Monday, May 26, 2014

The First American Spy Story-TURN on @AMC_TV

Not every war is fought on the field of battle.

AMC has created an intriguing series, TURN,  based upon the book by Alexander Rose, Washington's Spies.  The Culper Ring is the first US spy ring. It operated during the time of the American Revolution. Childhood friends from Long Island came together to ensure that the army of George Washington had the information it needed inorder to win the Revolutionary War.

This is the story of a group of very brave patriots. Ask yourself what would you have done had you been in their shoes? What is liberty worth to you?

Watch past episodes on AMC or stream them on Amazon video.

Follow the show on Twitter


Friday, May 23, 2014

Memorial Day 2014

This weekend we honor those who gave their lives for this nation. It is fitting that we remember that Freedom is not free.

We sleep well at night because rough men (and women) stand ready to do violence in our name...George Orwell

Perhaps nothing speaks more eloquently to the sacrifice of the soldier than President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Our sons and daughters are still operating in fields of battle and could use some "loving" from home.

Go HERE to order any number of care packages from Soldier's Angels and remind these wonderful young people that they serve a grateful nation.

Or help those that have returned from fields of battle and need our support at Wounded Warrior Project.



May God bless them and keep them,
May he shine his countenance upon them,
May God grant us all PEACE.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Vegan Shoes- Nothing edible but very wearable

Every time you happen to hear the word vegan its in the context of food or diet. But did you know that its also about a total way of life. People who are against eating meat would in no way wear leather or have animal based products in their home. Now this is all well and good when you are talking about clothes. There are any number of natural fibers you can wear or even man-made fabrics that wouldn't cross the cruelty line. But what about shoes? You want to wear some fun, comfortable and stylish shoes. Shoes also need to be supportive.

Well lo and behold, I bought a pair of vegan shoes at my local store and didn't even know they were vegan. I liked them because they were comfortable, and funky. I especially liked the flowers on the wedge heel. I also am a fan of the Maryjane, nostalgia feel of the shoes. I wore the black with some capris-cargo-sweatpants pants that are for being out and about, not perspiring at the gym.

Haven't worn the red ones yet, but am looking forward to it. I figure these shoes can take me into the summer and are good all of next fall. They might be too hot for the real-dog-days of summer, so I am going to look for some comfortable sandals for those hazy-lazy-days. FYI- these shoes are also very affordable.

Meanwhile you can get a gander at these shoes at Zappos, Amazon, J-41 Adventure Website.

Here is a listing of 18 vegan shoes from ecouterre.

Of course, you do get into the discussion that the man-made products are petroleum-oil-based and questioning the true eco-friendly nature of the shoe. Now some say the answer to that is to recycle the plastic/petroleum based products used in the making of the fabrics.

And here I was thinking I had not only finally found some pretty, reasonably priced shoes for myself, but had been socially conscientious, while doing something good for the planet.

I know there is always something isn't there?


Thursday, May 15, 2014

In #Fashion-When less is more


I have been obsessed with totes this season. I have looked for something that was chic, fashionable, long-lasting and timeless, but didn't require I put a second mortgage on my house. It has not been easy. For any number of reasons I never liked what I saw, or what was in my price point range.

I have found that the best way to find a bag you really like is to see what someone else might be carrying. You get to see how it looks on the shoulder and if you watch long enough you see if it really is functionable. (OK that may come off as stalking, but I prefer to think of it as people watching.) If another woman finds her bag comfortable it just might work for you. I am also not ashamed to ask what brand a purse is or compliment someone on their choice of handbag.

Well, in my hunt for the perfect tote I found someone using these products discussed in the above video. The tote has a comfortable shoulder strap. It is roomy, unadorned with a very modern feel. Notice there is none of that very heavy bling, which could cause you to have to undergo major back surgery.

The philosophy of the company is very interesting. They have started a program called LEAN CLOSET. They want you to take a good look at your life. Evaluate how you live. Be honest with yourself. Then take the unused articles of clothing and send it back to them and they will redistribute it to those in need. To accomplish this you can purchase a fedex label when you buy their products. Of course you could just go through your closet and bring your unnecessary items to any local  charity organization. There are always people in need no matter where you live.

Anyway this is the bag I liked:

The company also sells different styles of bags, and clothing too. Simple, fresh and yes affordable.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Forgiveness.... You can do something positive in your life without it

From Prager University

We have all had times in our relationships when we hurt a loved one, or a loved one hurt us. That's part of life. But not all of us know how to forgive, even when the other party has offered a sincere apology. In this Prager University course, UCLA psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Marmer shares the three types of forgiveness--exoneration, forbearance, and release--and explains why anyone who wants to mend meaningful relationships must first understand forgiveness. Internalizing Dr. Marmer's teaching can be an important first step, for many people, to keeping and fixing their most valued relationships.


Nice little ditty about forgiveness. Too bad the doctor seems to take the real human element out of the equation, like how do you forgive those that hurt your child? Should the parents of murdered children forgive their killers? I can't imagine the pain parents go through under these circumstances.

At the same time,  you don't have to forgive to do something positive with your life. Here is a video about the Keren Malki Foundation. An organization created in memory of a 15-year-old girl murdered in the Palestinain-terrorist bombing of a Sabarro pizza parlor in Jerusalem, Israel. Malki Roth worked with those with special needs. In honor of her, her family has set up this amazing foundation that helps all people without asking their political affiliations and ethnic origins. And no, they have never forgiven her murderer, who was set free by Israel in order to secure the release of a 19-year-old Israeli soldier who had been kidnapped by the terror group Hamas. Her murderer also celebrated the lives she took, especially the number of children she killed.

Meanwhile, back in my own little world, I refuse to forgive those that bullied and alienated my children. and you know what, I shouldn't have to. In fact, it helps me figure out ways to help and secure a future for my children, while teaching them to protect themselves and to stand up for what they believe in. Teaching children self-empowerment is an important part of parenting. You get no where in life if you live life as a doormat.

Forgiveness may take many forms according to this little video essay, but in the end it's you giving up your right to say "hey asshole you messed with me and I am not going to take it anymore." Why would you forgive someone that hurt you so badly that it actually changed your life and how you felt about other people? This is not about letting these individuals live rent-free in your head. It's about self-respect and self-esteem. You don't necessarily have to "forgive" someone who hurt you to move on with your life. In fact remembering what was done to you can give you the strength to move on and be able to protect yourself and those you love in the future. It's called self-preservation. Something I totally adhere to and something I totally practice on a daily basis, especially when it comes to protecting those I love.