Think Before You Act


On a summer day, it was very hot. The temperature was more than ninety eight degrees Fahrenheit. I went to a beach party in Port-au-Prince. The beach was full of people, trees, and rocks. It was amazing and awesome. At the beach, I saw a young lady. I approached her. "What is your name?" I asked her.

She said, "My name is Mary."

Her voice was so amazing and beautiful. I presumably felt that it was the first time that I heard a beautiful voice like that. Her eyes were green. Her hair was dark, and the color of her skin was red. She was very tall and sexy.

Mary and I continued to talk to each other. We got to know each other a little bit, we exchange phone numbers, and we became friends. While we were talking to each other, we saw a black man. He was very tall and big. Mary pointed her finger at him. "His name is Jean," said Mary. "He is one of my best friends." She called him. She introduced him to me. I talked to him, exchanging phone numbers with him, and I became friends with him too.

It was getting dark. Mary, Jean, and I left the beach. While we were walking on the street, we continued to talk to each other. When we arrived at Rue de Champ-de-Mars, we said goodbye to each other. And we diverged.

When I arrived home, I laid down on my bed. I could feel within my heart that I got convinced that Mary seemed to be the kind of girl whom I had been looking for, but a part of me said no. I kept thinking about how I could better the relationship between me and Mary. After a couple of hours, I fell asleep.

The next day had come. I called Mary because I wanted to get to know her better. She told me that she was sixteen. She would be in eleventh grade. She planned to study medicine after she graduated high school. When I asked her, did she have a boyfriend? She responded, "No." She said that Raymond Pierre, her father, died in a car accident. He died when she was seven. She was raised by a single mother named Malucia Pierre. She went on to say that her mother was thirty-eight-years-old. She was a nurse. She had also studied finance at the Universite d'Etat d'Haiti.

She also told me that she did not have any sister or brother, but she had a niece named Jenny. Jenny, Mary mother's son's baby, was eleven-years-old, and she was in her last year in elementary school. Both her father and her mother died since she was three-years-old. They died in a motorcycle accident in Gonaives. Mary said that Jenny was raised by her mother, and they grew up together. As a result, she considered Jenny as her sister.

She went on to tell me that she liked and used to go to a field trip every year or every Valentine's Day. It always took place at a garden named the Garden of Paradise. This garden was where she and Jean met. She used to go there with her mother, and they used to sit by a statue, having great conversations about their personal experiences and problems or about their personal lives. The statue was one of a man named Jean Jacques Dessalines hugging with his wife named Marie-Claire Heureuse Félicité. "Last year, my niece went to the field trip with my mother and me," she said. "We had a great time together. My mother was so excited. However, we used to feel so lonely because we did not have any intimate companionship or partner with us while almost all people in the field trip had their intimate partners with them; as a result, I used to feel that I was in need of a partner as my mother every time I went to the field trip. "

I told Mary that I was seventeen. I would be a senior at Lycee Fabre Gefrard High School, and I planned to go to college to study accounting and business administration after I graduated. I did not have a girlfriend. I told her that my father also died. Renel Paulynice, my father, died of a heart attack since I was three-years- old. I was raised by a single mother. My mother was named Esperantha Aimable. She was forty-one-years-old. She was a math teacher at La Belle Souers Des Unis College. She had studied mathematics and education at the Universite D'etat D'Haiti.

"I do not have any sister or brother," I also told her.

I called Jean after a couple of days. He told me that he had already graduated high school. He was twenty-years-old. He currently studied biology at the University d'Etat d'Haiti. When I asked him to tell me a little bit about Mary, he responded that Mary was absolutely great. She was smart. She was in the top five percent of her class. She had a good reputation in high school for being respectful to everyone. "She is my best friend," he said.

For all my life, I had been everywhere looking for a smart and respectful girl, a girl who had a great vision as I did, but I could not find her. However, after Jean told me how Mary was smart and respectful, I realized that Mary was absolutely the kind of girl whom I had been looking for.

The relationship between me and Mary started getting better, but I was not brave. We called each other every day. Every weekend, we went to cinema, dinner, theater, museum, concert, or basketball game together. There were times that we spent times in a park called National History Park, which consisted of the Sans-Souci Palace, the Citadelle Laferrière, and the buildings of Ramiers, talking to each other about what we wanted to do with our lives or what type of person that we would like to date. Fortunately, our points of views were similar in many ways, and Mary seemed to have the majority of the qualities that I really wanted from a girl based on what she told me when we shared ideas together. Every time I was with her, I could feel that my heart was beating rapidly. It was hard for me to look at her deeply in her eyes. I could feel profoundly that there were some transformations that effectuated inside of me that I was incapable of describing, but telling her how I felt was my biggest weakness or problem. The most painful or the weakest thing that I could ever experience in my life was that I did not have enough bravery to let her know how I felt.

There were times that we went out with Jean. When we asked him about what type of girl that he liked to date, he used to respond comically, "I would like to date a very big fat tall lady like me." However, the most interesting part was that Jean wanted to date an educated girl, a girl who had a great vision as he did. Desperately, Jean always said that he thought that he would never find a girl who really liked him because most of his classmates kept calling him "big fat ugly tall man". In addition to that, he had been rejected by every girl that he talked to; as a result, he became afraid of expressing his feeling to any girl that he liked. We always said to Jean as a way of encouraging him, "Everyone was made to be loved by someone. But finding this person is not easy. It requires a lot of time, hope, or patience." He used to laugh out loudly every time we said that to him as he had the hope that he would find someone who loved him. Mary and I used to laugh out loudly too.

I used to talk to an old man named Jacques Pierre. Jacques Pierre, my neighbor, was seventy-years-old. He was the father or grandfather of more than thirty children. He was very short and had long white beard and white hair. He respected me as I was an old man like him because I really respected him, and I was known by everyone as a respectful young man. He considered me as his son. We used to joke, talking to each other about our personal experiences. Jacques was known by everyone as an experienced advisor because he liked to advise other people or told them about what he went through in life and what lessons that he learned from them so that others could also learn from them to avoid similar things that may happen to them in the future. One day, I called him and told him that I had a problem. I wanted his help.

"It is okay my son," he responded. "What do you need my advice about?"

I responded, "About relationship."

He said, "Okay."

"Are you home?" I asked him.

He said, "Yes."

"I am coming to see you," I responded to him.

He said, "I am waiting for you."

I walked quickly. When I arrived, I knocked on the door of Pierre's room. He opened
the door and said to me, "Hey son, how are you doing?"

"I am doing okay," I responded to him as I entered in his room.

Pierre's room was very large and long. It had two fans. One of the fans was in front of Pierre's bed, and the other one was in front of his radio. His room had only one radio and one TV. The radio was playing a love song titled "When you love someone" by Bryan Adams. The television was on the table and was playing a love movie titled Romeo and Juliet. The table had a lot of books and journal papers that Pierre liked to read. He learned a lot of life lessons from reading those books, and he liked to share those lessons with other people. The floor of his room was covered with a blue carpet, and the wall was painting with a beautiful blue paint. His bed was also covered with a blue blanket and had a white pillow on it. Beside the bed, there was a black chair.

"You can sit on this chair my son," Pierre said to me happily.

"Thank you Mr. Pierre," I responded to him as I grabbed the chair to place it somewhere that was more appropriate so that I could sit on it.

"What do you need my advice about?" he asked me.

I told Jacques Pierre, "there is a girl whom I really like, but I do not know how to approach her. I am afraid to tell her how I feel. I am afraid of rejection. The feeling starts getting stronger,
and I can not handle it. I do not know what to do. "

"My son, when I was in your age, I used to be like that," he responded to me, "and I really know what you're talking about. This is my advice to you my son. It is better to tell someone how you feel instead of dying with a feeling in your heart because you never know how the other person feels. If you do not tell her how you feel, how will she know that you like her? Act like a man. It is your job. be fearless. Do not be afraid of rejection. Tell her how you feel. The longer you hide this feeling secretly to yourself is the stronger that it becomes. "

I responded to him, "Thank you so much daddy. I will."

I shook Jacques's hand, hugged him, and said goodbye to him.

He responded, "Bye."

When I arrived home, I lay down on my bed and took a deep breath. I said to myself, "It is better to tell someone how you feel instead of dying with a feeling in your heart because you never know how the other person feels. If you do not tell her how you feel, how will she know that you like her? "After a couple of seconds, I realized something, and I learned from it. I learned from what Jacques Pierre told me. I realized that I should tell Mary how I felt.

One day, I felt that I had a certain bravery, a bravery that I could not have before, the bravery to tell Mary how I felt about her. I made a decision. I made the decision to call Mary to tell her how I cared and felt about her. I called her. I told her how I cared and felt about her.

"I can not believe what you are saying," she said on the phone. "You can say what you really want to say."

"If I had to say what I really want to say," I responded, "I would say that I love you."

She sang on the phone. The way she sang made me realize that she was not really interested. I said goodbye to her. I hanged off the phone.

I called Jean, telling him that I had been calling Mary.

He said, "I have been calling her today too."

"That is great," I replied.

"I am doing something right now," he said, "so I am going to call you tonight."

"Okay," I responded to him.

The relationship between me and Mary did not fall apart even though she acted like she was not really interested in me. Every day, I called her, telling her how I loved her. She always said that she was not ready to be in a relationship. However, that did not stop me from continuing to tell her that I was ready to spend the rest of my life with her or that she was the only one that my heart and my soul wanted.

I always called Jean, my friend. And I always told him that I loved Mary. He used to tell me that Mary told him that she was not interested in me. Every time he said that to me, I felt so sad. However, I never felt so disheartened because there were other people who used to tell me that Mary told them that she loved me.

One day, I sat somewhere quietly, and I pondered how I could use some persuasive statements to write a letter to Mary in order to convince her. After a couple of minutes, I took a piece of paper and a pen. I started writing a letter. Fortunately, a lot of romantic and persuasive thoughts came to my mind, and it took me four hours to write this letter. While I was almost finishing writing the letter, I saw Mary walking on the street. I felt so happy. I quickly wrote the rest of the letter. I gave her the letter. She took it. She smiled at me, and I smiled at her too.

I said, "Thank you."

"You welcome," she said.

After two months, Mary wrote a letter to me. She mentioned in her letter that she did not love me. She wanted me to leave her alone. She went on to say that she wanted me to stop calling her.

After I read that letter, I was so stressed and pessimistic. I could not sleep. I could not study or do my homework. There were times that I talked to my mother, to Jean, and to other people, and I used to tell them that I would kill myself one day. Unfortunately, none of them knew what I meant when I said that. They always asked me if I was crazy. I always told them that I would do that for a reason. Unfortunately, they never took time to talk to me in order to advice me because most of them thought that I was playing.

One day, I felt so sad and uncomfortable. I called Jean. Unfortunately, Jean did not answer the phone. I tried to sleep, but I could not sleep. I tried to eat, but I could not eat. I tried to watch TV in order to entertain myself or to ease my pain, but nothing worked. I did not know what to do. I asked myself, "What should I do?" After a couple of minutes, "I do not know what to do," I said. "I am going to kill myself."

I walked silently in my room after a couple of seconds. My room contained a lot of things, and it was very large and long. The floor was covered with a black carpet. It had one door. On the right side of my room, there were two televisions, three radios, one refrigerator, four mirrors, and one table. On the left side of my room, there were two fans and one computer. My bed was in the middle of my room. In front of my bed, there was a bottle of arsenic used to kill rats. I took it, and I was tempted to drink it. While I was trying to put the bottle of arsenic in my mouth, my mother asked, "What are you doing?"

I furiously threw away the bottle of arsenic. I put my head down and said nothing to my mother.

My mother felt so confused. She asked, "What's wrong?"

"I do not know," I said.

"Are you crazy?" she questioned.

I answered, "No."

"Why did you try to drink the poison?" she asked.

"I thought that it was a beer," I said. "I did not know if it was a poison."

My mother said, "You are crazy."

I said nothing. She took the bottle of arsenic, and she put it in the garbage can.

After a couple of minutes, I told my mother the truth. I told her why I had tried to drink the arsenic.

She looked at me desperately. "How do you think that you are not crazy," she asked, "when you almost killed yourself, especially over something trivial like that?"

"Sometimes we do some crazy stuff when we love someone," I responded to my mother as I was crying, "but that does not mean that we are crazy. Love simply makes us blind, and we are unable to follow what we want . However, our hearts and our souls choose to follow what they want while our bodies are unable to resist or to control this feeling. Sometimes, even though the one that our hearts and our souls want hurts us, we still can not stay away from that person because our hearts and our souls do not give us the chance to do that, and our hearts and our souls say yes even though sometimes our mouths say no. The heart is what we need to survive. We are obligated to please it. The soul directs the body to where it wants it. There's nothing we can do. "

I looked at my mother, and I could see in my mother's face a face of despair. She was more desperate after she heard that expression. Her eyes were watering as she could not believe that her only son had almost died.

"Sit down," she said to me with a voice full of pain. "I want to talk to you."

"Okay," I replied.

"Do not do something like that anymore," she said. "If you continue to believe in what you say, one day, you are going to kill yourself for trivial reason. Killing yourself for a girl whom you love is not what's going to make you have that girl. No one is worth your life. you should always make sure that you control your feeling. you have to love people who love you and learn to move on from those who do not. you have to sacrifice yourself for people who are ready to sacrifice themselves for you. you have to think before you do certain things in life. Remember that for the rest of your life. "

I responded, "Okay."

I hugged my mother while I was crying as a way of saying sorry to her, and I said thank you to her for her advice.

"You welcome," she replied. "It's an obligation. It's my job to give you the best advice that I can."

"Okay," I responded to her.

"Let the bird go and fly because you love the bird," she said to me as a way of strengthening or consoling me while I was enveloping in her arms. "If the bird comes back or thinks about you or you have the chance to have that bird after you let it go and fly, it is because the bird loves you or you and the bird were destined to be together. If it is the contrary , it is because it was not meant to be. "

"Okay," I said.

"Do you understand what I say?" she asked.

"Yea," I responded to her.

After my mother left my room, "Thank you Jesus," I said. "I almost killed myself." I laid down on my bed. I closed my eyes, and I thought about how I almost died. After a couple of minutes, I realized something, and I learned from it. I learned from what my mother told me. I realized that I should not tempt to kill myself for Mary.

After a couple of minutes, I called Jean. I told him that I had almost died.

"What's wrong?" he asked me.

I replied, "Nothing."

"Are you okay?" he interrogated me.

"I am good," I said. "If that did not happen, my mother would never teach me a lesson, and I would never learn from it."

He questioned, "Do you want to go on a field trip?"

"I want to go," I responded. "What date is the field trip?"

"The field trip is next month," he said. "I will pick you up."

I said, "Okay."

He replied, "Bye."

"Bye," I said.

I hanged off the phone and turned off the light in my room.

I said to my mother, "Good night."

She said, "You are a crazy boy."

"I am not a crazy boy," I responded.

She said, "Good night."

I replied, "Okay."

After a couple of days, I continued to learn from what my mother told me. I never called Mary. When I saw her, I acted like I did not see her. I never talked to her anymore.

On a Saturday morning, Jean, my friend, came to pick me up.

I asked him, "Where the field Trip is going to take place?"

"In a garden," he said.

I replied, "Let's go."

Quickly, we walked on the road. When we arrived, we sat in front of a table containing a lot of food and beer. We were talking to each other about our personal experiences and problems. Beside us, there were other people who were talking too, and we could not hear anything they said. In the back of us, there were two statues. Also, there were two men who played with a snake. In front of us, there were some children who sat in front of a river, and they played with their pets and other creatures that they found in the river. That place was peaceful. Jean and I could only hear the song of the birds singing their sweet melodies while we were talking. Also, it was exquisite and unbelievable. It contained a lot of flowers, trees, mountains, rivers, and animals. This place was known as Le Jardin de Paradis, which was situated in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. While Jean and I were talking to each other, he asked me, "How is Mary?"

I said, "I do not know."

"How you do not know?" he replied.

"Mary is not in my mind anymore," I said. "It's been two weeks since I saw her."

He responded, "That is not amazing."

After a couple of minutes, we sat quietly and looked at attentively the men who played with the snake and the children who sat in front of the river that contained a lot of animals. It was an amazing day. Many people took pleasure from hearing the sweet melodies of the birds in the garden. After a while, we went to sit in front of the river where the children played.

"You know that Mary loves you," said one of the children, a little girl.

I said, "You are playing with me."

"I am not playing with you," she replied.

Jean said, "That sounds amazing and interesting."

"Of course, it is," I responded to him.

"What is your name?" I asked the little girl.

She said, "My name is Jenny."

"How do you know that she loves me?" I asked Jenny.

She replied, "She told my grandmother and me that."

"Are you her niece?" I asked her.

She responded, "Yes, I am her niece."

"How do you know that I am the one that she used to talk to you and your grandmother about," I questioned her again.

She responded, "Sometimes, when you walked down the street, she used to point her finger at you and said to me 'This is Roldens Paulynice, the man whom I used to talk to you and my mother about. I love him. But I do not want to tell him that right now '. I used to laugh out loudly. "

I said, "Okay."

"If you want to know if that is true," said Jenny, "go talk to her. She is in front of that statue."

I hugged Jenny. I gave her ten dollars, and I said thank you to her.

"I am going to ask Mary if she loves you," Jean, my friend, said.

"We should go together," I replied.

Jean and I went to sit in front of the statue where Jenny told us to go; unfortunately, we did not see Mary.

The statue was of a young man and a young lady hugging and kissing together. They were nude. Everyone could see everything on their bodies, but it was hard to see their breasts and their private parts because they were hugging too tightly. The man was pretty tall, and the lady was pretty short. Her hair was long. The statue was in the middle of a water jet. We took pleasure from playing with the water that came out in the water jet. In front of the statue, there was a white board. When I looked at the board, I saw La Saint Valentin, fête de l'amour, which was the name of the statue, written with a blue paint on the board.

While Jean and I were talking to each other, we heard Mary talking to her mother, but we did not know where she was exactly.

After a couple of seconds, we remained quietly and listened attentively to what they said.

"You know that I love Roldens," Mary said to her mother. "I am going to tell him how I feel."

Her mother replied, "Do not do that right now."

"I am going to say that to him," she said to her mother again. "My feeling for him starts getting stronger."

"I am going to say that to you again," her mother said. "In order for you to know if a guy really loves you, you have to take some time to carefully analyze him."

"I have been analyzing him for one year and a half," she said to her mother. "Right now, I should give him my heart."

"Do not do that right now," replied her mother. "Continue to analyze him."

"I am going to continue to analyze him," she responded.

"Jenny did not lie," I said to Jean. "It's true that Mary loves me."

"That is true," he replied.

I said, "Let's go."

While Jean and I were walking in the garden, we saw Mary and her mother. They talked to each other about me, but they did not see me.

"I can not wait to give Roldens my heart," Mary said to her mother. "I love him."

Her mother said, "You have to take some time …"

As I stepped in, "Are you serious?" I curiously and suddenly asked Mary as I interrupted her conversation with her mother. "Why you never tell me how you feel?"

Mary put her head down and said nothing.

"Please talk to me," I said to Mary.

"I love you Roldens," replied Mary.

"Why you did not tell me that?" I said. "You should tell me that when you wrote the letter to me instead of telling me something that almost made me commit suicide. Your letter caused me so much pain."

"I did not tell you that," she replied as she was crying, "because I was trying to analyze you. I just wanted to know if you really loved me."

"Love is what the heart feels," I responded to her. "Once you love somebody who loves you, you have to let your heart decide. Do what your heart wants you to do. That's why my heart convinces me deep down inside that I am in love with you. Do not ever force yourself to do something that your heart does not really mean, especially hiding your feeling for someone whom you really love. The longer you hide your feeling for someone is the longer that you make your heart suffer or the stronger that this feeling becomes. I love you so much Mary, and I am ready to do whatever it takes to fight for our love. I am ready to show you what love is all about. "

She closed her eyes. She thought about something. After a couple of minutes, she hugged me and kissed me. She said nothing, but she cried while she was kissing me.

Jean said desperately, "I hope that I will find my girl one day." But he smiled suspiciously, and he looked at Mary and me attentively.

After a couple of hours, Jean told me that Mary used to tell him everything, but he could not tell me the truth because Mary did not want him to tell me that.


Source by Roldens Paulynice

50 End of the Year Questions to Ask Your Family, Friends, Co-Workers and Yourself!


Use these questions for your journals, diaries, and scrapbooks!

January 24, 2005

What are your resolutions / good intentions for the New Year?

What happened in your life that you never expected to happen?

What is one thing you did that you have never done before?

What were your biggest achievements?

What were your biggest challenges?

What is your biggest regret?

When were you happiest?

Who was your best friend?

Who surprised you this year? In what way?

Who did you admire most this year?

Who were you in love with?

What was the most important lesson you learned?

What was your favorite TV show?

What was your favorite film?

What was your favorite book?

What was your favorite food?

What was your favorite song?

What were your favorite phrases?

What did you do for your Birthday?

Which was your favorite Holiday?

What was the best gift you gave?

What was the best gift you received?

What did someone say to you that surprised you?

What was your hobby?

What new discoveries did you make?

What was your guilty pleasure for the year?

What did you do on an average day?

What was your fashion like?

What was your career / job like?

Did you make more / less / same amount than the previous year?

What new skills did you learn this year?

What do you think was your most valuable contribution?

What lesson (s) did you learn about yourself?

What were the most significant events of the past year?

What were you afraid of?

What was your most memorable journey?

Which did you do more of? Smile or cry?

Did you make any new friends?

Did you lose any old friends?

Did you have any births / deaths in your family?

Did you fall in love / out of love?

What is your newest tech item?

What was your most extravagant purchase?

What should you have done more of?

What should you have done less of?

What made the biggest difference in your life?

What gave you joy?

What made you sad?

What is your motto for the year?


Source by Antuanette Wheeler

Life Lessons From the Kite Runner


The life lessons of the Kite Runner, the story about two boys, Amir and Hassan the Sultan's of Kabul, is that life's lessons will repeat until we that lesson.

The story starts with Amir and Hassan being inseparable. Amir the son of a rich merchant believes that his father blames him for the death of his mother who died in childbirth. Hassan along with his father, Ali, were servants to Amir and his father, Babba. Hassan demonstrated incredible character, loyal, honest, caring, and bravery. Hassan looks up to Amir and professed that he would eat dirt if Amir were to ask him. Amir overhears a conversation between his father, Babba and Rahim Khan, who is Babba's business partner and best friend in Kabul. Babba secretly confines in Rahim Khan his concerns with his son's lack of courage and strength.

During the annual Kite fighting contest in Kabul, Amir's kite is the last kite flying. Hassan runs off to collect the last kite that Amir cut down. When Hassan does not come back after a spell, Amir goes looking for Hassan to find him corner by three local bullies that harassed Hassan and Amir earlier in the movie. The larger of the bullies offered to forgive Hassan at a price, the price was the kite that Hassan swore to run down and return to Amir. Hassan told the bullies that the kite was not his to give, and in return, the bullies beat him and raped him, as Amir watched, afraid to come to Hassan's defense.

Amir's shame for not standing up and fighting for Hassan inspired him to betray Hassan even further by Amir seeking to have Hassan and his father forced out of their home. Amir asked Babba if he would get new servants and Babba swore at Amir and told him that Ali has been part of the family for over forty years and his father raised him like a brother and never to speak of it again. Amir then framed Hassan, planting his watch and money under Hassan's pillow. When Babba confronted Hassan and Ali, Hassan took responsibility and admitted to stealing the watch and money, further protecting Amir. Babba forgave Hassan, but Ali informed Babba that he and Hassan were leaving.

Rahim Khan calls Amir and request Amir to come back home to make things right again. Rahim Khan explained to Amir that Hassan died protecting his father's home in Kabul, loyal to his death and that unknown to both Amir and Hassan that they were half-brothers. Amir had relations with Hassan's mother who gave, birth to Hassan. Rahim Khan gave Amir a letter that Hassan wrote to him telling him about his son and about missing the good times that they had as children. Amir decides to make things right and go to Kabul and take Hassan's son, Sohrab. When Amir finds Sohrab, he finds that the child had been taken by his childhood nemesis, Assef, who raped Hassan. Sohrab was traumatized and raped by Assef, his father's rapist, and made to dress as a girl and dance for Amir. Amir stands up to Assef and tells him that he is here to take Sohrab back to United States. Assef fights with Amir and Sohrab defends Amir with his father's slingshot that Amir gave to Hassan for his birthday earlier in the movie.

Amir returns to United States with Sohrab who is traumatized and withdrawn. When Amir's father-in-law, General Taheri, questions Amir what he is to tell people why he has taken in a Hazara (consider to an inferior race) into his home. Amir stood up to General Taheri, and told him that his father slept with his servants wife and that he was the Sohrab's uncle and that the General will not refer to Sohrab as that Hazara boy in his presence.

Amir's courage and loyalty was tested several times during the movie, and he fails to live up to his father's and his own expectations. He abandons and betrays his brother and best friend Hassan. However, true to real life, Amir was given an opportunity to redeem himself and become the man his father wanted him to be, and the friend that Hassan deserved. Amir saved Hassan's son, Sohrab from the Taliban and brings him home to United States and raised him as his son. If ever there were a movie written to evoke emotions it is this movie. The book has been controversial as well as the movie. The Kite Runner shows us that in life no matter our shame, guilt, or mistakes we have made in the past we will be presented with new opportunities to make different choices and opportunities for personal growth. Amir was given an opportunity to face his fears, stand up to his nemesis and his father-in-law, and demonstrate his loyalty and courage.

As in real life, the movie The Kite Runner, we often find ourselves making choices that are based on our fears. For Amir, his fear was that his father blamed him for the death of his mother during his birth. This fear drove Amir to resent his friend Hassan who demonstrated loyalty and courage. The traits that Amir's father wished for Amir to learn. Just like Amir we find ourselves making life choices based on our fears. Maybe we choose to remain quite when someone we know is being treated unfairly. It could be a choice that is more personal, maybe we stay stuck in a relationship that is abusive or a job that is a dead end, because our fears of change over shadows our desire for change. We might find our self-esteem lacking because of shame or guilt from our past. The lesson from The Kite Runner is that when life presents us with new opportunities we can make different choices, we can face our fears, and we can grow as a person. We can develop those characteristics and traits that we value and become the person we want to become.


Source by Cindy S. Swartz

Meaningful Moving Away Gift Ideas for a Friend or Colleague


Saying goodbye to a friend is hard. As a neighbor said just before I moved, "It's just as hard for me, the one left behind." I've belonged to a special club for years and one of our members is moving away. We want to give her a gift, something to remember us and our group. You may be in a similar situation.

Whatever you choose, your gift should be meaningful. I would eliminate a coffee mug because most of us have too many of them. Joke gifts are dicey because they may or may not be funny. Consider these gift ideas instead.

  • My new hometown. Compile a notebook of information about the person's destination town or city: brochures, a city magazine if there is one, transportation information, brochures about concerts and exhibits, etc. Start early because gathering these things takes time.
  • Photo montage. Ask friends, members or co-workers for photos of themselves. Pair these individual photos with action shots of the group. Using special photo glue, arrange the photos in a montage, and insert it to a frame. You can find inexpensive frames at craft and discount stores.
  • Cuttings from the garden. If your friend or colleague is not moving far away, give him or her an ivy stem or cutting from a flowering plant in a plastic glass. Include growing instructions for the cutting.
  • Flower delivery. After your friend or colleague is settled, arrange for the delivery of a bouquet of flowers, growing plant, or dish garden. This gift will brighten their home and foster thoughts of you and / or your group.
  • Custom cook book. If the person likes to cook, he or she will love a collection of recipes from group members. Type the recipes, put them in page protectors, and insert in a three-ring binder. Include a group photo with the recipes.
  • I remember photo. Take a photo of your friend's home or a close-up of the front door. Buy an inexpensive frame with mat and insert the close-up photo in it.
  • Champagne or wine celebration. Give your friend or colleague a bottle of champagne or wine to enjoy after he or she is settled. Agree to toast each other at a specific time on a specific day.
  • Special book. Your friend or colleague will enjoy a book about his or her former city. The public library will be able to give you title suggestions. Check with local bookstores too. Have group members sign the front page of the book.
  • Save the date. Set a date and time to visit your friend. Circle the date on your calendar, and write it on a card. Add a short message such as, "I can hardly wait to see you." Visiting your friend or colleague will boost their spirits and yours as well.

As for our friend, club members are getting her a gift card and making a memory cookbook for her, containing recipes for foods served at meetings. We think she will enjoy both of these meaningful gifts.

Copyright 2013 by Harriet Hodgson


Source by Harriet Hodgson

Glass – Environmental Friend or Foe


Serving a large purpose with little consideration, glass is a key ingredient in many of our everyday products. Tableware, light bulbs, mirrors, stove tops, windshields, windows: the list is large for something not given a second thought. Friend or foe, we need to consider the implications of glass making on the environment.

The 'What Is' of Glass

Glass is a combination of three types of substances that occur naturally in North America;

  • silica, the most popular being white sand
  • alkali, such as sodium bicarbonate
  • limestone

Sometimes a metallic oxide (lead) is added to the mix. Depending on which alkali is used and whether or not lead is added, the clarity or color cast of the glass changes. The expense of producing and the quality of the glass is determined by the choice of alkali and the percentage used, combined with the choice and percentage of silica used.

The 'How' of Glass Production

A silica, an alkali and limestone are first crushed into a powder form, sifting out any coarse particles. They are then blended and put into a furnace at an extremely high temperature for as long as 24 hours. This yields molten glass which is then cooled several hundred degrees resulting in a thick liquid. The resulting matter is called frit which is then blown, pressed, drawn, molded or rolled into glass objects. If the glass is to be molded the molds are also heated at high temperature so the liquid poured into them does not wrinkle. The cooling process involves washing with water.

Environmental Impact of Glass Production

The process of making new glass is not at all environmentally friendly. The initial crushing and grinding step sends particulates of metals, chemicals, acids and dust into the air. These are easily inhaled causing irritation to the nose and throat, potentially causing damage to the lungs. The particles of metals are hazardous to the environment as they can find their way into surrounding soil and water.

The need for extremely high temperature furnaces to melt the mixture of substances makes the melting stage of the glass making process very energy intensive. It is estimated to take 15.2 million BTUs of energy to produce one ton of glass. During any one of the formation processes the glass may need to be reheated to keep it in liquid form. This means the heat in the furnace must be kept up until the process is complete.

Discharges from the glass making process may find their way into the aquatic environment during the cooling and cleaning processes where the most significant amounts of water are used. Discharges may contain some pieces of glass, some soluble used in the production like sodium sulfate, lubricant oil used in the cutting process, dissolved salts and water treatment chemicals.

Glass manufacturing processes also emit a significant amount of greenhouse gases especially carbon dioxide. Additionally, the processes spit out air-polluting compounds like nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and particulates.

Benefits of Glass

Glass is nonporous making it impermeable to other substances. For this reason glass is a very hygienic surface as any bacteria and germs that come in contact are not absorbed into its structure. Glass surfaces take to strong cleaning with a disinfectant and hot water with no effect on its quality. For this reason glass containers can be easily reused many times over.

The impermeableness of its structure eliminates any interaction with the stored contents. This, along with glass being made from nontoxic raw materials, dismisses concern of leaching chemicals into the contained substances. In the case of food storage, this also insures the freshness and uncompromised taste of the stored substance. Glass containers also do not absorb the smells of the foods in or around them.

Unlike other materials, glass used in the microwave does not leach any toxins into contained foods or liquids. Nor does it stain, corrode or deteriorate no matter how many times it is reused.

Glass dishes and containers are very versatile as they can go from freezer to microwave or oven. Glass is very attractive looking beautiful on table top or as decorative pieces like candy dishes, storage jars, vases and mirrors.

And glass is 100% recyclable.

Turning Foe into Friend

Many manufacturers have put into place practices to reduce the negative environmental impact of glass making. Consideration has been given to use of more efficient furnaces to cut energy use, producing thinner glass to employ lower temperatures and reduce transport costs, use of air and water purification systems, and use of recycled glass to make new.

Here are some ways to reduce the environmental effects and still enjoy the benefits of glass products.

  • Reuse glass food and storage containers. Because of its natural properties there is no chemical reaction with the glass container and its contents. Glass items at home can be safely used over and over with no loss in the quality of the glass.
  • Recycle. Glass is 100% recyclable and can be reused to make new glass. Unlike other types of materials, the reuse of glass in no way degrades the integrity of the material. Glass can be melted and reused over and over again. A glass bottle ending life in a landfill can take one million years to breakdown. But a recycled glass bottle has about a 30 day turnaround time from recycle bin to being a new bottle on a store shelf. Every ton of glass that is recycled saves more than a ton of the raw materials needed to create new glass. Because cullet (glass pieces for reuse) melts at a much lower temperature, making glass products from cullet consumes 40 percent less energy than making new glass from raw materials.
  • Reduce the amount of new glass products you purchase. Because it has found its way into so many commercial uses it is now easy to find products made from recycled glass. For tableware from Look cullet, recycled glass jewelry , decorative tiles, counters and landscaping materials That Utilize recycled glass.

Glass is a versatile and beautiful material to use in many facets of our lives. Let's do our part to turn glass production from foe to friend.


Source by Lynn Lavanga

Peace and Plenty – Finding Your Path to Financial Serenity by Sarah Ban Breathnach


A Spiritual, Authentic and Powerful Book

If you are a woman and you want to understand your relationship with money, Peace and Plenty is the book for you. It is authentic writing at its best. Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of the hugely successful Simple Abundance, once again weaves wonderful words together as she addresses the serious and important subject of money and a woman's relationship with it. "Heaven likes to help those trying to help themselves" and " 'Having enough' is the destination for all of us on the Peace and Plenty path." I think that's one of the best parts of this book: its spiritual essence resonates with us because Sarah Ban Breathnach's authentic and faith-filled voice touches our very souls page after page.

I loved this book's respectful and humble acknowledgement of the struggles that so many good people undergoing financial stress are experiencing. A sensitive chapter "On Losing Your Job" validates how the loss of personal identity hurts our self-esteem and discourages our spirit. And Sarah does not write from the abstract, she has lived the fear and reality of job loss. She also courageously shares her personal stories of loss of finances, home and marriage. These monumental losses could have made Sarah bitter and discouraged her but they have not because she is a believer in the beauty and the bounty of life. Sarah Ban Breathnach focuses instead on places where she is grateful and inspires us to do the same. She is also moving on with the new changes in her life trusting the Creator of a Million Lifetimes to guide her every choice.

In this wonderful book, Sarah Ban Breathnach implores us to create a financial family tree to clarify our attitudes about money. Were your parents big spenders? Were they worried all of the time about money? These questions initiate us into the search to understand what money really means to us. Sarah wants us to be honest believing that the truth does indeed set us free.

Sarah Ban Breathnach is every woman's friend, sister and mother. Millions of women look to her for counsel, hope and honesty. They will not be disappointed when they sit down with a hot cup of tea and this latest book, Peace and Plenty, where they will find renewed hope and a true path to financial serenity from a trusted soul companion.


Source by Mary Jane Hurley Brant

Confession of a Spouse: A Story Behind A Stroke


She's been with me for more than two years and since then, me and my husband really trust her, technically, on everything. Trust is a big word to utter but she deserves it. She was then my Tatyana's nanny. But within those years, she became more than just a nanny. She became a family and she never fails to treat us the same. Suddenly, that nanny thing is, now gone. And our Nanay eBay (Mom eBay / Genoveva) came to its existence.

One day, a funny thing happened. Our family is having recreational activity, we are walking on the boulevard. A little child asked my kid Tatyana if what's the name of her mommy. To my surprised she did not mention my name but her nanny's name. Normally, it should upset me. But it did not. Maybe because Nanay eBay do not just became a family to us, she also became my Tatyana's best friend and her second mom.

Last year, sad to say, I heard her talking to somebody. She is talking about some stuff that never even came into my mind. Stuff I consider absurd. But one day, the absurdness of the word broke the silence of our home. "I need to stop working", she said, without even looking at us. "My husband suffered from stroke and no one will take care of him", she added.

Everyone's faces turn serious and, notably, speechless. Of course, I do not want to let her go, but then, deep inside me, I do understand all her sentiments. Unexpectedly, I said, "Of course and you may come back anytime you please". I am really hoping the latter thing to happen in the very near future. Imagine, I have to do everything now, alone, since my husband is at work every single day. In the bigger picture, who will take care of my kids when I am about to leave for six months for my review. This is such a mess. A big one!

We tried to find a replacement, but no one is as good as she is. Days pass. Then become weeks. I was supposed to leave last week, but I can not because no one will look at my kids. I am super disgusted of everything, that I came to the point of giving up my dream. Then, I heard a familiar voice at the gate. She was smiling, older and thinner than the last time I saw her. I shouted, "Nay!" [Nanay is a Tagalog word for Mother].

She's back!

Everyone was happy that day. Deep inside, I wanted to ask her about what happened, but I do not want to be so insensitive about her problems, so I chose to shut up. I flew to Manila and every two months I visited them. But now, I broke the silence. Here is my interview with Nanay eBay (Genoveva).

Nay, how hard was it?

It is very hard. In fact, no word has the power to describe every pain I feel.

Feel, not felt? Do you still have a problem about it ?

Actually, I do not intend to go back working, but if I will not, me, my kids and even my stroke-survivor husband will die this year. We have no food, we have nothing but problems, we have no one to run to, and the only thing I can do to help myself and my family is to work again.

Who is taking care of your husband now ?

My son, Ekoy, is helping him and taking good care of him now. But, Ekoy is still studying so he is alone in our house during daytime or school time.

If, you are there today, what do you think you do?

Early morning I bathe him and prepare food , if I could find something to eat that early. And then, I massage him day and night. People are telling me that it is good for a stroke-survivors. So, I put a try on it .

I also hang a rope in our house trusses for him to pull every now and then. I can see his eagerness to be normal again.

What is the hardest thing you ever experienced while in that situation?

The hardest thing is defecating while lying. We have no bed pan to use and I can not even afford one. It is really, really hard. Also, it is very hard to be a nurse and a head of the family at the same time. You can not take care of someone while working in another place.

Is there any progress on him?

Yes, he can walk now, but he must use a cane as a support.

So you mean, he is okay?

Yes. He is quite okay compared to before.

What about you, are you okay, now?

I do not know. I do not like the idea. We are still broke. Sometimes, I think I'm being punished . I am not the one who suffered from stroke, but I play the hardest part I could ever imagine.

The sad thing is I regret asking the last part, so it ends here.

Allahlea is a freelance writer. She writes online and offline. Online she is writing web contents, SEO based articles, and press release of different niches from clothing to railings. Locally, Allahlea is hired in preparing thesis / dissertations for graduating students. She's a degree holder of both Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Recently, she's been teaching English to Chinese learners.

When asked to describe herself, she simply told everyone: "I am just a nobody, but a mother of my two gorgeous and loving kids. As an individual, I usually see myself as a DREAMER, and I intend to work on every dream I He has. "


Source by Allahlea C. Elumba-Carreon

Sandra Bridewell



Sandra Camille (Powers) Bridewell, was born, April 4, 1944. She was adopted as a child by Arthur and Camille Powers of Sedalia, Missouri. She was known primarily as a destructive con-artist, as, over the course of more than 3 decades, the woman who became known as the "Black Widow", deceived both lovers and friends for hundreds of thousands of dollars. She is also suspected of being a part of, atleast one of her husbands and also a close friend death.

It all started in a disconcerting and traumatic childhood. Reports indicate, that at the age of 3, her adoptive mother, Camille, was killed in a car-accident. Bridewell's father, Arthur, who both managed and commanded a Dr.Pepper bottling factory, eventually re-married, and the family were re-located to Oak Cliff, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. He resigned from his previous position and found new employment, becoming a cemetery plot salesman.

Bridewell discovered that adjusting to her new surroundings was not the problem, the problem was adjusting to her new stepmother Doris. The two of them were continuosly fighting, whilst Bridewell would protest that her stepmother regulary locked her inside a closet, refused to send out birthday party invitations and enjoy telling her that nobody wanted her.

Bridewell graduated high school in the year of 1962. As a high school student, she would rarely date, however after graduation, she soon began dating a series of different men. She was extreamly seductive, many of the men became totally smitten with, what a later friend would describe as, "her, 'lady-like', 'poor-helpless-me' routine". Bridewell attended junior college for a single year, it seems Bridewell had already decided her intentions, she wanted to marry into money.


For Sandra to achieve her intentions, she began living a life, littered with deception and deceit. She would tell some friends, that both of her adoptive parents were killed. She would tell some others she was daughter to Irish aristocrats. The most common deceit that she used with regularity, was the "West Point Boyfriend", this entailed the story of a boyfriend who shot himself while she sat next to him in a car.

Despite Sandra's continuous deceptive nature, she was able to convince many people to believe her lies, especially men. Many stories from these men, were very similar and followed a general theme, recalling, "She had a way" and, "Men, just sort of … were fascinated with her". Sandra through the course of her life, would intensify the deception and lived with many different aliases.

There were many victims, from her guiltless deceit. One such victim, was the up-shot dentist, David Stegall, who was schooled in Los Angeles and was a regular dentist for high-status Hollywood stars. Stegall had a compulsion towards, Cadillacs, large homes and pretty women. Sandra noticed something she liked about Stegall, and by the year 1967 she had married him. Within the first few years after the marriage, the couple began to raise a family, and soon had 3 daughters, Britt, Kathryn and Emily. The family enjoyed a high-class lifestyle and lived in a most desirable Dallas neighbourhood.

Sandra's taste and passion for the finer things were even more profound than her husbands, and desite the massive salary and reputation of Stegall, Sandra's tastes were beginning to strain and taking the family to the brink. Sandra was a connoisseur of many things, she loved beautiful artwork and expensive furnishings. By the year 1974, the couple's marriage was in turmoil and the family was in severe debt, forcing Stegall to loan a substantial sum of money from his father to pay off a number of the hefty bills.

By February 1975, the situation had over-come Stegall, and he tried to commit suicide. Reports indicate that Sandra discovered a distressed Stegall closed in a closet with a gun pointed at his head. Sandra was then able to persuade Stegall to re-consider. However this did not change Stegall for the long-term, and a few weeks later he was discovered dead. Lying on in his bed with both wrists open and a.22 caliber gunshot wound through his head.

Sandra swiftly took action towards straightening her financial situation. This started with the collection of her husband's life insurance policy, sold the lat Stegall's practice and began dating other wealthy men. After a mere 3 years of her husband's death, Sandra was married again, this time to well-known Dallas based developer, Bobby Bridewell.

Soon after the wedding Bridewell took the decision to adopt Sandra's 3 daughters and the family made their 'home in the fancy Dallas neighbourhood of Highland Park. However in 1980, life changed and in dramatic and tragic twist Bridwell was diagnosed with cancer. Sandra found the diagnosis extremely painful, as she continued her life in her usual way, with an elemental grieving. During her husbands battle with the illness, Sandra decided to have the family's entire household remodelled, forcing the weakening Bridewell to move into a friend's house. Bridewell after a 2 year struggle, finally succumbed to his diagnoses and died.

The impact of Bridewell's death was hard-felt by Sandra. At least for the short-term, she was able to gain support and hope, in the friendship of Bridewell's oncologist, Dr 'John Bradwell and his wife Betsy. In the beginning the couple were more than happy and open to offer support to their friend. Sandra over-time, began visiting the Bagwell household with more frequent persistence. Whilst the doctor and his wife were enjoying a vacation in New Mexico, Sandra went as far as to show up unannounced. Her ever increasing requests were frequented with pleads of childcare and harassment through phone calls.

The Bagwell's soon decided upon action, and attempted to extricate themselves from the relationship with Sandra. Sandra however would not allow it. In June 1982, she made a phone call to Betsy, and requested she take her to the hospital, so she could rent a car as her's would not start. Betsy supplicated and would take Sandra to the hospital, and then back to the Church were Sandra was previously parked so she could retrieve her license, which she claimed on arrival, had been forgotten.

The exact details of the encounter remain shrouded in mystery. What is understood, is that on June 16, 1982, authorities discovered the 40-year old Mrs. Bagwell, dead in her Mercedes i the airport parking lot. There was a large gunshot wound in her head, and a stolen.22 caliber pistol held in her right hand. when the verdict was given, it was concluded as a suicide.

Despite the verdict, there was still many questions unanswered. The police were aware that Sandra was the last person to have seen Betsy alive. Questions emerged about the death, these included the absence of a suicide note. The police however refused to re-examine the case and it remained closed.

As was so accustomed to Sandra, she non-chalantly continued with her life. As of June 1984, another man had fallen into her clutches. The victim, a good-looking 29 year-old, Alan Rehrig, had just moved to Dallas to begin work for a mortgage company. Sandra was conversing around her yard, when Rehrig, searching for a place he could call home, happened to pass by in his car. Pulling his Ford Bronco over to the side of the road, he asked Sandra if she knew of any apartments to move into. She admitted she did not, instead, agreeing to help him out.

Within just a few short weeks the pair became inseparable. Rehrig was extremely fond of Sandra's 3 daughters, who, at their 'mother's calling would announce themselves upon an unsuspecting Rehrig, whilst he was busy working at his office. Sandra, by the fall of 1984, had some unexpected news for Rehrig and delivered the news that she was pregnant with twins. This situation was even more curious for one important reason, 7 previous years Sandra underwent a successful hysterectomy. This was yet more deceit from Sandra, feeling that as she gained some weight around her stomach, that she could lie effectively. There were of course more lies, lies including her age, telling Rehrig she was 36, when she was in fact 41.

A trustworthy Rehrig, had no reason to doubt his new girlfriend, as he still felt the were getting to know each other. Despite the intervention of friend's to demonstrate to Rehrig the speed at which his life was changing, he was also in love, and, December 1984, Sandra Bridewell and Alan Rehrig became husband and wife.

There was always the awareness to Sandra, that the pregnancy lie could only take her so far. With, Rehrig committed entirely to his wife, Sandra was able to easily change the story. So, in February 1985, she made a phone call to her husband and told him the unfortunate news that she had a miscarriage.

The news was devastating to Rehrig and the marriage began to suffer as a result. Like her previous two husbands, Rehrig was beginning to realise that his wife a pallet for expensive tastes. She would push him to make more and more money, and made him take out a big life insurance policy. Friend's recall how Rehrig complained of Sandra's habits, as she spent $ 20,000 a month on clothes, food and travel.

November 1985, and the couple separated. Rehrig was convinced he had to end the relationship with Sandra and moved into a friend's home. The two of them, were separated for a period of several weeks and they did not so much as set eyes upon each other. Then in early December, Sandra phoned Rehrig and arranged a meeting at a storage facility at which the two had stored some items.

The true happenings of what ensued over the next several hours have never been determined. What is understood is, Rehrig was located slumped over in his Bronco in Oklahoma. The were vast gunshot wounds to both the head and the chest. It was also determined that Rehrig has in fact been driven all the way to Oklahoma. The death of Rehrig was heavily scrutinised, Sandra was suspected of his murder, however nothing could be pinned on the woman who had become known around Dallas as the, "Black Widow". Her demeanor under interrogation could be described as coy, almost playful. There was then a total switch in behaviour from the "Black Widow", and she became completely uncooperative, refusing anyone to talk to both her and her daughters.

If there was any grief towards her husbands death, then it was being hidden well. Sandra, was scrimping on funeral expenses, selecting the most in-expensive casket possible for Rehrig and then convincing her friends to cover the burial costs. On the day of the service, she arrived late, dressed head to foot in a rich mink coat. This was an affordable expense, Rehrig's death had provided her with a $ 220,000 life insurance claim, dropped straight into her bank account.

Sandra's reputation however was in tatters. A popular local magazine, detailing Sandra's curious past, and recounting her behaviour was to serve to this. Sandra was soon to leave Dallas for good, she re-located herself and her family to the San Francisco area. Sandra still contained the same charm and engaged it upon Marin County, she soon began dating a gaggle of wealthy men, who were sympathetic towards her past story, this story would often incorporate the use of a trust fund that she was about to be receiving and her non-restrained sexual inhibition. One of the men loaned her $ 23,000., Whilst another was suckered into parting with $ 70,000, which he pulled up through a pension. Neither of the men received a single penny of their loans back, even though they took their 'claims to court. Soon, the same and similar stories that had surrounded Sandra in Dallas, began to appear in San Francisco.

By the early 1990's, Sandra changed her name and was now known as Camille Bridewell. She had left California, and moved to Boston, where she took up residence with a boyfriend. She was also a resident in Connecticut and Hawaii. Despite the change of addresses, the same meanness still stewed in her underbelly. She would now steal the Social Security numbers of other people, she would take out credit cards, and rack up huge purchases, without an intent to ever pay the money back. she was so malicious in her actions, that she even destroyed the credit of her daughters.

As the millennium came around, Sandra was now middle aged, and shifted from sexuality to religion, as to draw her victims closer. The basis of her stories would now involve the invention of stories such as, she was a missionary who had traveled the world and work with orphans. As usual she was very persuasive and had a way to make people submit to her wants. She then befriended a couple who owned and managed a motel in the state of Alabama. Despite the fact that she was unable to even pay for a room, she was receiving food and money from the cople.

she continued with the missionary story, and as she moved herself to Atlanta, she would change her name slightly, from Bridewell to Bridwell. She then convinced a woman she met at church to split with the cost of an expensive condo rental. After a little time passed, Bridwell's new housemate, found she was paying for everything, as Sandra claimed she was waiting for a large sum of money to be delivered form her trust fund.

As 2006 ensued, Sandra surfaced in North Carolina, at a new church and changed her name to Camille Bowers. Later that year, in September, she moved herself in with Sue Moseley, a 77 year old woman, residing in a million dollar home on the Carloina coast. Sandra struck up a deal with the son, Jim, that in return for the management of the housekeeping, she would receive free room and board.

She began to build a respectable reputation around the local community, and spoke several times at a local women's club. Sandra then began the process of acquiring the finances of the Moseley's. She gathered tax records, collected her Social Security payments into a separate account, siphoned off mortgage money, created credit charges and used Mosele's bank account to fund her personal expenses, including spa treatments and expensive shoes.

Jim soon became suspicious of the new housekeeper, and early in 2007, he stumbled upon a length newspaper story in a Dallas publication, chronicling the exploits of her life. Jim, working alongside the police, as a front man in a sting, aided the arrest of the "Black Widow", on 2nd March 2007 in a cafe in Charlotte, North Carolina.


The story of Sandra Bridewell culminates with numerous charges under her name. She was committed of, identity fraud, fraud, mail theft and Social Security fraud. After the arrest and the heavy publicity, the police took a renewed interest in the death of Rehrig and the police of Oklahoma City, pour more resources and more manpower towards the case.

February 2008, and Sandra Camille Powers, pleads guilty to one count of identity theft, later the same month she was formally sentenced by the judge. The "Black Widow", had left a lasting impact and trail of destruction wherever she went, leaving a trail of victims desperate for her sentencing. When justice was finally insued, she was ordered to pay a $ 250,000 fine, a dn pay more than $ 1,600 dollars in restitution to the Moseley family.


Source by Matthew A Black

Nadru Monje – Fritters of Lotus Stem In Kashmiri Style


Muskaan Shah, my best friend and sister, invited me to her place to help her mother in cooking. Post why? Her brother Masroor Bhaiji was arriving from Srinagar with his family. She wanted me to meet them and interact with his family. I was busy in the kitchen, standing next to Mummyji (Muskaan's mother) and completing various jobs like chopping vegetable for salads, grinding various spices, cleaning coriander leaves, etc.

At 4 o'clock sharp, the bell rang and I could see small kids running from the front door to the bed room and were excited to meet Muskaan. She introduced me to the entire family. After sometime, she called me again and handed over a bag. She said that the contents of the bag were called NADRU MONJE – her favourite snack. It was prepared by her sister-in-law. I started munching them and instantly mesmerised by the taste of it. They were the long strips and very crispy by texture.

Next moment I asked them to give me the recipe. She asked me to enjoy the dish and forget about the recipe. However, as the years passed by, I learnt the recipe. There are three different versions of the recipe. I would be sharing all three of them in this article.

Nadru Monje In Rice Flour

Ingredients Required

  • Lotus Stems-1 kg
  • Rice flour-3 cups
  • Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder-2 tablespoons
  • Asafoetida-1/2 tablespoon
  • Salt-1 tablespoon
  • Oil-1 kg
  • Water-1 cup

Steps For Preparation

  • Clean and wash the lotus stems properly under the running water.
  • Scrap the outer covering of the lotus stems.
  • Cut the long strips lengthwise from lotus stems
  • Place them in an utensil filled with water.
  • Take another utensil.
  • Add rice flour into it.
  • Add kashmiri red chilli powder into the rice flour.
  • Add salt into it.
  • Add asafoetida into it.
  • Mix them well with fingers.
  • Add water into the flour.
  • Blend all of them together in a smooth batter.
  • Take the precaution for not adding more water to the batter. The batter should be of thick consistency.
  • Take a large wok and place it on the gas stove.
  • Add oil into it and turn on the gas stove.
  • Remove the lotus stem strips from water.
  • Remove the excess water from the lotus stems
  • Add them to the batter.
  • Dip the strips properly into the batter.
  • Check if the oil has reached to its maximum temperature.
  • Place each dipped strip of lotus stem into oil.
  • Turn them to the other side once it is fried well.
  • Keep tossing the strips continuously in order to avoid them from charring in the oil.
  • Once the strips are well fried in the oil, remove them and place them on a tissue paper. This helps in the removal of the excess oil present in the fritters.
  • Serve them immediately with mint chutney or tomato sauce.

This is genuine and authentic recipe of nadru monje. I was surprised to know that this dish is prepared in a lavish manner and distributed to all the devotees and tourists visiting Hazrat Bal Mosque in Srinagar, Kashmir. Later on, I came to know that Sufi saints favoured the snack in the valley. Even now the snack is in great demand at this place. It is one of the starters in the Islamic Kashmiri Cuisine. The above mentioned recipe is relished by all kashmiri individuals.

The Nadru Monje In Gram Flour

Ingredients Required

  • Lotus Stems-1 kg
  • Gram Flour-3 cups
  • Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder-1 tablespoon
  • Salt-1 tablespoon
  • Water-1 cup
  • Turmeric Powder-1 tablespoon
  • Oil-1 kg
  • Cumin Seeds-1 tablespoon

Steps For Preparation

  • Clean the lotus stems under the running water.
  • Cut them legthwise and get the strips from the lotus stem.
  • Place them in an utensil filled with water.
  • Take an utensil and add gram flour, salt, kashmiri red chilli powder, turmeric powder and cumin seeds.
  • Add sufficient water in order to make the smooth batter.
  • Remove the excess water from lotus stems and add them to the batter.
  • Take a wok and add oil into it.
  • Place it on a gas stove.
  • Once the oil has reached to its maximum temperature, place the strips of lotus stems into it.
  • Fry them well in oil.
  • Remove them from oil and place them on a tissue paper.
  • Serve them with tomato sauce.

Yet there are others who would like to add one or two eggs in the rice flour to prepare the fritters. This gives an entirely different taste to the fritters. No matter what version one would like to adopt for its preparation, the snack is ready to be enjoyed by one and all in the family.

I like the first version of this snack. I came to know that the snack helps for individuals suffering from low blood pressure. It helps in the removal of the mood swings. It is best for the person in depression. I simply like the snack and prepare it whenever I desire for it and share it with all my folks back at home.


Source by Ramani Swarna

Three Reasons For Choosing Personalized Gifting Over Other Gifting Methods


The best way to shower love on your loved ones is by personalizing a gift item. We gift those whom we adore and admire, without expecting anything in return other than love. Love is the best gift as it is free to give and priceless to receive. A gift can be customized in many ways-by engraving the name or printing the picture of your loved ones on the gifts or nameplate of your home, and in many more such creative techniques provided by a host of online personalized gifts selling websites.

There are many reasons due to which we indulge in the gifting process both in our personal and professional lives – we celebrate Mother's day, Father's Day, Women's Day, Men's Day, Children's day etc. along with the more famous and common occasions like Birthdays and Anniversaries.

The three main reasons for choosing personalized gifting over other gifting methods can be classified as below:

a) Breaks the Monotony of Conventional Gifting

The conventional gifts include branded watches, perfumes, teddy bears, apparels, leather accessories and so on. They might be high on materialistic value, yet lack the warmth of human relationship. But a little engraving of your best friend's name on the pen's body or a collage of the sweet memories with your beloved, printed on a heart-shaped cushion, elevates a mere gift to a long-lasting memory of the inexplicable bond that you share with them.

b) Cost-Efficient

A gift with a personal touch always remains more special than the costliest of gems in the world. It is always not important for the person willing to gift someone to be extremely wealthy. True emotions are not weighed on the scale of money and here comes the benefit of a personalized gift. A personalized photo frame would always be far more precious to an emotional person, than a solitaire ring. Think about it!

c) Infuses Warmth into Relationships

Whether it be a corporate gift meant for your boss on his work anniversary or a personalized song especially meant for your mother on the special occasion of Mother's Day, customized gifting mends the cracks and crevices that might have come into your precious relationships over the passage of time. Gifts, specially personalized for your kith and kin, brings warmth into these familial bonds in the otherwise harsh and ruthless real world devoid of much care and compassion.

In this modern technology-friendly era, laptop covers and mobile back covers can be ideal options for personalized gifting. This form of gifting is, now, in vogue all over the world.

So, let us put our creativity to play and surprise our loved ones in the most unique way by indulging ourselves into this mesmerizing world of personalized gifting.


Source by Ananya Bhattacharyya