Sunday, July 31, 2016

101 Things to Do with School Supplies

First of all, let’s get one thing straight. There. That was the only ‘counting’ we’ll be doing in this article! 101 things? That’s ridiculous. There are probably a million things to do with School Supplies (but remember, no counting)!

If you have ever wondered if you are truly a writer, take this simple test. Walk into just about any department store or variety store or drugstore during the back-to-school period of late summer. Stop inside the doorway, take a deep breath, and let the cares of the world slip off your shoulders. Never mind that three people just crashed into your back and are cussing at you for stopping so suddenly in the doorway; move to the side a little bit and close your eyes. They can’t see you if your eyes are closed right?

Now then, pretend that you don’t have a million things to do (Have you been counting again?), and that you’re not illegally parked in a handicapped spot. Pretend you have lots of money. Ok, pretend something easier; pretend that everything in the store is free today! Now open your eyes because you are drooling and people are starting to stare, and start walking because here comes the security guard. Which way are your feet taking you? Well get back in here and let’s try this again!

After you’ve gotten rid of all the cares of the world again etcetera etcetera, and settled down, start walking into the store, and just see where you go. If, like me, you are simply drawn to those 3 or 4 aisles packed with the latest in School Supplies, then you are a writer! Well, maybe you’re a kid going back to school or something. But every true writer will be magnetically enchanted by those School Supplies. A writer is a person who just has so much to say, that even in the age of word processors and internet publishing, pen and paper still beckon as the essential tools of personal fulfillment.

School Supplies Rule!

Personally, my handwriting is so bad, and my flare for losing notebooks is so flamboyant, that I can’t stand all that paper and pens and stuff, but I am still enchanted by the vast potential in those aisles of binders and trappers and keepers and pens and markers and pencils and giant packages of loose leaf paper! I don’t care if it is college ruled! I want all of it and I want it now! Good thing it’s all free today, or I’d be stopped on the way out. Wait, I’m not there, you are. Fill a cart for me will you, and run, but don’t worry because your get-a-way car is right by the door remember?

Once you’ve made it home with the goods; assuming you weren’t nabbed by someone who doesn’t appreciate what it means to be a writer, get cramped into some small corner, neglect your family, and begin to drain those pens of ink, and the pencils of lead, and fill every square inch of paper with the wise and witty, or poetic and profound. Repeat those four things 250,000 times and just like that: You have done a million things with your new treasure from the School Supply Aisle!

Ah yes. As I gaze longingly through the bars, I can only wish I were there with you again this year (I will be, in 3 to 5!). Bottles of glue, and scissors; staplers and index cards (3 x 5s are good, but so are the 4 x 6s); pencil pouches and little bitty sharpeners; fine, medium and large tipped markers and good old number twos: I hope you writers appreciate all that you have out there, and fully partake, of the School Supply Aisle.

Tags:101 Things to Do with School Supplies

10/10/10: Sunday is a "Binary" Day & Historic Too

The date 10/10/10 is fun for anyone who likes binary concepts and history. What will you do on 10/10/10? It seems like a fun date to do some history preservation, so you have some items to preserve with this unusual date stamped on it.

Some people will be enchanted by this unusual date of 10/10/10 and others won’t care at all. I think it is fun to be part of humanity on a date where alignment of numbers occurs.

The front pages of newspapers all over the world will be interesting on Sunday. It will be fun to see which paper has the most humorous headline shouting out from the front page.

There are many ways to capture the experience of the date 10/10/10 to preserve memories of the day. I offer a few ideas below. If you have other ideas write an article or add a comment below.

10/10/10: Document This Date

Preserve a Newspaper

The day 10/10/10 is a good day to buy the newspaper and save it. Later in life if may be fun to look back at the paper and remember what life was like at this time.

Try to Get Letter Postmarked 10/10/10

If you drop off mail at the Post Office late Saturday, workers may stamp it on Sunday. Some Post Offices may have workers on staff then. It would be cool to get a letter with the postmark 10/10/10.

Post a Special Voice Message

Leave a special voice message for someone and mention the date. Perhaps that will be a message they will want to save.

Make a Collage

If you have kids and want to preserve history for them, make a collage of some news headlines on 10/10/10. You could also find some funny articles about events of the day to add to the collage.

Math Geeks & Binary Fun

If you are a bit of a math geek and would enjoy seeing some “binary” ideas to enjoy 10/10/10 go to a Wired article HERE.


My Ideas


Tags:10/10/10: Sunday is a “Binary” Day & Historic Too

101 Uses for a Dead Tea Bag

1. Try to make another cuppa from it.

2. Use to make compost

3. Makes a great SMACK when tossed hot onto walls.

4. Dog toy for small dogs.

5. Can be used for a quick hot compress for itchiness or sore eyes.

6. Dead chamomile tea bags make a nice quick hand wash.

7. Place a dried dead tea bag on the floor. When someone walks by, point to it and shriek, “EEK! A mouse!”

8. Dried dead tea bags are flammable fun.

9. Hot wet dead tea bags make great non-lethal projectiles at whoever interrupts you before you’re done your first cuppa.

10. When experiencing writer’s block, make a list called “101 Uses for a Dead Tea Bag”.

11. Biodegradable modern sculpture.

12. Save on paint by gradually staining your room of choice.

13. For those mathematically inclined, determine how many dead tea bags it takes to get to the moon and back.

14. Make a pendulum of one (See A Witch Alone by Marion Green, p 120).

15. To commemorate a great cuppa, make a death mask of the dead tea bag.

16. If you’ve had a stroke of good luck while brewing tea, carry the dead tea bags around with you for a good luck charm.

17. So much fun to squeeze!

18. After pouring the last drops of tea from the pot, use the dead tea bags for a quick wipe around. You’ll be amazed at how much gunk they remove…and probably a little frightened, too.

19. Use three or more for safe juggling practice (unless you use them hot from the pot).

20. Out of banana peels? Use hot wet dead tea bags on a busy footpath and sit back for a front row seat to the fun.

21. Imagine one is the testicle of your cheating bastard of a husband. Mangle to your heart’s content. You’ll save a fortune in therapy bills.

22. Use them to repave the front porch.

23. To make a stench that will knock you sideways: Store all of your dead tea bags in an air-tight glass jar. Leave it for a month. Then open it.

24. The perfect present for those who have everything.

25. Want to leave school or work early? Put a dead tea bag in your fist. Fake a coughing fit. Slip the dead tea bag in your mouth. Pretend to hack up dead tea bag in front of school nurse/boss and say, “I don’t feel so good.”

26. Open one up to see if any letter Ts are in there. Compare them to any other letters of the alphabet you may find.

27. In survival situations, it’s better than nothing when you are out of toilet paper.

28. Sell it on eBay under “Collectables: Other”.

29. Bronze baby’s first cuppa along with the booties.

30. Stare at each dead bag you come across until, one momentous day, you find one with the face of Elvis on it. Set up your home as a tourist attraction.

31. Get twenty dead tea bags of one color and twenty of another color. Use them in the place of checker pieces.

32. Get a tobacco tin. Fill with the dried out contents of dead black tea bags, which look exactly like rolling tobacco. When you come across a smoker having nicotine fit, give him the tin, and then move to a short distance before he takes that first puff. Don’t worry, he’s a smoker-he can’t run far.

33. Throw a tea party for people you don’t like. Wrap them as beautifully as you can. Give them away as party favors.

34. If playing Truth or Dare, dare opponent to eat one.

35. Make a scrapbook of them with ribbons and cute captions for each flattened dead tea bag.

36. Soothe tired feet by sticking hot dead tea bags between your toes.

37. Ear wipes.

38. Use in place of frog for dissection class. Most biology teachers have sniffed too much formaldehyde to notice.

39. Name your band Dead Tea Bags and use actual dead bags in videos and promotional material.

40. Sacrifice one every spring to ensure this year’s tea harvest.

41. Make a Witch’s Jar to keep bad luck from your home. Fill a jar with items like bits of glass, rusty nails, cat poo and dead tea bags. Bury it as close to your home as you legally can.

42. Belly button jewelry.

43. Open up a dried dead tea bag. Sprinkle contents liberally around. Makes a great mess, eh?

44. Write poetry about a dead tea bag in the style of you favorite poet. This one is in the style of Ogden Nash: “The Lord in His wisdom made the perfect tea/ And then forgot to give any to me.”

45. Make a T-shirt (what else?) that says “Dead Tea Bag”. Look superior to those who don’t get it.

46. Yell “Dead tea bags!” in the place of your favorite swear word.

47. Open one. Sew back up. If you can do it, can you give me a call about darning my socks?

48. Leave a wet dead tea bag in a glass or cup overnight. Makes a great bug catcher.

49. If you make a cuppa with Holy Water, use the dead tea bag to baptize babies.

50. Sit on a dead tea bag and meditate on it.

51. Tie one to a piece of string and go cat fishing with it.

52. Make ducks swear at you by tossing them in the water in place of bread crumbs.

53. Turns puddles a different color.

54. For the philosophically inclined-determine how many dead tea bags can dance on the head of a pin.

55. On a similar note, if a dead tea bag falls alone in a forest and no one is around to hear it, will anyone care?

56. Toss onto stage at Tom Jones in place of underwear.

57. Hold a séance to contact the sprits of dead tea bags. Are there pots, kettles and cups on the other side? Does God take one lump or two?

58. To help cure somebody of their tea phobia: Try gradually desensitizing them to looking at and then handling dead tea bags before looking at and handling live ones.

59. Pretend it’s the OTHER testicle of your cheating bastard of a husband and suitably mangle to your heart’s content. I realize that this is basically the same as #21, but the exercise is worth repeating.

60. Put out campfire sparks with wet dead tea bags.

61. Put out cigarette sparks (blims) with wet dead tea bags.

62. To soak up really REALLY small spills: Rip open a dried, dead tea bag. Pour contents onto spill. Wait a few seconds for it to soak up. Sweep up mess. This method is recommended for those of us who really like to waste time.

63. Can’t get rid of a nagging worry? Pretend to put the worry in a dead tea bag, and then throw it out. As it rots, the worry will gradually disappear. What? You have a better idea?

64. To start a campfire: Take three or more dried dead tea bags and pour out contents. Fill bags with bits of candle wax or firelighter. Place beneath loosely scrunched old paper or old dry leaves, then light. Place twigs in a crosshatched pattern on the blaze, then add bigger sticks as the fire strengthens.

65. Go up to a smoker smoking. Pick up a wet tea bag and drop it on the ground, saying, “That’s what your lungs currently look like.” Then run. Remember, you won’t have far to run-your pursuer is a smoker.

66. For the really macho-remove the dead tea bag from your freshly brewed cup of tea with your teeth.

67. For the incurably insane-do the above with your tongue.

68. To celebrate a ghost’s death day, make tea with dead tea bags. (Inspired by JK Rowling’s Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets)

69. Give your dead tea bags their own public cable access channel in the US, a show on Channel 4 in the UK.

70. Empty a dried dead tea bag. Makes a great parachute for crippled mosquitoes.

71. Superglue one to the sidewalk and have hours of free entertainment watching passersby try to pick it up.

72. Immediately awaken a snorer by shoving up his nose.

73. Shove it up your own nose for no particular reason.

74. Material for hatchet practice.

75. Great ammunition for pacifists.

76. Start a new fad-pet dead tea bags.

77. Make a really cheap lava lamp with dead tea bags and Karo syrup. Granted, the bags will only seem to be moving after coming an entire bottle of Nyquil.

78. Bring a jar full of dead tea bags to your family gatherings to insure you never being inviting to any ever again (see #23)

79. Watch David Letterman every night for the sole purpose of seeing if he ever does a Top Ten list on dead tea bags.

80. Make Beethoven fans tear their hair out by singing to the tune of the Fifth Symphony, “DEAD-DEAD TEA BAAAAAG! DEAD-DEAD TEA BAAAAAG!”

81. Forgot your mantra? You never will again if your mantra is “Dead tea bag.”

82. Fill broken kettles, pots and mugs with dead tea bags so there will be tea in the afterlife.

83. Write a book called The Complete Idiots Guide® to Dead Tea Bags

84. Not autumn? To recreate the feeling of jumping into a pile of leaves, jump into a pile of dead tea bags.

85. Shoot one up into outer space. See how many alien bumper stickers it can collect while in orbit.

86. When diagnosing someone for sinusitis, make the patient say “dead tea bag.” If it comes out “neth ee nagth” then BINGO! It’s definitely sinusitis.

87. Learn the words “dead tea bag” in every single language known to man.

88. Take to Star Trek conventions and sell as tribble poo.

89. Stick one in your ear. Whenever anyone asks you, “Why do you have a dead tea bag in your ear?” reply “Sorry, I can’t hear you-I have a dead tea bag in my ear.”

90. Makes a crap sandwich filling.

91. Stick one inside a nuclear reactor and see how long it takes for it to take over the world.

92. Use the dried ingredients for homemade incense.

93. Stick one in someone’s beer. See if they notice the difference.

94. Stick one in a coffee drinker’s coffee, telling them sternly that this is the no coffee section.

95. Pinky pillows.

96. Use as sandbags to prevent flooding of anthills.

97. Use in place of potato for Mr. Potato Head. Makes a quick game only.

98. Throw some hot wet dead tea bags on a canvas and make a fortune selling it in a gallery as a lost Jackson Pollack.

99. The inevitable:

100. Put a video of all the above suggestions up on YouTube.

101. The person who dies with the most – wins!

Tags:101 Uses for a Dead Tea Bag

101 Ways to Say I Love You - Some Great Tips to Help You Show How Much You Care

When was the last time you told your partner or someone close how much you loved them? Love is one of the most wonderful feelings. Here are 101 inspirational ways to express those feelings and show how much you love your family and friends.

  1. Sometimes saying “I love you” is not enough if you say it every day or it sounds as if you don’t mean it. Why not add “I love the way you …” Or tell them “You’re special because …”
  2. Whisper “I love you” in their ear when they’re least expecting it.
  3. Write a love letter and leave it on your lover’s pillow
  4. Buy some alphabet magnets and leave a message on the refrigerator
  5. Stick love notes around the house
  6. Find Poems and Quotations that express the feelings you can’t put into words
  7. Send them flowers
  8. Learn to say the words you want to say in another language
  9. You might thank parents or someone who has always been there for you for teaching you to love unconditionally
  10. Send a text message to someone you don’t get the chance to see every day
  11. Offer to give them a massage
  12. Arrange it so at least once a week you do things together
  13. Send a card or gift for no reason
  14. You might thank a friend for being there at a time when you were down, to help you pick up the pieces of your life and make you whole again
  15. You might thank a teacher or lecturer for their guidance and additional encouragement to help you achieve and have faith in your abilities
  16. There may be someone you’d like to tell “I couldn’t have done it without you!”
  17. Give them breakfast in bed one day and insist they spend the whole day relaxing
  18. Book an overnight or weekend trip away as a surprise for them
  19. Sneak an “I love you note” in their handbag, briefcase or lunchbox
  20. Ask them what they want to do today and make this a priority
  21. Take them to the theatre
  22. Treat them with respect and really listen to their opinions
  23. Give out spontaneous hugs
  24. Hold hands when you go for walks
  25. Give a kiss, caress, gentle touch when they least expect it
  26. Do their household chores for them when they look tired
  27. Cook them a meal
  28. Write a message on the bathroom mirror while they’re in the shower
  29. Send them a card or write a love letter
  30. Suggest joint things you can do together
  31. Encourage their dreams
  32. Be there for them when they need you
  33. Remember their birthday and other special anniversaries
  34. Say nice things about them when they aren’t around
  35. Give them a compass wrapped with ribbons with a message “You are my North, South, East and West.”
  36. Dedicate a song to them on a local radio station
  37. Place an advert in a local paper letting them know how much you care
  38. Share a secret
  39. Make up a special CD of love songs
  40. Go out for a meal together
  41. Encourage them to share their hopes and dreams
  42. Give compliments when they are due
  43. Listen to their worries and anxieties
  44. Choose a special favourite song that’s meaningful for the two of you
  45. Plan a joint holiday
  46. Celebrate their successes
  47. Be excited for them when they’re happy
  48. Respect their love for their family
  49. Watch the sunrise or sunset together
  50. Laugh with each other but never at each other
  51. Have fun together
  52. Keep a photograph of them in your purse or wallet
  53. Play games together
  54. Send a card or an e-card
  55. Tell them how proud you are to be with them
  56. Go singing and splashing in the rain with each other
  57. Fill an album with photos of the moments you’ve shared
  58. Give them the most precious gift of all: your time
  59. Buy them a bunch of flowers when they’re feeling down
  60. Always put them first
  61. Give without counting the cost
  62. Cook them their favourite dish
  63. Sing a karoke duet with them
  64. Buy a gift for no reason other than you know they’ll like it
  65. Take their dog for a walk
  66. Stick up for them in front of other people
  67. Never try to censor their friendships
  68. Always respect they have their own views and you won’t always agree with each other
  69. Call them up to let them know you’re thinking about them
  70. Pay them a surprise visit if you’re separated by distance
  71. Flirt with your partner
  72. Plan the occasional surprise
  73. Ask them if they’ve had a good day
  74. Always be truthful with them
  75. Trust them as much as they trust you
  76. Show up at the big events in their life
  77. Always keep your promises
  78. Meet their friends
  79. Make time to be with them
  80. Share common interests
  81. Be sensitive to their needs
  82. When you ask what are they thinking, listen to the reply
  83. Spend quiet time with each other
  84. Visit a favourite romantic place regularly
  85. Chose a romantic nickname for them
  86. Send flowers to express what you want to say for instance Gardenia means joy, Snowdrops signify hope, Bluebells represent constancy
  87. Say it with chocolates
  88. Name a Star as a Gift for them
  89. Take them to the beach and draw a heart in the sand

You could say to your lover:

  1. Each day is so much brighter and more cheerful because you are a part of it
  2. I will never feel lost or lonely with you around
  3. I’m sorry
  4. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me
  5. Without you my life would have no meaning
  6. You are a blessing in disguise
  7. You are the sunshine to light my rainy days
  8. You hold the key to my heart
  9. You are my inspiration
  10. You’re my lover but you’re also my best friend
  11. You are my life
  12. I will always be there for you

Once you start thinking about it, there are many ways to show someone they’re special and it brings you joy too, to share your love and your feelings.

Tags:101 Ways to Say I Love You - Some Great Tips to Help You Show How Much You Care

10/14/10 Daily Dose of Nonsense

Scope it, as in Horoscope: Do not plan something just to combat someone else’s point of view. You are already starting in last that way. Be proactive and not reactive.

Bonehead Tip of the Day: Insist you do not get jealous. That’s enough because we all do.

Trivia: To see if a female was a witch in the 16th and 17th century, they would tie her up and throw her into a river. If she sank she was not a witch. If she floated she WAS a witch. They killed her anyway, I figure. So, they both died? The other one drown, right? If that Tower in Pisa did not lean, would it be an attraction? A good mistake in the long run. Speaking of mistakes, cooking by microwave was discovered by mistake. When I cook it’s by mistake. The Grand Canyon really did not take a long time to name, I hope. “Man, now that’s a Grand Canyon, isn’t it? During a F5 tornado a car becomes a missile but a missile does not become a car. Huh? As far as I know coyotes do not eat roadrunners, which explains a great deal.

The List: Top shows on Broadcast TV:
1. “Dancing With the Stars” – 19.9 million viewers.
2. “NCIS” – 19.8 million.
2. “Sunday Night Football” – 16.8 million

Source: Nielson.

Closer: Without extremes, there would be no normal. A little weather jargon I heard the other day.

Tags:10/14/10 Daily Dose of Nonsense

101Malta and 101Dublin - a Far Cry from the Usual Online Travel Guides

Log on to any site that claims to be your perfect travel guide and what do you get – a multitude of travel deals. Wherever you click you are instantly overwhelmed with special offers: book this, buy that, fly with us, hop on this, reserve that!

Few are the travel websites which are honestly aimed at really informing travellers about the country or city they are visiting, the sites and attractions that make the country so popular with tourists, and the things one should or could do while visiting.

And this should come as no surprise to anybody who is in the industry. Advertising is what generates sales and keeps the websites going so where do you strike a balance? Where do you draw the line and give the prospective traveller a real taste of the country he is planning to visit whilst remaining truly honest?

On the other hand, why should the tourist be influenced as to where to go and what to do according to what the highest paying advertisers would like?

The travel guide websites 101malta and 101dublin are a far cry from the average sites which are primarily aimed at generating revenue without giving a candid picture of the location itself.

Each website has more than 100 pages spilt under four categories: things to do, things to try, things to see and things to eat. And here you are truly regaled by what the country really has to offer the potential tourist. Both 101websites have crawled, clicked and looked into every nook and cranny to bring you a straightforward, raw guide about the place.

For example, 101Malta invites travellers to delve into the mystery of the ancient civilizations that lived on this tiny Mediterranean Island by visiting the various Neolithic temples, which actually pre-date both the Pyramids of Egypt and Stonehenge.

Written with a flair that appeals to all and sundry, each page is dedicated to a particular site, attraction or events worth doing while on holiday on the island. 101Malta goes one step further than most other websites dishing out genuine, blunt, no-nonsense advice to travellers intending to visit the Maltese Islands.

Malta’s rich history is evident in every corner of each street, not only by the Neolithic treasures but also by the various influences left by its former conquerors, which included the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Sicilians, the Knights of St John, the French, and last but not least, the British.

From the majestic St John’s Co-Cathedral to the Forts built by the British to repel attacks during World War II, 101Malta gives a direct view of these majestic buildings and why the Capital City Valletta was paid homage by being declared a World Heritage Site.

The Dublin Travel Guide – 101Dublin – gives the same honest view of where you should go and what you should do when on holiday in Dublin. Everyone’s got the same misconception about Dublin, that it’s all about the beer and many fail to make good use of their holiday.

If you are the type to enjoy history and culture, 101Dublin has a page dedicated to each location which it believes are definitely worth a visit – from St Patrick’s Cathedral to Dublin Writer’s Museum to a look around Trinity College.

Each page is neatly designed, with a brief yet concise explanation of the city’s major highlights, culinary delights as well as any traditions or customs to look out for, which, when thrown in all together is what makes travel such an eye-opening experience.

Travel is about embracing cultures and getting to know the nitty gritty of the place. Both 101travel guides embody this belief in an easy to use and light hearted manner making booking your trip that bit more exciting.

Tags:101Malta and 101Dublin - a Far Cry from the Usual Online Travel Guides

10-Mile Underwater Plume of Oil Off Louisiana from BP Oil Spill

Impact of Oil Spill Still Unknown

Scientists are not yet able to determine the long-term impact of the BP spill. Much of the oil lingers at great depths.

Tony Hayward, Chief Executive of British Petroleum (BP) continues to try to downplay the disaster of the oil spill. He told the Guardian that the spill is “relatively tiny, compared with the very big ocean.” He added “The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to total water volume.”

Well that explanation would satisfy only a child of age 5 perhaps. Adults know better, and now scientists are releasing details as to the extent of this oil spill and environmental disaster.

Huge Underwater Plume of Oil

The New York Times reports that scientists have now identified a large underwater plume of oil in the depths of the Gulf of Mexico. One plume is described as “10 miles long, 3 miles wide, and 300 feet thick.”

The oil plumes are destroying oxygen levels in the water of the Gulf of Mexico. This causes the death of wildlife. To the birds and fish in the Gulf Coast this spill is not “tiny” as BP claims, it is life threatening.

Dr. Samantha Joye, of the University of Georgia, tells the NY Times that “oxygen has already dropped 30 % near some of the plumes in the month that the broken oil well had been flowing…This could draw the oxygen down to very low levels that are dangerous to animals in a couple of months.”

The flow of oil out of the BP rig is now estimated by scientists to be 25,000 to 80,000 barrels of oil daily. Scientists working on the boat “Pelican” have described these higher estimates of leaking oil. This mission is under the authorization of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The bulk of the oil released may be deep underwater due to the dispersants BP is using. It is not yet known why such large oil plumes are lingering at great depths in the Gulf of Mexico.

The long-term effects of this oil spill cannot yet be predicted. It is sure to have a devastating impact on the environment, wildlife, the fishing and shrimping industries and the tourism industry in the Gulf Coast.

Will the Oil Spill Impact Tourism?

The CS Monitor reports that the oil could travel anywhere from the “Mexican Coast to Palm Beach.” As the summer tourism season starts, hotel owners, fishing tour operators, and anyone else who works in the tourism industry must be having a lot of anxiety about how the oil spill will impact their revenue for this season and into the future.

Video of Oil Being Released

To see a video of the oil being released from the BP spill located 5,000 feet down in the Gulf of Mexico, click on the last resource below.


Tags:10-Mile Underwater Plume of Oil Off Louisiana from BP Oil Spill

10th Anniversary Celebration Ideas

So, you made it past the so called seven year itch and now you are looking forward to your ten year anniversary. This marks a great moment in the lives of you and your spouse. Taking a moment to reflect on all that you both have accomplished and now you are ready to celebrate the one decade mark.

The ten year anniversary is a great milestone and can be cherished by doing many things. I have put a list of wonderful ideas that you will find very interesting and will probably use some of them if not all of them to create a wonderful ten year anniversary.

If you have children, you should defiantly book a baby sitter well in advance for this special occasion so that you and your spouse will be able to spend a romantic evening together by yourself. If you feel guilty about leaving the kids, try to think of it as a small night vacation that you both deserve.

Early in the day you should both plan to have a professional portrait done of you wearing your wedding gear. If you no longer have your wedding dress or suit, don’t worry too much about it but try to get in to take a photo to capture your ten year anniversary. Most glamour shot places will offer a package that will customize to your ten year anniversary and may even offer certain discounts.

A ten year anniversary should not just be about the romance of it but also about the happiness that you have brought to your family. Here is an idea that I took from my mother in law when she celebrated her fiftieth wedding anniversary; a gathering of family and friends is always a nice way to show how much you two still cherish one another. There are special cakes and decorations that you can purchase for your ten year anniversary and this is a nice way to celebrate it with music and a speech.

Exchanging your wedding vows once again in front of everyone is also a nice way to celebrate your ten year anniversary. If you have children, you can include them in this ceremony and they will also cherish it for years after the anniversary.

After the celebration party or ceremony, you should plan to have a romantic dinner with one another. There are a ton of places that will help you plan this event and give you even more ideas on ways to make it more romantic. Take advantage of any deals and discounts that they may offer. A candle light dinner is a great way to be romantic while you cherish the moment.

If you never had a honeymoon or would like to take a vacation, your tenth anniversary is the perfect time to do this. A well deserved trip to the islands or to a resort is a great way to show the true meaning of love. If you are not able to take a vacation at this time, plan a romantic night out on a canoe by candle light or rent a hotel with a spa or Jacuzzi in it. This will allow you to still get away without ever really leaving the area.

There are a lot of ways to plan a tenth year anniversary and your imagination should run wild on this day. If you are celebrating your tenth anniversary, congratulations and before you know it, you will soon be celebrating the golden years with the love of your life.

Tags:10th Anniversary Celebration Ideas

10th Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas

A tenth wedding anniversary, and the gifts that are given to commemorate the anniversary, are very special and symbolic. Wedding anniversaries serve to celebrate the love a couple has for each other, and remind them of the reason they married.

Traditional and modern lists of material items have been introduced to help couples, families and friends, exchange or gift couples with useful items they may need. The traditional item associated with tenth wedding anniversaries is tin or aluminum, the modern gift list includes diamonds.

Here are 10th wedding anniversary gift ideas for family and friends to give to the couple, or for the couple to give to each other.

Aluminum bakeware or cookware
Aluminum bakeware is a great gift idea to give to a couple that enjoys baking at home or entertaining. Cookware is another option and is always something a growing family can use. For an entire set try Metro’s 7-pc. Cast Aluminum Cookware Set, in bright red it should be a hit. ($70,

Home décor
Home décor is a great idea for a couple because there are so many options open to you. Look for items with a metal appearance to follow the tradition of giving tin or aluminum. Small tokens, wall hangings, plaques, or table top items all make nice gifts. Novica has a very unique selection of wall hangings and mirrors that are hand-crafted by its artisans all over the world ($70-150,

Art/ Sculpture
Art or sculpture created from tin or aluminum materials can be given to both members of the couple to use in their home. This is an especially good idea for those couples that enjoy art or filling their home with art. Try Cast Aluminum Art or Hoselton Sculptures for ideas (,

Framed photos
A personal option for the couple, or to give to your partner, is framed photography of each other. Choose either a single photo or a series of photos taken throughout the marriage and frame them in a gallery frame like the brushed aluminum one available from Target. ($20 frame,

Aluminum watches
His and her watches are a nice tenth anniversary gift idea, and depending on the watches you choose you can make it a very expensive gift or a more average priced one. Depending on the giftee’s taste or hobbies you can look for a watch that is casual, dressy or used for sport activities. Casio and the Swiss Legend line have several aluminum options (

Cufflinks are a great option for those husbands celebrating their tenth anniversary, and you can go with the traditional aluminum theme or use the more traditional diamond option. I found the perfect pair of aluminum cufflinks, from Todd Chapman, that fit entirely into the silver and blue colors that are used for tenth wedding anniversaries. ($145,

Sapphire jewelry
Sapphire is the traditional gemstone listed in association with a tenth wedding anniversary. Again, a persons taste in jewelry is very personal, but appropriate choices would be a sapphire hugs and kisses tennis bracelet for her and a sapphire ring or cufflinks for him. Try biz rate for several options in every price range ( Diamond jewelry
If you choose to go the modern route, then diamonds are the item associated with tenth wedding anniversaries. Gift ideas for the couple can include updates to the wedding bands, earrings, cufflinks, and pendants. Try well known and trusted diamond dealers for any purchases that are this expensive (,

Tags:10th Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas

11 Questions (and Answers) Regarding Guitar Instruction

1) “How much do I have to practice?”

Many are under the impression that hours upon hours per week are needed to get good at playing the guitar. Unless you are planning on being a guitar superstar in the first few weeks, this is simply not true. If you can find 20 minutes to an hour a day, four or five days out of the week, you will noticeably progress. Generally, students find the more they accomplish, the more they are encouraged to practice.

2) “What if I have no musical talent?”

Some worry about being “tone deaf” or that they have “no rhythm.” Something I truly believe is that everyone has some sort of innate musical talent. Initially, some may appear to have it more obviously than others, but there are many instances when a student who seemed to be not getting it at first became the one that surpassed the rest.

3) “What if I don’t have a guitar?”

Guitars can be purchased relatively inexpensively. For under $200 one can usually find a decent acoustic guitar, or an electric guitar and a small amplifier. Used instruments can even be less.

4) “What if I don’t know how to read music?”

It’s easy if you take baby steps, and a good instructor will make it an enjoyable learning process. However, since most of what guitar does in popular styles is rhythm accompaniment, beginning guitar is usually is taught through a variety of other methods that make more sense to that style. As a student progresses beyond the beginning stages they will find that reading music is useful for more advanced musical understanding. Students are encouraged to make reading a part of their learning experience.

5) “What if I’ve never played a musical instrument before?”

Learning a musical instrument does not require any background. Ultimately every musician has started from zero. All that is necessary is the desire, and a willingness to practice.

6) “What if my hands or fingers are too big or too small?”

It is extremely rare that this ever true. Once a student realizes what needs to be stretched and how to work on this then they find that it’s not as difficult as they imagined. Having a qualified instructor look at the individual is recommended.

7) “Why can’t I teach myself?”

I am of the opinion that instructional materials such as videos, DVDs, internet downloads, books and CDs, regardless of how good they are produced, are best studied with a competent teacher. It’s not the student’s fault! As good as these learning aids may be, the problem is, is that you can’t ask them questions. Since everyone learns differently, there may be an issue if the method utilized by the various instructional materials is not one that works for you. This is where the experienced private instructor who can customize their approach to the individual enters into the picture. Once the basics have been mastered, then the various instructional materials available are much easier to deal with.

8) “How long will I have to take lessons before I can play anything?”

Although this is a tricky question to answer because every student is different, the average is between two to eight weeks before a student can start playing some simpler songs in an accompaniment style.

9) “How long to I have to keep taking lessons?”

Guitar is relatively easy for the student to become self-sufficient on so that after they learn the basics they can teach themselves. This could happen after just a few lessons. One doesn’t necessarily need to keep taking lessons to learn enough to become a competent player. However, once a student gets involved in the guitar they often find that they enjoy the learning process so much that they want to keep it up and study techniques beyond the basic chordal accompaniment styles.

10) “Can you learn anything in a group class?”

Yes, group classes can be useful as an introduction to playing an instrument. The problem is that everyone learns differently. This makes it difficult for an instructor to address each student’s individual concerns as most group classes tend to be short and have a large number of students.

11) “Is it better to start on an acoustic or an electric guitar?”

They are both good. It depends on the quality. Often we recommend an electric to the younger children because of the ease of playing an electric.

Tags:11 Questions (and Answers) Regarding Guitar Instruction

10th Year Anniversary Vacation Package

I sent my sister and her husband to Willow Valley Resort and Conference Center for their 10-year anniversary. This is a beautiful place located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It is a perfect place for a 10th year anniversary vacation. There is so much to do right on the grounds and plenty of places to see in the nearby area. Willow Valley is just a little over an hour from Philadelphia and about three and a half hours from New York City.

One of the best parts about this place is the food. They serve smorgasbords at every meal. These are all you can eat buffet style meals. They have a variety of stations at each meal from meats, pastas, seafood and fish and so much more. Breakfast smorgasbords contain any breakfast food that you can name from pancakes, eggs and bacon, sausage, potatoes and more. WillowValley also has a Terrace and Family Restaurant. They also have Sunday brunches at the Palm Court. They have a bakery right on the grounds.

There are about 342 guest rooms and suites. There are about five different rooms to choose from. Prices range anywhere from $200 a night and up. A fall special is coming up where if you stay one night, you get another night free. This offer is only good from October 12th through November 19th, 2009. (Sunday through Thursday only) If you want to take the entire family with you, kids can eat free from September 7th through November 24th, 2009. On December 4th & 5th of 2009, Thomas the Tank Engine will be in the area to see.

Pets are also allowed in certain rooms for your convenience. Willow Valley has three swimming pools, an indoor water playground, a nine hole golf course, tennis and basketball courts, and a spa. They also have crafts, bingo and scavenger hunts.

There is plenty to see and places to eat in the area of Lancaster also. Hershey Park and Dutch Wonderland are nearby. You can also go to Gettysburg National Park and Strasburg Railroad. The American Music Theatre is another nice place to visit. The Amish are also in the area and there are places where you can go to see them.

If you are looking for a place to go for your 10th year anniversary, I would highly recommend Willow Valley Resort and Conference Center. I can assure you that you will have a wonderful time and will want to go back again. For more information, please visit www.

Tags:10th Year Anniversary Vacation Package

11 Rules for Graduating Students Coming into the Real World

Right out of high school we all think the world is easy, and that we are all going to be millionaires with big houses and great cars. Well the truth hurts my friends, and this list of rules should be read by every 12th grader in America because it is so true. These eleven rules should be carefully considered and contemplated deeply for all those who are graduating this coming year.

Rule 1: Surprise! Life is not fair – get used to it! Nothing in this world seems or is remotely fair, and that’s just the way things are

Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself. That’s just the way it goes, to feel good about one’s self you need to make some sort of accomplishment.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both. You have to start small and work your way up, that’s what college is for.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. The difference is, a teacher can only punish you so much, a boss supplies your means of living, and can take it away for disrespect. Superiors have a whole new meaning in the real world

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity. You have to take what you can to make it in life. If that means flipping burgers or walking dogs, so be it.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them. This is the only way you will ever grow as a human being. Stop blaming your parents, it’s not always you mothers fault! And trust me, you don’t have the time or the money to spend on or in therapy.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life. If you fail in school you get a hug and told “Try again” you fail in life, you starve, harsh huh?

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time, because nobody wants to hear you grip and complain, so suck it up.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs. Unless you happen to work at said coffee shop, but you get the idea

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one. You know who Bill Gates is right? All his high school bullies now bring him doughnuts and coffee. They also shine his shoes, drive him to work, clean his office, and pay him to use his product. Nerds are cool, so be nice to them.

So there you have it, a high school students guide lines and rules for coming into the real world. Remember them well, and consider thanking your parents for getting you this far. Chances are you’ll be relying on them for the first few years of your “adult life” so you may do well to appreciate them more often then you do now.

Tags:11 Rules for Graduating Students Coming into the Real World

11 Swivel, Sway, and Sing from the Soul for Motown Night on "American Idol" Season 10

Even Jennifer Lopez summoned memories of Motown in her pale pink Diana Ross-Supreme-esque sparkling gown Wednesday on “American Idol”, and Ryan Seacrest may have flubbed up in commenting that Hitsville USA was in the “burbs” of Detroit, but for a couple of hours, it seemed like it made a temporary move to the Idol stage for the 11 remaining talents doing everything from Lionel Richie to Martha Reeves, with Motown originals and Steven Tyler’s daughter, Liv and bandmates among the audience for the special night, complete with a taste of homemade Italian cooking. I guess Italians have plenty of soul, too!

Casey Abrams came out in slicked back hair and black suit for an amazing turn with “Heard It Through the Grapevine”, complete with a couple of spins thrown in! He had the crowd in the palm of his hand in a Detroit minute, and he knows how to work it as well as he knows how to sing! Steven Tyler told him that being great meant “crazy-ass out of control ego” and that he had it. Randy Jackson just reminded him that his talent comes from knowing who he is. He’s probably the best all-out entertainer of the bunch. Can you believe going from Nirvana to the Temptations without skipping a beat? Thia Megia was determined to take the judges’ guidance to heart, and be ballad-free, and she did “bring it up a notch” with Martha and the Vandellas’ “Heat Wave”, in her pink flounced skirt, but she hardly moved from an invisible circle center stage, and the performance was still low on energy. Hopefully she can find some performance mojo to go with her voice in the warp-speed maturity that the process is forcing on the youngest performer. Jacob Lusk gave the night’s best performance for my money, and all three judges agreed. Randy Jackson declared his “You’re All I Need to Get By” was his best, and perhaps the show’s best performance ever, and Steven Tyler was moved to jump onstage for a closing embrace, which led to one from Jacob’s grandma and then the entire front row, per Ryan Seacrest’s invitation! Lusk has brought the soul singer back to music at last. Lauren Alaina looked and sounded better than ever with the Supremes hit, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”, keeping just the right taste of tell-off in her voice to match the attitude! Steven Tyler said she “ripped a new beauty mark” in the song, and Ryan Seacrest dubbed her “The Swaggeress” after Randy Jackson’s praise. Stefano Langone’s mom treated her son’s new family to homemade cooking, and I’m sure that was prepared with love, but Stefano couldn’t feel the love in his performance of “Hello”, the 1984 Lionel Richie tune that someone like Simon Cowell might hate, but can get an audience right in their tear ducts with the right contact! Try as he did, Stefano never managed direct eye contact until the last line, and put one too many runs and skipped a needed dash of heartbreak! He deserves to be onstage, but he’s definitely on the bubble this week!

Haley Reinhart reclaimed her ground as premiere soul singer among the girls, coming out all prim and proper at first with “You Really Got a Hold on Me”, but showing there was that old familiar growl behind her suit! Jennifer Lopez reminded her “You can do anything with that voice!” and she may have done enough to stay safe this week! Scott McCreery was content to keep his country tones and be the man in black while he sang “For Once in My Life”, keeping his twang and his deep closing tone, and still connecting like crazy with his audience! Motown may not be his strong suit, but unlike Stefano, he felt every word of the harmonica-flavored hit, and close with what Randy Jackson called his “Lady killer”! Pia Toscano definitely felt the music this week, too, choosing “All in Love is Fair” as her selection. It was a great night for Stevie Wonder! Her range and note-striking are flawless, as is her star quality, but Randy Jackson was bored again, saying, “You can’t live on ballads” and Jennifer Lopez wants her to take the stage more fully as a performer. Steven Tyler remains convinced, though, that she is “the closest star” on the Idol stage. She’s likely safe again. Paul McDonald surprised everyone by skipping his dance moves and strapping on his acoustic guitar for “The Tracks of My Tears”, infusing a folk-like feel into the song, and performing with the most emotion he has shown all season. Jennifer Lopez said all he needed was “a good producer” to already be on his way! He has a sound and a voice all his own. Naima Adedapo left her usual bright colors behind for her wardrobe, dressing this time in subdued gray tones, and letting her singing and her spirit stand out on “Dancing in the Streets”. It was her best effort this season, even showcasing some dance with African drums. Randy Jackson called it “very smart” and Jennifer Lopez gave her the goose bump award for the night! “Living for the City” was a perfect song for James Durbin, and his performance combined control with a dose of hopeful energy. Accompanied by Motown bassist Bob Babbitt, Durbin delivered again, nailing the song once he found his “pocket” proclaimed the panel!

Votes will be in tomorrow for the Top 10 of Season 10 at 8 PM ET on FOX.


“American Idol” telecast, March 23, 2011 FOX TV.

Tags:11 Swivel, Sway, and Sing from the Soul for Motown Night on “American Idol” Season 10

11 Great Pancake Mix-ins

Pancakes are great. Breakfast or dinner, it doesn’t matter. If your pancakes need an update, try these additions. Any basic pancake batter will work. Just stir in the additions or sprinkle them on as they cook for custom made pancakes. Warning: experimenting with pancakes is addictive and fun. Be careful when adding liquids. Too much liquid will give you runny pancakes. Drain all fruits well.


Mix in mini-chocolate chips. These are great for dessert. Instead of syrup, add hot fudge or whipped cream for a truly decadent treat.

Butter Pecan

Melt 2 tbs. of butter in a small skillet. Add about ½ c. chopped pecans. Sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add a splash of vanilla. Give a stir. Add to the pancake batter. Serve with real maple syrup.

Very Berry

Any berry will work. Taste them first to see how sweet they are. You may need to add a sprinkle of extra sugar. Sprinkle them on the pancakes as they are cooking. You can also add them to the batter, about ½ – 1 cup of berries to a recipe of pancake batter. If you like add 1 tsp. of lemon peel. Berries and lemon are a great combination.


I love anything with cranberries. These need to be chopped before using. Extra sugar also has to be added. Add about 1/8 – ¼ c of extra sugar. Serve with a smear of orange marmalade.

Apple Spice

Chop and apple into small pieces. Heat a small skillet with butter ( 2 tbs.). Sauté apples and vanilla for 3 -5 minutes. Just long enough for the apples to soften. Sprinkle with apple pie spice and add to the pancake batter.

Carrot cake

To the basic pancake mix add 1 shredded carrot, a handful of raisins, and a sprinkle of apple pie spice. Stir well. Cook like regular pancakes. Serve with a smear of cream cheese.


Toast ¼ c. oatmeal in a very hot pan. It takes 5 -7 mins. Be careful to stir and not to burn the oatmeal. When adding sugar for the pancake batter, substitute half of the sugar for dark brown sugar. Serve with honey.

Elvis Special

Melt ¼ c. of peanut butter and mix into the pancake batter. After you pour the pancakes onto the griddle, add sliced bananas. Serve with syrup.

Not all pancakes are sweet. Here are a few mix-ins that turn pancakes into a night time meal. For most pancake recipes, you can just eliminate the sugar all together.


To the pancake mix, minus the sugar, add ¼ c. of chopped green onions, ½ c. drained corn kernels, a handful of drained black beans, and 1 Tbs. Of chili powder. Cook a little longer. These are denser due to all the goodies. You can substitute part of the flour for cornmeal. Serve with sour cream and salsa.

Chicken Delight

These are great on a night you don’t want to cook. Again leave out the sugar. Part of the flour can be substituted for cornmeal. Add ½ cup of cooked, chopped chicken, and chopped green onions to the mix. Sprinkle in a dash of salt and pepper. A dash of nutmeg is also good. Again these take a little longer to cook, but they are so good. Serve plain or with a little butter.


Everyone loves bacon. Cook 3- 4 strips of bacon. Add ½ of a small, chopped onion and sauté with the bacon. Drain well. Chop bacon into smaller pieces. Add to the pancake batter, without the sugar. Add a handful of shredded cheese. Serve plain.

Pancakes are basically sweet, flat bread. You are only limited by your imagination and the contents of your refrigerator. These are perfect for evenings when you are tired and don’t want to cook a large meal. Give it a try.

Tags:11 Great Pancake Mix-ins

Saturday, July 30, 2016

10Ã-12 Storage Shed Plans

Diy is an Exciting and Engaging Hobby,following 10×12 storage shed plans can be easy!

When building a 10×12 storage shed some people worry about the costs needed. As it can’t be said that storage sheds are usually no low-priced setups, it doesn’t means that you can’t create some intelligent choices no how you can lessen the costs. For that majority, the wanting to set up 10×12 storage sheds are usually invariably the only real choices accessible. It is not true; not just are all these sheds a lot more high priced, and they control your creative independence and hole you to definitely a really directly described plan. You really have a lot more to select from with somewhat learning you may easily create by yourself a 10×12 storage shed with no wasting what would certainly look like a small lot of money.

Okay, so when you have chose to create your 10×12 shed from your surface up, you will have to get a hold on tight some excellent storage shed plans. It is the 1st step by which you’ll gain the data required to have your substance and tools as well as map out and create in your mind what the shed ought to seem like. Be sure you get the type of plans you would need. Sheds are usually generally divided into FOUR types – Gable roofing shed, Gambrel roofing shed, Lean shed and also Sodium Box shed. When you could certainly select any design, for your 10×12 storage shed this Gable roof or even Gambrel roof shed are usually advised when they offer more area. Talking of space, almost nothing can defeat a Gambrel roof if you’re looking to place each one inch of area to practical use, because all these use a FOUR pitch roof that has an inverted ‘U’ design. Be sure you spend precious time having the plans because all these will decide your training of action. You may get good high quality plans either online as well as the local do-it-yourself store.

Once you’ve your plans, endure them effectively, first of all you’ll be instructed to do is usually to get all of the materials and also tools needed. Even though these have a tendency to differ by plan to plan hinging on the planning and personal preferences with the person who built them, almost all storage shed plans could ask you have – plywood linens for flooring and wall space, lumber, fingernails, hinges, sludge hammer, corrugated iron bars, tape measure, twist driver, framing sq etc. Once again, it is a generalization, and it’s always best to stay with your own storage shed plan just for this. If you ever encountered problems or have got questions that you easily can’t find a response for, it’ll help if you’re able to frequent a few woodworking forums on the net, if you ever have not already. Be assured you’ll be left awed at the type of service, understanding and viewpoint you can find there.

Visit to get more free shed plans

Tags:10Ã-12 Storage Shed Plans

10/5/10 Daily Dose of Nonsense

Scope it, as in Horoscope: Nobody says you have to say “good morning” when you approach coworkers. You can always say “morning” and leave out the good. You can do that for the rest of the day as well. There does come a time during the morning when you no longer have to say it.

Bonehead Tip of the Day: When asked to volunteer insist on getting paid. Come on, the organizers surely aren’t doing it for free. You not only pay for the travel, you may have to pay for the hotel, food, drink and bail. And you volunteered for that. Flu shots are being forced upon you and some run $30 a pop. How about we make them $2 and more people will get them. Sure, even I would do that. Free would be much better, though.

Trivia: It was Benjamin Harrison who was the first president to attend a baseball game while in office. He did it on June 6, 1892. Attend a baseball game, that is. You have been told not to eat yellow snow but how about pink or red? Those colors are common in the Arctic. Speaking (or writing) of colors, an octopus does indeed change color often, but it is colorblind. In case you need to know, Chang died first. Eng later. They were the original Siamese Twins. So happens Chang took up drinking and ruined his, and Eng’s, liver.

Closer: Appearance does matter.

Tags:10/5/10 Daily Dose of Nonsense

11 Year Old Boy Tells the Tale of His Reincarnation of an American WW2 Pilot Shot Down

James Leininger at a very young age began a deep fascination for WW2 fighter planes. His parents noticed how well he could identify and draw different compartments of the plane at such a young age. The drawings however, eventually turned into planes fighting one another and some even crashing into the ground and sea below. These drawings were than soon replaced with vivid nightmares, so vivid in fact that he could describe detailed images of his crash over Japan during the second world war.

In disbelief, his parents set out to prove their son wrong at the notion that he could be reliving a possible past memory. Asking questions such as which type of plane did he fly and where did he take off from, James was able to answer each question with no hesitation. They researched the name of the ship which turned out to be the ‘Natoma Bay’ and even found living crew mates that were aboard the ship the day that James was shot down. Crew mates such as Jack Larson, Arkansas, who concurred that James was correct about all of the details of that day on March 3rd 1945.

After meeting the different crew mates and further research, James, was able to find out that that his past life too was named James (James M. Huston Jr.) and that he was 21 years old when he was shot down. Remarkably, he knew many of the men that he had previously served with by full name upon recognition. James’ parents even found siblings of his former self and contacted them. His older sister Annie was shocked to hear James talk of her as a little girl as well as remembering his oldest sister Ruth who had passed on. Even remembering as far as a very special painting that was painted for Annie by his previous mother that only the immediate siblings of that family had known. It was this that convinced Annie that inside little 11 year old James was her 21 year old brother who never came back home from war.

This story caught the attention of Japanese film makers who sponsored James and his current family to come over and visit the memorial of where his plane crashed. Once there, James was able to recognize exactly where his plane had crashed and became intensely emotional at the sight. James’ was put to ease that day, the feelings and life of a former past life set free. Once he arrived home his drawings turned into boats and sea creatures and his nightmares and terrors never returned. James still routinely visits with his comrades of WW2 as well as his sister Annie.


“Child’s Memories and Nightmares Prove Reincarnation” by Suzanne Strafford. Fox 8 News

Tags:11 Year Old Boy Tells the Tale of His Reincarnation of an American WW2 Pilot Shot Down

11 Tips to Save Money at the Grocery Store

Going to the grocery store is an expense that can’t be eliminated completely, but with a few minor adjustments a visit to the local grocer can be far less harmful to your bank account.

Here are some helpful tips that can save you money at the grocery store:

Never Shop While Hungry!

This is the worst folly people make when shopping. Going to shop while hungry leads to impulse buying-ice cream, chips, popsicles, and cookies are impulsive, unhealthy, and expensive. The best time to go shopping is after a meal when you’re full and completely level-headed.

Buy Cheap, Filling Food

Instead of buying frozen dinners and pre-made items that only provide one meal, buy food that is cheap and will last. You can get a 10 pound bag of potatoes for the same price as one frozen dinners, or a 5 pound bag of white rice for the same price. Frozen dinners might be easier to prepare, but buying food that is dirt cheap and filling can save you a ton on your overall spend.

Limit Snack Items

If you love buying chips and crackers and cookies and brownies, try your best to limit yourself to one or two types. Snack items don’t fill you up, are pricey, and can add up amazingly fast.

Don’t Buy Individually Packaged Items

I know that 12-pack of individually packaged Cheez-Its are convenient to throw into your kid’s lunch before he goes off to school, but you’re losing money by not buying a whole box and packaging them yourself. Get a plastic sandwich bag and package items yourself-you’ll save a great deal of money in the long run.

Buy Store Brand Items

Store brand items can be just as good, if not better, than name brand items-and they’ll cost you a ton less. If you’re especially attached to a certain brand of ice cream, get it; but for items you don’t obsess over, save some money and go with the store brand. One tip: avoid store brand diet soda if possible.


Everyone makes fun of coupon clippers, but coupons can save you a good deal of money. Browsing coupons also alerts you to some of the store specials and markdowns, which can be important for saving you even more money.

Bring Along a Shopping List

Bringing a list of the basic necessities gives you a strict guide to follow and cuts down on unnecessary purchases.

Avoid Non-Grocery Items

Paper goods, hair products, and cleaning items oftentimes cost more at the grocery store. Larger retailers such as Rite Aid, Walgreens, Target, Wal-Mart, etc. sometimes offer substantially better deals that are worth the trip to a second store.

Buy In Bulk

Buying one 24-ounce box of crackers is cheaper than buying two 12-ounce boxes of the same product. Buying more will cost you more at the time of purchase, but will save you money in the future.

Don’t Buy More Than You Can Eat

Buying more food than you need can lead to waste. For example, if you buy three loaves of bread and only eat one every week, that last loaf is likely to get moldy and be completely wasted. One way to combat this is to freeze whatever items you don’t anticipate eating in the near future.

Eat Less

This might seem like a simple solution, but it’s effective. It’s just like spending less on gas for your car-the less you drive, the less gas you buy. Eat less and your wallet will grow.

Tags:11 Tips to Save Money at the Grocery Store

11 Things that Turn Guys Off when it Comes to Women

Contrary to popular belief, men do not just chase anything down when it comes to looking for a girlfriend. Men hold their own personal standards when it comes to choosing the right woman. What turns them off about women does not deal solely with vanity but more with morality and personality. Take a look below at what turns guys off when it comes to women.

1. Men dislike when women nag. A person who nags is generally hard to please. It can be very frustrating to stay in a relationship where your partner finds fault in everything that you do.

2. Men dislike when women have bad hygiene. Bad hygiene is one of the top turn offs that men have about women. No one wants to be around someone that does not smell good. Men prefer women who have fresh breath, sweet smelling skin, clean smelling hair and minimal body odor.

3. Men dislike when women flirt. Men like to feel as though they are in an exclusive relationship. When a woman starts flirting with others while she is in a relationship this makes the man feel devalued. Flirting will create jealousy which will cause a great deal of tension. The only flirting that should be done is with the boyfriend and no one else.

4. Men dislike when women talk too much. Some men would prefer a more talkative woman over a very timid one but women who talk way too much are bothersome. There needs to a balance in conversation which means that both man and women should have equal talk time when it comes to conversing. Men think that women who never stop talking are self centered and will keep themselves at a distance. If there is no off switch they will not stick around for long.

5. Men dislike when women swear. Potty mouths are a major turn off. Some men believe that women who swear take away from their grace. They like women who can speak and handle a situation with class. Potty mouth girlfriends are embarrassing.

6. Men dislike when women are promiscuous. Men like women with high morals or decent morality. They do not favor women that hook up with one person to the next. They want to walk beside someone that they feel proud of and that has a good reputation.

7. Some men are bothered by women with acne. This is not true for all men. Some men could care less about the acne. Acne is almost inevitable for many men and women and for that reason should not be the cause of someone feeling hesitant to pursue someone that has acne. Acne will eventually clear up.

8. Men dislike when women smoke. This is not true for all men as every man has his preference. Smoking is a nasty habit that can; give one a nasty cough will turn the teeth yellow, and will make the hair, breath, and clothes smell.

9. Men dislike when women come on too strong. Some women have the habit of quickly falling head over heels for a guy. They start to become clingy, express a desire to move in together, and envision what married life would be like. This can frighten a man and will cause him to abandon the relationship without second thought

10. Men dislike when women use pet names for them. Some men are not openly affectionate as women are and so easily get embarrassed by pet names. Sometimes simple names like baby, sweetie, and honey can make a man quiver.

11. Men dislike when women have mean personalities. Most men do not want to be around women with nasty attitudes. They want someone who is a bit easy going and who they can bring around friends and family.

Tags:11 Things that Turn Guys Off when it Comes to Women

11 Tips to Secure Online Shopping

Here are 11 tips to have a safe online shopping experience during the holiday season:

  1. Avoid spoofed websites. Common sense says any time you receive an offer via an e-mail automatically be suspicious. The same goes with offers via tweets and messages received in any social media site.
  2. Don’t click the links in e-mails. Especially if it’s a too good to be true offer.
  3. Beware of cybersquatting and typosquatting which may look like the domain of the legitimate eTailer.
  4. Look for https:// in the address bar signifying it’s a secure page. Generally, scammers won’t take the time to set up secure sites. Note the closed padlock in your browser to back up the HttpS.
  5. Beware of e-mails coming for eBay scammers. If you are seeking deals on eBay, go right to the site and don’t bother responding to e-mails. Search deals on an e-mail directly on eBay.
  6. Look at the eBayers history. eBay is set up on the honor system. If the eBayer is an established seller with great feedback, they should be legit.
  7. Pay close attention to your statements. Check them every two weeks online and refute unauthorized charges within 2 billing cycles.
  8. Don’t use a debit-card online. If your debit card is compromised, that’s money out of your bank account. Credit cards have more protection and less liability.
  9. Avoid paying by check online/mail-order. Once the money is taken from your account and you don’t receive the goods, you are going to have a difficult, if not impossible, task of getting it back.
  10. Do business with those you know, like and trust. It’s best to buy high ticket items from eTailers that also have brick and mortar locations.
  11. Secure your PC. Update your critical security patches and anti-virus and only shop from a secured internet connection.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing
credit and debit card fraud on CNBC.

Tags:11 Tips to Secure Online Shopping

Friday, July 29, 2016

11 Tips for Planting Shrubs

Shrubs are a wonderful addition to any home. They serve several purposes. If you live in a snowy area, shrubs can provide a great wind-block to protect against drifting snow. In warmer climates they can help keep your home cool. Shrubs can provide a great backdrop for flowers and can be the flowers themselves. Planting a shrub is easy. Here are some tips to help you plant and grow beautiful shrubs.

1. Decide Where to Plant. Deciding where to plant your shrub is a very important step to take before choosing your shrub. If you’re planting close to your home you’re not going to want a plant with strong, invasive roots like a lilac that may damage your foundation. Write down information about the area such as what other plants are nearby, how much sun the spot gets, if there’s a building or windows nearby.

2. Choosing Your Shrub. There are a lot of different shrubs to choose from. Some flower. Some produce berries. Some are evergreen, some not. Some change colors in the fall; some change colors in the summer. If you’re planting in front of a window, you may want to plant shrubs that don’t grow very tall. Keep where you are planting in mind when choosing your shrub. Korean boxwoods are a great choice if you would like a slow-growing, bushy plant you can shape. Hydrangeas are wonderful flowering bushes. Japanese willows are beautiful shrubs. In spring and autumn they are green and leafy, in summer the tips turn a beautiful blush color.

3. Set the Plants in Their Place. Just to be sure you actually like where you’ve decided to plant, set your shrub there and take a look. It may be you think your shrub will look better centered under the window rather than to the side. You may discover your shrub needs to be planted further from the house than you thought. Seeing the plant (still in its pot) in the spot you chose for it really helps you be sure you’re planting in the right place before you go digging things up.

4. Measure and Dig. You should always measure your shrub’s root-ball then dig a hole as deep as the root-ball and twice as wide. You should loosen the sides and bottom of the hole with a gardening fork. This makes it easier to prepare the soil. If you’re planting more than one shrub or have other plantings nearby you should measure the distance apart to make sure your plants have plenty of room to grow.

5. Consider Weed Control. It will be hard for your shrub to flourish if it’s choked out by weeds. Consider putting down black plastic or newspaper to keep the weeds away. Black plastic last a long time, but newspaper printed with soy ink biodegrades and is much better for the environment.

6. Preparing the Soil. When you bought your shrub you should have read the little tag that goes with it. If it didn’t tell you what kind of soil your plant prefers you should have asked. Some plants like loamy soil, others are hardy in sandy soil. Some plants prefer a more alkaline environment and some like it acidic. Prepare the soil based on what your plant likes. For well drained soil add some small pebbles and avoid clay at all costs. If your shrub needs acidic soil, mix in some coffee grounds.

7. Plants Need Nutrients. If you’re planting a flowering shrub, toss a few banana peels in a blender with a little water (coffee grounds too if your shrubs likes acid) and blend. Mix your magic blend in with a garden trowel when you’re preparing the soil. The tiny pieces break down easily and provide your shrub with nutrients. If you would like to go with a more conventional fertilizer I suggest you use a slow-release fertilizer. You won’t need to feed your plants as often.

8. Composting Made Easy. Plants love compost. It’s a natural fertilizer that’s great for the environment and cuts down on garbage bags dumped in landfills. Don’t use meat. Use the fruits and vegetables leftover from your table, coffee grounds, and some newspaper. Toss them in your blender with a little bit of water, blend. Put your compost smoothie in a Rubbermaid container you’ve drilled holes in. Add worms. Not just any worms. You want the big, fat red ones. It won’t take the worms long to break down the little pieces and turn them into compost. Layer the compost around your shrubs. They will love you for it.

9. A Pruning Priority. You should prune your shrubs to keep them growing well. Remove any dead or damaged branches or leaves. You should also prune some of the branches away in the spring to clean up your shrub and keep it growing well. You can choose anvil pruners or bypass pruners. Anvil pruners bring a blade down against a piece of metal to cut the branch. Bypass pruners cut from both sides and potentially do less damage to the branch because they don’t crush the branch.

10. When the Winter Wind Blows. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, you may want to protect your plants from both the winter winds and the weight of the snow. Snow can weigh down and break branches if precautions aren’t taken. Measure the height and width of your shrub. Get yourself two pieces of plywood a foot or two longer than and at least as wide as your shrub. Attach one or two cheap hinges to the top and put it over your shrub teepee style. You can pick up some cheap clear plastic such as clear drop-cloth plastic at Wal-Mart. Wrap some of this around your wood and shrub. Sunlight can still get in, but it keeps the wind and snow out.

11. Let’s Talk Mulch. Mulch is a good idea for shrubs. It helps keep the roots cool, helps retain moisture, and helps keep weeds in their place, which is out of your garden. Mulch can also hold your black plastic or newspaper in place. Not all mulches are created equal. Quartz garden stone is great for weighing down plastic and keeping weeds out. It’s low maintenance, but doesn’t retain moisture as well as wood mulch. Wood mulch weighs the plastic down, keeps weeds out, retains moisture well, but deteriorates over time. Wood mulch should be dug out and replaced once every year or two as it deteriorates to keep it looking nice. Another option is to simply plant grass around and under your shrub for a very natural look. The downside of just planting grass is that you give weeds the opportunity to grow.

Tags:11 Tips for Planting Shrubs

11 Ways to Reuse an Old Microwave Stand

Microwave stands come in different sizes. They usually have a cupboard, and may have an open space under the top surface. Some might also have a drawer.

You may have installed an under-the-cupboard microwave, or decided that one of these appliances is no longer necessary in your home. Whatever the reason for not needing the microwave anymore, you are left with a stand that is still usable.

Once a microwave stand is no longer needed for its intended purpose, it can be used for something else. Consider these ideas before sending your old stand to the dump.

Leave the stand where it is in the kitchen, placing your toaster, slow cooker and other small appliances on it. Better yet, hide the small appliances you rarely use in the cupboard of the stand. This will give the top a less cluttered look.

Move it into your office, and put the printer on it. Printer paper can be stored in the cupboard, and ink cartridges can be organized within the open area or the drawer.

Place the stand in your bedroom to hold a small television and DVD player. Store your DVD’s in the cupboard.

Or do the same with your stereo and music.

Put it in the bathroom, if there is enough room, to hold towels and wash cloths. Personal hygiene products can be stored on the top.

Use the cupboard to store board games. Cards and other games that take little space can be placed in containers in the open space or in a drawer.

Place the stand in your craft room. The cupboard will store larger items, such as a box of fabric. The open area will hold tools such as your glue gun, a tray and a container of glue sticks, and the top will hold a couple of baskets of other supplies.

Use the stand in a potters shed to hold gardening supplies, placing planters in the cupboard, and seeds and hand tools on the top.

In the garage, the stand will help to organize small to medium size tools.

Place the stand in the laundry room, using the cupboard to hold the detergent and fabric softener. You will have a place on top of the stand to set folded clothes until you can put them away.

In the family room, the stand will hold snacks and beverages to be consumed while hanging out, and bowls and other necessities needed to serve the foods in.

The uses for old microwave stands are limited only by your imagination. The only time one should go to the dump is if it is absolutely unusable, at which time it becomes junk.

These stands can often be repainted to match the d©cor of any room, or may be stenciled or sponged with designs depending on the whim of the owner. These types of changes make the stand more attractive when incorporating it into another room.

Tags:11 Ways to Reuse an Old Microwave Stand

11 Tips for Preventing the Cold and Flu

Unless we live in the 23rd Century, where Doctor McCoy from Star Trek has developed the cure for the common cold. You will need to deal with being tired, feeling cold (no pun intended), sneezing, stuffy nose, runny nose, sore throat, and coughing that can occur throughout the year. For the flu (influenza) you are probably in bed with a fever, headaches, body aches, fatigue, and coughing that typically occurs during the winter. This is why you notice that every pharmacy starts asking if you want your Flu Shot during the fall season and into the winter.

As the school year starts, I have noticed many school aged kids becoming sick as they become reacquainted with old friends. Then they bring home any germs and get their parents sick. Then the parent go to work and get their co-workers sick. It always reminds me of the tag game that my kids play called Virus.

Go visit your doctor, whenever you feel ill. In the meantime, to prevent catching the cold or flu, here are some tips,

  • Where have your hands been? Keep your hands away from your face. Remember to wash your hands with warm water and an antimicrobial soap to kill germs. It’s especially important after using the rest room and before you eat your meal. Also use a clean paper towel instead of that designer terry cloth hand towel to dry your hands.
  • If you are able to wash you hands, hand sanitizers can also kill germs and many new formulas contain moisturizers to prevent drying of the skin. Have you noticed many places have hand sanitizer stands at the entrance? They don’t want you to get their employees sick as well, some companies hand out pocket sized hand sanitizers. When applying hand sanitizer, it’s important to get it under your fingernails.
  • While the Avian Bird Flu scared many to wear regular facemasks or N95 masks in the United States, Asians still do wear them and you notice the masks more at international airports.
  • Cleaning your environment is important. Typically wipe the surfaces with a germicide such as Super Sani-Cloth, Cavicide or Sklar Wipe . It will kill a spectrum of viruses and bacteria. Having a disinfected area will reduce the odds. Think twice about using someone’s telephone or keyboard. Also, wipe down doorknobs, light switches, and countertops. Wash toys if anyone is sick at home. A special note for travelers, typically the hotel cleaning staff will not disinfect the remote control. Before you press that power button, disinfect with a germicide.
  • Some people even don on exam gloves to have an extra layer of protection for the hands.
  • If you smoke, stop! Smoking increases irritation and allows the infection to pass through the filters of your airways.
  • Sorry no sharing! I am sure your friend won’t be offended if you don’t take a taste of that new drink from the same mug.
  • Stay healthy builds your immunity to infections as well as speed up recover should the virus temporary over power you. I know many people that do P90X, Insanity, TurboFire or run. They take good nutrition like Shakeology. They also get enough sleep and are relaxed. They seem to avoid the simple cold by strengthen their immune system.

Should you come down with the virus? Here are some tips to reduce the cross contamination and the spread of the sickness.

  • Cover your sneezing and coughing with a tissue or into your shoulder so that you don’t further the virus. Remember to toss the tissues in the trash.
  • If you must, quarantine yourself in a separate room.
  • Know if you have a fever by using a thermometer with a disposable probe cover or a touch free model. 98.6 Fahrenheit is normal.

Stay healthy by visiting so that you are not added as a statistic to the other millions who lose days of work or school!

Tags:11 Tips for Preventing the Cold and Flu

11 Ways to Save Money on Your Disney Cruise Line Vacation!

Have you ever dreamed of taking your family on an adventure to exciting destinations on the Disney Cruise Line, but suddenly were pulled back into reality when you saw the price tag? Trust me, you’re not alone. The good news is it is possible to set sail with the mouse without breaking the bank. To sweeten the deal, if you follow these money saving tips below, you will be able to relax knowing you have probably paid far less than your fellow cruisers for the same magical experience only Disney can provide.

1. Pay with a Disney Visa – Disney launched its own credit card several years ago. According to the Disney Visa Website, as a perk to its customers Disney will offer you a $50 On Board Credit when your cruise is paid in full using the Disney Visa Credit Card. As a nice added bonus, you typically receive 6 months 0% financing on the cost of your cruise and you rack up Disney Rewards Points as well. Disney Rewards Points can be cashed in for Disney Rewards Cards, (think gift card), that can be used on just about anything Disney. Use your Rewards Card to apply to your on board account to cover tips, drinks, spa treatments, and more.

2. Book with a Travel Agent – Travel agents pay a discounted price for the cruise that they sell you. The price you pay a travel agent will be the same as the price you would pay Disney directly, but many travel agents, such as Small World Vacations, offer you extras as a way of passing on some of the savings. These extras can be anything from On Board Credit, gifts for you in your stateroom when you arrive, cash back, or even gift cards when using member clubs such as Costco, BJ’s, and Sam’s Club.

3. Book Your Cruise Online – As stated on their website, Disney offers a $25 On Board Credit to guests who book their cruise online using the Disney Cruise Line website. If you choose to book with a travel agent, be sure to ask them to book via Disney’s website to get you the $25 On Board Credit!

(Note: The Disney Visa On Board Credit and the booking online On Board Credit promotions can be stacked together for a total of $75 in On Board Credit. These promotions can also be stacked with any On Board Credit offers you may receive from a travel agent.)

4. Re-book while on the Ship – Disney will allow, even encourage you to book while you are on the ship enjoying your current cruise. indicated that Re-booking on board will save you 10% off current rates for categories 11-4, plus they will give you $100-$200 in On Board Credit to spend for your next cruise.

(Note: The On Board Credit you receive for re-booking while on the ship cannot be stacked with the Disney Visa On Board Credit or the booking online On Board Credit promotions listed above. You can, however, stack the re-booking on the ship promotion with any On Board Credit offers you get from a travel agent.)

5. Cruise in the off season – Cruising in the off season usually means while most children are in school. Disney offers their cruises at a significantly reduced rate during these times of year. Keep in mind that Thanksgiving, Christmas-New Years, Spring Break, and the summer months are the most popular sailing times and the prices will reflect this. Be prepared for sticker shock for Disney’s more popular sailing dates.

6. Book Early – Unlike many other cruise lines, Disney typically raises its prices the closer it gets to the time of sailing. For this reason, it is always best to book as early as you can to get the best rate. You can cancel up until 90 days before your cruise.

7. Check the website often – Disney will periodically run specials such as Kid Sail Free or discounted rates for certain sailings. This usually occurs because there may be a few dates that are not selling as well as expected and they would like to fill the ships sooner. Act fast because once word gets out that Disney has offered these deals they sell out sometimes over night! Specials such as the Kids Sail Free promotion can offer thousands in savings, but are only available to the specified itineraries, cruise lengths, and other stipulations.

8. Get on the Email and Snail Mail List – Disney has been known to offer special promotions via email and snail mail that are only available to the person they are sent to. These offers seem to be at random and are a welcomed surprise when received!

9. GTY Rooms & FREE upgrades – If you are a bit of a gambler or don’t really care about your room location, check out the different categories to see if any are listed as GTY status. GTY stands for guaranteed, meaning that you pay the going rate for that category and you are “guaranteed” to get a room in that category or higher. This also means that Disney chooses where to put you on the ship and you don’t find out your stateroom location until about 20 days before your cruise. The upside is you could end up with a “Free” upgrade if Disney chooses to place you in higher category stateroom. This often happens when Disney is trying to fill a ship and needs to move passengers out of the more popular stateroom categories to re-sell them. It is important to note that this “Free” upgrade is not limited to GTY rooms. Anyone can be offered an upgrade for free by Disney if they want to re-sell your room. However, with GTY rooms your chances of an upgrade are much higher but you will not have the option of requesting a different room. You get what you get.

10. Paid Upgrades at Port – If you are looking to upgrade your stateroom category, consider taking a chance by booking a cheaper category and upgrading at port just before the cruise. It’s not a sure thing, but sometimes you get lucky and a few rooms are available that you can upgrade to at a discounted rate. Make sure you get to port early if you plan to try to upgrade, as these rooms go fast if available at all.

11. Keep on Sailing – Once you have cruised on Disney Cruise Line you automatically become a member for the Castaway Club. After your first cruise you are a silver level member. Once you reach 5 cruises you will be a gold member and after 10 cruises you will be platinum member. Gold and Platinum members get extra On Board Credit for re-booking while on board, as well as other perks such as discounts on select Disney merchandise on board and more.

By following these tips, you’ll find yourself pool side sipping on your favorite umbrella drink in no time at a fraction of the cost. Now that’s what I call a magical experience!


Advertisement. Disney Rewards Visa and Debit Cards from Chase. Web. 03 Aug. 2010. .

Advertisement. Small World Vacations – Authorized Disney Vacation Planner Small World Vacations Small World Vacations, Inc. – Walt Disney World Vacation, Disneyland Packages, Disney Cruise Line Vacations and Adventures by Disney! Web. 03 Aug. 2010. .

Advertisement. Disney Cruise Line. Web. 03 Aug. 2010. .

One, Selecting. “ – Disney Cruise Line Advice, Tips and Tricks.” – Disney Discount Source – Disney World Discounts, Disneyland Discounts, Disney Cruise Discounts. Web. 02 Aug. 2010. .

Tags:11 Ways to Save Money on Your Disney Cruise Line Vacation!

11 Winning Ways You Can Express Sympathy and Condolences

For Years whenever I got news that a friend or loved one had passed away, I got into immediate panic mode on how I will show my condolences.

I have respectful parents, who together would attend the viewing or the wake the first day it was scheduled. They may have heard the news from a friend or family member or read it in the obituaries that day. They never challenged where it was or when it was, it was something that had to be done and they always have done it.

Me on the other hand, I felt that because I hated viewings or wakes, I would just not go, or be selective on whom I would go to see and who I wouldn’t, but I would always send a mass card or condolence card. I didn’t know what to say to the person who lost their loved one, so I would avoid calling them on the phone or seeing them.

I guess I just always felt, that if people kept bringing up or reminding the person of their loss that I would make them sad all over again.

My views on giving proper condolences have now changed. My Grandmother recently died and being part of a close knit family, I was involved from my Grandmothers care prior to her death to being with the family at the viewing and then the funeral.

I learned so many things about people during this time. I am the oldest of 8 grandchildren and I was very close to my Grandmother my whole life. It was a great loss to me as well as my family. I had cold sweats and sleeplessness day before the wake. My mother had announced to all of us when we got to the funeral home, “that she wants to hear no laughter, that this is not a party”. “We need to focus and be somber”.

I thought, here I am, the family mourning and people will be coming to see us all night and pay respect to my Grandmother. We all stood together to receive people as we stood next to the coffin…was I ready to relive her final days and trigger my tears and memories of her again, just when I’ve pull it all together for this final send off? Will I have a nervous breakdown before the night is over? I was scared to death as I watched the funeral home doors open and people started flocking in. The first people were old family friends who came with their baby grandson they had been babysitting all day.

I offered to watch the baby in the back seating area while they go up to see my Grandmothers coffin and visit with my family to express condolences. It was a mood breaker seeing this smiling baby in a room with so much death around it. I thought it was ironic. Here I was always afraid to go to wakes, and here these people felt perfectly normal coming and bringing this baby to spend time with us. They ended up staying most of the night with us.

My Mother thought it was disrespectful of them for bringing the baby, but I quickly defended the baby being there. I agreed that if the baby was crying or acting out that this was not the place to keep the baby and they should go home immediately after paying their respects. But, that was not the case. You never heard a peep in the 3 hours from this baby. I expressed that it felt good that they felt comfortable bringing this little baby to a place where most adults wouldn’t want to be 50 miles from.

Now just to be clear, I would not suggest that anyone bring their babies or children to a wake or funeral service. We were just lucky to have had a good experience with the baby in the room. Most situations would not go as well and you don’t want to run the risk of disrespecting the family and having the family tell you to leave.

The truth was that the fear I always had as the person attending the wake is just as scary as it is for the people waiting to receive them.

There were so many family members and friends that I hadn’t seen in so many years, I felt truly comforted that they took the time to come out and pay us their respects in person. I was so moved, I didn’t feel like crying anymore. I think my tear ducts were dry from all the crying we all had done for 3 days straight prior to my Grandmothers passing, while she was sick.

I felt adulation seeing all these people. I could not help grinning. At various times, there were lulls and I found myself, as did some of my other family members, going off and chatting with certain people. I caught myself laughing so many times. I thought, OMG my mother said no laughing. But I wasn’t sad being there anymore. I felt it was a natural gathering of people that were brought together for a common cause. I enjoyed so many conversations and seeing so many people I had not seen for as much as 20 years.

The next day was the funeral. We were tired from the night before and we had an early start, with a full Catholic mass and burial. The fear came back. Wishing the day was over, as I anticipated the tears and heart ache coming back with so many of the day’s reminders amidst. The church mass celebration was so peaceful and beautiful. My mother had requested “NO Singing or MUSIC” at the church mass. The priest reluctantly obliged, but expressed that the mass would be too quiet and we might need some music to lighten the air.

You could not talk my mother out of the ‘No music or singing’ no matter what he said. She was right about it though. The silence of the church and echo’s of the priest reading the scriptures made the funeral meaningful and gave the day the perfect closure.

Once we got to the gravesite, I knew we were finally at the end of this grueling day. During this ordeal, I realized there were certain things people did that were impressive and others that were not.

There were some people who did the bare minimum and others who were in the forefront the whole way to console us and be with us during this tough time.

These are the gestures that were appreciated that I want to share with you so that you don’t miss the opportunity to show proper respect to people you care about:

1. Send a condolence card. Be sure not to use one of the free one’s you get in the mail. Those are cheap looking and your heartfelt sentiments deserve a store bought card.

2. Find out what place of worship the deceased belonged to and go and get a mass card for them.

3. Where time and logistics make it impossible to get a mass card from the place of worship, there are mass cards that you can get in the mail from nonprofit organizations, that you can keep in a drawer and when you need one it is there for you and you just have to fill it out with the deceased name and mail in a donation to the organization when you use it.

4. Find out when the viewing / wake is and do your best to go to it. If you are out of town, look on the internet for the local newspaper of the deceased and find the obituary. The obituary will tell you when and where the wake will be as well as the funeral place and time.

5. If you want to call the family and express your condolences, do so after the funeral. Doing it prior to the wake and funeral stresses the family even more than they already are as they anticipate a grueling several days ahead until the loved one is buried. Call them the day after the funeral where your call will be appreciated better.

6. It is an extra kind gesture to bring a card to the wake with either a mass card in it, a monetary gift or a donation (the family will usually mention an organization they would like donations sent to in the obituary, sometimes in lieu of flowers).

7. Send something to the family. If this is a close friend this will be well appreciated. You can send flowers to the funeral home (call the funeral home and make these arrangements with them) or send a fruit basket or edible arrangements (look online to place an order) to the family. Don’t send table flowers to them. The symbol of flowers at this time will be isolated to the funeral home and grave site. Sending table flowers to the family’s house will give a mixed message and won’t be appreciated. If you have doubts… give money or donate to their charity of choice.

8. Additionally, if you have the time, bake a cake (dessert)or make a casserole (entrée) for the family and drop it off at the house the day before the funeral or after that. Some people have the funeral reception after the burial and others have it at a restaurant. However, the food is a nice gesture for the family if you choose to do this. Be sure to put your name on the food and reheat instructions.

9. In some cultures, making a house visit a week or two after the funeral is a necessary gesture of respect. However, we are in the United States, so cultural respect is combined or exchanged with doing one of the above mentioned signs of respect.

10. It is acceptable to send an e-mail to a family member of the grieving family before or/and after the funeral. However, this is in addition to the condolence card, attending the wake and or funeral. There is still the need to see and touch people during this time. E-mails can express a momentary sentiment, it cannot replace you and the personal time you took to express a sincere condolence to the family.

11. Most of the time after the funeral, the family will have a reception after the funeral. Don’t assume everyone is invited. If you happen to attend the funeral and then go on ahead and join the family at the grave site, don’t invite yourself to the restaurant or house afterward. There will usually be an announcement at the gravesite by the funeral director or the family will personally invite people. Sometimes families want to be alone and do not intend on having a festive mood after this long, hard day. Be sensitive to this and avoid being a possible mooch.

Tags:11 Winning Ways You Can Express Sympathy and Condolences

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...