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On the Death of a Child

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The death of any child is a tragedy. The death of 20 children because a disturbed young man had easy access to an assault rifle is beyond understanding.

I’m sharing a poem today that has always made me cry:

Rispetti: On the Death of a Child

I thought I heard a knock on the door,
And I jumped up as if you were here again,
Speaking to me, as you so often did,
In a coaxing tone; “Daddy, may I come in?”

When at eventide I walked along the steep seashore
I felt your small hand quite warm in mine.

And where the tide had rolled up stones,
I said aloud; “Look out that you don’t fall!”

Paul Heyes

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LILYBELLE12 1/6/2013 1:39AM

    I happen to be from Colorado, and my children were both in a Jefferson County High School back in the Spring of 1999 when the Columbine High School had the horrible notoriety of being the worst school shooting in history. Then just a few years later up the Mountain from our High School another High School Shooting took place, though less heard of, killing another student when a gunman broke into the High School during Classes. Then this summer yet another horrible massacre in the Theater in Aurora, and today another terrible shooting incident in Aurora has killed 4 people in a family in a home. Our Governor has promised to do something about the gun situation. Our President has promised too. But neither are moving at the pace of the guns and killing.
When the Second amendment was written, we were a New country living in an unsettled wilderness over most of our land. Many had to have guns to survive and have meat on the table and be safe in their homes. Our Country is now 236 plus years old, and no longer a wilderness. We no longer need to hunt for our food, except in the grocery store, and we have a strong enough Police System and Military who do carry guns to protect us. I would not be opposed to a Total Ban of Guns in the hands of all civilians, just as some Countries already have. But I am realistic enough to know that is not what will happen. But they Have to get the assault guns and multiple rounds out of the hands of the public. They do not, and never did, belong there.
On another note, there also has to be a way that people can seek help for an Adult Family member that they think could become violent, or that they feel may have symptoms that indicate some mental instability. Back in the early 1970's I worked in the VA System as a Nurse, and I remember when the laws started to change to give more rights to Psychiatric Patients. I was working in a very Large Psychiatric Hospital the VA use to have here in Colorado. We who worked in the area of Psychiatric Medicine knew then that many of the changes were going to come back to haunt all of us, and I think it has in a lot of ways. This shooting in Ct. is just the tip of a much bigger problem that now exists with adult Psychiatric Patients who are not Hospitalized or monitored to be sure they remain on much needed medication. Some of the people with long term psychiatric problems have done just fine, but there is a group that truly need much closer Medical Supervision than living in a home alone or sometimes even living with family that may not recognize exactly what is going on or know when to seek help or even how to seek help!

Comment edited on: 1/6/2013 1:51:02 AM

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MATER88 1/3/2013 1:34AM

    I can see how that would make you cry, just as I am right now. We've got to do something but I don't know what that is or if we could even get any consensus on what to do. But we cannot let our children massacred .

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LOSE2BECOMEMORE 12/23/2012 11:13PM

    Not that there is a good time of year for something like this to happen, but at Christmas time? Sad doesn't even come close to describing this.

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SHANTISHANTI 12/21/2012 6:59PM

    Our little community of Newtown, CT is grieving and devastated beyond belief, but we have come together in faith, love and peace. Perhaps this one act of violence will enlighten people as to what is truly important in this world, peace and love.
Mary Ann

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LEVELPATHS 12/18/2012 3:37AM

    A very sad thing,,,,

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CELIAMINER 12/17/2012 10:15AM

    I felt weepy and sad, then weepy and angry all weekend. Thanks for posting, Carol.

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RUTHIEBEAR 12/17/2012 7:33AM

    My heart is broken over this. Thanks for sharing the poem.

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COACHPENNY 12/17/2012 1:27AM

    It's beyond sad and beyond belief. I don't understand and all I can think to do is pray for those little angels, the brave staff and principal who lost their lives, their families and the survivors. There were many heroes and one lone deranged coward with body armor and guns.

There is no excuse for the NRA's positions.

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MINDYJ1 12/16/2012 10:02PM

    I can't even begin to imagine what those parents are going through.

Comment edited on: 12/16/2012 10:03:05 PM

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PINKNFITCARLA 12/16/2012 9:58PM

    Thank you for sharing that poem. My heart is still heavy thinking about the events of Friday. emoticon

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JUNEAU2010 12/16/2012 7:52PM

    This whole thing is so incredibly sad. I cannot even articulate all of my swirling thoughts. I ache for the families, the friends, the community, for the brother whose mother was killed and whose brother pulled the trigger. Just incredibly sad!

Yes, the issues of gun control need addressing. So, too, do those about how we care for those who have emotional/mental health issues.

And so much more.

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WATERMELLEN 12/16/2012 6:52PM

    Sad indeed . . . such an elegiac poem.

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PETALIA 12/16/2012 6:52PM

    Hear, hear, JCORYCMA.

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JCORYCMA 12/16/2012 6:40PM

    It's tough at this time of year. I feel such a hole in my heart for my lost son.
My heart goes out to those families who lost someone - child or adult. My heart also goes out to the gunman's family who are trying to grasp how their loved one could commit this heinous act. When will the NRA realize that there is a difference between a hunting rifle and an assault weapon? It amazes me how people can worry more about what consenting adults do in the bedroom and with whom but support ownership of assault weapons. Which hurts us more?

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SHOSHANADP 12/16/2012 6:31PM

    Very appropriate poem. The situation is just so sad.

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PETALIA 12/16/2012 5:28PM

    Makes me cry, too.

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SPIRALDOWN 12/16/2012 4:47PM

    Love the poem. Such a horrible tragedy

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MOTTAMAMALOU 12/16/2012 4:46PM

    Beautiful words.

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PHEBESS 12/16/2012 4:41PM

    The whole thing is just unbelievable, isn't it? I've had students die - but never 20 at a time. I can't even imagine what that community is going through.

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Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Saturday, December 08, 2012

I recently volunteered to help at my local county recreation center in an Adapted Aquatics class for people with Multiple Sclerosis. We work in the shallow end of the pool doing strength and range of motion exercises with a number of students. There is an instructor and one or two volunteers for each student. On Friday another volunteer and I worked with a lovely lady who arrived for class in a wheel chair. We moved her into a waterproof chair and down the ramp into the pool, where she floated out of the chair as we supported her. She had limited control over her right hand and arm, and little ability to move her legs. MS also affected her speech so that she had difficulty articulating words.

One of the first exercises we did assisted her to do the movements for the elementary backstroke. You probably remember this – up, out and together with the arms and legs. I moved her legs while she moved her arms as well as she could. For the arms we called it “tickle, T, and touch (your thighs).” Then she started calling it “tickle, T and wiggle.” Every time she extended her arms she would wiggle her hips in the water and laugh.

Our next exercise was “crunches”. We put a flotation “noodle” under her shoulders and another one under her knees. She grabbed the lower “noodle” and pulled her knees towards her chest, crunching her abdominal muscles. This required a lot of effort on her part, but she was doing well. Then she started to sing:

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.

Her speech was labored, but she could sing quite clearly! The other volunteer and I sang along with her.

After awhile it hit me. She had a tough boat to row, fighting MS, but she was doing her best to be active, and she was laughing and singing as she rowed.

I don’t know what kind of boat you are rowing. Probably you don’t have MS, but you may be a diabetic, or have arthritis. You may be fighting depression or anxiety. You may have small children or 3 jobs. Life is hard sometimes. All we can do is keep rowing, and try to laugh and sing along the way.

If this lovely lady can get to the pool in a wheel chair to work out, what’s your excuse for not exercising?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATWELL88 1/19/2013 12:14PM

    LOVE this blog -- im glad you found something you enjoy and helping those who has MS with various levels of fitness - helping the lady in whellchair to swim and enjoy herself too!
i know a friend who has MS who not in a whellchair however she walk to keep her body happy and a postive role model for me in many ways. emoticon emoticon

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HOLLYM48 1/12/2013 7:41PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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2BDYNAMIC 1/12/2013 7:00PM

    This sweet story really touched my heart .......... How lovely of you and the other wonderful people volunteering and helping this woman ....... I think this is what life is all about ............... sharing what we can with others ........... And who knows ........ this happy lady likely gave to others before she became ill ............ In life, there just are times we need help ............ and times we can help others ............ emoticon

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JOYATLAST 12/28/2012 6:09PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I loved reading every word of this story. Thank you for sharing it.

It reenforces the notion of excuses when you see someone who really has one but moves forward in spite of it.

I commend your volunteer work.

A emoticon and emoticon from Joy!

Comment edited on: 12/28/2012 6:10:34 PM

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DETERMINEDAGAIN 12/11/2012 12:57AM

    It's women like her that completely motivate me. My life is hard. But it can always be worse and people like her lend perspective. Thanks for sharing!

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PETALIA 12/10/2012 7:19PM

    Your support made the rowing and singing possible, I believe. You again made my own rowing easier with your kind and mysterious package which you left on my doorstep, I mean page. Thank you for that and for the inspiring true story.

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ASPENHUGGER 12/10/2012 12:50PM

    Having trouble with the internet this morning -- sorry for the double post!

Comment edited on: 12/10/2012 12:51:51 PM

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ASPENHUGGER 12/10/2012 12:43PM

    emoticon for being there to help these folks! You are emoticon!!!

I do water aerobics three or four times a week -- the water helps so much when you are struggling with physical difficulties. I can get there & do the routines without help, but you are a Godsend for the folks that need assistance.


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    A great message to share.
How rewarding for the both of you.
May you abundantly be blessed in your giving.
emoticon for the motivational blog.
Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones.
emoticon Lynda

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SHARON10002 12/9/2012 11:07PM

    Great blog! My BIL has MS and is confined to wheelchair, too. His attitude is just like hers - very positive. i had a student in my aquatic therapeutic exercise class that had ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease and he came to class every day! Talk about a positive outlook and a great personality - everyone loved him!
I'm sure you're getting more out of that class than you think! Great job!!!!

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COACHPENNY 12/9/2012 10:13PM

    How wonderful! Beneficial to the participants and to you as well.

I recently attended a training for MS Aquatics. Our facility hopes to add this program in the future. The trainers stressed the benefits and the amazing attitudes of the participants. I spoke at length to one woman who was at one time confined to a wheelchair but, regained enough movement through sheer determination to use a walker again. She leads a full life and doesn't give up. Later in the pool portion we met quite a few others with that same spirit. It was absolutely inspiring.

Water is a great equalizer for all of us but, especially for those with debilitating conditions.

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JUNEAU2010 12/9/2012 8:44PM

    emoticon I needed your blog today!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 12/9/2012 8:10PM

    What a lovely blog meditation. Thank you!

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MOM2ACAT 12/9/2012 6:57PM

    That is awesome!
My best friend has MS; she is not in a wheel chair at this time, but she finds working out in the pool very helpful too.

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CATLADY52 12/9/2012 3:58PM

    No excuse for many of us emoticon

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IMPROVINGME 12/9/2012 10:46AM

    This is a great story! Thank you for sharing it with us and for voluteering your time to help others.

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SARAWMS48 12/9/2012 9:54AM

    A great reminder that there can be joy in difficult circumstances.

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SUSANNAH31 12/9/2012 8:36AM

    Congratulations to you on the valuable volunteer work that you do.

Certainly this woman should be a role model for all of us when it comes to exercising.

In addition, as you point out, she sends us such an important message:
No matter what our problem or issue is, we should always find the time for laughing and singing along the way.

Thank you for sharing this poignant story.


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JCORYCMA 12/8/2012 11:04PM

    What an inspiration she is! And you too!

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SHOSHANADP 12/8/2012 9:06PM

    Sounds like it was a really fulfilling experience.

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WATERMELLEN 12/8/2012 8:47PM

    I'm rowing: sometimes on the rowing machine at the gym!

Really admire your volunteer work: it's so important to reach out.

And this is a really great blog.

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Roasted Butternut Squash

Friday, November 25, 2011

A couple of people asked for my recipe for roasted pear and butternut squash with walnuts, so I am sharing it here.

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed (1 inch cubes)
3 firm pears, cored and cubed
1/4 cup walnut pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons of sugar (optional)
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)

Combine cubed squash, pears, walnuts and olive oil.
Spread mixture in a single layer on a sheet pan.
Season with salt, pepper, sugar and cinnamon.

Roast in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Stir gently and roast another 15 minutes or until as done as you like it.

I roasted mine before I put the turkey in the oven, then reheated it in a casserole dish for 30 minutes after the turkey came out.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year.

Here is one of my favorite hymns in honor of the season.

For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour
of the day and of the night,
hill and vale, and tree and flower,
sun and moon, and stars of light;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of ear and eye,
for the heart and mind's delight,
for the mystic harmony,
linking sense to sound and sight;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love,
brother, sister, parent, child,
friends on earth and friends above,
for all gentle thoughts and mild;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

For thy church, that evermore
lifteth holy hands above,
offering up on every shore
her pure sacrifice of love;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

For thyself, best Gift Divine,
to the world so freely given,
for that great, great love of thine,
peace on earth, and joy in heaven:
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

Folliot S. Pierpoint

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOM2ACAT 9/20/2012 8:27AM

    That recipe sounds good! I never thought of putting pears and squash together.

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ASPENHUGGER 4/21/2012 10:48PM

    It's one of my favorite hymns too -- sang it so often in church when I was younger.

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JOYATLAST 12/8/2011 12:44AM

    emoticon I will be making this for Christmas. I hope I can wait that long. emoticon

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SHOSHANADP 11/26/2011 10:15PM

    Thank you for the recipe! I hope to be able to try it out myself.

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COLEENCOLE 11/26/2011 4:06PM

    Sounds delicious. Thanks.

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TINY67 11/26/2011 9:10AM

    Thanks emoticon

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COACHPENNY 11/25/2011 10:52PM

    Yum Yum! and a lovely hym

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JCORYCMA 11/25/2011 9:15PM

    The recipe sounds wonderful! The hymn brings back special family memories at our parents church....

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JUNEAU2010 11/25/2011 8:46PM

    Thank you for the recipe! Thank you even more for sharing one of my favorite hymns with all the verses! I sang it all and am quite uplifted!

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VALERIEMAHA 11/25/2011 7:38PM

The dish sounds divine! I'm such a foodie rebel: Now to figure out how to cook it first and then peel it. Peeling winter squash is just such a complete drag that I've gotten into the habit of chopping them in half or into about four piece, removing the seeds, and roasting them. Hmmmm...maybe I'll try stuffing it with the mixture...?

The hymn is wonderful as well. Thanks for sharing!

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PETALIA 11/25/2011 7:23PM

    Folliot S. Pierpoint's hymn is absolutely beautiful. Moving.

Thanks also for sharing the recipe. When you spoke about the pear, walnut and Butternut squash dish in your status, that mixture sounded so right, so full of potential. I look forward to making it very soon.

Thanks for both the hymn and the recipe.

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KRISTEN_SAYS 11/25/2011 6:52PM

    Yum, thanks for the recipe!

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Don't Forget to be Happy

Monday, June 27, 2011

I just responded to a post on one of my teams. The team leader was asking what we did to stay positive. I liked my answer well enough to share it as a blog.

My Dad is my role model for a positive attitude.

He was born in 1913.

He remembers the great flu epidemic of 1918. The whole family got sick, but they all survived.

His older brother drowned in the Mississippi River when my Dad was about 16. Because the family was poor, my Dad had to drop out of high school after the tragedy and go to work. He was happy to be strong and healthy and able to find work.

He survived the Great Depression. He worked for a while in a Civilian Conservation Corps Camp in northern Minnesota. He says he enjoyed it. They fed him well and he earned money to send home to his mother and younger siblings.

He survived World War II. He was in the Signal Corps, and he says that kept him alive. The radio boys weren't the first ones ashore in the South Pacific, so fewer of them got shot. He was proud of being a soldier, and he met my Mom in New Zealand during the war, so he is always positive about his war experience.

He did factory work, supported my mother and 4 kids. My mother went through college with my Dad's support, and he was immensely proud of her. He taught me that I could accomplish anything with hard work and education.

After retiring from his factory job, my Dad worked another 10 years as a cook at a church operated day care center. He loved cooking, and loved the little kids.

My Dad is 97 now. He forgets what day it is, but remembers his long life with happiness. He enjoys the VA home he's in. He says they feed him well, and the bed is soft, what more could he want.

Any time I get discouraged I think of my Dad, and all that he was able to overcome and accomplish and survive. I'm going to keep working hard, and stay happy.

Billy Collins wrote a wonderful poem about forgetfulness that I'm going to share today. It makes me think of my Dad, too.


The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read, never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses good-bye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of you spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

Billy Collins

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CITYZOZO 6/29/2012 5:16AM

    great post.. your dad reminds me of mine.. when i ask my dad how he is, he says "i like life", he also had great struggles much like your dad... we should be so thankful for these wonderful men

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TEDDYTEDDY 2/23/2012 9:20AM

    Thanks for a wonderful blog. I am married to Len who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and small vessel ischemic dementia about 2-3 years ago. I still work but one of these days I probably will have to retire to be home with him. I was told 2-3 years ago he probably would be in a nursing home by now. He has many stories to tell but has certain ones he tells over and over and when I tell him I have heard one of them, he announces that he is being "redundant again." I should let him tell me as there could be a lesson there (especially about patience). The poem is especially nice and I should put a copy on my fridge and one on my desk at work.

Lately I have been having some minor difficulty with my memory and it is very frustrating to know that you know something but are unable to "spit it out." emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/23/2012 9:21:59 AM

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 11/2/2011 4:39PM

    Yes, I need to work on this!


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ALIBROM 8/8/2011 5:57PM

    What a beautiful tribute to your Dad. He sounds like such a good, nice person. Like you.

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BILLB000 7/21/2011 10:49AM

    I have never been a big fan of Billy Collins but you are helping me warm up to him! I love this poem. Thank you for sharing and for sharing the story of your father.

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FRACTALMYTH 7/13/2011 2:57PM

    Ahhh, that's beautiful. I'd love to give your dad a big hug - just for being him! so give him one for me :D and here's one for you too! Thank you for my nice soup - made me feel much improved... I made a huge saucepanful last night and enjoyed it greatly. Billy Collins is perfection too. What a great way to start my morning! Have a wonderfully happy and healthy day!

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WENDALL125 7/10/2011 10:48PM

    Thank you for another wonderful poem, and for the fabulous portrait of your dad. I think you inherited his positive outlook on life.

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BGSTELLA 7/10/2011 1:43PM

    i love the poetry you add to our lives --- thank u thank u

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JOYATLAST 7/9/2011 11:38PM

    What a powerful legacy. You are so very blessed.

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HAPPY-DESTINY 6/28/2011 11:22AM

    I am always 'Happy' ! emoticon

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PENNYAN45 6/28/2011 10:45AM

    How fortunate you are to have such a father! Thanks for sharing his story and his inspirational spirit with us.

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ALLIEINSHAPE 6/28/2011 12:15AM

    Thank for telling us about your wonderful father. That is a beautiful poem! The best memories are the last to go I hope.

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WATERMELLEN 6/27/2011 10:59PM

    Your love and admiration for your father are a beacon!!

Love the poem . . . fun and true.

And: I'm going to remember to be happy. I've got lots to be happy about.

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JCORYCMA 6/27/2011 10:32PM

    Mom and dad were perfect for each other. She was restless, full of longing, and her quest for adventure and thirst for knowledge were never sated. He had the ability to find pleasure in the process and not just the product. He could find contenment in all things. He willingly gave her the space that she so needed to fly, and knowing that he always would, kept her grounded.
He is loved by all the staff at the VA for his positive and cheerful manner. What a great example we have had! The poem is terrific as always!

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COACHPENNY 6/27/2011 9:17PM

    That's so lovely!

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SHOSHANADP 6/27/2011 7:46PM

    Your dad sounds cool. I have enjoyed hearing over the years the stories about him.

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TDRANDALL 6/27/2011 5:36PM

    Great verbal picture of your Dad. You capture his hardworking, cheerful nature and eventful life nicely. Loved the poem by - what was that guy's name, anyway??

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MOM2ACAT 6/27/2011 4:48PM


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PETALIA 6/27/2011 4:34PM

    I am taken by the story of your father, and furthermore, you the daughter doing the telling of the story and feeling so positive. Not always easy, the father/daughter thing, but very beautiful when it exists in such a light as you have shared with us. Thank you.

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COLEENCOLE 6/27/2011 2:43PM

    Wonderful blog and how nice that you have had so many years of blessings with your dad. What a legacy!

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Two Friends Met for Lunch

Friday, June 17, 2011

Two friends met at a diner for gossip and lunch. I’m calling the thin friend Bitsy and the ample friend Betsy.

Bitsy barely glanced at the menu and set it aside. She knew what she wanted. Betsy studied the menu avidly, looking at all the options, and wondered what she should eat. She was on a diet, as she always was.

The waitress came and Bitsy ordered a cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato, fries and a coke. Betsy sighed and ordered a chef salad with (after some hesitation) blue cheese dressing, and iced tea. “Sweet tea or regular?” asked the waitress. Betsy hesitated again then said “sweet – after all, I’m getting a salad – and I love sweet tea”.

The waitress brought the drinks. Bitsy set hers aside. Betsy took a long swallow and said, “I wish I was thin like you so I could eat anything I wanted. You must have a good metabolism. Everything I eat turns to fat.”

Bitsy shrugged. “I never really thought about it.”

The food came.

Bitsy removed the top bun of the burger, along with the lettuce and tomato and both slices of cheese. She took a paper napkin and blotted the top of the burger, turned it over to blot the other side, studied the cheese for a moment, then replaced one slice and left the other sitting on the discarded top of the bun. She added back the tomato and lettuce, picked up her fork and knife and cut off a small bite of burger, being careful to get a bit of tomato, lettuce and cheese in the bite. She put down her fork and knife, took one small sip of coke, and began to share some juicy gossip.

Betsy picked up the gravy boat full of blue cheese dressing and poured it over her salad. In the salad bowl was a head of iceberg lettuce, a tomato cut in wedges, 2 hard boiled eggs, cut in halves, a chopped cucumber, an ounce of American cheese, an ounce of Swiss cheese, an ounce of turkey and an ounce of ham. She mixed in the dressing and started to eat steadily; stopping only for long swallows of sweet tea.

Bitsy studied her fries, carefully picking out those that were too dark or too pale, setting them aside by the cast off bun and cheese. She ate half a large fry, another bite of burger, and had a small sip of coke.

By the time Bitsy had eaten her third bite of burger and her third French fry, Betsy had eaten half her salad and was signaling the waitress for more sweet tea.

I think you can see where this is going. Betsy consumed her entire salad, along with half a cup of blue cheese dressing, two glasses of sweet tea, and two packages of saltines. Bitsy ate about ¾ of her stripped down cheeseburger, eight fries, and drank half her coke.

Bitsy left satisfied. She hadn’t eaten a lot of fruits or vegetables for lunch, but she didn’t really think about it. She’d eaten a big bowl of strawberries for breakfast, and was planning to have salmon and green beans for dinner, with a baked sweet potato.

Betsy felt deprived. She thought of her lunch as “rabbit food” and was already anticipating a candy bar mid afternoon to make up for her “diet” lunch. She still blamed her metabolism for her weight problem.

Which friend are you?

Here is a poem I’ve always like. It reminds me of the special relationship between parent and child.

Sentimental Moment or Why Did the Baguette Cross the Road?

Don't fill up on bread
I say absent-mindedly
The servings here are huge

My son, whose hair may be
receding a bit, says
Did you really just
say that to me?

What he doesn't know
is that when we're walking
together, when we get
to the curb
I sometimes start to reach
for his hand

Robert Hershon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOLAZYBUTT110 8/12/2012 2:55AM

    I feel I am Bitsy! I eat a alittle bit, but all the time! lol susana

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SANDYW1945 7/9/2012 8:57AM

    Just came across this blog. Really. A year after you wrote it? Drat. I'm always a step behind. Good story. Poor Betsy. She needs SP.

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ALIBROM 8/8/2011 5:52PM

    Oh my gosh that poem brought tears to my eyes. I'm so sentimental, and my oldest son is only 21! How am I ever going to survive the empty nest??? My daughter is 18 and off to college, and my youngest son is 12. That is such a good example of how a thin person eats. I was going to say I'll never be a "thin eater", but you know what? I think I may be in the process of becoming one!

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NOLAZYBUTT110 7/22/2011 8:24PM

    I like to say I am a little envious of Bitsy........ but an more like the other!

I loved the poem,(I am a poet!) and wonder how many will actually figure out what thw writer is saying! I did, and it was precious!

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JOYATLAST 7/9/2011 11:46PM

    I can't say that I know any Bitsys. My eyes have been opened.

The poem is precious.

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    Great blog, lots to think about... Man-of-my-dreams is a natural Bitsy - so I can honestly say some of my best friends are Bitsys

True Confession: I'm a Betsy.... I adore menus and outdoor vendors. I love generous portions and strong flavors. I love that life is overwhelmingly full of gusto and temptation. I love greasy wax paper and punk rock and mounds of butter cream frosting. I truly hate to say it but sometimes I just want to throttle the Bitsys of the world... with their smug disinterest in food and their oh-so nonchalant exasperation with the fact that they have to eat occasionally. grrrrrr....

(thank goodness my love of too-much-is-a-good-thing extends to exercise as well or I'd be the size of 3 Betsys with a handful of Bitsys for good measure!)

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HANOVERLADY 6/23/2011 2:48PM

    Oh, drat, CMRAND54 saw me at lunch the other day! Seriously, this is a good reminder of what I should be doing on a more consistent basis. Thanks!

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PENNYAN45 6/20/2011 7:12AM

    Thanks for sharing this story. It is a great reminder of how things can be...

...and I LOVE the poem!

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ERIKO1908 6/19/2011 11:17PM

    What a great story of everything in moderation. We CAN have the yummy stuff...we just need to have it smarter. Deprivation gets a person NOWHERE!! Thanks for sharing!!

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JCORYCMA 6/19/2011 10:18PM

    This is a great blog with an important observation. Unfortunately for a lot of years I was a Betsy who happens to be married to a Bitsy. I moaned for years how HE could eat whatever HE wanted while I was "stuck with salad"! I LOVE the poem too! It actually moved me to tears because I read this after I'd just hung up the phone from wishing my grown son happy father's day...

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TEDDYTEDDY 6/19/2011 11:09AM

    People often comment on what healthy food my daughter eats..and what small portions. She has the figure to be jealous of and she keeps close watch so she won't get too heavy.

People I work with think I eat very healthily, also, but my portions sizes need to be down-sized so I can get into those clothes I have put in storage.

It is amazing how many people who overeat and make poor decisions think they are "dieting." (Myself included.) emoticon

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KALISWALKER 6/18/2011 7:08PM

    What a lovely poem for Father's Day!

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INSHAPE2011 6/18/2011 6:12PM

    Great blog! A parable to convey such an important message... Betsy and Bitsy, two different eating habits, two completely different ways of thinking.... there is a Betsy and a Bitsy inside everyone of us and I am trying hard to free up Bitsy!

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MOM2ACAT 6/18/2011 6:12PM


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SLENDERELLA61 6/18/2011 5:49PM

    Great blog! I've known many Betsys and a few Bitsys.

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REJ7777 6/18/2011 1:53PM

    Great blog! It's so important to eat mindfully.

I know what you mean about your grown son. My son lives 3000 miles away, and sometimes, when he comes for a visit, I'll give him some very "motherly" advise. Once, I jokingly asked him how he survived without me around. He just laughed.

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SARAWMS48 6/18/2011 10:33AM

    My mother always reminded me to wear a sweater when she was cold. Now I do it to my grown children. Even worse, I ask if that's all they're eating as if a grown-up wouldn't know how much they need.

As to eating, I've decided that certain foods are not my friends. They have mistreated me in the past, so I'm sticking with the ones that are making me happy.

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MELLYBEANS0919 6/17/2011 11:35PM

    A lot to think about, very nicely written. Thank you!

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JUNEAU2010 6/17/2011 11:01PM

    I LOVE this one! Thank you!

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CANDOK1260 6/17/2011 10:24PM

    boy gave me allot to think about emoticon emoticon

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COLEENCOLE 6/17/2011 9:48PM

    Great story. I have seen this in action by observing people in a food court.

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WATERMELLEN 6/17/2011 7:44PM

    Great story!! If I'd ordered that cheeseburger with fries I'm afraid I would have eaten every bite: cannot risk it!!

And yup . . . still have to bite my tongue when I'm crossing a road with my (towering) son!!

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GAILRUU 6/17/2011 3:57PM

    I have TOPS friends who refuse to drink diet soda but continue to drink sugar sweetened. When I point out how many calories they are drinking in the soda they say they don't like diet soda and never consider just drinking water instead. Some things are just not worth the calories. Stay vigilant!

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COACHPENNY 6/17/2011 2:31PM

    Interesting story. We've probably all been Betsy at one time or another. I've been Bitsy for a long while now. Much healthier way to live.

The true...once a parent always a parent.

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LINDARUTH46 6/17/2011 1:13PM

    Why did Bitsy order a cheeseburger if she was going to remove the cheese?

I loved the story, though, unfortunately, I'm probably more like Betsy.

The poem was wonderful, though, and so true.

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PETALIA 6/17/2011 12:12PM

    That poem breaks my heart.

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CATREB 6/17/2011 12:04PM

    This story has got me thinking so much about which friend I am! It's also got me thinking about my food choices when I'm out.

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