Friday, February 17, 2017
Friday, December 23, 2016
A childless couple, a failing toy factory, a troubled marriage, and a door nobody opens set the stage for a mystery that will keep you guessing from start to finish.
Who can slueth out this puzzle? Enter Eli - a suit wearing, news watching, 7 year old foster child who sleeps with a teddy bear and calls a taxi when he decides to play hookie from school. That just leaves one missing piece - who is this pint sized cosmopolitan sage?
"Angel in the House " is heartwarming and sweet, without a crumb of cheese.
"Angel in the House" deals with sensitive issues of grief, loss and disappointment with disarming delicacy and a mischievous grin.
This movie was first released under the title "Foster," then "Angel in the House." At one point, Netflix released it as "Christmas Angel in the House."
Rated PG for 1-2 uses of strong language and sensitive issues.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Eighteen year old Amneh and Mohammed, 22, could make beautiful music together if only they were living in the peaceful Syria where they grew up instead of the bleak and impoverished, Jordanian provided refugee camp, Za’atari.
If Za’atari by moonlight is more attractive than sunlit Za’atari, it is only because the darkness hides the harsh realities of makeshift shelters, community toilets and the publicly visible clotheslines that typify the loss of privacy and dignity the refugees lost when bombs and gunfire drove them from their Syrian home.
The primary question the refugees all face is, " Shall we do our best to get on with our "normal" lives, or is "normal" only something we left behind and hope to return to someday? How a family answers that question determines whether they pursue education, business, or social connections or defer the major events and accomplishments that make up life: preparing for the future, schooling, career preparation, building relationships, marriage and childbirth.
Amneh's and Mohammed's families decide they have delayed their marriage long enough. They face the fact that they will not have the extended, extravagant festivities they so enjoy, and rent a lovely wedding dress from the ramshackle bridal shop and make plans to prepare the best meal they can on their one-burner camp stove.
I couldn't help but think of Fiddler on the Roof and Anne Frank as I read this documentary account of Syrian life in a refugee camp. Their Jordanian benefactors offer basic shelter, and donations from other nations provide the minimum allowance of calories needed to maintain life. But, as the Za’atarian villagers know, "normal" is a relative term and truly, "There is no place like home."
I didn't give this book a 5 star rating to measure it's enjoyment factor. Three stars given for how interesting it is, and 1 star is to indicate the importance of its message. The 5th star is a medal of honor for the courage and strength it takes for these people to persevere. They deserve far more, but like resources in Za’atari, those are all the stars I have.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It's January of 1946. World War 2 is over, but young Juliet Ashton, like all Londoners, is attempting to emerge from the ruins and begin life anew.
As she searches for a topic for her next book, she receives a letter from a stranger, Dawsey Adams, living on the British Isle of Guernsey, requesting that she find and order a particular book for him
Guernsey had been occupied by the Germans and, unable to get any supplies, the people had, in desperation, burned the books in the town bookshop as fuel to keep from freezing to death. Dawsey made mention of their literary society, which sparked a correspondence between him and Juliet, in which he attempted to satisfy her curiosity about the a paradoxical existence of such an organization on a book poor island.
Juliet, entranced by the poignant and humorous tales of the occupied islanders, decides to write their story, so she leaves the rubbles of London behind and relocates to Guernsey. There, she embraces the griefs, grit and gifts of the eclectic, indomitable people who will change her life forever.
Once I remembered to carefully note the writer and receiver of each letter or telegram, I was able to immerse myself in the story.
As Juliet is the primary protagonist and the most frequent writer and receiver of the messages, I slipped into her chair, sipped her tea and reveled in the struggles, mysteries, and triumphs of Guernsey from behind her eyes. Like Juliet, I fell in love .
Whenever Juliet was not privy to the facts, I became a nosy postmistress, steaming envelopes open and entertaining myself with the secrets and drama of Guernsey's citizens, then innocently resealing them. What fun, as the reader, to know the thoughts, desires and intentions of each character, while each character knows only that which or she has personally observed or had confided in them.
How I wish I could be a member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Even Potato Peel Pie might be digestible among such a hardy, supportive group of survivors.
Monday, December 12, 2016
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
My Mother read the 1966 Scholastic version of this story to our family around 1969 or 1970. I was 9 or 10. We all enjoyed it.
I loved this book and shared it with my husband during our first Christmas season as a married couple. He loved it also.
I honestly do not remember reading it to our son, born in 1990. I know I fully intended to. Perhaps I couldn't find it!
I may still have my old copy somewhere. This is a treasure, a lifetime favorite.
View all my reviews
Thursday, December 01, 2016
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Just finished this book for the 3rd or 4th time. I reread very few books, no matter how much I like them. Though classified as fiction, the speaker in this narratives lives & breathes. This time, listening to the Libravox recording, read by James K. White, brought him more to life than ever.
The character is SO real, and the historical perspective so revealing. I felt as if I were there with him, from his "Little Lord Fauntleroy " beginnings to his cosmopolitan adulthood, and the down to earth stuff of life that both broke & shaped him.
His comments on the attitudes, weaknesses & strengths of the various demographics of the African American population at that time explained so much. Both black & white Americans need to understand the changes since that time, both encouraging & discouraging if we are to grow in unity and become a mutually supportive society. This should be required reading in high school. However, in mixed race class in some localities, there might be too much friction to get the benefit of it.
I wonder if this would make a good movie or if it would lose too much in that form. It would be interesting to meet his family, friends & enemies, and I'd enjoy the 1920s styles and music but so much of the meat of the novel is introspective. Only a very gifted, sensitive director could hope to achieve good results. Anything less would cheapen it.
View all my reviews
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Considering I spent years in the Conservative community, where people who never read this book joked about and condemned it, I had never bothered to read "It Takes a Village" qin the 90s. It's been on my "to read" pile a few years now, and I decided if there was ever a time to read it, that time had come.
Regardless how one feels about Hillary's ambition or political tactics, this book is worthy of being judged on its own merit. It offers plenty of wisdom for every time and place in human society.
At it's simplest, this is a pleasantly nostalgic read, exploring the general sense of safety most Caucasian, middle class families felt in the 50s and 60s. Penny candy, walking to the park to play until the street lights came on, the values instilled in church and school, the strong sense of community, community pride and patriotism, and so much more.
Though African American families faced tougher challenges, I have long heard those who grew up or raised a family during that time also reminisce about the pleasures of walking to the corner store, playing outside without fear of impending danger, and how family, friends and neighbors all kept a watchful eye on everyone's kids, intervening as needed, affirming and mentoring, and telling your Mama if your escapades were of a dangerous or ill intentioned nature.
Hillary addresses, within the context of her pleasant or fearful memories, how different our society is today: how long work hours increase family instability and undermine marriages, the importance of monogamy in creating a safe environment in which to nurture a child, and how when families fall apart, the undergirding of our entire society is torn asunder.
She speaks of how our sense of alienation, fear of strangers, and inability to feel safe anywhere, limits our involvement in community, cooperative service projects, and ability to raise children to be free, run and play, or even go to the corner store without a sense of forboding.
She reminds of things we took for granted, such as good schools, public pools & playgrounds, safe streets, and neighborhood policemen who knew your family and were our mentors, protectors and friends. Libraries were free, most school supplies were provided, we had recess twice a day, participated in public performances, created art & explored many types of physical activities to increase our health and fitness.
She explores how extremist political policies have robbed us of most of these ingredients of creating cultured people, fostering compassion, patriotism and developing skills to express ourselves as needed to be active participants in our careers and the national dialog.
By condemning the safeguards and opportunities that made these things possible, by calling it "government interferance" and "communism," we have allowed private business to take over these privileges and have ceded our American inheritance to corporations who monopolize our resources and hold them for ransom at unaffordable prices.
Though "Mayberry" was never a complete reality, its spirit did exist in communities who fostered its sustaining values for many generations. In the name of "free market," we've sold our birthright as Americans to preserve community rooted in our shared strengths, wisdom and contributions. We now sacrifice our mutually owned public amenities to private control. Public libraries, school systems and public utilites are becoming increasingly owned or controlled by private interests. Guardians and transmitters of classic literature, art, history and the 3 RS have become purveyors of pop culture, mythological versions of history, and expensive tutoring with the sole intention of gaining profit, whether or not they successfully perform or deliver the promised goods and services.
The Hillary who wrote this book in no way resembles the person the conservative right presents as a murderer and a dictator who will ruin our lives.This Hillary is a person of commitment, humility and a desire to serve. Whatever the sum total of Hillary Clinton may be, the foundational building blocks of a healthy society offered in "It Takes a Village " are generally agreed upon by most Americans. Only suspicion and political programming keep us from exercising our rights and reclaiming our personal and common birthright from those we allowed to defraud us of it.
I'm taking my time with this book, so I have no idea when I will finish it. I'm sipping it like a fresh cup of coffee. It's a pleasure to read.
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Sunday, October 18, 2015
The ancient boundary lines are covered hidden by the litter of the centuries. The ancient boundary stones are overgrown by millenia of religious, cultural and political traditions. We follow maps marked with the lies and errors of those who came before us and continue to further deface them with our own foolish notations. Even a true map can be "read" to suit the purposes of predators and mad men.
Even what one generation learns the hard way is discarded and forgotten by the next, even while the wounds left by the hard lessons are bleeding still.
We no longer can tell left from right, up from down, sick from healthy, or true life from walking death.
We need your guidance more than ever. Lead us by your Spirit, in Jesus' name!
Thursday, October 10, 2013
To save money, gas and time, I order my vitamins, supplements and over the counter meds from Swanson's Vitamins. I also order certified gluten free oats, buckwheat (a.k.a. Kasha) and other gluten free foods from Swanson's. Swanson's carries herbal teas, natural remedies, beauty and skin care products, and many other items most families need and use.
If you subscribe to their email updates, you can get great deals, and if you order $50 or more, shipping is free!
Get $5 off your first order by using this link to visit Swanson's web site and set up your account. If you do this, I will get a discount on my next order, too!
Get $5 off your first Swanson's Order!
Sunday, July 29, 2012
I'm not glad I have Celiac, but I'm glad to have the diagnosis, because it gives me hope I will soon have more energy and a clearer mind. As I learn more about Celiac and gluten free living, I will be writing articles about it at Examiner.com, posting on Pinterest, and perhaps keeping you updated here as well!
Monday, August 15, 2011
Anyway, if you want to keep up with what I'm posting, be sure to add subscribe to updates from "Fairelight" as well. Fairelight Silverwings' Journal of Dreams & Ancient Wisdom.
I have "monetized" the Fairelight blog by allowing Google to put ads on the page. I'm very new at this and not yet sure how to totally control what type of ads appear. I'm noticing some ads I do not want, and hope to work the kinks out of it soon. Please be patient with me.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
God bless you!
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Monday, January 19, 2009
No image captures the peace of body, heart and mind like that of a sleeping kitten. A sleeping cat portrays total abandonment of all cares, total relaxation, and even an expression of joy as the purr of contentment builds inside the furry creature.
Reading Isaiah 30 is a a mixture of hope and sadness. It is a picture of people who have created grief for themselves and will have none of God's solutions. God's solutions and promise of rest are grounded in repentance and trust, not in our determination to control our own world or flee our situation.
15 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
"In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.
16 You said, 'No, we will flee on horses.'
Therefore you will flee!
You said, 'We will ride off on swift horses.'
Therefore your pursuers will be swift!
17 A thousand will flee
at the threat of one;
at the threat of five
you will all flee away,
till you are left
like a flagstaff on a mountaintop,
like a banner on a hill."
18 Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
he rises to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!
No rest is found in our determination that we are right... that we have all the answers, or in our determination to fix everything ourselves. Peace and rest, and even SOLUTIONS (salvation) are found in giving up having our own way and turning control over to our Father. Only in this way will we find anything near the contentment we see in the form of a sleeping kitten.
I pray I will be one who will live in this promised rest, granted only to those who WAIT on the Lord! It is a discipline to replace my worries with patience and praise and resting in Him, but it a sacrifice that pays rich rewards. I don't think many of us ever arrive at a state where we never fail in this giving up control to Our Father, or living in the REST He promises to us. It is a continual, daily exercise of discipline and faith. If we beat ourselves up for failing in this, we only dig ourselves deeper into guilt and worry. When we realize we have fallen into the "I'm the one who's in control here, and I've got to fix all this," it is better to just pick up where we left off and begin again, relinquishing all our cares to our Father and taking hold of the rest He offers.
It is interesting that He finds our unwillingness to do this as a stubborn, sinful thing. We may see it as a virtue, a sign of being dependable and responsible. God sees it as rebellion!
Here are some scriptures to ponder... promises of the peace of mind, rest, and salvation found in
releasing our cares to Him.
The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."
"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall
strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
The Bible is full of such promises. Do a search in various versions for the words rest, peace,quiet, confidence, and salvation. You may be surprised how often this comes up in scripture.If only it didn't take so many of us a lifetime to figure it out!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
I came to love you late,
so ancient and so new.
You called, and broke
through my defenses,
and now I long for you.
You breathed your fragrance on me,
and I drew in my breath
and now I pant for you.
I tasted you, and now
I hunger and thirst for you.
You touched me,
and I burn for your peace.
St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Monday, January 01, 2007
Wow! Can you believe it's 2007 already? I remember when the very thought of 2000 sounded like science fiction to me, and now that we're here, I guess that is what we are living. I can think back to images in comic books, T.V. shows and stories that have truly been fulfilled in many ways, though seldom in the way anticipated in the media. The human element is so much more prominent in the midst of the technology. PLUS, in science fiction, technology was always so adequate and flawless. It always worked and never broke down. Until Star Wars! Star Wars told the truth about "the future". The Y2K scare confirmed it.
Who would have ever thought technologically savy people would have so much in common with village handy men and shade tree mechanics? Or be so young, so much of the time. Now, those we turn to when it all falls apart are not highly paid engineers, either. If they get paid at all, they're lucky to make what an experienced secretary makes, post 9/11.
Raising a child born in 1990 to near adulthood has been a tricky feat. I was so concerned that we raise him to be able to cope in HIS generation, prepare him for the world HE would face. He had an interest in computers, and we felt sure he could make a good living pursuing that if he chose. But then, after 9/11, we saw kids who had planned to go into computer tech careers flounder in confusion as it became evident that computer techs were a "dime a dozen" so to speak, and the payscale plummeted.
Other fields that had seemed to hold promise also succumed to low pay and overcrowding.
Suddenly, I realized we were no more equipped than our own parents had been when it came to anticipating how to prepare offspring to face the future. In their day, you get a good education or a good job, and you stick with that job, and that field as long as you could. Longevity was everything. Now, it can be a death sentence. It became virtually impossible during our adult years, and we lived feeling unsettled as we had been taught that stability was the evidence of maturity and respectability.
I have even more recently realized, while watching my son play video games, surf the web, blog and communicate via instant message, that the very things I might view as time wasters may well be the skills that enable him to succeed in the world he will navigate as an adult. But how could we have understood that all along? We could have saved quite a few lectures and a lot of frustration over the years if we had.
The "play" of any generation will probably turn into the "work" and "reality" when that generation reaches adulthood. My son and his peers will rule the world with joysticks and keyboard, while staying in touch with associates, friends and family via whatever form of instant messaging is the latest and fastest and the most like "being there".
Occasionally, it may all break down, and they may have to pick up a phone or actually drive somewhere. But, they'll call the village "geek" or whatever, to fix it all. Or, they may just blow on it to clear the dust and try again. If that doesn't work, they'll turn it off so it can "reset" itself, or cool awhile. Then, soon they'll be communication, creating, courting & delegating again, with the world at their fingertips.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
A huge group of booksellers got together in a Yahoo group
and have investigated and voted on where to relocate, since eBay is being so crazy. They decided some solidarity is the only way to make progress, rather than scatter all over the net. This group has over 300 members!
The votes are in!
Here are their top choices:
A runner up:
These are good sites. Because they are free or inexpensive to sellers, some will be passing the savings on to the buyers. Little Piggy is going to be clean, as it is home school focused. Blujay wants to stay clean, so if you see something that is offensive, there is a button to click to report it (PLEASE DO!). I don't really know about Wagglepop, but it is one of the sites the sellers have decided on.
PLEASE pass this on to everyone. If we fail to support this effort, then we may just end up with more of what I call "ghost town" auction sites. You've seen 'em. Hardly anyone selling. Nobody buying. PLEASE check out the sites listed above and PLEASE spread the word. We don't have to let the megaGiants of commerce dictate to us. If we unite for change, we CAN make a difference.