Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Gretchen Bennett

There is a contest at to nominate women who inspire others.

Gretchen Bennett is one of the women I admire most as a leader fighting a difficult battle to help children who have been abused. Gretchen is the Executive Director of Liberty House in Salem, Oregon. She works hard to solve problems to ease the way for abused children to receive help in the least invasive way at a traumatic time. As a mother of two preschool children, Gretchen goes beyond what many in her field would do to raise money, work on prevention, and to bring in the best leaders in the area to aid this important cause. She has brought law enforcement leaders, counselors, community leaders together to focus on a solution to help children with resounding success. She encourages the community to come to periodic open houses to see first hand the story of the abused child who walks in the door to receive help. Gretchen is an inspirational public speaker, a strong leader who inspires the best people in the community to aid in the fight against abused children, a poised woman of strength, and an example to all women. As a graduate of Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon who used to bring back trophies in debate, who worked tirelessly for environmental causes in Washington, D.C. and Seattle, and who makes a difference every day to help abused children, I nominate my daughter, Gretchen Bennett.

Diana Simpson

There is a contest at to nominate women who inspire.

Diana Simpson is running for Sheriff in Benton County, Oregon. A strong woman and a leader who stands for integrity and accountability, she has faced strong opposition in a man's world with courage. I spent time in her office listening to her and asking questions about her background. I learned about her commitment to prevention and solving problems in Benton County. Her easy-going manner and strength impressed me. Her background as Undersheriff, in parole and probation, and her commitment to the law made me admire what she stands for. What impressed me the most was her offer to read my mystery novel manuscript and critique it for law enforcement details. She took the time out of her busy schedule to help me and support my efforts. She has come to Alsea twice in the last year to speak to the community, listen to our concerns, and answer questions. Women face special challenges in law enforcement dominated by men. Her commitment to the law, accountability, and integrity is to be admired. These are some of the reasons why I admire Diana Simpson and why I nominated her.

Mary Rosenblum

There is a contest at asking for nominations for women who inspire.

Mary Rosenblum, author of several mystery and science fiction novels, and winner of many prestigious writing awards. She is one of the women I admire most in the world. Mary is the web editor of the Long Ridge Writers Group and moderates online forums for writers. I've learned more about writing from Mary than any other single writer. I'm constantly amazed at her level of expertise, the ability to answer any writing question with depth and insight, her intelligence, and the level of productivity in her life. Mary works hard at every level of writing from mentoring students, moderating the online interviews with published writers, writing her novels, and teaching workshops. Mary gives constantly to others and supports writers who are trying hard to succeed in a difficult arena with so much talented competition. A mother who raised her two sons alone for years on money earned from her writing and eating from her garden, Mary knows about persistence and determination to reach a goal. A strong role model for women and a strong voice as a writer makes Mary Rosenblum my choice. Check out Mary Rosenblum in the science fiction section of your library and Mary Freeman in the mystery section. If you can't find her books, buy them at the book store or ask your librarian to order them because you will want to read them. If you're a writer, go to and learn from her online forums. You'll be amazed too.

Zel Brook

There is a contest to nominate a woman who inspires you at

It says, "everyday we are surrounded by woman who have a profound affect on our lives. They inspire us and amaze us with their unwavering commitment and passion."

Here is one of my four nominations:

When I start to question my ability to move towards a fitness goal, I think of Zel Brook. Without a doubt, Zel Brook is one of the women I admire most in the world who has worked through difficult health challenges and has achieved her goal of running marathons. I first met Zel as I was struggling with an added one hundred pounds on my frame to run my second 5K race. As Zel whizzed past with her cane running with ease, she stopped to encourage my efforts. In other 5K and 10K races, I noticed how supportive Zel is to other runners who have special challengesj--people recovering from heart surgery or older runners or those with added weight like me. I learned later that Zel was in a wheel chair years ago recovering from brain surgery. Determination and persistence to live a full life again, Zel worked slowly from her struggle to walk across the room to running her first marathon in the Portland Marathon in 2002. Zel runs with a cane because her sense of balance was effected by the brain surgery. Persisting in spite of pain and health issues that would cause most people to quit, Zel has healed many of her problems with her running. Zel will run in the Portland Marathon on October 1 and the Seattle Marathon on November 26, 2006 which is before her 60th birthday on November 28th. Zel is an inspiration to any runner who knows her and to all women.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Craig Sheppard

Last night my husband and I went to the LaSells Stewart Center at Oregon State University to hear Craig Sheppard play on the new Steinway grand piano to begin a concert series. A professor of music from the University of Washington School of Music, Craig Sheppard gave everyone in the audience a virtuoso performance resulting in a standing ovation.

Craig Sheppard took my heart and spirit through the full range of emotion as his fingers danced and tenderly carassed the notes on the keyboard. He dazzled everyone with playful passages building with texture to bold crescendo. He played Bach's Partita #6 in E Minor, Beethoven's Sonata in E Major, followed by Debussy's Estampes and ending with Chopin's Sonata in B minor, Opus 58. My favorite was Chopin but it was all glorious and a touch of heaven.

Thank you, Craig Sheppard for coming to Oregon State University for the free performance so I could have the privilege of hearing you play. It was magnificent.

It was a sea of white and grey in the audience. There were very few young people. I think it takes age to see what is most important in life and what brings meaning. I was happy to see an Asian father bring his five children. I noticed three of the cute little girls cross the street. I didn't hear a peep the entire time. Of course, they were very well behaved. The Asian culture values excellence. You see it in schools on test scores and grades. I saw another mother and a cute young girl with a big smile. How nice that these parents understand how important it is to take their children to such an important event and for the wisdom to know that this is a wonderful way to spend time together.

I thought at the end as I was standing and clapping with enthusiasm that this was a wonderful job to have in life--to play the piano with passion, to entertain, and then have everyone love you and clap for you at the end of every performance. How thrilling!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Comfort Care

Comfort care is a definition of medical care given to the elderly in nursing homes and hospitals. It sounds good. It sounds like someone everyone would want, but I learned first hand about comfort care when my husband and I were watching out for his mother.

Sadelle was healthy at 90 and told that she could live 10 more years. She was opinionated and spoke her mind, which was not always welcomed. I admired her intelligence and felt she had a right at 90 to say whatever she wanted. She was coded comfort care, which means no food or water with morphine to ease the pain, without consulting family and without a legal document to support this action. The family would never have consented to this outrageous action.

I'm concerned that comfort care could be used in the future in hospitals and nursing homes on those individuals without sufficent funds at a time when budgets are tight and as a way to eliminate a population of babyboomers who become dependent. If family members are busy and don't visit often, this can happen. It almost happened to Sadelle.


Polygamy has been in the news this last month with the fundamentalist Mormon in Utah being charged.

This was one of the topics of one of my letters that I wrote a few years ago to Salt Lake. After being part of the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1995 to 2002, I wanted to know from Salt Lake why they espoused distance publically from the concept of polygamy and they still keep printing those scriptures with Doctorine and Covenants 132 still in them. Yes, Mormons study four scriptures--the Old Testament, the New Testament, The Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants/Pearl of Great Price. I wanted to know the answer because in Doctrine and Covenants 132, it says that it is God's will that man practice polygamy.

Let's make it clear here that I don't believe in polygamy, but I sure heard comments from members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about their desire to practice polygamy and how they looked forward to it. The brothers seemed to have a glint in their eye and the sisters looked forward to help with housework.

One of the last times that I received visiting teachers here in Alsea, I was told not to read National Geographic, which they found on my table and I was told to get to know a single sister who quilts so that my husband and I could watch out for her. For one thing, I love reading National Geographic and for another thing, I'm was not interested in polygamy. This sister with the ideas was not some odd ball. Her husband has a high paying job at a large corporation in Corvallis.

I enjoyed the television series on HBO, Big Love. It said a lot of things and told a lot of truth.

I have other alarming concerns about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but one central concern is that they call their Sunday service is a meeting, not a sacred service to worship God or Heavenly Father. It is filled with teachings about the history of the Church and the Book of Mormon. When we lived in Gates for a short time, some of the sisters got together and objected to the fact that there was no picture of Jesus in the church. That was changed. In the Gates Branch, I didn't see any different service for Christmas or Easter. I tried to change this when I was Primary President and had the children perform a Christmas play on the nativity story that I wrote based on the Dickens book, The Year of Our Lord.

Another practice I didn't like was the instruction given to men in priesthood meetings to search for contraband in a member's home. Contraband--meaning coffee, tea, beer, or something that would violate the word of wisdom. A priesthood leader came into my home and searched my cupboards here in Alsea. They are told to ask for a glass of water and then they offer to get it. He picked out a coffee cup at the back of the shelf.

My biggest concern, that I wrote about in a letter to Salt Lake, was discovered when my husband and I were serving as church service missionaries in Salem, Oregon to help people find employment in an eight stake area at the employment center. I found a document that said there was an employment office at the stake center in Hayden Lake, Idaho. Yes, my eyeballs almost popped right out of my head because this is the place where the FBI disbanded the Nazi Party in 1999. Hayden Lake, Idaho is not a big place. If there is a stake center that means the town is full of Mormons. I remembered it on the news. I think it was this letter that the Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Corvallis told my husband to "shut me up and control me."

These are a few of my concerns that resulted in shunning. You do not receive a temple recommend, if you hang around with people who object to the church or cause you to question the teachings of the church. That pretty much wiped out friends.

I have been in the temple as often as three times a week and went faithfully every week when I lived in Salem. I think it was when we lived in Gates, I went to the Portland Temple one day and I saw a temple worker point to me. He was talking to another temple worker. He was close so I heard what he said, "She has more guts than a slaughterhouse floor." I figure that's a compliment for a writer.

I have not violated my temple recommend or commited a serious sin except for drinking coffee, tea, an occasional beer with my husband, speaking my mind, and laughing loud. I've never cheated on my husband. I've never used illegal drugs. I've never smoked cigarettes since my dad died of lung cancer. I've always tried to be good. I've stayed away from people who violate the law or are into witchcraft or use drugs my whole life. And yet...I was shunned when I was wearing a missionary badge. And NO one has said they were sorry. No one. Not one. Letters from Salt Lake said to continue to go to church, that not all leaders are doing what's right, and that I should show my example as a leader. How do you continue when you don't respect?

It's truly hard when you are shunned. It's hard to take off the garments and your faith when you are told that this is the only way your family will be together in heaven and the result is outer darkness. I was doing everything by the book. I was following the directions but when you can't respect what's going on, you are forced to make a choice to swallow your concerns and shut up or speak your mind.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Benton County Candidates

Candidates for the position of Benton County Commissioner and Sheriff came to the Alsea Library to speak to members of the community. It should have been at the Grange so more people could have attended, especially since the meeting room at the library wasn't used.

I came to support Linda Modrell for County Commissioner and Diana Simpson for Sheriff and I expressed my support.

A few months ago, I went to a County Commissioners meeting in Corvallis for the first time. I was impressed with Linda Modrell as the shining star on the board. I came to the board meeting with my expressed need for safe walking trails, a community center gym with exercise equipment, a skateboard park for young people, a pool, and a wide paved trail that would allow roller blading, running, walking, and bikes. I want to see a trail similiar to Green Lake in Seattle here in Alsea. Yeah, I know....a pie in the sky dream with low budgets and no money for such ideas, but Linda Modrell took me seriously and called me. We talked on the phone a couple of times and she encouraged me to proceed to find support. A meeting was scheduled at the library and I was the only one there.

Last year in November, I wrote a mystery novel for National Novel Writing Month. Diana Simpson was generous and kind enough to offer to read it to critique for law enforcement details since she enjoys reading mysteries. She also met with me in an interview as I asked her questions. I wanted to get to know her a little better to understand this strong woman who came to Alsea last year to meet the community. Diana has the law enforcement background in parole and probation, and experience as Under Sheriff to be Sheriff. She stands for integrity and accountability, things that I believe in too.

I learned some new things last night as I listened to all the candidates. I learned how vulnerable Alsea is in a disaster in emergency preparedness. I learned that deputies from the Sheriff's department do not always have contact with Corvallis on their radios. We need a cell tower or a radio station in Alsea.

Some community citizens expressed desire to build houses on their acreage. Some expressed concern that people are moving away and it's hurting the school. I expressed the opinion that unless clean industry comes into Alsea to provide jobs, who would buy the houses? I suggested that the proposed Benton County Jail be here in Alsea or a Casino since the Alsea Indians used to live here. We need some kind of a big box store distribution center to provide jobs here. County Commissioner Candidate, Wright (no literature was handed out so I think that's right) expressed a plan to open the old lumbermills in the area to create biodiesel out of the brush collected and cleared in the forest. Interesting idea but I would have to understand the bi-products and what it does to the environment.

I was impressed with all the candidates--good people who are stepping up to take a leadership role to serve.


Way to go, Wal-Mart!

Wal-Mart sets the standard.
Wal-Mart does it better.
Wal-Mart has a heart and cares about bringing low prices to those who need help stretching a dollar.

Yesterday, I went into the bedroom to hang up some clothes and my husband was watching Fox News on television. On the news, it said that Wal-Mart is going to test market in one of its Florida retail stores selling generic prescription drugs for $4 to help those in need. Wal-Mart is a leader with compassion.

I watched a couple of television specials about Wal-Mart and was impressed with the business model of efficiency and smooth opperation. The positive energy at its conventions and the drive to keep finding ways to do things better was impressive. My son works for Wal-Mart in Kissimmee, Florida. He tells me about how he sings marketing jingles over the loud speaker to sell his products in the garden department. He enjoys his job and I know he's good at it.

Sam Walton created Wal-Mart to bring low prices to rural America. Alsea, Oregon 97324 is a village of 600 to 1000 people. We are one hour from the coast and 45 minutes away from Corvallis. Alsea needs a Wal-Mart for the jobs, for the low prices, and to create hope. I know I would enjoy a job in the fabric and yarn department. How about it, Wal-Mart? Please come to Alsea.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Stupid King

I wrote a fairy tale this morning that I will share with you.


Once upon a time in a kingdom far away, there was a little princess with long golden curls without any friends. The princess had one major flaw. She spoke her mind, had opinions, and wouldn't keep her mouth shut. The little princess was smart with great ideas.

The King gave power to the Royal Smart Person's School to follow the princess around with video cameras and tape recorders to record her every word without her knowledge. They had to be sneaky and not let her know what they were up to but she knew something was amiss. Everyone was afraid to be a friend to the princess because they had to be very careful not to tell the princess the truth.

The people in the kingdom were sick of paying taxes so the King wanted to make money from the ideas of the little princess. The King discovered there were other ways to make money to buy the Queen all she wanted. He listened to all the tapes, hour by hour, of the words of the little princess. The King was able to fund several trips to Tahiti for the Queen based on invention ideas of the princess.

After several years, the King discovered that the princess had lost her spirit and she was no longer happy because she had no friends. This didn't bother the King but it stopped the flow of saleable ideas since the princess was sad. The King decided to send the little princess to a spa to pamper her from morning till night for a month. Then she would be happy and would think up new money-making ideas to make the King rich beyond measure. This new idea didn't work because no one could make the princess happy. The little princess knew that no one was a friend unless they told her the truth about what was happening to her. This no one would do.

The little princess with the golden curls tried to get help and people to listen in other Kingdoms. The King had contingency plans in place so no one learned the true identity of the princess with the great ideas.

The little princess with the golden curls grew sadder and sadder until she started to get sick with symptoms that needed pills and a doctor. The King called the Royal Smart Doctor with all the answers. "Oh, Royal Smart Doctor, you must make the princess happy again." The Royal Smart Doctor said, "I can do it. I have a little pill that works magic." The Royal Smart Doctor gave the little princess the pill and she died from the side effects.

The King said to the Royal Smart Doctor, "Just look at what you have done! You killed the little princess with the golden curls. Now my source of money has dried up. I'll sue you in court and take all your pennies."

The Queen heard of the calamity and told the King that maybe the little princess only needed a friend and someone to trust who wouldn't betray her. "I wouldn't have needed trips to Tahiti, if I had a true friend who was kind. Maybe the little princess could have been my friend." The Queen looked sad and was disappointed in the King.

The King looked down into the Royal Garden where the Queen sat by the Royal Timber Bamboo that was a cash crop to be made into flooring in the Royal Kingdom, one of the ideas of the little princess. "My Queen, yes, you might be right. Maybe we all made a mistake. We should have been kind. We should all have been a friend. We should have invited her to the Royal Palace for a feast. We shouldn't have been greedy and used her ideas without her permission."

The King decided to mend his ways and try a different path. He commanded the Royal Smart Person's School to find the way to happiness, friends, and peace. The King realized that maybe if people were happy and had friends, there would be enough great ideas to make every dream come true in the Kingdom. Although the little princess with the golden curls died a horrible death being isolated and alone without any friends, her life served a purpose because it changed lives for the better.


Monday, September 18, 2006

Wedding Photo

This is sure fun to add photos to my blog! Here is the wedding picture of the beautiful Amanda Label Haber married to my son, Benjamin Leslie Haber next to her. Amanda is an RN. Ben works for Zymo Genetics in Seattle and graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in biomedical engineering. He's also a great runner. On my dining room wall, I have a plaque with a photo of him coming in 174th with a time of 2:44:05 on October 11, 1998 in the Chicago Marathon. Next to Ben is me in my dress that I received lots of compliments that I bought at a bargain price at the Fashion Bug in Corvallis.

Gretchen is the oldest and Ben's sister. Gretchen is with her husband, Christopher Bennett next to her with my two beautiful grandchildren, Jack and Lizzy. Besides being a great Mom, Gretchen is the Executive Director of Liberty House in Salem. Chris is a Senior Mortgage Specialist with American Gold Mortgage Corp in Salem.

Right in front of Ben is the Amazing Alexander Haber who was the ring bearer. Alex is my handsome grandson who makes films. We created one together when we were in Seattle. I am the film editor. Alex was the Director, Actor, and Producer. The title of the film is "Good Side, Bad Side." I'm editing the film and working on the credits.

Next to Alex is Daniel, the youngest Haber and the brother of Ben, Gretchen, and Joe. Daniel works for Battell in Mountainview, California. He's a project manager with Battell working with NASA and the airline industry. Daniel graduated from Oregon State University and plans to go on to graduate school for his MBA. He went to Copenhagen Business School in Denmark during the summer of 2003 and then worked for a pharmaceutical company in Berlin, Germany for six months.

At the far left of the photo is Joseph or Joe, Alexander's father. Joe went three years to Mesa State College in Colorado and majored in music. He's written over 20 original songs and lyrics this year. He's so talented on stage and I have yet to hear anyone not love his strong, clear, and powerful voice. Joe lives in Florida and is a garden manager at Wal-Mart in Kissimmee.

Next to the beautiful Amanda, is Leslie, my husband of 34 years. Leslie went three years to the University of Illinois in Chicago before I met him. He's a Mensa.

I love my family. I wish we could be together more often. No one goes for my idea of everyone living on the same street. Maybe if I can ever make it with my writing, I can hop around and visit everyone often. I would also pay for a family cruise each year.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Married for 34 Years

I've been married to Leslie Haber for over 34 years. We eloped on April 17, 1972. We didn't go to one of those cheesy wedding chapels in Reno, Nevada. We settled for the Justice of the Peace in City Hall.

I didn't have a fancy wedding. My family wasn't gathered around. I got one wedding gift from the people I worked with--an international cookbook.

Why did I marry Leslie? I married Les because he looks like Jerry Lewis, has integrity, personal courage to do the right thing, and we were attracted to each other right from the first moment we met.

This photo was taken a couple of years ago. Les is 56 and I'm 58.

Over the years, we've been through a lot of tragedy and hardship. We've also had some great times when we've had money and had opportunities to travel.

We have the best kids in the whole world. I'm proud of every one of them. They're amazing. Gretchen, Ben, Joe, and Daniel. Aaron died in 1995.

Les was right there to help with homework, drive kids to and from school, and battle with teachers who were unfair. Les let me stay home because I wanted to be with my kids even when we didn't have a lot of money. Most men would have booted me out the door to get a job. I loved reading stacks of books, playing games, and teaching my children.

I haven't always agreed with Les about things. He doesn't dance. He does respect my right to speak my mind and is supportive. Most men wouldn't do that, if I said something they disagreed with. We agree on almost everything.

When I have ever been in the hospital which has been very little (birth of children, cancer, and bleeding ulcers), Les has been right beside me.

Now Leslie is in pain most of the time. He sure has done a great job this last year of cutting brush and making our 3.68 acres look nice. He does what he can, when he can, as much as he can. We've lived here in Alsea now for five years and I am finally adjusting.

Every morning when Les wakes up, I start coffee and we sit down at the kitchen table to play canasta. I usually win, which makes it fun for me. Les won yesterday and the day before. Oops!

We love watching the wild birds outside. The Stellers Jays have left us. So have the American Goldfinch. Where are they? The trees used to be filled with song.

Les is the one who fixes everything. He's the one I call when I have problems with the computer. He's the one I call when I need something put together. He's the one who reads directions.

Les loves watching Fox News and tells me what's going on in the world. That's his area.

I make frozen TV dinners so I don't have to cook all the time. Then I know Les gets his vegetables with his meat that he loves so much. Yesterday I made him German apple pancakes for breakfast.

Les has been my best and only friend for a lot of years now. I'm worried about him. It's sad when he goes out the door with his pruner in hand and says that he'd rather die cutting brush than in a hospital room. I told him that nothing can happen to him because I need him. I love you, Leslie.

Please God watch out for Leslie and keep him safe. Please heal his body and make him painfree.

Health Care

Millions of Americans are without health insurance. I am one of them. It's a bit scarey. I deny symptoms and try to prevent problems. I try to eat healthy out of my garden and to exercise.

What does it say when basic care isn't provided? It says that there is no safety net when something goes wrong. It says you are not of value and that you don't matter.

My husband is having problems right now. He suspects a heart condition. When he goes to see a doctor or a nurse, he said they don't use a stethoscope. Why is that? If you don't look for a problem and record evidence, then you can pretend it doesn't exist. Is this what is going on? When one of the millions without insurance keels over, no fault is found. Then there is no evidence of not providing the proper treatment because no problem existed in the first place.

I guess the medical community who is afraid of malpractice law suits have discovered a way to protect their rear end. See no problem. Hear no problem. No evidence. No problem exists. No fault found.

Maybe this is the New No Fault Insurance for the medical community.

Meet the Candidates

Republican candidate, Jim Feldkamp who is running for a seat as a U.S. Congressman came to Alsea on Wednesday evening.

I forgot to put this event on my calendar. I didn't realize that I made an error until I saw the Jim Feldkamp sign in front of the Alsea Hope Grange on Thursday on my way to the library. When I got home, I looked at my copy of the Alsea Valley Voice, our community newsletter. Yup, I'd missed it. It was the night before.

What should I have done? I should have highlighted this on my calendar. It's a great idea to meet candidates, ask them questions, listen to what they have to say and see how they field questions. It's unusual that candidates come to Alsea, which is out in the middle of no where, 45 minutes from the nearest city with bargain shopping.

I know I have been interested in politics less and less. I used to subscribe to the Congressional Record years ago when I first got married. It came in the mail every day. Over the years, I have enjoyed watching C-Span to see live debate in the House and Senate.

I am concerned about the election process. I am concerned that nothing is being done about the integrity of the election process to make sure that each vote counts and is protected. When evidence was brought forward to show that voting machines have been tampered with so that a vote for one candidate will register a vote for another candidate and nothing has been done, something is very wrong. The voting process should be of utmost concern by all people in the United States.

I remember watching BookTV on the weekend on C-Span2 when the author spoke who wrote about this very issue. His book documented evidence that the election process was tampered with throughout our nation starting with the Presidential election between Bush and Gore and then again in the last election. Something is wrong when attorneys don't come forward to protect the law and the integrity of the vote. People in power remain silent as if powerless. Why?

Until this matter is fixed, we can not be sure that our vote counts. Is the American electorate in a state of denial, marching forward anyway going through all the formality of an election process? I am worried about the integrity of the voting process.

Oregon has paper ballots. I'm grateful for that. I want my vote to count. Each vote should be guarded and protected. Each vote needs to count in every election, especially the national election.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Just as my husband and I were leaving the Consumers Power event in Corvallis today, I noticed a man with a navy shirt that said DirecTV. Of course, since I enjoy talking to almost everyone I see, I asked if he was from DirecTV. He said yes, so I said that I LOVE DirecTV.

I met Matt Webb, the owner of Global Communications at 2323 NW 9th Street in Corvallis, Oregon 97330. 541-754-9931. Matt's a nice young man who gave me three of his cards to pass out to people who want to connect to DirecTV.

Why do I LOVE DirecTV? I love it because of the great service, price, variety of programming, and my TiVo. I couldn't live without my TiVo or DirecTV. I can't imagine people with a busy schedule who want to watch their favorite shows without a TiVo. With a TiVo, you can schedule your favorite shows to be recorded to watch at a time convenient to you. You can fast forward through commercials. You can back up and pause to write down a recipe or an address. You can take notes during science shows. It's amazing. You can watch shows recorded last week in the middle of the night, if you can't sleep. You can save up movies to watch. If you work odd hours, you can have all your favorite shows waiting for your off hours. I can't just couldn't tolerate watching television the old fashioned way by sitting down and turning on the television hoping that something good is on.

Think about it.............get a TiVo and call DirecTV.

Consumers Power Inc.

Did I have a great day or what! September 9th is my lucky day. I went to the annual Consumers Power meeting for all its share holders. Everyone in the area served by Consumers Power was invited. Last year I heard from some women at quilting how great it was so I was determined to attend this year. I'm so glad I did. My husband and I had a great time.

Consumers Power is a coop and gives better service than any we have experienced living in other cities. Last year Oregon had major weather problems. When an outage occured, they are right out there fixing the problem in the worst weather. You can count on them to get the job done right and done as quickly as possible.

Not only do you get great service from Consumers Power but they invite you to an annual free chicken dinner with all the trimmings. Yes, my mind constantly centers on good food. Two pieces of crispy chicken from KFC with cold slaw, baked beans, potato salad, and one of those melt-in-your-mouth biscuits. There was also cartons of cold chocolate milk, coffee, ice cream, and delicious white cake with nice people all around you at one of the large three long tables. Each family took home an aster. I got a purple aster. I've been wanting one. They served a lot of people. It had to have been over 200. Maybe more.

During the meeting, they gave out great prizes to anyone with a winning ticket. They gave out everything from a chain saw and brush cutter to a set of knives and a blow dryer. A bald man won the blow dryer so that got a laugh. I won the perfect gift. It was something that I have been wanting for a long time--a HoMedics Sound Spa with six nature sounds (ocean, summer night, rain, rainforest, thunder, and waterfall). It's a clock radio with an alarm clock. You can work, read, and go to sleep at night or wake up listening to the sound of a rainforest or a waterfall. Since I love the sound of water, it's the perfect gift for Wendy. Thank you Consumers Power!

Mark Parker spoke during the meeting, the Voice of the Oregon State University Beavers. He was fun to listen to, especially when he recapped the great moment when the Beavers won the National Baseball League Championship. It was fun to hear that at the age of seven, he was giving a play by play account of his friends as they played basketball and baseball together. It was cute when he said his parents encouraged him as he used a tape recorder when he watched the games on television growing up to record his own sports commentary. He's now living his dream since 1999 to give the play by play of the OSU Beavers. What a great guy and a nice person! The OSU Beavers have the potential to win every game, every year. They just have to work hard and believe.

The monthly magazine, the Ruralite, was also there handing out free coffee to everyone. It would be fun to write articles for the Ruralite.

What a great day! I met so many nice people. I saw Russ Sapp (a nice family from Alsea) up on the stage who represents Alsea. I won a great gift for which I am grateful that I will use every day. I had a great lunch with KFC chicken. They gave everyone an extension cord and four 60 watt eco light bulbs. The only thing I didn't get to do was ride in the bucket. Maybe next year....

Monday, September 04, 2006

Jerry Lewis

Just where is Jerry Lewis this Labor Day? I don't see announcements of a telethon or news about Jerry.

I've always loved Jerry Lewis. He's always been my favorite for all these years. When other kids were oogling over rock stars, I oogled over Jerry Lewis. Yes, I like the Beetles and Rolling Stones but no one comes close to Jerry on my list.

My husband looks like Jerry and that's one of the many reasons why I married Les in addition to his intelligence, integrity, personal courage, and many other attibutes.

Jerry has always made me laugh. He does anything for a laugh. He's the good guy on the screen and the one with the big heart.

Les took me to see Jerry in Portland, Oregon. Jerry starred in Damn Yankies, the Broadway play. I kept my eyes on Jerry throughout from my seat. After it was over, I waited outside and stood in his way so he had to brush past me. It was awesome. They said no one could talk to him so that was it.

I wrote him a letter once but never got an answer or a signed photo.

I would love to see him on stage someday in Las Vegas. He's the draw for me. I've never had the opportunity.

For all the years of telethons and hard work to help kids, Jerry should win some momentous award--like the Nobel Peace Prize for the millions and millions of dollars for muscular dystrophy research. Jerry Lewis is a hero.

I love you, Jerry. I always will. Please get better and listen only to the best doctors.

Friday, September 01, 2006

$5 Quilt Club

Oh the fun you can have at Grandma's Attic Sewing Emporium in Dallas, Oregon! I love Rachel Greco's monthly $5 Quilt Club and Rachel is one of the women I admire.

This is how the club works. August started the new quilting year at Grandma's Attic. If you bring in $5, you receive a quilt block with fabric and instructions. Last year the theme was "She flies with her own wings," and this year is "First Ladies of America." You receive one of the amazing redwork designs created by her son and you hear stories about the First Ladies at the White House throughout history. Last month was Martha Washington and today was Abigail Adams. Rachel talked about the inspiring example of Abigail this morning and how she was intelligent with strong opinions.

Rachel Greco is a natural entertainer. Her love of research and learning shows as she shares stories of women. She is a strong advocate of women. Rachel should have her own quilting show on national television. It would sure be popular. She would be great and loved by all who love to quilt. Everyone flocks to Dallas on the first Friday and Saturday of the month for five sessions. Last year were stories about pioneer women. Not only do you learn to quilt but you feel inspired and uplifted after listening to Rachel.

Abigail was a woman of strength and leadership. Interesting that in 2006 that in the United States of America, women do not have equal rights under the Constitution.