Friday, August 27, 2010

Sad news

It seems like I have been posting sad news far too often this year. This time it's my sister-in-law, Jody, wife of my brother Bill.... she passed away yesterday, August 26, after a six-month struggle with cancer.
A memorial service will be held at McKneely & Vaughn Funeral Home, Amite, LA, on this Sunday, August 29. Visitation at 1 pm, service at 2 pm.

Jody was a dynamic, strong, smart, and beautiful woman with many interests and talents. She was a loving, supportive wife to my brother for 25 years, and cared for countless cats and dogs throughout her life. She had a lovely sense of humor, and she was a sharp lady, great listener, always ready with a smile and a wink, even in her last days. She will be sorely missed and fondly remembered.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Trying to unwind

Just thought I'd share some of the fun things I have been doing to unwind from the rather stressed state I've been in lately...

***Watching/listening to Joshua Bell videos that are on his website. I liked this one just now -- his facial expressions are wild! ...and of course the music is wonderful. I got back into listening to Joshua Bell yesterday when I was remembering the time he played in the L'Enfant Metro station in DC a few years ago. (The article I just linked won a Pulitzer prize. Ooh -- I just found the full audio recording of that performance!)

***Swimming in Lake Wylie, courtesy of a serendipitous invitation from my friends Mary and Phil this morning -- very refreshing!

***Going to see "Karate Kid" yesterday, and reveling in the delightful-as-always Jackie Chan...not to mention the excellent new talent in this film, Jaden Smith. It was wonderful, though at times brutally real.

I don't have a lot to add right now... time to go eat a very late lunch and read the Sunday paper...

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Personal Finance - some references

I recently found myself in a conversation with some young people about personal finance.  Here are the books, authors, and radio show I mentioned:

The Real Life 101 Handbook, by Mike Duralia

Debt U: How Higher Education Breeds a Lifestyle of Debt, by Logan Abrams

Radio show - Charlotte Talks - where I heard both of these authors interviewed.

Other personal finance references I have found helpful:

The Wall Street Journal Guide to Personal Finance (4th ed.), by Kenneth M. Morris and Virginia B. Morris
This guide is concise and easy to use, a good reference, especially for explaining terms used in financial matters.

Your Money or You Life, by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin
This book was recommended by the late John Holt years ago, and I purchased it then but have not read it all the way through.  It's going to the top of my stack right now.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mary Therese Hodge Lackie, 1927-2010

Early this morning my Mom died. She was, and remains in our hearts, an amazing woman whose life and love had a positive impact on untold numbers of people. She taught people (including me) to read, to think and express those thoughts clearly, to cook and bake; she entertained and informed through her writing and acting and storytelling; she preserved history with her photography and collecting. She created beautiful and interesting homes over the years and welcomed friends, family, friends of family, students, seminarians, neighbors, colleagues -- all -- to feel at home with her there. She threw herself into raising her family... she gave us so much... and we are all grateful for her presence in this world and in our lives.

Mom, I already miss you so, so much.

Note:  go to the blog we set up for Mary at

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Women writing, effecting change in themselves and in the world

This weekend is not going as planned, due to snow canceling Emily's plans to visit for the long weekend. But I've had 24 hours to get used to the idea, and have decided to take the "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!" approach. So I'm enjoying a slowed-down world of snow and ice and bright sunlight outside, quiet music playing inside... a day of open time for reading, cooking, writing, and maybe a walk in the snowy cold after while. (I'm trying not to think the T word, but reality will sink in and I'll probably get started on that project this afternoon!)

An e-mail popped up a few minutes ago with links to four articles by and about women writers and women writing. On a quick glance, they look to be really good, full of hope and ideas! I share them here in hopes that my readers will find these articles thought-provoking also. (If you are not Catholic, please don't be put off by the fact that the articles were published in a Catholic newspaper -- they are not, for the most part, about issues only of interest to Catholics.)

Women Writing for (a) Change
Heidi Schlumpf looks at Mary Pierce Brosmer, who run a school called Women Writing for (a) Change, which teaches collaborative writing as a creative, therapeutic and spiritual practice.

Contours of the daily and domestic

Melissa Musick Nussbaum says that she is drawn to writers -- they are women -- who observe the contours and appreciate the significance of the daily and the domestic.

Ethnic bias is no longer an option
Diane Scharper recommends five women writers who, she says, "can provide us with salutary insights into ourselves as we live in a world full of international tensions."

How the remotely possible could become real
Maureen E. Daly reviews a book titled Ordained and in it finds a plan on how to pressure a pope into calling a worldwide council and revising the rules of ordination.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow Cream -- Charlotte in the news!

There's no danger of my making any -- most of what we got here is sleet, ice, and frozen rain. I won't be going anywhere today :-)

A segment on today's Weekend Edition Saturday was from WFAE! (I was going to post a link to it, but couldn't find it on the NPR or the WFAE site.) Basically it was a reporter trying to find out why Charlotteans go to the store and empty the shelves of milk, bread, and eggs when any amount of snow is predicted. (This really happens, and then some: I went to the bakery on my way home from Charlotte yesterday afternoon and the bread shelves there were completely empty. They even were down to only four loaves of bread in their freezer!) The conclusion was that the milk, and perhaps the eggs, depending on one's recipe, are needed to make "Snow Cream". (Or "Snow Creme" if you prefer.)

Snow Creme Recipe
1-3 Cups of Snow (make sure it's clean!)
1/2 Cup Whipping Cream or other cream of choice
1 T. Sugar
2-3 drops Vanilla flavoring
In a separate bowl, mix cream, sugar and vanilla. Slowly add snow to desired consistency. Eat and enjoy!
All ingredients can be adjusted to suit your particular preferences. You might want to try some other flavorings: cinnamon, butterscotch, almond, or eggnog mix.

(Recipe published and e-mailed by the Upper Palmetto YMCA this morning in their "we're closed today on account of snow" message.)