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Know & Grow Monthly Magazine
"Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a
hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at
the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it
was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before."

~ Jacob A. Riis... Get Inspired Here Every Day

April 24, 2006


"One Day at a Time"
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From the Inside Out...
The Pickle Jar

Yes You Can!...
Choose a
Reliable Pet Sitter

Far Horizons...
Papau New Guinea

Untangling the Web

What a Site and
Computer Ease

Just for YOU...
Special Treats

Laughing It Off...
Tell Me about
Your Mother

Fascinating Facts...
"M" Is For ...

Joyful Lifestyles...
Afraid to Make Choices?


Inspiration Online Magazine

BE the World
You Want to See!

One of the best ways to get
through difficulties is to simply persevere day by day. Huge projects don't seem as daunting when we focus on one element ... completing that before we tackle the next phase. As Napoleon Hill said, "Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure."

~ Chelle Thompson, Editor

From the Inside OutOne step at a time

As far back as I can remember, the large pickle jar sat on the floor beside the dresser in my parents' bedroom. When he got ready for bed, Dad would empty his pockets and toss his coins into the jar.

As a small boy I was always fascinated at the sounds the coins made as they were dropped into the jar. They landed with a merry jingle when the jar was almost empty. Then the tones gradually muted to a dull thud as the jar was filled.

I used to squat on the floor in front of the jar and admire the copper and silver circles that glinted like a pirate's treasure when the sun poured through the bedroom window.

When the jar was filled, Dad would sit at the kitchen table and roll the coins before taking them to the bank.

Taking the coins to the bank was always a big production. Stacked neatly in a small cardboard box, the coins were placed between Dad and me on the seat of his old truck.

Each and every time, as we drove to the bank, Dad would look at me hopefully. "Those coins are going to keep you out of the textile mill, son. You're going to do better than me. This old mill town's not going to hold you back."

Also, each and every time, as he slid the box of rolled coins across the counter at the bank toward the cashier, he would grin proudly. "These are for my son's college fund. He'll never work at the mill all his life like me."

We would always celebrate each deposit by stopping for an ice cream cone. I always got chocolate. Dad always got vanilla. When the clerk at the ice cream parlor handed Dad his change, he would show me the few coins nestled in his palm. "When we get home, we'll start filling the jar again."

He always let me drop the first coins into the empty jar. As they rattled around with a brief, happy jingle, we grinned at each other. "You'll get to college on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters," he said. "But you'll get there. I'll see to that."

The years passed, and I finished college and took a job in another town. Once, while visiting my parents, I used the phone in their bedroom, and noticed that the pickle jar was gone. It had served its purpose and had been removed. A lump rose in my throat as I stared at the spot beside the dresser where the jar had always stood.

My dad was a man of few words, and never lectured me on the values of determination, perseverance, and faith. The pickle jar had taught me all these virtues far more eloquently than the most flowery of words could have done.

When I married, I told my wife Susan about the significant part the lowly pickle jar had played in my life as a boy. In my mind, it defined, more than anything else, how much my dad had loved me. No matter how rough things got at home, Dad continued to doggedly drop his coins into the jar.

Even the summer when Dad got laid off from the mill, and Mama had to serve dried beans several times a week, not a single dime was taken from the jar. To the contrary, as Dad looked across the table at me, pouring catsup over my beans to make them more palatable, he became more determined than ever to make a way out for me. "When you finish college, son," he told me, his eyes glistening, "you'll never have to eat beans again unless you want to."

The first Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born, we spent the holiday with my parents. After dinner, Mom and Dad sat next to each other on the sofa, taking turns cuddling their first grandchild. Jessica began to whimper softly, and Susan took her from Dad's arms. "She probably needs to be changed," she said, carrying the baby into my parents' bedroom to diaper her.

When Susan came back into the living room, there was a strange mist in her eyes. She handed Jessica back to Dad before taking my hand and quietly leading me into the room.

"Look," she said softly, her eyes directing me to a spot on the floor beside the dresser. To my amazement, there, as if it had never been removed, stood the old pickle jar, the bottom already covered with coins.

I walked over to the pickle jar, dug down into my pocket, and pulled out a fistful of coins. With a gamut of emotions choking me, I dropped the coins into the jar.

I looked up and saw that Dad, carrying Jessica, had slipped quietly into the room. Our eyes locked, and I knew he was feeling the same emotions I felt. Neither one of us could speak.


By A.W. Cobb in "Chicken Soup for the Parent's Soul"
(Contributed by Phyllis who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico)

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Pet sitters do much more than provide your pet with food and water while you're away from home. A good pet sitter also spends quality time with your pet, gives him exercise, and knows how to tell if your pet needs veterinary attention. What's more, pet sitters typically offer additional services, such as bringing in mail and newspapers, watering plants, turning lights on and off, and providing homes with a lived-in look to deter crime. But just because someone calls herself a pet sitter doesn't mean she's qualified to do the job. This information will help you find the best pet sitter for you and your pet.

Why hire a pet sitter? When you must be away from home — say for travel or an emergency — and don't want to leave your pet in a boarding kennel, who takes care of your pet? If you're like many pet owners, you ask a friend or neighbor to stop in and pour some kibble and water in your pet's bowls. But is this what's best for your pet? There's a good chance that your friends and neighbors lack proper pet-care experience and have even forgotten to show up. They may also resent frequent requests to look after your pet while you're gone. So what is the solution? Consider hiring a "pet sitter" — a professional, qualified individual paid to care for your pet. A pet sitter offers both you and your pet many benefits:

Your pet gets:
the environment he knows best.
his same diet and routine.
relief from traveling to and staying in an unfamiliar place with other animals (such as a boarding kennel).
attention and affection while you're away.

And you get:
happier friends and neighbors, who aren't burdened with caring for your pet.
the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your pet is being cared for by a professional.
someone to bring in your newspaper and mail so potential burglars don't know you're away.
Someone who will come to your home so you don't have to drive your pet to a boarding kennel.
other services provided by most pet sitters, such as plant watering and pet grooming.

Where do I find a pet sitter? Start with a recommendation from a friend, neighbor, veterinarian, humane society, or dog trainer. Check the Yellow Pages under "Pet Sitting Services." You can also contact the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (800-296-PETS) or Pet Sitters International (336-983-9222) for a referral. Both organizations offer pet-sitter accreditation to those who demonstrate professional experience, complete pet-care-related home study courses, attend professional conferences, and abide by a code of ethics set by the organizations.

What should I look for? It's important to learn all you can about prospective pet sitters' qualifications and services. Before selecting a pet sitter, interview the candidates over the phone or at your home. Find out the following:

Can the pet sitter provide written proof that she has commercial liability insurance (to cover accidents and negligence) and is bonded (to protect against theft by a pet sitter or her employees)?
What training has the pet sitter received?
Will the pet sitter record notes about your pet, such as his likes, dislikes, fears, habits, medical conditions, medications, and routines?
Is the pet sitter associated with a veterinarian who can provide emergency services?
What will happen if the pet sitter experiences car trouble or becomes ill? Does she have a backup?
Will the pet sitter provide related services such as in-home grooming, dog walking, dog training, and play time?
Will the pet sitter provide a written service contract spelling out services and fees?
If the pet sitter provides live-in/sleep-over services, what are the specific times she agrees to be with your pet? Is this detailed in the contract?
How does your pet sitter make sure that you have returned home?
Will the pet sitter provide you with the phone numbers of other clients who have agreed to serve as references?

Even if you like what you hear from the pet sitter and from her references, it's important to have the prospective pet sitter come to your home to meet your pet before actually hiring her for a pet-sitting job. Watch how she interacts with your pet — does your pet seem comfortable with the person? If this visit goes well, start by hiring the pet sitter to care for your pet during a short trip, such as a weekend excursion. That way, you can work out any problems before leaving your beloved pet in the pet sitter's care for longer periods

How can I help the pet sitter and my pet? Of course, even the most trustworthy, experienced pet sitter will have trouble if you haven't also kept your end of the bargain. Here are your responsibilities:

Make reservations with your pet sitter early, especially during holidays.
Ensure your pet is well socialized and allows strangers to handle him.
Affix current identification tags to your pet's collar.
Maintain current vaccinations for your pet.
Leave clear instructions detailing specific pet-care responsibilities and emergency contact information, including how to reach you and your veterinarian.
Leave pet food and supplies in one place.
Buy extra pet supplies in case you're away longer than planned.
Leave a key with a trustworthy neighbor as a backup, and give the neighbor and your pet sitter each other's phone numbers. Be sure those extra keys work before giving them out.
Show the pet sitter your home's important safety features such as the circuit breaker and security system.

Finally, have a safe and fun trip. And remember to bring your pet sitter's phone number in case your plans change — or you just want to find out how Fluffy and Fido are doing. From the Humane Society of the United States

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Far Horizons


Motu Koitabu - Papau New Guinea
Photo by: AP/Torsten Blackwood
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One of the giant Motu Koitabu lagatois (traditional trading vessels) sails from Manubada Island towards Port Moresby for the Hiri Moale festival. This festival is an annual event to mark the successful Hiri trading pilgrimages (free of pirates) bringing vegetables back from distant villages. Its celebration coincides with Papau New Guinea's Independence Day (from Australia) celebration in September. Port Moresby lies on the southeast shore of New Guinea and is built around Fairfax Harbour. Europeans became aware of this port city when British explorer John Moresby sailed through the Gulf of Papua in 1873. About 15 years later, Great Britain established the colony of British New Guinea here, and named Port Moresby the capital. The area was occupied by Motu and Koitabu people for thousands of years before the Europeans arrived. The Motuans, who migrated to the area about 2,000 years ago, have sustained themselves by building seaworthy sailboats and sailing along the Gulf of Papua to trade their pottery for sago flour. You can take short drives around to the many picnic sites, jungle walks and swim in the Crystal Rapids. Variarata National Park is a spectacular natural mountain region which offers tiny tree kangaroos, enormous Queen Alexandra Birdwing butterflies, plus
views over Port Moresby and the coastline. If you get up early, you can catch the mist which blankets the ranges and provides a glorious picture.

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Untangling the Web

Inspiration Online Magazine

"Today's Front Pages"
528 front pages from 47 countries ...
Choose your continent and mouse over the cities
on the map to get a view of the front page of
that city's newspaper. A good way to see what
news stories get top play in different regions.

Check HereInspirational Links

Inspiration Online Magazine

"Reading Small Text"
If the text of a website or email you are viewing looks too small, you can change the way your browser displays that text in Internet Explorer. Click the View menu, then point to Text Size. From the resulting sub-menu, select the desired text size setting: Smallest Smaller Medium Larger Largest. Even Easier Mouse Tip: If you have "wheel" mouse, you can change text size by holding down the CTRL key while turning the wheel. This will cause your browser or email display to rotate through the various text size levels.
(Contributed by Candy who lives in Palatka, Florida)


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Just for YOU

"With a Little Faith"
"Faith Stringfellow is an amazing little dog, with an even more amazing story. Faith suffered from a birth defect, she became a member of our family when she was just a three-week old puppy. My son Reuben (17) picked Faith out of a litter of puppies that his friend's dog had. Several of the puppies were deformed; a few had already died. The mother dog was literally terminating Faith's life because she knew instinctively that Faith was unable to battle the other puppies for a place to feed. Faith was weak, small, runtish, and mostly she was nearly dead. Reuben lifted her weak body out from under the mother dog; he brought her home to me knowing I had a heart like a marshmallow. Even though Faith has this defect we taught her to stand, hop, and eventually walk on her two back legs, like a human. She's been a great dog and we forget she's handicapped. You'll turn around and she's chasing the geese at the park, running, jumping, skipping, and acting like any other dog ... well, any other dog with a nose reach of 40" from the ground! (Watch your plate, she'll clean it for you before you're ready to share.)"
Faith even has her own website at: www.FaithTheDog.net and see Faith's Video

Faith -

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Laughing It Off

Enjoy the answers given by elementary school age children to the following questions:

Why were mothers created?
She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.

Is anything about your mom that's perfect?
Just her children.

What kind of little girl was your mom?
I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.

Describe the world's greatest mom?
She'd always be smiling and keep her opinions to herself.

Why did your mom marry your dad?
My grandma says that mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?
Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet ... maybe blue.

What's the difference between moms and dads?
Moms work at work and work at home, and dads just have to work at work.

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?
I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.

What did your mom need to know about your dad before she married him?
She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer? Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores.

When my daughter was about four years old, she still had a hard time grasping the concept of marriage. So her dad pulled out our wedding album, thinking visual images would help, and explained the entire service to her. Once finished, he asked if she had any questions, and she replied ...
"Oh. I see. Is that when Mommy came to work for us?"

I had been teaching our three-year-old daughter her evening prayers. For several evenings at bedtime she repeated it after me. One night she said she was ready to solo. I listened with pride, as she carefully enunciated each word, right up to the end of the prayer ...
"Lead us not into temptation," she prayed, "but deliver us some e-mail. Amen."

~Contributed by Jane at www.The-Cats-Meow.com in Mattoon, Illinois
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Joyful Lifestyles: Weekly InsightsInspiration Online Magazine - Joy

Each of us has the power of emotional choice and we can create permanent change in OURSELVES ... at any age. Let’s look at some of the reasons why we’re afraid to make the very choices that could change our lives. Renowned psychologist Barbara DeAngeles, Ph.D., says to imagine that we are standing atop a mountain ... a mountain called our “comfort zone”. It represents the way we’re used to living, risks we take, etc. It’s not called our comfort zone because it’s always comfortable, but because it’s always FAMILIAR. Across a ravine from our mountain is another mountain. Atop that one is everything we want: a better relationship, more freedom, more success, more prosperity, that new job. We say to ourselves, “I know I need to jump, I know it’s time. I’m ready....” Then we stop. Why? Because of FEAR.

First, there’s the fear of failing, or not being able to do it, or making a mistake. Sometimes the greatest mistakes in life come from procrastination or from taking no action at all. After fear of failure, the second thing that keeps us from changing is fear of the unknown. At least our current circumstances, as painful or unsatisfying as they may be, are familiar. It’s almost like we’ve said, “I’d rather suffer with what I have today than to change because at least I know what to expect.”

The third thing that stops us from leaping from our present mountain to a new one is the fear of leaving old and familiar ways behind. For right there next to us on our mountain top are a bunch of suitcases ... our emotional baggage. Baggage that represents old anger or resentment we haven’t let go of, childhood patterns that we haven’t changed and so forth. Sometimes we’re not alone on the mountain. Maybe there’s our partner, or family, or friends. We tell them “Come on jump, I’m ready to change” and they reply, “No, you go ahead, I like it right here where I am.” Then we have to make a decision between keeping them company or leaving them behind and growing for ourselves. It’s very painful to choose between our own growth and keeping somebody we love company.

The fourth fear that people have for making changes in their life is the fear of letting go and losing control. Letting go may feel scary, but it’s SO much easier than holding on to a familiar, yet painful way of life that no longer serves us. Most of us have a high tolerance for emotional pain. We wait until a crisis or drama happens to finally take action. We wait until the pressure is overwhelming, and THEN we get counseling, join a workshop, start exercising or whatever. If you had a lot of pain or drama in your childhood like I did, you may have a high tolerance of emotional pain because you became used to it while growing up. When we grow up in a home with alcoholism or constant fighting, or if our parents were unhappy and there was a lot of tension, we get accustomed to that kind of tension in our own lives. Therefore, we may not fully acknowledge being in pain.

Dr. DeAngeles explains that sometimes when we’re standing on our mountain and not leaping, though we know we need to, and our tolerance for emotional pain is high, we get a swift kick from “Beyond” saying —- “You know, they’re never going to take action unless I give them a push!” That’s when our partner comes home and says, “Honey, this relationship just isn’t working, I’m leaving.” Or maybe we’re in a job we know isn’t right, but we haven’t gotten around to quitting, and one day, all of a sudden, our boss sits us down and says, “You’re fired.” I call this phenomenon an “Intervention by a Cosmic Baseball Bat."

When in your life has something interceded and forced you to act, even when you were holding back? Maybe it was a car accident that made you lie in bed and re-examine your life, or an illness that forced you to re-evaluate how you take care of yourself. Why not compose a list of these occurrences ... contemplate what happened and see what thoughts come to you. Next month we will explore specific tools for going beyond fear in "Actions Speak Louder than Fears." Until then, remember what the English poet John Milton wrote so long ago ...

“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make
heaven out of Hell and a hell of Heaven...”

Chelle (Pronounced 'Shay') Thompson
Inspiration Line's Editor

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