Saturday, July 30, 2011


Story by Catherine Moore

The following was emailed to me by an old high school buddy.  It is one of those “feel good” stories that we encounter every now and then.  But is it true?  I searched the internet, but with no luck.  One individual said he did not think it a true story, but that was his opinion.  I suppose you can decide for yourself.
"Watch out! You nearly broad sided that car!" My father yelled at me. "Can't you do anything right?"
Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another battle.
"I saw the car, Dad. Please don't yell at me when I'm driving."
My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.  Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts.... dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him?
Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon .. He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his prowess.
The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn't do something he had done as a younger man.
Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack.. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing.  At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived. But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor's orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone.
My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust. Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue. Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad's troubled mind.
But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it. The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered in vain. Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, "I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article..." I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.
I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me.  I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons: too big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed. Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hip bones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly.
I pointed to the dog. "Can you tell me about him?" The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement. "He's a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow." He gestured helplessly. As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror. "You mean you're going to kill him?" "Ma'am," he said gently, "that's our policy. We don't have room for every unclaimed dog."
I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. "I'll take him," I said.. I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch. "Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad!" I said excitedly.  Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. "If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it" Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house. Anger rose inside me. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples. "You'd better get used to him, Dad. He's staying!"
Dad ignored me. "Did you hear me, Dad?" I screamed. At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw.  Dad's lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw. Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal.
It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne . Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at is feet.
Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years.. Dad 's bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne 's cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father's room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night.
Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad's bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad's peace of mind.
The morning of Dad's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. “This day looks like the way I feel,” I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life. And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it."  "I've often thanked God for sending that angel," he said.
For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before:  the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article... Cheyenne 's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter... his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father.... and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.
Humor --


Universal suffrage means that even the illegible get to vote.

One of the mainest rules of campaigning is you are not allowed to go on a whistle-stop tour without a train.

Speaking of defeat, candidates are told never to.

Campaigns give us a great deal of happiness by their finally ending.

Friday, July 29, 2011


That is what is NOT going to happen now that i finally, finally have my new denture.  The temporary denture worked pretty well these past few months, but now I don’t have to glue these into my head.  The temporary denture, called a Stay Plate, did not click into place, and once the glue wore off, it was clickety clack time.  Well, the glue didn’t exactly wear off.  It migrated to my cheeks, which was somewhat uncomfortable.  NO MORE!

Wow!  Last week; new glasses.  This week; new teeth.  What do you suppose is next, a new head?

Well, I just found out -- a new watch.  The post holding the stretch band to the watch broke, so I went and bought another of those inexpensive digital gadgets that tells the time, day and date.  I think it does a couple of more things, but I’m not interested in finding out.  Unless it cooks breakfast.

It occurs to me that if I tried to wear that watch, it would go clickety crash.

Cartoon -

Thursday, July 28, 2011


...courtesy of Nature Conservancy.

Belted kingfisher

Canada lynx

Box turtle

Eastern bluejay

Florida panther

Eastern chipmunk

Garter snake.

Green heron.  Doesn't look green to me.

Ground hog.

Mountain sheep


(Written by kids)

(1) You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.
   - Alan, age 10

(2) No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with.
   - Kristen, age 10

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

AROUND THE WORLD less than 80 days.

I recently discovered that the blogger service to which I subscribe keeps various statistical data on who visits my blog.  The most surprising thing to me was the number of countries around the world with viewers that have seen my blog -- 18 countries in all at this writing.  Some may have stumbled into mine by accident while looking for something else.  However, it appears that some are sticking around because my daily count has gone up.

Take a look:  United States, Canada, United Kingdom (these are not surprising) India, Australia, France, Germany, Switzerland, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Lithuania, Guatemala, Jamaica, and Japan.

I have noticed that the overnight count is up, which I suspect refers to those parts of the world distant from California. I have no idea, beyond the first three countries, who may be checking in, but I thank all of you, and trust you will continue to enjoy what you see and read.  (Maybe it’s the jokes).

And speaking of humor ...

A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds.

After explaining the commandment to 'honour' thy Father and thy Mother, she asked, 'Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?'

From the back,  one little boy (the oldest of a family) answered, 'Thou shall not kill.'


Somebody has said there are only two kinds of people in the world. There are those who wake up in the
morning and say, “Good morning, Lord,” and there are those who wake up in the morning and say, “Good Lord, it's morning.”

Monday, July 25, 2011


If you are not aware that twice a week I attend the senior day care center called Avenidas, you have not been paying attention.  The Center has various activities for us old fogies (exercise, therapy, lunch), and some form of entertainment at the one o’clock hour.

About 3-4 months ago the entertainers were two young ladies, Amelia and Michelle -- sisters, actually -- who played and sang a wide variety of songs, including Caribbean, Hawaiian, Country, and Golden Oldies.  I was most impressed. 

Here at our mobile home park we have a lot of different activities, so I suggested to our committee that we might have these young ladies entertain some time, and it was agreed.  So this past Saturday Amelia and Michelle charmed us with their brand of music, and the good-size crowd enjoyed it immensely.

Amelia* sings and plays the guitar,

...while Michelle plays the steel drum, and occasionally joins in the singing.

That steel drum is quite an amazing instrument, and Michelle did show us its interior where different spots provide different notes.  These gracious young ladies certainly gave us an enjoyable afternoon.

*I had a devil of a time spelling Amelia's name right.  It is an anagram of my late wife's name -- Amalie.

Humor --

A minister parked his car in a no-parking zone in a large city because he was short of time and couldn't find a space with a meter. So he put a note under the windshield wiper that read: “I have circled the block 10 times. If I don't park here, I'll miss my appointment. Forgive us our trespasses.” When he returned, he found a citation from a police officer along with this note: “I've circled this block for 10 years. If I don't give you a ticket I'll lose my job. Lead us not into temptation.”

There is the story of a pastor who got up one Sunday and announced to his congregation: “I have good news and bad news. The good news is, we have enough money to pay for our new building program. The bad news is, it's still out there in your pockets.”

Saturday, July 23, 2011


My son Cliff is adopted.  Amalie and I knew him from about the age of 10, but we adopted him in the mid 90’s when he was an adult.  At that time we asked him if he wanted to change his last name to Meyer, or keep his own.  He chose to keep his own name.

Then just a few weeks ago something interesting happened.  The following is a clipping from the Legal Notices section of our local paper.  I hope it is sufficiently legible.

Cartoon --

Friday, July 22, 2011


I checked this with Snopes, and it is a true story.

Freedom and I have been together 11 years this summer.  She came in as a baby in 1998 with two broken wings. Her left wing doesn't open all the way even after surgery, it was broken in 4 places.  She's my baby.

When Freedom came in she could not stand and both wings were broken. She was emaciated and covered in lice. We made the decision to give her a chance at life, so I took her to the vets office.  From then on, I was always around her.  We had her in a huge dog carrier with the top off, and it was loaded up with shredded newspaper for her to lay in.  I used to sit and talk to her, urging her to live, to fight; and she would lay there looking at me with those big brown eyes. We also had to tube feed her for weeks.

This went on for 4-6 weeks, and by then she still couldn't stand.  It got to the point where the decision was made to euthanize her if she couldn't stand in a week. You know you don't want to cross that line between torture and rehab, and it looked like death was winning.  She was going to be put down that Friday, and I was supposed to come in on that Thursday afternoon. I didn't want to go to the center that Thursday, because I couldn't bear the thought of her being euthanized; but I went anyway, and when I walked in everyone was grinning from ear to ear. I went immediately back to her cage; and there she was, standing on her own, a big beautiful eagle.  She was ready to live.  I was just about in tears by then.  That was a very good day. We knew she could never fly, so the director asked me to glove train her.  I got her used to the glove, and then to jesses, and we started doing education programs for schools in western Washington.  We wound up in the newspapers, radio (believe it or not) and some TV.  Miracle Pets even did a show about us.

In the spring of 2000, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. I had stage 3, which is not good (one major organ plus everywhere), so I wound up doing 8 months of chemo.  Lost the hair - the whole bit.  I missed a lot of work.  When I felt good enough, I would go to Sarvey and take Freedom out for walks.  Freedom would also come to me in my dreams and help me fight the cancer. This happened time and time again.  Fast forward to November 2000, the day after Thanksgiving.  I went in for my last checkup. I was told that if the cancer was not all gone after 8 rounds of chemo, then my last option was a stem cell transplant.  Anyway, they did the tests; and I had to come back Monday for the results.  I went in Monday, and I was told that all the cancer was gone.

So the first thing I did was get up to Sarvey and take the big girl out for a walk. It was misty and cold. I went to her flight and jessed her up, and we went out front to the top of the hill.  I hadn't said a word to Freedom, but somehow she knew.  She looked at me and wrapped both her wings around me to where I could feel them pressing in on my back (I was engulfed in eagle wings), and she touched my nose with her beak and stared into my eyes, and we just stood there like that for I don't know how long.  That was a magic moment.  We have been soul mates ever since she came in.  This is a very special bird.

On a side note:  I have had people who were sick come up to us when we are out, and Freedom has some kind of hold on them.  I once had a guy who was terminal come up to us and I let him hold her.  His knees just about buckled and he swore he could feel her power course through his body. I have so many stories like that.
I never forget the honor I have of being so close to such a magnificent spirit as Freedom.

Humor --

Political strategy is when you don't let people know you have run out of ideas and keep shouting anyway.

A candidate should always renounce his words carefully.

We are learning how to make our election results known quicker and quicker. It is our campaigns we are having trouble getting any shorter.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Eyes and teeth, that is.

This is a story of two different professional offices.

I recently had an appointment with my opthamologist, who, after checking my eyes, wrote me a new prescription.  I took that to the oculist, who said they would be ready the following week.  That would have been last week!  So yesterday afternoon I called to check.  “Call you back in 20 minutes,” I was told.  Haven’t heard yet.

On the other hand ...
Some of you may have been following the tale of my teeth, from the yanking out of five, to new impressions, et al.  Yesterday I was back at the dentist for the last fitting before the denture went back to the lab for the final acrylic setting.  The receptionist said she would call me that evening as soon as the lab told her when the denture would be ready.  Sure enough, shortly after 5 p.m. that day she called to say the denture would be ready next Wednesday, and she gave me a time to come in for it.  And I have no doubt it will be ready.


And now I have an answer on my glasses.  I will pick them up on Thursday morning.

Fun --


Dear God: Why do humans smell the flowers, but seldom, if ever, smell one another?

Dear God: When we get to heaven, can we sit on your couch? - Or is it still the same old story?

Dear God: Why are there cars named after the jaguar, the cougar, the mustang, the colt, the stingray, and the rabbit, but not ONE named for a dog? How often do you see a cougar riding around?  We do love a nice ride!  Would it be so hard to rename the "Chrysler Eagle" the "Chrysler Beagle"?

Dear God: If a dog barks his head off in the forest and no human hears him, is he still a bad dog?

Dear God: We dogs can understand human verbal instructions, hand signals, whistles, horns, clickers, beepers, scent ID's, electromagnetic energy fields, and Frisbee flight paths. What do humans understand?

Dear God: Are there mailmen in Heaven?  If there are, will I have to apologize?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Courtesy of World Wildlife Fund.
Choose your favorite.

 Teenagers with adult supervision.  African elephants sometimes “hug”by wrapping their trunks together.

And then I said to him ...  Lemurs are social creatures, and are often found with with tales wrapped around   
one another.

Orangutans are the largest tree dwelling animal.

Giant Pandas -- a solitary animal... usually

The Polar Bear is dependent on sea ice to live in this harsh environment.

Among fin-footed animals, sea lions are the strongest swimmers.  And although they look pretty lazy here, they are pretty agile on land.

The tail of the Snow Leopard is so long, that it can wrap it around itself like a muffler.

 Unlike most cats, tigers are fond of water, and are seldom far from it.

The dolphin is found in the tropical and sub-tropical waters of the Atlantic, as well as the Caribbean and
the Gulf of Mexico.

 We are gathered here today ...  The Emperor Penguins endure their harsh environment by huddling together.

Don’t stick your tongue out at ME!  Meerkats are among the most cooperative of animals.  They live in groups of up to 40, and parcel out the work of the day.

Going on a picnic?  The African penguin lives on the rocky coastline and islands of southwest Africa.

Fun -

A father was approached by his small son who told him proudly, “I know what the Bible means!”  His father smiled and asked, “What do you mean, you 'know' what the Bible means?” The son replied, “I do know!” Said the father, “Okay, what does the Bible mean?” The young boy replied excitedly, “It stands for 'Basic Information Before Leaving Earth.'”
There was a very gracious lady who was mailing an old family Bible to her brother in  another part of the country. “Is there anything breakable in here?” asked the postal clerk.  “Only the Ten Commandments,” answered the lady.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


These 'Feel Good' stories can be very touching, but are they true?  Not always.  The following was sent to me the other day, and I decided to check it with Snopes.  They say that in general the story is true, but some of the finer details may not be.  For instance, I deleted a line that said the maps showed location of 'safe houses'.  No, were NOT shown for fear a map would fall into the hands of the Germans.  By the same token, while this story gives an estimate of escapees who used the maps, the British say they have no idea how many the maps aided.

(You'll  never look at the game  the same way again!)
Starting  in 1941, an increasing number of British Airmen found  themselves as the involuntary guests of the Third Reich, and the Crown was casting about for ways and means to facilitate their escape.  Now  obviously, one of the most helpful aids to that end is a useful and accurate map.  Paper  maps had some real drawbacks -- they make a lot of noise when  you open and fold them, they wear out rapidly, and if they get  wet, they turn into  mush. Someone  in MI-5 (similar to America 's OSS ) got the idea of printing  escape maps on silk. It's durable, can be scrunched-up into  tiny wads, and unfolded as many times as needed, and makes no  noise whatsoever.  At  that time, there was only one manufacturer in Great Britain that had perfected the technology of printing on silk, and that was John Waddington, Ltd. When approached by the  government, the firm was only too happy to do its bit for the war effort.

By  pure coincidence, Waddington was also the U.K. Licensee for  the popular American board game, Monopoly. As it happened,  'games and pastimes' was a category of item qualified for  insertion into 'CARE packages', dispatched by the  International Red Cross to prisoners of  war.  Under  the strictest of secrecy, in a securely guarded and  inaccessible old workshop on the grounds of Waddington's, a  group of sworn-to-secrecy employees began mass-producing  escape maps, keyed to each region of Germany or Italy where  Allied POW camps were in the regional system. When processed, these  maps could be folded into such tiny dots that they would  actually fit inside a Monopoly playing  piece.

As  long as they were at it, the clever workmen at Waddington's also managed to add:
1. A playing token, containing a small magnetic compass
2. A two-part metal file that could easily be screwed together
3. Useful amounts of genuine high-denomination German, Italian, and French currency, hidden within the piles of Monopoly money!

British  and American air crews were advised, before taking off on their first mission, how to identify a 'rigged' Monopoly set  -- by means of a tiny red dot, one cleverly rigged to look  like an ordinary printing glitch, located in the corner of the Free Parking square.

Of  the estimated 35,000 Allied POWS who successfully escaped, an estimated one-third were aided in their flight by the rigged Monopoly sets. Everyone who did so was sworn to secrecy indefinitely, since the British Government might want to use this highly successful ruse in still another, future war. 
The  story wasn't declassified until 2007, when the surviving  craftsmen from Waddington's, as well as the firm itself, were finally honored in a public  ceremony.  It's  always nice when you can play that 'Get Out of Jail' Free' card!

A dark horse is a candidate that the delegates don't know enough about to dislike yet.

Political science is to try to figure out what makes candidates act that way.

A split ticket is when you don't like any of them on the ticket so you tear it up.

When they talk about the most promising presidential candidate, they mean the one who can think of the most things to promise.

Elephants and donkeys never fought until politics came along.

Monday, July 18, 2011


And some rather interesting and unusual scenes, they are.

Humor --
Actual call center conversations (or so we are told)

Customer:     'I've been calling 700-1000 for two days and can't get through; 
can you help?'
Operator:      'Where did you get that number, sir?'
Customer:     'It's on the door of your business.'
Operator:     'Sir, those are the hours that we are open.'

Caller:          'Can you give me the telephone number for Jack?'
Operator:     'I'm sorry, sir, I don't understand who you are talking about.'
Caller:          'On page 1, section 5, of the user guide it clearly states that I need to unplug the fax machine from the AC wall socket and  telephone Jack before cleaning. Now, can you give me the number for Jack?'
Operator:      'I think it means the telephone plug on the wall.'

RAC Motoring Services
Caller:  'Does your European Breakdown Policy cover me when I am traveling in Australia?'
Operator:     'Does the policy name give you a clue?'

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Roads and bridges are what are necessary to get wheeled vehicles from place to another.  But terrain makes things difficult.  Some of these photos show roads that seem to meander all over the place.  Others show some unique solutions.  Have a look.

 “S” Curves, Taiwan

 Bridge road, Norway

 Millau Bridge, Paris - Barcelona

Bridge inverter, China-Hong Kong
    They drive on the left in Hong Kong

 Chilean Andes
Looks like a snake.

Troll Road, Norway
    Looks like trolls might have built it.

Bridge spiral, Japan

Forty-eight curves, Japan

Bridge-Tunnel, Chesapeake Bay

                            Turin Pass, France

 Stilvio Pass, Italian Alps

And saving the best (or worst?) --
      The Judge Pregerson Intersection, Los Angeles

Humor --

I used to eat a lot of  natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes..

Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.

If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is baby oil
made from? 

Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster?

Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?