Friday, November 30, 2007

Give A Great Gift This Holiday Season

May the world hug you today
With its warmth, and love.
And may the wind carry a voice
That tells you there is Family, Friends
Sitting in another corner of the world wishing you well!
(From The Difference Between Strength and Courage ~Author Unknown~)

Remember, Hugs are what makes the World round.

*Let us extend in open arms, compassionate Hugs to all involved in these Related Posts:

November 2007 SCHP’s Fatality by Chris at

Three children died in a house fire today by eastcoastdweller at In Search of Isis

**Special Requests:

A Hug to Betzy from Anonymous

Hugs To Minut and Family From Eddy

Hugs, two more unfortunate deaths on the SC Highways; a GrandMother and a pregnant Teenager

Hugs to All Military Men, Women, Family, Friends whom can not be Home for the Holidays

Hugs to my Nephews whose biological Father recently passed away - Love Auntie Michelle

Know Someone who needs a Hug? Fill the hug jar with your links or Their Names – by emailing them to HUGS or request via comment. I will be updating regularly.

You're Invited To Sit in On: Free Hugs!, Not Your Usual Holiday Chat

Monday, November 26, 2007

Do You Remember Your First Childhood Crush?

Do you remember your first childhood crush? Mine was on a boy named Dexter, in my third grade class.

I don't remember much about him, except that he loved to draw, and drew a perfect Charlie Brown from Peanuts. Dexter sat across from me in class, so I watched him draw everyday instead of listening to our teacher. Actually, my third grade teacher's voice was reminiscent of the adult voices in the Charlie Brown television specials anyway-
a muffled bloc, bloc, bloc ... Our poor teacher rambled a bunch of jumbled grown-up words, that we "bright-eyed and bushy tailed" third graders, hadn't the slightest interest in, especially me, since Dexter was the center of my world. Our teacher's name was Mrs. Keysler, she wore cat-eyed sixties style glasses with a chain that jangled when she walked, thereby warning us of her presence at recess.

Anyway back to Dexter, who I wouldn't remember as well if it weren't for a humiliating experience in class one day. I was staring at him, my heart ricocheting in my chest, when I noticed a shiny whistle on his desk. Any other time I wouldn't have taken my eyes off Dexter, but this day was different, because he brought the whistle, and the whistle was stiff competition. Dexter's new whistle wasn't one of those toy whistles one would find in a Kracker Jack box... no sirree. Dexter's whistle was a genuine silver army grade whistle, and I was fascinated by it. Dexter noticed me staring at it resting on the corner of his desk by his drawing pad, so he quietly picked it up and placed it in my hand, while Mrs. Keyster continued with bloc, bloc, bloc, bah, bloc in the background... I felt an array of exciting new emotions overwhelm me, beginning with feeling like a different person. I was holding the whistle Dexter put in my hand, and sitting close enough to him to touch his copper colored hair. I was in a trance as I turned the whistle over and over in my hand, put it in my mouth, and blew it as hard as I could- the room went silent.

However, the hushed sound of children’s voices began to fill the empty silence, followed by that snickering sound children make before the finger pointing begins... It's such an annoying tactic among tattlers, whose goal at this time in their life, is early retirement from their duties as teachers pet. I could feel the stares, and of course, see their self-serving tattler fingers rise to the occasion, which happened to be in my direction! I heard one little girl cry, “She is sooo dumb!” as I sat there horrified, my face growing hot and flushed with humiliation.

Humiliation is just one of an array of emotions I associate with the day I blew Dexter's whistle; it's also one of those funny to me now, not so funny then, experiences especially since my teacher made me stand in the back of the classroom the rest of the day.

After that, Dexter (who may have turned out to be an illustrator) looked at me with a cautious look on his face for what seemed like the rest of my life, and the girl who called me “soooo dumb” turned out to be one of my closest friends, even if it was years later. We never know what our children are going through in a day, or experiencing with their first crush, do we?

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Googling Beth Allen

Have you ever Google'd (is that a word?) yourself?

I have an ongoing Google alert for my name, but for grins I ran a Google search of my name this morning.

  1. New Zealand actress Beth Allen.
  2. Beth-Allen Ladder and Equipment Company in Pennsylvania.
  3. The IMDb information for the actress in number 1.
  4. The Wikipedia entry for the actress in number 1.
  5. Beth Allen, an economist at The University of Minnesota.
  6. Beth Allen Online, the actress in #1.
  7. Beth Allen, the actress in#1, also has an entry at
  8. Random House author search for the works of Beth Allen (my search produced no results, sadly).
  9. Me, finally!
  10. Beth Allen, a Prudential Real Estate Agent in Port Orchard, Washington.
I have some work to do, because the last time I did a Google search on myself (I had my original Beth Allen blog at the time), I came up #1.

Have a wonderful Sunday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Day EveryOne!

The Pumpkin
By John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)

Ah! On Thanksgiving Day, when from East and from West,
From North and from South come the pilgrim and guest,
When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his board
The old broken links of affection restored,
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before,
What moistens the lip, and what brightens the eye?
What calls back the past, like the rich pumpkin pie?

O, fruit loved of boyhood! the old days recalling;
When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!
When wild, ugly faces were carved in its skin,
Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!
When we laughed round the corn heap, with hearts all in tune,
Our chair a broad pumpkin, our lantern the moon,
Telling tales of the fairy who traveled like steam
In a pumpkin-shell coach, with two rats for her team!

Then, thanks for thy present! - none sweeter or better
E'er smoked from an oven or circled a platter!
Fairer hands never wrought at a pastry more fine,
Brighter eyes never watched o'er its baking than thine!
And the prayer, which my mouth is too full to express,
Swells my heart that thy shadow may never be less,
That the days of thy lot may be lengthened below,
And the fame of thy worth like a pumpkin-vine grow,
And thy life be as sweet, and its last sunset sky
Gold-tinted and fair as thine own pumpkin-pie!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Woman crashes into hair salon - Vehicular weirdness-

Woman crashes into hair salon - Vehicular weirdness-

I'm always on the lookout for senior citizen stories, because I am so close to being a senior myself (and by some accounts I'm already there).

Della Miller, is 73 and lives in Soldotna, Alaska.

Della wanted to get her hair done, so she drove to the beauty salon, then drove into the salon by crashing through the windows of the unfortunate business.

To be fair, the parking area in front of the salon was covered with snow.

Della's car needs repair work to the tune of $2,500.

The building she crashed into needs about $1,500 repair work.

No one was injured, but one customer was knocked across the room when Della crashed through the windows.

Della did not get a ticket for the accident.

But she did get her hair done.

Trash the dress wedding photos - Styledash

Trash the dress wedding photos - Styledash

Trash the dress wedding photos, where young women wade into muddy ponds or do something else to ruin a beautiful wedding dress, really makes me laugh.

There's a personal reason, of course.

While waiting for my divorce papers to arrive, I put my wedding dress into my father's burning barrel in Wolcott, New York.

Then I lit a match and threw it into the barrel, cackling and dancing around the barrel like one of the witches from Macbeth.

Of course, I always miss trends, because I burned my dress in the Year of Our Lord 1976.

Check out the wedding photos--they are so interesting.

This is my first post on Blue Ribbon Bloggers, and thanks so much for asking me to join. I am honored and pleased to be here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today

You have to be old enough to remember Abbott and Costello, and too old to REALLY understand computers, to fully appreciate this. For those of us who sometimes get flustered by our computers, please read on...If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their infamous sketch, "Who's on First?" might have turned out something like this:COSTELLO CALLS TO BUY A COMPUTER FROM ABBOTTABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.ABBOTT: Mac?COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.ABBOTT: Your computer?COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.ABBOTT: Mac?COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.ABBOTT: What about Windows?COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?ABBOTT: Wallpaper.COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.ABBOTT: Software for Windows?COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?ABBOTT: Office.COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?ABBOTT: I just did.COSTELLO: You just did what?ABBOTT: Recommend something.COSTELLO: You recommended something?ABBOTT: Yes.COSTELLO: For my office?ABBOTT: Yes.COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?ABBOTT: Office.COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let's just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?ABBOTT: Word.COSTELLO: What word?ABBOTT: Word in Office.COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue "W".COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue "w" if you don't start with some straight answers. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?ABBOTT: Money.COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?ABBOTT: Money.COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?ABBOTT: Money.COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?ABBOTT: One copy.COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?ABBOTT: Why not? THEY OWN IT!(A few days later)ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?ABBOTT: Click on "START".............

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Laughing Azaleas

Christy, from Christy's Coffee Break and fellow Blue Ribbon Blog member tagged me with her Freaky Friday meme in September, as embarrassing as that it is to admit. It took me this long to respond because I couldn't think of one weird or interesting thing that happened to me, until I found this old picture of my grandmothers Azalea bush. This is a story I've never told anyone.

This meme was written with the option to tag, but if you have a bizarre memory I would suggest you write about it. Because I may not have remembered this experience if I hadn't been wondering what to write for this meme, and I'm glad I remembered. In addition, it would be sad to see this meme die out just because no one can think of anything. So do some brain storming and try to think of a bizarre experience that happened to you, I think you'll be glad you did.

The Laughing Azalea Bush

My grandmother’s house rested behind a circular driveway made of gravel. I remember the gravel changing the color of my bicycle tires when I was a child... Those little white shells used for driveways do the same thing, except the tires change a white chalky color instead of rusty gravel. My grandmother Nana's house and yard were paradise and to me concrete evidence that heaven existed. The three-acre wonderland was everything a twelve-year-old child needed to find satisfaction in his/her surroundings. I spent as much time in Nana’s yard as possible, although I knew she would put me to work before the end of the day. However, the sheer pleasure of being in her fabulous yard was more than enough compensation for picking up sticks and raking leaves all afternoon. My siblings and I found pure joy in everything we did there. Whether we were playing games, climbing trees, or working, it was an environment perfumed with the intoxicating smells of magnolia blossoms and azalea bushes. In addition, within the branches of the trees lay the excitement of whatever new Louisiana wildlife creature we had recently decided to adopt. After all, everything has to eat and the yard belonged as much to the animals as the rest of us.

That is for animals, because I didn't feel the same way about insects, even if they are living things, and I wished they didn't populate bushes. Especially since Nana’s job for me entailed rescuing azalea bushes from a certain strangulation by a honey suckle vine. Suffering from agoraphobia in the South was a nightmare within itself, so I was already ear marked as a sissy because of my paralyzing fear of insects, especially spiders, by the time I became a yard worker. I spent one weekend grounded after spending the night at Nana’s with a friend. My crime was letting out a blood-curdling scream one Saturday morning, after my friend woke me pointing to the most terrifying spider ever invented above my head!

My agoraphobia continued to cause problems for me, especially on my job at Nana's, due to the fear of running into my spider friend again. The problem progressed to the point to where every time I worked in the yard, I let out blood curtailing screams imaging spiders falling on me, no doubt a flashback from that fateful morning.

Hence, by the time I heard voices in the bushes one day, my grandmother had grown accustomed to my blood curdling screams. The day in question is the day I heard laughing from within an azalea bush under attack. It was a bush closest to the road; in fact, the bush would've been directly on the road, if not for the ditch between the bushes and the yard. Just think of everything lined up in this order: the front yard, the bushes, other foliage, a ditch, then the road.

I was supposed to pull the honey suckle vines from the bushes then carry them to an old well we used to burn weeds and sticks. But I wanted to keep as much distance from the creatures as possible, so I'd grab a vine and run in the opposite direction until it broke away from the bush- I would repeat this action until the vine released it's grip on the bush and set it free. But, every time I repeated this procedure, I could see Nana becoming more aggravated with me for making a big mess of the rest of the yard. I prayed I would get finished before she finally lost patience with me and completely let go of her composure.

This was my routine: grab a vine, turn around, and run! Grab a vine, turn around, and run!

That is until the fateful day in question, when I heard what sounded like voices coming from the foliage on the other side of the bush. Actually, I heard a child’s laugh that was so real I thought it was a friend of mine watching me from the street. Excited about who came to visit, I walked inside the foliage, which resembled a little forest, only to find it empty, not a soul was there. I shouted my friend’s name: “Ellen?” Dead silence, one of those eerily dead silences, coupled with the shivery feelings of being alone in the dense foliage. What followed was the best blood curdling screams I've summoned to this day! I couldn’t stop screaming; I was so scared I couldn’t find my way out of the foliage and onto the other side of the bushes. I could see my grandmother running from the porch, shouting, “Be still, Ann. Be still! “

She told me later that she thought I had been bitten by a snake. She also led me to some old steps three or so feet from the sound of the laugh. The steps led to a house built before Nana’s which burned down some seventy-five to one-hundred years before.

Was it the imagination of an imaginative already-petrified child, maybe, or the laughter from one a hundred years before?

Authors Note: This post is a gift from a member of the Blue Ribbon Bloggers, in addition to a post in the archives of A Nice Place In The Sun.

Thanks for reading.

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Blog by A Nice Place In The Sun is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Blue Ribbon Bloggers

Show off your Blogs!

I would like to invite and encourage all Blue Ribbon Bloggers to daily copy, paste, and post your current and/or any old posts here at BRB! Lets give our Readers the opportunity to recognize each of you all for the Blue Ribbon Bloggers you are and continue to be. Thanks! We look forward to seeing your posts!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Wonders of Beauty Never Cease

Beauty continues to radiate at She Walks In Beauty with Walking Partners:




Recent Posts:

She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron click to listen

(Byron read by Classic Poetry Aloud:
Giving voice to classic poetry.

She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies,

And all that's best of dark and bright

Meets in her aspect and her eyes;

Thus mellow'd to that tender light

Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impair'd the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress

Or softly lightens o'er her face,

Where thoughts serenely sweet express

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek and o'er that brow

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent,—

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent.