Goodbye, Mr. Hagman

You really surprised those of us who remembered you first as that loveable Major Nelson, with the beautiful blond Jeanie by your side. And let’s not forget your best buddy, Major Heely, who always seemed to be involved with the misfortunes you found yourself in. Man, what a shock when you changed your personality and became that ruthless, no good, self-centered, J.R. Ewing, on “Dallas”.

Mr. Hagman, I watched “I Dream of Jeanie” in reruns as a kid and then in the 1980s saw “Dallas” as a teenager but seeing in you in two distinct roles confirmed your versatility as an actor. In the latter, you were the oldest child, one of a few heirs to an oil empire, and out for no one else but yourself. You had the beautiful wife, Mrs. Sue Ellen, but seems the only two who could really knock you down were your daddy and momma.

You will be missed, and best remembered as JR Ewing, the scoundrel that you played and that man we loved to hate. I even wore a t-shirt with the infamous question: “Who Shot JR?” Talk about an icon! I think even though your character on the Texas-based series was evil, I believe somewhere in your soul you may have cared maybe a little for your family, maybe. At least your fans will always care for you. Rest in peace, and keep on dreaming.

 As Major Nelson on “I Dream of Jeanie”



 As JR Ewing on “Dallas”


Sent- A Review

Changing your entire lifestyle just because you finally figure out what God really wants you to do can be pretty radical. And uplifting too. Take the Alan Family and Hilary Alan’s written account of how they go from upper middle class in comfortable surroundings to Southeast Asia right after a tsunami has occurred to help for a few years.


Mrs. Alan writes how all the messages were there from God but they went ignored for a long length of time. They just kept ignoring the phone calls and never checked their voice mail nor returned the calls. Seems for approximately three or four years they just led their routine based lives, with great jobs, high achieving children and regular church attendance. God is so patient with us, isn’t He?


The turning point came when the pastor at the Alan’s church asks for volunteers to help with aid to tsunami victims and that’s when Curt, Hilary’s husband, decides to volunteer. Hence, his life changes and he discovers that he was made and meant to minister to others by helping to get the necessary supplies to start lives over again. His business smarts were greatly appreciated. More interesting is that the whole family willingly took the plunge, sold everything, and made the long flight over to Southeast Asia.


Mrs. Alan, you are to be commended for demonstrating the true love of God to others who had the wrong impression via television and movies. Your daughter, son and husband are also to be congratulated for being unselfish and finding peace in what they were always meant to do. High five to you all.

I received this advance copy, which goes on sale February 19, 2013, free in exchange for reviewing it, from Waterbrook Press.

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Returning the Favor

While celebrating my husband’s tenth work anniversary with his employer along with the other long term employees, a subject came up that is becoming more and more common. Seems that one of his bosses is taking care of his dad just as his dad once took care of him. Health issues have forced his fiercely independent father to move in with him and his family so he can be cared for.

The gentleman mentioned that he was just doing what he knew was right. He said makes every effort to maintain his dad’s independence when possible, and to allow him some freedom of choice in various matters. After all his father raised him, loved him, took care of him, so why shouldn’t he do the same for him? Apparently other family members have also tried to intervene and done their best so now it’s his turn.

Today’s society doesn’t necessarily encourage selflessness, as witnessed by the upcoming Black Friday sales and commercials. Seems we are supposed to take what we can get and not worry about what the consequences are. Instant gratification is all that matters. And yet, I can tell by talking to this kind, sweet, person, that he is happiest giving back to the man who gave him life, who taught him some lessons along the growing up path, because he wants to and because he’s doing so out of love.

Trading places with your parent can’t be easy, as they become the child and you the adult in charge of their everyday needs and care. Decisions once made by mom and dad have to be made by you, and that can be hard.  The payback is tremendous; everyone learns valuable lessons in loving one another, that family is important, no matter what the circumstances.  My husband’s boss is a great role model for his own children. Teaching by example. What better way than to show, so that the lesson is understood by one’s actions.

Role reversal is hard on a family especially when the child has to be the parent and the parent the child. The parent becomes the guardian over the adult who raised them, who gave them a chance to live in this world. I can only imagine the stress and worry but at the same time, I can sense the peace of mind and happiness that this man has inside of him. He loves his father so much that he’s making sure that he gets the right care when he needs it. Family first. That’s love. My hand is extended to you, my friend. It’s as if he’s returning the favor, paid in full.

A Christmas Home- A Review

Finding your place in life can be a difficult task, especially when you aren’t completely sure where you belong. For a young man named Todd McCray, this task is even more challenging as he faces a crisis after learning that the animal shelter where has he worked is forced to close and he must look for employment elsewhere. Somehow this is a growing up process not only for Todd, but for his family too.  All of this happens during the Christmas season.

Todd just happens to have some disabilities that the author doesn’t come out mention what they are, but we do know that he can drive and live independently. I would say Todd is very high functioning. His parents, George and MaryAnn, are typical parents of special needs children, both protective and struggling to loosen the parental apron strings, to allow their child to grow, become more capable. I can identify as I have a special needs son myself.

Faced with a couple of job opportunities, working at a dairy farm or training assistant dogs, Todd opts for training dogs. It’s the gift he has been born with. He’s patient, learns from others, and the dogs respond to him and like him.  And another subject comes up that surprises his parents: Todd falls in love.  Todd teaches his parents that letting go is okay, that unless one is allow to try on their own they will never succeed. Even the family dog, Christmas senses this, as he keeps on going, even in his old age. The dog was a gift from Todd to his parents, and I’d say George and MaryAnn gave their son a selfless gift: that of independence, the freedom to choose which path to take, and as Todd put it, to find out “where I belong.”

I received this free copy  from Waterbrook Press in exchange for reviewing it.

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Strange Combination

Most of you have probably read in the newspaper about Disney buying the rights to the “Star Wars” franchise and extending the life of the movies. More sequels!  Now, just imagining the cast of characters is both scary and funny. Who will play who? Will we be able to take the story and characters seriously like we’ve done the past? Come on, diehard fans, speak up!

The scenes that could be created in Disney studios can run amok in one’s mind. Picturing Mickey Mouse as Mickey Solo trying to help his beloved Princess Minnie Leia, and I wonder who’s to take the role of Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi? Let’s not forget the other great butt kicking heroes, Chewbacca and Yoda. I guess the other popular Disney characters such as Goofy, Donald Duck and Daisy would have to step in. Somehow that just doesn’t seem right.

Disney is very talented and imaginative when it comes to producing movies and telling stories, even the not so pretty ones. If you have read the original “The Little Mermaid” you will understand what I mean.  True, Pixar does add a lot of fun and charm and coolness to what they bring to the big screen along with great story telling and of course, memorable lines.

Now from reading the article, Disney picks up with Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Leia. Hmm, is this after Luke has discovered his true heritage, his actual father, Darth Vader (aka Anakin Skywalker) and peace has been restored to the Republic. Wonder what is left to tell? Do we see Han and Leia get married? We already know they love each other. Most of us realized that Luke would continue to be the Jedi he trained to be. So what now?

My only hope that is justice can be done to the already successful movies that Mr. Lucas himself dreamed up over thirty years ago. I hope that he insisted that Disney respect the integrity of the story, the characters, and keep everything flowing smoothly. And may the force be with them, always.

Exercising My Right

Today I stood in line, mentioned to the election volunteer where I lived so that I could be directed the correct table to sign my name.  Proud to show my voter registration card and Driver’s License, I took my ballot and went to the booth to select the candidates I wanted to hire for this next session.

There are individuals who might be skeptical about filling in the ovals after trying to choose the best person for the job, but those are the same ones who will yell the loudest once the election is over. No politician is perfect and in an ideal world every one of them would keep the promises they make and everything would run smoothly. Laughable I know, but that’s what we all want.

Candidates should do their best to keep the promises they make during their campaigns and while in office. Come on, don’t they know their pasts will haunt them in the future with those oh so unflattering mudslinging ads from their opponents? Do they even care? I often wonder if they do or if they see those as free publicity. Probably the latter.

It’s understandable the hesitation that some would be voters may have since they see the end result of each term, before, during and after. Maybe they believe the person they elect isn’t going to make a difference, and their one vote is just useless. Well, you know, I beg to differ.

There are people in other countries who risk their lives just for the privilege to vote. They look at us like we’re nuts for not wanting to vote. I mean, we can without fear of getting hurt and can pick and choose who we want. Other countries just don’t allow such freedoms.

All I can is I voted, I count, and I’m glad I put my two cents in. God Bless America!

Beginning the Madness

The toy catalogs just arrived today with the Sunday newspaper. Oh, and the ever popular “gift idea” catalogs and ads as well. Coupons were included in some in order to entice one to shop early and get the latest toys first, to avoid the hectic scrambling for last minute gifts later. Wow, must be nice to be a company who can afford the glossy ads each week, the ones that come out on the weekdays and weekends. Amazes me the pressure they try exerting on us, that sense of urgency.

I don’t get suckered into the hype. For one, my guys never wanted the latest and greatest toys that arrived on the market. There were occasional exceptions, maybe a stuffed Pokémon when they first hit the shelves, and yes they loved Thomas the Tank Engine. For the most part, they never really had their hands out, begging for everything they saw.

Don’t get me wrong, part of the problem is the media and all the clever placement of ads in just the right slots. Nick Jr. I’m sure is chock full of them as well as other networks that cater to the kids. Let’s not forget some of the cable networks are just as guilty. Money is money and everyone has to make a living. My main concern is where do you stop? The tree doesn’t have to be suffocated with every wish list item. The stockings don’t need to overflow with goodies either.

Children are visual and marketers know this so they create eye catching commercials just for them. The benefits of such and such toy are explained in a short time frame, considering the attention span of the child, and an impression is made. They know what they are doing and they know that mom, dad, and caregiver will constantly hear about the longed for plaything.

To me the best approach is to have your child and other family members sit down and make their lists. Take from those a few things that you’d like to get them. If one thing is kind of pricey, well, don’t go overboard with the rest. Remember you will have to pay off the credit card bill eventually. Definitely hit the sales and use the coupons, and remember some places will take not only their own store coupons but a matching manufacturer one for the same item so you can save a little extra.

There is no need to get stressed out over the amount of money you spend or whether everything on list is purchased. Children need to learn that getting everything all the time is no fun. Nothing left to wish for and get real, how long do they really play with those toys. Other lessons can be learned this time of year and throughout. Giving to others in need is a great one. Although it shouldn’t take the Holidays to remind us to be kind to one another.  For those of

you who believe, bring out that book that was written many, many years ago, and read about that little guy that was born in the manger along with the animals in Bethlehem. To me, He’s the real reason for the season. The gifts we give each other are a reenactment of the world’s largest birthday party. He’s the gift that keeps on giving. Now that’s what I call a gift!