A mix collection of inspirational stories gathered from the internet and personal experiences.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Children’s Science Exam Answers:

Q. Name the four seasons!
A. Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.

Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink.
Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists.

How is dew formed?
The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire.

How can you delay milk turning sour? (This is brilliant, you’ll love this!)
Keep it in the cow.

What causes the tides in the ocean?
A. The tides are a fight between the Earth and the Moon. And water tends to flow toward the moon because there is not water on the moon, and nature hates a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight.

How are the different parts of the body categorized?
The body consists of 3 parts—the brainium which contains the brain; the borax contains the heart and lungs; and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels A, E, I, O and U.

Friday, August 29, 2008

don't break the elastic!

In April, Maya Angelou was interviewed by Oprah on her 70+ birthday. Oprah asked her what she thought of growing older

And, there on television, she said it was 'exciting.' Regarding body changes, she said there were many, occurring every day...like her breasts. They seem to be in a race to see which one will reach her waist, first.

The audience laughed so hard they cried. She is such a simple and honest woman, with so much wisdom in her words!

Maya Angelou said this:

'I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.'

'I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things:

a rainy day,

a lost luggage, and

tangled Christmas tree lights.'

'I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.'

'I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as 'making a life.'

'I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.'

'I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back.'

'I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.'

'I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.'

'I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.'

'I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.'

'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'

Please send this to five phenomenal women today.

If you do, something good will happen: You will boost another woman's self-esteem.

If you don't...the elastic will break and your underpants will fall down around your ankles!

Believe me, I didn't take any chances on MY elastic breaking. ... I sent it to a lot of special women I care for.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another touching story

Author Unknown

I was walking around in a Target store, when I saw a Cashier hand this little boy some money back.

The boy couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 years old.

The Cashier said, 'I'm sorry, but you don't have enough money to buy this doll.'

Then the little boy turned to the old woman next to him: ''Granny, are you sure I don't have enough money?''

The old lady replied: ''You know that you don't have enough money to buy this doll, my dear.''

Then she asked him to stay there for just 5 minutes while she went to look around. She left quickly.

The little boy was still holding the doll in his hand.

Finally, I walked toward him and I asked him who he wished to give this doll to.

'It's the doll that my sister loved most and wanted so much for Christmas. She was sure that Santa Claus would bring it to her.'

I replied to him that maybe Santa Claus would bring it to her after all, and not to worry.

But he replied to me sadly. ' No, Santa Claus can't bring it to her where she is now. I have to give the doll to my mommy so that she can give it to my sister when she goes there.'

His eyes were so sad while saying this.

'My Sister has gone to be with God. Daddy says that Mommy is going to see God very soon too, so I thought that she could take the doll with her to give it to my sister.''

My heart nearly stopped.

The little boy looked up at me and said: 'I told daddy to tell mommy not to go yet. I need her to wait until I come back from the mall.'

Then he showed me a very nice photo of him where he was laughing. He then told me 'I want mommy to take my picture with her so she won't forget me.'

'I love my mommy and I wish she doesn't have to leave me, but daddy says that she has to go to be with my little sister.'

Then he looked again at the doll with sad eyes, very quietly.

I quickly reached for my wallet and said to the boy. 'Suppose we check again, just in case you do have enough money for the doll?''

'OK' he said, 'I hope I do have enough.' I added some of my money to his without him seeing and we started to count it. There was enough for the doll and even some spare money.

The little boy said: 'Thank you God for giving me enough money!'

Then he looked at me and added, 'I asked last night before I went to sleep for God to make sure I had enough money to buy this doll, so that mommy could give It to my sister. He heard me!''

'I also wanted to have enough money to buy a white rose for my mommy, but I didn't dare to ask God for too much. But He gave me enough to buy the doll and a white rose.''

'My mommy loves white roses.'

A few minutes later, the old lady returned and I left with my basket.

I finished my shopping in a totally different state from when I started. I couldn't get the little boy out of my mind.

Then I remembered a local newspaper article two days ago, which mentioned a drunk man in a truck, who hit a car occupied by a young woman and a little girl.

The little girl died right away, and the mother was left in a critical state. The family had to decide whether to pull the plug on the life-sustaining machine, because the young woman would not be able to recover from the coma.

Was this the family of the little boy?

Two days after this encounter with the little boy, I read in the newspaper that the young woman had passed away.

I couldn't stop myself as I bought a bunch of white roses and I went to the funeral home where the body of the young woman was exposed for people to see and make last wishes before her burial.

She was there, in her coffin, holding a beautiful white rose in her hand with the photo of the little boy and the doll placed over her chest.

I left the place, teary-eyed, feeling that my life had been changed forever.... The love that the little boy had for his mother and his sister is still, to this day, hard to imagine.

And in a fraction of a second, a drunk driver had taken all this away from him.

Now you have 2 choices:

1) Repost this message.

2) Ignore it as if it never touched your heart

The quote of the month is by Jay Leno:

'With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, 'Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?'

For those who prefer to think that God is watching over us.... go ahead and pass this on to your friends.

Thanks and GOD Bless you and your loved ones!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Simple Ways to Improve Your Memory

By Joel Falconer

Source: Lifehack.org

Memory is one of the integral parts of day-to-day human life.

We're using it every moment, consciously or not, as we perceive the world and interpret it based on our memories and experiences, or as we look for the car keys, trying to recall where, exactly, was the last place they were seen.

It's no small wonder that this part of our brain would fall prey to such inefficiency and failure, given the busy pace of Western life and the constant barrage of information that the hippo campus must somehow keep up with. But at the same time, how can we fall complacent when such an essential thing as memory doesn't work properly?

Many personal development fans spend hours, weeks, months and years dedicated to other areas of their lives while they completely ignore the memory. You should up your standards. Your memory should be a finely-tuned, working piece of equipment that you can depend on. So where can you start? Clear Your Mind Some of our memory inefficiency is no doubt caused by the clutter in our heads, the ceaseless stimulation of our senses and the barrage of information we so often complain about. The other side of the coin concerns the inefficiency in the way we store information. Like a hard drive, where write speeds can be affected by how much the drive is trying to do at any one time. Or completely halted when the drive is full, slowed to a stop by inefficient methods of accessing that data.


Meditation is a scientifically proven way to clear your mind and relieve stress. If you find your mind too cluttered to recall important or even not-so-important facts throughout the day, you need to meditate. Adopt a regular meditation habit and reap the health benefits that come with it. Meditation goes something like this: find a quiet environment. Focus on your breathing. Quit thinking and forget about the world. Practice until you can actually forget about the world and focus on your breathing.


As soon as I mentioned cluttered minds, you probably knew I was going to mention it. The Getting Things Done system is perfect for clearing your head because it eliminates the need to remember. When you're not trying to hold on to and juggle so much data all day, and you release the stress of trying to retain so much information, And that's when you'll find yourself able to remember everything easily! If you just use the info-dumping strategy of GTD, then you stand to gain a lot of mental RAM back. Simply sit down in the mornings (and in the evenings if you suffer from insomnia) and rattle out everything you need to do or consider. Put it on a piece of paper, into a Word document, your task manager, or whatever takes your fancy. The important thing is to remove it from your brain and free up attention for things that don't need to be at the forefront of your mind. Fuel Your Brain A starving brain is just like a starving person: it won't work well. Give your hippocampus the things it needs to operate smoothly.


One of the best things you can do for your memory is get exercise. I've put this under the Fuel Your Brain section because the reason exercise works so well is that it pumps oxygen to your head. Spend three hours a week walking, running, swimming or doing some form of aerobic exercise. If you already have an exercise regime that doesn't involve aerobic exercise, you'll need to add at least three hours per week to get the benefits of exercise on your memory.


This Virgina Woolfe quote is good advice: "One cannot think well, love well or sleep well if one has not dined well." Of course, if you know anything of Woolfe's life, you'll know she's not an expert on mental health. But in this case, she was right. Just like if you failed to exercise, if you don't eat well, your brain won't work well. Quit snacking on chips and eat a variety of healthy foods. Avoid processed grains like bread and white rice. What you're aiming for is maximum nutrients so your neurons can fire and regenerate at will. Fruits, vegetables, and "brain foods" (anything containing omega 3 fatty acids like sardines) should comprise the bulk of any intellectual's diet.

Herbs, supplements and drugs

My pregnant wife is religious in her consumption of folic acid supplements every day, and apparently it's a good idea for husbands to join in, especially if you're the type who forgets to do the dishes. With all that folic acid she's taking, she's sure not forgetting. B vitamins are very important to healthy brain function. Not only will they give your memory a boost, but they'll reduce stress, too, the prime contributor to poor recall. As far as drugs go, I wouldn't take any, but there is one you can STOP taking. Smoking decreases blood flow to the brain, preventing oxygen from getting in there and making your prior attempts to rectify this problem useless. Memory Aids There is nothing wrong with aiding your memory with a shopping list or a mnemonic. If you need to remember that Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit to help you learn to read music notation, then you shouldn't be ashamed. If it makes your life easier, that's a good enough reason. Just be glad you're not the other guy who's trying to memorize by rote. There are loads of systems and techniques that fall under the heading of memory aids. Some are as simple as writing a note on your hand or keeping a shopping list. Some aren't.

Joel Falconer has been published online and off, and offers practical advice you can use to make life more liveable.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Italian Tomato Garden

An old Italian lived alone in New Jersey. He wanted to plant
his annual tomato garden, but it was very difficult work, as the ground was hard.

His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison. The
old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:

Dear Vincent,

I am feeling pretty sad, because it looks like I won't be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be over. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me, like in the old days.



A few days later he received a letter from his son.

Dear Pop,

Don't dig up that garden. That's where the bodies are buried.



At 4 a.m. The next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left. That same day the old man received another letter from his son.

Dear Pop,

Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That's the best I could do under the circumstances.

Love you,


Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Friend Barry

By Linda Hastings
© September 2007

continued from yesterday....

"How are you (waiting for his name) today?" The old man replied "Oh, fine".

"And what is your name, sir?" The old man replied with his first name, Henry.

"Well, Mr. Henry." Barry began. "No, sir, that's my first name, Henry. Me's last name is Turner", was his reply.

"I beg your pardon, Mr. Turner", Barry said. Mr. Turner now smiling and standing a little straighter and taller turned to look towards me. I returned the smile, waiting to see what was in store for us both from Barry.

He continued. "Mr. Turner, how long have you worked for the hotel?" he asked.

"Oh, nearly five years now" came his reply.

"And do you take care of this beautiful lobby all by yourself, or do you have help?"

Barry continued to pry. "No sir, I do it all by myself, ain't got no helpers, don't need nobody, I likes doing it real nice by myself" he answered.

Barry then walked towards the ash try he had just finished restoring to perfection. "Mr. Turner, how do you get that logo in the sand like that, I have often wondered how it's done and you're the first person I have ever seen who could actually tell me." Mr. Turner, now standing tall and confident walked over to the next ashtray and proceeded to show Barry the tricks of the trade so to speak. He carried a rubber stamp in his supplies that when pressed into the smoothed out sand made the logo prominent. "Jest like that, sir", was Mr. Turner's reply.

Barry studied the logo in the sand intently and turned to Mr. Turner and remarked, "well, I'll be - that is impressive if I must say so - and that must take practice to get it right in the center and make it stand out like that - yes, a real art I'd say".

Barry had turned his total and complete attention to the aging custodian, showing him a genuine interest in this mundane tasks and Mr. Turner was thriving on the attention he was getting. The elevator arrived and Barry went up. The elderly custodian began to whistle a little tune as he continued his cleaning and when he got to the next ashtray, he stood looking at his work as an artist does upon completing a masterpiece.

Sitting silently in the lobby glancing through a magazine I began to take it all in. I marveled at the changes that had come over Mr. Turner - he walked tall now to the next ash tray, his head held high, a smile on his withered face and he whistled softly - a transformation made in only moments by an act of respect and a few spoken words.

The remainder of the day proved to be more of the same as we visited historical locations, shops and even the ball fields where we found the girls and Bill intently watching the softball tournament. Everywhere we went Barry made the people he encountered feel like they were the owner or president of their company, or could be! His enthusiasm and concentrated interests in whatever they were doing brought smiles and opened conversation everywhere we went.

Later that night, alone with my thoughts, I re-played the video in my mind of Barry making small talk with total strangers standing near us in a line, the waitress, Mr. Turner and even the way he reacted when meeting my family. What a difference he made in the lives of those he would never meet again, whose day was made more special because of a word, a smile, a story.

I closed my eyes and thought to myself, I want to live my life just like Barry - making those I encounter feel important everywhere I go! The following year, the limousine company I worked for declared bankruptcy and closed its doors. I was handed the word processor on my desk as payment for my last two weeks at work.

School was about to end for summer vacation and I decided to take that time to enjoy it with the girls and think of what I would do next. Barry stayed in touch with me, making sure I would be all right in light of my sudden loss of work and an income. I assured him I was fine and that I would bounce back come September when school started back and that I would find other employment.

It was then that Barry began to encourage me to start my own business - he reminded me that I had the knowledge and personality to be successful and now I had an expensive tool by which to get started - the computer. At first it seemed more like the story of us getting married that day - totally ridiculous - but he wouldn't let it go.

As we continued to converse over the summer it became more and more evident that he was right - I could do it! I spent the summer gearing up for my new company, "Secretarial Solutions" and on the first day of school while dropping the girls off I heard a knock on my van window. I rolled down the glass and a gentleman asked for my business card.

Puzzled, I asked, "What business card?" forgetting the signs on the side of our van advertising my new business. He smiled, "Isn't this your van?" "Yes" I replied and then snapped to what he meant and scrambled to find my new business card to hand him. He became my very first customer!

For the remaining 4 years my business grew and I thrived. Barry was there for me each time I needed advice or direction and always for encouragement. Whenever I found an opportunity - which was daily - I put into action what Barry had shown me - and even today it is the standard by which I live.

Sometimes I wonder whatever happened to Barry Locke, and then I smile knowing if he isn't still here on earth making people feel important, he is surely in heaven making up stories to entertain the angels!


Linda has been writing for a number of years now and writes about true experiences that are near and dear to her heart. Many of her stories are tributes to family members. In addition to writing, Linda is a full time Executive Assistant with two grown daughters and a loving husband that enjoys spending leisure time with her on the lake or on their Harley Davidson. Linda's love for writing stories began when her children were small; she would create tales to entertain them using their names and their friends as the characters. Linda's stories have been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, the book and the weekly newspaper syndicate, Fort Worth Business Press and you may recognize her name from other stories she has shared on MyDailyInsights as well. You can reach Linda at lghastings@embarqmail.com

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Friend Barry

By Linda Hastings
© September 2007

I first met Barry in the mid-80's while working as the secretary for the President of a limousine company in the town where I grew up, a suburb of Dallas. My boss, Charles was the newly appointed President of the National Limousine Association based in Washington, DC. Barry, a man nearly twice my age and also serving on the board lived near the Associations' headquarters and would routinely call to discuss issues with my boss. When Barry would call he would exuberantly say "Good morning!!!" and you could tell from his voice and tone that it really was!

Being a young mother of two small daughters, often it was well up into the day before my morning felt "good" to me. Usually fatigued from the daily routine of getting dinner the night before, baths, making lunches, helping with homework, and then getting up early to rush the girls off to school and drive the 20+ miles to work in traffic, I would be doing well to muster up a smile, much less any enthusiasm, yet Barry's calls would always rejuvenate me.

As time went on, I found myself anxiously awaiting his phone calls. He would always ask about my family and before long he knew as much about my family as my closest friends. He would be genuine in his interest to hear how the girls were doing as well as my husband, Bill.

His laughter was contagious and his zest for life always made me glad he called. Barry spoke of his family too, a wife of many years, children and his most recent family addition, a grandson. You could tell from our conversations that he not only loved life, but also his family. In the spring of '88 his work with the Association would bring him to Dallas. When he called to tell me the news that he would, at last, get to meet me in person, I was ecstatic! I had long wondered what he looked like and wanted to see for myself if that enthusiasm on the phone was indeed something that was the 'real deal'.

Barry arrived some weeks later and chose to stay over on Saturday to see some of the Dallas area. He had asked if Bill, the girls and I were up for showing him around and I jumped at the opportunity, saying "yes" without first checking with the family.

As it turned out, there was a softball tournament that Saturday and Bill, being an assistant coach, could not get out of attending it. Feeling bad that I had already accepted the invitation to show him the city, I begged off from sitting in the stands for hours watching teams of children play softball (none of which included my own) and said nothing to Barry of the change in plans.

On that Saturday we were to meet at his hotel for brunch. His treat! When I arrived alone he was hugely disappointed that the girls and Bill were not with me. I explained the circumstances and he asked if we could include a trip to the ball fields as part of our excursion that day and I agreed. Little did I know that the events of that day would change me forever!

Barry was a gentleman in every sense of the word and his attitude and humor kept me entertained throughout the entire day - one surprise after another. However, it was the way he treated others that would remain with me and alter my ways of thinking for a lifetime.

It started first with the waitress at brunch. He made sure he knew her name and called her by it throughout the morning meal, but it didn't stop there. He complimented her on the tiniest of tasks and genuinely showed an interest in every part of her job. When she warmed up to us, his humor kicked in. When she asked if we were from out of town, he remarked that he had flown in because we were getting married that afternoon! He continued by asking her if she didn't agree that I was the most beautiful woman in the world and wouldn't I make a lovely bride for him.

Obviously, the waitress didn't know what to say seeing that we were years apart in age, so she smiled and agreed with him. He went on with his charade as I sat smiling and listening to his ridiculous story. All the while he made it remarkably believable. When she walked away, I laughed and told him how crazy he was and he laughed just as hard as I.

Throughout our meal our waitress would provide the best of service, coming to check on us regularly and offering anything that she could possibly bring us. It was obvious that she couldn't get enough of Barry and his outlandish story and every time she appeared at the table, he added to it even going so far as to invite her to the 'wedding' that afternoon.

It was hard to contain myself as I wondered what he would do if she accepted. I could tell from that first experience I was in for a day full of surprises and Barry didn't disappoint me. After walking out into the lobby, still laughing about his charade with the waitress, we encountered the hotel custodian, an elderly black man with graying hair and a demeanor so low I sensed immediately that he wanted to be invisible. As he polished and cleaned the lobby tables and doors we stood talking about the day's agenda.

Barry wanted to run up to his room and get his sunglasses and I told him I'd wait there in the lobby for him. We were standing near the elevator and the custodian had made his way over to clean out the ashtrays. I remember them being the ones with the sand on the top that, when freshened up, had the hotel's logo pressed into the clean sand.

Barry went into action! He greeted the elderly custodian with the warmest "hello, good morning, sir" that I have ever heard - much like that between two long lost friends at a chance meeting. The custodian smiled and softly returned a shy "hello" back as he continued with the ashtrays. Barry was relentless.

to be continued......

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Secret to a Lasting Marriage: Embrace Imperfection

by Deb Graham - Contributor

When I was a little girl, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work.

On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage, and extremely burned toast in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his toast, smile at my mom, and ask me how my day was at school.

I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that toast and eat every bite! When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the toast. And I'll never forget what he said: "Baby, I love burned toast."

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he, really liked his toast burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, "Debbie, your momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real, tired. And besides-a little burnt toast never hurt anyone!"

In bed that night, I thought about that scene at dinner and the kindness my daddy showed my mom. To this day, it's a cherished memory from my childhood that I'll never forget. And it's one that came to mind just recently when Jack and I sat down to eat dinner.

I had arrived home late as usual and decided we would have breakfast food for dinner. Some things never change, I suppose!

To my amazement, I found the ingredients I needed, and quickly began to cook eggs, turkey sausage, and buttered toast. Thinking I had things under control, I glanced through the mail for the day. It was only a few minutes later that I remembered that I had forgotten to take the toast out of the oven!

Now, had it been any other day -- and had we had more than two pieces of bread in the entire house -- I would have started all over. But it had been one of those days and I had just used up the last two pieces of bread. So burnt toast it was!

As I set the plate down in front of Jack, I waited for a comment about the toast. But all I got was a "Thank you!" I watched as he ate bite by bite, all the time waiting for some comment about the toast. But instead, all Jack said was, "Babe, this is great. Thanks for cooking tonight. I know you had a hard day."

As I took a bite of my charred toast that night, I thought about my mom and dad how burnt toast hadn't been a deal-breaker for them. And I quietly thanked God for giving me a marriage where burnt toast wasn't a deal-breaker either!

You know, life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. I'm not the best housekeeper or cook. And you might be surprised to find out that Jack isn't the perfect husband! He likes to play his music too loud, he will always find a way to avoid yard work, and he watches far too many sports. Believe it or not, watching " Golf Academy " is not my idea of a great night at home!

But somehow in the past 37 years Jack and I have learned to accept the imperfections in each other. Over time, we have stopped trying to make each other in our own mold and have learned to celebrate our differences. You might say that we've learned to love each other for who we really are!

For example, I like to take my time, I'm a perfectionist, and I'm even-tempered. I tend to work too much and sleep too little. Jack, on the other hand, is disciplined, studious, an early riser, and is a marketer's dream consumer. I count pennies and Jack could care less! Where he is strong, I am weak, and vice versa.

And while you might say that Jack and I are opposites, we're also very much alike. I can look at him and tell you what he's thinking. I can predict his actions before he finalizes his plans. On the other hand, he knows whether I'm troubled or not the moment I enter a room.

We share the same goals. We love the same things. And we are still best friends. We've traveled through many valleys and enjoyed many mountaintops.

And yet, at the same time, Jack and I must work every minute of every day to make this thing called "marriage" work!

What I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each other's faults - and choosing to celebrate each other's differences - is the one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting marriage relationship.

And that's my prayer for you today. That you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your married life and lay them at the feet of GOD. Because in the end, He's the only One who will be able to give you a marriage where burnt toast isn't a deal-breaker!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Think of them....

If you think you are unhappy, look at them

If you think your salary is low, how about her?

If you think you don't have many friends...

When you feel like giving up, think of this man

If you think you suffer in life, do you suffer as much as he does?

If you complain about your transport system, how about them?

If your society is unfair to you, how about her?

Enjoy life how it is and as it comes

Things are worse for others and is a lot better for us

There are many things in your life that will catch your eye
but only a few will catch your heart....pursue those...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Red Marble

During the waning years of the depression in a small southeastern
Idaho community, I used to stop by Mr. Miller's roadside stand for
farm fresh produce as the season made it available. Food and money
were still extremely scarce and bartering was used, extensively.

One particular day Mr. Miller was bagging some early potatoes for
me. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged
but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green
peas. I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of
fresh green peas.

I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the
peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr.
Miller and the ragged boy next to me.

"Hello Barry, how are you today?"

"Hello Mr. Miller, Fine, thank you. Just admiring those peas...
sure look good."

"They are good, Barry. How's your Mother?"

"Fine. Getting stronger all the time."

"Good. Anything I can help you with?"

"No, Sir. Just admiring those peas."

"Would you like to take some home?"

"No, Sir. I don't have anything to pay for them with."

"Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?"

"All I have is my prize marble here."

"Is that right? Let me see it."

"Here it is. She's a dandy."

"I can see that. Hmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort
of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?"

"Not exactly...but, almost."

"Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip
this way let me look at that red marble."

"Sure will. Thanks, Mr. Miller."

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me.
With a smile she said: "There are two other boys like him in our
community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just
loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes or

"When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do,
he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home
with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one,

I left the stand, smiling to myself, impressed with the man. A
short time later I moved to Utah but I never forgot the story of
this man, the boys and their bartering.

Several years went by each more rapid than the previous one. Just
recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho
community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died.
They were having his viewing that evening and knowing my friends
wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon our arrival at the
mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased
and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army
uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white
shirts...very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller,
standing smiling and composed, by her husband's casket. Each of
the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly
with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes
followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and
placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket.
Each left the mortuary, awkwardly, wiping his eyes. Our turn came
to meet Mrs. Miller.

I told her who I was and mentioned the story she had told me about
the marbles. Eyes glistening she took my hand and led me to the
casket. "Those three young men, that just left, were the boys I
told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things
Jim "traded" them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his
mind about color or size...they came to pay their debt.

"We've never had a great deal of wealth of this world," she
confided, but, right now, Jim would consider himself the richest
man in Idaho."

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her
deceased husband. Resting underneath were three, magnificently
shiny, red marbles.

We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds.

Author Unknown

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Are You a Bucket-Filler or a Dipper?

Author Unknown

You have heard of the cup that overflowed. This is a story of a bucket that is like the cup, only larger, it is an invisible bucket. Everyone has one. It determines how we feel about ourselves, about others, and how we get along with people. Have you ever experienced a series of very favorable things which made you want to be good to people for a week? At that time, your bucket was full.

A bucket can be filled by a lot of things that happen. When a person speaks to you, recognizing you as a human being, your bucket is filled a little. Even more if he calls you by name, especially if it is the name you like to be called. If he compliments you on your dress or on a job well done, the level in your bucket goes up still higher.

There must be a million ways to raise the level in another's bucket. Writing a friendly letter, remembering something that is special to him, knowing the names of his children, expressing sympathy for his loss, giving him a hand when his work is heavy, taking time for conversation, or, perhaps more important, listening to him.

When one's bucket is full of this emotional support, one can express warmth and friendliness to people. But, remember, this is a theory about a bucket and a dipper. Other people have dippers and they can get their dippers in your bucket. This, too, can be done in a million ways.

Lets say I am at a dinner and inadvertently upset a glass of thick, sticky chocolate milk that spills over the table cloth, on a lady's skirt, down onto the carpet. I am embarrassed. "Bright Eyes" across the table says, "You upset that glass of chocolate milk." I made a mistake, I know I did, and then he told me about it! He got his dipper in my bucket! Think of the times a person makes a mistake, feels terrible about it, only to have someone tell him about the known mistake ("Red pencil" mentality!)

Buckets are filled and buckets are emptied ? emptied many times because people don't really think about what are doing. When a person's bucket is emptied, he is very different than when it is full. You say to a person whose bucket is empty, "That is a pretty tie you have," and he may reply in a very irritated, defensive manner.

Although there is a limit to such an analogy, there are people who seem to have holes in their buckets. When a person has a hole in his bucket, he irritates lots of people by trying to get his dipper in their buckets. This is when he really needs somebody to pour it in his bucket because he keeps losing.

The story of our lives is the interplay of the bucket and the dipper. Everyone has both. The unyielding secret of the bucket and the dipper is that when you fill another's bucket it does not take anything out of your own bucket. The level in our own bucket gets higher when we fill another's, and, on the other hand, when we dip into another's bucket we do not fill our own ... we lose a little.

For a variety of reasons, people hesitate filling the bucket of another and consequently do not experience the fun, joy, happiness, fulfillment, and satisfaction connected with making another person happy. Some reasons for this hesitancy are that people think it sounds "fakey," or the other person will be suspicious of the motive, or it is "brown-nosing."

Therefore, let us put aside our dipper and resolve to touch someone's life in order to fill their bucket.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Quote of the Day

Character is to man what carbon is to steel.

Napoleon Hill

Sunday, August 10, 2008

OLYMPIC Gardens - 2nd batch pictures

For those of us who will not attend the olympic games this year, here is a sneak peak at the gardens designed specifically for this occasion.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

OLYMPIC Gardens - 1st batch pictures

For those of us who will not attend the olympic games this year, here is a sneak peak at the gardens designed specifically for this occasion.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Quote of the Day

If you want a life with no bumps, you'll never learn how to take your lumps.

Kent Krive

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Grandma Who Could

By Neil Eskelin

At the age of eighty, a farmer's wife in Cambridge, Virginia, suffered from painful arthritis. The mother of ten children and many grandchildren -- and great-grandchildren -- loved to do needlework, but her fingers could no longer manipulate the large needle to embroider.

The elderly woman looked for something else that would keep her occupied and found she could hold a small paintbrush much easier than a needle. So she tried her hand painting. She thought her farm and country scenes were good enough to show at the Cambridge Fair, but only won prizes for her jams and canned fruit. There were no blue ribbons for her art.

Then one day an art collector from New York City was traveling through the village and noticed several of her paintings for sale in a local drug store. When he showed them to his friends in the art circles of Manhattan, they were more than curious.
Soon, 'Grandma Moses' gained an international reputation. Her widely-collected works of art were featured on calendars, greeting cards and in exhibitions in leading galleries including the Modern Museum of Art in New York.

Even more amazing, twenty-five percent of her 1,500 popular paintings were done after she was 100!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008