Thank you, Dad.

My Dad had a copy of this on his desktop (a real desk) under a large piece of glass that covered the entire desktop area to preserve the wood.  I miss him very much.


Lessons for Life

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest person with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest person with the smallest mind.
Think big anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack if you help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you might get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

– Dr. Kent M. Keith

moving forward –

Hey – I’m all for moving forward as much as the next person.  I wholeheartedly agree with our go-to-for-all-the-answers man, Mr. Einstein, who observed the importance of continuing to ride that bike with momentum so as to not fall off.  I get it.

Here’s what I don’t get.  More and more, it seems to me that “moving forward” is just a nicer way of saying “get over it” or even “buzz off”  As in:  Oh, I just stole your idea and presented it as my own.  Just look past it and go forward.  Or:  I just made up a story about you committing a felony crime and embellished my story with made-up police coming to your house and then proceeded to tell a bunch of people to wreck your reputation and discredit you because I accidentally told you too much about myself.  Get over it, buzz off, move forward and stop whining while you’re at it.

I think this new “buzz off” “move forward” “stop whining about it” attitude has something to do with living in a society where practically everything is either disposable or replaceable, including people it seems.

Here’s the part that really gets me – Madam or Sir MoveForward person more often than not will accuse the one they’ve wounded of not being healthy enough to sweep the event cleanly under a rug and just forget about it.  Forever.  Get over it, buzz off, move forward.

After all, isn’t that the whole point of this skewed Moving Forward behavior?  Let’s not deal with it and let’s ignore everything and pretend it didn’t happen so that no apology is necessary and everyone can then maintain both personal importance and internal equilibrium.   Heaven forbid we mess with someone’s self esteem and want (gasp) an apology.

Maybe it’s because relationships have seemed to take a back seat and so-called social media is now the driver.  I think it should be called personal media.  We can hide behind it; we don’t have to respond to an emoticon of an unhappy face with a cyber tear rolling down its’ ubiquitous little round face.  I think there is a real risk of eventually becoming little caricatures of conscienceless people without feelings.  It’s almost as though we have been given the green-light to move onto the next emoticon if there is even the slightest bit of discomfort attached to the last one.  I think we are creating a society of monster-bullies.

Get over it, buzz off, move forward and stop whining while you’re at it.


Matthew 7:12   Do unto others whatever you would like them to do to you.  This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.




Changing Habits


hamstersI loved smoking cigarettes.  I loved everything about it – the fire, the smoke, the rush, the air-art of jagged mountains that would fade in a breeze.  At first, I used it as a prop on the stage of college life – journalism to be exact. A cigarette in hand, I instantly became an imaginary reporter in a dark and smoky room with a single light bulb suspended over my typewriter as I reported breaking news produced on the incoming newswires click click click click.  My ashtray overflowed, each cigstub representing another seven minutes spent constructing the perfect story.

I didn’t graduate as a reporter; instead, I traveled, married and reared a few children.  I unraveled, married again (and again) and patched my life back together several times over.  The blue smoke remained a constant.  Cigs, you see, became my best friends.  All twenty in a row – always there, always dependable, always pleasurable, always standing ready at attention like little white papered soldiers with tan boots in my flip-top box of life.

I smoked in Paris and felt tres chic.  I smoked at the Vatican and felt like a racy little sinner.  I became Audrey Hepburn with her sleek little black cig holder as long as her neck.  I was a fashion model using cigs to keep my weight down, punctuating my puffs with a spoonful of yogurt here and there and an occasional snickers bar to keep me going.


This went on for years – and years – and years.  I evened out at two-packs-a-day and kept that going for what seemed like forever.  There was a streak of time that I thought I was smoking three packs a day – turns out, other models were raiding my stash.  I was relieved.  Two was okay, three a bit excessive.  Two going at one time was weird, but that happened sometimes, too.

I knew I was damaging my lungs but since I couldn’t see them it really didn’t matter to me.  My imaginary lungs were blackening and I really didn’t care.  I could have swallowed a canary and it wouldn’t have flown back out simply because I knew for a fact it would fly right past my lungs without so much as even noticing them and then would get all tangled up in peristaltic action never to fly back out anyway.  The canary test didn’t apply, so therefore I was still okay.  Besides, my skin was still a healthy pink without wrinkles except for a few around the corners of my mouth like what nuns get from pursing their lips from being in the perpetual state of too much disdain.  I related to the disdainful nuns and lit up another one.  I wondered if I could smoke if I entered a convent. Continue reading

Finally Old Enough to Know Better

Luanne Nelson - Life DesignA few years ago, I was obese and very ill. At 5’10” tall, I weighed close to 230 lbs. and was waking up two or three times a night with severe acid reflux. I had absolutely no energy and all of my joints were inflamed. It hurt to walk up stairs; I was forced to go one step at a time while holding onto the bannister.

A local provider of medical services suggested that I “walk to work” while assuring me that if I shed at least thirty pounds, I would feel better. A blood test revealed that I was anemic. My “irregularly shaped red blood cells” suggested that I was bleeding internally. The doc said to schedule a colonoscopy and was going to write a prescription to alleviate my acid reflux. He went on to remind me that since I was in my mid-fifties and had gone through menopause, weight gain was normal and my joints were going to be achy as a part of the aging process. I remember thinking that I felt way too sick for this to be part of the normal aging process. I was four thousand miles from home, living in a remote part of Alaska. I felt old, stuck and very sad.

I did not take the medicine that the doc offered rationalizing that whatever was going on in my stomach, it was trying very hard to escape and I was going to let it. Initially, I tried a gluten-free diet. That diet failed. My acid reflux kept getting worse. At the end, the only food that seemed to stay with me and not cause immediate discomfort was ice cream. I ate plenty of ice cream and got sick on it anyway.

Continue reading


4018 Winter Solstice Sunset

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