On this day in 1956, two years after pushing to have the phrase “under God” inserted into the pledge of allegiance, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a law officially declaring “In God We Trust” to be the nation’s official motto. The law also mandated that the phrase be printed on all American paper currency.

Today I was standing in the dining room waiting for my toast to pop up when the song “Just a Closer Walk With Thee” started playing. I started singing along while doing a little spirited shuffle to the beat (it’s not dancing, exactly). The words to that song have a powerful meaning to me and always have. I like the line that says, “If I falter, Lord, who cares??? None but THEE, Dear Lord – none but THEE.”

I was raised to adopt a perfectionist attitude and esteem performance. It’s a crying shame that an attitude like that should be acceptable in the church, but it is. I’ve spent years trying to unwind my identity from my ability to perform. It’s finally solid in my mind – it’s not about what I do or how I do it. It is about what Christ did for me. My salvation rests on my faith and nothing else.

Now, rewards are quite another thing. The rewards are based on works, but only if they are done with a good attitude. That’s still not based upon how good my performance is. Of course I want to do my very best because it’s for God. But to get all wrapped up in myself over it is not right.

Today I pray – Lead me on, Lord. These days my eyesight is not very good and I can’t tell a sharp sign from a natural sign when I’m playing music. I can’t see to do cross-stitch anymore. The things I used to do to help others, I can no longer do. But I don’t want to concentrate on what I can no longer do. I did what I could and now it’s time to help in other ways.

Today I pray – Lead me on, Lord. I don’t know where He will lead me or what He will lead me to do, but I want to be of a contrite spirit and listening for further instruction from the Holy Spirit.

Today I pray – Lead me on, Lord.




When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.  – Henri Nouwen

How true this is!  Most of the time when I talk about a problem, I’m not seeking the solution to it, but I just need to talk about the problem.  I need to “get it out there” because the act of venting makes me feel better.

The most important lesson of friendship is also the most basic:  In order to have a friend, you must be a friend.  – Ruth Soukup

I’ve heard that if you have five true friends throughout your life, you are blessed indeed.  How many real friends do you have?  There are people who come into your life for a short while and claim to be friends.  There are people who you have a nodding acquaintance with for a lifetime, but can’t call friends.

A loyal friend is like a safe shelter, find one, and you have found a treasure.  – Sirach

God sends people into our lives at different stages for different reasons.  There will be some good memories made but unfortunately there could possibly be some hurt feelings as well.  Either way, God knows who we need in our life, when and for how long.  We have to trust Him to know what is best for us.

One night I called my longtime friend Lydia to escape from mountains of paperwork and errands.  She said, “Don’t you remember what you always used to say?  ‘When I die, I don’t want people standing around my grave saying, “Ohhh, she kept a perfect house.”  You wanted them to say, “Wow, she was a Woman of the World.”‘”  I didn’t remember that until my friend reminded me.  I was struck by how relationships connect us to a part of ourselves we’ve long forgotten.  They remind us who we really are, rather than the person that years of responsibilities have us thinking we should be.  – Mary C. Bounds

What a perfect description of a longtime friendship!  May we all have at least one such friend.  One who will remind us of what we truly think.  I’m so thankful to God for my brothers and sisters in Christ.  I love friendship, don’t you?  😀





What do you do on a rainy day???  Well, unless you like to go out and walk in the rain, you could stay indoors and play with your dog!


OK… it’s bad when a dog dances better than me… !!! 😦

In the event that it is actually raining on RAIN DAY, it would be a great time to play inside with your dog!

There are a few things to consider when purchasing a ball or toy for your dog. I’ll bet you thought price was the only thing to think about, didn’t you? I know – me too. Now I know better.

1. The age of your dog matters because a puppy will likely be gnawing and chewing more than an adult dog. Check the package to make sure the ball or toy is right for your puppy or dog.

2. The size of your dog should go with the type of toy or ball you buy. Melissa’s sweet little dog (the one the poem was written about) is so tiny and had a ball that was too big for a while. Melissa said he got frustrated with the ball and left it alone. She said he loves his new, smaller ball.

3. Some dogs have special needs. A hyper dog may need a toy that can handle rougher use than a dog that is more inactive. The nature and personality of your dog should be considered when purchasing a ball or toy. Some breeds like to chew on things more than others, so getting the right toy might save a few pairs of shoes.

4. A puppy should be given a chew toy as early as possible, but keep in mind that they don’t even have teeth until three to six weeks of age. Think of your puppy as a little baby. Your baby needs a softer toy to protect delicate gums and new baby teeth. At this stage a plush toy may be perfect. Make sure, however, that your puppy isn’t pulling the “plush” out of the toy and swallowing it!

5. As dogs lose baby teeth, around four months, have plenty of chew toys on hand for this teething period. This is the time when your dog will really come to rely on the toys for teething relief. Again, much like an infant child.

Depending on the breed, your dog may still be interested in chewing on table legs and shoes even as they enter into adulthood. Most dogs leave the serious chewing behind. We had one dog that chewed because he got bored. He did a number on our TV remote! Getting the right toys – ones that squeak when chewed – could hold the interest of your dog and keep your remote control safe.

Our beagle puppy liked a rubber ducky we got him. He bit down on it and the duck quacked three times in a row. That toy kept him entertained longer than any other toy. As you dog’s teeth get stronger, a more sturdy toy is fine.

I’m so glad Melissa’s dog got the right size ball. He looks very happy, doesn’t he? ❤



Humor is a reminder that no matter how high the throne one sits on, one sits on one’s bottom.   – Taki

I am amazed at super moms, soccer moms, karate moms, piano lesson moms and all other categories of moms out there! God knew before the beginning of time that I was not the type of person who could do what these great women do. I’m the one who stands on the sidelines, cheering them on and offering them a shoulder to lean or sometimes cry on when they need it.

My mom had a favorite joke she told me when I was sick.

Q: How do you make a tissue dance?
A: Put a little boogie in it!

Today is TELL AN OLD JOKE DAY.  I know a joke isn’t going to make everything better – but it could bring a smile to your face.  So…  let’s see – hmm…  let’s listen in to this conversation.

ha ha…

I’m thankful for a mom that told old jokes all the time.  She was always trying to get some reaction from me, and it was usually a shaking head and rolling eyes.  Back then we didn’t say “whatever”, but I imagine I would have done that too.




 Humor is perhaps a sense of intellectual perspective:  an awareness that some things are really important, others not; and that the two kinds are most oddly jumbled in everyday affairs.   – Christopher Morley

Here’s an old joke I used to tell my dad.

I never wanted to believe that my Dad was stealing from his job as a road worker.  But when I got home, all the signs were there.

Then I’d usually give him a big grin and an arr arr arr…

Life is tough, so take a moment to tell an old joke today.  You might just make somebody’s day a lot brighter.  Joking around with family members relieves stress and draws you closer.

Here’s an old joke for the road: A farmer woke up on a Sunday morning to a terrible snow storm. The road was not visible. He started his tracker and drove to church making the only tracks he saw. He pulled up to church to see the lights on and went in and greeted the preacher. The two of them stood there and talked for a while. When no one else came the preacher asked, “What do you want to do?” The old farmer said, “Well preacher, if I had only one cow show up, I would still feed it.” So the preacher went to the podium and preacher a full message, calling for repentance and good deeds. When he concluded he walked down and shook hands with the old farmer and asked, “What did you think?” The old farmer said, “Well, if I had only one cow showed up I would feed it. But I would not give it the whole load.”

The flight of the humble-bee. Moms (and dads, for that matter) who do what they gotta do for their families and walk humbly with their God. Love you guys and praying for you as always!



Today is GORGEOUS GRANDMA DAY. When I get to heaven there will be so many things to see and do, and first I want a hug from Jesus – not one of those “good to see ya” hugs that last about 2 seconds, but a really long hug! He’s been my best friend for so many years, when I finally see Him face to face, yeah, I want a hug!

The second thing I want to do is renew the relationship with my family! I didn’t know Granny LaVella very long, but I knew her well. She and Grandpa Frank lived on a farm in Northern Oklahoma. We got to visit the farm nearly every weekend and I looked forward to those visits.

I was their youngest grandchild, so I got some very special treatment. I was the miracle for my folks. They could not have children and adopted me when I was only a few days old. There are a few basic lessons I learned on the farm. Lesson number one: the chores do NOT wait. You get out there and get it done – NOW. When it’s time to milk the cow, son, you’d better get out there and do the milking. Bessie does not care if you want to sleep another half hour, and she doesn’t care if it’s cold outside – but you’d better warm those hands up or else.  Lesson number two:  don’t drink the cream off the top.  There are consequences for that action.

I miss the farm and yes, that feather bed! I’ve always said I could leave the city and go live in a small community somewhere and be fine with it. Some people think they would be bored or it would make them crazy, but not me. I would enjoy an uncomplicated life.

Grandpa Frank and Granny LaVella were the sweetest people and they were God-fearing souls who would not hurt a fly. They lived their lives and loved their God. They walked humbly but stood proud for the values they embraced. May I do the same.



The comedic genius of Chonda Pierce has entertained and enlightened people for the last couple of decades. When my mother died in 2004, it was Chonda’s comedy that helped me get out of my “grief funk” and decide that life may be worth living after all.

Since that time I wanted to find a way to thank her. Obviously I told everyone I know about her and encouraged them to buy tickets and see shows. But I wanted to thank her personally. I know it sounds very strange, but I’m serious about that tape helping me get back into life.

Well, as God always does, HE made a way where I never dreamed there would be a way! Chonda Pierce has a facebook page. I have tried to pluck up the courage to say something to her – I mean it’s not TEAM CHONDA that posts… it’s really HER! She posts on her on facebook page! So, I’m a little shy.

Stop laughing… I am too shy. Speaking of SPANX… oh, weren’t we?

Today I read one post on her facebook page – DAVID WENT HOME. My heart sank. I’ve prayed for Chonda because they were married forever and knew each other since she was 16 years old! I mean, that’s not a love that you just get over. I asked God what I could do and He gave me these words to write.

Being kind in any way that God directs is the right thing to do. I hope in some small way this little poem helps. She helped me so much when I was grieving. She continues to help me. Does she know it? Well, no, but God knows!

In a former life I had one of those “tithe” jars too. My mom never showed up though – too funny! Let’s send up a few prayers for this sweet lady, ok?





On this day in 1899, Ernest Hemingway was born.

Nobel Prize winner Ernest Hemingway is seen as one of the great American 20th century novelists, and is known for works like A Farewell to Arms and The Old Man and the Sea.How amazing would it be to not only influence the reader, but change the way the reader thinks?  That is what Ernest Hemingway did and what all writers strive to do.  Have you ever heard of Hemingway’s theme?  This is such a great song!

One of America’s most honored and respected authors, he wrote with clarity and used a straightforward method of communication.  Regardless of background or education, the reader could easily understand and relate to his writing.  That’s an enviable talent to be sure.

Hemingway called Key West home for more than ten years.  I often think if I was surrounded by turquoise waters I could write well too.  It would be lovely to be left alone on a tiny island to write to my heart’s content.  I imagine him as a rugged and macho person, almost the exact opposite of the lovable and quick-witted Mark Twain.  Hemingway was genius – more serious to be sure.

 You can write any time people will leave you alone and not interrupt you. Or rather you can if you will be ruthless enough about it. But the best writing is certainly when you are in love. If it is all the same to you I would rather not expound on that.  – Ernest Hemingway

His novel The Old Man and the Sea was made into a 1958 film starring Spencer Tracy.

 You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.  ― Ernest Hemingway


The only man I ever loved
Said good-bye
And went away
He was killed in Picardy
On a sunny day.

– Ernest Hemingway

What is the Hemingway way?  It is very direct, not always the most flowery language, but short and to the point.  One really should prepare before reading Hemingway because he pulls no punches in his writing.  My wish is that his life had been as successful as his writing career.  He was married 4 times and it was said he would marry and then almost immediately fall in love with another woman, usually a younger woman.  He ultimately committed suicide because between alcohol and depression, he started on a downhill spiral and was unable to be as productive as he once was.

Today we celebrate the genius and all the wonderful stories he left for us to enjoy.  😀





There is no sound judgment or science to back this theory – but it was thought that if everyone began jumping for 2 minutes straight at a synchronized time – it would knock the earth off its axis.  Newsflash – not gonna happen.  I’ll tell you what some benefits of jumping today are:

Weight Loss  Hey – it’s good exercise.  It would look less silly if you were jumping a rope or doing jumping jacks, but if you jump non-stop for a couple of minutes it could only be a positive move.

Wake Up Some of us just blindly waddle to the bathroom and waddle blindly to the coffee maker.  The chances of your eyes opening wide and your brain thinking clearly improve when you have engaged in some physical activity.

Reason to Laugh Make plans with someone to jump for 2 minutes today.  As you watch your friend you cannot help but bust out laughing!  That alone should help you have a better day.

Making a Memory If you decide to be a part of this celebration, make sure somebody has a camera!  What a fun photo to put in a scrapbook!

Choose a Special Location If you have a group of folks from your church, why not meet at the church to do the jumping?  You can always bring a snack and have a brunch afterwards.  Hey – any excuse to eat at church, right?

Here’s a great song to jump to:

So maybe we won’t shift the orbit of planet Earth, stop global warming, extend daytime hours or create a more homogenous climate, but it will still be a fun time!  If 600 million folks jump up and down for 2 minutes it really won’t make a big change to the planet, but it might put you in a better mood to face the day!  Some call it a hoax, but I just think it’s all in good fun.  😉







The 17-eyelashed yellow pig was born because two mathematicians, Michael Spivak and David C. Kelly began listing interesting properties of the number 17 while students at Princeton University in the early 1960’s.  You might say they were obsessed with the number 17.

Since that time, Michael Spivak has written many famous math textbooks which contain yellow pigs.  His references to the pigs are not always direct; some textbooks contain references to Chinese policemen.  David Kelly runs Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics, a summer program for mathematically gifted high school students.  These kids are familiar with the yellow pigs.

I have some egghead friends who collect yellow pigs.  I visit antique stores and though I don’t see them often, I am seeing the yellow pigs more often now than ever.  It seems to be the sort of item that is either recognized for what it is, or it is not.  Not everyone is familiar with the yellow pigs and their connection with mathematics.  Maybe you learned something today – I hope so.

If you don’t think math can be fun – think again.  The day is highlighted by a lecture from Kelley on the number 17. Students and faculty also sing Yellow Pig Day carols, exchange gifts related to the day and eat a yellow pig cake.  Wait…  yellow pig carols?  Yep – here’s an example:

I’ve been Workin’ on the Problems

(to the tune of I’ve Been Workin’ On the Railroad)

I’ve been workin’ on the problems
All the live long night.
I’ve been workin’ on the problems
It’s a struggle. It’s a fight.

Can’t you hear the workshops calling?
Rise up so early in the dorm.
Can’t you hear the lemmas falling?
Burnside, Gauss, and Zorn.

Chorus (2x):
Kelly, dontcha know
Kelly, dontcha know
Kelly, dontcha know
Kelly, dontcha know you’re wrong

Someone in the kitchen at Saga
Someon in the kitchen I know
Someone in the kitchen at Sa-ga
Pourin’ on the salt like snow…

And… sing… in’…
What the hell do you know?
Suppose that any n pigs are yellow
Induct on n to show…
Induction’s false, so it goes.


Well – enjoy YELLOW PIG DAY!!!  😉









If you lived in the 1970’s then you will understand the humor in the story I’m telling you.  Nixon was the President and the scandal called Watergate was in the news every day.

Mom and Dad gave me a cassette tape recorder for my birthday one year.  It was a fun toy and I used it to record music off the radio and my friend Linda Brumbaugh and I used to do funny little “interviews” with each other.  As I got older though, I outgrew the need for it.

I started at Wichita State in the fall of 1979.  I still lived with my parents and helped them out as much as I could.  My studies took priority and between them, my part-time job on campus and teaching over 20 piano lessons a week, I was pretty busy.   One day I walked into the house and saw the funniest sight!  Mama was “dealing” with a pesky telemarketer!

She was arguing with the person and trying to nicely explain that she was not interested in whatever was being pushed down her throat.  This went on for a few minutes.  Then mama took the little portable cassette player and calmly set it up on the phone stand.  She gently said, “Hold please” and put the receiver of the phone right next to the speaker of the cassette player.  Then she pressed the PLAY button and played one of the recordings I had made years ago!

Had she done it to some poor soul before?  I don’t know, but she did it like it was not a brand new idea to her.  She came into the living room, sat on the couch and asked me how my day went.  She didn’t mention the fact that she had just put a poor unsuspecting telemarketer (just trying to make a living) on perpetual HOLD.

Of course today we have no-call lists for which I’m thankful.  I will never forget the day I walked in to see mama putting the telemarketer on hold.   Wink!   😉