Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Nonprofits That Top the List

Today, I bring you a list of 13 top-rated nonprofit organizations.  Charities were rated on a number of qualities:  Alexa's traffic rankings, Google's page rankings, links to the charity on other webpages, social media presence, and most important, Charity Navigator 4-star companies.  Charity Navigator takes into consideration fiscal responsibility and transparency.  They've done all the work for us to help us determine where we want to spend our hard-earned money and valuable time.

1. United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) - Defending the rights of children in 190 countries and territories.

2.  Human Rights Watch - A force for justice, humanity, and dignity; fighting human rights abuses.

3.  Museum of Modern Art in New York - Celebrating creativity, tolerance, openness, and generosity.

4.  Doctors without Borders - Provides assistance to populations in distress, victims of natural disasters, and victims of armed conflicts made up of professionals in the health industry.

5.  Rotary Foundation - Promote peace, provide clean water and sanitation, fight disease, and support education.

6.  Feeding America - Domestic hunger relief organization.

7.  Samaritan's Purse - Helping those in need in a variety of ways:  crisis response, natural disaster assistance (including helping here in Houston after Hurricane Harvey), health and medical ministries, healthy and hygiene ministries, women's ministries, and much more.

8.  ASPCA - American Society for the Prevention and Cruelty to Animals -  Animal rescue, placement, and protection.

9.  Environmental Defense Fund - Preserving the natural systems on which all life depends.

10. Teach for America - Overcoming educational inequity through teaching.

11. World Food Program USA - Eradicating hunger worldwide.

12. Smithsonian Institution - The world's largest museum, education and research community.

13. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital - Treatment programs, clinical trials, and research for children with cancer, and families are never billed.

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
I Corinthians 13:13, King James Version
(Appropriate for Thursday 13!)

Subscribe in a reader

Monday, January 29, 2018

Let's Get Random!

Hello everyone!  I hope your week is off to a great start.  I'm going to link up with Stacy for some Random Thoughts!

I'm getting close to 2,000 posts!  Pretty exciting, huh?  Not really, considering I started this blog in December of 2005, a little over 12 years ago.  Actually, I guess it's not too bad.  It's an average of 3 point something per week.  Stay tuned, though.  I have something special planned for 2K!

Add caption
Add caption
Add caption
A potato chip commercial just came on.  What kind of potato chips do you like best?  I like Lay's Sour Cream and Onion, Cheetohs, and Doritos, but my favorite car-trip-chip is... drumroll please... Munchos!

They make the best snack for car rides, except for the fact that I can eat them all by myself, depending on how long my drive is.  I'm not even sure they're made from real potatoes.  Haha!  But they're potato-like, and salty.  The only problem is if I'm the one doing the driving, it leaves a greasy residue, so I have to wipe my fingers between every bite.  Oh, the sacrifices I make!

Did any of you watch the Grammy's?  I'm not a huge music fan (GASP!), so I don't usually watch, and I'm really glad I didn't watch last night because I heard it got political.  Something similar happened at the Golden Globes recently.   Why does that have to happen?  Can't we just enjoy our awards ceremonies and our celebrations of movies, music, and shows?  I get enough politics elsewhere!

I did watch Bruno Mars perform.  He is really talented.  He reminds me of Michael Jackson back in the day.  Does anyone else see that connection?

This random post is coming to an end, but before I leave, enjoy this...

Have a great week!

Subscribe in a reader

Sunday Synopsis

End of Days: Con Law II (Professor John Bookman Book 2)End of Days: Con Law II by Mark Gimenez
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The End Times


End of Days

Borrowing from real life headlines, there are 50 ATF agents about to swarm a religious compound near Waco, Texas. Little do they know, they are about to be blasted with Browning Machine Guns. This is the start of a ten day standoff between the FBI and Jesus Christ and his disciples.

John Bookman is in Austin. He receives a letter from the grandmother of two little girls who live in the compound with their mother. Grandmother begs Bookman to save her two granddaughters, so he goes. Bookman also agrees to go in the compound to negotiate with JC, the leader of the group.

What he finds is a peaceful community of people who were once down and out but are now perfectly happy with life in the compound. There doesn't appear to be any abuse. There doesn't appear to be any rule saying members of the compound can't leave. Book's intern, Veronica Cross, a spoiled 3rd year law student, also enters the compound with Bookman, but her experience is much more predictable.

By the end, it all makes sense. Bookman and Cross realize there is no way to peaceably remove the children from the compound, because the FBI got there first.

Con Law II falls far short of Con Law I. Same main character: John Bookman, nominee for the Supreme Court, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Texas in Austin. Add in one of his law students, Veronica Cross, who is his intern. Add in a woman, Ingrid Divine, a PI in love with Bookman, who shows up at the end of the book. And FBI SAC DuVall. Plus a dozen or more other characters who are central to the plot.

On his website, Gimenez says, "Buckle up, boys and girls, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. I think you will enjoy it. I guarantee you will not expect it." It was bumpy, and there were a few surprises, but much of it was quite predictable, and I don't feel like the book really ended. It just kind of stopped.

A few things got on my nerves. First and foremost, his overuse of the word "caliche." I have never used this word although I have lived in Texas all my life, and I would not use it over and over to describe a road. The defintion is... a mineral blend of gravel, sand, and nitrates or calcium carbonate." I wish I had counted how many times the word was in the book. I stopped at 35. I don't know anyone who describes this type of road as "caliche." They usually say sandy, gravel, unpaved, dusty, or something like that. So, there's my biggest beef! And another things that got "old" was listening to DuVall thinking about the demon in his head straining on his leash. Over and over. And one more repetitive phrase, "Drinking the Kool-Aid." And Chanel L'Eau.

Second, this book was more about spouting off his own ideology, some of which I probably agree with, but I don't need an author to preach to me. Give me drama, or history, suspense, or surprise, but not a lesson. Did you know that the Antichrist is Wall Street, according to this book?

This book was 562 pages. If we'd been spared the lectures and the repetitive words and phrases. I feel sure it would have been less than 500. Giminez didn't focus enough on why this man believed he was Jesus Christ. Much of it was unrealistic, which would be okay if it were more interesting.

Giminez... You disappointed me with this one.

View all my reviews Subscribe in a reader

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Random Tuesday

It's still Tuesday, so I'm linking up with Stacy!

This morning, for a few hours, I thought it was already Wednesday.  Imagine my feeling when I realized it was only Tuesday.  With the messy, icy weather we had last week, and cancelling school for two days (I'm a teacher), this week seems like it's taking forever!  Funny how that works.

10 Biggest Mistakes In Popular TV Shows

Image Credit
See that "ad?"  When I'm on Facebook, it never fails.  I see an interesting bit of click-bait, and I fall for it every time.  I click over to find out "The movies the critics got wrong," or "Five creative ways to make money from home," or "The most blatant TV show mistakes."  I follow the link, and it's a .... SLIDESHOW.  That means if I really want to read it all, I have to click through all of the slides, and the ads, and the baloney.  Why can't they just put it all on one page like normal websites?

How's the weather where you live?  Here in Texas, we're getting typical Texas weather.  Last week for three days we had ice and sleet with daytime temps in the upper 20's.  Three days later, it got up to 72 degrees.  Three days later, it's back in the 40's at night and upper 50's and 60's in the afternoon.  They say, "If you don't like the weather in Texas, wait five minutes, and it will change."  True!
Image Credit

Have a great week! 😉

Subscribe in a reader

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sunday Synopsis

The Last TudorThe Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! Philippa Gregory does it again! I always enjoy her historical fiction. Her writing puts you in the middle of the action, as if t you are in the tower, in the presence chamber, or on the block. In striking detail, she takes the most mundane characters, three relative unknowns (unless you are a British historian) and weaves a tale so detailed, so intense, that you can't wait to see what happens next. And when the story is over, you feel as though you've lost a friend.

The Last Tudor is the story of three sisters, Jane, Katherine, and Mary Grey, cousins to the young, Protestant King Edward VI, who was the son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour. The sickly Edward, not yet 18 years of age, chooses not to name one of his half sisters, Mary or Elizabeth, as heir. The Privy Council turns to Lady Jane Grey, cousin to the King, whose grandmother Mary was Queen of France (sister of Henry VIII).

The devout Jane Grey finds herself Royal - for nine days, and a martyr for all of history. Catholic Queen Mary I, daughter of Katherine of Aragon and Henry VIII, his eldest offspring, takes her "rightful" place as queen, and Jane finds herself a prisoner in the tower, not only for refusal to denounce her Protestant faith, but for usurping the Crown. Little does it matter that it wasn't her choice.

The story begins with Jane, but there are two other Grey sisters with a claim to the throne, and this is their story, too: Katherine, the beautiful sister, looking more for love than religion, and Mary, also beautiful, but a dwarf who has little influence in Court. Mary I ruled for 5 years, and on her death, Elizabeth I became Queen and ruled for 44 years. The cousins remained threats through Elizabeth I's reign. The Last Tudor gives a glimpse into British life during the English Reformation and the English Renaissance, otherwise known as the Elizabethan Age. And because the heroines of the story defy the Queen's rule, there is also a glimpse into Elizabeth I's ruthlessness.

I highly recommend The Last Tudor, whether you have read any of Gregory's novels in the Cousin's War, Plantagenet, or Tudor series. One doesn't need to have any background with her other novels in order to enjoy this one.  And if you are lucky enough to get the B&N Exclusive Edition, you will also be able to read a letter from the author and a reprinting of the actual letters Gregory used in her research.

Happy reading!

View all my reviews

Subscribe in a reader

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Thursday Thirteen

This Thursday Thirteen is brought to you by the letter N.

1.  Naps - I love naps!  I know that doctors don't really recommend naps, particularly if, like me, you have trouble sleeping at night, but I love naps.  I usually get to take a nap on Saturday afternoon.

2.  Nurse - We have three nurses in the family - My husband's oldest son, his wife, and our oldest daughter.  Have a health question?  At least one of them is bound to know the answer!

3.  Nuzzle - I love when the cat nuzzles me.  She's so soft and sweet.

4.  Newborn - I haven't held a newborn in a long time.  They are just precious.  Someday in the not too distant future, I imagine I'll have that opportunity.

5.  Nappy - This is what Britons call a diaper.

6.  Navel - My navel never popped out when I was pregnant with my twins.

7.  Night - I prefer night to morning.  I am a night owl. I get my best work done when others are asleep.

8.  Nest - Our nest will be empty soon.  One of the twins (the youngest) has graduated and will be moving on when she gets a job.  The other is back in school for about another year and a half.

9.  Nuts - I'm not crazy about most nuts.  I like pine nuts, peanuts, and cashews.  That's about it.  And probably, those aren't true nuts.

10. Native - I am a native Texan and proud of it!

11. Navy - The dominant color in my bedroom is navy blue.

12. Needle - I know how to use a needle to sew minor repairs in clothing and stuffed animals.  I can also sew a button with a needle and thread.

13. Neat - While my home, bedroom, even my classroom, aren't always neat, I much prefer when they are.  I love it when things are stacked neatly or organized neatly.  I do not like when my students don't write neat enough for me to read their papers.

I hope you've had fun visiting Forgetfulone today!

Subscribe in a reader

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Random Tuesday

I'm linking up with Stacy.

So... going on day 2 of no school due to ice.  The kids also had MLK day off (not teachers), so they are going on day 5.  This is a traffic/weather camera near where I grew up.
Image Credit
Pictured is ice, not snow.  We so rarely get this kind of weather in South Texas.  The whole country is laughing because we're freaking out about freezing rain, but we don't have salt and sand trucks, or the right kind of tires, or whatever people up North use to make roads driveable in this kind of weather.

I remember my mom and I driving to the oral surgeon in icy weather.  It was about 30 years ago.  Cars were sliding all over the place, but I had three dry sockets, and I had to get there to get some relief.  I remember being scared out of my mind when a car slid coming thisclose to crashing into us.  So, world, laugh if you must, but I don't want to drive on ice.

And then there's this...

I truly dislike group texts!  I get texts from a group, some of whom I know, and some I have no idea who they are.  My husband and I were just comparing whose group texts were worse.  I think he won!  I wish someone could tell me how to leave a group text.  Makes me feel like this!  Haha!

Did I mention my beautiful daughter graduated (a semester early) with her BBA in Management last month?  I probably did... but it never hurts to repeat it.
  I'm so happy to have her home, even if it's not for long!

And that's all for today!  Stay warm, friends!

Subscribe in a reader

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Oh, Facebook... There's that One Friend

You know what I don't get?  Why people feel the need to document their every move on Facebook.  Don't get me wrong... I post on Facebook.  I comment, I read, I watch videos, I occasionally post updates, but... I have a friend who seriously documents EVERY move she makes on Facebook.  First of all, it's not safe.  Friends of friends probably know more about her than they ever cared to.  And a criminal could have a field day with her information.  But, it just bothers me.

Here's an example.  She recently had a family tragedy, and while most people would want to keep it quiet and private, she posted a news article that was quite an unflattering recounting of the event.  And she continues to post pictures and quotes about the circumstances of the event.

They're making a trip to her dad's house a few states away.  New state, new picture and comments for everyone.

Got an allergy shot?  Here's your Facebook update!
Want to know what she's listening to on the radio?  Here's your Facebook update!
Got the car washed?  Here's your Facebook update!

And quotes and quotes about fairly tale love and happy endings (she's been married before and has a 15 year old daughter).  Maybe I'm just jealous that she found a fairy tale, but I read these "Oh, my true love" quotes, and I just think, "Blech!"

She JUST posted... "We booked our honeymoon!"  That's all.  Didn't say where.  I guess she wants everyone to comment and ask, and I did, but I deleted it.  I think she just likes being the center of attention.  Maybe I secretly want to be the center of attention.  We all just want to belong, right?

She's my friend, and I love her to death, but she overshares.  And it bothers me.  What does that say about me?

  Subscribe in a reader


Related Posts with Thumbnails