Hope to Die – A Book Review


Alex Cross is alone. His family has been abducted by a madman who keeps taunting him. Alex must find them, dead or alive. This breath taking book will take you through all human emotions. Startling truths are revealed about what shapes us into adults. We highly recommend this who done it mystery.


The book is written by James Patterson. It is read by Michael Boatman and Scott Sower.

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try

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Las Vegas Life

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Lohan School of Shaolin

I love the wonderful people of Las Vegas and the various cultures they share. Now is an especially wonderful time as the Chinese New Year approaches on February 19th.

This weekend the Charleston Heights Arts Center presented the Celebration of Asian Arts and Culture. We had a wonderful time. We saw an Origami Workshop.

The lovely lady explained that she was wearing a male costume. Female costumes dip down in the back. She also explained the significance of the crane.

I mentioned that I had made one and I know how difficult it is. She smiled and said, “Use YouTube.” Her young helper is an exchange student from Japan. The young lady expertly made a beautiful crane and presented it to me.

I am impressed that she speaks perfect English. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal by John McWhorter, “English is rapidly becoming the primary medium for communication among different nations.”

Other examples of origami are shown above.


One table had dolls displayed in many different Thai costumes showing the ways people used to dress.

This lovely Japanese lady was showing how to write in Japanese. She was very surprised that our friend, Cheh Low, already knows the language. His word is “speaks.” She guided my hand to write the word happiness – the last one on the right.


The Lohan School of Shaolin presented “The Lion Dance.” It was so beautiful and so well done without a single mistake. It was magical. The handout explains the Lion Dance:

According to traditional Chinese belief, the lion signifies courage, stability and superiority. The lion’s dance is performed to chase away ghosts and evil spirits, and since the monster, ghosts, evil spirits and giants like Nian are afraid of loud noises, the dance has become a natural complement to the fire crackers’ noise. Clashing cymbals, a gong and drums usually accompany this lively scene. The lion’s every movement has a specific musical rhythm. The music follows the moves of the lion, the drum follows the lion, the cymbals and the gong follow the drum play. Throughout the performance, the Lion will mimic various moods and demonstrate similar physical gestures allowing the Lion to look life-life.

The Lohan School of Shaolin provides Eastern Martial Arts such as Kung Fu, Tai Chi, or Chi Kung. They “offer tuition on all levels, a strong commitment and welcoming atmosphere.”

After the initial lion dance, each discipline was demonstrated. The whole performance was most enjoyable. And they ended with another lion dance.

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Six brilliant Thai ladies performed Thai Cultural Dances and gave a fashion show after. From the program we learned:

Supatra Chemprachum was born in Thailand, and moved to Las Vegas in 1986. She learned folk and classical Thai dances and how to teach them from her mother, who was a well known performer in Bangkok. Supatra founded the Thai Cultural Arts Association (TCAA) in 1993 to preserve and promote Thai traditions in Las Vegas. It is her mission to not only bring her native culture to the wider public, but to instill in young people of Thai ancestry a pride in their own ethnic background.

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The Las Vegas Kaminari Taiko Drummers were magnificent. The handout we were given has the following information:

Las Vegas Kaminari Taiko is Las Vegas’ premiere Japanese Taiko drumming ensemble. It has the privilege of being the “first” and longest running Taiko performance and teaching group in Las Vegas. Its instructors and performers strive for improvement and bringing high energy music and entertainment from Japan to every performance! Established in 1993 by the late George Goto its mission is to share, spread and teach the art form that is taiko to the Las Vegas valley. The goal is to share the member’s passion for Taiko and the art and music of Japanese culture that coincide and contribute to our ever growing and diverse Las Vegas community with educational and cultural performances.

We had a wonderful afternoon enjoying the Celebration of Asian Arts & Culture. Thank you to everyone who participated and to the Charleston Heights Arts Center.

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try


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I just may be the luckiest person alive – or one of the happiest people alive. I am able to get up in the morning and appreciate the great outdoors and thank God for the blue skies and the sunshine. Others may curse the snow, the rain, and the cold, but if you stop and think about it, weather and the many changes of weather is really quite magical.

This has been an exciting year so far and we are only on day twelve. So far we had a fabulous celebration with friends to welcome the New Year.

A real biggie was celebrating Calvin Lee’s birthday with Charise and John Strandberg. We are so honored that they made time in their busy schedule to have dinner with us.

Then it was on to CES – the Consumer Electronics Show. We saw things that are so exciting. The advancements that have been made in the world of 3D Printing since last year are phenomenal. I look forward to the future and what it will bring. I am most excited about 3D printing in the health sector and how body parts are being replaced. So exciting.

On Saturday we met Catherine and Jeff Huggins, friends from Twitter. They live in Iowa. We also got to meet their traveling friends Joe and Lisa Standefer.

On Sunday, our dear friend Cate Colgan dropped by from Florida. Steve and I are truly blessed to be living in Las Vegas.

On a more personal side, I mentioned that I have been compiling stories for my class reunion in July. One lady said:  “I am an elite member of “cancer survivors.”  I was told that I had bladder cancer on my 66th birthday.  I have lived for my 67th and look forward to my 68th!” What a great attitude to have. When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you.

Another guy told me he has three great children. One is already retired and his daughter is talking about retiring. Imagine living long enough to see your children retire. Pretty cool I think. 

Enjoy every minute of every day. It is good to be alive.

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try



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Your Story

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Venetian New Year 2015 – Las Vegas

The New Year is here and I am full of hope that it will be a year of inspiration. My intention is to inspire others to recognize how special they are. Everyone has an interesting story to tell.

Fifty years ago I graduated from high school. I have asked my classmates to submit a story of what they have done in the last 50 years and we will make a book. A few have sent me great stories. Most have told me they have done nothing special. I disagree.

Anyone who has lived during the last 20 years has a lot to talk about. Just think of all the inventions that have come along. I can remember the first cell phone I held in my hand. I put it to my ear and I heard “dial tone.” It was a miracle.

I recently saw a Facebook post. A boy saw a pay phone and asked his mother what it was. She explained. He exclaimed, “Why would anyone ever pay to make a phone call?”

Times have changed so much. When I was growing up we had one black wall phone in the kitchen. We paid for calls outside of our local calling area. Long distance calls were expensive and few. Today we call all over the United States as part of our calling plan. We take it for granted.

Taking things for granted is fine, but we must never take people and their accomplishments for granted.

My son disagreed with me when I said one of my accomplishments in life was making puff pastry. He thought me silly to even consider that an accomplishment. But to me, it was a big deal. I tried several recipes before I got it right. Getting it right took a whole eight hours and my shoulders were sore at the end of the day, but I did it. I bet Pepperidge Farm thinks their puff pastry is a big deal. I only made it once, because Pepperidge Farm provides me quality goods without the labor.

People make a beautiful tapestry. Everyone has something wonderful to give.

What is your story?

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try




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Happy Holidays 2014


Christmas 2014 - Card

I have a smile on my face as we put away the Christmas decorations. We made it! Christmas was a success!

At the end of November I missed the family back east so much I understood the words of songs like “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” or “There’s No Place Like Home For The Holidays.” When I get homesick, I get busy. We pulled out every Christmas decoration we have and started redoing the house. Then onto the cards.

A large part of my Christmas pleasure is sending cards. The greater part is receiving cards. Picture cards are the best! We also love the cards with personal notes and family updates. Our friend Karen Putz is a master card maker. This is her Christmas card below.


Karen 1



After the card sending, we had a tree trimming party. I chuckled when I got my first “what?” Steve and I had the same reaction when we lived in Reading, Massachusetts and our neighbors invited us to their house to a “tree trimming party” the first year we lived there.

At their party we had snacks and drinks. At our party we had soup, bread, and dessert. Then we all trimmed the Christmas tree. It was so much fun. There are no rules and as you can see, the tree came out beautiful.

Steve and I had a cold for most of December, but on the good days, we were out and about and we were well enough to attend the Wednesday Poker Discussion Group Christmas Party.

Through the miracle of technology we got to see our grandchildren open their Christmas gifts and enjoy their pleasure. We had real live fun with our friends at our house on Christmas Eve opening gifts.

I made scarfs for the ladies.

Our friend, Corky Eden made us – or is making us, a lap robe from gently used Christmas sweaters.


On Christmas day we went to the movies with friends and returned home to have leftovers.

On Boxing Day, we had friends over for lunch.  We are truly blessed to have a great monchu.

About an hour before they arrived, we received a phone call from a man we considered homeless. He is a person we have given money to for some time. He is in a wheelchair and is missing most of both legs. We recently learned his name is Michael. He lives with a person who takes care of him. He asked for our phone number. He invited us to a barbeque. My eyes welled with gratitude for this man’s kindness. We never really know a person until we take the time to talk with them.

Steve and I had a wonderful Christmas. We hope you did as well. Now it is on to the New Year with hope and plans for a great future. Happy New Year.

Tree 4

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try



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Bellagio Christmas 2014

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Nothing is more delightful than happy penguins doing their thing at the Bellagio gardens in Las Vegas. Penguins are so adorable.

This penguin likes to play peek-a-boo. One has to be quick to see him peek out of the side window or the top of the igloo.

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There are twelve penguins in all. They just wander around doing their thing.

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I didn’t know that penguins built igloos, but as you can see, the Bellagio penguins do.

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The Christmas tree is magnificent. It is extra large and covered with so many decorations. It is a work of art.

The balls used for decoration are huge and very beautiful. Someone has a wonderful imagination.


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At the base of the tree are two large snow globes with a family scene. Houses are nestled in the white snow-like flowers of the village. A train travels through the village. Men are often seen viewing the train and talking. Maybe they are talking about their train experiences.

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Look closely and you will see smoke rising from the chimney of this house.

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This is Mama bear.

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Mama Bear is very large.

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She works for Coca-Cola.

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These are her baby bears.

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The Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio are a true gift to the city of Las Vegas and all the visitors who come to our fair city. Special thanks to all the people responsible for making this magic happen from Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try.

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So many technological things have happened in the last ten years it is mind boggling when we stop to think about it. To me, 3D printing is the most amazing of all. I recently posted a video of a child receiving a new hand thanks to 3D printing. The hand cost $20. When I saw the video, I was jumping for joy.

I guess we have become used to the new technology. We are used to new wonders and accept advancements as every day happenings and we update programs every day.

Computers make all of this magic happen. Computers use operating systems. Microsoft currently uses 8.1. To have printers function with Microsoft 8.1, a print driver, or printer program, is required. Printer manufactures have to update all of their print drivers every time there is an operating system update. There are tons of printers.

We have an older model Canon color printer that works as good as the day we took it out of the package. We use it primarily now to print our Christmas cards. This year, we could not find the updated print driver for Microsoft 8.1. After extensive research, Steve called Canon support. It was Cyber Monday. To make a long story short, Steve was told the Canon printer we have is no longer supported. The guy on the phone said: “It is Cyber Monday, you should be able to get a good deal on a new printer today.”

My reaction to that comment was very personal. I thought, “Just because I am old doesn’t mean I should be thrown away.” Totally irrational thought I know, but our Canon printer is in perfectly good shape. It is not right to “throw it away” in some land fill.  I felt very sad.

Then my very brilliant husband had an idea. He retrieved a laptop we have that has Microsoft 7.0 as the operating system. He connected it to the printer and we were in business. We printed the Christmas cards and all was well with the world.

We have stored the laptop with the printer hoping to use them together next year.

It doesn’t seem right that a big company such as Canon can just eliminate print drivers and render a printer unusable. We need to take care of our earth.  Just because new printers are affordable doesn’t mean old ones should be thrown away if they are in good working condition.

What is your opinion?

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try


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Christmas is a very special season to me. It is a time for remembering years gone by and the lessons learned from those times. December is a time for giving to those less fortunate than us. It is a time to be more thoughtful. A time to show more happiness. The holidays is a time to make contact with people we haven’t talked with in a while. It is a time for giving.

Giving comes in many ways. When Steve and I were first married, we didn’t have much money, but we had a huge Christmas list. To ensure everyone had a gift, we made fudge; chocolate, peanut butter and divinity. We packaged it in fancy packages and tied it with a pretty bow. A few years into our marriage, when we had more money, we stopped giving fudge and gave purchased gifts. One by one, the people who used to receive the fudge quietly told me how much they missed the gift that was made just for them.

Steve had a friend named Mrs. Hendi. She lived to be 107. When Steve took me to meet her, she declared it a great holiday. She told me how much she admired Steve because he took the time to visit her and treat her as an equal. She said there are two types of old people; those who lose their mind – the lucky ones. The second kind are the ones who retain their brain power, but lose their body mobility. Because Mrs. Hindi was not able to get around, people treated her as if she was not there. Steve always treated her as the lady she was before old age took her dignity. Steve treated her like the lady she was.

When Chris and Thom were about twelve and nine they started early with their requests for Christmas gifts. I was disappointed by their greediness. In an effort to teach them it feels better to give than receive, I declared we would make all of our Christmas gifts that year. It would be a family affair. The four of us worked together to make the best gifts ever. It was only by accident that the whole event didn’t turn into disaster. I overheard Chris say to Thom, “I can hardly wait to see what Mom and Dad are going to make for us.” Ooops! Steve and I hadn’t made anything for the boys. You can be sure we got busy and made a string art for both of them.

There are a lot of homeless people in our city. They occupy the street corners at stop lights. When the light turns red, they walk between the cars and ask for money. We try to have a dollar for them. Friends who have seen us give money to homeless people ask if that is wise. Sometimes they make comments about the person using the money for beer or drugs. Steve and I don’t care what they do with the money. It is not our job to judge.

In the winter we give out socks along with the dollar. Our hero, Mark Horvath, told us the homeless appreciate clean socks more than any single item. In Las Vegas it is against the law to feed or cloth the homeless. It must be done through an organized church or charitable agency.

This Christmas season Steve and I will be calling those people we haven’t talked with in a while. The gift of time is the most precious gift any of us can give or receive. Make someone happy. Give them a call or visit them. You are a very special person. Happy Holidays.

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If you Try



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Proud Parents



Chris Pic

Steve and I had a wonderfully unique experience this weekend. We were guests of Chris Brogan at the premier showing of the documentary film Rise of the Entrepreneur: The Search for a Better Way.

Rise -B00k


After the red carpet, we entered the grand ball room. It was interesting to watch the giant overhead camera roam the room and see our picture flashed on the screens, just like in Hollywood.

Name tags

Because Chris stars in the film, we got to sit in the upfront VIP section. That was good because it allowed me to take some pictures.

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Picture by Chris Brogan

Michael Firestone from mjliveshow.com gave a great pre show performance as Michael Jackson.


Chris in the movie.


After the film, the members of the cast, who starred in the film, were invited on stage.  Chris is the second one from the left. Each person was asked their opinion of the film. There was a very large audience.

Chris humored me and let me take pictures of him by the posters in the lobby.

The evening was totally magical.

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try


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