Saturday, July 31, 2010

Baton Rouge Hope Animal Rescue Project: My Pets

I am in the exploratory phase of my and my husband's dream of having a pet rescue...and maybe someday an animal sanctuary. I've started a blog to get the ball rolling. I had to include a page on our animals...we kinda already have a head start on the sanctuary part...wouldn't you say?

Baton Rouge Hope Animal Rescue Project: My Pets: "In the tank, Tiger (the sole survivor after 'Skunk' took out the other fish then Tiger took out Skunk...I'd say it's a fish eat fish wo..."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Book Philosophy: Shop with me and get books for .01!

Book Philosophy: Shop with me and get books for .01!I'm having to let a few books go for .01 since Amazon has so many people selling the same ones for that price. My loss is your gain (actually, you'd be doing me a favor to clear space on my shelves). Browse my stuff and find something you like! If you are wondering, I'm not losing money because these books were donated and the shipping credit collected by Amazon covers packaging materials and postage. Here's my inventory for your browsing pleasure."

$.01 Books on Amazon

I'm having to let a few books go for .01 since Amazon has so many people selling the same ones for that price. My loss is your gain (actually, you'd be doing me a favor to clear space on my shelves). Browse my stuff and find something you like! If you are wondering, I'm not losing money because these books were donated and the shipping credit collected by Amazon covers packaging materials and postage. Here's my inventory for your browsing pleasure.

Books, Boogie, Rescue Dreams

Catholic church. Choir/music. I'm being bumped around by big booties of the black women dancing on both sides of me in the pew. The stern-faced white people look at us in disapproval. I notice I am the only white person enjoying myself. After church, I am leaving. Lots of older people (mostly black, some white) are sitting in pews, waiting. There is no preacher, apparently the service has ended. I walk past the man who I thought was the preacher (red-haired) as I am saying "there's got to be something wrong with the church if everyone is sitting down waiting but no one is teaching them. Then I try suggesting ideas for Sunday school. Isn't there a curriculum that just anyone can teach. He goes to his Catholic books (on a computer screen) & I notice in his titles of stacked books in the 1920s Art Nouveau style a book about Bohemian Philosophy or something. I say "this is where I come from/started/ideas etc." And he pulls it out and takes me on a journey through a story of violence and death...something to do with a wax (red) letter sealer (like on the book "The Secret" maybe?). It morphs into a wooden megaphone of some sort and I walk down the aisles holding it while it is spewing its recordings. I pretend I'm talking & realize when I speak the recording stops & everyone is listening to me. I say some silly things, make some silly sounds as if to play the class clown to take the serious attention off of me (it makes me uncomfortable), then I hurry and run out. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Paypal Phishing E-mail

I'm sure many people are familiar with these scams where you receive a seemingly official e-mail from one of your account holders, but it's designed to trick you into divulging your sensitive information. This is how identity thieves get your information. I just received another one of these today after making an Ebay purchase and paying with my PayPal account.

There are many websites warning of this type of scam. Click on the link for a list:

Report all phishing attempts so that we can stop these people, one e-mail at a time.

Forward any e-mail you get to or whatever site it's claiming to be (yahoo, capital one bank, etc.)

Paypal's reply to my forwarded e-mail:

Thanks for forwarding that suspicious-looking email. You're right - it
was a phishing attempt, and we're working on stopping the fraud. By
reporting the problem, you've made a difference!

Identity thieves try to trick you into revealing your password or other
personal information through phishing emails and fake websites. To learn
more about online safety, click "Security Center" on any PayPal webpage.

Every email counts. When you forward suspicious-looking emails to, you help keep yourself and others safe from identity

Your account security is very important to us, so we appreciate your
extra effort.



This email is sent to you by the contracting entity to your User
Agreement, either PayPal Ince, PayPal Pte. Ltd or PayPal (Europe) S.à
r.l. & Cie, S.C.A. Société en Commandite par Actions, Registered Office:
5th Floor 22-24 Boulevard Royal L-2449, Luxembourg RCS Luxembourg B 118

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

So you have a sense of humor, but...

Find out what your sense of humor says about you. I find this extremely interesting and quite revealing.


I've spent the past seven months or so researching the business of bookselling. It is such an interesting field with so many outlets to explore. I've decided to start a blog devoted especially to books where I can compile all of my information and write about this new hobby. I've been selling on Amazon since January and now starting to sell on Ebay. I find books at garage sales, thrift stores and from people who donate them to my cause. When I go to list them, I find that I absolutely love researching them. Sometimes I get lost and find myself reading the book and not wanting to part with it. I have piles and piles of books that I cannot bare to let go just yet. My favorite finds are vintage books. Since this hobby is shared by so many, I started a group on Facebook to network with like-minded people. One day I'd love to open my own bookstore.

Prevent Drowning This Summer: It Doesn't Look Like It Does in the Movies

Prevent Drowning This Summer: It Doesn't Look Like It Does in the Movies

Writing Effective Email - Communication Skills Training from

Writing Effective Email - Communication Skills Training from

Writing Effective Emails

Making Sure Your Messages Get Read and Acted Upon

Do people respond to your emails in the way you want them to? Or do they seem to ignore them, or miss important information? And are you sure that you're making the best possible impression with your emails?

When you compose an email message, there are some simple rules that you can follow to ensure that your emails make a positive impression, and get you the response you want. We'll look at these here, and we'll illustrate the points we're talking about with both good and bad examples at the end of each section.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Giving Tree by Sheldon Allan Silverstein at Old Poetry

I just love this poem...and Shel Silverstein.

The Giving Tree by Sheldon Allan Silverstein at Old Poetry

Once there was a tree....
and she loved a little boy.
And everyday the boy would come
and he would gather her leaves
and make them into crowns
and play king of the forest.
He would climb up her trunk
and swing from her branches
and eat apples.
And they would play hide-and-go-seek.
And when he was tired,
he would sleep in her shade.
And the boy loved the tree....
very much.
And the tree was happy.
But time went by.
And the boy grew older.
And the tree was often alone.
Then one day the boy came to the tree
and the tree said, "Come, Boy, come and
climb up my trunk and swing from my
branches and eat apples and play in my
shade and be happy."
"I am too big to climb and play" said
the boy.
"I want to buy things and have fun.
I want some money?"
"I'm sorry," said the tree, "but I
have no money.
I have only leaves and apples.
Take my apples, Boy, and sell them in
the city. Then you will have money and
you will be happy."
And so the boy climbed up the
tree and gathered her apples
and carried them away.
And the tree was happy.
But the boy stayed away for a long time....
and the tree was sad.
And then one day the boy came back
and the tree shook with joy
and she said, "Come, Boy, climb up my trunk
and swing from my branches and be happy."
"I am too busy to climb trees," said the boy.
"I want a house to keep me warm," he said.
"I want a wife and I want children,
and so I need a house.
Can you give me a house ?"
" I have no house," said the tree.
"The forest is my house,
but you may cut off
my branches and build a
house. Then you will be happy."

And so the boy cut off her branches
and carried them away
to build his house.
And the tree was happy.
But the boy stayed away for a long time.
And when he came back,
the tree was so happy
she could hardly speak.
"Come, Boy," she whispered,
"come and play."
"I am too old and sad to play,"
said the boy.
"I want a boat that will
take me far away from here.
Can you give me a boat?"

"Cut down my trunk
and make a boat," said the tree.
"Then you can sail away...
and be happy."
And so the boy cut down her trunk
and made a boat and sailed away.
And the tree was happy
... but not really.

And after a long time
the boy came back again.
"I am sorry, Boy,"
said the tree," but I have nothing
left to give you -
My apples are gone."
"My teeth are too weak
for apples," said the boy.
"My branches are gone,"
said the tree. " You
cannot swing on them - "
"I am too old to swing
on branches," said the boy.
"My trunk is gone, " said the tree.
"You cannot climb - "
"I am too tired to climb" said the boy.
"I am sorry," sighed the tree.
"I wish that I could give you something....
but I have nothing left.
I am just an old stump.
I am sorry...."
"I don't need very much now," said the boy.
"just a quiet place to sit and rest.
I am very tired."
"Well," said the tree, straightening
herself up as much as she could,
"well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting
Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest."
And the boy did.
And the tree was happy.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Can't get rid of your memories? Call Death Bear

Can't get rid of your memories? Call Death Bear

This is weirdly fascinating. An excerpt:

"And while most of his calls are from the lovelorn, others hint at tragedies greater than being dateless on Valentine's Day.
One man gave Hill a photo of himself and his ex-girlfriend on a beach and said they had served in the Army together. Then he gave Hill his military dog tags. Finally, he handed Hill a bullet. "He almost started to cry," said Hill, whose clients know him only as Death Bear and never see his face. "I started walking away and started to break down. I thought maybe something happened to her. Maybe she got shot, maybe she killed herself."

But Hill never presses clients for details. As a bear, his job is not to make conversation.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Target : Company : Meals for Minds

I knew I loved Target! Click the link below to download a shopping list of items whose proceeds go towards their Meals for Minds Community Outreach program.

Target has partnered with Feeding America since 2001 in their fight to end hunger in the United States.
Did you know that more than 16 million children in America aren’t getting the nutrition necessary for academic success? That’s why Target has partnered with Feeding AmericaSM to create Meals for Minds—an innovative program that supports education at its most basic level. By helping feed undernourished children, we can help them concentrate and perform better in school.
You can help, too, just by purchasing products that may already be on your shopping list. For a limited time, when you purchase select Kraft Foods and P&G products at Target, Target will donate 5 percent of the sales to Meals for Minds. Together, we’ll make a difference in young lives across the country.

Target : Company : Meals for Minds

Dogs in hot cars: What to do if you see one

How often do you see dogs left alone in their car? It is quite a common occurrence around here...where temperatures can get up into the high 90s and even higher inside of a parked car. That's why I was intrigued by the ad campaign the Los Angeles County D.A.'s office (via is of dogs in ovens. If that doesn't get someone's attention, I don't know what will. Click the link below to find out what to do if you come across this scenario.

Will human life be wiped out by a BP-induced methane eruption? No.

I'd have to say this is a regular conversation with people I know...this only semi-eases my concern.
Let's just get this out of the way now: The BP oil disaster, while horrible in innumerable ways, is not literally the end of the world.
If you've spent any considerable length of time on the Internet lately — and not just its dark conspiratorial alleys — you may have run across a number of geological reports that read like the plot of a Jerry Bruckheimer movie: BP may have haphazardly tapped into a violent reservoir of methane gas deep below Earth's surface, possibly setting off a chain of events that could lead to release of a "methane mega-bubble"capable of triggering floods of biblical proportions and emitting poisons into the atmosphere, effectively wiping humans off the face of the Earth.

Hairspray: not just for hair

A fellow blogger over at shared these very interesting alternative uses for hairspray. I'd have to say they are quite clever. My favorite? Being from Louisiana it'd have to be...Zapping Pesky Mosquitoes! Of course.

"Unless you are particularly fond of mosquitos you may consider having a bottle of hairspray around to get them a quick zap. One blast will stiffen their wings and immobilize the little critters."

Go over and check out the other uses...I'm going to have to head to Wal-Mart tomorrow to buy my first can of Aqua-net since my "big hair" days back in the 90s.

That's me on the left at age 13. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Resources for Abuse Victims

Dream big, that's my motto.

When I'm not dreaming up new ideas or just plain daydreaming, I like to read narrative nonfiction, preferrably about spirituality, philosophy or psychology, self-help books, poetry and how-to books. And I love to "blog", of course.

l currently sell books on Amazon and am working on creating my own website; I fill my days with conjuring up new stuff for our family to do.

My dream is to open an animal rescue organization. If it is meant to be, my husband and I would really love to have our own animal sanctuary. I think we've got a head start with our home kitties (one lives permanently indoors, the rest come and go): India, Lynx, Mila, Shiloh, Picasso. Nietze, & Harley, a parrot-Gigi, and a fish-Tiger.

I pride myself in being a genuine person. A believer in God and Karma, I do not follow organized religion...when I decided to put my life in God's hands and stop trying to figure out everything on my own, things just started falling into place. I believe wholeheartedly in the Golden Rule; The Serenity Prayer has gotten me through more than one of life's trials.

My life has been unconventional from day one. I’ve lived a sort of gypsy lifestyle up to this point. I managed to complete a four-year college degree over an eight year span and five college campuses later. My degree is in Political Science...although I'm more inclined to Political Activisim than anything.

I am now a wife and mother, a very new-to-me adventure. My son, Isaac, is almost three and my daughter, Liliana (Lili AH na...people here in the south pronounce it WRONG and it's so annoying), is just two months old. They are my greatest contribution to this world. My husband, Mike, is the only person in the world that can put up with me...he's a very hands-on father and I just adore him.

We purchased our first home two years ago...boy was it a mess. We are in the painfully slow and expensive process of rennovating it. Hopefully we will sell it one day for beau-coup cash. We are nature lovers and want to move somewhere with wide open spaces. We both grew up romping through the woods, me in the mountains of Arkansas and he in the bayou-land of Southeastern Louisiana. We want to have a lake for fishing and canoeing, trails for hiking and riding four-wheelers, a huge organic garden and to build a house that is almost complete self-sustaining.

While staying home with my children and pondering the meaning of life, I still struggle with the whole domesticity thing. I really don't cook. I love to buy cookbooks, though, and watch the Food Network. I like to EAT good food, sometimes I do cook and I actually do it pretty well if I do say so myself. I think I could say I'm in a cooking rut while my mental creativity is going towards other ventures...hopefully that will change eventually.

I prefer to spend my life learning and teaching my children, not being a slave to housework. I have a sign hanging in my kitchen for visitors "I understand the concept of COOKING and CLEANING; Just not as it applies to me". I'd describe my home as "happily lived-in" but, don't get me wrong, it's not dirty! The dishes may sit in the sink for a day or two while we spend our time flying kits and touring museums, but I'm not embarrassed if company decides to unexpectedly drop by.

My husband and I are very adventurous and like to dream big. We love to travel…this past year we visited Cancun, Mexico and Seattle, Washington. Next I'd like to go to Europe: Ireland, England, ancestors' homelands. I am really into Genealogy and have managed to trace portions of my family tree back almost 1,000 years.

Please feel free to comment all over my blog...I want to hear from you.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I tried out "Google Alert" and found myself! Oh the never ends.

wouldn't it be great if some lucky day someone came along and actually did say "I want to publish the things you write on cocktail napkins" and *poof* you are cinderella at the ball but the clock never strikes 12.

Apparently I wrote this back in 2004 as a comment on someone's blog...I really do have an awful memory!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

As I Walked Out One Evening ~W.H. Auden

Photography by Mark B. Anstendig

This is a poem I read a long time ago, but had forgotten, by W.H. Auden. I rediscovered it today and realized that different lines from it would play in my head from time to time...I just couldn't remember what they were from...well here it is. A reflective journey...

As I walked out one evening,

Walking down Bristol Street,

The crowds upon the pavement

Were fields of harvest wheat.

And down by the brimming river

I heard a lover sing

Under an arch of the railway:

'Love has no ending.

'I'll love you, dear, I'll love you

Till China and Africa meet,

And the river jumps over the mountain

And the salmon sing in the street,

'I'll love you till the ocean

Is folded and hung up to dry

And the seven stars go squawking

Like geese about the sky.

'The years shall run like rabbits,

For in my arms I hold

The Flower of the Ages,

And the first love of the world.'

But all the clocks in the city

Began to whirr and chime:

'O let not Time deceive you,

You cannot conquer Time.

'In the burrows of the Nightmare

Where Justice naked is,

Time watches from the shadow

And coughs when you would kiss.

'In headaches and in worry

Vaguely life leaks away,

And Time will have his fancy

To-morrow or to-day.

'Into many a green valley

Drifts the appalling snow;

Time breaks the threaded dances

And the diver's brilliant bow.

'O plunge your hands in water,

Plunge them in up to the wrist;

Stare, stare in the basin

And wonder what you've missed.

'The glacier knocks in the cupboard,

The desert sighs in the bed,

And the crack in the tea-cup opens

A lane to the land of the dead.

'Where the beggars raffle the banknotes

And the Giant is enchanting to Jack,

And the Lily-white Boy is a Roarer,

And Jill goes down on her back.

'O look, look in the mirror,

O look in your distress:

Life remains a blessing

Although you cannot bless.

'O stand, stand at the window

As the tears scald and start;

You shall love your crooked neighbour

With your crooked heart.'

It was late, late in the evening,

The lovers they were gone;

The clocks had ceased their chiming,

And the deep river ran on.


A special thanks to Toby for having this poem on his FB page!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Law of Least Effort: Daily Meditation

The Law of Least Effort: Nature's intelligence functions with effortless ease, with carefreeness, harmony, and love. And when we harness the forces of harmony, joy, and love, we create success and good fortune with effortless ease.

I will put the Law of Least Effort into effect by making a commitment to take the following steps:

1. I will practice acceptance. Today I will accept people, situations, circumstances, and events as they occur. I will know that this moment is as it should be, because the whole universe is as it should be. I will not struggle against the whole universe by struggling against this moment. My acceptance is total and complete. I accept things as they are this moment, not as I wish they were.

2. Having accepted things as they are, I will take responsibility for my situation and for all those events I see as problems. I know that taking responsibility means not blaming anyone or anything for my situation (and this includes myself.) I also know that every problem is an opportunity in disguise, and this alertness to opportunities allows me to take this moment and transform it into a greater benefit.

3. Today my awareness will remain established in Defenselessness. I will relinquish the need to defend my point of view. I will feel no need to defend my point of view. I will feel no need to convince or persuade others to accept my point of view. I will remain open to all points of view and not be rigidly attached to any one of them.

Daily Inspiration

"Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It's a way of entering into the quiet that's already there,”buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day." -- Deepak Chopra

Monday, July 05, 2010

Am I a Hindu?

Many, I realized, had lived as Hindus in past lives, and now, born in the West, were merely rediscovering the religion of their soul. Having found it, they would be content with no other religion.

I have had a moment of clarity last night as I read Deepak Chopra's Life After Death: The Burden of Proof. I knew within the first chapter that I had found what I had been searching for my whole life. I cannot describe the feeling welling up inside of of joy, relief, wonder, peace...and even  passion. As a young girl growing up in rural Arkansas with fundamental Christianity shoved down my throat, somehow I always new what karma & reincarnation was. I had never been told about it or read about it or really knew of its existence any other way but internally. Now I've been on this religious journey for some time with great frustration. The one religion that had eluded my quest was Hinduism despite the many opportunites for me to embrace it. While working at a country club in thespa/gym when I lived in Ohio. It was Easter and I was greeting the members as they came in to work out. I would say "Happy Easter" and ask what they did to celebrate. I was around 21 or so then. I had this assumption that EVERYONE celebrated Easter because that's all that I knew. An Indian man came in and I was making small talk with him. I asked if he went to church and he was offended. He said "I do not go to church, I go to Temple." I didn't even know what that meant really. Two years later, I had suffered the worst loss of my entire life...the death of my boyfriend. I was in such a state of despair...I cannot even describe it. I was waiting for my friend to finish up her shift at the restaurant where she worked. While I waited, she wanted to introduce me to a man who wanted to talk to me. This was just days after the death and I was in a state of not wanting to live...the pain was just too unbearable. This man was from India. He had a gift of seeing the future. I didn't really believe in it and just let him say his piece. He took my hand and read it to me. He told me things that were going to happen in my life. The number of times I'd get pregnant, that I'd suffer a loss for my first pregnancy, that I'd meet a person who loved me more than life itself and other things that I just didn't believe because I had it firmly in my head that life for me was over. He was not a paid palmist or anything like that. He told me that he was engaged to a woman and saw her future. He knew that she would die and broke off the engagement to protect himself from the loss. She did pass the way that he saw. I really thought he was a bit crazy until everysingle thing he's told me has come to pass. I wish I could remember more clearly that conversation and the things that I've forgotten over the years. Fast-forward to 2007. My husband & I get married and go to the Riviera Maya for our honeymoon. We happen to be there at the same time a Category 5 Hurricane, Hurricane Dean, decides to visit the Yucatan Peninsula. We were told that we could not check in to our resort but insisted until they had no choice but to let us stay. During that time we got to know an Indian couple (Born in South Africa, raised in England with a British accent). Everywhere we went we'd run into them...even more than an hour's drive from our resort. The universe seemed to keep putting us together. We had dinner with them one night and found out they were vegetarians. They had learned that we were animal lovers and, therefore, could not understand that we at meat. They were Hindu and vegetarianism was one of their religious practices. My answer was that we always had. We were raised this way. It did stick in my mind...I had been a member of PETA about age 19 and tried Veganism out for a while, but decided it was more hassle than it was worth to me at the time. In 2008, my husband and I purchased our first house. I later found out it was the same neighborhood Louisiana's first Indian Governor, Bobby Jindal, grew up. He was raised a Hindu and later converted to Christianity (I suspect this had everything to do with his political aspirations in the Bible belt of conservative Louisiana). Yesterday, America's Independence Day, I am at the bookstore buying a birthday gift for my nephew and decide to browse the bargain books. This is where I was drawn to Chopra's Life After Death. He talked about his Vedic upbringing in India, which I had never heard of. Today I did a Google search and learned that this was Hinduism's predecessor, as well as Buddhism's. (After the death of my boyfriend, the only thing that gave me comfort was the entry on death and dying in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Buddhist Wisdom: A Complete Introduction to the Principles and Practices of Buddhism. I had purchased it years before, but never really read it). I decided to see if there were any Hindu temples nearby and did a Google search...there is one in my very subdivision!!! I said to my husband, no wonder there are so many Indians who live in this neighborhood. I have three Indian families on my street alone. Twice I have had a yard sale and twice an Indian lady has came to my house and acted interested in being friends, saying where she lived and that she's home all day too. I don't know why I was so dismissive...maybe an unconscious racism???Now, in retrospect, I realize that the universe has been pointing me in this direction. My co-teacher last year was Hindu and we'd talk about it every once in a while, but for some reason I had disregarded the religion...I am really starting to wonder if I closed my mind to it because of an racist stereotype embedded in my brain...I don't know why, though. We also had a little boy join our class whose parents are Hindu and his mother insisted he not be given meat as it was against their religion. She invited my son to his birthday party attended by their family wearing their saris and serving vegetarian foods. It seemed a bit exotic and uncomfortable...I wasn't sure how to talk to these older ladies. All of these signs did not wake me up to the idea that I really should pay attention to this religion. I guess I'm a slow learner. As I've heard many times before and I believe wholeheartedly now: Nothing in life is a coincidence.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

World Population

Mike & I were discussing how many people there are in the world. I said "billions" and he disagreed so I decided to look it up to show that I'm right (I usually am). I found this counter from the University of North Carolina. I was a little taken aback by the constantly changing numbers representing, of course, births and deaths. That's one to meditate on. Just that quickly people are dying and being born. I had a moment of clarity about my humanity.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

My favorite new healthy snack

My husband does the grocery shopping (apparently I take too long and spend way too much). He started bringing home these delicious new Bumblebee Sensations Seasoned Tuna Medleys. They come packaged with some Ritz crackers and a little plastic utensil so they are great for snacking on the run. My favorite flavors are the Lemon & Cracked Pepper and the Tomato Basil. Not only do they provide delicious food, but they are a responsible, sustainable company in their business operations.

I struggle daily between the convenience factor and the environmental impact of my family's lifestyle. I am a work in progress.

Conversation Piece (poem by Maxine Cassin)

From The Other Side of Sleep

We throw away our best lines
in casual repartee'.
I say to you
I am no longer saving
for a rainy day.
The devil beats his wife
while voyeur sun
peeps from the thundercloud
or sends a bolt of lightening
to burn away a shroud.

Well, should I not speak at all?
and so conserve
the log of thought
for some long wintery night,
then throw it on the flame
to watch it blaze
before the dazzled eyes
we tried to close,
before the prickling ears
we sought to stop.
Hush, hush, my soul;
these sputterings are unwise.
See, while we contrive
the fire dies.

Friday, July 02, 2010

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