Thursday, 30 June 2011

In Your Eyes

Author Unknown

It was a bitter, cold evening in northern Virginia many years ago. The old man's beard was glazed by winter's frost while he waited for a ride across the river. The wait seemed endless. His body became numb and stiff from the frigid north wind. He heard the faint, steady rhythm of approaching hooves galloping along the frozen path.

Anxiously, he watched as several horsemen rounded the bend. He let the first one pass by without an effort to get his attention. Then another passed by, and another. Finally, the last rider neared the spot where the old man sat like a snow statue. As this one drew near, the old man caught the rider's eye and said, "Sir, would you mind giving an old man a ride to the other side? There doesn't appear to be a passageway by foot."

Reining his horse, the rider replied, "Sure thing. Hop aboard." Seeing the old man was unable to lift his half-frozen body from the ground, the horseman dismounted and helped the old man onto the horse. The horseman took the old man not just across the river, but to his destination, which was just a few miles away.

As they neared the tiny but cozy cottage, the horseman's curiosity caused him to inquire, "Sir, I notice that you let several other riders pass by without making an effort to secure a ride. Then I came up and you immediately asked me for a ride. I'm curious why, on such a bitter winter night, you would wait and ask the last rider. What if I had refused and left you there?"

The old man lowered himself slowly down from the horse, looked the rider straight in the eyes, and replied, "I've been around these here parts for some time. I reckon I know people pretty good."

The old-timer continued, "I looked into the eyes of the other riders and immediately saw there was no concern for my situation. It would have been useless even to ask them for a ride. But when I looked into your eyes, kindness and compassion were evident. I knew, then and there, that your gentle spirit would welcome the opportunity to give me assistance in my time of need."

Those heartwarming comments touched the horseman deeply. "I'm most grateful for what you have said," he told the old man. "May I never get too busy in my own affairs that I fail to respond to the needs of others with kindness and compassion."

With that, Thomas Jefferson turned his horse around and made his way back to the White House.

I Can't

Author Unknown

I was the quintessential "I can't" child -- the poster child for the Advancement of the word "can't."

Whatever my mother told or asked me to do was immediately followed by my whining, "I caaaaan't." Consequently, very few tasks or goals that I set out to accomplished were ever completed.

One evening, my mother called me into the family room where she was reading an article in the TV Guide. On the cover was a photo of Marlo Thomas, currently starring in the popular sitcom, That Girl. Mother knew that the show was one of my favorites and Marlo one of my show biz idols.

"I want you to read this article," Mother began. "It's about Marlo Thomas. She tells how a simple poem that she was forced to learn by her father changed her life. She went from saying, "I can't" to "I can!" According to this article, she was able to restructure her life, and eventually her career, by learning the principles in the poem."

Sensing a conspiracy between Marlo Thomas and my mother, I took the small magazine from Mother and looked down at the glossy pages. There was Marlo, looking perky and adorable. Her smile was radiant and her trademark shoulder-flip hair was styled to perfection. I thought it must be grand to be Marlo! Beside her photo was the poem my mother had spoken of; a simple poem entitled, "I Can."

"I want you to memorize that poem," Mother said firmly.

"Mamaaaaa," I belly-ached. "I can't learn that poem. It's too loooong."

"It's not too long and yes, you can learn it. I want you to know it perfectly by this time tomorrow."

One does not say "no" to my mother. She coined the phrase: "When I tell you to jump you ask how high." She was the Queen of Dogwood Drive. I adored her, but this was going too far!

I slumped my shoulders, turned and trudged my way back to my bedroom with the magazine loosely held in my small right hand. With a heavy heart, I plopped on my bed, fell back against the cotton spread and began my task.

"Can't is a word that is foe to ambition," I began. I repeated the line. I repeated it again and again until it held firm in my heart. "An enemy ambush to shatter your will..." I continued the process until the following evening, when I proudly recited the poem that has continued to be my motto.

Ms. Thomas did not know me, but her story forever changed my life.

Saying, "I can," helped me to survive the worst moments of my life. Saying "I can" encouraged me to accomplish things I would have otherwise seen as out of my reach. A simple poem learned at seven is a poem that will sustain me to seventy-seven. Maybe even longer.

Can't is a word that is foe to ambition;
An enemy ambush to shatter your will.
It's prey forever to a man with a mission;
And bows only to courage, and patience, and skill.

So hate it with hatred that's deep and undying,
For once it is welcomed twill break any man.
And whatever the goal you are seeking, Keep trying!
And answer this demon by saying, "I Can!"

Directions For Life

Author Unknown

The best way to get even is to forget.

Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.

God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.

Some folks wear their halos much too tight.

Some marriages are made in heaven but they ALL have to be maintained on earth.

Unless you can create the WHOLE universe in 5 days, then perhaps giving "advice" to God, isn't such a good idea!

Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, and faith looks up.

Standing in the middle of the road is dangerous. You will get knocked down by the traffic from both ways.

Words are windows to the heart.

A skeptic is a person who when he sees the handwriting on the wall claims it's a forgery.

It isn't difficult to make a mountain out of a molehill; just add a little dirt.

A successful marriage isn't finding the right person. It's BEING the right person.

The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground.

Too many people offer God prayers, with claw marks all over them.

The tongue must be heavy indeed, because so few people can hold it.

To forgive is to set the prisoner free and then discover the prisoner was you.

You have to wonder about humans, they think God is dead and Elvis is alive!

It's all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just be sure to flush when you are done.

You'll notice that a turtle only makes progress when it sticks out it's neck.

If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, you can bet the water bill is higher.

Malaysia – A Little More Penang

***Firstly I'd like to say thanks to Pandora for firstly getting me to start writing all this down and secondly for letting me put this up on her blog.

Secondly, I wanted to advise all my readers that these posts are not current. They have been written up recently by myself from my deciphered notes taken at the time. This is why recently, Pandora had put up posts for me while I was busy making new stories up and had no Internet connection. From now on, I have put dates with the posts of when these happened. Hopefully this clarifies things for everyone.

Thirdly, thanks for reading all this. The entire journey lasted two whole years for me and while I have finished travelling for now, I hope to do this again and I'd love for all of you to follow me.

By Rough Guy’d

29th June 2009 - Come the Monday, I decided to go visit the big temple of Penang. Probably one of the biggest tourist attractions in Penang, it is visible from most of the island (due to the fact that it is on a hill). While I had seen my fair share of temples so far, this one did impress me and not just with the size of the place.

The basic design of the temple was aesthetically pleasing but it was the picture within the picture effect that I appreciated more. What this meant was that when you saw the temple or a part of it from afar, it looked impressive but then when you got close to it, the panels that you saw and thought were flat were in fact hand-carved with images and contained a level of detail that meant you could have spent all day looking at the story they were telling you. The only downside about the temple was the level of construction work that was going on as they were expanding the temple even more.

The next day the entire family and my auntie that came with us to Penang took me for a tour of the city. I was very appreciative of this, not only because they took me to places that my guidebook didn’t mention but also because I didn’t want to be a nuisance to them.

One thing that I learned is that while you may be traveling with no real time limit in place, the people that you stay with usually have to work or go to school. So at some point you may overstay your welcome and it is always a good idea to move on quickly before that happens. It is better to leave a day early when they didn’t quite get to do everything they wanted with you than it is to stay a day longer.

So we went out to visit a number of the museums, churches, temples, colonial buildings and even an old graveyard around Penang, picking up a lot of the history of the area both as a trading port and how the city flourished under British colonial rule to the present time. It was a really fun time as this was one of the few opportunities where I was looking at these types of places with other people that were local and just as enthusiastic as I was.

Following the full day yesterday, I ended up having a rest day today with the only time I went out being when we went out for dinner. We went out to a fancy restaurant and had a local Penang delicacy that I can’t even name but could roughly be translated to fatty pork rice.

Despite the name, it was pretty good and after dinner, we went out to the night market and tried a few different snacks. As I’ve said earlier, night markets are some of the best places to go to for trying some of the local foods and Penang was no exception.

It's A Crow!

Author Unknown

An 80 year old man was sitting on the sofa in his house along with his 45 years old highly educated son. Suddenly a crow perched on their window.

The Father asked his Son, "What is this?"

The Son replied "It is a crow".

After a few minutes, the Father asked his Son the 2nd time, "What is this?"

The Son said "Father, I have just now told you "It's a crow".

After a little while, the old Father again asked his Son the 3rd time, "What is this?"

At this time some ex-pression of irritation was felt in the Son's tone when he said to his Father with a rebuff, "It's a crow, a crow".

A little after, the Father again asked his Son the 4th time, "What is this?"

This time the Son shouted at his Father, "Why do you keep asking me the same question again and again, although I have told you so many times IT IS A CROW'. Are you not able to understand this?"

A little later the Father went to his room and came back with an old tattered diary, which he had maintained since his Son was born. On opening a page, he asked his Son to read that page. When the son read it, the following words were written in the diary :-

"Today my little son aged three was sitting with me on the sofa, when a crow was sitting on the window. My Son asked me 23 times what it was, and I replied to him all 23 times that it was a Crow. I hugged him lovingly each time he asked me the same question again and again for 23 times. I did not at all feel irritated I rather felt affection for my innocent child".

Buy Me A Husband

Author Unknown

A store that sells husbands has just opened in the city where a woman may go to choose a husband from among many men. The store is comprised of 6 floors, and the men increase in positive attributes as the shopper ascends the flights.

There is, however, a catch. As you open the door to any floor you may choose a man from that floor, but if you go up a floor, you cannot go back down except to exit the building.

So a woman goes to the shopping center to find a husband. On the first floor the sign on the door reads:

Floor 1 - These men have jobs.
The woman reads the sign and says to herself, "Well, that's better than my last boyfriend,but I wonder what's further up?" So up she goes.
The second floor sign reads :

Floor 2 - These men have jobs and love kids.
The woman remarks to herself, "That's great, but I wonder what's further up?" And up she goes again. The third floor sign reads:

Floor 3 - These men have jobs, love kids and are extremely good looking.
"Hmmm, better" she says. "But I wonder what's upstairs?" The fourth floor sign reads:

Floor 4 - These men have jobs, love kids, are extremely good looking and help with the housework.
"Wow!" exclaims the woman, "very tempting. But, there must be more, further up!" And again she heads up another flight. The fifth floor sign reads:

Floor 5 - These men have jobs, love kids, are extremely good looking, help with the housework and have a strong romantic streak.
"Oh, mercy me! But just think... what must be awaiting me further on?" So up to the sixth floor she goes. The sixth floor sign reads:

Floor 6 - You are visitor 3,456,789,012 to this floor.
There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at Husband Mart and have a nice day!

These Things I Wish For You

Author Unknown

We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse. For my grandchildren, I'd know better.

I'd really like for them to know about hand-me-down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf. I really would.

My cherished grandson, I hope you learn humility by surviving failure and that you learn to be honest even when no one is looking.

I hope you learn to make your bed and mow the lawn and wash the car - and I hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen.

It will be good if at least one time you can see a baby calf born and you have a good friend to be with you if you ever have to put your old dog to sleep.

I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in.

I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother. And it is all right to draw a line down the middle of the room, but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he's scared, I hope you'll let him.

And when you want to see a Disney movie and your kid brother wants to tag along, I hope you take him. I hope you have to walk uphill with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely. If you want a slingshot, I hope your father teaches you how to make one instead of buying one.

I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books, and when you learn to use computers, you also learn how to add and subtract in your head.

I hope you get razzed by friends when you have your first crush on a girl, and that when you talk back to your mother you learn what soap tastes like. May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on the stove and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole.

I hope you get sick when someone blows smoke in your face. I don't care if you try beer once, but I hope you won't like it. And if a friend offers you a joint or any drugs, I hope you are smart enough to realize that person is not your friend.

I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your grandpa or go fishing with your uncle. I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through a neighbor's window, and that she hugs you and kisses you when you give her a plaster of paris mold of your hand.

These things I wish for you - tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness.

Acres Of Diamonds

By Earl Nightingale

One of the most interesting Americans who lived in the 19th century was a man by the name of Russell Herman Conwell. He was born in 1843 and lived until 1925. He was a lawyer for about fifteen years until he became a clergyman.

One day, a young man went to him and told him he wanted a college education but couldn't swing it financially. Dr. Conwell decided, at that moment, what his aim in life was, besides being a man of cloth - that is. He decided to build a university for unfortunate, but deserving, students. He did have a challenge, however. He would need a few million dollars to build the university. For Dr. Conwell, and anyone with real purpose in life, nothing could stand in the way of his goal.

Several years before this incident, Dr. Conwell was tremendously intrigued by a true story - with its ageless moral. The story was about a farmer who lived in Africa and through a visitor became tremendously excited about looking for diamonds. Diamonds were already discovered in abundance on the African continent and this farmer got so excited about the idea of millions of dollars worth of diamonds that he sold his farm to head out to the diamond line. He wandered all over the continent, as the years slipped by, constantly searching for diamonds, wealth, which he never found. Eventually he went completely broke and threw himself into a river and drowned.

Meanwhile, the new owner of his farm picked up an unusual looking rock about the size of a country egg and put it on his mantle as a sort of curiosity. A visitor stopped by and in viewing the rock practically went into terminal convulsions. He told the new owner of the farm that the funny looking rock on his mantle was about the biggest diamond that had ever been found. The new owner of the farm said, "Heck, the whole farm is covered with them" - and sure enough it was.

The farm turned out to be the Kimberly Diamond Mine...the richest the world has ever known. The original farmer was literally standing on "Acres of Diamonds" until he sold his farm.

Dr. Conwell learned from the story of the farmer and continued to teach it's moral. Each of us is right in the middle of our own "Acre of Diamonds", if only we would realize it and develop the ground we are standing on before charging off in search of greener pastures. Dr. Conwell told this story many times and attracted enormous audiences. He told the story long enough to have raised the money to start the college for underprivileged deserving students. In fact, he raised nearly six million dollars and the university he founded, Temple University in Philadelphia, has at least ten degree-granting colleges and six other schools.

When Doctor Russell H. Conwell talked about each of us being right on our own "Acre of Diamonds", he meant it. This story does not get will be true forever...

Opportunity does not just come along - it is there all the time - we just have to see it.

A Success To Fail

By Anthony A. Rego

As a little child when I wanted to move,
I learned that I should crawl.
Yet when I got on my hand and knees,
Again and again I would fall.

But I rose to my knees, each time I fell,
I was determined to get moving.
With every fall, I learned a better way,
Until finally I started crawling.

Now mommy saw, I was starting to learn,
And thought I needed more.
So from the cradle, I was placed on the floor,
I smiled, and crawled away to explore.

Now one day I saw, up on the table,
Something delicious I wanted to eat.
But unfortunately I couldn’t reach,
And I knew it was time to get on my feet.

Both hands and knees were on the ground,
And I’d try to raise my belly.
Yet gradually as I tried to straighten.
Again and again I would fall.

But I rose to my feet each time I fell,
I was determined to start reaching.
With every fall, I learned a better way,
Until finally I started standing.

Now while I was standing, I wanted to move
But every few steps and I stumbled.
So I spread my hands, against the wall,
Yet again and again I would fall.

But I rose to my feet each time I fell
I was determined to start hiking.
With every fall, I learned a better way,
Until finally I started walking.

All day long I walked and I played,
At last I could have some fun.
The more I walked, the better I got,
Until one day, I could actually run.

Bangs and bruises, were the only pain,
Which brought tears to my eyes.
And with every obstacle that came in my path,
I learned; there was a way around.

Now if that wasn’t plenty to my parent’s dismay,
I would try to climb the chairs.
Over and under, up and down.
Not until I fell and hurt my crown.

Memories of my childhood are still with me,
And it taught me an intelligent lesson.
That falling down is not the end,
But one-step higher to achieving.

I have made mistakes all through my life,
A hundred times I’ve failed.
But with every failure I learned a lesson;
A lesson, saying, "There’s a better way".

From a tiny child that could barely move,
We learned how to roll and crawl.
Yet determined to reach the top,
We learned how to stand and walk.

But we didn’t stop there; we learned to run,
Then we learned how to jump and climb.
So why stop now; the stars aren’t high,
Let’s just spread our wings, and fly.

Touch Me

If I am your child
Please touch me.
Find ways to meet my needs.
Your goodnight hug helps sweeten my dreams.
Your daytime touching tells me how you really feel.

If I am your teenager
Please touch me.
Don't think because I'm almost grown,
I don't need to know that you still care.
I need your loving arms;
I need a tender voice.

If I am your friend
Please touch me.
Nothing lets me know you care like a warm embrace.
A healing touch when I'm depressed assures me I am loved,
And reassures me that I'm not alone.
Yours may be the only comforting touch I get.

If I am your life's partner
Please touch me.
You may think that your passion is enough,
But only your arms hold back my fears.
I need your tender reassuring touch,
To remind me I am loved just because I am me.

If I am your grown-up child
Please touch me.
Though I may have a family of my own to hold,
I still need Mommy's and Daddy's arms when I hurt.
As a parent, the view is different;
I appreciate you more.

If I am your aging parent
Please touch me.
Hold my hand,
Sit close to me, give me strength;
And warm my tired body with your nearness.
Although my skin is worn and wrinkled,
It loves to be stroked;
Don't be afraid.

Strength Vs. Courage

By Andy Griffiths

It takes strength to be firm.
It takes courage to be gentle.

It takes strength to stand guard.
It takes courage to let down your guard.

It takes strength to conquer
It takes courage to surrender.

It takes strength to be certain.
It takes courage to have doubt.

It takes strength to fit in.
It takes courage to stand out.

It takes strength to feel a friend's pain.
It takes courage to feel your own pain.

It takes strength to hide feelings.
It takes courage to show them.

It takes strength to endure abuse.
It takes courage to stop it.

It takes strength to stand alone.
It takes courage to lean on another.

It takes strength to love.
It takes courage to be loved.

It takes strength to survive.
It takes courage to live.

Days Of The Week

Author Unknown

There are two days in every week about which we should not worry. Two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.

One of these days is yesterday, with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed. We cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone.

The other day we should not worry about is tomorrow, with its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise and poor performance. Tomorrow is beyond our immediate control. Tomorrow's sun will rise, whether in splendor or behind a mask of clouds. But it will rise. Until it does we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is yet unborn.

This leaves only one day: today.

Any man can fight the battles of just one day. It is when you and I add the burdens of two awful eternities - yesterday and tomorrow, that we break down.

It is not necessarily the experience of today that disturbs one's peace of mind. It is oftentime the bitterness for something which happened yesterday and the dread of what tomorrow may bring.

Let us therefore live one day at a time.

Things Aren't Always What They Seem

Author Unknown

Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansions guest room. Instead the angels were given a space in the cold basement.

As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied, "Things aren't always what they seem."

The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night rest.

When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.

The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel, "How could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, yet you helped him", she accused. "The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let their cow die!"

"Things arent always what they seem", the older angel replied. "When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn't find it. Then, last night as we slept in the farmers bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave her the cow instead. Things aren't always what they seem".

Promise Yourself

By Christian D Larson

Promise yourself to be strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best and expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

I Didn't Mean To Hit You

"i didn't mean to hit you, I'm sorry and it won't ever happen again."
- a usual occurence in an abusive relationship.
- hate to break it to you sweetheart, but what it actually means is that it WILL happen again. And NO, he's not worth it. You never discrespect a woman. No buts. And seriously, love? Love has nothing to do with hitting.

I Understand

"i understand what you are going through."
- often used when trying to console somone.
- what it actually means, most of the time, 'seriously, i don't have a clue of what you're going through or how you feel, I only know I have to say something soothing and this is the best that I could come up with.'


"i don't have a ______ problem."
- refers to people with drinking, drugs, women, gambling etc. habits.
- what it actually means is that there is a VERY BIG problem hiding beneath their habit. Their habit only serves as a diversion.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

I Am Your Determination

By Alan Steble

I am hope in a stream of hopelessness
I am a dream in a cloud of nightmares
I am love when hate abounds
I am light when darkness surrounds
I am the last breath in fatigue
I am the doubt that only you believe
I am the finishing step
In your endless race
I am the burst of speed
That puts you in first place
I am the part of you that doesn't give up

I am the open path in an endless maze
I am the lush water puddle in a dry desert
I am the last peach on a dying tree
I am the touch of life that sets you free
I am everything you lack
I am the second chance that takes you back
I am the iron shield when you take a blow
I am the one to show you where to go
I am that final thought in your mind
That pushes you to the end
I have always been your greatest friend
I am the part of you that doesn't give up

I am as pristine as the orange ocean sunset
I am as beautiful as the twinkling stars
I am the haste it takes to make it that far
I am as powerful as a raging waterfall
I am the strength to climb any wall
I am the courage in a moment of fear
I am your last bitter crying tear
Before you rise back up
And take what's rightfully yours
I am always there for you
Even when you least expect it
I am the part of you that keeps on going
And with every smile keeps on growing
I am the part of you that never gives up

...I am your determination!

It’s A Snake

By Paula Renaye

Many of you probably know the story about the man and the snake based on Aesop's Fable, The Famer and the Viper. The story has been told many ways, but in general a man sees a snake freezing in the snow and takes pity on him. He puts the snake under his coat to warm him up. The snake revives and bites the man. The man is shocked that his kindness has been repaid in this way, but the snake simply shrugs and says, "You knew I was a snake when you picked me up."

Once when a copperhead made its home beside my back porch, I proceeded to "help" it find a new place to live. I was real clear on why. Mostly it was helping me—I didn't want it to bite me or my children—but also I knew if it stayed there someone would kill it. So, I got a shovel and, with the help of my oldest daughter, wrangled the snake into a trash can and hauled if off into the woods to find a new and safer home. I considered it a win-win for all concerned. Not once was I confused about what I was dealing with, nor did I expect gratitude for my "help."

However, dealing with human snakes isn't quite so easy.

I found myself in a situation with a woman a couple of years ago that I did not know how to handle. I figured out her nature pretty quickly—I knew she was a snake—but she was also an influential snake that had the power to negatively affect my career, which she eventually—and joyfully—did.

I let myself get lured in because I feared the consequences of not being friendly with her and did things I felt I had to rather than really wanted to. No matter how “nice” I was, always—and I do mean always—in one way or another it came back to bite me. I kept playing the game with her, thinking that this time things would be different, this time she wouldn't act like a snake, this time she would appreciate how nice I was being and would be grateful and kind in return—this time she would do the right thing. Well, she did the right thing all right—from her point of view—and it had dramatic consequences for me.

I bet you've known a human snake or two in your life and have probably been surprised when your good intentions didn't get the results you expected. But if you think about it, who was really at fault? Was it the snake for being a snake? Or, was it you for not being clear about your motivations for playing with the snake? Were you expecting your "goodness" to transform a snake into a grateful puppy who would then give you what you were looking for?

If you choose to befriend or rescue snakes, know why you're doing it. If it's really for the good of the snake, you can be helpful without putting yourself at risk. However—and here's where the problem comes in—if your goal is really to get gratitude and praise from the poor lesser soul you've rescued or helped, there's probably a pretty hefty bite in your future.

If you're intent on helping—and frankly, how often do snakes really want help—then do so quietly and safely and be on your way quickly so the snake can get back to doing snake things, which it will. Do not expect otherwise.

As with anything, things will go a lot better for everyone if you know why you are considering doing a particular thing. Get clear on your motivations, and it will be much easier to make wise decisions that are truly helpful to others, and also respectful to yourself.

Paula Renaye is a certified professional coach, life empowerment speaker and award-winning author of the newly released Hardline Self Help Handbook. Visit for details and more self improvement tips.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Confessions Of A Dumb Monkey

By John Colanzi

Sometimes I'm so dumb it amazes me. I know that I should never fall in love with a program and I should never get complacent with how I market.

I guess that makes me a dumb monkey. So what do I mean by that?

There are some countries where monkeys are a delicacy. More specifically their brains.

One of the methods they use to capture the monkeys is to take a large jar and place a nut or fruit in the bottom. Anything that the monkey likes to eat.

The top of the jar is just big enough for the monkeys open hand to reach in and just heavy enough that the monkey can't run with it.

When the monkey reaches in and grabs his little goody, he finds he can't get his hand out. No matter how hard he struggles, he can't pull his hand out.

Now this dumb monkey doesn't realize, that if he let go of the prize he's clutching in his hand, he could easily get his hand back out.

The same thing happens to marketers. They find a product or service and fall in love with it. They promote it to the high heavens.

But no matter how much they promote, they can't seem to make a sale. Just like that monkey that won't drop the nut, they just keep pouring good money after bad and refuse to let go.

The same thing happens with their marketing methods. They fall into the trap of using an advertising technique or marketing method that doesn't bring any results.

It doesn't matter how bad the results are they just keep throwing more money into the pot, hoping this time it will work.

Man alive, they've become just as trapped as that little monkey. They don't know when to let go. They've fallen in love and keep spending money like a drunken sailor on shore leave.

Do yourself a favor, don't be a dumb monkey.

If a marketing method isn't working, let it go and find something that does.

If a product or service doesn't sell, let it go and find something that will.

Smart investors know that secret. Many times the only difference between a successful investor and a losing investor is, the successful investor knows when to cut his losses.

Your business can be the best investment you ever make, but like any investment, you have to know when to pyramid your profits and even more importantly when to cut your losses.

Learn that lesson and you're on your way to success.

Wishing You Success.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Breaking The Silence

By Barry Spilchuk

"How did you do it, Dad? How have you managed to not take a drink for almost 20 years?" It took me almost 20 years to have the courage to even ask my father this very personal question. When Dad first quit drinking, the whole family was on pins and needles every time he got into a situation that, in the past, would have started him drinking again. For a few years we were afraid to bring it up for fear the drinking would begin again.

"I had this little poem that I would recite to myself at least four to five times a day," was Dad's reply to my 18-year-old unasked question. "The words were an instant relief and constant reminder to me that things were never so tough that I could not handle them," Dad said. And then he shared the poem with me. The poem's simple, yet profound words immediately became part of my daily routine as well.

About a month after this talk with my father, I received a gift in the mail from a friend of mine. It was a book of daily affirmations with one affirmation listed for each day of the year.

It has been my experience that when you get something with days of the year on it, you automatically turn to the page that lists your own birthday.

I hurriedly opened the book to November 10 to see what words of wisdom this book had in store for me. I did a double-take and tears of disbelief and appreciation rolled down my face. There, on my birthday, was the exact same poem that had helped my father for all these years! It is called the Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the Courage to change the things I can; and the Wisdom to know the difference.

Facebook Beefs Up Security After Zuck Hack

By Tim Bradshaw, Financial Times

Facebook is to offer its users greater security when they log in, after the social network’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy suffered hacking attacks.

From Wednesday, users will be able to turn on an “https” secure connection, a form of browser security usually found in online banking services and at the check-out on e-commerce sites.

The new security features will be eagerly awaited by dissidents in countries where governments have been cracking down on internet use, such as Egypt. In Tunisia before the recent revolution, the state intercepted protesters’ Facebook login details and locked them out of their accounts.

Last year, Facebook suffered a security scare when a browser add-on called “Firesheep” allowed people to capture others’ login details over unsecured WiFi networks.

Earlier this week, an unidentified hacker broke into Mr Sarkozy’s Facebook page and wrote a message, littered with spelling and grammar errors, that he planned to step down at the next election.

The French president made light of the break-in, later writing on the site: “My Facebook account has been hacked tonight, perhaps to remind me that no system is foolproof. I will take the lesson of writing and spelling, but disagree with the conclusions.”

Last night, Mr Zuckerberg, Facebook chief executive, also found he had fallen victim to a similar attack. A message that appeared on his fan page read:

“Let the hacking begin: If facebook needs money, instead of going to the banks, why doesn’t Facebook let its users invest in Facebook in a social way? Why not transform Facebook into a ‘social business’ the way Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus described it? What do you think? #hackercup2011.”

The apparent criticism of Facebook’s recent $1bn fundraising through Goldman Sachs was swiftly deleted, but not before being spotted by the TechCrunch blog and attracting hundreds of comments.

(UPDATE – Facebook commented: “A bug enabled status postings by unauthorized people on a handful of public Pages. The bug has been fixed.”)

Facebook said that it was introducing https connections across the site as part of international “Data Privacy Day” later this week, rather than in response to the recent attacks.

Users will have to opt into using the extra security, through their account settings.

“You should consider enabling this option if you frequently use Facebook from public internet access points found at coffee shops, airports, libraries or schools,” wrote Alex Rice, a Facebook security engineer, on the company blog.

“We are rolling this out slowly over the next few weeks, but you will be able to turn this feature on in your Account Settings soon. We hope to offer https as a default whenever you are using Facebook sometime in the future.”

Mr Rice warned that turning on https would slow down page loading and could break third-party applications.

Facebook is also introducing a new way to distinguish between human users and automated attempts to log in, which can be used in hacking attacks.

Instead of the common “captcha” box which asks users to write the distorted letters they see in an image, Facebook users will be asked to identify a friend displayed in a selection of photos.

“Hackers halfway across the world might know your password, but they don’t know who your friends are,” Mr Rice said.

Would You Help A Homeless Man?

Author Unknown

It was a cold Sunday morning when members started arriving at church, snow flakes had just fallen, people were rushing in to get inside. To the warmth, to the dry sanctuary.

As the members were walking in they were astonished to see a homeless person laying on the sidewalk by the front door. He was bent over all covered up with an old black trench coat, that had many holes in it.

His shoes had holes in it and you could see his socks filthy from months of grime on them. The man had a black hat on that covered his face. His hands filthy with dirt from probably digging in a garbage can some thought.

As the members made their way into the sanctuary, they were all discussing how this horrible filthy man, had the nerve to sleep at THEIR church doors!

Finally the pianist started playing and the members all sat down in their seats. They were all looking around, wondering where the Pastor could be. You could hear people whispering, saying, "Pastor Joe is probably telling that homeless man he needs to leave the property." "What would visitors think if they seen him."

All of a sudden, you could hear a gasp! The homeless man was walking down the middle of the church aisle, he made his way to the front, and then to the platform! When the homeless man got to the microphone. He said "Good morning, how are you all?"

The homeless man was their Pastor Joe!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook Fan Page Hacked

By Stan Schroeder, Mashable

26 January 2011 - Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook fan page seems to have been hacked, with the hacker posting a message calling on the company to transform into a “social business.”

The message, seemingly posted on Facebook from Mark Zuckerberg’s account, was quickly removed (together with the fan page), but not quickly enough to go by unnoticed, receiving more than 1,800 “likes” and hundreds of comments in the process.

The message read: “Let the hacking begin: If facebook needs money, instead of going to the banks, why doesn’t Facebook let its users invest in Facebook in a social way? Why not transform Facebook into a ‘social business’ the way Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus described it? [LINK] What do you think? #hackercup2011″

Facebook made no statement about the incident, but if Zuckerberg’s fan page was indeed hacked, it’s a big deal. If the Facebook CEO (more accurately, the PR team that’s handling the page for him) can’t keep his Facebook account safe from intruders, who can?

We’ve reached out to Facebook about the incident and will update the post when we hear back.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Ready, Set, Go ... Blog-A-Licious Blog Tour 3

And we're off on another Blog-A-Licious Blog Tour a fantastic blog hop that brings together bloggers of all genres, backgrounds and locations. Do stop by and say hello to the participating bloggers. I'm pretty certain some of us are even having giveaways and contests. Enjoy!

17. Nolan -

Fun tips to make it work
1. Tweet it (#blogalicious), Stumble it and share it any way you can.
2. Even if you can't visit all the blogs in one day, spread it over the weekend or even the week. We'd love to have you visit us.
3. If there is anything you need or if you would like more information on the next blog tour, email me

Parents Warned Of Facebook Model Scam

By Donal Walsh, School Days

25 January 2011 - Parents have been warned that there is a scam circulating on social network site Facebook targeting children.

Last week, Leicestershire Police revealed that fake modelling agencies are using the social media website to entice youngsters to pose in their underwear by promising them a career in modelling.

Facebook profiles have been set up which have logos and brand names to appear genuine, with people emailing children asking them to send indecent photos of themselves to the agencies.

Detective sergeant Ed Jones, member of the Paedophile and Online Investigation team at Leicestershire Constabulary, said reputable modelling agencies would "never approach you in this way".

He told children not to pose for pictures in their underwear, stating: "You have no control when posting photos on the internet where they may end up and they could appear on the internet forever."

A spokesman for Facebook stated that the safety of its members is its "top priority".

This news follows findings by the European Commission released last week, which recommended internet companies to provide more support to protect young people online.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Shop Online Safely

Sourced from Get Safe Online

How to pick trustworthy online retailers and avoid scams
Millions of people buy online every day without any problems. With a bit of commonsense and knowledge, you can avoid problems with ecommerce.

Buying goods that aren’t delivered.
Goods which don’t match the description.
Delays and hassles with online purchases.
Poor after-sales service.
Misuse of your credit or debit card details.

Deal with reputable sellers
Pick good sellers, especially when buying from private individuals.
Look for evidence of a physical address and telephone contact details.
Don’t judge a person or company solely by their web site.
Be especially cautious when buying from overseas companies.
Check sellers’ privacy policy and returns policy.
Use an appropriate, safe means of online payment to get some protection against non-delivery.

Use a secure website
Make sure you use a secure web site to enter credit card information. Look for a padlock symbol in the bottom right of the browser window and for the website address to begin with ‘https://’ (see Learn about secure web pages).
If you are using the latest browser technology and the shop has the latest website security, known as an Extended Validation SSL Certificate, your address bar may turn green when you are on a secure site.
If you get a warning about a certificate be very cautious indeed. However, the padlock is not an absolute guarantee of safety and it says nothing about the business’s ethics.
Click on the padlock to check that the seller is who they say they are and that their certificate is current and registered to the right address.
Don’t be fooled by a padlock that appears on the web page itself. It’s easy for conmen to copy the image of a padlock. You need to look for one that is in the window frame of the browser itself.

Beware of scams
If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. Cross-check information on the internet and see if anyone else has had problems.
Beware of work from home scams which promise easy profits but never pay.
Buy from reputable companies.
Be extremely wary of anything that is offered in an unsolicited or spam email.

Selling online
If you are a business selling online:
Validate new customers and suppliers using published information (e.g. address or phone number).
Obtain a credit status report before shipping goods on credit.
E-commerce businesses are liable for any fraud on cards they accept (unless they are using 'Verified by Visa' or 'Mastercard Securecode'. These systems can help protect businesses from chargebacks that result from fraud).
Using the Address Verification System (AVS) and Card Security Code (CSC) checking systems will significantly reduce the risks from e-commerce fraud.
Authorisation does not guarantee payment and so businesses must do all checks to validate the customer and delivery address.

Writing To Me Is ...

By Pandora Poikilos

Today's post is in conjunction with the Blog-A-Licious Blog Tour a fantastic blog hop that brings together bloggers of all genres, backgrounds and locations. In today's hop, the blog featured before Peace from Pieces is the eloquent Sulekha. The blog featured after Peace from Pieces is the eclectic Sarah. Do stop by and say hello plus some of us are having giveaways and contests. Enjoy!

I had something completely different planned out for this post when I first came up with the title but bogged down with a bad cold, promoting my current book (Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out), writing my second book (Frequent Traveler) and still being reminded that nothing will ever remove the silent torture of having an incurable medical condition, I re-evaluated my answer.

Writing to me is a lot of things, it is acceptance, love, faith, hope, freedom and peace. All themes I have touched on before. But if I had to pick just one word to complete the sentence, "Writing to me is ..." then I will pick "healing". Yes - Writing to me is healing. When I write, I am not the frail inept woman battling an incurable neurological disorder, I can be anything I set my mind to be without any limitations. I can choose to heal my past hurts, draw out the future and I can show people around me how much they mean to me.

Most of all, I hope I can offer "healing" to someone else who may need it so they too can chin up and keep moving forward. Lord knows I'm literally a few brain nerves short since my diagnosis and shunt surgery but for everything that has been taken from me, I still have the best thing of all, my words.

I've included something I wrote for Peas eons ago, meant for all the people who are our surfboards as we ride the wave. Love and light.
The House
There was a house given to a man
By someone who loved him very much
Maybe because it was so easy
To have received such a gift
Or maybe because he didn't know
What the house needed
The house was eventually, ruined

Slowly, the paint peeled away
The floorboards were torn from its surface
Its windows shattered
Every inch of the house creaked in pain
And mourned for attention
The man in the house didn't seem to care
Just as long as he had his corner

When others came to help
He chased them away
He said the house belonged to him
And no one else will ever have a claim
One by one, they stopped coming
Fearful for what he would do to them
More fearful that he would bring down the house

Sometimes they felt heavy hearted
Other times they wished
He would just go away
Then, one day, their wishes came true
A heavy storm set in
It ripped the house apart even further
So much, that the man must leave

There is no more roof
Bare resemblance to walls
There is only an empty frame.
The usual few come to the house
They have small offerings of paint, wood and hope
But too much needs to be fixed
And they too have their own houses to mend

You, see the house on your way to another
You think, one day long ago, this was a beauty
And one day, soon, you can make it shine again
At times you are hesitant
But more often you are perservering
People are tempted to call you crazy
But piece by piece you give it form

Some days, you step back and think
I've done such good work, I feel good
Just as another piece falls apart
And you think, there's more to be done
Will it ever end, you ask
On other days, you need to only glance
And you'll know, this is home, today and always

Thank you being a part of the Blog-A-Licious Blog Tour!
Should you like to receive a complimentary copy of one of the following
1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out (Fiction, Novel)

2. Writing 101, 10 Simple Tips to Establishing Yourself As A Writer Using Social Media (Non-Fiction)
3. 10 Ways to Stop Your Panic Attacks Quickly, Simple techniques to keep your panic attacks from getting the best of you (Non-Fiction)
- feel free to leave me a comment with your email address or email me at

Pasta Salad

By Allison Boelcke

Lettuce may be the star of most salads, but it doesn't always hold up well. After an extended period of time, green wilt and become soggy. If you want a more substantial, longer-lasting base for your salad, use pasta instead. Pasta is firm enough to withstand a variety of added ingredients and dressings, and it stays fresh longer, so you can make large batches without wasting the leftovers.

What You'll Need
- Choose a short, tubed pasta, such as macaroni or penne, or cavatappi (spirals). These types of pastas will hold more of the salad dressing in their ridges and center holes. They are also easier to serve with a spoon than longer, thinner pastas.
- The dressing ingredients will depend on your taste preference as well as how you will be serving the salad. For a richer dressing, use mayonnaise as your base; however, make sure you will be serving it immediately.
- If mayonnaise sits out at room temperature for long periods of time, such as for a picnic or buffet, it can spoil. For these occasions, use a premade vinaigrette dressing, or mix together olive oil, vinegar, mustard and seasonings.
- A basic ratio for vinaigrette is 6 tbsp. oil, 2 tbsp. vinegar and 1/2 tsp. mustard. Use hearty vegetables that can hold up over an extended period of time, such as chopped peppers, onions and celery.

Method To Savour
- Set aside enough time to cook the pasta and cool it to room temperature before assembling the salad. Since the pasta will not be covered with a thick sauce, it needs to be seasoned properly or the whole salad will be bland.
- Add a small handful of salt to the water you use to boil the pasta. If you try to season it afterward, the salt will not adhere to the pasta.
- Boil the pasta according to the package instructions, but sample a piece about two minutes before the estimated cooking time to prevent overcooking it. The pasta should be soft but still have a chewy bite to it.
- If you overcook it, the pasta will be mushy. Once the pasta is properly prepared, wait until it has cooled before tossing it with your dressing and other salad ingredients.

How To Store It
- You can serve pasta salad warm, but it is more often chilled before serving. The added chill time gives the flavors of the pasta, dressing and vegetables time to blend together and develop a deeper taste.
- Cover the top of your serving bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you're ready to serve it. The salad will be most flavorful if it's chilled for a minimum of two hours before serving.
- Transfer any leftover pasta salad to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. It should keep its firm texture for about three days.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Malaysia – Unexpected Illness

By Rough Guy’d

As my cousin and her husband had only just arrived into Malaysia, her parents (who live in Ipoh) decided to take her to one of the most famous tourist sites, the Cameron Highlands... This meant that with nothing else to do, I ended up going back up into its heights for the second time in a week.

While this didn’t sound too interesting it ended up being quite different from my last trip. Unlike the more sedentary pace of the last trip, this trip was more about trying to fit more into a shorter amount of time. Also this trip didn’t see us stay a couple of nights up there but rather drive up and down in one day.

As a result of the different attitude, we managed to see a lot more including a big rose garden, a butterfly park, the famous big waterfall of Cameron Highlands and a second and longer trip to see the Boh tea farm. Probably the biggest tea farm up there, it was quite a sight to see acres upon acres of tea plants all covering the steep hillsides with workers carefully picking their way through them to pick at the tender young tea buds that are used for making the tea we drink.

However as far as good points about this trip were concerned, that was about it. The first bit of bad news for me was a blockage of ears, most likely due to a change in air pressure as I went up and down twice so soon and my inability to clear my ears saw me unable to stand up due to the pain and wasn’t cleared until a couple of days later with the help of some anti-inflammatory pills.

Unfortunately I could tell that even after that, my ears were still not 100% and fearful of doing further damage, I decided against diving in Malaysia a full month later...

The second bit of bad news came from I suspect, the Muslim restaurant where we all ate lunch. The curse of the traveler had hit me and while this wasn’t the first time, it was a particularly nasty case and combined with my head, didn’t do me any favours. Though we came down and met up with some more relations at the nearby town of Kampar where the wedding would be held, I wasn’t good company to say the least.

All this and the wedding was only two days away. Morale of the story, don’t eat anything that isn’t freshly cooked and piping hot regardless of how nice the restaurant looks unless you have some very good preparation beforehand.

Thankfully both of the problems, though not clearing up properly, did manage to clear up enough for me to be able to attend most of the wedding and chat and talk with most people because it turned out to be a pretty good wedding after all...

Virtues Of A Woman

Author Unknown

When God created woman, he was working later on the 6th day. An angel came by and said: "Why spend so much time on that one?"

And the Lord answered - "Have you seen all the specifications I have to meet to shape her? She must be washable, but not made of plastic, have more than 200 moving parts which all must be replaceable and she must function on all kinds of food, she must be able to embrace several kids at the same time, give a hug that can heal anything from a bruised knee to a broken heart and she must do all this with only two hands."

The angel was impressed. "Just two hands...impossible! And this is the standard model? Too much work for one day...wait until tomorrow and then complete her."

"I will not", said the Lord. "I am so close to completing this creation, which will be the favorite of my heart. She cures herself when sick and she can work 18 hours a day."

The angel came nearer and touched the woman. "But you have made her so soft, Lord."

"She is soft", said the Lord, "But I have also made her strong. You can't imagine what she can endure and overcome."

"Can she think?" the angel asked.

The Lord answered: "Not only can she think, she can reason and negotiate."

The angel touched the woman's cheek. "Lord, it seems this creation is leaking! You have put too many burdens on her."

"She is not's a tear" the Lord corrected the angel.

"What's it for?" asked the angel.

And the Lord said, "Tears are her way of expressing grief, her doubts, her love, her loneliness, her suffering and her pride."

This made a big impression on the angel; "Lord, you are genius. You thought of everything. The woman is indeed marvelous!"

"Indeed she is! Woman has strengths that amaze man. She can handle trouble and carry heavy burdens. She holds happiness, love and opinions. She smiles when feeling like screaming. She sings when she feels like crying, cries when she is happy and laughs when she is afraid.

She fights for what she believes in. Stands up against injustice. She doesn't take "no" for an answer, when she can see a better solution. She gives herself so her family can thrive. She takes her friend to the doctor if she is afraid. Her love is unconditional.

She cries when her kids are victorious. She is happy when her friends do well. She is glad when she hears of a birth or a wedding. Her heart is broken when a next of kin or friend dies. But she finds the strength to get on with life. She knows that a kiss and a hug can heal a broken heart.

There is only one thing wrong with her - She forgets what she is worth.

Echoes Of Life

Author Unknown

A son and his father were walking on the mountains. Suddenly, the son falls, hurts himself and screams, "AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!"

To his surprise, he hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain: "AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!"

Curious, he yells, "Who are you?"

He receives the answer, "Who are you?"

Angered at the response, he screams, "Coward!"

He receives the answer, "Coward!"

He looks to his father and asks, "What's going on?"

The father smiles and says, "My son, pay attention."

And then he screams to the mountain, "I admire you!"

The voice answers, "I admire you!"

Again the father screams, "You are a champion!"

The voice answers, "You are a champion!"

The boy is surprised, but does not understand.

Then the father explains:

"People call this ECHO, but really this is LIFE. It gives you back everything you say or do. Our life is simply a reflection of our actions.

If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart. If you want more competence in your team, improve your competence. This relationship applies to everything, in all aspects of life; life will give you back everything you have given to it.

Your life is not a coincidence. It's a reflection of you!"

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Movie Messages - Self Help For Self Worth

By Paula Renaye

I realize I’m late to the game on commenting on the movie Eat Pray Love, but I just watched it this past week—twice. The story is about a woman who married young, realized her mistake at her wedding, but plowed on anyway. She eventually divorced and fell into a rebound relationship of infatuation. I’ve lived my version of that same story. And, as Julia Roberts said so authentically in the director’s cut, it ended with “the complete and merciless devaluation of self.”

For me, my rebound relationship was like a bad Hollywood sequel. I took my same faulty script, added a new setting and cast, and somehow expected that this time it would have a good and happy ending. It didn’t, of course. My bad old movie became a horribly bad
new one, and it very nearly destroyed me. The few shreds of self worth I’d hung on to after my divorce were left on the cutting room floor right along with my hopes and dreams. Almost overnight, I became someone I didn’t know—and didn’t like.

In retrospect, the energy, emotion, angst, time and importance I gave to the situation seems incredibly ridiculous. But at the time, my world hinged on the outcome of those gut-wrenching experiences. Hanging on to the relationship really did feel like a matter of life and death. I wasn’t yet willing to do what Liz did in the movie—I couldn’t walk away from what I thought I would die without.

But, to paraphrase Richard Bach in Illusions, even as I argued for my limitations, I knew I couldn’t hold up to that level emotional pain indefinitely. Something had to give. One day, when I found myself knocked to my knees, I began to look for different ways back up—ways that didn’t involve him.

I went to work on my outer physical world by rebuilding my financial house and then buying myself a home. I immediately launched myself into a major renovation, which occupied both my mind and my hands and rebuilt my self-confidence and self-respect. When I took control of and responsibility for making my physical world what I wanted, my inner world transformed as well. Eventually, I was no longer willing to accept the unacceptable. And “just like that,” it was done. I was free.

I haven’t yet made it to Italy, India or Javier Bardem, but I sure like the movie I’m living today. I am happy! And you can be too! Simply start by loving and respecting yourself and taking responsibility for the way things are in your life right now. If you want something different, get busy doing something different!

You can live your joy!

Paula Renaye is a certified professional coach, life empowerment speaker and award-winning author of the newly released Hardline Self Help Handbook. Visit for details and more self improvement tips.

Nudge The Balance

Author Unknown

A 91-year-old woman died after living a very long dignified life. When she met God, she asked Him something that had really bothered her for a very long time. “If Man was created in God’s image, and if all men are created equal, why do people treat each other so badly?”

God replied that each person who enters our life has a unique lesson to teach us. It is only through these lessons that we learn about life, people and our relationships with God. This confused the woman, so God began to explain:

“When someone lies to you, it teaches you that things are not always what they seem. The truth is often far beneath the surface. Look beyond the masks people wear if you want to know what is in their hearts. Remove your own masks to let people know who you really are.
When someone steals from you it teaches you that nothing is forever. Always appreciate what you have. You never know when you might lose it. Never take your friends or family for granted, because today and sometimes only this very moment is the only guarantee you may have.

When someone inflicts injury upon you, it teaches you that the human state is a very fragile one. Protect and take care of your body as best as you can, it’s the one thing that you are sure to have forever.

When someone mocks you, it teaches you that no two people are alike. When you encounter people who are different from you, do not judge them by how they look or act, instead base it on the contents of what is in their hearts.

When someone breaks your heart, it teaches you that loving someone does not always mean that the person will love you back. But don’t turn your back on love, because when you find the right person, the joy that one person brings you will make up for all of your past hurts. Times a thousand fold.

When someone holds a grudge against you, it teaches you that everyone makes mistakes. When you are wronged, the most virtuous thing you can do is forgive the offender without pretense. Forgiving those who have hurt us is often the most difficult and painful of life’s experiences, but it is also the most courageous thing a person can do.

When a loved one is unfaithful to you, it teaches you that resisting temptation is Man’s greatest challenge. Be vigilant in your resistance against all temptations. By doing so, you will be rewarded with an enduring sense of satisfaction far greater than the temporary pleasure by which you were tempted.

When someone cheats you, it teaches you that greed is the root of all evil. Aspire to make your dreams come true, no matter how lofty they may be. Do not feel guilty about your success, but never let an obsession with achieving your goals lead you to engage in malevolent activities.

When someone ridicules you, it teaches you that nobody is perfect. Accept people for their merits and be tolerant of their flaws. Do not ever reject someone for imperfections over which they have no control.”

Upon hearing the Lord’s wisdom, the old woman became concerned that there are no lessons to be learned from man’s good deeds. God replied that Man’s capacity to love is the greatest gift He has. At the root of kindness and love, and each act of love also teaches us a lesson. The woman’s curiosity deepened. God, once again began to explain:

“When someone loves us, it teaches us love, kindness, charity, honesty, humility, forgiveness, acceptance, and all of these can counteract all the evil in the world. For every good deed, there is one evil deed. Man alone has the power to control the balance between good and evil, but because the lessons of love are not taught often enough, the power is too often abused.

When you enter someone’s life, whether by plan, chance or coincidence, consider what your lesson will be. Will you teach love or a harsh lesson of reality? When you die, will your life have resulted in more loving or more hurting? More comfort or more pain? More joy or more sadness? Each one of us has the power over the balance of the love in the world. Use it wisely!”

Don’t miss an opportunity to nudge the world’s scale in the right direction!


By Nina Toth

Her name is Sarah and it is a proper and fitting name for someone of her nature; quite the paradox she is, having passed herself off to be a girl in pink. Pink climbs like a boy, shouts like a boy, and wrestles with Dad like a boy. Pink is her trademark and she wears it well with her golden, flowing hair and giant apple cheeks.

I sensed when I held her securely in my arms at birth, she would not be there long. Even though as a toddler, she stuck to me like super glue. In spite of her independence, ferociously racing about, she would rush right back and come charging into my arms like a baby bull, returning only to get a "mommy fix." I knew it was all temporary. Like all good books, it would end too soon.

For a while back there, I thought I would lose her. "Neurosurgery" is such a scary word. In spite of my lack of faith, she sprang back with new life and a strong desire to live BIG.

I, on the other hand, spent much of my vigor and vim at the hospital. It seems I left with less life in me. "Sometimes life is tough," were the words my Dad spoke to console me. He was right.

I recall the day my sister gave the blanket to Sarah. It was pink and soft like her. The material was of a fine gingham cotton. "This will last forever" I thought. Little did I know lifetime warranties did not hold with Sarah.

Sarah ate, played, slept and breathed with "Blankey." Sarah cried, laughed, and screamed with Blankey. Blankey started the day with Sarah as she rose from her bed and would finish the evening with her as she finally collapsed into sweet dreams at night.

God forbid, if Blankey would need a "bath." As we continuously checked the progression of the wash cycle, I endured the drying time to the never-ending moans of "I want my Blankey now." Often times, Blankey was not quite dry. But it could not be helped. My sanity was more important then.

Almost 18 years have come and gone, and Blankey still lives. Its ruffles have worn off as well as its bright pink luster. Some things have changed.

"Ruff and tumble" Sarah has grown into a young woman and she will soon graduate from high school. Then she is off to college in the fall to begin her new life.

Just as appearances have faded, Blankey?s usefulness has waned also. Blankey has served its purpose; being there through good times and bad, to comfort and soothe, to strengthen and serve. Sarah is now a confident, beautiful woman and although she loves her Blankey, she no longer needs it.

Yes, sometimes life is tough. New things grow old and so do we. But, if done right, we will create a new light to pave the way. My light I like to call Sarah. Good job Blankey! Good job Me!
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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

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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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