Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sunday Funnies

God was missing for six days. Eventually, Michael, the archangel, found him, resting on the seventh day.

Michael inquired, "Where have you been?"

God smiled deeply and pointed downwards through the clouds,"Look, Michael. Look what I've made."

Archangel Michael looked puzzled, and said, "What is it?"

"It's a planet," replied God, “and I've put life on it. I'm going to call it Earth and it's going to be a place to test balance."

"Balance?" inquired Michael, "I'm confused."

God explained, pointing to different parts of Earth: "For example, northern Europe will be a place of great opportunity and wealth, while southern Europe is going to be poor. Balance in all things.”

God continued pointing to different countries: "This one will be extremely hot, while this one will be very cold and covered in ice."

The Archangel, impressed by God's work, then pointed to a land area and said, "What's that one?"

God replied, "That's Virginia, a glorious place. There are beautiful mountains, rivers and streams, lakes, forests, hills, and plains. The people from Virginia are going to be modest, intelligent, and humorous. They will be extremely sociable, hardworking, high achieving, carriers of peace, and producers of good things"

Michael gasped in wonder and admiration, but then asked, "But what about balance, God? You said there would be balance..."

God smiled, "Right next to Virginia is Washington, DC. Wait till you see the people I put there."

(Thanks to Rachel)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Rule of 55

Jack Lemmon once said, “If you think it's hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball.”

Yesterday was to be my first golf outing. Instead I got a phone call shortly after 8:00 and learned the rule of 55. It’s a pretty simple rule – if it doesn’t look like the temperature is going to reach 55 by the first scheduled tee time we cancel. The group I’m in is a pretty casual bunch of guys who just like going out and playing golf. I hear they sometimes even keep score.

I was to tee off at 10:36. At that time the temperature was forty-eight. So instead of playing golf a few of us met at the clubhouse and had lunch – a long lunch. In early afternoon it was interesting to listen to people coming in off the course. There were a lot of comments like, “It’s a lot colder out there than it looks” and “It is Spring, right?” I’m sure the wind and the light drizzle that was falling didn’t help.

We had a good lunch and all left hoping for better weather next week.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Taking Time

Benjamin Franklin wrote, “The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”

Driving home the other day I was thinking about that quote. Suddenly, it dawned on me how I had caught happiness. I discovered how to years ago and then forgot it. I rediscovered it and forgot it again. I hate it when that happens.

Over the past few days I’ve been having a great deal of fun. I presented a Colorado town with their Arbor Day award. Something I’ve done in this town for twenty years. Around two hundred elementary students were there. The kids read poems, sang songs, and helped with the tree planting. It was a good time.

Is there anything better than a leisurely Saturday morning breakfast? Yes! A leisurely Saturday morning breakfast cooked on a new griddle your wife surprises you with. I’ve had griddles in the past but none that I really liked, they were always to small. Char walked in the other night and gave me this one. Saturday morning, it was bacon, eggs, and pancakes. We’ll be using it a lot.

Out in the yard I was able to put in some edging to hold back the mulch and then plant a few vegetables. It’s still to early to plant a lot of things but I did plant kale and beets. I have really been enjoying working out in the yard.

Then there is the cooking class at the assisted living center. Attendance was up this week. Evidently word about last week’s cake had spread. This week we made chicken artichoke casserole. It was a big hit. At the end of class, I told the residents next week we will be making something with apples. Before long we were talking about ice cream, I said we would have ice cream too. That’s when I heard the quote of the week. It came from a lady who was being wheeled out of the room. She looked at me, smiled, and said, “Geez, Ralph, I hope I don't die by then because I love ice cream!"

Four simple little things that helped me capture happiness in the last few days. The secret I rediscovered is to slow down and take time to enjoy what I am doing. Don’t get in a big rush to scratch things off the ‘To Do’ list, don’t run from one event to another – slow down and enjoy what I’m doing at the moment. At least, it works for me.

I’m sure I’ll forget this lesson from time to time. But Mr. Franklin was right – you have to catch happiness yourself.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sunday Funnies

Three boys are in the school yard bragging about their fathers. The first boy says, 'My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem, they give him $50.'

The second boy says, 'That’s nothing. My Dad scribbles a few words on piece of paper, he calls it a song, and they give him $100.'

The third boy says, 'I got you both beat. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a sermon, and it takes eight people to collect all the money!'

(Thanks to Rachel)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Return of the Carrot Cake

I have history with carrot cake. It goes back to March 2005. My father in law was in a rehabilitation center and part of his therapy was to attend cooking classes. One day, while at our house, he gave me the recipe from that week’s class. Then he decided we should make it together. It was carrot cake.

Little did I know what that would start. You can read the carrot cake story here. A few days later my father in law, Vic, passed away.

Long before I retired I decided I would return to that center and volunteer. I had two ideas in mind – story telling and helping in the cooking class. I will be doing the story telling but the cooking class was assigned to me.

It only seemed right that the first thing we made was carrot cake. The residents in the class were happy to see me. Many of them told me they liked the cooking class but it stopped awhile back and they didn’t know why. Thirty people showed up, eight were assigned to be my helpers. They would help with the measuring, stirring, and mixing.

At the start of class, I did get nervous. Looking out at thirty people, I suddenly realized, I have never done anything like this. Instead of getting too nervous about it I decided the best thing to do was just start and see where it took us. It worked. It's a lot like having your own cooking show on the food network - with the exception that the audience helps measure and mix everything and then half of them fall asleep until it's time to eat. We measured, we mixed, we stirred, and finally the cake was ready to be put in the oven. Suddenly, a baked cake magically appeared and when I announced it was time to make the cream cheese frosting every eye in the room lit up. I have never seen that many people smile in unison. Frosting does that to people.

We made the frosting and applied it to the cake. Then I asked the question, “You know the best part about making a cake?” As if they had a teleprompter, eight people said, “Eating it!” And that is what we did.

I asked them how it came out. One lady gave me a thumbs up. Another resident started to clap and told me if she could stand up it would be a standing ovation. One person told me I was a master chef. The best comment of the day was, "I don't want to be too critical but . . . we never get anything this good in the dining room."

Leaving the center I glanced towards Heaven. Somehow, I felt my father in law, Vic, would be eating carrot cake in Heaven tonight.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sunday Funnies

Jesus and Moses went golfing. Jesus was about to hit a shot and said, "Hey Moses, watch this! Just like Arnold Palmer!"

Moses said, "Jesus, you can do anything, don't try to be like Arnold Palmer."

Jesus said, "No, just like Arnold Palmer!"

Well, Jesus hit the ball in the water so Jesus asked Moses to retrieve the ball. Moses parted the water and got the ball. This continued for about 15 minutes. Finally, Jesus hit the ball in the water for the 7th time. "Please get my ball for me," Jesus asked Moses.

Moses said, "No, I told you to quit trying to be like Arnold Palmer, so I'm not getting it this time."

So Jesus walked across the water, reached down and got his ball. While he was doing this, a couple of kids rode by in a golf cart and said, "Who does he think he is? Jesus?"

Moses said, "NO! He thinks he's Arnold Palmer!"

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


On Easter Char and I exchange small gifts. She usually gets an Easter lily, a small box of candy, a Cadbury egg, and a card. I get a peanut butter egg and a box of Peeps. Most people are familiar with Peeps but if you're not they are shaped like baby chickens or rabbits and are marshmallows covered with a sugar coating. The original high energy food.

True to form, this Easter Char got me a box of Peeps. But then to my surprise – she decided to accessorize. She also got me a set of Peep protectors! The ultimate in Easter accessories.

As you can see the Peeps fit perfectly into these containers. Snap the top cover on they are good to go.

In a hurry and no time for breakfast? Slip a Peep into your pocket. Don't worry about the Peep being crushed or dried out when you're ready for a snack.

Going to be on the road traveling? Two fully protected Peeps fit securely in the cup holder of most vehicles.

Get your Peep protectors now and remember to stock up on Peeps – they won’t be around much longer.

Saturday, April 03, 2010


I received this via e-mail a few years back. It’s one of those things that is worth repeating. Enjoy the video by clicking here. Enjoy Easter and remember why we celebrate it – both now and forever.

Click the scroll bar once and it will automatically scroll down. Also, turn on your speakers.