Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Farmer's Donkey

One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway, it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement, he quieted down.

A few shovels later, the farmer finally looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping-stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up!

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
Free your heart from hatred
Free your mind from worries
Live simply
Give more
Expect less

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Memorial Weekend!

Remembering with gratitude and pride for all those who serve and have served to protect our country.
Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither, and lose both.
-- Benjamin Franklin

Friday, May 15, 2009

Red-Wings and Buzzers

Spring has really sprung in Chicagoland. It is evident with the arrival of the red-winged blackbirds and the early cicadas.

I am sure if I was up and more alert at this time last year that I would have seen the beautiful birds and the first infestation of the buzzing cicadas. (A cicada looks similar to a locust, but it has a larger body and is more colorful.

I feel bad for the early cicadas because they will be devoured by the birds and dogs as they venture out of their underground burrows; however do not feel too bad for the industrious and noisy insects. Soon there will be so many of them around, the dogs and birds will be sick of eating them, and then all the male cicadas will sing; and the stereophonic buzzing will sound like a den of rattlesnakes.

I saw my first sighting of a red-winged blackbird a few weeks ago. It was sitting on the tip of cattail and I would have totally missed the little black bird, but it hopped off the plant and I immediately saw the bright red feathers. It was the most beautiful little bird I have seen in a long time. When Lynn and I were driving up to Madison, Wisconsin, I saw oodles of red-winged blackbirds off the freeways defending their small territories. The birds nests in marshes, cattails, fields, etc. They migrate from the Southern states and Mexico around March to the Northern states, including Aurora, IL, in swarms. They will migrate back to their warmer climates in the fall.

It is raining today in Chicagoland. With the arrival of the cicadas, along with the red-winged blackbirds, and the rain, it feels like spring!


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Utah Visitors

We are SUPER excited! Tomorrow we will be having some dear friends visiting from Utah. They will stay overnight and head back to Iowa on Thursday. We have missed our wonderful friends and family who live in Utah and other areas in the United States. Our only wish is that Geri and Bill’s visit could be longer; however, we are not picky. We will enjoy whatever time we have with our good friends.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

How To Plant Your Garden

A friend of mine reminded me today of a few helpful planting tips. Especially now, as we begin to plant our gardens; may we remember to place in the ground peas, squash, lettuce, turnips and thyme? The seed tips for healthy growing vegetables are:
1. Peace of mind
2. Peace of heart
3. Peace of soul

1. Squash gossip
2. Squash indifference
3. Squash grumbling
4. Squash selfishness


1. Lettuce be faithful
2. Lettuce be kind
3. Lettuce be patient
4. Lettuce really love one another

1. Turnip for meetings
2. Turnip for service
3. Turnip to help one another


1. Thyme for each other
2. Thyme for family
3. Thyme for friends