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Saturday, November 19, 2011
Taking a blogging break--but first, my Thanksgiving Day forecast!
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Thursday, November 17, 2011
Cool Stuff I've Seen on Pinterest Lately
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Monday, November 14, 2011
Today is "I Love to Write" Day!
From the website:
“My goal for I Love To Write Day is to have people of all ages spend time writing,” says John Riddle, Founder. “They can write a poem, a love letter, a greeting card, an essay, a short story, start a novel, finish a novel…the possibilities are endless. But I want people to take the time to put their thoughts down on paper. They will be amazed at the results. Writing can be fun, but also challenging. People need to be challenged, and writing is but one of many creative ways to express yourself. I am very excited because I Love To Write Day activities are already being planned all across the United States. When people become stronger writers, they become better communicators, and everyone wins.”
I have always loved to write--it's almost as natural to me as breathing. That's one of the reasons I love to blog. So this is a day I can definitely get behind!
I encourage you to write something today. In the meantime, here are some images and quotes to celebrate the day!
"It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop." ~Vita Sackville-West
“From a thank-you note to the sonnets of Shakespeare, writing reveals the things of our hearts. Through writing we share everything from our summer vacations to fictional worlds filled with wonder. We write from the depths of our heart, the edge of our funny bone, and every place in between. And the only prerequisite is that you do it from your own heart. Even in our technology-driven world, writing keeps us connected and provides a conduit for our creativity.”--Thomas Smith
Source: ourbusyhomeschool.blogspot.com via Cindy on Pinterest
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Visible Monday: Breaking the rules with eye shadow
I resisted the urge to photo-shop so I could realistically show you what these colors looked like, by the way.
Also, note to self (I'm still learning...), next time, take a picture of your eyes CLOSED as well.
Friday, November 11, 2011
What is a veteran?
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I'm not sure who actually wrote this tribute to veterans, but it is definitely worth taking a moment to read. Thank a veteran today!
Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye.
Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg - or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's ally forged in the refinery of adversity.
Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem.
You can't tell a vet just by looking.
He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.
He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.
She is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.
He is the POW who went away one person and came back another - or didn't come back AT ALL.
He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat - but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs.
He is the parade - riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.
He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.
He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies
unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.
He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket - palsied now and aggravatingly slow - who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.
He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being - a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.
He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.
So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say Thank You. That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.
Two little words that mean a lot, "THANK YOU".
"It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, Who has given us the
freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protestor to burn the flag."
--attributed to Father Denis Edward O'Brien/USMC
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Wednesday, November 09, 2011
My Review of Marilyn Monroe: The Biograpy by Donald Spoto
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Such was the staggering fame and notoriety of Marilyn Monroe, that even my Sunday School teacher mentioned her as a sort of cautionary tale the Sunday after she died.
I was only 5 and a half years old, but I clearly remember my teacher pointing out that riches and fame had not brought Marilyn Monroe happiness...that she had killed herself despite all that.
I must admit, I've been curious about this legendary sex symbol/icon for some time. I've only watched a couple of her movies, but if you grew up a latter-fringe baby boomer as I did, Marilyn Monroe--even dead--was just there.
Even now, there are myriads of blogs, many of them by young people, devoted to iconic images of the movie star.
As Elton John famously sang about her in "Candle in the Wind," her "candle burned out long before her legend ever did."
I picked up Donald Spoto's Marilyn Monroe: The Biography somewhat at random at my public library. Turns out, I probably picked the least sensationalized, earnestly-endeavoring-to-be-accurate Marilyn bio out there.
Spoto presents a detailed, factual account of Marilyn's life. Apparently, to gain sympathetic publicity, she exaggerated the poverty and pitifulness of her early life--but the truth is bad enough.
Norma Jeane Baker (her real name, as most people know), never knew who her father was--it could have been any number of her mother's boyfriends. That mother, Gladys, was an unreliable and infrequent visitor in Marilyn's childhood, showing up occasionally to whisk her away from her foster family and then disappear again.
As Spoto relates, her entire early life was characterized by being regularly abandoned by the people who mattered most to her and who she most wanted to please.
Spoto seems to almost minimize two disturbing childhood incidents of sexual molestation--one by a trusted surrogate father, the other by a boy around her own age. But there's no doubt that the magnitude of these incidents can't be ignored when it comes to their lifelong impact on her.
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As far as conspiracy theories about her death--that the FBI killed her, the mob killed her, Kennedy cronies killed her to hush her up--Spoto convinced me that these were all pretty much rubbish.
Far from carrying on any liasons with the Kennedy brothers (Spoto does admit to at least one physical encounter between Marilyn and JFK; none with Bobby)--at the time of Marilyn's death, she was happily planning remarriage to baseball star Joe DiMaggio--the one man in her life who really seemed to love her. (That despite the fact that during their marriage years earlier, his extreme jealousy and hair-trigger temper caused him to physically abuse her.)
Spoto also convinces me that Marilyn did NOT commit suicide...but that a lethal cocktail of accumulated drugs, administered by her controlling and unethical psychiatrist, actually did the deed unintentionally.
Despite my disapproval of Marilyn Monroe's lifestyle, choices, exhibitionism, whatever--this book left me with a profound sympathy for her. Here was a beautiful girl, actually smart and talented beyond what her dumb-blonde image often portrayed, who was completely unable to find joy in her short life.
I don't think Marilyn Monroe committed suicide, but my Sunday School teacher was right about one thing.
Riches and fame didn't bring her happiness.
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
National Young Reader's Day: Some of My Favorite Childhood Books
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This book laid the foundation for my lifelong love of The Chronicles of Narnia. I saw British friends reading it at Manor House School in Beirut, and that sparked my interest.
I received this book as a Christmas gift when I was a little girl, and it was a treasure trove for me! I also loved Blyton's "Mallory Towers" series.
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Monday, November 07, 2011
Visible Monday: One of my favorite cardigans
Several months ago, I entered a blog give-away at lovely AmandaBeth, and WON! My prize? This black cardigan from Fashion to Figure.
I love this cardigan. The ways to wear it are pretty much endless; it's comfortable and flattering, and has lovely detailing that didn't show up very well in my pictures.
On this occasion, I paired it with a long back skirt, a black tank and a pink scarf.
I decided to experiment with the half-up braid look from Kate at The Small Things. Here's the tutorial.
Friday, November 04, 2011
Some Awesome New Blogs I've Found!
I've adopted a new life verse for myself. It's Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
As a news reporter, I'm constantly confronted with things that are disturbing and ugly--the violent side of humanity.
I love this young woman's vibrant spirit, lovely style and missional heart. Right now she's on a visit to China, which seems to own a big part of her heart.
Over50Feeling40--As I get older, I never want to "give up" when it comes to my looks or my style! Blogs like this encourage me to be the best "woman of a certain age" that I can be.
This is from Pam's mission statement:
"Just after my fiftieth birthday, I received a brutal wakeup call….my new driver’s license came in the mail! I looked at the woman in the picture and was shocked…she looked elderly, worn out, and downcast. She was overweight and wearing an oversized, man’s polo making her appear much larger. She had no makeup and frayed, greying hair. The picture communicated that she was tired and had given up on herself. On that day in 2003, I realized that I had given everyone in my life (my family and students) every drop of my time and put myself on the back burner. I began with vigorous determination to reinvent myself. The journey has led me to fun, joy, peace, confidence, and new directions…but is a continuous process.
"Therefore, my mission with over50feeling40 is to inspire women over 50 to look and feel their best… to strive to be women of strength and dignity…and to enjoy every single day of life…one day at a time."
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
From the Archives: My Family's Evacuation from Lebanon
And just before we were evacuated out, my class had been rehearsing for a play we going to perform for the school, in which I had a substantive role. It was a play about the Inca Indians and the Spanish conquistador, Francisco Pizzaro (why we were doing a play about that, I have no idea.) I loved it.
Update: I hear from friends who frequently visit Lebanon that Beirut is doing very well now. The country has a thriving community of Lebanese-Americans that visit frequently. The little nation has born the brunt of a lot of political and military upheaval--I'm always happy to hear good things about it.--CS