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WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • A beautiful pay-it-forward story • Tips: how to be more thankful • Tips: how to be more giving • Toward a healthy balance

A BEAUTIFUL PAY-IT-FORWARD STORY: This comes from my step-daughter Kim McGrath and occurred during the week of Thanksgiving. She teaches a class of twenty 6-7 year olds in a public school. In her own words…… “I had the most wonderful lesson this week. Told my students Monday that if they read 10 stories by Tuesday lunchtime, they’d earn a coupon for a Braum’s single-dip ice-cream cone. They all did lots of reading and earned their coupon.

However, their excitement turned to boo’s when I told them they now had to “Pay-it-forward.” They had to give their coupon to some other student at school they didn’t know.… More

A little history about the mask of Zorro: • In 1847 California, which had been settled by the Spanish, was ceded by Mexico to the US. • Also, in 1848 gold was discovered in California and the gold rush began. • And in 1919 a man called Johnston McCulley wrote a story called The Curse of Capistrano. This was set in Spanish colonial California, before 1847. A rakish individual called Zorro, which means Fox, was invented to confront corrupt society and the cruel Spanish military, and to fight the injustice laid on the oppressed.

All he had was a sword and a horse, but with the cunning of a fox. The son of a wealthy Spanish landowner, Zorro concealed his identity by wearing a mask.… More

I heard some sad news recently. A 16-year old autistic boy named Max hanged himself in Kansas. The event touched me personally because I had posted a blog about Max more than a year ago. I quoted a letter from Max’s mother, in which she referred to Max being bullied in school. She complimented the open friendship offered to Max by Kara (my grand-daughter) and her friends. The emphasis of the letter was not critical, just thankful to Kara and friends. Some excerpts follow:

“Hi Kim, I wanted to send you a note and tell you about Kara. She has seen my son Max several times this summer, and has been very nice to him. She and her friends even play games with him at the local swimming pool, where they shoot baskets and probably let him win at the game of PIG.… More

Last Saturday morning I received a request to help a neighbor.Well, not exactly a neighbor in my subdivision, but an acquaintance that I know from a home Bible study. First of all, the recent week of rain in New Mexico broke the worst two-year drought on record. Moreover, it caused caused local flooding. It was an extension of the rains which caused the terrifying floods along the Front Range in Colorado. The email request stated that sand needed to be cleaned out of Jerry’s back yard, and to bring a shovel.

I rolled up with my caramel latte, gloves and shovel around 8 am on a Saturday, and was surprised to see a bulldozer there. Around the back of the house, I was astonished to see about four feet of sand covering Jerry’s entire backyard.… More

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