Unicorns have been part of our world psyche since time began. We must be experiencing a resurgence in their popularity because wherever I look these days I see horned products on sale for young and old alike.
Over the next two weeks I’ll be posting gift ideas for aspiring cooks, fashion junkies, music lovers, adventure seekers, voracious readers and of course, unicorn lovers. If you need a gift for someone who is a fan of – or obsessed with – this mystical creature the 18 ideas pictured above would make for a magical present to give – or receive…
I don’t know how I missed this holiday development but Advent Calendars have certainly come a long way in the last few years. While I’d never say no to the old school $1.99 cheap chocolate version found at any grocery store these grownup versions of the Christmas Countdown calendar take it to a whole ‘nuther level. Here are 12 unique calendars guaranteed to keep you on someone’s nice list all season long…
It’s almost Halloween, a holiday I love but in reality rarely execute well. Case in point – my Halloween mantle dream. I could have made my idea work if only I hadn’t traveled every weekend in October. Instead of my vision what is actually on my mantle is a color-changing lantern which an unknown neighbor gave us as part of a ‘You’ve Been Boo’d’ surprise. Still, even if I don’t decorate I always give out full-size candy bars to trick-or-treaters who ring the doorbell. Here are a few full-size treats from around the web for you to enjoy too…
I love the time between Halloween and Valentine’s Day, especially when it comes to decorating around the house. Unfortunately, with a ‘normal’ size home and a family full of artists there isn’t a lot of room left for decorations, which are primarily relegated to our front door and living room mantle.
This year I am going for old school look. The plan is to buy the vases, paper mache’ and real pumpkins, and make the lighted tree branches and felt ‘Halloween Candy Bag’ banner. With any luck, I can get my mantle tricked out by next weekend – which really will be a treat!
Have you been celebratingBanned Books Week? I’ve never understood how censorship could be viewed as a positive thing. If we prohibit the ideas which offend how can we ever have a discourse which leads to common ground?
Some of the reasons for banning these books include racial stereotypes, violence, nudity, assisted suicide, drugs, religious or political viewpoints, sexism, misogyny, and disobedience – all topics as relevant now as when these books were first published. I am proud of the banned books I’ve read and will continue to seek out anything deemed offensive simply so I can judge for myself. Just saying…
I had three very personal reasons for wanting to review Mr. Brown’s book; 1) I love all types of music, especially rock and roll and anything Elvis; 2) I’ve been involved in the Nashville music scene for many years; and 3) Tony Brown played a rather sizable role in my life in the 90’s. Truth be told, I was also hoping to see a face or two I knew within the book’s pages.
In ‘Elvis, Strait to Jesus’Tony talks about his musical upbringing and features 40 people who have impacted his life. He describes his life journey as serendipitous, and the way he has laid out his story shows how one thing led to another but everything, always, revolved around his love for music. I really enjoyed learning about Brown’s playing days as a youth in his family’s The Brown Family Singers, and then as a young man tickling the ivories withJ.D. Sumner and his Stamps Quartet, Elvis’s TCB Band, Emmylou Harris’s Hot Band, and Rodney Crowell’s The Cherry Bombs. Tony eventually moved on from playing to producing, and enjoyed tremendous success in the 80’s and 90’s with artists like George Strait, Reba McEntyre, and Jimmy Buffet, all of whom take a seat in the book’s ‘chair’ to reminisce about their relationship with Tony.
As they say in the South, Tony’s momma ‘done raised him right’. Here is a man who has seen it all and then some but any salacious tales he knows don’t appear in this book. Instead, what comes through in the stunning black and white photos and the words of his friends is his genuine love for each of them and the music they made, along with wonder at the path his life has taken. Tony Brown’s journey is a testament to honing your skills, doing what you love, and always always always following the twists and turns of your own life soundtrack.
I know I’ve been complaining about not having enough time to get it all done so it might surprise you to learn I have gone and joined a book club, because why not? Even if I get nothing else done – and a LOT is not getting done at the moment – joining a book group which meets once every few months isn’t the time commitment it might seem, especially since I read a few chapters of a book every night anyway.
Our club is interested in exploring utopian/dystopian perspectives and chose The Powerby Naomi Alderman as our first read. Set five thousand years in the future, The Power explores an alternative reality in which women become the dominant sex as the result of a latent genetic trait which suddenly becomes active. Most of the book is presented as a manuscript which follows 7 character story arcs over the 10-year period from when the ‘power’ first emerged until the revolution occurred, ending in a matriarchal society. The rest of the story involves an exchange of letters between the manuscript’s male writer (Neil Adam Armon) and his female colleague (Naomi) in which they discuss the manuscript and their latent feelings for each other (because no matter who is in charge the love – and hate – shared between the sexes is timeless.
Ms. Alderman’s novel centers around the question of power: who has it, how do you get it, what does it do to you when you’ve got it? And when you wield the power, how long will it be before the power wields you? She also writes that two of the illustrations in the book are the key to the entire story. I haven’t researched those but hope to have done so in time for our discussion in two weeks.
How about you? Have you read The Power? What did you think? Whose story line did you like the most? And the least? I’d love to know your thoughts…
You know it’s bad when your mom wants to know if you are ever going to post again… I’ve been dealing with some significant life changes over the past month with have left me with zero free time and zapped all of my creative energy. Still, its almost Labor Day and I always feel nostalgic for back-to-school shopping around this time of year. I am also sick of wearing all of my summer things, so I decided to spend what little free time I’ve been able to muster surfing the web to create an adult version of a back-to-school wardrobe for the fall.
I’ve written before abut traveling light and making less do more (here) so the 1 coat, 2 bags, 3 shoes, 4 bottoms, 5 tops strategy pictured above would provide me with enough outfit variety for well over 2 years. Given lots of free time and a bottomless pocketbook here’s what I’d buy to make my back-to-school fantasy a reality: