The Ha Ha Game

By Dahni
© 2016, all rights reserved


ROTTALTOTAYBO Rolling on the tummy and laughing to tears your belly off

Good Morning. It has come to my attention (incredible as it seems) that there may be some that have never heard of, have never experienced and have never enjoyed the MANY benefits of, The HA HA Game!

Brief Description:

Each person places his or her head on another person’s tummy, so that everyone is connected. The 1st person says “Ha”, then the 2nd person “Ha-ha” and so on. The goal is to get all the way through the group without anyone laughing. Right, like that will ever happen! It’s infectious, contagious and hilarious! See how long it takes for everyone to roar and literally stream tears of joyous nearly uncontrollable (dare I write belly) laughter!!!

Now the best way is to form a circle. Obviously the first person would have to rest two heads on their belly, the second and the last person’s heads. I volunteer as I can easily accommodate 2 heads on my present belly! 🙂

BENNIES (Benefits):

As an icebreaker. What a Great way to meet people! Right, try this at a party or at work! Maybe a political rally? Sure, put the DEM’s, GOP’s and INDY’s together doing this and we just might become, the UNITED States of America again! Caution, people that laugh together might just not only get-along, get things done and etc., but they might actually learn to like each other!

For those that seem to have no sense of humor or have forgotten theirs, they just might discover or uncover what has been there all aong!

As a stress reliever. “Do I need to explain how this would be possible,” said the person whose head is bouncing off another’s tummy and someone’s head is bouncing off of yours? It’s kind of hard to be depressed too, if you are LYAATO (laughing your ass and tummy off)! 🙂

Good medicine! OMG, YES! Laughter is good medicine. It increases “endorphin rushes,.” like exercising and other activities which produce euphoric highs!

Increase of dopamine. Dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter—a chemical released by neurons (nerve cells) to send signals to other nerve cells. The brain includes several distinct dopamine pathways, one of which plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior. Increase of serotonin includes the regulation of mood, appetite, and sleep. Serotonin also has some cognitive functions, including memory and learning. Increase of circulation. Increase of oxygen intake. Do this long enough and maybe it will become your new favorite weight-loss program! WHAT? All this from the HA HA Game? YEP and more! It’s Good Medicne!

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine…”

Proverbs 17:22a King James Version (KJV)

Well, what are you waiting for? Ha. Ha, Ha. Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha. HaHaHaHaHaHa!!! 🙂

Categories: Entertainment, Family & Friends, Freedom, Fun, God, Health, Ideas, Inspiration | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Un-unrequited Love

Un-unrequited Love

(quite requited or reciprocated love)

By Dahni


Unrequited love like leaves blowing in the wind

Unrequited Love is almost an oxymoron. My dreams and desires centered around love coming and staying; returning if not greater than what I gave to it, at least equal to it! Yes, I was looking for— “the one!”

Most of us can relate to what many call “first love.” I am happy that some bravely or foolishly endured their choice to continue, despite, “unrequited love!” Going into it and staying to it, despite ‘no return,’ may be brave or foolish, but it certainly has defined who I am and marked me with scar-treasures, that do NOT fade in time nor has memory failed nor have the feelings ever been lost. But surely, there must be a better way??

For me, my situation, my understanding and my beliefs began, for ‘first love,’ when I was 16. I have carried those scar-treasures, for over forty years, through three marriages and who knows how many things and how many others have been affected, perhaps some positively and I’d venture to say, mostly negatively. How wrongfully has my subconscious driven me to trust or not to trust or to judge others, compare others because, they were not her? Forty plus years? That’s a long time to hold onto a fantasy and that’s really what it was!

Like ANY addiction, was I addicted to her or to unrequited love? Unrequited love is like plucking all the petals, hoping for a flower.


wordage’ by Dahni © 2016, all rights reserved

It was only around four years ago that I was finally able to get this resolved. OK, I’m NOT very smart, pretty dang slow, too sensitive, irresponsible, unrealistic or however you would like to define me. I do not regret my scar-treasures. They are mine and they have richly added to my life. But if there was one thing I would have changed is that someone, anyone, could have/would have taught me the relationship between emotions and chemistry (coursing hormones) and sensual stimuli (five senses) and HOW to handle my emotions!

Emotions make a horrible master to reason, but reason without emotions would just be a lifeless life. I might have a reason for something, but would I do it— IF, there was no passion? Can there not be some beautiful balance? Can we not teach our children what to expect and how to handle what will come or is life nothing, but trial and mostly error?

Perhaps this is too much to ask of those that were never taught, HOW to handle their emotions? Would our newly independent youth, fearless and reckless, ever seek advice from those aged mostly by fear and made weak from letting all turn to dust because, we no longer try to move or build? Is it time to do things differently, in pursuit of un-unrequited, requited, reciprocated love?

Oh fear to lose! Oh fear to let go! Oh fear that I will never feel again! Oh, fear to be so forever bound to thy chains and to the sweet poison paralysis of your lips! Oh fear to flee in haste so slowly! Oh fear, forlorn I, for so long to find you comfort in my misery or merely the company that I kept in my misery?

Come ye who love me! Come and teach me self-love, for by it can I love another! Come love and teach me it is no sin to self-neglect, but patience to be full that I may reciprocate! Come let me in self be replete, until love find me and complete! Come love, teach me!


wordage’ by Dahni © 2016, all rights reserved

But until if and when that time arises with dawn in its eyes, I thank God for my scar-treasures! Without Him, they’d just be scar-reminders of pain received and pain caused, for the perceived pleasures of the fleeting moment, that just might still hurt, and could thereby with all its repetition, repeat this through my future! Surely, surely, there is a better way?!


wordage’ by Dahni © 2016, all rights reserved

Oh, love of miracles, Oh, my lover miracle maker, love sought for I’ve never found, but found me— have you! Cannot I change the past and the present is, my gift. And to the future let this my gift be wellness to you maintained or as a wounded healer, to those that need a physician.

Oh, poem this, Oh ye poets! Oh, sing this, Oh ye singers! Oh, love this, Oh ye lovers!

“Train up a child in the way he [or she] should go: and when he [or she] is old, he [or she] will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6 King James Version (KJV)


From the collection: ‘Sing in the Key of Me’
by the same author
© 2016, all rights reserved

Categories: Family & Friends, Flowers, Ideas, Inspiration, Life, Love, Making Memories, Poetry, unrequited love | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments


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by Dahni

© 2015, all rights reserved


For me, turkey at both Thanksgiving and Christmas is just something that I do. It was our family tradition. Then, after I was grown and on my own, I realized one day, it was not about the turkey, it was everything else that went with it that made it special. Besides smoked turkey or fine deli sliced turkey like you get from the store or that is pre-packaged in the meat section, I cannot say that I was ever particularly fond of turkey! It is doubtful that I would ever roast a turkey at any other times than for these two holidays – until NOW!

I once wrapped a turkey with pastry dough and it was pretty good. I have stuffed one once and will not do that again. For one thing, I like dressing or stuffing and I have never seen a turkey cavity big enough, to make enough for my liking. For another, once you stuff a turkey, it is likely to spoil much more quickly than if not stuffed. So, after the meal, you really need to cut and remove all the meat from the bones as is possible and/or boil the carcass for soup stock etc. Leftovers are good too!

I have tried all manner of turkey – fresh, adult, wild turkey, smoked, deep fried and frozen. For consistency, I have mostly, always relied on frozen ‘young’ turkey from the Butterball® brand.

If you try the recipe to follow, I will venture to say that there will be those that do not usually like roast turkey that will like this!!! For me, it is mouth watering and flavorful throughout, even the dark meat and I generally do not eat dark meat. It is juicy and tender and so tender in fact, the meat nearly fell off the bone. Pulling the remaining meat from the bone after dinner was the easiest I have ever experienced. The secrets are the salt (which tenderizes the meat), lemon (adds moisture and flavor), rosemary (adds flavor) and the last secret to tender turkey is, slow-cooking.



Dahni’s Roasted Turkey Dinner (cont.)

Rosemary Citrus Salt:

• 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary leaves chopped (fresh is more expensive, but worth the extra expense)
• 2 tablespoons of lemon zest (remove zest from 1 lemon see: lemon under Turkey below)
• ½ cup of coarse salt (use coarse salt substitute if desired and if you can find it)
• ¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil


1. Combine rosemary, lemon zest and salt in small bowl
2. pour olive oil into separate small bowl

• 13-18 lb. whole young turkey (mine was around 13 pounds)
• 2 large carrots cut lengthwise
• 2 celery stalks cut lengthwise
• 1-4 springs of fresh rosemary (I used 1 sprig about 6” long)
• 1 lemon (zest has been removed = about 2 tablespoons for your salt rub above) cut lemon in half

Note: So your guests don’t have to fight over the drumsticks, you could vary this recipe with (2) smaller turkeys or even (2) 8-10 pound chickens, but add another ¼ cup of olive oil and more springs of Rosemary and another lemon cut in half (one for each turkey/chicken).


1. Pre-heat oven to 325° F.
2. Remove giblets and neck from both sides of turkey cavities and set aside in a large size pan on the stove
3. Thoroughly rinse and pat dry turkey inside and out.
4. Coat outside of turkey and inside with the olive oil (there will be some left in the bowl when you are done) Look for and use culinary disposable gloves to keep your hands from getting oily and prevent any transfer of plastic taste which can happen with ordinary disposable gloves.
5. Place the 2 halves of one lemon into the breast cavity of the turkey.
6. Place fresh rosemary sprigs into the breast cavity of the turkey
7. Season the outside of your turkey with the rosemary citrus salt, pressing it in to adhere.
8. Lightly spray cooking spray on the bottom of your roasting pan (I used Pam® brand olive oil spray
9. Arrange halved carrots and celery on the bottom of your roasting pan to set the turkey so that the bottom of the turkey does not touch the bottom of your pan.
10. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the outside of your turkey.
11. Lightly spray cooking spray (Pam® brand olive oil spray) on the interior side of enough foil to completely cover the turkey.
12. Completely cover turkey with foil and wrap the edges. Note this is not a ‘tent’ it is a cover.

Note: If using a foil roasting pan, you might want to place a pan underneath just in case it leaks to catch the drippings. Or, just put one disposable aluminum pan into another. Why? Because 9 out of 10 times, one of the pans will have a small hole in it. Use one pan and the juice could leak out into your oven and cause smoke. Use two pans and this won’t generally happen. I suppose both pans could have holes, but it’s not likely. It like the adage, if you don’t use two, you’ll need them. If you use two, you probably won’t!  🙂

13. Place covered turkey into pre-heated oven.
14. Set timer for 90 minutes. When timer goes off, uncover and remove as much of the drippings as possible and place in a bowl to add to dressing and/or gravy. (this is very salty so use sparingly)
15. Re-cover turkey and set timer for another 90 minutes.
16. Re-check turkey and remove as much of the juice as possible for your dressing/gravy. Test interior temperature of turkey with a meat thermometer. When it reads 165° F. it is done. Mine needed another ½ hour.
17. The last 15 minutes of your cooking time, raise your oven temperature to 425° F. and remove the foil covering so the top browns.
18. After 15 minutes, re-check the interior temp. with a meat thermometer. When it reads 165° F. it is done.
19. Remove turkey from oven and allow to ‘rest’ for about 15 minutes before carving. While turkey is resting you can finish making your gravy.
Cooking time is 3 – 3 ½ hours at 325° F. I used 3 ½ hours for a 13 pound turkey. (For the correct amount of cooking time based on the pounds of turkey, just follow the instructions included with every Butterball® brand turkey.) The last 15 minutes uncover the turkey and raise the temp. to 425° F. to brown top. Remove from oven and allow to ‘rest’ about 15 minutes before carving. You can vary this recipe by doubling the ingredients for say a 20-30 lb. turkey and so on. After you first place the oven into the oven to cook, you can work on the first part of your gravy and on the dressing or stuffing.


• 2 small onions peeled and quartered
• 2 carrots cut in half
• 2 celery stalks cut in half (use the leaves as this makes the broth more flavorful)
• 2 quarts of chicken stock, broth or even bullion cubes/granules with a quart of water is fine (non salted stock is preferred)
• ¾ cup of unsalted butter
• ¾ cut of all purpose flour


1. Into a large size pan on the stove, place turkey giblets and neck.
2. Add carrots, celery and onion.
3. Pour 1 quart of chicken stock or broth over this.
4. Bring to a boil over high heat.
5. Once it boils, reduce temp. and simmer until it cooks down to about 2 cups.
6. Turn off heat, strain and set aside. You will use this liquid later when your turkey has finished cooking and is ‘resting.’
7. While turkey is resting, place a small skillet on the stove.
8. Melt ¾ cup of unsalted butter (1 stick), in a pan on medium heat.
9. Slowly add ¾ cup of all-purpose flour.
10. Whisk over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until a smooth blond colored mixture (rue) is formed.
11. Add mixture to your reserved strained turkey mixture that you set aside on stove.
12. Add 1 quart of chicken stock or broth and pan juices.
13. Bring to a boil over high heat and let simmer until thickened and ready to serve. Season to taste. ENJOY NO LUMP DELICIOUS GRAVY!

Dressing or Stuffing:

• Chicken stock or broth as needed to moisten bread
• Turkey pan drippings as desired and needed for flavor and moisture
• ½ to 1 stick of unsalted butter melted.
• 1 large white onion diced.
• 3-4 celery stalks diced (use celery leaves if you like, but I prefer not to)
• 2 loaves of white bread – open the bag and leave the bread in the bag stacked over so that air can pass over the tops – 1-2 days before, to dry the bread.
• 1 loaf of wheat bread – open the bag and leave the bread in the bag stacked over so that air can pass over the tops – 1-2 days before to dry the bread.
• 1 box of Jiffy® brand corn bread mix.
• Seasonings to taste – I just remember the line from the Simon & Garfunkel song and use: “Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.”  🙂
• Salt and pepper to taste.

Note: Remember, your turkey pan drippings will have salt from the Citrus Rosemary Salt mixture so take care when adding more salt. Some people add dried cranberries and/or chopped walnuts to their dressing and I have heard it is really good. Adding apple and mild sausage to your dressing is also, excellent. Some people like oyster dressing, but I do not. I have tried adding roasted chestnuts once, but did not like the texture of the chestnuts, so I do not recommend this. To each their own, but the mix of white bread, wheat and cornbread really makes this special!


1. Prepare and cook corn bread as directed on the Jiffy® brand corn bread mix. Prepare this the day before you need it and leave it out to dry.
2. Gently tear bread into pieces. I remove most, but not all the crusts as I believe too much crust makes the dressing or stuffing too tough.
3. Crumble corn bread and add to bread crumbs
4. Mix bread crumbs and corn bread together in large bowl.
5. Sauté diced onions and celery with butter on stove, on medium heat until the most of the water cooks down from the vegetables.
6. Pour sautéed vegetables over your bread crumbs and cornbread.
7. Add some chicken broth and pan juices as needed.
8. Add your dry seasonings (“Parsley – Sage – Rosemary and Thyme”) and salt and pepper to taste.

Note: Remember, your turkey pan drippings will have salt from the Citrus Rosemary Salt mixture so take care when adding more salt.

9. Mix dressing/stuffing until well combined and taste. To your liking, add whatever you think it needs.
10. Transfer stuffing to a lightly pre-sprayed (cooking spray), long rectangular shaped Pyrex, glass or metal deep pan.
11. Cover with foil.
12. Place the dressing into a pre-heated oven.

Note cooking time will vary depending on how and when you cook your dressing. If space and ovens are minimal, you can always make this ahead of time without pan drippings and then just heat it up later to be served when everything else is ready. If you are fortunate to have two ovens or a double oven, cook at 350° F. for around 45 minutes to one hour. The last 15 minutes of your cooking time, raise the oven temp to 425° F. to just lightly brown the top. For mine, I placed the covered dressing/stuffing into the same oven next to the turkey in the oven at 325° F., 1 hour before the turkey was uncovered and the temp was raised to 425° F. for the last 15 minutes. It was perfect!

End Notes:

The recipes used have been tested with many people and even those that do NOT like turkey. All have wholeheartedly agreed that this is the best turkey they have ever eaten! This is not to be braggadocious, but so you may be confident, your guests will say the same thing about your turkey dinner!

These recipes have often been requested, for me to make them and for others to make them, themselves. It will warm your heart when people ask you, “Would you please make your turkey,” or “Could I PLEASE have your turkey dinner recipes!”

I do not mind sharing them with those that ask, but please remember, these are just some of the featured recipes of my not yet published book, ‘The Gathering Place’ (Holidays & Special Occasions Entertaining). Please do NOT share them with others without my permission. They are copyrighted and unless I have given you specific permission to use them and share them, would make anyone in violation of Copyright infringement.
Once ‘The Gathering Place’ is published, it is my heart’s desire that anyone will be able to prepare, cook, present and serve 5 star restaurant quality food and ambience, for all holidays and special occasions entertaining at home, for their family and guests!

Again, please honor my request and not share these recipes with anyone, without my permission. You do have my permission to use these for yourself! For additional permission, email me:

Here is a PDF file of these recipes you may freely download.






By Dahni & I-Magine

©️ 2018, all rights reserved

From my Work in Progress: ‘The Gathering Place Cook Book’, under the category of:
Holidays & Special Occasions Entertaining, by Dahni © 2013-2015, all rights reserved

Categories: Cooking, Food, Holidays, Homeward Bound, Ideas, Inspiration, Pursuit of Happiness, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On: Cutting Loose the Cable

by Donnie Hayden © 2014, all rights reserved

Cut It Loose!

Cut It Loose!

Coaxial Cable Connector

Coaxial Cable Connector

I’m sure by now, most of you have heard that Comcast Cable has put in an offer to buy Time Warner Cable for the paltry sum of, $45 billion dollars. This comes after Comcast is already the largest cable company in the United States and after it completed its purchase of television network and movie studio NBC Universal, just a few months ago. Geeze, I wonder if the courts will think it already a monopoly? I wonder if this is allowed to go through, what it will mean to all their perspective customers, but first, what will the new company be called?

CastWarn Cable?

CastWarn Cable?

Combining the NBC familiar peacock rainbow colors and the Time Warner logo and part of the name from the present two companies, will the merger make for the new name being, CastWarn Cable? 🙂

I don’t know what cable TV/Internet service provider you presently use, but ours is Time Warner. Our experience has for the most part, been great service.

Each time we have had a service technician come to our home, each have always gone beyond our expectations. Our Internet through Time Warner has been, Road Runner and the speed is lightening fast and rarely has there ever been an interruption of service (down-time) and when this has occurred, it has never been for long.

Just a quick glance at reviews online indicate that we may be only a few with little complaints about Time Warner service? Others say it is terrible and many more believe that Comcast is even worse. But we have severe issues with Time Warner and certainly wonder how much worse it will be, IF this merger between Comcast & Time Warner goes through?

Our issues with Time Warner are three-fold:

1. I believe their equipment – cable modem, DVR (digital video recorder) their tuner box and their remote control are all crap!
2. Their programming sucks (but still better than Dish satellite. Premium channels? Whoopeee, I could care less how many months they give it away for FREE, I don’t like them even at the price of FREE. Why? I don’t like their premium channels primarily because, they keep repeating the same programs and movies over and over and over and over AGAIN & AGAIN!!!
3. Price! Despite the fact that there are no contracts, the prices keep going UP and UP and UP and UP! And they don’t bother to tell you your FREE stuff is up, they just start charging you for it. Now if you collect your equipment and take it back to them, watch how fast they drop the price. Quite frankly, I resent that. Why don’t they give a good deal in the first place?

Yes, it’s time to cut the cable!

Cut the Cable!

Cut the Cable!

Oh NO! Nothing on the screen! What shall we do? How will we live? 🙂

Not to worry! But, YES, the bottom line is, we are looking to cut the cable loose and find some other options. We may have to keep Road Runner for Internet  or whatever it is called if Comcast acquires Time Warner. Maybe they will call it’ Road Eater’ because, Comcast already seems to gobble up everything in its path. But I am looking into other options for our Internet service. Well, that leaves TV. What are we going to do about TV?

This is all kind of exciting. I consider myself a New-O. I like a lot of the New technology and ‘stuff’,’ but I also like a lot of the O (old) ‘stuff’ that is tried and trued. Television was commercially available in the 1920’s, but it really took hold in the 1950’s. WOW, it really has not been around all that long when you think about it! It started out just black and white with round screens and the stations did not broadcast 24 hours a day; 7 days a week. Then, TV evolved to rectangular shapes and added color. Just a few short years ago it evolved again, with the introduction of HD (high definition). Broadcasters started to replace the old analog signals with the new digital signals. This whole explosion to me has been like the change from black and white TV to color AGAIN, in comparison! Now, we are pressing onward with HD 3D TV.

But again, after WWII, TV took hold in this country. It was a common sight to see family and friends gathering together around the television in the evening. TV trays were invented so we could eat and not miss our favorite show. Also common were antennas mounted on our rooftops and even the set-top familiar Rabbit-Ears appeared, to tune in our distant broadcast programs. Well, today, there is the exciting combination of the new technology with the old.



Like in the picture above, it combines black and white (the old) with the new, by way of the colored, flat-screen, HDTV.  But what you do not see in the picture is how the TV gets its signal. Most TV’s now are made with either an internal HD antenna or the ability to receive these signals along with the ‘old’ UHF and VHF signals. More and more stations are broadcasting in digital signals. Soon, analog signals will disappear, new cameras will be used and more and more programs will begin to be broadcast in 3D. So, we return to the past for an old solution, sort of.

If your new wide screen, flat panel, HD or HD 3D TV does not have an internal antenna, the following are just some examples of other options.



The first one might look familiar? It should because, it is like the common-sighted antenna, roof mounted, just like in the past. The second one shown does nearly the same thing, only it is designed for the interior or the inside of your home or business. The third one looks like a modem or a router. It is about the same size as one of those devices, but it is an antenna for the TV. And some even come in several colors. There are a whole bunch of choices, styles, sizes and etc. for HD antennas. There is a downside and an upside to these, however.

On the down-side, these antennas are designed to pickup signals on average, from around 25-70 miles away from the source at the broadcast towers. This means, you will only be able to pick up your local channels. If this is all you want, then this is not a problem. But which device is the best for you will depend on several variables.

a. What channels will you receive? Of those, will that be OK for you?
b. How far are you from the broadcast towers
c. What is the strength of those signals
d. Your TV
e. Your location – do you live on a hill, are there trees all around you, are you in a hollow and perhaps, there are many other factors which could affect the quality of the signal.

The best advice for solving the problems above is, find a professional installer of the equipment in YOUR AREA! Their experience of similar situations of local installations, may prove out to recommend the best antenna for you and your location. The other piece of advice is simply, just trial and error. You keep trying until you get the best outcome for your particular needs and situation.

Obviously, the upside to HD antennas is the cost. Instead of paying monthly bills which amount to 100’s if not thousands of dollar each year, what you see with an HD antenna is, what you get. And what you get is FREE. Yes, FREE TV! No fees and there is nothing to fear as it is all perfectly legal! The broadcasters own the equipment and the towers it is connected to, but they DON’T OWN the air (airwaves) those signals are sent through to you! Cable TV own the cable lines that come to your house and perhaps the equipment in your house that gets it to your TV, but they are charging us for programming and the equipment, because they don’t own the air (airwaves) either! And the the same goes for Dish Network or Direct TV. They may have paid for the satellite orbiting in space (but chances are that WE the People, ALREADY PAID for that. After you have paid for your antenna and perhaps for the installation, all the channels that you receive are all FREE!

If you want anything more than just local channels, there is the possibility of accessing movies and other content through your TV and/or your computer. To do this, you still need to have Internet service and as fast as is available, a cable modem and a router to network your devices and fast processing speeds among all your devices. Cable modem? But I thought this was about cutting the cable?

Technically, we are not actually endeavoring to cut the actual cable (coaxial cable), but sever the out-go of our money to the cable TV service provider. For example, we WERE paying Time Warner $5 per month to RENT their combination modem/router in addition to their high fees monthly for programming. Now five bucks a month may not seem like much, but it adds up. And remember I said previously that in our opinion, Time Warner’s equipment is “crap?” Well their modem/router had a lousy signal, even though we had the fastest Internet speed available from them and in our area. The signal comes into the house through the modem/router and then it goes out to our TV and other devices. It was slow! The TV picture (screen) often seemed to jumped or freeze momentarily, many, many times. So we replaced their modem/router with our own separate modem and router and when their equipment is returned, we will no longer have to rent it for $5 per month for as long as we stay with them. And until we settle on a more permanent solution for a HD antenna and an alternative for internet service this is what we are going to do –

I’m taking back Time Warner’s modem/router, down-grading to basic cable light (just local channels) for around $13 per month and getting rid of their DVR and save another $15 per month or so. All in all, these changes will save us 100’s if not thousands of dollars per year!

Not to worry! When you are here at The Gathering Place, we will have plenty of content, signal and speed for you to enjoy, however it works out!

Unplug or cut the connection between your bank account and Cable or Satellite TV today! It’s your money!

If you need a new TV, HD antenna or other home entertainment ‘stuff,’ click or scan the QR code in the far right lower corner of this page or see:


Categories: Cable TV, Entertainment, Family & Friends, Get Paid to Shop, HD antenna, Ideas, Internet, Saving Money, Shopping, Television, The Gathering Place, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On: Cell Phones

Most of us have a cell phone and many of us have smart phones. If we have had these for awhile, we understand 2 year contracts and upgrades. For example, the approximate cost of a new iPhone 5s is approximately $649.00 for 16GB (gigabyte) of storage for an unlocked phone. So a new contract or an upgrade is about $199.00. The full price of the phone is absorbed over the two years under contract.

I have an iPhone 4s and my wife Susan, HAD another smartphone. She had problems with it shutting down all the time, so she called customer service and they sent her a new phone with a return box for the old phone, which she promptly shipped back. Then she received confirmation that the old phone was received, BUT they said it had water damage, so she would be charged for the new phone. After days and weeks and representative after representative, they would allow her to return the new phone. She then had to purchase an older model ‘dumb’ phone on Ebay and we downgraded her data plan. This was inconvenient, but Susan decided to just deal with it for awhile because, we were eligible for upgrades the 28th of the Month of February, 2014. Then she was notified that they did not receive the new phone back ON TIME. They had the phone, but according to them, it was not sent on time. So, we were billed for the new phone that she no longer had.

After days and weeks and representative after representative, Susan had done everything she was told to do. This person said this, that person said that, this was wrong and that person was not authorised to say/do that or no one ever followed through with what Susan was told. You get the idea, this was a huge mess! FINALLY, the new phone was taken off our bill.

We were told that we could upgrade early (about a week before our contract ended). We are leaving the country on 2-26-14, would not be in this country on our upgrade date and we wanted to take and use our new phones while on our trip.

On 2/13/14, I called a corporate store of our carrier to give them the details of our situation and to set up an appointment so we could upgrade early. As it happened, the person I spoke with on the phone, was the store manager. If anyone was knowledgeable of company policies, surely it would be him! He was, BUT what he told us was not what we were told by corporate customer service. Our only choices were:

1. to get some other phone we did not want, pay $27.00 per month and trade them in later, for what we wanted when we return to the ‘states.’ 
2. keep our existing phones and plan until we return to the ‘states’
3. Pay an early termination fee, for both our phones and switch carriers

By the way, Susan’s early termination fee would not be based on the ‘dumb’ phone she owns and has right now, but on the smart phone she no longer has, because it was returned to the carrier, months ago. Why? Because that is the contract we signed. 

Needless to say, Susan had HAD IT! She was livid! She was so angry when she left the house to go and babysit 3 of the grand kids, I was concerned for others on the road that might cross her path! 😦


Do you ever feel like this?

Susan was definitely ready to go to another carrier! I called one and explained our situation, wants and needs. They would be able to help us with everything we wanted and needed and would even pay us back for any early termination fees, charged to us by our current carrier. First, to change carriers, I needed to find out what our early terminations fees would be.

So I called our carrier and reached an automatic messaging system. I was given several choices to choose from including, ‘other.’ I chose ‘other.’ After to being asked to state my question, I responded with, “Early termination.” I was so quickly connected to a live person, it almost made me dizzy! 🙂

I was connected to a ‘real person’ in the ‘Customer Retention Department.’ And she really spoke my language very clearly. The lady was extremely nice and professional. She pulled up all our files and could see every single note and name of person, the dates and every call made by us or from them to us, about our situation. She apologised profusely, for all the confusion. I will give the carrier this, they certainly did document everything! The problems lie in different policies from the corporate office, from a corporate store and from failure to follow-up by anyone that we had spoken to in customer service previously. Based on perhaps 100’s to 1,000’s of calls each person might make in a given day, it is quite easily to become overwhelmed or to easily forget one call as you move to the next one. And I suppose it is easy to overlook the notes on your screen too.

But, as this all turned out, we were able to upgrade early, get the phones we wanted and needed and are happily signed on, for another 2 year contract with the same carrier we have been loyal to, for years. We had never really had a problem before this. So, we are all happy now and waiting on our new phones to arrive by FedEx around Tuesday next, with a promise call the same day, from the same lady that helped us. Once the phones are in , we will just need to call and activate them and all our data, pictures, apps, contacts and etc. will be instantly transferred to the new devices. We are now, just waiting on fulfillment of these promises, but at this moment, I have no doubt that they will be.

So what is the point of this long post? What could it mean to you? First, I’m not sure how many devices you may or may not own? But for us, we have three. I’m not sure what you pay monthly, for just your one phone, but again, we have 2 smart phones, and a MIFI . A MIFI is a portable WIFI hotspot device so we can use our laptop and un-tethered 1st generation iPad, for Internet access if we are traveling and/or not able to connect to a FREE WIFI hot spot. So, just remember that no matter what you may pay for one device each month, multiply that amount X three for comparison. This amounts to 1,000’s of dollars per year to the carrier.

If you find yourself in a similar situation as we were or if you are having problems with your carrier, call them up and if asked or prompted, tell them you are considering changing carriers and you want to know what your early termination fees would be. If you have not already called ‘Customer Retention,’ I am quite confident that you will quickly be connected!!! They really don’t want to loose your business. Well maybe they might not care if all you mean to them is a few hundred dollars, but our 1,000’s certainly got their attention! I’ll go back to the last statement – “They really don’t want to lose your business!” If not from a monetary value, then at least from a public relations point of view. Sad, but true, complaints sometimes are louder than praise!

Please understand, our motivation was NOT to ‘guilt’ our carrier into giving us what  we wanted/needed. Our motivation was NOT to intimidate our carrier that if they didn’t do what we wanted/needed, we were going to another carrier. Our motivation was NOT to get something for nothing or anything special! All we wanted/needed was, what we want and need. Thankfully, it looks like what we want and need will come from our existing carrier. I just received a text confirmation (while writing this post) on my existing phone, that our new phones have been shipped and are scheduled for delivery on Tuesday, as promised!

The numbers to customer retention may not be published, known to you or readily available from your carrier, BUT THEY HAVE ONE or MORE!!! Just call customer service and tell them you are interested in cancelling your service or you are just wanting to know what your early termination fees would be. Make sure you use or say the words in red, bold italicised text as above. I can almost guarantee you will be, almost instantly connected to a live person in your language, at the corporate office and customer retention.


“Hello, Customer Retention, Where Happy Customers Stay Happy Customers! How May I help you?”

Wouldn't you always rather feel like this?

Wouldn’t you always rather feel like this?

If you need new phones, devices, new plans, or a new carrier, click or scan the QR code in the far right lower corner of this page or see:


Categories: Cell Phones, Family & Friends, Ideas, Inspiration, Saving Money, Shopping, The Gathering Place, Things that really matter, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On: Little Jenny Wren

by Donnie Hayden © 2014, all rights reserved

For our: Dear friend Janet and our Dear niece Jenny

The Little Jenny Wren(s) Family

The Little Jenny Wrens Family

I am not exactly sure if I got the four little Jenny Wrens, pictured above, for my wife Susan on Valentine’s Day or for me? 🙂

But I thought they were so cute. There are four different little Jenny Wrens pictured in four different poses. I did not have the heart to break up the little family, so I brought them all home to live with us! Think Spring everyone! 🙂

Jenny Wren –  is an expression that our friend Janet had not heard of before. So this post in part is, for you Janet. 🙂

Jenny – is the first name of my brother’s oldest daughter, our niece. So this post is also, for you Jenny. 🙂

Jenny Wren – was the name our Mom called this little common wren with the uncommon song.

Jenny Wren – Is a light brown colored, but somewhat washed–out looking little bird that is attracted to the bushy tangles of the garden. Except for off–white undersides, which cannot be described as bright even on the sunniest of days, the House Wren is decidedly a very nondescript looking bird. But what the “Jenny” wren, as my Mom used to call her, lacks in visual attraction, she most assuredly makes up for in song. She is one of the earliest arriving spring songsters. You will know Spring has arrived when little Jenny Wren is back home by singing her sweet song loud and clear. She bubbles and warbles soft and low and works up just like a tea pot on the stove. Little Jenny Wren boils over in song.

Jenny Wren – A beloved character, in a Charles Dickens’s novel. She’s the little disabled doll’s dressmaker who brightens the pages of ‘Our Mutual Friend,’ Dickens’s last completed novel, in 1864.

Jenny Wren  – A little bird (a wren) in the 1919 children’s book by Thornton Waldo Burgess (January 14, 1874 – June 5, 1965). Burgess was a conservationist and author of children’s stories. He loved the beauty of nature and its living creatures so much that he wrote about them for 50 years in books and his newspaper column, “Bedtime Stories”. He was sometimes known as the Bedtime Story-Man. By the time he retired, he had written over 170 books and 15,000 stories for the daily newspaper column.

Little Jenny Wren

Little Jenny Wren

“Jenny Wren, the little saucy wren that builds near your home.”

from the book: ‘The Burgess Bird Book for Children’  by Thornton Waldo Burgess

illustrations by Louis Agassiz Fuertes

Listen to her sing!

Jenny Wren – A song by Sir Paul McCartney, ‘Jenny Wren,’ in 2005

Jenny Wren

“Like so many girls, Jenny Wren could sing
But a broken heart, took her song away

Like the other girls, Jenny Wren took wing
She could see the world, and its foolish ways

How, we, spend our days, casting, love aside
Losing, sight of life, day, by, day

She saw poverty, breaking up her home
Wounded warriors, took her song away

But the day will come, Jenny Wren will sing
When this broken world, mends its foolish ways

Then we, spend our days, catching up on life
All because of you, Jenny Wren
You saw who we are, Jenny Wren”


© 2005 by Sir Paul McCartney, all rights reserved

Note: The solo is played on an Armenian woodwind instrument, called duduk (pronounced due -duke) and is a first in pop music history. It is played by Venezuelan born, world winds specialist & multi-instrumentalist Pedro Eustache. Susan and I had the privilege of hearing and seeing Pedro perform live at a Yanni concert. He is an incredible and a versatile musician. The duduk is an ancient instrument with hauntingly beautiful sounds.

Categories: Chlldren's Books, Entertainment, Family & Friends, Fun, Ideas, Inspiration, Little Jenny Wren, Music, Paul Mccartney, Poetry, The Gathering Place, Wren | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment



Social Media icons

Google +, YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumbler, all my other social media peeps and my blogs,

Ordinarily, you are my first go-to to check with, for everything relevant and important to my life. Yes, you are often first on my list when I wake (even while waiting for my first cup of coffee). And you are many times the last on my mind when I go to bed.  But I have decided to do something NEW, IMPROVED and DIFFERENT!

Instead of finding out from you first or telling you first, I’m going to concentrate on the old-school methods of communication. I’m going to pick up the phone and call my family and friends that live too far to visit. Instead of calling people too close to call, I’ll actually go see them. And instead of sending an email, text message or some social media message to my wife Susan that is in the room right next door to me, I’m going to actually walk over there and tell her I love her first, before everyone else finds out about it. We can like social media, our gadgets and technology, but they are all really just things. Things are made to be used, but people are made to be loved.

Luv Yah,


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On: The Far Reach of Being Good At What You Do

The obvious thing here of being good at what you do, probably means that you are gainfully employed or you enjoy some degree of success if, you are working for yourself. I am sorry if you are able to work and choose not to, but rather suck off the breast of others. That is neither gainful employment nor any measure of success! And WE the People are NOT the UN-willing’s personal wet-nurse!

I am of course NOT, referring to those that for whatever reasons are unable to help themselves and need the help of others. But with very few exceptions, this should ONLY be temporary. I have a friend that is quadriplegic (cannot use her legs or her arms), but she has supported herself financially for many years and quite comfortably, I might add. You might wonder how this is possible? She is a systems analyst (is very smart) and she uses a stick gripped in her mouth to key in data to a computer. Believe it or not, not only is she good at what she does, but she is fast too!

For the rest of us so-called able-bodied folk, what are we good at? What are you good at? What am I good at? Are you employed doing these things or do you have your own business? If not, why not? Perhaps your very best skills are NOT, the ones that are presently producing paychecks or profits for you? The main difference between paychecks and profits is that a paycheck is primarily coming from the work that you did in the past and profits are from work that you and other people, perhaps your money and maybe other people’s money, have produced in the past. But there is one thing missing from both the paychecks and the profits. This is called residual income. Residual income is based on past actions, but it pays in the present and in the future. Paying into the future is, ‘The Far Reach of Being Good At What You do!’

Insurance agents receive residual income, even after they have retired. Every time someone renews the policy that the agent sold them, the agent gets paid again and again. This is, residual income. If you wrote a book, you most likely received a lump sum for your work. And some percentage in the form of a royalty pays you in the future, every time someone purchases your book. An artist may make prints from their original work. Every time someone purchases a print, this is another, example of residual income. It is my understanding that the popular song ‘Happy Birthday to You’ is, copyrighted (at least until 2030). Every time it is performed in public for profit, those performing it are, legally required to pay a royalty. This is yet another example of, residual income. Well, perhaps we are not good at or interested in insure-ing, writing, art-ing or music-ing, but we all should be interested in residual income! Like most of us, even doctors and lawyers (for the most part), do not receive residual income. Well then, the question that remains is, how then would you or I go about getting in on the receiving end of, residual income? I’ll leave this discussion for another time. But for right now, I just want us to consider the possibility of getting paid in the present and in the future, over and over again, for what we have done in the past. This too, is being good at, VERY GOOD AT what we do. And this is, The Far Reach of Being Good At What We Do!

I’ll close this with a simple illustration. We have a next door neighbor that works for the Parks and Recreation Department. He uses power tools and mowers and other landscaping equipment to perform his work. The fact that he goes to work day in and day out (except during the winter) and year after year, proves that he is good at what he does. Besides operating the equipment, he also has to maintain it; keep it running smoothly and efficiently. Years and years of experience have made him good at doing these things too. Well, what is the far reach of him being good at what he does?

Last summer, our neighbor came over while I was mowing our lawn. I turned off the mower to be polite and so I could hear whatever it was that he came over to say.

“Your mower’s not running right. I can fix it if you like?”


Just a couple of weeks ago, I was outside in the cold, running our gas powered snow blower. My neighbor came over. I turned off the snow blower to be polite and so that I could hear whatever he came to say.

“Your snow blower’s not running right. I can fix it if you like?”

You have got to be kidding me? In both of the above situations, our neighbor could tell by just the sound of the engines that they were not running correctly. Now that’s an example of being good at what you do! But more importantly, it also perfectly illustrates, ‘The Far Reach of Being Good At What You Do! His work in the past not only helped him in the past and helps him in the present, it helped us and perhaps my sharing it here will help you? Do you see how this can just keep going on and on? Our neighbor did not ask to be paid (but we paid him). He just loves what he does!

What are you good at? How can this become-

The Far Reach of Being Good At What You Do?

And Everything You Need Will Just BE THERE!

And Everything You Need
Will Just BE THERE, in the present, in the Future and it will benefit others as well!

Selah (Hebrew): “Consider these Words”

Categories: Being Good at What You Do, Ideas, Inspiration, The Gathering Place, Uncategorized, Wealth Building/ | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

On Doing the Right Thing

by Donnie Hayden © 2014, all rights reserved

What exactly is the “thing” on doing the right thing? To be naked-honest and glass-clear truthful, we should NEVER need any other reason to do the right thing, other than it’s just the right thing to do! But alas and alak and yak, yak, yak, we all are, after all, emotional creatures. All of us are faced with having to do things we don’t want to do. And how do we handle it? What do we do? Do we ‘put if off’ until whenever/never (my apparently most favorite and most common practice?) and take a page out of the script from ‘Gone With the Wind?’ Do you remember Scarlet O’Hara? She was a character in ‘Gone with the Wind,’ a 1936 epic historical romance, set during the American Civil War. It was a Pulitzer-winning novel by Margaret Mitchell that was adapted to film in 1939. Scarlett O’Hara (played by Viven Leigh), was a manipulative Southern belle that carried on a turbulent affair with a blockade runner named Rhett Butler (played by Clark Gable). How did Scarlet handle doing things she did not want to do?

“I’ll think about it tomorrow…”

Well, experience has shown me that putting off until tomorrow hardly NEVER, if EVER, works out for me. Oh, there’s some stuff I loathe to do (like taxes) that  I would put off forever if possible. But I will put off and put off until, usually the last moment. And then the ‘dreads’ overtake me, lack of sleep leaves me drained, caffeine turns me into a freaking fiend, I get cranky and quite frankly, like Rhett said to Scarlet, “…I don’t give a damn!” When I get this way, I don’t even want to be around myself! Why in the name of dumb-ass’ do I, DO this to myself, over and over again? Oh surely I expect some different result like Scarlet did for “tomorrow?” Well, isn’t doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result, a definition of insanity? I’m not insane! I may be ‘nutty’ and do crazy things sometimes, but I’m pretty well-grounded in reality, I think? I am at least, acting like a child. And I am aware that some believe I never grew up anyway. 🙂

But maybe if I can remember being a child, MAYBE I can get a clue as to how a kid does the things that they don’t want to do? So, I went and played some mental videos made when I was a little kid that are now stored in my head. Our parents and care keepers knew that we would not long survive if all we ever ate was mac-N-cheese and ice cream (not necessarily in that order). They tried their best to give us a balanced diet. Most of us kids might think that the only thing in common between the words delicious and nutritious is, they just rhyme. But colors and textures are a BIG deal to children. Some, we like and some, not so much. Still, we were given food for colors and textures because, we need vitamins, minerals, etc., variety, fiber and good-wholesome-healthy food. So, I’m sitting there at the dinner table, after having been plucked up and away (rudely I might add), from my personal play. And what did I see? There was no mac-N-cheese and no ice cream. Are you kidding me? What is this stuff, I wondered? And what did I hear?


But I Don’t Want it!

“Now you sit there and eat your dinner young man or you can’t get up until you do!”

Well, I have sat at the dinner table for a long time, many times. And sometimes, I did not eat my dinner. So, I went to bed hungry. It was my choice, but the worst part was that my stubbornness cost me my play time. It did not take my mom or I very long to figure out that this was not an effective way, to get me to eat what was good for me or to do what I didn’t want to do. It was all a waste of time and energy. Oh, and by the way, the ‘push-away’ and the, “That’s ucky,” look, didn’t work for me either.


Geez Mom, Stop Watching Me!

Like this little guy, I tried to eat the stuff set before me. I didn’t like it. I watched mom watching me. OK, it’s in my mouth and crammed into my cheeks like a chipmunk’s cheeks full of nuts, now what? I’m not about to swallow it. But do I spit it out when mom’s not looking and where do I spit? Do I hide some in my other hand, put it into my pockets, throw it on the floor or kick it under the rug when she’s not looking? When if ever, will she ever stop looking at me? What else can be done? Strategy is required, especially when Brussels sprouts were on the menu. Let’s try ‘The Face,’ perhaps it will work?



Just saying “No,” didn’t work for me.

Neither of the following worked for me either: “I don’t wana,” or “But I don’t like it!”


“This is Freaking Me Out!”

The look of horror or this really creeps me out look, did not work for me. The sad, ‘Puppy Dog Face,’ didn’t work for me and maybe it was because, I never learned how to effectively make this face, since we didn’t have a dog?

Boo Hoo!  "Pleeze don't make me!"

Boo Hoo!
“Pleeze don’t make me!”

My Mom was not too impressed with my, ‘If Looks Could Kill,’ look either.’

You Can't Make Me!

You Can’t Make Me!

             What else could be done?


Like I said before, this couldn’t work for me because, we didn’t have a dog. And it does not appear to have worked out for this kid either, IF he thought his dog was going to get rid of all the evidence! How about, “Geeze Mom, the dog won’t even eat it, why should I?” I never tried this technique, but maybe it could work?

And the empty plate is a happy plate did not work for me. I could have cared less if the stupid plate was happy or not because, I was NOT happy!


I Don’t Care if the Plate is Happy!

“Oh, alright, if I have to, I guess?” This MAY get me to eat my dinner, but I still wouldn’t like it. The little boy below looks all happy about eating his food, yes or no? At least he and I would be moving in the right direction, but still not there yet!


OK, But I’m Not Happy About it!

But our mom was brilliant when she came up with the following concept!

“As soon as you finish eating, you can go play!”


The Original ‘Plug N’ Play
(or Eat to Play)!


Over the Teeth & Gums
Play Time Here Ize’ Comes!

“Well Mom, why didn’t you say that before?!! Now we’re on to something! So I tore into that food so fast and ate every bite. I was a blinding-blur as if I had somehow discovered a way to speed up time! I don’t recall the food even hitting my stomach, before I was out the door! It didn’t make the food taste any better then and it still doesn’t now! But it sure got me to eat it then and it still can today!

I could not recall, each and every bite
I was focused upon my next delight
This trip down memory lane is a public service announcement and has been brought to you by – Doing the Right Thing
Do the right thing, even eating a Brussels sprout
Don’t waste your energy and shout
Don’t waste your time and pout
Kid’s Have Got It figured Out-

Do the things you have to do, so you can do the things you Love!!!  

P.S. This post was written before the date it was first posted online. I am currently involved in, endeavoring to, to do the right thing and in trying to take my own advice here in doing the things I have to do, in order to do the things I love. 🙂

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Categories: Family & Friends, Fun, Get Paid to Shop, Health, Ideas, Inspiration, Saving Money, Shopping, The Gathering Place, Wealth Building/ | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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