Resist the Urge


December can be a crazy time of year for people because coupled with different holiday traditions (pick your’s), it’s the end of the year. Students have projects and finals, business people have deals they want to finish by year-end, and well, I’m sure there is a lot more stuff, but I don’t really have time to do the research. I still have Christmas shopping to do, menus to plan, gifts to wrap and parties to attend and, well, you get the idea.

On top of all the busy-ness, I have always had a deep-seeded hatred of winter. It’s the time of year when I would be happiest curled up under soft blankets with a book or watching a movie, sipping on hot chocolate and eating multitudes of Christmas cookies and candies. Oh, yes, add a dog or three sidling up next to me so that we’re all cozy together.

Even living in the southeastern United States is not enough to overcome the desire to flee to some mythical warmer clime, sipping umbrella drinks on the beach, warm ocean water lapping at my toes. But I Must Resist. Fight that urge.

Jolted back to reality as I look at my naked Christmas tree, half-emptied boxes of decorations strewn haphazardly about and wondering what to bring to a pot-luck tomorrow, I take stock of my blessings, ground myself in the present and resolve to enjoy this time of year because I have so much to be thankful for and life is too short to run away. The grass is never greener.






Sunday Showcase – Kristria Designs


I used to have a shop on Etsy, and along the way, I met a number of wonderful women artisans that I feel privileged to know and honored to call them friends. This being the holiday season, I want to give a shout out to one of them, Kristin, from Providence, Rhode Island.

earringskasKristin is the mastermind and designer behind Kristria Designs and a few years ago I was lucky enough to meet her and do a little shopping in her dining room! Needless to say (but I’m going to say it anyway) I am a huge fan! I have a pair of the earrings that are pictured here and I wear them at least 3 or 4 times a week. The patina on the copper pair I have has only gotten more beautiful over the years, and I see she now has a pair of them in sterling silver. The Egyptian spiral is one of her signature designs and shows up in bracelets, necklaces and earrings.

I also own several of her necklaces which get so many compliments.

If you are looking for beautiful and affordable unique jewelry for yourself or for a gift, I recommend you check out Kristin’s shop. I always have several pieces on my wish list!

Happy shopping! You can click on the pictures to get straight to those fantastic items.

P.S. This is not a paid or sponsored post, I just wanted to share!





Dear Mr. Trump,

First off, congratulations on your victory. The battle was bitter and hard fought, but you prevailed despite all signs that you would not, so well done. I would like to be able to give you a chance and to discover why the 62,686,062 people that voted for believed you could do a better job than your other opponents because I can’t believe that many people hated Hillary Clinton that much and saw you as the better candidate. How could that many people be so blind to your panoply of narcissistic traits?

My husband, Roland, has encouraged me to read what the opposition to my choice, i.e., your supporters, have to say, and I would like to, but much of what I see in their rhetoric is so abhorrent and divisive to me that I find I cannot. I have been able to listen to some of whom I will call the “wiser minds” on the right side of the aisle. But during the campaign, many of those wiser minds told us that they saw too many red flags they could not support you themselves. Guess you showed them!

Of course, the left has its own share of shrill, the sky is falling, all is lost and evil is running the world spokespeople. I’m pretty sure Keith Olbermann will not get a Christmas card from you this year, and it’s almost a certainty that there are others on the left that can match your group hate for hate. The right does not have the monopoly on intolerance. [Hey, Keith, I get it. I’m on your side, but sometimes you’re just a bit too much. Carry on. I’ll check in now and then.]

You and I do have one thing in common. Neither of us is that political. I mean, I have my opinions and all, but I don’t spend hours and hours studying the politics of the United States and the world. Of course, I’m not the president-elect of the free world, so there’s that.

I really do try my hardest to find the good in people, even you. But how does the Golden Rule fit into your world? Have you even heard the story of the Good Samaritan? What about second chances and the story of the prodigal son? Anything? The meek inheriting the earth? Not in your world.

No, you appeal to the worst in people and encourage your base to be, well, base. That it’s okay to be a hateful bully. Wear that identity as a badge of honor. Well, unless you happen to be a Muslim hateful bully. Nope, take that shit out of America, because we won’t stand for that.

Oh, I meant for this to be a congratulatory note and my tone has digressed and devolved into something else. I was taught that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. I’ll take a page from your book (your twitter feed?) and risk being impolite. It works for you, amirite?



P.S. For the love of God, appoint Mitt Romney as Secretary of State!

Let’s Dance

I’m hoping that my candidate wins (I voted early, did you?), and you hope your candidate wins. I hope that we both wanted the same candidate but, hey, if I liked you before, I will probably still like you now. Let’s just not talk politics. Let’s not talk politics for the next 10 years or so because I am full up!

But we can choose to be happy, can’t we? Break it down and get a feeling in your body! Right now, get up and dance with JT…

So Novel

It’s November 1. Time to start writing the novel along with all the other Nanowrimo folks. I’m all set. You can see my word counter over there on the right. It’s set on zero at the moment, but give me a day or two. Besides, I’m writing this post on Monday afternoon, and schedule its publishing so I can concentrate my energies on the other thing.

According to advice I:

  • am banishing my inner critic/editor
  • will try to get ahead of my word count in week 1 (I’ll be out of town for part of week 2 so this may be particularly important)
  • will not worry if I have the perfect first sentence (but I do)

I’ll try to post here now and then, maybe with some sentences or paragraphs of the story. Or maybe not depending on how my inner editor is feeling about sharing.

My working title? Sure, I’ll share that… The Grace Gallery

Banned Books Roundup

The last week in September marks Banned Books Week, but I’m dedicating the entire month to reading only books that have been banned. Besides these new to me books, several of the books that are on my “must read” list have also been banned at some point, and this is the roundup of those, why they were banned and my thoughts.

Unless otherwise noted, my primary resource is this page.

1984, George Orwell. This book has been challenged for being pro-Communist and for sexually explicit matter. There is a sexual relationship, but I don’t remember it being explicit. As for being pro-Communist, well, there could be an argument for that, but with the internet and other invasive technology the Big Brother aspect is no longer fiction. It’s well worth a read.

Lord of the Flies, William Golding. Challenged numerous times as an inappropriate reading assignment having excessive violence, bad language and racism as well as other defamatory statements against minorities, God, women and the disabled, this novel is disturbing for any number of reasons. Probably not appropriate for kids under 12, I still wouldn’t stop them for reading it, but I would want an adult handy to talk about it.

Little Women, Louisa May Alcott. Little Women? Yes, this delightful book was challenged early on for the characterization of sister Jo March as being too “radical”. On the other hand, modern feminists consider the book to be pandering to the weaker sex and failing to empower girls. Seems like these challenges cancel each other out. Moving on…

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll. This popular children’s story has often been challenged for its alleged promotion of drug use. Remember the philosophical caterpillar sitting on a mushroom and smoking a hookah? The the body altering piece of mushroom that he gives to Alice? Oh, me. There have also been complaints about the talking animals. I think by now society has come to accept and even expect talking animals so here’s another place where we can just move on.

The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde. One read of this book and you know there’s trouble. In fact, the first edition was so controversial that Wilde rewrote it, cleaning up some of the more egregious passages. The charge? Too much homoeroticism and suggestiveness. The uncensored version became available in 2011.

Brave New World, Aldous Huxley. Banned and challenged numerous times for the adult themes of sexuality, drug use and suicide. In particular, in the book, a promiscuous lifestyle is encouraged and drug use not only encouraged but mandated. This book is dystopian science fiction and readers should be able to tell fiction from reality. The negative (in real people’s eyes) activity is central to the book, without it there is no book. Some of those things were uncomfortable to me but that’s no reason to ban it. Uncomfortable isn’t a feeling to run away from when reading.

The way this world is, it seems that someone could find some reason to challenge or ban a book. When searching to see if The Secret Garden had been banned, I found one source that said it should be banned because it’s the most boring book on the planet. Really?

Keep reading!