For Chip: He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. —Unknown

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Parents Always Worry About Their Children

Parents perpetually worry about the health, happiness, and safety of their children. These concerns will begin at birth and last a lifetime.  Do you care more for one child than the other?  No, the attention is identical for each child.

If  one child encounters sickness, it is natural for the mom to wonder if she is at fault.
When Jack Osborne was diagnosed with MS his mom, Sharon Osborne said she wondered if this illness was the result of something she did during pregnancy. 

Sharon Osbourne, Jack’s mother, told Hello! magazine that she blamed herself.
“I keep thinking, ‘What did I do wrong? What did I eat or drink when I was pregnant?' I feel like it’s somehow my fault.”

When health or mental issues arise in children, parents feel guilty.  Did you do all the right things?  Of course you did.   However, there is a  feeling of doubt that the mom is responsible because she carried the child. This is nonsense, but it is hard for the parent to dismiss.

Moms later live through the child's social life.  Many hours were spent talking late into the night when one son had a serious breakup.  The parent hopes to make the child better with words of encouragement and hope for the future.

Another worry for children is safety. Parent's panic if the child is not in sight, or if their whereabouts is not known. I remember sitting on the porch until 4:00 a.m. waiting for one son to arrive home.  There is no sleep or rest until the child returns.

These overall feelings of concern for children is best illustrated with the parable of the lost sheep.  The shepherd maintains the herd of sheep, and if one is missing he cannot rest until that sheep is found.  Parents cannot rest until the child's need is met. My parent's had a responsibility for me and my children.  I  feel the same about my children and their future children. The cycle continues.

The story below is from


The Lost Sheep

Scripture: Matthew 18:12-14 (see also Luke 15:3-10)
12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go in search of the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14 So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

Meditation: Do you know what it's like to lose your bearings and to be hopelessly adrift in a sea of uncertainty? To be alone, lost, and disoriented without a sense of direction is one of the worst fears we can encounter. What we would give to have a guide who would show us the way to safety and security, the way to home and family. Scripture comforts us with the assurance that God will not rest until we find our way home to him. The scriptures use the image of a shepherd who cares for his sheep to describe what God is like. God promised that he would personally shepherd his people and lead them to safety (Isaiah 40:11). That is why God sent his only begotten son as the Messiah King who would not only restore peace and righteousness to the land, but who would also shepherd and care for his people with love and compassion. Jesus describes himself as the good shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep (John 10:11).

What can we learn from the lesson of Jesus' parable about a lost sheep? This parable gives us a glimpse of the heart of a true shepherd, and the joy of a community reunited with its lost members. Shepherds not only had to watch over their sheep by day and by night; they also had to protect them from wolves and lions who preyed upon them, and from dangerous terrain and storms. Shepherds often had large flocks, sometimes numbering in the hundreds or thousands. It was common to inspect and count the sheep at the end of the day. You can imagine the surprise and grief of the shepherd who discovers that one of his sheep is missing! Does he wait until the next day to go looking for it? Or does he ask a neighboring shepherd if he might has seen the stray sheep? No, he goes immediately in search of this lost sheep. Delay for even one night could mean disaster leading to death. Sheep by nature are very social creatures. An isolated sheep can quickly become bewildered, disoriented, and even neurotic. Easy prey for wolves and lions!

The shepherd's grief and anxiety is turned to joy when he finds the lost sheep and restores it to the fold. The shepherd searches until what he has lost is found. His persistence pays off. What was new in Jesus' teaching was the insistence that sinners must be sought out time and time again. How easy to forget and be distracted with other matters while the lost become prey for devouring wolves of the soul. The Apostle Peter reminds us that the "devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). God does not rejoice in the loss of anyone, but desires that we be saved and restored to friendship with him. That is why the whole community of heaven rejoices when one sinner is found and restored to fellowship with God. God is on a rescue mission today to save us from the destructive forces of sin and evil. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, watches over every step we take. Do you listen to his voice and heed his wise counsel? Do you follow the path he has set for you - a path that leads to life rather than death?

"Lord Jesus, nothing escapes your watchful gaze and care. May I always walk in the light of your truth and never stray from your loving presence."

Return to | The Parables of Jesus | Daily Readings & Meditations | Words of Life |
(c) 2001-2007 Don Schwager

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Interview

Best part of the movie "The Interview" was this cute King Cavalier Spaniel puppy.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Max Attack

Gerontology Tips

  • Don't expect to impress the elderly with an expensive car, successful job or fancy house.  
  • Impossible to fool them on anything.  They know everything.
  • They may prefer that all blinds and windows are covered before nightfall.
  •  Information and phrases may be repeated within minutes.
  • Do not be surprised to find a red velvet cupcake hidden in a purse.
  • Do not rule out the possibility of washing unusual items....example:  a nylon purse to remove icing, and it will look better than before.
  • Even if you are driving be prepared to get suggestions for going at a faster speed. 
  • Be flexible in finding compatible products, like hearing aid batteries. 
  • It is possible that they go to bed before 6pm.
  • Elderly folks like their space and tire of you after a few days.
  • Do not consider an insult if they want to cut their visit short, and prefer to leave after one day.
  • They are determined and strong which is the reason they are still alive and kicking.
  • They may have some good advice since they have gone through a long life.
  • Do not expect any sympathy because nothing is a big deal to them at this point.
  • They may not like TV and will care less about DWTS and Real Housewives reality shows.
  • They do enjoy good food and sometimes lots of sweets.
  • Take them out to eat even though it may take two people to get them inside.
  • They may not care for pets, especially ones that are kept in the house.
  • Everything you are buying is too expensive.
  • They may want to drive 10 miles to save 30 cents.
  • Use a pick to restyle bubble permed hair.
  • They may want to eat dinner at 3 or 4pm instead of waiting until at least 6pm.
  • They may not give you a Christmas present if they have not heard from you in a year.
  • This is when you are hoping you have a daughter.  Women tend to be better caregivers than males and you will be this age soon.
  • That expression "the patience of Job" may need that now.
  • Keep a sense of humor.
  • Appreciate their presence because tomorrow is uncertain. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving 2011

It was almost Thanksgiving as I arrived at my mom's home.  We drove around the neighborhood to see where friends used to live.  Hundreds of trees had been cut down due to the drought and there were stacks of limbs that lay dead on the ground.  I looked forward to meeting an old friend at the neighborhood bistro where the menu is named after familiar phrases understood only by area residents.

The next day we met John at the airport.  We took my mom to lunch and thought it would be a great opportunity to take her for a visit with her best friend Dorothy.  Dorothy lived in her own home, but had fallen in August and hit her head.  Her legs could not hold her after the fall and she has been struggling to improve.  After a brief stay at the hospital she was moved to a local nursing home.

The nursing home looked pleasant from the outside and the foyer looked attractive and beautifully decorated.  As we approached the reception area we were directed to Dorothy's hallway.  When we got to the room it was  stark and uninviting.  I noticed the shower down the hall that said "in use".  Dorothy was no where to be found and we were told to go to the cafeteria.  The path to the cafeteria  led us through a sea of listless people.  There were rows of wheelchairs and  unattended residents with empty stares.  We found Dorothy having lunch and she insisted that we go to the main lobby where we could be more comfortable.

The Ring
Dorothy has a positive attitude as she told us she was thankful to be there and lived one day at a time.  However, we were shocked to find that the living conditions seemed more like a prison.  We heard about the staff and how she had learned to work the system.  One of the staff had gotten angry with her and had put all her things very high so that she could not reach them.  Her roommate kept her awake all night talking and moaning.  While Dorothy had a  favorable prognosis everyone else appeared  to have a more serious condition.  She explained how she could not upset the staff or there would be consequences. We quickly surmised that  we would not want a relative living there.  The staff  was laughing and talking as the patients were left unattended.  One woman wanted to see the TV but no one would come to her assistance except for us.  The patients have no phones and can only talk when one of the staff is present at the nurses' station.  Of course they do not want anyone to tell their family that they are trapped in a poorly managed institution.  The manager seemed to ignore the staff as they giggled and pretended the patients did not exist.

After we left I was thankful that my mom was not at this place and hoped that she would never encounter this lack of care. It was very sad but sweet as Dorothy struggled to stand.  The two friends hugged one another and said goodbye.

We were able to have a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with my mom's niece Joanne.  Joanne is one of the few living relatives left in my mom's life and she enjoyed seeing family and friends. 

Happy Birthday John
As we got ready to go back home my mom brought out several rings.  One of them was my dad's wedding band that was removed before the burial.  She had been wearing his ring but wanted to give it to me if I would wear it.  Of course I will wear and cherish the little gold band. 

John did numerous improvements to my mom's home during the visit.  He gives unselfishly and is a wonderful and dedicated son, grandson, and brother.  Love to John on his Birthday.  We are lucky to have him in our lives.

The video is by Jeremy Crady who is an aspiring country western singer/songwriter, and friend of John and the family.

Love to James who was missed and had his first LA Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


I recently set up a #Twitter account with a free email account. I use Facebook, but I rarely post. Some of my FB friends are what I would rudely call Facebook whores, posting every few hours. Introverted people like myself post less so as not to inconvenience their friends or bring too much attention to themselves.

Twitter is a different social media. It's more comfortable because I only have a few followers that know me. Randomly, I write what I'm thinking. One of my first posts got chosen by @Dallas_Picks editor's choice for a restaurant, #Bluefish. They probably thought I was joking when I said "I prefer restaurants with cooked food". The following Bluefish visit I thought I would gag on one of the popular #HappyHour appetizers. My other tweets that have been favorited are from the  reality show "The People's Couch".  I have no idea if these people that comment are actor's or just people like the rest of us.  If they are looking at my tweets they are not in the Kevin Costner category.

My hobby watching #Bravo reality shows has initiated tweets that revolve around the popular reality shows like the Real Housewives of New Jersey #RHONJ. I am not sure the purpose of Twitter is to be in the neighborhood with random strangers and celebrities. I have one follower who is a Twitter guru, and will help you become popular for a small fee. I must look like a pathetic user to him. The few others following me must be lost souls. Not sure if I will continue this social media because my tweets seem to be spiraling into a black hole never to be uttered again. However, as soon as I figure out where I belong in the #Twitter  community I will let you know. I need to start over with an alias that confuses everyone.....@_Hefnersnewplaymate

Monday, November 17, 2014

Daisaku Ikeda

Women are, in my view, natural peacemakers. As givers and nurturers of life, through their focus on human relationships and their engagement with the demanding work of raising children and protecting family life, they develop a deep sense of empathy that cuts through to underlying human realities.

It took me two and one half hours to get to work last week.  I was frustrated as I sat with my car in park in the middle of the freeway.  Little did I know that the reason we were waiting was because someone had jumped off the bridge and was hit by several cars in the still of the night.  Many comments were critical of this man causing a delay, and hurting other people who ran over him by accident.    I thought "My God".......give us compassion and understanding to deal with our fellow men who have lost all hope.  It is a sad day when we only worry about our selfish wants and needs.

[Official Video] Mary, Did You Know? - Pentatonix

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Things My Mom Taught Me

                      Work never hurt anyone.....
                                   Worry will

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

CVS Blocks Apple Pay

We do not know about the security of Apple Pay, but the idea of the retailer not getting all your personal info sounds promising. The obstacle for Apple users is that retailers such as CVS have blocked Apple Pay. They want you to use their technology option called CurrentC. It will not involve costs that Apple Pay will cause the retailer to incur. Since Apple products are so popular with the generic shopper I would think it would have an impact on their sales. I enjoy shopping there, but will think twice about continuing if they insist on blocking a new technology. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Most Gracioius Little Boy Ever Receives A Cutting Board For A Gift Just To Test Him -- And His Reaction Is The Best Thing

The Most Gracioius Little Boy Ever Receives A Cutting Board For A Gift Just To Test Him -- And His Reaction Is The Best Thing

Jack White - I'm Shakin'

Diane Keaton

“Before I opened my computer in the parking lot today, I relived one of my favorite memories. It's the one with Woody and me sitting on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum after it's closed. We're watching people parade out of the museum in summer shorts and sandals. The trees to the south are planted in parallel lines. The water in the fountain shoots up with a mist that almost reaches the steps we sit on. We look at silver-haired ladies in red-and-white-print dresses. We separate the mice from the men, the tourists from the New Yorkers, the Upper East Siders from the West Siders. The hot-pretzel vendor sells us a wad of dough in knots with clumps of salt stuck on top. We make our usual remarks about the crazies and wonder what it would be like to live in a penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue overlooking the Met. We laugh and say the same things we always say. We hold hands and keep sitting, just sitting, as the sun beings to set. It's a perfect afternoon.” 
 Diane Keaton, Then Again

Marilyn Monroe

“All little girls should be told they are pretty, even if they aren't.” 
 Marilyn Monroe

Sting - If You Love Somebody Set Them Free

Monday, October 20, 2014

Parenting: A Dress Rehearsal

Having the first child was a new and challenging experience.  I had a degree, experienced various jobs, had a supportive family, but was not prepared.  What was going to happen next?  You hope for smooth sailing, but the initial contact with your first child is a bit scary. After all, we did not know each other.  All the parenting books made the womb seem like a fairy tale, but the truth is you are about to meet someone new.  You hope he will be like your favorite relative, but what if he has the temperament of some long lost cousin that you want to forget. You realize that you are creating a little being that depends on you for every need, and that you will love unconditionally in an amazing way. 

A first child sometimes makes the parents a little possessive, and sharing their sweet baby is not always accepted.  After many sleepless nights, a lot of practice brings the end to the baby honeymoon.  The second child arrives and it is a bit more comfortable, but a little more complicated because there are two.  Suddenly, the third child arrives and it is overwhelming.  Taking care of everyone’s needs is a chore.  Reality sets in and you realize that every child is different.  One has your mother’s tiny ears and another has your mother’s family’s nose.  The personalities are so varied that you cannot believe these children came out of your body.  One child is at peace, and the other is like a raging volcano.  One is like an accomplished carpenter and can fix anything.  Where did that come from?   Is it not strange the bodies and temperaments are so diverse?  They could just as well have been from a sperm donor.  These children have no resemblance to me or their father.  The only thing I was sure about is that I saw them being born. 

Unfortunately, my children were after the hippie era.  Trending in the 1980s: No drugs allowed for childbirth.  It was kind of ironic that everyone had been smoking weed and there was a trend to deliver babies drug free.  The recipe for delivery was the Lamaze method. Losing concentration during a contraction resulted in horrendous pain.  There would be no parties and relatives in the delivery room.  In the middle of a monumental contraction my mother walked into the delivery room with sunglasses.  This was not a good time for visitors, including my mom.  She never got near the birthing area.  She still referred to childbirth as “getting a baby” or the stork.  It must have been a real adjustment for her to think that there was more involved in giving birth.  Staying on task with the breathing technique was more difficult with other mom’s screaming and cursing nearby.

Now that three children are adults I look back at some of the things that I did as a mom.   Some events were pretty awesome.  However, I remember certain incidents that I did not make the best decisions and they are haunting.  We cannot predict how things will turn out.   Overall, if I had everything to do over again, I would probably do the same thing.  Parenting is a learning experience.  Everything is based on trial and error.  We all try for the best result, and the experience could be compared to a “dress rehearsal”.  You stage yourself to be ready, but there is more to learn about a newborn than baby furniture and cute clothes. Parenting is a gift of love that keeps on giving for the rest of your life.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

IPhone 6 and Both Sides Now

I recently stood in line for the iPhone 6 Plus on the Apple release day at a local mall.  I waited for almost 5 hours after getting up at 3am and driving in the dark.  The line was ridiculous with at least 500 people.  While standing in line I met two girls of Indian descent and a mature Asian man.   The Asian man was enjoyable and we shared stories and laughter.  I tasted my first and last "Red Bull".  By the time they brought an iPhone 6 Plus down the line I was shocked to see the enormous size. The iPhone 6 Plus was now sold out.   Sure, I wanted a larger phone, but this might not fit in my handy purse I use for quick trips to the store.  

Excitedly, I told my new friend that the iPhone 6 looked too big.  We had already discussed our need for the larger iPhone, gold color, and 64 GB.  Before long he suggested I sit on a couch to rest.   I was getting so tired that I agreed to sit for a few minutes.  The new iPhone debut was on a Friday, but people had started camping at the mall on Wednesday evening.  Many of the first line customers had blankets.  I tried to order online, but opted to come in person when the online option to pick up or ship was grayed out.  

I eventually had to leave for a work commitment at a community center.   I was busy on Saturday, but by Sunday I went back to the same mall and there was still a line for the iPhone 6.  I talked to an Apple representative and she said to go order the phone online and then they would call me to  pick it up after it was ready.  The only phone available in the iPhone 6 was a  64 GB in gold.  I would have to pay an extra $100 for the larger size, but they did have gold and I could get it immediately.  I wondered if it would be crazy to pay the extra money just to get the phone before Monday. I decided that it was worth it and I could use the extra storage.  I ran home and ordered the phone.  Within minutes Apple said they were processing my order.  Before the hour was up I was driving to the store to pick up the phone.  I got to the store and was asked to stand in the reservations line.  I asked if that was the line where there were no people.  The attendant said yes.  Within minutes I had my new iPhone, although they were unable to back it up because there was not enough iCloud storage.

The next two days were necessary for the transfer. My Mac laptop is too old for the software needed for the upgrade.  I needed the 6 OS X version, but I have 10.5.8 OS X. However, I could not upgrade.  I needed iTunes 11 but I only have version 10. I could not make the phone transfer without appropriate software for the laptop or iTunes.  A backup from iCloud was impossible because there was not enough space.  However, I could purchase  ICloud space which I did.  When I tried to backup the phone to iCloud it said it would take 8 hours.  Don't other people walk out with phones that are ready to go with pictures and contacts transferred over?

I finally came up with a solution.  I had a current iTunes version on my HP at work.  Even though I had never used it as a backup I was able to backup the phone and make the transfer. By noon the next day I had the new phone working and could finally leave the old phone behind.  I love Apple products and as a member of the Apple cult would stand in line for a phone every time.  However the process of upgrading everything is difficult.  I need to update my laptop, but technology costs money.  I am happy at the moment with my most constant companion, my iPhone 6....oh yeah, and glad I did not get the bendable iPhone 6 Plus.

Let Go, And Know God Is In Control

Let Go, And Know God Is In Control

Joann (niece) and Aunt Agnes (my Mom)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

U2 - One - Anton Corbjin Version

A song for U2.  So many disgruntled iPhone users were upset that U2 released their new album
"Songs of Innocence" for free with an iTunes account.   U2 was supposedly paid $100 million
dollars by Apple for the release of their album.  Users were upset with the album taking up too
much storage on their phone.  I think the band is great, but not the case for everyone.

The Beatles - 'You got to hide your love away' music video

Thursday, September 4, 2014

What Does the Church Stand For?

I attend church regularly, and feel like my week goes better when I attend. I appreciate that we can worship where and how we want in this country.   However, I have some questions about churches in general:
  • Should the church announce the sins of a member to the congregation, and humiliate him as well as his wife so that he can never use his talents again?
  • Should the church ignore certain sins that may jeopardize the safety of the members?
  • Should a pastor tell you that if you ask God, he will give you a new car?
  • Should a church ask you to sign an accountability agreement and send letters from other members if they disagree with your choices in life?
  • Does the church still recognize forgiveness, or do they set out to hurt members they do not agree with?
  • Does the church still agree to counsel people when they are in trouble?
  • Does the church charge for religious events during Christmas, rather than allowing everyone that needs Jesus to attend?
  • Does the church still recognize the average member or only the elite members that own a business or remain influential in the community?
  • Where can I find a church that harbors no judgement? 
  • If you choose the sometimes overused phrase of What Would Jesus Do?.... Would he be involved in charging people to learn about God, judging, or humiliating people? 
  • Does the church still represent a "God fearing entity"?  I hope so.
  • Do I have a right to question the actions of the church?
  • Should the music provided by the church provide me more meaning and emotion than any speaker?
  • Do we really expect for churches who are run by people to be perfect? 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Jeremy Crady "Missing You Already"

The Dream

Is a dream just a dream or does it have a hidden message?  I have been haunted by a dream I had a few nights ago about the death of my mother.  My mom is still alive and quite healthy.  My dream was very calm, but involved details of planning for my mom's funeral and telling various people about her death.  I announced to one friend that I must call my oldest son John who lives out of town.

Suddenly, the phone rang.  It's was on vibrate so it jogged me out of the dream.  The caller's name is my mom.  I answered the phone and a woman's voice was saying over and over   "Pendant no. 1 is not in communication."  I knew that it was the life alert station calling because it was  low on batteries.  The ironic part was that it occurred in the middle of the dream.  Was the dream and the call a message?  I waited until morning to call the house.  I stayed awake the rest of the night thinking about her possible impending death.  It was also feasible that death had happened already. 

I called her phone first thing in the morning and her neighbor answered.  I knew that he would call if she had died, and the fact that he answered threw me into a tailspin.  I blurted out that I had a dream and was calling early to make sure everything was fine.  The neighbor said, "Things were great.  I just brought her banana nut bread that I made this morning."  I thought what a nice thing to do, and that my mom was still alive.

I have analyzed the dream for the last few days.  The calmness escalated to being weepy and sad.  I had to go see my mother, and did so this weekend.  She looked fine although a little frail.  We went to lunch with her niece and friend at a Mexican restaurant in the neighborhood.  During lunch my cousin started talking about dreams.  The cousin said that dreams occur right before and after a death.  Her friend who is a follower of many churches said to rebuke part of the dream so that not one extra day would be taken from my mother.  I did not understand the reasoning, but the whole incident has been exhausting.   Losing the second parent is both inevitable and  unbearable.  I never knew that I had so many tears

Monday, July 28, 2014

Words of Wisdom from My Dad (Connie)

Connie Carter Best was a wonderful man that loved people.  He talked to everyone and always tried to make them feel better.  He was kind and always had a great smile, especially when he was with his grandchildren, or in his small backyard garden. He was never cruel, insensitive, hot tempered, or envious.

When I have decisions to make I always ask myself, what would CC Best do?  I miss him very much, but he did a great job teaching me some basic principles.  He was a wonderful father with an outstanding sense of humor.

If someone tells you that death of a parent gets is a lie.  The pain and heartache never go away.....and so is life. 

These are the things he always told me:
  • Be nice to people.
  • Your mother has a great personality, but her relatives are nuts.
  • Anyone can marry.
  • Your newborn son looks like a Prince.
  • Do not be ugly.
  • Go to church.
  • If you are not nice, "Ole Man Teeters" will get you.
  • Get an education before marriage.
  • Do not drink socially, or it could end up being a problem.
  • When eating at someones house, eat what they serve.
  • Try to get along.
  • If no one gets upset, then the family event is a success.
  • Do not spend so much time on your hair.  You will still look the same.
  • Do not take a job that you will not enjoy.
  • Pets can relax and sleep comfortably because they trust their owner completely.
  • Talk to everyone and make them feel better.
  • When feeling bad, don't discuss it with everyone. 
  • Always be on time for work.
  • Do the best job possible.
  • Grow a garden, and eat and share the produce.
  • Do not name your son a girl's name i.e. Connie.
  • If you name the first two son's, "J" names, do the same for the third.
  • Visit friends and family that are in the hospital.
  • Share with your neighbor.  Mow their yard or take them something.
  • Never stay longer than 24 hours when visiting.
  • Never be afraid of hard work.
  • Never drive your new car to work
  • Keep personal, financial information private.
  • Never make up a story.
  • Live in the future, and forget the past.
  • Don't worry about what gift to give your mother because she always takes it back.
  • When the chaplain came to his hospital room, he asked, "How much is this going to cost me?"
  • When having a bad day do not let it influence the way you treat your child.
  • Never eat chicken.  Do eat lots of vegetables.
  • When bothered by work or my mom his favorite expression:  "I want to be left alone".

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Las Vegas and Living the Dream

Las Vegas is an amazing city.  Most librarians hate it, but I love it.  I enjoy a city that never sleeps.  It is the godsend for insomniacs and people that crave excitement.  The ALA  conference that I attended was amazing.  The speakers included Jane Fonda.  I thought she would be of no interest, but found her uplifting and educational.  Ms Fonda looked terrific at 77.  Her hair and body are beautiful.  She is sharp and well informed on the subjects that she addressed.  Most of the speakers including Ms. Fonda took a considerable number of questions from the audience.

Another speaker was Malcolm X's daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz.She told many stories of her childhood and portrayed her father as a kind and passionate human being.  She was also a beautiful woman, well educated and an excellent and charming speaker.

The third woman,  Azar Nadisi is originally from Iran. Azar Nafisi is an Iranian writer and professor of English literature. She has resided in the United States since 1997 and became an American citizen in 2008.Wikipedia She has a bestseller called "Reading Lolita in Tehran".  I have never read the book, but am reading the autographed copy of the book, "Republic of Imagination", she signed for me.  She is an enchanting speaker with an energy about her that leaves you speechless.  I told her I wish I could capture that energy when speaking.  She said the energy came from the audience, and I was spellbound by her every word.  She was speaking of women's rights.  While in Iran she refused to wear the veil.  I have never been quite so affected by such a powerful and successful group of women.

“You get a strange feeling when you're about to leave a place, I told him, like you'll not only miss the people you love but you'll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you'll never be this way ever again.” 

Security kept trying to rush Ms. Nafisi along, but she was not having any of it.  After all, how can you harness the spirit of a woman that has fled Iran and speaks so directly about women's rights.  The conference I had planned on being a bore made an impression that would last for weeks.  

While in Vegas I was a one as I recall from "Sex and the City".  I normally know many other librarians, but not in this case.  I did most everything alone.  I stayed at Caesars where I met a bellman that had worked there 38 years.  He knew many famous celebrities and relayed stories of quirky incidents that happened while they were at the hotel.  He had even helped Frank Sinatra.  He must be good with the ladies as he suggested I take a nap, have a cocktail, and ask for a robe, slippers and more towels.  Even though he seemed harmless, I kept one hand on my hip and the other with the door propped open.  He kept stroking his hair, which was making me incredibly nervous.  He offered his services for later if needed.

It was not long before I noticed I had a spacious bathroom with separate tub, shower, etc.  It was of no concern, but I did notice this bathroom had no door.  I thought about husband, family, roommate and having no privacy or safe area.  Maybe it was a room for a "one".

I am partial to visual/musical  entertainment and found

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Women of Faith

My mom is now quite elderly and is not the same woman she was even a few years ago.  However, one thing that has not changed is her faith in God.  Do some people have a closer connection to God?  I am here to tell you I have seen examples of incidents that could only come from God.  I was once told that my mother was the meanest woman on earth.   I think what they meant to say was that she was the most focused, determined, and God loving woman I know.  The only reason she is still here is because she never gives up.  She still wants to drive a car even though she is close to a 100.  I tell her to relax and let someone else take care of driving, but that is not good enough for her.  She hasn't missed church in years.  Her hearing is horrible, but she goes to church regularly and taught Sunday School for 50 years.

One day I was on crutches and in extreme pain. I gave her my daily call explaining my problem.  She accepts no problems or diseases. It is possible to overcome anything.  Within 30 minutes after calling her, I went to the store and was walking normally.  I knew it was her that had prayed for me and now things were fine.  On Friday I got documentation that should have never come to me, but was needed to complete her taxes.  It was unlikely that the government would make a mistake.  I knew that the letter was connected to a hotline to a higher power even though she knew nothing about it.  She got lost while driving one day and ended up at the home of the receptionist for a neighborhood church that she now attends.  A miracle?  Something definitely working in her favor.

My friend recently invited her mom to move into her home. Her mom is also a great example of a strong God fearing woman.  She was praying an emotional prayer for a large group of people at lunch recently,,,,, not the one about being grateful for the food.  She stopped in the middle of the prayer and said,  "You know God we own nothing.  Everything belongs to you including this house".  After going through a divorce and losing so many of my things, I realized that material things mean nothing.  It was the best lesson I could have ever learned.  I am amazed when I see people collecting objects that will mean nothing to the next person when they die.  This woman has taught me so much about life, love, friendship, and that God is in control.   God does own the house and I'm OK with that.

My biggest fear of losing my mom is also losing that special connection that I know is available though her talks with God.  Even if you do not believe in God you would be amazed by the wisdom and dedication in these women that walk in faith.

A Strong Woman

Princess Diana

 Princess Diana

Stop This Train (John Mayer Cover) - Cameron Mitchell

Unconditional Love

A dog will teach you unconditional love. If you can have that in your life, things won't be too bad.

Christina Perri "A Thousand Years" Music Video - 'Breaking Dawn' Soundtrack

Monday, June 16, 2014

Wedding Tips for the Mother of the Groom

How to Avoid Crying if you are the Mother of the Groom                                                     

  • Stay focused and think about other things that are not emotional. Worry about having enough parking spaces for the guests, or if you can wear your shoes the whole night.
  • When walking down the aisle, do not look at the guests.  If you do happen to see someone, it is because they are cheering you on and it will make you smile.

  • My friend said carry a Kleenex, but I would advocate a small dosage of xanax.

  • Concentrate on the person walking you down the aisle, and use small talk to make it a light and pleasant experience. My son walked me, and I mentioned that the wedding planner was ADD. That made us both laugh.

  • Whatever you do, do not look at the bride as she walks down the aisle. You can see it later on video and enjoy the breakdown in your own living room. If I watch a bride walk down the aisle, I will completely burst into tears even if it is a total stranger. Don't Look!

  • When the bride and groom say their vows try to think of other distractions like the flowers or how long the whole service is taking. If you concentrate too much on the vows, it will result in a certain flood of tears.

  • Think about how tears will ruin your makeup. Not only will you look ugly, but you will look ridiculous with one fake eyelash hanging.

  • If you make it through the service, you still have to make it through several toasts, which usually tugs at the heart. This is like a battle prep. Prepare yourself for distractions.

  • As the toasts begin. think how nice the speaker looks or how well they are speaking. Most of the  emotional details will be about the bride and groom.

  • Check on the status of the bride's mom. If she is not crying, it will give you confidence to postpone the emotion. The bride's mother said she had been waiting for this day for 3 years, so I assumed she would not be crying.

  • By the time they cut the cake, I am sorry to say that my beautiful Stuart Weitzman glitter heels had been killing me. I decided this would also be on video and skipped that activity.

  • The exit of the bride and groom is not too emotionalYou may attend an after party. I noticed some of the guests were getting tipsy at the end.

  • My mother fell asleep in a chair at the Hotel after party. She appears to be asleep, but my son says that she is like a guard dog, and there is no chance she is missing anything. This makes me laugh, but I know it is true.

  • I laugh as my mom holds her head up and says, "I don't know who we are waiting for, but I don't think they are coming." 

  • Don't drink during the wedding or the after party. A friend told me that at the end of the wedding she had a few drinks and argued with her sister over a shady relative.

  • Postponing crying may not be the best approach at your son's wedding, but it worked for me. There will be plenty of emotion the next few days and trying to avoid it temporarily is not a bad thing.

  • Use Jackie Kennedy as a role model and remember how stoic she remained during a funeral.

  • If you do break down in tears it is quite normal, and no one will disapprove.

Jeff at hospital in AZ where he was born
Have a wonderful wedding!  Remember to enjoy it.  It will be better than you ever imagined.