Iceland-cover August 27, 2014

No, We Are NOT All Getting Taller or Growing Bigger Feet

September 1, 2014


Hey manufacturers: remember that there are plenty of us still around who haven’t grown much in the last several decades. Lila is a mere five feet tall with size 5 feet, a situation that has not changed since… oh, probably about age 13 or so. So when headlines trumpet that we are getting taller, or […]

Moving Hiatus! Meanwhile, Back to… If You Are Pro-Life, Then You Are Anti-IVF

August 29, 2014



All, one more look back at a Lila-Encore!  Lila and Hubby are still unpacking and unboxing, and the new house is finally starting to look more like a house and less like a hurricane-mauled refugee camp.  Lila’s computer is up and running so I will soon be back to blogging! Meanwhile, here’s a look back […]

Moving Hiatus! Meanwhile, Back to… Afghanistan, 13 Years On: Why I Want a Draft

August 25, 2014



All, the big week is here!  Lila and Hubby are busy packing, boxing, driving, unpacking, unboxing, and hopefully not killing each other in the process.  At the end of it all we should… I hope… have our new dream home all set up and running smoothly.  As Lila’s computer is somewhere in between here and […]

Moving Hiatus! Meanwhile, Back to…. The Unpretentious Elitist

August 22, 2014



All, the big week is here!  Lila and Hubby are busy packing, boxing, driving, unpacking, unboxing, and hopefully not killing each other in the process.  At the end of it all we should… I hope… have our new dream home all set up and running smoothly.  As Lila’s computer is somewhere in between here and […]

Joan Larsen’s Dream of Late Summer: The Hidden Getaway at the Lake House

August 20, 2014



By Joan Larsen I believe down deep we are all alike. Deep inside us, unbidden thoughts take over our quiet moments in the early darkness of winter. The two of us find ourselves talking – the kind of conversation that usually comes late in the evening when the lights are low. It is then we […]

Moving Hiatus! Meanwhile, Back to… I Never Wanted to Be a Mommy

August 18, 2014



All, the big week is here!  Lila and Hubby are busy packing, boxing, driving, unpacking, unboxing, and hopefully not killing each other in the process.  At the end of it all we should… I hope… have our new dream home all set up and running smoothly.  As Lila’s computer is somewhere in between here and […]

There Has Been Too Much Abuse. Demilitarize the Police NOW.

August 15, 2014



Ferguson, Missouri is only the latest case of local governments unleashing military-grade weapons and military tactics against their own people. How is this any different from the abuses we criticize in other countries? In 1992, this is what riot police looked like during the Rodney King riots, which were among the most violent and destructive […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Close Encounters of the Grizzly Kind

August 13, 2014



By Joan Larsen   My lone standoff with an extremely large grizzly bear in Alaska’s Denali Park has gone down in the annals of park history.   The tale has been used as a strong warning to visitors to our national parks that we should never – EVER – hike alone.   My park guide – who […]

We are Nest-Soilers, and Now the Grand Canyon is Under Threat… From Us

August 11, 2014


The Confluence.

Once word gets out about some particularly beautiful or unusual place, the beauty or uniqueness is doomed as we crowd in and stampede it to death, or worse – try to slice it up into individually-owned bits. We admire a thing, then ruin it with our meddling or by our very mass. It never fails. […]

Can We Avoid Dumb Marijuana Legalization?

August 8, 2014



By Laura Chapman Controlling drug abuse: is legalization really the right answer? After plummeting crime rates in Washington and Colorado, the legalization of marijuana in the US is looking increasingly likely by the year. Over half the American public believe the change in law will have positive results and are pushing for personal use of […]

Joan Larsen Celebrates: My First Two Years – Forming the Thread

August 6, 2014



By Joan Larsen How could I not believe in serendipity? When the first major websites were attracting readers – readers by the thousands – with a diversity of topics to comment on daily many years ago, smart women by the hundreds – more – gravitated to a site aptly called WOWOWOW for their daily “fix”. […]

Another Reason to Oppose Fertility Treatments

August 4, 2014



What if you could have several children, pick out your favorite, and throw the others away?  Now you can! In general, Lila is not a fan of fertility treatments. First of all, there is the population issue:  extinction from lack of people is pretty unlikely; on the other hand, a population collapse may very well […]

Dear Federal Trade Commission, Exactly WHAT are You Doing About Unwanted Calls and Scams??

August 1, 2014



Too little, I suspect.   It has been The Year of Juggling Houses. Lila’s Brother has finished his new place in a neighboring county, and moved out of Dad’s old house; Lila and Hubby have just finished our new place and will soon be moving; and Dad’s old house was recently sold. When it comes […]

Joan Larsen’s Story of Ethan: Should Being A Doctor Be in His Future?

July 30, 2014



By Joan Larsen The phone rang. As I answered, I would never have believed that – with my answers – I could be changing a life at the other end. Ethan – my friend’s newly 16-year-old son, a boy brilliant in my estimation – was counting on me for help. Those in high school honors […]

Happy Eid al-Fitr 1435

July 28, 2014



Today, 28 July, is the day that U.S. Muslims celebrate the Feast of Breaking the Fast, the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan this year. Eid mubarak!  Today begins a three-day holiday of prayer, charity, feasting, visiting, and gift-giving as Muslims celebrate the end of the difficult month of Ramadan, which requires abstaining from […]

Immigration Crisis: Why Should Honduras Get Special Consideration?

July 25, 2014



Perspective: the fact that a “refugee” can walk to our border does not make him more deserving of asylum than other sufferers around the world. Now, with an unmanageable flow of underage, unaccompanied illegal immigrants overwhelming US facilities near the border, the Obama administration is thinking about screening thousands of children and young adults in […]

Joan Larsen Encore: The Grand Days of London – An Interlude with Ingrid Bergman

July 23, 2014



By Joan Larsen Another world, another time…  a time when we were young, eager to grab for the stars along the way, and then – then – an opportunity to go to London.  LONDON!  Well, London was like being given the world.  Two weeks in London was to be a glimpse of heaven and we […]

Hey South Carolina: I Was a 7-Year-Old Latchkey Kid

July 21, 2014



Thank God it was the 1970s, so my Dad didn’t end up in jail, and I didn’t end up in foster care.   In the news we hear of a South Carolina mother who was jailed and lost custody of her 9-year-old daughter for allowing her to play unsupervised at a local park (with a […]

Online News Sites Beware: Advertisers That Act as Reader Repellent

July 18, 2014



If your ads are too distracting, you’re just making me leave the page I am on to seek out my content elsewhere… the opposite of the desired effect.   Lila is a big consumer of news articles. I know that sites have to be funded by something, and since most people don’t want to pay […]

Joan Larsen Presents: Living Your Life With Passion – The Holstee Manifesto

July 16, 2014



By Joan Larsen   Each year in my home,we celebrate a day that is private only to us. This year it began in early morning. A long thin wrapped gift lay on the dining table. On top, the heavy cream-colored envelope said only “My Love”. The note paper was heavy. My husband obviously had spent […]

Hobby Lobby and IVF: Inconsistent Thinking

July 14, 2014



By now we all know that the Supreme Court ruled that “closely held” for-profit employers may decline to pay for contraceptive coverage if it goes against the business owners’ religious beliefs. This, in spite of the ACA’s stance that contraception is an essential part of women’s reproductive health in this day and age. Hobby Lobby, […]

Law Enforcement Has Officially Gone Insane: Teen Sexting as Child Porn

July 11, 2014



Teens experimenting with their budding sexual urges is normal. Cops giving a 17-year-old boy an erection against his will and then photographing it as “evidence” is just SICK.   By now most of us are aware of “sexting,” that indiscreet practice of sending nude or partly nude photos of oneself to one’s love interest.   As […]

Joan Larsen Encore: Touching Down on the World’s Shortest Landing Strip

July 9, 2014



By Joan Larsen Saba.  Saba, the island that is the unspoiled queen of the Caribbean, is virtually unknown, and yet – once seen seems to hover in the mind forever after.  Getting there, however, seems to ward off all but the most adventurous.  Why? Well, its miniscule airstrip is reputedly one of the most dangerous […]

Be Fruitful, Unless You’re Not Like Me

July 7, 2014



Facebook, Hobby Lobby, and crowded trains reveal a very strange way of thinking among some of my friends.   You know how most of us self-censor depending on who we’re talking to? We will tell things to our friends that we would never in a million years say to our parents; we use different language […]

Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?

July 4, 2014



It’s worth remembering that the “founding fathers” of our country were brave enough to stand up to what they saw as tyranny. They were willing to risk their personal and political fortunes, their freedom and their very lives to oppose the Crown over issues like unfair taxes, curtailment of credit, being forced to accommodate soldiers […]

Joan Larsen Encore: Shore Party in the Land of the Midnight Sun

July 2, 2014



By Joan Larsen Life holds the most unexpected surprises, the forever memories, to those who are open to them.  Isn’t that true?  But, on this day of astonishing splendor that, truly, only a few countries in our world can offer, this journey — to the edge of the world that was Norway —  had been […]

The Other Reason Girls are Hypersexualized

June 30, 2014



Do we continue to foster a culture that insidiously discourages females from doing much of anything else? Women’s-lib veterans must be SO disappointed.   As we have lamented before, it seems like girls these days are too wrapped up in their physical appearance, that they put so much of their self-worth in things like boobs […]

Myopia Doesn’t Actually Fix Climate Change

June 27, 2014



Oddly enough, re-writing unpopular forecasts has little impact on global weather patterns.   As The Washington Post reports, several years ago residents of North Carolina’s Outer Banks – which amount to little more than a giant sandbar – were warned that by the end of this century, ocean levels would rise some 39 inches and […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: The Seychelles – A Corner of Paradise

June 25, 2014



By Joan Larsen Marooned in the middle of the Indian Ocean lies an almost unknown archipelago of 115 islands – the Seychelles – that have a pristine, tropical beauty that made me feel that our small ship had drifted into a dream world. As a child, literature had called it “as close to the Garden […]

How Can Atheists be “Offended” By the Ground Zero Cross?

June 23, 2014



Because some atheists are zealots… yes, just like religious zealots. I think we all know by now that Lila is a bona fide agnostic, doesn’t pray, and loathes attending church (although she will grit her teeth and attend to support friends at key moments like weddings, memorials, and the like). If you want to torture […]


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