A Few Things

vintage car french countryside christmas

Hello, Friends. How are you? Is it really December 20th? How is that possible?

We are very much looking forward to the weekend. Today, Oscar and Betty had their first ortho appointments in France (we made appointments as soon as we moved here to continue their orthodontia and this was the earliest we could get in! — apparently they need more orthodontists here.) And Flora is performing with her class at the big cathedral in the middle of town.

Other fun things: Olive arrives tomorrow from the South of France. And Ben Blair and I are headed to Paris on Sunday evening, so that we can pick up Maude on Monday morning. Plus, a two-week break from school begins this afternoon!

Today also marks my mother’s 75th birthday. I’ve been thinking about her a lot and what our home was like growing up. So much of how I approach holidays and celebrating all come directly from her. I’m so glad she was born, and I’m so glad I was born to her.

I have a really good link list for you today. Some of the pieces are long-form, so maybe you can save them for reading over the holiday break. Here are a few things I’ve been wanting to share:

vintage holiday car french countryside

-Please read this multi-part story about cell-phone tracking in the New York Times. It’s a huge piece that is still being published. Here’s one paragraph to give you a sense of what it’s about:

It doesn’t take much imagination to conjure the powers such always-on surveillance can provide an authoritarian regime like China’s. Within America’s own representative democracy, citizens would surely rise up in outrage if the government attempted to mandate that every person above the age of 12 carry a tracking device that revealed their location 24 hours a day. Yet, in the decade since Apple’s App Store was created, Americans have, app by app, consented to just such a system run by private companies. Now, as the decade ends, tens of millions of Americans, including many children, find themselves carrying spies in their pockets during the day and leaving them beside their beds at night — even though the corporations that control their data are far less accountable than the government would be.

-Do you wear a bra? Then you need to learn about the Scoop & Swoop.

Luvvie is teaching a Public Speaking Masterclass at Alt Summit — and tickets go on sale today!

-If you were taught, as I was, that Rosa Parks was just tired and wanted to sit down, here’s the real story. Rosa Parks was not only a seasoned, strategic activist but a complete and total badass pretty much her whole life.

50 Swedish words for snow.

-No, Clint Eastwood, female journalists don’t trade sex for information.

-Interesting piece by the Wall Street Journal on how the 1% scrubs it’s image online.

-Workers at a gallery in Italy discovered a secret chamber where a painting — which was stolen almost 23 years ago and believed to be by the artist Gustav Klimt — has been found.

-This New Yorker piece about what’s happening in the world’s largest democracy — India — is intense. I can’t stop thinking about it. (This is a long read.)

-How can women victims of violence get justice when the whole system is the perpetrator?

Sheepskin slippers for $40.

School rankings are deceptive. (Thanks for the link, Britt.)

A response to “national conservatism” and the “new nationalism” from The Heritage Foundation’s Kim Holmes. “Nationalism is not the same thing as national identity. It’s not the same thing as respect for national sovereignty. It’s not even the same thing as national pride. It’s something historically and philosophically different, and those differences are not merely semantic, technical or the preoccupations of academic historians. In fact, they go to the very essence of what it means to be an American.”

-How to Wrap a Present. How to Tie a Bow.

Here are some tweets I saved for you:

-How have I never thought of this?!

-I learned a ton of history I didn’t know about from this thread on James Buchanan.

-I was never taught about the Tulsa Race Massacre in school. Even if you don’t believe in reparations for slavery, it would be really hard to argue that reparations aren’t due for this. (And yes, I support reparations for slavery.)


Is skincare a lie? So many interesting responses to this tweet. What’s your take?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! I’ll meet you back here next week. I miss you already.


Photos by Wendy of Blue Lily Photography.

12 thoughts on “A Few Things”

  1. The skincare thread was so interesting! I loved the one that said if “only women are told to do it, it’s likely a lie!”

    As suggested I am saving some to read after winter break begins for us….

    Thank you!!!! I love this weekly post!

  2. I also only use water to rinse my face each morning. I have great skin and no issues. I never found the need for a cleanser.

  3. 61 years old… Gramma explained it this way: “Our skin is alive. It will tell us what to do and when to do it. If we wash our skin too much trying to get rid of the oils it will think “OH NO! I’M GOING TO DRY OUT!” and then produce *more* natural oils to try and save itself. Same thing will happen with many topical potions to help “neutralize” or dry out your skin. Let it be. Just wash it with good hot water, and let it tell you when it needs help. And yes, sometimes you need to just live through a week or two without doing anything to allow your skin to reset and get back to normal.” -she was correct.

    Hot hot water to open the pores, lots of good rinsing, and then either air dry or if i’m feelin’ it I use an ice cube to close the pores up for the day. Unless I can *literally feel* oil or greasy feeling on my skin I only use water. About every other week, and depending on the time of year it can even go into 6 weeks, I will begin to feel a bit of oil. When this happens I use as little as possible mild soap, nothing special, and just gently wash my face with warm water, rinse well, and then back to the HOT water to wash as usual and close with cool.

    If my face becomes dry I use either ‘Oil of Olay’, or if it’s super dry -actual Vaseline, just a tiny dot mixed with a bit of water and rubbed into the dry skin. This acts as a limited time barrier for your natural oils to kick in. I use so little that after I have rubbed it in there isn’t a greasy feeling, just a smoother feel.

    I rarely have break outs. I don’t have “crows feet”, “frown lines”, “forehead lines” or other wrinkles most women my age do, and especially for as much sun as I am in (I live in the Mojave Desert).

    Thanks Gramma. : )

    1. Im all for do what works for you etc but I just have to point out that your pores don’t actually open and close, they stay the same size all day every day no matter what you do. If the steam/ice feels good, great, keep doing it!! But it’s not actually opening/closing pores. Sorry if I sound like a debbie downer, just wanted to point it out as its a common misconception but by all means keep doing it if it feels good :)

  4. Rotating the gift diagonally to wrap it? Genius! Thank you for sharing that.

    On a more serious note, I grew up in Oklahoma and even though we had a mandatory Oklahoma History class in high school, I never knew about the massacre in Tulsa until a friend of mine learned about it in college. It may be taught in schools now, but it certainly wasn’t at mine in the ’80s.

    1. I grew up in Wichita, KS, not too far north of Tulsa, in the 70s-80s and this is the first I’ve ever heard of this massacre. Such a tragedy.

    1. L: This article has been passed along through my friends, both religious and not, this week too. The paragraph that stood out the most to me was:

      “To the many evangelicals who continue to support Mr. Trump in spite of his blackened moral record, we might say this: Remember who you are and whom you serve. Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior. Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump’s immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency. If we don’t reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come? Can we say with a straight face that abortion is a great evil that cannot be tolerated and, with the same straight face, say that the bent and broken character of our nation’s leader doesn’t really matter in the end?”

      Sadly I don’t believe it will do much to convince those who follow him blindly. It’s like a cult at this point.

  5. Love the skin care comments even if some of them make me cringe. As an esthetician I obviously rely on people to come for facials and buy products to support my family. My clients with acne are always overdoing something whether they are aware of it or not. My advice is to keep it simple….organic jojoba oil to give yourself a beautiful cleansing massage, remove with hot cloth, toner to allow your finishing products to absorb in better, which I usually recommend be a facial oil or simple moisturizer. Raw honey mask once a week or so. I am someone who loves the ritual of skin care, I love taking that time for myself morning and night. I love waking up my skin with dry brushing, and massaging my Rose hip oil in. It feels luxurious, but in the comfort of my own home. But that’s just me. I think it’s key to understand that everyone will do what is best for them. I won’t ever get Botox for many reasons but I won’t throw shade if you choose it.

    I’m also wondering how many women who commented on the skin care thread saying they agree it’s a lie but are also getting Brazilians, dying their hair, getting false lashes etc etc….so if you want to get real deep then isn’t everything women are being sold a lie? Why do women do anything if it’s just a way to line someone else’s pockets?

  6. I wrap gifts in fabric (which I then collect back each Christmas to reuse) and wrapping on the diagonal works really well- those last two corners can fold up and be used to tie the fabric closed.

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