To My Children

To Lisa, Christine, Jeff and Nancy

I've made mistakes being a Mom, more than I'd like to admit. I am not perfect at all. But I'll always be there for you, to hear you, to cheer for you, to laugh or cry with you, to protect you with my life and tell you things you don't want to hear.  
I will love you even at those times when you don't love me. No matter how old you get, no one will ever love you more than I do, because I am and always will be your Mom.

Grandpa's Hands


Bernice and Kenneth Boicourt were my husband's parents, Madeline and Leo Dobrovolny were my parents, MarieCaklova Dobrovolny was my Dad's mother, my grandmother and Julia Ann Miller was my mom's mother, my grandmother.
Sometimes, a poem or story causes me to remember and miss my parents and grandparents who have passed away. Tears begin to fall as I think of the love that filled their homes. And I cry because my own children and grandchildren never had the chance to love and be loved by them.

By Melinda Clements

Grandpa, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. He didn't move, just sat with his head down staring at his hands.

When I sat down beside him he didn't acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat the more I wondered if he was OK. not wanting to disturb him but wanting to check on him at the same time, I asked him if he was OK.

He raised his head and looked at me and smiled. "Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking," he said in a clear strong voice.

"I didn't mean to disturb you, grandpa, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK" I explained to him.

"Have you ever looked at your hands" he asked. I mean really looked at your hands?"

I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over,
palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point he was making.

Grandpa smiled and related this story:

"Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled, shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life. "

"They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler and I crashed upon the floor. They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots."

"They dried the tears of my children and caressed the love of my life. They held my rifle and wiped my tears when I went off to war.They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent. "

"They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son."

"Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special. They wrote the letters home and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse and walked my daughter down the aisle."

"Yet, they were strong and sure when I dug my buddy out of a foxhole and lifted a plow off of my best friend's foot."

"They have held children, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn't understand."

"They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer."

"These hands are the mark of where I've been and the ruggedness of my life. But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ."

I will never look at my hands the same again.

But I remember God reached out and took my grandpa's hands and led him home.
When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and wife I think of grandpa. I know he has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God.

I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel his hands upon my face.

Disorder in the American Courts

These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while the exchanges were taking place.

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS:   He said, 'Where am I, Cathy ?'
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS:   My name is Susan !
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep,
he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS:   Did you actually pass the bar exam?

: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS:   He's 20, much like your IQ.

ATTORNEY: She had three children , right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
WITNESS:   None.
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS:   Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a  new attorney?
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS:   By death..
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS:   Take a guess.
ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS:   He was about medium height and had a beard
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS:   Unless the Circus was in town I'm going with male.
ATTORNEY: Doctor , how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS:   All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
WITNESS:   Oral...
ATTORNEY:  Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS:   The autopsy started around 8:30 PM
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS:   If not, he was by the time I finished.
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS:   Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS:   Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law

Favorite Bumper Sticker

  Thanks to those who fought for us in the past and those who are fighting for us now, ENGLISH is still OUR language!

Gullible Ole Me

OK, usually I am fairly intelligent and guard my credit card numbers with care. But, I fell for this ad on the internet.

You’ve seen it lots of times both on the internet and on TV.  A before and after photo of someone, often from your own area, (really doubt that) who has lost 25 or more pounds by taking a special berry … usually in any form. The berry diet is probably a great help in losing weight (although I haven’t as of yet) and has many genuine, honest sellers. This did not happen to be one.

The scam is the “try it free” offer.

I clicked on “try it free”, gave my credit card number for postage and handling and off it went. Unfortunately I did not read ALL the fine print on the site…be careful...if it mentions their monthly recurring billing….GET OUT… I should have clicked, clicked, clicked all the links until I found it.

I got my first bottle in about two weeks.  A few weeks later, I received another bottle (I honestly thought the company had made a mistake and sent me two bottles instead of one)  When  my credit card statement arrive I was in shock!  WOW! I had a charge of $79.95 plus four Foreign Transaction Fees! Several weeks after that, I received a bottle of colon cleanser....
I didn't order any colon cleaner????? 

I called my credit card company wanting to know what was going on!

The Bank of America representative was very helpful, telling me that this scam happens often, you have to carefully read those Free Offers. The berry scams and many others offer a free trial of their product, but they ask for your credit card number for postage and handling. Stupid me, I typed it right in.

Somewhere in the fine print, they tell you that if you cancel within 14 days the free trial item is yours. If you do not cancel within 14 days,you will automatically receive a new bottle each month.  But, you receive the first bottle shortly AFTER the 14 days have passed, and whoops, you are now in their system and your credit card is billed, in my case it was $79.95 plus four Foreign Transaction Fees.

I called my credit card company, Bank of America, immediately and said...."what is this?"  The representative said to call the number shown on the credit charge and tell the person who answered that I wanted everything cancelled and to ask for the agent’s name, ID number and a confirmation of cancellation number. He said that often there are other companies attached to these “free offers” and more things may arrive. However, I would not be responsible for any charges made after the date I cancelled the account (which I didn't know that I had)

I called the phone number listed on the statement and had no problem canceling my “account” and as the BOA representative suggested, asked for the agent’s name, ID number and a confirmation of cancellation number. Obviously from her voice and pronunciation, I could tell this person was not from the U.S. - I asked where she was located and was told that she was "in Florida" but would not say anything else.

Just to be safe, I cancelled that BOA account and was given a new account number.

Now I sit and wait for my next statement….and mentally call myself many unkind names for falling for the scam in the first place.