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Sunday Inspiration

Sunday Inspiration #24


We visited this church this past summer, St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Cumberland County, NJ.  The below paragraph is from the Diocese of Camden, NJ web site.   Check out the link for some interesting history. 

The church built in 1845 at Port Elizabeth in Cumberland County, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, was the site of the earliest confirmations, all at the hands of Bishop Kenrick.  In May of 1879, most of the church was transported down river and creek to Goshen.

On awakening this morning, with the help of our cat Simon I might add,  who is always an early Alarm clock, I looked to the awakening East and asked the Lord to ride with the Mrs. as she journeys home from Connecticut. She did one of her I need distant family time trips. As I’ve mentioned previously, “Ain’t no moss growing under this Gal’s feet. We have a son, daughter in-law, 4 grandchildren, a sister and brother and nieces and nephews who still like living in the cold in CT.

As for my sister, who was our next door neighbor for 20 years when we lived up there, the Mrs. and her have been talking every Saturday for the past 28 years at 0700 hrs. No sleep-in Saturday mornings for these two houses.

Now it’s time for Alex and his Sunday Inspiration. Enjoy!

By on Jan 31, 2016

Today’s Sunday Inspiration: Happiness isn’t something you have to earn. There’s no status you have to qualify for to be happy.

Being happy doesn’t diminish the amount of happiness in the world. You don’t need to feel stingy about how happy you can be. The supply of happiness is not finite; you are not depriving someone else of joy by being joyful.

Enjoy your accomplishments and share your blessings. Smile because you can and don’t feel bad for being a functional human being capable of happiness. Everyone deserves to be happy, and that includes you.

you deserve to be happy
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 The BridgeMaker Founder Alex Blackwell is the author of Letting Go: 25 True Stories of Peace, Hope and Surrender. Join the community to connect, share and inspire: Twitter | Facebook | More Posts

NYC in a Blizzard

Last weekend my daughter Kathryn and her husband Jeff (aka elJefe) went to NYC along with Winter Storm Janos

The youngsters were celebrating their 27th Wedding Anniversary and I asked them to do a guest reporter segment for “theRooster.” Enjoy their train ride and very record setting weekend as they literally drift through the City of New York.


Thanks Wiki

From the Pen of Kathryn Fiddler

As headlines read “A Historic Storm Approaches the Northeast,” Stormageddon warnings, and stores on the shore devoid of necessities, toilet paper, water, milk, bread and wine…. Jeff and I headed into the eye to NYC on Friday afternoon for our 27th anniversary celebration!  Why not we decided? If there was any city which would be open it was NYC!

Since the government shut down at noon, we left for Baltimore early, snow boots, jackets, hats and gloves at the ready.  We parked the car at BWI, (covered parking!!!) We took a MARC train to Baltimore’s Penn station and readied for our first ever ride on the Amtrak Acela Express.  For the first time ever we opted not to drive ourselves somewhere, and let Amtrak do the heavy lifting.  For all the crazy decisions we have made in our 27 years, this was a good one.   As we headed into Baltimore, city schools were shutting down, bus lines were canceling, and snow was coming down.  But w had tickets to the show….  The Snow Must Go On!

We loaded into the Acela at 6:30 PM, and we were the only ones in the First Class car.  No one had ever seen this before. We had two new friends, Sean and Charles, both well experienced Amtrak employees who shared photos of their families, fed and watered us well, and made our 2.5 hour trip amazing.  They showed us the best of Amtrak and we will definitely be back for another trip!


The snow begins to fall as the train pulls into the station.

As we got to NYC, snow projections were up to 20-30 inches for Saturday.  We, as well as all of New York, were giddy with anticipation.  People were laughing, out in the streets, talking about the weather and making bets on when the storm would start.  We checked into our hotel and immediately headed out to get some dinner and start our vacation.   We ate at  McGee’s, the restaurant which inspired the show “How I met your Mother”, which we came upon fortuitously as it was close to the hotel.  Everyone was talking about their plans for the snow, where they would stay if they needed to, and how, as New Yorker’s, they weren’t worried about the snow at all.  Jeff, naturally, had to jump on the “Jamison’s all around” bandwagon (I refrained….) in the wonderful Irish Bar…. It was a wonderful start to our weekend.

Our hotel was just off Broadway and we were on the 28th floor, providing real time full window visibility on the status of the storm.  We slept with the curtains open.  All night long I kept looking out at the winds, the chaos and the snow blowing all around.  Visibility to the skyscraper across the street waxed and waned.  I got up at 5AM and went downstairs to talk to the hotel staff, find out the forecast, and check out the streets.  It was awesome. Snow is a wonderful peacemaker…. It provides such quiet, calm and beauty to life….  But alas… that calm was short lived…..


Our view from the 28th floor.

10 AM – Jeff looked everywhere for his phone.  He didn’t have it in his jacket, book bag, pockets…. No where.  So I pulled up Find my iPhone and discovered, perhaps, after the Jamison’s celebration, he might have forgotten his phone at McGee’s.  Since they didn’t open till 11 AM, we got bundled up we headed to Central Park.  It was a short walk, but the wind and snow made it hard to see and hard navigate.  I had never walked in Central park, and was hoping for a jog over the weekend.  I should have known jogging was not in the cards when we saw news crews everywhere interviewing crazy people like Jeff and I about the snow.  (this is not to say people were not out running…. They were all over the place, but I was not that committed).  At 1130 we headed back to McGee’s and the overnight staff had put Jeff’s cell phone away in hoped of our return.  McGee’s and Find My iPhone are both wonderful things!

We headed back out to Broadway, shopping and our play.  The atmosphere continued to be full of fun and celebration amid the chaos of the storm.  We stopped at a lovely Cuban restaurant for a light lunch; since we had anniversary dinner plans later that evening.  And the snow… kept coming… the streets were packed with snow, and the forecast was still calling for the big stuff to come down throughout the day.  At 1:30, as we sat at the restaurant finishing a delightful lunch, everyone’s phones began ringing the emergency broadcast warning…. It was definitely a sign….

The Mayor of NY let us all know that NYC was shutting down all roads except for emergency vehicles at 2:30.  As we sat finishing lunch, the restaurant staff began telling customers they were closing, as their employees now had to get home.  Roads were closed and the last trains were leaving the city at 4 PM.

We walked to the Majestic, but we knew what the outcome would be…. No Phantom of the Opera for us and others in NYC for this weekend.

Since our plans for the play and dinner were off… we looked to see what we would do.  We wandered down the streets (along with most New Yorker’s and tourists!). Jeff made a snow angel on Broadway!  We laughed, took pictures, and enjoyed a truly historic event with all of NYC.  Interestingly the hotel, many restaurants, and bars all had a wonderful emergency plan in place.  Our hotel housed its employees, paid them overtime, and gave them food from the restaurant; so many of us were able to have dinner.

It was a wonderful night.  People were walking all over the streets; snow was coming down in buckets.  The wind was crazy, and Jeff and I kept laughing and celebrating the fun of 27 years.  At dinner, over a good bottle of Malbec, we made a list of all the crazy things were have done together and the joy we have shared with family and friends who are so supportive, amazing and inspiring in our lives.  We talked about the blessings that have been bestowed on us and also with our families and decided if we could have 27 more years like these we would be the luckiest people alive! As we went back to our room late that night we both knew we had seen and been part of something spectacular and historic in NYC.

As we got up on Sunday, AM, it was a whole new world.  I donned snow gear and walked to 7AM mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral.  The snow had stopped, there was a beautiful blue sky, wide-open streets, and feet of snow everywhere.  More incredible were the numbers of sidewalks cleared, roads passable, and people with shovels and snow blowers trying to get NYC back in action. It was a busy place at 0630.  Mass in St Patrick’s was wonderful (ok, fairly empty but inspiring nonetheless).  My mom always tells me the story about my Uncle Johnny Romspert.  Back in the 60s and 70s when he was in the Navy he would always come to St Patrick’s when his ship was in port.  I felt connected to him and the entire Romspert family here for mass.  I lit some votive candles for him and Uncle Bobby as well as for Linda Lataille and Donna Brodin.


After church I trekked through snowdrifts and piles of snow on corners back to Jeff to see what a day with cloudless blue skies and frigid temperatures would bring us.  We bundled up and walked through Central Park.  Kids were sledding, dogs were walking with their owners with little doggie booties, and runners were all over the park.  Once again, true testament to the people of NYC, who let nothing get them down.  The news let everyone know, schools would be open on Monday.  In contrast, back at home, in the suburbs of Baltimore and DC, no one was moving, school was closed and the DC government was already shut down for Monday.

After an hour walk through the park, we stopped at the Plaza for coffee with Eloise and had a nice break from the cold.  It was an amazing day in NYC!



Navy was playing Army in Women’s basketball at The Garden on this day.

After a return to the hotel for lunch in the room (leftovers from dinner the evening before and wine and cheese we had brought with us) we decided to venture out to watch Denver play New England.  We stopped at BarBacon, sat with Chad, a security guy from Hawaii who was here for 10 days and had never seen snow before!  He was thrilled to have been part of the storm and couldn’t stop smiling.  Jeff ordered a flight of bacon and we watch Denver do a great job of eliminating New England (sorry Tom Brady fans) from the SuperBowl.


Don’t buckle your belt on this flight.

At 630 we headed up to Quality Meats. This was our planned dinner for the previous night, which got canceled due to the state of emergency and shut down of the streets.  The restaurant staff was wonderful, they provided us a secluded table on the top floor, welcomed us with a glass of champagne for our anniversary, and were exceptional overall. If any of you are meat lovers, this is truly a place worth visiting.  Jeff and I shared the porterhouse for 2, Brussel sprouts and large potato fries baked with Duck Fat,  no weight loss NY resolutions here!  We walked back to the hotel (a much needed walk after such a big dinner) learned Carolina would play Denver in Super Bowl 50 and headed to bed.  This was a weekend we would surely remember for a long time to come.
Today we got up, packed and headed to Penn Station to get back on the Acela.  It’s been a wonderful journey with my husband, best friend and adventurer of 27 years.  We braved snowmageddon, had plans change all weekend long, but we flexed with each change, saw it as an opportunity and have had a blast along the way.


A well deserved trip together. Thanks for filling space in theRooster.


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The Bully


Thanks to

 The Party invitees are watching.

Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

Mug Shots

George Kroloff, an old friend from the other side of the bay, sent me a story surrounding a Mug of his.

George is a great one to follow on both Facebook and Twitter. His photo captions are great and the tags that go along with them are special. In most instances I can figure out where he’s coming from. George has a neat background, has been in the company of some interesting people. George has his own blog at

The man’s work  in the Blogesphere is worth taking a gander at. You can check out George’s career on Linked in


From the desk of George Kroloff


Ole Miss

Since 1980, I have been working, off and on, behind the scenes with the organizers of the final presidential debates. Each debate had its own uncovered stories that, probably, will show up in one historical account or another. Here are a few that are not likely to make the chroniclers’ cut.

Background: For a while the debates were a function of an amazingly self centered, League of Women Voters, which was among my most difficult clients. From 1988, the client was a new entity, the extraordinary Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), an unacknowledged national treasure.

All of the debates, including the VP debates, were hosted by universities once the CPD took over.

In September of 2008, after the R and D conventions had coughed up their candidates, the first of the “final four” debates was held at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. It was McCain vs Obama. By that time I had morphed from a paid consultant to a volunteer. A small price to pay for being part of history.

As in all debate venues, there were numerous give-aways for the news media, the staff, donors, et al.

Youngest daughter Amy also had become a volunteer, and we were happy to accept some of the swag, which included a a variety of coffee and beer mugs. Not a lot to treasure, but the memories of a couple surprises definitely are worth keeping.

For instance, there was much drama about whether Sen. McCain would actually appear to debate Sen. Obama. It was the biggest national story of the day.

The CPD was proceeding as if he would appear, but hadn’t a clue about his intensions. In the afternoon word came that he was showing up. If I recall correctly, a volunteer EMT unit was called with police to a small private airport near Oxford. One of the unit’s members saw McCain step out of a newly landed plane. He called his wife, like a good husband should. She called someone who was associated with the debate preparations, and all went on as schedule. To this day, I don’t know why the Secret Service didn’t officially tell the Commission he was arriving, but around his touch-down I do remember a spurt of security activity.

Meanwhile, U Miss had raised a ton of money surrounding the debate, including the funds for filling in a drainage ditch which would eventually be the site of some new construction for the school. I think it was to be a sports facility and parking lot. The ditch was filled before the hoopla began.

On top of newly laid sod they pitched a huge tent, with several massive air conditioners and even more-massive electric generators. The tent accommodated about a thousand news media, and, as I recall, there was a large area for food. Budweiser supplied the buffet and beer, as well as its own set of collectible special debate mugs.

The tent size was unusual, but not that different from other venues that didn’t have a big enough hall or gym handy to accommodate the food and media frenzies.

Nearby, Ole Miss had set up several port-a-potties in what looked like upscale cargo containers or semi-trailers. The insides, featured several small toilet suites with fancy marble sinks, gold faucets, with perfume and plushness all around.

Of course, the beautiful latrine setting was as stinky and squalid as the lone toilet at a major construction site by the evening of the debate.

Separately, Amy, who had traveled to over 60 countries, and I learned that, (1) deep fried dill pickles are delicious and (2) soon-to-be picked cotton really needs to go through Eli Whitney’s cotton gin to remove sticky seeds from the puffs-on-the-plants.

The university mug, however, is less of a keepsake and more of a cup with a wide top and narrow bottom that spills as easily as a politician spewing something hot about his/her opponent.

Thanks for contributing old friend.


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Mug Shots

Take a look around the homes of most of us as well as our places of employment and you will find Mugs of every description. A Coffee Mug here in the states is the most common referral to a drinking implement. In Ireland and Great Britain it would hold tea. In the Post Office it would hold the face of those wanted for various crimes.


The dictionary refers to them as a cup and saucer: teacup, coffee cup, demitasse; mug; sippy cup; beaker; chalice. The winner was presented with a silver cup: trophy, loving cup, award, prize.

In my house and Annex I have a number of such Mugs. These have been acquired over many years, my personal oldest dates back to 1967. Each unique Mug has a story of some kind or another and I shall attempt to tell that story from time to time. Some were collected by me, others I received as gifts from family and friends. I’m sure many of you out there in readership land have a mug that tells a story also. If you have  Mug and want to tell a story about it send me a phot0 and the story that goes with it to

For today’s presentation I give you:



This Mug was given to me by a relative many years ago who worked for a company in McLean, VA at one time. They have an interesting company store that sells many unique pieces, this is one of them.

The words inside the Star and Circle are Fatherland, Valor, and Honor. Outside the Star is printed Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation.

FBI Agent Explains How Russia’s Foreign Spy Operations Work.
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Dick Whittington and His Cat


Our good friend and displaced Irishman living in London, Seamus O’Leary will be starring in Dick Whittington and His Cat this weekend. We spent four of the most fun filled days of our lives this past December in Kilkenny Ireland at the home of this mans mother. To know him is to love him and his humor. Break a leg good friend and thanks for many hours of entertainment.




MORE than five hundred years ago there was a little boy named Dick Whittington and this is true. His father and mother died when he was too young to work, and so poor little Dick was very badly off. He was quite glad to get the parings of the potatoes to eat and a dry crust of bread now and then, and more than that he did not often get, for the village where he lived was a very poor one and the neighbors were not able to spare him much.

Now the country folk in those days thought that the people of London were all fine ladies and gentlemen, and that there was singing and dancing all the day long, and so rich were they there that even the streets, they said, were paved with gold. Dick used to sit by and listen while all these strange tales of the wealth of London were told, and it made him long to go and live there and have plenty to eat and fine clothes to wear instead of the rags and hard fare that fell to his lot in the country.

So one day when a great wagon with eight horses stopped on its way through the village, Dick made friends with the wagoner and begged to be taken with him to London. The man felt sorry for poor little Dick when he heard that he had no father or mother to take care of him, and saw how ragged and how badly in need of help he was. So he agreed to take him, and off they set.

How far it was and how many days they took over the journey I do not know, but in due time Dick found himself in the wonderful city which he had heard so much of and pictured to himself so grandly. But oh! How disappointed he was when he got there. How dirty it was! And the people, how unlike the gay company, with music and singing, that he had dreamt of! He wandered up and down the streets, one after another, until he was tired out, but not one did he find that was paved with gold. Dirt in plenty he could see, but none of the gold that he thought to have put in his pockets as fast as he chose to pick it up.

Little Dick ran about till he was tired and it was growing dark. And at last he sat himself down in a corner and fell asleep. When morning came he was very cold and hungry, and though he asked every one he met to help him, only one or two gave him a halfpenny to buy some bread. For two or three days he lived in the streets in this way, only just able to keep himself alive, when he managed to get some work to do in a hayfield, and that kept him for a short time longer, till the haymaking was over.

After this he was as badly off as ever, and did not know where to turn. One day in his wanderings he lay down to rest in the doorway of the house of a rich merchant whose name was Fitzwarren. But here he was soon seen by the cook-maid who was an unkind, bad-tempered woman, and she cried out to him to be off. “Lazy rogue,” she called him; and she said she’d precious quick throw some dirty dishwater over him, boiling hot, if he didn’t go. However, just then Mr. Fitzwarren himself came home to dinner, and when he saw what was happening, he asked Dick why he was lying there. “You’re old enough to be at work, my boy,” he said. “I’m afraid you have a mind to be lazy.”

“Indeed, sir,” said Dick to him, “indeed that is not so”; and he told him how hard he had tried to get work to do, and how ill he was for want of food. Dick, poor fellow, was now so weak that though he tried to stand he had to lie down again, for it was more than three days since he had had anything to eat at all. The king merchant gave orders for him to be taken into the house and gave him a good dinner, and then he said that he was to be kept, to do what work he could to help the cook.

And now Dick would have been happy enough in this good family if it had not been for the ill-natured cook, who did her best to make life a burden to him. Night and morning she was for ever scolding him. Nothing he did was good enough. It was “Look sharp here” and “Hurry up there,” and there was no pleasing her. And many’s the beating he had from the broomstick or the ladle, or whatever else she had in her hand.

At last it came to the ears of Miss Alice, Mr. Fitzwarren’s daughter, how badly the cook was treating poor Dick. And she told the cook that she would quickly lose her place if she didn’t treat him more kindly, for Dick had become quite a favorite with the family.

After that the cook’s behavior was a little better, but Dick still had another hardship that he bore with difficulty. For he slept in a garret where were so many holes in the walls and the floor, that every night as he lay in bed the room was overrun with rats and mice, and sometimes he could hardly sleep a wink. One day when he had earned a penny for cleaning a gentleman’s shoes, he met a little girl with a cat in her arms and asked whether she would not sell it to him. “Yes, she would,” she said, though the cat was such a good mouser that she was sorry to part with her. This just suited Dick, who kept pussy up in his garret, feeding her on scraps of his own dinner that he saved for her every day. In a little while he had no more bother with the rats and mice. Puss soon saw to that, and he slept sound every night.

Soon after this Mr. Fitzwarren had a ship ready to sail; and as it was his custom that all his servants should be given a chance of good fortune as well as himself, he called them all into the counting-house and asked them what they would send out.

They all had something that they were willing to venture except poor Dick, who had neither money nor goods, and so could send nothing. For this reason he did not come into the room with the rest. But Miss Alice guessed what was the matter, and ordered him to be called in. She then said, “I will lay down some money for him out of my own purse”; but her father told her that would not do, for it must be something of his own.

When Dick heard this he said, “I have nothing whatever but a cat, which I bought for a penny some time ago.”

“Go, my boy, fetch your cat then,” said his master, “and let her go.”

Dick went upstairs and fetched poor puss, but there were tears in his eyes when he gave her to the captain. “For,” he said, “I shall now be kept awake all night by the rats and mice.” All the company laughed at Dick’s odd venture, and Miss Alice, who felt sorry for him, gave him some money to buy another cat.

Now this, and other marks of kindness shown him by Miss Alice, made the ill-tempered cook jealous of poor Dick, and she began to use him more cruelly than ever, and was always making game of him for sending his cat to sea. “What do you think your cat will sell for?” she’d ask. “As much money as would buy a stick to beat you with?”

At last poor Dick could not bear this usage any longer, and he thought he would run away. So he made a bundle of his things—he hadn’t many—and started very early in the morning, on All-hallows Day, the first of November. He walked as far as Holloway, and there he sat down to rest on a stone, which to this day, they say, is called “Whittington’s Stone,” and began to wonder to himself which road he should take.

While he was thinking what he should do the Bells of Bow Church in Cheapside began to chime, and as they rang he fancied that they were singing over and over again:

“Turn again, Whittington,

Lord Mayor of London.”

      “Lord Mayor of London!” said he to himself. “Why, to be sure, wouldn’t I put up with almost anything now to be Lord Mayor of London, and ride in a fine coach, when I grow to be a man! Well, I’ll go back, and think nothing of the cuffing and scolding of the cross old cook if I am to be Lord Mayor of London at last.”

So back he went, and he was lucky enough to get into the house, and set about his work before the cook came down.

But now you must hear what befell Mrs. Puss all this while. The ship Unicorn that she was on was a long time at sea, and the cat made herself useful, as she would, among the unwelcome rats that lived on board too. At last the ship put into harbor on the coast of Barbary, where the only people are the Moors. They had never before seen a ship from England, and flocked in numbers to see the sailors, whose different color and foreign dress were a great wonder to them. They were soon eager to buy the goods with which the ship was laden, and patterns were sent ashore for the King to see. He was so much pleased with them that he sent for the captain to come to the palace, and honored him with an invitation to dinner. But no sooner were they seated, as is the custom there, on the fine rugs and carpets that covered the floor, than great numbers of rats and mice came scampering in, swarming over all the dishes, and helping themselves from all the good things there were to eat. The captain was amazed, and wondered whether they didn’t find such a pest most unpleasant.

“Oh yes,” said they, “it was so, and the King would give half his treasure to be freed of them, for they not only spoil his dinner, but they even attack him in his bed at night, so that a watch has to be kept while he is sleeping, for fear of them.”

The captain was overjoyed; he thought at once of poor Dick Whittington and his cat, and said he had a creature on board ship that would soon do for all these vermin if she were there. Of course, when the King heard this he was eager to possess this wonderful animal.

“Bring it to me at once,” he said; “for the vermin are dreadful, and if only it will do what you say, I will load your ship with gold and jewels in exchange for it.”

The captain, who knew his business, took care not to underrate the value of Dick’s cat. He told His Majesty how inconvenient it would be to part with her, as when she was gone the rats might destroy the goods in the ship; however, to oblige the king, he would fetch her.

“Oh, make haste, do” cried the Queen, “I, too, am all impatience to see this dear creature.”

Off went the captain, while another dinner was got ready. He took Puss under his arm and got back to the palace just in time to see the carpet covered with rats and mice once again. When Puss saw them, she didn’t wait to be told, but jumped out of the captain’s arms, and in no time almost all the rats and mice were dead at her feet, while, the rest of them had scuttled off to their holes in fright.

The King was delighted to get rid so easily of such an intolerable plague, and the Queen desired that the animal who had done them such a service might be brought to her. Upon which the captain called out, “Puss, Puss, Puss,” and she came running to him. Then he presented her to the Queen, who was rather afraid at first to touch a creature who had made such a havoc with her claws. However, when the captain called her, “Pussy, pussy,” and began to stroke her, the Queen also ventured to touch her and cried, “Putty, putty,” in imitation of the captain, for she hadn’t learned to speak English. He then put her on to the Queen’s lap, where she purred and played with Her Majesty’s hand and was soon asleep.

The King having seen what Mrs. Puss could do and learning that her kittens would soon stock the whole country, and keep it free from rats, after bargaining with the captain for the whole ship’s cargo, then gave him ten times as much for the cat as all the rest amounted to.

The captain then said farewell to the court of Barbary, and after a fair voyage reached London again with his precious load of gold and jewels safe and sound.

One morning early Mr. Fitzwarren had just come to his counting-house and settled himself at the desk to count the cash, when there came a knock at the door. “Who’s there?” said he. “A friend,” replied a voice. “I come with good news of your ship the Unicorn.” The merchant in haste opened the door, and who were there but the ship’s captain and the mate, bearing a chest of jewels and a bill of lading. When he had looked this over he lifted his eyes and thanked heaven for sending him such a prosperous voyage.

The honest captain next told him all about the cat, and showed him the rich present the King had sent for her to poor Dick. Rejoicing on behalf of Dick as much as he had done over his own good fortune, he called out to his servants to come and to bring up Dick:

“Go fetch him, and we’ll tell him of his fame;

Pray call him Mr. Whittington by name.”

      The servants, some of them, hesitated at this, and said so great a treasure was too much for a lad like Dick; but Mr. Fitzwarren now showed himself the good man that he was and refused to deprive him of the value of a single penny. “God forbid!” he cried. “It’s all his own, and he shall have it, to a farthing.”

He then sent for Dick, who at the moment was scouring pots for the cook and was black with dirt. He tried to excuse himself from coming into the room in such a plight, but the merchant made him come, and had a chair set for him. And he then began to think they must be making game of him, so he begged them not to play tricks on a poor simple boy, but to let him go downstairs again back to his work in the scullery.

“Indeed, Mr. Whittington,” said the merchant, “we are all quite in earnest with you, and I most heartily rejoice at the news that these gentlemen have brought. For the captain has sold your cat to the King of Barbary, and brings you in return for her more riches than I possess in the whole world; and may you long enjoy them!”

Mr. Fitzwarren then told the men to open the great treasure they had brought with them, saying, “There is nothing more now for Mr. Whittington to do but to put it in some place of safety.”

Poor Dick hardly knew how to behave himself for joy. He begged his master to take what part of it he pleased, since he owed it all to his kindness. “No, no,” answered Mr. Fitzwarren, “this all belongs to you; and I have no doubt that you will use it well.”

Dick next begged his mistress, and then Miss Alice, to accept a part of his good fortune, but they would not, and at the same time told him what great joy they felt at his great success. But he was far too kind-hearted to keep it all to himself; so he made a present to the captain, the mate, and the rest of Mr. Fitzwarren’s servants; and even to his old enemy, the cross cook.

After this Mr. Fitzwarren advised him to send for a tailor and get himself dressed like a gentleman, and told him he was welcome to live in his house till he could provide himself with a better.

When Whittington’s face was washed, his hair curled, and he was dressed in a smart suit of clothes he was just as handsome and fine a young man as any who visited at Mr. Fitzwarren’s, and so thought fair Alice Fitzwarren, who had once been so kind to him and looked upon him with pity. And now she felt he was quite fit to be her sweetheart, and none the less, no doubt, because Whittington was always thinking what he could do to please her, and making her the prettiest presents that could be.

Mr. Fitzwarren soon saw which way the wind blew, and ere long proposed to join them in marriage, and to this they both readily agreed. A day for the wedding was soon fixed; and they were attended to church by the Lord Mayor, the court of aldermen, the sheriffs, and a great number of the richest merchants in London, whom they afterwards treated with a magnificent feast.

History tells us that Mr. Whittington and his lady lived in great splendor, and were very happy. They had several children. He was Sheriff, and thrice Lord Mayor of London, and received the honor of knighthood from Henry V.

After the King’s conquest of France, Sir Richard Whittington entertained him and the Queen at dinner at the Mansion House in so sumptuous a manner that the King said, “Never had Prince such a subject!” To which Sir Richard replied, “Never had subject such a Prince.”

Reprinted from:

To Those who would be CINC


I’m forwarding this from the Medium Daily Digest. It would be so insightful for those who wish to lead our brave men and women in the military to take 4 minutes of their time and read this. For those of you that will not be running, but will be voting, it wont hurt you read about the 01% either.

To my father, brother, son, daughter, son in-law, granddaughter and her husband and all our other family and friends who served, Thank you for your service and the sacrifice your family members gave also.


From: Bob Woodruff

To: CINC Candidates


Dear Candidates,

Not unlike most of our nation’s citizenry, I have never served in uniform — largely due to the emergence of the all-volunteer force. Yet as a journalist, I’ve been privileged to observe the commitment and sacrifices made by the 1 percent that do.

Ten years ago, I learned more than I ever wanted to when a roadside bomb near Taji, Iraq severely injured my cameraman Doug Vogt and me. If not for the advances made in military medicine in recent years, I definitely wouldn’t be here today. Nor would tens of thousands who have survived their wounds received in battle over the past 14-plus years.

I had the full support of ABC News and parent company Disney to give me every resource available to drive my recovery. Inspired by our experience, my family founded the Bob Woodruff Foundation to ensure that our veterans could enjoy the same access to resources, beyond those provided by the government.

The transition home can be filled with challenges — especially for those who are ill or injured. Now, we have no illusions; the unique issues our service members face can’t all be solved by the federal government. It will take a private-public coalition.

In partnership with Veterans on Wall Street, the Bob Woodruff Foundation commissioned the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) to explore the future of resources and support in context of the upcoming election.

The findings were published in “Passing the Baton: A Bipartisan 2016 Agenda for the Veteran and Military Community,” a comprehensive overview of issues and recommendations.

We are hopeful that you will take the time to review and share the report, as well as answer a few questions that are top of mind for many post-9/11 veterans and the organizations supporting them.

1. As our nation’s next Commander-in-Chief, you will not only inherit the care of 2.4 million active and reserve service members — as well as their 3 million family members — you will assume the task of supporting 21 million veterans. While there has been discussion related to national security and potential uses for military force, many veterans service organizations have voiced concern that little has been addressed relating to the needs of those affected by these policies. What role should the government play in caring for our veterans?

2. While combat operations have officially ceased in Afghanistan and Iraq, troops are still serving in both. Nearly 53,000 have been wounded in these conflicts, including 1,646 limb amputations. More than 327,000 sustained traumatic brain injuries. Undiagnosed illnesses relating to deployment exposures may be a significant issue in decades to come. Has your campaign developed a clear plan for the long-term healthcare needs of our military and veteran communities?

3. Mental health is a huge concern with the “hidden wounds of war,” like post-traumatic stress and depression. Nearly a quarter of post-9/11 veterans have been diagnosed with some type of mental health issue. Though the Department of Veterans Affairs is the largest provider for mental health care and research in the nation, it has struggled to keep up with demand. How would you address this?

4. There has been some debate as to whether veterans should be able to seek health care outside of VA facilities. Some argue to completely eliminate the VA. What are your thoughts on this, or are these ideas too expensive?

5. Approximately 2.7 million service members, less than 1 percent of Americans, have served in Iraq or Afghanistan. Retention and recruitment are vital to the success of the all-volunteer force. Is voluntary service sustainable, or is it possible that you would reinstate the draft?

6. The percentage of women in the military is growing. More than 333,000 women deployed post-9/11 and more than 1,000 were injured in combat. Many women feel they are battling a male-focused system of care. Their suicide and unemployment numbers (per capita) are higher than men’s. What is your position on women serving in combat zones? What would you do to address their unique needs?

7. Unlike prior generations, today’s troops tend to serve for longer periods, so they’re likely to have families who will need to be considered when planning for future needs — including the potential of becoming caregivers. What would you change so that the government or private sector can concentrate more on the families?

8. Lastly, the private sector and nonprofits have a major role in the care of our veterans and their families — a role dependent on the policies a new administration will look to put in place. Has your campaign developed a clear plan for communicating and partnering with them, and what role do you see the private and nonprofit sectors playing?

Thank you in advance for taking the time to inform the electorate of your positions related to the needs of our military and veteran community, as we all look to elect our nation’s next Commander-in-Chief.


Bob Woodruff
ABC News Correspondent, Co-Founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation

  • Go to the profile of Bob Woodruff

    Bob Woodruff

    ABC News Correspondent and Co-Founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation.

A Weekend with a Military Family

The Davies Discover

As a lot of you know our granddaughter and her husband are graduates of The United States Air Force Academy and active duty Air Force officers stationed at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma City, OK. At the moment they are the parents of 3 children under the age of three. They are active in their church in scouting and youth religious instruction. Also, there is no grass growing beneath their feet and their tires stay round.

The below description of last weekend’s events was forwarded from Sam to include in a posting of The Rooster, enjoy.

This three day weekend we loaded up the truck and went discovering. Our first stop was Toby Keith’s home which is about 20min from where we live. We then headed to CooCoos in Dallas. It’s a room full of bounce houses which Mia thoroughly enjoyed. Ana enjoyed running around and people watching. There were a few houses she enjoyed, but most were too big. After driving through downtown Dallas we went to a drive-in that had 7 screens. We enjoy drive-ins and go as often as there are movies we want to see.

The next day we began a leisurely drive back to Oklahoma City. In typical Davies form we visited Cabelas of Dallas and then President Eisenhower’s birthplace. We spent most of the day at Turner Falls. We will be returning and plan on bringing some sleeping bags when we do. At Turner Falls is a stone made castle built into and up the hill. Lots of stairs climbed to see all the buildings but the girls did awesome. Mia walked every step herself. We ended the day at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Another place we’ll have to visit again and spend more than 45min at.

So why did we not just enjoy our final weekend for a month as a family at home relaxing?  That’s not who we are. Often times when military members are stationed at a place they don’t get out and enjoy the local area. They stay close to base and close to what they know. We choose to take advantage of what the Air Force has given us and strive to teach our kids you don’t need a TV to be entertained. These experiences or discoveries that we go on will be what our children remember and where some of Zed and I’s best memories reside. If you remember we took a 7,000mi road trip for our honeymoon.

Take the time to go out and see your local area. Our family goal is to see a 4hr radius around every base we’re stationed at, so far we have met that goal (Colorado, Florida, and Mississippi).

Thanks Sam and Zed
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Stuff that’s Going On

Today’s Weather


Taken as the snow fell on 01/17/2016 @ 1220 hrs.

Yesterday I started to watch the weather a bit. Yahoo on my iPhone weather app was predicting light snow beginning around noon today, Sunday, January 17, 2016. On rising I went to my old faithful weather app Weatherunderground. They were predicting 1” plus beginning at 0900 and ending around 1400 hrs. They were right on the mark for the beginning and we had light flurries decreasing to a stop by 1500. Check out their site, linked above for an easy to follow informative weather site. Winter has officially begun.

Where in the World?

Eljefe has made it to and returned from Afghanistan once again safely. He gets free helicopter rides with men with guns during these trips. Didn’t we see this guy in Star Wars?


He mentioned once again that lonely feeling he has in the Kabul airport. He stands out as a foreigner with his bald head, no beard, gold wedding band and a combination Michigan/MD Eastern Shore twang. I doubt he could even order a cold Evolution Brewing Lot No 3 IPA in Pashto or Dari . Target one American.



Jeff says when inside the terminal, and one of the few amongst the many, there is just something you see in the eyes of some around you.


He likens it to, “if I had a knife, I’d slit your throat right now.” It has been long said, “The eyes are the window to the soul. They will always betray what a person is thinking, if you’re deft enough to pay attention to them.” I’ve seen this as a cop, it is real. Nice to have you back in the USA buddy.


Our Daughter Kathryn

A lot of you already know that Kathryn has come back to the Eastern Shore for employment. I must admit Mary Agnes and I are proud parents and happy she doesn’t have to commute back and forth to Baltimore any longer. The below article appeared last week in the Salisbury, MD “Daily Times.” We call it the Daily Crime. It’s a crime they call it a newspaper. As a for instance this article was headlined “Fisher to Lead PRMC.”


Kathyrn Fiddler has been named Peninsula Regional’s Executive Director of Continuum Services.

Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC) in Salisbury, Maryland, is working to fulfill our mission to improve the health of the communities we serve, by extending care beyond the walls of the hospital, engaging community caregivers and increasing education about health issues. To help achieve that goal, Kathryn Fiddler, DNP, MS, RN, NE-BC has been named the new Executive Director of Continuum Services for Peninsula Regional.

Fiddler comes to PRMC from CareFirst in Baltimore, where, she was Senior Director for the largest Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) program in the country, and instrumental in the success of CareFirst’s 24 million dollar Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) grant  supporting 35,000 Medicare beneficiaries. Prior to CareFirst, she worked at Delmarva Heart as its manager of clinical research. As well as being a registered nurse, she is a retired U.S. Air Force Reserve Major, and worked for Dover Air Force Base as an, Operations Management Officer, and Director Equal Opportunity. She earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Salisbury University. She is returning to her roots by joining PRMC, where she began her career as a nurse in the Emergency Department.

Her current position at Peninsula Regional is a new one, in which she will play a major role in developing community-based care options, educational and support programs and focus on the longer term prevention or reduction of chronic diseases prevalent in the region today.

“For most of our 118-year history, Peninsula Regional has focused on acute care. Now we are moving toward a system that puts patients’ needs first, and makes healthcare more of a team sport,” said Vice President for Population Health Karen Poisker, MSN, MBA, NEA-BC. “Kathryn Fiddler will help to bring this team together. We welcome her to Peninsula Regional.”

Oklahoma City News

Just a few pictures to see the growth of the little ones. To say Ana is Bubbly is an under statement. Here’s Pappy (aka Eljefe) , Abby, Sam with Dax and proud father Zed. IMG_1850

To say Ana is Bubbly is an under statement.


Quilts made by Mary Agnes for Mia and Ana for Christmas.

Dax and Mia with Aunt Abby who was down in OKC over the holidays with Pappy & G for a few days.

Idaho militia group arrives to ‘secure perimeter, prevent Waco-style situation’ at Oregon refuge


What’s going on in Harney County?

Watching the news yesterday, a person could be forgiven for thinking that a small group of Americans had literally lost their minds. Militias are marching through Oregon on behalf of convicted arsonists? A small band of armed men has taken over a federal building? The story practically writes itself.

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