Friday, April 30, 2021

Friday Frivolity

There's a weed amongst the lovely flowers at the arboretum. Who is that masked man?  Hey, Ray!
A new sculpture at a water feature - this was a nice find as we rounded a corner on our lovely Sunday stroll

 Last Sunday, the Dallas arboretum hosted Artscape, a juried collection of seventy artist booths. What joy, what fun. And yes, we needed this little stainless steel hummingbird with his glistening green tummy. 

He's now enjoying flight on our patio. 

Hope you've had a good week and are ready for more adventures this weekend. What's in store? I'm ready to discover and/or bask in blue sky joy. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Book Review - A Promised Land by Barack Obama

A Promised Land by Barack Obama is a weighty tome, and basically the first book of his memoirs.   Former President Obama confesses that he's wordy and can get bogged down with detail. However, I enjoyed this book and it made me think. He does go deep in descriptions, but it's still very readable, personable, and has a caring touch. I did feel like he put a lot of thought into his words. 

p.14 But the idea of America, the promise of America; this I clung to with a stubbornness that surprised even me. 

p. 223 What a gift my mother-in-law was. For us, she became a living breathing reminder of who we were and where we came from, a keeper of values we'd once thought ordinary but had learned were more rare than we ever imagined. 

Obama's descriptions of family - wife Michelle, daughters Malia and Sasha, Bo the family dog, and his late mother, late grandmother, etc.  are all a core of his life. No matter the crisis, he pretty much tried to have dinner with his wife and girls every night - spend a little time, hear about the girls' day, and then go back to the office for the late night reading, decision making, and  preparations for the hours, days, weeks to come. 

I learned a lot about decisions made that I glossed over at the time when glancing at headlines. The economy, more troops to send, the Middle East, Arab Spring, politics. and this book finishes with the killing of Osama Bin Laden (a lot of angst in the precision and timing).  

Throughout this book, he talks a lot about his cabinet, his staff, the hard working behind the scenes people that keep the White House running, and he's appreciative.  His humor shines through in his writing, often rather self-deprecating. And a running theme is the American people - how to help every day people from sea to shining sea - A Promised Land,  indeed. 


Monday, April 26, 2021

Monday Moment

 Officially Earth Day was last Thursday. Unofficially, Earth Day is every day. Enjoy the delights outdoors. 

Have a good week

Friday, April 23, 2021

Friday Fun Read - The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths

 Happy Friday! I've got a very fun quick read for you as you enter the weekend. The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths has jolly good twists and turns as crime novelists turn up dead. I can't write too much because I don't want to blow the thrill you'll have trying to solve this cozy whodunit. 

Peggy Smith, age 90, was a sharp lady known as the murder consultant. But her caretaker, Natalka, thinks something isn't quite right with her passing and convinces DSI Harbinder Kaur into further investigation. Sure enough, there are clues in Peggy's books, a gunman who appears in her apartment after her death, and from the Aberdeen literary festival to Edinburgh, writers are being targeted. 

cover blurb: DSI Kaur embarks on a memorable road trip across Europe to reckon with how exactly authors can think up such realistic crimes. 

Natalka, Benedict, and Edwin make strange partners - amateur sleuths - along for the ride.  

p.186 "The murderer is usually a member of the family," says Benedict. "In real life anyway, not in crime fiction."

So, who do you think did it - lots of folks to choose from, maybe even some shadowy Russian sounding fellows...?   Elly Griffiths kept me guessing and entertained.   Cheers!

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Wednesday - Say What?

Wednesday.  Assorted pics with no real rhyme or reason. 

Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty - Ben Franklin

Justice is indiscriminately due to all, without regard to numbers, wealth, or rank - John Jay 1794 Supreme Court chief justice
Of all the things of a man's soul which he has within him, justice is the greatest good and injustice the greatest evil - Plato,  The Republic 


Monday, April 19, 2021

Monday Moments - Virtual Author Talk - Texas Bound

 Friday night I enjoyed a virtual author talk sponsored by the Dallas Museum of Art.  It was Texas Bound - stories by Texas authors and read by Texans.  I enjoyed the 1-1/2 hours but, I have to say, the live version was always more fun.  Virtual is handy. But live - you get the reactions of the audience - the chuckles, the inhale of breath, etc. You don't realize how much you might miss in a story without a crowd. 

I shall be ready for live shows when they do happen again. Meanwhile, this was an excellent program. 

Hosted by Tina Parker - Kitchen Dog Theater.  She was really good and you'd recognize her from various TV shows including Better Call Saul.  Fun and effervescent. 

"Separation Notice" by Jenny Bhatt   Performed by  Maryam Obaidullah Baig

"Window Seat" by LaToya Watkins   Performed by Kenya Flippin   (really good)

"Uncle Rock" by Dagoberto Gilb   Performed by Chris Ramirez  ( a bit long)

"Women and Horses" by Elizabeth Wetmore  Performed by Marcia Gay Harden (dang....she's so good)

"Excerpt from Greenlights" by Matthew McConaughey  Performed by the man himself...he's awesome. I reviewed this book awhile ago - quite an excellent memoir. 

So - enjoy arts from your local museums, etc.  Seek out what's offered and with virtual you can watch when you want, with your own snacks. and adult beverage. 

Culture for the mind!

Friday, April 16, 2021

Friday Fright

 If you were a duck flying in to land, wouldn't you pause and register the threatening gator head?

Well, let me report that  - no - this does not appear to be scary.  The ducks are winning so far.

They land, they paddle, they poop, they quack, and they turn their heads and look at us like we are crazy. Ray and I clap, shout shoo, and they half-heartedly take wing - only to circle back in a bit and land again. 

One big mallard appears to really like our pool. He's returned steadily for a month now. Early morning float. Sunset cruise. You name the time - he's there. Once in a while he brings in a female.  The other day, Ray reported  a buddy came to hang out too.

We  googled and found out about the alligator head solution.  Did not spend a fortune and it amuses me to see it floating around. However, now we are a joke in duck world.  

Quack quack. What's up croc?   Enjoy your weekend.   

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Book Review Madness - A Map of Days

 Fourth novel, Map of Days by Ransom Riggs, continues the journey of Jacob and crew in the Miss Peregrine series.    I've reviewed Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Hollow City, and Library of Souls.  All good books and I thought it was just a trilogy. I moved on. 

Silly me - wait...there's more - three more books, as a matter of fact. 

Map of Days was really entertaining and a fast read. The intensity of the last book had me reeling. Now, after the big fight/monstrous threat that nearly destroyed the peculiar world, Jacob and peculiar friends looped to Florida. They are staying at the late grandfather Abe's home and trying to blend in. But after discovering a bunker and learning about Abe's double life, the stakes are higher than ever. They loop through time, meet some interesting American peculiars, and fight some nasty critters. It's like the Wild untamed West only with more unique powers. Plus there's Jacob and Emma's relationship and her past with Abe (yes it's strange and convoluted). Also, Jacob feels he must live up to his legacy.

back blurb  Spectacular new wonders, and terrors, await in this brilliant next chapter. 

Ransom Riggs has created an amazing YA world complete with wacky photos, memorable characters, and nail biting situations. Kudos on Map of Days. I'm ready to read on - what will happen next?

Monday, April 12, 2021

Monday Moment

Monday random moments  - reflect on the weekend

Weekend  -  take the time to do nothing, sit and contemplate nothing or everything. 

Tuesday - rise and do something

Wednesday - start aiming for the weekend....


Friday, April 9, 2021

Fun Fiesta Last Friday

Actually it was Easter weekend Saturday, Ray and I were in the Hill Country visiting his aunt. We did chores on Friday, then went to town on Saturday. After that we roamed the country roads and stopped at the Fiesta Winery. 
Darn, we missed the 5K run. Here's me pretending I finished the race.  We did have a cup of the white sangria - quite tasty as we listened to music and just enjoyed people watching outdoors. 
Lovely dahlias.
More pretty flowers in their patio area
And the vineyards. I'm sure it's going to be a rough season due to the February freeze. Things have looked a bit bleak in our travels. 

Feeling fine on a Friday - cheers to your weekend ahead. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Hum Along with Me on a Wednesday

Easter weekend in San Saba Texas (at Ray's Aunt Pat) means plenty of sitting on the front patio and watching the hummingbirds. There's a steady hum in the air and they dart every which way. I did take a video but do not appear to be clever enough to upload it. 

So, hum a happy tune on a Wednesday. Sip your version of sugar water - soda, sweet tea, or a milkshake. And zip about doing your chores. 

Hey - we are halfway through the first week of April. Not too shabby. 

Monday, April 5, 2021

Monday Moments - Are you Sick of Arboretum Flower Pics? Well, Tough!

 Yep - it's filler Monday Moments.  Can't go wrong with flowers.  I'm reading books but haven't finished for a review.  It's spring, so I'm busy raking and bagging leaves - too much to mulch. 

Work is nuts (that's a weak excuse - it's been nuts for over 13 years. )

Um....hey - everyone loves flowers and the arboretum is always so darn pretty even though I take the same tulips pics year after year. 

Gotta love tradition. 

Happy Monday. Hope  you have a good new April Week....

Friday, April 2, 2021

Enjoy Easter Weekend

These two cuties are now 16 and 13.  I bet they still want to seek eggs and get a chocolate bunny
Tulips = Easter time .  Such a fave fleeting flower
I love Easter displays.  Spring eternal
 Fun to see pastel colors again. 

Hope everyone has a safe, fun, family filled weekend  with chocolate bunnies galore. 

Happy Easter!