Friday, November 28, 2008


With all apologies to cattle, I have to say, the photos on the news this morning -- infamous Black Friday -- reminded me of those stampedes in old cowboy movies.
Especially in one instance, when people were storming the doors of a Wal-Mart -- yes, a Wal-Mart -- in hopes of grabbing those GREAT values being offered.
People were knocking other people over, smashing into them with their carts and pushing people aside, just to get into the store in front of a few more people.
Can there be ANYTHING in a store that's worth all this?
At other stores, people had camped out all night in the bitter cold to be the first in line.
Some stores were "smart" and opened at midnight.
What is this madness???
I've never been able to understand all this and have never braved Black Friday shopping for these reasons.
For those of you who did, I hope it was worth it!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gobble, gobble

What would Thanksgiving Day be without this great turkey from the Macy's Day Parade? Now, if they would just stop featuring those STUPID Broadway show snippets.
But really, folks, have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Gather with friends and family. Eat too much. Laugh. Maybe cry.
Remember loved ones absent from our sight.
Start a new tradition.
Help with the dishes.
Save room for pie.
Say a prayer. And give thanks.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

refocus, give thanks

It’s the weekend before Thanksgiving.
People are busy shopping, enjoying Lansdale’s Mardi Gras Parade, figuring out their travel plans, deciding where everyone will sit at the table on Thursday and hoping that everything will go off without a hitch.
That is, if you’re among the “lucky” people this year.
We all know of the devastation around us on so many fronts.
The wars rage on and so many soldiers are still so far away from home.
People are losing their jobs, their homes, their hope.
Gasoline prices have dropped, but people bemoan the heating and electric rates that are draining their pocketbooks.
There doesn’t seem to be any decline in food prices.
Too many must hold their breath, wondering if their company will be the next to announce layoffs or, worse, close entirely.
So is there any reason to be thankful this year? Is there any reason to be hopeful, unless you’re in that small percentage whose investments haven’t evaporated, whose job isn’t in danger, whose fortunes always seem to be on the rise?
The answer is, “Of course.”
And that isn’t coming from someone who is independently wealthy or hasn’t experienced loss or is in the most secure profession in the world.
Anyone who pays attention at all to business news knows that the newspaper business is hurting. Badly.
And I’ve seen what I thought would be my retirement nest egg simply crack and drain away.
My parents are both gone and my husband has been dead for nearly five years.
I hope my major appliances will keep working and that my car won’t decide it’s simply traveled far enough.
Sounds like doom and gloom? I admit, there are days when it’s hard to find a silver lining.
But then I think of those who are so much worse off; who have lost everything in horrible storms; whose loved ones have been killed in war; who have no home, no family, no friends.
One of my friends lost her husband this summer. She’s in her 30s and he was only 40. They have a 2½-year-old son. She’s facing a future without the person with whom she had planned to spend a lifetime.
We all have similar stories.
But we all have reasons to give thanks.
I have a wonderful daughter, family and friends in my life.
I have my faith.
I have a home without a mortgage.
I have my health.
I have memories of my loved ones that continue to sustain me.
And yes, I have my crazy cats.
So as you sit down on Thursday and are tempted to complain about the results of the election or the economy or the guy who cut you off in traffic earlier that day, just stop.
Stop and remember the positives in your life.
Stop and remember all those Thanksgivings that were so happy and promised such hope; this can be another one just like those.
Stop and count your blessings.
And think of others, and how you might be able to reach out to them in the weeks ahead.
Make this a season when you truly can give thanks.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Please God, close the door!

Ever notice how sometimes you just wish to heck that someone would go away ... and they won't?
Hmm. Did someone mention Sarah Palin?
This is the woman who hated the media during her campaign -- yes, her campaign; that nasty elite media and all that gotcha journalism.
So why is she talking to anyone who will listen?
AND WHY, please, fellow journalists... and some who pretend to be ... do you keep seeking her out?
Just IGNORE her!! I beg of you!
But one statement that she made during an interview with Fox News' Greta van Susteren is really scary. As if Greta isn't scary enough.
Basically, what she is apparently asking of God... sort of like what you ask from Santa, I guess.
My prayers have never ventured into the "open political doors for me," so I guess I don't get it.
I'd rather have her look for guidance to help her disabled son and her pregnant teenager ... the list goes on.
But see what you think...
During the interview, Palin refused to say whether she was planning a run for the White House in 2012, but said she would wait for a sign from God, and that she is confident God would show the way to the White House.
Here is what she said:

"Faith is a very big part of my life. And putting my life in my creator's hands - this is what I always do. I'm like, OK, God, if there is an open door for me somewhere, this is what I always pray, I'm like, don't let me miss the open door. Show me where the open door is. Even if it's cracked up a little bit, maybe I'll plow right on through that and maybe prematurely plow through it, but don't let me miss an open door. And if there is an open door in (20)12 or four years later, and if it is something that is going to be good for my family, for my state, for my nation, an opportunity for me, then I'll plow through that door."

Personally, I hope God will slam that door shut, for the good of this country!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Voting was worth the wait

Something happened to me on Tuesday when I went to vote at the firehouse where we cast our ballots in my somewhat rural township.
I had to wait in line. For 30 minutes.
Earlier my daughter had to wait in line. For an hour.
It was a wonderful sight to see.
Why wonderful, you ask? What’s so great about having to stand in line to vote?
Because, in my opinion, it showed that a lot of people actually cared about this election; they actually made the commitment to cast their ballot, no matter how long it took.
When compared to the lines in some areas of this nation, my wait was hardly worth mentioning.
But when you consider that, generally, there is no line at my polling place, no sense that people are really all that charged up about an election, Tuesday certainly was a day to remember.
I only wish that when local elections are held that the same number of people would show up.
Alas, that’s probably too much to ask.
We’ll have to wait and see.
But even I haven’t been this psyched about an election in a long time. Yes, I can still remember the first time I was eligible to vote. It was a heady time and I couldn’t wait to get into a voting booth and have my say.
I may not have the greatest track record in picking winners in presidential elections, but I do always vote.
And, unlike some people who were in line with me on Tuesday, I vote in all elections — not just the presidentials.
This election, some say, evoked strong memories of when John F. Kennedy ran for president.
That was long before I was old enough to vote, but I vaguely remember adults worrying about JFK being a Catholic and what that might mean for the nation.
I was too busy in elementary school at the time, learning how to duck and cover under my desk or in the school hallway in case someone dropped a bomb on us to give an election much thought, however.
And I can still remember being confused about all the talk of the “Cold War.” I figured, having only seen pictures of the U.S.S.R.’s snow-covered cities and tundra, that it must somehow be connected to the climate.
I just thought it was kind of neat that JFK had a young family. So much for political savvy when you’re in grade school.
Yes, Tuesday was special indeed. Both candidates fought the good fight. There were highlights and lowlights along the way, to be sure, and plenty of lessons can be learned on both sides.
But regardless of which man was your chosen candidate, it’s time to unite as a nation and back our new leader.
Those who wanted others, such as Hillary Clinton, to be the next president were able to do that after the primaries ended.
And now it’s time to do the same where Barack Obama is concerned.
This historic election will be analyzed from every angle imaginable, to be sure.
But one truth is self evident: Your vote does count.
Now, let’s see how long we can make the lines when we turn out to vote for local candidates.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


OK, now that the election is over, it's time to rant about something else.
And this something started BEFORE the election -- on Halloween, to be exact.
That's why I thought it must be a joke.
But no, apparently not.
Even though it was Oct. 31, one radio station in Philly has gone to all Christmas music, all the time.
Yep, time to cover your ears and be VERY careful if you're flipping through stations on your car radio.
When I first heard this, they were touting it as a celebration of the Phils winning the World Series -- Christmas coming early and all that.
But it has persisted. Gone on and on.
It's like driving by an accident and having to look. Every so often I have to check to see if it's true, but yes, they are still playing Christmas music.
Don't get me wrong; I like holiday music. When it's much, much closer to the actual holiday!
But in October? And November?
Who the heck is in charge at this station?
Maybe it's the Grinch... this is sure to get lots of people in the mood to "steal" Christmas.....

Monday, November 3, 2008


We have followed this presidential campaign for eons now ... OK, it only SEEMS like eons... it's actually been more like about 20 months or so.
But now our time has come.
Nov. 4.
Election Day.
So get out there and VOTE! I don't want to hear any excuses ... I have a headache. The lines were long. I was afraid I'd be caught for a parking ticket. I heard I could vote by phone. I heard I should vote on Wednesday if I was a Democrat.
STUPID ... and you know it.
Tuesday is IT. THIS IS IT!
Your vote is vitally important.
Don't let anyone steal it. Don't let it go unused.
You have a right. A responsibility. A privilege.
Who cares if you have to stand in line. A wait of even a few hours is better than four years of regret.
Vote on Tuesday.
Please... I beg of you.