Sunday, November 30, 2008

Living Beyond Yourself by Beth Moore--The Gray Areas

The Bible is very clear on some things but not so clear on others. When things are not spelled out such as what job to take, who should we marry, where should we live, which activities should we sign up our kids to participate in, there are principles to lead us. I personally believe the Bible to be the complete Word of God; consequently, I seek to live according to its principles and commands to bring glory to God.

The Bible gives many specific commands, but for those gray areas where it is not so clear, we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit who gives us the ability to perceive the things of God. He gives us insight and helps us to discern between right and wrong, good and bad. Therefore, it is a must that we not only trust Jesus as Savior but surrender to His will and ask Him to fill us with his Holy Spirit so we can be lead by the Spirit and not our selfish desires.

The fruit of the spirit or characteristics of the spirit that indicate we are filled with the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22, 23 NIV). In the following weeks, I will share what I have learned from this study about each.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Our Best Reads For November

Karen's Best: My best was actually Living Beyond Yourself by Beth Moore; however, since that actually was over a period of three months and I am summarizing each chapter on here on Sundays, for my favorite November read I would say it is Breakfast At Sally's by Richard LeMieux

This is an excellent book about being homeless, written by a homeless person. He was once a very successful, wealthy business man who even had traveled abroad but when his business failed, he lost everything. His wife left him and his grown children didn't want anything to do with him. All he had was his van, some clothes, an old typewriter and his dog, Willow.

It's an inside look into the homeless way of life and their community. I will never look at the homeless in the same way again after reading this book because it showed how it could happen to anyone and how much a little help from someone can make a difference. Richard also suffered from depression and fortunately got some help. What stood out to me was the willingness of the homeless people to help out one another. Richard said the other homeless people became like a family to him.

It's a very interesting book about the 18 months this man spent living in his van which he was fortunate to have. Reading this certainly made me thankful for the things I have. The day I missed my bus one rainy, cold morning and had to wait an extra 20 minutes, I thought about the poor homeless people who slept outside the whole night and who would be outside today, looking for a place they could hang out for awhile just to warm up.

Gerard says: This book is about Richard Lemieux who was living the good life and then all of a sudden became homeless. Very interesting look at the world of homeless people. Lots of characters in this book which helps a lot, I think. Easy to read. Best parts for me were the homeless playing baseball and when Richard refused to sell his dog at any price even though he had no money left. Richard is writing another book and I am inclined to read it too. I recommend this book to anyone.

Gerard's Best is Measure of the Heart by Mary Ellen Geist (10 stars). What a wonderful book about Mary Ellen Geist who gives up her high paying job as a reporter, her lifestyle and all she knows to move back with her mom to take care of her dad who has Alzheimer's. This book has it all--humor, sadness, touching moments. You get into it quickly and at points it is hard to put down. I enjoyed this this book! I give it 10 stars!

Karen says: This nonfiction book is about a daughter who quits her job to move back home to help her mother care for her father who has Alzheimer's. Reading this is an enjoyable way to learn about Alzheimer's, what to expect and how to deal with it. It gives many resources for support for those who have Alzheimer's and their caregivers. I found it very interesting that the dad responded to music and could remember all the words to songs but couldn’t remember the right name of objects or people. He couldn’t read a book or newspaper, but he could read words written on a music staff such as song lyrics. I would recommend this book to anyone who has a relationship with someone with Alzheimer's or who just wants to learn more about this disease.

This daughter's role as caregiver to her father was similar to my experience in caring for my dad, although fortunately mine did not have Alzheimer's. The book I wrote My Funny Dad, Harry, shares my experience of being my aging dad's primary caregiver. He had diabetes and was practically deaf. I could certainly relate to what she was going through.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Six Things I Learned This Week-Part 11

Did you know only male turkeys gobble? The female ones cluck. I just found this out Saturday at our Sunday School get-together for the 5th and 6th graders at church. That's when I made my turkey.

At Jodi's Journey I learned that the Humane Society of the United States released their 8 month long investigation about puppy mills. Petland Incorporated is the nation's largest retail supporter of puppy mills!. Click on Jodi's Journey above to take you to her blog for the entire post and find out how you can help.

Here's a relatively new directory for blogs where I just registered mine for free this week: I found this bit of information at Jewelled Ramblings when doing my Entrecard drops.

I came across a very interesting post about improving your memory at Rising Thinker. Two things I found very fascinating that I didn't know are (1) It's better to memorize on an empty stomach, and (2) When you first wake up every morning, you should move your eyes from side to side to get both sides of your brain going.

Daisy the Curly Cat's mom told me how she makes the videos of Daisy with movie maker on the computer. I didn't know I could put several short video clips together to make one, but now I know! I am experimenting and made my first one which I'll post here sometime next week. From "Start", choose "run" and type in "moviemk" then browse to upload the clips or pictures you want to work with and then save them to your computer. Here's my first attempt:

Gerard showed me an article from the November 26 USA TODAY Life section about Pilots-N-Paws. Men and women who are pilots give up their own time to fly dogs that are on death row to other places where they may be adopted or to no-kill shelters. We think that is wonderful and thank them for saving these dogs from being euthanized. To see a video about this, here is the link to the USA TODAY site where you can view it: Click here to view Pilots Dog Rescue Video.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Karen Says: This is a picture of me and the turkey I made. When my mom got tired of cooking in her old age and since I am not a cook, I suggested on year that we eat out for Thanksgiving. A nice restaurant nearby that my mom liked had a buffet for Thanksgiving so I persuaded her to go there with me. My dad was on a strict diet because of his diabetes and eating was not a big deal to him so he didn't come with us. We discovered it was really nice not having to fuss with the cooking and the clean up so since then, we kept on going out for Thanksgiving. When I married Gerard, he joined us in this and today we are going to Best Buy to finally use our Gift Cards for a 32" HDTV for our basement, the zoo maybe, Hometown Buffet, and then watch the end of the Titans-Lions football game (I picked Tennessee to beat the 10 point spread). The animals get special treats today and it is free for everyone.

We have much to be thankful for. We have everything we need and I can't even think of anything else that I really want! It's been a very good year for us and now it's time I get started on our Christmas letter so I can get it mailed to friends and family on a timely basis.

I wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers and am especially thankful to all who are following my little blog. My shirt says "Remember your blessings, forget your troubles." (It's one my mom bought for me, I miss her so much because we were very close.)

Gerard Says: Thankful Every Day!
Today is Thanksgiving and what I'm most thankful for is my all-time Sweets--Karen. She loves me so much, I'm overwhelmed by it!! I don't always deserve it!! An example--this week I had to work an extra hour at work to make up for being off today and tomorrow. So, what did my Mrs. Wonderful do? She got out of her routine and drove her own car to the bus stop in the morning so I was able to just come home and stay home. She drove herself home and then pulled my car in the drive after she pulled into the garage. Is that awesome or what?? So, Happy Thanksgiving, Karen! You're the best!! Love you so!! 000xx00xx000xxx

(Normally, Karen walks or runs to the bus stop in the morning and then I meet her with the car at the bus stop when she comes home.)

Oh, if you haven't taken the personality quiz that's the post before this one to find out what game you are, please do. I'd like to see how many different games we can represent and I like finding out more about my readers this way too!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What Board Game Best Matches Your Personal Talents?

I like games so just had to take this quiz. It said I am "brilliant and shrewd" but I don't think that's really true. Wish it were! I'd love to hear what game you are so copy your results into your comment.

I am Chess

This quiz says:
I am brilliant and shrewd. I can often predict what people will do in the future.
I thrive in complex situations. I deal with contradictions well.
I can have many streams of thoughts going on in my mind at once. I keep track of things well.
I am very patient. I have lots of endurance, even when my energy dwindles.

I like Chess. My mom's best friend's son taught me how to play and he played with me even though I was quite a bit younger than he was. He's the person who taught me how to throw a football too. I used to have a really cool plastic chess set with big pieces that looked like Chinese people but I let a friend have it as a going away gift when she moved away. I wish I had kept it now though because I've never seen another set like it anywhere.

When I was in the youth group and we had a outing at the beach, I remember I took a little magnetic Chess set along because I didn't like swimming and didn't plan on going into the water. Mostly the boys played with me and they were surprised at how good I was.

GERARD IS BOGGLE: It said You are an incredibly creative and resourceful person.
You're able to dig deep and think outside the box to get things done.
You are a non linear thinker. You don't like following directions.
You draw your inspiration from the strangest places sometimes.
You're constantly inspired.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Case of The Lost Cell Phone

At the beginning of every typical work day, I feed my cats, clean the litter boxes, read the paper during breakfast, have my devotions, put my cell phone in my pocket, play with and pet my cats, check my email and then off I go with my bag of stuff: purse, lunch, book.

Coming home from work last Thursday, I was running a bit late so I went to call my husband on my cell phone to let him know and it was gone! Immediately, I'm thinking when it could have slipped out of my pocket. I wear slacks to work that have the pockets on the side that go along the seam so have to make sure my phone is all the way at the bottom of the pocket so it doesn't slip out when I sit down. All I could think of was it may have fallen out at lunch when I was reading on the couch in our office library.

I knew there was a slight chance that I may have forgotten to take it that morning, but I was pretty sure I did. I put off looking, because I was afraid it would confirm that it was lost, so the first thing I did when I got home was to call the night secretaries and ask them to check for me. Before she called back, I checked on top of the bookcase where I charge it up and there it was! I was so glad to see it even though it confirmed that my memory is slipping. The night secretary called me back and I told her I had found it. Then I called my husband at the grocery store to let him know too because I knew he was upset that I was upset about it.

Oh what a relief that it wasn't lost after all! This was the stupid thing I did last week.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Fantastic Four Meme--I've Been Tagged!

I was tagged by The Modern Mom. Thanks for thinking of me on this one.

Here’s the rule: Click copy/paste, type in your answers and tag four people in your lists! Don’t forget to change my answers to the questions with that of yours.

4 places I go over and over: Parma Heights Baptist Church, Work, Cleveland Metropark Zoo, PetSmart (Gerard--Fitworks).

4 people who email me regularly: Joel Osteen, Daisy the Curly Cat, Father blogger, Outskirts Press.

4 of my favorite places to eat: Cracker Barrel, Hometown Buffet, Golden Coral, Arby's.

4 places you’d rather be: A warmer climate, older so I could be retired other than that, I'm perfectly happy where I am.

4 TV shows I could watch over and over: Little House on The Prairie, The Waltons, Everybody Loves Raymond, Andy Griffith, Bill Cosby (I know, I don't count too well, but since I didn't have four for the one before, I added extra on this one. I'm such a rebel!)

4 people I think will respond (let them know you tagged them):
Carol at Second Cup
Marrid 66 at 4 Cats Make Me Crazy
Nhil at Simple Married Life
Sue at Stay At Home Mom

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Living Beyond Yourself by Beth Moore--The Holy Spirit

The key to living above our circumstances and doing things through God's power is to constantly be filled with the Holy Spirit of God and be lead by the spirit. Ephesians 5:18 says And be not drunk with wine wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit. It is a command! It is an ongoing process.

First, pour out. We must empty ourselves. Get us out of the way so God can work and fill us with His Spirit. There are two parts of this: Confession and concerns. We do this by confessing our sin and gaining freedom from guilt. Then talk to God about all our anxieties, concerns, worries, problems and just basically pour out our hearts to him. She compared this to a drink sacrifice that God actually enjoys. He wants us to talk to Him about everything because he is concerned about us.

Secondly, pour in the Holy Spirit. Ask God to fill us with his Holy Spirit early, at the beginning of our day. Then through the day, constantly practice his presence and look for Him to work in our life. Remember God is in control and He is in control of us! Let him change our day!

Finally, pour forth. Go and be his servant and minister to others in His power.

This is what I learned in the Bible study by Beth Moore that women at Parma Heights Baptist Church participated in.

Friday, November 21, 2008

5 Things I Learned This Week-Part 10

I found the recipe for these cute "no-bake" turkey cookies at
Heart of Wisdom-Heart at Home-click this link to go there and Robin gave me permission to post about it here. I bet I could even make these!

At SpicyBugz World I learned about a nice gift basket site called It sounds like a very nice gift with some food and a book that you can choose to be included in it and have it shipped for free! These gift baskets are a really nice idea. The ladies at our church usually get together around Thanksgiving time to make similar gift baskets for some people in the church that are having a tough time. We have a potluck supper, some worship time and then we make gift baskets with items everyone brought to donate. It's one of the most fun things to do. Everyone really enjoys this evening and basket recipients are always surprised and pleased.

For a humorous look at Identity Theft check out laugh at Jodi's Journey. This post made me actually laugh out loud and share it with my husband.

When a cat's tail is up but curved at the end like a question mark, it's a sign they are ready to play. I learned this playing the cat trivia on my blog this week and find this fact very helpful in relating with my cats.

At the the cat/dog blog I learned that All you have to do is visit before you shop at a major online retailer (such as Amazon, Ebay, Zappos, etc.) and a percentage of each sale goes directly to the organization of your choice.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Am I Becoming Obsolete?

A few years ago I was discussing with another secretary how things were so slow at work and pretty soon, there probably won't even be a need for secretaries. When I first started working at my job, they had electric memory typewriters for all the secretaries. Our document services department was always busy because anything over three pages could be logged in for them to do.

Then we got computers, but only the secretaries had them so although Document Services wasn't as busy, the secretaries became busier because then we could easily revise long documents ourselves. The rule was only log in 10 pages or more to Document Services. We survived a few upgrades and switched from DOS to windows which was a big change.

Within the last five years though, even the attorneys were provided with computers. The older attorneys still relied heavily on their secretaries, but we could see that the younger ones just coming in were very self-sufficient and we wondered just how long before the firm realized it didn't need all of us secretaries.

Well, the day has come that the firm realized this and let about 11 secretaries go last Thursday. It was very sad and surprised everyone. I saw some friends lose their jobs and was thankful I still had mine! The firm assured us the it is solid, but just realized it didn't need all those secretaries but now that will be the only cuts made for the foreseeable future. I hope that is true.

I knew times were tough but this really hit close to home! I pray for those laid off that they will be able to find employment somewhere very soon. I'm only a month away from turning 55, so still have about 7 years to go until retirement. Will my job be obsolete before I get to retire? Who knows. Right now though, I wouldn't be surprised if it were.

I do have peace though knowing that God is in control and has a plan for my life. If I lost my job, I'd just have to wait and see what God had in store and trust that He would be true to His word and supply all my needs.

After reading "Breakfast at Sally's" I also realize that anyone could become homeless. It has even increased my desire to help them more. I'm so glad our house is all paid off in these hard economic times.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Amazing 5-yr. Old Girl Demonstrates How To Dribble

I just saw this today and WOW! Pretty amazing!! This little girl can out dribble pros. I can't even dribble one ball without looking, and she just keeps them going and going.

(I usually don't post more than one thing on here per day, but today I did so make sure you look at the quiz below too.)

Would You Be a Good Spouse?

You Would Be a Good Spouse 100% of the Time

You have what it takes to be an amazing wife or husband.
You are caring, patient, giving, and romantic. You are willing to work for a marriage.
More than anything, you're not about to let your ego ruin a relationship.
You are humble and unselfish. And that's the key to being a good spouse.
Take this little quiz to find out if you would be a good spouse.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Nice Call From A Great Non-Profit Organization

The Jesus Film Project through Campus Crusade For Christ is one of our monthly projects that we give to. This organization has made an evangelistic film about Jesus which has been translated in over 1,000 languages! This ministry is in every country too according to their web site. They have film teams that take projectors and screens into remote places and show the film. Then they also have follow-up materials for the people who trust Jesus to be their personal Savior.

Last week I got a call from their headquarters in Orlando, Florida thanking me for my support. They never asked me for any more money, but did offer to pray for any need I had which I thought was very nice of them. They also mentioned that over the years, I've given $9,000 to this ministry! Wow, that really made me feel good. Just a little every month over time really adds up. I can't think of too many organizations who will thank you for your donations without asking for more.

Near the end of the year they send a little catalog with lots of "Christmas gifts" that we can choose to give them. I really like this idea because since Christmas is the day we celebrate Christ's birth, what better way to honor Him and celebrate than to give to a ministry that God is using to further His kingdom?

As a Christian, I am just a steward of what God has given to me. I don't always spend this money as I probably should, but in this case, I think God would definitely be pleased. Is Jesus on your Christmas list this year? What are you giving Him for His birthday?

For more information about this great project or if you would like to make a donation, click on the link above at the beginning of this post to The Jesus Film Project.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Shopping Bag Fun For Spunky Doodle

Oh cat, look what I found! Another toy! Bags are SO FUN!

Bags are even more fun when they have strings!

Okay, Spunky, I just wanted to try it out too. You can have it back.

I'm glad Manny realizes I am still No. 1 cat around here!
Watch my video:

Are You A Fan?

Fan is short for "fanatic" which I am about my sports teams. All the Boston teams and Ohio State football and Duke basketball. Here is an example:

Thursday night the Patriots and NY Jets football game was on. (I do not like football played on Thursdays--just me.) Anyway, the Pats played terrible in the first half and were down 24-6 at one point. I was very upset, yelling, slamming things, then I went to bed for two reasons: (1) I just did not want to watch any more! (2) For some reason, when I go to bed it seems on the next morning I am surprised that my team won! This night I got up later and I couldn't help myself. I turned it back on and guess what--the score was 24-24!! Now, I must decide, should I turn it off or watch. I decided to chance it and watch. The Jets went ahead with little time left so I turned it off for awhile. When I put it back on, the Pats had tied it up!! So, I turned it of and went back to bed excited. When I got up later, I found out they lost. I was bummed out about it all night and the next day.

Do you think us fanatical fans take losses harder than the players do? Your comments are welcomed.

Fortunately for me, Boston sports teams win so much that I'm spoiled, so maybe I foolishly expect them to win all the time.

How do you watch games?
1--Totally into it
2--Enjoy the sports
3--Win or lose it's just a game
4--loss ruins your day or night
5--don't care who wins or loses

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Living Beyond Yourself by Beth Moore--Introduction

I am excited to share about this Beth Moore Bible study, "Living Beyond Yourself" on the fruit of the spirit that I recently finished. It's a basic, fundamental, practical uplifting study that was better than I expected.

After just one week, I realized that with God's Spirit in me, I can do things I never expected I would. Two points Beth Moore made in the DVD that goes with this study are:

1) God is still happening and 2) God wants us to be exclamation mark people, meaning we should have a full, meaningful life.

One of the points she made that struck me was that our life is not all about us. Sacrifice on the part of Christians is crucial to world evangelism. Paul was persecuted and faced many hardships, yet kept his joy (Read Acts 13). Boy, that got me to thinking how I handle hardships or even just little problems that come up and ruin my plans! My "joy" usually flies away and is replaced by anger. God has shown me that this ought not to be. As I submit to God's will and ask Him to fill me with his Holy Spirit each day, hopefully I too will be able to keep my joy regardless of my circumstances.

This is truly a life-changing study and if you are looking for a good Bible study for a group or even just for yourself, I definitely recommend this one! I learned so much and it changed me.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Our Anniversary of the Day We Met

Each year we "celebrate" the day we first met which was November 16, 1996. I wrote in a previous post about Gerard and I finding each other through Great Expectations. Today we will share with you about our first face-to-face date.

Gerard says:
November 16, 1996 started out like any other Saturday, but turned out it changed my whole life. I was getting frustrated at Great Expectations. Had been there for awhile and nothing! Finally, that day I found out one of the women I had chosen was willing to meet me! I was very excited. I picked many before, but they ALL rejected me. I washed my car as usual and tried to call Karen twice but she was not home so I left a message on her answering machine.

She called back and we decided to meet at a Pizza Hut in Garfield Heights that evening. I got some flowers for her on a whim. I wanted her to remember me and decided to mix up the colors. I got there first and waited outside and she came! Instant attraction for me. Karen was easy to talk to and I wasn't nervous at all.

Karen says:
I was happy to be going to Pizza Hut because I liked pizza and didn't like fancy restaurants. When I pulled in and saw him standing out front in his Ohio State Buckeye hat and jacket with a dozen roses, I thought WOW! How sweet of him. It was the first time anyone ever gave me flowers so I was pretty impressed.

We had an easy time talking. He was a good conversationalist and I wasn't really nervous at all. I was looking for a nice normal guy and Gerard seemed to be just that. I mentioned I wanted to get a gift for a kid for Christmas so Gerard suggested we walk over to the Marc's that was nearby. There we found a cute little stuffed dog which I named "Snoozer." I liked it so well though that later we got another one for me!

On our way out, I saw he had a real nice looking Camero and between the roses and car, I just assumed he must have a lot of money (wrong!). He had car payments. It was the best looking car in the lot!

Gerard Says:
When we left, I remember telling her to drive carefully and her saying, "No, I'm going to back right into that car." I went back home and watched Dr. Quinn. Karen called me on the phone to tell me she really enjoyed meeting me. I was ecstatic about that and figured I made a good impression for her to call me that same night. Went to bed happy and we began seeing each other every week. I asked if she wanted to go with me to the dinner event that Great Expectations was having for all their members and she said okay, even though she didn't think it would be much fun--she was right!

Friday, November 14, 2008

4 Things I Learned This Week-Part 9

Unplugging major appliances in your home really does make a difference on the electric bill. We just started doing this in September and our electric bill was the lowest as it's been all year.

From A Simple Life I learned some more ways to de-stress, including chewing gum, singing, clenching a fist and unclenching. For more, check out the entire post with the link provided here. Come to think of it, "The Sound Of Music" used this technique during the storm when the nanny got all the kids singing "My Favorite Things." That's one of my favorite musicals!


Thanks to the Beaded Tail's comment on my Umbrella quiz post, I learned that in the Pacific Northwest, we don't use umbrellas since they are too cumbersome - since it rains all the time we'd have to take them everywhere! Anyone with an umbrella is pegged as a tourist! We just use water proof jackets with hoods to stay somewhat dry.

I'm reading Breakfast At Sally's by Richard LeMieux about his true story of being homeless. In it he mentions states that:
According to the National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients, veterans make up 23% of America's homeless population. The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans conservatively esimates that one out of every three homeless men is a veteran. Nearly 50% of these men served in the Vietnam War!
How sad!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Did You Know God's A Morning Person?

WOW! I just finished the Bible Study this morning on the fruit of the Spirit, "Living Beyond Yourself" by Beth Moore which was absolutely packed with so many wonderful scriptural insights. The last study was on what a Victor's Day looks like which she based on Psalm 63 which I have included here:

A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.
1 O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.

3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.

4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.

5 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.

7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.

8 My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.

9 They who seek my life will be destroyed;
they will go down to the depths of the earth.

10 They will be given over to the sword
and become food for jackals.

11 But the king will rejoice in God;
all who swear by God's name will praise him,
while the mouths of liars will be silenced.

Three interesting points she made:

Start our day with God because:
(1) The Psalmist did.
(2) Jesus did and Ephesians 5:1 tells us to be imitators of God. He is our example.
(3) God's mercies are new every morning!
(4) By confessing our sin, emptying ourselves by pouring out our concerns to God and asking Him to fill us with His Spirit, we can go through the day with supernatural power and spiritual discernment with all the fruit of the Spirit ready to face the day.
This morning my main concern is my sister's double knee replacement which she is having done today. Her name is Michelle and your prayers would be appreciated. She is a cancer survivor and has many physical problems. This is one more for her to have to deal with. Hopefully, she'll be able to walk much better afterwards.

Throughout day praise God for who He is. She says she listens to praise music all day long, just to help keep her mind focused on God throughout the day.

At night, as the day winds down Beth suggests we reflect over our day and see how God worked in our lives, then record it. I have never done this last one, but maybe will try it. What about you? Have you ever done this?

I am considering reposting each week's summary of what I learned through this study here from my PNN blog since not too many of these readers read my oneZemeks Updates at Please leave a comment to let me know if you would like me to do this or not. I'll let my readers decide, based on the comments I get. Please don't hesitate to say you wouldn't be interested--my feelings won't be hurt.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hurray For Obama! Rah, Rah, Rah!

Christian Glitter by

Congratulations to Mr. Obama for winning the Presidential election. I never saw so much optimism in my life over an election. It seems the whole world was watching and is very pleased with our new President-elect. I assume our foreign affairs will improve if the reaction to our election is any indication.

Obviously, since a majority of Americans voted for him, most Americans are very optimistic these days which is definitely a good thing. I hope he can make things better for the majority of the American citizens. I am surprised at how much news there is about Obama when he's not even the President yet. Here I thought we'd have a break from the paper being filled with politics every day. Guess not!

There are a couple issues which puzzle me though. One is how everyone says that race isn't an issue, yet every day in the paper since he's been elected, there's a comment about his skin color. For example, history has been made by us electing our first black President. "Black School Children Write To Obama." It would seem that there is definitely a focus on the skin color here. Why couldn't the headline just say "School Children" instead of "Black School Children"? I realize that because he is black, somehow it is encouraging and inspirational even to black kids to see they can be successful as well. I just think it's sad though that we categorize people by race.

The second thing about this election that puzzles me is that so many evangelical Christians pray that God's man would be elected and yet most voted for the loser, McCain (according to those exit polls anyhow). Romans 13:1 says, 1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. and Daniel 2:20-21 says, Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding. . . . I find it odd, that although I prayed asking for God's guidance in how to vote, I ended up voting for the loser, McCain. I confess, my decision was based primarily on the candidates' stance on the abortion issue as I'm sure others did too. Although McCain's age concerned me, I couldn't vote for a candidate who supported abortion.

Mr. Obama worked very hard to get elected and ran a very effective campaign. He is intelligent and very good speaker who seems to sincerely care about people. (Time will tell.) I hope now that he makes good on his promise to get his girls their dog!

Monday, November 10, 2008

So Much To Be Thankful For!

So it is the end of November. Means cold weather, dark a little after 5 p.m., football, Thanksgiving and "Black Friday"!! (The big shopping day after Thanksgiving when the stores open real early and there are sales everywhere!)

Don't get me wrong, I have so much to be thankful for. A wonderful wife, my health, a job, a computer, Direct TV, Satellite radio, a membership in a nice gym, two nice cats, two cars, things I take for granted, but I know lots of people who do not have that. I mean God has blessed me very well! That being said, I just love Black Friday.

I look forward to getting up early and shopping most of the day looking for that perfect card and gift for Karen. Truth be told, Black Friday is, other than Christmas, my favorite day of the year! Am I wrong to think that? Your opinions are welcomed!

Yes, I am a guy and I like to shop!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Umbrella Test

I know this is just silly, especially since it doesn't list the pretty multi-colored umbrella that I have, but if I were buying one, I'd choose black so I chose black for this test. What color would you choose? Why not take the little quick quiz (only one question) and share your results in the comments.

What Your Black Umbrella Says About You

When faced with adversity, you respond with authority. You don't let problems faze you.
You are naturally powerful and commanding. People look to you to take charge. (I don't think this is true.)
You are elegant and classy. You know how to always say and do the right thing. (This is definitely not true, although I wish it were!)
While you stand out, you also fit it. You thrive in a variety of situations.
On a rainy day: you carry on as normal - a little bad weather isn't going to get in your way!

Friday, November 7, 2008

What I Learned This Week: This Is So Cruel: Pit Bulls Are On Death Row In Ohio

Normally I list things I learned this week on Fridays on this blog, but yesterday I got the following email from a co-worker that I want to share. Apparently our Ohio State government is seeking to pass a bill that will kill ALL pit bull dogs in Ohio. I certainly hope this does not pass. I agree with the letter written by my co-worker below:

Here is part of the bill

Sec. 955.111. (A) Beginning ninety days after the effective date of this section, no person shall own, keep, or harbor a dog that belongs to a breed that is commonly known as a pit bull dog.

(B) Not later than ninety days after the effective date of this section, a person who owns, keeps, or harbors a pit bull dog on the effective date of this section shall surrender the dog to the dog warden. Not later than ten days after receiving the dog, the dog warden shall euthanize the dog.

Below is the letter that my co-worker sent: (It's an amazing story about her pit bull and certainly makes good points)

I am absolutely outraged that our government has nothing better to do than worry about killing innocent animals. I understand there are ignorant people, like Michael Vick for instance, who act so irresponsibly with dog fighting and cruelty to animals, but not all of us are Michael Vick.

I want to tell you a story about my Max. Max was a pit bull. Yes I said was, because on a warm night in June of this year we had our house broken into while we were upstairs sleeping. Max, who slept in our room, heard a noise and jumped up to investigate. We followed as far as we could since we were upstairs and the intruders were downstairs. We had no weapons at our disposal upstairs, only our Max. He never hesitated one moment to go see who was down in our kitchen. The next thing I remember hearing was a gun shot and then another and then our beloved dog trying to make it back up the stairs to us. He made what had to be an agonizing journey up the steps to put himself between us and the intruders and that is where he died right before our eyes. Max was not a big dog, as a matter-of-fact, he was the runt so he was much smaller, but he never let his size deter him from protecting us that night. He died doing just that, protecting us from evil. He loved us so much that he never wavered from his mission, making sure we were safe. After the gun shots the intruders knew they had to get out quick before the police came but not until they pointed their gun upstairs trying to find us. Max died a hero because had he not heard them and gone down there into the line of fire they could have eventually made their way up to our room and for all we know, had that happened, I might not be here today writing this e-mail. Max was only 5 years old and had a long life ahead of him. A day does not go by that I don't think of him and just writing this e-mail brings fresh tears to my eyes.

These dogs are not mean unless they have owners who treat them so horribly that they only become that way out of self preservation. Our Max did not have a mean bone in his body towards anyone who came to our home "invited". He was loved by so many and when he died friends and family came to our home to grieve with us. I beg you to take a moment to digest my story. You see what Max was, and always will be, is a member of our family.

There are so many "bad" people out there doing the unthinkable to innocent people, and yet we don't go door to door taking innocent husbands, wives, sons and daughters away from their families and euthanizing them because other husbands, wives, sons and daughters had emotional problems because of the way they were raised and who eventually hurt or killed someone. Does this make all of us bad? These dogs come into this world just as you and I came into this world, innocent and trusting and dependent on others to nurture them and provide them with a loving home and environment and teach them. When this doesn't happen and children are beaten, starved or sexually assaulted, that's when you get murderers, rapists etc. Why would an animal be expected to be different? Does that mean that those of us who were raised in a loving home and treated with respect are considered a possible murderer or rapist and therefore must be done away with. No it does not thank goodness or this society as we know it would not exist. Let's look at the real problem, the owners behind these dogs who made them what they became, let's put a stop to that. Send out the message that if you treat these animals inhumanely then "you" will be punished and incarcerated, not the animal. Yes, like people, there are cases where some animals cannot be rehabilitated and must be put down because they were broken beyond repair, but how many criminals get the electric chair or the needle in this country? Not many.

Back to the Michael Vick story, after the dogs were removed from his home, at least two of them became dogs that visit people in hospitals who are sick and in some cases have no hope of survival, and these wonderful dogs who were starved, beaten and God knows what else, are still able to give love and companionship though they never received it themselves until they were removed from his home by caring individuals. Please don't judge all by the evil deeds of others.


Cleveland, OH

It is time to write – Time to speak up.

To make this easier you can copy and paste the below list of e-mails into your TO... line and won't have to type them each individually:

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Spunky Doodle Solves the Clock Mystery

One of the things we kept from my dad's after he died was his big digital clock. He used to have it in his dining room and it was easily seen from the living room. It also lights up so I can see it in the dark. That's why I like it in my bedroom. If I squint without my glasses on, I can actually see what time it is when I wake up during the night without getting out of bed.

One day last week, after I was already up. Gerard says, "Hey, your clock isn't on." I immediately went to investigate. I first checked to make sure it was still plugged into the power strip and it was. I flipped the switch on the power strip but the clock still didn't go on. Hmmm. Well, before work, I'm on a very tight schedule so I said "I don't have time to fuss with this now. I'll fix it later."

The next morning, Spunky was walking around while I was combing my hair, and went over to the wall outlet and started sniffing it. That's when I noticed no plugs were in it. We use our new heat surge heater on cold nights in our bedroom which we plug right into the wall when in use and then we unplug it every morning.

Apparently, when I wasn't quite awake, I must have unplugged the power strip as well, thinking it was the heater plug. Ooops. No wonder the clock didn't work! Ha ha! Dummy me, the power strip only works if it's plugged in! Duh, boy did I feel stupid. Thanks, Spunky, for showing me what the problem was. Cats are so smart!

So, this is my most recent dumb thing I did. What's yours?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Terrific Tuesday--Nice Day, Good News, Off Work!

Yesterday was a very good day for us. First off, we both decided to take off the whole day from work since the forecast was good and it was voting day.

We slept in, then went out for a buffet breakfast at Eat-n-Park which was very good. The good news in the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER this morning said that Brady Quinn will be the starting Quarterback for the Browns this Thursday night--yippee! I think it's time. Then we went to PetSmart form more Temptations treats, kitty litter & cat food and GNC for a new supply of Amplify (our protein drink).

We walked up to our voting place at 11:00 and although it was crowded, no one was in line for our ward so we were in and out in just 10 minutes. We think we made a wise decision taking the day off so we didn't have to rush before or after work when it would be more crowded. I was surprised when I looked at the ballot to see so many names running for President! All I ever heard anything about was McCain and Obama. I think this is just plain WRONG! I wish every candidate would get the same amount of money to spend on their campaign and not have to rely on using their own money or contributions from businesses, organizations or individuals. I had no idea all these other people were running. Why was this kept from me? I feel cheated and manipulated!

Anyhow, the sun was shining and the temperature was warm so we headed off to the zoo next. Much of it was blocked off already for the winter but we still enjoyed it. The Red Panda was just so cute. One was curled up with it's head tucked into it's fur and a paw over his eye while the other little one was walking back and forth on a log in the opposite corner. After blogging a bit, we went up to Dunkin Donuts where we each got a free donut for voting today.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Got Another Award--Uber Amazing Blog!

Thanks, Chris, at Living Well for this Uber Amazing Blog award.
The rules:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 5 blogs (can be more) that for you are Uber Amazing!
3. Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog.
4. Share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from.

So here is my list of blogs I think are amazing (there are so many, but I try to pass on awards to those I haven't given any to before):

Your Fun Family: Lots of good ideas for fun things to do with your family.

Lesson In Life: Lots of in-depth, well-written posts about things that are helpful to know.

Investigations and Ruminations: Well thought out posts that deal with spirituality, philosophy that really make you think.

Learning Activities For Children: Great blog for parents with young children that gives lots of good ideas for how to teach them things.

Christianity With Tracy: A Christian blog that promotes ways to benefit others.

Type Racer Is Challenging and Fun!

Type Racer

Well, I finally figured out how to post a screen shot using Paint and Photobucket. I wanted to show you how cool this little typing site is. You can race against other people and it tells you your words per minute, accuracy percentage and your place in the race. Of course, I chose to show the screen shot of one where I came in first but that doesn't happen as often as I'd like, so now I have a challenge. The key is to not make any mistakes because it won't let you go on until you backspace and correct it. It only gives a short paragraph to type so if you goof up, you really don't have enough time to make up for it.

Go to and see how you do.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Not Sure Who You Want to Vote For? Maybe This Quiz Can Help!

I took this quiz just to see who it said I should vote for based on the issues. As you can see, I'm not really thrilled with either candidate--it came out pretty close:

Karen's Issue Profile: 48% Obama, 52% McCain
(Gerard's Issue Profile: 36% Obama, 64% McCain)

The following statements are about Karen:
Truth be told, I'm not really satisfied with either of the candidates. (true)
I could vote for either of them. I am the typical coveted swing voter.
You may want to narrow yourself down to a particular set of issues in order to pick your president. (which I have)
Or start looking at third party candidates. One of them might suit you better. (Like who???)

Well, I've decided but I'm not telling you. My vote is private. Since I've started blogging, not much else is!
Should You Vote for Obama or McCain? click here to find out

Finally, I found a voter guide which lists each candidates views on all the issues along with their voting record in the past. These were made available to everyone at our church. I took a handful to share with my co-workers. It was unbiased and just factual information which I found to be very helpful.

Also, in today's Cleveland PLAIN DEALER had a light article about personal facts about each of the Presidential candidates that I found interesting. It was like reading those memes like the one I did listing 8 random facts. The fact that interested me the most was their pets: McCain has 4 dogs, 2 turtles, 1 cat, 13 fish, 3 parakeets and did have a ferret that died in the spring. Obama has zero pets.

Other facts shared included astrological sign, high school nickname, favorite TV shows, most important proposal, first job, on his ipod, favorite movies, favorite superhero, favorite books, unusual office decoration, favorite TV/movie President, favorite junk food (doughnuts-McCain; French fries-Obama), etc.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I've Been Tagged by WindMill for 8 Random Things

Thanks WindMill for giving me something to post about.
I have to put in 8 random things about me and then tag 8 others. I assume these should be things I haven't already mentioned on my blog to give further insight into who I am so, here you go:

Random 1: I got married when I was 42.

Random 2: I've always enjoyed taking pictures and video.

Random 3: I am an early riser, get up at 5 a.m. every day, even on the weekends. (Some days though I will return to bed after I take my thyroid medication.)

Random 4: I am an animal lover, a real sucker for fur--I have 2 cats and a big collection of stuffed animals which I will post about one day.

Random 5: I can't sing on key which can really be annoying.

Random 6: I used to do Bible quizzing when I was a teenager and later coached Bible quiz teams that competed against other churches in the Christian & Missionary Alliance denomination.

Random 7: I do not like to get dressed up, mostly because I don't have comfortable dress shoes to wear--my feet are AA width which I can't find in stores around here.

Then I have to follow the Tag Rules:
1. Each player starts with eight random fact/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. A the end of your blogpost, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their name.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged and to read your blog.

These are the 8 who I am tagging--you're it!
1. Ruthi at A Carpenter Wife's Tool Box
2. Hadias at Proverbs Wife
3. Mountain Woman at Red Pine Mountain
4. Sue at Stay At Home Mom
5. Nhil at Simple Married Life
6. John at EZ Great Life--Family, Fitness & Finances
7 Cat on My Head
8. Furkids mom at Friends Furever

True Love

Gerard was not feeling well last Tuesday evening and got a sore throat. We went to bed and he kept moaning, groaning and bouncing and neither of us could sleep. He said he needed some throat lozengers. So, at 12:30 a.m. I got out of bed, got dressed and drove up to the Giant Eagle nearby which is open 24 hours. I was back in half an hour with Kleenex, Halls lozengers and orange juice. Finally, we got some sleep! I was happy when he announced he was not going to work on Wednesday. I didn't even have to try convincing him to stay home. It was a cold, rainy day and he took it easy and was feeling much better by the weekend.

Love is action. Love is a choice, not just a feeling. It is sacrificial. It is thinking about the other person and putting their needs above your own. I'm sure he would have done the same for me if the situation were reversed.

Thanks to Our October Commenters!

Wow! We thank all our October commenters for their participation on this blog. This is the most commentators we've had since we started blogging. We enjoy your comments and hope you find things of interest here. This list also includes those who commented on my other blog, My Funny Dad, Harry last month.

If you made a comment on here during October, you should be listed. If you aren't it is just an oversight on my part and not intentional. Please let me know if you should be listed and I will add you on.

Beaded Tail
Jennifer at Quiverfull Family
Signe at Signe Says
Kae Lynn at Little Country Princess
Betchai at California (an outdoor nature, photography and travel blog)
Carol at Second Cup
Daisy (a cat)Daisy, the Curly Cat
Ruthi at A Carpenter Wife's Tool Box and Ruthi's Breathing Space
Lady Java at Cat Tales and at Lady Java's lounge
Hadias at Proverbs Wife
Trophy of Grace at Real Christian Talk for Real Christians, Consecrated to Him
Mountain Woman at Red Pine Mountain
Sue at Stay At Home Mom
Carole at Carole's Thoughtful Spot
Wild Cats Three at Ramblings Around The Water Cooler
Rene at Cheaper by the Half Dozen
Bola at Mums Dads Children and Life Blog Magazine
Matt Oxley at Raging Rev
Simple Married Life
The Founding Father at Sanctuary for Man
Liz at Mommy's Little Corner
Mike at livelife365
Cecile at Small and Simple Things
Genny at Wonderful Things In Life
Tahtimbo at Everyday Living
Tracey at I Am Me
Daisy, not the Cat at Rainy Dazeee
Tony at Seeking Things Above
Hannah Noel at That Girl
sg entrepreneur at
Priya at Sez Who?
Sweet Mummy at It's Okay to be Weird
Sarah at Steadfast Steps
Dreamwalker at Dreamwalkers World
JD at I Do Things So You Don't Have To
Josie at Nerdy Parenting
Intricate Thoughts
Kgraham at Our Daily Crumb
Jude at Mature But Not Senile
Wendy at From the Eyes of My Heart
Lis at Hue and Hysteria
Danny Thornton at Mortgage and More
Maria at Life's Sweets and Spices
Page McManus at The Road I'm Traveling
Cats at Of Cats
Donald James Parker at Sword of the Spirit - Hebrews 4:12
Carol Denbow at Author's Box and A Book Inside
Marc Vun Kannon at Flame In The Bowl
Yvonne Perry at Writers in the Sky
Sandee at Comedy Plus
Samantha & Mr. Tigger at From a Cat's Perspective
Wildcatsthree at Our Dog Log
Chris at Living Well-Naturally
Love Talks, The Story of Our Lives

I use this list to do Entrecard drops as well so that way I make sure to visit your blogs on a regular basis--(even when Entrecard is having issues).