“Grandma Louise Aldrich-Stanley born 1881” TODAY

How could we forget… GRANDMA Lulu” –   the grand-children always have a way to shorten the “GRANDMAS” name – – to something simple and easy for them to say.  So… with  “Grandma Lulu” – – we also have … “Grandma GoGo” – – and everybody knew exactly who the Grand-children were referring to…  as they were learning to talk and connect to the different adults.

GM Lulu with Al 001 

This is “Grandma Lulu” – and she is holding our brand new baby “AL” – and we were then … living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Have a quick guess “Grandma Lulu” would be “82” years old. She did like to travel by “Greyhound Bus” – – and whenever there was a newborn in the FAMILY – – she always wanted to be there to HELP!

So… this trip by “BUS” was a long one – – – coming from Saint Louis, Missouri – – –  I  just had to ask her,  “WHY  Travel… by BUS?” HER  answer left me  really “thinking” – because her answer was, “I just LOVE   to talk to lots of people and when you are traveling by BUS – – you have more opportunity to meet people and learn about things – – that you never knew before!”Lee & Al 001

This … was very  HARD for me to believe – – as all the years that I knew her – – she was very “HARD of HEARING”  – – and whenever I would be talking to her – – I had to talk so LOUD that usually – – everyone,  but her  – heard and knew what I said.  BUT…let me whisper something to someone – not wanting her to hear – – you guessed right – – she heard every word!  – – – – The above FAMILY get- to gather – – and just weeks before “BABY AL”     was to arrive!

This next PHOTO is   – – just a few weeks later,   Grandma Lulu – with Grandsons… Lee Jr., and new baby AL!

Grandmababy 001

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“Brother Tommy sent this over…to pass on”

Awaken the Giant Within is a 1991 book by the famous Tony Robbins. In its pages, Robbins provides personalized advice gleaned from decades of experience to help you overcome bad habits and unleash your full potential in both body and mind.

A 3 Minute Summary of the 15 Core Lessons

#1 Three Decisions Matter
Robbins argues that there are three primary decisions we make every day and consistently across our lives that determine our destinies. The first of these decisions revolve around what we decide to focus on. This will affect our career goals and relationship ambitions, and they can allow us to focus our efforts on what really matters.

#2 Decide What Things Mean to You
The second key decision to make is to determine what various things mean to you as a person. It’s not enough to just take cultural values for granted and assume that they are actually important to your heart. You need to take a hard look at what you value and figure out what you actually think about the things in your life.

#3 Decide What to Do About Those Things
After you’ve identified the two above decisions and what they entail, you then need to decide what to do about those desires and beliefs. Only now, after identifying what you are after and what truly matters to your personal goals, can you start taking steps to readjust your life and align it with your ultimate objectives.

#4 Focus on the Destination, Rather than Fear
Robbins stresses that it is important for everyone to focus on where they want to go and who they want to be rather than allowing fear to arrest their development. Too many people, he says, waste their lives paralyzed by fear and indecision and never end up doing what they want or obtaining their lifelong achievements all because they let fear get the better of them.

#5 People Do Things For Two Reasons
Broadly speaking, people take actions for one of two reasons: either to avoid pain or gain pleasure. Understanding this will allow you to better examine why you take the actions you do and what motivates most of your responses to stimuli throughout your day. Do you live a primarily fearful life or do you spend most of your time chasing your goals?

#6 Five Major Elements
Robbins goes over the five major elements of your decision-making process: core rules or beliefs (which are often instilled in us as children), values, questions, references, and emotional states. All five of these elements dictate our daily routines and where we end up heading throughout life if we decide to run things on autopilot.

#7 Changing the Elements Changes Your Life
At the same time, while these elements work together to broadly determine the direction of our lives, changing just a single of them can result in a powerful adjustment to your daily experience. If you want to make a change in your life, focus on altering one of these elements and you’ll immediately see results for good or for ill.

#8 Hijack Your Habits
Robbins says that habits are inevitable, but what you should do is pair your bad habits with pain and pair your good habits with pleasure. As an example, Robbins suggests listening or singing to a song that you hate every time you want to eat a sugary snack that causes you to gain weight.

#9 Use Your Words!
Robbins draws from his experience as a public speaker and advises the reader to use their words to transform their daily experience. Learn new words and speak them to yourself to change your state of mind. You can reinforce your good feelings with powerful and positive words or make bad emotions seem less intense by using mitigating language.

#10 Make Up Rules To Follow
We too often make up rules that give others control over our lives. As an example, we only allow ourselves to be happy if our bosses are satisfied with our performances. You can instead make up different rules, like deciding to be happy if you do good work at your job regardless of whether or not your boss appreciates your efforts.

#11 How to Create Lasting Change
Robbins argues that there are three main ways to create lasting change in your life: raise your standards, change your beliefs (or the elements described earlier), or change your strategy. The first method involves not accepting mediocre work or effort from yourself or others who are important to you. Raise your standards both for your relationships and your work and you’ll see better results.

#12 Changing Limiting Beliefs
Too many of us are locked into old patterns of habit and inaction because we have certain limiting beliefs. Many of these come from childhood experiences, such as when we are told by our parents that we aren’t good enough for a particular sport or hobby. You must learn to change these beliefs to take away their power over your behavior.

#13 Altering Your Strategy
The final way to create lasting change is to alter whatever strategy you are currently following. If you have a long-term goal that you want to attain before you die, it only pays to use winning strategies. If you’ve been on the path to your goal for some time and haven’t yet achieved victory it may be time to switch things up and pursue a different strategy.

#14 Learn From Decisions
Robbins stresses the importance of learning from all your decisions, especially since some of them won’t be perfectly successful. Don’t get discouraged by your failures but instead, take every opportunity to learn from decisions that don’t work so you don’t make them again.

#15 Learn to Enjoy Making Decisions
Finally, Robbins advises anyone looking to create lasting change in their life to get used to enjoying making decisions. You’ll be able to flexibly adapt your strategy and more consistently pursue your goals if you get in the habit of relishing in the chance to control your destiny and make real decisions that yield tangible results.

Top 10 Quotes from Awaken the Giant Within

  1. “If you can’t you must, and if you must you can.”
  2. “I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy. ”
  3. “When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.”
  4. “Every problem is a gift – without problems… we would not grow.”
  5. “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”
  6. “The path to success is to take massive, determined action.”
  7. “It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.”
  8. “It is your decisions, and not your conditions, that determine your destiny.”
  9. “Focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear.”
  10. “People are not lazy, they simply have impotent goals..that is..goals that do not inspire them.”

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Lessons From Trees – Pharmacist Ben Fuchs – Moment of Truth

To deal with our vulnerability, during these perilous times, we could learn a thing or two from some of the oldest and wisest entities on the planet: the intelligent and conscious beings called “trees”. If a tree is to withstand a storm, it has to be flexible, it has to be able to bend without breaking and it has to maintain a strong root system.

Likewise, when the crap hits the fan, we have to be flexible. This is the great unknown. No one has been in this situation before. We have to let go of old ideas and come up with intelligent and creative ways to respond.

At the same time, we have to be anchored in our communities, our families and in our own sense of strength and resilience. Be inspirational to those who are scared. Contribute where you can. Contributing time and money, if possible, to those who are in need. Sign up to deliver Meals on Wheels, go shopping for the elderly, call the United Way and see if you can volunteer, donate blood, or donate food…

We don’t really know what the coming days may bring, but we do know that, like all things, this too shall pass. Whether we like it or not, we are in this situation and there is very little we can’t handle. If we protect ourselves intelligently, stay psychologically strong and don’t give in to unconscious reactions of fear.

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“Amira Willighagen & Patrizio Buanne ~ O Sole Mio”

“Brother Tommy sent this to me…to pass on… to those that will just love hearing and seeing  a great performance”


Amira Willighagen and Patrizio Buanne perform ‘O Sole Mio’ during the ‘Classics is Groot’ concert held in South Africa on 30 July 2016.

This is the best and most sincere performance of this beautiful piece I have seen. They obviously enjoyed singing together and in particular, Amira’s smile is totally enchanting.

May 2020 during this horrific pandemic. Watching this wonderful performance and hearing their angelic voices gave me a warm heart and hopeful for tomorrow. Thank you.

She really honors and deserves her name ” Amira” means princess in Arabic.

I read everyone’s concern in comparing Amira’s talent with other lyric singers, my conclusion in this useless effort of many is that even though Amira is not the most technical and qualified lyric singer in the world, as some critics suggest, she is the only one I … I would pay a ticket to watch, the first one I look for on the internet when I feel the need for peace and reflection, and this is what matters to me, the rest are fragile, empty analyzes and in my opinion useless …

God, she is without a doubt the most gifted young singer I’ve ever had the God, she is without a doubt the most gifted young singer I’ve ever had the privilege to listen to,   did anyone else find themselves holding their breath during the performance, it was literally breathtaking to listen to… did anyone else find themselves holding their breath during the performance, it was literally breathtaking x

I’m an Indian and did not even understand a single word of the song but then I realize that… how beautiful we humans are to Feel the same after hearing such amazing songs! ☺️Really… music is Universal

Amira has got probably the most beautiful female voice I have ever heard. I am so happy to have chanced upon her. She will no doubt go down as one of the greats of opera.

I can no longer count the times I’ve watched this performance and every time I think: WOW That is beyond amazing!

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“Grandson LEX, reading Grandpa’s Book, AEROS”

-When it comes to having a PICNIC… nothing like having some of your published books on hand… to hand out to those attending…to see what they like?

Nothing to do but to give to young Grandson LEX, a copy for his very own… as he wanted what everyone else was receiving a “Hot Off the Press”  latest addition of the adventure of “AEROS” and to be signed to him from his Grandpa Al…himself!

and… So glad that some guests were watching and grab their cell phones and began to snap photos.

Just looking at this photo…it seems that little LEX has found something of high interest… as his looks indicate he is very interested in what he has found in the book of “AEROS”… as I look at this photo … I see a very young child highly interested in reading and learning… he holds the book so well that he can read and observe that which is of interest to him… and most importantly…his posture is so good… sitting up straight and book resting on tabletop securely… and with all of us so interested in what LEX is doing… Little LEX is not distracted by all of us!


and… The sound of many automobiles on the street suddenly attracted all of us to leave the back yard and go to the front of the house to see what was going on?

Seems that a parade of highly decorated vehicles decided to parade in celebration of one of the neighbors “65th” Birthday… since we can not celebrate with large get-to-gathers… due to “coronavirus” that is keeping all citizens homebound…so many cars had balloons flying all over… in seconds a few left their hands and headed to the sky so high above… seeing these balloons flying away, Little Lex wanted one, too.

and… We all went back to the patio and little LEX went back to the arms of his favorite of all the guests… up and into the arms of Uncle Alan… the one and only with nice strong arms to hold and rock little LEX… for long periods of time.

“Low and Behold” one of the guests evidently went over to where the “Birthday Party” was going on… to see if he could get a couple of Balloons for Little LEX.

“Coming through the backyard gate… everyone could see… two very nice gas-filled balloons… flying so nice and high… this way and that…  and they were handed to Little LEX.”  This was one of the best things that could have taken place… as this made this to be the happiest part of the day for little LEX.

Just to make sure that these balloons did not also fly into the high sky above… each Balloon had a long ribbon and on the end was a weight…heavy enough that LEX could hold … but if … he let go… the Balloon would stay here on Earth… where LEX set it.

Nothing like having a nice afternoon with family… and all had fun and good eats… with lots to remember … so that we will all get together soon again.     D.V.

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“Memorial Day as It is Remembered Today”

“…and as it was remembered … but so long as we do remember that our Freedom in AMERICA cost many a LIFE of a young man and or Father with family… and there is no way …that those FAMILIES can be paid back for their great loss… so let us always remember  to protect our FREEDOM.”


The History of Memorial Day

  • The original name for the holiday was Decoration Day.
  • Memorial Day is set aside to honor those who died in our Nation’s service.
  • Originally started to commemorate the deceased of the Civil War.
  • Waterloo, NY was declared the official birthplace of Memorial Day by President Johnson in 1966.
  • Over two dozen towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day.
  • Southern women are said to have started the tradition of decorating the graves of Confederate. Soldiers with flags and flowers.
  • Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5th, 1868.
  • A General, not a President, declared Memorial Day.
  • Memorial Day was first observed on May 30th, 1868.
  • Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday in May.
  • The first state to recognize the day was NY.
  • On the first, official Memorial Day a large ceremony was held at Arlington National Cemetery and flowers were placed on the headstones.
  • Most southern states refused to recognize the day officially until after WWI.
  • After WWI the Day was adjusted to celebrate the deceased in all wars.
  • A National Holiday Act was signed by Congress in 1971, ensuring a three day weekend for the Federal Holiday.
  • Texas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Tennessee, all have separate days to honor the South’s Civil War hero’s.
  • Red poppies are the unofficial flower of Memorial Day.
  • The VFW was the first veterans’ organization to sell poppies nationally.
  • The “Buddy” Poppy Program sells imitation poppies made by veterans.
  • Memorial Day parades were once a standard of the day.
  • In 2000 the National Moment of Remembrance was initiated.
  • The National Moment of remembrance asks that all Americans at 3:00 pm, pause from any action to somehow honor the deceased of our many wars.
  • In 1951 the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began the placement of 150,000 flags at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. This tradition still stands.
  • In 2004 Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.
  • Memorial Day is the… unofficial, beginning of summer activities.
  • US death tolls for Memorial Weekend are higher than almost any other weekend.
  • On Memorial Day the flag should be flown at half staff until noon and full staff the rest of the day.
  • Hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists descend on Washington D.C. each Memorial Day in a parade of appreciation for fallen soldiers, MIA’s, and POWs. This tradition started in 1988 with 2,500 motorcyclists.

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