Of Nieces, Nonsense, and Newspapers


The day was dull, dreary, and oh-so-ordinary! I had a hundred errands to run…shopping to do…and articles to write—but my grandnieces were raring for Adventure! To them, even ordinary days should be ‘Funtastic!’

“Auntie?” said little Katy as we headed into the Grocery Store together. “Can you be ‘Mary Poppins’ today?”

“Indeed!” I said, grabbing a shopping cart.  “I’m guess I’ll have to be ‘Auntie Poppins’ to get through this shopping trip!”

Resolutely, I pushed the shopping cart past the bins of gum, pop and candy—hurrying the girls along.  But then we passed a Newspaper rack, and I paused.  My brain was thinking fast.

“Look here,” I said to Katy and Avri as I handed them a Newspaper.  “If you’ll behave yourselves today, you might find yourself in the Newspaper, soon.”

Their mouths dropped open.  “How?” said the girls, looking intrigued and excited.  “How will it happen?

The little Darlings had no idea that their ‘Auntie Poppins’ wrote a column for the local newspaper….And they didn’t know that she was pushing a deadline.  Auntie didn’t enlighten them, either!

The girls spent the next half-hour chattering happily—pondering the mystery of the Newspaper in their hands.  They scarcely noticed all the goodies on display throughout the store.

We made quick work of our shopping trip with a minimum of distractions.  I was congratulating myself, when suddenly Katy tripped and fell down in the bakery aisle.  Her smiles turned to tears, and she started to cry loudly.

Heads swiveled as other shoppers turned to stare.

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From My Heart to Yours…!

13775415_10208810905103542_7708772936445270618_n[1]Valentines’ Day can make single gals very sad!  Just ask me.  I know all about it.  But sometimes, we can be pleasantly surprised and comforted in the most unusual ways!

Take the other day, for instance.  With a big sunhat on my head, I was walking along the water’s edge feeling sorry for myself.  It was a nice day, and I should have been enjoying the sunshine. Instead, I was mumbling and grumbling—feeling lonely and pitiful.

I searched the shoreline carefully, looking for ‘heart-shaped’ rocks—as is my custom—but there were none to be found.

“Lord,” I said.  “If You would give me a heart-rock, it would really make my day!”  I went on searching for some time without success.  I sighed and was ready to give up when suddenly I noticed someone approaching me from the side. Continue reading

The Full Story of “The Loon and the Lunatic”

During their lifetime, most folks get a chance at “15 minutes of Fame”–or perhaps “15 Minutes of Infamy”–as in my case! At one time or another, we all end up on local or National Television, and it is supposed to be the highlight of our existence here on the planet. Right?

Well, folks–my “shining moment” came and went last month, and it didn’t turn out to be as shiny as I expected. In fact, every time I think of it I am quite mortified.

I was in Northern California, beachcombing on my favorite stretch of sand near Eureka. I’d wandered far down the beach to an isolated area and was about to turn around when something caught my eye.

There in the sand was a big loon flopping about on the seashore. He was entangled in fishing line from his beak to his feet, and there was a large fish-hook embedded in his chest.

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Update: The Loon and the Lunatic is on now TV!

RTM - Hey Looney Bird - Don't Bite The Hand That Frees You

My “Loony video” aired today on a TV Show called: “Right this Minute!” 🙂

I don’t know how it happened… but 2 different agencies saw my video on YouTube — and they both contacted me. Then one agency worked out a deal with my daughter, Karissa—who is my “business manager”—and within 24 hours, it aired on their show while their panel reviewed the Rescue.

Watch it on: http://www.rightthisminute.com/post/rtmtv-hey-looney-bird-dont-bite-hand-frees-you

“A loon rescue in Eureka, California turns into an attack on a Good Samaritan. While walking on the beach, Vicki O’Neal came across a loon tangled up in fishing line. She decided to free the bird, but that seemingly easy rescue turned into a 10-minute struggle.
The unappreciative bird bit scratched and kicked at Vicki. All we can hear are Vicki’s screams as she pleads with the bird to cooperate. Despite its stubbornness, Vicki was able to free the loon. She originally posted the rescue video on Facebook.”

“From My Heart to Yours….” (A strange but true story!)



If you have no faith and you refuse to believe in “miracles”—then don’t bother reading this testimony, because you won’t believe it. But this really happened to Me today! And there are several people who can vouch for it! :

July 23: For some reason, God always deals with me at the Beach…and today was no exception! I was walking along in my big sunhat, feeling a bit sorry for myself because I had no friend to accompany me…No one but the Lord, of course!

“Jesus,” I prayed silently. “I’m sad. Can You at least give me a nice heart-shaped rock to show me that You love me? Surely You can do that for me, Jesus!?”

I walked on, mumbling and grumbling a bit beneath my breath—feeling lonely and pitiful.

I searched the seashore carefully, then sighed and was ready to give up when suddenly I noticed someone approaching me from the side.

It was a stranger—one of the other beachcombers. She came up to me as if she’d known me all her life, and held out her hand. “From my heart to yours!” she said, handing me a stone that she’d just found.

I gaped at it, stunned. It was a heart-shaped rock! I managed to mumble a few words before the woman wandered away with her head down—looking for more rocks.

I walked on in a daze—-all the way down the beach.

Somehow, Jesus had managed to comfort me and chastise me gently—all at the same time. He was showing me that He loved me–and that I was NOT alone.

But how in the world did He get a stranger to do that—just when I needed it most?

I pondered and I wandered. At last, I stopped walking.
I had to know the rest-of-the-story!

I turned around and began retracing my steps until I found the woman further down the shoreline. I recognized her immediately. She was standing there talking to another woman who was wearing a big sunhat.

They both looked at me expectantly when I approached.

“Excuse me,” I said to the first woman–the one who had handed me the rock. “I just wanted to thank you for giving me the Heart-Rock because I really needed it and—-”

She was staring at me blankly, without recognition in her eyes. She shook her head. “I didn’t give you a rock…!” she said.

I was perplexed. I turned to the other woman—the one in the sunhat. “Did you give me the rock?”

She just shook her head, looking totally bewildered as well.

Something was very wrong. I felt like I’d entered the Twilight Zone.

“Look here,” I says. “I know I’m not crazy. One of you walked up to me and handed me this rock and said: ‘From my Heart to yours!'”
Slowly, a light began to dawn in the first woman’s eyes.

“Oh!” she said. “That must have been me! But I thought I was giving it to my sister here,” she said, indicating the woman in the sunhat.

Then she frowned and shook her head. “How in the world did I do that? Well…I guess it’s because she’s wearing a sunhat too, and is about your size. I got the two of you mixed up!”

Her frown turned to a smile. “Anyway….” she said. “I THOUGHT I was giving the Heart-Rock to my sister, Vic—”

“Vic…? Did you say ‘Vic”? ” I said interrupting her. My Twilight Zone had just deepened. My brain felt like it couldn’t handle any more surprises. “Your sister’s name is ‘Vic’…? But that is MY name too!”

It was too ironic. Too unbelievable. My brain was in a whirl and so was theirs! We all started to laugh.

“So—” I said when we all got done laughing.
“What happened is—you gave the Heart-Rock to the wrong Vic….!”
Then I corrected myself. “No…actually—you gave it to the RIGHT Vic—you just didn’t know it!”

We all burst out laughing again. The irony was too much.


How the Lord does what He does, is just beyond comprehension! And He does it so easily—even though it leaves us befuddled.
Sometimes you just have to Laugh! There’s nothing else to do.

We might be confounded, but our Lord Jesus Christ is never confused. He takes care of millions of similar situations every day. He has His plans and ironies all laid out ahead of time.

We just have to trust Him to take care of us—whether it’s big things or small… He’s got it all under control. He does these “little miracles” to build up our faith for greater miracles just ahead.

There’s one thing that is for certain, Folks…..
Jesus has a wonderful sense of humor.
There is no doubt about that!