Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.

Friday Funnies

December 30th, 2016

Being ill is one of the greatest pleasures of life, provided one is not too ill and is not obliged to work until one is better…allowing plenty of time to come up with Friday Funnies … about being ill.

Joe went to his doctor because he had flu, and the doctor wrote out a prescription for him in his usual illegible writing. The patient put it in his pocket, but was so sick he forgot to get the tablets from the pharmacy.
Every morning, for two years, he showed it to the conductor as a railroad pass. Twice, it got him into the movies, once into the baseball stadium, and once into the symphony. He got a raise at work by showing it as a note from his boss. One day he mislaid it.
His daughter picked it up, played it on the piano and won a scholarship to the conservatory of music.

A blonde walked into a doctor’s office and says, “Doc, I’m horribly sick!” The doctor looks at her and asks, “Flu?” “No, I drove here.”

The doctor tells the patient he has very bad flu. The patient says he wants a second opinion. The doctor says, ”OK, you need a haircut too.”

Guard your health at all costs, my friends. But, if you get the bird flu seek tweetment. If you have swine flu, you’ll need oink-ment.


Sunday in New York

December 25th, 2016

Sing delivers colorfully animated, cheerfully undemanding entertainment with a solid voice cast and a warm-hearted storyline that lives up to its title.

After conquering the world of yellow Minions and the Secret Lives of Pets, Illumination Entertainment returns with its sweetest and most charming project yet. Matthew McConaughey breaks out the bubbly charm as Buster Moon, an idealistic koala who launches a singing contest to save his failing theater. The competition attracts hopeful singers of every species: Taron Egerton voices a soulful gorilla who prefers stage to his father’s gang; Reese Witherspoon is an overworked pig mother of 25 piglets who dreams of the spotlight; and Scarlet Johansson plays a teenage porcupine desperate to break out of her musician boyfriend’s shadow. Add a sequin-obsessed swine, a suave but narcissistic mouse (Seth McFarlane), and a shy elephant with the voice of an angel, and you’ve got a delightful menagerie of misfit musicians.

Although the lets-put-on-a-show story line feels familiar, there’s real heart to the character’s desperate pursuit of their dreams. The eye-popping performances are meticulously animated, and a crowd pleasing, foot tapping soundtrack helps keep Sing moving.

Within the first 5 minutes I was singing and tapping my feet. Sing will inspire viewers of all ages to reach for their dreams in spite of their fears and have you laughing out loud, singing and crying with the characters. Bravo!

See this season’s feel-good movie Sing on the big screen (3D not required) then run to pick up the soundtrack. http://www.singmovie.com/



Friday Funnies

December 23rd, 2016

A collection of Christmas jokes to make a celebration fun filled for parties and dinner with friends.

The other day I sent my mother a huge pile of snow. I rang her up and asked, “Did you get my drift?”

David recalled accompanying his father out shopping one Christmas Eve. Dad said, “What a marvelous train set. I’ll take it.” The salesgirl looked please and said, “Great, I’m sure your son will really love it.” Dad replied with a glint in his eye, “Maybe you’re right. In that case I’ll take two.”

Santa Claus at the Mall of America was very surprised when Linette, a young lady walked up and sat on his lap. Now, we all know that Santa doesn’t usually take requests from adults, but she smiled very nicely at him, so he asked her, “What do you want for Christmas?” “Something for my mother, please.” Linette replied sweetly. Santa smiled and said, “Something for your mother? Well, that’s a very thoughtful of you. What would you like me to bring her?” Without hesitating Linette answered quickly, “A son-in-law.” LOL!

Q; When is a boat like a pile of snow? A: When it’s adrift!

During the week before Christmas Pastor William was walking down the street in Lansing, Michigan to visit a parishioner. However, he wanted to post a parcel before hand, so he asked a passerby where he could find the post office. When the young man directed him, William thanked him and said, “If you come to church this week you can hear me tell everyone how to get to heaven.” The man replied, “I think I’ll skip your sermon mister. If you can’t even find the post office, how are you supposed to help me find my way to Heaven?”

May your Christmas celebration be full of merriment and laughter!

Advent: Gift

December 21st, 2016

The judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift… resulted in justification. For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. Romans 5:16-17

Christmas day is almost here and soon gifts will be placed around the tree with anticipation of what’s in them. What is the most special gift you’ve ever received? Did you receive it for Christmas, or on another occasion? Through the years I’ve received some amazing gifts, but Jesus is the most marvelous gift ever given. And it is the most needed gift ever given.

The apostle Paul taught that by one man sin entered the world, and death was pronounced upon all, for in Adam all have sinned. On the other hand, grace entered the world through Jesus, and a forgiven life and eternal life are available to all who believe. Christ brought us the gifts of grace, justification, righteousness, obedience, and eternal life.

Christ’s sacrificial death saved us. We now live with the gift of eternal life rather than under the curse of death. We can rejoice in God who, in His Son, atoned for our sins. Our justification is complete and irrevocable; there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.

What a marvelous gift! What a wonderful life!

Manchester by the Sea

December 18th, 2016

I was pleased that I was suddenly too late to see Collateral Beauty and instead just in time for Manchester-by-the-Sea. I had read good things about this movie and looked forward to the Nova Scotia background.

The storyline is a simple one: When his brother Joe dies, Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) is forced to take care of his teenage nephew in his hometown, from which he moved away years earlier to escape his demons from a trauma years earlier.

Casey Affleck’s portrayal is very impressive and it’s no wonder that there is a strong early buzz around his performance. He essentially plays two different characters, a man before trauma and a man after. The ‘before’ in flashbacks is simple, a relatively friendly and happy-go-lucky guy who spends a lot of time drinking and cussing with his friends and family, has a close relationship with his nephew, etc. But where he excels is in the quiet desperation of the present-day Lee Chandler. With this character, there are only rare moments of outward emotion. Affleck plays it so that it is painfully clear just how much hurt Lee is keeping inside. I’m certain there’s a Best Actor Oscar nomination coming for this role.

Despite the serious subject matter, there is a surprising warmth that permeates between the estranged uncle and nephew during the film. The film draws upon the timeless themes of recovery and redemption in such a way that the emotion is never overbearing and feels real. This is a film about a man forced to confront his demons, yes, but it is also a film about a dysfunctional family and the ties that bind us to our hometown regardless.

There is a terrific chemistry between Affleck’s Lee and Lucas Hedges, who plays his nephew Patrick. Make no mistake, despite its subject matter this film is often hilarious, with the dialogue between Lee and his nephew providing most of the frequent outbursts of laughter in the theater. Due to his detachment and fear, Lee is fairly useless as a caregiver to Patrick, who in turn pushes his limits as any bright teenager will do, and tries to get away with doing whatever he wants.

Manchester-By-The-Sea is a quiet, simple picture encapsulating real life trauma, guilt, redemption, hope and bonds that make us family no matter what.

I could have done without all the drinking and use of the “F” word. But what I love about this film is how poignant it is in its approach to explaining to us the importance family, community, sacrifice and adjusting to life’s “new normal” after life throws you major curve balls and you’ve lost everything that mattered.  I believe every viewer is going to relate to this movie on some level. I recommend it for a quiet afternoon when you have time to ponder this powerful film.


Friday Funnies

December 16th, 2016

My cold feet tell me a weak La Niña may develop, resulting in colder temperatures in the East, warmer West. Winter 2016-17 may bring colder-than-average temperatures to the East early on, but this winter may end up warmer than average overall, according to an outlook released by the Weather Channel. Basically: the weather outside is frightful. Let’s warm up over a few winter jokes.

Q: How do Eskimos make their beds? A: With sheets of ice and blankets of snow.

Q: Why don’t mountains get cold in the winter? A: They wear snowcaps.

Q: Why did the farmer wear one boot to town? A: Because he heard there would be a 50% chance of snow!

Q: How does an Eskimo stick his house together? A: With igloo!

Knock, knock!
Who’s there?
Snow who?

May your laughter warm you up from the inside out this holiday season.

Advent: Snow

December 14th, 2016

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:11

If you live anywhere affected by the current “polar vortex”, then you’re probably aware of the importance of winter gear. Any true northerner knows that you don’t simply rush out in freezing temperatures to make a snow angel in your yard. There are a series of items that you must first put on your body. A warm sweater base layer is needed to hold in body he A properly insulated jacket keeps out the cold. Appropriate footwear is also needed to prevent feet from getting wet and cold.

At this point, you may feel prepared to take on the frigid temperatures, however, you aren’t fully protected, are you? You still need to wrap a scarf around your neck, put on a hat over your head and pull gloves onto your hands. Only then are you ready to step out and face Old Man Winter.

It may be tempting, in the rush to get outside, to skip something. The problem with that is that each item protects a certain part of the body. Each one has its own job, and without it, you’ll leave something out in the cold.

When Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesians, he told them how they could defend themselves: belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, shoes of peace, and sword of the Spirit. In one short passage, Paul told the believers to put on the whole armor of God. To neglect any part of the armor would be to leave some area vulnerable to the enemy’s attack.

You wouldn’t rush out to make a snowman with your bare hands, or trudge through the snow wearing flip flops. If you are wise, you wouldn’t go out in this weather without being properly protected. How much more important than is it to be properly protected before going out into the world?

Sunday in New York

December 11th, 2016

I have never been to Seneca Falls, the small town between Rochester and Syracuse that proudly bills itself as the real-life Bedford Falls, the fictional town made famous by Frank Capra’s classic, It’s A Wonderful Life. But that changed for me this weekend!

Seneca Falls is as captured by It’s A Wonderful Life as I am. How serious are the Seneca Falls folks about their legendary claim of being Bedford, you ask? They change some signs in town to read, “Welcome to Bedford Falls,” during the event. There’s even a “It’s A Wonderful Life” Museum open year-round where I learned quite a bit about a favorite classic. One unique exhibit features love letters Donna Reed received from servicemen during World War II.

There is no real proof that Capra’s vision of Bedford Falls was derived from Seneca Falls. BUT the Bailey style bridge a despondent George Bailey jumps off and the quaint little downtown look A LOT like Seneca Falls. It’s also known that Capra stayed in Seneca Falls with his uncle in 1945, prior to the movie. The nice thing about it is they’re keeping the legend of It’s a Wonderful Life alive throughout this whole town.

When the movie came out in 1946 it was nominated for five Oscars but won only a technical award for special effects. More precisely, the award was for snow. Yes, SNOW. The scenes with the Bailey kids were shot in Culver City, California during a 90-degree heat wave. So, Capra used a new material made of soap, water and a chemical called Fomite (found in fire extinguishers) and a fan to blow it around. Voila!

Speaking of the Bailey kids, three surviving children actors Jimmy Hawkins, Karolyn Grimes (daughter Zuzu) and Carol Coombs (Jani) attended the 21st annual “It’s a Wonderful Life Festival” in Seneca Falls to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the film. They also performed a Bread, Salt and Wine housewarming like George did for the Martini family. Hawkins has written a several books on the movie and believes “…there’s a little George Baily in all of us.”

Today, viewers can watch it several times during December, and in color. Stewart, who died in 1997, was so against adding color to It’s a Wonderful Life that he told Congress in 1987: “I tried to look at the colorized version, but I had to switch it off — it made me feel sick.” I must agree, watch the original black and white as it was meant to be seen.

Color or black and white, Capra’s message of every persons life touches and has meaning to so many other lives stands as strong today as it did in 1946. I’ll end with Clarence’s simple inscription. It seems to plain on the surface, but is so touching: “Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends.”

Clarence saved me from jumping off the Bailey bridge

Sentimental chestnuts served hot on the corners to passersby like me

Martini’s Bar “Well, maybe I left the car up at Martini’s. Well, come on, Gabriel.”

Bailey kids offering their father’s housewarming toast to new homeowners: Bread – that this house may never know hunger. Salt – that life may always have flavor. Wine – that joy and prosperity may reign forever.

Mr. Potter, “George, I am an old man, and most people hate me. But I don’t like them either so that makes it all even. “

Bedford Falls gingerbread house contest.

Violet still sporting, “This old thing?”

Christmas miracle! Mr. Potter walked in the parade!

The house that inspired 320 Sycamore Street

George and Mary Bailey

Bert and his wife and Eddie the cab driver. Bert put a “Welcome to Bedford Falls” ticket on my car.

George’s suitcase, “I’m shakin’ the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I’m gonna see the world.”

This Bailey bridge may have inspired both the key scene and last name for George.

VERY strange is that I met Clarence and took his picture with him clutching a copy Tom Sawyer. He was very angelic looking and the photo didn’t appear with the others when I got home. I guess you can’t photograph angels! He left me with a bell and a wink. And just when I gave up hope Clarence appeared:

Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends. Clarence


Friday Funnies

December 9th, 2016

An old geezer became very bored with retirement and decided to open a medical clinic on Ocean Ave. in Delray Beach, FL.  He put a sign up outside that said: “Dr.Geezer’s clinic.  Get your treatment for $500, if not cured, get back $1,000.”

Dr. Young, who was positive that this old geezer didn’t know beans about medicine, thought this would be a great opportunity to get $1,000.  So he went to Dr. Geezer’s clinic. Dr. Young: “Dr. Geezer, I have lost all taste in my mouth.  Can you please help me?” Dr. Geezer: “Nurse, please bring medicine from box 22 and put 3 drops in Dr. Young’s mouth.”  Dr. Young: “Aaagh!, this is gasoline!”  Dr. Geezer: “Congratulations!  You’ve got your taste back.  That will be $500.”

Dr. Young gets annoyed and goes back after a couple of days figuring to recover his money.  Dr. Young:  “I have lost my memory, I cannot remember anything.” Dr. Geezer: “Nurse, please bring medicine from box 22 and put 3 drops in the patient’s mouth.” Dr. Young:  “Oh, no you don’t, that is gasoline!” Dr. Geezer: “Congratulations!  You’ve got your memory back.  That will be $500.”

Dr. Young (after having lost $1000) leaves angrily and comes back after several more days. Dr. Young: “My eyesight has become weak.  I can hardly see anything!” Dr. Geezer: “Well, I don’t have any medicine for that so, “Here’s your $1000 back.” (giving him a $10 bill) Dr. Young: “But this is only $10!  Dr. Geezer: “Congratulations!  You got your vision back!  That will be $500.”

Moral of story:  Just because you’re “Young” doesn’t mean that you can outsmart an “old Geezer”

Or as my “old geezer” friend told me: don’t make old people mad.  We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to tick us off.  We don’t like being taken for granted or being treated as though we are fools. Now have a nice day.


Advent: Jesus Came

December 7th, 2016

Christ Himself was like God in everything… But He gave up His place with God and made Himself nothing. He was born as a man and became like a servant.  Philippians 2:6-7

Why? Why did Jesus travel so far? I was asking myself that question when I was listening to sleet hit my windows last night and I was meditating on what aspect of Advent I wanted to focus on.

Jesus gave up His place with God and came down. Hmm. And what a world He left! Our most amazing castles wouldn’t compare to a shack from where He came from. Earth’s finest cuisine would be walnuts on Heaven’s table. Yet, Jesus came in the form of a baby.

Jesus came because He loves to be with the ones He loves.  A doctor told a remarkable story of a love like this: a man had been burned and disfigured in a fire while attempting to save his parents from a burning house, but he couldn’t get to them. They perished. He mistakenly interpreted his pain as God’s punishment. The man would not let anyone see him — not even his wife.

She went to a plastic surgeon, for help. He told her not to worry. “I can restore his face.”

The wife was unenthused. Her husband had repeatedly refused any help. She knew he would again.

Then why her visit? “I want you to disfigure my face so I can be like him! If I can share his pain, maybe he’ll let me back in his life.”

The doctor was shocked. He denied her request but was so moved by her love that he went to speak with her husband. Knocking on the man’s bedroom door, he called loudly. “I’m a plastic surgeon, and I can restore your face.” No response. “Please come out.” Again there was no answer.

Still speaking through the door, the doctor told the man of his wife’s proposal. “She wants me to disfigure her face, to make her face like yours in the hope that you let her back into your life. That’s how much she loves you.” There was a brief moment of silence, and then, ever so slowly, the doorknob began to turn.

The way the woman felt for her husband is the way God feels about us. But He did more than make the offer. He took on our face, our disfigurement. He became like us. Just look at the places He was willing to go: feed troughs, carpentry shops, badlands, and cemeteries. The places He went to reach us show how far He will go to touch us.

He loves to be with the ones He loves. That love is why we celebrate Christmas with amazement. Hallelujah!


Sunday in New York

December 4th, 2016

I can’t say I’m bored with my New York backyard, but I itched to cross the Pennsylvania border and see what events were happening there. It was, after all, just a short drive to another world.

Wellsboro, Pennsylvania became my destination, where every winter traffic on Main Street is halted as the main thoroughfare is magically transformed into a remarkable Victorian market.  The Wellsboro Dickens of a Christmas is an impressive collection of theatre, music, history, shopping and food to captivate visitors for hours.

Dickens of A Christmas has an exciting array of shopping. (If you enjoy shopping) Nearly two hundred vendors line Main Street to make holiday gift-buying a breeze for many.  With a variety of goods like home-baked goods, wooden toys, ornaments, candles, quilts, furniture and wrought iron, there’s something for everybody.  Adding to the festivities, many of the vendors dress in Victorian garb as well creating a magical atmosphere!


Speaking of costumes, this event is a thespian’s dream come true.  All weekend Victorian actors have roving performances on street corners.  Actors dressed in period costumes delight the crowd. I nearly ran into Scrooge!  The Arcadia Theatre becomes a great hub of festivities. All weekend, the theatre hosts music and choirs.  I could have purchased tickets for a live performance of “A Christmas Carol”, however decided upon seeing, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

dickens-christmas-1 dickens-christmas-2 dickens-christmas-3

As exciting as that all sounds, no festival is complete without the FOOD and the food is certainly in no short-supply tempt my tummy and tickle my taste buds. Visitors could quench the most voracious hungers with delectable delights as hot chocolate, chili, hot dogs, homemade soups and chowders, bread pudding, homemade cookies, pies and candies, hot beef sandwiches, crab cakes, fresh roasted peanuts, hot cider and coffee, cheddar wursts, kettle corn, baked potatoes, and apple dumplings for desert…just to name a few.

May each sight, each sound of Christmas and fragrances sublime, make your hearts and faces happy this glorious Christmastime.

Friday Funnies

December 2nd, 2016

It’s December on the calendar and many places are already covered in snow. That can only mean one thing: Snowmen!  They’re popping up across the North. In fact, one night upon the midnight clear, there stood a snowman with candy cheer.  He was filled with candy all over.  The buttons were mints, the mouth was Licorice, while the nose was made of chocolate and the snowman himself was full of marshmallow. Sweet stuffing for a snowman.

Q: Where do snowmen go to dance? A: Snowballs!

Q: What did the snowman and his wife put over their baby’s crib? A: A snowmobile!

Q: What cereal do Snowmen like for breakfast? A: Frosties!

Q: What would you get if you crossed a snowman and a shark? A: Frostbite!

Q: What did the Snowman’s hat say to the scarf? A: You hang around while I go on ahead!

Q: How does a Snowman get to work? A: By icicle

020 021 022

Happy Holidays!

Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.