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Everything posted by DianeW88

  1. I love makeup! I love wearing nice clothes. I love fixing my hair. I enjoy it when people tell me I'm pretty, or I look nice. I can't imagine leaving my house looking like a fright. To me that sort of look means, "I don't think I'm worth the effort." I like to put my best self forward at all times, and for me, that best self is well dressed, with makeup, and decent looking hair. And to be honest, the reality is, people are nicer to you and treat you better if you're more attractive. I wish the world didn't work that way....but it does.
  2. My dd is a professional ballerina. She received a full scholarship to her university for ballet, and received a BFA in ballet. She danced professionally while in college as well. If your dd is naturally talented in ballet, she should be able to get a scholarship easily. Has she attended any ballet summer programs with professional companies, and did she enjoy them? The field of ballet is ruthless and competitive for women, so whatever she can do to get a leg up early on is essential. Have her attend as many summer programs as she can in the coming two years (my dd usually attended two different ones each summer), and not at her home studio (unless she already studies at SAB or JKO, lol). Have her get letters of recommendation from the instructors, and attend programs where she is able to make serious connections in the ballet world. Make sure her teachers at her home studio are professional dancers (or former ones) who can give her advice based on real world experience. Having her participate in the YAGP competition is also a great way to see where she stands in relation to her competition. If she can make it to the finals in NYC, then I can almost guarantee she'll get a job as a ballet dancer if she wants it. The great thing about ballet is, if you're good enough, all of your higher education will be paid for (if you decide to go the college route). My dd loved everything about being a ballet major in college, and going to college while dancing has made her a more mature, level-headed, and serious dancer. Her company director loves that!
  3. Unfortunately, young women making up stories to get attention isn't anything new. A girl that I went to school with alleged for weeks that she was being stalked by a certain guy, and then she went missing. For several days. Hundreds of people were searching for her. Turns out she kidnapped herself. Yeah. Obviously there are psychological issues at play in these situations. Sadly, it only hurts women who are real victims of sexual assault and other crimes.
  4. Absolutely heartbreaking. :crying:
  5. Sounds good to me. I, too, would be happy to contribute to a "tip jar".
  6. Never heard that term. And I think it's stupid. LOL
  7. I think that depends on how old you are. I was in sixth grade in 1975-1976, and yes, we read all of those fourth and fifth grade. Actually, we read "The Jumping Frog..." in third.
  8. I don't have any words for you other than I'm sorry and you're in my prayers. I wish it could be so much more. :grouphug:
  9. Never, ever, ever. Not for one second. It has been a wonderful experience, and I have enjoyed it so much more than I can express. This is my 20th year, and I still look forward to each and every day. It is such a privilege and a blessing. My grown up kids have expressed how thankful and happy they are that my dh and I chose homeschooling at a time when you were definitely a weirdo if you did it. They both plan on homeschooling their own children someday. My youngest and I are having a blast together, and it's honestly been such a joy to teach him and learn with him. His friends all wish they were homeschooled, and on days when PS isn't in session...they all come down to my house and "do school". Those days are REALLY fun, and they're always amazed at what my son studies and learns and how fun it is. Seriously...THE best decision of my life.
  10. It can be a long, difficult, time consuming and EXPENSIVE road. LOL My dd is now living her dream as a professional ballerina, but it was a roller coaster ride to get her there. If your dd is pursuing that type of dance life, then she will receive more time, attention and money than her siblings. Maybe more than all her other siblings put together. It's the nature of the beast. My dh and I are now spending our resources on our boys, but during her pre-teen and teen years, it all went to her. She was in an all-day pre-professional ballet school, M-F, for six years (with a merit scholarship, thank goodness). She also performed with her school's company, as well as a professional ballet company, whenever they cast roles for children. She attended two ballet summer intensives every year (fortunately she had scholarships for those as well), and that meant some travel time getting her to and from whatever state they were in. My dd only participated in one ballet competition a year (as ballet students generally don't compete, with the exception of YGPA), but that involved a trip to either Denver or San Francisco, and then New York City. We paid for choreographers and private lessons ($90 per hour) to prepare her for those. Was it worth it? Yes. She is living her dream, and she achieved the goal she set for herself at age 11. Fortunately, it was a realistic goal for her, given her natural talent and ability. We just needed to provide the means for her to achieve it, and it was a sacrifice at times. I often told her that the world will probably never see the best ballerina out there, because she was born into circumstances that did not allow her to pursue her talent and live her dream. My dd knows she is blessed and privileged to be where she is today, and she is very grateful. She is also an incredibly dedicated dancer and hard worker. There is also a mental component to dance that often destroys the best dancers. It can get very vicious as they get older, and they are always in competition with their best friends. My dd knew that every time she was taking class, she was being judged and potentially cast for whatever production was coming up. She regularly auditioned with her best friend, and you have to have the right mindset to be able to remain friends, no matter what. You also have to be willing to withstand the abuse that seems to be inherent in the dance world. Artistic directors are cut from the cloth of crazy...and you really need a thick skin. Teachers can also be very demanding and often rude as dancers get to be teens. It doesn't happen so much when the dancer is a professional, but those years between 14 and 18 are rough. My dd loved participating in her ballet competition, and especially loved receiving the scoring and feedback sheets from the judges. Again, you need a thick skin for that. My dd looked forward to corrections, because she said it helped her to know what to focus on and how to improve. But not everyone is kind in their evaluations, and your dd needs to be prepared for the harsh reality of the competitive world. Will she be okay if she never advances beyond a certain point? Is she okay with nasty comments from other dancers? Can she handle pressure well? Can you afford to give her all the material advantages (dresses, shoes, private coaching) that she'll need to do well in this endeavor? All of these things come into play when you are pursuing the world of serious dance.
  11. Just for fun, and because I know this recipe is already well published all over the place, here is Laura's gingerbread recipe for those who don't have it. This is delicious with homemade cinnamon/vanilla whipped cream. 1 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup shortening 1 cup molasses 2 tsp baking soda 1 cup boiling water measured in a 2 cup (or larger) measuring cup 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp each ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and ground cloves 1/2 tsp salt 1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 9 baking pan. 2. Blend the sugar and the shortening and mix in the molasses. 3. Add the baking soda to the boiling water, and mix well. 4. Combine the flour and the spices and sift. Combine the sugar-molasses mixture with the flour mixture and the baking soda-water liquid. Mix ingredients well and pour into prepared pan. 5. Bake for 45 minutes or until cake tester inserted in the center of the gingerbread comes out clean.
  12. I think we scared off the OP. She's heard more about "Little House" than she probably ever wanted to know. :D
  13. If you want to make recipes from Laura's personal cookbook, this is the book you need: I've tried many of them, and they're delicious. Rose's chicken pot pie is well worth the trouble!
  14. Great articles!! They hit all the main points and show people the real Ingalls family, not the idealized book version. Edited to say that I loved these quotes: “The First Four Years suggests Laura could not write anywhere near as well on her own as she did with Rose. And, in fact, I think they needed each other, the odd chemistry of their closeness and distance and past, to transcend the limitations they both had." "That impulse to romanticize, which is part of the success of the series, probably comes from Rose. Laura herself did not have it, as The First Four Years suggests." I think the books worked because they were a collaboration. Each supplied something the other could not, and the synergy resulted in a series that has withstood the test of time. I'm so glad that, in spite of their personal difficulties with each other, they were able to work together and create a body of work that has enriched the lives of many generations of children. What a great partnership!
  15. I think there was definitely a genetic problem that caused the early death of male children in that family. Caroline, Laura, and Rose all lost male children. There are a myriad of genetic issues that could cause that, and I'm not going to speculate as to which one it might be without any concrete knowledge of their health history. But doesn't take a rocket scientist to see it. Also, Grace and Carrie were unable to bear children due to complications from malnutrition. Carrie and Grace both suffered from "respiratory issues", and Carrie, Grace, and Laura all developed diabetes which ultimately took their lives. I think Carrie was the most affected by the long winter. She never really was healthy again after that, and it's evident in all of her photos from that point on. The whole situation was just terribly sad. But of course, looking back on it from our modern day, it's easy to pass judgement and cast aspersions. I have to bite my tongue to not say what I really thought of the whole mess Charles Ingalls created for his family.
  16. Personally, I think Rose was bipolar. That's just my impression from reading a few biographies on her life, not my official medical opinion. And I don't think Rose wrote the Little House books, per se. She was just a heavy handed editor. Which doesn't bother me in the least. It's a collaborative family story. I think that's great.
  17. Read a few biographies on Laura. She and Rose did not get along very well at all. But I do think Rose had her own issues as well. Rose felt Laura was very cold...much like Caroline...and as an adult, she would go long stretches of time without seeing her parents. It was clear that Rose did feel a sense of obligation to her parents, and she often gave them money, and made improvements to Rocky Ridge Farm. Almanzo never really completely recovered from the stroke he had early in his marriage, and Rose did her best to help both her parents deal with the obstacles of life. Which I feel includes editing (re-writing) her mother's books for publication. In some of Rose's personal correspondence to her friends, she mentions having to fix a lot of problems with her mother's manuscripts as a reason for not being able to take a trip abroad. Laura would send Rose each chapter as she finished it, and Rose would turn her mother's reminiscing into a commercial product.
  18. There are lots of biographies on her life, but you won't necessarily see the same Ingalls family that you've seen in the books. There's a whole lot of messiness between Plum Creek and Silver Lake. And Laura's timeline does not jive with the reality of her life. And then there's the time that Pa hustled his family into the wagon and moved away in the dead of night to escape debt collectors. So, it depends on how much you (and your kids) want to know the real Ingalls family. ;) William Anderson paints a fairly sanitized picture that's suitable for kids. He is the heir to the Ingalls fortune and has the rights to all of Laura's books. If you want to read a collection of articles Laura wrote for her local newspaper when she and Almanzo lived on Rocky Ridge farm, this is a great book: I like this one as well, for more in Laura's own words: This is one that really gets the blood of Laura fans boiling, as it is a very honest portrayal, and does discuss the fact, that the majority of the Little House books were HEAVILY edited by Rose (as she was, by far, the better writer of the two), and that they are a collaborative effort between mother and daughter, even though Laura is listed as the sole author. I found it fascinating, and I don't care if Rose really wrote them all. If you delve into serious biographies about Laura (for adults), be prepared to hear that some things that happen in the book are not true. Mary Ingalls went to the College for the Blind on government grants...not money that Laura earned from teaching school (that's Rose's libertarian beliefs at play there). And that Caroline Ingalls was a harsh, cold, unfeeling mother, that Laura really struggled with. Some of her writings about her relationship with her mother were very interesting. And as Laura has said herself, she wrote her stories for her father...whom she adored. Not for her cold fish of a mother, who was more concerned about appearances and propriety than her family's feelings. Although, I myself may have turned a bit bitter after being dragged from pillar to post by my ADHD husband who couldn't settle and be satisfied in one place. LOL And if you really want your eyes opened, read what Laura had to say about the Homesteading Act and the government. Anyway, I adore the Ingalls family. More so in the reality that was their lives. I understand the sanitized version that is the "Little House" series...they were written for children. But the real version is SO much more interesting, complex, and nuanced. She really did lead a fascinating life.
  19. That is the weirdest of the "Little House" books, in my opinion. And Jack dies, which makes me cry like a baby ever since I read it at nine. So, when we get to that one, my kids read it to themselves, and then I pick up with "Long Winter". My kids think I'm insane for crying over a dog that died almost 150 years ago, but there you have it. I loved that dog. :D
  20. I will continue to keep your son in my prayers. So happy to hear your news was good!
  21. That all sounds great. Does she want to become a professional dancer? My dd now dances about 40-50 hours per week as a professional. She also takes Pilates classes and other dance classes on her own (unpaid) time. During summer, she teaches at summer intensives. Has your dd ever gone to one of those? They will dance between 6-8 hours a day at an intensive. It really builds their strength and stamina. You might look into some close to your home if you're not anxious for her to go to one in another city yet. My dd usually did two intensives per summer.
  22. My dd danced from 11:30AM - 6:30 PM, Monday through Friday at her pre-professional ballet school from age 12-17. Rehearsals for performances were in addition to that. If you have decent instructors, access to physical therapists, massage therapists, and nutritionists, and they take Pilates classes (all were on site for my dd, and available whenever she needed them), there are very few injuries. All of the dancers did PT at least once a week for any tender spots or weak areas, and they all had full body massages weekly as well. The Pilates instructor was amazing, and really taught the dancers the importance of a strong core. Compensating with incorrect muscles because of a weak core can lead to a ridiculous amount of injuries. Dancers who did not attend the full-day program did off-site massage therapy and PT when they needed it. My dd also had an orthopedic surgeon that we saw whenever there was a hint of a problem. He was amazing and really loved working with her to keep her healthy and dancing. It is very important that you find professionals who understand the needs of dancers. My dd's PT is a former ballerina, and she knows the demands on a dancer's body. If you are unsure of who to see, call your local professional ballet company. The doctors and therapists they use are well acquainted with the demands of dance and know how to treat dancers.
  23. My dd has been doing Nutcracker performances since Thanksgiving. She finishes with the matinee today. Although the ballet will continue to perform through New Year's, but she's on vacation. Yay! I only saw one performance when she was dancing Plum...and after a million years as the mom of a dance student, one was enough. I've seen enough Nutcrackers to last ten lifetimes. LOL They have an exciting line-up for the rest of their season, starting with Sleeping Beauty, and then some contemporary productions. I can't wait for those!
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