Trouble in Persia

The ancient Persians, who invented "algebra," found that using "X" was a BIG mathematical help in solving problems:

PERSIAN WIFE (suspiciously): How much have you had to drink?
PERSIAN HUSBAND: I had "X" beers.
PERSIAN WIFE: Well, how much THAT?
PERSIAN HUSBAND: It's a (burp) variable.
PERSIAN WIFE (not wanting to look stupid): Well, okay, then.

Historical footnote: Several years later, when the ancient Romans invented Roman numbers, and it turned out that "X" was actually equal to 10, there was BIG TROUBLE in Persia.

From Classic Dave Barry

When Will I Learn?

This is how I look and feel when I procrastinate. It isn't pretty.


Triple Joy

Things often come in threes. Here is my triple joy for the week!

1. Sean comes home from college tomorrow. This calls for a quadruple exclamation point. Like this !!!!

And I get to go pick him up - this means 4.5 hours of uninterrupted mother-son, meaning of life, holy cow you finished a year of college and didn't cost us one cent, how is your health, are you scared for your mission kind of talk.

2. I am 18 pages closer to finishing my thesis!

3. Janessa and 4 of her friends organized a benefit concert for a local family who has no job or insurance and whose mother / wife has terminal cancer with only weeks to live. They have kids ages 11, 14, 17.

Facing an audience of over 600, high school kids performed. Some to the amazement of their parents. LOL. Some were scared to death (kids and parents). That was part of the beauty of the night. Not the fear, but the choice of philanthropy above egocentricity.

At the end of the concert, Janessa announced the total generous contributions: $7,000 plus more that came in sealed envelopes. And in case you forgot, it's a stinking economy!

Since I was at the door taking money, I was privy to see the donations come in. Here are two tender ones:

A local family had a teen-ager killed not long ago in a four-wheeler accident. The parents attended and donated a LARGE sum of money.

A mother brought in a check of hundreds (more than neuve) of dollars donated by her handicapped son, telling us, "my son really wanted to contribute this to the family."

Now go and do some good! And hug your loved ones!

Taylor Swift Meets Cold Play

Enjoy some talent....


Keeping up with Canon

Do you ever wish for things? I am pretty content with our small home and leaky, noisy, vibrating old vehicles. But I must admit I covet a new camera...an SLR...nothing fancy, just a Canon Rebel or Nikon D5000. And speaking of wishes, I would also like instant knowledge of Photoshop. And a couple of cool lenses. Oh, and I'll need a cool camera bag to pack it all around in and a few memory cards. And then of course, sporting my cool new camera will make me want to take a trip to somewhere beautiful to try it out like England or New Zealand.

Simple wants for a simple gal.

And believe me, I am wanting all of this out of pure unselfishness. When you see these pictures below, you will understand.

The desire for a good camera is really out of respect for my children. So I can capture their fascinating and busy lives with photos we all can be proud of. Oh sure, good photos sorta depend on the skill of the photographer and knowing what you are doing...yada, yada, yada. But you can't expect to get a smooth fast ride from a Chevy Chevette.

Sigh. Someday.

Meanwhile, here is Janessa on the night of Prom (Saturday, 4.18.09). Her dress fit like a set of custom-made automobile seat covers (speaking of battered cars...).

Here are the specs:
Day date: Jumpin' Jacks,and playing tag with glow sticks in the dark recesses of a rocky cave.
Dinner: Filet Mignon - served by parents. (Yes, we are good for something!)
Dance: Springdale Community Center
Date: Fernando Sephita
Dress: Yummy chocolate brown with dusty rose sash
Hair: Janessa
Make-up: Debbie Leavitt
Fun factor: High
Favorite saying from Fernando: "Are you ready to roll?"

Oh...and a video camera would be nice!


To Boyle a Nation

If you have lungs which expand on a daily basis, you know of Susan Boyle, one of the most boyle-ing hot You-Tube sensations in the history of internet video. Her performance has pulled me away from writing a research paper more than once. Ok, more than cinco.

So, what is the allure?

Why did her performance move me to tears? Why has her you-tube video received over 45 million views. 45 million! A big number. Just slightly more than the number of people who came to my wedding. So, why is the world so emboyled in her story?

For me, it boyles down to a couple of reasons:

Boyle-ing Point #1:
She is a living paradox. Talent trumps age. Confidence trumps cockiness.
And the biggest paradox of all is that it is not she who is ugly, as some media have claimed. The ugliness was the initial reaction to her. The way Susan stood, resolutely and unflustered, while listening to the sneers & jeers of the audience and judges made me love her all the more! Her inner resolve defines her outer beauty.

Boyle-ing Point #2:
Her story resonates with hope of acceptance for each one of us. As I watch the world embrace her, hope is rekindled that man is still kind. And mankind is still human - in it's ability to recognize and reward goodness, authenticity, sincerity and humility. Sometimes it seems that those traits have become as valueless as our current 401K's.

Parting thought: I just hope that her innocence and beauty are not boyle-d away by the destructive effects of fame and fortune. And that she is not take advantage of. But for sure: she deserves her song to be heard!

Enjoy some Twitter-talk about Susan. Taken from Tom Morris of The Huffington Post.

Susan Boyle: The picture of courage. Immense self-possession. Perfect Centerdness. Inner beauty. And a spirit of fun.

Susan Boyle: My definition of actualizing potential by allowing the energy of the universe to flow through you.

Susan Boyle: One small person amazing, inspiring, and energizing the world.

Susan Boyle: The Imponderable, Improbable, even Impossible Dream empowering us all to reach and achieve.

Susan Boyle: Her wondrous spirit washed over that hall in a flash, enveloping everyone, lifting them up, and filling their hearts.

Susan Boyle: One moment. One person. One act of open surrender to what's truly possible.

Susan Boyle: The power to change a face. The power to melt a heart. The power to cover the earth with belief. From one small village.

Susan Boyle: The immense, incalculable power of inner vision, humility, persistence, and play.

Susan Boyle: Our living lesson that when life provides a stage, sing your heart out, and prepare to be blessed!

Two reminders of hope: Captain Sully lands a plane, and Susan Boyle takes off with a career - equally improbably, and both truly great.



Let's hear it for the teens!

Dixie Leadership Academy is comprised of a group teens from area high schools selected from a rigorous application and interview process. The members are impressive. And today they impressed me even more....to the point of chills and tears.

Being part of Leadership Academy includes doing a service project. Today the students presented their service projects. The work, energy, enthusiasm and accomplishments of the kids were amazing.

For example, the group from Dixie High School beautified and cleaned a local home for children of Meth users. The teens trimmed trees, planted flowers and beautified the grounds. They installed automatic sprinklers, and laid sod (all of which was donated) for an outside play area. Inside they painted the rooms. High school art students donated artwork for the bedrooms and painted a large mural on one wall. They fixed broken fixtures and plumbing.

Hurricane High Students are putting on a benefit concert for a local family whose mother was just dx with end-stage cancer. The family's husband is out of work and they are without insurance. The mother has at best 3 months to live. All proceeds from the concert, which will include performances from area talent, will be given to the family.

Pine View HS students are doing this.

Each service project was developed and executed by the kids. Each involved rallying community participation. Each provided selfless acts of kindness.

Although there are many adolescent knuckleheads, may I suggest that there are so many decent, honorable teen-agers who are making the world a better place and in whose hands I feel great peace and hope for our future!



Take a look at the beautiful trees in the photos below. They are just starting to sprout leaves. A few weeks ago, they were all abloom with the most gorgeous pink blossoms you can imagine. Today I received word that the peach and apricot crop in this orchard are dead from a bitter frost. This is sad news indeed.



Well, I ain't no Justin Hackworth. With a point and shoot, a tripod and no photography skills whatsoever, this is what we ended up with on the beautiful Easter evening.


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