My Mystery Bush

Friday, July 31, 2009

To my delight I noticed these blossoms last year. The bush was hiding on the edge of my front yard behind a mulberry tree which has been spreading wildly between my home and my neighbors. I purchased my home over fourteen years ago, so I was amazed that I had never seen these flowers before. A tiny hint of pink caught my eye and as I closed in for a peek I was in awe of the stunning beauty of this small bush loaded with blossoms. This year I have kept my eye on the bush awaiting the blooms. I was not disappointed. I've been online looking at various bushes trying to name mine.

This bloom is just beginning to open but I like the way the tiny blooms look like roses.


Think Before it's Too Late

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Feathers on the Wind

I read a story once that compared gossip to feathers. Once feathers are caught up on the wind and tossed to and fro, they cannot be captured nor can we stop them from traveling. Once words have been said they are gone; not that they do not exist, but they are not within our control. We cannot stop them, nor can we remove the imprint they have made upon those who have heard them. Have you ever sent an email only to wish you had worded it differently? Once you have pressed "send" you are forever attached to those words. Choose carefully. Let your words be instruments of peace, love and instruction; not discord, pain, and destruction.

Particularly hurt over a verbal attack awhile back, I penned:

Piercing, stabbing, the blows kept coming
Could he hear her heart loudly drumming?
Faster, more furious, the words were pelting
Her careful poise was surely melting

How could she stop her emotions from showing
When her tears were overflowing?
His face contorted now in rage
She just wanted to turn the page

To see ahead to the stories end
And know if life would be right again.
by Judy Sheldon-Walker

Clever Comebacks or Emotional Growth?

Long ago I used to think I was clever when I could come up with the fast comeback to put someone in their place. In fact I thought I really had it "together" when I told my then boyfriend to "check himself or be by himself". Cute and clever put downs were part of my repertoire. It was after I dusted myself off after a particularly painful break up and reflected upon how I behaved that I realized that hurting someone is not conducive to emotional growth or maintaining a healthy relationship. After all a relationship of one can be lonely, but sometimes a relationship of two can be even lonelier.


The Barcode: A Useful Tool

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Picture sources
In the good ole U.S. the bar code is rather plain, unlike our neighbors from across the sea, but useful nevertheless.

Bar codes Make Inventory Easier

While working retail I participated in a number of inventories and often thought how miserable this process would have been without the bar code. Could you imagine scanning, listing, tallying without this precious piece of technology? We would tease one another "If you stand still, someone will put a bar code on you and you'll get counted too!" That's how many we would have to count. It would begin to seem that everything was coded! And if you could not get the bar code to scan, you could actually read it to the computer. Reading and inputting the numbers into the computer, that were found across the bottom of the code, would bring up a price and description. Amazing!

Extremely Fast and Reliable

On the left-hand side you will find the manufacturer code and the right the product code. Cash registers and hand helds can whip through a stack of products identifying them extremely fast and tally up a list and total faster than we could call out the names of the products. Computers read the bars and spaces. Humans read the numbers.

How the Bar code was Invented

George J. Laurer is the inventor of the UPC bar code. While working for IBM in 1971 he was assigned the job to come up with a code and symbol suitable for the grocery industry. In 1973 we became acquainted with the bar code, and now we have grown to depend on this technological tool.

The Bar code and 666

A few years ago there was a scare throughout the states. A segment of people thought the bar code was surely related to the mark of the beast. Some were certain the three 6s were included in the codes and the end was near. I am not here to argue pro or con on this issue. Considerable information is provided on this topic. I will provide a link and this quote and leave it up to the reader to decide.

"The bar code opened the door (in fact, it not only opened it, it kicked the door down) to the "digital world". Everything is now a number. Everything gets a bar code. As someone truly said, "If it exists, bar code it". I remember when bar codes first started appearing. I began telling people back then, the bar code was preparing the world for 666: the Mark of the Beast. Was I ever laughed at. . . even by the Christians. I can still remember their laughing and ridicule, "You mean to tell me, everything is getting one of those "marks". You mean, I'll go even to the local "7-Eleven" and they'll have laser scanners and they'll scan these "marks". No way. It would be too obvious what was happening. Everybody would know the mark of the beast is coming""

As if there was not enough controversy surrounding the bar code, my brother-in-law who works in management for a large grocer chain sent me an email regarding determining the origin of our products using the bar code. The numbers go as follows:

  • 00 - 09 … USA & CANADA
  • 30 - 37 … FRANCE
  • 40 - 44 … GERMANY
  • 49 … JAPAN
  • 50 … UK
  • 64.. FINLAND
  • 471 ... TAIWAN
  • 480 ...PHILIPPINES
  • 628 ...SAUDI ARABIA
  • 690 -695...CHINA
  • 740 - 745 ...CENTRAL AMERICA
Check the Codes before Purchasing?

The message suggested that purchasing our products with the code in mind would be a way of helping to ensure employment of those at home. I wondered if this could actually be this simple, so I looked it up at Snopes. Snopes always provides the real scoop.

Where it Was Assigned, Not Originated

Being loyal to one's own country and trying to keep our own neighbors, family and friends employed, we may be tempted to read this believing that we are actually determining the item's origin by reading the bar code. However, Snopes has researched this email and advises us the two or three digit country codes found in the UPC-A bar code or the European Article Number (EAN) actually indicate the country or economic region where a particular code was assigned. They went on to explain that it does NOT necessarily indicate the country of origin.

An example was given of a Mexican company importing product from Guatemala, shipping and selling to the U.S. The final bar code may indicate product from Mexico and not Guatemala.

Another example was given of the 3-digit EAN prefix code of "600" being assigned to South Africa. Although a manufacturer company has headquarters in South Africa the products are manufactured in England and all contain the "600" prefix code.

Snopes said in closing that labels are our best indication of where a product was made. Snopes usually helps me solve the email mystery. Thanks Snopes, and thanks, George (I think)!


The Rule of Three

Thursday, July 16, 2009

This was posted in my church bulletin and if the author's name was there, I'd be more than happy to share that too. The words are too wise to keep to myself.


Three things to govern:
Temper, Tongue, Conduct
Three things to cultivate:
Courage, Affection, Gentleness
Three things to commend:
Thrift, Industry, Promptness
Three things to despise:
Cruelty, Arrogance, Ingratitude
Three things to wish for:
Dignity, Intellectual Power, Gracefulness
Three things to give:
Alms to the needy, Comfort to the sad,
Appreciation to the worthy.

I would love to know who wrote these wise words so if you know, please advise.

Thanks and God bless!


Wordless Wednesday - Orange & Red

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Wordless Wednesday - Red Roses


One Pair of Hands

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"Those hands are so strong
When life goes wrong...
Put your faith
Into one pair of hands."

I promised I would try to post something I am thankful for every Thursday.

I am grateful for God's hands and this video and song say it best. God bless and take care. We are in His hands.


Pearls of Wisdom

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I strive for the perfect adjective to describe words because their worth cannot be measured or understood. As a "wannabe" writer I admire the words of many other writers. When I come across that magic phrase that causes words to come alive I treasure it and tuck it away in my heart.

Some of the wonderful writers that have touched my heart at Triond inspired this article I wrote at Triond. In devouring their words day after day, week after week, my admiration for them grew. Many famous people are quoted daily and it struck me that there are those of us who are not well known but our words can hold just as much meaning. They are a wonderful group, and if you find a moment check some of them out.

As we mention Triond writers, there is another who stands tall amongst the ranks. He shares with us some memorable and inspiring quotes.

If you are asking what brought all this on, I'll tell you. My good friend, Shelly sent me an email containing some wonderful insightful words written by Regina Brett. She calls them life lessons, and at 90 years "young" I believe she has the right to share those with us, and I consider them her pearls of wisdom.

Thanks, Regina & God bless!

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio "To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. "
It is the most-requested column I've ever written.
My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone...

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret,you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19.. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Pearls (picture source)


Brownie's Brother, Prince

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Earlier in my blog, you may have seen a few pictures of my fur buddy, Brownie. He was a Christmas gift from my baby boy, Chris three years ago. He is a cross between a chihuahua and a Jack Russell. If you didn't know better, you might think this was him, but it's not. This is TT's (Te`Love's) dog. My baby was (we believe) stolen from my back yard on a very cold day in February. I had tied him up outside only long enough to take care of his personal needs, and glanced out on the back step to see the cable laying there and him gone. I miss him daily, and Prince tries to console me.

When I went to visit my grand daughter this morning, Prince ran to the door to greet me. Humans could take lessons from dogs in making guests feel welcome. He showered me with kisses and attention. They (dogs) have this awesome way of giving unconditional love. While researching one of my articles about pets for Triond I found some wonderful statistics to back up what I already felt in my heart "Statistically, someone who has had a heart attack has a 500% better survival rate when they return to a home with a pet." (As if I needed an excuse to love my fur buddy more. ) My fur buddy is pictured there also. So if you see him when you're out and about let him know I miss him and still love him.

You wouldn't know how enthusiastic Prince was moments earlier though to watch him in this video. We tied him up for a few minutes outside to take care of his business. Once he completed the business at hand he decided it was too hot outside to run and play so he calmly laid down and watched me. I should have handed him a camera too. I wonder what he would have filmed?
After shooting this short vignette, I scooped him up and took him back in where it was cooler. He richly thanked me.


The Master Artist

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I was in awe of these beauties when I spotted them sitting near my daughter's home. Next time I visited I brought my camera. I wonder if the other buds have opened yet?

Flower Hunting

My grand daughter and I spent the day together two week ends ago. She spied this flower (second picture down) outside my bank and held it facing up so I could quickly snap it. She has quite an eye for beauty and loves to assist Grandma in her ventures. Thanks, TT, short for Te`Love.

I Chopped these Trees Down!

The next two pictures in this little album is of a tree which sprouted on it's own at the back corner of my driveway. My neighbor has another tree similar, and it probably dropped a seedling. Because I purchased my home in 1994 I have had the good fortune to watch my yard undergo many transformations.

A little over ten years ago, at my husband's urgings, I had this tree and another chopped down. One sat at one back corner and the other sat at the other back corner of my drive. The one not pictured is a mulberry tree and the other (shown here) is a mystery to me. We cut both down just as far as possible then poured chemicals on the stumps to kill them. After all drive ways are for cars, right?

They Are Now Towering Majesties

God, who is the master artist, must have had other plans. Both trees now tower well over me, with my "mystery" tree (pictured in the last two pictures) being taller than my home. The blossoms are enchantingly beautiful and the leaves shaped like huge hearts; green hearts, at that. I believe it symbolizes growth, love, and beauty all in one.

If anyone knows the name of this tree, please let me know. The flowers have yellow and black stripes inside. Can you see the one on the far left? They
shower my yard with blossoms, like a flower girl at a wedding.

How could I have ever thought of cutting down this tree? Look at these huge leaves. These wonderful trees grace my yard and provide our home with relief from the hot summer days. In the coldest windiest winter days I also know that my home is no where near as cold as it would have been without them. The mulberry trees draw birds from far and near and place their welcome songs in the air. I just love waking to the sound.

Mystery Solved
A coworker heard me talking about my tree and told me she was pretty sure it was a catalpa tree, so I looked it up on the internet. The smallest picture at the top came up in my search for catalpa trees and sure enough the blossoms match my tree. Thanks to my coworker, Tish and the photographer who submitted their picture I know what type of tree this is. The beauty and clarity of their photography shines through making the identification easy. Thanks!

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