Monday, October 29, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
And the neat part is: the story behind the movie is just as powerful as the story within it. And the best part is: it's being released tomorrow! This film is absolutely a must-see. If there was ever a time to go to the theater, this is it. Let's pray that this movie will "break the box office"! It's about time we took a stand for entertainment that lifts us up instead of dragging us down.
Bella Official Site
Find a Theater near you
Eduardo Verastegui's story video
Bella Trailer 2
"The last film with Bella’s momentum was the Passion of the Christ."
Monday, October 22, 2007
Body language differs by gender. Men tend to stare as they listen and nod to signify they understand. Women may nod when they don't yet understand to encourage the speaker to keep talking.
And the above blog author's comment?
"Ahhh . . . so when she nods it means something different? This is useful."
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
How I love that word: serenity. Dictionary.com defines it as "the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil; sereneness".
Serenity. Tranquility. Peace. Even the very words seem to caress gently, to give an aura of what they imply. This morning, my confessor spoke to me at length about "finding peace". After some of what I've been through and struggled with the past few weeks, his direction in that healing Sacrament was so perfect this morning. (The Holy Spirit is a Master at that, you know? I can't tell you how many times the advice given me in Confession is exactly the balm, or challenge, or admonition I needed at that moment.)
My penance was to meditate on the words Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. And oh, what a mediation those can be.
Lord ...Master, Teacher, Redeemer
make me ...transform, cleanse, create, purify me to become
an instrument ...one who gives forth beauty when placed in Your Hands
of Your peace ...to offer Your greatest gifts to the world.
Father pointed out beautifully the somewhat painful change all around us this season: trees letting go of their vibrant leaves, in order to go through a season of cold and healing in preparation for new and more fruitful growth. Immediately a quote sprang into my mind -- one posted on the sign outside a church a few blocks from our house --
Monday, October 08, 2007
Sunday, October 07, 2007
These Faith Festivals -- occuring every-other month and blended with the parish's Religious Education Program as a "Generations of Faith" approach -- are being so well-received that each of the 4 sessions so far (there are eight total; only two of them were today) have been filled to capacity, with waiting lists of those beyond the 350 they can handle per session. It did my heart good to see so many families, so many youth, so many generous organizers and volunteer youth... it was evident that a lot of planning, preparation, prayer, and hard work went into the events,
Saturday, October 06, 2007
"And then she recalled Katy's voice saying: 'Braids round your head.'
'Of course', said Linda, 'that would be the thing to do...' "
Mom's braid for her 25th Anniversary celebration this past weekend...and this photo was taken after it was in all day! (Not a bit of hairspray, either).
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I think the art of hair braiding can be a very lovely exterior reflection of interior femininity. The "look-like-you-just-rolled-out-of-bed" look is rather too widespread if you ask me. And I think we see way too much of the same, cloned style of hair on young ladies my age... you know, the meticulously dyed and highlighted, specific-length, strategically (unstrategically?) chopped -- um, layered -- cut, the half-grown bangs in the eyes... This is not to say that I think all layered hairstyles unbecoming, just that too often, I see haircutting jobs that look rather like a 3-year-old got a hold of the scissors!
French braids done on very fine hair
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Okay, now that I'm done my little treatise on hair care -- who knows: perhaps another complete post will follow on that sometime? Especially if readers ask for it! :) -- let's proceed to the theme of this post.
For as long as I can remember, I've enjoyed learning how to "do hair". My mom is a practical one, so she was always good about keeping our hair out of our eyes when my sisters and I were small. In other words, you didn't often see us with unbrushed, straggly locks needing to be pushed back from our faces. :) We have fun looking through old photos, because even though she's practical, Mom also enjoyed bedecking our simple ponytails or braids with cute, girly bows or barrettes. Getting a french braid done was a special treat when we were little -- Mom knew the concept, but on a special occasion when we might want to get one, she'd need to have us reach back and hold some of the pieces for her. She'd always laughingly argue that she "didn't have enough fingers". :) But as soon as we were past toddler stage, Mom wisely taught us how to care for our own hair: the daily ponytail, simple braid, or bangs clipped back became our own responsibility.
Another "Camp" braid: The Crown
The biggest mystery to me was how anyone could french braid their own hair. I used to never believe it when ladies would tell me that they not only could do their own, but found it easier than doing others' hair. I thought, Goodness, I'll never be able to do my own!
"Hugs and Kisses" (x & o) braid
Another view... this braid is done by dividing the hair into four sections, and then french braiding curved, then diagonally to make the "x"
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Well, then one evening when I was about eight, while playing with my hair before bed, I suddenly ran to the mirror and realized I'd french braided it. And I suppose you could say the rest is history. :)
(About whether or not doing your own is actually easier... from a visual standpoint, of course doing someone else's is easier, but I've found that the angle is somewhat easier on oneself. So I'm concluding that's what those other ladies meant.)
"The Sarah" (two french braids going into one french braid)
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I quickly found that doing hair appealed to both the artistic and girly sides of me. And, I've since found, it can actually be a work of mercy, and a beautiful way to bond with other girls (even ladies!) of all ages.
A crown done on shorter hair (just below shoulder-length!). There are two ways of doing the crown -- one works exceptionally well for shorter hair.
~ ~ ~I've been asked probably hundreds of times how I learned to do hair, and usually I tell a mini-version of the story above, but really, the best advice I have to offer is 1. use your eyes and logic, 2. don't be afraid to make mistakes and take them out!, and 3. just start practicing!
One of my more complex "originals"
"The Sarah" on myself
Some basic tips:
- Ladies' hair of almost any length can be braided, as long as it reaches at least below the ears. I am often able to achieve very nice results even with the bangs of short hair that isn't long enough to all be put up.
Tiny 5-strand french braids going into a twisted updo, done to accompany the regency gown a friend was modeling in a fashion review! Can you tell I had fun on this one? :) (But when don't I?)
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- Thickness and fineness of hair are two factors that always need to be taken into consideration. Thickness means how much hair is on the head. Fineness refers to the individual strands. Curly hair tends to be thicker, often coarser strands, and very straight hair is often fine (although it can be fine and thick).
A "braiding line" at ACM Camp this summer. :)
~ ~ ~- It is helpful to have a spray bottle of clean water on hand for doing fine hair, since it has the tendency to "escape" or slip from the braid quicker; sometimes as you're doing it. I've both seen done and done very fine "unbraidable" hair into a nice, tight braid simply by wetting it down.
Not a braid, but a twisted updo for Miss H., for her Queen Esther role in the skits at camp!
A circle of dancing maidens at camp... notice all the braids! (The result of the daily braiding workshop I led: if I didn't do these, I probably was teaching someone who did them). :)
~ ~ ~- Use no-metal hairties that match the color of your hair for the best results, especially if the braids are going to be put up. Or the little clear "braces" rubberbands can also work! (I can't tell you now many times a stash of these and a comb carried with me led to some lovely results). :)
Braids for the 8-9 year-old maidens at CCL 2006 when I helped in childcare...
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Since no doubt there will be one or two that come back and ask about 1 Timothy 2:9 and 1 Peter 3:3, where the beauty of woman is described as "not coming from braided hair", I'll briefly share my thoughts on them. We've had discussions on this around the dinner table -- is hair braiding by nature going against the advice of St. Paul and St. Peter? I think not, and this is why: The good apostles are talking about a certain kind of womanhood in their counsels. They aren't just referring to the act of braiding hair, but the kind of excessive external adornment, painting, and ornamentation which in those days distinguished "ladies of the night", or women of sinful intent. In 1 Corinthians 11:14-16, Saint Paul counter-balances his advice by saying,
"Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory?"
So in short, could braiding hair be sinful? Well, of course, if the motive is prideful or nurses vanity. And no, it's probably not a good idea to spend an hour a day doing hair (or any personal care for that matter). But some thoughtful attentiveness to harmonize our accessories and hairstyle with our feminine attire can add to the polished reflection of our inner femininity, and hopefully, a vivid picture of the Proverbs 31 woman who is "clothed in fine linen and purple" (verse 22).
I love that word, "harmonize". It should help us keep things in order -- the harmony can't take prescedance or overpower the melody because then, well, we'd have a rather unbalanced song. But if we work to send forth a pure, sweet melody, and then add the gentle depth of harmony, we've just enriched the whole piece.
(Disclaimer: Not necessarily all insights presented, photos and/or advice given on these sites are 100% in line with my values, but they do provide many helpful tips, instructions, and examples! You will notice that some of the braid photos are rather extravagant -- probably more so than I'd ever do or want done on me -- but there are also many lovely photos. Enjoy!)