“FACTS…are stubborn things…”


                                       Facts are stubborn things. – John Adams




A few nights ago at the movie theater, I was walking into a door when a young man, apparently, walked in front of me.  I say apparently because there was a great crowd and, pretty much, it was each person for himself or herself.  A man in a plaid coat  and I arrived at the door at the same time.I paused to let him go in front of me and he smiled and said, “Oh, no, after you.”  It was then that I noticed the very cute, clean cut teenager who’d gotten in front of me.  He paused to wait for the friendly gentleman – it was his dad.

The dad  quietly told him, “Son, you walked right in front of her.”  The son, said, “I’m sorry. I was looking down at my ticket and didn’t see her.”

If I hadn’t been in such a hurry to get where I was going, I might have passed out.  A  parent taking the time to teach their child manners was enough of a blow, but a teenager saying, “I’m sorry” when he hadn’t done anything worse than walking in front of someone was a real jaw dropper.

I’m a thinker, born to think.  So, naturally, I thought about this off and on throughout the night.

Parents today often stare at their children in disbelief.  Oh, the language they use.  The immodesty.  The decisions they make.  Who’s to blame for all of this?  Oh yeah, movies, television, other kids, teachers, the school system, music, and MTV.  Of course!

Except for the part, of course, where that’s utter hogwash.

As John Adams said when he decided to defend British soldiers after the Boston Massacre, “Facts are stubborn things.”  When we raise children, we’re basically training them in the  way they should live.  Naturally, they’ll pick up certain habits along the way that we had little, if anything, to do with. But their overall character and accountability?  Make no mistake, we had a shaping hand in that.

Which is why it’s refreshing to see a parent doing hands on training as this father was doing with his son. He didn’t yell at him, didn’t call him names or try to degrade him.  He simply, and quietly, made a strong case for manners.  Personally, I think that’s what good parenting should be – calm and controlled – between the parent and the child. There’s no need to raise the roof, no need to lash out.  If you need to scream to be heard, you’ve missed the boat somewhere along the way.  Don’t flail around, screaming, in the water.  Find the right boat!

All relationships – whether they’re between children and parents, siblings, or sweethearts – begin and end with respect for the other person.  You can’t expect anyone to respect you if you don’t respect them.

John Adams’ quote hits home on more fronts than just parenting, of course.  How about the following?

  • Facts are stubborn things:  When we eat fast food on a regular basis, we’re going to gain weight.
  • Facts are stubborn things:  If  we refuse to eat the foods we know we should eat and turn to the unhealthy ones instead, we’re going to have blood pressure problems, heart problems, and a host of other nasty diseases.
  • Facts are stubborn things:  If we refuse to outsmart the pack of cigarettes in our pocket, we’re going to die sooner than we should.  And it won’t be pretty.
  • Facts are stubborn things:  If we don’t make our family our first priority, we won’t have the strong, happy family we all dream of.
  • Facts are stubborn things:  Karma is real.  Karma is accurate.  If you continually spew anger, impatience, intolerance, and/or sarcasm into the world (and all over everyone within your reach), don’t waste time watching for peace, happiness, and contentment to show up on your doorstep.
  • Facts are stubborn things:  If you want to be treated “like a lady,” you need to act like one.
  • Facts are stubborn things:  If you want respect, you have to earn it.
  • Facts are stubborn things:  If you practice dishonesty or “flirt” with little white lies, get ready for people to doubt every word out of your mouth.
  • Facts are stubborn things:  If we want to improve in a given area, we have to devote at least 1 hour each day to the endeavor.  There are no magic wands.  I’ve looked.
  • Facts are stubborn things:  The Ten Commandments, the Bible, and Prayer should never have been taken out of school.
  • Facts are stubborn things:  If we want our minds to stay sharp, we have to challenge them.  If the only thing we read is the TV guide, our brains will pretty much waste away.
  • Facts are stubborn things:  You can’t make someone else WANT something.  You can’t impose your wishes or desires upon them.  Quite frankly, you just don’t have the right.

About the Picture Above: Yeah. That was Carly being Carly.  Such a cute, adorable name, right? I remember the day she was born, she was one of the most precious kittens I’ve ever seen – and, as someone who has had cats (very, very plural) her entire life, I’ve seen more kittens most vets. Carly’s looks pretty much defied her personality, though. She was a beautiful cat, but she had the disposition of a viper. Don’t get me wrong, I loved her with all my heart and I miss her greatly. We had a very special bond – I was the only human she didn’t want to shred.

During the time we had beautiful Carly, we kept triple antibiotic ointment and band-aids, not just on hand.. we often left them on the counter.  You see, she was such a fat, furry, and inviting-looking cat that everyone had to pick her up and try to cuddle with her.

Big, big mistake.

Once in a blue moon, I could pick her up and sit down with her in a chair in the yard or walk around the yard with her for a while as she purred and I did the whole baby-talk thing. Most of the time, though, she wanted to just follow me around as I checked on the garden, flower bed, apple trees, etc. She wanted to be free to terrorize any birds, rabbits, or other cats that came around – including her own babies! When she had her kittens, we kept a very close eye on her (and them) because we were half afraid she’d eat them.

THAT was our Carly!

She was a very sweet mother though.  For about 4 weeks.  Then her nerves wore thin and she honestly wanted very little to do with the babies.  I’ve seen most mother cats consent to let their kittens nurse even when the kittens are as big as them. Not Carly. She began to bop them on the head with her paw when they were still really small.

I spent a small fortune in kitten milk at Kroger!

As you can imagine, we got A LOT of entertainment out of this adorably cranky cat. I couldn’t have loved her any more than than I did and, after I lost her, I couldn’t have possibly missed her any more.  Even though she wasn’t your stereotypically affectionate pet – she showed her love by simply not making you bleed – she was my baby.

My family always teased me about her – when I’d go out to spend time with her or feed her, they’d let me know they’d pray for me.

When she was ready for attention and/or food, she’d let me know by getting up on the windowsill of one of the kitchen windows – she’d meow loudly looking in the window at me until I dropped everything and answered her call.  When anyone would see her at the window, they’d say, “Oh no!” like they’d seen a grizzly bear.

I’d always try to tell them that she had a sweet side… but… again, with stubborn facts…. they’d immediately show me their scratches and band-aids.

Can’t argue with band-aid

Funny, you know.  Of all my countless cats and dogs I’ve had over the years, there are none that I miss any more than my crazy little Carly. She was one of a kind and none of us will ever forget her, that’s for sure!

Two of Carly’s kittens (almost fully grown) trying to get her to play.  She was actually being pretty sweet with them…. for about 3 minutes.  As I took this pic, you can see that her nerves were about to give out.  She let out one of her all-too-familiar YOU’VE OVER-STAYED YOUR WELCOME meows to the two cats in the picture with her and the three of us made our way quickly to the patio.

She then went off to terrorize a cricket.

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“Dealing with Discouragement!”



May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him


 Seeds of discouragement will not grow in the thankful heart. – Anonymous

Disappointments will come and go, but discouragement is a choice that you make. – Dr. Charles Stanley

Do not be discouraged if your plans do not succeed the first time. No one learns to walk by taking only one step. – Catherine Pulsifer

Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success. – Dale Carnegie

Nearly every man who develops an idea works it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then he gets discouraged. That’s not the place to become discouraged. – Thomas Edison


Discouragement is dissatisfaction with the past, distaste for the present, and distrust of the future. It is ingratitude for the blessings of yesterday, indifference to the opportunities of today, and insecurity regarding strength for tomorrow. It is unawareness of the presence of beauty, unconcern for the needs of our fellowman, and unbelief in the promises of old. It is impatience with time, immaturity of thought, and impoliteness to God. – William Ward.

Today in the Word, April, 1989, p. 18

Plough Ahead

Pay as little attention to discouragement as possible. Plough ahead as a steamer does, rough or smooth, rain or shine. To carry your cargo and make port is the point.

Maltbie Babcock, in Bits and Pieces, June, 1990, p. 12

“HOW do you see…  this world – – that we are looking at…today???”

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“Finger NAILS – to CHEW or FILE?”

Just the other day… was talking with some friends – –  and where we were sitting – – it was like having  a “front-row-seat” to see and watch someone – – at a table near ours – – also waiting for their lunch to be served –  – – but – what we could not  believe – – this person was chewing on their finger-nails – – and…  I do not think that this  person…  even knew that – –  we were watching???

This situation… is not really  NEW – – because we often see lots of people with fingers that – – appear to almost have no finger-nails…at all. – It is almost as if  their fingers are just cut-off stumps – – no nails.

While…   we had the time… I had to say, “THAT could be me!” When I was in third and fourth grades and the teacher’s name… was Sister FLORENCE – a NUN at the GERMAN ST.VINCENT ORPHANAGE –  – –  she  had a  “CURE” for me.  My seat was the first  in the row and was right in front of SISTER Florence’s desk  – – and I was a “NAIL BITER”  – – and why would I bite my finger nails – – can not think of a reason – – because – –  before I was placed into the ORPHANAGE – – I did not bite my nails.

When Sister Florence would be working with  the children on the other side  of  our CLASS ROOM –  – I would bite a piece of finger nail  – – and take good  aim with my mouth – –  to have that piece of nail…fall onto the desk of  Sister Florence. There was another student – – can not remember her name – – but she would do the same thing – – – and we would give each other a big smile – – that we had  made a good landing onto the desk  “BOMBS AWAY” – – it sure was  FUN –  – – for us – –  when you are doing something – –   that –  you should not be doing  – – and  also… not  getting into  any  TROUBLE!

From time to time – – Sister Florence would bring into our  CLASS ROOM – – some NEWS   type of article and she  would take the time to read to us – – – usually something pertaining to what we might be talking about in CLASS  – – – so on this particular day – SISTER FLORENCE said she had some really important news – – that – –  we should all listen too!

When  SISTER FLORENCE would be sitting at her desk – – she could be    reading something that – – –  she had  herself  drafted and wrote – – –  especially for us –  – as she often had stories of her own – she would read to us – – so IF – – this was truly NEWS – – – how   could   we know???   SO…

THE NEWS of the DAY…”It was found that – –  when a certain person – who was complaining of lots of   “stomach aches” – – and was in such terrible    PAIN – – had to have an operation – – to see what was growing inside the stomach – – during the surgery on the stomach – – it was found that – –  there was a “sack” growing off of  the stomach – and was found to contain lots of bacteria and small bits of fingernail.                  The  most important  part of this NEWS was – – that – –  if this person did not get this surgery   NOW – – it would have been a different story – –  – the “sack”  would soon burst – – and they were afraid  -that –  they  –  – would not have been able – – in  any way to  even – –  save this person’s LIFE!       (This  “story”  put the fear of the ALMIGHTY in me…  immediately!)

That was all  that – – I had to hear – – – I would  not let my dirty fingers even get near my mouth.   I just could not even think about   chewing on my fingernails – –  just the thought about being sick – – was the “CURE  for me”  – – from then on I cut my finger-nails – – – and when I was able to get a “NAIL FILE” – – from then on – – that is the only way – – – o care for the NAILS – –  the  NAIL FILE works wonders on the NAILS!!!

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“Inspirations for the week”



On this day of your life
Mary Ellen, I believe God wants you to know…

…that you have something important to contribute
to your world today.


Every day, God sends you one person for whom
you hold a gift in your hand. You will not know
what it is until that person greets you, but you
will then know it immediately.


The only questions remaining will be: Will you give
your gift? Right then and there? Fully and completely?


By the end of this day you will know why you
received this message just now.  (05-23-2013)

On this day of your life
Mary Ellen, I believe God wants you to know…

…that fairness is not obvious in every case.


Look, we all want life to be fair, right? But
sometimes it just isn’t. True? No. False. Life
is always fair — it sometimes just does not
look that way.
You will see how ‘fair’ life is if you will give
it a chance to play itself out. Wait. See. 
Your Higher Self, which always wants the
best for you, is in charge here. Believe it.
On this day of your life
Mary Ellen, I believe God wants you to know…
…that your trust has not been misplaced.


Listen to your Self today. You have been telling
yourself something very important for days now.
Today, listen more closely. And heed.
Trust the still, small voice within. Your soul is
gently leading you to your next step.
On this day of your life
Mary Ellen, I believe God wants you to know…
…that you are a pure child of God, beautiful in your innocence — and
that this is true no matter what you may have done.


There is no offense you could ever commit that can rob you of your
magnificence, or of the wonder of who you are. Gosh, Eliot Spitzer’s
drama has brought up a lot of stuff for all of us, hasn’t it? Yet who
among us hasn’t fallen from the path, betrayed another, acted
unwisely, fallen prey to temptation, given in to a craving or addiction?
All of us are human. And in God’s eyes that makes us perfect.
Really. Just the way we are. Like 3-year-olds, looking anxiously
up at some elder, wondering with quivering lips whether we’ll get
a spanking for breaking the rules…
The 3-year-old is beautiful in her innocence. He is pure as snow,
and there is simply something that has not been totally understood,
or fully integrated into behavior yet. It’s okay. We don’t mean to
be “bad.” And in truth, we aren’t. Not a one of us.
We’re simply, sometimes, mistaken. And God loves us anyway.
Immensely. Completely. Eternally.
Just    as    we    are.  (05-13-2016)

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“Jaime’s Birthday Party”


Every  “DAY”   is the  “BEST DAY of the YEAR”   – – – when   you can celebrate the “BIRTHDAY of…  ONE you LOVE”  – – the  most terrific  “BIRTHDAY  GIRL” …  herself    “OUR  JAIME”





Happy Birthday   to Jaime   …..  and that is   Alan   along  side


Jaime's BD Party

Jaime’s     Party – – here we are – –  all ready!

“Terrific Photo of Alyssa in the middle of Al and ME!



                              The “GIRLS”   are ready to  “PARTY”

Left to Right……. Alyssa….. Grandma, herself…..  JAIME, the   BIRTHDAY  GIRL – –  and  all   – –   ready for the show to begin…

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“Message received… too late!”

          ———-  Conversation 101  ———-

“Are we  LIVING to LEARN – – –  or   maybe…   Learning to LIVE???”

“MEMORIES”  – – – start to come back…as we start to look…  into old boxes – – that contain… ages old…  “MAIL” – – that – – TIME – –  when we took the time to write to each other  – – years ago – – – as  to even  take the time to write LETTERS today – – seems that – –  the days  just are not long enough – – since  “LETTER WRITING”  is unknown to this generation.

“Progress” – –  thinking back – – each GENERATION  is finding  NEW WAYS to keep in touch with one another. Conversation  that which  we each want – – but find no real time – – to just have  a little undisturbed time – – time without TV and or some worthless   distraction – – the big elephant sitting in the room – – leaving no room – – no time  – – to really take time to connect in worthwhile conversation.

“YES… You could take  TIME… to talk to me  instead of…” – – Did you ever say that to someone that…  you would like to  take the TIME to just CONVERSE – – with???  Or… have you received that same statement – – verbally  or even written to you in a letter –  – – from a LOVED ONE – –  or even in  an indirect way of almost begging to just have a little of your TIME – – for some shared special TIME – – since there are times that  something is going on – – and it seems that you and YOU alone – – could be the GOOD  MEDICINE – – that would  bring some energize LIFE to their soul!

“Letter Writing” – – TODAY – – forget it!”  It is not taught in the schools systems’ today – –  we NOW have PROGRESSED to the CELL PHONE – – and so to send a LETTER to someone – – no matter how dear to you – – just not a free moment – for a chore – – that would take more time –  –  all unavailable  – – – as we have not learned – – even how to express good thoughts to one another?

“CONVERSATION” – –  that  which… most of the older generation – might have an idea of what is necessary  – – for  accomplishing  some LOVE for another – – is  totally unknown… to our younger generation – – as with the CELL PHONE – – the TEXT  conversation – which is a “short hand” type of letters of the alphabet – – a language that may or may not make sense to some – – like myself – – since I never traded the old for the NEW way to communicate –  –  –  my skills are from the old school  of learning – –  – – so there is CHAOS – –  –   so what will be accomplished – – for  the next generation???

“What kind of rest – – peace  – – moments of some real  LIFE  – – to join the  NEW   generation – – with the old generations –   –  so that FAMILY –  of the future  – – with wisdom – – will be able to understand – – with good knowledge for  Conversations  that always include – – LOVE!” 

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