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May 2012 (135 posts)
Cost: $29.95 per month
How it works: There are 3 themes every month (recent ones: Movie Night, Tea Time, Date Night); you can pick or let Foodzie surprise you.
What you might find in a box: Small-batch kettle corn in flavors like black truffle and aged white cheddar; heirloom beans grown on small-scale farms in Idaho.
Cost: $33 to $333 per month, depending on the number of servings of food (16 to 200)
How it works: The deliveries are all snacks, all the time--and they're also vegan and dairy- and gluten-free.
What you might find in a box: Chai-flavored almonds, chocolate macaroons, peach oat bars, freeze-dried fruit chips, goji berry/cacao nib/mulberry/pistachio trail mix.
Cost: $17 per month
How it works: Each of the 3 pouches of looseleaf tea subscribers get every month comes with tasting notes and preparation suggestions.
What you might find in a box: Golden Monkey Paw, a black tea from the Wuyi Mountains in Fujian Province, China; coconut oolong green tea.
Today's Thank You Game challenge is to thank someone who probably thinks you've forgotten all about them.
I'd like to thank my best friend in the 3rd grade, Hermine Harris, and my best friend in 7th and 8th grade, Joyce Williams. Sending good vibes your way after all these years.
I live in one of those pockets of the city where old people reign. Couples who have come to look like siblings stroll down the parkway, arms linked, feet shuffling. White-haired ladies hold up the grocery store lines with their old-school coupons, clipped from paper circulars. It makes me wonder how I will age. Will I be a glamorous Nora Ephron-esque type, reading the Times in a cafe? Or, probably more likely, one of those potato-shaped women in a housecoat, walking a cat on a leash?
Isa Leshko was thinking about aging when she began her Elderly Animals project. After spending a year caring for her elderly parents, Leshko found herself taking lush, black-and-white photographs of, well, elderly animals, like Handsome One, the 33-year-old horse pictured above. According to her artist's statement, the photographs have allowed her to "take an honest and an unflinching look at my fears relating to my own mortality...." It's not often that we see unvarnished imagery of aging. It's also not often that farm animals like these actually are allowed to age. All of which makes these photographs both beautiful and sad, and impossible to look away from.
Visit Leshko's site to see more of these photographs, which will change the way you look at both aging and animals. (The noble, knowing look on the elderly rooster's face is truly remarkable.) There's also a short film, created by Walley Films, that reveals the circumstances in Leshko's life that led her to these animals -- plus, information on upcoming shows of Leshko's work in Houston and Pittsburgh.
What Nobody Tells You About Aging
The Agony and Ecstasy of Getting Older
Caring for Your Elderly Parents
Don't hate her, but Aimee Mullins is smart, brave, beautiful, and has really long legs. And she also has short legs. And wooden legs. And cheetah legs. And glass legs. In all, twelve pairs. I know, some ladies have all the luck.
Mullins was born without shinbones and had her legs amputated as a baby. But it is no exaggeration at all to say that this woman has not been slowed down a whit by her so-called disability. If anything, she's been sped up by it, or at least by her amazing bionic legs she used to break world running records at the 1996 Paralympic Games; she's an accomplished athlete, an actress, a model, and an advocate. And in this TED talk, Mullins discusses how her legs give her super powers, how in the world of disability there is room for poetry, room for whimsy, how prosthetics can help a person move on from a disability into becoming the architect of her own identity.
As she said in another one of her TED talks, “Adversity isn’t an obstacle that we need to get around in order to resume living our life. It’s part of our life.” Wise words for all of us, bionic super heroes and boring old biological creatures alike.
From Disability Advocate to Athlete
An Amputee Becomes a Mermaid
Go on, talk yourself up. It's scientifically proven to make you feel better.
Are you ready for Mother's Day? Are you ready for your breakfast in bed? Are you ready for...oatmeal with lemons?
The football player who got signed to the Tampa Bay Bucaneers -- after becoming paralyzed.
Savory zucchini pie. Blueberry focaccia. The best brunch recipes, right here.
The Life-Lifter: This 13-year-old translated a bad case of the hiccups into her own start-up company.
Some people probably put cards for their moms in the mail last weekend, just to make sure they arrived on time. If you, like us, did not do this, and are in fact still looking for a gift for the wonderful woman who raised you, we've got a suggestion: A FEED 10 bag from The Lady GODIVA Program and Lauren Bush Lauren. The proceeds from the sale of each of these bags provide 10 school meals for children in cocoa-sourcing regions on the Ivory Coast and in Ghana. The bags retail for $25 (add a 19 piece box of chocolates for $50 or a 36 piece box of chocolates for $65) and come in five different bright patterns. Each one is handmade by female artisans in Liberia. It's a unique gift, there's a sweet treat involved, and buying it does some good in the world. The upshot? Even if you're a little late getting the present, this one will definitely make your mother proud.
(In need of more gift inspiration? Consider some of the options on our Mother's Day Gift List, all of which are 20% off!)
Today's Thank You Game challenge is to thank someone who showed you kindness.
Years ago I was on trial in Amarillo Texas accused, and later acquitted, of saying disparaging words about a burger. It was a very stressful time. We had to move our whole show to Texas, tape at night, and appear in the courtroom all day for SIX weeks. The courtroom, for me, was an intimidating and hostile environment. In Dr. Phil's words those beef guys "want your hide on a platter".
One morning, as I approached the courthouse a small, round, red headed woman reached across the yellow barricade and pushed a worn matchbook into my hand. Inside she had written: "Keep strong, I'm praying for you".
That single act of kindness brought tears to my eyes at the time and remains one of the sweetest moments of my life.
She didn't sign her name. I did not see her again, though I scanned the fence line every morning. In my mind, I named her Dalia. That little note was like a dalia blossoming in my heart.
That was 14 years ago.
You never forget true kindness.
I don't know how the rumor got started that children are sweet and innocent, but it was probably by someone who had very little contact with actual children. Kids are raw. Kids are wild. And kids know that the world is scary, they just don't know how exactly. Maurice Sendak, who died on May 8th at the age of 83, knew this. As he told The Atlantic last September, kids "are immensely courageous. And they sacrifice a lot. And they try to play mute and dumb because--well, it's kind of the expectation of their parents." This sense of respecting children and their capacity for the mysteries of life are why his books, from Where The Wild Things Are to In the Night Kitchen to his last, Bumble-Ardy, had such energy and darkness in them. And it's why kids love them.
The great children's literature blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast has a lovely tribute to Sendak: an image of one his more moving pages. The blog also quotes Sendak, talking about death: “you come on a wisp of air and you go on a wisp of air.” Spoken like someone who has come to terms with the scariness of life.
So, yes, for terrifying our children, for acknowledging the wildness in them, and for giving grownups a way to tell our little wild things, "I have to try to civilize you, because that's my job, but don't worry, I get it" -- Maurice Sendak, you grouchy, irascible soul, we thank you.
Great Books for Kids of All Ages
Encourage Kids to Love Reading
Men! What are they thinking? We can't always answer that, but we'll be posting our favorite glimpses into their world in this space every Thursday.
* You don't have to like sports or pop music to enjoy the delightful video of the Harvard baseball team dancing to "Call Me Maybe." (NewNowNext)
* As he contemplates his first Mother's Day since his own mother's death, writer Saeed Jones learns how "grief can turn holidays against us"—and why that's not necessarily a bad thing. (Ebony)
* Meet Ashok Gadgil, a little-known inventor whose work is helping to improve the developing world. (Co.Exist)
* Nina Totenberg's father, the renowned violinist and teacher, passed away this week at the age of 101; over at NPR she's shared a lovely remembrance of his remarkable life. (NPR)
* "Well, I've got a lot of callings."—Chef Charlie Trotter explains why he's closing his Chicago restaurant after 25 successful years to return to academia. (Marketplace)