Friday, October 29, 2021


Fort Worth Botanic Garden mural
And a little pumpkin fest glory too
Do you like my eyeball collection?
The skeleton heads glow at night
Happy Halloween Weekend. Hope it's a safe and fun one for everyone. Our neighborhood has a lot of decorations. Folks definitely have the spirit. Do you? 


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Halloween Spooktacular

Saturday 10/16/21 - enjoyed the Family Series sponsored by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra at Bass Hall. Wow - they are back and following Covid protocol.  I swear everyone wore their masks faithfully indoors. It was so cute to see kids in costume along with adults. Spiderman is popular.  I wore my Charlie Brown Halloween t-shirt and got compliments.  Total fun morning hour. 
Bass Hall is a fabulous performance hall.  The exterior is gorgeous.  Indoors is breathtaking. 

The orchestra members were in costume too - they definitely brought the spirit. My friend, Candice, and I had the best time. 

Halloween Spooktacular program.  Begin with a rousing Star Spangled Banner. The symphony does a bang-up job

Wagner - The Ride of the Valkyries...always amazing

Gounod - Funeral March of the Marionette

Agudelo - El Sombreron  (my fave) very ghostly

Saint-Saens  - Danse macabre, Op 40

Prokoiev - Masks from Romeo and Juliet no. 1, Op 64A

Stravinsky - The Firebird  Infernal Dance

Alberga - Snow White's Dance

Dukas - The Sorcerer's Apprentice (oh, not those infernal brooms splashing water....)  Classic Mickey!

Gotta support local music - I always learn about music.  Bless the Fort Worth Symphony. 


Monday, October 25, 2021

Monday Book Review - Telex From Cuba by Rachel Kushner

 Telex From Cuba by Rachel Kushner was an interesting read for me.  I am truly not up on my Cuban history. I trust she did some research and then wrote this fiction about an American community in Cuba in 1958. 

The Americans were supervising the sugarcane plantations. They are living rich with native Cuban servants, country club parties, and a lot of indulgences. Meanwhile, Fidel and Raoul Castro are up in the hills with the rebels plotting revolt and revolution. In some of the American families, young men head to the hills to help the rebels. 

We follow young Everly Lederer and K.C. Stites as they become aware of the race hierarchies and violence.  Cover blurb - They discover the brutality that keeps the colony humming. If their parents manage to maintain blissfully untouched by the forces of history, the children hear the whispers of what is to come. 

With her first novel, Kushner surrounds history with strong characters and an engaging plot. Cover blurb - Haunting and compelling, this book offers the urgency of a telex from a forgotten time and place. 

Interesting historical perspective and solid writing. Thumbs up

Friday, October 22, 2021

Finally Friday - Let's Explore the Botanic Garden

As you read this, I am in PA for a fall visit with my father. Meanwhile, last Sunday I enjoyed a wonderful stroll at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens. It was sweatshirt weather perfect. 
Still lots of eye-popping color
I love these whispy pink grasses
Now that's a lot of purple asters. Breathtaking

 And a nice surprise as a rounded a corner - this fellow was not letting anyone pass. 

What's the password?  Hmm. Go Fish?

Hope you are enjoying fall weather wherever you are. My dad said PA was showing its glory. I've been ready for the crimsons and gold. 

Have a good weekend. I'll be sitting a lot at dad's kitchen table. Always time for a snack. Cheers!

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Whatever Wednesday at the Lake

Thursday - October 7th was a gorgeous day. 
I was off work and we headed to Lake Ray Roberts - a one hour drive north from our home. 
 Lovely land to explore thanks to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Group. And there's a bit of history. This is the only piece left - a chimney - from an old pioneer home on this land in Texas
We were walking a path and who was meandering near by?
Ray's pet deer
Sandy beach area and darn clear water for a Texas lake. No one was around. We enjoyed the trails, water, and picnic areas by ourselves. 
We plan to explore more state parks and take advantage of the nature around us. What a splendid calm day. 

Monday, October 18, 2021

Book Review - Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

 Transcendent Kingdom is a lovely piece of fiction by Yaa Gyasi.  The writing is gorgeous. The story is interesting and profound. This is one of those books that, when done, you close it and have to take a breath and just think. 

Gifty is a PHD candidate in neuroscience at Stanford. She is working on reward-seeking behavior in mice to study depression and addiction. cover blurb -  Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after an ankle injury left him hooked on Oxy.  Her suicidal mother stays in bed. 

This book looks at Gifty's work, her search for answers, her family, and her hunger for faith. 

cover blurb - She grapples with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive. 

Church vs. science. This is a theme of Transcendent Kingdom and is handled well by this gifted writer. 

p.33  We don't know what we don't know. We don't even know the questions we need to ask in order to find out, but when we learn one tiny little thing, a dim light comes on in a dark hallway, and suddenly new questions appear. 

p.63  But the memory lingered, the lesson I have never been able to quite shake - that I would always have something to prove and that nothing but blazing brilliance would be enough to prove it. 

Gifty is a gem of a person. Enjoy this book. Savor this book. And come away with hope. 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Finally Friday

 'Nuff said

I shall leave this to ponder for the weekend.  Cheers all!

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Wednesday Wow - No Time to Die - James Bond

 Bond, James Bond.  Daniel Craig is back (finally) and No Time to Die is worth the long Covid wait. 

Ray and I saw it in the theater. It's over two hours, but stays intense - I did not debate in my head editing anything. The movie checked off all of the boxes I expect  for a James Bond movie.  Wham - the opening intro sequence is intense and really gets us immersed. 

Car chases - heck yeah and I love a sleek cool Aston Martin (with some extra super gizmos). 

Pretty women - well, of course. 

Daniel Craig with his shirt off - absolutely.  

"Shaken, not stirred"

Crisp editing and plenty of action, fight scenes, a brooding Bond, and an insane (? these days anything is possible) plot with chemicals and selective killing genetics. Don't overthink that too much. 

Villains - two!!  Rami Malek is a quiet sinister madmen.   Christoph Waltz as Blofield is behind maximum security bars (thanks  to James in previous film), but still  manufacturing Spectre chaos. 

James (Daniel) has been in this spy game for so long. He's seen it all. This is a rather reflective Bond - Ray even commented on the deeper character study. I give No Time to Die an  A in the Bond universe. It's worth seeing on the big screen.  And the Bond song - good one with Billie Eillish. 

Bond, James  Bond

Monday, October 11, 2021

Monday Book Review - Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson is a charming read. It's rather old fashioned, sweet, sturdy, and witty. The author allows you to enter a small village and feel like a spy as you get caught up in an unlikely romance. 

back blurb: Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired) of Edgecombe St. Mary is wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing. He values proper Englishman things - honor, duty, decorum, and a properly brewed cup of tea. But his brother's death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, a widow Pakistani shopkeeper. Can their relationship survive the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of culture and tradition?

p. 120 "Whenever I order it now, it never seems to taste quite as I remember," said the Major

"Ah, the foods of childhood," said Mrs. Ali breaking into a smile. "I believe the impossibility of recreating such dishes may be due more to an unfortunate stubbornness of memory than any inherent failure of preparation."

Every page is delightful to read, and I wanted to sit with the Major and Mrs. Ali, drink tea, and discuss literature. Or take a walk in the English countryside, dawdle looking out to the sea. And I rooted for them as they encountered problems, family issues, and the rudeness of villager friends. I highly recommend Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. 



Friday, October 8, 2021

Finally Fun Friday - Birthday style

October and fall is in the air. You know what that  means. Birthday celebration for ME
Yep - today October 8th is my day
I don't hang around with dolly anymore. I'm much much much older
Spent the summer hanging with my flamingo and swimming a lot in the pool.  

Now, it's a bit too brisk.  It's State Fair time (maybe - still a tad skittish in regards to crowds). It's special lunch with friends today. It's taking a long weekend and being spoiled

I will be hanging with Ray, my guy. We won't be on the beach, but that's a favorite spot. We can dream for 2022. 

Even onward, ever older....I give you permission to eat cake and drink some bubbly with me. 

Old and young, we are all on our last cruise - Robert Louis Stevenson  (I think I'd rather be on board a jet ski)

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Olive Pemberton: A Century of Beauty

So this was cool - Friday October 1st was the opening reception for Olive Pemberton: A Century of Beauty at the Fort Worth Community Art Center.   Look at the pic above - Born in 1920, she had quite a life including performing under the tutelage of Billy Rose in NYC, along with her sister. She came back to Fort Worth TX, married, and was a member of the Fort Worth Circle of artists challenging "visual conventions of the time -experimenting with modernism, etc. " She is alive at 101 but homebound. However, this retrospective of her work is now on display. 
I am fortunate to know her daughter, author Bonnie Pemberton (middle) - and it was cool to catch up with my writer gang (Stacy on the right) and celebrate Bonnie's mom. 
Her work is lovely - watercolors, oils, sketches, and sculpture. There is a bit of everything to see. 

What's sad is Bonnie told us she showed her mother the collection book. Her mother paged through it, but had no stories. Did not remember painting them. Bonnie asked, "Mom, well, what do you think of the art work?"  Her mother picked up the book and paged back through it. She smiled and said, "I think it's pretty darn good. "   Rather bittersweet. 

 As I said, all quite cool.  Better late than never for us to see local talent and learn some history.  

I salute Olive Pemberton. 

Monday, October 4, 2021

Monday Moment

 Saw this meme on Facebook for someone saying goodbye to family that was moving away. In reality they will see this person again. Yet, a change is difficult. 

Currently, in this age of Covid (STILL), it seems like we keep saying goodbye to a concept of life...a freedom we had...that may never be the same again. 

It's been over a year and six months and I still consider activity choices, assess the situation just walking into a store, or question who I wish to be with. 

The uncertainty. The unknown. 

I was good for awhile. Now I'm back to uncertainty.  I actually booked a flight to PA to see my dad in a few weeks. I need to use a ticket from 2020. BUT, now I'm second guessing, I'm fretting, and I hate that, and then I worry. 

And I'm mad.  Very mad at (to me) those who've just ignored caring about others, who've ignored some common sense, who don't give a rip, and it's caused this whole mess to go on and on and on and on. 

Big sigh. 

Thanks for reading my rant.  Happy Monday??

Friday, October 1, 2021

Friday fun Book Review - The Heist

 I love Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. They are just fluffy.  Here she joins forces with Lee Goldberg for a fun romp with an FBI agent, Kate O'Hare and a heartless con artist, Nick Fox. She's been chasing him forever. Now, she got him. What to do with him?

Work together? Say what?

In The Heist, this improbable team are after a corrupt investment banker who's been hiding on a private island in Indonesia.  cover blurb - He tests O'Hare's patience and Fox's skill. Not to mention the skills of their ragtag team made up of flamboyant actors, wanted wheelmen, and Kate's dad. High speed chases, pirates, and Toblerone bars are all in a day's work...if O'Hare and Fox don't kill each other first. 

p. 218  What we are doing is more like a heist, only with a person instead of an object. A successful heist is one that nobody notices until it's over and the thieves are gone.

One blink and you might miss a trick. Or the sparks that fly (of course) between Kate and Nick. Were you expecting less...heck no. 

This book is just stupid fun and you can fly through it - total no-brainer and that's a good thing sometimes. 

Let The Heist steal your brain for a nanosecond.