Minggu, 30 November 2008

We awoke to the first snow of the season. Big, sloppy, wet kisses of flakes smacked my face as I opened the door to let the excited and then hesitant dogs outside. What a great day to return from church/Sunday School and bake sugar cookies!

In the past two years I've collected handwritten recipes passed down to my mom and to my mother-in-law. I love using them. It's soothing. Makes the house smell good. Keeps me out of trouble. Maybe.

So today, as my heart deals with some turmoil over a decision made elsewhere and not to my liking, I pulled out my grandma's sugar cooky recipe and stirred up a batch to get over my useless focus and channel the concentration towards something worthwhile.

There may be some connection here in terms of cause and effect.

If not, the cookies are good anyway.

Sabtu, 29 November 2008

Intersecting Wanderings

Someone on the passenger side of a car in the middle lane at an intersection opened the door and put down a fast food beverage cup just because he/she is a lazy SOB. Is this the root of what is wrong with all of us? We just don't care enough about our own world, or fellow persons? Someone will get paid to pick that up. Is that acceptable thinking in this country?

A good deed was observed today when we were in traffic, headed towards my mom's nursing home. A vehicle either broke down or ran out of gas at another intersection. Two young men popped out of two different vehicles to assist the owner in pushing the vehicle through the intersection so traffic could proceed. YES!

Earlier this week Frieda Joy, one of our dogs, and I went to visit my friend John. He recently moved to a new independent living complex in a Chicago 'burb. We took a route in that had us traveling through my hometown. We didn't go past the house I grew up in but did turn at the intersection where the grade school building is and it is now a community center with lots of senior activities. I could be back in my kindergarten classroom if I lived up there.

Anyway, John loved meeting Frieda and she got past being timid in a strange place filled with all new people. After our visit we went to the nearest major intersection and hopped on the tollway to I-55 and scooted home. I'm not sure I liked that way even though it was faster. There's something about poking along memory lane that adds color to a trip.

Lucky us; I really mean that! Finally the new local bakery is open and we've been there twice this week. That's you-know-who's doing, not mine. I've managed two cups of coffee and 1/2 cran/nut muffin. HE's downed a double-sized piece of apple struedel and an order of biscuits and gravy with his two cups of java. Nonetheless, it is all "from scratch" goodies and we'll be making it another "regular" stop when we do rounds. Today we got a bonus: ran into an old friend we hadn't seen in a year; he'd moved. We got caught up on happenings and know we'll see him again. He went to school with the guy in the family who owns the bakery. Actually they own all four corners of this intersection and have put businesses in two and leased the third to another. It's all in a, well, I want to say, recovering, neighborhood. Good for them - they are part of the solution.

Now, I gotta ask: Is Christmas totally LOST? No carols in stores, lackluster "Happy Holidays" and non-existent "Merry Christmas" exclamations, no acknowledgment of the meaning of Christmas? This year, more than ever, it seems people are focused entirely on retail and the economy and change. The one thing that hasn't changed is why we have a Christmas in the first place. A 42" HD tv along with WWii, an iPod, and who knows what else vs. let's see, a relationship with family, friends and God? Ah, the intersection of Xmas and Christmas...I Believe.

Merry Christmas!
I'll be saying THAT again!


A loan is a type of debt. This article focuses exclusively on monetary loans, although, in practice, any material object might be lent. Like all debt instruments, a loan entails the redistribution of financial assets over time, between the lender and the borrower.

The borrower initially does receive an amount of money from the lender, which they pay back, usually but not always in regular installments, to the lender. This service is generally provided at a cost, referred to as interest on the debt. A loan is of the annuity type if the amount paid periodically (for paying off and interest together) is fixed.

A borrower may be subject to certain restrictions known as loan covenants under the terms of the loan.

Acting as a provider of loans is one of the principal tasks for financial institutions. For other institutions, issuing of debt contracts such as bonds is a typical source of funding.

Legally, a loan is a contractual promise of a debtor to repay a sum of money in exchange for the promise of a creditor to give another sum of money.

Read more ... ( click here )

An arrangement in which a lender gives money or property to a borrower, and the borrower agrees to return the property or repay the money, usually along with interest, at some future point(s) in time. Usually, there is a predetermined time for repaying a loan, and generally the lender has to bear the risk that the borrower may not repay a loan (though modern capital markets have developed many ways of managing this risk).

Images from: www.ibermortgages.com/loan.html

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jumat, 21 November 2008

Stuck in Traffic

Springfield, IL did NOT get the Simpson's movie. That means little to me but to some broadcasters it is the opening line for so-called news stories here in Lincoln's land.

It seems some business folks in town, who are really great people, chose to buy a home from the Lincoln era. This particular home recently ended up in the shadows of a newly constructed medical facility expansion. The property, and therefore the house, was scheduled to become - of all things - a parking lot. The couple purchased the home and had to move it within the designated time allowed by the medical facility and fortunately they had already purchased a lot in the historical area.

That's the background.

Sunday was moving day. A firm from St. Louis arrived with the equipment and talent to move the 300 ton brick structure. Streets were closed; a tree was removed and limbs from others cut off. Signs were taken down to let the house pass along the to its new destination. Nine hours and five blocks later the house arrived.

Did I mention Mr. Lincoln helped find financing for the house, something like $650 +/- a few? He did. Therein, the increased interest in the home - a Lincoln connection. The house is the Maisenbacher Home. They took really good care of it, apparently.

Back to the move, or what was clearly about to become the partial move.

Let me put you on hold momentarily and bring you up to speed on the side stories. You see I dawdled a while at the local Barnes & Noble Monday. We don't get the newspaper at our house anymore so when the house move came up in a discussion with 3 strangers I was interested. The new owners are personal friends of mine and former clients. That has no impact on the events other than I can vouch for them being good citizens and right-hearted, decent people. Anyway, I learned of a conversation one of these new acquaintances had while standing and watching the move. He was talking to the guy who was to put in the foundation.

The question presented was "How are you going to do this?" The answer was "I don't have a clue."

Are you starting to see the concern, soon to become a problem? Yes, the house is passing in front of the man who is in charge of building a foundation for it so WHERE is the house going to be placed now? The lot is small; the house is clearly large enough that it was wider than the street.

By the way, local radio media has taken to referring to this one block section of a side street as a "major thoroughfare".

The house resides in the street at this time.

Springfield's mayor thought he could slide a request for Tax Incentive Financing (TIF) into the hands of the aldermen, without them seeing it. Something along the lines of $822,000 was his idea. This was to help with the cost of the foundation and the renovation. Ouch. One alderman saw it. Now not every time one alderman sees something does he/she share it with the others; that's not the governmental way, folks. But in this case he did and the hands went up. It was a verbal brawl.

The new owners are in the middle of it all while their new prospective business is in the middle of the street.

See for yourselves.

Springfield was making great headway when President-Elect used the Old State Capitol as the backdrop for his announcements and it received a lot of attention.

This story will probably be even bigger news.
Stay tuned. More will follow undoubtedly. There's just no way around this house.

Rabu, 19 November 2008

Meet Jazzy Bella (aka Bella)

My friends in California, Tamara and Evan, adopted a beagle from the shelter. She now has a loving home in which to be spoiled.

Selasa, 18 November 2008

Content with Content

English is odd. Plenty has been said or written about that. In Sit Stay and Read this week one student tested "PREsent" as in gift, in a place where "preSENT" should have been used.
It made me look at "conTENT" and "CONtent". Well, that experience did but so did just assessing where I am at in life. Often now I think about how content I truly am and it may be because of the content of life.
Every day is a blessing. Our country is so well off, even in these times of question. And, we are going to heal. Look at the mere fact that Obama and McCain met yesterday to evaluate how they can work together. Look at the recent indication that the present administration won't use the remaining $350 billion but will defer to the incoming administration. Our leaders have a sense of collaboration. When did that ever happen before?
Even with this, the contentment I feel comes from within and never flees. It's a thankfulness and gratefulness and awareness of how fortunate I am to live in a free country and be able to make choices and take action.
We are who we choose to be.
Pray for what you can do - not about what you can't.

Sabtu, 15 November 2008


It just seems there are bushels and bushels of lemons waiting to be made into lemonade in this world of ours. More than "How can I help?" "We're ready to be a part of the healing." we hear from those around us and jerky radio talk show hosts that it's all horrible. There's a hand-basket we all will be tossed into and we're headed for hell. Why go on with life? All too often I hear moaning about the outcome of the elections and the direction our own country is taking. Get over it and get on with today, I say. The current administration and all those from the past 50 years or so contributed. The next one cannot fix it all.

How many times do we have to be told - IT IS UP TO EACH ONE OF US to do what we must even when we think we cannot! We have become so spoiled by needing to LIKE what change brings before we embrace it that the struggle for our leaders, now or next year, is beyond my imagination.

However, what is not is that our two foster pups were adopted to loving homes last Saturday. Neither would be alive if we hadn't chosen to make room for them. This week I rocked a baby to sleep in a darkened room on a Wednesday night at church. It was as peaceful as life can ever be. And, the next day, I spoon-fed my own mother at the nursing home amidst the hustle and bustle of others caring for fellow humans. Each of these has been a lasting gift. Each of these makes me wonder what all the nagging and complaining is really about since most of us have the opportunity to reach out and help. And when we do we tend to forget to go to the pity party and bite into that bitter lemon. Instead we are squeezing each drop of juice from the lemons and adding our own sugar. Stir it up and enjoy!

Minggu, 09 November 2008

Herbie wins Back to Back "Best in Show" (Nov 8 &9)

Small Matters - a Fall Walk

Be part of the problem or part of the solution. That choice belongs to each of us. You choose for yourself and then you live with the choice. What you have or don't have matters little - none of it goes with us anyway. None of it brings true and lasting comfort. What makes you part of the solution is who you are and that is no small matter.

Not just now, but at all times, with all people:

Attire your whole being in your smile.
Be patient; be rewarded.
Decide to participate.
Exercise your imagination.
Forgive yourself.
Grant wishes.
Horse around.
Ignite your own fire.

Juggle; we all do.
Kneel often.
Laugh till it hurts.
Measure only what you are cutting.
Nullify the negative.
Offend no one.
Please say please.
Quit complaining.
Rest assured.
Stay in touch.
Take time to do what you do right.
Understand reason and emotions.
Verify, verify, verify.
Walk in another's shoes.
Xerox with permission!
Yield to the other driver.
Zip your lip if you can't say something nice.

Jumat, 07 November 2008

The beagles will miss Larry

Thanks Larry (Paws-Abilities) for helping us to become great beagles. We can still hear you - right turn, left turn, about turn, call the beagle ...


Rabu, 05 November 2008


One foster dog romps with one of our dogs.
One foster dog is sequestered in the puppy pen, having had her spay surgery yesterday.
One dog stands guard outside, ready to alert me if something shows up that is undesirable. He's strong and imposing but really mild-tempered unless he's riled up.
One older dog rests comfortably in the outside pen that is located in a quiet spot.
One dog nurtures another one on the sofa, both happy to have homes and be at peace.

Somehow in my own twisted way I see this as somewhat representative of America!

First of all, what I described above is really my world today; it is what is, right now, as I write.

Does my dog population reflect our society in some ways?
-There are the young who want to play and grow and learn.
-People of all ages need medical attention and even more so medical education so prevention not pills is the key.
-The elderly need our support.
-Some need a fresh start, not a handout but a hand up.
-Some stand guard - on our soil and elsewhere, sometimes apparent, sometimes in the background.
-Others help each other, lending a hand, giving a caring gesture, the gift of prayer.

We have a new administration being built already this morning. I think GWB is ready to leave and is relieved to be counting down the weeks. Being our leader has to be unimaginably complicated and complex, thankless. As President-Elect Obama said last night, in so many words, it is going to take all of us working to fix what has happened. I do not think we should blame Bush 1 or 2, Clinton - none of them. Don't start building an "I told you so" argument about Obama. It's up to us. When we point the finger of blame towards someone else we still have more of our own fingers pointing back at ourselves!

We are either part of the problem or part of the solution. It's time we accept responsibility and also the work that needs to be done. Admitting to the problem is the fist step, isn't it? But what follows is the action.

This country is not our parents' country. We must stop looking back and moaning. When we look back we should look at what we can pull from the past, adjust and use for the future. Our world, our country, our demographics, our individual lives are changed, not by one circumstance but by all, not by one policy but by all, not by one decision but by all.

If you haven't heard/seen P-E Obama's speech last night, and McCain's also, then you need to tune in somewhere and spend the time listening AND HEARING what is being said.

Then find something YOU can do to help.

We ARE the UNITED STATES! That's not an entitlement nor is it an ego thing. History tells us we are survivors, we fix what is wrong, we innovate and create, we build, we repair, and so much more...play, guard, care for others.

Get, and stay, positive. P-E Obama cannot do this without our commitment to be part of the solution. See this for what it is: your opportunity to make a difference.

Let's not spend time barking up the wrong trees.