Blogging and printing jokes about politics with Donna Troy!

People have their own way of reacting to politics. In fact,  some get angry, some start lecturing others, some don’t seem to care all that much, and some choose to make fun of it.  Donna Troy falls into the latter category!
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Tell us a little bit about yourself : Your passions, your hobbies, your projects…

I work in payroll and that’s very boring.  In my spare time, I like to write, obviously.  I like to crochet and I have an Etsy shop where I sell my crafts.  I also enjoy yoga.

What is your blog about and why did you want to address this subject when starting it?

My blog has been mostly about making fun of politics in the U.S.  It was my brother’s idea to start the blog.  We were emailing back and forth during the 2016 election and he decided the stuff I was writing would make a good blog.  I didn’t know what I was going to do after the election, but then Trump won so there has been plenty of material.
 

What do you like the most about blogging?

I enjoy making people laugh and having an outlet to make light of things that are troubling.

What part of your blog are you the most proud of?

I think I’m most proud of how my work has progressed from the time I started the blog until now.
 

Why “Namaste, Bitches”?

That started as an inside joke with my friends.  We were all leaving work one night and everyone was talking about what they were going to do that evening.  I said, “Well, I’m off to yoga.  Namaste, Bitches.”  When I began the blog I didn’t think anyone other than my friends would be reading it.  Namaste, Bitches just kind of stuck.

Why did you want to turn your blog into a book?

I did that for my parents.  They aren’t technically savvy and my brother was sporadically printing out blogs for them to read.  Again, it was my brother’s idea to get the blog turned into a book.
 

How did you find out about BlookUp?

I found it with a Google search.  I tried a few different sites before I settled on BlookUp.
 

What did you think about the making process of your blook? Did you encounter any difficulties or issues ?

I enjoyed using BlookUp. BlookUp was the most user friendly of the companies I tried.  I liked that I could preview the layout for each blog after editing.  The other companies didn’t have that option.  Uploading the images was also much easier with BlookUp.
 

Do you enjoy the final result? What does your family and friends think about your blook?

I loved the final result.  As an avid reader and writer, it gave me a little thrill to see my work in book form.  My family and friends loved it as well.
 

Would you recommend BlookUp and/or use it again in the future?

Yes to both!
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Huge thanks to Donna Troy for this interview! Don’t forget to check out her blog if you want to have a good time and follow her on social media:
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Interview: Pamela Breitberg captures nature’s beauty and shares it on a blog

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so imagine a blog full of photographs! Today we have the chance of interviewing Pamela Breitberg who is going to tell us about her blog and her passion for photography!

– Tell us a little bit about yourself : You, your passions, your hobbies, your projects…
I am recently retired from teaching. I am a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) who taught science lab to 1st through 8th grade elementary students in the inner city of Chicago. Prior to that I was a professional portrait and wedding photography.

My “hobbies” are being outdoors: walking and biking, and photography: micro, portrait style and candid all which reinforce my appetite for learning. My passionate hobby is nature photography which I share through this blog and various books. The blog is a way for me to share the wonders and beauty of being outdoors observing nature. I am an avid reader as well. My blog has stimulated desire to research while I try to include some scientific or folk information on species in my images.

Projects, at the moment, are on hold while I continue photography as a method to stop and reflect on God’s gifts and wonders. The past few years have been stressful with health issues and passing of both my parents; being outdoors and photography has been a blessed self-therapy. Giving is the best therapy, it has been said, and so my blog is my venue for giving. I am touched each time someone “likes” or comments on one of my posts.

Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

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– What is your blog about and why did you want to address this subject when starting it?
My blog is photography, primarily of plants and animals in the United States’ Midwest. I now spend some of the year along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, so I’ve begun to include images of that nature. My writing includes scientific information, folklore and personal observations and experiences. Occasionally I add photography tips as well.

I originally began my blog to share my photography with my parents who lived 300 miles away. It has been a surprising thrill to discover that my blog is read worldwide. Now that my parents are no longer reading the blog I continue to share my images and thoughts with the many followers of my blog; what a wonderful vehicle to share my passions. I feel as though I know some of my followers as I read their blogs and we share common interests in nature and photography. It is sharing that gives back indeed.

Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

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– Why did you want to turn your blog into a book?
BlookUp intrigued me because it was an EASY way to turn my blog into book format and have a hard copy of my work. It’s always nice to physically hold a book and browse through it. The hard copy is for myself. I took advantage of the e-book format for sale because it’s affordable for readers and is more environmentally friendly (less use of paper).

Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

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– How did you find out about BlookUp? What did you think about the making process of your blook?
I saw the ads for BlookUp while on WordPress, reading others’ blogs.  The process of making the books via BlookUp were painless and straight forward. I made two volumes to make each book more manageable in size. It was very easy for me edit out any posts that I did not want to include.

Pamela-holding-her-blooks
A happy blook owner!

Thank you so much Pamela for this interview! Don’t forget to check out her blog to see more gorgeous photos!

Dogs and Humans finding trust and confidence by reading

We already know that reading for ourselves has several beneficial effects. Escaping to other universes brings us solace, discovering other cultures opens our mind, we can learn, imagine, travel, ease our mind.

 But we don’t often read to others and communicate those feelings. Thus making reading a solitary hobby and, above all, a very “human” hobby.

But can reading be used to both build confidence in children and help abandonned dogs to trust humans again?

This strange-sounding question is what started the Shelter Buddies Reading Program, created by the Humane Society of Missouri.

Helping Dogs Relax !

The idea is to ask children and young people (between 6 and 15 years-old) to volunteer at the shelter in order to practice their reading and public speaking skills by reading one (or more!) book(s) to lonely dogs waiting in their kennel.

They freely decide which book(s) to read and the dog they want to read it to, they sit in front of him or her and initiate the first contact.

Girl sitting on the floor reading to a dog

Jo Ellyn Klepacki, assistant director of the Missouri Humane Society explains that the goal of the program is to get the dogs to move from the back of the kennel to the front, as dogs staying near the front of their kennel get adopted more quickly than the others. Knowing this, it’s easy to understand how slowly adjusting them to the presence of kind humans can help them trust people again and find a new loving home faster.

Boy sitting on the floor reading to a dog

“We started this for two reasons”, Klepacki adds, “Dogs in a shelter environment exhibit a lot of signs of anxiety and show stress signals, so we wanted to do something to comfort them. We have a lot of children in our area who are really engaged and they ask, ‘How can I help?’” 

Children sitting in front of dog kennels reading to them

The program benefits both dogs and the young volunteers, who are able to practice their aloud-reading skills in a safe and nonjudgmental environment. Thus also helping to tame their fear of audiences. The shelter encourages them to generally interact with the dogs as well, by talking to them and by passing them treats if they make their way to the front of the glass.

The program is a success, and you can still become a Reading Buddy now if you want to help!

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Source – Photos credits: Humane Society of Missouri, abcnews and twistedsifter

Bookstore recycling,​ used books all around!

With World Book Day coming the day after tomorrow, there’s something that has to be said! Cultivating oneself is often expensive. Once you start stacking books in your arms, prices can add up very quickly without you noticing it until the very end!

Even if choosing the pocket format can help, accessing the book market at full price sadly isn’t for everyone. This is where the used books market comes in!

Recycle Bookstore is one of many actors of this market today, but started proposing used books over 40 years ago (1962)! Its concept is to sell thousands of books at low prices, from many different universes and about a lot of topics: Art, Science-Fiction, History, Science, classic literature, gardening…

campbell-recycle-bookstore

san-jose-recycle-bookstore

Campbell’s kid section (above) and San Jose’s Art, History and Photography section (below)

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The books proposed at the Bookstore  are donated or traded, so there’s always new ones to chose from.

Two bookstores are open, one in San Jose and one in Campbell (both in California), and both are pretty well-rated on Yelp! Of course, they propose different books on certain topics, but that’s one of the things that make those shops special!

What are the other things, will you ask?

Well, they also propose some DVDs and CDs, rare, signed or limited-edition books, friendly staff and… Cats.

recycle-bookstore-grey-cat

recycle-bookstore-ginger-cat

Those cuties aren’t for sale, but you can enjoy their company while you wander around and browse the shelves looking for your next literature treasure!

So if you happen to drop by San Jose or Campbell, and if you’re not allergic to cat fur, don’t forget to check out those awesome book stores!

The Cincinnati’s Book Fountain in Ohio

It’s getting cold and it’s not really the time to talk about fresh water anymore.

But some of you may be waiting for one thing !  Summer, and its 36 ° C in the shade! So before talking about snow, christmas trees and winter wind, we’ll do one last little favor to summer fans by making you do a small tour of the Municipal Library of Cincinnati!

Contrary to what its name indicates, Cincinnati is not located in Italy (However, the name is Italian, in hommage to the Roman political figure Cincinnatus). But in the United States, in the state of Ohio.

There are many beautiful things to see in Cincinnati but today we will stop at this beautiful fountain, just in front of the Municipal Library !

Book Fountain Cincinnati Public Library
Photo credit: Jean-François Schmitz

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Soberly named “Book Fountain”, this monument is actually a sculpture of books made of concrete covered with fired clay ! All stacked on each other, through which water flows as would a waterfall do. According to the artist-sculptor Michael Frasca, the flow of water through the books represents the free flow of ideas and information through writing and literature.

Very popular with tourists and students from frequently pose or sit near it. The fountain is also a memorial dedicated to Amelia Valerio Weinberg. She  died in 1982 and who bequeathed money in order to build a fountain for the Municipal Library !  Her wish finally came true 8 years later, and in the best way possible!

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