Archive | August 2014



Meet Buddy.
He is a happy kitten these days.
He is one of the blessed ones:  He was found, shortly after being dumped at a State park.
When my neighbor first brought him home, he had to have milk because he wasn’t up to regular cat food just yet.
Now, he eats well.
He is learning how to wear a leash to go outdoors.
His biggest worry is, what toy should he play with next?
It is really amazing that he wasn’t caught by a cougar or coyote.

Not to preach tooo much here:
If you are thinking about having an animal, consider your choice very carefully:  animals require care; to have one is to take on full responsibility for it’s health and welfare.
If you find that you can’t have a pet after all, take it to the Humane society or see to it that your animal gets a new home.
Dumping animals, especially babies, is cruel beyond description.



I have been pondering one of the quotes from Mark Twain:
“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

When I was still working as a therapist, I had more than one client do an exercise with me:
List all the ways you could use a can of gasoline, good, bad and indifferent…

One client and I came up with about 17 possibilities.  Here are some examples:
Put it in the gas tank of your car so you can go places
mow the lawn
take tar off the truck
sell it and have a little spending money
set yourself on fire (not such a great use, eh!)
kill the lawn (okay, not so desirable either.)
Store it for years

Anger is a fuel.  Often, we use it destructively, because we take it out on others, we direct it at ourselves or stuff it.
Many of us are afraid of anger because it has been weaponized; turned into nuclear fuel by parents or others in power.  There are studies out now, showing that yelling is more hurtful to children than a spanking.
Used well, it is a terrific fuel.  Anger is what motivates us to set wrong things right.   It’s when we encounter and injustice and say, “I have to do something about that!”
Like all other emotions, anger is energy.  It comes in various forms and degrees from annoyance to outrage.
Anger that has been allowed to sit for a long time turns into pain.  It can make us ill, contribute to things like arthritis, ruin relationships and keep us from realizing dreams.
Many of us have been taught that anger is bad.  That’s not really true.  It, like all other emotions has value.  In itself, it is neutral, merely and indicator light, much like the ones in your car.  It’s what you do with it that makes it positive or not.

My pastor made an interesting comment one day:
“People say that emotions are the caboose on the train, if they allow them on board at all.  I say they are the fuel block behind the engine, because they give us energy.”
Well put.


Once upon a time, a man decided to take a long journey.  he wasn’t quite sure where he was headed, so he read, thought, asked others where they had been and started a list of places that might interest him.  He organized his choices, eliminated a few and did some more research.  Finally, he had only three possibilities from which to choose.

He gathered everything he would need, put it in his car and set out.  he sang a happy tune as he drove.  This was going to be so much fun!

Before he had gone very far, he had a flat tire.  He pulled into a repair shop, bought a new one and had it put on.  Meanwhile, he went and ate because he was hungry.
Then, he got back on the road and drove some more.

A while later, he came to a detour.  He certainly wasn’t planning on this!  There was nothing in all his research to show that roadwork was going on.  But what could he do?  He left the highway and found himself on a narrow road that wound through farmland and small towns.  The scenery was beautiful!  He smiled at this pleasant surprise.

This route took much longer than he had anticipated, so he had to find a motel for the night.  “Oh well,” he thought, “I’ll still get to see the places I want to.”

Several days into his journey, his car broke down.  It would take several hundred dollars to fix it and he would have to stay in the city for at least three days.  Again, he had not planned on this.  He was a bit concerned about the unexpected expense, so decided to find a job while he waited.  After five hours of turning in applications, he finally landed one, working at a 24-hour convenience store.  The work was hard and the hours rough on him, since he wasn’t used to being up most of the night.

After five days, he was on his way at last!  He breathed a sigh of relief as he got back on the highway.

after two more days, he reached his first destination:  A monument to his favorite historical figure.  he jumped out of his car with great excitement, took lots of pictures and walked around for a long time.  Then he had to move on.

As he started toward his second destination, he met a woman who was going to a remote part of the country.  She showed him pictures and told him all about it.  This intrigued him.  Maybe he should go see this place, too.  But then, he had not planned for that and had already had some significant delays.  “No,” he told himself, “I’ll stick to my plan.”
On and on he went, seeing monuments, museums, parks, towns and cities.  They were interesting enough; yet he felt like he was missing something.
Next, he met two people who were going to the ocean.  “That might be interesting,” he said, “I didn’t think of going there when I planned my trip.”
He counted his resources and decided he could afford to take a detour, so off he went.

Then one day, when he was at the farthest point in his journey, he realized that he wasn’t having the good time he had expected.  He was bored and restless; he had seen all of the sights he cared to, but they were no longer interesting.  He was too far along to go back; a change in directions and plans would cost too much.
What should he do?
Isn’t our journey through life something like this?  Sometimes, it might even include tragedies and hardship; other times, it’s just that we find ourselves in places and circumstances that we didn’t expect or that we thought would be better.
What is your journey like?  Is it time for some adjustment and new direction?


Recently, I’ve had to deal with a rather long term struggle:  Knowing who I am and feeling good about myself when others don’t seem to recognize or appreciate me.
The lesson that goes with this is, others’ assessment of me doesn’t matter when it comes to my identity.
or, as T. Cole-Whittaker  called the book he wrote in 1988,
“What you think of me is none of my business.”
(I think that should be on a T-shirt.)
Another lesson this calls to mind is that each of us can and needs to “stand tall.”  That means that I will respect and honor others;I will also speak the truth in love, even when it is to tell someone that I disagree.  I will state my needs and boundaries; I will keep my focus and stand on my own two feet.  I will pursue my dreams and goals with tenacity and courage.
What are your challenges?
This is a call
For you to stand tall!


Thunder rumbles;
Lightning strikes the ground;
Animals run
As flames leap all around.

Fire crews scramble,
Gathering all their gear
Wasting no time
Emergency is here.

Flames lick at trees
Dry brush cracks and burns;
Wind made by heat
Cause flames to dance and churn.

Creatures escape
On foot and in flight;
Hot Shots work late
Battling into the night.

Over at last,
The danger is gone,
Landscape left black,
But the battle is won.

Season of rest;
New plants start to grow;
Signs of fire yet
On forest floor below.

Animals return
In herds, flocks and bands;
Helping to form
Renewed life in the land.


I don’t know why, but I was thinking about Mark Twain this afternoon.

One thing I appreciate about him is that he had a very difficult life; yet his sense of humor was renown

Here are some quotes and a bit of his story:


Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.

The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.


Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.

The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.


I’ve never let my school interfere with my education.

Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

All generalizations are false, including this one.

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.

The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.

Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born on Nov. 30, 1835, in the small town of Florida, Missouri. He was welcomed into the world as the sixth child of John Marshall and Jane Lampton Clemens. Little did these parents know, their son Samuel would one day be known as Mark Twain. one of – America’s most famous literary icons.

Approximately four years after his birth, in 1839, the Clemens family moved 35 miles east to the town of Hannibal. A growing port city that lay along the banks of the Mississippi, a frequent stop for steam boats arriving by both day and night from St. Louis and New Orleans.

Samuel’s father was a judge, and he built a two-story frame house at 206 Hill Street in 1844. As a youngster, Samuel was kept indoors because of poor health.
However, by age nine, he seemed to recover from his ailments and joined the rest of the town’s children outside. He then attended a private school in Hannibal.

When Samuel was 12, his father died of pneumonia, and at 13, Samuel left school to become a printer’s apprentice. After two short years, he joined his
brother Orion’s newspaper as a printer and editorial assistant. It was here that young Samuel found he enjoyed writing.

At 17, he left Hannibal behind for a printer’s job in St. Louis. While there, Clemens became a river pilot’s apprentice. He earned his license as pilot himself in 1858. Clemens’ pseudonym, Mark Twain, comes from his days on the river.  It is a term which means two fathoms or 12-feet when the depth of water for a boat is being sounded. “Mark twain” means that is safe to navigate.

Because the river trade was brought to a stand still by the Civil War in 1861, Clemens began working as a reporter for several newspapers all
over the United States. In 1870, Clemens married Olivia Langdon, and they had four children, one of whom died in infancy and two who died in their twenties.
Their surviving child, Clara, lived to be 88, and had one daughter. Clara’s daughter died without having any children, leaving  no living descendants of Samuel Clemens.

Mark Twain passed away on April 21, 1910.


They are subtle at first;
A change in the air;
Longer days or nights;
Cooler or warmer.

One day the trees are bare;
Then they have new leaves;
Before you know it,
They are gold and orange.

Spring’s lovely fragrance warms
To summer’s pungency;
Before you know it,
Winter’s chill is here.

Snow mixes with rainfall;
Then gives way to sun;
Cool and warm mingle
Till summer heat rules.

Then the days grow shorter
And shadows darken
It’s time for sweaters
And winter parkas.