Monday, February 28, 2022

Monday Moments - Serious history. Turning points.

 This meme is far too simple. I am aware of that fact.   Ukraine.  President Zelenskyy  - hero!

So much is happening. So much is crucial for Europe, NATO, alliances, democracy, people, children

I do believe that NO former President or any USA representatives should in any WAY support Putin

NO   NO   NO

I will admit I read and am way too ignorant on history, economics, etc. but this is a gut reaction post. 

I sit helpless, ignorant, and sad.   This is serious. This is pivotal. This is a world issue. 

Friday, February 25, 2022

Friday Fluff Movie - Marry Me

First on the tougher side of marriage - I can report that Ray is doing really well with his knee. He might not think so every day, but I say "I do."

Now, on the fluffy side I did escape to the movies (left Ray with ice packs, water, his book, etc) and saw Marry Me starring Jennifer Lopez (Kat) and Owen Wilson (Charlie). This is rom-com at its most ridiculous and finest. This is J-Lo looking fabulous plus singing, plus being vulnerable, plus being fabulous (yes, I mention this twice because I do love her as the star she is). 

She's Kat, a superstar getting ready to marry dreamy jerk Bastion (played by dreamy talented singer Maluma) in a huge extravaganza concert. Uh-oh someone is a cheater. So, she impulsively picks Charlie (Owen Wilson) who's holding a "Marry Me" sign handed to him by friend Sarah Silverman. 

So, is this all a joke, a farce? Does Kat skip events to come to the school where Charlie's the math teacher nerd? Is love possible despite the crazy lifestyle contrast? Is Charlie just almost too perfect with his folksy attitude and crooked nose/smile? 

It's a rom-com. It's fun, entertaining, and glamorous. There are musical numbers. There's a math-a-lon. 

Ridiculous?  Heck yeah!!!

It's J-Lo.  'Nuff said.  


Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Worthy Wednesday

 Wednesday worthy thought to ponder

Monday, February 21, 2022

Monday Book Review - Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid has another hot Cali themed book with Malibu Rising. I read it in one breezy weekend  (checked out from the library) - just fun, high class trashy (this is a compliment), and I love rich beautiful people with first world problems. 

Mick Riva married June, he rose to fame as a singer, he cheated, she left with the four kids, and they made do while he never looked back. Poor June passed away before she could see her kids shine. That part is told in  flashbacks. The author knows how to draw us in and flow from past to present. 

Now, August 1983 in Malibu, the Rivas are ready for their annual bash. Gorgeous Nina - surfer model. Jay - pro surfer dude.  1/2 bro Hudson - surfer photographer.  Kit - chomping at the bit for success in the shadows of her siblings. 

Who is sleeping with whom? Who's cheating with who's ex?  Wait, is that Mick showing up to the party?  And Nina - will she face who she  really is and wants to be?   And wait...there's fire.....

cover blurb - Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them...and what they will leave behind. 

Brain candy feast for the eyes.  Settle in with a glass of wine and escape to Malibu cliffs and beach.

Friday, February 18, 2022

Finally Friday

Well, assume I am taking care of Ray and his knee.  If he rings that damn bell one more time.....

Meanwhile - Happy Lunar New Year from February 1 - it's the year of the Tiger.  Hear me roar!

 As witnessed through the years, I love David Sedaris.  His humor just cracks me up. His latest collection of diaries  - Carnival of Snackery 2003-2020 - once again have a zillion gem entries. 

cover blurb - If it's naval gazing you're after, you've come to the wrong place; ditto treacly self-examination. His observations are outward: a fight between two men on a bus, dirty jokes from book signings, or just afternoons with his equally outrageous bonkers sister, Amy. 

These diaries cover a lot of travel and every airplane encounter is a hoot. New administrations, new restrictions on speech and conduct, and trash. No issue is left untouched. And there's Hugh, his husband. The man must be a saint - he definitely can put in the last word (at least per David's entry of the day. )

I quickly looked through to pick an entry as an example of David Sedaris' comic genius. I found myself laughing out loud again and truly could not pick one. 

So, trust me - enjoy the Carnival of Snackery. You can't just read one. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Book Review - The Other Mrs. Miller by Allison Dickson

 I can't write much here about The Other Mrs. Miller by Allison Dickson.  Can't give too much away.  Suffice to say this book had me fooled with some tricky twists and turns.  It's a page turner. A quick fun weekend read with solid characters and plot line. 

cover blurb  Two women are watching each other. Only one knows why.

 Phoebe Miller isn't sure when the rusty car started showing up in the cul-de-sac she calls home, or why its driver would be spying on her. What could be interesting about an unhappy housewife who drowns her sorrows in ice cream and wine and barely leaves her home?

Throw a new neighbor family into the mix. Vicki is a gossipy gal.  Jake, college bound, is handsome, hot, and available.  The doctor husband appears to have issues - alcohol, anger, hmm. 

Phoebe's super rich father is now in jail. Wyatt, her husband, is dealing with the strain in the marriage. 

Oh there's a lot going on in the suburbs.  Who breaks first? Who's the gal in the car? 

Some dead bodies on the scene....Yikes!

Monday, February 14, 2022

Happy Valentine's Day

I love Ray

Happy Valentine's Day.  All of the above for my honey - Ray.   Yes, I am keeping him alive after knee surgery. I'm not the best caretaker. I count on him normally to be the best cook, but I'm pulling together meals. 

The course of true love does not run smooth - William Shakespeare.

And my other fave valentine is my dad - age 90-1/2.  He's kicking along or rather shuffling  about. My brother and sister are amazing and keep him going in his house. He's happy with his oldie movies, tasty soup, and plenty of desserts - small portions. 

I wish everyone a happy Valentine Monday. I hope it's a good day and you can celebrate your favorite people - friends, family, a salute to those passed, or throw down the gauntlet for a potential love. 

Or be good to yourself - play your favorite tune, eat a really good meal, or just hit that thermostat an extra degree to be warm.

Blog world loves you!  Cheers my friends. 

Friday, February 11, 2022

Flashback Friday to Ice Days

More pics from our little ice event on Feb. 3rd.    Brrr.........
I liked my angle on this pic and the way the snow fell on our yaupon holly tree. It has a great lean
Our one splash of color is the berries. Bet these are cold and crisp if birds decided they were hungry. 
"My tongue is frozen"

 I looked up and the pergola ice design caught my eye. 

Hope everyone is staying warm. We are no doubt thawed by now here in TX. I am taking care of Ray and his knee - keep wishing us luck and healing powers.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Wednesday Whatever and Worry

 Eye see you

           Eye couldn't escape

Now what?


Enjoyed a walk last Saturday in Chisholm Park. Always good to look up and capture fleeting moments. 

On another note today, wish Ray good luck - it's knee replacement time from an ancient ACL tear back from his soccer playing young adult days. It's day surgery - doctors will do the deed and then kick him out the door. Here I am, the caretaker....yikes!  Magic healing potions are needed.  Hurry please

Monday, February 7, 2022

Monday Book Review - The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

 I had my name on the library  list  for this book and was very happy when my turn came. I read The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris in one weekend. Well written with rich characters, this book has some surprising edges. 

Nella Rogers, age 26, is the only Black girl at Wagner Books. In comes Harlem born, Hazel May McCall - a confident charming black woman who seems to become the office darling. Then Nella receives some anonymous notes - Leave Wagner Now. Hmm. 

cover blurb - But as Nella begins to spiral, obsess, and ultimately uncover sinister forces at play, she risks losing much more than her career.

Propulsive, darkly funny, and endlessly surprising, The Other Black Girl is a whip-smart commentary on diversity in the workplace. 

Code switching. Competitive vibes.  (cover blurb) This book will resonate with anyone who's felt manipulated or outmaneuvered, threatened or overlooked. This is a novel that questions the silence we trade for success. Is that sacrifice worth it?

Riveting  - the author made this reader think a lot. 

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Bonus Sunday Post - Ice, Ice Baby

Wednesday February 2nd the Groundhog saw his shadow. Six more weeks of winter. Hooray. 

And then it began sleeting around 6 pm. 

We awoke to 1/4" of ice.  Dreary,  bleak, and  bitter cold in the 20s F.  Sleet gave way to some snow - always treacherous when topping an ice sheet. 
This fellow's not going anywhere.  Yes,  I put on a coat and slid my way about on the patio to snap some photos. 
"I didn't sign on for this gig," says our gator

 No waterfall here. Pipes were drained in the fall. It's slick!

Texas shuts down with ice. Impossible to drive on.  No newspaper, no mail, no  nothing.

Our power stayed on (hooray) and we hunkered down. 

Friday, February 4, 2022

Matrix (by Lauren Groff) - it's a book, not the movie


cover blurb:  she rides out of the forest alone, seventeen years old, in the cold march drizzle, marie who comes from France

1158 - a bedraggled Marie, banished from Queen Eleanor's court, is now in England at a much maligned abbey.  Poor, starving nuns. No resources. 

Matrix by Lauren Groff is a weird little book with a very old flavor to it. Spare and yet rich - this book is a "defiant and timely exploration of the raw power of female creativity in a corrupted world." (cover blurb)

Marie is an ungainly giantess of her day, no beauty, yet cunning, smart, resourceful. She is strong-willed and soon learns to manipulate what she can to get food, secure the abbey, conquer diseases, and use her faith and visions to instill strength. This book is not long and Groff leaps through the years -covering plagues, blight, and salvation. 

p. 117 Without the first matrix (Eve, House of Death), there could be no salvatrix (Mary, House of Life), the greatest matrix of all. 

p.177 There is a fine polish of near morning upon the abbey....

p.226 Collapse is the constant state of humanity...civilization after civilization foundering to dust, until the final death of the children of Eve with the apocalypse, the seven seals, the seven trumpets, the seven angels, the seven bowls. 

I liked Marie, the various nuns - some cranky, some wily, some mad, and the style of Matrix. I almost felt I should be reading it on dusty old parchment while drinking from a chalice. Kudos to Lauren Groff. 

Funny Phoebe Friday - Book Review

Comedian, writer, producer, and actress - Phoebe Robinson does it all and her latest book, Please Don't Sit On My Bed in Your Outside Clothes, is timely, funny, serious, and perfect social commentary. 

cover blurb - Turns out me looking like a bootleg Diana Ross on this book's cover is not enough to entice folks to read it. 

We've all been through a trying time, which is why I wrote something to make you laugh until you pee a little, feel until you want  to rage a little, and think until you want  to go back to laughing a little. 

Yep. That sums it up. She's got a wide variety - quarantining with her white British boyfriend, Black Lives Matter, a decision to not have kids, her time with Michelle Obama, black hair, and running multiple companies. I laughed out loud a lot. I also gleaned truths and learned a bit about another perspective. 

p. 104 On how she hates unnecessary Zoom meetings and believes in email:  So in the future, when you want to set a Zoom, ask yourself, Could this be an email? If the answer is "yes", then b*#ch, clickety-clack, click click on your keyboard like a Delta Airlines employee trying to rebook you on a flight and keep it moving.  

 Just that little example gives you an idea of the tone and teensy observations that are SO true. I got this book from the library and enjoyed it immensely. I'll look for her stand-up specials. Phoebe Robinson is cool, hot, gifted, and hysterical. 

Movie Review Madness - Parallel Mothers

 Parallel Mothers directed by Pedro Almodovar has lots of Oscar buzz. It's a product of Spain and I saw it with subtitles. Good to stretch the brain sometimes, and this was an excellent film. 

Janis (Penelope Cruz) and Ana (Milena Smit) are thrown together in a maternity ward. Janis is an older unwed mother courtesy of trysts with Arturo (Israel Elejalde), but she is happy with this choice. Ana is very young, scared, and lacking parental support. Her mother's an actress concerned with her career. Her father kicked out due to the pregnancy.  

Baby girls are born and both women bond because the babies have some issues and are being held for observations. When released, Janis makes sure Ana has her phone number to stay in touch. 

Life goes on, but things get complicated. Arturo questions if the baby is his. Janis begins to question it too. A genetic test opens up more questions. Meanwhile, Janis runs into Ana at a nearby coffee shop. Ana is working there, moved out from her mothers, changed her hair, and there's more news. 

I can't say more, except that life does throw curveballs. Excellent acting. Twists to the plot. And just that rich foreign flavor thanks to Cruz and Almodovar. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Wednesday Whatever - Lake Brownwood State Park

Two weeks ago, Ray and I went to San Saba to hang with Aunt Pat. Fortunately that Friday proved cool (40s) but sunny and nice. Time to hit a state park. Lake Brownwood is 1-1/2 hours away. 
This is the Grand Staircase off the Lakeside Trail. It's a grand piece of construction from the Civilian Conservation Corp (1946-1950s). We are fortunate to enjoy their hard work. 
Ray got to the bottom first. It was not a race.  But you can see how pretty the lake and area are even in January.  We had the place to ourselves (a benefit of retirement!)

Here I am, happy as a clam after a picnic lunch. Almost ready for our short hike. 

I have a Texas State Park Pass and we hope to take advantage of the variety of parks/lakes throughout the state. 

Enjoy your own "backyard"!