Written July 3, 2013

Fourth Of July
Our Flag

I was looking at the flag like I always do each morning, standing back after saluting it, thinking about what we have and are taking for granted.

I have flown the flag all these years, not as a duty, but as a privilege. See, I did not need Congress to tell me I could solute the flag in my civilian clothes. I have done it every morning from the time I retired from the Army, just as I did every day while I wore the uniform.

While I was looking at the flag this morning, I saw faces of the past peering from within. I saw faces that I have seen firsthand, with lifeless bodies and death in their eyes. I saw the tears that were shed on the battle fields by their peers. I saw the faces of all people in the support groups, no matter what service, doing their best to get the necessary, needed munitions and equipment, without which they could not survive. I saw the tired faces of the communicators, as their hours ran into days, the days into months, and the months into years, with untiring efforts to get the traffic back to the people so they could plan the tactics to win the next battle.

I saw the faces in the support units working hour after hour to fix and get the needed materials back to the troops that needed them. I saw the happy faces of the loved ones as they returned to their families after having been away, supporting our country and what they believed in. I saw the faces of sorrow and heartbreak of the families as they gave their loved ones back to this land, returning their bodies to the land they gave their lives for.

I saw the faces of the people who remained here and supported, defended, and worked with pride in the defense of this country. I saw the majority of these faces putting God as the Real Commander and Chief at the forefront of this country. I saw the faces of the majority of people flying our flag with pride and dignity. Without all these faces, I could only see a flag.
Now I see these faces fading and getting fewer… I see other activities taking away the people who once lined the streets waving the flag with pride. I don’t see parents teaching their kids the pride that they not yet understood, but knew how to sing AMERICA and say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, that one day would mean the same to them as it did to their parents.
I see the educators of our children teaching them not how great this country is and how much they have to be proud of, but that this county is “flawed.” I see fewer and fewer flags displayed with pride, without care of how they are properly displayed, or even taking the time to find out about Flag Etiquette: When and how you put them to full staff and half, etc. I see the dwindling of pride. It saddens me to see our values, ideals and pride of our country continually disappear…

I pray that people once again put the real Commander In Chief at the head of the nation, that the flag once again has a meaning of what the country stands for, taking the time to display it to the world, showing that we are still here and still fighting for what we believe in and what our forefathers passed on to us. Let this Fourth of July be the turning point of putting this country back on its way to again be the shining light to an Idea that all men are created equal and endowed with life, liberty and pursuit of happiness… Today make the commitment to restore America to the greatest nation this world has ever had, and putting the Constitution back as the document that protects our rights from a government that would slowly but surely take away all our rights granted to us by this great document. Remember, without your sacrifices and dedication, this will not happen. Be willing to stand up for what you believe in or you will never stand up for anything.

Thanks for letting this old man ramble on through this. I know you can tell that I am not an author or a connoisseur of words. I am just one of the people that are not liked very much by the people in DC nowadays. I love God, Our Country as it was, and the right to do what I have to in order to protect my family, which is my responsibility that was given to me by my Father in Heaven, and the Constitution. Without the faces I saw in the flag when I looked at it, it’s once again just a flag.

God Bless You and Our Country. Spend the 4th with some time and thoughts of what this day means and what the flag represents. YOU are the country’s destiny. Live up to your obligations as an American. God Bless!

Thomas Ponder


My father used to say, “If you don’t stand up for something, you’ll fall for anything.”  Do you know what you believe, or do you just sort of wander around the buffet table picking and choosing a little of this philosophy and a bit of that ideal?  We are a society of Weebles.  You remember Weebles, right???  They wobble but they don’t fall down.  Nobody stands strong because the virus called political correctness has made us afraid that we will be profiling or judging another if we disagree with them.  It’s maddening. 

I know this was for the 4th of July, but it’s always appropriate to post good thoughts about patriotism.  If our educators could get children to put their phones down and get off the computers for just a few hours, then teach some very basic lessons such as the song AMERICA and the Pledge of Allegiance.  Wow, how about a prayer?  I remember prayer in school.  We didn’t have one tenth of the grief they have in school these days.  Hmm…  I wonder why?

Well – class is in session.  Let’s pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, You are our Commander and Chief forever.  Politicians come and they go in America.  We may agree with their ideology or not, but Father God, we keep our eyes fixed on You.  We know that You will take care of us regardless of the circumstances that surround us.  Please Lord, we ask that You will supernaturally protect the U.S. from radical Islāmic Terrorists.  Help us to use common sense and wisdom in deciding whether to allow more refugees into our country, knowing that terrorists could infiltrate and enter our country in this manner.  We want to be the people You want us to be, but we want to be safe in our country from the radicalized threat.  Lord, please help us to embrace more of our heritage in the classroom than we have in the past.  Our children need to learn about patriotism and have a positive attitude about America instead of being taught that we are somehow flawed or bad.  May we teach our young people the importance of respecting our country’s flag by teaching them the rules of flying it.  Lastly, Lord we pray that Christian parents will be strong about what they will and will not allow in the classroom.  We pray we don’t get too busy making a living to know what is going on in our children’s lives.  School is a strong influence on developing minds and hearts.  We pray that America will wake up and make You the ultimate Commander and Chief.  It’s in the wonderful Name of Christ Jesus we pray, Amen.

KEEP CALM AND PRAYIn the light of events in Dallas, TX – there’s a poem written by Lucinda that I want to post here today.  Please take a moment to pray for the families of fallen officers.  What a tragedy!  My heart is broken for those families in blue.  😦  As I told her earlier – well said!  STOP THE BLOOD



It’s a silly little memory – some childhood memories are.  My mom used to pack my lunch, which included a bologna sandwich with mustard and lettuce on white bread, some cheese curls or potato chips, apple slices and a Hostess CupCake.  That was the crowning moment – eating that yummy chocolate cupcake.

The Hostess story began in 1919 when the world was introduced to the Hostess CupCake.  Six years later, Continental Baking wanted to add a line of cakes.  Twinkies and the rest were baked and the brand Hostess was created.

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The signature white filling is my favorite part


For years we had a Hostess thrift store where my dad picked up all sorts of delicious goodies for lunches or snacks at home.  My favorite has always been this signature treat, with the perfectly swirled white icing on top of the smooth, creamy chocolate.  That, along with the filling in the center, makes this the most iconic and delicious ending to any lunch.

A chocolate Hostess CupCake, showing the chocolate cake and icing, and the signature line of white squiggles
A chocolate Hostess CupCake, showing the chocolate cake and icing, and the signature line of white squiggles

Today, of course, I can’t eat things like that.  Everything that Hostess makes is now just a distant memory.  My mind goes back to elementary school in the lunch room.  I knew my mom loved me when I opened my Bobby Sherman lunch box every day!

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Bobby Sherman had lunch with me every day at school

I know some of you enjoy having a clone recipe.  This is the closest one I’ve seen!


As adults, we are more smart about snacking.  The best we can do is choose more healthy ingredients so we can get a little taste of nostalgia.  Sometimes all you need is just a little taste.  Wink!  😉






Raise a glass (of apple juice) for the 10th anniversary of SPECIAL EDUCATION DAY!  As we reflect and reform for the future, we also think back to the day that former President Ford signed  IDEA – the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

IDEA was ground-breaking legislation and provided education for all children with disabilities.  Although we’ve come a long way, we need to think about education in the future.  Back when I was in school, taking special education classes because of severe dyslexia, there was such a stigma that followed me and my friends everywhere we went.  It is extremely frustrating (even now) to be a slow learner.  Sometimes I don’t “catch” things very quickly and I hear someone say “duh”.  Just a quick note about that – it’s rude!  It’s also very rude to call us retarded or stupidIt’s sad that I even have to mention it.

I wasn’t diagnosed with dyslexia until my mid-30’s.  Long days and nights in the library in college produced a collection of C’s.  Twelve of 13 medical schools rejected me.  I was told that I was the least talented person in my residency and advised not to go into cardiac surgery.  Time and again, I was told, “Don’t do it.”  But sometimes the best advice is that which you don’t take.  Instead of listening to people who told me to quit, I heeded the quote that sits on a small placard on my desk:  “What can be conceived can be created.”  I discovered only recently that it was from a 1980’s-era car advertisement.  That’s OK, though, because it reminds me that dreams should be lofty.  – Toby Cosgrove, M.D.

I’m sure kids today are more tolerant of their classmates who need a little extra help.  There’s so much awareness these days about bullying and hopefully the kids in special education are not teased like we were.  Through positive thinking, a patient teacher and innovation a child with special needs can be taught and one day be a vital, contributing member of society.   Basic criteria include patient teachers, pro-active schools and loving parents.

This day was created to honor progress in special education and celebrate students with disabilities.  We tip our hats to the teachers, schools and the patient parents and wish to open up a dialogue between them so that the children might benefit.  Hopefully as a result, appropriate reforms will be made as needed.

One reform that was launched through Special Education Day is SpedEx, an innovative and successful child-focused dispute resolution model that is free for schools and parents.  It works to create trust between the parties. For information about SpedEx, please visit www.spedexresolution.com.

If you are interested in hosting  a celebration large or small in your school district or community, contact SED at info@specialeducationday.com

I’m happy to know that special education has advanced from when I was a kid!  Hopefully through good communication, reforms will move special education forward, improving the teaching and learning for kids with special needs.  😀

Everyone needs a new devotional book to begin the new year!  Lucinda Berry Hill’s poetry makes a great Christmas gift!


Click on the link below to order your copy!





 Know, first, who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly.  – Epictetus

Today is SUSPENDERS DAY!  An accessory that is still popular today, the fashion trend was started back in the early 1970’s by Robin Williams.  Who could forget those RAINBOW SUSPENDERS of his?  I had a pair of rainbow suspenders as did most of my friends!  It was an essential in Junior High School.

Robin Williams as “MORK FROM ORK”

It really touched my heart that Jimmy Kimmel wore rainbow suspenders to the Emmy Awards in honor of Robin Williams!

The Rainbow Suspenders are my favorite

Other folks who are famous for wearing suspenders include:

Larry King

And there are characters in popular movies and TV shows that wear suspenders instead of belts:

Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko

Suspenders made a comeback in the late 1980’s when Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko dressed in his signature shirt, serious suspenders with print tie.  It was the ultimate 1980’s, early 1990’s power outfit – lose the suit coat and let your suspenders show!  With the right shirt (white-collar, white cuffs), it worked.  If you’re going to be a corrupting authority in business you may as well be comfortable, huh?  The look strikes me as in your face and disrespectful.  It’s almost as if he’s saying, “You’re not worth it – I’m not putting on a suit coat or wearing a belt just for you.”   In my humble opinion, suspenders have a certain attitude that says casual and fun.  I don’t see it as acceptable business wear.  I know I’m outnumbered but hey – it’s just my point of view.

Urkel – what can I say?

The suspenders WORK for Urkel!  Poor guy – he’s such a geek.  Most of the time he leaves me crying because I’m laughing so hard!  Yes, the suspenders need to be part of his wardrobe – definitely!

I grew up in a really great era – everything we owned had a smiley face on it and our fashion accessories were started by Mork from Ork.  We all wore our rainbow suspenders, smiled and enjoyed our lives!   Good times…  yeah – good times!  🙂




I love that… UNDER GOD!!!

What is allegiance?

allegiance: The fidelity owed by a subject or citizen to a sovereign or government.

I know I’m old, but back when I was in school, there were two things we did before we got down to the business of learning. First, there was a morning prayer. No one ever questioned it, we just knew that each morning we would bow our heads before our Creator and give thanks to Him for another day of life. That’s just what we did. Then we all stood, put our right hand over our heart and recited the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag.

These things don’t happen in classrooms anymore. Nothing is the way it used to be in school, so how do they teach children today about faith? How do they teach them about allegiance? Do they learn about the concept of fidelity? Who do they thank for another day of life, and another day to learn?

I don’t have children, so I don’t have first-hand knowledge of classroom activities. I did hear from my kids in Sunday School though. I asked them one day if they prayed in school. I didn’t ask them if they had corporate prayer, but if they ever prayed. They all looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. “No”, they said. “We’re not allowed to do that.”

Then I asked if they ever said the Pledge of Allegiance. They once again looked at me as if I’d just stepped off the crazy express. “Of course not. Kids haven’t done that in a LOOOONNNNGGGG time.” Aside from being made to feel very old, I took note of their lack of concern about it. I asked if any of them KNEW the Pledge of Allegiance. I got blank stares from them. I wanted to cry.

From that day on, I always had an American flag in my Sunday School class, along with a large Bible so we could do the Pledge to the Bible, followed by a prayer. My Sunday School class left me knowing about allegiance to their country, and most importantly, allegiance to their God.



Why worry about a bad hair day? Just put a toilet seat cover on your head and carry on!


Before I talk about women’s hair, let’s focus on the guy’s styles.


There are a lot of verses in the Bible about hair, particularly in the Old Testament. There is one in the New Testament that I like.

But not a hair of your head will perish. – Luke 21:18

This is a promise from Christ about enduring persecution. It is meant to bring us great comfort.

Today is HAIRSTYLE APPRECIATION DAY!!!  In Kansas, we need a hairdo that can withstand wind gusts of up to 30 mph on any given day!

My Aunt Mary was a very successful hairstylist in Hollywood during the 1950’s – 1970’s, I got the most trendy and popular hairstyles.  Sometimes the hot new styles in California were not so hot in Kansas.  I got teased about my hair – a lot.

She did what she loved to do, which is the real key to success in any business.

It’s not always easy to get the style you want once you leave the capable hands of your beautician.  I found this photo of a hair dryer from the 1920’s and it made me appreciate my styling tools!


Hair dryer – 1920’s

When my hair is frizzy, I put on a cute headband and roll with it.  – Carrie Underwood

One thing is for certain, whether you have a feather cut, pixie, bob, wedge or shag, the basic health of your hair is what matters most!

To keep your hair healthy, it is important to follow some simple rules.  My Aunt Mary taught me that what you eat and what you do to protect your hair impact it more than the type of products you apply to it. 

  • Omega 3’s are an essential part of maintaining healthy, shiny hair!  Salmon is one of my favorite sources.  I also take Flax Oil capsules every day.  Other sources are avocados, walnuts and pumpkin seeds.
  • Limit the amount of time you spend in the hot Summer Sun.  I know we are sun worshippers, but if you have to be out for an extended amount of time, at least wear a hat.  
  • Drink water!  Your skin and hair need to be well hydrated.
  • If your hair is color-treated, beware of the chlorine.  One Summer I had color-treated my hair and after swimming, it turned green!  Be careful!
  • I refuse to fry my hair.  I do not put chemicals on it except to color treat (and I leave that to my hairstylist).  I will not use a flatiron or blow dryer!  Those are two tools that can fry your hair and wreck your hair’s integrity permanently.
  • Be careful when choosing your method of root touch-up.  Some are better than others. 
  • Trim the damaged ends of your hair about 1″ every 3 months.
  • Don’t over-brush your hair.  It creates more damage.
  • Don’t color your hair too much.  Avoid bleach completely.
  • Take your multi-vitamin every day.
  • Eat more protein.  Legumes, beans.  Protein shakes.
  • Give your hair a break!  Don’t wash it every day.  Try washing every other day.
  • Use a sodium-free / sulfate-free shampoo.
    Now that my hair is finally “my own”, I’ve decided to let it grow longer.  The ability to wear my hair up is a new adventure for me.  When my hair was shorter, it did not take as long to style, but I just allow more time when getting ready to go out.  
    Even though I wore some trendy tresses in the past, I’m enjoying my longer locks now. ❤

1975-76 MISS COVEL
My favorite teacher was Miss Covel.

I wanted to wear my hair the same way as Miss Covel – LOL!

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. – Charles Caleb Colton

Wink!  😉