Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I support Israel and it's policies. Israel is surrounded on all sides by Arab nations that want to not only eliminate Israel but exterminate all Jews off the face of the earth. Everyone has a right to exist and in my opinion, you can't call any religion a religion that wants to cause harm to others. If our country experienced what Israel experiences, I doubt there would be any criticism. No other country would be as nice or as tolerant as Israel has been. No country should have to tolerate the hate, the daily bombs and rockets, the threats of extermination, the lack of safety. Israel has a right to defend itself. Israel has a right to exist. The territory of Israel is the Jewish homeland. The ancient Jewish temples, buildings, and history of the area confirm the right for Israel to exist. We have gone halfway across the world to bomb countries that haven't even been proved a threat so how can anyone in this country be critical of Israel when they face daily harm?

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Big Bang Theory

I love watching the CBS television show, The Big Bang Theory and my favorite character on the show is Sheldon.


Truvia is a natural sweetner made from the stevia plant. Truvia is now sold in grocery stores. I've been waiting for this day. http://www.truvia.com/

Next I am waiting for Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi to use truvia instead of aspartame because this will help all overweight and diabetic people.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Bernie Madoff

I have been following in the news about the ponzi scheme of Bernie Madoff that amounted to $50 billion dollars. Today in the Corvallis Gazette Times is an AP article with the headline, "Some Jews fear Madoff case strokes anti-Semitism."

I watched a MSNBC special on the scandal of Bernard Madoff. It is my understanding that Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities has been in business for over 30 years with a good reputation and respect. It is only now that problems came to light at the time of the stock market crash, and bailouts for failed corporations.

I have a hard time coming to the popular conclusion that others in the news do. Putting everything in perspective, I do not see it in the same light. He isn't any different than any of the others in the news right now. I don't condone what he did because it is never okay to steal anything from family, friends or strangers. I don't like it that people are so ready to use a Jew as a scapegoat. It sounds like the actions were deliberate so it was inexcuseable but I see others in the news who have also escaped with wealth and no one is saying a word. All should be held accountable.

Does $50 billion compare to the $10 trillion dollar raid on the U.S. Treasury? None of the corporations or banks are being held accountable? They aren't even expected to pay it back? No one sees them as criminals. Why?

Does anyone point to President Bush's religion after he drove the U.S. economy into the ground? No one is seeing President Bush as a criminal after what he has done. He isn't saying he is sorry or accepting responsibility for what he has done.

Bernard Madoff admitted to his sons guilt of what happened or what was about to happen to the business. None of the heads of large corporations who have stolen money and take millions of dollars in bonus money have admitted any guilt after they have driven a business into the ground.

I remember hearing on one business network that the reason the first recent bailout was necessary was because the world economy is so delicately balanced that everything would collapse without the bailout. In other words, every financial institution in the world is dependent upon one another in order to stay afloat. One tanks and it has a dominoe effect. I think this is what happened to Bernard Madoff and others.

I wonder about Mutual Funds and if they are a ponzi scheme. The fund managers are the ones who benefit.

What about insurance companies who take your money and then don't want to pay out? What about banks who made loans to people who they knew couldn't pay them back?

Everyone should be treated the same. I watched one science show that said that the process of finding someone guilty is subjective. For every guilty person, there is an innocent person in jail. I was shocked at this. I guess if you want to see someone as guilty, they look much more guilty even if you have to distort the facts. This is unfortunate. I thought that facts were the facts.

Don't get me wrong....I am not condoning what Bernie Madoff did. He was wrong and he should be held accountable but so should others. Martha Stewart went to prison and yet the CEO of Enron wasn't held accountable. Why?

I guess what I want to say is that I see Jews as highly ethical human beings. I will always stand up for Judaism. If I were to choose one religion, I would have to say that I think that Judaism contains the basic truth.

At this point in my spiritual development, I am not sure of anything. I grew up in the Lutheran Church going to church every Sunday with my parents. At this time, the only thing that I can truly say with all honesty is that I believe in science.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New Recipes

I've been having fun trying out new recipes this month. I discovered a new bread recipe to make dinner rolls. I found a great bread recipe in Mother Earth News that I love making since you keep the dough in the refrigerator and can use it as needed. I learned how to make focaccia from a Food Network show. I just finished making a chocolate cake from scratch that is an old recipe that is great. All this food and no one but Les and I to eat it.

We are going to spend the holiday season alone this year. We are having a nice time so far. Weather has made it impossible to travel plus Les has been so sick that he wants to just spend Christmas alone.

Christmas movies

I have been watching Christmas movies nonstop since Thanksgiving. It's been fun. There are some really good Christmas movies out there and some that are not so great. I've enjoyed it as I made and finished a quilt for my husband for Christmas and as I now crochet a blanket. I also knitted two baby blankets watching Christmas movies. Oh, the fun of it all!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Norm Thompson

I received for Christmas a delicious Swedish Tea Ring pastry from my son, Benjamin. My husband and I both agree it is delicious and a special pastry for the holiday.

Please call to order yours at 1-800-821-1287 or visit http://www.normthompson.com/.

Nueske's Applewood Smoked Meats

My husband received a wonderful gift basket delivered by Fed-Ex yesterday from Amanda and our son, Ben for Christmas from Nueske's Applewood Smoked Meats. The breakfast basket was complete with everything for a delicious breakfast with lean bacon and pancake mix. It came in a nice basket that we can use for dinner rolls for meals.

If you want to surprise someone with a wonderful gift that will be appreciated and loved, please call 1-800-720-1153.
Neuske's Applewood Smoked Meats
Rural Route 2
Wittenberg, Wisconsin 54499

Shared Space System

In seven regions in the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, and the UK, the Shared Space system is being used with promising results. There are no street signs, no traffic lights, and no distinction between foot paths and roads, and yet a pedestrian can feel safe enough to walk backwards without looking through a busy intersection. Drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians must interact in the Shared Space System and watch out for each other and stop watching signs. They have found that courtesy works.

During the four years prior to the Shared Space System in one busy intersection in the Netherlands, there were eight serious accidents. During the four years after the Shared Space System was implimented, there were zero accidents. At the busy intersection, there is a round-about. In the center is a water fountain with sensors that move the water up higher during times of busy traffic and the sound of the water drowns out the noise of the traffic.

In the last few years, there have been many tragic deaths of bicyclists in the Corvallis and Philomath area. I believe we need to consider using the Shared Space System to prevent any more tragic deaths and consider using it all over Oregon.

Teach Your Baby To Read

I just watched an infomercial about the reading program for babies called Your Baby Can Read. http://www.yourbabycanread.tv/
You can call 1-800-295-2899

I know that this works because I used the ideas for these materials with my own children. In college at Oregon College of Education, now Western Oregon University, I learned in one of my education classes about the Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential. This institute studies the full range of human potential. It gives workshops and sells materials to parents. The Your Baby Can Read program comes from this research.

You have a small window of opportunity to teach your baby as a parent and given them a strong foundation for learning and success in school. When small children see that learning is fun, they amaze you with what they can learn. Nothing is impossible to learn in the first five years, if the material is explained clearly and without pressure. A few minutes a day produces amazing success.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Separation of Church and State

Many early settlers fled to the United States to get away from religious tyranny. The framers of the Constitution and Bill of Rights wanted to prevent this from happening on American soil.

The United States is the land of the free where you can have an opinion and worship as you wish without fear of repression from one powerful church that determines government policy. We are a melting pot of many philosophies, religions, opinions, and ethnic groups. All have a right to exist and deserve respect as long as they do not cause harm to others or represents hate.

However, when a church tries to violate the civil liberties and prevent some Americans from enjoying the freedoms that others take for granted, they need to be stopped and maybe it's time to look at their tax exempt status especially when our nation is severely in debt.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints actively worked to stop Prop 8 in California, just as they actively worked to defeat equal rights for women under the constitution.

Maybe a test case needs to be brought before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Survivor Gabon

I love watching Survivor. My favorites on Survivor Gabon were Marcus and Charlie. To my shock and dismay, they were voted off so I had to find a new favorite so I picked Bob. I'm glad Bob won Survivor Gabon.

I look forward to the next Survivor. I wish I could be on survivor.

Starter Wife

Starter Wife is one of my favorite shows on television. The stars of Starter Wife are Debra Messing, Judy Davis and David Alan Basche. I love Debra Messing. I loved her in Will & Grace and now I love watching her in Starter Wife on the USA Network.

At the last part of the season finale episode, Debra Messing in character of Molly Kegan said these words....
"It's time...
time to be queen of Molly Kegan's destiny and I'm ready.
Ready to celebrate and cherish the moments,
to go after what I want without any guarantees,
to leave behind the things that are wrong for me.
Ready to forgive.
Ready to face all of life's unexpected twists,
to pursue happy endings which may never come
and to let go when it's too painful to hold on.
Ready to turn the page."

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Lars Olsen, attorney at law, with offices located in Albany and Salem, Oregon was our bankruptcy attorney. He was more than our attorney because he had been in our home and we thought he was a friend. His wife is such a nice person. I wonder if she knows all that he is when he goes to work. He is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was a member of the Four Corners Ward when we became members in 1995. I used to have all kinds of dinner parties, welcome to the ward parties, baby showers, missionary parties, and lunches for women in our home on Burlwood Loop in Salem.

Life changed in the church when we tithed a medical malpractice settlement. We handed over a check to the Four Corners Ward for the amount of $16,179.00 and for the year of 1998, our yearly tithing came to $21,855.68. All of a sudden this check was not enough and we were pressured to spend more money taking care of the needs of members of the ward.

We decided to move. We purchased property at 333 Thistledown Lane in Gates, Oregon from Tim Bowman, land developer. There were problems with the property. Water was too close to the surface. We were on a hill overlooking the river. I love being up high. Les, my husband, put in a greenhouse for me, lawn sprinkling system, and faucets around the property so I could run an automatic drip system. I loved it and I had big plans to plant annuals along the wide area along the driveway and front of our house. He had a large garage built with extra storage area in back with a large fenced dog run. It turned out that as more parcels were developed the water runoff flooded the area below. In order to solve the problem, our deed was rerecorded with Ticor Title without our knowledge so that the developer could have more options with the entire acreage for development. This made it so that we couldn't sell the property. Our mortgage was with Washington Mutual Bank and they wouldn't help us. The Luba Appeal that we filed didn't work to help us that was filed by attorney, Donald Kelley. We ended up having to walk away from this property giving it back to Washington Mutual who resold the property, and we had to file bankruptcy.

Then Lars Olsen walks into the picture. We went to him for help. I have a letter dated in 2004 from a Salem attorney saying that, "You were clearly wronged....The intervening bankruptcy was poorly handled." The statute of limitations bars legal remedy. We felt betrayed.

We moved to Alsea and bought a small cottage that we can afford in 2001. We moved into a home and we had an inspection on the home that said everything was A-Okay. The inspector overlooked the fact that the water was undrinkable, and the pellet stove was broken, which is the only source of heat. Les decided that after being shunned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while serving a mission in Salem to help people find employment in an eight stake area and being betrayed by church members, he would ask for help with a new pellet stove. He thought this was fair considering the amount of tithing that we had given over the years. Alsea resident and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Carol De Young pointed out to other people in Alsea how wonderful the church was to help us buy a stove. She was part of the shunning in the church since she was a member of the relief society presidency at the time. Here in Alsea, I've been stopped from contributing in meaningful ways. I figure everything stems back to Mormons. I was asked by Relief Society what I needed. I told them that all I wanted was friendship since I knew it would be hard to live here. After all that has happened, I should put up a sign that says no Mormons allowed on our property.

When we moved into our Alsea cottage, there was a homemade water softner system that we were told used 12 bags of 40 pounds of salt EVERY month. Since the one who told us had a Ph.D. and taught at OSU, we believed him. The water at the tap was too salty to drink. I refused to drink it. After a few months, I finally convinced Les to take it out. He ended up taking it to the dump. Now we only use 4 bags of salt tablets and put it in at the well.

I still do not understand why we were treated this way in this church. Letters to Salt Lake brought responses that not all leaders are righteous but to attend anyway to be a good example. When I brought up some of my concerns to Bishop Wade Haslam of the Philomath Ward, he told my husband to "shut her up and control her," right in front of me. Wade Haslam is now the Stake President. This is how this church deals with problems and this is how they show respect for the members.

One of my concerns about this church was when I was working to serve my mission to help members in an eight stake area find employment in Salem. I came upon a document from the Hayden Lake Stake in Idaho outlining the employment goals for the members. I eyes bugged out as I saw the name Hayden Lake for I remembered that in 1999, this was the headquarters for a Nazi extremist group that was broken up by the FBI. I was shocked that there was a stake in an area that welcomed this hate group. About this time I saw a missionary come back from South America from this church. I was shocked that on the back of his missionary was a "Heil Hitler salute."

Another concern was after we moved to Alsea, my husband was told that Mormons think of themselves as the Jews of the Old Testament. Zion is supposedly in Missouri. I couldn't believe anyone could believe this. This is a major example of attempting to rewrite history.

Other concerns were about polygamy. The bishop of the Philomath Ward, Bishop Lear said that when the prophet decides that it is time to practice polygamy, he hopes that he is picked. I've heard this comment from other men in the church at other times.

I served as a member of the compassionate service committee, stake choir, primary president, secretary of the stake relief society, and a mission to help people in an eight stake area find employment. It wasn't until the end that I saw how corrupt leaders were and how they didn't practice what they preach on Sunday. Do I have any respect for this church? NO! Do I feel this church is the keeper of religious truth? NO! They use your faith in God and manipulate this faith for their own purposes. What is even more cruel is that after you faithfully go to the temple and wear the garments, that they use this belief that you will one day be reunited with your family together in heaven to manipulate your behavior. It takes a great deal of courage when you believed in all of this, wanted to do the right thing for God, to shed your garments and walk away. According to this church anyone who sheds their garments and walks away from this church enters outer darkness and is lost forever. This is brainwashing of the most cruel form. It is manipulative. It is cruel and abusive.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Ross Dress for Less

I'm really impressed with Ross Dress for Less and the treasures that you find at discount prices.

Ron Goldman

I watched an interview on television with the Goldman family who have vigorously made sure that O. J. Simpson was not allowed to get away with anything after he murdered Ron Goldman and got away with it. It makes me wonder whether laws should be changed. O. J. Simpson was not found guilty for the murders of his wife and Ron Goldman. When the truth comes out after a trial, maybe a new trial should be held to put the person behind bars for the crime they committed. Justice is not served when someone who is guilty remains free for something they did.


When I was coming home from shopping in Corvallis this week, a young woman seemed desperate for a ride. I never pick up hitchhikers but I did stop to see what this woman needed. Maybe it was because I’ve been watching a lot of Christmas movies in the last two weeks and because I’ve heard religious leaders in the past say that Jesus could be the one asking for help at the side of the road. After this experience, I will never pick up another hitchhiker no matter how innocent it seems. I will not pick up anyone with children or if they are in the middle of an accident. Never again. She could have had a gun. She could have meant to cause me harm.

I listened to her talk about the medication she was on, the trauma she experienced, and about her life. I watched as she rhythmically rocked back and forth in the seat. She obviously needed help. She needed to talk to someone professionally. She shouldn’t be driving at all. She should be living in a bigger place where she is close to the resources she needs and medical care.

I caught her in three lies and now I wonder if everything she said was a lie. First, she told me that her truck blew up and that’s why she needed a ride. When I took her home, her truck was in the drive way. Second, she told me that she lived close to town. She lived ten miles west of Alsea. Finally, she wanted a ride to her house. I didn’t feel comfortable going any further down her road so I told her she could get out in the driveway. After I backed out of the driveway, I saw a sign that said that cars shouldn’t go on the road.

No one should ever pick up a hitchhiker. I never will again under any circumstances no matter how innocent the situation seems.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

It’s interesting that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the keeper of the nativity scenes in Corvallis each year as an effort to find common ground between all churches in the area, when this church believes that anyone can be a god in the afterlife, if they are good enough, if they obey, and if they follow without question the teachings of this church and the leaders. Other churches believe that to think that you can be a god is sacriligious.

Dr. Rob Nebeker

Dr. Rob Nebeker is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a doctor with Benton County in Corvallis. My husband was prescribed medication by Dr. Nebeker that sedated him to the point where he was too drowsy to drive. He would fall asleep just sitting in a chair during the day watching television. Dr. Nebeker gave him this medication with the knowledge that my husband was driving back and forth to Salem from Alsea five days a week to finish a mission assignment for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to help members in an eight stake area find employment. Dr. Nebeker ignored a letter that my husband gave to him that I wrote outlining my concerns, fears, and questions about the high doses of medication prescribed by him. Dr. Nebeker did nothing to make sure my husband was safe or received the care he needed when trying to get off this medication.

Could it have been done on purpose since my husband and I were challenging church doctrine and practice? Did Dr. Nebeker violate his trusted position as a doctor?

Monday, December 01, 2008


I question the wisdom of bailouts to failing corporations. I think there should be a cap on greed with a check and balance system set in place by Congress. Bail-outs to large corporations who didn't do a good job of doing business in the first place without accountability, without legal documents signed that ensures that money will be put towards an agreed-upon outcome is not okay. It's like giving $5 to the spoiled bully who stomps his foot because he wants it.

Is it really okay for a bully to take all the marbles and let no one else have any, destroying the entire game while doing it? I think not.

It isn't okay for corporate heads to rob and raid the U.S. Treasury without clear, outlined programs set in place that are agreed upon that will not only return the money but strengthen this country, create jobs, and do the job of revitalizing the corporation that the money helps. It isn't okay for the corporate leaders to be given money and not do what they said they would do. Members of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are negligent when they allow this to happen. They are watching while public money is being stolen right before their eyes. I've heard one estimate that the total corporate bail-out could reach seven trillion dollars! All this without accountability or assurance that they will do with the money what they said they would, which is what is happening now.

And what about the FBI, Justice Department, and the U.S. Supreme Court? Why aren't these legal bodies doing something about the great theft of the U.S. Treasury? Why aren't they creating controls on what is being done to make sure our country remains strong? Why did Martha Stewart go to prison for something that is miniscule in comparison to what corporate leaders are getting away with now?

In listening to business commentary, I am amazed at people who say that if someone accepts a bad mortgage, it was their fault, as in buyer beware. People come to experts because they have specialized knowledge. They come because they trust. They pay a fee for this education and expert knowledge. Now everyone must be their own expert. Blame the victim.

Yes, we all must educate ourselves but if we can't trust experts to help us, what good are they? Why should anyone pay good money to an expert again? Why can't we expect as consumers that we get what we pay for? Why can't we assume that the legal system will get rid of the crooks? What about ethics? What about accountability? No one wants accountability in anything--business, government, health care, or education. Why?

It isn't okay when people are homeless and millions don't have health care for corporations to keep taking. A profit is okay but taking unlimited profit while those who buy are left out in the street to forage for food, isn't okay. There needs to be a cap placed on business profit so that everyone wins, not just those at the top holding the bag of money and power.

Everyone deserves a chance. Everyone deserves a chance to dream. Everyone deserves a good education. Everyone deserves to win, if they work hard and play by the rules. Isn't that what this country is all about?

Stem Cells

I was watching the show Beyond Tomorrow a couple of weeks ago on the Science Channel on television and saw a show about horse racing in England. When a race horse is injured, they often never race again. In England, they are using stem cells to heal the injury so the horse is about to return to horse racing and continue to make money. They are as good as new 80% of the time. They take stem cells out of the horse's bone marrow and inject it into the injury. Within a month, they are healed.

My husband has been sick for quite awhile. Now it's with the flu, bronchitis or whatever it is. I was thinking that if he were injected with stem cells taken from his bone marrow, it would do the trick. A simple injection into the lungs would heal. I imagine this same procedure would heal people with breast cancer, lung cancer, and all types of disease from which people die. It's already being used to heal people with heart disease to repair the heart muscle.

We need to do research with stem cells so that we are able to regenerate and heal our bodies.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

I wrote a letter to the editor to the Corvallis Gazette Times and it was printed on 11-25-08. Here's what I wrote:

Attention in the news has been drawn to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as gays storm Mormon temples across the United States because of the actions taken by this church to defeat Prop 8 in California.

Mormons also played a major role in defeating the equal rights amendment to the Constitution for women, while every day women and young girls are abused in Utah by polygamous marriage.

Maybe someone should question the tax-exempt status of this church since they can't seem to respect the constitutional amendment that is supposed to separate church and state.

Blacks, gays, and women have all been discriminated against by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at different times. So have intellectuals who dare to question leaders and their doctrine that changes as time passes.

I thought God loves everybody and wants everyone to shine.

My letter was signed:
Wendy Marie Haber
Alsea, Oregon

People came to the United States of America with the hope that they would be free to worship as they want and that no church would be powerful enough to dictate government policy when our country was in its infancy. People came to this country to be free to have their own opinion and to be able to worship as they choose. People still come to this great melting pot to be free. When churches become political action committees, they are crossing over into a grey area that has yet to be challenged by the U.S. Supreme Court. Having U.S. government money go to pay for private religious schools is also a grey area that has yet to be challenged. Prayer is not allowed in public schools. Why? Because a prayer usually hints of one religion over another. To prevent discrimination, it is not done.

NANOWRIMO 2008 Winner

I just finished National Novel Writing Month around 2 p.m. today with 50,398 words as wendywrites. The title of my novel is The Last Hurrah. I think it's mainstream fiction but it has mystery and suspense elements in it. I had so much fun this month. I love my characters and I want to write a sequel to see what other adventure they will have next.

I'm very impressed with this website. http://www.nanowrimo.org/ has helped so many writers accomplish their dream of writing and finishing a novel. I'm proud of myself that I finished, in spite of being sick, and having other things that urgently needed my attention. I'm proud that I finished despite everything. I'm proud that my book is the best first draft of a novel that I have written so far and I plan on writing a screenplay this April based on this book. http://www.scriptfrenzy.org/.
Please go to these websites and donate money to keep the great work of these websites moving forward. Please donate generously. Please. I can't think of a website that helps so many writers actually achieve their goal of finishing a novel. Thousands all over the world participate. It's inspiring. Hats off to Chris Baty, the writing hero, who started the whole thing ten years ago!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

President Elect Barack Obama

I am so happy that Barack Obama was elected President. I have felt such a renewal of hope and faith in the future of the United States and in the political process. I am deeply grateful and humbled by his inspirational example, leadership, ethics, and service at this critical time in our nation.

Right after the election results came in, people took to the streets in large cities all over the United States and all over the world to celebrate. It was as if a dictator was overthrown. I think that's exactly what happened.

God bless Barack Obama and protect him so he can create change and bring hope back into the hearts of every American.

Harper's Magazine

I started reading the December, 2008 issue of Harper's Magazine last night at midnight and am almost finished.

There are some important articles that should be read by everyone.

On page 16 is a short sidebar of a speech given by Will Rogers in 1922 to The American Bankers Association that has special relevance to banking today, especially considering the economic and financial collapse of the last couple of months.

Pages 39 to 48 is an essay about Mandela and Africa. It outlines the extreme danger, lawlessness, and violence in Africa.

Then is a report titled, Justice After Bush, Prosecuting an Outlaw Administration from pages 49 through 60. This courageous article calls for justice and that laws be respected in this country. It outlines how the Bush administration has abused constititional rights and committed war crimes. The U.S. Constition and laws should be the highest authority.


Writers Network

There is Food Network on television. There is Fit TV. There needs to be Writers Network for 24 hour programming on television filled with interviews of writers, coverage of book festivals, interviews of book and magazine editors and agents, workshops given by writers, and a reality show thrown in with challenges for writers.

The reality show for writers could be like Project Runway on the Bravo Channel. Each week writers could be given the challenge to write poetry, a nonfiction article, an essay, or a short story. Then the stakes could be raised to end with writing a novela or a screenplay. It would be glorious.

Miami Book Festival

On Saturday and Sunday, I was glued to the television watching C-Span 2 watching the 25th annual Miami Book Festival, an event that I love watching. Individual interviews of writers and panels of writers discussing their books fill the eight hours of daily coverage on Saturday and Sunday shown on C-Span 2. It's inspiring for writers and it sparks the interest of anyone who loves to read.

For me, the best part of the Miami Book Festival each year is Dave Barry. No one comes close for me. He's funny, easy-going, and I love watching him. He always talks about the Rock Bottom Remainders, the band that several best-selling, gifted writers play in at these book festivals. Speaking after Dave Barry was Frank McCourt who was also planning on playing with the Remainders. Why doesn't C-Span2 broadcast the Rock Bottom Remainders? Why? It would be wonderful to see Stephen King, Amy Tan, Dave Barry, Mitch Album, Barbara Kingsolver, and others playing together and having fun.

C-Span 2 on weekends covers interviews and writing events of non-fiction writers but they don't cover fiction. This is a serious lack in television that needs to be filled by starting a Writers Network, a channel with 24 hour programming filled with interviews of writers, workshops for and by writers, and maybe a reality show thrown in with challenges for writers.

National Novel Writing Month

November is National Novel Writing Month. This challenge started by Chris Baty 10 years ago has inspired writers world wide to try to finish the first draft of a novel in 30 days. By turning out approximately 1700 words a day, you end up with 50,000 at the end of November. I am in awe of this accomplishment of Chris Baty and all that he has accomplished.

I completed the challenge in 2005 and I'm working on it again this month as wendywrites. I'm behind in my word count at the moment but plan on working hard to catch up despite bronchitis and not feeling well. I'm having fun with my characters who are onboard a houseboat sailing up the Willamette River. Yesterday they started the Floating on the River band as they are cruising through Albany.

The challenge of writing the first draft of a novel in a month is a great writing exercise for any serious writer or anyone who wants to be a serious writer.

In April, there is Script Frenzy, which is the challenge to write the first draft of a screenplay in a month. http://www.screenfrenzy.org/. Script Frenzy was also started by Chris Baty.

I love challenges and I enjoy the competition to try to make it to the finish.

Chris Baty should win the Nobel Peace Prize for this great accomplishment of inspiring writers all over the world. Bands should play, fireworks shoot off in the sky, and balloons should rise each time that he walks by writers. He has made it possible for many writers to achieve their dream of writing a novel. National Novel Writing Month is the reason why I finished my first mystery novel.

Friday, November 14, 2008

BalletMet Columbus

During my visit to Columbus, Ohio, I visited the BalletMet Columbus to see the ballet, Dracula on October 18th. This event was a wonderful gift from my son, Daniel and his girlfriend, Jodee. It was an enchanting night to see the talented and gifted dancers perform. The chorography for each dancer told the story of Dracula perfectly and had the crowd mesmerized with the elegant costumes and dancing.

It was a magical night that I'll never forget.

Miller's Bakery

During my visit to Ohio in October, I visited Miller's Bakery. It was the BEST bakery that I have ever been to in my life. I don't know how in the world we found it. We traveled on roads that seemed only wide enough for an Amish buggie. Miller's Bakery is in Amish country in Millersburg near Charm. As you walk in the door, there are bags of homemade noodles of all kinds, different types of flour, spices, pastries, cakes, homemade fresh bread, candy, donuts, and much more. I got two cookies and I'll never forget how great they were. They were huge, soft, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious made-with-love cookies. They were about four inches across and a half an inch thick. There were a great variety of different kinds of cookies and they all looked delicious. Miller's Bakery is the example to point to when someone says "if you build it, they will come." It was crowded and it's worth the trip.

Miller's Bakery is open on Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and are closed on Sundays. The phone number is 330-473-8175. The address is 4280 TR 356 in Millersburg, Ohio 44654. It is located off SR 557 near Charm.

Visit Miller's Bakery and eat a couple of cookies for me. If you love a great bakery, you'll be happy you went to Miller's Bakery. It's worth traveling the extra miles because you sure aren't going to find better baking anywhere.

Der Dutchman

I visited Columbus, Ohio from October 14th to October 21st. I had a great time. The plane ticket was a gift from my son, Daniel and it was wonderful to see him.

During this visit, I went to the BEST restaurant that I've ever eaten at in my life--Der Dutchman. It was in Walnut Creek in Amish country. The food was all made from scratch from the freshest ingredients. I ordered the Amish Country Sampler for $11.49. This is what it says on the menu about my selection, "At an Amish barn-raising meal or a Mennonite church potluck there is always a variety of meats and lots of home-cooked foods to try. The sampler will give you a taste of our most popular items. Includes real mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, green beans or cream corn, dinner rolls, and salad bar. Choose between broasted or baked chicken, roast beef, ham or turkey." I had tender melt-in-your-mouth turkey and chicken. Everything was delicious. Everyone who served the tables and at the desk treated everyone with respect and consideration. You are treated as an important guest. You are given the best food and made to feel special. I'll never forget this meal. Der Dutchman has set the highest standard of excellence in my mind for a restaurant, no matter where or what the price.

It's definately worth the trip to travel to Walnut Creek, Ohio to visit Der Dutchman. I'm never forget seeing the black buggies and horses on all the roads, the kind people in the area, and the picturesque farms.

Preventing Dental Cavities

I was watching Beyond Tomorrow on the Science Channel and enjoyed learning about the great advances in dental medicine and practice in Sweden. Dr. Charlotte Mattsson from Gotenburg, Sweden has been working on new research to prevent cavities and the end to the drilling of teeth at Gotenburg University. I think it's time that we learn from the greatest advances in medicine from other countries who are more advanced than we.

Preventiion should always come first. Now when patients come into see Dr. Mattsson at Odontologen in Gotenburg for a routine visit, they get a single spray of good bacteria. Dr. Mattsson has found that good bacteria inhibits bad tooth decay bacteria and that by adding beneficial bacteria back in the mouth, it prevents cavaties. Yahoo! I think we should listen. I think we should learn from this research and dental practice.

Any time I hear about anything from Sweden, I'm interested because my Dad's family all came from Sweden. I would love to visit Sweden someday.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Last night I watched the special on stress called KILLER STRESS, A NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SPECIAL. After last night I wonder if my telemeres are long and capped or short and frayed. Stress kills.

A 40 year study in England showed that civil servants display chronic stress when they are at the bottom of the hierarchy and it lessens as you go up the ladder. If you have no social status, no support to say "you're great," and make less money, you are wallowing in the dumper of stress that breeds disease and early death. This research shows how our social standing can make us more or less stressed.

Even baboons in East Africa who live out in the middle of no display chronic stress. They use three hours of their day to find food and use the rest of the time to make each other miserable and cause social stress. The primates with the most power show the least stress.

This tells me that it is important if you are a new parent to make sure your child is one of the chosen. Make sure your child is positioned in the best schools with the best teachers so that he goes to one of the best universities to get the best job so he will have the best friends and all the good things the world has to offer. Otherwise he will suffer from chronic stress.

Everyone needs to find something that they can feel good about and take pride in. Everyone needs to develop a talent or ability to counter stress. Exercise is a great way and eating healthy. Do all you can to keep those telemeres long and capped. Don't let your chromosomes unravel. Better yet go to www.livestrong.org. We can't all live the wonderful life without stress. Live Strong will help to give balance and teach how to get rid of stress.

Live Strong

The Lance Armstrong website www.livestrong.org is a tremendous resource for everyone who commits to living healthy. I just took a look at it last night and I'm so impressed with everything it has to support anyone wanting to lose weight, eat healthy, and exercise. There are great articles about all areas of healthy living. Take a look and join.

Community Planning

Someone in Congress needs to draft a bill to pass legislation that all new housing developments constructed from now on meet criteria that plans for the future. All homes need to have solar panels and green roofs. They need wind mills in the complex that provide energy for all the homes. Laws need to be passed that only energy efficient vehicles can be used by the citizens. Walking and biking trails need to be throughout, [not used by any motor vehicles] with access from the homes to schools, all shopping, and recreation. This is what I would do if I were a member of the House or Senate.

CNBC and Hunt for Black Gold

I watched part of the HUNT FOR BLACK GOLD on CNBC hosted by Maria Bartiromo last night. I enjoy watching CNBC for news and for business. I am astounded by the decisions that are being made by leaders of business and government regarding our future. If peak oil was reached in 2005 and a steady decline of world oil is on the horizon, why did Mike Coyle of Chevron in Richmond, California say "we need to be looking at alternative energy?" Isn't this a little late to just put it on the agenda? These leaders in their field have known about this for years. They have the charts and graphs. They have the studies. Why are they just talking about it now? They aren't DOING anything about it. We should have done something about this crisis years ago. Since Chevron purchased the most expensive off-shore oil drilling rig in history in 2006, it doesn't look like they have plans for alternative energy. They are putting their money on oil and want to drill, drill, drill.

Sarah Palin wants to drill, drill, drill in Alaska. She says that Obama is naive about thinking we can find all answers in alternative energy. I disagree with her. This is an energy emergency. One expert on this show said that they have drilled 240 dry holes in the arctic and that we've already drilled for 40 years. He said that it looks like swiss cheese up in Alaska.

The United States has 2% of the oil but we use 25% of world oil. Not a pretty picture. Something is wrong here. Don't tell me that they didn't see this coming. Why didn't they plan for it? Here Bush wants billions of dollars handed over as a blank check to his buddies right now in Washington. I'm interested to see if the Senate and House are dumb enough to vote for giving carte blanche to Bush and his cronnies.

Why wasn't an energy plan put into place years ago to make the United States energy independent? What are they doing in Congress? If the big oil companies in the United States are expected to lead the way to alternative energy, they aren't doing it. 5% of world oil is owned by American private oil companies. 95% of world oil is government owned by the big 6--Iraq, Iran, Saudia Arabia, India, Venezuela, Russia. Isn't China included? The 95% big six are not friends with us. They are unpredictable and politically unstable. One person on this show said that we are a "nanosecond away from some crisis in the middle east" that could threatenen the supply of oil to the U.S. Why, oh, why haven't we made responsible plans for our future? The chair of petroleum and geosystems engineering department at the University of Texas said "the dream is over. It's over forever."

Then I hear last night that one of the Arab nations [I don't know how to spell it] is developing alternative energies to sell back to us. The program is using new technology, solar, wind, and energy efficiency. Boy, are we idiots or what? And when we are supposedly at war with these countries and they are supposed to be our enemies as told to us by Bush, then why did I read in the Corvallis Gazette Times that Oregon State University is sending engineering professors to start a school to teach students and future engineers in Iran. This doesn't make a bit of sense to me.

I haven't heard one mention about MDI, Motor Development International in Nice, France who has developed the air car. The brilliant engineer has developed a car powered by compressed air that moves the pistons. Clean, breathable air is emitted. It uses gas to compress the air to move the pistons. It only takes one tank of gas to drive all the way from NYC to LA. The new air car will be available in 2009 for around $14,000. Australia is also developing technology with air cars. The air cars and trucks that are being developed sounds like the best answer and no one is talking about it. Why? Are we in bed with the Arab nations? Did Bush sell out the United States years ago?

We need to vote for Barack Obama. We need to wake up and start looking at the facts and not listening to spin from the Republican party who wants to rob us blind. The stock market tanked. Banks are failing. How much more needs to happen before people wake up in this country?

Bill Maher

I enjoy watching Bill Maher. I don't have HBO right now so I can't watch him. If I could change his show and have the opportunity to watch him, I would take out all the guests. I want to hear Bill Maher, not everyone else. I want to hear his take on political events and life. One guest is fine. One at a time but so many all together pollutes the full flavor of Bill. His brilliant mind, slashing wit, and uncompromising truth telling is refreshing.

I just did a search and I see that Bill Maher is going to be on Conan O'Brien on the 30th so I'll watch. I always watch Craig Ferguson. I'll record them both.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Neil Cavuto

I really like Neil Cavuto. I've watched him for several years on and off. He's now on the Fox Business News Channel. He's brilliant. He asks the difficult questions. He's thoughtful. He doesn't spin the facts but has the courage to look at the truth to try to figure out what's going on and how to find a solution. He's perfect just the way he is. If you want insight into what's going on in business, tune in to Neil Cavuto on Fox Business News.

Fashion Bug

Fashion Bug is a great place to buy clothes. My husband loves to shop and he brought home some of the nicest things for me last year. Everything was on sale. Practical and easy-care tops to wear anywhere. They have cute everything. Take a look around. Look for the sales. Look at the clearance racks. Find the perfect dress, blouse, or pair of pants at Fashion Bug.

Bed Bath and Beyond

Bed Bath and Beyond is a great store. My husband loves to shop there and so do I. However, at this time, I have no money to do any shopping so I just stay home. The last thing that my husband bought there was yellow rubber duckies to put on the bottom of the shower so I don't slip and fall. They're so cute.

This store has everything for the home and the kitchen. If you need something for your kitchen, go to Bed Bath and Beyond because it's there. They have it. When you're perusing recipe books and you need an odd kitchen tool, go to Bed Bath and Beyond. When you want a great gift, go to Bed Bath and Beyond. It's also a great place to look around to dream and plan for what you want to buy next.


Is it possible to become wealthy today? I read the other day that the three secrets of wealth are to make more money, invest in items that appreciate, and don't buy what you don't need.

Rising gas and food prices make it difficult to even keep even in this economy. Unemployment is up. My husband told me that he saw on Fox News a former mortagage broker who is sleeping in a parking lot in her car in Santa Maria, California. She has been homeless for 6 months. Abandoned homes are taken over by gangs. The police watch the parking lots in San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria where new homeless people sleep in cars. Boy, what a different place and how things have changed. San Luis Obispo used to be a upscale, wealthy community. It is hard to believe this is happening.

How do you invest in things that appreciate right now? The stock market tanked. You used to be able to buy a home and have it appreciate but now homes are depreciating.

I don't think that people are buying extras right now, unless they are rich. Everyone is having a hard time just putting food on the table and gas in the car.

I think it is always possible to make it better for yourself but it takes more work to learn what you need to do at this time. You must be creative. You must work hard. You must save whatever money you get. You must be competitive and do everything better than the next person so your skills are wanted and needed. There is always hope for a better tomorrow but it is a little harder to do it now.

The one show on television that is really helping people today find ways to make it is The Big Idea on CNBC with host Donny Deutsch. He's despensing valuable information. I have tried several times to call or e-mail but I haven't heard from anyone. He's helping so many people. I think that this show is probably the most important show at this time.

Boston Legal

I love watching Boston Legal created by David E. Kelley. James Spader is the ultimate attorney when he closes in the courtroom with passion using the perfect argument to win impossible cases. The character James Spader inspires. This is the last season. When it's gone, it's gone but you can always go out and buy the DVD's of each season.

I wonder what Kelley is going to write next? I loved Boston Public and Ally McBeal. Everything he writes is cutting edge and out of the box.

Second Life

I love to watch the Science Channel and see all the things that is possible on the show Beyond Tomorrow. The website Second Life looks intriguing. Linden Lab is headquartered in San Francisco, which is the home of Second Life. This virtual world, created by Philip Rosedale, allows the participant to escape into another life. It is not a game. There are no levels or scores. You exist as an avatar, a virtual representation of yourself. You can fly. You can build a house, buy items in a store, create a business, and make real money. 1000 linden dollars equals $3.00. At the time the show was made there are 150,000 users and this website is growing 10% a month. The membership is free.

This is for busy people who don't have time to socialize and it is for people who for some reason do not have opportunities to interact with people. One woman makes her living on Second Life. She spends 12 hours a day and never talks to a real person.

I looked at the website but I don't have DSL so it doesn't work for me to try it out. It encourages businesses and schools to represent themselves on the website so take a look at www.secondlife.com.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Human Behavior

I find it so interesting and intriguing that people can be so mean and unkind to one another by manipulating, name-calling, shunning, and think nothing of it. They don't claim responsibility for what happens. They don't feel like they did any thing wrong when they turn their back on people who need help. They don't feel like they did any thing wrong when they gossiped. They don't feel like they did any thing wrong when they knew someone needed a friend and didn't take the time to extend a hand. They didn't feel like they did any thing wrong when they were selfish and didn't share. Instead of talking and communicating, it is easier to assume you know the answers. People want to believe answers that keeps them guiltless and protected.

I remember visiting in a nursing home and listening to an elderly heart-broken woman waiting for her daughter to visit. "She comes to town to visit her friends," she said. She was so sad that she didn't get an hour with her daughter.

People pass by the homeless on the street and ignore them as if they are invisible. They pass by the homeless and feel no responsibility to help them. And yet if enough support systems are cut away, many could be homeless. Are they really so different than anyone else?

Young people who feel a lack of support for their dreams deserve better. Now it is in the news that the national drop out rate is 25%! That's horrible. Everything should be done so that all children and young people find success in school so they can have a better life and make their dreams come true.

Lonely people are left alone. There is a collapse of values in this country. No one cares about the other.

People who want to be in control ignore offers of help to make things better in schools or in a community. I think we are in a place in this country where we need everyone to work together to make things better. I think we need to be kind to each other.

Economy Collapse and Bail Out

Years ago when $100 was missing, all employees had to take a lie detector test. Years ago when my husband was a manager of a finance company, this was common practice. Now millions can be stolen from a business and no one bats an eye. Now business leaders who steal are given million dollar severance packages to leave and keep their mouth shut.

Years ago when high interest rates were charged, it was called usury by loan sharks. Now it's acceptable business practice by banks and credit card companies.

Years ago when you used to qualify for a mortgage loan, you had to provide proof of income and a down payment. A few months ago, you could get a loan without any proof of income and a loan would be more than the property was worth.

Now people act surprised that the economy and market sector is collapsing in on itself. If people truly didn't see it coming, they shouldn't have held these positions of fiscal responsibility. They knew it was coming and they were getting rich off of it. President Bush allowed this to happen so his friends could get richer and richer. This is the result of failed Republican policies.


Corn on the cob is one of my favorite foods. Yesterday I picked six and look forward to eating corn for the next few weeks from my garden.

Craig Ferguson

I look forward to watching Craig Ferguson, the star of The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson every day. Not all shows on television are funny but this one is. The show last night on Thursday or early Friday morning didn't record. Something went wrong. It only recorded the first seven minutes, right after the cheeky monkey beginning. It had a message that said that "this station is temporarily unavailable" but it didn't ever finish recording. Sorry I missed it.

Craig Ferguson is a funny guy and keeps America laughing. We need more laughter in our lives and Craig Ferguson does his part by making sure that we have a daily dose of fun. Thanks, Craig. I hope you are on tonight.

Alan Alda

On the Wednesday night show of The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Alan Alda was a guest hawking his new paperback out called THINGS I OVERHEARD WHILE TALKING TO MYSELF. It sounds like a good book. I remember watching the science show with Alan Alda as host but most of all, I remember Alan Alda from MASH. It was a great comedy.

My husband's cousin by marriage, David Haber, was an architect and set designer. He designed the sets for MASH. David Haber also designed the MacDonald's play yard structures. David Haber passed away. He was married to Carol Goldberg [later changed to Olbur] who is my husband's first cousin. It is a strange coincidence that she married someone with the last name of Haber. I didn't ever meet David or Carol Haber but I always wanted to. My husband told me that they once had Jerry Lewis over to their house. When my husband, Les visited their home in the LA area, Carol had acting classes in their home. It sounds like they were interesting people.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Run for your Life

My son, Benjamin Haber, who is an elite distance runner sent me the following link to a U.S. News and World Report article:


What this article basically says is that the myths that running causes joint damage is baloney. It says that "older runners live longer and suffer fewer disabilities than healthy non-runners."

So I wrote back to Ben to say I would give it a try today. What have I got to lose? Nothing. I am convinced that there are only two people in the world who care whether I live or die--my sons Benjamin and Daniel. My husband cares but he's not the most uplifting person since he's sick all the time. So I thought I would give it a try today and I did. First thing, I ran and walked in front of my house on South Fork Road for 12 minutes. A start. Then when I walked up South Mountain Road this morning, I ran and walked all the way down. I usually walk only two miles. I walk one mile up to the place above a rock quarry with a gorgeous view and then I walk back down. Usually it takes me an hour and a half to almost two hours because I walk slowly, look around, watch rabbits scamper into the brush, look for birds, take photographs, and enjoy being outside. So this morning it took me 53 minutes to walk up to the stump at the one mile mark and it took me 28 minutes to run and walk back home. How come I feel so much better? Running makes me feel great. Ben is right. I need to start running. He's always tried to encourage me to run. It is amazing to me that I could feel so good and not breathe very hard coming back down South Mountain Road. It felt great. Running heals everything. Running is good. Running means health.


Bailing out AIG isn't going to make it all better. It's the tip of the iceberg. So did we borrow more money from China or are we printing worthless money to bail out AIG? What happens when the credit cards default that starts more bank failures?

Corvallis, Oregon is supposed to be one of the more affluent cities in Oregon and the United States. So how come when my husband shops four times a month going to six stores for bargains that the stores are empty and the clerks say, "that's the way it is now."

Our country's economic structure is headed for collapse and bankruptcy. I don't think we've seen anything yet. We can thank the Republican party, President Bush and the unbriddled greed of crooked leaders of business. Do you really want to vote for any candidate who wants to privatize social security and put the social security trust fund in the hands of business idiots who have caused the choas in the housing market, the stock market, the banking crisis, and the failure of large corporations?

Part of the problem is that large corporations allow top managers, vice presidents, and board room members to vacation at work by taking the big salary, delegate their work, play golf, and not earn their pay. This allows all kinds of crooks to manipulate the figures and the books, and steal. Read all about it in EXECUTRICKS by Stanley Bing who outlines how to retire while you're still working. This needs to end now.

Another thing that needs to end now is paying off CEO's who fail and who steal by rewarding their failure with million dollar severance packages.

Ronald Reagan said that communism takes away your right to fail. Even the Reagan Republicans who have allowed all this to happen don't listen to their leader. Our country is broken and Republicans are responsible.

We need change. We need the strong leadership of Barack Obama to get our country out of the mess caused by failed Republican policies.

Monday, September 15, 2008

James Patterson

I've been reading a lot of James Patterson lately. I love his novels. Since August 6th, I've read 12 books and out of those, 5 have been by James Patterson. I can recommend the following books with enthusiasm and tell you that you will become addicted to his books too, once you start just one.

Craig Ferguson

I love to watch the Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson. He makes me laugh. He makes me happy with his boyish grin. I really loved seeing his sister, Lynn Ferguson on the show. She's fun, clever, and I'd love to be part of her group of friends. I also loved seeing his brother on the show. He was cute too and so talented. I can see that it must have been fun to be part of the household of Craig Ferguson growing up.

One of the best shows of Craig Ferguson was the other night when he stood up for voting and learning about candidates. I thought at the time at his eloquent speech that Craig Ferguson could run for office and win, just like other celebrities who care about our great country and want to make it better.

Senator Gordon Smith

Senator Gordon Smith is running for reelection. Will I vote for him? No. One of the main reasons is because of his voting record in the Senate, because he hasn't protected Oregon, and because he's a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or LDS or a Mormon. Oh, you say, that's not nice to consider a person's religion. Well, if you had my experience, you might think twice. My husband tells me about an attorney who defends perverts and criminals who brags on Sunday that "I can get anyone off!" My husband heard him in this church in Corvallis. Is this really the kind of ethics you want to vote for? Oh, you say, one creep doesn't make everyone a creep. Well, I disagree because a lot of financial scams comes out of Salt Lake City. I've seen first hand the duplicitious behavior and the situational ethics. I've had my fill of it.

Senator Gordon Smith who is head of Mrs. Smith's frozen pies regularly pollutes the environment here in Oregon. Does he clean up his mess? No. The Pie Man pays the fines instead. Over and over he continues to pollute. Do I respect this? No.

The Willamette River should be full of salmon and trout. The Willamette River should have lots of little row boats with men fishing on a Saturday or Sunday. Does this happen? No! If you get close, it stinks. Pulp and paper mills, chemical industries have poured their chemicals into this river for years. We need to clean up Oregon, clean up the Willamette River, protect the environment, have universal health care, protect social security, protect children, end the shame of having homeless people, halt unbridled greed and unethical behavior, and protect the Constitution of the United States.

Privatizing social security will be the end of social security. Banks are failing right and left right now. Bail outs are unprecedented. Republicans just want social security money to keep it going a little longer. When the money goes, the elderly will be out on the street living under bridges eating out of dumpsters. Senator Gordon Smith doesn't want to protect social security. He wants to privatize social security. Bah, hum bug!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I've been walking up South Mountain Road for the last month quite regularly. I've lost only 5 pounds. I've also been trying to eat healthy and count calories.

Here's what I've done:
August 17--Sunday 1 hour, 20 minutes
August 18--Monday 1 hour, 30 minutes
August 19--Tuesday 1 hour, 36 minutes
August 23--Saturday 1 hour, 47 minutes
August 25--Monday 1 hour, 58 minutes
August 25--Monday 2 hours, 23 minutes
August 26--Tuesday 4 hours, 16 minutes
August 27--Wednesday 1 hour, 55 minutes
September 1--Monday 1 hour, 28 minutes
September 4--Thursday 1 hour, 46 minutes
September 5--Friday 1 hour, 40 minutes
September 7--Sunday 1 hour, 50 minutes
September 8--Monday 1 hour, 20 minutes
September 9--Tuesday 2 hours, 3 minutes
September 10--Wednesday 1 hour, 43 minutes

I think that most people would lose weight doing this but not me. I heard on the news about new research about the European fat gene. Well, I guess I got one of those. They said that you need to exercise and sweat four hours a day in order to keep your weight down. So I guess I need to up the amount of time that I exercise every day. The only time during this month period that I lost a few pounds was August 25 and August 26 when I exercised for four hours each day. Sometimes I wish I lived in an apartment across from Timberhill Athletic Club where I could swim every day and take classes. I would also use the elliptical runner for one hour every day. I really wish I could afford a gym quality Precor Elliptical runner at home. It would be great.

Daniel Haber

Daniel is my youngest son. This week he's in Washington, D.C. taking a week-long class on doing business in Washington for his MBA program at Ohio State University. I talked to him a couple of nights ago. He visited the House of Representatives and the Senate where he heard Senator Hillary Clinton speak on behalf of her transportation bill. How exciting and inspirational!

I love Washington, D.C. There is so much to see. Some of the greatest museums are there, like the Smithsonian. My husband and I visited the city in June of 1995 for eight days. I loved seeing the Supreme Court, the Senate and House of Representatives, the Smithsonian, the Holocaust Museum, the Lincoln Memorial. I loved it all. History is everywhere in Washington, D.C. and I would love to go back someday.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Conversations with Michael Eisner

Conversations with Michael Eisner is a new interview show on CNBC. It is smart, bold, and edgy. It is just Michael Eisner with his choice to be interviewed. He is respectful but asks the difficult questions that elicit insight and reflection. This is the best interview show I've seen.

Sarah Palin

On the cover of the September 15th issue of Time Magazine is Sarah Palin with a feature article. After watching her during the Republican Convention and on other news shows, and reading this article, I have real concern about her as a candidate.

First of all, what does it say about John McCain who selects a running mate after meeting her once and is surprised by secrets? Obviously, he is impulsive and didn't fully check her out.

As mayor, Sarah Palin asked the library about banning books. As a lover of books and an staunch advocate who believes the library shouldn't ban books, this deeply concerns me.

It says in the Time article that "she has continued to play down social issues as governor." What does this mean to me? This means that the average person in the United States is not going to be better off or helped with Sarah Palin in office. The rich are going to continue to get richer and it means four more years of the same failed Republican policies, maybe worse.

Sarah Palin doesn't want anyone around who doesn't agree with her. She gets rid of them. The Time article said, "Palin stands accused of sacking the state's top cop because he wouldn't fire Wooten, a state trooper who is in a messy custody battle with Palin's younger sister.

I will NOT vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin. I see this right wing extremist ticket as a danger to the United States, to the freedoms of this country, to the Constitution, and to the people the government is supposed to protect and help.

As a Centrist and member of the Democratic Party, I will proudly cast my vote for Barack Obama and Joseph Biden. Even Sarah Palin's husband's step mother is considering voting for Barack Obama!

Assisted Suicide

Oregon is the assisted suicide state. I couldn't object more. This is the antithesis of everything a doctor stands for. Recently in the news a woman with cancer was told by state health insurance in Oregon that they would not pay for treatment but they would be glad to pay for assisted suicide. Wow!

I have grave concern for babyboomers in the years ahead who get sick in this country. AARP reports that many older people with medicare and other insurances are having problems finding a doctor who will help them.

The answer, if you aren't lucky enough to be rich, is to work hard at keeping yourself healthy by exercising, eating healthy foods, and destress.

Project Runway

I searched for this show at the suggestion of Craig Ferguson who is the host of the Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson. I'm so glad I found it on the Bravo Channel.

This is a fun, off-the-charts creative reality show. The challenge for the show I watched was for a group of young fashion designers to design wearable garments from Saturn car parts. Yes, I said car parts! The group loaded up tail lights, seat belts, upholstery, and other stuff in carts and their imaginations started turning. Within hours, designs were drawn and garments were sewn. I love this show. One judge told one young woman who won the competition that her dress was good enough to take to Paris.

Project Runway reminds me of the clothing design class and competitions at Oregon State University when the students used to come into Joann Fabrics in Corvallis where I used to work. It was fun and exciting to wait on these students and listen to their dreams for the future and see their designs.


I finally got to see the Pixar animated movie, Ratatouille. It fills my heart and inspires. As the restaurant critique in the movie said, "The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends....not everyone can be a great artist but a great artist can come from anywhere." I believe that too. What a great movie to watch again and again.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Tom's Toothpaste

Tom's tartar control plus whitening toothpaste of Maine is now my favorite toothpaste and my only toothpaste.

My son, Benjamin told me about it when he visited a couple of weekends ago. He let me try some. He said it made his mouth feel better and I agree. In fact, it is a dramatic difference. I have had inflamed gums and sometimes it felt like my mouth was teeming with bacteria, no matter how often I brushed.

Tom's Toothpaste is the answer and I'll never change back to Crest or Colgate Total.

Tom's of Maine, Inc.
302 Lafayette Ctr.
Kennebunk, Maine 04043

Governor Sarah Palin

Just because Sarah Palin is nice when she says it, doesn't mean she's right.
Just because she's pretty when she says it, doesn't mean she's right.
Just because she says it with calm marketing and public relations spin, doesn't mean she's right.
What is her level of education?
What is her religion?
What are her credentials for Commander in Chief?
Where would she take the U.S. as President?

We know she stands behind big oil and corporations making a buck. The cost of living is so high in Alaska, they need oil drilling becuase it benefits the residents of Alaska. But what about the National Geographic article about the oil spill and damage to the environment in Russa?

We know that Sarah Palin is a war gal.
We know that she wants creationism taught in schools. What about separation of church and state? What about religious freedoms protected under the constition?

I watched. I listened. I haven't changed my mind. Sarah Palin is more of the same failed policies that have driven our nation into the ground. We need change so people can dream again. We need Barack Obama.

The United States of America needs Barack Obama and Joseph Biden to save our great nation and to solve the difficult problems that the Bush Republican administration has got us into.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barack Obama

Barack Obama is right that there is no going back because there is NO hope unless Barack Obama wins the Presidency of the United States of America. Barack Obama is the hope of the United States and the world. Barack Obama is my hope.

The outpouring of support of Barack Obama from leaders from the military, from Republicans, from the young, from the old, from everyone from all walks of life who knows that he speaks the truth and is the answer for our country at this time is unprecidented. No one else can stand in his shoes and accomplish what is needed at this time in this country. Barack Obama is the answer.

The brilliant, powerful speech that Barack Obama gave a few minutes ago answered all issues and is one of the greatest political speeches in history.

McCain doesn't have a chance because the surge of support from all parts of the United States is too great. McCain is the past and is only more of the same that has been responsible for getting our country into severe difficulty. The crooked Republican voting machines and the bullying tactics are not going to work with the surge of support for Barack Obama. I don't believe that the youth of this country are going to allow their future to be doomed. I believe that the youth and all Americans are going to make sure that everyone stands together to elect Barack Obama.

There is no going back. We desperately need Barack Obama and Joseph Biden to lead our nation and turn this country around so that we can dream again, so everyone has hope again.

Democratic National Convention

Three home run speeches yesterday with President Bill Clinton, John Kerry, and Joseph Biden. Everyone is coming forward to stand behind the only Presidential candidate who can solve the problems of today. This makes me feel hopeful for a better tomorrow. Barack Obama is the only Presidential candidate who can turn things around and stop the devastating distruction of the Republican policies. We need Barack Obama and Joseph Biden to bring change and hope to the United States of America.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


The Beatles song, Yesterday comes to mind. It's fun to sing along in the car when it comes on an oldies station. "Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away, now it looks as though they're here to stay. Oh, I believe in yesterday...."

Yesterday I walked for four hours along a tree-lined mountain road. Yes, I said FOUR HOURS and my feet hurt as proof. When I came home, I got a phone call from a boiler room offering me a vacation for World Mark. I've always loved World Mark vacation time shares and have wanted to sign up. I always have big dreams that are elusive. Sometimes it feels so close and then it all fades away. I should have told the World Mark guy the blunt truth. No, We don't qualify. We live on a fixed income because my husband is disabled. I can't afford to come to the presentation. I can't afford the gas money. I can't even afford to go to the store for groceries. Pretty pathetic.

I can't afford to volunteer because I don't have the gas money to go anywhere and I don't think you should volunteer when you need to work hard to bring in money. I don't seem to be getting anywhere. My dreams keep going up in smoke. I always dream big and have big ideas. My imagination runs wild with what I would like to do and where I want to travel.

I don't have any health insurance. I had cancer in 1993 and I haven't been checked in years. I've had stroke symptoms and sometimes my chest hurts. I'm morbidly obese. So how do I deal with this? I try to exercise, eat healthy, and do what I can each day that is possible and positive for me. That's all I can do.

I try hard to do what I can do within the limits of my life, like walking the four hours yesterday. I've read eight books this month so far. I'm working on the 2/3 of my juvenile novel and getting the chapters finished for my cruise mystery novel. I sent in a restaurant review about McGrath's Fish House on July 23rd for my direct mail marketing class with American Artists and Writers and I'm waiting to hear back. I'm waiting to hear back from Writer's Digest Magazine about an article I submitted. I work on my garden and I have corn almost ready. I have a lot to be grateful for but dreams are elusive. All my Big Ideas seem to be going nowhere. Maybe it's okay. I still have food in the cupboard. I have the opportunity to write, read, exercise, and garden. No, not everything is the way I want it but I guess I should be grateful for what I have and can do. A lot of people are having problems right now. I'm not any different from any of them. Why should I get the gold ring I'm always reaching for? Friends are missing from my life. I'm living a centered life supposedly, and maybe if I keep working hard eventually something good will happen. Maybe someday............................

Barack Obama as President is my hope for my dreams and a better life.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Race and prejudice in politics

I don't understand how someone could NOT vote for someone because of their skin color. I am listening to the news and reading articles of people who say they won't vote for someone who is black. These people who say they are good people, Christian people, and yet they have hate in their heart and have the cancer of prejudice in their heart. No one can say they follow Jesus, love the message of Christianity, and hate someone because of their skin color. God made everyone of every color and race. We are supposed to get along and be kind to each other. We are supposed to support one another and be happy for someone who is doing well.

Senator Hillary Clinton

I'm happy that Senator Hillary Clinton gave a powerful speech calling for unity of the Democratic party and asking for all Democrats to vote for Barack Obama and Joseph Biden but she didn't take it far enough. A lot of her speech was all about Hillary. She didn't address all her criticisms directly that she spouted off about Obama during the Primary. To be honest, her speech was lukewarm and she didn't do what she should have done to bring the party together and to support Barack Obama.

Barack Obama is the most qualified. He graduated first in his class at Harvard Law School. He was good enough to make megamillions on Wall Street, if he wanted to be greedy and think of himself. We're lucky that such a brilliant man is willing to put himself out there to help solve the problems in the United States.

Clearly we need change in this country to stop the destruction of the last eight years of our economy. We need health care for all. We need jobs in America. We need to protect the environment. We need a strong United States of America. We need a strong dollar. Our country can't take four more years of Republican leadership.

We need to unite as a party and get out the vote for Barack Obama who is a brilliant and strong leader who will be one of the greatest Presidents in the history of the United States.

Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer

Governor Brian Schweitzer from the great state of Montana gave a powerful speech tonight for Barack Obama at the Democratic Convention in Denver. Brian Schweitzer is a leader to watch. He's charismatic. He's a strong and powerful leader with a vision of America that needs to be heard. The Big Sky state of Montana has a powerful leader who I'm sure will find a spot on a national ticket in the future.

I'm proud that Montana has such a strong leader since I was born in Libby, Montana, and lived there until the end of my third grade year. It makes me happy to see that the great state of Montana is alive and strong with leadership equal to any state in the United States. Go, Montana! Go forward Governor Brian Schweitzer with great success!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Visions of the Future

The show Visions of the Future on the Science Channel with Michio Kaku inspires hope in my heart for the future. Science has the answers to make this world explode with possibilities to make everything so much better and beyond belief for everyone. Superconductivity enables trains to travel on air using less energy than regular trains. Carbon nanotubes will allow us to build highways into space and allow NASA to build a space elevator making space travel common.

This is possible--the technology is here. We could build roads that allow cars and trucks to travel on air. It would revolutionize transportation. This could be our future. We don't have to be backward and rely on fossil fuels. We don't have to destroy our environment and drill for oil. We can solve problems with science.

Michelle Obama

I am so impressed with Michelle Obama. What a genuine, sincere, kind, and nice woman! She is brilliant, yet isn't the kind of woman who drives her own needs in front of others. She believes in service. I can't think of any woman at this moment who I feel even reaches her level or even comes close to her. She is everything that I admire and hold dear. She is a role model for every woman. She's a wonderful mother. She's a brilliant attorney. She's a good person inside. She's a wonderful wife. She serves our country and willing to put herself out there as First Lady. She's willing to make sacrifices to stand next to her husband, Barack Obama as the President of the United States.

Michelle Obama gave a powerful speech at the Democratic Convention this evening. At this time in my life, I have no close friends or a best friend but I know that I want a best friend just like Michelle Obama. I think she is perfect in every way. I admire her so much and she stands for the values that I believe in. I can't imagine any person in this country not being moved by her speech. I don't walk in her circles and I can't afford to do a lot of things but I do know that I would follow her anywhere to serve and do what she asks. I believe in her and she inspires hope in my heart for this country and for me.

Senator Edward Kennedy

Tears streamed down my face as Senator Ted Kennedy spoke tonight at the Democratic National Convention. I've always admired Senator Kennedy and the Kennedy family for all they have stood for and what they have done to serve our country. His speech was powerful, just as powerful as I have seen him over the years on C-Span in the senate fighting for this cause and that cause to help people in need. The Kennedy's could easily have sat back and enjoyed their money. In spite of tragedy, they have chosen to put themselves out there to make our nation better and to help all people.

I admire Senator Edward Kennedy. One of the reasons why I will always love him is because he wrote to my son, Aaron and sent a photograph. Aaron sent him a Valentine one year when he was young. Senator Kennedy took the time to personally sign a photo of himself and send a letter to Aaron. I will always treasure the photograph.

The Kennedy family has always been in a high place in my list. When I started my homeschool and created the curriculum, I thought of Mrs. Rose Kennedy. I thought of the Kennedy children who were given the best of everything in life and went to Choate. I felt my children were also the best and I tried to figure out what the Kennedy children would learn within the Kennedy family and at Choate. I tried to pattern my curriculum after what I felt the very best and privileged children in this country, like the Kennedys, would learn in school.

Senator Edward Kennedy came to the Democratic Convention despite severe health issues. He came to serve, to unite the party, to tell about his admiration and support of Barack Obama. His speech was powerful. Senator Kennedy will always be one of my heroes. I wish I could learn at his feet and at the feet of people like him. I am humbled by his service and his life, as I am of all the Kennedy family members.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Acai Berries

I was doing a Google search about acai berries since I want to plant an acai palm in my yard. Why, you ask? Because the juice of the acai berries are supposed to help you lose weight and because of it's high antioxidant content. What did I learn? I learned that it is best to eat acai berries fresh because the products available on the market have a fraction of the antioxidant content. You need to be able to have rainforest weather to keep one of these palms with year around temperatures no lower than 50 to 70 degrees. I was thinking that I would need to build a four story house with a central indoor garden with all floors overlooking this palm as it reaches up 90 feet. A little spendy for my budget just to get fresh acai berries so I need to start thinking of something else. I know....anyone out there who is living in Arizona or hot enough year around weather needs to start thinking about planting a cash crop of acai palms and selling it on the U.S. market for people who want to eat healthy.

It you want to learn more go to http://growacai.com/


I made some fresh pesto yesterday to put on pasta. Have you ever made some? Do you want to know how? Okay...I'll share the recipe.

I went out into my garden to pick about two cups of basil leaves. I washed them and put them in my food processor. Then I added 1/4 cup of pinenuts, three garlic cloves, 3/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese, and about 3/4 cup of olive oil and then I buzzed it until it was smooth. I know what you're thinking.....all that olive oil...yeah, I know. I guess it really has enough calories for quite a few days so this is not an every day event but it really is good. I have found it is best fresh.

My Garden

I'm not having any luck trying to download photos to my blog this evening so I will tell you about my garden, rather than show you.

I have corn taller than me. I crowded the rows so I would have lots of it. My favorite foods are corn on the cob and watermelon and I planted both. I'm not sure how the watermelon is going to do this year though. I also have pumpkin, different kinds of squash, cucumbers, Swiss chard, tomatoes, bell peppers, peas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, eggplant, carrots, and lots of other stuff. The apple tree is loaded. This spring we planted several dwarf cherry, pear, and peach trees plus blueberries, raspberries, and table grapes. We have an acre in garden, but not all the space is used this year. Next year I have bigger plans. We have 2 1/2 acres in trees. Next year I want to plant pecan and walnut trees plus more blueberries, thornless blackberries, raspberries, table grapes.

I want to make sure that we have lots of food growing since we live so far from Corvallis [45 minutes away or 25 miles], gas prices are high, and it's fun to grow your own food. Plus I don't want to starve since I'm not working anymore. My husband told me that all the money was gone at the 4th of the month. I found out later that he was holding back a little. All this is making me food insecure. My answer? Grow lots of food and write every day.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Obama and Biden

What a great combination for the Democratic Presidential ticket! Joseph Biden is a great choice. They will work well together. Both are strong, brilliant, and can handle anything that comes at them. Barack Obama is going to be a great President and Joseph Biden will be the supporting Vice President who will work hard to accomplish the goals of the Presidency.

We need Barack Obama as President and Joseph Biden as Vice President. We now have a 9 trillion dollar national debt, thanks to President Bush. We need Democrats to the rescue of the United States to protect the Constitution, the people of the United States, jobs, and the environment. We need to end the war and not start any new ones, like McCain wants to do. We need to make higher education affordable for everyone. Health care needs to be available for everyone for prevention. Change is needed so people can dream again!

I watched the debate between Obama and McCain. What did I think? What was my overall impression? I loved Barack Obama. I thought that McCain lives, breathes, eats, and sleeps war. If McCain gets in, he is determined to play soldier with his buddies no matter what cost or price to the United States. McCain is more of Bush and maybe worse.

We need Barack Obama and Joseph Biden. The perfect presidential ticket for the Democrat party to charge forward and win.

My Blog

I have been having the worst time trying to connect to my blog with Internet Explorer. This is the first time I've been able to connect. Hurray! I checked Adsense and it says that I made zero money so I am certainly not going to get rich with this blog. Zero in two weeks is not getting anywhere very fast.

Each time I try to connect to blogger with my great speedy dial-up, it takes me about 20 minutes from the time that I put in my password until I finally get to the dashboard. Frustration all in caps. I get messages that Internet Explorer can't open the site. Why? I get messages that my cookies are disabled. Not true. It says Java Script is disabled. Not true. I have to sign in twice and it makes repeated clicks and loops. All this boils down to 20 minutes as I remain calm but wish that someday I could have a normal Internet experience where everything works!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Robert Downey Jr.

It was fun to see Robert Downey Jr. on The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson the other night. He's off the charts brilliant in front of the movie camera. Now he's also a director. He's in the new movie Tropic Thunder that came out on August 13th. Go see it in the movie theater for the full effect with popcorn and pop in front of the giant screen. In this movie Robert plays a character from Australia. He was also in Iron Man. Next he will be Sherlock Holmes. I hope that he casts Craig Ferguson in the movie. He'd be brilliant and perfect in any part.

I loved watching Robert Downey Jr. opposite Calista Flockhart in Ally McBeal, one of my favorite shows of all time. Just where are the reruns?

I remember many, many years ago watching Robert Downey Jr's father on late night television smoking away being charming and great too, just like his son.


Disneyland and Disney World are the happiest places on earth. I agree. I love anything Disney. Here are my five perfect children. Aaron is in the blue and yellow knit shirt. Joe is in the green shirt. Daniel is in the multi-stripe shirt. Benjamin is in the navy blue shirt. Gretchen is in the light blue polo top. We used to try to go to Disneyland several times a year. We all went to Disney World once when my kids earned the 7 day trip for selling newspaper starts to the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon. Always great memories with Disney. Always the perfect vacation.
Sea World was another favorite vacation attraction for our family. This was Sea World in Florida near Orlando. Aaron is on the far left with Daniel in front. Gretchen is in the middle with Joseph in front of her. Leslie, my husband is in the back on the far right with Benjamin in front of him. Where am I? Always taking the pictures.

Daniel Haber

Daniel Haber is a Super Hero who can do anything, accomplish anything, answer anything. Super Daniel's mind is quicker, brighter, better. He reads and everything merges with answers when needed. He's clicking with answers. Daniel can handle anything that comes at him. He can brilliantly solve any problem with inventive solutions and get results. My son, THE DANIEL is laid back with that easy going personality that can talk to anyone, like when he was the President of Sigma Pi in college to being part of Compete Columbus composed of leaders of Columbus, CEO's, and Presidents of Fortune 500 corporations now. When he works, one hour of output is ten times greater than anyone around him. Daniel is a shining super star that shines all the way to distant galaxies. Just a fact.

Daniel is working for Battelle in Columbus, Ohio and is attending The Ohio State University in the part-time MBA program. He is a member of Compete Columbus composed of all the leaders in the Columbus area. Columbus, Ohio is a major U.S. business and science hub for innovation. Exciting things are going to come from Columbus. Sit back and watch.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Oregon College of Education

This is a photo me when I was in college. I graduated from Oregon College of Education in Monmouth in the summer of 1970. It's now called Western Oregon University. My Bachelor of Science degree is in Social Science and Corrections with a minor in special education.

Tap Dancing

I used to take tap dancing lessons. I also took ballet lessons when I lived in Libby, Montana. I had the outfits complete with Shirley Temple curls. I used to dress up and pretend. I had costumes of a nurse and all kinds of different outfits. I had a wonderful and happy childhood.

I was always a real ham. I still am. I love to be in the middle of everything and up front. Now I live in the middle of nowhere.

Baby Photo

This is one of my early photos when I was a toddler in Libby, Montana.

My Children

Here's a photo of my five children. Starting on the left is Joseph, next to Gretchen who is reading a Care Bears book. Daniel is sitting on Gretchen's lap. Next to Daniel is Benjamin. On the end is Aaron.
Here's a Christmas photo of the boys and our Saint Bernard, Nana. Joseph is on the left, then Daniel. Aaron is on the far right and Benjamin is in the middle. We were living in our house in South Salem on the corner of JDavid and Summerfield. These photos were taken in the mid-80's.

Richmond Elementary School

This photo was taken at Richmond Elementary School in Salem, Oregon. I'm the blonde in the middle. On the far right is Dennis Blanchard. On the far left is Corrine Craft standing next to Sue Crothers. Corrine died. Her best friend was Sylvia who owns the Quilted Forest on Commercial Street in downtown Salem.

I've known Sue Crothers since the 4th grade. I remember being invited to her house one weekend for a barbeque. Her father is a doctor and had the most amazing library. I was so impressed with the library with floor to ceiling bookcases on all sides of the large room. I've always wanted a huge library. Years later when I talked to Sue, she said that one thing that she always remembered about me is that I always had lots of pencils and paper when I was in school. That's still true.

I haven't seen or talked to anyone in a long time.

What was great about Richmond Elementary School was that Matilda Gillis was the Principal who was also one of the editorial advisory board members of Highlights Magazine for Children. My Mom always subscribed to Highlights for me to read.

It was during this time period when I used to write screenplays. I would write television scripts for the show, Gunsmoke.

My Dad

This is a photo of me and my Dad in Libby, Montana. My Dad was State Commander of the VFW in Montana. He served in WWI in France. This photo was either taken in Libby or another city in Montana when he went to a meeting. My Mom took the photo. She was the state musician and played the piano for everything.

My parents would go to lots of meetings in Montana. My Dad would buy me 10 comic books and $1 worth of penny candy. I would sit and wait for the meetings to be over. I was perfectly happy with my comic books and penny candy so I didn't care. They also held state leadership positions in the Masons.