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Monthly Archives: October 2019

General Ann E. Dunwoody Four Star Role Model

How does a little girl grow up to be a four-star general?  In fact, the very first female four-star general in American history? So often we think there is a ‘proven formula,’ one that typically includes growing up in the proper environment, having a dream and vision, and then following a well-planned strategy. Well, interesting enough, even though General Ann Dunwoody grew up in a military family with four generations of West Pointers (brother, father, grandfather and great-grandfather), she had no intention of ever joining the Army. As far back as Dunwoody can remember, all she wanted was to major in physical education and coach.  The Proven Formula Gone Awry Ann E. Dunwoody was born an ‘army brat’ in Northern Virginia in the triumphant glow of post-World War II America. Her father, a career army officer, soon moved the family to Germany and Belgium where they participated in the post-war reconstruction of the largely decimated European continent. That’s when the ‘proven formula’ went a little awry. In her formative years, Dunwoody wanted nothing to do with the military, instead moving

Major Lisa A. Jaster: Army Ranger

For many of us, the psyche of the ultra-high achiever, the elevated standard of discipline which frames their lives, is nearly impossible to fathom. We may be impressively credentialed ourselves with successful careers, we stay relatively fit and take care of our health, and at times we rise above difficult challenges. But that’s not what we’re discussing here. This is a whole other level of commitment, something so rare that we more common folk are traversing foreign territory. Why is a person this driven, this willing to push her body and mind well beyond what common willpower and human endurance typically allows? Why would any person voluntarily experience what the majority of us consider severe punishment akin to hell on earth? What motivates such a person’s actions and behaviors?We recently had the opportunity to meet one of these most extraordinary people, to dig in below the surface and find her core. Following is our briefing: The Engineer & The Soldier Some people are competitive, others are hyper-competitive, and then there’s Lisa Jaster. She is an engineer and a soldier. That’s

Taylor Hagood: The Love Of Halloween And The Fun It Brings To Us

Shadows Their silent mystery suggests a way of being that is different from yet thoroughly tied to the way of being we know as humans. They carry a wonder that comes with childhood and youth, when the world’s shadows can frighten and thrill at once, which is the essence of horror and the strange hope and excitement it creates. It takes youthful imagination truly to apprehend and appreciate shadow puppets, hands forming shadow animals and faces, and shadows in a moonlit room that turn familiar things into unrecognizable shapes that might just harbor a secret or a threat. There is a moment in the 1963 film The Haunting when a few shadows cast by an ornately carved panel seem to form a motionless face. As light from an unknown source dims and brightens, the face sharpens and fades against the menacing sound of a rising and falling voice. How often as a child did I myself lay in bed transfixed and chilled by ordinary, inanimate things coming alive through the accidental formation of shadows? Or was it accidental? When I was

ANTIQUE MECHANICAL BANKS

Time to dig through the attic. You may have a piece of rare history more valuable than gold. Can you imagine a bunch of throomers huddled closely together, perhaps cradling a tumbler of scotch, or a glass of wine, or beer in their hands, having an intense conversation about their toy collections and paint chips?  Well, if not, you might be interested to learn a little more about antique mechanical banks and the eclectic ladies and gentlemen who are exceptionally passionate and extremely competitive when it comes to collecting these rare gems. A Delightful Way to Save Toy mechanical banks were first introduced in the mid-to-late 1800s, designed to encourage children to have fun while saving money.  Sculpted by an artist, they had moving parts, springs, and levers to create an action that would encourage children to use them time and time again.  The period between 1869, when the first mechanical cast iron bank, known as Hall’s Excelsior, became available, and 1910 was known as the golden age of mechanical banks, when most were produced. You’ve probably seen them but

Nnamdi Okonkwo: Artist of Abundance

At Throomers, we pride ourselves in our positivity and daily pursuit of a ‘thriving life.’ Said another way, we believe in the universal abundance that is available to nearly anyone who’s able to raise their awareness, spirit and energy and tap into the source. We recently discovered an artist who is tapped in deeply, whose inspirational life story fits so thoroughly with our philosophy that we needed to feature him in our inaugural edition. Born in Eastern Nigeria in 1965, Nnamdi Okonkwo is the consummate throomer. Inspired by all demonstrations of excellence and the core goodness of humanity, his fundamental calling is to bring that same essence to whatever he does as both an artist and a man. Further, his day-to-day focused intent is to strive for perfection in the cause of providing enduring positive value to society. This is a big, impressive vision and it clearly describes a man operating at a uniquely elevated level of energy. Just where did this determination come from? How were the seeds planted? When did his spark ignite? Buckle up, throomers, we delve

Oliver Clark: Behind Closed Doors in NYC

When visiting New York City, according to many travel guides, those interested in our country’s history will not want to miss the iconic American Folk Art Museum. That’s good advice. Less well known is on that same Manhattan island, a private folk art collection may be just as rare and important, just as jaw-dropping, and worthy of a visit. However, unless you’re a friend or client of the proprietor, that’s not possible. Luckily, Throomers.com is just that. Recently, we were invited to visit the duplex of Oliver Clark, the fascinating man whose passion and dedication is responsible for the existence of this extraordinary collection. Here’s what we discovered. Discovering a Passion In his youth, Oliver Clark was busy with a wholly different artistic craft. He appeared regularly as an accomplished character actor on popular television shows such as Barney Miller, Golden Girls, M.A.S.H., Bob Newhart, and St. Elsewhere, in addition to several film credits, including the original ‘A Star is Born’, starring Barbara Streisand. While living in Los Angeles, he experienced his exhilarating”wow” moment and discovered his purpose. Pioneering folk

David Gallo: Sensationally Setting the Scene

A sensational convergence of fantasy and artistry on the big stage makes this visual storyteller one of the best in the business. Let the Show Begin Spectators take to their seats. Whispers slowly cease as the curtain rises and the house lights fade. Lights up, the reveal! Instantly, the art of David Gallo overcomes you and you are swept into another realm. He has set the stage in both mood and expectation at the start of your theatrical journey. His set design provides a canvas, of sorts, for actors and directors to make a story come to life, but the set is a piece of magnificence all on its own. As a scenic designer, Gallo is responsible for the visual appearance and function of the scenic elements used in a production. But he is more inclined to far exceed usual conventions, and instead, creates awe-inspiring works of art and experiential productions. Gallo is one of the most preeminent creators of theatrical environments in the industry. In the quarter century that is his career, his imaginings have breathed life into many

Myka Meier: Dinner Table Etiquette Essentials That You Should Know

You are having dinner at someone’s home, and you’ve been served something you’d rather not eat. What is the best way to handle the situation? First off, if you accept a dinner invitation at someone’s home and you have any dietary restrictions or allergies, it’s up to you to tell your host in plenty of time ahead of the meal that you have dietary restrictions. It is not recommended however to tell your host your likes or dislikes. That being said, if you arrive to someone’s home and are served something you do not like, it can be very hurtful to tell your host you don’t like something they prepared. I would recommend eating everything else that you can, and cut a piece or two of the food you don’t so it looks like you at least tried it.  If your host asks if you didn’t like their meal, I would simply say I had a large meal prior, however that everything they served was so lovely. If you’ve invited a guest to dinner at your house and they bring

Journey Through Ireland by Train

A journey through Ireland by train on the Belmond Grand Hibernian reveals the history and legends of Ireland through her rolling countrysides and port towns. See off-the-beaten-path sites, explore the famous places, and meet local people who will bring this region of northern Europe to life through storytelling and tours. Suggested journey at a glance: 9 days/8 nights including four nights aboard the Belmond Grand Hibernian, and overnights in Dublin and Belfast This suggested itinerary is just one of many ways to see Ireland on your own customized Ker & Downey journey. Our designers are at their best when crafting a journey unique to you; contact us to get started planning, and read on to see one example of what’s possible on our Ireland by Train journey. Dublin Begin in Dublin, Ireland’s capital city and one of the world’s top cities as listed by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. It’s at the center of Irish culture past and present, and a historical and contemporary center for education, the arts, and industry. Its history is told in the architecture

Visit Europe in 2020 – Our Top Picks

With 44 countries in Europe, travelers have plenty of choices. You want mountains? Check. Chic beaches that meet sparkling seas? Check. Delicious food? Check. Vast varieties of culture and history? Check. Since there’s so much to see, we are helping you visit Europe in 2020 with confidence. Keep reading to narrow in on where to go in Europe 2020. Greenland Iceland’s much bigger neighbor is having a moment in the well-deserved spotlight. Go in search of polar bears and the vivid Northern Lights as you circumnavigate the large island. Discover old settlements dating back more than 4,500 years as you hike through the UNESCO-listed Sermermiut Valley. Glide through the ice fjords by kayak or take flight above the Isua Glacier, spotting whales down below. And when your weary feet need a break, settle in for an Arctic sauna experience or chit chat with locals over coffee and cakes in their home. Albania Long left under the radar and in the shadows of Greece, many travelers are surprised to learn of Albania’s equally beautiful beaches. But what makes Albania different is