Friday, December 31, 2010

goodbye, 2010.

ring out the old, ring in the new!
ring, happy bells, across the snow.
ring out the false, ring in the true!
the year is going, let him go.

~ alfred, lord tennyson ~

image source:

a good excuse, er, reason to raise a glass.

here's a little scientific something
to drink to
this new year's eve:

according to a recent norwegian study
of over 5,000 people,
moderate wine consumption
[a minimum of four glasses over two weeks]
improves brain function.

this study & more than 50 others
have shown teetotalers are
at greater risk for dementia.

researchers suspect it may be
because wine contains antioxidants
called polyphenols, which can
decrease inflammation &
increase blood flow to the brain.

do you think it still works
if you drink all four glasses
at the same time? hmmm . . .

well, regardless . . . cheers!

image source:

Thursday, December 30, 2010

an image worth remembering.

the woman who served as the
"rosie the riveter" model
for the famously feminist image above
passed last sunday.

her name was geraldine doyle.
she was 86.

she was 17 in 1942, when she worked
at a michigan metal-pressing plant
& a united press international photographer
visited the factory while covering
women's contributions to the war effort.

[& when the above shot was snapped of her.]

later, a graphic artist used one of the photos
of geraldine for the "we can do it!" poster.

she never knew the photo/poster existed
until 1982, when she came across
a picture of it in a magazine.

it was during the '80s when the poster
began being used by the feminist movement
as a symbol of women's empowerment.

geraldine was happy to help women,
but quick to correct two misconceptions
about the poster:

1) the strong arm held up in a fist
was definitely not hers; &

2) she was not the original rosie the riveter;
rose will monroe, also from michigan, was the
well-known riveting wonder who inspired
the 1942 song by the same name.

geraldine called herself the "we can do it!" girl.
& even though unwittingly, she did.

image sources:,

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

a force worth remembering.

she was elizabeth anania until her firstborn,
16yo wade,
died in a car accident.

to honor her son, she took his last name:

elizabeth edwards was . . .

. . . born with the first name mary
[but ever preferred her middle name].

. . . the daughter of a navy pilot.

. . . an english & law school graduate of the
university of north carolina at chapel hill.

. . . a lucrative bankruptcy/public-service law
attorney until her son's tragic death.

. . . a stay-at-home mom to her daughter Cate, &
later, to a younger son & daughter.

. . . chief policy adviser for her husband, senator
& democratic vice-presidential candidate john edwards.

. . . the self-described "anti-barbie," for both
her real-woman figure & real-woman intellect.

. . . "the most refreshing political spouse since eleanor roosevelt," according to o magazine.

. . . a steadfast spouse, standing by her man through
multiple layers of highly public lies about his infidelity.

. . . a proponent of same-sex marriage.

. . . an opponent of the iraq war.

. . . a fearless ann coulter aggressor.

. . . a healthcare advocate.

. . . a six-year cancer survivor.

. . . the heart of her family, according to them.

she died december 7th at the age of 61,
encircled by her dear friends & family,
including her estranged husband.

she left an amazing legacy
for her children & our country.

smart, savvy, brave, inspirational, resilient,
full of faith & the definition of grace.

rest in peace, elizabeth,
in the open arms of your beloved son.

"the days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered.
we know that.
and yes, there are certainly times when
we aren't able to muster as much
strength & patience as we would like.
it's called being human.
but i have found that in the
simple act of living with hope, & in the
daily effort to have a positive impact in the world,
the days i do have are made
all the more meaningful & precious.
and for that i am grateful."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

give back.

during this season of giving,
i want to share a new website with you
[shared with me via simple mom's blog]
that helps you contribute more & more conveniently
to the charities you care about. lets you create your own foundation,
add as many charities to it as you like
[they just have to be registered with the irs],
& contribute as much as you like whenever you like.

you can manage all your giving through one account,
& you'll receive one receipt at tax time.

100% of your contributions goes to your charities,
& the whole shebang is 100% free.

bonus: giveback has partnered with lots of e-stores,
so whenever you shop with them, you earn up to 15%
of your purchases toward your new-found foundation.

for more information or to get going
with your own foundation, click here.

image source: real simple

i'm baaack.

[our newly created seasonal shelf reflecting autumn, 12.1.2010]

just in case
your december has been too full
to note it,
i've been gone.

gone from the blog.

i didn't plan my bloggy absence.
it just sort of happened, amid
the fullness of december.

full of joy. full of light. full of song.
full of giving. full of toasting. full of twinkling.
just plain full.

so now, as we roll [almost literally] into the new year,
the fullness of december is finally ebbing
& the blog returns to room of its own.

so here i am. again!

i thought i'd begin [again] by sharing
three of our family's december traditions.

1. our advent calendar. our advent calendar is no family heirloom, but it does remind me of the one my grandmother made & we used growing up. bought at hallmark [full disclosure: i'm wholly hooked on hallmark, especially around the holidays], ours is super-simple, made of felt with little ornaments that stick on with magnets. the kids argue annually over who gets to stick up december 1 & who gets to stick december 25 up. with no treats to be gleaned, the magic of our advent calendar is all in the countdown. oh, & the star on top plays "jingle bells." gotta love the jingle.

2. jefferey, our house elf. jefferey comes to us direct from the north pole every december 1 to enhance the celebratory environment of our home & observe our family. each night, he returns to the north pole & reports to the big guy on how we're doing; then, when he returns to our house, he perches himself in a new spot, to be searched for & rediscovered each morning. sadly, jefferey hitches a ride with santa come christmas eve to return to his snowy home for another 11+ months. we miss him, but realize not everyone gets the honor of hosting a house elf, so we feel blessed by his presence during his yearly 24-day stay.

3. my christmas-tree pins. i'm not sure which year i decided to begin collecting pins shaped like christmas trees, but it's probably been a decade or more. i've got just about 50 tannenbaum brooches now - from plain silver to multi-hued swarovski crystal-laden - so i don a different one every day of december. i guess maybe i'll go for a final collection of 62, so i can do a full rotation every other year ... though it's getting more & more challenging to find christmas-tree pins that are different from those i've already got & also attractive [the world is chocked full o' ugly holiday jewelry, believe you me].

so, do you have daily traditions for the month of december? do share.

image source: all me, 12.2010.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

celebrate the everyday - december.

it's december, 2010. how will you celebrate being a woman?

december 12worldwide candle-lighting day
light a candle for a lost child.

december 15cat herders day
take a breath. make a list. ride them kitties.

december 17underdog day
there's no need to fear.

december 21winter solstice/full moon [the cold moon]
spend the year's longest night observing the full lunar eclipse. cool.

december 25christmas day
it's the most wonderful time of the year.

december 31universal hour of peace day/world peace meditation day
spend the hour from 11:30p new year's eve to 12:30a new year's day meditating about peace ... for yourself & for our world.

remember, where there is connection, there is power.
where there is power, there is hope for change. for ourselves, & for our world.
we are all connected. we are all powerful.

until my next post, be well, be happy & be hopeful.

image source: