Sunday, February 24, 2013


Webster will tell you regret is a negative conscious and emotional reaction to personal past acts and behaviors, often expressed by the term "sorry."

Regret can describe not only the dislike for an action that has been committed, but also, importantly, regret of inaction. Many people find themselves wishing that they had done something in a past situation.

I have many regrets in my life.

I regret not doing a lot of things I should have done when I had the opportunity.  I regret some of the choices I have made in my life.

I regret my inability to convince others to learn from my mistakes and listen to my advice.

Regret is often a feeling of sadness, shame, embarrassment, depression, annoyance, or guilt.

Regret is also about living in a place that none of us belong -- the past.

So live everyday to the fullest, so you have no regrets.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Novel Idea

From time to time, I think about writing a book. A work of fiction, perhaps, with interesting characters.

It's in my head already. I just need to move it through my fingers into my computer.

But then, I realize that I'm not that kind of writer. Nor do I have a huge desire to be one.

I have found, however, that you can write a book about nearly any subject and sell it on

If I could make money writing a book about how to sharpen pencils, I would do it.

Friday, February 22, 2013

I feel old

I had hair in the mid-1960s.
The other day I was looking through a box of old photos and ran across the one of the right.  I think it's my first or second grade school picture.

As I looked at it, I felt old.

Where has my life gone?

That young child in the photo had his whole life ahead of him.  There were so many things to be learned, so may new inventions to be discovered and utilized.  So many adventures to cherish forever.

This morning, as I looked in the mirror, shaving cream on my face, I felt old.

I noticed more wrinkles around by eyes and less hair on my head.

And it's no consolation that I have more hair in my ears.

I've always said that age is just a number.  I don't think I feel like I'm pushing 52 years old, mostly because I don't know what a 52 year old is suppose to feel like.

My age really isn't a factor in my feeling old.

Maybe it's a mid-life crisis.

But mid-life at 52 means living to 104 years old.

I think I would feel really old then.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Graffiti Art

Over the weekend I spotted these train cars on a railroad siding here in Pigeon. There isn't anything overwhelmingly special about the graffiti, yet I find it interesting.

Creative "artwork" such as this often catches my eye.  I'm fascinated at how someone takes cans of spray paint and places their vision on a canvas.  Even when that canvas is a train car or side of a building.

If nothing else, it adds an interesting view as we wait for the train to make its way over the crossing in front of us.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Love Story

On Valentine's Day, it seems appropriate to share a love story. Read it like poetry. Enjoy!

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth —
for your love is more delightful than wine.

Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;
your name is like perfume poured out.
No wonder the young women love you!

Take me away with you — let us hurry!
Let the king bring me into his chambers.

We rejoice and delight in you;
we will praise your love more than wine.

How right they are to adore you!

Dark am I, yet lovely,
daughters of Jerusalem,
dark like the tents of Kedar,
like the tent curtains of Solomon.

Do not stare at me because I am dark,
because I am darkened by the sun.
My mother’s sons were angry with me
and made me take care of the vineyards;
my own vineyard I had to neglect.

Tell me, you whom I love,
where you graze your flock
and where you rest your sheep at midday.
Why should I be like a veiled woman
beside the flocks of your friends?

If you do not know, most beautiful of women,
follow the tracks of the sheep
and graze your young goats
by the tents of the shepherds.

I liken you, my darling, to a mare
among Pharaoh’s chariot horses.

Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings,
your neck with strings of jewels.

We will make you earrings of gold,
studded with silver.

While the king was at his table,
my perfume spread its fragrance.

My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh
resting between my breasts.

My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms
from the vineyards of En Gedi.

How beautiful you are, my darling!
Oh, how beautiful!
Your eyes are doves.

How handsome you are, my beloved!
Oh, how charming!
And our bed is verdant.

The beams of our house are cedars;
our rafters are firs.

I am a rose of Sharon,
a lily of the valleys.

Like a lily among thorns
is my darling among the young women.

Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest
is my beloved among the young men.
I delight to sit in his shade,
and his fruit is sweet to my taste.

Let him lead me to the banquet hall,
and let his banner over me be love.

Strengthen me with raisins,
refresh me with apples,
for I am faint with love.

His left arm is under my head,
and his right arm embraces me.

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you
by the gazelles and by the does of the field:
Do not arouse or awaken love
until it so desires.

Listen! My beloved!
Look! Here he comes,
leaping across the mountains,
bounding over the hills.

My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.
Look! There he stands behind our wall,
gazing through the windows,
peering through the lattice.

My beloved spoke and said to me,
“Arise, my darling,
my beautiful one, come with me.

See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.

Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.

The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me.”

My dove in the clefts of the rock,
in the hiding places on the mountainside,
show me your face,
let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is lovely.

Catch for us the foxes,
the little foxes
that ruin the vineyards,
our vineyards that are in bloom.

My beloved is mine and I am his;
he browses among the lilies.

Until the day breaks
and the shadows flee,
turn, my beloved,
and be like a gazelle
or like a young stag
on the rugged hills.

All night long on my bed
I looked for the one my heart loves;
I looked for him but did not find him.

I will get up now and go about the city,
through its streets and squares;
I will search for the one my heart loves.
So I looked for him but did not find him.

The watchmen found me
as they made their rounds in the city.
“Have you seen the one my heart loves?”

Scarcely had I passed them
when I found the one my heart loves.
I held him and would not let him go
till I had brought him to my mother’s house,
to the room of the one who conceived me.

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you
by the gazelles and by the does of the field:
Do not arouse or awaken love
until it so desires.

Who is this coming up from the wilderness
like a column of smoke,
perfumed with myrrh and incense
made from all the spices of the merchant?

Look! It is Solomon’s carriage,
escorted by sixty warriors,
the noblest of Israel,

all of them wearing the sword,
all experienced in battle,
each with his sword at his side,
prepared for the terrors of the night.

King Solomon made for himself the carriage;
he made it of wood from Lebanon.

Its posts he made of silver,
its base of gold.
Its seat was upholstered with purple,
its interior inlaid with love.
Daughters of Jerusalem, come out,
and look, you daughters of Zion.
Look on King Solomon wearing a crown,
the crown with which his mother crowned him
on the day of his wedding,
the day his heart rejoiced.

How beautiful you are, my darling!
Oh, how beautiful!
Your eyes behind your veil are doves.
Your hair is like a flock of goats
descending from the hills of Gilead.

Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn,
coming up from the washing.
Each has its twin;
not one of them is alone.

Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon;
your mouth is lovely.
Your temples behind your veil
are like the halves of a pomegranate.

Your neck is like the tower of David,
built with courses of stone;
on it hang a thousand shields,
all of them shields of warriors.

Your breasts are like two fawns,
like twin fawns of a gazelle
that browse among the lilies.

Until the day breaks
and the shadows flee,
I will go to the mountain of myrrh
and to the hill of incense.

You are altogether beautiful, my darling;
there is no flaw in you.

Come with me from Lebanon, my bride,
come with me from Lebanon.
Descend from the crest of Amana,
from the top of Senir, the summit of Hermon,
from the lions’ dens
and the mountain haunts of leopards.

You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride;
you have stolen my heart
with one glance of your eyes,
with one jewel of your necklace.

How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride!
How much more pleasing is your love than wine,
and the fragrance of your perfume
more than any spice!

Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride;
milk and honey are under your tongue.
The fragrance of your garments
is like the fragrance of Lebanon.

You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride;
you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.

Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates
with choice fruits,
with henna and nard,

nard and saffron,
calamus and cinnamon,
with every kind of incense tree,
with myrrh and aloes
and all the finest spices.

You are a garden fountain,
a well of flowing water
streaming down from Lebanon.

Awake, north wind,
and come, south wind!
Blow on my garden,
that its fragrance may spread everywhere.
Let my beloved come into his garden
and taste its choice fruits.

I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride;
I have gathered my myrrh with my spice.
I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey;
I have drunk my wine and my milk.
Eat, friends, and drink;
drink your fill of love.

I slept but my heart was awake.
Listen! My beloved is knocking:
“Open to me, my sister, my darling,
my dove, my flawless one.
My head is drenched with dew,
my hair with the dampness of the night.”

I have taken off my robe—
must I put it on again?
I have washed my feet—
must I soil them again?

My beloved thrust his hand through the latch-opening;
my heart began to pound for him.

I arose to open for my beloved,
and my hands dripped with myrrh,
my fingers with flowing myrrh,
on the handles of the bolt.

I opened for my beloved,
but my beloved had left; he was gone.
My heart sank at his departure.[a]
I looked for him but did not find him.
I called him but he did not answer.

The watchmen found me
as they made their rounds in the city.
They beat me, they bruised me;
they took away my cloak,
those watchmen of the walls!

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you—
if you find my beloved,
what will you tell him?
Tell him I am faint with love.

How is your beloved better than others,
most beautiful of women?
How is your beloved better than others,
that you so charge us?

My beloved is radiant and ruddy,
outstanding among ten thousand.

His head is purest gold;
his hair is wavy
and black as a raven.

His eyes are like doves
by the water streams,
washed in milk,
mounted like jewels.

His cheeks are like beds of spice
yielding perfume.
His lips are like lilies
dripping with myrrh.

His arms are rods of gold
set with topaz.
His body is like polished ivory
decorated with lapis lazuli.

His legs are pillars of marble
set on bases of pure gold.
His appearance is like Lebanon,
choice as its cedars.

His mouth is sweetness itself;
he is altogether lovely.
This is my beloved, this is my friend,
daughters of Jerusalem.

Where has your beloved gone,
most beautiful of women?
Which way did your beloved turn,
that we may look for him with you?

My beloved has gone down to his garden,
to the beds of spices,
to browse in the gardens
and to gather lilies.

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine;
he browses among the lilies.

You are as beautiful as Tirzah, my darling,
as lovely as Jerusalem,
as majestic as troops with banners.

Turn your eyes from me;
they overwhelm me.
Your hair is like a flock of goats
descending from Gilead.

Your teeth are like a flock of sheep
coming up from the washing.
Each has its twin,
not one of them is missing.

Your temples behind your veil
are like the halves of a pomegranate.

Sixty queens there may be,
and eighty concubines,
and virgins beyond number;

but my dove, my perfect one, is unique,
the only daughter of her mother,
the favorite of the one who bore her.
The young women saw her and called her blessed;
the queens and concubines praised her.

Who is this that appears like the dawn,
fair as the moon, bright as the sun,
majestic as the stars in procession?

I went down to the grove of nut trees
to look at the new growth in the valley,
to see if the vines had budded
or the pomegranates were in bloom.

Before I realized it,
my desire set me among the royal chariots of my people.

Come back, come back, O Shulammite;
come back, come back, that we may gaze on you!

Why would you gaze on the Shulammite
as on the dance of Mahanaim?

How beautiful your sandaled feet,
O prince’s daughter!
Your graceful legs are like jewels,
the work of an artist’s hands.

Your navel is a rounded goblet
that never lacks blended wine.
Your waist is a mound of wheat
encircled by lilies.

Your breasts are like two fawns,
like twin fawns of a gazelle.

Your neck is like an ivory tower.
Your eyes are the pools of Heshbon
by the gate of Bath Rabbim.
Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon
looking toward Damascus.

Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel.
Your hair is like royal tapestry;
the king is held captive by its tresses.

How beautiful you are and how pleasing,
my love, with your delights!

Your stature is like that of the palm,
and your breasts like clusters of fruit.

I said, “I will climb the palm tree;
I will take hold of its fruit.”
May your breasts be like clusters of grapes on the vine,
the fragrance of your breath like apples,
and your mouth like the best wine.

May the wine go straight to my beloved,
flowing gently over lips and teeth.

I belong to my beloved,
and his desire is for me.

Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside,
let us spend the night in the villages.

Let us go early to the vineyards
to see if the vines have budded,
if their blossoms have opened,
and if the pomegranates are in bloom—
there I will give you my love.

The mandrakes send out their fragrance,
and at our door is every delicacy,
both new and old,
that I have stored up for you, my beloved.

If only you were to me like a brother,
who was nursed at my mother’s breasts!
Then, if I found you outside,
I would kiss you,
and no one would despise me.
I would lead you
and bring you to my mother’s house—
she who has taught me.
I would give you spiced wine to drink,
the nectar of my pomegranates.
His left arm is under my head
and his right arm embraces me.
Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you:
Do not arouse or awaken love
until it so desires.

Who is this coming up from the wilderness
leaning on her beloved?

Under the apple tree I roused you;
there your mother conceived you,
there she who was in labor gave you birth.
Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy[a] unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot sweep it away.
If one were to give
all the wealth of one’s house for love,
it  would be utterly scorned.

We have a little sister,
and her breasts are not yet grown.
What shall we do for our sister
on the day she is spoken for?
If she is a wall,
we will build towers of silver on her.
If she is a door,
we will enclose her with panels of cedar.

I am a wall,
and my breasts are like towers.
Thus I have become in his eyes
like one bringing contentment.
Solomon had a vineyard in Baal Hamon;
he let out his vineyard to tenants.
Each was to bring for its fruit
a thousand shekels of silver.
But my own vineyard is mine to give;
the thousand shekels are for you, Solomon,
and two hundred are for those who tend its fruit.

You who dwell in the gardens
with friends in attendance,
let me hear your voice!

Come away, my beloved,
and be like a gazelle
or like a young stag
on the spice-laden mountains.

This is the book of Solomon from the Bible... one of the greatest love stories written.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Time flies when you're having fun.

Time stands still.

It was the time of our lives.

Time. We measure time with a clock and, obviously, a second is a second.

But doesn't it sometimes seem like time moves at different speeds?  How often have you been working on a project and suddenly wonder "where did the day go?"  Or you wake up on the last day of your vacation and think, "Really?  This is the end of this great time away?"

Time slips through our fingers quickly. The older I get, the quicker is seems to go.

As kids, we would say, "I can't wait until..."

Sometimes I wish we could, as a collective, grab onto something and slow our world down.  If even for a few minutes.

Time. While we all get an equal daily dose, there is really never enough.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy Paczki Day!

Around here, today is Pączki Day!

A pączki is a delicious fried 'Polish doughnut' filled with a wide variety of fruit or custard choices. Any other day they might be called a Bismarck.

But a true pączki-lover will tell you that a Bismarck could never be a pączki. Pączki are made with a much richer dough.

In Poland, pączki are eaten on Fat Thursday or Tłusty Czwartek. The last six days of carnival season from Tłusty Cwartek to Shrove Tuesday -- are known as zapusty.

Shrove Tuesday, which the French call Mardi Gras (meaning Fat Tuesday) is the last day to party hearty before Lent begins.

In the old days, meat and meat byproducts, like butter and eggs, couldn't be eaten during Lent. So ingenious cooks used up all their dairy and eggs during Fat Week, from Shrove Thursday to Shrove Tuesday, by making crepe-like pancakes, called nalysnyky in Ukraine, and doughnuts called spurgos in Lithuania, krofne in Serbia, and pączki (POHNCH-kee) in Poland.

Until the 16th century, pączki were made with bread dough, filled with pork fat and fried in lard. Later, they evolved into a sweet pastry. Self-respecting bakeries never make their pączki in advance, nor do they use preservatives. The dough is made in the wee hours of the morning and are sold hot from the frying grease as soon as the doors open. Some home bakers fill a few pączki with almond paste instead of marmalade and encountering this filling is said to bring good luck.

An old Polish proverb states, "If you don't eat at least one doughnut on Shrove Thursday, you will no longer be successful in life."

One fact that might deflate your pączki-eating experience: each one rings up at a hefty 500 calories.

You'll have to dance a few polkas to work these babies off, but why not cast caution to the wind and make them anyway.

Everybody's Polish on Pączki Day!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Blogging Can Be Work

Sometimes when I sit down with my laptop to write a blog post, I just draw a blank.

Maybe my head is empty. Maybe I have too many other things swirling around inside my skull.

For the past 10 days, I haven't even logged into the Blogger dashboard (that's the control panel for these blogs), let alone actually write something.

I need to get back in to my routine. But the routine sometimes leads to a rut that gets deeper and deeper as the days go by.

I know I need to eliminate the things that create chaos in my routine as well as conflict in scheduling my life events. The chaos adds to my block because I'm distracted.

As I am writing this blog, I am sitting 130 miles from home, enjoying some freshly brewed green tea with honey, listening to some obscure music off the internet.

It's truly a break from my routine that has be feeling relaxed and able to let the words flow from my fingers.

This is what I need to bring into my daily life, so I can regularly blog once again.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Essence Of Life

The cold weather play havoc on me.

It's not so much the temperature as the dryness of the air.  It sucks the moisture right out of my body.  My hands are chapped, my lips are cracking, and my nose feels like it's going to break off.

The past month I've been trying to increase my intake of water and the increased trips to the bathroom proves I've got the intake levels up.

But I'm still dry.  When I wake up in the morning, my mouth is parched and I could spit dust.

Oddly, this dryness has cause some other health issues which are not so healthy.

I won't go into all the gory details, but being dry seems to make my heart to backflips.

Yes, yes, I'm seeing the doctor about it. We've concluded that I need to stay over-hydrated for now.

So, I drink drink drink lots of water and decaffeinated tea along with nasty tasting Gatorade.

The backflips seems to be at bay for now.

Water truly is the essence of life.