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Signs of Spring

picture of crocus

Ah, Springtime! Such a wonderful and miserable time of year! Here in South Carolina some of our spring flowers are already gone by – crocuses, hyacinths, and some types of daffodil – while other daffodils are blooming, along with forsythia bushes, tulips, and creeping phlox. Many trees are pollinating big-time, a fact of which we allergy sufferers are well aware. The temps are a roller coaster, and we're enjoying much-needed rain. We're getting so much rain lately that it's almost as if the Lord is saying, "Drought, schmought."

Thinking about these signs of spring got me thinking about a dozen assorted signs for your amusement.

One of the dangers of spring's warmer weather is the thinning of the ice, but only if you are not thin yourself, according to this sign.

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This sign is almost illegible, the tree has grown over it so much. I wonder how many hit this bad curve way too fast....

picture of sign

This picture of a sign was taken at a Burger King in the Detroit area.

picture of sign

These three signs leave me scratching my head.

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People seem to delight in disregarding some signs.

picture of sign

Some signs let you know you are not being disregarded.

picture of sign

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This sign conjures up all kinds of weird scenarios in my mind.

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Spring shoppers see some interesting warning signs.

picture of sign

picture of sign

If you see a funny sign, please take a picture of it and send it my way! Also, if you have an idea for a poll for my readers, please write me about it.


"As a slave of God, you can be free from everything else." - Dr. Drew Conley

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Official sign near door: Door alarmed

Hand-printed sign nearby: Window frightened

Shocking Headlines

(I added this post back in after having to rebuild my blog for the second time in several days.)

Imagine my shock to get our newspaper this morning and see the following headline and lead story!

picture of newspaper headline

I really don't know how to react to this. I know that our current administration feels that the present, as well as the past and the future, is no time for happiness. But to come after me in this way just makes me want to scream out, "April Fools!

I recently learned about an online tool with which you can have a lot of fun by generating your own fake newspaper headlines. If you'd like to try it out, head on over to http://www.fodey.com/generators/newspaper/snippet.asp

Here are some headlines you might see out in the future.

Headlines for 2043

Ozone created by electric cars now killing millions in the seventh largest country in the world, California

Spotted Owl plague threatens northwestern United States crops & livestock

Baby conceived naturally ... Scientists stumped

Authentic year 2000 "chad" sells at Sotheby's for $1.6 million

Barack Obama seeks emperorship, but President Chelsea Clinton blocks his move

White minorities still trying to have English recognized as the California's third language

Postal Service raises price of first class stamp to $17.89 and reduces mail delivery to Wednesday only

35 year study: diet and exercise is the key to weight loss

Upcoming NFL draft likely to focus on use of mutants

Massachusetts executes last remaining conservative

George Z. Bush says he will run for President in 2044 if Chelsea declines fifth term

Supreme Court rules punishment of criminals violates their civil rights

Microsoft announces it has perfected its newest version of Windows so it crashes BEFORE installation is completed

Average height of NBA players now nine feet, seven inches

New federal law requires that all nail clippers, screwdrivers, fly swatters, and rolled up newspapers must be registered by January 2046

Congress authorizes direct deposit of illegal political contributions to campaign accounts

IRS sets lowest tax rate at 75%


Do you have a favorite April Fool's trick that you enjoy pulling on friends and family?


"This generation of shepherds will answer for this generation of sheep." - Dr. Clarence Sexton

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Headline: Bear takes over Disneyland in Pooh d'Etat!


picture of will

What have you inherited? Inheritance is far more than what can be listed in a "last will and testament." Some of what makes up our "inheritance" becomes crystal clear when we, as parents, look at our children and see ourselves, our parents, and/or our grandparents in our children's appearance, mannerisms, interests, and personalities. For instance, I've inherited my dad's bizarre sense of humor and have passed it on to my own children. I have also inherited from both of my parents a body with the annoying ability to extract every calorie and every fat gram from every ounce of food that passes through my lips! Some of what we pass on to our children is not fully realized until our children are well into adulthood. Read on....

This past week I was strongly reminded of several other physical traits that get passed on from generation to generation in our family. Our son Mark has given blood frequently over the past ten years. His blood is highly sought after by the blood-letters since he is a universal donor, O-negative. He is fortunate not to have inherited my tendency to vasovagal episodes when giving blood, unlike our daughter Nora who shares the same issues that dear old dad grapples with. However, this past Monday, for the first time, Mark had a reaction to the chlorhexidine gluconate that is now being used to clean the arm before the needle is inserted. His was the same reaction I described in my post medical faux pas, and his arm looks every bit as bad as mine did. The doctor put him on Prednisone for a week to try to throw off the ill effects of the reaction. Poor guy!

For most of my life I have known that type 2 diabetes does not run in my family – it gallops! My great-grandmother had diabetes, as did my grandfather and his nine siblings, as does my mother whose younger sister is officially prediabetic. My extended family is far-flung and has not kept in close contact, and therefore I do not know what is happening in many of their lives. However, last week I heard about the first person I know of in my generation of my great-grandma's family who has now been diagnosed with diabetes. I figure that it's just a matter of time until I become diabetic, but I've been doing everything I can to delay the onset for as long as possible.

These two bits of news got me to thinking about what we inherit. The following jokes poke fun at different aspects of inheritances and heritage.

Inheritance jokes...

A little boy came home from school one day and handed his father his grade card, with nothing but D's and F's on it. Before the father had time to react, the boy asked him, "So tell me, Dad, is it heredity or environment?"


A man died with $30,000 to his name. He wanted to be remembered after he was gone, and his last request was that his wife be sure to buy a nice memorial stone. After everything was done at the funeral home and cemetery, she told her closest friend that there was none of the $30,000 left.

The friend exclaimed, "How can that be?!"

The widow said, "Well, the funeral cost me $6,500. And of course I made a donation to the church. That was $500 in my husband's honor, and I spent another $500, you know, for the wake, the food, etc. The rest went for the memorial stone he insisted on."

The friend asked, "$22,500 for the memorial stone? My word, how big is it?!"

The widow replied, "Three carats."


A math teacher posed this problem, "A wealthy man dies and leaves ten million dollars. One fifth is to go to his wife, one fifth is to go to his son, one sixth to his butler, and the rest to charity. Now, what does each one get?"

The savvy student answered, "A lawyer!"


A woman asks her husband, "Do you love me only because my father died and left me a fortune?"

"Of course not," he says. "I'd love you no matter who left you the money."


Two friends meet in the street. One looked forlorn and almost on the verge of tears. The other man said, "Hey, how come you look like your whole world caved in?"

The sad fellow said, "Well, let me tell you. Three weeks ago, an uncle died and left me forty thousand dollars."

"Well, that's sad about your uncle, but all that money is not bad either."

"Hold on, I'm just getting started. Two weeks ago, a cousin I never knew died and left me eighty-five thousand, free and clear."

"Wow, I'd like that!"

"Last week my grandfather passed away. I inherited almost a quarter of a million from him."

"Then, how come you look so glum?!"

"This week ... nothing yet!"


A highly successful business man wrote in his last will and testament: To my high school teacher, who always told me I'd never amount to anything and whom I promised to mention in my will, "Hi, Mrs. Matthews!"


Besides various physical conditions and the "stuff" found in our last will and testament, there are other important bits of heritage we pass on to our children. What are you seeking to pass on to your children that cannot be quantified in a will? Some people concentrate more on inherited conditions over which they don't have control or on a large inheritance which we've seen lately can take wings and fly away. What values and ideals are you seeking to pass on to your children? It is undeniable that more is caught than is taught.


"Do you ever daydream about what God could do with your life? ... We need Christian dreamers." - Rob Campbell

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"Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt." - Herbert Hoover

Apparently the national debt has been around for quite a while if Hoover was talking about it. He would probably be shocked to know what it has become and to what dizzying heights (or depths) our current leaders are trying to send it!

picture of national debt cartoon


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Have you ever heard of spoonerisms? Or better yet, have you ever uttered a spoonerism inadvertently? A former French student of mine and a long-time ivman reader who knows my love for punning let me know that the Word of the Day this past Monday, March 23, on dictionary.com was "spoonerism." I told him his e-mail had moved one of my posts that had been simmering on a back burner to the front burner. Read on to learn more about spoonerisms....

By definition a spoonerism is a word that describes the unintentional transposition of two sounds within a word or phrase. This transposition usually involves (a) the sounds created by the initial letters of words within a phrase; (b) whole words; or (c) the initial sounds of syllables within one word.


"I just saw a monarch butterfly!"
"I just saw a monarch flutter by!"

"Vulcans do not shoot from the hip, Captain."
"Vulcans do not hoot from the ship, Captain."

The term "spoonerism" was coined around 1900, after the Rev. William Archibald Spooner (1844-1930). He was a distinguished British cleric and scholar who served as Dean and Warden of Oxford's New College for a period of some 40 years but is best known for the many humorous misstatements attributed to him. According to the New College website at Oxford University, Spooner "almost certainly never uttered a 'spoonerism,' but equally certainly had a number of curious verbal traits." In any case, many have insisted that he indeed uttered most of the spoonerisms attributed to him.

Spoonerisms are linguistic flip-flops that turn "a well-oiled bicycle" into "a well-boiled icicle" and other ludicrous ways speakers of English get their "mix all talked up." It is said that Spooner once addressed a group of farmers as "ye noble tons of soil," queried after a university official by asking "Is the bean dizzy?" and admonished a student because he had "tasted two worms" and "hissed all my mystery lectures."

English is a fertile soil for spoonerisms, as author and lecturer Richard Lederer points out, because our language has more than three times as many words as any other – over 618,000 and growing at 450 a year. Consequently, there's a greater chance that any accidental transposition of letters or syllables will produce rhyming substitutes that still make sense – well, sort of.... A word of caution – I do not advise one's attempting to develop a habit of doing spoonerisms since some can be quite embarrassing or even vulgar.

Some of the best known "tips of the slung" attributed to the Rev. Spooner...

fighting a liar – lighting a fire
cattle ships and bruisers – battle ships and cruisers
nosey little cook – cosy little nook
a blushing crow – a crushing blow
our queer old Dean – our dear old Queen
we'll have the hags flung out – we'll have the flags hung out
our shoving leopard – our loving shepherd
a half–warmed fish – a half–formed wish

Some spoonerisms others have made...

know your blows – blow your nose
go and shake a tower – go and take a shower
nicking your pose – picking your nose
a lack of pies – a pack of lies
sealing the hick – healing the sick
pit nicking – nit picking
wave the sails – save the whales
chipping the flannel on TV – flipping the channel on TV
I'm shout of the hour – I'm out of the shower
lead of spite – speed of light
I hit my bunny phone – I hit my funny bone
bedding wells – wedding bells
I must mend the sail – I must send the mail
It crawls through the fax – It falls through the cracks
Would you like a nasal hut? – Would you like a hazel nut?

Here's a story where the final barb of the pun-chline is a spoonerism:

Once there was a horse that was in agony. Several birds were building nests in his mane and nothing he did would make them stop. The noise and activity were driving the horse crazy. So, he decided to see the wise old owl for help. The old owl told him to go home and put some yeast in his mane and all would be well.

The horse thought this was a bit nutty, but out of desperation, he did what the owl told him.

The next morning the mane was completely clear of nests. The very surprised horse trotted excitedly to the owl's house.

When asked why the yeast worked, the owl replied, "Horse, don't you know that yeast is yeast and nest is nest and never the mane shall tweet?"



"When you pull out the gospel thread, a believer's life unravels." - Dr. Drew Conley

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"Noah's stock was floating high while everyone else in the world was in liquidation." - Les Ollila

Happiness Is….

picture of smiley face

What is happiness to you? It seems to me that the more people seek for happiness, the more discontented they are. I read somewhere that if we stopped trying to be happy, we would probably enjoy life more. Dr. Bob Jones Sr. is credited with saying, "Happiness is not found by looking for it. You stumble over happiness on the road to duty."

Recently I received an e-mail about a happiness kit. When I saw it, I knew immediately that I wanted to share it on my blog.

Employee Happiness Kits Now Available


All personnel will now be required to look happy while working. We will provide the supplies to each employee at no cost.

    Workloads getting to you?
    Feeling stressed?
    Too many priorities and assignments?
    Worried about pending layoffs?

Here is the new low-cost, company-approved solution to cope with multiple priorities and assignments.

Each employee will be supplied 2 paper clips and 2 rubber bands. (See Fig 1.)

Fig 1.

picture of kit supplies

Assemble items as shown in Fig 2.

Fig 2.

picture of supplies assembled

Apply as shown in Fig 3.

Fig 3.

kit in applied

Be sure to stop by the front desk to pick up your supplies. Enjoy your day. This new office equipment will help you to reach the end of a productive work day with a smile on your face! 😀


Even though that may have brought a smile to your face, we all know that a fake smile on the face is not an indication of a happy heart. Here's a story about happiness.

A 92-year-old man, who was fully dressed, clean-shaven and hair perfectly coiffed moved to our nursing home today. His appearance was all the more remarkable when I considered that he is legally blind. His wife of 70 years had recently passed away, making the move necessary. After having to wait for a long time in the lobby, he smiled sweetly when I told him his room was ready.

As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet curtains that had been hung on his window.

"I love it," he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.

"But Mr. Smith, you haven't even seen the room yet – just wait."

"That doesn't have anything to do with it," he replied.

"Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged ... it's how I arrange my mind. I have already decided to love it.

"It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice – I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or I can get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.

"We convince ourselves that life will be better after we finish school, get married, have a baby, then another....

"Then we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough and say we'll be more content when they are. After that we're frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with; we'll certainly be happy when they are out of that stage.

"We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, are we able to go on a nice vacation, or when we retire.

"The truth is, if you're not going to be happy now, then when? Your life will always be filled with challenges. It's best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway.

"Happiness is the way, not the end. Treasure every moment that you have, and treasure it all the more if you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time with. And remember that time waits for no one, so don't you wait either!

"So, stop waiting....

until your car or home is paid off

until you get a new car or home

until your kids leave the house

until you go back to school

until you finish school

until you lose 10 lbs.

until you gain 10 lbs.

until you get married

until you have kids

until vacation

until you have grandkids

until you retire

until you die

"Young lady, there is no better time to be happy than right now. Happiness is a journey, not a destination."


picture of Spot a tot button

This week is our annual Bible Conference on campus. The gang at Creative Services on campus is sponsoring a fund-raiser for the Bible Conference offering. They've come up with a collection of buttons they're selling. Oh my! 😳 You can check them out at http://wiiiju.com If you would like to watch any of the messages live via streaming video online, here's the link to that - Bible Conference 2009

Our grandson Drew is usually a happy little guy. He recently got to meet Curious George at Barnes & Noble. Drew enjoyed high-fiving George.

picture of Megan, Drew, and Curious George

Megan and a good friend took their boys to McDonald's recently for lunch. They thought they'd let them try out the play area for their first time. They are both still a little young and didn't attempt much climbing, but they enjoyed it in their own way.

picture of Drew and Joey on slide

It doesn't take much to make little ones happy, does it? Maybe it's because at that age their expectations are lower than they are later in life. What advice do you give to unhappy people?


"Discontent is rooted in unbelief.... We bring God glory when we are content with what He is and does." - Dr. Jim Berg

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A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour. (My wife has asked me to remember this....) 😀