• Popular Baby Names in Czech Republic, 2016Popular Baby Names in Czech Republic, 2016

    According to data from the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic, the most popular baby names in the country in 2016 were Eliška and Jakub. Here are the Czech Republic’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016: Girl Names 1. Eliška, 2,219 baby girls 2. Tereza, 1,915 3. Anna, 1,765 4. Adéla, 1,530 5. Natálie, 1,382 6. Ema, 1,274 7. Viktorie, 1,246 8. Sofie, 1,238 9. Karolína, 1,187 10. Kristýna, 1,017 Boy Names 1. Jakub, 2,756 baby boys 2. Jan, 2,426 3. Adam, 2,020 4. Tomáš, 1,843 5. Matyáš, 1,727 6. Filip, 1,607 7. Ondřej, 1,575 8. Vojtěch, 1,569 9. Matěj, 1,553 10. David, 1,532 I forgot to post the 2015 rankings, but here are the 2014 rankings — the top two names (Eliška and Jakub) were the same. Some of the names used just once last year include: Arslen, Bivoj, Cirilla, Dalibor Jan, Elayo, Fedderick, Győző, Horst, Inari, Janko, Kvído, Leen, Mio, Nemanja, Oktavián, Pankrác, Quido Adam, Rostislava, Sagvan, Torian, Ute, Velen Vítek, Wendelin, Xenie, Yazan, and Žasmina. (This is a mix of both boy and girl names.) Győző means “conqueror” in Hungarian. It’s basically the Hungarian equivalent of Victor. Source: Četnost jmen a příjmení (via Maybe it is Daijirō (aka Maks))

    Nancy's Baby Names / 2 h. 6 min. ago more
  • Houses, Gifts, Stuff, and a Christmas Wish ListHouses, Gifts, Stuff, and a Christmas Wish List

    So – I was going to make this post just about Christmas wishes for our wish list… but I started this post today when I was in a chatty mood, sitting alone in my perfectly clean house after showing it to SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO BUY IT. That’s right. A friend of ours just happened to be looking for a house right now – just like ours, in our location. Of course, this means we will both benefit by not having to even hire a realtor on either side of the transaction. It all seems too good to be true. God’s fingerprints seem to be all over this decision from start to finish, even with me moaning and whining about it all. Who does that? Just sells their house like an Ebay listing? So strange. I feel like I’m cheating the system – but if you know me, I do most things in a very unconventional way (just ask my oncologist). Anyway… this week went by like a New York Minute… Bathroom and laundry room floors being installed by a contractor friend, toilets and washing machines and dryers all over my house, messes galore, … and frantic cleaning and organizing and painting so that we could show the house today. My eye is twitching. I’m not sure even a hefty dose of magnesium can fix it. I need a vacation that includes a spa and valet to pack for me and carry everything, including my cell phone and purse. Or maybe I just need to lay in bed with my eyes shut for a few days… either way, I want to do NOTHING for the next few days. N O T H I N G. Alas, the neighborhood is having a garage sale (and they have advertised it for me), so it seems a good time to sit out in the driveway and try to unload a bunch of stuff before we move. That’s where I’ll be tomorrow… if you are in the area, stop by and bring some spending money because I’m sure we’ll have something you need. OK, want. Something you want. Some of it is from my mom’s house. Some from mine. Some from my daughter, whose life philosophy is to purge continually so that you’ll be ready to move in to an RV and travel at the drop of a hat. (Oh to be young and full of wanderlust. As opposed to being old and full of it, like me. Ha!) As for our car-lessness… my in-laws have graciously offered to share their mechanic in Houston so I can get my ancient white SUV diagnosed. PRAY: it doesn’t cost an arm and leg to get up to speed. I was considering going down to take it this weekend, BUT: garage sale. My boys and girl are still coughing from the worst respiratory cold in recent history. Honestly, I can’t remember all of us being so ill since December of 2012 or 13. That was the year we had the flu and a month of bronchitis during Thanksgiving. I caught it that time. This time, I didn’t. Still praising Jesus on that … because I was the only one who avoided it this time. Kaden was busy up there in his college town with rotovirus, so he was sick last week, too. First time for being sick without mama. That is a hard life lesson to learn. #adulting101 Now that the coughs are fading, the walls are painted, the floors are done, the garden is weeded, the house has been shown, … we can turn our thoughts to the holidays. Our buyers are waiting on a piece of their financial puzzle to fit in to place, and they have told us it could be early December or mid-December when that happens… so we may, or may not be in the house for Christmas Day and New Years Day. Crazy, right?! Do we put up the tree, only to pack it to move before the holidays? Or do we do the Grinch thing, and live the last few weeks in the house without tinsel. Seems kind of sad for the last Christmas here to be blah. I know Christmas is in the heart… but it doesn’t hurt to have reminders of it plastered everywhere your eyes can see (nor to force your kids to listen to Christmas music from the moment the turkey is digested all the way to January 2nd). I especially love decorating since my birthday is so near Christmas. This year will already be hard enough with my mama having passed in May. I am not sure I can make it through the year without the tree, too. I’m big on making the most of the holidays. Speaking of Christmas… and the reason I sat down to write this post… WHAT is on your Christmas list? I have been tasked with making one out for our family ASAP (or else I may get coal and switches). With all the STUFF I’ve been purging from mom’s house and my own, though, and a load of garage sale items to sell tomorrow; I have been wondering what we might need other than gift cards. I’m not one to turn up my nose at gift cards. I think they do their part in keeping things out of the landfill (because you get things you really want or need when you buy them yourself). One thing I already did this year: buy my entire family a Spotify Premium Membership. It has been like Christmas for my teens, who were paying for their own music accounts and are living in tight financial limits. I love that we can make playlists and share them with each other. Spotify also has a social-media aspect to it, so you can follow your favorite people and see what they are listening to, which gives you a glimpse into their tastes and new music to discover. You can upload your Shazam finds into it also. It is under 15$ a month for 4-5 accounts in a family. All of the people must share the same home address. Plus: it doesn’t collect dust. If you are my friend on Facebook, you’ll be able to search me on Spotify! It lets you decide which of your Facebook friends you want to follow if you click “Find Friends” after joining. I got a few review items this past couple of months, too – in the middle of our crazy. Most were books. I’m busy reading those with my kiddos, and will share them with you later… however, my favorite item (that I want to share with you before the holidays, in case you love Texas as much as me): Can you even?! I adore this pillow. Every single person that has come in to my house has commented on how much they love it. Everyone wants to touch it and asks me if I made it. Are you kidding me? Stitching looks fun, but I’m definitely not this talented with fabric arts. The pillow is one of the MANY amazing gifts on UNCOMMON GOODS. I could list quite a few on there that I would put on my Christmas wish list if I was already done renovating mom’s house and ready to look at buying “THINGS” again. Those agate drink coasters? Gorgeous. They have Christmas gifts for men, Christmas gifts for women, Christmas gifts for everyone. Disclosure: they gave me the pillow (swoon) and paid me to post about it (I love them), just so you know. However, don’t let that put you off. I have seen this VERY SAME pillow (although it is hand made, and probably not EXACT) at the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum’s Gift Shop prior to seeing it in their catalog… which means they have impeccable taste in products. Don’t take my word for it: click over and go see all the cool gifts they have for yourself. My Christmas wish list so far: Gift cards for Natural Grocers or Vitacost so I can buy supplements, money to pay someone to sharpen and re-bevel all of my knives, someone to offer to come help me sort and purge at mom’s house (the gift of time and free labor), another pair of reading glasses because I keep losing mine, some HEB Texana herb-infused olive oils grown in TEXAS!!!, my SUV working so I can get around, good news on my tests for kidneys, liver, and abdomen this winter Kevin’s Christmas wish list so far: Academy or Cabella’s Gift Cards, help when we need to move (so he’s not the only one carrying the heavy stuff), Tacodeli gift certificate Kaden’s Christmas wish list so far: Starbucks gift cards, clothes from TenTree, gift card to American Eagle, gas money, X-Box 1 Morgan’s Christmas wish list so far: Chapstick (this is a running joke with us – so every year I get her a chapstick for one of our Hanukkah nights), crystal rocks, gift certificates to Etsy and Amazon for unique plant pots (we have this in common), gift certificates to East Austin Succulents (she’s speaking my language)… and she said she needs more time to figure it out before we hand off the list. Classy ladies always want to think it over first… especially with important decisions that only come around once a year! Hey… maybe I should let her browse the catalog on UNCOMMON GOODS… Koko’s Christmas wish list so far: Trampoline, his own room (good luck, kid – not where we are going), Academy or Dick’s gift card for a new pair of shoes, Cavender’s gift card, money for Lego sets CK’s Christmas wish list so far: PS4, Old Navy gift card to shop with mom, Freddy’s Gift Card for custard and burgers, Cavender’s gift card, money for Lego sets I’ll be updating and adding to the list as I think of stuff. I have to turn it in to our name drawing chairman by the end of the weekend. I’m up for some great ideas! Please share. This gift-list thing is so much pressure. What I really want is someone to come help me pack and move, for the paperwork to be as easy as a dream, for everyone to be well and calm and at peace – even if there is sadness in taking the next step, and for Christmas to be joyful so the tears that will come won’t overshadow it. Just lots and lots of Jesus. That’s what I want every Christmas. Seriously. Share your top few wish list items with me for ideas… especially if they are non-dust-collecting items! The post Houses, Gifts, Stuff, and a Christmas Wish List appeared first on Sprittibee.

    Sprittibee / 2 d. 4 h. 1 min. ago more
  • Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: T (part 2)Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: T (part 2)

    Looking for a rare girl name with a retro feel? Here are dozens of ideas. All came straight from very old films that were released from the 1910s to the 1940s. This post is part of a series of posts featuring female names from early cinema. I’m going backwards, so the other lists so far are U, V, W, X, Y, and Z. The names below are the second half of the T-list (Ti- to Ty-). The first half has the Ta- to Th- names. Enjoy! Tiare Tiare was a character name in multiple films, including The Leopardess (1923) and The Moon and Sixpence (1942). Usage of the baby name Tiare. Tibbie Aunt Tibbie was a character played by actress Jessie Ralph in the film St. Louis Blues (1939). Tibby Tibby was a character name in multiple films, including Dangerous Females (short, 1929) and Bad Man from Red Butte (1940). Tika Queen Tika was a character played by actress Dorothy Christy in the film The Phantom Empire (1935). Usage of the baby name Tika. Tilah Tilah was a character played by actress Margaret Morris in the film Beasts of Paradise (1923). Tildy Tildy was a character played by actress Alice Terry in the short film The Brief Debut of Tildy (1918). Tilga Tilga was a character played by actress Louise Emmons in the film The Last Egyptian (1914). Timka Timka was a character played by actress Jean Parker in the film Caravan (1934). Timmins Timmins was a character played by actress Zasu Pitts in the film Her Private Life (1929). Tira Tira was a character played by actress Mae West in the film I’m No Angel (1933). Her name was pronounced TIE-rah. Usage of the baby name Tira. Tisa Tisa Kepes was a character played by actress Lilli Palmer in the film My Girl Tisa (1948). Usage of the baby name Tisa (which debuted in the data the year that My Girl Tisa came out). Tish Letitia “Tish” Carberry was a character played by actress Marjorie Main in the film Tish (1942). Usage of the baby name Tish. Tisha Tisha was a character played by actress Greta Nissen in the film The Wanderer (1925). Usage of the baby name Tisha. Titania Titania was a character name in multiple films, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1909) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935). Usage of the baby name Titania. Tito Tito was a character played by actress Dorothy Janis in the film The Pagan (1929). Tituba Tituba was a character played by actress Madame Sul-Te-Wan in the film Maid of Salem (1937). Tiza Tiza Torreon was a character played by actress Myrna Loy in the film Turn Back the Hours (1928). Tocati Tocati was a character played by actress Julie Suedo in the film Afterwards (1928). Toddy Toddy was a character name in multiple films, including Cain and Mabel (1936) and Youth Runs Wild (1944). Tohana Tohana was a character played by actress Inez Palange in the film One Million B.C. (1940). Toinette Toinette was a character name in multiple films, including A Love Sublime (1917) and Rainbow on the River (1936). Usage of the baby name Toinette. Tokiwa Tokiwa was a character played by actress Margaret Gibson in the short film The Love of Tokiwa (1914). Tollea Tollea was a character played by actress Maria Montez in the film Cobra Woman (1944). Tommie Tommie Lou Pember was a character played by actress Colleen Moore in the film The Perfect Flapper (1924). Usage of the baby name Tommie. Tommy Tommy Smith was a character played by actress Dorothy Devore in the film The Tomboy (1924). Usage of the baby name Tommy. Tondelayo Tondelayo was a character played by actress Hedy Lamarr in the film White Cargo (1942). Usage of the baby name Tondelayo. Tonia Tonia was a character name in multiple films, including In Old Arizona (1928) and Young Buffalo Bill (1940). Usage of the baby name Tonia. Tonie Tonie was a character name in multiple films, including Hold That Girl (1934) and Flight for Freedom (1943). Usage of the baby name Tonie. Tonita Tonita was a character name in multiple films, including Border Law (1931) and The Fighting Ranger (1934). Usage of the baby name Tonita. Tonoma Tonoma was a character played by actress Eugenie Besserer in the short film A Child of the Wilderness (1912). Tootie Tootie Smith was a character played by actress Margaret O’Brien in the film Meet Me in St. Louis (1944). Usage of the baby name Tootie (a one-hit wonder in 1958, thanks to a news item that year). Tootsie Tootsie Brown was a character played by actress Muriel Ostriche in the film Leap to Fame (1918). Usage of the baby name Tootsie. Toppie Toppie Westmacott was a character played by actress Esther Ralston in the film The Little French Girl (1925). Topsy Topsy was a character name in multiple films, including The Gold Diggers (1923) and Topsy and Eva (1927). Usage of the baby name Topsy. Torchy Torchy Blane was a character played by various actresses in a series of 9 Torchy Blane films (1937-1939). Usage of the baby name Torchy. Toru Toru was a character played by actress Rosita Marstini in the film A Prisoner in the Harem (1913). Usage of the baby name Toru. Toshia Toshia Mori was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in Japan in 1912. Usage of the baby name Toshia. Toton Toton was a character played by actress Olive Thomas in the film Toton the Apache (1919). Towana Towana was a character played by actress Movita in the film Wolf Call (1939). Usage of the baby name Towana (which debuted in the data the year after Wolf Call came out). Toyo Toyo Haynes was a character played by actress Lupe Velez in the film Where East Is East (1929). Trafalgar Trafalgar was a character name in multiple films, including Trelawny of the Wells (1916) and The Actress (1928). Trece Trece was a character played by actress Gertrude Astor in the film Hit of the Show (1928). Trenna Trenna Plaice was a character played by actress Virginia Bruce in the film Shadow of Doubt (1935). Usage of the baby name Trenna. Tressie Tressie Harlow was a character played by actress Mary Philbin in the film Danger Ahead (1921). Usage of the baby name Tressie. Trilby Trilby was a character name in multiple films, including Trilby (1914) and Svengali (1931). Usage of the baby name Trilby. Trina Trina was a character name in multiple films, including His Sweetheart (1917) and Man’s Castle (1933). Usage of the baby name Trina. Trini Trini was a character played by actress Paulette Duval in the film Twelve Miles Out (1927). Usage of the baby name Trini. Trixi Trixi Du Bray was a character played by actress Seena Owen in the film Officer Thirteen (1932). Usage of the baby name Trixi. Trixie Trixie Friganza was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1940s. She was born in Kansas in 1871. Her birth name was Delia O’Callahan. Trixie was also a character name in multiple films, including Falling Leaves (short, 1912) and The Good Bad Girl (1931). Usage of the baby name Trixie. Trommy Trommy was a character played by actress Eula Guy in the film Expensive Husbands (1937). Truda Truda was a character played by actress Hedda Nova in the film By the World Forgot (1918). Usage of the baby name Truda. Trudi Trudi Hovland was a character played by actress Sonja Henie in the film Second Fiddle (1939). Usage of the baby name Trudi. Trudie Trudie Morrow was a character played by actress Lila Lee in the film The Night of June 13 (1932). Usage of the baby name Trudie. Trudy Trudy was a character name in multiple films, including You Can’t Beat Love (1937) and She Married a Cop (1939). Usage of the baby name Trudy. Truly Truly Shattuck was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in California in 1876. Her birth name was Clarice Etrulia de Burcharde. Usage of the baby name Truly. Trusia Trusia was a character played by actress June Marlowe in the film Don Juan (1926). Truth Truth Eldridge was a character played by actress Belle Bennett in the film Flesh and Spirit (1922). Usage of the baby name Truth. Tryphena Tryphena Winter was a character played by actress Helen Gardner in the short film Underneath the Paint (1914). Usage of the baby name Tryphena. Tsakran Tsakran was a character played by actress May Robson in the film Turkish Delight (1927). Tsuru Tsuru Aoki was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1960s. She was born in Japan in 1892. Tui Tui Bow was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1980s. She was born in New Zealand in 1906. Her birth name was Mary Lorraine Tui. Tuila Tuila was a character played by actress Conchita Montenegro in the film La Melodia Prohibida (1933). Tula Tula Belle was a child actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Norway in 1906. Her birth name was Borgny Erna Bull Høegh. Tula was also a character name in multiple films, including The Vengeance of Najerra (short, 1914) and Kongo (1932). Usage of the baby name Tula. Tuptim Tuptim was a character played by actress Linda Darnell in the film Anna and the King of Siam (1946). Tura Tura in the film character played by actress Dorothy Lamour in the film Her Jungle Love (1938). Usage of the baby name Tura. Tweeny Tweeny was a character played by actress Lila Lee in the film Male and Female (1919). Tylette Tylette was a character played by actress Gale Sondergaard in the film The Blue Bird (1940). Usage of the baby name Tylette. * Which of the above names do you like best?

    Nancy's Baby Names / 3 d. 2 h. 6 min. ago more
  • Hawaiian Nature Name: LehuaHawaiian Nature Name: Lehua

    The Hawaiian name Lehua (pronounced leh-HOO-ah) refers to the showy flower of the ‘ōhi’a lehua plant, Metrosideros polymorpha. The flower’s petals are very small, but its stamens are long and typically bright red. The plant is endemic to the Hawaiian islands and has great cultural significance among Hawaiians. The word lehua refers not just to the flower, for instance, but also (figuratively) to various types of people: “warrior, beloved friend or relative, sweetheart, expert.” The plant even has its own creation myth: the goddess Pele created the plant by transforming human lovers Ohia and Lehua into the tree and the blossom, respectively. This cultural importance no doubt stems from the plant’s ecological importance. The ‘ōhi’a lehua is a keystone species in Hawaii that’s often the first to colonize barren lava. The adaptations that allow for this include: year-round flowering, lightweight seeds, roots adept at growing vertically (i.e., in cracks and fissures), and the plant’s ability to close its stomata when volcanic gases are around — to hold its breath when the air turns toxic, in other words. So Lehua, like other flower names, refers to an object of beauty…but this particular object of beauty is also a genuine symbol of concepts like resilience and adaptation. Which makes Lehua rather unique among flower names, I think. What are your thoughts on the name Lehua? (The photo is of a young ‘ōhi’a lehua inside the Kīlauea Iki pit crater, which my husband and I visited a few years ago on a trip to Hawaii. That particular lava flow happened in 1959.) Sources: The cultural significance of ohia lehua Lava-loving ohia lehua: A pioneer plant in peril Pukui, Mary Kawena and Samuel H. Elbert. Hawaiian Dictionary. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1986.

    Nancy's Baby Names / 4 d. 2 h. 6 min. ago more
  • Keedy: The ’90s Baby Name that Never Was?Keedy: The ’90s Baby Name that Never Was?

    Pop Singer Keedy Not long ago I discovered a new-to-me pop star from the early ’90s named Keedy (born Kelly Ann Keedy). In 1991 she put out the album Chase the Clouds. Two singles from that album ended up the Billboard Hot 100. The catchier of the two, “Save Some Love,” peaked at #15 in May. The follow-up, a ballad called “Wishing On The Same Star,” peaked at #86 in August. …And that was it. No more major label albums, no more singles on the charts. But what if she had stuck around a little longer? Would “Keedy” have emerged in the baby name data? The girl names Keely, Kaylee, Kendall, Kennedy, and Kylie were all on the rise in the early ’90s. Keedy would have been right on trend. What do you think: Could Keedy have been a contender? Sources: Rare and Obscure Music: Keedy, Keedy – Billboard

    Nancy's Baby Names / 5 d. 2 h. 6 min. ago more
  • Popular Baby Names in Western Australia, 2016Popular Baby Names in Western Australia, 2016

    According to data from the Western Australia Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, the most popular baby names in Western Australia in 2016 were Charlotte and Jack. Here are WA’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016: Girl Names 1. Charlotte, 127 baby girls 2. Ava, 120 3. Mia, 113 4. Isla, 109 5. Amelia, 107 6. Olivia, 93 7. Ella, 91 8. Harper, 82 9. Grace, 79 10. Evie, 78 Boy Names 1. Jack, 159 baby boys 2. Oliver, 158 3. Noah, 123 4. William, 114 5. Lucas, 100 6. Ethan + James, 98 each (tie) 7. Thomas + Liam, 88 each (tie) 8. Charlie, 85 9. Jacob, 80 10. Mason, 79 In 2015, the top names were Olivia and Oliver. New to the girls’ list are Ella, Harper and Evie. They replace Sophie, Ruby, and Chloe. New to the boys’ list are Lucas, Charlie, and Jacob. Gone from the boys’ list is Lachlan. To see more rankings from Australia and New Zealand, check out the Australia & New Zealand name rankings subcategory. Source: Popular Baby Names (Births, Deaths and Marriages)

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  • The 24 Children of Isaac SingerThe 24 Children of Isaac Singer

    Isaac Singer: businessman & baby-daddyA reader got in touch recently to ask about several unusual names. One of them was “Vouletti,” which belonged to a daughter of Isaac Merritt Singer (1811-1875). Isaac Singer is best remembered for his successful sewing machine manufacturing company, founded in 1851 and still going strong today. Also notable, though, is the fact that he had a total of 24 children with five different wives and mistresses. With Maria Haley, he had two children: William Adam (b. 1834) Lillian C. (b. 1837) With Mary Ann Sponsler, he had ten children: Isaac Augustus (b. 1837) Vouletti Theresa (b. 1840) Fanny Elizabeth (b. 1841) John Albert (b. circa 1843) Jasper Hamet (b. 1846) Julia Ann (b. circa 1847) Mary Olivia (b. 1848) Charles Alexander (1850-1852) Caroline Virginia (b. 1857) …plus one more With Mary McGonigal, he had five children: Ruth Clara Florence Margaret Charles Alexander (b. 1859) With Mary E. Walters, he had one child: Alice Eastwood (b. 1852) With Isabella Eugenie Boyer (of France), he had six children: Adam Mortimer (b. 1863) Winnaretta Eugenie (b. 1865) Washington Merritt Grant (b. 1866) Paris Eugene (b. 1867) – Palm Beach developer, namesake of Singer Island Isabelle Blanche (b. 1869) Franklin Morse (b. 1870) These are traditional names for the most part, which makes “Vouletti” all the more intriguing. Vouletti Singer was born in 1840, married William Proctor in 1862, had three children, and died in 1913. Though her name was definitely spelled Vouletti — that’s the spelling passed down to various descendants, and the one used by her friend Mercedes de Acosta in the poem “To Vouletti” — I found it misspelled a lot: “Voulitti” on the 1855 New York State Census, “Voulettie” on the 1900 U.S. Census, “Voulettie” again in a Saturday Evening Post article from 1951. So…where does it come from? I have no clue. I can’t find a single person with the given name Vouletti who predates Vouletti Singer. I also can’t find anyone with the surname Vouletti. (There was a vaudevillian with the stage name “Eva Vouletti,” but she doesn’t pop up until the early 1900s.) Theater could be a possibility, as Isaac Singer was an actor in his younger days. Perhaps Vouletti was a character name he was familiar with? My only other idea is the Italian word violetti, which means “violet.” Her parents might have coined the name with this word in mind. Do you have any thoughts/theories about the unusual name Vouletti?

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  • Name Battle: Dobie Gillis Names vs. Scooby Doo NamesName Battle: Dobie Gillis Names vs. Scooby Doo Names

    Did you know that the teenage characters of the cartoon Scooby Doo, Where Are You! — Fred, Shaggy, Daphne, and Velma — were based directly on four of the teenage characters in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis — Dobie, Maynard, Thalia, and Zelda? (And, did you know that Shaggy’s real name was Norville?!) So let’s try a poll. Which set of names do you like better, the Dobie Gillis names or the Scooby Doo names? Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll. Source: TV Legends Revealed | Jinkies! The Mysterious Origins of ‘Scooby-Doo’

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  • The Many Names in Dobie GillisThe Many Names in Dobie Gillis

    Girl-crazy teenager Dobie Gillis was a character created by writer Max Shulman in the 1940s. He was first brought to life in the movie The Affairs of Dobie Gillis in 1953, but the most memorable portrayal of Dobie was by Dwayne Hickman in the four-season TV sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, which premiered in September of 1959. Dobie Gillis is notable for being “the first prime-time series to consistently privilege teenage characters, activities, and spaces over those associated with family shows.” It was also known for the unusual character names. Dobie (pronounced doh-bee, rhymes with Toby) had friends with names like: Maynard (a beatnik played by Bob Denver, who later portrayed Gilligan) Zelda (a brainiac played by Sheila James Kuehl, sister of Jeri Lou) Thalia Menninger (a rich girl played by Tuesday Weld) These “uncommon first names [were] evidently meant to seem vaguely silly in their failure to conform with ’50s norms.” The show ended up influencing the usage of several baby names. First of all, it was behind the debut of the name Dobie in 1960: 1964: 9 baby boys named Dobie 1963: unlisted 1962: 6 baby boys named Dobie 1961: 8 baby boys named Dobie 1960: 9 baby boys named Dobie [debut] 1959: unlisted 1958: unlisted The name Thalia also saw a spike in usage in 1960, which makes sense because all but two of the episodes featuring Thalia Menninger were first-season (1959-1960) episodes. Dobie pronounced Thalia’s name thale-ya. 1964: 46 baby girls named Thalia 1963: 42 baby girls named Thalia 1962: 42 baby girls named Thalia 1961: 46 baby girls named Thalia 1960: 90 baby girls named Thalia 1959: 30 baby girls named Thalia 1958: 24 baby girls named Thalia Finally, the name Zelda saw elevated usage in the early ’60s: 1964: 133 baby girls named Zelda 1963: 171 baby girls named Zelda 1962: 178 baby girls named Zelda 1961: 168 baby girls named Zelda 1960: 136 baby girls named Zelda 1959: 142 baby girls named Zelda 1958: 131 baby girls named Zelda Fun fact: Zelda — who pursued Dobie as ardently as Dobie pursued all other females — once convinced a girl named Phyllis to break it off with Dobie by warning her that her married name would be “Phyllis Gillis.” Many of the secondary and single-episode characters had unusual names as well. Here are some examples: Aphrodite Arabella Aristede Blossom Bruno Bubbles Chatsworth Clothilde Clydene Drusilla Esmond Glynis Imogene Jethro Kermit Laurabelle Leander Maribelle Mignonne Poppy Riff Do you like any of the above Dobie Gillis names? How about the name “Dobie” itself? Sources: Kearney, Mary C. “Teenagers and Television in the United States.” Museum of Broadcast Communications Encyclopedia of Television, ed. by Horace Newcomb, 2nd ed., New York: Routledge, 2013, pp. 2276-2281. Sterritt, David. Mad to be Saved: The Beats, the ’50s, and Film. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1998. The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (TV Series 1959–1963) – IMDb

    Nancy's Baby Names / 11 d. 2 h. 6 min. ago more
  • The Debut of Jeri LouThe Debut of Jeri Lou

    Jeri Lou James in a 1952 episode of Racket SquadThe name Jerilou appeared for the first and only time in the SSA’s baby name data in 1953: 1954: unlisted 1953: 9 baby girls named Jerilou [debut] 1952: unlisted (The SSA omits spaces, hyphens, and apostrophes, so “Jerilou” here includes Jeri Lou, Jeri-Lou, and other potential renderings.) Where did Jerilou come from? Child actor Jeri Lou James, who was on TV primarily during the first half of the 1950s. She was born Jerilyn Louise Kuehl in California in 1945. (Her birth name may have been inspired by celebrity baby Jerilyn Jessel.) Jeri Lou guest starred on various TV shows, but the one show she appeared on regularly was The Dennis Day Show, which aired on NBC from 1953 to 1954. No doubt this is what gave Jeri Lou’s name enough visibility to see a temporary rise in usage. These days, Jeri Lou James is Hon. Jerilyn L. Borack, a family law judge on the Sacramento Superior Court. Both her acting career and her law career were inspired by the acting and law careers of her older sister, Sheila James (b. Sheila Ann Kuehl in 1941), whose best-remembered TV role was that of Zelda on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959-1963). Today Sheila Kuehl is a politician in California. Which name do you like better, Jerilyn or Jerilou? Sources: Jeri Lou James – IMDb Judicial Profile: Jerilyn Borack by Cheryl Miller

    Nancy's Baby Names / 12 d. 2 h. 6 min. ago more
  • Popular Baby Names in Oregon, 2016Popular Baby Names in Oregon, 2016

    According to data released by Oregon Health Authority, the most popular baby names in the state in 2016 were Olivia and Oliver. Here are Oregon’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016: Girl Names 1. Olivia, 249 baby girls 2. Emma, 213 3. Sophia, 179 4. Evelyn, 172 5. Charlotte, 171 6. Abigail, 153 7. Harper, 148 8. Amelia, 137 9. Isabella, 134 10. Ava, 132 Boy Names 1. Oliver, 228 baby boys 2. Henry, 205 3. William, 201 4. Benjamin, 194 5. Liam, 193 6. Wyatt, 181 7. Owen, 179 8. Noah, 177 9. Mason, 175 10. Elijah, 165 In 2015, the top names were Emma and Liam. In the girls’ top 10, Harper replaces Mia. In the boys’ top 10, Benjamin and Owen replace James and Alexander. Source: Oregon Health Authority – Annual Report Volume 1, 2016

    Nancy's Baby Names / 13 d. 2 h. 6 min. ago more
  • Can No-Drama-Mama Survive the COUNTRY?Can No-Drama-Mama Survive the COUNTRY?

    Pumpkin Spice – yes or no? October came and went like a gust of fall air and a whirlwind of leaves. We have been busy with making the house ready to sell, getting school books read, purging things from here and my mom’s, and trying to stay on top of the drama that always seems to find us (no matter how fast we run). I call myself the No-Drama Mama. Seems drama is not undaunted by this fact. In October, three of my children and I had an accident with an 18-Wheeler and every one of us managed to walk away unharmed. Praise Jesus. I keep my guardian angel busy. By now, I’m sure whoever he is, I’m certain he’s looking for a transfer. Hopefully that truck didn’t do him in. Bye Bye Baby SUV We spent much of the month dealing with insurance mumbo-jumbo and I got to drive a tiny little Toyota that made me feel like my hiney was scraping the pavement. It sure was nice to fill’er up with only 20$, though! What a nice change; never-mind the fact that our whole family couldn’t fit in the vehicle, right? I’m going to miss my pretty grey SUV, but it seems that now is just not the time for having it. God made an executive decision. We are going to wait and replace it (with something – still not sure what) after we get our home sold and move to the country. Yes, you heard me right. We are allowing the Lord to pull our roots up, however deep they may seem at the present. Ten years is a long time to spend in one place (longer than anywhere I’ve ever stayed). I am thankful that where we are going is not so far that I can’t spend quite a lot of time here in my stomping grounds with the friends I love every month. It won’t be like living here, but it will be less than a few hours round trip. I’m pulling my big girl boots on and heading into the future, knowing that a good taco, organic groceries, and a hug from another homeschool mama is not beyond a fourth to a half tank of gas away. Let’s Move to the Country by Katie Daisy For now, I’m staying home more, borrowing the truck from my husband when I need it, and we are trying to get my old SUV which belongs to my daughter back up and running. The old mare just ain’t what she used to be… but hopefully she still has a few thousand miles to spare for us yet. I went in for my three month bloodwork check in October. Doc says it looks great. I have started allowing a little more “wiggle room” into my diet, which has “helped me” put on a little more wiggle room around the waist. I actually had beef for lunch today… and am regretting it. I do eat a few “normal” meals now and then – and don’t obsess about sticking to my anti-cancer diet at every single meal any more, but I will never fully go back to how I ate prior to getting my diagnosis. Navratan Korma I really don’t miss it, anyway. I’ve found that there’s not much I don’t love about what I eat now. It has helped me branch out and cook even more things than I ever did before (and I am a foodie, y’all – so I already knew how to cook). My latest adventures are Korma from scratch (who knew that there was a nut paste in it?!!!) and Ethiopian foods from scratch. I’m scared, but I am going to try to make some Injera sometime soon – with Teff flour only (no gluten). I just can’t get enough of it! I have heard some interesting things lately about a certain toxin in foods that can cause joint pain and other illnesses (even “frozen shoulder” has been helped by some of the folks who eat a diet modified by less of it). I have seen a natural doctor lately who is helping me diagnose some vitamin imbalances I have to see if they may be the cause of my vertigo, dizziness (lightheadedness), or my joint issues. The lightheaded feeling comes and goes, but the vertigo so far has only happened twice – once when I was diagnosed with cancer in August 2016, and once in August 2017. I’ll update you if/when I learn something new. For now, I’m trying to lay off some of my chocolate treats (Kevin’s brownies are hard to resist) to lower my oxalate levels in hopes that it helps. I also have a high powered magnet on my frozen shoulder. It actually seems to have helped some! Crazy, I know. I get tired of telling people what is going on with me in regards to health stuff. Especially when it comes to food. People are going to do what they are going to do, and think what they are going to think. The thing is: YOU need to research things for YOURSELF. I am on a quest to feel good and stay alive, so I keep praying and asking God for wisdom… and I keep reading and researching and learning. This doesn’t mean everyone should do things the way I do them. So I share links in case anyone else out there wants them… but by all means, don’t let me come between you and your Oreos. I had my fill of them back in the day. Goodbye Cozy Living Room As for schooly things, the boys are looking forward to adding new and exciting courses to their homeschool class schedule when we move: animal husbandry, large-scale gardening, farmer’s market small business economics, carpentry, and poultry science are a few of the titles we are tossing around in the lesson planner “wish list”. “HOW TO RID ALL TARNATION OF STICKER-BURS” will be their new science project once we move. You think maybe a blowtorch could help? Maybe a controlled fire? No, really, the sticker burs where I’m going are strong enough to pierce through wooden boot soles. They are straight out of Dante’s Inferno… along with the scorpions and yellow jackets. Don’t get me thinking about it or I might tell my husband there is just no way I’m going to let him have his dream of being a chicken farmer. For now, we are sticking to the easier stuff for school: like the daily weeping sessions when I ask the 8 year old to do cursive with me. Oy! Speaking of 8 year olds… he seems to be going on 14 lately. I’m pretty sure he has some testosterone hiding in one of his shoes. The sass has been pretty thick lately. Some of this is a byproduct of being raised with older siblings, I’m sure… but it doesn’t make it any easier for mama. My 18 year old reminded me that her journey through the valley of insanity – er, puberty – began at 9, also. I was mostly blindsided by all that, so I have foggy memory… and I’m certainly NOT ready to deal with puberty in both of these TINY LITTLE BOYS (who were babies just yesterday?!!!). I could use some prayers, folks. 14 sounds like such a less difficult timeframe than 9 to me! Please, Jesus -for the Love of sanity. It is surprising anyone survives puberty and becomes an adult. But that’s a deep thought for another day, and hopefully I won’t have to have it again for another five years. Texas Watercolor Heart & Hey Y’all Button Pins by @Sprittibee In my spare time, I created some Texas buttons. You all know that I have a mild case of “Way Too Proud of Texas” syndrome. Well, I designed a watercolor Texas button pin that would be a great stocking stuffer for all those homesick Texans in your life… or just regular Texans. Because we don’t have to be out of state to brag. If you want a pin, just email me with your address. They are one buck each plus shipping. Have y’all seen my lanyard I wear at the Texas Homeschool Coalition Convention when I take photos for them each year? I add pins to it all the time. I want to put them all on the front flap of a messenger bag, or on a jean jacket and wear them around all year, instead of waiting for THSC Convention each year. Fall Flower Bed Update – staging to sell… (boo-hoo) I’ve been so impressed with the trees this fall season down here in Texas. I have no idea why, but this year the leaves seem to be turning colors quite a bit more readily and quickly than usual. We don’t have to wait until after Thanksgiving this year for it to really LOOK like autumn. I see it more each day. Sadly, we only saw 28 Monarchs this season, but one reason is probably because we forgot to trim our Vitex trees and there were no purple blooms to feed a “flock” of them like last year. Over 100 of them spent a month in our yard in 2016. Speaking of fall landscapes… I thought I would give the house a little fall upgrade to help with resale value. What do you think??? What are your plans for the holidays coming up? I haven’t really made any – because we don’t know where we will be spending them! No matter where we are, as long as we have each other, that’s what matters. Houses come and go. Family is everything. Happy Fall, Y’all! The post Can No-Drama-Mama Survive the COUNTRY? appeared first on Sprittibee.

    Sprittibee / 14 d. 10 h. 16 min. ago more
  • Back to School and Good NewsBack to School and Good News

    August was busy with getting back to school, and September has been about getting in to our new back to school groove. Mama is leaning hard on her lists and pushing heavy for consistency and follow through. I actually took back to school photos ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL this year. That’s unheard of, even though it is always on my day 1 list. I opted for a little easier shot this year (I love you, Pinterest), so this time, it was taken in our lawn… and there weren’t many props to worry about. I love back to school photos (bless my photographer heart), so each year I try to do something special. Last year has been one of my favorite back-to-school photo set-ups of all time, even though this year’s sure turned out cute with little fuss. In the last few weeks while my blogging time has slipped away, this is what we’ve been up to: :::finished organizing the book cases all through the house (which took forever)::: :::gone to our “back to school bash” with our local homeschool co-op::: :::continued swim lessons::: :::cheered on our biggest kid as he began his first job and second semester of college afar::: :::started homeschool again::: :::field trip at the Bluebonnet Air Show in Burnet, TX::: :::continued renovating the house – ever so slowly::: :::continued working at mom’s house – ever so slowly::: That doesn’t sound like a lot… but I’ve been dog tired at the end of every day. With the stress of having to make financial decisions looming because of being over-taxed by taking care of two places of residence since mom died, I have also felt like there’s a silent time-bomb ticking away in the background, urging us to work faster on every project. I have to remind myself daily that I’m trying to keep myself from getting back in to a routine of zero-margin for mama. It has been difficult adhering to my rules about resting when there’s more work to do than ever and my own mama is gone (it hurts to realize that she really did so very much to help us out each week and I know I didn’t thank her enough). As an only child, there’s no one to share the load, either. It is what it is. So I keep putting one foot in front of the other and praying that it will eventually all get done. I guess we all have to look at it that way, no matter the job. The good news is, even though I have been worried that the stress of grief and loss would negatively impact my health, it seems I am doing fine. God is propping me up, for sure. This last week, I went in for my first follow up colonoscopy since my colon surgery to remove the cancer back in August of 2016. A little over a year later, the results were astounding: clear healthy colon walls, totally healed surgery site, not a single tumor or polyp. That means my colon is clear of cancer and I don’t have to have another colonoscopy for three years! A friend of mine recently went in because of my cancer scare… and she was thankfully, fixed up by her IG doctor during her test. They found a few pre-cancerous polyps in her colon and removed them right there; before they had time to turn in to anything life threatening that could metastasize to other parts of her body. I love stories like this. I hope I can talk everyone I know in to going to get a colonoscopy (and I can recommend a top notch doctor at Round Rock Scott & White: Dr. Duggan). If you have colon cancer in your family, you should get a colon-screening at least 10 years prior to the time when your relative was diagnosed with cancer (in other words: if your grandma had it in her 60’s, you should go get a test in your 50’s). In my case, my grandma had it in her 60’s and I got cancer in my 40’s, so I would say 20 years is safer. If I had gone and gotten a colonoscopy a few years prior, my cancer would not have breached the colon wall and infected three lymph nodes. That’s why I have to do three month blood tests, and the oncologists are monitoring me closely to make sure my cancer doesn’t re-appear in some other place in my body. The colon and liver are the most likely places, but with your lymph system infected, cancer can ultimately spread anywhere. Next up, I have blood tests in November, and then another liver sonogram some time in the future. I try to minimize radiation, so I don’t do a lot of PET scans or CTs. I have only done one for diagnosis in the hospital when the GI doctor found my cancer initially. Just a note to those who haven’t heard before: I had NO SYMPTOMS other than being tired, so please don’t wait for blood and guts and misery – by then, it will surely be too late. You can imagine how relieved I was at the news yesterday. Just knowing that I don’t have the added weight of health issues to fret over is such a blessing. Truly, your health is the best kind of wealth. I’m not a millionaire, but I feel like someone gave me a million bucks when I woke up from anesthesia yesterday. I was too woozy to leap for joy, but I was tickled “pink” seeing the doctor write on my colon image test results “no polyps, no tumors! 3 yrs!” I’m sure I freaked him out when I told him I was taking mistletoe injections from Europe, but that’s another story. He told me he was glad I was “still standing” a year later. He told me he remembered me since I was the weird one who opened up the way for his patients to be able to eat coconut oil during their liquid diet (even though he hasn’t had many takers) – hahahaha! It makes all that two-day liquid diet and laxative colon prep worth it when you get a HEALTHY prognosis! Let me tell you… it was pretty miserable watching my family eat and smelling their gluten-free pizza and turkey bacon breakfast. I was a grumpy “cat” for sure. By the last few hours, I was so hungry (“Hangry”), I could have eaten my cell phone. I’ll be posting at a later date about a healthier way to do colonoscopy prep. I couldn’t BELIEVE what they told me I should be ingesting as part of my liquid diet on the day before my test. Hospital nutrition seems to lead more people to NEED hospital care. Job security, maybe??? Best to not rely on them for your diet advice. In the coming weeks, we are planning to: :::get the boys teeth checked and cleaned at the dentist::: :::graduate the boys to the next level of swimmers at swim lessons::: :::clean out mom’s refrigerator, mow again at her place, and continue purging things::: :::clean out the garden weeds and plant for fall::: :::build a dining table and light fixture box with wood::: :::fix my old SUV for my daughter::: :::finish the grouting in the kitchen, and finish the painting in the hallway::: :::attend the GRAND OPENING of my sister’s new Pumpkin Farm::: I’m looking forward to cooler October days… more school fun… more outdoor field trips… camping… and the countdown until Thanksgiving and Christmas. We thought about that the other day: we are just 12 weeks away from Christmas or less! Here’s to praying my eldest can keep his 4.0 and we can manage to ENJOY and SAVOR all these fall moments before the holidays are upon us. The post Back to School and Good News appeared first on Sprittibee.

    Sprittibee / 60 d. 9 h. 54 min. ago more
  • Homeschool Hacks for the Library … and a Grief ObservedHomeschool Hacks for the Library … and a Grief Observed

    I’ve spent the last few days cataloging my book cases on GoodReads. I discovered recently that the app allows you to scan books with your smart phone by the UPC or the front cover “art”. I tried it out, mesmerized by how well it worked. I would say about 1 of 20 books on my shelves were too old, obscure, or didn’t have proper “bookishness” credentials (Scholastic books are notorious for this)… but the rest of my hundreds and hundreds of books were an easy scan, and I now can search them online in my GoodReads profile by key-word. This was a LOT easier than me typing out a list of books so I could search it in Excel or some other software. Smart phones for the win, right?!?! My husband brought the mail in yesterday after work while I was bending over a pile of history books, trying to get them all on the correct chronological shelf, and he told me there was a package for me to open. Dana had sent me a book about grief. I was so busy yesterday that I hadn’t hardly thought about my mom, except for when I was in the kitchen, where it is impossible to escape her. She spent so many hours doing dishes and talking to me while I cooked, helping me chop vegetables, sitting with the boys while they ate, teaching them piano while I worked on the pantry or made a menu. She was a constant weekly presence in our kitchen and dining area… more so than anywhere else. I picked up Dana’s book and took it to the bedroom while the guys watched “Up” downstairs. I could hear them giggling at the talking dog and knew I had a little time to read while I took a break from my bookshelves. Preparing for the school year is serious work… and dusty, too. I kept reading until the book was finished; only stopping to get up once to grab some water and answer my phone. After that, it only seemed natural that I would write a review… after scanning my book into the app I was already using. This year I’m going to try and focus on getting our books at home read… instead of seeking out a ton of new ones at the library. We really do have a mountain of books to climb here. Homeschooling for two decades has turned my house into a glorified library. Need a book? Come over and check one out. I may end up thinning the shelves down some… I’ve already put a few books on Paperback Swap after finding that I had more than one copy! I can’t imagine moving out of my house into my mother’s tiny cottage with all of these books. A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis My rating: 5 of 5 stars I’ve never begun writing a book review through tears, until now. I’m also not one to write long reviews; preferring instead to let the author tell their story and let my review be the hand nudging you to either read or not read the book in the first place. In this case, to be blunt, I’m nudging you to read it, unapologetically. – – – – – – – – – – – Someone sent me a card after my mother died at the beginning of the summer. It was a landscape in sepia with the Shakespeare quote, “My soul is in the sky.” I couldn’t stop staring at it. I kept it on my desk for weeks. It didn’t seem fair that her soul was in the sky and her body in the ground; and even then, that I couldn’t talk to either of them. I had these thoughts a lot. Anger and pain. Loneliness. But the anger was surprising – especially the stuff directed at mom. Lots of it was directed at God, too, who I knew was the one who had blessed me with her in the first place… all these years that she got after her diabetes diagnosis at age 28. Years in which she got to see her four grandkids grow up, a couple nearly into adulthood. God could have taken her in her 20’s, before I even had the chance to remember her well. But He didn’t. Out of the blue, my sister-in-law sent me this book. I’ve read C.S. Lewis (and loved his books), but had not read this one. I picked it up and couldn’t put it down. My tea got cold. I read the whole thing at once, glad to feel understood. That’s what I loved about this book. It was a glimpse of C.S. Lewis – mind like a steel trap – in rare ultra-human form. Weeping. Groveling. Shouting at God and reminding himself who he was talking to. It connects Lewis to everyone else who wasn’t ever his intellectual equal… and it shows how a man can grapple with losing something precious and survive to tell about it, faith in-tact. A Grief Observed is a “notebook by the bed”… a “journal” of private observations. It isn’t a lecture or a how-to self-help book. It’s just C.S. Lewis sharing his raw self when he might have admitted to being his least becoming. When he really didn’t care what anyone thought, only that they were in the room so he wasn’t alone. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me. Favorite quotes from the book (there were too many to list and I marked this book up like I was studying for a test… and laughed out loud at his ramblings – yes even with such a stark topic as grief – he made me laugh): From the introduction… I loved that his step-son wrote the introduction in my copy (Douglas Gresham)… he stated about C.S. Lewis and his beloved wife “They seemed to walk together within a glow of their own making”. His take on the book was: “This book is a man emotionally naked in his own Gethsemane.” From the book… “And no one ever told me about the laziness of grief. Except at my job – where the machine seems to run on much as usual – I loathe the slightest effort. …It’s easy to see why the lonely become untidy, finally dirty and disgusting.” “At first I was very afraid of going to places where H. and I had been happy – our favourite pub, our favourite wood. But I decided to do it at once – like sending a pilot up again as soon as possible after he’s had a crash. Unexpectedly, it makes no difference. Her absence is no more emphatic in those places than anywhere else. …The act of living is different all through. Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.“ He was waxing poetic about how he was afraid his memory of H. was going to fade away into bits of his own imagination and be somehow marred, and that she wouldn’t be there to correct him, and that somehow this would make her die again to him… (that’s the gist of it, anyway), and he said this, which is one of the things I feel about mom: “The rough, sharp, cleansing tang of her otherness is gone.” That one sentence was like a dagger. This book is no easy read for the bereaved, but such a comfort, even in it’s ruthless honesty. “Aren’t all these notes the senseless writings of a man who won’t accept the fact that there is nothing we can do with suffering except to suffer it?” In chapter three where he’s explaining how exhaustion lifted and the sun came out after a long stint of grey, he says he remembers H. best. “It was as if the lifting of the sorrow removed a barrier. …You can’t see anything properly while your eyes are blurred with tears.” I love his paragraph on what a good wife is. I’ll leave you to the book to read it yourself. This was just a bonus for me, since my grief was not a husband, but a parent. So much of his experience is similar to mine, however; as like Lewis, when I was able to breathe and stopped worrying about how I wouldn’t remember her face or the things she said or did the way they really were, I discovered that “she met me everywhere”. I loved how he explained that after a period of clarity and peace, he was thrust into “hell” again. Grief, being more of a circle or spiral, than a straight line to travel. Good to know we are not broken if we aren’t always “getting better”. Such hope in his words: “The less I mourn her the nearer I seem to her.” and “H. is still a fact.”… whether gone or not, she is… still… a fact. As my mother is still a fact. Now and again he fades off into statements that can only be to his wife: “Did you ever know, dear, how much you took away with you when you left? You have stripped me even of my past, even of the things we never shared.” I loved his bits of praise towards the end… “Praise in due order; of Him as the giver, of her as the gift.” View all my reviews The post Homeschool Hacks for the Library … and a Grief Observed appeared first on Sprittibee.

    Sprittibee / 85 d. 18 h. 18 min. ago more
  • Field Trip Foto Friday: Austin Steam Train Association’s Hill Country FlyerField Trip Foto Friday: Austin Steam Train Association’s Hill Country Flyer

    ALL ABOARD!!!! If you love riding on the rails, the “Cedar Park train” is a field trip you won’t want to miss. Rail travel is so relaxing. You can learn about history, take in the scenery, or just kick back and take a snooze with the monotonous clickety-clack of the rails and the breeze in your face. It’s like stepping back into the 1800’s and early 1900’s – a pace of life that is long lost on our bustling society today. The Austin Steam Train Association has a nice website where you can learn more about their different events, rides, and even their historic restoration projects. For the kids, they offer a day out with Thomas the tank engine, and for the lovebirds, they offer sunset rides and wine tasting rides. There’s something for everyone. During the holidays, they even offer a ride that takes you out to the Main Street Bethlehem in Burnet, Texas… and they have hot cocoa and a Santa visit. I’ll have to do another field trip post about our trip to Main Street Bethlehem and share some more images from there. It really is a neat experience, and coupled with the train ride, that would be a fun family holiday tradition! The rides are pricey, but they do offer discounts at certain times of the year, and they offer discounts to senior citizens, veterans and military service members. Here’s a little clip I took while relaxing on the train with our crew: Seriously. I need a train ride every night at bedtime. #rockabye #sleepy #Austin #steamtrain #diesel #train A post shared by Heather (@sprittibee) on Nov 9, 2014 at 2:37pm PST Happy train ride! Quick Links: Largest Steam Train Field Trip Texas State Railroad Field Trip   Subscribe to Sprittibee by Email The post Field Trip Foto Friday: Austin Steam Train Association’s Hill Country Flyer appeared first on Sprittibee.

    Sprittibee / 86 d. 15 h. 24 min. ago more
  • A Book Giveaway for MomA Book Giveaway for Mom

    It has been a while since I cleaned off my book review shelf and I have a slew of good books to bring to your attention this time that AREN’T FOR KIDS. Yay!!! Mom books! Woman books! Health-nut books! Teacher books! Cool, awesome fun books! Many of these were given to me by the publisher or author to look at because they felt we were a good fit for my blog audience based on the topics I like to write about. I’m definitely a bibliophile (and in major need of a book-shelf purge before school starts in a week or two). Keep your eyes peeled, because I just might give away some of my homeschool books that we are done using, also… I usually give away a book or two every time I review a stack, and I have quite a few books to give away in this post! Keep reading and comment to enter below! Share for more entries (each entry must also include a comment on this post). —— Below are 10 books (and a coloring book) that you might check out for YOURSELF this school year (or any time)! Tricia Goyer sent me an advanced reader of her latest Christian book, Walk it Out – which is about walking out your unique, important story with the Lord. I’ve skimmed this book over and plan to use it as a mom devotional for the first month of “Back to School” (which starts in just a week or so for us). I love how she talks about living out her life as God makes His Word clear to her – “radical living” in obedience, focusing on His plans for her and not her own, even if it is messy and not at all how she would have imagined. Topics she shares are defining moments, loving and serving from a healed heart (and a lot about healing itself), creating white space, purpose, telling your story, family, giving, the work you are meant to do, etc. I love how she includes devotional application questions at the end of each chapter to help you apply some of the truth God has shared through her. I’m really looking forward to diggin’ in to this one! Vera Bradley has some amazing adult coloring books to help mom participate with the kids during art lessons, or just to unwind. They are therapeutic and all the rage right now. I’ve been seeing them in the grocery store check-out lanes everywhere! I like how thick the pages are in these books. They could be used with watercolor pencils if you don’t put too much water on the page. The back of each book has gift tags and small cards that are perforated so you could send them in the mail. Many of the pages have pretty quotes in whimsical fonts, also. Once you are done, you could use them as art for your gallery wall. The ones I have are Paisley Patterns and Floral Patterns. My 18 year old daughter is begging me to let her have one of them. These were review items and I’m planning to use them at the school table this year while the boys are coloring their history timeline figures to keep me from getting distracted by all the “stuff that needs to get done” which vies for mama’s attention. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that coloring inside the lines isn’t creative or good for you. Want to know HOW it is good for you? Here are 7 ways adult coloring is good for you. Even kids should learn this skill. According to Susie Downing, ‘I’ve been in the classroom for more than 30 years (17 in preschools) and kids who can “color inside the lines” excel academically AND socially over those who can’t.’ When I was healing from cancer after surgery, I picked up a copy of Breathe Magazine at Barnes & Nobles. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the articles in the print copy I had (they also offer a bi-monthly Kindle edition). They print lovely artwork and paintings, and focus on uplifting themes such as: wellbeing, mindfulness, creativity, escaping, and making time for yourself. What homeschool mama doesn’t need more of these things in their lives? We are always so focused on the family and kids, even our husbands and the sweet fur children… but mama has to learn how to take care of herself. I’m raising my hand as a big loser in this area since I’m pretty sure my stress is what sent me over the edge and caused my cancer episode. Some things you can’t help – but there is a lot you CAN do to unwind and take life a little slower. That’s what this magazine is about! I also loved that my first copy (Issue 3) came with free wrapping paper, gift tags, postcards, and a neat little listography book – a book for ME TO MAKE LISTS IN!!! You all know if you’ve been reading here for any length of time how much of a list-maker I am! This spoke to my heart. As an art-lover, I thought Mom & Me (a shared art journal) was such a great idea. Back in the day, I used to do this with my girlfriends at school. We shared a spiral notebook and passed drawings and notes and quizzes back and forth to each other. What a neat idea to do this with your child, so you can share a little of your creative spark with them and they can get to know you better on a level they might not otherwise. This book has neat prompts for drawing and writing such as what scares you, what makes you happy, your hopes and dreams, hand-lettering, accomplishments you are proud of, what you like about yourself, memories, what you are thankful for… etc. I love the artwork in this book – simple, yet so fun. This one will be on the keepsake shelf along with your family photo albums when you get it completed! This would make a fun art class for a homeschool co-op or just a project to do for art at home. Stick it TO ‘EM: Irreverent Stickers to Color & Create is definitely a grown up sticker book. A few of the stickers have to do with alcohol and/or imply major snark, but some are really funny and cute. I adore the “Keep to your #Selfie” camera sticker, the “Chill Pill”, the unicorn, the “Unicorn Tears” bottle, and the “100% Chance of Tacos”. This doubles as a coloring book, also. There are stickers in the back which you can continue to draw on or color in with whatever medium you desire. I have been using the big HUGE address labels in the back of the book for mailing packages – love them as they are just the right size to pop on top of a label and re-use an envelope to save money. Since I’m a paper-back swapper, this is a handy sticker. I also am enjoying adding these to my teacher planner. I always use stickers in my calendar each week. If you are an 80’s child at heart and still have a Lisa Frank sticker book somewhere hidden in your closet, this book is for you. Wait, did I just date myself and say that out-loud?!!  And then there is this little gem of a review item (lucky me!). Of course you might guess that a list-maker loves to WRITE. I adore hand-lettering and think it is such an artistic and creative talent (and a great one for those who may not have time for the more demanding pursuits of oil painting and other mess-making adventures). This is a great companion book for a 30-Day Bible Lettering challenge! I love the ideas and examples in this book – which is exactly what the title suggests: Hand Lettering A to Z “A world of creative ideas for drawing and designing alphabets.” Here’s a secret: There are some amazing full page spreads in here that could qualify as framed art! If you happened to be a book butcher, or want to buy a copy to read and a copy to mutilate, you could use quite a number of these pages as fodder for your gallery wall. As you can see, I’m all about the gallery walls lately. I’ve been getting ready to finish one of mine downstairs so we can stage our house to sell. But… that’s for another post. Fortify Your Life is a guide to vitamins and minerals. I do a lot of reading about health, and this is a book that I picked up at my latest food conference, along with a book from Stonyfield Farm’s CEO, Gary Hirshberg. I’m throwing a copy of each of these in to this give-away because I have two. It can’t ever hurt to learn more about nutrition or organic farming. I use MegaFood’s multivitamins every day, and enjoyed listening to Tieraona Low Dog, M.D. speak at Shift-Con last December. Catherine Levison is a veteran homeschool mama and an amazing writer and thinker. I have so enjoyed getting to know her through her online Charlotte Mason group that she graciously helped salvage on Yahoo Groups when the other leaders stepped down. She has written other books on Charlotte Mason homeschooling, but this book is a different kind of read. No One Ever Asked Me That is about meaningful conversations – sharing honestly with others who are different than us. The book discusses imagination and the after-life from a wide array of diverse angles – as shared through the candid interviews with people of all walks of life. She interviews a building director, a nuclear scientist, a physical therapist, a Native American, a newspaper editor, a Muslim woman, a recent graduate, a young girl, a photographer, a Jewish Mystic, a terminal cancer patient, an artist, a pharmacist, a Vietnam Veteran, a Christian pastor, and more! It’s so neat to listen to the deepest thoughts of so many different people. This is the kind of book that brings people together and heals division, all while sharing answers to some of life’s toughest questions. Catherine has graciously offered me a second copy of this book to give to one of my readers… and she’s thrown in a bookmark, to boot! Mother & Son THE RESPECT EFFECT is a book I got as a review item. As a mom of three boys, I can say that this book is a must-read. If you haven’t had brothers and/or your father has not played a large role in your life, you especially should pick this one up. I love the message the book shares with moms about how “respect is the key to her son’s heart”. It is true that a man filters the world more through the grid of respect. Men base a lot of their worth on being able to provide, able to conquer, able to be the one to get the job done. Building a boy up in this manner is a sure-fire way to make a strong, faithful man who knows his worth. This book is written from a Christian perspective. The best part is – it is never too late, or too early to begin to go beyond just loving your son, but also showing him that you respect him as a person. This blends perfectly with Charlotte Mason’s statement that a child is born a person… and is worthy of being treated with respect. This last book is not in my hands yet… but it is on my list. Leah Segedie is a blogging friend and runs the Shift-Con conference (organic foods and healthy eating/lifestyle). I learned so much when I was there last time. Can’t wait to read her book, “Green Enough“. In fact, I have quite a few friends who are writing books lately… and I’m excited to read them all. Leah is doing a pre-order sale at Amazon for this title, so hop on the sales wagon and grab up a copy for yourself. It is almost 10$ off the regular price. The book will be releasing next spring! Just in time for spring cleaning. —– I would love to share the bookish love with 3 of my readers! I have FIVE of these books to give away. You can enter the give-away by doing the following: You can get one entry per each share, follow and first comment. Be sure to leave a comment for each share or follow, though, or it won’t count! 1. Leave a comment below with something you found interesting about a book in this post, why you want the book, or tell me about your homeschool/school year plans… let’s get the conversation started! 2. Share this post on any social media site and be sure to leave a link and another comment so I can follow. 3. Follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and/or my RSS for this blog on your chosen reader. 4. Sign up for email updates for this blog and let me know you did so and your email address. I’ll wrap this up at the end of the month, August 31st,  and I’ll allow winner #1 and #2 to pick the books they want! Sorry, but #3 will have to just take whichever one is left. Not a bad deal, if you ask me! Can’t beat free books!  Happy reading, coloring, and learning!!! —– Disclaimer: Most of these books were review items sent to me by the author or publisher as I mentioned in the post; however, all of the opinions expressed are my own. Many of the links on this page are also amazon affiliate links, and if you purchase the books after clicking over to Amazon, they may give me a penny or two! Thanks for your support of my site and my homeschooling book habits! The post A Book Giveaway for Mom appeared first on Sprittibee.

    Sprittibee / 91 d. 9 h. 5 min. ago more
  • Field Trip Foto Friday: Austin BatsField Trip Foto Friday: Austin Bats

    I’m starting back up with my Field Trip Foto Friday Series that I started back in 2005 when I began blogging. In the interested of keeping things fresh for homeschoolers looking to take field trip adventures, I’m updating some of our favorite field trips in the past. This article originally posted in 2006. Austin (and the surrounding hill country) is famed for being home to the world’s largest colony of free-tailed bats (they even named their ice hockey team after the bats!). Central Texas caverns and bridges are summer homes to these insect predators each year. The bats that live under Congress Bridge in the Texas capital city’s downtown district are Mexican free-tailed bats which migrate between the United States and Mexico each year. Each night as the bats leave their roost at sunset, they travel across the countryside consuming from 10,000 to 20,000 pounds of insects! Visiting Austin’s bats is a fun way to learn about one of nature’s most misunderstood and feared, flying mammals. This bat photo is from the top of the bridge as the last few bats emerged. They leave so quickly that is next to impossible to catch a snapshot of them. Often times it is disappointing when trying to photograph the bats if they emerge in the dark. It is amazing how close to the bats you can get standing near the middle of Congress Bridge, watching a black cloud of flapping wings emerge into the blue dusk. You can also stand in the park and watch from a distance or ride in a tour boat that sits directly under the bridge in Austin’s Town Lake. Be sure to check into BATCON‘s (Bat Conservation International) detailed ‘Austin Bats’ page for the best times and dates to visit the Congress Bats. They have a stellar website (link to their front page below), wonderful photographs, much educational information and even PDF lesson plans on bats! We did a homeschool unit study on bats a year or so before we took this trip in 2005 and read many wonderful books on bats. One of our favorites was Stella Luna. Click over on the image of the book (I’m an Amazon Affiliate) and order one for your own homeschooled kids! We love the photos in this book. I also have one on the snake (“Verdi”) by the same author and illustrator. Since this field trip, my little boy (pictured below) has grown up and graduated and is now in college! He’s 20! His younger 2 brothers enjoy going to see the bats when we have friends visiting from out of state or out of town and we have taken them quite a few times. This is a field trip worth repeating. Here’s a photo of the Kaden the last time he went to see the bats: If you plan to visit the bats, the best times to go are in July and August. Most of the bats migrate to Mexico in November and don’t return until March. The photos for this field trip were taken in April of 2005. We still got to see a lot of bats in off-season, so don’t skip the trip downtown just because of less than perfect viewing conditions. There are PLENTY of bats… and some even stay all year at the roost. Austin’s local Newspaper, ‘The Austin American-Statesman’ created a bat observation area next to the Congress Bridge which is well-kept and pleasant. As you can see in the tranquil image above, it offers great viewing for photography (much better than the view from the bridge itself). Be sure to bring money for parking, though, and/or come early so you can download an app to your phone to help you pay with your phone for the space you park in. Parking is a bit of an ordeal, so you’ll want to set aside some time to get settled. Each year there are more than 100,000 people who take advantage of Austin’s unique natural tourist attraction and witness this interesting nightly event. Man, those were the days! Now my bigger kids are up and grown and my younger set is about this big! Crazy how time flies, mamas – don’t blink. Make those memories and dose your days with lots of love and smiles, because that is what they will remember most about being home with you… that, and amazing field trips! My favorite type of bat is the flying fox; also called the fruit bat. There are many different species of fruit bats, but my favorites are those that look like the ones below. I found this photo on someone’s class website (for kids) and there were no credits. It is certainly a great shot and not my own. I wish I could go and visit the Australian fruit bat colony at Bellingen Island that I read about while researching for this post. You won’t be sorry if you visit the link for Bellingen Island below. The photographer there has some stunning photos and sells them as stationary. Quick Links: Bat Facts Australian Fruit Bat Colony at Bellingen Island Bat Conservation International   Subscribe to Sprittibee by Email The post Field Trip Foto Friday: Austin Bats appeared first on Sprittibee.

    Sprittibee / 94 d. 3 h. 20 min. ago more
  • How to Shop Healthy (and an Ode to Natural Grocers)How to Shop Healthy (and an Ode to Natural Grocers)

    I’ve seen these articles lately popping up in my email box: “What is clean eating?”, “What Diet is Best”, “The Truth About Sugar Substitutes”. It seems that everyone WANTS to eat right, but not a lot of people know what eating right looks like. Even now, I hear people talk about avoiding meat, or eating “lean meats”… and others talk about “draining the fat off of meat because that is where the toxins are stored” and still others talk about eating “tons of meat and fat”. How can you decide who is right? What’s true? Should you eat low fat or no fat or all the fat? Should you eat fruits? What should you not eat with other things? What type of oils are best to cook with? The truth lies within educating yourself about foods, nutrients/nutrition, and cooking methods — and listening to your own body for what you need. It really is a science and a topic people should be researching on their own… because our schools don’t teach it, and most of the “associations” are teaching false information that has been disproved by research. For example: I tried to eat way less meat and was hungry all the time, so after I let my gut heal from colon surgery, I began to slowly increase my meat intake and grain intake. I now allow myself one or two servings of whole grains a day (preferrably quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, or other ancient grains like einkorn wheat, teff, faro or barley). I also have either an egg or animal protein serving or two each day – or every other day if I feel like I’ve had too much (trying only to avoid eating meat at dinner). Part of eating healthy is just listening to your body. Does everyone have to refrain from meat at dinner? Certainly not – some people have really healthy colons and no family history of colon cancer. Beef is one of the best foods when it is grass-fed and organic. Happy cows are yummy cows. Some people are more active and need more protein. I eat chicken, fish, and eggs because although I love beef and pork, I know they aren’t good for MY body. Beef is probably my favorite meat, aside from pork bacon. I don’t eat pork at all any more; setting it aside for turkey bacon has been good for my health. I don’t eat beef except for rare occasions. I find ways to replicate it with lentil and pea-protein “meat”, and even just asking Chipotle to put the grass-fed Barbacoa “juice” on my veggie taco (yes – the fat and drippings for flavor). It holds me over. I eat a veggie burger now and then with all the fixings and have a bite of my husband’s burger if I just CAN’T RESIST. It really isn’t that awful giving things up when you know your body is thriving without them. Things that have been a huge BLESSING from my cancer diagnosis last year (aside from being cured and saved from DYING in my 40’s): mindfulness about what is going in my body each day, knowing that I am eating WAY MORE VEGGIES, having veggies on hand for the boys and them eating healthier, getting off of coffee and learning to love tea (which has been super for the pocketbook), the wealth of information about foods and health that I’ve internalized from research since last year… etc. Being a one-year, stage-three cancer survivor (my one-year anniversary of the surgery to remove my cancer was August 4th), I may eat differently than some, but for the most part, clean eating to me is: eating as free of pesticides, artificial additives, preservatives, trans-fats, or any other unnatural fillers. Not just that, but clean eating is also buying foods that support the kind of farming/producing that is best for the planet, animals, and insects that pollinate. I want the cows and chickens and bees as happy as I am. I want to know they frolicked in the grass, roamed freely, ate what God intended for them to eat, and enjoyed the sunshine on their backs. I want to know that there weren’t poisons or antibiotics in their system. I want to know my food is REAL and SLOW. I am not afraid of doing a little more work for quality calories. I’m going to pick the whole buckwheat grains up and soak them on my counter to blend into pancake batter… rather than buy a boxed gluten free flour that has fillers like potato starch and the like. There’s a place for gluten-free flours (rare treats), but it isn’t on a daily menu. Paired with a few boxed, frozen, Applegate turkey-sausages (since I’m not a turkey farmer), my buckwheat pancakes are a hit: It takes a little more work, but once you do it a few times, it’s just as natural as pouring a bowl of cereal out of a box (which we still do in my house – for the boys… we just buy the least sugary kind with the best ingredients possible). I don’t want to make it sound like we don’t cut corners sometimes. Shoot… a week or two ago, I paid 47$ for gluten free pizza for my men and boys. I vowed that I wouldn’t do that again for another six months afterwards; but it happened, just the same. I might not eat hard cheeses (bad for my colon) or processed meats (pepperoni made with pork), my guys have some every now and then. The trick for me with staying on board with eating healthy is planning ahead (which saves not only time, but money). If I do this, my guys eat pretty much what I eat and they feel better, too. With all our crazy since this May with mom’s death, cleaning out her house, dealing with all the legalities and paperwork, car issues, bills, and then my son moving away and daughter moving home – THERE HAVE BEEN CHEATY DAYS, PEOPLE. You can’t be perfect all of the time. I know I’ve said this before, but you have to allow yourself grace and be OK with the 80/20 rule. As a cancer survivor, I’m more of a 90/10 girl, but that’s just me. I’m always aiming for 100%, aside from a little bit of daily REAL sweeteners like honey or maple syrup (in my husband’s almond butter brownies or REBBL drinks). My family says my taste buds have died because of the vegetable juices I drink. Maybe they are right, but it’s been worth it to get to be here with them and escape having to suffer through chemo or radiation. I’m leaning hard on #JesusandJuice and planning to stick around. So many of my friends say they would eat better if it was cheaper and easier. I won’t lie, it does require a bit more time in the kitchen up front. It calls for more planning, too. Initially, it costs more, but after a while, the grocery part of it is about the same; especially if you eat at home and curb eating out. This is a small sacrifice for avoiding hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of medical bills later on, and/or ending up meeting an untimely demise. Plus, you’ll reach a state of culinary Nirvanah where you can taste whether REAL food is used in restaurant dishes and you don’t think its worth it any longer to waste money paying for a restaurant to feed you frozen junk, nasty rancid fats, and sugary yuck. I’m ever so picky with restaurants now. I’d rather cook things myself, unless I’m just dog tired and can’t… and even then, I sometimes just get frozen things from Natural Grocers instead of eating out. It’s cheaper and usually, they taste better! Just in case you think I’m super-human, think again. I want EASY just like the lot of other moms out there who feel chained to the kitchen. I’m a busy homeschool mom. I admit to buying some boxed and packaged things. I regularly buy Amy’s gluten free mac and cheese for the boys in the freezer section. Let’s discuss this, shall we? The ingredients are as follows: ORGANIC RICE MACARONI (ORGANIC RICE FLOUR, WATER), ORGANIC LOWFAT MILK, CHEDDAR CHEESE, GRADE AA BUTTER, ORGANIC RICE FLOUR, SEA SALT, ANNATTO. I am not eating milk, cheese, or white rice, but my boys can! Having this as a once a week treat to make them happy and save me a lot of time in the middle of a hectic day is oh, so worth it. We also buy Alexa cut fries and Pacific brand gluten free breaded wild-caught fish sticks for days when we are busy with school projects and I just can’t stop to cook even a fast meal. I figure this is a small trade out that will keep me from spending more at the drive-thru line and keep the boys from eating trans-fats and sugar-soaked fast-food fries. Yeah, they soak their fries in sugar solution … that’s why they taste so good. I won’t name any companies here… So how can you make healthy eating easier? I have one simple answer for those of you who live near a Natural Grocers (Vitamin Cottage): Shop there! I wish I was a spokesperson for them, a brand ambassador, even a paid blogger – I would work for coupons. I’ve been trying to get my 18 and 20 year old “big-kids” to work for them because I love them so much (and who couldn’t love a discount on their AMAZING FOOD and supplements)… but NO – lest you are wondering – they aren’t paying me to say this. My husband used to think — “it’s so much more expensive to shop there”. Then we discovered that kombucha cost more at our local grocery store. Almond butter cost more at our local grocery store AND the local wholesale store. We eat a LOT of Almond Butter. Even the bulk spices are cheaper at Natural Grocers. I kept trying to price-compare to show him the light… and then Whole Foods moved in to the area and we REALLY got a taste of what expensive groceries look like. Now, he’s much more likely to shop at good-‘ol NG, even when I am not in the car begging him to stop for me! His favorite thing there is the water machine, and he swears that the water from Natural Grocers tastes better than the Ice stop near our house. I’m just happy to have clean water to make tea with in our machine from Lowe’s that heats and cools it so I get my daily intake of herbal tea and water each day. 10 Other Reasons to Shop at Natural Grocers: 1. They have free classes to teach people about vitamins, health, and grocery shopping each month. 2. They have anniversary parties (like the one today from 4-6pm) where they serve samples for free (today is an ice-cream social) and offer massive discounts. 3. They have incentives and coupons for frequent shoppers (I get 5$ off today because I spent over 60$ in the past week there) – and a free chocolate bar! 4. They are a SMALL STORE – which means no endless wandering through a labrynth of mazes to get just a few things… I can’t tell you how much I hate going in to Costco or Walmart or even the mega HEB stores packed full of people and baskets and walking to the ends of the earth and waiting in long lines with little kids. It’s like a special kind of torture. 5. THEY ONLY SELL ORGANIC PRODUCE. 6. They only sell eggs, milk and yogurt from well-treated animals. 7. They have almost all the supplements I need (and have sales on them that sometimes even beats buying wholesale at Vitacost online). 8. CLEAN EASY TO ACCESS RESTROOMS. 9. Sugar-free candy. Like chocolate. Lots of it. I would never have been able to get off sugar without it. Thank God for Lily’s. 10. Friendly staff. I have yet to meet a NG employee I didn’t like. OK, so I know I sound like an advertisement… but I want them to flourish so I can always count on them to be there – because they are truly my very favorite grocery store. Until the day (which probably will never come) when I can sustainably farm all these yummy foods myself to know EXACTLY what is in them, I trust that the people at NG are working to ensure the foods I buy are quality in their stores. So far, I am so impressed by their selection and even more so by the things they REFUSE to sell. You’ll never find a bag of Cheetos there, and they’ll always keep trying to educate you on the plight of cows and chickens. Once they even recalled all their yogurt and set up a TV to show people why they had to discontinue selling certain brands because of the conditions the cows were living in. I’m tellin’ ya – NG goes beyond capitalism to compassion and responsibility. They educate consumers! Does your grocery store do that? So I better run… I have to make it to the ice-cream social in 30 minutes and get my free chocolate bar. My Google calendar just beeped at me. See you at “the little store” (as my mama so fondly called it). Subscribe to Sprittibee by Email *post update: I just got back. They had samples from cookies, chips, hot sauces, granola, vitamins… and they had two massage therapists giving away free 30$ massages and a free in-store massage. Trust me, it was worth making my three wiggling boys (my little guys and their friend) sit still for a second. Don’t worry – they got ice cream out of the deal! The post How to Shop Healthy (and an Ode to Natural Grocers) appeared first on Sprittibee.

    Sprittibee / 94 d. 16 h. 25 min. ago more