Friday, September 30, 2011

Will it get better?

He who is present at a wrongdoing and does not lift a hand to prevent it is as guilty as the wrongdoers.
= Omaha

I thought this was an appropriate quote from my book of native proverbs, in the light of the seemingly never ending bullying going on in our schools and online.

The kids are learning this behavior from somewhere. Whether it's the parents, a mentor or other kids in school, this is not normal and we need to educate people of the long term results.

As adults, we can usually make it through a rough spot or two and know that it will get better. As children that are 13 or 14 years old, four years until graduation is beyond comprehension. Even a week can seem like an eternity. A week of torture can be all it takes for a youngster to decide to take his or her own life. It can be so hard to see that there is hope. We all need to be present in our daily interactions with them. You could be the person who saves someone's life. Just by being nice to them. By standing up to someone that is picking on someone else. It's a big, lonely world out there for some of these kids.

During my upcoming trip, we will be filming a "It get's better video" in memory of Jamey Rodemey and all the other kids that we have lost because of bullying over the last year. I am happy to participate in this project and I hope that it does help someone. But even more than that, I live by example every day. We can't let this continue. Laughing at other people just because they may seem a little different is unacceptable. I was that kid. And I hope that no one ever has to go through what I went through.

I have had to do a service for one such kid a few years ago. It was by far the hardest funeral that I have ever done. It rips your heart out to see the family suffering from the loss. It's very real. I still visit the grave of that young man some three years later. And I wonder if anyone learned anything from his death, or is it all still the same.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Here it is, almost October in Michigan. The nights are getting cooler and the days are not so warm any more either. I understand that autumn is in the air. That the end of summer has come. But tell me why the big maple tree in my yard is the only tree in the neighborhood that is turning color. While every tree around us is a lush dark green, my maple has turned a burning shade of red and is loosing it's leaves all over the garden and the cars. Now, before you tell me that it must be the species of tree, I present to you that the tree that was planted 200 feet away from a seed that came off from the flaming tree, is still green. What's up with that?!

At work last night, I was approached by one of my co-workers. She had been invited to another co-workers church on Thursday for what he calls a testimonial. So she asked what this testimonial was all about. He informed her that it was a young man in their congregation that had cured himself of homosexuality. That he wants to share with the world how he overcame the sin and remorse. How he is now a happy healthy and married straight man doing God's work.

I found it interesting that he is giving this testimonial to the church and not at the local gay and lesbian center. And that our co-worker chose to invite a straight woman to attend, not a gay man. You would think if he was doing God's work, he'd be trying to save me. Then it hit me. It's not about saving me or any other gay person in the world. It's about politics. If they can convince your average person that being gay is wrong, then everything that the GLBT community has worked for, for so many years can be reversed. Instead of loving everyone, like Jesus instructed, they choose to hate. Oh yeah, they'll love me and accept me, if I change my evil ways. Gay people come from straight parents. That's the way it works. If the parents don't accept a gay child, then maybe they will be able to convince that child to be straight. Why would you want to make your child suffer and hide who he or she really is? How is that loving your child? This particular church is advocating this type of behavior. They are advocating hate. In a time when there is too much bullying going on in our schools, we are teaching our children that it's OK to pick on that kid, because they are sinners and are going to die for their sins anyway. That's the cold hard truth.

At first I laughed off the mention of the invitation. But as the day wore on, it started to really bother me that this is going on right here in my own town.

I heard someone saying recently that an acquaintance had told him that the thought of homosexual sex disgusted him. I loved his reply. He told his friend that the thought of his parents having sex disgusted him but it was the ugliness of their sex that brought him in to this world, so he'll just have to live with it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sleek, sophisticated

"You can have money piled to the ceiling but the size of your funeral is still going to depend on the weather"
- Chuck Tanner

Oh, how I wish that quote were true. Last Friday the rain was pouring down. And the cars were pouring in to the parking lot even faster. After an hour of standing out there trying to keep things organized, I was soaked to the core. My feet were so wet that I made squishy noises as I walked. By the end of the day, I had the worst case of prune toes I'd seen since I was a child that wouldn't get out of the pool. I hope you're having a dry day where ever you are.

I think I'll go buy some new shoes.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Awards and Accolades

I am not one to get into these blog awards. I have refrained from participating with them in the past for a variety of reasons. But I thought I'd take the time to say Thank You! to those that have passed along the occasional award. I do appreciate that you each follow what I write and think enough about it to share it with your friends and followers.

I'd like to thank Annie over at Morning AJ for giving me this particular award. And as with all of the awards, I am very flattered. I do try to be versatile in my writing. I realize that each of you come here for a different reason. And the multiple personalities that live inside me love to talk.

I look forward every day to reading all of the blogs that I follow so it's very difficult to point out specific ones. Each blogger has a unique point of view that ads more than I could have ever imagined to my life.

I know everyone loves Jim and Sophie (Ron) out there in Nova Scotia. And who doesn't find the daily happenings in Wales to be entertaining and enlightening.

I love the photography work done by my friend Stephanie and she could use some encouragement when it comes to blogging about her interesting life. And her young inspiring son Spencer has so many stories in his head and I'm sure that I'm not the only one that would love to read them some day. I could go on and on about all of the blogs on my blog list because I love them all. But I will leave it at that.

Lastly, I'm supposed to tell 7 things about me. I think my 30 day blog challenge told more about me than I ever thought I'd tell. But, we'll see where this goes.

1. No one thinks I'm as old as I am.
2. I am schooled in business management, commercial art and interior design. With the exception of running our small company, I currently use none of that.
3. I love to travel.
4. I am married to a wonderful man that puts up with me more than he should.
5. I would do anything for my dog Pugsley.
6. I absolutely love what I do in the funeral business
7. I have been completely rebuilding my kitchen since spring. It's been all cash, one piece at a time.  Yesterday, the new cork floor was laid!

Thanks to AJ and everyone that stops by to read. I hope that I can always have something of interest for you.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Last Look

OK. One last look at last weekends event. I think this slide show wraps it up pretty well.

I hope you've enjoyed our visit to Hell as much as we did.

We only get one day a year to have a little fun with our over priced metaphysically impaired transport vehicle.

I promise to move forward now.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Glory of Love

The young girl from Detroit started singing and modeling in the 1920's while she was just a teenager. Her face could be seen in Hudson Department Store ads all across the region. Then a local radio show heard her singing at her Catholic church and decided she should be on the radio. It wasn't long before she was a hit in Detroit.

When a traveling musical came to town, they needed a background singer and understudy. She was a natural for the position. When the show left town, so did she. Thus started a long, successful career of singing and dancing on Broadway in New York. In her spare time, she continued to model for Macy's.

At 60 years of age, she decided to leave the big city lights behind. Along with her brother, she purchased a farm in a small town north of Detroit. Together, they bread and raised Thoroughbred  horses for racing.

When her brother fell ill and had to be moved to a nursing facility, she saw the need for better health care for the elderly and donated millions to the cause.

At eighty seven, she herself needed assistance and moved to the facility that she built originally for her brother. Finally, at ninety years young she's left us. Fourteen people came to her funeral and she died fairly anonymously.

It's sad that someone who was so popular and did so much with her life, could end up alone with only a few employees to see her off. Time had taken what little family she had and most all of her friends.

It was your average Catholic service. Done by the text book without much indication even to who the service was for. That is, until the communion. While those in attendance came forward to receive the gifts of the body and blood of Christ, our guest of honor had requested that the organist play her favorite song that she had sung in the halls of the nursing home and on a New York stage so many years ago. The organist played "Glory of Love".

One by one, everyone started to sing the song without prompting. By the end, we were all singing and there wasn't a dry eye in the church.

It doesn't matter how many people attend your funeral. As long as those who do, know that you loved them.
Have you told your loved ones how much you care lately?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Traffic from Hell

It's kind of a long video. If you want to see our hearse, we are front and center at 10:30 with the American flags on the hood.
I won't make you guess this time.

Your greatest enemy

Seek strength, not to be greater than your brother,
But to fight your greatest enemy; Yourself.

-unknown tribe

Isn't it your triumphs over adversity, surprise rebounds, and stellar comebacks that you look back on with the most fondness? Far more than the easy, cake for breakfast and pyjamas in the afternoon, kind of times?

Haven't you noticed, that you're "wired" to succeed?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

To Hell and back!

 Thanks to my Exit Visa, we made it through Hell and back. Hell, Michigan that is.
 It's a unique kind of car club, the professional car society. We all gathered in Hell to kick off the Halloween season by having a hearse show and parade.

 Today we were entered into the Guiness Book of World Records for having the "Longest Parade of Hearses". We needed 50 to set a record and we actually got 51!
 Here you can see an admirer photographing what was the shiniest hearse in the bunch (Ours!) We were also the only ones there that actually had a corps in the back of the car that very morning.
 Here's my nephew Nate in front of his dream car. Nate had the honor of riding to Hell in the back of our hearse.
 Again, all but two of these fine vehicles had been retired and given a new life in show business.
 The theatrics of some of the displays was hilarious.
 Some were almost as old as me. And still making the rounds in the circus.
 Some had been modified to be a little more showy.
 After a long day of mingling, we all lined up for the procession  parade of hearses.
 It's always nice to have some ice cream from the Crematory in Screams Ice Cream Shop.
My niece Sam found some creepy things to play with while we were there.

All in all, it was good clean fun. After the parade of hearses, traffic was hell trying to get out of there. So it was a good thing that I had my exit visa.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cremate mine, please

I'll take my hot dog cremated !

Casket Grill

It's the unofficial kick-off of the Halloween season in Hell Michigan.

This video was taken by a by-stander at last years Parade of Hearses in Hell, Michigan.
I'll give you a hint. Our hearse is toward the end of the parade because we got there late, as we had a service in the morning. See if you can spot us and tell me where in the comments.

Each year, hearse enthusiast from all over convene on a small town here in Michigan named Hell. Last year there were 47 hearses. Most of them were older and had been given a new life. But there were two that were still in commission. One of those being ours. This year we are attempting to get in the Guiness book of World Records with the longest procession of hearses. There currently is no record but Guiness has set the standard at 50. Since better weather is forecast this year, we are expecting to make it. I'll let you know if we do or not. Either way, it's a great way to let off a little steam and relax for the day with other people who appreciate the beauty of the vehicle.

Enjoy this little number on this cool weekend, and Happy Halloween!

Originally published at

Thursday, September 15, 2011


He was just your average guy. At  ninety-two years of age, his eyes had seen so much. But nothing all that spectacular. He never really traveled. He wasn't rich and he wasn't poor. He wasn't tall and he wasn't short. He wasn't fat and he wasn't skinny.

Daily he wore beige polyester pants with a beige shirt, plain brown shoes and a brown belt. His appearance matched his life. He never wanted to stand out from the crowd, only blend in. He stood in the shadows, taking it all in. He never really did anything much to write about. Yet, write he did. He kept a journal of all his mundane, boring days. Ninety-two years of nothing.

He wrote of the day he met his wife to be. He wrote of their wedding day and of starting their ordinary family. He wrote of his grandchildren and all of their accomplishments. He wrote of his great-grandchildren and the color of their hair. He described in detail each dimple on their cheeks while they smiled when he bought them their own bag of M&M's. And not those little bags, we're talking about those big $3.99 bags. He went in to detail  of how proud he felt as his son and daughter graduated from first high school and then college. He put in to words his feeling for his wife on their 60th wedding anniversary. And he told stories of how he teased the neighbor for 20 years about having to wear a hat to keep from getting sun burned on the top of his head.

His life was pretty beige and he reflected that every day. And every day, he reflected about how perfect life is when you take the time to enjoy it and appreciate all the little things. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but he had a good life all the way, wearing beige.

He touched so many lives in ways he could never have imagined. So many people are better off today for having known him, even just a little. Often we think that we are not doing very much in life. That we are boring and don't matter. That no one cares. As bloggers, we have found that there are others who care about our silly little quirks. That sometimes the simplest things in our life, can instigate change half way around the world. We do matter. We all are special and people will love us, if we allow them to. And it's up to us whether or not we enjoy our lives. No matter how beige it may seem.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I've seen a lot of things in the funeral business. I have to admit that I never saw this one coming. Below is an article that I found on ....

There’s a beautiful grotesque quality in the way Italian coffin-makers Cofani Funebri are advertising their products these days. The juxtaposition of Eros and Thanatos (sex and death) have a frightening ability to go hand-in-hand ever so flawlessly. Where one gives life, the other takes it away – and while both have been shrouded in a label of taboo, Cofani Funebri looks to change that.
Since 2003, when the first casket calendar was printed, Cofani Funebri has seen considerable amounts of interest in their macabre portraits of caskets and the models who pose with them. From stirring controversy inside the country of Italy to inspiring Lindner, the largest producer of caskets in Poland, Cofani Funebri’s casket calendars attracts critics of all sorts.
However, Maurizio Matteucci, of Cofani Funebri says, that despite the negative reactions some people may give the calendar, people from around the world are placing orders.
Championing the success of the calendar to society’s evolving view of death, Matteucci said, “We were searching for an innovative way to show our product, and I thought the best way to do so was to make it provocative; showing the coffin near scantily dressed models was a means of advertising.”
Much like how car manufacturers may show proactive models poised next to their product, this form of advertising isn’t far from placing sex appeal onto something most people would not consider purchasing right away.
And while Matteucci said the mixture of sex and death makes the calendars unique, reports throughout various blogs and forums have stated that the Italian government has placed a censorship over the calendar for offending the public. Matteucci himself says that a censorship over the calendars seems fatuous as there were no usages of religious symbols in the photographs.
“(It might be considered controversial) because for the first time a coffin factory has tried to show the casket and advertise it with a beautiful model near the product,” Matteucci said.
Despite the controversy that has arisen around the calendar, Matteucci feels that the popularity for the calendars stems from the evolving views people have when it comes to death.
“People that are into gothic and dark art movements love the calendar,” he said. “(It could be) because for the first time, people inside the funeral industry have their own calendar.”
I find the artistry of both the caskets and the photography to be intriquing. I'm not going to run out and buy a calendar though.

Published at

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Safe Harbor

 Last Saturday, I took the day off.
 Yes, it's true.

My husband, myself and a good friend took a drive up the coast to the sleepy little town of Lexington.
Lexington is a cute little town filled with b&b's and quaint shops. We enjoyed some burgers at Wimpy's Hamburgers and walked around listening to the live music being played at many stages throughout town and along the shore. They were having the Thumb Music festival with bands ranging from jazz to bluegrass. My husband's oldest brother was playing so we thought we'd show our support.

 No trip to Lexington would be complete without exploring the harbor. Since Lake Huron can get pretty rough, they've built a huge wall of rocks encircling the docks to protect the boats from the ravaging waves.

It's so peaceful to walk along the top of the rocks all the way out to the end. You're far enough away from shore that you can't hear any of the goings-on. It's the next best thing to being on a boat.

It's the perfect place to sit and fish if that's your sort of thing. Or if you're like myself, a great place to be alone with your thoughts. If you're with a loved one, like I was this time, it's a great place to enjoy each others company.

It was a beautiful "last unofficial day of summer". Later in the day, as the sky started to darken, we decided to head for home. When we reached our house, our neighbor stuck his head out and told us that he was concerned because he'd heard that Lexington was having severe storms and he knew that we were going there for the day. I guess we left at the right time. You can't always stay in the protection of the harbor.

That got me to thinking of some wonderful quotes for you today.

A ship in the harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are built for.

- John A. Shedd

And a favorite of mine....

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the things that you did do.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Explore. Dream. Discover.

- Mark Twain

Here in Michigan, you can tell that it is September. The temps have fallen, a few trees are turning and the kids have all started school again. It's cool and rainy today, and there is the promise of apple cider in the air.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


What is there, that I can say about this?

Every time I walk through an antique shop, I feel as though I am walking through my parents basement. While some of the things from my youth will be saved and cherished, still others will end up in a shop somewhere. So there is definitely some truth to what this sign states.

Originally published at

Monday, September 5, 2011

More Love!

Everyone I know seems to be either looking for love or seeking a more meaningful love. 
What brings all the people to the funerals that I do each day?
Love! We come together in love to honor those that have left us.
I've yet to see a funeral where no one came to say good bye.
We are each loved by many people, and yet there are a lot of lonely, sad people out there. People who feel as though no one loves them.
Do you want more love?
The answer is simple. If you want more love, then you must give more love. There is more love available out there than any one person could ever handle. So give and take as much as you'd like.
Start with a smile to a stranger and go from there. Give a smile to the person in the car next to you. Give a smile to the clerk at the store. Say hello to people you may never know. By doing so, you will feel better and others will feel better as well. When we feel better, we are happier. When we are happier, we love more. 

This may seem obvious to a lot of us, but we could all use a reminder now and then.

So if you want people to be nicer to you and respect you, then do the same for them. You never know where it may lead.

Happy Labor Day to those here in the States. I love you....

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The soul would have no rainbow...

In honor of my now late mother and her Native American ancestry, I will be quoting from time to time some Native American proverbs. Many of which will be quoted from the book  "The Soul Would Have No Rainbow, If The Eyes Had No Tears" by Guy A Zona.

My grandfather claimed to be Chippewa, but his family came from the central New York area, where there were no Chippewa. Since there wasn't a lot of records kept in the 1800's, we'll let him slide and embrace ALL the Native American teachings.

For in reality,"With all things and in all things, we are relatives"
- Sioux


Proverbs are time-honored truths which condense the collected wisdom and experience of a people and their culture. If you want to know a people, the saying goes, know their proverbs.

Proverbs often serve as a means of instruction in the rules of conduct and ethical behavior expected by all members of a society. What makes them an effective tool is that they are based on a keen observation of human nature and behavior rather than idealized and unrealistic standard.

The proverbs I'll share here are those of a people who love the land and regard it as sacred, who see daily prayer as a duty, and have no need to set apart one day out of seven as a holy day, but rather observe every day as God's day.

Feel free along the way to share a proverb of your own ancestry in the comments.

Originally published at