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Jan 1 (5)


I walk to find

A peace of mind

By the water’s edge,

River bursting from the rain

Still it looks the same

White feathered friends

Swim by my side

Silently they glide

Peaceful creatures,

Creating ripples of calm

A window of still life

Walking by the waters side

A gust of wind now picks up my hair,

I’m in a place where I really don’t care

We should all take the time

To go somewhere tranquil

To a beautiful place

Avoiding the human race

Leaving it all behind

Just to find a peace of mind


Gillian Sims

Why not check out

More of Gillian Sims

 Poetry at


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It was love at first huff
It grew addictive with each puff
Constricted blood cells lose patience
Charcoal lined cavities bathe in frustration
Tears fill up the visceral space
COPD is a ratchet grace
Nasal cannula follows daily
Emphysema destroys homes
Two too ten liters guard your grill
While paying for an expensive thrill
Leave those cigarettes alone
Young and old the grave is home
Should you continue to smoke daily
Each disease you can bank
The oxygen that you breathe
May soon come from a tank
Haisi Robinson

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make upxxxxxxxxxxxxx
How To Determine If Your Daughter Is Old Enough For Makeup – What do you think – Why not make a comment?

Face painting is a ritual practiced by many cultures since the beginning of time. Men and women have always used some form of face decoration to express different emotions and events: war, marriage, religious celebration and rites of passage. Today, wearing makeup is often seen as a rite of passage into womanhood for a young girl. This transition seems to be happening earlier and earlier, and girls are trying to approach womanhood at an earlier age than years past.

Many girls treasure trying on Mommy’s shoes, dresses and makeup. A quick trip to stores like Bath and Body Works, The Children’s Place and Target reveals an array of what 10 or 20 years ago would be for “play” at home but are now leaving Mommy’s room for new desirable locations like the beach, school or parties. There is “glitter” everything, brightly-colored nail polishes and lotions, lip gloss, eye makeup, bikinis and numerous other “older” girl items marketed toward girls ages 6 to 12. The targeted ages are becoming younger and younger, which leads parents wondering the right age for girls to take “dress-up” out of the house.

Corrie Wallace, a high school teacher in Evanston, Ill., is seeing girls dress in more revealing clothing and wear more makeup at younger and younger ages. In her five years of teaching, she says the change has been startling. Girls are getting away with more.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that on the average, girls physically mature by age 9, although their psychological maturity may not be reached by this age. This introduces an interesting dilemma for parents.

According to T. Joel Wade, associate professor of psychology at Bucknell University, there is no “right” age to wear makeup. But be aware that it puts young girls in a different league. “The wearing of makeup does lead to increased interest from males,” he says. “It sends a message that says, ‘I am mature and possibly interested in being in a relationship or being looked at as a possible sexual partner.’ The makeup changes the perceptions of the face so that the dimensions of the face are more similar to that of a mature woman. This then tends to elicit attention from mature males. Some young girls may not be ready for this attention and may be unable to deal with it in a healthy manner.”


Should She or Shouldn’t She?


Paula Maldonado, of Evanston Ill., and mother of three girls, agrees. “I’m an old-fashioned mom,” she says. “I don’t let my 12-year-old wear makeup. She does use Chapstick. If she has a party or a dance, she can wear color lipstick. I want my 12-year-old to look like a 12-year-old. It’s difficult for a kid to be a kid today.” Her daughter, Mari, has accepted her mother’s decision, although being the second girl certainly helps. Maldonado says her oldest daughter, Lani, “wanted to be all dolled up, she pushed the envelope, but Mari is pretty accepting of it.”

But other parents see different sides to this issue. Several parents view wearing makeup as a girl’s expression of her own personal sense of style, which really begins to change and take on a life of its own at this age. Other parents see wearing makeup as a way to increase their daughters’ self-esteem. And yet other parents concede that the makeup issue is a bartering tool, allowing girls to wear makeup as long as they finish homework or stay out of trouble. And as Amanda Tarshis, 14, points out, a parent’s rule on the makeup issue might not be enforceable. “Girls will just go to their friends’ [homes] and put it on,” she says. “Girls wear makeup to look older, to seem more mature.”


Underneath the Makeup


Dr. Robert Butterworth, clinical psychologist based in Los Angeles, says, “A lot of times, a girl will come home and say, ‘Everyone’s doing it,'” says Dr. Robert Butterworth, a clinical psychologist based in Los Angeles. “Show up at her school and see. Ask them why they want to wear makeup. If it’s because everyone else is doing it or so guys will notice them, those are dangerous signals. The girl[s] may not be getting what they need and are looking for it elsewhere. However, if the girl has scratches, scars or acne, it might be OK.”

As Maldonado points out, how you feel about makeup sets a precedent for everything else. She points out that allowing her daughters to “grow up” on this issue sooner than she feels is necessary may send the message that they can partake in other “adult” activities sooner than they are ready for them.

Society’s view of what a mature, attractive woman looks like undoubtedly involves makeup. While a girl dressing up in her mother’s clothes may be positive reinforcement of a strong role model, this ideal can be botched if girls are allowed to take it out of the house sooner than they are ready. Since parents have more money to spend on their kids these days, companies are honing in on girls’ insecurities with targeted – and often effective – advertising. But parents ultimately have to decide how they want their girls to feel about themselves.

“I do think one can say that wearing makeup is conforming to societal images of beauty,” Wade says. “The marketing of makeup to young girls does tend to send them the message that they need to wear makeup to be accepted and that wearing makeup at their age is appropriate and makes them more attractive.”

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A candy bar.
A piece of cake.
A lollipop.
A chocolate shake.

A jelly donut.
Chocolate chips.
Some gummy worms
and licorice whips.

A candy cane.
A lemon drop.
Some bubblegum
and soda pop.

Vanilla wafers.
Cherry punch.
My mom slept in
while I made lunch.

–Kenn Nesbitt

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school dinners

  • Restaurateurs say school dinners healthier than typical packed lunch
  • Report for government says headteachers must police what pupils eat
  • Children should be barred from leaving school site to buy junk food


TRADERS selling junk food and fizzy drinks should be banned from outside all city schools, councillors have claimed.

A consultation is to be launched on preventing chip vans and sweet sellers pulling up outside Schools.

It comes after head teachers raised concerns with the city council about students spending their dinner money on unhealthy snacks.

Free school lunches should be made available to all primary school pupils, a government-commissioned report has recommended.

Providing well-balanced, nutritious meals would not only improve children’s health but also drive up standards in classrooms, it concluded.

The review, by Leon restaurant chain founders Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent, also called for headteachers to ban or discourage packed lunches.

Lunch Box

Just 1 per cent of packed lunches were found to be as nutritious as school meals. Many lunchboxes contained crisps, chocolate and sweets.

Other recommendations include speeding up lunch queues and getting rid of ‘prison-style’ trays with separate compartments.

The current free school meals scheme for underprivileged children in England costs £428million every year. Extending it to all pupils up to the age of 11 would cost £1billion; the entire education budget is £57.2billion.


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You were beautiful, 
my tiny child, 
wrapped tightly in my arms, 
close to my heart.
I listened to you breathing.
I counted your fingers
and your toes.
you cried out to me
and I loved you
with every ounce of my soul.

Will you hear me
when I cry out? 
Will you hold me close
as I held you then? 

I remember the day
You took your first step.
There was no stopping you.
Your feet gave you freedom
to explore the world
like never before
but danger lurked.
I opened those doors anyway, 
and introduced
you to the world.
Where will you be
when my legs
no longer run? 
no longer work? 
Will you realize
that I love
freedom too? 

I laugh
about that day
you first tied your shoe.
We tried and tried
to get that rabbit
in that hole
and you finally did it.
You pointed your toes
for everyone to see
how proud you were.

I am proud too, 
of my writing
and my drawing, 
of my needlework
and my cooking.
But my hands are beginning to ache
and my fingers will not bend.
I will lose the things
that make me proud
except for you.
Hopefully not you.
Will you let me
brag on you? 
Even tell wild stories
that are a bit beyond the truth? 
Will you be proud of me too? 

I waved good-bye
that morning when you left
on that large, yellow bus.
I was so scared.
I know you were too.
You waved at me bravely
through the dusty window
but I saw the water
forming in your eyes.
You came home, however, 
full of pride and joy.
You sang the alphabet song
and got most of it right.
You practiced for hours
until you could sing it
even in your sleep.

I'm afraid.
I forgot
whether I took
my pills today or not.
I forgot
if I told this story before.
I even forgot once
who you were
and it terrified me.
My mind
is my treasure
the only thing I have left, 
and I heard you make
fun of me
for not remembering
that I gave you the
same gift as last year.
Will you love me
when I no longer
know who I am? 

You came home blushing
from the glow of
your first kiss.
Your first love, 
the one you thought was real.
You talked about him non-stop.
You changed for him. You gave.
But he left you anyway
for a blue-eyed girl
and I held you
while you cried for him.

I too have a
broken heart.
The love of my life
left me after
fifty-six years.
He left me here
to live life on my own
while he moved on
to another realm
And I cry for him too.
I long for his shoulder
and strong embrace.
I feel betrayed
because he and I
made a deal
that we would never
leave the other alone.
Yet I am alone
sitting in an echoing house
with no hands to hold.

You welcomed her home today- 
your tiny baby girl.
She has your eyes
and possibly your toes.
I see you counting them
as they roll me
into the room.
You finally came
to visit.
It has been a while.

You look up at me
with tears in your eyes
and ask
almost desperately, 

"Will she tie my
when I get old? "

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