I miss you Sam!!

I miss you Sam!!
I miss you Sam!!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

And If You Had Known???

Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma
Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop

Long term, team players needed, for challenging, permanent work in an often
chaotic environment.

Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be
willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call.
Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on
rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities!
Travel expenses not reimbursed.
Extensive courier duties also required.

The rest of your life.
Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5.
Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly.
Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from
zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from
the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.
Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget
repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers.
Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of
multiple homework projects.
Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages
and mental outlooks.
Must be a willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next.
Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic
toys, and battery operated devices.
Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.
Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining,constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can
ultimately surpass you

None required unfortunately.
On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

Get this! You pay them!
Offering frequent raises and bonuses.
A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that
college will help them become financially independent.
When you die, you give them whatever is left.

The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it
and wish you could only do more.

While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no
paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless
opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love, and free hugs and kisses
for life if you play your cards right.

And would you still have wanted the job if you had known? Who knows? But as for me, I can't imagine my life without all four of them!

Shadow Shot Sunday!

We actually had sun here yesterday! and again I was running around like crazy looking for shadows! I suspect the neighbors are seriously considering having me committed! The only thing dramatic here is the fact that the sun was actually shining! Oh, surely, spring can't be too far away???

Join us for Shadow Shot Sunday! Just click here and scroll down to Mr. Linky.

Hot Chocolate

A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired.

During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work and lives. Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups - porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite, telling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate.

When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said:

"Notice that all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.

The cup that you're drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups..... And then you began eyeing each others cups.

Now consider this: Life is the hot chocolate; your job, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life.

The cup you have does not define, nor change the quality of life you have. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate God has provided us.

God makes the hot chocolate, man chooses the cups. The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything that they have.

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. And enjoy your hot chocolate!!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Evening Words, Wisdom and Beauty

“Love is an endless mystery, for it has nothing else to explain it.”

A Glimmer of Hope

I have always been a real admirer of Paul Krugman, Op-Ed Columnist for the NYT, and I pay attention to what he says in his columns. I don’t always like what I read because it’s not what I want to hear, but I do trust his judgment – he didn't win the Nobel prize in Economics for being dumb. Today though he gave me a real glimmer of hope with the first paragraph in his column in which he said, “Elections have consequences. President Obama’s new budget represents a huge break, not just with the policies of the past eight years, but with policy trends over the past 30 years. If he can get anything like the plan he announced on Thursday through Congress, he will set America on a fundamentally new course.”

He goes on to say that Democrats were starting to feel postpartisan depression. The stimulus bill seems too weak, too focused on tax cuts. The administration’s refusal to get tough on the banks has been disappointing. But fears that President Obama would sacrifice progressive priorities in his budget plans and satisfy himself with fiddling around the edges of the tax system, have now been banished. I don’t know what all this is going to mean in the long run, but I don’t want to believe the nay sayers, I want to believe that we can rebuild this country’s financial structure, it’s infrastructure and take on climate change as well – after years of denial and delay by the Bush administration, the Obama administration is signaling that it’s ready to take on climate change.

Can Obama actually pull off the deficit reduction he promises? Can he actually reduce the red ink from $1.75 trillion this year to less than a third as much in 2013? Yes, he can, according to Krugman.

There are still a lot of “ifs” and we’ve a long way to go. Furthermore, the Obama budget only tells us about the next ten years. That’s an improvement on Bush-era budgets, which looked only five years ahead. But America’s really big fiscal problems lurk over that budget horizon: sooner or later we’re going to have to come to grips with the forces driving up long-run spending – and above all, the ever-rising cost of health care. And even if fundamental health care reform brings cost under control, Krugman finds it hard to see how the federal government can meet its long-term obligations without some tax increases on the middle class. So, whatever the politicians may say now, there’s probably a value-added tax in our future.

But Krugman doesn’t blame Mr. Obama for leaving some big questions unanswered in this budget. There’s only so much long-run thinking the political system can handle in the midst of a severe crisis; he has probably taken on all he can, for now. And in Krugtman's words "this budget looks very, very good".

Krugman doesn’t pass out compliments that easily, he’s quick to question, but if he says that Obama’s budget looks not just good, but very, very good, then I’m ready to let out a big sigh of relief and then take a deep breath while we wait to see what happens next.

Same Old, Same Old

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Your Evening Giggle

Some current bumper stickers, guaranteed to prompt a grin!

I have kleptomania,
But when it gets bad,
I take something for it.

Except that one where you're naked in church.

Sometimes too much to drink isn't enough.

Heaven is Where:
The Police are British,
The Chefs are Italian,
The Mechanics are German,
The Lovers are French
It's all organized by the Swiss.

Hell is Where:
The Police are German,
The Chefs are British,
The Mechanics are French,
The Lovers are Swiss
It's all organized by the Italians.

Suicidal twin kills sister by mistake!

My short-term memory is not as sharp as it used to be.
Also, my short-term memory's not as sharp as it used to be.

Welcome to Utah
Set your watch back 20 years.

I am a Nobody.
Nobody is Perfect.
Therefore I am Perfect.

Five million people,
Fifteen last names.

Sometimes I even put it in the food.

Don't sweat the petty things.
Don't pet the sweaty things.

Corduroy pillows are making headlines!

Sky Watch Friday

A couple of days ago we had some beautiful cumulus clouds that kept changing -- one minute they would be vertical and the next, horizontal. It was fascinating to watch the whole sky change in the space of a few minutes, not in colors, but in direction.

Join Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy, Louise and all of us and share your skies! Click here to sign up!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Some Late Night Thoughts

I have been depending on photos, funny stuff I’ve received from friends, and poetry, for most of my posts recently and there are several reasons for that. For one, I’ve been battling asthma this winter and it has kept me at home more than usual, but has also sapped my energy.

I have to admit that I’m not a very patient individual, I’ve always gone pretty much at a dead run for most of my life and being forced to slow down has not been something that I anticipated or wanted. But it is a reality and with the pace slowed down considerably, I sometimes find my thoughts getting very dark – not all the time, but sometimes, like now – when mentally I still have so much energy, but physically I don’t and I find the frustration difficult to deal with. And watching my kids, struggling with the concerns, the realities of our economy and not being able to do anything to help adds still more frustration.

So, the days become more difficult and frustrating and as it gets later at night, I find myself fighting off an unhealthy wave of frustration and depression. I don’t show it to my kids because they have enough to cope with – so, guess what? You, my fellow bloggers, get to listen to my whines and whimpers!

I thank you all for your support, your kind comments – you make it all bearable and I know that many of you are going though some of the same crap – please know that I’m there for you as well.

And with those cheerful and uplifting words, I will bid you good night. Thank you!

Words for the Evening


The sky dips deep down
in absolute reverence
to the passing sun

Deepak Amembal

A Womans Week at the Gym

Dear Diary,

For my birthday this year my husband, the dear, purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me.

Although I am still in great shape since being a high school football cheerleader 43 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try.

I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Christo, who identified himself as a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and a model for athletic clothing and swim wear.

My husband seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.

Started my day at 6:00 a.m. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Christo waiting for me. He is something of a Greek god with blond hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!! Christo gave me a tour and showed me the machines. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which he conducted his aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring! Christo was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time he was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week-!!
I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Christo made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air; then he put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. His rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT!! It's a whole new life for me.
The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot. Christo was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. His voice is a little too perky for that early in the morning and when he scolds, he gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying. My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Christo put me on the 'stair monster'. Why the hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators?! Christo told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. He said some other idiotic crap too.
Christo the Sadist was waiting for me with his vampire-like teeth exposed as his thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a half an hour late cuz it took me that long to tie my shoes. He took me to work out with dumbbells. When he was not looking, I ran and hid in the restroom. He sent some skinny snitch to find me. Then, as punishment, he put me on the rowing machine where I sank.
I hate that tyrant Christo more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic, anorexic little aerobic instructor. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat him with it. Christo wanted me to work on my triceps. "I don't have any triceps!" I told him. So if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me those damn barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich." The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn't it have been someone softer like the drama coach or the choir director? ________________________________
Satan, aka Christo, left a message on my answering machine in his grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing his voice made me want to smash the machine with my planner. However, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel.
I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my husband will choose a gift for me that is fun, like a root canal or a hysterectomy. I still say if God had wanted me to bend over, he would have sprinkled the floor with diamonds!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Feel Good Feeling of Giving

A couple of months ago after reading a post on Maithri's blog, Soaring Impulse, about the importance of nets to protect children from mosquitos and malaria, I went to the site he wrote about and began donating whenever I could. It's been a good feeling to know you can help, even in a small way.

This is part of an email I received today and I wanted to share it with you.

Dear Sylvia,

You did it! You helped us provide enough life-saving bed nets to fully cover the four refugee camps in Kenya. Thank you for sending nets - a combined 128,000 of them - to save lives and protect refugees from malaria.

From the refugee's point of view - a life-saving bed net.

I just returned from Dadaab, Kenya, where I was able to witness the first batch of your nets being distributed. I won't sugar coat it. Life in Dadaab is hard and the issues that refugees and our partner, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), face are complex.

There are a quarter million people living on land that should hold one-third that many. Each day hundreds of refugees, mainly from Somalia, arrive in Dadaab and there is simply no more space. Water is running short. And limited resources mean that UNHCR is forced to make hard decisions on who is most in need.

In the midst of such complexity and hardship, the impact of a bed net was more clear to me than ever.

In going door to door with the health workers to distribute the bed nets and help hang them in the mud brick and stick homes, I met women like 25-year-old Wassan. Having arrived in Dadaab just nine months ago with two children, Wassan was grateful to receive a bed net. And while we cannot change all the struggles she and her family face, with a simple bed net you have dramatically improved her life and that of her children by giving them the opportunity for a healthy life.

Thank you for your support! We have more work to do, but it is important to take a moment to recognize what we have accomplished together. Full coverage of all refugee camps in Kenya is no small achievement - congratulations!

Adrianna Logalbo
Director, Nothing But Nets

Even if it's just a little, it can make such a difference in some child's world and it makes a difference in mine as well.

Words for the Evening

Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it.

Rabindranath Tagore

ABC Wednesday

And F is for .....




Join us for ABC Wednesday! Click here to sign up!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Words for the Evening

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.

Rabindranath Tagore

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Start-ups Not Bail-outs

As I was reading the papers this morning I found myself looking almost desperately for some hint of even some mediocre good news, but finally decided that I had to agree with Thomas Friedman, Op-Ed Columnist for the New York Times, who said in his column today, that reading the news that GM and Chrysler are now lining up for another $20 billion or so in government aid – on top of the billions they’ve already received or requested, left him with the sick feeling that we are subsidizing the losers and for only one reason: because they claim that their funerals would cost more than keeping them on life support. But, as he says, this is not the American way. Bailing out the losers is not how we got rich as a country in the first place and it is definitely not how we’ll get out of this crisis now.

We don’t need anymore any more wealth-destruction machines and it is time both GM and Chrysler were put into bankruptcy so they can truly start over under new management with new labor agreements and new visions. When it comes to helping companies, precious public money should focus on start-ups, not bailouts.

Try spending tax payer money creating jobs! Call up the top 20 venture capital firms in America, which are short of cash today because their partners, university endowments and pension funds are tapped out, and make them this offer: The U.S. Treasury will give you each up to $1 billion to fund the best venture capital ideas that have come your way. If they go bust, we all lose. If any of them turns out to be the next Microsoft or Intel, taxpayers will give you 20 percent of the investors’ upside and keep 80 percent for themselves.

We can’t be spending billions of taxpayer dollars on office-decorating bankers,over-leveraged home speculators and auto executives who year after year have spent more energy resisting changes and lobbying Washington than leading change and beating Toyota.

Our country is bursting with innovators looking for capital. Please, let’s not let all the whining losers clamoring for help drown out the potential winners who could lift us out of this mess. Some of this country’s best companies, such as Intel, were started in recessions, when necessity makes innovators even more inventive and risk-takers even more daring.

We’re down, but we’re not out. If we’re going to invest taxpayer money, then let’s do it with an eye to starting a new generation of biotech, info-tech, clean-tech companies with real innovators, real 21st century jobs and potentially real profits for taxpayers.

I couldn’t agree with Friedman more when he says that our motto now should be “Start-ups, not bailouts: nurture the next Google, don’t nurse the old G.M.’s.”

The stimulus package that the Obama team and the Democrats in Congress recently passed – with no real help from Republicans – goes some way toward doing just that. And my hat’s off to them for that, but we need to do more. We desperately need to look forward, not backward to the same old crap.

The wind and solar industries in America have a chance to go ahead now with thousands of jobs – finally, with this new legislation, we finally have gotten something right according to John Woolard, chief executive of Bright Source Energy.

And this is how taxpayer money should be used to stimulate: limited financing, for a limited time, targeted on an industry bristling with new technology start-ups that, with a little push from Uncle Sam, won’t just survive this crisis, but help us thrive when it is over. We need, according to Friedman, an America that is thriving not just surviving.

Amen to that!

Words for the Evening

Mysteries of Life

Till the mist clears
we shall dream and fantasize
of what lies beyond.

Deepak Amembal

Too Beautiful Not to Share!

Short ... Spectacular! Enjoy!!

A scene you will probably never get to see
This is the sunset at the North Pole with the moon at its closest point .
You also see the sun below the moon . An amazing photo and not one
easily duplicated . You may want to pass it on to others . The Chinese
have a saying: "When someone shares with you something of value, you
have an obligation to share it with others

Counting Your Blessings

I was cleaning out some files yesterday and ran across a photo that I thought I had lost. It's this picture of three of my brood. Kerith was here from California and David was up from Texas to visit Adam several years ago, before I moved to Seattle. I'm always amazed when I happen to run across photos of them even now as I remember being told that I would never be able to have children. And I always remember the fun I had walking into that doctor's office years later, with three of them and pregnant with the fourth. The look on his face was priceless!

We've had a couple of gorgeous days, with brilliant blue skies, reasonable tempertures and I know spring is on the way -- even if the rain returns later today as is predicted. Life is good and it seemed like the perfect day to count my blessings!

What Can I Say?

What Can I Say?
I'm interested in almost everything. Use to like to travel, but it's too expensive now. I take Tai Chi classes, swim, volunteer in a Jump-start program for pre-schoolers. I'm an avid reader and like nearly everyone these days I follow politics avidly. I'm a former teacher and Special Projects Coordinator for a Telecommunications company, Assistant to the President of a Japanese silicon wafer manufacturing company. Am now enjoying retirement -- most of the time. I have two daughters, one son-in-law and two sons scattered all over the country. No grandchildren.

Portland Time