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We deliver for you!

 

 

I recently celebrated my 33rd anniversary as a letter carrier for the US Postal Service. Since I began my career in 1984, USPS has changed dramatically, transitioning from almost everything being sorted by hand to nearly 90% being processed by machine. Still one thing has not changed over the years. We continue to deliver for you! In the attempt to balance politics, budget concerns and service standards our organization hasn’t always gotten it right. But we are trying.

Most people are familiar with the commercial aspect of our service. Advertisements, bills, and information regularly grace our mailboxes. Though many of us like to complain about

Image result for full mailbox

what we find, millions of Americans look forward to their daily trek to the mailbox & become concerned if it is empty.

And did you know that USPS delivers more than just mail? With the proliferation of the internet in recent years, online shopping has become the latest trend in commerce. If you can imagine it, you can buy it online. And chances are it will be delivered by USPS.

From auto parts…   Related image    to electronics…  Image result for flat screen tv

from furniture…  Image result for furniture in a box  to toilet paper… Related image

from water…  blank case water   to X-rays…  Related image

We deliver for you!

But we deliver more than just things. We deliver connections!

Friendship…      Image result for old woman opening card      Greetings…   Image result for elderly woman opening card

Comfort…  Image result for sympathy cards      Glad tidings of Great joy…  Getting Married Save The Date

Hope…

Image result for old woman opening card

 

Image result for letter carrier handing mail     Image result for letter carrier delivering mail to cancer patient

and most importantly…

                                           a human touch                                            Image result for letter carrier handing mail

From lonely senior citizens, to children, to the average customer celebrating a birthdaay, letter carriers provide a dependable, personal connection. Just by observing the kinds of mail we deliver, we get to know  a lot about our customers… births & deaths, celebrations & observances. Who may be grieving, frail, or just lonely.

Image result for letter carrier handing mail         Image result for letter carrier handing mail         Related image

Carriers regularly keep tabs on the elderly through
general observation & the Carrier Alert program
which systematically matches them with
seniors who need special attention. Image result for customer with letter carrier

Every year a multitude of carriers is honored for their heroics in emergency situations. Emergency & police personnel appreciate the extra eyes & hands that
letter carriers provide as they travel on their appointed rounds.

Image result for letter carrier hero
And each May carriers volunteer their time
to collect food from their patrons as part of the
Stamp Out Hunger food drive.  Image result for letter carrier collecting food

 

Image result for letter carrier delivering mail

We deliver community!
For over 200 years we have kept America connected.

Point to Ponder:

This is the season for celebrating Christmas. May you and your family have a blessed holiday! And be sure to thank your letter carrier who works long hours every day to ensure your packages arrive in time for your celebration.

To everything there is a season. And I must announce that the season for Ruff has passed. I have enjoyed producing Ruff for the past several years. It began as an experiment to see if I could create my own comedy consistently. Perhaps even turn it into a book after retirement. Over the years the idea has morphed into turning Ruff into a live production complete with pictures. That is my intent after retirement but my current season of life involves commitment to family & preparing for retirement by paying off our house early.  I enjoy what I am doing but the lack of free time has  hampered my ability to be creative.  So for now I must say goodbye. Thanks for being part of the Ruff family!

Blessings,

Ruff

small ruff

 

 

 

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Re-counted Blessings

Each November I try to take time to recount my blessings. Throughout the course of the year I endeavor to see & acknowledge the good things in my life as they are happening. When all is well, that is easy. But often it requires looking deeper than the events & circumstances in which I find myself. And to be honest, when a stretch of setbacks turns into a season of difficulties, it is easy to forget what God has already done. So it becomes doubly important to re-count those blessings, lest I  be drowned in a sea of doubting.

As I review 2017, here are just a few of the many reasons I am grateful:

Restoration Projects

From this…                                To this….
Image may contain: tree, plant, house and outdoor  Image may contain: plant, table and outdoor

From this…                   To this…

 Image may contain: grass, cloud and outdoor     Image may contain: tree, house, plant, sky and outdoor

Family Fun

Image may contain: 3 people     Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, child     Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, outdoor and water

Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, child and outdoor     Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing, tree, child, outdoor and nature     Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, people standing and indoor

Old Friends and New

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing and outdoor     Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing, sky, tree, shoes, grass, cloud, child, outdoor and nature     Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing, shoes and outdoor

 

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing, house, tree and outdoor     Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, hat, tree, child and outdoor

Modern Medicine…

Family Practice Associates Pictures

…not Medieval Practices

                                      Lithograph showing the leeching of a patient, date unknown.

Conveniences we take for granted… 

Image result for bathroom     Image result for bedroom

…that multitudes of others do not enjoy

Image result for puerto rico hurricane     Related image

and Most Importantly…

Image result for hearing god

 Image result for man reading bible

Image result for hearing god

Intimacy with the God who made everything!!!

Point to Ponder:

2017 has not been an easy year for us. But God has been with us every step of the way. In fact, many of our greatest joys came not out of the blue, but out of the context of trouble. Is our family just lucky? No, we are blessed! There are two bedrock truths to which we cling:

God promises to never leave us nor forsake us. Knowing that I am not alone when trouble strikes, makes the difference between consternation and despair. And though it often takes longer than I would choose to see the results, God works everything together for good. These are not pious platitudes to flippantly explain why bad things happen. They are solid promises, given by God in his Word & tested over the course of our lives. We may not see the good come in a day, a month, a year, or even in our lifetime. But we have seen enough to carry us through the times of darkness when no  light can be seen at all.

Blessings,

small ruff

Ruff

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The PEZ Effect

Image result for open Pluto pez dispenserRemember the PEZ dispensers from when we were kids? What a delight! You opened up the head & a candy popped out. Even better, when you removed that treat another one popped up in its place. And as long your mom kept buying refill packs you had an unending supply of candy for life. Our kids & grand kids alike still look forward to opening their Christmas stockings, knowing there will be a new PEZ dispenser inside.

This past summer has been like a trouble PEZ dispenser for us –  as soon as one issue was taken care of, another one popped up! Can any of you relate?

Image result for dead branches on treeWhat began as a need to remove dead branches from a large tree, ended with a fire that that required the replacement of our barn and dealing with –

Insurance…

ruff 042016 l              1104

Reclamation… Excavation… Contractors … Electricians… Permits…  Inspections… and of course… Payments… Payments… and more Payments!!!

 

                                    Image result for car in shop                                 Related image                               A cheap oil change  led to replacing…
valve gaskets… an exhaust pipe… shocks… tires… etc. etc. etc.

 

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Every time I  emptied the trash…

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   before I even got it to the road…
Image result for man pushing trash can

It started to accumulate again…
Image result for emptying trash

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A romantic getaway last fall led to…

a barrage of calls from an ever-cheerful telemarketer to get us back…Related image

I have tried saying: No thank you… I’m not interested… Please stop calling… Take me off your list… and hanging up… But no matter what I say or do… SHE KEEPS ON CALLING!!!

 

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A visit to the doctor led to…

a visit to a dermatologist and… Image result for squamous cell carcinoma

biopsies of 4 spots on my head & arms…

surgery to remove squamous cell carcinoma…

an unexpected six weeks off work and…

a vacation to Ocean City NJ without getting in the water.                                                                                               Related image

Related imageI waited for an important  check…          Image result for checking mail

I got lots of advertisements…

Invitations for “how to retire rich” dinners…

Offers to sign up for Medicare Part D Coverage…

and  of course Bills…

but no check.

 

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While I was off work for six weeks I volunteered to do the laundry…

I had forgotten that emptying a dirty clothes hamper…

was like issuing an engraved invitation to add more dirty clothes…

and putting away clean clothes only works if they are put in the closet where no one will find them…                                  Related image

otherwise they will just end up in the dirty clothes hamper again without being worn

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Other examples of the PEZ effect:

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z ruff102015s

When a child (regardless of age) screams in anger, it is the natural instinct of the parent to intervene

The intervention is usually ignored until the volume of the parent exceeds the volume of the child…

Then the child will blame the parent for  yelling…

Which causes the parent to “calmly” explain that they had to yell to be heard…

Which makes the child start screaming again

z

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As I get older the urgency to go to the bathroom is more urgent…

I am taking a medication to reduce the urgencies…gotta pee 2

One side effect of the medication is dry mouth…

Which makes me drink more…

Which increases my urge to use the bathroom

 

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Fixing a dripping faucet is considered a minor repair…

After I finish this minor repair…

The faucet still drips…

Thinking I must not have tightened it enough…

Related image I give it one more hard pull…

Creating a flood and…

The need for a plumber to do a minor repair

 

 

 

Point to Ponder:

Life has a way of piling up on us.  In football,  the result would be a 15 yard penalty for unnecessary roughness. But there are no referees in my world to insure fair play. Like a PEZ dispenser it just keeps on giving out.

So how do we respond when even our fatigue is fatigued? Jesus said, “Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV)  The key is not to escape life’s continual pressures & problems (that is called death), but to find a rhythm which includes rest. Not just the absence of labor but a restoration of body, mind & soul. Our creator designed us to take periodic breaks for renewal.  We ignore this principle at our own peril.

Blessings,

Ruff

small ruff

 

 

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Caption Contest

This month we will embark on a lighthearted adventure to see how well developed your funny bones are. Below you will find about a dozen pictures. Your job is to identify which caption best fits each picture. READY, SET, GO!

ruff 0917b

“No, I believe the right foot goes in, and then the right foot goes out before you can do the Hokey-Pokey.”
“The fish the President caught was at least this big… around.”
“The President may have the whole world in his hands
but he will always put America first.”

 

ruff 0917a

“How long do I have to hold this imaginary ball?”
“Honey, does this shirt make me look fat?”
“What’s taking you so long? I have to pee!”
ruff 0917c “I’m pregnant?”
“What do you mean,
I have a staring problem?”
“Swallow what pill?
There’s nothing under my tongue.”

ruff 0917e

“This is what a chicken hawk looks like!”
“No it isn’t!”
“When I said, ‘For better or worse’ I didn’t
know I was marrying a dragon!”
“As that famous philosopher, Rodney King, once said,
‘Can’t we all just get along?'”

 

ruff 0917d

“How am I supposed to do research at the library
without my i-pad?”
“I need my music playing to help me concentrate!”
Are you saying this term paper is more important
than the dance tomorrow night?

ruff 0917g

“Piglet, did you hide my Preparation H again?”
“Where is Christopher Robin when you need him?”
“You know it’s going to be a bad day
when you wake up to NO HONEY!”

ruff 0917 i

“In the privacy of her bedroom, Jen declares her undying love…
for this week’s boyfriend.”
“The difference between a passionate love song
and mortifying embarrassment
is a simple knock on the door.”
“Jennifer, the amazing hairbrush swallow-er
practicing at home.”

ruff 0917h

“We three kings of orient groan,
we have to share one microphone.”
“…and the home of the brave!”
“Dentist John finds a fake mic invaluable during annual checkups!”

ruff 0917 j

“You ain’t nothing but a hound dog.”
“Flying Ace, downed behind enemy lines, serenades for his supper.”
“Pick any tree you want. Pretend it’s a fire hydrant.”

ruff 0917 k

“My last boss was such an idiot. I’m glad he fired me.”
“I can’t wait to be in your physiology class.
I’ve always wondered why people are so weird.”
“And that’s how you play footsie. Want to try again?”

 

ruff 0917m
“And then I blew chocolate milk out my nose!”
“Just as we started our first kiss, the fire siren went off.
I nearly wet my pants!”
“Mom, I think I’ve met Mr. Right!”

ruff 0917f

“I’m Mr. Right!”
“What’s that smell?”
“Oops, I think that was me!”

Point to Ponder:

Is there a lesson to be learned from this funny little exercise? Yes! We often interpret what we see & hear based on our own observations & experiences. Yet it is quite possible that our interpretation is not the one intended by those involved. Many disagreements & misunderstandings could be easily resolved if we would follow this simple advice:
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak & slow to become angry.”
(James 1:19 NIV)

 

Blessings,
Ruff
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Calculated Risks

Life is an unending series of risks. Some risks are entered into by choice, others by chance. And if we are honest, we must admit that occasionally, they result from sheer stupidity. In each situation the perceived reward must be measured against the risk of unpleasant consequences:

Taking a cookie

600-00947950

cookie monster     caught

 

Learning to Ride

learning to ride

bike freedom

bike fall

 

Dare to Speed

speeding-car-clipart-1.jpg

you_are_my_hero_by_jexyla-d5wdgwz     crash-accident-management

 

 

Asking for a Date

worried-guy-on-phone-300x263

couple-movie-date

girl sneering

 

 

Finding a Suitable Job

want ads

                 600-02081741                                       rejected

 

Taking the Plunge

silouhette-of-man-proposing-to-woman-nj-wedding-videographers

split     growing old

 

Having Kids

pregnancy testHappy-family-clipart-the-arts-image-pbs-learningmediaangry son

anger

 

 

Buying a House

couple-buying-house

 

house-background-design_1308-93     fema-house-earthquake-large

Preparing for Retirement

Save for Retirement

BN-RJ618_retire_E_20161227141153     one-ominous-reason-why-wal-mart-is-bringing-back-greeters

Point to Ponder:

Life is risky. But it isn’t like rolling dice or playing Russian Roulette. Most of our poor choices come, not as a result of calculated risks, but through impulsive decisions made with little or no forethought. While we cannot eliminate all risks, we can reduce the likelihood of negative consequences by thinking before we act (or speak!).

The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart & lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him & he shall direct your paths.”
Proverbs 3:5-6.

Here are a few suggestions to make that happen. First, regularly read the Bible. If we give God the chance, He can help us make good decisions & avoid costly mistakes. If we don’t consult with him, our risks are calculated to be much higher. Another way we can acknowledge him is to surround ourselves with wise, godly people. Again, making an informed decision, rather than a rash reaction increases the odds in our favor. And finally, when we have done all we know to do, we simply must trust that God has been involved in the decision making process & that the outcome is in his hands. That doesn’t mean everything will turn out the way we hope. But even if it doesn’t, we can be sure that we are not victims of cruel fate, but are held in the loving arms of a Father who wants only what is best for us.

Blessings,

Ruff

small ruff

 

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Declaration of Independence

Let me spell out what I believe was the intention of our Founding Fathers
as it would look today.

D ecreeing 

E quality 

C ivil

L iberty

A nd

R espect (for)

A ll 

T oday

I n

O ur

N ation

 

O ur

F reedom

 

I s

N ot (to be)

D enied!!!

E very

P erson (is)

E qual

N o (matter what)

D istinction (is)

E xpressed

N or (what)

C reed (is)

E spoused

 

Point to Ponder:

As we celebrate our freedoms this month, let’s commit to treating our
friends & enemies alike with the respect & dignity they deserve as people
loved by God. Loved so much that Jesus gave his life for them.

Blessings,

Ruff

small ruff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ruff

Declaration of Independence

Ruff

Demanding

Equality

Civil

Liberty

And

Respect (for)

All

Today

In

Our

Nation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our

Freedom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is

Not (to be)

Denied.

Every

Person (is)

Equal

No (matter what)

Distinction (is)

Expressed

No (matter what)

Creed (is)

Espoused

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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