976. When we are together, we're like family. We sometimes fight, but the fights are quickly forgotten. We don't have to look good or act any certain way. There are absolutely no pretentions. We range the political, religious and lifestyle spectrums, but we are bound together by our history and our desire to continue on. I am grateful for these friends and the way they accept me unconditionally. May you all have and be friends like these friends of mine.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Quote For The Day
"God never gives us discernment in order that
we may criticize, but that we may intercede."

~ Oswald Chambers
Bowling for Coupons
The latest device trial attorneys use to pad their pockets is the class action lawsuit. The attorney thinks of something amiss that affects a lot of people, finds a representative, and starts a class action. He builds the class through advertising. (If you have suffered "xyz", call 1-800-xxx-xxxx). The "injury" may be large or small, it doesn't matter so much to the attorney. The idea is to get a large class. What often happens is the company settles (or just plain loses) for millions of dollars. Each member of the class recieves a check for, say, two or three dollars...if they're lucky. Most courts are now allowing the defendant to issue coupons. For instance, if you are an airline passenger who was unfairly taxed a couple of bucks on your flight with abc airline, some noble attorney is out there fighting for you. Someday you may receive a coupon for $5.00 off your next domestic flight with abc airline.

Here's the kicker. That noble attorney has earned himself a percentage of the value of the final settlement or judgment. So, if he has 100,000 member in his class and each got a $5.00 coupon, the settlement/judgment is worth $500,000. The attorney gets 30% (usually more), which comes to $150,000.

So, without further ado, here's the latest on the AMC bowling "scandal."

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Guilty Until Proven Innocent
Enter child:
"I didn't break anything, Mommy."
Mom knows somethings up.
"Like what?"
Child responds before leaving the room.
"Like nothing. Remember? I'm not going to tell you what I didn't break."
Duplicity from the Trial Lawyers' Pocket
In Wisconsin, if you drive without a helmet and you are involved in an accident (for whatever reason), the person responsible for the accident cannot introduce evidence that he did not wear a helmet and thereby failed to reduce his own damages by taking reasonable precautions. Why? According to the Governor of Wisconsin, he would not want to penalize a motorcyclist who was acting within the law. (Apparently helmets are not required in Wisconsin). He would rather penalize the defendent, who had no choice whether the motorcyclist put on a helmet that day. See here for more.

In contrast, the same Governor of Wisconsin has refused to sign a bill that would bar lawsuits against restaurants based on the obesity of its patrons. Although the restaurants are also acting within the law when serving food, the Governor reasons that the courts can sort through it all. See here for more.

What do you think would happen if a restaurant declined to serve an obese person?

Its lose/lose for defendants in Wisconsin.
Life With Children
Since I got up this morning I've been busy doing fun stuff like cleaning out the refrigerator, making a costume for Colin, gathering laundry, tying shoelaces, balancing books and making snacks. As a flylady, I should have taken a shower and dresses before tackling these chores but, alas, I did not. So when we were short fabric for the costume, I though, "What would it hurt to go out looking stunningly awful for just an 1/8th of a yard of fabric?" Just run in and run out, right? I've been a mother long enough to know better, but I'll just blame it on brain fade. You can't just run in with children. And you can't hide, either. So, there we are standing in line to have the fabric measured and the boys are calling everyone's attention to US. US included me with my mismatched clothes, dirty hair and bare face. And chipped nails. UGH. Of course, the check out line was even longer, with fresh new faces to gaze upon our noisy existence. I suppose the only redeeming factor is that the queen of law school didn't show up perfectly turned out.

So, the flylady's voice rings in my head like a mother who says, "I told you so." Tomorrow I shower first thing!

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

I'm too shocked to think of a clever title for this one.
If you're a trouble-making student and you do something really stupid, it is OKAY. Somebody else will surely pay. Like the defendant. And it seems as if I'm referred to the Sun Sentinel for these kinds of stories quite often. What is going on in southern Florida?
By Suzanne Benner

The book of Revelation contains letters to seven churches. As part of God's message to the churches, each letter describes something God will give to each one who overcomes. Revelation 2:17 says, "To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it."

Do you realize that God calls you by a name that no one else knows?

I believe that God bestowed that title on you, chosen specifically for you, when He created you. That name symbolizes all that God created you to be, all He knew you could be with His love.

The name is not "loser" or "cheater" or "manipulator" or "not good enough" or "worthless."

Instead, God's name for you will be "Beauty" or "Treasure," "My Loved One" or "the One Who Overcomes," "Honesty," or "Purity." You see, you are not defined by your mistakes--that is not who you are. Nor are you what people have done to you. It may have been an awful thing that happened to you, but it is not you. No, you are the child of God. You are the one He loves. You are the one He created to hold a place in His heart that no one else can fill.

[Child] of The Most High God, you are exceptional, highly esteemed and greatly loved.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Stain Away From Me!
Just thought I'd share this site I have bookmarked in case of a bad stain.
Qui suivent, indolents compagnons de voyage,
Le navire glissant sur les gouffres amers.
A peine les ont-ils déposés sur les planches,
Que ces rois de l'azur, maladroits et honteux,
Laissent piteusement leurs grandes ailes blanches
Comme des avirons traîner à côté d'eux.
Ce voyageur ailé, comme il est gauche et veule!
Lui, naguère si beau, qu'il est comique et laid!
L'un agace son bec avec un brûle-gueule,
L'autre mime, en boitant, l'infirme qui volait!
Le Poëte est semblable au prince des nuées
Qui hante la tempête et se rit de l'archer;
Exilé sur le sol au milieu des huées,
Ses ailes de géant l'empêchent de marcher.
-Charles Baudelaire

(Often, to pass the time on board, the crew
will catch an albatross, one of those big birds
which nonchalantly chaperone a ship
across the biter fathoms of the sea.

Tied to the deck, this king of the skies,
as if embarrassed by its clumsiness,
pitiably lets its great white wings
drag at its sides like a pair of unshipped oars.

How weak and awkward, even comical
this traveler but lately so adroit-
one deckhand sticks a pipestem in its beak,
another mocks the cripple that once flew!

The Poet is like this monarch of the clouds
riding the storm above the marksman's range;
exiled on the ground, hooted and jeered,
he cannot walk because of his great wings.)

I once memorized this poem to recite to my French instructor. I came to love the poem, which becomes more and more meaningful on reflection.
The World According to Mr. Rogers
"Beside my chair is a saying in French. It inspires me every day. It's a sentence from Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince, and it reads, "L'essential est invisible pour les yeux." (What is essential is invisible to the eyes.) The closer we get to know the truth of that sentence, the closer I feel we get to wisdom.
That which has real value in life in any millennium is very simple. Very deep and very simple! It happens inside of us - in the "essential invisible" part of us, and that is what allows everyone to be a potential neighbor."

I'm a big, big fan of Mr. Rogers. He was wisdom, kindness and talent all in one.
Mom Strikes Again
My mom seems to get a lot of emails, which she promptly forwards to me for, uh...edification??? Anyway, here are a few George Carlin jokes she sent this morning:
1. Why isn't the number 11 pronounced onety one?

2. Do Lipton Tea employees take coffee breaks?

3. What hair color do they put on the driver's licenses of bald men?

4. I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more
as they get older; then it dawned on me.... they're cramming for their
final exam.

5. I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons
and forks, so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use? Toothpicks?

6. Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What
are we supposed to do, write to them? Why don't they just put their
pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen can look for them while they
deliver the mail?

7. If it's true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the
others here for?

8. Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn't zigzag?

9. If a cow laughed, would milk come out of her nose?

Monday, March 15, 2004

Dietary Information
Just to be clear, I am NOT for suing restaurants - or anybody - because of obesity. I fear that may not have been clear in my entry below. The "Oh Brother" was meant as commentary about the foolishness of it all! I received this email from my friend and thought it worthy of sharing. I certainly learned a few things!
"I was checking out your blog and I had something to say. I really don't think we can blame the fast food industry because we are fat. If we did that we would have to blame virtually all manufacturers for putting high fructose corn syrup in the products we eat. We would have to blame the advertising industry for making us believe that we need that product or need to visit that restaurant. How about blaming the doctors and medical research groups that wrote and professed the Low Fat diet, even though as further research has shown it made people even fatter and is inherently unhealthy. We could blame capitalism as a whole because it has given the freedom to food manufacturers to come up with a cornicopia of snacks and treats of every variety and spent millions of dollars telling us why we should eat them.

In 1950 the average person in this country ate 5 pounds of sugar per year - in 1998 the average person in this country ate 150 pounds of sugar per year!! What happened? The food industry found a fabulous cheap method of sweetening products called high fructose corn syrup. It has no inherent nutrional value but it sure is cheap.
A 12oz Coke of Pepsi has 10 teaspoons of sugar. So when you go to your 7/11 for a 64oz big gulp you are getting appoximately 50 teaspoons of sugar! Add this in to the sugar content of virtually every processed food product we consume - it's frightening! This isn't even taking into account the sugar that is found naturally in foods.
Then add the low fat diet. There were so many products becoming "low fat" but when they took out the fat they had to add something to make the foods palatable. Guess what? High Fructose Corn Syrup! 15 years later the results are in, Americans after 15 years of low fat dieting are even more obese. AAAAARGH! Type 2 diabetes is on the rise in adults and (gulp) children!

We have become busy, busy, busy, people need quick fixin ideas to put meals on the table for their families. The products targeted to them line the grocery store aisles. How much sugar do these meals have. Read some labels.
Every 4 grams of sugar per serving equals one teaspoon of sugar. Slim Fast is loaded with sugar. You could eat a hershey bar and take a vitamin and be better off than drinking slim fast.

There are so many factors that contribute to our nation being the fattest in the world. We are working ourselves to death in this fast paced world with no time spend on feeding our families healthy food. We have food manufacturers giving us products with way too much sugar and with teams of people dedicated to convincing us we need to eat their products. We have restaurants giving us super size servings and meals served on serving platters. The stomach can comfortably hold about a cup of food. It really doesn't require much food for us to live yet we consume more and more.

I guess I went on a tirade....but you can't just blame a fast food restaurant because you're fat. Even though there are so many poor choices put in front of us you can't blame anyone but yourself."
Okay, now, how does this Heaven thing work?
This just in from my mom:
A father was at the beach with his children when the four- year-old son ran up to him, grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore where a seagull lay dead in the sand. "Daddy, what happened to him?" the son asked. "He died and went to Heaven," the Dad replied. The boy thought a moment and then said, "Did God throw him back down?"
Peril of Hope
- Robert Frost
It is right in there
Betwixt and between
The orchard bare
And the orchard green,

When the boughs are right
In a flowery burst
Of pink and white,
That we fear the worst.

For there's not a clime
But at any cost
Will take that time
For a night of frost.

This is my favorite poem. So true of many situations, especially appropriate this time of year.
I Love Famolares...
...but not as much as this guy!

Friday, March 12, 2004

Pass It On
I get lots of emails about things gone awry and companies making anti-God decisions and things that will bring good luck, so on and so forth. So, this really tickled me. If you ever get some such email or hear a wild and crazy story that sounds too weird to be true, it may be an actual lawsuit, or it may be an urban myth. Check it out here, or if it is about a company, check the company's website to see whether there is any mention of it.
Crabtree Update!
I went to Crabtree & Evelyn today to see if they had any Tomato and Red Pepper Relish left! They had 8 and they were on sale!!! I bought them all!! Woo Hoo!
Geography Quiz

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Sweet Fellowship
Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name. "They will be mine," says the Lord Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. Malachi 3:16-17

Isn't that remarkable? When we meet together and honor God, he is recording the entire event! This, to me, reveals the sweet side of God. I hope to see my name on many a scroll someday!!
Choosing Optimism
Here are five ways to choose optimism in your life from Debbie Gisonni:
1. Hang around positive people, even it if seems uncomfortable at first.
2. If you work or live with negative people, don't get pulled into their fear or impose your opinion upon them.
3. Try to change every negative thought and word to a positive one.
4. Always assume the best from people and situations.
5. Make positive affirmations. If you say them enough, you'll start to believe them.

This reminds me of a little article I saw about 10 years ago that changed my life. It was about learning wisdom. The basic idea is that for every thing that provokes you, you should stop and think of 5 reasons it may have happened. They don't have to be good reasons, but it would be nice if at least some of them were. This exercise works particularly well in traffic and eventually causes you to see that your initial judgment of a situation may not be correct. I think this lesson goes directly to point 4 above. Hope you'll try it.
Who's In Charge of You?
Do you make your own decisions about what you eat? Are you force fed? Do you have a brain????? According to some, those in the fast food industry are devilishly clever...and way smarter than the rest of us! Look how they trick us with deep fried potatoes and chocolate milk shakes. Look how they make us think its healthy because it is, after all, dairy and vegetables. How bad could that be? Oh, brother!!! (now see this)
The Teacup
Last year I shared a story about how silver is refined. Here's a similar story about a teacup.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Comfort Food
This is my favorite snack: Crabtree & Evelyn Tomato and Red Pepper Relish, cream cheese and a blueberry bagel. It is heavenly. Here's the sad thing: Crabtree has been talking about discontinuing the relish for years, and it seems they have finally done it. This does not help my mood today. But if any of you should be near a Crabtree store, please ask if they have any left. If you buy me some, I'll gladly pay you!!!!!!
Rainy Days and Wednesdays...
Feeling a little down today. Found out I offended somebody about a month ago and she's been complaining about me since then. I made a little joke. Apparently it was "tacky." There's nothing quite like finding out someone has hated you for a month and you didn't even know it. I wish she had said I was hateful or something. Then I could just think she didn't get the joke...but "tacky"....that hurts.
I Think I'll Just Drive My Children to School, Thank You
Alligator, Schmalligator.
Madness and the Mad Hatter
The teacups are slowing down. Its all about liability.

Monday, March 08, 2004

I can't seem to work this puzzle! Maybe I should be spending my time on higher pursuits, anyway. Ya think?

Sunday, March 07, 2004

The Passion According to Isaiah
Jews for Jesus has a wonderful website about The Passion of Christ. After you read this, go to the home page and see all the other great information they have posted.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Another Reason I Don't Drink
This would probably happen to me.
Fishy Fishy Fishy Fish
Wherever did that little fish go?
It went wherever I did go.
I did love him so.
Firing A Donut-Eating Employee Costs $12,500,000
...if he's disabled. This is how lawyers make it more difficult for the disabled to get jobs in the first place.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Chernobyl Photos
These left me speechless.
Salisbury Steak
Here's a family favorite. Serve it with mashed potatoes or buttered egg noodles and your favorite colored vegetable(s).

1 pkg. beef onion soup mix, mixed with water
(or one can condensed onion soup)
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (seasoned or unseasoned)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash pepper

1 tablespoon flour
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon mustard

Using only 1/3 of the soup, combine soup, beef, bread crumbs, egg, salt and pepper. Shape into oval patties. Brown in skillet; pour off fat. Blend remaining ingredients, pour over browned patties and reduce heat, stirring to remove bits from pan. Cover and cook on low for 20 minutes.

Okay, while we're on this recipe, here's a little lesson on deglazing. Deglazing is a way to remove those bits that have attached to the bottom of the pan. There are at least two benefits to this. (1) You release the flavor that is in those bits to the dish you are preparing and (2) your pan is easier to clean. Wine is commonly used for a deglazer. But did you know tomatoes do the same trick? So, if you're ever cooking a dish that includes tomatoes, add the tomatoes to the pan just before you're finished. Stir the bottom and, voila!, you have just deglazed. Thanks for coming to class today!


I just started reading this blog. I haven't read enough to recommend it, but I will be reading more. Looks interesting to me. Anyway, I read his review of The Passion of Christ. His view was very similar to mine. I am usually very emotional and easily moved by movies, but I only shed a few tears at this movie. Why? I think because I didn't get a sense of Christ's real suffering, which was caused by His taking on the world's sins. Can you imagine how heavy that was? Have you ever considered how heavily sin weighs down on your own body? Just sit back for a moment and consider the myriad ways sin has affected you. The indulgences you've made. The things you've seen. The betrayals. Imagine having them lifted off you.

Christ was sinless, but all at once he bore our sins. All of them. Yours and mine.... What anguish.

And I didn't see that in the film. I don't know that it can be depicted on film.

Anyway, here's my bloglift:
Gibson's drive here is evidently a need to show a crucifixion as shocking and brutal as he could possibly make it, in some attempt to try to deepen the depths of undersanding in how much Christ truly suffered to atone for our sins. As far as Gibson tries to go to get to that level, people could always point out those who have suffered more excruciatingly painful and drawn out deaths than Jesus did. That's why all this focus on the physical sufferings come at the expense of understanding the spiritual ramifications of what was happening. Christ was clearly suffering from the time he spent in prayer in Gethsemane before anyone laid a hand on him. The weight of every filthy act of mankind was being laid on him, and the spiritual burden he bore was so severe that when he sweated in prayer, he sweated drops of blood. It had to be bad enough that it would make the Creator of the Universe actually hesitate somewhat before accepting the cup the Father had given him. We'll never understand this. While physical suffering has its limitations, the spiritual suffering is something we could only speculate on, our small minds not capable of conceiving of what it was like for God to leave the throne of heaven, to take on every sinful act man has ever committed in eternity as his own.em>

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Bible Quiz
Got this quiz today.
The Politically Incorrect Wife
I ran across this article today. Wham! Right between the eyes!! I could learn a lot from this. I can testify that I've tried to put some of these things into practice in the past year and have noticed a huge difference in family harmony when I do. I believe God's ways are right and I will be striving to fulfill my role in His way.
What Happened to the Twelve Apostles of Christ
A follow-up to the "how do you know" question after The Passion of the Christ
By Michael Patton

Many times I purposefully doubt what I believe. Often I take it upon myself to ask, "How do I know what I believe is true? How do I know that what the Bible teaches about Christ is right and that the countless other millions, even billions, of people who believe in something or someone else other than Christ are in error? Why should I devote my entire life to this?" You might have asked yourself these questions recently. You may have just seen Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ and asked, "How do I know that this really happened?" During these times of doubt, my thoughts always turn to one thing more than any else: the resurrection of Christ. In my mind, if Christ rose from the grave, it is all true. Period. If Christ rose from the dead, what he said was true. If Christ rose from the dead, he deserves my full devotion.

But wait a minute. How do I know that the resurrection actually happened? What makes me so sure that it was an actual historic event. After all, I have never seen anyone rise from the dead. Neither have you. All the people that we have known who died are still dead. How do we know that the event of Christ's resurrection, which goes against everything that we experience, really happened. Good question. Here is the answer, and notice I am going to place it in italics: Because the Apostles deaths. If they died because of their unquenchable proclamation that Christ rose from the grave, then the Bible is true, and Christ deserves my complete devotion.

What makes their death so significant concerning the "how do you know" question? Why do I say that their deaths verify Christ resurrection, which, in turn, verifies the truth of Christianity? Here is what I ask myself, "Why would they have died for a lie? Why would they state they saw something (i.e. the resurrected Christ) when they did not? Think about that for a minute before you read on. Really, think about it. Here is the only rational answer that I can come up with: they would not have. They had nothing to gain. No popularity and no prosperity was gained from their lives of confession. They could have recanted at any time, but they did not. They chose to go to their deaths rather than denying the truth. What they were confessing must have been true. Christ must have raised from the grave.

I have spent much time researching the death of the Apostles, looking at both primary and secondary historical resources. What is the conclusion of my studies? All but one died a martyr's death. All but one suffered and died because they proclaimed to have seen Christ die and then to have seen him alive. They all died because of an unwavering, unrecanting claim that Christ rose from the grave. If you do not believe me, do the study yourself. The resources are available.

Therefore, in my mind and for my faith, the gruesome death of the Apostles was one of the greatest gifts that God gave to the Church. It, for me, answers the "how do you know" question. I have recorded the fruit of my studies on their deaths below. Read through their deaths. Think of this as your devotional for this day. This may sound odd, but in a very real sense, I thank God for killing them. I think you will to.

More exhaustive lists of the early Christian martyrs can be easily attained. Thieleman J. Van Braght.s Martyrs Mirror, and of course John Fox.s Foxes Book of Martyrs are among the secondary sources (although not necessarily the best sources). Early primary sources, such as Jerome, Eusebius, Irenaeus, Clemens, Polycarp, Hippolytus, Dionysius, Josephus, and many others give strong historical evidences that the Apostle's sealed their testimony of a risen Christ with their own blood.

(1) The Apostle James 44-45 A.D.
James the Apostle of the Lord was the second recorded martyr after Christ's death (Stephen was the first). His death is recorded in Acts 12:2 where it is told that Herod Agrippa killed him with a sword. Clemens Alexandrinus and Eusebius both tell how the executioner witnessed the courage and unrecanting spirit of James and was then convinced of Christ resurrection and was then executed along with James.

(2) The Apostle Peter 64 A.D.
Although Peter denied that he even knew Christ three times just before Christ's death, after the resurrection he did not do so again. Peter, just as Jesus prophesied in John 21:18-19, was crucified by Roman executioners because he could deny his master again. According to Eusebius, he thought himself unworthy to be crucified as his Master. He therefore he asked to be crucified head downward.

(3) The Apostle Andrew 70 A.D.
Andrew, Peter's brother who introduced him to Christ, went to join his brother with Christ in eternity six years after Peter's death. After preaching Christ's resurrection to the Scythians and Thracians, he to was crucified for this faith. As Hippolytus tells us, he was hung on an olive tree at Patrae, a town in Achaia.

(4) The Apostle Thomas 70 A.D.
Thomas is known as "doubting Thomas" because of his reluctance to believe the other Apostles' witness of the resurrection. After they told him that Christ was alive, he stated, "Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe." (John 20:25). After this Christ did appear to him, and Thomas believed unto death. Thomas sealed his testimony as he was thrust through with pine spears, tormented with red hot plates, and burned alive.

(5) The Apostle Phillip 54 A.D.
Phillip, who was corrected by Christ when he asked Christ to show the him and the other Apostles the Father, saw the glory of Christ after his resurrection and undoubtedly reflected on Christ's response to his request: "He who has seen me has seen the Father." (John 14:9). Phillip evangelized in Phrygia where some hostile Jews had him tortured and then crucified.

(6) The Apostle Matthew 60-70 A.D.
Matthew, the tax collector, so desperately wanted the Jews to accept Christ. He wrote the Gospel according to Matthew about ten years before his death. Because of this, one can see contained within his Gospel the faith that he spilled his blood for. Matthew surely remembered His resurrected Savior's words, "lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (Matt 28:20) when he professed the resurrected Christ unto his death by beheading at Nad-Davar.

(7) The Apostle Nathanael (Bartholomew) 70 A.D.
Nathanael, whose name means "gift of God," was truly given as a gift to the Church through his martyrdom. Nathanael was the first to profess that Christ was the Son of God early in Christ's ministry (John 1:49). He later paid for this profession though a hideous death. Unwilling to recant of his proclamation of a risen Christ, history tells us that he was flayed and then crucified[1].

(8) The Apostle James the Lesser 63 A.D.
James was appointed the head of the Jerusalem Church for many years after Christ's death. In this, he undoubtedly came in contact with many hostile Jews (the same ones who killed Christ and stated, "His [Christ's] blood be on us and our children." (Matt 27:25) In order to make James deny Christ's resurrection these men positioned him at the top of the Temple for all to see and hear. James, unwilling to deny what he knew to be true, was cast down from the Temple and finally beaten to death with a fuller's club to the head.

(9) The Apostle Simon the Zealot 74 A.D.
Simon was a Jewish zealot who stove (sic.) to set his people free from Roman oppression. After he saw with his own eyes that Christ had been resurrected, he became a zealot of the Gospel. Historians tell of the many different places that Simon proclaimed the good news of Christ's resurrection: Egypt, Cyrene, Africa, Mauritania, Britain, Lybia, and Persia. His rest finally came when he verified his testimony and went to be with Christ, being crucified by a governor in Syria.

(10) The Apostle Judas Thaddeus 72 A.D.
Judas questioned the Lord. Judas said to him (not Iscariot), "Lord, how is it that you will show yourself to us, and not unto the world?" After he witnessed Christ's resurrection, Judas then knew the answer to his question. After preaching the risen Christ to those in Mesopotamia in the mist pagan priests, Judas was beaten to death with sticks sealing his testimony in blood.

(11) The Apostle Matthias 70 A.D.
Matthias replaced Judas Iscariot (the betrayer of Christ who hung himself) as the twelfth Apostle of Christ (Acts 1:26). It is believed by most that Matthias was one of the seventy that Christ sent out during his earthly ministry (Luke 10:1). By this, it qualifies him to be an Apostle. Matthias, of which the least is known about, is said by Eusebius to have preached in Ethiopia. He was later stoned while hanging upon a cross.

(12) The Apostle John 95 A.D.
John is the only one of the twelve Apostles to have died a natural death. Although he did not die a martyr's death, he did live a martyr's life. He was exiled to the Island of Patmos under the Emperor Domitian for his proclamation of a risen Christ. It was there that he wrote the last book in the Bible, Revelation. Some traditions state that he was thrown into boiling oil before the Latin Gate, where he was not killed but undoubtedly scared for the rest of his life.

The Apostle Paul 69 A.D.
Paul[2] himself a persecutor of the Christian faith (Galatians 1:13), was brought to repentance by an appearance of the risen Christ on his way to Damascus. Ironically Paul was heading for Damascus to arrest those who held to Christ's resurrection. Paul was the greatest skeptic there was until he himself saw the truth of the resurrection. He then devoted his life to the proclamation of a living Christ. Writing to the Corinthians defending his ministry, Paul tells of his sufferings for the name of Christ: "In labors more abundant, in beatings above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths often. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once was I stoned, three times I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeys often, in storms on the water, in danger of robbers, in danger by mine own countrymen, in danger by the heathen, in danger in the city, in danger in the wilderness, in the sea, among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness." (2 Cor 11:23.27) Finally, Paul met his death at the hands of the Roman Emperor Nero when he was beheaded in Rome.

I, however, might be justified in objecting to this. You may already have thought of this. You may be stating, "Don't may people die for something they believe?" The 9-11 bombers believed something and died for it. Does this mean that if you die for something, it is true. Does this justify our objection. This is a great question. The answer, simply put, is no. There is a big difference in dying for something that you believe because you have heard it from someone else (often called hearsay) and dying for something that you believe because you witnessed the events that establish the belief. The difference is in the substance and verification of what each believed. The suicide bombers and others who died for their faith are dying for something that they believe because the have heard it from someone else. This adds no verification to what they believe. It would be like me dying for my faith in Christ's resurrection. All that this would prove is that I truly did believe that Christ rose from the grave, but it would not verify in any way that he actually did raise from the grave. Why? Because I did not see it. Now if I died a martyr's death saying that I saw Christ die and raise from the grave with my own eyes, that would be a different story. Why? Because it would not verify a belief handed down from someone else, but a belief that I was a first hand witness of. At this point, you only have three options to explain my belief: 1) to say that I died for a lie KNOWING THAT IT WAS A LIE, 2) I was delusional or crazy, or 3) it was the truth. The suicide bombers sincerely believe their religion, but it carries no inherent verification. All we know is that they were sincere in their belief. The disciples on the other hand died for something that they said they were eye witnesses of. This carries no hear-say, as they say in law, but first-hand testimony. It is a completely different story.

Here are your three options concerning the Apostles:

You would have to conclude that they died for a lie and knew it (ridiculous since they gained NOTHING from it).
They were all delusional and crazy (but this would take more faith than any option since you would have to explain how they all had the same delusion, many being at different places and different times).
It was true.
Your choice . . .

[1]Although there is some apparent disagreement among sources as to what type of death Nathanael underwent, they are all in agreement upon his martyrdom for his profession. Hippolytus records that he was crucified, and others state that he was flayed alive. More than likely, both are true. Crucifixion was not only a means of execution, but also a means of warning others by public display. Nathanael was probably flayed, and then his scorched body was hung on a cross as a warning sign to other Christians.

[2]Some believe Paul to be the true replacement for Judas Iscariot. This is proposed because Paul, in his letter to the Galatians states: A Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead; Gal 1:1). The suggestion is that he (Paul) was the true successor of Judas appointed "not of men," but by Christ. This is unlikely though because of the fact that Luke in Acts numbers Matthius with the twelve (Acts 2:14). Paul was indeed an Apostle, but one appointed by Christ for a special mission.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Johnnie's night is tomorrow!!! That would be Thursday. We're going early so we don't miss Survivor. Let us know if you want to meet us there. Johnnie's on Britton and May. Mention Crossings Christian School. Order onion rings!

p.s I love to see what blogger has picked up to further direct your web surfing (see banner above).
Welcome Kyndal!
New Blog! Woo Hoo! My friend Kyndal is the type of person who seems to be best friends with the strangers she's talking to. Everyone just loves her immediately. She's funny, smart, intelligent, hard working, cool, laid back and authentic. I'm sure we'll all have fun checking out her latest adventures and interests!
Horsing Around
If you live anywhere near Yukon, Oklahoma, I recommend you go out to see the Express Clydesdales. They are housed in a beautiful barn and you can seem them up close. Sometimes they are being worked out in the field, which is very fun to watch. Call ahead, though. Sometimes they travel out of town!
Here is a beautiful photo of a roseate spoonbill.
Fly Away
Since I mentioned coupons (look below), I though it might be time to admit something: I am a fly lady. But, don't be frightened! Being a fly lady is a good thing! Fly ladies keep their houses clean and free from clutter. Fly ladies cook dinner and keep their bills paid. They have routines. Their kitchen sinks sparkle. How does one achieve such domestic bliss? Well, it takes some training, let me tell you! I was not born a fly lady. I joined The Fly Lady's internet mentoring group. She sends me emails all day every day. They say things like: "Hey! Where is your laundry? I hope its not sitting in the washer growing mold!!! Go put it in the dryer!" or "Quit looking at your computer and go clean your sink!!" Sometimes she tells me to go find 27 things to give or throw away. Sometimes she tells me to pay a bill. Some times she tells me to rest. But, she's always thinking about me and my household!

I don't read all these emails, but I know they are there. I know that if I do her stuff, my house will be tranquil and welcoming. And it IS getting there. I still have stuff to give away and I still have a very messy desk, but when I go to bed at night the kitchen, bathroom and living room are clean. The dishes are all washed and the laundry is folded. Someday my office will be organized and clean, too. I'm getting there... slowly but surely!!
Coupon Extravaganza
I've found several websites that help a person learn about how to save with coupons. I'm still skeptical. It seems to me that even with coupons, its cheaper to buy the store brands. Oh, I still use coupons, I just can't believe someone can get $70 or groceries for $7 on a regular basis. However, I will say that I have gotten free medicine and lots of other free merchandise from time to time using some of these techniques. In fact, just today I printed off a coupon for $5.00 at Family Christian and all I have to do is spend at least $5.00, so there is something free right there! So, with that, here are some sites: here, here, here, here and here.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Wacky Stuff
Here's a re-post of the wacky warning labels. These warnings are made for a reason: somebody got sued for something like this.
Testing, Testing
If my husband ever reads my blog, he'll learn about another cool blog that is all about biking! It called Velorution. Let me know what you think, honey!
Keep Your Money!
I don't use an ATM machine, but if you do, you should read this.
What is this all about?