Archives for March 2016

Women’s History Month – “Mary and Martha” documentary review


Mary and Martha is a documentary directed by Phillip Noyce and stars Hillary Swank.  I found this gem on Amazon Prime and was deeply moved by it.

The first part of the movie starts out showing Mary, a mother, wife and business woman who begins to realize how her son is withdrawing from her and that her lifestyle might not be helping. She finds out he is being bullied in school and she wants to find a way to help. She realizes that her husband is often busy with work, she in hers and her son plays his video games. She wants to find a way to connect to him and she decides she doesn’t just want to be a mom, she wants to be an “amazing” mom for her son. So she decides she wants to take him out of school and spend six months in South Africa and homeschool him there while giving him an amazing experience. With the support of her husband who stays in the US to continue his work, she takes her son to South Africa.  Initially he doesn’t want to go but as time passes he grows into his new environment and is very happy. You watch him really embracing the experience and thrive. Without much more spoilers, the movie goes on to show how Malaria affects the population in South Africa.


Eventually Mary meets another mother, Martha, who’s son went to South Africa, and their chance meeting leads to a beautiful friendship. They decide they want to do something to help the people in Africa fight Malaria.  Again, another film that captures the possibility to make change in the world.

I smiled, I laughed  a little and I cried a lot during this film.

The talented James Wood plays Mary’s, estranged, rich and powerful father. There is a scene in the movie where she goes to him for help and he starts to rattle off numbers that absolutely took my breath away. He said:

“Did you that if you take every single person killed in terrorist act around the world in the last 20 years and you add to that all the lives lost in the Middle East since 1967, the Six Day War, and you add to that every single American life lost in Vietnam, in Korea and in every single American engagement since then –Iraq, Afghanistan. If you take all those lives and you multiply it by two, that’s the number of children that die of Malaria every single year.”

Now I am not sure where to begin to verify the accuracy of this statement but I do know it captured my attention.  Every life is important and sometimes we only focus when large numbers are present. That isn’t good but if that statistic is correct, wow…I feel deeply sad that I have only come to this problem, this late in my life. I feel some guilt. I have a lot of emotions but I think the important thing is that I focus on now, not my lack of knowledge in the past but what I can do in the present.

So inspired by this movie I have located a few organizations that are working towards eradicating Malaria. I want to know: What the current state is? What is being done? How I can help? How I can keep abreast of new developments.

So I urge you to watch the film then decide for yourself if you want to be in the dark moving forward or if you want to know more. I know I sound “preachie” but I think when you feel moved, you tend to act with more purpose.

At this time, the most effective means to prevent malaria is sleeping under a mosquito net, specifically a long-lasting insecticide treated net.

I googled Malaria Charities and found a few and then I found Give, an organization that reviews charities to see who transparent they are and if donors money is allocated well. I know, like many others, I use caution when donating to charities.  So this might be helpful.

Through them I found out that they found Against Malaria Foundation to be a fairly good charity.  Please check it out.

There are good people doing great things out there and this film was inspired by Harry and Jo Yirrell, a woman who lost her son to Malaria when he gave away his pills to save another person. She is part of a charity called Malaria No More UK.

I have more to learn but with the help of the internet that process is possible.

Have a blessed day friends!


Saying Goodbye to Our Children’s Librarian – Miss Martha


Hello my peeps! Happy Monday! It’s raining outside today so I have my cup of tea close at hand and my books within reach too! It’s like a formula that must be fulfilled. Rain = Tea + Books!!  So I may cut my day short and indulge.

On the topic of books, I am sad to say that our amazing children’s librarian, Miss Martha is leaving our library at the end of this month. She has been with my kids for several years. As I have mentioned we go to the library weekly and often participate in the programs. We really love our time we spend there. So when the news came last month that she was leaving to a job closer to home, I was pretty devastated.

Apollo is a member of the libraries’ book club and she has led this group of wonderful kids through an adventure of great books and great discussions. I always sit in the back of the room and listen and let me tell you, their discussions hold up well against adult book discussions.  They all love reading and they show up eager to chat.

When it comes to Nicholas, she has been so great with making book recommendations in past years for reading for the accelerated reader program at school and has spent the last year, providing amazing support for his comic creations and club that he started at the library.


So for the last bookclub meeting, I brought food, a card and then I made these bookmarks with the members names on it as well as hers for her to take home and remember us.

For many, this might not be a big deal but for us this is sad. What I told the boys is that they have to be grateful for the time we have had and let her know she will be missed.

We haven’t met our new librarian but Martha assured us that she is leaving us in good hands.  So a new adventure will soon begin and I look forward to new adventures.

Have a blessed day!


Women’s History Month: “Amy” a documentary about Amy Winehouse

I watched another brilliant documentary about the amazing Amy Winehouse called, “Amy” and directed by Asif Kapadia on my Amazon Prime account. Wow.

I remember when I first heard Amy sing, I thought it was an old black jazz singer. When I first saw her sing, I had to help my brain wrap around the fact that that beautiful sound was coming from this young petite, girl’s mouth. She had such a soulful sound and this movie gives you a glimpse of this young girl before the fame and how she really had no guidance from her parents. Drugs, depression and the over exposure at such a young age, seemed to lead to her demise.

I remember exactly where I was when I found out the news that she had died and it took my breath away. It felt like she was just getting started and had so much to offer. Many try to dismiss her death and oversimplify the complexity of all the things that lead to her death.  I think this film gives views a better chance to see how misunderstood she often was and that she didn’t have the strength of her parents to continually insist on treatment. I realize she was an adult and I am not simply blaming the parents but I am saying that they were a part of her demise as well as her husband, the producer and all of the management as well as Amy herself.

I listen to her songs differently now that I know more of the backstory. Another great talent gone too soon.

These music management companies need to learn from these losses and work to help artists if they fall off the path.  Sometimes, I think that fear and greed take the front seat too often.

Have a blessed day!


30 Day Coloring Challenge Recap!


Over the course of 30 days I used color pencils, Copic markers, watercolor crayons, distress inks, watercolor paints to color.

30-day-recap2I really had fun playing and not feeling any pressure for perfection.30-day-recap3I was happy to break out stamps and products I never used before that have been hanging around my craft room.30-day-recap4.I loved re-acquainting myself with my embossing folders. They are such a great tool to have and add so much dimension to the cards.30-day-recap5.Finally using my coloring books makes me feel less guilty for purchasing them on impulse.30-day-recap6.I hope you had fun hanging out with me for this challenge. Your sweet comments helped to keep me going so thank you.

Now I have all these lovely projects to look at.

Happy coloring my friends.



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