Seriously, y’all. I’m suffering from OSAD. Off-seasonal Affective Disorder. I miss you, baseball. Come back soon.
Gloria Steinem, activist, feminist, and journalist, on the most important message to instill in young girls.
On November 20, 2013, Steinem was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Excerpts: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Dumbledore’s funeral was the absolute saddest part of this book for me. I held it together until the description of Luna and Neville. Then I totally lost it. This series means so much to so many people. Dumbledore means a lot to so many people, and the amount of love at his funeral is really amazing.
They filed out from behind their benches in near silence. Harry glimpsed Slughorn at the head of the Slytherin column, wearing magnificent, long emerald green robes embroidered with silver. He had never seen Professor Sprout, Head of the Hufflepuffs, looking so clean; there was not a single patch on her hat, and when they reached the entrance hall, they found Madam Pince standing beside Filch, she in a thick black veil that fell to her knees, he in an ancient black suit and tie reeking of mothballs.
They were heading, as Harry saw when he stepped out onto the stone steps from the front doors, toward the lake. The warmth of the sun caressed his face as they followed Professor McGonagall in silence to the place where hundreds of chairs had been set out in rows. An aisle ran down the center of them: There was a marble table standing at the front, all chairs facing it. It was the most beautiful summer’s day.
An extraordinary assortment of people had already settled into half the chairs; shabby and smart, old and young. Most Harry did not recognize, but a few he did, including members of the Order of the Phoenix: Kingsley Shacklebolt; Mad-Eye Moody; Tonks, her hair miraculously returned to vividest pink; Remus Lupin, with whom she seemed to be holding hands; Mr. and Mrs. Weasley; Bill supported by Fleur and followed by Fred and George, who were wearing jackets of black dragon skin. Then there was Madame Maxime, who took up two and a half chairs on her own; Tom, the landlord of the Leaky Cauldron; Arabella Figg, Harry’s squib neighbor, the hairy bass player from the Wizarding group the Weird Sisters; Ernie Prang, driver of the Knight Bus, Madam Malkin, of the robe shop in Diagon Alley; and some people who Harry merely knew by site, such as the barman of the Hog’s Head and the witch who pushed the trolley on the Hogwarts Express. The castle ghosts were there too, barely visible in the bright sunlight, discernible only when they moved, shimmering insubstantially on the gleaming air.
Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny filed into seats at the end of a row beside the lake. People were whispering to each other; it sounded like a breeze in the grass, but the birdsong was louder by far. The crowd continued to swell; with a great rush of affection for both of them, Harry saw Neville being helped into a seat by Luna. Neville and Luna alone of the D.A. had responded to Hermione’s summons the night that Dumbledore had died, and Harry knew why: They were the ones who had missed the D.A. the most… probably the ones who had checked their coins regularly in the hope that there would be another meeting.
It’s NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month - and for the first time, I’m participating with a young adult story of course.
So, I have already been pretty busy and going to be busier! No worries, I have HATED not making regular posts here lately, and I am working on lining up some posts now.
If you haven’t checked out NaNoWriMo, you can do it HERE.
Call to Action: Hunger in America
I live in a really conservative state. It is not uncommon to hear the lament of hard-working taxpayers as they attack the issue of hunger in America.
The most common complaint, and one that (I am not exaggerating when I say this) I hear at least weekly, is that people feel entitled to welfare and the food stamp program. It is commonplace to hear that someone stood behind a person at the store who paid with a Lone Star card pulled from an expensive purse.
While I am certain that there is abuse of the system, it is probably a safe bet that majority of the people using food stamps, Section 8 housing, and frequenting food banks are in need.
Hunger is an issue. Having spent my college years and a year following graduation working for after school care programs, all of which accepted CCMS or child care payment assistance, I can tell you first hand that there is hunger and poverty in America. We learned quickly which child needed extra snacks sneaked into their backpack at the end of the day so that they had SOMETHING to eat that night.
There were some children who received free breakfast and lunch through school lunch subsidies and those were the only meals they got in a week. That’s ten meals a week. I you eat three meals per day, you have 21 meals in a week. You are fortunate. There are children who eat half the amount of you.
Feeding these families on the average taxpayers dime is a hot button issue, and it’s one that shouldn’t be.
The average American family will pay approximately 20 cents a day in taxes to support SNAP (food stamps), WIC (low-income mothers and children), and school lunch subsidies. A gumball costs a quarter.
That’s $73 per year that the average family pays in taxes to support the hungry. That is less than the average family spends in two weeks worth of groceries.
Hunger is an issue in America. 1 in 6 people in the United States are going hungry.
You can help. Support your food banks. Why don’t you trick or treat for canned goods this year? And find out if your city has restaurant weeks to support food banks.
Check out local charities that help supply meals and groceries to at-risk children. Not one? Volunteer and support Meals on Wheels. Run a 5K with proceeds going to food programs.
Support SNAP, WIC, and the school lunch program.
Head to www.feedingamerica.org for more facts on hunger in America and to learn how you can help.
As an adult who spent a period receiving reduced cost lunches as a youth, I can promise you that these programs are a benefit.
Let’s stamp out hunger together.