Friday, July 12, 2019

Philly Friday to Wednesday

 Tuesday was Birthday Party Project time - theme was Carnival. Fun time at the women's shelter, celebrating kids birthdays. There was face painting, balloon animals, and more.
 Speaking of birthdays - Monday July 15 will be my father's 88th birthday.  Here's the baby George
 And my dad with his father, Fred - two dapper dudes.
And here's dad three years ago.  I'm headed to Philly for a long weekend jaunt. I'll hang with my father, celebrate 88, and I'm sure we'll have some laughs. He's a tough old bird and still in his home.
Wish us luck and good cheer.

Fingers crossed my flights go as planned. Summer travel = ugh.

Take care all. Happy July and more posts late next week. I have book reviews out the wazoo.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Whatever Wednesday

 Congrats to US Women's Soccer for winning the 2019 World Cup.  Quite an achievement - 2 in a row. Outstanding!!!   And the Netherlands played well....they came in second.  England won 3rd over Sweden.  All super - equal pay for the ladies, equal pay!!!
 Arlington TX Museum of Art had an exhibit of Keith Haring - Against All Odds. Interesting work . This is a pic from the mezzanine. Interesting man and perspective. Popular in the 80s. Sadly died at age 31 from AIDS.  But his art lives on.
and a leftover from our July 4th long weekend.  Hey - a book flag!!!

Happy Wednesday.  I know I'm already for this week to be over. Had far more fun over the 4th!!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Book Review - Maid

Pacific Northwest. Stephanie Land is twenty-eight with big plans of university and a writing career. But an unplanned pregnancy derails the plans. Cover blurb: She turns to housekeeping to make ends meet, and with a tenacious grip on her dream to provide her daughter the very best life possible.

Maid is the real life story of an overworked and underpaid American. Food stamps, WIC, and other government programs help with housing and food. Aloof government employees call her lucky for receiving assistance while she doesn’t feel lucky at all. She wrote this book to remember the fight, to eventually cut through the deep-rooted stigmas of the working poor. (cover blurb)

Land writes with heart and bares her soul. She admits her mistakes. She takes blame for some choices made. But she doesn’t apologize for trying to keep a roof over her head and caring for her daughter. She gives up food for her. She writes about the struggle for medical care for a sick baby. Stephanie was a victim of abuse and had to seek safety in a shelter. She fought to earn money to get her own place – however spare. As a “ghost” she knows a lot about her client’s lives – the richness and sadness.

Maid is an eye-opener and a powerful true story. Consider it against the backdrop of America today and ponder life for so many who work long hours for so little. It is time to clean in the corners and make life sparkle a bit for those who are stuck – down on their knees trying to get up. Scrubbing and scrubbing to make ends meet. Lots to ponder with one woman’s truth.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Movie Review Madness - Toy Story 4

The Toy Story trilogy now has a bonus episode 4 and it's just fun to go to infinity and beyond with this crew.

Woody (Tom Hanks) is a solid old school toy. He cares about his owners - first Andy, now Bonnie and it's their well being that's his world. Fearing for Bonnie on her kindergarten preview, Woody rides in her backpack, guides her quietly, and is pleased when she creates Forky (Tony Hale).

Her favorite new toy, Forky is not convinced and seeks the trash bin whenever he can. The animation, voicing, etc is hilarious, and Woody works to keep everyone on suicide alert for their newest friend.

Summer road trip with Bonnie's family adds to the chaos. And who pops up but a long lost love - Bo-Peep (Annie Potts) who's escaped an antique store and is quite the modern woman. Toys need rescuing. Who knew Charlie McCarthy dolls could be so creepy and villainous?  And what will Woody give up for the sake of another toy?

Toy Story 4 is poignant, raucous, funny, and all about family - the need to be loved. The voice characterizations are great (listen for Key and Peele - oh the riffs!), and of course Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) is a solid helper for Woody.  Ray and I enjoyed this "kid movie" a lot. It's fizzy fluff for the summer movie season.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy July 4th

Happy 4th of July.  We'll be sizzling in Texas.
Stay safe and independent

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Book Review - Eleanor Oliphant

Eleanor Oliphant has her inappropriate social skills. She has a meal schedule, she phones her Mummy (that's trouble right there), she doesn't want friends or interaction. But she meets Raymond at work. He's a bumbling IT dude who doesn't care about her weirdness or issues.  He wants to chat, hang out, and fall in love.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman is quirky. It's the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and wit will make for an irresistible journey as she realizes the only way to survive is to open your heart.  (cover blurb)

This book is funny, sad, interesting, and amusing all at once.  You really root for and care about Eleanor and it's also easy to worry and fret that she'll be let down again.  Hang in there and enjoy the book and her journey.  You know what?  You'll be fine.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Book Review - Joy in the Morning

Wow - If you read a Tree Grows in Brooklyn, then you will enjoy Joy in the Morning.

Betty Smith wrote this timeless classic and it's an "unsentimental yet radiant and powerfully uplifting tale of young hearts and marriage."  (cover blurb)

It's 1927 Brooklyn.  Carl and Annie meet and marry. They are only eighteen - so young and naive. He's going to law school, she's making a home or trying to. And they are learning about each other and life itself.  Hardship and poverty can be conquered by perseverance, loyalty, and love. It would have been easy to quit. It's much harder to hang tough. This book is rather corny in style, but you have to consider the time for its creation - 1950s values.

Nonetheless, it imparts valuable lessons and solid characters who can survive no matter the time period.  It's awesome to find an oldie but goody.

Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith survives the test of time.