My boys and how we roll, Tolkien, Rowling, and Martin.

Like when they were little, getting them still for a photo was OH SO CHALLENGING! But so much fun.

Getting them out to watch a movie with me was an even greater fete. My Mother’s Day wish was to see Tolkien, The movie with them. That was it…a movie with them……

My oldest, on the right, was really protesting. He was not in to going to see it, which had me baffled. He’s been the Tolkien fan since he was 12. He read my copy of the Hobbit, that I had kept from 7th grade.

I remember reading it for the first time, and loving every page. I never stopped reading Tolkien in every form. I watched every movie, every cartoon, every screen play, everything I could ever consume, and I shared it all with my boys.

I played the Momma card, “it’s Mother’s Day”, the only thing I wanted was to go see the movie with both boys. I traveled to Phoenix to do it, I wasn’t giving up. I shouldn’t have had to work so hard to go to a movie…..I was kinda grumpy about the resistance, I have to say.

At the finish of Tolkien The Movie, we just all sat there….weepy, and overwhelmed at what we had experienced. We had some time, just the three of us to hang out and discuss what aspects of Tolkien, The Movie, we enjoy the most, which books brought us the most joy, and which Movie adaptations of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit we liked, and why. Why the Hobbit, The Movie, didn’t need Legolas! Lot’s of Eye Rolling was done by all, let me tell you.

Why Tolkien, was the premier author who brought books to life along with their own culture and language that he had created….and how he might have inspired JK Rowling to create such a great culture and language in her books too.

Then we went back to my Brother’s house to suffer through the latest episode of Game of Thrones. It’s not Tolkien, by a long shot. Darn it. But George R. R. Martin did create cultures and language and lots of death and destruction in his novels too. My oldest and I both read the first 7 books of Martin’s before Game of Thrones made it’s debut. HBO tried hard, but it didn’t mark the majesty of the books, or the goodness of the characters he developed.

Have you ever had the joy of sharing one of your passions with your kids, and see them enjoy it too?

There is nothing that has made me a happier mom, then to have my boys love the same authors that have brought me joy. It gives us soooo much to talk about.

Hedy, What a woman

LHiggins does wonderful book reviews, and when I saw this one, my reaction was immediate! I ordered the book. The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict. I had to. I’ve admired this woman’s spunk, and beauty since I saw her in Bing Crosby/Bob Hope films when I was little. Mel Brooks gives her a nod in Blazing Saddles. He expounds on his love of Hedy in a documentary on Netflix. He was definitely a big fan of the Sultry Austrian, Spy, Inventor, Patriot, Actress, Sex Symbol.

Hedy Lamarr was one of the most amazing badass in female history. A flawed woman, for sure. I’m not sure she was ever really happy, but her contributions are undeniable.

Here’s a Facebook post from This Day in History that sums up some of her accomplishments with full credit to Jody Abraham.

On this day in 2000, Hedy Lamarr passes away. She was a well-known actress—but also a scientist who made a huge contribution to the technological revolution. You rely upon her work every day when you use your cell phone. She’s even been called the “Mother of Wi-Fi.”

Nevertheless, many today have no idea what she accomplished.

Lamarr wasn’t born Hedy Lamarr. Her name at birth was Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler. She was born in Vienna, spent a brief period acting, then married Friedrich Mandl, a military arms merchant. Lamarr was basically a prisoner in her own marriage, but she also spent time around her husband’s business, learning about military and radio technologies. She would use this knowledge later.

In the meantime, Lamarr escaped and fled to Paris. Then she moved to Hollywood where she became a successful movie star and the “world’s most beautiful woman”!

But behind the scenes, she was an inventor.

“Inventing was her hobby,” the producer of the documentary Bombshell told a reporter. “It was her reflex. It was how she dealt with the problems of the world. And she did it in such a quiet way that most people around her didn’t even know.”

Except Howard Hughes knew. At one point, Hughes was trying to build a faster plane, and he talked to Lamarr about it. Lamarr found books about birds and fish, researching which were the fastest and why. Ultimately, she proposed a wing shape for Hughes’s planes that was based upon what she’d learned.

Hughes pronounced her work “genius.”

In the scientific arena, she is perhaps best known for the “secret communications system” that she developed with composer George Antheil.

Both wanted to contribute to the Nazis’ defeat. Could they improve the way in which torpedoes were delivered? At the time, remember, torpedoes couldn’t be effectively guided. Radio communications between submarine and torpedo were difficult because communications could be intercepted or jammed by the enemy. But Lamarr had an idea: Instead of using one frequency to communicate with the torpedo, the military could use multiple frequencies in a coordinated fashion. A system of “frequency hopping,” would leave the enemy stumped.

Antheil’s contribution to the process? He had previously created an automated piano player. It was now adapted to make Lamarr’s idea work.

The two inventors obtained a patent for their work in August 1942—then they gave the patent to the United States Navy. Astoundingly, the Navy didn’t take the invention too seriously at first. They maintained that a player piano wouldn’t fit inside a torpedo, ignoring suggestions that the components could be made smaller. Or did they simply look at Lamarr’s beautiful face and get sidetracked? They urged her to sell war bonds instead.

Patriot that she was, Lamarr did exactly that.

Today, Lamarr’s technology is considered a precursor to the “spread-spectrum” wireless communications technology used in cell phones and other modern devices.

There is a lot more to Lamarr’s story, of course. Hollywood left its mark on her. She suffered when her beauty faded. She had difficult relationships with her children. She got married (and divorced) too many times. But she wouldn’t want to be remembered for any of that.

She’d surely be much more satisfied to hear that she was posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.


If you enjoy these history posts, please know that it is important to LIKE, SH☺RE & COMMENT. This site’s algorithm will weed these posts out of your news feed if you do not interact with them. (I don’t make the rules! Just following them.) 😉

Gentle reminder: History posts are copyright © 2013-2019 by Tara Ross. I appreciate it when you use the Facebook

“sh☺re” feature instead of cutting/pasting.

#TDIH #OTD #AmericanHistory #USHistory #liberty #freedom #ShareTheHistory — with Jody Abraham.

The book The Only Woman in the Room, by Marie Benedict was a lighter read than I anticipated, done in Novel form from the perspective of Hedy.

I hope you give it a try!


It was one of those “Ah Ha” moments.

I’ve been bouncing around two other words for my “Word of the Year”.

Since Grace suited me so well last year, I didn’t want to leave the Word unstated for 2016.

Earlier this afternoon, I thought I’d look at my email.  I got a request for an interview.  I’ve been interviewing, and looking for the ‘right’ job since July.  Nothing ever seemed to pan out.  I trust my ‘creep-o-meter’ implicitly, and when I got passed over for a job before Thanksgiving, I was second guessing myself, and worried.  Beating myself to a pulp for being too picky, waiting too long, not being self-confident, setting the bar “too-low”, being too proud.

See…I was all over the map!

Then I went to my office to clean off a pile of books on my desk, and this was in my reading pile.


I’ve been browsing through it, making notes, and seeing what resonated with me.  Well, the whole book is great, but what really hit home when going through it, was changing my self perception so that I don’t project any negativity.

I don’t have to apologize for being direct, honest, fierce, or driven, those are all parts of me.  I love them as much as the goofy, funny, dog-loving, bee keeper, nerd parts of me.

Pg 19  Every job I was denied for…opened the door to new opportunities.  Every relationship that hurt me…led me to my true love.  Every mistake I thought would be the end of me…pointed me toward an incredible success.  Sometimes when you think your losing, you’re winning.

So my word for 2016 is Unapologetic.  I will be genuine, and happy in my own skin.

I’m looking forward to the interview with a great expectation of Something Good is coming my way.


Book time

A new book awaits me.  Survivor,  the last of Vince Flynn’s novels.  I don’t want to let go of Mitch Rapp just yet.  He’s my favorite protagonist.  

I’d love to crawl into my book and just live right there.

Labor Day Binge Watch

Yes, I will….because I can.

I’ve read the books, and now I’m binging on the HBO series Game of Thrones.

So far:  Season one came reasonably close to the first book…..the rest is exceedingly questionable, except the number of people who die.  Besides Ros, and she doesn’t count, cause she wasn’t in the book.

Tyrion Lanister/Peter Dinklage, you are remarkable, and your portrayal of Tyrion is spot on for me.  Thank you for bringing the book to life.

Jon Snow/Kitt Harrington. Will you survive the betrayal at Castle Black?


I will wait for the new book.  The books are so much richer than the HBO departure. I sincerely hope the last book “finishes everything off”.  Bad pun, so sorry..but Winter is coming!  Time for a finale to the Game of thrones.

I hope this next season explains more of where Bran ends up.  Will his role play a part in controlling the white walkers?

Who will ride the other two dragons?  Will Danareus Storm Born invade the 7 kingdoms?

Will Arya become a “faceless man”?  Will she become like her Targarean hero who rode her own dragon?

Since HBO took such liberty with Sana’s story, will she pick up her mother’s story line in the upcoming season?  It should be interesting.

Will the white walkers invade?

Where did Little Finger go?

What about Varys?  Is he a Targarean bastard?

So many details.

So many Characters.

Who will ultimately sit on the Throne made from a thousand swords?

A study afternoon

After taking my first two John Maxwell classes, I decided to pick up a couple of the books he recommended reading.

I started the Dale Carnegie book today.  At first I was skeptical, this is a really old book.  It was published in 1944, 20 years before I came along.  The second thing was, I’m not much of a worrier, but I can get a bit negative, if I can’t see a way to make things work.

It’s a surprising read.  It’s practical, full of examples from people from all walks of life.

What also struck me, was these folks picked themselves up from extraordinary circumstances during a time when there was no Welfare system, no Unemployment insurance, no Government handouts.  Many of these folks brought themselves into success during the Great Depression, during WW II, without any type of hand out all, just their determination to stay positive, and keep going.

The book has great quotes from philosophers from Lin Yutang to Horace.

Some of the earliest success stories of the 20th century seemed to have the same thing in common.  They looked at the worst thing that could happen, faced their fears, and kept moving forward one step at a time.

With the rains today, it was really nice to turn off the TV, the Internet, and read a few chapters of inspiration and practical application to maintaining a positive attitude in the midst of trials, change, and difficulty.

Good Tuesday

Two of my favorite things for sure, reading and dancing.

After a day of fog, sales calls, driving, and paperwork.  I will be grateful for such a great day.

So I’m taking a time out to read a bit, a little Emerson.  Then…maybe I will put on some Buddy Guy and sway about.

Oh my, the books the books!


The house needs dusting, the garden is full of weeds, the dogs need walking…..but sneezing and coughing I will rest and read. And I won’t feel guilty about any of the tasks that won’t get done today.

So get ready “The Hit” by David Baldacci. Here we go.

Today I am grateful that I can rest and recover from this sniffle and cough with a good read.

New books


So for 2015, I splurged on a couple of titles that will be my friends for the next couple of weeks.

The arctic north wind has made its way into my tropical S. Texas homeland. I have forgotten how to wear a coat.
There is an art to carrying an accessory so large. Getting in and out of the coat. The habit of bundling up is rusty with me. My watch is too large and catches on the sleeve.
I had to practice putting on my gloves. Taking them off, pull the pinky, then the thumb, then follow the fingers down to pull off the glove successfully.

On my sales calls today, a particularly flamboyant receptionist had on rainbow wool gloves. She had to show them off. A high of 44, she was bundled up inside in sweater, scarf, boots, and gloves. She was sweet.

The wind is picking up. The day is winding down. My books are on the edge of my desk….beckoning me to my reading spot.

Maybe an early cup of tea and a chapter or two before dinner.


Today I’m grateful for reviving old skills. I’m grateful for the chilly wind that brings back childhood memories, and kills the bugs.

I’m grateful for successful sales calls, and a good coat to keep me warm on the two or three days a year I get to wear it.