Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Pickle Jar...

Here is a story that was sent to me by one of my friends. I just had to share it with you because it reminded me a lot of my Dad and his money jar...

The pickle jar as far back as I can remember sat on the floor beside the dresser in my parents' bedroom. When he got ready for bed, Dad would empty his pockets and toss his coins into the jar.

As a small boy I was always fascinated at the sounds the coins made as they were dropped into the jar . They landed with a merry jingle when the jar was almost empty. Then the tones gradually muted to a dull thud as the jar was filled.

I used to squat on the floor in front of the jar and admire the copper and silver circles that glinted like a pirate's treasure when the sun poured through the bedroom window. When the jar was filled, Dad would sit at the kitchen table and roll the coins before taking them to the bank.

Taking the coins to the bank was always a big production Stacked neatly in a small cardboard box, the coins were placed between Dad and me on the seat of his old truck.

Each and every time, as we drove to the bank, Dad would look at me hopefully. 'Those coins are going to keep you out of the textile mill, son. You're going to do better than me. This old mill town's not going to hold you back.'

Also, each and every time, as he slid the box of rolled coins across the counter at the bank toward the cashier, he would grin proudly 'These are for my son's college fund. He'll never work at the mill all his life like me.'

We would always celebrate each deposit by stopping for an ice cream cone. I always got chocolate. Dad always got vanilla. When the clerk at the ice cream parlor handed Dad his change, he would show me the few coins nestled in his palm. 'When we get home, we'll start filling the jar again.'

He always let me drop the first coins into the empty jar.

As they rattled around with a brief, happy jingle, we grinned at each other. 'You'll get to college on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters,' he said. 'But you'll get there; I'll see to that.'

No matter how rough things got at home, Dad continued to doggedly drop his coins into the jar. Even the summer when Dad got laid off from the mill, and Mama had to serve dried beans several times a week, not a single dime was taken from the jar.

To the contrary, as Dad looked across the table at me, pouring catsup over my beans to make them more palatable, he became more determined than ever to make a way out for me. 'When you finish college, Son,' he told me, his eyes glistening, 'You'll never have to eat beans again - unless you want to.'

The years passed, and I finished college and took a job in another town. Once, while visiting my parents, I used the phone in their bedroom, and noticed that the pickle jar was gone. It had served its purpose and had been removed.

A lump rose in my throat as I stared at the spot beside the dresser where the jar had always stood. My dad was a man of few words, and never lectured me on the values of determination, perseverance, and faith.

The pickle jar had taught me all these virtues far more eloquently than the most flowery of words could have done. When I married, I told my wife Susan about the significant part the lowly pickle jar had played in my life as a boy. In my mind, it defined, more than anything else, how much my dad had loved me.

The first Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born, we spent the holiday with my parents. After dinner, Mom and Dad sat next to each other on the sofa, taking turns cuddling their first grandchild. Jessica began to whimper softly, and Susan took her from Dad's arms. 'She probably needs to be changed,' she said, carrying the baby into my parents' bedroom to diaper her. When Susan came back into the living room, there was a strange mist in her eyes.

She handed Jessica back to Dad before taking my hand and leading me into the room. 'Look,' she said softly, her eyes directing me to a spot on the floor beside the dresser. To my amazement, there, as if it had never been removed, stood the old pickle jar, the bottom already covered with coins. I walked over to the pickle jar, dug down into my pocket, and pulled out a fistful of coins. With a gamut of emotions choking me, I dropped the coins into the jar. I looked up and saw that Dad, carrying Jessica, had slipped quietly into the room. Our eyes locked, and I knew he was feeling the same emotions I felt. Neither one of us could speak.

This truly touched my heart. Sometimes we are so busy adding up our troubles that we forget to count our blessings.

Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person's life, for better or for worse.

Now, my friend, let's go share a fresh cup of coffee...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Do People Really Watch This Stuff...?

I was surfing around the channels of my television, something that I very seldom do. I didn't find anything that I wanted to watch, in fact...I found a lot of shows that I can't imagine anyone wanting to watch! What in the world has happened to our expectations that we accept some of these shows touted as entertainment?

What entertainment can anyone find in a show that focuses on people getting parking tickets? I kid you not...this whole show is based on people getting parking tickets and their reaction.
Their reaction..?? What do you think their reaction is going to be? They knowingly took a chance and parked illegally hoping they would not get caught, and yet get caught they did! So other than accept the fact that they made a mistake, they are going to lash out at anyone and anything close enough. The fact that a video camera is there is like adding fuel to the fire, causing a more hostile reaction that usual as the wrongdoer will act up for the camera.

Now if anyone had told me that a TV show based on stopping and ticketing traffic speeders, I would have laughed. Yet there it was, in all it's glory (?)... It's amazing to me the stories that people come up with when caught exceeding the posted speed limited. You could make a better show using the excuses than in the act of giving people a ticket. At least, that's the way it seems to me.

Oh, and you just have to love the show about the jerks getting booked into different jails across the country. The antics of some of these drunks, hookers, thieves, druggies, and thugs must register high on someones enjoyment meter, as the show is in it's second or third season. I guess I am just too thick to see the value of this show...

Here's the thing...I'm in my 60's and I have yet to get a single ticket! I've been driving since I was 16 years old with several of those years driving both a truck and a taxi, and I've never even gotten a parking ticket! The secret to my success? That's easy...I obey the law! Simple, huh?

Now I can guarantee you that you will never find a television show based on people obeying the law. Even though it's the right thing to do, there is just no entertainment value to it. We would rather have our children grow up watching people at their very worse behaviour, with plenty of murder, madness, and general mayhem thrown in for color.

Most of the time, if I watch television, it's the old movies or the weather channel. Most of the news I get from the Internet. Now to be honest, there are a couple of shows that I will watch with a clear conscience , but I won't even call them by name. All I can say is that the good guys are the heroes, not the bad guys. Guess I'm just funny that way!

Here's a thought...let's go sit on the patio with a fresh cup of coffee and practise the dying art of conversation, OK? OK...!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Gotta Take This Morning Off...

I'm going to take this morning off to get some things done around here that I've been putting off. You know how it is...you put things off and put them off until they really add up. Now I don't have any choice except to get them done.

I did want to say that yesterday was a good day for me. I visited with a special friend of mine on the phone...and that's something I very seldom do. The visit led to a lot of smiles and laughs nearly the whole time.

See, that's the thing about friends. If you are down, they can bring you up. If you need to vent, they will listen without judging. If you need to bounce an idea or opinion off someone, they are always available. If you just want to get an honest opinion about something, your friends will give you an honest answer to your question in such a way as to not hurt your feelings. Most importantly, friends are always ready to accept you for who really are, for better or worse! What a wonderful treasure friends are...

So remember, friendship only grows stronger if you share it. You enjoy it most when you give it away, and one good friend can be worth a thousand smiles.

Now, let's share a friendly cup of coffee...OK?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Time To Make Some Money...! And An Update...

We haven't talked business in a while, so let's take this opportunity to do that. I have added a new opportunity to my own portfolio and I'd like to share it with you. The other one is a program that's been working for me very well and, in fact, is becoming my favorite program. They both appear to me to be rock solid and I think they will be around for a while.

The first one I'd like you to look at is the first new program I have joined in a long time. The options to surf daily or be a non-surfer are available. The ad packs are start at $5.00 and the daily percents are 5% for surfers and 4% for the non-surfers, with the referral comissions being 5%. Why not take a look at it ? You can find it here.

The second one I want to tell you about is , of course, DrivenRapidWealth. This is a great advertising venue and the ad packs are only $10. They expire after earning 200% and the daily profit share adds up fairly quickly. Once again I invite you to take a look.

Just a reminder here that the new $10 line starts at Deep Cycler for those that are playing. The time for the new line is 10:00 AM EST...so try and be as early as possible because the first in will probably be the first to cycle, OK?

Forget what you just read about the new line at Deep Cycler...it is going to be cancelled!! OK?

From the Admin:
I have disabled the new line. It appears that my fears were correct and the server couldnt handle the traffic. I'm going to refund everyone that managed to spend and figure out a solution for it.

That's all I'm gonna talk about today...so let's go get some fresh coffee, ok?

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Hummingbird Feeder...

I wanted to tell you about my hummingbird feeder. It's nothing fancy...just a small four position feeder made from plastic with little perches in front of tiny fake yellow flowers.

It hangs on the outside edge of my patio from an old rusty nail where the red, sweet liquid can be seen in the long glass bottle. The red nectar acts like a neon sign at a diner, saying "Open For Business". On an average day, the traffic starts fairly early and continues off and on until just about dark as the wonderfully colorful hummingbirds stop and stock up on a little shot of energy.

The day before the hurricane came through here, the wind began picking up and the rain started pretty early in the day. Still, the hummingbirds came by for their daily sugar boost, ignoring the hefty breeze and falling rain. This is not optional for them, as they are storing up fuel for their migratory flight south for the winter months.

We started moving plants inside, securing lawn furniture, taping windows, removing the hanging baskets and in general battening down the hatches so to speak in order to prepare for the fury that we knew was coming. Finally, everything was moved except for the feeder, which was still serving as a feeding station to several birds. I decided to wait for a while to move it...

As the afternoon wore on and the sky darkened, the wind began to show it's intent more and more, making a growling sound as it steadily blew across wires and through trees. It rocked the tree branches, rattled the siding and carport roofs and in general starting flexing it's muscles, while issuing this final warning that the Storm was coming on full blast!

In this prelude to disaster, the little plastic hummingbird feeder hanging from a rusty nail just swung gently back and forth as if to say "I can't go yet...the birds are still coming". Sure enough, one showed up, landed on a small plastic perch and began to feed while hanging on for dear life. I left the feeder hanging there and hoped for the best.

By midnight the hurricane was almost in full force. The winds came through around 1:00am at 80 to 100 MPH. Fences were blown down like playing cards. Large branches were ripped from trees and thrown all around like a giant choosing toothpicks. Carport roofs were torn away as easily as popping the top on a soft drink can. Some siding was blown off as easily as tearing the cardboard on a cereal box. I tried to open my door to the patio, but because of the suction created by the wind it would not open at all.

As I went to bed early Saturday morning with the Storm raging outside, I listened to the wind rattle the windows and drive the rain sideways into places that were not used to getting rained on. The power had long since gone out all over the area due to downed power lines and blown transformers that go out with the sound of a bomb going off in a war zone. Finally I managed to fall into a troubled and restless sleep, waking often as one thing or another slammed into my outside wall, then dozing back off.

The next morning the quiet hung gently in the air in sharp contrast to the night before as I stepped outside to survey the damage left behind. The sun was shining with a warm, friendly welcome, song birds could be heard as they heralded the coming of a new and better day, and in the midst of all the destruction and damage, the roses were still blooming on the bushes in the flower bed.

Then I saw it...the small little hummingbird feeder with the glass jar and plastic flowers. It was still hanging by it's slender wire from the old rusty nail as it offered up it's red, sweet nectar only slightly watered down from the rain. Proudly it seemed to call out "I'm still here...open for business".

As I stared at it with unbelieving eyes, in flew a beautiful ruby-throated hummingbird, landing lightly on one of the little perches, and sticking his tongue deep inside the tiny yellow flower made from plastic began to drink his fill.

He knew that Nature would provide, that the food would be there, and never questioned for an instant that the small, plastic hummingbird feeder would be there hanging from it's rusty nail.

Such is the wisdom of Nature! Now...how about some fresh coffee, my friend?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Like Being Old...!

Here are some thought on getting old I wanted to share with you this morning!

Old Age, I decided, is a gift.

I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be.

Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!), but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly.

As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging. Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon?

I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60&70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day. (If I feel like it !)

Now I'm going to have another cup of coffee...want to join me?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sometimes Simple Is Better...!

This is probably the best explaination of the human spirit that I have ever heard...

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all . One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Sometimes the simple explainations are the best! Let's all be careful of which "Wolf" we feed in our own selves...

Now, let's go get a fresh cup of coffee, my friend!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I Don't Like Bad Surprises...!!

Here is what I'm talking about! Today I'm working on my laptop, chatting with a special friend when all of the sudden the cable came back on!! Along with it came the Internet...so that's the good news.

I went around my house disconnecting the rabbit ears from my TV and hooking the cable up again, then went to my Mother's house and did the same thing for her! ( She really misses her cable!)

Everything being like it is, I decided not to put the laptop away until I made sure that everything was going to stay on...4 hours later it seemed that all was well, so I disconnected my broadband card, put my laptop into it's case, and started getting used to my regular PC again, the one with the grown-up keyboard!

Suddenly, the cable goes out, I lose the Internet again right in the middle of a post, and I have to start digging everything out all over! Then, first thing in the morning, I have to go to Mom's and try and explain to her why the rabbit ears are being put back on and her cable is MIA again...

But things could be a lot worse. I'm blessed with my health, my family, and my home! I am trying to stay positive about things...like the fact that I have a back-up system in place for just such an event as this! I don't like the inconvenience, but I am better off than so many, and I need to remember that!

Now, speaking of positive things I still have my power and that means fresh coffee for everyone! So let's have a cup, sit on the patio and think some positive thoughts together...OK?

Monday, September 22, 2008

It Pays To Be Old...!

An elderly couple was celebrating their sixtieth anniversary. The couple had married as childhood sweethearts and had moved back to their old neighborhood after they retired. Holding hands they walked back to their old school. It was not locked, so they entered, and found the old desk they'd shared, where Andy had carved 'I love you, Sally.'

On their way back home, a bag of money fell out of an armored car, practically landing at their feet . Sally quickly picked it up, but not sure what to do with it, they took it home. There, she counted the money-- fifty-thousand dollars. Andy said, 'We've got to give it back.' Sally said, 'Finders keepers.' She put the money back in the bag and hid it in their attic.

The next day, two FBI men were canvassing the neighborhood looking for the money, and knocked on the door. 'Pardon me, but did either of you find a bag that fell out of an armored car yesterday?'

Sally said, 'No.' Andy said, 'She's lying. She hid it up in the attic.' Sally said, 'Don't believe him, he's getting senile.' The agents turned to Andy and began to question him.

One says: 'Tell us the story from the beginning' Andy said, 'Well, when Sally and I were walking home from school yesterday ... '

The first FBI guy turns to his partner and says, 'We're outta here.'

Just thought it would be nice to lighten things up a bit after tthis last week. I know I need it...! I also need the chance to start my day with a fresh cup of coffee with my friends! So c'mon...I'm buying!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Good Morning, Good Morning, Good Morning...!!

I am so happy to be back here with all my Internet friends again! It's good to get some sense of normal back after this last week, let me tell you!

Hard to believe it's been only a week since Ike rolled through this area on his destructive path that took him as far as Ohio. The storm itself measured 599 miles across when it made landfall in Texas early Saturday morning a week ago. By the time it reached Ohio, some folks were reporting damage from 60 MPH winds from this ugly monster.

My family is all safe and sound, including the roomies...so that's a blessing! Very little damage to my house or my Mom's house...another blessing! The power was off for about 6 hours in my neighborhood and then came back on. As of this writing, only about 1.2 million people are still without power in this area, including the coast.

I wanted to give you all a look at just some of the damage in this area. No words can describe the complete and total devistation of so many homes and businesses. The number of lives forever changed by this storm will never be known and the pain, both emotional and physical, can only be guessed at. This video says it better than I could...

Now...let's sit a while together and share a fresh cup of coffee. Did I tell you I missed you, my friend?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I'm Back On The Air!!!

Hey guys!! I sure did miss all of you! I just wanted to post a quick update here to let everyone know the Hermit is back and doing good!

I won't have a full post until I get settled in again, but I just wanted to thank everybody for the prayers and good wishes. This has been a scary storm and the devastation is so wide spread, it is hard to get your head around. But more on that later!!

Glad to be back...I missed you all!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thanks For All The Good Wishes...

As you read this...it's Saturday morning and the hurricane should have hit already. I am writing this ahead of time because I'm not sure if I am going to be on the air today or not.

Power has been lost by over 10,000 people in Galveston already. Power here has flickered off a couple of times, but came back on rather quickly. I really don't have any idea what the situation may be for the rest of the weekend, but I will post an update here if I am able to get on the net.

My thanks go out to all my special friends that have sent encouraging words and best wishes in my direction. It's in times like this that you realise just how special people can be. I have received good wishes from a lot of different countries, and am amazed that so many folks have taken time out from their busy schedules to check up on the Hermit. It is appreciated more than you know.

Anyway, I just wanted to send out this little note to say "Thank you". Until I can get back on a regular schedule again...keep the coffee hot and keep smiling!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Some Of Life's Lessons...

This was passed on to me by my friend Minerva, who lives in New Zealand. I thought that I would pass it on to you because it contains some very important lessons.

1 - 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.

2. - 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 60s.. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab. She seemed to 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 others.'

Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole.

3 - 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 the 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.

4 - 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! Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

5 - Fifth Important Lesson - Giving When it Counts...

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare & serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness...

The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, 'Yes, I'll do it if it will save her.'

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheek. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, 'Will I start to die right away?'.

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her but he had chosen to save her anyway.

These lessons are ones that we should put into practise each and every day of our lives. It may surprise you to know that these lessons can all be traced to an important lesson from the Bible. The Golden Rule ! Remember that one? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you...!

Now let's have some fresh coffee, my friend!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Following Nature's Signs...

Mother Nature tells the animals when somethings up. They have all sorts of built-in detectors that let them know when to get ready for a major change in the weather. People can learn to watch and interpret the behaviour of animals to take action themselves.

For instance, did you know that nearly all insect activity increases just before a storm? How about the fact that birds fly lower in heavy, moist air like right before a lot of rain. Just before really stormy weather, bees will seek the shelter of their nest or hives and limit their activity, increasing their activity just before good weather starts again. Seagulls will actually seek out land before strong winds, such as hurricanes.

The hummingbirds around my feeder have grown in number and in the aggressiveness of their fighting over the food source just in the past couple of days, as if they were fueling up before heading to safer territory. Smart birds, huh?

If you have ant beds around your yard, you may notice that ants at times will start increasing the heights of the tops of their nest entrance. If you see this action, you should definitely look for higher water than usual.

Most fresh water fishermen will tell you that the best fishing is often just before a storm moves in, although coastal fish will often head to deeper water to avoid bad weather. See how much smarter Mother Nature is than we thought?

I think the lesson here is really quite simple. Pay attention to the signs of coming bad weather and react. We can prepare safely for bad weather if we just use our common sense and remember one thing. Every time that mankind starts to think we have everything all figured out, Mother Nature has a way of standing up and kicking us in the tail, if only remind us who is really in charge.

Now while we have some time to share, let's have some fresh coffee.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Full Moons Have A Name...

I thought you might find this little bit of information from the Farmer's Almanac interesting...I know that I did!

Historically the Native Americans who lived in the area that is now the northern and eastern United States kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to the recurring full Moons. Each full Moon name was applied to the entire month in which it occurred. These names, and some variations, were used by the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior.


Full Wolf Moon.....This full Moon appeared when wolves howled in hunger outside the villages. It is also known as the Old Moon. To some Native American tribes, this was the Snow Moon, but most applied that name to the next full Moon, in February.


Full Snow Moon.....Usually the heaviest snows fall in February. Hunting becomes very difficult, and hence to some Native American tribes this was the Hunger Moon.


Full Worm Moon.....At the time of this spring Moon, the ground begins to soften and earthworm casts reappear, inviting the return of robins. This is also known as the Sap Moon, as it marks the time when maple sap begins to flow and the annual tapping of maple trees begins.


Full Pink Moon.....This full Moon heralded the appearance of the grass pink, or wild ground phlox—one of the first spring flowers. It is also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and the Fish Moon.


Full Flower Moon.....Flowers spring forth in abundance this month. Some Algonquin tribes knew this full Moon as the Corn Planting Moon or the Milk Moon.


Full Strawberry Moon.....The Algonquin tribes knew this Moon as a time to gather ripening strawberries. It is also known as the Rose Moon and the Hot Moon.


Full Buck Moon.....Bucks begin to grow new antlers at this time. This full Moon was also known as the Thunder Moon, because thunderstorms are so frequent during this month.


Full Sturgeon Moon.....Some Native American tribes knew that the sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught during this full Moon. Others called it the Green Corn Moon or the Grain Moon.


Full Harvest Moon.....The Harvest Moon is the full Moon nearest the autumnal equinox and is bright enough to allow finishing all the harvest chores.


Full Hunter's Moon.....This was the time to hunt in preparation for winter. This full Moon is also called the Travel Moon and the Dying Grass Moon.


Full Beaver Moon.....For both the colonists and the Algonquin tribes, this was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. This full Moon was also called the Frost Moon.


Full Cold Moon.....This is the month when the winter cold fastens its grip and the nights become long and dark. This full Moon is also called the Long Nights Moon by some Native American tribes.

Now, I'm in the mood for some fresh coffee. How about you?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Here's What I Know...

This hurricane is proving hard to track for everyone. Now Ike has turned more westernly and is headed to the lower or central Texas coast. This could change at any time depending on the weather conditions coming down from the North. In this case...change is not good. It makes it hard to plan for something when you don't know for sure what you are planning for!

I don't have a lot to say about this storm yet. I will continue to watch the weather channel and keep an update posted here as I can find it. Until the weekend, it looks like we can continue with business as usual. Or try to, at least I'll come back with a more complete update later...

Until I get back, you know where the coffee is. So help yourself, be comfortable, and have a cookie...OK? OK!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

I Think I've Got It Right...!

Now let me see if I've got this right. There are two candidates for the office of President of the United States. Each one of these candidates gets to choose someone as a running mate, who would be the Vice President of the United States if their team is elected. OK...so far, so good!

Now not being a political person, I thought I would at least see what I could find out for myself about the persons that would be in charge of the country if anything happened to the President. I just don't want to be totally ignorant about these things, you know? I'm not really a party voter, but I'm more interested in the person and what they stand for.

Let's take a look at the running mate of Barack Obama. The gentleman's name is Joe Biden, he is a 65 year old senator, who had and recovered from a brain aneurysm in 1988. He also ran for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination but dropped out after charges of plagiarism in a stump speech.

Now consider the running mate of John McCain. Sarah Palin is a 44 year old mother of 5, the first woman governor of Alaska, is a self described "maverick" who has told the Federal Government "Thanks, but no thanks" to federal money that the state of Alaska felt they didn't need at this time. She has pushed for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve.

I guess that I'm slow... but if given the choice between an old guy who has already been associated with the appearance of wrong doing (even if he isn't guilty of doing anything wrong), may not be a good candidate health wise and is wise in the ways of Washington or the choice of a fairly young woman who just happens to be the governor of the biggest state in the country, who is apparently is in good health, and has had no experience in the ways of Washington, except to turn down the offer of government running of what should be state ran programs, and has a real dislike of "Good Old Boy" backroom politics...I'm afraid that I would have to choose the team with the lady!

Like I said, I'm not a political person. I just happen to be tired of politics as usual and feel that maybe it's a good idea to have someone under the age of 50 waiting in the wings just in case something happens to the President. Besides, anyone that can run a household, serve as governor, and take care of 4 children (one's in the military and is not in need of much watching over) at the same time... should be able to handle the office of Vice President without much trouble! That, of course, is just my opinion...for what it's worth!

Now...how about a nice cup of fresh coffee ?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Have You Seen My Desk...?

Somewhere in this stack of clutter in front of me, I used to have a desk. On this desk I used to have a lot of useful items, like a pen, a memory stick for my PC, a small calculator and other various odds and ends. The cats have taken it on themselves to completely move and rearrange everything. Well, almost everything...I still can see my clipboard. Right now it has two Siamese cats laying in the middle of it, but that's OK cause I can't make any notes on it anyway without my pen.

I thought that with two cats right in the middle of the desk, some of the dust would be removed. I was wrong. How can something as big and furry as two cats roll all over the desk without removing any dust? Another mystery to be stored away and solved at a later time.

I have all but given up on trying to keep anything in a place where I can find it. Now if I am looking for something that's missing, including my glasses, I just start by looking on the floor. Now days it's important to look on the floor before taking any steps first thing in the morning. You just never know what is going to be there...

I guess that as long as they leave my coffee and my chocolate alone...I'll be fine. Lucky for me, they don't seem to like either. What they do have lately is a sudden interest in the screen of my PC. Walking on the keyboard is another activity that's starting to become popular.

However, I have a secret weapon of sorts. It comes in the form of a Water Bottle with a squirt top on it. The one thing that the cats don't like is to be shot with a short burst of water from the water bottle. I don't even have to squirt it anymore, but just to reach for it.

So now it's safe to go outside to the patio, armed with my squirt bottle and a fresh cup of coffee. I can sit out here until I figure out how to go about finding my desk again...want to join me? Oh, and bring your own Water Bottle...OK?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Remember Grandma's Apron...?

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

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back then... Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Today...her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.

Today's generation would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron, but I never heard about anyone catching anything from an Apron.

Now how about we get some fresh coffee...straight from Grandma's stove?

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Art Of Financial Planning ...

Dan was a single guy living at home with his father and working in the family business.When he found out he was going to inherit a fortune when his sickly father died, he decided he needed a wife with which to share his fortune.

One evening at an investment meeting he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her natural beauty took his breath away.

'I may look like just an ordinary man,' he said to her,'but in just a few years, my father will die, and I'll inherit 20 million dollars.'

Impressed, the woman obtained his business card and three days later, she became his stepmother.

Women are so much better at estate planning than men.

Remember, if you fail to plan then you plan to fail!

C'mon...let's get some coffee, my friend!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Comfort Of A Hidey Hole...

Everybody needs the comfort of a hidey hole where they can get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday madness. For the roomies, their newest place is on my desk, just behind the monitor. Normally this is a good place to stay safe and be protected...as long as you don't start pushing things off the desk. However, when you start rearranging things the way you like them instead of the way the Hermit likes them...then trouble is just around the corner!

Now normally the roomies and I manage to get along pretty well, but they are now getting into the Cat version of the teenage years...and are starting to push the edge of the envelope as far as the rules go. They are of the impression that the Hermit is a pushover for any violation of the house rules, as long as you give him a hug or two! Wrong!!

The Hermit is really tough (stop laughing...I really am!!) when it comes to the rules!! No amount of hugs and purring is going to make things better if you break the Hermit's rules. The wrath of the Hermit is a terrible thing, even for a cute little ball of fur! Slowly the roomies are starting to understand this...so now the Hermit is being subjected to the Cat version of a threatening stare!! Since Smokey is the biggest of the two, he was chosen to practise this scary stare down of the Hermit right after a recent rules violation in order to prevent punishment. I know that you don't know whether or not to believe me...so I am putting visual proof in today's blog so you can see for yourself! As you can see...a lesser roomie might be intimidated, but the Hermit is brave (don't laugh...I really am!!

Now I know this picture may be shocking to some...but I put it here so you can see just what terrors the Hermit is faced with each and every day!

Actually, the more I look at this picture, the more I realise that Smokey isn't being threatening at all, but has just awakened from a nap . He isn't trying to look at me in a mean fashion, but is instead thinking of whether or not my lap is a likely place to resume his nap!

So the stare down is over, the roomie is back to napping in another location again, and the Hermit is ready for a fresh cup of coffee. Want to join me...?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Chose The Healthiest Food Color For You...

We all have colors that we like and dislike. How we react to a particular color can give us an indication how that color can be used to help with our well-being. Most of us when we are shopping for food don’t notice how we are drawn to a product by the color of the packaging or by the color of the item itself. This can be an indication of the body trying to direct us to the foods we need to re-balance our health.

Foods have two different kinds of color energy...one is the color of the food and the other is the color of the energy it supplies. An example is chocolate (don’t we just love it?!)...it’s not red in color but because of the instant energy it gives us it is considered a red energy food.

Choosing food by color.

• Food colors that we are attracted to temporarily reflect the immediate nutritional needs of our body.

• Foods that display our favourite colors will always be needed because they give us the particular energy that supports our body’s function.

• Foods belonging to the least-favourite or even disliked colors will provide the nutrition and color energy we are lacking.

• If you have problems corresponding to certain colors, you may wish to introduce food of that color into your diet to help your body with its healing.

Red colored foods and red energy foods.

Red foods are generally rich in minerals and provide good sources of protein. They are good for increasing energy levels so are useful for people suffering from anaemia, light-headedness, lack of stamina and low energy levels.

Watercress and parsley are both green in appearance but because they are high in minerals they are red energy foods. Red wine...red in color and provides iron but because of its high alcohol content it is also contains violet energy as well as red energy.

Red foods include: strawberries, cherries, tomatoes, peppers, onions, beetroot, meat and fish.

Red minerals include: iron, magnesium, zinc.

Orange colored foods and orange energy foods.

Orange foods help with the release of toxins from the body, they help to support the reproductive system and encourage creativity. They help with the release of toxins from the body by encouraging the system to become more efficient in the removal of waste. If you are not getting enough orange or orange energy foods you may suffer from constipation, stiffness in your muscles or joints, stagnation on an emotional level like writers' block. Introducing orange or orange energy foods into a tired or toxic body is easier for the body to handle than the strong, direct energy of red foods.

Orange fruits include: oranges, peaches, apricots.

Orange vegetables include: carrots, peppers, pumpkins.

Other orange foods include: brown rice, sesame seeds, oats (all provide roughage), shellfish.

Orange minerals include: calcium (for healthy bones/muscle relaxation), copper (helps absorption of iron, improves flexibility or arteries)

Yellow colored foods and yellow energy foods.

During our daylight hours, the sun gives us our main source of yellow. However, as modern life uses up a lot our yellow energy due to pollution, chemicals, indoor living, and high stress levels, most of us need to eat yellow foods.

Lack of yellow can lead to irritability, tension, poor memory, digestive problems, a tendency towards hot flushes, depression and an inability to make decisions.

Yellow foods include: lemons, bananas, grapefruits.

Yellow vegetables include: peppers, pumpkins, grains such as rice, corn.

Other yellow foods include: eggs, fish, oils, fatty acids food.

Yellow minerals include: sodium and potassium (for healthy blood pressure, function of the cells and the muscles), phosphorus (for healthy bones, teeth, kidneys, nerves and energy levels), iodine (for healthy arteries, balanced thyroid).

Green colored foods and green energy foods.

Food that is green or works in a green way tends to be rich in vitamins and minerals. If you are not getting enough green energy this can make you feel depressed or trapped and give you low self esteem or breathing difficulties. A quick, easy way to bring green energy into your life is to go out in the open air and be around natural surroundings (ok, I know this can be difficult for some of us living in certain areas, but you will have to go out looking!)

All minerals act in a green way as do herbs. Eating foods in their natural season or locally grown foods allows our bodies to settle into the patterns/rhythms of our immediate surroundings.

Green fruits include: apples, pears, avocados, green grapes, limes, kiwi fruits.

Green vegetables include: cabbage, broccoli, sprouts, green beans, leeks, spinach, peas.

Other green foods include: herbs such as marjoram, basil, oregano.

Blue/Violet colored foods and blue/violet energy foods.

There are not many foods that are blue or violet in color but there are foods that contain blue or violet energy. Blue foods are useful when you have problems with your voice, glands of the neck or need help communicating.

Violet energy foods have a powerful effect on the workings of the mind. Food additives or colorings create illusion (a violet function) and some additives also have an addictive quality (another violet trait) . Both alcohol and sugar belong in this category when they are used to excess to escape the real world, such as in comfort eating or drinking to blot out feelings.

Top Tip from Reiki Healing Spain. Blue/violet fruits include: plums, blueberries, black grapes.
Blue/violet vegetables include: all seaweed products, asparagus, aubergines. Blue/violet minerals include: iodine (enhances the function of the thyroid gland), potassium (keeps oxygen supplied to the brain).

Now if I have properly bored you with all this wonderful knowledge...may I suggest some nice, fresh coffee? How about a Peanut Butter cookie on the side...!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Going To Be A Slow Day...

I am taking this morning off to keep track of the rain and to do some maintenance work on my computer. Sorry, but it has to be done from time to time. Some of the programs I need to run won't allow me to do any work and have the software run at the same time.

So...I'll try and get back but in case I don't, here is some music to entertain you a bit. Take care and have a good day, OK?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Good News And Bad News...

Well, as the hurricane starts to come ashore in Louisiana I'm struck by the fact that Texas has once again dodged the bullet as far as major hit or damage from a hurricane for a long time. This is for the most part good news. Very little loss of life in the States, light damage to property, not much in the way of flooding (at least not so far).

The winds have dropped off to a mere 110 miles per hour, the storm probably is a category 2, down from a category 3. There are plenty of warnings of tornado's and power outages, but as far as hurricanes go...Louisiana is faring pretty well. So is Texas...and there in lies the problem.

Several major storms have started in this direction over the last couple of years, and so far the Texas coast has missed out on the brunt of the storm. Every time a storm changes direction and Texas misses out on the major trauma of a big storm, the people have a tendency to get passive and less concerned with the danger the next time a major storm is announced. Fewer and fewer people take action and prepare less and less. While this is really good news as far as no direct hits, with everyone getting more and more passive as far as preparation the chance of extreme damage to life and limb when we get the inevitable hit.

Whether it's in life or a hurricane, or a thunderstorm, or even a heavy rain we cannot allow ourselves to be lulled into believing that nothing bad is going to happen. The old saying around the Texas coast is to "prepare for the worst and hope for the best!" Just because nothing happened this time doesn't mean that it won't happen the next. I'm not trying to be negative here, but merely point out the danger in letting down your guard in any potentially dangerous situation.

Let's remember to keep good thoughts in our hearts and mind for all the less fortunate folks caught in the fury of the storm as it comes ashore. Watch a little of the damage being done as it's shown on the weather channel and you will see just how fortune has smiled again on those of us who have missed the major part of these storms at this time.

I'll take the heat, mosquitoes, thunderstorms and the like over a hurricane any time. Thanks go out to all who offered the good wishes and showed concern about our safety. It is all appreciated, it truly is.

Now let's go outside and have some fresh coffee at the patio table...and be thankful that the patio furniture is still there.