3 Easy Steps to Buying the right Engagement Ring

Written by Brandon Hopkins

3 Easy Steps to Buyingrepparttar right Engagement Ring

You've maderepparttar 140312 plunge, you've decided to get married. Congratulations!

Don't think about it now, but there are many things you need to think about beforerepparttar 140313 big day comes, and one of them is how are you going to findrepparttar 140314 right engagement ring?

Beforerepparttar 140315 stress settles in, here are 3 easy steps to finding and buyingrepparttar 140316 right engagement ring.

1. Go home before you buy. If you think you have foundrepparttar 140317 right ring, go home. While you are at home, think aboutrepparttar 140318 ring you are about to buy. Doesrepparttar 140319 ring haverepparttar 140320 look you want? Will it fit your lifestyle?

Most people wear their engagement rings for life, so findingrepparttar 140321 right engagement ring shouldn't be a shopping trip taken lightly.

When you are at home thinking about your engagement ring, think about whether or not it fits your lifestyle. Are you always onrepparttar 140322 go or into sports? If so, you may not want a large solitaire with a high setting.

2. Ask around for references. This goes for online and offline shopping. Do you know anyone who has bought from this jeweler or jewelry store? If not, find someone who has, and see what they thought about their transaction.

Wankie the Elephant and the President

Written by Roger Wright

Nobody Told Him . . .

Connecting President Bush with Wankierepparttar Elephant

The wind blows where it chooses, and you hearrepparttar 140062 sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.

John 3:8

I know a place

Ain’t nobody cryin

Ain’t nobody worried

Al Bell with Mavis Staples

“I’ll Take You There”

Asrepparttar 140063 hulking giant moving van lumbered east on Fullerton Parkway in Chicago; a tiny Cessna 150 plane, feather light and fragile, took off from an airport near Lancaster Pennsylvania and headed south towards Washington DC..

President Bush, cocooned in a phalanx of black SUV’s snaking their way out ofrepparttar 140064 District towards Patuxent Wildlife Preserve in Maryland, was thinking about what he’d have for lunch.

So was Wankie,repparttar 140065 last remaining African Elephant atrepparttar 140066 Lincoln Park Zoo.

Perched atrepparttar 140067 wheel ofrepparttar 140068 giant moving van that puffed and snorted slowly pastrepparttar 140069 gracious old city row houses liningrepparttar 140070 Boulevard just west ofrepparttar 140071 Zoo;repparttar 140072 Driver downshifts and rolls to a stop at Clark street atrepparttar 140073 exact same moment thatrepparttar 140074 flight instructor in that tiny Cessna looks out his window torepparttar 140075 right and sees a mammoth Black Hawk Helicopter loom so close that it’s as ifrepparttar 140076 bright blue spring morning had turned pitch black with just a snap ofrepparttar 140077 fingers.

And in that snap ofrepparttar 140078 fingers, a long buried memory of a bass line in a song springs intorepparttar 140079 flight instructor’s mind. He looks acrossrepparttar 140080 student pilot asrepparttar 140081 roar of two F-16 Fighter jets—even scarier thanrepparttar 140082 Black Hawk zoom up about a Cessna wingspan onrepparttar 140083 left. His mind goes blank except forrepparttar 140084 bass line ofrepparttar 140085 buried song. The flight instructor freezes. Shuts down cold. Except for that bass line.

Asrepparttar 140086 student pilot instinctively takes full command ofrepparttar 140087 tin can airplane now being guided byrepparttar 140088 Black Hawk andrepparttar 140089 all engulfing roar ofrepparttar 140090 Fighter jets,

the driver inrepparttar 140091 truck cab rolling slowly down Fullerton Parkway snaps onrepparttar 140092 radio and there isrepparttar 140093 same bass line fillingrepparttar 140094 head ofrepparttar 140095 frozen flight instructor.

A bass line set down long ago in Muscle Shoals Alabama by a man named David Hood underrepparttar 140096 watchful eye of Roebuck “Pops” Staples and his daughter Mavis—with words that don’t even begin to trace perhapsrepparttar 140097 finest seconds of bass guitar in rock and roll soul music:

Oh. . . .mmm

I know a place

Ain’t nobody cryin

Ain’t nobody worried

Ain’t no smiling faces

Mmm no no

Help me, c’mon, c’mon

Somebody help me now

I’ll take you there

Inrepparttar 140098 cab ofrepparttar 140099 truck,repparttar 140100 driver lurchesrepparttar 140101 rolling house of a vehicle forward across Clark Street in time torepparttar 140102 song. Inrepparttar 140103 Cessna,repparttar 140104 Flight Instructor hearsrepparttar 140105 bass line and just stares straight ahead—book ended byrepparttar 140106 Black Hawk death machine on one side andrepparttar 140107 apocalyptic roar ofrepparttar 140108 F-16’s onrepparttar 140109 other.

Back onrepparttar 140110 ground in Maryland, behindrepparttar 140111 tinted window ofrepparttar 140112 lead car inrepparttar 140113 President’s convoy; a man who’s name is unknown by every single one ofrepparttar 140114 23 people in that convoy—includingrepparttar 140115 president-- adjustsrepparttar 140116 mirrored sunglasses up on his nose, runs a hand over his blond crew cut, and reaches over to turn downrepparttar 140117 radio just as Mavis Staples sings:

I know a place

Ain’t nobody cryin

A beeping sound heard only by him prompts him to take a gun metal grey cell phonerepparttar 140118 size of a credit card out of his pocket and hold it to his ear. He listens for 5 seconds and then says “No.” intorepparttar 140119 piece of cold steel.

President Bush thinks that a pulled pork sandwich would go down fine. Especially with a tall cold one. Then he shrugs to himself and thinks---he’ll probably get tuna fish. Right afterrepparttar 140120 bike ride. It’s best that way. But damn-- for some extra spicy barbecue. . . .

Back nrepparttar 140121 truck in Chicago,repparttar 140122 driver pulls into Lincoln Park Zoo’s unmarked service road a couple hundred yards fromrepparttar 140123 gleaming bright shore of Lake Michigan.

While President Bush thinks about barbecue, Wankie,repparttar 140124 African elephant –repparttar 140125 intended cargo of that moving van---is just starting to eat. It will be her last meal atrepparttar 140126 Lincoln Park Zoo.

A quick glance at President Bush’s face, framed inrepparttar 140127 supple black leather behindrepparttar 140128 tinted windows ofrepparttar 140129 armor plated, black, SUV; and one can seerepparttar 140130 animated facial tic delight that comes from justrepparttar 140131 thought of that tangy Texas barbeque.

Wankie doesn’t have to anticipate anything. Chowing down happily on bushels of a leafy green looking concoction that it would take a scientist to explain; Wankie is surrounded by another small army of caretakers. Unlikerepparttar 140132 President’s army---scanningrepparttar 140133 roadsides for wayward democrats, terrorists, liberal arts graduates and all other forms ofrepparttar 140134 evil woven intorepparttar 140135 fabric of our world: Wankie’s small army of caretakers are looking straight at her. And they are all looking worried because nrepparttar 140136 bustle and clatter ofrepparttar 140137 million movements that go into runningrepparttar 140138 zoo; everyone seems half a step behind.

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