Thursday, 31 March 2011

Book Review - It Could Happen Again

"The confidence she exhibited was tragic in its simple way. Her whole being revealed to the conscientious observer that she was on the defensive, fending off the curious and the interested." - Sonia Rumzi

It Could Happen Again is a short story by Sonia Rumzi and shares with readers the gripping struggle of a mother who seeks to free herself from the tyranny of a man she once loved, but now threatened her peace of mind, her life and the life of her children.

Very often, we find it difficult to put into words about abuse we have seen or experienced. Too much and we are exaggerating. Too little and we haven't said enough. This book, says it all with just the right balance. The challenges faced by the woman desperate to leave, the torn agony by the friends who watch and the complacency of the society that tangles itself with "doing the right thing".

Whether you are looking for a read to pass time whilst relaxing the weekend away or you need a story to immerse yourself in to escape from the rest of the world, this is a definite good read. The language is simple, the situation real and the characters could almost, just almost, be someone you know.

Sonia Rumzi was an English Literature major in college; turning to, Medical Technology, for practical purposes. Born in Egypt, then immigrated to the United States; having tipped the scales, since, she has now lived in her, chosen, home country, longer, than her original birth place. Her interests range from cooking, to knitting, to oil painting, to photography. She loves to travel, documenting these trips in words and pictures. Adores going to the movies and the theater. For music, her choice will always be, Baroque, particularly Bach.

Order your copy today

Title: It Could Happen Again
Author: Sonia Rumzi
Published: March 2011
Published by: Heart Press
Format: Approximately 9382 words, eBook

The Most Beautiful Flower

Author Unknown

The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read beneath the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree. Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown, for the world was intent on dragging me down.

And if that weren't enough to ruin my day, a young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play. He stood right before me with his head tilted down and said with great excitement, "Look what I found!"

In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight, with its petals all worn - not enough rain, or too little light. Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play, I faked a small smile and then shifted away. But instead of retreating he sat next to my side and placed the flower to his nose and declared with overacted surprise, "It sure smells pretty and it's beautiful, too. That's why I picked it; here, it's for you."

The weed before me was dying or dead. Not vibrant of colors: orange, yellow or red. But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave. So I reached for the flower, and replied, "Just what I need." But instead of him placing the flower in my hand, He held it mid-air without reason or plan.

It was then that I noticed for the very first time, that weed-toting boy could not see: he was blind. I heard my voice quiver; tears shone in the sun as I thanked him for picking the very best one. "You're welcome," he smiled, and then ran off to play unaware of the impact he'd had on my day.

I sat there and wondered how he managed to see a self-pitying woman beneath an old willow tree. How did he know of my self-indulged plight? Perhaps from his heart, he'd been blessed with true sight. Through the eyes of a blind child, at last I could see the problem was not with the world; the problem was me.

And for all of those times I myself had been blind, I vowed to see the beauty in life, and appreciate every second that's mine. And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose and breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose. And smiled as I watched that young boy, another weed in his hand, about to change the life of an unsuspecting old man.

The Pastoral Applicant

Author Unknown

One of the toughest tasks a church faces is choosing a good minister. The chairman of the official board undergoing this painful process finally lost patience. He'd just witnessed the Pastoral Selection Committee reject applicant after applicant for various minor faults - real or imagined. It was time, he thought, for a bit of soul-searching on the part of the committee.

So, after the meeting adjourned, he wrote a letter to the Pastoral Selection Committee, which he stood-up and read at the next Pastoral Selection meeting. Supposedly, the letter was from another Pastoral applicant.

Gentlemen: Understanding your pulpit is vacant, I should like to apply for the position. I have many qualifications. I've been a preacher with much success and also had some success as a writer. Some say I'm a good organizer. I've been a leader most places I've been. I'm over 50 years of age and have never preached in one place for more than three years. In some places, I have had to leave town after my preaching caused riots and disturbances. I must admit I have been in jail three or four times, but not because of any real wrong-doing. My health is not too good, but I still accomplish a great deal.

The churches I have preached in have been small, though located in large cities. I've not gotten along well with religious leaders in some of the towns where I have preached. In fact, some have threatened me, and even attacked me physically. I am not too good at keeping records. I have been known to forget whom I have baptized. However, if you can use me, I promise to do my very best for you.

The chairman than turned to the other committee members and said, "Well, what do you think? Shall we call him?"

The good church committee members were appalled! Consider a sickly, trouble-making, absent-minded, ex-jailbird? Are you crazy, they asked? Who signed that application? Who had such colossal gall to think we would consider someone like that to be our church minister?

The chairman of the board eyed all the committee members keenly before he replied - It's signed: 'The Apostle Paul.'

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Malaysia – Melaka Hill

By Rough Guy’d

If there is only one noticeable landmark you see in Melaka, then that would be the hill. Clearly visible anywhere in the town, it is the home to Bukit St. Paul church and a must-see for anyone. As well as being the home to the church, the hill also has a collection of museums and other sights on its slope. This would keep me busy for the whole day as I walked from one to the next and by the end of the day, I still wasn’t done.

Personally I found these very interesting as they gave me a greater understanding into the history of Malaysia. As I mentioned in earlier posts, learning the history of a place is something that interests me. This is not because I’m a fan of dates and musty old places but because for me, learning the history of a place is an integral part of enjoying the place. Throughout my travels around South East Asia there was many times where I saw something that was comparable to something else in another country or place. After months of traveling around seeing things, you would quickly develop a sense of ho-hum like you were watching a movie again. It is at those times that learning about the history is what separates those places and allows you to really enjoy yourself.

The next day I woke up late and ended up having lunch with another guest I met at my guesthouse at a classic Chinese noodle shop. After this, I finished up my museum tour by visiting the maritime museum which is not too surprisingly, located right next to the river. The museum itself was broken down into different sections, with each section telling a different story from when Melaka was a trading port to the current military appliances that they use nowadays and part of the museum included an old sailing ship that you could walk into.

At night, I ended up going to the Chinatown portion of Melaka with my two Spanish friends and another new friend from the guesthouse. There was a big night market there with lots to see and so much great food and drinks available from the street stalls. As well as trying as many different things as we possibly could, we were also treated to a series of performances as various acts followed each other on a big stage ranging from dancing, magic shows and singing. It was all good fun and a great way for me to spend my last day in Melaka before I headed up to Kuala Lumpur and met up with more family.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Have A Piece Of Cake

Auhor Unknown

Often we wonder, “What did I do to deserve this?” or “Why did God have to do this to me?” Here is a wonderful explanation!

A daughter is telling her Mother how everything is going wrong, she’s failing algebra, her boyfriend broke up with her and her best friend is moving away.

Meanwhile, her Mother is baking a cake and asks her daughter if she would like a snack, and the daughter says, “Absolutely Mom, I love your cake.”

Here, have some cooking oil,” her Mother offers. “Yuck” says her daughter.

“How about a couple raw eggs?” “Gross, Mom!”

“Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?” “Mom, those are all yucky!”

To which the mother replies: “Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake! God works the same way. Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times. But God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good! We just have to trust Him and, eventually, they will all make something wonderful!”

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

In Life, You Can’t Turn Back

Author Unknown

A young lady was waiting for her flight in the boarding room of a big airport. As she would need to wait many hours, she decided to buy a book to spend her time. She also bought a packet of cookies. She sat down in an armchair in the VIP room of the airport to rest and read in peace.

Beside the armchair where the packet of cookies lay, a man sat down in the next seat, opened his magazine and started reading. When she took out the first cookie, the man took one also. She felt irritated but said nothing. She just thought, “What a nerve! If I was in the mood I would punch him for daring!”.

For each cookie he took, the man took one too. This was infuriating her but she didn’t want to cause a scene. When only cookie remained, she thought, “Ah…what this abusive man do now?”. Then the man taking the last cookie, divided it into half, giving her one half. Oh, that was too much! She was too angry now.

In a huff, she took her book, her things and stormed to the boarding place. When she sat down in the seat, inside the plane, she looked into her purse to take her eyeglasses, and, to her surprise, her packet of cookies was there, untouched, unopened!

She felt so ashamed! She realized that she was wrong. She has forgotten that her cookies were kept in her purse. The man had divided her cookies with her, without feeling angered or bitter. While she had been very angry, thinking that she was dividing her cookies with him. And now there was no chance to explain herself…nor to apologize.

There are 4 things that you cannot recover:

The stone…after the throw!

The word…after it’s said

The occasion…after the loss

The time…after it’s gone.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Make Me A Butterfly

By Meb

Follow these directions to construct colorful cloth butterflies. Add a magnet to use on the refrigerator, or put on a wire stem to add to flower arrangements. Also make great gift wrap decorations and can be used in place of a bow. There's no limit except your imagination. A great way to use up scraps of fabric or to create matching decorations to go with curtains, slip covers, etc.

Start with a small piece of colorful fabric. You will need about 10 inches by 10 inches. Make sure it is smooth and wrinkle free.

Cut two lengths of cloth covered wire 10 inches long.

Cut two lengths of cloth covered wire 7 inches long.

Pull each wire through your fingers to remove wrinkles and straighten. Then loop into an oval shape and twist the ends securely leaving about ¾ inch at the end.

Shape your wings
Place the two large wires together and use your finger to form an indentation to make the large butterfly wing. Leave the small loop as an oval shape.

Glue to fabric
Glue the wire to your fabric and let it completely dry.

Centre and magnet
Make your center by cutting a piece of felt ¾ inch by ¼ inch and glue two stamens to form antennae. If you don't have stamens, you can make them by gluing small beads to the end of a piece of cloth covered wire. You may also use wire pipe cleaners or other material for the center.

Cut out wings
Cut the butterfly wings out of the fabric. Be very careful not to cut the wire because your wings won't hold their shape if you do.

Form sides
Place a large wing and small wing together and twist to form one side. Repeat with the other side.

Basic butterfly
Put the two sides together and twist tightly to form your butterfly.

Unfold and shape your butterfly.

Final butterfly
Glue the center to your butterfly. When completely dry, glue a magnet to the back. Or you may attach your butterfly to a wire stem to add to a flower arrangement. Works great with dried flowers or a rustic wreath.

My Outcome
The fabric I chose was a mixture of white and baby blue smudges. I also decorate the wings with little round blue beads and used a bit more wire to tie the butterflies to a basket. All in, it looked pretty!

Friday, 18 March 2011

Farmer's Daughter

Performed By Crystal Bowersox

Halfway to crazy, not far from sane
Sick and tired of all your games
All I ever wanted was you to take care of me

Honor thy mother and father too
But I know there ain't no way in hell that God mentioned you
All I ever wanted was you to care for me

Now I'm stuck in this hotel room, your grandson and me
Tomorrow we're gonna find out our destiny
All I ever wanted was you to be there for me
All I ever needed was you to be here for me

This time is the last time you're gonna see us around
This was your last chance to prove you wouldn't let me down
So go on, get going and get away from here
All alone is how you're gonna spend the rest of your years
No farmer's daughter anymore, mommy dear.

Remember back in high school, my brothers and me
Willie put his head through the door to find clarity
You'd come home with bourbon breath, Jack in the air
And when you broke my bones I told the school I fell down the stairs
All I ever wanted was for you to be there for me
All I ever needed was for you to be here for me

This time is the last time you're gonna see us around
This was your last chance to prove you wouldn't let me down
So go on home, get going and get away from here
All alone is how you're gonna spend the rest of your years

No farmer's daughter anymore
I ain't no farmer's daughter anymore
No farmer's daughter anymore, mommy dear

Monday, 14 March 2011

What Dreams Are Made Of

Some weeks ago, I posted that I was Moving On To The Next Chapter and promised to keep everyone updated on what this new chapter was. Well, here it is ... my very own fiction novel - Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out. Take a sneak preview of some of the chapters, here.

Edited and compiled from some of the blog posts made at Peace from Pieces with many more newly added chapters, this comes after a tremendously long trail of rejections, one VP shunt surgery, seven years of lumbar punctures, a very rare medical condition and the realisation that comes with getting your priorities in order. To say, I am thrilled to bits is truly an understatement. 

For now, there are no critics who can take away this moment from me and no pin that is going to burst this bubble. I have arrived to the point where I know what dreams are made of, I am now a published author! What next, hmmmm, bestseller list maybe? Second novel and more articles, for sure. 

In the meantime, to the publisher (Heart Press) who said yes, to the editor (Sonia Rumzi) who has poured much time and effort into nitpicking the raw material to make it an even better read for everyone, to the readers of this blog who have made this possible and to the family and friends who cheered me on, my utmost heartfelt appreciation to each and everyone of you.

And still, my cup runneth over.

When Tomorrow Starts Without Me

By David Romano

When tomorrow starts without me, and I'm not there to see;
If the sun should rise and find your eyes all filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn't cry the way you did today,
while thinking of the many things we didn't get to say.

I know how much you love me, as much as I love you,
and each time you think of me I know you'll miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me, please try to understand,
that an angel came and called my name and took me by the hand,
and said my place was ready in heaven far above,
and that I'd have to leave behind all those I dearly love.

But as I turned to walk away, a tear fell from my eye,
for all life, I'd always thought I didn't want to die.
I had so much to live for and so much yet to do,
it seemed almost impossible that I was leaving you.

I thought of all the yesterdays, the good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared and all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday, I thought, just for awhile,
I'd say goodbye and kiss you and maybe see you smile.

But then I fully realized that this could never be,
for emptiness and memories would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things that I'd miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did, my heart was filled with sorrow.

But when I walked through heaven's gates, I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me, from His great golden throne,
He said, "This is eternity and all I've promised you".
Today for life on earth is past but here it starts a new.

I promise no tomorrow, but today will always last,
and since each day's the same day, there's no longing for the past.
But you have been so faithful, so trusting, and so true.
Though there were times you did some things you knew you shouldn't do.
But you have been forgiven and now at last you’re free.

So won't you take my hand and share my life with me?
So when tomorrow starts without me, don't think we're far apart,
for every time you think of me, I'm right here in your heart.

Be A Believer To Be An Achiever

By Harvey Mackay

The professor stood before his class of 30 senior molecular biology students, about to pass out the final exam. 'I have been privileged to be your instructor this semester, and I know how hard you have all worked to prepare for this test. I also know most of you are off to medical school or grad school next fall,' he said to them.

'I am well aware of how much pressure you are under to keep your GPAs up, and because I know you are all capable of understanding this material, I am prepared to offer an automatic 'B' to anyone who would prefer not to take the final.'

The relief was audible as a number of students jumped up to thank the professor and departed from class. The professor looked at the handful of students who remained, and offered again, 'Any other takers? This is your last opportunity.' One more student decided to go.

Seven students remained. The professor closed the door and took attendance. Then he handed out the final exam. There were two sentences typed on the paper:

'Congratulations, you have just received an 'A' in this class. Keep believing in yourself.'

I never had a professor who gave a test like that. It may seem like the easy way out of grading a bunch of exams, but it's a test that any teacher in any discipline could and should give. Students who don't have confidence in what they've learned are 'B' students at best.

The same is true for students of real life. The 'A' students are those who believe in what they're doing because they've learned from both successes and failures. They've absorbed life's lessons, whether from formal education or the school of hard knocks, and become better people.

Those are the people who you look for when you're hiring or promoting, and the ones you keep if you're downsizing. Your organisation needs their brand of thinking.

Psychologists say that by the age of two, 50 percent of what we ever believe about ourselves has been formed; by age six, 60 percent, and at eight years, 80 percent. Wouldn't you love to have the energy and optimism of a little kid? There is nothing you couldn't do or learn or be.

But you're a big kid now, and you realise you have some limits. Don't let the biggest limit be yourself. Take your cue from Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to reach the summit of Mount Everest: 'It's not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.'

Believing in yourself comes from knowing what you are really capable of doing. When it's your turn to step up to the plate, realise that you won't hit a homerun every time. Baseball superstar Mickey Mantle struck out more than 1,700 times, but it didn't stop him from excelling at baseball. He believed in himself, and he knew his fans believed in him.

Surround yourself with positive people - they know the importance of confidence and will help you keep focused on what you can do instead of what you can't. Who you surround yourself with is who you become.

Never stop learning! I would work this advice into every column if I could; it's that important. Don't limit yourself only to work-related classes, either. Learn everything about every subject that you can. When you know what you're talking about, it shows.

Be very careful not to confuse confidence with a big ego. If you want people to believe in you, you also have to believe in them. Understand well that those around you also have much to contribute, and they deserve your support. Without faith in yourself and others, success is impossible.

At the end of a particularly frustrating practice one-day, a football coach dismissed his players by yelling, 'Now all you idiots, go take a shower!' All but one player headed toward the locker room. The coach glared at him and asked why he was still there.

'You told all the idiots to go, Sir,' the player replied, 'and there sure seems to be a lot of them. But I am not an idiot.'

Confident? You bet. And smart enough to coach that team some day.

Moral: Believe in yourself, even when no one else does.

Just A Mom

Author Unknown

A woman, renewing her driver’s license at the County Clerk ’s office was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation. She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself. ”What I mean is,” explained the recorder, “do you have a job or are you just a……?”

“Of course I have a job,” snapped the woman. ”I’m a Mom.”

“We don’t list ‘Mom’ as an occupation, ‘housewife’ covers it,” said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall.

The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient and possessed of a high sounding title like, “Official Interrogator” or “Town Registrar.”

”What is your occupation?” she probed. What made me say it? I do not know. The words simply popped out.

“I’m a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations.”

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair and looked up as though she had not heard right. I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words.

Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written, in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

”Might I ask,” said the clerk with new interest, “just what you do in your field?”

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, “I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn’t) in the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out). I’m working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family) and already have four credits (all daughters). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it).

But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money.”

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk’s voice as she completed the form, stood up and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants — ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby) in the child development program, testing out a new vocal pattern.

I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than “just another Mom.” Motherhood!

Keep Quiet

Author Unknown

A police officer in a small town stopped a motorist who was speeding down Main Street.

"But officer," the man began, "I can explain..."

"Just be quiet," snapped the officer. "I'm going to let you cool your heels in jail until the chief gets back."

"But, officer, I just wanted to say...,"

"And I said to keep quiet! You're going to jail!"

A few hours later the officer looked in on his prisoner and said, "Lucky for you that the chief's at his daughter's wedding. He'll be in a good mood when he gets back."

"Don't count on it," answered the fellow in the cell. "I'm the groom."

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Do Not

Author Unknown

Do not undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others.
It is because we are different that each of us is special.

Do not set your goals by what other people deem important.
Only you know what is best for you..

Do not let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past nor for the future.
By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.

Do not give up when you still have something to give.
Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.
It is a fragile thread that binds us to each other...

Do not be afraid to encounter risks.
It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.

Do not shut love out of your life by saying it is impossible to find.
The quickest way to receive love is to give love; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly.

Do not dismiss your dreams.
To be without dreams is to be without hope; to be without hope is to be without purpose.

Do not run through life so fast that you forget not only where you have been, but also where you are going.
Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.

A Quiet Voice Within

Author Unknown

As a teacher of origami, Art Beaudry was asked to represent his school at an exhibit at a large mall in. He decided to take along a couple hundred folded paper cranes to pass out to people who stopped at his booth.

Before that day, something strange happened — a voice told him to find a piece of gold foil paper and make a gold origami crane. The voice was so insistent that Art actually found himself rummaging through his collection of origami papers at home until he found one flat, shiny piece of gold foil.

“Why am I doing this?” he asked himself. Art had never worked with the shiny gold paper; it didn’t fold as easily or neatly as the crisp multicolored papers. But that little voice kept nudging. Art tried to ignore the voice. “Why gold foil anyway? Paper is much easier to work with,” he grumbled.

The voice continued. “Do it! And give it to a special person.” By now Art was getting a little cranky. “What special person?” he asked the voice. “You’ll know which one,” the voice said.

That evening Art carefully folded and shaped the unforgiving gold foil until it became as graceful and delicate as a real crane about to take flight. He packed the exquisite crane in the box along with about 200 other colorful paper cranes he’d made over the previous few weeks.

The next day at the mall, dozens upon dozens of people stopped by Art’s booth to ask questions about origami. He demonstrated the art. He folded, unfolded and refolded. He explained the intricate details, the need for sharp creases.

Then, suddenly, there was a woman standing in front of Art. Was this that special person? Art had never seen her before, and she hadn’t said a word as she watched him carefully fold a pink piece of paper into a crane with pointed, graceful wings.

Art glanced up at her face, and before he realized it, he found himself reaching for the gold-foil crane he’d labored over the night before. Carefully he picked up the gold crane, and gently placed it in the woman’s hand.

Art said: “I don’t know why, but a voice told me to give you that golden crane. The crane is the ancient symbol of peace,” Art said simply.

The woman didn’t say a word as she slowly cupped her hand around the fragile bird as if it were alive. When Art looked at her face, he saw tears filling her eyes.

Finally, the woman took a deep breath and said, “My husband died three weeks ago. This is the first time I’ve been out. Today….” She wiped her eyes with her free hand, still gently cradling the golden crane with the other. Then she said very quietly, as tears streamed down her face. “Today would have been our ‘golden’ wedding anniversary.”

Then the lady said in a clear voice, “Thank you so much for this beautiful gift. Now I know that my husband is at peace.

“Don’t you see? The voice you heard, it was the voice of God, and this beautiful crane is a gift from Him. It’s the most wonderful 50th wedding anniversary gift I could have received. Thank you for listening to Holy Spirit within your heart.”

And that’s how Art learned to listen very carefully, when the Holy Spirit speaks to him within, and tells him to do things he may not understand — now or even later.

Are you listening, my friend? God may be speaking to you.

Our Four Wives

Author Unknown

There was a rich merchant who had 4 wives. He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to delicacies. He took great care of her and gave her nothing but the best.

He also loved the 3rd wife very much. He's very proud of her and always wanted to show off her to his friends. However, the merchant is always in great fear that she might run away with some other men.

He too, loved his 2nd wife. She is a very considerate person, always patient and in fact is the merchant's confidante. Whenever the merchant faced some problems, he always turned to his 2nd wife and she would always help him out and tide him through difficult times.

Now, the merchant's 1st wife is a very loyal partner and has made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and business as well as taking care of the household. However, the merchant did not love the first wife and although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her.

One day, the merchant fell ill. Before long, he knew that he was going to die soon. He thought of his luxurious life and told himself, "Now I have 4 wives with me. But when I die, I'll be alone. How lonely I'll be!"

Thus, he asked the 4th wife, "I loved you most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?" "No way!" replied the 4th wife and she walked away without another word.

The answer cut like a sharp knife right into the merchant's heart. The sad merchant then asked the 3rd wife, "I have loved you so much for all my life. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?" "No!" replied the 3rd wife. "Life is so good over here! I'm going to remarry when you die!" The merchant's heart sank and turned cold.

He then asked the 2nd wife, "I always turned to you for help and you've always helped me out. Now I need your help again. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?" "I'm sorry, I can't help you out this time!" replied the 2nd wife. "At the very most, I can only send you to your grave." The answer came like a bolt of thunder and the merchant was devastated.

Then a voice called out : "I'll leave with you. I'll follow you no matter where you go." The merchant looked up and there was his first wife. She was so skinny, almost like she suffered from malnutrition. Greatly grieved, the merchant said, "I should have taken much better care of you while I could have !"

Actually, we all have 4 wives in our lives

a. The 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it'll leave us when we die.

b. Our 3rd wife ? Our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, they all go to others.

c. The 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how close they had been there for us when we're alive, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave.

d. The 1st wife is in fact our soul, often neglected in our pursuit of material, wealth and sensual pleasure.

Guess what? It is actually the only thing that follows us wherever we go. Perhaps it's a good idea to cultivate and strengthen it now rather than to wait until we're on our deathbed to lament


By Adam Khan

In 1982 Steven Callahan was crossing the Atlantic alone in his sailboat when it struck something and sank. He was out of the shipping lanes and floating in a life raft, alone. His supplies were few. His chances were small. Yet when three fishermen found him seventy-six days later (the longest anyone has survived a shipwreck on a life raft alone), he was alive -- much skinnier than he was when he started, but alive.

His account of how he survived is fascinating. His ingenuity -- how he managed to catch fish, how he fixed his solar still (evaporates sea water to make fresh) -- is very interesting.

But the thing that caught my eye was how he managed to keep himself going when all hope seemed lost, when there seemed no point in continuing the struggle, when he was suffering greatly, when his life raft was punctured and after more than a week struggling with his weak body to fix it, it was still leaking air and wearing him out to keep pumping it up. He was starved. He was desperately dehydrated. He was thoroughly exhausted. Giving up would have seemed the only sane option.

When people survive these kinds of circumstances, they do something with their minds that gives them the courage to keep going. Many people in similarly desperate circumstances give in or go mad. Something the survivors do with their thoughts helps them find the guts to carry on in spite of overwhelming odds.

"I tell myself I can handle it," wrote Callahan in his narrative. "Compared to what others have been through, I'm fortunate. I tell myself these things over and over, building up fortitude...."

I wrote that down after I read it. It struck me as something important. And I've told myself the same thing when my own goals seemed far off or when my problems seemed too overwhelming. And every time I've said it, I have always come back to my senses.

The truth is, our circumstances are only bad compared to something better. But others have been through much worse. I've read enough history to know you and I are lucky to be where we are, when we are, no matter how bad it seems to us compared to our fantasies. It's a sane thought and worth thinking.

So here, coming to us from the extreme edge of survival, are words that can give us strength. Whatever you're going through, tell yourself you can handle it. Compared to what others have been through, you're fortunate. Tell this to yourself over and over, and it will help you get through the rough spots with a little more fortitude.

Lessons & Laughs For The Workplace

Author Unknown

Lesson 1
A junior manager, a senior manager and their boss are on their way to a meeting. On their way through a park, they come across a wonder lamp. They rub the lamp and a ghost appears. The ghost says, "Normally, one is granted three wishes but as you are three, I will allow one wish each" So the eager senior manager shouted, "I want the first wish. I want to be in the Bahamas, on a fast boat and have no worries." Pfufffff. and he was gone. Now the junior manager could not keep quiet and shouted "I want to be In Florida with beautiful girls, plenty of food and cocktails." Pfufffff. And he was also gone. The boss calmly said, "I want these two idiots back in the office after lunch at 12.35pm."

Moral of the story is - Always allow the boss to speak first.

Lesson 2
Standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand, "Listen," said the CEO, "this is a very sensitive and important document, and my secretary has left. Can you make this thing work?"

"Certainly," said the young executive. He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button."Excellent, excellent!" said the CEO as his paper disappeared inside the shredder machine. "I just need one copy."

Moral of the story is - Never, never assume that your boss knows everything

Lesson 3
An American and a Japanese were sitting on the plane on the way to LA When the American turned to the Japanese and asked, "What kind of –ese are you?" The Japanese confused, replied, "Sorry but I don't understand what you mean." The American repeated, "What kind of -ese are you?" Again, the Japanese was confused over he question. The American, now irritated, then yelled, "What kind of -ese are you ... Are you a Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese!, etc...???"

The Japanese then replied, "Oh, I am a Japanese."

A while later the Japanese turned to the American and asked What kind Of 'key' was he.

The American, frustrated, yelled, "What do you mean what kind of -kee'am I ?!" The Japanese said, "Are you a Yankee, donkee, or monkee?"

Moral of the story is - Never insult anyone

Lesson 4
There were these 4 guys, a Russian, a German, an American and a French, who found this small genie bottle. When they rubbed the bottle, a genie appeared. Thankful that the 4 guys had released him out of the bottle, she said, "Next to you all are 4 swimming pools, I will give each of you A wish. When you run towards the pool and jump, you shout what you want the pool of water to become, then your wish will come true." The French wanted to start. He ran towards the pool, jumped and shouted, "WINE". The pool immediately changed into a pool of wine. The Frenchman was so happy swimming and drinking from the pool.

Next is the Russian's turn, he did the same and shouted, "VODKA" and immersed himself into a pool of vodka. The German was next and he jumped and shouted, "BEER". He was so Contented with his beer pool.

The last is the American. He was running towards the pool when suddenly He steps on a banana peel. He slipped towards the pool and shouted, "SHIT!!!!!!!........."

Moral of the story is - Think twice before you say something, because sometimes, accidents do happen.

Lesson 5
The organs of the body were having a meeting, trying to decide who was In charge. Each organ took a turn to speak up: Brain - I should be in charge because I run all body functions.

Blood - I should be in charge because I circulate oxygen for the brain. Stomach - I should be in charge because I process food to the brain. Legs - I should be in charge because I take the brain where it Wants to go. Eyes - I should be in charge because I let the brain see where it's going.

Asshole - I should be in charge because I get rid of your waste. All the other parts laughed so hard and this made the asshole very mad. To prove his point, the asshole immediately slammed tightly closed and Stayed that way for 6 days, refusing to rid the body of any waste whatsoever.

Day 1 - Brain got a terrible headache and cried out for relief

Day 2 - Stomach got bloated and began to ache terribly

Day 3 - Legs got cramps and became unstable

Day 4 - Eyes became watery and vision became blurred

Day 5 - Blood became toxic and poisoned the body

Day 6 -The other organs agreed to let the asshole be in charge.

Moral of the story is - No matter who you are or how important you think you are, you will find that it is always the asshole that is in charge.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Beauty Tips

Author Unknown

A dear old lady was asked what she used to make her complexion so beautiful and her whole being so bright and attractive.

She answered:

"I use for my lips, truth

I use for my voice, kindness

I use for my ears, compassion

I use for my hands, charity

I use for my figure, uprightness

I use for my heart, love

I use for any who do not like me, prayer."

Mum's Letters

By Octavia Locke

To this day I remember my mum's letters. It all started in December 1941. Every night she sat at the big table in the kitchen and wrote to my brother Johnny, who had been drafted that summer. We had not heard from him since the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

I didn't understand why my mum kept writing Johnny when he never wrote back.

"Wait and see - we'll get a letter from him one day," she claimed. Mum said that there was a direct link from the brain to the written word that was just as strong as the light God has granted us. She trusted that this light would find Johnny.

I don't know if she said that to calm herself, dad or all of us down. But I do know that it helped us stick together, and one day a letter really did arrive. Johnny was alive on an island in the Pacific.

I had always been amused by the fact that mum signed her letters, "Cecilia Capuzzi", and I teased her about that. "Why don't you just write 'Mum'?" I said.

I hadn't been aware that she always thought of herself as Cecilia Capuzzi. Not as Mum. I began seeing her in a new light, this small delicate woman, who even in high-heeled shoes was barely one and a half metres tall.

She never wore make-up or jewelry except for a wedding ring of gold. Her hair was fine, sleek and black and always put up in a knot in the neck. She wouldn't hear of getting a haircut or a perm. Her small silver-rimmed pince-nez only left her nose when she went to bed.

Whenever mum had finished a letter, she gave it to dad for him to post it. Then she put the water on to boil, and we sat down at the table and talked about the good old days when our Italian-American family had been a family of ten - mum, dad and eight children. Five boys and three girls. It is hard to understand that they had all moved away from home to work, enroll in the army, or get married. All except me.

Around next spring mum had got two more sons to write to. Every evening she wrote three different letters which she gave to me and dad afterwards so we could add our greetings.

Little by little the rumour about mum's letters spread. One day a small woman knocked at our door. Her voice trembled as she asked: "Is it true you write letters?"

"I write to my sons."

"And you can read too?" whispered the woman.


The woman opened her bag and pulled out a pile of air mail letters. "Read... please read them aloud to me."

The letters were from the woman's son who was a soldier in Europe, a red-haired boy who mum remembered having seen sitting with his brothers on the stairs in front of our house. Mum read the letters one by one and translated them from English to Italian. The woman's eyes welled up with tears. "Now I have to write to him," she said. But how was she going to do it?

"Make some coffee, Octavia," mum yelled to me in the living room while she took the woman with her into the kitchen and seated her at the table. She took the fountain pen, ink and air mail notepaper and began to write. When she had finished, she read the letter aloud to the woman.

"How did you know that was exactly what I wanted to say?"

"I often sit and look at my boys' letters, just like you, without a clue about what to write."

A few days later the woman returned with a friend, then another one and yet another one -- they all had sons who fought in the war, and they all needed letters. Mum had become the correspondent in our part of town. Sometimes she would write letters all day long.

Mum always insisted that people signed their own letters, and the small woman with the grey hair asked mum to teach her how to do it. "I so much want to be able to write my own name so that my son can see it." Then mum held the woman's hand in hers and moved her hand over the paper again and again until she was able to do it without her help.

After that day, when mum had written a letter for the woman, she signed it herself, and her face brightened up in a smile.

One day she came to us, and mum instantly knew what had happened. All hope had disappeared from her eyes. They stood hand in hand for a long time without saying a word. Then mum said: "We better go to church. There are certain things in life so great that we cannot comprehend them." When mum came back home, she couldn't get the red-haired boy out of her mind.

After the war was over, mum put away the pen and paper. "Finito," she said. But she was wrong. The women who had come to her for help in writing to their sons now came to her with letters from their relatives in Italy. They also came to ask her for her help in getting American citizenship.

On one occasion mum admitted that she had always had a secret dream of writing a novel. Why didn't she? I asked.

"All people in this world are here with one particular purpose," she said. "Apparently, mine is to write letters." She tried to explain why it absorbed her so:

"A letter unites people like nothing else. It can make them cry, it can make them laugh. There is no caress more lovely and warm than a love letter, because it makes the world seem very small, and both sender and receiver become like kings in their own kingdoms. My dear, a letter

Love Cures

BY Neil Eskelin

Early in the 20th century, two young medical school graduates and their father started a small sanitarium for mental patients on a farm outside Topeka, Kansas. This was a time with the "rest cure" was in vouge in psychiatry, and patients were sent to impersonal institutions to life out their days.

This father and his sons had a different idea. They were determined to create a loving, family atmosphere among their patients and staff. The nurses were given special training and were told "Let each person know how much you value them. Shower these people with love."

The doctors were Karl and William Menninger, and the Minninger Clinic, with such "revolutionary" methods, became world famous and has helped countless numbers of people. Karl Menninger said, "Love cures people - both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it. This intangible thing love...enters into every theraputic relationship. It is an element which finds and heals, which comforts and restores, which works what we have to call for now, miracles."

I'm Sorry I Lied

Author Unknown

Jenny was so happy about the house they had found. For once in her life that was on the right side of town. She unpacked her things with such great ease. As she watched her new curtains blow in the breeze. How wonderful it was to have her own room. School would be starting, she would have friends over soon. There will be sleep-overs, and parties. She was so happy. It's just the way she wanted her life to be.

On the first day of school, everything went great. She made new friends and even got a date! She thought, "I want to be popular and I'm going to be, because I just got a date with the star of the team!" To be known in this school you had to have a clout, and dating this guy would sure help her out. There was only one problem stopping her fate. Her parents had said she was too young to date. "Well I just won't tell them the entire truth. They won't know the difference. What's there to lose?"

Jenny asked to stay with her friends that night. Her parents frowned but said, "All right." Excited, she got ready for the big event. But as she rushed around like she had no sense, she began to feel guilty about all the lies, but what's a pizza, a party, and a moonlight ride? Well the pizza was good, and the party was great, and the moonlight ride would have to wait, for Jeff was half drunk by this time.

But he kissed her and said that he was just fine. Then the room filled with smoked and Jeff took a puff. Jenny couldn't believe he was smoking that stuff. Now Jeff was ready to ride to the point, but only after he'd smoked another joint.

They jumped in the car for the moonlight ride, not thinking that he was too drunk to drive. They finally made it to the point at last, and Jeff started trying to make a pass. A pass is not what Jenny wanted at all (and by a pass, I don't mean playing football.) "Perhaps my parents were right. Maybe I am too young. Boy, how could I ever, ever be so dumb?" With all of her might, she pushed Jeff away, "Please take me home, I don't want to stay."

Jeff cranked up the engine and floored the gas. In a matter of seconds they were going too fast. As Jeff drove on in a fit of wild anger, Jenny knew that her life was in danger. She begged and pleaded for him to slow down, but he just got faster as they neared the town. "Just let me get home! I'll confess that I lied. I really went out for a moonlight ride."

Then all of a sudden, she saw a big flash. "Oh God, Please help us! We're going to crash!" She doesn't remember the force of impact. Just that everything all of a sudden went black. She felt someone remove her from the twisted rubble, and heard, "Call an ambulance! These kids are in trouble!" Voices she heard, a few words at best. But she knew there were two cars involved in the wreck.

Then wondered to herself if Jeff was all right, and if the people in the other car was alive. She awoke in the hospital to faces so sad. "You've been in a wreck and it looks pretty bad." These voices echoed inside her head, as they gently told her that Jeff was dead. They said "Jenny, we've done all we can do. But it looks as if we'll lose you too." "But the people in the other car?" Jenny cried. "We're sorry, Jenny, they also died."

Jenny prayed, "God, forgive me for what I've done. I only wanted to have just one night of fun." "Tell those people's family, I've made their lives dim, and wish I could return their families to them." "Tell Mom and Dad I'm sorry I lied, and that it's my fault so many have died. Oh, nurse, won't you please tell them that for me?"

The nurse just stood there. She never agreed. But took Jenny's hand with tears in her eyes. And a few moments later Jenny died. A man asked the nurse, "Why didn't you do your best to bid that girl her one last request?" She looked at the man with eyes so sad. "Because the people in the other car were her mom and dad."

The Boy Behind The Wall

Author Unknown

My friend wrote this sad love story when she was going through a break up. She was a firm believer in love but luck did not shine brightly on her. It is difficult to find true love and after even just one heart break, it is so easy to just close yourself up.Perhaps by the end of the story, you might think about which would be a better choice. To turn a deaf year to the little boy, or to listen.

Emotions are a dangerous thing. They're like little children, innocent and naive. And when we're in love for the first time, they run wild like children in the park on a Sunday afternoon, full of energy and vigor, boundless and unrestrained.

But if a little girl was to fall, a bad fall, no one sees this poor girl. She looks up at the other children and hears their laughter. She cries as all little girls do but she stops after awhile, not wanting to dampen the other children’s' happiness. So she sits and waits, hoping for someone to help her up.

A boy came and offered his hand; she began to smile as the sadness of a child never lasts long. She takes his hand and they take a few tentative steps, but as she began to put her weight on him the boy let go and she crumpled onto the grass again. The boy laughed, for he was only a bully.

The little girl was sad, but somewhere inside her she knew it was too good to be true and shrugged it off. She rested for awhile, then limped painfully towards a tree and sat in the shade. She’s tired now and her leg hurts too much, she doesn’t want to run around in the park anymore.

The day went on and although she was still hurting, she no longer cried, just rested and waited for the pain in her leg to subside. Indeed after awhile she feels much better. She thinks she’s completely recovered. She stands up but as she tried to take a few steps on her own she crumpled like a rag doll. The little girl realizes her leg is broken. So she sits under the tree and watches the other children play. She saw some of them trip and fall and remembers her own pain. She thinks to herself, "how dangerous it is to run around the park without control or restrain...” She decides to build a wall around herself. She never wants to get hurt again.

She sits in her brick wall alone with her thoughts. She wonders when she'll dare to run again, from time to time she would sit on the wall and swing her legs, trying to enjoy herself and contemplating whether she had the courage to run again. Some children came along to encourage her but each time she came close to jumping off the wall back into the playground, the memory of her fall would return and she would retreat to the inner sanctity of her tiny fortress.

So there she hid, till one day she heard some scraping noises, as if someone else was building a wall. She peered over her wall and true enough there was a little boy, building his own wall, sadness in his eyes. She wondered if he had fallen just like her, while he was running careless and free. She watches the boy complete the wall and when he did so, he peered curiously at her before disappearing behind his own wall. The little girl wondered what the boy was thinking and one day the boy called out to her from behind his wall and she replies from behind her wall.

They begin to talk, in small muffled voices at first, and then clearer, as each of them removed a brick from their respective walls. Soon they became friends, and his voice was a comfort to her. But each time she removed a new brick, the light which flooded her hiding place frightened her and she was tempted to replace it. But also, with each new brick she removed, the sounds of the other children’s laughter enticed her and she realized she wanted to run like before. But not alone lest she fall again. She wondered if the boy felt the same and thought about what she would do if the boy asked her to run with him. Again.

Even If ...

By Darlene Eastes

Your heart is breaking
Your mind is unclear
Your tired and restless and full of fear

Come to me-
even if
You say words you shouldn’t
You don’t do things you should
You doubt and try to change,
but never think you could.

Come to me-
even if
You thought an evil thought
You thought the thought again
You turned the thought to action and now your bound in sin.

Come to me-
even if
You say “But I knew better, I belong to you”

Child, I am not surprised by anything you do.
I made you in my image I fashioned you with care,
When you cried tears into your pillow, remember I was there.
I have always been and always will I be.
For even when you do those things, you still belong to me.
Even if you do these things, Oh child, don’t you see?
Even if, even if, you still can come to me.

There is a secret place I have created where you may seek my face,
this place I have for you is called “The Father’s Warm Embrace”
And when I have held you in my arms and rocked you, listening closely to your fears,
I will place you on my lap and wipe away your tears.
Then, I will smile. A smile to let you know I am pleased.

For when you hurt and when you sinned, still- you came to me.
So, do not draw back from me my child,
I am Abba Father to you, remember in my word I said -Behold,
I make all things new.
I will forgive you, heal you, restore you,
I will shower you with grace.
I will never turn my back to you, but you will see my face.

On your journey home, when I see you I will run…..
Even if, Even if, My child, even if just come.


Author Unknown

Can't is the worst word that's written or spoken;
Doing more harm here than slander and lies;
On it is many a strong spirit broken,
And with it many a good purpose dies.
It springs from the lips of the thoughtless each morning
And robs us of courage we need through the day:
It rings in our ears like a timely sent warning
And laughs when we falter and fall by the way.

Can't is the father of feeble endeavour,
The parent of terror and half hearted work;
It weakens the efforts of artisans clever,
And makes of the toiler an indolent shirk.
It poisons the soul of the man with a vision,
It stifles in infancy many a plan;
It greets honest toiling with open derision
And mocks at the hopes and the dreams of a man.

Can't is a word none should speak without blushing;
To utter it should be a symbol of shame;
Ambition and courage it daily is crushing;
It blights a man's purpose and shortens his aim.
Despise it with all of your hatred of error;
Refuse it the lodgement it seeks in your brain;
Arm against it as a creature of terror,
And all that you dream of you someday shall gain.

Can't is the word that is for to ambition,
An enemy ambushed to shatter your will;
Its prey is forever the man with a mission
And bows but to courage and patience and skill.
Hate it, with hatred that's deep and undying,
For once it is welcomed 'twill break any man;
Whatever the goal you are seeking, keep trying
and answer this demon by saying: 'I can.'

Malaysia - Melaka

By Rough Guy’d (*as Rough Guy'd braves the next chapter of his travels in China and Philippines, we wish him all the best!)

With my pleasant memories of Singapore behind me, I was looking forward to Malaysia. Though I’d enjoyed my trip so far, Malaysia is a country that I have fond memories of. Now, like I said at the start of my blog, I am from New Zealand and very proud of that fact. I was born and bred there but during my earliest formative years, I did live in Malaysia. This was because although I was a New Zealand citizen by birth, my parents were not and it took them some time before they were able to live in New Zealand long term. So as it stood, I lived in Malaysia for two or three years before going back to my country of birth. This meant that I had some memories of Malaysia. Most of them were of being hot all the time and the food which are some of the best in my mind. The rest of Malaysia, I was blissfully unaware of, and part of my reasoning for revisiting Malaysia was to learn more about it.

So it was that my first stop in Malaysia was Melaka. Two hours south of Kuala Lumpur, this town had a very rich history from the early days when it was a bigger trading port than Singapore to the many times it was captured by the Portuguese, Dutch and British to the signing of Malaysia’s independence from Britain in the twentieth century and I was keen to learn as much as I could. The whole journey from Singapore to Melaka took a fair while and I arrived after about nine hours and too tired to do much, especially since it was after 9pm when I arrived. One thing I did discover was that my choice of guesthouse was excellent and to all those interesting in visiting this town, I highly recommend the Traveller’s lodge. As well as being cheap and very cheerful, the friendliness of the other fellow travellers was very encouraging and there was a large communal area as well as cooking facilities.

Bright and early the next morning, I decided to walk to Villa Sentosa. This was as they called it, a living museum. To all intents and purposes, it was nothing more than a family home, just lovingly maintained in traditional style and filled with many things in it that made it a joy to visit. From the many artefacts that they have acquired over the years to the rich history of the family, you even get a personal tour guide from a member of the family to walk you through it and all for the cost of a voluntary donation. During the afternoon, on my way back, I ended up joining a Spanish couple that I had met the previous night and took a swim in the local swimming pool before walking around town soaking up the ambiance.

The interesting thing about the town was the combination of old and new that would not have been possible even ten years ago. From walking six plus kilometres from my guesthouse to the villa with no shade or even a footpath (you just walked on the road) to watching the latest Hollywood movie in an air-conditioned theatre in an eight storey shopping mall later that night, I was experiencing a side of Malaysia that saw two worlds collide and I was glad to be able to experience it all.

ABC's Of Friendship

By Robyn Freedman Spizman

Always be honest

Be there when they need you

Cheer them on

Don't look for their faults

Every chance you get, call

Forgive them

Get together often

Have faith in them

Include them

Just listen

Know their dreams

Love them unconditionally

Make them feel special

Never forget them

Offer to help

Praise them honestly

Quietly disagree

Rescue them often

Say you're sorry

Talk frequently

Use good judgment

Vote for them

Wish them well

X-ray yourself first

Your word counts

Zip your mouth when told a secret

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Handwriting On The Wall

Author Unknown

A weary mother returned from the store,
Lugging groceries through the kitchen door.
Awaiting her arrival was her 8 year old son,
Anxious to relate what his younger brother had done.

While I was out playing and Dad was on a call,
T.J. took his crayons and wrote on the wall
It's on the new paper you just hung in the den.
I told him you'd be mad at having to do it again.

She let out a moan and furrowed her brow,
Where is your little brother right now?
She emptied her arms and with a purposeful stride,
She marched to his closet where he had gone to hide.

She called his full name as she entered his room.
He trembled with fear--he knew that meant doom
For the next ten minutes, she ranted and raved
About the expensive wallpaper and how she had saved.

Lamenting all the work it would take to repair,
She condemned his actions and total lack of care.
The more she scolded, the madder she got,
Then stomped from his room, totally distraught

She headed for the den to confirm her fears.
When she saw the wall, her eyes flooded with tears.
The message she read pierced her soul with a dart.
It said, I love Mommy, surrounded by a heart.

Well, the wallpaper remained, just as she found it,
With an empty picture frame hung to surround it.
A reminder to her, and indeed to all,
Take time to read the handwriting on the wall.

So Much To Thank God For

By Portia Calleja

A grateful heart is all that you need
to let God know that you are pleased.

When you are thankful for things you have been blessed,
remember to thank God first before anyone else.

When things turn out the way you want them to,
clasp your hands in gratitude to God to whom credit is due.

When you're at peace and contented, thank God in silence,
for no one else in the world could have given you that solace.

When you pray for amenities and don't get what you expect,
thank Him just the same with all due respect.

Times when you're bestowed the things you have not sought,
thank God cheerfully for possibilities you have not thought.

Sometimes you'll receive some things you most need,
thank God for not waiting your call and for taking heed.

At other times you ask God for things you need to live,
understand the long wait 'cause He knows when to give.

Thank God promptly for daily desires granted,
even if these do not come in the amounts wanted.

God knows what you need or what you want,
so thank Him with relief for deciding what to grant.

When you escape a mishap thank God in a snap,
Praise Him for His goodness, shout His Name and cheer up.

When you're hard up and don't know what to do,
thank God for trusting that you can get through.

During days of tribulations when you almost give up,
try thanking God you'll see, your troubles will ease up.

Thanking God in a few words is worth a thousand praises shouted.
It's enough to lighten your load when you need to tread the road.

When you want to pray and don't know what to say,
oftentimes a "Thank you, Lord" is just enough to make your day.

Therefore, give thanks and give your best thanks always,
and leave it all to God to understand what's more.

Always A Better Way

By Portia Calleja

Speak to me about desperation;
I will give you hope.

Look at me with grief;
I will return a gracious smile.

Show me disbelief;
I will share with you my faith.

Tell me you�re in haste;
I will urge you to calm down.

Talk to me in useless arguments;
I will answer you in silence.

Speak to me of mental torture;
I will exhibit inner peace.

Give me an account of violence;
I will recount some peaceful means.

Do me any form of abuses;
You�ll see, I will still be whole.

Talk to me about being tired of living;
Just look how happy I am to be alive.

Life will always be
Choices of make or break.
Whatever I choose to do,
Whatever I choose to be,
However I choose to feel,
I make sure I take the better way.

The Right Place

Author Unknown

God has a way of allowing us to be in the right place at the right time. I was walking down a dimly lit street late one evening when I heard muffled screams coming from behind a clump of bushes.

Alarmed, I slowed down to listen and panicked when I realized that what I was hearing were the unmistakable sounds of a struggle: heavy grunting, frantic scuffling and tearing of fabric. Only yards from where I stood, a woman was being attacked. Should I get involved? I was frightened for my own safety and cursed myself for having suddenly decided to take a new route home that night.

What if I became another statistic? Shouldn't I just run to the nearest phone and call the police? Although it seemed an eternity, the deliberations in my head had taken only seconds, but already the cries were growing weaker. I knew I had to act fast. How could I walk away from this? No, I finally resolved, I could not turn my back on the fate of this unknown woman, even if it meant risking my own life.

I am not a brave man, nor am I athletic. I don't know where I found the moral courage and physical strength - but once I had finally resolved to help the girl, I became strangely transformed. I ran behind the bushes and pulled the assailant off the woman. Grappling, we fell to the ground, where we wrestled for a few minutes until the attacker jumped up and escaped.

Panting hard, I scrambled upright and approached the girl, who was crouched behind a tree, sobbing. In the darkness, I could barely see her outline, but I could certainly sense her trembling shock.

Not wanting to frighten her further, I at first spoke to her from a distance. "It's OK," I said soothingly. "The man ran away. You're safe now." There was a long pause and then I heard the words uttered in wonder, in amazement. "Dad, is that you?" And then, from behind the tree, stepped my youngest daughter, Katherine.

Do all the good you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all times you can. To all the people you can. For as long as you can.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Are You A Duck Or An Eagle?

Author Unknown

No one can MAKE or FORCE you serve customers well. That's because great service is a choice.

Harvey Mackay, author of the New York Times #1 bestsellers Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive and Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt, tells a wonderful story about a cab driver that proved this point.

He was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey.

He handed my friend a laminated card and said, "I'm Wally, your driver. While I'm loading your bags in the trunk, I'd like you to read my mission statement."

Taken aback, Harvey read the card.

Wally's Mission Statement:
To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.

This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!

As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, "Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf."

Harvey said jokingly, "No, I'd prefer a soft drink."

Wally smiled and said, "No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice."

Almost stuttering, Harvey said, "I'll take a Diet Coke."

Handing him his drink, Wally said, "If you'd like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today."

As they were pulling away, Wally handed Harvey another laminated card, "These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you'd like to listen to the radio."

And as if that weren't enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him.

Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. He also let him know that he'd be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts.

"Tell me, Wally, have you always served customers like this?"

Wally smiled into the rear view mirror. "No, not always. In fact, it's only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer , on the radio one day. He had just written a book called "You'll See It When You Believe It". Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you'll rarely disappoint yourself.

He said, "Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don't be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd."

"That hit me right between the eyes," said Wally. "Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle.

I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more."

"I take it that has paid off for you," Harvey said.

"It sure has," Wally replied. "My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I'll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don't sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can't pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action."

Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab.

I've probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn't do any of what I was suggesting.

Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.

The Angel Project

By Ellie Braun-Haley

I held onto the hand of my shivering granddaughter as we waited our turn to get into the huge barn-like building. We couldn't see inside because of the length of the line up and so we passed our time watching the outside lineups.

Volunteers were busily placing frozen turkeys into bags at the head of one line up and in the other, families and individuals were receiving milk. The parking lot was filled with trucks and cars and still more were waiting to get onto the lot. Strangely, though vehicles were blocked, no one honked nor appeared impatient. It seemed surreal as though everyone had been touched by something magical.

Finally, we could see into the building and I was overcome with emotion as my eyes took in hundreds of overflowing boxes. Each box filled with care represented not only hours of time on the part of volunteers, but the generosity and caring of hundreds of people. The boxes were filled with food for empty stomachs. Some boxes sported brand new toys, gifts from anonymous individuals throughout the town and area, toys for children who might otherwise go without. I suddenly felt self-conscious, aware that tears were flowing freely down my cheeks. I was touched by the display of kindness.

I turned away from the crowds of people to wipe away the tears, and just as I did I was to see everything in a kind of mist and glow-like appearance. How fitting to see the "Angel Project" in this way. It was four days before Christmas and today marked the climax of the Angel Project.

This was the day that families in need could pick up food hampers and toys. Everything was donated through the generosity of strangers. Finally it was our turn at the table and I found it difficult to speak past the lump in my throat. I was overwhelmed by all that was happening around me. Every box in that massive room represented the love of others. Every toy had been carefully selected, to be given away, yet the receiver and the sender would never meet.

Instead of Christmas shopping or cleaning, instead of baking cookies or decorating a tree, these people had dropped everything to sort, label and number boxes, and to hand out delivery addresses to volunteers to drop off boxes for those who had no transportation. I could feel something extraordinary there in that building. It wasn't tangible nor quite definable but there was something special, beyond friendliness and I felt privileged to be there and be a part of it all.

People helped us pack the trunk and back seat of my car with food and toys for the first family and we set off to locate the address. As we drove along I felt blessed to have a tank full of gas and the opportunity to be among the delivery people in the "Angel Project." I was not prepared for the greeting we were about to receive. I located a basement suite and when no one answered after ringing the bell I ventured down a set of steps and began calling out. "Hello, is anyone home?"

A lady opened a door and as soon as I mentioned who I was and why I was there the woman began to shout. She was overjoyed and was calling out to some unseen person that we were there. Next she ran ahead of me up the stairs calling out to a neighbor, "they're here, they're here, the Angel people are here." She ran up to the car, out there in the snow with only socks on her feet and began thanking us.

She continued to thank us with each box we unpacked and though we gently reminded her that we were only the delivery people, she could not contain her joy and she continued thanking us again and again.

At the second house there were young children and when we introduced ourselves and explained why we were there, the children were sent upstairs and were admonished not to peek. I knew then that what we were about to unload might very well be the total sum of their Christmas presents. Jani carried in the teddy bears, the huge craft set and the two other toys, all of which had been specifically chosen by Angel Project volunteers for these children.

The mother helped me with the heavier food boxes and I knew this abundant supply would last a number of days. As we left we exchanged "Merry Christmas" greetings. The woman paused just before the door closed. She looked directly at me and her eyes looked misty as she said "thank you, so much."

I shut my car door, fighting tears and a choked up feeling. This giant surge of emotion burst inside of me as I pictured those children on Christmas morning opening the wonderful gifts chosen by strangers. I could imagine tummies filled and good meals throughout the season.

All this, because generous individuals opened their hearts and purse strings for people they did not know. For Jani and I, we got to spend a special day together being a part of something beautiful and unforgettable. And though we were delivery people that day, I drove away feeling as though I was the one who had received the gift.

What's The Secret To Success?

Author Unknown

"Takes pain," said the window.
"Keep cool," said the ice.
"Drive hard," said the hammer.
"Be up to date," said the calender.
"Never be led," said the pencil.
"Be sharp," said the knife.
"Make light around you," said the fire.
"Stick to it," said the glue.
"Be bright," said the lamp.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Bully Writes ‘Accomplished’ On Facebook Page

By April Drew

2 April 2010 - An angry mother of a South Hadley High School students has spoken out about the bullying 15-year-old Irish girl, Phoebe Prince, encountered the last few days before she hanged herself.

The mother, who spoke on condition of anonymity to the Boston Herald for fear her daughter will get picked on, said the day Phoebe took her own life, one of the bullies wrote the cold word "accomplished” on Phoebe's Facebook page.

There is uproar between the Northeastern District Attorney's office and South Hadley school authorities.

School superintendent, Gus Sayer, has said the staff at the school only became aware of the bullying one week before Phoebe's death.

Northeastern District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel said this is a lie.

In her criminal investigation - in which nine students from the school were charged in connection with the bullying -Scheibel said Phoebe's mother reported the harassment her daughter was suffering twice to school officials.

According to the mother, three days before Phoebe's death, a student confided in a staff member that someone had scratched Phoebe's face out of a class photo and drawn something obscene over it.

The staffer apparently took the picture down. 

“Phoebe had to go into that classroom and see that on one of the last days of her life,” said the woman.

Sayer said he was not aware of the obscene drawing. 

The mother also stated that another staff member was present when Phoebe was being verbally attacked while studying in the library the day of her death.

Scheibel said the staff member never reported the incident until after Phoebe's death. 

Sayer disputed this. 

“I don’t believe (the staffer) witnessed it,” he said. 

“There was a staff member present, but that person did not overhear those conversations.”

"Sweeping it under the rug," is what the mother calls it. 

"Eventually it’ll all go away. That’s their motto,” the mother said. 

A friend of Phoebe's, Sergio Loubriel, told the Globe he had made plans with Phoebe for the evening she hanged herself.

She planned to call to his house after her dinner. 

“In the hallways, people would give little smart remarks, just look at her funny like she had three eyes,” Loubriel said. 

He added that students called her a “slut” and an “Irish whore,” but Prince never discussed her worries with him.

“Right away they just jumped on her without even giving her a try,” Loubriel said.

In other related news, the anti-bullying hot line established a few weeks ago in the wake of Phoebe's death has been inundated with calls from students reporting bullying. 

The call flow has been extremely high with students reporting various types of bullying including nasty and obscene messages being posted to their Facebook accounts.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Moving On To The Next Chapter

By Pandora Poikilos

Most of you already know that when I started Peace from Pieces back in June 2010, it would function as my lifeboat to draw me out of the murky waters I was in. Now, months and months later, with almost 40,000 hits on this blog and 600 plus blogs at Blog-A-Licious, I have been blessed even more.

Because of this blog, because of all you who have taken the time and effort to drop by, I am now being given the opportunity to move on to the next chapter in my life. What is this chapter, you ask? I'll tell you soon enough so do keep watching this space.

In no way, is this goodbye or farewell but this is a wee little notice to say that as I work on this current new life chapter, I may take longer than usual with responding to emails, comments and messages communicated here and on the other Social Networks I belong to. Your patience is greatly appreciated.

Peace from Pieces will be updated as often I am able to do so.

For the causes we support, Pledge of Responsible Social Media Users and Rare Disease Day, do keep sharing them, there's always room for one more voice in support.

Till my next post, blessings. My cup runneth over - Psalms 23:5

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

What Are You Missing?

Author Unknown

The scene
Washington D.C. Metro Station on a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about an hour. During that time, approximately two thousand (2,000) people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

After 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes: the violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw the money in the till and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes: a young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes: a 3-year-old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly, as the kid looked at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time.

Several other children repeated this action.

Every parent, without exception, forced them to move on.

45 minutes: the musician continues to play. Only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while.

About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace.

He collected $32.

After 1 hour, the musician finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed, no one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.

The questions
In a commonplace environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful many other things are we missing?

The Elephant & The Fly

By Remez Sasson

A disciple and his teacher were walking through the forest. The disciple was disturbed by the fact that his mind was in constant unrest.

He asked his teacher, "Why most people's minds are restless, and only a few possess a calm mind? What can one do to still the mind?"

The teacher looked at the disciple, smiled and said, "I will tell you a story. An elephant was standing and picking leaves from a tree. A small fly came, flying and buzzing near his ear. The elephant waved it away with his long ears. Then the fly came again, and the elephant waved it away once more."

This was repeated several times. Then the elephant asked the fly, "Why are you so restless and noisy? Why can't you stay for a while in one place?"

The fly answered: "I am attracted to whatever I see, hear or smell. My five senses pull me constantly in all directions and I cannot resist them. What is your secret? How can you stay so calm and still?"

The elephant stopped eating and said, "My five senses do not rule my attention. Whatever I do, I get immersed in it. Now that I am eating, I am completely immersed in eating. In this way I can enjoy my food and chew it better. I rule and control my attention, and not the other way around."

Upon hearing these words, the disciple's eyes opened wide and a smile appeared on his face. He looked at his teacher and said, "I understand! If my five senses are in control of my mind and attention, then my mind is in constant unrest. If I am in charge of my five senses and attention, then my mind becomes calm."

"Yes, that's right", answered the teacher, "The mind is restless and goes wherever the attention is. Control your attention, and you control your mind."

These Challenging Times

By Edward G. Drennan

I graduated in 1982, a time very similar to what we are experiencing today - the economy was suffering through a major recession and the degree that I held was not worth what it was only a few months earlier.

I could not believe that after all the time spent in school that I would have a hard time getting a decent job! The 'cherry on top of the cake' was when I talked to high school friends, ones who had gone out to work right after graduation, and they had jobs and many owned a house. Me? I was out of work and in debt!!

OK, so what did I do??

My first reaction was not a productive or healthy one. The party habit I developed while being a student just continued after graduation. I felt that by just sending a general cover letter along with my CV to a lot of companies would work. It did not. After several months of rejection letters my spirits were pretty low. When I hit bottom, I decided to take whatever employment came my way ... just to get working on anything!!

My first job as a graduate? Building display booths for a local artist in my home town. It was a humbling, bitter pill to swallow. But it was the first money (other than family charity) that I had since my last co-op job. The next step I took was working out at the gym - I realized that when I exercised my morale improved greatly ... it even kept me positive for a few hours after the workout.

When I wasn't banging nails into 2x4's, I split my day into 2 parts: 4 hours of looking for work and 4 hours dedicated to self improvement (exercise, reading inspirational works and taking courses). And the way in which I sought employment changed dramatically, as well.

Gone was the CV "shot-gun" approach. I obtained from the local Chamber of Commerce a listing of the key players in each company that interested me. I then phoned and asked for that person directly by name. I realized that I was selling myself, so I asked for a meeting to discuss what I might 'do for them'. After the meeting, I always sent them a thank you letter expressing interest and then followed up with phone calls. After about 2 months of job seeking, in this manner, I was offered the position of 'acting production supervisor' in an insulation company. The offer had the following conditions:

1. I must be capable of moving up to the position of Production Manager within 6 months or lose the position AND

2. The starting pay was $7.00 per hour, to be re-negotiated after this probation period.

I took the offer. To learn the trade I spent my first few weeks working on the tools next to the blue collar men. They joked at how my initial productivity was about half as much as them, but it gained their respect. The rest is history ... I worked extra hours to learn the management position and gain the trust of my boss and he rewarded and promoted me once I had proven my value.

So, even though you may be very disappointed, or even fearful, in how the economy has turned out ... Never give up! Things will improve if you keep trying!!

Life gives answers in three ways.

It says YES and gives you what you want.
It says NO and gives you something better.
It says WAIT and gives you the BEST.

If you're committed to your dream, you will win anyways.

Don't just dream. Live your dream.
Keep moving towards it.

P.S. Always remember that we are all here to help you.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Daisy Lemmas Riff (Blog Chain)

By Roy Durham

Howdy! Are you ready to have some fun? Are you ready for some adventure? Do you want to look for hidden treasure? Visit new places travel the world? Do you like to play games? Do like to read a good story? Do you like meeting new people? How about make new friends? Maybe find a new job? Have you ever just surf the web? Have you got what it takes to be a world class traveler? Do you seek wisdom and knowledge? Do you want to be part of something big? Would you like travel back in time or go the future?

If you have answered yes to any of these then be here on Friday January 28, 2011 at high noon mountain standard time and begin your joinery.

Here are the rules: read the short story find the links and click and you are off on the adventure. As you travel report on face book where you have been or tweet tell about your adventure or what treasure you have found. Have fun.

A growing group of blog writers, artist, and photographers, have joined to write a story each have written a chapter of the story, you are the main character in the story. The story is ongoing and changing at will, your will. You are in control of it.

The links will change weekly this game is evolving, if you come back the next day the story will change. Last rule; leave a foot print or your mark the trail by leaving a comment at every page of the story

*Note to Bloggers: if you want to join in contact any participating blogger and you will be added.

Thank you for your time and god bless.

Chapters of this amazing journey include
Chapter 1 - Welcome To The Void
Chapter 2 - Waking Up
Chapter 3 - Eternity
Chapter 4 - Eternity 2
Chapter 5 - Reality Of A Dream
Chapter 6 - Fragments 
Chapter 7 - Dream or Not, "It" Spoke To Me
Chapter 8 - Bronze Elephants
Chapter 9 - Lot More Riff
Chapter 10 - Elephant Graveyard
Chapter 11 - Time Loop
Chapter 12 - Warfront 
Chapter 13 - The Ongoing Story
Chapter 14 - Renaissance 

Is your chapter next? Do let us know.

Participating bloggers include, Anna WallsDeborah McConnell, Jim McIntosh, Kiran KotaKriti MukherjeePandora Poikilos, Patricia Lynne, RM HeplerRoy Durham, SJSulekkha, Sweepy Jean
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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom



Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife


My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo



Powered by

Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun


Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

Powered by

Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max

Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry


My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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