“Forgive and forget.” It has been said that these two should go hand-in-hand, but it doesn’t always work that way, does it? Too many times we will say, ‘ok, I forgive you. But I’m not going to forget what you did/said/etc.’

It isn’t real forgiveness if we continue to hang on to what happened and replay it over and over. Letting these things fester in our hearts and minds does nothing but make us feel bad. There is no real forgiveness unless we really do forgive and forget.

Forgiving and forgetting are acts of kindness and mercy to the other person, but most of all to ourselves. When we can actually let go of hurt feelings, anger, fear, doubt and frustration, we set ourselves free. Forgiving and not forgetting is no forgiveness at all.

Often people do and say things that cut deeply and, believe it or not, they may not be aware of its affect on you. To them, they are just blowing off steam and you just happened to be in the way. It doesn’t make them terrible people, it’s just the way that they process things.

If we take the long view, how does it serve us to keep a running list of hurts and offenses against us? It doesn’t hurt the person who committed the offence in the first place, but it sure hurts YOU.

It isn’t easy to forgive and forget. But it is vital to realize that keeping track of each and everything, big or small, that offended us is actually hurting us. Who needs that?

I recently found the following “Paradoxical Commandments” from Kent M. Keith, “The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council.” They have made me laugh and think, as well as forgive and forget. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I did.

“The Paradoxical Commandments:

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.” 



Easy-Peasey Stuff

It took me years of listening to people a lot smarter than I was to find out that there is always an easy way and a hard way to do most anything. You’d think that these things would be intuitive, but most are not.

For example, I learned the hard way that when cooking, it is a lot easier to clean up as you go along. Before I got interested in cooking, I would watch my mother prepare a meal. After each task, such as chopping carrots, she would first dispose of all the peelings and clean up. By the time supper was ready, the kitchen was spotless and mess-less.

So now when I cook, I clean up as I go. All vegetable peelings go in a large container; when full, the contents go into our compost heap. Just by taking that little amount of time to clean up saves me from having a huge mess to tackle after dinner (when I’m too tired to do it, but have energy enough to gripe about it).

The same goes for my personal dictum: “if you use up something, replace it immediately.” This goes for that last sheet of toilet paper on the roll—put a new roll on the spindle or face the consequences….

Then there is that one drawer of obscure kitchen-y stuff such as the can opener, tongs, mallets, measuring spoons, small spatulas, chopsticks, zester, egg slicer, etc. When you find what you were looking for, use it, clean it and then put it back where it belongs. (Do not for one second decide it doesn’t matter where it goes—IT DOES.)

When you are getting low on something such as dish soap, steel wool pads, paper towels, vitamins, etc., do not wait until something runs out. Here’s how to keep ahead of things: 1) keep a note up on the refrigerator of “Stuff We Are Running Out Of.” 2) *Take the note with you when shopping.

Then there is the pet food situation. We have four cats, and although none of them wear watches, they know when it’s time to eat. If they are fed in the morning and their food container is empty afterwards, do not wait—fill it up right away before you forget.

Believe me, you do not want to be running around filling up the food containers later on in the day when four pairs of eyes are staring at you and all the cats are meowing loudly because they are not-so-patiently waiting for their dinner.

So, there you have it—some easy-peasey stuff to keep you from losing your mind. Don’t wait for a crisis to happen; be proactive. You don’t want to be that person who forgot to buy toilet paper, cat food or that one ingredient you needed for supper—and supper time is right now.

Be proactive, not reactive. Easy-peasey, lemon-squeezey!

*This simple step will save you money and your sanity. If you stop at the store without the note, you will probably remember some of the stuff you need, but not all. Having the note with you keeps you from buying “hungry” purchases like that tempting box of chocolate-dipped Oreos or deluxe canned crab. Take the note.

*TANSTAAFL or There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

Robert Heinlein was right; there really is no such thing as a free lunch. When you think about it, you really don’t get something for nothing; there is always a catch. It’s a bit like the free shipping you get if you buy more stuff to qualify for it. Perhaps you didn’t really want all that stuff, but the free shipping caught your eye…..and there you are, paying more for the “free” shipping.

The “something for nothing” principle is, I think, responsible for the staggering debt some folks have. I too was once so entranced with my credit cards and the alluring promise of ‘buy it NOW! You don’t have to pay for it until later.’ And when the ‘later’ came, it was clear just how much money I had let slip through my fingers.

The “free lunch” concept is not only about money, either. Say that you are ready to move to a new place. You don’t have enough stuff to need a professional mover, but you do need to rent a U-Haul. So you ask a few friends to help you move. This is a pretty big favor, so you really should provide lunch and drinks (limit those drinks to soda, water or juice; beer is a bad idea; trust me on this one).

It is a win for both you and your friends. You get help moving your stuff, and the friends get to enjoy a lunch. The lunch isn’t free labor-wise; your friends “paid” for the lunch by helping you move.

Then there is the ‘wonderful job offer’ which initially looks like a free lunch, but isn’t. When I was a lot younger I was working for a good company and I loved my job. My immediate boss was a charismatic young man who was not only smart and successful, but he looked after his people and stood up for them.

One day he approached me and asked if I would like to work for him exclusively. He said that he and his wife were starting their own company and that they would very much like me to be part of it. There would be a significant raise involved, too, as well as many perks; better health insurance, more days off, etc.

I was flattered by his offer. I knew his wife well; she was every bit as ambitious and career-driven as he was. They had me over to their house for dinner, and we discussed the new business and what my place in it would be.

Long story short, I left my job and joined their company. Initially, I felt I had won the jackpot. The job was perfect for me, and I was making more money. However, over time I began to see a pattern. It seemed that I was expected to agree with everything my bosses said and did. But even then it didn’t seem to be a big deal.

However, one day I was asked to “spy” on another company. At first, I thought that they were joking. They both had a great sense of humor, so I laughed when they told me what my role would be. No returning laughter. They were dead serious, and what they were proposing to do was just about as close to illegal business practice as you could get without landing in jail.

I realized then that the fancy new job, the money and the perks were just the cheese that led me into the mousetrap. I couldn’t do what they wanted, and I disagreed with their business ethics. So I was fired on the spot. My “free lunch” had a huge price tag.

This is why I always keep “tanstaafl” in mind. Truly there is no such thing as a free lunch. Somehow or other, you’re going to pay the bill for that lunch.

*”TANSTAAFL” or “There Ain’tNo Such Thing As A Free Lunch,” concept from Robert Heinlein’s book, “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.”

My New Etsy Store is Open

Hi all,

I wanted to let you know that my new Etsy store is open. I am still in the process of entering more pictures (right now only seven necklace and earring sets are up) on the store, so please stay tuned. Later on I will be adding wrap bracelets and some vintage items.

If you’d like to see it, you can find it at My old store used to be janesjools4u, but I wanted to dedicate this new store to my late mother, who was an excellent jewelry designer. Hence the “ForeverGlo” part of the name.

Thanks for visiting, and thank you as always for reading!

Genius Cook

I may have some issues with modern technology, but I have to admit that it’s handy when cooking. Why? As with writing, sometimes the brain just goes numb and you can’t come up with a good topic. So if I look in the refrigerator and see two eggs, some stale bread, some rapidly ripening tomatoes and the end of a hunk of cheese, I know what to do.

I type in all those ingredients on the computer, starting with “what can I make with <the items I just described>?” Behold and lo, there are recipes using exactly what I’ve got.

While that’s handy, even the computer is no match for a quick brain. My mother was what I call a “genius cook.” Having lost her mother early in her teens, she learned quickly how to do just about anything, including cook. She used to say that she knew 100 ways to serve hamburger, and she was bold and inventive in her cooking.

Just a note here on cooks in general: I believe that you have to not only love food in order to prepare and serve good food; you also have to love the people you cook for. After her mother died, Mom moved in with her brother and took care of the house and the cooking. She also went to school at the same time. Her responsibilities must have made her seem older and more mature than her classmates, but she took it all in stride.

I was in my mid-twenties before I mastered the knack of putting a meal together so that everything was done at the same time. But Mom had this and so much else down to a science. I mentioned this to her years ago about how I admired her doing so much with so little.

The following Christmas she gave me one of the best gifts I’ve ever received; a *hand-written cookbook she put together called “Mama’s Best Recipes.” In it were simple and delicious recipes that I have now used for decades.

If you are lucky enough to have a genius cook in your family (and if you yourself are a genius cook, my hat is off to you), then you know how lucky you are. If not, here are a few of Mom’s tried and true recipes I’ll share with you. I hope that they become delicious standards for you as they have been for me and my family.

Sweet and Sour Brisket


beef brisket

2 cups sliced onions

3/4 cup ketchup

2 T. vinegar

2 T. Worcestershire sauce

4 T. soy sauce

1/3 cup sugar (or agave to taste)

3/4 cup water


Place the brisket in a large casserole dish and cover with onions. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the brisket and onions. Cover and bake for 3-4 hours in a 325 degree oven.

Note: Chuck roast can be used, but cook one hour less.

This dish is fabulous with mashed potatoes and a salad.

Cheese Custard (or Cheese Strata)


10 slices buttered (or not) bread, cut in large cubes

3 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese

1 t. salt

1 t. dry mustard

2 cups milk

4 eggs, well-beaten


Butter (or use cooking spray) a casserole dish and put a layer of cheese on the bottom. Add bread cubes, then repeat until the casserole is full; top layer is cheese. Mix the other ingredients together well and pour over the bread and cheese. Refrigerate overnight (or at least 8 hours).

Put the casserole into a pan of water and bake for one hour at 375 degrees.

This dish is great for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. You can also add to it shrimp, cubed ham, or crumbled bacon.

Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients/Directions for Chicken:

Shake into a paper bag:

Chicken legs, breasts, wings

3/4 cup flour

Salt and pepper

1 T. paprika

Place the chicken into a large baking pan.

Ingredients/Directions for Sweet Potatoes:

2-3 sweet potatoes (or as many as you like), peeled and cut into wedges

Sprinkle potatoes with rosemary and salt and pepper to cover, and place into the baking pan along with the chicken.

Melt one stick of butter and pour a third of it over the chicken and sweet potatoes.

Bake at 425 degrees for one hour. Baste the chicken and potatoes with butter two more times while baking.

This is one of those dishes you can enjoy as it is, or add a salad with it.

*I wish you could see this cookbook; it is liberally stained and smudged on nearly every page. Some of the pages are so worn you can practically see through them. Although I have copied all the recipes on line, I can’t bear to throw out this precious legacy from my mom.




Writers’ Block

Oh, dear, I’ve got writers’ block again—

I’ve got nothing that’s good enough to pen!

My mind’s a blank, my thoughts are cloudy,

I’m out of ideas and my inspiration’s gone rowdy.

I think I woke my brain up too early this morning;

My ideas have gone flat, without any warning.

My wit’s gone numb

My brain is dumb—

I wonder when I’ll feel clever enough

To even scratch out a rough

Version of what I might like to say;

But it may be that I’ve given my head a free day

In which to recoup my thoughts, my brain, my soul—

Until I can get myself back on a roll,

And put some insight into word

Even though the very thought’s absurd!

As my inspiration’s flat as a cracker,

Guess today I’m going to be a slacker!





The “Side-Along” Driver and Other Annoyances

We all know people who seem to want to run our lives better than we do; you know the type. They can be naggers, buttinskis, tattletales, know-it-alls, and lately; the “side-along” driver.

Naggers like to nag, buttinskis like to poke their noses into other peoples’ business, tattletales like to dish the dirt on everyone, know-it-alls feel that they know everything about everything—and you can’t tell them differently.

Then there is what I call the ‘side-along’ driver. You’re driving, you know where you’re going, and you’re fully aware of the traffic. You are about to make a left-hand turn, but see a car in the distance coming from the other direction. Something tells you not to make that turn just yet, so you don’t. It is at this time that the side-along driver yells, “GO! Go, go, already!”

When I am driving, I drive my way. When someone else is driving, they can drive their way. I don’t like being shouted at, and I certainly don’t want to do something that I’m not ready that I don’t feel right about.

When someone else is driving, I may not agree with everything they do. In fact, there are times when I have had to clutch the seat and keep my mouth shut at the same time. What keeps me sane is thinking, ‘well, I wouldn’t do it that way, but I’m not driving.’ Plus I hope that some seriously strong angels are watching over me.

So why do all the naggers, buttinskis, tattletales, know-it-alls, and “side-along” drivers do what they do? I think that many people just want to be in control of everything at all times. It gives them a sense of security and purpose, and it may be the only thing that keeps them going each day.

How do I know this? I know this because at several times in my life I have been all those annoying things, and more. Once I realized the harm I was causing I was horrified; I had become one of “those” people. Oh, it hadn’t gotten to the point where the villagers were coming after me with torches and pitchforks, but it was close.

So each day I try not to judge or demand that everyone do things my way. I have to keep telling myself, ‘you take care of your own life; let others take care of theirs.’ I try not to offer opinions unless asked, and I especially try not to be annoyed, upset or impatient. It’s a tall order, and I’m working on it every day.

Besides, trying to make people do things your way is like trying to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and it annoys the pig.

Back to Hula I Go!

Back before my knee was bad enough to need a full knee replacement, and back before I tore both rotator cuffs, I danced hula. I had two wonderful teachers, a mom and her daughter, and fell in love with hula from the first lesson.

What is it about hula that is so intoxicating, graceful, beautiful, soulful, spiritual? Every movement of feet, legs, hips, waist, shoulders, arms, hands and head have meaning. I learned some ancient dances passed on from generations of hula dancers and kumus (teachers). I learned relatively new dances, holiday dances, story-telling dances, happy dances, and historical dances.

Hula doesn’t care if you are young or old, heavy or thin, or whether you have some body issues that make it hard to do some of the steps. It matters only that you dance your best, in love and in spirit, honoring the souls of all the ancients who first danced. The dance can be a prayer, a story, a celebration; some dances are very serious, some are fun and frivolous, some tell stories and some are beyond words and thought.

However, I had to stop dancing due to the first torn rotator cuff. I had surgery to repair it, and recovery was slow. And wouldn’t you know it; about a year later the repair tore. At that time I had no health insurance, so I couldn’t have it repaired again. However, I did daily exercises to strengthen the areas around the rotator cuff, which gave me more mobility and much less pain.

But every day I mourned the loss of dancing hula. I thought that I might be able to dance again, if I were careful. At the time, I told my mother this, and she said, “oh, no—you’re just like me; you would over-do it and re-injure yourself.” I had to agree; I knew she was right.

Years passed, and I thought of hula often, wondering what new and exciting dances were being taught. My heart ached to dance again. I remembered how I had learned to drum an ipu, a traditional Hawaiian gourd drum. I also remembered how much I had wanted to learn the chanting that provides a background rhythm for many of the dances.

Recently, in cleaning out our upstairs area, I found a large box of hula outfits. I had forgotten all about them; they were costumes for the hula shows in which I used to dance. So I contacted my hula teachers to let them know I had them; we agreed to meet so I could give them back.

We met at a nearby doughnut shop, and ended up talking for two hours. Yes, they would love to have me back; yes, they would love to have me drum again; yes, they could teach me the chants, and yes, I could dance again, taking my knee and shoulder issues in consideration.

My heart filled with hope; maybe I really could go back and dance again! They told me that they have had some students with knee and hip issues and they dance the best that they can. ‘You can do that, too,’ they said, smiling.

So, after two seconds of thought, I threw caution to the wind and said that I would love to come back. I’m going to dance again, play my ipu again, and learn those amazing chants. I feel absolutely giddy with hope and happiness, and this coming weekend, back to hula I go!

I may not be the best hula dancer, but hopefully my joy in the dance and my gratitude in being there will make up for it.



Rise Above

As we walk through life, there are always going to be situations that drive us nuts, make us question our loyalties, and try our patience. The recent political tornado certainly was one of those trying situations. That’s just how life is; some things go our way, some things don’t.

In the case of the latest presidential election, no matter what our political leanings are, it is never a bad thing to wish the winner of the race good luck. We may not agree with the winner, but we need to know when to move on. When in doubt, rise above.

A fire on its own will eventually burn itself out; but a fire constantly fed will spread with amazing speed, doing untold damage. In America, we have the right to disagree and voice our objections; one of the many privileges we have as citizens. However, as we learned in grade school, you don’t always get what you want. Sometimes that’s just how it goes.

Lest you get the impression that I am always calm, always accepting of things that are out of my control—I’m not. I’d like to be, but I’m human and I say and do things that, upon reflection, I wish I hadn’t said or done. I have to remind myself daily to rise above.

The following has become my daily routine to start my day off in a way that feels right to me. Without doing them, my day is off course. With them, I have my internal balance back. This is my three-step program for each day:

  • I thank God for all I have, especially for all the people and animals who are in my life, who have been in my life and who will be in my life. I thank Him for health and strength, for a safe roof over my head, for a warm bed, for clothing, for food and water, for the gifts and talents I’ve been given, for education and for all of my freedoms as an American citizen.
  • I apologize to God for all my failings, spitefulness, ingratitude and all things I have done wrong. I ask for help to be better the next day; to rise above.
  • I ask for help from God for my loved ones, my friends, neighbors, all animals, and all those who are in trouble, sorrow, need or any kind of sickness. I also ask help for myself.

And then there is this: “*God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Once I’ve done this, I’m ready to start the day. No matter how the day goes, I am off to a good start. It’s up to me whether I let myself sink down below the surface, or rise above and stay positive.

When in doubt, rise above.

*The Serenity Prayer. Per

“This simple yet expressive prayer wasn’t laid down in antiquity by one of the most famous people of his day; it was instead written in the early 1930s by Reinhold Niebuhr, an American theologian. While its wording has changed across the span of those eighty-plus years between then and now, even its earliest forms are clearly recognizable as the serenity prayer:


O God, give us the serenity to accept what cannot be changed,
The courage to change what can be changed,
and the wisdom to know the one from the other

Time and widespread use have served to tighten its wording into its best known form (as quoted above), but at one point a longer version also existed:

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.