Category Archives: holiday

Thank you

Veteran’s Day makes me think of my father. To say he fought in a war doesn’t really describe his experience. He served his country proudly, and in doing so, endured horrors that visited him from time to time for the rest of his life.

I remember asking him about his time in the service. One story that I’ll never forget was about his time in the Corps of Engineers when he was responsible for making sure his unit had the ammunition they needed to fight. More than once, he had to collect munitions from the dead – men he served with and called friends, so he could supply the ones still fighting.

He stepped over bodies on ground soaked in blood. He was in hostile territory recovering arms and ammo.

I could see the pain in his eyes as he told me this story. In reliving that moment, he gave me a unique insight into war that had never occurred to me before. I’d always thought of war in general terms: people fight, people die, it’s all terrible. But this was specific. His friends fought. His friends died, and it was more than terrible. It was something no one should have to experience. He was in the middle of it, and although he was happy to survive, part of him died that day and never returned when they shipped him home.

He was just a kid of 18 or 20. So very young, but not too young to die.

We see men in their 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, and recognize them as veterans. But that title isn’t limited to old men. Young men and women continue to come home destroyed by things they’ve seen in conflict. They all bear scars. We see the physical ones. Some of those scars are in place of limbs. Some are completely debilitating. We don’t see the mental ones. The soul-crushing ones. The ones tattooed inside their eyelids that visit them when they try to sleep.

We need to turn the spotlight on the real heroes. Not the people in Hollywood. Not the men on the gridiron. Those people get paid to do what they love. The true heroes made a sacrifice, and often many sacrifices, to keep our country free.

From the depths of my heart, thank you to all who served.

Happy New Year!

Quoting Neil Gaiman here, because I couldn’t say it better.

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art – write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. May your coming year be a wonderful thing in which you dream both dangerously and outrageously.

I hope you will make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and you will be liked and you will have people to love and to like in return. And most importantly, because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now – I hope that you will, when you need to, be wise and that you will always be kind. And I hope that somewhere in the next year you surprise yourself.

If you’re as big a fan as I am, you’ll enjoy these Neil Gaiman short stories.

Happy New Year image

The Joke’s On Me

April 1st is my second-favorite “holiday”, and my third-favorite day of the year. I’ve been playing silly tricks on people for nigh on 40 years. They’re always juvenile and transparent. I like the “victim” to laugh along with me.

This year, I sent out an April Fools email, hoping people would “get” it, and catch me in the prank. Sadly, less than 4% of my friends clicked the link, and even fewer got the joke, which ended up with me backpedaling about 100 times.

Worst April Fools Day joke, ever.

Here’s the over-the-top, pompous, self-promotional email I sent:

You know how much I love public speaking, but probably didn’t realize I’m also a singer-songwriter. I’ve been keeping this hush-hush for several months now, but the documents were finalized today, and I now have a record deal to release my first single.

So, in addition to being a web developer, online marketing specialist, social media consultant, founder of BW4W, and professional public speaker, I can finally add “Singer” to my list of accomplishments.

I’d like to share this special day with you by giving you a sneak peak to listen to my first single: “Do you know what day it is?” –

Anyone who’s been on the internet for any length of time would know what they’d get when they click the link. But not my trusting friends. Not the people who believe in me. The people I totally betrayed with a simple joke that they didn’t get.

I’m such a jerk.

So then, to all the people who sent congratulations without clicking the link, and all the others who responded to tell me the link went to the wrong video, and not mine, I sent another email:

LOL! Happy April 1st. You’ve been Rickrolled. 🙂

Nobody; not a single person replied with “Ha ha, you got me.” Obviously, I’m the most hated person in my social circle right now.

Wait just a minute… I’m not a jerk.

How big is the rock all these people have been living under ??? That Rick Astley video has over 31 MILLION views. I’m not the only one doing a bit of rickrolling. Are my friends the only people on earth who have never been rickrolled? For crying out loud, even the Mets and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade were rickrolled. If this meme has gone on so long that things as All-American as Parades and Baseball have been rickrolled, how have these people never heard of it?

I am boggled. Absolutely boggled.

Of course, husband (Mr. Voice of Reason) said not to do the Rickroll. Naturally, I didn’t listen to him, which means he has a whole wad of “I told you so’s” he’s waiting to drop on me.


I was making fun of Google for giving away the punch line too early in this years’ April Fools joke, and as it turns out, mine didn’t even have a punch line.

To my friends, and family, feel free to borrow my pick and shovel to get yourself out from under that rock, so you can join the rest of the world. Don’t say I never gave you anything. Besides chicken pox.

So very, very thankful

As I sit here, exhausted from a day of cleaning, cooking, and cleaning up, too tired to get ready to go to bed, I’m very thankful.

I’m thankful I have a house to clean. It’s warm in the winter, and cool in the summer. I can lock the doors and feel safe at home. Some people have no home, or are not safe in the place they live. I am very fortunate.

ThanksgivingI’m thankful for a fridge full of food. Many people go to bed hungry each night, and wake up hungry the next morning, with little or nothing in between. I am blessed to live in the United States, where food is plentiful, and grateful that I can provide for my family.

I’m thankful for a family that I can cook for, who enjoyed the meal, and shared a wonderful day. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be completely alone in the world, and feel very blessed to have so many loved ones close by.

I’m more than thankful; I’m overjoyed that the doctors removed the tumor in my father’s lung, and he is now cancer-free. I have the opportunity to spend more time with him, and will treasure every minute, because I know it is precious.

I’m also thrilled that my daughter was able to join us today. Spending holidays with her, and every chance I get, fills my heart with joy. And I’m thankful for her wonderful boyfriend who loves her nearly as much as I do.

And my husband, who saw how bone-tired I was, and insisted in putting me in a recliner with a blanket and the remote, while he put the table away, and the chairs back in their places, is a daily reminder of how fortunate I am. I’m thankful to have someone in my life who loves me, and takes care of me, the way he does.

Then there’s all assorted and sundry things in life that make me happy: the friends with whom I can share stupid jokes and cat pictures, the clients who help me pay my bills, the strangers I meet in the store and share a brief bit of conversation that adds a little spark to the day, the babies in strollers that make me remember what it’s like to be a new mom, my pets who make me laugh. I’m thankful for the sister who infuriates and amuses me, and for all the laughter and tears we’ve shared over our lifetime together. The list goes on and on.

I’m thankful for all the days I’ve had up to now – the good, the bad, the fantastic, and the dreadful. I can’t change a thing in the past, and don’t think I would if I could. They’ve all brought me to where I am today: tired beyond belief, in a quiet house, with a comfortable bed waiting for me in the next room. And for that, I am very thankful.

Winter Auto Safety

Tips from The Great Fruitcake Recycling Project

DENVER – December 13, 2008 — Driving in the winter means snow, sleet and ice that can lead to slower traffic, and hazardous road conditions. To help you make it safely through winter, here are some suggestions from the Great Fruitcake Recycling Project to make sure that you and your vehicle are prepared.

Everyone knows you need a shovel, jumper cables, tow and tire chains, but did you know that you should also carry fruitcake with you?

Your fruitcake essentials for winter driving:

3-4 Large Fruitcakes, with waterproof matches, to burn in lieu of flares. Because of its high alcohol content, your fruitcakes will light quickly and burn bright against the snow.

1 Bag of crumbled fruit cake to spread behind your tires if you get stuck on snow or ice. (Hint: The best crumbs come from fruitcake run through a wood chipper or industrial grinder. Your local lumber yard or grain elevator can help with this.)

Several fruitcakes, cut into slices (a table saw is handy for this task) – if your other provisions run out, having fruitcake as the food of last resort will give you the motivation to find a way out of your dilemma before you have to eat it.

Store fruitcake in the trunk of a rear-wheel drive vehicle to aid in traction. The weight of the average fruitcake will replace 1-2 sandbags, giving you more space for additional fruitcake.

A spare fruitcake can be used as a wheel chock in case you need to park on an incline.

Because of its density, the average fruitcake will burn for up to six hours, which will keep you warm, should you run out of fuel.

About The Great Fruitcake Recycling Project:
The Great Fruitcake Recycling Project is in its fourth year, helping to minimize the environmental impact of fruitcake proliferation by offering useful ways to recycle fruitcake. Its owner, Barbara Bailey, still has way too much time on her hands. You can find out more, here: