your laugh for the day

A 6th grade student was asked to write a book report on the entire Bible. Here is what he wrote:
The Children’s Bible in a Nutshell
In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God, darkness, and some gas. The Bible says,”The Lord thy God is one,” but I think He must be a lot older than that.
Anyway, God said, “Give me a light!” and someone did. Then God made the world. He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren’t embarrassed because mirrors hadn’t been invented yet.
Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden. Not sure what they were driven in though, because they didn’t have cars. Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel. Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something.
One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham.
Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check.
After Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat.
Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston. Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh’s people. These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable.
God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then he gave them His Top Ten Commandments. These include: don’t lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or covet your neighbor’s stuff. Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: Humor thy father and thy mother.
One of Moses’ best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use spies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town. After Joshua came David. He got to be king by killing a giant with a slingshot. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn’t sound very wise to me.
After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets. One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the shore. There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don’t have to worry about them.
After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of the New Testament. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had been born in a barn too, because my mom is always saying to me, “Close the door! Were you born in a barn?” It would be nice to say, ”As a matter of fact, I was.”)
During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Republicans. Jesus also had twelve opossums. The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him.
Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount. But the Democrats and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilot. Pilot didn’t stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead.
Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up to Heaven but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His return is foretold in the book of Revolution.

As I Age….

AS I AGE, I REALIZE THAT:
1. I talk to myself, because sometimes I need expert advice.
2. Sometimes I roll my eyes out loud.
3. I don’t need anger management. I need people to stop pissing me off.
4. My people skills are just fine. It’s my tolerance of idiots that needs work.
5. The biggest lie I tell myself is “I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember it.”
6. When I was a child I thought nap time was punishment. Now it’s like a mini vacation.
7. The day the world runs out of wine is just too terrible to think about.
8. Even duct tape can’t fix stupid, but it can muffle the sound!
9. Wouldn’t it be great if we could put ourselves in the dryer for ten minutes; come out wrinkle-free and three sizes smaller.
10. If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would’ve put them on my knees.
11. When the kids text me “plz” which is shorter than please. I text back “no” which is shorter than “yes”.
12. At my age “Getting lucky” means walking into a room and remembering what I came in there for.

Jessica Shelby Tribute

Jessica Shelby Tribute
Most of you know that I lost my beautiful granddaughter, Jessica Shelby, in January. The loss was devastating for all of us, especially her son, O’Ryan and her husband, Fred. Jessica brought so much to my life and to the lives of everyone she met; but, there was a special bond between Jessie and me, a very personal one.
What brought about that bond is important only to the two of us but it didn’t end with her death. Several days after her passing, I had finally cried myself to sleep only to wake up around 2 a.m. to the sound of music.
“Where in the world is that music coming from?”, I asked myself. Listening to the soft sound, I realized it was Christmas music.
“OK”, I thought, “this is weird. The radio is not on. The tv is off and the windows are closed, so what’s happening?”
I got out of bed and walked toward the sound. It was coming from a music box that sat on my dresser for years and has not been played in all that time. I stood and listened until the music stopped and knew it was from Jessica.
“Thank you so much”, I said. “I miss you so much and I love you so much. Can you play it just once more?”
I crawled back into bed and waited. The music started up once more and played to the end. I thanked Jessie again for the blessing and we said our own goodbyes.
I am truly blessed to have had the time with Jessica that I had and know that she is watching over all of us because that’s just who she is.
Thank you to all of my followers for allowing me to share this with you.

Gypped At The Gym?

Don’t get gypped at the gym! More and more of us are interested in maintaining our health, our weight and our strength and we are choosing the local gym as the first step towards that goal. Problem is (and I found out the hard way) that gyms open and close faster than we can lose weight.
I joined a local gym in 2013 that had a good reputation and had been in business about 2 years. I signed an 18 month agreement. Six months later the gym closed and my membership was transferred to another local gym a little further away but still close to home. Seven months later this gym closed and another gym moved into the same building and accepted the old gym’s members. This gym closed nine months later and did not arrange for their members to transfer to any other gym.
Because I had the option of deferring my membership when I was traveling, I had only actually used nine months of the 18 original months I had paid for. That money is gone except for the value of the lesson learned.
Unless there is something so special at a particular gym that justifies a contract, stick to the gyms that charge monthly. There are several gyms within a few miles of my house that charge $10 or $20 a month. They usually have at least one month a year where the joining fee is waived or dramatically reduced. Each one has its own personality and programs to choose from.The gym that I chose has gyms all over the country and allows me to switch my membership for three months or more as often as I like. When I had to cancel my membership for a year, they refunded my yearly fee based on a prorated schedule.
Stay healthy, stay slim and stay strong…. And stay in control of your money.

Think society encourages you to age? you’re right!

If you believe that society encourages older people to “act their age”, in other words to act old, check out Ellen Langer’s study on reversing aging at http://www.businessinsider.com/ellenlanger. Look for reversing the aging process. This is one of the most fascinating articles I have ever read and proves what I’ve been saying for years and the reason why I rarely ever tell anyone my age.

Do You Have a Million Dollars? Maybe!

Part 2: The Financial Reality of Retirement
Do you REALLY need a million dollars to retire? Two stories on how to survive on what you have.
If you are like me, you are terrified you won’t have enough money to live comfortably after retirement. Financial pundits tell us that you must have at least one million dollars to survive for twenty to twenty five years and I just couldn’t see how that was possible.
As a single parent, much of my earnings over the years went to help my children. I was terribly naïve about financial matters but I did have a retirement account. I was raised to believe that women didn’t need to know about money, that your husband would take care of you. But I had seen so many women whose husbands had died and they had no idea how to access their bank accounts, what their husbands had done to provide for their future or even if there was any money. They were not stupid. Their husbands had kept all financial information from them.
So many times, there was no money. Over and over I heard a man say that he was not going to buy insurance or build up a savings for his wife just so she could spend it on another man when he died. Most women did not work and never had the chance to build a retirement fund of their own. I didn’t follow the rules. I did go to work. I did save for retirement. I had a good financial advisor in my daughter but I still did not save as much as other people, particularly those who were working as a team, husband and wife.
Bottom line, how much do you need to survive retirement? Let’s use an average of twenty years and see how other retirees are making it work.
Doris D. is a single woman who loved her job and continued working until the age of 73. She had $300,000 in her retirement account and chose to place it in a fund that would guarantee a modest return with little or no risk and would pay a set monthly amount. Doris is a person who needs the security of knowing exactly how much money she has each month. She receives $2000 month from this account. She also receives $2000 a month from social security and has $48,000 in savings. She receives a supplemental health care policy from her former employer. This gives her $500 a month more than she was making before she retired and her hedge against inflation. She knows that $48,000 will be wiped out by one major illness.
Total Assets: $300,000 retirement fund; $24,000 a year in social security multiplied by 20 years is $480,000. The value she would receive from the sale of her home is $100,000 and the sale of a second vacation home is $100,000. Without working after retirement she has $980,000.
Melanie H. is married with no children. She chose to retire at 60 years old with full retirement benefits of health coverage and 40% of her salary plus $350,000 in an IRA. She is too young to collect social security will take early benefits when she reaches 62. Her husband also receives health coverage and 25% of his salary. He did not have any savings and was not eligible for social security benefits when he retired. He will apply this year and should receive about $2500 a month. Together they have an adequate income but they want to travel around the world and may not be able to do as much as they would like.
William J. is divorced and was a financially successful business man until he was forced to retire at 70. In spite of having created several multimillion dollar businesses in his lifetime, he never saved money on a regular basis or created a retirement account because he could not picture himself not working. He had about $15,000 in a savings account when he left work but that is now depleted. He is physically healthy and uses the VA as his primary health care provider. He receives $1200 a month in social security benefits and pays $260 month from that for Medicare Part B. He also receives $260 a month for a disability received in WWII. He is able to meet his daily needs but he is very concerned about care should he become disabled or ill. He lives day to day. His children are not able to help him financially.

10 things you didn’t know about your microwave

1. Remove a Stamp
If you’ve ever pre-stamped a letter and made a mistake with your written address, you can save that stamp with just a sprinkle of water and 20 seconds in the microwave. You’ll be able to peel off the stamp and stick it on a new letter.
2. Cook Crispy Bacon
If your bacon craving just does not allow you the patience to wait for the traditional cooking time, you can actually get your bacon on faster in the microwave. Laying the slices over an upside-down bowl will ensure that the grease drips off, giving you crispy bacon goodness.
3. Make Quick Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob takes just three minutes in the microwave if you remove all the husks and wrap it in a piece of damp paper towel.
4. Sterilize Your Cutting Board
Cutting boards are breeding grounds for bacteria, so if you don’t have time to wash it properly in between chopping or cutting, wet it under the faucet, scrub it with some liquid dish soap and pop it in the microwave.
5. Fresh-ify Donuts
Having donuts in your home that are too stale to enjoy properly is just like some sort of cruel punishment. But you don’t have to throw them out! Stick them in the microwave for about 10 seconds and they’ll come out nice and soft again.
6. Sanitize Itself
If your microwave looks like a food murder scene, you can easily clean it by placing a bowl of water with lemon in it, and microwaving for about five minutes. Afterwards you’ll be able to easily wipe off all the dirt and grime.
7. Chop Onions without Crying
Cut the ends off your onion and microwave it for 30 seconds. Most of the tea-causing gas will be released, allowing you to chop away without the waterworks.
8. Make Your Own Chips
This might just be my favorite one of all! Slice thin slices of potato, arrange them individually on a plate, microwave for three minutes, flip them over and cook them again for the same amount of time. Add some salt and enjoy homemade, crispy chips without all the unhealthy flavoring.
9. DIY Heating Pad
Treat back or neck pain by pouring uncooked rice in a sock, tying it closed, and heating it up in the microwave for a few minutes. Easy as pie!
10. Clean Your Sponge
That sponge you use to wash all your dishes can get pretty nasty, but if you don’t have a new one to replace it with, you can use this trick. Make the sponge a little wet, sprinkle on some liquid dish soap and microwave it for a minute. Any bacteria will be killed off.
Collection by HouseholdHacker/diyncrafts.com

It’s Been a Long, Strange Trip: The Road to Retirement

I love my job. All three of them. I love to work. For the past twenty years I have had at least two jobs, sometimes three. The least amount of time was 45 hours a week, the most 101. Crazy, yeah, but I love what I do. True, I probably have too many loves but how do you choose between teaching and counseling. I have been a therapist for thirty five years and a professor for thirty. Many years I actually held two full time teaching positions, teaching ten courses a semester while continuing to run a counseling service.
How did I become such a workaholic? Beats me. All I heard as a child is how lazy I was. As a young mother I was a hopelessly inadequate housekeeper. I would rather read than clean. I would rather read than do almost anything. While I was expected to be a good mother and housewife, I wasn’t expected to do much else. Anything of importance my husband would take care of and I wasn’t to worry my pretty little head about the important stuff. And, even though my parents demanded good grades, they did not see college as an option for a girl.
A series of circumstances led me to take college courses and I realized I had found my passion. Problem was, I couldn’t decide which passion so I went after all of them. After two Masters and two doctorates, I ran out of money and the best way I could figure to continue to learn was to teach. But I loved being a therapist, too, and I was good at it so I just continued to counsel, as well.
So here we are at 73 year old and facing retirement… and I don’t know how to quit working.
Considering retirement has led me on a long strange trip of self-discovery. I hope that you will join me in a multipart series on how retirement affects the lives of different people.

Coming: Part 2: So What’s this, “you need a million dollars to retire”, thing?

Education..Its still our responsibility

As a college professor, I see the results of a broken educational system. Thirty percent of 4 year college students and 60% of 2 year students are placed in remedial math and English classes their first year. In order to carry a full load of courses, they must find courses that can be taught at the most basic levels. Even with a combination of regular and remedial courses, this delays their graduation by at least a year.Students who are limited to a certain number of years of financial aid or parents trying to complete their education are most likely to give up and drop out.
In addition, high school graduation rates are dropping. If you compare the high rate of graduation rates ten years ago and current rates, the drop can be directly associated with the time that “no child left behind” and massive standardized testing were implemented. I have taught for 28 years and the way that I teach has changed dramatically. Today I must be a teacher/entertainer because our students have grown up in a fast paced, entertainment based society. Standardized testing is boring. Teaching to the test (and we know this happens) does not allow a teacher to vary teaching methods to meet the needs of the different learning styles.
I believe in public education. I know our K-12 teachers are dedicated and continuously upgrading their skills. Our failure is not the teachers or the individual school systems. These tests and “new” teaching methods are designed by for profit companies that are only interested in profit. This is where the dumbing down of education comes from, not from the school. I am sorry to say that I can identify a home schooled student the first day of class because of their willingness to learn and their critical thinking skills.This was once how we identified our public school students.
Starting in elementary school, we have changed what worked to what doesn’t work. Kids do not find Dick and Jane boring but we were told they did. Any parent or grandparent will tell you that children choose the same book, the same movie over and over because repetition and rote are how children learn. Children are exposed to abstract concepts long before their brains develop the capacity to think abstractly. The children who are learning in spite of these ill designed programs are learning from their parents at home. The others are the students who fail tests because their vocabulary is so limited they can’t read the questions, the ones who have never read a whole book, the ones who believe that “socialism is where people are free to do what they want and capitalism is where the government controls society”. Scary, huh? I have taught at Widener University and Rowan and the problem is pervasive at all levels of education.
Parents and concerned citizens must become involved in the educational process. Are you aware that most high schools do not require Civics or American Government courses? Are you aware that when people do not understand how the government works this leads to dictatorships or anarchy? Citizen participation in education can reverse this trend if we truly believe that ours is a government of the people and by the people.

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