Monday, March 31, 2008

Ending the Blog

I do not know what to write about tonight because I have Blogger's Block. I was thinking about tomorrow and announcing that the Blog has ended. I think it has served its purpose. I got a lot of things off my chest and probably need to drop it now as it was/is becoming an obsession. I mean I feel obligated to write something everyday.

I got an e-mail from someone today asking me if I was sick because my blog had disappeared. I don't think it has disappeared. There are a lot of posts up and you could spend a long time reading the 900+ posts from this past year. Case in point. I was directed to read a post on another blog today. It is a great entry over at The Tao of Masonry. But it was written in June of 2006. I immediately felt inferior as to not being able to write as well as the Brother who describes himself as:
Exalted Keeper of the Secrets of Freemasonarianism; Grand Sovereign Pontiff and Secret Exposuer; Ambassador to Zeta-Reticula; Crop Circle Planning & Zoning Commissioner; Aluminum Foil Beanie Fitting and Training Consultant; Team Osiris Obelisk Siting and Surveying; Manager, Dulces/Denver Airport Massage & Day Spa; Cydonia Vacation Resort Concierge; Past Master, Friendship #33.3 AM & FM, Area 51, Atlantis
I mean, is that great or what? So, why should I bother to keep on with this Blog. When I started I called it "The Most Boring Blog on the Internet" - Is it? I feel that way sometimes. I have gotten into trouble with it. Opened myself up more than I should perhaps have done but it is an obsession so I have kept on Perhaps it is time to quit.

April Fool

So here is the real post for today:

The Way We "Help" Each Other.

I got an e-mail from Brother Kurt this morning. He sent me a poem which I will share sometime. It had this line in it.
Where every man's a Brother, and every Brother is a friend.
It did two things. One reminded me that next month is Poetry Month and two set up an idea for this post.

Every Brother is a friend. Does a friend criticize his friend? One of my Brothers told me that he was upset because he heard another Brother saying something negative about him and what he was doing down at the Scottish Rite. It was not said to him to help him be better but as a nasty remark that he overheard. (I wasn't going to say anything about this but he put it up on his blog so I guess it is all right.) I was under the impression that the criticism was leveled at his ritual work. Turns out it wasn't but that does not matter. It still hurt him. He is ready to stop his participation in the work at Scottish Rite. I told him not to let one person ruin his enjoyment of Masonry. A lesson I have to learn over and over.

I know of other so-called Brothers who have attained the exalted positions of Masonic Instructor or District Lecturer by passing an examination to recite all three degrees of the Masonic Ritual. This is quite an accomplishment and they should be proud of their accomplishment. They should remember, however, as my Brother said "Remember that we are volunteers and we don't really need to be at the reunions to get along in Freemasonry."

That is the key. Freemasonry is a volunteer organization.

Brothers want to do good ritual work. They spend hours practicing and working to perfect their ritual. They want to participate. They want to help new Masons become enrolled in the craft. Another Brother told me about the time he went to a practice at another Lodge. There are two MI's over there who used to be members of our Lodge. They got mad and moved their membership. They are excellent ritualists. I also understand why they left. The person they were working with used to come to our Lodge and was very critical of anyone who made a mistake in the ritual. Correcting them openly and without compassion. It did not make for good feelings and he was asked not to do it any more. And he got his feelings hurt and did not come back. However, they are doing the same thing he did. Driving people out. One of my best friends in Masonry told me he would not go back there because of the way ________jumped on him because he said the wrong word. That is just not right. (IMHO)

It is not that you don't want to correct someone when they do something wrong. It is just the way you do it. Quietly and not making a big deal out of it. Being helpful and not jumping down their throat. And with some people you can't even do that. I have one Brother who does not like to be given any suggestions. So I have learned not to help. I just let him go and try to show by example when I can. I am not an M I. I made a conscious choice not to try for it many years ago. I have some regrets about that and I encourage young Masons to go for it if they want. I did not want the pressure. I also didn't think I was smart enough to do it.

So there you have it. My rant for today. Using Honey rather than Vinegar to catch flies. Something I heard a long time ago. If we really want to help the fraternity we will remember that we need to help each other kindly. I have not always done that and I regret the times when I have snapped at a Brother and forgotten my own higher self. To be honest all we can do is try. I get the most upset when I fail to live up to the obligations I am under - I get even more upset when I hear stories where my Brothers are abused by someone who doesn't even try to live up to the obligation to treat each other as Brothers.

So I am going to close with the Ancient Prayer I used to have up on the left had column. I don't always live up to it but it does give me something to strive for.

An Ancient Prayer
May I be no man's enemy, and may I be the friend of that which is eternal and abides. May I never quarrel with those nearest me; and if I do may I be reconciled quickly. May I never devise evil against any man. May I love, seek and attain only that which is happiness and envy none. May I never rejoice in the ill-fortune of one who has wronged me. When I have done or said what is wrong, may I never wait the rebuke of others, but always rebuke myself . . . May I accustom myself to be gentle, and never angry with people because of circumstances. May I never discuss who is wicked and what wicked things he has done, but know good men and follow their footsteps.
Eusebius, 4th Century

So I hope you realize that I try to love each and every one of you. Especially some of you who have grown closer than blood family over the year(s). I mean I love them also but a lot of my fraternal brothers and sisters and friends have become so very close that I forget that we aren't related by blood. And some of my blogfriends are fast approaching that status.

So I am not ending the Blog. The title is merely an early April Fool's Joke. Watch out tomorrow. Make sure your shoe laces are tied. Or leave them untied so the kids you know can have some fun. ARTYAL, Big Hugs, j-bear

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Golda Meir

• It’s no accident many accuse me of conducting public affairs with my heart instead of my head. Well, what if I do? … Those who don’t know how to weep with their whole heart don’t know how to laugh either. 1973

• Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil! 1973
Golda Meir

Golda Meir born Golda Mabovitch, May 3, 1898 - December 8, 1978, known as Golda Myerson from 1917-1956) was the fourth prime minister of the State of Israel.

After serving as the Minister of Labour and Foreign Minister, Golda Meir became Prime Minister of Israel on March 17, 1969. She was described as the "Iron Lady" of Israeli politics years before that famous title (compliment!) became associated with British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher.[1] David Ben-Gurion used to call her "the only man in the Cabinet." Meir was Israel's first woman prime minister and the third woman in the world to hold this office but the first to do so without a family member having been head of state.

Meir was born as Golda Mabovitz in Kiev in the Russian Empire (today Ukraine), to Blume Naidtich and Moshe Mabovitch, a carpenter. Golda wrote in her autobiography that her earliest memories were of her father boarding up the front door in response to rumors of an imminent pogrom.

The family settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where her father found a job as a carpenter and her mother ran a grocery store. At the age of eight, she was already put in charge of watching the store when her mother went to the market for supplies.

Golda attended the Fourth Street School (now Golda Meir School) across from the Schlitz Brewing Complex from 1906 to 1912. A leader early on, Golda organized a fundraiser to pay for her classmates' textbooks. After forming the American Young Sisters Society, she rented a hall and scheduled a public meeting for the event. When she began school, she did not know English, but she graduated as valedictorian of her class.

At 14, she went to North Division High School and worked part-time. Her mother wanted her to leave school and marry, but she rebelled. She bought a train ticket to Denver, Colorado, and went to live with her married sister, Sheyna Korngold. The Korngolds held intellectual evenings at their home where Meir was exposed to debates on Zionism, literature, women's suffrage, trade unionism and more. In her autobiography, she wrote: "To the extent that my own future convictions were shaped and given form...those talk-filled nights in Denver played a considerable role." In Denver, she also met Morris Meyerson, a sign painter, whom she married at the age of 19.

In 1913, Golda returned to her high school in Milwaukee, graduating in 1915. While there, she became an active member of Young Poalei Zion, which later became Habonim, the Labor Zionist youth movement.. She spoke at public meetings, embraced Socialist Zionism and hosted visitors from Palestine.

Golda and Morris married in 1917 and began planning to make aliyah (immigration to the Land of Israel, then a part of the Ottoman Empire). They made the move to Palestine in 1921, together with Golda's sister Sheyna.

In Palestine, the couple decided to join a kibbutz. Their first application, to Kibbutz Merhavia in the Jezreel Valley, was rejected, but this decision was later overturned. Golda's duties included picking almonds, planting trees, working in the chicken coops and running the kitchen. Recognizing her leadership abilities, the kibbutz chose her as its representative to the Histadrut, the General Federation of Labour. In 1924, Golda and her husband left the kibbutz life and lived briefly in Tel Aviv before settling in Jerusalem. There they had two children, a son Menachem (born 1924) and a daughter Sarah (born 1926). In 1928, Golda was elected secretary of Moetzet HaPoalot (Working Women's Council), which required her to spend two years (1932-34) as an emissary in the United States. The children went with her, but Morris stayed in Jerusalem. Morris and Golda grew apart but never divorced. Morris died in 1951.

In 1949, Meir was elected to the Knesset as a member of Mapai and served continuously until 1974. From 1949 to 1956, she served as Minister of Labor, introducing major housing and road construction projects.

In 1956, she became Foreign Minister under Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. Her predecessor, Moshe Sharett, had asked all members of the foreign service to Hebraicize their last names. Upon her appointment as foreign minister, she shortened "Meyerson" to "Meir," which means "illuminate."

After Levi Eshkol's sudden death on February 26, 1969, the party elected Meir as his successor. Meir came out of retirement to take office on March 17, 1969, serving as prime minister until 1974. Meir maintained the coalition government formed in 1967, after the Six Day War, in which Mapai merged with two other parties (Rafi and Ahdut HaAvoda) to form the Israel Labor party.

In 1969 and the early 1970s, Meir met with many world leaders to promote her vision of peace in the Middle East, including Richard Nixon(1969), Nicolae Ceausescu (1972) and Pope Paul VI (1973). In 1973, she hosted the chancellor of West Germany, Willy Brandt in Israel.

In August 1970, Meir accepted a U.S. peace initiative that called for an end to the War of Attrition and an Israeli pledge to withdraw to "secure and recognized boundaries" in the framework of a comprehensive peace settlement. The Gahal party quit the national unity government in protest, but Meir continued to lead the remaining coalition.

In the days leading up to the Yom Kippur War, Israeli intelligence was not able to determine conclusively that an attack was imminent. Six hours before the outbreak of hostilities, Meir met with Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan and general David Elazar. While Dayan continued to argue that war was unlikely, Elazar advocated launching a pre-emptive strike on Syrian forces.

Meir believed that Israel could not depend on European countries to supply Israel with military equipment and the only country that might come to Israel's assistance was the United States. Fearing that the U.S. would be wary of intervening if Israel were perceived as initiating the hostilities, Meir decided against a pre-emptive strike. Then-U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger later confirmed Meir's assessment by stating that if Israel had launched a pre-emptive strike, Israel would not have received "so much as a nail."

Following the Yom Kippur War, Meir's government was plagued by in-fighting and questions over Israel's lack of preparedness for the war. The Agranat Commission appointed to investigate the war cleared her of direct responsibility, and her party won the elections in December 1973, but she resigned on April 11, 1974, bowing to what she felt was the "will of the people." Yitzhak Rabin succeeded her on June 3, 1974.

In 1975, Meir was awarded the Israel Prize for her special contribution to the State of Israel.

On December 8, 1978, Golda Meir died of cancer in Jerusalem at the age of 80. She was buried on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on December 12, 1978


Read more about this fascinating woman here, here and here.

Grand Encampment Easter Service

My friend Dan Pushee from Florida made this movie. It takes about 10 minutes. If you have never been to a Grand Encampment Easter Service you might find it interesting.

THE Project

Jon has decided that I need a more interesting back yard. To that end he has convinced me to fork over some money so that he can build a Prairie in the corner of my yard.

I thought he was going to put it in the Northwest Corner but had decided on the Southwest corner.

Here he is on my wonderful screened in back porch (which is filthy and needs a hosing down before I use is. Notice the new red wheelbarrow.

I am sure it will get a work out. He is moving dirt and sod from it's original location to the North side of the yard.

So this is the corner where it is going. I used to have a lot of privacy there but the guy who bought the house to the South of me took out all of the big bushes and now I am exposed and people who drive by on 13th Street can see into my yard. But he quit about halfway through and so I still have some and I don't have to look at the junk outside his back door.. This is where the Prairie is going. Jon told me to tell them that I was putting in a butterfly garden.

Max is out there helping him dig and letting everyone in the neighborhood know something is going on. A bark collar is definitely going to be in his future.

And of course, Cassie had to escape to the backporch to supervise. She loves to go out there when the weather is nice. I used to have a doggie door where the "boys" could go in and out when they wanted but since Cassie moved in we blocked it so she won't get out and escape. I am really looking forward to having my coffee out there this spring and summer.

If I were any kind of an Uncle I would be out there working beside him but I have always tried to avoid physical labor. And I am very tired from Friday night and Yesterday. I have become a Lethargarian (From The Phantom Toll Booth by Norton Juster) today. I can fall asleep writing this blog entry.

When I taught school I had the students pick an "Improving the Environment" project to do and report on during the Month of April. They could do anything they wanted. Some picked up trash in their area. Others planted flowers, they were very creative. So I guess this is our "improve the environment" project. Way to go Jon!

I really don't have anything to write about today. I have some topics bopping around in my mind but I have not had them gel yet. I JUST FEEL GOOD ABOUT THINGS. I suppose I should worry about that. I kind of expect the other shoe to drop when things go along fine and I know that is dumb but I am one of those people who doesn't expect a lot of good to happen to me so when it does I am surprised. I am also surprised at just how much it means to me to have someone let me know that I am appreciated and that happened several times yesterday. So I will express my gratitude for my Brothers and the great time I had with them this week-end.

Speaking of expressing gratitude. Several times during the day yesterday we addressed the Deity. Ritualistic prayer is not designed for the Divine Auditory Nerve. I am sure the words spoke were mostly meant for us to remind us of things. Even though addressed to Deity they were meant for us to hear and carry with us. Except for one prayer. One of the candidates in the class was given an opportunity to speak. He had been the active candidate for that degree and he started his remarks with a prayer. It was not a prayer asking God to do something for us or to remind us of lessons. It was, rather, a simple prayer of gratitude. Thanking Deity for the blessings that are ours. It was heartfelt and it impressed our Master of Kadosh so much that when it was finished he told the candidate that it was one of the best prayers he had ever heard in a Masonic setting. (Now I am paraphrasing what Brian said but that is the gist of it.)

There is so much to ponder and think about in the Scottish Rite Degrees that I am sure I will be thinking about them for a long time to come. Of course I remembered a lot of it but every time you see a degree you think of something new or find new meaning in something old. For all of this I am grateful. ARTYAL, Hugs, j


Bob took this picture of his grandson Charlie yesterday. He is being baptized today.

Miriam Makeba

Age is getting to know all the ways the world turns, so that if you cannot turn the world the way you want, you can at least get out of the way so you won't get run over.

Everybody now admits that apartheid was wrong, and all I did was tell the people who wanted to know where I come from how we lived in South Africa. I just told the world the truth. And if my truth then becomes political, I can't do anything about that.
Miriam Makeba

South African diva Miriam Makeba is well known throughout the world known as the Mama Africa and the Empress of African Song. Born in 1932 in South Afica, she first came to the public's attention as a featured vocalist with the Manhattan Brothers in 1954. She soon left to record with her all-woman group the Skylarks while touring Southern Africa with Alf Herberts' African Jazz and Variety, an 18 month tour that launched the careers of many African artists.

In 1959, Makeba's incredible voice help win her the role of the female lead in the show, King Kong, a Broadway-inspired South African musical. She then went to conquer America where she sang at President Kennedy's birthday and worked in New York with Harry Belafonte creating such classics as "The Click Song" and "Pata Pata".

In 1963 she testified about apartheid before the United Nations, as a result the South African government revoked her citizship and right of return. She stayed in the U.S. and married Stokely Carmichael, a Black Panther leader. That began her exile from her South African homeland. After harassment by U.S. authorities she fled to exile in Guinea.

Makeba returned to world prominence when she performed with Paul Simon on the Graceland tour. Finally in the late 1980's she returned to her homeland as a free South African.

You can go here to hear her sing Pata Pata.


Read more about her here, here and here.


These are some of the almost 200 people who put on the degrees at the Scottish Rite this week-end. I did not sit through all of them but I was there taking pictures which you can see at here.

I was there until 10:00 visiting and socializing and I want to tell you that I had a really good time. They have sone so much work down there on the building that it is a first class place to be now. It used to be a faded old lady but with all of the work that the members have done it is really quite nice (I was going to say snazzy but this is a high class blog) now. Any way I am tired and it is about an hour past my bed time.

I just want to say that I have enjoyed the last two days tremendously and I am sure I will pay for it tomorrow. I hope you like the pictures and I will post my penultimate Women's history post in the morning.

Always Remember That You Are Loved,

Bigh Hugs, j-bear

Friday, March 28, 2008

Margaret Mead

Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful.

It is an open question whether any behavior based on fear of eternal punishment can be regarded as ethical or should be regarded as merely cowardly.
Margaret Mead

born December 16, 1901, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.
died November 15, 1978, New York, N.Y.

Margaret Mead.
© Bettmann/Corbis
American anthropologist whose great fame owed as much to the force of her personality and her outspokenness as it did to the quality of her scientific work.

Mead entered DePauw University in 1919 and transferred to Barnard College a year later. She graduated from Barnard in 1923 and entered the graduate school of Columbia University, where she studied with and was greatly influenced by anthropologists Franz Boas and Ruth Benedict (a lifelong friend). Mead received an M.A. in 1924 and a Ph.D. in 1929. In 1925, during the first of her many field trips to the South Seas, she gathered material for the first of her 23 books, Coming of Age in Samoa (1928; new ed., 1968), a perennial best-seller and a characteristic example of her reliance on observation rather than statistics for data. The book clearly indicates her belief in cultural determinism, a position that caused some later 20th-century anthropologists to question both the accuracy of her observations and the soundness of her conclusions.

During her many years with the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, she successively served as assistant curator (1926–42), associate curator (1942–64), curator of ethnology (1964–69), and curator emeritus (1969–78). Her contributions to science received special recognition when, at the age of 72, she was elected to the presidency of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1979 she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States's highest civilian honour.

As an anthropologist, Mead was best known for her studies of the nonliterate peoples of Oceania, especially with regard to various aspects of psychology and culture, the cultural conditioning of sexual behaviour, natural character, and culture change. As a celebrity, she was most notable for her forays into such far-ranging topics as women's rights, childrearing, sexual morality, nuclear proliferation, race relations, drug abuse, population control, environmental pollution, and world hunger.


Read more here, here and here.

Scottish Rite - Spring Reunion

I went to Des Moines tonight for the first night of the Scottish Rite Spring Reunion. I had to show my card that I had inceed paid my dues to get in. Actually Wade knew that but he had to give me grief about it. I enjoyed the evening even though I did not stay for the entire event.

You can see all the pictures I took HERE.

Ron complained that he never got to see a picture of me so I gave him the camera and he took two pictures. I don't think it is too bad for an ugly old fart.
This is what the evening and the Reunion is all about. The Pete Paschall Class. Nineteen Master Masons who began their Scottish Rite Journey tonight. Being there brought back memories. I was a member of the Bicentennial Class of 1976 and I can still remember the confusion at the very beginning wondering who all those guys were. Now most of them are friends and it is fun to go to the Scottish Rite meetings.
I snapped this picture out the window of the car driving home. I was going 70 mph and I think it is a pretty good picture.

I went up to Aunt Jo's today to work with her on her e-mail and computer. Georgia was there also and between the two of us I think we confused Jo more than she had been. Maybe not. Anyway for some reason all of her contacts had disappeared and we finally had to call Lee in Texas and he got on her account and fixed it so now she can e-mail folks.

I am going down tomorrow to take more pictures and see some more of the Scottish Rite degrees. I am surprised at how many of them I have forgotten about. Then I think I will go out to Chef's Kitchen and eat supper since there isn't going to be a meal at the Scottish Rite tomorrow night. ARTYAL, Hugs, j

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Babe Didrikson Zaharias

• Luck? Sure. But only after long practice and only with the ability to think under pressure. • The formula for success is simple: practice and concentration then more practice and more concentration.

born June 26, 1911, Port Arthur, Texas, U.S.
died September 27, 1956, Galveston, Texas

American sportswoman, one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century, performing in basketball, track and field, and later golf.

From 1930 through 1932, Didrikson was a member of the women's All-America basketball team. During the same period she also won eight events and tied in a ninth in national championship competition in track and field. In the 1932 Women's Amateur Athletic Association (AAU), competing as a team by herself, Didrikson won six individual events and the team title, outscoring the 20-women runner-up team from the Illinois Athletic Club 30 points to 22. At the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles she won the 80-metre hurdles and the javelin throw and was deprived of a third gold medal in the high jump only because she had used the then-unorthodox Western roll to achieve the highest jump; she was awarded the silver medal instead. She also excelled in baseball and softball, swimming, figure skating, billiards, and even football.
In 1938 Didrikson married George Zaharias, a professional wrestler. She began playing golf casually in 1932, but from 1934 she played that game exclusively. Restored to amateur status after some years as a professional, she won the U.S. Women's Amateur tournament in 1946. The next year she won 17 straight golf championships, including the British Ladies Amateur, of which she was the first American holder. As a professional again from 1948, she won the U.S. Women's Open in that year and in 1950. From 1948 through 1951 she was the leading money winner among woman golfers. Diagnosed with cancer, she underwent surgery in 1953, then went on to win the U.S. Open again in 1954.

Didrikson Zaharias's autobiography, This Life I've Led, appeared in 1955.


More here, here and here.

Lodge Night

We have a new Master Mason. Randy was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason tonight and it was a very good degree. He was very appreciative and we are proud to have him as a new member. Next Summer he and Mike are going to take a trip all around the United States on their Harley Motorcycles. I am a little envious. But they are much younger than I.
We always have a good lunch at Arcadia.
There are two Brothers in Arcadia who are very special to us. Rollen Phillips on the left and Oliver Boyington on the right. Both are Past Masters and both are "fixtures" in our meetings. They are good ritualists and they are almost always there. Oliver used to live in Minnesota and he still made it to Arcadia Meetings. Now he lives in Clarion and he is a dual member there. He is Master up there and they are doing good work there also.
But the reason I wanted their pictures on my Bolg tonight is that they are both World War II veterans. Some time ago I became aware of a story about an aging parking lot attendant who inspired the song Before You Go. Click Here to go to the Web site to listen to the song.

The composer of the song says:
If we had lost that particular war, our whole way of life would have been shot, the WW II soldiers are now dying at the rate of about 2,000 every day. I thought we needed to thank them."

The song is striking a chord. Within four days of Bierstock placing it on the Web, the song and accompanying photo essay have bounced around nine countries, producing tears and heartfelt thanks from veterans, their sons and daughters and grandchildren.

I know it moved me and others who listened to it. So thanks Rollen and Oliver and by the way Oliver also served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. I am very proud to know these two fine Masons. ARTYAL - Hugs, j


Happy Birthday to Maryjane! From Jay, Bailey, Max and Cassie

Maryjane is one of my oldest and dearest friends. We have not seen each other for ages but years ago we vacationed next door to each other at Leech Lake.

Her parents, Joe and Esther, Husband Morrie, Dogs Mitzi and Mojo (St. Bernard who thought he was a lapdog) and my mother and sister and I "bonded" - Mj and Morrie were both teachers and we all loved to be together. We used to go up to their house in Ellsworth Minnesota for Labor Day and Thanksgiving. They came down here once in awhile. They came to Sioux City when I was installed as Grand High Priest of Iowa Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons and that made the day even more special for me.

Lots of good food, fellowship, card playing and just good times. One of the times I remember the most was staying up late at night baking Challa Bread.

Anyway it has been too long since we have seen each other. Life has separated us but the Internets have brought us back together. She reads my Blog, you see so I know she will get this message. Once again Happy Birthday Maryjane We love you! ARTYAL, j-bear

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Katharine Hepburn

If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.

Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. What you will receive in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and cannot help giving.
Katharine Hepburn
Born May 12, 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut, she was the daughter of a doctor and a suffragette, both of whom always encouraged her to speak her mind, develop it fully, and exercise her body to its full potential. An athletic tomboy as a child, she was also very close to her brother, Tom, and was devastated at age 14 to find him dead, the apparent result of accidentally hanging himself while practicing a hanging trick their father had taught them. For many years after this, Katharine used his birthdate, November 8, as her own. She then became very shy around girls her age, and was largely schooled at home. She did attend Bryn Mawr College, however, and it was here that she decided to become an actress, appearing in many of their productions.

After graduating, she began getting small roles in plays on Broadway and elsewhere. She always attracted attention in these parts, especially for her role in "Art and Mrs. Bottle" (1931); then, she finally broke into stardom when she took the starring role of the Amazon princess Antiope in "A Warrior's Husband" (1932). The inevitable film offers followed, and after making a few screen tests, she was cast in A Bill of Divorcement (1932), opposite John Barrymore. The film was a hit, and after agreeing to her salary demands, RKO signed her to a contract. She made five films between 1932 and 1934. For her third, Morning Glory (1933) she won her first Academy Award. Her fourth, Little Women (1933) was the most successful picture of its day.

But stories were beginning to leak out of her haughty behavior off- screen and her refusal to play the Hollywood Game, always wearing slacks and no makeup, never posing for pictures or giving interviews. Audiences were shocked at her unconventional behavior instead of applauding it, and so when she returned to Broadway in 1934 to star in "The Lake", the critics panned her and the audiences, who at first bought up tickets, soon deserted her. When she returned to Hollywood, things didn't get much better. From the period 1935-1938, she had only two hits: Alice Adams (1935), which brought her her second Oscar nomination, and Stage Door (1937); the many flops included Break of Hearts (1935), Sylvia Scarlett (1935), Mary of Scotland (1936), Quality Street (1937) and the now- classic Bringing Up Baby (1938).

With so many flops, she came to be labeled "box-office poison." She decided to go back to Broadway to star in "The Philadelphia Story" (1938), and was rewarded with a smash. She quickly bought the film rights, and so was able to negotiate her way back to Hollywood on her own terms, including her choice of director and co-stars. The film version of The Philadelphia Story (1940), was a box-office hit, and Hepburn, who won her third Oscar nomination for the film, was bankable again. For her next film, Woman of the Year (1942), she was paired with Spencer Tracy, and the chemistry between them lasted for eight more films, spanning the course of 25 years, and a romance that lasted that long off-screen. (She received her fourth Oscar nomination for the film.) Their films included the very successful Adam's Rib (1949), Pat and Mike (1952), and Desk Set (1957).

With The African Queen (1951), Hepburn moved into middle-aged spinster roles, receiving her fifth Oscar nomination for the film. She played more of these types of roles throughout the 50s, and won more Oscar nominations for many of them, including her roles in Summertime (1955), The Rainmaker (1956) and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959). Her film roles became fewer and farther between in the 60s, as she devoted her time to her ailing partner Spencer Tracy. For one of her film appearances in this decade, in Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962), she received her ninth Oscar nomination. After a five-year absence from films, she then made Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), her last film with Tracy and the last film Tracy ever made; he died just weeks after finishing it. It garnered Hepburn her tenth Oscar nomination and her second win. The next year, she did The Lion in Winter (1968), which brought her her eleventh Oscar nomination and third win.

In the 70s, she turned to making made-for-TV films, with The Glass Menagerie (1973) (TV), Love Among the Ruins (1975) (TV) and The Corn Is Green (1979) (TV). She still continued to make an occasional appearance in feature films, such as Rooster Cogburn (1975), with John Wayne, and On Golden Pond (1981), with Henry Fonda. This last brought her her twelfth Oscar nomination and fourth win - the latter currently still a record for an actress.

She made more TV-films in the 80s, and wrote her autobiography, 'Me', in 1991. Her last feature film was Love Affair (1994), with Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, and her last TV- film was One Christmas (1994) (TV). With her health declining she retired from public life in the mid-nineties. She died at the age of 96 at her home in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.


Read more here, here and here.

Random Rambling - Wednesday 3/28/08

Today was a busy day. I had the Eastern Star Masonic Home Board meeting in Boone. I always enjoy these meetings. Today was no exception. Nothing really major to report but it was good to see everyone and catch up. Last month's meeting was canceled because Denny had to have a hip replaced. He got along great with the operation and while he is moving a little slower than normal he is doing well. He caught us up on all the activities and we approved a long list of names of folks to enter the home.

I am just a little upset with our esteemed governor. He threated to veto the bill which would extend the scope of collective bargaining in the state. Once again he has proven himself not to be on the side of the working person. I, of course, am in favor of extending this scope. For several years we tried to get the school system to even talk about some items such as class size, etc. and the administration/Board would stonewall us by saying "That is permissive, we don't have to discuss it." They are not in favor of the bill as it would limit their authority.

Governor Culver is not one of my favorite politicians for several reasons. Mainly because he talks out of both sides of his mouth and seemingly is only out for Chet Culver. Tom Villsack was far superior to him as was Robert Ray and Harold Hughes. Oh well, I voted for him. But mainly because he was the nominee of the Democratic Party. Until the Republicans kick out the religious crazies I will not vote for them. The last good Republican was Eisenhower. (IMHO)

I am also upset with Hillary. I was going to support her but she is being divisive and is upsetting so many people that there is a chance that John McSame might get in. That would be a disaster in my opinion. So I am officially naming myself an Obama supporter. I think he has a better chance of inspiring our country to return to its former place in the world. When I think of what would happen if a Republican got to name another Supreme Court Justice right now it scares me.

We had York Rite tonight. As usual a bunch of us ate together at the Pizza Ranch. We had a good time and the meeting went well. I gave my Easter Service and the fellows seemed to like it. Steven will do the Ascension Day service.

It is funny the last time we met it was dark when we finished eating and left the restaurant for the meeting. Tonight it was still sort of light when we finished the meeting. (It was a short meeting I was home by 8:00 PM) There were no visitors to the meeting tonight and we only had one petition to vote on. I really enjoy the York Rite and the Ames York Rite guys are the best.

The Opera is on PBS right now. It is one I saw at the theater. It was much better there as it was a larger screen and the sound system was super but it is kind of fun to watch it again.

I talked to Aunt Jo tonight and she is still unpacking. I am going up Friday to see if I can help her with getting started on the computer. It should be fun. Hopefully she will be up and running by the week-end.

I read the following in a Dear Abby Column in the Kansas City Paper when I was down there last week-end. It is about Thank-you notes.

It is interesting that what started you penning thank-you notes was receiving one. Most people cultivate this social skill because they were taught to do so by a parent.

Thank-you notes do not need to be long or fancy, and should reflect one;s spontaneous reaction for someone making an effort on your behalf- giving exceptional service, entertaining you or treating you to a meal, or upon receipt of a gift. It can ve simple: "Thank you for including me." A sentence or two can be more eloquent than a paragraph."

I got a couple of thank-you notes from people this month and they meant a lot to me. I also like it when people just say thank you and they don't have to write a note but a note is always appreciated. I particularly liked the thank-you from Brian's son for a contribution he got from me for womething he was raising funds for through scouts. Others were from Kurt and his son. Jakob doesn't write much but you would love to have seen the note he sent me.

That reminds me I need to send thanks to my sister. She gave me a really nice "Egyptian diffuser" for my birthday. My birthday was in November so this was a little late but I love it and it is sitting in the living room where I can see it all the time. Thanks, Ginny -

All in all it was a great day, relaxing and productive. I am looking forward to the Third Degree tomorrow night and the Scottish Rite in Des Moines on Friday night and Saturday. ARTYRL, Big Hugs, j-bear

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Bank Job - Movie Review

The Bank Job is based on events that actually occurred in Britain in the early 1970's. It was actually quite good. I found it well acted and paced just fast enough that it held my interest.

I had not planned to do anything tonight but I decided to go out to a movie when I discovered very little in the refrigerator to eat. Colby had been over the other night after he had seen 10,000 BC and his take on it as well as what I had heard from other people made me decide to wait until it comes out on DVD to watch that one. So I turned to the Internets and looked over the offerings at the theaters.

I had not known much about The Bank Job, having paid little attention to the trailers when I saw it at other shows. But it looked to be the most palatable of the current shows playing in Ames.

I was pleasantly surprised that I really, really liked the film. As I said it is supposed to be based on fact. And it is plausible that they actually did the things that it said they did. I mean there was a bank robbery in London (on September 11, 1971) and there was a D-Order issued which stopped all newspaper coverage of what had happened (I'll bet George Bush wishes he had something like that here - come to think of it maybe he does).

There was nudity (not gratuitous) and violence in the film but I expected that. It was not overly graphic. The plot moved right along and I particularly enjoyed Jason Statham as the main character. Sort of a thief with honor.

Saffron Burrows played Martine who set the whole operation up after being busted for smuggling drugs. It seems MI-5 wanted someone to break into a bank and steal compromising photos of a member of the Royal Family which were in a safety deposit box. (In the film the photos are identified as those of Princess Margaret and from what I know about her it may well have been.)

In the process they also get involved with a petty criminal and others and they get away with it. They were allowed to keep the loot and brokered a deal which made them free from prosecution. It was totally believable and an enjoyable evening. Owners of the Safe Deposit boxes (including a Madam who had compromising photos of people very high up in government) refused to give the police a list of the contents of their boxes.

In the closing credits it states that "the names have been changed to protect the guilty."

I wholeheartedly recommend that you see this movie. I give it an A rating.


I have a blogfriend named Raven
She lives in a nest out East.
Her wisdom comes over the Internets
Wise and wonderful she is the best.

Dianne at Forks Off The Moment introduced me to Katherine AKA Raven. I love her writing. She is wonderfully creative and inspires others to be creative and to think.

She has a little game called Wordzzle where she gives us certain words and we are to write stories using them. Actually there are two challenges and if you want to try the words for this week are"

Words for next week's ten-word challenge are: arbitration, music, salamanders, frankinsence, trojan horse, balderdash, bottomless pit, fantastic, pugnacious, Trivial Pursuit

And for the mini challenge: maniac, video store, telephone pole, flute player, windy day

They are due by Saturday.

I subscribe to Raven's Blog using Google Reader and today I read her blog about feminism. I have known for a long time that I was a feminist. Raven finishes her post with the following:

"To be a feminist isn't to be anti-male. To be feminist is to be pro human, to recognize that women are more than just pretty play things for men, more than "just" mothers and housekeepers. The idea of feminism isn't to diminish the gifts of men, but to acknowledge the many gifts that women also have to offer. As many men have discovered, when they open up doors for women, they open up doors for themselves too.

The biggest lesson we will learn when we truly embrace feminism (and when we move beyond racism and other forms of bias and hatred) is that improving the lot of any person or group of people in society, improves the lot of all of us. It's a win win solution. Or that's what I think."

I think so also, My mother worked as a secretary for years and those she worked for depended upon her to make them look good. Yet they got the big bucks and she had to struggle. Because she was a woman. So my post for women's history today goes to a woman that most of you have never heard about. Just a woman I have come to admire for her courage to face her demons and to reach out to others and make all of those of us who know her glad for the experience. Her humanity is something each of us can admire and emulate.

 She had this little movie on her blog and I stole it for this post. Enjoy. And thanks Raven for being my inspiration. ARTYAL.. j-bear

Monday, March 24, 2008

Clara Schumann

"Composing gives me great pleasure...there is nothing that surpasses the joy of creation, if only because through it one wins hours of self-forgetfulness, when one lives in a world of sound."
Clara Schumann

Clara Josephine Wieck Schumann (September 13, 1819 – May 20, 1896) was a German musician, one of the most distinguished pianists of the Romantic era, as well as a composer. Her prestige - she became known as "the high priestess of music" - exerted over a 61-year concertizing career, changed the format and repertoire of the piano concert and the tastes of the listening public. Her husband was composer Robert Schumann.

Clara Schumann was trained from the age of 5 with her father, the well-known piano pedagogue Friedrich Wieck. Prior to beginning her lessons, young Clara had only uttered her first words some time between 4 and 5 years old. In fact, she described herself as understanding as little as she spoke and as having disinterest in all that was passing around her, a condition that was not "entirely cured" - as she put it- until she was 8 years old. Clara Schumann's pattern of delayed speech and subsequent virtuosity is shared by other famous late-talkers such as fellow pianist Arthur Rubinstein, physicists Albert Einstein and Richard Feynman, and mathematician Julia Robinson among others.

Clara Schumann had a brilliant career as a pianist from the age of 13 up to her marriage. Her marriage to Schumann was opposed by her father. She continued to perform and compose after the marriage even as she raised seven children. An eighth child died in infancy. In the various tours on which she accompanied her husband, she extended her own reputation further than the outskirts of Germany, and it was thanks to her efforts that his compositions became generally known in Europe. Johannes Brahms, at age 20, met the couple in 1853 and his friendship with Clara Schumann lasted until her death. J. Brahms helped Clara Schumann through the illness of her husband with a caring that bordered on love. Later that year, she also met violinist Joseph Joachim who became one of her frequent performance partners. Clara Schumann is credited with refining the tastes of audiences through her presentation of works by earlier composers including those of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven as well as those of Robert Schumann and J. Brahms.

Clara Schumann often took charge of the finances and general house running due to Robert's inclination to depression and instability. Part of her responsibility included making money, which she did performing - often Robert's music. She continued to play not only for the financial stability, but because she wished not to be forgotten as a pianist. She had grown up performing and desired to continue performing. Robert, while admiring her talent, wanted a traditional wife to bear children and make a happy home, which in his eyes and the eyes of society were in direct conflict with the life of a performer. Furthermore, while she loved touring, Robert hated it and preferred to sit at the piano and compose.

From the time of her husband's death she devoted herself principally to the interpretation of her husband's works. But when she first visited England in 1856, the critics received Robert's music with a chorus of disapproval. She returned to London in 1865 and continued her visits annually, with the exception of four seasons, until 1882. She also appeared there each year from 1885 to 1888. In 1878 she was appointed teacher of the piano at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt am Main, a post she held until 1892, and in which she contributed greatly to the improvement of modern piano playing technique.

Clara Schumann played her last public concert in 1891. She died five years later, in 1896, due to complications from a stroke. Besides being remembered for her eminence as a performer of nearly all kinds of pianoforte music, she was an impressive composer. Additionally, she was the authoritative editor of her husband's works for the publishing firm of Breitkopf & Härtel. She is buried at Bonn's Alter Friedhof old cemetery.


You can read more about her here, here and here.

Found on the Internet


Monday Musings

I just saw a commercial on TV that is just sad. The guy is getting a new cellular phone and he talks about how many calls he gets. He doesn't get any so he pretends it is on vibrate. Jon was here last night and we both decided that was just a sad commercial. Lots of commercials are that way. I don't know who is responsible for writing them but whoever they are they don't really understand people.

European commercials, on the other hand, can just be a hoot. They get sent around the Internets. My favorite is the one with the little boy throwing a tantrum and wanting a "sweet." He is just awful. It is a commercial for condoms. Much better than the little girl saying "I don't like broccoli" That one just drives me up a wall. I hold the mute button close when I watch TV any more. Not that I have been able to watch much TV. The worst one, however was the couple talking baby talk to each other about a cell phone. Or maybe it was the one on depression hurts. Or maybe - Hell they are all bad. No fun at all. Make me laugh and I might buy your product. Remember "Where's the Beef!" Now that was good. I never got tired of it.

There is nothing worth watching on television . Most of the shows on right now are just dumb! Since the writer's strike the offerings have gone down the tubes.

Somebody tried to put a comment up on my Barbara Streisand post complaining about her using her celebrity to further the Democratic party causes. I did not choose her because she does that (although she does and it was mentioned in the article) but rather because of her many faceted career. She has been a singer, a comedienne, an actress, a director, a producer. Yes, she does have political thoughts and is not afraid to tell them. So does Ben Stein. I don't like him and he is not a woman so he won't get put up on women's history month. Come to think of it I probably don't like him because of his right wing political views... I think I used to like him. Oh well, I live in a black and white world.

I absolutely love the Internets. I think I mentioned that one of my mother's Bridge Club friends son e-mailed me about something he found on line. I wrote him back and asked him how he had "discovered" me. I thought maybe he had read this blog. His answer:

You ask where I found your entry ~ it was the AOL Journals.

I was trolling the Web for information about Beardshear and simply stumbled across your journal entry.

I have been casually doing family history since I retired from the University of Illinois (uiuc) in 2003. I say "casual" because it has been sporadic, non-systematic, and without discipline ~ not much progress. Perhaps contacting Dennis Wendell would motivate me. Thanks for the tip.

I enjoyed your entry because our experiences are so similar. I have a clear memory of Lew and Kate Cole and their house. When we moved to Ames in 1941 we rented a small house across the street, I believe the address is 517 Crawford (we bought the house at 713 Crawford in 1943). One day Jackie Hoffman and I got into Lew's barn and I recall being cut by a rusty nail and Mom being very upset; she punished me by tying me to a tree until Dad came home from work and administered a proper whipping. I was probably about four. Later Lew tore down the barn and built the two-flat on its foundation. I also recall when he installed the brick on the house at 522.

The house had two apartments upstairs. The Larson's lived in the larger one and there was a working man's small sleeping room. They shared the bathroom.

Did you know the Hanson sisters at Gilbert? Probably not, as you were younger. Very cute. Keith, my older brother, dated the older sister for a while when he was in high school and they both worked at the National Tea grocery store, and I remember the younger sister from the summer when we de-tasseled corn.

Mom died two years ago, so now there is less reason for me to visit Ames, although I admit to a fondness of Steve's meatloaf lunch.

It's fun to read about Ames and that special time in our lives. Both Susan Allen Toth and Ted Kooser have done superb jobs of capturing in print that experience. Susan really nailed Carr's Pool and the Library. Incidentally, I'll see Susan's sister, Karen, in Santa Fe next week, where a few of us AHS folks will gather.

I, of course, remember some of the same things he did. Uncle Lew's barn and I almost got myself dead on a couple of occasions in that place. He build a duplex inside it and then tore the barn down. Now it is owned by my Aunt Jo. I also remember the brick being put on the house. I t was fun to touch bases with him. I had mentioned to him that, while I had gone to Ames through 5th grade, I had moved and wound up going to Gilbert High School and graduating with a class of 17. Next year will be my 50th year. Time sure flies when you are having fun.

Which reminds me. In 1958 I went to California for a month to visit my Aunt Ellen. While there we went to San Diego to visit my Great-Uncle Jean Underwood. He was quite a character. This summer I will go to San Diego for 5 days for the meeting of the United Grand Imperial Council of the Red Cross of Constantine. I imagine I will find it changed some in the last 50 years.

I want to redecorate my house. New paint and carpets. Anybody want to help? I also need/want a new desk. I figure if I put it out there on the blog it will be provided. I used to read the words, "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need." (Mary Baker Eddy) on the wall at Church every Sunday. I found that sometimes Divine Love even provided things I didn't know I needed. Now mind you it did not meet every human want but the needs were always met.

I think I have rambled on long enough now. I was supposed to pick up my Aunt Jo at the airport tomorrow and was looking forward to it but her son left a message on my answering machine -"I will be picking up Mom tomorrow morning." so I am disappointed. Oh well now I won't have to get dressed til noon. ARTYAL, Hugs - Big ones, j

Recommended Reading

I highly recommend that you go here to read Brother Robert Davis's paper on the meaning of the degrees of Freemasonry. j

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Barbara Streisand

I've been called many names like perfectionist, difficult and obsessive. I think it takes obsession, takes searching for the details for any artist to be good.

There is nothing more important in life than love.
Barbara Streisand

Barbra Joan Streisand (pronounced STRY-sand, IPA: /ˈstraɪsænd/; born April 24, 1942) is a two time Academy Award-winning American singer and film and theatre actress. She has also achieved some notability as a composer, political activist, film producer and director. She has won Oscars for Best Actress and Best Original Song as well as multiple Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, and Golden Globe Awards.

She is considered one of the most commercially and critically successful female entertainers in modern entertainment history and one of the best selling solo recording artists in the US, with RIAA-certified shipments of over 71 million albums. She is the highest ranking female artist on the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) Top Selling Artists list.

She has sold approximately 145 million albums worldwide.[citation needed]From a period beginning in 1969 and ending in 1980, Streisand appeared in the annual motion picture exhibitors poll of Top 10 Box Office attractions a total of 10 times, often as the only woman on the list. But after the disappointment of All Night Long in 1981, Streisand's film output decreased considerably. She has only acted in five films since.

Streisand produced a number of her own films, setting up Barwood Films in 1972. For Yentl (1983), she was producer, director, writer, and star, an experience she repeated for The Prince of Tides (1991). Steven Spielberg called Yentl a masterpiece, and both won critical acclaim. There was controversy when Yentl received five Academy Award nominations but none for the major categories of Best Picture, Actress, or Director. Prince of Tides received even more nominations, including Best Picture, but the director was not nominated.

In 2004, Streisand made a return to film acting, after an eight-year hiatus, in the comedy Meet the Fockers (a sequel to Meet the Parents), playing opposite Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller, Blythe Danner and Robert De Niro. Meet the Fockers is the highest grossing comedy film in history.

Barbra has made only 17 films in her 40 year movie career, this however hasn't stopped her accumulative worldwide box office total being over 1.3 billion US Dollars.

Streisand has long been an active supporter of the Democratic Party and many of its causes, such as working against global warming, supporting gun control (she executive-produced the film The Long Island Incident, about a mass shooting on the Long Island Railroad), getting more useful aid for victims of Hurricane Katrina, and questioning the motives behind the 2003 invasion of Iraq. She also strongly supports women's reproductive rights. Barbra Streisand performed both at Lyndon B. Johnson's (1965) and Bill Clinton's (1993) inauguration galas. On November 27, 2007, Streisand endorsed 2008 presidential candidate Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.


Visit her web site here.

Read more about her here, here and here.

Home Again

So, I am back in Ames after a wonderful trip to Kansas City, which I am assuming you read about earlier (If not scroll down to read it.). I have been properly greeted by the dogs and Bailey has cleaned my nose with five minutes of licks.

Last evening I was e-mail chatting with Kurt and he got me to try something new. It is called i-chat and I am assuming most of you know about it. I had heard of it but never tried it. So through the magic of technology I can now i-chat (screen name jsimser) This is a picture I took of us chatting (I am in the lower right hand corner) - It was fun but we talked until after midnight

Speaking of Kurt. When I got home I found a cryptically addressed letter. Addressed to (my mark) and I opened it and found thank-you notes from Jakob and Kurt. I had not really done much of anything except get the kids Easter presents and helped play with them at the Maundy Thursday dinner but he must have put them right in the mail the next morning for them to have gotten here already. So I fired up an e-mail and thanked him for thanking-me.

I met a guy at the motel yesterday in the breakfast area and today he came out and we visited again. He had kids with him yesterday. Really nice fellow from Little Rock, Arkansas. He has a job delivering airplanes to customers round the world. I told him about the blog so I may have a new blog reader. I meant to ask him how he spells his last name because I know someone with the same last name (maybe)

I got an e-mail from the son of one of my mother's bridge club ladies (they played bridge together for over 40 years) and it was nice to reminisce with him a little. He is older than me but I don't pay much attention to that. He had attended the same grade school that I did and he found me through Google. He said he remembered me as being tall and red haired. Better memory than I do.

We had Easter Brunch at Cracker Barrel and it was good. While there I fount this little monkey which is now my new mascot. I have named him K C Crackers (K C for short) and he rides on the dashboard. Just to keep me alert.

I know I bet you think I am reverting. Well I am. So what. If you are nice I will be glad to introduce you to him. I understand that there is a virtual reality series on line so I can follow his adventures.

I left down there at 12:20 and arrived in Ames at 4:20 - I stopped once to get gas. ARTYAL and Thanks for reading my blog. Hugs, j-bear

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Message

I will give this Easter Message at the Ascension Commandery Easter Observance. If you are going to attend that you may not want to read this post. j

Easter is the most important day in the Christian Calendar. It is the day when death was shown to the world as a mockery. The day when tradition tells us that Jesus rose from the dead to live again – to walk among his brethren and to be seen and touched by them.

The Jewish religion had an early tradition of sacrifice and atonement for sins. Once each year they would symbolically place their sins on the back of a goat and drive it out into the wilderness to perish. They called that the Scapegoat. Christians place Jesus in that office. They feel that he came to die for them and take their sins away.

I have a little different “take” on the whole season of Easter. The message of Easter to me is one of love and forgiveness. God does not require a scapegoat. He did not send his Son so that we could be “saved” by his death. In His death He showed us how to live and how to treat others. Jesus forgave us all because “We knew not…”

He suffered the most horrible form of death and torture practiced by the Romans. He did it without complaint, constantly thinking of others. He blamed no one for what was happening to him. I don’t think he wanted to suffer this way but he did it and in so doing he showed mankind that death had no power over him and because it had no more power we need not be afraid of it.

His spiritual nature was such that the material world held no sway over him. He was able to forgive much and He condemned nothing other than hypocrisy. He told us to “judge not” and to “Be not afraid” He ate with publicans and sinners and his harshest words were for those hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees – the fundamentalists of their day -- who would rule their people with fear and hate rather than with love.

He came to give us a new Law of Love.

He knew that God had “made everything that was made” and it was “very good” and in that goodness he saw things to love. He did not see two criminals on the crosses beside him as he was crucified – but rather two children of God. Children who had “sinned” or “missed the mark” but who were worthy of his love and were thus redeemed because of that love. While there, he took time in his agony to see to it that his mother would be cared for. He was recognized as a good man. He saw all, even a woman taken in adultery, as worthy of his care and love.

His Father was not some “invisible cloud being” who was going to rain down fire and brimstone on his creation. He was a loving caring parent who sent Jesus to show us how to love. How to deal with our fellows in that love and, if we turn a blind eye to his message, we are the ones who fail. His is a constant love. Never ceasing.

We can, each of us learn to love as God loves – unconditionally, condemning no one not even those who think of us as their enemies. I had an opportunity to learn that lesson as I was driving back from Boston several years ago. Someone had done something that made me sad and angry. As I drove across half of this wonderful country that we live in I began to think of this person and what she had done. I realized that the only thing I could do to help the situation was just to keep on loving her. Not to be angry or to demean her but just simply to love. Healing is still coming because I listened to that message of Love. I sometimes forget that lesson but when I do remember and bring LOVE to bear on any situation the goodness comes through and healing comes.

Jesus brought God’s message to us. Easter reminds us of that message every year and on this anniversary of that message we need to listen – to listen and to Love. That is, after all what it is all about.

Always Remember That You Are Loved. Have a blessed Easter. j

Jane Goodall

The greatest danger to our future is apathy.

Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.
Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall is the world's foremost authority on chimpanzees, having closely observed their behavior for the past quarter century in the jungles of the Gombe Game Reserve in Africa, living in the chimps' environment and gaining their confidence.

Her observations and discoveries are intemationally heralded. Her research and writing have made, and are making, revolutionary inroads into scientific thinking regarding the evolutions of humans.

Dr. Goodall received her Ph.D. from Cambridge University in 1965. She has been the Scientific Director of the Gombe Stream Research Center since 1967. In 1984, Jane Goodall received the J. Paul Getty Wildlife Conservation Prize for "helping millions of people understand the importance of wildlife conservation to life on this planet." Her other awards and international recognitions fill pages.

Her scientific articles have appeared in many issues of National Geographic. She has written scores of papers for internationally known scientific journals. Dr. Goodall has also written two books, Wild Chimpanzees and In The Shadow of Man. She pleads to thousands of people throughout the world on behalf of her career-long sponsor, the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation.

Jane Goodall attributes her dedication and insight to her work and her mission in life to her mother, internationally known author, Vanne Goodall.

In 1985, Jane Goodall's twenty-five years of anthropological and conservation research was published, helping us all to better understand the relationship between all creatures. She has now devoted over thirty years to her mission.

Dr. Goodall has expanded her global outreach with the founding of the Jane Goodall Institute based in Ridgefield, CT. She now teaches and encourages young people to appreciate the conversation of chimpanzees and all creatures great and small. She lectures, writes, teaches and continues her mission in many inventive ways, including the Chimpanzee Guardian Project.


Read more here, here and here.

March 22, 2008

Click on the picture to be taken to an album of all the pictures I took today.Ginny picked me up and we went to the Lakeside Nature Center. It is a beautiful Center and has many animals and birds. They have birds which have been injured and cannot live in the wild. Two bald eagles. I took the pictures for Bob - We both love Eagles. Below that is a broad tailed hawk. Big bird! These birds were found injured and would not have survived if not for the center. There is something infinitely sad to be about these birds who cannot fly but I know they ae well cared for and they do serve a purpose to allow us to see them up close.

My Sis looks pretty good. You can tell that she loves being able to be around nature and always has. There are many places in this large city that have "wild" places. To get to the nature center we went through an area that reminded me of the Ledges.
We had lunch at a really nice coffee house and then went to the Truman Library. I had been there before but it was exciting to go again. I think Truman will always be my favorite president.

My aunt and uncle, (Jean and Carl) had this exact same table and chairs in their kitchen and I sat at it many, many times. Carl used to feed their little dog Cindy using his fork at the table. She was such a neat dog and would come over to our place (across the field) for a visit.
This is the exhibit case where Brother Truman's Masonic memorabilia is displayed.
Truman said about the Scottish Rite.
"The Scottish Rite has done its best to make a man of me, but they had such a grade of material to start with that they did a poor job I fear. It is the most impressive ceremony I ever saw or read. If a man doesn't try better after seeing it, he has a screw loose somewhere."

Next we went to an antique ,all but all they had was a bunch of "old stuff" - I have a house full of that so I resisted the temptations to buy.
Then we went back to Ginny and Bruce's apartment complex to pick up Bruce and we went to Ruby Tuesday's for supper.You know I really think the Lord had a hand in bringing Bruce and Ginny together. He is so good to her and I feel so good about her being with him. I have really enjoyed my time down here. But I miss Bailey. ARTYAL, Hugs, j-bear.
PS. I love my new camera. I only had to trash three pictures and all of these pictures were take without flash. I was not allowed to use flash at the Truman Library and the camera performed beautifully.