vintage car french countryside christmas

Hello, Friends. How are you? Is it really December 20th? How is that possible?

We are very much looking forward to the weekend. Today, Oscar and Betty had their first ortho appointments in France (we made appointments as soon as we moved here to continue their orthodontia and this was the earliest we could get in! — apparently they need more orthodontists here.) And Flora is performing with her class at the big cathedral in the middle of town.

Other fun things: Olive arrives tomorrow from the South of France. And Ben Blair and I are headed to Paris on Sunday evening, so that we can pick up Maude on Monday morning. Plus, a two-week break from school begins this afternoon!

Today also marks my mother’s 75th birthday. I’ve been thinking about her a lot and what our home was like growing up. So much of how I approach holidays and celebrating all come directly from her. I’m so glad she was born, and I’m so glad I was born to her.

I have a really good link list for you today. Some of the pieces are long-form, so maybe you can save them for reading over the holiday break. Here are a few things I’ve been wanting to share:

vintage holiday car french countryside

-Please read this multi-part story about cell-phone tracking in the New York Times. It’s a huge piece that is still being published. Here’s one paragraph to give you a sense of what it’s about:

It doesn’t take much imagination to conjure the powers such always-on surveillance can provide an authoritarian regime like China’s. Within America’s own representative democracy, citizens would surely rise up in outrage if the government attempted to mandate that every person above the age of 12 carry a tracking device that revealed their location 24 hours a day. Yet, in the decade since Apple’s App Store was created, Americans have, app by app, consented to just such a system run by private companies. Now, as the decade ends, tens of millions of Americans, including many children, find themselves carrying spies in their pockets during the day and leaving them beside their beds at night — even though the corporations that control their data are far less accountable than the government would be.

-Do you wear a bra? Then you need to learn about the Scoop & Swoop.

Luvvie is teaching a Public Speaking Masterclass at Alt Summit — and tickets go on sale today!

-If you were taught, as I was, that Rosa Parks was just tired and wanted to sit down, here’s the real story. Rosa Parks was not only a seasoned, strategic activist but a complete and total badass pretty much her whole life.

50 Swedish words for snow.

-No, Clint Eastwood, female journalists don’t trade sex for information.

-Interesting piece by the Wall Street Journal on how the 1% scrubs it’s image online.

-Workers at a gallery in Italy discovered a secret chamber where a painting — which was stolen almost 23 years ago and believed to be by the artist Gustav Klimt — has been found.

-This New Yorker piece about what’s happening in the world’s largest democracy — India — is intense. I can’t stop thinking about it. (This is a long read.)

-How can women victims of violence get justice when the whole system is the perpetrator?

Sheepskin slippers for $40.

School rankings are deceptive. (Thanks for the link, Britt.)

A response to “national conservatism” and the “new nationalism” from The Heritage Foundation’s Kim Holmes. “Nationalism is not the same thing as national identity. It’s not the same thing as respect for national sovereignty. It’s not even the same thing as national pride. It’s something historically and philosophically different, and those differences are not merely semantic, technical or the preoccupations of academic historians. In fact, they go to the very essence of what it means to be an American.”

-How to Wrap a Present. How to Tie a Bow.

Here are some tweets I saved for you:

-How have I never thought of this?!

-I learned a ton of history I didn’t know about from this thread on James Buchanan.

-I was never taught about the Tulsa Race Massacre in school. Even if you don’t believe in reparations for slavery, it would be really hard to argue that reparations aren’t due for this. (And yes, I support reparations for slavery.)

Is skincare a lie? So many interesting responses to this tweet. What’s your take?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! I’ll meet you back here next week. I miss you already.


Photos by Wendy of Blue Lily Photography.