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E-mail Promises

E-mail can certainly be a blessing or a bane, can't it? A lot of my readers enjoy reading my blog posts by e-mail - which I hope is a blessing most of the time. One of the banes of that for me, though, is that most of those readers rarely, if ever, visit the blog itself.

When I first started posting my iv's to the blog instead of sending them out by e-mail, I still sent an e-mail reminding people that I had posted something new. That little blessing became a bane to me when I started receivning literally hundreds of bounces each time I sent the reminders. Those who actually received the e-mails, would visit the blog, and would make frequent comments to the blog posts. That was great fun for me and for the other readers.

When I learned that FeedBurner had the capability of sending the entire blog post by e-mail, it was a great option, with no bounces to deal with - but the comments have nearly dried up! I'd like to remind those of you who receive the e-mail version that there are several links in the e-mail itself that will take you right to the blog or the blog post. The words "latest post to ivman's blague" in the body of the e-mail are a link to the blog. Clicking on the title of the post (in this case - "e-mail promises") will take you the post itself ... and the comment section is right at the bottom of the post, just waiting for you to add yours! 😀 Also in the footer of the e-mail is a link to the blog - just be careful not to click on the link to unsubscribe yourself.

Sorry to whine, but I'd like to get some fun feedback from this whole iv thing. Anyway, on to today's iv - a 12-step program for compulsive e-mail forwarders....

THE FORWARDER'S 12-STEP PROGRAM (feel free to pass this on to needy friends...)

OK, everyone say the following with me...

1. I will NOT get bad luck, lose my friends, or lose my mailing lists if I don't forward an e-mail.

2. I will NOT hear any music or see a dancing dog, if I do forward an e-mail.

3. Bill Gates is NOT going to send me money and Victoria's Secret doesn't know anything about a gift certificate they're supposed to send me, if I do forward an e-mail.

4. Ford will NOT give me a 50% discount, even if I forward my e-mail to more than 50 people.

5. I will NEVER receive gift certificates, coupons, or freebies from Coca Cola, Cracker Barrel, or anyone else if I send an e-mail to 10 people.

6. I will NEVER see a pop-up window if I forward an e-mail ... NEVER ... EVER!

7. There is NO SUCH THING as an e-mail tracking program, and I am not dumb enough to think that someone will send me $100 for forwarding an e-mail to 10 or more people!

8. There is NO kid with cancer through the Make-a-Wish program in England collecting anything! He did when he was 7 years old. He is now cancer free and 35 years old and DOESN'T WANT ANY MORE POST CARDS or GET-WELL CARDS.

9. The government does not have a bill in Congress called 901B (or whatever the e-mail creator named it this week) that, if passed, will enable them to charge us 5 cents for every e-mail we send.

10. There will be NO cool dancing, singing, waving, colourful flowers, characters, or program that I will receive immediately after I forward an e-mail. NONE, ZIP, ZERO, NADA!

11. The American Red Cross will NOT donate 50 cents to a certain individual dying of some never-heard-of disease for every e-mail address I send this to. The American Red Cross RECEIVES donations.

12. And finally, I will NOT let others guilt me into forwarding e-mails by telling me that if I don't forward their e-mail, I am not their friend, that I don't care about people, or that I don't really love the Lord!

but you promised....

Is that a picture of Rob the ivman waiting for comments to the blog?) :-)

Having our daughter Megan and grandson Drew here this week has been a lot of fun, but as always happens - the week seems to have evaporated! And what a week for our digital camera to go haywire!!! Never fear ... Megan brought hers and is a scrapbooker, and some will recall that we lovingly call our daughter Nora the "baby paparazzi." So we've been anything but deprived of digital images! 😀

I'll describe briefly some of the highlights of the week. One evening we went strawberry picking. Here are a few shots from that.

Our personal favorite for berry picking is Sandy Flat Berry Patch...

we *love* Sandy Flat

Nora got this picture of the rest of us, posing nicely...

berry pickers

Drew looks like he's wild about strawberries, which is not at all the case...

our little guy is indeed the berries

We think he's the berries, though!

We enjoyed a nice afternoon at the Greenville Zoo on Tuesday. Nora brought the three pre-schoolers she nannies, and we all had a nice time with pleasant weather.

Here are a few pictures from that adventure...

Megan and Drew by the zoo sign

Here's a shot of Nora and her charges...

Nora and kids

Drew wasn't sure he wanted to sit on the bear's back, and tears started to well up in his eyes...

he could hardly bear it


"You can't live both devoted to sin and wanting deliverance from it." - Dr. Drew Conley

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Some people don't get even. They just get odder.

The Husband Store

Well, wedding season is already in full swing. Since we are in a university context, we are invited to many weddings. This past week we had two weddings - one Tuesday evening where I sang in a duet, and one Friday afternoon - the wedding of a teaching colleague.

We're excited for all these young couples as they begin their lives together, but we're also saddened to learn of some young couples who are working through marital problems. I believe that most if not all problems in marriage have their root in selfishness on the part of one or both spouses. I think some of the problems stem from unrealisitic expectations - expecting that any one human can be your source of happiness.

Today's iv is a light-hearted look at this issue.

The Husband Store

A store that sells husbands has just opened in New York City, where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates:

You may visit the store ONLY ONCE! There are six floors and the attributes of the men increase as the shopper ascends the flights. There is, however, a catch ... you may choose any man from a particular floor, or you may choose to go up a floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building! So, a woman excitedly goes to the Husband Store to find herself the perfect husband....

On the first floor the sign on the door reads:
Floor 1 - These men have jobs and love the Lord.

The second floor sign reads:
Floor 2 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, and love kids.

The third floor sign reads:
Floor 3 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, and are extremely good looking.

"Wow," she thinks, "I should probably stop here!" But she feels compelled to keep going.

She goes to the fourth floor and reads the sign:
Floor 4 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, are drop-dead good looking and help with the housework.

"Oh, my goodness!" she exclaims, "I can hardly stand it!"

Still, she goes to the fifth floor and sign reads:
Floor 5 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, are drop-dead gorgeous, help with the housework, and have a strong romantic streak.

She is so tempted to stay, but she goes on up to the sixth floor where the sign reads:

Floor 6 - You are visitor 4,363,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that some women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store. Watch your step as you exit the building, and have a nice day!

The Wife Store

There is actually also a Wife Store, right across the street from the Husband Store. It works the same way as the Husband Store - it also has 6 floors, you can enter only once, and there is only one direction to go.

The doors read:

Floor 1 - These women are beautiful.

Floor 2 - These women are beautiful and have money.

What is on the other floors, nobody knows. No man has ever gone past the second floor!


Megan and Drew arrived safe and sound shortly after noon on Saturday. Drew did very well on his first flight. We decided to surprise Nora by celebrating her birthday a month and a half early since we wouldn't all be together on her actual birthday. That's about the only way we could ever surprise her. :-) Here she is blowing out the candles on her keylime cheesecake....

Nora blowing out her candles

Of course Becka enjoyed having our three kids and our grandson here for Mother's Day. Here's a picture of our little guy on our kitchen floor this morning. I'm sure there will be more pictures to share later this week.

Drew playing on the kitchen floor

The house wrens have been busily filling the bird house with sticks. Here's what things looked like inside the house this morning....

the nest the wrens are building

Here's what this bit of "prime real estate" looks like from the outside...

local prime real estate

Who says there's a housing crisis?!?


"There are five Gospels: Matthew Mark, Luke, John, and the Christian, and some people will never read the first four." - Irish evangelist Gypsy Smith

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Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.

Kid Speak

The other day, a friend and I were exchanging the latest news on each of our respective first grandchildren. Her granddaughter is talking a little, but not everything is comprehensible. This next week we'll find out what our little guy can say now. He jabbers a lot, but not many understandable words. This friend was telling me about a little boy in her family who was recently at the beach. His mom put a tank top on him so that he didn't get badly sunburned. He'd never worn a tank top before, and his comment was "Shirt broke!"

This got me to thinking about all the cute things our kids said when they were little - things like Megan's being upset about the dirt on her "hand-elbows" (knuckles) or Nora's requesting "a Nora-spoon" - leaving us scratching our heads as to what was wanted. She was trying to tell us she wanted a metal spoon, not plastic, since she could see herself in the metal spoon. When Mark was little, he was obsessed with getting big. One day Becka asked him if he'd like a little milk, to which he indignantly replied, "No, I want BIG milk!" I'm sure your kids have said some great things too. Please post some as comments.

I'd like to post one last thing related to Mother's Day this week. Today's iv is focused on the child's side of the equation. Several of the short quips highlight some cute things children are reported to have said, and several relate some heart-warming things kids have said.


While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, a woman used to take her four-year-old daughter on her afternoon rounds. The child was unfailingly intrigued by the various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers, and wheelchairs. One day the mother found her daughter staring at a set of false teeth soaking in a glass.

As she braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions about the dentures, she was surprised when her daughter merely turned and whispered, "The tooth fairy will never believe this!"


A couple had spent the day moving from their farmhouse into their new house in town. They were too tired to try to meet neighbors on moving day and collapsed into bed late that night.

Very early the next morning, their 3 year old ran into their bedroom to wake them up. The mother dressed him and told him to play in the yard and to let them sleep. About 20 minutes later, he came running back. "Mommy, Mommy," he exclaimed, "everybody has doorbells - and they all work."


Finding one of her students making faces at others on the playground, Mrs. Smith stopped to reprove the child gently. Smiling sweetly, the teacher said, "Bobby, when I was a child, I was told that if I made ugly faces, it would freeze and stay like that."

Bobby looked up and replied, "Well, Mrs. Smith, you can't say you weren't warned."


Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child. The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

When his mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing. I just helped him cry."


Teacher Debbie Moon's first graders were discussing a picture of a family. One little boy in the picture had a different color hair than the other family members. One child suggested that he was adopted and a little girl said, "I know all about adoptions because I was adopted."

"What does it mean to be adopted?" asked another child.

"It means," said the girl, "that I grew in my mommy's heart instead of her tummy."


A little 10 year old named Sarah was born with a muscle missing in her foot and must wear a brace all the time. She came home one beautiful spring day to tell that she had competed in her school's "field day." Because of her leg support, her father's mind raced as he tried to think of some encouragement for Sarah - things he could say to her about not letting this get her down. But before he could get a word out, she said, "Daddy, I won two of the races!"

The father couldn't believe it! But before he could say anything, she continued, "I had an advantage."

Ah, ha - he knew it - he thought she must have been given a head start ... some kind of physical advantage. But again, before he could say anything, she said, "Daddy, I didn't get a head start. My advantage was I had to try harder!"


In New York City, on a cold day in December a little boy about 10 years old was standing before a shoe store, barefooted and peering through the window, shivering with cold. A lady approached the boy and said, "My little fellow, why are you looking so earnestly in that window?"

"I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes," was the boy's reply.

The lady took him by the hand, went into the store, and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her. She took the little guy to the back part of the store, removed her gloves, knelt down, washed his feet, and dried them with a towel. By this time the clerk had returned with the socks. After placing a pair of socks on the boy's feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes. She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him. As they turned to leave the store, she said, "Well, little fellow, are you more comfortable now?"

The astonished lad caught her by the hand, and looking up in her face with tears his eyes, answered her question with another question, "Are you God's wife?"


"To handle yourself well, use your head. To handle others well, use your heart." - Eleanor Roosevelt

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People who say they sleep like a baby obviously don't have one.

Mom’s dictionary

In preparation for Mother's Day, I thought it might be good to share some words from "Mom's dictionary."

Mom's dictionary

airplane - What Mom impersonates to get a 1-year-old to eat strained beets

alien - What Mom would suspect had invaded her house if she spotted a child-sized creature cleaning up after itself

amnesia - A condition that enables a woman who has gone through labor to have a baby again

apple - Nutritious lunchtime dessert that children will often trade for cupcakes

baby -

    1. Mom's youngest child
    2. Dad, when he gets a cold

bathroom - a room used by the entire family and believed (by all except Mom) to be self-cleaning

"because" - Mom's reason for making kids do things or not do things which can't be explained logically

bed and breakfast - Two things the kids don't like to make for themselves

bottle feeding - An opportunity for Daddy to get up at 2 a.m. too

carpet - Expensive floor covering used to catch spills and clean mud off shoes

car pool - Complicated system of transportation where Mom always winds up going the farthest, with the biggest bunch of kids who have had the most sugar

China - Legendary country reportedly populated by children who love leftover vegetables

cook -

    1. Act of preparing food for consumption
    2. Mom's other name

date - Infrequent outings with Dad, where Mom can enjoy worrying about the kids in a different setting

defense - What you'd better have around de yard if you're going to let de children play outside

drinking glass - Any carton or bottle left open in the fridge

drooling - How teething babies wash their chins

dumbwaiter - One who asks if the kids would care to order dessert

ear - A place where kids store dirt

eat - What kids do between meals, but not at them

energy - Element of vitality kids always have an oversupply of until asked to do something

family planning - The art of spacing your children the proper distance apart to keep you on the edge of financial disaster

feedback - The inevitable result when the baby doesn't appreciate the strained carrots

full name - What you call your child when you're mad at him

garbage - A collection of refuse items, the taking out of which Mom assigns to a different family member each week, then winds up doing herself

geniuses - Amazingly, all of Mom's children

grandparents - The people who think your children are wonderful even though they're sure you're not raising them right

gum - Adhesive for the hair

hamper - A wicker container with a lid, usually surrounded by, but not containing, dirty clothing

Handi-Wipes - Pants, shirtsleeves, drapes, etc.

hearsay - What toddlers do when anyone mutters a dirty word

independent - How we want our children to be as long as they do everything we say

look out! - What it's too late for your child to do by the time you scream it

prenatal - When your life was still somewhat your own

prepared childbirth - A contradiction in terms

puddle - A small body of water that draws other small bodies wearing dry shoes into it

show off - A child who is more talented than yours

sterilize - What you do to your first baby's pacifier by boiling it and to your last baby's pacifier by blowing on it

storeroom - The distance required between the supermarket aisles so that children in shopping carts can't quite reach anything

temper tantrums - What you should keep to a minimum so as to not upset the children

top bunk - Where you should never put a child wearing Superman jammies

two-minute warning - When the baby's face turns red and she begins to make those familiar grunting noises

verbal - Able to whine in words

whodunit - None of the kids that live in your house

whoops - An exclamation that translates roughly into "get a sponge"


This first week of summer "vacation" is busier than last week! I started my summer job today at IT Help Desk on campus - work I really enjoy. This evening I had a wedding rehearsal - I'm the lower voice in two duets at the wedding tomorrow evening of a young lady I've known since she was a toddler. We're also trying to get ready for the arrival of our daughter Megan and grandson Drew this Saturday for a week's stay - our son-in-law's Mother's Day gift to Megan and to Becka.


"There's no news that is news to God." - Dr. Drew Conley

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If a mute swears in sign language, does his mother wash his hands with soap?

Classical Gas?

Because of my general fatigue and busy-ness, I'm going to "cop out" and post a mainly pictorial iv. I've received three different e-mails lately about gasoline, a subject on the minds of many right now. This post is a look at the issue from several angles....

It's not news that gasoline prices have gone up dramatically and are not likely to return to levels we'd like. Here's a sobering reality...

gas price compared to Coke price

At least the prices aren't yet as high as the sign below!

sky high gas prices

It's often good to laugh at things that could otherwise make you weep. Here a few funny things about gas prices....

you would cry if you did not laugh

you would cry if you did not laugh

One e-mail I received showed things that people may end up doing to cope with high gas prices. Here are some of those....

coping with high gas prices

coping with high gas prices

coping with high gas prices

coping with high gas prices

coping with high gas prices

Another e-mail was a nostalgic look at old time service stations.

old timey gas station

old timey gas station

old timey gas station

old timey gas station

old timey gas station

old timey gas station

old timey gas station

old timey gas station

old timey gas station

old timey gas station

old timey gas station

old timey gas station

old timey gas station

old timey gas station

old timey gas station

Ah, gone are the days....

I was able to complete my semester grades before leaving my office yesterday. Phew! Graduation is this Saturday morning. It's always a joy and a sorrow to see my former students graduate - a joy because they're moving on to what they've been preparing for and a sorrow because I hate to see the departure of people I've grown to love.

The picture I posted Monday afternoon was the last picture of this nest of chickadees. When I got home Tuesday afternoon, I saw that the bird house was empy and the old nest had been cleaned out and was all over the red raspberry bushes under the bird house.

Chickadee nest remains on raspberries below

The bird house had four sticks in it, and we saw house wrens coming and going from the bird house that evening. Below is a picture of the results of their work in the past two days of nest building...

house wren nest started

More updates as the process continues....


"Every one of us is passionate about something." - John Daulton

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A pessimist is a man who looks both ways before crossing a one-way street.