Thursday, June 1, 2023

Editor's Corner

By Mary E. Adair

June 2023

“It was June,
and the world smelled of roses.
The sunshine was like powdered gold
over the grassy hillside.”
— Maud Hart Lovelace

June almost always is mentioned in the same sentence about wedding plans. The June Bride is an icon beckoning memories of those marriages licensed and duly performed, but yes--in many different types of ceremonies, or lack of such as could be deemed ceremonious. Your editor's uncle, Jackie Oakley Joslin wed his sweetheart Mary Louise on the fifth; his sister, your editor's mom Lena May Joslin wed John (Jack) Edward Carroll on the 10th; your editor's first marital promises occurred on the 15th of said month. These first two examples lasted until the grooms died; the third for nearly a dozen years, making the claim for lasting bliss, granted by tying the legal knot in the year's sixth month, two-thirds feasible.

For many the main celebration for which June is memorable is Father's Day. Your editor's dad was an only child which may have caused him to cherish his role as head of a household boasting four daughters, various son-in-laws, and a healthy crop of grandchildren. He was happiest with a houseful of relatives which qualifies him as this issue's model of exemplary fatherhood. The Thanksgiving 1963 pic below displays his almost smug smile, no doubt anticipating the next grandchild, as his youngest daughter Melinda, standing in front of him, would soon be adding her first contribution to the family. I stood behind him, Moma May behind me, and our dinner guest AG Adair did his photography bit for history.

Incidentally, not one author mentioned either weddings or Father's Day, but supplied a variety of subjects. Mattie Lennon updates current info about the Listowel Writers event and tells about Dolly Day in Ireland plans in his column "Irish Eyes." Thomas F. O'Neill devoted his "Introspective" column to his puzzlement about reactions to State vs Church interpretations.

Judith Kroll rhapsodized about Ships and Roses in "On Trek." Marilyn Carnell, author of "Sifoddling Along," got "deathly" serious with great info, while Pauline Evanosky described in "Woo Woo" her first verbal message from Spirit. Danielle Cote Serar faced personal grief in the loss of her friend and discusses it in her column "A Mother's Lesson."

Although Rod Cohenour is still limited in activities as his broken leg heals, he and wife Melinda cooperated to get their columns prepared for publication. In "Cooking with Rod" he features his wife, affectionately called "M" and her take on one of his favorite recipes, "M's Chicken Milanese." She does the column "Armchair Genealogy" and for June is focusing on Ancestry's recently revealed Chromasome Painter a capability for their subscribers.

Even though Bruce Clifford is enjoying a personal hiatus, this issue shows many poems, one which is the only poem ever composed by the late AG Adair, "My Oak Grove." Then there are two more with the Adair copyright by your editor: "RSVP Please" and "Medical Mystery."

Two welcomed poetic submissions arrived from John Blair titled "Payback" and "Old Garden." Walt Perryman shows three: "My Simple Book of Life, "We Can Stray or Stay," and "I Can't Forget Memories." Bud Lemire penned "Greed," "Leonora," and "From The Afterlife, With Love." Three more are presented that were published in this eZine several years ago authored by maternal Grandmother Carrie E. Joslin: "Writer of Kentucky Tales," "Nosebleed" and "Working at Armour's."

We continue to thank our co-founder and webmaster, Mike Craner, whose knowlege and expertise keeps Pencil Stubs Online actually online. He does it well as we are now in our 26th year. Happy Father's Day, Mike!

See you in July!

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

Armchair Genealogy

By Melinda Cohenour

Exploring The Chromosome Painter

A couple months ago, this column focused on the latest "bells and whistles" offered by Ancestry in connection with its DNA test results. One of those new features was the Chromosome Painter. Your author declined to expound on this feature as only a very cursory exploration was undertaken. This month we shall take a closer look.


First of all, it almost seems as though Ancestry chose to tuck this tool away to be found by only the most ardent search. No application title for this Chromosome Painter is to be found on the drop-down list that appears after one clicks the three parallel lines in the upper left corner on the initial screen. As the application pertains to the distribution of meaningful chromosomal data, logic dictates the tool would appear as a subtitle in the DNA section. That is not quite the case, however.

Do click the three parallel bars to reveal the first level options that appear. NOW click on DNA STORY. The next screen displays your most recent Ethnicity Estimate (which changes each time Ancestry updates their computer algorithms to encompass all the data derived from the millions of new tests furnished by its latest testing customers).

We're getting close now, but Ancestry still does not give us a quick click path to our goal. One must now scroll down to where is found NOT a title for Chromosome Painter BUT an invitation to COMPARE MY DNA beneath the introductory section reflecting BETA "Compare with matches" that also reflects profile icons or portraits of YOU and two of your closest DNA matches.

Well, that's intriguing but WE HAVE NOT FOUND THE CHROMOSOME PAINTER YET. Keep scrolling, leaving that fun challenge behind for the moment. Beneath that hyperlink we find in BOLD TYPEFACE the title for "Ethnicity Inheritance" - and beneath that "Your regions inherited from each parent."


Looks like we're getting somewhere. Next is displayed the pie chart labeled at the top YOU and on the left half "Inherited from Maternal" and on the right half "Inherited from Paternal". This helpfully provides the Sideview Technology breakdown Ancestry's new technology utilizes to divide our chromosome data into that portion inherited from each parent by examining information gleaned from test subjects' responses as to how Shared Matches are related. The computer(s) now re-sort those Shared Matches by Maternal and Paternal based on your selections.

Each person has 23 chromosomes, 22 pairs called autosomes, and one of which is referred to as the sex chromosome because this pair of chromosomes determines your gender at birth. The Maternal 23rd chromosome always furnishes an X. The determinant for gender, however, comes from daddy. If the Paternal 23rd chromosome is marked with X, you're a girl (23rd PAIR reads X X). If it's a Y, you're a boy (23rd PAIR reads X Y).

For determining ethnicity only the remaining 22 pairs are utilized. These are sorted by length of coding per pair, longest to shortest. Sideview Technology has been used to divide these lines of DNA by Parent 1 and Parent 2. Ancestry's computers can attribute the distinct coding to the two parents but cannot determine which is Maternal and which is Paternal. That was left for you to determine based on your knowledge of where momma and daddy's families originated using old fashioned document based research.

Further, the computers will compare the strings of coding resident in each chromosome to Ancestry's Reference Panel to pinpoint the ethnic origins of each segment. What is a Reference Panel? Let's use Ancestry's explanation:

What is a reference panel?

A reference panel is a set of people whose DNA is typical of DNA from a certain place—people native to a place or group. To make it into the Ancestry DNA reference panel, people need two things: a paper trail that proves their family history, and DNA confirmation of their ethnicity. Their DNA is what your DNA is compared to when you take an Ancestry DNA test.

To estimate your ethnicity, we find the reference panel DNA that's most similar to each segment of your DNA. Then, we assign your segments to the regions they resemble. For example, if a piece of DNA is most similar to the reference panel DNA from Tonga, that segment will go into the "Tonga" bucket.

Our reference panel has 68,714 DNA samples that divide the world into 84 overlapping regions and groups.


There is a difference. Ancestry says:

    How is a chromosome painter different from a chromosome browser? Chromosome painters display your ethnicities across your DNA and show which ethnicities came from each of your biological parents.
    This is different from a chromosome browser, which displays segments of identical DNA shared by two people. Chromosome browsers are mainly used to figure out relationships to genetic relatives and to link pieces of DNA to specific ancestors.

But what if we want to determine who shares segments of identical DNA?

Again, Ancestry has an answer:

    We do not currently have a compare feature, but if you and a match compare your results yourselves, you may find regions where you share the same ethnicities. If you do, this does not mean you have identical DNA at those places–only that you have the same ethnicities there.

Aaah. YES! Finally we can begin to explore the Chromosome Painter. Remember, we clicked the three parallel bars (top left on your screen) to reveal a listing of options.

We selected DNA and in that section clicked on DNA Story. That selection opened to reveal a screen with a text bar appearing beneath a world map. That text bar reads Ethnicity; Inheritance; Communities; and Matches.

Beneath that world map on which appear areas filled with colored sections (Hint: those are your geographic representations of your ethnic origins), is a headline reading Ethnicity Estimate. Below that is the listing of your ethnic origins. DON'T GO THERE JUST YET.

Go back to the text bar above and click on the word INHERITANCE.

Ethnicity Inheritance now shows a sequence of informative displays:

  • Ethnicity Inheritance. Your regions inherited from each parent. The PIE CHART.
  • The Chromosome Painter. DON'T GO THERE YET.
  • View breakdown. CLICK THIS HYPERLINK.


Here we are provided a series of supporting factotum:

  • THE PIE CHARTS which display your ethnic origins inherited from Maternal and Paternal contributions. A second PIE CHART displays YOU and cumulates the Maternal and Paternal contributions to show how those combined reflect your percentage for each ethnic origin.
  • A Detailed Comparison that illustrates how each geographic area represents the amount contributed by Maternal PLUS the amount contributed by Paternal which, added together, creates your total percentage for each ethnic group.
  • Explanatory sections to provide information (Inheritance is Random; Their halves Your whole; How do we know this-Sideview Technology; Matches split by parent; and FINALLY Chromosome Painter with an invitation to Explore Now).

Chromosome Painter: THE BAR CHART

ANCESTRY SAYS: Where are your ethnicities in your DNA? With the chromosome painter, you can see for yourself. We’ve “painted” your chromosomes (the colored bars below) with the regions they’re associated with in your ethnicity estimate. Select an ethnicity to see it highlighted. Choose Maternal or Paternal to see which chromosomes were passed down by whom.

The Bar Chart displays the 22 autosomal chromosomes numbered from 1 to 22, each numbered chromosome made up of TWO bars, representing one for Maternal contribution and one for Paternal contribution. You will see the longest stretch of DNA appears in Chromosome 1, and graduates sequentially to the shortest segments of DNA depicted in Chromosome 22.

Each set of rows are "painted" with colors representing geographic areas that correspond to the colors used to represent specific ethnic / geographic origins.

Just above the Bar Chart appears the word Regions. Beneath that word is a row of elliptical words: All (clicking that displays all the colors on all the rows in the entire chart), then separate words defining each ethnicity Ancestry has determined to make up your ethnic inheritance. For instance, mine shows first SCOTLAND. Clicking Scotland closes the All category and now displays where on each row segments of DNA match the Reference Panel to indicate Scottish origins. A bright green 💚 fills in portions of each chromosome number containing such DNA, clearly reflecting Maternal and Paternal contributions. Since my Ethnicity Estimate currently reflects 48% of my DNA to be derived from Scottish ancestors on both sides, large portions of these bars contain green paint.

Clicking on my next largest percentage ethnic group (Ireland) does not close the Scotland group. One must manually click Scotland to close that and reveal only the DNA for Irish ancestors. And, so on for each ethnic origin displayed. If you wish to display more than one ethnic region at a time merely leave the category open. You can pick and choose as many ethnic origins as you wish.

One could say the PIE Chart cumulates the DNA contributions of our parents while the Chromosome Painter BAR Chart distributes those contributions across the paired 22 autosomal chromosomes.

Lastly, Ancestry responds to some Frequently Asked Questions:


How can I use this information?

    With this data, you can get a general feel for how recent your connections are to your ethnicity regions. The longer a segment (a single colored block) is for a region, the more recent your connection to that region may be.

What are chromosomes?

    Chromosomes are bundles of DNA in your cells. Most people have 23 pairs. In each pair, one chromosome came from one parent, and one came from the other. The chromosomes that have the most to say about your ethnicities are your 22 autosomes (your non-sex chromosomes), so that’s why we’re only showing you these 22 chromosomes.

What if a match and I have the same ethnicity in the same spot?

    If you and a match have the same ethnicity in the same location on a chromosome, it doesn’t mean your DNA is identical there. You can have the same ethnicity in the same place, but from different patterns in your DNA. With the chromosome painter, it’s not possible to tell where you share DNA with someone.

If your query was not answered, click Read More to reveal an expanded list of FAQ and responses.

After you have explored the Chromosome Painter, it would be fun and informative to go back to the section mentioned in the very beginning of this tutorial titled Compare with matches, marked BETA including a hyperlink COMPARE MY DNA beside profile pics of you and (probably) your two or three closest DNA matches.

This is an area that promises to be of greater value for those of us seeking to identify "missing ancestors". You know, those aggravating gaps in our lineage where a grandfather should appear? Worse yet, as in my children's lineage their paternal grandmother. Their father, my first husband, was abandoned at birth by his birth mother, handing her infant son off to the Miami-Dade Children's Home, a community orphanage.

Florida is one of the toughest states for unlocking birth records for adoptees. For my first husband was adopted about age three. His adoptive mother yearned for naturally conceived and born babies but as a result of an early trauma (she did not fully disclose to me), was unable to. Thus, she adopted Johnny and, later, his sister Ann. She tried hard to conceal that her children were adopted. Easy with Ann because she was a newborn when taken from the hospital by her biological father and Johnny's mother who were later married. But Johnny was old enough to recognize the faked pregnancy tricks employed by their mother. Especially when as a teenager he happened to walk in where his mom was positioning the pillow she used to simulate a late term baby bump.

Even confronted about her pseudo pregnancy, his mom refused to acknowledge and explain. This caused Johnny to reflect on the inconsistencies in his memories and the inadequate explanations supplied. He first began to question the truth of his own origins. It would be the bothersome "thorn in his soul" that would cause him torment the rest of his life. I vowed to him that I would do all I could to reveal the truth of his ancestral past. I still pursue that truth today, not just for my first love but for his children and grandchildren and their descendants as well.

And this new BETA tool might help to identify that long lost woman who desperately sought to conceal her connection to that precious infant.

My daughter, Johnny's child, and her nephew, the son of her older brother have had their DNA tested. The results have revealed half siblings fathered by Johnny. By using this tool to compare UP TO TEN DNA MATCHES at a time, we may be able to close in on that mystery mother.


The comparison screen is in a spreadsheet format. Column headings are populated by the names of those whose ethnic makeup are to be compared. The default first column is, as would be expected, your name or if the comparison is being done on behalf of another, that person's name. Columns to the right will contain the names of up to ten matches whose results you wish to compare.

The next data appearing below references the ethnic geographic occupying the greatest percentage. Since I have chosen to use my daughter's profile to possibly zero in on Johnny's Mystery Mom, this area is England and Northwestern Europe. Melissa's percentage 38%. We have identified a family of close matches - a mother (probable 2nd cousin), her son, daughter, grandson and possible other relatives who have no tree attached to their tests but share a surname and are Shared Matches. In addition I have chosen to include Melissa's two closest half siblings.

Honestly, I don't yet know what the data is telling me. I can see the daughter inherited more of this ethnic group from her father because her percentage is greater than her mother's. The percentage total for a child is the percentage contributed by the mother plus the percentage contributed by the father.

I can draw no conclusion as to the relationship of the Shared Matches with the same surname since siblings can inherit widely disparate amounts or segments of DNA from their parents.

For now, this Comparison tool is of interest but not extremely informative. It will require more study to determine how or IF it can be used to confirm the suspected identity of Mystery Mom.

This has been a fun yet frustrating exploration of the Chromosome Painter and related applications dreamed up by the scientists and researchers at Ancestry. More fun things I can do in the name of Armchair Genealogy.

See you next month.

Click on the 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.

Woo Woo

By Pauline Evanosky

What Does Spirit Sound Like the First Time You Talk?

The first time I heard Spirit say something to me, at first, I thought I had thought it myself. Somehow I knew that was not right. It was like the difference between looking at a picture of what is outside your window compared to actually looking out the window. You might say, “Oh, well, she was probably talking to herself.” I actually do that a lot, but hearing Spirit talk was definitely different from my own thoughts.

Yesterday, I got a telephone call from a longtime friend. She knows that I am a channel. I have shared lots of woo woo stories with her through the years. So, she called and said, “Tell me what you think.”

She was in the bathroom that morning. She was reading a book of daily devotions. Just something to read that can help to start your day right. Her life has been stressful lately, and it has been a real effort for her to be positive. So, as she was reading, she was also thinking about being as positive as she could be. Then she said this thought popped into her head. “Oh, just let it go for today. Just relax and take the day off.” She knew the thought wasn’t about actually taking the day off from work but from the stress of trying to be in the best mood possible.

I told her, “Congratulations. You just heard from Spirit.”

She was surprised.

It happens that way. This thought pops into your head, and you really don’t know where it came from.

It’s probably been happening that way for years, but people just put it down to an overactive imagination. Except, she knew in her heart it wasn’t her thought.

The same thing happened to me a few days before I began to channel. The situation, for us, at the time, was very tense. My husband had broken his back. We didn’t know how long he was going to be in the hospital, how long it would take him to heal, and when he would be well enough to get back to work.

The doctors couldn’t figure out what had happened other than he had a broken back. Financially, we were also in trouble because he was the primary breadwinner in the family at the time, and he could not work. In fact, it was two years before he got another job.

At the time, I had spent several years trying to talk to my Spirit Guide. I couldn’t do any of the exercises in the book I was studying. It was “Opening to Channel” by Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer. I recommend it to anybody who has the desire to talk to their Spirit Guide.

In any case, I was a lousy student. I could not visualize. I could not meditate. I just could not do any of the exercises the way I thought they ought to be done. That was wrong, but I didn’t know that then.

I prayed to God but was getting nothing. It was like he didn’t care about Dennis or our plight. No answer. Nothing. Silence. That was my only standby. I’d been praying to God since I was six years old. Maybe even before that. I can’t remember.

I wanted answers.

I was getting nothing.

My friends were supportive, but they weren’t saying anything other than what I expected them to say. These were the same things I would say to them if they were in the same situation. Time will tell. Try to be patient. Pray.

I was trying to be a writer then, but I was not writing because Dennis was recovering in a body cast at home, and I was just too distracted to write anything worthwhile. He had spent 12 days in the hospital, but we were horribly worried. I was concentrating all my efforts on contacting my Spirit Guide, which by then included trying to make contact on a Ouija Board.

That’s when I had this strange thought while I sat at my computer. It said, “You have to become as innocent as you were when you were a little girl.” It just popped out of nowhere. It seemed a rather specific thought. However, it also sounded like valid advice. So, I tried to relax. I did not recognize that was Spirit at the time. Now, with all that has happened in the thirty years that have passed since then, I do know for a certainty that was the voice of Spirit.

I said to myself, “This is ridiculous. I can’t do anything about Dennis. I can’t get anywhere contacting my guide, and I’ve been neglecting my writing." So, I decided to relax.

However, to cover all the bases, I decided to type with my right hand. My desk space was wide enough to accommodate both my keyboard on the right and the Ouija board on my left. I knew it was going to be a little awkward, but I knew where all the keys were. Typing with one hand was slower, but it could be done, and that way, if somebody in Spirit wanted to say something, my left hand could rest on the planchette and be ready. Did I expect anything to happen? No. With as hard as I had been trying all those years before, I really didn’t expect magic to happen.

Thinking about it now, it seems a little silly, but I did it. Nothing more helpful than that had sprung to mind, so I just decided to try it. All of my concentration became focused on the keyboard. It does take a little getting accustomed to typing with one hand, so I was super concentrated on that. Not five minutes into doing this is when my left hand moved. Zounds! The planchette just took off on a diagonal movement from left to right across the board.

I moved the keyboard aside and put both my hands on the planchette like you are supposed to do. The first question I asked was, “Are you my guide?” The planchette moved slowly up to the YES that was printed in the upper left-hand corner of the board. Then, it began moving around and spelled out a name: S-E-T-H. I said, “Are you the same Seth that Jane Roberts channeled?” The planchette moved to YES again. After that, the planchette began to move aimlessly around the board. It didn’t spell out anything that made sense. I got the impression that just because all of this was new to me, I needed to get used to how things worked. It sounded reasonable to me.

As each day passed, I couldn’t wait to get home from work to try again to speak to my Spirit Guide on the Ouija board. Over the course of a week and a half, my experience using the Ouija board was that my hand on the planchette began to move so quickly that the planchette would get knocked off the edge of the board. After a time, I lost the planchette. It was at that point, when I was looking around for something I could use or make to be a substitute for the planchette, it occurred to me that I could just use my finger. Nowhere else had I read that was possible. I just chuckled and said, “Why not?” I thought to myself, “Who was moving the planchette around? If they were moving the planchette, why couldn’t they move my finger? It’s my Spirit Guide.”

That worked. By then, it was just a little over a week since I had first made contact with my Spirit Guide, my finger was moving like lightning across the Ouija Board, and I began to anticipate when my Spirit Guide was going to spell out.

That is when I said to myself, “I’m going crazy. This is what it must feel like to go crazy. What am I going to do?” That is the precise moment when I first “heard” my Spirit Guide. I remember he said, “Go outside. I have something important to say.” I stepped outside to our front porch, and Seth said, “You can hear me now.” I was shocked. I had no idea this was going to happen.

After that, I could hear him anywhere, at work, in the car, in the grocery store, walking on the sidewalk. It was disconcerting, but I got used to it quickly. In the beginning, I didn’t catch everything he was saying. It was sort of like sticking my fingers in and out of my ears over and over. I could hear something like every two words.

Getting accustomed to hearing from Spirit and then talking to Spirit takes a little bit of effort. Just be polite and calm down. It helps to have somebody in your life who supports you as I did with my husband. In any case, I would caution you to keep it mostly to yourself for the first year. Also, be sure that you only speak to your Spirit Guide in the beginning. It’s just one of the many rules you will make, break and adjust as time goes by and your proficiency increases.

I realize there are all sorts of Folk in Spirit, as I call them, who you will eventually be talking to, but in the beginning, it is better just to talk to one entity. Eventually? You will be talking to all sorts of spiritual teachers, famous people, people in history, your own friends and relatives, and others like your pets who have passed. I even once, just for an experiment, talked to a plastic patio chair. I wouldn’t recommend it. It was very chaotic—nothing I could understand, more like fingernails scraping across a blackboard. My point is you will be able to talk to anybody.

Will you be able to read minds? Maybe. Generally speaking, I’ve concluded that there is some sort of unwritten law that you do not intrude on anybody’s thoughts. Unless, of course, they give you permission to do that, like if you were doing a psychic reading for them. But many times, it has happened when I’ve said something, usually when I am talking to a person unknown to me, and I say something about jam jars in the cupboard put up by Aunt Mable. They almost scream and ask me, “How did you know that?” I have to shake my head and say, I’m sorry. It just sort of came out. What it means is that their Aunt Mable wanted to pass something along. It happens. It happened once to me in the grocery store with a total stranger.

You will always remember the first time Spirit talks to you. You don’t have to officially be psychic. It helps to be as curious and as innocent as you were when you were a child. However, I am of the mind that everybody is psychic, and everybody can talk to Spirit.

Thanks for reading.

Click on the 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.

Cooking with Rod

By Rod Cohenour

Memorial Day weekend has arrived. A time to commemorate our Military heroes, family members who have preceded us beyond the veil, and a time to rejoice in the company of our living friends and family. What better way than to prepare a delicious meal and share fond memories.

My sweet wife has another great recipe for the occasion, her Chicken Milanese made with her signature sauce. Here's her recipe. Enjoy.

Bon appetit ~!

M's Chicken Milanese


    • Six boneless skinless chicken breasts, flattened to an even thickness to ensure even cooking
    • 2 Tablespoons oil, corn oil provides a great flavor
    • 1 cup seasoned flour ( just sprinkle with ground black pepper, and a sprinkle of Italian Seasoning, whisk)
    • 2 large bell peppers, seeded, cut in 1/2" pieces
    • 1 bunch green onions, diced (use green tops as well as bulbs)
    • 1 large (23.2 oz or 28 oz) can condensed tomato soup
    • 1/2 cup water (can add more if needed)
    • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
    • 2 teaspoons Oregano
    • 2 teaspoons Marjoram
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • Fresh sweet basil leaves, chiffonade cut
    • 2 lbs spaghetti, prepared per directions on pkg (use pasta of your choice of course)
    • 2 Tablespoons butter
    • 1-2 Tablespoons dried parsley (your taste preference)
    • Fresh grated or prepared Parmesan cheese


    1. Heat oil in heavy skillet. Rinse chicken in cold water. Dredge in seasoned flour. Brown quickly on both sides on medium high heat. Lower heat.
    2. Mix soup, water (used to rinse out can), Italian seasoning, and spices. Pour over chicken fillets in skillet. (We use our large oblong electric skillet with its domed lid.)
    3. Top chicken with Bell pepper and green onions. Bring just to a simmer and cover tightly. Cook, without stirring on low heat for about 30-45 minutes. (See below. Chicken is done when piercing in thickest part results in clear liquid being released.)
    4. Prepare spaghetti, drain, add butter and stir to coat pasta. Cover and keep warm.
    5. Check chicken to see if tender. If not cooked through and tender, may need to continue cooking for up to 15 minutes
    6. Toss spaghetti with parsley.
    7. To plate: top spaghetti on individual plates with a chicken breast fillet and then sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan and garnish with sweet basil.
    Best served with hot crusty bread, a crisp salad and creamy Italian dressing.

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Sifoddling Along


By Marilyn Carnell

Planning The End

I always felt younger than the calendar said. This was probably due to my being the “baby of the family”. I was the youngest of 20 cousins and was cosseted accordingly.

Another thing that encouraged me to think I was younger was that my friends are of all ages and interests. This puzzles some people who liked to flock with birds of a feather. Because my interests were eclectic, I was attracted to people different from me as well as those who echoed my beliefs and it kept me thinking I was young,

But lately, I have become more introspective and realize that at age 82 I am near the end of my life. This is a sobering thought. How am I to prepare for leaving this world in an orderly manner? It is time to consider how to prepare and simplify the way my family and friends will adjust to my absence. As the youngest in my generation, I have seen many pass before me and have had to deal with the detritus of their lives. I want to spare my immediate family that burden and thus have decided to take care of as much as possible before that day when I hopefully slip away quietly in my sleep.

Dying is not easy or pleasant to think about yet. I hope that when my time comes, I will be tired of life and welcome the great sleep. At least that is how I feel today. Due to the experience, I have had in dealing with the deaths of others and the aftermath, I have already taken many of the necessary steps to spare my loved ones. Already in place are:

  • My will
  • A trust
  • Delegated Power of Attorney for my healthcare
  • Delegated Power of Attorney for my fiscal matters
  • Begun completing Next of Kin files
  • Had my home evaluated for my safety – removed rugs, put up grab bars, etc.
  • Am planning to tour senior living options so that if I break a hip, develop another serious health problem or most horrifying have dementia and can no longer live alone, we will know where I prefer to live.
  • Begun to give items that are precious to me to people who will appreciate them.
  • Am developing a collection of essays I have written to leave behind a record of my thinking and interests.
  • Decided that cremation is the best solution as I wish to have a tombstone at a plot in the Jane (MO) Cemetery and as it is 600 miles away, it may not be convenient to transport me there right away and a small box in the closet isn’t very intrusive. Caskets are very inconvenient.

Although my plans are simple, I know that mishaps can occur. I have heard stories from reliable sources about such things. In one case the crematorium in a small town stored the “cremains” (Yes, they all look alike.) in large coffee cans until the family chose a suitable container. A new employee was sent to scatter rocks on the sidewalk to prevent an accident on the icy way. Yes, he used cremains. When the family came there was nothing to do but grab a handful from other cans and recreate “Uncle Zeke”.

I want a celebration of my life, rather than a doleful funeral. I recall going to a service that freaked me out. The church had a very low ceiling, and the crowded room enhanced the feeling I was in a coffin myself. The preacher was determined to give the best Hellfire and Damnation sermon and scare us into behaving. He kept repeating “Bobby wants you to come to heaven and be with him. You must repent and be prepared to go.” All I could think of was “But I’m not ready.”

I prefer to have people I love gather to exchange stories about funny things I have said or done, any kindnesses I have shown, and that I tried to make the world a better place.

Click on the author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
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By Thomas F. O'Neill

I find it fascinating that in our modern technological age, we as Americans can become so divisive and hostile regarding the separation of church and state issue.

The view that the state should be thoroughly secular and not influenced by religious values, especially Christianity — was completely foreign to the first 150 years of American political thought. Clearly, the Founding Fathers did not try to expunge every vestige of the Christian religion, thought, and values from all facets of public life.

When you study the documents of the Revolutionary period, a very distinctive picture of what the Founding Fathers believed comes into view. The Founders clearly believed that moral leadership, and a virtuous electorate, were essential for the experiment of freedom to succeed. Because of this, they created a political climate that encouraged religious faith and accommodated religion rather than hostility to it.

Consequently, Protestant Christianity was the prevailing religious view for the first 150 years of our nation’s history. However, to be accurate and balanced, it must be stated that the Founding Fathers sought to set up a just society, not a Christian theocracy. For that reason, they specifically prohibited the establishment of Christianity — or any other faith — as the religion of our nation. At the same time, the First Amendment was drafted to ensure the liberty needed for religious freedom to have an ongoing and profound influence in American society separate from Government.

Most but not all of our Founding Fathers were influenced by the popularity of Newtonian physics and deism. The deist of their day did not believe in a personal god, which directly influenced our national destiny. Many of our Founding Fathers viewed Christianity as practicing and living within superstitious beliefs.

However, it is a historical fact that the Founding Fathers were supportive of religion and its public practice and expression. It wasn’t until 1947 that the United States Supreme Court first used the concept of “separation” to isolate government from religion.

In Everson v. Board of Education, the court lifted a phrase from Thomas Jefferson's letter to a Baptist church in Danbury, Connecticut. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against the establishment of religion by law was intended to erect “a wall of separation between church and state.” In this ruling, the Supreme Court quoted Jefferson’s separation language as a normative guideline for understanding the First Amendment. This is especially remarkable when one realizes that Jefferson wasn’t even a member of the Constitutional Convention, and the phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear anywhere in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

A careful reading of Jefferson’s letter, his other writings, and the First Amendment makes it clear that the government is restricted from intruding into any religious organization, and not people who are being restricted from having religious views within government. However, they cannot use their office to impose their religious views or in implementing Government policy.

Freedom of religion is the goal, and the non-establishment clause is the means. The only way to have true freedom of religion is to keep government out of religion’s affairs. This view defines religious freedom in terms of government neutrality toward religion in which no religion is favored over any other, and neither religion nor secularism is favored over each other.

The First Amendment was rewritten 12 times to make clear its intent. The concept set forth in the Bill of Rights is “non-establishment” of religion, not the total isolation in the belief in God in government.

For nearly two centuries, state and federal governments have had a benevolent attitude toward religion in general, and Christianity in particular.

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787, passed by the very same Congress which enacted the First Amendment, stated the following in Article III:

“Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

Notice that religion and morality were equal with knowledge as proper subjects of public education. I am a firm believer that Thomas Jefferson would have approved of comparative religion courses in the public school system. Comparative Religion courses can give us a deeper understanding of how humanity has searched for meaning and found purpose in life through the power of myth. Jefferson’s concept of Christianity was more philosophical than what Christian fundamentalists believe today.

Thomas Jefferson would not, however, approve of public schools teaching Christianity as the inspired word and Religion that we as Americans must follow to be truly American. That is what today’s Christian Fundamentalist would have us believe. Jefferson, like most of the Founding Fathers, believed Christianity and the gospels can be used as a moral guide, but he did not believe in divine revelations. That was one of the reasons Jefferson wrote the Jeffersonian bible; he hoped it would be utilized as a moral compass. He also believed that nature and reason hold the key to unraveling the mysteries of our universe.

A holistic Education for Jefferson was not filling the mind with mundane facts but rather opening the mind to new ideas. Education is also the means to developing a virtuous and moral electorate to guide our nation forward.

I personally do not believe entirely in the Deist view of reality, nor do I believe in Christian Fundamentalism. But it is a fact that cannot be denied that many of our Founding Fathers supported religious expression in society separate from Government interference. Most of our Founding Fathers would have also considered themselves deists, and they believed it best to live moral lives by example, free from religious influence, bigotry, and bias.

Always with love,
Thomas F O'Neill

    WeChat - Thomas_F_ONeill
    Phone: (410) 925-9334
    Skype: thomas_f_oneill

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On Trek



By Judith Kroll

Ships and Roses

Miles and Miles of sea are traveled every day’

Paths of unfolding rolls

Forever lead the way.

As the sky meets the sea

The Sails of mighty ships protrude…

A Grand display of Craftsmanship

Perfect for every Mood!!!!


Eternal Rose

Pedals fade

Dew drop dry

Leaves curl up and fall

But like a real true blue friend

The fragrance is forever----


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Irish Eyes

By Mattie Lennon

Dolly Day, and An Expensive Loo, and A New Look at Writers’ Week

By the time you read this I Hope to be ensconced in the Culture capital of Ireland.

Listowel Writers’ Week, Ireland’s oldest literary and arts festival, is a welcoming place where writers, artists and poets gather in the beautiful heritage town Listowel, County Kerry. They promote the writing of all genres and create an environment in which literature can be appreciated by the widest possible audience – where writers and readers gather to celebrate the written word together. At the heart of this annual celebration is a commitment to developing and promoting writing talent where we showcase works through literary panel discussions, moderated talks, poetry readings, interviews, cultural tours, walks and more.

Founded in 1970, with the first festival taking place in 1971, the dream of Listowel Writers’ Week was a simple but daring one; to transform a beautiful Kerry heritage town into a literary universe, and make it a literary haven where writers and book-lovers from all corners of the globe could gravitate to, for a celebration of literature, cultural experiences and inspiration. Listowel Writers’ Week was founded to foster new and exciting talent and to give aspiring writers wings. Each year, this dream of the original founding members, writers, artists and prescient personalities like John B Keane, Bryan MacMahon & Brendan Kennelly is realised through r programme of events, workshops and competitions.

This year is different. Efforts to resolve a row, which started in 2022 and is still overshadowing Listowel Writers’ Week have failed and the voluntary committee is disengaging completely from this year’s festival, they confirmed. It is the veteran committee’s first statement in the row which erupted at Ireland’s oldest literary festival in September when the long-serving volunteers were dismissed on foot of a consultant’s report recommending restructuring, including the appointment of a professional curator. The committee had been ‘unceremoniously’ disbanded without explanation, they have now said. They would have supported the appointment of a professional curator — but with whom they could share their long knowledge and experience. However, the board, under its chairpwrson Catherine Moylan, had not ‘actively’ engaged with them, they claimed.

This bitter row with the board of the 52-year-old Writers Week has already seen the resignation, in November 2022, of long-standing President Colm Tóibín. World renowned author Mr Tóibín said Writers week depended on a literary community in Listowel. "who read deeply and widely" and this meant that the festival had "genuine roots in the town".

A professional curator, Stephen Connolly, was appointed in December and in early March, the festival put out an appeal for volunteers to help sell tickets and distribute information. However, the comments section on the social media site was shut down after an angry backlash lamenting the treatment of the committee and its volunteers. A move by a third party in recent weeks to secure input from the veteran volunteers of the committee into this year’s festival have failed.

    The 18 names on the signed statement include Joanna O’Flynn, a tireless worker, lovely person and the daughter of founder member John B Keane, was one of those fired by the board last year.
    The committee claimed to have sought since September to meaningfully engage with the board on the implementation of the report "but to no avail".
    They had engaged with the consultant, Dermot McLaughlin during the consultation process but their concerns were not reflected, they also said.
    This is the result; "It is with regret that we have to disengage from Listowel Writers’ Week under the current board of directors, resulting in no involvement by the community-based committee in Listowel Writers’ Week for 2023. While this is a heartbreaking decision for us, we wish the very best in 2023 for the festival we have nurtured over the decades," .
    Meanwhile, former arts minister Jimmy Deenihan has rejoined the board of Writers' Week.
    A previous statement from the board of Writers’ Week said the curator would steer key events to “strengthen the quality of our artistic programming, to broaden and deepen the reach of our festival, and to make sure that our programming reflects the rich diversity and challenging complexity of the world we live in.” Chairwoman Catherine Moylan said governance, artistic policy, and programming had become “a matter of concern” requiring attention. "Dealing with these has created discomfort for some people, and that is not unusual. Our position is that we are fully committed to good governance to protect the festival’s interests, to safeguard the public, private, and other funding that we receive annually, and to ensure that staff and volunteers work in a safe environment,” she said.
    SOME of the nation’s leading writers – including Roddy Doyle and Edna O’Brien – called on Listowel Writers’ Week to reinstate the festival’s committee . In a letter to The Irish Times novelist and actor Gabriel Byrne, warned of ‘irreparable damage’ should the Board of the festival fail to reinstate a committee the writers describe as a ‘foundational stone’ of the famous Kerry literary fleadh.

Every year I could look forward to seeing six plays in Saint John’s Theatre. Not this year. Artistic Director, Máire Logue has confirmed that , “Listowel Writers Week are not using the venue for their events this year.” I’m hoping for the best with the changes this year.

* * * * *

Expensive loo gone.

Monday May 22 2023, Market Street and the most expensive loo ever is gone, never to be forgotten. This is how our public convenience used to look. It was costing us nigh on €40,000 a year and bringing in around €1,000. It gave spending a penny a bad name.

A public toilet in Listowel was ever and always a contentious issue and the present plan to locate it temporarily at the old Neodata site is not meeting with universal approval either.

Expensive Loo

* * * * *

A Fact that I picked up in Listowel.

The English language syllable “ough” can be pronounced in eight different ways. The following sentence includes all eight, “A tough dough-faced ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough, coughing and hiccoughing thoughtfully.”

* * * * *

Dolly Day in Listowel is on June 24 2023 and it promises to be a good one. The lady herself has been invited to attend and she is checking her calendar.

There are a few instructions laid down by the Guinness Book of Records people about how you should be dressed. Nothing major. So, if you are in Ireland at the time there is no reason why you shouldn’t be a Dolly. And don’t say that I didn’t tell you where you can purchase your wigs etc

You can contact Liz Horgan at And if you fear falling and injuring your face Emily at will fix you up with a Dolly Bust.

Dolly Chairperson , Cora O’ Brien told me,”In an extraordinary gesture of generosity Dolly Parton is supporting the Listowel world record attempt for the most people dressed as Dolly. She has donated two nights’ accommodation with 5 star treatment , costing $10,000 in her personal tour bus. Eugene Naughton, the manager of Dollywood, who has relatives near Listowel heard of the world record attempt in aid of two cancer charities, The Kerry Hospice and Comfort for Chemo Kerry. He rowed in behind the record attempt and is traveling to Listowel on June 24th to represent Dolly. Eugene will speak at the event” Cora O’ Brien, says “the people of Kerry will be eternally grateful to Eugene for his commitment to helping those with cancer.”

Dolly Day in Listowel

Dollyday is organised by a local committee of volunteers.

See you in July, Dolly's

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A Mother's Lesson


By Danielle Cote Serar

On Mother’s Day, I lost my best friend… to metastatic breast cancer. I lost my mother who was my other best friend six years prior to the same illness. I’d like to say I handled both with grace. I didn’t. I sobbed. I cried. I screamed. I was angry. I was hurting. I was numb. All conflicting and all real.

In six years I had lost two of the women closest to me to the same illness and with the same sense of helplessness for both. With my mother I had spent every day by her side, from early morning until late at night. And on her last day I was headed to see her when I got the call. The call that she had passed. My best friend and I had chatted when she was in the hospital. I told her I was coming to see her. She asked me to wait until she got home. I never got to see her. That was our last conversation. My cousin asked me if I would be okay not seeing her before she passed away. I knew I wouldn’t be, that I’m not, but I also knew I would honor her request. And now I’m left to grieve them both. One fresh and raw, one older equally as raw and difficult to process.

The ironic thing about death and dying and grief is we spend our lives planning but in the end, it’s completely out of our hands. I lost so many people, loved ones in my life. Grief has become my constant companion as it never leaves. I have learned a lot about grief in my what I feel is a short life. Society gives us such a tiny window to “grieve”, and we are supposed to move on, act as if we are fine and move on. If you are lucky, you get three to five days to mourn your loved one - and that depends on their relationship to you. But grief doesn’t work that way. It’s not a switch you turn off or even something you get through and are all better again.

No, we simply learn to carry it with us. It’s the price we pay for loving someone. I’m reminded of the scene from "A Christmas Carol" where Scrooge is visited by Marley, covered in chains and locks. For him it was sins, but grief feels much the same way. We learn to carry it, to hold the weight of it, but in the case of grief it’s not visible in the same way.

The best I can describe what grief feels like to me is to imagine a lake, serene calm and still. Then someone tossed a boulder into it. The initial impact is massive, shaking the entire lake, causing waves, rough splashes, and ripple effects as it descends to the bottom. It takes some time before that surface returns to that serene looking calm. But the boulder is still there. It has changed the makeup of the lake forever. And nothing the lake can do will remove the boulder. That’s grief. We move through the stages of loss and when we reach acceptance, it’s not that we all of a sudden return back to the way we were. On the contrary, we have just come to realize that we will forever carry this burden of loss and the price for loving someone, that we have lost them to the earthly world but that we can still move forward and really that we must move forward without them.

We delude ourselves that time will heal grief. It doesn’t. Time gives way to time. By that I mean, that when grief first hits, it’s raw, and hard, and often bitter, and so so painful. And it happens all the time. Breathing is even hard. But as time moves forward, the memories shift from bringing tears to smiles and the time between those raw, hard, bitter, painful moments gets longer and the moments get smaller. But almost 30 years since losing my father and I can say, there are moments that hurt as much as they did the day I got the call he had died.

I miss my friend. I miss my mom. I miss all those I have lost. Their loss has forever changed my being. But equally so had their presence in my life. And as hard as it is to pay the price of loving someone by grieving their loss, I can also say it’s a price I would pay over and over again in order to have had the opportunity to love them.

My best friend holding my then 3 month old daughter.

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RSVP Please

By Mary E. Adair

I had a very stirring dream--
A Class Party Invitation as its theme
With a list of questions needing an answer
Such as "Are you a "Gamer"(?) or a "Dancer"(?)
Urgently inquiring "What"(?) I do choose
It seemed important to state my views
Do you want "Formal"(?) or a "Trek in Sand Dunes"(?)
Some place "Modern"(?) or "Ghostly Ruins"(?)
Do you prefer the period set for "Now"(?)
Or to be staged in the "Past"(?) somehow
Dressed in "City Business Clothes"(?)
Or simply wear "Jeans and holes in those"(?)
The food's to be tasty and easy to choose
States it's copied from magazine views
Perhaps will be set in some "Future"(?) choice
Shall it be "Quiet"(?) or have lots of "Noise"(?)
Feeling nostalgic, I underlined "Back Then"
Trusting to chance exactly which "When"(?)
I finished my answers all through the List
And suddenly I seemed to be cloaked in a Mist
Then bright twinkling lights brightened my view
And The Party was starting without more ado.
I saw strolling couples of High School age
And realized I too was at that stage
We were all awkward, giggly, young--
As if from school rooms we'd just been sprung
I recognized classmates' smiling faces
Of Oldsters among us -- no traces
With a sense of freedom from worry or care
A feeling of Happiness we seemed to share
It all felt so very healthy and real
That no hint of sadness did I feel
Within a daze of Merriment shared
Everyone was there for whom I cared
So wonderful a Party I could only smile
And it really seemed to last quite a while
Then into my hearing came that tune
We always sang when we had to go soon
"Three o'Clock in the morning" we would hum
Until right up to our doorway we'd come
And still names of those I had met
Tumbled in my mind to not forget
"The Party's Over" announced my mind
And daylight shining in my face, I find
Then "Only a Dream," I thought so sadly,
For dreams can show what we want badly,
And have not even a glimmer of Truth,
For many I'd seen, had passed in their Youth.
But I'll cherish those faces seen in my sleep,
And treasure those memories I'll always keep.

© May 15, 2023 Mary E. Adair 

(Dedicated to my fellow Monahans High School exes.)

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By John I. Blair

In my garden for many years
I’ve maintained large feeders
Crammed reliably with sunflower seeds.

Mostly my customers are birds
Of familiar ilks—bluejays, sparrows,
Finches, cardinals, doves.

But in among the avian regulars
I always have a dozen or two of
Big-tailed squirrels, fox squirrels –

They go by a variety of names
And are not picky what I call them
So long as it’s for lunch,

Supper, breakfast, mid-afternoon snack,
Whatever. Some folk mock me
For feeding what they call vermin.

Rats with a good press agent
I’ve heard them described
By those who do not know

That if truth were told
(As it rarely is) without these
Sometimes scruffy, sometimes messy

Mammals of the woodlands
I literally might not be here,
Me or many of my family.

Somewhere in my dusty set
Of cookbooks I have a recipe
(an entire column really)

Detailing how one cleans
And cooks up squirrels
To make them edible.

The preferred variety is gray
But my red ones
Are on the list along

With drawings how to
Skin them, foot firmly
On the tail to hold it down.

I’ve never doubted
That the hardy folk I come from,
Folk who lived for generations

On what they found to eat
In woodlands much like mine
And couldn’t always shoot a deer or bear,

Made it through the bitter winters
Slurping squirrel stew
From oaken porringers.

So how can I begrudge this crew
A meal or two at my expense?

©2023 John I. Blair, 5/31/2023

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Working at Armour's


By Carrie E. Joslin

(Originally published in Hobbies, Etc.
parent publication of Pencil Stubs Online.)

I am working at Armour’s creameries
       But not a drop of cream do I see;
If old “Bossie” is on the premises
       She certainly is hidden from me.
But, chickens at Armour’s creameries
       Are slaughtered by the score;
And when the last, lone chick has been killed
       Remember, Armour’s trucks are bringing more.
For chickens are carried to Armour’s by trucks--
       Three dozen, I think, to the crate.
They are inspected, examined and graded
       While an expert counts their weight.
There are chickens, red and yellow
       Brown, speckled, barred and white;
There are chickens gray, blue and silver,
       And chickens as black as night.
There are chickens old and young
       There are chickens large and small;
But regardless of size or color
       Armour’s slaughters them all.
After the chickens are inspected and graded
       And placed in Armour’s crates;
They are carefully carried down the line
       Where the hanger and killer waits.
These crates are carried by busy men
       Up close to the death machine;
The chickens inspect it with interest
       It’s the first one they ever have seen.
Next, the chickens are caught and shackled
       And hung on a moving chain;
Which travels through a mammoth building
       With the speed of a passenger train.
As each chicken comes to the death machine
       A red cap is placed on its head;
Instantly it is electrocuted--
       Next, it is stuck and bled.
Oh, Armour’s are so tender hearted
       It is more humane, they say;
To electrocute a chicken
       Than to kill it in the old fashioned way.
The dead chicks are carried into the scalding vat
       Then on through the cleansing steam;
Again each chicken is inspected
       To see if the feathers are clean.
Next, they pass thro’ the electric pickers
       Then on through the picking crew,
Of a score of women, all dressed in white,
       And ready their work to do.
As the chickens move on down the line--
       Suspended from the moving chain;
They are scraped, singed, drawn and washed
       And inspected, again and again.
They are washed both inside and out
       They are as hollow as hollow can be;
When all of the workers have handled the chick,
       Only the carcass you see.

© Carrie E. Joslin

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My Oak Grove


By A. G. Adair

I sit in an oak glen I choose for meditation,
The air is pure, the sky blue, quiet prevails.
I ponder the wonders of God's great creation
As each of His creatures tells of its travails.

As a young and vigorous man I found great peace
From the hurry and hustle of the world so wild.
As an old man I find solitude, rest and ease.
I have returned to my youth where life was mild.

A chattering squirrel, the mournful call of a dove.
What is their message? Do they resent my presence?
Do they beckon in their own way their object of love?
Whatever their call, it is part of life's essence.

For me, I issue forth no audible, resounding call.
From that inner, God given ability to communicate
With the ones I love, I issue forth my urge to all
To grasp my wish for them, their woes emancipate.

In early manhood came the great worldwide war.
We went - the many thousands to serve our land,
Across the world's oceans from my grove so far,
We crossed beaches covered with blood and sand.

Within my view, Joe lost a leg and Paul was killed,
The hell of war raged, I knew others were going down.
I wondered if ever the cannons would be stilled.
To us the loss was mighty, also to each one's town.

Eleven months, two days later the killing was done.
I had somehow survived the hell without a scratch.
I could now think of return to home and a life of fun,
Return to my oak grove and solace without match.
© 1995 AG Adair

Reprinted from the AMEA Publications magazine,
as written by the late owner-publisher, 1995



By Bud Lemire

We were both training, to be a volunteer
Your laughter, was always good to hear
You like Angels, and that was great to know
As the time went by, our friendship sure did grow

You kept having health problems, I was worried about that
I always looked forward, to the times when we would chat
As everyone got to know you, they came to like you too
Time sure passed quickly, the years, they really flew

You moved in to a home, with a volunteer named Joe
It didn't work out, but you stayed as friends though
The spirits are watching over you, as you journey time and space
As you struggle daily for comfort, among the human race

Keep on doing your best, friends you will easily find
They're always around, and they will always treat you kind
Take pleasure in each moment, when there isn't pain
Search within your soul, when you feel the drain

I know what you are going through, I honor you with this poem
Since you are now living, in the same place we call home
The Angels you believe in, are not far from your side
You can call on them and spirits, they will be your guide

©May 21, 2023 Bud Lemire

                        Author Note:

Leonora, I know what you are going through. You have made many
friends, and they, and I, are always around if you need someone to chat
with. That's one good thing about living at the Harbor Tower, you can
always find friends around here. I wanted to surprise you with this
poem for you, because you've been such a great friend.
Thank you for your friendship.


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My Simple Book of Life


By Walt Perryman

I started my journey seventy-nine years ago,
When will my journey end, I do not know.

I have wasted so much of my God given days,
Because I chose to not live in God given ways.

But I am learning more about God, as I age,
And I pray He will sign my last living page.

I may have a short time to get there and a long way to go.
But with Gods help, I will try to live the best way I know.

I believe that Almighty God has a plan for little ole me,
And with His help, I’ll try to be who God wants me to be.

©May 6, 2023 Walt Perryman

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Medical Mystery


By Mary E. Adair

In this modern world
Of medical advances
Testing ones blood to find
If a disease shows any chances
Of forming an attack
To shorten one's life
Can be found, doctors say
By permitting the brief strife
Of drawing forth the liquid
That flows within your veins
And thereby to determine
If future disaster reigns.

However, I hold the thought
If such testing is not a dud
How come they never mention
That poetry runs in my blood?
It's obvious to anyone
Privileged to peruse
Verses writ by family
To emphasize any news
Describing their feelings
On any given day
Whether expressing tears or joy
Their poetry found a way.

When the muse speaks
And your heart begins to throb
Surely the urge travels your veins
To produce laughter or a sob
So why have they not listed
That my blood carries such history
Having been inherited from poets
To me it remains a mystery
Grandmother and her daughters,
Her descendants far and wide
Many choose to share their gift
Though some their words they hide.

But I must believe it's there
Flowing from our hearts
Nourishing our poetry the same
As it courses to other parts
Have I missed the symbol
Some medical abbreviation there
That discloses our poetic blood
From heart through mind flows everywhere
Is it because it's an excellent part
Which will never cause any harm
But there it is traveling inside
And keeping me safe and warm.

©May 31, 2023 Mary E. Adair

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By Carrie E. Joslin

(Just for Fun)

When I had the nosebleed
It struck me like a blow.

The first thing that I knew
I didn’t know where to go.

I started for the bathroom
Some water for to find.

My nose was bleeding so badly
I couldn’t collect my mind.

At last I grabbed a towel
A wash cloth and a dress.

I stuffed the towel beneath my nose
And tightly hugged the rest.

The blood was running freely
O’er my mouth and chin--

And as it crossed my lips
A lot of it ran in.

It stained my face and hands,
It left my neck aglow.

I tho’t I looked just like a clown
Dressing for a show.

I swallowed blood against my will
And sick and sicker grew.

Instead of just one stomach
I felt that I had two.

I called the Doctor and he came,
A neighbor came in, too.

I bravely tried to do the things
They each told me to do.

The doctor took my pulse
And my blood pressure, too.

He listened to my heart and said,
“Now this will never do.”

He gave to me a purple pill,
A robin-egg blue one too.

And then he said, “Be very quiet,
That’s one thing you must do.”

The news, it spread and people came
And lent their service kind.

But a remedy for nose-bleed
They vainly tried to find.

They put a cold cloth on my neck
Another on my head.

They put a pill beneath my tongue
And they put me to bed.

My head it ached; my ears they rang
And still the blood, it flowed.

My energy and strength went down
Like grass that had been mowed!

I left my bed and had a stroke
I scared them all, they said.

Then Billy kindly picked me up
And put me back in bed.

The doctor came a second time
And quite upset was he.

He listened to my heart and said,
“Here, this will never do.”

“This hemorrhaging must stop at once-
The color has left your lips,

Your pulse is weak.” And then he said,
“Look at your finger tips.”

The poor man seemed so nervous
A frown was on his mug

He shook his head and then he said,
“Your nose I’ll have to plug.”

The neighbors gathered round my bed
Like waiting for a show.

They all agreed they’d never seen
A doctor plug a nose!

I closed my eyes and raised my head,
My bloody brow I mopped-

And then I heard sweet Opal say,
“Oh, look! That flow has stopped!”

© Carrie E. Joslin

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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.

From The Afterlife, With Love


By Bud Lemire

Even though, my greatest love has passed
The love we share, will always last
In life, we had a connection we could feel
A love, so deep, so strong, so real

Our connection to each other, was so very strong
When we joined in love, it became a beautiful song
From the Afterlife, she still comes around
With us joined together, is where our love is found

In life, our connection was through the soul
From the Afterlife, she continues to make me whole
She shares her love with me, in so many ways
Just like before, she leaves me in a dreamy daze

I've heard her whistling, a very happy tune
I knew her love, was coming to me soon
I heard her call out my name
Because you see, she's my Twin Flame

Our love will be felt, Forever
She's persistent, and so very clever
To get through, and be heard
Now I'm hearing, the word

Strong connections like ours, will always last
Even when, one of us has passed
She's truly the best, I'm so happy with this
Wow! I believe she just gave me a kiss

©May 7, 2023 Bud Lemire

                       Author Note:

Just like the movie “Ghost,” Vicki found a way to
communicate with me. Through feelings and voice
To let me know that Love and Life does go on. Only
our bodies die, not our souls. In life, we feel with
heart and soul. In Spirit, we feel completely with
our soul. I've heard it's pretty amazing to feel it
completely with the soul. Just like the love, Vicki
and I share for an eternity. Thank you Vicki!


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We Can Stray or Stay


By Walt Perryman

When I do not keep God in my life, like I should,
It doesn’t take long for bad to replace the good.

Satan is always trying to replace God in my soul,
And for me to live my life in sin, is Satan’s goal.

But, when I attend church and read the Bible every day,
And I stay focused on God, Satan is the one that will stray.

When I start straying away from God like I sometimes do,
It becomes easier and easier to sin like Satan wants me to.

There is no compromising, is what I am trying to say,
And folks, God is my reason that I’m going to church today.

©May 7, 2023 Walt Perryman

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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.

Old Garden


By John I. Blair

Depending on my bank account
And the year’s weather
About once a quarter
I hire a man to “civilize” my garden,
Most of which consists
Of whatever stays alive
And thrives in Texas weather
While bringing pleasure to my eye.

There are lots of Redbuds, jasmine,
Holly, honeysuckle, mustang grapes,
Mockorange, coral berry,
Nandina, oaks and elms
Plus quantities of things whose names
I’ve never learned or just forgotten.
A jungle, honestly, but mine,
And rich with many years of memories,
A living metaphor
For what I think to be a truth—
That everything is beautiful If rightly viewed.

©2023 John I. Blair 5/31/2023

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Writer of Kentucky Tales


By Carrie E. Joslin

Today a message came to me
       From Old Kentucky State.
From one who, with eloquence, writes
       Its wonders to relate!
She writes of Kentucky “fast horses,”
       Of her “beautiful women” , too;
Of men who are brave and worthy,
       And of the noble deeds they do!
She writes of “friends and neighbors,”
       Some have gone to their last long rest;
Some who have been a “thorn in the flesh”
       And, some who have stood the test,
And, as I read these beautiful poems,
       Of hill and vale and stone,
I know she loves her native state,
       Just as I love my own.
I know that she has friends and neighbors like mine
       I can see them all so plain;
I know she loves the sunshine
       The snow and the gentle rain.
I shall treasure this book of poems
       And will read them again and again;
And some of them fitted to a tune,
       I joyously will sing.
It do love the tales and the by-paths
       Of the beautiful blue-grass state;
I promised to meet the writer
       And I know for me she will wait.
Now, I thank the writer truly,
       For the joy she has brought to me;
And I pray that God will bless her
       With peace, health and prosperity.

© Carrie E. Joslin

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By Bud Lemire

It takes six dice, to play a game of Greed
You shake them, roll them, see where it will lead
You get fifty, if you roll a five
A one is one hundred, and you must strive
Three fives is five hundred, keep on going
Three dice to go, just keep on throwing
You didn't get anything, you lost it all
You just never know, where the dice will fall

Three ones are one thousand, three dice left to throw
You might get lucky, your points could grow
If you get four of a number, you double the three
Knowing when to stop throwing, is part of the key
If you roll six ones, you get an eight thousand score
You could roll them again, either lose it or get more
It's all about shaking, and taking a chance
Where the dice will stop, at the end of a dance

You can have three pairs, for an eight hundred score
Play on the table, it's no fun playing on the floor
You get twelve hundred, if you have a straight
Having a high score, makes you feel pretty great
You need ten thousand or more, if you're going out
Winning the game, isn't always what this game is about
It's about the enjoyment of, getting together with friends
Makes the day even more special, when the night ends

©May 11, 2023 Bud Lemire

                        Author Note:

I love playing Greed with all my friends here at the
Harbor Tower. It's fun to get together and play and
chat awhile, and just have a great time together.


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I Can’t Forget Memories


By Walt Perryman

Maybe I am older and just a little crazy,
And my memories are distorted and hazy.

I seem to remember my old memories longer,
And the older I get they seem to get stronger.

It’s amazing how old memories influence me.
Even if they are not the way it really used to be.

It seems the older the memory, the longer it lasts.
New memories are easier to forget than the past.

This silly rhyme won’t make sense to all of you,
But, I bet some of you remember this way too.

©May 27, 2023 Walt Perryman

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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.