Category Archives: Off the Beaten Path




 These are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while the exchanges were taking place.

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?

WITNESS: He said, ‘Where am I, Cathy?’

ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?

WITNESS: My name is Susan!


ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?

WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.


ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?

WITNESS: No, I just lie there.


ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?

WITNESS: July 18th.

ATTORNEY: What year?

WITNESS: Every year.


ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you?

WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can’t remember which.

ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you?

WITNESS: Forty-five years.


ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?


ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?

WITNESS: I forget..

ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?


ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?

WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?


ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?

WITNESS: He’s 20, much like your IQ.


ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?

WITNESS: Are you shitting me?


ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?


ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?

WITNESS: Getting laid


ATTORNEY: She had three children , right?


ATTORNEY: How many were boys?


ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?

WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?


ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?

WITNESS: By death..

ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?

WITNESS: Take a guess.


ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?

WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard

ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?

WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I’m going with male.


ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?

WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.


ATTORNEY: Doctor , how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?

WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.


ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?



ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?

WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM

ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?

WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.



ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?

WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?


And last:

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?


ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?


ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?


ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?


ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?

WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.

ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?

WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.


Keep smiling. It will make you feel good. Share it with your friends and spread your cheer around.



This story was sent to me by my friend, Sonia Smith. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 

I welcome your heartwarming stories and will post special ones on this blog.

It happened every Friday evening, almost without fail, when the sun resembled a giant orange and was starting to dip into the blue ocean.

 Old Ed came strolling along the beach to his favorite pier.. Clutched in his bony hand was a bucket of shrimp. Ed walks out to the end of the pier, where it seems he almost has the world to himself. The glow of the sun is a golden bronze now.

Everybody’s gone, except for a few joggers on the beach. Standing out on the end of the pier, Ed is alone with his thoughts…and his bucket of shrimp.

Before long, however, he is no longer alone. Up in the sky a thousand white dots come screeching and squawking, winging their way toward that lanky frame standing there on the end of the pier.


Before long, dozens of seagulls have enveloped him, their wings fluttering and flapping wildly. Ed stands there tossing shrimp to the hungry birds. As he does, if you listen closely, you can hear him say with a smile, ‘Thank you. Thank you.’

In a few short minutes the bucket is empty. But Ed doesn’t leave.

He stands there lost in thought, as though transported to another time and place.

When he finally turns around and begins to walk back toward the beach, a few of the birds hop along the pier with him until he gets to the stairs, and then they, too, fly away. And old Ed quietly makes his way down to the end of the beach and on home.

If you were sitting there on the pier with your fishing line in the water, Ed might seem like ‘a funny old duck,’ as my dad used to say. Or, ‘a guy who’s a sandwich shy of a picnic,’ as my kids might say. To onlookers, he’s just another old codger, lost in his own weird world, feeding the seagulls with a bucket full of shrimp.


To the onlooker, rituals can look either very strange or very empty. They can seem altogether unimportant …. maybe even a lot of nonsense.

Old folks often do strange things, at least in the eyes of Boomers and Busters.

Most of them would probably write Old Ed off, down there in Florida . That’s too bad. They’d do well to know him better.

His full name: Eddie Rickenbacker. He was a famous hero back in World War II. On one of his flying missions across the Pacific, he and his seven-member crew went down. Miraculously, all of the men survived, crawled out of their plane, and climbed into a life raft.


 Captain Rickenbacker and his crew floated for days on the rough waters of the Pacific. They fought the sun. They fought sharks. Most of all, they fought hunger. By the eighth day their rations ran out. No food. No water. They were hundreds of miles from land and no one knew where they were.

They needed a miracle. That afternoon they had a simple devotional service and prayed for a miracle. They tried to nap. Eddie leaned back and pulled his military cap over his nose. Time dragged. All he could hear was the slap of the waves against the raft..

Suddenly, Eddie felt something land on the top of his cap.

It was a seagull!

Old Ed would later describe how he sat perfectly still, planning his next move. With a flash of his hand and a squawk from the gull, he managed to grab it and wring its neck.. He tore the feathers off, and he and his starving crew made a meal – a very slight meal for eight men – of it. Then they used the intestines for bait.. With it, they caught fish, which gave them food and more bait…….and the cycle continued. With that simple survival technique, they were able to endure the rigors of the sea until they were found and rescued (after 24 days at sea…).

Eddie Rickenbacker lived many years beyond that ordeal, but he never forgot the sacrifice of that first life-saving seagull… And he never stopped saying, ‘Thank you.’ That’s why almost every Friday night he would walk to the end of the pier with a bucket full of shrimp and a heart full of gratitude.

PS: Eddie started Eastern Airlines.


(Max Lucado, “In The Eye of the Storm”, pp..221, 225-226)


I smiled as I hung up the phone from my conversation with my sister, Nancy…the universe really can be quite generous at times. Not only would I be able to sneak away for a coveted weekend with her in St. Louis but on my return flight to Denver International Airport I would be able to see my cousin, Clark.

Clark was the youngest in a group of cousins separated by only a few years. Most of us were born between 1952 and 1958 but he was the straggler, arriving in 1963. As a child, Clark was known as the ‘pest’, the five year age gap glaringly obvious to those of us over the age of eight. In time, he outgrew us all, reaching 6’-7” in stature and obtaining a doctorate’s degree in mechanical engineering. As a kid he had designed a rubric’s cube with an extra row and column to make the game a bit more challenging. My method was to simply pull off the colored squares and place them where they all matched if I got stuck. Perhaps this is why he has a mathematical theory named after him and I do not.  In contrast to his height and intelligence was a child-like naiveté and gentleness that was endearing.

As children our paths crossed every year or so when the sisters (our mothers) reunited in Alliance, Ohio or St. Louis, Missouri. When the reunion was in St. Louis, the three sisters and nine cousins would gather together for a ride on the river boat named the Admiral. It would mosey up the Mississippi river for a leisurely afternoon while we danced to music, played cards and pinball machines or just wondered around the boat taking in the scenery. Our encounters have been less frequent in recent years; weddings and funerals or an occasional conference here or there, so the chance meeting at the airport was a welcomed surprise. Clark would be in Denver for a two hour layover as he waited for the flight on the last leg of his epic journey.  After several weeks in Ethiopia, he was returning home to his eight-month pregnant wife and two blond haired, blue eyed, pre-school daughters. Accompanying him were four new family members, Elsa, Yeshi, Sintayehu, and Kasanesh. What began as a simple desire to relieve the plight of an orphaned child grew into the adoption of four teenage girls from Ethiopia. The five sojourners had trekked across the world enduring grueling hours on airplanes and endless waits in airports as they moved closer towards their home in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Clark and his family





Anne Knorr is a licensed architect in Colorado and has been the principal of an architectural firm for over 20 years designing homes. She is also a practicing spiritual director and writer.  Anne has written and lectured about the connection between architecture and spirituality and offers workshops and retreats on the topic. She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband where she enjoys hiking the trails near her home.


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* A GLASS OF MILK by Lois W. Stern

Over the years, the true story of A Glass of Milk has been embellished to the point of being almost unrecognizable from its original. In fact, the tale as written below has actually been published in several collections of inspiring stories and self-help books in the urban story format you can read below.

One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry.

He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk.

He drank it slowly, and then asked, “How much do I owe you?”.”You don’t owe me anything,” she replied.”Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness.” He said….. “Then I thank you from my heart.” As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Years later that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.

Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes.

Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor’s gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to the case.

After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill

was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill.

She read these words….. “Paid in full with one glass of milk”


Dr. Howard Kelly.

Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed: “Thank You, God, that Your love has spread abroad through human hearts and hands.”

But the true story, taken from the notes of a diary Howard Kelly started at age 17 and apparently kept throughout his lifetime.  These notes were supplemented by his biographer, Audrey Davis, who maintained a 20 year friendship with Dr. Kelly and inherited his notebooks and journals upon his death.

This story continues in

Tales2Inspire™  Emerald_RD The Emerald Collection

Lois invites all interested in either cutting edge physical beauty news and tips, her energy renewing, spirit uplifting stories, or both to visit her Facebook Page If you like what you see there, please click on the LIKE button at the top of the screen.




Some weeks ago I posted Pauline Hager’s ‘tale’ about the power of a smile. This posting is about the power of dance and how it brings joy to both participants and observers.

Although dance styles can be as varied as the people who perform them, the desire to dance seems to permeate all human societies across the globe.

And here is the special power of dance: It can rise above cultural, political, economic and religious differences to transmit happiness to those touched by it. It helps people from diverse backgrounds feel connected by the common bond of being members of the human race.

The video I’m about to share has a similar “feel good” feeling. Matt Harding put this video together while dancing in the streets of many different countries with the people who knew those streets best – those who lived there. Matt explains why he thinks travel is important. “It helps us learn what we’re capable of, that the path laid in front of us isn’t the only one we can choose, and that we don’t need to be so afraid of each other all the time.” It’s hard to watch his video  without smiling, so do take a moment to make that click on the link below to watch it. Not only will it make you smile, but it will make those around you smile as well. Remember, happiness is contagious.

Watch this video and smile!

Get more info, ‘how to’s’ and ‘what if’s’ about Lois’ Tales2Inspire project here. 


 Beauty Within 

                  Beauty Without . . . 

                                  What’s Your Passion?

 Click to Explore the Many Dimensions of Beauty 

JUST LOVE THOSE GARDENS! by Lois W. Stern – Part 2

So as you can see, I love my gardens.

But sometimes my gardens don’t love me! 

 So as you can see, I love my gardens. I really do. But sometimes I think my gardens don’t love me. I don work gloves, a long sleeve shirt and long legged pants before I putter about, moving a rock here, pulling a weed there. But despite all precautions, poison ivy seems to find me. Last year was particularly bad. My skin turned raw and blistery. Prescription strength cortisone cream just didn’t seem to help. I was scratching in my sleep, waking several times during the night to apply hot water compresses. It was time to pay a visit to my dermatologist, Dr. Roger Koreen, who set me straight about a few myths and facts surrounding poison ivy.

It helps to be able to identify the plant, so let’s start there.

                Poison Ivy

                                                                                                                                              Poison Oak

Next, I thought this would be a good time to share some information I learned from dermatologist,  Dr. Roger Koreen, about the myths and truths surrounding poison ivy.

Myth: Once exposed, there is nothing you can do but wait and hope.

 Fact: If you are susceptible to poison ivy, take a hot water shower and scrub any exposed areas with soap immediately after gardening. But if you think you might have come in contact with the plant, don’t wait. Stop gardening, come inside and do that soap and water scrub down right away.

 Myth: It must be systemic as once it starts, I keep getting new breakouts.

 Fact: When we get outbreaks days or even weeks apart, it is not because the poison ivy is traveling through our system, but because we have been exposed to it more heavily on some parts of the body than others. Areas of increased exposure will erupt sooner.

 Myth: You must have direct contact with the plant to get poison ivy.

 Fact: You do not need direct contact with the plant to get poison ivy. On a windy day the offending agent, microscopic proteins called allergens, can blow in the air and attach themselves to you or other plants.  So it is possible to be exposed without actually touching the poison ivy plant.

 Myth: You can’t catch poison ivy from another human or animal.

 Fact: Although usually true, if you are in direct contact with a person or animal who was just exposed and has the active protein on their skin or fur, then you can be the unfortunate recipient of it as well.

 Myth: Since pets don’t get poison ivy, it won’t be a problem if they come in contact with the plant.

 Fact: Since the protein can remain on fur, it is possible that you can pick up poison ivy from your pet when you touch or cuddle it.

 Myth: The most effective way to treat severe cases of poison ivy is with steroid injections.

 Fact: Steroids often present other complications. If Cortisone Creams aren’t working for you (and they weren’t working for me), there are other drugs that can be effective. (The 0.05% Clobetasol Propionate Cream Dr. Koreen prescribed did the trick. I felt almost immediate relief. And that was indeed a relief!)

 Myth: Steroids should never be used to treat poison ivy.

 Fact: Although it is best to avoid oral steroids if possible, there are times when they are recommended. For example, if eyelids are swollen shut from a poison ivy outbreak, steroids might be the treatment of choice.

 Wishing you all the joys of gardening without the itch!

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Get more info, ‘how to’s’ and ‘what if’s’ about Lois’ Tales2Inspire “Authors Helping Authors” project/contest.  FREE – No submission fee.

Beauty Within

                  Beauty Without . . .

                                  What’s Your Passion?

Click to Explore the Many Dimensions of Beauty


Won’t you take a stroll with me through my gardens? 

I love my gardens. I really do. I plan my assorted flowerbeds with care. My goal is to have different flowers blossoming in rotation for six or seven months of the year. Careful planning pays off. I am rewarded with burst of harmonizing colors, fragrant aromas and spectacular blossoms from early Spring until mid Autumn.

By April Fools’ Day,  I begin to see the fruits of my labors: white Snowdrops and pale yellow Daffodils, whose soft colors are a perfect compliment to the blue miniature Grape Hyacinths nestled beside them.

Next appear the yellow and white Daffodils and the buds of what open to multi-colored Tulips. There’s a short hiatus before my Iris clusters open, but worth the wait. Their vibrant colors cheer me as walk the path to my back yard.

Please join me along that path.

I refill my recycled baskets each Spring, and in short order have overflowing bursts of pink and rose Impatiens hanging around the perimeter of my porch.

As summer progresses and a Clematis vine twines itself higher on the mailbox post, climbing roses and blue Hydrangea spread out aside the backyard deck and snowball Hydrangea begin to flop over a post and rail fence.

Azaleas, Mountain Laurel and Rhododendron each in turn do their floral dance.

The wooded, shady areas of my back yard also get their due with a variety of Hosta plants, fern and Coral Bell.


Continuing to the left is my rock garden. Last year it sported a beautiful fountain.  But it met with a bit of a disaster this year. Somehow it got knocked over and cracked right through. Now its base has become of planter.







Talk about making lemonade from lemons!

But the best is yet to come. Back to the front  yard– the Oriental Lilies whose flowing petals and sweet fragrance vie for first prize!

So you can see, I love my gardens. But sometimes my gardens don’t love me. Stay tuned. Next time, I’ll explain why.

Please visit my Facebook Page take a look around, leave your comments and don’t forget to click on that LIKE button at the  top of the screen.

Get more info, ‘how to’s’ and ‘what if’s’ about Lois’ Tales2Inspire “Authors Helping Authors” project/contest FREE – No submission fee.

Beauty Within

                  Beauty Without . . .

                                  What’s Your Passion?

Click to Explore the Many Dimensions of Beauty



I’ve certainly heard of seeing eye dogs to help the blind, but this is the first I’ve heard of a seeing eye dog to help another dog.

A great dane named Lily hardly seems deterred by her blindness. While still a pup, her eyelashes grew into her eyeballs, causing irreparable damage and a medical need to remove both eyes. But with the help of her devoted four legged pal Maddison, she has continued to enjoy her life. Both dogs exhibit a joi de vie that many humans would do well to emulate. Maddison and Lily became very close, always enjoying one another’s company, going about their daily routines as a twosome. Vocal in play, affectionate at rest, they curl up together when  ready to sleep.

 With her lack of sight, Lily’s other senses sharpened. Although rarely apart, Lily can always sense when Maddison is not nearby and uses a unique bark to search for her.

 Both Lily and Maddison formed their bond while living in one of UK ‘s eighteen Dogs Trust Rehoming Centres, a network of re-homing centers which care for around 16,000 stray and abandoned dogs every year. The story ends happily for Lily and Maddison, who now live with Anne and Len Williams, a loving family who fell in love with these dogs after reading their story in the Daily Mail.

 The couple plan to take the great danes on holidays to France and the Lake District ass well as daily walks with Mrs. Williams, to add to enjoyment of their lives with their new family.


Lois W. Stern is the author of two award winning books about different aspects of aesthetics (physical beauty): Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery and Tick Tock, Stop the Clock ~ Getting Pretty on Your Lunch Hour. Beyond those topics, Lois is committed to writing short stories to touch the soul – stories that she calls her inner beauty “tales”. Suspecting that many writers who don’t have a enough inspiring stories for an entire book, might  have one fabulous “tale”  to share, she set out to find out . By initiating the TALES2INSPIRE contest as an “authors helping authors” project, Lois hopes to provide authors with a platform for building their own fan base, with the opportunity to have their work published in a short story anthology.

Lois invites all  interested in either cutting edge physical beauty news and tips, her energy renewing, spirit uplifting stories, or both to visit her Facebook Page If you like what you see there, become a fan by clicking on the LIKE button at the top of the screen.

Get more info, ‘how to’s’ and ‘what if’s’ about Lois’ Tales2Inspire “Authors Helping Authors” project

Beauty Within

                  Beauty Without . . .

                                  What’s Your Passion?

Click to Explore the Many Dimensions of Beauty

Want to Control Messages Coming to You From a Facebook Group

As we have all come to realize, Facebook is a conundrum of puzzles to unravel, and slowly but surely I am determined to master them all. 

If you are getting unwanted messages from a member of a group (as opposed to messages I send directly to all group members), there is a simple way to control that pesky problem.

1. Click on the inverted triangle in the upper right corner of your Facebook page.


4. Look for the words “Edit Settings” to the right of the words: “How You Connect”

5. Where you see the words: “Who can look you up using the email address or phone number you provided?”, select FRIENDS.

If you have further tricks to share, please post them here so we can help one another learn!

Live in Beauty


Boris Gets a Brow Lift

So you think cosmetic surgery is just for humans? Not so! Boris, a 3-year-old Australian pet pig, recently underwent his own brow lift after being carried to the hometown vet on a horse float. But don’t scream “foul play” quite yet. First hear the rest of this story.

When Graeme Cane and his wife Julie bought Boris, they were told he was a miniature breed, the runt of his litter, and would grow to no more than 132 pounds. He was so small in fact that he used to walk under the belly of their family dog, Boof. But as he continued to put on weight, he tipped the scales at 550 pounds. The Kanes put him on a diet. He did lose weight, but with that weight loss came a lot of excess skin, drooping over his eyes until he couldn’t see.

For more about Boris and his family, watch this video.

If you were faced with the options of brow lift or blindness, what choice would you make for your beloved pet?

I look forward to reading your comments in the Comment box below. 


Beauty Within

                  Beauty Without . . .

                                  What’s Your Passion?

Click to Explore the Many Dimensions of Beauty

Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

Dollycas's Thoughts Part II


Inspiring true stories for the winners of the Tales2Inspire "Authors Helping Authors"project/contest

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