Female Tennis Players

Tennis super stars Serena and Venus Williams played each other in the finals of Wimbledon....a wonderful, fast paced tennis match. Venus won, but not easily. I feel so happy for them...they have been struggling lately and really needed this boost.

The Williams sisters are outstanding tennis players and will continue to win many tournaments, but they, like all of us, are getting older and the wins are not as easy as before. The players are so much younger, faster and stronger than they were when the sisters dominated the courts. Both girls are in their late 20's and are facing players in their teens.

Tennis has changed over the years....training, and training preparation has created a 'super woman' on the court. I think back to Chris Evert and Billy Jean King or even further to Margaret Court and Evonne Goolagong. They were wonderful tennis players but could they compete with today's women? I don't think they could.

Venus and Serena are begining to enjoy life....designing, going to college, acting and creating a more normal life for themselves. Maybe we tend to forget that these are women....they have lives outside of tennis.

When Venus walked on the court to play in Melbourne, Australia her face was grim. Where was the smile that showed how much she loved being there? It was there when she started playing professionally at age 14...a beautiful smile that lit up the court. All we can do is hope that the spark will come back.

We, as amateur tennis players really don't understand the professional tennis world. Some years ago I saw a commercial for Lipton Tea featuring Chris Evert. She was walking off a tennis court, sat down and had a glass of Lipton iced tea. "When I finish WORK, I enjoy a glass of iced tea"....get the word...WORK!

Tennis is a JOB to a professional player...sure it's enjoyable, but lets fact it, this is how they make their living.

Years ago when I played tennis nearly every day, there would come a point when I'd wake up in the morning, hoping that it was raining so I wouldn't have to play. And there would be days when I'd absolutely hate having to be on the court with a certain player...maybe she was not a fun person to be around, maybe I wasn't comfortable with her constant criticism of the other players (her partners included) or maybe she was too wild and hit so hard that the chances of being hit with the ball on her serve was a real possibility.

But in a tournament or league, not showing up because you don't like the opponent is not an option. Same goes for professional tennis...you play unless you are bedridden or hurt.....not being "in the mood to play" doesn't matter.

On a happier note, when my daughter Christine was 18, she and I played in the Prudential Family Challenge Tennis Tournament. We were in the Mother/Daughter Division, and after winning qualifying tournaments in Omaha and Kansas City, we represented the Midwest in the Finals held during the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, New York.

One of the things I fondly remember (yeah, I know it's silly) was that in the locker room where we (and the pros) dressed was a sign-up sheet for the laundry facilities...washer and dryer.

Chris Evert was doing her laundry at 7am, Martina would be doing her at 10am and Hana Manlikova at 12 o'clock noon.
Life goes on and dirty socks still need washing!

Gel Pens and checks

Well folks, just got back from Wal-mart where I bought a package of Uni-ball pens. According to fraud prevention sites on the internet, they can help prevent check fraud. The pens are sold at other stores, Target, Kmart, Walgreens, etc. but Wal-mart is the nearest to me.


Criminals rely on our mistakes to make their job easier. Taking a few precautions will make you less attractive to predators. Don’t leave mail in your mailbox overnight or over the weekend. Thieves wait for that red flag to go up to score an outgoing check or other personal information.


If you are a ballpoint pen lover, switch to black ink when security is important. Among water-based inks, remember that gels are the most impervious. But when you're writing checks to pay the monthly bills, only one type of ink, the kind in gel pens, has been found to be counterfeit proof to acetone or any other chemical used in "check washing." Most ballpoint and marker inks are dye based, meaning that the pigments are dissolved in the ink.

Based on recent ink security studies, we highly recommend that you use a gel pen, like the Uniball 207 that uses gel ink that contains tiny particles of color that are trapped into the paper, making check washing a lot more difficult. The pen sells for about $2.

What is "handmade soap"?

Winter tends to be harsh in Nebraska...very cold temperatures, biting winds with unbelievable wind chill. Then comes summer, hot and dry.....did you ever see photos of actual pioneers.....my ancestors were farmers and settled in Nebraska. They had a hard life. Their photos show weathered faces and rough, scaly hands. I image the rest of their bodies were the same.

Forget those beautiful dresses and creamy skins of the pioneers in movies....not true to life.

One of the things that my ancestors did was to make their own soap...but not the great natural soap that we get today. They didn't have the oils, etc. to make it smell good nor good for the skin. It mainly consisted of lye (from wood ashes) and fats from animals. It cleaned, but not too well. They may have added flower petals or herbs if they were available.

Of course, if you are on some medications, they can cause dry skin, hair, etc. but lets pretend that you are basically healthy and your medications are not too harsh for your body. Hand or body soap without sodium tallowate, acid, sodium chloride, triclocaban, tetrasodium edta, bht, titanium dioxide, D&C yellow #10, and D&C orange #4 just may be good for your skin too.

Look at the ingredients in your shampoo or even your hand soap, Dove, Ivory, Irish Spring, etc. And you wonder why your skin is flaky and itchy...

If you are really interested in how handmade soap is made....have a look at this site:


But, even some handmade soaps contain harsh chemicals....look at the ingredients.

Identity theft and forgery

Remember when I wrote that the person who robbed our mailbox wouldn't be stupid enough to put her OWN name and driver's license number on the "washed" check and then try to cash it.

I was wrong..a Saunders County, Nebraska Deputy sheriff arrested her and her companion Sunday morning..one day after robbing our mailbox, washing the check, forging it and taking it to our neighborhood bank to be cashed.


OMAHA, Neb. -- Thousands of pieces of stolen mail were found in a car in Saunders County (NE) on Sunday, and authorities are now investigating whether the find is connected to an alleged identity theft ring found last week in a downtown Omaha hotel.

Saunders County Sheriff Kevin Stukenholtz said his officers performed a traffic stop at 2 a.m. Sunday and found thousands of pieces of correspondence that belonged to individuals other than the people who were in the car. There were bank statements, credit card bills and checks in the car, Stukenholtz said.

Deputies also found scanners and printers, along with other items needed to make fake IDs, the sheriff said. Stukenholtz called it the largest identity theft case he's ever seen.

"We're finding correspondence from Council Bluffs, Ralston, Papillion, Bellevue and all over Douglas County," Stukenholtz said.

Two people were arrested in Saunders County. Authorities said they're not identifying the suspects so they don't jeopardize the investigation. (this is the pair that robbed our mailbox and forged a $625.00 check!)

Stukenholtz said the thieves doctored the checks they stole.
"On a check that would have been made out to Visa for $300 or $400, they would wash that check, put their name in it, make a fake ID to match that name, then cash it," Stukenholtz said.

Authorities said they believe the suspects burglarized homes and took some of the mail. Some mail was snatched right out of the mailbox.

Stukenholtz said his office is contacting anyone who may be affected.

I didn't wait to be called--I called the sheriff as soon as the story appeared on the 5:00 news. Maybe my $14.99 baby gift of a pair of Winnie the Pooh size 12 months pajamas is somewhere in the pile of things they found!!!!!

My Passion for tennis (5) - THE INNER GAME OF TENNIS - Gallwey

Does positive thinking help your tennis game?

The "bad" effects of negative thinking are discussed thoroughly...people are advised to stop telling themselves that they are ugly, uncoordinated, unhappy, or whatever and are told to repeat to themselves that they are attractive, well-coordinated and happy. If you constantly tell yourself that you can't do this or can't do that..you won't be able to do it.

We're back to Self 1 again....Self 1 is always looking for approval and, wanting to avoid
disapproval , this ego mind sees a compliment as a potential criticism. If it hears "you really look nice today" or "you're hitting the ball so well today" it reasons, "if I
look nice today, I must have looked bad yesterday" or "if I'm hitting the ball well today, I must have been really bad last week".

Compliments can be criticisms in disguise! Both are used to manipulate behavior.

Your partner hits a beautiful forehand that flies past the net player and wins the point. You say "Greaaaaat shot!" Are you complimenting him, or is your "Greaaat shot" really disbelief that after muffing three previous shots, he finally got one in?

Or, if the ball lands 4 feet past the baseline and you say to yourself "Greaaaat shot", what is your tone of voice then? exasperated or disgusted?

My Passion for tennis (6) - THE INNER GAME OF TENNIS - Gallwey

In The Inner Game of Tennis, author W. Timothy Gallwey names three categories of tennis players and their aims and motivations for playing, both on and off the court.

Category #1 - Good-O - Proving myself "good"

(1) "How Good can I get?" In golf, "good" is measured against par, in tennis against self-conceived expectations or the expectations of parents, coaches or friends. Good-O aims to reach the highest standard of perfection possible. Why? the desire to prove oneself competent and worthy of the respect of others.

(2) "I"m better than you"...Here "good" is measured against the performance of other players. Good-O wants to be at the top of the heap. "Its not how well I play, but whether I win or lose that counts" Problem? the mind's preoccupation with comparing oneself with others. First you think your game is better, then some doubts float in and you begin to feel your opponent may be better....result: fear of defeat.

(3) "Look at me!"....."good" is measured by appearance. Neither winning nor playing well matters as much as style. Good-O aims to look good, flashy, strong, brilliant, smooth and graceful. Motive? the desire for attention or praise. To Good-O, one can never look good enough....perfect strokes, $200 tennis shoes, best of the line tennis clothes, the newest racket, matching hat, sweatbands, water canister, plus a great tan and pearly white teeth.

Category #2 - Friends-O - Making or keeping friends

(1) "We play at the country club" Friends-O feels that its not so important how good you are as it is where you play and who plays with you. This is the "social game"...you play to maintain or improve social status. However, beating your boss or customer on a regular basis may not be a good idea.

(2) "All my good friends play tennis" This is about the same as (1) but more often played at cheaper public courts ... but the motive is the same...the desire for acceptance and friendship. Even if you play with your friends, playing too well may be a mistake. No one wants to be beaten constantly especially by a good friend. If they feel you are too good for them, you may have trouble finding a game.

(3) "My husband (or wife) is always playing tennis". Friends-O feels that he/she is lonely and needs to spend more time with the spouse. This is not the best reason in the world to take up tennis. The biggest obstacle is becoming good enough for the spouse to play with you. The next biggest obstacle is telling the spouse that you are too good to play with him or her.
Category #3 - Health-0-Fun-0 - Mental or physical health or pleasure

You or your doctor have decided that you need more exercise. Ah yes, you know that idea...exercise, work up a sweat, relax the mind. Obviously the doctor, a non-tennis player, isn't taking into account the frustrations this can cause. But, its healthy, gets you outdoors and moving, improves vitality and, prolongs the idea of youth.

In your mind, you doubt that tennis is really helping. You can't find anyone who, like you wants to take up this demanding sport.....Answer!!! take lessons, join a sports group, hit a ball against a wall. Hitting a ball against something is a good way to take out frustrations caused by daily life...bosses, children, traffic, in-laws, spouses.
Soon you'll learn to appreciate the subleties of the game and find yourself being drawn into Category #2 or even Category #1.

Soap Box rantings

I’m going to climb on a soap box for a few minutes and rant about something that has been on my mind. It's not earth shattering, will not cause the 2008 elections to sway one way or another, nor will it make you as rich as Warren Buffett or Bill Gates. But it does cause problems in your personal life (I do not mean your LOVE life) - well, I suppose it could.

Split ends, brittle hair, little wads of hair in the drain after you wash your hair? Oh yea, admit it….I could probably throw in dandruff and dry skin too, but I’m not sure about them.

Shampoo and soap companies are getting R-I-C-H, thanks to the constant bombardment of TV ads promoting hair products, soap and body lotions. Think about it.......how many people walking around your town have gorgeous, silky hair that flows in the wind and glistens like silk? I'm not even sure their hair is real......but you buy the product. After all, would they lie???
What they don't tell you is WHY their shampoo gives you a headful of foam.....but you've been taught to expect it. (heres a hint: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate)
"What....no foam? How will my hair get clean? It won't be shiny and manageable! I won't be able to attract a MAN if my hair is dull and drab!".
Read the ingredients on your
shampoo bottle or on the bottle of your child’s bubble bath. Click on shampoo and bubble bath . Do you also have dry, flaky skin? Read the label on that bar of soap......there's that dreaded Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.
Is your hair and skin really THAT dirty!!!