Friday, March 31, 2017

The Paris Wife: Book Review

This post will be completely different than any other post I have written.  I never really thought about doing book or movie reviews, but after my latest read I just had to share my opinion. 

First off, I really did not know that much about Ernest Hemingway, just the basic facts that I had picked up over time. I will admit I have become somewhat fascinated with him since we visited Shakespeare and Co. in Paris. This is a little book store that was often visited by Hemingway, Fitzgerald and other great authors of their time. 

I never knew anything about his marriages, other than he had several of them, but I was intrigued to read this story about his first wife Hadley, Hemingway's Paris Wife.  

Hadley Richardson Hemingway

I love the fact, that even though fiction, this book takes you through the intense love and passion that Ernest and Hadley held for one another. From the very beginning you can see that their relationship and marriage would be tested not just by others and family, but also by the Hemingways themselves.

Paula McLain does a fantastic job of bringing 1920's Paris to life. I could just feel myself walking around the streets of the city right alongside Hadley and Ernest.  It brought back wonderful memories of our time there and presented what life was really like during the era of the Roaring Twenties. Paris was so different from the Mid-west United States that the Hemingways departed from and that Parisian life would not only test them, but would change them both. 

The only issue I had with this novel was the use of some profanity. I can see that this is exactly how a man like Hemingway would have spoken, but I do believe the story could have been told just as well without it. 

Overall I give the book four out of five stars. It is beautifully written and presents the story of a regular girl caught up in a romance for the ages. 

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spring Break Getaway 2017

Spring break, for us, started off cold, rainy and windy! In other words, not very spring like.  We had already decided to take a few days off that week, since there was no school and head to the beach. This year we went a little further south than usual and ended up on Hilton Head Island.

We took our time driving down and stopped at Cracker Barrel for breakfast.  When we arrived we stopped by our hotel and was able to check in early. After a little rest we drove down just to get a look at the shops, the beach and Harbor Town. One thing different about Hilton Head is you just can't go to the beach at any spot. Most of the island is owned by individuals and private resorts and you can not access their beaches. However we did visit two beaches, Coligny and Folly Field.  Coligny has free parking and there is a fountain where you walk in, makes it easy to find. There was more people there and lots of dead jelly fish washed up on the shore.  Folly Field has to be driven too and there is a fee of one dollar an hour to park.  We spent about an hour at each beach, then found a Dominos, ordered supper and  headed  back to the hotel.

Lighthouse at Harbor Town

Coligny Beach Park

Just one of many jellies

On Friday, we slept in, ate breakfast and hung out in the room watching cable, something we don't have at home. Around lunch we headed out for shopping at Barnes and Noble, Goodwill and then Dairy Queen for lunch.  As always, I had to find an old cemetery to visit. Afterwards we headed back to Folly Field beach and spent a couple of hours walking on the shore, reading and picking up shells.

Toes in the sand

It was pretty chilly

Feeding the sea birds!

On Saturday we got up early, ate breakfast, checked out and headed up the coast line towards Myrtle Beach for the car show. Just let me say that place was so crowded you couldn't find a place to park. We did find a public beach access, parked (two dollars an hour) and then walked down to the beach. It was so cold we only stayed about 30 minutes and we didn't try to tackle that car show crowd. We stopped for a quick break and then headed home. Instead of stopping for supper, we had stew waiting for us at home, we just stopped by The Berry Patch for an ice cream treat to tide us over.

Now for my opinion of the island. It was beautiful and if you like riding bikes or playing golf it is perfect for you. My children love looking for shells and unfortunately there was not a lot to pick from.  The ocean is very calm there, not many waves, so the shells just don't wash up. After the trip we all agreed, that our favorite beaches of all are our very own North Carolina Outer Banks.

Folly Field Beach Park Hilton Head
The ocean was very calm and no waves or breakers. 

Myrtle Beach
Just 221 miles north of Hilton Head and the ocean is rougher and has lots
of waves and breakers. 

It was  a wonderful little relaxing vacation. Sometimes all you need is just a couple of days to get away, recharge and spend time with your family. My husband likes to say, "If you don't "come apart", you will come apart."

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Beauty and the Beast Controversy

Seeing as where this movie is going to be hitting theaters this weekend I decided to jump on this big Disney controversy. I am not going to share my own personal thoughts on homosexuality, I am simply going to use this as a chance to just clear up a few important points. That being said,   I am sure if you have been reading my post for any length of time you have a pretty good idea of what my thoughts are on the subject.

First off let me say that I do personally know someone who is gay. In fact, I have known this man since I was a little girl, but didn't know until about 15 years or so ago that he was in fact a homosexual.  If I see him I am kind and courteous to him. He has always been good to me and when my oldest was sick he even came to visit her in the hospital and has helped with my youngest 50 state rock collection. Why did I feel the need to point that out you might ask?  Well, I want to make it clear to y'all that I do not live a sheltered life where I am hiding away from society. I know people and I know about the lifestyle they live.  I just didn't want my readers to think I am writing this without actually knowing someone who is gay.

Now back to the topic at hand. I will be discussing three things I think are super important for us not only as parents, but as citizens of this free nation to consider with this movie controversy. 

1.  I am the parent!  It is my job as the mother, the parent, the legal guardian of my children to explain delicate matters to them. I have two children, the oldest knows what homosexuality is and the youngest is beginning to get the idea, but it is not something we have explained to her.  At this point I am doing my best to explain to her how she is growing up, much less what is going on with anyone else.  I think of it like I did the Santa Claus issue. We never told our girls that there was a Santa, but we always made sure to let them know that it was not there place to tell that to other children. We explained that it is the parents responsibility to teach their own children about such things. All that being said, it is my responsibility to teach my children about such things. It is not the job of Hollywood, movies, cartoons or Disney.  '

2.  If I was a business owner/government it is up to me what I do!  It has recently come to light that a Russian lawmaker wants to make the movie illegal. Russia has decided to show the movie, but only allowing those over 16 to see it. Whether or not Russia does this is simply up to Russia. It has also been revealed that the films release in Malaysia has also been postponed due to the controversy, even after the film censors reportedly cut the controversial scene from the movie. I have no control over what any government does or does not do. We have also heard that a private movie theater owner is refusing to show the movie because it goes against his moral/religious beliefs.  I am waiting for our government to step in and shut them down for it. This is in a nutshell the business owners right. I believe that if a person is faced with doing something that goes against their religious beliefs they should not be forced to do so. I am sure that others will say that goes both ways, you can't support one religion and destroy another.  The way I see it,  the only religion anyone is trying to destroy in the country is Christianity. (Another topic, for another time)

3.  What else have you not noticed?  I know for a fact that this is not the first time Disney has raised my eyebrows. I remember specific instances of adult themed content in their movies.  Of course little kids don't get it, but the adults do.  Here are just a few examples of what I am talking about.

 I remember in the original cartoon version of Beauty and the Beast there was a scene with Lumiere (the candelabra) and Babette. They were behind the curtain and some questionable stuff was going on.

And how about this honeymoon joke from Aladdin and the King of Thieves?

And who could forget this interaction between Buzz and Jessie?

Not to mention Who Framed Roger Rabbit! That entire movie was highly questionable! (Beware: this trailer shows exactly what I am talking about) 

I am not just picking on Disney here, there are plenty of other company examples,  but they are the ones who got this whole thing started.

When I first heard about all this I wondered if it was "an in your face moment" or just a suggestion? I was trying not to pass judegement, but I did pass the information on to a couple of families that I know.  I felt that people should be made aware of what was being said.

After reading this you might be asking, what do you plan to do?  I will wait, let someone else do the viewing and then I will decide if and when we should watch it. I have already heard a couple of early reviewers that say it is really just a suggestion that LeFou has feelings for Gaston, which was what I suspected.

I guess I will find out in a few days!

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?" 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Money Saving: Crowdtap

Today I want to introduce you to another one of my money earning/saving  weapons, Crowdtap.   

Crowdtap is an online community of people who participate in sampling, reporting and reviewing of products.  All you do is join "crowds" for certain products you use and some you would like to use.  They will then offer you opportunities to earn points, which you then redeem for Amazon gift cards.  

The opportunities are called missions and they include: polls, sharing item promos on your social network sites, sharing photos based on certain missions (for example: I recently did one for Tide and all I had to do was snap a photo of my laundry before it was washed) and if you are fortunate enough, samples.  

I discovered Crowdtap back in August and decided to give it a try. Since then I have earned $90 in gift cards. For every one thousand points I earn, I get one $5 gift card, which I then add to my Amazon account.  I have gotten samples for Jif Peanut Butter, Curel hand lotion, Splenda, Listerine, etc.  I am currently in the review process for Mrs. Myers hand soap and lotion. (I will be posting on that as soon as I complete my mission.)  

I encourage all of you to look into this service.  I spend about 10 minutes a day on the site and it normally takes me anywhere from 7-10 days to earn my next gift card. Of course some days there is not much to do, but other days make up for that, you just have to stick with it.  At first you will not get many missions, but after a couple of weeks you will notice that increase and then the samples will start coming. I am currently on the list for five more samples, just waiting to see if I get the approval to try them out. I am hoping that I get all five of them, but it is unlikely that will happen. 

The only problem I have encountered is one of my emails was not delivered with my card code in it. I contacted the company and within a couple of days they emailed me my code. I am very satisfied so far and have no complaints. 

I know that lots of people would say it was a waste of time and I wasn't earning enough to make it worth my while. How is ten minutes a day, sitting at home a waste?  I always do this first thing in the morning, even before my coffee is done brewing.  I have always been one that needs a little television or computer time to really wake up and this does that for me.  It is almost the first thing I do and helps to get me "awakened" so that I can read my Bible without falling back to sleep.

I know that everyone doesn't have lots of time, but if you have just ten minutes a day you can do this and make a little extra on the side. I am planning to keep tapping and use all my funds for Christmas, but put my Christmas cash in my Disney trip account. That is what all this is about, going to Disney. 

I have included a link if you would like to check it out. I wish they had a referral section so I could get credit if you join, but unfortunately they do not. 

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"

Raising Daughters in Modern Times: Part 1

As you can see this topic is one that I will be writing on at least two, maybe three times, so today I will just start off with the basic thought, discuss it just a little and then elaborate further in the weeks to come.

Recently my youngest daughter was tasked with the job of doing a report on a famous person for school.  She was giving a list of people to choose from and she automatically decided, without even looking at the list, that she wanted to do her report on a famous woman. She narrowed her list down to Betsy Ross, Amelia Earhart, Annie Oakley and Harriet Tubman. We then went on a search of our local library where we came up empty. That's right no books for her age with enough pages she could use. We decided to dig through our extensive collection of books and we hit gold.  I had totally forgotten about the book I bought her on Amelia Earhart. (I actually read the book and it was very informative. It is from a series called Who was.... and I have included a link to the store we purchased it from.)

Now to get back to my topic. I love the fact that both of my girls are interested in women's history and about the famous women that have come before them. My oldest has done reports on Women's suffrage and loves learning about the fight for the right to vote. I have always taught me girls that the women in this country fought long and hard to gain us the right to vote and we should not waste that right.  I have also taught them to never support a cause just because it has the word woman attached to it.  We have discussed how not every cause that includes women in the name is morally right. I have tried to instill in them the importance of education and making sure you can take care of yourself, but I have also taught them that marriage to the right man is a wonderful thing.

When I was a little girl I always wanted to be a mommy and stay home taking care of my babies. I always wanted to live on a farm and have a houseful of kids, but the Lord had other plans for me. I actually ended up going to college and getting my degree in Early Childhood Education. I worked for several years in our public school system, but 12 years ago we made the decision that I would stay home. When I say we, I mean myself and my husband. I did not feel forced into it then, nor do I feel forced to do it now. There are times I miss the adult interaction, but I do not feel like I have wasted the last twelve years.

I don't know about the rest of the women like me, but I feel like it is really difficult to raise daughters in these modern times. I want to my daughters to understand the love, honor and respect that comes with being married to the right man, but I also want them to be prepared for life. I have heard stories of women who pray for the right husband, marry who they believe God had just for them and then wind up divorced and trying to raise children on their own.  That is one of the main reasons I push my girls to do well in school and to attend college.  I want them to be able to be self-sufficient if the need should arise. I have actually had someone say that this view is wrong. That I should just be raising them to be housewives, but I just don't believe that. I am trying to raise daughters to be submissive to their husbands as the Bible teaches, but to also be able to take care of themselves.

In this feminist, woman are equal to men society I find myself living in, raising these girls is tough.