My Own Perspective

Decided to read “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett, a novel written from a maid’s point of view and thier relationships with their white bosses. There has been controversy surrounding the premise of the book since this was set during the peak of racial tension, when equality was on the brink of actually happening. Funny how some subjects tend to be taboo. But this is history and there is nothing wrong with hearing from the right side.

I understood every character in the novel, from Miss Hilly, who is quite harsh and bigotted and yet you wonder if maybe deep down, she doesn’t feel a bit guilty about the way she behaves. Upbringing does a lot for one’s thinking and perception of how the world should be. Then  you have her friend, Elizabeth, who is a bit depressed and unsure of herself. I kinda think she is more a follower and just feels the immsense pressure to do whatever she is told to do.

Now we come to the “trouble maker” as I like to call her, but in a good way. Skeeter, a thin, frizzy haired young lady, who  decides to be daring and interview maids and put those experiences in a book. How forward thinking. She is coming from a family that really and truly thinks better of those who are different than most of the white community in Jackson, Mississippi.  The nickname fits her, she’s small in stature but mighty in spirit.

Each character reaches out to the other and in return lessons are learned. Abileen, the maid whose voice is the main narrator, is definitely a wise and wonderful lady. She’s the voice of reason. She calms everyone else down when there’s trouble brewing. She also finds courage through the book to stand up for herself and walk away from her white boss and start all over. The other maids do the same, they find courage and discover changes taking place that aren’t so scary. Their bravery has actually been a positive force in changing in their lives for the better.

Skeeter discovers that it’s okay to move on and break away from the small town and take a risk in new surroundings, that her new found friends will be okay and she doesn’t have to protect them or anyone else. She can stand on her own now. She’s grown up.

Now, I want to end the this with some words that Abileen would tell Elizabeth’s daughter, Mae Mobley,

“You is smart, You is Kind, ..and I believe she also said, “You is important” Yeah, that is how we should all feel, don’t you think? Valued, and treated with respect.  Need more Abileens in this world.

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My Attitude!

I’m sure we have those days where we just want to blow off steam and say to heck with it! Just scream at the top of your lungs and let loose, right? Even after a good day you might want to raise some! Well, today is one of those days for me. Just plain out tired and wanting to cut loose, I am allowing one of my favorite singers to do just that for me.

Who? Let’s give it up for Jimi Hendrix and in honor of Woodstock itself.

What can I say? The man was a genius on the guitar and talented singer. Enjoy. And thank you, Mr. Hendrix, for making my day!!

He’s Movin’ On Up

Read about his passing in the newspaper this morning, and he will certainly be missed. For those of you too young to remember, the character is George Jefferson, from the Norman Lear series, “The Jeffersons”.  Very progressive for the 70s, I might add. A successful minority business owner, living in high rise apartment, and accross the way, interacting on a regular basis with his neighbors, a biracial couple, a white man married to a black woman.

I like to think of Mr. Sherman Helmsley, the  man who portrayed George, as cutting edge. He presented a positive image of what one can do against any obstacles. Yes, he had his not so stellar moments, and don’t we all? I read from one critic, that you weren’t supposed to like him, to paraphrase the quote. Well, I disagree. Mr. Jefferson was just trying to get along in the world he was brought into and had to try harder unfortunately due to racial barriers.

If people would just stop and realize what Mr. Lear was trying to do back then with shows like “The Jeffersons”, “All in The Family”, and even “Good Times” he was just bringing to our attention things we need to address and change. Mr. Lear also presented his characters in positive lights, he didn’t stereotype them. Each one was intelligent, funny, emotional and sensitive. But you have to look past the surface and really watch the characters in the situations they are put in to know that.

See that’s what’s irritating to me, there are those that just choose to look at what is in front of them and accept what’s there, and pass judgment. Then you have those who are interested in learning more, so they understand. Hmm…simple enough…but hard for some to do.

Well, George, you and Weezy are together again and you have moved up. Rest in peace.

Making something out of nothing

Well, the need to make another card just struck me and I decided to play with some card stock and cardboard. Now I am wondering what else to with the card. I have left it as is so far, with a little detail added by black fine point marker. The ideas will come to me and  maybe some feedback will help too. I like the tree the way it is but seems to need some filling in around it , don’t you think? Grass, some toys, I don’t know, I am putting it aside so I can come back to it and  have a fresh mind to continue its transformation.

That’s the fun of creativity, no stopping to the ways you make something and endless supplies materials are all around us. Repurposing items is a favorite and I admire those who find unique ways to reuse  discarded items. Less trash in a landfill and more beauty for the rest of us to admire. I have some odds and ends that I intend to reuse but am going over in my head what I want design out of them.

This is a short blog post for today, but hey, I will come back with longer thoughts to fill another post. Now, what embellisment to add????

The Orphan King-A Review

Talk about trusting others with your life! Thomas has to do just that while on a quest to save the kingdom of Magnus from the horrible suffering inflicted upon the citizens by corrupt and evil leaders.

The novel, The Orphan King, Book One Merlin’s Immortals, is a well written, want to know more about everyone, adventure and Sigmund Brouwer does a fantastic job of holding your interest. He kept mine. Read the book in one day. Thomas, an orphan raised by hypocritical and abusive monks, suddenly decides one day that it’s time he left and fulfill a destiny that’s been laid out before him. And so he does.

The cast of characters are rather peculiar but they do aid in the mission that Thomas has succeed in. A   man who likes to steal, a young lady who is both deaf and mute, a knight, hmmm, interesting group of people who help Thomas with his faith in others and in God Himself. Thomas is kind of savior, who delivers people from being held prisoner and  inspires them to take a stand against their persecutors. You’ll see what I mean when you read the book. Lesson? God has plans for everyone, we just have to read the instruction manual for the clues.

I received this free copy from Waterbrook Press in exchange for reviewing it.

For more information (including author bio)

http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9781400071548

To Read Chapter One:

http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/blog/2012/04/02/sneak-peek-the-orphan-king-by-sigmund-brouwer/

Author Podcast:

http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/blog/2012/07/07/podcast-the-orphan-king-by-sigmund-brouwer/

Author web site:

http://www.rockandroll-literacy.com/

Deadly Choice

Wow, I wake up and read that someone decided to mad and shoot cinema goers at a new Batman movie premier. What has the world come to that some deranged invidivual has to take a gun cause such harm to innocent bystanders, including a baby??? Can we not be safe anywhere?? My heart goes out to victims and thier families and yes to the family of the suspect as they have to live with the backlash from the suspect’s actions.

God is up there crying right now because one that He loves has committed a horrible act and others have suffered because of it. His healing hands are being laid upon everyone in order to calm thier spirits and bring peace back again. Take time I know, certainly won’t happen immediately. Creepy that the movie is called, “The Dark Knight Rises” even though Batman himself is a hero, he wears black and appears a bat so as to strike fear in the enemy. James Eagon Holmes, 24, has wasted his life now and for what?

Mr.Holmes has killed 14 people, and I’d like to know why. Fifty others wounded in the tragic chaos. He himself was booby trapped with explosives and guns. “Quiet and easygoing” he decribes himself. Well, I don’t think so. I think you need to get down on  your knees and start praying really hard, or you will meet a different maker when your number is called.

As for the victims, and their families I pray the healing begins soon and that justice is served.

Can’t Pick Just One!

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has posted a challenge for anyone daring to pick just a few of their most favorite toys of all time on their web site. They have a list of 100 from various decades so as to cover wide range of age groups.  The toys that get the most votes will be posted on the site.   Now when I went through and voted, the memories came back to me like a glass of sweet ice tea.

Let’s start with some really cool play stuff, shall we? Big wheel! Yeah, racing down the sidewalk thinking your bad with your feet pedaling as fast they can with your friends following behind you. Mini motorcycle on three wheels without the motor and one that mom and dad would let you drive!  And what about the bike? The third step up when you got even bigger, especially when the training wheels came off and you didn’t need anyone to help you balance. That’s what I’m talking about. The cool fringe on the handle bars, the basket, all the accessories that made it yours and yours alone. Heck yeah!

Another toy that I gravitated to was of course, Dr. Seuss books. Wacky characters and far out places, unusual names and phrases, attracted me to his world. He had a lot to say in his books, if you paid any attention at all, and not just about the ABCs. Oh no, the Dr. wanted us take care of our planet, be kind to one another and to keep on dreaming and yes, make the dreams come true.

Okay now comes the artsy side of the toys, crayons and what could be cooler than taking the wax colored sticks and covering a whole coloring book with different shades of green, yellow, red , etc…? Blank paper to create to new designs and mix the colors to see what result from such hard work. Man, such fun! Favorite color? Midnight blue was mine, and yours?? Paint by numbers made you feel like an artist who should be in a museum with your work on display.

Play doh, squishy and pliable, able to be formed by cookie cutter, fork, hands, and any other instrument that was nearby! Word to those who may not know, don’t leave it out, it does tend to dry, a horrible side effect, if you ask me.

Curious George, the inquisitive little monkey, always wondering about the world around him and how that curiosity got him into trouble. Well, I like to think he want on adventures and just needed some help from the man in yellow hat. That’s it. He didn’t get into trouble, he just wanted to explore, just like the rest of us do.  George is creative about it. Poor guy.

the childhood mark. They all had something in common; most were low tech and force a child to use their imagination, like Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, and the Lincoln logs, and blocks. The mind was the computer and the child the programmer, instructing everything on how the play would take place. I like that. Now, tech toys have their place, but let’s be honest, they can’t replace the imagination and open ended ideas that blocks, crayons, dolls and wagons, etc… can provide. What did Dr. Seuss say in one of his books, “Oh the Places You’ll Go!?” High Five Dr.!

Here’s the web site for the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis:

http://www.childrensmuseum.org/connect?gclid=CMKS6pTTorECFQ67KgoddziGCg

Yeah That’s It…

I had the chance to watch “The Help” this evening and I was blown away by the movie. Love the scenery, the characters and the idea behind the story. You could almost feel yourself right there alongside the two very different cultures somewhat coexisting in the era of segregation. Guess I don’t see the controversy that some have talked about because all I noticed was the struggle to do what was right versus what was brought up to do.

To me the movie is really about changing one’s attitude towards one another by seeing things from another person’s point of view. Skeeter steps in and does just that by interviewing the maids and gathering thier stories for her book, which is most appropriately called, “The Help”. Her dreams of becoming a writer actually end up influecing a change in the community she lives in. Courage rises  stands up to bigotry and wins. some finally have some peace. One such person finally stands up to witchy white lady and walks away while the woman’s friend just stands there with her head lowered in shame. I wonder, if she is feeling guilty but not brave enough to say “I’m sorry”.

There is healing throughout the movie as in another scene, a character named Minnie goes to work for a lady named Celia, who seems a bit out of the world. We get to know to her and see that she’s very sweet person who has suffered at least two miscarriages. Minnie becomes her saving grace and ends up making her stronger. Everyone in the movie needs the other, good, bad, and otherwise. You want to smack some, but then you see underneath all the hatred, and find that peer pressure is weighing down on them and the fear to speak up is too much. They think if they do it will cause more harm than good.

The time of segration is over, and I am so glad it is. Now, if we can  just get past the part where we identify one another by color skin, nationality and even disability, the world  will be a better place. I must be one of the wierdos out there. I just don’t worry about such things. Those are secondary, the human part is first, and I could use some “help” getting the word out…

God is More Than Enough

The Lord is my shepherd, the beginning of the twenty-third Psalm, one of the most recognized chapters of the Bible, is discussed in the, entitled, God is More Than Enough, by Tony Evans.

Mr. Evans gives insight into understanding what it means by having God as our Sheperd, a  protector, a provider, someone we can always go to whatever our circumstance may be. I really enjoyed how the lines of the Psalm were broken down into chapters, and explained in terms everyone can understand.

God should be number one, and all else number two and three and so on… We should remember to look him to first and not think we have to depend only on ourselves for every decision we make. If we are mindful, and listen, remain still, we can hear what our Lord has to tell us.

To borrow a quote from the book itself, “When you know how much God loves you, when you know how much God cares for you, when you know how much He thinks about you, when you know how valuable you are…it will override any emotion that seeks to tear you down.” Sums it for me, what about you?

I received this free copy from Waterbrook Press in exchange for reviewing it.

For more information:

http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9780307729897

Read Chapter 1:

http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9780307729897

Author Bio:

http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/blog/2010/05/23/sneak-peek-god-is-more-than-enough-by-tony-evans/