RainbowFlag July 6, 2015

Joan Larsen Encore: Summer Dream – The Hidden Getaway at the Lake House

July 1, 2015

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lakehouse

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 […]

Papal Paradox: Curb Global Warming, But Don’t Curb Population Growth?

June 29, 2015

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crowd

Yea, verily, I say unto thee, the Apocalypse is upon us, and it ain’t the Apocalypse of John. It’s more like Genesis in high-speed reverse.   In his recent encyclical, the Pope says global warming is real, is a threat, and is partly caused by humans. I love him for that.  What I don’t love […]

Bristol Palin, Pregnant Again, Doesn’t Want Any Lectures. Good. Neither Do We.

June 26, 2015

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Bristol-Palin

If ever there were an argument that we should all butt out of each others’ reproductive business, this is it.   Time for a quick Friday rant: Bristol Palin is pregnant out of wedlock for the second time. “Bristol Palin announces second pregnancy, schadenfreude-tinged pile-on begins,” trumpets the Los Angeles Times. I’m not into the […]

Joan Larsen Encore: Lost in Another World – Exploring Australia’s Top End

June 24, 2015

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Cover

By Joan Larsen We were young and adventurous when this wilderness beckoned us.  Crocodile Dundee walked in our footsteps sometime later… but we paved the way.  For the most part, the roads in the Top End were not paved.  The largest national park in Australia lies there, a “must-be-seen” wilderness called Kakadu… a journey to […]

Ten More Turns: The Little Gold Watch

June 22, 2015

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Pocket-watch2

By Lauriate Roly She probably played with this lovely watch many times.  Trying to set the time or trying to wind it so it would keep running, or watching to see that it is wound enough to keep running until to-morrow. How many times a day should it be wound, and how many turns of […]

Joan Larsen Encore: Mountains of the Imagination – Adventures in the Grand Tetons

June 17, 2015

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Cover-lake

By Joan Larsen We call them “second honeymoons” – and they are.  But there are just a handful of  special places in the United States that will draw us back time after time.  We have never been disappointed.  An authentic Swiss chalet in the mountains of Wyoming, aptly named The Alpenhof Lodge, has been our […]

Rachel Dolezal Can’t Be Black, Because Dave Chappelle Can’t Be White

June 16, 2015

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Rachel-Dolezel

I’m no fan of the “one drop of black blood makes you black” philosophy, nor does one drop of white blood make you white. Dolezal is correct that race is more complicated than that. But she has not one single drop, not a smidgen, not an atom of black heritage. I have been watching in […]

Posted in: Interests, Nation, Politics, Race

When Is Fortunetelling “Bilking?” Or, Why is it Legal at All?

June 15, 2015

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Bart-Magic8Ball

Answer: It’s always bilking. It is only a matter of degree. As Michael Wilson reports in the New York Times, a man consulted a Times Square psychic for help in winning the affections of his lady love. Over the course of the next 20 months, “she bled him dry;” he had handed over $713,975. And […]

Posted in: Crime, Interests, Justice

Joan Larsen Encore: Sailing to the Top of the World

June 10, 2015

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cover-walrus

By Joan Larsen There are very few untouched wildernesses remaining in our world today.  Even as a quite young child, my dream was to explore the most remote islands I could find on our globe.  The High Canadian Arctic – until lately – remained isolated islands, mostly inaccessible with their nearly year-round ice.  It was […]

Enough “Trigger Warnings” and “Safe Spaces.” Grow Up, or Step Aside.

June 8, 2015

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scared

We are supposed to be ready for full adulthood upon graduation from high school. Instead, our best universities now act like nurseries for weak-minded, simpering crybabies. We are doomed. There is a dangerous – yes, dangerous – and growing tendency to insulate college students from the least bit of stress, controversy, mental discomfort, or any […]

Joan Larsen: Finding Help to Leap the Chasm Between High School and Life

June 3, 2015

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graduation

By Joan Larsen As we watch our own children and grandchildren heading into those final years in high school, more often than not we see kids who are ‘betwixt and between’, still too young and unsure of which of the many roads that spread out ahead of them to lay claim to.  Remembering back to our […]

How to Boost Clothing Sales: Block Cell Signals in the Fitting Rooms

June 1, 2015

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CellPhone

How much revenue is lost to the Selfish Selfie? The other day, I enjoyed a rare stroke of good fortune in the jeans department: my size, the elusive 6P, was in stock! Still, jeans are something you really need to try on before buying, so I grabbed a pair and headed to the fitting rooms. […]

Joan Larsen Encore: Life Stories – Love Letters from a Scammer

May 27, 2015

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4-keyboard

By Joan Larsen   A true story, a cautionary story for all women is about to unfold.  My beautiful young friend in her 40s was about to experience the downside of life in a way that many of us discover in that decade.  Caring for dying parents, one after the other, drains you and often […]

Christian Fundamentalists Treat Females Just as Badly as Muslim Fundamentalists

May 25, 2015

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bible

Odd that Westerners fear the patriarchal extremism of Islamic Sharia law, but tolerate or even praise the exact same principles when they are espoused by Christian extremists like the Duggar clan. How very strange. There has been much flailing recently over revelations of Josh Duggar’s molestation of girls – some of them his own sisters […]

Joan Larsen Encore: Finding New Zealand’s Mt. Cook

May 20, 2015

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home-alt

By Joan Larsen   Can you imagine a country where the only roadblocks you encounter are beautiful sheep blocking the road?  Welcome then to New Zealand — with its two islands holding 3 million wonderful people . . . and 60 million sheep – a proud welcoming committee, actually posing for what looks to be […]

I Do Not Want a Nurse With a “Stress Disability”

May 18, 2015

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Health

You want to talk lawsuits, honey? You are one big walking lawsuit waiting to happen for any hospital that hires you. In the news: nursing student Jennifer Burbella is suing her college because she has twice failed a class required to get her nursing degree. Did the professor fail to teach her the material? No… […]

Joan Larsen Encore: North Into the Never-Never

May 13, 2015

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3-Devils-Marbles

By Joan Larsen Flying by small plane, low over Australia’s Northern Territory, we are present- day Crocodile Dundees, wanting to be one of the first to go exploring a desert world that most travelers will never see. Our delightful, agreeable pilot seemed more than happy to chase down the only large inhabitants in the empty […]

A Wasted Organ Transplant: Why Patients’ Social History and Potential SHOULD Matter

May 11, 2015

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Health

If you were faced with 100 dying people, and could only save 79 of them, how would you choose? Back in 2012, 15-year-old Anthony Stokes was denied a lifesaving heart transplant. Doctors ruled him a bad candidate because of a “history of noncompliance,” meaning he was unlikely to follow doctors’ orders concerning medications and follow-up […]

Joan Larsen Presents: Birds Do It, Bees Do It… A First Look From Above at Nature’s Baby Boom

May 6, 2015

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home-storks

By Joan Larsen You do know how babies arrive, don’t you?   I looked at my mother with those innocent eyes as she told me about the stork flying over our rooftop with that little wrapped bundle swinging from its beak, delicately placing it on the chimney top for us to find. I seem to remember […]

Posted in: Interests, Joan Larsen, World

Baltimore Riots: “Mom of the Year” Wouldn’t Be, Under Other Circumstances

May 4, 2015

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Baltimore-Mom

It is not lost on me that under other circumstances, the famous Baltimore mom might be in jail for child abuse.   By now you have seen the headlines praising Maryland mom Toya Graham for her smackdown of her masked 16-year-old son who was among the rioters in Baltimore, throwing rocks at the police. “Baltimore […]

Joan Larsen Encore: To Big Sur With Love

April 29, 2015

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Cover

By Joan Larsen How could any one of us resist a world that is totally breathtaking?  Just a plane’s flight away to California – not that many hours from any of our homes – lies a piece of heaven on this earth called Big Sur.  A warning though:  once seen, once under its spell, and […]

God as Martyr: I Don’t Understand

April 27, 2015

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bible

Last week, I pondered the Pope’s words calling the childless “selfish.” That got me to thinking, and there are some things about Catholicism and Christianity I just can’t get my head around… despite having gone to a Catholic school in my youth. I am thinking of the Holy Trinity and of the concept that God […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: North America’s Ultimate Escape – The Uncharted Wonders of the Bugaboos of British Columbia

April 22, 2015

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Home-8-BC

By Joan Larsen My helicopter has landed. . . and with that first step into a world completely unknown to most humans, I could find no words that could express the feelings of beauty – beauty that seemed to stretch to the heavens no matter in which direction I looked. What was this feeling I […]

Explain: How is Remaining Childless “Selfish”?

April 20, 2015

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Adoption

Back in February, Pope Francis reiterated the Catholic Church’s position on child-bearing: “Not to have children is a selfish choice.” Ummmm, really? Adjective self·ish \ˈsel-fish\ :  concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself :  seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others (Merriam-Webster). Amazingly enough, childless people are not always […]

Joan Larsen Shares: Once in a Lifetime – the Extraordinary Friendship Between a Fox and a Cat

April 15, 2015

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cat-cover

In one of the most remote and hard-to-reach places in the world I have ever visited – the Kamchatka Peninsula in Siberia – I was shown photographs of a beautiful cat living at a reserve there who had made a true friendship with a lone fox who came to visit every day.  The story — […]

Tax Day Cometh, and I’m Not Using TurboTax Again

April 13, 2015

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GovernmentvsTaxpayers

It’s kind of great, but too scary for me Lila is a big fan of the stubby-pencil method for doing taxes. I download all the necessary forms and instructions from the IRS website, I read the instructions and do my own math (even though math and I don’t get along well). In a good year, […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Communing With Giants – A Magical Day in California’s Muir Woods

April 8, 2015

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Home-MuirWoods

 By Joan Larsen   2015 . . . and with it another return journey to the West in early spring – to The City By The Bay, San Francisco. Once again the city has exceeded my expectations. It always does. That city pulls out all stops – and then continually adds some more – – […]

Final Exams Looming? Here’s Lila’s Personal Anxiety-Reliever

April 6, 2015

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Education

Spring Break and Easter mean that finals can’t be far behind. Believe it or not, Lila was once a college student and is well acquainted with the stress that comes with knowing that in just a few weeks, you will sit down to a final exam that may well make all the difference between passing […]

Joan Larsen Encore: Living Through the Rogue Wave in the High Arctic

April 1, 2015

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alternate

Even now, more than a decade later, that wave – a wave coming out of nowhere, heading toward our ship with such incredible speed –will forever remain indelibly in our minds. All of those passengers on our ship that were with me that day were seemingly mesmerized by the height and the speed of the […]

Natural Easter Egg Dyes!

March 30, 2015

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EggDyes

For anyone looking for something a little out of the ordinary, natural, and educational for this holiday weekend, consider experimenting with natural plant dyes for your Easter eggs!  Check out these websites and others for more ideas to put some extra fun and interest into your Easter activities. Here’s just one of many resources explaining […]

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