Help Me Understand


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U.S. flag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are so many things in life I don’t understand, but I ask questions. Answers to my questions have broadened my understanding. With more knowledge, I ask more questions.

Most of my years in the corporate world, I worked in the telephone industry where acronyms are frequently used. During meetings, when a word or acronym was used, that I didn’t understand, I asked for the meaning. So many times, after the meeting, someone would thank me for asking. Like me, they had no idea what was being talked about.

Currently I am totally perplexed about the war in Syria. In my opinion, America should not take part in that war.

Truthfully, I don’t understand the whole foreign war policy. We were involved in two wars in Iraq and one in Pakistan.

We lost thousands of Americans lives. Many more thousands are back home living with bionic limbs.

Thousands are wondering the streets homeless. There is no government assistance for these people, but, America is still sending millions of dollars to Iraq and Pakistan and other foreign countries.

If I have the facts right, all these foreign wars are the result of disagreements over religion. I don’t understand.

My God is a God of mercy and love. My God loves all people and is non discriminatory. My God is a God of peace and not war.

Someone once said that all wars should be waged over a chess board. When two waring factions come together, they would meet at a chess table. The stakes would be set before the game. Whoever won the game, won the stakes.

Of course that never happened because egos could not be reigned in to accept that great method of winning the battle. So wars rage on.

Computer hacking. Our site got hacked. Why? What does anyone have to gain from hacking our site or any site? It makes no sense.

How do we turn hate into love?

I don’t worry too much about global warming.

I worry about the homeless.

I worry about the returning war heroes who are not receiving the assistance they deserve.

I worry about the elderly who can’t make ends meet.

I worry about the people in foreign lands who never know what tomorrow may bring.

I worry about those who refuse to work together to find a solution to the problem.

I pray for those who think they are better than me.

I pray for understanding.

I pray for peace.

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


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I Don’t Know If It Is True, BUT


The story is, that you can do just about any thing you want in Las Vegas and get away with it. I’m not exactly sure what the “IT” is. I think they are talking mostly about clothes.

The weather is warm year round and it does get hot in the summer, but it is a dry heat. That allows people to dress in any fashion they find desirable.

So my friend, Carolyn Stephens, was wearing a beautiful tie dyed top and I just had to have one. Of course there are no tie dye stores just waiting to quench my desires, but Carolyn helped me out. She directed me to the Harvest Festival where she got hers. It just happened to be in town this weekend.

You guessed it. I now have some tie dye of my own. I wear it and feel totally bodacious.

Now that is a silly story, isn’t it!!! BUT it is true.

If something as simple as wearing a colorful piece of clothing, or a special piece of clothing cheers you up, why not go for it.

Life is short. Live it with zest.

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


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Oh So Lucky


Open Face Chinese Poker

Steve taught me how to play Open Face Chinese Poker. I won’t even begin to try to tell you how the game is played. I will tell you that Steve and I have been playing the game against each other and having lots of fun.

There are 20 rounds to a set. We don’t always finish a set at one time. Yesterday we finished a set we were playing. I just happened to win with 34 points. I assumed I won $34.00 from Steve, then he said we were playing for a penny a point so I only won 34 cents. The professionals play for lots of money, but Steve and I just play for fun.

Happy Birthday Dinner

I may have mentioned before that I love birthdays and birthday parties. Yesterday I got to make the birthday cake for Teresa Barber’s birthday dinner. We enjoyed a lovely dinner at the home of her parents, Mike and Corky Eden.

Friends and family. Life doesn’t get any better than that.

Checking in with Mark Horvath



Elaina -Click to hear her story.


Our friend, Mark Horvarth, also known as @hardlynormal on Twitter, is on a road trip highlighting the homeless youth in America.

Most people have no idea there is a huge population of homeless youth in America. Reading Mark’s tweets brings tears to my eyes. He is currently in Salt Lake City Utah.

Mark Horvath @hardlynormal
Photo: At 16, homelessness was a better option than living with his mom

Mark Horvath @hardlynormal
Just walked thru “skid row” area. Now talking to 21yo single mom w baby and another young homeless girls that’s pregnant #WRECKED #invppl

Mark Horvath @hardlynormal
We met a lot of homeless youth with kids today. Babies having babies! One single mother was like 14! Police were involved. #WRECKED!

You can help by checking out the latest news from Sevenly at the link below.

Mark Horvath @hardlynormal
Sevenly + Virgin Mobile USA are Partnering to End Youth Homelessness:

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



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When Love Hurts

Our son Chris with our granddaughter Violette

Our son Chris with our granddaughter Violette

Our granddaughter, Violette has been in a Boston hospital 2800 miles east of us for several days. All the tests are showing numbers that are way above the normal range. The doctors don’t know what is causing her excruciating pain and the high numbers. She is only eleven years old. This should not be happening to our baby girl.

She got to go home yesterday while they wait for more test results to come in. I am praying that Mom gets some much needed rest.

My first impulse was to jump on a plane and go home, but Steve is much wiser than me. He pointed out that going home right now may not be the best course of action. Crying in front of Mom, Dad, and Violette may not be helpful.

Violette’s Mom, Katrina, has been wonderful in keeping us updated about everything as it happens. Her reports have kept me sane. Anxious, helpless, sleepless, but sane.

Every time there is any speculation of what Violette may have, I rush to Google to read whatever I can find about the ailment. That is probably not a good thing.

I debated about writing this post. One reason may be to let you know that living in Las Vegas is not all bright lights and fun times. We are still real people. We have to deal with broken water heaters and refrigerators that don’t refrigerate. There are details of life to be faced, just like everywhere.

Mostly I am writing this post to say thank you to everyone for your support. Your thoughtfulness, your kind words, your prayers are all appreciated.

We have two great sons. We thought we had hit the jackpot when they arrived. Then our three exceptionally wonderful grandchildren came into our lives. Violette, Cindy and Harold give us joy beyond measure.

Yay! I just talked with Violette on the phone. She said she slept well last night, home in her own bed. She still can’t walk and is in a lot of pain, but she is home waiting for more test results.

Please continue to keep her in your prayers.

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


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Happy Birthday Corky Eden


Today is Corky Eden’s birthday. We celebrated at our house last night with a birthday dinner.

Steve and I planned the surprise event a few weeks ago. We cleared the date and the details with her husband Mike first and got his buy in and participation.

We had a fun time planning and then actually putting everything together. Steve and I were very, very busy.

Corky Surprise

You can see by the tilt of her head and the smile on her face, Corky was surprised when she walked though the door. She thought only she and Mike and Steve and I were going out for dinner. She didn’t know we were having a party.

Corky Cake

Corky liked the home made angel food birthday cake. It tastes good and is practically calorie free.

While we were having cake and coffee, I realized that Steve and I probably had more fun than Corky. She was the birthday girl, but she only got to have fun for a few hours. Steve and I got to have fun planning a preparing for a much longer time. Doing something nice for someone really does give a lot of payback. Thanks Corky.

Happy Happy Birthday Corky. Have a great day.


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


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Wait – Life is Good



The loud, obnoxious ringing of the house phone awakened me at 2:30 AM, that is in the morning, middle of the night time. Steve was gone and the hall light was on. I bounded out of bed to see what was happening.

It was the alarm company on the phone telling us that the water alarm was triggered. I rushed to the garage to find Steve and see in fact that the hot water heater was putting out water – in the wrong places. Fortunately for us, it was a slow drip.

After drying everything, as best we could, we went back to bed, but sleep just isn’t the same after an emergency.

When daylight came we called the home buyers protection company to send help. A gentleman came several hours later to assess the situation. He filled out the paperwork and said he would see us on Friday to install a new water heater. That is two whole days away. Well in reality, it is only one full day away and many hours on either side.

While we are waiting, we will continue to sop up the water.

It was while I was doing my turn, that I thought of the homeless people. Many of them would be happy to have a home with a hot water heater – even if it is broken.

Our friend, Mark Horvath, works tirelessly as an advocate for the homeless. He has dedicated his life to speaking for the homeless. He told me when he doesn’t seem to make any progress, he would like to quit and do something else, but he can’t. He says if he doesn’t speak for the homeless, who will.

No one wakes up in the morning and says, I hope my water tank will break today. No one wakes up and says, I think I would like to be homeless today. My heart breaks when I hear the stories of the homeless. If you want to know what I mean, check out

On the bright side, Mark Horvath, has motivated people and groups to help the homeless. One story that made me excited was about the homeless and the community garden. A group of homeless people got together and planted a garden. The produce from the garden is given to the local soup kitchen to feed the homeless. I think that is a great idea on so many levels.

There are many ways to help the homeless, but handing out sandwiches is not one of them. If you would like to know how to really help the homeless, read Open Our Eyes: Seeing the Invisible People of Homelessness
I learned so many surprising facts.

With hope in my heart and a bucket and a sponge in my hand, I will return to my life. I am thankful to have a home.

In the words of Mark Horvath, “If you had three wishes, what would they be?”

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

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Happy Birthdays



Yesterday was my birthday and oh what a glorious day it was. My day started with hundreds of Twitter greetings from around the world. This happened as a result of our son Chris encouraging folks to wish me well via his Sunday news letter.


I didn’t get to say thank you to everyone because Twitter shut me down several times during the day. If I didn’t say thank you to you personally, please accept this THANK YOU.


Friends and family called. Some people sent paper cards. Some folks sent electronic cards.  Some sent electronic messages. It was a day of joy as I shared smiles with everyone who crossed my path.


We went to dinner with friends. We went to another friends house for cake and coffee. It was a wonderful day.


Nothing is better than a birthday greeting, unless it is a smile every day. I think if we smiled more, there may be less strife in the world. Happy people make me happy.


I thought you may enjoy one of the birthday greetings I got from my family.


The inside says: Happy Birthday from me, my friends, and friends of friends.


Let me know when it is your birthday so I can send you a greeting. If you don’t like birthdays, just send me a smile.


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



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Do As I Say


If you were to follow my command, you would live, love, laugh and be happy. You would celebrate life and find joy to share with those around you.

The other day, I wrote a post entitled, My Brother Died. I wasn’t looking for sympathy. I wanted to say, call those people in your life who you maybe haven’t talked with for a while. My brother was fixing breakfast for himself and his wife when he fell to the floor and died without warning.

The post turned out to be a tribute to my brother. I received expressions of sympathy from friends and family all over the world. I am so thankful for all those messages. They filled a void I didn’t even know was there.

His Wishes

Before my brother died, he told me he didn’t want a funeral or any type of service. I challenged him. I told him of the “many” studies that have been done about the need for services of some type. The ceremony provides closure I explained. It is most important for children – specifically his five grandchildren I pointed out.

He said he didn’t care. He didn’t want any services of any type. The living, including his grandchildren, could deal with it any way they choose.

He said that six months or so after he was dead and buried, if people remembered who he was, they could have a party in his memory.

That was pretty much the end of our conversation. I learned he told his wife he didn’t want any services. He also told her if she did not follow “his wishes” he would haunt her for the rest of her life.

I thought that only means, there would not be a public service. The immediate family would get together. That is only natural. Right?


While I was waiting for news of the final arrangements, I checked the flight schedules, cleared our calendars, reviewed the clothes we would take, etc.

I talked to family and friends. We shared memories of my bother and soothed each other. Each conversation ended on a good note because we knew we would see each other soon.

When I finally got the details, I learned there will be no services of any type. I didn’t think that meant there would be nothing. No family get together? No, there will no services of any type!

What Benefit Does a Memorial Service Provide?

Steve and I talked about the many funerals or “celebrations of life” as we like to call them, that we have attended. The gathering of friends and family give strength to the ones left behind. Memories are retold. Current events are shared. People get updated. It is all good.

I stopped writing at that point. I was having difficulty articulating what I wanted to express. Then I read the following comment on My Brother Died from Emeri Gent [Em].

“Losing good people is never easy at any time and where a good person is lost, the mark of that person leaves an unfilled space, death cannot take away the goodness, but it does leave a vacuum or a hole.

Death provides love its greatest test, the grief we feel, the tears we shed, the loss that inherits our bones – this is love speaking and you have shared that love – and it is exactly at times of great loss that we become the greatest champions of love.

For those who feel the loss, do so because they are feeling the love – and if we are not numb to that, if we can express that, then in a peculiar way we can remember not simply the brother we have just lost, but the fullness of every ancestor that has passed the flame of love between every generation.

When we are open, we experience the natural humanness of those who come to comfort our pain – but the grieving process is natural also and I find that the private moments in times like this offer us a different type of space, one we can accept as much as we accept the generosity and love of others.” Emeri Gent [Em] 



This event caused Steve and me to talk and make choices. When I die, Steve can have a big party. Not an expensive reception, but an in house gathering. If you can’t make it to the celebration, leave a memory on the obit page. Everyone can get together and rejoice. They can sing as if no one is listening. They can dance as if no one is watching. Live every day as if it were your last.

And The Beat Goes On


Live, love, laugh and be happy. Share your life and your joy with others. Who knows what tomorrow may bring.


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


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My Brother Died


Tuesday mornings will never be the same. That is when my oldest brother and I used to chat on the phone. We carried on that tradition for many years.

During that time, we talked about our lives and our children. We shared the details of their growth, their accomplishments, their everyday lives.

We lived close enough together that we got to attend the momentous occasions; the school plays, graduations (There are more now that graduations start at the kindergarten level.) We got to rejoice at the weddings and college graduations, book reviews, house warmings, baby showers and birthday parties.

Tuesday mornings we talked about the weather, aches and pains, and we laughed or exclaimed about what the kids said. Then we laughed or exclaimed about what the grandkids said.

My brother had a loving wife of 43 years, two lovely daughters, a handsome son, and five outstanding grandchildren.

His greatest passion in life was food. I think every conversation we ever had ended with him talking about food. He waxed and waned about the recipe and how he came to acquire it. Some of his recipes had long stories attached to them about how he had to sweet talk them from the lady who owned them. Of course he promised those Great Dames never to share the recipe she entrusted to him.

He would often tell me how he had to alter a recipe to make it just right. His wife is rather “picky” in her food tastes. He would giggle when he told me he minced certain ingredients into her food to provide the flavor she liked.

His biggest joy was fixing a dish that people enjoyed. His younger daughter always requested macaroni and cheese for her birthday. Mother always got the material gift, but Daddy prepared the meal of choice for each child. That was his personal gift.

When she was grown and had children of her own, my brother said he could not understand why she still requested macaroni and cheese for her birthday. “Because it is so good” I told him. From experience, I can tell you, my brother made the BEST macaroni and cheese in all the land.

My brother had a life time love affair with food. The good part was that he shared that love with everyone he met.

I have two other brothers. I sometimes smile when one will call me and ask about the well being of the other. I suggest that he call his brother. He always says he will.

Today when I called to deliver the news that our brother had died, my little brother said “But I never had a chance to call.”

Do you have any calls you want to make now?

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


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