Archive for the ‘Women’ Category

Above all else

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

“My eyes long for you, above all else.”

– Catherine of Aragon

in her last letter to King Henry VIII

Send a thank-you note

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

We can send Hillary a thank-you card for all the hard work she’s done on our behalf:

Hillary Clinton
Post Office Box 5256
New York, NY 10185-5256

Thank you, Hillary

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016


A fictional diary

Friday, June 17th, 2016

“One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd” by Jim Fergus is fiction that reads like a true-life diary. It is at times funny, sad, frightening, and always interesting.

In 1875, May was in an insane asylum because she wouldn’t toe the line with her family. “I have never had much interest in the church. Perhaps the hypocrisy inherent in Father’s position as a church elder, while remaining one of the least Christ-like men I’ve ever known, has something to do with my general cynicism toward organized religion of all kinds,” she writes.

An opportunity arose to volunteer in the Brides for Indians program, and off she went.

She gives advice to her inexperienced friend about how to make a man happy: “Wait on them hand and foot, cook for them, have sexual congress whenever and wherever they desire — but never initiate the act yourself and do not demonstrate any forwardness or longings of your own; this appears to frighten men — most of whom are merely little boys pretending to be men. And, perhaps most importantly, just as most men fear women who express their physical longings, so they dislike women who express opinions — of any sort and on any subject. … Thus I would recommend that you agree unequivocably with everything your new husband says … oh, yes, one final thing — let him believe that he is extremely well endowed, even if, especially if, he is not.”

On the way west, she meets other women in the program and talks about their motivations. “On this train all are equal.” They are “volunteers in an important social and political experiment.” She says, “Frankly, from the way I have been treated by the so-called ‘civilized’ people in my life, I rather look forward to residency among the savages. I should hope that at the very least they might appreciate us.”

At the Indian camp she observes, “Perhaps our cultures are not so different after all: the women do all the real work while the men do all the talking.” “I am already a fly in the ointment of savage society, already rocking the conventional boat, already considered to be something of a scandal.” “The savage life, it strikes me, and particularly a woman’s life among them, is one of nearly constant physical effort. There is little time for leisure.”

It’s a fascinating read. It was recommended to me by a book club.

A fun mystery series

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

I found a fun murder-mystery series featuring a female amateur sleuth in today’s world. In her Italian Kitchen mysteries, Rosie Genova introduces us to Victoria “Vic” Rienzi (age 33) and her Italian-American family.

It starts in “Murder and Marinara.” Victoria writes mysteries under the name of Vick Reed. She wants to take a little time away from mystery-writing and work on a historical novel based on her family, which owns and runs the Casa Lido restaurant, set near the Atlantic beach in Oceanside Park, New Jersey.

Her family members are all lovable characters, and the world of the Casa Lido is a comfy place for the reader to inhabit, like having a nice, hot plate of spaghetti. Her big brother Danny is a cop, so he and she are in conflict whenever a crime happens. Her former boyfriend is still on the scene, and she’s disconcerted by how she feels whenever he’s around. But oh, there’s also a new guy to bring butterflies to her stomach.

I don’t want to go into the plots because there are surprises. The first book was so good I ran right out and got the next two: “The Wedding Soup Murder” and “A Dish Best Served Cold.” The books, which should be read in order, remind me of the Stephanie Plum series: funny, sexy, well-written.

What [women think] men should read

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

From HuffPost Books: 22 books women think men should read

Books for Mom

Friday, May 1st, 2015


Here’s a link to the latest “One for the Books” column on Books for Mom on Her Day.

Perfect child

Monday, March 30th, 2015


“There is only one perfect child in the world
and every mother has him.”

— from “China Dolls” by Lisa See

Put the bottle down

Friday, March 20th, 2015


Here’s a link to the latest “One for the Books” column, Ladies: Put the bottle down.

First ladies talk

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

From the National First Ladies’ Library:

Here’s a quiz. Match the first lady of the United States with each of the following statements:

a. Pat Nixon
b. Eleanor Roosevelt
c. Mamie Eisenhower
d. Lou Henry Hoover
e. Bess Truman
f. Mary Todd Lincoln

1. “Every woman over fifty should stay in bed until noon”
2. “A woman is like a teabag. You don’t know her strength until she’s in hot water.”
3. “Oh, but you just don’t realize how much fun he is. … He’s just so much fun!”
4. “What a world of anguish this is and how I’ve been made to suffer.”
5. “I enjoy campaigning because my husband makes all the speeches and I receive all the roses.”
6. “A woman’s place in public is to sit beside her husband, be silent and be sure that her hat is on straight.”

ANSWERS: 1. c 2. b 3. a 4. f 5. d 6. e

Reactions to “Fifty Shades of Grey”

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Here are some more reviews/reactions to “Fifty Shades of Grey”:

A review by Rosie Waterland

A psychiatrist’s letter to young people about “50 Shades of Grey”

Fifty abuse moments in “Fifty Shades of Grey”

Radical motherhood

Thursday, February 19th, 2015


From HuffPo: Nine radical books about motherhood

R.I.P. Lesley Gore

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Oh, how many times did I sing along with Lesley Gore songs? She was the voice for teenage girls during changing times. Alas, she died on Monday at the age of only 68. Here’s a list of songs I found on the web:

LesleyGoreYou Don’t Own Me,
It’s My Party
Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows
Maybe I Know
California Nights
Judy’s Turn to Cry
She’s a Fool
That’s the Way Boys Are
Look of Love
Just Let Me Cry
The Old Crowd
I Don’t Wanna Be a Loser
Sometimes I Wish I Were a Boy
Magic Colors
Love Me by Name
My Town, My Guy and Me
Je Ne Sais Plus
Out Here On My Own
Ever Since
Hello Young Lover
I Won’t Love You Anymore
Better Angels
Little Girl Go Home
Run Bobby Run
Hey Now
Young and Foolish
Off and Running
What Am I Gonna Do With You
Start the Party Again
Wonder Boy
You’ve Come Back
No More Tears

You can listen to five of them at

‘Fifty Shades’ is ‘a form of residue’

Monday, February 9th, 2015

50ShadesofGreyDid you miss this opinion piece by Gina Barrecca? She’s commenting on the “Fifty Shades of Grey” book/movie phenomenon.

I agree with about every word, though I haven’t seen the movie. I could not stand the book.

It isn’t that I’m against sex scenes. I rather enjoy a good sex scene. But these are NOT good sex scenes.

But mostly, I think it is totally unfair to let young girls, or even boys, think this is the kind of relationship that they should be looking forward to.

The book’s author introduces a controlling man who gets a gullible, naive, stupid girl who has no idea what he’s talking about to sign a contract saying he can do anything he likes with her AND he can tell her what to do at all times.

She says she’s afraid of him, but she’s “in love” with him, so she’ll do whatever he wants.

Enough with the domination of women. Enough with making it acceptable for women to look stupid so “their man” can look smarter. Enough.

Working women

Friday, October 31st, 2014


Here’s a link to the latest “One for the Books” column on Working Women.

Chinese-American tales

Friday, August 22nd, 2014


Here’s a link to the latest “One for the Books” column on Chinese-American Tales.

Maya Angelou: What I’ve learned

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014


“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

“I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.

“I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a ‘life.’

“I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.

“I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

“I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.

“I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

“I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

— Dr. Maya Angelou

Thanks to

Entrepreneur Barbie

Thursday, July 10th, 2014



“Mattel is introducing Entrepreneur Barbie … this summer with a big social media campaign. … Entrepreneur Barbie looks pretty similar to the “I Can Be … President Barbie” of 2012. The big difference is in the shoes. The 2012 President Barbie was the first doll in 53 years of production that was able to stand straight on her feet without assistance (she used magnet-filled wedges!). It seemed like a big step in Barbie history, but … Entrepreneur Barbie, like most Barbies today (with the exception of barefooted Beach Party Barbie), cannot stand alone. They tend to, well, lean in.

(Please click on the photo to read the rest.)

Like a girl

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

This is a great video. What does run, etc., “like a girl” mean?

Hidden History

Friday, May 16th, 2014


Here’s a link to the latest “One for the Books” column on Hidden History.

For Mom’s Day

Friday, May 2nd, 2014


Here’s a link to the latest “One for the Books” column, Send Mom some (literary) love.

Yes, Your Majesty

Friday, April 4th, 2014


Here’s a link to the latest “One for the Books” column, Yes, Your Majesty.

Malala: ‘How great God is’

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014


We human beings don’t realize how great God is. He has given us an extraordinary brain and a sensitive loving heart. He has blessed us with two lips to talk and express our feelings, two eyes which see a world of colors and beauty, two feet which walk on the road of life, two hands to work for us, a nose which smells the beauty of fragrance, and two ears to hear the words of love. As I found with my ear, no one knows how much power they have in their each and every organ until they lose one.”

— from “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb

3 puppets walk into a pharmacy

Friday, March 21st, 2014

What do Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court, your boss, and birth control have in common?

‘As little dolls to control’

Thursday, March 6th, 2014


We felt like the Taliban saw us as little dolls to control, telling us what to do and how to dress. I thought if God wanted us to be like that He wouldn’t have made us all different.”

— From “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb.

Power of the pen

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

girl-with-penWhen someone takes away your pens you realize quite how important education is.”

— from “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb.

‘Learn everything’

Monday, February 17th, 2014



The Taliban is against education because they think that when a child reads a book or learns English or studies science he or she will become Westernized. But I said, ‘Education is education. We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow.’ Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human.”

— from “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb.

So nice

Friday, February 14th, 2014


Bridget’s friend Magda consoles her: “It’s always so nice when things go badly for other people. Especially when they’ve just been rude to you.”

— from “Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy” by Helen Fielding

R.I.P. Shirley Temple

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014


ShirleyTempleteenThe wonderful Shirley Temple Black died Feb. 10 at age 85. Here’s the Associated Press tribute to her.

I refer to her as “wonderful” because the little actress Shirley Temple did so much to help the country get through the Depression by brightening everyone’s spirits. Who could help but smile at that darling little girl with the curly hair?

She continued acting into her teen years, but lost some of her popularity along with her baby fat.

As an adult, she blazed quite a trail as a diplomat and ambassador, always representing the United States with grace and dignity.

When I was a child, I was a massive fan of her early movies. Oh, I can admit it; it’s true — I still am.

Rest in peace, Little Princess.


Girl power

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014


“There are two powers in the world;
one is the sword and the other is the pen.
There is a third power stronger than both,
that of women.”

— from “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb