Tag Archives: 2012

100 Biographies I Intend to Read

As I finish these, I will try to type up a mini-review or commentary on the version that I read.  Mind you, this is going to take some time!

  1. Richard Branson                       Done
  2. Benjamin Franklin                   Done
  3. Thomas Jefferson
  4. Edison
  5. Einstein
  6. Jasper Johns
  7. Jo Davidson (artist)
  8. Gandhi
  9. Indira Gandhi
  10. Lewis and Clark
  11. Christopher Columbus (?)
  12. Clinton
  13. Brook Shields                             Done
  14. George Burns
  15. George Carlin
  16. Fred Astaire
  17. Jimmy Carter
  18. Marlee Matlin
  19. Pierce Brosnan
  20. Sean Connery
  21. Alexander Hamilton
  22. Margaret Thatcher
  23. Tony Blair
  24. Winston Churchill
  25. Randolph Churchill
  26. Abraham Lincoln
  27. John F. Kennedy
  28. Elizabeth I                         August 2007
  29. Edward VII
  30. George VI
  31. Henry VIII
  32. Louis XVI
  33. Piere Trudoux (sp?)
  34. Gorbechov
  35. Bresnev
  36. French revolutionary leaders
  37. Napoleon
  38. George Allen
  39. Alexander The Great
  40. Frederick the Great
  41. Nelson Mandela                     DONE -fantastic  Fall 2011
  42. Booker T. Washington
  43. Malcom X
  44. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  45. Martin Luther
  46. Marian Anderson
  47. Arthur Ashe Done 1/08
  48. Benjamin Oliver Davis
  49. Frederick Douglass
  50. Colin Powell          Done Fall 2007
  51. Madame C. J. Walker
  52. Douglas Wilder
  53. Rosa Parks
  54. Titian
  55. Handel
  56. Picasso
  57. Beethoven
  58. Erasmus
  59. Calvin
  60. Catherine the Great
  61. Disraeli
  62. Roosevelt
  63. Cromwell
  64. Bertrand Russell
  65. Niels Bohr
  66. Madam Curie
  67. Teddy Roosevelt
  68. FDR
  69. Stalin
  70. Lenin
  71. T. S. Eliot
  72. e.e. cummings
  73. Ogden Nash
  74. Antoine Lavoisier
  75. Edward Jenner
  76. Joseph Priestley
  77. James Watt
  78. Gamal Abdel Nasser
  79. Anwar Sadat
  80. Menachem Begin
  81. King Hussein
  82. Benjamin Netanyahu
  83. Shimon Peres
  84. Ariel Sharon
  85. Abigail Smith Adams                                        Done (FANTASTIC)  2/5/2012
  86. Jane Addams
  87. Josphine Baker
  88. Ida B. Wells Barnett
  89. Clara Barton
  90. Molly Brown
  91. Rachel Carson
  92. Isadora Duncan
  93. Lucretia Rudolph Garfield
  94. “Mother” Jones
  95. Elizabeth Cady Stanton
  96. Harriet Beecher Stowe
  97. Grace Hopper
  98. Harriet Tubman
  99. Phyllis Wheatley
  100. Victoria Woodhull

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100+ Stocking Stuffer Ideas

I started thinking about how to fill stockings for my children (and possibly my spouse) and I realized that I had no idea what to put in a stocking – for a boy, a girl, or my husband.  Sigh.  So…I thought I’d do some looking and make a list of various things that I thought were good ideas and share with others.  Why should all of us have to do the searching and digging?  At any rate, I hope this helps.

I tried not to repeat suggestions, but some are appropriate for any or all of the categories.  In addition, some of these items are good for either gender.  I also did not break these down by age ranges, either, so some are obviously meant for young children and others for teens.

I also welcome additions or suggestions so please comment!

Ideas for Girls

  1.  DVDs
  2. Journal
  3. Dice or card games
  4. Nail polish
  5. Nail decorations
  6. iPod case
  7. Scarves and gloves
  8. Golf balls/tennis balls/hobby items
  9. Really soft socks
  10. Coloring books
  11. Colored pens/crayons/pencils
  12. Jewelery
  13. Craft kits
  14. Puzzles
  15. Gift cards
  16. Stickers
  17. Candy
  18. Small notebook
  19. Pretty night-light
  20. Christmas ornament
  21. Homemade cookies
  22. Key chain/watch/etc.
  23. Magic 8 ball
  24. CDs
  25. Bubbles
  26. Hair clips

Ideas for Boys

  1. Die cast cars
  2. Thumb drive
  3. Action figures
  4. Colored pencils
  5. Drawing pad
  6. Model car kit
  7. Small Lego kits
  8. Specialty toothbrush
  9. Seed packets
  10. Silly putty
  11. Temporary tattoos
  12. Calendar
  13. Hand puppets
  14. Stylus
  15. Handheld games
  16. Travel size games
  17. Fuzzy slippers – or character slippers
  18. Gold-wrapped chocolate coins
  19. Flashlight
  20. Bubble bath
  21. Playdough
  22. Tubes of plastic animals
  23. Animal crackers/fruit treats/ fruit roll-ups
  24. Character pajamas or underwear
  25. Lifesavers storybook
  26. Hair gel

Ideas for Women

  1. Lipstick
  2. Candles
  3. Burt’s Bees products
  4. Lotion
  5. Perfume
  6. Essential oils
  7. Gift cards
  8. Chocolates
  9. Games
  10. Sampler size alcohol
  11. Small bottle of wine
  12. Fancy soap
  13. Body scrubber
  14. Face mask (eye cover)
  15. Heat/cool socks
  16. Hot tea/cocoa/coffee
  17. Wine cork candles
  18. Chopsticks
  19. Battery checker
  20. Charging key chain
  21. Spool for earphones
  22. Pumice stone
  23. Beaded book mark
  24. Camera memory card
  25. Nice pen
  26. Bento box
  27. Cell charger
  28. Ear warmers
  29. Movie tickets

Ideas for Men

  1. Money clip
  2. Ice scraper
  3.  Multi-tool
  4. Book
  5. Playing cards
  6. Cork screw
  7. Pocket kite
  8. Shot glasses
  9. Travel alarm
  10. Games
  11. Bartender’s Guide
  12. Flash drive
  13. Universal remote
  14. Mints
  15. Cookies/candy
  16. Ear buds
  17. Computer mouse
  18. Soap (“manly”)
  19. Knit cap
  20. Silly toys
  21. Lip balm
  22. Team can/bottle cozy
  23. Lottery tickets
  24. Handheld electronics
  25. Tire gauge
  26. Magazine subscription
  27. Novelty ice trays
  28. Throwback T-shirt
  29. Keychain screw driver
  30. Glasses repair kit


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52 Ways to Brighten Someone’s Day

Things are tough.  The economy is bad, the job market is bad, the news is bad, and sports?  Well, the sports page used to be a place you could read about man’s achievements when everything else seemed bad, but these days, the reports in the sports page are just as bad as everything else: inappropriate emails and pictures, drugs/steroids/cheating, arrests, DUIs, and so forth and so on.  I have found that when things are bleak, one thing that can help lighten my mood is thinking about other people, thinking about people around me rather than obsessing about my own situation.  Here is a list of 52 ways to brighten someone else’s day:

  1. Listen – REALLY listen – to them.
  2. Give them a hug.
  3. Compliment one thing that you really like about them.
  4. Treat them to lunch, or coffee, or something else that you know that they would enjoy.
  5. Call them.
  6. Write them a short but heartfelt note and send it to them.
  7. Send an email – also heartfelt.
  8. Take them a flower or a plant, if they like those.
  9. Make arrangements to get together and do something fun.
  10. Smile – even if you don’t really feel like it.  Sometimes people just need a little encouragement, and you never know – the simple act of smiling at someone else might brighten your mood as well.
  11. Take them a bouquet of fresh flowers or a potted plant.
  12. Run an errand for them.
  13. Cook a meal for them – and take it to them.
  14. Share one of your favorite movies or books with them, if you think they would enjoy it.
  15. Cut the grass for them – or do another chore.
  16. Write a letter to them – or write one FOR them if writing isn’t easy for them.
  17. Give them the gift of a massage at a day spa.
  18. Pay for coffee for the person behind you at your local coffee shop – anonymously.
  19. Pay a compliment.
  20. Tell the people you love how much you love them.
  21. Spontaneously hug them – if they are a “huggy” sort of person.
  22. Offer to help a coworker out.
  23. Hold the door for someone who has their hands full.
  24. Make eye contact.
  25. Be polite and kind to people who are helping you – cashiers, workers at a store, waiters/waitresses, and so on.
  26. If you see someone that seems to be struggling, talk to them.
  27. Leave a thank you note.
  28. If you received really good service at a restaurant, say so to the manager.
  29. If your waitress/waiter is obviously having a hard day, be kind – say something encouraging or just smile and be patient.
  30. Use someone’s name when you talk to them – people love to hear their name.
  31. Be a courteous driver.
  32. Share good news.
  33. Take bagels or snacks to work for your coworkers.
  34. Put a note in your spouse’s lunch – or in your child’s lunch.
  35. Call your parents just to say hello.
  36. If someone drops something, pick it up and smile.
  37. Watch their favorite show with them.
  38. Send someone a short note, just to say you are thinking of them.
  39. If they are sick – take them a care package with tissues, chicken noodle soup, ginger ale, and saltines.
  40. Do your child’s chores for the day.
  41. Go to the hospital to visit a friend or relative – you’d be surprised how few people do this and how much it means.
  42. Say thank you to people who serve you –  wait staff, barbers/hair stylists, cashiers, etc.
  43. Hold the elevator for them!
  44. Tell them how proud you are of them.
  45. Take them a small, pretty plant.
  46. Take cookies to a nursing home or assisted living home.
  47. Donate nice, gently used work clothes to a group that helps people get a job.
  48. Leave a bigger tip than normal when you go out to eat.
  49. Make a care package for someone in the military.
  50. Donate blood.
  51. Participate in an “awareness” walk – epilepsy, breast cancer, heart….
  52. When you see something that reminds you of a friend, buy it and surprise your friend.

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Really Useful, Amusing, or Just Generally Interesting Links for April 2012

Here are a few that I stumbled upon in my computer time:

  1. http://www.timetoplaymag.com/holiday/easter/2012/.   This specific article had some good ideas and suggestions for items for an easter basket that are not candy, some for toys I haven’t even seen (not that that means much, I don’t go out shopping much these days.  Amazon is my friend!)  As for the rest of the site – there are video game reviews, toy reviews, movie reviews and so forth.  It has a staff of editors, web folks, and a sales group.  It is definitely worth taking a look at.
  2. http://blogs.babble.com/family-style/2012/03/22/10-candy-free-easter-basket-alternatives/.  This is a short list of non-candy ideas and even has a recipe for dough for kids to play with included (as a link).  You can make some of these items yourself, saving some money or at least adding a special touch to the gift.   One idea I loved was uploading personal pictures to a website that will make stickers out of them – then you can provide a sticker book to go with them.  I know my son loves stickers so this would be great for him.  I have to say, babble.com looks like a fun site overall for parents.  It has sections for various stages of parenthood/childhood, Mom, Dad, blogs and more.
  3. http://www.crafts-for-all-seasons.com/.  This looks like a fantastic site – it is fairly easy to guess what it is all about from the title.  However, there is more to it than the sections of crafts for various seasons/holidays.  There is a section of kids crafts, links to favorite sites, and a “crafts for all seasons” shop.  This is definitely worth browsing for ideas, inspiration, and even tips and techniques.
  4. http://www.craftsolutions.-com/index.asp.  This is another great site – great for ideas, patterns, news, and articles.  They are also on Facebook and Twitter, in case you need other ways to contact them or interact.  The pattern section in particular is a very nice gathering of craft patterns from many sources.  I love this site and will definitely be going back when I have more time.
  5. http://www.squidoo.com/Craft-Ideas-for-Adults-Arts-Crafts-Supplies.  This link is actually a list of links to project ideas from different authors on Squidoo.  It is a fantastic list and I definitely want to spend more time looking at each link in more detail.  I haven’t looked at Squidoo before (which may mean I don’t get out much, or online much, I’m not sure ) but it looks like an interesting community as well.  If a page on Squidoo does well, and they are each by an individual author, it earns royalties for the author or for a charity.  It is an interesting idea – enabling authors to organize their interests, their passions, online and share them with others.
  6. http://www.treehugger.com/.  This is fantastic and huge.  There are newsletters, videos, recipes, a blog, radio interviews, and so much more.  It is an incredible source of “green” news of all sorts, as well as so much more.  There are sections on design, technology, living, transportation, and energy, among others.  I read articles on America’s Best, an Indian man planting a forest by himself, and a recipe for sangria.   Definitely an interesting website.
  7. http://www.amoeba.com/ – very interesting site for music.  They list live shows, store locations (there are three, in California), and movies and news/contests, as well as Amoeba gear.  They also say that it is always free shipping on music and movies.  There is also a section on thinking green – they are doing their part by supporting various “green” groups and by raising funds.  There is a list of tips for living more environmentally aware.  Check it out – looks like an interesting site for music, a bit off of the beaten path.
  8. http://www.powells.com/.  Ok, ok.  I know that PLENTY of people are aware of Powells, so this link really does show my East Coast (of the US) bias I’m afraid.  I was originally told about Powells by a wonderful friend from Oregon who swears by them.  She has been on the East Coast for over a decade – possibly closer to two by now – and still swears this is the best place to go for books.  What more can I say?  They have a newsletter, a book club from the looks of it, and the normal sections to browse through.  I like the selection, and I like the fact that there is free shipping for orders over $50, though my wallet may not appreciate it.
  9. http://www.pandora.com/.  Pandora radio is also new to me.  It is a fascinating idea – you type the name of your favorite artist or your favorite genre of music into it, and it goes through its entire collection, putting together a collection of similar works/music for you, creating a “channel.”  You can have up to 100 channels.  I entered Queen as a trial.  “We Are the Champions” started playing and the lyrics appeared underneath an album cover.  There was a blurb of information about the group followed by a short list of similar groups.  I like it.
  10. http://www.fedspending.org/.  I was looking for sources of information on government spending, voting, candidates and the like and I found FedSpending.org and VoteSmart.  Another source of information listed by FedSpending is http://www.usaspending.gov/.  All three are worth taking a look at, if you want to make yourself more aware of how the government spends, as well as the candidates.
  11. http://www.votesmart.org/
  12. http://www.opencongress.org/.    This has a great deal of information and is  non-partisan.  Here is a link for “how to use Open Congress“.  I really think that more people need to take a closer look at how their politicians, of EITHER party, are behaving, voting, and so forth.  It really doesn’t take that much effort to find information, look through it, and try to make better decisions.
  13. http://www.scribd.com/.  This is a fantastic site and can lead to a LOT of time browsing and reading and getting off track/topic .  I looked at recipes, how-to guides, and more.  So many categories to browse through, so little time.  One that I looked at had a list of links for more by the author, a beautiful and colorful “cover”, ways to embed and copy the link, and ways to like on Facebook, Google+ and more.
  14. http://www.dipity.com/.    Dipity is an interesting site, though I know not everyone will agree.  You can create an online timeline.  There is a timeline, flip book, map, and list for each timeline, apparently.  I took a look at Thomas Kinkade’s timeline just as a sample, and the list consisted of links to articles concerning him, including recent ones regarding an autopsy  that will be performed.  The flip book showed pictures which also were linked to articles that mentioned Thomas Kinkade.
  15. http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/sharedcopy-lets-bookmark-annotate-websites-style/
  16. http://thisisphotobomb.memebase.com/
  17. http://www.tempe.gov/youthlibrary/preschool/preschweb.htm.  This is a fantastic list of websites for preschoolers from the Youth Library in Tempe, AZ.
  18. http://www.widgetbox.com/.  Widgets for websites – you can create your own or use others that are on the site.  Good for blogs, you can find things like weather widgets, virtual pets, games, and countdowns.  Just a fun site to look through!
  19. http://www.coolestgizmo.com/.  Great source for amusing gift ideas – like the self-stirring mug for those too busy (or lazy!) to stir their own coffee.  Another cute item: glow in the dark toilet paper…I never claimed these things were incredibly necessary for a full and happy life but they did make me smile.  But I MUST have the remote-controlled shark…wow!  Go check it out – the site is really great – one downside is that they don’t necessarily have links to the companies that actually sell these items (i.e., the remote-controlled shark…sigh.)
  20. http://www.redshift.com/~bonajo/bored.htm.  Great list of boredom busters and rainy day activities.  Not huge, but worth a look, if you’re like me and run out of inspiration after a while!

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