Have a Hug because.......

Hugs are not only nice, they're NEEDED.
Hugs can help relieve pain and depression, make the healthy healthier and the most secure among us even more so.
Hugging feels good.....overcomes fears......eases tension......provides stretching exercises if you are short......provides stooping exercises if you are tall.
Hugging also does not upset the environment.....saves heat......is portable...requires no special equipment.......makes happy days happier.......makes impossible days possible.

Female Tennis Stars (and 1 guy)

Our hometown boy was back for a visit! Andy Roddick was born in Omaha, NE and tonight, 12/14/07, he and Serena Williams were here to give a tennis exhibition….the event was Rock-N-Racquets….and the Quest Center in Omaha rocked!

This was the first time I had seen Andy and Serena play, other than on television. Serena is much prettier and slimmer than I had thought. Plus, she has a wonderful smile. And, Andy at 6’2” much bigger than expected.

Nebraska is a football-lovin’ state, and Andy is a Nebraska Cornhusker fan. So what could be better than having three of Nebraska’s most famous football celebrities on hand to welcome him back. Roars from the crowd lifted the roof off the Quest Center….out onto the court came Heisman Trophy winners Johnny Rogers (1972), Eric Crouch (2001) and the former coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Tom Osborne!

Then, out came the players, Sam Querrey, Ashley Harkleroad, Serena Williams and Andy Roddick. Andy strolled onto the court wearing a Nebraska football helmet (and tennis clothes) much to the delight of the crowd. Andy is a charismatic, professional tennis player who reminds me so much of Jimmy Connors.

Photo by Jeff Bundy

Andy “plays to the crowd” much in the same way that Connors did….involving them in jokes, and even calling a “heckler” down to the court to receive one of his serves. The serve, at 144 mph according to the machine that tracks them, had the boy running for cover.

Speaking of serves, you can’t believe how hard those serves are! We were in the middle section, and were VERY happy that we weren’t sitting directly behind the players. Andy’s serves, even in warmup, were bouncing into the seats (and people) at both ends, and at 75 to 100 mph, those tennis balls HURT! Another spot that wouldn’t have been my favorite were the chairs lining the court. People in those seats had to be really alert because if they didn’t get beaned with a ball, they were likely to find either Andy or Sam landing in their laps.

I kept thinking “don’t hit Tom Osborne, Nebraska needs him!”

Serena and Ashley put on a nice exhibition match, Serena winning 6-4, 6-2. I didn’t feel that
Serena was hitting as hard as she normally does…but why should she! This is an exhibition match, not the US Open. Her tennis was awesome nevertheless. Ashley has a beautiful forehand, hard and low. The ball doesn’t come up, causing her opponents to dig for it. And she looks like such a kid…although she is 22. They had some great points and it was wonderful tennis.

The momentum of the game changed 100% when Andy and Sam Querrey came out and started to warm up. Zing went those serves! Again I thought, “watch out for Tom Osborne!”…..he was in one of those on-court chairs.

Their match was awesome to watch…Andy had some unbelievable saves (some were just plain LUCK) and his placement and power were overwhelming. Querrey, a rising young professional tennis player has been called America’s next great talent. He is 6’6” – try lobbing over that guy! He has a huge serve and forehand, and gave Andy a good match. But, cream rises to the top (grin)…Andy won 6-4, 6-4.

Later Andy and Serena teamed up to play a let of mixed doubles against Sam and Ashley. I had expected that Andy and Ashley would play against Sam and Serena to even up the talent. But, Andy and Serena made a great team…not only their tennis, but the joking and facial expressions whenever he or Serena did something silly or goofed up the point. He had the crowd shaking with laughter---and Serena had a case of the “giggles” over some remark or action of Andy’s….it was so much fun to watch. The tennis was outstanding....they are so quick (and so young) and watching the exchanges at net took your breath away. Once again, cream rose to the top….the ‘stars’ came out ahead – 6-3.

Andy Roddick is doing his part to better our world. In 2001, he founded the
Andy Roddick Foundation, a non-profit organization that aims to provide children in need with quality education and other necessary resources. The foundation accomplishes these goals by donating to charities that focus on aiding abused children, children with childhood diseases and keeping children in school.

The foundation is directed by Roddick’s mother and is based in Boca Rotan, Florida. It is staffed exclusively by volunteers.

So You're finally a Senior Citizen - Part 1

Ok, so now you are really and truly a “senior citizen”….you are 62+ years old, you may be retired but may also still be working…either by choice or necessity.

Lets say that you are at home, typing away on your computer every day….watching the daytime serials (in my day they were called “soap operas”), doing housework or "make work" but not really doing much of anything to keep yourself healthy.

Sorry friend, it's about time you start thinking of that nasty word that nearly everyone avoids ...EXERCISE !! Yes, I know, that’s something you think about doing but do nothing about.

I belong to a fitness center and do my exercises there. I could do them at home, but being with a group at a specified time and place makes it more of a committment. Three days a week I attend a stretch/fitness class.

Our instructor realizes that some of us have physical problems and teaches her class accordingly. We can modify the stretches or exercises to fit our bodies and abilities. We are not practicing to be the “Radio City Rockettes” so we do not have to do things in unison.

Pilates are one of the best exercises for older people….gentle and non-evasive. Contrary to popular belief you don’t have to stand on your head or balance on one leg while singing “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy” to be doing Pilates.

Pilates is a system of exercise that, when regularly practiced can improve your flexibility and strength. This exercise is called “toy soldier” and is very easy.

Stand tall with your feet apart and knees soft. Breath in. Reach your left arm to the ceiling and your right arm to the ground. Breath out as you swap arms. Keep your torso still and stretch the top of your head to the ceiling. Keep the speed slow and the action smooth. Repeat 10 times.

See, that wasn't so hard!!

And, did you ever think that someone would have to teach you how to breathe? Bet you think you’ve been doing it all your life. Well, consider your lungs to be a bellows moving in and out.

We normally take short little puffy breaths and NEVER fully expand our lungs. Think of all that dead air just taking up space in the bottom half of your lungs! Some of it could have been there from way back when you smoked your first (and hopefully last) cigarette!

Right now, as you are reading this, sit up straight and take a biggggggg deep breath through your nose, open those air cells way down in the bottom lobs of your lungs and then let it out through your mouth. Do this a couple of times...also very easy. Remember to breath deep at least once or twice a day.

While you’re standing in line at the grocery, bank, sitting in the car waiting for the light to change or the first thing you do before you get out of bed in the morning......lay there and take some deeeeep breaths.....You'll feel ready to start the day…..you’re improving your health!

One more thing while I’m thinking of it. DON’T hold your breath while picking up and carrying something heavy, not even if you are a weightlifter. Holding your breath can result in a stressful increase in blood pressure.

Stages of life...yours and mine

Stages of life

First ~ Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it. (I'm there!)

Second ~ The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for. (how true!)

Third ~ Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know "why" I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved. (I agree 100% --except that I do tint my hair--)

Fourth ~ When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.
(I flunked algebra)

Fifth ~ You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks. (mainly leaks)

Sixth ~ I don't know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.
(a long climb but I made it)

Seventh ~ One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young. (don't agree with this....I liked being young)

Eighth ~ One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.

Ninth ~ Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.
(like an old shoe?)

Tenth ~ Long ago when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft. Today it's called golf

And finally ~ If you don't learn to laugh at trouble, you won't have anything to laugh at when you are old. (laugh and the world laughs with you --cry and you cry alone)

Will Rogers

Will Rogers, who died in a plane crash with Wylie Post in 1935, was probably the greatest political sage this country has ever known. His trademark, scratching his head in thought, is recognized by many. His "I never met a man I didn't like" is famous. Enjoy the following:

1. Never slap a man who's chewing tobacco.

2. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

3. There are 2 theories to arguing with a woman...neither works.

4. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

5. Always drink upstream from the herd.

6. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

7. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back in your pocket.

8. There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.

9. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

10. If you're riding' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.

11. Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier'n puttin' it back.

12. After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.

The moral:

When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.

The Durham Western Heritage Museum

The Durham Western Heritage Museum in Omaha, Nebraska, formerly known as the Union Station, is a beautifully restored Art-Deco style Union Pacific Railway station. In its heyday, 64 trains and 10,000 people arrived daily.

The museum features a waiting room with gold and silver leaf trim, 13' hanging chandeliers and a classic working soda fountain. A small seating area is adjacent to the soda fountain…complete with old fashioned tables and chairs. Here you can order a malted milk, chocolate soda or a hot dog, and watch as it is made.

In the waiting room you will evesdrop on recorded conversations from plaster castings of soldiers, sailors, families and other passengers of the 1930s, 40s and 50s who are scattered around th
e large room. One is found at the ticket counter asking when his train would arrive, others are sitting with their suitcases and bags waiting, waiting, waiting. If you sit down next to them or walk past, they begin to interact with each other or with you. You find yourself answering back, or saying “excuse me” if you are startled into thinking someone was talking to you.

The galleries in the lower section of the museum, accessable by stairs or an elevator, show the historical evolution of Omaha, with re-created townscapes, photographs and memorabilia from that time period. The museum boasts over 65,000 square feet of exhibits including the Byron Reed Coin, which has some of the world’s rarest and most valuable coins, the Document Collection, The Trans-Mississippi Exposition Gallery, restored train cars, a teepee, an earth lodge and more.

A full sized train awaits you as you step out of the lower doors to the train tracks. You can board the train and go through the various cars, the Pullman, the bar, and a very ornate car for a railroad executive.

Our children liked the compartments with a fold down bed and tiny toilet and wash basin. They said it made them feel like they were on the train with Harry Potter and on their way to Hogwarts!

The Hunt for Apples to Apples

I love our family....young and old. I love our fun times, I love our love for each other and I love our family gatherings. We are a game playing bunch....whenever we're together, the kids and adults start playing board games....they are fun games that can be played by a group of people. We usually play things like Pictionary, Toss Across or Outburst......and the action can get pretty rowdy with a group of people yelling out answers.

I was listening to the John Tesch radio show the other night and he was raving about a board game that he and his family really enjoy.....Apples to Apples . So, I thought it would be fun to buy it and we'd give it a try. I called Wal-Mart, usually my 1st choice to find things....no they didn't have it. Next were K-Mart, Shopko and Target...no success there either. I turned to my computer and googled Apples to Apples .....yippee, I'll find it at Toys R Us. So, I drove over to our local Toys R Us store.
Well, that was was a lost cause....they didn't have it either....."just sold out the other day" Evidentally the John Tesch show is more popular than I had thought. Everyone who heard it decided to buy Apples to Apples......
They did offer to call their other store (on the other side of town) and oh yes, they had two...no wait a minute, they just sold one. I asked them to put it on hold and I would drive to their store and buy it. "we can't hold anything this close to Christmas".....bummer!
I broke the speed limit getting there ..... this was fast becoming an obsession with me....I HAD to have that game. I walked into the Toys R Us store and made a bee line to the board game section.....Success...they had ONE game left....at $26.99 you wouldn't think that they would be the hottest item in the store....but its good to know that somebody plays board games as opposed to video shoot-em-ups.
After Christmas dinner, dishes in the dishwasher and perishable food put away, we opened the game and start reading the directions.
Ok, you choose a player to be the first "judge". The judge deals seven red apple cards to each player, face down. The judge then picks a green apple card from the top of the stack, reads it out loud and the players choose a card from their hand that best describes the judge's card.
Now this really sounds simple doesn't it.
The judge draws a green apple card...."Woebegone" What in the heck kind of a word is that?
I look at my seven red apple cards....Ragweed, Earwigs, Cold Pizza, Mud, Princess Di, The Statue of Liberty and George W. Bush. Nothing that even closely resembles "woebegone".
Everyone HAS to play a card.....I am leaning towards George W. Bush, but decide on Cold Pizza. So I slide it over to the judge, face down. Each of the other players do the same thing. From the looks on their faces, their red apple cards weren't much better than mine.
The judge then scrambles the cards so that he/she doesn't know who they came from, and one by one turns it over. "My First Kiss", "Stubbed Toes", "Midlife Crisis", "A Bad Haircut", "Pond Scum" and my offering "Cold Pizza".
As each card is turned over...the players lobby for their particular card. "what could be worse than a first kiss that was a flop", "nothing is more dismal than a bad haircut", "A midlife crisis..no wonder you look so dejected", "cold pizza has got to the the most woebegoneist thing to have for breakfast".....
Lots of loud table talk goes on and finally the judge picks one......"A bad haircut" is the winner. What! why did you chose that! Actually, that is exactly what would be a "woebegone" situation to the judge...a woman. You have to remember to "play to the judge".
The table talk gets louder and more intense. The "judgeship" passes to another judge who picks another green apple card and the whole process starts again.
Our players were between 11 and 70 years of age......the young ones think it's great to play games with their family and the older ones marvel at the fact that they can still remember how to play anything.
If you don't already, make it a holiday event to play board games or any games with your kids or grandkids......they'll remember the fun long after the game is over.

What can be more fun than BEING FIVE

Being Five is a series of cartoons.....nice little way to break up a dull morning.
This little guy is five years old, but has some deep thoughts! (grin)

Click on Being Five

Von Maur Shooting Memorial

On December 5, 2007 in Omaha, NE, nine people died at the Von Maur Department store. Eight were shot by Robert Hawkins, the ninth victim was Hawkins himself, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Omaha was shocked by this violent act, and nine families lost someone they loved. Omahans reacted to these deaths in many ways, bringing food to the families, offering to help in any way they could, creating a fund to help the families, praying for them at the many church ceremonies that have been held and showing their love by creating a memorial on the steps of the Von Maur store.

The Von Maur store has been closed since the event, but will reopen it’s doors on Thursday, December 20th. Victims and survivors of the Von Maur shootings and their families will be honored during a brief ceremony at the store’s south entrance.

Dozens of teddy bears, hundreds of notes and thousands of handmade snowflakes cover the three entrances to Von Maur. They have become like sacred places in the past two weeks, drawing people in for long, quiet whisperings to each other, and, often tears. This happened to nine of our own, and we cry for them and their families.

This afternoon, Wednesday, December 19, the Douglas County Historical Society staff and volunteers will remove memorials to the victims and survivors. Like a family packing away heirloom holiday decorations after the festivities end, as many as 45 trained volunteers will gingerly remove and stow the colorful memorials that blossomed at Westroads Mall after one of Omaha’s saddest days. All will be stashed in plastic bins and saved. So will all the other items that can be preserved - teddy bears, poems and even some petals from the mounds of flowers piled on Von Maur’s south steps.

Westroads Mall will store the bins after the items have been sorted into categories and the victims’and survivors’ families will be invited to look through the items and take what they felt they would mean something special to them. The remainder will be given to the historical society to preserve.

As one of the regular Von Maur shoppers said, “It was appropriate to take down the memorials now and a good idea to preserve them. I think this is something we will never forget. We will never forget that day”

Neither will the rest of us.

All things GREEN

Loren Greene..........Green leaves.............Emerald green

Green is just what it should be. Things that are green.

Green is a wonderful, many sided color....the color of the earth, the color of clothing, the color of trees and even someone's last name. Spend some time with me and have a look at some things that proudly bear the name GREEN.

Evonne Goolagong Cawley - the Sunshine Supergirl

Everyone wants or needs a roll model…..my tennis roll model was Evonne Goolagong, the first Australian Aboriginal woman to achieve international fame in tennis.

In 1967, three years before eighteen year old Evonne Goolagong played at Wimbleton for the first time in 1970, I was stricken with a stroke. Tennis was my physical therapy and playing like the gutsy little dark-skinned girl from Australia was my goal. No, I would never come close to her talent and skill, but I was a determined 30 year old mother of 3 and I was her fan for life.

Evonne, born July 31, 1951 in Griffith, New South Wales, Australia is one of eight children from an Australian aboriginal family. She grew up in the small country town of Barellan. When her father, an auto mechanic and sheep shearer, found some old tennis balls in the back of a used car he'd bought, the young Evonne found her calling.

Although Aboriginal people faced widespread discrimination in rural Australia at this time, Evonne was able to play tennis in Barellan from childhood thanks to a kindly resident, who saw her peering through the fence at the local courts and encouraged her to come in and play.

She had excellent physical attributes for a tennis player. She was light, fast, and long-limbed, with lightning reflexes and the ability to cover the court with great agility. At her peak, she was regarded as one of the most graceful and subtle exponents of the women's game ever seen. She relied more on skill and speed than strength.

She was frequently faulted, however, for lapses of concentration that cost her several titles. In the Australian press, this was referred to as "Evonne going walkabout” – an Aboriginal term meaning to wander off into the bush.
Evonne retired in 1983. Over the course of her career, she won 43 singles titles and 9 doubles titles. Her career prize-money totalled U.S. $1,399,431 – compare that to what pro tennis players make now!!!

In 1975 she married British tennis player Roger Cawley and they settled in Naples, Florida. After living in the United States for 8 years, they bought a home in Noosa Heads, Queensland where they settled with their two children, daughter Kelly, born 1977 and son Morgan, born 1981

The spritely Australian teenager nicknamed "Sunshine Supergirl" with the awesome ground strokes astounded the world in 1971 by winning the women's championship at Wimbledon as a 19-year-old. She did it again in 1980 with a second Wimbledon title as the mother of a three-year-old girl.

I admire Evonne Goolagong so very much. She is always on my mind when I play tennis, either in tournaments or with friends….and, when I find myself having lapses of concentration (my own version of a “walkabout”) I think of Evonne sitting on my shoulder saying, “concentrate on what you’re doing”…..or when I’m really in trouble, I whisper to myself, “Come on Evonne, help me do this”

Beauty Tips with every day products

BEAUTY TIPS using everyday day products.......Some of these beauty tips have been around for a long time....some are surprising, some work and some are "iffy". Bet you remember your mom telling you to put tea bags or cucumbur slices on your eyes!

EYE DROPS will remove redness not only from your eyes but also from red blemishes. Freeze a drop in a spoon then place the frozen liquid over the blemish and hold. It will shrink swelling.

TOOTHPASTE (white paste) will help heal acne breakouts.

JELL-O (cherry flavored powder) — dab a Q-tip into the powder and apply it to your lips. Let the powder sit for 5 minutes then lick it off. This will give your lips a natural red coat.

TOOTHBRUSH AND VASELINE will exfoliate and plump up your lips.

VASELINE added to any eye shadow will make a gel blush or lip stain.

WET/USED TEA BAGS (inexpensive non-herbal) act like a poultice and draw out excess fluids while refreshing and soothing the eye area. The tea contains tannic acid, which is an antioxidant.

RAW POTATO SLICES will take away dark circles under the eyes (potatoes contain potassium).

CUCUMBER SLICES will draw out excess fluids, reducing baggy eyes.

ANBESOL — when tweezing eyebrows, apply Anbesol to them. This will numb the brow area and spare you from the pain.

PARSLEY will help freshen your breath from the inside. Parsley contains chlorophyll, which is found in Certs and Clorets.

WEIGHT LOSS TIP — take two Garlic Tablets and two Papaya Enzymes before every meal. You can lose up to 5 pounds in one week.

HAIR CONDITIONER — instead of shaving cream use hair conditioner to shave your legs. Conditioner will leave them silky and smooth.

BAKING SODA – use 3/4 cup baking soda mixed with ¼ cup water and gently rub for 3 minutes onto the face, then rinse. This is a great, inexpensive exfoliator.

LEMON JUICE will whiten brittle fingernails and will dry up and help get rid of a pimple.

LEMON, LIME, HONEY & YOGURT - Yogurt can lighten age and sun spots. Mix the juice from 1 lemon, 1 lime, 2 tablespoons of honey and 2 ounces of plain yogurt. Massage this mixture into desired spots at least once a week.

CAFFEINE is the main ingredient in those expensive cellulite creams. Your regular caffeinated coffee grounds (used from this morning) can be rubbed into those annoying cellulite areas. Since this can get a bit messy, try doing it in the bathtub or shower.

HERBAL WRAPS are easy to make. Create your own, similar to the ones offered at the expensive spas, by using 1 cup corn oil, ½ cup grapefruit juice and 2 teaspoons of dried thyme. Combine the ingredients and work the mixture into the thigh, hip and butt areas. Cover the areas with a plastic wrap, locking in the heat from your body. To accelerate the results, lay a heating pad for several minutes over the desired areas.

VITAMINS E, A or C capsules (in gel form) from your local drug store, can be used instead of the costly creams that contain these ingredients. Prick open the capsule and add it to your moisturizer. You'll get all the benefits of expensive creams without the extra chemicals or the expense.

HYDROGEN PEROXIDE — apply with a cotton ball. It makes a terrific astringent.

PEPTO BISMOL a great face mask for sensitive skin. The same way it coats and soothes the stomach, it gently caresses the skin. Apply straight from the bottle with a cotton ball. Allow it to dry and rinse with cool water.

VODKA & LEMON will tone up tired skin. Dab ¼ cup Vodka and the juice from one lemon on face, neck and chest area with cotton. It is not necessary to rinse this mixture off. It will evaporate. The less rubbing, the better.

BABY WIPES can be used as a fast and inexpensive way to remove make-up.

MUD MASK/WRAP — combine 1 tablespoon clay (kitty litter, 100% natural clay only, without additives or chemicals) with water to create a muddy paste. Apply to face, let it dry and slightly harden. Then rinse off with warm water and washcloth. It's easy and refreshing and will feel just like those expensive spa mud masks.

SWEET ALMOND OIL will moisturize extra dry skin, help lashes grow and can remove make-up. The oil can also sooth sunburned skin.

CRISCO OIL will remove make-up and moisturize your skin. It can even be used to treat psoriasis and eczema.

To keep your eyes from blinking when applying make-up, try keeping your mouth open. It really works!

To prevent lipstick from getting on your teeth. After applying lipstick and/or gloss, place your finger into your mouth, wrap your lips around the finger and gently pull out your finger in a lollipop motion. The excess lipstick on the inside of your lips will end up on your finger instead of your teeth. Simply wipe it off on a tissue and you're good to go.

After a shower, putting your sports bra on can be a challenge. After toweling off, dust your upper body with a talc such as "Shower to Shower". Although you've toweled yourself dry, you skin is still damp......the talc dries the skin enough for the material to slide easier.

An act of kindness

Winter is cold in Nebraska and today was typical – 4 degrees above zero at 9 am. The tail end of a sleet storm had hit Sunday night and the streets were covered with both snow and ice. It was windy, cold and spitting snow. The best place to be was at home.

But, here we were, attending the funeral of an old and loved friend.

As we were leaving the church, preparing for the long drive to the cemetery, I felt a tug on my arm. An old gentleman who had been sitting in front of us in church was standing there with his car keys in his hand.

He said “would you please go to the parking lot and bring my car to the door….I’m afraid that my wife will slip on the ice.” Now mind you, I did not know this man and he didn’t know me, but here he was giving me the keys to his car.

I took the keys, asked where he had parked and what kind of car it was…”white”…”Ok, but what model” “it’s a van”….

Because the departed was a dear friend, we had been asked to ride to church in the mortuary’s limo. The other occupants, her daughter and son-in-law, were starting to leave the church so I didn’t have time to quiz him about his van. I planned to push the horn button until a white van answered.

I told my husband to wait in the limo and I would find the van. The funeral was not large. Many of the older family members and friends did not attend due to the weather.

To make a long story short, I found the van, (using the honking horn as my guide) and drove it to the church door. The elderly gentleman and his wife were waiting for me. They did not go to the cemetery nor to the luncheon following the ceremony so to this day, I don't know who they were and I have never seen them again.

Although this wasn’t an outstanding act of kindness, in my heart I felt that I had done something very good.

Kermit the frog

Have you met my friend Kermit?

Kermit the Frog is a cute little Muppet who was first introduced in 1955 and is one of puppeteer Jim Henson's most famous and beloved creations. Kermit was performed by Henson until his death in 1990.

An early version of Kermit appeared in 1955, in a 5-minute puppet show for WRC-TV's Sam and Friends. The prototype Kermit was created from a green ladies' coat that
Henson's mother had thrown in the trash can, and two ping-pong balls for eyes.

The early Kermit was a sort of lizard-like creature; Kermit's first appearance as a frog was in the television special "Hey Cinderella" in 1969, and he's been a frog ever since.

Kermit had his big break later in 1969 with frequent appearances on Sesame Street often as a news reporter interviewing nursery rhyme characters. One of his most memorable works was the song "Bein' Green" from this series. Closely ide
ntified with the show Sesame Street, Kermit appeared frequently enough on the show to be considered a member of the regular cast along with Big Bird.

Kermit's song "The Rainbow Connection" was also a big hit from The Muppet Movie (it is also the only movie song sung by a "frog" to be nominated for an Academy Award)

Kermit published "One Frog Can Make A Difference, Kermit's Guide to Life" in 1993. In 1996, he gave a commencement speech at Southampton College in which he emphasized his environmentalist side.

SOURCE: "The Sesame Street Book and Record".
'Green' is (c)1970 Jonico Music, Inc.

"Bein' Green"

It's not that easy being green
Having to spend each day the color of the leaves.
When I think it could be nicer being red, or yellow or gold...
Or something much more colorful like that.

It's not easy being green.
It seems you blend in with so many other ord'nary things.

And people tend to pass you over 'cause you're
not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water
or stars in the sky.

But green's the color of Spring.
And green can be cool and friendly-like.
And green can be big like an ocean,
or important like a mountain,
or tall like a tree.

When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why, but why wonder why?
Wonder, I am green and it'll do fine, it's beautiful!
And I think it's what I want to be.

Are we related?

Come'on over to WorldConnect and see if you are connected to any of my "cousins".

Start with names beginning with "A" --- then proceed through the rest of the alphabet.

If you find a name you recognize, click on it. You'll find all the people of that name listed. Click on any of them and you'll be taken to their page. Many of the listees are closely related to me!! but some are "married into the family" ones.

Create your own family tree. (if you have a child or grandchild in elementary school, I guarantee that they'll be asking about their family history)

My 11 year old grandson queried me over Thanksgiving "where did my ancestors come from?" "When did they come to America?", etc.........guess what! Grandma could answer ALL of those things. Plus a whole lot more (which he probably didn't really want to know but was too polite to stop me)

Here we goooooooooooooo!


If you want more help, email me:


Baby Andrew and sister Rebecca

Andrew Michael is growing up so fast. He is 3 weeks old now and is doing everything that a baby that size does.....eat, look around, sleep and of course, the ole diaper thing.

The newness of having a baby brother is wearing off a little..Rebecca is back to reading and practicing her flute instead of hovering over his bassinet watching him. But, she's still "johnny-on-the-spot: when her mom needs a "go-for", i.e. she goes for the bottle, goes for the spit-up towel, goes for a fresh diaper, etc. She hasn't had the diapering by herself experience yet, but says that she's ready! Obviously, she hasn't been around when Andrew does his "big job".....his father has been known to come out of the nursery gasping for breath.

Andrew's daddy is a great father....he does his share of diapering, feeding and cuddling with his little son. Years ago, when my children were tiny babies, Ken was scared to even touch them. We were cautioned "be careful of the "soft spot" on their heads", "support their heads when you pick them up" and "burp them over your shoulder" as opposed to sitting them up on your lap and patting their backs....Way too much for an father in 1960 to handle.

Rebecca and Andrew will be taking their first plane trip within the next week. Our daughter Christine and her family live in Naperville, Illinois and will be expecting us all there for Thanksgiving. Since the baby is so small, his parents decided that flying will be the quickest way to make the trip.

Ken and I will drive and will be carrying all the essentials that baby's need....bassinet, 249 disposable diapers, can of powdered baby formula, baby swing, clothing and everything else that would be troublesome to carry around an airline terminal. We can't take the car seat since they will be renting a car at the airport and will need it. Luckily, they are leaving the kitchen sink at home (grin).

Our New Grandson -- Andrew Michael

Our newest grandson arrived on Wednesday, October 17, 2007.......he is perfect....wide eyed and bushy tailed the moment he entered this world. He is now two weeks old (10/31/07) and the darling of the family. His ten year old sister, Rebecca, is overjoyed to have a baby brother.....at age 10, they are mothers-in-minature....willing and wanting to help mom with the new baby. I hope that continues!

Lets flash ahead about 5 years.....Rebecca is 15 and sweet little Drew is 5! He is in that tiresome stage of "she's looking at me!!" or "she's touching me!".....the "she's looking at me" usually occurs while having breakfast....Drew has circled his plate with cereal boxes and is hunkered down behind them. What?? is he afraid that Rebecca will watch him chew? Or is it just a way to aggravate his older sister and drive his mom up-the-wall????? Who knows!

Next comes the "she's touching me" stage.....normally occurring when they are seated in the back seat of the car (where by the way, Mom and Dad can't reach him). Both are next to a window, a big nice space between them.....but if you watch closely, you'll see Rebecca reach over and poke her 5 year old brother on the arm.....and then turn back to her window, the picture of innocence. Older sisters aren't above being a little ornery once in a while.

But, as the years pass, things get better. Becca is her little brother's hero.....the one he goes to when he's in trouble.....the one who takes him trick or treating on Halloween (she loves that holiday and taking Drew around the neighborhood is as much fun for her as it is for him), and the ONE who will eventually pass judgment on any girl who is brave enough to want to date HER "little brother" (he may b 6' 2" tall, but will always be her "little brother" and girls are notoriously protective of their "little brothers".)

Drew's uncle Jeff has great plans to turn him into a place kicker for the Miami Dolphins football team. "Place kickers seldom get hurt and make lots of money"......the rest of the family doesn't give a hoot about what Drew's future occupation will be, and are so thankful to God that he was born healthy and that his mom came through the birth just fine.

By the way, in case you have a potential new mother in your future, remember this! If she isn't going to breast feed, she is going to get mighty uncomfortable in the days after the little one's birth. Years ago when my children were born, we were given pills or a shot to help dry up one's milk supply....that obviously isn't done any more. Now, non-breast feeding mothers are supposed to "tough it out" with ice packs and tight binding.

This is an old fashioned remedy....don't know where it came from, but I laughed about it when I heard it years ago.
Buy a large head of CABBAGE.....have the new mother put a few leaves in her bra...changing the leaves several times a day. Something in the cabbage will cause the milk to dry up. Also, have her drink Sage Tea, either hot or cold. She can add honey to the tea (actually Nancy said it tastes pretty good).
I imagine that the cabbage remedy originated with the pioneers. I don't know what they did if the baby was born in the winter months...... "toughed it out" I guess.

The Chocolate Chip cookie problem

One of my tennis team members makes the best chocolate chip cookies in the world! She brings them to us twice a week.......Our mouths start to water when we see her getting out of her car, tennis racket in one hand and a big plate of cookies in the other.

We've told her that she doesn't have to do this, but she insists that "playing with you is such an honor that I feel I need to bring more than just my tennis racket". My, my, my, how wrong she is.

We have decided that she is really a "plant" from our opposing teams! I know, we didn't have to eat those wonderful cookies, full of chocolate chips and made with pure butter, we couldn't help ourselves.......

Just Look At Us Now!!!!!!

Officers Came Face to Face with Horror

SOURCE: 12/7/07 Omaha World Herald

NOTE: Omaha Police Sgt. Jeff Baker was in the first group of officers at Westroads Mall. Although he can't describe certain details because of the police investigation, he offered this account:

In excess of 100 mph on the Interstate en route to Westroads, time still seemed to crawl.A feeling of dread crept over me with every update given on the radio.

Shots being fired in the mall????

Upon arrival and armed with a shotgun, I entered Von Maur not knowing what I'd encounter. Twenty years in policing, 10 as a supervisor, didn't adequately prepare me for what I was about to see.

It was surreal...the smell of gunfire in the air, like the aroma of firecrackers you shot off as a kid. Shall casings on the marble floor. Mortally wounded gunshot victims.

People running past, crying. sheer terror on their faces. Others frozen and cowering under displays and in fitting rooms. Abandoned baby strollers, ladies' handbags, dropped cups of coffee and Christmas shopping bags littering the floor throughout the mall.

An alarm shrieking from overhead speakers, only partially drowning out Christmas music being played. And all the while, you're searching, guns at the ready, certain the bad guy is going to pop up from a clothing rack and kill one of you before your buddies can react and fight back.

It was surreal, like living out a horror movie. the mall swarmed with incoming officers from Omaha Police Department and other agencies.

I used the radio to warn responders that we might have a suspect on the loose with a high-powered rifle and that we had to lock down the mall. There's no time to sit and ponder options. You have to rely on your training and the officer next to you. so we broke into search elements to track down the suspect.

All the officers involved knew he had to be stopped and we were aware it was entirely possible that any one of us could be among those who would not go home to their families that night.

I experienced a wide array of emotions. Anxiety. Frustration. Sadness. Anger.

As the hours wore on and various personnel finished the task of clearing the mall and evacuating shoppers and employees, I felt exhaustion. Being at such a high state of alert for so long is taxing and I could see the emotional and physical drain on the faces of a number of police officers, federal agents and firefighters on the scene.

I got home about 9 p.m. roughly 13 hours after starting my shift. The first thing I did was hug my wife and tell her that I loved her. Then I prayed before managing about three hours of broken sleep.

Omaha shed its innocence, our own 9/11, and while this tragedy won't beat us as a city, I think Omahans will be forever changed by what happened.

It goes down as a dark day in our history, an abomination, the most senseless act of violence.

Christmas lights! Bah Humbug!

Its nearly Christmas and time to hang the Christmas lights, bring out the little white deer and green Christmas tree and start assembling the yearly display.

Its not that I don't enjoy the sparkling decorations of Christmas lights, its just such a job to put them up and later take them down.
I don't actually hang the little devils, that's my husband's job. He gets so much enjoyment out of standing on a ladder and hooking the string of lights onto the cup hooks that we've got screwed into the porch railing and eaves of the house. (he's a retired electrician....to his way of thinking...this is FUN) Since we live in Nebraska, the time to hang decorations is shortly after Thanksgiving, when the temperature is in the 20's and there's usually a stiff wind blowing.
Every year Ken sees something that catches his eye....this year it was an 11 foot long 3 foot high metal train that is outlined by tiny lights. He saw the beauty in it, I saw another hour of being out in the cold and then trying to straighten out the multitude of wires that kept the lighting system together.
At this time of year, we visit Menards nearly every few days...fortunately (unfortunately?) its very close to our home. This train was displayed on the east wall, and it was love at first sight. Ken is a model train enthusiast, and anything remotely resembling a train catches his eye.

I'm not keen on climbing ladders, so my job is straightening out last year's mess of lights and determining which ones no longer work. I thought last year we made an effort to neatly wrap the stringers around a big box to keep them from getting tangled. I was wrong....we didn't do it...must have been on my "to do" list.

I could never understand why, after sitting quietly for a year, some of the lights decide to no longer light. They were just fine for Christmas last winter...what major event happened in their lives to cause them to quit working?

Bad news! Looks like we'll be making another trip to Lowes or Menards today.....we don't have enough working lights! I'll have to check to see who has them on sale.

We store the Christmas decorations in our backyard shed....evidentally it has become the "mouse motel". Lots of evidence of that. All it takes is for one mouse to taste test a stringer of lights, and poof! that stringer is history.
I think next year one stringer will be plugged in to the light socket in the shed.....then we'll see who goes "poof"..... the lights or the mouse!

Green with Envy

I am not a perfect person.......I know that and I regret it.

When provoked, I have a temper, I do not clean my house on a regular basis, I do not follow all my doctor's instructions, I do not enjoy children have been raised with "time outs", I do not love holidays (I tolerate them but not love them), and I am filled with ENVY!

I am envious of people who have tons of money but didn't work to get it. Do they deserve it just because they were lucky enough to be born to rich parents? Are their genes better than mine?Why should they drive expensive cars, buy shoes that cost more than I make in a month, and spend their time at luxury resorts!

I am envious of pop or rap singers who have no talent and yell out words to the beat of loud guitars and drums. Its a good day for them if they are sometimes actually on key and the words they yell are not too obnoxious for children to hear. Mostly I dislike the smirks on their faces because they know they have no talent and are pulling the wool over the eyes of those who buy their photos, disks and tickets to concerts. I could do that....just give me a chance! I can't sing either.

I am envious of those talented people who can write a blog about doing home repairs, dredging up old recipes or tell you how to make a million dollars by blogging.....and make a million dollars. How do they get the hundreds of people to visit their blogs every day? This is a fairly decent blog...maybe not too exciting but better than a lot of them. Where are the visitors? Hello folks, come'on over and read a bit. You may learn something!

This is not the end of my envy complex.....more will come!

Bubble Bath -- be careful

When my 8 year old granddaughter developed a rash and burning in her pelvic area, we took her straight to her pediatrician.

The first thing she asked was "does she use bubble bath when she takes a bath?" Of course, what little girl doesn't love sitting in a tub of bubbles!

She told us to look at the bubble bath ingredients...."does it have Sodium Lauryl Sulfate listed?"

She then told us that sodium lauryl sulfate is a very strong detergent which is put in many products (
see Sodium Lauryl Sulfate ) such as bubble bath to give them lots of foam and bubbles. But it can also burn the skin like diaper rash. Children are most susceptible. However, many of the elderly have sensitive skin and react the same way.

Jenny is older now and prefers showers to baths......but we still try to monitor the types of soap that all of us use.

Sometimes my skin will dry and flake for "no reason".....checked the label and sure enough there's that ole sodium lauryl sulfate.

Many health food stores carry soaps, shampoos and cleaning products.....but even some of the "natural" product contain a foaming ingredient.....unless you've been without a bath for a month, been working in a coal mine or living in the woods all of your life....you DON'T GET DIRTY enough to require something that strong!

Super Senior Tennis becomes a Reality!

SOURCE: Lori Therrien
USTA Missouri Valley Section


Super Senior Tennis was "Nationally" sanctioned in 2006. A program doesn't get sanctioned by the National Office until over 20,000 players are participating. That occurred in 2006. Nationally we have 22,371 players participating.


Missouri Valley began supporting Super Senior Leagues in 2004. We now have 607 players participating. We will have Super 70's which Missouri Valley is supporting in 2008.


If leagues for 65's were established they would diminish the pool of players for Super Seniors too greatly. That is why leagues are established for 10 year increments: Seniors 50, Super Seniors 60, Super 70's and some day Super 80's.

Benchmark Player Ratings - (how are they determined?)

BENCHMARK PLAYER RATINGS (how are they determined?)
By: Bob Greene USPTA, USTA Certified Verifier & Chairman of USTA NTRP Computer Sub-Committee

If you are reading this document, then you are probably a recreational tennis player who participates either in the USA Leagues Tennis Program, USTA Sanctioned NTRP Tournaments or other program audited and regulated by the NTRP.

It may interest you to know that your tennis rating is one of over 200,000 assigned to over 350,000 program participants across America each year. You are an important part of a very big picture. While to some the formulations of ratings may seem a mystery, the following information will help you to understand where all those numbers come from. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions:


Factors which influence your ratings are the "Benchmark Player Ratings" and subsequent match result comparative analysis made by the NTRP Computer Program.

Simply put, the NTRP Computer Program algorithm compares and cross-references all match results in any given file. In a 4.0 file, based on a one match comparison, if a singles player (or doubles team player) "A" has a benchmark rating of 4.0 and he/she defeats player "B" 7-5, 6-4, the difference is registered as approximately a tenth of an NTRP point per service break or in this case approximately .16. That would generate a computer rating of 3.84 for player (or doubles team) "B" based on that one match.

The NTRP Computer, however takes that simple formula many steps further and compares all match results in the file against the benchmarked and all other players as well. Some large files contain more than a thousand players and thousands of match results.

As the computer runs through ten complete "iterations" in each file calculation, it refines a players rating to hundredths of a point as player "B"s rating is shown above. The computer does not directly care about a player's win/loss record. A player can lose many or all matches during a season and their performance in the opinion of the computer, can generate a rating close to their opponents if the individual match results were close. They may still get moved up to another level.

If a player gets beaten badly with several lopsided set scores resulting, then they stand a good chance of being moved to a lower level of play. Conversely, if a player wins big frequently, they too can be moved up or in the worst case scenario, be disqualified at that level of play. The NTRP Computer is designed as a tool for generating ratings and will not move players from level to level indiscriminately.

Ratings are published seasonally at level. If you have a true median rating of 4.4 at benchmark assignment time, you rating will be published as a 4.5 level. There are five micro levels (tenths) within each level of the NTRP for purposes of assigning benchmarks in USA League Play and Tournament files.


There is developed methodology applied by the USTA Verifiers at all tiers of Championship play and benchmark assignment. What follows is a description of the process at a USA Leagues National Championship Event. This process is repeated at each Sectional, Regional, District and State tier and subsequently down to the generation of ratings in every local league and tournament file:

Annually each Section of the USTA will send up to twenty teams at all levels and genders to USA League National Championship Events. Those teams will play against each other in four flights of four or five teams in each flight. The draw is done at random. One event may be Florida, Texas, New England and Hawaii ... the next Eastern, Southern, Midwest and Northern California.

Before and during these matches, no less than four of the most experienced NTRP Verifiers from different areas of the country will research the players match result history, multi-year rating history and player profile information. They will then observe the players competing against several different teams over a period of three days. All match results are entered into the NTRP Computer during the events.

The Verifiers are observing and are more specifically looking for lopsided match results, disparity of level between doubles partners and player improvement over the course of a season. The players who emerge from their respective flights to the semifinal and final rounds are given "absolute ratings". That rating is a number that is static for the purpose of comparison against other players.

These "Benchmark Ratings" are entered into the NTRP Computer and the computer program is run calculating ratings for all of the players who competed at the event. Although the NTRP Computer has an excellent track record of being correct, the National Verifiers makes a few adjustments based on reasons stated above. All of these players are National Benchmarks and their Ratings are deemed not changeable by regulation.

These National Benchmark Ratings are entered into the NTRP Computer and will filter down in each respective USTA Section and all players competing in NTRP audited and regulated venues will receive a rating if they played two or more matches. The primary goal and purpose of this methodology is to create and maintain uniformity in ratings on a nationwide basis. No matter what the picture appears to be from the bottom looking up, it is painted from the top down.


As mitigating measures to counteract occasional system faults and recognize debilitating player injuries, there are regulations published in the form of "NTRP Computer Procedures". Certified Verifiers and administrators have access to this material. Within these regulations are parameters defining NTRP program administration, benchmark assignment and the rating appeals process. This is all part of a system that checks and balances itself.

Rest assured that players who do file an appeal to change their ratings are initiating a process governed by something much more than the subjective nature of human decision. A player who has a rating based on two or three match results has more latitude for having an appeal granted than players who have played six or more matches. The more matches you play, the more accurate your rating is. In addition anyone who plays in USA League Tennis can be disqualified at any point during the local level of play. Experience has shown that the players do a pretty good job themselves of policing the ranks when necessary.

Starting the search #1

Genealogy (from Greek: genea, "family"; and logos, "knowledge") is the study and tracing of family pedigrees. This involves the collection of the names of relatives, both living and deceased, and establishing the relationships among them.

Genealogists, amateur and professional, collect oral and written histories and preserve family stories to discover ancestors and living relatives. Genealogists also attempt to understand not just where and when people lived but also their lifestyle, biography, and motivations. This often requires — or leads to — knowledge of antique law, old political boundaries, immigration trends, and historical social conditions.

The search for living relatives often leads to family reunions.

I began my hobby of genealogy in 1980. I had been playing in amateur tennis tournaments in the Missouri Valley District and had been successful in winning titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. My name was in the paper quite a bit, and that lead to being contacted by a family in Iowa. They wondered if we could be related since we had the same last name. (actually my husband’s last name)

My father-in-law was sure that he and his siblings were the only families of our last name in the United States, but was willing to have the Iowa family over to discuss it. To make a long story short, yep, we sure were related. But it took a lot of searching to find it out how.

We started with a manuscript that had been written in the 1920’s giving the name of the “immigrant” and the story of how he arrived in America. Unfortunately, none of this can be proven. The “immigrant” Jean Marie LaProne Boiscourt’s final resting place is a mystery, but three of his sons were listed on the 1800 Washington County, Kentucky census. So we started our search there.

Through the census records, a family can be traced from town to town, state to state. The census records from 1790 to 1840 only list the head of household by name. The children are listed as male or female, with a general age span. His wife would probably be the oldest female in the household. But not always.

In the 1850 census, the entire family was listed. Name, age, occupation and place of birth. What a great improvement. But, now we are faced with misspellings - remember, the census takers were literate people but occasionally had to deal with people who were not. Many were from other countries and many couldn’t read or write. So, once in a while, the census taker would just give up and list initials instead of given names.

Thanks a lot guys!

In every family, there is a person who keeps track of the family history...be it grandma, grandpa, Uncle Fester, Aunt Aggie or one of the kids. They are the ones who know who married Grandma Ida and when.

Take a little time and become the "family historian" Its fun and you'll come across a lot of interesting people, both alive and those who have passed away.

If you'd like me to help with your search, I would be pleased to look up some things for you.

Genealogy help

Green Eggs and Ham

Theodor Seuss Geisel born March 2, 1904 and died September 24, 1991 was an American writer and cartoonist.

GREEN EGGS AND HAM is a best-selling book by Dr. Seuss, first published in 1960. It is one of Seuss’s “Beginner Books” written in a very simple vocabulary for beginning readers. The vocabulary consists of just fifty different words of which 49 consist of a single syllable (cat, hat, etc.). The lone exception being “anywhere”. So, when a beginning reader masters these 50 words, he or she is able to read a book. A great accomplishment and source of pride for the beginning reader.

The book has two main characters, Sam and his friend who is never named.
Sam is filled with energy and enthusiasm; the other character is moody and irritable. The plot of the story revolves around Sam’s efforts to get his friend to try “green eggs and ham”. The friend refuses to taste the dish and only wants to be left alone. But, Sam is insistent, and goes through an assortment of locations, a house, a car, a tree and with several dining partners, trying to persuade his friend to eat. But the friend still won’t try the green eggs and ham.

The conclusion of Seuss’s tale occurs when Sam’s friend, standing in shallow water after a train crash, finally agrees to try green eggs and ham, and pronounces it to be quite good.

The story is written in the form of a cumulative tale, with a list of circumstances which gradually increase as the story progresses. One of Sam’s friend’s refusals goes:

I do not like them in a box.
I do not like them with a fox.
I do not like them in a boat.
I do not like them with a goat.
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them anywhere.
I do not like green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

The fifty words used in GREEN EGGS AND HAM are: a, am, and, anywhere, are, be, boat, box, car, could, dark, do, eat, eggs, fox, goat, good, green, ham, here, house, I, if, in, let, like, may, me, mouse, not, on, or, rain, Sam, say, see, so, thank, that, the, them, there, they, train, tree, try, will, with, would, you.

Sam-I-Am and his friend are ambiguous creatures; they are capable of being interpreted in more than one way. They are furry with large snouts, but stand upright, can speak and have human facial expressions.

Sam-I-Am’s friend wears a tall black hat that imitates his body language; it startles, cringes, rises up indignantly, etc. when it’s owner does.

The book includes many of Dr. Seuss’s amazing elaborate machines; a complex platter-presenting device, large artificial hands on poles to illustrate Here and There, a vehicle with a mysteriously-appearing door from which a goat emerges, and a really rickety railroad viaduct.

Imagine the sense of accomplishment that a child has when he or she runs to Mom or Dad and proudly says "I can read this!"

The Jolly Green Giant

"From the Valley of the Jolly (ho, ho, ho) Green Giant "

How many times have you heard that commercial? So just where did this great giant come from....since he's green, maybe he's related to the Incredible Hulk who was also green.

But no, this Green Giant appearing as a smiling green-skinned giant wearing a tunic, wreath and boots made of leaves and his friend, a young green giant named Little Green Sprout are representatives of a food company owned by General Mills.

The company is one of the largest sellers of frozen and canned vegetables both under the Green Giant and LeSueur brands. The name Green Giant was introduced in 1925 to help market the company's canned peas....since it was well received, it was decided to adopt the Green Giant name.

The original commercial featuring the Jolly Green Giant first aired in 1953. It featured a green puppet stalking through the valley. He stopped near a small farm and displayed two cans of Green Giant vegetables, the famous Niblets and a can of peas. He walked towards the camera holding them as the camera slowly backed away.
Whoa Nellie! This commercial was deemed way too scary for younger viewers and was quickly pulled off the air. (remember, this was in 1953, children were not as worldly as they are now. Instead of being scared, they would think it was really dumb!)

It also featured a somewhat scary jingle...sung by a group of singers providing "Fe fum fi fe" as the backing rhythm. It also got the deep six because it could frighten little children....."potential nightmare-causing song could alienate mothers and cause them to boycott the Green Giant line".

In addition to having a scary jingle, it was found that when the Green Giant walked, he looked even more menacing and scary. The poor guy couldn't do anything right.

As a result, the second commercial, aired in 1960, featured a friendly and smiling Green Giant standing in the distance, hands on hips, supervising Keebler-like elves working to produce green beans on an assembly line. (And you wonder why your kids think vegetables grow in cans!)

Several 1970s commercials used "From the valley of the Jolly (ho, ho, ho) Green Giant!" as the their jingle and starting in the 1980s the "Ho, ho, ho, Green Giant!" has been a part of all GG commecials.

I doubt that the Ho, ho, ho's or the Green Giant walking through the valley would faze children now-a-days.

After all, they practically grew up with Shrek!

Green Thumb - NOT

In plain ole every day terms, a person who has a “green thumb” is a skilled gardener. The seedlings that they plant with loving care…grow! They don’t wilt down two days after being planted, never to raise their heads again. Mr/Mrs.Green Thumb can buy (or be given) the worst looking plant in the nursery, the one that was on the "dead and dying" pile, and nurse it back to life. There’s magic in those fingers!

On the other hand, there are people who were born with a “brown thumb” and are not good at all at handling (or growing) plants. This person should NEVER buy or be given any living greenery; flowers, trees, or shrubs. They won’t grow! They will wilt, turn brown, mold, and end up where no plant wants to be….in the garbage can.
Well, meet Mrs. Brown Thumb!

I will sadly admit that when I bring a plant into my house, the first thing I do is make the “sign of the cross” over it and wish it good luck.
When I was first married, my dear, sweet mother-in-law would bring me tiny African violets, no bigger than my thumb, that she had carefully raised from a seedling or however they multiply. I would cringe when I saw her coming, little decorated flower pot in hand, smiling like I was about to get the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

SHE had the magical green thumb….she raised African violets by the dozen…pink ones, blue ones, double ones, single ones and they were all beautiful and healthy. They were in her front window, in the kitchen window, the bathroom window and on the porch…all blooming like crazy. Oh yes, she also grew Christmas cactus that actually bloomed every year. Another one of my disappointments.

My failure with the African Violets, I was told, was that I watered them too much and dripped water on their leaves. Well, excuse me! If the forebearers of those African violets lived outdoors anytime in their history, they would have gotten water on their leaves. It rains almost everywhere at one time or another. Unless Africa was one big dry greenhouse.

But no matter how many poor little defenseless violets I managed to either drown or caused to shrivel up, she always kept trying to turn me into a "green thumb by proxy".....never worked!

As for the Christmas cactus, I followed the instructions that I was given…."keep them in a dark place for several weeks and they would start to put on blooms."
Wrong again….I think I had the male variety because once it had bloomed, it decided that motherhood was not for it …"no more blooms for me honey....look for a lady cactus"