Identity theft

According to the Federal Trade Commission FTC is also known as you or someone you know may have experienced some form of identity theft. The crime takes many forms. Identity thieves may rent an apartment, obtain a credit card or establish a telephone account in your name. You may not obtain information about the theft until you review your credit report or credit card statement and the charges did not notice, or until contact a debt collector. When I read that sentence that really made me think how serious this is and the negative effect this could have on my family and me.

As a mortgage broker who know well the value of having great credit, guess what suffers most when they steal your identity That the right of your credit. Imagine what is on the job, you get a call from his wife that the doctor's office because she has felt a bit over time, she screams into the phone I'm pregnant as well as your audience coming back, adds It's twins This is really good news that you and your wife trying to get a baby in the last 10 months, while you were thinking of the twins, that is an added bonus, because you and your wife had plans two children. And you are considering pregnancy syndrome a set of crazy pregnant wife and all that it implies that you know what I mean mood swings, swelling of feet and 200 a.m. desires that you have to drive all over town trying night to find a Krispy Kreme Donut Shop. But at the end of all that two children, done. So make plans for dinner to celebrate, to fly a kiss, hang up, and try to return to work. nearly impossible, your mind is racing with all the things that will change. At dinner that night you and your wife laugh, cheered and had a great dinner without alcohol. After dessert, his wife informs him that his car 2seater that I love you because it makes you look cool to be replaced by a minivan. It's a good thing I already had dinner. But console yourself thinking that you will get an SUV instead. She continues We have to get a larger home This is consistent with and suggest looking this weekend.

We will forward a couple of months his wife are from and after many weekends of driving with your real estate agent who thinks that every home that shows you is perfect for you, you finally find one that is. You make an offer accepted you and your signing the contract that every body is happy all the real estate agent long ago. Not quite, you still have to get a mortgage. But this is no big thing you have great credit, been in the same job since college more than 6 years making good money. His only concern is that the mortgage should be. It takes a day off to go with his wife to see their local banker who greets you by your name to insist that he calls her by name and he agrees to discuss how his wife is illuminated. On your desktop, explains the purpose of the visit and give the contract to your new home. He gives a form to obtain basic information you need to start the process. One of the spaces on the form, your social security number and consent to pull your credit card to fill out and sign and return back to it. He takes it with a smile and start banging away on your computer. You turn to your wife who can not wait to leave to go get new furniture to assure you will not be long then your banker calls you smiling by his surname, and smile more. He proceeds to tell you not to be able to get a home mortgage or any other home. Because not only is your credit score ridiculously low, but according to your credit report that already has a house that took out a loan secured against it and not paying. I know this story sounds far fetched but I do not think I can not tell you how many times I've seen this kind of thing happens and how it can destroy a person.

Pepper Spray - The ultimate weapon for the modern woman of today

Incidents of theft, robbery and theft fill the newspapers and the media every day. Authors signs of weakness in the victim and then make your move in dark alleys and deserted parking lot. Although it is always best to avoid being alone in those places, there are times when you can not avoid being alone. You obviously can not make sure someone accompanies you all the time.

Statistics say that women are assaulted more often than men and lower level of resistance is anticipated. A quarter of women reported being sexually assaulted in college and about half know that the offender before a friend or acquaintance. The numbers are not as bad for men, but unless you are trained in combat can not prevent an attack on their own.

Among the various self defense products on the market that pepper spray is one of the easiest to use. It is also a product that allows enough time to escape without damage permanently the perpetrator. Disguised as a product that looks suspicious, pepper spray comes in the form of a can, a keychain, a lipstick and similar products can be carried without arousing suspicion.

Pepper spray contains Oleoresin Capsicum or OC as it is commonly known. The spray is calibrated on the basis of the intensity and the amount of CO present in the can and is measured in Scoville unit.

When used pepper spray on someone you can expect intense bouts of coughing and choking. This loosens the grip of the perpetrator if they are holding on to you. Alternatively, the attacker will slow, which gives enough time to run and a disappearance. For making more effective, try to aim the spray to the height so that eye irritation can keep the attacker busy for a while.

National Guard and Reserve spouses - Hope Springs Eternal

Your spouse reservist is gone again, and being a single mom was tough. Anything can be a crisis of not being able to locate the tape from the hair of his daughter of her cheerleader uniform ten minutes before the game, frankly threatening events. Example You have been diagnosed with stress-related singles and after a week of seclusion at home to leave in your car to run some errands with one of his teenage daughters who just fights with his sister about whose boyfriend is the biggest idiot.

As you stand at a stoplight on the way home, he begins to shed the rain and tells her daughter that it is better to get home by car, because the crazy people in time. At the same time a pizza delivery vehicle reaches the car behind you, creating a chain collision with you in the center. After hours in the emergency room, you discover that only a whiplash, and a car crashed on.

They talk about having a bad day. Where is your wife In Kuwait.

That was the situation faced recently by Brian Myatt Clovis, CA, who works night shift as an airplane mechanic, while his wife, Lisa Myatt of AVCRAD SFC 1106th was deployed in the Middle East. So, in general, how are handling all this

There's always a crisis in progress, and all I can do is take one at a time and deal with them as best I can, said Brian Myatt. With the help and support of her mother, godmother of his daughter and his wife, the support group of family unity, the fields of Brian problems as they come.

As the Guard  Reservist spouses go, Brian is a little unusual because of their gender, but not their attitude. Tylitha Paden, Terrance L. wife of SFCPaden of New Mexico National Guard, said that while her husband was deployed to Iraq, the Albuquerque salon she owns, in addition to talk to God, work, and not to think, and Friday night Cinema , helped him cope. Annie S. Williams, Huntsville, AL, wife of Maj. Michael D. Williams, who spent 10 months in Kuwait, it also recognizes that prayer and the interests of his daughter with maintaining their constant and busy, I filled my time with extra-curricular activities ... Gymnastics, dance, Kindermusik, piano , children's choir.

Hope H

If anything characterizes tight spouses of Guard members and reservists, which is hope. These are people whose emotional attention is the size of a mailbox, for whom You've Got Mail is the world's sweetest music. Communication, like the older definition of faith becomes for them the substance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Hope alone is not enough. But the rest of the letters of the acronym HOPE demonstrate how these spouses - and experts who analyze such spouses - can advise others on how to thrive in the deployment of a guard or fellow reservist.

Or order

For Williams, life is more manageable when sorted. While many spouses swear to keep a calendar countdown of days until the deployment is over, Williams soon abandoned because the time seemed to pass more slowly. But she kept her husband's memory alive in the minds of his daughter by the constant sending and receiving pictures, talking on the phone, and watch videos of past family events, when her husband and daughter interacted.

In the absence of presence, so to speak, sometimes something as simple as senseless and numbering the cards can be comforting. You can not control what happens where her husband is, says Ask April advice columnist April Masini deployed spouses, but you can have in your life and your writing on a regular basis, if you hear it and the numbering of the envelopes and letters to let you know if it was lost or not.

To Myatt and Williams, who is an elementary school teacher, often meant to maintain law and order ahead of chaos. Each had previously relied on their spouses to help get children to school and extracurricular activities while maintaining their own full-time employment. Rearranging schedules and enlist the help of friends and relatives worked for them, but others are not so lucky. While many studies examine the cost of career and financial implementation of a guardsman or reservist, which is often overlooked is how many spouses to compromise their own jobs and careers to support military wives, says Dr. James A. Martin, Col., U.S. Army (Ret.), a professor at Bryn Mawr College and the senior social work in the theater of operations in the Persian Gulf during the first Gulf War. Requirements for child care when a spouse is deployed is an example where civilian employers need to be more understanding.

P is for Pro-Active

Without doubt - you have a deployed spouse is stressful. Texas Myatt and persistent skin rashes Paden join what experts say are other symptoms of separation anxiety, which include loss of appetite or eating constantly, unexplained weight gain or loss, stomach pain, and altered sleep patterns. Axiomatic Some guard and reserve deployment is financial and career uncertainty, with the nerves that accompany the statistical implications rattle third of deployed personnel must have a pay cut to complete their service obligations and long-term away from home.

And then there's the toll on marriages and relationships. Dr. Walter Schumm, a retired colonel in the Army Reserve who is now professor of Family Studies at Kansas State University, says that no research largely on marital satisfaction in terms of implementation, but overturns the myth that only weak marriages crumble under a scenario like the one we saw in Desert Storm. He cites a study that showed a divorce rate of 21% and 6% of stable marriages at risk during implementation.

For those who seem to be coping well with the implementation, Schumm cites a recent study at Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth showing that the spouse was directed frustration over the circumstances that their soldier, noting that were not happy campers, but were not directly blame their husbands for her. However, Sometimes couples fight a lot before deployment almost as a way to make the separation easier, he says. He warns that such emotional outbursts are sometimes irrecoverable, and is related to heartbreaking stories of women angry with the uncertainty of the deployments of their husbands who said or did things that hurt - with tragic results.

Schumm good news is that while long separations are more stressful, the implementation may have been repeated a positive impact. The spouses learn how to cope with the experience (number of implants), but not their spouses being gone for so long (many months).

Experts are unanimous about the salutary effect of connectivity as an essential element to keep the home fires burning mental health during deployment - to liaise with spouses, family, with clubs and groups faith with someone who is a positive and helpful influence. For the near bases and  or large communities, such help is great. But even in rural areas can benefit from programs like Kids military operation that allied organizations such as 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs, and local extension services country to meet the needs of the children of the guards and deployed reservists who would otherwise fall through the cracks.

In addition to the local community support, a robust online community that exists in cyberspace. Just do a Google search on the phrase military spouse, 'says Martin. There are many military spouses support each other in the Internet community.

Proactivity may require creativity. When her husband was deployed for the first time, Paden Tylitha could not find yellow ribbons, so hand some of the cars, a move that led to new friends and supporters who wanted to tape as well. She put her experience with multiple deployments of her husband to good use by sending advertisements offering assistance for spouses of soldiers deployed through the local Churches of Christ in your area and created their own city in the whole group support. She felt alone (after 24 years of marriage, I felt like my other half was gone - and he was, says Paden) so the packages sent overseas to men and women overseas who felt lonely too .

E is for expectations

One of the most difficult facets of managing the hope is the element of expectation. For some Guard members and reservists who may have signed a little arrogant for what they believed was the duty of occasional weekend warrior with a potential for a national deployment of short-term, taking orders for Iraq was something that mentally had not signed it. The warning was the deployment, which shook the spouses, too, to the bones.

However, knowing what to expect can be an advantage, says Dr. Benjamin Z. Blanding, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and a clinical psychologist and director of the Counseling Center at Rowan University. He calls the deployment and return of the two extremes of life in transition that are the most critical stress points. Knowing that most people manage the time between these events quite well, Blanding says, can help relieve the last event - after all, if your spouse has already been implemented, and time is easier separation of the three , then you can concentrate on de-emphasizing the meeting time.

The deployment is also the time that a spouse can give the soldier's mental and emotional free pass as columnist Macini. Remember that no one knows exactly what is happening there, and he can focus on things that are telling you.'s Probably not about you.

The delicate balance between the need and independence is difficult to maintain. Annie Williams advises You must have faith. You must keep things for yourself, your children and your spouse to make proud. It's a fine line because you do not want your spouse to think that he or she is not required . On the other hand, you do not want your spouse to worry ... you want him or her know you can count on to do the job at home.

In the long run, be realistic in your expectations of yourself may be the key to success. If your husband is military abroad, by now a single mother, says author Mickey Michaels, author of the best divorce and single parenting. Do not try to be June Cleaver. She never had to deal with problems they do.

It all

Almost everywhere I go and people know my wife is deployed, the first things you say, 'Well, God bless her and do you need anything' Says Myatt as he reflects on traffic accidents, problems adolescent and deployment.

Las Vegas Real Estate Buyer's Guide

The area of ??Las Vegas is a favorite destination of Nevada real estate, but was formerly known as Sin City. Local property experts however, say that the only sin here is to make a purchase without education.

This article provides a summary of some of the best places for real estate in Las Vegas. The intention is to provide a snapshot of the local community, make recommendations about neighborhoods, and to provide a comprehensive guide for new buyers.

A snapshot of Las Vegas

Inexperienced homebuyers make the mistake of assuming Vegas is just a tourist trap. Here are some quick facts about the city that will give a unique insight into the area and provide information that will help you make a purchase educated real estate

Number of Parks and Recreation Areas 95
The city has 50% more libraries than any other U.S. city
Less than 20% of local residents are of foreign decent
Nearly 80% of local residents are high school or college
The pupil teacher is 181, the same or better than most cities
Average days of sunshine per year 294

Las Vegas Neighborhoods

Northwest of Las Vegas

Rebels, young families, those with a sharp taste for culture and the elderly, even this community is among the top destinations in Nevada. Summerlin neighborhood master plan that gave this area its reputation notable is the largest of its kind here. There are a number of leisure activities and shops located in the center, making this area literally the epicenter of the Valley.

Southwest Las Vegas

The Southwest district is ideal for small families and couples without children. This town is unincorporated, that is, only that taxes are collected by the county in place of the city and that this area has more than a small town. However, its proximity to the Southeast have made this city popular in recent years. Hills Spanish Trails and Spanish are two of the most elegant of the city.

Southeast of Las Vegas

Welcome to the suburbs! This city is undoubtedly the best location for families. Due in part to the massive housing boom this decade, this community is home to one of the most popular residential areas Nevada. Construction in this area has been very strong despite the slowdown in other areas, a fact that translates into plenty of opportunities for new families in the area. The most popular neighborhoods including Green Valley Ranch and Anthem.

North Las Vegas

This area is home to one of the oldest and most established communities in the Valley. Known for its business-friendly attitudes and upscale neighborhoods, this community is the most popular high-end buyers. Many of the neighborhoods in this area have a sophisticated Mediterranean charm and beautiful setting of some of the most impressive mountains and valleys of the desert areas.

Relocation Information

There are approximately seven thousand people moving to the area each month, and the local estimates project that number will grow at a rate of six times the national average. That said, it's a good idea to talk with local real estate agent on the relocation services that can help make your transition a smooth one. Some things you want to make sure they cover are

It will have to be a Communist before you leave this house

"It will have to be a Communist before you leave this house," Vicky's mother said to me when I entered his house for a weekend in Paysandu, Uruguay. He was referring to her husband, who is a member of the party Frente Amplio in Uruguay. He was also tortured.

There are three political parties here in Uruguay: Frente Amplio (Broad Front), Blanco and Colorado. Blanco and Colorado are like our Republicans and Democrats, the two giants that the power of change from election to election. The Broad Front has always been the little engine that could. If Ralph Nader were here, would certainly be the Frente Amplio.

And it might be annoyed that the Frente Amplio won the last elections. Why should I be upset about this? Well once again become the front-runner, can not complain about what others do everything. People now complain about how (or not) things.

After completing an online questionnaire politics. I was young and wanted to participate in the political process, but I do not think Republicans or Democrats matched my beliefs. In this questionnaire, fill all their political beliefs and then says that political parties are. Well, after filling the form, I told my team I was part of the Natural Law Party.

The Natural Law Party? Who are they? My team was making things up? I had only Republicans, Democrats, and all those who follow Ralph Nader. But no, there are many more.

Then I said I was part of natural law for my team, I found some websites and read about it. All that seemed to speak of arms was, weapons and more weapons. Charlton Heston would feel at home ... and need a comfortable place to call home after his interview with Michael Moore in Bowling for Columbine.

My computer must have been playing tricks on me. All I remember saying in the questionnaire was that I was for Arms Control and now puts me at a party where my friends have future weapons arsenals and would probably have to move to Montana.

So I decided to resign my membership of the Natural Law, and vote for someone who could actually win an election, and that someone would be Ralph Nader. Ralph Nader has some wonderful ideas, but are not presented in the best package, which is a shame because I think we have other political parties in the process.

Like the Broad Front in Uruguay. Frente Amplio, the little engine that could not be kept chugging, with the election after the election, and then met with the appropriate packaging in the form of a doctor named Vazquez. To the surprise of many, who ousted the heavy two-party system and won national elections in 2004.

Vicky's father, who would like me to be a communist, a founding member of Frente Amplio party. And, as mentioned, he was tortured. He was tortured during the dictatorship in Uruguay, which lasted between 1973 and 1985. During the dictatorship, anyone who disagreed with the government rounded up and taken away, and most of those taken were killed.

I've never met anyone who has been tortured and I felt strangely privileged to be able to meet the father of Vicky. He is very open about their beliefs and experiences. His words and his wounds tell a similar story, that one will suffer if they do not die in the pursuit of their beliefs. I think with pride of our ancestors in America, which fought a similar fight for life we ??are allowed to drive.

But to the surprise, Vicky's father is not a big fan of the United States. (In your refrigerator, which has a sign saying terrorist # 1 with a picture of Osama Bin Laden and terrorism 2, with a picture of you-know-who.) His ideals tend more toward a shared collective Communist capitalist environment spirit. However, I liked that, despite our divergent points of view, we were able to have an open discussion of our differences.

I imagine life through his policies. It is a world where everyone has work, health, education, a roof over their heads, food for their families, bar-b-question with family and friends on the weekends. It is a world every one wants but everyone has different ideas of how.

When I asked why he thought that Communism had failed throughout the world, said that still exists in Cuba. "Cuba," he said, "is an example that other countries should follow."

"But," he replied, "Cuba does not have elections or allow people to speak freely about their beliefs." I thought this would be a very important issue for him since he had been tortured for speaking their beliefs. But it was not. And I asked him to explain this to me.

"In Uruguay," he said, "80% of people who were against the dictatorship. If most people are against the idea, the idea is wrong. However, in Cuba, 80% of the population of Fidel ... "

I was quite surprised, if not totally surprised, that basically supports the torture and repression of the opposition in Cuba, since he himself was tortured. When thinking about this later, has been a little more: he was tortured for his belief in communism and, by not supporting these ideals now, does not justify the torture he endured for 2 years.

Tortured for two years. Tortured for two years for their political beliefs.

How does this happen? How does a dictatorship happen in a country that used to be democratic? And how did it end?

Nobody here seems to have an answer for this. Apathy? "Maybe." Complacency? "Probably." There is no definitive answer given to me.

I follow U.S. news Uruguay policy via Internet. I watched the CNN coverage of the Republican and Democratic debates. And I've talked with many Uruguayans about it. Many of them are aware of the candidates (and all of them as Barack). In our discussions, we talk about the political process in America.

Almost everyone was surprised to find that only 30-40% of Americans vote. "How can that be?" They ask. "People do not care? Everybody here votes!"

Everyone in Uruguay due to its compulsory voting. You receive a fine if they do not vote. And, as people do not like about your money, your vote.

I mistakenly mentioned that "sometimes the votes do not matter and what some people do not bother."

"How can one vote matter?" simply ask.

Well, then explain to our electoral college system and it is possible that someone could win the popular vote but not win the presidency, just as Al Gore / George Bush debacle.

"That's stupid!" they say. I agree.

I recently got sick. Getting sick in a foreign country is not fun. However, in Uruguay, do not need a prescription for medicine. If you are a prozac pill popper / Paxil / Zoloft, you will love this place. You just entered the pharmacy and tell them what you like.

I did not need a pharmacy but I needed time and 24. Since I had a stomach virus, the weather was the only cure, but I needed something to do. I needed some good American television. However, unless you have cable (I) do not find any English language television. So I went to the Internet, and you know what I was looking for ... 24!

My friend Brian at work was introduced to the series 24. At first I resisted because I had a full plate with Entourage, the Sopranos, American Idol, and football on Sundays. I did not want to lose another hour a week on television. But I saw an episode and was hooked. It was my Zoloft.

So while I was sick in Uruguay, I wanted to see a little 24. Jack Bauer is a stallion at all, among the great triumvirate of action hero Jack Bauer, Jason Bourne and James Bond. Note any overlap with the names? Hmmm ...

In season 2 of 24, which takes place just after 9 / 11 (when we had the good will of the civilized world with us), terrorist suspects put a nuclear bomb in the United States with the intention of establishing in Los Angeles. Jack, of course, saves the day and deflect the bomb in the Nevada desert, where the victims are kept to a minimum.

There is a clamor for revenge. Who would dare do this to us? A recording is discovered that involves three Islamic countries. This record suggests that these countries sponsored and paid by this terrorist organization, "second wave" to explode the nuclear bomb.

All were set in motion a swift and decisive retaliation. The planes are in the air ready to let the bombs fly. But wait. Jack Bauer has found that this recording is probably a fake. He is in the process of obtaining evidence to verify this.

The president, who is the first black president, is being pressured from all sides to attack, attack, attack. Nobody wants to wait for more evidence. The recordings have been verified ... going to attack.

The president does not want to start a war, a war that could become a Third World War, more than what could be false information. But Mr. President, we will lose the element of surprise and more American lives if they do not attack immediately. The President decided to wait for information from Jack Bauer. He hopes to ensure that our information is correct. He does not want to go to war under false pretenses, you do not want to attack other countries that did nothing for us.

The President decides to wait, to make an informed decision. And of course he was right.

No one agreed with the President's decision to wait for more information. It was not a popular decision. A political dissent, especially when it comes to war, not win the election many. It takes strength, courage and conviction ... and also the ability to read.

Barack Obama voted against the war in Iraq. Despite all the pressure to vote for him, voted against it. He thought it was the wrong thing to do. He believed this for many reasons, but chief among them actually read the document that was provided to all those in government. I'm surprised that most government officials are simply "informed" about these issues, choosing not to read in its entirety. To vote "yes" in a war after receiving a version of Cliffs Notes Why should we go to war.

I was against the war in Iraq. I wrote this letter to George Bush before the war. In trying to find the email address from the White House, had a unique experience. Whitehouse visited. com to find the email address, but I found were naked women in compromising positions (which has changed since then, sorry). After a few hours, I continued my search, only to discover that the address is actually

Whatever anyone's opinion on the war now is: good, bad or indifferent-one thing is clear: We, the American people, they lied about the reasons for going to war. There was no imminent threat from Iraq. There were no weapons of mass destruction, let alone a delivery mechanism to get here.

You know what happens when David Goliath attacks? Everybody Hates Goliath.

A little David, Cuba, Goliath just introduced a great opportunity, an opportunity to rise above the arrogance, conceit and pride. The resignation of Fidel Castro provided the U.S. with the opportunity for the first time in 50 years to start a healing process in our relations with Cuba. His brother, Raul Castro, who took office a few days later, has shown signs of being more socially, economically and politically open. Could there be a better time to have a discussion?

But Goliath was adamant desire to have even a conversation.

Goliath: ... "This is the same system, the same faces and the same policies that led to the miseries of Cuba in the first place the U.S. is isolating the Cuban regime to improve relations, what needs to change is not the U.S. What must change is Cuba. "

We tried to change Cuba in the past, as we did in many countries, with secrecy and subterfuge in the form of the CIA. This did not work. It did not work in Cuba, the Middle East, and the regions of South America where he has visited recently.

The person who tortured the father of my friend Vicky. Do you know where he learned his skills? You guessed it ... the CIA. They have a long history of silence here in South America that supports not only torture but many of the dictatorships.

This reminds me of Tom Hanks's character in Charlie Wilson's War. With the help of the CIA, which had used covert action to successfully avoid a Soviet takeover of Afghanistan. However, what began as a successful campaign to defeat the Soviets, ended after many years with many of the Afghan warriors pointing their weapons, weapons supplied by us, in us.

Julia Child's - Mastering the Art of French Cooking - A Short History

Julia Child; born in Pasadena, California as Julia Carolyn McWilliams August 15, 1912.

Julia Child spent her early years in California where she grew up and attended school. Julia Child's first position out of college was with W. & J. Sloane as a copywriter in New York City. A few year in 1937 after her debut on Madison Avenue, Child's moved back to California, where she continued to write and work in advertising.

Julia Child met her husband Paul Child, while serving with the OSS (Office of Strategic Services the forerunner of today's CIA) in 1944.

Paul and Julia were married in 1946 and soon after he joined the US Foreign Service. Paul Child had a taste for fine food, probably due in part to living in Paris prior to meeting Julia. As a employee of the US Foreign Service, Paul was sent to Paris in 1948, where he introduced his new bride to sophisticated French Cuisine. Julia described her first meal in Rouen, France as a culinary revelation.

Paul's work at the embassy would keep him away from Julia most of the day, creating a void and desire to offset her boredom. So, Julia began to enrolled in many different classes. Eventually she enrolled in the famous Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. It was no easy task at first, being in a school of only men at the time, she had to learn to love cooking as much as she loved eating.

Julia Child's graduation from Le Cordon Bleu created an opportunity for her to meet the two women that would become co-authors of her first cookbook Mastering The Art of French Cooking; Simon Beck and Louisette Bertholle. The two had create a cookbook that featured French Cooking for Americans, but lacked the proper English translation. Julia was asked to join the women and added her own translation and special American slant to the manuscript.

Child's kitchen was used as the training grounds for American women to learn French Cooking and the trio began teaching classes and testing recipes from the Paris kitchen. During this time Julia's husband Paul, was transferred by the US Foreign Services to various locations throughout Europe. Julia moved with him, while continuing to write the book and test new recipes.

Although they spent most of their time in Europe, Paul and Julia would also spend summers in Maine. Julia made her first trip there in 1947, visiting Mount Desert, where Paul's family owned a 20 acre parcel. She continued to test and write even while visiting Maine. And according to her Brother-in Law Charles Child's book Roots in the Rock, she used a stove nicknamed John Henry, to cook her creative dishes.

It took Eight years to complete and in 1961, after it's rejection from publisher Houghton Mifflin, Alfred A. Knopf finally published the book. The final cookbook titled Mastering The Art Of French Cooking was a total of 734 pages. It became a best seller and put Julia Child on the map.

Julia Child's career blasted off from there, as she began to write columns for the larger newspapers along with TV guest appearances which lead to Julia Child's first television show The French Chef. The show first aired in February 1963, there were other cooking shows on TV at the time, but Julia's was a huge success right from the start. Eventually running for more than ten years.

Julia Child also wrote four more books a second from the recipes she created on the TV show The French Chef Cookbook. The Third book Mastering The Art of French Cooking; Volume II came out in 1971, co-authored by Simone Beck (Louisette Bertholle was not asked to participate as the partner was dissolved). And a fourth book that featured Paul Child's photographs of Julia's kitchen and recipes.

Julia Child's mastery was viewed by millions on the TV shows of the 70's and 80', but didn't stop there. She also produce a video series in 1989 called The Way To Cook. Julia Child's cooking, experimentation, openness to new ideas and tools (the microwave, food processor...) and her love of cooking, inspired many of today's fine chef's and TV cooking shows. Her love for cooking as well as eating shone through her many cooking programs.

You may recall Julia flipping an omelet that ended up on the counter, only to pick it up and place it back in the pan stating just put it back in the pan if no one's around, they'll never know, just pat it down...

Bill Sadick is Internet Marketer, Direct Marketing Consultant, Coach, Copywriter and Certified Hypnotist. Who's passions include helping people to get to the next level in their lives, fine food, reading, skiing and fishing. Julia Child's

Jesus, the Good Shepherd

It sounds like a nightmare with a litany of sadness as we come to think about episodes of tragedy that make us reflect on young people on Staten Island who lost their lives. Their pictures were published in the paper recently. Let's take, for instance, a teen Jessica Tush who was killed and buried in the New Jersey woods. The culprit has become the focus of an outpouring of wrath on Staten Island. Mourners, however, stood silently and grieved for the victim - Jessica Tush. Then we also had a young college student, Anthony Priolo, who died Tuesday from injuries sustained in a car crash in Brooklyn. He was a Staten Islander, too, a lifelong Westerleigh resident, a musician and an honor student.

On the other hand, you may have read a story about this certain commuter, Wesley Autrey, who jumped onto a New York City subway to rescue an ailing teenager who had suffered a seizure and fallen onto the tracks at a Harlem Station. He was among those who were honored recently with Carnegie medals for heroism.

Situations like this remind us of the imagery of the sheep and the allegorical figure of Jesus as the good Shepherd in today's gospel. We are a lot like sheep and the Lord is our Shepherd. He knows his sheep and they know him. We need help in many ways especially in times of sorrows and difficulties. Hence, he invites us to think of him as our good Shepherd who provides comfort and hope for anyone in distress or in a dilemma.

We recall when Jesus started his ministry he saw multitudes as distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd (Mt 936). Jesus, when teaching, constantly made use of metaphors and spoke in images that simply reflected the rural background of the area he was in. He was famous for teaching spiritual truths through story-telling like parables and other figures of speech.

Biblical patriarchs were nomadic shepherds in the desert. Some of its most famous names were shepherds; Abel (Gen. 5); Abraham (Gen 1216); Isaac (Gen 2614); Jacob (Gen 3029); Moses (Ex 31); David (2 Sam 78); Ezekiel (Ezek 3414-16); Amos (Amos 1;1). Moses, for instance, was a shepherd for 40 years in the deserts before God called him to lead his people out of Egypt. David, however, was a shepherd too before Samuel anointed him as king of Israel.

But Jesus as a good shepherd and the way to the truth and life (vv 11, 14) makes us aware that one is not only competent in skill but one who is known for his sympathy and caring attitude. He cares, shows concern and is interested in people's welfare like that subway commuter who saved the life of an ailing teenager. He is there ready to defend anyone regardless of color or creed.

We are all called to be like Jesus who cares for his flock and every word of the Good Shepherd is a call to discipleship. Pastors are also called Shepherds or Doctors of souls. We remember that incident after Jesus' resurrection. He challenged Peter as written in the gospel of John. Peter, do you love me Feed my sheep. Be a good shepherd.

Sheep by nature are not smart when it comes to safety but they are sensitive animals. They run off and they get lost. They just follow whatever the other sheep are doing, although it may be dangerous for them.

If we come to think of the past like in the Ancient Near East, shepherds had individual names for many of their sheep. In Wisconsin, for instance, I remember there are more cows and deer than sheep. Deer hunting and the Green Bay Packers are two secular religions they still observe. Some eastern shepherds, however, raise sheep for their wool rather than for food.

Nowadays our society has reached the point of constant struggle between good and bad. Many have opted to wander away from everything that has to do with their Christian faith. Let us still carry out our mission through our way of life that is simple and focused. Let us daily feed on God's word and allow it to nourish us spiritually.

The imagery of the relationship between the shepherd and his sheep is our model. We are like sheep that often are defenseless. Like the growing scenarios of tragedy in today's society, we do not know what tomorrow holds for us. Which is why, we need God's help. We need to remind ourselves of the duties we have as God's sheep. He is our good Shepherd who also wants his other sheep to be part of his flock. God bless you.

Israel Tours - A Trip to the Holy Land of The Bible

Things to know about Israel

Your dream tour to the Holy Land of Israel would be a unique experience that would be cherished by you throughout your lifetime. Every year hordes of tourists make Israel tours for purposes that would serve their holy reasons as well as to discover the historic and natural beauty of the place.

Tours to Israel is also believed to be a move towards following the path of Christ so that it can lead one to find out the source of the Christian faith. Tourists would certainly find it difficult to plan out such Israel travel tours with much precision. So it is always better to rely upon a travel agent who arranges for different types of Israel travel to this holy land.

Holy and tourist attractions in Israel

During your Israel tours make it a point to visit the holy cities of


Some of the holy destinations of Israel include

o The Western Wall and the Temple Mount of Jerusalem
o The Garden Tomb
o The Church of the Holy Sepulchre
o Bethlehem, which is the Church of the Nativity
o The Shepherd's field

Other tourist places of Israel

o Caesarea, an ancient Roman city on the lap of the Mediterranean
o Muhraka, the place where Elijah was busy in a contest with the fake prophets of Baal
o The Shrine of the Book, is the place where some of the most significant scrolls of the Dead Sea are preserved
o Sea of Galilee, which is a popular lake with an interesting history
o Masada
o The Mt. Of Olives
o Bahai's gardens in Haifa
o Tel Aviv Jaffa
o Red Sea Riviera situated on the famous Gulf of Eilat
o Mount Hermon
o Judean Desert.

Various type of Israel tours

Visiting the holy land of Israel is a special event in the lives of every Christian. Israel travel that are planned out in a customized manner by innumerable travel agents would help to make the tour a meaningful as well as a triumphant event. There are different types of Israel tours like Professional Israel tours, Israel study tours through the organization of different seminars, Israel Jewish tours, Bible study tours of Israel, Desert tours to Israel and also Israel tours of different schools and colleges of the place. Different packages are offered by the travel companies depending on the type of tour one chooses.

An itinerary is made about the Israel tours by various touring companies to help the tourists to visit some of the pilgrimage sites along with knowing more about the present day Israel. Different agencies, organizations, Churches and individual groups of tourist would be glad to find out that these touring companies offer the best service and competitive prices for tailor-made Israel tours. There are fixed number of days varying between 8 to 12 days for each of these tours. The prices charged for each of these tours also depends upon the number of days that these tours comprise of and varies from company to company.

To find out more about Israel tours you can visit our site. You can also find out more useful information about Israel tours at Daat.

Internet Marketing 101 - The Need to Know

We have already established why so many people go into internet marketing and why so many fail. Here we are going to tell you how you can be successful with internet marketing. There is a lot of money to be made in this industry. The only thing standing between you and that money is knowledge. Internet marketing is more than a job, it's a career.

When we say knowledge, we are not talking about getting a college degree or going back to school. What is meant is taking the time to educate yourself on the industry in general and the specific niche you plan on working in. Lets first address niche.

A niche is a micro market within a larger market. For example, there are 50 people in a room and all of those people watch television. That is the market at large. Of that 50 people 30 of them only watch television at night (this is a niche) and out of the 30 only 10 of them watch the news (a more exact niche.) The more you can narrow your market down the more success you will have. You need to know who your target market is. If you try to market to everyone you are going to be sorely disappointed it the results you get. Eskimos don't need snow, and the desert doesn't need more sand.

Finding the best niche market, there are two ways you can do this. You can do the research and figure out what the hot markets are and then figure out what those markets are looking for. Or you can get started in a niche you are already familiar with. This could be a hobby or pastime you enjoy doing, such as golf. Golf is an industry, a niche market, and within golf there are a number of other niches. For example golfers that only walk the course or golfers between the ages of 20 and 35, female golfers, children golfers and so on. Each one of those groups is going to be looking for something different.

Build an online presence. It is incredible important that you understand that people aren't going to do business with you because of a product or service you offer. People are going to do business with you because of you. In the internet marketing world products and services change, the only constant in your business is you. This means you have to work to build a relationship with your market. You can't go out and meet them face to face... or host a party to get to know everyone. You have to do it through article writing, social networks, forums, websites and newsletters.

The focus should never be to sell your product or service to anyone. Your focus should always be on how you can help your potential customer solve a problem they are having. If they can trust in the advice you are giving and you come off as knowing what you are talking about people are going to be more inclined to do business with you. Remember no one likes to be sold to. They like to feel as though they are getting something that they need, that is going to make their life better in some way... and they like to feel as though it was completely their choice.

These are the keys to internet marketing. Those that are successful at internet marketing use these key points each and every day.

For more information on starting a business online and to pick up your FREE Download visit the Website.

Credit Guidelines Change - The Future of the Financing of 100% sub-prime, and first home buyers

You've probably seen the television news or read newspapers and know something about the disappearance of the business of sub-prime mortgages.

For now, you or someone you know, thought they were getting a mortgage, and suddenly, without warning, were rejected by the loan because the bank no longer offers this program.

You may have even seen The Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter that many of my colleagues have sent in the website.

You also know that this was mainly due to a record number of foreclosures and the highest percentage of people who are behind on their mortgages in nearly four years.

As a result, almost all mortgage lenders in the country has dramatically changed their patterns of borrowing over the past 30 days, especially high-risk banks that decided to stay in business.

Many banks have taken the decision to close. According to the implosion-O-Meter, this number is at 39 from today.

New Century, the third largest lender of subprime mortgages in the U.S., is no longer accepting loan applications. They are on the verge of bankruptcy or closure, depending on the reports you read. Its shares, which had been 51 in the last year, hit a low below 4. Fell almost 70% in one day.

You've probably tried to Fremont and Aurora as well. Fremont is the second largest U.S. mortgage lender independent. That division recently closed its subprime.

Aurora recently deleted a very popular program of subprime mortgages they had.

You may even have been very escrow fall for it. The buyer, who was a slam dunk loan a month ago can not now qualify.

Why these guidelines change so quickly and so

The mortgage business runs like a river with a stream below. All the water ends up in the same group at the end of river.

Almost all mortgage loans originated by all parties end up being bought by a handful of companies. This handful of companies buy almost all of the mortgage made in the U.S. These are large, institutional, investment firms on Wall Street.

These investment companies buy mortgage bonds, as they have been very profitable in recent years. They were profitable because the market was vibrant. People make their payments on time and if not, just sold their properties at a profit before losing the house to foreclosure. Mortgage bonds are lucrative and came with little risk.

The rewards are huge and almost all the great institutions of Wall Street at Morgan Stanley Goldman Sachs Lehman Brothers Credit Suisse won the game. Even General Motors has two mortgage companies.

However, with foreclosure rates higher than payments for ever and also very high, these mortgages are no longer profitable for investors on Wall Street. In fact, it has become a liability threat to kill them.

Sure, it's great to have a $ 60,000 in a second mortgage at a rate that you pay 11.000%. However, when it comes in default and take you back to his house and he is upside down $ 100,000 and lost his entire $ 60,000 because it is in second position to the holder of the mortgage in the first place, which is a beating first class.

Some experts say that investors now stand to lose billions of dollars. General Motors announced this week that he is writing a check for $ 1 billion to cover losses in its mortgage division. That's billion with a B

The biggest loser of these investors on Wall Street has been sub-prime mortgage and second mortgage notes. His research shows that these losses are mostly directly related and first-time buyers and 100% financing.

Therefore, these Wall Street investors have decided to fight. Which together have determined that the second mortgage notes are the riskiest of all and it will limit their purchase. They have decided to buy only the best grades. Those with the least risk. The people who have made some of his own money in the supply and  or only those with better credit.

They have determined that the sub-prime notes not worth owning unless the borrower has more of his own money into the property, so they are limiting the purchase of those as well unless the borrower has a substantial pay down or a lot of equity in a refinancing.

They have determined that the notes for borrowers state their incomes are much more likely to end in foreclosure, so it is limited to borrowers with better credit score.

They have determined that first-time homebuyers without a down payment or a verifiable history of rent or a very good credit scores are too risky, so they are limiting investment in those notes as well.

So mortgage companies to sell to investors on Wall Street these notes, including Countrywide, Option One, New Century, Fremont, Aurora, and almost all mortgage lenders that you, or your dealings with the agent is put on notice of these Wall Street investors.

They said, Doing business as it deems necessary, but just know you do not buy the notes of risk, such as those mentioned above.

Without a place to sell these notes, these banks had to change its guidelines to allow only the notes they can sell and that's where we are today.

OK, so what does this mean for you and me

In recent weeks, almost all mortgage banks have eliminated the programs stated income loans for credit scores 660 which allow 100% financing.

They want buyers to have their own money on the deal, believing it will make them less likely to be willing to lose your home.

If you do an 8020 loan to cover 100% of funding, 20% second mortgage can be very difficult to obtain. It will be almost impossible if your credit score is below 660 and that the state of their income.

If your credit score is below 620, which makes subprime mortgages to most lenders, so it is very likely to need at least 5% down payment and probably more like a 10 -20%.

If you have to declare your income, you should plan on at least 5% -10% down payment, if your credit score is at least 660.

If you have to declare their income, the plan in a bank seriously considering their impact on the payment before your approval. Many new banking guidelines is limited this in no more than twice the current payment. For example, if you pay $ 2000 today for your home or rent, it will be difficult but not impossible, to find a bank that will allow your payment as a height greater than $ 4000.

If you are a first time buyer and not the income of a professional management company, you should make sure you have the canceled checks to prove his last 12 months rent and history of your credit score should be decent. If not, is likely going to face a greater challenge and possibly a higher interest rate.

If your credit score is at least 660, and you can not disclose all their income, it is very difficult or expensive to borrow 100% new home purchase or refinance.

When I say expensive, I mean if you are doing an 8020 loan and your credit score is at least 660, and have to declare their income, plan on that last 20% that it costs between 8.3 % on the loan as a loan discount rate, if you can find.

If you buy a home for $ 300,000, and is doing a 8020, it means that your first mortgage is $ 240,000 and a second mortgage is $ 60,000.

Based on these numbers, that second mortgage will cost you a discounted rate of $ 1800 and $ 4800 just to get the second loan in additional closing costs.

But this is still definitely cheaper to put 5% down or $ 15,000 in the same house, but makes it much more difficult for home buyers and first time with little or no money for down payment .

Most banks limit the seller contribution programs 100% to 3% of the loan amount for additional expenses in the second mortgage without doubt means that it takes money from your pocket.

The market for subprime mortgages, primarily for borrowers with credit scores of 620, is almost dead now for more credit to the securities. If you have between 5% -20% to put down, you should be fine for now.

Here are some things you can expect to see

• The lightest in its documentation (stated income, stated assets, etc.), the larger the down payment and the higher your rate.

• The lower your credit score, the higher the initial payment, the higher your rate.

· More intense scrutiny of subscribers. They are told to take their time and be very careful about all the loans they make. Many of them have been fired as a scapegoat for the current high rate of crime. As the land in new businesses, you can expect the lesson to be learned.

• The acceptable documentation needed for loan will be more important and need further verification by third parties such as income, employment, previous rental history, reserves, payment history, credit and depth, including more and more lines trade.

• All investment loans will likely require 6-12 months in the reserves.

• Plan of all loans that require more and more hard asset reserves guidelines seasoning.

Option to ARM is likely to only be available with one or more equity down payment.

• Plan of loans to borrowers at a cost more in the front. Banks are slashing the yield spread premiums and discounts to riders attention and bankers, and is likely to pass some of this in the borrower.

If you've been reading this newsletter for some time, you know that I am an optimist!

So, what is the good news

The good news is we still live in one of the most vibrant, amazing real estate markets in the HISTORY OF THE WORLD!

People keep coming here en masse and will for years to come.

In 1989, at the age of 23 years, I bought my first house. It was on the south coast in West Lake Mead, at the base of a giant desert that is rumored to soon be a development called Summerlin. I was a first-time homebuyer. I made about $ 6hr. working for a television channel after graduating from college.

My soon-to-be wife and I found a house we loved it for $ 136,000. That looked like it was all the money in the world. It was at that time.

I have an 80% loan because it was all I could qualify for and received a generous gift from my parents to help with the down payment. My interest rate was 12.000% and that it was of interest only.

How did that payment each month once appeared in a segment of the television program Unsolved Mysteries.

The point is that found a way. Las Vegas exploded during those years, as it does today, with people find a way.

There was no interest only or hybrid ARM or option ARM or 100% financing for borrowers a day of BK. That was a down payment or else get a house. I had decent credit or leased until it could be improved. Many lenders made loans to the FHA and nothing else.

However, our city exploded. More than any other city in American history.

In my opinion, creative financing has not created real estate boom. The real estate boom created creative financing. Wall Street wanted, and did so by creating something for everyone.

I can remember the day, not long ago, when I make tons of FHA loans, which requires a 3% down payment, loan and mortgage insurance is required, and loans that did not go to Wall Street, but went straight to agencies such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and guess what Those days are back.

Sure, it will take some getting used to it and we have to say no a couple of times more than it did in recent years. We'll talk to more people, try to prequalify, and then we'll have to make that call to all lenders hate to do. We will deliver the bad news that their dream of home ownership is not today. However, with good solid guidance and counseling that the dream must stay alive, as one day it will happen.

And, yes, the timing is horrible when you factor against what is already happening in the market with inflated inventory and fewer buyers, so sales and values ??is likely to fall further in previous years as a result.

However, this is important to remember, yet there are thousands of home sales and more sales each month than in most other cities.

I was talking about it to one of my representatives in one of the largest investors in U.S. mortgages He said his company went through the files and lending guidelines are now very similar today to how they were in 2000.

In 2000, a 30-year mortgage fixed rate averaged 7.75%, however, was the year of making the third best in home sales in the last 37 years, according to the Office of the U.S. Census. UU. and Clark County saw its population of over 300% since 1990. Even with interest rates higher than today and similar guidelines for loans, people bought homes and get loans.

A point of optimism for you. 100% financing still exists and is likely to exist for borrowers with credit scores over 620 if they can prove their income and 660 for which the status of your income.

Please see the table below. This is the national distribution of FICO scores table found in This breaks the Americans for their credit scores.

800 +.............. 13%

750-799 .......... 27%

700-749 .......... 18%

650-699 ........ .. 15%

600-649 .......... 12%

550-599 .......... 8%

500-549 .......... 5%

at 499 ........ 2%

As you can see, almost six in 10 have scored 700 or higher and nearly three in four Americans has a score of 650 or more. Does not take much work for a mortgage of an experienced professional to consult with a 650 in the clean credit problems to overcome the mark of 660.

And finally, there are still lending agency like the FHA (loan limit is now $ 304,000 in Clark County), and some very exciting Fannie Mae-backed loans that allow 100% financing for borrowers with credit less than perfect, low-income and prices are fantastic!

I just got a single mother, a school teacher this week approved funding of 100% with a 626 credit score and debt to income ratio of 55% with an interest rate of 6.000% fixed 30 a year.

No, not just interest, and yes, they have to pay mortgage insurance, but last week was an innocent victim of a Wall Street-backed bank that decided it was too risky. In the next two weeks will be a pride for the purchase of a home to raise their children.

Finding Budget Vacations Close To Home

Most travelers look for deals to go to faraway exotic places around the world. If you really travel to those exotic faraway places, they realize that local residents in the exotic are willing to travel to distant places as well, and sometimes far-way place can be your backyard!

What is exotic for a traveler may be a common place to another. Everything is in our attitude. As families get bigger and expand to meet our expenses enormous proportions, many people decide they can not afford any vacation!

Our family almost decided that we can not afford to take vacations more until the college graduate children so when an advertisement on the website caught my attention. That was offering fantastic getaway in the mountains virgins in the center of my city! Oh well, I thought, if people are willing to try these mountains in my backyard of thousands of dollars, I'll try to get a good deal and go see for ourselves what all the fuss! Maybe there is something there that I knew nothing.

And it was wonderful! And the best part is that we have done for 120th of the great bargain that web sites are offered for! Now that's an amazing holiday!

So here are some tips to finding that great deal, right in your backyard

1. Look for ads in local newspapers. Usually, there are more announcements on Thursday and Friday, and pages and pages of ads in the Sunday travel section. There are advertisements for local parks, cabins, RV rentals, hiking, meditation retreats in the mountains unspoiled.

2. Get a map of their city (or country if the people are too small). Look through the maps of national parks, waterfalls, streams, creeks, mountains with a lot of trails, caves or underground

3. Go to the local train station and see if they have tours that take you around town, village or neighboring villages. At times, neighboring towns have local fairs, market days, crafts, theater, theater, cinema, competitions, etc. Be nice to your or your children. The local cross-country trip by train in our area is supposed to be the best in the world. We are planning to go on that trip in the autumn when the leaves put on a great show.

4. Go to the local bus station and see what they offer. You can even give you some coupons to use at tourist stops en route. Some of the bus rides are roller coasters for kids.

5. Local museums are a wonderful resource for tourists. Again, you can find information about other tourist attractions in the city.

6. Its tourist office or visitor center is another source of information. Generally, there are agents that can give you sitting coupon books, detailed maps, tips on what sites you can see, the timing and rate information as appropriate to pay. Do not tell them you are a local and they will give more attention ;-)

7. Local travel agency can give you the run down on all the interesting places you can go in 50 or 100 miles around your city. They may be able to organize your trip, but you will save money by organizing it on your own.

8. Local schools are taking the kids to fun places in tours. Learn more about these places and see if you can take the family to spend the day.

9. Search outside peak tourist season when most of the attractions are hurting business. You can choose to go on a day when the weather cooperates, and be able to enjoy the rides and attractions without a lot of people.

10. Using your own car helps save the cost of transport. If you are traveling by train or bus, you can not use your vehicle. You can also go to the mountain bike, climb mountains, stroll along the valleys, or prepare a picnic for the family that can be enjoyed at any park in your area.

11. Let the internet tell you what your country is famous. Go to any site as and in the left pane, click on the continent or country. Reduce as much as possible and see all the trips that are offered to thousands of dollars! Incredible, is not it A trip in your backyard can cost a lot! Yes, tourists are willing to spend a lot to come to see their country, while going to foreign countries paying thousands of dollars! J get the drift

12. You can take a bit of camping gear and spend the night sleeping under the stars. Dining by the fire, singing songs, dancing around the fire telling each other stories in the dark. These are some of the ways in which families can meet and have a quality time. Some of my neighbors allow their children to pitch tents in the backyard and pretend you are camping in the desert.

If you go on day trips, you can save money on accommodation. If you prefer to spend the night in this location, be sure to get local citizen discounts. You are already paying taxes for the maintenance of these sights anyway!

You can also collect some of their relatives and friends and make a holiday in a group that later can become a monthly or yearly ritual. If you rent a larger vehicle, you can go to many sacred places and monuments of our country, while teaching their children about their heritage and instill in them a sense of pride in their culture.

In our haste to rush out and exotic places, we forget that all may live in surprising places. A desert is a beautiful place for people who live in a place covered with ice and the ocean is a beautiful place for people living in the mountains.

Afghanistan Cities

There are several large cities, and in Kabul, the capital city has a population of 300,000, with a university and a university of the arts. However, only a family of twelve living in a city. (In the United States, more than half the population lives in cities.) Only people in cities than ever see the books or newspapers, but somehow some big news soon spreads throughout the country, through the heads of the tribes. Although Afghanistan has laws that apply to all the people, the peasants in the villages and nomads roaming the country are governed in most cases by the leaders of their tribes.

Not much fun as the American who think of fun, whether for adults or children. No television, no cinema, and radio emissions are among the few people in the cities, for farmers and herders have no radios. But children love to listen to the people narrator reading or telling stories, often playing a stringed instrument like a guitar as he does. What kind of place is most of the people of Afghanistan live in the central part of the country, the level plains of the rivers that traverse the high and rising mountains on all sides. Some of these mountains the Hindu Kush mountain range on the eastern border, are among the highest in the world.

In the plains, where cultivation takes place, there is a rainy season from December to April, but even at this time there is very little rain. At other times, no rain at all and often the temperature goes as high as 120 °, which is higher than it ever gets into the United States, except in desert regions like the Valley of Death. Farmers have to rely on melting snow descending from the mountains in three major rivers, the Amu Darya, Kabul, and Helmand. From these farmers get enough water for their fields. On the slopes of the mountains, shepherds tend their flocks of sheep. This is sometimes very hot, often

Early in the morning dogs (four-story, Voices From Saigon)

She was in a dream, sleeping on the floor of this great mansion, Let's Betty, let's try it, jump ...! Caroline said.

Okay, Betty said aloud, still in a state of oblivion incongruous to grab his outstretched hand of Caroline, as if ready to pounce. It was the first time she had spent time, quality time with her sister since they were children, Caroline is now married, had a son, Langdon, and Betty as well.

The crew shouted for Caroline not to jump, and Caroline would not leave Betty, Betty, and Caroline would not leave, they planned their trip together, two sisters holding each hand from hand to hand, now shoulder to shoulder, jumped well, jumped on the edge of the boat tale, in the last minute, a man of the crew yelled, Fools, which could have been killed, the ship was a few meters from the port area, ready to transport a hundred or so visitors to the island of Nantucket. But the dream was better than reality, since Betty was injured in reality, not in sleep, skin of his left leg when he jumped a few meters, is hung from the railing of the ship, doing silly, but in the last minute they did, and a man of the crew attempted to leave, and Caroline hit the ship away, and some people near the man shouted the crew, and fled from sight.

But opening the door to the boat that no, he did so because they were on the other side of it, the crew member did not help, and if there are any comments of this happening, as well as fleeing there, they risked being questioned later in the rights and wrongs of this. For Betty was the adventure of a last deep her and her sister, she clung to him like a hungry cat than a dead mouse.

Betty moved restlessly on the floor of the living room, covered with blankets, it felt like I was on flat ground, but for some reason the cool air was cool, had been sleeping in her dress, and she wanted to dream more, to finish the dream, even if I had to help along, therefore the boat was thrown through the waters of Nantucket, who were in the large waiting room of the boat, clinging to chairs as the boat tossed his way through the choppy waters, watching the shadow of the house through the window of the window, and water glass, a few young men who seek them, not men of war, but the university students in a calm smile floating round eyes and small, and then jumped into the dream Cole (husband of Caroline dead), Caroline and said I lost my partner, and chided his sister Betty in the dream right there, fool, damn fool, I should have killed Vang, is made with gray iron dilemma you put in, and then narrows the covers over his body as he lay on that flat wood floor and woke to an empty house of furniture, which had sold in recent months (which was February, 1973).

The fire was extinguished in the heart, and complete darkness, he thought little or nothing to her husband in his wheelchair at his home in New Orleans, her sister just had to succeed in Vang's murder, this does not could have happened, could not have been hanged, leaving her, I mean, she committed suicide instead of getting the culprit. So I thought she was thinking.

He had to sell the house and land, she sold the land for the plots, but then what He had spent the Christmas, New Year was gone. Then he heard the sounds of dogs running through the fields at the rear of the house, maybe one is Tabasco, she thought, but she did not stand to see. The dogs were chasing the cats, who chase rats conclusion, trying to return to his dream world, maybe the rats were trying to corner one of them, all screaming at each other, squealing rats and the dogs barked like mad wolves, with the voices of rustic, woven together there was a weak voice of a dog, perhaps Tabasco. And there was nothing else to do tonight, but it sounds enter the brain, that unforgettable night sounds emanating from his soul.

Betty Hightower, made no noise, just thought life was fun, she was surprised by how events in the life of her sister was. He deserved the revenge of life, maybe, maybe God wants you looked around this overlooks that have killed Vang, knowing that revenge was the preference of God, but is forgiving. And she knew that the old sayings revenge destroys both parities and victim search. And the best revenge is success, and let go and move on in life is better than living with revenge consumed. But all these witty brain disorder only, he said, belongs to the guilty, who wants drowned in them, so do not go after him or her. They say the sky will be the bad guys later, or girls and therefore they will get their just reward, in his opinion because, the day of trial, but we are on earth, and here we do things a little different, and if we wait for the sky, while on earth, we will have to fill the attic with these criminals, feeding them, pamper them, wash their clothes and everything. That's what she hissed, which is what I was thinking.

Here was life at its most raw, feeling, indignation in his head surprised, as the construction of the dogs chased the cats and the cats chase the rats, and the sound penetrates the brain of Betty.

Here was a girl named Vang, six thousand miles away, which brought misery to a whole family, changed the course of their lives, something that nobody expected, not Caroline, and Betty, Betty who was still in the outrage surprised by something like this was tolerated without retaliation.

Said Betty, talking loudly, staring at the ceiling, listening to the dogs, You have to finish what he started, the cleaning of another disaster, and was thinking about the boat trip to Nantucket, Let's skip the dock together again, he whispered to the wall. Then he heard a sound of a dog, it sounded like Tabasco, it sounded like the rats you curves, and their barking, and their cries, and heard the noise outside the back door with mesh, and ran with a gun he found in the house, and she ran to the door and opened it, and rats as big as the big fish looked like it was dragging Tabasco ripping off the door by pulling the meat. And she shot rats, five bullets, leaving one for Tabasco, which broke into pieces with a vengeance.

She closed the door, he said with a scent of revenge, I have them ready for you Tabasco! And now Vang

Limit Saigon

At dawn, he went to the neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Stanley asked if he could borrow, or loan would help, Amos, the black who became a friend of Josh Old, all these years. He himself was 79 years old, but agile as a forty years old. Mrs. Stanley saw the corral, he shouted, as he approached, it was more cloudy than usual, and extended his arm to Mrs. Betty Hightower moved, their hands instead of mud, and he did. She knew him before, but not well.

Mrs. Stanley agreed with me, if well with you, to see the farm loans Abernathy while I'm gone. You pay the same and if you do well in observing and working in the field of lady. Stanley that depends on you, you are going to double.

Well, the deal was done, and Betty Hightower was in his plane to Saigon.

Morning Saigon

Still with the notes he had made back in Fayetteville, the location of the property of Vang in Saigon, notes he had received from Caroline, when he spoke of his departure from Saigon, which brought them out of your bag, check out, went the way they carried, and were taken to a hut summary of a house, not a house in the sense of a house that was used, which was near the U.S. Air Force Base. You could hear the planes and helicopters and propeller planes take off. And there she stood, motionless as a statue, a figure in stone, and she returned to take his notes from his wallet and check out along with a picture of Vang, who was the house, which confirmed and the door was ajar , approached him he looked around, turned around to see if you face on the check out, no one was around, nobody is what mattered, they were all buzzing around in cars and trucks and motorcycles. He looked at the bag again, your knife, four-inch knife was there, a Jason (her husband) used for fishing, fish cleaning. It disperses the knife from his pocket, held it in his hand and entered the house of the owner, once at home, all outside sounds ceased, the horns of cars and buses, motorcycle tires on the pavement , kids, noisy children on buses and only the voices in general, the overall noise, the noise of the city, nobody pays attention to class, everything seemed to have ceased. He entered the kitchen, which seemed to be the main room of the house, and then a triple room, it was cold there, a cold vacuum, filtered through his veins, he made his composure, and was just as abruptly that went into it, and again was in the kitchen, and then in the second room.

He spent a shadow, a shadow fell on a corner, but did not respond, and when it reappeared, with the little light seeping under the window curtains, saw that it was a body in a fetal position, a dead body, no movement, which had to be killed off to work quickly looked closer, was a dead woman with wax. It was covered with pus and sores, especially around the lips, legs, eyes, Vang he said, must be it ...! And it was so terrible, so suddenly a hit, so horrible, without concentration, or a plan, gasped, and ran from the house, and even a deserted street with no cars or people on foot, three young, and she cried, not because Vang, but she was so ugly, she was scared of the house, up the hill, away from everyone, then three men grabbed her, lifted her skirt to her ankles adjustment that her hands to her mouth to stifle his arms, and she knew it was true, she would not survive the test, had knives, and his hands were empty, only her purse strap over her shoulder, and that away from her, the knife once said that when he saw Vang have fallen, but was not looking, quiet, now willing to believe.

Cross Country on Our Motorcycles - A Father Daughter Adventure

And what is good, Phaedrus,
And what is not good-
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things

-Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Two days before I was to depart on a journey by motorcycle across the United States, I cracked my oil pan. What was only a classic beginner mechanic's mistake was a dramatically devastating occurrence for me as I faced the countdown to my rapidly approaching trip.

The summer before my senior year of college I was living in New York. I busied myself with classes at Columbia University from May-June, and then worked on a dressage barn through the muggy heat of July. August proposed a free schedule and only some ambiguous desires on my part; I wanted to see my parents back home in Washington and ride my motorcycle. My motorcycle being in New York and my parents being in Washington created a predicament.

After mulling over my endless August options the solution dawned on me, in all its romantic and adventurous grandeur I would ride my motorcycle cross country! This would not only be an undoubtedly epic adventure, but also one which would solve the geographical location of my motorcycle dilemma. I announced the news to my parents and dreamt each night of me, my motorcycle, the open road and highway attractions like the world's largest frying pan, or the country's largest ball of string!

Sometime after my decision my father decided (or more truthfully, my mother elected him) to join me. I only needed to find him a bike; he would purchase a one way ticket to New York and join his daughter's venture. July rolled around and I began shopping for a bike worthy and capable of this trek. The nature of the bikes specifications created complications budget, comfort, mechanical soundness...and located somewhere I could take a train to pick up. I finally found a bike in Brooklyn with potential. I hopped on the train to the city after work and to my dismay discovered the Long Island Express doesn't work as efficiently as one might desire. I finally made it to Grand Central Station and out to some hood in Brooklyn, I found the address and waited for the seller to arrive home. I plopped my sticky self down on a curb and watched the children playing in the wild spray of an open fire hydrant which spilled water into the street in every direction causing medium size rivers to flow down the streets of Brooklyn.

Eventually the seller showed up. He flung a tarp off of a motorcycle shaped object to reveal the product - a 1992 Suzuki V-max, rhino lined black, with metal spikes in the front fender. I tried to have an open mind the bike just needed to get across the country and the price was right. He jumped on the bike and beckoned me to hop on, I warily climbed on the back with this enthusiastic stranger and he gunned the black devil down the tree-lined Brooklyn block, water flying up behind us from the ghetto hydrant-rivers. He energetically explained and demonstrated how the acceleration on the bike was and then slamming on the brakes -how top notch the braking power was. We flew back onto his block and up on the side walk. I got off asked him if he would ride it to Washington State, he said yes and I said I'll take it. A half hour later I was navigating the black devil onto the Long Island Express freeway, struggling with the cruiser style fork pitch and suspension, rolling my eyes at the inconceivable situations I get myself into.

My next task to prepare for the trip was the infamous oil change. I set up my tools and provisions neatly around my shiny blue Suzuki GSX-R, excited the way newbies are when they perform their first task of motorcycle maintenance. At the moment I triumphantly thought 'mission accomplished' I over tightened the bolt and cracked the oil pan. Oil gushing out onto the yard I saw the dreams and plans of this trip washing away with my engine lubricant. 'How could this happen right before the trip!' My father being the ingenious man he is got off the train in New York with a helmet, a small backpack and God's gift to motorcycle riders JB Weld.

With my oil pan JB Welded and oven baked, we were ready to cruise on out. The morning we left I gave my Dad a tour of the barn I had worked at over the last month. Lines of expensive German horses, the smell of wood shavings, and just as we exited the barn to start our adventure the radio station hailed the start of our journey with, Steppenwolf, 'Born to be Wild.' My Dad of course thought the cinema heavens were speaking directly to us, but had to explain the Easy Rider reference to me.

We left New York in an August heat wave and navigating up through the Catskill Mountains we were met with the sporadic, but violent, thunderstorm. We pulled over at Niagara Falls to cool off in the spray of the natural wonder, marvel at my hair sticking straight up from the electric charges and ask some tourists to take our photo. We continued on around Lake Eerie and stopped for a meal at a local café boasting the local flavor of their renowned grape juice.

Sipping on my grape-float I described to my father the goals for the trip, beyond finding Zen and peace inside a helmet. Food and local flavor, I wanted to stay off the interstates and check out the locals, seriously what is in middle America besides Bush voters I'd heard rumors of corn fields and cheese, but we were about to find out for ourselves!

We pushed forward through the heat and thunderstorms. After grapes and the first great lake, we hit Amish county, Cleveland and then the ominous sight of Chicago fortified by its construction clogged highways. Approaching Chicago the tan lines on my back were seared in red and my fragile GSX-R kept 'reminding' me of the inescapable heat by reaching obscene motor temperatures then nagging at me with the check engine light. We headed into Chicago with one motive push through to the other side. The Motorcycle gods had another plan.

After struggling through 5 lanes of traffic in the merciless sun we found ourselves in standstill traffic on a giant overpass, high in the air with zero shoulder room. My bikes temperature ticked progressively higher then I had ever seen it and then conveniently shut off. With semi trucks on my rear and nowhere to go, I helplessly tried to get the bike running, no luck. I was left to push my bike, Flintstone style; I paddled like mad to avoid getting swallowed by Chicago's ruthless traffic. I frantically coasted across the many lanes of traffic, finally descended the ramp and stopped under the shaded mercy of an over pass.

Thoughts of a cracked oil pan seemed petty now! Had I blown my engine right here in this Chicago heat wave

My father and I fiddled around with this and that, to no avail. Finally I went into the city to call a tow truck and find a shop. We dropped the bike off just as the shop was swinging its gates closed for the night. We enjoyed the unexpected layover in Chicago, exploring downtown, walking along the water and eating at a rather questionable Persian joint. The next morning we both piled on my Dads bike, me half perched on top of them luggage and nervously rode to the shop.
To our utter relief my bike was fine, a little gunk in the kill switch assembly had prevented it from starting, but other than that the old Suzuki was sound. My father was eyeing the windshields in the shop like candy after being blasted by wind a third of the way across the country and ended up purchasing one. After installation of the windshield we got back on the freeway. Anyone who has drove Chicago knows not only are the freeways plagued with traffic and construction; in addition ill-placed toll booths act as giant speed bumps and catalysts for more traffic jams.
One of these toll booths, I got the toll money out of my tank bag and as I sped away from the booth, realized I didn't put my wallet away -I caught sight of my pick wallet flying away behind me. Determined not to lose my money, identity and credit cards to this city seemingly determined to destroy me, I screeched to a stop and ran back to my wallet on the side of the freeway. As I jogged up to my wallet, I saw it flying up in the air as cars sped over it sending my cards and cash spinning up into the air. I half laughed and half cursed at the idiocracy of the entire scene as a dashed onto the road during a break in traffic. I collected everything I remembered having in my wallet, which I guess anything forgettable isn't worth having.

By this time my father, unknowing of the entire situation had exited and passed by me going the other direction. Seeing I was in one piece and getting back on my bike, he had to go through the tolls 2 more times to get back on track. Irritated, we finally rendezvoused and got back on the road together, leaving the windy city once and for all.

The next few states were pleasantly peaceful. Throughout Wisconsin we kept seeing signs for 'custard' a delicacy I have never experienced. Unfortunately every time we came across an establishment with custard it was either 7am or we had just ate, so custard remains the elusive edible item of our trip.

Minnesota surprisingly stole my heart. The twisty roads, green mountains, misty valleys and country lifestyle were alluring and beautiful. One night we stayed in 'Winona' a bit of a haul off the road we were following, but worth it. That night we poked around in our tank bags, both out of clean clothes we decided to find a laundry mat. Wearing our night gowns and flip flops we cruised down to the local laundry mat. As our laundry tumbled dry we enjoyed some 'authentic Italian pizza' from Minnesota's finest and then rode back through the quiet summer air.

As we entered the Dakotas, we started noticing a very visible phenomenon, Harley groups, like locust, seemed to be getting thicker by the minute. We realized our trip fell on that hallowed Harley meet in Sturgis and began to develop our inside jokes as it seemed each viewpoint or cultural attraction we stopped at groups of men in leather giddily requested we get a group shot.
Our trip had been pretty free spirited, for weather reasons we wanted to stay North, for quaintness we stuck to small back roads, but there were two destinations I had to see, a twisty road called 'Spearfish Canyon' and Yellowstone. Spearfish Canyon because it stuck out on the map as a twisty motorcycle haven and Yellowstone to catch a few geysers. Ironically Spearfish Canyon was minutes away from Sturgis and since we were already headed there, we figured we'd go into town and check out the meet.

Sturgis was a spectacle, I was an odd ball on a sport bike, but it was worth the look around. As we reached the far end of town we took off for Spearfish Canyon, without needing a map as a clear flow of bikes flocked toward it. The entrance to the canyon is marked by Deadwood, a town made all too famous by Hollywood and it was an adult Disney Land full of casinos, entertainment and fatty food. We enjoyed some fatty food and left the rest, as we cruised down the twisty road along a glittering river.

Leaving North Dakota we entered Wyoming, on track to hit Yellowstone in a day or two. Unsuspectingly, Wyoming dazzled us with some of the trips most amazing natural wonders and settings. One evening we found ourselves descending a small mountain range. As the sky grew purple the bluffs which reached up into the heavens contrasted in glowing shades of orange. Sporadic frail pines struggled out of the rocks adding to the unearthly wonder we were witnessing. Mouth open wide I looked from side to side taking in the sight, nearly running off the tightly twisting road a few times, which jolted my adrenaline and focused me back on the road.
Once down in the valley we pulled into 'Ten Sleep;' population 287. We stopped for fuel and while fueling a teenage boy raced out of a beat-up old pickup to gawk at my bike. He wanted to chat about the bike and ask the normal questions, I guess sport bikes are not that common in Ten Sleep. As we parted ways he exclaimed, That's just a sick-ass bike. I gracefully thanked him as my father marveled at the linguistical refinement of this sleepy town.

The next day we entered Yellowstone. After a day of cruising around lakes, up and down mountains, exploring thermal pools and geysers, and even riding through a herd of buffalo, the hype over Yellowstone was clearly obvious. We moved north toward Montana, where the Rocky Mountains slowly became a visual reminder we were approaching home. The mountains loomed in the distance for hours on end, they signified the light at the end of the tunnel and our imagination climbed up and over them to our hometown which resided on the other side.

We took a northern route over the Rockies and Idaho boasted its finest of glittering lakes and god-like mountains. As we descended into Eastern Washington we had around 4hours to go which left us alone in the flat desert to reflect on our adventure. As we raced down the highway, Dads face shrouded with stubble and my hair able to break any brush that dare near it, there was a strange sense of accomplishment. Memories of the muggy heat of New York and Chicago, however embedded in our shirts, seemed distant and now the explicit details of our adventure were being replaced with more implicit lessons and memories.

In today's instant society, we have facts and documentation outlining nearly every aspect of our life. It's difficult to really find adventure, to seek out the unknown. While riding cross country you may not discover an uncharted sea or continent, but undoubtedly you'll feel the excitement and wonder of complete mystery around each bend. The more we learn and accomplish in this life you see that it's not the destination that matters it's the journey, but with a journey of this proportion you also realize that; it doesn't matter where you go, it's who's beside you that counts.

How to Stay Calm in the Midst of External Overwhelm

The financial crisis is on every news channel, every radio station, every newspaper. How is all of this affecting you

I listen and think I'm not reacting, but then when I'm alone, or when I'm writing checks to pay bills, or when a client cancels for some reason, I get caught up in the fear.

All the what ifs start coming into my mind. What if there's another Great Depression What if we can't pay our bills What if our kids can't finish college What if we have a big medical bill we can't pay

Okay, I say to myself, Get a grip.

I relax and allow myself to connect with what's really happening with me and around me. What's really going on is that in a very short period of time, we have lost our feeling of basic security. We feel that we might not be able to provide food, clothing and housing for ourselves and our families. We see the evidence in the news--people losing their homes, seniors sleeping in their cars.

This is a tremendous national loss, and most everyone in our country (and this is global also) is reacting with some kind of grief reaction. Fear, anxiety, physical symptoms, not being able to sleep, over eating, low energy, and sadness are just a few of these symptoms.

When you add this loss on top of other loses from your distant or recent past, you could feel overwhelmed with it.

Do I get upset Yes. Do I start worrying and telling my self how bad it is Yes. Do I get any of the symptoms I listed above Yes.

Then why am I trying to tell you how to stay calm in the midst of all of this

The key here is to allow yourself to be where you are. This is the first step. DO NOT resist. When we resist, we hurt ourselves (I know I'm beginning to sound like a broken record). But, the truth is that it's not what's happening to us, it's our resistance to what's happening to us that causes us the most suffering.

Think about it. I sit down to pay my bills, as most of you do. I see that I've spent more money on groceries this month, and in fact, have exceeded my budget for food. I then see that my stocks have gone way down and when I watch or listen to the news, it looks like there is no end in sight. I hear talk of depression, Wall Street crashing!

WOW, no wonder I start to feel fear, I may even panic a bit. As I continue to go about my day, I turn on the radio to find out how much my stocks are really going down, and I ask if I should sell everything too, or try and get a little cash out in case I can't buy food tomorrow.

Do you see where this is going My heart rate speeds up, I can't fall asleep at night, I wake up in the middle of the night worrying.

What am I doing I'm resisting. I'm taking the reality of what's happening and I'm fighting it. I keep listening to the news, I ponder and worry about selling my stocks, I get paralyzed with so much worry that I feel sick to my stomach and my sleep is interrupted, etc.

So, what do I do instead I stop resisting. I acknowledge that our country is in trouble. I limit myself as to how much news I'm going to watch (the same news gets repeated over and over again--I won't miss anything is I limit it to 5-10 minutes per day). I take stock of my resources, like who are my support people, what do I actually have available for myself and my family, what are my strengths.

I then call my financial advisors and ask their advise knowing that there is no crystal ball here. The reality is that there is no sure fire way to protect all your assets because we don't know exactly what's going to happen. So, I stop resisting and accept the fact that I'm doing the best I can do with whatever knowledge I have.

I then imagine the very worst, because isn't that what we are trying to really NOT think about (resisting) When I allow myself to really take my own situation to its worst case, I realize that I can survive and so can my family.

Even if we lose EVERYTHING, we can still breath, we can pool resources with neighbors, friends, family, we can all live together in one house, we can make a garden, plant food, share.

We all have INTERNAL resources. This is the 2nd step after you stop resisting, you go inside. All of this financial crisis is happening externally. Do you really have any control of other people, places, or things NO, you don't.

What control do you have You only have control of what you do, say, or think.

I can't control what my own husband does, how can I control what the financial market is going to do But, what I can do is control what goes on inside of me, because what goes on inside of me is how I'm going to be able to react to what goes on outside of me, and here is where the allowing comes in, which allows us to remain calm.

This is what it looks like for me

I listen to the news, it sounds bad. I immediately get scared. I allow myself to feel the fear. I feel the fear by first of all acknowledging it's there. I then consciously relax my body to get into the mode of allowing, rather than resisting. I turn the news off. I make myself a cup of tea, or coffee and go sit in a quiet place where I can either see or feel nature around me (for me it's trees). I sip on my warm drink, allowing it to sooth me. I then very gently and quietly ask myself to think about something that makes me feel better. For me, it's usually that I think about my kids or my dogs. I imagine my kids as children, happy and carefree and it makes me smile. I imagine my doggies playing and imagine their funny little faces, and it makes me laugh. I slowly and gradually start to feel better. Once I start feeling better, I start to think better thoughts and my emotions start becoming less negative and I eventually am in a place where I can go about my day, calm, connected to that peace that is in all of us, if we go looking for it.

I don't suggest that this is easy, but it is very simple. Once we get started on the thinking that causes us a lot of fear, more fear comes and more and more negative emotions come until we are a wreck.

The reason why the spiritual leaders tell us to pray and to meditate is that it shifts our focus away from our negative thoughts. Once we've shifted our focus away from the fearful, we feel better.

Many of you, and myself included at times still, have a lot of resistances to refocusing. Often times, we just forget that we are in control of our internal workings. We may get into blaming and worrying by talking with others who are also blaming and worrying. We think this brings us comfort, but it's really making us continue to feel bad. Many of us are in a habit of projecting out onto the world reasons for us feeling bad.

One of the most difficult things for us humans is to believe and know that we are in total control of how we think and therefore how we feel. We keep thinking it's something out there that is causing us our pain, when in fact, it's really our own reactions to what happens out there that is causing us the suffering.

This has taken me years of struggle and seeking to finally come to this knowledge of being able to deliberately create how I feel. I used to say, I wouldn't care if I had to live in a tent in the desert if I could only have peace of mind.

Does it mean that I never feel anguish Of course not. But, what it does mean is that I can catch myself earlier and earlier and then stop the resistence, allow what is, and then intentionally change how I feel.

This is a process and many of you already do this. Some of you do it immediately, some of you do it for some things, but have pockets of areas where you truly believe that it really is the external that is causing you the pain.

What's important here is that we all be gentle with ourselves, not judge where we are, and allow ourselves to be where we are. Why Because where we are is where we are. When we fully embrace what is at the moment is when we can move forward, get clarity, and come to peace.