Category Archives: REAL LIFE

The Mirror World of Books

Books let us escape from current life woes.  They let us explore other worlds and other times. But did you ever think about the things we learn without realizing it, the things we can apply (consciously or not) in our own lives?   Mikey Brooks wrote a great post over at Emblazon about young readers and learning from the “Mirror World” of books, and he very kindly said I could share it with you: The Most Important Thing a Child Should Be Doing When a child reads a book they view it as a type of mirror world—as if by magic they become the main characters, living and breathing in that character’s mind. Gender holds no boundaries when it comes to this mirror world. Whether they are a boy or a girl, when they read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, they become Harry Potter. When they read The Lightning Thief, they are Percy Jackson. … Continue reading

Posted in Deep Thoughts, Guest Blogs, READING | Tagged , , , , , , |

Snowpocalypse: Take Time for a Text

Blizzards and ice storms and hurricanes are scary times. If they’re coming our way, we prepare as best we can: food, camp stove, warm blankets, lots of batteries. But sometimes that’s not all we need. I have a friend back east where “Snowpocalypse” is hitting hard. We’ve talked several times over the last few days, but this morning, as she’s still watching the snow come down, she told me something else.   She hasn’t heard from her children at all. She has no other family – she’s an only child and a widow. Her children are out west now, but they visit and have a good long-distance relationship. None of them have called, or even texted, to ask how she’s doing. In a centuries-old house with very little insulation, they didn’t ask how she’d stay warm if the power went out. She worried about the heat pump freezing up, but they didn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Home & Family, Misc | Tagged , , , , , , |

Those Islands at the End of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

We saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens on opening weekend and I have mixed feelings about the repetition of the movie (mostly unoriginality, to be vented later), but besides seeing that Han Solo smile again, one of the favorite parts for us was the Skellig Islands at the end when … whoops, no spoilers here! The Skelligs are isolated, majestic, magnificent – and we’ve been there! On our first trip back to Ireland after living there for a few years, the Skelligs were the only place we wanted to see a second – or third – time around.  They’re off the coast of County Kerry (the southwest corner of Ireland) and always a risky part of the itinerary. The weather has to be just right.  Rough-ish seas wouldn’t bother the ferry boats on open water, but the waves have to be pretty calm to land at the jetty.  Don’t want to drop any tourists against the … Continue reading

Posted in IRELAND, Misc | Tagged , , , , , , , , |

An Early Thanksgiving Proclamation from Abraham Lincoln

In this Thanksgiving season, I have been especially conscious of our blessings: plenty of food, a warm house, clean water, honorable work, good friends and loving family, and the freedom to worship as we desire. As I considered this post, my mind continued to the smaller things: flowers, phones, books, toothpaste, the chickadees and finches, crunchy leaves, soft snow . . . I found myself with far too many to choose from. Instead of my own gratitude list, I decided to share Abraham Lincoln’s original Thanksgiving Proclamation with you.  But did you know he signed several throughout his presidency?  I enjoyed finding this one from Oct. 3, 1863. (The one we usually reference is dated Oct 20, 1864.) I especially like the line saying that we’re prone to forget the bounties we constantly enjoy! We are all so very blessed, this day, this minute. Even in the midst of tragedy and turmoil, whether in … Continue reading

Posted in History, Holidays | Tagged , , , , |

What Can You Forget on a Camping Trip?

We had planned a lovely camping trip for last weekend:  sunny September weather, our 36th wedding anniversary, and a break from weeks of piled-up stress.  A  wonderful get-away, right? Now, you have to realize that we’re old hands at camping, even if we haven’t gone for a while. But boy, did we succumb to some newbie forgetfulness – even after a last-minute stop at Wally World! The camp stove that we got from Instash somehow, somehow, got left behind in the garage.  How could that possibly be?  The fire grill didn’t go low enough to cook well over coals, and our little aluminum barbecue would only work with the small pan.  Hmm . . . how many one-piece batches of french toast does it take to feed two adults? S’mores Fixings:  Marshmallows, check.  Graham crackers, check.  Hershey bars? Pick them up at Wally World.  Except . . . we didn’t.  Do you have any idea what … Continue reading

Posted in Home & Family | Tagged , , , |