Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A STORY OF CONTENTMENT

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          I had a dream last night that I can’t quite forget. I was in a cabin on an island in the wilds of  Whitefish Ontario Canada. It was a small cabin with a dirt floor and wooden rafters. There were no rugs or curtains. There was no dishwasher or garbage disposal or pop out toaster oven. There were none of the luxuries I had come to depend upon. There were only the bare essentials, a few pieces of furniture and a two burner wood stove. I had no use for the electric light and synthetic heat because the sun that filtered in through the windows gave light and warmth. A glowing fire was dancing in the fireplace and it also shed warmth to protect me from the chilly morning dew that crept in through the log walls. I opened the door of my cabin and stepped outside and the only sounds I heard were the faraway cry of a loon and the leaves of the silver birches rustling in the breeze. In the distance I heard the gentle lapping of the water against the shore. I looked up and saw the beautiful, intricate system of birch limbs shielding me from the bright sun. Through the limbs I saw the gracefulness of the wild geese soaring through the sky. There were no telephones, no cars, no supermarkets, no doorbells. I was alone and I was contented. 

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     The shrill alarm of my clock awoke me this morning, and I was angry that my solitude had been interrupted and my cabin on the island was gone. Instead I was faced with the telephone ringing, the milkman driving by, the scuffling of children’s feet going to school,the prospects of teaching, cafeteria duty, study hall, school conferences, dentist appointments,stops at the drug store  and supermarket,cleaning cooking and mending.  But what was it in my dream that I really missed? It was the contentment. Then I asked myself must I be alone in a wilderness to be contented? After all, isn’t contentment the ability to be happy with existing circumstances? Then I realized that true contentment doesn’t come from my physical surroundings, but comes from within me. I suddenly came to the conclusion that there were certain qualities I could cultivate to regain the contentment I missed.

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     First, I would like to grasp the gift of patience. I want to be able to endure my problems and crises in life without complaint. Of course everyone has patience to some degree, but I want to be able to be patient even during the most trying times.

     Next I would like to strive toward a simplicity of life. I realize this is much easier said than done. My good neighbor was over the other day  and we were talking about “stuff” as we sipped our coffee. Suddenly she said, “ you have to get shed of things!” Now, I find perhaps she was right. When New Year’s comes around I am tempted to do what the Italians do on New Year’s day. They simply open there windows and throw into the street everything they don’t want. If I don’t let my life become muddled with insignificant possessions and duties I will truly be on the path to serenity.

     A third quality for contentment is to have compassion. By this I mean having the ability to see the pain and suffering of other individuals and have the desire to help. It is fairly easy to have compassion for someone who is physically in pain and suffering,but what about mental suffering? This reminds me of a story Mom used to tell. “Remembering back to my college days at Capital University when I was required to take math courses; for some reason all the algebra,geometry and trigonometry formulas and equations never seemed to register in my mind. Yet, because of what was expected of me I just had to pass those math courses. My father realized how I was suffering so after teaching school all week he would drive up to my dorm at Capital every Friday and Saturday night and help me learn my math assignments. Let me have the compassion for my students that my father had for me.” My mother did have compassion for her students.

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     What would any of the qualities I have mentioned be without a sense of humor? Instead of always seeing the bad side of a situation, let me first look at the light side of it. Another story Mom used to tell; “One summer when my children were young, my brother Dean and his wife were coming from California to visit me. I hadn’t seen them for many years so quite naturally I wanted everything to be  just right. I had spent the whole week cleaning my house from top to bottom. When the day came for them to arrive I was proud that everything was in its place and shining clean. Finally, their car drove up in front of our house and I went out to meet them. I stepped out on the porch, looked around and could have just sat down and bawled. My girls had decided, without my knowing it, to help me clean by doing the family wash. Hanging from all our shrubs, dripping wet, were my slips, my husbands shirts and socks, and scattered throughout were dolls clothes. I looked at my brother, his wife looked at me and we all burst out in gales of laughter.”  I only hope as I grow older that  people when they look at me, will see laugh wrinkles instead of frown wrinkles.( As an aside, I Scribe Joe Todd  am not in this story, just my sisters Sara and Ginny.)

     Lastly, may I always remember the three essential qualities of life itself: First something to do, Second someone to love, and third something to hope for.

     As this passage from the Sanskrit so aptly puts it:

Look to this day  For it is life  The very life of life.  In its brief course  lie all the varieties and realities of your existence.  The bliss of growth; The glory of action; The splendor of beauty; For yesterday is already a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision; But today, well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. 

Penned mostly by Sister Sara and a little by Scribe Joe Todd.. Any errors were made by Scribe Joe Todd   

      

Sunday, April 26, 2009

NEWS FLASH: THE PRESTIGIOUS BELLA AWARD HAS BEEN BESTOWED ON THE BLOG “MY QUALITY TIME”

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     I would like to thank Words of Wisdom From A Smart Mouth Broad for bestowing this award upon my humble blog. Being secure  in my masculinity I have no problem accepting this pretty pink award.

     If you enjoy SILLY, SARCASTIC, SENSIBLE, SASSY AND SMART then be sure to stop by her BLOG. and if you really want to have some fun follow her on twitter.

     In accepting this award there are some responsibilities. (RULES):

1. Link the blog that gave you the award  Thanks, S.M.B.

2. Pass on the award to 15 bloggers who are new to you. I love this idea because it’s a great way to highlight new (to you) bloggers.

There are some really good blogs  I’ve been following. Check them out. They may make you laugh,cry,and heaven forbid think, but I find them enjoyable: My Quality Day , The Hunters Wife , Crabby Fat Guy , My Second Trial , A Hocking Hills Garden , Snowbrush I wish I could write as well as Snowbrush, Trading Goddess,helps me make a little extra cash,Sky Watch Friday beautiful,Hunting Wild Game-A Way of Life gotta love the outdoors. Exploring Athens Hiking not much activity lately maybe needs some encouragement, Ed Kitchen Paintings went to school with Ed great guy,American Creation I have always enjoyed history,A Focus in the Wild, better check this one out, Angler fishing in another country,A blessed Crazy Life, and Belinda at Hide-Away-Hills because we both like the hills..

SmartMouthBroad

Again thanks to Words of Wisdom From A Smart Mouth Broad

Saturday, April 25, 2009

UPDATE:::COMMON SENSE CLUB:::BROS. JOE D. VISITS HARPERS FERRY ON WAY TO Washington D.C.

As you may recall from the past meeting of The Common Sense Club; Bros. Joe D. was dispatched to Washington D.C. on a fact finding  mission. On this 25th day of April we received an update from Joe. “Fellow members, to date the train ride has been expeditious and  smooth . My plan is to spend a day here in Harpers Ferry and soak up some history.”

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100_1392 As you know Harpers Ferry is located in a gap of the Blue Ridge Mountains and at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers. I would not want to be traveling on these rivers.”

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     “Today we may be having “Tea Parties”well on the night of October 16th, 1859, John Brown and an armed ban of 21 men set out for Harpers Ferry from the Kennedy farmhouse in nearby Maryland. Their goal was to seize the United States Armory and Arsenal and start setting free slaves.

100_1399Thirty-Six hours after the attack began, Brown and four of his associates were captured. Ten insurgents lay dead and seven had escaped. As a side note the first person killed in this uprising  was an employee of the railroad, a freed slave.

     Brown and his men were tried for murder and treason. On December 2nd  1859 Brown was executed in Charles Town Virginia.His six compatriots were hanged over the next four months.

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     Pictured below is a typical street in Harpers Ferry and a walk way over the river.The walk way then connects with the Appalachian trail 

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     Pictured below is the building where Brown and his men made a stand before being captured by federal troops under the command of Robert E. Lee

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     Every one might have been happier if they had just stopped at the local tavern for a spot of Ale.

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     Well, tonight at my own expense I will be staying at the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown W.  Virginia overlooking the Potomac River.

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Will be having dinner at  Betty’s Restaurant in Shepherdstown with a very attractive woman I met on the train.

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Time to turn in now. I will be sending more dispatches to Scribe Joe Todd of The Common Sense Club as time allows.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

REGULAR WEDNESDAY MEETING OF THE COMMON SENSE CLUB THIS 22ND DAY OF APRIL 2009

     First we would like to introduce our newest member. Bros. An Gree recently arrived from France.

BEAR1  This session of the Common Sense Club closed with the following remarks by Bro. Charlie L.

     “Men and brothers, I want you to consider that opportunity is a mighty hard hoss to halter. You may lead him to the water tank but he won’t always drink.

     Some of you men are waiting, day by day, for something to turn up. You might as well sit down on a stump in the middle of a pasture field with a pail between your knees and wait for a cow to back up and be milked. It just don’t happen. Even when the cow is tied to a post and can not get away, she will often kick the pail over about the time you have it full of milk.

     Some say that opportunity knocks once, at least on every man’s door, and they are waiting to hear the knock. Well it did that when you were born. You were ushered into a free country with the whole land before you and needs of all kinds on every hand and that is all the knock needed on your door.

     We have to many alibis and excuses and pity ourselves and envy the fellow who seems prosperous, but the fact remains that most of our successful men have been handicapped. But will power , determination and energy overcame all hindrances.

     A card on my table says, “ I felt sorry that I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet.” Edison was deaf, Milton the poet was blind and Lincoln was poor, but have we ever heard of them wasting any time with vain regrets? Brothers do not regret the past but learn from it.

     The best we can do is to do well the first thing our hands find to do and no doubt there will be another job ready as soon as the first one is finished.

     The man who is seeking employment and praying that he may not find it is seldom disappointed. He that loveth ease and sloth shall be a poor man, although opportunity may have banged on his door repeatedly.

     We should so act, “That each tomorrow find us farther on our way.”

Let it be resolved: We send Bro. Joe D. on a fact finding mission to our Nations Capital.

goodbyeTedBear 

 REPORTED BY THE SCRIBE: JOE TODD 4/21/09

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

HIKE AROUND JORDAN POND ACADIA NATIONAL PARK LATE FALL 2008

Steep slopes rise above the rocky shore, including Cadillac Mountain, which at 1,530 feet is the highest point on the east coast of the United States.

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Meadows,lakes, streams, wetlands, and forests

JORDAN POND: 100_0196 The trail around Jordan Pond  is a 3.3 mile/5.3 km loop.

100_0167 You will find landlocked salmon, and lake trout in the lake. That is Bubble Mt. in the background

PICTURES ON THE TRAIL:

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MY WIFE AND I ON THE TRAIL:

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The pond has a maximum water depth of 150 feet and canoes and kayaks are permitted. Carriage Roads are adjacent to the restaurant and pond area.

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MORE OF THE TRAIL:100_0201

100_0202 BEAVER DAM AT FAR END OF POND.

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TRAIL COULD GET PRETTY WET SO THE N.P.S. HELPED OUT WITH SOME BOARD WALK

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END OF HIKE GETTING READY TO 100_0193

REST

100_0169 IN THE BACKGROUND The famous Jordan Pond House, the only full service restaurant located within Acadia National Park.

Jordan Pond House continues the tradition of afternoon tea featuring there famous popovers and strawberry jam.

TIME TO GO BACK TO CAMPSITE:

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THANKS FOR STOPPING BY

JOE TODD AND LINDA.

Friday, April 17, 2009

QUIET, QUALITY TIME AT LAKE HOPE AND THE SCHOOL HOUSE

     Sometimes I just like to get away by myself and listen to the “Quiet of Nature”. I have found it difficult to get rid of all man made sound, those airplanes just keep flying.  One of my favorite areas is the Lake Hope area of Vinton County.

100_1053 LAKE HOPE

If you want quiet early spring or late fall before hunting season is the best.

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Decided to have a little lunch and “hang out” at the HOPE SCHOOL HOSE .

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Put a blanket on the ground by those trees and spent a couple hours.. Man made noise= two cars and two planes. NOT BAD

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I often go by myself. Linda likes to keep moving while I like to stop listen and do a little meditating. I will often contemplate :::

THE PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

A little time like this makes for some quiet quality time for me

Thanks  Joe Todd

 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

REGULAR MEETING OF THE COMMONSENSE CLUB THIS APRIL 15 2009

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Thomas Paine Born
January 29, 1737
Thetford, Norfolk, Great Britain Died
June 8, 1809 (aged 72)
New York, NY, Wikipedia
Enlightenment, Liberalism, Radicalism, Republicanism Main interests
Religion, Ethics, Politics

     At the regular meeting of the Commonsense Club some closing remarks were made by Bro. Jim H.  as follows:

     “My fellow members of this here club, I wish to assure you that these are troublous times. We are living in the midst of sin and sorrow and mostly the sorrow is the result of the sin. However, I want to say that honesty ain’t such a rare virtue as some folks suppose, but you better keep your eye skinned for dishonesty. It slips up on you unawares. “All is not gold that glitters,” said the poet, or somebody. And when you are offered goods below cost, or “just as good for less,”  keep your hand on your purse tight. And when you read an ad that offers to tell you how to get rich, if you send in seventy five cents—hold on to your money for the man that knows that little secret ain’t goin’ to sell it for no six bits.

     And when the polytician says, “Come vote with us and we will do you good,” he may mean to do you, for sure.

     So I’m a tellin ye now, keep your eyes wide open and your purse tight shut. For while most folks is square,and our neighbors are as good as we are, and some of em better, yet the swindler and the grafter and the gambler is abroad on the land a seekin whom he may devour, and a wise looking-out for your own self  is worth a ton of complaining afterwards, when you realize your loss.

     And don’t you notice that the places to spend money is more numerous than the places to earn it. It seems so distasteful to some to earn money that they devise some plan to get money  and that is why I am saying to you all, beware.

     Let us cogitate more on the earning and saving of our slender incomes and forget some of the spending and waste.

     You all is dumb enough to know that when you make a dollar and spend two dollars you is worse than broke. Business  teach spending, and amusements teach waste. This club instructs you to earn—yes earn an honest livin’ and live an honest life.  

Submitted by the scribe: Joe Todd

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

FOUNDING OF THE COMMONSENSE CLUB AS REPORTED BY THE SCRIBE::JOE TODD

OUR HERO Thomas Paine 

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CHARTER MEMBERS::

Professor  Dick K. far left and Bro. Joe D. far right

THE FOUNDING MEMBERS

Bro. Jim H. , Scribe Joe Todd in middle and Bro. Charlie L.

     The Commonsense Club is a group, supposedly, of men mature in years and experience. Some of them are retired from their calling and some are very actively engaged, but all have a vital interest in the community affairs.

     We are not permitted to divulge the proceedings of the meetings of the club, but we may report the sentiments expressed in the address that is always provided for the final item on the program.

     The personnel of the membership ranges all the way from Bro. Joe D. who is a sort of genius, with meager education but a wealth of gumption, sound sense and philosophy, to the pedantic book worm and theorist Professor Dick K.

     Believing these terse talks to the club to be sensible, as a usual thing, and practiced, it is our purpose, from time to time, to present them to the readers of this blog. So we make our bow by setting forth the voluntary remarks of Bro. Joe D.  at the close of the first meeting of the club when its organization was completed:

     “ Brothers of the Commonsense Club—We are now a constituted club. I congratulate you on being charter members.  There are clubs a plenty in these days, but none to many of the right sort.

     Each member is an American, regardless of race or color, a resident of this community, with a live interest in its affairs.  We are all of the common people which comprises the majority.  So we launch this club believing that it will fill a long felt need and we confidently expect to reap a rich fruitage from its activities.  And while our meetings shall be helpful and educational and inspiring, we mean to make them interesting, entertaining and enthusiastic.  Let us be good members, which means good neighbors, good citizens and respectable high class men.  Let this club be the mountain peak, in our thoughts and aspirations, from which to increase our faith and courage that we need to carry on.”

ADJOURNED..

REPORTED BY THE SCRIBE: JOE TODD 4/14/2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

THE GATES OF HELL

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I found this poem while going through my Great Grandfather The Rev. Nathan Johnson’s papers.

I found it interesting and might be appropriate today.

Rejected

A stranger stood at the Gates of hell
And the Devil himself answered the bell.
He looked him over from head to toe
And said: My friend, I'd like to know
What you have done in the line of sin
To entitle you to come within?

Then Franklin D, with his usual guile
Stepped forth with his toothy smile and said:

"When I took charge in '33
A nations faith was mine," said he
"I promised them this and I promised them that
And I calmed them down with a fireside chat.
I spent their money in fishing trips
And fished from the decks of their battleships.
I gave them jobs in the WPA
Then raised their taxes and took it away.
I raised their wages and closed their shops
I killed their pigs and buried their crops
I double-crossed both old and young
And still the folks my praises sung.
I brought back beer, and what do you think?
I taxed it so high they couldn't drink.
I furnished 'em money with Government loans
When they missed a payment I took their homes.
When I wanted to punish the folks, you know
I'd put my wife on the radio.
I paid them to let their farms lie still
And imported foodstuffs from Brazil.
I curtailed crops when I felt real mean
And shipped in crops from the Argentine.
When they started to worry, stew and fret
I got them to chant the alphabet
With the AAA and the NLB
The WPA and the CCC.
With these many units I got their goats
And still I crammed it down their throats.
My workers worked with the speed of snails
While the taxpayers chewed their fingernails.
When the organization needed dough
I closed their plants with the CIO.
I ruined jobs, I ruined health
And I put the screws on the rich man's wealth.
And some who couldn't stand the gaff
Would call on me and how I'd laugh.
When they got too strong on certain things
I'd pack and head for "Ole Warm Springs."
I ruined their country, their homes and then
I placed the blame on "Nine Old Men."

Now Franklin talked both long and loud
And the devil stood and his head he bowed.
At last he said: "Lets make it clear
You'll have to move, you can't stay here
For once you mingle with this mob, I'll have to find myself a job."


The author of this New Deal verse is unknown, but clearly he was a great American

Every once in awhile I have to throw something like this in… I would rather be hiking, golfing,or doing a little fishing… Thanks, Joe Todd

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A “PHOTO HIKE” SPRING 2009::GRAPE VINES,FUNGI,MAY APPLES, AND MORE LANCASTER,OHIO FAIRFIELD COUNTY

May apple, Devil's Apple, Hog-apple, Indian Apple, American Mandrake, American May Apple, Racoonberry, Wild Lemon and witches umbrella

Puffball, so-called because of its circular shape and ability to have its spores "puffed" out of a hole dissolved in the top.

100_1598 LEARN ABOUT

THE INHALED PUFFBALL INCIDENT.

NOW FOR YOU FAIRFIELD

COUNTY OHIO RESIDENTS:

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WHERE SPECIFICALLY IS THIS CEMENT ROCK CORNER POST?  IT IS IN A PUBLIC AREA OF FAIRFIELD COUNTY…

A LITTLE PHARMACOGNOSY:

1. MAYAPPLE::Podophyllin is a resinous powder obtained by precipitating an alcoholic tincture of the rhizome of American May apple (Podophyllum peltatum)AND is used to remove genital warts very carefully.

2.PUFFBALLS::Puffballs were  used in Tibet for making ink. Also,The Lakota tribe of Native Americans used this clean dry material in their medicine. They are called puffballs because a cloud of brown dust-like spores is emitted when the mature fruiting body bursts.

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