Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas Week 2017

Some whimsy and calm before the storm. All the packages are wrapped with care awaiting squeals of little girls - Makyla is 9, Skylar is 2, Dakota is 7 months, and Abby (no doubt playing it cool) is 13.
Plenty of fun under the tree for all.  We are very fortunate to be able to overindulge at Christmas time.

Family events begin on Saturday 12/23 and carry on through the weekend.

Then back to work for me on Tuesday and a blog break until after the New Year strikes.

I wish everyone all the best for the season. Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward ...All!

More reviews, blather, and pics in 2018. I look forward to catching up with everyone then.

Meanwhile - Merry Christmas.  Good health and good cheer.  Happy New Year, too!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Fabulous Friday - Snow

 I landed in PA on Saturday 12/9 and teensy flakes were falling. By Saturday afternoon, it was all so pretty!
 Saturday evening I looked out my Dad's kitchen window and saw a deer in the neighbor's yard.  Wow

 Sunday morning the sun shone bright and the snow glistened
So pretty.  The best part was the roads were fine and I could catch up with friends for brunch.

Now, that's a good snow - light and fluffy and melty! Plus Christmas lights looked very pretty at night - reflecting off the gleaming white.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Wacky Wednesday

 Sunday December 3rd our little writing/reading group gathered to celebrate Christmas, writing, and friendship. We enjoyed a fabulous meal cooked by Becky Thorne. We shared Christmas stories - some of our own or pieces we enjoyed from other sources. I pulled out something my mother saved from Mrs. Baldwin's Second Grade Class. Yes, I was a writer even back then.

Then we began a Christmas swap with wrapped used books that we chose to bring from our own libraries. Quite a collection that we switched, swapped, and fought over.
 Interesting that Bonnie Pemberton brought a book called Pemberton. No relation, but she said it was quite good.  I believe Peggy ended up with that one.

We were missing a few people (Stacy, Ann, and Beth), but this wacky group included
Lauren, Peggy, Bonnie, Me, plus Deb and Becky.

Naughty or Nice, it was a Word Gathering Festivity.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Monday Moment

Here's our back yard decorations.  The pergola offers a whole new dynamic.

Thanks Ray for climbing up and down the ladder.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Book Review - Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng is HOT.  Oh yeah. From the opening line -  Everyone is Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down -  to the last page, you will be mesmerized by this story. The characters are vivid. The writing is brilliant. And  this book “explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.” (cover blurb)

Shaker Heights is a community that conforms. And the Richardson family is key – Tripp (football star), Lexie (smart and popular), Moody (name fits), and Izzy (non-conformist). The kids chafe at the bit to be unique but it’s not in their DNA.  Enter – Mia Warren and her daughter Pearl. Enigmatic artist and a young scholar. They rent the Richardson’s second house and become a part of the “family”.  And yet, there’s conflict. Mia does her art, but also cooks and cleans. She also encourages a fellow immigrant woman to challenge for custody of her child from a Richardson best friend. The whole area is in an uproar. Meanwhile, Pearl is best friends with Moody, but ends up dating Tripp……how’s that brotherly love going to  end? Lexie dates another guy, ends up pregnant, and uses Pearl’s name when she visits a clinic. Issues? Heck yeah. And Izzy. Oh Izzy……she’s transfixed and inspired by Mia’s photography and approach to the world.

No wonder there’s a conflagration on many levels.  Celeste Ng has written an incredibly smart book. She knows people and delves deep into the psyche.  I really liked this book and shall not give any more spoilers.  The house burned down…………..and………….

Little Fires Everywhere will be on end of year lists for 2017. It’s hot. Check it out. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Almost Wordless Wednesday :Lori and Longwood Gardens

 Here is my baby sister, Lori, celebrating her birthday (11/25) at Longwood Gardens.
They are glorious. I've been there in the past - lovely light displays, the gardens themselves, and a wonderful fountain show.
 See what I mean?  Feeling the spirit?
The reds and yellows are apples!

Tis the season!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Book Review - Origin by Dan Brown

It’s tough to read a Dan Brown book featuring his Professor Robert Langdon, and not imagine actor Tom Hanks running around exotic locales figuring  out the mystery. The movie is already on the pages. Origin is no different.  Edmond Kirsch is a genius billionaire and futurist who is about to make a bold announcement that will stun scientists and the world. He was a student of Langdon, and claims his breakthrough will “answer a fundamental question of human existence”.

In a huge presentation, guests are immersed in a multi-media event. But chaos erupts, there’s a murder, and the “discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever.” (cover blurb). Robert Langdon must escape the Bilbao museum with Ambra Vidal, the museum director and fiancĂ©e to the prince of Spain, heir to the throne.  Ambra was a good friend to Edmond and now worried about a conspiracy. Key religious figures are disappearing, and perhaps the Cardinal is to blame. “Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon must evade a tormented enemy.” Modern art, symbols, and the usual mumbo-jumbo lead Robert Langdon to clues to uncover answers.

Origin by Dan Brown is an amusing read. It’s breezy and skimmable, a fluff thriller that throws in a lot of blather to make it sound edgy. And it should be another chance for Tom Hanks to run around exotic locales. Thank goodness, he has job security.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Movie Review - Lady Bird

Lady Bird is the first artsy movie in a while that’s been on my radar, lived up to expectations, and is worthy of Oscars. High praise. Saoirse Ronan is a formidable young actress and her portrayal of Christine “Lady Bird” is amazing. She’s  a senior who wants to leave…just leave Sacramento – ready to fly the nest – head to NYC or anywhere. So her math grades aren’t awesome and she has an attitude, but she’s very open to new experiences. Chomping at the bit. 

She’s a young lady with doting parents. The key is her mother played by Laurie Metcalf (also Oscar worthy). The mom is a nurse/counselor for a psychiatric hospital and works hard. She also puts up with and fights “Lady Bird” on many levels, but it is with care and concern. There are too many great moments to mention in this “little film”. It’s about life, day to day interactions. It’s about Lady Bird surviving Catholic school. She cares and yet bursts at the seams to not be Catholic. She’s excited about her first boyfriend (Lucas Hedges) and then is disappointed. This movie is about traversing that senior teen year when you just aren’t quite a grownup but think you are.  And meanwhile, your parent knows you aren’t a kid, but just can’t let go.

Lady Bird is a gem with so many good moments. It’s quiet even when it’s loud. It’s funny even when it’s poignant. I am gushing and could see this again in a heartbeat. Go flap your wings, remember your potential at eighteen, and see this film.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wordless Wednesday - almost

Thanksgiving Sunday - gorgeous day at Sundance Square in Fort Worth. I met a long time friend - Trish and her husband for brunch at Yolk.. Very tasty.

We do not have many pics of the two of us. So this a rare sighting together. Long time friends - we met poolside at Lincoln Green apartments - we were reading books! was fate!

Happy Wednesday many years later..........

Monday, December 4, 2017

Movie Review Madness - Coco

Coco is Pixar’s Hispanic reworking of the Wizard of Oz. I have not read that anywhere, but that’s what struck me.  There’s no place like home or family is at the heart of the story. It is a lovely story and movie. The animation is gorgeous. The story is rich. The actors who voice the characters are excellent. I highly recommend this movie for ages 6 and up. Based on the audience I sat with, those kids sat still, stayed quiet, and enjoyed the flick. Any child younger – NO. Do not bring them. Get a babysitter – no, I do not care if you are trying for family bonding. That is rude for the rest of the audience.

So – Miguel wants to play music, but it is forbidden in his family. On the Day of the Dead celebration, the family salutes the ancestors but one man is cut out of all pictures. Miguel is sure it is Ernesto de la Cruz – the greatest musician ever. So he steals Ernesto’s guitar from the mausoleum and is suddenly sent to the afterworld in a transitory state.  He must get approval from an ancestor to return and be able to pursue music.  But alas there are complications. Miguel gets help from Hector who worked with Ernesto. But there’s far more to that story……spoiler alert that I will NOT divulge.

Let’s just say it’s a race against time for great –great grandmother Coco to not forget her true love. This is the key to Miguel’s future.  There’s murder, there’s death, there’s humor, and there is the theme of life and family. All truly heartwarming and of course, it ends well.  Root for Miguel. Enjoy the brilliant palette of animation.  I really loved this movie and highly recommend it.

The Day of the Dead has a whole new meaning for me……

Friday, December 1, 2017

Book Review - The Burning Girl

Claire Messud has another compelling read – The Burning Girl.  I really liked The Woman Upstairs, so when I saw she had a new book I got on the library waitlist. It was worthy being in a queue.

This is a coming of age book. Julia and Cassie have been friends forever, but the dynamics change in adolescence – friendship, goals, and actions. From the cover blurb – The Burning Girl is a complex examination of the stories we tell ourselves about youth and friendship, and straddles, expertly, childhood’s imaginary worlds and painful adult reality – crafting a true, immediate portrait of female adolescence.

The author captures the ups and downs of girls, the struggles and competition when boys enter the picture, and the issue of family. Julia’s family is solid and caring. Cassie’s changes with a new stepfather. I enjoyed this story and felt the pain and heartache of lost and found friendship, deep history and concern even when paths diverge. Claire Messud’s writing is very smooth and her characters and story flow will keep you interested. Thumbs up on The Burning Girl. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Monday, November 27, 2017

Movie Review Madness - Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express is a lush remake of an Agatha Christie tale. If you’ve never read her work, I suggest you march to the library and check out one of her books. She was a prolific talented writer with some very defined characters, good plot twists, and that old English humor twinkle in the eye.  So, for this film, there’s a large gathering of seemingly random characters all with a backstory, a reason to be guilty, and a dead body on a train. Whodunit?

I can’t write any more about the plot. You need to go see this movie and watch the twists and turns evolve. Kenneth Brannaugh directed and stars as Hercules Poirot – the most brilliant detective in the world. He’s an extremely fussy, fanatic man with an eye for detail and a mustache that deserves its own Oscar.  Everyone else has their quirks and suspicions. Dame Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Penelope Cruz, and more are along for this ride. The scenery is spectacular, the filming works well – at times you feel the confinement and rocking of the train.

Murder on the Orient Express harks back to an old timey flick in a good way. Punch your ticket and go All Aboard for an entertaining two hours. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Hollywood Hits

Sunday November 5th, I sat in plush seats at Bass Hall and enjoyed another Fort Worth Symphony program. I settled in when the opening John Williams notes soared - Theme from Raiders of the Lost Arc

The Hollywood Hits kept coming including a whole James Bond theme section. Very cool to hear Live and Let Die, Goldfinger, etc.

A vocalist -Kelly Levesque - sang some lovely numbers too. The guest conductor, Brian Byrne, was an Irish fellow with a pleasant manner and a good sense of humor. He talked about some of the numbers, and conducted his own theme from Albert Hobbs, a movie that starred Glenn Close.

The finale included grand movie themes - Tara's Theme from Gone With the Wind, Lara's Theme from Dr. Zhivago, and of course we finished with Rocky's Theme. I left the symphony ready for victory, but I had already won - my heart was filled with music.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all

I wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Whether you travel afar or hang at your hearth, may your heart and stomach be full.

But if you are hungry, come by at 3 pm for desserts and Cowboy football. I bet it will be noisy at our house.

Enjoy and take care

Monday, November 20, 2017

Movie Review Madness - Thor - Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok is a Marvel romp. This movie has star power and humor. So many of these super hero flicks get so serious with world mayhem and destruction. Oh, Thor: Ragnarok has plenty of battles, but it also has a stunning Chris Hemsworth – his locks are shorn, but his snark factor grew. He has great comedic timing and it’s put to plenty of good use. The dialogue is whip smart whether he’s talking to Loki (I love Tom Hiddleston), or teasing the Hulk (a rueful Mark Ruffalo), or bantering with his evil sister Hela (a fabulous Cate Blanchett).

I won’t go into plot line. Needless to say there are plenty of Marvel character appearances, plenty of power grabs, and  Hela stirring up fiendish trouble. When she dons her crazy black reindeer antler crown, you need to brace yourself for some serious action. She’s crazy good. And then there’s Jeff Goldblum. He takes wacky to a whole other level and is perfect for this role.

This movie is huge tub of popcorn worthy. Stay through the two bonus scenes during the credits, and enjoy the glory of Thor-Ragnarok on the big screen.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Book Review - Autumn by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Karl Ove Knausgaard, Norwegian author of Autumn, writes to his unborn daughter and adds an essay a day on random subjects. This is a very unique personal meditation with acute observations. I enjoyed reading this work, and I would stop and look around my little world and contemplate descriptions of the mundane. Some of his musings cover – apples, wasps, teeth, twilight, chewing gum, and silence. This is the first of four volumes – Autumn, with future Winter, Spring, and Summer. I look forward to the rest of the seasons and his marvelous writing.

Cover blurb and opening:
I want to show you our world as it is now: the door, the floor, the water tap and the sink, the garden chair close to the wall beneath the kitchen window, the sun, the water, the trees. You will come to see it in your own way, you will experience things for yourself and live a life of your own, so of course it is primarily for my own sake that I am doing this; showing you the world, little one, makes my life worth living.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Maverick Speaker - Roland Fryer

Oh Ray wanted to leave for his deer lease after work on Thursday 11/2. But no, he had agreed a month or so before that he would attend a Maverick Speaker Series talk with me. (He's my night driver). Anyway, despite a reluctant start, we had a splendid evening. First, dinner at Italianni's - yummy manicotti for me and chicken parm for Ray.  Then we heard Roland Fryer talk about education, race, economics, reward systems, and more.

This Harvard Economist and Professor was excellent. He discussed being raised by his grandmother and her words of wisdom that kept him on the right path. He talked about mentors that boosted his esteem and let him know he was capable of hard work. He learned about preparation - study for tests, study for talks, do the advance work necessary to succeed. He talked about the need to give kids attention and expectations.

He is concerned about kids and education - said it is absolutely the key to all of our futures. His research and work has made some inroads, but there's way more to be done. Just throwing money at education is not the solution. Early reading programs, daily tutoring, and attainable goals are just the beginning. His hour long talk was an overview. He left me wanting to hear more.

And I agree - no excuses, just hard work is needed to fix education for all.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Book Review - The Hamilton Affair

I read The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs with the Broadway soundtrack of Hamilton playing in my head.  This was unfair to the author because I felt like I was getting a rerun of history and it was not to a rap beat. However, Cobbs obviously did plenty of research and she gives a faithful and decent rendering of life highlights in her historical novel on Alexander and Eliza Hamilton.

From the cover blurb – Set against the dramatic backdrop of the American Revolution and featuring a cast of iconic characters such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the Marquis de Lafayette, the book tells a sweeping, tumultuous true love story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, from tremulous beginning to bittersweet ending – a dueling ground along the Hudson.

From scrappy bastard in St.Croix to the writer of the Federalist Papers and creator of the U.S. Treasury, Alexander Hamilton had a way with big ideas and concepts. He could flourish his quill and also fight on the battlefield. His love of country, his fierce loyalty, and his long abiding faith in independence and democracy allowed him to soar as an American patriot. Oh, he was a man of many flaws (and an affair) too, but his wife, Eliza, remained steadfast and supportive. Aaron Burr shall live in infamy as the man who cut short Hamilton’s life in a famous duel.

The Hamilton Affair is a solid piece of historical fiction.  (The book is cheaper than a Broadway ticket, too) Brush up on your Hamilton lore, be inspired, and don’t waste your shot in life.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Future Friday

Yes,this is a picture of a snow globe, but use your imagination. Now do you see a crystal ball?

What's ahead for your future?  Can't see that far ahead?  How about what's happening this weekend?
Okay...still no ideas....then what's for lunch?

Ponder that and more as you read quotes I found on the future.  Food for thought (until you decide on that lunch)

The future is a convenient place for dreams - Anatole France

The future remains uncertain and so it should, for it is the canvas upon which we paint our desires - Frank Herbert

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past - Thomas Jefferson

Hit the future as hard as your money and brains will permit. Otherwise you will be out of date tomorrow - John Baptiste Yeon II

( I see pizza in my future)   Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Movie Review - Victoria and Abdul

Victoria and Abdul is a British costume drama directed by Stephen Frears. And who better to star as Queen Victoria than Dame Judi Dench?  She’s always so good and indeed commands the screen. We first see her going through lots of dinners and ceremonies for a jubilee celebration. Yawn. She’s bored, old, and tired. Then she perks up. A young humble man (he’s chosen because he is tall) from India (played by Ali Fazal) arrives to present her with a mohur – a ceremonial coin. He dares to look her in the eye and his energy and bearing give her a spark. She commands his presence and eventually gives him the title of Munshi – a teacher. She becomes more interested in India and is keen on learning some language, history, etc.

Slowly, Abdul seems to have too much power over her. Her staff and son (played by Eddie Izzard) conspire to find a fault in Abdul, to find a way to banish him from the court. However, the Queen is feisty and with a twinkle in her eye she does not buckle. She might be short and fat, but she stands tall. The movie is based on old journals found long after Abdul was back in India and died. It’s a unique snippet of history and the movie takes a lot of liberties with the story.

However, for entertainment value, I was amused. I enjoyed Judi Dench’s performance immensely, and Ali Fazal was a worthy foil. Victoria and Abdul is a pleasant way to pass some time and step into a royal setting.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Book Review - The Boy is Back

The Boy is Back is a silly romp by Meg Cabot. It’s  a no-brainer read and that’s a good thing in the fall. Sit on your patio with a pumpkin spice beverage and laugh as you read her compilation of texts, emails, and humorous dialogue between a family and friends in a small town. Reed Stewart escaped Bloomfield, Indiana by hitting the pro golf tour. He’s rich and famous, and now he’s back to help sort out his parent’s estate problems. His parents caused a small town scandal by not paying a local restaurant. Social media explodes and the Judge is under fire. As Reed and his siblings uncover his parents hoarder tendencies (gavels and cat statues), their lack of money despite country club pretenses, and  health issues, it’s time to call in a senior relocation specialist. 

Cue dramatic music.

The specialist is none other than Becky Flowers,  Reed’s former girlfriend who was ditched by him on prom night. Can you say awkward?  Or is it a chance to fall in love again?  I bet you can guess where the plot line heads and that’s okay. Meg Cabot has an ear for current lingo. She keeps the ball rolling with plenty of catch dialogue and laugh out loud moments. The Boy is Back with a vengeance. Very amusing read.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Movie Review - Battle of the Sexes

Battle of the Sexes is entertaining and brings back a slice of history. Emma Stone transforms into Billie Jean King, age 29 – the number one female tennis player in 1973. She’s fiercely competitive, conflicted in her life, and takes on the tennis establishment by breaking off into a splinter group.  Her Virginia Slims sponsored tour seeks better pay for women athletes. Billie Jean forged a path for women’s rights and is still respected today.  In the film, she faces Jack Kramer, the smug director of the USTA, and says, “It’s when we want a little bit of what you’ve got. That’s what you can’t stand.”

Steve Carell plays the bumbling Bobby Riggs, age 55, who’s a gambler, a hustler, and is still trying to live off the glory of his past tennis career. He’s got a wealthy wife, but is bored. He issues a challenge that a woman can’t beat a man at tennis. What starts as a joke turns into a full court battle/show. He mugs for the camera, poses with scantily clad women, and is confident he can win. Billie Jean trains and ultimately takes this very seriously. It’s a bold statement for her to win this tennis match.

The movie packs a lot into its two hours. You get background, you get sport, you get the bombast, and the buildup. In 1973 it was a major television event. Spoiler alert – Billie Jean won in three sets. She truly was a trailblazer for women. Emma Stone glows with the energy and vibrant spirit of Billie Jean. She’s not just a girl, she’s a woman taking on a man, tennis, and a bit of the world.  Battle of the Sexes is an energetic entertaining film. Game.. Set.. Match

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Book Review - Sing, Unburied, Sing

Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing is serious literary fiction. I can appreciate her writing, but I can’t say I liked the story. And maybe it was a bit deep for me. I did find myself skimming.  From the cover blurb -  an intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle. Sing, Unburied, Sing journeys through Mississippi’s past and present examining ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power – and limitations – of family bonds.

I liked JoJo, the thirteen year old boy who’s trying to be a man. His white father is being released from prison. His true role model is Pops, his black grandfather. His white grandparents choose to not acknowledge him. His mother, Leonie, is a druggie mess who loves JoJo and his baby sister, but is selfish and inconsistent in her parenting. Leonie’s dead brother appears to her in visions. JoJo also can see dead spirits and is guided by a young man who died in prison. (Here’s where it gets heavy with some history burdens of the Deep South weighing on his soul) All in all the book touches on fathers and sons, legacies, violence, and love (cover blurb)

There are some powerful moments, and perhaps as I write this review, I’m seeing the book in a more favorable light. It’s worthy of a deep book club discussion. This is not easy breezy reading for escape.  You’ve been warned. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

I've Got My Eyes on You

Happy Halloween spirit

I wish you plenty of treats this week and no tricks

Friday, October 27, 2017

Dream of Stars - Anousheh Ansari

Ray and I enjoyed another interesting speaker at UT Arlington. Their Maverick Speaker Series brings in vibrant folks who encourage us to dream and dare. Anousheh Ansari was the first female private space explorer. Also the first Iranian and Muslim in space. Her eight days aboard the International Space Station completed a dream she had as a little girl, and also pushed her to think further about science, technology, and the future.

Ansari is the co-founder, chairwoman, and CEO of Prodea Systems - a company constantly seeking innovations in global access to technology. Her talk was very interesting. As a young girl in Iran, she drew pictures of rocket ships and dreamed of space travel. Her parents were able to flee the worn torn country in upheaval and come to America. Here, she pursued a math career but always had her head in the stars. Obviously a smart entrepreneur, her hard work did pay off.

She was able to pay for a trip in a Soyuz. Her discussion of the training, the ride in the Vomit Comet test, learning beginning Russian, etc was humorous. The preparation was rigorous. The pictures aboard the ISS - weightlessness, doing experiments, and the views from space - were awe-inspiring.

Now back on earth, Anousheh Ansari works to promote STEM education, especially for girls. She hopes to inspire youth to dream big and not give up. Look to the stars and see a future.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Whatever Wednesday

Whatever on a Wednesday - hope everyone is having a good week.

Sometimes things just strike me as I'm reading. I'm a paper person and I rip out pages in the newspaper or magazine and put them in a pile to digest again.  Here are two little blips that struck me - enjoy

From Time Magazine 10/30 issue - in regards to a collision of two neutron stars 130 million years ago that just reached Earth signals recently, scientists learned a lot.  Here is one finding that amused me:

The universe is speeding.  We know the universe is expanding and a gravitational signal from a galaxy at a known distance made it possible for the first time to measure how fast: 43 miles per second per megaparsec.  Here's the line that cracked me up - That's astronomy talk for "really fast."


And here's another comment from the Time Magazine 10/30 issue from author Philip Pullman who wrote the Golden Compass and others in a series. In regards to what he wants folks to take away from his writing, " The meaning of the book is never just what the author thinks it is. It's a great mistake to rely on the author to tell you. We don't know. The meaning is only what emerges when the book and the reader meet."

Ponder that on a Wednesday and carry on.  Happy writing and reading.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Book Review - Today Will be Different by Maria Semple

Today Will be Different by Maria Semple is different.  I really liked an earlier work of hers, so I opened this one with a good attitude. Semple has an odd sense of humor (that I like) and her writing is smooth. However, I found the characters a bit annoying, and some of the quirkiness seemed forced. I did not stay engaged and reached a point where I did not really care what happened to Eleanor. I even sympathized with the husband and his need to explore other avenues. Plus her son acted as more of an adult than she did, and I found some of his comments to be stilted. So, I am returning this book to the library, glad that I did not pay for it. Seek out her book Where’d You Go Bernadette? Now that was a good read!

From the opening page:  Today will be different. Today I will be present…Today I will take pride in my appearance, I’ll shower, get dressed in proper clothes, and change into yoga clothes only for yoga, which today I will actually attend. Today I won’t swear….Today there will be an ease about me. Today I will radiate calm. Kindness and self-control will abound. Today I will buy local. Today I will be my best self, the person I’m capable of being. Today will be different.

Hmmm, let’s just say that goals are not met today. ‘Nuff said.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Friday Fun

 feeling frisky on a Friday with two new pics from the State Fair of Texas.  October is such a fun month.  The pumpkin carving demo was fabulous. Farmer Mike can wield a knife.
This tower ride looked fun and the sky was stupendously blue

Always look up.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wordless Wednesday - Pumpkin Mania Part 2

more pumpkin mania from this year's Dallas Arboretum Fall Spectacular.  Plus a whole lot of purple.  Too early for the mums to pop. I need to go back soon.

I pay a membership fee and I like to consider this "MY GARDEN".  They do such a good job here - my money is working hard.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Mouthful Monday

Feast your eyes on this new State Fair fried food winner. It's heaven.  Only 14 coupons ($7.00). Yowza.  But trust me, worth every penny. And when you convert your hard earned money into coupons, it's like monopoly money - practically free!

This is called Fat Smooth and OMG, hell yes.   Three cream puffs fried in Cafe Du Monde beignet batter, then doused in powdered sugar with a drizzle of caramel and chocolate sauce. 

It was tough, but I did share with Ray.

(we did walk over 10,000 steps that day. I feel good about it - absolutely)