Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

I LOVE this movie, Joe versus the Volcano. Joe is a hypochondriac convinced he has only six months to live so he agrees to throw himself into a volcano. Long story short--he finds himself adrift at sea on his floating luggage. One night Joe stands in front of the rising moon, overwhelmed by its grandeur, and perhaps, his own insignificance and thanks the Lord for his life. It is at this point he begins to live.

I think we all need moments in life that remind us to be grateful for our lives, less than perfect as they are. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and let your heart ponder over all the little things you are grateful for.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Happy Veteran's Day: Women Veterans

As I thought about Veteran's Day today, the main word that kept coming to mind was sacrifice. Sacrifice of one's all.

I did a little research into women's contributions in WWII, particularly in the OSS, The Office of Strategic Services (predecessor of the CIA). I read The Sisterhood of Spies by Elizabeth P. McIntosh who served in the South Pacific. She interviewed many of the hundreds of women who served in the OSS in different parts of the world.

These women provided vital service from the lack-luster, tedious filing type jobs, and tracking every serial number from German manufacturing plants, to operating underground resistance groups, and providing cover documentation and identifications behind enemy lines. Every women experienced deprivations of war. They were a part of everyday life, the kind of deprivations few of us will ever know, thankfully.

One lady in particular, Virginia Hall, continued to serve behind enemy lines even after she lost a leg while serving in Turkey. She was fitted with a wooden leg and went back to work in France. She became one of the most feared of Allied spies. Although in constant pain, she learned to modify her limp with her prosthesis because she'd be given the nickname of "la dame qui boite," the lady who limps. This was her only identifiable trait as she was a master of disguise and a remarkable actress. She accomplished too many things to list here.

So many women sacrificed to serve. They sacrificed the very things we take for granted. They were well educated women, fluent in at least three languages; many born in wealthy families who could've avoided service if they wanted to.

Thank you to all of the men and women who sacrifice even the basic necessities so that we can live in luxury. Thank you to all who gave the supreme sacrifice, "Greater love hath no man . . ."

Monday, November 7, 2016

For the Beauty of the Earth

For the Beauty of the Earth written by
Folliott S. Pierpoint and Conrad Kocher

For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.

Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale and tree and flow'r,
Sun and moon, and stars of light,

Lord of all to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild.

Lord of all to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Elliot and the Goblin War by Jennifer A. Nielsen

I bought three copies of this book for my grandkids. Ms. Nielsen's   whacky sense of humor shines through. At first, the warning on the back of the book had me worried that it might be too intense for my 9-year-old grandson, so I read it myself. It was a delightful weave of fantasy and real-world problems that Elliot tackles with imagination. See, unknowingly, Elliot saves a Brownie from a couple of Goblin ruffians when he was eight years old, which leads to his involvement in the war between the Goblins and the Brownies three years later. On top of that he has family problems and a bully at school to deal with. Elliot is like most 11-year-olds I've met. They want to do the right thing. The artwork, also, deserves special attention. The illustrator, Gideon Kendall, totally captures the imagination of the story and its setting. I found myself laughing right out loud at some of the illustrations inside. My 8-year-old granddaughter loves this book. She reads on a 4th-5th grade reading level. I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Gonna Be a Bear!

Gonna be a Bear

In this life I am a woman. In my next life, I'd like to come back as a bear. When you're a bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months, I could deal with that.
Before you hibernate, you're supposed to eat yourself stupid. I could deal with that too.
When you're a girl bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you're sleeping and wake to partially grown, cute, cuddly cubs. I could definitely deal with that.
If you're momma bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too. I could deal with that.
If you're a bear, your mate expects you to wake up growling. He expects that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat.
Yup, gonna be a bear!

I found this little tidbit years ago. Unfortunately I don't know who the author is, but I like her.