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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Mega-mania Means Mega Millions for Someone

Have you bought your lottery ticket yet? Well, don’t bother because I’m going to win the $640 million Mega Millions jackpot.

If it is announced that there is a winner but the reluctant person has not come forward yet, then you will know that I am the one holding the lucky ticket. When I win I will remain incognito but will send my attorney to claim the jackpot. I will then consult with my attorney, accountant, and financial advisor on the best ways of handling that much money.

Another way you will know I am the lucky one will be when you don’t see my blog for a week or so. It will take me that long to regain my composure to continue with my occasional word fest. I’m sure I will win because I am holding not one ticket but five! Yes, I splurged and plunked down five whole dollars for a chance to win $640 million. When I bought my lucky tickets I asked the clerk if he guaranteed one was a winner and he mumbled something about my chances were something like one in about 100 million—or something like that. I’m sure he was thinking, “Yea, sure lady. You think you’re clever but I have been asked that question about 1,000 times today.”

Another reason I’m sure I’m going to win is according to the linked article below it quotes Mike Catalano, chairman of the mathematics department at Dakota Wesleyan University as saying that the math is clear, “The more tickets you buy, the better chances you have of winning.” Well, DUH! I don’t have a mathematics degree and I can’t balance my checkbook but even I know that! That is why I bought FIVE tickets.

In the article the Einstein mathematician then turns into Debby Downer to try to explain the odds against winning. Professor Catalano adds that you are about 50 times as likely to be struck by lightning, 8,000 times more likely to be murdered, and 20,000 times more likely to die in a car crash than win the lottery. I don’t like those stats at all. I will do all I can to stay away from lightning, guns, and crazy drivers.

He then wraps up his explanation by saying…”you’d be much better off going to Las Vegas and playing blackjack or the slot machines.” As a matter of fact I did win at the slot machines in Vegas. I put in three quarters and won $300 dollars. I then quit while I was ahead and enjoyed my profit of $300. Thus, another “sign” that I will win the treasured jackpot.

Another naysayer is a preacher I once heard who preached against the sins of gambling. He spent the whole hour talking about how wrong it is to play the lottery, horse racing, and other forms of gambling. Sure, if someone bets their life savings on the lottery then that is a problem but I don’t think my $5 will create a financial ruin. However, if –no wait—when—I win, that is another reason for sending the attorney to claim the funds. I don’t want to have to explain my sins to the “preacherman”. Besides, the fact that I refused to gamble away my $300 windfall is proof enough that I don’t have a gambling problem.

I will leave you with an old joke you may have heard but it bears repeating in this context:

A priest was having financial difficulties and he prayed daily for a savior—someone to help pay the bills. In spite of his constant prayers the parish sank deeper in debt until they were facing foreclosure. Finally, in desperation, he fell before the altar and prayed. “Lord, I have faith and I know you have promised we would win the lottery and save our beautiful church dedicated to your glory; but yet, we are at the end of the journey and we can no longer pay our bills. I am desperate; I don’t know what to do. Please give me an answer.” At that time the sun shone through the stained glass windows and a booming voice came down from above saying—“BUY A TICKET.”

Yes, no matter how strong our faith, you can’t win the lottery without a ticket. So when the lottery is drawn I will sit there with my five little tickets waiting for the right combination of numbers. If you don’t hear from me in the next week or two you will know I have flown off to some deserted island to count my mega millions.


Money from Heaven, what do you do?

You are driving down the interstate and suddenly it begins raining money. What do you do? Or, your bank account suddenly increases by $220,000. What do you do?

Both articles appeared in our Sunday newspaper posing the ethical dilemma. What do you do if an unexpected fortune suddenly falls in your lap? Do you report it? Do you spend it? Or do you just walk away.

The first example occurred in Hagerstown, Md. when two plastic bags containing $5,700 fell out of an armored truck. It was reported that approximately 30 cars pulled over and the occupants were eagerly stuffing their pockets with the manna from heaven.

The second incident occurred here in Columbus to an elderly couple—he is 83 and his wife is 76. The couple is devoutly religious and had been praying for years to be able to establish a space where people could go to meditate and pray. They even had established a separate bank account for the purpose but had been able to set aside only a few hundred dollars over the 20 to 30 years for this purpose. Then, their prayers were answered. On December 31, 2010, $220,039 mysteriously appeared in their bank account.

Mystified, they inquired at the bank. They tried to give it back five or six times. They asked if it was OK to spend it and were told, “Yes, it’s in your account.” As a test they took out $600 and also transferred $50,000 into another account. Nothing happened. When no one complained they prayed about what to do with the rest of the money. They then paid off their house and bought a much-needed new van for $27,000. Being good Christians, they gave their tithe amount of $22,000 to their church.

They felt this money truly was heaven sent as the wife had been ill for some time and had been hospitalized five times in the last year due to kidney problems and had dialysis three times a week.  The retired husband had been forced to taken on a job to pay the added medical bills.

They were impressed with the Lord. Then, just as suddenly, all accounts were frozen. Following that was the indictment accusing the couple of theft and unauthorized use of property which carries a prison term of six years for each.

The county prosecutor brought charges against them until he learned they had asked their bank several times if they should spend the money. The charges have been dropped but they aren’t out of the woods yet. The bank and mortgage company are suing the couple seeking the money’s return.

What would you do with found money? Some say it is only human nature to take advantage of such an opportunity. Others say the money is insured so why not take it? Still others say the banks have been taking money from us so it is just karma.

Karma, indeed. Karma is defined as actions that determine future state. In Hindu and Buddhist philosophy, the quality of somebody’s current and future lives as determined by that person’s behavior in this and in previous lives.

What would your karma be?

Fair-weather warning for gardeners amid another record high

George Hauswirth, master gardner, works on flower beds at Chadwick Arboretum and learning Gardens at Ohio State University.

Our heatwave is a mixed blessing for owners of garden centers as reported in the Columbus Dispatch. Their business is picking up earlier than usual but many of their plants are blooming prematurely. This is a problem for the flowers intended for Easter. DeMonya Nursery’s answer is to place them on skids next to the door and sell them at reduced prices–a bargain for the shopper but a bust for the owners.

Fair-weather warning for gardeners amid another record high.

It’s March Madness, and I don’t mean basketball

The weather has gone crazy, mad in fact. Like most of the rest of the country we are having an unprecedented heat wave here in Ohio. It is March and we have had over 80 degrees the past week and have set all types of records. Daffodils are blooming and the flowering cherry trees and other ornamental trees have burst into bloom overnight.

We have a weeping cherry tree next to our back porch and every year it greets me with its beautiful blooms on my birthday, April 8. Without fail it pops open and is a special birthday gift from Mother Nature to me on my special day. This year my gift came three weeks early. It is now in full bloom and it is only the third week in March.

My birthday tree blooming three weeks early.


Last March when I wrote about our weather and welcoming spring I said things like– the snows begin to recede…tender shoots of crocus and daffodils pushing through newly thawed soil…the air is brisk with a hint of warmth….

This year after an extremely mild winter it seems we have gone straight into summer. Today it was 85 degrees which is about 30 degrees above a normal March. This is June weather, not what we normally have in March. So what do you do on a day such as this? You grab a friend, have lunch on a patio, and spend a leisurely afternoon in an art and antique shop—then, grab a camera.

Mother Nature may have gone crazy during this mad, mad March but she sure is beautiful. Unfortunately, the pictures below can’t accurately portray the beauty of the world today.

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So to Speak | Joe Blundo commentary: Biased or not, ‘GCB’ isn’t good TV

In today’s Columbus Dispatch columnist, Joe Blundo, did his own review of GCB. It seems this show isn’t headed to the top of the charts but it has stirred up controversy. As I said in my earlier review, this show is an accurate portrayal of what happens when “mean girls” grow up. The controversey is how the portrayal reflects on the Christian church. Remember, the church is not the residing place of the saints but a healing center for the sinners.

Like it or not, mean spirited people are hiding everywhere–even in churches. I don’t think GCB is intended as an attack on the church but rather an observation of what jealous women can do to each other.


So to Speak | Joe Blundo commentary: Biased or not, ‘GCB’ isn’t good TV.