Whalechaser's Musings

No Matter Where You Go...
There You Are
Make the Best of It

Sunday, March 28, 2010

What Goes Around...Comes Around

(I have gotten this article in emails several times, but today I thought it might be nice to share. Thanks to Fran for sending it to me.)

One day a man saw a old lady, stranded on the side of the road, but even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pinto was still sputtering when he approached her.

Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn't look safe; he looked poor and hungry.

He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was that chill which only fear can put in you.

He said, 'I'm here to help you, ma'am. Why don't you wait in the car where it's warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson.'

Well, all she had was a flat tire,
But for an old lady, that was bad enough. Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change the tire. But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt.

As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through. She couldn't thank him enough for coming to her aid.

Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk. The lady asked how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped.
Bryan never thought twice about being paid.
This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty, who had given him a hand in the past. He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way.

He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance they needed, and Bryan added, 'And think of me..'

He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight.

A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home. It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her
Feet for the whole day couldn't erase. The lady noticed the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Bryan .

After the lady finished her meal, she paid with a hundred dollar bill. The waitress quickly went to get change for her hundred dollar bill, but the old lady had slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. The waitress wondered where the lady could be. Then she noticed something written on the napkin.

There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote: 'You don't owe me anything. I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I'm helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you.'

Under the napkin were four more $100 bills..

Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day. That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the
Money and what the lady had written. How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard....

She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low, 'Everything's going to be all right.. I love you, Bryan Anderson.'

Thursday, March 25, 2010


As some of my faithful followers may know, I moved here about four years ago. What does that have to do with anything you may ask? Well, in a word...plenty.

I have gotten around to digging out the bottom of all my desk drawers and discovered that I have (probably) enough pencils to last me for the rest of my life. Yep, just take a look at the spread I found:

You are probably asking yourself why in the world would ANYONE NEED pencils today? I mean everything is electronic or they have an app for that. Shopping lists go on the cell phone, all the names and addresses and Christmas card lists can easily be maintained in a computerized list in a document folder on the computer. I mean really; isn't this what we wanted...a paperless society. What in the world would she NEED a pencil for?

Crossword puzzles. See you use pencil so IF you make a boo-boo, you can ERASE it and fill in the correct answer.

That's when I discovered that old pencils become useless when it comes to erasing. They only smudge and make a mess of things. And if you try to write over the smudge...well it just doesn't work.

Now to add insult to injury, I discovered this while I was away from home. I was waiting in the car for a friend...I knew I would be waiting, so I grabbed the two puzzles from today's' paper, a pencil and an eraser that had been laying on the desk.

It just so happens that the cat is irresistibly attracted to elastic bands so I must have just wrapped an errant one around the eraser to prevent the cat from accidentally eating it.

So there I was in the car with loose puzzles, a pencil and this funky eraser. I did what any normal, inventive, pro-active American woman would've done. Made the best of an otherwise untenable situation!

Now the pencil is a bit unbalanced but it does work. I may just stick to the new eraser and a naked pencil in the future though.

Friday, March 19, 2010

News Item

I just read that a fellow had his truck stolen from a WalMart parking lot.

The fellow said he pulled in at 7 PM, left the keys in the truck and entered the store. Thirty minutes later he came out and the truck was gone...GONE!!!!

The local police later found the truck some miles away..abandoned.

But, if you leave the keys in the vehicle..is it REALLY stealing or just an invitation?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm Smitten

For those of you who have been following for a while, your probably know I am a bit of a foodie. When I saw the movie last year: Julie and Julia, it was becoming more and more clear that I was probably more attached to food than is normal. (It is very hard for me to justify these feelings when I do ANY Buddhist reading) that said...

I just finished reading My Life in France by Alex Prod'homme (a distant cousin to Julia) and am totally awash in recipes and cooking ideas. I received the first volume of Julia's Mastering the Art of French Cooking for Christmas; I was respectfully scared and intimidated. The best I could do at that time was scan through the book and imagine that one day I might attempt something in it. Now that I have finished My life in, I feel I can page through Mastering a bit more slowly.

Well this may come as a shock but I spent a good hour looking at the recipes in the chapter titled: Eggs

Yes it IS possible to spend an hour thinking about cooking eggs. While I consider my current egg-cookery to be pretty good, the techniques she offers should just push those talents over the top. I am looking forward to trying and reporting on my efforts at (of all things) scrambled eggs. The French do it a bit differently and I can just imagine that the taste will be very much be
better than the already good ones that I currently make. Stay tuned and one day soon I will let you know how I made out.

If the scrambled eggs come out OK, then I will move on to the very intimidating: Omelet!

Oh, I suppose I should tell you that I was scanning the availability of things at Netflix and OF COURSE, the early 60's PBS show of Julia cooking IS there! I can hardly wait!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Doka Coffee Estate, Alajuela, Costa Rica

On the last day of our trip to Costa Rica we visited the Doka Coffee Estate. The weather was perfect for it; blue skies with a cloud here and there, temperature of about 75 degrees and lots of coffee plants all around. We arrived at about 8:30 and had a delicious tipical Costa Rican Breakfast, then toured the facility.

It began with a brief history of how the coffee beans were brought from Jamaica, as a gift from one ruler to another; then given to those landowners who had the ambition to grow the plants and reap the harvest. It did not take long to realize that they had latched on to something fabulous! Costa Rica is one of the worlds largest coffee providers and produces a very fine coffee.

This is the entry to the estate

Here is a shot of a coffee plant with a few beans that are ripe and ready for picking and processing. The beans on any plant do not ripen all at once; so must be revisited several times during the harvest season and all are picked by hand...this is why coffee is expensive.

Here you can see some green (unripe) along side some red (ripe) beans

The picked beans are dried and must reach a given humidity level before being processed further. The warm Costa Rican sunshine is perfect for the job. Here they spread the beans on concrete (specifically designed for this) and then the beans are raked every couple of hours to dry evenly. The become beige and quite light...not at all like the final roasted product.

In the roasting room I got a picture of the texture of the ground coffee that they use to brew coffee here; the texture is a bit finer than the standard canned coffee in the US.

Here is one of the machines that creates the aromas that permeate the entire estate. Just to walk around and breathe in the aromas was worth the price of admission.

Here is an overall shot from the headquarters of the estate...in an area as beautiful as this how could the coffee be bad?

Thursday, March 4, 2010


You won't find me ranting very often but some things just cannot be helped.

I read the paper this morning and saw that a fellow had included the following passage in his will:

When I die, I want my dog buried with me because no one can love him the way I do.

They euthanized the two year old Yorkie and buried it with its' owner.

There's no law against it BUT THERE SHOULD BE!!!

There will be no more of this activity for the little guy!

(the video stolen from here)