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Warby Parker ... Fashion Eyeglasses and Do Good Philanthropy

I don't typically write about fashion items, but I do like to write about companies I think are doing something important and are moving beyond the traditional business models.

Warby Parker is a designer eyewear company that has created an alternative to the dominant higher priced eyewear company.

According to Warby Parker's website "The eyewear industry is dominated by a single company that has been able to keep prices artificially high while reaping huge profits from consumers who have no other options."

I wish I had learned this before I picked up my newest prescription glasses. A lower price and lofty ambition would have swayed me to consider their designs.

They have also created a business model that includes giving back to those in need. I like when companies try.

They say, "Almost one billion people worldwide lack access to glasses, which means that 15% of the world’s population cannot effectively learn or work. To help address this problem, Warby Parker partners with non-profits like VisionSpring to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need."

Well, I like that idea, and I am commending their work. Not only is it good for those in need but it's just good business to push the companies name out to the public as a leader. Their Do Good program is a good thing! Watch the video too, you'll learn why this outreach builds economies. It's short but powerful. Seven hundred million people the world over have limited or no access to glasses.

You should check out their blog too. They write about writing like this post about "five-word memoir titles", parades, parties, books, and music ... I like that!! I do and I like it because they aren't hawking their wares in every post. In a world that is increasingly commercialized and where intense competition forces businesses to constantly be in sales mode, it's refreshing to see something different such as this older post about the musician Beck. They are sharing a bit of their soul. Yes, it leads to sales but at least your happy getting there. It's real business, and it's fun.

Now take a look for yourself at the great looking prescription eyewear, starting at just $95.00 and take advantage of their Home Try-On program.

They've got a lot going on!

Review of Out With the Tide by Lola Faye Arnold ... @arnold_lola

I just finished the last page of Out With the Tide by a new author Lola Faye Arnold. I picked up this book because I liked the title and the cover art, a book set in parts of South Carolina familiar to me. The place a story resides in is important to me and I was pleased with the author's choices. I was also pleasantly surprised when one of her characters, though only with a brief part hailed from Albuquerque, New Mexico, another place familiar to me.

I don't often use the word nice when writing about a book I've read, but I will, in this case, it was a nice story.  Wordy and perhaps a bit overdone, it was nice; it was sweet ... until the end, when I was caught off guard. You see I didn't expect much from the ending because I found the middle of the book to be drawn out with just too many words and no clear understanding of where the story was going or why I should be interested.  There were elements I would have wanted to know more about such as the main character's capacity for the supernatural and there were other elements such as the constant mind talk that I could not have cared less about but only because there was too much of it. I skimmed through large sections of the book sticking with it just to see how it played out and if there would be a point.  I wanted to like this book.

It was the end that told the story and perhaps will be the beginning of a sequel for this author to pursue. That one last chapter made reading the book worthwhile and gave me the impression that this author might be one to watch.

Follow the author at @arnold_lola and on Goodreads. Out with the Tide can be purchased on Amazon

Where dreams go ...

She ran down the steps and out to the front yard. She knew he would come to her eventually. She looked every way to see where he was, maybe he went 'round back, maybe he wanted to play hide and seek. Hopefully, he had brought a surprise for her and maybe today would be the day that she got to spend time with him.  Maybe today she would sit in his lap and he would tell her how much he loved her and when he would be home forever. She thought she saw him. He was wearing a trench coat and a hat and he brought a friend who was dressed just the same.

But it wasn't him; these men looked somber. She saw her mama open the front door and talk to the men. She didn't feel good when she saw her mama touch her throat and look over at where she was standing. She could tell mama was sad and so she ran, ran all the way around the side of the house, behind the swing set and further into the bushes that led to her secret hiding spot and she cried. She cried because she knew. She cried because she would have to live in a world where Daddy's didn't come home, where men in trench coats came and took dreams away.

Getting caught up

I wrote several book chapters this weekend and last night so please forgive my lack of posting the Monday Mull and What’s for Dinner.

I'm putting the work into showing up on the page but will do my best to continue to post to this blog as well.  I was on a roll and really accomplished much more than I thought I would. I still don’t have a title, but I know it will present itself when the time is right. I’ll keep you updated.

I'll have a review up in the next week or so on my current read and I have a post planned for my good friend in Florida who is not only a published author, but who also runs a not for profit where she works with therapy horses. I’m so proud to know her and the work she does for those who have challenges.

Let’s see, I should be receiving Kristy Woodson Harvey’s new book Dear Carolina in the next week or so to read and review and let’s not forget that Karen White has her newest book, The Sound of Glass being released May 12th. Set in Beaufort, SC I am sure this will be deeply felt lowcountry story of family secrets revealed. Also, Laura Childs has a new Tea Shop Murder Mystery out on May 5th titled Ming Tea Murder. I'm looking forward to reading what mischief Theo and Drayton are getting into.  

That should wrap it up for now, I'm heading back to the page.

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The Perfection of an Imperfect Life

I think I remember a few things from my earliest years when we all lived in a second floor walk-up apartment on a huge street across from a huge post office that had the most amazing length of steps up to the front doors that shined a gold patina.  I remember being small sitting in a big rocking chair in my parent’s room at the back of the house, warm from the heat of the air coming through the open window that looked out on what I thought was the biggest and most beautiful tree in the world. Even as a small girl, I just couldn’t reconcile looking out the front windows of the house and seeing a busy street with cars and a constant barrage of students walking from the subway station to the high school where they were students and the view from the back of the house of the biggest and most beautiful tree.  I liked the back of the house better.
On that day as I remember I watched dust particles float in a stream of sunshine that cascaded through the leaves of my tree. I was convinced that those floaters were angels coming to talk with me about the adventures I’d take and the places I’d go. My sisters and brothers were older than me so I spent a lot of time by myself while my mother  worked, or napped or read or did anything that would have meant not being involved with me right then and there but that’s how mothers were in those days they say. My imagination became my best friend right and I conjured Susan, my imaginary friend.  All the adults would say I had a great imagination but no one really wanted me to imagine. I found that out later when for the mere attention of family I stuffed that imagination right down my throat. I would start all my sentences with ‘imagine if’ until one day while walking down the street to buy some penny candies at Minnie’s, my sister told me to stop saying that ‘cause what you imagine can’t come true and I couldn’t hang around her and her friends if I was always imagining ‘cause I was embarrassing her.  So I stopped. I stopped sharing my imagination and I started living for others, and sometimes I got angry at my sister for handing me the tool that I used to start construction on my own personal mini prison where  I kept my ideas and my dreams and my visions all to myself.
Eventually I built the walls and stairwells that led to several floors of extra rooms, hidden rooms and yea, shameful rooms of my prison. It no longer just contained my hidden imagination, my creativity, my desire to vision the story. It eventually contained every imperfection of my life.  Thus was my world of many years. There was the settling for a career that suited my family followed by a multitude of unfulfilled jobs, failed relationships, failed marriages, an inability to settle myself and all of those imperfections finding a special place in the many rooms in my prison.
 I heard said life is a circle, we just keep running around that quarter mile and it ends up being that everything that you start out being is everything that you will eventually be anyway, and the imperfections are only pretty little gems that give you a good shine kinda like the gold patina that was on the doors to the huge library across from my childhood home. It’s even okay to build prisons, we all do in one way or another ‘cause truly we all become imperfect once we forget who we were meant to be but we can remember again, we can put the for sale sign on that prison real estate, and just keep the shine.

Then I imagined that it was perfectly acceptable to be imperfect so I was.

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What's for Dinner - Mississippi Pot Roast

Mississippi Pot Roast

1  2-3lb beef roast
1  packet of dry Ranch dressing mix
1  packet of dry Au Jus mix
1  stick of butter 
4-6  Peperonchini peppers (basically a whole banana pepper or mild pepper out of the jar)

Place roast in crock pot. Dump everything on top. Put on lid and let cook for 6-8 hours on low. DO NOT ADD WATER. 

A hearty dinner with a side of mashed garlic potatoes and a loaded fresh salad.

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Monday Mull

On Friday I had an unexpected conversation with my ‘boss’ who seems to only look for the negative.  I’m pretty sure he just doesn’t like me. That’s the impression I’ve had since I first met him. I’m just too old to tolerate the nonsense that goes on in corporations. They are like giant high schools chuck full of all the famous characters from those days including the jocks, the cheerleaders, the cool kids, the nerds, and the bullies. You can guess where my boss fits.  In a bare short time I will be eligible for social security if it’s still around and I can’t imagine myself listening to the prattle of a man half my age that has no people skills whatsoever until the time I could retire. It’s time for me to move on … I just need to figure out where to go. Focus … Focus!

I watched the super bowl on Sunday at my sister’s home; well I munched on the goodies, flitted about, chatted with the ladies and was basically bored by the actual game being played. I did love that Budweiser commercial with the Clydesdale's. Just not a sports fan.

The snow came again Sunday night into Monday and this time with a vengeance. Awake in the dark of morning as usual, I took Cody dog out for his constitutional. The snow reached his stomach. He wasn’t pleased and neither was I.

Schools were closed and my boy spent just about all of the day moving snow. First he worked on our driveway, walkway and area around the post box. He then proceeded to help the woman across the road. He was exhausted when in mid afternoon he was still moving snow and the flakes started to fall again. It’s still very messy out there and I doubt it will be any better tomorrow.

I can’t wait for the cold and snow to be gone. I’m much more a sun and fun type. I didn’t bother checking but I would imagine Punxsutawney Phil proclaimed another six weeks of winter. I did however light candles for Imbolc (St. Brigid’s Day or Candlemas) to mark the season’s change of light. Meanwhile I’ll keep dreaming of seashells and flip flops, sun and sand.

It’s a night to stay at home in comfort and warmth with a good book or blog, maybe I’ll write a bit more, maybe I’ll just pray for focus.

© Beachwalkermari 2015

E-Readers vs. Print Books - Which is the better choice?

I just read an interesting article about the efficiency of an E-Reader vs. a Print Book and although I like to think of myself as doing my best to be careful of the environment I had never thought about which method of reading is more eco-friendly.

I have books in both forms and generally, if it is a book written by a favorite author, I will purchase the print book. Often with favorite authors I like to have a signed copy. If it is a new author or one that I don't read the works of very often, I will purchase it through my Kindle.

How do you like to read? Take a moment to review the info-graphic below and you can read the full article by Custom Made on their blog. Share your thoughts in the comments.

P.S I did a bit of reading about Custom Made because I hadn't heard of them before and I found that one of the things they stand for is quite dear to my heart; U.S Made Goods. "Custom Made wants to bring craftspeople to shoppers, betting on consumer interest for U.S. made goods built by trade professionals."  I like companies that want to 'change the rules!'