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Wednesday, October 9, 2013


     This is the time of year when we get our furnaces, pellet/wood stoves and other heating equipment ready for the heating season that will soon be upon us. Seeing that it is Wednesday, the Hodgepodge is upon us. Joyce has done it again! She has come up with a series of posers that are thought provoking and fun to answer. I encourage you to participate and answer the questions yourself. Also, let me encourage you to visit Joyce's blog "From This Side of the Pond." You'll be glad that you did.

1. The USA will mark Columbus Day this year on Monday, October 14th. What's something you need or want to explore (literally or metaphorically speaking)?

     My dream expedition would be to load SWMBO and our fur babies into an RV and travel the breadth of this great land. I would love to explore as many National Parks as possible, beginning with Arcadia National Park in Maine to Yosemite National Park in California. Ours is a magnificently beautiful country and most Americans do not get to see very much of it other than on TV or in movies. 

2. The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz, Ursula from The Little Mermaid, or Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty...who do you most love to hate?

     Generally I don't waste emotional energy by hating fictional characters. I hate evil in all of its forms. However, to directly answer the question posed, I choose the Wicked Witch of the West. She frightened me the most as a child.

3. Is open-mindedness a virtue?

     I believe that having an open mind is a virtue. If we closed our minds to new ideas we would never learn anything new. I believe that we should develop critical thinking skills to the extent that those with higher intellect and better rhetorical skills are not able to take advantage of our open minds. Our minds should not be so open that our brains fall out.
     On a spiritual note, before one can listen to, evaluate and obey the Gospel, their minds must be open to the prospect of a living, loving, almighty God and the salvation that He freely offers before they are able to respond to Him.

4. How often do you weigh yourself?
     I do weigh myself very rarely. I generally gauge my weight loss by how my clothes fit, by how tight or loose they are.

5. This question comes to you courtesy of Rebecca over at Making Memories, so thanks Rebecca! 

Costa Rica was recently named the happiest country in the world on the Happy Planet Index. What's the happiest country in the world to you, and what makes it so?

     I choose the United States of America. Our nation has observed in its Declaration of Independence that we are endowed by our Creator with the inalienable rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. We further sought to preserve these blessings of liberty in our Constitution. This nation is the envy of the entire world. Consider the hardships people are willing to endure to make it to our shores or across our borders. They are not emigrating to Costa Rica.

6. Besides The Bible, what is one book you think should be mandatory reading for high school students? Why?

     My choice is "The Book of Virtues" by Bill Bennett, the former Secretary of Education. Dr. Bennett has listed a number of virtuous character traits and has cited examples from the Bible, history and literature of good and bad examples thereof. I believe that students would be well served by reading and learning many of the teachings of this well researched and well written book. Adults would benefit also!

7. I went shopping at some nearby outlets last week, and while I was there, I picked up a couple of Christmas gifts. How about you? Have you started your holiday shopping yet?

     No Way Jose' ! Being a founding member of the E.S.A.S. (Ebenezer Scrooge Admiration Society) I believe that this constant barrage of commercialism that now begins before Halloween and continues well into the new year defiles the true meaning of Christmas. I choose not to participate or contribute to this vulgarity. Let me emphasize that this is my personal view and is not meant to cast any aspersions on anyone who may hold a different view, particularly my beloved SWMBO who is the quintessential Noel-ophile (Lover of All Things Christmas).

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     My inclination is to vent my spleen regarding the current situation vis a vis the government shutdown. However, I am trying to keep my blood pressure down to safe limits so I will not. 
     Yesterday, I attended a funeral wake for the wife of one of my former part-time officers. His wife was diagnosed about a year ago with advanced lung cancer. Although she put up a valiant fight, she lost her battle with this insidiously awful disease and passed away last Friday. 
     This woman is well loved by the many people she had interacted with during her brief time on earth, judging by the turn out at the funeral home. She is one of those people of whom you never hear anything negative about. By all accounts she is a wonderful wife, a terrific mother and a great friend. My heart and prayers go out to her husband, her two adult children and her granddaughter as well as her other family members.
     This woman enriched and made a positive difference in the lives of those who were privileged to know her. None of us have a guarantee of a tomorrow. Let me encourage all of you, while you are still here, enrich and make a positive difference in the lives that you are privileged to be a part of. 
     May she rest in peace!


  1. I would love to jump on an RV and take off as well with you. Any time babe!! Oh and I guess we need toget an RV first however right? We do need to go Christmas shopping soon and birthday shopping as well for those west coasters of ours.

  2. So sorry for the loss of your friend. We have The Book of Virtues and used to read it to our girls as they were growing up. I haven't opened it in a long time, but its a great book! Hope you get to the National Parks-be sure they're open before you head out : )