Sunday, May 31, 2009


Jewelry Television is one of my favorite channels to watch to learn about gemstones. I wish I could afford to buy some of the great bargains in gemstones I am seeing. There are great bargains right now and if you have money take a look at to see them.

I wish I knew how to create my own jewelry so that I could make a custom setting for some of the beautiful gem stones that I see at bargain prices. You can buy settings at great prices but it would be fun to create my own.

Call 1-800-619-3000 to buy a ring or necklace to make your heart sing that you will be proud to wear and feel beautiful.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Keep the Faith

I just watched a great movie this afternoon, KEEP THE FAITH starring Ben Stiller (one of my favorite actors), Eli Wallach, Edward Norton, Jenna Elfman, Anne Bancroft, Ron Rifkin and others. Ben Stiller as the Rabbi says to his congregation, "God wants you to watch out for each other." I think that's true.

I know a great Rabbi in Corvallis, Oregon--Rabbi Benjamin Barnett. He was very kind to give an hour of his time to talk to my husband and I when my husband was very sick at Good Samaritan Hospital. He's a good man, a kind man, a wise man.

Religious Manipulation

This morning in the Corvallis Gazette Times on page B7 is a piece titled "Methodists launch 'rethink' and campaign." Next to this is the one titled, "Gay marriage backers trumpet the Mormon Church's work against it." Oh, good grief! The article about the Methodists say they are launching a new marketing campaign to get you to want to be a Methodist. They are going to spend 20 million bucks on the effort. In the next paragraph, it talks about the Evangelical Lutheran Church who has invested nearly 1.2 million bucks over the last two years in their marketing efforts. Good grief, I say. These churches are nonprofits and they are spending millions on media campaigns to get you convinced that they are the best one.

I grew up as a Lutheran and I've thought about going back but then I remember how Martin Luther was anti-Semitic and how I've talked to three different Lutheran churches in Corvallis giving them my resume and information about me trying to get them interested in me. It's like if I don't conform with some magical arbitrary something or other, they aren't interested in me so I have to wonder if they are the place I want to go anyway. I guess it is memories and nostalgia that makes me want to return.

I've thought about the Methodist church and I would feel comfortable there but is it the same thing only cloaked in different Sunday robes?

I don't like the idea that these churches are spending millions on a media blitz for marketing. This tells me something.

The article about gay marriage and Mormons and California's prop 8 says a lot too. Are people really NICE people who try to manipulate? I think not.

Religion is about the individual and trying to become a better person day by day. People can't help it where they were born. People can't help it if they were born gay or if they were born with a different skin color. If you believe in God, then I think that it is logical that God made everyone and loves everyone and wants everyone to win and wants everyone to be the best they can be. My big gripe with religion is that it seems like religious leaders want you to obey without question, not think, not figure things out. If you become like everyone else and not be an individual with your own unique gifts and talents, then what is the point? Sometimes it seems like religions want you to follow in lock step like mindless robots.

I enjoy listening to Joel Osteen on television who smiles and acts like he enjoys being a minister, unlike many ministers who are so serious and look like church is the last place they want to be. Joel Osteen encourages people to work hard to be the best they can be and to develop their talents. That's good.

If I were born in India, I would grow up in a different religion than if I were born in China. If there is a God and sometimes I really wonder considering how religious leaders and religious people act, I think God just wants us to be kind to one another and look out for one another. I think individual differences are precious and important. I think it's wonderful to be around people from different backgrounds and people who have different opinions because it helps me to grow and learn. I don't have answers but I'm a better person than I was five years ago. Isn't that what life is about? We aren't here on earth to tell someone else how to live or to say that someone else's way is wrong. We are here to learn and understand each other, to get along, to be kind, to be tolerant, to help one another.

I feel comfortable around Jews although their service is foreign to me because I didn't grow up in it. What about the Jesus question, you ask? Jesus was a good Jewish boy who questioned and wanted everyone to get along. I'd like to study kaballah.

When the Catholic church forces women to become pregnant without birth control in order to be a good Catholic, I ask what about all the children who are born into homes where they aren't wanted and where the family can't afford them. Is an abortion really bad when you consider the consequences of birth into a family of abuse or a drug addict mother or an alcoholic abusive father or neglect or severe poverty? What are the economic consequences of all the unwanted children who grow up without love and sometimes find a life of crime and violence? Until the Catholic church says they will finacially shoulder the economic burden of all the unwanted children, I think they should mind their own business and not frown on birth control.

Does a religious leader have the right to question the heart of anyone, especially when the religious leader has the problem with anger and doesn't even have his/her own house in order?

Religious people should be concerned with themselves and with their own behavior. Religion is about the individual and perfecting self, not about getting everyone to agree that their way is best.

Churches think they have all the answers but every time church leaders speak out in anger, it tells me they are trying to manipulate and they sure don't have a different line to God. I've known atheists who are more ethical than religious leaders. Everyone has a right to an opinion and the right to be treated with respect. People should be concerned with themselves and not trying to force other people to think like themselves.

I heard an Episcopal priest on television say that you can be spiritual in three ways--through ritual, meditation and prayer, and by spending time in nature.

Until more answers come, I'm going to continue spending lots of time on my 3.65 acres and continue to try to be the best person I can be when I come in contact with people. I think it's important to continually learn and grow. Maybe some day I'll have more answers than questions. Right now I have more questions.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Tale of Despereaux

I love the animated film, the Tale of Despereaux. I first saw it on Amtrak traveling from Seattle to Albany but didn't get to catch the ending so I watched it on Pay-Per-View on Direct TV because it is outstanding.

I knew I would love the movie with the words at the beginning that said,
"Once upon a time, there was a brave little mouse who loved honor and justice, and always told the truth."

It's an outstanding film and is worth watching over and over, even if you are as old as me. I love the writing, the animation, the characters, and the story that makes you think.

It's a story about a mouse hero named Despereaux in the Kingdom of Dor. Despereaux "heard more, saw more and smelled more than any of the other mice." Everyone was concerned that Despereaux didn't scurry or cower but instead was fearless and brave.

If you listen carefully to the script, you hear words like....

"A hero doesn't appear until the world really needs one."

"What happens when you make something illegal that is a natural part of the world? You might as well make flies illegal or sweat or Monday morning."

This outstanding animated movie has an all star cast with names like Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Kline, Christopher Lloyd, Tracy Ullman, Sigourney Weaver, Charles Shaughnessy, Matthew Broderick and others.

2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee

Last night I watched the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee on ABC. It's a celebration of excellence. Out of the 11 kids who were the top spellers in the nation, two were white, one Asian, one African-American and the rest were of Indian descent. All of these young people are outstanding and have worked hard.

The top three spellers were
Kavya Shivashankar from Kansas, age 13
Tim Ruiter from Virginia, age 12
Aishwarya Pastapur from Illinois, age 13

The championship words were
menhir--This word took out Aishwarya from Illinois.
phoresymaecenas--This word took out Tim from Virginia.
laodicean--This is the winning word that made Kavya Shivashankar from Kansas the winner of the 2009 National Spelling Bee.

Congratulations, Kavya. You are amazing, outstanding, and I was thrilled to watch you win.

As I watched the spelling bee for the second time that is saved on my tivo, I thought about all the schools who don't participate in the National Spelling Bee and who don't care about this great competition that celebrates excellence. It tells a lot about a school who doesn't care to participate and encourage their students to participate.

Kavya's father was her coach. Tim's coach was his mother who homeschools him. I saw the oustanding parents of all eleven young people who work hard to help their children become all they can be. Each of the parents is an outstanding example of what all parents should be and how parents should help their children learn. Parents are the first teachers and the most important teachers of their child. It is the parents responsibility to teach their children within the safety of the home to learn to become independent and successfully navigate in the world. These parents are outstanding examples of this as I'm sure all these children will go on to become contributing adults in any field of their choice.

Jack Bennett

On May 26th my husband and I drove to West Salem to see our grandson, Jack Bennett graduate from kindergarten at Myers Elementary School. We visited his classroom, met his teacher, Mrs. Brewster, and watched the wonderful ceremony. His classroom is full of bright colors and lots of posters to catch your eye to learn on every inch of the walls. It sure looks like a nice school and I had a great time. I loved the songs the children sang when they stood on the risers before receiving their diplomas. One song called "First Grade, First Grade" was sung to the tune of New York, New York. I couldn't hear the words because I was way in the back row in the gym but I knew it was great since I love this tune. I'm proud of Jack and I'm happy that he loves school and loves to read.

Friday, May 22, 2009


I drove to Albany to pick up my new glasses from Binyons at the Heritage Mall today. I'm so happy with them. I love my new glasses. My titanium frames are so light weight and I love the round shape. I took advantage of the 1/2 price sale so I got both my bifocals and my single vision computer/music glasses. I'm very happy with them and appreciate Julie's help when I ordered them and picked them up.

Daniel Haber

My son, Daniel is at Ohio State University working on his MBA and works for Battelle. His team placed third out of 70 teams competing in an event at OSU sponsored by Deloit Business Plan Competition. Daniel's team won $12,000 and got invited to another competition.

I'm so proud of Daniel. He's an inspiration to me and one of my heroes.

See the article about this competition at

Home Depot

My son, Daniel gave me a $75 gift card for Home Depot for Mother's Day so I could make some of my dreams come true for my garden. I've spent part of it and will be happy to pick out a few plants during my next visit. We bought lumber for raised beds. I've made three raised beds so far. The guy that helped my husband cut the boards gave us a great tip about making raised beds. He said to cover the boards in plastic to protect the wood. My three raised beds are 18 inches high and are 8 feet by 4 feet. I have strawberries planted in one. In the other two raised beds are 16 tomato plants. We have three more to build and I have big plans on adding more raised beds.

I appreciate the expert advise at Home Depot, the great selection, and good prices. I enjoy seeing the possibilities.

Stark Bro's

I received my order from Stark Brothers and I am so pleased with it. I planted two days ago an almond tree that I will be excited to watch grow. I planted three blackberry bushes that will have three inch berries. The plants are healthy and have sprouts. I also planted the free Asian lillies that I received with my order under my maple tree in the front yard. I planted the 24 strawberry plants in a raised bed that I made. The strawberries that will grow are giant strawberries so I can hardly wait. I love strawberries.

You can count on receiving healthy plants from Stark Bro's. The plants are guaranteed for life and you can find unusual plants and trees in this catalogue. I've ordered from them in the past and I have always been happy.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Michael Liebling M.D.

My husband had an appointment at OHSU with Dr. Michael Liebling yesterday who specializes in arthritis and rheumatic diseases. I loved him instantly when I saw his brilliant mind at work. It was a joy and an honor to listen to him. I'm sure that his classes at OHSU are packed with students who would never want to miss a minute of his stories and insightful medical wisdom. He should be cloned to fill teaching hospitals all across this country. Rheumatology is a horizontal speciality that spills over into other medical disciplines and areas so Dr. Liebling at OHSU is the one that other doctors in Oregon come to when they can't figure out the answers. I have complete confidence in Dr. Liebling that he can solve the medical mystery with my husband. Oregon Health Sciences University is lucky to have Dr. Liebling. He's perfect.

Racial Prejudice in Alsea, Oregon

Yesterday on the front page of the Corvallis Gazette Times was an article about a hate crime in Alsea where I live. It was titled "'Reckless burning' shocks family." Summer MacLean who has a 13 year old adopted African American son found a five foot long charred cross in their front lawn. This is outrageous. Hate crimes can never be condoned or excused. No one should be treated like this. It is unacceptable and there should be zero tolerance for any hint of racial prejudice in every town across the United States.

Deputy Clay Stephens from the Benton County Sheriff Department is declaring this a reckless burning which makes light of it. This isn't okay and I'm deeply disappointed to hear that the Benton County Sheriff Department is not taking this seriously. Hate crimes can not be tolerated.

Alsea School Superintendent Jon St. Germaine says "...Alsea is a welcoming and caring community." I disagree. Alsea is a welcoming and caring community IF and ONLY IF you agree with the majority, act like the majority, think like the majority, and look like the majority. If you have different opinions that are not accepted, you are not welcomed and cared about. I was told in a bible study group when I first moved here that if you don't fall into line and agree with what is acceptable that you are driven out. That isn't Christ-like or charitable.

Anyone who participated in this or agrees with what happened or has feelings of racial prejudice in their heart should hang their heads with shame.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


When I was in my sophomore year of college at Oregon College of Education in 1967 and 1968, I went on workcamp projects with AFSC with other college students in the northwest. The American Friends Service Committee set up amazing projects in inner cities, mental hospitals, prisons, Indian reservations, and other areas to give college students knowledge and exposure to problems that we would not otherwise have or learn. I went to the Nooksack Indian Reservation in Washington, Dammasch State Hospital, Oregon State Hospital, Albina Arts Center in Portland, and a prison in Portland that I don't remember the name for some reason. I remember that the prison had women and I'll never forget seeing one woman's ear that was torn. Someone must have grabbed her earring and yanked. I remember on one mental hospital ward, one patient took another patient in an airplane spin just like in wrestling on television and threw him against the wall. I sure didn't feel safe at that moment. It opens your eyes to see the conditions of prisons, mental hospitals and other institutions within a safe setting. We had administrators talk to us about what we were seeing, the problems within the setting, and they answered our questions. It was eye opening.

5'4" or 5'6"

Am I 5'4" or 5'6"? When I was in high school, I was 5'6". The last time that I went to DMV, I told the guy that I thought I was shrinking as I am getting older. I asked him to measure me. He didn't but he left a surprise on my renewed drivers lisence. I didn't check it right away but when I looked I found out that he made me 5'4". Great. Thanks a lot. I am 5'6".

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Craig Robinson

Craig Robinson, Michele Obama's brother, is the coach of the basketball team for Oregon State University. My husband has had so much fun this last basketball season watching OSU on television and see them win a college championship. Craig Robinson, the new coach, took a team that has lost every game for years and won the championship this year. He did this without kicking off any members of the team. He took the team as it was, believed in them, worked with them, encouraged them, and taught them how to win. He's great.I also saw in the Corvallis Gazette Times that Craig Robinson spoke before Boy's and Girls Club and said that Boy's and Girl's Club has a winning philosophy. Craig Robinson is a great leader and he should be named First Citizen of Corvallis.


I added something new to my diet this week--seaweed. When I visited my son, his wife, and my newest granddaughter in Seattle last weekend, I learned about the power of seaweed in your diet. My daughter-in-law told me that her mother started eating seaweed at the suggestion of her doctor who practices alternative medicine. After eating seaweed after a period of weeks, a growth or cyst disappeared.

I believe strongly in healing your body with natural foods, rather than taking medication from a doctor. Eating healthy food and exercising heals your body and prevents disease.

So I went to the Asian Market at 1875 9th Street in Corvallis where I regularly buy tea and bitter melon. The store wasn't open yet but I had a nice conversation with a Chinese lady who told me about the benefits of eating onion. I regularly eat a lot of onion but she said that if you drop a whole, unpeeled yellow onion in chicken soup, it cleans the blood. Chicken soup boosts your immune system and if the onion peel helps to clean your blood, I'm doing it. I made chicken soup yesterday and I dropped a whole onion in the broth. It made the broth more flavorful and I felt better just knowing it was good for me.

When the store opened, I bought fresh seaweed and roasted seaweed that people use to roll up suishi or eat as a snack. The roasted seaweed is good as a snack and I'll eat it often. I haven't tried the fresh seaweed yet but I remember my mother buying seaweed tablets from the health food store so I know I will like it, even if it takes time to get used to it.


I got a great gift yesterday and the day before from Alsea Acre goat farm next door--three large truck loads of manure. It's the most I have ever received. I don't think anyone cares about manure as much as me. Why, you ask? I heard on a gardening show on television that it's important to put three inches of compost on your garden four times a year. Since I have over one acre to get into shape and put into garden, I need a lot of manure. I appreciate the great gift. Thank you, Nancy!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Linda Varsell Smith

Linda Varsell Smith read a poem during the monthly writing critique group last Tuesday for Corvallis Children's Writers. I woke up the next morning remembering the rhythm and cadence of the poem and started to create lines to one of my own. It was a poem about her mother, Honey. Linda's mother sounds a lot like Linda--encouraging, inventive, full of energy, gifted, and she enjoyed creating events to make others happy. Linda is the matriarch of writers in Corvallis who nurtures, encourages, teaches, and helps. Linda teaches life writing in Philomath at Peace Lutheran Church each term for LBCC.

I am in awe of her energy and genius. She prolifically turns out poems and is part of the Mary's Peak Poets. She probably started it. It meets in her home monthly.

Linda is Swedish and travels to Sweden often. I'm half Swedish so I enjoy hearing about Sweden from others.

U.S. Supreme Court

David H. Souter is retiring from the U.S. Supreme Court so President Obama will be picking the replacement. As a former law professor from the University of Chicago, President Obama is well-qualified to pick someone.

While I was in Seattle last weekend, I shook my head when I heard Senator Orin Hatch from Utah say that he was outraged that President Obama wants to pick someone who has compassion and empathy for women and minorities in the United States. I wasn't surprised that Senator Hatch said this. Utah is the home of Mormons where most of the population belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have had personal experience that their compassion and empathy only exists when reporters and television cameras are there to record their actions.

I'm confident that President Obama will pick the best person to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. I'm grateful that President Obama cares about all people in this country and not just the richest Americans. All Americans need justice and all Americans need President Obama's leadership.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Green Lake

I love walking around Green Lake in Seattle. It's near my son's home. I never made it all the way around over the weekend. The first time I tried, I went out by myself and went one third of the way and it started to pour so I turned back. The next day, we all went out to see the turtles sitting on the log and went back because we weren't sure Les, my husband, could walk very far. It's amazing that my husband was well enough to walk that far and later to Wallingford for a cupcake.

The beauty surrounding Green Lake is spectacular and unequaled. I do not personally know of any walking trail that is nicer in any community. I wish I lived close so I could walk around Green Lake every day. I'd like to live right across the street. It's just beautiful and everyone who comes there is blessed to have this opportunity to exercise there.

Communities should be set up so you can walk to everything that's important to you--walk to exercise, shopping, restaurants, a library, and everything that you need so you don't have to drive except for special trips.

Spuds in Alki

I love eating at Spuds on Alki Beach in Seattle. It has great fish and chips. It's so much fun to look at the bay and walk next to the water. It's one of my favorite places to visit when I'm in Seattle. There's a big sign on the wall that Spuds was the first fast food restaurant in Seattle and they are celebrating their 70th anniversary. When it first opened, you could buy fish and chips for only 10 cents. Such a deal!

Anna Rose

My husband and I got to see our newest granddaughter, Anna Rose in Seattle this weekend. She's growing fast. She's trying to crawl and talk. She goes everywhere with her parents and is so well behaved. She is calm and has a good disposition, just like my son, Benjamin when he was little. He was always good too. I love her so much. I love to hold her and just look at her. I came home with over 200 photos on my digital camera so I have them to enjoy every day now that I'm back in Oregon. I'm sure going to miss her. She is so cute, smart, loved, feels secure, happy, has wonderful parents, and everything she needs to grow and learn.


I love riding trains and was happy that my son sent my husband and I Amtrak tickets to visit Seattle for Mothers day and Fathers day. We had such a nice time. The seats are comfortable and if you sit on the water side, you see Puget Sound out your window around Tacoma and Olympia up to Seattle. It's gorgeous.

All staff on the train are courteous and respectful.

I've always loved trains. I remember when I was 4 or 5 years old, my Dad drove my me and my mom to Troy so we could ride the train to Libby--where I lived until the end of the 3rd grade. It was so much fun.

I picked up the 2009/2010 Amtrak Vacation Guide and the Amtrak System Timetable at the Albany Train Station. There are some amazing affordable vacations for families all over this country. You don't have to drive or spend the gas. You can sit back and enjoy the scenery this great country has to offer out the expansive windows. A trip to the Amtrak Cascades Car will delight anyone who's hungry. There are specialty sandwiches, salads, soups, drinks, and entrees that are delicious. I overheard two young students who were surprised and happy with the variety on the menu with all the great choices from Ivar's famous clam chowder to turkey sandwiches made with focaccia.

I had a great time. It's so much easier than dealing with traffic and weather driving up to Seattle. I can sit back and relax watching a great movie, read a book, or write. I sat across the isle from an attorney who was sitting with a student. It's smart to travel by train if you regularly travel from Portland, Seattle, or Eugene to Seattle for business. I know it's sure fun to travel by train to visit family.

Thank you Ben and Amanda for the great gift and fun!

Portage Bay Cafe

My son, Benjamin and his wife Amanda took my husband and I out for breakfast on Saturday morning to Portage Bay Cafe in downtown Seattle for breakfast. All the food is organic and locally grown. There's a topping bar with fresh fruits, nuts, whipped cream, and organic maple syrup for the delicious pancakes or french toast made from challah. I ordered the all natural corned beef hash. It was amazing. Grilled organic vegetables with red onions, bell pepper, red potatoes, sweet potatoes, fresh herbs, and green onions were mixed with corn beef with a scrambled egg on top and organic whole wheat toast.

You can feel good about eating out at Portage Bay. You are spoiling your body with delicious healthy food and you are helping to support a restaurant that is making great choices to serve organic food that is locally grown.

Seattle Tilth

I went to the big edible plant sale in Seattle with my son, his wife, my husband, and my new granddaughter. It was raining and crowded. There was such an amazing choice of healthy plants. There were plenty of happy, smiling volunteers to help guide, inform, and help. They said you can volunteer anytime, even for a day during the year. It would be fun to volunteer to help but I don't live in Seattle. It's a wonderful opportunity for anyone in the Seattle area.

My daughter-in-law, Amanda brought home many beautiful, healthy herbs and vegetable plants. My son, Benjamin lives within walking distance to where the sale is located so next year, they can bring a wagon like many who came.

Seattle Tilth teaches peace through gardening. They have a garden hot line to answer questions and provide materials. Call them at 206-633-0224 or e-mail They have great classes for adults on how to grow your own food or raise chickens. The focus is on organic gardening and the urban environment. Such a deal for anyone in the Seattle area. On the front of their brochure, it says "cultivating a sustainable city, one garden at a time."

Friday, May 01, 2009

Bread Squishing

I just finished packing up some turkey croissant sandwiches. My husband asked me to leave the sandwiches in the plastic case since he doesn't like his bread squished.

How in the world does a man who hates to have his bread squished end up with a woman who as a little girl used to take off the crust and squish up her Wonder bread slice, roll it up into a ball and eat it? I have no idea but we've been married for 37 years.


I love watching NCIS. Gibs is my favorite. He is a strong moral compass who fights crime. Watch NCIS on CBS.


I'm going to visit my perfect little granddaughter, Anna this weekend. She lives in Seattle with her perfect parents in Green Lake. My husband and I are going by Amtrak as a gift for Mother's day and Father's day.

James Patterson

I read the Midnight Club by James Patterson last year. I enjoy reading the fast pace of James Patterson's suspense novels. After thinking about this book, I can't help but find comparisons to what has happened over the last eight years and the people in high positions of power in business who feel no remorse for what they have done. It's common to hear CEO's who have been responsible for taking down our economy say that they have a right to the bonus money and they should not be held accountable.

I recommend that everyone read The Midnight Club, the tale about organized crime who decide to go legit and clean up their act. They decide it is beneficial to infiltrate large corporations and steal with the cloak of respectability.

I want to know why the law enforcement agencies are silent and not doing anything to stop it. Why do we keep throwing money at business who do not want to be held accountable and laugh in our face when we say they aren't playing fair? If anyone has the strength of character and intelligence to do something about it, it is the leadership of President Obama.

Being Held Accountable

Being held accountable is an attitude that is shunned. Incompetence seems to rule. Micromanaging is a dirty word aka don't look too close or you'll see what I'm doing. If you gather dummies around you who are incompetent, it is easier to steal. Don't shine the light too close on what I'm doing. Don't make anyone look bad or call him on his stuff. The excuse that everyone makes mistakes is excusing way too many mistakes that cost. We all know what these attitudes have done to our country in the last eight years under Republicans who love money and stand for greed. What's amazing to me is that some people are shouting for more instead of being grateful that President Obama is in charge trying to turn things around for our country and for all Americans. First Lady, Michele Obama is setting a new course by saying, "It's cool to get A's."


I watched Religulous, a movie made by Bill Maher. I've been wanting to watch it ever since I heard about it but I didn't see showings in the movie theater and there were only two showings on PPV on Direct TV. Two, not several showings a day for several weeks, like most of the movies. I thought this interesting.

Bill Maher says that faith means making a virtue out of not thinking and that those who preach faith are intellectual slave holders keeping mankind on bondage. I know that this is true in most religions because many churches believe you should blindly follow the direction of the minister who possesses all truth and wisdom. I know that most religions don't value or respect women.

Judaism, more than any other religion, believes in using your brain and finding solutions, in my opinion, although Bill Maher disagrees, the Jewish man with the mouth. I appreciate Bill Maher for pointing out things that most people don't have the courage to say. He has a right to his opinion. He has a right to a forum.

Bill Maher says at the end of his film that the only appropriate attitude for men is doubt because doubt is humble since history is full of examples of men of faith who got things wrong.

Many people of faith feel that it doesn't matter if we destroy the environment or pollute. They believe that the world is coming to an end so it just doesn't matter. They seem to even want it to come to an end and are almost working to hasten it. How sad. How tragic.

People need to use the brains they have and think. Solutions need to be found to protect our planet and find answers to problems. Answers can be found by searching for the truth, debating ideas. It's good to have an opinion and express it. People should strive to be the best they can be. Excellence must be encouraged.

Swine Flu

Swine Flu is in the news and is a potential global pandemic emergency. I saw on CNN that the source of the problem is a pig farm in the heart of Mexico owned by Smithfield Farms. I thought this was interesting. Smithfield Farms is the apple pie kingdom of former Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon who would rather pay fines than clean up and stop polluting. Senator Gordon Smith, a Mormon or member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is among many who disregard the need to protect our environment.

CNN reported that Smithfield Farms said that their farm isn't causing the problem. Is this true or not? If Smithfield Farms are doing the checking, how can you trust it? There needs to be an independent agency that goes in to determine if Smithfield Farms is causing the problem. I doubt CNN would risk saying that the heart of the problem is the pig farm owned by Smithfield Farms, unless it was true.

Health Care

President Obama said recently that it isn't hard to protect social security but the problem is the health care system and medicare.

There shouldn't be a problem with protecting medicare either and giving health care to everyone in this country, IF and I say IF, someone takes GREED out of the equation.

There is something very wrong when you look at hospital bills to find charges for items that should be cheap that have a price several times its cost. It's interesting that hospitals can be a nonprofit when they are a cash cow. In order to make sure they don't show a profit, they escalate all the charges for doctors fees and all the supplies and medications that are used for the patient.

Greed must be halted. It's destroying our country. There should be a cap on the amount of profit that can be taken. Why aren't the law enforcement agencies in our country using their power to stop it. Greed is bankrupting our country and is destroying the American way of life.


I had to look up in the dictionary to check on the plural of mangoes. In the New Oxford American Dictionary Second Edition, it says that either mangoes or mangos is okay. I wasn't sure so I always use a dictionary.

I had two mangoes for breakfast this morning that I bought at Safeway at 2 for $1.00. Great price and they were delicious. Mangoes after you peel them are slippery and there isn't much fruit on a mango but they are good for you and are a great breakfast treat. What else did I have for breakfast? A bran muffin from Safeway. I love the bran muffins from Safeway and I bought four to have for several days.

While I was playing canasta with my husband this morning and eating my mangoes, my husband commented about President Bush trading technology and computers for mangoes from India. He said this trade was like the Indians trading beans for Manhatten.