Thursday, December 31, 2009

The New Year is Nearly Here

As I think about this last day of this year I hope that all of you will have a year that is better than the one ending tonight. For some, 2009 was good, others not so much. There is no sense in rehashing what went right or wrong. All we can do is say we survived. Hopefully we all learned something during the long(or short) days and nights of 2009. We must all learn to be content and at peace with ourselves. None of us know how long we will be here so we must vow to be and do the best we can.

In this coming year give someone a smile, say please and thank you. That costs nothing. When you have the urge to lash out in frustration or anger, stop and think, is this the best I can do? You will make mistakes. Learn from them. None of us is perfect. Remember your family because they are not always right and they frequently make you mad, but they are your family. Sometimes you want to disown them. Just remember they hurt and heal just as you do. Time and patience are the great healers.

Enjoy your friends and cherish them because if you don't they may vanish like smoke. Remember friends are never earned, they are a gift from a loving God.After all those friends picked you to be a friend. Treat your co-workers kindly too. Some of them may not be as smart as you are. Give them a break even though you might want to smack them on the back of the head.

Live each day as if it were your last. You never know, it might be. Smile at yourself when you look into the mirror. After all, you will be another year older sometime in 2010.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Sometimes I Know How She Feels!

An elderly woman in her nineties had a visitor from her church come to see her at the nursing home.

“How are you?” the visitor asked.

“Oh,” said the elderly woman, “I’m just worried sick!”

“You look like you’re in good health. They take good care of you here, don’t they?”

“Oh, yes, they take good care of me here.”

“Do you have any pain?” the visitor asked.

“No, I can’t say I do,” the elderly woman replied.

“Then what has you worried sick?” the visitor asked.

The elderly woman leaned in and explained, “All of my closest friends have already died and gone to heaven. I’m sure they are all wondering where I went!”

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chloe's Gift- With a Little Help From The Biggio Elves

Her name was Chloe and a form of cancer took her just two days before her ninth birthday. With the help of her family, her friends, and Craig Biggio and his family, Chloe's spirit lives on in each teddy bear handed out.

It happened Tuesday morning at the Clinical Care Unit at Texas Children's Hospital. Build-a-Bears for every sick child and it was all Chloe's idea.

"It came straight from her head. Build-a-Bear was one of Chloe's favorite things to do, to go to the stores and build bears. The first time she decided to do it for the patients was her first year that she spent in the hospital on chemotherapy which was December 2006. She said she knew she would be in the hospital that Christmas, but she also knew that she would not be the only one there so she wanted all the patients on the floor to have a bear. That's how it started," said Chloe's mother, Joyce Castillo. "Chloe physically went around and handed out the bears."

It just so happened that at the same time Chloe was in the hospital, Craig's son Connor was in Texas Children's successfully fighting a blood infection.

"We got a knock on the door and it's Chloe and her Dad. She doesn't recognize me, but the Dad does. He says, 'Chloe, this is one of the Astros.' And she goes, 'Is that my favorite player, Jeff Bagwell?' And I go, 'No I'm not, but he's my favorite player too," said Craig Biggio. "That's how we started a relationship. She's a very special girl. Unfortunately, she's not here anymore, she lost her fight, but we didn't want to see this go away."

Craig and Patti's daughter Quin had a birthday party with her friend Kaitlyn and instead of gifts, they asked for Build-a-Bear certificates and everyone made a bear. So did Chloe's friends and family and Tuesday they brightened up a lot of faces at that special time of year.

"It makes me feel really great to make other kids feel happy, even when they're sick," said Quin.

It's a tradition Chloe started and her family and the Biggios will see to it that. That's what Chloe wanted.

"We lost Chloe about 18 months ago, We want to continue to honor our daughter and her legacy. We know how much this meant to her," said Castillo.

Craig said, "One of her last days here, I brought Jeff Bagwell up and she got to meet him. They're a very special family and she was a tremendous girl."

For everyone who's helping continue Chloe's dream, one little lady said it all.

"Thank you!" she said.

Craig helped Chloe get involved with the Sunshine Kids and she participated as long as she could. A big heart in a little girl who was thinking of others. It's a real Christmas story.

(Copyright ©2009 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Easy Come, Easy Go- Well Maybe

I have survived the first week of Nanny Duty. Right now it is eerily quiet because they are now watching a cartoon show instead of racing around the house. First they emptied the toys out of the toy box and used it as a hiding place. Then the three year old decided to race his litle Nascar 24 around the house. He can't be Spiderman today because his little costume has a number of holes. Actually if he sneezes it might just fall apart. He just doesn't get the fact that without his costume he has no powers. Oh well powers come and go with kids.

After several years without money, it was good to have a little extra. Of course that little extra came and went quickly. Funny how that happens. We decided to use the extra money to get new sheets and a comforter set for the bed. After eight years it was time for something new. The last new set we got was around the time my grandson Brad was born. Eight years is a long time for a bed set. The skirt was so ripped up I tripped and bitched a lot. So we splurged on a new set. We went from green cotton to brown suede. We bought some light chocolate milk sheets which were 400 thread count, very soft. Now I wonder what the 800 count feels like.

We also bought some dvds and cds which I had been looking at for a while. I'd been debating with myself on getting this and when I found a good deal, I took it. I also salivated over PCs and laptops at Fryes...Hey Santa...Sigh.

Then I thought of easy come, easy go. A week's work done and so was the money. It's a good thing I'm part Scottish. In other words tight with money. Now I have to wait another week. Funny how things add up. I just thought all that money was mine...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same.

I knew what to expect when I moved back to Houston for the most part. Houston traffic has not changed. The Texans are still waiting to improve. In other words, no championship again this year. People are still the same. The dogs, Lady and Daisy got right back into the rhythm of things. Of course now they have to put up with Rowdy. Two girls against one boy. And of course now there are two cages in the dining area with two rabbits in them. Well, after all it did freeze and we didn't want the rabbits to get too cold. I can't believe the dogs haven't try to bother them.

Sometimes things just fall into place unexpectedly. I started work as a nanny for Amanda's boyfriend's kids. He's had some problems with childcare, but he's lucky because his company is very understanding about his situation as a single dad. It was timing I guess because I was thinking of trying to figure out how to make a little extra money. Amanda asked if I would be interested and of course I said sure. So I go to their house and watch the two little ones all day while dad works and the older child, David goes to school. The two younger ones are a boy,three and a girl, two.

Sometimes I do feel like SuperNanny Jr. At two and three, the kids think that can do what they want. I sometimes think that the older one thinks he can push me around. Ha He apparently has never met the immovable And of course the word "no" seens sometimes to be spoken in a foreign language to him. If I say no, or stop, he just looks at me...Yeah, just keep pushing kiddo. I do think that after a couple of days he is begining to realize that I don't play that game.

Amanda texted me the other day to ask how it was going. I said fine. I haven't killed the kids yet and the house is still standing. Of course that was before I untied them and pulled the tape off their mouths. No, I didn't really do that! I do remember those days when my kids were little and tried to battle me. They lost that war too.

It's not a bad gig for some extra money. Now where did I put my extra set of eyes...oh yeah! Hey kids quit swinging from the ceiling fans!

Monday, December 07, 2009

What Do You Mean I Can Only Pick One?

I'm getting back into the swing of things here. Lady and Daisy have a new playmate. Rowdy is a tiny mini dapple dachshund. So far they seem to get along. I'm not even going to try to explain the rabbits. Yes I said rabbits. I don't plan to walk them.

Part of getting back into the routine has been watching football. Until this last game I really thought the Houston Texans had a chance to get into the playoffs. Now it's just another version of wait till next year. But I have discovered that I am in the middle of a serious conflict. No, not between Jimmy and me or the three dogs, but football. I've tried to keep up with the progress of my two favorite college teams,Texas and Alabama. All season long Florida, Texas and Alabama continued to win. Florida held the #1 ranking all season, followed by Texas and Alabama as either #2 or #3. Each took on their rivals and won the games. Sometimes they won pretty, other times they all won ugly. As good as Florida has been over the last couple of years, I was positive they would win the SEC Championship, putting them against Texas in the BCS National Championship game. But oh no, the Football Gods had a wicked sense of humor. I knew it would culminate with the annual conference championship fight of Florida vs Alabama. Florida, being the better team, would beat Alabama. I would be sad, but I figured Texas could beat the Gators for the National Championship. At least my Horns could be #1. So who is the idiot who threw the monkey wrench into the mix? What I didn't expect was for the Crimson Tide to roll all over the Gators! I watched the game and could not believe what I was seeing! Bama had not played this well all season as far as I could see. Now things started to get dicey. Huh?? Alabama beat Florida??! Hum, now what? I assumed that Texas would beat the 9-3 Nebraska team for the Big 12 title. Once again the Football Gods played a dirty trick on me. The Longhorns actually, to me, lost that game! With one second left in the game the Horns kicked a field goal to win the game. The whole game was hard to watch. Talk about a nail biting type of game! Yikes! How in the world...???!!! I had visions of the BCS folks pulling their hair out. If Texas lost, chaos would have erupted like a volcano. TCU and Cincinnati would have screamed for a shot at the championship. Even Boise State would have said they deserved consideration. But by the grace of the Football Gods, the Horns eked out a literal last second win. Whew!

But alas I now find myself with a question. Who do I pick to win? All year I watched my teams continue to win. Now that they are playing each other for that football trophy and bragging rites of "We're #1!" I'm conflicted. Texas or Alabama? Longhorns or Crimson Tide? Why me? Why do I have to pick one over the other? I'm a longtime Texas fan and I'm a lifelong Alabama fan. What do you mean I can only pick one?! Ok, which one?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Back Home in Houston- So Where's the Snow?

I think it's called back to basics. I'm trying to remember what and how to do things here. I haven't cooked in over eight months. So how do I turn that stove on?

The neighborhood hasn't changed much but I'm not thrilled with what has been done with the street at the front of the neighborhood. The powers that be have finally decided that the street must be widened. Perry Road is a very busy place for sure. But by widening it we've lost our yard. The dogs have no place to walk other than the neighborhood streets. I'm not thrilled about that and neither are they.

When Lady and Daisy walked in, they discovered a new dog in the house. That must have been a come down. Rowdy is a male mini-dachshund, dapple colored. He thinks he is in charge.The girls don't think so. They are getting along well though. But Rowdy does not seem to get the message that he is supposed to do somethings outside. Of course dachshunds are stubborn. But so am I.

Oh there are two more additions here. Two dwarf rabbits that were Amanda's but she didn't have room for them when she moved. Now they have taken up residence on the patio. Let's see- three dogs, two rabbits and two fish tanks. Just your average zoo.

All week long the weather forecasters talked about snow on Friday. How come it always snows around me but not where I want it? It snowed here last year on Dec.10th. With today's snow it is the earliest ever snowfall. So where's mine? It snowed in the little town where we used to live and it still falls. So far, I'm disappointed cause I've only seen a few flakes. So where is the 3-5 inches in my neighborhood? Ah ha! I see two flakes flying freely. Hey! Come back here! Drop all those inches right here! I want to see what three little dogs would do in a snow drift! Would you believe disappear?

Oh joy, now the dogs want to go out. Oh wow, what do I see? Another flake...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Things to Remember This Holiday Season

1. Someone in this world loves you.
2. A smile from you can bring happiness to someone - even if they don't like you.
3. Every night someone thinks about you before they go to bed.
4. You mean the world to someone.
5. Without you, someone may not be living.
6. You are special.
7. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes out of it.
8. When you think the world has turned it's back on you, you probably turned your back
on the world.
9. When you think you have no chance to get what you want, believe in yourself and
sooner or later you will get it.
10.Always remember the compliments you receive, forget the rude remarks.
11.Tell someone how you feel about them. They will feel better when they know.
12.Thank God you are alive.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Replacing the Dynamic Duo isn't Easy

The Dynamic Duo, also known as Bailey and Landry has broken up. I'd like to say it was creative differences, but it wasn't. It seems their manager, Annie came to the conclusion that the workload of the fun loving twosome was more than she could handle. Maybe there just weren't enough hours in the day for all that had to be done. And of course traveling with the two of them plus two little boys would be a comedy of errors. Just visualizing Jason and Annie in the front seats while Skylar and Michael share the back seat with two labs. All of this in a Neon. I wonder who would actually drive the car?

The show must go on but the duets won't. Alas, like other great teams, times change. Look at history- Anthony and Cleopatra, Abbott and Costello, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Brad and Angie(the jury is still out on that one) where are they now? Nothing lasts forever. So Bailey and Landry are now working solo. A friend of the family took Landry and now Bailey patiently waits to see if she'll come back.Or maybe she wonders where she will go. Sadly due to the size and lack of time as soon as a good home can be found, Bailey will be working on a new act too.

In the middle of this gut-wrenching decision an interloper joined the group. Annie, ever the soft touch, drove into the driveway last week and discovered a tiny chihuahua sitting there. Lost and forelorn, the little thing was an instant hit with the boys. Jason suggested to Annie that she put a notice of "lost dog" in the paper. Seceretly hoping no-one would call, Annie reluctantly did it. So far there has not been much interest. So after getting a bath to rid him of an entire town of fleas Nacho has made himself at home. At least he will be easier to travel with compared to two labs. Only time will tell. Who knows how this sory will end.

We are going back to Waco for Thanksgiving so we will see how Nacho handles car rides.He's become Annie's little shadowman. At Christmas Annie, Jason, the boys and Nacho will go to El Paso to see Jason's family. The dachshund duo and I will stay in Waco. While the Dynamic Duo has broken up, the new star, Nacho, seems to enjoy his role. Not exactly the same as two black labs, but just try to keep up with what amounts to a barking Mexican Jumping Bean.Only time will tell what happens next.That's show biz.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I Go Out Walking

I go out walking, not a midnight, but during the day. Walking around the tiny hamlet of Ozona is a little like going back in time. Most of the buildings here are very old, some more than 100 years old. There are large mansion size old homes that must be over 50 years old as well as neighborhoods where the homes seem to be stuck in the 50's and 60's eras. Some homes are of brick or stone while others are made of stucco. There are others that make me think a siding salesman hit the jackpot. Once in a while there may be turkeys wandering around the yards.

I think my mother, who was an artist, would have enjoyed painting here. Just looking at the rustic buildings and the colors of the trees would have made her look for a place to sit and create. Walking around all the trees can be a bit of a trick sometimes. The oak trees are shedding the acorns. Walk by the local Church of Christ and my feet crunch constantly the acorns that have fallen on the sidewalk. I guess the squirrels have picked up all they want. If I really wanted to, I could probably bag a lot of pecans. Everyday I hear them fall onto the carport. Slap, bang, clunk is an ongoing sound. They fall on the lawns, driveways, and streets. Daisy can't figure out what to do with them. Sometimes I would like to shell a bunch of them and eat them for snacks.

Probably the most appealing sights to me are all these trees. Of course there are all the old oak and pecan trees. But there are others, too, like maple, hackberry and cypress. As I go out walking I can see the gradual color change of the leaves. I didn't see very much of this in Houston. As I look around at the trees swaying in the breeze I notice how vibrant the colors are. As the trees get ready to shed their leaves, Mother Nature takes control. Like my mother, she is an artist. There are trees still wearing green while others have been colored with the brilliant gold or yellow leaves. Others have been painted orange or dark red. My mind's eye must savor this because in a matter of weeks the leaves will give up and fall to the ground. The streets and lawns will be littered with dying leaves that will turn brown.

There are not many places here that cannot be reached by walking. But not every area has sidewalks. And of course being a small town I think those sidewalks are rolled up after sundown. Much of Ozona "shuts down" early. There is no WalMart or even a McDonalds. There is a Sonic. But there is no movie theater, certainly no "chain" stores. For those, it's 1 1/2 hour drive to San Angelo. Plan ahead is the key. Ozona is a relaxed sort of place. Nobody rushes, unless they are late for church. Most of the residents don't even lock the doors at night. They don't even worry about locking their car doors or leaving things in them. I can't get over that.

Walking around here makes me think of lots of different things. There is a certain peace here. "The stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas" to quote an old song. But then I also think:

...The woods are lovey, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

From the poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Friday, November 06, 2009

Epitaph to My PC

My dear computer it is hard to see you sit there waiting but not willing.
You worked hard for me, You helped me keep up with news and friends.
My thoughts of all kinds were kept on you, You never told unless I said to.
With you, I entangled myself in the world wide web.
I found prices on everything from air-fare to houses, cars and yes even computers.
I learned a lot of things thanks to your searches.
You and your big monitor companion were the top of the line when we bought you.
Was it seven years ago? More or less I can't remember. We've been through it all.
We moved you from several different homes. You never complained,well maybe a little.
You got sick when you were still under warranty. But you were fixed and continued on.
When I had no cd player, you happily played everything from oldies to the new stuff.Thanks to you and your partner, the monitor I could keep up with TV shows.
I even kept up with my sports teams when I could not see them on TV.
But you as you got older, you didn't want to work as hard. Disk boot failures, etc.
We thought about replacing you. Yes the newer machines are sleeker, smarter, faster.
You didn't complain when we had to to find a new place to live.
Off to Waco we went. A new life for both you and I. We even went to Ozona together.
Your virtual memory started complaining and you lost connection a lot.
Sometimes you buffered painfully slow. Then without warning, it happened.
I turned you off because we were going to Waco for Halloween trick or treating.
When we came back I pushed your button as usual. But something was not right.
As if to tell me your life's work was done, you left a message on the monitor.
"Dr. Jason" examined you. Sadly, your illness was terminal.
Oh I guess I could get you a new hard drive, but at your age? Maybe death is better.
I can't say "Dear PC,I don't think I like you anymore" as Rodney Carrington would.
I don't know how I will go on without you for I have resisted laptops. But...
For now I'll have to muddle through on the family pc's here and in Waco.
Twitter, Facebook, and the Malitz Muse will not be the same without you PC.
Rest in Peace PC. You did your job well. I will miss you.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Street Gang in Heaven?

One day St. Peter saw a street gang walking up to the Pearly Gates.

St. Peter ran to God and said, "God, there are some low-life street gang members at the Gates. What do I do?"

God relied, "Just do what you normally do with that type. Redirect them."

St. Peter went back to carry out the order, but he suddenly came running back and yelling, "God, God, they’re gone! They’re gone!"

"The street gang?"

"No, the Pearly Gates!"

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

There's Gotta Be a Pony in Here Somewhere.

There are days when we all have things go bad. I can certainly relate to that fact. Some of us handle things better than others.Me, I tend to get crabby. Me-crabby? Hell, yes. Sometimes I almost want to say "what the Hell did I do to deserve this?" It's then I have to remind myself of what I do have. What would I do without my daughters Annie and Traci? I don't even want to think of that. I'm very lucky and blessed to have them.

Then there are days when I finally make up my mind to look forward. Ok, I'll talk to Jason, see what he thinks. Hummm. Interesting. Then I talk to Bobby. Ok,they both think I can do this. So I start researching things. Well this might take a while to accomplish what I need to do. I need to do this, I need to do that. Oops, I stepped in that hole again. Now I have to brush off the shit and re-think things. Oh, ok, this is not impossible. Yeah, no car, no job. But, this is not insurmountable, keep looking ahead. Let me check out some things online. Uh...what is this?

Yet another problem I have found. Jeez, come on. Just how much of this shit do I have to shovel? After coming back from Traci's house for Halloween, I turn on my computer. What is this? According to my pc, it's dying. When I turned it on, it presented me with an ominous message. My hard drive might(is) bad. Jason checked it out for me. Yeah,it looks like the patient (pc) is terminal. Crap! More shit! In my mind's eye I see yet another roadblock. So, what do I do now? I'm lost.

Then this morning I see a Bible passage. Hebrews Chapter 10, verse 35 "Cast not away...your confidence which hath great recompence of reward". I guess I'm supposed to "keep the Faith, baby". I read somewhere that when problems keep being put in your way, the reason is that the Enemy knows you are improving and moving forward and this is his way to discourage you. Or it could just be that I keep getting into all this shit cause if I did deep enough I'm gonna find a pony and it will be a Grand Champion! I'd like to think so.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Misadventures of Bailey and Landry

In case anyone cares - it was cold last night! It was a three dog night and I'm short on dogs. Lady and Daisy aren't quite enough. We could have had four dogs in the house. We did for a while.Just imagine two mini-dachshunds and two labs all in the same room. Let's see I fished two toys out of the labs mouths yesterday. Hum. The labs usually stay outside but...

Annie got a call saying her dogs had gotten out and were roaming the street. Luckily they were found and brought back. Bailey and Landry (named after characters on "Friday Night Lights") were very, very naughty. Yes, even Supernanny, Jo Frost would probably not have been happy with them. So how did they get out? Over the last several weeks I had seen them standing at the fence. They would stand on their hind legs watching me take Lady or Daisy out in the front yard. Bailey and Landry would bounce around on their hind legs, wagging their tails. They wanted to play. It occurred to me that if they gave it some thought they could easily jump the fence. So when they went awol Annie and I figured that might be what they had done. When they escaped a second time, we really got worried. I was outside walking Lady when the two labs came bounding up the street to see us. Want'a play? We ended up bringing them inside until we could think of something.

Of course bringing two BIG dogs inside was not what Lady and Daisy wanted, not to mention what Willy, the cat, thought. So after grabbing the toys out of the "big mouths" we had to clean all the toys up and put them out of reach. The labs just wanted a little fun. Willy was not happy with the chase game. Daisy bared her teeth every time they came near her. "Don't you dare put your paws on me" she seemed to say. Lady just growled. She stood her ground against the giants. Daisy tried to run and hide, except when Annie brought the BIG rawhide bone inside that Bailey and Landry like to play with. Daisy actually swiped it out from under them!

For some reason Bailey and Landry liked to follow me around the house. Every where I went they followed. They oddly seemed at ease around me and stayed "calm and submissive" as "The Dog Whisperer" Cesar Milan would say. I would think it a little crazy myself but for the fact that most dogs seem to like me. I don't know how many times I have been some place where they was a mean or annoying dog. The owners would always tell me "He's mean or he bites..." Not me! I sit down and almost any dog thinks suddenly I am the best friend! Maybe they think I look like a dog? I don't think I smell like a dog. At least no-one has told me that. Sometimes I wonder if dogs liking me is a good thing or a bad thing.

Later when Jason got home from work he went out to the back yard, thinking that Bailey and Landry might have to be tied onto a lead outside for a while. Let's face it. Two big, lovable dogs and two little boys could spell trouble inside a house. The dogs could stand up at the counter and steal supper with no problem. Lady and Daisy have to wait until something drops. But Jason found the problem. The dogs had not jumped the fence has we had suspected. They just walked out the back of it. It seems that one side which was connected to the neighbor's fence had come loose making a nice open door. Aha! The escape route had been found. Once Jason solved the problem, the fence was once again intact. The adventures of Bailey and Landry came to an end. Further escape was foiled. That is until they really learn how to jump the fence.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Woman Gets Ticket For Not Speaking English

A Dallas area woman's daughter missed the school bus. So naturally the mother was a little bit upset. She hurried to her car to take her daughter to school. In her rush she apparently forgot to grab her driver's license. Oops! That was her first mistake. I'm sure there are many of us who have done the same thing. Shame, shame.

The woman got pulled over by a Dallas police officer for making an illegal U-turn. He also ticketed her for no driver's license and then he also gave her a third ticket for being a non-English speaking driver. Say what? Well there is a federal law that says commercial drivers must speak English. But there is no such state law for individual drivers in Texas. The woman is learning English so it is not as if she spoke no English at all. For most people it is humiliating enough to get one ticket while taking a child to school. She got three.

Of course the media jumped all over this story. The Dallas Police Department regretted what happened and said they thought it was clearly a mistake by an officer in training. The woman said it seemed to her that the rookie cop needed more training. A court dismissed the non English speaking driver ticket. I just hope she doesn't plan on getting a job as a commercial truck driver. At least until she has learned to speak English a little better.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Persistence Pays, Or How to Annoy the Hell Out of People

We are often told when we are young to work hard and be persistent. Chase those dreams, never give up. Keep trying. In everything from school work to athletics, to job hunting, we are told keep trying. But how much persistence is too much?

I remember how annoying a whining child can be. Sometimes we give in just to shut them up. I even remember how annoying spouses can be. I really don't miss that. My dogs sit up and beg for what ever they want at the moment. They will sit there in front of me, just staring at me until I notice them. Then, of course, I have to get up and do something for them. Once again they get what they want.

Let's not forget the telemarketers, sales people or bill collectors either. Just how many times do I have to tell those cemetery plot sellers that I will only be there three days, don't bother me again. Even if I tell them I want to be cremated they want to sell me a plot to bury my ashes. Have you ever gone to the mall only to be accosted by some sweet young woman who wants to spray the latest perfume on you? No thank you, let go of my arm! I almost slugged one gal for following me. Talk about persistent!
There is a bill collector who calls everyday to my cell phone number. I wonder who had that number before me. They keep leaving a voice-mail telling me to call a number.I wonder if I can block them from calling my "SmartPhone". Then again maybe the phone just isn't that smart...

But the high point of annoying persistence happened this morning. Poor Annie has been beset with a bad case of allergies. She can't sleep and sneezes a lot. She was really tired this morning so she went back to bed. In the meantime, a friend of hers called, and called, and called. You'd think she would get the message that Annie is not going to answer the phone. No she kept calling, first the house phone, then Annie's cell phone. I lost count after the tenth time.

What was the reason the woman persisted in calling? She had driven by the grammar school and saw an ambulance there. She assumed that it was there for one of Annie's children. Why would she automatically assume that? So she tried to call Annie over and over. Thinking the worst the friend would not give up. When she could not get Annie to answer the phone, she then called Jason's office only to find out that he was not there. He was out on business. But the woman assumed that there must be something wrong. Yeah, there was! She was annoying me! How could Annie get any rest with the phone ringing so often? I have always thought that if no-one answered, leave a message. If she had called me that many times, she might not have liked what I would have said.

To get ahead in this world we do have to try hard to achieve out goals and never give up.It's a good mindset to have. Never back down, keep fighting for what you want. On the other hand, we can persist to the point of annoying the Hell out of everybody. Who's up next and what the Hell do you want now?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Good Advise

This was written by 90 year old Regina Brett of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio.

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8 It's OK to get angry with God.. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ''In five years, will this matter?".
26. Always choose life.
27. Forgive everyone everything.
28. What other people think of you is none of your business.
29.. Time heals almost everything.. Give time, time.
30. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
31. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
32. Believe in miracles.
33.. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
34. Don't audit life Show up and make the most of it now.
35. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
36. Your children get only one childhood.
37. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
38. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
39. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back..
40. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
41. The best is yet to come
42. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
43. Yield
44. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.
45. Friends are the family that we choose for ourselves

Monday, October 19, 2009

Don't think This Top 10 came From Letterman

Top 10 Reasons God Created Eve

10. God worried that Adam would always be lost in the garden because men hate to ask for directions.

9. God knew that Adam would one day need someone to hand him the TV remote.

8. God knew that Adam would never buy a new fig leaf when his seat wore out and would therefore need Eve to get one for him.

7. God knew that Adam would never make a doctor's appointment for himself.

6. God knew that Adam would never remember which night was garbage night.5. God knew that if the world was to be populated, men would never be able to handle childbearing.

4. As "Keeper of the Garden," Adam would never remember where he put his tools.

3. The scripture account of creation indicates Adam needed someone to blame his troubles on when God caught him hiding in the garden.

2. As the Bible says, "It is not good for man to be alone!"

1. When God finished the creation of Adam, He stepped back, scratched His head and said, "I can do better than that."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Slow News Day? Females in the News

First Lady Michelle Obama is now an "action figure" doll. Would you buy it? She is wearing her signature sleeveless dress.Even the doll's arms look good. Of course there is no word on what "action" the doll does. Nor is there any comment from the White House about the doll.

Maria Shriver is in hot water with her husband Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California. She's been caught using her cell phone while driving. Yes, some photographer caught her and now the pictures are all over. Gov.Schwarzenegger vows to "take swift action". Will the First Lady of California have her driver's license suspended by the governor?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she is at "peace" with herself and has no plans to run for President or even governor of any state. Really? So if the current President does not get re-elected what will she do? Somehow I don't see her as the happy homemaker type.

Miley Cyrus has quit Twitter. Oh how the world will just have to do without her tweets. Daddy,"One hit wonder" Billy Ray Cyrus wants her to get back on the bird and continue tweeting. Her boy friend doesn't. Now what was that song...? Oh yeah -"Achy, Breaky Heart". Get a life Billy.

But the most interesting (sort of) news of the day is the story from Akron,Ohio. Chetania Davis,22, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault. Apparently Ms Davis attacked her 52 year old co-worker in the face with a stilleto heel. It was the co-worker's first day on the job. The attack occurred in the co-workers' dressing room. They both work at a club as exotic dancers. The younger dancer said she did not think the club needed any more dancers. The judge on the case sentenced Ms. Davis to one year probation and suspended a six month jail term. Ms. Davis accepted the plea because she wanted to move on with her life. Hopefully she was wearing a different pair of shoes when she said that to reporters.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Used to Do It but Now I Don't Remember

Uh, now how do I do this again? Have you ever thought about something you hadn't done in a long time? When you thought of that did it occur to you that you might not remember how to do it? Do you ever really forget things, or wish you could?

The other day my son in law said something about fixing a favorite meal. We all have meals that we have as our "specialty" to cook. Some people grill steaks very well. Others make great chili or soup. In the South there are people who make really good Southern fried chicken. Here in Texas there are people who take great pride in their Mexican style food.

As I thought about this I wondered. Let me's been seven months since I have actually cooked any thing. I thought about different things I used to fix for supper. Then the thought struck me - how do I make that? I don't remember. I used to do this all the time. Now, uh what do I do? Most of the things I have cooked were not "recipes" from a book. They were just things observed or tried.

Then my mind wandered. What/who else is out there that I don't remember? I haven't driven in a while. I'm going to have to take the whole driving test over to get a new license. Hum, will I be able to answer the questions, or drive on the correct side of the road?

I remember a game that was popular in the seventies that my first husband taught me to play. Too bad I can't remember the name of the game. But after I learned how to play, I used to regularly beat my husband. Of course he would immediately go into a snit and complain that I made stupid moves. When he got mad and quit playing I had to remind him that the stupid moves were the ones he taught me. But if I tried to play it today I would not know how.

I have relatives that I would not know if I bumped into them. Of course there are people I could have met yesterday and I still would not know their name.There are old friends I wish I could remember. Then there are old boyfriends/husbands I wish I could forget. Did you know that Elvis sang a song called "I forgot to remember to forget"? The song was about trying to forget about a lost love.

There is an old saying - "Use it or lose it". Is that really true? If we don't do something routinely, do we forget how? Hum, well, I haven't had (close your eyes children) the "Big S" in a while. When the time comes (if ever) will I remember how? Would it be fun re-learning?

What else don't we do any more? Who writes letters? Letters? It's easier to Twitter or IM. Get or read directions? Who reads a street map? It's easier to buy a GPS system for the car than ask someone which way to a street. Yeah, just remember that GPS (also known as Bitch in a Box) might show your street as a vacant field or to turn left in one half mile after you have already turned into your driveway. Remember the Lexus that can parallel park itself? I want to take the driving test in that Lexus.

I know there have to be other things that I used to do. Can I do them now? I don't know, I can't remember what they were. So how can I remember if I used to do them? Well I guess I didn't use/do them enough, so I've lost them. Where am I? Did I forget to eat again?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Church Bulletin Bloopers

Mrs. Johnson will be entering the hospital this week for testes.

Due to the rector's illness, Wednesday's healing services will be discontinued until further notice.

On a church bulletin during the minister's illness: God Is Good--Dr. Hargreaves is better.

This Sunday morning following services we will have our monthly feelowship.

Said during a congregational prayer when leading prayer for unsaved loved ones: “Father, we just want to pray for our unloved saved ones.”

Lift up our Messianic brothers and sisters in Israel who are suffering during our prayer time.

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, even though he diets, yet shall be live.”

On a church postcard: “I have received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I would like a personal call.”

Church sign: “Jesus Saves!” Safeway sign across the street: “Safeway saves you more!”

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Bare With Me Before I Throw a Fit

I got a wild hair up my backside to change my template. I picked out one I liked and finally with Annie's help got it up. Of course nothing in my life seems to be easy. After I got it up and started to customize it I discovered that I had forgotten to write some of my lists down. So forgive me if I get cranky. I am trying to remember what I need to put on here and where it will go.

Right now I have a headache. My grandson and I were going to take Daisy for a walk. Then he decided that he would rather throw leaves at me then walk the dog. Then he got in trouble by telling me that I'm not "the boss". So we didn't go for a walk and he cried all the way home.

And that's not all. It seems that Daisy has taken a liking to sticking her head into the cat's box and getting the little droppings out and eating them. I sure hope they are tasty! I've spanked her several times, to no avail. She didn't do this at Traci's house and that box doesn't have a top. Go figure.

As of right now, I'm getting frustrated because I have so much to do on this. I do like the picture because we have some lakes in Texas that look a lot like it. For I quit, for now. I didn't realize how much extra work I would have to do here. Hopefully I will get it set up better soon. Otherwise I am going to be in a bit of a bad mood.

Right now I am going to get something to eat and a glass (maybe two) of wine. I hope tomorrow will be a better day.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Top 10 Mom Scolding in the Bible

10. Sampson, get your hands off of that lion, you don't know where it's been!

9. David, I told you not to play in the house with that string! Go practice your harp. We pay good money for those lessons.

8. Abraham! Stop wandering around the countryside and get home for supper!

7. Shadrach, Meschach and Abendeco! I told you, never play with fire!

6. Cain! Get off your brother! You're going to kill him some day!

5. Noah, no you can' t help them. Don't bring home any strays.

4. Gideon! Have you been hiding in that wine press again? Look at my clothes.

3. James and John! No more burping at the dinner table, please. People are going to call you sons of thunder.

2. Judas! Have you been in my purse again?

1. Jesus! Close the door! You think you were born in a barn.

Monday, September 28, 2009

What's That Smell?

Something smells in the neighborhood. What a wonderful fragrance to start the day. I had not even had my coffee. The smell is giving Annie a headache. She says it smells outside. Intrepid adventurer that I am, I decided to check things out.

I had seen Annie's labs, Bailey and Landry, watching something intently in the shed/chicken coop. There are no chickens here. The dogs like to hang out there in rainy or cold weather. They kept looking around, but refused to go near.They did voice their opinions loudly. What do they see? Nothing seemed amiss as I walked toward the shed. Then I saw something move. No, not a snake or a buzzard which I had seen a few days ago. In the back corner, behind the bicycles was a skunk.

First thing we had to get the dogs out of the way. I'm surprised they hadn't already attempted to battle the real life "Pepe la Pew". But they had apparently kept their distance. Annie herded the labs into the house. Then we looked for a number for some kind of animal control. It's not an easy number to find in the local phone book. Annie ended up calling a number in Ft. Stockton to find out some information. Thankfully since Ft. Stockton is about 1 1/2 hrs away, they were able to give her some numbers of local "animal" people. Most of her calls went straight to voice-mail. She did finally get hold of a guy who happened to be near. He was working on something in a pasture and said he could be here shortly.

So I spent the time waiting for him babysitting a skunk. First it moved around in the shed. Then it got out and wandered around, but could not figure out how to escape. Well, actually he did escape through the fence but when he saw the big dogs across the alley he decided I was better than them. Back into the shed he went. Then he got brave and tried to run to freedom along the side of the fence. Not the brightest animal in the world, I thought.

As he ran around the back of the yard, I wondered what he thought. Apparently not much I guess. As I followed him around the back yard he ultimately trapped himself. He made a mistake of crawling into a length of pvc pipe. As I stood watching the pipe, the animal control guy came in. He was the "substitute". The official animal control person is also the local bailiff and was in court. She had all the traps. Naturally. So the other guy and I decided to leave the skunk in the pipe which was 8-10 feet long. He blocked the ends with cinder blocks which Annie got a couple of garbage bags and some duct tape.

I had to wonder how safe all of this was. The plastic bags were thin and tore easily.But he managed to seal the ends of the pipe and took the unwanted guest, pipe and all away in the truck. He said he'd release it out on some farmland a couple of miles down the road. I hope the farmer doesn't mind. Then he asked if Annie wanted the pipe back. A resounding "NO!" was the answer.

Such is life in the hamlet of Ozona. I thought buzzards were looking at me for a meal the other day. Grasshoppers bounce all over the place. The one thing I have yet to see are the turkeys that walk around town unmolested. Apparently they are a common sight. Wonder what I'll find next?

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Re-birth of Me

The last few months have been a roller coaster ride for me. Up and down, over and under, my feelings and thoughts have been on a wild ride. At times it has been easy to feel defeated. Then there have been moments of peace. Those moments which were few have now moved in with me. I think they are here to stay.

Call me crazy. I don't care. A few weeks ago, before I decided to visit Annie, I was sitting in my bedroom in Waco thinking.Too much time on my hands? Some would probably say yes. Me, I was struck by a thought. How I came to this thought I can't really say. This thought, oddly enough, left me with a good feeling. To explain or describe this feeling is difficult at best. It's as if someone spoke to me and said, "You'll be ok, I have a plan for you."

This feeling was spooky to the skeptic in me. The more I thought about it the more I questioned myself. Yet this feeling would not, and has not changed. I know, somehow, there is something out there waiting for just the right time for me. Is it my fertile mind dreaming or it this some sort of an epiphany? I don't know. I can't shake this feeling. I can't explain how or why I have this. How do I explain this to anyone? How do I not sound nutty.?

I've heard that God sometimes speaks to a person's heart. I've never really believed it before now. Trying to explain this hasn't be easy. So Annie suggested I talk with Chris, the Pastor of their church. Well... I'm not sure about that. What good would that do? I'm like, eh? Well, ok. It couldn't hurt, right?

Yesterday I had a meeting with Chris who is a very nice, very young, and very tall man. He and his wife are a nice couple and have two adorable little boys. His wife teaches the women's study group. I've gone a couple of times with Annie and Jason to church. He brings out good thoughts in his sermons. So I thought, what the heck. I'll give it a shot.

I told Chris about what had happened to me and my current, unshakable feeling. I asked him all sorts of questions. He was thoughtful and gave me some insight into things. We talked for over an hour. He listened and offered suggestions. Messages or feelings such as mine can be true. I must continue to listen. Yes, he told me I will be all right. I am in the right place and with continued study and faith, the plan will happen. I must be ready. When will the plan come to fruition? That question will be answered when the time comes. Not my time - His time.

I'm ready. Sling all the arrows you want, throw all the rocks you have. I won't be defeated. I only need patience. My time will come. I have the Power with me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Zen Sarcasm

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me alone.

2 The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt or a leaky tire.

3. It's always darkest before dawn, so if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

4. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

5. Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.

6. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

7. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

8. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

9. If at first you don't succeed...Skydiving is not for you.

10. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fall Has Fell - Maybe

We all woke up this morning to a cool breeze. Obviously the cool front has now arrived. It should be nice around here for a few days. Then toward the end of the week it will be back up to the warmer temperatures again. Gotta love it. This kind of weather keeps you guessing about what to wear each day.

This weather also made Annie and me think of stew. So we put some stew meat in the crock pot. Hopefully we'll make enough to put some in the freezer later. Throwing stuff into the crock pot is not hard. Now yesterday was a time consuming candy time. Annie made peanut butter cups. That takes a little time to make the peanut butter balls and melt the chocolate. Pouring it over the balls can be a little interesting too. But we did it.

Now that Fall is officially here, it's time to say good bye to Astros manager Cecil Cooper and good bye to the Astros chances to get into the playoffs again. I'm surprised that Cooper lasted as long as he did. There many people who wanted him fired earlier in the season. All things considered,
I feel a little like singing "They're breaking up that old gang of mine..." Next year could see a different Astros team.

Now we can move on to the real sport of fall, football. I was not happy with the Texans first game which they lost. I was a little worried during the second, but they came through in a street fighting style. That will teach the Titans to start a brawl with us. I hope we'll continue to improve. My college teams are doing well. Texas is #2 and Alabama is #3. I find these high rankings a little worrisome since it is still early in the season. One loss could ruin chances for a national championship. We shall see.

I'm looking forward to this fall. Who knows? Maybe this will be a good season for me. Seasons of life change just like the seasons of the weather. I haven't seen much in the way of color yet. The leaves haven't changed yet. But I know that with each season there is a new beginning and new challenges. I'm ready. Of course I have no intention of raking leaves.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

How Do You Get To Heaven?

"If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale, and gave all my money to the church, would that get me into heaven?" The teacher asked the children in his Sunday school class.

"NO!" the children all answered.

"If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would that get me into heaven?"

Again the answer was, "NO!""Well, then, if I was kind to animals and gave candy to all the children and loved my wife, would that get me into heaven?" I asked them again.

Once more they all answered, "NO!"

"Well," I continued, thinking they were a good bit more theologically sophisticated than I had given them credit for, "then how can I get into heaven?"

A five-year-old boy shouted out, "You gotta be dead!"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Well That's One Way To Open A Can

Right now I am smelling the aroma of pot roast as it cooks in the slow cooker.Ummm. I love roast done in a crock pot with veggies. We're gonna eat good tonight.

But there was a small crisis this morning as Annie was putting the ingredients into the pot. Obviously the roast and veggies were easy. Then she got the cream of mushroom soup ready. One can went in easy. Sure you say. How hard can it be to open a soup can? In this case, it was maddeningly difficult.

I'm in the bedroom when I hear Annie call me to the kitchen. Apparently one of the soup cans had an idea that it would not give up it's contents without a fight. When she pulled the tab,instead of opening the can, the ring came off. Guess that can is just wasted. That's what Annie thought. Oh ye of little faith - Mom is here!

Have you ever battled a can? I mean really battled? I asked Annie where the electric can opener was. She pointed to it, but said it didn't do very well. True, as I discovered. Ok. Where is the church key opener? That didn't work either. Let's try a knife - no luck. I did manage to get a small opening but since the soup was thick, it was all but useless. Now, I'm ticked off. No can of soup is going to get the best of me! "Do you have pliers or a screwdriver?" So we get both from the tool chest. I manage to get the hole a little bigger, but not enough. Now I am really irritated. I hate to waste things. So I got the hammer from the tool chest. How could one little can cause so much trouble. The war was on! Ever take a hammer to a soup can? It's not pretty. But a mom on a mission is dangerous! Mountain get out of my way! Ha! after a few less than delicate pounds with the hammer, the can gave up it's contents.

That should teach any can of mushroom soup not to do battle with me! Of course it wasn't pretty. But what war is? I will not be denied. Yeah, it probably would have been easier just to throw the can in the trash. On the other hand I am stubborn when it comes to some things. Just ask any member of my family. Obviously I would not recommend opening a can of mushroom soup this way. It can be messy. Yes, it was an odd way to open the can, but it worked. Now when do we eat?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

He Was Going to Get the Family Dog

Eight years ago Christopher C. Newton got on American Airlines Flight 77 to California. He and his family had moved to Ashburn, Virginia so he would not have to travel so much. He was head of Work/Life Benefits which was founded in 1982 to provide work, life training to corporations for their employees. He was educated at California Polytech University and the Anderson School at UCLA. His wife Amy, son Michael and daughter Sarah were happy that he would not have to travel so much.

Christopher Newton was a very private person who loved his family and a good game of golf. He took American Airlines Flight 77 on September 11, 2001 so that he could go back to California to get the family dog. He never made it there. Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon that fatal morning.

We all, as Americans, remember that day. Many of us watched our televisions as the horror of the attack on our country began. We watched helplessly as the Twin Towers fell. We watched as the Pentagon was breached. We learned of the heroism of passengers who fought off the hijackers and probably saved more lives by crashing the plane in that empty field. We remember. The images are seared into our brains. Let us never forget those 2996 people who lost their lives that day. Let us always remember what this country has stood for and why we must honor these brave people who lost their lives on 9/11/01.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Joint Custody? Of Me?

Annie has wanted me to come visit her at her home for a while now. Since I don't have a car I've had to wait until she had time to come get me. She decided that she would take me when she came back Sunday after the birthday week-end in Houston. From what I understand, blackmail could be an issue after what I heard and saw about the party. Ahem, we shall just leave it at that.

An interesting thought crossed my mind due to something Annie said to Traci. Granted it was a little odd but, this is my family. Most of the time we think of joint custody as between divorced parents with kids. Mom usually has the kids most of the time and dad has them for a time.We've all known someone in that situation. For some reason I found it funny when Annie spoke to Traci about me going home with Annie. I guess it now can be said that Traci and Annie share "joint custody" of me. Huh? Well, it could be thought of in that way. I'll be here with Annie for a few weeks. Then I'll go back to Traci's...

Oh yeah, apparently someone even mentioned "joint custody" to my son Pat. Alas, he has no room for his dear, darling, demented mother. That's ok Patrick. I know what is important to you. Snicker...

Joint custody of me - what a concept. Then again, this could get interesting. Bobby said he would miss me. Guess he'll miss talking to me. And oh dear, Aryn cried and cried when we left. Brad and Aryn didn't want the dogs to go. Sigh. Wonder what Skylar and Michael will do when I go back to Waco. I am reminded of when the kids were growing up. Maybe I should start plotting to get Annie and Traci against each other?? Shades of when they were in their father's custody. Be still my evil heart. Payback? Who me?

Saturday, September 05, 2009

With Apologies to Secretary Clinton

Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Al Gore were in an airplane that crashed. In heaven, they found God sitting on the great, white throne.

He addressed Al first. "Al, what do you believe in?"

Al replied, "Well, I believe I won the election in 2000, but it was your will that I did not serve. I've come to understand that now."

God thought for a second and said, "Very good. Come and sit at my left."

God then addressed Bill. "Bill, what do you believe in?"

Bill replied, "I believe in forgiveness. I've sinned, but I've never held a grudge against my fellow man, and I hope no grudges are held against me."

Again, God thought for a second and then said, "You are forgiven, my son. Come and sit at my right."

God then turned to Hillary and asked, "Hillary, what do you believe in?"

She replied, "I believe you're sitting in my chair."

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Shut In, Shut Out, Forgotten

How many people do you speak to on a daily basis? Sure you speak to your family, friends and co-workers. You probably speak to your neighbors on either side of your house. You wave to them as you leave or come home from work. But what about that old lady down the street? Do you know anything about her? Have you noticed that she rarely gets out? Does she even have a way to get out?

We are so caught up in our daily lives that we may not even think of the people we don't see often. They may not live near you, but they are there. One day you could be one of them. These are the people who for any number of reasons could be called shut ins or maybe even forgotten. Maybe through no fault of their own, they are single, widowed, or divorced and have no-one to turn to in a time of need. Maybe they are poor and hungry. Maybe the only contact with the outside world for them is the people from Meals on Wheels who bring them food. Just imagine that the only human contact you have is a person bringing you a meal. On the other hand, maybe they don't need the Meals on Wheels program. Maybe they have a neighbor or relative who occasionally stops by to take them to buy groceries or just to walk the mall. Imagine how good that must feel, just to get away from the confines of those four walls, even if only for an hour or two.

There are a lot of people who are alone. They are not all old or shut in. Some feel shut out because it seems that nobody cares. No one seems to want to take the time to stop by and say "Hello". How much would it cost to stop by and ask, "Do you need anything? Can I take you somewhere?" or even just "How are you today?".

Some day we will all be alone. Some of us will have family that we can depend on for help, love and security. Some of us will not have that luxury. Some will not know where to go or who to call. Yes, there are outreach programs thanks to some religious or state and local governments. Still, some people will either not know how to reach for help or will be too proud to ask for help.

Remember when you know someone who is alone, or see someone who is alone, that could be you. Give them a smile, or a helping hand now and then. Talk to them. Don't let them be shut in, shut out, or forgotten.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Odds & Ends, In and Out

It is hard to believe I've been here almost 6 months.

Happy 14th birthday to my granddaughter Cheyanne.

I guess we Astros fans will have to be content to wait 'til next year, again. Have you seen Roy Oswalt's website? He's also on Twitter. Yes, really. I would like to commend another Astro, Aaron Boone. He has been activated and is ready to play, barely 5 months after having open heart surgery. All I can say is- Amazing!

Did you know that there is a Twitter soap opera? It's called "Chicago to Coronado". I guess it had to happen. It even has a black lab as one of the characters.

This week-end should be interesting for some of the family. Traci, Cheyanne, Brad, and Annie are going to Houston for a birthday bash. Annie and Pat, Cheyanne, Amanda and Aryn have birthdays close to each other. Of course Aryn is grounded, yet again, and won't be able to go. That is unless she gets ungrounded. That remains to be seen.

So this week-end it probably will be Bobby, Aryn, and me here by ourselves. I was looking forward to some peace and quiet, but with the "Drama Queen" under house arrest I don't know how much "quiet" we will have.

I've been waiting for some inspiration but I guess it got lost. So, what should I do first? Sneak attack the dogs for a bath, or go play on Facebook? Hum. Hey Daisy...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Woman vs Phone

Isn't technology grand? First we had rotary phone service, then touch tone. Then came the cordless phones. But things really went wild when the cell phone became the gold standard. I remember when they first came out. They were expensive, big and boxy. Now they fit into the palm of your hand and can do almost anything except cook supper.Maybe one day we will all be able to dial a number to do that, too.

I've recently had to change phones. I had an old flip phone from Sanyo that I have had for years. I first got a cell phone when I went to Phoenix to be with my daughter Annie when she was about to have Skylar who is now seven. It was plain but useful. It took pictures and I could read e-mails, and text. I rarely used these features though. Why do you text on a phone anyway? For me it takes longer to find the right keys to text than it does to talk to a warm body on the other end of the phone.

Now I have a Smart Phone. Annie and Jason decided to let me use Jason's phone since he really doesn't use it. This is going to take some time for me to get used to this phone. It took me a while just to figure out how to answer it. So this is the way it is going to be, huh? Smart Woman vs Smart Phone? Smart Woman? Ok, you can stop laughing now. I haven't really paid attention to the changes in phones over the last few years so give me a break.

So now I have a phone which came with three manuals. One, the "Getting Started Guide", one the "Welcome to Sprint" and one called "Experience Sprint Power Vision". The last two manuals are still in their sealed wrappers having never been opened.This is in addition to a Desktop Software HotSync Manager User Guide. Huh? What? And let us not forget the Sync cord and some other tiny cord whose use I have forgotten. I did figure out how to plug the power cord into the wall so I can charge the phone.

Then I look at the top of the box with it's picture of the phone. The caption on the box says - "Make today extraordinary with this magical device. Instantly beam email, pictures...right to the palm of your hand...That's life at Sprint Speed." Sure it is. I finally sent a text out this morning. I forgot the keyboard is qwerty so I spent time trying to find the letters. I was still used to my old phone. I still say it is so much easier just to say "Hello".

So let's see, what shall I do now? Camera, camcorder, documents, downloads, emails, maps, messaging, video, even life tv are all at my fingertips. I can see downloading ring tones maybe or maps. I guess it would be a good idea to be able to create and send a document. I really don't know about watching video or tv on a cell phone like this. Just imagine watching tv and the actor's nose fills the entire screen. And to think that we went to the moon with much less technology.

Maybe one day I might actually figure this whole phone out. Everyone else seems to have no trouble doing all sorts of stuff with their phones.I still don't get why people sit in the same room, even on the same sofa, and text each other but that's another story. Well it does give me something to play with during the day. Yes ,sir there will come a day when I will be able to say that in the battle of the Smart Woman vs the Smart Phone, the Smart Woman won. Wait a minute the phone is ringing, now what do I do? Hey, I thought I told you to stop laughing!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

From Bibles to Boats??

A young man from Nebraska moves to Florida and goes to a big "everything under one roof" department store looking for a job. The manager asks, "Do you have any sales experience?" The kid replies, "Yeah, I was one of the best Bible salesman back in Omaha."

The boss liked the kid and gave him the job. "You can start tomorrow. I'll come down after we close and see how you did."

His first day on the job was rough, but he got through it. After the store was locked up, the boss came down. "How many customers bought something from you today?” The kid responds, "One."

The boss says, "Just one? Our sales people average 20 to 30 customers a day. How much was the sale for?"


"$101,237.65? Holy Mother Mary! What did you sell to him?"

"First, I sold him a small fish hook. Then, I sold him a medium fish hook. Then, I sold him a larger fish hook. Then, I sold him a new fishing rod. Then, I asked him where he was going fishing and he said down the coast. I told him he was going to need a boat, so we went down to the boat department, and I sold him a twin engine Boston Whaler. Then, he said he didn't think his car would pull it, so I took him down to the automobile department and sold him a 4x4 truck with all the bells and whistles."

"A guy came in here to buy a fish hook, and you sold him a boat and a truck?!"

"No, the guy came in here to buy feminine products for his wife, and I said, 'Dude, your weekend's shot. You should go fishing.'"

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Blessing a Body...?

A newly ordained deacon was asked to hold a graveside service for someone with no family or friends. It was his first official assignment, so he eagerly agreed.

Taking his duties very seriously, the deacon let early the next morning for the cemetery. However, he made several wrong turns and quickly got himself lost. When he finally arrived more than an hour late, the hearse was nowhere to be seen and the two workmen were eating lunch.

The deacon got out of his car, quickly threw on his vestments, and hurried to the open grave. Looking into the pit, he saw that the vault lid was already in place. With a sign, he took out his prayer book and read the burial service.

After he had left, one of the workmen said to the other, “Maybe we should have told him he just blessed a septic tank.”

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bench Warmer, or First String?

Sometimes life is like a game. Players are benched or traded for various reasons. The Astros just traded Ivan Rodriguez to the Rangers. He can now say, "gee this place looks familiar" when he arrives at the park. I see that Bret Favre has decided to un-retire again. Will he ever learn? Too bad, now the Texans won't get the game they wanted which would have had quarterback Matt Schaub against former backup Sage Rosenfels. Rosenfels was hoping to be the first string QB with the Vikings. He and Tarvaris Jackson were competing for the top spot. Now they will have to sit and wait for Favre to be benched or injured.

I have a great deal of empathy for those wonderful bench warmers who just sit and wait for their chance. Sometimes they get it, other times they get traded and still wait. Whether it be a young,eager player waiting to show what he can do, or a wily,old veteran hoping for one last chance for glory, they sit. They dream of what could be or what could have been.

Brian McTaggart, the Houston Astros blogger said he just talked to "Pudge". Rodriguez is sad to leave the Astros but is excited to go to the Rangers who have a chance to get into the playoffs.

Too bad that in the game of life we don't always get the chance to play or even just be able to be a bench warmer. Maybe we need to talk to our agents and tell them we're not happy on the bench. We've still got some pop in our bat. Surely we could be of use to some team? Where's the manager? Where's that high paid agent? What's that? The telephone? I'm a free agent? No? I've been traded? Well...Put me in coach, I'm ready to play. All I need is the bat and the glove...We're only 10.5 games out of first place? Oh...well, let's get out there and play some ball. This is the game of life, right?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Gunfight at the OK Corral, Sort of...

Yesterday was one of those days you would rather forget. As I told a friend last night, "gonna be a two glasses of wine night". It is a bit quieter today. Of course the reason why is that Aryn is now grounded and has to do chores as punishment. How does one little girl get into so much trouble? And yet she continues to argue...Boy her mother was mad! And then when her dad came home so was he! At this rate she will be grounded until she is 21.

But the real fight started while Brad was at the desk playing on the computer. Daisy and Sammie were both at his feet. For some unknown reason Lady had chosen not to join the other two there. But Spots, the cat, decided to stir up trouble. And when I say trouble, that is with a T. Somehow he managed to do some smack talking to the dogs. Then the next thing I hear is growling and yelping. This went on for a while before Traci and I could get the situation under control. Of course the cat who instigated the whole thing walks away completely unscathed. We get the dogs separated. I grab Sammie and pull her to the back door. Out the door she went.I though briefly about laying a smack-down on her. But it wouldn't have meant anything to her. Then I had to get Daisy calmed down and checked for injuries. Daisy was one shook up dog, but apparently none the worse for wear. So where did the cat go? He jumped onto one of the dining chairs and just looked at us all with "What's your problem?" look. Daisy stayed very close to me for the rest of the day and night. I still can't believe that Lady chose not to get into the fray.

Yes, it was a nerve-wracking day. A good excuse to have an extra glass of wine. At least the Astros won last night. It's hard to believe there are only about 50 games left in the season. One good thing did happen, I got the box of mail, finally along with another phone which I am now trying to learn to use. So now I can scratch the mail off my list. So now it's time to holster the guns or at least retract the cat's claws and let the sleeping dogs lie.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Happy Days are Here Again, Almost

The days dwindle down to a precious few... In less that two weeks school starts here. Summer vacation is almost over. I used to know a morning DJ years ago who would play the song" Happy Days are Here Again" on the first day of school just for the parents. On the last day of school, he played it for the kids. School shopping has been done for the most part.That is a nightmare I would not wish on anyone. Some of us "adult types" are eagerly awaiting August 24th. Peace and quiet will be savored, at least for a few hours a day.

Cheyanne is happy and ready to get back to school. She's a good student and is ready for new challenges in the 8th grade. Brad is not saying much about 3rd grade. Aryn does not want to go to 1st grade. She says so often!

These last few days have been, shall we say, a bit trying. For some reason the last days of summer vacation find the children irritable and annoying. At least it seems so for the younger two. Aryn has complained bitterly that she is bored. Diva that she is, nothing suits her. She complains loudly. When Mom reaches the boiling point "Aryn, go to your room" is heard several times a day. "Brad, stop screeching" is another common statement. Some days I have to remember to "duck and cover" due to the hostilities between children and parents.

Soon chaos will again be the order of the morning. Crabby kids who refused to go to sleep when told, will race through the house to get breakfast, school stuff , and hair fixed. Then they will trot out to the driveway and wait, listening for the wonderful sound of the school bus as it approaches the house. These kids do not know how lucky they are to have curb to curb service. Then for the better part of the day, the house will be relatively quiet. That is until the bus brings them back in the afternoon. Then Mom will be bombarded with papers to sign, homework to supervise and anything else that finds its way home with the kids.

And let us not forget that in just a few days they will be getting back in training. Aryn will, of course, not be happy because she will be the first to take a bath and go to bed. "Why do I have to go first?" will be her question. "You are the youngest, now go!" will be the answer. About a half hour later Brad will have to follow the same ritual. He will have to realize that he can no longer stay up all night and sleep away half the day. Cheyanne as the oldest will be the last to have to go to bed. I think she is the most ready to get all of this going.

Soon another summer will be gone. Sometimes it is hard to believe how fast it goes. The kids will all be in school, football games will be played, some won, some lost. Then time will continue to move on through August, September, November and so on. School days seem to go faster with each year.

But for those of us who will be kid-less for several hours of the day soon, the silence will be golden. "Happy Days are Here Again..."

Sunday, August 09, 2009

From a Friend

Inner Peace

If you can start the day without caffeine,

If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

If you can resist complaining and
boring people with your troubles,

If you can eat the same food every
day and be grateful for it,

If you can understand when your loved
ones are too busy to give you anytime,

If you can take criticism and
blame without resentment ,

If you can conquer tension
without medical help,

If you can relax without liquor,

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

...Then You Are Probably The Family Dog!

And you thought I was going to get all spiritual.

Monday, August 03, 2009

The Summer Wind

I decided to take a break from playing Bejeweled on Facebook and go outside. I sat down on the concrete porch at the back of the house. The first thing I thought about was the news story I saw about snakes moving into downtown Austin. Seems the drought is making the creatures move. I know there could be some around here. Then I look at the newly mowed yard. Bobby mowed last night and also mowed down most of the garden which had all but died due to a lack of water and interest. That was also why I sneezed 14 times last night.

Sitting there by myself I noticed how quiet it was for a Monday afternoon. In the distance I could hear some constant sounds coming from the road by the airport. No planes were flying but cars and trucks were still driving by. No birds were flying around either. Maybe they were trying to keep cool in the shade of the trees. Flies still invaded my privacy. They fought for a place on my hands or my water glass as they buzzed around in search of something to eat. The only obvious sounds were those of the three wind chimes as they swayed in the hot, sultry wind. One wooden one clacked along almost in tune with my two metal ones. My "tacky" palm trees swayed to some unknown tune while my hummingbirds danced around as if they could hear music. Where's "Lola" when you need her? "At the Copa, Copacabana..."

Outside, I could not hear the children inside as they played video games or annoyed their parents with constant questions or problems. As I listened to the wind chimes and the wind wrestle with the tree leaves, I felt the warm, sultry blast of the summer breeze as it swirled around the house.Whenever the wind stopped, I could feel how stagnant the air was without that little breeze.

At that point I found myself thinking about what is next for me. I don't know what is in store for me in the future. The warm breeze of summer beckons me and leads me to wonder where I will be, who I am, and who I want to be. The song of the road, the chimes and the breeze seem to call to me. And yet I have not found an answer or lyrics to this song. And so I sit, contemplating my navel, waiting for that elusive sign to tell me. I'm listening to the summer wind, but it's not talking, at least to me, for now.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The Pious Man and the Atheist

A very religious man lived right next door to an atheist. While the religious one prayed day in, day out, and was constantly on his knees in communion with his Lord, the atheist never even looked twice at a church.

However, the atheist's life was good, he had a well-paying job and a beautiful wife, and his children were healthy and good-natured, whereas the pious man's job was strenuous and his wages were low, his wife was getting fatter every day and his kids wouldn't give him the time of the day.So one day, deep in prayer as usual, the pious man raised his eyes towards heaven and asked: "Oh God, I honor you every day, I ask your advice for every problem and confess to you my every sin. Yet my neighbor, who doesn't even believe in you and certainly never prays, seems blessed with every happiness, while I go poor and suffer many an indignity. Why is this?"

And a great voice was heard from above...


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Me Worry About Asteroids? Nah, I've Got Twitter

From Wired Science:
The Real Twitpocalypse:Asteroid Alerts Come to Twitter

Been looking for a reason to join Twitter, but haven’t been able to quite take the plunge?

Forget Shaq and William Gibson: Alerts about asteroids cruising near Earth have come to Twitter. @AsteroidWatch will let you know any time a space rock gets within a few lunar distances. Much more asteroid info will be distributed via a new NASA/JPL website. (Though if you want to know if a nuke is the best way to stop an asteroid, you’ll still need to come to Wired Science.)

“Most people have a fascination with near-Earth objects,” Don Yeomans, manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a press release. “And I have to agree with them. I have studied them for over three decades and I find them to be scientifically fascinating, and a few are potentially hazardous to Earth.”

The recent collision between a comet and Jupiter underscored the very real presence of possibly dangerous space objects in the solar system.

The Twitter feed, @lowflyingrocks, already uses NASA’s raw data to let you know after an asteroid has passed the Earth. But the site tells you about every rock within 0.2 astronomical units — that’s more than 18 million miles — so you get a ton of updates. @AsteroidWatch will be choosier about the near-earth objects it tells you about. Only rocks that come within a scant 750,000 miles or so of Earth will earn a Tweet.

With previous Twitter accounts, NASA employees have created voices for the various robots and machines that the agency operates. Some, like @MarsPhoenix, were cute and cuddly. Perhaps the proper voice for the near earth object warning system will be slightly more urgent and prone to profanity.

Any kind of personality would be an improvement on @lowflyingrock’s robotic language. Its last Tweet went a little something like this: “2007 LL, ~220m-490m in diameter, just passed the Earth at 6km/s, missing by ~twenty-seven million, five hundred thousand km.”

Now Don't You feel better? Twitter is on the job. It will let us know about those dastardly asteroids and save us all. Sure, I'll sleep better tonight. On the other hand maybe I will lay away all night waiting for that fateful tweet. Oh why bother. Wait a minute my Tweet Deck is calling. An asteroid coming? No, just the Astros losing 12-0 to the Cubs.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Just Try to Build an Ark Today, Noah

And lo, in the year 2009, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in the United States, and said:
"Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see the end of all flesh before me."

"Build another Ark and save two of every living thing along with a few good humans."

He gave Noah the blueprints, saying, "You have 6 months to build the ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights."

Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard, but there was no ark.

"Noah! I'm about to start the rain! Where is the ark?"

"Forgive me, Lord," begged Noah, "but things have changed."

"I needed a building permit."

"I've been arguing with the inspector about the need for a sprinkler system."

"My neighbors claim that I've violated the neighborhood zoning laws by building the ark in my yard and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to the Development Appeal Board for a decision."

"Then the Department of Transportation demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the ark's move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it."

"Getting the wood was another problem. There's a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the spotted owl."

"I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls, but no go!"

"When I started gathering the animals, an animal rights group sued me. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. They argued the accommodations were too restrictive, and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space."

"Then the EPA ruled that I couldn't build the ark until they'd conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood."

"I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I'm supposed to hire for my building crew."

"Immigration and Naturalization are checking the green-card status of most of the people who want to work."

"The trades unions say I can't use my sons. They insist I have to hire only Union workers with ark-building experience.

"To make matters worse, the IRS seized all my assets, claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species."

"So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish this Ark."

Suddenly, the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky.

Noah looked up in wonder and asked, "You mean you're not going to destroy the world?"

"No," said the Lord. "The government beat me to it."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Do You Want Some Toothpaste, Cat?

I discovered that my day would probably not go well this morning. How? After I finished my coffee I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth. When I turned the light on, I discovered the cat had taken up residence in the sink. "Spots" better known as Sneezy was lounging in the sink. He was turned toward the mirror. I guess he wanted to admire himself by looking in the mirror. As I walked in he looked back at me with a "What the Hell do you want" look. How rude was I to interrupt this feline.

Thankfully the bathroom has two sinks. He would not have been very happy to be unceremoniously dumped from his place in the cool shiny sink. He was secure with the knowledge that I was not going to use "his" sink. I turned on the water in the other sink. He slowly turned his head as if to tell me that I had better not even think of splashing him. I wouldn't do that. That is unless I could get away with it. After all, just how many times have I been sneezed on? As I opened the toothpaste, he rose up a little as if he needed to check it out. He then apparently thought better of it and went back to admiring himself in the mirror.

The whole time I was in there I wondered. What was he thinking? Did he want some toothpaste? Was there something he wanted me to do for him? That is besides get out of his way. Later he decided to abandon his quiet spot. Probably a good idea since Aryn had decided to get up and start bouncing around the house. As he decided to head for the front door, I didn't blame him. Next time bring your own toothbrush, cat!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Texas Board of Education?

Ben Sargent

Monday, July 20, 2009

I Am Not a Good Passenger

For me going anywhere in a car with someone else driving is a trial. No, make that a nightmare, just for me. I hate being a passenger. I never like riding with my kids or any one else. If I drive I'm ok. But let anyone else do the driving and I nearly have a nervous breakdown. I am forever gripping the door or the seat. I hit the "brake" on my side, or I push on the dashboard. I always think they are going too fast or following too closely.

Once before Annie's wedding she, Traci and I went to Houston to shop. Traci had rented a little car. It was one that you could pull down part of the back seat and reach the trunk. During this trip as Traci drove all over the Houston freeways I threatened to climb into the trunk. She was only switching lanes to get to the other side. uh huh.

A few years later I rode with Annie and Jason as he drove all over Phoenix. I wore out my "brake". I kept looking out the side window so I would not have to see what was in front. I even closed my eyes. It didn't help. I think I left fingerprints on the arm of the door, too.

Amanda always seemed to drive too fast. Guess it was just me. She also waited until the last second to slow down or brake. So, I usually rode in the back seat. That way I did not have to look as she sped along or talked (texted) while driving. Even her daddy complained that I was much too nervous. He threatened to make me wear blinders.

So in the last couple of days I have been to town here in Waco with Traci and today with the neighbor Leigh Ann. I'm still shaking. When Traci and I went out she flew down the streets. Well that was not too bad until she came to the BIG hill. She flew down it and I expected to be airborne at any moment. Straight DOWN! Yikes! It took me ten minutes for my heart to stop pounding.

Then today Leigh Ann and I went out to see if I can get a new ID card. Her mother said the place we needed to go was at one place. Nope, some where else it was. So I get yet another turn at being the lunatic passenger. She races down the streets. She follows the cars ahead of her way too closely for my taste. She runs the streets, twists and turns, stops inches from the cars in front.Once again I am "braking", grabbing on to the dash, door arm or seat. I try to appear calm. Oh and on top of this we got lost because her mother told us the wrong directions! We go all over Waco and I sit there attempting to look calm and assertive. It works for Cesar Milan with dogs, but not me.

Because I found out I need more ID proof before I can get a new ID, I have to go through this driving insanity again. Nothing is simple for me these days.A few simple errands and I feel like I've been in the middle of a movie car chase seen. Remember the "Italian Job"? Anyone got any Valium?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Read the Fine Print

This should be basic information to any casual observer. Read the fine print before you sign anything, right? Duh! But how many people really do this? It never ceases to amaze me that people see a great offer for something and sign up for it. Then the bill for that great offer comes. Ouch! Why is this bill $300! You did not read the fine print. They didn't tell you about the equipment fees, or the installation fees? Or how about the service charge? I know people who never read instructions. Buy an easy to put together tv cabinet from WalMart. Who needs to read the instructions? Why does that cabinet look weird? Could it be that you didn't read all the instructions and yes maybe those extra pieces have a purpose.Oh and don't forget that when you get a great deal on tv, internet and phone service, there's a catch to that great deal. It's called the charges you didn't read in the fine print. Oops, that $90 deal is suddenly a lot more. Why? Read.

We all look for bargains, especially these days. We clip coupons, we compare prices, we even buy in bulk to save money. Yeah that new flat screen tv was a great bargain, wasn't it? What about all the extra cables, etc you had to buy? Huh? Pay attention next time, you might save some money.

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