Thursday, April 30, 2020

Z is for Zero Day by David Baldacci

I have not formally participated in the April A to Z Blogging, but coincidentally I read Zero Day by David Baldacci and decided to make it a Z post. What the heck - congrats to all who completed a full month. I salute you.

Mr. Baldacci knows how to write a thriller and Zero Day does not disappoint. Plenty of twists and turns in the wilds of coal mining country, West Virginia.  John Puller, a combat vet and military investigator in the US Army Criminal Investigation Division is called out to a case in WV. A family has been slaughtered, the father was military. Then deaths across the street occur. Hmmm. And he's the only one on this case.

Drugs, conspiracy, an abandoned nuclear test facility - oh, there's way more to this story than Puller can initially fathom. But he's the man for this task. You'll keep the pages turning, and you'll keep guessing until the crazy crackerjack finale.

Z for Zero Day and zounds!!!  Thrilling until the end.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Wednesday Moment

Holy cow - a friend dug out some oldie pics. Here's my gang at the Jersey Shore right after graduation.  L-R  Me, Terri, Trish, Helen, Joan

Young, thin, and so freakin' naive. We had no clue, but we laughed and we still are. Sadly, Terri passed away this year.  But the rest of us are now chatting via Facetime. We always pick up where we left off. We do book club. We laugh, and we express our current fears, hopes, and give virtual hugs.

I am very fortunate to have this group of ladies as my friends. They are my roots. They are my soul.  They count for far more than a Wednesday Moment. 

Monday, April 27, 2020

Book Review - Daisy Jones & The Six

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid is a really fun read. She presents it as if she really interviewed a band and got the back story many years after their super sharp rise and then shocking breakup. It reminded me a lot of the Fleetwood Mac sort of tale back when VH1 did Behind the Music.  (and yes, I'm showing my age. However, I loved any Behind the Music programming).

This is fiction. Daisy Jones is a gorgeous young lady in the late sixties with the rock star look, a whisky voice, and song writing skills.  Meanwhile, The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne, is getting noticed. 

back blurb:  Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes the the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will be the stuff of legend. 

Yes, this could have gone cheesy, but it does not. The different voices and perspectives of the band members is interesting. The author truly captures the seventies and the time of super groups.  She highlights the struggle of drugs and drinking (Daisy) with gone sober (Billy). She captures the strife of life on the road with a family (Billy), and the wildness of the others - some sleeping with band members, etc.

p. 80  ( Producer) Teddy said, "Daisy, someone who insists on the perfect conditions to make art isn't an artist. They're an asshole. "

Get your rock on and enjoy Daisy Jones & The Six.  I sure did.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Arbor Day

Earth Day was Wednesday. Arbor Day is Friday. These are assorted pictures through the years of various greenery in different seasons. Some in Texas, some in PA.

The majesty, the colors speak for themselves.

We must work to preserve and enjoy nature's bounty.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

An S Book Review - Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson

page 1  This is the story of a girl who lost her voice and wrote herself a new one

Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson blew me away. This is a memoir in poetry of a sexual assault survivor. The style, the words, the power of the words fills this book with a story of pain,  strength, perseverance,  loathing, determination. When I finished reading it, I sat stunned and in awe at this author's mad skills.

p. 3   this book is yesterday's mud
         dried on the dance floor
         the step patterns
         cautiously submitted
         for your curious investigation
         of what I feel like
         on the inside
See what I mean, yes it's poetry (and folks tend to shy away from it. I know I have in the past).
But it draws you in as our heroine withdraws and then opens up, digs deeper, and lets you into her soul.

By the end, you will want to Shout the praises of Laurie Halse Anderson

Monday, April 20, 2020

Monday Moments - Stir Crazy

 Happy Monday. So what's new in your world?  Well, we're a tad stir crazy. At least during the week, I do get to go to work. That helps. When home, we do plenty of yard work. I mowed on Friday. Saturday we trimmed bushes and blew out leaves from the beds.  Five huge bags and three hours later, we were done. The place looks great. Unfortunately, Ray's on a second week  of allergies and sounds like he has whooping cough...or some other scary disease. No fevers. This is his usual spring allergy spell.
 This weekend should have been the Fort Worth Main Street Arts Festival. Always awesome but now scheduled for September. Meanwhile, they had a virtual on line fest and you could peruse performers and artists. I chose to support an emerging artist and got this piece called "Whole" by Jenifer Livesey.      We wore masks during the pickup. She set down the bag - 6 feet away. Stepped back. I retrieved. Muffled thank yous and enjoy. Art in the 2020 era.

 and finally - good thing I got Ray some jigsaw puzzles for Christmas. They've come in very handy.
This one is mystery book covers.  He's making quick progress (while coughing)

Hope your Monday moments are good ones, that you are feeling well, and not too stir crazy.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Book Review - Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

Actor, screenwriter, director, Covid-19 survivor Tom Hanks - now author of Uncommon Type.
What can't this man do?

Well, he does write some truly pleasant stories, as one would suspect.

cover blurb :  A hectic, funny sexual affair between two best friends. A WWII veteran dealing with his emotional and physical scars. A second-rate actor plunged into sudden stardom and a whirlwind press junket. A small town newspaper columnist with old fashioned views of the modern world. A woman adjusting to life in a new neighborhood after her divorce. A teenage surfer stumbling into his father's secret life.

Uncommon Type presents life with humor, affection, and a general knowledge of people's quirks. There is a link - a typewriter - in every tale. This book of stories is a delight, and Tom Hanks can add author to his resume. What can't he do?

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

M= Maybe

Maybe I'll see a Mountain Again


I'll lounge on my couch
contemplate travels I miss
museums to explore
movies to watch, laugh, and cry


miles to walk
motions in yoga to stretch


mop the floor
move some furniture around
massage words into a poem


by Joanne Faries

Monday, April 13, 2020

K = Kindness

These are oldie pics from a few years ago.  I miss the arboretum this time of year.  I'm sure the flowers are blooming like crazy, but they have no visitors to enjoy them.

I'm not doing A to Z, but I did not prep a Monday post, and  so I'll just throw in a K for Kindness.

Shall we make a new rule of life from tonight: always try to be a little kinder than necessary?
J. M. Barrie

Friday, April 10, 2020

Easter Weekend - lonely egg hunt and more

Easter weekend 2020 version shall lack pretty little girls in Easter finery. Our house (an hour away from Kevin's ) will not host an egg hunt - unless I cajole Ray into one. Somehow, that could be quite pitiful.

Doubt there's a basket full of treats (though I admit I've had jelly beans and chocolates through this whole Covid situation, and I am convinced they are a barrier to the virus).

If Ray finds and buys a small ham on Friday, we shall probably slice it and share with his folks.
A teensy celebration.

An Easter in April just means spring to me. A season of hope, flowers, fresh green grass, some allergy sneezing and coughing, and I'll repeat the word hope.

Easter 2020 - make the best of it, stay healthy, take a deep breath, and let's look to the near future with hope.  All the best, my friends.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Happy Quarantine Birthday, Brother

Happy Birthday to my baby brother, David.  I was five when he was born. This only child, accustomed to being the center of attention and the star of the world, now had to share. And that's okay. David was always a good brother - funny, goofy, with a hearty laugh.  He's loyal, kind, and he picked a darn good wife - Cherie is a gem that improves our family ten fold.

He's got two kids - grown up now - Lisa and Jeffrey.

David checks in daily with our father and for that I'm eternally grateful. He does SO much and works hard.

so - Happy Birthday, David. It's a wacky weird year, but no doubt you'll celebrate with a beer at some point.   Cheers kid-o!

Monday, April 6, 2020

Monday Moment - E is for Elephant and more

So, I promised Ray an adventure on Saturday. Yes, we are housebound in TX.  However, there is virtual excitement.  Check out the Ape Cam at the San Diego Zoo.

We killed thirty minutes or so clicking between cameras.  No lions or tigers in view - my pic above is from the Fort Worth Zoo a few years ago.  The elephant cam (yes - it's E day in A to Z blogging) yielded some elephants on the move. That was fun.  But the best is always the Ape Cam and Orangutans did not disappoint. Fun to watch them swing in their play area. They munched on bananas, messed with each other, and sat and pondered the world.

And just think - they are accustomed to watching people as much as we are used  to watching them. Think of the amount of tourists who flow through their area - talking, pointing, smiling, waving, etc.

These are smart creatures - do they miss us as much as we miss them?

I fancy that they are a tad lonely - no interaction.  No tourists to turn their backs to, or to perform - do outrageous acrobatics.  I should think some scientist is doing a study right now - how does Covid-19 affect our animal friends at the zoo.

Something to think about as you wander from room to room in your home, eating from a bag of cheetos, or a healthy banana.

Happy Quarantine Monday, my friends.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Finally Friday

an unedited off the cuff poem.  The pictures do the main job for this Finally Friday job

Sunrise by Joanne Faries

slap alarm clock and sigh
essential work day ahead under new norm
slurp milk and sugar coated cereal - healthy grains? nah.
sugar up for the day
sandwich meat slid between Miracle Whipped bread slices
zip lunch bag and kiss Ray goodbye

slip out of the garage quietly
car beams light the way
neighborhood sleeps

turn the corner
brain explodes
eyes widen

stop to take a picture
no one around to honk or complain
feast on the sky
explosion of pinks, oranges, purples
cloud layer ripples enhance the hues

seek your own meaning

smile. another day is born

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Wednesday Wisdom

 Yep - nuff said there.  Yes, it's okay to fund the arts. Duh.
 and I always say, "Look up."
In our little quarantine time, spend a moment. Sit on your front porch (like I did Sunday), and look up.

Trees - worth contemplating. Time well spent.

This is no April Fool's joke. Savor the moment.

Happy Wednesday - hump day - carry on......