Let's just kill time until April 1st. and the blog challenge. Here I am with my Aunt Janice on Easter Sunday. She's the one that turned 90. Darn spiffy and still shrinking. She's a hoot, trust me
Oh, Dad - a bit of a mess, but he's still kicking (albeit slowly). Here he is with my sister Lori. In the background are my brother David and his wife Cherie. They gave us an Easter feast. I'm surprised the airline did not charge me extra for weight gain - yowza!!!
And tough to beat PA in spring with flowering trees. I took this pic as I walked our block. Still early for regular trees, but these were gorgeous.
I can report that my sister is doing a great job cleaning my Dad's house. He is not living in squalor. We had plenty of laughs as we sat at the kitchen table. I enjoyed my visit to PA. Wish my Dad was more mobile and had less pains, but he's still quite the character. Adventures with the senior - I'll be back again soon
Flying to Philly Thursday evening for a quick Easter weekend. Hippity-hop
Time to check on my Dad and also do a white glove test - my sister swears she's been cleaning weekly. Hmmm. I'll let you know if she's telling the truth. I look forward to Easter lunch at my brother's. Should be calm and a good visit.
Now Ray's invite to son Kevin's said, "What says Easter more than an egg hunt, 4-wheelers and a shoot-out (clay)?
I'd be a tad nervous on the egg hunt - I bet snakes are waking up from hibernation and on the move.
Best that I head to Philly and Ray head to the country. All parties are happy.
I wish everyone an enjoyable Easter weekend. Reflect on spring - a time of renewal.
I was the only adult in the theater for Zootopia
without a kid in tow, and I think I laughed the loudest. This is a clever
animated film with plenty of plot, fully developed characters, and a message
too. Like the concept of utopia, the Zootopia metropolis attempts to have every
animal get along.
In regards to Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin with
enthusiasm) she achieves her goal as first bunny on the police force. But alas,
she’s shoved into a meter maid role by the chief. However, she’s determined to
be the best at writing tickets and enforcing the law. She meets Nick Wilde (sly
snarky Jason Bateman) a conniving fox who seems to work hardest at beating the
system. Nonetheless, the pair are drawn into a mystery.
Why are some animals reported missing? Why are some
predators going “berserk” after so many years of “no attacks”? Judy and
Nick slowly work together, despite his reluctance, and uncover corruption in
Zootopia. Per stereotype, a bunny and fox should not be a team, but in Zootopia
diversity is applauded and the message in this story shows we should all get
past assumptions. It’s a good message in this day and age and the film is
very clever at pointing fingers and making fun too. The scene with the sloths
at the DMV is hysterical.
Zootopia is high energy and a blast. It’s fast
paced and brims with activity – lots of animals to enjoy and characters to
remember. Stay to the end and dance through the credits with the star gazelle
(Shakira). Maybe someday we can achieve a zootopia utopia. Enjoy!
After Super Super Super Tuesday (I've lost track), the sun is still coming up, albeit slowly. Yawn - time change is silly in the morning, but really nice at night with extra time (to rake leaves and do other yard chores - rah)
Ray chose these cacti for a splash of backyard color. We shall see if they can survive. We just had a week of rain - oops.
Happy Wednesday. Happy March Madness. Happy St. Patrick's Day tomorrow.
Meghan Daum faces life and Unspeakable subjects
head on in this excellent book of ten very personal essays. She discusses her
mother’s death, her lack of interest in having (i.e. creating) children (and
subsequent exploration of advocate for foster children), her view of life
pleasures as chores, and that life’s “ultimate lesson may be that we learn
nothing”. From the cover blurb – Daum pushes back against the false
sentimentality and shrink-wrapped platitudes that surround so much of
contemporary American experience and considers the unspeakable thoughts that
many of us harbor.
She is funny, bold, and brave in her declarations. I found
myself nodding my head in agreement to so many of her observations.
p. 75 On the subject of growing up, or feeling that you
have succeeded in doing so, I’m pretty sure the consensus is that it’s an
p. 79 the vagaries of the digital revolution mean that I
have more in common with people twenty years my senior than I do with people
seven years my junior. i.e. reading actual books and not necessarily wanting
to watch a movie on a three and a half inch screen.
p.88 I guess that is why wisdom is supposed to be
the consolation prize of aging. It’s supposed to give us better things to do
than stand around and watch in disbelief as the past casts long shadows over
p.192 Just about everything I started off doing badly
I’ve remained bad at because I never really bothered to work hard at it
p. 197 Past a certain age, it becomes tiresome to blame
one’s deficits on one’s parents
Trust me, Unspeakable strikes a lot of nerves.
Meghan Daum is a smooth writer, with well thought out chapters. I wondered if
she somehow has seen me in life. I also wondered if she would be my friend.
This is an interesting and humorous read – a touch of sociology, psychology,
Here's my father with his older sister - this is a few years ago, but pretty representative. She always looks like a million bucks
Ninety Balloons and Good Wishes
seems like we just had a celebration
candles on cake galore
sing out Janice praises
for many wonderful years more
George couldn’t show up (in the air)
(not your brother, he doesn’t miss a meal)
Clooney’s wife said “no way, I can’t compete”
“your heart, the birthday gal would steal”
sunny smile, witty talk
oh you make our day
popular for a reason
we are happy to say hooray
good health and joy
we wish for you all year
big hugs and much love
at ninety, grin from ear to ear
this is a special salute to my Aunt Janice (my father's sister) who's celebrating her 90th birthday on Sunday March 13th.
(and yes, she likes George Clooney). But the true love of her life, my Uncle Bill, passed several years ago. She was a math teacher for a zillion years, and helped me with geometry homework way back in the day. I can't enthuse enough over her. Just a grand person with a twinkle in the eye and a smile for all. She's darn perky with a social schedule that puts us all to shame.
Library of Souls is the thrilling conclusion
to the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children trilogy. Ransom Riggs is a
creative writer with an innovative approach to storytelling. His mixture of
misfit photos and unusual worlds offers a unique tale about a boy with
extraordinary powers, and army of deadly monsters, and an epic battle for the
future of peculiardom. (from cover blurb)
Sixteen year old Jacob has an uncanny ability to lead
peculiar companions and control evil creatures as he tries to rescue Miss
Peregrine and other captured children from a fortress. Time travel between
modern London back into Victorian days and into the wretched Devil’s Acre
offers a jolly good pager turner. His girlfriend, Emma, with fire at her
fingertips, and Addison, a talking dog, offer valuable help on this treacherous
journey. It’s difficult to figure out who’s evil and how the players fit into
the puzzle. Thus Jacob and friends must trust each other and use their
instincts to survive.
Library of Souls is an outstanding book and
truly a worthy end to the trilogy. It captivated my imagination and interest,
and can be enjoyed by both YA or adult audiences. Plunge into a peculiar world.
It’s worth the read.
Last Sunday, Ray and I zoomed over to Fort Worth to the Amon Carter Art Museum. A current special exhibit is American Epic:Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood
Missouri native, Benton (1889 - 1975) is famous for his large murals, his flair for drama, and big screen imagery. His thinking "If epic themes such as cultural identity, westward expansion, race relations, and the American dream could play out on the silver screen, why not on canvas." (brochure blurb).
Time spent in Hollywood behind the scenes allowed Benton to capture the cameramen, set designers, etc. His work is shown alongside various movie clips. Over 100 works - painting, drawings, and illustrated books - demonstrate the verve and energy Thomas Hart Benton brought to American art.
The Lost Landscape: A Writer’s Coming of Age
by Joyce Carol Oates is whipped cream topping on top of a stellar writing
career. This woman is a prolific genius – her writing is sublime. There’s no
other term for it. This memoir of her childhood and adolescence “evokes the
romance of childhood and the way it colors everything after.” (cover blurb).
This is an “arresting account of the ways in which Oates’s life (and her
life as a writer) was shaped by early childhood and influenced by her
hardscrabble rural upbringing.”
She’s candid and reflective. She looked at life as a series
of endless adventures and was perceptive in meeting people and interpreting
life scenes. “With searing detail and an acutely perceptive eye, Oates renders
her memories and emotions with exquisite precision to truly transport the
reader to a bygone place and time, to the lost landscape of the writer’s past
but also to the lost landscapes of our own earliest, and most essential lives.
“ (cover blurb)
I dog eared page after page. She touched me in so many
ways from her life as a student and later as a newlywed, happy in Detroit. Her
joy with life, her humbleness, and her open heart shines through each page.
This book is an important work, in bring to life one of America’s premier
writers and her impression of growing up in America - her view of the “dream”
and achievement. And the woman is still writing and adding to the lexicon of
Joanne Faries, originally from the Philadelphia area, lives in Texas with her husband Ray. She considers herself fortunate to be able to pursue a writing career after eons in the business world. Joanne enjoys reading and movies, and is the film critic for the Little Paper of San Saba.