Author Archives: Humor Happens

Cat People: The Best of People

This bumbling butter fingers managed to drop her phone yet again, this time flat on it’s face with an undesirable sound. The last day of May was the last day of my phone’s life.

The first day of June I headed to the phone store expecting to spend a good, long time there awaiting my options. But I was pleasantly surprised when the body builder guy with a buzz cut and a serious business sense quickly came to my assistance and started the process of ordering a replacement within minutes of my arrival. Wow!

He was all business and serious techy stuff until he verified my email address which contains the word cat. This big burly guy turned into a four-year old little boy, grinning from ear to ear, with a vibrant sparkle in his eyes! He asked how many cats I had, the type of cats, and their names.

I shared about our girls and then asked how many he had (clearly, someone that excited and giddy had to have at least a couple to his name). He has three: two Persian and one bobtail. He was so animated and excited. The service got even better after that (I didn’t imagine it possible, but it’s true), as if being a fellow friend of cats put me in a special class of people. True or not, I couldn’t have had a better experience all around. I even received the replacement phone in 23 hours.

My Prayer for You: That all of your utility experiences are as good as this and that all people surprise you for the better.

IMG_5536 SIGNED Shorter

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Posted by on June 4, 2017 in Uncategorized


Easter 2017

Easter is shaping up into something nearly overwhelming for me again this year. Last week Friday, Kerrie asked if my mom and I would like to see “The Case for Jesus” with her. Wow! I hadn’t known anything about it, and I was moved by the research (being part geek).

Then, we had Palm Sunday, where we walked around the church waving our palms and singing hymns. The joy in celebrating was visible on the faces of this church family.
Maundy Thursday night was dinner with church friends – a day to remember what we’ve done wrong and need to change, a day to remember Christ’s last supper and breaking of the bread with his loved ones. We enjoyed each other’s company and shared stories of life, love, fear, and humor. I felt blessed to be with friends.
Saturday was my Uncle Ralph’s 90th birthday. His daughter invited family to gather to celebrate this family treasure. He’s a walking miracle, and we got to hug him, tell him we love him, and enjoy our family. Remember the treasures in your life.
Today, I saw this article. Today, I feel hopeful for the good in the world to spring a new on Easter Sunday: While the men were hiding, the women delivered the good news.
On Easter, we’ll gather with some family and some friends after a morning full of Easter celebrations at church. May Easter bring you new joy, life, and love. May you be with loved ones on the important events in your life. May you always have hope for tomorrow. May you know you are loved (because you are).
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Posted by on April 16, 2017 in Uncategorized


Gone but Never Forgotten – Erin Joy

Today, my niece Erin would have turned 38, but instead she’s forever 26. In these 11.5 years since she’s been gone from us, it’s been easier to grieve, and to remember the joys instead of the sorrows. She was a joy to me, and I still miss her every day.

We all probably have a loved one or several that we miss. I truly believe she’s in a better place, and that I will get to see her one day again, along with all of the others who’ve gone before us.

Bad things happen, but God is not behind them. Instead He weeps and grieves with us, gives the loved one a forever home, and holds us in the palm of His hand until we can walk and talk again.

Today I can stand up and tell you about a beautiful, talented, vibrant, and wise woman named Erin. I am a better person for having had her in my life. Because of her, I got my first tattoo. Because of me, she learned to love Pierce Brosnan. Because of her, I learned to love Heath Ledger. She was born on my half birthday, so we would celebrate each other’s half birthday when we celebrated our birthday. Easter is hard, because she and I would take turns giving each other an Easter basket filled with games, books, puzzles, and candy. She would do one year, and me the next.

Erin, her friend Lynn, and I became a trifecta of friendship. It’s because of this there are craft days in my life then and now, stories of snorting jingle bells from the back seat of my car, and that tattoo. Lynn and I are pretty sure that Erin is still present at craft days. We feel her presence and hear her laughter.

Erin, you are still loved, respected, and your cat Joy is well cared for. If Joy gets to see you again before me, I hope she is kind in her description of the diet I put her on and forcing her to be cuddled and loved.

Two friends in their mid-twenties. One standing, One sitting. One lives today, One is missed greatly. Signed, Gray tiger cat resting on a blanket and surrounded by yarn and yarn and more yarn is dark colors that cooridnate with the floral brown and red and moss couch.IMG_0017 Small

IMG_0020 for print dif

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Posted by on April 7, 2017 in Uncategorized


Critical Thinking = Lie Detector

Last night I was blessed to see Kareem Abdul-Jabbar speak at Miller Auditorium as part of the Kalamazoo Reading Together book of 2017. He made me cry and laugh, and we gave him multiple standing ovations. I chose to come home before I turned into a cranky pumpkin last night and an unfun person at work today, so I do not have his signature in my book.

One of the many concepts he shared that stuck for me was about critical thinking. He said something to the effect that we need to teach our children critical thinking instead of merely to memorize facts and recall them on tests because they need to be able to identify lies. Someone who only knows the answers to fill in a test might not be able to hear the subtle nuances that identify truth from fiction.

I believe I was taught both, but sometimes my lie detector is broken. Other times, I cannot keep the memories or critical thinking skills in my head long enough to use them on a test. Or is it just that when the word “test” is spoken or at the top of a page, I suddenly feel like I’m in a frozen tundra and ice demons are tormenting me?

In all seriousness, it is vital that we be able to identify fact from fiction. It can save us time, energy, and heartache.

Moral of the Story: Critical thinking is a skill that will pay off for a lifetime. Memorization skills fade as we age (at least for me).


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Posted by on March 16, 2017 in Uncategorized


From Common to Amazing

“When you list the places Christ lived, draw a circle around the town named Nazareth – a single-camel map dot on the edge of boredom. For thirty of his thirty-three years, Jesus lived a common life.”
Then some other text, and finishing up with this: “The town may have been common, but his attention to it was not.”These are a quotes from a Max Lucado book.
Wow! I love that imagery of a one-camel town and wish I could write that way. It made me laugh, and then to think about people who come from common places.
My heros, such as, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Mrs. Echols (best teacher ever), Grandma Ewert, and my Dad … they all had common starts to life, but they live (or lived) in such a way as to leave a path of peace, kindness, and wisdom in their wake. They made shining moments in history that left this world a better place than when they arrived.
Moral of this story: Most of us come from common beginnings, and we can All be amazing to someone in this world. Start with kindness and see where you go.
Dad by his old Chevrolet truck with a bumper sticker saying, Only Love Beats Milk
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Posted by on March 15, 2017 in Uncategorized



February 8, 2017 – I saw a little birdie today. It wasn’t pretty, didn’t have feathers, and was attached to one unable to drive his car with dignity.

I was in a 35 mile per hour area, and I got behind a guy going about 17 miles per hour – half of the posted limit. I did not honk. I did not race around him and burn rubber. I did not call out obscenities. I did not shake my hands in anger or give him any rude gestures. After waiting for a safe clearing to pass him, I was looking as I started to come up next to his car to see if he was suffering from a medical condition, such as a stroke or seizure.

Turns out, he was suffering from a very common medical condition – angry dude in a car. I thought I saw from the side of his car that he was flying a birdie at me – right on the glass of the car window. I slowed down so I could see better. Yep, a single finger up and flipping me off with a scowl on his pasty face.

What did I do in return? I gave him 3 fingers, and then 5 fingers. His expression and finger didn’t change, so as I began to move ahead of him (as the many cars suddenly behind me were delighted to see), I did it again – giving him first 3 and then 5 fingers. Why? The speed limit was 35. I’m not sure he could understand that, since he had no reason to be angry with me to begin with and we’d passed at least one such sign already.


A few years ago, I was on a semi-country road with the posted speed limit of 45 miles per hour. Normally, people are behind me pushing me to pick up the pace while I’m going 50 or illegally passing me, but on this particular day, I was behind the slow guy. At first he was only going 40, but by the last half mile, he was barely doing 15 miles per hour. This entire time, we were in a no passing zone. I didn’t pass for a second reason: fear this person was encountering a medical condition.

During this time, I did not shake my hands in angry gestures, honk my horn, or cuss him out. I got my phone out in case I needed to call 911 for help.

Yet, when we neared the next intersection, he slowed further to stop at the stop sign and even turned on his right turn signal. I was going straight and was next to the slow car. I looked over to see if the driver was even able to sit up or in need of help … and it was an old pasty guy who flipped the bird at me while clearly spitting unkind profanities my way. I could only hear mumbling through my closed windows with the audio book playing, and I’m grateful.

So, huh?

IMG_7723 Signed

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Posted by on February 9, 2017 in Uncategorized



December 27, 2016:So many Christmas blessings, but the greatest of all is kindness.

Christmas Day I realized that I lost the keys to my car, work, and PO Box sometime between the church service and getting in my mom’s car. More importantly, my library card was attached! And I don’t want to learn a new number. Okay, the gym membership card too, but I only really use that when the power goes out at home and need a shower before work.

I sent e-mails and texts to people from church who might have seen them. I went back across town to church and found them quickly in the parking lot right where the car had been parked. But only a minute later, a fellow Sunnyside couple Jack and Ruth pulled up. They were going to look for my keys! They were prepared with flashlights and warm clothes.

Even though I found them myself, I’m so glad for the kindness of friends!

Moral of the story: There are people on this earth in whom the Christmas Spirit lives in each and every day of their lives.

A pine tree, outside at night, lite with blue lights and a white star on top.

Posted by on December 31, 2016 in Uncategorized

The Accidental Minister

A spiritual but religious site

Ex-Mana Book Group

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx