Celebrating Women’s History Month

There are so many amazing women who influenced the way women lived and worked throughout history it’s impossible to identify them all.  It wasn’t just the women who made headlines that we need to honor.  It is also the ‘ordinary’ women: your mother, your grandmother, your neighbor, school teachers, secretaries…all the women we knew on a daily basis.  Sisters, aunts, cousins, friends.  We need to give thanks for each and every one of them.

But, yes, we do express honor and admiration for the women who stepped up and took on the challenges…women who insisted on being admitted to medical schools, who insisted on their rights to vote and hold public office, who still strive for ‘equal pay for equal work.’

What women do you think especially stand out when we talk about Women’s History Month?

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Good News – Monarch Butterflies!

According to the newspaper, the Monarch butterflies hibernating in the Mexican mountains rebounded last year, covering 10 acres this winter…more than three times as large as the area they covered last year. Good news for lovers of these beautiful creatures who fly more than 2500 miles each year from Canada and the United States to the mountains in Mexico. Hurray for life. It does go on.

How is your life going? Can you look back and remember the good times with your special friends and family? What memories are you creating now? Will this year be special? Do we need to plan for the coming months or just go with the flow and see what happens? Maybe a little bit of both methods?

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National Business Women’s Week

The Celebration of National Business Women’s Week over the years has helped promote women’s leadership opportunities.  In Everett, Washington, the Greater Everett Business and Professional Women will announce their selection of Woman of the Year, Jennifer Gregerson, Mayor of Mukilteo. She is serving her first term as governor after serving on the City Council since 2004.  Gregerson is a successful business woman, working as an independent rep for a company that publishes yearbooks.  Greater Everett BPW meets for a networking luncheon, the 4th Monday of the month, at Bob’s Burgers & Brew restaurant, on Everett Mall Way, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Guests are always welcome.

Greater Everett BPW also recognizes a significant Woman in History,  Jessie TarboxPhotographer / Photojournalist.   Jessie Tarbox was born  December 23, 1870, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. A pioneer in the field of photography, she was hired by The Buffalo Inquirer as a staff photographer and is thought to be the first woman in the United States to hold this position.

The Business and Professional Women’s organization supports women’s interest and provides leadership training opportunities locally and across the country.  The Washington state BPW website is: www.bpwwa.org.


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Republican Candidates Debates

Did you watch the presidential candidates debates last night?  Were there winners and losers, or were they all winners, or were they all losers?  Did Donald Trump stand out as a self-confident leader…or as a self-centered ego-maniac? What about Rand Paul? Was he just trying too hard?  It would have been good if Dr. Carson had let us hear something about his experience as an executive leader rather than just his surgical skills. Chris Christie came across strong.  Jeb Bush seemed to be biding his time.

Does the age of the potential candidate make a difference?  Do we want someone going into office who is already seventy years old? It was great to see a few younger men stepping up to the challenge…Marco Rubio was impressive and so was Ted Cruz, and, definitely Scott Walker.

It’s going to be a long, long road just to get through the primaries next year, until we get actual candidates running for the presidency.  Who do you think will make it through all that? Who are you thinking of voting for at this time?  Or are you a Hilary fan??


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Cruise Ships …

Have you been on a cruise lately? Or have you NEVER been on a cruise? If you haven’t discovered the joys of cruise vacations, let me give you a few points to think about. First, there are cruises to just about everywhere you would like to go. Right here in the US, with River Cruises, you can travel up and down the Mississippi or explore the Northwest on the Columbia River. From Seattle or Vancouver, BC, you can travel one-way or roundtrip to Alaska, on luxury cruise ships. In fact, the cruise lines have what they call ‘repositioning’ cruises, offering one, two, three, and four night cruises. From Bellingham, you can go to Alaska on a quiet ferry boat. On the ferry, you can book a cabin or you can ‘camp out’ on the deck, with a small tent and sleeping bags. The very low rates on the ferry boat do not include meals, though.

The great cruise ships do include just about everything you can imagine: meals morning, noon, and night, plus midnight snacks. You can even request room service if you like. There will be a variety of leisure activities, from dancing to shuffle board to Broadway shows. Some ships are more formal than others, so be sure you take the proper clothing. Then you have the shore excursions which you can plan for in advance. If you’re not familiar with the East Coast, consider a cruise from New England to Florida.

Did you know there are cruises from Seattle to Hawaii? Imagine how relaxing the cruise across Pacific can be…no ports, no shore excursions, just complete leisure.  How about a three or four or seven day cruise from California to Mexico?

These are just a few of the cruising options. Check the cruise line websites: Holland America, Carnival, Celebrity, etc. Talk to your friends. Talk to your travel agent. I love cruising!

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Crater of Diamonds

Are you looking for a great place for an early spring vacation?
Do you know about the Arkansas Crater of Diamonds State Park?
Are you an avid photographer and enjoy the great outdoors?

Spring is one of the most colorful times of year to get outside and take great photographs. On Saturday, April 25, digital photographers ages 13 & up are invited to attend this year’s Spring Photography in the Park, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Diamond Discovery Center classroom. Learn about camera settings, accessories, and composition techniques to help you take great photos of spring flowers and scenery. With nice weather you’ll go outside to practice taking spring photos around the park. Photographers may also choose their favorite photograph to show in a digital springtime photo gallery at the visitor center. Nice weather will provide an opportunity for participants to practice taking spring photos around the park

Space for the workshop is limited to 15 people, with a minimum of three required. To register or get more information, call Crater of Diamonds State Park at 870-285-3113. Registrations are due by April 18.

Diamond finds for the week of March 22, 2015 (100 points = one carat):
March 22 – 44 pt. brown  …  March 24 – 16 pt. white  …
March 25 – 4 pt. white; 98 pt. yellow; 10 pt. white
March 26 – 4 pt. white
March 28 – 9 pt. white, 16 pt. white, 17 pt. white, 30 pt. white; 6 pt. white

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Etiquette today

Etiquette: conventional forms and usages: the rules of etiquette, decorum suggests dignity and a sense of what is becoming or appropriate for a person of good breeding: a fine sense of decorum. The rules indicating the proper and polite way to behave.

What does etiquette mean to us today? With all the social media, Facebook, blogs, texting, tweeting, etc., etc., are we concerned about conventional formalities? When you are invited to a party, a dinner, a wedding, a baby shower, do you know what is expected of you? Do you dress appropriately for the event? Do you dress appropriately for work (or school)? Do you believe there is an appropriate way to dress or should you just dress as the mood strikes you for any occasion? Are you comfortable with the way other people behave at parties, events, work? Do you ever feel “out off place” yourself? Are all the rules of behavior, “etiquette,” out of date? What do you think?

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Horoscopes … What do they mean to you?

Do you read your horoscope in the daily newspaper? When it has a good prediction, does that make you feel good? If it advises caution or tells you to be careful, does it worry you? Do you understand what is meant by the sun signs: Earth, Fire, Air, Water? Have you ever thought the horoscope has your personality right? What about friends or co-workers? Do you say things like, “Well, what do you expect…she’s a Taurus!” Do you consider if a new friend’s sign is compatible with yours? Do you read the horoscope for your husband’s sign and compare it with yours? Can the alignment of the planets when you were born really be important in your life and personality? What do you think?

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Social Media … What does it mean to you?

If you are a fairly young person, I assume you are comfortable with social media…Facebook, of course, twitter, texting, and all the others that I can’t even name. At age 77, I don’t even try or worry about “keeping up” with all the new ways to communicate.

I do have a cell phone … but never turn it on unless I need to make a call. I do not have a “smart phone”…whatever that means. I do email, and love email. It is so great to have the messages come in and just sit there until I’m ready to look at them.

But, I don’t worry about being behind the curve. I’ll learn what I need to learn. When I was young, just making a phone call was a scary event. Remember the “Party Lines”?  If you’re young, you may not even know what that means. Phone booths….are there any still out there?  Do you still have a “land line” or just a cell phone?

What do you like about the modern social media world? Where do you see it going? What improvements to you see coming? How old did you say you are?

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Read “Killing Jesus”

Want to read a real thriller? Killing Jesus: A History by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard.

When you were a kid, did you attend Sunday School and Summer Bible School? If you did, I’m sure you memorized bible verses, memorized the list of the books of the bible, read and re-read the story of Jesus. You probably heard and read those stories so many times they just became ordinary, routine, bland.

Well, not anymore. Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard have brought the stories back to life. With deep historical insights into the times we can have a new appreciation of what was really happening then: the political situations of Rome, the struggles of the ordinary people, the relationship between Rome and Israel, what it meant to defy authority. We see Herod taking the rumors of a new messiah, a new King, very seriously…so seriously he condemns to death all baby boys in the area.

Jesus has grown up in a strongly religious family and community, with regular pilgrimages to Jerusalem. At age 30 he is one of many being baptized by John the Baptist. He speaks to crowds. He gathers disciples. He declares himself, performs miracles, and predicts his own death.

Chapter after chapter, we have a countdown to how long Jesus has to live. He becomes more and more popular, preaching to huge crowds. His disciples expect a revolt against Rome with Jesus becoming a King, but this is not what happens.

No matter that we all know what happens…this book is a page turner. I highly recommend it to everyone.

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