Virtual Tour Goes to North Carolina: Freedom and Slaves

Travel while never leaving home.

Theresa Linden

Okay, a bit of reality here. As I sat writing this blog, I heard the sound of raindrops pitter-pattering in our half bath, followed by the sound of buckets of water splashing to the floor. I jumped up to find everything wet: walls, floor, sink, toilet. Everything. Bolting upstairs, I found the bathroom directly over the half bath flooded. One of my boys informed me that it’s raining in the basement, too. Great. I am soooo ready for a vacation!

So, after cleaning up the mess and making a frantic phone call to the hubby, we’re back on track!

AIRMKT-Classic-Macadamia-530896-F2B-FLATTENED Even has a full kitchen!

Can't wait to collapse on that couch! Can’t wait to collapse on that couch!

Since we will be doing a bit of virtual traveling across the state, we decide to rent a recreational vehicle. We settle for an Airstream. The saying on their website speaks to me. “See more. Do more. Live more.”

View original post 1,126 more words

A Bend in the Road: A Year’s Journey through Breast Cancer, by Karen Kelly Boyce

bend in road cover

The author reminds us that we all share a terminal condition: life. Sooner or later it will end. A diagnosis of cancer suggests a sooner rather than a later demise. If not fatal, cancer certainly raises the specter of a war within our bodies between an invasive malignancy and the shock and awe of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Although we may never face cancer in any of its terrible forms, we should prepare ourselves.

When tragedy enters our lives, we often look for a guide: someone who knows the way, someone who has already experienced that same tragedy and has survived. Karen Kelly Boyce witnessed the effects of neoplasia during her a nursing career and in her personal encounter with breast cancer. As a writer, she logged her journey and now offers her thoughtful and practical insights. It is evident to the reader that Karen is a down-to-earth and well-informed friend — a person that cancer a patient would welcome at her side during a tragedy. Her guidebook, although intended for those afflicted with breast cancer, supports all who suffer from cancer and the struggles of life itself.

The author’s style reminds me of Erma Bombeck, a writer and humorist who also logged her experiences with breast cancer. Karen Boyce spices her chapters with irony, humor and joy, but never trivializes the plight of cancer patients. She describes life before her diagnosis, shedding light on choices that might have contributed to her illness. She recounts the trauma of discovery, explains her opinions about doctors and treatments, details the facts about side effects, complications and the eventual life-altering decisions she faced.

As both a nurse and writer, Boyce summarizes her extensive research into breast cancer, its causes and prevention. She offers comfort to cancer sufferers through her strategies that enlist every spiritual, psychological, intellectual and community resource available to a patient. Her book includes a series of recipes for healthy living that focus on cancer prevention. She offers meditations, she’s written, that place cancer and its consequences in a spiritual perspective.

Look for these gems as you walk with Karen Kelly Boyce around A Bend in the Road: A Year’s Journey through Breast Cancer:

  • How do the most profound morsels of human wisdom sometimes roll out of a gum-ball machine?
  • How can optimism extend life, even in the terminally ill?
  • How is joy far better and more durable than happiness?
  • How does humility lead to gratitude, faith, peace, joy and true self-esteem?
  • What happens seventeen days after the first chemotherapy session, and how can you prepare for it?
  • How does chemotherapy help you make friends?
  • What perils plague professional survivors?
  • Why it’s important for a patient to have someone like Karen Kelly Boyce at her/his side when talking to a doctor about cancer therapy?
  • What is the “leash method” of successful weight loss?
  • How one can sensibly and effectively change dietary habits?
  • How can meditation help both believers and non-believers?

The answers to these and many other questions await in A Bend in the Road: A Year’s Journey through Breast Cancer, by Karen Kelly Boyce.


Rhode Island and Native Americans

Theresa Linden

For the next stage of our tour, we head to Rhode Island. Okay, wait a minute . . .

I get out my map. If the state is connected to the rest of the continent, why is it called an island? My map gives me no answers, so I ask Google and find this:

The official name of the state of Rhode Island is actually “The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.” While the whole state is not an island, the official Rhode Island is the island commonly referred to today as Aquidneck Island. So Rhode Island refers to Aquidneck Island, while Providence Plantations refers to the mainland portion of the state.

Okay, that makes sense. Let’s move on to a few fun facts:

  • Rhode Island is the smallest of the 50 states
  • It is the second most densely populated state, behind New Jersey.
  • It was the fourth…

View original post 839 more words

Virtual Tour of Historical America Begins

Theresa Linden

Where should a tour of Historical America begin?

Norse sailors explored parts of North America, like Greenland and Canada. Spanish explorers, specifically Christopher Columbus, discovered the New World in 1492, and Spanish missionaries established missions in California as early as 1697. The Russians, Swedes, Dutch, and Danish-Norwegians also laid claim to various parts of North America. Attempts to establish an English colony in the New World began in 1585 on Roanoke Island. But those attempts ended in failure, the first colonists returning home, and the second group actually disappeared.

In 1607, however, the London Company founded a colony in the New World that finally took root. One hundred and five people arrived that May. Seven months later, due to malnutrition, low supplies, attacks by the natives, and disease, only thirty-two remained.Somehow they survived and grew.

Our tour starts here, in Jamestown, Virginia, because this is where the story begins for our country…

View original post 868 more words

Height Comparison Charts

The Nerd Nebula

Are you tall enough to fill the outfit of your favorite fiction characters? Time to find out with these height comparison charts:

Nintendo Character Height Chart Nintendo Character Height Chart

If you fall short of your ideal character mark; don’t fear – there are a lot of cool short heroes 🙂 we love Hobbits and Rocket Raccoon.

Marvel Heroes Height Chart Marvel Heroes Height Chart

Do we really shrink over time? Well; if that is the case then i guess you will be morphing into a different (height) set of fictional characters as you age.

Game of Thrones Height Chart Game of Thrones Height Chart

This is why fiction is better than reality – what kind of man power would it take to build Barad-dur (the Eye of Sauron) in real life:

Mordor Mordor

I’m 175cm (5 foot 7) so im Sansa Stark; Charizard; Black Widow and Little Mac. Who are you based on the height comparison charts?

✘ Hack It! ✘

View original post

An American Down Under: 20 Ways Your Life Changes When You Move to Australia

Hot Mess Goes To OZ

Within the past 10 months,I have been able to compile a reasonable amount of changes that have accompanied my life since moving toAustralia. Moving to a different country is going to bring plenty of additions, revisions, and variationsto ones life, some for the good, and some well… for the bad. Though, obviously not everyone will relate to everything on this list (especially since Iam the one writing this) Overall, I think this list paints a clear enough picture.

Here are the main ways and thingsthatimpact your lifewhen moving from Americato Australia

Working Environment

The working environment in Australia is something I cannot compare to any atmosphereI have worked in at home. Here, I do not worry that my boss is going to freak out if I am running 10 minutes late. They do not care if you are taking a bit longer on your lunch break. No one is…

View original post 1,847 more words

The Size of Your Audience Doesn’t Matter; Keep up the Good Work

Decoding Happyness


There has been a lot of conflict between my practical mind and my heart regarding the concept of “Being acknowledged”. I believe that that acknowledgement doesn’t matter. If it makes you feel good inside; you should do it irrespective of the fact that somebody is watching or not. Then sometimes my logical mind would argue about “Quid Pro Quo” – “Something in return”; though not monetary or in big things, but a small word of encouragement would be more than enough to fulfill the “Social”, “Esteem” or “Self Actualization” Needs as defined by Abraham Maslow. This confusion was seamless and endless.

Although I seldom work for praises or appreciation, I or for that matter any one; would love being recognized.

Yesterday evening I was quietly reflecting upon my journey in the “Corporate World” post college life, my journey as a “Blogger” and “Painter”. I admit that I like being recognized…

View original post 309 more words

Down Right Good, by Karen Kelly Boyce

Down right good

This story of social media with training wheels follows ten-year-old Angie’s Saturday deliveries of newspapers and baked goods. Each customer along Angie’s route receives her gifts and shares conversations, usually revealing vexing problems. Angie gathers problems at each stop, not as burdens but with an intention of finding solutions.

Angie’s Down syndrome limits her vocabulary but diminishes neither her insight nor her ability to “tell it like it is.” At least one of her customers regularly shouts at Angie, warning her that she never wants to see her again, but actually would miss Angie if she didn’t return the next week. Each customer owns a puzzle piece. Angie finds ways of bringing them together to form a wondrous mosaic.

Many of the chapters of Down Right Good stand on their own as powerful short stories, but Karen Kelly Boyce cleverly links them into a magnificent whole. Angie’s childlike ministrations heal her community so that strangers, tepid neighbors and alienated family members come to live as a caring community, willing to accept and forgive even the worst offenders among them.

If Angie is the “angel” of the story, there must be a villain. As in her novel In the Midst of Wolves, Boyce describes the far reaching effects of child abuse that plague Angie on her errands of mercy. The author not only decries the evil, but she provides an example of a solution to this pervasive problem.

Pope Francis has called for a Year of Mercy, beginning on 8 December 2015. Down Right Good exemplifies the spirit of “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Angie acts as a “missionary of mercy.” Her impact brings her community a sense of acceptance and forgiveness for transgressions past and present.