You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2010.

In recent months, President Barak Obama has been needled by underground, or less-publicized media, and individual blogs for his support of Muslims celebrating their faith.


I was just reading a passage in First Lady Hilary Clinton’s book, AN INVITATION TO THE WHITE HOUSE, in the “Christmas At The White House” chapter. The former first lady wrote (page 198):

“As much as Bill and I love our Christmas traditions, we’ve wanted to be sure other faiths felt welcome during the holiday season. In 1993 we put a menorah in the West Wing lobby to honor the Jewish festival of Chanukah. The President also lights another very special menorah in the Oval Office. Maryim Baram, an Israeli craftsman who lost his young son in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, created it from his love and grief and sent it to the President.

Starting in 1996, we have also hosted a Ramadan event to mark the end of the holy month of fasting and prayer for Muslims and to increase understanding of Islam.”


Also, from THE WHITE HOUSE: George W. Bush we learn:

“President Jimmy Carter walked to Lafayette Park in 1979 and lit one candle or shammash (the candle used to light other candles) in the 30-foot electric silver menorah.

President Ronald Reagan visited the Rockville Jewish Community Center in 1983 and gave remarks following the lighting of the menorah.

The Synagogue Council of America gave President George H.W. Bush a menorah, which was displayed at the White House in 1989. President Bush participated in a Hanukkah celebration for staff in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in 1991 and also celebrated with children and local Jewish leaders.

President William Clinton lit a menorah in the Oval Office in 1997 and joined Israel’s President Ezer Weizman in lighting the first candle of Hanukkah in Jerusalem in 1998.”

Another site, MUSLIM REPUBLICANS, discusses the following, written in 2007:

“Ohio was the first state to declare October 10th, 2007 as “Muslim Day”. This was over 15 years ago. Now congress and the business world have began doing the same trying to capitalize on the Eid spirit.

On the national level, it all started about eight years ago when the United States Post Office began offering US postage stamps with an Eid theme. Since then, various other government and business agencies began doing the same.

For many years, it’s been well known that Republican White Houses are far more Muslim-friendly than Democratic White Houses. Muslims have held this long standing belief for many years, and one needs to look no further than how each handles Muslim holidays.

Unlike previous administrations which barely mentioned Eid and Ramadan, the Bush White House has held countless Iftars (break fast dinner parties) for the White House staff as well as Muslim community leaders. Previous Democratic presidents never held Iftars, and Clinton even cancelled the one Iftar which was planned due to some “political pressure” from other Democratic party supporters. The White House and President Bush are celebrating and recognizing Eid, in the latest White House statement:

‘I am pleased to send greetings to all of those celebrating Eid al-Fitr, the culmination of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.'”

In fact, the White House has an entire section of their website dedicated to Ramadan and Muslims: Click on the different years to see what this Muslim-friendly White House has been doing to celebrate Ramadan and Eid.

Further, Congress just passed House Resolution 635- ‘The Ramadan Bill’- “recognizing the commencement of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal, and commending Muslims in the United States and throughout the world for their faith.”

Normally, I try to steer clear of posting particular personal frustrations, but this one has been particularly aggravating, and consuming a good deal of my time this week.

In short, someone backed into my automobile, and I continue to receive “the run-around” from the gentleman’s insurance company, State Farm Insurance, as well as the estimate quotes not matching up from Carl’s Body Shop of Dayton.

I have never had to present a claim before, and this is all entirely new to me. If anyone has any further suggestions, please feel free to share them. I am not saying I am on “the right” in this – I am still researching, and gathering facts before I proceed.

Details of the accident, as well as the dealings with Carl’s Body Shop and State Farm

Police Report filed for the accident (names of individuals, other than myself, are left blank)

Car Estimate from Carl’s Body Shop & Towing in Dayton, Ohio

State Farm letter received today, 07/29/2010, indicating all repairs to the damaged vehicle will be covered

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Similar reports regarding State Farm Insurance:

Michael of Butler, KY July 31, 2009

My vehicle was damaged by another driver having State Farm Insurance as his provider. At first all was going along well and vehicle was repaired and returned to me in near perfect condition. Then, 3 weeks later, I get a call telling me that my car is totaled and needs to be signed over to State Farm to be scrapped. This is my main transportation and only vehicle that my family will fit in (6). I tried to negotiate with them, but they would not communicate and had no intentions working something out.

I have now been driving the car to work everyday without problems for the last 2 months. They are now harrassing me to sign the paperwork to release the title to them. I did not have gap insurance and now I will be stuck paying for a car I do not own.

Chris of Adamsville, AL May 21, 2009

I was involved in an accident with on of their insured. The accident was ruled their insured’s fault. It took over 2 months just for them to settle on my truck despite it not meeting their percentage requirement they insisted on totaling my truck and gave me way less than I had in the vehicle. Since then I have not heard a single word from the adjuster.

This is continuing to cost me initially I lost one new contract (towing) since I was unable to work without a wrecker. It also cost me a fortune in lost wages/income and continues to cost me in co-payments, doctors and physical therapy cost for my wife, who has not worked since the accident.

Nina of Des Plaines, IL April 15, 2009

The side of my vehicle was hit at a four way stop by their insured. The car was able to get back home, but was not safe to drive. The officer who arrived on the scene wrote their insured a ticket, and on the police report stated clearly that she hit me, and that the approximate cause of this could only be by failure her failure to yield. (I was going westbound, she was going south, I had to completely cross over the northbound lane of traffic before she hit me.) I had done everything in my power to prevent the accident i.e. horned. She told me that she was denying liability because her insured told her that we arrived at the stop at the same time, and that I had made a recorded statement(Please keep in mind I speak three languages, and english is not my first) also that she told me that if I did not make the recorded statement I would be violating my duty to cooperate and she would have grounds to terminate my claim without further investigation.

I was left without a vehicle through the winter (we live in Chicago) including christmas. I have four children. Yosvany (2 years old) with a serious congenital condition who was unable to attend vital doctors appointments due to the lack of a vehicle and unable to take public transportation due to severe weather, a three week old baby (at the time of the accident) and a five, and seven year old children who missed so much school (we were not eligible for free bus services) that they are now in mandatory preventative tutoring classes, my husband was forced to take a taxi to and from work for a month and a half(50.00 per day) until in late February we were able to save up for a car. Also, as a result I was unable to return to work after my maternity leave, and consequently lost my job.

Theresa of Cheektowaga, NY March 30, 2009

I was rear-ended by a state farm client. I was rushed through the entire process and harassed through the entire process. I was called every day I had the rented car which was three days total. They did not want to provide the rented car for the time needed. There estimate guy did not show up until friday at 4:30. They expected me to take there word for it

I was made to feel like I was the one that ran into someone

Paul of Yuma, AZ March 4, 2009

My vehicle was rearended six months ago by a State Farm 18 year old insured. I also have State Farm. My car was hit at 50 mph, while I was at a stop light. The adjuster for State Farm has made me feel terrible. She has questioned everything I have said and she even suggested I get an attorney. I only had 2,000 in medical bills I wanted paid, and 600 in lost wages. She offered me 1500, this does not even give me enough money to pay the medical bills.

This is outragous. why isn’t someone monitoring what they do? This is bad faith, and now I totally have more respect for those ambulance chasing attorneys. I would suggest to everyone dealing with State Farm, HIRE AN ATTORNEY. There are attorneys who do not charge until it is over with, and if they do not recover for you, no fee is charged. State Farm is awful!

O, Yescas of Clovis, CA February 20, 2009

An elderly gentleman ran a stop sign and hit me Dec 21, 2008. He admitted fault. The parts are on back order. The older man was cover by State Farm. And I have Triple A or California State Auto Association. Well, I was given the option of either my insurance or State Farm to handle my case. A woman named Trish called me. Instead of seeing me as the victim, she harassed me on the phone. Demanding why I was in that part of town at the time of the accident. And then inferring that I knew the two witnesses who saw the elderly gentleman run the stop sign at 40 mph. She asked me if I knew one of the witnesses phone numbers. I said how should I know that? And then making fun of my hip injury, calling it weird after I described the pain around my hip. After that I decided to let my insurance company handle the claim.

Also, she wanted to know my profession. Things that had nothing to do with the accident. And I had a very difficult time getting a rental car. It’s coming to 30 days now since I’ve had the rental. And the shop is waiting on parts. State Farm, Trish, sent me a medical form for me to fill out, and they gave me two years to settle with them. But I don’t trust them. I made a mistake of telling them that I was on disability. And what I had. I’m afraid they will use that against me. Even though it was the older man’s fault who is covered by State Farm. It is a difficult task they are asking me to do. I’m fairly young and am covered by medicare and medical for the disabled. They want all sorts of forms for my doctor and medical and medicare to fill out. It is too time consuming, and I feel it’s not worth pursuing. Since my disability benefits may drop if pursue a claim for my hip injury. They say that medical medicare will put a lien on whatever they give me. I don’t know if I believe them after the questions I was asked by phone.

I really need transportation right now. The van has electrical damage right now. And the fender hasn’t even been fixed yet. My insurance covers up to 750.00 for a rental car. My insurance company said they will go after State Farm for the money, not just rental. My question is that I don’t know State Farm’s maximum on a rental. And the maximum for Triple A is almost up. I need transportation for me and my family.

Deborah of Federal Way, WA February 16, 2009

My son was pedestrian and struck by a State Farm driver. In trying to discuss the liability of this situation with their rep A. Burk (she said they do not feel they are really all that responsible) with the adjuster, she continually interrupted me and would not allow me to speak and I felt she was trying to bully me into accepting the liability percentage and said that I should just get an attorney. I don’t know if it is just this adjuster or the company’s standard operating procedure but I felt that she was trying to push me into retaining legal counsel and turning a situation that should have been easily settled into a long drawn out mess.

I am also an adjuster for another company and we try hard to work with our customers to settle claims. There is really no need for dragging out a claim and retaining attornies if the claims handling was done in fair and professional manner. With claims handling like I am experiencing – no wonder insurance premiums are so high and attornies are getting rich suing them! Still ongoing.

Jeniffer of Miami, FL February 9, 2009

Ok, I was involved in a car accident on November 18th 2008. The person who hit me was given the ticket and she was found to be at fault for the accident. My car was taken to All Pro Collision, Miami, Fl 33142. The adjuster for State Farm went out and gave the final estimate on my car on November 24th. The body shop workers began working on my car and according to the shop manager, Hector, they worked 4 hours a day, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays and weekends.

The month approved as per State Farm should have ended in mid January, in which at that point, they were given an additional two weeks to complete the work whoch should have been completed on January 31st. At that time, the car was fully assembled but Nissan did not have the seat belt retractor in stock needed as the final part to be installed in my car. The part was then placed on back order and it is arriving tomorrow morning meaning my car can be picked up tomorrow, February 10th.

The issue at hand is State Farm is trying to make me pay for the balance of the rental of the car which is coming out to approximatly 700.00. This was not my fault , not the accident, nor the time it took for my car to be repaired and I feel it is unfair that they are making me pay for this balance. I need to know what can be done in order for this debt be paid.

Ronald of Forest Grove, OR February 8, 2009

a truck hit our 2007 mustang when i was in a store and my wife was in the car. i went to mike h’s office to report it and they told me to take care of it myself, they told me to go to the guys insurance that hit us and file a claim. i thought that is what i paid them for so i did not have to deal with all the footwork. we have been with state farm for 25 years. i tries to find a website for their coorporate headquarters to file a complaint but came up blank.

damage to our 2007 mustang, my wife has strained mussels in her neck and i am going in for back surgury on 2/16/09 so it is hard for me to do all this footwork (because it is hard for me to walk)

Lorna B Abbott of Chillicothe, OH January 29, 2009

My 2004 Chevrolet Malibu was parked legally in front of my house. The street was covered with black ice. The driver of a 1999 Ford Ranger Truck slipped on the ice and hit the front of my car. His auto insurance, State Farm, paid for a rental car for 40 days and paid 5,338.10 in body repairs, including replacing the radiator. However, when it came time to pay 527.18 to replace the steering shaft and the gear shifter, they refused.

The reason given was that these parts in the 2004 Chevrolet Malibu have a history of wearing out prematurely. I was told that I could have the car torn down at a cost of 212 so that the damage from the accident could be seen. I was amazed to think that they could pay for a rental car for 40 days, pay 5,338.19 in body work and not expect that there would probably be some damage to the working components of the car.

I cannot afford the 527.18 to replace the steering shaft and the gear shift. I bought this car as a GM Certified Used Vehicle on August 2, 2007 from Plaza Chevrolet in Chillicothe, Ohio. Their service department is the one who made the estimate. The car had 31,720 miles on it when I bought it and 34,517 miles at the time of the accident, a difference of 2,797 miles. The car ran fine before the accident. I think people should know that State Farm Auto Insurance will not pay for certain components on the 2004 Chevrolet Malibu.

Genevieve of Dallas, TX December 31, 2008

On 8-13-08 I was involved in a car accident. The client represented by State Farm was on the cell phone caused a 3 car collision. She hit a car without even breaking in which that car hit my car. I had just purchased my car on 8-4-08 Rio LX 2008. Mileage at the time of accident 338.0. I have attempted to get compensated for demised value.I was required by State Farm reps. to get a demised quote from car dealer. I obtained the first quote as instructed. Car Max valued it at 6500. Total expense repair was approx. 3200.

And on 10-31-08 State Farm Rep. Kim agree to a demised value of 1500. I informed her I could not agree to such a low amount. I was instructed to get a second I got the second from Toyota at 6500. I have sent in my sticker itemized price I paid for the car 14400. and the two quotes. I have researched the Kelly Blue book quote range is 13748.00 to 14166.00 I have spent time & research to come to a fair and justifiable demised value without success. My faxes and request to State Farm is that we resolve this issue before the end of this year.

Now we are approaching the new year of 2009. Not only am I loosing value in the car but will not be able to get the value now nor in 3 yrs for a justifiable amount of trade in, and bank payments will not be adjusted.It has come to this level of requiring an outside source to solve this issue. Please feel free to contact me if you require any documentation you may need I have all the repair, quotes, faxes and dates if you should need them. Thank you for your assistance in the matter.

Driver side bumper, tire, grill, light and door damage 3200

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Today was such a rare treat!

It rained for several hours this morning, and the temperature was under 90 degrees! There is still some humidity but not as liquid as it has been for weeks.

Although the rain did not cool the outdoors as we had hoped, the rain was such a blessing! The grass has been needing it badly. There have been rain showers all around Kettering, but for some reason the dark clouds have passed over without offering a drop. Saturday, a black cloud hovered overhead for a good forty-five minutes, and I was certain we would have a deluge.

Not a drop.

Yesterday was outstandingly busy, and I managed, between activities, to grab Jose when he was home (Brandon had to work, so I had my son for some time).

Today has been my ordinary day of watching documentaries. Jose and I had planned to go hiking with Brandon and Justin at 10:00am, but that was when the showers were falling. So, Jose and Brandon took off on their own excursions, even working in some hiking time at Sugar Creek Reserve.

At 3:00pm I went out to mow the front yard, saving the back yard for Jose. I raked, and blew the leaves and lawn shavings, and then took the leaf blower to the deck. I hung a new garden hose, and am not wringing wet.

At least the doors and windows are open today so the fresh air can float through the house!

Ugh… I was not completely keen on going to Wal-mart for glasses; however, my vision plan included the optometrist from the nearby Wal-mart. Some of the other optometrists were in Centerville, Beavercreek, and Vandalia.

I was being lazy.

However, when I met the doctor, he was fantastic. He had a number of Wittenburg University music teachers as patients, and was telling me about how he had worked with quite few who needed certain prescriptions for playing piano, reading from a music stand, and conducting. I was thrilled because I was in good hands. And he was very personable.

From the examining room to the frame selection. I had already picked out my frames, so now it was just writing up the order.

The agreed items:

  1. The trifocal for reading piano music and my computer screen would be at the top of the lens
  2. The middle section would be for distance
  3. The bifocal, at the very bottom, would be identical to my previous glasses since that is where I read, and use for conducting – and my previous prescription for the past 3 years has been awesome – for any one who has conducted, you know how wonderful it is to be able to see your music from the stand

I do not wish to change glasses when I need to do basic things and then play the piano or work from the computer. The optometrist assured me this is what could be done.

Sunday, I learned my glasses were in. Jose and I trotted off to get them.

The trifocal was in the middle. The bifocal prescription was completely different, and I could only read when the material was 0′-5″-0′-7″ away from my face! I could not read anything past a foot away. With my old pair of bifocals, I could see up to a good 8′-” to 10′-0″.

When I tried to explain to the sales associate she was clueless. I understood that this was probably a bit more tedious than most requests, so I was patient.

Today I get a call to speak with the optical manager.

Now, I am told that there is no way the trifocal can be placed at the top, and that if I wanted my bifocal prescription changed, I would have to see the doctor again to have it changed!

I kept my cool, but I let her know I am extremely disappointed in the promised service that obviously failed. The associate said, “Well, it sounds like there was just some miscommunication.”

So, if I wish to see the optometrist again, it is from my own wallet!

I bit my tongue, and told her I would have to think about continuing with their services before setting up an appointment.

Wal-mart Optical = FAIL.


Dear Abby,
A couple of women moved in across the hall from me.  One is a middle-aged gym teacher and the other is a social worker in her mid twenties. These two women go everywhere together, and I’ve never seen a man go into or leave their apartment.  Do you think they could be Lebanese?

Dear Abby,
What can I do about all the Sex, Nudity, Fowl Language and Violence on my VCR?

Dear Abby,  I have a man I can’t trust.  He cheats so much, I’m not even sure the baby I’m carrying is his..

Dear Abby,
I am a twenty-three year old liberated woman who has been on the pill for two years.  It’s getting expensive and I think my boyfriend should share half the cost, but I don’t know him well enough to discuss money with him.

Dear Abby,
I’ve suspected that my husband has been fooling around, and when confronted with the evidence, he denied everything and said it would never happen again.

Dear Abby,
Our son writes that he is taking Judo.  Why would a boy who was raised in a good Christian home turn against his own?

Dear Abby,  I joined the Navy to see the world.  I’ve seen it.  Now how do I get out?

Dear Abby,
My forty year old son has been paying a psychiatrist $50.00 an hour every week for two and a half years.  He must be crazy.

Dear Abby, I was married to Bill for three months and I didn’t know he drank until one night he came home sober.

Dear Abby,
My mother is mean and short tempered I think she is going through mental pause.

Dear Abby,
You told some woman whose husband had lost all interest in sex to send him to a doctor.  Well, my husband lost all interest in sex and he is a doctor.  Now what do I do?

In the wake of Touchdown Jesus’ destruction, I have read so much about how so many consider this a “graven image.” While researching The Great Passion Play of Eureka Spring, Arkansas, I discovered they had a tall Jesus statue. So, I looked up other Jesus statues on Google… Wow!

This is incredible… take a few minutes to refresh your spirit, and your life.

A NEW PLEDGE by David Ault

This has been an amusing several days for news.

  • Lindsay Lohan is sentenced to jail and rehab…
  • Mel Gibson has been acting up, again…
  • Touch Down Jesus will be rebuilt – full body from Indiana limestone…
  • The Barefoot Bandit has alluded authorities several times this past week…
  • And the big item this week… Lebron James…


First off, I had no idea who Miss Lohan was. In fact, I almost thought they were talking about J-Lo (Jennifer Lopez). I did a quick search and found out she was a supermodel, an actress and a singer. OK… cool.

For several days I read, or heard about this mysterious announcement to be made by Lebron James. Since I do not follow sports, and only half listen to television news I figured someone was getting ready to announce their candidacy for the 2012 Presidential Election. I mean, isn’t it about time for the campaigning to begin?

The comments on Facebook, and Twitter, are downright hilarious to me! You would have thought this young guy was discovered to be one of the ten spies returned to Russia yesterday. It reminded me of the night the Baltimore Colts were whisked away in a bus to Indianapolis – fans appeared furious that a sports team leaving their community! You would have thought Michigan and Ohio State University had switched fight songs (if you are from Ohio, you would understand the blasphemy, and severity of such an action!).

The Barefoot Bandit, whose real name is Colton Harris-Moore, now has his own Wikipedia site, and has 55,587 followers (as of this Saturday afternoon) on Facebook. Darling Facebook fan, Eddie Smith of England, who could probably stand to gain from a basic grammar class, writes, “Man your a legend, your story is everywhere in England… Everyone thinks your great!….. Keep going man never let them catch you!!!”

These items seem to be plastering the media landscape, and I have to scratch my head, and ask, “Why the hell should any of this really, and truly matter?”

People are furious with Lebron James for switching to tennis, or marrying Tiger Woods future ex-wife, or trying to steal Morgan Freeman’s contract for the upcoming Broadway production, DRIVING MISS DAISY, or whatever it is he does (yes, I know he is a basketball star from Ohio).

I don’t know why THE TODAY SHOW was so concerned with talking to doctor’s, psychologists, lawyers, and fellow celebrities to dissect Ms. Lohan’s ordeal. Are ya serious, Meredith Viero? An Oregon boy is missing, we have a major oil spill, people are suffering from the heat wave hitting the East Coast, and so many other items of greater importance – and yet the focus is on a celebrity’s legal battles. So what else is new?

When it was announced in The Dayton Daily News that Touchdown Jesus would be rebuilt with Indiana limestone, the critical, even cruel, comments began pouring in! People are furious that Solid Rock Church is spending their OWN money for a blasphemous structure (like cathedrals throughout Europe and here) to glorify God.  “But we don’t even know what Jesus looks like?” wrote one complaining comment. Well, neither did Leonardo da Vinci nor Michaelangelo, or so many other great artists. Should we paint over their masterpieces, or chisel away at the sculptures? I am certain the complainers have

  1. attended, or still attend churches with Christian icons, or set dressing
  2. never attempted to do as much for charity as the parishioners of Solid Rock Church
  3. have no church affiliation, or
  4. a new GPS so they no longer need TDJ as a landmark to tell them when they are closer to Traders World or Kings Island

Why are these particular topics so valued by the masses?

Why is the nineteen year old Barefoot Bandit more an international focus and Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda groupies are not?

While waiting to put some groceries on the conveyor belt at Kroger last night, I glanced over at the Rag Mags, and learned:

  • Laura Bush is divorcing George W. Bush because he is having an affair with Joan Rivers
  • Justin Bieber really has begun puberty
  • Billy Ray Cyrus is a much better actor than many believe, and will be cast in the title role of HAMLET in a command performance for Queen Elizabeth
  • Will Prince Charles have to pin back his ears to wear the royal crown when he becomes king?
  • Television’s Sister Angelica is secretly carrying Pope Benedict’s love child
  • Donna Summer has been cast to play Michael Jackson in the television rock-u-drama about his life?
  • Broadway’s newest production of LES MISERABLES welcomes Great Britain’s star, Susan Doyle, to play Young Cosette

OK, those were actually headlines I made up, but we all know that those do seem to be genuine from the Rag Mags on shopping store racks.

I wonder how many readers will read the above items and take them to be true?

The deck is damp from last night’s rain showers, but the air is crisp, and cool at 68-degrees. The morning is beckoning those of us who have been besieged by the overwhelming heat and humidity of last week to come outside and enjoy the kaleidescope and symphony of nature.

Charlie Cardinal is belching out a fine tune this morning, alternating with the two precious mourning doves (christened The MD’s) that were hatched on the limb that hangs over the deck. They appeared mid-August last year, and have remained a part of our family, now joined by Harvey the White Squirrel.

So often the two doves greet the morning, and bid farewell to the day with the gentle lament, a simple melody laden with no excitement.

Last night I spent another evening prepping for my quiz over “Introduction to Empty Nesting: 101” as Jose spent the second entire day and evening with brothers Brandon and Justin. The boys all seem to enjoy one another’s company, and have a good time, for which I am grateful. I cooked out on the grill, and ate alone on the deck while Flyer and Logan competed in a stare-down with my fork as it made food disappear. Most of the day had been sheeted with rain, and the evening turned out to be quite nice once the mugginess vanished. Only moments after leaving the deck, another shower poked its head into perfect evening.

Now, other birds have created a polyphonic chorus, accompanying Charlie & The MD’s. I hope to work from the deck for a few more hours on business and family items, and then will figure out something fun to do – perhaps a canoe trip is in store at Old River Park.

The MD's (Mourning Doves) Labor Day, 2009

The MD's on their same perch last February 2010

Charlie Cardinal

Harvey the White Squirrel

This morning had me hopping – doctor appointments, pick up prescriptions, and rush back home to teach a 10:30am lesson! Began the day with tons of energy, and by Noon, I was alternating between reading and napping.

The heat, even at 7:30am, was unbearable. Walking from my car into the doctor’s office had me drenched. Around 5:00pm the signs of a rain shower spread across the Miami Valley, and I stepped onto the deck to feel a cool breeze. I opened all the windows (finally), and let the curtains bounce. The rain showers came, and were over by 8:00pm. I hurried off to Kroger, and upon leaving the store was smacked with steam!

Back at home, I waited for Jose to finish marching band percussion practice at 9:00pm. We walked to Speedway for a slushy, and laughed in the kitchen for a while.

Tomorrow is a double dentist appointment – Jose and myself – at our new dentist. Jose aged out of his pediatrician dentist, and mine moved.

Jose has finished the first coat of paint on his room. I have not checked it yet.

This afternoon I looked through You Tube to find videos of Bess Truman, Senator Dole speaking at President Nixon’s funeral, and some other historical tidbits.

Now, I am sitting up in bed with my lap top, researching new diabetic medication I will be starting in a few weeks.

Other than that, it has been a somewhat calm day at the Haasienda.

This afternoon while sitting on my deck writing, I saw something move out the corner of my eye. As I looked over by the wooden privacy fence, I saw a black mouse-like creature move under a hosta plant. It retreated back under the fence, and then came out to the next hosta.

I sent my neighbor an email, figuring Bob “the lawn guy” would know what it was. And he did!

Small rodents often confused for mice, except with shorter tails and beady eyes, voles live throughout the Northern Hemisphere and are often considered agricultural pests because they eat vegetation.

It is Monday, 1:00pm. The end of the restful, and enjoyable holiday weekend is creeping upon us.  Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were the most perfect days we’ve had in weeks. Saturday was a bit steamy, but not too hateful. Sunday, however, returned with the higher temperatures, and humidity. Today is becoming its evil twin with highs expected to be in the lower 90’s. Tuesday through Thursday we are supposed to be in the mid-90’s.

Friday and Saturday were somewhat peaceful, and relaxing. Jose and I went to see ROBIN HOOD – quite good, and Saturday, Kelley, our delightful neighbor boy next door, joined us for the downtown Dayton fireworks. Several years ago we took a city bus down to watch the fireworks – and it was so simple! We walked out our front door, hopped on the bus, got off the bus downtown, walked several blocks to the river, watched fireworks, walked back to the bus, got off the bus right in front of our house. No traffic. No parking issues.

In 2001, I found a nifty parking place behind the United Methodist headquarters (commonly known as The God Box) next to the Masonic Temple. We were the only ones to park there! I could not believe it. Most years we have been on vacation over this holiday, and I figured our secret parking area would have been discovered by countless others. Nope! We arrived around 9:30pm, parked, walked a few hundred yards to the Masonic Temple’s hill (I always feel as though I am at the Custis-Lee Mansion at Arlington Cemetery), and watched a splended firework display over the river.

Sunday morning, Jose was out the door for work until 3:00pm. I made a cake, and chatted with Mother on the phone.

Cake: yellow cake mix with some lemon extract. Poured some of the batter into the pan and then scattered thinly sliced strawberries; added the remainder of the batter; backed; more strawberry slices, a packet of white icing mix with some almond extract added, along with some liquefied strawberry jam.

At 2:00pm, the cake and I headed next door for a cookout.

As always, the hours escaped me, and it was nearly 6:00pm when I returned home. I love spending time with my neighbors, who have become more like family. Since the crowd was not as large this time, I actually got to spend time chatting with Don who is usually kept busy at the grill, non-stop.

I came home, and began watching some television programs. At 9:00pm, The American Experience on PBS aired the conclusion of HARRY TRUMAN.

Ahhh…. what a unique politician, a giant of a man, and an incredible American was Harry S. Truman. He, along with President Lincoln, is one of my heroes.

This morning I was wide awake, as usual, around 4:00am. By 6:00am, I was retreating back to some sort of sleep, and lingered in bed to watch a great movie, WHITE SQUALL, based on a true story. Great movie!

Now, I am settled on the deck with my laptop. Flyer rests under my chair, and Logan is stretched out under another table across the deck. Jose is swimming with Brandon Tener.

What a great weekend….

I belong to a home-town on-line group. The original premise of the group was to keep alumni connected, and to share stories about life in our little Hoosier community.

Since the 2008 presidential election I have contributed little to the message board. Once upon a time the group was quite enjoyable, and tended to transport readers down the beloved memory lane.  However, during the election, the group seemed to adopt a hideous a tone, and though I attempted to placate the agitated, and the agitators, it became a pointless effort. The hatred, and vicious venom that poured from responses were sad. Anyone of a Liberal persuasion was attacked mercilessly, and often with deep hurt. Those who considered themselves Conservative, especially those repeated The Pledge of Allegiance seemed to place their Bibles over their hearts rather than their right hand.

I finally began posting my items on my blog alone, avoiding any contact with some of the particular folks. This did not, however, prevent several of those critters from harassing me on this blog site. One gal, whom several of us refer to as “SRB” (“Self Righteous Bitch”) even accused me of being a murderer because I supported then-Senator Obama’s Pro-Choice stance. This individual is, to quote a good friend, “a religions zealot that knows everything and respects no one but her own.”

Since the 2008 election, I have paid the site little heed, and only read the group email that arrives each morning. However, this week, one of the moderators, responding to some incredible photos from Afghanistan, simply questioned what we were still doing in that country.

It seemed that most dismissed the question. But SRB was right there on the attack referring to “Barry” and those hideous Liberals.

Now, throughout the 2008 election, when anyone would simply “W” for President Bush, or refer to him in any other manner, this lady would go off on them, even running some favorite submitters away from the site. However, it was, and still is perfectly fine for her to disrespect the office, and the president by referring to President Obama as “Barry.”

This past week SRB went on the Liberal attack as though the Liberals are the only ones questioning why our country is still involved in Afghanistan. I have listened to many Conservatives, and religious leaders from many parts of the country, also question the current purpose, and longevity of this war.

Reading SRB’s comments would not be horrible if she just did not come off in such a self-righteous, omnipotent manner. She is definitely one who spares no room for views that do not match up with hers, and quite often responds to challenging responses with a flippant sarcasm, or pettiness.

Several days ago, I posted the news of Senator Byrd’s passing on my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I was familiar with Senator Byrd, but simply took his passing as the end of a long career of service to our country.

Within minutes I was receiving private comments questioning how I could support such an individual who one had ties to the KKK. I simply posted the announcement of his death without writing any commentary. I honestly don’t know all the details of Senator Byrd’s past, nor do I truly care. His constituents in West Virginia must have cared deeply to return him as a representative for nearly 60 years.

Thursday morning I posted an article regarding his memorial service today. Again, the private comments were pouring in. Several responded to the link on my Facebook page, but the ones in private were so petty, ill-informed, and downright sophomoric.

One poster on my page did mention that Senator Byrd had apologized. There you go! The senator apologized. I don’t know why the ones who sent me private messages, most of whom profess to be strong Christians could not accept the apology.

There seems to be a continuing theme of “shoot-to-kill.” I read it, hear it everywhere. It is “hate.” And the hate comes from so many who claim to be weighed in a religion that promotes peace, forgiveness, kindness and understanding. Their ridiculing tongues spit words like poisoned darts, and they hurl verbal stones unlike Jesus who offered forgiveness, understanding, and love.

I have many wonderful Christian friends (Christi, Sue, Val, Duneen and many others) who demonstrate Christ’s teachings, and I appreciate them all the more because they never – at least within my hearing – “shoot to kill.” It is so refreshing to have them in my family’s life because they present such a different picture of what is generally portrayed by so many who prefer to abandon the teachings of Christ by engaging in hate.

One friend, in particular, is Kristen Z. We met Kristen at church, and Ms. Z is such a breath of fresh air. Like several friends mentioned above, I am confident that Kristen lives the life that would make Jesus jump up and down, cheer, and slap some high-fives!

Earlier this week, Kristen posted a very moving article on her Facebook, written by Tim Schraeder, entitled A Very Different Kind of Christian Demonstration at Gay Pride.

Now, I am not necessarily a supporter of Gay Rights. I don’t support Civil Rights, nor Equal Rights for Women. I am all for HUMAN RIGHTS. When I study the Great Teachers – Jesus Christ, Buddha and several others, there seems to always be a steady diet of acceptance, understanding, kindness, and love. I could never see any of them turning their backs on others, or turning them away.

I often wonder, and have for many years, why so many profess their solid beliefs in the various religions, and God, would be so filled with hate for others.

Is it fear?

Is it a projection of self-hatred?

Is it ignorance?

Is it self righteousness (like SRB)?

I don’t have any answers; I am merely thinking out loud…

One day, I hope to find a church that has engraved above its altar, “Love your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength… and love your neighbors.”

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

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Declaration of Independence

(Adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776)

The Unanimous Declaration of the

Thirteen United States of America

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. –Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.


We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

I discovered this incredible video by one of Dayton’s own young celebrities – Ryan Vallo.

I am adding Ryan’s text for those who may not have Facebook accounts.

“It’s 2010 and change is EVERYWHERE: our government, our environment, our economy, our culture. I’m Ryan Vallo, a 24 year-old from Dayton, Ohio. Join me as we travel around the globe to see how these changes affect our lives, our families, our communities, our nations, and our world. Welcome to…WE THE PEOPLE!”

Recently, Oprah opened a competition in search of a host with a concept for a new television show she will produce on her new network, the OWN Network. Now, I never send out these vote online for this that and the other email requests, however, I firmly believe in this television show concept. If you find yourself with a free moment, please follow the link below to view and vote for my video that explains my concept.

My apologies in advance for the poor image quality – it appears Oprah’s techs were unable to translate the web video file I sent, but the audio is at the least somewhat intact. Hope you are all well, and I SINCERELY thank you for your time and support as it is greatly appreciated!!! Vote for my video online at by 11:59PM on July 3rd!!!


To view a better quality of the video, please visit YOUTUBE, but don’t forget to vote on Oprah’s website: COMING SOON!!!

Many Thanks,
Ryan Vallo

* A special thanks to my good friend David Sherman – without his assistance this video would not be possible!

I fell asleep at 11:30pm last night, exhausted from seven straight hours of labor – not bearing a child kind of labor – yard labor. I was wide awake at 1:30am when my son’s video game blasted something away. I toggled frequently between being awake and sleeping until 5:30am, rising several times to work out a Charlie horse in my right leg.

Currently I am sitting in the cool breezes of the deck, Harvey (the white squirrel) dances about the trees in the easement that separates our yard and the high school parking lot, and Flyer is keeping an ever watchful eye on Harvey. Harvey is friendly, and like the beautiful cardinal that sits in the window of my study while I work, will play on the branches above me (I talk to him frequently), or when Flyer is absent, venture to the deck’s rail to keep my company.

Thursday Noon, Jose and I went to Lowe’s (one of my favorite haunts) to look at stones to go in front of the shrubs on the Shroyer side of the Haasienda. I think I found what I want, but they are $2.45 per stone, and it shall take quite a few. After buying an edger, and a pressure cap to replace the broken one on the weed eater, I now have $67 remaining on my gift card.

Upon returning home, I had to try out my new edger. It did the job but it was labor intensive. I thought it would be fairly easy – and it was in some areas of the front sidewalk – but it took some time. But when it was completed – WOW! What a look.

While I hit the front yard, Jose stripped the paper border in his room, preparing for his paint session. The last room in the house to receive a fresh look. I was thinking the “lait au cafe” (coffee with cream) which is the base for the downstairs, but Jose seems to like the almond. So, maybe the lait au cafe can be a trim, or on one wall. He will figure it out.

By 3:00pm I began reworking some of the bricks around the corner fence – I had one side lining the outside of one end-post, and the second line was within the the other post. I also brought the back side lines out beyond the post so that we will never need to trim right up next to the posts. Where the two lines of brick come together I brought them out at an angle so we needn’t trim up near the clematis.

I pulled out the weed eater and hedge trimmer and tackled both the front and back yards. With a ton of energy remaining, I decided to mow the front lawn, leaving the back for Jose.  By 7:30pm I had the blower turned on the yard and walks, and looked around, quite pleased with my efforts. Until I pulled out the leaf blower, Flyer had enjoyed the entire afternoon, napping in the wonderfully shaded front yard, or carefully eying the traffic, cyclists or pedestrians that passed on her street. The City of Kettering should consider renaming the street, Flyer Road, since she seems to think she owns the sidewalk! Flyer was a great companion yesterday while I worked, and I am sure passersby wondered why I was talking to myself since most probably did not notice Flyer.

I showered quickly and hurried to Dollar General to buy a hose to replace the leaking one in the front yard, and then to Kroger for the necessities. In semi-dark I replaced the hose and watered all the front yard plants, and headed inside at 10:00pm to fix a sandwich for supper.

This morning, as I rose at 7:00am, my legs ached with each step, and my arms, back and shoulders seemed to have tender spots I had not recognized the previous day.

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Teaching only three days in the summer means long days on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; however, having the additional two week-days – plus the weekend – to work around the house, write, and spend time with my are wonderful.

This morning I was wide-awake at 5:45am – which seems to be my inner alarm wake-up call – and decided to go ahead and water the plants on the deck. I did my morning routine, and decided that at 7:15am it was way too early to pull out the hedge trimmer. So, I read some emails, watched some of THE TODAY SHOW, followed by WILL & GRACE, and about fifteen minutes of ALL IN THE FAMILY. At 8:00am I was restless, so I tackled some indoor items, and ate breakfast.

I just finished watering the plants in front, greatly increased in their beauty thanks to Valerie Lockhart’s gifts the past two weeks. I cleaned the front door and mailbox – having painted the fence yesterday morning. The mail box may need some painting, too.

I have a full schedule of what I wish to accomplish today, mostly having to do with the yard. Jose has a work meeting at 1:00pm, and then works from 4:45pm-8:00pm, so I will plan my writing time in those chunks.

The weather was beautiful yesterday, and promises to be even more so today. The cool, non-humidity nights, so rare for the end of June in Ohio, were a welcome relief after the sufferings of the past several weeks. The rains came in torrents, briefly cooling off the air, but soon were followed by the steam.

This weekend promises to be fantastic for the July Fourth festivities – which are many here in The Miami Valley. I am sure we will canoe several times, maybe catch one or two firework shows, a parade, and hopefully time with some friends.

Other than that, there is just not much to report.

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July 2010
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