Helen Keller – an Inspirational Author, a Profoundly Powerful Woman

Helen Keller was born to a large affluent family in Tuscumbia, Alabama, in 1880 and lived with her parents and four siblings on their historic homestead, Ivy Green. On her mother’s side, she was related to a number of prominent New England families. Helen’s father, Arthur Keller, was a captain in the Confederate army. The family lost most of its wealth during the Civil War and lived modestly. At the age of 19 months, Helen became deaf and blind as a result of an unknown illness, perhaps rubella or scarlet fever. As Helen grew from infancy into childhood, she became wild and unruly. She was initially able to communicate only with the young daughter of the family’s cook using signs, and within the next few years, she discovered more than 60 home signs she used to communicate with her family. She could even determine who was approaching by distinguishing between the vibrations of people’s footsteps. 

As she so often remarked as an adult, her life changed on March 3, 1887. On that day, Anne Mansfield Sullivan (a visually impaired woman herself) came to Tuscumbia to be her teacher, especially to teach her how to communicate. She was just 14 years older than her pupil Helen, and she too suffered from serious vision problems. Anne underwent many botched operations at a young age before her sight was partially restored. Though the process was slow and frustrating for young Helen, she eventually became determined to learn the name of every item in this world that had previously escaped her. A whole new world had opened up for her, and though she had remained isolated for the initial years of her life, she maintained her connection to the beauty offered by music and books. At age 24, Helen became the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree. 

Helen’s pursuit of goodness and greatness was unfaltering, and over the years, she learned to communicate using the spoken word by observing and imitating the mouth movements of others. She went on to write numerous books, autobiographical and other, as well as give lectures and speeches on her life and overcoming seemingly impossible difficulties.

During seven trips between 1946 and 1957, she visited 35 countries on five continents. She met with world leaders such as Winston Churchill, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Golda Meir. She became a celebrity, therefore.

She was a suffragist, an advocate for people with disabilities, a political activist, and a profoundly powerful woman. Her words have been the result of a long and strenuous but ultimately victorious battle that reminds us that we should always have hope and always keep fighting! 

I will post here a few of her renowned motivational sayings that might be helpful to many of us.

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope.” 

“No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.” 

“When all you can feel are the shadows, turn your face towards the sun.”

“Each day comes to me with both hands full of possibilities.”  

“Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but do not let them master you. Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight.”

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” 

I wish you to overcome all the obstacles in your life the way Helen did, with so much determination, undeterred by her disabilities!

Cristina David

10 Hoax Cures of the Coronavirus You Must Ignore

You cannot escape news about the coronavirus these days. It’s everywhere! This isn’t a surprise, as the pandemic has spread rapidly across the globe. However, as reports of coronavirus cases keep coming in, so does the steady stream of bogus claims on how to cure or prevent yourself from it. 

For the record, the FDA (the US Food and Drug Administration) had issued an open letter, warning, “There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure coronavirus disease.”

Eating garlic can protect you from the coronavirus – one example of a hoax remedy

Despite these warnings, the hoax reports keep piling on. Since people are desperate for finding a cure to escape this disease, many of them latch on to any claim they can find, howsoever absurd they might be. While some of these claims are outright ridiculous, many are actually harmful and risky. Here, we have compiled some of the most absurd hoax cures to treat the novel coronavirus that should be completely avoided. 

Share this post with your friends and family…

Stay safe and healthy!

Cristina David

How to improve our declining vision

More than ANY other sense, we use our vision the most on a daily basis. However, the National Eye Institute reports that age-related vision decline happens to everyone. Small warning signs now can mean devastating problems around the corner.  

Declining eyesight is one of the biggest signs of old age. Perhaps words are getting blurier or driving is getting a bit more scary. Maybe your own children treat you like you’re delicate and fragile, always asking if you should be driving.

Besides vitamins and medical treatments for the eye, there are natural remedies such as carrots in your diet and the simple, decorative plant in your home, called aloe vera!

If you have problems with your eyesight, you might want to watch this video:

Try this, you may be glad you did!

Cristina David

Ein Gedi the most picturesque oasis in the world

An awsome Nature Reserve

En Gedi is the biggest oasis in Israel. It has springs and waterfalls, and flowing brooks at the foot of the cliffs, home to ibexes and rock hyraxes. Situated on the eastern border of the Judean Desert, on theDead Sea shore, Ein Gedi is a real jewel of Israel.

Foto: Wikimedia

I visited Israel recently, but never got to see it although I was not too far from it. On that day of my pilgrimage I just contemplated the desolate look oh the Dead Sea, after coming from other jewels one can admire in the desert : very old, impressive monasteries, holy places of spiritual life.

While the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve offers over nine different hiking trails, suitable for everyone from family groups to experienced hikers, and ranging in duration from just half an hour in length to a full day, some of the most popular hiking trails are those which head through Wadi David.

King David fall and cave

Whichever of the hikes you decide to take, you are likely to gaze in awe at the beauty of Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, and be amazed in particular at how it contrasts to its desert surroundings. The springs are a source of beauty today, and have, for thousands of years, been the source upon which life, both human and otherwise, has relied upon for living in the area.

The reserve has two streams which flow year round, and four springs which feed the streams. This hike passes through the David stream and three of the four springs. The David stream has a series of waterfalls and pools and descends 200 meters to the height of the Dead Sea.

The Nahal David lower stream – the internet

Flora in the nature reserve includes the acacia, Sodom apple, Christ-thorn, reeds and cattails. Fauna in the reserve includes foxes, wolves, hyenas, and leopards, as well as the commonly seen ibex and hyrax.

Hoping you will have the occasion to see these great views, I wish you to stay safe and healthy amid this ugly pandemic.


Cristina David

These Old Films Will Make You Love Black-and-White Cinema

Back in the first half of the 20th century, films were mostly made in black and white. But as the color film came into existence, black-and-white movies slowly faded into the background. However, these days, many filmmakers are trying to go back to the black-and-white cinema to accentuate the story or add more aesthetics to their films. This is why many of the old black-and-white movies still hold so much charm even decades later.

Today, we will have a look at some of the best classic black-and-white flicks that have stood the test of time. These old movies may be devoid of the vivid color palettes we are used to seeing in films today, but they are beautiful time-capsuled stories that are not just remnants of cinema’s glorious past but are also immensely entertaining even today.

‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is an evergreen classic and no black-and-white movie list can be complete without this beloved Frank Capra film.

This timeless Christmas tale tells the story of George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart), who, overwhelmed by life’s trials, is about to give it all up. That too, during Christmas. However, just as he is about to take his life, his Guardian Angel, Clarence, appears and shows the man how his life would have turned out had he never been born. George sees the positive impact he’s had on his town, family, and friends and looks at his life in a completely new light. 

Nothing quite lifts us like the heartwarming and wholesome ending of this film where George runs through the streets of Bedford Falls declaring, “I wanna live, Clarence! I wanna live!”

Orson Wells’ first and greatest movie Citizen Kane is often hailed as one of the greatest movies ever made. Even today, almost eighty years after its initial release in 1941, the movie still stands out because of how innovative the movie was for its time.

The entire film is a flashback and that was considered groundbreaking for the era. It tells the story of Charles Foster Kane, an incredibly affluent newspaper publisher, and industrial magnate. When a reporter is assigned to figure out Kane’s dying words „Rosebud”, the investigation eventually reveals a remarkable portrait of a complex man who rose from nowhere to reach astonishing heights. It’s a captivating mystery and a brilliant character study that still gets us hooked.

The Master Of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, made many memorable movies. However, Psycho is still recalled the most often because of how chilling it was.

This is the story of Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) who lives with his mother in a worn-out house that overlooks the motel he runs. The motel doesn’t see a lot of visitors, though, because of an interstate highway that was built to carry travelers away from the road.

On one rainy night, a woman, who’s on the run from the police, checks into the motel. She interacts with Norman and his mother and what follows is a captivating mystery that unravels in the most terrifying way. The music, the setting, the direction, and the mystery all make Psycho a hair-raising watch even today.

This is another Frank Capra classic that is widely considered to be one of the best romantic comedies ever made. The film stars Claudette Colbert as the spoilt heiress Ellie Andrews and Clark Gable as the cynical yet resourceful reporter Peter Warne.

Ellie has run away from the clutches of her rich father who had decided to hold her captive after she eloped with a man he believes is after his money. Ellie meets Clark in her travels and the reporter offers to help the young woman reunite with her new husband in exchange for an exclusive story. However, the more he interacts with the feisty Ellie, the more Clark begins to fall for her.

It Happened One Night clinched the „Best Picture” Oscar along with, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay. 

Even if you haven’t watched the film, it is more than likely that you’ve at least heard of Casablanca. “Here’s looking at you, kid,” is probably one of the most quotable lines from a movie and Casablanca has quite a few memorable ones. 

The story is quite simple. Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), who owns a nightclub in the Moroccan city of Casablanca, discovers that his old flame Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) is in town with her husband in the midst of World War II. Ilsa wants to escape to America with her husband, and Rick is the only one who can make that possible. However, Ilsa’s feelings for Rick soon resurface and what follows is an intricate play of emotions between the one-time lovers. 

Share this post with other cinema lovers!

Cristina David

Beautiful Quotes to Cultivate Gratitude in Life

In tough times like these, we can often get caught up in our everyday struggles and succumb to the barrage of bad news, so much so that bad thoughts and negativity can start dominating our lives and cause anxiety and heartbreak. That is when, as we feel, it’s extremely important to count our blessings, whatever those may be – the beautiful people we’re surrounded with, the precious little joys of life, our connection to nature and others, our health, the list goes on, and on, and on… Let’s garner all of these priceless things and remind ourselves of the beauty of life and how fortunate we are to be right here, right now, by reading through some of the wisest and deepest quotes on gratitude ever uttered! They become motivational quotes for us to follow as advice, and to go on with our lives in a hopeful manner.

” Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault

„Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.” – Aesop

„Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” – Voltaire

” Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.” -Margaret Cousins

,,Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes , of which all men have some.” – Charles Dickens

There are some issues we have to meditate on, I am convinced that by memorizing these wise quotes that belong to intelligent and thoughtful people that are known to us from our reading, we will eventually come to put into practice these helpful and considerate thoughts.

source – the internet

I wish you all to stay healthy and safe!

Cristina David

Interesting Facts about the Black Sea

The Black Sea islocated between Western Asian and Southeastern Europe. Before the sea was drained in the Atlantic Ocean through the Mediterranean, it will flow from the Aegean Sea. The Black Sea was surrounded by the Caucasus, Anatolia and Europe. I come from Romania, one of the countries that border this sea. I lwas born and lived there , in Bucharest, that is until I moved over seas and came to live in New Jersey.

The Black Sea is considered as an important tourist destination. On the Black Sea shores, one can see and visit gorgeous resorts, just like here in the States, if not even more enchanting.

Here are other interesting facts about Black Sea for you: There are various straits which connect to the Black Sea. The Black Sea is linked to Aegean Sea by Strait of Dardanelles. The Black Sea and Sea of Marmara are connected by Bosphorus Strait. Strait of Kerch connects Black Sea and Sea of Azov.

There are several cities located along Black Sea. Those include Zonguldak, Rize, Sinop, Giresun, Hopa, Batumi, Burgas, Varna, Yalta, Sevastopol, Sochi, Mangalia, Navodari, Odessa, Ordu, Constanta, Istanbul, Sukhumi, Trabzon, Novorossiysk, Poti, and Sozopol.

There are at least 12 seaports located in Ukraine. The port of Constanta (Romania) is the main container hub in the Black Sea and all direct lines between Asia and the Black Sea call in Constanța. The port is also a starting and terminus point for the Pan-European Pipeline designed to the transportation of Russian and Caspian oil to Central Europe.

The water of Black Sea is less saline if you compare it with the salinity of Mediterranean water. Therefore, it floats over the inflow of Mediterranean water due to the less saline and cool water. There are several animals endemic in Black Sea. Those include the Zebra Mussels, common carps, and round goby. Black Sea is also a good source of fishing. On average, there are around 300,000 tons of fish caught by the Turkish commercial fishing fleet per year..

Last year, in 2019, together with a group of friends I spent about 8 days in Venus, one of the resorts in Romania, staying at Hotel Afrodita. Gorgeous weather, wonderful sunny days, soothing breeze along the shore…I made a few video clips and took quite a number of pictures.

Video clip-sunrise at the Black Sea – the property of Cristina David

Have a wonderful summer!

Cristina David

Mount Holly – a Historic City

I happen to live in a small but very old town, that is in American terms, considering the short history this country has had so far. It is also very important in the area, it holds the position of the seat in the largest county (Burlington) in New Jersey! It is also considered to be an eastern suburb of Philadelphia, PA. Quite interesting, isn’t it? Maybe you would enjoy coming with me on a short trip by car meandering along its streets flanked with old historic buildings. Let’s get off!

By the way, the township was named for hills covered with holly trees and shrubs.

Hoping you liked our short trip, I wish you a wonderful week ! Stay healthy and safe!

Cristina David

Valuable Reading Advice

We’re all readers here, but the kind of genres and topics we enjoy reading and learning more about can be vastly different. I, for instance, enjoy poetry, fiction, and history books, while others may not and they will prefer to read news articles and practical advice online or in magazines and newspapers. Neverthesame, we love readng and we can all agree that reading is a joyful and enriching experience, and becoming a better reader also means being more engaged with the surrounding world and more in touch with ourselves. But how can we accomplish that goal? Some of the world’s most vorociuous readers offer advice on this topic.

Only you decide what to read and what to avoid

The message of these words is simple and sensible: it is you who will benefit from and should enjoy the process of reading, and so it is also your freedom to choose what kinds of books to read and what topics to choose. An avid reader from his early childhood, Roosevelt was always stuck by the rule to read for at least a few minutes every day – a rule we should all definitely adopt, too!

Get acquainted with the classics

Einstein, one of the most forward-thinking minds of the 20th century, always said that it’s crucial to look back at the past and explore the writings of our ancestors. The great scientist firmly believed that without the wisdom of the past, people fall victim to the prejudices of the present and become nearsighted. Thus, to gain more perspective, go back to the basics, and explore the classics.

Reading the same book several times is a must

Continuing and building up the previous piece of advice is Lucius Annaeus Seneca (known as Seneca the Younger), a Roman Stoic philosopher, who stood by the thought that you have to re-read books over and over to really absorb and understand the wisdom imparted into them by their authors. The philosopher further specified that it’s better to limit yourself to a specific genre or group of like-minded authors at a time to get the most out of it, otherwise the message and intentions of the readings will slip away from you, being no more than a mere distraction from reality.

Don’t shy away from second-hand books!

If the quote we have selected puzzles you, let us set the context for it first, and you’ll soon understand what it intends to teach. These words are from Woolf’s essay titled “Street Haunting”, where she lays out the merits of second-hand book shopping. Here, Woolf intends to say that a street market full of books is like a treasure chest full of pleasant surprises, unexpected finds that you would never have intentionally selected. We must point out that the famous writer is, of course, right, as nothing warms the heart more than a surprise find! 

What you read in your leisure time reveals your true nature

This quote, too, is a perfect reflection of Oscar Wilde’s rebellious spirit we all cannot help but admire! If you have ever been told that the kind of books or articles you read are too simplistic or not worthy of your time, even though you really enjoy them, brush away those critical remarks. After all, your reading preferences are a reflection of your own personality and interests, and toxic comments that intend to prescribe certain preferences are only there to waste your time. As the famous writer also once wrote, “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all”. And we hope you enjoyed and learned something useful from this article!

Share this article with those who love reading!

the source: https://www.ba-bamail.com

Cristina David

The Garden of Europe

In case you haven’t heard of them, Keukenhof (or commonly referred to as the ‘Garden of Europe’) is one of the world’s great flower gardens. In short, the gardens are renowned for their spectacular tulip displays which draw thousands of visitors in Spring each year. Given present circumstances, that’s not an option unfortunately but the gardens have kindly put together a stunning virtual tour for us all to bask in this year’s majestic display.

The sea of fresh tulip flowers is truly astounding. What’s more, in amongst these delectable blooms, look for an array of daffodils, lilies, roses, carnations, and irises. Floral meditation at its finest.

Due to the malefic Coronavirus, this gorgeous park was closed this year in March, April and May – a period of time in which the most amazing, beautifully colored flowers are blooming all around. Since its opening in 1950, visitors from all over the world- for 8 weeks, actually – had been most welcome to come and enjoy, to take photos, to smell the enchanting parfumes . Not this year.

Violinist Rosanne Philippens embraces the sunrise in Keukenhof – Keukenhof Virtually Open

One single photographer, the Dutch landscape photographer, Albert Dros, was granted a special voucher/permission to go in and immortalize the floral splendor in his pictures. Good for him!

I found an interesting video on youtube that gives you an idea….which premiered in May 2020. Take your time and enjoy!

Cristina David

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