## Friday, December 31, 2004

### First 2005 entry....

This one is about nothing, basically because I'm here, at home... on New Year's Eve and bored.  I could've attended a party, but knew it would be a late night (early morning) if I did.  Besides, the only guy I'm remotely interested in, was staying in for the evening... recovering from celebrating last night.  And it's not like we've had any major dates or anything, I've sworn that stuff off until I grow up....

I've also opened a bottle of wine, so bear with me if possible.  If it makes no sense whatsoever... you will get why I do not drink often.    Parents had hors d'oeuvres (psst, Danielle, is that right?) for dinner tonight--shrimp cocktail, caviar and toast points (rich way of saying bread)--fancy schmancy.... I don't eat that stuff.    But Gracie ate my share, happily.

The child loves shrimp and gobbled down caviar like there was no tomorrow.  And capers, too.  I forgot about them and I do like those  :::wink:::  so, does she.

The ball just dropped (ok, that was 42 minutes ago now), so Happy New Year J~Land!

Its a New Year now and no time to dwell

The actions, like intentions do.  It's a fact well known.

Unblock the blocked and let them come home

To post nice or not, their choice to adhere.

Its the message that's shot, not the messenger....

Wine is gone.  Don't go thinking I drank it in the time I wrote only this..... it took me a few minutes to write the poem..... and...

Another entry at 'The Cat House'  waiting for you-- to heat up your New Year festivities :)

It's 2005,  All is well......

Cat

### One last 2004 rant....

Ok, is it just me or is everyone who changed to AOL 9.0 SE, getting bombarded with pop-ups freeze ups, etc.... even though blockers are on (and firewall in place)??   I've had more trouble since downloading this upgrade......

### New year not resolutions...

Resolution (n).  a resolving; fixed determination; firmness; formal proposal put before a meeting.

I've been reading a lot about resolutions today in Journals across J-Land.  Some choosing to make them, others not having any part.

Personally, I don't make resolutions.    I do make choices to continue or cease an activity.  And not only at this time of the year.  I thought we all did it on pretty much a daily basis.  So, I never really got what the big deal was over New Year's Resolutions.  I understand why... new year, new start...  but we're the same people in the same lives..... regardless of the date.

So, I wanted to share some choices from years past, I've upheld (to date)--oldest listed first, but not necessarily in this order:

1.  To give more of myself to others, expecting nothing in return.

2.  To volunteer my time, knowledge, to help another out of the dark.

3.  To give what I can, what I have, what I know-- freely to anyone.

4.  To not engage in sexual activity until marriage (or committed partner).

5.  To be the best parent I know to be, and take (ask for) advice when I need it.

6.  To be me, and be happy, or at least content, with that.

7.  To always look for the good in a bad situation.

8.  To remember where I came from, honoring those who walked before me.

9.  To forgive.

10.  To tell the truth.... at all costs, even if it hurts..it only makes one stronger in the end.

There's more, I'm sure.  But those are the ones that are conflicted the most in my life....

Cat

### 'Owed' to Dona...

I owe this one to Dona, who asked me questions on Dec. 22.....

So, Dona, an entry all your own :)

1)  If you could live in any time period besides the present, which would it be?  There are so many places and so many cultures... from Africa's first humans to America's Pilgrims to the days of Roman and Greek rule to the Dynasties of China and Egypt....  I have no favorites... other than today's technology, I could be happy in any time period.

2) Besides friends, what do you like to collect, if anything?  Coins and dragons.

3) If the Internet did not exist, what would you most likely be doing right now?  Reading a book, most likely...

So, there you have it, Dona... my apologies for the delay in answering.

Happy New Year's Eve, Everyone....

Cat

PS.. Yes, I did promise an outside house picture with snow... the beauty of living in Indiana (and the midwest) is that all 14" of snow that fell Christmas Eve Eve, is now all gone  :)  So, that'll have to wait until winter really hits us.... probably in May :::winks:::

## Thursday, December 30, 2004

### Welcome to the Cat House...

To end the year with a BANG, I started another journal.  I've been toying with the idea for awhile now, but finally decided to go ahead with it.

This one is private because its contents will not be suited for minors or those who wish to avoid foul language and strong sexual content.  (I'm really a librarian at heart :::winks:::)

I've been fantasy writing for years and a dear friend convinced me to copy them from paper to digital format.  Since most readers here are women, its kind of embarrassing... but, hey... you guys know me and I pretty much tell things how they are, no skeletons in my closet.... (how else do people really get to know someone?!)  Besides, I think most of us have a dark side of varying degrees....

So, anyone interested in some not so tasteful reading... let me know and I'll let you inside.

Hope you're not too shocked.....

Cat

## Wednesday, December 29, 2004

### Pertinent Information....

Please note places to send donations for tsunami victims relief.  They are only accepting cash donations at this time as transportation and distribution is extremely difficult, as can be imagined...

Any amount will help!

Again, any help is always appreciated.....

Cat

An entry to thank those who assisted in my journal update....

To Stacy and Nae for finally getting me through ftp....

To The Tag Lounge for providing some of my remain to be used tags...

To all those who offered help to me.... gosh you're all so good....

And to Brian for the music and loading info, and the picture....

**trust me....he 'air brushed' A LOT!  :)

You guys rock my world.....

Cat

### Tsunami Facts.....

For those who don't know.....

A tsunami (pronounced soo-NAH-mee) is a wave train, or series of waves, generated in a body of water by a pulsating or abrupt disturbance that vertically displaces the water column. Earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, explosions, and even the impact of cosmic bodies, such as meteorites, can generate tsunamis. Tsunamis can savagely attack coastlines, causing devastating property damage and loss of life.

Tsunamis are often called "tidal waves" as they may resemble a non-lunar-tidal rush of rapidly rising water, rather than big cresting waves reaching the shore. However, the term is discouraged by oceanographers since tsunamis are not related to tides.

The term "tsunami" comes from the Japanese tsu (harbor) and nami (wave).

Causes

Tsunamis are unlike wind-generated waves on a local lake or at a coastal beach, in that they are characterized as shallow-water waves, with long periods and wave lengths. The wind-generated swell one sees at a surf beach, for example, spawned by a storm out in the pacific and rhythmically rolling in, one wave after another, might have a period of about 10 seconds and a wave length of 150 m. A tsunami, on the other hand, can have a wave length in excess of 100 km and period on the order of one hour.

As a result of their long wave lengths, tsunamis behave as shallow-water waves. A wave becomes a shallow-water wave when the ratio between the water depth and its wave length gets very small. Shallow-water waves move at a speed that is equal to the square root of the product of the acceleration of gravity (9.8 m/s/s.... hey, that's meters per second squared.... I bet Ms. Goth 'Genius' Daughter..knew that!) and the water depth - let's see what this implies: In the Pacific Ocean, where the typical water depth is about 4000 m, a tsunami travels at about 200 m/s, or over 700 km/hr. Because the rate at which a wave loses its energy is inversely related to its wave length, tsunamis not only propagate at high speeds, they can also travel great, transoceanic distances with limited energy losses.

Tsunamis can be generated when the sea floor abruptly deforms and vertically displaces the overlying water. Tectonic earthquakes are a particular kind of earthquake that are associated with the earth's crust deformation; when these earthquakes occur beneath the sea, the water above the deformed area is displaced from its equilibrium position. Waves are formed as the displaced water mass, which acts under the influence of gravity, attempts to regain its equilibrium. When large areas of the sea floor elevate or subside, a tsunami can be created.

Schema of a Tsunami

Large vertical movements of the earth's crust can occur at plate boundaries. Plates interact along these boundaries called faults. Around the margins of the Pacific Ocean, for example, denser oceanic plates slip under continental plates in a process known as subduction. Subduction earthquakes are particularly effective in generating tsunamis.

A tsunami can be generated by any disturbance that displaces a large water mass from its equilibrium position. In the case of earthquake-generated tsunamis, the water column is disturbed by the uplift or subsidence of the sea floor. Submarine landslides, which often accompany large earthquakes, as well as collapses of volcanic edifices, can also disturb the overlying water column as sediment and rock slump downslope and are redistributed across the sea floor. Similarly, a violent submarine volcanic eruption can create an impulsive force that uplifts the water column and generates a tsunami. Conversely, super-marine landslides and cosmic-body impacts disturb the water from above, as momentum from falling debris is transferred to the water into which the debris falls. Generally speaking, tsunamis generated from these mechanisms, unlike the Pacific-wide tsunamis caused by some earthquakes, dissipate quickly and rarely affect coastlines distant from the source area.

Physics

In deep water, the energy of a tsunami is constant, a function of its height and speed. Thus, as the wave approaches land, its height increases while its speed decreases. A tsunami has a very long wave length (in the order of 100km), which makes it act as a shallow-water wave. Since the speed of a shallow-water wave is ${\sqrt{g\cdot d}}$, where g is the gravitational acceleration and d is the water depth, a tsunami in the open ocean can obtain a speed of about 700 km/h. While in deep water a person at the surface of the water would probably not even notice, but the wave can increase to a height of 30m and more as it approaches the coastline and compresses. Tsunamis can cause severe destruction on coasts and islands, even at distances where the earthquake or other event that caused it is itself not even noticable without instruments.

Considering the fact that a tsunami can cause damage thousands of miles from its origin, there may be several hours between its creation and its impact on the coast, more than it takes for seismic waves to arrive.

Typically, tens of minutes before a tsunami, the sea will recede from the coast, exposing part of the seabed. If the slope is shallow, this recession can exceed 800 m. People unaware of the danger may stay at the shore, due to curiosity, but this may be a warning sign of a coming tsunami. There can be several waves, at two- to 45-minute intervals.

Megatsunamis

Evidence shows that megatsunamis(*1), which are caused by significant chunks of an island collapsing into the ocean, are also possible. Related to a tsunami is a seiche(*2). Often large earthquakes produce both tsunamis and seiches at the same time and there is evidence that some seiches have been caused by tsunamis.

Warning systems

Many cities around the Pacific, notably in Japan but also in Hawaii, have warning systems and evacuation procedures in the event of a serious tsunami. Tsunamis are predicted by various seismologic institutes around the world and their progress monitored by satellites.

Bottom pressure recorders with buoys as communication link are used to detect waves which would not be noticed by a human observer on deep water. The first rudimentary system to alert communities of an impending tsunami was attempted in Hawaii in the 1920s. More advanced systems were developed in the wake of the April 1, 1946 and may 23, 1960 tsunamis which caused massive devastation in Hilo, Hawaii. The United States created the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (http://www.prh.noaa.gov/pr/ptwc/) in 1949, and linked it to an international data and warning network in 1965.

One system for providing tsunami warning is the CREST Project (Consolidated Reporting of Earthquakes and Tsunamis) implemented on the West coast (Cascadia), Alaska, and Hawaii of the United States by the USGS, NOAA, the Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network, and three other university seismic networks.

Tsunami prediction remains an imperfect science. Although the epicenter of a large underwater quake and the probable tsunami arrival times can be quickly calculated, it is almost always impossible to know whether massive underwater ground shifts have occurred, resulting in tsunami waves. As a result, false alarms are common.

No system can protect against a sudden tsunami. A devastating tsunami occurred off the coast of Hokkaido in Japan as a result of an earthquake on July 12, 1993. As a result, 202 people on the small island of Okushiri lost their lives, and hundreds more were missing or injured. This tsunami struck just three to five minutes after the quake and most victims were caught while fleeing for higher ground and secure places after surviving the earthquake.

While there remains the potential for sudden devastation from a tsunami, warning systems can be effective. For example if there were a very large subduction zone earthquake (magnitude 9.0) off the west coast of the United States, people in Japan, for example, would have up to 18 hours (and likely warnings from warning systems in Hawaii and elsewhere) before any tsunami arrived, giving them some time to evacuate areas likely to be affected.

History

Although tsunamis occur most frequently in the Pacific Ocean, they are known to occur anywhere. Many ancient descriptions of sudden and catastrophic waves exist, particularly in and around the Mediterranean. Thousands of Portuguese who survived the great 1755 Lisbon earthquake were killed by a tsunami which followed a few moments later. Before the great wave hit, the harbor waters retreated, revealing lost cargo and forgotten shipwrecks. In the North Atlantic, the Storegga Slide is a major incident.

The Krakatoa incident

The island volcano of Krakatoa in Indonesia, exploded with devastating fury in 1883. A series of large tsunami waves was generated from the explosion, some reaching a height of over 40 meters above sea level. Tsunami waves were observed throughout the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the American West Coast, South America, and even as far away as the English Channel. On the facing coasts of Java and Sumatra the sea flood went many miles inland and caused such vast loss of life that one area wasnever resettled but went back to the jungle and is now the Ujung Kulon nature reserve.

22 May 1960 Chilean tsunami

The Grat Chilean Earthquake, the largest earthquake ever recorded, of the coast of Soutch Central Chile, generated one of the most destructive tsunamis of the 20th Century. It spread across the entire Pacific Ocean, with waves measuring up to 25 meters.

26 Dec 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami The tsunami that struck Malé in the Maldives on December 26, 2004.

The most recent series of lethal tsunamis occurred on December 26, 2004, in the Indian Ocean, with fatalities last reported at 68,000, ranging from those in the immediate vicinity of the quake in Indonesia and Thailand to people thousands of kilometres away in Bangladesh, India, Sri lanka, the Maldives, and even Somalia in eastern Africa. Unlike the Pacific Ocean, there is no organised alert service covering the Indian Ocean. This is in part due to the absence of major tsunami events since 1883 and an emphasis on developing a tropical cyclone warning system.

Tsunamis caused by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake under the sea west of Banda Aceh on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia caused severe devastation in the form of loss of property and lives on the Asian coasts of the Indian Ocean, particularly Sri Lanka, indonesia, India (most casualties have been reported in the state of Tamil Nadu and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands), Thailand (Esp. Phuket, where thousands of foreigners are missing), Maldives, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Bangladesh; and also in Somalia and Kenya in Africa. As of 10:14 pm EST on December 28, 2004, news reports estimate the total death toll at over 80,000, with Indonesia facing the brunt of the devastation with over 27,000 feared dead. The number of deaths caused by thistsunami is expected to double due to wide spread illness. Who fear that large number of corpses, if not handled properly, may cause contamination to the water, causing hasty dispersal of plague. Many foreign tourists are among the dead.

Animation of the 2004 Indonesian Tsunami

Others
• One of the worst tsunami disasters engulfed whole villages along Sanriku, Japan, in 1896. A wave more than seven stories tall drowned some 26,000 people. More than 30,000 people died in Java from a 1883 tsunami cause by a volcanic eruption.
• 1946: An earthquake in the Aleutian Islands sent a tsunami to Hawaii, killing 159 people (only five died in Alaska).
• 1964: An Alaskan earthquake triggered a tsunami up to 20 feet tall that killed 11 people as far away as Crescent City, California and caused more than 120 deaths in all.
• 1983: 104 people in western Japan were killed by a tsunami spawned from a nearby earthquake.
• On July 17, 1998: A Papua New Guinea tsunami killed roughly 3,000 people. A 7.1 magnitude earthquake 15 miles offshore was followed within 10 minutes by a wave some 40 feet tall. The villages of Arop and Warapu were destroyed.
Future threats

In 2001, scientists predicted that a future eruption of the unstable Cumbre Vieja volcano in the Canary Islands could cause a supergiant undersea landslide which would cause a 100 m megatsunami to devastate the coast of northwest Africa, with a 30-50 m tsunami reaching the east coast of North America.

*1) A megatsunami is a rare tsunami more than 100 meters (325ft) high. Aside from some large tsunami in Alaska, including one 520 m high, the last megatsunami to hit a populated area is believed to have occurred 4,000 years ago. Geologists say it is usually caused by a very large landslide, such as a collapsing island, into a vast body of water such as an ocean or sea.   (This is oneof the dangers of Global Warming and the glaciers of the North Pole and Alaska melting.  If it warms up too fast, the ice will sheer off in massive arrow head form.)

Megatsunamis can rise to heights of hundreds of meters, travel at 890 km/h in mid-ocean and potentially reach 20 km inland in low-lying regions.

In deep ocean, a megatsunami is barely noticeable. It moves as a vertical shift of only a meter or so throughout the volume of water, with a crest to crest distance of hundreds of kilometers. However the huge amount of energy in the motion of this massive volume generates a much higher wave as it approaches shallow water.

Underwater earthquakes do not normally generate such large tsunamis unless they also trigger an underwater landslide — typically they have a height of less than ten meters.

Landslides that are large compared to the depth of water hit the water so fast that the displaced water cannot settle before the rocks hit the bottom. This means that the rocks displace the water at full speed all the way to the bottom. If the water is deep, the displaced volume is large and the lower parts are under high pressure. The resulting wave contains large amounts of energy.

Some have conjectured that historic megatsunamis underlie the deluge myths that are common to many cultures throughout the world. However this is unlikely, considering that megatsunamis usually occur without any warning, only hit coastal areas, and do not necessarily occur after a rain.

*2) A seiche (pronounced SAYSH) or an underwater wave is an underwater, irregular fluctuation or rhythmic rocking of the water level of a lake, first noted in Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Observers on the surface may not know a seiche is happening.

Scientifically, a seiche is a standing wave in an enclosed body of water and the definition does not include the causes.

Seiches are common between warm and cold-water layers, notably in Loch Ness, Scotland, and some evidence cited for the Loch Ness monster and the Lake Champlain monster may trace to seiches.

Small rhythmic seiches are almost always present on larger lakes, and the frequency of the oscillation is determined by the size of the body, its depth and contours, and the water temperature. On the North American Great Lakes seiche is often called slosh. It is always present but is usually unnoticeable except during periods of unusual calm.

Major seiches often occur during earthquakes and may be caused by wind or underwater landslides.  Lake Erie, because of its shallowness and elongation can occasionally have wind caused extreme seiches of up to 15 feet (5 meters) between the ends. The first appearance is similar to a storm surge like those caused by hurricanes along ocean coasts, but the seiche effect can cause oscillation back and forth across the lake for some time. Hurricane Hazel piled up water along the northwestern Lake Ontario shoreline near Toronto, causing extensive flooding, and established a seiche that subsequently caused flooding along the south shore.

** All info and images from Wikipedia

So, now you know....

Cat

## Tuesday, December 28, 2004

### Bad news week so far....

Not much to write about today.  Grace is out of class until Jan 5th, so I'm spending my days playing with trains, puzzles, and playdoh.....

If I could only get her to play with me, maybe things wouldn't have gotten so hectic.  She was in a mood all day again, from sun up until bedtime.  Not enough sleep, I'm sure....

Kitty is going in to get her first shots and be spayed in the morning.  She went into heat yesterday, and she's a notch above tolerable right now.   Besides, its the responsible thing to do.  She comes home Thursday afternoon, when we'll take Forrest in for his rabies shot.  Then the dogs separately on Friday for theirs.

Am horrified at the more than 55,000 lives lost from the Tsunami.  Most of the countries didn't have the warning system in place (buoys with wave motion sensors on them) and were caught totally off guard.   Disease experts are saying the numbers will increase should Cholera or dysentery break out.  Numbers could double....

There was criticism by the UN to the Western (wealthier) nations that they're being "stingy".  So far (after prompting by Colin Powell to add another $20 million to the already given$15), the US has contributed $35 million to the relief efforts. To put that in perspective,$11 billion was given to Florida after the hurricanes over the summer....

Did anyone read about that 16 month old girl that was abused to death here (in Indiana)?  I'm trying to get all the details, but what I know is her mom's boyfriend said she wouldn't stop crying, so he "slammed her against the metal part of the playpen".  Doctors discovered a previously broken arm and wrist, fractured larynx and crushed esophagus..... What the hell?!

Authorities are checking into mom as a suspect for the previous injuries.  If that's not a case for sterility, I don't know what would be.....

Gosh, I hope this week gets better.  I don't like it when years end on a bad vibe.

Night all.....

Cat

## Sunday, December 26, 2004

### Its a wrap.....

Another Christmas down.  And it gets marked as a great one.  From this one on, I'm sure Gracie will remember Christmas now....

I'll start at the Christmas Eve Open House.  We call it an open house because when we started having them, it was for those friends who didn't have a place to go.  This year's started with an afternoon of shoveling snow....about 14" of it, out of the driveway.  We still could only get about 6 others in, so some people had to park across the street at my friend Mel's Dad's old place.

As children on Christmas Eve, my parents used to drive us around to look at all the lights and downtown to walk around Monument Circle, which is turned into the world's largest Christmas tree.  They did that to tire us out so they could get the presents under the tree in peace :)

The open house began a few years after we moved here, when my brother and I were teens and Santa's anonymity wasn't an issue.  My dad, the keeper of lost sheep (mostly black ones), had some friends he had known since college.  These are the type people most would judge by looking and want no part.  I call them lost souls, people who've forgotten their way whether by addiction or choices.  But as odd as they were, I learned great lessons from them.

An example was Kay.  Kay was an artist, into numerology, and all things cosmic....  When I graduated from college, she had made me a 'neck-roll' type pillow.  It is beautiful (I still have it), covered in an off-white satin print with scalloped lace at either end.  A nice normal gift, right?  For Kay, most definitely.  At both ends were stuffed boobs, complete with nipples and areola!  On the card was written in calligraphy "Congrats, kid!  Now go grab life by her tits."   True to form--Kay.  She blew her brain out after getting into an alcohol-full tiff with her friends.

Don't apologize or feel sorry about that.  Kay was capable of many things.  I wasn't surprised and am not sorry for her.  I love her until I die, too.

So, now you see a glimpse into the first attendees.  As we got older, it was our friends who'd show up for the party.  Our place was always the gathering spot.  My parents were also the ones that our friends came to for advice.  Mom and Dad just let them talk about anything and depending on severity, told those who needed to know.

Now, I see as a parent, how that might look bad (if my parents withheld information)  but in these cases, their parents fully knew and trusted mine.  We had at least 6 kids here from Thursday until Monday when we were growing up.  We weren't even close to being angels. But most of us have made it into adulthood fine.

Time has moved on, and now its my family (Dad, Mom, Charlie, Me, 3 uncles, 1 aunt, and Grace) and a few of our friends (Johnny, JC, Dennis, my 'sister' Mel and her live-in, Brian and her son, Ricky).  It used to be standing room only through the house.  It dwindled to all in one room.

Kind of sad.... but hey, we still were partying at 5 am... it just a lot quieter... sometimes.  Charlie and Johnny usually would stay up all night getting louder as the night (morning) progressed.   But with my brother living here now (and at Johnny's house), this year they attended a Christmas Eve Eve party (I can't believe not many people have heard that before, by the way).  They stayed out until about the same time, so they were wiped out and toned down for ours.

Grace woke up at the usual 6:30 am saying "Its Christmas, Happy Birthday, Jesus...Lets open presents now",but Mom and Dad (Mom got up with Gracie... thanks Mom) kept her busy until 9.  It was time to open them... can't put it off any longer.  So we divvied up the packages to their respective owners, most going to Grace, of course.

She started opening hers and each one she got more excited over.  Mom, being the queen of garage sales, got her a ceramic dog with 3 puppies for .50.  When Grace developed an immediate love for her puppies and put them in a bag so she could carry them around all day, Mom used it to point out how we didn't need to spend a lot of money to make her happy.  Mom's will be moms, won't they.  But then Gracie got to her gift from my brother--the Geotrax Railway System!-- Mom got put back in well, maybe a little money mode :)

I went to serve my penance at the food shelters today.  Normally I would take Gracie, but she was having too much fun and she did go on Thanksgiving with me.  With all the snow, I knew the place would be packed and it was.  Pastor Dave said its been that way for 3 days, non stop.  You really don't notice how many people have it that bad on a sunny day.

I stayed there for 4 hours today before being told that 'meals on wheels'  hadn't been served since the snow fell because some people couldn't get their cars out.  I can't have that, so I called Johnny to come get me and take food out to some of them.  (People who voted for Bush should come and see how all the 'unnecessary' items were cut from the budgets).

We stayed out another 4 hours and got to everyone on the list.  Some hadn't eaten anything but canned beans.  Mostly elderly people who suffer the worst.  I look in their eyes and they tell me it shouldn't be like this.  It shouldn't.  But I feel like I left them happy for the day, so that's good.

When I finally got back home, Grace was still playing with the trains.  She's played with that train for two days now.  She wanted to take it to breakfast this morning and then refused to go because it couldn't go too.  (Yeah, that lasted about 2 minutes before 'Militant Mom' went into action).

Normally, we gather for Christmas breakfast on Christmas Day.  But my aunt had to work (the same hospital mom, and I work(ed) at), so we did that this morning.    The meal itself is an interesting story.

My aunt had a boyfriend who is Jewish.  He and my aunt lived with my Grandma (the one who was born in our house) at the time.  He served bagels, lox, pate' and some other traditional Jewish food for our Christmas breakfast and we've had it since.

I began dating an Arab man about 8 years ago, so he made traditional Middle Eastern food for us to have also.  Well, he's not around, but the food still is.  So, we say its the only time the Arabs and the Jews can get along... at our table.  They go together quite well, too. ;)

Then we opened presents there.  Got our rum cakes to take home.  And shuttled everyone back to their respective cars.  It was a very nice time.

Charlie and I went to watch football--Way to go Manning! for breaking Marino's TDs a season record.  Congrats to the Colts for a new record for 3 WRs having 1000 yds each and 10 Tds each, too....a day for records!

My beloved Steelers are still on a tremendous roll, but I dread the future playoff setup... one of my teams has got to go out :(     I have to go with the Colts.  Roethlisberger is a rookie, the Steelers will be contenders a long time.  Then on to New England, the luckiest team in the NFL.  The Steelers took then out this season, but they beat the Colts... many times.  Would like some revenge, but hoping... somehow... the Patriots will face the Steelers first.

So, that's my holiday wrap up.  Sounds like you all have had a great one also!

Onto New Year's......

Cat

## Thursday, December 23, 2004

### Miscellaneous mumblings and merries...

Just wanted to get these out of my head.....

Thoughts on Christmas minus Christ.....

I don't know where the people are shopping who complain about the Holy Day being anti-Christ.  Every store I've been to had a Nativity, along with the Hanukah and Kwanzaa decorations.  The one that was lacking, actually, was of Islamic faith for Ramadan, which started in November this year...I believe.

I pass churches (there are 4 in my neighborhood) who no longer put elaborate Nativity displays outside for fear of vandalism... aren't they giving in to the wrong people, for the wrong reason?

It seems to me, by not portraying a Nativity on the very (sacred) ground that the belief of Jesus dwells... a message is sent.

Maybe its not the marketplace with the problem.  Maybe the 'Christian Right' just doesn't want to share the holiday.....

Thoughts on J-land....

Does anyone really read the sidebar(s)?  Do you ever go to any of another person's favorite links?  I get so caught up... in catching up... in reading them... I never have time to wander around here anymore....

To all my reader's kids....  SANTA SAID for me to tell you all....JAKE, LIAM, JUSTIN, SARAH, BRODY, CIARA, ALEX, JULIE, JARED, JOEY, JOSH, GOTH DAUGHTER (Yeah, you too), PRINCESS ALLY, SPIDERSON DRAKE, ROWAN, PEY, J-MAN JASON, JESSICA, NICK, and DARRIN..... to go to sleep Christmas Eve like your parents tell you to...

I will not be here tomorrow.  Maybe Christmas Day... if not, then I'll be back on Monday.  Everybody be safe.  Those who are dealing with snow and frigid temps, please be careful and prepared if driving.  I only want to be reading happy stories when I return :)

Merry Christmas, friends......

Cat

### Snowbound.....

I wanted a white Christmas.  I wished for snow.  Boy, did I get it.    Be careful what you wish for.....

Indiana is now under a snow emergency and called in the National Guard to start digging us out.  Mom and I shoveled a path through the 12-18" snow to get her car out this morning.  There are drifts more than 3' tall now.

It wasn't cold out today.... that comes tonight and tomorrow.  We're talking a high of 7 degrees (Fahrenheit for all my non-American readers).

I have no idea how people who make it over here for Christmas Eve are going to get in (or out) of the driveway.  :::wishing for a snow blower:::  Not looking forward to shoveling in the cold......

Dad took Gracie out to refill the bird feeders (we have a red-headed woodpecker this year!!!) and she had a ball being a dog in the snow.

I had her thermals on under some thin pants and sweats on top of that, two shirts, two pairs of socks, and of course her outside wear.... because I knew from yesterday the girl refuses to stand in the snow.

I had to catch her before she jumped off the wall because she wanted to bounce in the snow below..... I tried explaining that snow doesn't make for good bouncing.... well, maybe only once  :)

So when he took her out today (she wanted to build a snowman, but its not packing snow...its light and fluffy, blowy snow) in the back, I watched from the kitchen windows as she crawled..on all fours.. the whole time they were out there, getting mouthfuls of snow as she made her way through.

Gracie is 38" tall and standing, the snow came up to her chest... I have no idea how she managed to get through on hands and knees.  It looks like we have a bunch of huge moles tunneling through the yard.....  But oh well, she loves it.

She came inside all red-cheeked and snotty with a bucket full of snow, so I wiped her nose, stripped off the top layer and felt if the second was wet.  It wasn't, so I sat her on the couch under the electric blanket and made some hot cocoa from the back of the Hershey's Cocoa box (I love this stuff!).

While she was sipping on that, I made her a grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup for lunch and warmth.  Her bucket O' snow is on the back porch..she only had to check it every 3 minutes.....to make sure it didn't melt.

I forgot how much playing in snow can tire you out.  She was ready for bed at 6 pm tonight.  I was ready for her to go, too ;)  She had a good day.....

Merry Christmas Eve Eve to all you guys.....

Cat

## Wednesday, December 22, 2004

### Sharing snow.....

Brian said he's missing snow.... so here you go, B...........

A few backyard shots of the overnight 8" snowfall :)          ........untouched in all its glory.......            The birdfeeders were just filled yesterday and the 2 in the middle are empty.  Some of the contents spilled onto the ground.... but it is consumed as well.

We're due for more tonight... maybe another 4-6", if that happens.... I may mail you some :)

Enjoy, my friend.....

Cat

### Another milestone passed....

Being the procrastinator I am, I figured I needed to get these in now.. before its Easter and time to post new pictures. Yesterday was Gracie's first official school Christmas Party :)   The kids had a great time decorating their cookies with icing, sprinkles, and holiday marshmallows.... then devouring them.   They got to go 'Ice Fishing' and everyone caught a bagful of goodies on their lines.  Convincing them to keep their bubbles and balloons in their goody bags until they got home was another feat....

Then they knocked down some bowling pins in elf costumes with a wooden ball to win a treat bag... again with the convincing thing because this bag was full of candy!  I finally decided I'd had enough chasing kids down before they got theirs opened, so I stashed the candy bags inside their respective school totes.... out of sight, out of mind :)

Mrs. Preschool Teacher received many lovely gifts, including a big, red, shiny, glass ball ornament, from Gracie (I really let her pick her own presents, so far..so good), that read "To a very special Teacher".  Then Mrs. PT played a very silly Santa with some fluff from another gift..... silly, girl ;)   The kids did the neatest paintings.... they each made a Christmas tree of upside-down hand prints of green, then they used royal icing to adhere mini m&m's for ornaments.  It is a cool idea, I think...

So, all and all, it was a good time.  There are two kids in her class that I am especially fond of... Jake and Kailee.  Jake and I bonded at the field trip to the park.... he was my climbing buddy :)  And Kailee, I fell for on the dog grooming field trip... she is such a sweetie.  Wonder if its wrong to like other people's kids more than your own sometimes?!

Am kidding, of course.  More likely its because mine would much rather play than hang with her mom :)  I'm sure these two 'angels' aren't really what they seem to be... but I just eat 'em up every time I'm in her class.

That wraps up the Party entry.

Two days and counting......

Cat

## Monday, December 20, 2004

### One more for the road...

The Sands of Christmas

I had no Christmas spirit when I breathed a weary sigh
And looked across the table where the bills were piled high.
The laundry wasn't finished, and the car I had to fix,
My stocks were down another point, the Packers lost by six.

And so with only minutes til my son got home from school,
I gave up on the drudgery and grabbed a wooden stool.
The burdens that I carried were about all I could take,
And so I flipped the TV on to catch a little break.

I came upon a desert scene in shades of tan and rust,
No snowflakes hung upon the wind, just clouds of swirling dust.
And where the reindeer should have stood before a laden sleigh,
Eight Hummers ran a column right behind an M1A.

A group of boys walked past the tank, not one was past his teens.
Their eyes were hard as polished flint, their faces drawn and lean.
They walked the street in armor with their rifles shouldered tight,
Their dearest wish for Christmas, just to have a silent night.

Other soldiers gathered, hunkered down against the wind,
To share a scrap of mail and dreams of going home again.
There wasn't much at all to put their lonely hearts at ease,
They had no Christmas turkey, just a pack of MREs.

They didn't have a garland or a stocking I could see.
They didn't need an ornament, they lacked a Christmas tree.
They didn't have a present even though it was tradition.
The only boxes I could see were labeled "ammunition."

I felt a little tug and found my son now by my side.
He asked me what it was I feared, and why it was I cried.
I swept him up into my arms and held him oh so near
And kissed him on the forehead as I whispered in his ear.

"There's nothing wrong my little son, for safe we sleep tonight.
Our heroes stand on foreign land to give us all the right
To worry on the things in life that mean nothing at all,
Instead of wondering if we will be the next to fall."

He looked at me as children do and said it's always right,
To thank the ones who help us and perhaps that we should write.
And so we pushed aside the bills and sat to draft a note,
To thank the many far from home, and this is what we wrote:

"God bless you all and keep you safe, and speed your way back home.
Remember that we love you so, and that you're not alone.
The gift you give you share with all, a present every day,
You give the gift of liberty, and that we can't repay."

~ Author Unknown

### 37 questions.....

This via Sara's place and Bernadette's, too....

1. LIVING ARRANGEMENTS?  Dad, Mom, Me, Grace, and animals

2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING?  Dragonriders of Pern, for the umpteenth time....

3. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?  An Eagle looking at the US flag

4. WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE BOARD GAME?  Risk or Stratego

5. FAVOURITE MAGAZINE?  Redbook or Parents

6. BABIES?   A 3-yr-old girl, no more (I think)

7. FAVOURITE SOUNDS?  Grace singing and silence

8. WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD?  My kid being sick or hurt.

9. FIRST THING YOU THINK OF IN THE MORNING?  Damn, its morning again... where's the coffee?

10. HOW MANY RINGS BEFORE YOU ANSWER THE PHONE?   3

12. FUTURE CHILD'S NAME?  Elizabeth Chantal or Charles Patrick (family names)

13. WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN LIFE?  Happiness.

14. FAVOURITE FOODS?  Greek/Middle Eastern

15. CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA?  Mmmm....... chocolate.....

16. DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE FAST?  Sometimes, by myself on country roads

17. DO YOU SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL?  No, 2 real cats....

18. STORMS - COOL OR SCARY?  Cool, if they're not close....

19. WHAT TYPE WAS YOUR FIRST CAR?  I first drove a '66 Chevelle (not SS), 3-speed on the column.  The 1st car I bought was an 87 Grand Am.

20. FAVOURITE DRINK?  Alcoholic--White Russians, non-alcoholic--hot chocolate

22. WHAT IS YOUR ZODIAC SIGN?  Libra :)

23. DO YOU EAT THE STEMS OF BROCCOLI?  Yep.... yum

24. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY JOB YOU WANTED WHAT WOULD IT BE?  Congress woman....

25. IF YOU COULD DYE YOUR HAIR WHAT COLOUR WOULD IT BE?  I have dyed it every normal color.....

26. EVER BEEN IN LOVE?  Yes.  Returned... not yet....

27. IS THE GLASS HALF EMPTY OR HALF FULL?  1/2 full, of course

28. FAVOURITE MOVIE?  Tombstone and LOTR trilogy.

29. DO YOU TYPE WITH YOUR FINGERS ON THE RIGHT KEYS?  Not even close,,,,,

31. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE NUMBER?  6 and 10

32. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PROGRAMME?  Too many to choose...

33. BEACH, MOUNTAINS OR CITY?  Mountains, with a beach view....

34. TECHNOLOGY OR ART?  Both

35. COMEDY OR HORROR?  More of an Action / Drama movie person

36. FAVOURITE TIME OF DAY?  Late evening

37. WHO WOULD PLAY YOU IN THE FILM OF YOUR LIFE?  Nicole Kidman.... LOL.... but more realistically, Kathy Bates. I love them both.

Have a good night, everyone....

Cat

## Sunday, December 19, 2004

### Downtown for football

Make sure you all tune into ESPN tonight (football fans).

I am heading downtown to the RCA Dome to watch Manning & Company (hopefully) crush the Ravens.  I did say hopefully.   So, watch for me... I may make it onto National TV if I pull some daring stunt like take my shirt off (Too bad we don't have an open stadium or that might actually work).

GO COLTS

Have a great night, everyone!

(I'll try to whisper in Peyton's ear to get him to say  "Hi, Bernadette!" )

Cat

From Heather:

1. You are told you MUST give up either sight or the ability to talk. Which do you chose?  I know how to write and American Sign Language, so the ability to speak, no doubt.

2. Favorite line out of a movie?  (Don't laugh, Vernae!)  "I'm your Huckleberry" from Val Kilmer's Doc Holliday character.... it cracks me up everytime!

3. Guilty pleasure you could never give up? CHOCOLATE

1)  If you could fulfill a dream that you've had but now seems unrealistic, what would it be?  Finish med school and a ballerina.

2)  Ice-cream sundae or ice-cream cone?...what flavor?  Sundae, chocolate ice cream with peanut butter topping...yum!

3)  If Gracie could be any age right now, what age would you want her to be and why?  Part of me wishes she was a baby again because I feel like I missed out on a lot and it went by so fast.  Partly wish she was around 7 or 8, so I can really enjoy sharing things with her.  Right now it seems like a battle over power and control, which she doesn't know yet that I'm going to win  :)

From Angel:

1). What is your favorite all time movie?  'The Color Purple' and the LOTR trilogy.... its my favorite series of books, too.

2). Who was your favorite teacher in high school and why  My Spanish teacher, Mr. Rice and my Homeroom teacher, Mr. Montgomery, both men gave me insight on my future and I still heed their words to this day.

3).Do you see anymore children in your future?  Wow, Angel, I would like to have a son... but my time is running out.  And I'd prefer to be married before I had another one.

Anymore questions out there???

Cat

## Saturday, December 18, 2004

### Presents, and Baking, and Football... Oh my......

Busy, busy day planned for today.    Mom took Grace to see real reindeer and take a carriage ride at her workplace today (my old place, as well).  I try to avoid going back to that hospital at all costs.... yeah, I still hold a grudge against them and their policies..... so, I didn't want to go.  But they had a great time even if the line to see Santa was too long.....

The Steelers play today against the Giants.  Would love to see Eli Manning (NY's QB and Peyton's younger brother) have a great game, but NOT today   :::evil grins:::

I want Roethlisberger to set a high Rookie QB win record.... and for him to have a perfect season... well, it doesn't get much higher than that!   Kick-off 1:30 pm on CBS.

Mel is coming over so we can start on Christmas yummies.  She's making her awesome Peanut Butter Fudge.. YEA!

My Aunt Lauri (aka Aunt Zombie) made her scrumptious seasoned mixed nuts ::::drooling::::    She slipped me some extra because I told her I wanted to make Aztec Chocolate Bark.... it's my own concoction combining chocolate with spicy seasonings and nuts, of course... from a recipe I adapted of an Aztec drink called cocao (pronounced ca-cow).  Its yummy!  But one either loves it or hates it.....

I'm making Grandma Fran's toffee recipe, handed down from her grandmother... it is divine :)   I am also making some mock toffee bars with graham crackers, butter, chocolate and nuts.... as good as the real thing, without the fuss!!  If you don't have this recipe already, I'd be happy to point you in the right direction....

Next on the agenda are sugar plum pops.  These I got from Food Network's Sandra Lee on 'Semi Homemade'.  Simple as pie!  Frozen cheesecake scooped into balls, stick inserted, and dip in melted dark or white chocolate, maybe some caramel and nuts added.  I got sugar-free melting chocolates and sugar free caramel from my local cake supply place and a sugar free, fat free cheesecake at Meijer (grocery).

As if that's not enough, I'm making truffles.... full of luscious chocolate ganache flavored with Bailey's Irish Creme, Gran Marnier, or Brandy.  I've got some flavored oils I may also use.

And of course, cookies of all kinds.... but they will be made on Wednesday or Thursday... so they'll last ;)

So, I'm off to indulge my fantasies......

Cat

## Friday, December 17, 2004

### Saturday Six

1. What is your all-time least favorite Christmas Carol or holiday song?  I think 'Deck the Halls' is boring, and the background singers to Elvis Presley's 'Blue Christmas' drive me insane (otherwise, i like the song)

2. Who is the most difficult person on your shopping list to buy a gift for, and have you already purchased his or her gift, yet? My mom.  She is the queen of yard/garage/rummage sales, so it is always hard to find what she likes... or wants (unless she tells me). She isn't happy if we spend money on her....

3. What picture are you least proud of:
A) Your most recent professional portrait<~~ OMG!!!

4. How many Christmas/holiday parties have you been invited to this month and how many have you (or will you) attend?  1 and 1

5. A previously-unknown rich relative appears and offers to buy you the car of your choice.  What would you like? 2005 Mustang

6. What is your favorite thing to wear around the house when you know no one else is at home?  Is that what you're wearing as you answer these questions?  sweats or PJ bottoms because someone is always home.

## Thursday, December 16, 2004

### A Better Grasp....

My friend Mel sent this and it tells me to share....

WORDS WOMEN USE

******************************

FINE
This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

FIVE MINUTES
If she is getting dressed, this is half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given 5 more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

NOTHING
This is the calm before the storm. This means "something," and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with 'Nothing' usually end in "Fine"

This is a dare, not permission. Don't do it.

LOUD SIGH
This is not actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A "Loud Sigh" means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you over "Nothing"

THAT'S OKAY
This is one of the most dangerous statements that a woman can make to a man. "That's Okay" means that she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

THANKS
A woman is thanking you. Do not question it or faint. Just say you're welcome.

Send this to the men you know to warn them about future arguments they can avoid if they remember the terminology!

And send it to your women friends to give them a good laugh :)

Consider it done.......
Cat

## Wednesday, December 15, 2004

From Val:

1.  What are your dreams for Gracie?  That she grows up happy and healthy into an intelligent, confident, respectable woman.
2.  What is your favorite possession/why?  If Grace counts as a possession (for the moment, anyway), then it is she, no doubt.  If not, then it would be this house because it holds generations (Grace makes the 5th) of my family's heritage.
3.  Do you have any regrets?  Would love to meet the person who doesn't...lol.  The biggest 3 regrets are not taking high school seriously, not taking college seriously (I held high GPAs, just never took advantage of academic opportunities), and not attending either graduation ceremony.... I just wanted the piece of paper saying I was done with it, at the time.

From Sara:

1.  If you could be extremely talented at any one thing, what would that be? Ballet, without a doubt.
2.  What has been the highlight of your year?  My brother moving back home :)
3.  If you could re-live one year of your life, knowing what you know now, what would that year be, why that year, and would you change anything?  1985-the year I started smoking and I wouldn't start smoking.

From Danielle:

1. Tell me something wonderful about your day today... Grace was in a great mood all day:)

2. What do you think would never be possible for you to do, but you'd love to do it anyway?  Travel into space.

3. If you could live one day in someone (anyone) else's shoes, who would choose?  From present, my mom's.  From past, Leonardo DaVinci's.

Cat

## Monday, December 13, 2004

### I see London, I see France....

This is the only entry I had planned on doing, but the Peterson thing hit a nerve, so now to lighten my spirits.... and maybe yours.... here's the rest of the story.

My daughter has the ears of  a bat, the nose of hound dog, and the eyes of an eagle and yesterday she worked her voodoo on us all...   First, she woke up way too early (I'm still thinking she was sleep-walking) and loud and grouchy (the other signs she's not awake, her eyes are just open)When she wakes up like this, its best just slap in a movie and let her zone until she really wakes up.  Hand her a drink and some mini-wheats in a bowl and let her be!

No, didn't happen.

She threw so many tantrums before 10 am, I'd had enough.... to bed her grinchyness went.  Yeah, right.  It took 2 hours and me laying on her floor to get her to sleep.  Sheeesh, what's her deal?!  Pre-pre-menstrual syndrome it seems.

She loves being in her bedroom and normally falls asleep within 30 minutes.   So, finally she goes to sleep and sleeps for 2 1/2 hours, longer than normal.  She woke up in the same mood, too.  ::::Joy, joy::::

Now, I had to go to the store and get some running done and had planned to take her with me.  No way!  Not in that mood, I'd be arrested for some type of abuse for telling her no for sure....she'd scream like she was getting beat up or something in this mood.  She stayed here with Dad.

Big mistake!  Huge!  Gigantic! (for those of you on your toes, you'll know where I stole that quote from!)  From Dad's story, she tried to strangle both cats (she hugs them by grabbing around their necks...trying to break her of it, but Kitty is scratching her up..so thinking she'll get it and leave them alone), broke three people from the Christmas Village, got into everything, etc, etc....

She got to sit in timeout too many times to count now.  I was over being nice.  She was warned three times (one more than I normally allow) then she got spanked.  Yes, I spank her when she's being an obstinate little turd.  It doesn't happen very often, but I'm telling you she needed it.  So, I spanked her, three smacks on the naked butt.  You know, the blush of pink type smacks, not the bright red type--saving those for later, I'm sure (she is MY kid, so I know what's in store for me)

I did it.  She cried.  I pulled her pants back up and told her why I did it and I'd do it again if she didn't settle down.  She was moving while I was pulling her pants up, so I didn't get them up in the back very well.  She walked by the full length mirror and saw her butt crack.

What a reason to break out in song!

Sure enough she rang out her version of

"My name is Paris, you see my butt crack!"

(Sung to the tune of Eddie Murphy's "I got some ice cream and you don't have none" skit.)

Yes, I am a bad mom for starting this song, but it wasn't intended for my daughter at all.  She must have overheard me say it (I use it in reference to those low hip ridin' jeans that expose the type, brand, and size of the thong worn underneath them or a butt crack, like Paris Hilton)

It definitely made up for some of her actions for the day, though ;)

Have a good night....

Cat

### An eye for an eye....(**language**)

So why is that Scott Peterson gets the death penalty and Susan Smith gets to sit in prison for the rest of her life wasting our tax dollars??

For those who don't remember Susan Smith, she's the stupid fuck who drove her two boys into the lake and listened to them scream and cry for her until they drowned.

What is the difference?  Someone make this make sense to me!!

She should've been strapped into a car and drowned for what she did.   If its because she's a woman--that's a dumb ass excuse.

Here's an idea.... let's strap her in the chair on Scott's lap and try saving us taxpayers some money for a change.......

Cat

## Saturday, December 11, 2004

### Spirit of the Season....

My friend, Nikki sent this to me and, well.... it is too good not to share.

Remember the reason....

The Heart

"Tomorrow morning," the surgeon began,  "I'll open up your heart..."

"You'll find Jesus there," the boy interrupted.

The surgeon looked up, annoyed "I'll cut your heart open," he continued, to see how much damage has been done.."

"But when you open up my heart, you'll find Jesus in there," said the boy.

The surgeon looked to the parents, who sat quietly. "When I see how much damage has been done, I'll sew your heart and chest back up, and I'll plan what to do next."

"But you'll find Jesus in my heart. The Bible says He lives there. The hymns all say He lives here. You'll find Him in my heart."

The surgeon had had enough. "I'll tell you what I'll find in your heart. I'll find damaged muscle, low blood supply, and weakened vessels. And I'll find out if I can make you well."

"You'll find Jesus there too. He lives there."

The surgeon left.

The surgeon sat in his office, recording his notes from the surgery, "...damaged aorta, damaged pulmonary vein, widespread muscle degeneration.No hope for transplant, no hope for cure. Therapy: painkillers and bed rest. Prognosis:, " here he paused, "death within one year."

He stopped the recorder, but there was more to be said. "Why?" he asked aloud. "Why did You do this? You've put him here; You've put him in this pain; and You've cursed him to an early death. Why?"

The Lord answered and said, "The boy, My lamb, was not meant for your flock for long, for he is a part of My flock, and will forever be. Here, in My flock, he will feel no pain, and will be comforted as you cannot imagine. His parents will one day join him here, and they will know peace, and My flock will continue to grow."

The surgeon's tears were hot, but his anger was hotter. "You created that boy, and You created that heart. He'll be dead in months. Why?"

The Lord answered, "The boy, My lamb, shall return to My flock, for He has Done his duty: I did not put My lamb with your flock to lose him, but to retrieve another lost lamb."

The surgeon wept..

The surgeon sat beside the boy's bed; the boy's parents sat across from him. The boy awoke and whispered, "Did you cut open my heart?"

"Yes," said the surgeon.

"What did you find?" asked the boy.

"I found Jesus there," said the surgeon.

Author Unknown -

- Celebrate Jesus in 2004

For the season......

### Questions, not wishes....

This '3 questions' thing is making its rounds here, I'm joining in....   I have yet to ask any questions, either others have asked what I would've, or, well, I just don't like being 'nosey-like'.  But I find it an interesting thing that other's have made up some (I'd never think to ask) questions like "Do you believe in UFOs?"  Now, that kind of creativity I can get into.    So, ask me any three questions you'd like--no subject taboo.  If you feel too personal, ask in email (though depending on what I think, I may write the answer(s) here.   And feel free to send others as most of you who come here know me fairly well.   I'll answer them soon...   Tag from Stacy Isn't it so cute?!