Friday, January 15, 2021

Finally Friday - Words Matter

 Careful the things you say

Children will listen
Careful the things you do
Children will see and learn
Guide them along the way, children will listen
Children will look to you for which way to turn
To learn what to be
Careful before you say "Listen to me"
Children will listen

These are powerful lyrics from the show "Into the Woods"


Sadly, this meme sums up the horror of the storming of our U.S. Capitol, a stately building I've visited. It's for the people, filled with history, and worthy of respect. 

I think as we watch the ending of the current dumpster fire in Washington DC, I reflect once again on how much words matter -  "children (our future) will listen"

what one says
where one says them
how one says them

it all matters,  especially for a person (or people ) in power

Spoken word, written word,  it matters  (hence, the need for editing or just shutting up)

Thank you for reading this. 

and finally, courtesy of Fort Worth Texas - better late than never - WEAR A MASK AND STAY SAFE

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Wednesday Whatever - Wonder


 And now a quick book review of a really nice YA book - Wonder by R. J. Palacio.  I saw the movie starring Julia Roberts as the mother and it was quite good and heartwarming.  The book is even better. 

Augie was born with a facial difference and a challenged life. The kid is smart with a good sense of humor. He's just scary to look at and that presents challenges as he enters 5th grade after being home schooled. He has to face real life, real kids, and the gauntlet of preconceptions, rudeness, and life itself. 

Who he thought were friends weren't always there to have his back. Meanwhile his sister Olivia is dealing with high school and her own issues. She's been accustomed  to always deferring to Augie's issues. He's the baby, the medical miracle, and even though her parents care, she's been shunted to the background. 

This book  brings to the forefront real life issues, dialogue, and a family with some extra stuff to deal with.  The author does this with a nice mix of humor and angst. We can empathize, sympathize, and root for Augie to make it to 5th grade graduation with grace and dignity.  

Wonder is a powerful tale and worthy of praise. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Monday Mix - The School of Essential Ingredients

 A friend, Linda H., lent this book to me with the caveat of "oh, it's good, but okay, but....".   

I found The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister to be very charming. I read it in a weekend. It's not incredibly difficult or even deeply profound, but it was very satisfying. And it was what I wanted at the time and that's awesome for a book - it served its purpose with dignity. 

Lillian's restaurant is a center. It's grounded and serves so many people.  Claire is a new mother. Tom has survived profound loss. Antonio is adapting to life in America. Carl and Helen, a long married couple, have their issues too.  Altogether, these students who gather on a Monday night learn a lot beyond cooking. 

cover blurb: The students have come to learn art behind Lillian's soulful dishes, but it soon becomes clear that each one each seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen. And, one by one, they are transformed by the aromas, flavors, and textures of what they create.

I really enjoyed this book and it made me want  to take a cooking class. I wanted to visit Lillian's restaurant and taste a dish with ingredients beyond my norm. It's always nice to read a "small" book with big dreams that mixes the right characters. 

Happy Monday. Let's have a good week. 

Friday, January 8, 2021

Flashback Friday Book Review - The Thorn Birds

 I do not tend to re-read books. When I do it's always a lovely experience and I'm glad I did it. Thus, after a conversation with a friend, Julie, during Covid Summer 2020, she volunteered to lend her re-read copy of The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough.

 I cracked it open over Christmas and was transported once again to Australia in 1915. Meggie Cleary, a stunningly beautiful four year old, enters my life, along with the whole Cleary clan. And of course, Father Ralph de Bricassart, a golden god on earth. His patron, Mary Carson - rich and cunning - the matron of Drogheda - the land, the home, the sheep - all a character itself. 

This sprawling novel covers 1915 to 1969 - love, death, fights, family quarrels, jealousy, rage, every emotion possible. The writing has you sweating in the Outback heat, fighting to survive in the dreadful runaway fires, and then drowning in the drenching rains. Australia is a land of extremes. The Cleary's are a clan of extremes. Together, The Thorn Birds is a winningly powerful heart wrenching soap opera of a book in a grand way. 

I loved it again, had forgotten so much, and was sad to read the last paragraph. This book gave me memories of my mother - she and I raced to read it on loan from the library. "Did you get to the part where....?"  "Oh my goodness, can you believe...?"  We both loved the book and then the mini-series starring Richard Chamberlain (be still my heart back in the day) and Rachel Ward. 

You can read a book with fresh eyes and enjoy a cherished friend. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Whatever Wednesday - some culture - Colorworks

New year, new attempt to break free from 2020 doldrums.  Sunday, while Ray yelled at Cowboy football on the television, I took a quick jaunt to the Arlington Museum of Art. It was two other lost souls and me wandering the galleries.  Here's one of the upper rooms. It's rather sad these days when life just isn't bustling. 
A bonus exhibit was from the Texas Photography Society - a juried collection of street view photography based on the premise of Vivian Maier's work. Some really nifty winning photos to peruse. 
I saw Ms. Maier's black and white photos a year or two ago. It was nice to contrast them with her color photography which proved a bit more playful. The photos featured were taken in the 1960s and 1970s. Her work had been discovered after she passed away - storage rooms filled with tons of prints and even undeveloped film. 

 Here's a view down from the upper gallery. The museum isn't fancy and I was there maybe forty-five minutes. I did feel refreshed - after all I had actually dressed up and left my house (yes, with mask on ). 

2021 - time to emerge a bit safely, support the arts, and escape reality for a brief moment. 

Enjoy and engage - that's a new mantra to employ. 

Monday, January 4, 2021

Monday Moments - Hello 2021 Clean Slate

Some filler as we begin 2021.   Another lovely snow pic from PA. 
A winter wonderland at peace.

Hope everyone had a good New Year's weekend - safe, no hugs, no parties

 And this is SO SO True in Texas.  You can sit on the patio without smelling like Off Bug Spray (as long as that darn brisk North Wind from Oklahoma isn't blowing across the border).   

You know what - 2021 looks the same to me. I always think it should be like awakening in OZ - a new technicolor life.  But back to work, still wearing masks, should start a diet. Hey, Ray's retired - that's new. 

                                        Some people to to priests

                                        Others to poetry

                                        I go to my friends

                                                  Virginia Woolf

Let's continue our writing fun, chats, and creativity - thank you blog land friends. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Whatever Wednesday - Ray Retires - Onward to 2021

Over 40 years in electronics - Ray Faries says goodbye to the drive  - approximately 728,000 miles driven, way too many hours in a car.  He says farewell to "punching the clock". 
As of 12/31/2020, Ray Faries says adios to selling fans and electronics.  What a career!  What a life - he's met a lot of great people and solved a lot of engineering problems. 
Now - he won't be sitting around. Heck no - he'll be solving home engineering problems (that I probably didn't know we had). He's got plenty of golf to play, plenty of miles to put on his RZR sweet ride, and lots of books to read.  Jigsaw puzzles await, and (hopefully ) new recipes to whip up in the kitchen.  "Dinner better be on the table when I get home from work," I say with a wink. 

Congrats Ray - love you and I know you are excited to explore new adventures. Enjoy this newfound freedom - you earned and deserve it. 

Happy New Year one and all. Stay safe and let's see what happens in 2021.  I'll be back on Monday , January 4th. Until then, cheers!