Monday, November 30, 2015

Star Wars Shopping List

A new Star Wars movie is coming out in the next few weeks. And its upcoming arrival has brought out so many new products. And there are a few old ones that will always be favorites. Here are a few of these items I wouldn't mind finding underneath my tree on Christmas.

I need another hoodie like I need a hold my head, but I love this one.
Come on this is just fun, and who couldn't use a mini fridge for their drinks?

Yeah, it's almost as big as my tree, but hey it is so cute! And it would look so great next to tree.
Keep my feet warm they will. 
I want to build an outfit around these, oh, please Santa, please put these under my tree.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Germany, At Odds

A year or so ago, I watched the video Hitler's Children. I thought it was an interesting movie. It's all about the ancestors of Nazi war criminals and how they deal with their past. In the movie one of these individuals along with the reporter Eldud Beck visited Auschwitz. I thought to myself what an odd pair. So when I saw that Beck had written a book entitled Germany, At Odds, I wanted to read it and review it.

The Story

This book is a non-fiction book that looks at the current relationship between Germans and the Jewish community. Beck is an Israeli reporter who has lived in Europe for several years. He provides the reader with observations and conclusions based on his years living in Germany. At the beginning of the book he states that there are many who may not agree with what he has to say, but he writes what he has observed. He discusses how Germany has a unique history with Jews due to the Holocaust. And this is really the focus of the book. Is Germany just playing lip service to the past? Has the nation truly come to terms with what happened? And are the underlying attitudes that caused so much suffering still present in that society?

What I Liked And Disliked

The first reason I liked this book is probably not what the author intended. He didn't blame America for all of the problems. As an American I get so tired of being blamed for all the problems in the world. And it feels like in many discussions America gets the blame. Now I'm sure there are people who will say this is so self-centered. Let me go with it so I can make my point.

The author stayed on topic. Yes, there were other countries named in the book. But it all related to Germany and its relationship with Jews. He tells how Germans were involved in setting up the intelligence agencies in some countries outside of Germany of World War II. He also discusses the very real problem of German Nationalist groups today. 

As I read this book, I also thought that if I am relieved that the author isn't blaming me and my country for all of the problems in the world, how do Germans feel about constantly hearing about the Holocaust? I would imagine many individuals feel bad, and they decide just not to deal with it. And this is what the author points out as a problem in the relationship between Israel and Germany. 

There was one chapter in the book that I didn't like. As I stated in the beginning of the review, I was drawn to the book because the author was involved in a movie I saw. The author devotes an entire chapter to his relationship with the connection between himself and the grandson of the commandant of Auschwitz. The guy doesn't sound like a very nice guy. And people do need to know that he is preying on individuals. But devoting a whole chapter to that relationship just felt like the author was trying to get even with the guy for something. I did feel like the author was telling the truth about the individual, but did it need to take up so much space in the book?

Who Should Read This Book?

Individuals who are interested in international affairs will definitely want to take a look at this book. The author points out many issues from the perspective of an Israeli. He tells things a little different than the way we often see them on the news. Individuals who are interested in  World War II and the fall out of that war will also find this book interesting. I've always wondered how an entire nation just went kind of crazy for a dozen years. The book doesn't really answer the question flat out, but it did give me a little better understanding of how it might have happened. 

Disclaimer: I did receive a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a review. But I did tell you what I think of the book.

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Thankful Attitude

Thanksgiving is over. When I arrived back in town yesterday from visiting with family, I stopped at the gas station down the street. It's run by a family from Yemen I believe. I told the young man at the cash register Happy Thanksgiving. He informed me that they didn't celebrate Thanksgiving. I felt sad for him because I felt he was missing what Thanksgiving really is about. Yes, it is about different things to different people. To some individuals it is simply about a feast. To others it is about the time they spend with their family. And then there are those who celebrate Thanksgiving by going through the newspaper looking for the shopping frenzy that takes place on Black Friday.

Overall, Thanksgiving is about being thankful. Well, at least that is what it is supposed to be anyway. I wanted to reply to this young man that doesn't everyone have something to be thankful for? It doesn't matter whether you celebrate the holiday or not. But there was a line so he really didn't have time to discuss anything with me.

But this interaction did make me think. Yes, it is easy to say that we are thankful for something. And I believe that many of us do vocalize this. Many people I know voice things that are great in their life. But is that our attitude? Are we truly thankful for the abundance that most of us experience? I believe most of us don't. Otherwise, statements like the young man I spoke with wouldn't say we don't celebrate Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is really a lifestyle. It's one where we are not oblivious to the problems in our everyday life. But it's one where we are able to see that things could be so much worse. It is about enjoying the moment even though what is going on can be difficult.

Now, the last question I asked myself about this interaction is do I do what I am thinking about? Do I have a thankful attitude? Well, yes, when things are going well. It's easy to be thankful then, but what about the times when challenges arrive? Maybe sometimes, especially if the difficult times pass quickly. But when they stretch on how do I act? Not always the way I want to.

So through the interaction with this young man,  I realized that maybe I need to take a look at what my attitude really is. And think about if I truly had a thankful attitude. Or is it something that I just set aside for a certain season of the year?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

It's Just a Big Chicken

I was at the store today. People were talking all about everything they had to do before tomorrow. A lady stated that she keeps thinking of things she needs at the store. Another stated that she had to call her brother to see if he could take the turkey out of the freezer to  thaw. She hoped that it would be ready to cook tomorrow morning. Others were talking about all of the places they were going the next day. Many had several places to visit. Some were unsure how they were going to fit everything in. 

I have heard individuals discuss how they are going to fix their turkey. Some individuals will bake it. Others are going to cover it in bacon. And there are others that are going to deep fry the bird.

There are individuals who are excited about football. Others are excited about beginning their Christmas shopping Thursday evening. Some of the people seemed happy, and some of the people seemed overwhelmed. 

The important things to remember about Thanksgiving are it's about spending time with those we care about. There are so many things we all have to be thankful for, and we should vocalize that we are thankful. And lastly, that turkey is just a big chicken don't be afraid of baking it.

Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party 96

 Wake Up Wednesday "Linky" Party
@ Sew Crafty Angel


We are so excited to have so many amazing bloggers party with us.
Check out this weeks Featured linkups.

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Last week we had  528 awesome linkups!   

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This weeks 
Featured Bloggers

What's a little bit tart, a wee bit salty and a tad bit sweet?
What is made with 5 ingredients in less than 20 minutes?
The answer?
Cranberry Brie Bites!

Hyland Ponds
Stone Cottage Adventures

Something I love about the Denver area is all the green spaces!

Easy Salted Caramel Latte

If you want to treat yourself on a chilly day, think about making yourself a nice hot caramel latte! This recipe makes a creamy and slightly sweet latte. I don’t like overly sweet coffee drinks myself, but if you like yours sweeter, you can add an extra Tablespoon of caramel topping to your coffee/milk mixture. And you’ll definitely want to top this latte with some whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel topping, and a dash of sea salt–the sea salt gives it just the right punch!

Hubby's Egg Salad
Jay Tried and True

Last week I posted my very basic egg salad recipe!

Not that hubby doesn't eat his egg salad "my way", but he has his own special blend that he does the girl child.

This Silly Girl's Kitchen

Rustic Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, garlic and herbs makes this mashed potato recipe a stand out dish!

A tasty addition to a holiday meal.

the following message contains elements that may not be suitable for some audiences. especially those that do not or cannot accept the fact that thanksgiving is right around the corner followed by christmas and new year's and...

There is always so much to prepare for the Thanksgiving meal.  From appetizers, the main course, side dishes and dessert.  So, if one of those recipes is super easy...that's awesome right?
Check this out.  The traditional corn casserole is given a Southwestern twist that you and your guests will absolutely love!

These Pumpkin Pies in a Jar would make such a cute gift to take to neighbors or to enjoy as a delicious fall dessert.  They are so pretty!  These adorable jars are available on Amazon here.  You can also get the cookie cutters to make the leaf cutout at Amazon here. 

Nothing is better than an easy breakfast. I know for my son who leaves at the butt crack of dawn to catch the high school bus and who never has that extra time in the morning to eat, these are a winner. All he has to do is pop one right in the microwave and walla!

 Wake Up Wednesday Linky

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