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August 2012 (129 posts)
Why do you open your mouth when you apply mascara?
When you widen your eyes, you create tension in a muscle connected to your jaw, says Ellen Marmur, MD, associate professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. Your body's natural reaction to relieve that tension: Say "Ahhhh!"
Stop the Water While Using Me! All Natural Rosemary Grapefruit Shampoo, $19; WoodleyAndBunny.com
Why we love it: Astringent grapefruit and rosemary absorb oil from the scalp without stripping it of moisture, leaving hair soft and full. And the fresh, citrusy scent is a great way to start the day. We like the name, too, reminding us to be good citizens, even in the shower.
Each week, we'll be letting you know about new releases the editors of O and Oprah.com couldn't stop reading. This Monday, we're swooning over:
The Dog Stars
By Peter Heller
There have been some beautifully written and truly upsetting end-of-the-world books recently—The Age of Miracles and Zone One come to mind—but Peter Heller's The Dog Stars has put a fresh twist on the genre. In this quiet, meditative novel, Hig, the main character, has lost his wife and everyone in his family due to a flu epidemic that has killed most of the population of the United States. He now lives with his dog and a survivalist neighbor on an abandoned airstrip that's regularly attacked by roving bands of very scary, violent scavengers. Despite the grimness of his life, Hig manages to see the beauty in his surroundings, and it's his voice that keeps you entranced, with vivid details like "the smell of running water, of cold stone, of fir and spruce, like the sachets my mother used to keep in the sock drawer."
There is still one loss that Hig has to bear, and the grief over this sends him flying in his single-prop plane into the wilderness without enough gas to return. Brilliantly, this isn't the end of the story, because it's the people he meets when he least expects to who change everything, proving a truth we know from our everyday nonfictional lives: Even when it seems like all the humans in the world are only out for themselves, there are always those few who prove you absolutely wrong—in the most surprising of ways.
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Wielding a pair of pliers, 14-year-old Shawnda (not her real name) carefully reconnects six wires to the headlight of a black 2002 Harley-Davidson. The bike's light—not to mention its fender, seat, and saddlebags—has been badly mangled in an accident. But when Shawnda pushes a button on the handlebars, a bright beam appears. Now Shawnda, too, is beaming.
Along with the 12 other girls gathered around the bike, Shawnda is a resident of the Abbott House, a treatment facility for troubled teenagers in South Dakota. She's never ridden a motorcycle, let alone fixed one. But Laura Klock—co-owner, with her husband, of a local bike shop—believes they can teach her confidence and help her "discover things about herself she didn't know were there."
As a teenager, Klock found refuge from her parents' divorce in a Suzuki bike."My motorcycle was always something I could control, even when everything else was out of my control," she says. Her bike later helped her weather a struggle with addiction. She passed on her passion to her daughters, now 18 and 21—who, like their mother, have set records in races at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats. "I used motorcycles to teach them things I couldn't have otherwise," says Klock. "To challenge themselves, to work as a team."
Klock's daughters—and her own troubled history—inspired her to start the Bike Rebuild Program. "If kids can learn to repair a damaged motorcycle," says Klock, "maybe they can also repair their lives."
After hearing this summer about OWN's Thank You Game, reader Fatiha Occhialini wrote in to share her story of gratitude. In 2010 Occhialini learned about vision boards from the Oprah.com Spirit Newsletter. She created her own board, starting with a photo of the Great Wall of China, which she hoped to visit someday. Last year she traveled from her home in Philadelphia to Beijing and brought along her June 2011 copy of O. "The words thank you on the cover of the magazine were a daily reminder of how grateful I was to achieve my dream of walking the Great Wall!" she said.
I've made no secret of my love for the anorak: It's an ideal blend of practical and fashionable—and the drawstring belt makes every waist look smaller. If you've been on the fence about anoraks, now is the time to try one. This cheery version from Old Navy features a detachable inner vest (making it a great fall-to-winter jacket) and a soft, suede-like feel. The best part? It's only $50.
Cerand writes of her longing for a quiet life, far from the breathless glitter of Manhattan and the constant hustle of her freelancer/publicist lifestyle. "An enormous amount of dedication is required to patch together a living, and it occurred to me this week that there is a direct correlation with how long it’s been since I’ve taken a vacation and how long since I’ve dated anyone. Years, so many that sometimes it seems pointless to reach for a two-week break, or a person." She draws a startling, vivid connection with the feeling of skidding on an icy highway—out of control, terrified, moving too fast to stop.
Then, as wise women tend to, she quotes Mary Oliver: "Tell me, what is it you plan to do/with your one wild and precious life?" Aren't you doing it, Cerand asks of herself, of all of us? And if not, good gracious, why not? Whether it's more quiet or more glitter, more time for contemplation or more nights out eating oysters and wearing pearls, leaving behind the job that's sucking you dry or embarking on a new project even though you know it will be demanding—when do you plan to start living that real life you keep meaning to begin?
As Cerand puts it: "I must practice, with all the days that I have; I will improve the way I pass the time."
To which I say: Yes, yes, yes. And: now.
Find Your Hopeful Place
The Beauty of Living in the Moment
Contentment in Your Own Backyard
War and Forgiveness
Homeless Female Veterans