Photo kill . . . . .

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I would really like to take my cup of tea, settle into my comfortable chair and watch a good movie. But I’m finding good movies hard to find, so I almost always end up watching more ghastly news or watching a National Geographic of some kind. Well, really, they are often of one kind . . . animals chasing and killing and eating each other. It’s painful to watch, yet awesome, and the backgrounds of forest, desert, rivers, plains, are gorgeous.

I remind myself that I just turned down several movies that were about people killing people and here I am watching tigers, lions, leopards, crocs, and even huge spiders killing and eating other creatures. I don’t understand what we can learn from this.  It seems it is alright to kill other animals for your survival. But people don’t kill people for that. So far, at least, we don’t eat each other. Not physically, although through our words and actions we are often wearing each other down. We do kill and eat animals though. But it’s so common we don’t take pictures of it or feature the kill on the internet. We love the dogs and cats and horses. We eat the chickens and pigs.

Watching the scenery makes me want to be a photographer, yet I can’t  imagine what professional photographers go through to catch these shots. It has to mean hours and hours of waiting in uncomfortable and dangerous niches and often leaving without a single shot. Storms, both water and dust. Extreme hot or cold. And always danger.

Maybe it wouldn’t be as much fun as I’d thought but, man, I admire their work. Just don’t like the killing.

I can’t even kill a fly. I open the door and shoo them out.




Old people, old pictures . . . . .


Somehow, people think that old people spend their time looking at old pictures and remembering how wonderful things once were and sighing over how horrible things are now. Not. How wonderful kids once were, and good times. Still.

Somehow, when we look back and see all the changes in our society we can know for certain there will be that many changes again, over and over. To predict what direction these changes will take is impossible. To speculate which changes are bad for the society and which may lead to better things is impossible.

When I look at old pictures I just remember the good feelings from those moments and I know that people today experience those same good feelings in their lives and will one day look back at their pictures and enjoy them again.  People today have so many more pictures than we ever did, photos snapped anytime, anywhere with no limit . . . and no cost to develop them . . and no need to put them into photo books with little black corners to hold them (the activity that we often put off for years.). That indeed is one of the reasons we don’t have so many pictures from our lifetimes . . . the cost not only of the cameras and the film, but the cost of development and cost for copies. For young people on low incomes it was a luxury.

I have so few pictures of my wedding, and the ones I have were taken by friends with good cameras. I have so few pictures of  my babies, but I remember every moment with them and can bring up those pictures in my mind at any time. Bathing the babes in the kitchen sink . . . capturing their amazement at gifts under the Christmas tree . . . overseeing their first bicycle experience.

Even though times have changed, parents still experience those moments, and they record them. One day they will look at those pictures, just as we look at our memories, and they will assess what was happening, what they were learning, in those years. And they will thank those kids who came into their lives and taught them.






Gifts for Mothers . . . . .

Well, it’s time to remind you again that Mother’s Day is fast approaching. These two books have been good gifts for moms. If you want them for your mom or your daughter, they are available in the Abbey bookstore in Norfolk, Nebraska or on,, or right from my home . . . and I will be returning there by May 6.

I have wintered in Honolulu longer this year than any other. But then, this winter was longer than any other.  It was strange indeed, in many parts of the country. But now we hope we won’t skip right to summer.

I have several book readings lined up for this spring and I like to put out the word that I am available to speak or to read for any group in the area . . libraries, book clubs, church groups, any kind of club. Please help me spread the word. After all, I have plenty of free time and I love to talk story.



Birds . . . . .

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Even here,

in a city, in a high rise,

the birds sing.

Early morning, on the

railing, they will chat

and sing and call.

They perk their heads

to listen to echoes

in the palms

and just before they fly

they leave a gift.















word fun . . . . .

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This may have been around before, maybe even on this site, but fun with words always makes me laugh, and we need more of that. Lots more.  I received this in my mail today from my friend Margie Ehrenfried

“Lexophile” describes those that have a love for words, such as “you can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish”, or “To write with a broken pencil is pointless.” An annual competition is held by the New York Times to see who can create the best original lexophile.

This year’s winning submission is posted at the very end.

No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.

If you don’t pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can’t put it down.

I didn’t like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.

Did you hear about the crossed-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn’t control her pupils?

When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.

When chemists die, they barium.

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.

I changed my iPod’s name to Titanic. It’s syncing now.

England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool .

Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.

This girl today said she recognized me from the Vegetarians Club, but I’d swear I’ve never met herbivore

I know a guy who’s addicted to drinking brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time.

A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A.

I got some batteries that were given out free of charge.

A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.

A will is a dead giveaway.

With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

Police were summoned to a daycare center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off? He’s all right now.

A bicycle can’t stand alone; it’s just two tired.

The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine last week is now fully recovered.

He had a photographic memory but it was never fully developed.

When she saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she’d dye.

Acupuncture is a jab well done. That’s the point of it.

Those who get too big for their pants will be totally exposed in the end.





An Easter experience . . . . .


Here in what I think of as paradise, I sometimes find myself with lots of time to fill and I give my attention to things I didn’t have time for before.

From my writings, I think you know that I am interested in people’s interpretation of what life is about, what their religion means to them, how they interpret it. So last week I watched a two-hour presentation on TV by a minister from the Philippines. It was quite a show. The girl’s choir was made up of very beautiful young ladies with matching dresses and all with their hair and makeup looking very professional. The men singers were dressed in sharp matching suits, their hair perfect. The stage was full, and there was an audience of perhaps hundreds of people.

There was a beautiful background and beautiful music with violins, drums, keyboards, guitars, and more. In fact, I think there was an hour of music, and then an hour of the minister, with occasional music again between brief sermons. The music was good. The girls sang together and also there were many solos, the soloists very professional and very sincere. They often closed their eyes as they sang, with feeling. The men soloists sang with feeling also, in soft and touching tones. Their faces shone with enthusiasm.

Oh, there was a large children’s choir also, the little ones singing their hearts out, dressed in identical expensive outfits, completely filling the stage which, like the rest of the room, was professionally decorated.

Then the minister spoke, quickly acquainting us with his credentials. He said that he has met God and that God  appointed him to be his son. He said it was authentic, and the information was sealed. So, he preached, anyone who wanted to go to heaven would have to go through him as he is now the son of God.

The auditorium was packed with nice-looking people who obviously adored the speaker. I was sitting here, holding my breath, stunned.

The next day, as it happened, I read in the Honolulu newspaper that this same man was stopped in the airport here, his plane full of a very large amount of money, in small bills tucked into stockings. I see that he has a church here too, and one would assume the money was from contributions. He was charged with leaving Hawaii without reporting the money.

Today I watched his show on TV again. This week it was a three hour production. It would cost a fortune. I won’t try to repeat any of the sermon. You just wouldn’t believe it.

I am haunted by the innocent faces of all those beautiful singers and, probably, believers.  Especially the little ones.

Be glad for your faith and believable guidance.

Happy Easter.




Everything’s better with butter . . . . .


I think “Everything’s better with butter” is an advertising theme for some dairy, but I certainly agree with that.  Everything IS better with butter.

Of course I should  believe in butter because I grew up on a small dairy farm. Well, the farm was not so small but dairy was a small part of it’s business. I have all the memories of watching my dad milk the cows and, in later years, watching him attach the machines that did the milking for him. A truck came to the farm to pick up the milk and the cream that had been separated from the milk by a machine called, of course, the separator.

We drank skim milk, slightly blue, so we could sell the cream. Still, my mother kept enough of it to use in her cooking, and there was always enough for whipped cream on cakes and pies and for the summer treat of homemade ice cream.

In my earliest years my mother made our butter, churning the liquid cream  in a glass container until it was rich and spreadable. She used it in or on most of the things she cooked and we spread it generously on toast and afternoon snacks. And homemade cinnamon rolls.

When oleomargarine came out and was advertised as a healthy replacement for butter we didn’t know what to think. At that time oleo, as we came to call it, was white and because of some law we had to color it ourselves, working a yellow capsule into it. We tried it but my dad said no, we must not use it because we were a dairy state. Furthermore, people we knew were all hard workers and few had weight problems or needed to change their diets.

I did use it for a time in my own home, after I married. Then one day I admitted I just didn’t like that product to spread on my food or to cook with. I said to myself “everything’s better with butter.”. I drove to the store, bought some butter, went home and baked a cake, buttered the peas and the homemade bread. The family agreed it was better with butter.

It makes sense to believe that’s why, when we want something from someone, we butter them up. That’s why we work for our bread and butter.(not bread and chocolate). Why we thank people with a bread and butter note. Why we want to know which side our bread is buttered on. Because, of course, it might make our life a bit better.



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