Interrupt Anxiety With Gratitude

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“Interrupt anxiety with gratitude.”

That was the message I scrolled past on Pinterest Thursday night after watching an hour-long Canadian National News broadcast covering a myriad of updates concerning the Covid-19 virus that’s currently plaguing the entire world.

I spent Thursday in town — the first time I’d been out in a week (normal for me — weekly shopping), and it was a trip I made with a mask on, toting a container of homemade bleach wipes.

My dad was with me, and he too was sporting a mask, and being extra vigilant not to touch too many things, and to wipe down carts, etc. On the entire trip, I saw one other woman with a mask, and one elderly man who pulled out a pair of rubber gloves when he arrived at the grocery store. But that was it.

We got plenty of looks (not all pleasant), and encountered a few childish people who thought they were in drama class and assumed it was appropriate to put on an impolite little show when we were in the same aisle. Continue reading

International Women’s Day: The Ugly Truth Behind the Feminist Quest For ‘Equality’

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A girl should be two things: Classy and fabulous.

~ Coco Chanel

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The other day, I woke up to an email from Barbie.com, promoting their limited edition 60th anniversary Career Dolls line. I’m not ashamed to admit it: At 33, I can still get excited over a pretty Barbie, so I was curious which careers would be featured. If there had been an artist doll, you’d better believe I’d snap it up in a flash.

Here’s how the website introduces the dolls:

Barbie career dolls have been inspiring kids to dream big and aim high for 60 years! She’s had more than 200 careers and continues to explore new professions. This collectible six-doll bundle celebrates some of her most iconic positions from her storied resume. Shoot for the stars with Barbie astronaut doll or soar through the sky with the pilot doll. Score points with the soccer player doll or climb the ladder to success with the firefighter doll. Report the news with the news anchor doll or make the news with the political candidate doll. Each doll wears an outfit for a day on the job, like a space suit or pilot’s uniform, and includes accessories that spark the imagination. Different body types, skin tones, eye colors and hairstyles provide endless storytelling possibilities and create aspirational fun.

Now, I love the idea of career Barbie dolls, I really do. But looking at these… I was completely UN-inspired.

I’ve been feeling that way about Barbies in general for quite a few years now. And looking at this picture, all I could think was, “They all just look so basic.”

Basic.

Yes. That’s what’s wrong with how Barbie is currently being portrayed. I follow a number of accounts on Instagram where ladies show off their Barbie collections, mostly dolls from the late ’80s and ’90s, and I just recently made a comment on someone’s post that I thought there was no prettier face mold/paint than the 1990s’ Barbies. They’re pretty, they’re glamourous… even when Barbie was just heading to the beach, or out for an evening baby-sitting job, she looked put together, fabulous, and ready to take on the world.

Because Barbie is a woman, and women have that special ability to look amazing even when doing the most mundane things. We know how to put in extra effort.

But today’s dolls… they’re not glamourous. They’re not even pretty, in my opinion. They have the most generic faces and bodies imaginable, and while yes, you can now buy a Barbie in any of the 47 skin tones, with many other diversity options like plump Barbie and no-hips Barbie, varying sexual persuasions Barbie, etc….. she just looks so damn basic.

The whole magic of Barbie when I was a child, and when I got older too, was that Barbie is ANYTHING but basic. She’s ALWAYS glamourous, no matter what she’s doing. And if you want to add in all the diversity, okay. That’s fine. But Barbie is about the magic. Don’t make her look basic.

Because women weren’t meant to be basic either. Continue reading

The Lord’s Discipline: Don’t Take It Personally

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In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood [contempt]. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes everyone He accepts as a son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.

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A Mystery Collectible: Scoob-Dee or Not Scoob-Dee?

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Well, gang, it looks like we’ve got another mystery on our hands…

Ah, mysteries… my Achilles heel. Well, mysteries and Scooby Doo, really. But the two are synonymous. They go together so perfectly, like hamburgers and French fries; a Subway cold cut sandwich and a Coca-Cola with ice; marble cheese, crackers and banana peppers (wait, maybe that one’s just me?) … I know, I know, I have food on the brain, sorry, but Scooby is always hungry! … bottom line is that they’re truly inseparable — you can’t have one without the other.

And now I’m immersed in the middle of my very own Scooby Doo mystery… or make that Scooby DEE mystery.

I’ve mentioned before that the Scooby Doo collectible at the very top of my Holy Grail list isn’t Scooby at all — it’s actually Scooby Dee. Dee is Scooby Doo’s Southern belle country cousin. Dee is an actress, and she appears in exactly one episode of Scooby Doo: “The Chiller Diller Movie Thriller”.

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Story Time: “A Vampire Rat and The Devil’s Vat”

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I know. It’s — it’s an incredible story. I, of all people, know this. And you won’t believe me. No, not at first. But I’m going to tell you the whole thing. Then, you will believe, because you must. You must believe!

It happened just a few days ago, after I purchased a cool new piece for my collection: A Mego Nosferatu figure. After picking him up at the post office, I brought him home. I removed him from his package, and promptly displayed him in my studio. But one night, I… one night, I noticed that he was gone! And so was someone else…

FADE IN and PAN DOWN to a dark and snowy NIGHT.
Sounds of howling fill the air.

Count Orlok: Hello? 

Howling Man: You’ve come, good! Help me, please. In the name of mercy, help me!
Count Orlok: Howling Man?? Is that you??
Howling Man: Yes!
Count Orlok: What do you want me to do?
Howling Man: Lift off the wooden bolt!
 

Count Orlok: Is this all that holds you in?
Howling Man: Yes, lift it off!
Count Orlok: Why haven’t you done it yourself?
Howling Man: Please. There’s no time for talk. Count Orlok, in the name of mercy — if you fail now, she’ll display both of us. Don’t you understand that? Continue reading

Recipe: Bacon and Potato Chowder

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We’re in the middle of a brutally long winter here in the North, and when you’re already on your fourth month of snow, ice and cold….. and it’s only February ….. there just comes a point when you want a big, steaming bowl of carbs and bacon!

I love soups, and I’ve been experimenting for quite some time with my own recipes. If you’re in the mood for a thick, hearty, warming chowder-like soup, then this might be the recipe for you. Continue reading

Praise the Lord, O My Soul

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Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits–who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.

He made known His ways to Moses, His deeds to the people of Israel: The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor His anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

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~Pauline~

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When the phone rang at 4:00 this morning, I already knew.

I knew that you had gone home.

You suffered in a broken body for a long time, and when I visited you last weekend, I could see you had just had enough. It was time. And I knew how badly you wanted to go.

I am sad that our time together in this life has come to an end. I will miss your summer visits to the cottage, where we shared yogurt cups and played endless rounds of Chinese Checkers and dominoes. I will miss your Thanksgiving turkey, cooked in great-grandma’s old wood stove. I will miss your smiling face when you’d come to the door, your distinctive “Hello, Wendy!” and tight hug. Continue reading

A Time of Wickedness: God’s Promise

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This is what the LORD says, He who made the earth, the LORD who formed it and established it — the LORD is His name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says about the houses in this city and the royal palaces of Judah that have been torn down to be used against the siege ramps and the sword in the fight with the Babylonians: ‘They will be filled with the dead bodies of the men I will slay in my anger and wrath. I will hide my face from this city because of all its wickedness.

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