Thursday, April 1, 2021

Editor's Corner

By Mary E. Adair

April 2021

"Our spring has come at last with the soft laughter of April suns and shadow of April showers."
- Byron Caldwell Smith.

Peeking at the next calendar page and behold! April slips into her place in history! One can only hope she comes with fewer surprises in the weather than her sister March thrust upon the world. Personally, this editor would love to see her family members, and having had the first Covid-19 vaccination and one to go in April, she thinks travel might be a bit closer than it was this time last year!

As we begin discussing the columns, we want to draw your attention to the newest one, "Woo Woo," authored by a long time acquaintance, Pauline Evanosky. She is no stranger to sharing her experiences, having produced an online publication for several years. Don't miss her bio where she explains a bit about herself and her gifts.

Melinda Cohenour, despite continuing, mostly weather related, relocation difficulties, offers a glimmer of hope that next month will see her posting her latest DNA and family tree research in "Armchair Genealogy."

Judy Kroll's column "On Trek" glows with a precious memory as only she can express. Mattie Lennon, "Irish Eyes," has news about the popularity of Shed Associations being formed for women now, and tells us how to learn more of and about the Irish language. A new report on Living Coffins sounds feasible although surprising.

Once again "Cooking with Rod" hosts a Guest Cook, since his moving plans hit a lot of snags. This issue features Ruben Olgin's popular dessert: a Cheesecake Pie. "View from My Back Steps" has John Blair discussing interesting details about one type of visitor to his garden area.

Marilyn Carnell, "Sifoddling Along," tells about her time with the industry that still presents as the prestigious "Betty Crocker" and what it involved. Thomas F. O'Neill in "Introspective" reveals his studies about Einstein, and how his genius beliefs still stand solid in today's events.

Phillip Hennessy has two poems for April, "The Letter" and "Little Things" with the latter already set to music. Many of his poems published with this eZine have been chosen as lyrics by various bands and individuals for their recordings.

Bud Lemire, one of the Covid-19 survivors is beginning to get back to his writing again. A prolific photographer, he illustrates many of his poems with his own work. "Getting Through It All" delves into some of the feelings from having the Virus. The poem titled "Boiled Eggs" is his nod to April Fools Day, while "I Love Packages" sounds like himself again.

Walt Perryman with that Cowboy Poetry vibe (and in fact performs often at Luckenbach, Texas) shares these poems: "Sometimes I Wonder," "Morning Thought on God’s Communication," and "Your Choice."

"We're Here Today" and "Faces, Names, and Books" represent Bruce Clifford's poetic endeavors for April. John Blair sent these two: "Moving Pots, Making Choices" and "Spring 2021."

Kudos to Mike Craner, Webmaster and co-founder of this eZine, who keeps this eZine functioning with his ingenuity and consideration. Thanks, Mike!

We will see you in May!

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
This issue appears in the ezine at and also in the blog with the capability of adding comments at the latter.


Armchair Genealogy


By Melinda Cohenour


Absent While Relocating Residence


The task of moving while Winter held sway was delayed until March which sadly did not offer much respite of intolerable weather conditions. However, the moving vans are working steadily during the final days of the month, and we expect to be reunited soon with our trusty computer and genealogical records to take up the uncovering of elusive documentation and tales that we actually delight in accomplishing.

Therefore, please check here in May as we give details in the search to solve the next ancestor mysteries.

Meanwhile here is the link : Melinda Cohenour Just click my name here for a complete clickable list to my previous columns.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

View from My Back Steps

By John I. Blair


I have two possums that regularly visit my yard, looking for food and water and shelter. Possums have long fascinated me – such apparently “primitive” mammals and yet they have survived as a species for millions of years and appear to be doing just fine right now. I wonder, what’s their secret?

One possibility is that they benefit from having built-in “eternal optimism”. It’s hard to discourage a possum. That they even found my house (with its continual supply of the things they need – food, water, shelter from weather and predators) amazes me. I’m in the center of a city of 400,000 that in turn is in the center of a metro area of 7,000,000+. And it’s been nearly 70 years since this area was rural. Possums move very slowly. They appear to have only one speed – slow and lumbering. Crossing a street is done only at considerable risk (and the consequences are often visible in the neighborhood). Yet they persist.

Persistence seems to work very much in favor of the possum. The ones who come to my patio show up even in the daytime now, which is unusual for an animal that is supposed to be nocturnal. They’ve learned that there are no serious predators here and that I’m not dangerous. I often find one just outside my patio door, vacuuming up cat chow from the bowls I place there for my outdoor cats. Sometimes I have to open the door and “speak sharply” to the possum before it leaves, slowly. And then it comes back, after I close the door and leave.

My outdoor cats have come to an understanding with the possums (as they have with the raccoons). The cats stay out of the road. And the possums pretty much ignore them.

Fortunately cat chow is not all that possums eat. They have the reputation, well-earned, of being Nature’s cleanup crew, eating just about everything, including earthworms, ticks, baby rats, mice, and the sunflower seeds I put out for songbirds. And unlike squirrels, rats, and raccoons, apparently possums are less likely to find their way into attics (although they are very skilled at climbing).

And they multiply – that’s no doubt a major part of the answer to my puzzle. Opossums usually reproduce twice a year. Once mating is done, the male, called a jack, leaves and doesn't return. After a gestation of just 12 to 13 days, female opossums, called jills, give birth to up to 20 live young at a time. The babies, called joeys, are about the size of jelly beans when they are born. The mother has only 13 nipples, however, and only that many babies survive. First come, first served, after they have made it to the pouch where they spend the first part of their lives. Wasteful, but it has worked for millions of years.

In all the time I have been observing possums in my yard I’ve never seen a mother with young. But then the little ones would be hiding in their mother’s pouch. What I believe I am seeing right now is a male possum “courting” a female. It appears very clumsy and ineffective; and the times I’ve watched, she has rejected him, being apparently more interested in feeding than mating. We will see.

Part of this, I think (very unscientifically) is the male possum’s tail. Possums have remarkably long tails. Their tail can be as long as the rest of their body – up to a foot and a half on large males. And they’re capable of holding it out perfectly straight and horizontal behind their bodies, despite it having no bones (it’s all muscle). I have been wondering if that is a way of displaying on the male’s part. “Look what a big tail I have.” Kind of like “Look what a big nose I have.” Or whatever.

I will definitely continue my voyeurism with possums as the springtime progresses. And who knows? Maybe this year I’ll get to see babies!

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.



Sifoddling Along

By Marilyn Carnell

A Brief Time with Betty Crocker

Sometime this year, Betty Crocker will be 100 years old. A fictional creature of many faces over the years, she was an enormous influence on my life.

When I was in high school, I won the “Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow” prize. It was a rather ornate pin (see below) awarded to the student with the highest score on a written test for knowledge of homemaking skills. I was pleased and put it on my letter sweater to show it off. Betty Crocker was as distant as the moon so far as I knew, but Betty and I were destined to meet.

In 1967 I finished the classwork for a Master of Public Health Nutrition degree. My long-term goal was to become a Registered Dietitian. (I finally completed the requirements and passed the exam in 1974.) A classmate told me that General Mills was looking for a nutritionist. I decided to apply. I remember vividly that I wore a neatly pressed white dress and immaculate white gloves. The gloves must have done the trick, as I got the job.

It was an interesting point in time. Women were new in the corporate workplace with the exception of secretaries and the home economists who developed recipes in the seven kitchens. Each kitchen was dedicated to a purpose or product line. There was a photography kitchen, a cake kitchen, a flour kitchen, and so on. It was fascinating to find that a minimum of 12 cakes was required for a product shoot. One for the cake, one for the cut slice. No air bubbles in either. There were stand-ins for arranging the lighting and positioning and the ones for the actual photograph. It was tedious, meticulous work. I was glad it wasn’t part of my job.

Marketing was reserved for males and they were graduates of Ivy League colleges and Stanford. I don’t recall any from a state school. They arrived prepared to do only two jobs – president or CEO. It was in informal policy to assign them to menial tasks like photocopying and delivering messages to bring them back to earth. Soon women began infiltrating the ranks and things began to change. One is now a Senator from Minnesota.

As it happened, my first task was a little unusual. The company was entertaining food editors from across the country at a fancy place in Chicago. The purpose was to introduce them to new products and, of course, have a positive view of them. My boss asked me to look up the ignition point of cotton balls. (400 degrees F.) This took a little time as it was long before the days of Google. It seems that models were hired to carry various products from table to table and an ordinary pie was too heavy. Thus, the pie was to be made with lightweight cotton and presented in a delicious-looking double crust.

The second assignment was very exciting. I was to go on the company plane and host a table at the dinner. It was quite an experience. I buckled in the small jet with a boxed cotton pie on my lap that I was to guard with my life to prevent damage. There was no room for it in the plane’s storage as those shelves were filled with liquor and wines for the dinner.

Ah, the dinner. Sadly, I don’t remember the many course menu, but a couple of things stood out. I was asked about one of the appetizer ingredients. It was something I had never seen in my life. I think it was an artichoke bottom, but no one had coached me about exotic ingredients, so I nodded and smiled and said “Yes, it is interesting”. One of the editors passed out with her head in a plate. I saw that she was in no danger and let her sleep. Another slurred her thanks to “The Admiral.” It was a shocking entrance to big city life for this hillbilly girl.

My orientation required that I go through the training procedures required for each home economist hired. The three-person Nutrition Department was located in the kitchen area and since part of my new job was to develop recipes for special diets, I needed to know how to do so properly. My boss was a brilliant woman who bore an uncanny resemblance to Betty Crocker portrait number 4. She was one of the most brilliant, organized, and disciplined people I ever met. I look back and think what a trial I was for her at times with some of my off-the-wall ideas. 

See portrait number 4 at bottom of page.

The Nutrition Department was created to protect the company from false claims in advertising and promotion. We reported to the Company Medical Department, not marketing to maintain our independence in judgment. A major part of my job was to research and write papers and pamphlets that emphasized the nutritional value of products and where they could be used in special diets as well as daily meals. To accomplish this mission, we took an exhibit booth to several medical and dietetic conventions each year. These travels were very educational for me. I will always be grateful for the opportunities I was given to learn and advance my professional career.

Part of the initial training was to bake cookies using each of the seven varieties of flour the company made. Determined to be efficient, I lined up the bowls and added ingredients to each. I had never seen self-rising flour, so I added leavening to each batch. The inevitable happened – my cookies blew up all over the oven. I was embarrassed and spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning the oven.

Cooking in the kitchens was a sheer pleasure. In addition to having someone do the shopping for ingredients and storing them, a housekeeper was always available to wash the utensils and keep the kitchen tidy. If you needed a lot of measuring cups, there was always a clean one ready to use. The downside was that one side of each kitchen was open for two purposes - twice a day food tasting panels and frequent tours of the public led by smartly uniformed guides. The image of Betty Crocker as a professional, proper lady and cook was always in our minds. Once my hot pad slipped on a cookie sheet burning my fingers. I put the pan down carefully and dashed out the back door of the kitchen to nurse my wounds. Betty wouldn’t make such a stupid mistake.

I did develop recipes for dialysis patients who required a very low protein diet at the time. For many years, General Mills had manufactured a wheat starch product with the odd name of Paygel-P. It previously had two purposes – an ingredient in salad dressing and as a filler in oil well shafts. An enterprising doctor found that it might be useful in special diets and we had a working relationship with the Mayo Clinic and Emory University

Marilyn at the Betty Crocker lab
developing low protein recipes.

to develop foods that were more familiar than the gummy ones made with rice or potato starch. (photo).

I worked seven years at General Mills, but Betty and I parted daily company after three years. I became part of a venture team to establish a new business model and later became one of the first women to work in quality assurance; an area that previously had been staffed only by men. All of my jobs were rewarding, and I consider General Mills the best place I ever worked, but those stories are for another time.

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Woo Woo

By Pauline Evanosky

Something happened yesterday to me. Something psychic. This little story is a glimpse into what it is like to be a channel.

My life, of late, hasn’t been all that exciting or uplifting. My diabetes is catching up with me. I’ve been wrestling with a frozen shoulder which limits many ordinary movements, like reaching into a cupboard or turning a light on and off. My back aches, my hip hurts and my knee cries out at every other step. In short, I’m a mess. It is not pretty to get old and if you have managed to enter into that time in better shape than I am you might think of yourself as lucky.

Yesterday I rubbed my face. I do that a lot. I don’t know why. Perhaps it is habit. Perhaps it is to wake myself up, just remind myself that I am here. I did that yesterday and felt across my forehead bumps. Lots of bumps. I thought to myself, “Now what kind of rash do I have?” I was thinking I should get out the scrubber and address myself to, not only my forehead, but my cheeks, my chin. Everything was bumpy. Not angry pimple bumps. These were the bumps of a piece of sandpaper. There was something horrible happening and my already low thoughts began to take a nose dive.

Then, a voice in my head said, “It’s only dry.”

I answered back, “Who?” I knew it wasn’t my guide. I could tell. Seth doesn’t generally make comments like that. Although he could, I suppose. But, I knew it wasn’t him.

The person didn’t respond. Rather a name formed in my head. Elizabeth Taylor. I answered back, “Really? Really Elizabeth Taylor?” And, a voice said, “Who better?”

I looked in the mirror closely and danged if there wasn’t a fine, ever so fine white powder on my forehead. I thought to myself, “Well, I’ll be danged.” So, I put some cream on my face and a little bit later ran my hand experimentally across the skin of my face and realized it was smoother.

I said to her afterward, “Your son was Michael?” She said, “Michael Todd”.

I’ve been thinking to myself all morning that it should have been Michael Fisher. It turns out Elizabeth’s third husband was Michael Todd who already had a son, Mike Todd, Jr. from his first marriage. Elizabeth was married to Michael Todd, Sr. for one year from 1957 to 1958 when he died in a plane crash. Eddie Fisher was a good friend of Michael Todd’s and Michael had asked Eddie to join him on that flight to play gin saying the plane was safe. Elizabeth had a cold and did not fly that day. She married Eddie Fisher in 1959. Where Elizabeth’s son Michael comes from is her second marriage in 1952 to Michael Wilding. They had two sons together Michael and Christopher. They divorced in 1957.

What I got from reading bits and pieces of Elizabeth’s history on Wikipedia this morning was that in all of their love affairs and marriages life was tough for Hollywood types. Now? I believe they are all precious to one another.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
below: Portrait of Pauline, unmasked



Irish Eyes


By Mattie Lennon 


Dead Serious About The Irish Language And Live Coffins

The fact that you are reading this probably means that you are Irish, have Irish ancestry, or have a deep interest in the Emerald Isle. Perhaps you are fluent in our first national language or you are like me and have the Cupla Focal. On the other hand, you may want to learn Gaeilge. One way or the other Abair Arís É, By Kathleen Geraghty, is for you. Abair Arís É aims to help children and adults learn Irish in a step-by-step way. The book is accompanied by a CD and is a very user-friendly introduction to the Irish language.

Kathleen Geraghty lives and works in the Erris region of Co. Mayo. She is originally from Develane, a small village near Eachléim, located in the Mayo Gaeltacht, where Irish is spoken every day.

One of Kathleen Geraghty's paintings from her (hopefully) post-coved PowerPoint presentation in Irish explaining historical events.

She was born and raised with the Irish language, and from a very young age developed a great love of it. Throughout her working life, she worked on Summer camps which were all carried out through the medium of Irish. She also taught Irish classes to adults throughout the Winter months and gave one-to-one grinds for Leaving Cert pupils in preparation for their oral Irish exam. On completion of level 6 Early Childcare Course a couple of years ago She told me, “A few years ago whilst doing the adult Irish classes I decided to produce the book and CD as I found it would help people learn our lovely native tongue at their own pace and hopefully in a relaxed manner as they could listen to the lovely background music which I wanted to be relaxing for the learner. The book to date I have been told is very easy to follow and a great help for both adults and children. During Covid 19 I have started to write poetry also in Irish as I find it comes easier to me and I really enjoy it.”

Abair Arís É is available from, Kathleen Geraghty, Ballina Road, Belmullet, Co. Mayo.

Price (including Postage); €15.

* * * * *

In September 2020 (it seems a long time ago with lockdowns etc) I did a piece on home burials. Speaking of which; I was contacted by a Munster resident who is applying to their local a n home burials uthority, for permission to be buried in their garden, put me in touch with a Dutch firm which has created a biodegradable "living coffin" made of a fungus instead of wood that it says can convert a decomposing human body into key nutrients for plants. Loop company says its casket is made of mycelium, the underground root structure of mushrooms, and filled with a bed of moss to stimulate decomposition. "Mycelium is nature's biggest recycler," Bob Hendrikx, creator of the living coffin says. "It's continuously looking for food and transforming it into plant nutrition. “ It's used in Chernobyl to clean up the soil there from the nuclear disaster, Hendrikx said. The coffin is grown like a plant within the space of a week at the company's lab at the Delft University of Technology by mixing mycelium with wood chips in the mould of a coffin. Mycelium also devours toxins and turns them into nutrients. And the same thing happens in burial places.

After the mycelium has grown through the wood chips, the coffin is dried and has enough strength to carry a weight of up to 200 kilograms. I had a long phone conversation with Bob Hendrikx, inventor, architect and bio designer who strives to restore the parasitic relationship between humanity and its environment by exploring a living world. He believes in a world in which we work together with nature. A world in which our everyday objects become alive. Imagine living homes, self-healing T-shirts and bioluminescent streetlights. Bob has been chosen as human of the year 2020 by VICE Media. His ambition is to empower and inspire people towards a living future by turning science-fiction into reality. He is no stranger to Ireland. He even likes our weather. Perhaps it makes him feel at home! And he loves the Ring of Kerry. Space doesn’t allow me to even touch on his many achievements in his chosen field but you can find more on

The availability of the Living Coffin should prompt local authorities to be more accommodating with permission for home burials.

* * * * *

There were only 33 Women’s Sheds in Ireland in January 2020 when Minister for Rural Affairs, Michael Ring, allocated €500,000 for Mens’ and Women’s Sheds.

The Minister said,” I’ve no doubt that the emergence of Women’s Sheds can only be a good thing for community life in Ireland.” A Women’s Shed is of course an asset to any community and Blessington is no exception. Carmel Cashin, founder of Blessington Women’s Shed told me, The Blessington women’s shed was launched on March 8th as part of Blessington and District Forums International Wwomen’s Day celebrations. The Women’s Shed is the first in Wicklow and currently has 502 online members. We work very closely with the Sallins Women's Shed in Kildare which I founded last year.

Blessington Women's Shed was set up for women of all ages to reconnect with themselves and the wider community. Above all we want the shed to be a safe place where women can come together and take part in various projects. We hope to offer Women’s Wellness programs, up-cycling skills, upholstery, making blankets for our homeless, arts and crafts, flower arranging, crochet, and whatever the women decide they would like. This is a new project which gives women a sense of empowerment through peer education and friendship. We hope to improve mental health and wellbeing through social interaction. We will have to begin this journey virtually until such time as we can come together. We are currently seeking a community premises. We cannot believe how popular the shed is becoming and proves a real need for the Women in the area.”

Carmel says that the support they have received has been overwhelming and she has a special word of thanks to Andra Coogan and Susan Rossiter for all their help in getting it up and running.

The Blessington diaspora can get in touch with:

See you in May.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Cooking with Rod


Cooking with Rod

By Rod Cohenour

With Rod Cohenour still in the process of moving, we have a Guest Cook for this April 2021 issue. Ruben Olgin, husband of the Cohenour's niece Dottie is an excellent all-around cook for any menu item you could list, but his desserts are anticipated eagerly, especially during Holidays and family get-togethers. So here is one everyone looks forward to.


Ruben's Cheesecake Pie

Ruben says, "Here’s my own March 31, 2020 recipe for this."

  • 1- 8oz cream cheese
  • 1- cup of sugar
  • 1/4- teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/4- teaspoon of lemon extract
Mix these ingredients until soft
  • 1-8oz sour cream mix this into the above
  • 1-8oz of cool whip fold this in and this will fill
  • two Graham Cracker pie shells or one large graham cracker pie shell
  • Top it of with cherry pie filling or
  • I prefer blueberry pie filling
It’s ready to eat or you can cover it and refrigerate it for a couple of hours !!! It’s Delicious!

Photo: Ruben and Dottie Olgin

Appreciate Ruben Olgin for stepping in on short notice, and we will see you in May.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

On Trek


By Judith Kroll

Miracles of a Lifetime

Watching my belly grow is awesome
No weight watchers for me
The warmth I feel vibrates thru every pore
I am in love forevermore.
How can you love what you cannot see?
I can because it is a part of me.
The soft flutters are ripples of love
My appetite grows as I grow, but no
weight watchers for me.
Pickles was my nickname, no shame,
I ate the jar before
reaching the check-out lane.
Fixing a room, looking at clothes, knitting a blanket in wait
I was ready for when He opened the proverbial gate.
What a miracle, a part of us, he is a shining light.
No more sleeping thru the night.
It is alright.
I worry now that all is, stays well.
Can I be a mother? Time will tell.
Just keep the love, and let it flow,
and watch the little light glow and grow.

©Mar 5, 2021 Judith Kroll

Author Note:

Miracles come in many ways,
the miracle of life is but one
cherish that experience,
that responsibility we choose,
a gift of our Lifetime,
Our little lights that shine.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.


By Thomas F. O'Neill

I recently read quite a few Facebook posts from an ultra-conservative with his approximate 5000 followers. One of his posts is worth mentioning here because he made a false claim that Albert Einstein was a creationist. A few years ago, I enjoyed reading the personal letters of Albert Einstein online. I would like to take the time in this column to write about some of the things Einstein wrote.

When I read some of his various writings, I find that there was a much deeper dimension to Einstein’s personality than his theories on Relativity. What intrigued me most about his letters was how spiritual he was. He wrote,
"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us _universe_, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

Albert Einstein died in 1955, and since his death, we have come a long way in our technological advancements and in our knowledge of the Universe. However, we have a long way to go as human beings in widening our circle of compassion.

Some have chosen to ignore our empirical understanding of the cosmos. I say this because, of today’s debate, between the Christian Fundamentalists who are still espousing the Intelligent Design theory, as the ultimate biblical truth - against the empirical evidence of Evolution. Some religious conservatives have also made claims that Einstein believed in the biblical creation story.

What I have found is that Einstein did believe in God and in an intelligent design within the universe. He did not however believe in the intelligent design theory that the Christian Fundamentalists want to be taught in the public school system.

Science should be an empirical method of discovery for students, not a religious conviction. To say that God created everything in the universe without a method of studying the claim is not science but rather an emotional and irrational stance against Science. It is one thing to believe in God, to devote one’s life to that belief, and to have blind faith in the assumption that God is the ultimate designer of our Universe, but where do you go from there and where is the scientific method of study?

In one of Einstein’s letters he wrote,
"The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge."

One of Einstein’s achievements was measuring the distance within our Universe by the speed of light. He discovered that light has a constant speed of approximately 186,282.397 miles per second. In view of this discovery, it can take Millions and in some cases Billions of light-years for the light of distant stars to reach the earth. The universe that we perceive is the universe of the past, not the present.

When we look at the sheer vastness of our Universe with the Billions of Suns and Planets it is a statistical certainty that we are not the only intelligent life in the Cosmos. When we measure the birth and evolution of the universe on a scale of a 24-hour period, humanity would have been born 10 seconds ago. Therefore, some intelligent life in far-off galaxies could have had an evolutionary head start in terms of Millions and in some cases Billions of years before life as we know it existed on earth.

Some scientists would also go as far as to say that in far-off galaxies intelligent life could have possibly evolved without a DNA structure, which is essential for intelligent life to exist on our planet. There could be intelligent life in distant galaxies that evolved far beyond our comprehension because of their lack of DNA and due to the vastness of the universe incapable or unwilling to visit our planet.

When you also consider how far evolved, we have become as human beings in only three and a half million years we can presuppose that some intelligent life in the universe evolved far beyond our comprehension. Some intelligent life could have possibly evolved into what some would describe as spiritual beings due to billions of years of evolution.

This is also where science, spirituality, and Philosophy are beginning to merge and complement each other in our pursuit of knowledge.

However, today’s Christian Fundamentalists would argue that it takes as much blind faith to believe in evolution as it does for the Godly people who believe in the biblical creation story.

I do not believe in the Judeo-Christian creation story nor do I believe entirely in the Darwinian evolution theory. I do however believe in evolution because of the scientific evidence that supports it. I do not see evolution as being contradictory to the Intelligent Design theory but rather evolution can be an intricate part of the Universes Intelligent Design.

Einstein also wrote in one of his letters,
“My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds."

Today’s Scientists recognize intelligent patterns within nature. That is why we continue to rely on Science and continue to develop scientific methods to help us gain greater insights into understanding nature’s intelligent design.

Humanity is also pushing to better itself with each generation. It is within that desire for self-improvement that we have evolved to where we are today and will continue to evolve, socially, physically, consciously, and spiritually, for countless generations. With each new generation, humanity is gaining a deeper self-knowledge and becoming more self-aware of the essence of who we are as human beings.

The intelligent design of our own being is also a reflection of the intelligent design within all of nature. Empirical evidence has revealed to us that there is an evolutionary order to all life which some Scientists believe is an intricate part of nature’s intelligent design.

That being said, I also believe there are far deeper dimensions to life than meets the eye which is far beyond our human understanding. Perhaps, in the far distant future humanity will catch a glimpse of the true nature of life and our purpose of being.

Always with love from Suzhou, China
Thomas F O’Neill
    WeChat: Thomas_F_ONeill
    U.S. Voice mail: (800) 272-6464
    China Cell: 011 (86) 13405757231
    Skype: thomas_f_oneill

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.


Sometimes I Wonder

By Walt Perryman 


Sometimes, I wonder what God has planned for me,
Then at times, I think it is whatever will be, will be.

Sometimes I don’t think I really know what I am doing,
I am like a coon dog on the wrong trail but still pursuing.

I know when I am doing something wrong from the start,
And do it anyway, because I did not ask God with my heart.

Today, I am going to ask God many times what I should do.
Listen with my heart and try to live the way he wants me to

Without God in my life I am sure to fail,
Like that coon dog following the wrong trail.

©December 2020 Walt Perryman

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I Love Packages


By Bud Lemire 


I love packages, when they come in the mail every week
They bring on a smile to my face, when the days seem bleak
I can order stuff on Amazon, WalMart, or eBay
Maybe there's a package for me, in the mail today

Informed mail told me, I'd have three packages coming on Tuesday
Only two arrived, I wonder if the other one ran away
Two came the next day, I unwrapped it to see
What it was inside, that was coming to me

Books, DVDs, and all the things I enjoy
CDs or something else, I'm like a little boy
The little things in life, mean the most to me
I treasure and take pleasure, with each package I see

Four packages today, and they all seemed to fit
I carry them to my apartment, and open them as I sit
It's like a gift, that is to me from me
Being happy with them, is one of life's key

They come from everywhere, and I also must say
Packages bounce to anywhere, which causes a delay
A smile is on my face, today a package will arrive
Some come right to my door, I feel so alive

©March 9, 2021 Bud Lemire

                         Author Note:

I do a lot of ordering, so I can get a lot of packages.
Of course, lately the mail has been slower, but still
when they do arrive it is nice to open them..

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Moving Pots, Making Choices


By John I. Blair 


This is the time
For moving wintered pots
To the warming patio,

Making up my mind
Which plants have died
And which still live.

After February’s freeze
The dead loom large
And make me sad.

I’ve always called
Deaths in the garden
“Planting opportunities.”

And that’s still right
But difficult to say
To now-black coneflowers.

Five years or more,
I’ve smelled the scent
Of this withered rosemary,

Watched caterpillars
Grow to swallowtails
On these crumbling fennel stalks.

Long ago we moved,
Leaving a lush garden, with
Only crabgrass where we went.

I said then “gardens aren’t forever,
They’re always for today.”
Now I need to find the truth in this,

To remember sunny springs
And vivid summer days, and dream
The gardens of tomorrow.

©2021, John I. Blair 3/27/2021

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Morning Thought on God’s Communication


By Walt Perryman 


There are many ways God talks to me and you,
A birth, a sunrise, a feeling, just to name a few.

God is so powerful; he is beyond our comprehension,
He talks to us all of the time, if we pay attention.

He communicates with our soul in some Heavenly way,
If we listen with our heart, we can feel what he has to say.

It is a little before sunrise, so before this new day starts,
Let us take a moment of silence and listen with our hearts.

Then we will be ready to go out in the world and face today,
But you may want to check in with your heart along the way.

©3/30/2021 Walt Perryman

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Boiled Eggs

By Bud Lemire 


Everyone boils eggs in their own way
If it works for them, then it's okay
Some add a bit of salt to the pan
Others just boil them, any way they can

People will boil them for fifteen minutes, some a half hour
Some even boil them, while they take a shower
Just don't forget they're there, that's the key code
Otherwise, your eggs, will pop and explode

They'll leave a sulfuric smell
Stinking up the kitchen from their shell
It's happened to me a couple of times I know
Now I make it a habit, to keep them on low

After they are boiled, you can let them sit
It all depends on, how you really like it
I like mine in cold water, and to set awhile
That is how I do it, that is just my style

Boiled eggs are good, so much you can make
Egg salad sandwiches, to picnic at the lake
A potato salad, for when you go camping in the summer
Without boiled eggs in your life, it would be a bummer

©Feb 4 2021 Bud Lemire

                    Author Note:

I know I may be cracked, but the yolk is on you.
Enjoy your boiled eggs anyway you want them.

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The Letter


By Phillip Hennessy 


I just wrote a Letter,
to say just how I feel
and now I read the words again,
it All becomes, so Real.

I don't feel any Better,
those thoughts are off my Mind
Because it Hurt so much to read,
My tears have made me Blind

I said that you're not Good enough,
for Anyone, to Love
you always Run, when times get Tough,
(and when Push comes to Shove).

All you had to Do, was Care,
and Love me, as I Am
it didn't matter Who was there,
this Life was all a Sham

So, as I read these Words again
a tear comes to my eye
Should I leave, or should I Stay
will This time be Goodbye?

I'm glad I read this letter
Before someone else could See
now, I'm feeling Better
for the Message, was for Me.

I Am good enough,
for someone to Love,
for someone Else, to Care
this letter made me realise
Love Starts Here,
(in Me)
not There.

©March 21, 2021 Phillip Hennessy

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Faces, Names and Books

By Bruce Clifford

Faces, names, and books
Casual dirty looks
Left out in the cold
You really are so bold

Living with broken dreams
Eyes too wise to see
Wide as the ocean blue
Memories of you

Lost in time
Lost in place
Lost in a world
Lost in space

Manic depressant
Receptive arrogance

Lost in time
Lost in place
Lost in a world
Lost in disgrace

Giving up
Giving in
Where to start
Where to begin

Faces, names, and books
We took and took and took
Left out in the cold
So I’ve been told

©3/10/2021 Bruce Clifford

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Spring 2021

By John I. Blair 


After bitter cold
And seeming endless nights
Spring has come again.

Goldfinches galore
On their journey north
Are flocking to my feeders.

Bluejays hop around
In the holly hedge
Questing for a nest site.

The ancient quince
Out by the garden shed
Sports crimson blooms.

Squirrels chase each other
Through the treetops,
Mating on their minds.

Cats yawn and stretch
On warm windowsills,
Blinking at the sunshine.

And I, at 80 years,
Still cherish thoughts
Of planting flowers once more.

©2021 John I. Blair, 3/20/2021

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Your Choice


By Walt Perryman 


Look in the mirror and who do you see?
Do you see the person you want to be?

Your worst enemy in life can be you,
You can also be your best friend too.

You can choose the one you want in life.
One brings happiness and the other strife.

Be careful on the choices that you do make,
Yours may not be the only heart you break.

Your opinion of you and your own self-worth,
Is your most important opinion upon this earth.

Look in the mirror which one will you see?
It depends on which one you choose to be.

©3/31/2021 Walt Perryman

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Getting Through It All


By Bud Lemire 


We will fight
With all our might
We shall prevail
And set sail
And not fail

Anchors away and light as a feather
We'll make it through any kind of weather
No matter how bad the storm
In any shape or form
We will conquer it all
And we will not fall

Strong of spirit, strong of mind
With our strength, we will find
We can endure what is thrown our way
And make it through from day to day

The human spirit can battle much
Guided by a supportive touch
And when things seem they are so bleak
Guiding strength will keep us from being weak

We may cry, but only for release
The strong winds may increase
We shall make it there, and survive
In triumph, when we arrive

©Mar 1, 2021 Bud Lemire

                     Author Note:

For those having a difficult time
in these Covid years.

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Little Things


By Phillip Hennessy 


It's the Little things, that make me Think of You
It's those Little things that make me Smile, too.

Just today, I found that piece of paper
You wrote upon, then ripped up, later
It was a note to Me, I could tell straight away,
There was no Mystery, I knew what you'd Say

You were Leaving again, said you wanted Space
You'd start over the Same, in another Place
It was those little things, that I couldn't Do
Those little things, that meant so much to You

You gave a piece of your Mind, so Sincere
The piece you left behind, made it totally Clear
It was those little things that Made You Fear
That the Best place for you was Out of Here

Those little things, that We liked to Do
Those little things, made me fall in Love with you
Those little things that Broke us apart
Those little things Shine bright in my Heart

And now that you're gone, all I can Say,
Is I wish you were here, with me, today
Wherever you are, each time I think of You
It's those little things, make me smile, for You.

©March 02, 2021 Phillip Hennessy

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We're Here Today

By Bruce Clifford

Going forward
Moving back
Drifting onward
Panic attack

Making noises
Senseless divide
Removing choices
Worlds collide

Lifting me up when things are down
Almost giving up from hanging around
Lifting me up and taking me down
When times are rough nobody comes around

Hearing distances
Emotional parades
Past resistances
Promises made

We’re here today
We’re here to stay
We’re here today
We’re here anyway

Going forward
Leaning back
Fleeting emotions
Oceans react

Creating spaces
Reflecting time
Pointless races
Nursery rhyme

Lifting me up when things are down
Almost giving up from hanging around
Lifting me up and taking me down
When times are rough nobody comes around

We’re here today
We’re here to stay
We’re here today
We’re here anyway

©3/2/2021 Bruce Clifford

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