GET /freshly-pressed/

List Freshly Pressed Posts

Resource URL

Type URL and Format
GET https://public-api.wordpress.com/rest/v1/freshly-pressed/

Query Parameters

Parameter Type Description
http_envelope (bool)
false:
(default)
true:
Some environments (like in-browser Javascript or Flash) block or divert responses with a non-200 HTTP status code. Setting this parameter will force the HTTP status code to always be 200. The JSON response is wrapped in an "envelope" containing the "real" HTTP status code and headers.
pretty (bool)
false:
(default)
true:
Output pretty JSON
meta (string) Optional. Loads data from the endpoints found in the 'meta' part of the response. Comma separated list. Example: meta=site,likes
callback (string) An optional JSONP callback function.
number (int) The number of posts to return. Default: 10. Limit: 40. Default: 10.
after (iso 8601 datetime) Return posts picked on or after the specified datetime.
before (iso 8601 datetime) Return posts picked on or before the specified datetime.
content_width (int) When in context=display, images/embeds in post content will be set to the desired maximum width. Default: 480.
thumb_width (int) Desired width of thumbnail images, in pixels. Default: 252.
thumb_height (int) Desired height of thumbnail images, in pixels. Default: 160.

Response Parameters

Parameter Type Description
ID (int) The post ID.
site_ID (int) The site ID.
author (object) The author of the post.
date (iso 8601 datetime) The post's creation time.
modified (iso 8601 datetime) The post's most recent update time.
title (html) context dependent.
URL (url) The full permalink URL to the post.
short_URL (url) The wp.me short URL.
content (html) context dependent.
excerpt (html) context dependent.
slug (string) The name (slug) for the post, used in URLs.
guid (string) The GUID for the post.
status (string)
publish:
The post is published.
draft:
The post is saved as a draft.
pending:
The post is pending editorial approval.
future:
The post is scheduled for future publishing.
trash:
The post is in the trash.
password (string) The plaintext password protecting the post, or, more likely, the empty string if the post is not password protected.
parent (object|false) A reference to the post's parent, if it has one.
type (string) The post's post_type. Post types besides post and page need to be whitelisted using the rest_api_allowed_post_types filter.
comments_open (bool) Is the post open for comments?
pings_open (bool) Is the post open for pingbacks, trackbacks?
comment_count (int) The number of comments for this post.
like_count (int) The number of likes for this post.
i_like (bool) Does the current user like this post?
is_reblogged (bool) Did the current user reblog this post?
is_following (bool) Is the current user following this blog?
global_ID (string) A unique WordPress.com-wide representation of a post.
featured_image (url) The URL to the featured image for this post if it has one.
format (string)
standard:
Standard
aside:
Aside
chat:
Chat
gallery:
Gallery
link:
Link
image:
Image
quote:
Quote
status:
Status
video:
Video
audio:
Audio
geo (object|false)
publicize_URLs (array) Array of Twitter and Facebook URLs published by this post.
tags (object) Hash of tags (keyed by tag name) applied to the post.
categories (object) Hash of categories (keyed by category name) applied to the post.
attachments (object) Hash of post attachments (keyed by attachment ID).
metadata (array) Array of post metadata keys and values. All unprotected meta keys are available by default for read requests. Both unprotected and protected meta keys are available for authenticated requests with access. Protected meta keys can be made available with the rest_api_allowed_public_metadata filter.
meta (object) API result meta data
date_range (object) date range covered by current results.
number (int) The number of posts brought back by current query.
posts (array) An array of post objects, with added Freshly Pressed info, in the editorial property for each post.

Example

cURL

curl 'https://public-api.wordpress.com/rest/v1/freshly-pressed/?pretty=1'

PHP

<?php

$options  = array (
  'http' => 
  array (
    'ignore_errors' => true,
  ),
);

$context  = stream_context_create( $options );
$response = file_get_contents(
  'https://public-api.wordpress.com/rest/v1/freshly-pressed/?pretty=1',
  false,
  $context
);
$response = json_decode( $response );

?>

Response Body

{
    "date_range": {
        "newest": "2014-04-22T21:30:02+00:00",
        "oldest": "2014-04-21T21:00:47+00:00"
    },
    "number": 10,
    "posts": [
        {
            "ID": 2000,
            "site_ID": 52910516,
            "author": {
                "ID": 36685989,
                "email": false,
                "name": "Mummy Says",
                "nice_name": "kiranchug",
                "URL": "http:\/\/mummysays.net",
                "avatar_URL": "https:\/\/0.gravatar.com\/avatar\/65b83dd9bdf172f92da6292f65066e94?s=96&d=identicon&r=G",
                "profile_URL": "http:\/\/en.gravatar.com\/kiranchug",
                "site_ID": 52910516
            },
            "date": "2014-04-16T23:14:51+01:00",
            "modified": "2014-04-16T23:14:51+01:00",
            "title": "How tough is motherhood?",
            "URL": "http:\/\/mummysays.net\/2014\/04\/16\/how-tough-is-motherhood\/",
            "short_URL": "http:\/\/wp.me\/p3A0rq-wg",
            "content": "<p>I\u2019m forced awake before 6am everyday for another round of this thing that is life. I\u2019m always woken by screams after a night of perhaps five broken hours of sleep. I tend to the basic necessities of two small human beings &#8211; I feed, wash and clothe them. I express my love for them. Over the next couple of hours, I lift one or both of them continuously, I reason with the larger one using negotiating skills that would make my country proud. I settle disputes, I calm anger, I kiss away pain. I make decisions for them, I make choices about the things that matter most in their lives. At the time that most London office workers sit down at their desks for the day, I drink my second cup of cold but strong coffee. No-one ever says thank you.<\/p>\n<p>This is motherhood. It is not the world\u2019s hardest job.\u00a0It is not some cult for over-achievers. It is not some clique of amazing super-human women. It is not a club of martyrs. It is motherhood, and billions of us do it every day.<\/p>\n<p>A fake job listing for a director of operations by a US advertising went\u00a0viral this week. It asked people to apply for a 24-hour, 7 day a week role which was unpaid.\u00a0Unsurprisingly, while thousands of people read the job description, \u00a0few clicked through to apply. Why would they? The advert, which was of course a tongue-in-cheek look at the role of a mother, made the job sound like hell.<\/p>\n<p>But here&#8217;s the thing. I\u2019m a mother of two, and it\u2019s isn\u2019t hell. It\u2019s hard, yes; it\u2019s tough some days, yes, it\u2019s exhausting, often thankless, confusing, difficult, frustrating &#8211; it\u2019s all of these things. But it\u2019s not the toughest job in the world.<\/p>\n<p>There are more complex jobs. The astrophysicist thinks far harder than I ever do. There are more difficult jobs. The surgeon separating conjoined twins has a more complicated job to do than me. There are tougher jobs. The cleaner emptying out sanitary bins at 3am who still can&#8217;t afford a decent meal for his elderly father &#8211; his job is tough. These are just obvious examples. But what of the men and women who every day work in jobs they dislike, or the men and women who must make hard decisions which affect the lives of hundreds?The policy makers, the finance directors, the editors, the soldiers, the carers, the teachers &#8211; they are never described as having \u2018the toughest job in the world\u2019.<\/p>\n<p>I have a baby and a toddler and they are both completely dependent on me to feed them, nurture them, and keep them safe. What I do will affect their lives. The decisions I make today will have an impact on their futures. I want them to grow up to be kind and thoughtful and generous and brave &#8211; and it is I that must teach them to be these things. It is I that must spend each day giving them the tools they need to make it in this world. It is a role that carries with it a great deal of responsibility.<\/p>\n<p>But being a mother is also a role that is filled with love and laughter and infinite joy. It cannot be the toughest job in the world, because for every sleepless night and hour spent distracting a toddler on the verge of a tantrum, there is a lifetime of holding in your arms the being you made. No-one will ever love you in the way your child will. This gift to you will be forever yours. Knowing this, I defy you to tell me that being a mother is tougher than anything else.<\/p>\n<p>Being a mother is not a job. It is not something you get a P60 for and clock in and clock out for. It is not something you train for and get a degree in. It is not something that can be measured by KPIs and performance reviews. It is not this cult-like thing you aren\u2019t really a part of until you know how exhausting\/challenging\/thankless it is. Let&#8217;s not pretend that motherhood is anything other than the journey we find ourselves on when we have children. It doesn&#8217;t need to be about how many hours we were awake for, or how quickly we resolved a tantrum. It doesn&#8217;t need to be about how cleverly we juggle all the arts and crafts and toddler entertainment with running a perfect home and holding the family together.<\/p>\n<p>All of this is just life. We have good days and bad days of it. We are mothers.<\/p>\n<p>Billions of women before us, and billions of women after us &#8211; have done this and will do this. They will be mothers. And yes, being a mother is hard &#8211; but it isn&#8217;t the toughest job in the world. It&#8217;s just a particularly special one. Enjoy it. X<\/p>\n<p><a href=\"http:\/\/mummysaysdotnet.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/sling2.jpg\"><img class=\"aligncenter size-large wp-image-1944\" src=\"https:\/\/mummysaysdotnet.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/sling2.jpg?w=480&#038;h=630\" alt=\"sling2\"   \/><\/a><\/p>\n<p><a href=\"http:\/\/honestmum.com\/category\/brilliant-blog-posts\/\"><img style=\"margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto;display:block;\" src=\"https:\/\/i0.wp.com\/i.imgur.com\/fJzNWoE.jpg\" alt=\"Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com\" width=\"204\" height=\"128\" \/><\/a><\/p>\n",
            "excerpt": "<p>I\u2019m forced awake before 6am everyday for another round of this thing that is life. I\u2019m always woken by screams after a night of perhaps five broken hours of sleep. I tend to the basic necessities of two small human &hellip; <a href=\"http:\/\/mummysays.net\/2014\/04\/16\/how-tough-is-motherhood\/\">Continue reading <span class=\"meta-nav\">&rarr;<\/span><\/a><\/p>\n",
            "slug": "how-tough-is-motherhood",
            "guid": "http:\/\/mummysays.net\/?p=2000",
            "status": "publish",
            "password": "",
            "parent": false,
            "type": "post",
            "comments_open": true,
            "pings_open": true,
            "comment_count": 91,
            "like_count": 126,
            "i_like": 0,
            "is_reblogged": 0,
            "is_following": 0,
            "global_ID": "d67b159e6affdb80fa634c2a76a747de",
            "featured_image": "",
            "format": "standard",
            "geo": false,
            "publicize_URLs": [

            ],
            "tags": {
                "children": {
                    "ID": 1343,
                    "name": "children",
                    "slug": "children",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 190,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/tags\/slug:children",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/tags\/slug:children\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "motherhood": {
                    "ID": 1883274,
                    "name": "motherhood",
                    "slug": "motherhood-2",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 125,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/tags\/slug:motherhood-2",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/tags\/slug:motherhood-2\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "parenting": {
                    "ID": 5309,
                    "name": "parenting",
                    "slug": "parenting",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 161,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/tags\/slug:parenting",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/tags\/slug:parenting\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516"
                        }
                    }
                }
            },
            "categories": {
                "Comment and Opinion": {
                    "ID": 10723323,
                    "name": "Comment and Opinion",
                    "slug": "comment-and-opinion",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 81,
                    "parent": 0,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/categories\/slug:comment-and-opinion",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/categories\/slug:comment-and-opinion\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Images of our selves": {
                    "ID": 171620784,
                    "name": "Images of our selves",
                    "slug": "images-of-our-selves",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 60,
                    "parent": 0,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/categories\/slug:images-of-our-selves",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/categories\/slug:images-of-our-selves\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Life is complicated": {
                    "ID": 1521848,
                    "name": "Life is complicated",
                    "slug": "life-is-complicated",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 115,
                    "parent": 0,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/categories\/slug:life-is-complicated",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/categories\/slug:life-is-complicated\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Linkys": {
                    "ID": 326545,
                    "name": "Linkys",
                    "slug": "linkys",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 55,
                    "parent": 0,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/categories\/slug:linkys",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/categories\/slug:linkys\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Motherhood": {
                    "ID": 4089,
                    "name": "Motherhood",
                    "slug": "motherhood",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 171,
                    "parent": 0,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/categories\/slug:motherhood",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/categories\/slug:motherhood\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516"
                        }
                    }
                }
            },
            "attachments": {

            },
            "metadata": false,
            "meta": {
                "links": {
                    "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/posts\/2000",
                    "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/posts\/2000\/help",
                    "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516",
                    "replies": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/posts\/2000\/replies\/",
                    "likes": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/posts\/2000\/likes\/"
                }
            },
            "featured_media": {

            },
            "pseudo_ID": "d67b159e6affdb80fa634c2a76a747de",
            "is_external": false,
            "site_name": "Mummy Says...",
            "site_URL": "http:\/\/mummysaysdotnet.wordpress.com",
            "site_is_private": false,
            "editorial": {
                "blog_id": "52910516",
                "post_id": "2000",
                "image": "https:\/\/s1.wp.com\/imgpress?crop=0px%2C0px%2C252px%2C160px&url=https%3A%2F%2Fs0.wp.com%2Fimgpress%3Fw%3D252%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fmummysaysdotnet.files.wordpress.com%252F2014%252F04%252Fsling2.jpg&unsharpmask=80,0.5,3",
                "custom_headline": "How Tough Is Motherhood?",
                "custom_blog_title": "",
                "displayed_on": "2014-04-22T21:30:02+00:00",
                "picked_on": "1970-01-01T00:33:34+00:00",
                "highlight_topic": "motherhood",
                "highlight_topic_title": "",
                "screen_offset": "-14",
                "blog_name": "Mummy Says...",
                "site_id": "1"
            }
        },
        {
            "ID": 2573,
            "site_ID": 14468737,
            "author": {
                "ID": 5159498,
                "email": false,
                "name": "stephenlabit",
                "nice_name": "stephenlabit",
                "URL": "",
                "avatar_URL": "https:\/\/2.gravatar.com\/avatar\/5eb26d5b97dfac2be8ea72ec6bd344c9?s=96&d=identicon&r=G",
                "profile_URL": "http:\/\/en.gravatar.com\/stephenlabit",
                "site_ID": 14468737
            },
            "date": "2014-04-18T00:11:44-06:00",
            "modified": "2014-04-18T00:11:44-06:00",
            "title": "A Post Riddled with Haikus",
            "URL": "http:\/\/stephenlabit.com\/2014\/04\/18\/a-post-riddled-with-haikus\/",
            "short_URL": "http:\/\/wp.me\/pYHYJ-Fv",
            "content": "<blockquote><p>For This Holiday<br \/>\nA Post Riddled with Haikus<br \/>\nPlease Submit Some, Friends<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<p style=\"text-align:justify;\">It&#8217;s <a href=\"http:\/\/www.thehaikufoundation.org\/national-haiku-poetry-day\/\">National Haiku Poetry Day<\/a>\u00a0back in the United States, and I figured I&#8217;d make some haikus of my own. I&#8217;m fond of riddles, so my haikus will be just that. Let&#8217;s see if you can figure some of them out. <span class='wp-smiley emoji emoji-wink' title=';)'>;)<\/span><\/p>\n<blockquote>\n<p style=\"text-align:justify;\">Consumed to excite<br \/>\nBy\u00a0Ethiopian goat;<br \/>\nBittersweet mornings<\/p>\n<\/blockquote>\n<blockquote>\n<p style=\"text-align:justify;\">In the mud I play<br \/>\nIn a shed the farmer slay<br \/>\nSeared\u00a0to start your day<\/p>\n<\/blockquote>\n<blockquote>\n<p style=\"text-align:justify;\">The bright sun\u00a0within<br \/>\nThe snow covered slopes without<br \/>\nHeat hardened river<\/p>\n<\/blockquote>\n<p style=\"text-align:justify;\">The answer to all three\u00a0is\u00a0my breakfast (Didn&#8217;t include the guacamole lol). Alright that was the easy round. Let&#8217;s go for more of a challenge.<\/p>\n<blockquote>\n<p style=\"text-align:justify;\">Rode a wave to hear<br \/>\nThe song\u00a0of an angel far<br \/>\nBox in hand she came<\/p>\n<\/blockquote>\n<blockquote>\n<p style=\"text-align:justify;\">She heard of my days<br \/>\nNever spoke a single word<br \/>\nYet she calmed my soul<\/p>\n<\/blockquote>\n<blockquote>\n<p style=\"text-align:justify;\">Not a squeak from it<br \/>\nIntentional mimicry<br \/>\nHis\u00a0northwest arrow<\/p>\n<\/blockquote>\n<p style=\"text-align:justify;\">If those were still to easy, let&#8217;s move away from tangibles.<\/p>\n<blockquote>\n<p style=\"text-align:justify;\">Land on limerick<br \/>\nLet misshapen face act\u00a0out<br \/>\nHis answer has aches<\/p>\n<\/blockquote>\n<blockquote>\n<p style=\"text-align:justify;\">Put your arm out, girl.<br \/>\nGesturing to cast the spell<br \/>\nImmortalizing<\/p>\n<\/blockquote>\n<blockquote>\n<p style=\"text-align:justify;\">Follow me, don&#8217;t ask<br \/>\nInto a world we&#8217;ll create<br \/>\nGive me all, submit<\/p>\n<\/blockquote>\n<p style=\"text-align:justify;\">Alright, that&#8217;s all for now. Would love to hear your answers. If you have some of your own, do share!<\/p>\n",
            "excerpt": "<p>For This Holiday A Post Riddled with Haikus Please Submit Some, Friends It&#8217;s National Haiku Poetry Day\u00a0back in the United States, and I figured I&#8217;d make some haikus of my own. I&#8217;m fond of riddles, so my haikus will be &hellip; <a href=\"http:\/\/stephenlabit.com\/2014\/04\/18\/a-post-riddled-with-haikus\/\">Continue reading <span class=\"meta-nav\">&rarr;<\/span><\/a><\/p>\n",
            "slug": "a-post-riddled-with-haikus",
            "guid": "http:\/\/stephenlabit.com\/?p=2573",
            "status": "publish",
            "password": "",
            "parent": false,
            "type": "post",
            "comments_open": true,
            "pings_open": true,
            "comment_count": 9,
            "like_count": 40,
            "i_like": 0,
            "is_reblogged": 0,
            "is_following": 0,
            "global_ID": "b2974f3f25b11d6b9f54e39980529c66",
            "featured_image": "",
            "format": "standard",
            "geo": false,
            "publicize_URLs": [

            ],
            "tags": {

            },
            "categories": {
                "THOUGHT": {
                    "ID": 2378,
                    "name": "THOUGHT",
                    "slug": "thought",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 66,
                    "parent": 0,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/14468737\/categories\/slug:thought",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/14468737\/categories\/slug:thought\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/14468737"
                        }
                    }
                }
            },
            "attachments": {

            },
            "metadata": false,
            "meta": {
                "links": {
                    "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/14468737\/posts\/2573",
                    "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/14468737\/posts\/2573\/help",
                    "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/14468737",
                    "replies": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/14468737\/posts\/2573\/replies\/",
                    "likes": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/14468737\/posts\/2573\/likes\/"
                }
            },
            "featured_media": {

            },
            "pseudo_ID": "b2974f3f25b11d6b9f54e39980529c66",
            "is_external": false,
            "site_name": "stephenlabit",
            "site_URL": "http:\/\/iamsik.wordpress.com",
            "site_is_private": false,
            "editorial": {
                "blog_id": "14468737",
                "post_id": "2573",
                "image": "https:\/\/s2.wp.com\/imgpress?resize=252%2C160&url=http%3A%2F%2Fiamsik.files.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F02%2Fcropped-wpid-eyeemfiltered1392410508152.jpg&unsharpmask=80,0.5,3",
                "custom_headline": "",
                "custom_blog_title": "",
                "displayed_on": "2014-04-22T21:02:02+00:00",
                "picked_on": "1970-01-01T00:33:34+00:00",
                "highlight_topic": "riddles",
                "highlight_topic_title": "Riddles",
                "screen_offset": "0",
                "blog_name": "stephenlabit",
                "site_id": "1"
            }
        },
        {
            "ID": 15528,
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            "date": "2014-04-16T16:07:03-04:00",
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            "title": "The River&#8217;s Edge",
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            "content": "<p><a href=\"http:\/\/drawandshoot.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/at-the-edges-12.jpg\"><img class=\"aligncenter size-full wp-image-15578\" src=\"https:\/\/drawandshoot.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/at-the-edges-12.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"At-the-Edges-12\"   \/><\/a><\/p>\n<p><a href=\"http:\/\/drawandshoot.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/at-the-edges-4.jpg\"><img class=\"aligncenter size-full wp-image-15532\" src=\"https:\/\/drawandshoot.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/at-the-edges-4.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"At-the-Edges-4\"   \/><\/a><\/p>\n<p><a href=\"http:\/\/drawandshoot.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/at-the-edges-5.jpg\"><img class=\"aligncenter size-full wp-image-15533\" src=\"https:\/\/drawandshoot.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/at-the-edges-5.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"At-the-Edges-5\"   \/><\/a><\/p>\n<p><a href=\"http:\/\/drawandshoot.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/at-the-edges-6.jpg\"><img class=\"aligncenter size-full wp-image-15538\" src=\"https:\/\/drawandshoot.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/at-the-edges-6.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"At-the-Edges-6\"   \/><\/a><\/p>\n<p style=\"text-align:justify;\"><a href=\"http:\/\/drawandshoot.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/at-the-edges3.jpg\"><img class=\"aligncenter size-full wp-image-15531\" src=\"https:\/\/drawandshoot.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/at-the-edges3.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"At-the-Edges3\"   \/><\/a>The river ice is breaking up slowly. Shifting a little everyday in the sun and wind and really coming open where there are strong undercurrents. I was a little surprised to see this snapping turtle floating at the frayed edges of the ice, able to lift its head for air but otherwise shifting with the water like a piece of driftwood, too cold to move. It&#8217;s been a long winter for everybody and spring has been tentative. We have land now, though. Earth, mud, grit and weathered grasses. The snow is mostly gone, we are just waiting on the river&#8230;<\/p>\n<p><a href=\"http:\/\/drawandshoot.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/at-the-edges-1.jpg\"><img class=\"aligncenter size-full wp-image-15529\" src=\"https:\/\/drawandshoot.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/at-the-edges-1.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"At-the-Edges-1\"   \/><\/a><\/p>\n<p><a href=\"http:\/\/drawandshoot.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/at-the-edges-7.jpg\"><img class=\"aligncenter size-full wp-image-15547\" src=\"https:\/\/drawandshoot.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/at-the-edges-7.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"At-the-Edges-7\"   \/><\/a><\/p>\n<p><a href=\"http:\/\/drawandshoot.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/at-the-edges-11.jpg\"><img class=\"aligncenter size-full wp-image-15571\" src=\"https:\/\/drawandshoot.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/at-the-edges-11.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"At-the-Edges-11\"   \/><\/a><\/p>\n<p>\u00a9 Karen McRae, 2014<\/p>\n",
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            "date": "2014-04-19T15:57:32+00:00",
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            "title": "In Defense of the Dance Major",
            "URL": "http:\/\/shannondoolingdances.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/19\/in-defense-of-the-dance-major\/",
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            "content": "<div id=\"attachment_554\" style=\"width: 209px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/shannondoolingdances.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/after-the-rain.jpg\"><img class=\"wp-image-554 size-medium\" src=\"https:\/\/shannondoolingdances.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/after-the-rain.jpg?w=199&#038;h=300\" alt=\"after the rain\" width=\"199\" height=\"300\" \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">After the Rain -\u00a0the first piece I choreographed at DeSales University, in 2005<\/p><\/div>\n<p>Several months ago, I heard two interesting reports from NPR&#8217;s Planet Money team that focused on college majors and jobs &#8211; why people decide to pursue particular tracks of studies and the careers they hold as a result \u00a0As might be expected from a program entitled &#8220;Planet Money,&#8221; both of the these reports focused heavily on the economics of such decisions. Specifically, &#8220;<a href=\"http:\/\/www.npr.org\/blogs\/money\/2013\/09\/11\/221417806\/episode-485-whats-your-major\" target=\"_blank\">What&#8217;s Your Major<\/a>&#8221; took a look at the relationship between college majors and salaries, and the title of &#8220;<a href=\"http:\/\/www.npr.org\/blogs\/money\/2013\/09\/11\/220748057\/why-women-like-me-choose-lower-paying-jobs\" target=\"_blank\">Why Women Like Me Choose Lower Paying Jobs<\/a>&#8221; pretty much says it all.<\/p>\n<p>One topic that came up often as the various economic experts tried to justify why someone wouldn&#8217;t choose a\u00a0more lucrative college major and\u00a0career was &#8220;passion.&#8221; On some level, I think that is absolutely true. Some of us do make such decisions based on our passions, even if it comes at personal and financial loss. \u00a0Onlookers\u00a0might claim this is just the &#8220;self-absorbed&#8221;\u00a0and &#8220;stubborn&#8221; nature of the millennial and generation Y, but I think there is more to it than that.<\/p>\n<p>I think a better word, and one that isn&#8217;t mentioned in the above reports, is <b>calling<\/b>. \u00a0Since age 12, I have felt called to a life in the arts, specifically dance. I still remember the moment it came to me, the way some people describe moments of religious conversion. I was in class on a Friday afternoon, practicing an adagio, when I was struck by the realization that dance was all I wanted to do. Maybe I wouldn&#8217;t be a world-renowned performer, but dance would be my life&#8217;s work. And with the exception of a\u00a0few chaotic months of economic\u00a0and existential struggle in my early\u00a0twenties, I never really stopped to question that fact. Dance was simply what I was meant\u00a0to do, even when I knew it wasn&#8217;t always the smartest financial\u00a0decision.<\/p>\n<p>A second element, related to calling, is <strong>service<\/strong>. For better or for worse, I believe that my passion, enthusiasm, and ability for dance are a gift, and I want to use it to serve others in the best way possible. \u00a0The best\u00a0way I can contribute to the world\u00a0is as a dancer, choreographer, dance educator, and advocate. My current hodgepodge of freelance jobs offer me the opportunity to serve in special ways. I have researched the impact of dance in the K-12 setting (the\u00a0resulting report\u00a0has been published <a href=\"http:\/\/ndeo.org\/content.aspx?page_id=22&amp;club_id=893257&amp;module_id=153248\" target=\"_blank\">here<\/a>), and I have been able to see that impact in action in a variety of school, university, and private studio settings. I have been able to build a creative community (<a href=\"http:\/\/www.newstreetdancegroup.org\" target=\"_blank\">New Street Dance Group<\/a>) through which I can explore my own artistic interests, foster the work of other artists, and share the joy of creativity with students and audiences. \u00a0I have been able to advocate for dance, giving voice to importance and necessity of dance in our schools, on our stages, and in our communities.\u00a0I could be making more money doing something else, but I don&#8217;t think my life&#8217;s work would have the same impact.<\/p>\n<p>The third and final element is\u00a0<strong>fulfillment.\u00a0<\/strong>I don&#8217;t always love the hours I have to keep, the uncertainty of my employment, or balancing multiple jobs as a freelancer. I do, however, love\u00a0what I do, and I&#8217;m happy doing it. My parents always told me this was the most important thing in choosing your career path, and they were right. At the end of the day, I&#8217;m living out my dream, I&#8217;m doing what was I called to do, and I like to think I&#8217;m helping others in the process. And that makes me feel pretty darn fulfilled!<\/p>\n<p>&#8230;<\/p>\n<p>All this comes back to mind again as graduation season \u00a0comes upon us. Hearing the\u00a0high school seniors in my life talk about their chosen colleges and majors, I think back to those stressful days. Would I have done it any differently? Would I have chosen a different major? Probably not. I owe so much of who I am, both as a professional and as a person, to my dance degrees (BA 2007, MFA 2013). Here are my arguments in defense of the dance major:<\/p>\n<p>1.) <strong>Dance teaches work ethic and personal responsibility<\/strong>: As a dance major, you don&#8217;t just come late or miss class and rehearsal. That time in the studio is sacred, and impossible to &#8220;make up&#8221; by borrowing someone&#8217;s notes or reading the textbook.\u00a0When circumstances beyond your control do cause you to be absent, you come back prepared. If you don&#8217;t, you often risk getting cut from the piece or being behind all semester. Dance is tough work, and it&#8217;s no one&#8217;s fault but your own if you don&#8217;t live up to the expectations. No matter what field you enter after graduation, those habits of mind will serve you well.<\/p>\n<div id=\"attachment_555\" style=\"width: 310px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/shannondoolingdances.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/after-the-rain-2.jpeg\"><img class=\"wp-image-555 size-medium\" src=\"https:\/\/shannondoolingdances.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/after-the-rain-2.jpeg?w=300&#038;h=199\" alt=\"after the rain 2\" width=\"300\" height=\"199\" \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Rehearsing at DeSales University in 2005<\/p><\/div>\n<p>2.) <strong>Dance teaches you to hold multiple perspectives at once<\/strong>: As a dance major, you will often have many different teachers. It is almost guaranteed that at least two of them will completely contradict each other at all times. <em>&#8220;Well, in MY class you do it like this &#8230;&#8221;<\/em> seems to be a favorite mantra of many dance educators\u00a0(myself included). There are many different ways to approach dance technique and artistry, \u00a0and each instructor\u00a0has their own ways of\u00a0teaching the skills needed to be successful in those areas. You, as the student, need to be flexible, adaptable, and open to trying all them. You need to be able to hold multiple truths at once. This ability allows you to see the world differently, and to relate to people with different values, opinions, beliefs, and backgrounds- certainly an important skill set in today&#8217;s global economy.<\/p>\n<p>3.) <strong>Dance teaches you to make\u00a0your own truth<\/strong>: Eventually, you will figure out which approaches to dance technique and artistry work best for you. You will take a little from Professor X and a little from Professor Y and create a beautiful new approach that makes sense for your body, mind, and spirit. In order to do \u00a0this, you need to get to know yourself.\u00a0What are your physical strengths and weaknesses &#8211; and how can you best accommodate them in your dancing? What is your unique creative voice &#8211; and how can you best express it in your choreography? The best dancers are the ones who can take what they learn and apply it in a way that makes sense and works for them &#8211; thereby creating their own truths for technique and artistry. Self-knowledge &#8211; and the self-respect that comes with it &#8211; allows you to tackle new tasks and challenges in and out of the studio with adaptability, understanding, skill, and confidence.<\/p>\n<p>4.) <strong>Dance teaches you to deal with pain, frustration, and disappointment<\/strong>: \u00a0Even if you are a hard worker with an open mind who knows and owns your truth, you will definitely face pain and disappointment as a dance major. You will bruise your knees and your toenails and your ego. You will be at rehearsal until all hours of the night while your \u00a0friends are playing video games and partying. You will lose friends and lovers\u00a0because they feel like you&#8217;re putting your career ahead of them. You will have complicated relationships with teachers who confuse you, upset you, and don&#8217;t seem to understand you (even if they&#8217;re really just trying to help). You won&#8217;t always get the parts you want. But you will learn how to deal with\u00a0all of these things &#8211; you have to, if you want to survive. And while you may act like a fool for a while as you learn to handle the pain, frustration, and disappointment with grace and poise, the truth is you experience these deep emotions and put up with them because you <em>care<\/em>. \u00a0That investment, that willingness to sacrifice and suffer for what you love and believe in, will never leave you. You will apply it to whatever field you enter, and you will be able to handle the new pains, frustrations, and disappointments it brings with maturity because you&#8217;ve been there.<\/p>\n<div id=\"attachment_556\" style=\"width: 310px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/shannondoolingdances.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/high-and-low.jpg\"><img class=\"wp-image-556 size-medium\" src=\"https:\/\/shannondoolingdances.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/high-and-low.jpg?w=300&#038;h=239\" alt=\"high and low\" width=\"300\" height=\"239\" \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Highs and Lows &#8211; Also choreographed at DeSales, inspired by all those pains, frustrations, and disappointments. Photo by Matthew Wright, 2006<\/p><\/div>\n<p>5.) <strong>Dance teaches you to forge your own path<\/strong>: As a dance major, you are constantly making your own way. You are learning how technique works for you, you are figuring out your own creative voice, and you are learning what makes you unique as an artist, performer, and person. You are finding new ways to set yourself apart in class, in auditions, and on-stage. It is all part of the process. After you graduate, you are better able to create your own career path, as well. In the above articles and in popular culture, the arts are almost laughed at as a viable college major and career path. But the truth is,\u00a0<em>I have never wanted for work, even with &#8220;just&#8221; a dance degree.<\/em> While I have seen acquaintances\u00a0lose jobs as teachers, struggle to find work as nurses, and get laid off in a number of other fields, I&#8217;ve always had a job &#8211; multiple jobs, in fact. They weren&#8217;t all glamorous, and I&#8217;ve never made a ton of\u00a0money, but I have been working (and working my butt off) since graduation. Because I&#8217;m used to forging my own path, I&#8217;ve never <em>relied<\/em> on an employer. I&#8217;ve created a career that goes beyond any one job &#8211; and thousands\u00a0of other dancers have\u00a0done\u00a0it, too. I firmly believe that anyone who tells you artists are lazy has just never met a real one. We&#8217;ve mastered the hustle, not to get wealthy but to survive &#8211; which\u00a0ultimately allows us to thrive no matter what path we end up taking.<\/p>\n<p>6.) <strong>Dance teaches twenty-first century skills<\/strong>: Business leaders lament that graduates do not possess the skills needed for the contemporary workforce, but dance majors have been honing these very skills for decades. \u00a0<em>Critical thinking?<\/em> Technique and performance is all about understanding, recalling, analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing movement. <em>Creativity?<\/em> We live and breathe the creative process through choreography and performance. <em>Collaboration?<\/em>\u00a0Collaboration\u00a0has been an integral part of dance even before it was a buzzword in business and education. From peer feedback to collective choreography to the seemingly simple act of performing as a ensemble, dance is one of the most collaborative of all the arts. <em>Communication?<\/em> Not only do dancers learn to communicate without words on stage, college dance majors\u00a0are increasingly being taught to communicate about their field through articulate writing, clear verbal presentation, and passionate advocacy. Gone (mostly) are the days of the &#8220;silent&#8221; dancer. For the sake of our careers and the field we love, we are learning to speak up for ourselves. \u00a0What to see it for yourself? <strong>Hire us.\u00a0<\/strong><\/p>\n<div id=\"attachment_557\" style=\"width: 310px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/shannondoolingdances.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/walk-a-thon.jpg\"><img class=\"wp-image-557 size-medium\" src=\"https:\/\/shannondoolingdances.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/walk-a-thon.jpg?w=300&#038;h=225\" alt=\"walk a thon\" width=\"300\" height=\"225\" \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">DeSales Dance majors being fun, happy, goofy, good people at a charity walk circa 2006.<\/p><\/div>\n<p>&nbsp;<\/p>\n<p>7.) <strong>Dance teaches you to be a good person<\/strong>: Sure, we&#8217;re portrayed as evil backstabbing bitches in movies, and we&#8217;ve all run into a few nasty dancers (and dance teachers). \u00a0But the truth is that most of the dancers I meet are really, really lovely folks. We&#8217;re passionate about life and the beauty that dance adds to it. We&#8217;re supportive of one another because we know how tough the field can be. We&#8217;ve learned empathy, kinesthetic and general, through the act of dancing with real people in real space and real time, face to face and heart to heart. We&#8217;re invested in our communities, artistic, local, and global, and are eager to serve through education and artistry. We&#8217;re not putting glass in one another&#8217;s pointe shoes or sleeping our way to the top &#8211; well, most of us aren&#8217;t, anyway. We&#8217;re cooperative, engaged, eager &#8211; \u00a0the kind of people you want on your team &#8211; and we learned it in the studio!<\/p>\n<p>&nbsp;<\/p>\n<p>&nbsp;<\/p>\n<p>&nbsp;<\/p>\n",
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            "title": "The top 10 tips I&#8217;ve learned from minimalists",
            "URL": "http:\/\/theextraordinarysimplelife.com\/2014\/04\/17\/the-top-10-tips-ive-learned-from-minimalists\/",
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            "content": "<p><a href=\"http:\/\/theextraordinarysimplelife.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/tiny-house-2.jpg\"><img class=\"alignnone size-full wp-image-499\" src=\"https:\/\/theextraordinarysimplelife.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/tiny-house-2.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"tiny-house-2\"   \/><\/a><\/p>\n<p><strong>I&#8217;m not going to covet other minimalists&#8217; lives anymore.<\/strong><\/p>\n<p><em>I don\u2019t travel the world with a single backpack.<\/em><\/p>\n<p><em>I haven\u2019t packed up my family to travel across the country in an RV for a year.<\/em><\/p>\n<p><em>I am not a single woman with a futon, a suitcase and a laptop.<\/em><\/p>\n<p><em>I didn\u2019t choose 600 square feet of dwelling space with a hobby farm \u2018round back.<\/em><\/p>\n<p>YET, I adore reading about these\u00a0amazing people and their even more intriguing journeys toward transformation. In perusing books and blogposts, these characters seem like old friends. We\u2019re all rooting for them. Their triumphs and courageous leaps of faith provide the inspiration for our own stories. However, through all this story following, I have found there is not one formula for choosing a simple life&#8230;it is not a one-size-fits all t-shirt. No matter what our life looks like, I do believe each and every one of these intentional &amp; devoted people can teach a lesson worth learning.<\/p>\n<p><strong>A kind of <em>minimalism for the rest of us <\/em>sort of thing.<\/strong><\/p>\n<p>&nbsp;<\/p>\n<p><a href=\"http:\/\/theextraordinarysimplelife.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/toptips.jpg\"><img class=\"alignnone size-full wp-image-500\" src=\"https:\/\/theextraordinarysimplelife.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/toptips.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"toptips\"   \/><\/a><\/p>\n<p>&nbsp;<\/p>\n<p><strong>1) Clear surfaces and uncluttered spaces create calm in the soul.<\/strong><\/p>\n<p>Disorganization in my environment used to create brain chaos for me. I learned the how-to\u2019s of de-cluttering from almost all of these experienced minimalists and formulated a day-by-day plan to clear out. What a huge difference this had made!<\/p>\n<p><strong>2) Unplug and partake in digital sabbaticals regularly.<\/strong><\/p>\n<p>I\u2019ve blogged about this before, but I can\u2019t say enough about what this practice has done for my sanity, my kids and my marriage. Here\u2019s a <a href=\"http:\/\/beyondthetodolist.com\/?s=Baratunde+Thurston\">great podcast <\/a>about what it can do for you.<\/p>\n<p><strong>3) The habit of saying <em>NO<\/em> can vastly improve your life.<\/strong><\/p>\n<p>With each and every post I read on this topic from various bloggers, I gain courage and inspiration to say it loud (yet, politely) and often.<strong><em> No<\/em> <\/strong>to commitments that aren\u2019t passions&#8230;<em><strong>no<\/strong><\/em> to stuff from family members and friends&#8230;<em><strong>no<\/strong><\/em> to social situations that make me feel stressed or uncomfortable. This allows the <em><strong>yes\u2019s<\/strong><\/em> in that bring mindfulness and happiness.<\/p>\n<p><strong>4) Be realistic about how much entertaining you do in your home.<\/strong><\/p>\n<p>I got rid of all of\u00a0the doubles in my closets and cabinets. I found that my army-sized set of champagne glasses all had dust, except two. Party themed decorations are only items taking up real estate in needed cabinet space. I also found that if there happens to be a need for party gear, people are more than happy to lend it to friends.<\/p>\n<p><strong>5) Choose work that you love and your life will improve overall.<\/strong><\/p>\n<p>At the moment I am not self-employed like many of these simple living experts. I owned my own photography business for 13 years and found it wasn\u2019t fitting my personality. I didn\u2019t have the gift of separating the hustle of entrepreneurship from family life. I\u2019m in awe of people who live on both of those planets successfully&#8212;-and even more impressed with people who can do it on the road! After making this realization that I didn\u2019t like working for myself,\u00a0 I decided to go back to teaching. \u2018Turns out I adore inspiring 3rd graders&#8212;I\u2019ve never been happier in a job. This change alone inspired a lot of my paring down (<em>goodbye closets of equipment!<\/em>) and simplifying (<em>hello, weekends spent with family<\/em>). I think the act of simplifying can help you be honest with what is and isn\u2019t working in a career and give you the courage to take the leap required to make it right.<\/p>\n<p><strong>6) Put limits on spending when it comes to offspring.<\/strong><\/p>\n<p>Although the <em>whine-o-saur-us<\/em> is alive and well in my house, I do believe my girls will thank me later. They are responsible for the \u201cextras\u201d with their own allowance. I communicate a price I\u2019m comfortable with when it comes to clothes shopping. If my teens want the Cadillac of jeans, they must pay the difference. We show them what our bills are and talk about how important a budget is and have managed to squelch \u201cthe gimmees\u201d with service oriented experiences. Somehow the new Nike Free Runs don\u2019t seem as alluring when there are visions of the destitute and neglected in one\u2019s head.<\/p>\n<p><strong>7) A closet with 33 items really can make your morning (&amp; your life) more efficient.<\/strong><\/p>\n<p>Who knew? Thank you, <a href=\"http:\/\/bemorewithless.com\/\">Courtney<\/a>, for informing the masses of this little gem. When I first read about <a href=\"http:\/\/theproject333.com\/\">Project\u00a0333<\/a>, I hemmed and hawed as I visually took in my overstuffed closet. I whittled it down in the course of a month. I just got real about what was actually being worn and I made up a fantasy 3 month Airstream itinerary and pulled out all the items I thought I could fit in our Twinkie\u2019s small closet. With the items laid on the bed, I had to laugh because it consisted of all my favorites&#8230;my <em>20%-worn-80%-of-the-time clothes<\/em>. Then I gave myself a \u201chave courage\u201d speech&#8211;<em>it\u2019s all going in a box, not the Goodwill pile, for crying out loud<\/em>&#8212;and I stood back to admire the extra space.<\/p>\n<p><strong>8) Choose quality over quantity.<\/strong><\/p>\n<p>The juicer, cutting knife, running shoes, winter coat, purse and lipstick (among many other things) were condensed down to one quality purchase per category. Less stuff, but stuff that will last.\u00a0Joshua Becker&#8217;s\u00a0<a href=\"http:\/\/www.becomingminimalist.com\/joy-of-one\/\">The Simple Joy of One\u00a0<\/a>\u00a0is a great post that I took to heart.<\/p>\n<p><strong>9) Food and exercise can be simplified for maximum health.<\/strong><\/p>\n<p>I let go of the the gym membership in lieu of my nifty efficient work-out space in the garage. All expensive \u201chealthy snacks\u201d (which are really just pre-packaged fare camouflaged in a Whole Food setting) were banished. We eat raw food&#8211;nuts, dried fruit, jerky, tons of veges &amp; fruit&#8211;and it has really kept us well this year. As an elementary school teacher who\u2019s been back in the classroom for one year, I\u2019ve gotten one cold. I believe in green juice and I\u2019m doing my best to help everyone in our home believe it too. Love The Minimalists take on <a href=\"http:\/\/www.theminimalists.com\/diet\/\">diet <\/a>and <a href=\"http:\/\/www.theminimalists.com\/18min\/\">exercise.<\/a><\/p>\n<p><strong>10) Invest in experiences instead of things.<\/strong><\/p>\n<p>As a family we have made a decision to travel as much as we can. Whether it&#8217;s in our Airstream or by plane, I believe it&#8217;s important enough to require a separate travel savings account. Luxury cars and second homes were never going to enter the picture with our family&#8212;it has always been <em>going places<\/em>\u00a0and <em>doing things<\/em> (that and good Thai food eating experiences). I like this <a href=\"http:\/\/www.huffingtonpost.com\/sean-kim\/invest-in-life-experience_b_4924744.html\">Huffington Post article <\/a>on the subject.<\/p>\n<p>* * *<\/p>\n<p>What tips have brought you joy in your <em>journey to simple<\/em>? Which ones made the most difference?<\/p>\n<p><a href=\"http:\/\/theextraordinarysimplelife.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/01\/blogsimplicitysignature5.jpg\"><img class=\"alignnone size-full wp-image-30\" src=\"https:\/\/theextraordinarysimplelife.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/01\/blogsimplicitysignature5.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"blogsimplicitySignature5\"   \/><\/a><\/p>\n",
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            "modified": "2014-04-18T19:25:17-04:00",
            "title": "7 Signs of Bag-Lady Chic: An Expat Triumphs over &#8220;Purse Temptation&#8221;",
            "URL": "http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/16\/7-signs-of-bag-lady-chic-an-expat-triumphs-over-purse-temptation\/",
            "short_URL": "http:\/\/wp.me\/p1bIFl-4bv",
            "content": "<p>Hello, my name is Kathy, and I am a bag lady.<\/p>\n<p>You see, we visited the beach in Ecuador last week&#8211;our first\u00a0trip to the coast since moving to\u00a0Cuenca 11 months ago&#8211;an adventure in its own right, most would think.\u00a0 However, I had a victory that involved more than sand and surf.<\/p>\n<p>I did NOT purchase a purse.<\/p>\n<p><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/p1190326-3.jpg\"><img class=\"alignnone size-large wp-image-16097\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/p1190326-3.jpg?w=480&#038;h=638\" alt=\"P1190326 (3)\"   \/><\/a><\/p>\n<p>You see,\u00a0&#8220;mi esposa&#8221;\u00a0Sara says I&#8217;m a bag lady.\u00a0\u00a0Though she hasn&#8217;t indicated it&#8217;s terminal, she insists it&#8217;s a sickness, maybe even a curse.\u00a0 (I think, she\u00a0exaggerates.)<\/p>\n<p>I&#8217;ve written before about my advanced <a title=\"A Pack Rat's Parable: On Traveling with too much Stuff\" href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.wordpress.com\/2010\/12\/17\/a-pack-rats-parable-on-traveling-with-too-much-stuff\/\" target=\"_blank\">luggaging skills<\/a>.\u00a0 I&#8217;ve even\u00a0composed\u00a0 &#8220;<a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.wordpress.com\/2011\/10\/28\/the-official-beginners-guide-to-becoming-a-better-bag-lady\/\" target=\"_blank\">A Beginner&#8217;s Guide to Becoming a Better Bag Lady<\/a>.&#8221;\u00a0 I&#8217;ve\u00a0posted about over-packing&#8211;both in the contexts of\u00a0 <a title=\"A Pack Rat's Parable: On Traveling with too much Stuff\" href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.wordpress.com\/2010\/12\/17\/a-pack-rats-parable-on-traveling-with-too-much-stuff\/\" target=\"_blank\">travel<\/a> and <a title=\"All Porters Apply Here\" href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.wordpress.com\/2011\/06\/29\/all-porters-apply-here\/\" target=\"_blank\">moving<\/a>.<\/p>\n<p>Bottom line&#8211;I know bags.<\/p>\n<p><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6502.jpg\"><img class=\"aligncenter size-full wp-image-10268\" title=\"DSCN6502\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6502.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><\/p>\n<p>However, I&#8217;ve\u00a0only once before confessed\u00a0the embarrassingly\u00a0large number of\u00a0purses and pouches\u00a0I possess.\u00a0 And\u00a0in the context of last week&#8217;s\u00a0triumph over temptation, I thought I&#8217;d share again images of those carry-ables.<\/p>\n<p><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6497-2.jpg\"><img class=\"aligncenter size-full wp-image-10267\" title=\"DSCN6497 (2)\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6497-2.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><\/p>\n<p>So, today I offer up again\u00a0my guilt,\u00a0a\u00a0\u00a0coutured confession, of sorts.\u00a0\u00a0 I&#8217;ll even itemize it\u00a0in images,\u00a0bringing you\u00a0<strong>7 Signs of Bag Lady Chic<\/strong>.<\/p>\n<p><strong>1.\u00a0 The dress-up purse<\/strong><\/p>\n<p>Sara and I don&#8217;t go a lot of fancy places.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 We don&#8217;t eat out a lot, and we certainly don&#8217;t frequent\u00a0many fine dining establishments.\u00a0 Plus, we&#8217;ve lived in a number of developing countries where the need for beaded bags hasn&#8217;t been enormous.\u00a0 However, there are a number of lovely restaurants in a city like Hanoi, even in a country like Haiti, so, I&#8217;ve needed a few.<\/p>\n<div id=\"attachment_10175\" style=\"width: 1034px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6430.jpg\"><img class=\" wp-image-10175\" title=\"DSCN6430\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6430.jpg?w=1024&#038;h=768\" alt=\"\" width=\"1024\" height=\"768\" \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Every girl needs\u00a0at least one\u00a0basic, black bag&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<div id=\"attachment_10178\" style=\"width: 490px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6490.jpg\"><img class=\"size-large wp-image-10178\" title=\"DSCN6490\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6490.jpg?w=480&#038;h=640\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Hand-embroidered, Vietnamese silk&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<div id=\"attachment_10179\" style=\"width: 490px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6453.jpg\"><img class=\"size-large wp-image-10179\" title=\"DSCN6453\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6453.jpg?w=480&#038;h=640\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Another embroidered bag&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<p><strong>2.\u00a0 The pouch<\/strong><\/p>\n<p>Sara laughs mercilessly at me, insisting that I, not only\u00a0have\u00a0too many bags, but I carry bags within bags.\u00a0 I think this demonstrates a keen lack of understanding on the part of a woman who wouldn&#8217;t be caught dead carrying anything and failure to remember my subsequent need to carry her cash and camera.\u00a0 \u00a0I have to put\u00a0her money and\u00a0my makeup in something, don&#8217;t I?<\/p>\n<div id=\"attachment_10182\" style=\"width: 490px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6486.jpg\"><img class=\"size-large wp-image-10182\" title=\"DSCN6486\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6486.jpg?w=480&#038;h=360\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Beaded, voodoo-inspired, change purse from Haiti&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<div id=\"attachment_10184\" style=\"width: 490px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6470.jpg\"><img class=\"size-large wp-image-10184\" title=\"DSCN6470\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6470.jpg?w=480&#038;h=360\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">From Thailand&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<div id=\"attachment_10186\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6483.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10186\" title=\"DSCN6483\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6483.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">From Vietnam&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<div id=\"attachment_10187\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6480.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10187\" title=\"DSCN6480\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6480.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Another from Vietnam&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<p><strong>3.\u00a0 The<\/strong> <strong>boarding pass and passport purse<\/strong><\/p>\n<p>Since I tend to fly a lot, I&#8217;m a big fan of bags just the right size to hold\u00a0travel documents.\u00a0 We&#8217;ve all seen\u00a0 balding, old men with passport pouches slipped over their heads like over-sized necklaces&#8211;the ones that scream, &#8220;I&#8221;m on my first trip over-seas, and I have the passport to prove it.&#8221;<\/p>\n<p>The bags I refer to here are variations on that theme, equally convenient and serving the\u00a0same purpose.\u00a0 Only these have a little more style and a\u00a0tad more ethnic\u00a0funk.<\/p>\n<div id=\"attachment_10208\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6422.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10208\" title=\"DSCN6422\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6422.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">My favorite&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<div id=\"attachment_10209\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6418.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10209\" title=\"DSCN6418\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6418.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Many-pocketed and most practical&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<div id=\"attachment_10210\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6405.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10210\" title=\"DSCN6405\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6405.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">For summer fun&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<div id=\"attachment_10211\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6452.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10211\" title=\"DSCN6452\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6452.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Indonesian charm&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<div id=\"attachment_10212\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6397.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10212\" title=\"DSCN6397\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6397.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Mexican madness&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<p><strong>4.\u00a0 Big Bag Bonanza<\/strong><\/p>\n<p>In case you hadn&#8217;t already guessed, I tend to carry a lot of stuff.\u00a0 This causes\u00a0 a\u00a0problem\u00a0every time I go almost anywhere\u2014the grocery store, the gym, my mother&#8217;s house across town.\u00a0 I need a big bag to carry\u00a0books, notebooks,\u00a0pens, drinks, phones, wallets, makeup\u2014maybe even a snack.\u00a0 It all adds up.<\/p>\n<div id=\"attachment_10224\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6394.jpg\"><img class=\" wp-image-10224\" title=\"DSCN6394\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6394.jpg?w=500&#038;h=666\" alt=\"\" width=\"500\" height=\"666\" \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Vietnamese volume&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<div id=\"attachment_10226\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6400.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10226\" title=\"DSCN6400\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6400.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Another embroidered Vietnamese stunner&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<div id=\"attachment_10228\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6426.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10228\" title=\"DSCN6426\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6426.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">A practical purse in my favorite color&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<div id=\"attachment_10229\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6407.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10229\" title=\"DSCN6407\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6407.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">A Thai favorite&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<div id=\"attachment_10230\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6395.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10230\" title=\"DSCN6395\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6395.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">A monster from Mexico&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<div id=\"attachment_10232\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6431.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10232\" title=\"DSCN6431\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6431.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Indian orange&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<div id=\"attachment_10233\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6402.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10233\" title=\"DSCN6402\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6402.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">The biggest is best in winter wool&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<p><strong>5.\u00a0 Phone Fun<\/strong><\/p>\n<p>Things might be simpler if I didn&#8217;t have to carry a phone on top of everything else.\u00a0 I like to keep my smart phone in an easy-to-access, separate pouch.<\/p>\n<div id=\"attachment_10237\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6449.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10237\" title=\"DSCN6449\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6449.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Bought at the Bangkok Weekend Market&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<div id=\"attachment_10238\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6450.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10238\" title=\"DSCN6450\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6450.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">From Sri Lanka&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<div id=\"attachment_10239\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6428.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10239\" title=\"DSCN6428\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6428.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">From Vietnam&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<p><strong>6.\u00a0 Book Bag \/Laptop Case<\/strong><\/p>\n<p>When we moved to Vietnam, where there\u2019s not an abundance of reading material in English, Sara bought me an e-reader, afraid I\u2019d bring the inventory of a small university library along for the ride.\u00a0 However, not even a newer Kindle Fire with its browsing capabilities has cured my propensity to carry a laptop or too many books.\u00a0 And, unfortunately, I have the bags to prove it.<\/p>\n<div id=\"attachment_10241\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6478.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10241\" title=\"DSCN6478\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6478.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Ruggedly practical and reader ready&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<div id=\"attachment_10244\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6436.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10244\" title=\"DSCN6436\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6436.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Yet another book bag&#8211;(much to Sara&#8217;s chagrin)&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<div id=\"attachment_10245\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6419.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10245\" title=\"DSCN6419\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6419.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Then there&#8217;s the laptop case&#8211;again in green&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<p><strong>7.\u00a0 Doggie Bags and Drink Dispensers<\/strong><\/p>\n<p>I know most folks don\u2019t traipse the planet, <a title=\"An Unfortunate Incident Involving the International Trafficking of Canines\" href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.wordpress.com\/2010\/11\/22\/an-unfortunate-incident-involving-the-international-trafficking-of-canines-and-what-i-havent-learned-since-then\/\" target=\"_blank\">canine companions in tow<\/a>, but Sara and I, for whatever reason, have moved our mutts with us to the furthest corners of the earth.\u00a0 And, always, these dogs want water.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0It is,\u00a0indeed, a thirst-inducing, globe-trotting trek we, too often,\u00a0find ourselves on.\u00a0 Inevitably, dehydrated dogs demand gear.<\/p>\n<div id=\"attachment_10249\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6434.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10249\" title=\"DSCN6434\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6434.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Puppy pouch&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<div id=\"attachment_10255\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/lucy-does-saigon-june-2009-062.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10255\" title=\"VLUU L100, M100  \/ Samsung L100, M100\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/lucy-does-saigon-june-2009-062.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Lucy&#8217;s backpack&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<div id=\"attachment_10252\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6463.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10252\" title=\"DSCN6463\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6463.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Doggie drink&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<div id=\"attachment_10250\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6467.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10250\" title=\"DSCN6467\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6467.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Human hydration&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<div id=\"attachment_10257\" style=\"width: 510px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6488.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-10257\" title=\"DSCN6488\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/dscn6488.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">In case you&#8217;re really thirsty&#8211;<\/p><\/div>\n<p>So, the happily-hydrated and well-bagged bottom line is this&#8211;<\/p>\n<p>Sara insists this calls for an intervention.\u00a0 She thinks she\u2019ll fix me&#8211;that she can help me \u201cedit\u201d\u2014her word.<\/p>\n<p>And maybe she&#8217;s right&#8211;right that the real problem involves my wearing such a surplus of bags&#8211;<strong>AllAtOnce!<\/strong><\/p>\n<p><a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/kathy-bags-dscn6526-2.jpg\"><img class=\"aligncenter size-full wp-image-10303\" title=\"kathy bags DSCN6526 (2)\" src=\"https:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/kathy-bags-dscn6526-2.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"\"   \/><\/a><\/p>\n<p><strong>But I&#8217;ll allow you to decide.\u00a0\u00a0 Am I overly-pursed?\u00a0\u00a0And is this craze for carry-ables&#8211;sickness or curse&#8211;affliction or crime?\u00a0 <\/strong><\/p>\n<p><strong>What do you have too much of?<\/strong><\/p>\n<p><strong><em>Note:<\/em><\/strong><\/p>\n<p><em>Thanks to the editors at WordPress for the upcoming feature of this post on Freshly Pressed.\u00a0\u00a0It never gets old, and I am always honored!<\/em><\/p>\n<p><em>For more fun posts, please follow my blog by clicking\u00a0on the button in the right-hand column.<\/em><\/p>\n<p><em>To read the first chapter of my memoir Kids Make the Best Bookies, click <a title=\"Kids Make the Best Bookies:  A Childhood Gambled on God and the Mob\" href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.wordpress.com\/2014\/03\/11\/kids-make-the-best-bookies-a-childhood-gambled-on-god-and-the-mob\/\" target=\"_blank\">here<\/a>. <\/em><\/p>\n<p><em>To follow me on Twitter, click the Twitter button in the right-hand column.<\/em><\/p>\n<p><em>To like my\u00a0art page on Facebook, click the &#8220;idiomART&#8221; button in the right-hand column.<\/em><\/p>\n",
            "excerpt": "<p>Hello, my name is Kathy, and I am a bag lady. You see, we visited the beach in Ecuador last week&#8211;our first\u00a0trip to the coast since moving to\u00a0Cuenca 11 months ago&#8211;an adventure in its own right, most would think.\u00a0 However, &hellip; <a href=\"http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/16\/7-signs-of-bag-lady-chic-an-expat-triumphs-over-purse-temptation\/\">Continue reading <span class=\"meta-nav\">&rarr;<\/span><\/a><\/p>\n",
            "slug": "7-signs-of-bag-lady-chic-an-expat-triumphs-over-purse-temptation",
            "guid": "http:\/\/reinventingtheeventhorizon.wordpress.com\/?p=16089",
            "status": "publish",
            "password": "",
            "parent": false,
            "type": "post",
            "comments_open": true,
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A short time later, when the carpenter was taking measurements for the coffin, through the window they saw a light rain of tiny yellow flowers falling. They fell on the town all through the night in a silent storm, and they covered the roofs and blocked the doors and smothered the animals who slept outdoors. So many flowers fell from the sky that in the morning the streets were carpeted with a compact cushion and they had to clear them away with shovels and rakes so that the funeral procession could pass by.&#8221; <\/em><\/p>\n<p>While many offered and still offer their interpretations of those flowers, the imagery of those magical flowers, the weeping of those\u00a0petals from the skies, drew me nearer to the language of the novel, immersed me fully in the telling of the story of the Buendia family. I fell in love with the imagination of Se\u00f1or Garcia Marquez. I prayed my own imagination would blossom from his writing.<\/p>\n<p>In this post, I\u00a0am not interested in the author&#8217;s longtime relationship with <a href=\"http:\/\/www.indiatimes.com\/news\/americas\/gabriel-garcia-marquez-and-fidel-castro-a-controversial-friendship-142333.html\" target=\"_blank\">Fidel Castro<\/a>, nor whether or not Garcia Marquez was the first true author of magical realism. Garcia Marquez brought a passion to writing I often lacked. Plus, his ability to weave the magic\u00a0from\u00a0an ordinary or extraordinary\u00a0day, the fantastical elements of nature, and the &#8220;Surrealism (that) comes from the reality of Latin America&#8221; into his novels captured the story telling I&#8217;d heard from various aunts and uncles growing up. Whether at small kitchen tables, back porches, or crowded living rooms, the stories shared were embellishments of a youth long past or the brightened coloring of an impoverished household. 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The news piece said one of his books is the greatest book ever written and has been read all over the world in many languages.&#8221; I felt ashamed I had never introduced my mother, the one who walked with me to the local public library, the one who fueled my passion for books, to the one author who&#8217;d captured glimpses of those baritone voices in song around our kitchen table. I told her I would not download to her Kindle, but would bring her my books. She was thrilled.<\/p>\n<p>I will now enjoy rereading Garcia Marquez through my mother. I know she will have questions, and I know she will want to see the film <em>Love in the Time of Cholera, <\/em>as she always likes to view those movies inspired or adapted from novels. And I will wait to see if she glimpses the magic of her own hard-working life or the realities of the community in which she planted her own trees and flowers. 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            "title": "The One Where I Didn&#8217;t Know What to Write",
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            "content": "<p class=\"ecxmsonormal\">I didn\u2019t want to write something last week on the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings.<\/p>\n<p class=\"ecxmsonormal\">I didn&#8217;t want to, but I felt like I should.<\/p>\n<p class=\"ecxmsonormal\">Because it\u2019s my city \u2013 I could live in Washington for the rest of my life, and Boston will always be <a href=\"https:\/\/astorybooklife.wordpress.com\/2011\/01\/02\/home-sweet-homes\/\" target=\"_blank\">my city<\/a> &#8212; and those are my people, my friends, my family. How could I keep silent during such a difficult anniversary? Was I less of a Bostonian, less of a caring person, if I didn\u2019t say <i>something<\/i>?<\/p>\n<p class=\"ecxmsonormal\">I thought that, and then I read some of the articles, and I watched some of the TV spots about the anniversary.<\/p>\n<p class=\"ecxmsonormal\">And then I had to stop reading, and I had to stop watching, and I put the figuring out of what to write on hold.<\/p>\n<p class=\"ecxmsonormal\">Because I just<span class=\"ecxapple-converted-space\"> <\/span><i>couldn\u2019t<\/i>. Because it was too much. Because I still start to cry when I think of that day a year ago, and I wasn\u2019t even there. Because it\u2019s my city, and my people \u2013 but it wasn&#8217;t my story.<\/p>\n<p class=\"ecxmsonormal\">At least, my story wasn&#8217;t one that matters. Yes, I have very good friends who were right there. As in, there-but-for-the-grace-of-God<span class=\"ecxapple-converted-space\"> <\/span><i>right there<\/i>. And yes, my brother used to live, and once again does live, in Watertown, the scene of all the insanity that Friday of that week \u2013 but he didn\u2019t then, and that wasn\u2019t his boat. It wasn\u2019t my boat. I wasn\u2019t running that day, and I\u2019m not running tomorrow.<\/p>\n<p class=\"ecxmsonormal\">So, I didn&#8217;t know what to write &#8212; so I just didn&#8217;t.<\/p>\n<p class=\"ecxmsonormal\">But tomorrow&#8217;s Patriots Day. It&#8217;s Marathon Monday. It&#8217;s the day every year when I miss being at home, miss getting Monday off &#8212; and when I sneak glances in between work projects at the Sox gamecast from 11 a.m. on.<\/p>\n<p class=\"ecxmsonormal\">It marks the start of a new year. I like that idea. Not that it won&#8217;t continue to be important to tell the stories of the people who were so terribly affected last year &#8212; not that life just goes back to &#8220;normal&#8221; &#8212; but I like the idea that tomorrow&#8217;s still a holiday. It&#8217;s still Marathon Monday. It&#8217;s still an insanely early baseball game.<\/p>\n<p class=\"ecxmsonormal\">Tradition matters. I love that tomorrow, tradition will reign &#8212; and new memories will be made. It won&#8217;t be just about looking back, but about also looking ahead, with all the smiles (and sometimes the tears) that those days will bring.<\/p>\n<p class=\"ecxmsonormal\">And I love &#8212; LOVE &#8212; that so many of the runners who didn&#8217;t get to cross that finish line last year will be back tomorrow to honor the Boston tradition. I&#8217;ll be following bib #27392, and I&#8217;m betting there will be some tears &#8212; happy, this time &#8212; when he finishes what he started last year.<\/p>\n<div id=\"attachment_1353\" style=\"width: 490px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"https:\/\/astorybooklife.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/img_0005.jpg\"><img class=\"size-large wp-image-1353\" src=\"https:\/\/astorybooklife.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/img_0005.jpg?w=480&#038;h=359\" alt=\"Boston, you're my home.\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Boston, you&#8217;re my home.<\/p><\/div>\n",
            "excerpt": "<p>I didn\u2019t want to write something last week on the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. I didn&#8217;t want to, but I felt like I should. Because it\u2019s my city \u2013 I could live in Washington for the rest &hellip; <a href=\"http:\/\/astorybooklife.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/20\/the-one-where-i-didnt-know-what-to-write\/\">Continue reading <span class=\"meta-nav\">&rarr;<\/span><\/a><\/p>\n",
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