Monday, December 29, 2008

Thoughts on Time

(on entering a new year)
From everlasting to everlasting
You are God.
For a thousand years in Your eyes
Are as a day just passed
Or as a watch served in the night.
The days which we are given--
In them is seventy years;
Or if there is strength,
Eighty years.
Teach us our days thus to reckon
So that we may obtain a heart of wisdom.
---Moses, from Psalm 90
(translated by C. Marie Byars)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Recycling Tip #783

The sign on the guard tower says, "Welcome to Guantanamo Bay." The handcuffed & terrified men walking in single file wear shirts that say "Fannie Mae Chief", "Freddie Mac Chief", "Bear Stearns,", "AIG", "WaMu Bank", etc. And the happily whistling entrance guard is joyously tossing the "Torture Rules" booklet into the garbage. ---The Philadelphia Daily News Editorial Cartoon; October 3, 2008

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Psalm 130

Man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, he thus flourishes:
The wind blows over it and it is not,
And its own place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
Yahweh's love is with those who revere Him
---David; Psalm 130:15

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Successful Failure

"Failure after long perseverance is much grander than never to have a striving good enough to be called a failure." ---George Eliot [pseudonym for author Mary Ann Evans], Middlemarch (1871-2)

Un-Hidden Talents

"Be true to yourselves; cherish whatever talent you possess, and in using it faithfully for the good of others you will most assuredly find happiness for yourself, and make of life no failure, but a beautiful success." ---Louisa May Alcott; "Happy Women" in The New York Ledger (1868)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Los Ranchos de Deneiros

Here's a fact of southwestern living: if a village or suburb has the name "Farm", "Ranch" or "Rancho" in it, the place, in fact, has no farms or ranches. And real estate there will be mucho expensive. And if a place has "Santa Fe" in the name you will have to have a LOT of "Holy Faith" and a whole lot more pesos to live there! ---Marie Byars

Friday, August 1, 2008

If at First You Don't Succeed

"Flops are part of life's menu, and I've never been a girl to miss out on any of the courses." ---Rosalind Russell (actress) in the New York Herald Tribune (1957)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Getting Serious

It's one thing to take the Bible seriously; it's quite another matter entirely to take yourself seriously!!! ---Marie Byars

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Never Fear

"I am never afraid of what I know." ---Anna Sewell; Black Beauty (1877)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Way I See It #233

"I used to think that going to the jungle made my life an adventure. However, after years of unusual work in exotic places, I realize that it is not how far off I go or how deep into the forest I walk that gives my life meaning. I see that living life fully* is what makes life---anyone's life, no matter where they do or do not go---an adventure." ---Maria Fadiman, National Geographic explorer (from a Starbuck's coffee cup)

*Actually, life in God is where the real adventure and purpose of life are. But if you aren't in Him, this secular substitute is about the best human wisdom there is for a full life.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Anglo/American Humor

Q: When do the Brits celebrate Thanksgiving Day?
A: On the Fourth of July.

Q: How do Aussies get a purse away from a crocodile?
A: Give it a "Yank."

(Considering we pulled their bacon out of the fire in two World Wars & still have far better cuisine, I think we "Yanks" have the last laugh!)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Thoughts on "Joy"

Hi! I am JOY / A fruit of the Spirit;
I come to all Christians / But am often neglected. . .
I dance through creation / And make the stars twinkle
And fill the dry ground / When rain starts to sprinkle. . .
I'm there in all seasons / I love them ALL best.
After a day of hard work / Together we rest. . .
I haunted the Maker / Before He made time;
When all was pronounced good / The pleasure was mine. . .
I bestowed warmth upon earth / At Easter's SON-rise;
I'll escort you to heaven / When someday YOU rise!
---Marie Byars, 1984 (extractions from a longer poem)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

An Erma Bombeck Life*

Nature abhors a vacuum. And so do I. Especially since it's moving time! ---Marie Byars

*Erma Bombeck was a humorist who wrote mostly on the drudgery of household upkeep.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Bad History

Q: Why were the Middle Ages called "the Dark Ages"?

A: Because of all the (k)nights! ---Anonymous

(More) Reasons to Hate SUV's!!!

We already know the $4.00+ gallon-a-gas reason to hate 'em. Here are more: (1) they obnoxiously slow down to .0001 m.p.h. to make a simple right turn around a corner; (2) they take 4.7 minutes to go from 0-15 m.p.h., clogging up traffic behind them waiting to pull out when the light turns green (my 4-cylinder stick shift starts out much faster w/o burning up fuel!); (3) they may not get smashed up as much as a compact in an accident, but they roll easier (and compacts are easier to navigate away from an accident, anyway!). ---Marie Byars

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Desert

"Night comes to the desert all at once, as if someone turned off the light." ---Joyce Carol Oates; "Interior Monologue" (1969)

Common Roots

"There is no king who has not had a slave among his ancestors, and no slave who has not had a king among his." ---Helen Keller; The Story of My Life (1903)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Blind Optimism

"Hilary's [Clinton] nothing if not an optimist: she sees the pantsuit as half full." ---David Letterman; 20 May 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

Higher Education

The faculty members might just as well keep their seats. There'll be no diving for this cigar. . .Well I thought my razor was dull until I heard his [the introducing professor's] speech. . .As I look out over your eager faces, I can readily understand why this college is flat on its back. The last college I presided over, things were slightly different. I was flat on my back. Things kept going from bad to worse, but we all put our shoulders to the wheel, and it wasn't long before I was flat on my back again. " ---Groucho Marx, in his first speech as a new college president in Horse Feathers

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

True Humility

God loves us, not because of who WE are, but because of who HE is. ---Marie Byars

Friday, May 9, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Children are the most delightful pledges of a loving marriage. They are the best wool on the sheep. ---Martin Luther

It is well known that children, according to the ordinary course of things, bear not only the physical appearance of their parents, but also their moral and mental characteristics. ---Martin Luther

In all simplicity, and without any argument, children believe that God is gracious and that there is an eternal life. ----Martin Luther

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Try Something New

Here's a novel thought: how about putting more people with a sociology or cultural anthropology background into the State Department??? ---Marie Byars

Saturday, May 3, 2008


"I could dance with you till the cows come home. On second thought, I'd rather dance with the cows till you came home!" Groucho Marx in Duck Soup

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bane & Woe

Naughty, naughty, Poison Ivy:
Touch my skin and make me hive-y.
Blotchy skin and splotchy face:
Itchy, itchy every place!
Should have looked a little closer,
Maybe purchased from a grocer;
Should have brought a field guide:
Now I've got that stuff inside!
Thought I knew the out-of-doors---
Wandered over hills and moors---
Now I think I'll stay at home:
'Til tomorrow---then I'll roam.
---C. Marie Byars, 1986

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Square Deal

"We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less." ---Teddy Roosevelt; 1904 campaign [good words for this political season]

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Word of Advice

"Never spit into the wind." ---Marie Byars

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

You Musta Been a Beautiful Baby

"There's only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it." ---Chinese Proverb

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Not an Addition

"Every time he opens his mouth, he subtracts from the sum total of human wisdom" ---Teddy Roosevelt; regarding a Civil Service Commission toady [may be applicable to a certain president of our time]

Monday, April 7, 2008


[This is dedicated to Beth, Anna, Andrea & Judy, none of whom blog themselves!]

As for myself, I judge the loss of all one's possessions easier to bear than the loss of a faithful friend. ---Martin Luther

Throughout life, a faithful friend is a very great blessing. . .he can offer help in ordinary dangerous difficulties, but also regarding spiritual temptations. For even though your heart is totally confirmed in the Holy Spirit, there is still a great advantage in having a friend with whom you can talk about religion and from whom you may hear words of comfort. ---Martin Luther

He that has many friends has no friends. ---AEsop

Friday, April 4, 2008

Why a Duck?

[In the Marx Bros. movie Cocoanuts, Groucho is Mr. Hammer, a swindler conducting a Florida land auction. Chico is an idiot savant he hires to make false bids to drive up land prices.]

HAMMER: Do you know what a lot is?
CHICO: Yeah, itsa too much.
HAMMER: I don't mean a whole lot. Just a little lot with nothing on it.
CHICO: Any time you gotta too much, you gotta whole lot. . .
HAMMER: Come here, Rand McNally and I'll explain this thing to you. Now look, this is a map and diagram of the whole Cocoanut section. . .Here's Cocoanut Manor. Here's Cocoanut Heights. That's a swamp; right over there where the road forks, that's Cocoanut Junction.
CHICO: Where have you got Cocoanut Custard?
HAMMER: Why, that's on the forks. You probably eat with your knife, so you wouldn't have to worry about that. . .Now, here's a little peninsula, and here is a viaduct leading over to the mainland.
CHICO: Why a duck?
HAMMER: . . .I say, here is a little peninsula, and here's a viaduct leading over to the mainland.
CHICO: All right. Why a duck?
HAMMER: I'm not playing Ask-Me-Another. I say, that's a viaduct.
CHICO: All right. Why a duck? Why a--why a duck? Why-a-no-chicken?
HAMMER: I don't know why-a-no-chicken. I'm a stranger here myself. All I know is that it's a viaduct. You try to cross over there a chicken, and you'll find out why a duck. It's deep water, that's viaduct.
CHICO: That's why a duck?
HAMMER: Look! Suppose you were out horseback riding and you came to that stream and wanted to ford over there. You couldn't make it. Too deep.
CHICO: But what do you want with a Ford when you gotta horse?
HAMMER: I'm sorry the matter ever came up. All I know is that it's a viaduct.
CHICO: Now look. . .all righta. . .I catcha on to why0a-horse, why-a-chicken, why-a-this, why-a-that. I no catch on to why-a-duck.
HAMMER: I was only fooling. They're going to build a tunnel in the morning. Now, is that clear to you?
CHICO: Yes, everything---except why-a-duck. . .
HAMMER: And then, there's a little clearing there, a little clearing around it. You see that wire fence there?
CHICO: All right. Why-a-fence?
HAMMER: Oh no. We're not going to go all through that again!

BTW: The URL of this blog---that's "why a duck"!!!

Monday, March 31, 2008

The Way I See It #281

"Too many [performing] artists worry that popularity is the same as being 'middle of the road.' I'm much more into the idea that the middle is the highest point. On a map, the center of a mountain is its peak. You need to climb very high to get there." ---Dan Wilson, musician; from a Starbucks coffee cup

Sunday, March 23, 2008


There's nothing quite so sharp as a skinny child's elbow! ---Marie Byars

Monday, March 10, 2008

Happy Easter!

"I AM the the Resurrection and the Life; He who believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live. And whoever lives and believes in Me wil never die." ---Jesus Christ (John 11: 25-26a)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Happy St. Pat's!

"I cannot keep silent. . .so many favors and graces has the Lord deigned to bestow on me in the land of my captivity [Ireland, the first time around]. For after chastisement from God. . .our way is to exalt Him and confess His wonders before every nation under heaven. . .I am imperfect in many things; nevertheless, I want my brethren and kinsfolk to know my nature so that they may perceive my soul's desire." ---The Confessions of St. Patrick (died March 17, A.D. 461)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Educational T.V.

"I find television very educating. Every time someone turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book!" ---Groucho Marx

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

For the "Love" of God!

And now these three things remain: Faith, Hope, and Love. But the greatest of these is Love. ---St. Paul, I Corinthians 13: 13 Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Death Be Not Proud

My mother, Melba, just died on January 12th. She went peacefully in her sleep, releasing her from her dementia (which was actually caused by heart disease, not Alzheimer's). She quite likely had low grade mental issues for many years, from which she is also released. No more on-going physical degradations that came from mini-strokes & a silent heart attack & strained lungs. So I can only say with the poet John Donne, "Death be not proud, though some have called thee might and dreadful, for thou art not so. . .Death, thou, too shalt die!" (Melba liked purple.)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A Pithy Little Richard???

The grass may be greener on the other side, but it's just as hard to mow. ---Little Richard