Monday, August 23, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Message from above.................

Messages from above are all around us if we just keep our
eyes open to see them :-)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Reflection - Out of the Ashes Comes Hope

Early on Wednesday, November 5, 2008 A fire destroyed the predominately African-American Macedonia Church of God in Christ in Springfield, MA

The $2.5 million church was under construction - the church was razed by arsonists hours after President Barack Obama was elected the nation’s first black leader on Nov. 4, 2008

Fire Photos by Dennis Leger

33 volunteers from a church and a synagogue in California traveled to Springfield last week at their own expense to help the regular construction crew rebuild.

“It’s bittersweet. We wish we were doing it just to help build and not to rebuild,” said a member of the Arson Rebuild Work Team of Santa Barbara. The California group is the third team of volunteers that has come to the city this month, including one other from the West Coast and another from Chicago.

Volunteers from religious groups in California re-build Springfield church destroyed by fire.

Photo by Mark M. Murray / The Republican

Photo by Mark M. Murray / The Republican

Judi Koper and her daughter Hannah, both with Temple B'Nai B'rith of Santa Barbara Calif, volunteered Thursday to help rebuild. They have traveled throughout the deep South, helping to rebuild churches torched in the name of racism.

“This is our first venture up North,” she said, wiping sweat from her brow after hours of frame work at the nearly completed church.

The church was burned to the ground in a spectacular blaze set by three city men who lived nearby, according to federal and state investigators who probed the fire. Two defendants – 23 and 22 -have pleaded guilty to arson in federal court and are awaiting sentencing. A third defendant, 25, is poised for trial in the fall.

The men admitted harboring a hatred for blacks and Hispanics, and that they set fire to the church to denounce Obama’s election. They told investigators they crept through the woods in the middle of the night, climbed through a window and doused the church with gasoline, then set it ablaze.

A volunteer from the Congregation B’nai B’rith, also in Santa Barbara, said the effort is as much about the message as the bricks and mortar.

“We’re here trying to right what three hateful people did,” she said. “To show people that we will not allow injustice and hate to stand.”

For Bishop Bryant Robinson Jr., leader of the predominantly black Macedonia church, it seems that from the ashes has come a small miracle of human spirit.


Lamentations 3:21 - 24

Hope returns when I remember this one thing: the Lord's unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. The Lord is all I have , and so in him I put my hope.

With so many senseless acts of violence and hatred happening in the world every day I choose to concentrate on the love demonstrated by those who continue to reach out to others, as in the words of the volunteer - “To show people that we will not allow injustice and hate to stand.”


based on an article in the Springfield Republican Newspaper

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Total # of U. S. Troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan - 5, 643

This is a typical day for the troops in Afghanistan

U.S. Military Casualties in Iraq

Since war began (3/19/03): 4,414

Total Wounded: Over 100,000

U.S. Wounded

320,000 Vets Have Brain Injuries

War Veterans’ Concussions Are Often Overlooked

18 Vet Suicides Per Day?

Other Coalition Troops - Iraq 318

US Military Deaths - Afghanistan 1,229

Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan 770

Contractor Employee Deaths - Iraq 1,457

Journalists - Iraq 338

Academics Killed - Iraq 437

Sources: DoD, MNF, and

TOTAL: 5,643

Support the troops - bring them home!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Happy News - Oscar Gets New Legs

Oscar gets new legs

The bottom half of Oscar's back legs were sliced off by a combine harvester nine months ago. That would be a death sentence for most pets, but breakthrough surgery has given him a shot at another of his proverbial nine lives.

When Oscar was first found after the accident, he was very weak and had lost a lot of blood. Oscar's owners, Kate Allen and Mike Nolan, were told to expect the worst.

Veterinarian Peter Haworth covered Oscar's wounds and got him comfortable by administering cat painkillers, but there was little else he could do. Cats are able to have a comfortable life on three legs, but not with just two.

Allen and Nolan got in contact with another veterinary surgeon, Noel Fitzpatrick, to seek further treatment at his state-of-the-art practice.

"It was very much a three way communication time, a lot of e-mails, pictures and x-rays flying around and Noel pretty quickly decided Oscar was a good patient," said Nolan.

In the three hour operation, Oscar had metal holes drilled into what remained of his legs so that special implants – known as ITAPs - could be attached. The skin accepted the metal legs and started new growth around the legs.

This groundbreaking operation will eventually pave the way for the procedure to be replicated on humans.

As for Oscar, he has successfully adapted to his new legs, much to the relief of his owners, although for now, he will have to remain a house-cat because his limbs aren't suitable for outdoor activity.

The prosthetic legs were developed by a team from University College London, England, led by Professor Gordon Blunn.

The Itap technology has already been used to create a prosthetic limb for a woman who lost her arm in the July 2005 London bombings.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Elena Kagan Joins Supreme Court - “That’s really progress.”

Elena Kagan Joins Supreme Court After 63-37 Vote in Senate

WASHINGTON — The Senate confirmed Elena Kagan to a seat on the Supreme Court. Ms. Kagan, who will be sworn in Saturday as the newest member of the court, was approved by a vote of 63 to 37.

President Obama said he expected that Ms. Kagan would be a strong addition to the court because she “understands that the law isn’t just an abstraction or an intellectual exercise.” “She knows that the Supreme Court’s decisions shape not just the character of our democracy, but the circumstances of our daily lives,” the president said.

Ms. Kagan, the former dean of the Harvard Law School, a legal adviser in the Clinton administration and solicitor general in the Obama White House, becomes the fourth woman to serve on the court. She will join two other women currently serving, including Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg . She succeeds Justice John Paul Stevens , the leader of the court’s liberal bloc, who is retiring. Democrats described the new justice as a brilliant legal scholar who would broaden the outlook of the court.

“When it opens this fall, three women — a full third of the bench — will preside together for the first time,” Senator Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat and majority leader, said. “That’s really progress.”


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Little Humor - Sharing the Covers

I think that those who live in colder climates can probably relate to this
solution of how to share the covers :-)

If you look closely you can see the very accurate measurements on the sheets.
Hopefully not for newlyweds :-)

:-) :-) :-)