Monday, February 27, 2017

Monday Moments - the Tomato

 Here's trouble with a capital T
Almost two and a terror in a good way.  Oh, she's busy and it took seven adults to keep track of her as we ate lunch on our patio last Saturday.

Here's the moment.
 I had a veggie snack tray.  She's an eater and her little fingers grabbed a carrot. Munch. Munch.  A broccoli sprig. Yum.

Then she grabbed a ..............cherry tomato......  Her mother said, "that's not what you think it is."
She plopped it in her mouth, bit down, made a sour face, and immediately spit it out.

She was hoping for a grape.  Oops........

It was quite humorous. And that's our Monday moment.  What did you observe over your weekend or week?  Any surprises for you?

Friday, February 24, 2017

A Laugh on Friday

Kudos to Pearls Before Swine and Stephan Pastis.  He always makes me laugh and especially with literary references.

Enjoy and Have a super Friday

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Almost Wordless Wednesday -Fort Worth Nature Refuge

 Never been here.  Amazing.....I thought I'd covered the DFW area. However, the Fort Worth Nature Preserve had escaped my attention. Shame on - what an experience.  So, Ray and I were celebrating Valentine's on Saturday due to fabulous weather
 Sunny and up to 90 degrees. We wore shorts. Put on sunscreen and carried some water.  With a map we finally figured out some trails and covered 2 miles - with what counted as 4 floors.  Yes, there was some terrain.  Very exciting in TX  - not all flat
  We never saw any prairie dogs.....Alas
 But I do think it was smart they put up a fence.  I saved the poor creatures from Ray!!!
Quite a vista..........we shall go back in the spring. I can't wait to see flowers and greenery in this very natural habitat.  Only $5 per person - a bargain!!!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Monday Moment - Pergola and Presidents

Happy President's Day!

Alas, I must work today. I wish I could be home under our new pergola - I would contemplate the shadows and my favorite presidents.

 The current one - not so much

Thanks to Ray for having the vision to enhance our patio experience. Take a moment, find a shadow, and watch it move.

"What day is it?" asked Winnie the Pooh
"It's today," squeaked Piglet
"My favorite day," said Pooh
  (Thanks, author A.A. Milne)

Friday, February 17, 2017

An American in Paris - a Musical

One of my New Year's resolutions was to do more stuff.......well, I am lucky some awesome shows are rolling through the DFW area.  An American in Paris is glorious - sumptuous, beautiful, rich, and sublime. The dancing and singing were on point. The sets were visually stunning.

It's Paris, right after WWII and three men vie for the attention of a beautiful dancer. There's a lot more to the story than that - residue of war and other issues rise to the surface. The plot has a strong structure, and the musical numbers keep the story line flowing.

Gershwin tunes galore - I Got Rhythm,  S'Wonderful,  But Not for Me,  I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise,  They Can't Take That Away From Me

Hum along and escape to Paris.  S'Wonderful, indeed....

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

In Support

Happy Valentine's Day

I am not a public school teacher, but my sister is one,  as are several friends of mine.

They work hard, have to put up with a lot of crap from kids, administrators, and parents.

Support public education, your schools, and kids. Support reading, libraries, the arts, sciences, any kind of learning. Encourage questions, take time to answer your children, and really listen.
Think about what you say, how you say it, and what it means for kids to hear it.

I always come back to Words Matter

Happy Valentine's Day to my sister Lori and her fellow teachers

Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday Moment - another senior story

This is more my father's moment, but I shall relay the senior story.  I was in PA and on a mission to go with Dad and visit some local homes as he contemplates assisted living or not. He's 85 and in a very challenging house with steps, a basement, etc. He's lived there close to sixty years.

The Artman Home is full with a waiting list, but we got the spiel and a tour. They showed us a one bedroom studio where the occupant was out of the room.

 "And here's the entry closet - quite spacious," the marketing woman opened the doors for us to see. Indeed, it was fine. We moved on.

Back in the car later, Dad said (and here's his moment), "It was all I could do to contain myself. I wanted to straighten that women's closet. Did you notice everything was askew?  Hangars going every which way. How could she live that way?"

I burst out laughing. My father is quite the clothes horse - his closets are filled to the brim but extremely orderly. All the same type of hangars, everything in one direction, color coordinated pieces flow. It's like a Brooks Brothers emporium.

 To see a closet in chaos gave him heartburn.

What's your heartburn moment?

 I'll confess - I can't stand a crumpled dish towel in the kitchen. I want it smoothed out on the counter.  Ray will drive me mad and deliberately scrunch it....I guess I'm not far removed from my father's compulsion.

Happy Monday - let's have an orderly week.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Book Review - But Mama Always Put Vodka in Her Sangria

Julia Reed is a hoot. Her book But Mama Always Put Vodka in Her Sangria is subtitled Adventures in Eating, Drinking, and Making Merry. She covers the gamut along with recipes and travel tales. And Reed’s indelible Mississippi Delta childhood provides a strong foundation for her sassy stories.  The title derives from a real life friend’s mother, and only serves to give a sampling of some culinary adventures. She will make you hunger for food from Madrid to Paris to Kabul (from back in the day as a reporter). Some of the highlights of the book come from her own Southern garden and its bounty.

Come along to some fabulous parties. From the back cover: Shindigs range from sultry summer suppers and raucous dinners at home to a Plymouth-like Thanksgiving feast, and an upscale St. Patrick’s Day celebration. This delightful collection of essays by Julia Reed, a master storyteller with an inimitable voice and a limitless capacity for fun, will show you how to entertain guests with style, have a good time yourself, and always have that perfect pitcher of sangria ready at a moment’s notice.

I loved this book and appreciated that it was given to me by a friend who was born in Mississippi and knew Julia Reed from school days. I can’t wait to get together with her and hear some more. Meanwhile, pour a tall glass of lemonade or sangria, plop yourself in a lounge chair, and prepare to laugh. But Mama Always Put Vodka in Her Sangria is lighthearted, witty, and sunshine on a cloudy day. This book made a flight of three hours zoom by in no time. Now that’s a fun read. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Movie Review Madness - Lion

Based on a true story, the movie Lion is up for an Academy Award for Best Picture, and also for Dev Patel as Lead Actor. This is a very worthy film – heartrending and uplifting too.  We first meet Saroo at age five (played so well by Sunny Pawar. His liquid brown eyes will melt your soul), and his big brother Guduu (Abhishek Bharate) is also so good. They are in a small town in India. Poor – they struggle to help their mother by stealing coal off the trains. With a small knapsack worth, they earn milk. Their mother works by moving rocks. The poverty is tough, but the family love is strong.

Guduu seeks night work and Saroo tags along, but falls asleep. Guduu leaves him on a bench, admonishing him to not leave. Well, the boy awakes confused, wanders on to a freight train, sleeps, and awakens as the train travels far – all the way to Calcutta. He’s lost, doesn’t speak Bengali, and after a few years of wandering, then being caught in an orphanage, he’s finally adopted by a couple in Australia (played by Nicole Kidman (also Oscar nominated), and David Wenham).

Flash forward and we meet a grown Saroo (Dev Patel). He’s well- adjusted and off to Melbourne to begin college. There he begins to re-think and remember more of his childhood and wants to find his real mother, brother, and sister. He loves his adoptive parents and doesn’t want to hurt them. But, this is his destiny and history and obsession.  I won’t tell more. I just promise you it’s excellent.

The film is lovely, well-acted, and will touch you on many levels. I highly recommend this film.  Lion builds through character, flashback, and a yearning until it roars.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Monday Moment

Two Sundays ago I was in PA and I got to join my friends for brunch and book club.
From left to right - Trish, Me, Mary Ellen, Lisa, Terri, Joan, and Helen. What a crew

This is a moment and the whole afternoon was filled with moments - laughter, chatter, concern, and our lives.

I've known Joan and Helen since junior high, Terri and Trish since high school, and Mary Ellen and Lisa since college.  No matter what, when I come back to PA we just start the conversation where we left off.  So much history...

I am beyond fortunate to know these wonderful women.

I hope you have have friends with those kinds of moments.  That is priceless and golden

Have a good week!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Curious Incident - A Play

Back on January 15th, I was fortunate to see this play at the Winspear in Dallas. It's the touring production of Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.  If it comes to your town and you want to see something different and challenging I recommend it. I think I liked it a bit better than my friend, Linda, but we agreed it was quite impressive.

I read the book a long time ago, and remembering bits I wondered how they could bring this to the stage.  Well, it's quite innovative.  Christopher is a high functioning autistic young man. The story opens with him at the side of a neighbor's dog that's been killed. He's quite upset and vows to find the murderer. Neighbors and his folks tell him to leave it to the cops. But he's quite obsessive and works his way through the mystery and also some life challenges.

He has trouble communicating with people. The stage was quite spare. When he was upset there would be flashing lights and visual numbers scrolling on the back of the stage screen. Christopher is excellent at math and that's where his brain goes.

Each layer of the story brings him more info about his life with his father, why his mother left him, and other neighborhood secrets.  The play is a teensy bit long but the acting was phenomenal. It's been quite a while since I've seen a drama live.  And I vow to try to see more.

Fun Sunday matinee show.  It's good to get out and support your live theaters. Treat yourself - you'll be surprised with the talent.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Blue Skies and Roller blades and a senior

 I was up on PA for a week to hang with my Dad.  The goal was to visit some assisted living places, to maybe clean out a few things, and just generally bond.  It was decent typical weather for January. A stormy Monday led to a blue sky Tuesday and I took a walk around the block.
 Big trees
Here's the home I grew up in.  That big oak sheds limbs like crazy. Talk about a thunk on the roof. Yikes. I did spend an hour or so picking up sticks - mission accomplished.

So, here's a senior story. We are cleaning out the computer room closet. We gather a ton of ancient paper for shredding and he agrees. Then I haul out his roller blades that he bought twenty five years ago after my mother passed.  He had fond memories of ice skating as a boy and thought roller blading could be fun. He took a lesson or two, had all the pads, and a helmet. This phase did not last long, but what the heck.

"Dad, are you going to be using these any time soon?"  I ask the man (age 85) who now uses a walker to shuffle along, all hunched over.

"Well...I did pay over a hundred dollars for them," he says.

"Lori can find a good home for them, " I respond (and by home I mean Goodwill).

"Can she sell them?" he asks.

I mumble as I haul them out of the closet and run them down the steps to my Lori take away pile.

We had many of these moments. If we didn't whisk stuff away fast enough, it was back in his clutches.

More tales to come........I've got a doozy of a clothes story for you.

He's a pip!