As a neonatal intensive care nurse, Lauren Bloomstein had been taking care of other people’s babies for years. Finally, at 33, she was expecting one of her own. The prospect of becoming a mother made her giddy, her husband Larry recalled recently— “the happiest and most alive I’d ever seen her.”
Other than some nausea in her first trimester, the pregnancy went smoothly. Lauren was “tired in the beginning, achy in the end,” said Jackie Ennis, her best friend since high school, who talked to her at least once a day. “She gained what she’s supposed to. She looked great, she felt good, she worked as much as she could” — at least three 12-hour shifts a week until late into her ninth month. Larry, a doctor, helped monitor her blood pressure at home, and all was normal.
On her days off she got organized, picking out strollers and car seats, stocking up on diapers and onesies. After one last pre-baby vacation to the Caribbean, she and Larry went hunting for their forever home, settling on a brick colonial with black shutters and a big yard in Moorestown, N.J., not far from his new job as an orthopedic trauma surgeon in Camden. Lauren wanted the baby’s gender to be a surprise, so when she set up the nursery she left the walls unpainted — she figured she’d have plenty of time to choose colors later. Despite all she knew about what could go wrong, she seemed untroubled by the normal expectant-mom anxieties. Her only real worry was going into labor prematurely. “You have to stay in there at least until 32 weeks,” she would tell her belly. “I see how the babies do before 32. Just don’t come out too soon.”
When she reached 39 weeks and six days — Friday, Sept. 30, 2011 — Larry and Lauren drove to Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, the hospital where the two of them had met in 2004 and where she’d spent virtually her entire career. If anyone would watch out for her and her baby, Lauren figured, it would be the doctors and nurses she worked with on a daily basis. She was especially fond of her obstetrician/gynecologist, who had trained as a resident at Monmouth at the same time as Larry. Lauren wasn’t having contractions, but she and the ob/gyn agreed to schedule an induction of labor — he was on call that weekend and would be sure to handle the delivery himself.
Inductions often go slowly, and Lauren’s labor stretched well into the next day. Ennis talked to her on the phone several times: “She said she was feeling okay, she was just really uncomfortable.” At one point, Lauren was overcome by a sudden, sharp pain in her back near her kidneys or liver, but the nurses bumped up her epidural and the stabbing stopped.
Inductions have been associated with higher cesarean-section rates, but Lauren progressed well enough to deliver vaginally. On Saturday, Oct. 1, at 6:49 p.m., 23 hours after she checked into the hospital, Hailey Anne Bloomstein was born, weighing 5 pounds, 12 ounces. Larry and Lauren’s family had been camped out in the waiting room; now they swarmed into the delivery area to ooh and aah, marveling at how Lauren seemed to glow.
Larry floated around on his own cloud of euphoria, phone camera in hand. In one 35-second video, Lauren holds their daughter on her chest, stroking her cheek with a practiced touch. Hailey is bundled in hospital-issued pastels and flannel, unusually alert for a newborn; she studies her mother’s face as if trying to make sense of a mystery that will never be solved. The delivery room staff bustles in the background in the low-key way of people who believe everything has gone exactly as it’s supposed to.
Then Lauren looks directly at the camera, her eyes brimming.
Tumblr and coworkers AU (52k, E) : Holy shit. HOOOLLYYY SHIIIIT. Okay
read this now, it’s hot as fuck, and awesome, and also hot as fuck.
(kind of share that)(a lot)
Has the Ocean Lost Its Way
, by @fullonlarrie : Louis and Liam are professional surfers who have been traveling
the world together for years. Now they travel with Liam’s pro-surfer
girlfriend Amelia and their baby Vivian. They’re in Manly Beach, Sydney
to compete in the 2017 Australia Open of Surfing when Louis meets Harry,
a freelance surf photographer working for Surfer Magazine. Louis wonders if his nomadic lifestyle will keep him single
indefinitely or if there’s someone out there who’ll fit in with his
little makeshift family.
Larry surfer AU (28k, E) : Of course I’m gonna read a Surfer
Louis/Photographer Harry fic :D So you should do too. (b!Louis for the
My Saddle’s Waiting, by
: It’s late and Harry is bored. He texts his one night
stand from last week for a quick, no strings attached hookup. As it
turns out, the guy gave Harry the wrong number and it ends up being
Larry smut AU (E, 6k) :…. I mean, they kind of share that … but quite literally. Holy shiiit.
we can meet again somewhere , by LSFOREVER :
or, The morning after his party Harry wakes up naked on his bed, and
there is a Polaroid photo of a stranger right beside him. Harry wants to
know who is this tiny little boy that has soft fringe and a smile from
heaven. He has endless hope.
Larry AU (9k, M) : perfect read if you’re feeling a big sad and you need to be cheered up ;)
★ Kissing in the Rain , by Writcraft : It starts at a party with shitty cocktails, a DJ that’s
definitely not as good as Nick and some ‘that only happens in the
movies’ kissing in the rain.
Tomlinshaw AU (93k, E) : canon fic during Hiatus era minus babygate … and so much great smut !
, by @milehigh-larry :Louis Tomlinson needs a safe place to hide when his night out
ends up on every major entertainment site. His safe place has always
been Harry. Will ten years make a difference?
Larry famous not famous and ex friends to lovers AU (30k, E) : Actor Louis and Veterinary Harry in the Montana, angsty and smutty ! fuck yeah ! (bottom Harry)
Margaret Tobin was born on July 18, 1867 in Hannibal, Missouri to John and Johanna Tobin; two poor Irish immigrants. Contrary to the myth, she did not survive a flood as an infant not did she have a nanny goat for a wet nurse. Maggie, as she was known back then, was educated by her aunt up to the 8th grade, equivalent to a high school education today. She then began seasonal work in the Garth Tobacco Factory for several years. Pretty soon, Margaret was 18 and had no suitable marriage prospects. In the spring of 1886, she bought a train ticket and moved out to Leadville, Colorado to live with her brother Daniel and hopefully to find a rich miner to marry.
James Joseph Brown
At first sight, Margaret rejected any idea of possibly marrying James Joseph Brown. She had come to Leadville to find a rich husband, and JJ was by no means a millionaire. However, after just a few months of courtship Margaret decided it was better to marry for love rather that money and on September 1, 1886 they were married. Pretty soon they had two children Catherine Ellen “Helen" and Lawrence Palmer “Larry" Brown.
Family Portrait, taken in Leadville
After marrying JJ, Margaret began lessons with tutors, studying reading and literature as well as piano and singing. The happy family lived comfortably for several years in Leadville right up until the US government repealed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, switching from silver backed currency to the gold standard which is still used today. This was really bad news for Leadville, which mainly relied on silver mining. Long story short, JJ discovered gold, became a millionaire and the family moved down to Denver.
The Family Home in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Denver
Now for the good stuff.
One of my personal heros, Margaret was an incredible humanitarian, philanthropist, feminist, and activist.
Some of the incredible things she did include (in no particular order):
Organize soup kitchens for poor miners and their families in Leadville, with her two small children in tow no less
Helped form the Denver Women’s Party, was involved in Colorado politics, and was part of the women’s suffrage movement at both the state and national levels
Was fluent in 5 languages
Donated money to the Denver Dumb Friends League (animal shelter, still open today)
Organized the Carnival of Nations, a festival in Denver to raise money for the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. She had booths representing cultures from all over the world, including Native Americans, which was very much frowned upon. She and her husband JJ also donated quite a bit of their own money to the project. Interesting side note: once the Cathedral was completed, Margaret attended every Sunday she was in town. She was known to walk in a few minutes late (you can literally see the cathedral from her house) so everyone would have to turn around to see what she was wearing that day.
She worked with Ben Lindsey to create a juvenile court and detention system, similar to the system in place today. Before this, children would be tried as adults and sentenced to adult prisons, or left unpunished entirely because the judges couldn’t bring themselves to send child into such awful conditions. Margaret hosted functions (including an annual function at the Opera) and donated some of her own money to help fund Judge Lindsey’s cause.
She ran for state Senate three times
Margaret’s official campaign portrait
She attended the Carnegie Institute
She organized nurses and supplies in a relief station in France where she herself was an ambulance driver
She offered her cottage in Newport, Rhode Island to be used as a hospital
She translated books to Braille for soldiers who lost their eyesight due to mustard gas
She earned the French Legion of Honor Medal for her efforts during the war (really big deal!!)
Yes, she did survive the Titanic. But there is so much more to the story than Hollywood makes it seem. Margaret was on the deck of the Titanic and used her 5 languages to help get people off the ship. There was supposed to be a training drill the morning before it sank, to this day we don’t know why it was cancelled. Margaret is telling the passengers things like “it’s only a drill, you’ll be back soon” knowing this was the best way to save as many people as possible. Many did not want their families to be separated, or they did not believe the ship was actually sinking. You couldn’t tell until it was too late. It is believed that Margaret would have gone down with the ship had she not been forcibly put onto a lifeboat by two crew members. Once her lifeboat reached the water, Margaret took off her many layers of clothing (she dressed like an onion before leaving her room) and distributed them to the other women and children in her life boat. She then instructed the first class women to begin rowing. This was important to a) prevent hypothermia and b) not be sucked into the ocean by the undertow of the ship when it finally did sink. Once their lifeboat was found by the Carpathia, Margaret used her excellent organizing skills to collect and distribute blankets and clothing to the survivors of the Titanic from the passengers of the Carpathia. She also collected money from the first class passengers and survivors to give the the third class immigrants once they reached New York. She had some difficulty convincing them to donate, so she put a list with all the names of the first class people with the amount that they had given (or not) it didn’t take long for the 1st class passengers and survivors to realize they should donate as to not tarnish their name. She raised $10,000 equivalent to about $250,000 (USD) today. When the Titanic Survivor’s Committee was formed, she was of course appointed chairwoman. She attempted to testify in the Senate hearing but was turned away because she was (shocker) a woman. She did however help fight to change Maritime policy to families first (instead of women and children first) and ensure that there will always.be enough lifeboats, life jackets and properly trained crew members to prevent disasters like this in the future.
When on vacation in Florida her hotel caught fire, and she helped guide the other people on her floor out the fire escape to safety
She sang, yodeled, played the piano and classical guitar
She worked as an actress in NYC, living in the Barbizon hotel (men were not allowed past the lobby, this building was symbolic of a cultural shift in the ‘20s). She also taught acting, and had her own studio in the hotel.
She died in her sleep in 1932 from a stroke brought on by a misdiagnosed brain tumor. She is buried in the Holy Rood Cemetery in New York.
Margaret Brown is so amazing and I can go on about her for days. Forgive my rambling.
Sources: Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth by Kristen Iversen
Random facts I know (I give tours in her home)
If you have any questions, please ask!
I’m planning on writing about Justina Ford (the first African American female to be a licensed physician in Colorado) next, but if you guys have any suggestions please let me know!
How do I cope with the crushing disappointment of a restaurant totally changing the recipe of my favourite dish?
OK. Here’s what you do.
You arrive at the restaurant at precisely 6pm. Your friends - you call them your friends, but you pay them by the hour and they’re wearing leather jackets and carrying two guns apiece - have accompanied you, and they’re now sitting in the chairs either side of you.
You’re going to sort this out.
After a few minutes, a perky waitress comes over to take your order.
“What can I get you guys?” she asks, taking out her notepad.
You turn to your first friend - you think her name is Janet, but you wouldn’t bet money on it - and nod, almost imperceptibly. She returns the gesture, and her hands close around the gun that you know is concealed inside her jacket pocket. The waitress’ face pales, and she sets down her notepad.
“I’ll take a meeting with your chef,” you say, smiling benevolently, and the waitress nods.
“He’s in the back,” she says.
You clap your hands together. “Excellent,” you say. “Take me to your leader.”
Wordlessly, she leads you into the back room, where a huge man is sitting and peeling potatoes. You turn to the waitress and smile at her again.
“I’ll take it from here, Bernice,” you say, and she leaves.
You drag another chair over to the chef, setting it alongside the chair that he’s already placed opposite his own, and sit down on it. You pull your jacket back, exposing the concealed weapon, and he blanches.
“Look, I don’t have any money,” he begins, but you raise a hand to shush him.
“I’m not here about money, Larry.” You lean forward, resting your weight on your elbows. “I’m here about the tagliatelle.”
“My name - my name isn’t Larry - ”
“Larry, Larry, Larry,” you say, grinning and crossing your legs up on the third chair. “Laurel crowned.” You meet the chef’s eyes, feigning a look of deep interest, and you watch as the chef’s Adam’s apple bobs in his throat. His eyes dart away, focusing behind you on some vague spot behind your shoulder. Your grin becomes shark-like, menacing. “Or from Laurentum, of course, but you don’t strike me as the Italian sort, Larry. You aren’t Italian, are you?”
The chef swallows hard again. He still can’t meet your eye. “No, I’m - I’m not Italian.”
You nod, slow and considering. “I didn’t think so, Larry. I didn’t think you were Italian.” You rub your hands together; in the silence of the back room, even the sound of your skin on your own palms is loud, grating. “You know why I didn’t think you were Italian, Larry?”
Pale, the chef shakes his head.
Your smile spreads, but it’s wan now; no longer menacing, but more sinister still for it.
“You see, Larry,” you begin, and you hear a strangled sob escape from the chef’s throat. It only makes you press on. “You see, that dish you made for me back there? The one I ordered every week for six years? That dish was a family favourite of mine, Larry. A taste of home.” You uncross your legs, lift your left over your right, cross them again. The chair scrapes along the floor. “You see, Larry, my grandmother - she was Italian. Ida, her name was. Labour, or work. And she worked, Larry. That woman worked every day of her goddamn life, cradle to grave, dragging four sons of bitches into this world with no goddamn help from her husband. Ampelio, that was my grandfather’s name. Vine. It suited him, Larry, because he was a goddamn drunk. Not like you, Larry. You’re a family man, I can tell. A glass of wine at dinner kind of guy. Am I right, Larry?
“Well, Larry. Grandmother Ida - Nonna Ida, I called her - she didn’t work Sunday evenings. Those, she got off. Monday to Wednesday, Larry, she worked at the factory. She made soap. You know, those fancy bars that you get in hotels. You like those fancy bars, Larry? Well, those were Ida’s pay grade. From Monday to Wednesday, at least. Thursday to Saturday, it was baked goods. 4am starts, Larry, can you imagine? Up at 4, back at 11 at night, all that time with flour on her hands. And Sunday morning, she worked at the church.
“You go to church, Larry? You a god-fearing man? I thought so, Larry. I could see it in you. There’s something about the fear of god in a man. I can always see it, Larry. It’s different to plain fear, isn’t it? Plain old fear, that’s what you’ve got in your eye right now, Larry - why’s that, when we’re having such a nice conversation about Nonna Ida? - but the fear of god, that’s something different.
“But where are my manners? Jumping from topic to topic like this. I’m sorry, Larry. Back to Ida. Well, as I said, she didn’t work Sunday evenings. As you can imagine, Larry, Sunday evenings were precious. Her time. Time for her to do what she wanted. And what do you think she did in that time, Larry? Do you think she went shopping? Watched TV? Made love to her goddamn son of a bitch husband?
“No, Larry. What Ida did on Sunday evenings was cook. And you know what she cooked, Larry?”
The chef, frozen throughout your tirade, shakes his head.
You steeple your fingers under your chin, fixing the chef with a cold glare. “It was that dish, Larry,” you continue. “The dish I used to order here, that one that made me feel so at home. The one that reminded me of Nonna Ida even after she’d passed. That’s why I liked that dish so much, Larry. It wasn’t just the perfect blend of tomatoes and pasta. It was the memories. Your dish brought me real happiness, Larry, and for that, I’m truly thankful. Really, Larry. I tipped your waiters every damn time. I’m a nice person, Larry. I really am.”
He inhales sharply. “Look, I can - I can change the recipe back, it’s not - ”
“You’d do that?” you interject, plastering a wide grin on your face. “For me, Larry? You’d do that?”
“I mean - you’re gonna kill me if I don’t, right?”
You frown. “Kill you, Larry? What would be the sense in that?” you ask, genuinely confused. “I’m not a killer, Larry. Why do you think that?”
He gestures at you. “Well, you know. The black turtleneck, mostly. Also the gun. In fact, mostly the gun.”
“It’s 2015, Larry. Of course I carry a gun.” You straighten in your chair. “But I’m not going to kill you.”
“Then why should I change the recipe back?” he counters, folding his arms across his chest in a display of newfound bravery. “I like the new recipe. It’s more cost effective and time efficient.”
You sigh. “Larry, Larry, Larry. Sweet Larry.” You reach into your waistband, and the chef tenses as your fingers brush your gun, but you bypass the weapon and take out your mobile phone. Unlocking it with a deft swipe of your finger, you hold the screen out to show the chef, and his face pales instantly.
“Is that - ”
You smirk. “Yes, Larry. It’s a one star review on Trip Advisor. All I have to do is click ‘submit’. But I haven’t yet, Larry. I haven’t clicked it yet. And you know why that is?”
His voice is barely a whisper now. “Why?”
“Because you’re going to change the recipe back, aren’t you Larry? You’re going to go back to making it just the way Nonna Ida used to make it, and I’m not going to send that review, and we’re both going to walk out of this as happy as if the past week had never happened.” You beam maniacally. “Isn’t that so, Larry?”
A single tear falls from his eye, and he blinks, looks away. “You’re barbaric.”
Your finger moves towards the submit button.
He cries out, reaches for the phone in despair, and you snort with laughter. His shoulders slump in resignation.
“I’ll change it back,” he mutters.
You put your phone away, and stand. You extend your hand for him to shake, and, bitter, he takes it. You shake on it, and you’re about to leave the room when you remember something.
“Oh, if you could make it with just a hint less salt this time round, that would be phenomenal,” you add, and shrug apologetically. “Nonna Ida had terrible cholesterol, and these things do tend to run in families.”
He nods dully, and you flash him a winning smile. You push open the door and walk out, leaving the chef in the room behind you.
You signal to your friends, who stand up from the table and join you as you go to exit the restaurant. The waitress stands by the door, and, shaking, holds it open for you.
You thank her, and hand her a £5 note. “My compliments to the chef,” you say.
Meet Oogy, a Dogo Argentino thatwas used as a bait dog in a dog fighting ring. During a raid on the dog fighting ring, Oogy was discovered, bloody and left for dead in a cage. The left side of his face, including most of his ear, had been torn off. He had been bitten so savagely that a piece of his lower jaw was completely crushed. He was taken to Ardmore Animal Hospital in Philadelphia where Diane Klein, the Office’s Director of Operations refused to have him euthanised and refused to let him die. Miraculously, Oogy pulled through and things soon turned for the better. Larry Levin and his family were taking their 17-year-old sick cat, Buzz, to Ardmore Animal Hospital to have him put to sleep. It was then that they set eyes on Oogy, who was exuding such joy and happiness, particularly for a dog who had been through hell and back, that they knew they had to rehome him. Larry even went on to write a book about Oogy which went on to become a best-seller. On 2 March, 2015, Larry shared the sad news that Oogy had passed away:
“This morning I fed Oogy a bison filet. I put moisturizer on his big fat nose and drops in his eyes so they wouldn’t itch, just like I do every day, and I put his warm orange coat on him, the one that Linda gave him, and we went for a ride. He was 100 years old and kept our spirits up through the whole ordeal but he’s gone from us. He didn’t suffer. We went through so much together and I can’t tell you how much he meant to me. He gave me the life I have. He brought me joy every single day for the last 12 years. Every single day. Think about that. I know this profound sadness is inevitable, and I don’t know how the hole will be filled, or even if it can be, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Your love was essential to him, and he loved you with that unquenchable love that was his essence. Thank you from bottoms of our collective hearts. Hopefully this page will continue to help animals in need. I will be back as soon as I can.”
Thankfully, the last 12 years of his life was a stark contrast to the beginning of his life. He passed away feeling loved, surrounded by his family.