Sunday, August 1, 2021

Editor's Corner


By Mary E. Adair

August 2021

"The month of August had turned into a griddle
where the days just lay there and sizzled."

– Sue Monk Kidd

August is when kids begin to either dread or welcome the beginning of school days again, depending upon their own level of desired participation. For adults the month brings an emphasis on professional Sports, also depending upon personal likes and dislikes. For your editor, it is Hurray! Football!

Bud Lemire's poems for this issue are "Don't Get Caught Up in The Fog," "I'm A Private Man," and "One Journey Ends." Walt Perryman, who does 'Cowboy Poetry' at Luckenbach, sent these poems "Marley," "Not Just Cowboys," and "More Thought about Clotheslines."

John I. Blair submitted "Life Cycle" for August, and yours truly also showed one poem, "My Own Boss." Bruce Clifford, added these two poems "It's About Time" and "Anywhere I Go."

Our columnnists Include a rare and highly appreciated visit by Dayvid Clarkson (Reflections of the Day) for this issue. Others include Mattie Lennon (Irish Eyes) with some literary updates despite Listowel's closure because of Covid this year, and adds a link to one of his compositions. Marilyn Carnell (Sifoddling Along) discloses some stories about Jail and shows an example of what was once considered a very modern such structure in Missouri. Thomas O'Neill (Introspective) admits that his life in China has been a personally rewarding experience and speaks of how the people are keeping traditions respected while embracing new knowledge.

Rod Cohenour (Cooking with Rod) whets our appetite with the recipe originally concocted by his wife for Italian Stuffed Peppers. Judith Kroll (On Trek) shares a personal brush with death titled "You Have 2 Months to Live." Melinda Cohenour (Armchair Genealogy) delights in giving technical info in using Ancestry's new tools to locate long lost cousins.

Pauline Evanosky (Woo Woo) now un-masked, discusses thoughts that have surfaced while writing her book on Channeling. John I. Blair (View from My Back Yard) sent along some gorgeous pics of the subject of his column -- the Turks Cap.

Mike Craner, bless him, both he and wife Susie are dear friends, and he is the key to this eZine being online. Thanks, Mike!

We will see you in September!

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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

Using Ancestry to Meet Your Long Lost Cousins

Last month's column was a tutorial for my readers explaining how to utilize Ancestry's new tools designed to pinpoint the relationship of DNA matches where you do not recognize the name. I've spent a couple of months now exploring that tool and actually making contact with my long-lost cousins.

What a delightful Journey this has been! I've actually identified several cousins by utilizing the Learn More application that permits you to seek out the DNA matches that show a common ancestor.

Rather than repeat the step-by-step instructions given in last month's column, kindly refer to the original column for your tutorial. Your author has also made numerous suggestions recommending you use all the computerized tools available to flesh out your knowledge of the relatives in your tree. For instance, after adding my DNA matches, working from closest to most distant, I've utilized the internet search engines to locate those relatives on social media and any other information I can find to verify their identity.

My now deceased, but very beloved, cousin Joyce Schumacher would have loved these tools made available to us today. Joyce was all about making contact with living relatives, while my interest was devoted to seeking my ancestors. Joyce and I would go to the library genealogical section or to the closest National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) facility and spend hours and hours looking at indices, jotting down notes, standing in line to get a microfiche record, waiting for an available machine, stressing our eyes and patience looking for the record we sought, jotting down the cross reference for that record, standing in another line to get a printout, and feeling Victorious if we managed to capture one or two pieces of information on that full day trip!

Today, the advantages of armchair genealogy are clearly obvious. I can zip through dozens of Records for one family line, sorting out vital facts using name, date, and location to zero in on the proper record. I can then use those facts and the internet search engines to locate living relatives and perhaps, make contact through social media.

This past two months I have done exactly that. I now have as friends on Facebook several cousins whose names as DNA matches held no clue as to how we were related.

But using the tool on Ancestry to Learn More and combining that with the incredible reach of internet search engines, my newfound, once long-lost, cousins are now friends! And to make life richer and more enjoyable, I now have photographs, stories, and a sense of family that reaches back in time.

It has been most rewarding to rediscover a couple of cousins who once lived in the next County from us in Texas. Their ancestral link just happens to have been my mother's best friend who also was her first cousin. It has been decades since I had any contact with that close family. Now I have recent photographs of my cousin and his daughter and nieces and grandchildren. I've learned what fabulous lives a couple of those cousins have managed to create. I am rewarded with New-found Joy in my contact with each of them.

So, use the tools and scientific advances available to you to fit those DNA matches into your tree and more importantly, into your life. Get into that armchair and explore your genealogy. You may find treasures to enrich your life.

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View from My Back Steps


By John I. Blair

Turk’s Cap

I first planted Turk’s Cap in my then-new garden in April 1992. At the time the area where I planted it was only partially shady, being near to a couple of volunteer “fenceline” hackberries and a young red oak I had recently put in the ground.

When I planted the Turk’s Cap I had no knowledge of it at all except from books and just took a stab at where to plant it. The name intrigued me, plus the plant’s reputation for attracting hummingbirds. And at the time a house on the end of our block had a big patch of Turk’s Cap that bloomed every year and looked beautiful. So that was encouraging.

Turk's Cap or Scotchman's Purse (Malvaviscus_arboreus)

I had just built a rough path of old bricks through that corner of the yard, connecting a new concrete garden bench to a clump of overgrown holly bushes where I contrived a “tunnel” through the holly that formed a feature on the path. And the Turk’s Cap would be the only other flowers in that area, once they got established.

That was 30 years ago. The holly clump is gone (victim of root rot); the brick path is gone (recycled to widen another garden path so it would allow my wife’s wheelchair to pass); the garden bench is still there, but overgrown by a wisteria vine and now used only by a couple of feral cats as a shady place to nap. But the Turk’s Cap is still there, spread out over several square yards of ground and thoroughly shaded by the red oak I had planted not long before them, which is now at least 90 feet tall. The oak and the Turk’s Cap are virtually the only survivors of all the things I had planted in that corner of the yard. Yes, Turk’s Cap is durable!

Large Clump of Turks Cap at the Church, 9/06/18

Let me introduce you more formally. This spreading shrub, often as broad as it is high, grows 2-3 ft., sometimes taller. The bright-red, pendant, hibiscus-like flowers never fully open, their petals overlapping to form a loose tube with the staminal column protruding, said to resemble a Turkish turban, hence its most common name, Turk's Cap. It is a member of the hibiscus family. A good ornamental for shady sites and sunny sites alike, it is popular in cultivation and goes by many English names including Turkcap, Turk's turban, wax mallow, ladies teardrop and Scotchman's purse. It is native to Central America, Mexico, and the Gulf Coast of the United States, particularly as an understory shrub in coastal Texas and Louisiana. It is an important food source for female and juvenile Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and Black-chinned Hummingbirds. Each individual flower lasts two days but contains more nectar on the first day. The fruit can be used to make jelly or syrup. Both the fruit and flowers are used to make herbal teas.

A landscaping treasure

It can be a wonderful plant for any wild garden, but also fits in well in a “civilized” garden. The flowers are uniquely shaped. Their color is truly brilliant, especially in the shady areas where they usually grow. And hummingbirds are attracted to them as soon as the flowers appear. So if you plant them, be sure to put them where you can see them – not like mine, which have gotten so hidden away in the back corner of the garden I have just gone more than a year without actually seeing the flowers, until I had the path to the bench cleared recently and carefully made my way back to a vantage point. They’re just coming into flower and should bloom the rest of the summer if I keep them watered. Calling all hummingbirds! And maybe the cats will make room on the bench for me to sit there once in a while.

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Cooking with Rod


By Rod Cohenour

Ms Italian Stuffed Peppers

Bell peppers bellissima. Melinda and I love sharing our cooking expertise with one another and with all of you.

This is one of her best recipes. It looks complicated but really is not. And the taste is worth any effort it requires.

Bon appetit~!

Ms Italian Stuffed Peppers


For the stuffed peppers:

  • 8 large bell peppers (any color)
  • 2 lbs lean (at least 80%) ground beef
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal, old fashioned
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 2 teaspoons Mrs. Dash Italian Medley Seasoning Blend OR SEE NEXT
  • OR a dash or two each Garlic Powder or granulated Garlic, Basil, Oregano, Parsley, Cumin, marjoram, rosemary, sage, thyme, coriander, (pick your favorite Italian seasonings to taste)
  • 2 cups Spaghetti sauce (pick your favorite)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (3 oz)

For the Italian flavor rice:

  • 3 cups Basmati Rice
  • 1 can (15 oz) Italian Style tomato sauce plus water to make 6 cups liquid (or per package directions)
  • 1 Tbsp. Parsley flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. Sweet Basil
  • 1 bunch green onions, diced (save half the green tops for garnish)


    1. Prepare bell peppers. (Select peppers with flat bases if possible.) Wash thoroughly. Cut a thin slice from the top. Do not discard. Clean out seeds and membrane.
    2. Select casserole dish large enough to set all eight peppers upright. If necessary, trim a very fine bit from the bottom of any pepper that tends to tip over, being careful not to cut a hole into the cavity.
    3. Heat oven to 350° F.
    4. In a large bowl, mix lean ground beef, oats, chopped onion, and spice mixture. Blend well using clean hands. Add half the spaghetti sauce. Blend again.
    5. Fill bell peppers with meat mixture. Replace the tops Any remaining meat mixture should be pressed around the peppers.

(See below for preparation of Italian Rice, prepare while peppers bake.)

    6. Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes. Remove from oven to spoon out any grease. After getting as much as possible with the cooking spoon, use a paper towel to soak up the remaining grease.

At this time, test the center pepper or two to see how well done the meat mixture is.

    7. Set pepper tops onto the surrounding meat, unless they are too well done. If so, set aside for serving the stuffed peppers.
    8. Use remaining cup of Spaghetti sauce to drizzle over all peppers and surrounding meat mixture.
    9. Return to the oven to finish cooking. Check again in 10-15 minutes. Let the fragrance of the dish help you determine how long to finish cooking.

When cooked through, top with Mozzarella cheese and return to oven to let it melt and brown VERY SLIGHTLY.

Instructions for Italian Rice:

    1. Use a large stew pot. Add dry uncooked rice.
    2. Measure Italian Style Tomato Sauce. Add enough water to equal 6 cups. Add to dry rice in the stew pot.
    3. Add the white part of diced green onion. Reserve green tops, diced, for later
    4. Follow rice package directions, however, be aware typical directions call for you to bring rice to a boil over medium-high heat. Once at a full boil, turn off the heat and, leaving COVERED, allow the rice to finish cooking while soaking up all liquid for about 30 minutes.
    5. When rice is fully done, tender and fluffy, add most of the basil and parsley and about 1/3rd of the green onion tops, reserving a bit of each for garnish. Stir rice mixture to blend gently.


For each dinner plate prepare a bed of rice. Nestle two peppers per serving in a bed of rice. Garnish with green onion tops and parsley, setting pepper tops against the peppers.

Delicious paired with a chilled salad, crusty Italian bread, creamery butter, and a cold iced tea or lemonade.

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Irish Eyes

By Mattie Lennon

A Playwright, A Poet, A Song, and Hitler's Plan

      I’ve just received an invitation to a public reading of Tom O’ Brien’s stage play Gilmartin in London on August 03rd. I can’t make it but I have read the script. This two-act drama tells the story in detail of the greed and corruption at the heart of Irish politics. The list of characters will give you a clue:

Tom Gilmartin (businessman)
Liam Lawlor (politician)
Owen O’Callaghan (businessman)
Padraig Flynn (politician)
Bertie Ahern (politician)
Maire Ann Howard (tribunal solicitor)
Nondescript man or woman
George Redmond (Dublin C Council)
Maguire (counsel for Ahern/O’Callaghan etc)

      The Gilmartin of the title was Tom. A man who left rural Sligo in the fifties and made it good in construction and engineering, in England. When his own country was on its knees Tom returned, as a wealthy businessman, in the late eighties, with the intention of embarking on projects which would create employment and stem another tide of emigration. Instead, he was confronted by corruption in high places at every turn.

       Bertie Ahern resigned on May 6th 2008 after 11 years as Irish Taoiseach and more than three decades in the corridors of power. His resignation was as a direct result of the fall-out from the treatment meted out to Tom Gilmartin. The full story only emerged at the conclusion of the Mahon Tribunal. It had sat for almost 15 years only reaching its conclusions in 2012.

      Tom had ambitious plans for several major retail developments in Dublin city. Little did he know that in order to do business in Dublin, senior politicians and public officials would want a slice of the action – in large amounts of cash. He finally blew the whistle on the corruption at the heart of government and the city’s planning system. His complaints resulted in the setting up in 1997, by order of the Oireachtas, of the Mahon Tribunal to look into ‘certain planning matters and payments’. Ironically, it was championed by none other than one Bertie Ahern.

Tom O'Brien

      I would strongly recommend that any Theatre company looking for a gripping 95 minute drama should contact playwright Tom O ‘Brien at:

* * * * *

      World War 11 was known in Ireland as The Emergency. Efforts by the state to prepare for a possible German invasion became somewhat of a joke. Building block-houses on the coast and setting sharpened lengths of railway in concrete to stop German tanks was welcome fodder for many a comedian. But was it the thing of comedy?

      A COPY of Adolf Hitler's secret plan to invade Ireland during World War 11 has now been sold at auction for €1,100.

      The intelligence handbook, which outlines plans of a Nazi offensive against Ireland, sold at an auction hosted by Purcell Auctioneers - who noted that the secret documents were "of the utmost rarity".

      It features a detailed military study of the geographical landscape of the west of Ireland - where Hitler planned to land his army.

       It includes thousands of illustrations, photos, and maps of Ireland, concentrating on bridges, landmarks, industrial centres, and transport links. It also noted the vegetation, climate, and weather of the island. The estuary of the River Shannon was targeted as the ideal place for the Nazis to land an amphibious invasion, and Ireland's excellent road links were considered a massive boost.

       The invasion of Ireland was codenamed Operation Green (Unternehmen Grün), and was completed by an unknown German officer known by the alias "Hadel" in 1941. It was designed to support Operation Sea Lion, the Nazi's planned invasion of the United Kingdom, which never came to fruition. Some have speculated that Germany never actually intended to invade Ireland and that Operation Green was simply a diversionary tactic used to draw British troops into Northern Ireland who might otherwise be sent to aid the defense of mainland Britain had Operation Sea Lion gone ahead.

       Others believed it was a serious invasion plan, intended to give the Luftwaffe direct access to both Britain and the Atlantic Ocean where it could intercept and destroy American ships bringing supplies to the Allies. Which was the case? Will we ever know?

* * * * *

       Because of Covid 19 I haven’t been able to visit Listowel, the culture capital of Ireland, for two years. But I do keep in touch with the works of its literati. The following is a poem by John McGrath.

Ar Scáth a Chéile a Mhaireann na Daoine

We live within the shadow of each other (Irish Proverb)

By John McGrath


A finch against my window.

I felt the shudder as its world met mine,

Rushed to where it fell.

Sapped of sense and movement,

Eyes glazed, grey, lifeless,

Wings splayed, stone still.

I saw its small beak quiver,

Move as if to speak.

A tiny pulse throbbed in its downy throat.

Cupping it in my palm,

I felt the soft, warm beat within,

Willed life into stillness.

Restored by simple touch

It stirred, fluttered, faltered, flew

And healed the poet too.

* * * * *

       About 20 years ago I wrote the Lyrics of There's a Brightness at the Butt of the Wind. It didn't make much sense at the time but John Hoban composed music for it and sang it. I thought that, during the pandemic, it might be relevant and now poet Polly Hughes has put it on youtube. Here’s the link:
YouTube Video "Brightness" Link

See you in September.

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Woo Woo

By Pauline Evanosky

Heaven and Back Again


In questioning my guide during the last 30 years the answer he has given me to, “What is Heaven?” has changed over time. At first, it was sort of like whatever you thought it was going to look like. Once he said incoming visited a place that looked sort of like Grand Central Station in New York. He said there were guides there who directed traffic and took charge of you to get you sorted out.

Then, he mentioned once that people could fish and play cards if they wanted. One time he said humorously that they even had lawyers in Heaven.

Over time my understanding was that it was sort of what the person involved felt the afterlife was going to be, so for somebody who had done a lot of bad in their lifetime ended up in Hell if that’s where they figured they’d be going. Taking into account all the different religions and belief systems there are Heaven would be whatever you were expecting. After a time, he said we all sat in judgment of ourselves and that was when we got to feel exactly how others felt when we did whatever to them in life. There are guides to help you do this so you aren’t too hard on yourself.

Wherever we ended up eventually a guide came to take us by the elbow and said, “Follow me I’ve got something else for you to see where you will be happy” whereupon you ended up in a way different place. A place where you began to understand things, where you will be with a group of souls who are your fellow students, and where you will meet with your guides when warranted.

After a time (I’ve never understood this very well…but years? Hundreds of years? Eons? Months?) You start thinking about what you would like to do next. Whether you stay where you are or reincarnate and here again, I have questions. Do you necessarily have to return to Earth? There are other systems, other planets, other places. Why not other dimensions? Do you want to be a humanoid creature or come back as a horse, a bumblebee, a flower, a rock? Someone just said, “As a paperclip?” I feel they are jesting up there.

In any case, you determine that you want to come back and do it again. This is where you go to that vacation agency in the sky and say to your friends and soul mates, “Hey, I want to come back as a female this time. I’ve been male for a time and I want to experience feminine energies. I also want to work on compassion and surrendering so I’m going to need some help with that.” Somebody in your group says, “Hey, I’d like to be your mother. Remember you were my mother once and I’d like to return the favor. Plus, I’m getting ready to go back myself. I’m going to end up in Italy. Is that okay with you?” And, you say, “Yes, I am interested in being Italian. Let’s do it.” And so your life plans begin to take shape. There are agreements made. You are in somebody else’s life and others are in yours. Even, so my understanding goes, for accidents and karmic events. Or for cataclysmic events, like wars and such. Evidently, we are not in it for happy times all the time. It’s like we choose what we need to experience to help shape our souls.

And, sometimes it takes more than one lifetime to accomplish the goals we set for ourselves. It could take 75 lifetimes to really investigate a particular subject. (Note: I started out with 250 lifetimes, but Spirit suggested I change it to 75 so people won’t get panicky. Essentially, I don’t think it matters.)

I asked my guide, “What about free will?” He answered that we always have free will. That’s when he told me that for everything that you’ve agreed to before your incarnation there are 50 different ways to achieve those goals. This is where he said to me, “There are hundreds of ways to get to Cincinnati. You can walk, you can run, you can hop, you can crawl on your knees. You can take a bus, a car, a train or a plane. Once you are incarnated this is your free will. Will it take 2 years or 12? Your decision.

This is all very different than what I was brought up to believe by my family. The important thing is that I am comfortable with it now. Even the uncertainty, somehow I have been able to say, “Bring it on. This is exciting. Let’s go places.” I wasn’t like that before.

Once I asked my guide if anybody heard our prayers. He said our prayers are always heard by someone. I asked him who was in charge. He said nobody. That one was a really big eye-opener for me.

After all of this what do you figure the takeaway is? Well, you could stop being so anxious about life. You might be able to stop worrying about what is to come and try to live more in the moment. You could be happier if you wanted to. You could stop agonizing where your soul-mate is because sooner or later you will be meeting up with them. And you might start thinking about us as one. All of us. People, plants, animals, the Earth, all of us as one. All sorts of benefits are available here.

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Sifoddling Along


By Marilyn Carnell

Jail Stories

Several of my family members have been McDonald County, Missouri peace officers (a term I prefer as Judges and Courts actually enforce the law). Below, is a photo of my Grandfather Thomas Jefferson Carnell (standing,) his chief Deputy, Leander Porter Bunch, my maternal Grandfather seated on the left, and the other Deputy Tommy Sweet (no relation). Also, there is a photo of the old McDonald County Jail, constructed in 1904. It was recently placed on the National Register of Historic Places. All of these factoids remind me of events related to the McDonald County Jails. Other McDonald County Sheriffs were my Uncle Tom “Sonny” Epperson and my brother-in-law, Earl Spears.

These are the Dog Days of August, so I wanted to write about some of the more colorful stories just to liven things up a bit. I seem to have had a knack for getting involved in some iffy situations.

Story 1: In the old days, security of prisoners was pretty casual. I was serving on the City Council and decided that we needed to revive an earlier project – a contest for the prettiest lawn. Since the city needed a little tidying up, I went to the Sheriff and requested a crew of Trustees to help me pick up trash and pull weeds. My wish was granted and several times I roamed the town accompanied only by three prisoners. The best worker was a man who had spent 10 years on Death Row for murder. It never occurred to me to be afraid and they treated me politely.

Story 2: I parked my car in front of the house, leaving the keys in it as usual (who worried about minor things in those days?) I started across the street to deliver a loaf of bread my Mom had requested and met three young men walking swiftly up the street. Unconcerned, I greeted them “Nice evening.” They replied in kind and went on their way. I stayed to visit with my parents for a few minutes when we were startled by the whap-whap of a helicopter flying low overhead. Daddy switched on the police scanner (everybody had one) and we heard there had been a jailbreak and a manhunt was on. When we realized I had crossed paths with escapees, we had to give my Dad a sedative. The fugitives were soon captured and returned to justice. All was well.

Story 3: At a picnic, the Sheriff supplied some of the labor needed for the event. I don’t recall why I went, but good food and watermelon were probably factors. As I wandered about, I chatted with a handsome young man, learned he was from a ritzy suburb of St. Louis. Curious, I asked the Sheriff who he was a what was he doing in McDonald County?

“Oh, he is one of my prisoners.”

“What did he do?”

“He is a safecracker, a yegg. He has been pretty successful, as he can afford to live in Ladue, but this time he slipped up and got caught.”

I decided that henceforth, I should begin any conversation with a stranger by the standard McDonald County greeting “Who are your people?”

Story 4: This story is not a personal one, but I thought it was funny.

A young man confined in the jail plotted his escape. Unknown to him, a Trustee warned the Sheriff. That night the slightly built lad removed his clothes, covered his body with cooking grease (the prisoners sometimes were allowed to cook), and worked his way through the window bars. As the buck-naked boy dropped to the ground, the low voice of the sheriff greeted him in the darkness - “Thinking of going somewhere, son?”

The old McDonald County jail in the City of Pineville, Missouri

If You click the link then click on the circled word VISIT, you can see a description of how the building was constructed and other interesting details.

After diligently pursuing the recognition for the historic significance of the old jail building for six plus years, the Pineville Historical Society received notice that their quest was successful. A plaque was set up in front of the structure with this wording:

McDonald County Old Jail
constructed in 1904
placed on the
National Register
of Historic Places

by the United States Department of the Interior
July 20, 2020
(Plaque donated by Cornerstone Bank.)

Here is a link to see the picture of the plaque and the local news story about getting recognized.

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By Thomas F. O'Neill

Many years ago, in ancient China, people believed in the Buddhist concept of reincarnation and the belief in Karma – in other words ‘what you give is what you receive.’ There are now 1.4 billion people living in China, but the ancient eastern beliefs are no longer religiously held by most Chinese people. Confucianism is also studied as part of ancient Chinese history rather than religiously held customs.

That being said, many of the ancient customs are still influencing how the Chinese people behave toward one another; most are polite and courteous in their daily interactions. The concept of Karma may no longer be a religious concept for the majority, but it’s still deeply rooted in their culture.

The old Buddhist concepts have now become more of a philosophical pursuit for many of today’s youth and that is certainly a good thing. The ancient eastern traditions that are widely rooted in China are beginning to lose their religious significance, mostly due to education and western influences.

There are still people, however, living in China that still hold the belief in rebirth, and your life’s fate can be determined by your actions from previous lives. The majority though regard such beliefs as mere superstition.

I have come in contact with some elderly Chinese people who believe my good fortune is a direct result of my previous life experiences. Those whose lives are more burdensome, it’s a direct result of bad karma according to my elderly neighbors.

It used to be a commonly held belief here that people are reincarnated to work through their karma and learn from past mistakes. However, if you were to ask an average university student whether Reincarnation and karma are realities or myths many students would respond that it is a possibility and then engage you in a philosophical discussion. Many of China’s ancient beliefs are philosophically discussed in Universities. It’s a way for the ancient traditions to be remembered and to keep the ancient Chinese culture alive in our modern world.

I had several experiences where two 3-year-old children pointed to me on different occasions then ran up to me to hug me. Those children’s grandparents would laugh and then stare at me in disbelief. I’m not sure what name the children called me but those experiences were quite intriguing. It kind of reinforces the belief that I am in China for a reason and there are certainly deeper dimensions to life than meets the eye.

I find many of the ancient Chinese customs intriguing and discussing them more fully here is a way of gaining a greater understanding of why many of today’s cultural differences between the west and the east exist. When I delve deeper into the Chinese cultural traditions I gain a better understanding of our own culture. Many of the misconceptions I had about China, in general, before moving here have faded away toward a deeper understanding of myself in relation to others.

Living and working in China for the past 12 years has made me a better person, and I hope I can bring my personal experiences from living here back to the US through my writings for the betterment of others.

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

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On Trek


By Judith Kroll

You Have 2 MONTHS to Live

I pray with my whole heart and soul that hearing those words never passes thru the ears of anyone. Hearing those words numbed me instantly, but as I thawed, I started to FEEL those words.

You feel those words with your emotions. Every emotion we can muster up. When the sting subsides, we finally face it. Ok, I can do this. I was married, I had 3 young children, but I could do it with a smile on my face.

What did I have? The docs --and I mean plural docs, didn’t know. My liver and spleen were being eaten by my body. I had no immune system functioning, and every disease with a name was tested with no negatives to show, so they concluded it was some kind of virus.

I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t move much without a lot of pain, but I decided to write letters to my husband, and to my 3 children to let them know I loved them.

One night as I woke from sleeping, I had gotten a jolt. “Why do you believe what the doctors don’t know for sure”. Fight.

With the help of my sister-in-law, Genine, we fought. 1000 mg of vitamin c every hour, and concoctions from an old health book. I was able to eat again. One bite but hey it was a start. I lost 100 lbs, one leg atrophied, weak, but alive.

Slowly I recouped. Here I am 47 years later.

The moral of this story is that we should never give in, but fight as best we can. Think positive. If it didn’t work at least I knew I tried. The whole ordeal helped me to realize how much our attitude matters.
Love, Judith

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Reflections on the Day

By Dayvid Clarkson

Language has always intrigued me. For me, it is the English language. However, I am confident that my observations are applicable to other languages. Language is taught to children in order that they may communicate with us.

To me, there is much more to it. As we teach language we are also defining that child’s world. In order for the child to understand the word, we put it into context for them. This flower is pretty, this weed is not. We feed them baby food at first. We give them strained carrots and repeat to them ‘mmmm’, ‘this is good’, ‘yummy’, and ‘You will love this’. Guess what? They love carrots.

If you feed them strained spinach and they immediately spit it out and make a funny face you laugh and laugh. Now maybe next time they might like strained spinach, yet due to the positive feedback you gave them they will continue to spit it out and make funny faces. Guess what they don’t love spinach.

You teach them the word ‘Beautiful’. They overhear you seeing some perfect 10 and you say, “She/He is beautiful. Now a 10 to us is one thing. A 10 in other cultures/ethnicities might be very different. In Polynesian areas, I understand that a four hundred pound man is really a 10. The point I am trying to make is that not only are we teaching our children to communicate but we are also defining their world. We are teaching them beauty, love, pleasantness, other esoteric concepts, and biases according to your culture and your viewpoint on life. Different people will have differing levels of influence on the child.

It seems that we carry these teachings throughout our lives. Yes, some like spinach when they grow older but they had to unlearn what they were taught. An inconsequential thing, yet what other teachings lie deeper within us. For the most part, our worldview has been taught from an external source.

It is time to unlearn everything we have been taught. Every thought, action, or reaction I question as to ‘Who taught me that?’ Search within to replace that knowledge which is someone else’s interpretation of this journey and replace it with your own authenticity.

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I'm A Private Man


By Bud Lemire 


I'm a private man
Oh yes, I am
You don't need to know
About my status quo

I'm not a crook, I have nothing to hide
I need to know you better, if I'm going to confide
I have no secret past, that I don't want to share
I just like my privacy, and I always try to be fair

Don't take my picture, and post it online
I'm not into social media, in-person I'm fine
I really just don't like it there
Someone could snag it from the air

I'm not a bad man, I want to say
Respect my privacy, and we'll be okay
I'll respect what you do
Because I know it's you

A conversation with me, is what I like
Just as you love, riding your bike
I'm a private man
oh yes, I am

©March 29, 2021 Bud Lemire

                         Author Note:

I try to respect the ways of others. Some of us like Facebook
and the internet. Others don't care for it. But when it comes
to privacy, we must respect those who don't like their business
out in the open. We are all different from one another and need
to respect each other for what we like, and how we like things.
At one time I was more private, and still am with some things.
But lately, I've turned a bit more public. With camera and photos
on the Internet, how can I not be.

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By Walt Perryman 


This little beautiful girl is my new best friend,
We are friends now and we will be to the end.

If you haven’t met her, Marley is her name,
Once you know her, life will not be the same.

Erica, her mother is teaching this little girl well,
Where Marley will go in life only time will tell.

You would be amazed at what all she can do.
She can sing, dance and she plays guitar too.

Marley, you will go far if you stay on the track,
The world will love you to the moon and back!

©July 27, 2021 Walt Perryman

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Life Cycle


 By John I. Blair 


Fifty years ago I changed your diapers,
Burped you on my strong shoulder,
Sang silly songs to help you sleep.

You were a precious gift,
A son to call my own,
Sweet purpose in my days.

Seasons flowed, years came and went,
We grew apart as needs must be,
But still we loved each other.

Now I am old,
Walking slowly so I do not fall;
I go from hour to hour, not sure what’s next.

And at times I need your help,
Driving me to doctors,
Replacing inconvenient light bulbs.

Some day, and maybe soon,
You might change my diapers,
Croon soothing songs to me.

What could be more natural
As our respective lives
Pass through their cycles?

©2021 John I. Blair, 7/13/2021

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More Thought about Clotheslines


 By Walt Perryman 


A clothesline was a news forecast, to the people passing by,
A family had no secrets when their clothes were hung to dry.

They knew how many kids you had and when you had more,
And they could see what size underwear that everyone wore.

Anyone old enough can remember the clotheslines back then,
And how they’d flap and sometimes disappear with the wind.

I believe my grandmother could forecast the weather somehow.
And could predict rain or shine better than the weathermen now.

Clotheslines are almost gone now, just a memory from the past,
Because today we have dryers that can dry our stuff really fast.

©2021 Walt Perryman

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Don't Get Caught Up in The Fog


By Bud Lemire 


Don't get caught up in the fog passing by
There's so much more, beyond your eye
You'll see it all, as you move ahead
Move your feet forward, and you'll be lead

I know you're discouraged, by what you don't see
Just flow with your life, let all things come to be
The greater good, the greater things are yet to come
You'll find, in your heart and soul, where it is from

Reach out, dance and smile in the fog
Can you hear the barking of the dog?
He comes up and licks your face
You knew all along, this is your place

Just like the fog, you can't always see
Where life will take you, in your destiny
Your soul knows, and it will guide you
When the fog gets too thick, it'll help you through

We all sometimes feel that way
As time passes by every day
There's so much, you have yet to do before you die
So, please don't get caught up in the fog, passing by

©April 10, 2021 Bud Lemire

                        Author Note:

Sometimes we can't always see what is to be, or why
we are where we are in life. But it always works out.
We get beyond the fog, and we get through it all. We
have fog lights, and foghorns, and use our souls as
our guides. Knowing what feels right to us, is the way
we get from one place to the next.

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It's About Time

By Bruce Clifford

It’s about time
Time to remain
It’s about the night
It’s all about the day

It’s about the courage
All spaces in the line
It’s about the worry
It’s about time

Can you hear the wind whispering a sound
Can you feel the moment when your drifting in a cloud

It’s about time
Time to begin
It’s about the plight
It’s about the will to win

It’s all about the reasons
Every moment you define
It’s all about the seasons
It’s about time
It’s about time

©7/1/2021 Bruce Clifford

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My Own Boss


By Mary E. Adair 


My head's all aswirl
With words I choose
But getting them said
Is like self-abuse

So many plans
Important or not
It's a muddle that fills
My every thought

Perhaps Time is to blame
Seems I'm always late
Then hurrying is hard
To make a deadline date

Can't blame the weather
It's what I really like
Maybe though self-employed
I should just go on strike

©July 2021 Mary E. Adair

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Not Just Cowboys


By Walt Perryman 


A good Cowboy will tip their hat to the ladies,
Love and take care of puppies and babies.

Open doors for the women coming through,
Then give each one a big “howdy” too!

Put their empty shopping cart up in the lot,
This may sound like nothing but it’s really not.

Put in a good days work for a good days pay,
Thank the good Lord for each and every day.

Set a good example so that everyone can see,
Because some have not seen how it should be.

You may be surprised who is watching you,
At least someone can see how they should do.

You don’t have to be a cowboy to be a good man,
Just have to do the right thing whenever you can.

Actions speak louder than words this is very true,
So now ask yourself, “Am I going to talk or do”?

©2021 Walt Perryman

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One Journey Ends


 By Bud Lemire 


It could have been anyone, that it happened to
It might have been me, but it turned out to be you
I wonder what it is, that goes through your mind
If I found myself there, I am not sure what I would find

We live our lives, never wishing to be ill
Taking all that we can, trying to get our fill
We give what we can, in love, which is right
Never realizing someday, we'd have such a fight

On the brink of death, choices must be made
They're made for us, as we start to fade
Some of us think, it'll be the unknown
Others think, they'll go alone

I believe, someone who passed will come along
And will guide us to where we belong
An Angel, a relative, or even a friend
Although our life is over, it won't end

I believe this for you, my friend, this I do
Whatever you believe, I'm praying for you
May your journey beyond, be a better one
You've journeyed, and your struggle is done

©July 10, 2021 Bud Lemire

                      Author Note:

Our soul goes on after our bodies have ceased.
It's another adventure in the spirit world. They
watch over those who are still living. Awaiting
their return to where they are now. No pain,
no problems, yet always learning, just like we
did while we were alive.

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Anywhere I Go

By Bruce Clifford

Born in a glass jar
Raveling from so very far
Anywhere I go the air seems so thin

Born in a plastic suit
Destroying what was cute
Anywhere I go the motions are out of line

Born with an ink spot
Memories are all we’ve got
United Nation
Panic station
Anywhere I go the walls are closing in

Born in a glass jar
The chaos of the neutron star
Anywhere I go the air seems so thin

Anywhere I go
Facts we all should know
Anywhere I go
On with the show

©7/14/2021 Bruce Clifford

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