My stepdaughter, (like an apple falling from a tree) has decided to make a blog. We spent all morning putting it together. Her Blog is called, Cool123art, and she posted a picture she drew (that I think is awesome. An artist in the making.



emma 8



have a zen-filled day


the painting (value)

A very wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.

When the Viet Nam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier.
The father was notified and he grieved deeply for his only son.
About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.

He said, “Sir, you don’t know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art.”
The young man held out his package. “I know this isn’t much. I’m not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.”

The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears.

He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture.
” Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It’s a gift.”

The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son, before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.

The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection. On the platform sat the painting of the son.

 The auctioneer pounded his gavel. “We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?” There was silence.

Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, “We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one.”

But the auctioneer persisted. “Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?”

Another voice shouted angrily. “We didn’t come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!”

But still the auctioneer continued. “The son! The son! Who’ll take the son?”

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. “I’ll give $10 for the painting.” Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.

“We have $10, who will bid $20?”

“Give it to him for $10. Let’s see the masters.”

“$10 is the bid, won’t someone bid $20?” The crowd was becoming angry. They didn’t want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. The auctioneer pounded the gavel. “Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!”

A man sitting on the second row shouted, “Now let’s get on with the collection!”

The auctioneer laid down his gavel. “I’m sorry, the auction is over.”

“What about the paintings?”

“I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!”


one man’s junk is another man’s treasure

 have an artistic day



One day a malcontent was sitting under a walnut tree, and his eyes fell on a great pumpkin growing nearby.

“Oh God,” said the malcontent, “how foolish you are to give such small nuts to such a big tree and such immense fruit to this tiny vine. Now if pumpkins were growing on this big tree and nuts on this vine, I’d have admired your wisdom.

Just after he said this, a walnut fell down on the man’s head and startled him.

“Oh God,” he continued, “you are right after all. If the pumpkin had fallen from such a height, I might have been killed. Great is your wisdom and your goodness.”


Life as a pig

One day, a old master had a vision of his next life. He immediately called in his favorite disciple and begged a favor of him.

“Anything for you master.” the disciple replied.

“In my next life, I will come back as a pig. Soon after I die, our sow will give birth and I will be the fourth pig of the litter. You will recognize me by a mark on my brow. When that happens, please take a sharp knife and end my life quickly.

Within the year, the master passed away and the sow gave birth. The disciple sharpened his knife and found the small piglet. Suddenly the little pig screamed “Stop! Don’t kill me!”

The disciple dropped his knife in surprise and stared at the little pig. “When I was like you I didn’t know what a pig’s life would be like. It’s great. Just let me go.”



Sozan, a Chinese Zen master, was asked by a student: “What is the most valuable thing in the world?”

The master replied: “The head of a dead tiger.”

“Why is the head of a dead tiger the most valuable thing in the world?” inquired the student.

Sozan replied: “Because no one can name its price.”


here are two piglets, dressed in tiger clothes and in a tiger pit…??? (I searched for a source and an explanation but couldn’t get the story) they say a picture paints a thousand words, well I add that it also raises a few questions. There has to be a …


In case you haven’t noticed… I like tigers…

I had this made for my wife at christmas (wood burned art- box)

(click on pic to enlarge)


may your day be filled with reason


slippery situations


 One of the most memorable case studies on Japanese management was the case of the empty soap box, which happened in one of Japan’s biggest cosmetics companies. The company received a complaint that a consumer had bought a soap box that was empty. Immediately the authorities isolated the problem to the assembly line, which transported all the packaged boxes of soap to the delivery department.

For some reason, one soap box went through the assembly line empty. Management asked its engineers to solve the problem. Post-haste, the engineers worked hard to devise an X-ray machine with high- resolution monitors manned by two people to watch all the soap boxes that passed through the line to make sure they were not empty. No doubt, they worked hard and they worked fast but they spent whoopee amount to do so.

But when a workman was posed with the same problem, he did not get into complications of X-rays, etc but instead came out with another solution. He bought a strong industrial electric fan and pointed it at the assembly line. He switched the fan on, and as each soap box passed the fan, it simply blew the empty boxes out of the line.



(Moral of the story: Always look for simple solutions. Devise the simplest possible solution that solves the problem. So, learn to focus on solutions not on problems. “If you look at what you do not have in life, you don’t have anything; if you look at what you have in life, you have everything”)

A turn of the screw

There was an industrialist whose production line inexplicably breaks down, costing him millions per day. He finally tracks down an expert who takes out a screwdriver, turns one screw, and then – as the factory cranks back to life – presents a bill for £10,000.

Affronted, the factory owner demands an itemized version. The expert is happy to oblige: “For turning a screw: £1. For knowing which screw to turn: £9,999.”

Author: Oliver Burkeman in “The Guardian Weekend”, 13 August 2011

food for thought

Life is 90 percent maintenance so get busy…

In our ever growing technical age things seem to get more complex but when it comes down to it, it is our convenience that grows accustom to mechanical equipment…when in fact all we ‘need’ is air, water and companionship, but let the power go out or our computer go down and our addiction becomes apparent and our wants throw a fit. Just remember that wants and needs are two different things.

Speaking of soap (he he he ) how many of you sing in the shower?

slippery situations are hard to grasp.

Hoping you slip through your day wonderfully!


spider web

A Spider’s Web (Author Unknown)

A young soldier found himself in a terrible battle during the Scottish Reformation. The enemy was soundly defeating this young man’s army. He and his comrades found themselves hastily retreating from the battle field in defeat, running away in fear of their very lives. The enemy gave chase. This young man ran hard and fast, full of fear and desperation, soon found himself cut off from his comrades in arms.

He eventually came upon a rocky ledge containing a cave. Knowing the enemy was close behind, and that he was exhausted from the chase, chose to hide there. After he crawled in, he fell to his face in the darkness, desperately crying to God to save him and protect him from his enemies.  He also made a bargain with God. He promised that if God saved him, he would serve Him for the remainder of his days.

When he looked up from his despairing plea for help, he saw a spider beginning to weave its web at the entrance to the cave. As he watched the delicate threads being slowly drawn across the mouth of the cave, the young soldier pondered its irony. He thought, “I asked God for protection and deliverance, and he sent me a spider instead. How can a spider save me?”

His heart was hardened, knowing the enemy would soon discover his hiding place and kill him.

And soon he did hear the sound of his enemies, who were now scouring the area looking for those in hiding. One soldier with a gun slowly walked up to the cave’s entrance. As the young man crouched in the darkness, hoping to surprise the enemy in a last-minute desperate attempt to save his own life, he felt his heart pounding wildly out of control.

As the enemy cautiously moved forward to enter the cave, he came upon the spider’s web, which by now was completely strung across the opening. He backed away and called out to a comrade, “There can’t be anyone in here. They would have had to break this spider’s web to enter the cave. Let’s move on.”

Years later, this young man, who made good his promise by becoming a preacher and evangelist, wrote about that ordeal. He wrote:

“Where God is, a spider’s web is as a stone wall. Where God is not, a stone wall is as a spider’s web.”



Life is like a spider web, we are all connected in the chain of life!

may your day be a pleasant one


this is not Jabba the Hut


I am almost certain that this is not a statue of Jabba The Hut, though the resemblance is uncanny. I am almost certain that it is a statue of Daruma, the Japanese name given to the Bodhidharma, known as the founder of Zen.

Bodhidharma is believed to have been an Indian monk who took new Buddhist teaching to China where it became known as Ch’an. When Japan appropriated Ch’an they called it Zen.


Daruma dolls are found all over Japan. They have no arms or legs as the Bodhidarma spent so many years in ascetic meditation that his limbs dropped off through lack of use.

Daruma dolls are usually sold without eyes. They are used to help achieve your goals. After purchasing one a single eye is painted in as you set your self a goal. When you achieve your goal you paint in the second eye.

this story and other interesting information on Japan

More glimpses of unfamiliar Japan



Here is a poem I wrote about turtles that I should have pasted with yesterdays post but here is the link…

Turtle Time

may all your wishes come true

Kreativ Blogger Award

The Kreativ Blogger Award

Nominated for this Award by

J.C.V. (365days2bpublished)

bows (~_~) humble

thank you

For this award, I have to share 10 things that you may not know. Then I have to pass the award on to at least six (or more) other bloggers.

1) I live in heaven, well…Texas, (pretty close), where the weather is hell

2) I live on a river where I use to be a Hunting guide. I am a crack shot but now I enjoy doing my shoots with a camera.

3) Fishing, well, I do a lot of this and enjoy it. The fishing season is about to go into full swing and I hope it doesn’t effect my blogging (grin).

4) I have earned a 3 rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, I got my degree from Marshall Tae Kwon Do and went on to have my own Martial Arts studio, Inner spirit Martial Arts ; Jefferson, Texas 2000 – 2003! I left the studio to my son and came back home, here.

5) I am now a Correctional Officer, I work with-in prison walls and it can be very challenging. How-ever I love my job.

6) With this blog and the telling of zen stories seems to have a lot of people believing I am Buddhist. I enjoy zen stories and poetry and all that they project but I was raised Baptist.

7) I have three grand babies. One of the most warming sensations in the world is to have a little one come running toward you calling, “Gran pa.” Makes me feel grand! I however am not that old.

8) How old? (I thought I heard that thought cross your mind) …52 and fit as a fiddle. (how fit is a fiddle?) I think your only as old as you feel and I tend to amaze people at what I can do for my age, funny thing is I don’t feel old. Vitality is the key. A body in motion, stays in motion.

9) I am married, to a wonderful woman, LuLu (louAnne) a country girl who is witty and has the ability to keep me on my toes. Along with my lil sunshine, Emma, my step-daughter who is eight going on eighteen.

10) I was born in Japan. I live in east Texas, so my wife calls me a japanese-redneck… (that makes me a rare breed). I am American, my father was in the service when I was born.

and now, to nominate six others for this award…Since it is a Kreativ Award, I can think of several off hand.

1) Tim CoffeyCaffeine for the Creative Soul, I think all that read Tim’s blog will agree, Tim has a creative way of bringing art to life from so many different angles with his daily posts.

2) FergiemottoCreativity Aroused not only have I learned the art of etegami from this blog but I am inspired by the nature pics and witty words placed with them.

3) Lorrelee … Articles of Absurdity I was impressed with her Christmas blog tree (check it out).

4) Pocket Perspectives blog… Reflections from a friend if there is any one that is creative, Kathy is, she makes these wonderful post with computer generated art and does YouTube videos as well. The blog is filled with wisdom which lures me to every post.

5) Cat ForsleyCatForsley.Me I can’t begin to tell you how amazed I am with Cat’s creative ability. Singer/song writer/poet/writer and I just now (making this post) discovered Cat’s celebrity status from YouTube. Bows (~_~) humble

6) The Outside Lane a creator of jewelry that fascinates me. Charities for hungry children and more. I am surprised that more haven’t found this blog but this will be a great time to do some finger pointing in her direction for someone who does so much for others and has that creative flare.

I could point a finger in so many directions when it comes to creativity, but I have chosen these six to carry on with ..

the Kreativ Blogger Award.


Happy Holidays

have a creative day