Monday, April 1, 2024

Editor's Corner

 


By Mary E. Adair

April 2024

."Winter’s done, and April’s in the skies.
Earth, look up with laughter in your eyes!"

― Charles G.D. Roberts


Brace yourselves! When April rushes in, it's only a brief respite before the highest temperatures Summer holds in store follow. Of course that also makes this month the one to check out the offers for cruises, or other exciting opportunities. If your household includes youngsters, they will have ideas to bring to the table as well. Family time is synonymous with Summertime.


I shall relax. I may even travel. The benefit of growing older.


Thomas F. O'Neill in "Introspective" calls us to examine our Beliefs and where we acquired them. Marilyn Carnell's column "Sifoddling Along" finds new challenges in building a novel, now research is an earnest part of her time. Judith Kroll's column "On Trek" reminds us that everything changes. Pauline Evanosky's column "Woo Woo," topic is Generosity, and how it affects anyone. Ara Parisien in "Author-Medium-Spiritual Teacher" tells her views on Grief and why it can be a gift.


Rod Cohenour and his helpmate develop a new recipe. Their collaboration, M's Coffee-Orange Pork Loin, is perfect for this season before really hot weather takes over. "Cooking with Rod" shares all the ingredients and how to in this issue.. "Armchair Genealogy" by columnist Melinda Cohenour shares her To Do List, detailing some prime effort attempts to accomplish her goals. Mattie Lennon who promised to get more info to us on the works of Jack Byrne does so highlighted by quotes from his subject.. He adds a few more notes on "Under The Bridge."


Walt Perryman's four poems are "Monday Morning Thought for You," "Big Thought about Life's Little Things," "Listen then Think, Before You Talk," and "Another Sunrise.". John I. Blair's four poems are encore presentations ("Ten Men in A Truck," "Deja Vu." and "Mixed Inheritance") except for "Sailing Around The World in My Chair," . Bruce Clifford's two poems are "Technicolor Lights" and "Hanging." Bud Lemire's four poems are "My Truth," "Pay It Forward," "Snownada," and "Unanswered Questions."


Pencil Stubs Online co-founded by Mike Craner and your editor, is still going strong because of his original expertise. Again, I am expressing my gratitude to my talented friend and original webmaster Mike Craner. We place our confidence in him as we have in the past and shall continue doing so.

See you in May!


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


Armchair Genealogy

 

By Melinda Cohenour

To Do List

 

Greetings, readers, on this frivolous April Fool's Day. Who knows what pranks and jokes may occur this day? Well, no pranks from this corner, just some introspection and a bit of forward viewing. Your author is attempting to plot a course of action for this year's family research, which always now includes staying aware of advances in DNA technology. This may be an outline for work in the balance of 2024; it is at least a nascent attempt.

HUGUENOTS IN OUR LINE:


It occurred to me that when researching various ancestors the fact arises that their migration to America was as part of the great escape from religious persecution. We have covered the life and times of one of our most famous Huguenot ancestors Bartholomew DuPuy, my 8th Great-grandfather: "He was heir to the title of Count. He enlisted in the French army at age 18 and became Captain of the household guards of King Louis XIV. In 1664 he retired, bought an old chateau and vineyard at Velours, and in early 1685 married Susanna Lavillon." And, ultimately, escaped with his life upon the revocation of the Edict of Nantes which had provided for tolerance and civil rights for French Calvinists in a predominantly Roman Catholic country. http://www.pencilstubs.com/Magazine/MagPage.asp?NID=4871


How many others were Huguenots? Perhaps we can construct a list sufficient to deserve a full column.

ANCESTORS TIED TO THE CREATION OF NEW YORK


My recollection is that over my many decades of family research I have uncovered several stories regarding the contributions of my ancestors to the founding of New York and its famous suburbs. Some of these stories have already been included in prior columns. Did I miss some?


We have previously written about our 7th Great-grandfather Pierre Cresson: http://www.pencilstubs.com/Magazine/MagPage.asp?NID=5882 and http://www.pencilstubs.com/Magazine/MagPage.asp?NID=5900


Pierre Cresson was a Huguenot exile.


"Their ancient family seat was Mesnil la Cresson (Cresson Manor) near Abbeville, Picardy."


"Pierre Cresson, a Picard Protestant, born in 1609, fled into Holland, and there remained an exile seventeen years; part of this time at Sluis, Delft, Leyden and Ryswich; in the early part of this period acted as gardener to the 'Prince of Orange,' and was ever afterwards called 'Pierre le Jardinier'; with his family emigrated to America, 1657, settled at Harlem, of which town he was one of the first Magistrates in 1660. He removed to Staten Island in 1678; died about 1684."


His line was rather full of folks who helped build New York and it's famous suburbs of Brooklyn, The Bowery, etc. And this ties back to my first potential subject line. (The Prince of Orange was William III, born only one week after the death of his illustrious father. He was named titular head of all the states listed above from his birth; however, he only attained practical rule in the 1670’s when he reached the age of approximately 21. This Prince of Orange, along with his wife, Queen Mary II, co-ruled and that period would become known as the Reign of William and Mary. He became King of England, Ireland, and Scotland in 1689 until his death 8 March 1702.)

THE FIVE BRICK WALLS


It is a constant that I research these key figures in our family tree whose biography is missing some key element(s). Returning often to these personages, no new factual documentation has yet been found to finally break through the wall of "Not Known." Argh! The frustration!

ADVANCES IN DNA TECHNOLOGY


This is an ever evolving field where new processes, methodologies, and procedures miraculously amplify the ease of use of DNA in so many fields: law enforcement, medical advancements, potential cures for historic diseases, improvements in farming and ranching and manufacture of goods derived therefrom, identification of John and Jane Does whose families long for closure, anthropology where archeological finds are used to advanced scientist's knowledge of humankind.

THE ONGOING EFFORT TO IDENTIFY THE REMAINING GILGO BEACH VICTIMS AND THEIR KILLER(S)


April 17 2024 marks the next court date for Rex Heuermann who was arrested July 13 of last year after DNA, cell phone records, witness testimony and other evidence connected him to the original Gilgo Beach Four. We will stay on top of this case as new facts emerge.


In addition to the ten sets of remains connected to the Gilgo Beach investigation several municipalities around the nation have law enforcement reviews of cold cases with the potential to involve Rex Heuermann. Any news on these investigations will certainly be grist for a new column.

REVOLUTIONARY WAR HEROES AMONG OUR ANCESTRAL LINE


Prior columns have been devoted to a handful of our ancestors whose roles in securing our nation's sovereignty resulted in historical records being created. We shall continue to search for more and give those brave ancestors their due recognition.

~~~~~~~~~~~


That, dear readers, is my To Do list thus far for 2024. Feel free to message me if you have interest in a different scope of research. Ideas are always welcome.


In the meantime, please avail yourself of the millions of documents now available thanks to the wonders of the Internet. Pursue your own Armchair Genealogy!


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 www.pencilstubs.com and also in the blog www.pencilstubs.net with the capability of adding comments at the latter.


Cooking with Rod


By Rod Cohenour

Easter has just been celebrated and Spring is in full bloom. Roasting of meats will soon be passed by to avoid heating up the house. But this delightful dish just might prove to be the exception. Full flavored, with an enticing blend of flavors, give it a try. I'm sure you'll love it as much as we do.


Bon appetit~!



Ms Coffee-Orange Pork Loin


Ingredients:

  • 3.5 to 4 lb boneless pork loin
  • 12 cups strong brewed coffee
  • 1 can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed (will use 1/4 cup for rub and remainder as roasting liquid)
  • 2 large oranges, sliced
  • 2 large white or yellow onions, sliced
  • 1 envelope Lipton (or similar) onion soup mix
  • 2 Tbsp. Garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. Ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp.. Ground sage


Instructions:

    1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
    2. Prepare loin: rinse in cold water, pat dry. Remove heavy fat cap. Remove white membrane. With side showing remaining fat turned up, score loin using diagonal cuts in a diamond pattern.
    3. Prepare rub mixture: To 1/4 cup orange juice add onion soup mix and spices. Blend well with small whisk.
    4. Set out large roasting pan. Rub loin all over with prepared orange spice mixture, making sure to work into scored sections. Place loin in pan.
    5. Add remaining orange juice to brewed coffee, blend and add to roasting pan. Layer sliced oranges and onions over loin. (Too many? Retain for garnish.)
    6. Roast at 400° for 30 minutes. Then cover pan with lid or aluminum foil sealed tightly. Lower oven temp to 350°. Roast for one hour then check to make sure liquid is sufficient. Baste the loin. Plan 25 minutes per pound overall cooking time. For a crisper surface on your loin remove cover.

    Prepare your side dishes while loin roasts.

    7. Check loin about every 20 to 30 minutes. When almost done there should be enough liquid remaining to make a gravy, at least 3 to 4 cups. If not add fresh brewed coffee.
    8. When done remove loin from oven. Pour liquid into saucepan, returning loin to pan. Cover loin and let set while gravy is made.
    9. To make gravy: Liquid should not contain a lot of grease. If it does pour into a large jar and place in freezer to allow grease to rise to the top and begin to congeal. Remove congealed grease and pour remaining liquid into saucepan.

    Prepare thickening mixture: to 1/2 cup flour add 1/2 cup hot water. Whisk.

    Bring coffee and orange juice mixture to a boil. Add thickening mix, stirring constantly. When at desired consistency remove from heat.

    10. To serve: Plate loin with your choice of whipped mashed potatoes, steamed rice or pasta. Serve gravy over loin and potatoes, rice, or pasta.


Delicious with cranberry sauce, a green vegetable like green beans, broccoli, or asparagus, corn, and a mixed salad of greens, tomatoes, cucumbers and your choice of dressing. Hot crusty bread and a cold tea or lemonade top off the meal perfectly.


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 www.pencilstubs.com and also in the blog www.pencilstubs.net with the capability of adding comments at the latter.


Woo Woo

 

By Pauline Evanosky

Generosity

I’ve never been trained to be a spiritual advisor, yet when I settle to write an inspirational sort of article, I imagine that I am writing a sermon. I don’t necessarily focus on holy words from the Bible or any other religious work, but I pull from my own lessons of life.


One of those I’d like to talk about today is generosity.


You don’t have to be wealthy to be generous. The definition of generosity is giving money or time beyond what is normal. What is normal? I guess that depends on what is expected of you. If nobody expects much, then your threshold for giving is lower.


If you didn’t already have somebody in mind to be generous to, you might think of any number of organizations that rely on volunteers to help them accomplish their goals. The Red Cross springs to mind. Local food banks are also in need of volunteers. Soup kitchens. Churches. Old folk homes might need people to help. Libraries might need help, too. Hospitals. In your city, schools might rely upon the help of volunteers to help children.


You could ask yourself what you know or are interested in. Then, in this internet age, you might advertise your tutoring services on a neighborhood bulletin board. Maybe you could say you have three hours of time twice a week to help out a single young mother. Or, you could volunteer to do a couple of hours of yard work for an elderly person.


Many times, people in need don’t ask. You are the one who needs to say, “Do you need help?”


You could even learn a new trade. Many businesses are willing to accept volunteers to come in and help with easy tasks. Maybe they need help answering visitors' questions. Maybe they just need somebody to answer the phones. The thing with answering the phones at any business is that it forces you to learn about the business to be able to answer questions. Nobody expects you to know that sort of stuff right off the bat, and yet, those positions are generally filled by new hires. They just throw you into the water and see if you can swim.


At first, there are many “I can ask someone about this for you” questions. That is the same for any job. You get the contact number, write down the question, and pass it along for someone to either tell you what the answer is or they can handle it. What you want is to be able to answer those questions yourself eventually.


The organization might have a training day or a course they want you to take before you begin volunteering. You might need to have taken a basic Red Cross safety course or CPR course. For a soup kitchen, having a food handler’s permit might be necessary or preferred.


Think about this: A customer walks into a store and asks where the toilet paper is. Somebody who has worked there a long time right away says, “At the end of aisle 21.” This means this is a large store. A person who does not know the layout of the store wouldn’t know. One of the first things a newly hired stockperson or clerk in a grocery store needs to know is where the stuff is. I can guarantee nobody is going to quiz you on this. It is your responsibility to know. I know this because I once was a bagger at a local grocery store.


The questions, no matter where you are volunteering your time, you should know before you begin volunteering might include:

  • i. Who is a person who can help you learn the ropes? If there is no particular person, ask how the organization is set up.
  • 2. Who is the boss?
  • 3. Can you have an organizational chart?
  • 4. How do you take messages? Is there a standard policy, or can you just write notes?
  • 5. What is the layout of the campus or building? What doors should you use? Where is the bathroom? Where can visitors go? Where can you go to take a break?
  • 6. Where can you park your car if you have one?
Volunteering at the front desk of any organization is one of the toughest positions. You really do need to learn a lot. The trade-off is that if you are looking for work, you can document how many hours you volunteer and use them on a resume. This shows prospective employers that you both volunteered your time without getting paid and learned what a receptionist knows. Being polite to the public is very, very important in any position.


Often, charitable organizations do not have the money to pay people to help them accomplish their goals. They depend on the help of volunteers. Besides, that volunteer position you have, depending on how much you learn, might allow you to be considered for a paying position eventually. If not that, then you are gaining valuable experience in how the world works and can take that experience wherever you go.


The contacts you make in volunteering will often enable you to plan ahead. If not with a particular company, then just with word-of-mouth endorsements. For example, say an older lady is volunteering with you in a soup kitchen. You work alongside her. She gets to know that you are dependable. As she is more comfortable with you as a person, she begins to show you some of the ropes. You volunteered there for two years, so now she knows who you are. She knows you are helpful, that she can trust you, and that you are resourceful. She knows how you operate under pressure, and she knows you are generous to other people, clients, and volunteers. Guess who will put in a good word for you when her nephew mentions they are looking for someone to help out in his company.


You can’t build a contact base without being generous. Otherwise, you are just another salesperson marketing yourself.


Everybody needs help, but they don’t always ask. Showing a generosity of spirit can be helpful to both you and the people and organizations you volunteer for.


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 www.pencilstubs.com and also in the blog www.pencilstubs.net with the capability of adding comments at the latter.


Sifoddling Along

 


By Marilyn Carnell

Re-learning about The Civil War


         Last month I wrote I was writing a novel set in the Civil War in southwest Missouri. I was continuing in that task and was speeding along when I bumped my nose against a basic reality. Research. Historical fiction requires a LOT of research. It isn’t enough to trust your memories of stories told by your grandparents. To be credible, it is necessary to stick to the facts unless you tell the reader that you have taken liberties with geography or that some episodes are fictional. I recall being annoyed when reading a novel set in 1812 where the lady slept in a “queen-sized” bed and wore bloomers. Both were invented long after 1812, a couple of factoids I had stored in my brain.


         You may recall that the book is about a young woman, Bonnie Faye Doolittle, left alone in a cabin on Big Sugar Creek in 1861 when her Papa, a doctor, enlisted as a surgeon in the Confederate Army. Her fiancĂ©, Julius Roberts, also enlisted, but he opted to join a company in Wisconsin, his home state. This left her frantic with fear for both of them. Although she was not present at any battle, her home became a place where unexpected and unwanted visitors passed through–bushwhackers and soldiers from both the North and South, stopped by to seek, supplies to liberate, information or pass the time with a beautiful young woman.


         In writing about the early 1860s I found I had to look up details that I casually wrote about in my first draft. The first was when the heroine heard a gunshot and assumed it was a young boy shooting a squirrel with a .22 rifle. Better look that up, I thought. Smith & Wesson’s first firearm was a .22 short pistol first sold in 1857, but it wasn’t until 1887 that the J. Stevens Arms & Tool company produced the .22 long rifle we know today. Therefore, I changed it to “she heard the distant crack of a rifle.” Safe enough.
Source: https://www.smith-wesson.com/article/history-22


         Then I decided she had to have a dog. Easy peasy. She would have a smart border collie that guarded and protected her and her farm. Better check that, I thought. Most dog breeds were brought to the U.S. from other countries. Sure enough, “sheepdogs” were not brought to the U.S. in any number before 1890.
Source: https://www.bordercollie.org.culture


         I was talking with a friend and she suggested a “mountain cur”. A breed I had not heard of before. Yes, they were in the U.S. in 1861 and before that Daniel Boone was one of the breeders. They are a rare breed today but were essential to early settlers. They were used for guard duty, protection, and hunting.


Source: :https://www.dogster.com/dog-breeds/mountain-cur


         Now I am hooked on looking up details and am not willing to stop looking things up on the internet, I also am looking for books and diaries about that time. My bookshelves are creaking with additions from “Gangrene and Glory” to “Bushwhackers, Visions, Star Crossed Lovers. I never know where I will find a tidbit of information that captures my attention, nor do I know whether these little “facts” will make it to the final revision, but for now I am entertained by learning them and I hoped you will enjoy them, too.


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 www.pencilstubs.com and also in the blog www.pencilstubs.net with the capability of adding comments at the latter.


Irish Eyes

 

By Mattie Lennon

UNDER THE BRIDGE and IRISH FEVER

 

I told you last month that I was starting to read Under the Bridge, the first of Jack Byrne’s trilogy, which covers a hundred years of the connection between Liverpool and the author's ancestral home of Wicklow. The other two are Across the Water and Before the Storm.


After the first few pages I predicted that it was going to be a brilliant read and, while I am no Nostradamus, my forecast was accurate.


The author was born and reared in Liverpool but his father emigrated for Wicklow, near the beautiful Vale of Avoca, after WW2.


Jack says, “My Irishness came late. It was delayed by tragedy and a commitment to class. The idea to which we attach our identity is not always chosen freely at first. It comes from the water we swim in, the roads we travel along and the events and people we meet. The identity we finally accept is in our hands. We determine who we are, not where and when we are.”


The tragedy he refers to was the suicide of his older brother in Ebrington barracks, Derry, in Nov, 1975. It was three days before Jack’s fifteenth birthday. “He used the rifle issued by Her Majesty’s Government to kill an Irishman. Himself.”


His Irishness may, as he says, come late but he certainly has his finger on the pulse of life on both sides of the Irish Sea, not just now but, whether through genetic memory or what, for decades before he was born. In thirty nine chapters he takes us through stories of love, hate, intrigue, bent cops and every crime imaginable including murder. He told me, “My three novels in The Liverpool Mystery trilogy are not the story of my family, but of families like mine, who have crossed the Irish sea to build new lives and families.” Some of those fictitious characters are not nice people. The reader is given insight into Jack Power, a Wicklow man and his cohorts who are involved in some heavy duty criminality. The book starts with a human bone being unearthed on a building site by a JCB. It is spotted by Michael, an Irish caretaker. This led to a long journey by Vinny Connelly, a student, and Anne McCarthy, a journalist. In their search for the truth they are led to a labyrinth of deceit, greed, threats and double crossing. Their mission involves enough twists, turns and Cul-de- Sacs to rival any scene in the best of Richard Osman’s works. Jack Byrne can describe in detail anything from Liverpool weather to an uncouth Irishman eating toast to a Tipperary man breaking a haulier’s finger while working for Jack Power and Anne McCarthy’s one-night stand with a cop, all done through a prowess with words that very few writers possess.


What led to this son of a Wicklow emigrant being able to, in the words of D. H. Lawrence, “… muse and thunder in such a lovely language"?


Perhaps the author himself gives us a clue, ” By the mid-seventies, I had chosen. I stood at the bus stop in Speke council estate, briefcase in hand, waiting for the bus to a grammar school. My parents had left for work before we got up. Two sisters were next to me, waiting for the bus to a local factory. I remembered Heath saying “it is the government or the miners” and being happy the miners won. A shop steward brother introduced me to Paul Mackintosh Foot and The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. I couldn’t decide between Slade and T-Rex, but did decide The Communist Manifesto spoke for me. The working class is still the spectre haunting Europe.”


Under the Bridge is published by Northodox Press and when you read it you will certainly want to read the other two in the trilogy.

* * * * *

IRISH FEVER


During the Irish Potato Famine of the nineteenth century, about one million Irish people perished from starvation and disease, while more than two million fled the country in fear and desperation, with some 850,000 landing in New York City. In this book Meredith B. Linn explores three kinds of afflictions—typhus fever, tuberculosis, and work-related injuries—that disproportionately affected Irish immigrants, tracing how existing medical ideas and technologies intersected with American prejudices to further conspire against this once culturally distinct group. Linn makes a compelling case for how Americans’ interpretations of the visible bodily changes wrought by typhus fever and injuries contributed to dehumanizing biases against these new immigrants, while tuberculosis—with its symptoms of fatigue, pallor, and emaciation—enabled Americans to see individuals beyond stereotypes and to recognize the equal humanity of the Irish.


Irish Fever is published by University of Tennessee Press.


Happy Easter.


See you in May


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 www.pencilstubs.com and also in the blog www.pencilstubs.net with the capability of adding comments at the latter.


Ara Parisien Author-Medium-Spiritual Teacher

 

By Ara Parisien

The Gift of Grief

Grief. It is fraught with pain, despair and lack of direction.
The process isn’t something to simply be endured, although
it can feel like it takes a lifetime before the fog lifts and
you are able to breathe once again. We all experience it.
No one seems to be absolved of this journey.


THE GIFT

There is something about grief, however, that is typically overlooked. It is the gift it provides. This gift is the last physical gift our loved ones bestow upon us at their point of transformation back to non-physical energy. Yes, I said gift.


The gift is growth and evolution that allows us to become more than we ever thought we could be. It commands that we change and often we go into that change kicking and screaming which is totally justifiable under the circumstances.

JOURNEY

Everyone impacted by the death of someone is being offered that gift of growth and expansion. The person you were before your loved one passed is gone. Truly, it is the OLD you that you are grieving, and the old life. That is where you want to stay. What is waiting for you is a phenomenal, new version of yourself that beckons you forward. Grief is the journey between who you were to who this experience has caused you to become.


There is also a re-invention of Self that occurs. You are trying to figure out who you are and what life looks like without that person in physical form. The gift is always about the power to choose the best Self possible. It is an eternal gift borne of love, given in love and in time, received in love.


In my book, The Other Side of Grief, I explain the following:


Eternal gifts are the soul gifts our loved ones leave behind at their point of transition. They are meant just for us and they contain exactly what we need. In them we find solace, meaning, clarity, peace and ultimately joy. ~ excerpt from The Other Side of Grief, by Ara Parisien


Joy is available to us now. Our loved ones in non-physical now see how it was there for them also when they were here. It is their parting gift to us, in creating the vehicle which allows us to perhaps release our joy and live the best life possible, in spite of what we think we have lost.


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 www.pencilstubs.com and also in the blog www.pencilstubs.net with the capability of adding comments at the latter.


Introspective

 


By Thomas F. O'Neill

Beliefs

The world of social media divides us in many ways, and it all comes down to beliefs. We all have them, including our opinions; we do not always share the same beliefs and views of others, but they play a significant role in shaping our reality in various ways.


Our beliefs influence how we perceive the world around us. Two people can interpret the same situation differently based on their beliefs. For example, someone with a positive outlook may see a challenging situation as an opportunity for growth, while someone with a negative outlook may see it as a setback.


Our beliefs can influence our behavior and actions. If you believe you can achieve something, you are more likely to take actions that lead to success. On the other hand, if you believe you will fail, you may not even try.


Believing in something can make it more likely to happen. If you believe you are going to succeed, you are more likely to work towards that success and make it happen. Conversely, if you believe you will fail, you may inadvertently sabotage your efforts.


Our beliefs can influence how we interact with others and how they perceive us. For example, if you believe people are generally trustworthy, you may approach social interactions with openness and warmth, leading to positive relationships.


Our beliefs can impact our emotional well-being. Positive beliefs can lead to feelings of optimism, resilience, and happiness, while negative beliefs can contribute to feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression.


Our beliefs can act as filters through which we interpret information. We tend to notice and remember information that confirms our existing beliefs (confirmation bias) and ignore or dismiss information that contradicts them.


Our beliefs shape our reality by influencing our perceptions, behaviors, interactions, emotional well-being, and interpretation of information. Awareness of our beliefs and actively challenging them, when necessary, can help us create a more positive and fulfilling reality.


Do not let social media's echo chambers determine and influence our reality. We must challenge what we believe to be true because an objective approach outside the echo chambers can help us rise above America's great divide.


Always with love,
Thomas F O'Neill

    Email: introspective7@hotmail.com
    WeChat - Thomas_F_ONeill
    Phone (410) 925-9334
    Skype: thomas_f_oneill
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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 www.pencilstubs.com and also in the blog www.pencilstubs.net with the capability of adding comments at the latter.


On Trek

 


By Judith Kroll

We Are Always Changing

Every year we do change, and as we age, our body doesn't change yearly like it did when we were living YOUTH. As an elderly person, our thinking changes. Our outlook changes, we live the moment like we did as babies. We found joy in seeing everything. We even had to taste it.


Adulthood, we once again enjoy the moment. We can stare at the same tree but we focus on the whole tree, and how it has been part of our life for years, and brought us much comfort, much joy, much love. A flower pushes thru the earth, from the previous year, and we welcome it, like a newborn babe. We are truly happy to see it, smell it, and gently touch it to share a wee bit of energy.


I watch a birdie fly and stop to eat, and now I feel the birdie. It doesn't exist without fear. They have scouts watching and ready to warn them of dangers. They are constantly aware. Busy building nests now, and getting ready for a family, and picking the right spot to raise their little ones. They are like us on a smaller scale.


I am oh so grateful for all we have, without owning it. Just for our pleasure, our joy, our love to share. My wish for all is that we can change our thoughts to peace, and love, and live more in the moment.
Judith 2/27/24


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 www.pencilstubs.com and also in the blog www.pencilstubs.net with the capability of adding comments at the latter.


Snownado

 By Bud Lemire

When the wind blows the snow, in a whirlwind around
It's called a Snownado, a tornado on the winter ground
It blows the snow, all over everywhere
Look out your window, you can see it there
A snow devil that is going around
Blowing snow wherever it's found

When a big gust of wind, blows the snow very strong
It's when we hear old man Winter, singing his song
The newly fallen snow is blowing away
To a new place entirely, where it will stay

Snow layered on top of each pile
That is the way of the Wintry style
Flakes piled up, on top of another one
It keeps on flying, until the Snownado is done

If you stand where it'll blow
You'll get whipped with that snow
So stay warm, and away from the wind that blows
Keep your body warm, even with your red nose

©Feb 28, 2024 Bud Lemire

                        Author Note:

I've seen a snownado out my window.
It was a small one, and I'm sure you've
seen them as well.


 

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Ten Men In A Truck

 By John I. Blair

Today ten men in a truck back,
Riding somewhere in the morning,
Looked out at me;
And one smiled enigmatically.
Where were they going?
What would they be doing there?
Why was I so curious
About these strangers?
Pulling up beside them
For less than 20 seconds
I felt connected
To these fellow humans,
These co-travelers
In the freeway traffic
And on the planet,
These mitochondria mates
In the sea of life;
And when I pumped the pedal
And sped along my way,
A ghost of loss rode with me
And hung about my office
The rest of the day.

©2003 John I. Blair
Encore


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Another Sunrise

 By Walt Perryman

This morning I witnessed another sunrise,
Today is a gift from God and is our prize.

However, all of today is not a for sure bet.
Some of us may not make it to this sunset.

Tomorrow we may have another sunrise,
But for today, let’s enjoy our today’s prize.

If you can give someone a hand or even a smile,
Or spend some of your day with them for a while.

A little compliment can give someone a big lift,
A compliment will last longer than a bought gift.

We cannot buy time with silver or gold, this is true.
Today is your day and how you spend it is up to you.

©May 16, 2021 Walt Perryman


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Unanswered Questions

 By Bud Lemire

Unanswered Questions, are the ones you never ask
The ones you should have, but weren't up to the task
Not the most important ones, but the ones in which you dwell
The ones that make you wonder, but nobody would share or tell

Why did that happen, to that woman that you know?
What happened to that man, why did they let him go?
Why are they doing this, why are they doing that?
Why did she get a dog, when she should have had a cat?

Why did the manager, tell her what he did?
Someone said he yelled, and really blew his lid
It's this kind of questions, that make you wonder
Too afraid to intrude, in case it brings on thunder

The one who it's about, will answer the correct one
Then you know it's true, your wondering is done
Questioning things in your life, is the way to be
Sometimes you get the answers, much more easily

©Mar 13, 2024 Bud Lemire

                        Author Note:

We all have unanswered questions going through our heads.
Sometimes we find out the answers, and other times we never
do in our lifetime.


 
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Sailing Around The World In My Chair

 By John I. Blair

Slumping here in my swivel chair,
Back aching from hours of inertia,
I can sail my mind around the world
On the stuff at my fingertips.
Lots from China: baskets, tools,
My coffee cup; from India
A richly carved wooden box
I hide my pushpins in;
From Germany a precise alarm
I use to schedule noon-hour naps;
Japan my PC CPU;
Sweden my sturdy stapler;
France a Bic with tinte bleu;
Australia a jar of stomach pills;
West Africa the cacao in the cocoa;
Banana from Honduras;
Bright Post-it flags from Mexico . . .
All tangible reminders
That this evidently isolated room
Is anchored in the universe outside.

©2003 John I. Blair

Author Note:


The photo shows the room I am talking about in this poem from
years ago when I still worked at corporate headquarters in Irving.
Back when computers had white keyboards and I used a white mouse.
Note that I have several poems posted on my wall,
perhaps even including this one.
Note the wall phone with a cord.
But I'm sure it had pushbuttons and not a dial.
The brilliant poet Billy Collins wrote a poem
"Sailing Alone Around the Room"
that inspired me to try this


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Big Thought about Life's Little Things

 By Walt Perryman

A big thought about life's little things
And the joy little memories often brings.

Enjoy the little things in your life every day,
Because later they mean more in a strange way.

With age, we remember the happier things more,
I guess that is what God gave us memories for.

Folks, the sunrise will be here in just a little while,
I hope today, your little things make you smile.

©Mar 6, 2024 Walt Perryman


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My Truth

 By Bud Lemire

My truth is believing, what I'm knowing
I can feel the things, that aren't showing
Sometimes I can even hear
When the spirits whisper in my ear

I believe the messages that are sent to my friend
Given to me, by the lives that never end
The human life ends, but the spirit never does
It becomes what is, instead of what was

What it is, is so very amazing if you knew
The continuing soul journey, would surprise you
They carry on in spirit, without the bod
It is so natural, to you it may seem odd

It's where you were, before you came here
From one world to another, you disappear
Crossing over is so easy to do
It won't be hard when it happens to you

People can hear them, if they're in tune with it all
It takes a certain mind frequency, then you'll hear the call
Just know this, they don't have any pain anymore
They left it behind, when they went through that door

©JFeb 14, 2024 Bud Lemire

                       Author Note:

True! I don't have to believe anymore, because I know.
How do I know? It's a hearing, a feeling, a knowing.
If I hear them, it is not my imagination. When I feel
them, it is not my imagination. I know! When they
come in my dreams and I wake up still feeling their
touch, I know.


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Deja Vu

 By John I. Blair

Let me make one thing clear:
I really don't believe reincarnation,
I really don't believe I've been reborn
Over and over across the eons.

Yet sometimes when I'm trotting
From one room to another
In this modern office tower,
I court the thought I've done it all before.

I've scurried down a cloister,
Wrapped in my woolen robes,
Anticipating the abbot's jibes
About my clumsy toil in the scriptorium.

I've waited endless hours
In a chilly marble chamber,
Eyeing armed centurions,
Clutching my petition to the emperor.

I've threaded my way fearfully
Through claustrophobic temple corridors,
At each dim corner drawing nearer
To the holiest of holies.

I've crept with smoking torches
Deep into the mountain cave,
Hoping to complete the sacred painting
Before the woolly mammoth hunt.

If anything's to be learned
From all these flights of fancy:
Though circumstances change,
Anxiety stays much the same.

©2003 John I. Blair
Encore


 

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Monday Morning Thought for You

 By Walt Perryman

A Monday morning thought for you
About whether your heart is true.

I have spent eighty years, seven days on this earth,
And I’ve seen a lot of good and bad since my birth!

But I have never seen our Country doing this bad,
And what’s happening to God really makes me sad.

Some will think I’m wrong about where we are today,
And I can know you’re wrong for not seeing it my way.

I don’t care if you’re on the left, middle, or the right,
If you can’t see what’s going on, you have bad sight.

We had better get together with God and not wait,
Because, if not yesterday then today could be too late!

If you believe in God with a true heart, just remember,
To take God home until He becomes a family member!

Next is something God and your family can do,
Go and spread the word to other people too.

We may not save the world, but we can try,
To spread God’s word until the day we die!

©Mar 4, 2024 Walt Perryman


 
80 Years Young
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Hanging

By Bruce Clifford

She left me hanging year after year.
She left me wondering why I was living in fear.
She left me wanting to know what I did wrong.
She left me for decades with endless empty songs.

She left me hopeless under a stormy sky.
She left me holding her hand in an imaginary time.
She left me hanging day after day.
She left me thinking of the right words to say.

How could this be so?
How did we let this love go?

You left me broken, alone and heartbroken.
You left me afraid, alone, and betrayed.
You left me to wonder about what could have been.
You left me broken without any reason to begin.

How could this be so?
How did we let this love go?

She left me hanging.

©3/21/2024 Bruce Clifford


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Pay It Forward

 By Bud Lemire

Pay It Forward, do a good deed
There might be someone, who is in need
They might not be able to afford food, in the marketplace line
The kindness that you give them, now would be the perfect time

They might feel embarrassed, you tell them to Pay It Forward too
Then sometime in their future, that is what they will do
Let me buy you a coffee, and a breakfast for you
It just feels so good, it's the right thing to do

A homeless person in a box on the street
Give her your jacket, and some socks for her feet
That guy's tire, has gotten pretty low
I'll use my pump, air his tires for this Joe

The little things we do, will help those who are in need
Which is just what was needed, you planted a seed
From what you started, they'll pay it forward too
The seed will grow, and the deed will renew

©JMar 15, 2024 Bud Lemire

                        Author Note:

Many times it's the little things we make an effort
to do, turn out to be the big things for someone else.
So remember to pay it forward, do a good deed.
Just think how wonderful you feel after doing it.


 

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Mixed Inheritance

 

By John I. Blair

Because I am a man
I hate to think about it,
But half my ancestors were women.
So often I will credit
All my manly attributes
To the line of hairy males
I claim as predecessors.
But don't I also owe the females?
Whenever I'm on my knees,
Weeding my flower garden,
Whenever I'm in the kitchen,
Whipping up a batch of cookies,
Whenever I'm adding the final touches
To a neatly made-up bed
By box pleating the top sheet,
Cleaning the house without complaining,
Folding the laundry, pressing a shirt, singing,
I can give thanks to the women
In my family tree
That I don't spend all my waking hours
Puffing cigars, belching, stinking,
And scratching where it itches . . .
Though I love those things as well!

©2003 John I. Blair
Encore

Author Note:


Well, I gave up the cigars many years ago,

 and don't spend much time on the housekeeping these days,

 but it's still a true poem.


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Listen then Think, Before You Talk

By Walt Perryman

At times I open my mouth and words come out,
When I have no idea what I am talking about.

‘Thought’ is something my words sometimes Lack,
Once they go past my lips, I cannot get them back.

I am going to try to start ‘thinking’ before I speak,
Even if each of my conversations last for a week.

While I am talking, I have never learned a thing,
It is when I am quiet that I’ve learned something

. I will try to not talk before ‘thinking’ anymore,
This could well be what God made silence for!

©2/12/2024 Walt Perryman


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Technicolor Lights

You turned me on like technicolor lights.
Before there was you there was forever black and white.
You landed in my life when life was on the run.
You took my open hand until suddenly you were gone.

You broke my heart into a million tiny pieces.
Once you were gone, I was a new lost and lonely species.
You turned me away like you never knew me at all.
I still wish I was there to save you after the fall.

After the fall.
He took you apart.
How did it happen?
Why did it start?
Can you remember us at all?

You lit me up like technicolor lights.
Everything else was dark throughout my days and nights.
We held each other’s hands and we looked into our eyes.
As we touched each other’s soul I began to cry.

After the fall.
Did you ever know me at all.
Why can’t you explain to me?
Why can’t you trust our history.

In technicolor lights.
The vibrance of our days.
What I miss most of all.
Was your willingness to stay.

©3/11/2024: Bruce Clifford


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