Friday, May 28, 2021

Finally Friday and Memorial Weekend

Finally Friday and last Friday we headed to AR for our Crystal Bridges Art Museum adventure

Just some Chihuly tucked in a corner

Depression line sculpture
Look up - more Chihuly awaits
Modern wing

 And the natural beauty of the grounds as we strolled the trails

Such variety and peace

And now it's Memorial Weekend.  We remember all that served and died in service to their country

Wars are bred by poverty and oppression. Continued peace is possible only in a relatively free and prosperous world - George C. Marshall 1956

 Enjoy family and nature this weekend. Appreciate our United States of America in all it's flaws, we can still find community. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Wednesday Wows

Downtown Bentonville on Saturday morning - we strolled the square.  Nifty murals and there was a farmers market - huge radishes, broccoli, and gorgeous flowers in various stalls. 
This one was striking
Yep - Me and the water feature in the square
Onward to a peek into Crystal Bridges Art Museum - different and cool

In one wing of the museum, we walked into this room that had two walls filled with a plethora, a bounty, a variety spanning the ages of American art.  You get a Warhol, you get a John Singer Sargent, find the Mary Cassatt, and throw in a Maxfield Parrish for good measure.  Wow!

Just a tip of the art iceberg in Arkansas.  

Monday, May 24, 2021

Monday Moment - Where? Bentonville Arkansas

Ray and I drove six hours to Bentonville, Arkansas.  Here's Ray in front of the original Wal-Mart. Yep, Sam Walton created an empire. 
Fortunately Alice Walton, who amassed a huge collection of American art, donated it all to create Crystal Bridges Art Museum. Wow. Just wow.  A lovely museum to wander and enjoy. 
And outside, fabulous nature trails with a few little sculptures along the way. How about some Chihuly glass?
Nifty dramatic art against a forested backdrop. 

 Yep, I LOVED our weekend and will be sharing a lot more of our adventures.  

And now it's Monday. Back to reality - gotta go to work to pay for vacation time. 

Friday, May 21, 2021

Finally Friday - Where are They?

 Finally Friday and Ray and I are off on adventure. A little weekend jaunt within driving distance, but another state. Can anyone guess?

Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience - Francis Bacon

    Some travelers are drawn forward by a goal lying before them

    in the way iron is drawn to the magnet

    Others are drawn by a force lying behind them

    In such a way the bowstring makes the arrow fly

                    Isak Dinesen

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

I shall report back next week with some pictures and a review about getting back out in the world. 

Wish us luck, and enjoy your weekend  everybody. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Book Review - Conference of the Birds by Ransom Riggs

Book Five of the Miss Peregine's peculiar children series - The Conference of the Birds - is another gripping adventure for Jacob Portman and his friends.  This whole YA series has been enthralling. 

Jacob needs to deliver a new peculiar, Noor,  to V.  Time is running out and the kids are trying to decipher a prophecy. Meanwhile Miss Peregrine and various factions are at a conference  attempting to avert chaos amongst the tribes.  

cover blurb - When the prisons are blown to dust and chaos reigns....And the betrayers summon their king, The old ones from their sleep are torn....An age of strife will soon be born. 

 Enemies behind him. Unknown paths ahead. Jacob Portman must use his wits, his skills, and learn to continue to depend on his friends. Unique characters inhabit Ransom Riggs' writing. The twists and turns keep the pages turning. Whew - I'm ready for book six now. 

Monday, May 17, 2021

Monday Moment Book Review - Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri

 I LOVE Jhumpa Lahiri's writing and her new novel, Whereabouts, does not disappoint. She originally wrote in her newest acquired language, Italian, and then translated her own work into this English version. Wow!

The book is less than 155 pages with 46 chapters - small glimpses into the narrators life. Cover blurb:  A woman questioning her place in the world, wavers between stasis and movement, between the need to belong and a refusal to form lasting ties. The city is her companion and we follow her from work to the train station, to the pool, the shops, the beach. 

cover: Whereabouts is an exquisitely nuanced portrait of urban solitude, one that shimmers with beauty and possibility. 

I loved this book and the feelings it evoked - wistfulness, sadness, hope, yearning, contentment, restlessness. I wanted to walk in the piazzas, visit a friend's country home, or have a day at the beach. Each chapter had many sentences that were just wonderful. 

Here's an example: The city doesn't beckon or lend me a shoulder today. Maybe it knows I'm about to leave. The sun's dull disk defeats me: the dense sky is the same one that will carry me away. That vast and vaporous territory, lacking precise pathways, is all that binds us together now. 

Lahiri's writing is a treat. 

Friday, May 14, 2021

Finally Friday - Fluffy Read

Finally Friday and we needed a fluffy light read for the weekend. 

cover blurb: Modern Lovers by Emma Straub is seductively funny and sharp. Packing wisdom, insight, and humor together, this is a richly satisfying book about neighbors and nosiness, ambition and pleasure, the excitement of youth, the shock of middle age, and the fact that our passions - be they food, or friendship, or music - never go away. They just evolve and grow along with us. 

Elizabeth, Andrew, and Zoe are old college friends who were in a band and hit it big with one song, thanks to the voice of the late Lydia.  Now middle aged, Elizabeth and Andrew are married and in a rut. Zoe is married to Jane and they are in a rut.   Elizabeth and Andrew's son, Harry is a nice young man in high school growing into the man he'll be.  Ruby, Zoe and Jane's girl, is the exotic elusive creature of his dreams. Ruby's the wild child trying to figure out her future. Meanwhile, as the adults cross paths (yes, they live on the same block), Ruby and Harry find some heat in a weird changing summer. 

Everyone seems to be at a crossroads in their lives. At times the adults act more childish than their teen  offspring. Straub writes rich characters and interweaves the story line from past to present with a light touch and plenty of humor. I liked Modern Lovers as an entertaining fluff piece and that's a compliment  as dessert for my brain. 

Have a great weekend folks. We'll be dodging rain drops in Texas. Guess that drought is over. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Book Review - Memorial by Bryan Washington

 I had read good buzz about Memorial by Bryan Washington so I was excited to begin this book. It's a quiet book - rather reflective.  Benson (Black daycare teacher) and Mike (Japanese American chef) are a couple living in Houston. When we first meet them, they are on the outs. It's convenient to be together, but they seem to have lost connections and interest. 

Multiple issues take them apart and that causes reflection on both sides. Mike hears that is estranged father is dying in Japan. He flies to Japan to reconnect and care for the man as he finishes his last weeks.  Meanwhile - Mike's mother has flown in for a visit and Benson is left living with her and slowly learning about her, Mike, and frankly himself. 

cover blurb - An absurd domestic situation leads Benson to a deeper understanding of family and himself. Both men will change in ways that will either make them stronger together or fracture everything they've ever known. Memorial is a funny and profound story about big first loves, family in all its forms, becoming who you are supposed to be, and the limits of love. 

At first I wasn't sure about this book, but I became interested in the characters and their transformations.  It's a rather different book for me with male characters reacting to love, feelings, family issues. As I said it's quiet - and often those are the ones you have to watch out for - they can pack a punch. 

Monday, May 10, 2021

Monday Moment - Amon Carter Museum and Photos

I skipped out of work early on Thursday.  Needed a break, and headed to Fort Worth. Time for some art. I enjoyed a stroll around the Amon Carter Museum, and appreciated the photography of An-My Le. "On Contested Terrain".  Her work covers her return to her homeland, Vietnam, and an interesting perspective of family history.  She's also photographed time at 29 Palms with the Marines - exercises, classes, and just a perspective of young men learning great responsibility.  

Time on Navy ships,  time on some film sets. An-My Le has had quite the career and her work is an interesting retrospective. 
Lots of black and white photography, plus some large color and large format work. Very impressive. 

I also enjoyed a lovely tea over at the Kimbell with a good friend, Trish. Cutesy sandwiches, fruit, scones, muffins, and cookies, plus we chose green tea. I felt quite spoiled on a Thursday afternoon - far more fun than working. 

As she said, "You need to retire. We have stuff to do."   Indeed, as more and more opens up, fun can be endless.  I'm ready!

Happy Monday. Support your local museums. 

Friday, May 7, 2021

Finally Friday - Book Review - The Last Mrs. Parrish

 Greetings on a Friday with a very trashy, no brainer fun read.  The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine proved quite entertaining and did surprise me.  That's a positive. 

 Back cover blurb - Amber Patterson is fed up. She's tired of being a nobody...She deserves more - of life of money and power like the one blond-haired, blue eyed goddess Daphne Parrish takes for granted. 

This is a story of a very conniving con-woman who has set her sights on the handsome, very rich Jackson Parrish. Amber's transformation is amazing. The New York life is incredible. 

Yet - if it is too good to be true, it usually is.  (and yes, that's the moral of this story)

I will not blow any more of this plot line. But it's always fun to read about the life of the rich. Who wouldn't want the amazing house, wardrobe, etc.  BUT, be careful what you wish for - life behind closed doors can be controlling and creepy. 

Midway through this book, I had a wave of sadness - like - "really, this is sad and pathetic." I thought about stopping my read. I almost felt guilty - like... it's terrible that a woman feels the need  to do this..and this...and this...

But - unfortunately, while fiction, this is based on real folks no doubt - young ladies preying on rich dudes and families and stealing a "life".  So comeuppance is a real thing and well deserved. 

I won't blow the total plot line, but let's just say I was very satisfied with this book - The Last Mrs. Parrish is worthy of a summer beach read - I just read it in the spring. 

Happy Weekend Y'all. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Wednesday Whatever

 Hey - I'm being lazy for this post.  Saw this meme on FB and it struck me.  I have to say - I have a darn good life and I'm happy enough - relatively content. I'm darn lucky - roof overhead, food in fridge, job, talented, clever hubby who does a ton of stuff around the house, along with excellent cooking. 

I mean - that's life, marriage, in a nutshell. We eat, we sleep,  we survive, we laugh. 

Laughter to me is the key. Wacky stupid laughter.  Snarky laughs. Just existence - we have to laugh. 

and the stupid little crap you accumulate through the years.  Dumb references  to any show, music, moment - OMG - that's the best. 

We have our Texas history but  I'm lucky to have solid PA history with siblings and also friends from junior high on to now.....that has offered a lot through the years.  And I have a dad turning 90 in July- Yikes. I can still speak Philly - Yo. 

We chatted the other night and he can't believe that number. Oh, he's getting forgetful and repeats quite a bit, but he's also sharp on so much stuff. I/We are lucky that he's a happy man who likes his sweets and still enjoys his home/shows/ and Good Morning America. 

Anyway - that's Wednesday in May - just a rambling chat - sharing my random thoughts. 

Thanks for reading. Take care all. 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Monday - Bird Brain

 No photo available due to angsty terror ridden moments below (chuckle)

So, it's no secret based on my book My Zoo World and on various posts that I'm rather afraid of creatures. 

Animals could attack at any moment so I keep a respectful distance. 

Last Thursday, I did a quick run to Dollar General for work junk food - Diet Coke for me, Sprite for Zach, pork rinds for Robert, a big box of Goldfish for the gang. You get the idea.  Twenty dollars later when I came out of the store, a bright yellow spot in the parking lot caught my eye. Chirping near my driver door was a tiny little canary or parakeet - bright yellow with some blue spots.  

Oh my. The poor thing could easily get run over.  (I do have a heart)

I did take out my phone to take a picture. While I was getting situated, the little bird suddenly flew up to land on my phone.  Say what??????

I did not drop my phone but I was very surprised. Obviously this was a very domesticated cutie ready for his close up.  Well, darn. I kept saying "shoo" and tried to shake my phone hand.  Not budging. 

Then he flapped down to land at the bag in my left arm. His little talons had a good grip. Not leaving. 

Well, crap!  Now what?

I moved to the sidewalk and set down the bag. I was ready to surrender my goldfish and leave. 

After shaking the bag a bit, he did release his grip and  hopped on to the sidewalk.  Whew! I gathered up my stuff and fled quickly. I did not want him zooming into my car. Yikes!

As I pulled away, he was safely on the walk.  I feel like I did my part for the bird kingdom. Hope he stayed safe and was aware of stranger danger.  (and big cars in the lot)