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About Raoul    write me    Feeds provide updated website content        

    Be part of the fun! Send me your best joke(s) and interesting information. If I like it and if it's new (at least to me), I will publish it, give you credit and add my own original drawings to give it that personal touch. Sounds like a deal?

Raoul Pascual: The Middle Wife

Welsh Holiday
sent by Dading of Washington, D.C.

On a beautiful summer's day, two English tourists were driving through Wales. At Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyllllantysiliogogoch, they stopped for lunch, and one of the tourists asked the waitress,'Before we order, I wonder if you could settle an argument for us.'

'Can you pronounce where we are, very, very, very slowly?'

tourists and waitress cartoon

The girl leaned over and said, 'Burrr-Gurrr-King'

(I've used this before but I thought this would be something you could share around the turkey dinner table --- Raoul)


Raoulisms
(Raoul's rare Mini-Blog)
A Reason for Thanks

While many are going through difficult times there is still a silver lining if we really look for it. Most of the time we don't have a choice but other times we really do. What if God gives you a gift you don't like ... will you take it?

This year I thank a loving family who have chosen to look at the bright side of life and given me and many a reminder of God's provision. For years Edwin and Elaine have been praying for a second child so when they realized they were pregnant it was a joyous occassion for all. However, a few months into the pregnancy the doctors noticed some unusual developments and diagnosed the baby with a high possibility of down syndrome. As the parents listened to the doctor, they were advised to abort the baby. After all, why would anyone want to inherit a problem that would change their lifestyle dramatically? No one would blame the couple for choosing the easier path. But the doctors did not know my friends. They did not know how strong their faith was. The couple realized that if God is control of the universe as they claim, God would know what He was doing with their unborn child. The doctors and nurses were shocked when my friends wanted to continue with the pregnancy. The doctors figured the couple would change their minds when more complications would arise.

Around the 5th month, the doctors discovered a problem. There was a hole in the baby's heart and it was very weak. Surely, this is enough reason to justify an abortion. But my friends assured the doctors and nurses that God was in the business of miracles and would take care of their daughter. Call them stubborm if you will. I call them friends of faith and conviction.

A few weeks later, the doctors had to double check their x-rays because they could not see the hole anymore. A miracle? You be the judge.

Two weeks ago overjoyed parents welcomed little Elaizah into the world. And, yes, she was a "down baby." The joy was short lived because the hole in her heart had reappeared and they had to put her in an incubator under intensive care. It was almost as if God was asking my friends one last time if they were really sure they wanted this baby. They really did. Prayer warriors blitzed the communication lines. After all these months, it couldn't end like this. Could it? After a gut-wrenching day we received an email that the danger had passed. Her heart was beating normally.

baby Elaizah

Today, beautiful Elaizah is home with Daddy, Mommy and big brother Ethan. Friends, including myself, have wondered if the difficulty had already started but apparently, Edwin and Elaine have never been happier.

Knowing how private my friends are, I asked their permission before writing this article and Edwin's response was "Anything that will glorify God is absolutely OK with us. To God be the glory!"

This Thanksgiving day there are so many things to be thankful for. It's easy to buy into the world's high standards of a perfect career, a perfect family ... but even in the imperfect things God gives us, there is beauty and there is joy. In Edwin and Elaine's eyes they see both in their little Elaizah. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.


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For Austin Deep in the Heart of Austin Texas-

From JRP, Iligan City, Philippines - Hi Raoul! When I was in Austin in 1957 it was a small town. I was even interviewed by a local newspaper & remember telling him our family is in the fishpond business. A Mexican brick layer in the lime plant I observed for a week took me to his houseboat in a lake near Austin & we had steak & beer while we fish. I thought the guy's lifestyle is better than the millionaire I stayed with in Salt Lake city.

For Italian Profiling -

From Pia Hugo, La Crescenta, CA - Hi Raoul! I came here to make reservations for our Sta. Barbara trip and decided to read the Italian jokes because. I have a few from my church. Very funny! Give Mike my thanks! And the illustrations are, as always, very creative! Thanks for the laughs :)


From Dette of Iligan City, Philippines - Always a treat and lift of the spirits whenever I see your cartoons. More power!


From Dette of Iligan City, Philippines - First of all, that cartoon of the lady reindeer and Sta Claus had me laughing loud. You really have imagination, lots. Original too. Congrats. But I really have to thank you for that X'mas story. It touches the heart. May I use the story for my own column in "Mindanao Scoop"? With your name and the "Traveling Boy" properly acknowledged of course. It says below "All Rights Reserved". Does this mean I can't reprint your article even if I acknowledge authorship? Merry Christmas!


From Nina of Quezon City, Philippines - Your Big Bear adventure sure looks cool. Most of my friends in San Diego only go there during winter probably because that's the best place to experience snow in Southern California but I didn't know that summer in Big Bear is a good treat as well.


From Hannah of Monrovia, CA - We've been to Big Bear for several anniversary week-ends and enjoyed kayaking on the lake. But we didn't know the history of the place and we didn't know the owners of the fabulous homes on the lake. Sounds like you had a lot of fun. You make us want to jump in the car and go this weekend.

From J.B. of Virginia - Nice [Big Bear Lake article] ... isn't [the pleasure of taking a vacation] why we are fighting wars, sacrificing, staying up long hours, suffering?.Isn't it for our freedom of self determination ... for our right to live our lives the way we want to and for the ones we care about?

From Tom of Pasadena, CA - Great Big Bear story Raoul. You definitely caught the essence of the place and remind me when my Mom and Dad and 5 brothers and sisters went there to camp in a 14 foot trailer and fish from a 10 foot boat with a 5 horse power Johnson Motor on it.One Summer I caught a 6 pound trout and got my picture in the paper. I was stoked as an 11 year old kid.Many happy memories came flooding back into my cranium regarding the great times enjoyed at Big Bear Lake.Thanks for your sharing them with me.

* * *

So glad you enjoyed the article Tom. Your childhood must have been fun. A 6 pound trout? Wow!! That must have been delicious. --- Raoul

* * *

It was delicious but the fame of catching it was tough to take with all the paparazzi hanging around. Ha! You have a real gift for writing, I thought I was right there with you in that article. --- Tom

From Mike & Trish Marzell of Lucky Bear Fishing Charters, Big Bear Lake, CA - Hi Raoul, You wrote such a wonderful article on summer in Big Bear! Nice website. Thank you for coming out fishing with us - we had so much fun with Josh, you and Dan. We're thinking up good legends and "UFO" is priceless! Please tell us whenever you come up the mountain; we would love to take you and your family out again. You are a great writer (kept us interested). We are going to read your other articles. Thank you again.

Some responses from my Lake Tahoe Adventure

From RV of Covina, CA - I enjoyed reading your Lake Tahoe blog. It brings back memories when I brought my mom & dad to Tahoe in 1999. My dad loved the place so much that when my brother arrived two weeks later, we drove up to Tahoe again. I'm sure you had a wonderful time with Danny, Edwin and their families. Those are golden moments, including the snow chain malfunction, which you won't get tired of re-telling over and over again.

From Hannah of Monrovia, CA - Thanks for your story about the blizzard. It made our day to see how God protected you guys. Otto remembered your bear story--same result; exciting adventure and no one got hurt; but now you have another marvelous God adventure to share!

From Kathleen of Massachusetts- Just read your mini-blog and let me tell you, you guys are very blessed. I won't say, lucky, I'll say blessed. Those slippery ice/snow scenarios are really dangerous. Glad God sent you the snow plow!

We don't get that much snow where we live, but in blizzards, we don't go out. It's too scary. One time we were retrieving our daughter Mercy from Providence, a 25 minute trip in regular weather. It took us 3 hours to get home, driving on the highway in blinding snow. Blinding. We couldn't see a foot in front of us, and if we pulled over there was a chance of getting plowed in to. Never again.

That stuff is pretty, but it's deadly on the highway and for hikers.

From Cindi of Connecticut - A great story and your family has an everlasting memory. There is nothing like home, especially when home is in So CA!

From Terry os Santa Monica, CA - Wow, what a compelling story about snowy Lake Tahoe and the tire chains!

I remember driving my van up to Mammoth to go skiing in my much younger days and having similar episodes with chains. One time a rear chain came loose and wrapped itself completely around the axle. It took two of us, on our backs in the icy slush, in the dark, without wire cutters, hours to untangle that dang chain. It still seems like yesterday. So I empathize with your plight, and glory in your release.

Welcome home.

From Ding of Vancouver, BC- Wow, brave souls, glad you got home safely ;-) Thanks for the TGIF, as always!

From Maria of San Antonio, CA (the email that my article was based on) - Only nuts and daredevils went to Lake Tahoe last weekend. The lat time we went up to the mountains in spite of the blizzard warning, we got snowed in. We just stayed home and watched our own leaks.

Ed Boitano's travel blog/review
Eugene Chaplin Introduces Chaplin's World Museum in Vevey, Switzerland

Charlie Chaplin and the Chaplin Museum
Lake Geneva/ Matterhorn Region and Switzerland Tourism recently blew into Los Angeles with the most esteemed guest, Eugene Chaplin. A man of remarkable lineage, he is the fifth child of Oona O'Neill and Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, the grandson of playwright Eugene O'Neill, the brother of Geraldine Chaplin and father of actress/model Kiera Chaplin.

Go There

Tom Weber's travel blog/review
Treasures of Ireland: The Burren (Dispatch #14)

a dolmen at The Burren

The Palladian Traveler ventures back to the days of fearless Celtic warriors to search for some "stones to take you home" as he files his latest dispatch from the monochromatic moonscape known as The Burren.

Go There

John Clayton's travel blog/review
Buckingham Palace – It's THE Most Popular Tour in Great Britain (Part 2 of a 2-Part Series)

Buckingham Palace exit
Is it more momentous for a Brit to do the Buckingham Palace tour than say an American or indeed any other nationality? Yes, I know that's an odd question, but if you grow up – as I did – in London back in the 1950s, getting inside Buckingham Palace was the stuff of dreams. Hence my surprise at touring BP in 2005.

Ringo Boitano's travel blog/review
Paradise on Earth: The Romance of Tahiti and Her Islands

aurora borealis lights up the night sky near Fairbanks
The first thing you notice is the fragrance. The intoxicating perfume of the tiare flower announces to your senses that you are in a magical place, overflowing with tropical vegetation and soothing trade winds. It is the same fragrance that the English seamen on the HMS Bounty also first encountered; but they came, not for flowers, but for breadfruit, intended as a new food staple for their slaves in the West Indies.

Eric Anderson's travel blog/review
Provence: As Much a Mood, a Spirit as a Destination

Christmas card
"On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" goes the song. Robert Goulet sang it and Barbra Streisand and Johnny Mathis, too, and it surely comes to mind when you stand on a bluff in the Luberon of Provence and stare across at the little hill village of Gordes. The view is the best part; the village's interior itself is not dramatic and stands as a warning of what contemporary popularity can do to the simple homes of 12th century working people.

go there

Fyllis Hockman's travel blog/review
Exploring Venice: Lost and Found. And Special Finds. Repeat.

Venice street musicians
Walking home to our apartment in Venice, we share a wave through the window with the owner of Baba, our local osteria. Leaving for a day of sightseeing, a cup of my favorite pistachio gelato awaits me despite the early hour. At the Bar Dugole, we relax after a day of sightseeing and order the regular: vodka for my husband and Amaretto for me.

Go There

Greg Aragon's travel blog/review
Traveling with Beautiful Boots and a Bison Backpack

Bison Redwood Backpack

People often asked about my favorite travel apparel and gear. This happened to me at the airport recently. One question came as I was putting back on my clothes after going through the TSA checkpoint striptease. Before leaving the area, I heard a soft voice say, "hey, I really like your boots. Where did you get them?" Looking up, I found a uniformed employee staring at my feet.

Go There

Bev Cohn's travel blog
Film Review: "My Hero Brother" – A Tribute to the Human Spirit

a scene from the documentary 'My Hero Brother'

I just spent five days attending the Santa Barbara Film Festival and for the most part, the features, animated shorts, and documentaries were quite professional and compelling. That said, "My Hero Brother," a documentary that was particularly outstanding, told the remarkable and inspiring story about a group of Down syndrome young men and women who go on a two-week trek through the Himalayas with their non-Down syndrome siblings.

Go There

Deb Roskamp's travel photo blog
La Paz, Baja California Sur

The Sea of Cortez, Baja California Sur

Photographer Deb Roskamp focuses her camera on La Paz, Baja California Sur. The resort property is CostaBaja, and the boat tours, which include snorkeling at the UNESCO protected site, Isla Espiritu Santo, were conducted by Fun Baja. The photographs are intended to speak for themselves.

Raoul Pascual's travel blog
Leviticus 20:13
Sent by Tom of Pasadena, CA

It all makes sense now. Gay marriage and marijuana was legalized in the last election. Leviticus 20:13 states
"If a man lays with another man, he should be stoned..." We've been interpreting it wrong all these years!


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